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the Birstall post Y O U R




Summer art school

No. 338


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SEVENTEEN CHILDREN enjoyed a week long summer art school led by a local artist. “The whole week was a lovely experience for all involved” said artist Sue Faulks, who hired the Guides HQ building on Johnson Road for a week in August. The children, dubbed ‘The Birstall


Young Artists Group’ by Sue, learnt about drawing tone and shading and laying down a watercolour wash. Aged from 7-12, the group produced lots of artwork including a drawing of Aslan the Continued on page 3

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Local business takes on apprentices A LEADING company started by a Birstall man has taken on two new apprentices. Steve Walker Associates provides business support, training and manages apprenticeship schemes for some of the largest organisations in the country such as DHL, IBM and Royal Mail. The two apprentices are 18 year old Simon Green and former Longslade student Neil Greaney. Neil said: “SWA is a dynamic and fast growing business, with some big names on its clientele, so I feel very privileged to be one of the company’s first ‘apprentices’, and I am determined to bring an array of skills and ideas to the business.” The introduction of an apprenticeship scheme is part of SWA’s continuing growth strategy. They are based at Watermead Business Park and employ 25 people across the country. Managing Director, Steve Walker said: “We are absolutely delighted to have recruited such high calibre and ambitious people to grow and develop within our company. We believe that

Pic: Steve Walker Managing Director of SWA (centre) with new apprentices on their first day, Simon Green (left) and Neil Greaney

these two positions provide great career opportunities for Neil and Simon and everyone at SWA is really looking for-

90th birthday celebrations A BIRSTALL couple celebrated their 90th birthdays with a party. George and Marjorie Jones of Ambergate Drive celebrated with friends and family at the United Reformed Church in Loughborough on August 20. That year the couple, who met in a Blackpool ballroom in 1941, will have been married 64 years and have lived in Birstall since 1962.

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“A few weeks ago I sat down to weigh up all the figures and realised I needed more support to keep going” said Carl. “I’m paying out bills left right and centre and just not taking in enough money. I only charge £1, but I don’t want to put that up as a lot of people can’t afford it and I don’t want to lose members.” The gym is a not-for-profit enterprise that has had support in the shape of grants, awards and individual donations. It costs around £10,000 a year to run and currently has a shortfall of around £2000 a year. News of the gym’s plight on BBC local news and in the Leicester Mercury has resulted in the gym’s main sponsor, Parkhouse, increasing its support. James Alvey, a Birstall resident with a business in Quorn, has donated £200. His wife, son and daughter all train at the gym. Carl has also made plans for fundraising events – the first is a sponsored run around Birstall Lakes on Sunday, September 18. Sponsorship forms are available from the gym.

Art continued from page 1 Lion from the Narnia stories. Sue said: “There was a lovely atmosphere here during the week, the children loved having the opportunity to be creative and I loved the opportunity to pass on my knowledge and experience. I was really proud of the work they produced, and I hope that they were too.” Owing to the successes of the course, Sue is planning a Saturday morning art club – details to be announced.


A BIRSTALL boxing gym needs greater financial support to secure its future says its founder, Carl Gunns.

and they kindly recommended Neil to us, so it is nice to be giving something back.

ward to working with them. We developed a partnership with my previous school Longslade Community College



Park & ride mural CHILDREN FROM Birstall’s schools will be invited to produce a mural for the terminal building at the new park and ride. The project is being led by the Midlands Highways Alliance National Skills Academy in partnership with Tarmac/Carillion. The theme of the mural, 5 metres by 3 metres in size, will be the history of Birstall. Teams of students will pitch their design ideas to a Dragons Den style

panel of judges and the winners will start work on the mural on October 24. Artist Charlie Carter, whose tree sculpture will be installed within the park and ride site, is also creating a mural to go alongside the students’ work. It will portray the evolution of his tree sculpture, from research through to design and installation.

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2011 - 2012 Calendar of Meetings: Palmer Tomkinson Centre at Longslade Community College (Licensed Bar) Time 7.00pm - 9.00pm

Otter photographed in country park AN OTTER has been photographed in Watermead Country Park.

2012 Theme: Self-help and daily living Wednesday 14th September: What is Arthritis & how it affects daily living: discussion (facilitator- Sonal Godhania) Thursday 22nd September: Wii for all: e-sports4arthritis at Peepul Centre 4-5pm (every fortnight) Thursday 29th September: Computing for Beginners: e-learning4arthritis 3.30-4.30pm (every fortnight at PTC) Wednesday 12th October: World Arthritis Day Palmer Tomkinson Hall: Community Services for Children, Young People and Families with arthritis: GPs, nurses and pharmacists welcome: Refreshments Get Online Week 17th - 23rd October Clash Get Online Day, Fri 21st Oct. Wednesday 9th November:

When your child has arthritis When a young person has arthritis (facilitator- Sonal Godhania)

Wednesday 14th December: Christmas Meal Wednesday 11th January:

Committee meeting (review drop-in)

Wednesday 8th February:


Wednesday 14th March:

Diet and arthritis (facilitator- Sonal Godhania)

Wednesday 11th April:

Pain and arthritis Drugs and arthritis (facilitatorSonal Godhania)

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Parks officers from Watermead Country Park South have captured an image of the creature which is elusive and rare in urban areas, thanks to a remote-controlled camera triggered by heat and motion. The sighting comes just days after the park was told it had retained its nationally-recognised Green Flag status. The otter was caught on camera as part of the otter project which is being co-ordinated by Leicester City Council’s riverside team. Leicester City Council senior parks officer, Barry Ingram, said: “This latest image is the icing on the cake for the Green Flag award. There’s no doubt that

Watermead and the surrounding area are ideal for otters, and the park justifies its status as a wildlife haven and a quality recreational asset.” Riverside manager Adrian Lane added: “The picture confirms the management of the riverside here is reaping rewards. The presence of otters indicated that the water quality is good and there are plenty of fish to eat. “We believe the otters are active and here to stay, so people may have a chance of spotting one even during daylight hours.” Pic: an otter photographed beneath the bridge on Watermead Way

Cemetery: Club new stays feature open BIRSTALL PARISH Council have BIRSTALL SWIMMING Club is staying after an appeal for volunteers in decided to add to the existing open the Birstall Post was successful. services at Greengate Lane Spokeswoman Naomi Berry said: cemetery by offering an exclu- “The club would like to thank the Birstall Post for its help in the hunt for volunsive area for ash casket interteers to join our teaching team. Over the ments only. summer we have received a good reThe council has decided that the grassed border that runs along the side of a large hedge adjacent to the allotment site would be most suitable. “We would like to ask residents of Birstall to help us decide on the name for this new service, hopefully a name that would be in keeping with the theme of the other areas which are ‘The Woodland Walk’ and ‘The Glade’” said Deputy Clerk, Sue Coulson. Send your suggestions in writing to Birstall Parish Council, Council Offices, Birstall Road, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4DH or email to: or call into the offices

sponse and are pleased to announce that the club will remain open.” She added: “We are always interested in volunteers so if you are interested in learning a new skill and think you have what it takes to teach please get in touch. Our sessions run on a Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7.10pm at Longslade Swimming Pool. If you are interested in joining the club and aged between 4-18 years old of any ability, we would love to hear from you.” For more information or to enrol please email: or ring Naomi on 07791125227.



Church “horrified” by NHW report A REPORT in Birstall’s Neighbourhood Watch newsletter has been described as “a veiled attack on our good name” by a local church. Graham Bunkall, an Elder with Birstall Independent Baptist Church, said: “I was horrified to open the latest Neighbourhood Watch newsletter and see that our church has been described as being possibly associated with scams.” The report in the August 2011 Birstall & Wanlip Village Watch news stated: “On July 28 a member in Mill Close reported a doorstep caller purporting to be from The Baptist Church. They explained that they were doing a ‘Life Survey’. No identification was given and no leaflets etc offered. “The householder was in our opinion quite rightly suspicious and did not engage in a conversation with them. This may or may not have been a genuine caller, but be aware that criminals will use any excuse to get into your home and to get personal details.” The caller was genuinely from Birstall Independent Baptist Church. Mr Bunkall said: “We have employed an evangelist for one day a week over the past two years and he has visited about half the homes in the village so far. He has identification and leaflets, but will not force anyone to take one.” The evangelist never calls in ‘No Cold Calling’ zones which are indicated by signs on lampposts, said Mr Bunkall. He added: “We have been meeting in the village for 25 years and an enquiry to either the Birstall Post or the Parish Council would have verified our creden-

tials, instead of which someone has decided to publish a veiled attack on our good name. “I understand that the public must be vigilant, but likewise I expect the Watch to check their facts before publishing such scare stories.” Birstall & Wanlip NHW has defended the wording of its report but has amended the online version of their newsletter to clarify that the caller was genuine and will publish a similar statement in the September newsletter. Secretary of Birstall & Wanlip NHW, Mr Shreekant Raivadera, said: “We explicitly state that ‘this may or may nor have been a genuine caller’. Our duty is to remind our members of the potential risks posed by cold callers, not to investigate every reported incident. The original item on the website and in the newsletter was factually correct. It simply states the facts and casts no aspersions on any organisations. We have no interest in making attacks on any organisations.” Mr Bunkall said: “I’m not very impressed with the response from the Neighbourhood Watch. I’m pleased they have done something and have amended the website, but I’m sad I’ve not had an apology as I have a lot of respect for the Neighbourhood Watch and the work they do and I hoped they would demonstrate a bit more understanding.”

