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Dog poo prosecution first for Melbourne

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No. 317 April 2019 l Red Nose Day brought fun and games to the area and youngsters such as these in Melbourne (right) and Ticknall did their bit in aid of Comic Relief. Report and more pictures inside.


MELBOURNE could still be in line for a regular market – but the preferred venue is now Castle Square and not the Market Place, a public meeting heard. The latest meeting of Melbourne Parish Council, held at The Assembly Rooms on April 2, heard an update on whether the town would be getting a regular market – a possibility which was first raised a year ago. The meeting was told by clerk Jacqui Storer that the Market Place – which was originally mooted as the venue for a market – was now not deemed suitable because of various issues including highways concerns. But she said: “South Derbyshire (district council) is still keen to have a market in Melbourne.” She said the possibility of a planning application for a market in Castle Square was now




being looked at. Parish councillors were also told that a regular market that was being held in Willington had now ceased trading, after shopkeepers said it was too successful and they were getting none of the benefit – potentially creating further opportunity in Melbourne. Proposals for a market in Melbourne were discussed last year when representatives from the district council and Swadlincote market came to a parish council meeting to put forward the idea. They said that the market in Swadlincote had done much to boost economic vitality in the town with increased footfall on market days bringing a boost to local shops as well as traders.

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If a Melbourne market was to go ahead, it would need planning approval; since last year’s discussions on the matter, no planning application was ever submitted. When parish councillors discussed it at the time, they said they would like to see goods being sold in a market that were not currently on offer in Melbourne’s shops, so as not to affect existing businesses in the town who pay rates to operate. A spokesperson for South Derbyshire District Council said: “There continues to be interest from a private operator in holding a market in Melbourne. The district council has been working with the potential operator to try to address highways and other concerns. No possible sites have been ruled in or out at this stage.”

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CCTV footage gathered in Melbourne has, for the first time, seen a dog owner fined £100 for failing to pick up their animal’s poo. The news was relayed to parish councillors at its latest meeting in Melbourne Assembly Rooms on April 2. A spokesperson for South Derbyshire District Council, contacted by the Village Voice, said: “The council’s community safety enforcement officers were contacted by Melbourne Parish Council, who had CCTV evidence of an owner not picking up after their dog. “The community Safety Enforcement Officers identified and interviewed the suspect under caution who admitted the offence and agreed to accept a fixed penalty notice of £100. The penalty has been paid. “This is the first time CCTV evidence from Melbourne has been used to issue a fine for dog fouling. “In the last two years, South Derbyshire has issued 20 fixed penalties for breaches of Public Spaces Protection Orders across the district relating to the control of dogs.” The issue of un-picked up dog poo has been high up on the agenda in this area for a long time. The district council has a Public Space Protection Order in place which makes it illegal not to pick up dog poo in all public open land in South Derbyshire. Over in North West Leicestershire, which covers Breedon, it is illegal for a dog owner not to have the means to pick up after their pet – for example, a dog poo bag – on their person when challenged by an authorised council officer, whether or not the animal has done its business.

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2 Village Voice April 2019

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l The substation on Quick Close (“much better than it could have been”) and guerilla gardening on Jubilee Close/Station Road (highly commended).

Quite a mixture in building awards

FROM an electricity substation judged “better than it could have been” to a temporary restaurant window screen that blended in beautifully with the surrounding street scene – this year’s Melbourne Civic Society awards honouring the best new building and landscape projects in the village saw five very different commendations. Melbourne Civic Society has been going since 1974, and its remit is to look after the local environment, which it does with a range of projects including responding to planning issues; liaising with the airport; organising litter picks, and planting bulbs to brighten up the place – including the display at the Washpit between Castle Street, Chapel Street, Station Road and Packhorse Road. The society’s annual awards scheme honours the most outstanding example of new building, renovation or landscape of the year that contributes positively to the street scene. This year there were five nominations for the award, with judging taking place on March 12 by visiting architect Amanda Harman; Melbourne Parish Council chair Sheila Hicklin; Civic Society former chairman Paul Grimley; society member Barry Thomas; civic society members David Clark and Teresa Johnson from the Melbourne Historical Research Group. Nominated for the award were: m The temporary replacement window at The Bay Tree restaurant, which owners Rex and Susie Howell put up after a car crashed through the window; m An area of ‘guerilla gardening’ between Jubilee Close and Station Road; m The straw bale roundhouse at Whistlewood Common built by volunteers to cutting edge ecofriendly specifications; m The war memorial bench at Melbourne Cenotaph (which used a painting by local artist Michael Cook in the design); and m The electricity substation at Quick Close, for the effort made on fittings and to help it blend into the environment as far as possible. The Bay Tree window was given a “special award” when the results were announced at the civic society’s Annual General Meeting on March 25. Announcing the winners, Paul Grimley said: “A special award goes to the Bay Tree restaurant for the temporary screen on the Potter Street frontage. That has drawn con-

l Paul Grimley and Pam Adams of Melbourne Civic Society, handing over the reins to Neil Wright and Ann Roberts. siderable praise from the general public. It avoided what would have been a really awful blot on the street scene.” Susan Howell, co-owner of The Bay Tree restaurant, said: “Thank you to the civic society; it is such a great honour for us to be given an award for the execution of the faux window at The Bay Tree after the unfortunate accident last November. “Receiving this award would not have been possible without the help and support of the Melbourne community. “We are truly grateful to all: the building contractors, friends and other restaurateurs volunteering their help. “We were and still are truly overwhelmed by the generosity and support of others.” While no overall award was given this year, highly commended were the area of gardening between Jubilee Close and Station Road, which Dr Grimley said “has greatly improved a previously poorly maintained” area, and was being singled out “… in recognition of the significant individual effort to enhance the area and hopefully to inspire others

to do similar sorts of works”. The strawbale roundhouse at Whistlewood, which took months of building involving many hours of volunteer time, as well as the effort of collecting thousands of empty wine bottles to create an insulated floor, was also highly commended. On the subject of the substation, Dr Grimley commented: “The substation on Quick Close was previously objected to by the civic society but was shortlisted for the efforts to reduce its impact and make some effort to use quality fittings and make that fit in with the surroundings – it was thought to be much better than it could have been.” The war memorial bench at the cenotaph was also commended, for having been “much appreciated by the community and well visited”. Also on the evening, the society’s secretary, Pam Adams, stepped down from the role after 14 years on the committee and 11 years as secretary, handing over to Ann Roberts. Dr Grimley handed over the chairmanship to Neil Wright. – Lucy Stephens

Oh boy! New look to Carnival contest

THIS year’s carnival competition to find young representatives to launch the annual summer event has had a rethink – and boys are now being invited to take part in proceedings for the first time. Traditionally, the Miss Melbourne contest heralds the start of the carnival season, but this year the event’s committee has decided to hold a slightly different type of contest, which will be open to all primary aged children within the parish. Along the aquatic theme of this year’s carnival, the new “Star of the Sea” competition will be held at the Royal British Le-

gion on Friday, May 10. Primary school aged young people – boys and girls – are invited along to compete for the honour of being named “Star of the Sea”; there are also spaces for six starfish! The winners will ride at the head of the carnival procession, as has happened in previous years. To take part, boys and girls are asked to go along on the evening, with doors open at 6.30pm. There is a £1 fee. They are invited to “dress to impress” and talk about what makes them special. Penny Mitchell, who is on this year’s carnival board, said: “I think it’s a really good

Village Voice April 2019 3

message because it’s about kids, their personalities and what makes them unique! “It can be anything at all, we’re asking the children to come and tell us about who you are, your interests and what’s great about you.” This year’s carnival is being held on Saturday, July 13, and the theme is: “Under the Sea”. Organisers say stall plots are filling up fast. Anyone interested in having a carnival float along this theme is also asked to contact the committee to reserve a slot. – Lucy Stephens

Large, purpose built, heated dog kennels and cat chalets in Ingleby. Large, secure, grass exercise paddocks for ƌĞƐŝĚĞŶƚĚŽŐƐ͕ĂůůŽǁŝŶŐĂĐƟǀĞŽƌƐĞĚĂƚĞƚŽďĞĞdžĞƌĐŝƐĞĚ to their requirements. &ŽƌǀŝƐŝƟŶŐĐĂƚƐ͕ĐŽŵĨŽƌƚĂďůĞĐŚĂůĞƚƐǁŝƚŚ ǀŝĞǁŝŶŐǁŝŶĚŽǁƐĂŶĚŽƵƚƐŝĚĞƌƵŶƐ͘


ALL the money due to the local community associated with the new Victoria Gardens development on Jawbone Lane has now been paid, the Village Voice has learned. A sign outside the Miller Homes development said £274,000 would be due to the local area, to be paid to various bodies including both schools, the GP surgery and the sports park. The money is paid under ‘section 106’ terms, which is paid by developers to communities to mitigate the impact of extra housing on local services. A spokesperson for South Derbyshire District Council, which is responsible for handling section 106 payments, said Miller Homes had actually paid slightly more than first indicated. They said: “ … the figure Miller Homes has paid in contribution for Off Site Open Space is approximately double that displayed. This is because of the original intention by Miller Homes to increase the Open Space provided on site which would have lowered the requirement for an off-site contribution. The “off-site” open space contribution is being paid to Whistlewood Common. Alistair Parsons, area sales director at Miller Homes Midlands, said: “At Miller Homes, we believe in building much more than quality homes – we’re committed to creating communities that are safe, welcoming and built for the future. We know that our contribution will continue to make this village a desirable place for residents to settle for years to come. “We are delighted to confirm that we have officially completed our funding towards the village of Melbourne, Derbyshire, contributing over £313,535 towards education institutions, sports facilities and a medical practice.” The district council has a formal claim process for the beneficiaries to claim the money collected on their behalf. The section 106 officers can be contacted using the following email address and Application of Monies Forms can be sent out. The council has said it has already been in contact with the relevant groups in this case.

