Page 1

the Birstall post Y O U R


APRIL 2013


Stonehill’s good report THE QUALITY of teaching at Stonehill school has improved say Ofsted, who have rated the school “Good” in all areas: a step up from the “Satisfactory” rating it achieved in 2010. Ofsted inspectors visited the school in February. Head Teacher Alan Monks said: “We are delighted with the judgements that Ofsted have made. We moved from being satisfactory under the old framework to good under the new more rigorous framework. It was a gruelling process with the inspectors watching thirty two lessons over two days, speaking to children, staff and governors as they considered their findings on the quality of education at this school. “The most important thing to us is that they recognised the significant improvement in teaching at Stonehill since the last inspection. This is having a really positive effect on children’s achievement. Of particular note was also the inspectors’ very positive comments about the young people who come to this school and the way in which “they treat adults and each other with respect”. The Ofsted report states: • pupils behaviour around school and in almost all lessons is polite, personable and sensible. Pupils are keen to learn. • the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural skills is good. The school is a harmonious com-

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Pic: Stonehill Head Teacher Alan Monks

munity based on a clear and explicit moral framework. • the headteacher is very committed to driving forward improvements • the school holds staff to account for the quality of their teaching and the results that they achieve through a rigorous performance management system. Teachers only receive pay increases if the pupils that they teach are making good progress • not enough teaching is consistently good or outstanding • lessons are not always planned Continued on page 2

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Continued from page 1 using the monitoring information that is now available. This leads to the most able pupils making less progress than they should because they are not given challenging enough activities. Stonehill’s “Good” rating is one step below the top grade of “Outstanding”. Mr Monks said: “We know schools move forward fastest when we are our own harshest critics. We are determined to become outstanding and the inspection report identifies those things which will support us in doing so.” The school has joined an alliance of about 20 schools who have committed to work together to become outstanding – the Thomas Eastley Learning Alliance. Mr Monks said: “The key focus is improving teaching and learning. Our staff and those of other schools within the alliance will be able to learn from each other’s outstanding practice. We will also have a responsibility for the training of new teachers entering the profession. “All these things support our application for becoming an academy. We are doing this so that we have greater freedom and control over our own destiny and that we can play a significant part in 5-19 education in this community.”

Park clean-up day a success A LITTER pick by volunteers helped to tidy Watermead Country Park. 21 people took part in the litter blitz, organised by the Wreake Valley Rotary Club, filling more than 50 bags. Spokesman Nigel Coleman said: “We collected for two and a half hours, completing a big section around King Lear’s Lake which being so close to the River Soar was very littered with rubbish after the floods. “By the end of the session regular park users congratulated us on the immediate improvement, however we were unable to get at some areas along the riverbank which could only be accessed BIRSTALL Double glazing by water.” contractors, Conservatory & The club hope to make the litter pick Window Concepts Ltd, has an annual event. been handed a prestigious

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Pics: (top) volunteers assemble for the day’s work & (bottom right) Finlay Williams (right) with Nigel Coleman

Council job losses THE FALL in the number of employees of Leicestershire County Council is the highest for a local authority in the East Midlands. The County shed 8867 employees between the first quarter of 2010 and the third quarter of 2012 – a fall of 34%. The County now has 17,107 employees. In the same period, the number of employees of Leicester City Council fell by 1319, a fall of 7%. Leicester City now has 18,811 employees. For all local authorities in Great Britain the fall in numbers employed by councils is 380,500 since the general election in May 2010. The majority of the job losses come from redundancies and natural wastage combined with a freeze on vacancies. When schools become academies they opt out of the local education payroll and their employees are no longer counted in the figures.



Gunns’ charity boxing show pulls in crowds A VISIT by an Olympic medallist and a robot were two attractions at a boxing show staged at Birstall Social Club by Gunns’ Gym in March. Bronze medal winning GB hockey player Nicola White brought along her medal to show visitors, while a visit by a children’s entertainer dressed in a robot suit thrilled the children. Nicola said: “The event was great fun and most importantly lots of people came along to support and raise money for not only Carl Gunns’ Gym but Alex’s Wish too. It was my pleasure to be there, sharing my Olympic bronze medal with the kids and even getting my first taster lesson of boxing! It’s so fantastic to see a community pull together for such a great cause.” There were boxing demonstrations in a full size ring as well as music performed by singers Matthew Fearon, Olivia Carmichael and Bonnie Bleu. The highlight of an auction of sporting memorabilia was a boxing glove signed by Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. The event was raising money for the charity Alex’s Wish. Organiser Carl Gunns said: “It was a fantastic day, very busy, a great day’s entertainment and I hope Alex’s parents will be very pleased.

