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MELBOURNE ESTATE AGENTS Residential Sales and Lettings Tel: 01332 865696 Melbourne: 01332 865696

No. 328 March 2020

Landlord may not renew charity group’s lease by FRANK HUGHES and LUCY STEPHENS

MELBOURNE’S Senior Citizens Centre may lose its building within the next two years. Centre treasurer Karen Grewcock told the latest meeting of Melbourne Parish Council on March 3 that their landlord, Melbourne Hall & Estate, had indicated they may not renew the lease next time it is up, which would be at the end of 2021 or early 2022. Ms Grewcock said that the Senior Citizens Centre were very grateful to their landlords for allowing them use of the land for more than 50 years, and that no final decision had been made. The charitable group running the centre has been in existence since 1951 and aims to support the elderly and those with disabilities in Melbourne and district. The land where the centre is sited has been built on in the past, but was bombed in the Second World War. Ms Grewcock said the landlords were “very keen” that the centre, as a charitable organisation, should continue. This may require finding another home and efforts are underway to achieve this. The land owned by the landlords also includes Melbourne Bowls Club, whose green would also be under threat if it was to be taken back. Discussions are ongoing as to whether the bowling green can be designated an official ‘green space’ in the village which would afford protection against it being built on. The meeting heard how the bowls club had been earmarked for possible green space status, but that this had now been removed. Melbourne Parish Council has written to ask South Derbyshire District Council for the bowls club to be listed as a green space.

The Senior Citizens Centre currently hosts a wide range of activities focussed on the elderly, including fitness classes, chair-based exercise, Tai Chi, whist drives, singing for the brain, and Weight Watchers. There is an annual Christmas dinner held there. Other clubs and groups using the centre are Probus, Melbourne Civic Society, a wine circle and Melbourne Garden Club. Plus, the Melbourne Festival uses it every year for food and music. Melbourne Garden Club holds monthly meetings at the centre, aiming to share expertise on all things gardening. The club also holds an annual produce show. “It would be a great shame if the centre was not available to host these events and bring the surrounding community together in the centre of Melbourne,” said garden club chair Lesley Hough. Maggie Dobby, who is chair of the charitable group running the centre, said a lot of work had been done recently to improve the facility. The kitchen achieved a five-star rating for hygiene, and they were successful recently in obtaining a grant to renew the heating system. A lot of volunteer effort has gone into maintaining and refurbishing the centre. A spokesman from the bowls club said they were saddened to be told the club may possibly lose its green. This season marks the club’s 50th anniversary. A spokesperson said: “The green was built by Melbourne men in 1970 for the use of everyone; it is used presently 24 weeks of the year. “It’s in a quiet, tranquil and historic part of Melbourne and such a facility would be sorely missed. It offers players a sense of wellbeing close to the community it serves, and members will be heartbroken if their beloved green is ever built on.”

ALFIE Commons, four, with mum Lorna, meets the stem cell donor who saved his life. Christin Bouvier, from Germany, flew over to meet Alfie and his family after giving her life-saving donation in 2016 so he could have a bone marrow transplant. Alfie, whose grandparents live in Melbourne, was diagnosed with leukaemia at just a few months old and is pictured (right) in hospital as a baby. Full story – Page 7.

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Agencies respond to infrastructure critic

WITH A piano-loving dame and a dancing camel … this year’s festive panto by the Aston Players really had it all. More than 400 people turned out to watch the production of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, which was staged over five performances in Aston-on-Trent’s War Memorial Hall. The action followed the fortunes of Ali Baba as Scheherezade the storyteller wove her tale using a puppet theatre. Baddie Mustafa Leikh was so ruthless that his forty thieves kept getting bumped off, while Ali’s brother Cassim

A LOCAL district councillor has criticised other agencies for not making adequate provision for the new Infinity Garden Village (IGV), which will bring over 1,400 homes to the area. Councillor Peter Watson reported to a recent public meeting that plans for the new developments were gathering pace but that decisions on infrastructure for health, transport and schooling were just not forthcoming. He urged residents to lobby MPs to get answers. He was particularly critical of Derbyshire County Council (DCC), saying “they did not have a clue” about the school provision; the Clinical Care Commission, who had announced a feasibility review; and of bus services who he thought “did not want to spend the money”. Answering these criticisms, a spokesperson for DCC said it is “… well aware of the major development in the area and the likelihood of a new secondary school being needed. “To date, three major developments have received planning permission and just over £9.5m has been secured in Section 106 developer funding towards school buildings. A further planning application for Wragley Way is under consideration and a request for further funding of just over £10m has been made. If this is successful there would be a total fund of £19.6m.”

found it always pays to remember the password … The players were raising funds for Rainbows Hospice and the local air ambulance. Pictured are: John Sibley, Hazel Armstrong, Sharon Harper, Lynn Watson, Jamie Armstrong, Delia Gascoigne, Rob Wilkinson, Jess Lemon, Cat Jackson, Katie Chamberlain, Ingrid Gascoigne, Katie Dunn, Lydia Wilkins, Michaela Harper, Lily Petersen, Amelie Weaver, Lily Broughton, Violet Skinner, Eloise Chamberlain, Emmeline Gascoigne and Heidi Gascoigne.

This would fall short of the cost of a new secondary, estimated to be more than £20m, and the shortfall would have to be funded from the DfE or borrowing. The council spokesperson continued: “The timing of the school and balancing the demand against the receipt of Section 106 funding will be challenging, but the expectation is that the majority of the funds will have been secured from the developers. “In addition, there is a DfE Wave 14 Free School application under consideration at the moment whereby a multi-academy trust has applied directly to the DfE to open the school. If successful, the decision on the timing of the school and the shortfall in capital funding would be handled directly by the Government. The outcome of that is due this summer.” The council went on to say: “This information has been public for some time, and the Wave 14 application has been reported to the Infinity Park Strategy Group, and officers from the county council have briefed district council members on previous occasions.” Arriva bus company said: “As a part of our regular and ongoing partnership discussions with the local authorities, we have been exploring sustainable transport solutions to better serve new developments in Derby and Derbyshire such as the IGV.” A spokesman for NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group

(CCG) said: “Local authorities have an agreed national process in place with CCGs regarding new housing development applications. “When a proposed development is significant enough in size it automatically triggers colleagues at district and borough councils to talk to CCGs about any potential additions and expansions which will be needed for health services in the local area. “We’ve secured significant Section 106 funding where we could to support improvement to GP practices, and we updated the IGV Liaison Forum earlier this month that we’re aware of planned housing developments in the south of Derby and are completing a countywide primary care estates strategy. “We expect the south and west of Derby will be identified as our highest priority areas and have already commissioned a feasibility study to look in detail at current capacity, future needs and potential service updates and adjustments required. “These are likely to be a combination of extending and refurbishing existing sites, which can be achieved relatively quickly, and also possibly the need for one or more new buildings, which would obviously take longer to complete.” “We’re continuing to work with local authority colleagues to assess the funding requirements needed to support health needs this housing development would prompt.” – Frank Hughes

Phoenix Nights star tops Legion comedy bill

AFTER a hilarious comedy night in January at the Royal British Legion, Melbourne, the season continues with an exciting line-up for the next event on March 27. Topping the bill is writer, actor and comedian Justin Moorhouse, who has a long list

of TV appearances including Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Live at the Apollo, 8 out of 10 Cats, Coronation Street and Phoenix Nights. Fans of the Phoenix will better remember him as ‘young’ Kenny. He also had the role of Spleen

in the comedy film Looking for Eric. Opening the night will be Barry Castagnola, who has written for the likes of ‘Ask Rhod Gilbert’, and created characters for Dom Joly’s ITV show, ‘Fool Britannia’. Completing the line-up is co-

median, film producer and director Marc Lucero, host of the Best Of Silver Stand Up at Leicester Comedy Festival 2020 and previous runner-up in The Online Film Festival with ‘The Question’. Compere is the cheeky and friendly Stevie Gray.

