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the Birstall post Y O U R

C O M M U N I T Y

DECEMBER 2009

N E W S P A P E R

www.birstallpost.co.uk

No. 317

Sibson Road crime BUSINESSES ON Sibson Road have been targeted by vandals and thieves this November. Already suffering from the difficult trading conditions caused by the A6 roadworks, damage to property, break-ins and theft have added to the problems. On the weekend of November 7 one of the windows at the empty shop opposite Barclays Bank was smashed, windows at the Age Concern Furniture shop were broken and the window of the Posy Bowl was scratched. At the Age Concern shop the windows had also been broken just seven days previously. Manager Roberta Tuttle said: “It makes me very angry, it’s just mindless vandalism. They even broke the window in front of the Remembrance Day display which was so disrespectful.” The shop had to pay £400 to have the windows boarded up before they could be replaced. On November 5, the windows of Notions on Sibson Road were damaged by shots being fired at them from a pellet gun. Owner Dipak Vaghela said: “In 2008 there were problems with vandalism and graffiti, since then it has been quiet but now things have picked up again in the last few weeks. We need CCTV cameras in the village.”

On November 15, thieves climbed into the compound of Birstall DIY, smashed the side window of their lorry and damaged the ignition in a failed attempt to steal the vehicle. On November 11, burglars entered the premises of KM Vehicles on Sibson Road, breaking into a Subaru Impreza and stealing engine parts from the boot. They kicked in the back panels of another car and broke into a van to steal the radio. The damage to the Subaru was estimated at £11,268. Owner Mick Sanders said: “This could have a serious affect on my business. After the last break-in my insurance premiums went up buy £2,000 a year. When I saw this damage I thought, Ill close, I really wanted to pack it in. I’m not one hundred per cent sure I can stay here, I don’t feel I could take another battering.” In May, burglars stole £18,000 of specialist equipment and tools from KM Vehicles, including engine diagnostic equipment. Mick said: “I think kids are running riot in the village, the police should have a zero tolerance policy.” Citizen Focus Sergeant Ian Stone said: “I can confirm that the Birstall Neighbourhood Team is investigating three damage offences from the Sibson Road area where the shop front windows have been vandalised. Currently there are no suspects and I would encourage members of the community to share any information with police and to report any further incidents of vandalism. “The Sibson Road and Wanlip Lane areas are a priority for us for antisocial behaviour and criminal damage. Over the last four months, police have recording a policing presence of 866 hours in those areas.” The police can be contacted on 222 2222. The Birstall Neighbourhood Police Team comprises PBO PC Richard Carruthers and PCSOs Mark Butler and Angela Ogden.

Pic: Children from Riverside school cut the ribbon to officially open the bridge

Bridge opened A REDESIGNED bridge has made Watermead Country Park more accessible to visitors. People will be able to cross the new bridge at Birstall Lock near the White Horse pub more easily as it has gentle approaches. It is similar in design to the new bridge at Thurmaston Lock,

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the birstall post DEC 2009

Continued from page 1 which opened in July. The ramps up to the old bridge were steep, making it difficult to negotiate for cyclists or parents with buggies and impossible for someone using a wheelchair. The path from the bottom of White Horse Lane to the lock, and from the lock to the weir bridge has also been improved. Birstall Parish Cllr Pat Cleere said: “Having worked for several years, through the Parish Council, to try and get this area improved and not getting anywhere, I am really pleased at this result. It will make this part of the Country Park much more accessible to the people of Birstall.” The improvements are part of the £1.4 million Lottery funded Sustrans Connect2 Watermead Country Park project. In December 2007, people across the nation voted Connect2 the winner of a £50 million Big Lottery Fund People’s Millions grant. The initiative is creating new cycling and walking routes, improving local travel in 79 communities throughout the UK. Over the next five years, Leicestershire County Council will be improving both paths and trails in and around the park and links from surrounding villages and into the city’s well established cycling network. Other improvements will include new crossings at busy roads and alterations to bridges in the park. The project has been designed and built by Leicestershire County Council. To keep up to date with progress on the Connect2 scheme in Watermead Country Park, visit www.leics.gov.uk/connect2

Junior chef A STONEHILL student has come third in the local heat of a cooking competition. Emily-Jane Gordon had successfully come through the school heat held at Stonehill in October and in November she took part in the next stage at Leicester College. Emily-Jane had to prepare a main course and a dessert for two people in one and a half hours. Her teacher Jocelyn Brown said: “It was not an easy task when you don’t know the kitchen but she did really well coming third, being the youngest competitor. All the others were catering students about 17 years old.” The judges praised Emily-Jane for the outstanding presentation of the food she prepared.

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Christmas lights

Council rejects proposal

OUR PICTURES show Birstall Parish Council’s Christmas lights switch-on event at the Sibson Road car park. Visitors enjoyed music performed by Birstall Brass (bottom pic). Mince pies and mulled wine served by Cllrs Doug Topley and Clerk Steve Blackburn before the lights were switched on (right) by Birstall Citizen of the Year Jim Lennon and Chairman of Birstall Parish Council Stuart Jones.

Gold medal haul A CANOEIST from Birstall has won three gold medals and was Women’s Champion at a competition in Tasmania. Jessica Oughton took gold in the Women’s K1 Kayak Single world Cup 1 Sprint Race and gold in two classic races. Jessica was competing as part of the British team a the Hydro Tasmania Wildwater World Cup 2009.

BIRSTALL ALLOTMENT Society are disappointed that their proposal to self-manage the allotments has been rejected by Birstall Parish Council. The society say that self management would save the Parish Council the time it spends on administration, reduce the costs to the Council of maintaining Birstall’s three allotment sites and improve the facilities. There are three sites in Birstall: Meadow Lane, Worcester Avenue and Greengate Lane, with around 110 plots. Birstall Allotment society has around 100 members. In 2007/08 the cost to Birstall Parish Council of providing the allotments was £11,405 and the amount collected in rent was £1,233. Birstall Allotment Society say they could save most or all of the money the Parish Council currently spends on maintenance by applying for grant funding themselves. The Society say that their proposal, sent in July 2009, was a discussion and negotiating document and that they wished to meet some of the Parish Council to discuss in detail how self management would work. The Parish Council Estates and Recreation Committee discussed the proposal on July 27 and recommended it be rejected. The minutes state “The clerk had circulated a letter suggesting a scheme whereby the Society would take over the setting and collection of the rents, management of the waiting lists and inspections but would require maintenance and repairs to continue to be the responsibility of the Parish Council. Concerns were expressed about the possible lack of impartiality and the fact that income would be lost whilst still retaining the liability and costs of maintenance.” The self management of allotments is promoted by the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners (NSALG) and the Allotments Regeneration Initiative (ARI). It is defined as the practice of devolving a share of the responsibility for managing allotment sites from the local authority to the allotment gardeners themselves. It normally involves allotment societies collecting and keeping the rents, taking on some, or all, responsibilities for maintenance and applying for grant funding to improve the facilities. Leicester has 45 operational sites within the city boundary and 32 are self managed. John Kitchen, the chairman of Birstall Allotment Society, said: “We are shocked that the council won’t even talk to us and have questioned our impartiality. We are confident that we could save them, and the council taxpayer, money and improve the amenity of the allotments.” The Society have written to MP Stephen Dorrell as they say their democratic rights have been denied. Earlier this year the Parish Council wrote to all plot holders asking for their opinion

about Birstall Allotment Society managing the allotments. The Birstall Post asked the Parish Council what the results of this consultation were, why they had rejected the proposal for self management, what action had been taken to inform this decision and why they would not discuss the proposals with the allotment society. In response, Clerk to the Council, Steve Blackburn sent us the following statement: “The Council’s minutes show discussion took place at the Estates and Recreation Committee and at a meeting of the full Council and these meetings felt that the proposals were not in the interests of the Council or the residents as Council taxpayers. It has not been dismissed lightly, I have spent some time with Mr Trevor Matthews, who is a leading light in allotments nationally, but it is still felt that it is not right for Birstall.” Trevor Matthews is Chairman of the Leicestershire County Allotment Association and a representative of the ARI. He told the Birstall Post: “I would eat my hat if self management at Birstall allotments didn’t save the Parish Council money. By not going for self management they are losing out on grants and that is sad, as a lot of grant awarding bodies won’t give money to local authorities.” Mr Matthews is a member of Narborough Parish Council and a former parish council clerk. He said: “As a clerk I saw just what was involved in looking after allotments. Local authorities welcome self management when it runs smoothly. Here in Narborough the Allotment Association keeps all the rent and gets £1000 a year from the Parish Council to spend on improvements. We do all the maintenance and have installed rabbit proof fencing and toilets. “I think Birstall Parish Council and the allotment society need to come together and talk.”

Student bounce STUDENTS FROM Longslade College took part in a trampolining competition in November. The annual competition is organised by the South Charnwood School Partnership, which is based at Longslade. For the last five years it has been providing sporting opportunities and competitions for schools in Birstall, Thurcaston, Syston, Anstey, Glenfield, Thurmaston and the surrounding villages. The winning trampoline students were all from Wreake Valley Community College and will move on to the next stage of the competition.


THE BIRSTALL POST, DEC 2009

City moving closer

Tragic loss of teacher

THE CONSTRUCTION of 3500 new homes on land west of Birstall could start in 2011, say Leicester City Council. Outline planning permission for the Ashton Green development, an urban extension to the north of Beaumont Leys, will be submitted early next year. The City Council held an exhibition of the proposals in November at the Beaumont Leys shopping centre and Beaumont Leys library, which was well attended. A detail from the site plan, showing the new school and housing on Greengate Lane

One visitor to the exhibition was Kate Watson of Greengate Lane. She said: “We are very worried at the thought of extra traffic up and down Greengate Lane. It is already very busy at rush hour and school times. More cars coming over the hill could present a real danger to Highcliffe primary school pupils using the zebra crossing.”

