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the Birstall post Y O U R




Baby unit opened A BABY unit at an African orphanage has been built thanks to a fundraising campaign led by a Birstall couple. David and Joy Bark, two trustees of the local charity The Bark Foundation made a recent visit to Buea in Cameroon to officially open and hand over the new Baby Unit which The Foundation has donated, to the management of the HOTPEC orphanage in Cameroon.

David Bark said: “The building is magnificent and the management of the orphanage could not put into words their gratitude to all the people and organisations that have supported the Bark Foundation.

Pic: David Bark outside the new baby unit

“The inauguration of the baby unit was a fantastic occasion. The event gave an opportunity to showcase the work of the orphanage and we were entertained by some local choirs – the staff had obviously worked very hard with the children to prepare dancing, drama and gymnastics displays.” He added: “The building will, without a doubt, make a difference and improve facilities and living conditions for staff, volunteers

Main pic: Harry Clarke, Oliver Kidd-Martin and John Ives. Pics from top right: Charlotte Edwards flute, cellist Jenny Bestwick, Amy Collins and Dionne Warburton sing a duet, Chloe Lambeth, the school choir

Continued on page 3

Stonehill’s got talent MORE THAN 100 pupils took part in Stonehill school’s Christmas concert. The audience were treated to a variety of solo performances from the Radetzky March played by Jenny Bestwick on the cello to an accomplished performance of A Somerset Garland on flute by Charlotte Edwards. Continued on page 3

No. 330


the birstall post JAN 2011



End of an era as hairdresser retires A GENTS hairdresser has retired after 49 years in the trade.

Pic: David & Joy Bark with volunteeers, founder of the ophanage Rev Tanne Mugri & Fritz Mbah, the orphanage administrator

Continued from page 1 and children at the orphanage.” The project to raise the money began following their visit along with other members of the North Leicester Methodist Circuit to Cameroon in November 2007. The visit was organised by the Minister, Rev Edward Sakwe and during the twelve days in Cameroon the party made visits to a number of places, one being the HOTPEC Orphanage in nearby Lower Bokova. They were impressed by the love and care that staff and volunteers showed towards all the children but realised there was a real need for better and larger accommodation for the infants. The Bark Foundation was formed in February 2008, and in consultation with the man-

agement of the orphanage, pledged to raise money to build a new baby unit to replace the existing inadequate accommodation. Design and plans were eventually agreed and the cost of the proposed building was estimated at £20,000. In April 2009, the Foundation achieved charity status which gave a much needed boost to its fundraising activities. Early into the fundraising programme the charity was hit by the deteriorating exchange rate. Over the 32 months of fundraising, the poor exchange rate, rising costs and the agreed improvements and enlargements of the original draft plan brought the final cost to £45,000. The Bark Foundation is committed to continuing its support of the HOTPEC Orphanage.

Parish Council notes A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on December 13. The Council agreed to accept an offer from a resident who has volunteered to inspect the condition of footpaths in the parish and report back to the Council with any issues. Councillors discussed a proposal from the County Council to provide a cycle route from Watermead Country Park to Stonehill and Longslade schools. The proposal includes plans for a speed table at the junction of Wanlip Lane and Dalby Avenue to slow traffic speed and to enable cyclists to cross the road more safely. It was agreed to recommend that the speed table was unnecessary and should be replaced with a traffic light controlled crossing. It was reported that several bus stops in the village will be upgraded by the County Council. The work will consist of raising the kerb height to make access to the bus easier. The bus stops are on Loughborough Road, Sibson Road and Wanlip Lane. It was agreed that the Council pursue Green Flag awards for the village’s playing fields. Green Flag awards recognise excellence in park maintenance. Stonehill continued from page 1 The choir sang an eclectic mix of songs including a rendition of Hallelujah made famous by Leonard Cohen and Alexendra Burke. The wind band’s performance of the Locomotion had the audience’s feet tapping and rock bands ‘Red River’ and ‘The Other Stories’ played Alice Cooper’s School’s Out for Christmas and a unique version of Rocking Around the Christmas Tree. Kate Phipps, Head of Music and Performing Arts, said: “The students have given it their all this evening and this concert has displayed the variety and versatility of the students with such an eclectic programme. They have outdone themselves for yet another year. They are a credit to themselves and the school.”

The Council discussed the estimated cost of £10,000 a year for maintaining the public toilet on Stonehill Avenue. It was agreed that the Council take on responsibility for the toilet as Charnwood are expected to devolve ownership to the parish on March 31, 2011. It was reported that Severn Trent had appealed the decision not to permit the erection of a wind turbine at the Wanlip Water Treatment Works. The steps at the Sibson Road car park remain closed pending receipt of a handrail. It was reported that Birstall Allotment Society were seeking to obtain grants to install badger proofing at the Greengate Lane site. It was reported that moving the opening time of the Harrowgate Drive playing field from 0730 to 0830 had significantly reduced the amount of dog waste being left there. It was agreed that the opening times will now be 0830 to 1930 if earlier than dusk.

Salon’s photo shoot STYLISTS FROM a Birstall hairdressing salon have worked with a top photographer to produce a new photographic collection. Darren Davies of Davies & Greenwood on Sibson Road said: “We’ll be using the images for competition work including the British Hairdressing Awards and all our advertising in 2011.” Darren accompanied by stylists Kolla and Megan worked with award winning creative director Tracy Divie on the shoot, with photographer John Rawson.

Clive Patrick (64) of Clives on Sibson Road has put down his scissors for the last time, but hairdressing was not his first choice of career. “I always wanted to be a farmer as a kid. I loved being outside” says Clive. “But the careers advisor at school advised against it and suggested hairdressing, ‘you’ll never be out of a job with hairdressing’ I remember him saying.” Clive left school at 15 and began a four year apprenticeship at hairdressers Lyners in Leicester. He says: “It was hard at first, standing up all day, and for the first six months to a year it was just watching, clients for their loyal support over the years.” sweeping up, making the tea and cleaning the Some regular customers have come from windows. But as soon as I started cutting hair as far as Cornwall and Newcastle for their I thought I had made a good choice.” haircut, and Clive used to cut the hair of Clive struck out on his own in 1966 with Leicester City’s manager Frank O’Farrell in his first salon on Sibson Road, where Birstall the 1970s. “It’s a personal job and once Shoe Repairs is today. As he took on staff he people get used to you they come back. I moved to the Crossways in 1970 where he learned to do the job properly and do it as worked with sister Dena Patrick at the salon they want it and not as you want it” said Clive Dene, before moving to premises above Clive. his brother’s butchers shop on Sibson Road. Clive has worked with colleague Pete Jones since 1973. It was unexpected illnesses for both of them that led to the decision to retire and close the salon. Clive said: “I do feel sad, but things don’t go on forever. I will miss all the customers, Welding to MOT standards there’s always someone with a MOT & funny story to tell. Mechanical I have some customers from when Repairs I first started, and some who now Servicing bring their own All Work Guaranteed at children in.” Competitive Rates He added: “ Pete and I would like to thank friends and



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In his retirement Clive plans to spend more time at his hobbies of gardening and golf – a member of Lingdale golf club, he has been County Senior champion twice, and Leicestershire and Rutland golf society champion. Clive has also been successful at clay pigeon shooting having been selected to shoot for England for four years in the 90s and winning the England Single Barrel title.


