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the Birstall post Y O U R


MARCH 2011


Armed raider flees A ROBBER who threatened a Birstall shopkeeper with a gun is being sought by Police. The robbery happened at Wanlip Store, 52 Wanlip Avenue at 10.40am on Thursday February 17. The man entered carrying a revolver which he pushed in the face of Dharmesh

Patel (25) and demanded cash. Dharmesh pushed the shop’s panic button under the counter and the robber fled, turning into Lambourne Road in the direction of Watermead Country Park.

Pic: Wanlip Store

“It was a very scary experience” said Dharmesh, who ran after the fleeing robber with a hockey stick. “I don’t really know why I did it, I felt I had to know where he was running to so he could be caught, but people are saying I was a bit crazy to do it what with him having a gun. I lost him on Meadow Lane. “It’s a bit of a shock something like this Continued on page 2

Schools’ African links SIX AFRICAN teachers visited Birstall schools last month as part of a ‘Connecting Classrooms’ project. The teachers, from Ghana and Sierra Leone, spent time at Highcliffe, Stonehill and Longslade schools. Stonehill teacher and International Schools Co-ordinator Helen Curtis said: “The Connecting Classrooms project is a valuable experience for students as it gives them an opportunity to learn about real life in Africa and to see beyond the poverty which may be their only impression of these countries. The visit of the teachers allowed pupils to ask questions and gain an insight into the lives of people living in Ghana and Sierra Leone. This kind of interaction proved to be exciting for the pupils and generated a real interest in all Continued on page 2

Pics: the Afican guests enjoyed a concert performed by students, including Highcliffe school’s choir (right)

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the birstall post MAR 2011

Continued from page 1 three schools.” Stonehill student Georgia Hill said: “It was very nice to meet our African visitors and everybody made them very welcome. It was great to have them here as it teaches us about what they do and do not have and it shows that we are lucky with what we have got.” “When the African visitors came they told us a little about where they came from. They showed us how to sing in their language and they showed us some photos from their school. They showed us how to dress in their country and how to carry a baby on their back. We had loads of fun” said student Esther Gbadeyan. Helen added: “The pupils learned that Ghana and Sierra Leone are two very different countries rather than seeing all African

countries as one. They also discovered that there are many similarities between young people’s lives there as there are here. One of the main benefits of being involved in the project has also been the opportunity to work more closely with the family of schools in Birstall. The week long visit concluded with a farewell concert at Stonehill with participating students from all three schools. Helen said: “The Highcliffe pupils stole the show with their beautiful singing of traditional Ghanian music.” One of the Ghanian teachers Sarfo Hayford said: “One of the main differences with our schools is that at home, we the teachers move from class to class as there are as many as 60 pupils in our classes. Also here the children seem so free and express themselves so

Pic: African visitors Rose Gailey, Sarfo Hayford, Marian Quansah, Abdul Salam Conteh, Sarah Bangura and Cecilia Comteh with teachers Helen Curtis, Emma Hardy and International Links Coordinator Helen Trilling

easily, they are not at all shy. Links with the African schools will be maintained, with year 8 pupils making a video about Stonehill and the local community. There will also be a poetry and art exchange this summer. Armed robber continued from page 1

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happening in Birstall, a nice quiet village.” Police believe the man may also be responsible for a robbery the previous day at a convenience store on Rookery Lane, Thurmaston. He threatened the shopkeeper with a firearm and escaped with cash, alcohol and cigarettes. Detective Constable Sean Lynch is appealing for anyone who has any information to get in touch. He said: “In both cases the victims were thankfully left unharmed but have obviously been left extremely shocked and shaken by what happened. We believe that both these robberies have been committed by the same man due to the similarities between the two. “Officers are carrying out high visibility patrols in the area and police will be visiting and advising other local stores but are hoping the public may have some key information about this suspect to help with our investigation. If there is anyone who saw this man after either of these robberies or knows who he may be we would urge them to contact police. Even the smallest of information you have may be useful to our enquiries.” Anyone with information is asked to call DC Sean Lynch on 0116 222 2222, follow the instructions to leave a message for an officer and when prompted key in his identification number 1114. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers which is free and anonymous on 0800 555 111

The April issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Apr 2. The copy deadline is Mar 18.

Rotary club’s gift OUR PICTURE shows young people at Birstall Youth Café with Wreake Valley Rotarians and their donation to the project. The Wreake Valley Rotary Club have provided a gas barbeque and some sports equipment for the drop in café, which is located at the sports pavilion on the School Lane playing field and run by Birstall Parish Council. Fourteen year old Luke Hartwell, Chairman of Birstall Youth Club, welcomed Rotarians Nigel Coleman, Chris Battye and Bob Smith. He said: “I would like to thank the Wreake Valley Rotary Club for their generosity. The ping pong balls will be most useful and the footballs will be put to good use. The BBQ is just what we wanted and will be used throughout the summer months.

“We will be using the BBQ for our fundraising event for the British Legion’s ‘Great Poppy Weekend’ on the evening of Friday June 10. We would like to send invitations to the Wreake Valley Rotary Club to come along on that day and test the BBQ.” Chris Battye said: “This is a cause we are only too happy to support. We are always happy to hear from local residents or groups who need a bit of help with funds, equipment or time. Most people have heard of Rotary but are not really sure what we do. To find out more or to contact us please visit”

Burglar jailed

Park cuts?

A PROLIFIC burglar has been jailed for three years. Simon Paul Langton (26) and accomplice Thomas Parrott (29) admitted burgling a house on Woodgate Drive on September 29. The homeowner awoke the next day to find that thieves had stolen three bicycles and a strimmer from her garage. Two of the cycles were recovered from the scene of the next burglary the pair committed that night, on Goscote Hall Road. Here a wallet, alcohol and a Vauxhall Corsa were stolen. Langton admitted one other burglary and theft of magazines and cards left outside a shop he was living above on Belgrave Boulevard, Mowmacre Hill. Leicester Crown Court heard that it was Langton’s third appearance for house burglaries. Langton received a three year jail sentence and Parrott 12 months, suspended for two years, with supervision and a six month drug rehabilitation programme.

WATERMEAD COUNTRY Park could lose two of its four park rangers this summer, according to reports. The County Council says it is reviewing staffing levels as part of its budget cuts, but has not confirmed the job losses. A total of eight country park rangers across the county may lose their jobs. The County says it has produced a review of the country parks service which contains recommendations to “reduce overall staffing and associated operational budgets and the range and number of types of activities.”

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Fun on and off the court YOU’RE HAVING a laugh, surely! Well, members of Birstall Watermead Tennis Club will be doing just that on Friday March 18. The reason for all the jollity is a Comic Relief tennis tournament to raise funds for the famous, ever-growing charity. The theme is Heroes and Villains, so players are being asked to go in fancy dress, raising the bizarre prospect of Superman pitted against the Devil across the other side of the net! The event is just one of a series of fun attractions at the club that are planned.

