Melbourne Village Voice September 2021

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by Frank Hughes and Lucy Stephens

BARELY a year since they were opened, the public toilets in Melbourne have had to be closed for repairs after being seriously damaged by vandalism. Whilst an accurate estimate for the repairs has not been obtained the bill will certainly run into hundreds of pounds. Wiring has been torn out, the soap dispenser scorched, the baby changing unit damaged and there is evidence of other fire damage. “It is just mindless vandalism,” said Melbourne Parish Council chair Sheila Hicklin. There is some concern that drug abuse is at the root of the problem and that the facility had been accessed before the 5.30pm locking time in order to have a location to take illegal substances. The toilets had to be closed after the vandalism – not just for repairs but also to find a way to prevent a recurrence. At the latest meeting of Melbourne Parish Council, held at The Assembly Rooms on September 7, councillors decided to re-open the loos for the upcoming Melbourne Festival trail weekend after it was established they were highly unlikely to be repaired in time. The meeting heard that festival organisers had organised portable toilets for other areas of Melbourne. Cllr Jane Carroll said: “It’s a big blow that this should be a week before one of our biggest events in the town.” The toilets were opened in July 2020 by Andy Twigge from BBC Radio Derby after a two-year wait. The previous lavatory block, which was situated on the same spot, was closed in September 2018 after the parish council decided it was no longer fit for use. Work to replace it began the following year.



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THE fun of the fair is on track to return to Melbourne after confirmation the Wakes are due back next month. Albert Holland, whose family have been running the Melbourne Wakes for more than 100 years, said the event was currently planned to take place at the usual time in October. The Holland family also run the famous Goose Fair in Nottingham but will not be doing so this year, for reasons that are not safetyrelated. Albert said his family had been able to put on most of their normal season’s fairs starting from May this year. “Everyone has supported them really well,” he said. So far in 2021 the Hollands have put on fairs in Lincoln, Derby and Leicester, and at local festivals too. Social distancing signs and sanitiser will be in place at the Melbourne Wakes, but Albert said no Covid problems had been reported to them at any events they have put on this year. Albert, 47, said 2020 was the first year he had not been to the Melbourne Wakes having been all his life. Last year, one ride, ‘Striker’, came to Melbourne from the Holland family in order to fulfil the charter.

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2 Village Voice September 2021

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RIGHT: Margaret Gildea receives her award from Deputy Lieutenant for Derbyshire Terry McDermott watched by Gordon Hughes, Della Lancaster, Jenny Williams, Jane Carroll, Lillie Smith, Liz Smith, Fiona Bonner, Sallie Jackson and Oliver Smith.

Rewarded for keeping people’s hopes up

ABOVE: Office volunteer Claire Barker receiving a Beacon of Hope Award on behalf of Melbourne Community Care from Cllr Neil Atkin.

THREE more Melbourne ‘beacons of hope’ have been recognised for going above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 120 groups and individuals across the county have received the awards. They were launched by Derbyshire’s Lord TICKNALL - DERBYS - DE73 7JN Lieutenant Elizabeth Fothergill and the High Sheriff for 2020-21, Tony Walker, together with Derbyshire County Council and Derby PICTURE RESTORATION AND CLEANING City Council. PICTURE FRAMING AT AFFORDABLE PRICES - FAST SERVICE Margaret Gildea, of Melbourne, received her award from Terry McDermott, Deputy Lieutenant for Derbyshire. Call: 01332 862757 She was named a beacon of hope for her work collecting and offering books from her front wall with any donations going towards Feeding Britain. The regular appearance of books and jigsaws outside Margaret’s home on Penn Lane on dry days has been one of the joys of lockdown over 2020 and 2021 in Melbourne. They have become such a feature that Margaret’s daughter Florence even bought a sign renaming the house: “The Book House”. Margaret had the idea for putting books outside when libraries and bookshops were shut in March 2020. A year and a half later, donations have raised more than £6,500 for Feeding Britain with ‘Books in the Garden’ on August 28, an event featuring raffle prizes and refreshments, boosting the total by another £1,115. Musing over the highs and lows of the collection period, Margaret said: “It’s hard to describe the sheer joy of seeing children choosing as many books as they wanted without their parents or grandparents worrying about the cost. And Thank you all so much for your patience in what will running towards the books with the cry ‘they’re out, Mum!’ Or hopefully be the last of many changes we’ve had to make! seeing someone taking time over choosing a book for a neighbour who was self-isolating or unwell.” Another beacon of hope was Michelle Lewis, ranger leader in Melbourne and County Commissioner for Girl Guiding in Derbyshire. When girl guiding could no longer run face to face meetings, Michelle wasted no time moving the Phoenix Ranger unit in Melbourne onto Zoom. Recognising that lockdown could leave a


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l Michelle Lewis receiving her award from Elizabeth Fothergill. “massive gap” for girls and young women she also set up another four virtual units of brownies, guides, rangers and rainbows which people across the whole county could access. Michelle said the virtual units were an important “safe space” for teenage girls to talk about how lockdown was affecting them, maintain their current friendships but also make new friends too. “They really got a lot out of it,” she said. “It was an amazing success, which we’ll keep going, so that people who aren’t yet ready to go back to face to face guiding because they may have sheltering family members can still be a part of Girlguiding.’ She added: “I’m really delighted that guiding in Derbyshire is being recognised in this way. I’ve been named but it’s really representing what everybody across the county has done and is still doing to keep guiding going during lockdown. Our volunteers are truly amazing!’ Melbourne Community Care also received a beacon of hope award under the same scheme. This was in recognition of the “creative and innovative ways” that the charity found to con-

tinue its services, including keeping in touch regularly via phone calls and doorstep chats; arranging shopping, prescriptions and cake deliveries to those who could not leave home; delivering Easter and Christmas cards made by local children; helping with deliveries of afternoon teas donated by Melbourne Tea Rooms; visiting Sainsbury’s regulars to deliver a Christmas hamper, donated by Sainsbury’s, and maintaining volunteers’ welfare. Cllr Neil Atkin, Derbyshire County Council cabinet support member for health and wellbeing, on presenting the award, thanked Melbourne Community Care for its service. He said: “We recognise the work and outstanding contributions Melbourne Community Care have made in Melbourne in the last 18 months during these unprecedented and difficult times. “We also acknowledge that Melbourne Community Care have found creative and innovative ways to maintain your staff and volunteers to continue delivering a valued service to support the local community. Overall, this is a tremendous contribution of going above and beyond.”

Couple’s canal catch is unexploded bomb

EXPLOSIVES experts were called out to a quiet Swarkestone lane after a couple found a live Second World War mortar bomb. Hanah and Matt Hancock were trying out a new hobby, magnet fishing, when they discovered an unusually shaped object in the Trent & Mersey Canal. The first attempt saw them pull out a small bottle top, but things got much more interesting the second time around. “He put it in for the second time and pulled out this really odd-looking bit of machinery,” Hanah said. Unsure what the item was, Matt phoned his brother to ask him and sent photos of it, before putting it in his rucksack to polish up at home. But Matt’s brother quickly phoned back to tell the pair he believed they had in fact fished out a Second World War bomb. Matt and Hanah then dialled 999 to tell police what they had discovered. Police asked to see pictures and then they got in touch with the couple to advise them to get 100 metres from the bomb before directing them to go and deter traffic in nearby Lowes Lane. Police notified Explosive Ordnance Disposal run by the British Army who, on arrival, identified the bomb as unexploded. Bomb disposal experts then took the device to a safe place nearby where the bomb was detonated. The whole incident lasted several hours

by Lucy Stephens

had felt “surreal”. She said: “It still doesn’t feel real. I felt sick to the stomach that I was holding it. It could have ended such a different way – luckily, it didn’t. “Derby Police were fantastic. We were quite worried – you feel you’re wasting police time a little bit. They were brilliant. They were there straight away, they were moving people. They said: ‘You’re lucky but you’ve done the exact right thing that you should have done’. “You never know what you’re going to find. It’s quite interesting that there are little pieces of history still remaining. “It’s a tale to tell the grandchildren! There are not many people that can say they have fished a bomb out!”