the birstall post JAN 2011

Village Hall kurling CHARNWOOD BOROUGH Council’s Active Together team is launching a new activity to Birstall – New Age Kurling. New Age Kurling is adapted from the traditional winter sport of curling which takes place on the ice. New Age Kurling can be played on any hard surface and the aim is to roll the stone towards a target. The winning team is the one with the most stones on the target. The stone can be played from a seated or standing position and can be pushed using hands, feet or a stick, making the game accessible to people of all ages and abilities. New Age Kurling will be held at Birstall Village Hall every Friday from 2-3pm starting January 21 until March 11. Cost per session is: £2.50

Magazine’s final issue A CHURCH magazine that began in 1973 has seen its final issue published. Under the editorship of Mrs Maureen Holland (76) ‘Contact’ magazine has been published monthly as an ecumenical newsletter for Birstall and Wanlip’s four churches. Maureen said: “I absolutely loved doing the magazine, when deadlines came around again I never thought ‘Oh no!’, I was excited to get started on the next issue.” The magazine was started by the Rev Martin Phillips

and in the early years had full colour glossy covers and was printed in London. Maureen’s dedication has seen the maga-

zine published monthly without interruption for 37 years, despite a stay in hospital after breaking her leg. “I was just lucky that I broke my leg the day after taking the magazine to the printers – I was in hospital for two weeks” said Maureen. 1500 copies were printed with a cover price that started at 6p and rose to 35p over the years. The content was a mixture of pastoral messages, village events, a diary and local history. The decision to end the magazine is a result of difficulty obtaining contributions, distribution problems and declining advertising. Maureen has produced a commemorative edition of Contact with a selection of articles taken from back issues. ‘Contact – Highlights and Memories’ is priced £5 and is available from Maureen 2675598.

Pic: Maureen Holland


Jessica wins award

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Carl Gunns was also a winner at the prestigious awards ceremony at Loughborough Town Hall, picking up the Volunteer of the Year Award, a category in which Sue Bailey from Birstall Golf club was also nominated. Jessica, 21, was voted as the overall champion after becoming the world’s number one female in Kayaking Wild Water racing. In 2010 she won the individual Sprint World Championships and the Team Classic race. She was also rated the overall winner in the World Cup series of races in 2010. Volunteer of the Year Carl Gunns runs a boxing gym for young people on Birstall Road. He said: “It’s tremendous that the gym has won this award, it’s only a few months since we won a Loughborough Echo/3M award so I feel I've done the double!” Jessica, Carl and Sue were among almost 100 people nominated for awards which aim to recognise the Pic: Carl Gunns

Pic: Jessica Oughton

commitment and achievements of the borough’s sportsman and women. Hayley Peel, Charnwood Borough Council’s senior sports development officer, said: “The athletes, coaches and volunteers in Charnwood are doing amazing things, many of whom are never recognised for this. “It’s great to spend the evening reflecting and recognising the achievement and hard work of these people and their families who offer support in so many ways.”

Emus and corsets at WI

NHW news & crime report Scam Warning There have been reports of a scam at some supermarkets. Several people have found that the receipt has some cash back added, which they have not asked for and have not received. Unfortunately these people did not check the receipt before leaving the shop. It was then too late to have it rectified. Either the person on the till pockets the money or they have a friend behind you in the queue to whom they give the money. Be sure to check your receipt before leaving the checkout. Safeguarding your presents If you have been lucky enough to receive a Christmas gift, it may be a good idea to have it postcoded so that it can be returned to you if it is lost or stolen. Bicycles, power tools, mobile phones and other costly items can be postcoded, free of charge, at our Advice Shops. The next Advice Shop and Police surgery is on Saturday January 15 from 10am until 12 noon. Open Meeting Our annual co-ordinators' meeting is on Thursday, March 3 2011, at 7.45pm, at the Methodist Church hall . The speaker is Sergeant Ian Stone who will be talking about the Designated Public Place Order, which would ban the drinking of alcohol in the street, and, of course, our police team will be there to answer any questions. This meeting is for all members, not just the co-ordinators, so we look forward to seeing you there. I should like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the committee members, to wish all our members a happy and peaceful New Year. From Evelyn Holden, NHW committee member. Crime Figures 8.11.10 to 13.12.10 Assaults 6, harassment 6, burglary 5, burglary non-dwelling 8, damage 3, damage to motor vehicle 6, drugs 1, fraud 6, public order 1, robbery 1, theft 3, theft of cycle 1, theft from motor vehicle 1. Inspector Duncan Southall and Officers at the Charnwood Local Policing Unit are aware that there has been an increase in vehicle crime and home burglaries over the last two weeks (Dec 7-21) in Birstall. Unfortunately, upon investigation, it was found that a number of both crimes were made easier for the offender, because the vehicle/property had been left insecure. With Christmas and the extremely cold weather, we can be all rushing about and not taking the care that we would take normally. However, we do not want people to be victims, so we would ask you to double check the security on your vehicle/home when leaving them. The local Police have been increasing their presence in the village with additional uniform and plain clothes patrols. Officers and staff at the Charnwood Local Policing Unit wish you a Healthy and Crime-free 2011. From Angela Fielding, Leicestershire Police

THE MONTHLY meeting of Birstall and Wanlip WI was held on December 6 at Highcliffe Primary School. We had a good turnout despite the inclement weather. Our speaker Margaret Drover gave us a fascinating talk about emu breeding in Leicestershire and showed us some beautiful examples of emu egg engravings. This month’s competition for the best Christmas table decoration was won by Anne Waite. A secret Santa gift and tea and biscuits rounded off our last meeting of 2010. Our next meeting on January 10 should be particularly entertaining with our speaker talking about vintage underwear ‘Corsets, camisoles, swimsuits and smiles’. So, if you would to join us come along at 7.15pm and you will be made very welcome. From Birstall & Wanlip WI

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Christmas card design winner A CHRISTMAS card designed by a Highcliffe pupil has been printed by a local firm.

Pic: Lesley Pendleton with the winners including Riverside pupil Byron Kerry (second from right)

Pupils win bikes FOUR YOUNG road safety champions, including one from Birstall, have won a new bike. The children are junior road safety officers at their schools and won the prizes after entering a competition held at a series of road safety events last month. Byron Kerry (10) of Riverside school was one of the winners. Over 300 pupils from across Leicestershire attended the events, held to introduce the County Council’s Junior Road Safety Officer Scheme and provide details about how to become one. The four winners were presented with their prizes at County Hall by Lesley Pendleton, County Council cabinet member for environment and transport. Mrs Pendleton said: “Leicestershire County Council first introduced the junior road safety

officer initiative in 1987 to promote road safety awareness in and around the county’s schools. “The number of five to 11 year olds killed or seriously injured in Britain each year has reduced over the past two decades and schemes like this are contributing towards this, supporting our efforts to cut the number of child casualties.” Junior road safety officers are encouraged to promote road safety to their fellow students by maintaining notice boards giving information and advice on being aware and staying safe. The scheme is offered to all primary schools in Leicestershire and at present 80% of all local primary schools take part.