Youth service cuts YOUTH SERVICE provision in the county has been cut by 50 per cent. The County Council run service will now focus on the most vulnerable groups rather than providing a service to all young people. Speaking at the Bradgate, Rothley, Mountsorrel and Birstall Area Forum, North Area Youth Officer Andy Hitchcock gave an update on the future of the service. The focus of activity will now be in priority neighbourhoods, asylum seekers, disabled people and travellers. Mountsorrel is a priority area and some provision will continue from the Sorrel

Youth Café. In Birstall the remaining service will be delivered from Birstall Youth Centre at Longslade and amounts to: • Senior Youth Club on Wednesdays • Special Needs Space Club on Monday evenings • Teenage Parents group on Wednesday afternoons • Sexual Health provision four to five times a week at lunchtimes Services at Woodhouse Eaves and Rothley have been withdrawn. The County Council’s IMPACT team, which is part of the Youth Offending Service, will continue

Youth café hosts summer barbecue BIRSTALL’S YOUTH café users thanked their supporters and friends by hosting a summer barbecue. Guests included Parish Councillors, local Police officers, youth workers, friends and family who were shown some of the activities that are run from the café, which is located in the pavilion on the School Lane playing field and run by Birstall Parish Council

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Parish Council notes A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on August 8. Clare Randall from the National Skills Academy informed councillors of a project to create a mural at Birstall park and ride’s waiting room that would involve local schools. The project starts in September and the mural will have the history of Birstall as its theme. PC Richard Carruthers reported that Police seized a mini motorbike that was being used unlawfully. Because the owner did not have the necessary documents to reclaim it, the vehicle was crushed. PC Carruthers reported that he had been monitoring the CCTV, seen a known troublemaker on Sibson Road, followed him and after witnessing some antisocial behaviour and seeing that the individual was drunk, had ordered him to leave the area. The Parish Council has written to Leicester City Council with concerns about the travellers camped on Greengate Lane, but has not received any promises of action. It was reported that there is now livestock being kept on the site which has been occupied since March 2010. The clerk was requested to obtain costings for the creation of a BMX track on the Meadow Lane playing field using some surplus topsoil Cllr Julian Howe reported that he intended to submit a formal proposal for the earlier publication of council minutes for consideration at the next meeting. Councillors discussed how the Council might set out its aims and objectives for the coming years. It was suggested that the election of the council in May was a good time to set out plans for the next four year term of office. The clerk reported that the production of a Parish Plan is a community led project that involves questionnaires, data collection and analysis, and public consultation events. The estimated cost is £5000 and that support from the Rural Community Council is being withdrawn. It was suggested that councillors look at Broughton Astley’s Community Action Plan 2010-2011 as an example of planning goals and community involvement. It was reported that work on the School Lane playing field pavilion extension started on August 1 and is expected to take 16 weeks. It was reported that three complaints have been received regarding damage to crops by badgers on Greengate Lane allotments. The Council Estates team are spending an increasing amount of time collecting litter from the car park each day.

Club’s growing trophy haul The October issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Sep 30. The copy deadline is Sep 16.

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BIRSTALL BOWLING Club’s successful season continued with two National semi final appearances, a county title, three parks trophies and a league title. Jennie Groves reached the semi final of the Ladies National two wood championship, winning four matches against players from Surrey 17-13, Durham 15-12, Lincolnshire 16-4 and Dorset 15-2 before just losing out to Devon’s Muriel Scott 13-16 in the semi final. Jennie also teamed up with Pam Ratcliffe, Jan Everitt and Diane Hurst in the National fours championship. They also won four matches on the way to the semi final, where they were beaten by the eventual winners from Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, skipped by England international Amy Gowshall. Meanwhile, the men won the County Cup (Atkin Shield) for the first time in 32 years, beating defending champions New Lount 95-72 in the final. Birstall won on all four rinks including the one skipped by Tom Cowles that recovered from 1-14 down to win 28-19. The overall scores were level after 15 ends before Birstall powered away winning the last six ends 39-16. Rink scores: Dick Cooper, John Lee, Richard Smith & Dave Clarke 24, Simon Hughes 20. Rob Smith, Rick Everitt, Paul Young & John Hurst 23, Reg Burton 14. Gary Norman, John Jenkins, Stuart Hartop & Tom Cowles 28, Mick Poole 19. Bill Alexander, Bob Cooper, John Walker & Andy Wye 20, Dave Simpson 19. In the men’s county pairs final, John Hurst and Andy Wye were beaten by one shot, 20-21, against Measham’s John Bowman & Ady Smedley. Birstall players won three trophies at the Leicester City & District Parks Finals.

Dick Cooper won the singles for the second time, beating Oadby’s Brian Warraker 21-17 in the final. This is the sixth year on the trot that Birstall have won the singles. Grahame White and Dave Clarke claimed two trophies, winning the pairs 19-15 against Dave Poulton and Barry Page (Rushey Mead) and the Senior Citizens pairs 28-13 against a pair from Abbey Park. Birstall topped Division 2 of the Leicester League winning eight out of ten matches and are promoted to the Division 1 for next season. More about the club is on the website which can be found by putting “Birstall Bowling Club” into a search engine. Pic: Pam Ratcliffe, Jan Everitt, Diane Hurst and Jennie Groves.

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Lucy Wright (30) of Melton but formerly of Ambergate Drive, Birstall shaved her head for the Jennifer Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Lucy lost her baby daughter, Georgia, to the terminal degenerative disorder three years ago. Since then Lucy has devoted her time and energy towards raising funds for the charity which has helped her family and others as well as raising awareness of the disease. So far she has raised more than £4000. Lucy said: “Just before Georgia’s death I made a promise to her to raise awareness of this crippling condition. The most important awareness raising I’ve achieved to date is to set up a compulsory training programme for nursery nurses and health visitors educating them about the disease and how to handle a floppy baby. The training programme is now compulsory in Leicestershire and Rutland Primary Care Trust. My work carries on to make that compulsory throughout the UK.” Anyone who would like to make a donation can do so by visiting For more about Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and to read more about Georgia Wright log on to

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was a presentation on youth service provision in the Forum area. Andrew Hitchcock explained the current situation with the County Council’s Youth service, and the likely impact of budget reductions upon youth service delivery in this Forum area. He described various alternative models of youth provision and aspects of help that are available to villages that want to support their own, voluntarily-run, youth groups. The Forum was also updated on policing issues and received some feedback on the Green Spaces consultation and progress with the projects that had been supported by the Area Forum’s budget. The October Forum will hear about the arrangements for running Area Forum budget meetings later in the year. A sum of £15,000 has been allocated for local people to decide how to apportion in line with the needs and priorities of the local area. A County Council spokesman said: “So if at all possible please attend the Area Forum meeting on October 3 to hear more about how the process will work. The decisions will be made by local residents at a special meeting to be held on November 23 at the Rothley Centre in Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley.”

The October issue of

Based in Birstall

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Sep 30. The copy deadline is Sep 16.

Call for Greengate Lane travellers to move A CALL FOR travellers on Greengate Lane to be moved on to an official site is being made by Birstall Parish Council. The council, and some residents, are concerned that the site, near the junction with Thurcaston Road, is growing in size and that livestock is now being kept there. Leicester City Council’s assessment in 2010 was that a family of travellers be permitted to remain temporarily, as one family member was ill. A City Council spokesman told the Birstall Post: “There is one particular family of travellers only at this site, and for several years they have been allowed to remain here due to serious health issues. We don’t believe that any problems are being caused by the family itself, but by other travellers visiting the site. We are currently examining a range of options, including formalising the arrangement to make it clear that there is a perimeter for this family beyond which they cannot go. “Longer term we are looking at a more permanent home for them in an official travellers’ site whenever a suitable vacancy becomes available.”


Country park play trail wins award A STRIKING play trail reflecting a Birstall beauty spot’s prehistoric past has scooped a national award. A rib cage climbing frame, a plesiosaur play mound and a mini ‘henge’ helped Country Park win the Children’s Play category in the Local Government News (LGN) 2011 Street Design Awards. One of the County Council’s Landscape Architects, Leigh Clewlow, developed the concept of the Jurassic Play Trail which is dotted around King Lear’s Lake, while children from Stonehill High School in Birstall and Eastfield Primary in Thurmaston worked with an artist, Dan Jones, on the detailed design. Judges, made up of an independent panel of children’s play experts, crowned the trail a winner because it considers the whole park as a playable space and provides “exciting and challenging” play opportunities. Lelsey Pendleton, County Council Member for Environment and Transport, said: “It is a fantastic news that the trail has won this award – it looks great and this acknowledgement is a credit to everyone who helped design and support it.” Laura Sharman, Editor of Local Government News, said: “I am delighted to announce that the Jurassic Play Trail has been chosen as the winner of our 2011 Street Design Awards. It is very refreshing to se a scheme that moves away from a traditional approach to play design and uses innovation and risk to deliver an exciting project for the community. The judges were also impressed that the council actively sought the views and input of young people themselves.” Some other prehistoric remains that

Pic: County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Lesley Pendelton, being presented with a certificate from Laura Sharman, editor of Local Government News. They are watched by representatives from Tarmac, Midland Quarry Products, Mantle Arts and the artist, Dan Jones.

have been unearthed in the area – a four foot plesiosaur (nicknamed ‘Kipper’) that was found near Barrow-UponSoar, the ‘Charnia masoni’ fossil that was found in the Charnwood Forest and the famous Rutland Dinosaur (a cetiosaurus), which now has pride of place in Leicester’s New Walk Museum, have all been inspirations for the play apparatus. The trail was funded by a £50,000 ‘Playbuilder’ government grant. The mini ‘Stonehenge’ was made possible thanks to a donation of granite boulders donat-


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Former leader missed TRIBUTES HAVE been paid to Mike Preston, the former leader of Charnwood Borough Council, who passed away at the age of 67 after a short illness. Mr Preston was the Conservative Councillor for Queniborough between May 1999 and May 2011, serving as leader of Charnwood Pic: Mike Preston Borough Council from May 2009 to May 2011. He was also a County Councillor, serving from May 1993 and in that time held key positions including cabinet member and Deputy Leader. Mr Preston was also a parish councillor. Cllr David Slater, who succeeded Mr Preston as Leader when he stepped down in May due to illness, said: “It is greatly saddening to hear of Mike’s passing and our thoughts are immediately with his wife Beryl at this time. Not only was Mike a cabinet colleague but he was my friend. He was a jovial, friendly man who was always eager to talk to people to discuss their concerns and issues.”


