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‘Abomination’ goat willow has got to go

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A TREE in Melbourne dubbed “an arboricultural abomination” can finally be chopped down after a meeting in Swadlincote overturned an order to protect it.

l The New Year was welcomed in by these revellers at Melbourne’s Assembly Rooms. More pictures on Page 6.


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The goat willow tree in front of the Senior Citizens Centre has been causing problems locally, not least because of its shallow roots which have raised paving slabs – tripping someone up because of the resulting uneven footpath. It also drops leaves and catkins, which cause the footpath to become slippery; its branches have damaged the roof of the neighbouring Blue Bell Inn; and the whole tree is competing for space with a copper beech a few metres away. Officers from South Derbyshire District Council put a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on the goat willow on September 19, after agents Fisher German applied for permission to chop it down on behalf of landowners Melbourne Hall – from whom the Senior Citizens Centre lease the building. A district council report recorded that the tree was also preventing the Senior Citizens Centre from hiring out its facilities at certain times of year when it meant access was considered unsafe. But officers said the tree should still be saved from the axe because if “it was to be felled, the character of the area would be negatively impacted as a result of its loss, as it provides a

strong green feature within a well built-up area”. They argued that the negative impacts of the tree could be dealt with by pollarding and resurfacing the footpath. However, a meeting of the council’s Planning Committee saw members go against officers’ advice and agree that the tree could be chopped down. Councillors felt that, in any event, a goat willow is not a particularly valuable species and that the neighbouring copper beech is a much better tree. Cllr Peter Watson, of Aston ward, said: “Goat willows to me just serve no purpose. It would look far more attractive and enhance the street scene altogether with an open aspect.” Cllr Jim Hewlett, of Melbourne ward, who went to the meeting to argue the case for the tree being chopped down, said: “It’s quite simple: the effects of this growing tree are that it’s growing into the beech, it’s beginning to affect the development of the beech tree, as years go by that will only get worse and worse.” And Cllr John Harrison, also of Melbourne Cont’d on Page 5

Having fun in the snow – Pages 12, 13

Looking back at Christmas – Pages 18, 19

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THE author of a popular new children’s Christmas story gave the pupils at Melbourne Infant School a literary treat when he turned up to open their newly revamped library. Danny Thompson, author of the newly released festive story The Christmas Tale of Elaine Gale, was at the school to read to the children before cutting the ribbon. The school’s library is bursting with lots of new books after parents were asked to donate £5 each towards buying them. Around £400 was raised, which bought hundreds of new books for the children to enjoy. As part of the ceremonial grand re-opening, children from the school also took in teddy bears to christen the revamped facilities with a special sleepover. Danny is pictured opening the library with (l-r) pupils Emily, Tom and Stanley.

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THE chairman of the Melbourne Sporting Partnership (MSP) has announced his retirement after 12 years at the helm of the organisation that has now created 21st century sporting facilities for the village – and he has been made one of Derbyshire’s very first honorary aldermen as well. Councillor John Harrison, who celebrated his 80th birthday on New Year’s Day, will be the first honorary president of the MSP after handing over the chairmanship to Steve Hollingsworth. The long-standing local politician has also been named one of Derbyshire’s first ever honorary aldermen for his “eminent service” as a county councillor between 2000 and 2013, during which time he represented the Aston and Melbourne division and was also the cabinet member in charge of finance and management. John still serves Melbourne on the South Derbyshire District Council, where he is the chairman of the Finance and Management Committee. The idea for creating what is now known as the Melbourne Sports Park first occurred to John while he was playing for Melbourne Town Cricket Club in the 1990s. “The changing facilities were totally inadequate,” he recalled. “They were simply not fit for purpose. Often there were two rugby teams and two football teams changing in a building that was far too small to accommodate them. Something had to be done about it. “It was my principal reason for seeking nomination to serve on the district council – I came to realise that without the financial support of the district council … we’d never get anywhere.” At the start of his time serving the local community, John was still working as the director of the UK Knitting Industries’ Federation, work which saw him act as a lobbyist for the industry in Whitehall, Westminster and Brussels. When it came to local government “it was really a case of poacher turned gamekeeper”, he said. “I was well versed in the mechanics of politics and, therefore, was able to hit the ground run-

ning.” But the pathway to the building of Melbourne Sports Park was still to take more than 15 years. Things only really got off the ground with the sale of Bretby Crematorium in 2011 – jointly owned by South Derbyshire District Council and East Staffordshire Borough Council. The sale enabled SDDC to make a £1million grant to the MSP. That in turn led to a further £250,000 grant from the county council, which provided matched funding for grants from the Football Foundation (£400,000), the Rugby Football Union (£100,000) and Sport England, whose £250,000 contribution was made on condition that the MSP constructed three all-weather floodlit tennis courts as part of the facilities. In addition, almost £30,000 was donated from individuals and businesses in and around Melbourne. “It’s ended up a much better facility than I ever imagined, thanks also to the excellent response of almost £30,000 from local individuals and businesses,” said John. “It’s a source of great satisfaction to see teams of young boys and girls playing rugby, cricket, football and tennis. We are already beginning to breed our own generation of players, and that will be an ongoing evolution as far ahead as we can see.” John paid tribute to district council officers Stuart Bachelor, Malcolm Roseburgh and Zoe Sewter, as well as Andrew Jackson, representing the parish council, MSP secretary Douglas Keith and treasurer Robert Anderson for their support in achieving the facilities as they are today. New MSP chairman Steve Hollingsworth said: “Without John’s inspirational leadership and drive, the Melbourne Sports Park would not be in existence. The facility will truly be John’s legacy for the hundreds of people who currently use it each year and for generations to come.” The MSP’s board of directors will be making a presentation to John on February 7 to mark his special contribution to the MSP, a ceremony that will be preceded at county hall with his honorary alderman’s appointment.

Slimming leaders find weigh to meet singer

A SLIMMING World consultant who runs classes in Melbourne got the chance to cuddle up with singer Peter André at an awards ceremony. Toni Harrington, who runs three Slimming World sessions at Melbourne Assembly Rooms on Thursdays, met the Aussie singer when he hosted the company’s annual awards in Birmingham. Also at the event was Mandy Knapp, who manages Slimming World groups in Melbourne. Toni said: “I couldn’t be prouder of my members. Throughout 2017 they have lost fantastic amounts of weight, with many of them hitting their target weights, improving their health and boosting their confidence. “It’s so rewarding to see people being able to do things that they didn’t think were possible before losing weight, whether that’s having more energy, feeling happier, wearing smaller clothes, taking up new hobbies, reducing medication or doing more with their family and friends. “Every week I feel extremely lucky to play even a small part in people’s achievements and I felt very honoured to represent our groups at the Slimming World Awards. “Cuddling up to Peter was a real treat. He was bowled over by the difference Slimming World makes to people’s lives, and it reminded me what an important and privileged role I have as a consultant. “Now I’m heading into 2018 super motivated to support even more people to be inspired to lose weight and lead healthier and happier lives.” In 2017 Peter André supported The Big Slimming World Clothes Throw, which raised £3.3million in two weeks. The annual event encourages members to donate clothes now too big for them to Cancer Research UK. The singer set up the Peter André Fund with Cancer Research UK after losing his brother to the disease. Peter said: “It was an honour to be invited to present the Slimming World Awards. I met so many incredible people who had lost amazing amounts of weight and transformed themselves – inside and out. “So there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that Slimming World and people like Mandy who run and manage the groups are very special.”

Santa’s sleigh raises a staggering £1,800

CARRYING on the tradition established by the Round Table, Melbourne’s Rugby Club dusted off Santa’s sleigh and went out collecting for local charities. In the worst of the December weather the rugby club, led by Gary Lakin and ably assisted by the girls from Melbourne Minxes, toured Melbourne and local villages over five nights. They raised a staggering £1,800, and the directors of the rugby club have agreed that the monies should all go to local charities and good causes. Donations of £600 have been made to Melbourne Community Care, Melbourne Sporting Partnership and also split between the Melbourne Junior and Infants School PTAs, benefitting the young, old and active in Melbourne.

Village Voice January 2018 3

TOP: Melbourne Slimming World Consultant Toni Harrington (left), Peter André and Castle Donington consultant Gill Houston.