Parish Council’s budget BIRSTALL PARISH Council has set its budget for the year 2011/12 at £351,144, a 1.8% per cent increase on the previous year. The Parish Council’s budget, or precept, is a component of the Council tax and amounts to about six per cent of your total Council Tax bill. Parish Clerk Steve Blackburn said: “The main change this year is that a provision of an extra £10,000 has been made in anticipation of taking over the management of the toilets on Stonehill Avenue. The council has taken the view that this facility is important for many residents and its loss might well have a negative impact on local businesses in Birstall.” The council’s expenditure in 2011/12 includes wages £251,000, estates upkeep £32,400, electricity/gas etc £32,300, office expenses £9,100, insurance £10,400, audit £2,300, youth work £10,200, grants £10,200, toilets £10,000, other £34,500. Anticipated income for 2011/12 totals £51,300 from lettings and fees (£39,600), bank interest (£3,500) and rents (8,200).

Pilates classes NEW PILATES classes are coming to Charnwood to help residents get into shape in 2011. Loughborough Library will host the sessions which are low intensity exercise classes designed to improve posture, mobility, flexibility and are beneficial for overall fitness, specific health conditions and overall wellbeing. Charnwood Borough Council’s Active Together team will run the classes every Thursday from January 13 to February 17 from 2.15-3.15pm. Each sessions costs £2. For more information or to receive a brochure please contact the active together team on 01509 632534 or alternatively email

Birstall Parish council’s share of residents’ total Council tax bill is equivalent to about £76 per household for the year, £1.32 more than the current year. Per person, this works out at about £30 per adult, 52p more than the current year. The majority of the Council tax is determined by the County Council, the Borough Council and the Fire and Police services.

Gym auction AN AUCTION of boxing memorabilia has raised over £4000 for Carl Gunns’ gym. Carl decided to sell off his boxing treasures, collected throughout a lifetime in the sport, to help secure the future of the community gym he runs on Birstall Road. Items for sale included a book signed by Muhammad Ali, a Mike Tyson programme and a pair of Tommy Hearn’s shorts. The auction, held in the gym, was attended by specialist collectors. Carl said: “It was a terrific result boosted by an anonymous donation of £1000. A lady from Markfield also gave £100 to the gym – there are some wonderful people about.”

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Flexpress of Hallam Fields invited pupils to take part in a design competition. Managing Director Steve Wenlock said: “We wanted to run the competition to encourage youngsters to be creative and start to think about how things get printed. “Flexpress would like to be more actively involved in the community and next year we hope to extend this competition along with a few other ideas to schools in the area.” 250 cards were printed featuring the winning design, created by pupil Ruby George. Steve said: “It was a tough decision but we chose the winning design for the confident use of solid, bright colours and the fact it was quickly and easily identifiable as a Christmas card.” The runners-up were Alex Cotton, Molly Cooper, Neelum Surelia and Ella Capey-Wade. Pic: Steve Wenlock from Flexpress with Highcliffe’s Christmas card competition entrants Right: Ruby George’s winning design

Student award winners THE SUCCESS of students on a practical learning programme at Longslade college has been recognised at an awards ceremony. The achievements of five students on Longslade’s Prince’s Trust XL Programme were praised at the Anand International and Daewoo International Europe awards. Matthew Dawson won the Educational Achiever award and Kelly Hughes, Holly Lewis, Jade Harratt and Starla Bird were finalists in the Community Impact Award. The XL programme offers young people a practical way to learn with students researching, leading and designing projects throughout the two year course. The Longslade students worked with pupils at Riverside school to design a large interactive magnetic soft play calculator and an interactive learning human body, to learn about how the body works. Course spokeswoman Karen Norris said: “These students have worked hard, listened to advice, and shown a mature and flexible approach to their own success. Myself and the Longslade Prince’s Trust team are very proud of them. The students have been a pleasure to teach and are role models for current and future Prince’s Trust candidates here at the college.”



the birstall post JAN 2011


Dog fouling Dog Fouling Again! To continue the comments in December’s Birstall Post. Perhaps the resident dog walkers of the Gates Estate, no particular street as it is most of them, could explain why it is acceptable to them for their dogs to foul the pavements and not clear up after them. One particular person on Greengate has chosen Ambergate as their daily walk and toilet area. Same walls, same pavement area. Step outside your property, regular as not, it’s on your shoes and it stinks. Enough said. Dog walkers get the problem sorted. The problem is yours, you own the dog. S Alexander

Clearing snow 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:

If we are to continue having cold spells such as we are experiencing at present, it would be helpful if there could be some guidance for the general public as to exactly what can and should be done about the ice and snow. Many people appear to be concerned about whether or not they should clear it from their drives and the pathways outside their houses. A myth appears to have grown up stating that people will be sued if they clear their area and someone slips on it. Fortunately Directgov has come up with some instructions and advice.

“There’s no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your home or from public spaces. It’s unlikely you’ll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path if you have cleared it carefully. Follow the snow code when clearing snow and ice safely.” More details and advice can be found at 68 Pat French

Responsible dog owner I have just been accused of not picking up after my dog, and to say that I am angry is putting it mildly. On Wednesday December 8 (approx 1.15pm) I had just left home to walk one of my two Cairns. She stopped at some grass outside a house just down from where we live and squatted to have a wee. The occupier of the house shouted from an upstairs window 'I hope you're going to pick that up', I explained that it was just a wee and said that I always cleared up after my dogs, showing the bags in my pocket. She said ' good pick it up then'. I asked her to come down and have a look, but she wouldn't, saying that she was going to report me as she had seen me leave dog mess on the grass before. When I got back from walking my dog I took her a note with my name and address on, she still wouldn't comedown to speak to me. I have owned dogs for over 30 years and can honestly say that I have never left dog mess on pavements or anywhere else for that matter, every coat I own has poo bags in the pockets. I also find it disgusting at the amount of dog mess that is not picked up but do not tar us all with the same brush and if you do want to accuse someone get your facts straight first. I look forward to a visit from the Police, Dog Warden or PCSO I have nothing to hide. Wanlip Lane resident & responsible dog owner Mrs S Frost

Impressed It is so easy to generalise and decry all young people because of the actions of a few. However in recent weeks I have been really impressed by the actions and attitudes of some of our young people. For example, at the recent art exhibition, the quality of the works displayed was amazing and particularly the work of the younger generation as highlighted in the last edition of The Birstall Post. As someone who had difficulties in drawing his wages, I was amazed at the skills displayed by these young people! Absolutely stunning. Congratulations are also due to the Birstall Art Society who have encouraged these youngsters and afforded them the opportunity to display their skills. Would that the graffiti artists would avail themselves of these same opportunities to show off their undoubted skills in a structured way rather than in the dreadful manner which they presently use. On Remembrance Sunday I attended the service at St. James'. There were many young people present, some of whom were obviously not used to the pageantry of a church service, but they all conducted themselves faultlessly. Congratulations to them and their leaders for making the service so memorable. You could not help but remember that it is young people of roughly their same ages who are fighting and dying in Afghanistan. Many thanks to all of you youngsters who have chosen to adopt the civilised and responsible way

to conduct yourselves. It makes one senior citizen very happy to realize that there are still some good young people about and I wish you well in your chosen careers. David Gaskell

Thanks Clive and Peter (Clive’s Hairdressing) would like to thank their many customers for their loyalty and support during the 37 years that they have worked together. Due to unexpected illness for both us we had to make the sad decision to close the business. We apologise to all concerned at the sudden closure and would like to thank customers for their understanding. Also, many thanks to all customers and friends for their messages of good will. P B Jones

Thanks Thank you so much for your loyal support during the poppy selling outside McCall’s as usual and your generosity once again. It was heart warming to see more poppy sellers out despite the bad weather. Special thanks to Krustys for the mugs of hot tea, it is really good of you and I am pleased to announce your total this year as £417.65. We did remember them. Val Joyce Vice President, Birstall Royal British Legion, Women’s Section

Canada geese In response to a letter published last month asking where have the Canada Geese gone, we have received this response from a reader: The Canada Geese (along with around 300 Greylag Geese) now move up and down the Soar Valley to Wanlip North, Cossington Meadows, Kirby Lakes, Priory Water etc where there are good feeding and roosting areas, but with all the bread provided at the Alderton Road (off Melton Road) car park, there is no need for them to move and many of them stay around that area.