Pics: (top) trainer Dean Spencer referees a bout; (inset, ctr) Bronze medallist Nicola White

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Duck’s gather for race THE FIFTH annual White House Duck Race will take place this year on Bank Holiday Monday May 6 and is set to be the biggest yet, say the organisers.

Dance crew’s prize A LONGSLADE student is part of a dance crew that won £1000 when it was judged to be Leicester’s best. Oliver Andrews (15, pictured above) is part of a dance crew TXS which wowed the judges at a competition staged at Leicester’s Curve Theatre in February. Oliver, who started dancing aged 12, described the experience at Curve as “the best ever”. TXS will perform in London later this year in a dance exhibition called Move It.

Over the past year TXS enjoyed success at various competitions and at the start of the year they appeared on Sky One’s ‘Got to Dance’. A Longslade spokesman said: “I would like to take this opportunity once again to congratulate Oliver and TXS on their success and look forward to seeing how they all get on in the future.

The event will be raising money for Birstall United Juniors Football Club - over the previous four years the White Horse duck race has raised a over £12,000 for local charities. “It is great that the duck race has become such a popular date in the village calendar” said Charlotte Foy of the White Horse. “We were so well supported last year despite the rain. This year there will be even more stalls and games to make it a great family day out.” BUJFC has achieved community charter standard status and has 19 teams from soccer school age up to under 16s, including girls teams and an inclusive team for kids with learning or physical difficulties. “The club is a real plus to Birstall, bringing kids together from all parts of the village and giving the young people a place where they can develop their skills in a fun and safe environment” said, club spokesman, Phil Hughes of BUJFC. On May 6 “kick off” for the stalls and games will be 12 noon, and the duck race will start at 2pm. Other attractions for the day are: face painting, bouncy castle, teddy tombola, stocks, hook a duck, raffle, mini duck race, Duck Derby, penalty shoot out, cake stall, tuck shop, BBQ and much more to be announced. Ducks will be available from April 1st from BUJFC and of course the White Horse, Birstall. There are cash prizes to be

won of £100, £50, £25 and many other prizes kindly donated by local businesses “Ducks can also be bought on the day of the event so come on down and join in the fun!” said Charlotte. For more information. Visit or call 0116 2671038

Parish Council notes A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on March 13. Richard Miller was co-opted onto the council to fill a vacancy. PCSO Mark Butler reported that crime had fallen in February compared to January. Arrests have been made following the theft of meat from the Co-op supermarket on Wanlip Lane. All the off-licences in Birstall have had underage test purchases – one failed. The Police Property Fund have donated £250 to the Land & Lewis charity. It was reported that the Royal Mail will install the first post box on the Hallam Fields estate on the junction of Becks Close and Hallam Fields Road. Birstall Parish Council has been successful in a ballot to send a representative to the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on May 30. Cllr Tony Fowler will attend. Cllr Christine Geschke suggested the Council might consider organising a community event besides the summer gala and Christmas lights switch-on. It was agreed to place the proposal on the next agenda. Comment was made about the poor appearance of the fencing placed around the Christmas tree on the Sibson Road car park and that alternatives should be considered. A resident has reported that her disabled granddaughter had nearly fallen into the unfenced ditch along Meadow Lane. The southside is owned by the Parish Council and the north side is owned by Charnwood Borough Council who let the land to the Parish Council. A quotation of £20,000 for fending has been received. A request from the Parish to fill the ditch has been refused. It was agreed to write to the Health and Safety Executive for advice on this matter. The council has agreed that allotment tenants be permitted to keep hens and rabbits subject to a separate agreement and a £50 returnable deposit.



Street dance show OVER 70 children from Birstall and the surrounding area took part in the annual Faces Arts street dance show at the Palmer Tomkinson Centre. “A huge well done to all children who took part” said Faces Arts proprietor, Jody Chesterton. “Faces Arts is about providing opportunities for local children to discover their performing talents. The development in the ability and self confidence of the children has been outstanding” she added. Faces Arts next performance will be their Theatre School Show at the Palmer Tomkinson Centre on April 20 and 21. “A Musical Celebration” tickets are on

sale now: contact, 07971423201 or visit the website Faces Arts will also be staging a series of Summer Schools during August at Stonehill High School. For more information on Saturday Theatre School, Street Dance sessions, after school drama and Shake Up Toddler session during the week visit the website.