Pic: Club members enjoy a Wii games night

Parish Council notes A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on February 14. PCSO Stuart Venables presented the crime report. There were 11 more crimes than the previous month, but no burglary dwelling, compared to 11 the previous month. There has been no progress on the robbery at Birstall Jewellers. PCSO Venables said there was no firm news available on changes to policing but PCSO posts are safe until 2012. Councillors reported a noisy motor bike in the vicinity of Elmfield Avenue and the Gates estate. PCSO Venables said that if the owner was caught the vehicle could be confiscated. The council agreed to accept responsibility for the Stonehill Avenue toilets from April 1, 2011. it was agreed to set aside £10,000 a year to cover the running costs and potential repairs resulting from vandalism. It was reported that a member of staff has damaged the School Lane playing field car park barrier by driving into it. Repairs will cost £520. The incident was felt to be a lapse of concentration and no disciplinary action will be taken. It was reported that there will be no provision of allotments within the Hallam Fields site. The Council is obtaining quotes for the repointing of the wall at the School Lane playing field Memorial Gates.

Last month members enjoyed a special Wii games night and on March 30 there will be a Pay and Play, a social tennis event so start off the season, followed by chilli and jacket potatoes, plus a chance to rejoin the club at a discounted rate. Team practices for the summer leagues – both men’s and ladies – start the week beginning March 28. Congratulations to the first winners of the Singles Super League. They are: Division One: Ciaran Bibby; Division Two: John Salisbury; Division three: Daryl Hill and Division Four: Spencer Wesson. The next round of the competition is now in full swing. Players taking part in the annual Winter Team Shield doubles event have been defying wind and rain since the competition began in January. Six teams of four players have been battling in all weathers to see who will come out on top – the event comes to a climax at the end of March. For those interested in playing tennis the whole year round – during daytime or Welding to MOT standards under lights – the club is based at the MOT & Co-op Sports and Mechanical Social Club on Birstall Road. Repairs Contact chairman James Berry Servicing on 2209384, secreAll Work Guaranteed at Competitive Rates tary Wendy Morley No VAT Charge on 2674844 or treasurer Roger Bartlett on 2675273 for more details. Mob: 0796 7544730




Woodlands’ fundraising event A CHRISTMAS extravaganza at a Birstall nursery raised money to help a blind little girl see. Woodlands Day Nursery on Park Road organised the event, which featured stalls, a Santa’s grotto and a mobile children’s farm, raising £1095 for the ‘Help Alarna Jai See’ campaign. Alarna (2) has septo optic dysphasia and will be going to China for stem cell treatment. Mother Natasha Hughes said: “I’d like to thank Woodlands and all the parents for holding this event for Alarna, we are very grateful for their generosity and are now very close to our £15,000 target.” Proprietors of Woodlands Katey Lester and Robin Batten said: “We attended a quiz night at Birstall Bowls Club in aid of Alarna and felt very moved by this cause. As Woodlands likes to support local charities, we wanted to help Alarna.” Pic: Natasha Hughes (left) and Alarna with Woodland’s Nursery Manager Vanessa Fanton


the birstall post MAR 2011

Baby unit celebration

Cheer squad tryouts THE AWARD winning Dynamite Cheerleaders will be holding tryouts/open training session for a brand new senior cheer squad. For more information, dates and times please contact the number below. No experience is necessary but you will need to be very enthusiastic, hardworking and a team player aged between 13 and 25. Contact Amy Owen 07921768449 Pic: Dynamite Cheerleaders at a street fair. Photo courtesy of the Thurmaston Times

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BIRSTALL METHODIST Church hosted a celebration service for The Bark Foundation on Sunday January 16 to mark the opening of the New Baby Unit at the HOTPEC Orphanage in Buea, Cameroon. The church was packed with members of the Church and the many supporters of The Bark Foundation who have helped to raise £45,000 in 30 months. A celebration lunch followed the service. The new unit was opened and handed over to the management of HOTPEC by David and Joy Bark when they visited Cameroon in November 2010. David Bark said: “In Cameroon we made it very clear that our achievement was the result of wonderful support from hundreds of friends and other organisations, including three Leicestershire schools. Our friends at the orphanage cannot stop thanking us! We received another loving email last week in which they tell us that they have employed a cleaner to make sure that the building is well kept. That shows how much they value their new facility, because their funds are very limited. “When we arrived in Cameroon last November we were so pleased that we had borrowed the money to complete the project as we found some of the children were sleeping three to a bed – numbers had increased from 85 to 115. We


Colourful future THE BIRSTALL POST will be published in colour from April. As well as being in colour, future issues will be in a smaller format than the current A3 size. The new page will be slightly larger than A4, 222mm wide by 315mm. The paper used will be of the same quality. Jerry Jackson, Editor of The Birstall Post said: “Readers and advertisers have been asking me for colour for some time. I hope readers will particularly enjoy seeing photographs in colour as I believe they are an important element of the paper. “Newspaper advertising has declined significantly during this economic downturn and the less advertising we sell, the less pages we can afford to print and the less news we can carry. I hope that by offering colour to advertisers we can attract new customers, maintain and grow our page length and publish all the news that I can gather and that readers are sending to me in increasing amounts.” Sister papers The Rothley Post and the Mountsorrel Post will also be in colour and the same format as The Birstall Post.

Pic: David & Joy Bark in African dress

were delighted to find that CIF Cameroon (an African charity) had donated new bunk beds so that some of the older children could share with the infants in the new building, offering relief for their overcrowding. The orphanage operates as one huge family so the older children will attend to the little ones if they wake in the night – and Sister Grace is nearby if needed.” Birstall Methodist Church is the spiritual home of The Bark Foundation. In 2007 several members of the Birstall congregation with other members of churches within the Leicester North Circuit made a visit to Cameroon which was organised by Rev Edward Sakwe who was then a minister within the Circuit. Photographs, videos of the occasion and a walk through of the baby unit can be seen by logging on to

NHW news & crime report THE INTRODUCTION of Birstall Police Office has shown a positive shift in relationships between the community of Birstall and the local beat officers. The base in Birstall at 10 Sibson Road allows our local officers, PC Carruthers, PCSO Butler and PCSO Venables to operate from the centre of Birstall. This police presence has been mentioned a number of times to Birstall & Wanlip NHW. It is not very often you will pass through the village without seeing the officers out on their bikes, or walking: a positive move all round. The NHW group work closely with Leicestershire Constabulary ensuring local issues are a priority. I feel on behalf of Birstall and Wanlip residents, a thank you to our local officers and Inspector Duncan Southall LPU Commander is due. We aim to continue our work with the local police and focus on issues centred in Birstall and Wanlip. The AGM for the Village Watch will be held on Thursday May 12 at 7.45pm at Birstall Methodist Church. We also have a number of vacancies for the committee. We currently have three vacancies for committee members, if you are interested please contact the Watch on 0116 2676397 or email Visit our website to keep up to date with news and events too. From Roy Rollings, Birstall & Wanlip NHW Committee Member Crime Report: Jan 9 – Feb 12, 2011 Assaults 5, harassment 1, burglary 0, burglary other 6, damage 12, damage to motor

vehicle 4, drugs 1, fraud 9, public order 2, robbery 1, theft 6, theft of cycle 1, theft from motor vehicle 4, theft of motor vehicle 2, theft stores 2. Six people were arrested and charged for racially aggravated fear of violence. Five people were arrested and charged for fraud. One person has been arrested and bailed for a public order offence. One suspect has been arrested and bailed for theft. Between 2pm on Monday January 24 and 9am on Tuesday January 25 a stained glass window was damaged at St James Church, Church Hill. Police priorities for January to June 2011 are: • To work with partner agencies and residents to reduce levels of antisocial behaviour, underage drinking and drug misuse around the garages at the rear of Windmill Avenue, near to the junction of Wanlip lane. This is occurring most times of the day or night, but predominantly evenings and especially Friday and Saturday evenings. • To work with partner agencies and residents to reduce incidents of damage to motor vehicles and antisocial behaviour in the areas of Dalby Avenue, Newton Drive and Worcester Avenue between 9pm to 2am From PC 2139 Richard Carruthers, PCSO 6611 Mark Butler and PCSO 6438 Stuart Venables

Fish & chips AN EMPTY shop on Sibson Road can be used as a fish and chip shop following a planning inspector’s ruling. Last year Charnwood Borough Council refused planning permission for a hot food takeaway at 121 Sibson Road, opposite Barclays bank. It said there would be an “unacceptable level of disturbance to nearby residents” and a lack of car parking. The applicant appealed the decision and in September 2010 a planning inspector allowed the appeal and granted planning permission. The applicant has indicated their intention to run a fish and chip shop from the premises. The permission states that the premises shall not be open to customers outside the hours 0700 to 2300.