Had enough I am absolutely disgusted and angered with the dog fouling that occurs outside the Highcliffe school gates. Like the two parents that wrote in a previous Post, I cannot believe how irresponsible and thoughtless these people can be. A few weeks ago it was literally right outside the school gate entrance! Unlike the other parents I come along Elmfield Avenue and this too is disgusting and infuriating. Both sides of the road and on the grass verges. I, along with many other, have had enough. I cannot believe that there are people who do not think about the consequences to not only other adults, but CHILDREN. Whoever you are ……. PICK UP YOUR DOG MESS!! Name and address supplied

Shame Something needs to be done about the amount of dog dirt in Birstall, it's disgusting and the dog owners who leave it are disgusting. I cut along Hill Rise, Colindale Avenue, The Meadway and Sibson Road on the school run and it's rare not to see any. I am sick of having to warn my child to look out for it. Someone has a favourite spot outside the empty unit next to Davies & Greenwood hairdressers and by the end of the day it has been trod in and walked around the area. I am shocked at how much I have seen along the stretch of shops on Sibson Road in general. These thoughtless dog owners should be named and shamed but they are cowards, only coming out at night or when no one else is around. SHAME ON YOU!!! Disgusted Birstall resident

Single male I consider myself one of the lucky ones but neighbours in some areas of Birstall do not speak to or answer single males. There is little community spirit. Only a very small number of very busy neighbours will help relation free males. Abuse is not or was not uncommon. Bullying by isolation is mainly the norm. I get helped and the offers of help from villages up to 13 miles away. Many neighbours want a loner free community. My sins are 77 years lived in the same house. I am relation free. A cheap form of patrols working in co-operation with St John’s Ambulance Association using quad bikes would guard against hypothermia deaths for elderly and disabled. I am atheist but get help from Birstall church members also Mountsorrel Catholic church members but there are long periods of no contact. The next door neighbour is helpful but everyone these days is so busy. Loners are unreservedly hated by family members. Hate is not uncommon – quite unfounded. A E Nixon

Thanks I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Thank you for the stamps for Guide Dogs, please keep sending them as the need is always there. F B Savidge

Police update The main focus for the Charnwood Local Policing Unit (LPU) has been around crime reduction and shaping the future of your local Neighbourhood Teams. I am pleased to report that total crime remains well below what it was last year, with some really significant reductions around Burglary Dwelling and vehicle crime. The Quorn and Anstey Police Offices will be closed in the early part of 2011 as part of the comprehensive review carried out over the past 18 months. I plan to have 10 Neighbourhood Offices, located in the very communities they serve, from which the Neighbourhood Teams can work from. This will actually deliver more visibility and access to your Neighbourhood Teams as they will no longer be working out of Syston or Quorn but actually working out of their respective Neighbourhoods. In line with this, the current 10 Neighbourhoods will be reduced to six allowing better coverage (for when members of the teams are off duty) of Neighbourhoods. Note: This will not mean a reduction of staff as the existing team numbers will remain the same and will continue to concentrate on the areas they know best. Quorn Police Office will not close until suitable alternative accommodation has been found for the Neighbourhood Teams. We have already identified a number of suitable premises in the majority of areas (Anstey, Rothley, Thurmaston, Syston, Barrow and Quorn) and are negotiating with potential partners over usage. We are still looking for suitable partners and premises in Mountsorrel, Sileby and East Goscote/Queniborough. If you have any suggestions about potential premises which could be used to base local neighbourhood officers in your area, please contact your Beat Team, myself (on the details below) or Mr Andrew Wroe (Estates) on Leicester (0116) 222 2222, ext 2325, or by email to Crime Overview: in terms of performance, the LPU continues to deliver significant reductions on last years crime figures. As at today's date (22.12.10), all crime is down 9.1% (344 less offences), Serious Acquisitive Crime (Burglary, Robbery, Auto Crime) is down by 24.2% from this time last year (189 fewer victims and offences). All Vehicle Crime continues to reduce (17.1% reduction or 70 less offences against last year's figures) with a 24.7% reduction in Theft From Motor Vehicle (75 less victims and offences). Theft of Motor Vehicle has increased on the last reporting period (4.4%) compared to last year (97 Offences – 5 more than last year) with much of this being due to people leaving cars running (to defrost) unattended on driveways. All Burglaries have continued to reduce (by 12.8 %) with an encouraging reduction in Burglary Dwelling (down 30.6%) on last year, meaning 86 fewer persons were a victim of this crime. We have seen a spike in Birstall and our priority (overt and covert) will remain Birstall until the perpetrator/s are caught or become frustrated by the ‘extra attention’ and desist. All Violent Crime continues to reduce with Assault with less serious Injury (Actual Bodily Harm and below) having dropped by 9.9% and Serious Violent Crime dropping by 52.4% compared to last year. Robbery is down 46.7% on last year (14 fewer victims). Crime Prevention: Operation Union (the current LPU operation aimed at Serious Acquisitive Crime prevention/detection and prosecution of Offenders in the run up to Christmas) continues with the focus (as above) on Birstall. I would urge you to call in any suspect activity or individual to the Police when it occurs. Likewise, please ensure your property is locked and secured as many of the burglaries and Vehicle thefts/theft of property from vehicles are as a result of premises and vehicles not being secured, thus offering an easy target for the opportunist criminal. Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB): an overview of ASB across the LPU (November 1-31, 2010) showed a decrease of some 17% (down by 487 incidents) compared to last year. We continue to work very closely with our Partners (Charnwood Borough Council, Parish Councils and the Public) to address ASB issues and are establishing a co-located team (Police and Borough Council) in January 2011. Charnwood LPU Joint Action Group (JAG): The latest Charnwood Joint Action Group (JAG) was held on December 9 at the Village Hall at East Goscote. Updates for each of the respective neighbourhoods were given to those present. Sgt Andy Moscrop also took the opportunity to thank Angela Fielding our Community Initiatives Co-ordinator (CIC) for all her hard work over the years. Angela will be leaving the Constabulary in January 2011 having put in sterling service in her role as Charnwood LPU CIC and will be greatly missed. The next meeting will take place at 13.30pm on Thursday 13th January 2011 @ Rothley Neighbourhood Centre 12 Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley, LE7 7PR. This is likely to be the last JAG meeting in its current format. Changes to the Charnwood LPU ‘JAG’: The current format for the Charnwood JAG will change in the New Year, with it being merged with the Charnwood Community Safety Partnership ‘All Crime’ meeting and the ‘ASB Steering Group’ as many of the functions are duplicated. A greater emphasis will be placed on the respective Neighbourhood Teams’ consultation meetings (using what is know as the ‘Police and Communities Together’ or PACT model.) This will make the access to the public and Parish Councils more effective as these meetings are locally based, in the Neighbourhoods and fully open to the Public. Local problems, issues and concerns can be better raised with local, neighbourhood Officers who will then feed this information up to the ‘Crime’ and ‘ASB’ JAGs to take the appropriate multi-agency (Borough Council, Police, Fire Service etc), action required to address the issues that can’t be solved locally. Consultation: the latest Neighbourhood Newslet-