on the afternoon of August 28. Laura Jackson, director at Swarkestone Nursery, said: “The first thing we knew about it was that we saw the bomb squad going down Lowes Lane, which isn’t something you see every day! “We went to see what was going on and it was Hanah and her husband who were there and they were telling us what they had found. “Swarkestone is a sleepy area so to have something like this happen was quite exciting!” Hanah said the whole situation


Nursery celebrates 18th birthday

SCALLYWAGS Nursery in Melbourne is all grown up after celebrating its 18th birthday! Many, many children from the area have been through the doors of the nursery on Castle Lane since it started up in September 2003. Scallywags was founded by current director Mary Attwater, who had come out of university with a qualification in early years provision. It was born “out of the ashes” of the Dunnicliff family’s former Fairystep Shoe Factory on Castle Lane, Mary said. Fairysteps, which had been in the family for more than 100 years, had shut its doors a couple of years previously but its legacy lives on in the two footprints which feature on the Scallywags’ logo. Mary saw a need for a private nursery in the area which at the time had no provision of this kind. She said: “We started with 12 children on the first day. After six months, we knew we had got to expand.” Mary’s sister, Sarah, joined Scallywags after a few years. Today, with around 60 members of staff, and two sites in Melbourne and Chellaston, Scallywags has hundreds of children on its books, offering before and after school clubs as well as preschool. The latest ventures are a ‘Titchy Town’ and ‘Hero Town’ which will be venues for tots to go along with their parents and enjoy role play activities. Mary said: “I’m amazed that we have got to 18 – it’s lovely! We still hear from our families that have left and gone on to university. They have got a really good foundation in early years. We are really proud that we have given those children in their early years the best opportunities to go on and achieve.”

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Village Voice September 2021 3

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4 Village Voice September 2021

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Mark homes in on TV stardom by Lucy Stephens

MELBOURNE’S own karate king Mark Rotherham has been showing a different string to his bow on the silver screen. Mark, who runs martial arts and fitness classes at the Assembly Rooms, has been a property developer since 2013. He appeared on popular BBC day-time show Homes Under the Hammer after buying a house in Burton-upon-Trent at auction last year. “We bid for the house in December, and after that I got a message saying, would we come on the show,” he explained. Broadcast in August, the show’s episode features Mark’s journey through the development of the traditional two-bed property in Burton. Up at auction for £30,000, Mark and son Jake secured the house for £74,500. The pair then spent the next four and a half months doing it up with the whole family pitching in to help. Mark told the show’s presenter, Martin Roberts, that he had started acquiring properties as a side line and pension investment. The property in Burton was certainly a ‘doerupper’ with Mark and Jake having to completely re-decorate it, add new flooring, install a brand new kitchen and bathroom, and tidy the garden. As he explained on the show, this meant working full days at the property before dashing back to Melbourne to run his martial arts classes in the evening. Over their years of doing up properties Mark and Jake have become very handy when it comes to things like tiling, grouting and flooring – meaning they can keep decoration costs down.

Mark (above) even brought his 77-year-old dad, a former bricklayer, out of retirement to help with a previous property they acquired. On this particular property, renovation costs came in at around £13,000. Some original tiled flooring in the house has had to go due to damp, but it is not going to waste: Mark is using it to create a tiled walkway on his allotment in Melbourne. Mark said the filming was done in a very Covid-safe way which, unfortunately, meant Jake was unable to appear on the show due to limits on numbers. But he said he had enjoyed the experience, and, in another plus, the property has been successfully let. The episode of Homes Under the Hammer featuring Mark is still available to view on BBC iPlayer: Season 24, episode 52.


Village Voice September 2021 5

WHEN he was a child, you could still walk to school along Swarkestone Causeway and not see another vehicle – but a lot can change over the course of a century. Noel Newman, who grew up in Swarkestone and now lives in Chellaston, is celebrating his 100th birthday this month. Born an only child in Derby to Noel West Newman and wife Anna on September 12, 1921, Noel spent his early years in Swarkestone. From here, he would walk to school in Stanton-by-Bridge over the causeway, where hardly a vehicle was to be seen. “Hardly anybody could afford cars,” he recalls. “Money was very, very scarce in that time.” After a stint at Melbourne School, Noel left at 14 “… which everybody did at ordinary schools,” he said. “I left school on the Friday and started work on Monday. There were plenty of jobs then but the money was rubbish!” He began working on farms in the Swarkestone area, where the tasks were extremely varied: “We did all sorts. Milking, I didn’t work the horses – not at first, (but) hoeing, hay-making; we used to grow mangles and turnips.” When the war came, land girls moved into the area and Noel met and married one of

them, Mavis Faulconbridge. Due to the war, it was an “austerity wedding”, he recalled, with the reception taking place at a farm. “We got a bit of food. We didn’t do too badly,” he said. Growing food on farms was an essential wartime task, “… but you did have to do something else,” said Noel. He chose to work in the fire service in Derby, and remembers the fall-out of “red-hot” shrapnel from falling bombs. Noel and Mavis went on to have six children: Alan, Mary, Robert, Susan, Richard and Clifford. Noel’s agricultural work took the family to various places, including Ashbourne, Tuxford, near Newark, and Quarndon. But his last, and favourite, employment was away from the open air and into a cotton mill in Belper, where he worked 60-hour weeks for nearly a decade and loved it. Noel retired in the mid1980s and went on a fourmonth trip around the world with Mavis, which was his first time in an aeroplane. They visited Bangkok, Melbourne in Australia, Auckland, Honolulu and America. Noel says he does not “know what I’ve done” to reach the age of 100. “I feel about the same as I did when I was 99!”

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l Mark Rotherham (left) in a scene from the programme with presenter Martin Roberts.

MELBOURNE’S micropub, the Chip and Pin, is under new management as a couple of regulars move from customers to owners. Diane and Matthew Reed, who live in Shepshed, have been regulars in the pub for the past five years, and when they heard that Elaine and David Carpenter were thinking of retiring said they would like to take it on. Both of them have retired from local Government, with Diane formerly at Leicestershire County Council and Matthew working in planning at Charnwood Borough Council. “We were looking to do something after retirement and, as our hobby has been sampling beers and making beer related trips, this will suit us very nicely,” Matthew said. Former owner Elaine said: “David and I want

to start travelling outside UK again once things get easier after Covid so most likely next year. We'll be able to go out to other pubs when they are open, not just on Monday when we had our day off, and go on little adventures in Derbyshire and beyond with no time pressures. James Cripps will get his Sundays back to hold his legendary pizza parties.” Matthew said there will be few changes, with his philosophy that “if it aint broke don’t fix it”. But he has identified a customer demand for some spirits, so has introduced a gin range to the offer. He said he was mostly looking forward to the “social side of it, having that warm feeling you get from somewhere people want to come to and enjoy what is on offer”.

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Olympic medal star Frazer pops in with pals

6 Village Voice September 2021

AFTER a pandemic-induced pause of 18 months, toddler groups are starting to open up again. Tiddlywinks, which meets at the Wesley Hall in Melbourne on Mondays, greeted parents, grandparents and tots for its first day back on September 6. Pam Worrall, who runs the group with Mary Stephens, Janine Lacey and Denise Bourne, said it had been necessary to start again “from scratch” as so long a time had passed since the last session was held. “All the children who used to come are too old to come so we have had to start our group all over again,” she said. Among the mums to go along on Tiddly-

winks’ first day back were Laura Harkin and Alexandra Bletcher. Alexandra, mum of ten and a half month old Avery Jean, said: “I think a baby group is really important. It’s nice to meet other mums and for Avery.” Laura, who was at Tiddlywinks with Hudson, one, said: “We are lucky in Melbourne that there are so many baby groups on offer. “As soon as lockdown did lift, we were able to socialise and get him socialised straight away.” Pictured are (l-r) Alexandra Bletcher with daughter Avery Jean, Hudson Heath-Bull and Laura Harkin. Photo: Edith Stephens.

