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HUNDREDS of visitors to South Derbyshire beauty spots, including Melbourne Pool, Foremark Reservoir and Anchor Church near Ingleby, have been leaving an unwelcome legacy in the form of litter and poorly parked cars. Lockdown in May has seen lots of people heading to this area to make the most of the sunny weather. Melbourne Hall Estate Office has now put up notices banning picnics after having to pick up seven bags of rubbish from overflowing bins on one occasion, including barbeques and dirty nappies. The area has been full with visiting cars. “We have never seen it this bad before,” said Laura Fletcher from the estate office. “We have a lot of people both in the area around Pool Lane and the grass areas next to the pool. People have left a lot of food packets, food wrappers, dirty nappies. We had six or seven bin liners full from the weekend. “The council has been and collected all that up.” Barrow-upon-Trent has also seen a big influx of visitors and litter during the sunny lockdown weather, said parish council chairman Anne Heathcote. “Our parish lengthsman has got a lot of extra litter, rubbish just dropped on the road,” said Cllr Heathcote. The latest meeting of Melbourne Parish Council heard from different councillors how many cars had been parking in the area, particularly around Calke Road and Broadstone Lane. Cllr George Dunnicliff told how people from Melbourne had been trying to walk up and down Calke Road but had been struggling to do so with young drivers using it as a race track. Cllr Robert Parker said Broadstone Lane had seen similar issues with lots of cars parked down there. At Anchor Church, a peaceful beauty spot near Ingleby, local walkers have found piles of rubbish – and even a tent – left behind in the ancient caves. The road leading up to Foremark Reservoir has also seen a huge influx of cars parked on the Repton Road from Ticknall during May. Police said they had been working with Severn Trent Water and the council’s highways department to resolve the issue, with measures including increasing car parking at the reservoir and putting cones out on the road.


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THE coronavirus pandemic has left many people stranded around the world. So when BA flight attendant Dawn Aston, from Melbourne, encountered a young girl from Central America, alone and unable to continue her onward journey from Heathrow, she rang her Melbourne friends Lily and Anna Moult – both fluent Spanish speakers – to see what they could do to help. It turned out that Julia Peña never intended to visit the UK. She was returning from Helsinki to her native Honduras via London, Bogota and El Salvador, but was denied boarding her connecting flight in London due to Colombians closing their borders. She did not know a soul in England and speaks very little English but managed to find a room in a Heathrow hotel. Although they could not meet in person, Lily and Anna befriended her by video, calling her every day to keep her spirits up and even finding another place to stay. Those calls were particularly appreciated in the mornings, when her worried family was still asleep in Honduras, which is seven hours behind the UK. After six long weeks of searching and booking flights only to have them cancelled, the Honduran consulate finally managed to organise her repatriation via Madrid. “We were so happy to video call Julia once she was back with her family in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, and even the obligatory face mask didn’t hide the joy she felt at getting home,” said Lily. It was Dawn’s caring nature that meant Julia found new friends in Melbourne and, thanks to video calling and social media, that the friendship is set to continue.




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Jeremy HOWARD Passed away on 24th May 2020 aged 77 years. Beloved husband of Jane, Dad of Tamera and Ben and Daughter-in-Law, Mira. Adored Grandpa to Lucas and Maya. Brother to Mark, Therese and Alethea. Jeremy was much loved and respected by all members of the family, and will be sadly missed by all who knew him for his kind loving heart, sense of humour and smile. Jeremy spent many happy years working as an aerospace engineer for Rolls Royce with periods working in America and France. He was secretary of the Melbourne Probus Club and belonged to Derby 41 Club. He enjoyed DIY and house restoration projects. Due to the current situation there will be a private family funeral at Bretby Crematorium on Friday 12th June. A Celebration of Jeremy's life will be held at a later date. All enquiries JP Springthorpe & Co Funeral Directors. Tel: 01332 865511.

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The many legacies of Andrew Jackson

April 27 saw the passing of Andrew Jackson. We published an obituary and tributes to Andrew in our online May edition and we re-print them here for the benefit of all our readers. TRIBUTES have poured in for Andrew Jackson, who has died aged 76: a true man of Melbourne and Kings Newton who absolutely loved getting things done, and leaves “many legacies” behind, including this newspaper. Melbourne Parish Council led the tributes to the former parish councillor of 37 years, saying: “Andrew was a modest man who did not seek recognition or reward and through his ingrained love of Melbourne and Kings Newton, which was matched with a deep sense of civic duty, he has left the parish with many legacies. “He leaves two sisters and many friends. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. We will sorely miss his contribution, his energy and dogged determination that anything is achievable.” Parish council chair Sheila Hicklin added at its meeting on May 5, held virtually for the first time: “He was very much a Melbourne and Kings Newton man through and through. He believed anything was possible. He will be sadly missed as a great asset to the village.” Among Andrew’s many achievements was in cofounding the Village Voice in 1992. Our editor David Finn said: “It was my privilege to know Andrew for the last 25-plus years. He not only helped to found this newspaper but he also worked tirelessly to make it the success it is today. “Andrew was a man in a hurry; eager to make sure things got done before moving on to the next item on his agenda. I was always amazed at the energy and zest for life that he had. And he was always ready, willing and able with his camera to cover events for his beloved Village Voice. He was one of those people that it will be impossible to replace and will be missed by the countless number of people he came into contact with.” Ron Ford, another founder of the Village Voice, has contributed these words from Australia: “Andy was a terrific person and great partner in establishing Village Voice with David Bellis and I. He was full of energy, enthusiasm and fun. My wife Barbara and I remember him fondly and are saddened by his loss. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends from Sydney.” Andrew’s business partner and friend of nearly 60 years Peter Newbury, who enjoyed many a holiday with him, remembers a man of passion about the causes that he believed in. “When he had got an opinion, he was very passionate about it,” he said. “He loved Melbourne. He was a very honourable man. “I used to have some great times with him. He loved singing, not just in the choir, he just loved to sing. We used to go in a bar on holiday to have a sing – five Dutch people joined choirs because of it!” A man who loved music, Andrew was instrumental in founding Melbourne Town

Band in 1992, at around the same time as the Village Voice published its first edition. Melbourne music teacher Sue Worrall remembered how she had been at a party where she had been talking about music, only to receive a phone call from Andrew the next day. “The next morning, after the party, Andrew Jackson rang me and said, ‘I understand you’re starting a brass band – he said, I think it’s a bloody good idea, don’t you?’” Sue recounted how, not having in fact had the intention of starting a brass band, the impetus had begun, with Andrew now off “like a Jack Rabbit” to get the thing off the ground. The idea was floated in the Village Voice and 18 people turned up to the first meeting!