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Class of ’74 set for a reunion

4 Village Voice January 2018

THEY say that school days are the best days of your life – but whatever the truth of the matter, these two ex-pupils from Melbourne Secondary School are hoping to take a trip down memory lane by holding a class reunion to mark their 60th birthdays. The grand reunion is being planned by Pat Watts (née Bentley) and Jacky Hackett (née Bailey), who both left Melbourne Secondary School in 1974. The pair are both turning 60 this year and are hoping to find as many people as possible from the class of ’74 to reminisce about the good old days. Aiding the occasion will be footage playing of cine films of school trips in the 60s and 70s – the footage was taken by school headmaster Bill Shone and has been made into a four-disc DVD by his son, Tim Shone. So why the reunion? “I’ve always wanted to do one over the years, so we thought we’re coming up to 60 – now’s the time to do it!” said Jacky. The footage has been taken from the various school trips attended by pupils at Melbourne Secondary, and covers the years from 1963-77. During that period, cine camera footage was taken by Mr Shone of trips to London, Dinard in France, Bruges and Blankenberg in Belgium. “We did have some good fun on those trips,” said Pat. “I can’t tell you all the things that used to happen on them though …!” The school reunion is a ticket-only event and is being held on April 14 in The Assembly Rooms – where the school used to be. Tickets are available

from Pat’s shop, Alive ‘n’ Klippin, and Melbourne News where Jacky works. Pat and Jacky are keen to hear from as many people as possible, along with teachers, families of former pupils and graduates from other years of the school who would enjoy the chance to see some familiar faces and those they haven’t seen for a while. Proceeds from the occasion will be put towards a local charity. Footage from the DVDs will be shown at the event. The discs are also being sold at the Welcome Café or are available from Tim Shone, on 07831 856 640. All funds raised from sales will go towards Melbourne Tennis Club, of which Tim is chairman. – Lucy Stephens ABOVE: Jacky and Pat who are planning the reunion. RIGHT: School trip to London in June 1970. Pat is wearing the school’s summer school uniform, which she made herself. Pupils at the school used to make their own summer school dresses: “There was a choice of doing it in pink or blue,” she remembered. The material for the dress came from the haberdashery shop that was also Hodgkinsons on High Street. LEFT: Jacky (on the right) with Julie Wright (centre) and Rosalind Hallifield (left) also on the school trip to London in 1970.

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Out with the old, inn with the new...

A NEW makeover, a new landlord and a new name are all in place to re-vitalise one of Melbourne’s favourite establishments, quashing fears of another village pub closure. Having been “quiet” for around six months, The Lamb Inn reopened in December with a completely new style of business and a new name. Henceforth it will be known as The Melbourne Inn, ending a tradition of almost 200 years of a “Lamb” pub on the site. New landlord Ian Broomhead said he wanted to “draw a line in the sand” from the pub as it was, to turn it into a warm welcoming venue for families and for the whole community. He will be running the venture with his partner, Andrea Milner. Ian has a long association with the pub, having helped in it when it was run by Bob and Brenda Owen years ago. He said he was driving past the sad and empty looking pub recently when he had a flash of inspiration and decided to put in a business bid to owners Ei (formerly Enterprise Inns). Weeks later he saw his dream realised. Ian has been a contracts manager for the past four years and Andrea is a hairdresser, but they are both looking forward to a change of lifestyle and running a pub business. With a “top to bottom” refurbishment, turning the interior into a plush, contemporary style whilst retaining many of the best original features, like the open fires and stained-glass windows, a different clientele will be attracted. Ian said: “We are going for a round-the-clock offer – with breakfasts available every day from 8am, a ‘Golden Oldies’ lunch menu featuring traditional and affordable pub food, with an ‘a la carte’ type evening menu. The pub will have dining space for around 50 diners inside and 25 in the garden.” With a safe play area for children outside, that will be particularly attractive in the summer months. “We will also be doing themed nights, like steak nights, Sunday lunches and the usual festive nights through the year,” he said. In addition to the obvious internal changes the kitchen has been fully renovated as have the other facilities. The owners have also put in a heated patio area to the rear of the pub. Ian and Andrea welcomed the first customers over Christmas and hope that the changes will be appreciated by the wider community. He is also still looking for staff to work in the bar and the CHEERS ... landlord Ian Broomhead is looking forward to welkitchen. coming customers. Picture: TINA BAKER – Frank Hughes


THESE youngsters from Kangaroos Pre-School in Melbourne had a Christmas party to remember when they had a visit from a local forest school business. The under-5s were visited by locally-based Green Shoots Forest School, who had them playing in a mud kitchen and toasting marshmallows on a fire pit, to enjoy a festive celebration with a Bear Grylls feel. The children also made Christmas trees out of twigs and reindeer from salt dough. They even got to experience sawing some logs … under adult supervision, of course.

Tree has got to go

Village Voice January 2018 5

Cont’d from Page 1 ward, had this to say: “This particular tree is an arboricultural abomination and is best felled without further delay.” The Village Voice understands that the intention is to plant a tree of a different species in place of the goat willow. Senior Citizens Centre president Margaret Sharp voiced her delight that the offending tree would finally be going. She said: “I’ve been trying to get that tree down for 15 years, it’s dangerous, its roots are coming up, they have raised the slabs. It (the tree) is just a self-setter, it’s grown from a seed, it’s not a proper tree, it’s a weed. “It was spreading into the beech tree at the side, it was going into the Blue Bell’s air system – this is very good news.”

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Country Living with Robert Parker

Era ends as our milking days draw to a close

OVER the Christmas period an era finally ended for us at Derby Hills Farm in that we stopped sending milk away after many many years. Ironically, we are still milking a dozen or so cows and feeding the milk to a batch of 25 calves. We still have some cows to sell to other farmers as they calve down and come into production, so we have to milk them as soon as they calve until they leave here. Another change is that we have started to buy milk for our own use as it’s too expensive to keep the refrigeration kit going just for a jug of milk every day. The calves prefer it just as it comes. I won’t miss the hassle and daily grind of cows, but a part of my life has gone – which will take some getting used to. Coincidentally, two of our customers are doing the same thing just now but, once again ironically, production of milk in this country still remains the same despite this.

Farmers who are staying in milk are generally having more cows, so the production is centring on fewer farms. Quite a few of our herd have gone to a new unit locally where the herd is milked by robots. A massive investment has been made in state-of-theart equipment and housing and the cows stay in all year round. The cows look very happy and ours soon adapted to the regime which surprised us all. Some of those animals were giving over 45 litres of milk every day, which would have been unbelievable when I started over 45 years ago when half that would have been good. Another way of keeping cows today is to have many hundreds of them, keeping them outdoors on grass for 10 months of the year with little supplementary feeding. Yields on this system are half of the indoor one. I still can’t decide which is best.

SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot … 2018 was welcomed with a bang across the area with revellers turning out to see in the New Year. The Assembly Rooms in Melbourne, where a New Year’s event has now been held for three years running, saw live music provided by Hey Beatles (pictured

above), the tribute band for the Fab Four which counts one member from Melbourne. More than 100 people, young and old, turned out to see in the New Year there. “It was a nice, happy community occasion,” said Assembly Rooms manager Andy Heafield. Down at the Royal British Legion in Melbourne, families turned out for a New Year celebration with games laid on for youngsters. In time-honoured style, the assembled company sang Auld Lang Syne as the clock struck midnight. Meanwhile, The Hardinge Arms in Kings Newton was packed full of revellers as December 31 turned to January 1, enjoying the convivial atmosphere and a free buffet provided by landlady Rachael Griffiths. The Village Voice would like to take this opportunity to give continued thanks to our advertisers, distributors, contributors and readers. We wish you all a happy and peaceful 2018, whatever it brings.