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Melbourne ‘is the business’

4 Village Voice April 2019

A VISIT to Melbourne by a group of women entrepreneurs is already seeing added business brought to the town. Firm Support, a network of female entrepreneurs and small business owners, visited Melbourne in March at the invitation of one of its members, Clare Bampton, who was keen to show the group what the town had to offer and how it could compete with larger locations. Firm Support Chair Rachael Brown, owner of Hilton-based AFH Wealth Management, said: “Clare wanted to show us that Melbourne had just as much to offer businesses as its larger urban counterparts. “Most of us hadn’t been into Melbourne previously and we were surprised at the diversity of businesses that existed within such a small area. “We hadn’t realised that a couple of hours would only skim the surface of the businesses that were here – we didn’t get time to visit the industrial estates and the businesses there which was a shame, although we did hear all about the businesses on them. We really enjoyed our tour of Melbourne’s centre which offered us the opportunity to meet some brilliant businesses that will no doubt be useful in both our professional and personal lives. “We were taken aback by how friendly and professional the businesses were and how generously they gave up their time to tell us about their services – we even came away with chocolates from the Melbourne Deli,

flowers from Melbourne Florist and plenty of coffee and cake from Forteys and Jacks! Business has already been done between our group and Melbourne-based SMEs. “Apart from pretty much all of us coming away with bags from the interiors’ shops on the day, we now have members commissioning services from Melbourne businesses including Melbourne Print and the Melbourne Assembly Rooms – plus one member is even looking at property for her family here! “I think you can safely say we have been inspired by Melbourne; we had no idea it had this much potential! Thank you for making us feel so welcome.” Firm Support is there to help female entrepreneurs facing challenges in their journey to success. It aims to provide a professional, supportive environment to sharing best practice, individual expertise and a confidential environment.


l Members of Firm Support with chair, Rachael Brown, third from right, on their visit to Melbourne.

MANY trees planted by the housebuilder responsible for the Kings Croft development in Kings Newton have now died, local residents have said. As part of the planning agreement associated with building the development on Kings Newton Lane, housebuilder Charles Church – a brand of Persimmon – was required to plant hundreds of trees in the area near to the development. But local residents have reported that many of

those planted near footpath seven next to the development are now in a poor state, some having actually died, after being exposed to the Beast from the East storms last year. Barry Thomas, from Melbourne Civic Society, said: “We would like to make sure that any dead trees are replaced.” Planning conditions include maintenance for trees as well as planting them.

A spokesman from Charles Church North Midlands, said: “While we have not been made aware that any trees have died, now we have been notified we will carry out a full inspection of the area of concern. “Following the inspection, if there are any trees that remain our responsibility, then we will undertake the necessary maintenance or replanting, as appropriate.”

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Pigeon thefts leave Marcus heartbroken

Gypsy site appeal

Village Voice April 2019 5

APPLICANTS who wanted to put a six-pitch gypsy caravan site in Aston-on-Trent have now appealed against the decision to refuse their proposal – which means it is up for scrutiny again. Last October, around 250 people from Aston-on-Trent turned up to South Derbyshire District Council’s civic offices in Swadlincote to hear the decision as to whether the proposed gypsy site on Shardlow Road would be granted. Only around 40 could actually fit into the debating chamber and the rest had to wait outside. Officers had recommended the site should go ahead, but members of its planning committee spent an hour carefully debating the ins and outs of the matter, before voting to refuse it by a narrow margin. The applicants have now appealed against the refusal, which means it will be looked at by a planning inspector, who is able to overturn the original refusal – or agree with the decision councillors made.

Dave Potts

4th May 1971 - 7th February 2019

Gail, Harry, Charlotte and family would like to thank everyone sincerely for all the cards, flowers, messages of support and kindness since losing Dave and for attending the service to celebrate Dave’s life. £1,345 has been donated in Dave’s memory and this will be used to buy fans and radios for patients to use on the Adult Intensive Care Unit at QMC Nottingham, together with comfort items for the visitors’ waiting room. Thank you all for your generosity We would also like to thank Rev. John Hartley for supporting the family, conducting the service and for delivering a wonderful eulogy for Dave. Thank you to everyone at Melbourne Methodist Church for all their thoughts and prayers. Thanks to Andy and all at JP Springthorpe & Co for all their care throughout. Finally we would like to thank Emma Stanley for the superb buffet and Yvonne and everyone at Melbourne Royal British Legion for looking after us at Dave’s “after party”.

Photo: MARTIN STEPHENS THE owner of 45 exhibition fantail pigeons which were stolen from his property says the loss has broken his heart – and that of the previous owner who entrusted the birds to his care. Marcus Conner runs a rescue centre for birds, including those that are sick and injured, at his home on Sinfin Lane, just outside Barrow-uponTrent. As well as pigeons he also keeps poultry and peacocks, along with goats and feral cats. The peacocks in his care had been left abandoned in a Leicester car park – a not uncommon scenario as owners realise that these birds, while spectacular, can also be extremely noisy. Now officers from the Melbourne Safer Neighbourhood Team are appealing for information after the theft of the pigeons overnight from four lofts between March 19 and 20. At the time Marcus and his partner were away for a birthday celebration and he was alerted to what had happened when he received a text message from a relative that a shed door had been wrenched open. He said: “This has totally destroyed my faith in people. I actually rescue pigeons and poultry and the birds in question were brought in by a gentleman who couldn't care for them any more due to health reasons and wanted them to be some-

where safe. “It’s not only broke my heart but also their previous owner’s whole family. Im now paranoid this is going to happen again to the extent I’ve decided I won’t go to sleep tonight as I'm scared the rest will be taken. “I feel an absolute wreck. My birds and rescue are my life, it feels like a big chunk of me has gone.” Marcus told the Village Voice that he had been fascinated by pigeons since he was six years old. “My best friend when I was a kid, his granddad had got them,” he said. “Over time, I spent less time with my friend and more time with his granddad.” Marcus does not race pigeons but keeps them purely for the love of all feathered things: “I do pigeon rescue, the majority of that is sick and injured. I try to get them back to health. “I don’t seem to be able to say no if something needs help!” If you think you have any information about the theft, have been offered similar birds for sale or saw anything suspicious in the area that night, please contact Derbyshire Constabulary’s Melbourne Safer Neighbourhood Team using any of the following non-emergency methods, quoting incident number 19*141626: – Lucy Stephens

Library deadline looms

THERE is still time for individuals or groups to come forward with a plan for running Melbourne Library. An open day at the library, on March 14, saw a steady stream of individuals asking questions. A detailed information pack was also made available to anyone interested. Although there is no set timetable for handing over to the community, officials advised that expressions of interest will need to be lodged by April 11.

Thereafter discussions will take place with successful organisations with a view to drawing up a formal business case. A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council said: “We had a good response to our open day at Melbourne from individuals and those representing local organisations. “Many stayed for a long time asking our staff about the library building, the training and support available and discussed their ideas for how the library

could be run for the benefit of the local community in the future. “There’s still time for people, groups and organisations to register their interest in running Melbourne Library as the deadline for responses is April 11.” There is still no clarity about the future for the staff working in the libraries being transferred to community ownership, nor on what will happen if no suitable groups come forward.

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6 Village Voice April 2019

Country Living with Robert Parker

Gulp ... no sign of the swallows I was expecting

IT’S the second day of April and I was fully convinced that I would be telling you that the swallows had arrived – but I’m afraid I can’t. Looking at last year’s diary I’d made a note of the seventh of the month and was expecting an earlier arrival than that with this season being so much kinder but it’s not to be. With five days to go, a lot could still happen … The kind spring weather has let us be a little more relaxed in our workload compared to last year, when an awful lot of work had to be done in a short time. We have even made some silage in February for a customer, and sowed some beans into perfect soil conditions. The job always has some surprises! n Our Longhorn and Limousins have been calving and so far we have had a trouble-free time. Last year a lot of them gave birth during the worst of the extreme cold and it was very difficult to keep the calves

alive. We did lose several of them and had to foster some calves off the last of the dairy cows, which is never an easy job. Some cows will take to any calves and some just will not have them at any price. We have an old dairy cow that’s been on the farm for more than 14 years and has had 11 calves of her own. She will take to any calf and plays hell if you try to take it off her. n Last week our cattle passed their biannual TB test which is always a great relief. Some areas of the country which are more densely populated with cattle are continually losing stock to this dreadful problem. Our local area has a much smaller population and very little nose-to-nose contact with neighbouring herds. Deer, badgers and other animals pose a risk of spreading TB to cattle herds, but we can only suppose that our wildlife is clear of the disease too. Long may this continue.


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STORM Gareth may have wreaked havoc on much of the UK, but a pair of Little Owls were still able to find shelter from March’s high winds in an old oak tree at Calke Abbey. Little owls are the smallest type of owl found in the UK, and numbers have been rapidly declining in this country over recent decades. These pictures were taken of one of the Little Owls in the grounds of Calke, whose gnarly old oak trees make an excellent habitat for them. These trees are also used by woodpeckers and nuthatches which feed off them, as well as deer, badgers, cattle and sheep which use the oaks for feeding or sheltering under.

Festival ‘Flower power’ theme Photos: David Jenkinson

THIS year marks the 15th anniversary of the Melbourne Festival – and the artistic festivities are set to have a distinctly “flower power” theme. Following the popularity of last year’s Pop Up Poppies to mark the end of the First World War, for which Melbourne’s knitters made more than 7,000 poppies, members of the public are being invited once again to show off their crafty side. They are being asked to join in with knitting or sewing brightly coloured flowers and bunting made from leftover fabric scraps and wool to decorate the trail. Festival director Sharon Brown said that the team organising this year’s event were keen to create a party atmosphere – and, while it was not quite going back to the 1960s, ‘Flower Power is in the air’. She said: “Spring has sprung and Melbourne Festival’s plans are galloping ahead. Fortunately, the festival is still going strong and it’s hard to believe that this is the 15th year! “Planning started after Christmas and, as usual, the festival has BIG ideas and a small budget – the current challenge is how to make it all happen!” This year’s Art & Architecture Trail will be held on September 14 and 15. In the lead-up to the festival, local children will be invited to join in free workshops as part of this year’s ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ theme. Adults will also be encouraged to join ‘Crafternoons’ to sew or knit the flowers being used to decorate the trail.

