The Bixley Triangle is a small parcel of land at the Southern end of Bixley Field and adjacent to the Grand Union Canal. For many years, the Triangle had been overgrown and frequented by drug users and rough sleepers.
In 2011 Sgt Guy Rooney became responsible for policing in the Norwood Green ward. He went on to meet with representatives from Ealing Council and Catalyst Housing with the intention of addressing the antisocial behaviour then prevalent in the area.
Catalyst Housing later purchased the land from the Canal and River Trust (CRT) as part of the plans to regenerate the Havelock estate and improve nearby areas of open space. Catalyst cleared the land but it did not take long before it returned to its original state.
In 2013, Greenfields Children’s Centre artists-in-residence, Rosie Potter and Kirstie Reid, put forward a proposal to transform the Triangle by clearing it and creating a children’s sculpture garden there.
In 2016 Southall Transition held talks with Catalyst, the Metropolitan Police, Ealing Park Rangers, Greenfields Children’s Centre, Hope for Southall Street Homeless, The Hanwell and Norwood Green Orchard Trail Group and the Canal & River Trust.
By Tuesday 10th May 2016 the area had been cleared and levelled. The partners then finished the clean up process before reseeding the area with help from children from Greenfields Children’s Centre and regulars from our community garden.
The Norwood Green councillors, Cllr Rajinder Mann, Cllr Gurmit Mann and Cllr Mohammad Aslam also came along and helped to plant the first of three fruit trees which were graciously donated by the Hangot group.
Capital Clean Up – Sunday 17 July 2016
On 17 July 2016 we helped organise a fun day and community clean up in Bixley Field. Catalyst applied for a clean up kit from the Mayor of London so the event became an official part of the Mayor’s ‘Capital Clean Up’.
Hedge Planting Day – Saturday 3rd December 2016
Children’s Sculpture Garden – Wednesday 5th July 2017
Thanks to a partnership grant from Catalyst, Artists Rosie Potter and Kirstie Reid have been able to work with children from Greenfields Children’s Centre & Nursery to create a 1:2 scale wooden sculpture of a narrow boat named the ‘Water Donkey’. The sculpture was towed along the Grand Union Canal from the children’s centre to Bixley Field by ponies from Ealing stables. There was a large precession of children, parents and teachers accompanying it. Upon arrival at Bixley field it was duly installed in the Triangle. The children then had pony rides around the field.
Staff from the Canal & River Trust were also on hand to assist. Lock keeper Jeff Dent demonstrated how the locks work at Top Locks.
Foraging, Jam & Smoothie Making – Saturday 19th August 2017
In August 2017 we held a foraging event around the Havelock area. Twenty seven adults and a number of children came on a foraging tour of Glade Lane Park, the Grand Union Canal & Bixley Triangle.
We picked fruit and identified other wild edibles. The harvested fruit was then taken to the Community Shop on Hunt Rd where it was turned into blackberry jam and smoothies. These were shared with the participants.
Job Done! – Friday 22nd December 2017
The installation of an Interpretation Sign board signals the completion of the project for Southall Transition, bringing our direct involvement with the Triangle to an end.
In December 2017 we also received a letter of thanks from Sgt Rooney who got the ball rolling 6 years earlier. With his permission, we have uploaded the letter and you can read it by clicking here.
The children’s sculpture garden will continue to be actively managed by Greenfields Nursery and resident artists from Wimbledon College of Arts working in cooperation with Catalyst Housing. We look forward to seeing all the new sculptures that will be installed there in future.
Southall Transition are very grateful to all our partners and volunteers for helping to transform this site for the benefit of the community.