Established 2003. Now incorporating The Sudbury Hill Harrow and Wherever End Times

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Social distancing outside the Post Office

People queueing down the street for the Post Office this evening. Only three people allowed inside at a time.

Greenford Road near Sudbury Hill, Harrow

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Looking up trees again, November 2020

Pictures taken on a sunny, cool Sunday morning

Wood End Lane

Same tree (lime?)

Next tree along

Wood End Library and Children's Centre, Whitton Avenue West

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Greenford Road closed at Sudbury Hill after shooting

At least 15 police officers are patrolling the cordon, which also affects the Piccadilly Line station and two sideroads. This follows the shooting yesterday evening of a 19-year-old at the crossing outside the station. Witnesses say they heard five shots.

The scene at midday today (Thursday 19/11/2020)

There is no easy way through, even for pedestrians, as the only practical detours are miles long. This is affecting local people's ability to get to and from their essential work.

According to a police officer, only people who live inside the cordon are allowed in. Access to or from the station is problematic, and there are no 92 or H17 buses, which usually serve this route.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Estimated Covid-19 cases (Harrow)

Help end the pandemic, sign-up to report daily and get updates for your postcode at

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Save Arnold Circus

'The historic Arnold Circus was not the place for “expensive and ill-conceived enhancements”, an area celebrated worldwide for its unique design and architecture, the trust pointed out. The simplicity of the Arnold Circus design “should not be tampered with”.

Conservation groups are calling for “a proper heritage assessment” before digging up Arnold Circus, the centrepiece of the listed Boundary Estate which is the world’s first municipal housing scheme built in the 1890s.' (Hackney Gazette)

Tower Hamlets council has already broken up some of the original Yorkstone paving, apparently without waiting for planning permission.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

Fire at the Lexi Cinema

28 September 2020: Bad news, northwest London's own Lexi Cinema is closed due to a fire that happened overnight in the foyer.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Blitz, 80 years on: Bombing of South Hallsville School

 "The little-known tragedy of a wartime bomb that never exploded—yet had a “ripple affect” causing 600 deaths in an east London school—is being uncovered by BBC investigators." (East London Advertiser)

Families were sheltering in the school building after being evacuated from their homes due to an unexploded bomb on the first day of the London blitz. But the school took a direct hit the following day causing far more casualties than were announced at the time.

London figs

All these figs were grown this year in a south-facing walled corner in Harrow. The biggest ones were picked in July but the recent Indian summer spell has produced another crop. They bleed a white latex-like sap when plucked.

This plump one today, September 24

Picked on September 20

September 18

September 16

September 12

Some from July 19th

Split fig on a sideplate, July 19

Monday, August 24, 2020

Short Story of the Month, September 2020

We dedicate the last of our 2020 lockdown series, and our last ever publication, to all those who have lost their lives and those bereaved in the Covid-19 pandemic. Follow the guidelines and stay well till all this is over. See you on the other side. (Ed.)
The Willesden Herald Short Story of the Month

“For Mireille, grief seems like an impossible dream.”

Sue Haigh 
is a writer and Creative Writing tutor. She lives in North East Fife when she isn’t living in her cave house in France. Her work has been published in a number of journals and anthologies, including Northwords Now, New Writing Dundee, Mslexia, The Scottish Arts Trust anthology, Cadenza, Sunpenny Anthology, Dundee University Review of the Arts, The Short review and a number of academic journals.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Storm Ellen tree damage

Update 29 August

After another storm, "Storm Francis," there's another tree down near Atrium Point. It looks like a Wild Service tree - not quite sure, corrections invited.

Another tree down, leaning precariously onto a fence beside
Whitton Avenue West near the junction with Greenford Road

When they go over, they just seem to break from the roots.

An old sycamore (?) tree has been split and had a large part broken off on the green in front of Atrium Point apartment blocks, Greenford Road, North Greenford. 

The fallen split trunk

Another view

Update 29 August: broken part removed, area taped off

Newsflash: You can't trust Trump (ask his sister)

Wednesday, August 12, 2020


 "Are you ready to go to work?" Roll on November!

Let's hope they present the flailing Donald Trump with the Order of the Boot.

Sheryl Crow - Woman in the White House (2020 version).

Friday, July 24, 2020

Short Story of the Month, August 2020

For the fourth in our summer lockdown series, a story of desperation. What could be more appropriate? And you know that light at the end of the tunnel? It's an oncoming train. Yes, it's being so cheerful that keeps us going. Ed.
The Willesden Herald Short Story of the Month

“April. A figure is loitering in the vicinity of the bus station of a provincial town. He’s not the only stranger in the bus yard. There are strangers with almost every arrival and departure. There’s nothing about this man to suggest he’s a foreigner. But all the same, something in his aspect attracts suspicious looks.”