Garden telegraph pole plan grounded

PLANS for a 12-metre high telegraph pole in a communal garden are now off the table – to the relief of local residents. A notice from Openreach was put up indicating that the high pole would be sited in the communal garden at The Lilypool, Melbourne. Residents objected to the pole but now Openreach has said they are not planning to site it there after all. An Openreach spokesperson said: “We’re currently carrying out survey work for a full fibre build in Melbourne, which will provide those benefiting with the UK’s fastest, most reliable residential broadband. “We’re not currently planning to site a pole at this location and we’ve written to the community to arrange an onsite meeting to discuss underground options. We’re awaiting their reply. We work with residents at the survey stage to discuss any concerns.” Kate Hewlett, chairman of the Lilypool Residents’ Association, warmly thanked fellow Lilypool resident Tanya Hunt and district councillor Jim Hewlett for their hard work in protesting to the original proposals. Cllr Hewlett had written to object to the pole, saying it would be “grossly insensitive” in an attractive communal


Rosamunde ‘Netta’ Bolton Tony, Sue and family would like to sincerely thank friends and family for attending our Mum’s funeral service and for the lovely cards and messages we received following our recent loss. Also for the donations received for the Pool Cottage Amenities Fund of £230.00. Special thanks to the Reverend John Hartley for a lovely service and to Andy Clay at J P Springthorpe Funeral Directors, for their help and guidance. All the staff at Pool Cottage for looking after Mum so well over the last three years - you are all amazing. Also the District Nurses and Doctors at the Melbourne Surgery and not forgetting Louise and her team at Melbourne Hall Tea Rooms for a wonderful reception afterwards. God Bless you all.

space. Mrs Hewlett said: “I’m very, very pleased that the visual amenity of the Lilypool is not going to be destroyed by this 12metre pole.” Clarification as to how any underground works would be paid for would now be helpful, she added. Melbourne and Breedon have been earmarked for Open-

reach’s latest plans to make “ultrafast, ultra-reliable and future-proof” broadband available in 22 market towns and villages in the east of England. It is part of Openreach’s work involving 227 “harder to reach” areas across the UK. They want to extend the full “fibre to premises” network outside cities. Openreach says its engineers


POLICE have found cannabis growing in Melbourne after executing a drugs warrant. Sergeant Matt Ladd, of Melbourne’s Safer Neighbourhood Team, said on February 28: “A successful drugs warrant was executed today on Derby Road, Melbourne. “A cannabis grow was located and a male has been arrested and is currently in custody. This warrant was obtained at court today off the back of intelligence we received.” “This shows how valuable the reports are that we get in from members of the public and I want to take this opportunity to encourage people to report drug related crime to us via 101 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 where you can remain anonymous. “This is another success story for the pro-active strand of the Safer Neighbourhood Team, who are working tirelessly to ensure that criminal activity in South Derbyshire is disrupted and robustly dealt with.” A 30-year-old man from Melbourne was released under investigation.

Village Voice March 2020 3

have been working on ways to make installing fibre broadband in harder to reach areas more cost-effective, as it was previously considered too expensive to provide an upgrade in some places. Research commissioned by Openreach found that connecting everyone in East of England to ‘full fibre’ broadband by 2025 would create a £5.4million boost to the region’s economy. Tanya Hunt said: “We’re pleased. It wasn’t so much the pole, it was all the wires it would have needed. There are 17 properties here. It’s a smallish area – to have 17 wires going across the foreground … It’s a relief. “We’ll make a decision as to whether we go for the underground option or leave it – whether we stay with the broadband that we’ve got. Openreach has been very good when they have got back to us.” – Lucy Stephens

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Ofsted monitors academy progress

4 Village Voice March 2020

Alan George Topliss 31 March 1929 – 6 January 2020

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MEASURES to improve Chellaston Academy since it was deemed inadequate by Ofsted are working – but more needs to be done, the most recent inspection has found. Ofsted staff were at the school on February 11 to carry out their first monitoring inspection since last year’s poor report. Inspector Jayne Ashman found that some improvements had been made, but there was more work still to do. The main thrust of last year’s inspection concerned safeguarding of pupils after issues emerged concerning student absences in year 12. Under Ofsted guidelines, if inspectors find safeguarding is inadequate, the school will be judged inadequate overall no matter how good it may be in other areas. The February monitoring said senior leaders at the school were still not overseeing and monitoring safeguarding enough; year 13 attendance was still not as good as

year 12, though improving, and staff were concerned about their workload and wellbeing. However, the report also found a lot to praise, saying sixth form attendance had improved; the restructuring of the senior leadership team had increased the school’s capacity to make improvements; the quality of local governance was improving with a new chair of the local governing board who is “knowledgeable and ambitious to improve the school�; and that management of work experience had improved. External training, for example from the NSPCC, has been delivered to support staff, and the school now has counsellors for any pupils who need them. “Pupils and students in the sixth form receive a great deal of expert care, particularly from the interim designated safeguarding leader,� said the report. “They value the ‘hub’ enormously. Many said that they appreciate the support and guidance they receive from staff.�

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The school’s head teacher, Cara Walker, had a “clear vision�, and was ambitious to ensure the school was one where “all pupils achieve and become well-rounded individuals,� the report said. The fact that Chellaston Academy has been through “a period of significant turbulence� was also acknowledged. Writing on the school’s website page, Ms Walker, chief executive officer Kevin Gaiderman and Nick Hollis, chair of governors, said: “Since July, we have been working incredibly hard on our post inspection action plan, alongside our academy improvement plan. “Our post inspection action plan is available on the academy website and inspectors recognised this work within the monitoring visit, deeming our improvement plan and statement of action fit for purpose.� The new Ofsted framework, against which the school is now being judged, was launched in September 2019 and has introduced “deep dives�: new levels of scrutiny which evaluate senior leadership, middle leaders, teachers and students. The inspection’s deep dive into Chellaston’s safeguarding was “extensively rigorous�, said the school’s leaders. Parent forums are planned for March and April to support the school’s work, and up to two more monitoring inspections could take place over around the next two years. – Lucy Stephens


















Villagers hit by broadband outage

Volunteers clean up footpath

Village Voice March 2020 5

AFTER reading the February edition of the Village Voice (Footpath dangers highlighted, pictured below), Melbourne Tennis Club member Pat Milham decided to take matters into her own hands and do something about the state of the pavement on Cockshut Lane leading up to the Melbourne Sports Park. With the help of the Melbourne Sports Park (MSP) managers Andy Potts and Alex Slater they spent the last Saturday morning of February making a start on clearing it. A few more tennis club members plus a helper from the village braved the weather to clear a huge part of the pavement almost down to Hope Street, with the aim of making it more accessible to get pushchairs and wheelchairs up there in the future. Pictured (l-r) are: George Slater, Andy Potts, Gill Innocent, Alex Slater, Pat Milham, Lesley Heath, Bill Heath and Sue Wiseall.

A FAULTY cable led to a week of no fibre broadband in Stanton-by-Bridge. Villagers first experienced problems with their broadband connection on February 11. Keith Burgess said he and other residents had fibre broadband as normal speeds were extremely slow in the area, meaning, for example, it would be well nigh impossible to watch streamed TV such as Netflix. He said he reported the problem to his provider, Plusnet, although Openreach is the body responsible for fixing the works. “Each of us has got different compensation from different providers – in the end the fault was due to Openreach,” he said. Despite being repeatedly assured that the problem was going to be fixed shortly, fibre broadband was not up and running again for a week. Keith said several people in Stanton, like him, have a flexible job arrangement including working from home, which meant a lack of fibre broadband for such a long period could cause a real problem. A spokesperson for Openreach said: “We’re really sorry for disruption to fibre broadband services in Stanton-by-Bridge from February 11-18 caused by a faulty fibre cable. We always strive to complete repairs as swiftly as possible but, unfortunately on this occasion, the repairs proved more complex than expected. “Blockages in underground duct pipes caused delays in replacing fibre cable, for which we can only apologise. Anyone who experiences a fault should report it to their service provider in the first instance.”