Public toilet saved

Beryl’s birthday bash

THE PUBLIC toilets on Stonehill Avenue will remain open after Birstall Parish Council agreed to take on responsibility. The Parish Council criticised Charnwood for its decision to threaten the toilets with closure unless the Parish Council took them on at an annual cost of £10,000. Parish Clerk, Steve Blackburn said: “The Parish Council is still of the opinion that public conveniences are a Borough responsibility and that the Borough has not yet done enough to cut ‘fat’ before attacking what is very much a front line service. “While it is true to say that the costs will now fall more closely on the community that makes use of the facility, there are economies of scale which will be lost and the Parish Council has had to set aside £10,000 per year to cover running costs and potential repairs, a sum of money which it felt could be better spent on other facilities.” The Parish Council had consulted shopkeepers about the toilets and the majority wanted them kept open. At their meeting in February, councillors identified the impact of closure on businesses in the village and of the importance of the toilets to the elderly and young children. Charnwood are ‘devolving ownership’ of seven public toilets in the Borough : Birstall, Anstey, Barrow, Shepshed, Sileby, Syston and Woodhouse. This will save the Borough £40,000 a year. Facilities in Queens Park, Market Yard and Biggin Street in Loughborough will remain open. Toilets in Southfield Park and Beehive Lane in Loughborough will close.

ONE OF the founding members of a ladies bowling club enjoyed a surprise birthday party at the club she helped start, surrounded by family and friends. Beryl Sherriff of Spinney Rise was the first president of the St Margaret’s Co-operative Ladies Bowling Club in 1993. The club organised her 90th birthday party at their Birstall Road clubhouse in February, as a ‘thank you’ for all she has done for the club over the years. Beryl said: “I can hardly put into words how wonderful it is to see so many old friends and to have all of my family here today is absolutely lovely.” Twenty members of her family attended along with ladies who had bowled with Beryl and members of the Executive of the Leicestershire Ladies County Bowling Associa-

Friends of Rixensart

A NEW national website which allows the public to see what crime and antisocial behaviour has happened on their door step was launched last month. Leicestershire Constabulary has joined all other Forces across England and Wales by publishing new street-level crime, antisocial behaviour (ASB) and local policing information via a new website – The new site allows the public of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to check on the crime and antisocial behaviour that has happened on their street in recent weeks by simply entering their postcode. This transparent new level of crime and local policing information will help people to find out what’s happening and will enable them to hold their local police and partners to account for the action being taken and how issues are being tackled. Superintendent Ian Coulton, of Leicestershire Constabulary, said: “Leicestershire Constabulary is committed to supporting the publication of street level crime and antisocial behaviour information. This will mean that communities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will have access to information about crime, along with details of their neighbourhood policing teams, at the touch of a button. “We hope it will encourage more people to get involved in working with or supporting our local policing teams to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in their area.” The launch of this website is part of a national programme, which will be broadened over future months, to provide other policing and criminal justice information so local people can get a better understanding of what’s happening in their area.

IN 2009 Birstall Twinning Association was dissolved and a less formal organisation, Friends of Rixensart was formed to take its place. Spokeswoman Liz Thornber said: “Since that time we have held a successful programme of events and had a lot of fun. Our activities are varied and have included a wind band concert, a fine dining evening, a barbeque, a raclette evening, Sunday lunch, Beaujolais Nouveau evening and a talk from a well known local speaker on the history of Birstall.” Events planned for this year include a skittles evening at a local pub, a quiz evening, a Royal Wedding afternoon tea, a boules match, and a local speaker. Liz added: “We hold a weekend every two years when members of the Rixensart community visit and we host and entertain them. On the year in between we visit Belgium by Eurostar and are hosted in their homes. “From June 3-6 this year we are receiving a group of visitors from Belgium and if you are able to help with offering accommodation then please get in touch. You would of course be invited to take part in the weekend activities. If you think the activities which we organise every month sound like fun and you would like to join us then please contact us.” Ann on 0116 2674994 or Liz on 0116 2673610 can give you further information.

WI news AT BIRSTALL and Wanlip WI’s February meeting Programme Secretary Kathy Wright was presented with surprise cakes as a reward for attending the meeting on her birthday.

Pic: Beryl and her family at her birthday party

tion. The Association’s President, Sonya Brown, presented Beryl with a bouquet and thanked her for her many years of service to the club and the sport. The Club’s secretary Kay Cottingham said: “Unfortunately Beryl is no longer able to bowl as her sight is not what it was. She is however a great advocate of the club and comes along to support us in our games when she is able. She also attends all our fundraising events

Views sought on public Crime on art your street


A MAJOR piece of public art is planned for Birstall’s new park and ride site. Residents are being invited to a public consultation event at Birstall Village Hall on Wednesday March 16, 1-8pm. Visitors will be able to view the proposals submitted by the three shortlisted artists : Charlie Carter, Dan Archer and Tom Hare. They will be present to answer questions, and any comments made by visitors will be taken into account when one of the three artists is chosen. A steering group made up of local councillors and county council officers will make the final decision on which of the three artists is chosen. The artwork will cost £57,000 provided by Hallam Fields developers Jelsons as part of the section 106 agreement negotiated when planning permission was granted. The artwork will be installed by June 2011.

and helps out where she can. In spite of her age, Beryl still has her wits about her and is always smartly turned out. She also dons her uniform and joins the ‘Guard of Honour’ when one of our ladies is lost to us. She is a strong minded lady with a great sense of fun and has been, and is, an asset to our club. We look forward to enjoying her company for many more years.”

The WI knock-out skittles competition has restarted so a practice night with partners is to be arranged to give us a head start. A coach trip to Ascot on June 17 is also planned. Our knowledge of garden birds was greatly enhanced by our enthusiastic guest speaker Chris Andrew from RSPB. His half-hour talk overran by 15 mins but we were all so spellbound that we didn’t notice. Christine Warren had mixed feelings about winning the ‘bird in any mode’ competition as she will now have to polish the silver cup until next month’s meeting on March 7 when our speaker Steve Brooks from Glenfield Travel will tell his ‘Amusing Tales’. As usual we meet at the Community Rooms at Highcliffe Primary School at 7.15pm. Why not come along for a free trial meeting where you will be made very welcome or visit Remember you are not too young to join the WI!


the birstall post MAR 2011


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:

Tesco vouchers Appeal from Longslade Community college – Tesco vouchers for schools! As usual, Longslade are collecting the above and would once again appreciate your support with this collection, with vouchers issued from 28.02.11 until 08.05.11. To date, we have been able to order 5 computers, not to mention two printers, a digital camera, sensor equipment for scientific experiments, software, a portable interactive whiteboard, hard drive, A4 flatbed scanner and replacement whiteboard pens. The college have 14,186 vouchers banked from last year to start this year’s collection and need 11,664 for another computer which is their aim this year. You can either drop your vouchers in at Longslade Reception or post them into the college, whichever is most convenient for you. Sheila Beatty ICT Technician, Longslade

Eyes down I am writing about all the letters of complaints about dog fouling.

