Melbourne Village Voice January 2022

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No. 350 January 2022

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FIREFIGHTERS from Melbourne were busy dousing water – but to wash cars and not put out any flames this time. Members of Melbourne Fire Station took part in a charity car wash on December 11 to help raise more vital funds for The Fire Fighters Charity. The pandemic has meant the charity – like many others – has struggled to raise funds. In response, many fire stations have been busy washing cars to raise money. The event in Melbourne raised £410. The Fire Fighters Charity was set up in the Second World War to support bereaved families of firefighters who died in the Blitz. It offers support with mental and physical health, nursing, social wellbeing and retirement for members of the UK fire services community. Pictured are Chris Johnson, Dave Hadley, Dan Johnson, Phil Hadley and Luke Milner.


PUBS in the local area have reported tough times over the festive period as the spread of the Omicron variant kept customers away. Hospitality businesses which serve food fared better than those which are ‘wet only’. Jon Key, landlord of the White Hart in Aston-on-Trent, said: “It’s just been incredibly quiet. I think the vast majority of it is because people were running scared. “It has been diabolical, awful, a huge downturn on what we would normally be taking.” Laura Bowler, landlady of The Malt in Aston, said the festive period had initially been busy but the spread of the virus in December brought in-

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creasing cancellations, and also caused staff to be off sick too. She said the pub’s food offering and maintained social distancing had helped over the period, but it had still been “tough”. “We did OK but it wasn’t anything like in previous years,” said Laura. “New Year’s Eve was very quiet. It has been tough. The village was quite rife with Covid cases. On Christmas Eve I had 46 cancellations.” But Laura said the pub had managed to deliver food by takeaway to people who could not go to the pub due to Covid. She said was looking forward to 2022, and “hopefully a bit more normality!” The Staff of Life pub in Ticknall, however, said Covid restrictions had


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not affected them badly. “We have continued to do table service and kept our tables distanced, which has made our customers comfortable in coming to our pub,” said general manager Jayne Walls. Meanwhile, Harpur’s in Melbourne reported a “different Christmas”. “Initially, everyone was delighted to be out celebrating but, as December wore on and Omicron took hold, lots of customers became very cautious and a little confused,” said a spokesman, who added: “We were delighted with the way our customers supported us and, whilst we always ensure that we follow all Government guidance, towards Christmas we took the decision for

staff to wear masks for extra reassurance to our customers. “The positive response from the Government for not 'locking us down' and killing Christmas and the New Year certainly helped the whole hospitality industry. “We can't wait to welcome everyone back in January and are offering some fabulous offers for everybody.” Council leaders from across Derbyshire sent a joint plea to the Government before Christmas for more financial support for the county’s hospitality and leisure industry. The letter welcomed the grant scheme and other measures announced by Whitehall but warned it may not be enough. The council reported that a loss in

consumer confidence due to the current wave of Covid-19 and plan B measures had resulted in a lower footfall across retail in Derbyshire, and a reduction in hospitality takings of up to 50 per cent. In addition, cancellations across accommodation left many premises without bookings until March 2022. The councils called on the Government to provide business rate relief at 100 per cent for all affected sectors until March this year; extend the reduced level of VAT for tourism, leisure and hospitality beyond March; offer financial support for the employed and self-employed; and address the limitations of the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme to support venues experiencing damaging levels of cancellations.


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Book your booster jab

2 Village Voice January 2022

ALL eligible patients at Melbourne and Chellaston Surgery who have yet to have their Covid booster injection are being urged to book in to have it – so that routine appointments can return. Since December 27 only same-day appointments have been available at Melbourne and Chellaston Surgery. The surgery said this was because of instructions from the Government to stop routine work in order to create capacity so eligible patients could have their Covid booster jab. Doctors have been running Covid booster clinics at Melbourne and Chellaston surgeries. As of January 5, 85 per cent of the surgery’s patients who were eligible for the booster vaccine had received it – which was “a really great achievement”, the surgery said. But practice manager Alison Coomer said clin-

ics at the surgery had not been filled which had, unfortunately, led to vaccine wastage. “The sooner we can get the remaining 15% boosted the sooner we can return to "routine" work,” she said. “We therefore encourage all patients who are yet to have their booster to attend a clinic as soon as possible.” The surgery has also reverted to using an intercom system at both its sites due to an increase in the number of patients attending with Covid symptoms. Patients are being asked by the practice that only the person needing care should attend, and where a parent or carer is required, that this is limited to one per patient. One GP at Melbourne and Chellaston, Dr Emily Stobbs, is currently on maternity leave. Dr Osama Mansour is covering Dr Stobbs in her absence.

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‘New’ hands at the Garage’s wheel

ABOVE: (l-r) Mark Smith, Chip Wright, Guy Judge and Andy Ford outside Melbourne Garage. BELOW: Chip (left) and Guy, who started the business in 1979.

AFTER more than four decades, Melbourne Garage is changing hands – but there will still be some familiar faces behind the desk. It was back in 1979 when Guy Judge and Chip Wright set up the garage on the old gas works site in Melbourne Industrial Estate, an area known as ‘Donkey Hill’. In April this year, they are hanging up their overalls for the last time and heading for retirement. Joining them is Chip’s wife Denise, who has been doing the books for Melbourne Garage for the last 40 years. Guy, from Wilson, and Chip, of Tonge, met when both were pupils at Ashby Grammar School. At the time of setting up together, Chip was working for Melbourne Engineering while Guy had just finished his apprenticeship and started repairing cars from home. They started up Melbourne Garage at a time when there was no other MoT testing station in the village. “Chip went to see Bill Hopper, who was bank manager at NatWest at the time,” they recalled. So, what has changed in the world of vehicle maintenance and repair over the years? “Cars don’t go rusty anymore!” said Chip. “When we first started out, you were lucky if a car lasted 10 years or even five. Cars just rusted away.” Guy said: “We used to do a lot of classic cars – now they are exempt from MoTs, but we miss the old classics we used to get in.” Taking on the running of the business are Mark Smith and Andy Ford, who have between them clocked up nearly 60 years of service at the garage themselves. Andy joined the team in around 1987, after spotting an advert in the Nu-News. He won the job despite arriving for his interview in somewhat inappropriate attire for working in a garage: “I came down for the interview in white chinos and a shirt!” he remembered. Mark, meanwhile, joined Melbourne Garage 10 years later, in 1997. He had previously gone along for work experience in the summer of

1996, when he was a year 10 pupil at Chellaston School. Over the years, the garage has seen some expansion, and also operated as a Ford dealer between 1986 and 1995. The business has also advertised on the front page of the Village Voice in every single issue since we started in 1992!

THE CREATIVE Melbourne Gallery, the new local community art venture, got off to a flying start thanks to the generosity and support of local customers and funding bodies. Now a year-round home for Melbourne Festival, the gallery on Church Street saw a very promising level of sales over the Christmas period. The project has also received some generous grant donations. The Barbara Bagley Melbourne Christmas card proved especially popular this year and, with hundreds sold, there must be at least one in every home in the area. “We would like to thank Melbourne Parish Council, Cllr David Muller and Foundation Derbyshire for the grants they have generously given to us, which will add to the funding provided by Awards for All earlier in the year,” said director Phil Dobby.