Of those, only two people could actually play a brass instrument and many could not read music. Undaunted, instruments were secured, patrons asked for, and the first rehearsal took place in February 1993. “Had it not been for that phone call, and his enthusiasm to get it started, it would have been something that just got talked about and nothing would have got done,” said Sue. Andrew went on to become chairman of the band for many years. “He did all the running about, collecting the music stands and banners, picking up the stands and carting them in his car,” she recalled. Gill Bentley, of Stanton-by-Bridge, wrote to us to say: “I am sure that all the Bentley family will wish to say how sorry we all are in losing Andrew in this way and extend our sympathy to all the family. “Some of us knew him all our lives, even went to school with him and continued a long association with him all those years onwards and especially through Village Voice when he attended many of our activities and even took photographs.” Andrew was born in May 1943 in Melbourne to Ewart and Margaret Jackson,

and had two younger sisters, Linda and Kate. The family moved to Kings Newton when Andrew was 14. Leaving Melbourne School aged 15 to join the family market gardening business, Samuel Jackson and Sons, Andrew’s entrepreneurial spirit really kicked in when it came to the marketing side of running a firm and he went on to form Trent Valley Growers with his cousin, Peter Barton. This employed many local people during its heyday, but eventually came to an end with the changing commercial landscape and so Andrew moved into the storage business, East Midlands Self Storage, which he ran successfully for about 20 years. In 1992, together with David Bellis, Mick Robey and newspaper editor Ron Ford, he founded Village Voice, in order to provide news stories for South Derbyshire villages and support local business. It was Andrew who organised the complex business of hand delivering our paper to thousands of local households in 20 villages with an army of faithful people who do this job for us once a month. He also performed the valuable role of taking photographs for our newspaper, along with Pete Clough and, more recently, Tina Baker. Andrew took his last picture for the Village Voice in March this year, of John Wall, latest recipient of the Dr Freeman Award. A parish councillor of longstanding, he performed many roles and was chairman in 1989-90 and again from 20002002. Most recently, he was the chief promoter of the hugely successful 100-year World War One remembrance beacon. For his long service and dedication to the community he was awarded the Freeman of the Parish in 2019. In 2013, shortly after he turned 70, he was the guest of honour at Melbourne Fete & Carnival, along with his sister Linda. He was a voluntary driver for Melbourne Community Care and was often seen driving the minibus around the village. An early advocate of a plan to create muchneeded new sports facilities, he became one of the founder members of Melbourne Sporting Partnership, representing the parish council on the board. In addition, Andrew was one of the founder members of Melbourne Town Band, playing the baritone at many events locally and regionally. He was also a member of Melbourne Male Voice Choir and A ’Choired Taste – he loved to sing. A founder member and trustee of Kings Newton Bowls Club, the considerable time and effort he gave to the establishing of the club has contributed to its ongoing success. Andrew was also a member of Round Table. Away from Melbourne and Kings Newton, he also had another passion: skiing, a hobby he discovered in his 20s. He travelled many, many times to the resort of Gargellen in Austria, and had lots of friends over there.

How Village Voice started – Page 7

Charlotte’s story is a winner

BEST-SELLING Kings Newton author Andy Cope is behind a new short story writing competition aimed at boosting literacy in children during lockdown – and one of the first winners is eight-year-old Charlotte Foreman, from Weston-on-Trent. Andy, author of the highly popular Spy Dog series, launched the “Write On” at the end of April. Each week children are challenged to write a story which they must then read out in a maximum of two minutes. To get the creative juices flowing, they are given the choice of either a title for their tale, or a sentence that must be included in full. Examples of titles so far include: The Day My Toenails Spoke or The Time I Bumped Into Me. The contest has seen authors including Gavin Oattes and Irish comic Jason Byrne

challenging children to come up with their finest imaginings. Charlotte, who is in year three at Weston-on-Trent Primary School, was one of the first week’s winners after taking on the challenge to write a tale with this title, set by Andy: “The Boy with the magnetic bum”. Her tale about a boy called Jacob who had to be rescued by firefighters from a slide, having got stuck there due to this issue, was praised by the judges for its humour and great description. Charlotte is pictured with her winning signed copy of Spy Cat by Andy Cope. She said it felt “great“ to win. Charlotte enjoys writing in her spare time and is currently writing about a secret agent called Sarah. Her mum Emily said Charlotte had received her prize on her birthday, as an

Village Voice June 2020 3

added bonus. “She was certainly surprised when she won. She was very excited when she opened it and found out that Andy had signed it!” Andy, who also runs courses on wellbeing and happiness through his Art of Brilliance organisation, said the idea behind Write On was to get children engaged in writing during lockdown. “We thought there was a literacy gap,” he said. “We thought we’d do something a bit bonkers where each week we’d get in a different children’s author. “It’s going really well – we’ve had entries from all over the world. The aim was to not just do a writing competition but to do something that was a bit crazy that will actually engage kids.” To take part, look for #WriteOn on Facebook or Twitter.

Back to business

Local companies are reopening their doors LOCAL businesses are cautiously reopening after lockdown by adapting and installing additional safety measures. Sacha Walsh, owner of Dog Hairs grooming salon on Derby Road, was shut for eight weeks during the pandemic, which meant cancelling 33 appointments in the first week. She has now r-opened to give pooches a much-needed haircut, following guidance from the government and the Pet Industry Federation as to how to do so as safely as possible. “We could have stayed open because we are selling pet food,” she said. “But we decided it wasn’t really the morally right thing to do.” But warm weather during April and May has meant that dogs were in serious need of some grooming: “It was becoming a welfare issue for the dogs. It’s OK for humans but it’s not good for dogs to be matted and overheated,” she said. Sacha has re-arranged her salon so she and her colleague now work back to back rather than facing one another, and at a safe distance. A plastic screen has been installed to divide the room, there are sneeze guards at the reception desk, and they are now wearing visors and disposable gloves. Sacha said that dogs do not transmit the virus so that was not an issue, but owners are being asked to drop off animals and take away collars and leads. Over at the Bay Tree Restaurant, owners Rex and Susie Howell have been keeping busy during lockdown by decorating the restau-

Officers looking after you

MEET your local Safer Neighbourhood policing team. Melbourne-based police responsible for safety in local villages have sent us this photo to introduce themselves to residents. They are pictured outside their base in Melbourne, carefully obeying social distancing requirements. PC Mark Holmes has served the police for 11 years. Having worked in Swadlincote and Normanton in Derby, he is now a beat officer. “He enjoys keeping our community safe as well as your roads, by removing uninsured vehicles,” said police. PCSOs David Marley and Finn Greville both joined the force in February. PCSO Marley had previously worked for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and is looking forward to getting to know the local communities and being involved in school engagement, when he can. PCSO Greville has a degree in film production so is in charge of the team’s Facebook videos. PCSO Andrea Thompson has 13 years’ service, joining the Melbourne team last September from Derby. She enjoys being out on patrol and engaging with communities, conducting talks in schools and offering crime prevention advice via talks to community groups. PC Paul Trussell has 20 years’ service. He has worked in Derby as a response officer and in the Chaddesden, Allenton and Alvaston’s

rant and creating new dishes. They are now serving evening takeouts from Wednesday to Saturday and hope to have a garden courtyard ready for the lift of lockdown and the summer months. “After over 30 years trading we have weathered lots of storms, this is another we must all get through,” said Susie. “Like everyone we are missing our friends and family and would like to thank the mighty NHS doctors and nurses, along with all key workers, for keeping us safe and well. We look forward to the day when we are able to reopen, with social distancing in place.” Best Kept Secret dress agency, meanwhile, is preparing to open again on June 16. Owner Angela Higson has ordered hand sanitiser for customers, and is preparing the shop to be Covid secure. Local businesses also say they have been very pleased by the support shown to them during this time. “I’ve been quite overwhelmed with how many people have emailed me, saying they are missing the shop and they hope I’m OK,” said Angela. Richard Fortey, of Fortey’s in the Market Place, has now opened up for takeaways, with a screen installed at the counter and a limited number of people allowed inside for the time being. “I’ve been really pleased – we’re doing everything we can, and it seems to have gone well,” he said. – Lucy Stephens

