Page 1

the Birstall post Y O U R


MAY 2011


No. 334

Eggstra special

Pic: Riverside egg competition winners

CHILDREN AT Riverside school displayed their creative talents by taking part in an egg decorating competition. Continued on page 2

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Pic: the original plan for the Birstall fire HQ and station

Birstall fire station

Continued from page 1

Organised by the school’s PTA, designs ranged from rocket ships to Elvis Presley and were judged by Birstall’s new Rector Vince Jupp and Chair of the Governors Karen Steward. There were two prizes for each year group and one parent’s prize. Prize winners were: Noah Anastassiades, Jake Howard, Daniella Pryor, Lee Layshley, Jessica Porch, Matt Daly, Shannon James, Kayla Bates, Freddie Young, Toby Gutteridge, Daisy Merry, Morgan Clifford Foxon, Amber Kilsby, Megan Southwick. Parent Winner: Lynn Apse

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PLANS TO build a new fire service HQ and fire station at Hallam Fields are back on track. The project stalled in 2010 because of the recession but at a meeting in March, the Leicestershire and Rutland Fire Authority decided to proceed with a scaled back version of the complex. £3 million has been cut from the original budget of £12 million, by reducing the overall size of the building and using cheaper materials. Chairman of the Authority Peter Roffey told the Birstall Post: “I am pleased we have come to a decision, it was a

difficult one but we had to consider carefully what was the best deal for the public purse in the long run.” The Authority chose to reject the option of relocating to Bradgate House off the A50 at Markfield. Contractors Pick Everard will produce new detailed plans for the Birstall complex and these are expected to be submitted to Charnwood’s planning department soon. The estimated completion date of the new facility is 2013.

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New Police powers PLANS TO give the Police extra powers to deal with on-street drinking were introduced to certain areas of Birstall this April. The Birstall Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places Public Order has been requested by the Police to help tackle problems of alcohol fuelled antisocial behaviour. The new powers will enable the Police to confiscate alcohol from people drinking in the designated public area where : • nuisance or annoyance to a member of the public or a section of the public is caused, or

Collection THE ANNUAL Lifeboat Charity collection took place in Birstall on Saturday March 26. Spokesman Simon Murphy said: “As always, thanks to the people of Birstall and the surrounding areas for their contributions, and to the manager and staff at the Co-op Supermarket for letting the collectors stand inside on what was a particularly chilly day.” Pic: Mrs Lucy Murphy and Miss Francesca Schroeder who were collecting at the Co-op in Birstall.

• disorder has been associated with the consumption of intoxicating liquor in that place Once approved the order will not make it an offence to drink alcohol in the designated public place. But failure to comply with a Police Officer or Police Community Support Officer’s request in respect of public drinking, or to surrender alcohol, without reasonable excuse, will be an offence which you can be arrested for. The designated area comprises School Lane, part of Loughborough Road, Beechfield Avenue, part of Birstall Road, Sibson Road, Colindale Avenue, Rose Tree Avenue, Windmill Avenue, Dalby Avenue, Allington Drive, the boundary of Watermead Country Park, Whiles Lane, Front Street, Wanlip Lane and various roads and other public areas in its vicinity, which have been linked to crime and disorder caused by antisocial drinking. Steve Blackburn, Birstall Parish Council Clerk, said: “I very much welcome the introduction of the new powers which will allow the Police to take action to discourage drinking in public. This is a problem in many areas and leads to nuisance for residents, shoppers and ordinary members of the public. This has become less of a problem recently but these problems can easily recur and the more that can be done to nip it in the bud, the better.” The orders will be reviewed after six months followed by an annual review, carried out by Charnwood Community Safety Partnership.


Local food study BIRSTALL HAS featured in a pioneering study that aims to establish how much locally grown food is purchased and the benefits this brings to an area. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) chose Birstall along with five other towns in England for its ‘Field to Fork’ research : these were Hastings, Kenilworth, Knutsford, Sheffield and Totnes. Graeme Willis, Senior Local Food Campaigner at the CPRE, said: “These reports are the first part of extensive research into how local food benefits local communities, economies and the countryside – benefits that are threatened by continued supermarket expansion.” In 2008, 62 per cent of all British food was purchased at the four leading retailers: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons. This figures rises to 83 per cent when smaller supermarket chains are included. The big four all have expansion plans having recently gained planning permission for 500 new stores in England. Asda is planning to open 168 new stores in 2011 – the largest single year of growth in its history. Local food is defined as food that has travelled no more than 30 miles from ‘farm to market’. The CPRE says local food webs provide benefits such as better access

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to fresh food, supporting the local economy, reducing food miles and connecting people to their local countryside. Of the six communities studied, Birstall had the weakest local food network. The report states: Although Birstall is itself a large village, the area around it included in the study is densely populated. This area has a relatively weak food web despite having many outlets. It is likely that the presence of a number of large out of town superstores has contributed to this. 27 retail and other food outlets sourced local food but on average only 20 percent of sales were attributable to local food. Only a small number of outlets stocked high percentag-

es of local produce: three quarters of the 40 or more local suppliers identified supplied products to just five smaller independent outlets. The food web accounted for approximately 140 jobs at local outlets, rising to 165 if a proportion of supermarket jobs are included. Local food sales in Birstall amount to between £3.9 and £4.7 million per annum, but sales at three supermarkets contribute more than 75% of the combined total despite only an average of 2% sales being attributable to local produce. Totnes in Devon had the strongest local food network with more than 60% of produce coming from farms within 30 miles of the town. 44 shops stocked local food compared to


Birstall’s 27. To develop the local food network in Birstall the report identifies a number of challenges that need to be addressed: • a restrictive local charter which, as applied by Leicester City Council, hinders development of a farmers’ market in Birstall • an absence of clear labelling of local food and a lack of signposting directing people where to find it • a need for more outlets to stock higher levels of local produce to increase regular and easy access for residents to local food without having to use a car • a need to improve communication between producers and outlets to develop the marketing of local food Read the full report at



Local elections VOTERS ACROSS England will go to the polls on May 5 in the local council elections. In Birstall voters will have the opportunity to elect their Charnwood Borough Councillors. Birstall residents who live in the Riverside Ward will also be electing their three parish councillors who represent that ward. Local elections are held every four years. Before the election, all sitting councillors stand down. If they wish to be returned to office, they must be nominated. If there are more nominations than there are vacancies on the council, an election is required. Birstall Parish Council has 20 councillors. In the Goscote, Stonehill, Greengate and Netherhall Wards an election is not required as the number of nominations did not exceed the number of vacancies in each ward. Those nominated will be returned as councillors uncontested. In the Riverside Ward there are four nominations for the three vacancies. They are: Allen, Mary Rose; Evans-Hay, Gail Pauline; Geschke, Christine Ann and Howe, Julian Anthony. Voters can put an X next to three names on the ballot paper. At the Borough Council there are two wards for Birstall: Birstall Wanlip and Birstall Watermead. Each of these wards is represented by two councillors, so voters can put an X next to two names on the ballot paper. The candidates for Birstall Wanlip are: • Bava, Amrat (Lab); Cowles, Marilyn (Lab); Edwards, Helena (Lib Dem); Jones, Stuart (Con); Shergill, Serina

(Con) The candidates for Birstall Watermead are: • Bentley, Iain (Con); Gaskell, David (Con); Hopkins, Rosalind (Lab); Miller, Richard (Lib

Dem); Sapsford, Sally (Lab) Charnwood Borough Council is a District Council. It is responsible for environmental health, council housing, leisure and recreational facilities, local planning, waste collection and electoral registration. Charnwood has 52 councillors in 28 wards. The current political make up of the Council is: • Con 32, Lab 13, Lib Dem 5, BNP 1, Independent 1 County Council Elections are not held this year – their next election is in May 2013. On May 5, voters will also be asked whether they want to keep the first past the post system for electing Westminster Parliament MPs, or switch to the Alternative Vote system.