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take us to A&E, my dad actually came and took us in his car and I did not get the chance to thank you for your offer of help. In a world where the media likes to tell us we live in a cold and unhelpful society, it was lovely to know that that is certainly not the case in Birstall. Helen Brewin


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:

Dressmaker As a disabled person of short stature and a full time wheelchair user I am unable to purchase clothes off the peg. Unfortunately, my dressmaker passed away at the beginning of the year. Does anyone know of a local dressmaker who would be able take on this task for me? I look forward to hearing from anyone who can help me. Please contact me on 0116 2209146 Carole Armour

Kindness On July 25 my five year old son took a bad fall from the climbing frame on Birstall Park and broke his arm. I was heartened by the amount of people who stopped to offer their help to us. In particular, many thanks to the lady who was on the park with her own young family who went off to fetch her car to

I feel I must comment on the colour of the new building on Longslade campus. It sticks out like a sore thumb, failing to blend in with the landscape. Secondly, I fully support the comments made by Mr B C Burrows in the August issue with regard to the parking by Birstall Cabs. They appear to treat the space outside the shops opposite their office as a taxi rank. One day last week there were five parked and another day four. Is it too much to ask that they use the free car park. Mr Burt

Citizen award In the August issue of the Birstall Post there were a number of complaints about Carl Gunns not being awarded the ‘Citizen of the Year’ trophy. I would just like to point out that press releases were in both the April and June 2011 issues of the Birstall Post inviting nominations for a resident who they thought worthy of the award, the number of nominations received at the Parish Council offices by the deadline specified in the press releases determines the winner of the trophy for that year. It is the residents of Birstall who decide the winner NOT the Parish Councillors, if you don’t vote we don’t know. Sue Coulson Deputy Clerk to the Council

Good facilities? Good facilities? That’s crazy. In response to Mr J Woods Good facilities published in Aug 2011 Birstall Post (The long letter where I had to take a siesta before finishing it). I take it that you are a man who is more senior in his years? The reason I conclude this is because most of the points that you raise as to why Birstall has such good facilities would not appeal to anybody who is under the age of 70. Firstly, you say that it is an ‘outstanding feature’ of Birstall that all of the shops are on one side of the road. Is this what you class as an outstanding feature of a place? Wow, I must remember to inform people that are considering moving to Birstall that we have all our shops on one side of the road. They will surely move here now knowing we have that as an ‘outstanding feature’. To someone who has mobility issues this may well be a bonus, but for anybody else why on earth would they care if all of the shops are on the same side of the road? Unless you are suggesting that Birstall is full of older residents who are so old that they cannot cross a road? Secondly, you state that Birstall has a lot of different facilities and varied shops. Let’s focus on those so called variety of shops. What we appear to have in Birstall is a vast array of card and gift shops, various charity shops, an ever growing assortment of fast food outlets and let’s not forget the Estate agents that you mentioned (very important). That is pretty much it. Blimey, that really is varied. That may be varied to someone who is slightly more mature in years but it hardly constitutes a good variety for the younger members of the Birstall community or anybody under 70 really. Thirdly, you state that we have a neighbourhood watch scheme. That can hardly be said to be a big selling point as most places have a neighbourhood watch scheme. Plus, where do you get the idea that Birstall has the best neighbourhood watch in the country? I would like to see the evidence that proves that. Because, if the neighbourhood watch was so good it surely would have noticed the amount of underage drinking and anti social behaviour (graffiti, smashed car wing mirrors) that occurs in Birstall on a very regular basis and liaised with the police on this. Fourthly, we have the St James Day Care Centre. I appreciate that it sounds like they do some fantastic work. But, yet again, apparently an ‘outstanding feature’ of Birstall is that we have a bath that is height adjustable. Come on! Is this the best you can come up with for Birstall? An adjustable bath! Please. You seem to

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think that anybody who lives in Birstall is old and that anybody who wants to move to Birstall will be old and they will be impressed by an adjustable bath! Really! Please point out, despite it being a good facility for older members of the community, how an adjustable bath would make Birstall desirable for a younger age range (or anyone for that matter who does not have mobility issues) to move to. As for the park and ride being a big success I very much doubt this will be the case. I have driven by the park and ride several times and a maximum of 15 cars have been parked up out of hundreds of parking spaces. Does this constitute a success? Who will use the park and ride? Why would somebody in Birstall drive their car and pay to park up and then get a bus into the city? Anybody in Birstall can just walk onto the A6 and get any number of buses that go by on a ten minute basis without the hassle of driving the car and parking up. Why would somebody come from another area in Leicester, let’s say Loughborough, drive to Birstall and park up and then get a bus when they can just get on the bus in Loughborough anyway? Still in a few years at least the kids will have a new skateboard/BMX park or if you are cynical the land will be sold onto developers for a nice profit for the council and yet more flats will be built! Hooray what joy! Finally, I will say that I agree with you on the work that the adults do with the junior football and cricket club teams. This is something worth saying about Birstall and that would appeal to a younger audience as good facilities in the area. But, we still do lack other facilities for the younger members of the community and this must be addressed. Finances should have been made available to Carl Gunns so that he could expand what he is already doing in Birstall. Maybe someday in this democratic society the Parish Council will opt to listen too, rather than ignore, what the Birstall residents want (please note the toilet issue). But as for good facilities, I hardly think so. Mr L David Birstall Resident

Thanks I would like to give my very grateful thanks to the lady & gentleman who looked after me when I fainted at the bus stop on Sibson Road on August 1. Nothing was too much trouble for them to do and they waited until the paramedics arrived. After a thorough check-up in Casualty I was allowed to go home at night. Also thanks to several people who also stopped to offer help. It’s good to know there are so many kind people in Birstall. Mrs June Else

Scruffy Birstall In reply to Mr Wood’s (Birstall Post August Issue) I agree with everything D Jones said in July's issue, it is about time somebody spoke out. Mr Woods, do you like blowing your own trumpet? It seems like it to me. As much of what you applaud in your letter, you seem to have had a hand in. Also


Mr Woods, do you ever travel on the bus towards Loughborough? I think you would see the difference between villages such as Rothley, Mountsorrel and Quorn and then Birstall, their poor, scruffy Charnwood relative. These places look attractive, can you truthfully say that about Birstall? No. Yet we are all within Charnwood borough. As for the St James Day Care Centre (and how wonderful you say it is) it is a very small place, just one room and the 'facilities' you mention it provides only cater for a small part of the community. The people of Birstall deserve something better. A good Leisure Centre that accommodates the elderly and the young and everyone in between. After all, as a much larger village than any of the three above, Birstall residents probably pay more in Council tax than all of them put together. And will somebody please explain to me the benefits of the park and ride to Birstall people? We've been lumbered with an eyesore that is for outsider's benefit not ours. Who in Birstall is going to get their car out and park it there in order to catch a bus, when they can catch one in the village or on the A6 without getting their car out? I wonder if it would have been built in Rothley or Quorn? No, because the residents wouldn't have allowed it. That is why it is here. Anne Godby, Birstall resident of over 50 years

village; natural green unspoilt land, not the purpose made playing fields and football pitches that you describe. The Hallam Fields estate and the Park and Ride 'concrete slab' opposite, have erased the last bit of greenfield for ever. You also mention the shops. These need a good clean and tidy up as does the shopping area generally. C Withers (August issue) is right to state that Birstall is the poor relative of the Charnwood villages. Compare it to Quorn with its abundance of floral baskets and displays, and pretty rustic wooden bus shelters. These all make a big difference to how a place looks and feels. Who decided that Birstall gets cheap, ugly perspex bus shelters and nothing to make it look pleasant? Imagine how much better the village would look with just these small changes. I am a firm believer that if somewhere looks and feels nice people (of all ages) respect and care for it more. Birstall does not have the look and feel of a 'cared for' village like Quorn or Rothley. Why not I ask? C Withers (August issue) is right again to say that residents should have a say in what Birstall looks like. If Birstall looked more appealing, it would attract less vandalism. Vandals (with their spray paint) are attracted to scruffy places. You refer to all the 'facilities' that Birstall offers. You list these as shops, banks, pubs, opticians and solicitors - these are actually commercial profit making businesses. Other 'facilities' you mention like dentists and schools, are public services that everyone is entitled to (and paid our taxes for). None of these are 'facilities' provided by the council(s) for our I have got to say I am fed up with readenjoyment. This is what I (and most ing about Carl Gunns. people) mean by facilities. I appreciate that he has done a lot for There is no doubt that there are a lot of the community but come on there are so good people giving up their time to run many more unsung heroes of Birstall. local clubs and teams (I have been inWhat about Birstall Scouts, Cubs and volved in these myself in the past). I am Beavers? I have two sons, one of which guessing these are volunteers (they were has gone through Beavers and Cubs and in my day) they are not provided by the the other through Beavers and is current- council(s). It is a shame that the likes ly at Monday night Cubs with Ged Sesof Carl Gunns and others do not have sions. I help at this session and see the benefit of decent 'facilities' to help firsthand the support and direction that Ged Sessions, Linda Griffin, Kelvin Manship and Rachel Turney give to these boys and girls. In fact I have just come back from spending a weekend at cub camp with them. They give up copious amounts of their free time to help round these children into good human beings. They help them to enjoy doing the things that they should be doing at their age, like having fun and playing safely outside, climbing trees and getting dirty, along with teaching them life skills such as cooking and survival techniques. I would like to give my award to all the leaders of the scouting fraternity in Birstall and say a big thank you for helping me to raise my children to be good citizens themselves. Mrs F Grewcock