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A MELBOURNE-based engineering business is on a mission to get the UK working with the creation of a new foot-operated door handle as part of its response to the Covid-19 crisis. Melbourne’s Acres Engineering has come up with a ‘footle’ which enables doors to be opened by foot rather than hand. The idea is to avoid the risk of infection by reducing contact with door handles. Already installed at the Spar shop in Melbourne and at the Festival pop-up shop in the Market Place, Acres Engineering is offering the footle for free for Melbourne neighbours. Luke Parker, director of Acres Engineering, said: “Since the crisis began, we have been adapting our production line to ensure we have the capacity to manufacture essential products that will support both manufacturers and key workers. “Our team have been coming up with some fantastic ideas, including a Health Station Safety Screen which we are proud to have turned around within a week of a customer request. It is already being used, helping to reduce the spread of infection and helping companies to reduce risk for front line workers along with our safety screen product. “However, we also wanted to be able to help smaller businesses who are really struggling with access and safety, particularly in our local area. We were exploring the possibility of creating a hands-free access solution and thought that a foot-operated ‘’handle’’ would make a simple yet effective addition to many businesses, especially during these challenging times. “Forgive the pun but in the current climate every step should be taken to ensure possible transfer of Covid-19 is minimised. This will not only significantly reduce the spread of infection

l Melbourne Festival director Sharon Brown with a footle.

but will reduce the amount of time spent disinfecting doors.” Acres Engineering says its ‘’Footle’’ can be stuck on doors with kick plates, so it can be pulled from underneath with the toe of the shoe or gripped from above with the sole to prevent scuffing. Luke said Acres Engineering would be providing the Footle for free for Melbourne people, and for a small charge across the UK. He added: “Strangely enough, there was a similar story emerging recently of a tech company over in Australia repurposing wall-brackets to use as a foot handle and would you believe it, they were based in Melbourne, Victoria! It just goes to show that great minds think alike, whatever the distance between us.” Acres will be launching a new arm-operated handle in the coming weeks.

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AN APPEALhas gone out to local people to help re-home 12,000 chickens at a Stanton farm after staffing at the business was badly hit by coronavirus. Riverdale Farm, at Stanton-by-Bridge, has been running a free-range egg business for the past 11 years. The farm houses thousands of laying chickens, whose eggs are sold under the Happy Eggs brand. But since the coronavirus pandemic, two of the three staff members at the farm have not been able to work. “It’s left us with staff shortages due to staff having to isolate because of vulnerable family members,” said farm owner Sat Johal (pictured above). Sat said he had been left with only his daughter helping him during the crisis. Riverdale Farm is now selling its chickens, and it is hoped that as many local people as possible can purchase some so they can find new homes and be saved from slaughter. “It’s a testing time,” said Sat. “We want to rehome as many as possible so they can enjoy the rest of their life.”

Sat said that, although the price of eggs had remained strong through the current pandemic, it had not yet reflected in money paid to producers and it was too difficult to now run the business. He said the firm was now thinking of diversifying into other areas, such as vertical farming and possibly storage. Vertical farming is a revolutionary new idea which involves growing vegetables vertically, a process that involves much less water than when they are grown conventionally on flat fields. Collection of chickens at Riverdale Farm starts on June 14, with birds offered in batches of three. Anyone interested in providing a home for the birds is asked to phone Sat on 07966 261699, or email him on sat@asjluxurymarquees.co.uk to arrange purchase and collection from Riverdale Farm at Stanton Hill, Stanton-by-Bridge, DE73 7NF for Sat Nav purposes. Collection will be organised so that no more than 20 customers come through the farm’s doors at the same time, in order to maintain social distancing. Birds will be collected in boxes and buyers are asked to take them straight home to minimise their stress levels.

Growing, growing ... the allotments really take off

Village Voice June 2020 5

AMID all the worry and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, it is fair to say that allotments, at least, are having a moment. Following on from “unprecedented demand” for plots at Hilly Fields allotments after news in our April issue that vacancies were available, Blackwell Lane allotment holders in Melbourne are also reporting they have never been so busy. The allotments situated just off the road from Melbourne to Wilson now have a waiting list due to a rise in enthusiasm for growing your own.

“The virus has made people think about growing their own produce and getting into the outdoors for exercise,” said Lesley Hough, chair of Melbourne Garden Club. “It has been pleasing to see more ladies taking up plots and we now have a waiting list.” Back in late March, when the UK was entering the strictest phase of lockdown which banned all but essential outdoor activity, tending allotments was one of the few still permitted. Lesley said: “The allotments offer a chance to be at one with nature and often a focus for the

Country park visitor numbers up

VISITORS to Elvaston Country Park are being encouraged to take their litter home if possible, as numbers to Derbyshire’s parks and sites continue to rise. Elvaston Country Park re-opened its car park in mid-May and since then there has been an increase in visitor numbers, with Elvaston busier over the bank holiday than it has ever been before. Now the county council is asking that when people visit Elvaston, they take their rubbish home with them if at all possible, as well as reminding them not to have barbeques. A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “All of our country parks and countryside sites have seen an increase in visitor numbers not just over the bank holiday but on a daily basis. “The bank holiday was particularly busy at popular spots, and places like Elvaston Castle Country Park were far busier than we’ve experienced on previous bank holidays. “The car park filled up very quickly over the weekend and we think a new audience is coming to experience Elvaston as well as our regular visitors, and take advantage of the open space. “We’d really like to thank those people who threw their litter away responsibly, but as the park was so busy our staff struggled at times to keep up with emptying the bins. That’s why we’d really like to encourage people to please take their litter home with them if they can. Wildlife

day, being able to interact with fellow gardeners whilst socially distancing. “Being in the open in a tranquil and peaceful setting does wonders for your mental and physical health. The preparation, planning, planting, nurturing and watering all play a part in the growing of fruit (strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, apples), a wide selection of vegetables (beans, potatoes, onions, salad crops, beetroot, pumpkins, courgettes, shallots, sweetcorn) and colourful, scented flowers (dahlias, gladioli, zinnias, cosmos,

Give Lucy Stephens a call on:

01332 863181 www.melbournevillagevoice.co.uk

All members of the public are entitled to attend the meetings and are cordially invited by the Council to do so. Time will be set aside prior to the published agenda to enable informal discussion to take place. Agendas are posted on the Parish Council website:

www.melbourneparishcouncil.org.uk During the Coronavirus lockdown the Parish Council has agreed to hold short virtual meetings on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm, in line with HM Government Covid-19 Regulations. Any members of the public who wish to attend this meeting will need to contact the Parish Clerk at Melbourneclerk.mpc@gmail.com to request an invitation. It will be helpful if you are able to submit comments or questions to the Clerk in advance of the meeting as due to the time constraints, it may not always be possible to speak unless invited to do so.

The first and Original

Champagne Breakfast can drag litter out of bins and this not only causes a hazard but it can get strewn across the park which makes it very difficult to maintain the site and ensure everyone has a pleasant experience of the beautiful surroundings. “Staff only gave a few reminders to people to remember to social-distance, despite it being so busy, and these reminders were responded to well.”


EMPLOYERS looking to cautiously emerge from coronavirus lockdown by re-opening offices and premises will need to carefully consider their health and safety duties, says a Melbourne expert. Fraser Gregory runs his own health and safety business after 30 years’ experience including many years working for the British Standards Institute, and says there will be lots of things that employers will need to consider when reopening. For example, if offices have been left empty for months, there is the risk of legionella resulting from stagnant water.

chrysanthemums, sweet peas). “The harvesting and eating of the produce is the reward for all the hard work done. We have resident blackbirds, robins, pheasants, mallards and many other birds, visiting regularly and taking advantage of a dust bath or turned over earth offering the odd tasty morsel. “Some plots have provided small ponds or water baths for the wildlife in this exceptionally warm spring; it is also a haven for butterflies and beneficial insects. “An allotment offers the chance to watch the seasons change and get close and personal with the natural world, in a time of turmoil and worry. Melbourne has always been a place associated with gardening and continues to welcome people into the world of horticulture.” n In our April issue, we ran a story about Hilly Fields allotments which had five free plots at the time. We re-posted the story on our Facebook page, which was seen more than 3,000 times, and all the plots were snapped up in a week.