THE BIRSTALL POST, JAN 2011 ters are available on the Force website . Each one of these is a result of detailed consultation by your local Neighbourhood Teams via a series of advertised consultation events (again on the website and via public notice boards). The Neighbourhood Policing Teams also regularly attend Parish Council meetings and other public meeting (such as area forums). I am really keen to hear people's views and concerns as this is critical in enabling us to address what matters to the communities - if you can't attend any of the publicised events, I would encourage you to contact us directly via e-mail or telephone. Summary: Crime and ASB results remain encouraging, with the LPU maintaining the net reduction on last year. Plans are well on track to put your neighbourhood teams into the centre of the communities they serve via local ‘Neighbourhood’ Offices and I will keep you updated as to the progress in this key area. As ever, I would encourage you all to look out for yourselves and your neighbours, take simple but effective security precautions and report anything suspicious to the Police. On behalf of all the Officers and Staff at Charnwood Local Policing Unit, I wish you all a Happy, safe and secure New Year. Inspector Duncan Southall, Charnwood Local Policing Unit, Dec 2010

Ashton Green approved A PROPOSAL to build 3000 new homes on the edge of Birstall has been approved. The outline planning application for Ashton Green was approved by the City Council’s Planning & Development Control committee on December 20. Leicester City Council hope to start building the first phase of 1000 dwellings in 2012. Ashton Green is a 130 hectare site north of Beaumont Leys, with its ‘village centre’ located next to the junction of Greengate Lane and Leicester Road. The impact of the development on the local road network, especially Greengate Lane, has been identified as a major cause of concern during public consultation events. The City Council have proposed the following traffic mitigation measures for Greengate Lane: • one-way signal controlled shuttle working at the railway bridge. The bridge is owned and maintained by the GCR. Traffic lights will control traffic on either side of the bridge, alternating the direction of traffic: east/west then west/east. The City Council says: “the very nature of introducing traffic signals may increase journey times along Greengate Lane. However the signals are unlikely to result in significant build up of queues and on balance it is considered that they will act as an effective traffic calming measure, ultimately reducing the attractiveness of Greengate Lane for general traffic whilst a the same time increasing its attractiveness for pedestrians and cyclists.” • speed humps • a shared footway/cycleway from Leicester Road to beyond the bridge. One option considered is utilising the verge as far as the junction of Woodgate Drive before cyclists rejoin the carriageway. The City Council are also proposing speed humps on Leicester Road between Ashton Green and Thurcaston, and a ‘gateway entry feature’ for traffic approaching Ashton Green from the north that will reduce the speed limit to 30mph. The Ashton Green development is part of the City Council’s plans to find 20,000 new homes in the next 15-20 years. The City Council says it will offer: • employment on 5 hectares of employment land • an ‘all-age school’ from 3-19 years, located at the western end of Greengate Lane extending eastwards towards the GCR bridge • safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists • good public transport links • community facilities • 49 hectares of green space • energy efficient homes with renewable energy sources • an on-site Energy Centre More details at

Acorn’s trees CHILDREN AT Acorn pre-school, have planted 30 fruit and nut trees given to them by Sainsbury’s Active Kids Programme and the Woodland Trust. The varieties included dog rose, elder, cherry plum, hazel, crab apple and blackthorn. The pre-school, based at Highcliffe school, was given the trees after collecting Sainsbury’s Active Kids vouchers. Staff from Sainsbury’s in Belgrave Road, Leicester joined the children to help plant the trees.

Noticeboard all details printed free The Mayor of Charnwood, President of Loughborough Council of Faiths invites you to attend the 11th annual commemoration of

Holocaust Memorial Day Please gather on Thursday Jan 27 at 1.45pm By the Bandstand in Queen’s Park, Loughborough An exhibition will be open at Charnwood Museum and the park café will be open for refreshments following the short ceremony •••

Open House At St James Church ‘Baptism’ Your are invited to our monthly family friendly Open House service January 9 at 11am •••

Birstall British Legion Sat Jan 1: no act (fun night) Sat Jan 8: Paul Ravell (M/V) Sat Jan 15: Slaters (M/Duo) Sat Jan 22: Tammy (F/V) Sat Jan 29: TBC Dancing every Sat night with live entertainment Free raffle. Bingo and not forgetting ‘Open the Box’ Every Tuesday night Bingo starting at 9.30pm Quiz nights Sunday Jan 8 & 29 starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sun Jan 15 Rock & Roll nights 1st & 3rd Wed Food available every Sat 12-2pm Funerals catered for ••• Birstall Birdwatching Club presents

In Search of the Birds and Mammals of Namibia By Ian Merrill An illustrated talk on the wildlife of this West African country At the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Tuesday January 11 at 7.30pm Alert! Divers Have Moved to Page 60 By Mike Webster A light-hearted approach to some of the most up to date research in ornithology and birdwatching Tuesday February 8 at 7.30pm At the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane,

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Rothley Visitors welcome to all meetings £2 Contact Ken Goodrich 2674813 ••• Sat February 26 From 10am to 1pm At Birstall Methodist Church

Mini Market With Good-as-New Bric-a-Brac Home made cakes & produce Tombola & children’s games Light lunches & hot dogs •••

Diddi Dance sessions Free sessions for parents and toddlers Combining exercise and play The hour long sessions will be held at Birstall Village Hall On Mondays from Jan 24 to Feb 28 from 12.30-1.30pm Each session costs £1 per parent, FREE for children •••

Winter Walks From Birstall library Weekly on Thursdays from Jan 6-Feb 10 at 10.30am The routes will be on a flat surface and will last no longer than one hour. The cost per walk is £1 and includes a cup of tea or coffee. For more information or to book please contact the Active Together team on 01509 632534 or alternatively email ••• A CALL has gone out to offer artists throughout Charnwood the chance to have their work displayed at one of the town’s top visitor attractions. Artists are being urged to submit their work and showcase their talent at the Charnwood Borough Council-run Queen’s Park Café Gallery For more information about hiring the gallery please contact Alex Gasson on 01509 233754 •••

Splash Babies Swimming for babies to give them confidence, exercise and fun in a social environment Roundhill College, Abbey Sports & Leisure and David Lloyd Meridian For more info: Kirsty 077 347 00447 or

The February issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Feb 4. The copy deadline is Jan 21.