Let’s get cooking A COOKING club at Longslade College aims to teach young people and their families lifelong cooking skills. A group of nine students have just completed a six week course led by Food Teacher and Club-coordinator Beryl Paddison. “We do lots of cooking preparing tasty dishes that are taken home with a recipe so that it can be cooked again at home” she said. Over six weeks the students have made pizza, Rogan Josh, healthy muffins, oaty biscuits, spaghetti bolognese and tiramisu. “I’ve enjoyed coming and have learned a lot of stuff. I now know how to make blueberry muffins” said Charley Neale (16). Chantelle Bayley (16)

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said: “We all work together to keep each other on track.” Longslade’s ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ club is part of a national network of 5000 funded by £20 million from the Big Lottery Fund. It aims to promote cooking skills and healthy eating. Longslade’s club will receive £2500 over three years to cover cooking equipment and running costs. All the ingredients at each session are provided for students, and the club aims to organise fundraising events so it can continue after the funding ends. Beryl said: “We would welcome help from the community in the form of actively helping at the club especially if you have some special skill to share. “We are now looking for 14 students to attend the next six week session – post 16 students could learn some valuable skills for cooking at university.” The Cooking Club meets on Thursdays from 3.30-4.45pm at Longslade. Contact: Pic:(l-r) Charlie Neale, Beryl Paddison, Design Technician Wendy James, Let’s Get Cooking club co-ordinator Sally Mayes & Chantelle Bayley

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Exhibition of favourite things THE FAVOURITE things of more than 150 Birstall people were part of an exhibition in Birstall Methodist Church. Rev Rachel Parkinson said: “Amongst the most popular were reading, listening to music, walking – especially with a dog, sport and food. My ‘favourites’ amongst the things chosen were ‘the first cup Pics: artwork created by Neelum Surelia (top), Shannon Webb (below) & Thomas of tea in the morn- McManard (bottom) ing’, ‘clean sheets’, and ‘lie-ins’. The prize for the most innovative has to go to Eileen Molesdale who chose five favourite things instead of three, her fifth choice being ‘breaking the rules’. “One of the lovely things about the display is that it help you see people in a different

light – especially those people you pass in the street but rarely speak to. Knowing that someone loves chocolate biscuits or Cub camp adds a whole new dimension to your view of them. It brings people to life.” During the week the church hosted a whole range of different activities including an Easter Messy Church which attracted nearly 90 people, a film shoe and a Wii games afternoon.

Top pic: The winners of the My Favourite Things art competition with judges Rose Impey (left) and Sue Faulks are: Shannon Webb, Neelum Surelia, Jacob William Clarke, Thomas MacManard, Kaira White and Reuben Stafford. Winners not pictured were Dylann Patel, Leah-Marie Ward and Sophie Hatfield

Ex-Longslade FORMER STUDENTS of Longslade College are being invited to join a new association. As part of its 50th anniversary year, Longslade has formed LoAFerS – it aims to develop a network of former students that would organise social events and bring people together for both leisure and business benefits. The long term idea is that some former students of the college together with college staff take an active role to develop and manage the group. Information of the first LoAFerS social event on Saturday June 18 can

be found on the college website via the LoAferS link and under the Facebook logo or you can contact the college on 0116 2677107. A college spokesman said: “Longslade would love to hear from anyone who is interested in being part of what will be a successful former student group that everyone can be proud of.”


Diamond couples celebrate marriage TWO COUPLES from Birstall celebrated their Diamond Wedding anniversaries at Birstall Social Club on March 17. Lol and Freda Musson of Queensgate Drive, and Frank and Audrey Bullock of Lambourne Road, received a card from HM The Queen congratulating them on reaching this land mark. They were also presented by the So-


cial Club with a bouquet of flowers, and would like to thank all their friends and family for the many cards and gifts they received on their special day. Pic: (l-r) Lol & Freda Musson, Frank & Audrey Bullock

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Parish Council notes THE ANNUAL Parish meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on April 11. Anna Davis, artist in residence at Longslade College, explained the work she had done with local students, creating an artwork based on the theme community that will be displayed in the Village Hall. Mr Hetal Patel, a governor at Stonehill School, explained the plans for ‘Greening Stonehill’, part of the Sustainable Schools Framework. He indicated his plan to extend the project to ‘Greening Birstall’, in partnership with residents, councils and businesses. The Council agreed in principle to support this project which will enable Mr Patel to bid for funding. Helen McNulty, a Youth Worker at the Birstall Parish Council Youth Café, reported on the scheme’s last 12 months. Run from the pavilion on the School lane playing fields, the café is open on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Started 17 months ago, the café has had some early difficulties but was now working well. There are now three volunteer workers and in the last year funding has been obtained for a youth shelter, a youth council has been formed, fundraising activities such as a car boot sale have been held and the Wreake Valley Rotary Club had donated some items. Around 60 young people attend and a typical session involves outdoor sports, playing pool and craft activities, all within a safe and secure environment. The Parish Clerk presented a Draft Financial Report and Accounts: “• Expenditure exceeded income by £976 although this is £41,000 better than the expected result.

• Income from lettings and cemetery fees was much higher than expected • Expenditure on utilities was more than expected and this pressure will continue into 2011 • Cash deposits are carefully managed to maximise interest income “For the financial year ended 31.3.11 the Council had budgeted to use £106,000 of accumulated reserves and limit the increase in its precept to 2.9%. The overall effect was intended to leave reserves of £165,000 which is equivalent to six months' expenditure, an amount considered 'prudent' from all sources of advice. “In the event general reserves at the close of the year are £205,666, although this good news masks a significant rise in costs, most notably gas, electricity, water and postage and this surplus has been achieved by better than expected income from hire of the village hall and other rooms, from cemetery fees and from bank interest where an aggressive policy of searching for realistic rates on deposit accounts in 'safe' banks has increased our income from this source. “Turning to expenditure, the end of a five year agreement with our insurers has led to a new relationship with Aviva, formerly Norwich Union, at a reduced cost, although costs relating to heat, light and water have exceeded the amounts expected. We continue to make efforts to reduce consumption of electricity and gas, a new contract was signed with ESPO for gas supplies and although this has resulted in a reduced unit cost, the increase in market rates has overtaken this benefit. Tele-

phone costs will be renegotiated during 2011 as a tie-in with BT comes to an end. “The overall cost of the Gala for 2010 was £4,760. We are grateful to sponsors, most notably the Trustees of the Edith Murphy Foundation and Severn Trent Water, for their continued support of the event. The Christmas lights switch-on is gradually developing into more of an event and was accompanied by a craft fair last year. We were also grateful to Taylor Wimpey this time for their support in covering the cost of the tree. “The Council continues to take a responsible approach to the maintenance of its assets, major expenditure this year was the second phase of improving the uneven paths in the cemetery and the re-laying of the estates yard, where subsidence was threatening the integrity of the drainage system below. Other works included the re-wiring of the village hall and day centre with new energy-efficient lighting and this was partly funded by a grant from the Big Lottery. “A fund to create a skate park is still in place; no work has been possible as the overall costs will have to be supported by grant funding and in the present climate this is becoming increasingly hard to find. Since it opened in late 2009, the Youth Cafe has had notable success in providing an attractive meeting place on both Friday and Wednesday nights. The Parish Council covers the cost of Fridays; so far we have been successful in attracting grant funding for the Wednesday evening sessions and to pay for sports and play equipment, notably the recent support awarded by the Rotary Club of the Wreake Valley for £150 and equipment, and for the youth shelter which was entirely paid for by external funding. Efforts are continuing to raise

money to ensure that the youth cafe continues to open on Wednesdays. “Looking ahead, the Council will continue to face cost pressures in its utility bills and in ensuring that the estate continues to be maintained to the high standard residents and users have come to expect. Staff costs will also come under pressure in the next two years as there has been no increase in wage rates for almost two years and the Council will be faced with the introduction of compulsory employer pension contributions in the not too distant future.” The April meeting of the Council followed the Annual Meeting. PCSO Stuart Venables reported that there had been five thefts from stores this month, all detected and the individuals charged. Comment was made that there had been a greater Police presence in the village in recent weeks. It was reported that the cycle path from the northern entrance of Watermead Country Park will be extended past the Hope and Anchor pub as far as Cossington, with the weir bridge to be adapted for easier access. The council agreed to accept a quotation of £350 for the repointing of the fronts of the wall at the School Lane playing field Memorial Gates. The council’s current plan is to provide a skate park and multi-use games area on the School Lane playing field, and to extend the pavilion to accommodate the increasing number of young people attending the Youth Café. The plans depend upon obtaining funding that is proving difficult to obtain. It was agreed that the Clerk prepare proposals for a BMX track at Meadow Lane which might be an acceptable and cheaper alternative to a formal skate park.