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Home finally found for new school

SOUTH Derbyshire’s new secondary school has now been earmarked for the proposed Infinity Garden Village just north of Barrow-upon-Trent – and not Thulston Fields as originally thought. In 2016 The Village Voice reported that, after lengthy consultation on where a new secondary school for the district would be built, land at Thulston Fields near Aston-on-Trent was being put forward as the best option. Lowes Farm at Stenson Fields was suggested as the next best place. The district council’s Local Plan, Part 2 – which was formally adopted in November – now lists the proposed Infinity Garden Village as the preferred location for a secondary school. That was after the document was put before planning inspector Mike Hayden, who said that the Thulston Fields site lay within the Green Belt and would, therefore, constitute “inappropriate development”. His report said: “If land at Thulston Fields needs to be allocated for a secondary education facility, then the Green Belt boundary would need to be altered. Paragraph 83 of the NPPF (National Planning Police Framework) makes clear that this should only be done in ‘exceptional circumstances’.” The news brings a further death knell to any hopes of a secondary school for Melbourne – which three years ago was also being mooted as

a possible location, but was ranked last out of possible sites on various criteria including proximity to other schools, flood risk, access and land value. The district council’s Local Plan now states that land at Infinity Garden Village is allocated for secondary education provision, and that a new school will provide a minimum of 800 places on a site at least 10 hectares in size. The document says: “Due to the recent and anticipated population growth in South Derbyshire, not just in this plan period but beyond 2028, it has become evident that at least one new secondary school will be required in the district. “There are currently four secondary schools within the district, three in Swadlincote and one in Etwall. As well as these schools within the district, parts also have normal (catchment) areas covering them from Derby City, East Staffordshire and Erewash schools. “In order to progress a new secondary school, the starting point is the notification of a site through the Local Plan process. Derbyshire County Council, as the statutory authority for education provision in the district, have undertaken this process and notified the council to allocate this site.” Infinity Garden Village is set to provide at least 2,000 new homes plus thousands of jobs. There is also a proposal to add an extra junction on the A50 as part of the development. – Lucy Stephens

Busy time for rural crime team

DERBYSHIRE’S first rural crime team has been kept so busy it has more than doubled in size after running for less than a year. The crime team was launched in March 2017 to tackle rural offences such as illegal fish poaching, hare coursing and thefts of quad bikes, tractors and trailers. In just the first sixth months, Derbyshire Constabulary has reported how the team’s investigative work has helped solve rural crimes to the tune of £120,000. When it started, the rural crime team had an inspector and two police constables but it has now been further boosted with a sergeant, two more po-

lice constables, a wildlife and rural co-ordinator and a police support volunteer. Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa has highlighted tackling rural crimes as a priority for this area. Melbourne’s former police officer, PC Paul Russell, has also recently been given the job as dedicated rural crime officer for South Derbyshire. The rural crime team investigated 34 crimes between March and September, including theft of cattle, criminal damage, theft of scrap metal, burglaries and theft of agricultural equipment amounting to £123,000 in losses. They also teamed up with

other police forces plus the Environment Agency and the Angling Trust to conduct what police say was a successful joint fishing poaching operation. Meanwhile, householders are being asked whether they are prepared to pay £1 a month extra for policing. Mr Dhindsa has launched a consultation to ask the public whether they would be willing to pay £12 extra a year on the policing proportion of the council tax bill in 2018/19 – a rise of 6.6 per cent. Policing in Derbyshire costs about £165m per year and is funded by a combination of government grant and local taxpayers’ contributions through council tax payments.

n NOTHING says Christmas like a festive jumper, a Santa hat and a brass band ... these musicans from Melbourne gave their audience a treat with a patrons concert at The Assembly Rooms. Melbourne Town Band now has a beginners and training band under its umbrella, along with a drum corps – and all four groups gave a thank you concert to their patrons at the Assembly Rooms on the evening of December 20. The instrumentalists played festive favourites along with other tunes such as the theme to How to Train

Your Dragon, the audience joining in with a sing-song. Pictured left is the beginners band and (above) are members of the drum corps.


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Homes get the go-ahead for Jawbone Lane

MELBOURNE’S Jawbone Lane is finally to be built on after planning councillors agreed detailed proposals for up to 34 homes. Whether or not developers could build on Jawbone Lane has been the subject of huge local controversy over the past few years, with several sets of planning applications and appeals. The latest appeal was into the proposal for homes on the north side of Jawbone Lane, a development initially rejected by South Derbyshire District Council’s Planning Committee. But when a government inspector controversially ruled that the homes could be built after all, it was left up to the committee to reach a decision on the detailed proposals, which were given the green light at a meeting in Swadlincote on December 19. That means Miller Homes, a developer based at Pride Park, Derby, now has permission to build on a section of the field adjoining Huntington Court and stretching to behind the cemetery. Miller Homes’ proposals still attracted plenty of objection locally, one argument being that the village does not need more four-bedroom executive homes so much as smaller properties, flats and bungalows. Melbourne Civic Society also criticised the “mediocre” design of the houses and raised concerns about the new development’s proposed drainage system. Objections raised by Kings Newton Residents’ Association included criticisms of the affordable housing in the development, saying it was too

small and did not include provision for wheelchairs. The meeting heard that, in terms of the development’s layout, Miller Homes had followed the prescription laid down by the government inspector. As far as the question of drainage of the development, by virtue of a Sustainable Urban Draining System (SUDs) with balancing pond, the council’s report had this to say: “Whilst it is acknowledged there are existing drainage problems in Melbourne, it has been previously demonstrated that the site can be adequately drained – having regard to climate change predictions and ‘urban creep’ (i.e. creation of outbuildings, patios, etc. within gardens). “It remains for the developer to satisfy the outline condition, and it is known that they have engaged with the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) prior to designing the pond, such that the SUDs is considered to be appropriate.” Last month we reported that fears have been raised locally over the effectiveness of balancing ponds, after video footage showed flood water pouring out of drains next to the Charles Church development at Kings Croft, despite the presence of a balancing pond on that site. The new Miller Homes development will include a mix of homes ranging from one to fivebedroom properties, of which ten will be affordable. The development will be served by a single estate road, with two parking spaces for each house, except for the ‘one beds’, which will have one and a half parking spaces each. – Lucy Stephens

Council earmarks £5,000-plus grants to commemorate WW1 centenary

GRANTS to groups totalling in excess of £5,000 for WW1 centenary commemorations were earmarked at another extraordinary meeting of Melbourne Parish Council – but the parish precept is likely to rise to meet the costs. A meeting held in December to discuss budget issues had been declared null and void, so the council re-convened on January 2 with a better turnout of councillors. Whilst a number of organisations had bid for either a grant or a loan, the parish clerk made clear from the outset that it was ‘not heard of ’ for parish councils to make loans in the way being discussed. The complexity in doing so would be disproportionate to the small sums involved. Awards were given to Kings

Newton, Melbourne Historical Research Group, Melbourne Junior School, and for a tribute beer and a commemorative glass. In addition, £500 was awarded to organise a remembrance walk around the village, and for a book and film festival. Whilst the commissioning of a stained glass window was not sanctioned, at a cost of £16,000, the council agreed to spend £1,000 on a commemorative painting which could be copied and sold. A £2,000 grant to organise a concert, being planned by the Royal British Legion branch, was discussed but not confirmed as more information was required about their plans and arrangements. Funds for a beacon at the top of Cockshut Lane were not included either as detailed costs

were awaited. Focus then turned to the overall budget for 2018-19 and the setting of the parish precept. After a lengthy discussion it was proposed to recommend an increase of around three per cent on last year’s budget of £72,610, to meet the additional costs agreed earlier. The council was also informed that a bid made to the Big Lottery Fund to replace some of the play equipment in the Lothian Gardens had been successful. A grant of £10,000 had been awarded late last year to replace the chain-link walkway with a “basket” swing. Jacqui Storer, parish clerk, said she hoped the project would be completed in the summer, and she was delighted that their bid had been successful. – Frank Hughes

Village Voice January 2018 9

Room for more pupils

l The Wrens reception class at Weston Primary.

FIVE more children will be able to get into the reception class at Weston-on-Trent Primary School following £300,000 building work which has added an extra classroom. Governors at the school rubber-stamped a local authority recommendation that the school’s published admissions number could be increased from 20 reception-aged children to 25 in the next academic year. That means the school will be able to accept the extra pupils from September 2018.

