Experiences of a first-time doorstepper

Cricklewood resident, Shell, describes how she “popped her doorstepping cherry” to campaign for the Queensbury.

I’m not by nature a chatty person, nor do I relish interrupting people in their homes (I am never fond of dealing with door-to-door calls at my home). But the Save The Queensbury campaign is something I feel passionately about, and there was never going to be a better reason to pop my doorstepping cherry than to raise awareness and collect signatures to help.

I girded my loins and set off with a handful of leaflets and some petition sheets. All in all it was a pleasant experience. I got the real feeling that I was helping out: there were many people who cared about the pub and the local area  yet who were not aware of what was going on. I was able to furnish them with information and contacts to help them.

I met a lot of lovely people, and discovered a few pieces of information myself. For example, there are really nice pop-up shops on Queens Parade. The lady in Floral & Hardy not only signed the petition and took some leaflets to hand out, but told me about the plans to demolish the gorgeous art deco Electric House next door. A lot of shopkeepers are disappointed to hear that, just as Willesden Green seems to be picking up, it might lose one of its nicest social venues.

And what a diverse neighbourhood we live in! Ranging from small, tired council flats to grand, beautiful detached houses; there were all sorts of people, from the old-time Irish to the young Polish families. You couldn’t tell up front who would support our campaign and who would be patently indifferent. My favourite response was from a delightful and rather posh lady who loudly exclaimed “Oh no, not another one” when I told her about the demolition plans. It turns out that Brent is recklessly fond of the idea of knocking down characterful (http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2972967), old buildings (http://www.brent.gov.uk/regeneration.nsf/Willesden%20Green%20Library/LBB-343) and replacing them with modern blocks of flats.

It wasn’t all glamour though! Some people couldn’t care less and closed the door on me before I could ask why. It was a rather cold day, so it was no time to be standing around. After 2 hours (collecting 18 signatures) I was rather glad to have run out of leaflets and go back home.

So, if you are hesitating about helping – don’t! Get out there and spread the word. You never know who you might meet and what you might learn.

4 thoughts on “Experiences of a first-time doorstepper

  1. Nearly everyone I’ve spoken to about this issue has been really shocked and outraged to hear that we may lose The Queensbury. The most common comments I heard were ‘They can’t do that! Where else will we go?’ and ‘That will look hideous!’ when they hear about the replacement. Of course, some are simply not interested, but I’ve spoken to a lot of people and not a single one has expressed support for this development. I really hope the council listens to public opinion on this, otherwise they could make themselves very unpopular.

  2. It’s not a nice pub, very unwelcoming and expensive but dammit, we can’t let them demolish yet another of our community gathering points. You say they want to knock that lovely art deco Electric house too? Will they build yet another mosque there?…….at least we still have Christmas lights in Cricklewood to look forward to……don’t we?….Oh no…they are now called “Winter lights”!!!!! and we are also to have a “Winterfest”…….London is finished. Time to leave.

  3. It’s more welcoming than any other pub in Willesden! It’s also the only place with a garden. Yes it’s a bit pricey but there’s no fruit machines, no stained seats and sticky floors like some of the other places. And it’s the only pub that’s not rammed full of men.

    Given the choice I’d rather have a pub to socialise in than a block of flats (4,5 or 10 storeys)

  4. Des, I’m not sure what you mean by ‘will they build yet another mosque there?’. There are 3 mosques in the Willesden area and none of them are new.

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