Her husband Dave said: “One of the first parts of the new development would be an all-age school this side of Leicester Road. Can you imagine the extra buses and cars that would generate? If this development goes ahead there will be virtually no green space between Birstall, Ashton Green and Thurcaston, making it one big conurbation with Leicester.” The clerk to Birstall Parish Council Steve Blackburn said: “A recent consultation meeting was organised by Leicester City Council and was attended by Cllr Jim Garner. He voiced the following concerns – lack of proper access to the A6 leading to an increase in traffic on Greengate Lane generally and heavy construction traffic in particular, the inability of the railway bridge to take heavy vehicles and the serious bend in the road – all of which make Greengate Lane an inadequate access point and a cause for serious concern. “The Council has serious concerns about

Going for gold A ‘GOLDEN FANFARE’ of Christmas decorations greeted visitors to this years Christmas Festival at Birstall Methodist church. The decorations in the church were all created by individuals, schools, groups and businesses. The church also organised an outdoor Christmas market with home made food and decorations.

Pics: (top) Jean Gale (left) and Margaret Irish serving mince pies and (bottom) Jessica Clarke (4) and Mrs Monica Clarke admiring one of the displays in the Methodist Church

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the effect of the proposed development on Birstall and will be monitoring developments.” Leicester City Council say the development is needed to meet its target of providing 20,000 new homes within the next 15-20 years. Providing an effective transport system and genuine transport choice from day one of the development is fundamental to the success of Ashton Green, say the City. The two main points of access into the development will be via Bennion Road and Beaumont Leys Lane. The features of the development that are closest to Birstall are housing and a school and community centre on Greengate Lane, allotments, employment land and an Energy Centre, providing renewable energy to homes, schools and businesses. For more details www.leicester.gov.uk/ashtongreen

TRIBUTES HAVE been paid to a schooldoing well shone through. As a person he teacher who died in a motorcycle accident. was completely without cynicism. He had real belief in young people, was absolutely dediMark Elkington (29) worked at Stonehill cated and a very good teacher who had the High School as a PE teacher. He was killed respect of all the children.” following a collision with a 4x4 vehicle on Mark had taught at Sunday November 22 at Stonehill for two years 11.20am. and at Longslade before Mr Elkington, who that. lived in Thurnby Lodge, Stonehill held memoriwas pronounced dead at al services for Mark for the scene. all the school’s year Stonehill’s Headteachgroups. The school plans er Alan Monks said: “The to plant an oak tree in his impact this has had on memory and install a the school has been huge memorial bench in the and tributes have been school grounds. paid by pupils, parents, Mark leaves behind his colleagues and the wider girlfriend of nine years, community. Pic: Mark Elkington Sam Shilton, who is expect”Mark was a fantastic ing their first child in five months. His funeral role model for boys. He worked on our Boys was held at Gilroes Cemetery, Leicester, on to Men project and the effect he had on the December 3. boys was dramatic – their commitment to

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Gym award winners A GIRL who trains at a Birstall gym is celebrating after receiving an award. Sophie Hilton (13) has impressed trainer Dean Spencer and Carl Gunns, from Gunns’ Gym on Birstall Road, and is the first girl to receive an award. “Sophie has a terrific attitude, a great personality and impeccable manners. She’s enthusiastic, energetic and a good listener, with a combination of strength and skill” said Carl. The gym has gold, silver and bronze awards that test skipping, pad work, defence, stance, bag work and press ups. Sophie, who has been coming to the gym for three years, gained her silver with high marks. She said: “I’ve always liked boxing and fighting, my brother came here before me. I like the pad work and the skipping and I’m going to try for the gold award.” Other recent bronze award winners were Sophie Hennessey (11) and Dione Clarke (5), Sophie said: “I like training with Dean, sometimes it’s hard work and you can feel tired after training hard.” Dione’s mum Helen said: “He loves coming here, he’s not into football and likes to put on the gloves and punch.” Pic: award winners (l-r) Dione Clarke, Sophie Hilton and Sophie Hennessey

Planning Adj to 473 Loughborough Road – erection of 1 detached dwelling 100 Wanlip Lane – erection of an ‘Edwardian’ Style conservatory 20 Newton Drive – erection of 1st floor side extension to dwelling 29 Walnut Ave – erection of single storey extension to front of dwelling 5 Highgate Ave – erection of conservatory to rear of dwelling

OUR PICTURE shows the act of Remembrance on November 11 at 11am at the War Memorial on Front Street. Among those attending were a delegation of pupils from Stonehill school

Birstall swimming star A TALENTED swimmer from Birstall was short listed for a sporting award. James Teagle (13), currently ranked the fourth best breaststroke swimmer in Britain for his age, attended the Charnwood Sports Awards in November, which celebrated sport in the borough. On a short list of three, he was not named Junior Sportsperson of the year, but his nomination was recognition of the hard work he puts into his training, and his achievements in competition. He is often at the pool for 5am for a two hour training session with the City of Leicester Swimming Club, with a further two hours in the evening. James has represented Leicestershire on eight occasions and earlier this year made the finals of the 200m breaststroke at the National Championships. He said: “I was surprised but very pleased to be short listed for the Charnwood Sports

Pic: swimmer James Teagle Awards. My short term goals are to qualify for the Nationals again next year and long term to compete for Britain at some of the major events.” James has recently been asked to join the England Talent Development Programme.

Students’ London trip TWENTY DESIGN & Technology students from Longslade Community College recently visited London to gather primary research material for their AS and A2 courses. Students visited many of the sites and attractions that the city has to offer including the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, the Gherkin, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Tate Modern, Design Museum, Museum of Natural History as well as Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. Graphics student Charlotte Jones said: “The architecture exhibition at The Design Museum showed me the possibilities of what can be achieved with scale model buildings, I hope to achieve something similar in my coursework!” Teacher Sandeep Tara said: “It is great for our students to have such learning experiences outside of the classroom environment as it brings to life much of the theory. For many of our students this was the first opportunity they have had to visit the capital. Their conduct and behaviour was exemplary as ever”. Pic: Top row –Peter Benbow, Tom Brewin, Josh Slingsby, Hannah French, Chloe Cook-

son, Liam Green, Will West, James Bath, Matt Jones. Bottom row – Fiona Lewitt, Nicole Snart, Charlotte Jones, Jade Stacey, Harriot Branstone, Jack Bishop, Holly Van Geffen, Jemma Moore, Viki Stafford, Imogen Clarke, Charlotte Bolton

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THE BIRSTALL POST, DEC 2009

Parish Council notes A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on November 9. Police Sergeant Ian Stone introduced himself to councillors, having replaced Sgt Marcus Lee. Issues reported by councillors included broken shop windows on Sibson road, bogus window cleaners and Sky television salesmen calling after 10pm. The council discussed introducing a dog ban on the School Lane playing field if the problem of dog waste does not improve. It was reported that following a spate of break-ins at the Kingsgate Avenue shops, negotiations are underway between the shopkeepers and landlords Jelsons to introduce CCTV, with the costs being shared 50/50. The CCTV is operational at the Sibson Road car park and on the School Lane playing field and the Parish Council, who own the equipment, are negotiating a monitoring contract with Charnwood Borough Council, who charge for providing a monitoring service. Councillors discussed a recommendation from the Estates & Recreation committee that a skateboard park be provided on the School lane playing field, next to the pavilion. Should sufficient grant funding be provided, a multi-use games area could also be provided. Cllr Patrick Cleere said that there had been a thorough discussion about the pros and cons and that he was persuaded the council should go ahead with this project. “We have to be positive and give young people a chance. It shows goodwill from the council and that we can act positively” he

Memories of Eric Moore

Impressive allotments THE MOST impressive allotment plots in Birstall were recognised with awards presented by Birstall Allotment Society. produced! This is an age when people are All plot holders were invited to vote and realising the value of growing their fruit and the winners were Alan Hurst, Brian Mills, veg and I hope to come along in the future Glynis Panter, Bruce Parry and Keith Bond. Chairman of Leicestershire County Council and get an allotment myself.” Pic: (l-r) Julian Howe ,Chairman of Birstall Roger Wilson presented the awards and was Allotment Society John Kitchen, John given a tour of the Meadow Lane allotments. He said: “It was the first time I’ve had a look Blount, Roger Wilson, Sheila Wilson, Ann Powell and Keith Bond at the allotments here – and what crops are

said. The proposed design of the skate park is similar to the one installed in Syston. Cllr Tony Fowler said: “There is no graffiti and no damage to the one in Syston and it would be well used in Birstall.” Chairman Stuart Jones said that he had concerns about the proposal. Clerk Steve Blackburn reported that the estimated cost for the skate park was £50,000 and the multi-use games area £28,000. He said the council could hopefully achieve £40,000 in grants. It was agreed that the clerk investigate what grants were available. Cllr Jim Garner reported that he had

Quilters’ ambulance cash BIRSTALL QUILTERS have presented £700 to the County Air Ambulance service. The group would like to thank all those who supported their fundraising coffee morning in October. Ivan Ball accepted the cheque on behalf of the Air Ambulance service, which has to raise £1.5million a year to keep operational. “This is a wonderful effort and is the second year running that Birstall Quilters have supported

Charity climb A CLIMB to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro by a former Birstall man will raise money for a children’s charity. James Leeson (27), who grew up in Birstall and was educated here, will be making the journey to the roof of Africa with girlfriend Claire Barham next February. The pair, pictured right, will be raising money for CHICKS, Country Holidays for Inner City Kids. It aims to provide disadvantaged and abused children with breaks in the countryside. The couple are funding the trip themselves and paying the administration costs associated with donating so that every penny donated will go directly to the charity. To make a donation go to www.justgiving.com/claireandjamesdokili

The January issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Jan 9. The copy deadline is Dec 18.