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I quite agree with them it doesn’t get any better. There is someone who continually leaves large piles of mess in Acacia Avenue, always outside people’s houses. By the size it is no small animal. It is quite easy to have a small plastic bag in one’s pockets or handbag. They are such neat piles, it would be moved in one scoop. Are people too lazy, idle or embarrassed. There are better things to look at when out walking, without having to keep your eyes on the ground. Mrs Bernice Beardmore

Thanks Gordon, Gillian & Steve Bowler would like to thank their many frieds, neighbours and colleagues for their kidness, support, prayers and condolences. Thank you also for the most generous donations which will be split between the Oncology Dept, LRI and Marie Curie Cancer Care. Gordon, Gillian & Steve Bowler

Congratulations I would like to congratulate my old mate Carl Gunns on his much deserved Leicester Mercury Sports Awards win. I have been to the awards with Carl on two previous occasions when Carl was runner up both times. The competition just to make the final three is a great achievement in itself and he has finally won the main award. I often pass the gym on Birstall Road and the lights are always on and the door always open, Carl gives up nearly all of his free time helping and encouraging the youngsters of Birstall and the surrounding areas, keep up the good work Carl which I know you will and if justice is done you should surely be in line for Birstall Citizen of the Year 2011. Andy Corbett Former Birstall Citizen of the Year

Shame Well, what a shame that there has been graffiti (yellow paint?) on Birstall School Lane Park – and especially on the lovely mural on the walls of the Birstall Village Cricket Club house. What do these yobs get out of doing something like that – what is most worrying is that only the face of the foreign cricketer has been defaced – a racist attack? Whilst not undermining this attack I do wonder whether the Birstall Parish Councillors will come up with an attempt to blame dogs for this – they do seem to take great pleasure in putting the blame for most things on dogs (and dog walkers) - maybe we have a racist poodle/spaniel in our midst! Pat Herbert

Thanks I am writing on behalf of Birstall Playgroup for Children with Special Needs to say

thank you very much to the Lounge Lizards for thinking of us when you were ‘winding up’ your group. Your donation of £431.48 represents a significant contribution to our funds. We run the group two mornings each week and it provides a valuable service for 20 children with disabilities and their families. We are entirely dependent on voluntary funds. The group is in desperate need of a storage shed for our equipment. Play equipment, including specialist equipment for our children, is very expensive to replace and at present the multiple users of the storage that we have, means that it gets damaged and is difficult to keep track of. We have been awarded a grant from a local Trust fund for half of the cost, your donation will ensure that we can now go ahead with this project. Deborah Hoggar Playgroup Leader

Thanks On behalf of all the groups that Daphne Stephenson runs, supports, manages and organises I would like to say a big THANK YOU. I have moved to Queniborough but I cannot give up Birstall and Daphne’s groups! Thank you Daphne for everything you do. You are much appreciated by many people. Ros Marriott

Love I know by the time this letter is received Valentine’s Day will be long gone but nonethe-less thought enclosed poem could be shared by many of your readers. For love is not just a one day a year event – it is constant and takes many paths through life. For that reason I enclose a poem, written by a 13 year old schoolboy, that to my mind expresses love’s intangibles perfectly. I am of course biased for that 13 year old is my grandson, Harry, whom I love very much Keith Miller Love It is simply complicated It has many paths, some that are faded It is the fire that melts no ice It is a gamble, but I rolled the dice It is serious, it is a joke It is an unseeable smoke But you made it clear for me to see I am you and you are me We are one, we are the same I am the fire and you are the flames You are my friend, you are my love I am the air and you are my dove You give me strength, you give me power I am the field and you are my flower It is an unseeable smoke It is serious, it is a joke It is a gamble, but I rolled the dice It is the fire that melts no ice It has many paths some that are faded It is simply complicated Love By Harry Prema

Cycle sense As a daily cyclist and dog walker of the Watermead Park areas I should be a good judge of some ideal rules and restrictions for the cyclist, the cyclist must always give way to pedestrians when off road, the cyclist when approaching pedestrians must slow down and sound bell, particularly when approaching from behind. There are many cyclists out there who are cycling as a way of fitness, great! But do your best time, or work out safely without putting others in danger (perhaps, try the road). There are also many cyclists that just don’t really care and peddle along with no consideration for others, and of course there are some very considerate cyclists who would be quite happy to see a few rules in place. Name & address supplied

Thanks We would like to thank all those who helped and those who supported our coffee morning on Saturday February 12. £400 was raised towards the cost of sending our Samaritans Purse Shoe Boxes for 2011. The St Theresa’s 2011 trip list is now available, contact Daphne on 2675721 for information. Daphne Stephenson and Hazel Shaw

Noticeboard all details printed free Birstall Birdwatching Club presents

Jewels of the Waterside by Steven Houghton Steven has been photographing dragonflies and damselflies for over 25 years and has spent time at Priory Water to produce stunning pictures of these jewels of the waterside Tuesday March 8 at 7.30pm Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Songs for Summer by Nigel Slater This is the time of the year when we are determined to get to grips with bird song and Nigel is going to show us how easy it is Tuesday April 12 at 7.30pm Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Visitors welcome to all meetings £2 Contact Ken Goodrich 2674813 •••

Open Afternoon at Abbeyfield, Birstall, 33/35 Church Hill Friday March 25, 2-4pm You are invited to join us for tea/coffee and cake For more info please call Nic on 0116 2674460 or Jenny on 0116 2671523 ••• Leicestershire & Rutland Branch Motor Neurone Disease Association

Charity Evening at the Royal British Legion Club, Front St, Birstall LE4 4DQ Wed March 23, 6.30pm for 7pm 3 Course Dinner £15.50 for tickets and your menu choice please tel: 0116 2674040 Evening entertainment James Selfridge Sings Sinatra & The Rat Pack Era •••

Birstall British Legion Sat Mar 5: Roundabout Sat Mar 12: Noel Gee (M/V Sat Mar 19: Jacqui Daniels (F/V) Sat Mar 26: Disco Dancing every Sat night with live entertainment Free beer raffle Quicky & normal Bingo and ‘Open the Box’ Quiz nights Sunday Mar 13 & 27 starting at 9pm Bingo every Tuesday night starting at 9.30pm Acoustic night Sunday March 20 Rock & Roll nights first & third Wednesday Food available every Sat, 12-2pm Funerals/Wakes catered for ••• Birstall Methodist Women’s Group

Coffee Morning at the Methodist Church Coffee Shop, Wanlip Lane Saturday March 5, 10am to 12noon Various stalls ie books, cakes, pic-a-bag and raffle Proceeds to Heartlink and Cystic Fibrosis


Coffee Shop Birstall Methodist Church Saturday March 19 Tombola, cakes, teddy tombola, raffle Proceeds in aid of LOROS •••

Barn Dance Saturday April 16 7.30-10.30pm Tickets £6, bring own food & drink Funds in aid of LOROS Contact Gillian Bowler 0116 2604226 ••• Birstall Ladies Bowling Club