The school has recently had work done which has seen a sixth classroom built. Chair of governors Lynne Clay said she and the rest of the governing body were thrilled to be able to increase the number of pupils who could join. “Weston on Trent is such a fantastic school community, and we’re delighted that more children will get the opportunity to experience such an exciting learning environment,” said Mrs Clay.

Auction’s £3,270 in 90 minutes

AN auction of promises raised a whopping £3,270 for St Wilfrid’s Church in Barrow-upon-Trent – in an hour and a half! The auction was held at Brookfield Social Club in the village on December 15. Last month we reported how the church had won nearly £600,000 in lottery funding to save it for the future.


10 Village Voice January 2018

BUYING trends ebb and flow in the anLOCAL auctioneer CHARLES HANSON gives his tiques world but some seem to gain momenpredictions on the hot antiques trends for this year. tum with every passing year, and if you happen to be sitting on items that are flying high, I predict a windfall for you in 2018. That’s because certain antiques are hugely sought after – and their popularity keeps rising. Looking back at a spectacular year at Hansons, who could forget the Chinese plate found in a kitchen cupboard in South Derbyshire that turned out to have a replica in The National Museum of China and sold for £230,000? The family knew it was valuable but were stunned at the hammer price. I was delighted for them but not entirely surprised. The Chinese market has been booming for some time as the country’s richest collectors flock to buy back their history and heritage. They are prepared to pay huge prices for the privilege. Interest in Chinese artefacts has intensified since President Xi Jinping highlighted the importance of the country's heritage. Some Chinese buyers tell me they feel their past has been looted from them. The wave is driven by a patriotic urge to bring back great objects as well as hopes for financial gains. The buying spree is backed by China’s government and a growing number of private institutions, such as the Long Museum in Shanghai, which was founded by billionaire Liu Yiqian. The trend to buy Chinese artefacts will continue unabated in 2018, so do have any Asian art valued. It can be sold in our Spring Fine Art Auction on March 23 and entries are invited. wines and spirits as well. The Chinese are not only snapping up items from The latter is a burgeoning market and Hansons now their homeland, however. They are also buying porceholds specialist drinks auctions to cater for this trend. lain, works of art, maps, books, and often, whisky,

Earlier this year some of the oldest port in the world uncovered in the cellars of an English country house proved profitable for its owners. Two bottles of 146-year-old vintage port, dating back to 1871, had an original estimate of £70-£100 per bottle but sold for £370 and £400 respectively. On April 25 we will be holding a Wine and Whisky Auction and entries are welcome. Designer watches are also sought after. Our 2017 watch sales included prestigious brands such as Rolex, Jaeger Le Coultre, Vacheron Constantin De Bethune, Breitling, IWC and Harry Winston. To give you some idea of what can be achieved, an IWC gold Portugieser perpetual calendar wristwatch sold for £12,000 in 2017. Sitting on treasures? Then pop down to Hansons in Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, for a free valuation and we’ll do our best to help you enjoy a prosperous new year. We offer free valuations there on Wednesdays 57pm, Fridays 10am-4pm and Saturdays, 9amnoon. LEFT: Charles Hanson with the £230,000 Chinese plate. ABOVE: John Keightley and a bottle of vintage port.

Man admits tree lights damage

A 37-YEAR-OLD man has admitted he was responsible for damage to the Melbourne Christmas Tree lights this year – and will pay for the damage. In last month’s Village Voice we reported how the tree had been lit up for the festive season for just under five hours on December 1 before the lights were damaged. Someone collided with the tree on the night in question. The man went to see police and accepted responsibility for the damage. At the time of going to press, police said he intended to write a letter of apology and pay for repairs.

Safety first

RESIDENTS will have their next chance to quiz local police plus district council officers on safety matters at a series of public meetings. The Area Forums, followed by Safer Neighbourhood meetings, take place at 6.15pm. The next meeting covering Melbourne, Barrow, Aston and Weston is at Melbourne Assembly Rooms on Monday, February 5. Those from Ticknall, Milton, Smisby and Findern have their meeting in Ticknall Village Hall on Wednesday, February 7.

Maria’s simply potty about her ceramics

FINDING pottery remains dating back hundreds of years in her back garden have inspired Ticknall’s Maria Picken to turn to the pottery-wheel herself – after all, it’s how people in the village made their living for centuries. Former teacher Maria has turned to pottery having retired from her last job as head of the Academic English Language department at Loughborough College. A lifelong interest in ceramics sparked her initial interest, but things really took hold as she became involved with the work of the Ticknall Archaeological Research Group, who have been conducting digs in the village and investigating its pottery heritage since setting up in 2010. A dig in Maria’s street first unearthed decorated Cistercian-ware dating back to the 15th century – decorated finds from so far back being fairly rare. Then, in 2014, a further dig in Maria’s own garden unearthed more Cistercian pots and one even older find: a nearly intact pot which is thought to have been made in the 1100s. “It was the most exciting thing – people were just coming from all over the village to look at it,” she said. More than 30 pottery sites are known to have existed in Ticknall and by the 15th century a significant amount of Cistercian and Midlands Purple ware was being made there. One major reason for Ticknall’s prolific pot making is the fact the area has good clay reserves, which are generally found near coal seams.

The wheel which potters still use today was the method employed to make ceramics – although it’s only fairly recently that wheels have been mechanised; for centuries the potter would have just kept it moving with a stick or their feet, using the flywheel principle. Maria’s husband, Nigel, said there were so many remains in their garden alone that “… when we first moved in, every time you put a spade in the garden all this pottery would be appearing!” Now, having taken to the kiln and wheel herself, Maria feels she is carrying on a Ticknall tradition which is an important part of the village’s social history. Her learning journey has included instruction from internationally renowned potter Kevin Millward, consultant on the BBC show The Great Pottery Throw Down. “I’ve always been interested in ceramics,” she said. “When we went on holiday I used to drag my poor family to any sort of ceramics museum. “I joined the Ticknall Archaeological Research Group and got involved in many digs; when you’re examining ceramics and old pottery, and you get to handle it, it makes you appreciate the work that goes into making a pot. “When I got on to the wheel myself, I seemed to take to it quite well! “The whole process of being involved in clay, it’s like being connected to the earth. The finds in my garden have inspired me. “I’m the only potter in Ticknall. The pottery industry was incredibly important here. It was as if it was meant to be!” – Lucy Stephens

Whistlewood has a whole lotta bottle ...

TEN green bottles … there are considerably more than that down at Whistlewood Common after the local community rallied round in an innovative eco-building project. Funds are now available for the pioneering environmental co-operative to get a roundhouse built on the site. As part of the green building work scheduled for this year 9,000 wine bottles are needed to provide unusual but effective under-floor insulation. Whistlewood called on the community to contribute any empty 75cl wine bottles, and a couple of drop-off events were held over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Around 1,000 empty wine (and Champagne) bottles have now been donated. So how will it work? The bottles will be included within the below ground foundations of the roundhouse and will be placed neck down and surrounded by sand. The air they hold will act as an insulator. Everyone from the community is invited to keep saving their empty wine bottles, which can be delivered to Whistlewood during their fortnightly volunteering sessions every other Saturday afternoon. The next sessions will be taking place between 1pm and 4pm on January 20 and February 3 and 17.

Village Voice January 2018 11

l Maria Picken with one of her finds (also pictured left) and some of her own creations.

12 Village Voice January 2018

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Macy with her snowman at Elvaston Castle.