THE BIRSTALL POST MAY 2011 Pic (left): Liam, Sarah and Sophie dramatising their mods and rockers interpretation of Romeo and Juliet

Dance, drama & song

Pic: dance troupe performing America from West Side Story

Pic: the cast of the traditional performance of Romeo & Juliet

Pic: Rhea and Kate performing a dance from West Side Story

20 years of HATS THIS YEAR the Highcliffe Amateur Theatrical Society celebrates 20 years of bringing amateur dramatics to Birstall and the surrounding area. Except for a couple of those years this has been in the form of a play, usually a comedy, in the spring and a pantomime at the end of November. During the last 19 years we have performed over 35 plays/pantomimes and at each one we have held raffles to raise money for both

local and national charities. We are a selffunding group and all the money raised through ticket sales goes on the production costs, which are usually substantial, and improvements to our equipment. As part of our celebrations we are holding an open evening in June. It will


ROMEO AND Juliet was the theme for a showcase by year 9 Performing Arts students at Stonehill School. Dances from West Side Story, a traditional performance of the play and scenes brought into the 1960s with Mods and Rockers all featured, along with performances of rock and pop classics as well as compositions by students. Over 150 students took part and Kate Phipps, Head of Performing Arts, said: “There were many memorable performances from the evening and to all the pupils who took part – well done, we are immensely proud of you all.”

Pic: Jacob playing Pic: Dionne and Lauren singing their Romeo’s song on the guitar interpretation of Mr Heart Will Go On

be a chance for anyone who has ever thought of being involved in amateur dramatics, either on stage or behind the scenes, to meet us and to see some of the things that go into putting on a performance. Look out for more details soon. This year, our spring production is ‘Play On’ by Rick Abbot and our nominated charity for the raffle proceeds is First Step, a registered charity who give help and support to adult males who have been victims of sexual abuse. The play is a behind the scenes comedy in the tradition of Noises Off. A theatre group is trying desperately to put on a play in spite of the maddening interference from a haughty authoress who keeps

revising the script right up to a few days before the show opens. It takes place in three acts. Act one is a rehearsal four days before opening night. Act two is the last dress rehearsal and Act three is the opening night of the play. It is a very funny insight into activity of a typical AmDram group. Just like HATS! Performances are at Highcliffe School, Greengate Lane in Birstall on 19, 20 and 21 May 2011 starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 (concessions £5) available by phoning 0116 2128757 or 07757 854 719 or by email at There is a discount for group bookings. From Rod Atkins, HATS

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Birstall salon & spa A SUCCESSFUL Birstall salon continues to grow. Davies and Greenwood have now been in Birstall for two years and in that time have won Leicester’s best hairdressers and been entered into the British hairdressing awards. Now they have refitted and expand-

ed their Sibson Road salon: they now have their second beauty room and nail area with lots of new beauty and spa treatments. Spokesman Darren Davies said: “Davies and Greenwood is now officially a day spa as well as a beauty and hair salon. You can now experience luxurious elemis spa facials, fantastic shellac 14 day nail finish and amazing minx nails as well as all our other treatments such as massage, hot stone therapy, spa manicures and pedicure, fake bake and all your waxing. When you have finished pampering yourself you can have a hair makeover or just a trim with Leicester’s best hairdressers.” Later on this year Davies and Greenwood will be adding to their service menu with brand new fast tanning sunshowers and sunbeds, fake bake spray tanning and elemis body treatments. For more information on the prices and services they offer you can download your own price guide from or call the reception team on 0116 2680518.

Life below stairs

Colourful collage CHILDREN FROM local schools have created a piece of art that has been hung in the Village Hall. The project was led by Longslade College’s artist in residence Anna Davis, following a request from Birstall Parish Council. Anna said: “We decided to run a competition for children at the local schools in Birstall; primary schools Highcliffe and Riverside, and Stonehill High School. “Pupils were asked to design a poster with the theme ‘Community in Birstall’. The three winning entries from each school were then invited to an Art day at Longslade Community College, where

YOU’VE SEEN Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey, now find out about real life below stairs in the great country houses of the Victorian/Edwardian period. Birstall library is offering a talk by our very own local expert Nick Marshall to anyone who is interested in the history of servants in the age of Victoria. The talk compares the duties and pay of male and female domestic servants and looks at the strict hierarchy of their world. From butlers to laundresses and gamekeepers to ladies’ maids, learn more about their everyday lives. The talk begins at 7.15pm on Thursday May 19 and will last up to an hour. Tickets are £3 from Birstall library, and are available now.

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NHW news

& crime report AS THE weather gets warmer and we think of going on holiday there are steps that we can all take to help prevent crime. It is all too easy to leave windows and doors open when we go out into the garden or go upstairs. Please, always shut your windows and lock the doors. Unfortunately, it is easy access for the opportunist burglar! If you are going on holiday there are lots of things that you can do to help prevent burglaries. Please do not tell everyone you meet that you will be away from your property. By all means tell a close friend or neighbour, or your NHW co-ordinator. There are lots of tell-tale signs that your property is empty; curtains or blinds closed all day are a big giveaway, as is putting your recycling out a week early. Why not ask a neighbour or your coordinator to put your recycling with theirs? Timers for lamps or lights are readily available and can make it look like someone is in. It is also worth asking someone you trust to push any post through the letterbox. Any steps you take will help to protect your property whilst you are away. If you would like advice on security and products that are available, please come along to our monthly advice shops.

they joined three students from the college and everyone involved contributed to the artwork. “All the students have shown exceptional talent, creativity and passion for their local community and created a bright and exciting piece.” Birstall Parish Council Clerk Steve Blackburn said: “The Council welcomed the attractive collage representing aspects of Birstall and the community. It will be on display in the Village Hall over the next few months.”

These are held on the third Saturday of every month from 10-12 at the old council offices opposite the garden centre. From Karen Lewin, Birstall & Wanlip NHW Crime Report: Birstall March 15 to April 10 Assaults 7, harassment 4, burglary 2, burglary non-dwelling 4, damage 6, damage to motor vehicle 11, fraud 1, robbery 1, theft 6, theft of cycle 2, theft from motor vehicle 2, theft of motor vehicle 1, theft stores 5 PC2139 Richard Carruthers, PCSO 6611 Mark Butler, PCSO 6438 Stuart Venables. Birstall Police Office: 0116 2677355

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Methodist Artist’s vision of church local landmark

Garden Trail Passports The Garden trail will be in the lower half of the Greengate Estate on Saturday & Sunday June 11 & 12. Passports will be available from many shops in Birstall later in May. It is always cheaper to buy your passport ‘in advance’ and you can use it on either day. Favourite Things (without Pews) Did you enjoy the exhibition in Holy Week in the church without pews? There were almost 250 photos of Birstall folk listing their favourite things. The worship area of our premises, is on the one hand the ‘centre’ of our premises, on the other hand it is the least used part of our very heavily used premises. Removing the pews apart from a chance for a spring clean, revealed the ‘floor space’ available. Could our worship area be used, appropriately, more for the wider community in Birstall? A thought to consider! Pantomime Result The Mens Pantomime in February raised over £1800 for church funds and left sufficient in the ‘kitty’ for next year’s production. The Pantomime Group are only too aware that we need more men to join the cast for Jack & the Beanstalk in 2012. Rehearsals start in late September. Diamond Golden, Silver – or just another year? On the Sunday morning of May 15, the service led by Rev Rachel Parkinson will be to celebrate wedding anniversaries. Whether or not you have an anniversary to celebrate, do come along and share with those who have years together to celebrate. 30 years of the Coffee Shop As reported in last months ‘Post’ Birstall Coffee Shop celebrated 30 years of service and outreach to the people of Birstall this year. Run by a team of volunteers from all three Birstall churches and beyond, it opens every Tuesday to Saturday from 10am until noon. It offers tea, coffee, delicious homemade cakes and scones but, more importantly, a place to come and meet your friends and, if you don't feel you have many, a place to come and make new ones. For many people living by themselves the coffee shop is a hugely important place of contact with others. It's for all ages, and there's often an age-span of ninety years between the youngest and eldest coffee shop customer. On top of all that, the coffee shop raises significant amounts to support charities every year. The coffee shop is also open Saturdays usually run by a different groups or organisations for their own funds. Annual Church Meeting Is to be held on Sunday May 8, all members & friends are welcome. From Tony Moore

ARTIST CHARLIE Carter with his design for a cedar tree has been chosen to create the public art for the Birstall Park and Ride site. The 20 ft tree will be built from steel with some cedar cladding and will be installed by June.