“We are currently looking for resident artists to occupy the three main studio spaces and we are advertising the ‘creative pods’ we have available on the upper floor,” he added. “After a busy festive sales period, our volunteers are taking a well-earned break before the gallery re-opens on January 12 when we shall be launching a programme of themed exhibitions in the gallery and we hope to start creative workshops early in 2022,” said director Sharon Brown. It is hoped that a part-time gallery manager will be recruited early in the new year. The next exhibition Whispers from the Woods will open on January 29 to coincide with opening of the Whispers from the Woods Walk through Bare Hills, the final step of the National Forest Arts Grant project worked on during 2021 with local young people and writer Dan Webber.


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Centre closure really is the end of an era

THE PHRASE an ‘end of an era’ could not be more relevant as the Senior Citizens Centre closed its doors for the last time, bringing to an end over half a century of provision for the elderly in Melbourne and district. The centre has been forced to close after being given notice to quit by the landlord, Melbourne Hall Estates. Since it opened in 1965 on a site at the corner of Church Street and Castle Street it has brought support, friendship and happiness to many hundreds of local elderly people. Newspaper archives reveal the launch in 1960 of ‘a fund to create the club for the Old People of Melbourne’ with Round Table offering to donate funds from a forthcoming sale. Fundraising continued by the Old People’s Welfare Committee, chaired by Lady Paget, until, on October 9, 1965, the “Old People’s Community Centre” was opened. Membership for the club soon reached 120 and, speaking at the opening ceremony, Lady Paget urged all local pensioners to join. Back then, and until 1995 when John Major’s government introduced the Pensions Act, the retirement age was 60 for women and 65 for men. Life expectancy in 1965 was an average of 68 years for men and 74 for women, compared to about 76 for men and 84 for women nowadays. The club provided a reading room, a place for the Darby and Joan Club to meet, for people to drop in and watch television or play dominoes, as well as hosting regular entertainment. This list of events in the early years included a concert by the Ladies Choir from Long Eaton, entertainment from Melbourne Operatic Society, a fashion show in 1968, and the Silver Dancing Troupe, Chaddesden Townswomen Guild Choir, and the Gulliver Sisters in 1969. Members of the committee and an amateur drama group from the parish church also provided entertainment to the members. More recently, in the mid1980s, a team including Trisha Astle, Mal Jackson and Margaret Hancock set up a regular Thursday group for those who were disabled or housebound to provide a hot meal, initially provided by Meals on Wheels and then by the Welcome Café. The group also was taken on holiday to Skegness. Christmas lunches were an annual event, and it is a great shame that the final lunch was cancelled because of the pandemic. Even so the members were given a voucher to use at the Tea Rooms at Melbourne Hall. At the time of closing the cen-

Police appeal for crash witnesses

Village Voice January 2022 3

POLICE are asking to hear from witnesses to a collision in Weston on Trent that left a cyclist with serious injuries and a spell in hospital. Officers said the driver of a black Lexus and a cyclist collided at the junction of Kings Mills Lane leaving the cyclist, a man in his 50s, with serious injuries requiring hospital treatment. Officers are appealing for anyone who might have been in the area at the time of the incident, which occurred at around 11am on Sunday, November 21. They are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed what happened, particularly if they have dashcam footage. Anyone who can help is asked to contact Derbyshire Police, quoting reference 21*681668. You can send a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary; direct message the contact centre on @DerPolContact; complete the online contact form or phone 101.

l Pictured below in the opening day photograph of the centre (above) are (l-r) Mrs Andrew Kerr (Marie Constance), Ron Loake, Rev Bob Honner, HJB Knowles, George Bryant with Ronald McGregor in front of him, Lord Lothian (Peter Kerr), Lady Paget, Bill Simmons (architect) and Alfred Bott.

by Frank Hughes tre boasted a membership of 95 and the bowls club had approximately 35 members. Maggie Dobby, chair of the current committee, said it was “sad to lose a community facility in the centre of the village which was loved by so many

people”. She has received many letters and messages to say how much people will miss it. Regrettably, she thought, the charity would most likely have to cease but a decision on how to dispose of the remaining assets is yet to be made. All contents

from the centre have now been donated to other good causes in the village. The comments on opening day from the secretary of the committee, Mr G C Bryant, seem just as pertinent today, when he said “the centre was catering for the greatest handicap of old age – loneliness”.

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THE Village Voice was invited to witness scenes at East Midlands Airport’s cargo operation on one of the busiest nights of the year, a week before Christmas.

RIGHT: Keith Booth, airfield operations supervisor at the airport.

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ON the evening of December 16, 2021, all was quiet at East Midlands Airport’s passenger check-in desks. Nowhere in sight were queues of people waiting to take off from British shores for a week of winter sun. In fact, there was hardly anyone about at all. That is hardly surprising. The airport has reported that passenger numbers are still well down on pre-pandemic times, seeing half its normal levels in October 2021, for example. But, as many Village Voice readers are certainly aware, due to the overnight operations it involves, another side of life at the airport is booming: freight. When we were invited to the airport, along with ITV Central News, to visit its cargo operation on the busiest night of the year, around 90 cargo planes were due to take off and land during the course of one night alone. Being driven around the airport’s ‘cargo aprons’ with chief of staff Ioan Reed-Aspley and airfield operations supervisor Keith Booth, there was an atmosphere of calm, quiet concentration as people working for different operators unloaded many, many parcel hoppers from recently landed planes – a lot of them no doubt stuffed as full of Christmas presents as Santa’s sleigh. Today’s online shopping obsessed society, coupled with the desire for goods to be delivered the next day, means that more than a million items a night are routinely handled at East Midlands Airport. It is home to the UK’s largest express air cargo operation, second only to Heathrow in terms of the total number of goods handled each year. While most cargo flying in and out of Heathrow is in the belly hold of passenger aircraft, at East Midlands, it arrives and leaves on dedicated freight craft. n SAVING local drinks cartons from landfill is a priority after recycling bins were removed from Melbourne’s High Street car park, a public meeting has heard. District councillors Martin Fitzpatrick and Jim Hewlett were updating members of Melbourne Parish Council about bin collection matters at their meeting in December. The High Street car park in Melbourne used to have recycling bins for collecting glass and Tetrapaks but these were removed in 2021. It is understood that kerbside recycling is more efficient as much of the waste collected in ‘bring to’ sites can be contaminated when the wrong waste is put in. Cllr Fitzpatrick said at the December parish council meeting that the “biggest issue” following the removal of the recycling bins was the fact a solution to Tetrapak recycling still needed to be found. The meeting heard that fly tipping had not been a huge problem since the removal of the bins, although Cllr Hewlett said some people had left bottles where the glass recycling bins had been (like those pictured, right).