LET it snow, let it snow … the local area was transformed into a winter wonderland as the white stuff made its presence known in December. Brown’s Field in Melbourne was filled with people tobogganing down the slope for most of the day, and our photographer Pete Clough was on hand to capture the moment. Meanwhile, Tina Baker took the images of people enjoying themselves in the grounds of Elvaston Castle. Our readers have also sent us snaps of everyone having fun in the wintry weather. But while snow is fun, there is a serious side and county council employees were out in force gritting 287 routes across Derbyshire. With western parts of the county the hardest hit, the council had prepared for the winter months with more than 27,000 tonnes of salt – more often known as grit. During the early December snowy weekend, highways staff spread 2,000 tonnes of grit over the county’s roads, the equivalent of more than 100 large lorry loads. Around 23,500 tonnes of salt are stock-

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ANN HAYNES 1939 - 2017 ANN was born in Rotherham, Yorkshire, to Mary and Frank Stockdale and was elder sister to David, Paul and Carol. She met her future husband, Cliff, when they both worked for a national retail furniture store in Rotherham. Cliff is a Derby man and Ann always said he had to go to Yorkshire to find a wife. After they married in 1959, Cliff became manager of stores in Derbyshire so they moved to Littleover where they brought up their family: Samantha, Matthew, Joanna and Peter. As well as bringing up four children, Ann worked as a librarian at Derby’s Central Library and later in the records department at Derby City Hospital (now known as The Royal Derby). She was involved in several voluntary organisations


including Derby Hospitals League of Friends and Meals on Wheels, and was a founder member of the National Women’s Register. When Ann was in her late 30s she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis which, after a few years, began to curtail her movements. Cliff, having opened a furniture store of his own in Burton on Trent, decided to alter the

FRANK GREEN 1921 – 2017 MEMBERS of Melbourne’s Male Voice Choir sang for their supper at the John Thompson Inn, and raised more than £100 for Community Care at the same time. The choir sang at the pub to celebrate its 40th anniversary of brewing, and held a collection which raised £106. The money was presented to Melbourne Community Care to continue its work offering transport within the local area. Community Care runs a community bus which can transport 14 passengers, including wheelchair users.


The bus makes regular trips helping people get around the local area and to the shops. Pictured (l-r) are John Smallwood, Albert Milbourne, Alison Thornhill and Cliff Warner. The self-funding charity has an office on Derby Road which is open in the mornings and holds information on health and social care. It also loans out wheelchairs and offers a volunteer car service plus assisted door-todoor shopping to Sainsbury’s in Melbourne.

BORN in 1921, Frank Green was the oldest of seven children. He grew up in Yorkshire and, after leaving school, took a welltrodden path into work as a coal-miner. Despite being in a reserved occupation Frank enlisted in February 1941 because, in his own words “he did not want to miss out” and tried to join the Navy. That did not work out, but he was posted in June that year as “2622172 Grenadier Green”. He served in some of the iconic battles of World War 2 including Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, and the D-Day landings. At one point during the conflict, he also guarded The Queen at Windsor Castle. Like many veterans, he did not talk much about his experiences, and it was only in 2016 that something was made of his four medals – the 1939-1945 Star and War Medals, the France and German Star, and the Defence Medal. In a ceremony at the Royal British Legion in Melbourne they were all re-presented to him by the Grenadiers. Oddly, Frank was never officially de-mobilised. According to his war record, he was transferred to the reserves, with the discharge section strangely blank and could have been called up any time! That said, his war record was exemplary and his testimonial glowing. After the war, Frank returned to mining at Grimethorpe and he met Bessy. They married in 1951. They were both able to play the piano and one of his younger sisters, Janet, recalled being

firm’s warehouse in Melbourne to living accommodation, all on one level. Ann loved living in Melbourne and over the next 30 or more years she joined many local organisations, including the Women’s Institute and the Inner Wheel. She attended many church activities and was the longest serving volunteer of the Treetops charity shop at Melbourne Hall. Ann could be seen on her scooter getting places which surprised everyone. She treated her illness with a determination to make the best of it; when asked how she was she invariably replied “Oh, I’m fine” – even if she wasn’t. She died peacefully in the Nightingale Macmillan Unit at the Royal Derby Hospital and was visited by her children, 10 grandchildren and friends during that period.

allowed to play their treasured instrument on only a few occasions. Sadly, Bessy died in 1987 and it was as a widower that Frank travelled to the Isle of Wight in 1989 where he met Shirley, who brought him to Melbourne. Frank adopted his new, readymade family. With no children from his earlier marriage, he now gained two, John and Vivian, with inherited grandchildren Adam and Linni. He was delighted when two younger grand-daughters, Ruby-Mae and Isabelle, came along. Frank even gained a motherin-law, Shirley’s mum Evelyn. Frank and Shirley embraced life in full, enjoying family holidays and travelling widely on bus trips. He was well into his 80s before he stopped driving, often travelling to Yorkshire to see surviving sisters Irene and Janet. He then transferred onto a mobility scooter and was frequently seen racing around Melbourne. He enjoyed good health throughout his life, only needing serious medical help a month before he died. Despite his 96 years of age, his passing was unexpected. A generous man all his life, Frank had planned a wonderful surprise for the people at Pool Cottage with carefully selected presents to give as a thank you. His family were pleased to see his plan through and distribute the gifts in deep appreciation to everyone at the home for all they did for him. The Legion also provided a guard of honour at his funeral, and knitted poppies were handed to mourners in his memory. A collection was taken for Pool Cottage Amenities Fund.


Airport sees big rise in festive flights

Village Voice January 2018 15

FOR our January historical picture slot, the Village Voice is very pleased to bring you these additional photographs depicting a festive tradition that went on in Melbourne for decades.

Last month we printed a photograph (below, left) of Father Christmas arriving at Melbourne Infant School, but we did not know who was in the picture or when it was taken – so we appealed to the public to tell us more. Step forward three Village Voice readers who have all emailed with more details about this glimpse of Christmas past. John Dallman, of Melbourne, emailed suggesting that the name of the coachman in our picture would very probably have been Charlie Needham. Denise Thirkhill, who also wrote in, agreed with the identity of the coachman and also told us that the horse itself was called Bendigo. “During the early 1970s I acted as a groom riding on the carriage and holding Bendigo while Santa was distributing his gifts,” she wrote. Meanwhile, Roger Kington, of Ingleby, has sent us two further pictures from the festive tradition of Santa making his annual visit to the Infant School Christmas party. Roger, who was in the first cohort of pupils to attend Melbourne Infant School at its current Packhorse Road site when

n OWLS, unicorns, twinkly lights … it was a beautiful festive sight as Springwood Fisheries held a Christmas fair, and it all raised money for charity. Springwood is based on the Ashby Road just outside Melbourne. Unicorns, owls, festive stalls, a “Friction Fire” demonstration from Woodland survival crafts, a hog roast and café all added up to a Christmassy evening, which raised £300 for Rainbows Children’s Hospice in Loughborough. Pictured are Alice and Charlie McCrea with Harry the unicorn and handler Paige Graham from Clip-Clop Pony Rides.

it opened there in the early 1950s, went on to tell us: “This event occurred throughout the 1960s to 1980s, and Santa’s local transport was often provided by courtesy of the Shields family of Wilson. “The coachman was well known expert in the field – Charlie Needham – and on occasions one of the young members of the Shields family rode postilion. “One such occasion is shown in the photo in the School Hall, with Miss Handley, headmistress for many years. A number of recognisable faces can be seen in the background.” We are very grateful to Roger, John and Denise for telling us more about the picture and this aspect of how the festive season was celebrated in Melbourne in years gone by.

THOUSANDS more people escaped traditional cold winter festivities by flying abroad for Christmas from East Midlands Airport, according to the latest figures. The airport, which now caters for nearly five million passengers a year, reported an increase of 10,000 more passengers forecast to fly to and from the airport in the week leading up to Christmas compared with 2016. On Sunday, December 17, alone 9,194 people flew to and from East Midlands to popular destinations including Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. And in the seven days leading up to Christmas there were 63,446 passengers scheduled to fly, compared with 53,424 the previous year. The Village Voice has previously reported how East Midlands is now Britain’s most important airport for dedicated freight aircraft, as the home of worldwide logistics specialists DHL, UPS, FedEx and the Royal Mail, with £9bn of goods exported on behalf of UK businesses to 200 countries last year.