Dear Residents of Birstall I am hoping many of you have either heard of me or know me personally as I was born and raised in Birstall. Being brought up in Birstall is a unique experience, you get to know the community and the people very well. The reason I love Birstall so much is because if you're shopping at the Co-op, walking in the village, or having a drink at the White Horse, the Legion or the Social Club, you usually meet people you know and can relate to them easily. Birstall needs a person representing them on the County Council who knows the area and can relate to the concerns of the village. Cllr Roger Wilson is retiring after 20 years of service to the people of Birstall and he has asked me to replace him as election candidate this coming May. I don't mind telling you that I was terrified of doing so. The reason for this is if a resident of Birstall has an issue with rubbish collection, the local schools or church, they can come to me for advice and assistance. This did not sound like a great job. However after a few days I came to the conclusion, it's not just about people complaining to you about issues, it's about giving your neighbour a helping hand when needed. With this in mind I accepted Roger's offer to stand for election. So now that I am standing for election for Birstall I should tell you about myself and what I stand for. For the past 4 years I have had a successful career working in Adult Social Services at Leicester City Council specialising in Adult Mental Health and Physical Disabilities. Before this, still working for the City Council I worked in Housing as a Tenancy Services Officer. I like to think of myself as a family man as I have lots of nephew and nieces, and far too many sisters. My family and many of my friends live in Birstall In the next few months I will be campaigning against the traveller sites, I will be trying to stop the Tories from expanding Birstall into Rothley as the Tories want to build a large housing development on the other side of the A46 roundabout and to call this Birstall. I'm passionate about keeping Birstall a village and keeping its fundamental structure in place, which is a nice family, friendly place to live. I will be campaigning for a school and community centre for the residents in Hallam Fields, for a local leisure centre, to improve the park and ride system which is underused, for better car parking time in the local village and keeping the public toilets open. With these ideas in mind I am hoping you will support me this coming May. A large number of volunteers will be hand delivering leaflets over the next few months, if you have any issues you want to raise then please do so with myself or one of the volunteers who are helping me in my campaign to become your elected Councillor for Birstall. I look forward to meeting you Simon Sansome Liberal Democrat Candidate for Birstall Designed by Simon Sansome, 3a Chapel Street, Syston, Leicestershire, LE7 1GN on behalf of the Liberal Democrats




Kathleen’s 100th birthday party

Nikki Rowan Kedge A FORMER Stonehill school student who was a cookery writer and pioneer of organic country cooking has died.

ONE OF Birstall’s oldest residents celebrates her 100th birthday on April 12. Mrs Kathleen Smith, known to many as Granny Smith of Bramley Road, was born in Newton Burgoland, near Market Bosworth and left home aged 11 to work in Leicester as a housemaid. She came to Birstall to live in Gwendolin Avenue when she married in 1938 and then moved to Paget Avenue in 1948 until 1957. She took her husband Fred’s job at the wooden Co-op shop on Rosetree Avenue when he was called up in 1940. She later worked at the Crossways store and then at Mayhew’s newsagents on Windmill Avenue until she retired.

Pic: Kathleen Smith

Joining her in celebrating on the day will be all of her nine grandchildren and

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Pic: Nikki Rowan Kedge

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Vintage evening VINTAGE OUTFITS lent a sophisticated air to a High Society evening at Wanlip Church and Community Centre. Guests dressed up for the occasion with various outfits modelled from Jane Scott’s vintage costume collection. This fundraising event, which included a buffet, was raising money for church funds. Pics: (top) guests at the event & (below) Raymond and Joan Folland in genuine Victorian nightwear

Nikki Rowan Kedge was born in Leicester in 1944 and on leaving Stonehill school she joined the WRNS, serving in the navy for 12 years. During her navy career she met her lifelong partner Angela Rawson and after leaving the service they started their own catering company. They opened the Loaves and Fishes restaurant in Wiltshire and in 1982 it was acclaimed as one of the best places to eat in England by the Sunday Telegraph magazine, which featured Nikki and Angela on the front cover. The couple wrote cookery articles for several newspapers and magazines and Nikki co-authored five cookery books. Nikki Rowan Kedge died from cancer on February 11 in Norfolk. She was 68.