In fact, according to the airport, if a consumer has ordered something online and it is not stocked in this country, there is a very strong chance it has flown into the UK through East Midlands. DHL Express, UPS, FedEx and the Royal Mail all have major hubs at the airport, with UPS having only opened its £134million new facility there in 2021. And the trend has certainly been steadily growing. 2020 was a record-breaking year for the airport’s cargo operation, and 2021 saw an increase of up to 10 per cent again. If trends continue, by the end of the financial year, the airport is predicting that 470,000 tonnes of goods will have been handled there in comparison with 438,000 tonnes last year, and 370,000 a year pre-Covid. With a pandemic ‘supercharge’ in freight, seeing even more people shopping from home, growth for East Midlands’ cargo has been further boosted by a lack of traditional belly-hold operations elsewhere due to a fall in passenger numbers, along with sea container issues in Asia which have made air freight commercially more attractive. One stark statistic has been, for example, a 120 per cent increase in the volume of goods travelling between East Midlands and JFK Airport in New York. But for Keith Booth, airfield operations supervisor at the airport – one of around 9,000 people who work on the site – it is all just business as usual. “It’s a brilliant place to work,” he said. “The freight – it’s got bigger and busier. I’ve seen a lot more jobs being created, not just at the airport but around the periphery of the airport. It has become a very vibrant place.”

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Fly-tipping costs a pair of offenders in excess of £5,000

Village Voice January 2022 5

THOUSANDS of pounds in fines have been handed out to a pair of fly-tippers in incidents which affected Aston-on-Trent. Two separate fly-tipping cases were heard at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court in December in relation to rural locations in South Derbyshire. One case saw a woman from Mackworth plead guilty to three offences relating to a fly-tipping incident in a field off Derby Road in Aston (pictured). In February 2020, Aston on Trent Parish Council reported a large accumulation of furniture, white goods and mixed household waste to South Derbyshire District Council, as having been dumped at the entrance to a farmer’s field. The council said its community safety enforcement team identified that the waste had originated from a property in Mackworth, and that the owner of the house failed to respond to officers’ requests for information and failed to appear for invitations to interview. The woman admitted in court that she paid someone she found on social media to remove the waste and having “buried her head in the sand” by ignoring council officers’ demands for information. She received fines of £733 and was ordered to pay costs of £649, and a victim surcharge of £73, totalling £1,455, all to be paid within 28 days. Councillor Stephen Taylor, chair of the council’s environment and development service committee, said: “Everybody has a legal duty to make sure that waste they produce is disposed of properly. This individual made no effort to check that

the person who was taking her waste was a lawful operator. “Just as importantly, this case shows that the council is willing to take legal action to help stop fly tipping on farmers’ land. We know that this is a huge cost to the farming community, but this shows that we can work with landowners to stop it and punish offenders.” A man from Alvaston also received substantial fines after he pleaded guilty at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court to three offences of fly tipping at rural locations in South Derbyshire in

spring 2020. He was fined £1,800, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £180 and ordered to pay a contribution of £2,000 towards the council’s costs, making a total of £3,900 to be paid in full within 28 days. In March 2020 members of the public reported information to South Derbyshire District Council’s Environmental Health Service about fly tipping incidents near to Shardlow and Aston-on-Trent. Further incidents of similar materials were identified at other locations. The materials consisted of building waste,

white goods, and domestic refuse. The council’s community safety enforcement team identified that the offender had been in control of a rented van which investigating officers were able to link to all of the offences. Cllr Taylor said: “This individual admitted to the court that he had previously held a waste carrier licence, and that he therefore knowingly chose to operate a business illegally disposing of waste. “He admitted fly-tipping for a couple of months to earn extra money and that he didn’t dispose of the waste at a legal waste disposal facility in order to maximise his profit. “I have no doubt that if council officers had not carried out detailed investigations into his activities and forced him to account for his actions, he would have continued his illegal business practices. “Most importantly, the start of the trail of evidence which led to this offender being found was information which was provided to us by members of the public. “Sometimes people tell me that they don’t report incidents because they don’t think the council will take any action. I hope this, and the many other fines and penalties we issue, proves that this council is determined to stop fly tipping.” Fly tipping offences increased significantly during 2020 and 2021 and the council’s community safety enforcement team said it had been “vigorously pursuing” offenders. However, since April of this year the average monthly incidents of fly tipping have halved, the council said.

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Top award for the Project D team

ENTREPRENEURS from Melbourne behind Project D celebrated sweet success in 2021 after beating off competition from almost 5,000 others to win a Great British Entrepreneur Award. Max Poynton, Jacob Watts and Matthew Bond (pictured) were named the 2021 Food and Drink Entrepreneurs by judges including Cath Kidston, former Dragon’s Den star James Caan and Ann Summers’ creator Jacqueline Gold. It comes on the back of a series of award wins for Project D this year which included two trophies at the Derbyshire Live Business Awards for Start-up Business of the Year and SME Business of the Year. Project D also won the Entrepreneur of the Year title in

the Generation Next Awards, which were delivered in partnership with the University of Derby and form part of East Midlands Chamber’s new network for professionals and business owners aged under 35. And in the chamber’s own business awards the company scooped the Small Business of the Year Award. The firm, which sells handcrafted, brightly coloured and Instagram-friendly doughnuts across the UK, also won the Most Innovative category in the Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards.

Operation director Max Poynton said: “It’s been quite a rollercoaster since launching Project D and we’ve had a steep learning curve in terms of creating and running a business while navigating a global pandemic at the same time. “To have our hard work recognised with so many awards has been fantastic and the Great British Entrepreneur success was the icing on the cake for us, both because it’s a national award and because it has been given to some truly inspirational business leaders in the past.”

VILLAGE VOICE Postbag Footpath access: A statement

FOLLOWING the two articles in the Village Voice and to clarify our position we would make the following statement with regard to the permissive access across our land at Broadstone Holt. Firstly, we would confirm it has never been our intention to permanently close the access or remove the permission; we do intend to reopen the access as soon as we are in a position to do so. To achieve this, our aim is to be able to manage the access in accordance with the legal definition of permissive. This would mean that, once reopened, should it be necessary to effect a temporary closure then we would not be perceived to be in breach of any conditions and would negate the numerous letters to SDDC, STWA or the National Forest and would perhaps even prevent further offensive social media posts. A temporary closure may be necessary for simple maintenance tasks, e.g hedge cutting, or to enable any spell of extreme anti social behaviour to abate, or it may be due to a request by a third party. We would stress, however, that we would aim for any closure to be short term. To this aim, we confirm we are making a further planning application but this is not to close the permissive access, which you will readily see if you read the planning documents in due course. We appreciate the attractiveness of the permissive route for the local community which is why we established it in that particular location in 2014/2015, having moved it from the previous route which continued south from the bottom of Bog Lane, which we established in 2006/2007. It has been suggested that a fence is erected to define the permissive route from footpath 27 to the reservoir as this might reduce incidences of anti social behaviour on our land; we do not deem

this necessary, the access worked perfectly well prior to the increased usage following the lockdown, and levels of anti social behaviour were manageable and at expected levels; we hope we can return to this. In order to expedite the reopening of the permissive access we ask for support from the local community and the parish council. To date, and despite the problems we have faced during the pandemic with the increased volume of people visiting the countryside, very few people have actually contacted us directly and asked what can be done to help mitigate problems and keep the route open. We cannot sufficiently emphasise that the only reason the route is currently closed is the extreme level of anti social behaviour and we would hope that the community recognises this and perhaps even works together to address these issues centred on the reservoir and neighbouring land. We would also confirm that it has now been shown that there is no legal right of access for the public across the shared reservoir boundary. We have been shown correspondence from STWA that states they are in favour of the current informal access remaining open but this would obviously be subject to formal agreement which we would hope might only require an exchange of letters. We would reaffirm that our aim is to reopen the permissive route as soon as we can manage the access as defined by the term permissive, which would also allow us to continue to work in accordance with our agreement with the National Forest. We would thank people in anticipation for their support.