Birstall benefit fraud A MOTHER of six has been handed a sixmonth community order and a one-mouth curfew after falsely claiming £2,934.02 in housing and council tax benefit. Charnwood Borough Council prosecuted Amanda Meadows, 36, formerly of Lambourne Road, Birstall after she failed to tell the council she was living with her partner between October 19, 2009 and March 29, 2010, which would have affected the amount of cash she received. She also failed to inform Leicester City Council that she was living with her partner at a new property in Wolverton Road, Leicester between March 27, 2010 and May 30, 2010. Meadows pleaded guilty at Loughborough Magistrates’ Court to one charge of failing to give prompt notification to Charnwood Borough Council to a change of circumstances and one charge of making false representations to Leicester City Council. She received £1,840.18 in overpaid benefits from Charnwood and £1,093.84 from Leicester City

Council. Magistrates took into account Meadows’ family problems but described the offence as “serious” as Meadows had withheld the information intentionally and claimed the money for more than seven months. They formally sentenced her to a sixmonth community order and a one-month curfew, between 8pm and 6am from December 1 to January 1 but made no order for costs. Meadows will also have to repay the £2,934.02. Cllr Tom Barkley, Charnwood Borough Council’s cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “This council takes any kind of fraud extremely seriously and will take action where necessary against those who fail to notify the council of changes which affect their entitlement to benefits. “I hope this acts as a deterrent to others who think they can get away with falsely claiming benefits which are meant for the most vulnerable and helpless in our society.”


the birstall post JAN 2011

Parish church news

Christmas events OUR PICTURES show some of Birstall’s Christmas events. Pictured top left are school children learning about the Christmas story in St James church from a Roman soldier, a shepherd and one of the magi – ‘The Journey to Bethlehem’ brought the story to life as children interacted with the actors. The main picture shows Katie Simons (10) sitting on Santa’s knee with elves Sally and Kate Cluley at Birstall Guides Christmas fayre. Below and bottom right are pictures taken at Wanlip Church and Community

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Centre’s Christmas fair. Pictured right are visitors to Woodlands Day Nursery’s Christmas Extravaganza on Park Road.

Methodist church news Pantomime Tickets on sale The all male cast for the 2011 Pantomime are well into their rehearsals. This years production is one of the ‘original scripts’ written by the late John Valentine. Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves will be presented from Tuesday 22 to Saturday 26 February, which is half-term week. Performances are at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday afternoon. All tickets are £5. It will be well worth watching (Oh yes it will!). Phone 2122513 for tickets. Thursday Group News The ladies are off for a meal at Birstall Golf Club in January. They are more than optimistic that this outing won’t be cancelled because of the weather; unlike their trip to Waddesden Manor which had to be postponed till a later date because of the snow. Their Christmas concert was in aid of their current project, the Richard Engelgardt Trust. The Ratcliffe Chorale sang to a full house on December 16 and £530 was raised. Any day – including Sunday As we move into 2011, our worship patterns continue to change. The Sunday morning service at 10.30 is still the main Sunday service. Sunday evenings at 6pm are now usually fortnightly. In January, there is just one evening service (9th), but we share worship on the 23rd at St Theresas, and on the 30th at St James, which is a Taize style service. During the week there is a half hour communion service each Wednesday, usually held in the lounge at 9.30am. On Alternate Saturdays ‘Messy Church’ has proved to be very popular for families. All are welcome to any of our services. Blessings to all During December our congregation were given a prayer card with a blessing in it. They were then tasked with giving the card away. You may have received one. In the spirit of the church being the source of many blessings, Birstall Methodist Church wishes rich blessings to all readers of the Post, and the whole village community for 2011. Girls Brigade As the leaders are having planning meetings, the first meeting for the Girls Brigade in 2011 is January 18. From Tony Moore

A New Year present The people of Birstall and Wanlip have had a most welcome start to 2011 with the news that a new Rector has been appointed, after almost a year without a priest in charge of the parish. A date has yet to be arranged, but we are delighted to learn that the Bishop has appointed the Revd Vince Jupp, who will be moving to Birstall from Humberstone, with his wife and family, hopefully by Easter. In the meantime the work and services of the church will continue as usual, although the temporary placement of our curate, Stephen Crofts, to continue his training in another parish, may mean the need to adjust some timings of events. The Revd Colin Rushforth, who has been a tower of strength on many Sundays in the last difficult months has also been prevailed upon to help out at St Aidan’s church in New Parks, so a fond good-bye was said to him at the beginning of December (although he will continue to live in Birstall). The parish is very fortunate to have two retired priests, Revd Sheila Skidmore and the Revd Robin Martin to help with daily and weekly services, with a dedicated team of lay people, readers and pastoral assistants to back them up. Bringing the family together The success of the Journey to Bethlehem ‘experience’, which brought almost 350 children from neighbouring primary schools to St. James church before Christmas, highlights how important the Christian message is for young people. The Open House service, which at present runs monthly at 11am, is another example of how the family (not just the youngest ones) can be involved in an informal way. This month’s service is on the theme of baptism, on Sunday January 9 at St. James. All ages are welcome. What are your talents? One thing which most churches have in common is the need to encourage people to offer their talents or skills to help the church. The two churches of St James, Birstall and Our Lady and St. Nicholas, Wanlip are always in need of volunteers to help with everything from church cleaning to singing, from reading in church to flower arranging or creating art works. Having identified a list of at least 15 different areas where ‘new blood’ would be welcomed we are proposing to have an open morning when anyone can come along for a ‘taster’ session, to talk with those already involved, and perhaps try out something new. The date is Saturday January 22 from 10am to 12.30. Why not come and find an outlet for your own practical gifts? From Beryl McHugh

New waste site A NEW recycling and household waste site opened in Mountsorrel in November. It has been built by the County Council and will replace the outdated facility in Sileby. Costing £1m to build, it enables residents to recycle a variety of items including cooking oil, Tetra Paks, batteries and yoghurt pots, as well as dispose of household rubbish. The Mountsorrel site has a modern design and offers ample parking space, clear signs, easy-to-access containers without steps and recycling for a range of materials, helping to cut waste sent to landfill. The centre is located at an industrial estate on Granite Way, just off the A6, near Budgens. Tony Kershaw, County Council cabinet member for waste management, said: “We are making it easier for residents by replacing an old-fashioned site with a state-of- the-art facility offering excellent access. “Reducing the amount of rubbish sent to landfill is a top priority. Leicestershire is already the top county partnership for recycling but we’re keen to increase this further.” The County Council runs 14 recycling and household waste sites across Leicestershire. Over 72% of rubbish taken to the sites is recycled. For more information on recycling, please visit the County Council’s website at or call 0116 305 0001. The new site at Mountsorrel will be open seven days a week at the following times: Nov-Mar 8am to 6pm Apr-Oct 8am to 8pm


WEA courses

Reducing winter deaths Every year, more than 30,000 older people die from preventable causes over the winter months and we believe that this is an avoidable tragedy that we can help to prevent. We are calling on the both national and local government to implement an emergency winter plan and also change policy to tackle fuel poverty and energy efficiency. Winter health and poverty - the facts • Additional deaths from cold weather contribute to 1 in 20 of all deaths each year. • The winter of 2008-2009 saw deaths in England and Wales jump to 300 a day • For every additional winter death, there are an estimated 8 admissions to hospital, 32 attendances at outpatient care and 30 social service calls. • Over 3.5 million older people (in 2.8 million households) live in fuel poverty in the UK. (Those in fuel poverty spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills.) • One in three eligible people in later life do not claim Pension Credit. • Between 2003 and 2009, average household gas bills doubled and average electricity bills rose by 60 per cent. • I n 2009 fuel bills averaged £1,239 a year. • In 2007, 44 per cent of people in fuel poverty did not receive a means-tested benefit, Disability Living Allowance or tax credit – the most common triggers for assistance from the various fuel poverty programmes. What Age UK has done Last winter a number of small grants were made available from Age UK’s national funds to support older people in need during the prolonged severe weather. The fund provided 98 local Age UKs and Age Concerns with funding of up to £1,000. More than 16,000 older people were helped as a direct result of the grant Mrs L lives in a prefabricated dwelling, with walls of only 2.5 inches thick, in a rural location. The cost of heating her home was astronomical in the very cold spell and was affecting her health. The grant enabled her to have the heating on a little longer than she would otherwise have. Age UK Dudley’s Good Neighbour Scheme volunteers were able to make an additional 210 home visits to older people during January and February 2010. Many of the clients were already housebound or had very poor mobility. The very bad weather made them feel more isolated and alone than usual.