Got a story to tell?

Also, businesses may need to think about any staff who are the office’s appointed fire wardens – if these employees are still furloughed when the office opens up again, there will be no-one to perform this task. “As an employer, you have a duty of care to your employees and anyone else who may be affected by what you do,” said Fraser. “That may be delivery drivers, your own staff, your customers and how do you protect those?” Fraser set up his business pre-COVID with the aim of helping small to medium sized

enterprises with their health and safety duties. “As an employer, there’s a legal requirement to ensure your staff are safe. “Once you’ve got five or more employees, the onus becomes more. “One of the challenges for small businesses is understanding what they’re required to do. Small start-ups tend to concentrate on getting their business up and running, and health and safety tends to lag behind.” The main thing, Fraser said, is for companies to ensure they are doing as much as is “reasonably practical”.


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6 Village Voice June 2020

Country Living with Robert Parker

Far from top of the crops

I USED to be a sceptic but now I’m not so sure, and should I believe in global warming? Those who read the garbage I write will by now know that I, along with most other farmers, are obsessed with our climate. Records have been broken in the last two months with the sunniest and driest May since records began in 1929, following a very dry April. My recorded figures for the two months amount to around 28 millimetres of rain. So no “wet and windy May”. The effects of this can be clearly seen around the fields locally, and I have to say it is very bad. Crops have rushed to maturity quickly, that is where there are any crops. Some of the clay soils are the worst where lots of seeds have failed to germinate and it’s doubtful if that seed is still viable now. Some farmers who have this problem must accept some of the responsibility in the way they prepare their seedbeds. The secret this year was to cultivate the soil quickly, sow the seed and compact it back down to reduce moisture lost. Many of them cultivated the soil and left it for days in the searing wind and sun, which very soon evaporated what moisture was there.

Many crops this year won’t see the combine harvester as they won’t be worth harvesting. Many more will be cut but won’t repay the costs of production unless end prices rise considerably. They are still rising actually as I write. The politicos say ‘don’t worry, we’ll import all we need from abroad’. But will that grain be available? The situation for stockmen is as bad with some very poor crops of grass being made into silage and hay in the last few weeks. As I write this, it is raining steadily so we can hope that things can improve. Maybe a very wet June.

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Margaret’s food for thought books

HUNDREDS of meals have been bought for those going hungry during the coronavirus pandemic thanks to books, jigsaws, and a good dose of sunshine. Margaret Gildea, of Melbourne, has been putting books outside her home on Penn Lane for people to take away for the past few weeks with the invitation to donate money to a charity called Feeding Britain. So far, around £600 has been raised for the charity’s emergency appeal to help feed those who are struggling to get food in the current situation – enough to pay for more than 2,000 meals. “The idea came near the start of lockdown,” explained Margaret. “I heard people were swapping books and were saying how much they needed something to read, and how sad they were the library was closed.” Margaret began putting out her own books as

well as those that had been destined for the Soup & Pudding Club, which she organises. Then people started dropping off books too, and when Margaret was going short, she simply put an appeal on social media for more. “People have been fabulous at donating books,” she said. “It’s not a book sale, it’s just a donation. It shows what an amazingly kind village we are that people have been happy to donate and donate books.” Feeding Britain had estimated that three million people had been without food for 24 hours as a knock-on effect of coronavirus and launched the emergency appeal to try and help. Fastest moving on Margaret’s sunny front wall have been crime fiction, children’s books and jigsaws. She is putting them out on sunny days, when there is no chance of rain, and there is hand sanitiser on offer for those who want it.

MELBOURNE Festival’s Art & Architecture trail has had to be cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. There is some good news, however, for the local arts scene. Arts Council emergency funding was granted to hold a “virtual trail” in September, while South Derbyshire District Council has “generously agreed” to help the festival team with the costs of reopening the pop-up gallery in Melbourne Market Place. The festival team has said there were hopes that the trail could go ahead this year, and planning had been taking place over the past few months. However, after “weighing up the safety of the hosts, the team of volunteers and the risk of bringing the artists and thousands of visitors to Melbourne” it was decided it would have to be cancelled. Next year’s trail is due to be held on September 18 and 19. “We hope you will all help put on a brighter and better festival than ever before!” the team said. “We know that you will be disappointed to hear this news but rest assured that the team is doing everything they can to ensure that it will be business as usual for 2021. We will keep you posted of Arts Melbourne’s plans as they develop.” Emergency funding that has been granted by the Arts Council will pay for artists in their own homes, rather than those in Melbourne, to put on a “virtual trail” which will go on the Melbourne Festival website and in the Market Place gallery in September. Meanwhile, the festival team is looking into reopening the gallery in July or August, when considered safe. They would also like to organise community

workshops and outdoor activities later in the year for the “Creative Melbourne” project, which aims to encourage local people to try new things. The team said: “Their decisions about when to reopen will be based on when it is safe for our volunteers, artists and the public to interact. In the meantime, social distancing to keep everyone safe is our priority.” Melbourne artist Laura Donaldson, whose work has been featured in the festival for more than 10 years, said: “It’s going to be a real shame that it’s not running this year, but I think it’s the right thing to do in the current circumstances. With any luck, hopefully things will become clearer about how we can move forward and come together as an artists’ community again.” She added: “Of the festivals that I’ve done, from an artist’s point of view, Melbourne is one of the best in terms of the way it’s advertised and the way it’s put together. I mean that 100 per cent. It’s the best one to do. “They offer the artist a huge amount of support. It’s really well set up for you. “I can’t sing its praises enough, and I love the fact it’s so good for the community.” Meanwhile, Melbourne Festival “Writer in Residence”, Rebecca Goldsmith, has been collecting “Little Memories of Melbourne” to put together into a poetry film later this year. Local people are asked to share their memories and observations of Melbourne, either on MemoriesofMelbourne Facebook page, on email to sharon@melbournefestival.co.uk , on paper in your window or they can be left at the gallery to be put in its window. If you would like to keep in touch email sharon@melbournefestival.co.uk, drop a note at the Arts Melbourne Gallery or call festival director Sharon Brown on 07733 233178.