I AM writing on behalf of Melbourne Inner Wheel Club to thank the Senior Citizens team for their support. We have used the centre for our monthly meetings and flower arranging days for a number of years and we will miss the use of the room. The village has lost a great amenity, always well equipped, clean and tidy with parking –

everything we wanted. It is so sad to see it close after all the fund-raising and hard work the team have put in over the years. By means of this local newspaper we would like to thank the Senior Citizens team publicly. Rachel Cooper President of Melbourne Inner Wheel Club District 22

Loss of a great village amenity Jo and Howard Joynes

Village Voice welcomes your opinions. Email them to

Christmas present Visa joy at last for Clive by Lucy Stephens

CHRISTMAS came early for one Melbourne couple when Clive Karusseit finally won his right to remain in the UK. Now Clive and Yvonne, of Packhorse Road, have thanked the local community from the bottom of their hearts for supporting them through nearly six years of struggle to stay in this country. Clive, 67, heard just before Christmas that the UK Home Office had finally granted his application for permanent residency. Yvonne was given indefinite leave to remain back in 2019 on ancestral grounds, her great-grandfather having been British. “It’s hard for me to believe that I have got it, but I am relieved,” said Clive. Clive and Yvonne’s problems started in 2016 when their application for the right to remain in the UK was turned down by the British Government. It seemed that the issue had arisen over a confusion as to whether or not the couple needed to sit an English test. The ensuing years have seen the couple spend around £20,000 on their legal battle to remain in the UK. They had arrived in Melbourne from South Africa, fleeing violence in Zimbabwe where Yvonne’s brother, Terry Ford, was murdered on his farm under the Mugabe regime. Seeking a safer life in the UK, they were devastated when their right to remain was initially turned down. The past few years have seen Clive, a mechanical design engineer by trade, in and out of work with uncertainty over his Visa status. l Clive Karusseit proudly holds his Visa, with wife Yvonne and dog Nala. Photo: Edith Stephens He said: “It has been very, very rough. I am now looking for a job because we’ve eaten all our savings – this has cost The couple have been helped in their negotiareally like to thank the people of Melbourne who everything we have. tions with the Home Office by South Derbyshire have really been so supportive. “People did not want to employ me because of the MP Heather Wheeler. “Most people thought we were sorted and they Visa, and those who do are paying minimal wages. Yvonne said: “I’m really chuffed. People have were shocked to find out we weren’t. We just want “I want to go into full-time employment – now I helped us all over, but Melbourne has been an abto thank people because really Melbourne has been can relax.” solute Godsend to us. A fund was set up for us. We’d outstanding to us.”

Local walk one of the country’s best

Village Voice January 2022 7

A WALK between Melbourne and Breedon hit national fame over New Year after it was named one of the country’s best. The walk from Melbourne Pool to Breedon-on-the-Hill Church and back featured in a list of 20 winter walks in The Times newspaper on New Year’s Day. The five-and-a half-mile circular walk was described by the paper as a “beautiful walk through parkland to a lonely church perched by a quarry”. The only negative, as commented on social media, is that Melbourne Pool was somewhat disappointingly described as a ‘pond’ – oh dear oh dear.

Vehicle is seized in police check

A VEHICLE was seized and the driver reported after police conducted checks in Melbourne and Barrow-upon-Trent. The speed, drink and drug driving checks were completed on Cockshut Lane and in Barrow on December 29. Several vehicles were stopped for speeding and another was seized and the driver reported for not having insurance. A cycle security registering event also took place in Melbourne on the same day. Police said they were planning further checks plus more crime prevention and security events.


Operatic society serves up a feast of fun

IT WAS a true festive feast of music and laughter as Melbourne Operatic Society put on its first concert in two years. “We have missed performing for you – we hope you have missed us performing for you as well,” said Mike McGhee, introducing “A Feast of Christmas Music” at Melbourne Assembly Rooms. Covid has meant the society has not been able to put on any of its usual concerts since 2019 – and it was clear from the enthusiasm of the audience that the performances had indeed been much missed. An inspired programme thoughtfully wove together recitals, funny songs, beautiful harmonic singing, audience participation … and at least one excellent Christmas hat … all accompanied by David Henshaw on the piano. “My True Love Gave to Me”, a clever take on the 12 days of Christmas in which – as everyone knows – the only decent present is in fact the five gold rings, delighted the audience as much as “Christmas … In About Three Minutes,” a mashup of all the carols you’ve ever heard. “The Joys of Christmas” was a highly thoughtful take on what might be argued to be the consequences of festive excess, penned by a member of the audience, while anyone who has ever had a

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l Melbourne Operatic Society at the Assembly Rooms and (below) James Davies pours wine for John Starkey.

child in a Christmas show would recognise with a smile the themes in “The Traditional Nativity Play” read by David Henshaw. With the entertainment even going so far as operatic society members pouring wine for audience members in the interval, it was truly a Christmas feast in more ways than one. John Starkey summed up the evening beautifully as the concert closed, with the words: “It has been my pleasure and considerable delight to listen to this group of people entertain us for year after year. “After the break we have just had with Covid, I think they deserve a very special round of applause for coming together and entertaining us so brilliantly – thank you, on behalf of us all.” The society is due to put on its next production, HMS Pinafore, from April 6-9 at the Duchess Theatre in Long Eaton. – Lucy Stephens

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Friday 28 January::

Tree pruning session

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Southwood House Farm, near Ticknall: 11 - 1pm. 11am 1 JJoin i the th experts at Whistlewood to learn how to prune fruit trees. The sessions at Southwood House Farm involve more senior trees. A further session at Southwood will be held at the same time on Wednesday 19 January. There are also tree pruning sessions at Whistlewood, foor young trees, from 2pm-4pm on Saturday 22 January,, Saturday 29 January & Saturday 5 February. Thursday 24 January:

Mike Higginbottom: Fun Palaces. A talk hosted by Melbourne Civic Society. The Athenaeum at the Wesley Hall, Potter Street, Melbourne 7.30pm. Small charge foor entrance. Please park at Melbourne High Street car parks.