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Margaret Sibson remembered We are all sorry that Margaret has passed away. Margaret had lived in Birstall for 94 years with her mother Gertie and father Tom and her elder brother Bill. There was a younger brother, Arthur who sadly died at a very early stage. They were a very well known family in Birstall at the Farm at the top of Church Hill. Their particular family of ‘Sibson’ had continually lived in Birstall for well over 700 years and regrettably this is the end of that particular family. There was a small dairy herd and two beautiful Suffolk horses. Tom also rented land on Wanlip Lane as a market gardener. Margaret’s education was mostly in Birstall except for her last year which was at Roundhill Modern Secondary School at Thurmaston which had been opened in 1931. During the war years Margaret worked in the underground municipal factory which is now East Goscote. After the war Margaret resumed her occupation at the Wolsey Factories on Abbey Park Road. In later years the factory employed many employees from abroad and Margaret enjoyed the change of culture. Margaret had a good musical background having firstly learnt the piano from her mother and then qualified as an ALCM. For over forty years she played the pipe organ at both the old chapel and the new church in 1958 and was accompanist for several church choir conductors, but was not too keen on the new electronic Allen Organ that was installed in 1973. The choir was very

Cubs’ scientific mission Pic: Margaret Sibson (ctr)

strong over those years and on Palm Sunday we regularly sang J H Maundy’s Olivet to Calvary, J Stainer’s Crucifixion and Penitence, Pardon and Peace on alternate years. Margaret’s brother Bill was a well-trained baritone singer and usually took the lower solos in these cantatas. For all her years Margaret’s church organs were situated behind a large screen and she was pleased to be out of sight. However this did have its downside as during many of the annual Sunday School anniversaries Margaret was ‘bombarded’ with S S hymn sheets by some of the 200 or so scholars who were seated above her on the gallery. Our two sons included! Besides being the organist Margaret also taught as a Sunday School teacher and for many years helped as a pianist for the local Women’s Institute Shortly after her father Tom died, Gertie and Margaret moved out of the farm in 1963 to 38 Firfield Avenue. Here Margaret patiently nursed her mother for many years and remained there for 50 years. Margaret was a real and loveable character and was regularly seen in the village. One of her favourite walks on Friday was a visit to the library, the chemist and the hairdressers. She was a very proud person and was well respected by all. Many of us remember her well and never forget her birthday which was ‘Primrose Day’ Margaret is now at peace and we all know that she has lived a very good life. God Bless you, Margaret. Margaret Sibson, 19 April 1918 - 15 February 2013 From John Kilby

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A TRIP to London’s Science Museum was the latest adventure for Birstall Cubs. “With cries of “are we there yet?” before we even got to the motorway I knew it was going to be a long day” said leader Ged Sessions. “On arrival we went straight for the top floor and biology – I had forgotten how many tricky questions Cubs can come up with when faced with dissected animals and realistic surgery being portrayed. “Witch doctors from Africa and homeopathic medicines led to even more tricky questions. Respite came on the interactive science floor with the hands on activities for the Cubs to learn as they play. There were hundreds of things to have a go at from hydrogen rockets to “listening” to music through your teeth. “A quick break for lunch and it was on to aircraft, ranging from the Spitfire to the jet, followed by computers and textiles. Finally to the ground floor with

transport from Stevenson’s rocket to space rockets and lunar modules. “Back on the bus and I expected the exhausted cubs to sleep most of the way home! In my dreams, they were still full of questions: all the way home.” Birstall Scouts would welcome new volunteers to help them. Ged said: “Scouting is now so popular that we have waiting lists of children waiting to join and do things like this, as well as camping and outdoor activities. We would like to hear from anyone who can help us out, whether it be directly with the young Scouts themselves, or even in the background on the committee making things happen.” Contact Vic Dolby on 2671465. Pic: Ben, Luke, Dan, Bailey and Ben at the hydrogen rocket.



Park bylaws broken Charity abseil A TEAM from Birstall printers Flexpress threw themselves off the top of a city centre hotel with Leicester’s Mayor Peter Soulsby last month. Along with 100 others, they were taking part in a charity abseil from the roof of the Ramada Encore hotel on Charles Street. The team from Flexpress raised £813 for Leicester Charity Link: each year LCL help over 5,000 local people who are experiencing poverty, hardship and crisis by providing basic items that most of us take for granted, such as a bed to sleep in, a cooker to prepare a hot meal or

even food to eat “We’re a close team at Flexpress, we often ‘hang around’ together but I’m not sure what the hotel guests must have thought as they saw us dangling outside their windows” said Flexpress Managing Director Steve Wenlock. Pics: (l-r): Marcus Cox, Justine Brain, Steve Wenlock, Tamara Panczak, Steve Wenlock Jnr & Alex Welford. Abseiling: Justine Brain and Tamara Panczak.