Festival funds for virtual trail

How Village Voice started

Andrew Jackson was one of the founder members of this newspaper, back in 1992. In this first article in a four-part series to be published over the next few months, cofounder MICK ROBEY (pictured enjoying the first issue of the Village Voice) tells us how it all began …

Village Voice June 2020 7

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THE very first issue of the Village Voice was in December 1992 but the seeds were set way back in 1989. It was a long germination process! Andrew Jackson (Jacko) and I were discussing the lack of information circulating in the village since the demise of the Melbourne Mercury, printed and issued by Ernie Beardsley from his shed in Commerce Street. This in turn was superseded by the Nu-News, a publication from St. Anne’s Lane in Castle Donington and then Loughborough, where Melbourne residents were treated to one page of local news. With the closure of the Nu-News, the gap was filled somewhat by school headmaster Bill Shone who, with the help of the Rotary Club, came up with the idea of publishing a monthly “Diary of Events” for Melbourne. A very useful publication to stick by the telephone for reference of what was going to happen in the village, but it did not carry any news items. When this publication finished Jacko and I agreed Melbourne needed another newspaper. In October 1989 ‘Jacko’ remembered our discussion and turned up on my doorstep and announced: “I want to start up a newspaper in Melbourne”. By this time I had left full time employment and was working for myself from a drawing board set up in my garage, and business was booming. Although fully agreeing with his sentiments, I had to decline at that time due to pressure of work. The winter of 1991 saw a large downturn in business for the engineering industry and so in early 1992 I contacted ‘Jacko’ and said: “I have more time on my hands, how about starting that newspaper.” Many meetings then followed where size, type, number of pages, layout, distribution and name

were discussed, but above all, ‘Jacko’ was adamant for it to be a “free” paper paid for by the advertising. We dutifully made a list of every company and business in and around Melbourne, divided the list in half and painstakingly we set out visiting each one, setting out our proposals and requesting support for the advertising which was forthcoming. It was around this time, August 1992, at one of our meetings, “Jacko” said he had been talking to a chap in the “Hardinge Pub” who showed an interest in our project. ‘Jacko’ described him as being well spoken with writing skills and above all was a fervid reader of “The Guardian”. That got him the job and I was then introduced to David Bellis. By now the three of us were well on with planning the venture but the major sticking point was the actual production of which we were lacking in experience – enter Ron Ford! Ron was over from Australia where he wintered in the Australian summer and returned to England to grow his runner beans! David Bellis met Ron, I think again in the Hardinge, got chatting and established that Ron had the experience we all lacked. Whereas David was a Guardian reader, Ron was a Sun man – he only read it, though, after he had written it! It transpired that two young journalists left the U.K. to earn their fortune in Australia and went to work on their version of the Sun Newspaper. Ron continued for many years in that role whilst his journalistic mate, Lionel Pickering (later to become Chairman of Derby County FC) soon returned home to make his fortune. Ron was cordially invited to complete the team. Thankfully, he agreed. Next month … the very first edition.

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l Members of the Melbourne Town Band outside their own homes to p

IT WAS very different from the day that was meant to be – but local communities still marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day by hanging out flags and raising a glass or two. From a safe distance. Celebrations of different kinds had been planned to help local villages mark the occasion commemorating the Allied victory in Europe in 1945. Among the events that were to have been was a large concert held by Melbourne Parish Council at the sports park, featuring Take That tribute band Rule the World. Ticknall was to have held its second annual fete and dog show to mark the occasion, while over in Aston-on-Trent, a history exhibition was planned. But it all had to be cancelled or post-

poned due to lockdown restrictions to help curb the spread of coronavirus. Nothing daunted, local people took advantage of sunny weather to sit outside their homes during the afternoon, enjoying a glass or two and chatting to each other from a safe distance. One person for whom the day was particularly moving was Griselda Kerr, of the Dower House in Melbourne. Griselda’s father, Lt (later Brigadier) Hamilton-Baillie, had been a prisoner of war at Colditz during the Second World War, where he had made a sewing ma-

chine and used it to sew a Union flag. When US aeroplanes were approaching at the end of the war, he flew the flag on top of Colditz Castle to alert them that allied soldiers were housed there and therefore it should not be attacked. “As a result, it was not bombed and the flag came back home with my father,” said Griselda. The sewing machine is still on display in the Colditz Museum. On the VE Day anniversary, Griselda said: “We unfurled the flag on the portico of our house in Derbyshire at 11am this morning watched by his daughter, grand-

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son and gre ing.” At 3pm bourne Tow gether – p their home Sophie S strument f bourne Vic could be h dents of Po In the a their home playing 194

Village Voice June 2020 9

lebrate the rsary



play The Last Post.

eat grandson. It was very mov-

on the day, members of Melwn Band – unable to play toplayed The Last Post outside es. Short, nine, even angled her infrom her back garden at Melcarage with the aim that it heard over the water by resiool Cottage. afternoon, people sat outside es and enjoyed a drink, some 40s music for the occasion.

Tel Potts, of Melbourne, who enjoyed a drink outside his house with wife Sue, said: “We didn’t want this day to go unmarked.” Paddy and Joe Laban, of Melbourne, decorated their home in fine style with several flags and other war memorabilia for the occasion. “We’re very patriotic,” said Paddy. “We’ve always done it for festivals and carnivals. We like to decorate and get into the spirit.” In Aston, Monique Lees and her husband Jon flew both the Dutch and English flags outside their home in honour of Monique’s maternal roots in Limburg, Holland, which was bombed by the retreating Nazis on their way back to Germany. – Lucy Stephens

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l Abbie’s VE Day ‘show and tell’.

CHILDREN from Dame Catherine’s School in Ticknall turned back time to the 1940s to hold their own virtual VE Day anniversary celebrations. Pupils from the small independent school have been using software to take part in video conferenced lessons during lockdown. Unable to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day in the way they had planned, with an exhibition at the annual village fete, the school asked children and the local community to record their preparations for the occasion ‘show and tell’ style instead. Teachers worked with children to write poems and create their own VE Day report, filmed in their homes and put together by staff. Some children turned into 1940s reporters and well known figures from the day, such as Winston Churchill, while younger pupils did wartime baking and created bunting using materials from home. Head teacher Lorna Harvey said: “The school was keen to consider parallels between war time and today, focusing on the messages of hope and a brighter future, brought by VE Day marking the end of the War in Europe. “The school community recognised how poignant such messages were for families and local villagers who were in lockdown this May.” Local residents also provided their own memories to include in the VE Day compilations. They included a voice recording of recollections from Jean Meredith and a short clip from Dan Oppenheimer to share what VE Day this year means to him and his family, alongside memories from Ticknall residents – such as having chips for the first time in the chip shop.

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We have missed being open so much. Fingers crossed we will be open in some capacity from 4th July. We’re eagerly awaiting further Government information. For now, we are open for Take Away only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am - 2pm. We’ve a selection of cobs, sandwiches, toasties, homemade chips, savoury scones and a choice of homemade cakes. Our Take Away cream teas are proving extremely popular! Orders for whole cakes can be texted to 07525 331654. Orders in by Friday lunchtime means it’s possible for weekend collections. See you all soon; can’t wait. Lou and the Team.

Woodland Festival is cancelled

Saying thanks with burgers

THE Derbyshire Woodland Festival due to be held Elvaston Castle Country Park in the autumn has been cancelled due to coronavirus. Derbyshire County Council has said the popular event, which would have taken place on September 19 and 20, is one of

many planned for their countryside sites now not to be taking place. They said the decision had not been taken lightly as it would have been the 20th year of a festival that attracts more than 10,000 visitors, celebrating traditional and contemporary crafts.

