The Davies Commission to report tomorrow

Sir Howard Davies will be publishing his report in to aviation expansion in the South-East tomorrow morning.

I received the following from my friends at the independent campaign group She Heathrow Expansion (SHE) earlier today –

STOPHEATHROWEXP1-1024x768 Harmondsworth

The Davies Commission Publishes Tomorrow

Thank you for your continued support for our campaign against further expansion at Heathrow.  As you will probably know by now, the Airports Commission recommendation for the site of a new runway in the South East will be made at 7am tomorrow morning.  From 5.30am journalists will be allowed sight of the final report but because of the sensitive nature of its content they will not be allowed to reveal the recommendation in advance.  Therefore, we expect to be in the same position as you, regarding whether Heathrow is the favoured option, until 7am.
Most of our committee and many residents will be involved in media interviews throughout the day.  We have arranged interviews with everyone from BBC Radio London, Breakfast TV shows, Sky TV, Radio 5 Live, Radio 4 Today programme, Channel 5 News and Channel 4 News with Jon Snow to name just a few.
Whatever the recommendation, remember that this does not bind the government to follow the results of the Commission’s report.  Our case is extremely strong and we do not believe that a third runway or extension to the existing northern runway are deliverable options. Therefore, if Sir Howard Davies recommends Heathrow for expansion, we will step up our opposition.  If the decision is for Gatwick, we remain determined to ensure that Heathrow is not considered by the government and that our future is protected from further threat.  The people of London and the surrounding areas impacted by its noise and pollution deserve a break.
Thank you again for your valued support.  We will contact you again soon, in the meantime keep an eye on our website: www.stopheathrowexpansion.co.Neil Keveren and the Stop Heathrow Expansion team
Kind regards
The SHE committee

 

Heathrow Villages – History on your doorstep

With the sun shining brightly this morning, I decided to show my wife around some of the landmarks in Heathrow Villages

With the ongoing fight against the new runway and the rubbish and pothole issues that are frequently highlighted by our representatives in The Villages, it is good to highlight some of the positive aspects of life in the area and to take some time to look around the sites of historic interest that Heathrow Expansion would blight

The Great Barn, Harmondsworth

Great Barn internal shotReferred to as ‘The Cathedral of Middlesex’, the Barn was constructed in the 16th century and was still a working building up until the late 1970’s.

Restored by English Heritage in conjunction with The Friends of the Great Barn, it was re-opened to the public in April and can now be viewed on the second and fourth Sunday of each month between April and October.

Situated behind the historic St Mary’s Church, my wife and I were treated to a tour by local expert Justine Bayley, who pointed out a number of facts about both the building and it’s reconstruction that highlighted the level of craftsmanship that has enabled the structure to survive for centuries with hopefully many more to come.

For more details on The Barn please visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/harmondsworth-barn/

The next days available to view are 14th and 28th June

 

 

The Barnes Wallis memorial

Barnes Wallis memorial

Just around the corner from The Great Barn is the relatively recent memorial to the famous inventor Barnes Wallis, who developed the revolutionary ‘bouncing bomb’ that RAF Lancasters of 617 squadron used to destroy the Ruhr dams in 1943. The leader of the raid, Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC, was one of my boyhood heroes so it was good to see the architect of the raid remembered in this way. Barnes Wallis had previously designed the Wellington bomber, the mainstay of RAF Bomber Command in the early years of World War 2 and went on to play a key role in the development of the Tallboy and Grand Slam weapons that were used to sink the battleship Tirpitz and wreck well fortified underground weapons factories in Germany respectively.

The immaculate state of the memorial is a tribute to local resident Armelle Thomas, who was instrumental in its construction and spends time making sure it is always well kept.

Cranford Park

Cranford Country park sign

Cranford Park is a haven for wildlife and one of the prettiest walks in Hillingdon. Amongst the numerous plant and insect life, the park is also home to such birds as the Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Nuthatch along with birds of prey such as the Kestrel and Sparrowhawk.

We kept to the pathways whilst visiting in order to not disturb the nests of the Skylarks, which they build on the ground and are very busy at this time of year.

A number of them were noticeable in the air with their distinctive calls, drowned out only by the noise of the Greater Airbus and Boeing that were in evidence on the flightpath in to Heathrow on a regular basis!

Heathrow Villages have been local communities for centuries, with settlements at the ground where the park now sits dating back to The Bronze Age. Seeing the beauty and the history today makes me more convinced than ever that a Third Runway at Heathrow must be stopped to preserve the area for many generations yet to come.