Pic: Charlie Carter with a model of his design

The Hampshire based artist is a graduate of St Martin ‘s College of Art, London. He said: “I think that Birstall Park and Ride needs a landmark. Something tall and bold enough to cut the skyline from all directions and compete for attention with the service area opposite. “Unlike the globally branded corporate signs in the service area, this landmark needs to be unique to Birstall, expressing a strong sense of place and identity for both new and existing residents of all ages and backgrounds. It needs, over time, to become a part of the landscape and woven into the fabric of the locality. It should look to the past history of the

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village for inspiration and represent the future of a greatly enlarged Birstall which, through the Park and Ride, becomes a gateway to Leicester itself. “I began by thinking about what form I could use for the sculpture that would fulfil this need for a significant landmark. I researched what I could on Birstall and its history and it quickly became evident that the 17th century cedar tree in Roman Road was an important feature, especially as it is on the village sign and letterhead. Trees have long been used as symbols in art and it seemed appropriate to use this tree to represent the roots of the village in its history and its growth over time. It would link past with present and symbolise stability in a changing world.” Mr Carter has recently completed a sculpture for a new science block at a Portsmouth school and has also created public art in Littlehampton, Swindon and Southampton. Charlie Carter was chosen from a short list of three by a steering group that included local councillors, including Birstall Parish Cllr Neville Mayes. He said: “I’ve always thought money spent on things like this was money wasted, I’ve never been much impressed with these things, monoliths and the like, but when I was invited to offer my views and get involved my attitude changed considerably. “I was impressed with the short listed artists, they were bright and very talented. I liked Charlie’s idea and the way he had incorporated the railway into the design, and I have ended up quite excited by the project.”

Pic: the Portsmouth Grammar school ‘celestial microscope’, Charlie Carter’s last work

The artwork will cost £57,000 and will be paid for by the developers of Hallam Fields, Jelson Ltd. Jelson are required to pay under the terms of the section 106 planning agreement, negotiated by Charnwood Borough Council as a condition of planning permission for Hallam Fields. The total section 106 contributions that Jelsons must pay as part of the section 106 agreement is £4,233,252. This includes £2,050,000 for a primary school and recreation centre and £350,000 for a new Community Meeting Hall.


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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:

Cancer For some years now I have been attempting to reach out to people as regards information on cancer cures which many people are not aware of, information that is not disseminated by the pharmaceutical industry, the medical community, the mainstream media and the fundraising organisations/groups. The following is a small selection of information that any diligent research will give a broader and clearer understanding of this subject. Suggested websites: Two examples of researchers, their books and websites: Dr Hulda Clark – book: ‘The Cure for All Cancers’ ISBN 1-890035-00-9 Website: Nenah Sylver – book: ‘The Rife Frequency Handbook’ ISBN 978-09818075-0-8 Jonathan Barker Editor’s note: readers may wish to consult when considering the merits of ‘alternative’ cancer treatments

Money wasted Having read that there’s to be a Park & Ride sculpture erected at a cost of £57,000 I find this totally unacceptable and a disgrace. First of all a lot of charity groups are struggling to carry on with small amounts of donations etc. How come we can spend, or Jelsons can spend, £57,000 on a piece of metal, that no one really cares about, if the truth was known. Surely Jelsons can spend it on more worthy causes in this day and age of cuts! How on earth can anyone justify this waste of money! Giving to hospitals or care homes would be a better idea, not a piece of metal! Two students from Longslade School could design something as good as that for nowhere near the cost. Carl Gunns

Club is tops After a recent visit on a Friday evening to Birstall Social Club where I met up with my three sons, I have to say what a great time we had. The friendly atmosphere makes this place so good. So well done to the people who add to the making of this club, that is the Reception from the friendly doorman and the ever cheerful bar staff and all you Birstall folks with a friendly word and who know how to enjoy themselves. Dean of Gunns’ Gym


I agree with Mr B C Burrows (The Birstall Post, April) that there are several vehicles turning right illegally when leaving the service road outside the banks etc which face Loughborough Road. One day in March I saw a car being driven the wrong way along the service road and at the entrance to the service road (opposite Santander bank) the driver made an illegal exit onto the A6. Also I agree with the comments made by P Baker about the number of cars being parked in the Wayne Way and it becoming virtually a car park during the day although I have to admit parking I have just spent three weeks in hospital and I would like to thank my family, there myself on occasions (but not on the yellow lines) when all the spaces friends (known and unknown) for the outside Barclays have been occupied. wonderful care and support they have given to me. I am now on the slow road The Wayne Way/Sibson Road junction is a dangerous junction because when a to recovery. car needs to leave the Wayne Way, and Mrs K A Biddles


between there and the traffic lights cars are parked all along the parking bay outside these shops etc, it is very difficult to spot any cars travelling along Sibson Road from the traffic lights. One evening during March I had a very frightening experience at this junction. Soon after I turned into Sibson Road I noticed a large white lorry waiting at the end of the Wayne Way. I think it was probably one of those large lorries which make deliveries to the flower shop on The Meadway. As I continued driving along Sibson Road and approached The Wayne Way the driver of the lorry decided to move out and turn right into Sibson Road. I managed to stop my car just a few feet from the lorry as it turned around me – whilst feeling my heartbeat rise rapidly! There were cars parked all along the parking bay so I suppose the lorry driver wasn’t able to see my car approaching although as it was getting dark, I had my headlights on fully. I think this junction is ‘an accident waiting to happen! I have lived on Greengate Lane since 1976 and since then the traffic using it has increased considerably especially in the busy morning and late afternoon periods when commuters are travelling to and from work places. One morning recently I decided to carry out a count of vehicles during one of those busy periods which I did from my house for half an hour from 8.15am to 8.45am and the result is as follows: Cars 338, Vans 23, Lorries 3, School buses 3, motorbikes 2, cycles 7. That is a total of 376 vehicles in just 30 minutes with most of them travelling towards the bridge over the railway. In the past year or so the number of very large lorries travelling along Greengate Lane seems to have increased and it seems likely that some of them are ignoring the weight restriction of 7.5 tons although there are signs at each end of Greengate Lane indicating that restriction for lorries (apart from unloading). The bridge appears very solid and well constructed but when it was built many years ago it seems doubtful that it was designed to carry the enormous number of vehicles that travel across it nowadays. It seems unlikely that it was envisaged that very large and heavy lorries would be crossing each day and presumably that is the reason for the weight restriction being in place. I wonder if the police have every checked the registered weight of very large lorries (and indeed double-decker buses) using Greengate Lane each day? I assume that engineers check the bridge regularly to assess whether there is any signs of wear and tear, any cracks in the brickwork etc? Mr J Woods

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Noticeboard all details printed free 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! •••

Coffee Morning Saturday May 7 10am to 12noon at the Methodist Coffee Shop, Wanlip Lane Various stalls, raffle, cakes All proceeds to Mothers’ Union Chalet Holidays (Holidays for families in need) Reg Charity no. 250038 •••

Tea and Cakes At St Leonard’s Church, Main Street, Swithland LE12 8TJ Saturday & Sunday May 7 & 8 from 2-4.30pm Second hand books for sale also Donations in aid of church funds •••

May Summer Carnival Sunday May 15 Organised by Loughborough Lions Southfields Park, Loughborough 12.30-4.30pm £5 family ticket, £2 adults, £1 concessions Arena events include: Top Lodge Dancing Dog Team, Leics & Rutland Pipe Band, Dako Flying Angel's Gymnasts, ‘Owls to Behold’, & Armstrong’s Fair Bigger better family amusements, Kit Car Stand, Charity Stalls, Craft Stalls Refreshments and much much more! Due to space restrictions there will NOT be a car boot This is a great family day out raising funds for LOROS and other Lions Charities For more information contact Ann 01509 232422 •••

