If it's not an obsession with bins it's old cars
Last Friday was empty of meetings and I spent the time getting up to date with emails etc. I also went down to the Ballymore marketing suite and had a chat with their project manager. I have been writing to him and his colleagues in recent weeks, moaning about various matters – mainly what seems to me to be inadequate communication – plus I had a couple of ideas I wanted to discuss. We had an amicable meeting but whether I made any progress remains to be seen!
So then it was off to old car world. Like the 55th Mayor of Hounslow, the Mini is 60 this year (harrumph, these youngsters) so there were a lot of them at Silverstone. The one pictured above won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964 in the hands of Paddy Hopkirk, beating an enormous Ford Falcon into second place. You’d struggle to claim that all rally cars looked the same back in the 1960s.
Anyway, I have always loved Minis (old ones) even when my Minivan in circa 1971 stopped one cold wet night on the M1 with the traditional drowned electrics. For entirely different reasons I have come to enjoy Yank Tanks of the same era like this Chevy Impala.
Talk about the sublime and the ridiculous. And I’ve decided the best looking racing car of all time was the very American and very unsuccessful Scarab-Offenhauser.
Last year at Silverstone I had to buy a hat to stop my nose turning completely red from the tropical-style sunshine. This year the hat served a different purpose, keeping my head warm in the rain and wind storms.
Anyway, back to the real world on Monday. In the afternoon I’m up at West Thames College for the second (and last) round of judging the National Citizens Service social enterprise thingy for 16 year olds. Another bunch of impressive young people and just as difficult to determine a winner from the 11 teams. I am joined, as last time, by Deputy Mayor Raghwinder Siddhu. I suppose for consistency I should call him Boo Boo (see below). Afterwards I get in a bit of exercise by cycling up to Boston Manor to see how repairs to the grounds are progressing (slowly) and then across to Gunnersbury for similar reasons (and because it’s just such a nice place to cycle). I then plan to continue along Strand-on-the-Green but coming down the South circular Pegasus comes over all lame and wobbly and when I examine I find no less than 4 spokes in the back wheel have gone. I wobble home, remove said wheel and retrieve My Little Pony (my foldable bike) from the boot of the car (I won’t mention the puncture I got on this bike at Silverstone. Oh, I just did) from the car boot.
In the evening we three wise councillors – well me, plus 2 wise ones - meet in Trimmer Walk with the Licensing Officer and a bunch of local residents, some irate, some just grumpy, in relation to a licence application for one of the local pubs. They are concerned about late night noise and ASB in a residential area and we have a lengthy discussion about what their concerns are and how they relate to licensing policy/law. We expect quite some opposition when the licence panel meet, on 20th August I think.
On Tuesday, Corinna and I are at the FoodBox, first of all for a meeting with Ruth Cadbury who was involved in starting it and remains a very strong supporter, and afterwards at the Holiday Inn for a trustees strategic meeting. This feels very productive and we clarify a number of things.
In the evening we have a Hounslow Cycling drink in the Express Tavern. I feel very inadequate with my wobbly little bike when matched against these fit types who are talking about doing the Ride London 100 miles in 4 hours. I am doing the 19 mile version on Sunday (Pegasus permitting) and will be happy if I manage that in 2 hours!
in Osterley Park, an Our Barn initiative
Anyone who wants to sponsor me on behalf of the Our Barn charity can find the link here: justgiving.com/fundraising/Guy-Lambert7
‘Sales’ have been a bit slow so far and any amount will be welcome to help the young people with learning difficulties or autism that Our Barn support, so look down the side of your sofa for a couple of quid.
On Wednesday I am supposed to be meeting old work colleagues in the Black Dog but I forgot to organise it properly so only one turns up (me). But I’m quite happy sampling some fine ales and burger whilst reading the paper – ah, what a life!
In the afternoon it’s Mayor Yogi Louki (smarter than the average Mayor) charity cricket match in Osterley. I arrive to see Councillor Tom Bruce play a most elegant on drive. Very elegant but sadly the ball decides to evade his bat, having developed a most unwelcome attraction to the three stumps and a wish to dislodge the bails from the top, an ambition realised. Corinna buys me a beer (I have conveniently left my wallet in the car) and I watch for a while. Standards are not up to what has been seen in the World Cup, I fear, but equally I don’t see anybody having a crafty fag at long leg, as was the case in the days when I was Acton’s answer to Ian Botham, representing Ealing Social Services as a ‘ringer’.
Then to Hounslow House for the ‘Quarterly Strategic Meeting’ with Lampton FM360. They are a nice outfit, appear to be well managed with good customer satisfaction and meeting their financial goals. They are now all set for the next stage of development and we decide the strategic meeting in this format has run its course. We congratulate them on getting Gold certification from RoSPA for their safety activities. Apparently it is very unusual to go from no certification straight to Gold (Bronze and Silver are also available) and their next goal is Investors in People.
So now it’s Thursday. Waiting to hear from the bike shop who I hope will have my rebuilt wheel available today. Then I have a meeting with officers early afternoon and what is likely to be a very testing Planning Committee this evening. We have the second coming of the Mercedes-Benz application and the ‘reserved matters’ application for the Ballymore car park – mainly to do with design, the basic dimensions etc having been approved several years ago – which is highly controversial locally.
I shall be off to Vienna on Wednesday so I’ll miss a week next week, and perhaps the week after too as I’ll only just be back and you don’t want to hear about my holiday exploits. Well, I’m not telling, even if you do.
Cllr Guy Lambert
August 4, 2019