Live performances have always been part of the festival and this year they are being rebranded as Melbourne Festival Fringe. Over the last few years, more local organisations have arranged events in September and October – anyone who wants to find out more about arranging a fringe event is advised to contact with the festival team. Sharon said: “Melbourne Festival is not for profit. Ticket sales nearly cover the cost of putting on the trail but not the extras for children, young people, and the not-so-young. “The festival gets no financial support from the district or parish councils so it needs support from local companies and individuals to help pay for workshops etc. “The festival really appreciates their support as it enables local people to take part in creative activities and helps keep the festival fresh. “If you would like to support the festival by becoming a sponsor or a ‘festival friend’ please contact the festival team. Sponsors and friends get free entry to the trail, plus early access to concert tickets and regular newsletters. The festival needs your support.” Anyone who wants to help out with creating flowers is asked to get in touch with the festival on 07765 819428. You can also find out more by popping into Melbourne Community Care’s office, or joining the team for a Crafternoon Tea on Thursday afternoons at Pool Cottage from mid-May. Look out for updates on the festival at and in the Village Voice.

Stem cell donor Ben says he’ll do it again

A YOUNG stem cell donor from Melbourne has urged others to sign up to the life-saving Anthony Nolan register, saying the process was “a privilege” and he will do it again. Ben Gotheridge, 20, of Queensway, gave his stem cell donation on March 12 after being on the register for around two years. Anthony Nolan is a UK charity which aims to match people willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow to those with blood cancer or disorders in need of lifesaving transplants. After the process, Ben said: “It’s a feeling I’ve never felt before; unless you have been through it, you will never feel that euphoria. It’s such a small gesture that is so big to someone else.” Ben signed up to the register in 2016 when he was at Chellaston Academy, after an Anthony Nolan representative gave a presentation to students promoting its work. Despite not knowing anyone who needed a transplant, Ben decided on the day that he wanted to register. “I had heard rumours that the procedure was painful, but in truth it’s not, it’s just a privilege,” he said. In November 2018, Ben received a phone call saying he could be a match for someone. In February this year, Ben went to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield for more tests – but one showed his white blood cell count was not at a good enough rate. He said: “I had been ill so that may have been why, but for a few days I cut out alcohol, just tried to boost my immune system and generally be healthier. By the start of March I had another test, and everything was fine. I was ready to go ahead.” On March 12, Ben travelled back to Sheffield to have the procedure: “I was there for five hours, there was pain in my right arm for a short time, but I was thinking to myself ‘if that’s the only bit of pain for the reward it gives, it’s worth it’. “When it came time to say goodbye, I didn’t want to; they were so amazing, they appreciate what you are doing and you love to be a part of it. I will never forget them.” Anthony Nolan have rules about interaction between donor and recipient, so Ben only knows their gender and weight at this stage. He said: “We are allowed to meet in two years, but it has to be a mutual agreement. I would love to meet them. I’m currently drafting a letter to send them, but it has to be anonymous.” After this donation, Ben must wait two years before going on the register again, but he says he will definitely do it again, and encourages others to do so. “I wish it was advertised more; it’s saving lives

on a daily basis. I encourage people to sign up; it’s an amazing feeling.” Sarah Cleveley, Anthony Nolan’s regional register development manager for the East Midlands, says: “Someone is diagnosed with blood cancer, or related disorder, every 14 minutes. For many of these people, a stem cell transplant is their last chance of life. By making the decision to sign up to the Anthony Nolan register and donate his stem cells, Ben has done something incredible: he has given someone else hope. “We call donors lifesavers because that’s truly what they are. By joining the Anthony Nolan, or other stem cell registers across the world, they are giving people a second chance at life. “We urgently need more young men, like Ben, to sign up, as they are most likely to be chosen to donate but make up just 18% of the Anthony Nolan register.” – Oliver Wiles

Police plea for information

Village Voice April 2019 7

POLICE are asking if anyone saw any person or vehicle “hanging around” on Jubilee Close or its nearby streets on March 27 after an attempted burglary on a property there. The burglary happened between 6.30pm and 7.15pm. Police said a rear window was forced open and the offender or offenders got inside and searched the place, but nothing was actually stolen. Please call 101 quoting 19*156462 if you have any information that could assist with inquiries.

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n THIS year’s Melbourne Quiz saw the Capulets crowned the winners … but they were from slightly nearer home than fair Verona. Local drama group St Michael’s Players fielded two teams for this year’s popular quiz, of which the other was The Montagues.

Winners The Capulets comprised captain Gordon Hughes, Bev Bennett, Anne Payne and Graham Truscott, with Chris Mills standing in for Bev in the semi and final. The Capulets won despite stumbling over whether Romeo was a Montague or a Capulet …

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8 Village Voice April 2019

NINETY years young and the life and soul of the party – that was Melbourne’s Betty Baker as she celebrated her big birthday surrounded by friends and family at Melbourne Hall Tea Rooms. More than 40 people turned out to celebrate Betty’s 90th birthday on March 30, her birthday itself being a few days later on April 2. Born in Melbourne into the Laban family, Betty went to school locally and then won a scholarship to Parkfields Cedars. After leaving school she went and worked at Melbourne Telephone Exchange. Marriage to Maurice Baker took place in 1949 in Melbourne, and the pair ran the Ferrers Arms at Lount for six years in the 1950s, before returning to the village. Betty’s party in the tea rooms had one very special guest: Michael Bishop, chairman of British Midland Airways, for whom Betty worked for 24 years. Betty said the tea rooms had catered brilliantly for the party: “They did a very good job, they were brilliant,” she said. Betty (seated, centre) is pictured withh grand-daughters Emma Ireland, Laura Baker, Rebecca Baker and Louise Blood and great grandchildren Alfie and Lily Ireland (right).

£30,000 pump house building repairs plan

PROPOSALS to spend around £30,000 on repairs to a “small but beautifully unique” pump house in the grounds of Elvaston Castle are to be decided by council planners. Derbyshire County Council has applied to make the repairs to the pump house, after the collapse of its roof in August 2018. A design, access and heritage statement accompanying the plans says “comprehensive repairs” are needed for the building, one of several grade 2 listed structures at the park. The proposals to repair the roof involve using the existing materials where possible. This includes re-using intact tiles; melting down the leadwork for re-use, constructing a French drain to help with the problem of rising damp, rebuilding the walls with hand-made bricks, repairing the Harrington Crest, taking off the metal security bars on the windows; installing single-glazed windows in an authentic pattern, and recreating the “flared profile” of the parapets and gables to their original height and form. The pump house is thought to have been designed for the Earl of Harrington by William Barron, the estate’s head gardener, in the early 19th century. It is one of four buildings designed by Barron for the estate, which are all strikingly similar in design: the pump house, the Moorish temple, Springthorpe Cottage and Golden Gate Lodge. Built to pump water from the lake to provide a

supply for the estate’s gardens, it is understood that water would originally have been delivered to a water tower in the courtyard from where it would have been taken to the fountains within the garden. It was also used to supply water within the main castle building itself, using an ingenious system involving a water powered lift to service rooms at different levels within the building. But the later decline of the estate meant the removal of features served by the pump house, with the water tower demolished, the fountains removed and the walled gardens abandoned. The lake was also allowed to silt up, which affected the operation of the pump mechanism. The heritage statement said: “The building is vitally important to the gothic fantasy landscape designed by William Barron at Elvaston, and, as the first of three similar garden buildings it is considered to be of great physical evidential value in the development of his ideas within this collection. Indeed, the building bears the family crest – which is surely a testament to the endearing relationship the Stanhope family had with their garden and the buildings within it. It is, therefore, of considerable importance that the building is conserved for future generations to enjoy.” The proposals are currently with South Derbyshire District Council where they are awaiting a decision.

‘Years of hell’ look to be over for family

Village Voice April 2019 9

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“THREE years of hell� look as though they are finally behind a Melbourne family who are now firmly on the road to being allowed to remain in the UK. Clive and Yvonne Karusseit, formerly from Zimbabwe and then South Africa, moved to the UK more than eight years ago. But when they applied for the right to remain permanently in this country, the Home Office refused their application over an unfortunate mix-up regarding the required English test. That meant they then faced being deported back to South Africa. Many people in the local community rallied round to support the couple through three years of fighting to get permanent residency in this country. It was a journey which saw the family thousands of pounds out of pocket; Clive unable to work for a time; and Yvonne in hospital having suffered a heart attack. But now the couple have finally been allowed to sit the tests they needed to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain visas, and Yvonne has been granted her right to remain on ancestral grounds – her great-grandfather having been British. Clive will be applying for his own “spousal� permanent visa in around 18 months, but has been professionally advised it should be granted. Now the Karusseits have warmly thanked the whole community for their support in achieving their right to remain in this country. This included thousands of pounds raised with fund-raising events in order to pay for a specialist lawyer to fight the couple’s case. Clive said: “It’s just such a relief. You can’t explain it. The stress levels are still there but they are diminishing.� Yvonne said: “The community have been wonderful, we can’t say enough thanks. “I can’t tell you what this feels like – I can’t describe it. There were times when Clive and I were on the verge of giving up, we just could not take it anymore.� Yvonne’s mother Eileen, who lives with the couple, added: “This has been three years of hell for them.� The couple extended sincere thanks to South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler for her work negotiating with the Home Office on their behalf. One of the leading lights in the Karusseit support group was Melbourne’s John Williams, who took up the couple’s case and organised a public support meeting at the Thomas Cook Mission Hall where Yvonne gave a powerful

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and moving illustrated talk about the daily fear of violence that was her family’s life in Rhodesia before UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence). As is well known, the family suffered greatly at the hands of Robert Mugabe, and Yvonne’s brother, Terry, was murdered at his farm in Zimbabwe in 2002. John said: “Clive and Yvonne’s days of facing the horror of deportation back to Africa are now mercifully behind them and they can begin to enjoy life in England without the gnawing fear of an uncertain future. “When the noise has died away, when the clamour has died down there is still the powerful reminder of what the community can really do when it

pulls together. Many of us felt a sort of strength of purpose, a common goal, an understanding that there was an injustice which needed to be addressed. We were all facing in the right direction with a joint purpose and it felt good. “I was proud to be working with the support group and with the community alongside. Others felt the same way. I was very moved by the generosity of local people from every part of Melbourne. “At this late stage I feel grateful to all those people who contributed their money, their time and their effort. We are lucky to live here. At the end of these recent efforts, I can see what good people we have.� – Lucy Stephens

Alderman’s ‘swan song’

APPLAUSE rang out at a Melbourne Parish Council meeting in honour of a much-respected councillor who made his “swan song� following 20 years of public service. Honorary Alderman John Harrison, who has decided not to seek re-election to the district council this May, gave his last report to the parish council at its latest meeting on April 2. District and county councillors provide updates to parish councillors every time they meet, and Alderman Harrison said this was his last one having done the job for two decades – both as a county and district councillor. He is particularly well known in this area for having been instrumental in bringing about Melbourne Sports Park, of which he is now honorary president.