Melbourne Sporting Partnership,, feeaturing Markus Birdman, Micky Kerry,, Clayton Jones and compere Robyn Perkins. 8pm start, doors open 7pm. Tickets £12 from or from or call 0750 6303247.

Saturday 29th January 2022:

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School’s library gets the Xmas gift of reading

CHILDREN at Weston-on-Trent Primary School have been given the gift of reading for Christmas thanks to generous parents. To mark the festive season, teachers suggested to mums and dads who may have chosen to buy them an end-of-term gift that they might prefer to donate a book to the school’s library instead. Responding to the suggestion, parents donated more than 40 new books to Weston’s school library, which were supplied and wrapped by specialist children’s bookshop Rocketship. For the second year running, the school’s pupils were given an opportunity to celebrate Christmas Icelandic style with a ‘Jolabokaflod’ – the festive exchange of books on December 24. The tradition originated in 1944 when Iceland gained independence from Denmark and paper was one of the few items not rationed. On Christmas Eve, Icelanders traditionally give one another books which are normally read straight away, perhaps while drinking hot chocolate. Weston-on-Trent Primary School emulated this tradition by inviting children to take part in a Santa run at school, in return for a small donation. This helped pay for every child to receive their own book and chocolate to take home for Christmas. Weston-on-Trent Primary School head teacher Sarah Burns said: “We really want to instil a love of reading at our school and both the festive library donations and the Jolabokaflod books are a great way of doing this over the Christmas season. “Parents of our children have been so generous in contributing brand new books to our school library. It’s the best Christmas present we could have asked for so we thank them very much indeed. “Our children love the Jolabokaflod tradition we have started too. It’s great to see them opening their books and sharing the stories in the lead-up to Christmas.”


CHILDREN at Dame Catherine Harpur’s School in Ticknall marked the run-up to Christmas with a school film – which involved stepping back in time! The film included sketches inspired by Gogglebox, TV and film favourites with a Christmas feel. It was written by school staff member Chris Wright and hosted on the school You Tube Channel for parents, friends, and families to enjoy together over the festive break. The performance featured elements of popular children’s programme Hey Duggie; classic Christmas move Home Alone; Doctor Who, and a historical school swap back to Georgian times in Horrible Histories style. Whilst Ticknall’s earliest school was founded in 1744 under the patronage of Dame Catherine Harpur, Sir George Crewe replaced the schoolrooms with the present building in 1824, and education for girls was provided by Lady Crewe’s School from 1822. “We were keen to bring the whole school community together and give family members the chance to see children shine,” said head teacher Lorna Harvey.

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LEFT: The Robins class at Weston-on-Trent Primary School holding up their Jolabokaflod books. ABOVE: Staff at the Weston school opening their new books given as gifts for the school library.

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Danny’s tragic death recalled 10 Village Voice January 2022

by Frank Hughes

FAMILY and family friends gathered at Melbourne Pool on the day Daniel Blinco would have been celebrating his 50th birthday. Tragically Danny was murdered serving in Northern Ireland on December 30, 1993 only days after his 22nd birthday. BBC Radio Derby’s Andy Twigge was also there to mark the occasion as part of his “bench chat” feature on his radio programme. He chatted initially to a fellow Grenadier Guardsman, Matt Ginger, and then to Danny’s parents, Nina and Brian Blinco. Matt described Danny as “like a big brother” and a good soldier. They had trained and served together, and he been on duty elsewhere in South Armagh the day Danny had been shot. Dealing with the loss of a colleague was, he said, “sadly, a part of life in the Services”. Dad Brian said there was not a day when they did not think of him, and Nina recalled the tragic day as if it were yesterday. She said they had been at her mother’s for Christmas and were going out for New Year, when she put on the TV and heard the news of another shooting in Northern Ireland. “An hour later there was a knock at the door with police and a person in uniform standing there – I just collapsed,” she said. Nina went on to talk about the kindness and support they had received and how the community had all helped to keep his memory alive with the memorial bench that had become a focal point for the reunion of his fellow Guardsmen every Remembrance Day. Danny was shot, it is believed, by a Provisional IRA sniper as a response to the Downing Street Declaration, which aimed to give some impetus to the peace process. No-one was ever arrested or charged for his murder. Wider family and friends released balloons and raised a glass to mark the sad occasion.

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employers provided them with a three-bedroomed flat, completely changing their lives and in 1963 Janine came along to make up the young family. A move to Thetford into a brand new family home saw them build a social life together and, as great party givers, make friends for life. In 2000 the couple decided to move to the Midlands to be near daughter Janine and they lived in South Street, Melbourne, for

19 years. Marie became very involved in many of the local community groups, including the Wednesday group and the cinema club. Both were keen supporters of the local choir, too, and are remembered for their enthusiastic participation at any opportunity! Sadly, Jimmy passed away in October 2019. Marie lost her life-long partner and a day did not go by where he was not sorely missed. As well as a love of cinema and travel, Marie also had a great sense of adventure and only recently was fulfilling her “bucket list” of adventures, which included riding on a motor bike, hot air ballooning and, in October 2021, abseiling down the side of Derby Cathedral for charity. She was also a keen knitter, providing clothes for the Sure Start children’s project. Marie was recently diagnosed with between six and 12 months to live but was determined to live life to the full and wanted to enjoy the Christmas festivities to the point of entertaining two dear friends the night before she passed away. Marie sadly didn’t make Christmas and peacefully passed away at home, with all her family around her, on December 16. Marie was a huge strength to her children, grandchildren and friends and will be deeply missed.

Sadly, Roland died young and Betty was left alone with her son. Not one to sit

around and mope, Betty threw herself into local activities in Melbourne. She was one of the founder members of the Wednesday Group, attended a knitting group at the local parish church, went to the Thursday Group at the Thomas Cook Hall and later on, as she aged, the seniors club. She was a genuine friend to many and had a heart of gold. She would help anyone she could if they had a real need. Betty was much loved and leaves behind her son, sister, grandchildren and her great grandchildren. She will be missed by those who knew and loved her. RIP Betty, till we meet again. There will be a private funeral. Any donations can be made to Derbyshire Autism Services Group. Any enquiries may be sent to J. P. Springthorpe & Co.