David Butler

David Butler’s third novel, City of Dis (New Island), was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, 2015. His second short story collection, Fugitive, is forthcoming from Arlen House.

Unless He Is Born Again was originally published in ‘No Greater Love’ by David Butler (Ward Wood, 2013)

Saturday, July 11, 2020

J.M. O'Neill "The invisible man of Irish letters"

Definitely putting "Duffy is Dead" and "Open Cut" on the to-be-read list. Strong London Irish interest novels. (Ed.)

Index of contributors to Willesden Stories

The Obscure Object of Desire

We’ve added this index of all the contributors to the Willesden Herald short story book series and Story of the Month.

Counting. Over the past sixteen years, Willesden Herald has published 139 short stories by 113 writers from Bosnia, Canada, China, England, India, Ireland, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, USA ans Wales. 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Daunting new security fence on Wood End Road

The new fence runs north from the railway bridge

Fence perhaps 100 metres?
The new fence is about 100 metres long

Spiked fence top
Scary anti-climb spike wheels

Fence starting from railway bridge
A small, abandoned (?) caravan behind a gap
subsequently blocked with four huge concrete cubes

That's one seriously mean fence! It would be interesting to hear from anyone who knows what moved Harrow council or whoever (TfL?) to erect it. It's a pity that the parkland and woodland around Sudbury Hill is not open to the public, as it is owned and used exclusively on three sides by the Post Office union sports club, John Lyons School and Harrow Cricket Club. However, we do have access to Grove Farm, and part of the Capital Ring, both nearby and a little further up Greenford Road (hiking boots on) to Horsenden Hill. "Mustn't grumble!?"

Update 2022: The site is protected for work on railway sidings, which is ongoing.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Short Story of the Month, July 2020

For the next in our 2020 lockdown series, we revisit the joint-winner of our inaugural short story competition. Some of you may be running around without face or leg coverings for the allowed daily exercise but it's not compulsory, you know. Happily, we can still stay home and read short stories. (Ed)
The Willesden Herald Short Story of the Month

“Later, in The Tinners, they sit together in Dodie’s corner on sagging burgundy plush cushions. He has bought her a cider, he drinks beer from the bottle. They talk. Dodie is half listening, looking at the scratches through the varnish on the table…”

Vanessa Gebbie
Novelist, short story writer, poet, Vanessa Gebbie has won awards for both poetry and prose, including the Troubadour International Poetry Prize, a Bridport short story prize and a much-coveted Willesden Herald short story prize. Author of ten various books, her novel The Coward’s Tale (Bloomsbury) was a Financial Times novel of the year, and her debut poetry pamphlet was selected by the TLS as one of the best of its year. She is commissioning and contributing editor of Short Circuit, Guide to the Art of the Short Story, editions 1 and 2 (Salt). She teaches widely. 

Dodie’s Gift was first published in Words from a Glass Bubble, (Salt Publishing, 2008)

"The author of “Dodie’s Gift” cares about character. It is a beautiful piece about two people circling each other, wondering whether to make contact." (Zadie Smith – Judge’s report, 2006)

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Dreams for Safe Ireland - Women in Harmony

"All funds raised go to Safe Ireland, you can check out all the great work they do on their website [...] A huge thank you to Kevin Cassidy and his team at Document Films for the beautiful video edit."

"Collaborators: Ailbhe Reddy, Aimée, Áine Cahill, Allie Sherlock, Caroline Corr, Elaine Mai, Emma Langford, Erica Cody, Eve Belle, Faye O’Rourke, Fia Moon, Imelda May, Laoise, Lilla Vargen, Lisa Hannigan, Loah Lyra, Melina Malone, Moya Brennan, Niamh Farrell, Orla Gartland, Pillow Queens, Roe, Róisín O, Ruthanne, Saint Sister, Sibéal, Soulé, Stephanie Rainey, Tolu Makay, Una Healy, Wyvern Lingo" 

"Musicians: Aoife Dennedy, Louize Carroll, Lucia McPartlin, Maria O’Connor, Maria Ryan, Sarah Lynch, Theodora Byrne"

Safe Ireland: "Can you imagine an Ireland where women and children are free from violence and abuse?" (Donate)

"Dreams" is a Cranberries song written by Noel Hogan and Dolores O'Riordan.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Train spotted

Train approaching, trees and clouds viewed from road bridge
Chiltern Line train approaching, Sunday

View a week later, train going the other way
Update a week later, a train going the other way

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Tip the tips in the tip

I hereby renounce and disown all my earlier tips for writers. Except the good ones.