What you can do Sign our pledge and help us petition the Government to support our call for an emergency plan for winter.

Ageism in the Health Service & Social Care Health and social care services have made some progress in tackling age discrimination‚ but people in later life still report feeling that they have had second class treatment and care simply because of their age. For example‚ your doctor may not refer you to a consultant because of your date of birth‚ or inappropriate comments may be made about your age while you are in hospital. You might even be pushed into a care home you don’t want, or be refused specific social services because of your age. If you feel that you have been treated badly in health and social care on the basis of your age‚ here are some actions you can take: What you can do If you’re unhappy with the services or the attitude of staff you come in contact with‚ you should complain. You can often resolve such issues by discussing them with the doctor‚ nurse or the practice manager. If you don’t feel able to raise an issue personally‚ contact your local Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). The staff there will also be able to advise you on how to make a formal complaint about NHS services and can give you details about the Independent Complaints and Advocacy Service (ICAS). Your local NHS Trust and the national advice service NHS Direct will be able to put you in contact with your local PALS. Although there is an upper age limit of 70 on invitations to breast cancer screening‚ you are still entitled to request a screening every 3 years beyond that age. Contact your local breast screening unit via NHS Direct. If you feel that you or your relative are being railroaded into choosing a particular

Charity Motorbike event stolen A GLASS of mulled wine warmed everyone who braved the dreadful weather conditions on Saturday November 27 to give their support to the annual Christmas event arranged by Charnwood Branch of Cancer Research. By popular demand, our entertainment for the evening was a return visit from ‘Yesteryears’ and we had a full programme of singing, fun and laughter. 78 people joined us on this cold evening. We thank them for not only braving the weather but giving up the opportunity to watch the two main attractions on the television – Strictly Come Dancing which included ‘dancing’ Ann Widdicombe and the X factor. Once again we were very grateful Severn Trent Water for allowing us to use the Cropston Visitors Centre – this event was the 10th event we have held there. On that particular evening the Centre looked like a fairy castle amidst all the snow and frost. The evening raised £1,026 which was a truly amazing amount considering the dreadful weather conditions. Many thanks to all our friends and family who continue to support us in our work to raise much needed funds for research into the many treatments and cures of cancer and if you were unable to join us for this event we shall be holding a Beetle Drive at the Woodhouse Eaves Village Hall on Saturday May 7, 2011. Hope to see you there! From Jan Gaskell Chair of the Charnwood Branch of CRUK

POLICE ARE investigating the theft of a distinctive motorcycle from Birstall. A red and white Yamaha motorcycle, registration number EY07 00V, was stolen from an outbuilding on Lawn Avenue, Birstall sometime between 9.30pm on Friday November 12 and 9am on Saturday November 13. PC Paul Anderson said: “I would ask the public to have a good look at the picture and contact the police if they know the motorcycle’s current whereabouts. I would also like to speak to anyone who has been approached by someone selling a similar motorcycle. Any calls received will be treated in confidence.” Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC 1921 Paul Anderson on 0116 222 2222, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key in the officer’s identification number 1921. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

care home rather than being offered choice particularly when moving out of hospital - be aware of your rights. Under the ‘Choice of Accommodation’ Directive you have the right to choose a care home. There are alternatives‚ such as help at home or moving into sheltered housing. If you are unhappy about the care that is being offered following discharge from hospital‚ you should request a review. The NHS cannot discharge you until the review is completed. If you think you need help from social services‚ don’t be brushed off. Take up your right to an assessment which will identify any help you‚ or your carer‚ may need. If you’re not happy with the outcome of the assessment‚ you can complain through the Local Authority complaints procedure. If you are still unhappy‚ you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. Be aware that if the Local Authority decides you need services‚ you may be entitled to the option of a cash payment (also called a direct payment) instead so that you can purchase your own care. Local Authorities can levy a charge for services‚ so if you have continuing health needs after leaving hospital check whether you are eligible for continuing NHS funding. You may not have to pay for your care. There are national rules which the Local Authority must follow when calculating your contribution towards care home costs. You can get involved in health services locally through your local Patient Forum they often work closely with local services and are always on the lookout for older people to get involved. Contact your local Age Concern/Age UK through our Advice Line for more details. Age discrimination and the law The Equality Act is a wide-reaching piece of legislation. Various parts of the Act will be phased in at different times over the next few years. Unfair discrimination against adults when providing goods and services, including health and social care services, will be banned when the relevant part of the Act comes into force. This is expected to be in 2012. More information If you have been in this situation you may find our factsheet helpful: Resolving problems and making a complaint about care (188 KB) Call our Advice line on 0800 169 65 65 65 From Age UK

Flower club BIRSTALL FLOWER Club travelled back in time for their open evening at the end of November. Patti Dawson and Kate Russell presented a ‘Tudor Christmas’ and members were treated to an evening of Tudor folklore, early carols and even Tudor face creams. A spokeswoman said: “The flowers were truly magnificent and fully in keeping with the theme of the evening. Patti and Kate congratulated us on the friendliness and cheerfulness of our club. “We have just completed a very successful year with an increased membership and are now looking forward to a full and interesting programme for 2011.”

Planning P/10/2778/2: 55 Gwendolin Ave – erection of roof extension to side of dwelling P/10/2764/2: 75 Fielding Rd – erection of single storey extension to rear of dwelling P/10/2685/2: Park Rd – erection of two-storey extension and formation of pitched roof at ground floor to rear of dwelling P/10/2643/2: 6 Laxton Close – conversion of garage to habitable room P/10/2678/2: Longslade Community College, Wanlip Lane – regrading of land to form landscape viewing mound and outdoor teaching facility

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Afternoon Tai Chi The soft flowing movements of Tai Chi promote health and mental focus and one posture of the 24 sequential movements is taught each week. Tutor: Laraine Tucker Fee £78. Discounted £70.20 (not available to the Retired) or Free. Venue: Birstall Methodist Church Rooms, Wanlip Lane, Birstall LE4 4JS Date: Tuesdays 1.30-3.30pm. 12 meetings from January 18, 2011 Journeys Into Art From the Renaissance masters to Cezanne, Rousseau and Rothko. Explore some of the key turning points in the history of art. No experience necessary-just a lively, open-minded interest in art! Booking essential. Tutor: Janis Baker. Fee: £58.50 Discounted £52.65 (not available to the Retired) or Free. Venue: The Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley LE7 7PR. Date: Wednesdays 7.15-9.15pm 9 meetings from January 19, 2011 History Our popular Tuesday morning class held at the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane from 10-11.30pm starting on the January 18, 2011. Enquiries to Helen Haythornthwaite 0116 2302525 Further information from: Marion Vincent 0116 2303405 Franca Freeman 0116 2362566 Postal bookings to Mr. J. Laurance 33 Loughborough Road, Hoton, Leicester LE12 5SF. Cheques payable to WEA Birstall and Rothley Branch.