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A MOTHER felt threatened when a man reacted angrily when she asked him to keep his dogs on a lead in a Birstall Park. The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “I took my daughter and friend’s children to School Lane park after school and when we got there there were three dogs off their leads”. The bylaws require dogs to be kept on their leads on the School Lane playing fields. “One of the dogs came up to the children and jumped up. It was not a huge dog but the child that it jumped up at is terrified of dogs so I asked the owner to please put his dogs on a lead. “He was very rude to me and told me to stop being a stupid woman and that I should shut up and that the park is for dogs anyway. I felt very threatened and scared by the reaction that this young man had and he shook me up. “I have since them been put off going to the park. I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience.” Birstall Parish Council is responsible for the playing field and has numerous complaints from the public about dogs being off the lead, and dog waste not being picked up by dog owners. Dog waste presents a problem for groundstaff, visitors and sports teams who use the park. Parish Clerk Steve Blackburn said: “It is a serious problem that causes us great concern. The Parish Council view this incident very seriously, there are clear signs at each entrance to the park saying that dogs must be kept on leads.” The Council is arranging training for its staff and some volunteers to deal with the problem, which will give them the authority to issue £80 fixed penalty fines to those breaking the dog bylaws.

Help to make bags MORSBAGS are fabric bags made by volunteers from donated fabric and given away at local events to encourage people to use a reusable bag instead of a plastic one. If you would like to find out more about being involved in making morsbags you can visit the Charnwood Morsbag Pod at Greenacres, The Sidings, Leics LE4 3BR (near Leicester North station). They meet on the last Wednesday of each month 12.30-3pm. A spokesman said: “Someone will explain more about morsbags and show how they are made, you are not committing yourself to anything by coming along, don’t be shy, we would love to meet you. We need people to cut out, press and sew the bags. “If you would like to donate fabric or sewing thread to the project please leave it in the box provided at the entrance to Greenacres or come along on the last Wednesday of the month to give your donation in person. Thank you to all the people who have donated fabric, without your support we would not be able to continue.” For more information go to

A level recitals FOUR A LEVEL students performed recitals to a small audience in the Palmer Tomkinson Centre. The Longslade students were completing a part of their qualification – performance counts as 30 per cent of their final grade at AS and A2. Refreshments were served after the recital by year 12 hospitality students. Music students at Longslade will be joining forces with students from Stonehill for an evening of music on April 18. The programme will include performances by the Stonehill and Longslade bands and various solo items. Tickets for this event will be available from both schools. Pic: Sean Toor at the piano with Katy Vickers (left), Niall Turner & Sadie Smith


Sight saving climb AN OPTOMETRIST who set his sights on the summit of Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro has just returned from his fundraising climb.

Paresh Patel of Opticare on Sibson Road reached the peak at 5895 metres on February 26 after a seven day trek. The climb raised £900 for Sightsavers, an international charity that works to prevent blindness in the developing world.

School’s shirt at Twickenham A STONEHILL pupil had a day to remember at Twickenham last month when she wore the shirt she was involved in designing for her school rugby team on the legendary pitch ahead of the RBS 6 Nations England v Italy game. Samaya Sheikh was one of 100 students representing schools from across England that had taken part in the Canterbury kit design workshops, as part of the RFU’s All Schools programme. Canterbury, the kit supplier for England rugby, is Official Partner to All Schools. As part of its commitment to the programme Canterbury held a number of kit design workshops across England in October and November last year. Stonehill High School in Birstall was one of the schools who attended, where pupils learnt about the core values of rugby and the pride associated with the shirt before they were given the opportunity to put their team shirt designs down on paper. The drawings were then turned into bespoke final designs by the team at Canterbury and the shirts were presented for the first time at Twickenham by England prop Alex Corbisiero and England women’s hooker Amy Turner. All 100 shirts were revealed to the 82,000 crowd when Samaya and the rest of the students flanked the military as they brought out the giant England shirt onto the pitch before kick-off, and then during a half time parade. Stuart Lancaster, England Head Coach said: “The match shirt is a source of huge pride for the players. When they are presented with it before an international it is a very special moment for them and the whole squad. By teaching these pupils who are new to the game the core values of rugby union and the history of the shirt, I’m sure that these school teams will share the same passion for their own design.”