MARIE ANN GLYNN (nee Funcheon) July 31, 1933 - December 16, 2021 MARIE was born in Dublin, the only child of Rose and Tom Funcheon. Tragically Rose died when Marie was born so her grandparents brought her up from a baby. Marie was adored by her aunties Peggy, Molly, Annie and Vera, who became more like sisters to her. She grew up in Ireland where she had the most wonderful childhood surrounded by grandparents and family who loved her dearly. She was the apple of her grandfather’s eye. She started work at the age of 15 for Jacobs (the cracker people) and she used to recall that she received more from her grandfather in pocket money than she ever earned from working! In June 1951 she met the love of her life, James ‘Jimmy’ Glynn at a social club in Dublin and, after courting for four years, they married on August 17, 1955. On their wedding night they left for London to start married life. But Ireland and her family there were always close to her heart. Marie’s early memories of living in London in the early 50s were filled with hardship. Despite this she had her two sons, David and Alan, to whom she was devoted. An act of kindness from one of Jimmy’s BETTY BATEMAN (nee Prosser) April 1, 1928 – November 11, 2021 BETTY was born in Abertillery in South Wales. When World War II broke out, Betty volunteered for duty and went into the airforce. It was there she met and fell in love with her future husband, Roland, who was an airplane mechanic. At the age of 19, Betty married her sweetheart and a few years later her only son, Alan, was born. Part of their married life, after leaving Wales, was spent in Derby before moving to Melbourne. The married couple attended Ticknall Church where they were active members of the choir. They ran a dance school, teaching ballroom dancing, and spent many happy years there.

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LEFT: Brian and Nina Blinco being interviewed by Andy Twigge. ABOVE: Balloons are released to mark the occasion.

Charity Brass that go around the local pubs and restaurants in the run up to Christmas and play in the Market Place on Christmas Eve, raised £2000 for Cancer Research. The Christmas Eve carol singers raised £700 for the National Children’s Home on Christmas Eve. We would like to thank everyone for their kind donations to make this all possible.

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A PRESENTATION took place in Melbourne to thank those who put their sewing skills to good use in the first Covid-19 lockdown. The group from Melbourne were part of around 900 people across the UK who rallied round to make extra scrubs for NHS frontline workers in 2020. Scrubs, the top and trouser set that health workers in the NHS, GP surgeries and care homes wear, saw additional demand in the lockdown of 2020 due to the number of retired health workers going back into their professions, plus the high turnaround of workwear having to be washed after a shift. The local “For the love of scrubs” project was co-ordinated by Caroline Roberts, a retired head teacher. A group of people helped out by co-ordinating fabric deliveries, organising spreadsheets of orders, as well as getting out their sewing machines and running up the scrubs themselves. Members of Breedon Priory Health Club raised £1,500 to pay for fabric, while local businesses Lynne Kelly Curtains and Linda Johnson Interior Furnishings helped out by cutting fabric pieces ready for scrubs to be made. On December 13, Elizabeth Fothergill, HM Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, made a “Beacon of Hope” presentation at Melbourne Sporting Partnership to some of those involved in the project. The group was recognised for going above and beyond to help others at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, providing scrubs where needed for frontline workers. Angie Cooke, one of the volunteers involved, presented Caroline and Elizabeth with a bear made from nurses’ scrubs as a keepsake. Angie said the group would like to thank everyone involved and to the community who donated fabrics and funds.

l Presentation time at the Melbourne Sporting Partnership and pictured at the event are (l-r) Margaret Gildea, Teresa Ayre, Ulrika Harrison, Angie Cooke, Caroline Roberts, Elizabeth Fothergill, Mairead Bailey, Bronwyn Truscott and Katherine Parrish.

What to do about the dog mess

THERE was little by way of New Year’s resolutions at the first Melbourne Parish Council meeting of 2022, in fact there was more of a whiff of the past once the topic of dog mess was revisited. Cllr Robert Hatton asked the simple question of his colleagues: is there anything more we can do about dog mess? That prompted a plethora of suggestions which included naming and shaming, creating a hotspot heat map of the most common places, spraypainting the offending items a vivid yellow – following the practice of a dogged vigilante elsewhere, and more signage. The conversation led to complaints about the bins being ever full in particularly popular poochy places and criticising the actions of a small minority who leave bags inconsiderately. The advice given was to properly report the instance, and there is a form on the SDDC (South Derbyshire District Council) website to do so, and to capture the offence with a video recording if possible. The parish council will be discussing the topic in more detail at the next highways sub-committee, so if there are fresh ideas from the public get in touch with your local councillor.

by Frank Hughes

Dog owners are to be reminded that there is a hefty fine of up to £100 in some instances and that Community Safety Enforcement officers investigate all complaints received, acting on any information given about possible offenders. A similar, but shorter, conversation was instigated about the number of signs popping up by roadsides. Complaints had been received; one mentioned in particular related to the seemingly permanent sign MARS had in Kings Newton. Cllr David Smith wanted the highways committee to look at this issue again. In other parish business County Cllr David Muller said that he had funded a number of projects across the smaller villages from the Community Fund and that his allocation was just about spent. He said that the Covid situation in the county was being closely monitored. He was also resuming his regular surgeries. Parish council chair Sheila Hicklin also welcomed the newest councillor to join, Cllr Andy Dawson. On a sadder note, she mentioned that Norman Hill, who had been a clerk to the council for many years, had passed away recently.

£9,000 Poppy Appeal booster

GENEROUS Melbourne people gave more than £9,000 to the latest Poppy Appeal in the village. Brenda Sharratt, who runs the Poppy Appeal in Melbourne, said the grand total was £9,313.44. Of that total, £819.44 was raised by the Royal British Legion in Sainsbury’s on


MELBOURNE has its very own mystery Santa Claus – who has been leaving stockings filled with chocolate for passers-by to enjoy. One of the stockings was discovered hanging on the railings of Melbourne Cemetery shortly before Christmas. The resplendent red velvet stocking was filled with chocolate and other sweets. Attached to it was a tag reading: “Believe in the magic of kindness.” So, was it the man in red himself? Any ideas?

AN APPEAL has gone out for more foster carers after a rise in children in Derbyshire’s care system in 2021. Derbyshire County Council said: “We have seen a rise in children in our care this year and we are appealing for people who think they could offer a loving, stable home to get in touch.” There are currently more than 900 children of all ages and abilities in the Derbyshire council’s care system. The council wants to hear from people who would like to find out how they can change children’s lives. Different fostering opportunities are available which would fit around work, family and lifestyles. Prospective foster carers receive ongoing support throughout the assessment process plus training, benefits and a competitive package of financial support once they are approved. Foster carers do not need any special qualifications, they just need to be aged 21 or over with no upper age limit, have a spare room – or space in their bedroom for a cot for children aged up to two, go through a few initial checks before they are assessed, and have some experience of caring for children.

Derby Road. The rest was earned from a range of means including door-to-door poppy purchases and sales of wreaths. Brenda said: “A big thank you to everybody who helped and donated to the Poppy Appeal. I’m really pleased and grateful for people donating.”