Riverside United under 13s 2011/12

Players Wanted Riverside are looking for new players for our 11 a side team and 9 a side team for


Saturday May 21, 10am – 1pm Stalls include: plants, cakes, craft, books, bric a brac, tombola and raffle Light refreshments available Please come along to help continue with the ongoing excellent refurbishment of this facility ••• Charnwood Conservative Association

Spring Fair Saturday May 14 The Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley 10am till noon Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP will be attending Raffle, tombola, books, plants, produce stalls, games, bric a brac etc •••

Belgrave Cemetery Sunday May 8, 2-3pm Talk by Joy May A Brief History of the English Cemetery Plus a Demonstration of Memorial Lead Lettering Donation of £2 per head will include complimentary refreshments Children free if accompanied by an adult •••

South American Charity Gala Evening

Annual 3 mile/5k run/walk around Watermead Country Park Sunday May 22 10am registration for 11am start A great family fun day out for all ages, starting on Whiles Lane river bank, Birstall Finishing at Birstall United Club House, Meadow Lane Cakes/bbq/sweets/games Medals for fastest boys/girls/men/women Penalty shoot-out/bouncy castle Licensed bar/tea & coffee Thank you for your support •••

Film Presentations from Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council ‘The King’s Speech’ Friday May 13 (118 mins) Starring Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter, this film has won an outstanding

Bluebell Walk Come and walk among the glorious bluebells in a woodland setting All the beautiful gardens at 240 Markfield Lane, Markfield Sunday May 1 11am-3.30pm Car parking in grounds Various refreshments all day Books & paintings for sale All proceeds in aid of charities Admission, adults £2 at the gate, children £1 (under 5 free) •••

The Latimer Players

‘Love Begins at 50’ a fast moving farce by Raymond Hopkins Memorial Hall, Anstey Lane, Thurcaston On May 26,27 & 28 at 7.30pm Tickets: 01827 880834 ••• Charnwood Arts

Picnic in the Park Monday May 30, 12noon Queens Park, Granby Street, Loughborough Stalls, street performance, dance, food •••

Singing for Fun Saturday May 28, 7.45pm St James the Great, Birstall A light hearted musical evening with music ranging from Verdi to Tony Christie and plenty of opportunity for audience participation! FREE admission – retiring collection •••

Rothley Bowling Club Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley (rear of library) The Bowls Green is now open for play and the club offers a warm welcome to all new members. Alternatively anyone wishing to find out more about the game and ‘have a go’ is invited to join us at our Chummy Evenings which will be held from 5.30pm onwards every Wednesday evening from May 11 onwards. All equipment provided, just need flat soled shoes. All welcome – young, old, male, female, novices, experienced players. Further information can be obtained from the Ladies Captain, Mrs Carol Ballantine 0116 2302629 email: or the Men’s Captain: John Tebbet 0116 2301464 email: ••• Thurcaston & Cropston

Open Gardens Weekend June 25/26, 2-6pm Tickets £4 available on the day, valid for both days Accompanied children & wheelchair users free In aid of Richard Hill School funds •••

Wednesday July 13 at 7pm Designed to appeal to everyone there is both a five mile run and a three mile ‘fun’ run on a flat off road circuit around the attractive Watermead Country Park just to the north of Leicester. Last year’s event attracted 180 competitors of all abilities and we are looking to add to that number this year. This year the event is in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (Leicestershire and Rutland Branch). So get your running shoes on, get some exercise and support a worthy cause! Please visit for full entry details •••

Birstall British Legion Sat May 7: Trev Budgie Walton (M/V) Sat May 14: Claire Mac (F/V) Sat May 21: Mick Knight (M/V) Sat May 28: Carl Stevens (M/V) Dancing every Sat night with live entertainment Free beer raffle Quicky & normal Bingo and ‘Open the Box’ Quiz nights Sunday May 8 & 29 starting at 9pm Bingo every Tuesday night starting at 9.30pm Acoustic night Sunday May 15 Rock & Roll nights 1st & 3rd Wednesday Food available every Sat 12-2pm Funeral/wakes catered for Open Bank Holiday Mon 2 and 30 – families welcome Food served Bank Holiday Mon May 30 •••

Birstall Conservative Branch have postponed the trip to York from May 12 to August 25 Please make a note in your diary •••

Birstall Bowling Club School Lane playing fields Saturday May 7 10am to 12noon

Open Morning All welcome, please wear flat shoes •••




Birstall BAGS

is holding Open Days on Wednesday, June 8, 5.30-9pm And Sunday June 12, 9.30am-1pm At Co-op Sports & Social Club, Birstall Road Juniors, seniors and families welcome ••• Leicester Host Lions Club invites everyone to a

Sunday June 5 11am to 4pm approx at the Equestrian Centre, Brooksby College, Brooksby, Nr Melton Mowbray LE14 2LJ Free admission – bucket collection for Air Ambulance ••• Raise the Roof for The Stroke Association and The Laura Centre with



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Watermead Challenge 2011


Live entertainment, Latin American buffet, grand auction Raising funds for Motor Neurone Disease Association Saturday June 4, 7.30pm Midlands Co-operative Sports & Social Club, Birstall Road £10 per person Tickets from Loughborough & Co-operative Funeral Service, The Crossways •••

Birstall Watermead Tennis Club

The Melton Mowbray Heavy Horse Show


May Fair

four Oscar awards. It is the story of George VI, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch to become worthy of his unparalleled responsibility. ‘Tamara Drewe’ Friday June 10 (111 minutes) Our last film before the summer break will be a British comedy, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Gemma Arterton. Once the ‘ugly duckling’ in a Dorset village, Tamara Drewe returns as a surprisingly attractive newspaper journalist. She is fun loving and light hearted and consequently passions run high in this part of rural England. Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council will be showing these films at Thurcaston Memorial Hall. Starting at 7.30pm, tickets cost £4.50 and concessions are £4. The price includes refreshments and a lucky prize draw. Advance tickets can be purchased via the parish office, 0116 2367626 or at the door ••• Serving up a treat in your community!


next season. If you’re sick of being on the bench or just fancy a change we may be the club for you? Next season we age aiming to be challenging at the top or our Division so if you want the challenge come and join our friendly group of lads We train Thursdays at Wreake Valley College, Syston, 6-7.30pm, most Saturdays Training is aimed at improving players individually and as a team All coaches are Level 1 Qualified and CRB checked If you’re interested in playing and enjoying your football at a friendly club please don’t hesitate to contact Chris 07742009343 email Or just come along ••• Wanlip Church and Community Centre

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Coffee Morning for Japan St James’ Church Saturday May 14, 10am to 12noon Japanese snacks, Japanese tea to raise donations to help the continuing relief effo rts for the country Rev Stephen Crofts 0116 3279781 •••

Birstall Methodist Women’s Group

Coffee Morning at the Methodist Church Coffee Shop Wanlip Lane, Saturday May 21 10am to 12noon Various stalls: books, plants, cakes, tombola and raffle Proceeds to Heartlink and Cystic Fibrosis •••

Birstall Methodist Women’s Group We welcome any ladies who would like to join our small friendly group For May/June we have the following May 9: ‘3 Bags Full’, Mrs Jane Scott May 16: ‘Life After Parliament’ Mr Andy Reed May 22: Harrison Road Church, at Harrison Road May 23: ‘Putting on the Glitz’ Supper, music and dress up if you want June 6: ‘Our Visit to the Cameroon’, Mr David Bark •••

Horrible Histories Rotten Romans Free Workshop Count in Roman numerals, cartoon making etc Birstall Library, Thursday June 2 11am to 12noon 7-11 years Sign up at Birstall Library, limited spaces Book early on 3058765 •••

Free Health Checks at Birstall Library Get your fitness tested by an expert and

That Birstall Parish Council has applied for a licence to use the premises known as School Lane Playing Field, Birstall for the purpose of Regulated Entertainment (Live Music, Recorded Music, Boxing Display and Performances of Dance)for the Birstall Gala 2011: 25th & 26th June 2011 Dated: 1 May 2011 Any objections or representations in respect of the application should be made in writing to the Deputy Partnership & Customer Services, Charnwood Borough Council, Council Offices, Southfield Road, Loughborough, LE11 2TX. Representations/objections must be received by: 28 May 2011 The applicant will be supplied with copies of any objections. A record of the application can be inspected at the Council Offices at the aforementioned address during normal office hours. It is an offence to knowingly or recklessly make a false statement in or in connection with an application. Any person found guilty of such an offence shall be liable on summary conviction to a maximum find in the sum of £5,000.00.