Speaking to the parish council, Alderman Harrison said: “This is my swan song – the first song I made to this council was a full 20 years ago. During that time I’ve done my best to advance, promote and protect the interests of this wonderful town. “I’ve enjoyed most of that time. I haven’t been successful in everything I’ve been engaged in; hopefully on balance I’ve done good things rather than things that are detrimental to the local community. I wish my successor every success.� Alderman Harrison’s words were greeted with applause. Parish council chair Sheila Hicklin told him: “On behalf of myself and the rest of Melbourne and Kings Newton, as a district councillor and a county councillor, you’ve been amazing!�


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AJ uses her head to teach yoga

10 Village Voice April 2019

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ONE of Melbourne’s newest residents is set to turn your world upside down! A J Hartley – or simply “AJ” as she likes to be called – is a qualified yoga teacher who has a passion for yoga, and in particular ‘inversion’ yoga. “My classes,” she said, “are focussed on improving strength and mindset, and I created Zenaya yoga to inspire and share my love of this practice. The benefits are many, including physical wellbeing, lowering heart rate, improved strength, flexibility and circulation, as well as giving a different perspective.” Inversion, if you have not worked it out, is headstands or handstands. AJ grew up on London and studied Politics and International Relations at the University of York, after which she made the decision to pursue her passion for yoga and set herself up as a tutor. Since then she has seen the business grow into giving private tuition, running classes, workshops and even corporate events for clients in highly stressed roles. “I was really brought into it by my mum, but then I got into cheerleading, and enjoyed the strength and flexibility of that. I found that practising yoga provided both the physical and emotional sides, but also focussed on meditation and mindfulness,” she said. The philosophy stems from “Vinyasa Flow”, AJ explained; it is about the fluidity between the yoga movements with an emphasis on a physical level of strength and flexibility – maintaining a healthy lifestyle: “Yoga can mean a variety of things to different

people, but the core principles and philosophies I choose to take away, and live my life through, involve three main things; physical practice, meditation and mindfulness.” She is currently running classes in Melbourne, at the Assembly Rooms, in Ashby and Castle Donington. – Frank Hughes

n AN afternoon tea fit for a queen raised £750 towards this year’s Well Dressing Festival in Aston-on-Trent. The annual well dressing festival is happening on July 6 and 7 and this year’s nominated charities are SAVE (Save Aston Village Environment) and Aquabox, a charity and community project set up and managed by the Rotary Club of Wirksworth to provide safe drinking water, through the use of filtration units, and humanitarian aid to crisis zones around the world. The new well dressing committee put on the event, with lots of new stalls, a tea party, and fizz.

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Roads get Govt cash boost

ROAD workers have been busy mending 115 roads after the county council was given extra Government funding of £8.4million to fix them. The money was given to Derbyshire County Council on condition that it was spent on roads by the end of March this year. As well as 115 roads, the county has also repaired pavements in 34 different places, plus bridges and retaining walls in 60 places. Councillor Simon Spencer, the council’s cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure, said: “We were delighted to receive the funding and have worked hard to spend the money in a really tight timeframe. Thankfully this winter

we had the weather on our side. “We employed extra pairs of hands to support our regular workforce and additional specialist equipment and materials. “This helped us speed up repairs so that we can get our roads and pavements in a much better condition as quickly as possible. We also put in an extra £6m investment in our roads to help keep on top of defects.” Of the money spent, around £800,000 went towards fixing potholes; £500,000 to resurface paths; and a further half a million on drainage works and resurfacing to cut down on the future maintenance bill.

Nature reserve news brings tree cheers for volunteers

Work on the new loos ongoing

Village Voice April 2019 11

HARD-WORKING volunteers at a former brickyard in Aston-on-Trent have been rewarded for years of effort after news that the site looks set to be designated a local nature reserve. Local group Friends of Aston Brickyard (FAB) was set up and started working at the site back in 2012, with the aim of turning the former quarry into a peaceful wildlife haven. Derbyshire County Council, which owns the Derby Road site, said that the nature reserve recommendation was “… a tribute to the significant increase in the site’s wildlife value in recent years”. One of the site’s biggest success stories is the fact that, despite a decline in national butterfly populations, there are now 25 species of butterflies at Aston Brickyard, including the White-letter Hairstreak. Once feared extinct, the White-letter Hairstreak is still a “UK priority” species, with populations recovering in a few areas of the country. Natural England has recommended the site be designated a nature reserve after the county council applied for the status.

l The entrance to the Brickyard site (above) with the White-letter Hairstreak (right) and (far right) decoration on one of the site’s trees.

A formal declaration is set for the summer following consultation with local councils and other interested groups. The plantation is an area of mixed woodland and a wildflower meadow on the site of the former clay pit and brick works. In the 18th century, it was a major provider of gypsum; a

brick works until the mid-60s and then a landfill site until the late 70s, after which it was taken on by the county council. FAB secretary John Holloway said: “The designation as a Local Nature Reserve acknowledges all the work we do to protect and improve this popular local site. It’s an important green space and we’re really

Andy honoured with Dr Freeman Award

THE man at the heart of last year’s Armistice centenary commemorations in Melbourne has been honoured with a community award. Andy Heafield, who co-ordinated 2018’s events to mark 100 years since the guns finally fell silent at the close of the First World War, was given this year’s Dr Brendan Freeman Award at Melbourne Parish Council’s annual meeting on March 21. The award has been going since 2013 and is given annually in memory of much-loved and respected local GP Dr Brendan Freeman for services to the community. The meeting heard that Andy was being given the award not for his work as manager of Melbourne Assembly Rooms but for bringing together many different local organisations to co-ordinate ‘Melbourne Remembers’ – a series of events throughout 2018 to mark the centenary commemorations. ‘Melbourne Remembers’ kicked off with a specially brewed beer along the lines of that which may have been enjoyed by local people in 1918; it was commissioned by Andy and sold at the Chip & Pin. Further events included a First World War painting commissioned by the parish council, whose design was then used to inspire the memorial bench down at the cenotaph; the 100 years of Hollands Amusements exhibition at the Assembly Rooms; the memorial concert organised by the Royal British Legion and the burning of a beacon

at Melbourne Sports Park in November. The meeting heard that Andy’s “marvellous achievement” was in encouraging so many different groups to work together. Receiving the award, Andy thanked the parish council, saying: “More than 5,000 people attended the various events, which is testament to the parish council for backing all these events, so thank you very much.” Afterwards, he said that as well as the thousands who went along to the various events, around 500 people had contributed to organising the commemorations in one way or another. He said: “At the outset one of the key targets was engaging with the community. I believe we did this very well and I hope that the parish council will take every opportunity to do this in the future. “As for Melbourne Assembly Rooms, after seven years here I hope that we will continue to be at the heart of the community. “ I want to thank the people who come here and continue to like what we do. This being Melbourne, I am sure I will hear the minute they don’t. “Finally, I would like to say a word about my parents who, had they been here, would have been thrilled with this. It’s very much an award to them as well me. “Thank you so much.”

proud of all that we’ve achieved. We’ll continue to work with the county council to encourage the local community to enjoy all the site has to offer.” Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Support Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure, Councillor Trevor Ainsworth, said: “It is very welcome news that our site will be

declared a local nature reserve and we’re grateful to Natural England for their support. “The designation is a tribute to the work of the Friends of Aston Brickyard and their commitment to continually enhancing the site which has become an important community resource and a home for a wide range of wildlife.”

MELBOURNE’S new public toilets are still a work in progress … a public meeting heard. The latest meeting of Melbourne Parish Council on April 2 heard an update on progress to create the new loos on the village’s High Street, after the previous ones were shut last September. The meeting heard how the land that the toilets had been situated on was contaminated, which accounted for the delay. Barry Thomas, from Melbourne Civic Society, was present in the public section of the meeting where he asked whether there was any further news on the “eyesore” site as to timescales. Alexander Bruce Estates, which is doing the work for Melbourne, said they and their ground engineers were working closely with the district council to “ensure the redevelopment is completed in accordance with the latest remediation strategy”.