Media frenzy ‘is doing Melbourne no favours’ Champagne

The first and Original

MELBOURNE has been in the national media recently – but not for the best of reasons. A casual comment at a Local Area Forum meeting by Police Sergeant Matt Ladd suddenly became a national talking point, best summed up by the Guardian headline “Should you keep schtum [on drug crimes] to protect house prices?” The Guardian’s tongue-in-cheek guide to Melbourne was in contrast to the Daily Mail coverage, which relied heavily on comments made on social media. The Daily Telegraph story, which mirrored the Mail’s, referred to Melbourne as a “posh market town” hosting one of “Britain’s top arts and crafts festivals”, while The Times made reference to one social media commentator who felt Melbourne had its “share of Hyacinth Bucket types”. The story even made Today on Radio 4 and Jeremy Vine’s talk show on Radio 2. The saga unfolded after The Derby Telegraph reported on the recent Local Area Forum. A quote from Sgt Ladd was reported and became the story. Sgt Ladd told Village Voice that the story has done the village no favours and has detracted from the point he was trying to make. Putting the record straight, Matt said he believed drug use and drug crimes were being under-reported and that the public have a pivotal role to play in identifying hotspots and individuals for the police to target. Whilst one resident had made the remark to him about house prices, he thought there were many and complex reasons why the public did not report crime. He wanted to help address those concerns to ensure vital information flowed through to help define the strategies for their patrols. He wished to understand the barriers and to raise awareness of the various ways to make a

report, even anonymously if needed. Secondly, he recognised the level of local concern on drug-related issues and associated antisocial behaviour and, whilst it was not comparable in scale to the problems in inner-city areas, his job was to target robustly the areas and individuals involved. “The key message I would like to put across,” he said, “was that we as a neighbourhood team are committed to working with the public to identify the areas where drug taking is taking place and the individuals involved.” There are low levels of crime generally in Melbourne, including drug crime, but, he said: “I am keen not to turn a blind eye to these matters which is why the drugs offences recorded and dealt with in December were all proactive stops by officers.” Officers in plain clothes are involved in targeted patrols as well as the visible policing, and these will be continuing. Melbourne Parish Council also issued a statement to say it “… does not recognise recent reports about a reluctance to report anti-social behaviour in our village. Like many places, there will be occasional anti-social behaviour, but Melbourne is a fantastic place to live, with a thriving community spirit”. Matt, who is based with a team of seven officers at the police house on Ashby Road in Melbourne, said that the various ways to report crime were through Crimestoppers which has anonymous online reporting, calling 101 or for emergencies calling 999. Asked how he felt about his comment going viral, Matt said: “It is indicative of the world we live in, where what we say and the language used can so easily spread, even to a national level.” – Frank Hughes



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Drivers put on toads alert

6 Village Voice March 2020

Country Living with Robert Parker

Coming a crop-per!

THE wettest February on record has added to farmers’ woes, and the forecast for the first half of March is for similar conditions. The window for sowing cereal and protein crops will last until mid-April, but soil conditions have got to change dramatically for that to happen. A report of a survey on how many crops had been planted up to the end of January said that up to 50 per cent of them had planted all they usually expect. I’m always sceptical about “surveys” but I can warrant that for the Midlands area this statistic is very inaccurate. In our area I can honestly say that no-one has planted their usual area and very few will. The effects of this will last for a good while into next year and beyond. In our mixed farming area a shortage of straw for bedding livestock is a major concern, but I think the lack of crops to sell next Autumn will be much worse. Surely it’s got to change soon. n I’m amused and concerned by the Government’s plans to ban the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035.

To move to all electric vehicles by this time is not practical or possible. It’s said that 25 million charging points will be needed and if they start today they will need 4,000 a day built. Another issue is the batteries and some of the metals and minerals needed. Lithium is the major need and it’s questionable if reserves on the planet are enough. Some other rare earth metals are mined in China which release lots of noxious chemicals like sulphuric acid. Only China allows its production. Are they to be the new Gulf States which could hold us all to ransom in the future? I suppose technology could evolve in the next few years, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing electric tractors and lorries anytime soon. n Our little sheep flock has about finished lambing and waiting for better weather to be let outdoors. Quite a few triplets has given us the need to foster some on to ewes with only one. Some ewes will have them but many won’t so it’s down to some bottle feeding.

l A newly born lamb at Robert Parker’s Derby Hills Farm tests out its legs.

DRIVERS are being asked to be careful of toads on the roads this month and next. In a remarkable natural phenomenon, these intrepid amphibians will head towards the ponds where they themselves were spawned during February, March and April if the weather conditions are suitable. Unfortunately for the toads, there are often roads in the way. Now motorists are being asked to maintain slower speeds, if possible – particularly on roads where toads are known to move in large numbers. The road near Foremark Hall is a toad hotspot, as is the Repton to Hartshorne Road by Bretby Ponds. Local volunteers mount ‘toad patrols’ on these roads, going out nightly with buckets and torches in order to provide assistance and prevent too many getting squashed by cars. The fear is that toad populations can suffer greatly at this time of year, due to being run over, which is a worry as nationally numbers are in decline. However, motorists are also reminded not to take risks, as patrollers are aware that it is not always possible to avoid these creatures.


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Alfie meets the woman donor who saved his life

Funds for flooding victims

Village Voice March 2020 7

THE family of a four-year-old boy who met his life-saving donor have called for more people to consider saving a life. Kathy Hicklin, of Melbourne, is the grandmother of little Alfie Commons, whose story hit the national news in February when he and his family had an emotionally charged London meeting with the blood stem donor from Germany who saved his life. Christin Bouvier, a teacher from Schwerin, was matched with Alfie through the blood cancer charity DKMS. Alfie had been diagnosed with leukaemia when he was just seven months old after being taken to the doctor by his mum, Lorna, with a niggling cough and cold. When chemotherapy failed, the family were told his only chance of survival was a bone marrow transplant. Kathy said: “It was a really grim time, and very frightening. Alfie’s leukaemia was so aggressive and it became apparent after the first round of chemotherapy failed that he would need a bone marrow transplant. Nothing else was going to get him into remission.” Before Alfie could have a transplant, he was put on a trial immunotherapy drug. Against the odds, this worked, and he received the transplant from Christin in August 2016. Christin, 34, had been on the blood stem cell registry for a number of years before she received a letter to say that she could be a match in 2016. She said: “When they told me that the recipient was a baby – I just cried. After I donated my bone marrow and the anaesthetic wore off, I called DKMS as I needed to know more. They told me that Alfie was a small baby and living in the UK. I still can’t describe that moment but so many tears of joy ran down my face. It’s a moment that is always with me and whenever I feel a bit down, I think back to it as it always brings me so much happiness!” was such an easy and uncompliLorna and Christin started to cated process and nothing comcommunicate anonymously via pared to what Alfie and his DKMS in London as per UK law family went through. I was able and were only permitted to meet to help them during this terrible after two years following the time and to help Alfie fight cancer. So far, this is the best thing transplant. Christin said: “To be a donor that I have done in my entire and to have had the chance to life.” Lorna said: “Alfie is such a save a life has been one of the special little boy and I truly bebest moments of my life. I will always be wedded to Alfie; he is lieve that this story can make a such a special, brave boy. I am real difference and save more so proud that I had the chance lives. “I want people to know that, to be a part of his life. “Donating the bone marrow by being a potential donor, you

can have an enormous impact not only on the patient’s life but their whole family. I've got to see my child grow from a baby to a toddler and then to a little boy and onwards; it's the greatest gift that anyone could ever give. “As a family, we owe so much to Christin; words of thanks will never feel enough. I wanted to meet Christin from the very start. Alfie and Christin share a special bond – she is now part of him.” Kathy said: “We feel we owe DKMS so much. Alfie would have died. He would not have survived. There was nowhere else to go. “Finding a match is like finding a needle in a haystack. It would be brilliant for people who are eligible, if it became the norm for people who are in that age range and don’t have any medical conditions. “I just wish that more people would hear about it, think about it and do it. If everybody went on the register, there would then be thousands of needles in the haystack, as opposed to one. “There are so many families in Melbourne now that are in that eligible bracket. “I just think that if on that day in 2010 Christine decided to go on the donor list, if she’d had a bad day and thought she couldn’t be bothered, we would have lost Alfie.” Anyone aged between 17-55 and in general good health can go on standby as a potential lifesaver.

Airport advice for Flybe passengers

l Alfie with his grandparents Kathy and Rod Hicklin.

PASSENGERS booked on Flybe flights from East Midlands Airport were asked not to travel there after the collapse of the airline on March 5. A notice on the airport’s website said: “We regret to inform passengers that, as of Thursday 5th March 2020, Flybe has ceased trading. all Flybe flights have been cancelled.” Later on, the notice said: “We regret the loss of Flybe which has played an important role con-

necting communities around the UK. From East Midlands Airport, the airline few to Belfast and Amsterdam.” Passengers who were due to travel with Flybe’s franchise partners including Blue Islands were advised to contact that airline to confirm their travel arrangements. The airport would continue to provide information and assistance to all affected, the notice said.