Pic: Paresh Patel (centre) at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

Navy talk MOST PEOPLE know the Royal Navy was involved in the First World War and some people have heard of the Battle of Jutland, but not many people know what else the Royal Navy did in the Great War. Local speaker Nick Marshall will be talking about the Royal Navy in World War One at Birstall Library on Thursday April 18 at 7.30pm. Nick will be adding an extra dimension to his talk by wearing period naval uniform and bringing with him some of the kit the sailors would have been issued with. The navy was present almost everywhere the army was during the Great War. Find out about the Royal Naval Division, sailors who fought in the trenches at Gallipoli and Passchendaele, and the fight against the German navy in East Africa. Learn about the exploits of the Royal Navy Service and the small naval missions on the Tigris to Baghdad, the Danube and the Black Sea. Tickets cost £3 and can be booked by visiting Birstall Library or calling 0116 3053678. Places are limited so booking in advance is necessary.


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Pic: Samaya Sheik (right) with England player Amy Turner

CEO of Canterbury, Chris Stephenson said: “ I imagine it was a very proud day for all involved, getting to wear the shirt you had a hand in designing on the pitch at Twickenham in front of a sell-out crowd.” Canterbury is providing each of the 100 participating schools with 20 rugby shirts in their own bespoke design.




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:

Parking I am writing to you on behalf of my friend Sue, who is not very good at putting pen to paper. Sue lives in the Pudding Bag at the top of Wayne Way, Birstall, adjoining Hill Rise Birstall. She would like to know why there are no double yellow parking restriction lines from Barclays Bank to the junction of Hill Rise? Just parking being on one side only please. Parking restrictions are badly needed there. As she says “It is dangerous getting out of there, accidents waiting to happen”. So come on Parish Council please sort the parking out before there is a major accident! Birstall parking is horrendous anyway. A Gamble

Bypass As a Wanlip Lane resident, I was surprised and interested to read the proposals, in the latest edition of the Birstall Post, for a Wanlip bypass. From past experience, I expect that by the time we read about these plans, it is already a ‘done deal’. However, if we are to have this develop-

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ment thrust upon us, I’m sure there could be a few suggestions put forward for discussion. Firstly, instead of diverting the traffic off the A6, shouldn’t we be coaxing a few more drivers into the park and ride facility? Maybe they could have a second entrance to the park and ride from the proposed new road to the south of Wanlip. Incidentally, Incidentally, I would agree with Pauline Harrison that the new bypass would not be of benefit to everyone living in Wanlip. Secondly, I know from personal experience that Wanlip Lane is already a very busy road, and it seems only a year or two since the many and various traffic calming measures were installed, apparently to make the road safer for children from the three schools along the route. This increased traffic will only make the area more dangerous for these pupils. Possibly a new zebra crossing would need to be installed near to the entrances to Longslade and the pathway through to Stonehill. When all this traffic reaches the top of Wanlip Lane, near to the Social Club, we then have the very busy area around the club, pubs, supermarket and take-aways. There has already been mention made on your letters page of the problem with cars parked on grass verges. This is a real problem around this area and causes difficulties for residents’ vehicles trying to pull out on to Wanlip Lane, especially from the point of view of the driver’s vision being impeded. Maybe some of the verge area could be removed to provide new bus pull-ins in order to help the smooth flow of traffic. On reaching the Triangle, the only obvious route to take into Leicester is along Birstall Road. However, this is very narrow in places, and made trickier by the recently installed chicane and humps. One way to improve this would be to make it one way towards Redhill Circle and possibly also one way for part of School Lane from the Curzon Avenue junction to Birstall Road. If you make it safely to Redhill Circle, then it’s every man for himself! Alternatively – we could scrap the whole idea and build a brand new swimming pool for Birstall residents (my preferred option). L Goodfellow

Rat run If I understand correctly the council wish to build a new road which by their estimation will inconvenience a few hundred house

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holders in Birstall by allowing 500 extra cars an hour during rush hour, plus an unspecified amount extra at other times, and increase the traffic past Longslade school endangering pupils walking to and from the school. Wanlip Lane is difficult to get into and cross at times as it is, due to traffic. Councils condemn rat runs but now they are wanting to create an even bigger one up the Wanlip Lane. Charnwood already have the condemnation of Birstall residents to the new housing on our doorstep, now this! What is our opinion worth? Were is the Conservatives pledge on getting local residents approval on this sort of thing. What with unwanted Hallam Fields, the fiasco of the gypsy sites, and the money thrown away on the park and ride, can we upgrade, to some one who has our interests at heart? Mick Joyce