Society’s fitting festive tribute to a stalwart

16 Village Voice January 2018

WITH perfect timing, Melbourne Operatic Society provided some super festive entertainment at the Melbourne Assembly Rooms. The evening began with a special tribute to a stalwart of the society, David Bentley, who passed away in 2017, aged 89. The operatic society first formed in 1925 but stopped during the war years. However, in 1953, it reformed and started performing again fully a year later. David was one of a group who joined then and remained an active part of the society until 2013. What an outstanding achievement and a well-deserved tribute to celebrate David’s 57 years’ contribution. We then were given yet another evening of songs, reading and amusement covering 31 presentations that flowed wonderfully from beginning to end. With such a high quality of content and audience participation of eight of the carols, it is difficult to single out individual performances, but here is a selection. The rendition of ‘Nutcracker Jingles’ was a truly harmonious performance, by a nine-piece mixed

ensemble. Another performance entitled ‘The Christmas Story’ was a very amusing reading about a school teacher trying to explain what Christmas really means to his class, but the teacher was constantly interrupted by pupil Dominic with additional comments from fellow pupil, Elizabeth. After a selection of carols, we were again entertained by a very funny recital of ‘The Twelve Days Of Christmas’ – a very different approach as the lady who received the familiar gifts on each of the 12 days was less than impressed with her ‘true love’s gifts’, due to the menagerie collected in her house and garden. The ladies chorus rendition of ‘Were You There On That Christmas Night’ was beautifully sung by a group who really enjoyed entertaining the audience. Towards the end of the show, we were treated to a surprise – a duet of the superb song ‘The Prayer’ made famous by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. Complete with English and Italian lyrics, we now have a male duo ‘on the block’, who treated us to an out-

standing harmony performance in both languages, very much appreciated by the audience. We were even entertained by the society members during the interval, being served tasteful refreshments of wine, soft drinks, mince pies and biscuits to our tables. I will conclude by saying that ‘A Feast Of Christmas Music’ was a wonderful evening of Christmas entertainment, given to us completely voluntarily by a cast of 37 dedicated members of Melbourne Operatic Society. Can’t wait for the next one. – Colin Barker


Ever thought about swapping time?

ONE thousand hours of time and skills have been “swapped” under a popular council scheme since it was set up. Derbyshire County Council’s “Time Swap” allows people to help each other by exchanging talents and time. Members ‘earn’ time by doing things they’re good at for other people. Time earned can then be spent getting help

from others for things they might find difficult or new things they want to learn. The scheme has helped to organise a wide variety of swaps, which can include anything from teaching someone how to play the guitar, to helping someone trim a hedge, to walking someone’s dog for them.

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Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said: “Time Swap is a great idea and perfect for people who want to save a bit of cash, make new friends and be an active part of their community. “It’s no surprise that we’ve clocked up such impressive numbers as the scheme is extremely popular – and I’m sure it’ll only get bigger with time. “And it’s not just about the hours swapped, it’s about the friendships and connections made across the county – it really brings people together.” The county council’s Time Swap team run regular drop-in sessions around Derbyshire so that people have the chance to check out the scheme for themselves. Times and locations of dropins can be found at or by calling 01629 532049. Time Swap is completely free to join and participate in – the only currency is time. All new members receive an hour of time when joining for free to help get the ball rolling. To find out more about the Time Swap scheme visit or call 01629 532049.

Quiz openers

THE first of the 2018 Melbourne charity quizzes will be held at the Royal British Legion at 7.30pm on Friday, January 12. The closing date for entries was January 3, but all spectators are welcome. This year’s chosen charity is Treetops Hospice at Risley.

School plans China exchange visits

CHELLASTON Academy is forging new links with a partner school in China that will lead to exchange visits and sharing of cultures. Headteacher Kevin Gaiderman has recently returned from a delegation from five Derby schools to Hefei, the capital city of Anhui province in East China. There he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the principal of Hefei No 50 Middle School which will result in students from China visiting Derby and the first group of Chellaston pupils visiting China next October. The initiative is part of the Derby City association formed in 2016 to forge business, commercial, sporting and educational links with Hefei, a city of some nine million residents and one of the fastest growing in the country. Kevin said: “The trip was really eyeopening; they have amazing educational facilities with sports facilities, theatres – even in primary schools. They are also very advanced in technology and other resources.” During the trip he organised a video link with a year seven assembly back in Chellaston over ‘Zoom’, the Chinese version of Skype. “All the children back home wanted to be part of the project,” he said. “Students have already sent pen pal letters and the first group of students from China will be visiting early next year, where they will be involved in lessons.”

Tuk tuk on tour

NEWS in brief Firefighters rescue swan trapped in weir...

Village Voice January 2018 17

HARD-WORKING firefighters from Melbourne had a memorable New Year’s Eve when they were called out to rescue a swan trapped in a weir. Two members of Melbourne’s fire crew took to the water at Melbourne Pool to attend to the distressed bird, which had got itself caught in the weir beyond Pool Cottage. After being called out at around 6pm, the two firefighters wore full water rescue gear to rescue the swan, which they did with the help of a nine-metre ladder. They released it into the water, well away from the weir, and were back in time to see in the New Year.

... and called out to give first aid to pool woman

l Chellaston head Kevin Gaiderman (second from left, middle row) in Hefei.

During the link-up pupils were particularly curious about the food, which he discovered was quite different from the traditional Cantonese cooking we are accustomed to. “It tastes very different from how you might expect, and rice is served as a final course to fill you if you are still hungry, rather than integral to the meal.” Lots of things are very different there, such as school uniforms – the children, parents and staff get the chance every year to vote within their tutor groups on a chosen uniform for the next year. There is a different attitude, too, to education, and a strong element of competition for higher school places. The way schools

are funded is also quite different from the UK and, in some respects – such as in pupil mental health and wellbeing – they are very advanced. Mr Gaiderman said: “I see this as an opportunity for Chellaston pupils to open new horizons, a great way to explore different cultures and break down barriers. We are exploring ways of funding trips for less advantaged pupils so that it is open to everyone, not just those who can afford to go. The students will also get the chance to visit Beijing on the way.” There is also a plan to bring Mandarin language in as an extra-curriculum subject in the near future. – Frank Hughes

FIREFIGHTERS gave first aid to a woman after she swam out of Melbourne Pool in the early hours of Boxing Day. East Midlands Ambulance Service said they were called at 1.24am on December 26, with the caller reporting someone in the water. They sent a paramedic in an ambulance car and a crewed ambulance, with the crew from Melbourne Fire Station also on scene at around 2am. The woman had entered the water but had managed to swim back to the side. Firefighters administered first aid and the patient was taken to Royal Derby Hospital by ambulance.

Thank you... Jo, Dave and all the family including Shelia Blood would like to thank everyone from family, friends and customers for their support, prayers and kind words in the way of letters and cards on Sid's sudden death. The family would like to say a special thanks to Reverend Stephen Short, Sue at Melbourne Florist, Louise Blunt and her team at Melbourne Tea Rooms and everyone at J.P. Springthorpe & Co. for their excellent service and support. Finally a huge thank you to the doctors at Melbourne Surgery and the paramedics for their care. A total of £360 was kindly donated to Melbourne Senior Citizens Centre on Sid's wishes.

YOU don’t see vehicles like this on the roads of South Derbyshire every day … this is an Indian tuk tuk and you may spot it around Melbourne, Ticknall and Kings Newton over the next week or two. The Indian three-wheeled taxi is owned by Derby restaurant The Slice of India, and it is being taken on a little tour of local villages in order to let people know about the regular curry night held at The Mill Wheel in Hartshorne. The Village Voice understands that the tuk tuk is fully road legal, and is still “quite an experience to drive”! The eye-catching vehicle is even going for a little trip over Swarkestone Bridge as part of its promotional activities.

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MORE than 200 people, including many children, enjoyed singing carols under the Christmas tree in Melbourne Market Place on December 21. The festive event was led by Douglas Keith on behalf of organisers Rotex, and Melbourne Town Band played the music. The collection provided for donations of £50 each to Rainbows Hospice, the air ambulance service, and the town band. Pictures: PETE CLOUGH

n THIS year’s Christmas Evening organised by Kings Newton Social Group attracted 70 people on a cold December evening. Everyone was welcomed with a glass of warm mulled wine. John Moakes provided the entertainment and was once again a great success, singing popular swing classics and even performing a trumpet solo..