HIGH FIVES ... Alfie gets to meet Christin Bouvier. (Photo: Ben McDade) To request a swab kit, go to up, and would like to share their story with us, please do If any of our readers are get in touch on news@melprompted by this article to seek more information and even sign – Lucy Stephens

SOUTH Derbyshire residents and businesses who have suffered during February’s severe weather are invited to apply for up to £5,000 to make their properties more flood resilient. South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler met Frank McArdle, chief executive of South Derbyshire District Council, following the storms. She said: “In view of the ongoing flooding problems I felt a meeting with Frank McArdle, was essential in order for me to hear what council staff have been able to do to help on the ground following Storm Dennis and understand what lessons have been learnt following Storm Ciara. “He was able to tell me that from the moment we were advised of Storm Ciara teams began working round the clock to try to shore up flood defences to protect residents’ homes from flooding. Sadly, despite all of their efforts, a number of homes did flood, and then the teams turned their full attention to helping with the clean-up. Sadly, they had to repeat this cycle again because of Storm Dennis.” Anyone wanting to apply for the funding should email or call 01283 595795. n How the storms hit our area — Pages 10-11.

8 Village Voice March 2020

Natural break for children

n THESE glamorous types were out strutting their glittery stuff at Melbourne Assembly Rooms in a packed-out glam rock night. Glam 45 was formed in 2012 by various members of the Glitter Band, Smashed, The Stiffs and Sweet. Faithful renditions of classic 70s glam and glitter tunes from Slade, Suzi Quatro, Showaddywaddy, Mud, The Rollers, the Rubettes and Alvin Stardust were a hit with the crowd. Bass guitarist Steve Fielding, who has toured Europe and the UK for the past 30 years in various bands, described the night as ’one we always look forward to’ and the venue as being ‘a great live performance venue’. Assembly Rooms manager Andy Heafield said: “It’s great to see so many people enjoying themselves from the start to finish.�

The Common Touch...

WHISTLEWOOD focuses on and provides lots of opportunities for education and chances to get out into nature ‌ it’s what we are all about. One of the newest opportunities to combine both of these is the provision of forest school sessions for kids led by a qualified level three practitioner. The children who take part are gaining confidence in various exciting bushcraft skills, using tools, learning with natural materials, cooking and building fires where appropriate, oh and getting muddy (well they are at the moment!). They also learn about caring for the natural environment and wildlife. Recently, whilst looking for wildlife, one of the leaders had a mouse run over her shoe. How exciting! The kids also made and went home with some bird feeders. Forest school is now very popular and seems as though it’s a new thing, but it comes out of a history of outdoor learning dating back to the 19th century and ‘alternative’ education models that started in the 1990s as a response to more outcome focused learning and the national curriculum. Forest school is very child-centred. Play and choice are vital for the children’s forest school development. They’re encouraged to explore the environment and learn about wildlife. Building a long-term relationship with a specific natural environment, as a learning space, is an important aspect of this type of experience. It’s not based on a short term one-off experience; there is a focus on building a lifelong interest in the care of the environment. This aspect is so important to Whistlewood; these children are the future environmentalists who will continue our work for years to come. Sessions are on Tuesday and Wednesday. Holiday clubs are also available. – KATHERINE PARRISH

Library hand-over closer

l Jackie Hackett, Geoff Newman, Jo Mallard, Ian Mallard and Colin Topliss.

THE TRANSFER of Melbourne Library to community management has taken a step closer with the approval of the business case by a panel from the county council who examined the proposal in detail. There is now a lot of work to ensure that the arrangements are all in place to re-open as a community venture this summer. Leasing arrangements for the library premises need to be confirmed with South Derbyshire District Council, who own the building; a structure for the Library Community Interest Company (CIC) needs to be established; and a team of volunteers needs to be recruited and trained in readiness.

Derbyshire County Council (DCC) announced at the end of 2018 that it intended to transfer some 20 of the smaller libraries across the county to community managed services to make financial savings. Concerns that the village could lose the library led to a small group of volunteers to develop a proposal. For the first year of operation it is intended to concentrate on running the basic services of the library, but it will be necessary to focus on ways of generating revenue to ensure its long-term sustainability. DCC is understood to be in negotiations with the existing staff at the library over

the future arrangements. “We are now looking for a team of volunteers who can spend some time in the library,� said chair of the group, Phil Dobby. “We will need to have a minimum of two volunteers on duty whenever the library is open.� Full training for the role will be provided by DCC Library services. The group is also seeking a treasurer to join the managing trustees. If you are interested in volunteering, or want to find out more, contact Anna Battersby either on 07918070947 or email (

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Village opposition to boundary review

A CONSULTATION over a 1,000-year-old parish boundary has sparked controversy between two South Derbyshire villages. Residents in Aston-on-Trent have been asked for their views on whether its parish boundary should be reviewed. That includes the ancient boundary between Aston and Weston-on-Trent. But Weston’s parish council is deeply opposed to the suggestion as it could result in its parish losing between a quarter and a third of its homes. The parish boundary between Aston and Weston has been in existence since the Domesday Book. Weston’s boundary extends as far as Willow Park Way in Aston, so that homes built over recent decades on its side – including Richmond Villages – are in fact in Weston parish. It means that people living just over the road from each other are in fact in two separate parishes. Earlier this year, residents of Aston received a leaflet in their parish newsletter, Acorn, asking if they would support a review of the boundary. That was after the parish council had been asking for their views on the matter at last year’s well dressing celebration in the village. Aston Parish Council chair Ed Hicklin said: “Over the years, several residents have asked us about a parish boundary review and we decided the best way forward would be to

have a consultation in the village of Aston.” He added that the parish council felt it was important to ask residents what they thought, rather than making it a parish council matter. Graham Harper, chair of Weston-on-Trent Parish Council, said: “In Weston, we are very much opposed to this because it’s damaging to Weston parish. It’s about a quarter to a third of our parish – that’s a lot of houses and residents to lose out of our parish.”

One of the issues for Weston would be that if the parish council lost homes to Aston, it would receive less money from council tax payers to spend on services. A parish boundary review, if it went ahead, would be conducted by South Derbyshire District Council, and neither Aston nor Weston parish would have any say in the outcome. Cllr Harper said a review would be expensive at a time when funding was tight. Another fear would be that any review, being independ-


A BODY found near the River Trent is believed to be that of missing Derby man Mohammed Ishtyaq, said police. Mr Ishtyaq was reported missing after a collision on Swarkestone Bridge on January 11. Extensive searches took place around Swarkestone Bridge and further downstream, using boats and drones, but he was unable to be located.

At 8am on March 4, officers were called to reports that a body had been found near the River Trent at Weston on Trent. Police said: “Mr Ishtyaq’s family have been made aware of the discovery and are being supported by specialist officers. Our thoughts are with them, as well as Mr Ishtyaq’s friends, at this time.” A file is now being prepared for the coroner.




ently conducted, could result in the parishes being merged, or scrapped. He said either of those outcomes could make it harder to resist developers trying to build on fields between the two villages, as they would no longer be able to argue the two parishes were separate. Cllr Harper said: “They have done this consultation of all the people in Aston-on-Trent … they haven’t asked the people in Weston who are affected.” Weston Parish Council subsequently put its own leaflets through doors in Aston expressing the issue from Weston’s point of view. Government guidance on parish boundary reviews was included in the information provided to Aston’s residents by their parish council. Guidance states that community governance reviews can be helpful “in circumstances such as where there have been changes in population. For example, over time communities may expand with new housing developments. This can often lead to existing parish boundaries becoming anomalous as new houses are built across the boundaries resulting in people being in different parishes from their neighbours”. Aston’s residents were also offered 14 “points to consider” including the fact that it is good practice to review boundaries every 10 to 15 years, that there should be easily identifiable separation between parishes, and that there could be challenges to the proposal, for example, from Weston-on-Trent. Aston’s parish boundary also extends over the A50 as far as Boulton Moor and Chellaston. The result of the consultation of Aston’s residents is not yet known, although many have responded. The parish council is waiting to see what views are before considering the next step. – Lucy Stephens

Assembly Rooms work

Village Voice March 2020 9

WORK has started on the refurbishment of the main hall at the Melbourne Assembly Rooms (MARs) thanks to the generous donation of the community through the Brick Appeal and grants from the South Derbyshire District Council. The first stage is the replacement of the old-style school lighting with modern LED lights. Uplighters are being added to showcase one of the most memorable features at MARs, the original beams in the main hall which showcase the craftsmanship of local carpenter and joiner Joseph Bullock. Further stages of redevelopment are planned for July and August. These will include redecorating the main hall and sanding down and varnishing the parquet style floor. Sheila Hicklin, chair of Melbourne Parish Council and a board member at the Melbourne Assembly Rooms, said: “The work being carried out will give Melbourne a building to be truly proud of.” Pictured is Sam Lenord from sound and lighting specialists JNS working on the replacement of the lighting in the main hall.