A SPORTING celebrity has been seen out and about in Melbourne enjoying some new-found fame! Super-heavyweight boxer Frazer Clarke won a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics after getting through to the semi-final following a rancorous bout against Frenchman Mourad Aliev, who was disqualified for use of his head. Clarke then went on to fight a semi-final with Bakhodir Jalolov from Uzbekistan, who was the eventual gold medal winner. The boxer is from Burton on Trent and was visiting with a group of friends from Swadlincote. Whilst Frazer is certainly an imposing character, towering around six foot six inches and looking very athletic, he was genuinely friendly and approachable, posing for photographs and freely chatting to pubgoers at The Spirit Vaults. His partner, Danni-Leigh, quipped that she also deserved a medal for coping without him for the five weeks he was away with a young baby to look after.


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Town’s bins shutting down

MOST recycling bins in Melbourne’s main car park will be shut from next month. The decision was made at a meeting of South Derbyshire District Council’s (SDDC) Environment and Development Services Committee in August. Committee members considered comments provided by local residents in a recent consultation. The move means that the glass, plastics, cardboard and Tetrapak recycling facilities in Melbourne High Street car park will close from October 1. But a bin for small electrical items, run by Derbyshire County council, plus clothing and shoe collection owned by The Samaritans will stay after residents pointed out their value. Cllr Martin Fitzpatrick, one of Melbourne’s district councillors, said that “by far the largest concern” voiced by residents was the potential removal of the Tetra Pak recycling facility as these cartons cannot currently be recycled from kerbside collections. Councillors have been asked to investigate costings to determine whether Tetra Paks can be added to green bin collections in the future. Cllr Fitzpatrick said that, despite a unanimous vote in favour of removing the bins, the meeting was not without controversy. He said: “SDDC had engaged in a consultation process with residents who lived close to each of the recycling centres in the district, but the meeting papers brought before the councillors didn’t give an enormous amount of detail regarding the comments that had been sent in. “Extra work and debate during the meeting was needed to understand the key comments submitted by residents. There were of course some comments in favour of removing the recycling centres, mainly on the basis that the sites can look untidy and that most of the waste can now be recycled from home. Further, some residents felt the bins were being used by businesses who should pay for their own waste disposal.” He added: “The recycling site in Melbourne is further complicated by the fact that we have a WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) disposal point operated by Derbyshire

County Council on site and a clothes and shoe collector operated by the Samaritans charity, of which residents were quick to point out the recycling benefits. “I also needed to consider that at the Melbourne site the recycling units take up valuable parking spaces and there is consistent pressure in our village for additional spaces.” As well as the fact that glass, plastic bottle and cardboard can be recycled kerbside, it has also been pointed out that recycling centre bins for these items can suffer higher rates of contamination from other materials. If these levels are too high, loads end up being sent to landfill anyway rather than being recycled. It has been shown that recycling at home typically produces a lot less contamination, Cllr Fitzpatrick said. “If we can add Tetra Paks to the items recycled from home then with all residents’ help we can increase the tonnages of waste that is recycled every year and prevent more items going to landfill which has to be our clear goal,” he said. “The so called ‘bring to’ recycling sites are now over 30 years old as a method of recycling and, if we want to achieve more ambitious recycling targets, we all need to take responsibility for our waste, starting at our own homes. The more waste that can be collected this way at the kerbside the higher our percentage of recycled waste will be.” The fact that some residents lacked space for a green bin at home was also raised in the meeting. Officers told councillors they would liaise directly with these residents to ensure they had alternative collection methods.

Legion hosts new chari-tea dance fun

TUNES from the 1940s entertained folk at The British Legion in Melbourne in a new charity enterprise set up by a former local shop owner. Angela Higson, who has recently retired from running the Best Kept Secret dress agency in Melbourne, held her first tea dance in August. Angela was inspired to start up her tea dance charity after trying to find one for her mother to go to. Angela said her mother had Alzheimer’s and, although she could no longer talk, “she could still sing all the old songs”. “She had also met my dad at a dance so I thought taking her to one might trigger some memories,” she said. “But sadly after searching, I couldn’t find anywhere in the area that did tea dances. So it’s always been my ambition to arrange tea dances. Having recently retired I mentioned this to my friend Karen and we decided to set up a charity together arranging tea dances for the elderly community.” Angela said she had decided to start her first tea dance in Melbourne as she has worked here for eight years, adding: “The Melbourne community have been very good supporting me in my shop, and I knew a lot of the community.” All those attending the occasion in mid-August had been double vaccinated, and all volunteers took a lateral flow test for safety reasons.

Village Voice September 2021 7

by Lucy Stephens

Organisers put out requests for tea cups, saucers, sugar bowls, teapots and table cloths and were “amazed at the response”, said Angela. “The public were pleased that a tea set they had in the back of the cupboard that had been passed down from their parents could be put to good use.” Sainsbury’s Melbourne and Tesco in Ashby-dela-Zouch helped towards food, and there were also donations from Melbourne Deli, Best Kept Secret and Melbourne Florist. Members of the public baked cakes and waitress uniforms were made by Angela’s daughter, Alexa. An old duvet was cut up to make yards and yards of bunting. Swiss Post in Nottingham held a tombola in aid of the occasion which raised £235. Those who attended supported by buying flags, raffle tickets or donating, which means the goal of a second tea dance has nearly been reached. Harmony trio, the Lahdidahs, entertained tea dancers with 1940s-style vocals. Angela said the aim was to have tea dances in Melbourne every three months, before moving on to other communities in the East Midlands. Anyone who would like to offer help should see the charity’s website

ABOVE: Organisers Karen Dove and Angela Higson with (l-r) Margaret Hall, Joyce O’Leary, Jacqui Crummack and Millie Pass.

LEFT: Vintage Vocals being provided by The LahdiDahs.

Pictures: TINA BAKER

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More hall events for next year

Academy students prove they are class acts

8 Village Voice September 2021

MORE events are planned for Melbourne Hall’s walled garden following the success of top name comedy acts – but not this year. Roger Lowe, from Stable Ales in Melbourne Hall’s courtyard, attended the latest meeting of Melbourne Parish Council on September 7 to update councillors on how events which have taken place at the hall have gone so far. He said that comedy acts had performed in the hall’s walled garden and not its courtyard, which had meant less noise impact for local people. The plan was to hold more events in this new location but, due to various factors including act availability, this would not happen in 2021. In 2022, more events are planned, however. Due to the fact that the walled garden can hold more people than the courtyard, there may be a future application for a premises licence for that area specifically. Future events to be held in the walled garden could include musical performances, perhaps by West End singers, Mr Lowe said. The idea would be for events to be “in keeping with the setting” with “minimal disruption to the community”, he said.

by Frank Hughes

l On the day of the results Elinor Barham (left) and Myla Nicklin, who achieved excellent grades including grade 9 passes, said the year had been “very difficult”, describing it as “stressful on occasions”. Both were looking forward to going onto sixth form and they hoped things would get back to normal.

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IN WHAT has been described as “an enormously challenging year” students at Chellaston Academy achieved outstanding results at A, BTEC and GCSE levels. Referring first to post-16 exams, headteacher Ryan Metters said: “We are immensely proud of all the achievements of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year. They have earned their grades through exceptional resilience, incredible hard work, and total commitment to their studies. Our teachers have worked tirelessly, with great expertise and trust, to ensure students are all able to progress onto their chosen courses and destinations, including degree apprenticeships, university courses, and the world of work”. From 122 students taking exams, 13 achieved the very highest grades in each subject they studied. One pupil, Matthew Bojarski secured three A* grades, enabling him to study medicine at the University of Bristol; Annalyse Buchan secured top grades in Fine Art A* and BTEC Art Double Award Distinction* and will go on to study photography at the University of Derby; Sophie Bayliss achieved top grades in Business, Economics, Maths, and IT – she will go to study business and management at York. Further, top A* grades were also achieved by Jack Foster, Charlie Green, Rebecca Harris, Keeley Kenmuir-Hogg, Anant Madhugiri, Samuel Novack, Jack Pope, Amelia Reay, Nathan Sweeney, and Amy Wingfield. Edward Moore, Head of Sixth Form, said: “We are incredibly proud of our Year 13 students and the way they have approached their studies over the past two years, in what have been enormously challenging circumstances. We are absolutely delighted that their hard work and dedication has paid off. We wish them all the best on whatever path they have chosen.” On GCSE results, Mr Metters said he was also “… immensely proud of all Year 11 students and their outstanding results”. He added: “Faced with challenges aplenty, they have demonstrated that they are extremely resilient, and they have embraced both the academic and wellbeing support on offer to elicit these successes. Credit must also go to parents and carers for nurturing their children through this difficult period and to our talented teachers and educational support professionals, who have been so skilful in helping our young people to achieve these outstanding results.” He added: “The majority of our students are staying with us in our Sixth Form, and we have record numbers who will start post-16 studies with us in September, including the highest numbers ever who have applied from other JOHN Port Spencer Academy, which takes students from Milton, Foremark, Findern and Twyford, also celebrated “outstanding” GCSE results. One pupil, Eloise Campion, scored nine grades at the top level of 9.