A MELBOURNE farm and shop said its own special thank you to NHS staff by treating frontline workers at Burton Hospital to an outdoor feast. Tori & Ben’s Farm served up 500 of its Longhorn beef burgers at a special barbecue set up outside the hospital’s A&E department on Monday, June 1. The farm, which has been feeding people from its award-winning farm shop throughout the coronavirus crisis as well as offering free delivery to help the vulnerable, offered unlimited burgers to all staff from the hospital who showed their NHS card. As an extra thank you, children from Tori & Ben’s Farm’s local village of Kings Newton drew pictures to show their appreciation to NHS staff, which were presented at the hospital. “We just wanted to do something to say thank you to all the NHS staff who have done so much throughout the past few months,” said Tori. “What we’ve really noticed throughout this difficult period is that food and health are the two most important things to people – everything else comes secondary. Food and health are at the forefront of survival and we’ve seen the NHS doing their bit in helping people, as well as farmers like us who have been trying to keep people fed. “When this all started and people couldn’t get supermarket deliveries and were worried about going out, our local deliveries seemed to offer them a real lifeline. “We found ourselves being welcomed with tears, applause, and gratitude because they knew we hadn’t let them down and that we were there for them. “On top of that, what we’ve seen in our shop is that food really does bring people happiness. At a time when people can’t go to a restaurant or go out at all, the excitement of cooking and sitting round a table with family is bringing them real

joy. “With all that in mind, it just felt like a perfect fit to do something to say thank you to the NHS and to bring them some happiness with food.” Tori said they arranged to set up their barbecue outside the hospital’s A&E department to ensure that paramedics were among those who could enjoy a special treat. They didn’t set a limit on how many burgers they would provide and she said they were thrilled to have served up 500 to staff – from nurses and porters to paramedics and consultants. “It was such a humbling day,” said Tori. “We met so many people who are still smiling despite everything they’ve been through and were grateful to us for feeding them, when it’s us who should be grateful to them for all they have done.”

KATHLEEN TOPLISS 18/4/30 – 30/3/20 KATH was born Kathleen Statham on April 18, 1930, to Caroline and Harold Statham on Station Road Melbourne, ironically opposite the house that she lived in until her passing. Kath was the first born followed by John, Roy and then Susan. Kath met her beloved husband Alan Topliss when they were very young and were married in 1950 at Melbourne Parish Church. They were married for 69 years, celebrating their anniversary together in December. They had three children: Christine, Stephen and Colin. They were devoted grandparents to Nick, Matt, Lisa, Danni, Emily and George. She was also privileged to be a great Nan to Thomas, Olivia, Joseph, Ethan, Amelia and most recently Amara. Nanny Kath was also much loved by her wider family across Melbourne. Sadly, Alan lost his battle with cancer in Janu-

ary 2020 and Kath felt his death deeply. Kath started work at the Star Tea shop on Derby Road (now Williams Yard) when she was 14. She then moved across the road to Charlie Andrews’ delicatessen shop when her children were little. Then she spent the rest of her working life as caretaker at the Melbourne Youth Centre before retiring around 1990. She loved working at the Melbourne Youth Centre and got to know many children and their parents over the years. Kath was at the helm of the family, the person everyone turned to for help, advice and a hearty meal. The kettle was always on and she loved nothing better than entertaining family and friends – she held court in Kath’s “Caf”. She also loved to dance, listen to music and enjoyed a glass of sherry. Kath passed away at the Royal Derby Hospital on March 30 after a short illness.


Models home in on fashion show video DENIED the opportunity to strut their stuff down the charity catwalk, women rocked the virtual runway instead to raise funds for the NHS. Angela Higson from Melbourne dress agency Best Kept Secret organised the event as she was not able to run her usual annual charity fashion show in the Assembly Rooms. Angela’s models improvised by walking down imaginary runways in their own homes and gardens, videoing themselves wearing a range of outfits. They ranged in age from two to 92-year-old Millie Pass, from Melbourne. Introduced by Melbourne’s Margaret Gildea, the whole ensemble was then put together to make a charity video on YouTube, to raise money for NHS charities’ COVID-19 appeal. “The seed of the idea came from my niece Kerry as I was telling how much I missed seeing my customers and I couldn’t organise our annual fashion show due to lockdown,� explained Angela. “So the idea of asking ladies to dress up, put on make up and something fabulous and then walk up and down an imaginary catwalk

emerged. It made ladies feel fantastic – by this time they’d either been in PJs or jeans! Everybody who did it said they loved putting their make-up on. “Everybody had fun and we raised money, so it was like a win-win.â€? The video also features Shevonne Cullen, a frontline nurse from Scotland, who sang In the Arms of The Angel, plus a band called Rock the Ages, who recorded a cover of Simply the Best in honour of key workers. At the end of the film, there are shots of people such as the local policing and fire teams, “who keep our village safe and healthyâ€?, said Angela. “I had such fun putting it together and the people who watched it at home told me it had them tearing up by the end!â€? So far, the charity film has raised nearly ÂŁ1,000 for the NHS charities’ COVID-19 appeal. You can watch the film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS4gb6SG HW0 and donate here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=RockTheVirtualRun way&pageUrl=1

Free career advice

Village Voice June 2020 11

l Models Janet (above) and Alexa (below).

Car, phone booster for young people’s charity

l Millie Pass.

CLASSIC cars and mobile phones have been helping raise funds for a young persons charity during lockdown. Melbourne residents have been donating old mobile phones to support Derby-based Safe and Sound. The charity supports children and young people who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation, including sexual, County Lines, Modern Slavery and trafficking, and their families. A major part of the charity’s Butterfly Appeal to enable the expansion of services across Derbyshire has been a joint initiative with Sinfin-based Century Mobile and Intu Derby shopping centre. During lockdown, households are being encouraged to dig out handsets and keep them until they can be dropped off at intu Derby or collected by Century Mobile, who then arrange recycling, with proceeds donated to Safe and Sound. The appeal was recently promoted around Melbourne as part of the village’s inclusion in ‘Stay at Home Motor Show’ which saw local classic car owners displaying vehicles in their driveway to be admired by passers-by. Safe and Sound Head of Fund-raising Tom Stanyard, of Melbourne, who is also a classic car owner, explained: “We put out a plea for people who are spending this time in lockdown clearing and tidying out their homes to donate their unwanted devices and we have had a great response – particularly from residents in Melbourne and the

l Jo Matthews, of Melbourne, with some of the donated phones and two of the classic cars that were displayed.

surrounding area. “The ‘Stay at Home Motor Show’ was a particularly great ‘vehicle’ to promote the charity. As well as receiving pledges to donate unwanted devices, passers-by admiring the classic cars donated just over ÂŁ100 to Safe and Sound which is much appreciated.â€? Cars put on display in Melbourne included a Morris Traveller, a Series One Land Rover and a Triumph TR4. Safe and Sound is led by former police superintendent Tracy Harrison with the support of a specialist team. Its expertise came to the fore during the 2010 landmark case – Operation Retriever – which was Derby’s first prosecution for child sexual exploitation and abuse. The charity’s specialist team supported every young person affected by the criminal actions of 13 defendants who were jailed in total for up to 22 years for 70 offences. For more information about Safe and Sound and how to support the charity’s work, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk and follow on social media channels.

CAREERS coaches from Derbyshire County Council are giving free help to groups during the coronavirus pandemic. Students in years 11, 12 and 13 whose exams have been cancelled can ask for advice about future employment, education and training. Their parents are also able to get in touch, either for themselves or their children. Those who have lost their jobs or are furloughed are being signposted to a wide range of resources including use of the Government’s ‘Skills Toolkit’, which has free courses for all abilities to help develop workplace and digital skills. And help is being given to employers who need to recruit workers for essential roles. Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Young People Councillor Alex Dale said: “I am sure this extended service will be of great benefit to those who need it and I urge them to get in touch.� The Careers Coaches would normally offer face-to-face appointments, drop in sessions or group workshops but these are not possible at the moment. Instead support is being given by phone, email, video calls or text. For more information visit: www.derbyshire.gov.uk/NCS

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Council should treat us like adults