Unsung heroes

Birstall’s decline I should like to address some of the points raised by Mr Woods (August issue) in his rather venomous response to mine (July Issue). Firstly, Mr Woods, we are all entitled to our own opinion and contrary to your assumption, having grown up in Birstall and lived here most of my life and with family here, I think I am as qualified as anyone to comment on Birstall's decline. You seem to misunderstand what is meant by 'green'. Greenfield is that which surrounds an area and makes it a

them on their way, which brings me nicely back to the Park and Ride which you seem to think is a good idea. I reiterate my point that this last bit of 'natural greenfield' in Birstall would have been better used as a site for a leisure centre, both for the local clubs mentioned and the rest of the community. Something for people of ALL ages. The services you refer to at St. James are of great value - but not to the younger people of Birstall. Syston now have a leisure centre, and when Mounstorrel's 'Kingfisher' estate was built, they had a leisure centre built for their use as a 'softener' to the fact that they lost some of their greenfield. Where is the equivalent in Birstall? Sadly, with the Hallam Fields estate came the excuse for the Park and Ride, on which I have still only seen a maximum of forty or so cars. The Park and Ride is here, but it is not for Birstall people - it is for those 'outsiders' to which you (Mr Woods) refer in your letter. Give it a few years (and a few more million pounds in subsidies) and this site will house more commercial buildings to mirror the other side of the road. By this time the authorities will have lost so much (of our) money they will have to sell the land for commercial use to recoup some of the losses. It seems to me that the building of the A46 separated Birstall from the more rural pretty villages beyond. Birstall did (once upon a time) have that pleasant feel. I remember riding through the bridle path that joined Rothley and Wanlip/Birstall, when this was all green and unspoilt countryside. I also remember long summers as a child playing in the fields that are now the Hallam Fields estate, greenfields as far as the eye could see. This is what is surprising to me Mr Woods, and indeed, very sad. So, take off your rose coloured spectacles and see Birstall for what it now is, only then will there be improvements made to regain some of its former glory. There are too many people in Birstall sitting around tables patting each other


on the back, and who clearly can't see any further than the ends of their noses. D Jones

Overstretched Shame on you Birstall. Yet again Carl Gunns has been overlooked for Citizen of the Year in his own village! What has this man got to do to be recognised in Birstall? He has won every award going all over England! But doesn’t get the recognition he deserves in his own village. Birstall does not deserve Gunns’ Gym or even the 100% volunteer Mr Carl Gunns. Shame on you Birstall. Mrs Donna Jordan

Don’t despair K Leigh Reid don't despair [ref bus shelter on A6], you might have been given the impression that decisions made by the Parish Council are irreversible but this is not the case. You could contact the Parish Councillors for your Ward to ask them for support, you can contact them via the Parish Council website or ask Mr Blackburn for their contact details. You could make your point at the next Parish Council meeting on September 12 as there is an open public session at the beginning. In addition there are rumours that for the first time anyone can recall the Parish Council are considering making long terms plans! As part of these plans they are considering asking us the residents what we want so you could ask for the provision of bus shelters / stops throughout the village to be included on the list of concerns to be considered. Please let us know how you get on. Maybe the people who have problems getting off the bus on Wanlip Lane because of the low kerb would like to do something similar? Name and address supplied Continued on page 12

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Saturday September 10 at 7.30pm Tables of 8, tickets £8 inc sandwich and salad supper & dessert Proceeds to be shared with Action for Children Autumn Fashion Show and Sale Friday September 16 at 7.30pm Designer clothes at bargain prices Tickets £5 inc coffee/tea and cake All events are at Birstall Methodist Church Tickets for all events tel: 0116 2677576 •••

Concert By advanced students and friends of David Bark Friday, Sep 9 at 7.30pm Tickets in advance and on the door £5 inc refreshments Your Say continued from page 11

Good Samaritan I have Parkinsons and I find I fall over very easily. One such day I crossed the road (Curzon Avenue), I was walking with my zimmer frame. I lost my footing, and sat like a fool wondering how to get up. But it’s not as easy. I can sit a whole day praying that someone will find you before it gets dark. Imagine my surprise when a car pulled up and a young lady got out and asked me could she help. I was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to pick me up, but it’s worth a try. She picked me up and took me home. I can’t thank her enough, but I was very grateful. Chrissie

Thanks Hazel and I would like to thank all those people who donated wool for our shoe box appeal. Your generosity was wonderful and will keep our knitters going for some time. On behalf of the children who will benefit from your donations. Thank you. Daphne Stephenson Samaritans Purse Shoebox Appeal 07971721927

Embroidery You may not realise this but the Leicestershire Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild has been in existence for over 40 years and was the first branch to be set up in Leicestershire and Rutland. We are a friendly group of mainly ladies who share a common interest in textiles which include hand embroidery, machine embroidery, papermaking, feltmaking and textiles from other countries. This year we have had speakers on machine embroidery, goldwork, embroidered gloves, hand-made paper and ‘talking felt’. Workshops have included postcards for the 2012 Olympics and a Japanese designs day, In October we have a Sculpting with Silk dayschool and a Christmas self-help day in November. We have a speaker on the second Saturday of each month, excluding August (2.00 for 2.30pm) and 4-5 dayschools a year (10am-4pm). We meet at Braunstone West Social Centre, St Mary’s Avenue, Braunstone, Leicester and there is on-site car parking. We have an extensive library and sales tables for members’ use. Our next meeting is on September 10 when we will also be taking our subs for the year. Please come along and see what we have to offer, our visitor’s fees are £4.50 but if you would like to join after the meeting, this will be refunded. For further information please ring me on 0116 2890206 (after 6pm) or email: Rita Yeomans, Chairman

Quiz Evening

Tea, cakes and sale of second hand books at St Leonard’s, Main Street, Swithland Saturday and Sunday, September 10/11 2-4.30pm (donations in aid of church funds) Come and join us on our last Open Church for this year Thank you all who have made these weekends so successful ••• Save the Children Please come to the

Coffee Morning at The Methodist Coffee Shop, Wanlip Lane, Birstall on Saturday October 30 10am to 12noon Various stalls •••

Soar Valley Artists Annual Exhibition of Paintings at the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Saturday & Sunday, October 1 & 2 10am to 5pm Admission free and refreshments

available All are welcome ••• St James Monday Group

Coach outing to Ironbridge Tuesday October 4 Depart School Lane, 8.30am Cost of coach £12 Further details Gwen Johnson, tel: 2205158 ••• Syston Band Invite you to a free

Concert in the Park Sunday September 18 3-4pm Central Park, Syston Why not bring a picnic and enjoy a traditional family Sunday afternoon •••

Calling all Brass Players Syston Band Needs You Small friendly N Leicester brass band seeks players in all sections to help rebuild the band to fighting fitness Practice: Monday & Thursday Syston Brookside Club For more details call 0116 2609310 or 2675823 Players of all ages and abilities welcome ••• Ladies Circle Rothley Methodist Church, Howe Lane, Rothley

Coffee Morning Saturday October 1, 10-11.30am in aid of Air Ambulance Various stalls Everyone welcome •••

Ladies Circle Rothley Methodist Church, Howe Lane, Rothley Meetings start again on Tuesday September 13 at 2.30pm Sue Smith will be at our first meeting with a talk on her charity in Africa and her experience in South Africa Please come and join a friendly group of people For more info contact Joan Lovett on 0116 2374868 ••• Friends of Bishop Ellis Primary School Present

A Ladies Evening of Beauty Therapies and Shopping at Bishop Ellis Catholic Primary School, Thurmaston (opposite Asda) Friday, September 23, 7-9.30pm Stalls include mini treatments by Ragdale Hall and other beauty therapists, plus Lanza Hair, Zumba demonstrations, jewellery and gift stalls, plus much more Tickets: in advance £3.50, on the door £4 Price includes a complimentary welcome glass of Pimms or fruit punch For further details on purchasing advance tickets contact: Maria on 07875979058 or Susan on 07733310294 or Event is ladies only •••

Charity Craft Fair Saturday October 8 10am to 3.30pm at the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Admission 80p Over 25 craft stalls, including jewellery, ceramics, textiles, toys, gifts and lots more individually made and designed items Cakes, refreshments and raffle

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Mon - Starts 5th Sept - 5.30 - 6.15pm - £3.50 at Merton Primary Sch, Cherry Dr, Syston LE7 2PT

Mon - 6.15 - 7.15pm & 7.30 - 8.30pm - £4.00 at Merton Primary Sch, Cherry Dr, Syston LE7 2PT

Tues - Starts 6th Sept - 8.15 - 9.15pm - £4.00 at Birstall Village Hall, Birstall Rd, Birstall LE4 4DH

Tues - 6.00 - 7.00pm - £4.00 at LCPA, Garden St, Leics, LE1 3UA (Studio 1, 1st Flr)