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Members of the Parish Council Chair Margaret Sharp 01332 862471 Vice Chair Sheila Hicklin 01332 865726 Highways, Facilities and Amenities David Smith 01332 862699 Burial Grounds Sheila Hicklin 01332 865726 Planning & Strategy Jane Carroll 01332 863269 Finance & HR Margaret Sharp 01332 862471 Nigel Collyer George Dunnicliff Wendy Earp Carol Fearria Tom Gates Simon Green George Hudson Andrew Jackson Robert Parker Terry Summerlin Michael Usher Jacqui Storer - Clerk

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Melbourne Parish Council Quarterly Report - January 2018 We had our usual well attended Parade and Act of Remembrance Service on Sunday 12th of November. Our sincere thanks go to the Royal British Legion for their organisation and to Melbourne Town Band for leading the parade. The "Melbourne at Christmas" organised for the Parish Council by Paul Willmore was a huge success with crowds thronging the Market Place to witness the switching on of the Christmas lights by Santa Claus. Also our thanks go to Rotex and Melbourne Town Band for organising Carols Round the Christmas Tree which proved to be a popular public event. The Council have welcomed a new councillor in November, Mrs Carol Fearria, to fill the vacant place so we are now full strength again. The planning work on the new public toilets is still progressing slowly as are the grants for new play equipment at the Lothian Gardens. Our Sexton Robert and his wife made the Cemetery Chapel look very nice at Christmas with the Remembrance Tree and the lovely flower arrangements. Thank you Robert and Lyn for your hard work. Margaret Sharp, Chair, Melbourne Parish Council


Village Voice January 2018 19

’TWAS the season to be jolly – these congregation members from Melbourne’s United Reformed Church joined fellow church-goers from Little Eaton for their annual Christmas lunch in Sud- l LOCAL troupe Melbourne Mummers raised £550 for Ashby Food Bank with their festive bury Open Prison. The prison, near Ashbourne, runs its own café and the United Reformed capers this year. The group travelled around local hostelries just before Christmas, providing entertainment, and would like to thank all those who gave generously. This was the MumChurch goes annually for a Christmas meal. mers’ sixth annual tour and they are pictured here at The Hardinge Arms in Kings Newton.

NOTHING says Christmas like carols played by a brass band – but this group of musicians also raise thousands for charity with their annual festive tunes. Melbourne Charity Brass are a local group of musicians who travel round the local community playing carols during December. This year’s activities raised a grand total of £3,617.68 for cancer research.

R I G H T: A r o u n d 30 people enjoyed a festive afternoon tea with a good old carolsing-along at Melbourne Hall, courtesy of Lord and Lady Ralph Kerr. The hall invites members of Melbourne Community Care to enjoy a Christmas tea with them every year, followed by a rousing sing of traditional carols, led by Lord Ralph on the piano.

Car parts star in village’s Christmas Tree Festival

QUESTION: How do you make a Christmas shepherd out of old car pistons and a coil suspension? For the answer look no further than Karl Griffith, of Weston-onTrent, whose contribution to the village’s annual Christmas Tree festival is Derbyshire’s answer to Scrapheap Challenge, and it’s all for a great cause. The festival was held in St Mary’s Church over a weekend in December, with local businesses and organisations decorating trees to raise money for the church’s upkeep. Karl, who runs car repairs business Castle Donington Service Centre, makes a yearly contribution in line with his business – this year producing a shepherd made from old car parts including pistons for the base, spanners for the arms, a coil suspension and nuts for the eyes and nose. Last year’s offering to the festival was a tree, also made from old parts. “We’ve always supported the church and (last year) we decided to make our own tree,” he said. “We’ve always had a good response in the past – people think it’s a bit different!” Other organisations to support the festival in-

New Year, New Garden! 2018






cluded local guides, rainbows and scouting groups, the WI, Mothers Union and George Simnett & Family Funeral Directors, of Chellaston. Church secretary Jayne Williamson (pictured with Karl Griffith), who organised the festival with husband Craig, said: “The church looked fantastic – the whole church was decorated and it really did look beautiful. “It really is a true community event.” The festival succeeded in raising nearly £900 for St Mary’s.

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Donington on track for a huge facelift

22 Village Voice January 2018

MULTI-MILLION pound improvements are underway at Donington Park as new owners MotorSport Vision (MSV) make their mark. MSV are promising to “transform” the circuit with a big programme of works, ready for the 2018 season in March. The Jonathan Palmer owned group bought Donington Park from Kevin Wheatcroft in 2017, after an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) allowed the deal to be finalised. The CMA was involved because MSV’s acquisition of Donington Park adds to the group’s already substantial portfolio including Brands Hatch, Snetterton and Oulton Park.

Now that MSV are at the helm, they are conducting extensive upgrades to the circuit, including laying a hard surface on Paddock 3 for the first time, with power and water being added later in 2018. Existing toilet blocks in the busiest spectator areas will be demolished and replaced with larger, more modern facilities with increased capacity, improved baby changing areas and disabled access. In addition, a new circuit office will be created in a building next to the Formula E complex, overlooking the paddock at its entrance. One of the biggest changes will be a major new restaurant, bar and café in the heart of the venue. A new grandstand will be erected on the outside of Hollywood Corner, promising views stretching from before Redgate Corner all the way through the Craner Curves and beyond, through Starkeys and - E S TA B L I S H E D 3 0 Y E A R S Schwantz Curve. The circuit’s blue and white livery will be rebranded with To try and reduce the amount of clinical time lost due to MSV’s red, black and white missed appointments and late cancellations, the practice is colours and the existing padnow offering a text messaging service. Any patients who dock entrance will become the wish to receive these will need to complete a text messaging circuit’s main entrance, which consent form, available at reception. will be landscaped and Please note, we cannot offer this service unless a consent smartened up over the winter. form has been completed. The main internal roads in that area will be resurfaced to Naomi Fry BDS & Associates, Helen Baker BDS improve both vehicle and pedes● Family Dental Care using latest techniques and materials trian access between the car ● Friendly and caring service parks and the venue. ● Cosmetic Dentistry including tooth whitening MSV says that planned additions to the site for younger visNaomi Fry accepts child orthodontic patients on the N.H.S. itors will also make Donington Castle Street, Melbourne, Derbyshire Park a much more familyTelephone 01332 862942 friendly place to visit. There will also be improvements to the road tunnel between McLeans and Coppice, enabling easier access to the centre of the circuit, especially for campers. Giles Butterfield, MSV’s group operations manager, said: “These are exciting times for MSV and we look forward to launching Donington Park’s 2018 season with vastly-improved facilities for all our customers, whether they are spectators, competitors or track day participants. “MSV prides itself on providing a first-class experience for TICKNALL - DERBYS - DE73 7JN visitors at all its venues and the works that are underway at NEW ART CLASSES AND COURSES FOR 2018 Donington Park will ensure this FLOWERS AND PLANTS BIRDS AND ANIMALS - ALSO STILL LIFE great circuit is brought in line with our other venues across Go to or call: 01332 862757 the UK.”

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Surreal finish to new Six-A-Side competition

AFTER a season of thrills and spills, it was a tight tussle at the top of the table in the new Melbourne Six-a-Side League last month, with everything resting on the final game of the season. Surreal Madrid (pictured) claimed the elusive title after a closely fought 2-0 win over Fiorentina Turner. The winning team will be celebrating the success at Zeerah’s Indian restaurant in Melbourne. The league kicked off its first season in September at Melbourne Sports Park, on the stateof-the-art 3G artificial grass pitch. The open age adult league, which is affiliated to Derbyshire County Football Association, aims to get local people active and playing football in a fun and friendly local league. The majority of the registered teams are from Melbourne, which means there is a really sociable community atmosphere. As part of a recent league feedback session, one

captain commented: “We're proud how much the team’s skills and fitness levels have improved over the 14-week season and are looking forward to the challenges of next season. This league is a class above others we’ve played at, and the facilities are top class, too.” Marcus Radcliffe, director of football for the Melbourne Sporting Partnership, said: “It's great to have a six-a-side league playing at our facility. It offers the community a different format of football, attracts new participants and is a positive step which encourages the sporting pathways of young adults, provides social interaction for adult players of all ages and is all part of the sports revolution for a more active Melbourne.” The league plays every Sunday evening (68pm) all year round. All standards are welcome. Interested teams and single players can contact the league on 07513 30 6000, or via Facebook.

l Kings Newton Bowls Club saw 18 pairs taking part in their Boxing Day competition. The winners were Roger Timmins and his daughter, Julie.