l Pictured (l-r) are Fergus Holmes, who intends to study History and Spanish at Manchester; Anna Gilchrist, who will be going on to study Geography; and Amy Wingfield, who will study to become a primary school teacher. They all agreed “it had not been the best of years overall”, but they got through it in the end and were delighted with their results. schools/colleges. “We also have students who are going on to exciting apprenticeships, employment and training programmes with other institutions and we wish every single one of them success in the future.” Scores of students achieved the very highest grade (9) in multiple subjects. For example, Louisa Reay secured top grades in eight subjects; Madeleine Wigley achieved grade 9 in five subjects and grade 8 in four others; Rachel Boddey secured seven top grades and one grade 8, Joe White secured grade 9 in four subjects and 8s in five others; and Olivia Perry secured three grade 9 and five grade 8 passes.

A school spokesperson said: “We would like to congratulate all our students who have remained focussed and shown true resilience throughout the past 2 years. “More than 20 of our Year 11 students achieved an av-

erage grade of 8.” When it came to A-levels, there were 12 students who secured at least three A* grades. Head boy Robert Fisk is off to St Andrews University to read maths, armed with four A* grades.

Research group’s archive plea

THE Village Voice understands that Melbourne Historical Research Group, now its 21st year, has a problem. The group reports that it currently hires a small area where archive material is kept. However, since it has recently received a large assortment of items from the late Richard Heath’s collection, this has brought about an issue with space. Group member Jean Grimley said: “Our diffi-

culty is that the recent influx has made it impossible to sort and work therein so we need extra accommodation. We’d be very interested to hear from any Village Voice readers if they have, or know of, a ground floor room that we could reasonably rent for secure, dry storage and occasional quiet work?” Please contact Jean if you might be able to help: telephone 01332 863385; email or text 07904 245789.

Village Voice September 2021 9

LEFT: Back row (l-r) Paul Sturges, Jenny Starkie, Mick Robey, Alan Winters, Peter Odell, Judith Hall; seated: Eric Lee, Ian Turner, Joyce Winters and Lorraine Dowell.

Celebrating a centenary at the allotments

by Frank Hughes

CELEBRATING one hundred years of allotment growing in Melbourne, the Hilly Fields plot owners marked their centenary with an open day, enabling visitors to wander through the fruit and vegetable gardens, have a cuppa, a cake and a chat, and learn about the association’s interesting history. Whilst the formation of an allotment association was nothing unusual back in the early 20th century, the formation of the Melbourne Allotment Holders Association (MAHA) on March 25 (Lady Day), 1921, was unique in that the original 46 shareholders actually purchased the land they intended to garden. The purchase cost the sum of £800 (equivalent to more than £45,000 today). So, as association secretary Mick Robey outlined, the current occupants pay only for the upkeep of the site, which is about £10 for a half-plot of 300 square yards, not a rent. There has been something of a resurgence too, since lockdown, and there is now a waiting list for vacant plots. The original rule book for MAHA set out procedures for dealing with potential legalities, but “precious little about gardening”, Paul Sturges points out in a published centenary booklet. “Rules about holding the association’s seal, dealing with lu-

natic or insane members, and making payments to people ‘apparently entitled’ did nothing to enlighten us to what actually affected members on a day to basis,” he says. A 12-strong committee

chaired by Jenny Starkie now meets regularly in one of the bigger huts to oversee MAHA business, including the tough decisions about dealing with poor maintenance. “We do have minimum standards,” said Mick, “and ‘no show’ generally means no interest!” The committee has also decided to install a composting toilet on site, with probably one of the best ‘rooms with a view’ in Melbourne, looking south towards Breedon church. The allotments were set up primarily to enable people to supply their own tables with good quality food in a post-war and increasingly urban/industrialised environment. Growing fruit and vegetables remains the fundamental philosophy, although the variety is now much more varied, with chillies, peppers and aubergines featuring alongside the root vegetables, brassicas and soft fruit. Mick said the secret to good allotment gardening was quite simple – “regular upkeep”. He is on his site “24/7” and, with 53 years of ownership, he certainly knows his onions! “The real benefit is the taste – there is nothing to compare with the flavour of freshly picked produce,” he said. Paul Sturges’s book, as detailed in the Village Voice earlier this year, is available from the post office or directly from him.

RIGHT: Jenny Starkie with a celebratory cake. BELOW: The Hilly Fields site.

Pictures by Tina Baker

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A LONG-RUNNING art show was held once again a nall this year with thousands of pounds of work s The show is put on annually as a charity fund-raiser b Catherine Harpur’s School over the August bank holiday end. It is now in its 27th year but, due to the pandemic, was online in 2020, with great success. This year organisers opened up the exhibition to the again and many people turned out over its three-day enjoy the artwork, children’s activities, and catering fro Raine. Over the weekend, £16,100 of artwork was sold wit sales still coming through over the website in the followin The ‘postcard auction’ in which artists donate a piece work done on a postcard, raised £780 – the highest tot One person bid £105 for one piece of donated work, and fo were for over £50. Chair of governors Amanda Harmer said on the cham

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preview night: “What’s really positive is the feedback from the artists – they are so excited that we are back!” School pupil Sophia Burgess, 10, was the first person to sell one of her pieces of work. She said: “I thought it would be nice to enter it and help the school with a bit of money.” Among the visitors to the show’s champagne preview were former pupil George Arnall and his mum, Christine, who said they go along each year. George was the first child to go through the school from the age of three all the way up to the final year. Now an apprentice with Siemens, he has just graduated from The University of Derby with a first class degree in computer science. He said he “loved every second” of his time at Dame Catherine’s. Mum Christine said: “I think we need to start having live events again. “I’m very pleased that everything has come together for this lovely event at a school we are very fond of.”

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CHILDREN from the Puddle-ducks PreSchool in Melbourne have proved their resilience in the face of the pandemic. The pre-school said: “Puddle-ducks class of 2021 have definitely proved how resilient children can be. “We are so proud of how they adapted to the many Covid-19 restrictions we had to put in place during this last 18 months. Luckily, restrictions had been lifted enough in July 2021 so that the children could enjoy a well-deserved trip to ‘Animal Magic’ at Melbourne Hall. “We had a picnic in the beautiful grounds

of the hall before meeting, petting and feeding the animals they have there. The pigs and the llamas were a firm favourite with the children. Then the afternoon was topped off by a delicious ice-cream in the courtyard. A lovely way to end the year. “A huge thank you to Laura and Alice for organising our visit and looking after us so well. “We wish all our children every success as they make the transition into school and hope their time there will be a happy one.” The children are pictured on the garden steps at Melbourne Hall.