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Barrel of laughs for Comic

12 Village Voice April 2019

STAFF … and a dog … from a local out for Comic Relief this year – or s The management team at the pubs r bourne, The Boot of Repton and The Dr idea of rolling a barrel of their own-bre 7.2 mile trip from Melbourne via Tickna The stout was brewed by head brewe pint sold – along with individual sponso lief. “The epic trek took place on March 15 his valuable support. The team set off from Melbourne, qu involved in getting to Ticknall, and on a landlord Tony, who was ready and waitin tomers raised £162 for the Comic Relie The Boot in Repton, where they had lu very glad to see the welcoming sign of T Once the beer had been sold over th £1,187 with Kelly Jennings, Bespoke’s personal sum of £360. Meanwhile, local schools got into the s ing in red, wearing onesies to school, spl other fun. At Dame Catherine Harpur’s School lasted all week, culminating on March 1 As the school welcomes many families one or two days a week, staff were kee with the fundraising. There was a different theme each day “onesies” day as well as “wear red” day. Over in Aston-on-Trent, the primar spokesperson said: “We were overwhelm nity raising money for Comic Relief, and coffee morning. Together we raised alm class were amazing helpers; greeting cu taking orders, bringing pupils from clas were attending, and waiting on the tabl At Weston-on-Trent Primary School, c day in return for a £1 donation. In the day the whole school came together and formed friendship raps. In Melbourne, pupils at the infant sch than £200, while at the junior school m dressing up in pyjamas, onesies and enj portunity to throw wet sponges at memb doesn’t enjoy that?

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Village Voice April 2019 13

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l pub group really pushed the boat should we say, the barrel. run by Bespoke Inns – Harpur’s of Melragon at Willington – came up with the wed Irish Black Stout: Black Star, on a all and Milton, and finishing at Repton. er Jon Archer and proceeds from every orship – are being donated to Comic Re-

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uickly realising there was quite “a pull” arrival at the Chequers were greeted by ng with refreshments. Tony and his cusf pot. They then dropped a barrel off at unch, and about three hours later were The Dragon in Willington. he weekend, Bespoke Inns had raised sales and events co-ordinator, raising a

l Melbourne Junior School pupils (above) in their pyjamas and (below) Melbourne Infant School children dressed in red.

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including “odd socks” day, “80s” day and The school raised £122.46 in total. ry school held a coffee morning and a med by the support of our local commud providing so many lovely cakes for our most £700, which is amazing. Our Year 6 ustomers at the door, seating them and ss to share the occasion with family who les – they were a credit to the school." children abandoned their uniform for the spirit of Comic Relief, at the end of the some of the children told jokes and per-

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l Dame Catherine’s pupils dressed in onesies.


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Vacuum cleaner company directors jailed for fraud

14 Village Voice April 2019

A PERMANENT noise monitor helping East Midlands Airport measure how much local people are affected by aircraft noise is still on its way to Melbourne – now a decision has to be made as to where to put it. The latest meeting of Melbourne Parish Council heard that the equipment in question would measure 15 by 20 foot, with an 18-foot high mast on the top, and that it would be here permanently. Parish council chair Sheila Hicklin said: “Because of the size of it, we’re back to square one to find somewhere suitable in the village of Melbourne that we could put a permanent structure of that size.” The meeting heard confirmation that planning permission would be required for any noise monitor in Melbourne. The monitoring equipment is part of the airport’s commitments under its Noise Action Plan.

THREE company directors have been handed prison sentences after being found guilty of fraud relating to their vacuum cleaner servicing and repair businesses, one of which was based in Melbourne. Nicholas Garbett and Richard Commons, both 34, and Craig Flint, 37, were sentenced at Derby Crown Court on March 22 in a case which concerned two companies: TDM (Midlands) Ltd and Independent Dyson Service Team Ltd (IDST). TDM traded from Melbourne’s High Street until July 2016, when it moved to Ashby. IDST traded from the same Ashby address and was effectively a continuation of TDM. Both companies were involved in the servicing and repair of Dyson vacuum cleaners, and each of the three men were linked to both companies. Business activities involved cold-calling consumers to offer a cut-price service to their Dyson vacuum cleaner, with cus-

tomers’ phone numbers obtained from photocopied BT directories. Derbyshire County Council’s trading standards became concerned about TDM in 2015 and said that, despite advice and visits to the company, complaints continued, and carried on when IDST started trading in August 2016. Customers believed they were dealing with vacuum cleaner manufacturer ‘Dyson’, and there were reports spare parts paid for in advance were not being provided. The three were prosecuted by the county council’s trading standards department after a long investigation. Each faced one charge of fraudulent trading, which related to dishonestly claiming to customers that the £14.99 service price they offered was a discount when it was actually the standard price. Sales staff employed by the companies claimed that £40 was the normal price for a service but no-one was charged this.

At the trial in February the court heard that the companies offered what they claimed was this low-priced ‘special offer’ so that customers would agree to them visiting and they could then sell them replacement parts at highly inflated prices. The parts were paid for in advance but often never delivered. As well as the charge of fraudulent trading, Garbett faced 12 charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations; he was held to be responsible for TDM taking advance payments for replacement Dyson parts but not delivering them. In all, Garbett faced 13 charges, Commons faced one charge and Flint faced 12. Flint and Commons denied the charges against them but were found guilty. Garbett was absent for the trial and had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf, the case against him being proved in his absence. In eight instances Flint took two identical payments from consumers using a

hand-held card reading device. He told them that the first transaction had not gone through and asked them to put their PIN in again. In fact, the first payments were successful and went to TDM’s account. The second payment went to Flint’s personal account. Flint also took a £149.99 payment from a customer when it should have been £14.99, took payments for replacement parts and took customers’ vacuum cleaners away to repair but didn’t carry out repairs or return the cleaners. Garbett was sentenced to a total of 30 months in prison and disqualified from being a company director for nine years. Flint was sentenced to a total of 21 months in prison and disqualified from being a director for seven years. Commons was sentenced eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months. He also has to do 180 hours unpaid work in the next 12 months and is disqualified from being a director for five years.

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A PHOTOGRAPH taken in 1959 of the staff of the Midland Bank has been returned to its home on High Street, now occupied by the Chip and Pin micropub. Val Hayton, the granddaughter of Frank Shutt, the bank manager then and keen photographer, handed over the photograph to Dave Carpenter, co-owner of the pub. Also present were Rodney Heafield, who worked in the bank in the 1960s, and Barry Thomas and Teresa Johnson, from the Melbourne Historical Research

Group, which is holding an exhibition about Melbourne Pubs at the Assembly Rooms in July. The exhibition will use a collection of materials unearthed between 2002 and 2003 and a large amount of recent research based on working through newspaper archives, census records, licensing records, the 1840 survey of Melbourne and

the Land Valuation records of 1910. “We are hoping that the exhibition will trigger memories, stories, photographs and more information about Melbourne’s pubs, past and present”, said Barry. “We also aim to produce a book on this subject at the end of this year.”

Village Voice April 2019 15

Got a story to tell? LEFT: Sandra Bayliss, Les Fisher and Barbara James cut the ribbon to open the new centre. BELOW: Barbara James receiving the 2019 Excellence in the Community award from parish councillors Mike Selby and Ed Hicklin (chair).

Excellent! Barbara is annual award winner

THE chair of a committed group which has spent years working to get better sports facilities – culminating in a new two-storey sports hall for Aston – has been honoured with a community award. Barbara James, who has just stepped down as chair of Recreation in Aston, was named as the 2019 winner of the Excellence in the Community Award at the village’s Annual Parish Meeting. Fittingly, the occasion this year was held in Aston’s Recreation Centre, which was officially opened to the public 10 days later, on March 30. The Excellence in the Community award is given annually in Aston-on-Trent to an individual or group who has given a lot to enhance the local community. This year’s nominees were, along with Barbara: Stephen Graham, of SAVE (Save Aston and Weston Village Environments), who was also a parish councillor for more than 20 years; parish council lengthsman David Corden; and Richard Coates and Carole Back, for their work in several village organisations – Friends of Aston Brickyard, All Saints’ Church and the Aston History Group. Announcing the winner of the award, parish councillor Mike Selby said Barbara was an “absolute troubadour”, who had “worked so hard over so long” to get recreation facilities to where they are today. Recreation in Aston has been going for more than 20 years with the aim of providing better sports and recreation for the village. In 2015, the campaigning and fund-raising resulted in the building of a £70,000 new sports hall

with increased toilet and changing facilities. Then, parishioners of Aston were all asked by letter whether they would be prepared to pay an extra £5 in taxes over a number of years, to put a second floor on the centre. More than 80 per cent agreed, and the second floor was then built. The new facilities have meant a lot more fitness and exercise classes can be offered to the village, which now has, amongst other things, a thriving, twice-weekly table tennis club; a Tuesday tea dance; young football and cricket player training in the evenings; Zumba classes, plus soul and Motown evenings. Barbara, Hilary Forber and Peter Jesper have now resigned from Recreation in Aston, to be replaced by Lindsay Pilkington and Liz Hill. Speaking later in the meeting, Barbara said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their help and support, and wish the new trustees every success in the future.” – Lucy Stephens

THE head teacher of Chellaston Academy has written of “great sadness” after the tragic death of one of the school’s year ten pupils. In the academy’s newsletter, Kevin Gaiderman said: “These past two weeks have been some of the most challenging ever to face students, staff and parents of our academy community.” He went on to say: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this sad time and we have as a school utilised the expertise and knowledge

of Chellaston Academy staff, external psychology professionals and care services to ensure the emotional wellbeing of pupils, staff and parents. “This sad news was made known to us during day one of our section 5 full Ofsted inspection. In view of the circumstances, the inspection was immediately suspended to allow us to deal with the situation. I have subsequently been informed that the full inspection will be rescheduled for later in the school year.”

