From the Newsletter Editorial...

Once again Annual General Meeting and subscription renewal time is upon us.   The date is

Wednesday 26th April, at 7.30 p.m.

with the usual venue of Isleworth Public Hall.

It is hoped to see a good turn-out.  Membership Secretary, Jacqueline Wills, will be on hand to receive subscription payments.  Please do remember if renewing on the night it is helpful to bring along the completed form enclosed with this letter.   The official AGM notification is enclosed together with the Chair’s report on what has been an active year.   While as usual the business side will be kept to a minimum, as an encouragement to come along, and on a somewhat lighter note to round the evening off, Christine Diwell has agreed to give an illustrated talk “Isleworth Then and Now”. 

Our March meeting was well received commencing with a presentation by Hounslow Highways.  This partnership with the Council is now four years into a 25 year contract during which they have responsibility for renewing road surfaces, pavements and street lighting as well as the on-going maintenance, not forgetting such aspects as cleansing, winter gritting and tree maintenance etc.  

What came over clearly from the presentation is the importance of letting Highways know when issues arise, whether a simple one-off matter like a street light not working, or persistent flytipping at a specific location.  Even if, as is the case sometimes with, say, pothole repairs, the hoped for outcome may not immediately be possible, each report will be investigated against given criteria. Accumulative information is important to enable building up an overall picture.  As an example, repeated reports of overflowing litter bins in Twickenham Road resulted in a review and change from 8.00 to 6 a.m. start time of the relevant team to avoid emptying being curtailed because of peak traffic.   best way to report issues is on line, using the interactive mapping tool www.hounslowhighways.org (contact).  Telephone reports go via the Council: 020 8583 2000.

The March meeting culminated with a showing of a documentary film about Isleworth resident Eileen Sheridan’s amazing cycling achievements during which she broke innumerable records including cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2 days 11 hours, carrying on to complete 1,000 miles in 3 days l hour.  Her reward for this record, which she held for c48 years, was a cherry brandy at the John O’Groats Hotel!  

On the subject of Eileen, the idea to mark both her and Jean Lagdon’s many years of contributions to TIS finally came about on 14th January 2017.  The start of the day was not auspicious.  Despite a downpour and bitterly cold weather both ladies insisted on watching from the riverbank as two 10-12 ft poplar trees were transported to Isleworth Ait followed by subsequent planting.  This feat was undertaken by the Isleworth Ait Management Group volunteers, of whom we are immensely grateful.  It brought to fruition a project a long time in the making, which has had the added bonus of restocking poplars on the island.

The tree covered nature reserve that is Isleworth Ait is a much valued part of Isleworth Riverside Conservation Area owned by Thames Water and managed by the London Wildlife Trust. It is home to rare species of snails, foxes, herons, woodpeckers, parakeets and many other birds. With so much development going on in the area it is wonderful to have such an oasis of nature in our midst. A team of volunteers looks after this reserve, visiting by boat each second Saturday morning monthly. Regular jobs include cutting willows, cleaning nest boxes and maintaining the path. The Isleworth Ait team is looking for new volunteers, over 18, who would like to join them. As well as general help, an area of expertise that would be helpful is to hear from anyone with power boat experience.  If of interest, please contact Mandy Timpson on 07756  262437.