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us” he said. Raffle winners were Shirley Griffiths (quilt), Mrs Joyce Godney, Mike Allen, Betty Allcock, Christine Wekes, Betty Roberts, Barbara Antcliffe, Christine Wilson and Carol Penney Pic: Ivan Ball from the County Air Ambulance with members of Birstall Quilters

attended a meeting about the Ashton Green proposals. One of the architects had told him that if the problem of increased traffic on Greengate Lane was not satisfactorily resolved, the scheme could not go ahead. A County Council representative had also indicated that there was no possibility of any new junction on to the A46 to take pressure off the existing road network. It was reported that the angle of slope on the pavement outside the Greengate Medical Centre was so severe it presented a hazard to mobility scooters, and should be reported to the County Highways department. It was reported that an informal estimate of £7500 had been received for fencing of the Loughborough Road side of the School Lane playing fields. It was agreed to obtain further quotations with a view to proceeding. It was agreed to progress proposals and quotations for raising the height of the Estates Yard gates to prevent unauthorised access. It was agreed to write to residents of Orchard Road who had made an access point onto the Meadow Lane allotment stating that the access should be sealed off. It was reported that in recent weeks there had been a spate of attempts to start fires at the Cricket Club club house on the School Lane playing field, causing damage to the door and smoke to enter the building. It was agreed that the council contact the Police and that the front of the clubhouse could be fenced to discourage loitering.

NEIGHBOURS AND friends of a Birstall man who has died aged 101 have filled a book with their thoughts, memories and messages of condolence. Eric Moore of Windmill Avenue died on August 24. Neighbour Liz Mackley said: “Eric was such a wonderful man, he helped so many people, he was a gentleman and everyone loved him. So many people stopped me and said we should send his family in America some of our memories that I put a book in the shop, The Windmill, so they could write something.” The book has

now been sent to Eric’s son, also called Eric, in America. A collection of £175 has been donated to the Midlands group of the British Lung Foundation. Pic: Dipak and Varsha Dittani from the Windmill, on Windmill Avenue with the memory book and collection. Inset: Eric Moore


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the birstall post DEC 2009

YOUR SAY...

semble first performed in public. Over the years funds have been raised for many charities. Whilst initially members were mostly teenagers the group has now evolved into older (& elderly) folks who enjoy music making and meet on a regular basis. To mark the 40th anniversary some members of the Ensemble will be playing at St James the Great Parish Church on Saturday December 5 between 11am and 12noon. We would appreciate an audience, perhaps including some past members. Donations can be made to the Air Ambulance and BAGS (Breast Cancer) Appeals. Cynthia Coltman, Pianist/Director

Wings Appeal

The Birstall Post welcomes your views and opinions on any subject. Letters, which must include your name and address, (though not necessarily for publication) can be posted to: The Birstall Post, Longslade College, Wanlip Lane, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4GH, or handed in at Birstall library or email: editor@birstallpost.co.uk

On behalf of the Birstall branch of the Royal Air Forces Association I would like to thank all those who have donated to our Wings Appeal 2009. May I also take this opportunity to thank our members, friends and Cadets of the 1947 Sqdn Birstall who have given their time to collect for this worthy cause. The support we have received is much appreciated and has enabled us to reach a total of £3,092.89 Eve Cooper Wings Appeal Organiser RAFA Birstall

Energy Centre

The ladies of the ‘Birstall Bags’ would like to thank everyone who turned out on the 13th November to support us on our gift night, a great night was had by all, and we raised almost £700, so well done to you all for spending lots of money on the fantastic stalls that were there on the night. We would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and to thank you for helping us with our charity throughout this year. Look out for our next event which will be our annual band and disco night in February 2010. Tickets will be on sale next year. Thanks again. Emma, Jo, Rachael, Helen, Liz, Lesley

The proposed Ashton Green development includes an ‘Energy Centre’ at its south west corner, EKOGEN and WYG have their logos on the front of the City Council’s latest publicity document. The former is a Finnish company specialising in small electricity generation plants with district heating schemes while the latter advises on waste management schemes. How clever of Leicester City Council to include a waste disposal incinerator in the scheme and to position it so that the plume of smoke does not fall on their city but on Birstall as the prevailing westerly winds blow the exhaust gases away from their land. Will the city’s waste be trucked through Beaumont Leys to keep this new power plant supplied with fuel? Tony Goodhew

663 Ensemble

Crime & disorder

Ex Members of the 663 Ensemble may be interested to hear that it is now 40 years since the En-

There are many arguments posed for the increase of crime and disorder within a community.

Thanks

In ‘Broken Windows: The police and neighbourhood safety’, theorists Wilson and Kelling suggest that ‘neighbourhood disorder’ is the underlying factor which can, ultimately, spiral an area into increased criminality. They use the visual image of a ‘broken window’ to symbolise impending decline, and to describe how a neighbourhood can deteriorate rapidly if attention is not paid to its maintenance. In essence, if that window is left un-repaired, this signifies to residents and criminals alike that no-one cares and soon, all windows will be broken (picture an empty property and how it soon deteriorates). This theory can be applied to that one isolated piece of graffiti which will, if ignored, cover the entire wall, then the street, and eventually the whole area. Broken bus shelters, damaged phone boxes, graffiti, dumped rubbish and youths roaming the streets at night are all examples of disorder which contribute to this sense of a ‘lack of care’ in a community. As a result, the neighbourhood begins to feel shabby and unkempt and this ‘feeling of decline’ ultimately leads to an increase in anti-social behaviour from unruly youths. Such an environment renders an area vulnerable and susceptible to criminal behaviour, as it signals to both residents and criminals that local authorities and the police are losing control. Some residents and businesses will suffer from criminal damage to their vehicles and property, others more unfortunate will be burgled or their vehicles stolen. Eventually, tolerance levels subside and previously ‘unacceptable’ behaviour and standards become ‘normalised’. For example, residents begin to ‘accept’ the graffiti and anti-social behaviour as ‘normal’ and as a result, the area continues to decline. Younger children grow up regarding graffiti as normal (for they see it every day) and may end up causing such damage themselves as they grow older. More serious crimes such as robbery, burglary and personal muggings become more frequent and soon these also become ‘normalised’ and accepted as an inevitable part of everyday life. Does any of this seem familiar and recognisable? As time progresses, local businesses will close, Banks will disappear and the area will become more deprived. Residents who can afford it will move away and as property prices fall, ‘less desirable’ people will move in. Those residents who can’t afford to move out are forced to remain as the decline continues. Roughly ten months ago, a petition was raised in Birstall regarding the increase in anti-social behaviour and criminal damage. This requested urgent action by the police and local authorities to deal with incidents of criminal damage such as graffiti, damaged bus shelters and gangs of youths roaming the streets at night. The lack of response to these issues by the aforementioned agencies was resulting in an increase in criminal damage and crime towards businesses and resident’s own property. Following the presentation of the petition to the Councils, Lord Mayor and the Police, it was encouraging to see a flurry of activity earlier this year in response; a clean-up week was organised which made a visible (if short lived) difference to the village. It is unfortunate that this initial spurt of action did not continue as the graffiti, scruffiness and feeling of decline soon returned with graffiti that appeared months ago in the village (and reported more than once to Charnwood Borough Council) remaining untouched. Just take a walk on the village park, it’s disgusting. Many residents reading this will have had their property damaged or tagged with graffiti, their vehicle damaged (in some cases vehicles have also been covered in graffiti), property in their gardens

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broken or stolen, or gangs of youths behaving antisocially outside their home. Others will have had their vehicle stolen, or their sheds or homes burgled. There will, of course, be residents fortunate enough not to have been directly affected by crime or anti-social behaviour. However, anyone who uses the village shops or who visits the park cannot fail to see the graffiti and damage. So be it directly or indirectly, this affects every resident’s quality of life. Furthermore, this affects us all financially. If you have been a victim of crime and/or anti-social behaviour as I have, you will appreciate the annoyance of having to find large sums of money to repair damage caused by other people’s unruly offspring, or the cost of insurance excess payments when your vehicle is damaged or stolen. These insurance claims then increase our insurance premiums each year. This will affect you whether or not you have made a claim as premiums are based on post code locality and crime statistics for the area. Even more annoying; there is no monetary assistance for victims who are at loss financially even when the perpetrator has been caught. There is no refund of your costs and no compensation for the upset, stress and inconvenience caused. By way of comparison, the perpetrators and/or their parents (at least in my experience) pay nothing and inevitably ‘get away with it’. Another consideration; if you are trying to sell your house, think about what your view of Birstall would be if you were considering moving into the area. If you were visiting the village for the first time would you find the graffiti covered shops, fences, phone boxes and green boxes attractive? It would put most people off buying here. If an area is clean, tidy and attractive, it makes it a more desirable place to live which increases the value of property. This affects every home owner in Birstall. It also makes the shopping area a more attractive place for residents and visitors to the village, impacting on our local businesses. Would you go out of your way to shop in a shoddy, graffiti ridden, run down area? So please don’t become complacent, don’t accept the graffiti and damage to the village as ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ – it isn’t. The police and councils have demonstrated that when enough people complain they take action. We have a right to live in an area that is pleasant and clean and when you consider how many households there are in Birstall we collectively pay more than enough Council Tax for the privilege. Anyone who studied their last Council Tax banding information will have noted that affluent Charnwood villages, such as Newtown Linford, Swithland and Woodhouse Eaves actually pay less Council Tax than Birstall residents. Residents living in these villages would not become tolerant and accept as ‘normal’ the criminal damage, graffiti and anti-social behaviour suffered in Birstall, nor would Charnwood Borough Council dare to leave graffiti un-cleaned in these villages for months (for fear of upsetting the wealthy residents) as they repeatedly do in Birstall. If we ignore the first ‘broken window’ indefinitely, our village will be damaged beyond repair. If you want Birstall to be a decent, clean, safe and desirable area to live please do something now. Take a few minutes to pick up the phone, write or Email Charnwood Borough Council and the Police. It is not only in your best interest, but that of future generations and our local businesses to do so. D Jones.