Thurs - Starts 8th Sept - 1.30 - 2.30pm - £ 4.00 at Methodist Church Hall, High St, Syston LE7 1GP

Thurs - 8.15 - 9.15pm - £4.00 at Catholic Church Hall, Broad St, Syston LE7 1GH

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Why not spread the cost of Christmas and start your shopping early. All proceeds to the Leicestershire MS Therapy Centre, registered charity no.701925 Contact Susan on 0116 2388035 for more information •••

Birstall Birdwatching Club presents The Charnwood Forest by Michael Jeeves An illustrated talk on the birds, wildlife and natural history sites in Charnwood On Tuesday October 11 at 7.30pm The Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Visitors welcome £2 Further information from Ken Goodrich on 0116 2674813 •••

Syston Band Open Evening Monday September 19 from 7.309.30pm Brookside Club Syston Want to learn a brass instrument but don’t know which one? Then come and try them all out Looking for a new band? Come and see what we have to offer Used to play and thinking about starting again? Then we’re the band for you Syston Band is throwing open its doors to invite you to an open evening Members will be on hand to answer any questions you might have If you play already why not bring your instrument (or we will lend you one) and have a blow? Who are Syston Band? We are a small, friendly and informal brass group with players of all ages. We practice on Monday 7.30-10.30pm (beginners 7.30-8.30) and Thursday 8-10pm at Syston Brookside Club Details: 0116 2609310 or 2675823, or Or just come along on the night – players of all ages and abilities are assured of a warm welcome •••

Road, Mountsorrel Saturday September 10 10am to 4pm Readings, Bell Ringing, Organ Music, Choir Children’s Activities: Competitions, Quiz, Colouring, Craft and MORE! Tea/coffee and cake, BBQ, Displays and Stalls Something for everyone! •••

Jazz at St James! George Huxley’s Jazz – one of the best traditional jazz bands in the Midlands! A great night of great music in St James’ Church, Church Hill, Birstall Saturday October 15 at 7.30pm Tickets £10 on the door to include a glass of wine Make it a date in your diary! •••

Voluntary Action Leicestershire is running a drop-in session at Birstall Library every last Tuesday of the month from 2-4pm Pop in and meet your local volunteer adviser and find out how you can volunteer in your community No appointment needed Some recent volunteer opportunities around Birstall are : Volunteer administrator is urgently required at Community Leicester Arthritis Self Help (CLASH) Gardener or DIY handyman is needed by Corner Plot in Thurmaston Volunteers are required to befriend and assist service users at Holmfield Day Centre Junior volunteer mentors are needed to help at Paddleplus Canoeing Club For more information on these opportunities or any other volunteering queries, please contact your local volunteer adviser, Ilir Demaj, tel: 0781 544 7632 or email: ••• The ladies from

Birstall BAGS would like to welcome you to our

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at the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane LE7 7PR Saturday November 12 To book a table at the cost of £10 please ring 0116 2661342 for full details •••

at Birstall Social Club Friday Sep 16 £1 each entrance Pay on the door, children welcome, all proceeds to cancer related charities Thank you for your continued support For more info check our website •••

Charity Bridge Drive

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organised by Loughborough Lions at the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Wednesday November 9 at 1.30pm with afternoon tea provided at a cost of £6 per person To book a table please contact Jackie on 0116 2303317 ••• Celebration of the 400th anniversary of

Sat Sep 3: Amy C (F/V) Sat Sep 10: Keith Dee (M/V) Sat Sep 17: Mick Knight (M/V) Sat Sep 24: Trevvy (M/V) Dancing every Sat night with live entertainment Bingo, free beer raffle and not forgetting ‘Open the Box’ Every Tues night Bingo starting at 9.30pm Quiz nights Sunday Sep 11 & 25, starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday Sep 18

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Rock & Roll nights & Wednesday Food available every Sat 12-2pm Funerals catered for ••• St James Day Centre 200 Club Winners of the August draw 1st Miss E Ball £25 2nd Mrs L Mason £15 3rd Miss S Noble £10 4th Mrs A Green £5 ••• Following our summer break the next meting of

Birstall & District Local History Society will be on Thursday Sep 8 in Birstall Village Hall, Birstall Road, Birstall The subject will be ‘Church Monuments in Leicester and Rutland’ Speaker Robin Jenkins The meeting commences at 7.30pm and visitors are very welcome ••• Question: What connects

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of giving joy to a young person? If your answer is ‘Yes’ than read on. For the past 5 years many people here in Birstall have enjoyed filling a shoe box with toys, games, sweets, toiletries etc that are taken to some of the desperately poor children of the world who would otherwise never know the joy of Christmas For more details contact Mrs Beryl Massey 2103064 or at Birstall Methodist Church ••• Saturday November 26 10am to 2pm at Birstall Methodist Church Wanlip Lane, Birstall

Table Top Sale (in conjunction with the Christmas Festival) Tables @ £10 each Contact Margaret - 0116 2672606 •••

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Continued from page 13 eating Tuesday September 27 7.30-9.30pm A talk at Birstall library by popular local speaker Nick Marshall Cost £3 including refreshments Booking essential, please contact Birstall Library 0116 3058756 •••

County Meals on Wheels NHS/County Council People will have the opportunity to look at the range of meals on offer and possibly have a taste There will be a display in the library and information available on nutrition and general wellbeing for older people etc Thursday September 15 11am – 3.30pm Come & meet us at the Birstall library car park •••

Older Person’s Coffee Morning Come along and bring your friends with you and enjoy a reminiscence

session with a free cup of tea, coffee and a slice of cake or biscuits Birstall Library Thursday September 15 10am to 12noon Free drop in. A chance to win a healthy hamper and support a local charity •••

Community Health and Wellbeing at Birstall Library Birstall library is launching an extensive range of health resources and information You will find: • extra books and DVDs • staff trained to help you find health information • links to healthy activities and local groups • health checks • NHS Choose and Book Service • special events • feel good fiction • free computer use • physical activity opportunities Come along & try out some of the health and wellbeing activities taking place at Birstall library. Bookings now being taken at the library on 0116 3058756 Health Checks

On body fat, weight, blood pressure, body composition, metabolic rate, muscle mass and total body water percentage Thursday September 15 2-4.30pm Free session. Booking required Introduction to Pilates/Yoga Improve your health and wellbeing with gentle exercise Thursday September 15 10.30-11.30am Free session. Booking required •••

Supporting VISTA (for the blind and deaf) Birstall St James’ Monday Group invite you to a

Coffee Morning Tuesday September 6 At Lockwood’s Tearoom, 12 Allendale Road, Leicester 10am to 12noon Minimum donation for coffee/tea & cakes £3 Raffle •••


Coffee Shop

Fortnightly from Thursday Sep 29, e-sports4arthritis from 4-5pm at Peepul Centre until Dec 15 Children, young people & adults with arthritis, come along and join in the fun & activities Fortnightly from Thursday Sep 29, e-learning4arthritis from 3.304.30pm at Palmer Tomkinson Centre, Longslade Community College, until Dec 8 Adults with arthritis wanting to learn basic computing and how to get online using BBC OneClick come along & join us. Further details contact: Christ Thomas on 07954584402 or Doug Moore on 07954614466 or visit •••

Saturday September 10 10am to 12noon Birstall Methodist Church, Wanlip Lane Raffle, tombola & lots more Money raised in aid of LOROS •••

Learn to make your own Cards, Gift Bags, Wrapping Paper, Gift Boxes etc Using a range of simple techniques Tutor: Prem Parmar I will be running 8 classes from September as follows: Mondays 10.30am-12.30pm at Belgrave Hall Museum, 0116 2519740 to book Mondays 7-9pm at Rawlins Community College, 01509 622827 to book Fridays 10.30am-12.30pm at Netherhall Neighbourhood Centre, 0116 2519740 to book Limited places – discounts may be given for early bookings Prices vary on your circumstances but you may be entitled to a reduction or free classes if you are on means tested benefits •••

Birstall Flower Club September 28, 7.15pm Gill Shanks ‘Tarry With Me a While’ Birstall Village Hall •••

Red Hill Allotment Open Day September 10, 12noon till 3.30pm Take this opportunity to see how well the site is progressing, you will be able to walk round and talk to plot holders. Take refreshments in our community area and browse round our stalls which include fruit, vegetables, plants, cakes and preserves, tombola, books, crafts and a children’s activity Please note sturdy footwear is recommended because of uneven surfaces No parking on site unless disabled •••

Sahara Desert Trek in aid of LOROS Gillian Bowler and David Green will be taking part in a 57 mile trek in Morocco For further information please see the following websites: www.charitychallenge./com/expediti on.html?id=1285 If you wish to donate to the expedition you can contribute online at: www/ ••• SAGE

A driving assessment for Mature drivers Takes one hour with a friendly approved driving instructor On local roads Cost £25 Contact 0116 3057233 ••• Rosemary Conley

2 hour Charity Aerobathon in aid of STEPS Loughborough University, Saturday October 8 Registration at 9am, event runs from 10am to noon Suitable for all levels of fitness, all welcome Entry fee £10 : two hours of fitness and fun and a goody bag More info: 01509 622022