Coffee Morning Birstall Methodist Church Hall, Wanlip Lane Saturday March 12 10am to 12noon Raffle, tombola, books, cakes, jams, bric-a-brac •••

Coffee Morning Methodist Church, Howe Lane, Rothley March 12, 10-11.30am Proceeds in aid of Carl Gunns Boxing Club and Methodist Church funds Raffle, Tombola, Cake Stall, White Elephant Entrance 50p Inc tea & coffee •••

Easter Fair Richard Hill School, Thurcaston Saturday April 9 1.30-4pm Raffles, children’s Easter activities, stalls, cakes, refreshments 50p admission •••

SOS Fashion Show and Sale St Peter’s Church Centre, Glenfield Tuesday March 29 at 7.30pm In aid of LRFWI funds This is a fun evening with the opportunity to buy a bargain. Designer label clothes from companies like M&S, Per Una, Principles, Wallis, Next, Gap, Monsoon and others will be available at half price or less. Tickets £5 (inc tea/coffee and homemade cake) can be obtained from Ruth Fenney 0116 2874114 or Pat Dickinson 0116 2872978 •••

Comic Relief Zumbathon Happening in a village near you on Friday March 18 Why not come along and help us raise a substantial amount of money for Comic Relief, classes cost £3 with ALL proceeds going to charity. Your nearest class is at Birstall Village Hall, 6.30-7pm Booking essential! For more info or to book please contact the Active Together team on 01509 632535 or email ••• Birstall Methodist Thursday Group

Coffee Morning Saturday March 26 10am to 12noon in the Church coffee shop, Wanlip Lane Cakes, tombola, books & jigsaws etc All proceeds to our project the Richard Engelgardt Trust •••

Open House at St James Church

‘God’s People’ You are invited to our monthly family friendly Open House service March 6 at 11am •••

Flood Fair Tues March 29 Members Lounge, County Hall, Glenfield open to all, 3-6pm Learn the risks of flooding, how to protect your home and purchase self-inflating ‘sandbags’

••• Celebrating 20 years of HATS Highcliffe Amateur Theatrical Society invites you to our forthcoming production of

Play On A comedy drama by Rick Abbot At Highcliffe Primary School, Greengate Lane, Birstall on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 19th, 20th, 21st at 7.30pm Tickets £6 adult, £5 concess (disc for group bookings) Available from Box Office 0116 2128757 or 07757854719 Email: Don’t Delay Book Today! ••• LOROS

One Big Bike Ride 2011! Sunday May 15 7, 8 or 15 mile sponsored bike rides from Rutland Water BBQ, DMU Cheerleaders, penny farthing bike To register call the fundraising department on 0116 2318431 Registration fee: adults £5, children £2.50, family £10 ••• Birstall Conservative Branch

Outing to York with an escorted tour of the Minster (optional) Thursday May 12 We will be leaving Birstall at 8.30am, departing York at 6pm Cost £20 per person If you are interested in a day out in a beautiful city please contact: Mary Allen on 0116 2673941 or David Gaskell on 0116 2674746 ••• All round fitness

Exercise Class Every Wednesday at Longslade 7.30-8.30pm This class has been designed to give you that total body workout you need but don’t have the motivation to achieve. Suitable for men and women aged over 14 of all abilities. £3.75 per class paid per term To book and for information contact Longslade 2670807 •••

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party With games and raffle Tuesday March 8 at 6.30pm Wanlip Community Centre Tickets £2 from Joan 2672010 •••

A Concert by Highcliffe Harmony an evening of light entertainment in support of Birstall Playgroup for children with special needs Saturday April 9 at 7.30pm Birstall Methodist Church, Wanlip Lane, Birstall Tickets £5 Available on the door or phone 0116 2675007 •••

Rugby Players Wanted Birstall RFC are recruiting players of all abilities to join their squad We have two teams playing in the Leicestershire leagues See our website for more details at or call Chris on 07766011043 or turn up to training at Stonehill High School on Tuesdays at 7pm Watch Rugby Birstall RFC play home games at Stonehill High School! See them in action at the following home games March 5 BRFC at home to TBC (Friendly) @ 2.15pm March 12 BRFC at home to Burbage (League) @ 2.15pm •••

Charity Quiz Evening at Birstall Methodist Church on Saturday April 2 at 7.30pm All proceeds jointly to The Bark Foundation (Reg Charity 1129762) and Action for Children (Reg Charity 1097940) Tickets £8 each including hot supper Phone David on 2677576 or Eileen on 2929670 to book a place •••

Riverside United U12s Experienced players wanted for all outfield positions to join our friendly bunch of lads We have 2 teams, the 11 a side are in Div 4 this season but looking to go up to Div 3 at least next season and the 9 a side are in the 9 v 9 league. If you’re looking for a new club or fancy the challenge give me a call Coaches are level 1 and level 2 qualified with CRB’s and first aid Training sessions are organised and aimed at building a competitive, enjoyable, winning team and to develop individual skills We play at Wreake Valley College in Syston and train on a Thursday at Soar Valley College Rushmead Interested? Please call Chris 07742009343 or email ••• Birstall Park & Ride site

Public Art Consultation Event Wed March 16, 1-8pm, Birstall Village Hall Come & view the proposals of the three shortlisted artists & help decide which is chosen ••• Saturday March 26, 1.30-3.30pm Birstall Methodist Church Hall Learn to keep supple with

Tai Chi and Qi Gong Suitable for all ages £7 inc refreshments Tel: 2677576 or 2676352 • Saturday April 9, 10am to 12noon

Coffee Shop at Birstall Methodist Church Jewellery stall, tombola and raffle • Friday April 15, 7.30pm Birstall Methodist Church Hall SOS Fashion Show and Sale High Street and Designer Clothes at bargain prices Tickets £5 – please book in advance Tel: 2677576 or 2209462 Entry on the day without a ticket only if space is available Proceeds to all these three events to The Bark Foundation •••

Women aged 16+ Try a new physical activity for just £1 Zumba, Pilates, Yoga and more Offer applies March 7-13 Part of the County wide Active Together initiative Go to for details


Snowdon fundraising trek A GROUP of local people are planning a mountainous challenge to raise money to support Birstall United Junior’s football club. April will see the 15-strong team travel to Wales to embark on a five hour trek to complete their challenge to scale the 3166 feet of Mount Snowdon. Mick Joinson, Manager of the U15s team said: “The walk sees fathers and sons coming together to raise money for the local football club. It brings together different teams and it’s important that the players see that they are part of a wider club and not just a collection of individual teams.” The money raised will be used to improve the facilities at the club’s Meadow Lane sports ground. The club currently as 21 teams and a Soccer School with more than 300 players, aged between 5 to 18 years old. Mick added: “Unfortunately, I will not be able to take part in the walk as I’m recovering from a broken leg, however, I wholeheartedly wish I could be there. I appreciate

that these are difficult financial times for everyone, but a football club such as Birstall United Juniors is about more than just football, the club has a real community feeling and that’s something which makes me feel very proud. If anyone could offer sponsorship or any kind of support please contact me at or 07989 1156 56.” • The club is offering advertising panels at its ground. The 8ft x 2ft panels cost £100 and local businesses are being invited to support the club and promote themselves. For details contact Kevin Glover


the birstall post MAR 2011

Show goes on! DESPITE A series of setbacks the 2011 men’s pantomime ‘Ali Baba & The Forty Thieves’ at Birstall Methodist church went ahead over six performances and was enjoyed by audiences which totalled almost 600. This year we were fortunate to have a very resourceful director, Richard Tinley; without

whom the show could easily have floundered. Almost at the same time as Jean Valentine, our artistic producer Pic: Chorus members (Beggars & Merchants), (l to r) Adie Robinson, John Towson, suddenly had a back Carl Topley, James Moore, Len Legget address the injury which put her Caliph Mike Allan in hospital, Richards’s brother sadly died in Newcastle. Richard was faced with making the arrangements and taking the funeral. Then right at

