Harrow remembers end of World War I

Harrow’s Remembrance Day parade is now the second largest in London, according to Harrow Council.

The annual parade, which culminates in a remembrance service outside the Civic Centre in Station Road, is believed to be second only in size to the remembrance event at the Cenotaph in central London.

Harrow residents can get involved in a range of remembrance activities as the nation marks the centenary of the end of World War on Sunday, November 11.

The annual parade, led by the Glen Trew Pipe Band, will start at St Ann’s shopping precinct in the town centre with servicemen and women past and present invited to join the march wearing their medals.

Relatives of those who have served in the armed forces can also take part and display the medals of family members.

The march will start at 10am and will arrive at the Harrow War Memorial outside the Civic Centre where there will be a wreath-laying ceremony.

The remembrance service will start at 10.45am, with two minutes’ silence at 11am.

Throughout the day there will be activities at Harrow Arts Centre, including the creation of a spectacular poppy war memorial honouring the soldiers from Harrow who lost their lives in the Great War.

There will be a recreation of a Western Front trench and the chance to find out more about the impact of the war on Harrow with staff from Headstone Manor and Museum on hand to answer questions.

The packed programme will also include an aeroplane-making craft workshop and a World War I sing-along session as well as music and dance.

There will be a closing ceremony of remembrance at the arts centre at 6.30pm, which will include The Last Post and the lighting of a beacon.

At 7.05pm church bells in Harrow will ring out as a fitting end to a day of contemplation and commemoration.

More than 50 new homes planned for Rosslyn Crescent

Developers have unveiled plans to build more than 50 new homes and new business premises on the sites of Lexus House and Miller House in Rosslyn Crescent.

Residents, who were made aware of the plans last week, have already expressed concern at the lack of parking for the proposed development.

The plans include the creation of 52 “high quality” one, two and three-bedroom flats as well as more than 1,000 square metres of commercial space.

Developers say the scheme will improve on the run-down business premises and offices currently on site as well as enabling other uses “more sympathetic to the residential character of Rosslyn Crescent”.

It includes a three-storey building fronting onto Rosslyn Crescent as well as a series of “modern” industrial units with commercial premises mainly accessed from Crystal Way.

New buildings would range from three to five storeys in height and the site would include 28 parking spaces plus 81 spaces for bicycles.

However, residents are worried the parking provision is insufficient for the scale of the development and the number of new households.

“Parking in Rosslyn Crescent is already becoming more difficult and the road is often very busy with cars – especially when large numbers of people attend the mosque at the top of the street,” said Rosslyn resident Jo Stephenson.

“Mosque users currently park in the Civic Centre car park but this is due to be turned into a major housing development so we are not sure where people will go.

“We’re seeing an increasing number of large-scale housing developments getting planning permission in Harrow without enough thought given to parking and unrealistic expectations that new residents will all travel by public transport.”

According to the developers, Miller House has already been approved for conversion into homes as has the Pavilion office building next door.

The site is located in a zone earmarked for regeneration and the creation of new homes by Harrow Council and the Mayor of London.

“The proposed scheme consists of a mix of residential and commercial buildings and proposes a residential element on the side facing Rosslyn Crescent,” said developers.

“This is consistent with the current uses along the street and will greatly improve the appearance and character of the streetscape.”

The developers have yet to submit a formal planning application but are inviting comments from residents via a dedicated website at www.lexushouse.co.uk

Greenhill residents warned about “HMRC” phone scam

Several Greenhill residents have received scam phone calls from criminals pretending to be from the tax office, according to police who have warned locals to be on their guard.

The scammers rang up claiming to be from HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs), warning the body was filing a lawsuit.

Startled victims were then asked to press 1 to speak to a caseworker and make a payment.

HMRC has confirmed this is a scam and has advised anyone who receives such a call to hang up immediately.

The same trick has been widely reported elsewhere with the gang behind it often targeting elderly and vulnerable people.

Other scam calls may offer a tax refund and then request bank or credit card information.

HMRC has asked anyone targeted to report incidents, providing as much detail as possible, including the date of the call, phone number used and content.

Reports can be emailed to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Scam calls can also be reported to Action Fraud.

Local Business Rushes to Help Destroyed Garden

We have just had a wonderful offer from our local brilliant seed company, Seeds of Italy (also on Facebook here), who are based at Unit D2 Phoenix Business Park in Rosslyn Crescent. They will provide us with free sunflower seeds so that we can try and make the garden outside Nisa beautiful again.

Thank you so much to Paolo and his whole family, you have very big hearts.

If you’ve not visited Paolo, pop down there; it’s a little secret gem in Harrow and the only UK seed company left in existence. There’s lots more in his warehouse than seeds, he’s even got a little Italian deli!

And yes, they’re open on a Saturday too.

Residents devastated by destruction of community garden

Residents have expressed shock and anger after the community garden they worked so hard to create was brutally hacked to the ground.

The garden – outside the Nisa convenience store in Station Road – was built and planted by volunteers in 2015, who were nominated for a Harrow Heroes award for their efforts.

It was funded by grants from gardening charity Harrow in Leaf, Nisa’s own Making A Difference Locally community fund and Harrow Council with countless other donations from individuals and local businesses.

In total residents raised more than £3,500 to turn what was a scruffy patch of wasteland into a garden for everyone to enjoy.