Tel: 0116 2601851



Parish Teenage winner at PGA open church news WITHIN OUR local churches various new ventures are being proposed, some of which have arisen out of an attempt to define what the purpose of a church is in its locality. A vision has emerged of “an open Christian community where people feel loved and respected and free to be fully themselves”. The two Anglican churches, St James, on a relatively quiet one-way street in the oldest part of the village of Birstall, and Our Lady and St Nicholas, tucked away at the end of a lane in Wanlip, are not best situated for passers-by to drop in and find out what might be going on. But led by our enthusiastic new Rector, Vince Jupp, it is hoped to encourage people to find us, and see for themselves what this vision can mean for them. Planning ahead: a busy month As of Sunday September 11 the Open House service at St. James for informal all-age worship will take place at 11am (on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month) and all are welcome. On Friday September 2 (and on the first and third Fridays of each month) the newly formed gospel choir will meet at St James at 7.30pm and even if you can’t make the first meeting Chris White will be glad to hear from you (07587 177581). “Messy church”, the joint Methodist/ Anglican venture, which has proved so popular with children and their parents on Saturday afternoons, will be starting again on September 17 in the Methodist church from 4pm to 6pm. On October 2 the children will be celebrating “Messy harvest”. A number of “Quiet days” are to be held, for anyone who feels the need to step back from their busy lives and reflect in peace and quiet, in fellowship with others. The first is on Saturday 3rd September in Wanlip Church Rooms, from 10am to 1.45pm, and includes a light lunch. If you miss this, there will be another on 10th December. Contact Stephen on 3279781 or Lesley on 2674995. Also at Wanlip, in place of the sermon on Sunday 11th at 6pm, Diana Courtney will be presenting a talk about the history of the old church. If visiting a beautiful city, viewing historic buildings and listening to the glorious sounds of traditional Evensong appeal to you, there will be a coach trip to Oxford on Saturday September 10. Cost will be £15 and the coach will leave at 9am. For more details contact Gill on 2675086. Finally, all arrangements are now in place for the start of the Alpha course, which introduces and explains some of the basic questions people have about the Christian faith. There is no charge and the first meeting is on Tuesday September 27, starting with a meal at Wanlip Church Rooms at 7pm. Book your place with Revd Stephen Crofts on 0116 3279781 and bring your friends! From Beryl McHugh

was happy to forsake his natural aggressiveness and apply some good judgement to end his seven year wait for his first PGA Midlands Order of Merit title. This was best exemplified by his play on the 18th – a dogleg par five – where his drive finished at the foot of one of Birstall’s many trees, leaving him to little room for a proper swing. “The young me might have gone for it, but there is out of bounds left and right and a ditch by the green, so I laid up to about 100 yards – my favourite pitching distance – and settled for a par five. The Birstall course is in great shape now, but you do need to take your time and find out how to play it” he said.

TEENAGE BIRSTALL golfer Jack Merry got a taste of big time golf when he played in the Midland PGA Mark Group Open, the biggest professional golf tournament held in Leicestershire each year, which is held at Birstall Golf Club.

Jack partnered James Whatley, a professional from Morley Hayes Golf Club, near Derby, who won the professional section of the event with a 12 under par total, two clear of his nearest challenger Daniel Greenwood. He helped Whatley complete a double, as they combined to win the team section of the event – each team including one professional and one amateur – with a combined score of minus 17, one shot clear of five other pairs who finished tied on minus 16, one of which featured former European Ryder Cup star Peter Baker. Whatley produced back to back rounds of 64, for a 12 under par total, with Midlands PGA captain Greenwood,

Pic: Jack Merry

following a first day 64 with a 66 for a 10 under total to secure the runners-up place. Top Leicestershire professional was Ian Lyner (The Leicestershire) with 67-66 for a seven under par finish and a share of third, with Ian Walley (Shirland Golf Club), closely followed by Whetstone’s Craig Shave, whose 65-70-135 was good enough for five under par and fifth. Last year’s runner up Matthew Cort (Rothley Park) tied 16th. Whatley admitted that this effort was far superior Pic: Kath Cottingham, founder of the Mark Group presents to his visit to Birstall when he went round in 79, and James Whatley with his trophy

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Damage to vehicles FIVE VEHICLES had their tyres slashed in the Front Street area on the night of Sunday June 26. Police say a suspect was caught on CCTV but could not be identified. In a separate incident on Saturday July 2, three males were seen walking along Wanlip Avenue at 2.30am damaging vehicle wing mirrors and rear lights of seven vehicles. Residents called the Police and three men were arrested.

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Cricket Corner BIRSTALL VILLAGE 1st XI has been in fantastic form of late. They are gaining momentum leading into the last few games of the year. Birstall has taken the full 25 points from their last three games against Hathern, Wigston and arch rivals Woodhouse Eaves. This also gave Birstall the double over Woodhouse which is an important step in trying to win a 4th Premier Division title in the past 8 years. There has been a spread of form amongst the 1st team with important individual performances making a massive contribution to the current success of the team. Jon Gaydon scored a 68 not out v Hathern, Paul Snuggs with a 50 v Carribeans, Joshua Saye with 55 v Carribeans and several 3 wicket performances over the past month, Rich Sharpe recently bowling extremely well with a 5-12 v Wigston Town and father Pete Sharpe also bowling well of late with a 4-19 v Woodhouse Eaves. Captain Dave Sharpe has been the outstanding performer of late with a 50, 59 not out and a 79 in his last three bats. Birstall XI have clawed back current leader Newbold Verdon’s massive lead of 60 points to 9 points and with both teams playing each other in the final game of the season it looks like its going to go down to the wire! The final game will be played on Saturday September 10 (1pm start), at this stage to be played at Loughborough’s Derby Road playing field. We encourage and welcome anyone to come and support us on what looks like to be a thrilling day. 1st XI top batsmen – Dave Sharpe 1st XI top bowlers – Joshua Saye and Pete Sharpe Birstall Village 2nd XI has been struggling of late.

Pic: Dave Sharpe - top batsman

Pic: Shaun Hills - hit his first six After 4 losses on the trot, newly appointed captain Prad Sood was ecstatic to have his first win of the season against Huncote 2nd XI. Captain Sood claimed the toss due to Huncote arriving late and elected to bowl. Birstall chipped away at the Huncote batting, bowling them out for 83 in the 30th over with Steve Findley 3-27 and Jon Gaydon 3-9. In reply, Ian Bartlett got Birstall off to a flyer with a quick-fire 16, Mick Jones (11 runs) played a supporting role for Joshua Saye (51 not out) in knocking off the 83 only one wicket down. Captain Sood finally got to enjoy a celebrato-

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Community harvest event BRING YOUR surplus apples to a community event and have them turned into apple juice. Local churches are working together with a new local organisation, Birstall Transition Group, to organise a community harvest festival. The event features an apple press for making juice, Harry Allen of Allen’s Bakers will be messing around with dough, Birstall Messy Church will be organising a junk modelling competition and apple crumbles will be prepared for the BBQ.

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ry cider, the first one as captain. The highlight of the past month for the 2nd XI is Shaun ‘Milner’ Hills hitting his first six of his career, one that he is very proud of! 2nd XI top batsman – Ian Bartlett 2nd XI top bowlers – Steve Findley and Sam Carnan T20 Finals Day Birstall Village are through to the T20 finals day at Leicester Ivanhoe home ground. The knock-out games have been played throughout the season leading into the finals day. Both semi finals and final will be played on the same day with the draw to be made at 11.30am on the day. The semi’s start at midday and again encourage and welcome anyone that would like to come and support us on the day. Final season fixture dates for your diary Sunday September 4: T20 finals day at Leicester Ivanhoe (12pm start) Saturday September 10: 1st XI final game of the season v Newbold Verdon 1st XI, Derby Road playing field, Loughborough. (1pm start) Birstall Village CC has their website up and running which provides information on fixtures, results, contact information for club members, player profile information and up to date news pieces. Login and become a member to be able to join our blog section! All club members and interested non members welcome. From Joshua Saye

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is still required if you are selling or renting out your house. Call David Jackson on 0781 5519490 to arrange your EPC

The Methodist Coffee Shop will be turned into a Green café with lots of information on environmentally sustainable living. This free event takes place at Birstall Methodist Church on Saturday October 1 from 4-6.30pm. Spare apples can be delivered to the coffee shop at the church from 10am to noon, Tuesday to Saturday.

NHW news

& crime report FireWorks As the evenings draw in it will soon be the time of year when we use fireworks to celebrate some special days of the year. It is worth just recapping on some of the dos and don’ts of fireworks to ensure we are all enjoy the events safely. Do be at least 18 years of age when buying fireworks. Don’t set fireworks off between 11pm and 7am unless it’s Bonfire night (5 November 2011) when the time limit is midnight or Diwali (26 October 2011), New year’s eve (1 January 2012) or Chinese new year (23 January 2012) when the time limit is 1am. Do ensure all fireworks are made to the British standard BS7114. Don’t set off any firework that is louder than 120db or aerial shells, maroons, mini rockets or any fireworks with an erratic flight path. Do be at least 18 years of age when carrying fireworks in a public place. Don’t forget pets. Keep them safely indoors with the TV or radio on loud to mask the noise. Do remember the Firework code: • Keep fireworks in a closed box • Follow the instructions on each firework • Light all fireworks at arms’ length • Stand well back • Never go back to a lit firework • Never put fireworks in your pocket • Never throw fireworks And Do have fun safely. From Ghislaine Woods NHW Committee Member Crime Report : Birstall : July 15 – August 8 Assaults 4, harassment 1, burglary 4, burglary non-dwelling 5, damage 2, damage to motor vehicle 3, drugs 1, fraud 2, theft 3, theft of cycle 1, theft from motor vehicle 2, theft of motor vehicle 1

Shop front grants GRANTS TO help pay for the improvement of shop fronts are available from Leicestershire Rural Partnership. Grants of up to 50% of the costs are being offered until 2012 and businesses are being encouraged to apply now, as all works would need to be completed by March 2012. All monies are allocated on a first come, first serviced basis. For the criteria and application form and guidance notes for this project you can either contact Sue Coulson, the Deputy Clerk to Birstall Parish Council on 0116 2676191 or email: for a copy or download it from the Parish Council’s website.