Margaret Ann Stanford (nee Snape) 16 March 1942 - 12 August 2021 MARGARET was born in Bilston near Wolverhampton, the only child of Annie and Alfred, and spent her childhood and early adult life in the West Midlands. After attending Bilston Girls High School, she took a job as a bank cashier with Barclays Chapel Ash branch where she made some life-long friends. She met and subsequently married Robert (Bob) Stanford, in September 1965, after a whirlwind romance which included a few sticky moments when courting. He turned up late on the first date after his car broke down. After a move across town to Bradmore, two children, Heather and Carl, came along. As the children grew up and started school, Margaret decided to return to work and, armed with a Pitmans shorthand certificate, she got a ‘Saturday girl’ job as cashier in Merry Hill, Wolverhampton. In 1989, out of the blue, Bob was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and he passed away aged 49 in October that year. Finding herself a widow with two teenage children in her mid-40s her whole world collapsed. With the help of many friends, and some new social groups she joined she eventually came through such difficult time. It was through new social circles that she met Graham Mason in 1993 who became the second important relationship of her life. They decided not to marry but formed an amazing partnership over almost 30 years. Graham’s son from his previous marriage was also a Carl, and his wife was Heather, leading to the most frequently asked question – which Carl and Heather? The next milestone was the arrival of grandchildren, starting in 2002, with Rachel and later Dan in 2004. The marriage of Graham’s granddaughter to Steve Sullivan prompted the couple to move to Melbourne, where they took to village life with ease.

As well as playing a big part in looking after the grandchildren, Margaret decided she wanted to give something back after her experiences with Bob’s illness and in 2003 she answered a Village Voice advert to work in Treetops. Starting on reception and office administration she eventually moved to bereavement support, where she supported countless numbers through their sad losses, with a compassion and empathy she seemed born to share. In a tribute, Treetops wrote: “Supporting bereaved people was Margaret’s forte. It is hard to fathom how many families she has helped over the years. Walking alongside her clients on their path of grief, she had an enormous amount of compassion and listened to and supported them. It is clear she cared about them deeply. She made an impression on everybody she met and we will remember her fondly.” Margaret and Graham also joined the newly formed local choir where they both participated fully in practices, concerts, and social occasions. She particularly loved the Christmas concerts, singing outside local pubs, and then the after-parties with sherry and mince pies. Sadly, Graham became increasingly ill with Alzheimer’s, much less mobile, and eventually he needed residential care. Many rallied round for Margaret and choir friends, neighbours and church friends all supported her in many ways – not least Judy Roome and her hunts for a bargain! When she herself became ill in February this year the support of her many friends was a great comfort to her. Margaret’s was a life full to the brim with family, friends and many, many people whose lives she touched. There is only one word to sum up such a spirited lover of life – fabulous! The family also wished “to thank all those who supported her in her last few months and for the outpouring of love and kindness at the funeral – she would have been absolutely delighted”.



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New home for the Festival

MELBOURNE Festival has now signed a lease to re-open a gallery and shop in the village and is hoping it will secure the reputation of Melbourne and South Derbyshire as a creative hub, building on the past 15 years’ success. The new venue is Wellington House at the top of Church Street, which has a long history as a church, a Sunday school, then Haynes Furniture Showroom and more recently an antique shop. The interior expanse is sufficient to house artist studio spaces, a gallery with retail space and room for workshops to be held there. It is intended to make the building more accessible too, with a ramp and stair lift installed. Phil Dobby, festival director, said: “We have been looking for a permanent home for Melbourne Festival for several years; we built up a lot of experience from running the small gallery at 2 Market Place selling cards, gifts and art by festival artists. “In addition, we have been running successful workshops and, through various projects such as the Melbourne Letters, have built a terrific level of engagement with the local community. We hope we will continue to enjoy the support of locals as we take on this venture.” Arts Melbourne, which is the community inter-


by Frank Hughes

est company running the festival, is busy trying to secure funding for the project and investing reserves from previous festival revenues to be able to match fund any grants received. “There is work to do in enhancing the heating, lighting and electrical supply as well as building partitioning and providing disabled access,” Mr Dobby said. Some grant funding has already been obtained from Awards for All, and he hopes that further applications will succeed. Festival director Sharon Brown said: “The immediate plan is to have artists located there during the festival in September, and complete the work after that, in time to open the gallery and shop for the Christmas period. “Please pop in during the festival to meet the artists, find out more about what Arts Melbourne are planning and tell the team what you think.” Mr Dobby added: “Longer term our plan is to promote Melbourne as a creative village where local artists, creatives and makers can network and have a permanent outlet for displaying and selling work, as well as encouraging all-important growth to the local economy and supporting the community through the Arts.”

Church is back on the visitor heritage trail

BREEDON Church is now open daily once again after a comprehensive restoration programme. The church has been closed since March last year, due at first to the pandemic and then restoration work carried out in the tower. It re-opened on Monday, September 6. Visitors will now be able to find out more about the hidden past of its graveyard residents with a newly created trail. The graveyard is the final resting place of John Johnson, victim of the last nobleman executed in Britain, plus a 19th century engraver, graffitist and thief, an Earl’s mistress and the death of a horse at a funeral. The trail is part of a National Lottery Heritage Fund project which includes the restoration of the tower and aims to shed new light on the building’s fascinating past. From this month, volunteers will begin to reveal more stories relating to the parish’s past communities, and it is hoped a more comprehensive trail will be produced in the future. Rachel Askew, heritage project officer, said: “We’re really excited that these stories are only the tip of the iceberg, as we haven’t even started the main research into the past and present communities of Breedon. However, we hope that the trail shows the potential of our project and will whet

Village Voice September 2021 13

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14 Village Voice September 2021

Time to move the cross?

VILLAGE VOICE Postbag Object to centre housing plan

THE bollards protecting the cross in Kings Newton have suffered damage yet again and look an eyesore. Your paper has reported on this on-going problem in past editions. The response from the council seems to be that repairs more suited to the age of the monument are too costly. Perhaps it is time to consider moving the cross to a safer location as there is no let-up in large lorries trying to manoeuvre past the monument. Tracey Savva, Kings Newton

Airport noise now even worse

I HAVE lived in Aston-on-Trent for 21 years and noise from the airport has always been a problem. When we looked around the area before buying our house in 2000, we never even thought to do so in the middle of the night – why would we? During our first night in our new home, we thought that a plane was crash landing onto the house as it passed directly overhead at low altitude at around 2am. It was a big shock. So in 2001, I joined Save Aston Village Environment (SAVE) and then the Airport Consultative Committee to try to get the night time noise reduced. I failed. Things are now even worse. The airport is not interested in “being a good neighbour”. A lot of money has been invested to turn it into a very busy (and noisy) hub for night time cargo transportation. That’s all they are interested in. They don’t care about the broken sleep of local residents and the impact that has on our health.

The Consultative Committee is merely ticking a box as the airport is required to do to give the impression that they are listening to local concerns and interested parties. They do the absolute minimum required by law regarding noise abatement. And, as Paul Grimley implied (VV August 2021), the government are not interested in helping us either. I resigned from the consultative committee after a couple of years because it was clearly toothless. I used to complain directly to the airport when I was woken by a night time plane (which was and still is most nights) but all they do is send a standard response and say that the plane was operating normally. I would conjecture that thousands of people are affected by EMA night time noise but they don’t complain because they see it as pointless and the airport just “spins” the issue anyway. Paul Makinson, Aston-on-Trent

IN 1965 something really wonderful occurred in Melbourne that would change lives and bring support and happiness to literally hundreds and hundreds of local people. At one location, many people would not notice a small site at the junction of Church Street and Castle Street, but it would be obvious to the elderly members of the community. The Melbourne Senior Citizens Centre has been a needy support and lifesaver to many grateful people. Contained on the site, owned by Melbourne Hall Estates, there is the centre itself and also the base for the Melbourne Bowls Club, started in 1970 and still in use to this day. The Senior Citizens Centre has brought so much happiness to people, many of whom would have been ‘home alone’ with no way or means of support, or friendship and connection. The centre has always been regularly used and supported for a variety of events and functions for both elderly and younger people. It is managed voluntarily by a dedicated group of like-minded committee members, who give of their time for free. Currently, the centre has 95 members and the bowls club has approximately 35 members. The Senior Citizens Centre is, unfortunately, now in grave danger, as the landowner, Mel-

bourne Hall Estates, has announced that the ‘peppercorn’ lease’ is not to be renewed without the centre paying an elevated new rent. Melbourne Hall Estates has plans to demolish the centre, ‘rip’ up the bowling green and intends to build three houses on the site. In years to come, people, who are now middle aged, would most likely have had a need to use this wonderful facility. The Melbourne Senior Citizens Centre and bowls club have given so much joy, happiness, support and comfort to so many people for over 50 years. Without this, they would have been ‘home alone’ and have no way or means of support, friendship and connection to their lifelong friends. I urge all people that when the building application for these houses is submitted, please, please, submit your objections to South Derbyshire District Council and Melbourne Hall Estates, against the loss of a much loved and vital community facility. In conclusion, if you value our community, stop this loss from happening, because, if not, our Melbourne Senior Citizens Centre and bowls club, will cease to exist after over 50 years, on December 31 this year. Colin Barker, Melbourne

Can we not purchase site?