Service The Remembrance Service 2009 at Belgrave Cemetery began on a cold, bright sunny Sunday morning. Led by the Rev Pam Haynes a good many members and friends of Belgrave Cemetery group gath-

ered at the War Memorial. Poppy Crosses were placed on the Commonwealth War graves, soldiers whose lives were lost in both World Wars. Prayers were said and candles lit for those past and present, all who had lost their lives in conflict. Dorothy Marshall, F.O.B.C.G.

Thanks Once again a very ‘Big Thank You’ to all those people who filled a shoebox with a host of small gifts of wonder for children who live in some of the poorest countries in the world who otherwise would not know the joy of ‘Christmas’. Not forgetting those who made monetary donations. Fillers include members and friends of St James and Birstall Methodist Church, St Nicholas Wanlip and residents of Birstall. Thanks also to David at the ‘Shoepermarket’ for saving boxes for us throughout the year. I was able to send a total of 208 boxes. One again thank you and I wish everyone a Very Happy Christmas. Beryl Massey

Ashton Green The pamphlet advertising Ashton Green sounds wonderful, but: A new village centre straggling Leicester Road/Thurcaston Lane and Greengate Lane? New shops, therefore more competition to existing business, therefore more shop closures on Sibson Road? After Hallam Fields building (still not completed) and the new junction development, now more building work so near to Birstall? More noise, pollution, traffic congestion? More traffic using Greengate Lane to get to the motorway, or the possible closing of Greengate lane to cars, causing extra traffic through the residential area west of the A6? Schools taking over 1,000 pupils of all ages near the top of Greengate Lane? If you are concerned by these developments, write urgently to the following address: Regeneration and Culture, Leicester City Council, New Walk Centre, Welford Place, Leicester LE1 6BR Name & address supplied

Traffic Warden I would just like to tell people what I have just seen on November 3 at 1.30pm and think it is a real waste of money and time. A traffic warden walking down Meadow Lane. Then he walked round the car park and back up the lane. What cars did he think he was going to catch illegally parked down there? He would do more good on Sibson Road. Name and address supplied Editor’s Note: the ‘traffic wardens’ are now known as Street Wardens or Civil Enforcement Officers and are employed by Charnwood Borough Council. As well as issuing parking fines their job is to identify and report environmental crimes such as graffiti, litter, dog fouling, fly tipping and nuisance vehicles.

For our troops Following a call put out by a Mountsorrel couple for parcels of goodies to be sent out to our troops in Afghanistan, the Charnwood Conservative Party members were contacted with a simple list of items suitable for inclusion in the 2kg shoe box parcels required. Within two weeks the response had been remarkable and shopping bags full of goodies had been received from villages around the


THE BIRSTALL POST, DEC 2009 area. It was seen as a most worthwhile cause and huge compliments were paid to the troops by the contributors. The call was taken up by individuals in the various villages who spread the word further and offered to act as collection stations for the products. Initiated in Rothley, the work quickly spread to Syston, Thurmaston, Birstall, Glenfield, Cossington and other villages and Mrs Dianne Allen the initiator in Mountsorrel was overwhelmed with the response. All of the items have to be sorted and packed into shoe box sized parcels and then sent on to individually addressed members of the armed forces who I am sure distribute them further on receipt. Thee are many other organisations within Leicestershire who are operating such schemes and if anyone would like to be included for further dispatches in the future but do not have the necessary contacts then the Territorial Army is a good starting point. The troops out in Afghanistan will be rotated in early spring and then we will be organising another round of ‘Parcels for the Troops’. Look out for a future announcement when contact information and details of the items which are suitable will be announced. Norman Pratt

Ashton Green I took time last week to go Beaumont Leys library to look at the plans for the proposed new village, Ashton Green. I learnt that Ashton Green’s village centre is going to be at the top of Greengate Lane, where it meets Leicester Road. We will have Birstall village centre at one end of Greengate Lane and Ashton Green village centre at the other, a mile apart at the most, probably much less. The development will stretch to Glebelands, Thurcaston Park, Beaumont Lodge and the A46. The volume of traffic along Greengate Lane will be increased by this new development and will, I think, have to be widened. In places the road is quite narrow and the bend by the bridge is often the scene of road traffic accidents. The quickest way to the A46 will be through Birstall. Conversely, I had also heard that Greengate Lane might be closed to cars. I don’t know which proposal would be worse, a widened road or a closed road. We have had 9 months of Greengate Lane being partially closed. Our residential roads have been used as fast track rat runs and some of our Birstall shops have closed. In addition to the village being at the top of Greengate Lane there will also be a primary and secondary school on the Birstall side of Leicester Road. These schools are to be built behind the two cottages which sit at the corner of Greengate Lane and Leicester Road. The schools will come with their own ‘out of hours’ community playing fields. Ashton Green is a big development. Where there is currently agricultural land there is a plan for 'an open space’. The Leicester City Council Ashton Green brochure has to be read in full to appreciate the jargon and ‘newspeak’. Even the name, Ashton Green, is redolent of English trees and verdant pastures, which curiously is what we have now, if they leave everything alone. So, Birstall is to be given all this new development plus Hallam Fields, as yet a long way from completion. According to the Ashton Green brochure, the aim is to give a 'high quality of life’, but perhaps not to the people of Birstall. Kathleen Shanks no.to.ashtongreen@googlemail.com

Success of youth drop-in A FRIDAY night drop in centre for young people in Birstall has been hailed a success. Organised by Birstall Parish Council, the drop-in, at the pavilion on the School Lane playing field, saw 50 young people aged 11 to 18 attend its first session on November 6 between 7 and 10pm. Birstall Parish Council’s Deputy Clerk Sue Coulson said: “Young people dropped in for a coffee and a chat with the youth workers. Discussions were held to find out what sort of equipment and activities they would like to get involved in – they have a post-it chart where they can write down their ideas and post them on the wall chart. The majority of comments were ‘just somewhere to hang out with my mates and chill’.” On the second week the youth workers arrived to open up the pavilion at 6.30pm to find around 15 young people waiting for them outside. A further 10 arrived for 7pm and they all stayed for the duration. Sue said: “It has been explained to the young people that this is just a pilot programme lasting for 16 weeks. It will then be reviewed by councillors and a decision will be made on whether or not to make it a permanent activity.” This will depend on the number of users, their behaviour and funding, says Sue. Feedback from young people includes comments: “We don’t want this to end, it’s great” and “there’s nowhere else like this,

what can we do?” Support for the youth workers is provided by Leicestershire Constabulary for the duration of the drop-in. Sue said she would like to thank the police for their support and those people who have donated games, CDs and DVDs. Readers who would like to donate items can contact Sue on 0116 2676191.

Cadets’ parade THE FIFTEENTH of October marked the first official Passing Out parade for probationer cadets at 1947 (Birstall) Squadron. A total of 20 cadets were presented with their First Class badges in recognition of the completion of their basic training. A crowd of proud parents and friends gathered to see the cadets receive their badges and to watch the drill demonstration which they performed for the occasion. Flying Officer Paul Vissani RAFVR(T) said: “It is nice to see such support for the cadets by their parents and friends, to my knowledge the squadron has never held such an event and certainly never had so many people turn out to show their support.”

Announcements

Thanks

• Both John and Liz & family would like to thank everybody including friends and family in their time of trouble. Happy 65th John from your loving wife Liz. I will fight to the end to clear your name.

Hazel and Daphne would like to say a very big THANK YOU to Jean for all her help and support throughout the year, for the Samaritans Shoe Box Appeal. Daphne Stephenson

• Rex a very special person. Thinking of you at Christmas and always. Looking forward to seeing you again. Love and peace – Shelagh.

Thanks Once again thanks to a lot of people’s generosity another 500 boxes have left Birstall for the children of Belarus. Special mention goes to all our knitters, to Dave at Shoepermarket, Julieann in the RSPCA shop, Michael a Leicester stallholder, Ibstock Brick Brass Band, St Theresa’s Church and Footmedics UK and to all those who donated gifts and money anonymously, also to all the travellers on the coach outings who contributed lots of their small change. On behalf of the children of Belarus who will be receiving these gifts, Hazel and myself say A VERY BIG THANK YOU. We have already started for next year. Daphne Stephenson

Noticeboard all details printed free Friends of Birstall Swimming Pool needs adult swimmers to join them on Fridays from 12.30 to 1.30pm £2 first visit contact Birstall Pool on 2673461 or Lesley on 2671625 •••

Loughborough Farmers Market Devonshire Square, Loughborough Between 9am and 3pm Every month Next market December 9 Wide variety of local produce: meats, sausage, bacon & cured meats, rare breed meats, meat, savoury & fruit pies, fruit & vegetables inc organic, plants & flowers, herbs, therapeutic herbal products, honey & beeswax products, chutneys & pickles, jams & preserves, homemade cooking sauces, wholemeal flour, muesli, fruit juices, eggs & cheeses, bread & cakes. To book a stall or find out more call Markets and Fairs team 01509 634624, email: markets.fairs@charnwood.gov.uk or log on to www.charnwood.gov.uk ••• Syston Band’s