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10 Village Voice March 2020

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l Scenes of the flooding in the area, involving Barrow upon Trent, Weston on Trent, Swa

STORMS brought February floods described as nearly as bad as those of 2000, with homes cut off, trees down, hundreds of potholes on roads and public spaces closed. First came Storm Ciara on Sunday, February 9, but worse was to come with the onset of Storm Dennis on February 15 and 16 – described as one of the most “intense extratropical cyclones” ever recorded. In Barrow-upon-Trent, some homes were cut off and the water came up to a foot deep in at least one cottage. Parish council chair Anne Heathcote said water levels were nearly as high as they had been in the floods of 2000. The dip in Swarkestone Road as it passes under the railway bridge outside Weston-on-Trent was deep in water for days, leading to vehicles getting stuck. Meanwhile, Elvaston Castle Country Park had to be closed for three days from February 9-11 due to Storm Ciara, and again for five days from February 17-21 when Storm Dennis brought persistent heavy rain and gale force winds, resulting in the lake overtopping for the second time and around 40 trees either falling over or threatening to. Between November 9 and 18 last year, Elvaston Castle and Country Park had seen the worst flooding in

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more than 50 years, spreading over th and nearly reaching the castle steps. A spokesperson from Derbyshire Coun the ground conditions were still saturat ber’s floods when February’s storms hit During February, the county council h pothole repair requests in South Derbys pared with 347 in January and 323 in D dition, they received 24 requests fo although these are handled by South D trict Council. Due to the persistent rainy weather a had passed, flooding in some areas simp away. Water levels on the A587 leading out o wards Stanton-by-Bridge were very hig Chris Brooks, who lives on that road, to try to hold off the water and said l worst he had seen in 34 years of living t He said the fact that the gullies were regularly was making the issue a lot w trying to get someone out to deal with i very frustrating. “The county council is not emptying said. “When you can’t get something as

Village Voice March 2020 11


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drains cleaned, it’s a poor deal.” Mr Brooks said the council had subsequently gone out to sort the problem. Some drivers were also not slowing down enough through the water, causing large amounts of spray. The latest meeting of Ticknall Parish Council outlined the need for an action group to find solutions to flooding. Three parish councillors were out in the early hours of February 16 monitoring the situation, with one property flooded. Parish council chair Paul Colleyshaw said he noted at least 15 drains in the village were blocked with silt, stones and debris. A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “We carried out emergency gully cleaning in the Melbourne and Ticknall area last week and again this week in addition to the work South Derbyshire District Council carries out to keep them clear on our behalf. “In many cases, the issue is not with blocked drains but the sheer volume of water from repeated heavy rainfall which continues to run off saturated ground causing drainage systems and gullies to overflow. “We will continue to check gullies and clear any blockages that might be causing an issue.” n Ingleby Lane, which frequently floods, is being closed from March 16-20 to rebuild a culvert head wall.

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All aboard the new minibus

12 Village Voice March 2020

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MELBOURNE Community Care are now the proud owners of a new minibus and have already started using it for the regular trips. The bus is equipped with many more features which will help passengers as well as the regular volunteer drivers. The fully automated lift hoist at the back enables wheelchair users to access the bus more easily. Handrails and an automated flush-folding step on the side entrance to the vehicle will make it easier for the less mobile to get on board. With features such as a rear camera for reversing, blue-tooth connectivity, a lumbar and height adjustable seat, the driving experience should be much improved, although with the additional length of the vehicle some tricky three-point manoeuvres around the village may need a rethink! With up to 16 passenger seats the bus certainly has more room inside, and some of the early users have definitely given it the thumbs-up. The old bus has gone to a good home – it is going to be transformed into a camper van. Fund-raising needs to continue for the bus, as it has only been part financed, but Melbourne Community Care would like to thank all of those who have so generously donated already.


l With the new bus are (l-r) Ella Battersby, Alison Thornhill, Len Johnson, Neil Wright and Paul Fox.


Is HS2 a high speed gravy train?

I SHARE Robert Parker’s views in February’s Village Voice that the escalating costs of HS2 are highly unsatisfactory. How can it be that the costs of its construction have risen threefold in just a decade? We don’t have rampant inflation and the railway technology seems well established as many other countries have had high speed railways for many years. Presumably those who estimate the costs are experienced and know their business so why such a huge rise in costs? Are we in fact being duped and are we just going to see a white elephant that is in reality a high speed vanity gravy train? Do we actually need a high speed train with its associated high carbon emissions? Surely the most important justification for this new railway is that it increases rail capacity and helps to get cars off the roads, so why high speed? The more recently quoted justification is that HS2 will increase the prosperity of the north of the country. Possibly it will, but perhaps more likely it will make it easier for more people to commute to London from further afield. Perhaps the recently reported Chinese offer to build the railway faster and cheaper is a bit of a clue that we might not be getting value for money! £100 billion is an awful lot of money and would go a long way to help pump prime the schemes that are urgently needed to reduce our carbon emissions to what is required to meet our carbon budget, which we are nowhere near achieving at present. A further huge concern is the dreadful environmental destruction the railway will cause to some outstanding and hitherto protected habitats and ancient woodlands. The UK is already one of the most nature impoverished countries in the world and has, I believe the least tree cover of any coun-

try in Europe. Yet already, and actually before the latest decision to go ahead with HS2 was announced a few weeks ago, large numbers of mature oak trees were being felled not too far away in Cubbington woods in Warwickshire. Mature Oak Trees support the largest numbers of living creatures (mainly insects and invertebrates) of any of our native trees and mature trees take many years to replace. It’s not just ancient woodlands, but other valuable habitats such as wetlands that are also being destroyed. The likely impacts of HS2 on wildlife in Derbyshire have been studied intensively over recent years by Kieron Huston of the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. These are pretty horrific and the proposed mitigation seem likely to be pretty inadequate. The details are well worth reading in the Spring 2020 edition of the DWLT Magazine ‘Wilder Derbyshire’. It is depressing enough to see trees being felled along motorways and existing railways, yet in the near future large numbers of oaks will be felled in Markeaton Park in Derby to make way for the massive £250million A38 improvement scheme, which will eventually and inevitably lead to greatly increased traffic flows and pollution in and around the city. Road traffic is now by far and away Derby’s (and most other places in the UK) greatest cause of carbon emissions and something that urgently needs to be reduced rather than increased. If Derby continues as at present and does not make major reductions it will use up all of its share of the carbon budget by 2029. This budget is the absolute amount of carbon that can in future be emitted in order to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees C and thereby avoid potentially uncontrollable climate change. Christian Murray-Leslie.

REGARDING your article on Page 5 (Village Voice, February, 2020: “Nottingham here we come – new bus hope”) would it be possible to suggest to the bus company that instead of congesting Potter Street (from Ashby) why doesn’t it go down Derby Road where there are four bus stops, then over the give way and turning right towards Packhorse Road where there are another three bus stops? It could then continue on Station Road and onto East Midlands Airport (EMA)? This alternate route would increase their revenue and not inconvenience residents in Potter Street. Its return journey from EMA would be as

usual – along Station Road, Castle Square and up Church Street, Market Place, Ashby etc? It’s just a thought. Thanking you, Tricie Delahay-Drake

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TO Margaret, her staff, and my nephew Roger: thank you for caring for me when I became ill on February 19 in the paper shop in Melbourne and for bringing me home. It was very much appreciated. Thank you. Ann Ingleby

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

Silent firework display a big hit WHAT’S ON

Village Voice March 2020 13

MORE than 150 people turned out to a firework display between Aston and Weston-onTrent with a subtle difference: it was silent. Fireworks, fizz and canapes were enjoyed at the party at Richmond Villages, Aston, to celebrate the laying of foundations for 37 new homes at the retirement village. As well as the new apartments, Richmond Villages is also building a new club house and café. The expansion will mean the village will now have 113 independent living apartments, 49 assisted living village suites and a 61-bed care home for the frail and elderly, as well as those living with dementia. Village manager Kerstin Taylor said: “At Richmond Villages we are dedicated to helping residents live their best lives and the team and I are thrilled that we are able to expand our facilities and grow the community here at Aston-on-Trent.