Monday, June 01, 2020

"I want to be like Frank O'Hara" by Martina Evans

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Short Story of the Month, June 2020

In the second of our 2020 lockdown series, you are the writer. Have you ever missed a step on the stairs or turned back in fear? Have you ever given someone a piece of your mind? Are you an object of desire or the subject? Stay home. Ed.
The Willesden Herald Short Story of the Month

“As Richard tends the first patient of the evening – a young woman with black eye make-up and an arm wound – he thinks of the pills, safe in their bottle, doubly safe in his jacket, safer still in his locker. The arm wound is self-inflicted. It is too precise.”

Nick Holdstock is the author of The Casualties, a novel, and several books about China.

“Imagine that this Page is Empty” is from his collection, The False River (Unthank Books, 2019).

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Luka Bloom at the Aloe Tree, 22 March 2020

Perfect lockdown session in a gorgeous empty shop in Ennistimon, County Clare. "Don't be so hard on yourself."

Monday, May 04, 2020

Short Story of the Month, May 2020

Looking for respite from the lockdown? 

You've come to the right place. 

The Willesden Herald New Short Stories Story of the Month
May 2020: The Time Capsule by John O’Donoghue

“They all fell silent for a moment. I could see them trying to look into the future, to imagine themselves as adults, married maybe, perhaps with families of their own, working away in jobs like Uncle Tommy in the Post Office, or Auntie Lizzie in the nursing before she was married, or gone to England, like my mother and father, or even further afield.”

John O'Donoghue
John O’Donoghue is the author of Letter To Lord Rochester (Waterloo Press, 2004), The Beach Generation (Pighog Press, 2007), Brunch Poems (Waterloo Press, 2009), Sectioned: A Life Interrupted (John Murray, 2009), Fools & Mad (Waterloo Press, 2014), and The King From Over the Water (The Wild Geese Press, 2019). Sec­tioned was awarded Mind Book of the Year in 2010. His journalism, essays, and reviews have been published in The Observer, The Guardian, The Times Educational Supplement, The London Magazine, PN Review, Acumen, and Orbis. He lives in Brighton and teaches Creative Writing at the Brighton Writers’ Centre.

The Time Capsule comes from The King from Over The Water (The Wild Geese Press, 2019).

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Who’s Afraid of the Cold East Wind?

Herb Robert trembles,
not because the wind is strong
but because it's crazy.

Dandelion has wet himself
but won't let it get him down,
he's been through worse.

Rosemary doesn't know where to look,
it's all a bit of a mystery,
why do they bother?

Violet doesn't know why.
Poppy says don't be afraid.
Veronica says you should.

April shivers, a beast
has walked over her grave,
she hides in the chestnut tree.

Primrose lies low.
She sighs, she hopes
that May may come, come May.

Stephen Moran

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Story of the Month Submissions: Open

Partly as a response to and respite from the 2020 Coronavirus lockdown blues, we've reopened the submissions window for Story of the Month. It would be great to hear from writers who have not been featured before in this online series.

Stories previously published in print but not online will be considered. Please advise details so that acknowledgement of the original publication can be included.

There's a rolling deadline of the second-last Friday of every month but often select the featured short story before then.

There is no reading fee. Recompense is limited to one copy of our latest anthology. Copyright: apart from permission to display it on our website online, you retain all rights in your story.

For full details please visit our Our Submittable page.

Northwick Park Hospital update from local MP - Covid-19

Source Ref.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Beckett - a Quinn Martin production starring Sam Beckett

"A short lived detective drama from 1972. Never caught on with the American public."

With Andre the Giant as Little Bim, Jean Paul Sartre as Walleye Molloy and Jean Cocteau as Huggy Bear

"...cut together by playwright Danny Thompson, cofounder of Chicago’s Theater Oobleck." Ref: Open Culture. Via Martin Doyle on Twitter

Monday, April 06, 2020

The Flemings - world's most entertaining video!

"DAY 143 of isolation 😂🤣 ....can ye all do me a favour and just STAY AT HOME please ❤️😭" (Tadhg Fleming)

What a joyful performance and history of rehearsal by a wonderful family group!