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.

AIRPORT CARS Birstall. Airports, Seaports, Long Distance, Courier. Tel: 0777 1984806 TELEPHONE EXTENSION Sockets fitted by exBT engineer. Cable, BT and digital TV. Over 25 yrs experience. John 2675132 AMLI DESIGN Architectural Consultancy. Plans drawn and submitted. Extensions, conversions, new build. David Ives B.Sc.(Hons) FBEng MCIOB 0116 2674395 / 07974807111 FOR HELP with the emotional ups and downs of life. Registered Bach Flower Practitioner and Qualified Counsellor 2209294/07544765091


the birstall post JAN 2011

The February issue of THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Feb 4. The copy deadline is Jan 21.

Kids’ party cash raised A FUNDRAISING bike ride and a cake stall organised by Longslade students has raised £500 for a children’s charity. The bike riding trio of Roy Rollings (17), Thomas Manship (18) and Devin Patel (18) rode to Leicester and back from Longslade on a tandem and a rowbike. Roy said: “The money we were raising goes towards a huge party held in January each year for children in foster care in Leicestershire. We are passionate that young people in the county should have a good festive season and that nobody should go without.” Students Hannah Barr (18), Ellie Hotson (17) and Naomi Hartopp (17) helped organise the cake sale and for the last two years have helped to set up the party, which is held at the Aylestone Leisure Centre and attended by over 500 children and their foster carers.

School’s medal haul PUPILS OF local dance school ‘Steps school of theatre dance’ entered their first dance competition in November. Pupils from Steps have been working hard for several months to perfect their technique in all categories of dance, and the hard work paid off as they came away with five gold medals, seven silver medals and four bronze medals, at the Jaide Stage Studios dance festival held at Lutterworth College. Principal Michelle Upton said: “This is fantastic, they have worked really hard. For the girls to achieve these medals in their first competition is outstanding”. Pupils are now working towards their next festival in March and a show in May. Classes are held at the Birstall Methodist Church throughout the week.

Watermead Country Park TWO BRONZE Age people and an Aurochs (an extinct wild ox) will feature in a new piece of public art to be located in Watermead Country Park. Leicestershire people were invited to vote for who, or what, appeared on a new portrait bench to mark Watermead Country Park’s Sustrans’ Connect2 project. The bench will feature silhouette style cut-outs of the three figures. The archaeological trio fought off tough competition in the public vote, including naruralist David Attenborough, transport pioneer Thomas Cook and rugby world cup winner Martin Johnson. Despite the well known names in the shortlist it was the wildlife that proved most popular – a close second to the Aurocks and the Bronze Age people was a wildlife trio, featuring a heron, dragonfly and reeds. The portrait bench is an art initiative from UK charity Sustrans, which is one of the largest commissioners of public art in the UK and is the charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike and public transport for everyday journeys. Watermead’s Connect2 project is a £1.4million scheme to improve paths, access and bridges in and around the park. • Resurfacing of the towpath from Thurmaston lock north to and beyond the Hope and Anchor pub have made the path more accessible for cyclists, the disabled and pushchairs. • A count of visitors to the park, using the

bridge at the bottom of White Horse Lane has revealed an annual usage estimate of 269,568. Visitors were counted over a four day period between the hours of 0700 and 1900. The count revealed that 18.6% if visitors were children, 50% male and 31.4% female. Of the cyclists counted 20.2% were children, 61.5% were male and 18.4% female. The count was carried out by Sustrans in April 2009. • The County Council have announced plans to provide a cycle link through Watermead Country Park between Thurmaston and Stonehill and Longslade schools. The cycle route will be part on carriageway and part on footway. A speed table is proposed at the Wanlip Lane/Dalby Avenue junction to reduce vehicle speeds and make crossing easier for pedestrians and cyclists. Birstall Parish Council were consulted about the plans and expressed the view that the speed table was unnecessary and should be replaced with a traffic light controlled pedestrian crossing. To keep up to date with work on Connect2 visit or check Watermead’s facebook page:

King & I TWO PUPILS at Highcliffe school have secured parts in The King and I at Leicester’s Curve theatre. Vivek Parekh (7) is playing ‘Dirty Hands Boy’ and Buddha, and Alyshia Dhakk (8) is Princess Ying Yaowlak. Pictured left in his costume, Vivek said: “I am so excited, the production is so colourful and fun and I feel very lucky to get a part in such a big production.” • Mrs Sim Yoxen won the Birstall Post competition for tickets to see The King and I.

The February issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Feb 4. The copy deadline is Jan 21.

Main pic: (l-r) Roy Rollings, Devin Patel and Thomas Manship

Knife wielding robbers A ROBBER threatened a Birstall shopkeeper with a knife while his accomplice smashed display cases and stole £60,000 of jewellery. The robbery happened at Birstall Jewellers on Sibson Road at 9.44am on Saturday November 27. Shopowner Hasmukh Shah was on the phone in a room at the back of the shop when he heard the shop door opening. “I just thought it was a customer coming in then heard my wife call, ‘we’re being robbed!’ When I rushed in I saw two men in balaclavas and they were holding a knife and said ‘don’t move’. I was looking at the knife and then my wife and we watched as they quickly put all the rings in a bag and ran out.” Mr Shah was able to push a silent panic button and the Police arrived in 3 minutes, but the whole robbery lasted only 60 seconds, with the robbers escaping in a getaway vehicle driven by a third man. Mr Shah said: “ It has been so shocking and I could not sleep for a week afterwards. We’ve started keeping the door locked now, and customers have to knock on the door.”

The two robbers were around 5’8” tall, medium build, dressed in black and grey. They were seen getting into a blue saloon car parked on The Meadway that drove off towards Colindale Avenue. Mr Shah said: “Birstall people have been so caring, lots of people have been coming into the shop with flowers and cards.” Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information should contact DC 4442 Kerry Deadman on 222 2222 or call Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.


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

0116 2674213 Correspondence, news etc can be handed in at: Birstall Library or to our office in the Youth Centre, Longslade College, Birstall

Conley classes ROSEMARY CONLEY’S Diet and Fitness classes at Birstall Golf Club have been so successful they have extended to other venues in the village. On Tuesdays and Thursdays there are new classes at Stonehill school and on Wednesdays at the Midlands Co-op Sports and Social Club on Birstall Road. Classes are from 6-7.30pm. Rosemary herself will continue to lead the classes at Birstall Golf Club on Mondays, 5.30-7pm and 7-8.15pm, but places are limited. To book your place call 01509 620 222.

Tel: 0116 267 2583 Mob: 07967 191975 Buy DELL products here

Birstall Post Jan 2011 (330)  

Birstall Post Jan 2011

Birstall Post Jan 2011 (330)  

Birstall Post Jan 2011