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Police costs rise mean higher Council Tax bill

16 Village Voice April 2019

RESIDENTS in South Derbyshire will have been picking their Council Tax bills off the doormat to discover they will need to find another £80 this year. Bills are going up by an average of just under five per cent, at a time when inflation is running below two per cent. Pensioners have been awarded a 2.6 per cent increase for 2019. The average (Band D) bill goes up from £1,698 to £1,778 in this district, although for Melbourne residents the bill is higher still, at £1,817 because of the rate of the parish precept. Whilst the largest share of the bill (£1,322) is to pay the Derbyshire County Council element – an increase of just under four per cent – the police authority has hiked its segment of the bill by 12.5 per cent from £192 to £216 for a Band D property. The £24 increase is the maximum permissible under the Local Government Finance settlement this year, without invoking the need for a local referendum to ap-

prove it. South Derbyshire residents will be paying an average of £80 more than their Derby City neighbours. Explaining the rate hike for the police element, Chief Supt Ady Gascoyne, who is overseeing Derbyshire Police’s programme to make best use of the additional funds provided by the extra tax, said: “From the precept increase, South Derbyshire Local Policing Unit will be receiving four new officers. These officers will be deployed to provide a frontline policing service across all of the South Derbyshire area. “South Derbyshire will also receive at least a further two officers for their local Safer Neighbourhood teams.” As the force will be recruiting a large number of new officers over the coming months, and because it takes months to train a new officer, no definitive date is available for when they will be deployed. – Frank Hughes

CAN you spare an hour to help keep roads around Melbourne free from litter? Readers are warmly invited to join Melbourne Civic Society’s Spring Litter Pick on Saturday, April 13. Volunteers are asked to meet at

10am outside Melbourne Assembly Rooms where they will be given the necessary equipment and details. “Sparing just an hour of your time to help in keeping the roads round Melbourne free of unsightly litter is much appreciated,” said a society member.

Litter pick volunteers wanted

Diamond duo’s Royal congratulations

HER Majesty the Queen has joined in congratulations for this married couple from Melbourne who celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in March. Well known locally for their work running Castle Stores until the mid1990s, Dennis and Muriel Warren married on March 25, 1959, in Leicestershire. Dennis was born in Melbourne to William and Lily Warren and went to the local schools, leaving at 14 to go to work for his older brother, George, in market gardening and hawking (sell-

ing their produce door-to-door). Muriel was born in Worthington to Samuel and Sarah Aldridge, a farming family. She attended Ashby Grammar School, later working on the farm as a dairy maid and in general agricultural work. She met Dennis at a local dance at the public hall (now Amalfi White) in 1953. Then Dennis and Muriel purchased the Castle Inn in 1958 and, when it was renovated, it became the more familiar Castle Stores. They married in 1959 and went on

to have two children: Sharon and Lesley, who are married respectively to Mick Robey and Mike Unsworth. The pair also are proud grandparents to two grandsons: Samuel and Thomas. Dennis and Muriel built up the business over 38 years and were at Castle Stores until 1995 when ill health forced Dennis to retire and close the shop. They have continued to live in Melbourne, very much enjoy being grandparents, and celebrated their diamond anniversary with the family.

Village Voice Postbag

No surprise over drug dealers

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IN REACTION to the drug dealer headline (March 2019) I suspect there are at least two very different responses. Some people will be surprised that Melbourne is a target for drugs dealers. We should not be surprised. This is the “Country Line” that is discussed in the media. Dealers know many Melbourne people are able and willing to spend money on illegal drugs and the dealers have made drug-taking a normal behaviour for many people. It is in the dealers’ financial interest to be friendly and non-confrontational. They need to build Melbourne residents’ occasional drug use into habit and addiction to pay for their criminal lifestyle. From my own observations the dealers blend into our community, parking their upmarket SUVs in the village centre near our pubs and café-bars, or on Main Street, which gives them easy access through the footpaths if they are dealing in the graveyard and surrounding fields. I understand why people visiting the graveyard are frightened but in my experience the dealers are not confrontational and move away quickly. The second response some will make to the article is a cheery “it’s so convenient and pleasant to buy drugs here”. I understand that people drive long distances to buy in Melbourne for this pleasant approach, and for the low risk of being caught. As more dealers operate in our community, attracted by the increasing demand and high levels of disposable

income, the damage to our community will increase and the style of dealer will change. The easiest way to deal with this is to decrease or eliminate the demand for drugs. Whilst so many people are happy to use illegal drugs, or to turn a blind eye, this situation will escalate over time. What as a community do we choose to do? What conversations will we choose to have with our friends and families? If we choose to do nothing the dealers will control the outcome for Melbourne and its people. Name and address supplied

Dog poo bins, please

AS Melbourne is always concerned with dog poo would it not be a good idea to have dog bins available in the streets? I had to take my dogs back home with me. Visitor to Melbourne C M Dooley

Hazardous paths

MELBOURNE is lovely but walking on the pavements is hazardous. Whilst dog owners clearly attempt to clean up after their pets the attempts are often just that, leaving nasty mess behind. Isn't it possible to train dogs to go in the gutter rather than on the pavement? Name supplied

Village Voice welcomes your comments. Your letters can be sent to

Three Peaks bid to help poorly babies AROUND 30 local people are going to attempt the gruelling UK three peaks’ challenge this summer – in order to raise more vital funds to help the families of poorly babies at the Royal Derby Hospital. The three peaks is a tough ask in which participants must scale the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours. That includes around 460 miles of driving … after which, you might say the 23 miles involved in climbing Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Mount Snowdon is the easy bit! The challenge is being organised and undertaken by local sportsman Andy Gates and Alan Staley, founder and director of ASBC Heritage and Conservation Specialists. The whole thing is in aid of the Little Stars char-

NEWS in brief

Village Voice April 2019 17 l Andy Gates, Mark Coyne, Ricky Sheehan and Alan Staley feeling on top of the world at the summit of Mount Snowdon.

New crossing patrol officer

GOOD news for Melbourne families taking children to school – a new street crossing patrol officer has now been appointed. In January Melbourne’s previous street crossing patrol officer, Joyce Hand, retired from the job of helping children cross the road at Packhorse Road after nearly 19 years based there and before that, on Derby Road. Derbyshire County Council thanked Joyce for her many years of service, and confirmed that a new person had now been appointed. A council spokesperson said: “We’re very pleased to say we’ve recruited a new school crossing patrol and are now making all the essential checks in advance of them starting, which will take several weeks. “Joyce did a great job for us for 19 years and we’d like to thank her for all her hard work and wish her the very best in her retirement.” ity founded by the Staley family. Little Stars, currently the Melbourne Sainsbury’s Charity of the Year, raises money for the Fetal Medicine department and the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at the Royal Derby Hospital – a cause close to the family’s hearts after the loss of their baby daughter Lyra a few years ago. Now Little Stars is making inroads into transforming the Fetal Medicine waiting area and counselling rooms at the hospital, with the money it continues to raise earmarked to go towards that project. Ali Staley, who is spearheading the charity’s work, is passionate about creating a warmer, softer environment to go some way to easing what is a dreadful time for families. “Winning the Sainsbury’s Local Charity of the Year has really moti-

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vated me to think about how we can help the most people, and so we decided to improve patient experience in those areas of the hospital,” she said. “At the moment, it feels like you’re sitting in a prison there, it really does. “What we are planning will make a huge difference and it will touch the lives of so many families who are receiving devastating news about their pregnancies. It will never take away how painful that is, but what we are proposing is to offer a soothing environment using light and colour to comfort people at this time.” Andy, Alan and their team will be doing the Three Peaks Challenge on June 8 and 9. Before that, the Staley family are holding their annual children’s fundraising disco at the Assembly Rooms

from 2 to 4pm on May 12. Young groovers who love Disney may be pleased to know that a Disney princess will be present at proceedings, as will Spiderman. The team members taking part in the Three Peaks are currently training hard for the event, and would very much appreciate sponsorship. Corporate sponsors are needed to help pay towards things like accommodation and travel costs; in return their logo will be included on T-shirts associated with the event. Larger sponsors will have a personal banner that will be photographed with the climbers at the summit of each mountain. Anyone interested in sponsoring the challenge is asked to contact Alison Staley on 01332 862356. – Lucy Stephens

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Let’s get ready to ramble

SPRING is here and a great way to enjoy the weather is a walk in the countryside. All who like to get their boots muddy and fancy a bit of fresh air are invited to join the Melbourne Footpaths Group on their next walk – around historic Shardlow and the Wilnes. The six-mile ramble is happening on April 18, although the route will be dependent on river levels on the day. All who want to join in are asked to meet at the car park on Wilne Lane at 10am. A small donation is asked for to cover insurance and maintenance work.

Flooding concerns at high-speed line plan

18 Village Voice April 2019

n FUNDS to support a charity which transports blood and medical supplies to hospitals around Derbyshire were raised at an open house event by a member of Melbourne Women’s Institute. Jen Smallwood (pictured with Dave Harvey, a team member of Derbyshire Blood Bikes for many years) held the event to raise money for the team of volunteer motor cyclists who provide a courier service to the NHS, ferrying blood between hospitals, as well as medication, biological samples and even donated breast milk for premature babies. At her event, Jen sold refreshments and had a tombola stall to raise £350 for this charity. Her friends and neighbours were pleased to meet two blood bikers – travelling on their bikes – who attended what members said was a very pleasant afternoon.