I AM writing in response to the suggestion in last month’s issue that the senior citizens centre may be closing and the whole site put up for planning permission to erect yet more dwelling houses in Melbourne. This centre is used by all ages, through many local social groups, for activities and communication. In our modern times, when all aspects of the media together with the government, are constantly reporting on the essential benefits of “good mental health and well-being,” and the damage and cost to society

resulting in the lack of it, I find it difficult to understand why profit is of more importance than our village health and social life. Due to its central, prime location, I imagine it is going to be extremely difficult to prevent our community centre falling foul to “the bulldozers”. One way of preventing this loss to our community could be if our village were able to purchase the site on behalf of the people of Melbourne, where all ages can continue to benefit by meeting, talking, socialising and engaging in activities.

I don’t have the necessary skills to negotiate or progress this proposal, and I wondered if someone or any group with knowledge and expertise, could manage and find the finances to make this possible. There must be many ways of raising the money, e.g. crowd funding, grants, “local share purchase”, to ensure that our village can own and maintain the centre and its amenities for both the future and for those growing up in our community now. Tony Hubbard Melbourne

Issues with GP services

I AGREE with Bryan Wolsey (Village Voice, August 2021) that “there are not enough doctors”. His research is excellent. Well done to him. In my opinion, there are also other issues with GP services that need to be addressed and rectified: n At my surgery* we have to ring at 8am every morning in a desperate scramble to try to get an appointment. This isn’t always possible especially for those who may already be at work or commuting to work at this time. By the time you can ring, most appointments have gone. n Some of the receptionists are very defensive, unsympathetic and lacking in empathy. When they speak to you, you feel like you are an inconvenience and it’s your fault for being unwell or worrying about your health. They should be reminded that when patients ring the surgery there is usually a problem. We’re not doing it for a social chat. We are anxious, worried and concerned. n Currently, the surgery seems to consider it acceptable to expect patients to take calls at work. Are we expected to discuss sensitive health issues in front of our work colleagues? They say find a private room or go outside. That’s not always possible. Many people can’t take calls at work. n Mobile phone signals are often poor so calls won’t connect. Although the fall-back option is for the GP to then call your landline number (if you have one), it appears that they don’t always do this and if they do they may not leave a message

on no response or don’t let the phone ring for long enough. I have discussed these issues with others and they have exactly the same concerns. It’s time that the system was changed to provide a service to the patients rather than the current arrangement, which seems to be geared around the GPs. There are many examples of better ways of operating in lots of related areas, eg, dentists, vets, opticians and so on. I really think we need to seriously review how GPs provide services to us. We need to be consulted and many of us would be happy to be involved. I know that the GPs will say that they are under pressure due to the Covid pandemic but, to be honest, these issues existed before Covid. GPs are very well paid and operate in a monopoly so we can’t go elsewhere. The way they operate puts more pressure on A&E and the emergency services as people will ring 999 or go straight to A&E if the GPs can’t/won’t see them. Finally, let me say that I love the NHS and the services it provides are fantastic. The problem is accessing them as they are blocked by an inefficient GP service. My medical centre has a Patient Participation Group which is supposed to improve GP services for patients but it’s toothless and just exists to give the impression of consultation when in reality there is none. Name and address supplied (* The surgery talked about is not Melbourne & Chellaston Medical Practice).

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Church date for Graham and some of his top musician pals

INTERNATIONALLY renowned musicians will be performing at Melbourne Parish Church this month. For Graham Oppenheimer, the trip to Melbourne from his home in Ticknall, may only be a few miles – but it is a long way from the famous concert halls of the world where he has also performed: La Scala; Sydney Opera House, The Concertgebouw and the Royal Albert Hall. A renowned viola player who has performed with Yehudi Menuhin and under the baton of Herbert von Karajan – who was “extraordinary”, he says – Graham (pictured) is now bringing together musical friends including Melbourne mezzo soprano Grace Crocker to our very own parish church for an evening of chamber music. The following day, as part of Graham’s initiative – Project String Quartet – musicians from the evening’s concert will be playing for children at Melbourne Junior School. Graham’s highly varied career has taken him around the world. Founder of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, as well as the Nottinghamshire String Orchestra, he teaches the viola at the famous Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, whose pupils regularly appear on BBC’s Young Musician of the Year. He was also head of strings at Repton School for several years. Now Graham wants to bring the finest chamber music to Melbourne for local peo-

blanket, or standing in front of an amazing painting,” says Graham. “A fantastic piece of music that you’re hearing is the same thing. You discover something about yourself. You connect with the music.” Despite what Graham sees as a rise in standards in young people’s musical skills in his teaching practice at Chetham’s, life is tough out there for classical musicians – and the current pandemic has definitely not helped. “The arts were already in crisis before the pandemic,” says Graham. “Funding for the arts is not great in this country, when you compare it with Germany, for example. It’s difficult for the arts to be viable without grants.” Graham says he wants to help younger players achieve the same varied career he has. The concert in Melbourne, for example, features two newcomers to the concert scene in Grace Crocker and his former pupil Jaime Howe. He also says it is quite possible, as he has done, to forge a career in classical music by founding new quartets, orchestras and other ensembles. On September 24, the day after the concert, he hopes to inspire youngsters at Melbourne Junior School when he and his friends go to play music for them. Where is the finest place he has ever played? “Melbourne Parish Church!” he says. “I think it’s a brilliant place for concerts – it has a great atmosphere.”

Surgery’s update on Covid situation

FOLLOWING “Freedom Day” on July 19, many places chose to relax the measures that were put in place to help keep people safe from Covid. The Melbourne & Chellaston Medical Practice has very much kept restrictions in place as guided by NHS England, particularly as cases continue to rise again. The requirement for all people attending any healthcare setting is that face coverings should still be worn, unless exempt, and social distancing should remain in place. The staff of the practice will continue to follow these guidelines. Appointments with GPs will continue to be via the telephone in the first instance. However, if the GP feels there is a clinical need to see patients face-to-face they will make the necessary appointment, more often than not the same day. Pre-bookable appointments are released daily for two weeks ahead. A percentage of appointments are available online from midnight, the remainder being available to book on the phone or in person at either surgery after 8am. We also have appointments available to book on the day with

ple to enjoy. “It’s the real thing – in Melbourne,” he says. So what’s special about listening to chamber music? “It’s like being wrapped in a fantastic

our urgent care practitioners who are able to examine, diagnose, prescribe and refer for any acute condition. If patients have a new and acute problem they are encouraged to ring as soon after 8am as possible in order to secure an appointment. However, there is a limit to the number of patients who can be seen by the GPs and nurses in a day, therefore you may be asked to attend the Walk-In Centre if all the appointments have gone for the day. The Walk-In Centre is a service commissioned by the Clinical Commissioning Group to provide care for patients. l The Practice has signed up to provide the Covid booster jab in a similar way to how the first and second doses were given. We are awaiting final updates from NHS England about the requirements for the Covid booster. We ask our patients to not contact the surgery and reassure them that they will be contacted in the same way as they were for first and second

doses. In line with our flu delivery, the first of our flu clinics is taking place on Saturday, October 2, at the Melbourne surgery. Appointments are available online, in person or on the phone. l As you are aware Dr Long recently retired from the Practice at the end of June, and the end of August saw another partner retire, Dr David Thomas, who had been with the practice for a good number of years and is looking forward to enjoying his retirement. However, we are happy to announce that a new GP, Dr David Sleeman, is joining the practice from September 7. He will be working three days across both sites. Adverts are out for more GPs to join us. We have introduced new roles at the surgery to take the pressure off the demand for GPs. Nik Kommatas has joined us a First Contact Physio and will assess any muscoskeletal issues. We also have Gurdeep Sajjan acting as a clinical pharmacist and she will be carrying out medication reviews

and dealing with any medication queries following discharge from hospital. l We continue to recruit reception staff. The staffing levels are still lower than we would like. That being said the average wait time over the last seven days has been down to eight minutes, 58 secs. A vast improvement on six months ago when the average wait time was 14mins. We know we still have improvements to make and we will strive to do this once better staffing levels have been achieved. l Finally, following the national shortage of blood test bottles, we have been asked by NHS England to cancel all phlebotomy clinics until September 17 at the earliest. This is due to equipment shortage, and not staff shortage. The surgery has been given provision to book in urgent blood tests if deemed urgent by the requesting clinician but these won’t be able to be done at the surgery.