Sore points I am not normally the sort of person who would typically write in to anywhere and have a moan but I feel that I need to! I have a few points to make about Birstall that I hope other residents share. Firstly, the village, especially the Gates estate, is becoming a Mecca for dog poo! I live on Kingsgate and on my way to work pretty much every day there is mess all around the corner of Greengate Lane/Ambergate Drive junction from clearly the same dog, which is repeated in the village outside the Tesco area. This is a main route for school children and frankly disgusting. When pushing our pushchair we have to sometimes go on to the main road or grass verges to avoid it. If I see who is doing this, they will probably end up with a shovel full of their own dog’s mess over their car if I catch them. Please clean up whoever you are! Secondly, the junction of Loughborough Road/Greengate Lane clearly cannot cope with the traffic coming down it. The actual junction is so badly designed that a lot of the time, due to cars queuing through the waiting area opposite Nandos, only around two cars get out of Greengate Lane. The school buses do not help as they block the entire junction meaning nothing can get through. While I’m on the bus subject, can the operator that picks kids up outside Bains Chippy not use the Tesco bus stop, as it is very dangerous


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blocking the Barclays junction and creates a tail back and massive blind spot for cars pulling out! Thirdly, a very warm welcome to a new outlet due to open where Krustys used to be. A tattoo parlour will bring custom to the village. We seem to have too many shops selling kitchens etc it is nice to have something fresh in the village. I am sure it will cause a ‘stir’ – having something that different, but is great to have a shop occupied. Fourth, why isn’t the park and ride site used for something like a Sunday car boot? Look at the success of Donington Market and Quorn car boot! Could bring even more people here. Finally, when we are going to get any form of decent leisure facilities in the village? I use Charnwood Leisure Centre quite a lot, and have recently been to the Peepul Centre, both of which are brilliant community centres. The park and ride site would have been ideal for something like this, but we have wasted a huge area of land on something that very few residents use – it actually takes custom and visitors away from Birstall as most park there then get whisked away never to visit what few facilities we have! I am hoping that Birstall begins to get better at providing for its residents, as at present it doesn’t seem that there is much to attract people here. Name & address supplied

Window cleaner Once upon a time there were four neighbours (possibly more, but it ruins the story) who lived along this road and who shared the services of a window cleaner. He would roll up with his ladder, clean the windows, knock on the door and be paid. He would then go to the next person and repeat the performance. One could always know when he was there by the happy rattle of his ladders. One day he decided that he could no longer clean the windows at a civilised hour of the day but at the crack of dawn. No longer did he get a reply when he knocked on the door, for the neighbours were all in their beds asleep. So bills mounted. Then the money was put out for him by each neighbour on a bedroom windowsill so that he no longer had to knock on the doors. One neighbour who did not do this dropped out after having run up a bill of £25 and, having found him rattling his ladder one day in Sibson Road at a civilised hour, paid him. The other neighbours continued to hear the happy rattle of his ladders, though at the crack of dawn; their windows were cleaned, the money taken, gates were left unbolted and ladder imprints could be found on wet lawns. Then suddenly, nothing: gates were still unbolted, money still vanished, windows appeared clean, but no happy rattle of the ladders nor imprints on the lawn were ever heard or seen again. Could it be that the window cleaner had departed this life and left his ghost in charge of phantom ladders? Was it all a cunning plot by the Mafia? Perhaps someone has trained a burglaring cat? What had happened? Is there anyone out there who can tell the neighbours? Name and address supplied

Verges Would you add Copeland Road to the list of churned up verges. It looks like the setting for ‘War Horse’ down here now. Perhaps it would be better for a Council to cement over everything. K L Reid

Injecting fun In response to CC's “Irritating” (Your Say, March 2013); the KGB appear to have succeeded in stimulating debate! I'm sorry that CC finds the whole idea of the decorated tree irritating. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, I would like to point out that, in this world of doom and gloom, the idea is to inject a bit of fun into our lives. Yes, the tree is a work of art in


itself but how many more people now look at the tree who wouldn't have given it a second glance normally? KGB are succeeding in encouraging: a sense of fun; an appreciation of our surroundings; a greater sense of community through promoting conversation; a heightened awareness of the art of knitting and crochet; a crafting community which welcomes anyone to join; the opportunity for people to learn new skills; the recycling of wool and other yarns; a sense of purpose We could and do knit a variety of articles for various charities as well. Blankets from crocheted squares, teddy bears for hospitalised children in the third world and war torn countries, etc Next time you look at something that irritates or otherwise, try to think outside the box and appreciate the good that is being done. Rose Sphere