ASSURANCES that the new HS2 line will not cause more flooding in Breedon and Tonge have been sought following the publication of the latest documents on how the new high-speed line will impact the area. Breedon on the Hill Parish Council, along with the Breedon and Tonge Action Group, submitted a detailed response to the HS2 Working Draft Environmental Statement (WDES) which aimed to set out the impacts of the construction of the planned highspeed line running from Birmingham to Leeds and due to open in 2033. Breedon parish councillor Jim Morrison explained that their response had outlined some significant concerns. In the light of recent catastrophic flooding in Breedon and in Tonge, along both the Breedon and Boden Brooks “… we will want to be jolly well assured that there will be no greater risk of flooding” from discharge of flows to both watercourses. He added that they wanted assurances that the balancing ponds would be monitored in perpetuity even if the land on

which they sit is handed back to private owners, saying: “It would be ideal to turn these into recreational areas for people to enjoy the countryside.” Traffic during the construction phase was also a grave concern. “Trucks already thunder through Breedon ignoring restrictions. Why not use some of the community funding to supply bigger signs that the county council cannot afford to purchase?” he suggested. The parish council had also considered the iconic view from Breedon Hill which must be preserved for future generations. It was essential that there was tree planting to obscure the impact of the train line both during and beyond construction. North West Leicestershire District Council has also made public its response to the document. It is critical of “… the paucity of information provided in sections of the WDES, especially in respect of the scheme’s constructional and operational impacts and in respect of its design”. It was also critical of the contracted con-

sultation period, which ran for only 10 weeks, given the volume of “vastly complicated and technical documentation” running to four volumes. It points out that the legislation (Hybrid Bill) has been deferred to 2020, which should have facilitated a longer consultation. The HS2 line will run through 28 kilometres of North West Leicestershire from Appleby Parva to Nottinghamshire. It will impact on over a dozen parishes including Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Isley cum Langley, Long Whatton and Diseworth, Kegworth and Breedon. Among the detailed concerns are: the seemingly excessive amount of land being taken across the district for the construction zone; the necessity of avoiding any unacceptable long-term construction closures on major routes; ensuring that Public Rights of Way and pathways are properly considered, along with many site-specific concerns along the route. – Frank Hughes

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Melbourne Parish Council Quarterly Report - April 2019

We are happy to welcome Steve Hogan as a new Parish Councillor for the parish of Melbourne and Kings Newton. As reported in the Village Voice, we are experiencing anti-social behaviour in the cemetery, should anyone witness any anti-social activity they should report it directly to the police on 101. Councillor Mick Usher has worked diligently to digitalise the Parish burial records, these will be available on line to view in the future. An exciting and challenging piece of play equipment has been ordered and will hopefully be in place at the Lothian Gardens in time for the Easter holidays. A meeting was held with the East Midlands Airport with a view to siting a noise monitor in Melbourne, the precise location has to be agreed due to the size and it being a permanent structure. The SDDC road sweeper was present in Melbourne recently, unfortunately due to the many parked cars in some of the streets it was unable to fully carry out its duties. The Parish Council is aware of recent issues with high winds affecting the wreaths at the Cenotaph and is working with the branch of the British Legion to find a temporary structure to display the wreaths after Remembrance Sunday. The Parish Council’s AGM was held on Thursday March 21st, the clerk and chairs of committees gave their reports, guest speakers were Steve Hollingsworth (MSP) and Steve Raine (Kings Newton Bowls Club). A film of the events of Remembrance Sunday 2018 was shown by John Madeley. We hope to show the film publicly in the near future. The SDDC has successfully prosecuted an individual for allowing their dog to foul the footpath in the Market Place. This is an ongoing issue which the Parish Council is determined to eradicate.

Sheila Hicklin, Chair, Melbourne Parish Council

n SINGING in a choir is very good for the soul … and, in this case, it was very good for charity too. In March Melbourne’s Mixed Voice Choir A Choir’d Taste handed over a cheque to Alzheimer’s Society, having raised the funds at a Christmas concert last year. Every year, the choir gives the proceeds of its Friday night Christmas Concert to a charity chosen by the members. Last year the concert raised £710, with Alzheimer’s Society having been the chosen

charity. A Choir’d Taste treasurer Christine Fox and musical director Paul Marshall presented a cheque to Oliver Larkin from the Alzheimer Society. The money will be used to help dementia sufferers and their carers. A Choir’d Taste’s next concerts are on May 10 and 11 at Melbourne Assembly Rooms and will feature favourite hits from Musical Theatre including Mama Mia, The King and I, Les Mis and The Greatest Showman.

New one-man premier

MELBOURNE has been chosen as the venue to premier a new one-man show by Open Road productions. Normally Open Road successfully perform their shows in the Guildhall in Derby, but with that venue’s temporary closure for essential renovation work, they are bringing their newest production to the Assembly Rooms in Melbourne. Musical Director Phil Baggaley said he was looking forward to it. Phil has had a number of appearances in Melbourne in various guises, most recently with Ebb and Flow and previously with the Travelling People.

Phil said the new show Free Spirit is about a man who has spent his life in the risk managed world of health and safety and on retirement decides to break free and live in a camper van. On his journey he tries to make sense of it all, and wonders what life would be like if he had the chance to live life over again. Phil is a lecturer in pop music at the University of Derby and teaches composing and arranging. He already has a long musical career and involvement with both album production and creating musicals. He has co-written Free Spirit with William Varnam and de-

scribed the style of music in the musical play as “folk/acoustic” with a five-piece band. The show is running for three nights, with one matinee performance from May 16 to 18. On May 31 and June 1 the company is bringing another show to the village. “Moving Bodies” tells the story of one brave man, turning from soldier to grave digger in the hope of giving his fellow fallen comrades a peaceful place to rest. Starring Adam Horvath, this one-man show combines brilliant story telling with an original soundscape to tell a darkly comic, heart wrenching story. – Frank Hughes

Village Voice April 2019 19


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Suspended prison terms for fly-tippers

n MELBOURNE’S United Reform Church was presented with a “Child Friendly Church Award” for its work to welcome, provide for and celebrate young church goers. The award was presented to the church at a special event on March 15 by Jane Henderson, the children’s and youth development officer from the East Midlands’ URC Synod. The awards ceremony was preceded by a talent show in which around a dozen children of varying ages performed

TWO men who pleaded guilty to fly-tipping in beauty spots in Findern and near Twyford have been handed suspended jail sentences and each ordered to pay £3,084 costs. They have also been ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, which will include litter-picking. Waheed Hussain, 46, of Portland Street, Normanton, Derby, who owns Sarry’s takeaway in Cheapside, Derby, and Wahid Hamid, 39, of Fairfax Street, Derby, both appeared before magistrates at Southern Derbyshire Magistrate’s Court charged with 13 counts of fly-tipping. The court heard that Hussain had cancelled the waste collection contract he had with Derby City Council in September 2017 and instead paid Hamid between £75 and £100 per week to collect and dump the bin liners full of waste. Over the course of eight months, 139 bags were recovered by South Derbyshire District Council, although investigators say they estimate the number would actually be about 360. Ardip Kaur, the council’s legal and democratic services manager, said the council was made aware of the bags being dumped on land off Bakeacre Lane, Findern, on September 18, by a dog walker. Between that date and May 2018, scores of bags were found by the council’s environmental health team in Bakeacre Lane, Staker Lane, Arleston Lane and Burton Road, Findern. Both men pleaded guilty to 13 counts of depositing controlled waste without an environmental permit. Sentencing the pair, district judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “This is a disgraceful episode. Fly-tipping is one of the scourges of modern society. “People selfishly feel they can deposit waste on a small scale by throwing it out of a car window or by dropping things on the ground. “They do this because they are too selfish or lazy to do things properly. “This was on a larger scale where there was a clear commercial benefit and shows the attitude of someone who has little regard for other members of society.” Hussain and Hamid were each handed 26-week jail terms, suspended for a year, ordered to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work and to pay £3,084 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

their own personally chosen acts. Melbourne’s United Reform Church holds a regular children’s group, Pilots, which meets fortnightly on Fridays from 6pm to 7.30pm at the church. Around 20 local boys and girls aged from five to 12 usually go along, and more are always welcome. Minister Marcus Hargis (back row) is pictured with some of the children.

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l The dumped rubbish in Burton Road, Findern.

Commenting on the case, Councillor Andy MacPherson, chairman of environmental and development services at the district council, said: “We welcome Judge Taaffe’s comments. We will not tolerate fly-tipping in South Derbyshire. “Fly-tipping is a deliberate and thoughtless act that blights the environment, is a danger to wildlife, is a source of pollution and a danger to public health; it undermines legitimate waste businesses. “Failure to properly dispose of any type of waste is simply not acceptable and, as this case shows, we will take action against anyone caught.” Last month we reported how residents along Arleston Lane were campaigning to prevent “unsavoury” behaviour along their country road, including fly-tipping.

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Weston Run back on course

AFTER the disappointing cancellation of last year’s event following a mauling by the Beast from the East, the Weston Run was back on March 9, with a brand new course, writes Jo Cooke, secretary of event organisers the 107th Derby Scouts Some fine February weather promised better things for 2019, which saw the introduction of a multi-terrain route for the five mile runners. However, several days of unwelcome rain and a shock flurry of snow on the morning of the event added an extra challenge and brought another last minute risk assessment of the canal path section of the run. Nevertheless, attendance was high and runners seemed to be in good spirits by the end of the course, albeit with a few muddy knees and trainers that needed a good scrub! Aston Perrin, from Long Eaton Running Club, took first place, with Rebecca Miller, of Derby Athletics, the first lady home. In total over 170 five-mile runners finished, many representing running clubs from the local

area and the wider East and West Midlands. The two-mile fun run attracted over 100 runners and It was great to see so many children from the local primary schools of Weston, Aston and Barrow competing – especially as most of them were beating mums and dads over the line! As ever, an amazing team of volunteers did a sterling job marshalling the course and field and cooking up a storm, providing plenty of hot drinks and sausage and bacon butties. Thanks must also go to the Ukrainian Centre at Weston for making their site available for the start and finish and, also new this year, the use of their large hall which provided the excellent kitchen facilities and somewhere warm and dry for runners and spectators. The event, now in its 29th year, was organised by 107th Derby Scouts (Aston, Weston and Shardlow) and early indications suggest that it raised around £1,400 for group funds. This will go towards equipment and activities for the busy and increasing membership aged from six to 18.

Football club search for new leaders

NEW leaders are being sought to help take Melbourne’s successful football club into its next chapter. Last year Melbourne’s two football clubs, United and Dynamo, merged for the first time to form one large organisation, which now has around 350 players going from age three up to an adult first team competing in the Midlands Regional Alliance. Melbourne Dynamo’s current chairman, Mark Jackaman, is stepping down from the role after three years, as is vice-chairman Nigel Theobald – but a strong committee is in place with other key roles occupied by experienced volunteers. Now the club is looking for new leadership to take on the co-ordination of the busy and successful set-up, which now has four adult teams, 16 junior teams and a soccer school with young players coming from as far afield as Etwall and Chellaston to learn the skills of the beautiful game.