Village Voice September 2021 15

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Climate change walk sets foot in the area

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A 550-MILE long relay walk organised by the Young Christian Climate Network saw local support on its leg between Melbourne and Aston-on-Trent. Hundreds of people across the country are taking part in the walk from Carbis Bay in Cornwall to Glasgow. The start and end point of the walk take participants from the location of the G7 Summit to arrive in Scotland at the start of COP26 – the next United Nations Climate Change conference. People have been joining in as the walk progresses across the country. The group’s aim is to raise awareness of issues around climate change and damage to the world’s ecology. Walkers arrived in Melbourne on August 30 and were greeted with a symbolic washing of their feet at the Methodist church, as well as being fed and hosted locally. Local people joined in with the next leg of the walk which took them to Aston-on-Trent. Ruth Walters, from York, was one of the arrivals in Melbourne. She had taken part in the walk on its journey between Netherseal and Nottingham. She said: “As an organisation, we re-

ally wanted to do something around COP26 to get churches involved and mobilise them, particularly talking to their MPs about this, and using the relay as a means to an end to get a bit of traction around that. “We see climate change as costing the earth, but no country should go into debt because of climate change.” Another walker was Anna Grincey, who had just finished her stint walking from her base in Birmingham to Melbourne, travelling on foot around 10 miles a day. “This is a really significant moment,” she said. “Our Government has the power to influence decisions that are made in terms of coping with the climate crisis.” The Young Christian Climate Network is calling on the UK Government to reinstate its foreign aid budget to pre-Covid levels; secure agreement from rich countries to “at least double the decade-old promise of $100bn a year for climate finance”; ensure finance for climate-induced loss and damage, and push for debt cancellation so climatevulnerable nations “can better confront the climate crisis and other urgent priorities”.

l Graham Truscott, of Melbourne Transition Group, washes a pilgrim’s feet.

The Common Touch... ON Saturday, September 25, Whistlewood will be commissioning a blacksmith to hand craft a fireguard for our strawbale roundhouse wood burner. We will be inviting shareholders and friends to sponsor one of the individual elements, which will be in the form of tall grass reeds. There will be a chance on the day for some people to make the reed they sponsored with the expert tuition of Adrian Stapleton of Trinity Forge. The main section will be a wrought iron hare which Adrian will forge for us. This

fireguard will be a beautiful and useful addition. We'll also be sharing skills around other sustainable green crafts. It is important that traditional craft skills survive and we’re doing our bit to support local craftspeople. We’ll be posting more info on our Facebook page. n On September 18-19, we’ll be looking forward to standing at The Woodland Festival in Elvaston. We’ll be spreading the word to all local people in Derby and the East Midlands

about Whistlewood and why we’re concerned about making our local area more sustainable and how we are completely off-grid. It’s a shame the arts festival is the same weekend, we’d love to be in two places at once. We wish good luck to Melbourne Arts Festival. Our environment needs looking after and this project is an important part in the fight against climate change, showing how we can live more sustainable creative lives. – Katherine Parrish

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Relegation threat for cricket club

MELBOURNE Town Cricket Club’s first team had a couple of frustrating months in July and August. In July, three of their five scheduled league matches were cancelled due to Covid in the opposition ranks meaning they could not start to pull themselves out of the relegation places. After two weeks off, Alex Slater’s men lost the toss and ended up fielding on what became the hottest day of the year but had Mickleover in trouble at 20-3 as Matt Briers did the damage (3-77) but the home side recovered to set 243-6. Despite Matt Briers top scoring with 29 Town were shot out for just 93. The last day of July proved a good day as the first team somehow came away with an amazing two-wicket win against relegation rivals Brailsford 1sts. A remarkable innings of 61 not out by Matt Briers which included seven sixes off just 29 balls got Town home. A good bowling performance at home to Rolleston seconds saw the visitors bowled out for 148 as Matt Briers (3-27) did the damage. Opener Shearsby (41) and skipper Slater (50 not out) saw the first team to victory by six wickets. A trip to to Quarndon seconds saw the home side amass 214-8 with Briers taking 4-46. In reply Melbourne were cruising on 131-1 as Sam Adcock (47), Matt Grimmett (31) and Zale Wood (39) all batted well. But an amazing collapse of nine wickets for 37 runs left the firsts being bowled out for 168 and a 46-run defeat. August ended with a trip to Winshill. Bowling first, Melbourne had them 36-4 when an umpiring decision didn't go their way which helped the

hosts to post 187-6. Despite 59 from Slater his team just fell short, being bowled out for 181 and staring at relegation with just four games to go. Melbourne’s second team had a busy couple of months too, playing 10 games, but a couple of poor displays put paid to their promotion hopes. They began July by bowling Packington out for just 99 with James Hogwood (3-22) and Marc Towell (3-2) doing the damage. Town reached the total for six wickets as Towell completed a good match with 43. The following week it was definitely Ranjit Rathore’s day as he scored a superb 102 not out away to Hartshorne 2nds in a partnership of 170 with Ash Elwell (82) as Town scored 247-7 and then Rathore took 623 as the home side were bowled out for just 124 to hand Melbourne a 123run victory. Fraser Radcliffe’s men then hosted top of the table Muggington in a crunch match as the visitors posted 188-8 batting first with Hogwood (3-37) being the pick of the bowlers but a poor batting display saw the seconds bowled out for just 117 and a 71-run defeat. Melbourne did bounce back the week after away to Breadsall 2nds. A superb 70 from Marc Towell plus 44 by Sam Adcock and 35 from skipper Radcliffe took them to 230-7, and four wickets each from Julian Humpidge and James Hogwood saw the hosts bowled out for 122 and a comfortable 108-run win. Towell fell agonisingly short of his maiden century the week after as he scored 97 away to Rosehill 2nds as Melbourne scored 208 all out. In reply the home side held on for a draw on 119-8. In a season defining game Town travelled to Alrewas 3rds and it was the home side who scored 224-5 bat-


ting first as Sohail Hussain (3-29) was the pick of the bowlers. Town struggled in reply and crawled to 127 for a draw. Another draw followed as this time Melbourne scored 196-6 batting first as Adam Swain (56 not out) led the way well supported by Adcock (47) and Towell (38) but Derby Cong's (Derby Congregational) 3rds held on by scoring 153-9 with Rathore (4-19) the pick of the bowlers. In their final match of the month Melbourne lost all hope of promotion as they were well beaten by fellow hopefuls Winshill 2nds. Melbourne Town third team continued their impressive season. A comfortable six-wicket home win against Stainsby Hall saw Will Jackson taking a remarkable 6-17. The week later they got the better of a draw away to Allestree 2nds as Town scored 240-5 after having batted first. An entertaining match at home to Duffield 4ths ended up irrelevant as the away side fielded an ineligible player to give the thirds a win. The week after Town lost a vital toss away to Sawley and were bowled out for just 64 in a six-wicket defeat but the thirds put in a much better display away to Mickleover thirds. The home side scored 172-5 and Town were in deep trouble on 24-5 but Scrimshaw (46 not out) and Dhiman (44) with the help of Blackhall and Turton saw them to victory by just two wickets with seven balls left. The team ended August with three rained-off games. After a busy two months the club would like to thank all its ball/match sponsors who were Breedon Carpet Care, Nick Bowes, Steve Malkin (x2), Studio 73, Colin Wakefield, Lion Court, Compartment Fire Limited and Spirit Vaults.