Christmas Concert Saturday December 12 At the Syston Methodist Church, High Street, Syston Doors open at 7, concert starts at 7.30 Tickets cost £5 (including complimentary mince pies) and accompanied children are free To book tickets or for more information call 0116 2675823 ••• Birstall Independent Baptist Church Invite you to a

PALLATT BROS. Ltd Corgi Gas Reg. Installers

Christmas Carol Evening in the Village Hall Day Centre, School Lane on Wednesday December 9 at 7.30pm (Free tea/coffee and mince pie after) •••

Birstall Royal British Legion Members Notice Sat Dec 5: Amy Metcalf , F/V Sat Dec 12: TBC Sat Dec 19: Krackle & Pop, Duo Thurs Christmas Eve: Disco Sat Boxing Day: Paul Oliver M/V Thurs New Years Eve: Steve Dean M/V Dancing every Sat night with live entertainment Free meat raffle, Bingo and not forgetting ‘Open the Box’ Every Tues night Bingo starting at 9.30pm Quiz nights Sunday Dec 13 & 27 starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday Dec 20 Rock & Roll nights Wed Dec 2 & 16 Food available every Sat 12-2pm Christmas Dinners only on Dec 5 & 12 (bookings only) Normal service Dec 19 Kitchen closed on Boxing Day ••• The Rotary Club of the Soar Valley

Santa & his Sleigh Tour of Soar Valley Villages Mountsorrel : Dec 10 & 11 Barrow : Dec 14 & 15 Sileby : Dec 16 & 17 Birstall : Dec 18 & 22 Rothley : Dec 23 Budgens Mountsorrel : Dec 12, 13, 19 & 20 ••• The 663 Ensemble

Concert December 5, 11-12noon St James The Great, Church Hill, Birstall •••

Continued on page 8

AC

RN

BUILDERS EXTENSIONS ALTERATIONS & PROPERTY REPAIRS

Thanks We would like to say thank you to all our family, neighbours and friends for their gifts, cards and flowers for our Golden Wedding anniversary. Alan & Doreen Stirk

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( 2675658 Proprietor RMS Gibbon


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the birstall post DEC 2009

Continued from page 7

Birstall Swimming Pool Longslade College New Public Session: Wednesdays 12.30-1.30pm This session is available as a free swim to under 16s and over 60s Registration forms available from the pool Access to Pool: Now via Stonehill School gates, Stonehill Avenue As Longslade access times will vary to the pool opening times, please do not use Longslade car park ••• Birstall Methodist Church Tuesday Dec 22, 10-11am

‘Dress-up Nativity’ an informal re-telling of Jesus birth Costumes available or bring your own All ages welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult (no charge) ••• Churches Together Birstall & Wanlip A traditional

New Year’s Eve Party December 31 8.30pm onwards at Birstall Village Hall Shared buffet supper Bring your own drinks Tickets £2 from the churches or tel: 2672606 •••

That Blood You Always Meant to Give Can We Have It Now? People can’t give when they’ve got the flu. To build up supplies in preparation for the flu season, NEW DONORS ARE NEED NOW. Please don’t leave it to someone else. Your next blood donor session is at Birstall Methodist Church Rooms, Thursday February 18 To book your appointment for a session call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk If this session is not convenient for you please call or visit the website to find out about other local blood donor sessions ••• Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council Film Presentations

‘A Bunch of Amateurs’

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Friday December 11 (97 mins) This British film was selected for a Royal Film Performance. A leading Hollywood star is attracted to Britain to play the title role of King Lear at ‘Stratford’, believing he will be appearing at the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Instead, he finds he is acting with the ‘Stratford Players’ in the Suffolk village of Stratford St John. The hilarity will put us in a happy festive mood for Christmas.

‘The Boat that Rocked’ Friday Jan 22 (104 mins) They say that laughter is good for us. January’s comedy is the high-spirited story of how the world was changed by rogue disc jockeys who broadcast from a boat in the middle of the North Sea. The songs they played united and defined an entire generation and drove the British Government crazy.

Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council will be showing these films at Thurcaston Memorial Hall. Starting at 7.30pm, tickets cost £4, Concessions £3.50. Price includes refreshments and a lucky prize draw Advance tickets can be purchased via the parish office 0116 2367626 or at the door •••

Longslade Celebrates 50 years September 2010 Are you a former student of Longslade? Did you work at the College? Did any of your family or friends attend the College? Whatever your age, you may be able to help us prepare for and celebrate this important anniversary Do you want to be part of the celebrations? Let us know if you want to come to the launch of the celebrations party. Tell us what year you left Longslade and if you would like to make up a table of 10 friends from your decade or year group Would you be interested in being part of our committee to plan events across the year? We need somebody from each decade of Longslade’s life to represent their fellow students and staff and to help us arrange suitable ways for you to get together and share all the memories. Do you have any items to display in our ‘Longslade’s Memory Lane’ exhibition? School photographs of students, activities or members of staff Any items of the original school uniform from the 60s or other memorabilia A photograph of the area, before and after the school was built.

Speed cushions PLANS TO install speed cushions on Birstall Road have been announced by the County Council. The Council say that traffic calming measures are necessary following an assessment of vehicle speeds on Birstall Road between Kilby Avenue and School Lane. The proposals are in the 2009/10 capital programme which means they are likely to be installed before April 2010. The County plan to install four pairs of speed cushions, two Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) and road narrowing/pavement widening with a single speed cushion at the junction

with Church Hill. This will make the section of Birstall Road near the junction with Church Hill a single lane with priority given to one direction of traffic. The VAS signs will be located near the junction with Kilby Avenue. They show a blank face until activated by approaching vehicles exceeding the speed limit. Speed cushions cause a significant speed reduction, say the County, and are preferred to humps or speed tables by emergency services and bus operators as they allow easier passage for their vehicles. The proposed traffic calming scheme will cost £30,000

Art exhibition THE ART on show at the Village Hall attracted hundreds of visitors to Birstall & District Art Society’s 15th annual exhibition. A total of £420 was raised by the Society for LOROS from collection boxes, the secretary’s quiz, Fred Parrot’s cards with line drawings of local scenes and the raffle of Tas Severis’ painting, which was won by Mr & Mrs King of Front Street. The painting judged best in show was ‘Answering the Storm’ by Trevor Colegate.

Please contact us as soon as possible as places for the launch party will be limited and we need to set a meeting for the committee early in the New Year. If you have any ideas for any of the above, please email mrsmmitchell@longslade.leics.sch.uk or phone the College on 2677107 and leave your details

••• Charnwood Orchestra

The Magic of Vienna A Concert for all the family with Strauss favourites in the style of the Vienna Christmas Concerts Saturday January 16, 7pm Humphrey Perkins Community Centre, Cotes Road, Barrow £8 (£6 conc), U16s £2 07718153117 rodgers_david@hotmail.com

Pic: the Chairman of BADAS with Mary Houghton, Lady Gretton and junior winners (l-r) Brittany Goodwin, Ryan Schlaphoff, Leo Barnett and Vivienne Morris

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THE BIRSTALL POST, DEC 2009

Crime Report 14.10.09 to 9.11.09 Assaults and harassment 11, burglary 4 (down 1), burglary non-dwelling 5, damage 22 (up 18), damage to motor vehicle 15 (up 4), drugs 2, fraud 2, theft 8 (down 2), theft of cycle 1, theft from motor vehicle 6 (up 2), theft of motor vehicle 3 (up 2), theft stores 2 (down 2) Halloween and bonfire night saw an increase in damages which was anticipated. Beat team patrols over this period experienced fewer problems than in previous years. One Acceptable Behaviour Contract has been issued and has so far been positive. There were five detections this month. The Special Constabulary still have the village set as a priority for high visibility patrols at weekends. From PC 2139 Richard Carruthers

Methodist news Children in Need Rescues the Playgroup The Special Needs Playgroup which meets on our premises each week, provides for a very real need where children with a variety of disabilities can enjoy activities and a little learning together. It is staffed by one paid worker and a number of very capable volunteers. Finance for this group has been of considerable concern, as with both transport and wages the costs are quite high. The group are delighted to learn that the BBC’s Children in Need fund has kindly provided money to secure the ongoing survival of this most valued group, by meeting the costs of two part time salaried posts for the next three years. Christmas Events You are warmly invited to the various Christmas services and events that take place over the Advent season. On Wednesday December 9 at Birstall is a service of prayer led by folk from Rothley at 7.30pm for an hour. Tuesday December 15 sees a Christmas concert at 6.30pm organised by our Girls Brigade. Monday December 16 sees the Peace light being brought to Birstall from Jerusalem. You can bring a candle to take a flame home. This service is organised by the Scouts but everyone is most welcome at 7.30pm. Candlelight Carols are being held at 6pm on December 20. As detailed on the back page diary, there are services on both Christmas Eve at 11.15pm and Christmas Day at 10am. Share in the real Christmas story, for a short time this Advent season. From Tony Moore

Dog waste BIRSTALL PARISH Council is appealing to all dog owners to clean up after their pets on Birstall’s playing fields. Parish Clerk Steve Blackburn said: “Despite the Parish Council’s exhaustive efforts, dog fouling on Birstall’s parks has not improved. The council does not have the resources to provide a constant presence to ensure that dog owners undertake their responsibilities but may have to consider re-introducing a dog warden to issue fixed penalties or initiate prosecutions. If this becomes necessary, there will inevitably be a financial impact on the Council Tax. “Alternatively, the council could take powers to ban all dogs from its parks. In an attempt to avoid this, the council is calling on all dog owners to consider the implications of not complying with the law and cleaning up after their pet, which may mean a fine of at least £80.” The council provides free doggy bags to Birstall residents, obtainable from the Council’s Offices. Recycled carrier bags are just as effective. The Council also offer better quality Dog Waste Bags at a cost of £1 and is urging dog owners to use the dog waste bins provided.

