The beginnings of FARA were seeded around 1988, when residents of Ferndale Road separately founded both the Ferndale Area Neighbourhood Watch and the Ferndale Area Residents Association. At this time they were quite small groups, mostly members from Ferndale and Malvern Roads.
Events included coffee mornings every week in the Scout Hut, and regular jumble sales. At Christmas members came together and organised food parcels for elderly neighbours.
Things were a little different then; few houses had been converted into flats and most were traditional family homes, so residents lived in the area for many years and got to know each other.
When the founder of the Residents Association moved away, both Ferndale groups merged, and became FARA as we know it today. The group was united by a common issue in the mid 1990s – noise nuisance from Christ Apostolic Church in Ferndale Road – and this was one of the main issues addressed by FARA. After a lull, in which FARA was fairly dormant, the noise from the church increased, and this created the impetus for FARA to revive itself and to get the issue resolved.
In the early 2000s, neighbouring Davies Lane experienced problems from Lincolns pub, which had a late licence and caused all manner of anti-social behaviour. FARA approached Davies Lane residents to offer to join with them, in order to lend support in dealing with Lincolns, and to be able to expand. A Davies Lane resident, Jane Sterland, became chair of FARA, and the group continued under her leadership until the end of the decade.
An extra street, Cotton Close, was created in 2004, in an area just off Davies Lane formerly occupied by Acme Seals. Cotton Close was thus incorporated into FARA.
In 2010, Jane felt it was time to stand down, and Flash Bristow was elected as the new chair to take FARA onward.
As well as continuing our work with planning issues and making sure our streets have a collective voice, we have also organised successful social events, including several street parties and picnics. We have also tried to help the wider community with litter picking in our local green spaces and organising contributions to the local food bank.