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Melbourne hold on to beat Lions

MELBOURNE RFC’s 1st XV opened December with the short trip to Lutterworth. With the game played in dark dank conditions, Melbourne established an early 10 point lead with a try from Nightingale and five points from Holden. Lutterworth closed the deficit to 10-8 at half-time. Melbourne lost their way a bit in the second half and failed to take chances. Two yellow cards for Percival and Nightingale did not help and Lutterworth scored a couple of tries for a 22-10 win. MOTM: Devon Iliffe. With the Worcester game lost to the frost and the pitch under water with the melting snow, Melbourne switched to Nottingham Trent University for the visit of Rugby Lions. Rugby had prevailed 33-15 earlier in the season. The match was played on a superb pitch. Rugby looked a big physical side with a big pack. Melbourne came out firing from the kick off and, within two minutes, had opened the scoring with a try in the corner from James Benstead. Euan Holden kicked the conversion from wide. The Lions played to the strength of their big pack, constantly testing Melbourne’s defence, which was up to the challenge. There always seemed to be an extra man at the tackle and Melbourne’s quick forwards were a menace at the breakdown, competing for ball. Rugby scored a try from a crooked lineout after some sustained pressure. They also lost a forward to the bin for a stamp on Olly Page. With their physicality, blocking and ‘on the edge’ clear outs at the ruck, it was a true test for Melbourne who were up for it, despite losing Fisher and Smithy to injuries.


BUILDING work to create additional changing rooms plus an extra meeting room at the Recreation Centre in Aston-onTrent is expected to be finished by early spring. Sports opportunities in the village continue to grow with the expansion of the facilities, with the most recent addition a Zumba class.

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Stringer and Stephenson stepped in perfectly. A penalty for each side meant a 10-10 half-time score. The second half saw Melbourne with a slight hill advantage. Game management was important in a tight game and both sides looked to exploit errors and pin the opposition back in their own half. Holden narrowly missed a penalty from half way before kicking a short one for a 13-10 lead. A kick chase from Sam Hancock, with good support, saw Olly Page snipe over for a try, Holden converting for a 20-10 lead. Rugby hit back strong and, with one minute remaining, scored a converted try to make the score 20-17. Receiving the ball again, Rugby went through the phases, winning a penalty 40 metres out. Instead of going for three points, they opted for corner, missing touch. Benstead calmly collected and kicked to touch for a much needed 20-17 win. MOTM: Alex Nightingale. The second XV welcomed Derby 3rds in a Pennant game. Melbourne eased to a 25-0 half-time lead with tries from Ballington, Mallett, Martin and Toplis. Derby hit back with two tries in the second half, only for Melbourne to score three of their own (Mallett, Parnall and Hollingsworth) for a 42-14 win. They then travelled the short distance to Notts Casuals seconds, winning 30-12. Tries: Foster, Wiseall, Doleman and Brill with 10 points from Dale, to make it seven bonus point wins from seven in their Pennant league. The 3rd XV, as expected, faced a tough Leesbrook 1st XV and battled through, losing 15-31. Tries: Angelides, Hooper and Richardson. The academy had a tough battle at Ashby, losing 14-17. – Peter Ilott

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Brothers pair up for victory

MELBOURNE Tennis Club hosted its second junior/senior tournament in which juniors could either play with a junior or senior member of the club. Fourteen pairs played a round robin tournament which ended in an exciting final played between Luke Sherriff and his daughter Layla against brothers Alex and Oliver Walsh, resulting in a closely contested final where Alex and Oliver won 10-7.

Pictured (l-r ) are Oliver Walsh, Alex Walsh, Layla Sherriff and Luke Sherriff. n The mini-red team (eight and under) entered the Derbyshire Winter Mini League for the first time. Oliver Clarke, Theo Shepherd, Seth Blanchard and Archie Tatham worked together as a team to beat Woodlands 60, drawing against Church Broughton 33 and losing to Duffield 2-4. The team came second in the tournament.


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Tennis club bids to serve up three new courts


AFTER 2017 being the most successful year in Melbourne Tennis Club’s history, the club plans to make 2018 even better. It has ambitious plans to raise nearly £100,000 for the laying of three brand new courts at its Melbourne Sports Park (MSP) home.

The aim of this is to continue the club’s unbelievable growth, with 11 senior teams now entering various leagues, not including the growing junior section. The club has managed to raise around half of the money needed already but has a lot of fund-raising events in 2018.


ANYONE who likes a spot of cricket and would be interested in flexing their bowling arm during the winter months can go along to winter nets at Chellaston Academy, organised by Aston-on-Trent Cricket Club. Winter nets take place at the academy between 3pm and 5pm on Saturdays, running from January 13 to March 17. There is a small charge for the practice session and anyone affiliated with the club or others in the area is welcome to go along to keep their hand in before the season starts again. For more information, call Ian Dunn on 01332 799948 or you can just turn up.

HELP Y YOUR OUR BUSINESS GRO GR OW... by reaching over 16,000 readers of the Village Voic Voice! We can help with marketing, promotions and recruitment needs for businesses big and small. To discuss your advertising requirements or how we can help you, please contact Nicola Mortimer on 07584 025 852 or email Our next two editions... Month

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The first is a promises auction on Friday, March 9, with a possible cheese and wine evening to go with it. If any individual or company would like to donate a promise for the evening they are asked to get in touch with Alex Slater on or

MELBOURNE Dynamo Football Club’s December was ruined by the winter weather as the first team played only two of the scheduled games. The Reserves failed to play a match at all in the month. The first team hosted Holbrook Sports Reserves in the Derbyshire Cup semi-final and a superb all-round team display saw them win through to the final 6-0. James Smith led the way with a double. Further goals from Callum Horton, Jack Goodband, Adam Ross and Toby McCabe completed a good day for Gavin Salisbury’s men. But a week later Dynamo entertained Castle Donington and came off second best as the visitors won 2-0. This left the first team ending 2017 in fifth place, but with games in hand on teams above them. Dynamo also have a Derbyshire Cup final to look forward to plus a divisional cup semi-final, so 2018 could bring silverware for the team. Melbourne Dynamo Reserves, despite not playing a match in December, still remain unbeaten in the 2017/18





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motion. In division four, Melbourne ladies have won both their matches to top their league and, with the mixed winter team lying in third place, three Melbourne sides look set for promotion in their first season playing in the competition.

Dynamo dreaming of trophy bonanza


Sallie Allen on n The club continues to play in the Derbyshire winter leagues with Melbourne Men’s A team top of division seven, needing just one point to win the league. Melbourne B are in second place, also looking good for pro-

Telephone: 01332 863743 Mobile: 07966 245884

l Melbourne Dynamo 1st team: Back row (l-r) Gavin Salisbury (manager) Gavin Spencer, Dave Brough, Matt Jones, Callum Horton, Jonny Ball, Michael Tristram, James Smith, Adam Ross, Isaac Gosling; front row: Toby McCabe, Nathan Hunt, Dave Worger, Jack Goodband, Carl Allsop, Brad Ellis, Jak Ward and Alan Buxton (assistant manager).

season and sit top of MRA (Midlands Regional Alliance) division two. They are through to two cup semi-finals so, like the first team, silverware is very much on the cards for the reserves

with an exciting 2018 to look forward to. n Melbourne Dynamo has two new kit sponsors for this season. Sponsor Adrian Wagstaff is a Melbourne-based wealth management advisor, who said: “I have enjoyed working closely with Gavin Salisbury, first team manager, for Mel-

bourne Dynamo and it has been my pleasure to have sponsored the team and provide them with their fantastic new away shirts. “I look forward to working alongside Gavin in the future and hope that Melbourne Dynamo have another successful season.”


Stockists of Barbour Aigle • Hoggs • Chrysalis SHOOTING EQUIPMENT FISHING TACKLE Corporate CLAY SHOOTS arranged & much more Pay us a visit at

64 Church Street, Melbourne, Derbys

Tel. Derby (01332) 862091

NEW SPONSORS (l-r) Alan Buxton, Tom Williams of Harpur’s, Adrian Wagstaff and Gav Salisbury.

Melbourne Village Voice January 2018  

Melbourne Village Voice January 2018

Melbourne Village Voice January 2018  

Melbourne Village Voice January 2018