It worked out very Well for Stephanie “It was lovely to have our residents and people from the local community come together to toast to the team starting work on the site. “The silent firework display

WHAT began as a fill-in part-time job has turned into a career path that Stephanie Salisbury feels “really lucky” to have taken. Stephanie took over at the Well Pharmacy in Melbourne as branch manager last summer, after having previously been taken on as a part-time assistant in the store back when it was the Co-op Pharmacy. After leaving school she worked as a holiday rep for Thomas Cook in Spain, and her mum, who also worked in a pharmacy in Chellaston, got her the part-time job in Melbourne. Now she has the responsibility as non-pharmacist branch manager of running the shop! Her job involves leading and coaching the team, providing patient safety and excellent customer service. She even found romance amongst the pills and potions, as she met husband-to-be Greg in the shop. “He used to come in regularly to stock up on supplies of first aid for Melbourne Dynamo FC,” she says. Asked what her new role entailed, she stressed first the need for patient safety, with many people asking why prescriptions can’t be filled there and then. She explained the various checks that need to take place before any medication can be handed over: “We need to check the medicine is exactly what is prescribed, that it is suitable given the patient’s record, that it does not conflict with other medications, and a final check is made before it is given to the customer.” The pharmacy is increasingly becoming the first port of call for patients and residents with minor ailments and health queries. “The future direction of the NHS is to see us providing more services as part of community healthcare and wellbeing way of health,” she explained, “… and we want to encourage patients to use us, as opposed to online services, for instance, so we can continue to give a good service”. Stephanie also mentioned some of the recent challenges. There are some medications in short supply or temporarily unavailable and they have a role in explaining to the surgery what they cannot get hold of and what alternatives are available. She also mentioned patient difficulties with repeat prescriptions and advised that patients should avoid telephoning on the very busy Monday mornings: “We recommend that a week’s sup-

was a fantastic addition to the festivities, bringing magic and excitement to the evening and making it a real celebration.” A representative from Richmond Villages said the silent

ply of regular medication should be maintained, and we can help patients to ensure they have that.” She also said that people were clearly anxious about the recent Coronavirus outbreak and were asking for advice. The best advice, if you do feel you have any symptoms, is not to panic, to stay at home and to call for information. A regular occurrence at the pharmacy was being asked for something that a patient had seen on a TV advertisement. Often the only description was the colour of the box and when the advert was on, but Stephanie said the team would do their best to help where possible. “It was really nice to return here after working elsewhere for about five years, and many patients remembered me. Generally,” she said, “…we are a healthy lot with many of us living to a good old age!” – Frank Hughes

fireworks did not use gunpowder and were chosen to reduce noise disruption to villagers and pets, as there are elderly residents living in the retirement community.

Saturday 4th April: Boundary Singers In Concert with Melbourne Male Voice Choir. 7.30pm - Melbourne Parish Church Tickets: Adult £7 Children £3 from Melbourne News or pay on the door. See main advert P4. Saturday, April 4: Community Litter Pick. All welcome to join Melbourne Civic Society’s annual Spring litter pick. Meet at Melbourne Assembly Rooms at 10am. Children accompanied by adults. Sunday, April 5: Melbourne Community Awards. Assembly Rooms - 1.00pm. Highlighting the achievements of local organisations and people. See main advert P15. April 7 -11 Good Companions Stage Society presents ‘Annie’. Repton 400 Hall Theatre. 7.30pm. Saturday Matinee 2.30pm. Call 01332 255800. See main advert P10. Easter Saturday & Monday: Easter Fun at Tori and Ben’s Farm. See main advert 12. Monday, April 20: Melbourne Garden Club: a talk by Celia Sanger about Calke Abbey Gardens. 7.00pm. Senior Citizens Centre. The story of the vanished 18th century gardens and their replacement in the early 19th century, including work of the National Trust today. Visitors welcome. £2 members/£4 visitors, refreshments included. Wednesday 22 - Saturday 25 April. Melbourne Operatic Society HMS Pinafore. Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton. From 1st April: Melbourne Hall Gardens 7.30pm. See main advert P11. Open 1 -5pm. Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday Thursday, April 23: Walk, led by and Bank Holiday Mondays. Melbourne Footpaths Group. See main advert P12. Melbourne - Ticknall - St Brides. Meet at 10am at Melbourne Market Place. £2 per head for Thursday, April 2: Melbourne Parish insurance & Rights of Way maintenance costs. Church. Lessons in Leadership, from Nelson to today. 7.30pm. A talk by Admiral Sunday 26 April: Walk for Parkinsons. Calke Abbey. See main advert P6. Sir Trevor Soar KCB OBE DL, former Commander-in-Chief Fleet. Sir Trevor was born Friday 25 April : Race Night. Melbourne in Belper, educated at Loughborough Grammar Sports Park. A Melbourne Dynamo fundraiser. School, and joined the Royal Navy in 1975, Tickets £10 to include supper. Doors open at going on to command submarines, and aircraft 7pm. First of eight horse races, 7.30pm. Tickets: carrier HMS Invincible from 2002-4. Fri 6 to Sat 28 March: Exhibition: Into the Blue. Open Friday & Saturday 10am 4pm. Arts Melbourne Gallery, Market Place. Call: 07765 819428. See main ad P9. Friday, March 13: Film Show at Melbourne Assembly Rooms Cinema Club: ‘Judy’. 6.30pm for 7.00pm. Membership of the MARs Film Club £5 per film. Saturday, March 14: Defibrillator training. 10am - Church Square, Melbourne. Training is expected to take under an hour. Text or phone 07837 592596 to give organisers an idea of numbers. Thursday, March 19: Melbourne Footpaths Group walk, from Coal Lane to Melbourne. Meet at 10.30am at Coal Lane, Hartshorne End. If not driving, catch the 10.03 bus from Melbourne Market Place to Swadlincote. The walk will be led by Paul. £2 per head to pay for insurance and Rights of Way maintenance costs. Saturday, 21 March: Cycle Jumble. Shardlow Village Hall. See main advert P3. Saturday, 21 March: Forest Bathing Walk, Whistlewood Common. 2pm - 4pm. Come and try the Japanese art of forest bathing, or Shinrin Yoku, a gentle walk to help you connect with nature while improving your wellbeing. No swimming involved! for more.

All information correct at time of going to press.

Footpaths group steps up campaign

14 Village Voice March 2020

MELBOURNE Footpaths Group is redoubling efforts to get a major improvement to the walking route across Swarkestone Causeway, and reignited the topic at the recent Local Area Forum. Paul Sturges, chair of Melbourne Footpaths Group, used the meeting to try to bring Derbyshire County Council (DCC) on board with the scheme despite an earlier rejection. He highlighted the sharp division between villages north and south of the River Trent, attributed to the “narrow, winding and thoroughly unsafe crossing of the Trent”: Swarkestone Causeway. “Motorists fear it, only the bravest cyclists attempt it and only a tiny number of foolhardy walkers are ever seen on it,” he said. He referred also to the DCC Trent Valley Vision document set out by the council leader in November 2019 which, as reported in The Village Voice at the time, promised an alternative crossing sometime during the next 50 years and converting the historic landmark into a “multi-user recreation route and tourist attraction”. “Local residents can be excused a wry laugh at this,” he suggested, “… given the broken promises and disappointed expectations over the last 50 years.” He went on to outline the idea proposed last year. The plan is for a new short path of about 150 metres to connect the Wards Lane track at the southern end of the causeway, near Hollow Farm, to