Pic: Dancers Phil & Paul Young

the very last minute, another Panto stalwart, Brian Cuttill, had to drop out because of illness. Richard took his place on stage. So despite losing the producer, coping with a bereavement, and losing a star performer at the last minute, Richard managed to keep the show going and took the role of the performer who was ill, Ali Baba’s ‘Aunty’, ‘Pepsi Kola’. Despite lacking in one or two well-known faces, the 2011 performances were well received by the audiences. Ali Baba was played by Alex Fearn, who ends up ‘marrying’ the Caliphs daughter, Charisma, who was played by Matthew Bishop. Les Gale took the traditional Panto Dame (Semolina), and John Towson her husband

Legget, Tony Moore, James Moore, Billy Loach, Isaak Harrison & Thomas Wilkins. Elliott Harrison and Carl Topley did special dance numbers too. They were at different stages, merchants, robbers or beggars! The script was one of the original scripts written in the 1950’s by the late John Valentine who was producer for Pic: Carl Topley & Len Leggett leading the camel played many years. by brothers Elliot & Isaak Harrison. David Bark was Musical Direc‘Windolina’. Ron Forbes was tor and Choreography was by Ali Baba’s father, and Sally Montague Mason. seller of dustbins! The cast are grateful to Mike Allen took the all who made the producpart of the Caliph, and tion possible, and to the Paul Young the Robber audiences for their particiChief, with his (real pation. life) brother Paul as The cast are keen to Second in Command. recruit any new members No we didn’t manage for the 2012 production. 40 thieves, but the chorus Contact John 2675128 or Richdid total 10 cast members; ard 2209462. Pic: Matthew Bishop Adrian Robinson, Ben Moore, Len played Charisma From Tony Moore

Society says thank you “SERVICE


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THE CONTRIBUTION of one of the founders of Birstall & District Local History Society has been recognised with the presentation of a gift by fellow members. John Kilby, a former chairman of the society and its newly elected president, was presented with a £25 Waterstones voucher at the February meeting. John has a historic connection with the village and is the author of ‘Names Around Birstall’ with Stuart Liquorish, ‘Methodism in Birstall’ and ‘Birstall Village : a brief history of Birstall 1900-1999’. Pic: John Kilby with Chairman of the Society Brenda Watts and committee members.

Slimming for grandson A BIRSTALL slimmer is shedding the pounds to raise money for the care of her grandson. Kate O’Melly (57) of Gwendolin Avenue has so far lost a stone at Rosemary Conley’s Diet & Fitness class held at Birstall Golf Club. Her sponsored slim is raising money for the care of her 12 year old grandson Declan, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). She said: “Declan was diagnosed when he was eight, which is very late. He was still walking then but became wheelchair bound in 2008. He can just about lift his arm to feed himself now. He cannot dress himself or turn over in bed, and my daughter has to help him during the night.” Kate aims to lose three stone in total. “Rosemary is very supportive and she and her staff have been a great help” said Kate. She added: “Declan is proud of me and is my real driving force. Duchennes is a cruel disease and I am hoping to raise awareness

Pic: Kate O’Melly with grandson Declan

of his life limiting condition.” The average life expectancy for people with DMD is 27 years.

BVCC cricket corner BIRSTALL VILLAGE Cricket Club had their annual AGM in January. The meeting decided the election of officers, events and the many important decisions for the club’s progression for the upcoming season. Some of the senior positions for the 2011 season include: Club President Mike Lord, Chairman/Secretary - Andy Merry, Treasurer - Ian Bartlett, 1st Team Captain – Dave Sharpe, 2nd Team Captain

– Steve Findley, Midweek Captain – Joshua Saye, Junior Manager – Hamish Carnan Senior nets will begin Thursday evening February 17 at the County Nets, Grace Road from 9-10pm. Any inquiries please contact Dave Sharpe on 07527186705. Junior nets for under 13s and 15s will begin Friday evening February 18 at the East Park Road Centre from 6-7.30pm. Any inquiries please contact Hamish Carnan on 07812791322. The Club presentation evening for the 2010 season will take place at St Margaret’s Bowls Club, Birstall Road on March 26 from 7pm. All associated club members are welcome. Joshua Saye


cording to a report by Bupa. The 'Who Cares? Funding Adult Social Care Over the Next Decade' report said that if the £2bn adult social care budget was not protected, 81,000 care home beds would disappear over the next 10 years. This would mean the only place for them to go would be to hospital. However, the government said that many more elderly people would be cared for in their own homes, which is what they would prefer. Bupa also pointed out that over the next decade there will be 18,000 more elderly people needing care, which will mean that 100,000 of the total 170,000 NHS beds available will be used up by elderly patients. The company told the government it needed to ring-fence the adult social care budget so that councils didn't 'borrow' from it to make up for cuts in other budgets. Mark Ellerby, managing director of Bupa Care Services, said: "Today's report reveals that the scale of the problem is much bigger than we thought. Unless councils protect funding for the elderly, thousands of vulnerable, frail older people will be unable to get the care home places they need and will have no option but to go into hospital. "Not only is this deeply concerning for them and their families, but it is also worrying for the already stretched NHS as it will create a bed blocking crisis which will affect us all." Baroness Greengross, chair of the all-party Parliamentary Group on Dementia commented: "Council leaders across the country must make a public pledge to pass on in full the £2bn

INFO Eating Berries may lower risk of Parkinson’s New research shows men and women who regularly eat berries may have a lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease, while men may also further lower their risk by regularly eating apples, oranges and other sources rich in dietary components called flavonoids. The study was released February 13 and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 63rd Annual Meeting in Honolulu April 9 to April 16, 2011. Flavonoids are found in plants and fruits and are also known collectively as vitamin P and citrin. They can also be found in berry fruits, chocolate, and citrus fruits such as grapefruit. The study involved 49,281 men and 80,336 women. Researchers gave participants questionnaires and used a database to calculate intake amount of flavonoids. They then analyzed the association between flavonoid intakes and risk of developing Parkinson's disease. They also analyzed consumption of five major sources of foods rich in flavonoids: tea, berries, apples, red wine and oranges or orange juice. The participants were followed for 20 to 22 years. During that time, 805 people developed Parkinson's disease. In men, the top 20 percent who consumed the most flavonoids were about 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than the bottom 20 percent of male participants who consumed the least amount of flavonoids. In women, there was no relationship between overall flavonoid consumption and developing Parkinson's disease. However, when sub-classes of flavonoids were examined, regular consumption of anthocyanins, which are mainly obtained from berries, were found to be associated with a lower risk of Parkinson's disease in both men and women. 'This is the first study in humans to examine the association between flavonoids and risk of developing Parkinson's disease,' said study author Xiang Gao, MD, PhD, with the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. 'Our findings suggest that flavonoids, specifically a group called anthocyanins, may have neuroprotective effects. If confirmed, flavonoids may be a natural and healthy way to reduce your risk of developing Parkinson's disease.' Home care cuts ''will block hospital beds'' NHS hospitals could experience a big growth in the number of elderly patients 'blocking' beds as social care budget cuts mean they will no longer be able to stay in care homes, ac-

allocated to them by the government to fund adult social care and to take account of care home inflation when setting their fees." A Department of Health spokesman told the Daily Telegraph: "Most older people want to stay supported in their own homes for as long as possible and the extra money we have given councils will help them care for older people in the environment that's best for them." Draft guidance from NICE offers hope of improved mobility for people with peripheral arterial disease Draft guidance published on February 1, 2011 by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) recommends the use of naftidrofuryl oxalate as a treatment option for people who suffer from the painful symptoms of peripheral arterial disease called intermittent claudication.