Village Voice September 2021 19

l The Melbourne Rugby Club Under 9/13 coach Chris Baggott with some of the young players.

Rugby youngsters all set to go

MELBOURNE Rugby Club held a hugely successful annual registration day at the Melbourne Sports Park (MSP) on September 5. Over 300 children between the ages of six and 16 arrived to test out some of the new laid pitches. The MSP staff did a marvellous job of keeping the long suffering parents supplied with tea and bacon, and the volunteers supplied a vast amount of both new and pre-loved kit to players new and old that others had rather thoughtlessly outgrown. As ever with the registration events, it is about welcoming new players as well as seeing exactly how much the usual players had forgotten. Reports from all coaches say that “it could have been worse!” – which is encouraging. The club has a considerable fixture list going into 21/22 season with teams being able to play home and away with local opposition such as Ashby and Matlock. There has been a great response for the Minxes teams with quite a few new players turning up to see what all the fuss is about. The Minxes will also be working in collaboration with both Ashby RFC and Coalville RFC to pool the coaching and player resources which should lead to much better competition in the long run. October 16 is Melbourne RFC’s annual (almost) beer festival. There will be live music with local band Agent Utah, and Melbourne Town band has also promised an appearance. This will be an attempt at returning to normal life, with so many events having been cancelled or compromised including two carnivals, two festivals and even Christmas. Melbourne has always been a community village, relying on locally run events to really bring it together. This will not disappoint.


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Ticknall duo prove to be teenage ton-up stars


Seven up for football club youngsters

THE younger members of Melbourne Dynamo Football Club continue to go from strength to strength with three brand new underseven teams entering the Derby Junior Football League this season. The Broncos, Sharks and Storm (named after Rugby League NRL teams) are all raring to go in the new season after a couple of years of the Saturday Soccer School participation. The club said: “We wish them all the best for the new season and the new coaches Ryan Cotton, Keith Schofield, John Bradbury, Matt Iliffe and James Thompson. “Special thanks to McVeigh Building Services Engineering for sponsoring new full kits for the three teams looking very smart as the lads represent Melbourne in the Derby league.”


l Jas Taggar (left) and Matty Paterson (right) in front of the scoreboard of the match when Ticknall Cricket Club’s third team played Hartshorne seconds.

YOUR GUIDE TO EVENTS IN THE AREA Wednesday 15 September: Antiques Roadshow-style event, Melbourne Parish Church. Free entrance and free valuations by auctioneer and TV personality Charles Hanson. Tea & homemade cake. 2.30 - 5.00pm. Thursday 16 September: Melbourne Footpaths Group walk: Tollgate Brewery Circular. Walks are approximately five to six miles, and numbers are limited to 18 walkers, in “pockets” of six. Places must be booked by email and the starting location will be provided. The group asks walkers not to invite anyone who has not booked. A donation of £2 is asked for to cover insurance and the group’s work on the footpath network. To book a place, email: Friday 17 September: Funhouse Comedy Club, Melbourne Sporting Partnership. 7.30 for 8pm. See main advert on page 18. Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 September: Melbourne Festival Art Trail. 10am - 5pm both days. More than 100 professional artists in 40 gardens and halls in Melbourne. Featuring Emerging Talent exhibition; live music; Food Fayre and Family Festival. £5 admission and under 18s free. See main advert on page 6. Saturday 18 September 18: Volunteer Event at Breedon Church. For people interested in getting involved in researching its history. 10am-11am. There will be an introduction to gravestone recording. Email or visit the Facebook page (BreedonHeritage) to register interest.

Thursday 23 September: Graham Oppenheimer & Friends at Melbourne Parish Church. See main advert on page 18. Friday 24 September: Macmillan Coffee Morning, The Spirit Vaults, Church Street, Melbourne. Part of the worlds biggest coffee morning, from 11.30 am. See main advert on page 1. Saturday 25 September: The Dolly Parton Story, Melbourne Assembly Rooms. 7pm. From Rags to Riches. A smash hit dynamic, solo theatre production starring award winning Julia Martin. Tickets £12.50. Sunday 26 September: We Are What We Overcome, Melbourne Assembly Rooms. See main advert on page 18. Thursday 7 October: Melbourne Area U3A: Melbourne Assembly Rooms 2.30pm - 4pm. A talk about the early motor industry. The U3A runs local interest groups for retired and semi-retired people. See Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 October: Aston History Group exhibition: Aston on Trent through the Decades 1900 - 2020. A visual and audio exhibition of how the village has changed over time. 10am - 4pm. Free entry. All Saints’ Heritage Centre. Friday 8 October: The Ben Crossland Jazz Quintet, Melbourne Parish Church. See main advert on page 18.

l Ticknall Cricket Club’s first team with the Breweries Cup.

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STELLAR scores have been seen at Ticknall Cricket Club this season as younger players put on a great display. The club’s third team sent Hartshorne seconds packing at their match on August 22, with 15-year-olds Jas Taggar and Matty Paterson – both pupils at Chellaston Academy – particularly impressive. Jas finished up at 115 not out while Matty scored 165, being bowled out on the last ball. Ticknall rattled up 295 for 1, while Hartshorne’s side were all out for 48. Bowling was equally fine with Peter Lumb, 19, taking the first seven wickets for no runs – including a hat-trick. Jake Cherry, aged 14, also scored his first century for Ticknall this summer in a match for the second team. The first team, meanwhile, are once again winners of The Breweries Cup after beating Rolleston in the semi- final and Tamworth in the final. The club was the current holder of the cup – which was established in 1894 – after the competition was not held in 2020. Ticknall CC continues to be grateful to groundsman Aidan Melen for his work keeping The Grange in such good condition.


MELBOURNE Dynamo FC’s senior section have begun their 2021/22 season running just two sides on a Saturday due to the evergrowing junior section. The first team is playing in the Central Midlands Division 1 South and the Reserves in the Midlands Regional Alliance Division 1. The first XI began their campaign with a resounding 4-0 home victory against Castle Donington with Jack Goodband leading the way with a double, supported by strikes from James Smith and Macauley Jones. But a week later they fell disappointingly 3-1 away to Carlton Town Reserves. Youngster Oscar Supple got the consolation as Melbourne had to play an hour with 10 men.

The team were on the road again the following week as they travelled to Heanor Town Reserves and came away with a point in a 2-2 draw with Ben Cooke and Karl Munton getting on the scoresheet. Dynamo copied the scoreline in their last game of the month. At home to PMG, Gav Salisbury’s men let a two-goal lead slip. Goodband and Cooke goals had put the hosts ahead. The first team ended the month lying in third place in the early stages of their 2021/22 season. Melbourne Dynamo Reserves had just one game in August, at home to Willington and, despite a stunning Jack Scothern header, they went down to a disappointing 2-1 opening day defeat.

Season nears end



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MELBOURNE Tennis Club is coming towards the end of a busy season. Half the teams are in with a chance of promotion with those in the Burton league leading the way. The Ladies A stayed top of their division without playing a game in August. The Ladies B had just one match versus Lichfield Friary which they won 3-0. Allen/Vatar won two rubbers and Crocker/Guest won one with one unfinished to leave them in fourth place with one match to play. The Ladies C are lying second despite losing 4-0 to Lichfield Friary, but they bounced back to beat Spital 3-1 thanks to the Tunnicliffe/White and Sylvester Lowe/Boyles pairings. The Mixed teams are doing well and the A team stand in second place after two 4-0 wins against Barton and Spital respectively thanks to Brenchley/Benchley and Leslie/Heath and then Fleming/Heath and Leckie/Guest. The Mixed B are lying top and also won both their August matches, 3-1 versus Spital thanks to Oppenheimer/Alison Noble (2) and L Clarke/Clarke (1) and then against CURC 4-0 with Cowley/Guest and Oppenheimer/Alison Noble all winning.