Early summer in the sun and Ealing North comes out to play as only we can.
School fairs, carnivals, church fetes, allotment shows and every other reason for people of good will to gather together around the tombola stall with the sweet smell of fried onions in the background and the sound system lifting the spirits.
From the Hanwell to the Greenford Carnivals may only be a few weeks but what a vast range of experiences lie between the two dates.
One thing that all the gatherings have in common is the living breathing proof that community spirit is alive and thriving in our part of the world.
I may have been doing this job for a few years but never ever will I cease to be stunned and in awe of the extent of the dedication shown by volunteers who give so freely of their time to make such memorable occasions for the rest of us – whatever the weather. Carnival is a huge undertaking and there is always a need for more helpers but it is sometimes the smaller celebrations that stay in my mind – schools like St. Joseph’s, Mayfield, Springhallow, Edward Betham, St. Raphael’s and Hobbayne bring together parents, pupils and staff to show their pride in their school and to raise funds.
The miracle of street parties like those enjoyed in Devon Close, The Draytons and Grove Avenue show people reclaiming their roads and for just one day banishing traffic and dancing in the street as the song suggests. The annual fundraiser for The Brambles – held on the vast verdant lawns of the Holy Cross Rectory – brings together Scouts, Guides, the WI, Townswomen’s Guild and usually seems to arrange for a flyover by the RAF as they synchronise the summer fair with Her Majesty’s birthday.
Church fetes like that organised by St. Mary’s Northolt and the extraordinary achievement of St. Stephen’s in Cleveland Park really do lift the spirits just as they empty the wallet and yet again it is the dedicated few who bake the cakes, staff the stalls stand in the stocks to be soaked and keep the refreshments flowing as much as the fun. All this and Armed Forces Day to come – no wonder we need a rest after the summer season!
I cannot thank too strongly all those who come together to prove that community is so strong. Good people gathered together to do good and to have a good time. That’s what makes Ealing North such a wonderful place to live in and to represent.