Mark said: “There’s a growing network of volunteers in place that have overseen the club's recent merger and terrific growth in membership. It's now time for fresh blood to take the club forward. “It’s a great opportunity; a really interesting and exciting local project for someone who fancies the challenge, somebody who’s really into sport and really interested – maybe has management experience or perhaps who has retired and got a little bit more time on their hands. “The club has grown really quickly. This is a real community project that’s come together – we’ve had football in Melbourne for more than 50 years, and we’re now competing at a really high level and attracting new young talent to Melbourne.” Mark said that Melbourne Dynamo Football Club had forged strong links with the local Football Association, and was highly regarded in the area for the good standard

of facilities made possible thanks to the Melbourne Sporting Partnership. So, has he enjoyed his time as chairman? “I certainly have. It’s a fantastic club. It’s been exciting to have been involved during such a transitional time for the club,” he said. “I’ve just finished my 10th year of managing one of the teams. I started the under-8s with my lad Sam, now it’s the under-18s. And I’ve been chairman for three years alongside Nigel, who has worked tirelessly to make things happen behind the scenes!” The club will hold its end of season ‘Registration Day’ at the MSP on Cockshut Lane on Saturday, June 8. Anyone interested in the roles of chairman or vice-chairman would be asked to fulfil the role for a two-year term following the club’s annual general meeting in May. Phone Mark on 07967 694198 for more details.





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18 wins in row as Dynamo eye league title

MELBOURNE Dynamo Football Club’s senior Saturday sides continue their quests for league titles with the first team maintaining their 12-point lead as well as progressing into the Challenge Cup semi-final. Away to Derby Athletic, Dynamo won their quarter-final with Dave Worger getting a double. Goals from Macaulley Jones, Karl Munton, Matt Lander and one from Dynamo legend Dave Brough completed the rout. A week later, a long trip to play Rowsley 86 Reserves saw Melbourne storm into a fivegoal lead with Karl Munton on fire, getting a hat-trick along with Jack Bodill and Macaulley Jones. Despite a poor second half, Melbourne still held on for a 5-3 victory. A 4-1 home win against Ripley Town was thanks to a James Smith brace plus strikes from front two Jack Goodband and Michael Tristram. The first team’s 18th straight victory came with a comfortable 5-2 away win against Willington with Karl Munton hitting four goals aided by a Jake Peverley

finish. Dynamo ended the month with a hard fought 3-2 away win against Ashbourne Reserves as goals from Munton, Peverley and Goodband saw them maintain their huge lead at the top of the Premier Division. Melbourne Dynamo Reserves continue to push league leaders Sherwin in division one but began the month with a disappointing 2-1 quarter-final Challenge Cup defeat to Castle Donington Reserves with Joe Shadbolt getting the consolation. However, the reserves were back to winning ways a week later as they beat a young Holbrook St Michael’s Juniors 6-4 with Shadbolt firing a double along with goals from Brad Ellis, Josh Burton, Harry and Toby Foxon. A draw away to Derby Athletic followed the week after. Two goals down, strikes from Toby Foxon and Dan Toon earned Melbourne a point. They ended the month with a comfortable 4-0 home win against Netherseal St Peters with Harry Foxon hitting a brace along with a Billy Lupton goal and a Toby Foxon free kick com-

pleting the scoring. Melbourne Dynamo Sunday first team began March entertaining top of the table AFC Vine and, despite an early Jack Searcy header, they went down 3-1 to two late goals. A good 4-2 away win versus Golden Eagle was thanks to a stunning Brad King hat-trick plus a close range header from skipper Paul Lakin which earned Dynamo the points. A 1-0 home loss to Etwall Rangers was soon forgotten as Melbourne ended the month with a 2-0 home win against Golden Eagle with Harry Foxon and Josh Burton getting on the scoresheet. Melbourne Dynamo Sunday Reserves played only two games in March; the first was a 2-2 draw away to Corinthians as Joe Dale and a rare Sam Adcock finish earned a point. A 4-0 win versus Willington was thanks to doubles from Brad King and Joe Dale to give Melbourne a much- deserved win.

Jake wins gold and GB call-up

JUDO ace Jake Whitby has again been selected for the GB national squad after taking gold in a national championship in March. Jake, 19, won the top spot at the national Amateur Judo Association Closed championship on March 10, and has been chosen to travel to Mierlo in Holland next month for an international tournament. Having quickly won all his first fights by ippon, Jake’s final opponent was strong and scored early. But Jake, from Smisby, came back to take gold with his signature throw, the Uchi-mata. Now he is looking for sponsors so he can attend the national training sessions before travelling to Holland in May. Ashby Ivanhoe Judo Club where Jake trains has moved to Smisby Village Hall where sessions are held from 6.45pm to 8.15pm on Tuesdays. For more information you can e-mail

Fund-raising bike ride in Sophie’s memory

Village Voice April 2019 23

LOCAL companies are being asked to lend their support to a charity bike ride raising vital funds for the Anthony Nolan charity, in memory of a young doctor who died aged 26. The 94-mile bike ride from Melbourne to Cambridge is now becoming an annual event, and it is held in memory of Dr Sophie Miller, who lived locally. Sophie, who studied at Cambridge University, died of a blood disorder and the fund-raising ride in her memory is taking place on June 1. Over the past two years that the ride has taken place, more than £13,000 has been raised for Anthony Nolan. Local people have also supported by offering accommodation for cyclists, as well as sponsoring and promoting the event. Residents of Melbourne are being asked if they would consider supporting the event by offering their company’s sponsorship. To offer support, you can visit this website: or call Sophie’s family on 07442 169145.

Melbourne & District

Village Voice deliveries Weston-on-Trent For several years the Village Voice newspaper has been delivered to your home but unfortunately the person is unable to continue. We thank them for all the help and support they have given during this time. Volunteers have kindly stepped forward to deliver to some areas of Weston, but currently not all of the village has its own Village Voice delivery person. We are very keen to continue to provide all residents of Weston-on-Trent with their free monthly copy and wondered if anyone could help with this please. The papers would be delivered monthly to your doorstep in a waterproof bag.

If you are able to help please phone... Tina Baker 07523 239 487 for more details. Thank you.


Tel: 01332 695155 Mob: 07970 062289 Unit 2 Station Yard, Station Road, Melbourne

WOMEN tennis players from Melbourne’s flourishing club will be playing in division three of the Derbyshire Summer league this year, having won division four last season. The tennis players above from Melbourne, Emma Guest, Sallie Allen, Carolyn Crocker, Karen Brenchley (captain), Pam Oliver, Marjorie Tunnicliffe and Pat Milham were pictured at a Lawn Tennis Association dinner at which around 160 people from Derbyshire clubs attended.

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Florrie, 10, does the area proud


YOUNG cross-country runner Florrie Mitchell from Melbourne Junior School is already officially the fastest girl of her age in South Derbyshire – and she did the area proud in a national race in March. The national cross-country event took place in Loughborough and saw more than 2,000 young runners from across the country take part. Among them was Melbourne year six pupil Florrie, 10. Florrie had already won the regional final, putting her in first place for South Derbyshire within her age-group, and came in the top half of year six runners on the day, being placed 147th out of nearly 400 of her age. She completed the 2,200 metres in nine minutes and 38 seconds. The winning girl did the distance in seven minutes and 34 seconds.

Crowning glory for rugby club 1st XV

GOING UP ... Melbourne RFC’s first team celebrate their win over Newark, and promotion to the first division next season.



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MELBOURNE Rugby Club’s first team have a lot to shout about after being promoted back up to the Midlands First Division next season – with three games to spare. Their title-winning success followed a thumping 41-5 win over Newark in March. The home victory at Cockshut Lane saw Melbourne wrapping up the Midlands Second Division crown in a confident display. The green and golds were facing a tough, physical Newark side but showed great focus on the task in hand. With Harry Stephenson and James Benstead making an intimi-

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dating second row pairing, Euan Holden returning from injury, Joe Livesey returning to fullback and Stuart and Hancock on the wing, the game started decisively with plenty of physicality from both sides. Taking an early lead of 12-0, Melbourne’s line-up changed with Ben Dickinson entering the backline following an injury to Oliver Page. Sam Hancock reverted to scrum half at the same time, immediately making his presence felt by taking the scoreline to 19-0 at half-time. Newark remained strong in the second half and, throwing everything they had at Melbourne, saw the scoreline change to 22-5. But Melbourne responded by persistently attacking the away team’s defence line, and the next try went to Melbourne (Saffel, converted by Holden). Building on the ruthlessness, patience and discipline developed throughout this season that has seen them claim victories and bonus points at the final stages of games they’ve played, this fixture was no different with Ben Dickinson taking the final scoreline to 41-5 in the closing minutes. The result sees Melbourne claim the Midlands 2 League title at the first attempt – a great result after a sour end to last year’s season when a points technicality saw them relegated. The following week, Melbourne showed their grit and determination with a further away victory over Ashbourne (22-29) where, despite having showed rare weakness in the first half, they clung on to claw their way back to a win. The club’s Academy competed against Ilkeston, Paviors, Long Eaton and Dronfield in the Derbyshire Colts Transition Festival at Long Eaton RFC on March 30. The Melbourne team won two and lost two, but as the festival was decided on tries scored, the Academy were only denied outright victory by Dronfield, who equalled the Green and Gold’s 11 tries total. Tries for Melbourner came from: Will Flint, Michael McCallum (two), Matt Suddaby, Thomas Watson (three), Dylan Kocher, Ben Woodhead, Jamie Rudd and Matt Harris. The club would like to congratulate all the lads who worked hard playing 15-a-side like sevens rugby, John Cooke-Rogers for the guest coaching and special thanks to Academy Physio Lauren Broome for patching everyone up, feeding the lads (and coaches) Strawberry Laces and for dealing with some serious opposition injuries. March saw a more mixed picture for the club’s younger sides, with the under-15s losing to Market Bosworth and Mansfield, but also claiming a 26-35 victory against Matlock in a friendly on March 24.

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