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Lily’s in the pink after being rewarded with a new boat

14 Village Voice January 2022

A JUNIOR member of Swarkestone Sailing Club is celebrating after being awarded a new boat through a national scheme helping young talent to progress in the sport. Lily Hosty, who is a regular at Swarkestone and has family living locally, is among 14 aspiring sailors and windsurfers across the UK given a huge boost to their ambitions thanks to the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) and the Royal Yachting Association’s grassroots OnBoard programme for children and young people. The JMST and RYA OnBoard partnership supports those who display enthusiasm, drive, talent and commitment to the sport and who may not ordinarily have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals, giving them exclusive use of their own boat or board for two years. The equipment is then gifted to their home club or training centre to benefit other young people in the future. Lily, 12, was selected from over 50 nominations and has been awarded a brand new Topper dinghy to take her racing to the next level. She said: “I have been sailing for five years and it is a sport that I love and want to keep pursuing. In sailing there is always something to learn, something that you didn’t know – a new knot, a new technique, a new enjoyment – it never ceases to surprise me. I love being able to race with my fellow competitors but also training and learning more for the next race.” Swarkestone SC is a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Training Centre and RYA OnBoard accredited for its vibrant youth and junior section. In nominating Lily for the award, the club described her as an “able, enthusiastic and determined sailor, never afraid to take on a new challenge”. Lily started competing in the Derbyshire Youth Sailing series at clubs across the county over the summer and, in September, borrowed a club training

l Lily Hosty with her new boat. Photo courtesy of Swarkestone Sailing Club.

boat to compete at the British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships at Carsington Sailing Club. She is now looking forward to training and racing in her own boat, which will enable her to travel to more events and be more competitive. She also hopes to become an instructor. Louise Robertson, chief instructor at Swarkestone SC, said: “Finding out that Lily and the club have been successful in being awarded a brand new Topper dinghy is breathtaking. Having the opportunity to race in her own boat will


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Saturday 5 February, at The Assembly Rooms, Melbourne They are also available on phone or email: MARTIN FITZPATRICK (District) - 07710 030187/01332 862323 JIM HEWLETT (District) - 07979 976860/01332 863927 DAVID MULLER (County) - 07415 720360/01283 384112

motivate Lily further and hopefully bring her success in the future. Swarkestone has such an amazing junior section and this boat will also support future young sailors to develop their racing.” A representative from the club said sailing had been a “great sport” over the Covid pandemic, being one of the first to resume activities when restrictions were eased. Participants were said to have found the sport a big help for their mental wellbeing as well as their fitness.

Working on anti-social behaviour at reservoir

SGT SIMON Pegg, from Melbourne and Mercia Safer Neighbourhood team, updated the Local Area Forum online meeting on their work in recent months. He highlighted the partnership work to improve the problem of antisocial behaviour at Foremark Reservoir, which included additional security and emergency double yellow lines to deter parking. Through partnership working the situation had “massively improved”, he said. The team had also seized several vehicles in Melbourne, Staunton Harold and in Kings Newton. Escooters continued to be used illegally and a number had been seized. Sgt Pegg reissued the warning that these vehicles could only be used on private land, not on public roads or pavements. Melbourne Wakes had passed off without serious incident, and the team had been supporting Operation Sceptre in tackling knife crime, by making searches in public places and parks. Test purchases in the area also revealed a number of shops were unlawfully selling knives to children, so warning letters had been issued. At the same meeting Chris Smith, communities team manager at South Derbyshire District Council (SDDC), said there were still funds available from the £4,000 Safer and Stronger Neighbourhood grant, which were open for projects which

tackled anti-social behaviour or other crime-related priorities. Helen Frudd reported on the work in the voluntary sector and mentioned a number of services which were now back up and running. These included: The Active Travel service, which provided travel to hospital and medical appointments. The Befriending service, still operating remotely but soon to resume face to face contact. The Handy Person help with small jobs around the home for disabled and vulnerable residents. Home from Hospital offering practical support for vulnerable people leaving hospital, or those living at home but at risk of being admitted. The Safer Home Service providing help and advice on home security. Ardip Sandhu, on behalf of the council, reported that the housing allocation system was being upgraded, which meant the closure of the Homefinder system and the start of a new platform called Jigsaw. Those looking for assistance with housing are asked to register on the new site at She also reminded participants of the open consultation on proposed changes to the council tax reduction scheme, which supported residents of working age on low-income levels by reducing council tax in line with their income.

The Common Touch... HAPPY New Year to you all ... and I have hopeful thoughts of a prosperous 2022 for us all. Winter really is a time for reflection but also for planning for our future. This year at Whistlewood Common we will have our community garden raised beds filled with annual veg, fruit and salads. We’ve been planning this part of our project since the beginning but it is only now coming to fruition. We’re going to have fun planning what seeds to plant in spring for summer and autumn harvests of produce to use in our cooking on site: on the fire, the BBQ and in the pizza oven. This really will be a circular food system and just one more way for us to show a sustainable way to live that we can all take part in.

Making a commitment to growing our own food is one way we can all do our bit to fight climate change and live healthier lives by increasing the amount of plant based items in our diets. This is the most obvious result of growing a food harvest but in Permaculture we try and focus on maximising and valuing the benefits of each part of our plan, by increasing the yield from our efforts. So that might mean planting lots of veg and flowers together so the veg benefits from the pollinators attracted by the flowers, or bean plants benefiting from planting flowers like nasturtiums nearby which divert black fly away from the beans. The other ‘yields’ are less tangible but as important, so that could be friendship found from being part of a volunteer



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group who will be planting the seeds. Knowledge and skills are also grown from sharing ideas between us and also from observing plants and what they need to keep them healthy. There will be fun times harvesting, tasting, cooking and eating together. We’ll be growing connections, community, support, wildlife habitats, support for all the eco system. So much can come from planting a small seed, and ‘growing’ is an amazing metaphor as well as useful ‘verb’. At Whistlewood we like to focus on what we all have in ‘Common’: a need for food, warmth, shelter and community, very much like what plants needs to grow. Hoping 2022 brings us all a chance to grow and flourish. – Katherine Parrish


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Rugby club starts the year in a good place

Village Voice January 2022 15

Reasons to be cheerful

l Kira West (left) and Maddie Woodhead with Santa on one of the sleigh runs. Photo: Andrew Jansen

DECEMBER in Melbourne is always lovely and over at Melbourne Mini and Junior Rugby we had a few reasons to be thankful, writes CHRIS BAGGOTT. Firstly, we took delivery of our long overdue new match shirts, still green and gold but with a new redesign to match the first team shirts for the full one club feel. Every age group now has a brand new match shirt which should last for a few years and most age groups now have their own sponsor, from U7 to U15; this will look amazing when we all play other clubs. We expect the match shirts will remain with each age group for at least three years. We have to offer massive thanks to all of our sponsors who have ensured the future of these teams for many years to come, including U8 – Melbourne Physio, U9 – Edwardz Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, U10 – H&S Autos, U11 – BM Logistics, U13 – Lean Sensei Ltd, and U15 – Nelsons / Howdens. If you would like to be involved in sponsoring a mini or junior side, please contact Pitch news ... I know the people of Melbourne have been following the saga of the new drainage system with great fervour,