the existing footpath (designated no 8) on the western side, passing under one of the arches. This would avoid the mile-long diversion via Stanton by Bridge that walkers presently have to take, making “a new route for walkers, improved access to enjoy the wildlife of the valley, and better opportunities to appreciate the craftsmanship of the causeway from close quarters on the eastern side,” he said. The group’s investigations suggest that only comparatively small sums of money, around £1,500, would be needed for the new infrastructure required. This could easily be raised in co-operation with its partners such as the Trent Rivers Trust, who are developing a Trent Valley Way stretching from Staffordshire to the Humber estuary. The main missing link in the plan is the co-operation of Derbyshire County Council on the basis of what Mr Sturges described as illusory fears and lack of motivation. The county council’s footpaths officer had written in July last year dismissing the idea, pointing to the lack of support from all the landowners, and concerns about the maintenance of the route in a floodplain. He referred to the route being “less than commodious” when passing under the causeway and outlined that costs, time and resources were limited at the council to deal with any objections or demands for compensation. A DCC spokesperson said: “We held a site meeting last July and have also been liaising with landowners but there are a lot of issues which would face any development of a footpath where the group is asking for one. “Not all landowners are in agreement about the group’s proposal, and there are also issues around the frequent flooding of the land, which could lead to maintenance issues of a footpath if there was one at that site”. “We have been in contact with the Melbourne Footpaths Group about the issues surrounding their request and outlined our concerns and have said that it is unlikely we will be pursuing this scheme at the present time.” Mr Sturges’s presentation was enthusiastically received by the meeting and he committed the footpaths group to continuing efforts to create the coalition of local organisations John Deere and volunteers needed to bring Ride On Mowers the county council on board so as to get the project approved and work started. – Frank Hughes

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STORM Dennis got the better of a charity garden opening in Melbourne, but 24 hardy souls still braved the cold and wet to admire carpets of snowdrops. The Dower House in Melbourne was scheduled to be open over February 15 and 16 in aid of the National Garden Scheme (NGS), which raises money for charity. But Storm Dennis had other ideas and the garden had to be shut soon after lunch on February 15 and not open the following day due to the dangerous conditions. Griselda Kerr, pictured holding on to her hat in a windbattered Dower House garden, said: “The newly laid paths were running like rivers, and the trees, though dropping nothing big, still shed barrow loads of small branches.” Last year more than 400 people went to The Dower House for its February opening. It is next opening under the NGS scheme on June 6 and 7.

Keeping Melbourne tidy

KEEP Britain Tidy … and join in Melbourne’s Spring community litter pick next month. The litter pick is organised by Melbourne Civic Society and anyone who would like to lend a hand is asked to meet outside the Assembly Rooms at 10am on April 4. The civic society says all are welcome but children should be accompanied by adults. The society leads community litter picks in Melbourne twice a year.


JEAN SMITH (nee Tivey) September 30, 1923 – January 4, 2020 JEAN was born at 6 North Street, Melbourne, the youngest of three children. She had a brother, Leon, and a sister, Olive. Her father and mother were Ernest Tivey and Kate Tivey (née Newbold). Jean’s father came from a family that ran a joinery shop along Derby Road almost opposite the gates of the Baptist cemetery. This was the firm that built the beautiful beams in the Assembly Rooms. Like so many of Melbourne’s Tiveys, Jean had an artistic flair that was reflected in the embroidery she would produce as a teenager. Jean was very close to Olive, and whilst walking to work on 11th July, 1940, they were both very near to the point where the first pair of bombs fell on the fateful day when Melbourne was bombed. And it is probably to be expected that if they were going to be blown up, they would do it together. The pair survived the day’s events that were to unfold tragically for nine others – eight of whom died outright when the bombs hit the building where they were billeted (where the Senior Citizens Centre now is) and

one more shortly afterwards. Just before World War Two, Jean and Olive went on an excursion by train to Skegness. One girl wore a shocking pink and the other a shocking yellow dress. On its way to Melbourne, the train picked up two Worthington boys, Jack Smith and Jim Jones, who were to become their future husbands. On seeing the two girls getting onto the train, the boys’ chat-up line was “What colours!” It was a meeting which led both girls into happy marriages. After the wedding to Jack in 1945, Jean lived first with her parents at 6 North Street. She then moved to 7 Commerce Street in 1949 before finally going to live at 25 South Street in 1963. During the period, Jean had two children, David and Alan, and the family lived together happily. Sadly in 2009, Jean’s husband passed away. After the event, Jean made new friends when she attended the Wednesday Group and the Friendly Hour. On Saturday, January 4, Jean died from a heart attack at the advanced age of 96. The funeral took place at the Baptist Church in Chapel Street on February 4. Jean will be sadly missed by her family and friends.

Steep staircase to be given an Amazing cash lift

THE parish church of Aston-on-Trent is to be transformed into ancient Egypt, with Rev Tony Luke playing the part of Pharaoh, in a highly ambitious staging of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this summer. The production of the much-loved Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice musical will take place within the ancient walls of All Saints’ Church in July. It will raise money for a new staircase up to the bell tower. The current steep, wooden staircase has no handrails and presents a daunting prospect for the church’s band of gallant and committed bell ringers, which includes older ringers and several children, to ascend and descend in order to keep the bells ringing over Aston. Mary Grooms, who has been ringing at All Saints since 1972, said: “I’m getting slower and slower, and more and more apprehensive about it.” And fellow ringer Katie Chamberlain, 12, said: “I’ve had some near misses a couple of times.” The staircase is viewed so nervously by the local bell ringing community that Derbyshire Young Ringers will not practise there because of it. It also makes it very difficult for Aston’s ringers to source outside help on Sundays when they are short. On February 23, Cllr Neil Atkin, ward member for Aston on the district and county councils, presented the bell ringers with a cheque for £3,000 from his Community Leadership Fund towards the staging of Joseph, which, in turn, will raise money for the new staircase. Joseph is being produced by local amateur dramatics enthusiast Richard Chamberlain, who has enlisted the help of professional lighting, staging, acting and musicians. One ambitious element of the plan is to build a bridge across the church to add to the atmospheric staging. Richard, who rings the church’s bells with wife Rachel and daughters Katie and Eloise, told the congregation on receiving the cheque: “It’s incredibly difficult for young people to get up there. The

25 drivers charged for causeway offences

Village Voice March 2020 15

bells date back to Elizabethan times; we have got three bells in the tower that were cast before the Great Fire of London. Every time I get up there and think about that, it just blows my mind. “I thought ‘What a great opportunity to do a wonderful production of Joseph inside the church’. “We’re going to transform Aston’s church into Aston’s very own theatre. If you want to see Tony as Pharaoh, because he has been cast, please come and support us! You will be assured of an amazing production to raise money for the bells to keep ringing. “Thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me. This is something I’ve been thinking about for 18 months. Thanks to the support of Derbyshire County Council, that vision of the production and the staircase up to the tower is going to become a reality. Thank you so much.” Joseph is being staged from July 15-18. – Lucy Stephens

THE MELs Sunday 5th April 1.00 - 3.00pm Melbourne Assembly Rooms Sponsored by: ASBC Heritage and Conversation Specialists

Nominations for the Melbourne Community Aw wards (The MELs) are invited in the following following categories: ARTS TS – Event of the Year ear, Performer of the Year ear BUSINESS – Company of the Year ear, Retailer of the Year ear,, Service with a Smile COMMUNITY – Group of the Year ear, Neighbour of the Year ear,, Volunteer of the Year ear SPORT T – Lifetime Achievement Aw war ard, Coach of the Year ear, Sportsperson of the Year ear, Team eam of the Year ear.. Nominations to or to the Melbourne Assembly Rooms, High Street, Melbourne DE73 8GF.. Tel el 01332 863522. Closing date Sunday March 22nd Include the name of the nominee, name of group, person nominating, reasons for nominating in less than 50 words. Supported by: Malcolm Roseburgh, St Michaels Players, Melbourne Treatment Rooms, The Chip & Pin, Marvin Cooke, John Harrison & Andy Heafield

ABOVE: Katie Chamberlain, 12, a bell ringer at All Saints’ Church, demonstrates the difficulty in ascending the steep staircase to the tower, which has no handrails. LEFT: Cllr Neil Atkin, Aston ward member for Derbyshire County Council, hands over a cheque for £3,000 from his Leadership Community Fund to Aston’s bell ringers.