Friday, April 03, 2020

Les (Non-)Miserables - "One Day More"

"A family from Kent who shared a video of their living room performance of a lockdown-themed adaptation of a Les Misérables song have become a sensation online. Ben and Danielle Marsh and their four children changed the lyrics of One Day More to reflect common complaints during the Covid-19 lockdown. They say the video, which has gone viral, was intended to give friends and family a laugh during this stressful time" (Guardian News - YouTube)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Test, test, test - explanation and plea (Jeremy Hunt)

Covid-19: We can't move forward till we can see where we are.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

COVID19: How can we control it if we don't know where it is? Test everyone. (Jeremy Hunt)

Vision, having sight of the problem, is vital in order to solve it. Jeremy Hunt cites other countries who have got control of their outbreaks with intensive testing and contact tracing. Let's hope the government understands this message and acts on it.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Self-isolating? Follow Roo's adventures - therapeutic

This is Roo the pig's interpretation of Christopher Isherwood's "I Am a Camera". It's quite fantastic.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Daffodils are ugly / apology

Daffodils are ugly, egomaniacs
Blowing their own trumpets,
Playing silly buglers, monotonous
"Does my bulb look big in this" bimbos.
Oh but we love them, we love them senseless
Because we know they're better than us.


For avoidance of all doubt,
daffodils are lovely, hapless
horse-like, handsome flowers.
I apologise to daffodils,
they cannot help themselves,
it's the way they're brought up.

Stephen Moran

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Hard times in the East End, London 1970s - photo gallery

Saturday, March 14, 2020

"If I ever met Jurgen Klopp" by Laura Lexx - hilarious

This is a sort of avant garde short story or flash fiction in a Twitter thread. Follow the link to read to the end.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

20 mph zone implementation

South Vale has been resurfaced, as was badly needed. Additionally speed bumps have been added as part of the new 20 mph zone. (This is a follow-up to our previous report about this area.)

Wood End Road with roadworks roadblock outside Harrow Cricket Club
South Vale newly resurfaced
Example of the new speed bumps
Considering the number of car crashes seen around these back roads, including one where one car ended upside-down on top of another one [Why haven't we got a picture of that?! Ed.], this is a welcome development.

I only came over for a couple of years...

Interviews with London Irish elders.

A film by David Kelly in collaboration with the Irish Studies Centre, London Metropolitan University.

Via: The Archive of the Irish in Britain

Monday, March 09, 2020

Under Fishtail Mountain - Merryn Glover

An evocative short memoir of a childhood in Nepal with parents working in linguistics and literacy. Illustrated with marvellous photos. Follow this link to learn more about a language that had never previously been written down and more.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

No third runway for Heathrow - Appeal Court ruling

Follow the link for more commentary by Friends of the Earth. This is good news for everyone living in West London and, probably, the world.

Friday, February 14, 2020

South Vale has reopened - hallelujah!

New mighty self-draining concrete kerbstones (left) and boundary kerb (right)

Opposite view, showing extent of new drainage system & grass verge relaid

Junction with Wood End Road, Orley Farm Road (private) & bridleway path
Excellent work by Harrow Council on this street, which was regularly subject to flooding near the entrance to John Lyons School playing fields. Note: there is also a planning application in progress to put speed humps on this and neighbouring roads and turn this enclave into a 20 mph zone, which should be welcome.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Cool, sunny interlude between storms Ciara and Dennis

Our favourite view. Chiltern Line from the bridge on Wood End Road.

Corner of South Vale and Wood End Road
South Vale is closed for drainage works. Should reopen soon, a little later than planned. The notice said the work would finish on February 11. South Vale has been subject to flooding and this very extensive and impressive work on the road should help. It's good work but the closure is disrupting traffic locally, especially in rush hours.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Storm Ciara: Mess caused by neglected "Global" billboard

"Global" billboard Sudbury Hill

Detritus from the Global billboard blown around Greenford Road

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Many old trees being cut down

Newly cut tree stumps, Harrow Road (Sudbury)
Similar scenes noted all around Harrow and Brent. Has there been any justification given? The near one in this picture looks like it was healthy, fairly straight and not causing upheaval. The further one appeared to be hollow. Could it be that those responsible are taking every opportunity to reduce their workload by reducing the number of large, old trees?

Related story: Tree felling in South Vale (Harrow)

Friday, January 31, 2020

Fly-tipping, Wood End (Harrow & Ealing)

Wood End Way (Ealing)

Wood End Road (Harrow)
It can be no coincidence that two lots of what looks like topsoil and grass have appeared at the time along a stretch of residential roads that cross the border from Ealing into Harrow. The perpetrators have chosen two spots that are not "overlooked." This is abominable and they should be found and severely punished. The mounds may not be very visible by night and could cause a serious accident.

Update 4 Feb. 2020: Another load dumped further along the same stretch:

Fly-tipping in South Vale (Harrow) beside "Road Closed" sign