genuinely exciting stuff. There has been a development! The swampy area next to the floodlit pitch has been levelled, drained and reseeded which has revealed a marvellous playing surface, so good in fact that it is now the proud owner of a brand new pair of posts and is marked out for a junior sized pitch. Slightly smaller than the Twickenham pitch, not that it matters to the Junior sides who have been playing on a full pitch for the first time, they were very pleased indeed, with actual painted lines previously having been a bit of a myth. Which brings me onto an authentically brilliant tale of village life. For many years now Santa has been seen on the streets of Melbourne, handing out sweets and raising money for charity. This has been operated by Melbourne Rugby Club and really is something to look forward to. Last year the Minis and Juniors took control of the operation and the poor sleigh was showing its age very badly. A major refurbishment was undertaken, with repairs to the trailer (thanks Nick Shenpar) complete with lighting and music replacement, rewiring and of course a fresh coat of paint. The late night shopping event saw the debut of the new, still slightly tacky sleigh


and, of course, Santa, who was fizzing with Christmas spirit. The sight of Melbourne in full Christmas mode was something sorely missed by this writer and the look of wonder on the children’s faces as they sat on Santa’s knee was something to see. Each child got a book, and liberal amounts of sweets were handed out to all. The next few nights saw Santa, at least one enthusiastic elf and his merry band of helpers brave the elements and take the sleigh on a journey around Melbourne and Ticknall, handing out sweets, rattling buckets and playing Christmas songs (too loudly/not loudly enough). Children rushed to the windows on hearing Mariah or Noddy in the air, with faces pressed against the glass, only to be rushed outside by parents to wave in onesies and dressing gowns. Pensioners, often lonely after lockdowns, came out to wave and banter with the crew of lads and lasses who gave up their time. Families followed on foot, buses beeped in support and no-one was in any way cross about being stuck behind the sparking sleigh in their cars. The people of the village all played their part, gave their money and goodwill to a fantastic tradition, raising over £2,000 for Melbourne Community Care and for school sports equipment.

MELBOURNE Rugby Club’s first XV began 2022 second placed in the Midlands 2 East (North) league, with 39 points to first placed Long Eaton’s 43 but with a game in hand. The firsts played one league match in December, welcoming Ashbourne to Cockshut Lane. Melbourne saw several changes from the previous Newark game, providing opportunity for several players to stake their claims for squad positions, writes Matt Derbyshire. Melbourne opened the game with real verve and purpose; shuddering hits and clearouts were a feature of the game, but it was the home side that spent the first opening 10 minutes pinning Ashbourne into their own 22. It was at this point that Melbourne made a breakthrough, having put all the pressure on the visitors, controlling the game well and mixing their attacks exploiting space behind the main line with strong carries and movement off the ball. The ball was moved along the face of the 22 and into the far 5m channel where Watson exploited a weak outside shoulder and drove to 5m out, before offloading in the tackle to the supporting open side, Devon Iliffe, who beat his own man and the covering defender to break through and score under left of the posts, which was converted by Holden (7-0). Three minutes later, having secured a turnover from the kickoff, the irrepressible Judge hit a great inside line that was fed by Page and the second row burst through the defensive line at pace, striding through before a covering tackle brought him to a halt. A deft offload out of contact fed the supporting Page, who scampered the remaining short distance to the line for his first try of the game, converted by Holden (14-0). The second half was not for the faint-hearted! In amongst the tries, there was a resilience in the green and gold epitomised by several excellent performances, with the likes of Suddaby, Judge, Gates and Iliffe doing the lesser seen but vital things in a second half of attrition. However, the performance of the game was from hooker Cal Macken, who was the energy amongst the boys, harrying and pressuring the opposition with a relentlessness that belied belief. Melbourne’s final try came from Watson again as the ball was moved beautifully through the hands; after several strong carries, the open side wing, turned his opposite number inside out, stepping inside and then back outside him before diving over the line for the sixth and final try, bringing the scoreline to 38-12. The third team, meanwhile, lost narrowly to Leesbrook in a friendly (21-19) while the Academy fared better against Ashfield with a 35-7 final scoreline, with tries for Turton, Lucas, North and Perry plus five conversions for North.


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16 Village Voice January 2022

Six teams for the Wildcats now


ABOVE: (l-r) Florence Mardon, Suzie Owens and Sarah Williamson; RIGHT: Santa visiting the Melbourne Wildcats.

GIRLS’ football is continuing to grow in Melbourne with players joining the club from Castle Donington, Repton and Willington. The Melbourne Wildcats club has now started up an under 8 team, giving it six sides competing in the Derby Girls and Ladies League. Nelly Mardon, from the club, said: “We enjoyed working alongside Melbourne Dynamo FC in the recent fund-raising event at Melbourne Hall and look forward to future social and fund-raising events together. “Training will continue in the new year for our soccer school and team players, and we hope our season will carry on without as much disruption as last year.” Santa himself put in a special guest appearance at Christmas parties held for all the club’s teams in December.

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MELBOURNE Dynamo Football club ended 2021 in good shape. Both senior sides went into the new year lying in second place in their respective divisions and they are still in a couple of cup competitions each. The first team began December in disappointing style, however, as they were beaten by Holbrook St Michaels 1-0 away from home in the President’s Cup, despite dominating the match. A week later Dynamo were in the Central Midlands Division 1 Cup. They beat a young Retford development side 3-0 thanks to a brace from leading scorer Ben Cooke plus a Macaulley Jones strike. Gav Salisbury’s men hosted Carlton Town Reserves in their final game of 2021. Melbourne came from 2-0 down to claim a decent point as James Smith and skipper Carl Allsop got themselves on the scoresheet but the firsts will see it as points dropped as they had two

by Alex Slater

penalties saved in the match. Dynamo Reserves continued their unbeaten run into the month as they began December coming from a goal down to comfortably beat Aston Village 4-1 at home with Toby Foxon, Finn Charles, Alex Walsh and Joe Shadbolt on the scoresheet. Another three points followed a week later for Adam Dolman’s men as a Conor Poynton double plus a Jack Scothern screamer saw them beat lowly Little Eaton Reserves 3-0 at home. They ended 2021 with another clean sheet. Unfortunately, away to Burton United, Dynamo couldn’t find the breakthrough and had to make do with a 0-0 draw but the point still consolidates their second place in the MRA division 2.

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IT MAY only be early January but Melbourne Town Cricket Club is already working hard behind the scenes in readiness for the 2022 season. The senior section will run five senior sides next season with three league Saturday teams, a hugely successful Sunday friendly side and a midweek 20/20 team. To go with this the club will run the most junior teams it has ever had in its 150-year history with two u9s teams plus a side at each of the u11 Incrediball, u11 hardball, u13s and u15s, as well as the well attended all-stars course for 5-8 year olds on Saturday mornings. Winter practice nets begin this month too; the seniors started their sessions on Sunday, January 9 at Rykneld Sports Centre and the Junior section start theirs on Saturday, January 22 (midday2pm) at Chellaston Academy. The club always welcomes new faces so anyone wanting to go along to the senior or junior sessions should get in touch with Alex on 07966933583. The club is to purchase new sight screens for the main pitch as it continues to raise funds to keep developing the ground at the Melbourne Sports Park, especially the relatively new third team pitch the other side of the main ground. As well as that, in the off-season, a large section of the main ground’s outfield has been levelled thanks to the MSP. An ambitious project to completely renovate their two practice nets is also on the club’s development plan.

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