Peripheral arterial disease is a condition in which there is a blockage or narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the legs and arms. The main cause is atherosclerosis, which is narrowing of the arteries caused by fatty deposits on the arterial walls. Intermittent claudication is a result of the narrowed arteries not delivering adequate blood to leg muscles and so pain comes from the oxygen starved muscles. Pain is relieved with rest. As well as having a detrimental impact on quality of life, intermittent claudication also indicates that there is an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, people with intermittent claudication are at higher risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke than patients with PAD who do not have intermittent claudication. Naftidrofuryl oxalate is one of four treatments belonging to the class of vasoactive drugs that NICE is assessing as part of this appraisal. The evidence considered by the Appraisal Committee showed that the others - Cilostazol (Pletal, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals), Pentoxifylline (Trental 400, Sanofi-Aventis) and Inositol nicotinate (Hepoxal, Genus Phamaceuticals) - are not as clinically or cost effective as naftidrofuryl oxalate so they are not recommended as treatment options in the draft guidance. As well as a branded preparation (Praxilene, Merck Serono), naftidrofuryl oxalate is also available as a cheaper, generic preparation; the draft guidance recommends that treatment should be started with the least costly preparation. Dr Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director, said: "The severe pain on physical exertion associated with intermittent claudication can have a large impact on the quality of life of people with the condition because of the effects of restricted mobility on independence, social life, recreation and work. Although naftidrofuryl oxalate, like all vasoactive drugs, does not halt the progress of peripheral arterial disease or lower the incidence of heart attack or stroke, the independent Appraisal Committee felt that it demonstrated clear benefits in terms of improving maximum walking distance when compared to a placebo and the other drugs being considered as part of this appraisal, and that these benefits make it a cost effective use of NHS resources." Naftidrofuryl oxalate is an oral peripheral vasodilator that selectively blocks vascular and platelet 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 (5-HT2) receptors. It has a UK marketing authorisation for peripheral vascular disorders, including intermittent claudication. Naftidrofuryl oxalate is available as a branded preparation of 100mg capsules at a cost of £8.10 (excl VAT) for a 84-capsule pack. Generic preparations are also available at a cost of £5.30 (excl VAT) for a 100mg 84-capsule pack. The recommended dose is one or two 100mg capsules three times daily. Therefore, for the branded preparation the average monthly cost is £8.80 assuming three 100mg capsules daily or £17.60 assuming six 100mg capsules daily. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance and standards on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.

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Church news Pancake Tea A ‘Pancake Evening’ is to be held at 6pm on Sunday March 6. To assist with the catering, ideally you need a ticket (free). Tel Charles on 2207045 to see if any tickets are still available. There will be a collection. Favourite Things Churches Together in Birstall are planning a special Community Event from, April 17 – 20 which will involve the temporary removal of the pews in the church! This Community Exhibition will be something the whole village can take part in. The exhibition will invite the whole community to say, individually, ‘what are my favourite things’. There will be an art competition for those aged under 17. If you are over 16 you are invited to email a brief description of your three favourite things along with a photo of yourself. (email to The web site will give more details, as the event ‘unfolds’. Charnwood Hike Date The hike this year is on April 2. Organised by Old Boys of the Boys Brigade its aim is to give lads (and girls) the chance to develop their map reading skills by participating in this competitive event. It is open to teams of three aged 12 to 18. There are also veterans teams for those ‘over 18’. Teams go from point to point with ‘incidents’ at each checkpoint. Teams are likely to end up rather ‘muddy’. For more details contact Neil Clarke 01664 569698. There is an entry fee for each team. Church Web Site The web site continues to carry lots of pictures of recent events. It is now incorporated into the ‘Circuit’ web site ‘’. – Don’t forget the hyphen between ‘lnc’ and ‘methodist’! (lnc stands for Leicester North Circuit) Most search engines will direct you to the right place by simply entering ‘Birstall Methodist Church’. Quiz & Supper On Saturday April 2, in aid of the Hotpec Orphanage (the Bark Foundation) and ‘Action for Children’ Tickets are £8, which includes a hot supper. Tel David 2677576 or Eileen 2929670 for tickets. Birstall Methodist Women’s Group The Monday ladies group enjoyed a night at the Little Theatre in January. A different type of musical for us but I think it’s good to be taken out of your comfort zone occasionally and it was certainly enjoyed by many. Evenings to come: march 14, Kilimanjaro; March 28th A Light Look at Wills; Apr 4 a Corn Dolly demonstration. More information Margaret Briggs 2671181 or Margaret Yardley 2673674. From Tony Moore, Birstall Methodist Church Spring in the air The Spring-cleaning season has already started in St. James’ Church! The ‘big occasion’ will be 7.30pm on Monday March 14, when the Bishop of Leicester will be licensing Revd Vincent Jupp as Rector of Birstall and Wanlip. A working party has been busy sprucing up the church, to celebrate the official arrival of a new rector and his family after over a year’s wait. We look forward to welcoming them to our parish and community. This year St James will be hosting the Women’s world day of prayer, on Friday March 4 at 7.30pm. Each year, Christian women in virtually every country of the world, meet on the same day to celebrate


their faith and diversity and to pray for peace in the world. A preparation day was held in February with materials from the country which has prepared the 2011 service – this year, Chile. There will be women from all four main local churches at the service on the 4th, the speaker will be Revd Sheila Skidmore and everyone, particularly women, is invited to attend. What is Lent? Come and find out. Also organised as a joint venture between the churches each year is a Lent course, which takes place during five weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter. These are to be held at the Methodist Church on Monday afternoons at 2.30pm starting on Monday March 14, led by Revd Rachel Parkinson and repeated on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings, starting on Tuesday March 15 at 7.30pm at St. James. The meetings are informal with the leader introducing various topics, based on a video, and there will be plenty of opportunity for discussion. An accompanying book, written by the former Bishop of Durham, Tom Wright, is also available at £4. For more details about the course, which is open to all, please contact the Methodist church office on 2675194 or St James church office (Monday or Friday am) on 2671797 or enquire at any of the services beforehand. To entertain you There will be a concert by the Leicester Male Voice Choir at 7.30pm on Saturday March 5, with proceeds going to the Age Concern St James Day Care Centre. Tickets are £5 on the door. On March 8, Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) at 6.30pm, the social committee are organising a Pancake party for all ages, with games and a raffle, in the newly refurbished Wanlip Community Centre. Joan has tickets (£2) on 2672010. From Beryl McHugh, Parish churches

Planning applications P/11/0350/2: 80 Harrowgate Drive – planning application to retain and reduce the existing front dormer window and to amend existing cladding with cladding to match existing roof P/11/0199/2: 3 Oakfield Avenue – single storey extension to rear of dwelling P/11/0240/2: 102 Birstall Road – extension of time for extant of planning permission P/08/0809/2 (Demolition of dwelling and erection of replacement detached dwelling and garage) P/11/0198/2: 115 Wanlip Lane – retention of single storey extension to rear of building for storage P/11/0176/2: Firs Dental Practice, 534A Loughborough Rd – erection of single storey extension to rear of dental surgery P/11/0156/2: 68 Roman Road – erection of mansard roof and 4x dormer window extensions to dwelling P/11/0172/2: 20 Nether Hall Lane – trim back 1 eucalyptus tree, remove horse chestnut tree and 1 other tree (Conservation Area Notice)


the birstall post MAR 2011

The April issue of THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on April 2. The copy deadline is March 18.