get ready for the summer by booking a Free Health Check at Birstall Library Thursday May 5, 10am-1pm Thursday June 16, 10am-1pm A BIRSTALL schoolgirl has created a Thursday August 18, 10am –1pm prize winning video with an anti-racHealth checks are FREE and cover body fat %, weight, body water %, and visceral fat, ist message. muscle mass/bone mass, basal metabolic Sarah Hulme (14), a Year 9 student rate and blood pressure! at Stonehill school has won a national The health check days are run by Active schools competition run by the charity Together Charnwood ‘Show Racism the Red Card’. Booking is taken at Birstall library or tel: Sarah’s video has her voiceover over 0116 3058756 footage of images of a diverse popula•••

Sarah’s winning film

Cheeky Cherubs Mother Baby/Toddler Group Every Monday 10-12 Birstall Methodist Church, Wanlip Lane Everyone welcome, just turn up, children from 0-4 years Teas & coffees for parents, healthy snack for children Craft table weekly, good range of toys for all ages Open all throughout the holidays Friendly group, for more info contact Paula on 22l0147/07934551563 •••

Pistol Gala Saturday June 4 9.30am registration for a 10am start at the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre, Loughborough Road, Leicester LE4 5PN Events for the day will include: • a two-tier metal plate shoot • 6 yard single stroke pneumatic triathlon • the Harris Nut Catcher • pistol HFT Entry price £10 adults, £7.50 Juniors/OAPs (under 18 to be accompanied by an adult) Pistols must be holstered/cased during the day’s events with safety glasses worn in the shooting areas Refreshments available For further info and bookings for camping please contact Steve Prime on 01162 676252 (office hours) or 01162 676114 (evenings) ••• Birstall Methodist Thursday Group

Fundraising coffee morning in aid of Richard Engelgardt Trust Saturday June 4, 10-12noon in the Coffee Shop, Wanlip Lane Cakes, books, tombola etc •••

CLASH Spring Get Online Session Clash will be holding a drop-in support session on Thursday May 19 in the BBC computer room at 9 St Nicholas Place to help anyone who has arthritis and would like help to develop their computer skills. The session is free and will run from 14pm. We can also provide Myguide training for anyone who would like to mentor a friend/relative with arthritis. For further info email Chris Thomas at or tel: 07954584402. Further group details can be found on the website: ••• Birstall Methodist Thursday Group A concert by

The Heart of England Barbershop Chorus Thursday June 2, 7.30pm Birstall Methodist Church Tickets £5 from Dorothy 2673158 or June 2675615 or pay at the door Proceeds to the Richard Engelgardt Trust

tion of ethnic groups and the disabled – she describes the problems of racism and how people can eradicate it and make the world a better place. Sarah said: “I didn’t think what I did was that impressive, but I’m delighted to have been recognised for what I have done”. Sarah worked on the video at school and at home, as part of the Citizenship curriculum. Headteacher Alan Monks said: “We are so delighted that Sarah has won such a prestigious prize. Having seen the quality of her work I can quite understand why the judges were so unanimous in their verdict. Sometimes when you work with young people you have moments which are quite humbling when you realise the extent of their efforts to contribute to making this a happier world.”

Pic: Sarah Hulme with Stonehill Headteacher Alan Monks

The competition organisers were so impressed with the video that they are hoping to use it in cinemas nationally and on a new DVD which will be seen in primary schools across the country. Sarah will attend the awards ceremony at Newcastle United’s home ground, St James’ Park where she will be given a VIP tour of the stadium.

Cricket Corner BIRSTALL VILLAGE Cricket Club held their Annual Club Presentation Evening on Saturday March 26 at the St Margarets Bowls Club on Birstall Road. It was a very well supported and successful evening allowing past members, current club and future club members the opportunity to get together before the upcoming season and celebrate the previous season. Entertainment was provided by ‘Tammy’ which went on till late in the evening allowing everyone involved to show off their dancing prowess! Player awards were presented on the evening to acknowledge the success of the 2010 season. 1st Team: Batting Average – Andy Galpin; Bowling Average – Joshua Saye; Player of the Year – Andy Galpin 2nd Team: Batting Average – Hamish Carnan; Bowling Average – Steve Findley; Player of the Year – Joel Saye Birstall Under 17’s: Batting Average – Jack Wright; Bowling Average – Akshay Desai; Most Improved Player – Matthew Calvert; Manager’s Player of the Year – Ashley Coulthard. The 2011 season began on April 23 (1st Team only), with the first home game on Saturday May 7. The Birstall Vipers begin their evening League on Thursday May 5 and run most Thursday evenings with the finals beginning July 14. Club supporters and interested spectators are all welcome to come down and make use of the club’s facilities! The Birstall Village has club polo shirts available for purchase from the club house and the new club website is currently under construction and is looking to be ‘online’ very soon at From Joshua Saye

Pic: 1st Team Award Winners (l-r) Andy Galpin, Joshua Saye

Pic: 2nd Team Award Winners (l-r) Hamish Carnan, Steve Findley, Joel Saye.

Pic: Under 17’s Award Winners (l-r) Hamish Carnan (Under 17’s manager), Akshay Desai, Matthew Calvert, Ashley Coulthard.


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Swimming lessons

Birstall bowls open morning

SWIMMING LESSONS for adults are BIRSTALL BOWLING Club is holding an available at the Soar Valley Leisure open morning at the club on School Centre in Mountsorrel. Lane playing fields on Saturday May 7 The courses are suitable for mixed between 10am to 12noon for anyone abilities, including absolute beginners. who is interested in playing bowls. Sandra Brown from Wymeswold had All you need are a pair of flat shoes been terrified of water, only had 10cm or trainers as all equipment will be of water in the bath and would not put provided. Club members will be on hand her face in water. She had never been in to offer advice and assistance. a swimming pool before starting the The club play ladies’, men’s and lessons. mixed friendly games against other clubs The swimming teachers built her in Leicestershire, as well as league confidence and ability and she can now matches and national, county, parks and swim the breaststroke. internal club competitions. Courses at the SVLC are held on MonFor further details, men can call days 11am-12noon, Wednesdays 11Grahame on 2673000 or Andy on 12noon and Fridays 8.30-9.30pm. Cours- 2677969 and ladies can ring Jan on es are for 9 or 10 weeks and cost £5.25 2122578 or Diane on 2675457. per session . Next term begins on May 4. More about the club is on the webDetails site which can be found by putting ‘Birstall Bowling Club’ into a search Tel: 0116 237 5267 engine.

Rotary donations TWO LOCAL community groups have received donations from the Wreake Valley Rotary Club. In March the Club held a cheque presentation evening at the Britannia Inn in Queniborough. Several local community groups including Birstall Youth Café and Birstall Playgroup for Children with Special Needs were invited to the event to receive donations to support their continuing good work in this area. The playgroup intend to buy a floor standing unbreakable mirror for the children with the money received. Chris Battye, President of the Rotary Club, said: “The money we presented was collected from local people during our fundraising events such as the Christmas Santa Sleigh that many people will have seen. The evening is a way of expressing our thanks to these local groups and their leaders, and of enabling the community as a whole to support them in the good work that they do.”