Park and ride aims Man assaulted in to cut congestion country park 3,800 PEOPLE used Birstall’s new park and ride in its first month. To break even, 36,550 cars need to use the Birstall and the linked Enderby service each month. The County Council estimates that in its first four weeks, the new facility took around 2,500 cars off the road. The £5.5million facility has been built by the county and city councils at no cost to the council tax payer and has been funded by the government and developer Jelson. By cutting congestion, the service will save more than £6.5million across Leicester and Leicestershire over the next 10 years, says the county council. Lesley Pendleton, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “Tackling congestion is one of our main priorities and by investing in this key project now, we will reap the benefits in the future. “Linking up Birstall with Enderby park and ride enables us to run two sites for

THE POLICE are appealing for witnesses after an attempted robbery on a 51 year old man in Watermead Country Park.

the price of one, whilst opening it up to Charnwood and Melton residents, and visitors arriving from the north of the

The incident took place at about 6.25pm on Tuesday July 26. The victim was walking along one of the trail walks when he was approached by three men who demanded property from him. The victim said he had nothing to give them and he was then hit on the head with a metal object. The suspects then made off empty handed towards the outdoor pursuit centre. The victim received an injury to his head during the incident and was treated by the ambulance service. The suspects have been described as Asian and 18-25 years old. They were wearing hooded tops and two of the suspects county and beyond. “Extending our park and ride network were wearing bandanas. Detective Constable Sarah Poppleton is about changing residents’ travel habits is investigating the incident. She said: and although it’s early days, the passen“The victim who walks locally on a reguger numbers are good news.” lar basis has been left extremely disBirstall park and ride opened its tressed by the incident.” doors on July 18. Timetables for the Officers have also received a report Birstall, Enderby and Meynell’s Gorse of a similar incident in Watermead Counpark and rides, which run from Monday-Saturday from 7am to 7pm are avail- try Park shortly afterwards around 6.30pm when a 12 year old boy was able at approached by three similar men. Nothing was stolen and no one was injured. Detective Constable Sarah Poppleton added: “This was a frightening incident for both victims and we are keen to trace anyone who was in the park last Tuesday evening and saw either incident to contact us. The first incident took place close to a bench in some open ALL CHARNWOOD residents fields near the Red Hill island and is will receive a new green visible to motorists travelling along Wawheelie bin over a six week termead Way towards the junction with Melton Road. Did you see three Asian period starting on Septemmen sitting on the bench around ber 5.

Indecent Green exposure: wheelies man sought OFFICERS ARE appealing for witnesses after an incident of indecent exposure in Birstall. At around 4.55pm on Tuesday July 5 a man was seen to indecently expose himself in a pathway to a field off Birstall Road. The incident was witnessed by a woman walking by with several young children. The man is described as white, aged between 20 and 40 years old and of medium build. Detective Constable Maria Pancholi, who is investigating this incident, said: “This incident was obviously quite upsetting for the woman. I am appealing for the public’s help to find this man. This incident happened in the day on a busy road so we would like to hear from anyone who was in the area around the time of the incident and who may have seen this man. If you have any information which could assist with our enquires please get in touch.” Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact DC 4319 Maria Pancholi on 0116 222 2222, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key in the officer’s identification number 4319. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous on 0800 555 111

The green recycling bin replaces purple sacks and green boxes for recycling all paper, card, cartons, plastics, metal and glass. There will also be a battery recycling bag delivered to boost the number of used batteries for recycling. The green bin can be used immediately and slots in with the usual refuse and recycling waste collection service. Black bin collections will not be affected. Once the green recycling bin is delivered, the green box and purple sacks will cease to be used.

Prison sentence A BIRSTALL man has received a 12 month prison sentence for assaulting his girlfriend. James Wells (25) admitted causing actual bodily harm on the night of March 3, and was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court. His 20 year old victim was repeatedly punched in the face and was also kicked. Judge Robert Brown made a restraining order indefinitely banning Wells, of Sibson Road, from contacting the victim.

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6.20pm or did you recognise any of them? “If you can help with any aspect of the investigation then please get in touch. Any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, would help with our enquiries. Anyone with any information is asked to contact DC 4088 Sarah Poppleton on 0116 222 2222, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key in the officer’s identification number 4088. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous on 0800 555 111.

Electrical goods WORKING BUT unwanted electrical goods can be donated to the British Heart Foundation. The items are sold to the public through the BHF’s furniture and electrical stores – the nearest to Birstall is 66 Charles Street, Leicester. It sells items such as hairdryers, vacuum cleaners, TVs, washing machines and fridges. Electrical items can be dropped off at the shop or at drop off points in branches of PC World and Currys. You can also book a free collection at More information: 0844 412 5000

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Coldstream Guard Battle of WEA Britain courses A FORMER Longslade student has passed out as a Coldstream Guard.

Glyn Chivers (18) has been training at Catterick barracks in North Yorkshire and after taking some leave, will join 1st Battalion, Company 7 in London to take on a role in the ceremonial functions of the household division. He will be deployed to Afghanistan some time in 2012/13.

RESIDENTS ARE being invited to a Battle of Britain Day parade and ceremony in Rothley on September 15. Organised by the Rothley and District Royal British Legion, the event will take place at 9.30am at the War Memorial on Cross Green.

Pic: Glyn Chivers Pic: a Spitfire

Raised beds DISABLED RESIDENTS who are interested in having an allotment with a raised bed are being invited to contact Birstall Parish Council.

The Parish Council would like to determine the level of interest in such a facility and is inviting readers to contact them with their views and comments. The raised beds would be located at the Worcester Avenue allotments where there is easy access for vehicles and wheelchairs. The beds would by 8ft x 4ft x 2ft in size. Contact Birstall Parish Council: .uk, or write to Birstall Parish Council, Birstall Road, Leicester LE4 4DH

As well as the Royal British Legion Standards, cadets from Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College will take part and parade the RAF Ensign which will be raised on the flag pole. A prayer will be followed by a minute’s silence at 10am. During the ceremony, which will also be attended by local school children, a senior RAF officer will give a short description of the Battle of Britain in 1940.

New camera club

a l l M et h o d i s ri st



A NEW camera club for all abilities will have its first meeting on September 6.



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The Ulverscroft Camera Club will start each meeting with an optional one hour workshop to enable photographers to expand their knowledge. Ian Hamilton-Smith, Founding Chairman, said: “This is meant to be a club for everyone of all photographic abilities. The workshops will start from the very basics of uploading images from the camera onto a computer for further editing. In a very short time anyone with no knowledge will be quite proficient.” Meetings will be held at Ulverscroft Grange at 7pm. For further information contact Further details at

THE BIRSTALL & Rothley branch of the WEA is offering the following courses this autumn. AN INTRODUCTION TO MIXED MEDIA A chance to explore a variety of techniques and media, providing a taste of skills using pencil, charcoal, pen, ink and watercolour, whilst also practising the basic disciplines of drawing and painting. On-the-spot demonstrations and discussion will be supported with examples of artists’ work. For beginners or those who want to try new skills. Booking essential. Tutor: Jo Sheppard Fee £67. Discounted £60.30 (not available to the retired) or free. Venue: The Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley LE7 7PR Date: Monday 1.15-3.15pm. 10 meetings from 19th September AFTERNOON TAI CHI The soft flowing movements of Tai Chi promote health and mental focus and one posture of the 24 sequential movements is taught each week. Beginners and those with more experience are very welcome. Please wear loose clothing and flat-soled shoes. Booking essential. Tutor: Laraine Tucker Fee: £80.40. Discounted £72.40 (not available to the retired) or Free. Venue: Birstall Methodist Church, Wanlip Lane, Birstall LE4 4JS Date: Tuesdays 1.30-3.30pm. 12 meetings from 20th September CUBA TO CHINA: art from around the world. Explore some of the most fascinating art and artists from a range of other cultures-from Cuba, via Canada and Russia, to China. No previous experience necessary. Booking essential. Tutor: Janis Baker Fee £60.30. Discounted £54.30 (not available to the retired) or free. Venue: The Rothley Centre (as above) Date: Wednesday 7.15-9.15pm 9 meetings from 21st September BRITISH MONARCHS: from Elizabeth I to Elizabeth II The pomp and circumstance of modern British monarchy owe a great deal to traditions passed down in an (almost) unbroken sequence since the mid-16th century. Buts its survival has resulted from the ability of monarchs to recognise and adapt to changed circumstances. This course will illustrate the changing nature of monarchy by an examination of the individuals who were monarchs during this period. Booking essential due to limited places. Tutor: Aubrey Newman Fee £50.25. Discounted £45.25 (not available to the retired) or Free. Venue: The Rothley Centre (as above) Date: Tuesday 10-11.30am 10 meetings from 20th September Further information from: Marion Vincent 0116 2375156 or Franca Freeman 0116 2362566 Postal bookings to Mr. J. Laurance 33 Loughborough Rd., Hoton, Leicester LE12 5SF. Cheques payable to WEA Birstall and Rothley Branch.