TWO LEICESTER City footballers opened the refurbished LOROS shop on Sibson Road. Conrad Logan and Wayne Brown signed autographs and shirts at the shop, which has had new flooring, racking and a new shopfront. There are 19 LOROS shops in Leicestershire and Rutland, with a turnover of £1.7million. The charity has to find £4million a year to keep going.

ROSEMARY CONLEY’S own diet and fitness classes have moved to Birstall. Rosemary Conley CBE, one of the UK’s foremost diet and fitness experts, has moved the classes she personally runs to Birstall Golf Club. For the last 24 years Rosemary, who lives in Ashby Folville, has been running her classes at the Holiday Inn in Leicester. Rosemary said: “Due to the very high cost of parking at the NCP car park next to the hotel, I have now decided to move my weekly classes out of the city. “ Birstall Golf Club is perfectly placed because of the easy access by road and it also offers free parking. Even members who live on the other side of Leicester can travel there on the A46 and the A6. “I have around 15 members who have been coming to my classes for over 20 years and, of course, I consulted them about the move. The location of the Club House is so beautiful I think my members will love coming here” says Rosemary. Rosemary started her slimming

HEDGES

‘Pick a Pocket or Two’ The coming festive season provides the ideal opportunity for thieves. It is easy for us all to be distracted while shopping, or being jostled in crowds by strangers, particularly at this busy time of year • Be always alert to this danger – the thieves are likely to work in gangs and are very experienced • Consider obtaining and fitting purse bells and handbag chains as extra security – sooner rather than later These are available free of charge to all Watch members from the Saturday Advice Shop, held at 10, Sibson Road building on every 3rd Saturday of every month between 10am and 12noon. Cold Comfort for Careless Motorists Every year the police have to deal with an increasing number of thefts of vehicles when drivers have left their vehicles unattended leaving the motor running while attempting to defrost windscreens. High valued vehicles are of particular interest to thieves who are alert to this common day practice. Remember your car insurance will not pay out if your vehicle is stolen under these circumstances. It is an offence to leave a vehicle unattended with the motor running – plus there is the potential for an accident to occur involving innocent bystanders and property. On behalf of the Watch Committee, I wish you all a Happy Crimefree Christmas and a Prosperous & Peaceful New Year. From Ed Marshall Chairman, Birstall & Wanlip Watch

Rosemary moves class

PHOTO: SIAN

NHW news

City stars open shop

Pic: Pauline Law (Shop Manager), Pippa May (Shops Administrator), Conrad Logan, Wayne Brown, Louise Beever (Merchandiser) and Christian WeikertPicker (Fundraiser)

club business in Thurnby in 1971 with a few neighbours before opening a Slimming and Good Grooming Centre on Highcross Street and then Vaughan Way in Leicester. In 1993, with her husband Mike Rimmington she launched the nationwide Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs franchise. This Award-winning franchise operation has its head office at Quorn House in Quorn, and has a network of 180 franchisees all across the UK running almost 2000 classes a week. “People are often shocked to know that I still run classes myself but my long-standing members knew me before I was well known and spending Monday evenings working out with them and helping them to stay trim is just part of my life, Plus it helps me stay in shape!” adds Rosemary. New members are welcome to join Rosemary’s new Birstall classes which run on Mondays at 5.30-7pm and 7-8pm. Membership costs £10 and the weekly fee is £5.25. Call 01509 620 222 for more details or visit www.rosemaryconley.com. Pic: Rosemary Conley

Home Carers Required

Trip to Parliament TWO STUDENTS from Longslade College joined a coach party from Birstall for a tour of the Houses of Parliament. The tour, organised by Birstall Conservative Group, was open to all, with 49 people of all political persuasions making the trip. David Gaskell, the Conservative Group’s secretary, said: “Despite all the bad publicity surrounding politics at the moment, a visit to the Houses of Parliament by some people from Birstall might allay or confirm a few of their fears and might encourage them to take a greater interest in politics. The Group was particularly keen to let young people know how this country of ours is governed.” Students Thomas Manship and Roy Rollings were accompanied by teacher Mrs Melody Mitchell. David said: “On arrival at the House, the party was divided into two groups. Each group had its own official guide who explained the history and the architecture of the two Houses. We all found it fascinating but none more so than our two students. So keen were they see everything that they were two of the first in the queue wishing to enter the Visitors’ Gallery. This was an hour or so before the gallery opened! “Because the lads were in the first twenty seeking to get in, they were taken to one side by one of the official guides and given a personal and detailed explanation of the workings of the House, its terminology and its procedures. One of the debates they had witnessed had been about ‘Education’ and had involved many of the well known personalities of the House. The students said that they would use their new found knowledge and literature to assist them in their future dissertations at school.” Roy Rollings said: “It was a superb experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity that was thoroughly enjoyable. We were overwhelmed by the appearance and history behind the building. We are very grateful for the opportunity and hope that it is available for others in future years to share the experience we had.” Birstall’s MP Stephen Dorrell entertained

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Pic: Thomas Manship (left) and Roy Rollings

the group with tea at the House. David said: “The antique furniture and long tables laid out with lovely sandwiches and cakes were totally in keeping with the architecture of the tea room. It was a sight few of us will forget. However, before readers begin to wonder whether the costs came out of any dubious House of Commons expenses, it must be said that we paid for the trip, and all the extras, ourselves and the consensus view was that it was money very, very well spent.”

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the birstall post DEC 2009

Bar stolen A CROSS BAR has been stolen from the training ground of Birstall United Juniors Football Club on Meadow Lane. “This is a major setback for the club because not only does it mean that no matches can be played until it is replaced, but it will cost the club about £1000 to replace it” said Ian Hay from the BUJFC committee. It is a 24ft long, round piece of white aluminium with bevelled ends. The thieves may have dumped it somewhere in Birstall as it would have been too big to carry a long distance. The club is asking for readers to be on the lookout and to report it should they see it in a hedge or bush somewhere. If it is found contact the police on 0116 222 2222. Ian added: “It is so demoralising for the volunteers who run this club. Just as we think we are starting to move the club forward, we get another major setback like this. We will now have to spend all the savings, generated by sales in the new kitchen, on replacing the cross bar which means that projects we were planning to improve the new clubhouse will now have to be put on hold. Once again the kids of this village will be losing out because of a few mindless criminals.”

College’s 50th year LONGSLADE COLLEGE is celebrating its fiftieth birthday in 2010. The college is looking for former students and staff who would like to take part in the celebrations or help organise them, by joining a committee to plan events across the year. The college would also like to hear from you if you have any photographs or memorabilia. Contact Melody Mitchell at mrsmmitchell@longlsade.leics.sc h.uk or phone the college on 0116 2677107 and leave your details

Cubs’ woodland weekend DESPITE THE weather forecast predicting a horrendous weekend Cubs from Birstall 53rd along with Leicester 43rd enjoyed a great fun filled weekend break at Johns Lee Wood. At their last camp of the year cubs braved the high winds and torrential rains to challenge themselves by taking part in numerous exciting activities including climbing, abseiling, archery and shooting. They also collected all the wood to build their own bonfire before enjoying an evening of fireworks, campfire Pic: Bradley Bradshaw (9) songs and hot on the climbing tower

Pic: David Stevens (9) coppicing

dogs. As part of a year long initiative the cubs also took part in environmental activities. Earlier in the year the cubs with help from leaders and parents made bat boxes. During the weekend the cubs were then able to help position them in Johns Lee Wood in the hope of encouraging the bats to roost there in the summer. Other activities included general woodland maintenance, requiring cubs to saw and lop trees alongside the campsite wardens as they carried out coppicing work. Leader Ged Sessions said: “It was a very tiring but great weekend, allowing all cubs to achieve their Environment Partnership Award. Well done to everyone who took part. All the cubs had a fantastic time and can’t wait for the next camp.”

Author’s charity pledge A BIRSTALL author is pledging to donate £1.50 from the sale of his books to a Birstall charity that is renovating an African orphanage.

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Help us in our work helping others less fortunate than ourselves

All gifts and donations gladly accepted at the ROYAL BRITISH LEGION 19 FRONT STREET • BIRSTALL

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ACORNS UNDER FIVE'S PLAYGROUP

Win a hamper SHAPES PROFESSIONAL Hair Care located on the Birstall Triangle have gained the status of a Paul Mitchell Signature Salon, one of the first in the UK to do so. Salon owner Clare Halford said: “The whole team underwent new training throughout 2009 in order to provide expert advice on how to use and recommend the whole range of affordable luxury products provided by John Paul Mitchell systems including Paul Mitchell Tea Tree, Paul Mitchell, Pro Tools and Paul Mitchell Professional Hair colour.” She added: “The main reason we choose to work exclusively with John Paul Mitchell Systems is their ethics as a company – they give countless amounts to charities all over the world and are fully dedicated to working with and providing professional hair products created by professionals for professionals. We believe the brand is the best in the industry.” To help celebrate the award Shapes & John Paul Mitchell Systems are giving one lucky winner a hamper of Paul Mitchell products! Simply write in no more than 20 words why you would like to win the products, together with your name and address to: Paul Mitchell Prize Draw, Shapes Ltd, 291 Birstall Road, Leicester LE4 4DJ or simply drop it in a sealed envelope into the salon. The winner will be announced in next month’s edition of the Birstall Post.

