THERE are many causes for optimism for Hayes’s future, with developments such as Crossrail and the regeneration of the area around the old EMI factory. But, while these may still be a way off, there are many existing parts of the town that deserve a higher profile.
Hayes Town Partnership chairman David Brough said: “Contrary to the image of Hayes as a very urban place, there are a lot of quite special green spaces that are near to the town centre, Lake Farm Country Park, Minet Country Park, Barra Hall Park and the Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens, in particular.”
“Part of the EMI testing equipment for the development of radar before the Second World War can be found in Lake Farm and the same park includes the borough’s BMX track, home of Hayes Hawks, one of the top BMX clubs in the country.”
Additionally, Minet Country Park has an area of rare plants plus wildlife that would not be expected in an urban area, while Barra Hall itself – the former town hall for Hayes and Harlington – is a Grade II listed building with a fascinating history.
Just round the corner from Barra Hall is the 600-seat Beck Theatre, opened in 1977, which welcomes touring theatre companies and mainstream comedians along with a host of community events.
Another gem is the Botwell Green Leisure Centre in East Avenue, opened in May 2010 at a cost of £24million. It offers state-of-the-art sporting and fitness facilities and a swimming pool that is increasingly well-used.
Housed in the same building is the community library with its own coffee bar and wi-fi throughout.
At the other end of the town, in Nestles Avenue, sits the London Motor Museum.
Founded by former fashion model Elo, the museum contains an impressive array of classic cars, hotrods and American heavy metal. It is open every day of the year except Christmas Day.
And for sports fans, there is the prospect, next year, of Hayes and Yeading FC returning to the town from its exile in Woking, to occupy a brand new ground for its Blue Square South matches.