Residents’ diary

Crown Street Pocket Garden: Sunday 25 September 2016

A group of members helped to tidy up the Pocket Garden at the junction of Crown Street and Mill Hill Road.  (See the item on Replanting the Crown Street Pocket Garden below for information on our involvement.)

Mill Hill Road Gardens Opened for Charity: 14 August and 10 July 2016 

MHPRA members Anna Dargavel and Marcia Hurst opened their  gardens at 65 and 41 Mill Hill Road under the National Gardens Scheme on two occasions over the summer.  The proceeds went to an NGS charity.

Music for Nepal Concert: Saturday 6 June 2015

Nepal Earthquake Appeal:  A concert for Nepal was held at St Mary’s Church, Acton W3 9NW on Saturday 6 June.. There was live music, Nepalese dancing, Nepalese food, a licensed bar and a raffle. Everyone participating donated their time and effort for free.  Lynne, the lead organiser, had worked in Nepal for many years and so had the contacts and means to get the cash immediately to those villages who need it most (no middle men).   

Replanting the Crown Street Pocket Garden: 11 October 2014

After winning funding from The South Acton Ward Forum to redesign the Crown Street Pocket Garden, a small group of MHPRA volunteeers turned up on a Saturday, kitted in boots and gloves, and with spare garden to tools. to bed in some 300 new plants (the ground had previously been cleared by the Council).  The planting was designed by two MHPRA members, Anna Dargavel and Marcia Hurst.  The Council has said that it sees this project as best practice for community involvement and regerneration impact.














SHY ELVIS at St Mary’s Church Hall on Friday 15 November 2013

SHY ELVIS was back in Acton by popular demand at St.Mary’s Church Hall, 1 The Mount, W3 9NW (next to Morrisons).

MHPRA member Bert Routledge put on this fundraising evening, with all proceeds going to St.Mary’s to help continue the good work they do for the community.





Sing Gospel Concert at St Mary’s Church, Acton, on Saturday 21 September 2013

An evening of Gospel music by the Summer 2013 Sing Gospel Workshop Choirs with special guest choir Vocal Ensemble Credo from Bottrop , Germany and the Sing Gospel Band led by Josh Cadman.  All proceeds were donated to St Mary’s to aid the ongoing musical development of the Church.





Friday 19 October 2012: Jambo Jambo Concert

Alister Bown, a Mill Hill Park resident, organised the Jambo Jambo Concert in collaboration with MHPRA to send six young people on a life-changing trip to Africa.,.

  • In total, £750 was raised directly by the Concert.
  • A generous offer from HSBC to match that funding brought the total to £1,500;
  • An additional £200 raised by the collection following the concert went directly to St Mary’s Church who kindly provided the venue.
  • None of this would have happened, had not so many people turned up on a rather damp night; and without the sustained efforts of Alister, and of all those who performed or otherwise helped and supported.


Sunday 12 February 2012: Community Orchard Planted in Acton, despite the Cold!

Despite freezing temperatures, 16 fruit trees were planted by residents of Mill Hill Park, Acton and others on Sunday 12 February 2012.

This ‘Community Orchard’ in Heathfield Nature Gardens off Gunnersbury Lane is, in part, a practical response to dwindling oil reserves and the effects of climate change. “The move towards growing your own veg has really taken off” explained Lewis McNeill from the London Orchard Project, “but the idea with urban orchards like these is to put in place a food resource which will last a hundred years or more. And once the trees are established, they are incredibly low-maintenance.”

Once Lewis had shown them how, well-wrapped-up volunteers from Mill Hill Park Residents’ Association (MHPRA) and Ealing Transition worked with pick-axes and spades alongside others to break through the crust of frozen ground, dig square holes – round ones are bad for the roots – to plant apple, pear, and plum trees, an apricot and a medlar.




“Planting the trees was the easy bit!” said Ray Batchelor, Chair, MHPRA. “Driving stakes in for protective wire mesh – that was really hard.”











This joint initiative by Mill Hill Park Residents’ Association, The London Orchard Project, and Ealing Transition was the brainchild of local resident, Martin Kunz, who proposed the location. Grant Venner from Ealing Transition, Martin, and local residents Malcolm Temple and Karen Roberts have all been instrumental in realising this ambitious project.  It is hoped that further trees will eventually be planted, and that Acton residents may be able to enjoy local fresh fruit for decades to come. This orchard planting received funding from the Big Tree Plant, a nationwide initiative which will see a million trees planted in urban locations by 2015

An historical footnote: John Forbes Royle was a British botanist, born in India in 1799, with a specialist knowledge of the plants of the Himalayas – responsible, indeed, in 1839 for introducing into Britain the now notorious Himalayan Balsam.

He lived at Heathfield Lodge, the 18th century house with later work by Sir John Soane, which stood on the site where the Community Orchard has been planted, a botanical link with history identified by local resident, Jerome Farrell, on his return home from the digging!