They were therefore horrified to find that much of the garden had been cut down to the ground with many plants dug up by the roots.

HCRA understands the shop recently changed hands and the garden was destroyed by the new managers.

The association has contacted the manager of the shop and Nisa head office to ensure no further damage is done.

The garden was designed by a professional garden designer who carefully selected plants that would work in the space and provide year-round interest.

Children from the local primary school helped plant daffodils to ensure a burst of colour in the Spring.

Since it was finished in autumn 2015, members of HCRA have continued to maintain the beds including doing weeding, pruning and picking up litter.

When part of the garden was damaged in a fire, volunteers again raised money for new plants.

Those who worked on the garden said they were “devastated” by what had happened.

“When I saw the garden I just wanted to cry,” said HCRA member Jo Stephenson. “We had some beautiful and healthy shrubs that have just been hacked to the ground.

“Many of the plants were just coming into flower. For example, we had some lovely purple aliums that were just about to come out but they have been cut down in their prime.

“We also had a lot of beautiful hebe shrubs that form into big round balls and cost about £20 each but many of these have been totally destroyed.

“So many people worked so hard on the garden and we’re just really upset to see it in this state.”

HCRA hopes to work with the shop and Nisa to replant and repair the garden.

Tonnes of junk cleared in annual Spring clean

Residents cleared 4.9 tonnes of junk and rubbish at HCRA’s annual Dump Run, helping keep our homes, streets and alleyways tidy.

The event on Saturday, March 24, saw a team of neighbours volunteer their time for the community clean-up.

HCRA hired a tipper truck to ferry unwanted items, including old fridges, sofas, and mattresses to the town dump.

The event, which is supported by Harrow Council, also saw green-fingered locals weed tree pits and tidy the community garden outside the Nisa convenience store.

Yet again the team had to clear piles of rubbish from the passage that runs between homes in Rosslyn Crescent and Woodlands Road, due to fly-tipping.

HCRA is urging those whose homes back onto the passage not to chuck garden waste and rubbish over their fences.

The Dump Run is a free event but HCRA collects donations towards the hire of the truck and other expenses.

 

Beware of fangtastic Mr Fox!

Residents have been urged to be wary after a spate of bite and run attacks on local people by foxes.

One incident saw a Woodlands Road resident get bitten in the calf by a fox as they were walking down the street.

On another occasion a fox attacked a man in his garden, biting him on the foot through his trainer and drawing blood, resulting in a trip to A&E.

He was told by doctors that this was the ninth fox bite they had treated in just three days.

Other neighbours in Woodlands and surrounding streets have reported foxes running straight at them and having to scare them off.

One fox surprised householders by sticking its head through a catflap.

Locals say they have been surprised to see foxes more often in broad daylight and commented on how bold they seem.

According to Harrow Council’s community safety team, foxes do not generally attack humans.

“But if it is cornered or surprised then they may bite in self-defence,” says an information leaflet on urban foxes.

“The fact that foxes often appear not to fear humans has more to do with familiarity and also the fact they know how slowly humans can move.”

The key way for residents to deter local foxes is to limit their access to possible food supplies.

This includes ensuring food waste is stored securely in containers such as wheelie bins and using proper bird feeders instead of just leaving scraps on the ground.

Meanwhile actively feeding foxes “can lead to foxes regarding your home as part of their territory”, says the factsheet.

“A fox that is used to being fed may approach people or even try to enter their house to find food,” it adds.

The information leaflet, which includes more information on how to deter foxes, can be downloaded here.

Or for more information and advice on foxes check out The Fox Project at www.foxproject.org.uk

Residents invited to HCRA annual meeting

Residents will have the chance to voice their concerns about local issues at HCRA’s annual meeting on Thursday, January 26.

The meeting will be at Seeds of Italy, Unit D2 at the Phoenix Business Centre in Rosslyn Crescent from 8pm.

It will feature Wix UK on the association’s activities in 2015 and will include an informal residents’ forum to discuss key local issues.

The meeting will also feature elections to the HCRA committee. Anyone can put themselves forward for a committee post.

The association is particularly keen to fill the roles of secretary, deputy chair, and newsletter/website editor.

Anyone interested in finding out more about what these roles involve should email chair@hcra.org.uk

Council unveils plans for 850 homes at Civic Centre site

civic

Harrow Council has unveiled plans for a major housing development on the Civic Centre site in Station Road.

 

The authority plans to retain ownership of the site and oversee the creation of about 850 homes, new shops and school with the civic centre set to move to a new home in Wealdstone.

Key concerns include the size and scale of the buildings, parking, green space and waste disposal.

The development – named “Poets Corner” after the housing estate that was demolished to make way for the Civic Centre in the 1970s – will include around 400 parking spaces, 100 of which will be pay and display.

It will also feature a new one-way service road, pedestrian route to Harrow and Wealdstone station and a “civic space” opposite Harrow Central Mosque, incorporating the war memorial.

A formal planning application is expected to be submitted in late Spring next year.

The development will be done in two main phases with work on the first phase starting by the end of 2017 if plans are approved. The rest of the scheme is scheduled for completion by early 2021.

HCRA members will have the chance to discuss the plans with members of the council’s regeneration team at a meeting at 19 Woodlands Road at 8.30pm on Thursday, January 19. For more information email jo@jostephenson.com