Pic (top): Claire Attewell and her daughter Claire with Rotary’s Steve Hoggar & (bottom) Luke Hartwell and Lee Percival from Birstall Youth Café with Rotarian Nigel Coleman



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United are champions BIRSTALL UNITED Juniors Under 10 Foxes have won Division 4 of the Leicester and District Mutual Football League. They were crowned champions after clinching the title on the last day of the season with a 2-0 win at home to Rothley Imps with Tom Carr scoring both of the goals. Foxes Manager, Steve Carr, said: “Division 4 was a tight group with some very strong teams and it was no surprise to anyone that, come the last two games of the season, there were four teams in with a shout of winning the title. “We are a team that never let our heads drop and the fantastic players I have got love and dream football and give it their all each and every game. And while the last game could have resulted in us dropping to third place, a win would see us win the title. The play-

ers handled the pressure tremendously to pull off the win against Rothley and claim the title. He added: “We have played really well all season and only conceded eight goals. I would like to take this opportunity to say a big well done to all of the lads – they really deserve it. I have been a manager with the same team from under 7s to under 10s and now am very excited and looking forwarding to next season when we progress to 11 a side.” Pic: BUJFC Under 10 Foxes showing off their league trophy. The players are Tom, Jack, Joe, Bhavan, Luke, Brandon, Tyler, Dylan, Callum, Sujeevan, Christopher

Women’s Institute news

• Burglar Alarms • CCTV • Access Control • Fire Alarms


WITH OVER 31 ladies including two new members the room was buzzing as we arranged a more creative seating plan to fit everyone in. Included in our gathering was Yasmin an Irish lurcher hearing dog and her owners Matt and Denise Taylor who talked to us about the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. We learnt that it takes £7500 to train a hearing dog and as fundraising is always an issue member Margaret Willows has agreed to co-ordinate the collection of postage stamps so that we can help them raise money. The talk was so enlightening, we really do have some excellent speakers at our meetings. Future events were discussed including our summer coach trip to Webbs of

Wychbold on August 15 and we have invited Birstall Allotment Society to join us for this. Plans are still being made for our Wild West evening on June 6 and we have almost filled the Ascot coach for June 18. Cakes, plants and a ‘tinbola’ are planned for our mega Methodist Coffee Shop on July 9 – this is not to be missed. Anne Waite was the winner of this month’s competition ‘Face on an Egg’ and next month’s will be a ‘Flower Arrangement in a Wine Glass’. This will be our Resolution night and takes place on May 9 in the Community Rooms at Highcliffe Primary School at 7.15pm. Afterwards we will be entertained by Highcliffe Harmony. From Birstall & Wanlip WI



Parish church news

Band’s big chance A BIRSTALL musician’s band has reached the final stages of a competition to find Britain’s best unsigned act. James Lewis formed the James Lewis Band in 2009 and they will be competing against the most talented bands and artists in the region at a Midlands final of ‘Live and Unsigned’ on May 7. James said: “Winning this competition would open so many doors for us as the prizes are worth up to £100,000 includ-

Yoga kids TRY YOGA with your toddler at Birstall Village Hall this summer.

“Yoga bugs is a unique parent & toddler activity which embraces all the elements of a hatha yoga class and much more” says Sam Chamberlain, Physical Activity Development Officer at Charnwood Borough Council. “Classes are introduced through story telling and magical adventures that will inspire your child’s imagination while having a whole lot of fun. Each class will involve a warm up, posture, relaxation and visualisation work all in a safe environment. Long term benefits include stronger sense of self esteem, respect for one another and values of a healthy lifestyle.” If you want to come along and have a go, sessions start every Thursday starting May 19-July 21, with no sessions on June 9 & July 7, at Birstall Village Hall, 1.302.30pm. Classes cost £1.50 per adult. Wear loose clothing. Booking advised – for more questions or to book please contact the Active Together team on 01509 632534 or alternatively email:

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ing recording time, UK tours and festival opportunities on a much bigger scale.” Last summer the James Lewis Band won Leicestershire’s Battle of the Bands and secured a place at Leicester’s Sum-

mer Sundae weekend festival.

Bowls open day

Small Ads

A LOCAL bowls club has organised an Open Day in May.

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.

St Margaret’s Co-operative Bowls Club on Birstall Road are aiming to attract new members at the event on Sunday May 22 from 2-4pm. A club spokeswoman said: “We will be introducing people to the game of bowls and hopefully they will want to have a go! Playing bowls is fun, challenging, enjoyable and social and the game is played by thousands of people. “Here at St Margaret’s Co-operative bowls club we have one of the best greens in Leicestershire and a committed membership with men’s and ladies’ sections. We play the game at all levels, have free coaching and a good social side, with events summer and winter.” The club on Birstall Road is on the Co-operative Sports and Social ground. The spokeswoman added: “Do come and visit us on our open day – try bowling, meet some of our members, have a look round and enjoy a chat about the game and some refreshments.” More details from Don and Joan Hope 0116 2873783

Street party CHARNWOOD BOROUGH Council approved five applications for neighbourhoods to hold street parties to mark the Royal Wedding on April 29. Street closure applications were received for one street in Cropston, two in Loughborough, one in Anstey, and one in Hathern. A total of 11 enquiries were received.


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Tel: 0116 2682910 FREE ESTIMATES

Pic: (l-r) Sean Taft, Tom Croft and James Lewis of The James Lewis Band

AIRPORT CARS Birstall. Airports, Seaports, Long Distance, Courier. Tel: 0777 1984806 TELEPHONE EXTENSION Sockets fitted by ex-BT engineer. Cable, BT and digital TV. Over 25 yrs experience. John 2675132 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 PET PORTRAITS on canvas. Your pet photos transformed into fine art. Prices from £50 Tel: Julie 0759 4793118 or visit ACCOUNTANCY SERVICES provided by qualified accountant. Low rates for sole traders/small businesses. Tel: 2673951

A joyful Easter It was great for our two churches to be able to celebrate Easter for the first time with our new Rector, Vince Jupp, last month, and to welcome back Stephen Crofts, our Curate, to resume his full-time ministry in the parish. With such a shortage of clergy in the Church of England (and in other denominations), Birstall and Wanlip are very fortunate to be served by two such able priests. Looking back… At the annual church meeting just before Easter, the two retired priests, Revd Robin Martyn and Revd Sheila Skidmore (with Revd Colin Rushforth until December) were thanked for their magnificent work in the last year ‘keeping the show on the road’ at Sunday and midweek services. The Readers too, particularly Bert Tegg and Lesley Walton have conducted funeral services and taken on many other responsibilities, along with the Pastoral Assistants, Sandra Robinson, Marion Tegg and Gill Pope. It has certainly made everyone very aware of what a lot is expected of full-time ministers in the churches! …and forward! Inevitably, some major decisions about the future direction and activities of the church had to be delayed until the arrival of the new Rector, but we have every reason to believe that new ideas are in the air and look forward to what the next year will bring. In these days of rising prices in every sphere of our lives, the church is not exempt from financial worries, particularly when the ‘parish share’ which Birstall and Wanlip has to contribute annually to the Leicestershire diocese is approximately £70,000 next year, mostly to pay for the salaries and pensions of clergy. To enjoy… May brings a couple of enjoyable social events: a trip to Loughborough to see ‘West Side Story’ at the Town Hall on Tuesday May 24 (ring 2674913 for more information), and the ‘Singing for Fun’ choirs, who gave such a splendid concert last summer at St James’ church, will be performing there again on Saturday 28th at 8pm with their conductor Anne Hughes. All proceeds from this will go to the Stroke Association and the Laura Centre, Leicester. From Beryl McHugh

The Midlands Co-Operative

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INFO AS BENEFITS Awareness Month continues, a new survey commissioned by Turn2us, part of the national charity Elizabeth Finn Care, has revealed that large numbers of older people are unaware of their entitlement to Pension Credit. Pension Credit serves as a top up to the state pension and is often an important source of income. The vital need for awareness is highlighted by the fact that almost half of those surveyed are struggling to make ends meet, including many who have suffered a detrimental impact on their mental health as a direct result of their financial situation. The survey reveals that although over 9 in 10 of those surveyed are aware that Pension Credit exists, 9 in 10 of those potentially eligible in the East Midlands are not claiming and well over half in the region do not believe they qualify for Pension Credit at all. These results are especially troubling given the fact that over the past six months, a quarter of those surveyed have struggled to pay their household bills, a third have had difficulties covering their housing costs, one in ten has had to miss one of the recommended three meals a day. Over half have struggled to buy clothes for themselves. Unsurprisingly, a third of those surveyed reported that they have been anxious or depressed over the past six months as a direct result of their financial situation. Turn2us launched its Benefits Awareness Month campaign at the beginning of April, urging anyone in financial need to visit, and ensure they are claiming all relevant benefits. Individuals can access an easy and quick to use benefits checker to calculate their possible entitlement to welfare benefits and tax credits. This is especially appropriate for older people, who are one of the groups most likely to need a little extra help, and also potentially unlikely to believe they could or should claim. Alison Taylor, Director of Turn2us, comments: “Many of the individuals who have used Turn2us to access benefits, say that before coming to us they were simply unaware of what they were entitled to or put off from claiming by the sheer complexity of the benefits system. Our research highlight’s that for some older people, claiming welfare benefits could mean the difference between being able to eat, heat their home or cover essential bills. At a time of major changes to the benefit system, it is more critical than ever for people to use the Turn2us benefit checker to find out what benefits they can claim, how much they should be receiving and how to apply. Campaign supporter Siân Lloyd is keen to help remove the stigma attached to claiming benefits: “It seems that, all too often, older people are surviving without their basic needs being met. No one should be forced to choose between heating their home and buying food. It’s especially worrying when there is help out there which people are not claiming. I