New play sites Car park

Acorn under Five's (Birstall) is a busy playgroup based on the Highcliffe School Campus. The group operates over nine sessions per week term time only, between 8.30 a.m. - 11.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. 3.30 p.m. There are currently 78 children attending the setting. We are currently seeking to recruit the following staff to commence in January: TEMPORARY PRE-SCHOOL ASSISTANTS

To work in the Playgroup for 3 sessions of 3 hours. It is desirable that you are qualified to NVQ level 2 (ideally working towards level 3) and have a good knowledge of Early Years Foundation stage. The successful candidates will have a willingness to learn, be approachable to colleagues, parents and the children alike. If you are interested in applying for either position please telephone 0116 2672795 for an application pack. Closing date Friday December 11th 2009

Steve Goodman’s latest book ‘Escarius and the Chosen One’ is a ghost story for children that follows the adventures of a 10 year old boy and a talking horse. For every copy sold Steve has pledged to donate £1.50 to the Bark Foundation, set up by David and Joy Bark. It is aiming to raise £29,000 to complete an orphanage in the Cameroon before June 2010. Steve will also donate £1.50 from sales in December and January of his books ‘The Haunting of Hopwood Close’ and ‘The Ghosts of Grimrallich’. To purchase, visit www.pinewo odliteracy.c o.uk or call 07745 459923 or contact Steve at 61 Johnson Road, Birstall LE4 3AT

Pic: Anthony and cubs fitting bat boxes

BIRSTALL PLUMBING Tel: 0116 267 2266 Complete Professional Bathroom Supply & Fitting Service including tiling etc FREE ESTIMATES Plumbing, Heating, Gas Installations & Servicing No Call Out Charge

A PLAY trail on a dinosaur theme, is to be located at six sites around King Lear’s Lake in Watermead Country Park. The County Council have secured £50,000 of the Government’s Playbuilder funding for the trail. Constructed of natural materials, the six sites are aimed at children aged 8-13 and will encourage adventurous play and exercise. The proposals comprise: • an earth mound in the shape of a plesiosaur • a dinosaur ‘ribcage’ climbing frame • a ‘fossil rock’ climbing henge constructed from local granite • a dinosaur head and neck climbing feature • dinosaur footprint stepping logs • dinosaur trail balancing stones in graduating granite blocks • additional seating in the form of wooden benches An artist is consulting with children in local schools to fine tune some of the designs, which will be installed before April 1, 2010. Mrs Leigh Clewlow, County Council Landscape Officer, said: “It will look quite sculptural, blend in with the natural surroundings

altercation A BUS driver was cautioned by police after allegedly shouting abuse at a woman waiting to pick up her daughter from school. The driver, Nigel Jackson, confronted Louise Maynard who had parked in front of his bus at Stonehill School. An argument ensured in the course of which Miss Maynard is reported as calling him “fat” and “Mr Blobby” and Mr Jackson allegedly said: “I don’t need to listen to you, you black b***h Police were called to the incident which happened at 3.17pm on Wednesday November 4. A police spokeswoman said: “Following an argument, the woman was allegedly racially abused by the man. A 67 year old man was later arrested and interviewed by officers. He was later given a police caution for a racially aggravated public order offence.” Leicestershire County Council which manages school bus service contracts, has barred Mr Jackson from serving the school until July 2011. The bus firm, Nigel Jackson Travel, has not been affected and still serves the school.


THE BIRSTALL POST, DEC 2009

11

AGE CONCERN Preparing for Winter Keeping Your Home Warm • The recommended temperature for older people for rooms you use during the day is 21°C (70°F) but you might prefer a higher temperature in your living room and warm your bedroom before you go to bed. • If possible draught-proof door and windows and make sure the loft is properly insulated and that the hot-water tank and pipes are lagged. You may be able to get financial help to do this – the Energy Saving trust can advise you. • Don’t block up air vents as fires and heaters need some ventilation. Good ventilation also helps to prevent condensation. If you fit draught proofing strips to your windows leave a small section untreated to let fresh air in. • Make sure you know how the timer and thermostat on your heating system work. If it becomes very cold, set the timer to switch the heating on earlier rather than turning the thermostat up to warm your house quickly. • Put guards on open fires and be careful not to hang washing to close to the fire. • If you receive a fuel bill you cannot pay, tell your gas or electricity supplier at once. If you tell the company you are having problems, it should be able to help. Electricity and gas suppliers are not allowed to disconnect households that consist only of people aged over 60 between October 1 and March 31 Stay Healthy and Keep Warm Indoors and Outside To help you stay healthy, it is important to keep warm at home and when you go out, follow as healthy a lifestyle as possible and have the flu vaccination. • Several thin layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick layer, as each layer traps air. Keeping active generates heat and so helps to keep you warm. • When indoors try not to sit for more than one hour at a time. Get up and walk around and make yourself a hot drink, spread chores throughout the day. Chair-based exercises and simply moving your arms and legs and wiggling your toes are helpful if walking is difficult. When sitting down indoors, keep a shawl or blanket handy in case you feel cold. Try to keep your feet up as the air is cooler at ground level. • Always wear gloves and a hat when you go outside – a lot of heat is lost through your head. Don’t sit or stand outside for long periods as you’ll quickly get cold and this puts a strain on your heart. •Wear warm clothes in bed. When it is very cold consider wearing thermal underwear, bed socks and even a hat – heat is lost through your head at night also.

INFO

•Use a hot water bottle or an electric blanket to warm the bed – BUT NEVER USE BOTH AT THE SAME TIME AS THIS CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS. Check whether your electric blanket can be kept on all night or whether it is only designed to warm the bed before you get in. TO BE SAFE GET YOUR ELECTRIC BLANKET CHECKED EVERY THREE YEARS AT LEAST. • Eat well Eat at least one hot meal each day and have hot drinks during the day as hot meals and drinks help keep you warm. Include a good range of foods in your diet and aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Remember frozen vegetables are as good as fresh. Having a hot drink before going to bed and taking a flask containing a hot drink to have during the night are good ideas too. Twelve things you can do to prepare 1. Have your heating system serviced and chimney swept 2. If you have wood-burning, coal or gas heaters – make sure you have adequate ventilation 3. Have your electric blanket serviced at least every three years. 4. Make sure your smoke alarm is working 5. Make sure you claim all the financial support you can to help with heating bills. Your local Age Concern can advise you 6. Be sure you have some warm shoes or boots with non-slip soles 7. Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to put on steps or paths in icy weather 8. Keep simple cold, flue and sore-throat remedies in the house. Your pharmacist can make suggestions and can also advise on how to manage minor illnesses 9. Make sure you follow up your GP’s invitation to have a flu jab. 10. Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast 11. Keep basic food items in the cupboard or freezer in case it’s too cold to go shopping 12. If you smoke think about trying to stop Useful Organisations to Contact Age Concern England Information line: 0800 00 99 66 (free call) Website: www.ageconcern.org.uk Age Concern Leicester, Shire and Rutland Information and Advice Service: 0116 2992233 Energy Saving Trust – call 0800 512 012 (free call) to be put through to your nearest centre Website: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

Warm Front: call 0800 316 2805 (free call) Winter Fuel Payment Helpline call 08459 15 15 15 Gas Safety Register – Gas heating must be serviced by an engineer who is on the Gas Safety Register You can check if an engineer is on the register by visiting the website: www.gassaferegister.co.uk If you suspect a gas leak call 0800 111 999 (free call) NHS Direct The NHS 24-hour helpline if you feel unwell. Call 0845 4647 Swine flu information line For the latest recorded information about swine flu. Tel: 0800 1 513 513 Direct Gov This website has up-to-date swine flu information. Website: www.direct.gov.uk NHS Choices This website also has up-to-date swine flu health information – www.nhs.uk Handyman Service • house maintenance • basic decorating • home security and safety • basic gardening work What can we do? Fit or repair such things as hand rails, locks, chains, spy holes, doors, shelves, garden gates, tap washers, bath sealant, battery door bells or smoke alarms, telephone extensions, small window panes small areas of brickwork, plaster, paving or décor, draught proofing, curtain rails, tiling, reset clocks, clean windows, garden tidying and mowing. (This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, but gives a flavour of the service) What can’t we do? Any job: • requiring large plant • over two storeys high • on main electrical installation • on gas appliances • involving PVC windows and double glazing • fitting or repairing central heating • outside health & safety guidelines • not covered by our insurance • requiring us to remove rubbish • than our handyman feels unable to tackle for whatever reason For more information call: Age Concern 0116 2992233, Fax 0116 2992244 Enquiries @ageconcernleics.com; www.ageconcernleics.com From Jex Woods

Sponsored toddle A SPONSORED toddle organised by Rainbow Co-op Pre-school Playgroup has raised nearly £600 for new toys and equipment for the group. “We would like to give a huge thank you to everybody who contributed and are very grateful for the support shown to the playgroup” said Leader Julie Parker. The staff, children and their families enjoyed a walk around the football pitch at the

Co-op Sports & Social Ground on Birstall Road, finishing off with homemade refreshments in the outdoor play area, which was recently refurbished with the help of a capital funding grant from Leicester City Council. The children each received a medal and certificate to record their achievement. Pic: children with their certificates after completing a sponsored toddle

Library self service SELF SERVICE machines are being introduced at Birstall library this month. The machines allow people to borrow and return books, CDs and DVDs and pay hire charges and fines using cash. The library will be closed for one week from December 7 for the machines to be installed. Library users will still be able to be served by a member of staff if they prefer. Ernie White, Cabinet member for libraries at Leicestershire County Council, said: “The self service machines will make the service quicker and easier for users

and enable staff to help people around the library, instead of being confined to a desk. “I know some people don’t like using self-service checkouts in supermarkets, but the library machines are much simpler – you can scan all your books at the same time, simply by putting them on the machine.” A total of 28 machines will be installed at seven libraries across the county. The machines will save £350,000 – a total of 19 library posts, out of more than 400, will go through staff turnover.