IN response to the last edition’s article on the reopening of the cemetery (Cemetery’s gates are reopened to the public) I’ve penned some thoughts on their approach. The closure of the cemetery in the early stages of the national lockdown was clearly too hasty, as the subsequent Government advice that cemeteries and parks must remain open shows. Unless I’m getting confused, the cemetery has long been a place of quiet contemplation and solitary remembrance. The only ‘mass’ gatherings were for funerals; such events have been limited in attendees since the start. Of course, there could have been public barbecues and paddling pool parties I never got invited to – that will remain a mystery to me. Now, at the reopening, the parish council places this Sword of Damocles above our head: behave, or we’ll take this ‘privilege’ away. If the parish councillors were to walk around Melbourne, which some of them must, I am certain they would find mass adherence to the social distancing guidelines – perhaps over-adherence. In my experience, people are walking in the road or crossing it to avoid breaching the two-metre rule. The council, I’m sure, upholds the Government advice, as do the

people of Melbourne. I appeal to them to show us some trust, and treat people as the adults they are. I believe the parish council needs to be careful. It should not appear to be seeking to unjustifiably restrict one of the most fundamental parts of our lives – visiting the dead, paying respects, tending to the flowers. It behoves all of us to respect the advice to keep each other safe: the people of Melbourne know that. Don’t presume to know them better. Ben Freeman n Melbourne Parish Council says it has taken the best advice it could – at a point in time. Melbourne Parish Council closed its cemetery following the guidelines set out by SDDC (South Derbyshire District Council) and followed the advice given by the ICCM (Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management, of which the council is a member). As advice has changed, the parish council has modified its position. Whilst we understand that not everyone feels that this was necessary, our actions were taken in the best interests of our staff and the people of Melbourne and Kings Newton.

Magical sound of silence Thank you everyone


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I’VE rediscovered the sound of silence. Not the iconic Simon and Garfunkel song from the mid-1960s but the silence from the impact of COVID19 restrictions, I’ve not heard an aeroplane in weeks, traffic noise is muted and Donington racetrack is mercifully silent. I’ve taken to daily walks around the village, discovering new footpaths, re-discovering old favourites all without recourse to using the car. In that sense I count myself as one of the lucky ones to live in a rural environment; I can’t imagine how people cope in an urban environment with precious few green spaces or even a garden and for that I’m immensely grateful. It’s not just the sound of silence, but the sound of nature that is now reinstating itself as the dominant force. And I’ve rediscovered the ability to listen without being drowned out by man-made noise. On walks I sense I’m walking more slowly, stopping more frequently and look-

ing around more intently. My observation skills are being re-honed. I’m seeing the countryside in a new light, passing houses and noticing their architecture and their gardens in more detail. Looking at farmers at work, noticing just how many different hues there are in our green and pleasant land, noticing how field boundaries are constructed, wondering about changes throughout history. I’m looking at trees and flowers, realising I don’t know most of their names so I now carry a pair of binoculars and small identification guides. I’ve started to lay back and look at clouds. I’m more relaxed and I’m talking more softly. Try it. Take a walk away from roads and find a place in a field, on a hill, or by water where you can sit, observe and wonder at the world around you. And for that extraspecial experience find a place where the only sound is silence. It’s deafening. Name and address supplied

THE weekly applause for NHS workers is welcome and shows the support for the NHS as a public service. The death of over 100 health care professionals to COVID-19, however, is a tragedy that was preventable. Many of the lives lost could have been saved if staff had adequate supplies of PPE (personal protective equipment). It is now becoming apparent that the Government decided that stockpiling PPE was not necessary, despite a pandemic preparation exercise four years ago suggesting that it was essential.

Austerity and privatisation of the NHS have seriously weakened the NHS. Whereas the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats introduced austerity, privatisation was initiated by Labour. Many progressive people have consistently opposed both austerity and privatisation of public services, unlike our local MP. We must ensure that the current trade talks between the UK and the USA do not allow discussion of privatisation of parts of the NHS. Jonathan Wood, Melbourne Dr Imti Choonara, South Derbyshire

I WISH to thank the people of Melbourne and Kings Newton for the many kind words and deeds given to my brother (Andrew Jackson) during his last few weeks. Your thoughtful words, via text, calls, email and cards to Andy and myself kept our spirits up. The lovely treats (including cakes, puddings and trifles) were just the tonic needed. He always did have a sweet tooth. Andy took a keen interest in everything Melbourne right to the end and was keen to hear the latest from the parish council, band members, Village Voice, the choir and his “locals” amongst others. He was still making plans for Melbourne a few days before he died – you were all always in his thoughts. We have received many beautiful tributes since he died. We recognised him, both as community spirited and organised, in a hurry, (everything needed to be done yesterday) and nothing was impossible, in all of your words. Unfortunately, due to lockdown, we were only permitted a small funeral of six family members and four lifelong friends. We hope to be able to celebrate Andy’s life with you all (and with your help) as soon as the Government allows. Linda

Preventable tragedy

Please send your letters to: letters@melbournevillagevoice.co.uk or write to us at The Village Voice, 11 North Street, Melbourne DE73 8FZ.

Support for Rolls-Royce workers under threat

SUPPORT is being offered to help RollsRoyce workers after the company announced it will shed 9,000 jobs. The leader of Derbyshire County Council has pledged to work with its partners to support any workers affected.

It is not yet clear how many jobs will be cut from the firm’s Derby operation which employs around 12,000 people, many of whom live in the local area. Most job losses are set to be in the company’s civil aerospace industry based in

Sinfin, after a downturn in civil aviation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Barry Lewis said: “We will do everything we can to support local people in what is an unprecedented situation.”





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Still a FAB place to visit


Village Voice June 2020 15

POLICE have been issuing speeding notices in the local area after forces across the UK have seen some drivers going at well over 100mph with roads emptier during lockdown. Officers conducted speed checks of nearly 300 cars in Melbourne, Repton and Findern – and said that almost all were keeping to the limit. On May 4, they were out on Weston and Derby Roads in Aston on Trent, checking 105 vehicles, of which four were speeding. Then, on May 11, two members of the local policing team conducted speed checks on Station Road, reporting one driver for doing 52mph in a 30mph zone. Cockshut Lane had no speeders. n MORE than 100 fines have been issued to drivers of vehicles parking on a clearway near the entrance of Elvaston Country Park. The car park at the South Derbyshire beauty spot was closed up until mid-May but officers said that cars were still parking there even after it had reopened. Traffic Offence Reports carry a £60 fine.

JOHN Holloway, secretary of the Friends of Aston Brickyard group, writes that although volunteers have had to down tools at the site for the moment, it is still a FABulous place to visit ‌ There’s a whole world on our doorstep that is blissfully unaware of the COVID-19 pandemic and for them, life goes on as normal, amended only by the changing seasons and weather. I refer to nature of course and the manic Spring spurt to grow, to reproduce, to blossom and rear young. In the Aston on Trent Brickyard Plantation Local Nature Reserve the volunteer group Friends of Aston Brickyard Plantation (FAB) has regrettably had to cease its monthly working days due to Government restrictions and social distancing but the site remains open for visitors. A short walk round the perimeter trails will show the emergence of many wildflowers including bird’s foot trefoil, cowslips, violets, bluebells, marsh marigolds and many more. Trees are coming into bud and leaf displaying that particularly vibrant fresh green that is the harbinger of Spring. Look out for oaks, elms, maples, rowan, beech, sycamore, ash, holly, buckthorn and, halfway round, a magnificent display of red from the flowering BACK TO NATURE ... the wonderful sights at the Brickyard Plantation Nature Reserve in Aston. Midland hawthorn, showing off like a proud peacock. Photos: TINA BAKER We have over 20 different species of butterfly on site; how many can you spot? This time of year puts a spring in your step so take time to sit by the pond and watch myriad tadpoles morphing into frogs, look carefully for the two species of newt, the skittering about of water boatmen, the diving beetles and Chaser dragonflies; hard to imagine that three years ago there was no pond or water of any sort on the site. Keep an ear out for the mewing of buzzards, the laughing call and drumming of the woodpecker, the flash of a sparrow hawk and the constant chatter of small birds; all around are the signs of nature doing what it does best. Move slowly and you may see a dog fox, rabbits, hares and, if very lucky, a visiting muntjack deer. Take time to visit the nature reserve, to sit, listen and reflect; to wander silently amongst the trees and marvel at the beauty around you. Observe the social distancing rules, take photos and please keep to the trails. Children love natural environments and there’s lots they can learn here. It’s a world away from the strange times we live in.