hope the Benefits Awareness Month campaign takes some of the stigma away from the act of checking entitlement for those who could have their lives significantly improved by the extra income.” PEOPLE'S happiness over their lifetime follows a U-shaped curve, with the young and the old the happiest and those in middle age the most unhappy, according to a study by economist Bert van Landeghem Young people are carefree and optimistic about their future and dissatisfaction does not begin to kick in until they are in their late twenties, said the 29-year-old researcher who presented his findings at the Royal Economic Society's annual conference in April. People over the age of 50 also rated highly on the happiness index, due to their acceptance and satisfaction with their lives. “A U-shaped happiness curve does not necessarily imply that a 65 year-old prefers his own life to the life of a 25 year

old,” said Mr van Landeghem. “Both the 25 year old and 65 year old might agree that it is nicer to be 25 than to be 65. But the 65 year old might nevertheless be more satisfied, as he has learned to be satisfied with what he has." The study found, however, that happiness dropped during middle-age, and the level of unhappiness experienced then could be "the equivalent to becoming unemployed or losing a family member." This unhappy period eased from the mid-forties onwards, when people became "more cheerful and optimistic, perhaps reaching a maximum in their late 70s or 80s." Van Landeghem said his findings were not limited to people who lived in the West. Separately, a survey of 341,000 people by the American National Academy of Sciences found that happiness levels began climbing in the late forties and peaked at age 85. The study attributed the spike in happiness to good health care and people doing more activities they enjoyed while cutting down on things they disliked. Middle-aged people, on the other hand, were often burdened by financial and time obligations such as looking after children and caring for their parents.

Planning P/11/0869/2: 12 The Meadway – erection of a conservatory P/11/0795/2: 22 Curzon Ave – erection of first floor extension and loft conversion. Erection of 4 car garage P/11/0794/2: 22 Curzon Ave – erection of first floor extension and loft conversion. Erection of a 6 car garage P/11/0749/2: 17 School Lane – proposed loft conversion with insertion of dormer windows P/11/0682/2: 23 Lawn Ave – insertion of dormer window to side of dwelling, insertion of rooflight to rear of dwelling P/11/0627/2: 128 Stonehill Ave – erection of single storey extension to side of dwelling

Visit gardens in the Ambergate, Castlegate Avenue, Wellgate Avenue area of Birstall Birstall Methodist Church’s

GARDEN TRAIL Saturday and Sunday 11th and 12th June 2011 2.00pm – 5.30pm Adults £3.00 in advance (obtainable from local retailers or telephone 0116 2677576) £3.50 on the day Accompanied children (16 & under) free

Garden Tombola, Plant Stall, Children’s Treasure Hunt Refreshments, Ices, Raffle In aid of the Leprosy Charity ‘Promise Nepal’ and Church Funds

Sponsored by Birstall Garden Centre

The Birstall BAG’s Cancer Corner May plays host to Sun Awareness Week. A few simple tips could help reduce your risk of skin cancer and knowing what to look out for might prompt you to seek advice. Early Diagnosis Saves Lives There are two main categories of skin cancer - melanoma and non-melanoma. Melanoma (also known as 'malignant melanoma') is less common than nonmelanoma cancers, but is the most dangerous. Non-melanoma skin cancers are mainly comprised of 'Basal Cell Carcinoma' (BCC) and 'Squamous Cell Carcinoma' (SCC). BCC is the most common and the least dangerous. Melanoma There is one main factor that increases the risk of developing melanoma ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light comes from the sun or sunbeds. But some people are more at risk of getting melanoma than others. Risk factors related to sun exposure include • Moles – the more moles you have, the higher your risk • Being very fair skinned – especially with fair or red hair, or having lots of freckles • Sunburn –sunburn increases your risk of melanoma, particularly in childhood • Where you were born – fair skinned people born in a hot country, such as Australia or Israel, have a higher risk of melanoma throughout their life • Sun exposure – on holiday, as well as sitting in the sun or sunbathing at home • Sunbeds – using sunbeds, particularly before the age of 35 Non Melanoma Skin Cancer There are two types of non melanoma skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). A history of sunburn increases the risk of BCC. Risk is especially high if you had several episodes of sunburn in childhood. The risk of SCC is linked to overall sun exposure through your life. This means that outdoor workers have an increased risk - for example, farm workers, gardeners and building site workers. Sunburn in childhood is also linked to SCC in some studies. Fair skinned people, with light coloured hair and eyes, or those more likely to burn than tan, are more at risk of sun damage than dark skinned people. Top sun safety tips You don't have to avoid the sun all year, but taking a few steps when out and about in the summer sun or when on a sunshine holiday will help to protect you from sunburn and the risk of skin cancer. 1. Protect the skin with clothing, including a hat, T shirt and UV protective sunglasses

Continued on page 16


The June issue of THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Jun 3. The copy deadline is May 20.


BAGS continued from page 15 2. Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when it’s sunny 3. Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 (SPF 50 for children or people with pale skin) which also has high UVA protection 4. Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight 5. Tell your doctor about any changes to a mole. For further information about Skin Cancer see The British Association of Dermatologists website or contact 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 Our annual 5k Walk/run/jog around Watermead Park is being held on Sunday May 22. Registration-Whiles Lane from 10 am race starts 11 am. £5 per adult, £3 per child, £10 per family. Finish Birstall United, Meadow Lane with BBQ, Bouncy Castle, Stalls, Bar. All Welcome From Liz Darlison

Taste of history STONEHILL students visited Bosworth battlefield and launched potatoes from a trebuchet as part of their research into medieval history.

Pic: serving potage are Kush Patel and Kassis Wright

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The Year 7 students were taking part in Enrichment Days which are put on by the school to offer students a rich variety of learning experiences. Over 200 students spent a day a Stonehill designing heraldic shields using software, made potage outdoors from a medieval recipe, built their own mini-catapult, played medieval board games, built a siege tower from paper straws and made their own piece of a large whole school tapestry. Head of Design, Technology and Art Paul Walker said: “It was a lot of hard work for the staff but worth it as the students seemed to enjoy it and get a lot from it.”

THE CHILDREN and staff of Rainbow Co-op Pre-school Playgroup, along with parents and friends, celebrated the forthcoming marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton in style with an indoor ‘Street Party’ at the Midlands Co-op Sports and Social ground on Birstall Road. Leader Julie Parker said: “We made hats and bunting and had great fun playing traditional games such as ‘flap the fish’ which became very competitive – with the parents! Everyone brought in some food to share, including Union Jack cakes and potted beef sandwiches, finishing off with red jelly and ice-cream. The children were each given a commemorative coaster to keep as a memento of the day. They also received an Easter egg from our sponsor, the Midlands Co-operative Society.” If you have a child aged 2 to 5 years of age and would like to join our small friendly pre-school, please contact Julie on 07793630612. Pic: Royal Rainbow party

In-work benefits

The June issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Jun 3. The copy deadline is May 20.


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

NINE OUT of ten of low earners are totally unaware of the existence of in-work benefits.

0116 2674213

Research by the Charity Turn2us also found that two thirds of those living on low incomes who may be entitled to in-work benefits are not claiming them. To find out if you are entitled to welfare benefits and tax credits visit

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

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Birstall Post May 2011 (335)  

Birstall Post May 2011

Birstall Post May 2011 (335)  

Birstall Post May 2011