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12

the birstall post DEC 2009

Small Ads Small ads are 25p for the first 16 words. 17-32 words: 50p. Enclosing payment, post your ad to us or hand it in (inside an envelope) at Birstall library. Trade/business rates for small ads are 25p a word. You are liable for the trade/business rate if you are offering a service for which you are asking for payment, or if you are advertising new goods for sale. All text will be printed bold. Box outline £1 extra. Max 50 words. Phone numbers count as one word.

Giftware shop opens

REDCURRANTS We have had a glut this year. Anyone who would like some, please contact 2676946 (Ansaphone for when I’m out) AIRPORT CARS Birstall. Airports, Seaports, Long Distance, Courier. Tel: 0777 1984806 TELEPHONE EXTENSION Sockets fitted by ex-BT engineer. Cable, BT and digital TV. Over 25 yrs experience. John 2675132 SINGING FOR Fun. New classes starting in January in Quorn, Rothley, Syston and Woodhouse Eaves. All levels of vocal ability and experience welcome! For further information or to reserve a place, contact 01509 412152. Wolrich@AOL.com FOR SALE Acoustic Guitar and carrying case £15. Tel: 2673925 LOST PROPERTY Found at Methodist Centre. Ladies reversible jacket, pale blue/navy. Looks new. Phone 2209611 EXPERIENCED granny-sitter available, whilst carer takes a few hours respite. References and Police clearance. Tel: Ann 07969974070 after 6pm ACCOUNTANCY SERVICES provided by qualified accountant. Low rates for sole traders/small businesses. Tel: 2673951 FOR SALE Scouts Outfit (Beaver) size 30” (76cm) VGC £10 ono. Please ring 2671527 CHRISTMAS OUTDOOR lighting, garden sculptures eg Santa on ski slope, 2 ringing bells, Santa & snowman, Santa on sleigh & reindeers. 2 x Merry Christmas. All with transformers. Box of cables and extensions. Prices £10- £30 ono. Tel: 0116 2673632 FOR SALE Small fridge ideal for pantry or beers and wine, as new H.33½ x Wid 20” £40 ono. White Stylo golf shoes 8½ £8. White PGA golf shoes 6½ £6. Golf practice driving mat £4 3 golf hats & glove & practice golf balls £2. Mini TV suitable for car £2 Tel: 2671527 AMLI DESIGN Architectural Consultancy. Plans drawn and submitted. Extensions, conversions, new build. David Ives (B.Sc.(Hons) FBEng MCIOB 0116 2674395/07974807111

A NEW giftware shop has opened on Wanlip Avenue, Birstall. Three Little Bears offers a wide selection of gifts including collectible bears and figurines from the popular Me To You range, luxury bath and body products from Bomb Cosmetics, children’s outerwear and accessories, traditional children’s toys, contemporary Spaceform glass gifts and a range of jewellery. Proprietor Michelle Withers said: “Having established an internet giftshop over 12 years ago at the very beginning of the online retail revolution, my desire was always to complement this with a traditional bricks and mortar giftshop. With my husband having grown up in Birstall, we kept an eye out for that ideal property located in the village, which could provide us with a shop window for our company. We considered opening premises in both Leicester and Loughborough, but really wanted something very local to the community in which we live and adore. “Birstall has a great selection of shops, from the big High Street chains to the small independents. We wanted to offer a selection of some of the most popular products from our internet store to a more direct traditional format. With the vast majority of retailers progressing from shop to web, we have taken the opposite route.” The variety of items on offer at Three Little Bears reflect the owner’s own personal taste in current design and fashion, helping to complete a unique looking shop which, although based in Birstall, is accessible to everyone via their web site www.threelittlebears.co.uk

Church news

Bowls club

Floodlit tennis

“ONCE IN Royal David’s City” – probably one of the most popular Christmas carols of all time. You’ll hear it, mixed up with the jolly trivialities like “Jingle Bells” or “Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer”, blaring through supermarket loudspeakers, or more sweetly sung in the school carol concert or on the TV carol service on Christmas Eve. Some people may think some of its words are outdated – do we expect our children to be “mild ,obedient and good”? (yes, please!) However, when Frances Alexander wrote what seem to us now sentimental words about children, we should remember that in the middle of the 19th century, when she wrote, half of the deaths recorded in any one year were of children under the age of five: most families had lost at least one young child. Neither was there anything like ante-natal care or benefits for new mothers (nor were there for Mary when Jesus was born!) There are still many parts of the world where that is true today. Mrs. Alexander gave away to charity almost all the money she made from writing hymns, (“All things bright and beautiful” was another of hers) helping to establish an institute for the deaf in Northern Ireland. You’ll be able to hear her best-known carol, with other songs and carols, at some of the various occasions this December when we meet to remember what Christmas is all about. On Sunday 6 for example when our Christingle service takes place at 11am at St. James. The children are invited to contribute to the essential work of the Children’s Society, as it reaches out to homeless, abused and despairing young people, and receive in exchange the Christingle orange, as a symbol of love in the world. The Scout and Guide Carol Service on Sunday 13 at 3pm at St. James will also have a Christingle theme. Then on Sunday 20 at 6pm at Wanlip there is a service of traditional readings and carols in the beautiful candle-lit church and on the following evening, Monday 21 again at 6pm at Wanlip, there will be a more informal service, including contemporary readings with carols and songs. As usual there is likely to be a large gathering to celebrate the real start to Christmas, at the Crib Service on Christmas Eve at 4pm at St. James. For this and other services over the festive season please see the large notice on page Perhaps you too, like Fanny Alexander, will feel that at Christmas above all times, we can try to remember and support the deprived children of the world, through one of the many agencies which work for them. From Beryl McHugh

JUST AFTER the outdoor season finished at Birstall Bowling Club, many bowlers went on a tour to Spain. The club were based in Mojacar, Costa Almeria and played four matches during the week-long stay. After a couple of rest days, Tuesday saw the first of two visits to the Cabrera club for an afternoon fixture. Despite heavy rain showers before and during the game, the tour got off to a good start with a 126-101 win in an eight rink match. Two Birstall rinks were top scorers, with Diane Hartop, Dave Amey, John Healey and Dave Clarke, along with Velma Allen, Pam McMahon, Jan Everitt and John Lee, both winning 23-5. Wednesday was an early morning start with an eight rink match at Almeria. This was Birstall’s only defeat going down by 120-134 despite a 33-7 victory on one rink by Ken Smith, Pam McMahon, John Healey and Richard Smith. The bowlers had a relaxing Thursday morning in preparation for a second visit to Cabrera in the afternoon. The club completed a double over the hosts, winning the eight rink match 137-122 with Birstall’s top rink of Stan Pratt, Dave Amey, Dick Sharpe and Dave Clarke winning 24-11. After a night out on Thursday, the last match on Friday morning was a six rink game against La Mata. Bill Alexander, Bren Thompson, Tony Mullins and Richard Smith won 17-8 to be Birstall top rink in a 103-97 win for the tourists. Overall the club won three matches and lost one. Out of 30 rinks played, 15 were won, two drawn and 13 lost. Shots scored were 486-454 in Birstall’s favour, and there were 38 bowlers on the trip with most playing three or four matches. Seven players were unbeaten; Paul Young won three and drew one of his four matches, Velma Allen, Duncan Brown, Jan Everitt, John Healey and Tony Mullins, won all three matches they played, and Ken Smith won two and drew one of his three matches. More information about the club is on the website www.birstallbowling.co.uk

IF YOU drive along Watermead Way on a weekday winter’s evening, the chances are you will see the glow from floodlights across the nearby playing fields. Regular floodlit sessions are arranged throughout the winter and chairman James Berry is aware of their importance to the club. “The sessions are most productive and keep the momentum of play going through the winter months. In fact, I would say there is probably more tennis played at the club in winter than during the summer!” Meanwhile the majority of county winter league matches have now been completed, with three men’s teams and two ladies’ teams. In league matches, the spotlight often falls on the men’s teams, but as James pointed out: “Our ladies are really coming to the fore, and competition for team places is strong, especially in the second team.” Now the focus is on the Winter Team Shield, an annual internal club competition – with teams of four players involved in doubles. One of the features of this tournament is that it caters for all levels of ability, with a balance of stronger and weaker players taking part. At the recent AGM, members heard that the club’s finances were in a healthy position and there was much to look forward to. James Berry remarked that every club member “should spend half an hour thinking how they could improve their game, and how they could improve their club.” After the meeting, members got into informal mode, enjoying a curry at Aroma Spice. • A reminder to all club members – normal sessions continue throughout the winter, on Wednesday evenings from 6.30pm, and on Sunday mornings from 10am-1pm. • Potential new members are welcome to turn up at the club, which is based at the Co-op Sports and Social Club on Birstall Road.

Birstall Rugby club BIRSTALL RUGBY Football Club took on the Leicester Tigers Droglites in November to contest the Aroma Spice Curry Cup. The match was played at Stonehill school with the Droglites winning 29-17. Club spokesman David Bonsor said: “It was a Birstall performance to be proud of. The Greendogs were in a position to draw the match in the dying seconds before the Droglites crossed to extend the final result.” The match raised over £500 for the MS hospice in Anstey. Richard Engelgardt update: Currently in Stoke-Mandeville Hospital in Hertfordshire, Richard is making steady progress and is regaining the use of his upper body. The club are currently working hard to organise a trust fund for Richard having received donations from local clubs Jimmies, Coalville, Sileby, Cosby and Stoneygate. For all the latest news on Birstall RFC including how to join visit www.birstallrfc.co.uk

Merry Christmas from us all at

The Birstall Post

YOUR COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER

Longslade College, Wanlip Lane, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4GH Editor: Mr Jerry Jackson Editorial/Advertising (Tel & Fax)

0116 2674213

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Birstall Post Dec 2009 (317)  

Birstall Post Dec 2009

Birstall Post Dec 2009 (317)  

Birstall Post Dec 2009

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