The Common Touch... NOW we are in early summer and the wild roses at Whistlewood are releasing their beautiful scent into the warm air, especially in the morning. We are still open to visitors having their daily exercise whilst ‘safely socially distancing’. You can find Whistlewood half way down the farm track almost opposite Dovesite; turn left after going through the pedestrian gate and walk along our young hedgerow, where you will find the vivid pink roses, or follow your nose! To fill your senses with this joyful flower is very welcome at this current time. The wild rose has been flowering on earth for over 30 million years according to fossils found by archaeologists – that’s a lot of summers. Rose oil is used in aromatherapy to bring a sense of calm and reduce anxiety. I’m sure a lot of us need this right now. I think most people agree that smelling a rose certainly has a positive effect on your mood and their beauty has inspired many artists and poets. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have roses in your garden at home but might

not have considered the full powers of the plant apart from appreciating their sight and smell. It’s easy to harness their properties and, as long as they have not been sprayed by chemicals, the petals can be collected and spread out on a tea towel to dry out over a couple of days. The ones with the strongest scent will have more of the powerful oils within them. When they are dry they will shrink and the colour will intensify; they’ll smell amazing and can just be placed in a bowl. There are lots of culinary and medicinal uses for roses as they are antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. A tea can easily be made from one tablespoon of the dried petals in a cup: add boiled water and steep for 5-10 minutes, then strain; you can sweeten with honey and it could help soothe a sore throat. There’s also many culinary floral tasting treats they can be made into: syrup, jam, infused honey, flavoured vinegar, rose infused sugar – or you can just add the fresh petals to a summer salad adding beauty and health benefits.

In beauty treatments they are often used for calming the skin as well as for astringent properties depending on how they’re applied. Mix with French green clay for a soothing mud pack, or you can easily make a facial toner (we all need more lockdown projects, don’t we?): fill a glass jar with dried petals and cover with witch hazel, seal the lid tightly, let this sit in a cool place for a couple of weeks, shaking it every two days. Then strain and pour into a small reusable spray bottle or use on cotton wool to refresh your skin, great in hot weather. When planting a wild rose like the Rosa Rugosa at Whistlewood, remember they like dappled shade and come in various shades of pink and white, but the shocking pink ones give a stunning pop of colour to the garden. These are not to be confused with dog roses, which are also lovely but have less scent. So, if you need some uplifting healing, seek out roses. To protect wildlife on the Whistlewood site, it is not open for dog walking. KATHERINE PARRISH

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16 Village Voice June 2020

Bowls club thanks supportive members


KINGS Newton Bowls Club has expressed a “huge thank you” to members, nearly all of whom have renewed their membership, despite little prospect of competitive bowls this year. The club said it was very grateful for the support, as utility bills and running costs must still be paid whether the club is open or not. After shutting down at the start of coronavirus, the club reopened on June 1 for very limited use, with only one or two members allowed to play and no use of the clubhouse, toilets, nor any club equipment. The club also has to keep a record of who has played and send it off weekly to the South Derbyshire association. However, it was hoped that a later announcement of groups of six now being able to meet up could mean the club may be able to get back to a more normal situation again. The bowls club has been awarded two grants to help keep afloat. These are £1,250 from the Sport England Community Emergency Fund and £10,000 from the South Derbyshire COVID Small Business Fund. The club said these would provide assurance that it would survive even if unable to open properly until next year. Also, grants of £500 apiece from Derbyshire County Council and the Safer Neighbourhood Fund have meant the club has been able to pay for Heaths of Melbourne to make them a new gate.


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Dynamo sights set on new campaign

l Midlands Regional Alliance Premier Division Champions 2019/20: Melbourne Dynamo First Team.

MELBOURNE Dynamo FC’s Saturday first team will take the plunge to play in the highly competitive Central Midlands League next season, after being announced as Midlands Regional Alliance Premier Division Champions. As reported in our online only May edition, the team had some much-needed good news in April when they found out they had been crowned Midlands Regional Alliance league champions for the last season. The league decided not to void the season but instead apply a points per game (PPG) system which saw Gav Salisbury’s men 15 points clear of their nearest rivals in the final league standings. The first team had won all 14 of their league games played so it was just rewards for a great run. The Senior Saturday Reserves also showed up well, finishing in a creditable

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third place after PPG was applied. With the 2019/20 local football season now being announced as over due to coronavirus, the club has started work on being ready for the start of the 2020/21 season, whenever that may be. Gavin Salisbury will remain in charge of the Dynamo Saturday first team. Jack Goodband ended the season as leading scorer, not only for the first team but also the whole league with 21 goals. Strike partner James Smith was behind with 14 followed by Jack Bodill (9) and centre half Carl Allsop (8). Melbourne Dynamo Reserves will be managed next season by Adam Dolman as he will look to improve on their third division place. Joe Shadbolt ended up leading scorer with 21 goals followed by the Foxon brothers Harry (12) and Toby (10) with skipper Dan Toon chipping in with a hugely

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impressive seven goals. A brand new Melbourne Dynamo Development side on a Saturday will be managed by Duane McLellan. It is hoped this will be seen as a progression for local players coming through Melbourne Dynamo’s Junior Section, giving them a pathway from youth football to senior level. They will play in the MRA division two. Finally, Melbourne Dynamo’s Sunday side will once more be managed by Ross Carcary as he looks to continue the huge strides made in the 2019/20 campaign where his side had sights on a league and cup double until the lockdown occurred. Veteran Alex Slater led the way with 10 goals followed by strike partner Joe Dale with six and centre half Jake Allaway chipping in with three useful goals and the team is already looking forward to the new season.

Anyone for tennis?

THERE was some good sports news amongst everything that has been going on in the month of May as Melbourne Tennis Club was able to re-open its courts to members once again. Working closely with the Melbourne Sporting Partnership (MSP), two of the club’s three courts were able to open once the guidelines and Government advice had been taken and put into place. The courts have been extremely busy, often booked out for the day. Now one-to-one coaching is allowed, the club’s coaches have got back to holding their sessions. Along with this, the club’s membership has seen a huge rise with tennis being one of the few sports that is allowed at this present time. Also, now the Government has announced that doubles are allowed to be played as well, the 2020 season may not be cancelled entirely as first thought. Within the club there is hope that the 12 league teams may get to see some competitive action this summer after all.

Anyone for cricket?

MELBOURNE Town Cricket Club is more and more hopeful that it will see some sort of action at the Melbourne Sports Park this season after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that a start date of possibly July 11 has been discussed. This would mean a shortened set of league fixtures with no promotion or relegation, which would also be the case for the club’s junior sides. On top of that the club is confident its all-stars (5-8yrs old) and a brand new initiative called Dynamos cricket (8-11yrs old) will run with Melbourne hosting both eight week courses providing they do get the go-ahead. Anyone interested in these or indeed anything cricket related should get in touch with Alex Slater on 07966933583.

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