INFO Handyperson Service Older people are benefiting from a new handyperson service launched by Leicestershire County Council. Small, indoor tasks such as door and window repairs, plumbing and fitting hand rails are among the services on offer. The service is delivered by Mears Home Improvement Services and is available across the county (excluding the Leicester). Leicestershire County Council is supporting the service using £300,000 of Government funding over the next two years, to help ensure disabled and older people can continue to live independently in their own homes. David Sprason, Cabinet lead member for Adults and Communities, said: This is a great service, offering reliable repairs from a skilled team. It takes the risk out of hiring a tradesman you don’t know, which gives peace of mind for our older people and their carers. All our contractors have passed CRB checks. If older people are in receipt of mean-tested benefit then the labour is free with only the cost of materials to be paid, but other older people can use the service, for a simple hourly charge of £18.56 plus VAT and the cost of materials. Howard Parker, 61, of Coalville, said: I was very happy with the work they did for me and I’d recommend this service to anybody. I can’t see very well, so they fitted a Braille panel to my cooker, so I can find the right switches. They’ve also repaired my ceiling. The worker was very polite and showed me his identity card and we also agreed a password, so I knew who it was.” Mears branch manager Fiona Clarke said We’re very pleased to be able to help residents across Leicestershire with those small repair jobs that they can't do themselves. Our friendly team are happy to discuss any requirements residents may have”. Trading Standards is also backing the scheme. Byron Rhodes, Cabinet member for Trading Standards, said: "Trading Standards often investigate

cases where the elderly and vulnerable have been targeted by unscrupulous traders that knock door to door. "This scheme will help to ensure that consumers do not get ripped off for home improvements and repairs." For further details or to book an appointment, please contact 0845 601 7822. Older people urged to drink more water Care bosses in Leicestershire are urging older people to drink more water, tea and soft drinks during the current warm spell, to avoid dehydration and keep cool. Leicestershire County Council raised the issue due to concerns that many older people are not drinking enough, which can lead to health problems. David Sprason, cabinet member for Adults and Communities, said: People need to drink two and a half pints of fluid per day – and even more when it’s hot. Tap water is one of the best things you can drink – it’s cheap and it’s high quality. Our meals on wheels teams are helping to spread this message and help older people prepare drinks. We’re also encouraging carers and neighbours to keep an eye open and see if their older friends and relatives are drinking enough.” Drinking helps to maintain your body temperature, as well as: •Maintaining mental performance and keeping you alert •Preventing falls through fainting •Preventing pressure sores •Preventing constipation •Preventing urinary tract infections •Preventing kidney and gall stones •Reducing the risk of heart disease •Helping to prevent low blood pressure •Helping to manage diabetes Older people are being encouraged to: •Have a full glass of water with any medication •Drink between meal times •Have a drink with meals •Ask their carer to leave them with a drink for the rest of the day

Enjoy a complimentary therapy treatment in a calm relaxing atmosphere. Meet & chat to other patients & carers over a cup of tea. Therapies available include aromatherapy massage, reflexology, Indian head massage & reiki


Methodist church Men wanted On Thursday September 22 rehearsals start for the 2012 Men’s Pantomime. Any men who would like to join the cast are welcome to join the motley crew that bravely put on this popular entertainment in the February Half Term. For more details phone Richard on 2209462 or John on 2675128 or just turn up at 8pm on either 22nd or 29th. Grow in the Spirit Our Minister, along with Charles Hilton is to lead six weekly sessions exploring the claims of Christianity and its relevance for life in 2011. Starting at 7pm on Wednesday September 21. Contact Rachel for more details 2671804. Cameroon Orphanage There are three events in September supporting the ongoing development of the Cameroonian Orphanage through the Bark Foundation. Friday September 9 is a Concert by Advanced Students and Friends of David Bark. Tickets £5 either in advance or on the door. Saturday September 10 is a Quiz Evening, Tables of 8. Tickets are £8 including supper. Proceeds split between the orphanage & Action for Children. On Friday September 16 at 7.30pm is a Fashion Show and Sale. Tickets are £5. All events include refreshments (a supper at the Quiz). For more details Tel David or Joy on 2677576. Community Harvest Following last years successful Community Harvest, a similar event is to be

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 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 HOME GROWN Runner Beans £1 per 1lb. Please phone 0116 2921619 SMALL QUANTITY block pavers (assorted colours) available. Price negotiable. Must collect. Tel: 0116 2677332 MATHEMATICS TUITION: A LEVEL & GCSE, Birstall based. Call 07737352932 ACCOUNTANCY SERVICES provided by qualified accountant. Low rates for sole traders/small businesses. Tel: 2673951

held this year at Birstall Methodist Church on Saturday October 1 from 4 -6.30pm. Is it to make apple juice or is it to make cider – come along and find out. Property The premises have had their summer clean, and maintenance. The Church Foyer has been repainted and revamped. New Smoke and Fire Alarms installed, and other minor works undertaken. Most of the work being done by a willing band of volunteers. It was disappointing to discover that some lead was stolen from part of the building. ‘Smart Water’ is being installed throughout the building to deter future thefts. From Tony Moore

Planning applications P/11/1883/2: 57 Stonehill Avenue – erection of two storey extension to rear of dwelling P/11/1787/2: 3 Ashmead Crescent – replace existing garage with home office, new first floor extension above and a new detached double garage P/11/1692/2: 105 Harrowgate Drive – 2 storey side extension & single-storey extension to the rear of the existing dwelling

Green flag awards POPULAR LEICESTERSHIRE beauty spots have been officially named as being some of the best in the country. Beacon Hill Country Park and Bosworth Park, which are managed by the County Council and Watermead Country Park, which is jointly managed by the County and City Councils, have each retained a coveted Green Flag. Green Flags are a sign to visitors that the park is well maintained, well managed and has excellent facilities.

Charity event BIRSTALL ST JAMES Monday Group are raising money for VISTA, a charity for blind, partially sighted and deaf/blind people or all ages. Readers are invited to Lockwood’s Tearoom, 12 Allendale Road, Stoneygate, Leicester LE2 2DA on Tuesday September 6, from 10am to 12noon for coffee/tea and cakes. Spokeswoman Jane Scott said: “Lockwood’s is a delightful place with space outside to sit if the weather is good. A donation of £3 per person is asked for and there will be a raffle. Please come along with friends if you can, or if you need further information call me on 0116 2673761.”



The October issue of THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Sep 30. The copy deadline is Sep 16.

Farmers’ market SHOPPERS WILL be able to bag even more fresh produce and Fairtrade goods as Charnwood Borough Council trials a second farmers’ market in Loughborough. APOLOGIES TO our readers for the absence of the BAG’s cancer corner last month – with holidays we missed the deadline! September is Lymphoma awareness month. Lymphoma is often considered to be a cancer of the blood but as you will discover that isn’t correct. Lymphoma Lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system consists of a series of lymph nodes found in the neck, armpits, groins, chest, abdomen and pelvis. Lymph nodes contain special types of lymphoid cells, which help fight infection. There are many different types of lymphoma. The main subgroups are: • Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) approximately 1700 people are diagnosed with this each year in the UK • non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Approximately 11000 people are diagnosed with this each year in the UK. This type of lymphoma will also be described as high grade (aggressive) or low grade (indolent) depending on how quickly the disease develops. • The incidence of NHL increases with age. • 70% of people with NHL are over 60 at the time of diagnosis. • HL is more common in young people between 20-25 years of age. • The incidence of HL also increases in later life, peaking at about 75-80 years. Symptoms The most common symptoms are • enlarged lymph nodes • fever • excessive sweating, especially at night • unexplained weight loss • unusual tiredness • abdominal discomfort and fullness when eating due to an enlarged spleen. Diagnosing Lymphoma A diagnosis of lymphoma is obtained by taking a biopsy of the affected tissue. A biopsy means taking a sample from an enlarged lymph node using a local or general anaesthetic and looking at it under a microscope. Where possible, the whole lymph node will be removed. Often x-rays are used to help take a sample from the suspicious gland. A blood count is less useful and it may be entirely normal. Most people will also need a scan to see if there are enlarged lymph nodes in the chest, abdomen or pelvis and a bone marrow biopsy to see if there are lymphoma cells in the bone marrow. This allows the doctors to determine the stage of the disease. It normally takes up to a week for all these results to become available.

Treatment Treatment of lymphoma depends on the subtype. For patients with low grade nonHodgkin lymphoma with no symptoms, treatment may not be necessary at diagnosis and a “watch and wait” policy is adopted. If the disease is found in one area only e.g. the neck, (stage 1) radiotherapy may be considered. For all other stages, when treatment is required chemotherapy is given. Patients with high grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma require chemotherapy treatment soon after the diagnosis is confirmed. Patients with disease which is confined to one area may receive fewer courses of chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy. Radiotherapy may also be considered in certain other situations. Most patients with lymphoma will receive their treatment at a chemotherapy day ward. Patients with Hodgkin lymphoma will usually be treated with a combination of chemotherapy drugs called ABVD. This treatment can normally be given in the day ward. The number of courses and the need for radiotherapy will be determined by the stage of the disease in addition to a number of other factors. PET scans (specialized scans which help

determine the effect. For further information please contact the Lymphoma Association , free phone 0808 808 5555 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 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. Our next fundraising event is a Family Race Night at Birstall Social Club on Friday September 16. For more information look at our website Liz Darlison, Macmillan Consultant Nurse, Mesothelioma UK The University Hospitals of Leicester


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The Council already hosts a farmers’ market on the second Wednesday of each month, is now set to trial a second market on the fourth Wednesday of each month. The trial will start on September 28 for three months and if successful, could see the second market open for business on a permanent basis. It will also feature green and ethical products and Fairtrade stalls to help promote locally grown and produced goods. Currently 20 stalls make up the Loughborough Farmers’ Market in the town centre and it is anticipated the same number will trial the second market. The October issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Sep 30. The copy deadline is Sep 16.

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Birstall Post (338) Sept 2011  

Birstall Post September 2011

Birstall Post (338) Sept 2011  

Birstall Post September 2011