IN the past two years there have been 25 prosecutions of lorry drivers exceeding the weight limit on Swarkestone Causeway, a local meeting was informed. Councillor Peter Watson raised the issue at a recent Local Area Forum meeting and reported the figures, which demonstrate that action against offending drivers is being taken on a regular basis. The 13th century structure has a weight limit of 7.5 tons, generally speaking the size of a box van, and the electronic warning measures were installed in 2017 to deter overweight traffic from using the crossing. Nevertheless, lorries still ignore the restrictions and are being brought to book by trading standards officers. It can be an expensive trip too, if you are caught. A lorry driver from Bolton was fined over £600 for breaching the restrictions in January last year, and three drivers who were caught on the same day in July last year were fined a total of almost £1,000. Nearly all are also charged costs in addition to the fine.

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© 2020. An independent community paper designed and published by Village Voice Newspapers. Typeset by Greenborough Ltd., t/a Voice Productions. Printed in England. The publishers of Village Voice are not responsible for any content or claims in advertisements. Artwork not supplied by advertisers may not be reproduced without the written permission of the publishers. The use of this or previous editions of Village Voice for marketing or canvassing of advertisers is strictly prohibited.

Judo club silverware starlets

YOUNG judo athletes came home with silverware after taking part in a championships event. Ashby Ivanhoe Judo Club, which trains at Smisby Village Hall, sent 11 crusaders to compete in the Amateur Judo Association’s closed championships in February. For eight of those who took part, it was their first competition. First to take the mat for Ashby, in the under 20kg event, were Jude Cole and Bradan Bridge. Both fought competitively in all of their fights and came away with bronze medals. Saul Cook and Alfie Martin were next up in the under 22kg event. Both lost their opening fights but had to face each other in the next round. Saul attacked Alfie with different combinations. Alfie stood strong until Saul came in and threw him to score and hold him down to take the win. Saul then went forward to the next round, with Saul coming away with silver and Alfie awarded a bronze. For the under-25kg, Jacob Gray came out onto the mat first and attacked from the word go. However, his opponent caught him with a hold down to take the win. The same happened again in his second fight but this time it was a throw that did the damage. In his final fight Jacob did most of the attacking and threw his opponent with a fantastic ippon to take the bronze. Chase George, Zachary Jinks and Isaac Bridge took part in the over 25kg event. They gave it their all, despite having to fight each other as well as other competitors, resulting in Zachary and Isaac winning first and second bronze, and Chase getting a silver. Next up for Ashby was Charlie Martin in the under 40kg category. After battling hard against two very good players, Charlie took home a bronze medal. Freddie Aston, won both of his fights by great ippons in under 10 seconds in the under 50kg category. Fighting like lightning, he took home the gold. After his quickfire fights, the 10-year-old then went on to fight in the open category, again winning all of his fights to take another gold medal. Last up for Ashby was Jake Whitby, who fought in the under 73kg category. Jake won both of his fights with his signature throw of Uchi mata. Junior instructor Leah Whitby, coach of all under 25kg players, aged from three to six, said all of the younger players loved the competition and were delighted to come away with medals.

Village Voice March 2020 19


l Saul Cook, Jacob Gray, Jude Cole, Isaac Bridge, Alfie Martyn, Seb Chetty, Bradon Bridge, Chase George and Zachery Jinks with coaches Faith Swain and Leah Whitby.

l Isaac Bridge, Freddie Aston, Jake Whitby and Charlie Martyn.

WHEN the Melbourne Beaver Colony found out that over two billion people, around a third of the world’s population, did not have somewhere safe to go to the toilet they decided they wanted to do something about it. Through the making and selling of flapjacks, they raised enough money to help build four toilets in Uganda through a charity called Toilet Twinning. But which four toilets to twin? After much debate and a vote, the

Beavers decided they wanted to twin two toilets at the Scout Hut and two at the MSP Pavilion on Cockshut Lane. The MSP welcomed the Beavers for their Christmas Party last December and the facility is also well used by a lot of the Beavers who are members of the cricket, football, rugby and tennis clubs. The picture shows some of the hardworking Beavers who were at the Pavilion during the half-term holiday attending a Soccer Stars course.


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Nine-medal karate haul

Jamie is crowned Sportsman of Year


ASTON-ON-TRENT Judo athlete Jamie Spencer-Pickup and Melbourne Dynamo Football Club were both recognised for their achievements in a district-wide awards event. The inaugural South Derbyshire Awards were celebrated on February 7 and saw Jamie crowned Sportsman of the Year. As previously reported in the Village Voice, Jamie won gold at the Junior Judo Commonwealth Games last September. He followed that up with a bronze at the prestigious 2020 National Championships in December. Melbourne Dynamo Football Club was also recognised at the awards, coming runner-up for Team of the Year. The awards scheme is sponsored by Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, South Derbyshire Partnership, plus individual category sponsors. It has been started up after combining the former Active South Derbyshire and South Derbyshire Community Awards. Melbourne Community Care also won the prize for Local Charity or Voluntary Group.


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KARATE athletes who train in Melbourne showed what they are made of when they came away with a haul of medals at an open championships event. Maximum Response Karate Defence, run by Mark Rotherham at Melbourne Assembly Rooms, entered students into the FEKO 2020 Open National Karate Championships, held in Sheffield in February. The team was made up of 11 people who wanted to give the championships a go, and they came away with nine medals. They were: Kumite (fighting) medal winners Hope Evans with a gold and silver; Luke Spears with two bronzes; Fraser Howat with a bronze; Caolan Duggan with bronze and Nathaniel Slee with bronze. Kata (forms) medallists were Tabitha Shepherd with silver and William Murden with bronze.


Dynamo still on course for title

MELBOURNE Dynamo Football Club’s first team managed to beat the awful wet weather in February to continue their march to the MRA Premier Division title. They won both their league matches as well as ending the month winning through to the Challenge Cup quarter-finals. A 3-0 home win against last year’s champions Allestree was thanks to goals from the league’s leading scorer Jack Goodband, James Smith and a thundering Carl Allsop header. A week later they repeated the scoreline, this time beating Rolls-

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Royce Leisure, again at home. A double from Dave Worger plus a sensational strike by Joe Shadbolt claimed the three points to keep the Dynamo team 12 points clear at the top of the table. They ended February winning their Challenge Cup match. At home to Little Eaton, Melbourne ran riot with doubles from Carl Allsop and Jack Goodband, the latter taking his season’s total to 20, plus a Matt Savage goal earning them a 5-1 victory and a quarter-final place. Melbourne Dynamo Reserves also had three matches. Although they won their first two, a three-month unbeaten run came to an end in their last match of February away to Holbrook St Michael’s Juniors. A 2-1 away win against Stenson in the Junior Cup was thanks to Josh Burton and substitute Joe Shadbolt. A week later Melbourne had an easier time of it, beating lowly Burton United 4-1 at home. In awful conditions, a rare double from skipper Dan Toon plus a Jack Scothern tap-in and a tidy finish from substitute Gavin Spencer earned the reserves three points. But they ended the month in third place in division one after a 42 defeat away to Holbrook with only a Ryan McLaughlin strike plus an own goal getting on the scoresheet. Melbourne Dynamo’s Sunday side had only one match to beat the weather and that was played in the middle of Storm Ciara away to Corinthians. Dynamo somehow came away with just a point in a 2-2 draw. The oldest strike force in the league with a combined age of 84 years earned Melbourne a point as an Alex Slater corner went straight in and a deft Paul Lakin header put him on the scoresheet.


FOOTBALL fund-raisers are being scheduled during 2020 to help upgrade equipment and facilities for Melbourne Dynamo. The first fundraiser is a race night which is in the diary for April 25 at the Melbourne Sports Park. Local businesses are being invited to support the event by sponsoring races. Next up for Dynamo is a fun sports day planned for Saturday, June 20. The event is intended to showcase everything that the football club has to offer. But it’s not all about fund-raising and the football club is also organising a litter pick around Melbourne to take place the week before the carnival, so the village looks its best for the community and visitors. See our What’s On guide for details on how to buy tickets for the race night on April 25.

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Melbourne Village Voice March 2020  

Melbourne Village Voice March 2020 local newspaper Derbyshire UK

Melbourne Village Voice March 2020  

Melbourne Village Voice March 2020 local newspaper Derbyshire UK

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