The Birstall BAG’s Cancer Corner

TUES 8 BIRSTALL BIRDWATCHING CLUB Jewels of the Waterside. Steven Houghton. Rothley Centre, 7.30pm THURS 10 BIRSTALL & DISTRICT LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY

How the Okey Pokey Men came to Leicester. A Bayless. Birstall Village Hall, 7.30pm WED 23 BIRSTALL FLOWER CLUB Julie Woods. Let’s Pop Corn, Birstall Village Hall, 7.15pm

Flower club’s picnic BIRSTALL FLOWER Club met for their Golden anniversary AGM in January. This was followed by the ‘Big Picnic’ where all the members of the club had brought a contribution to the food. The village hall was decked out with golden table arrangements and baskets of sunflowers. The club members were presented with a celebratory pen and packets of sunflower seeds, ready for a giant sunflower competition later in the year. Get ready for seeing lots of sunflowers in the gardens of Birstall, Rothley and Cropston and other surrounding areas this summer. Pic (bottom): (l-r) Outgoing President – Mary Wadsworth; Treasurer – Maureen Green; Chairman – Carole Cottam and Secretary – Sylvia

Simes Pic (top): Birstall Flower Club’s ‘Big Picnic’ Anyone wishing to join our very thriving and friendly club should phone Sylvia on 2674206 or Carole on 2674337 From Marjorie Smith

Chinese lion RAINBOW CO-OP Pre-school Playgroup enjoyed a morning of Chinese festivities to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Simon Elvis, Lily’s daddy, came in with his Chinese lion costume and shared traditional Chinese stories. The children all had a go at dancing with the lion and played a variety of instruments, then finished with a relaxing Tai Chi session. Leader Julie Parker said: “We have vacancies available if any 2 to 5 year olds would like to come and join us. We meet at the Co-op Sports and Social Ground on Birstall Road, weekday mornings during term time

Clare Wells, founder of BAGS was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 1998. Her determination to encourage all women to be vigilant, to self examine and access medical care as soon as possible inspired the formation of BAGS, a local fundraising social group. Clare’s cancer recurred and sadly she died in 2003 but six of her close friends have carried on with her vision and to date over £15,000 pounds has been donated to local cancer services and since September 2010 the Birstall BAG’s have funded the running of ‘Time Out’ a Coping With Cancer drop in complementary therapy group held the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month, 1.30-4.30 at the Birstall Village Hall on School Lane. More than 1 in 3 of us will develop cancer at some time during our life, any of us can be affected. In an attempt to continue with Clare’s early diagnosis philosophy and her vision to raise awareness about cancer and urge people to be vigilant the Birstall BAG’s will write a regular Cancer Corner article in the Birstall Post. Two of the BAG’s are registered nurses working in cancer care and we are grateful to the University Hospitals of Leicester Cancer Information Centre who have agreed to support us. Many cancers have an awareness day, week or month and March is designated as Prostate Awareness Month. Prostate Cancer Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and 250,000 men are currently living with the disease. Most prostate cancer is slow-growing to start with and may never cause any problems or symptoms in a man's lifetime. Only men have a prostate gland. The prostate is usually the size and shape of a walnut. It lies underneath the bladder and surrounds the tube (the urethra) that men pass urine and semen through. The prostate gland's main job is to make some of

the fluid that carries sperm, called semen. The three most common prostate problems are an enlarged prostate, prostatitis and prostate cancer. The tests that your GP can do to help diagnose prostate problems are: • A urine test to rule out infection • A prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test • A digital rectal examination (DRE) Your GP will refer you to a urology clinic if your symptoms or test results suggest that further investigation is needed. If a man does have symptoms, such as problems passing urine, they may be mild and happen over many years. For some men the first noticeable symptoms are from prostate cancer which has spread to their bones. If this happens, you may notice pain in your back, hips or pelvis that was not there before. These symptoms could be caused by other problems such as general aches and pains or arthritis, but it is still a good idea to get them checked out by your GP if you are worried. There are a number of different treatments for prostate cancer. Treatment options will depend on whether the cancer is contained within the prostate gland (localised), has spread just outside of the prostate (locally advanced) or has spread to other parts of the body (advanced). Sources: For further information about Prostate Cancer contact The Prostate Cancer Charity on 0800 074 8383 or the University Hospitals of Leicester Cancer Information Centre on 0116 258 6189. To reflect the interest and support of the local community Birstall BAG's now seeks to be inclusive of all cancers and the group welcome villagers to support the many events they organise each year within the local community. For more information on forthcoming events look at our website From Liz Darlison, Macmillan Consultant Nurse

Club’s Spanish trip FOR THE fifth successive year Birstall Badminton Club flew out to the Costa Blanca for a tournament against the Guardamar badminton club. The competition started at 10am on Sunday February 6 and took a gruelling four hours to complete. “It was a close fought battle but unfortunately Birstall were unsuc-

and you are welcome to drop in to see our facilities or contact me on 07793630612 or 0116 2671828”.

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 SAFE and effective emotional support. Registered Bach Flower Practitioner and Qualified Counsellor 2209294/07544765091 FRENCH LANGUAGE tuition – exams and/or holidays. Tel: 0116 2201206 EXPERIENCED TEACHER has a few spaces for pupils who wish to have private tuition in numeracy, literacy and verbal reasoning, for whatever reason, in their own home. Please ring Ros Marriott after 8pm on 0116 2640729 for further details LOST SMALL gold ring on Feb 3 in the village area. It is of sentimental value. Reward 2671404 FOR SALE BBC French Beginners book, offers around £4. 1 pr Stylo golf shoes 8½ vgc £5. 1pr PGA golf shoes 6½ vgc £5. Golf practice driving mat £4. 0116 2671527 MATHEMATICS TUITION A level & GCSE, Birstall based. Call 07737352932

The April issue of

cessful in their attempt to regain the trophy which was originally donated by Mike Lord” said club spokesman Richard Antkowiak. Despite their initial disappointment the team still enjoyed the many social events they were invited to including a dinner dance, ten pin bowling, mountain walks, tennis, boules and even Zumba lessons for the more energetic members. Richard said: “The tournament is scheduled again for next year and there may be a second! News had spread to another club further along the coast at Pilar and, during their stay, a few Birstall players were invited to visit them and were challenged to a similar competition. “Our thanks must go to Jill and Alan at Guardamar for inviting us again and for making us all feel so welcome. We look forward to next year’s challenge.” Pic: Birstall Badminton Club members in Spain

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Apr 2. The copy deadline is Mar 18.


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

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

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