Postie The Royal Mail in their infinite wisdom have deemed it necessary to change the "round" of our favourite postman Rhuben who delivered mail to the houses in the "Gates" area for many years. No longer can we rely on the time our post drops on the mat. Rhuben is an old fashioned postman who is always aware of what is going on with his area, especially the elderly and those of us that live alone. Nothing is ever to much trouble for him. The "Gates" loss is the new rounds gain. We all miss him dearly and wish him well. Carol Withers

Noticeboard all details printed free HATS play HATS next production is The Haunted Cabin by Matthew Lynch The show is on stage from May 16-18 at Highcliffe School on Greengate Lane, Birstall Performances start at 7.15pm and the doors open at 6.45pm Tickets are available now and can be reserved by phoning the box office on 0116 2209594 or 2676049 or by applying in writing to HATS at 16 Lyngate Avenue, Birstall LE4 3HF or by email: Prices are £6 (£5 for concessions) As usual there will be a reduction for group bookings

Coffee Shop Saturday April 27 from 10am to 12noon Birstall Methodist Church Wanlip Lane, Birstall Raffle, tombola & lots more Money raised in aid of LOROS. Reg Charity No.506120

HAT’s spring show HIGHCLIFFE AMATEUR Theatrical Society are serving up something a little different this Spring. Our next production is The Haunted Cabin by Matthew Lynch and, as the title suggests, it is a ghost story. The show is on stage from May 16-18 at the usual venue, Highcliffe School on Greengate Lane, Birstall. Performances start at 7.15pm and the doors open at 6.45pm. Haunted by a family from the 1700's, will it be a safe haven for a group of walkers taking refuge from a storm and waiting to be rescued? Thrown together by chance, will they all survive? And, are they all who or what they appear to be? Come and find out and listen out for those mysterious bumps that come from nowhere. Tickets for the show are available now and you can reserve yours by phoning the box office on 0116 2209594 or 2676049 or by applying in writing to HATS at 16 Lyngate Avenue, Birstall, LE4 3HF or by email to Prices are £6 (£5 for concessions). As usual there will be a reduction for group bookings. Once again, we would love to see more people from Birstall and the surrounding area coming to see our shows or actually joining our happy band of thespians. We are particularly keen for younger people to join us because there are loads of wonderful plays with great parts for late teens up to early thirties men and women. We could also do with more people to take on the backstage jobs such as building and painting scenery and we are always keen to find more people with dressmaking skills. So, if there are any of you reading this who can sew a bit,

we’d love you to get in touch with us. So, if you have a couple of hours or more to spare each week, why not phone HATS Secretary on 0116 2128757 or just turn up at Greengate Hall on any Wednesday after 7.00 pm. From Highcliffe Amateur Theatrical Society


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Mountsorrel Methodist Church Presents the 4th in the 12th series of Sunday Night @ Eight

Speaker – Gareth King All visitors are very welcome

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We’re a local charity looking for committed adults to volunteer as mentors for disadvantaged young people (aged 10-19) You’ll receive training and support enabling you to provide friendly help and encouragement to a young person who really needs it. Your help will empower them to develop positive attitudes, make good life choices and successfully engage in education or employment Sounds good? For more information please visit: Alternatively, get in touch on 0300 111 2020 Or email: Wreake Valley Rotary Club

St James Church Birstall Saturday April 13 From 9.30-1pm Boat trip(s) on the river with the Baldwin Trust and painting our local wildlife with Sue Faulks in the Church All ages and abilities welcome £1 for adult/child, £5 max cost for families or groups You can choose to do both activities or just one Programme & booking or email: or tel: 07811662235 Pre-booking advised

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April 11-13 Syston Community Centre, School Street, Syston Thursday April 11, 5-11pm Friday April 12, 3-11pm Saturday April 13, 12noon-11pm At least 20 real ales, free non alcoholic drinks for designated driver and for the first time Saturday night big prize general knowledge quiz starts 8.30pm Free entry per team of 4 Full details on website

The next meeting will take place on Thursday April 11 commencing 7.30pm in the Birstall Village Hall, Birstall Road, Birstall The talk for this month will be ‘Battles in the Midlands’

Drop-in Sessions for people with Arthritis and other Musculoskeletal conditions, to gather information and to have a general chat about these conditions. Sessions held every Monday, 10am to 12noon, Room 7, Peepul Centre, Orchardson Ave, Leicester LE4 6DP Ses-


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sions are free – please contact Karen: 07963221570/2006clashkm@gmail.c om E-learning – Are you interested in learning basic computer skills and how to safely use the internet? If so come along and join us at Palmer Tomkinson Centre, Longslade College, Birstall. Sessions are free and held on Thursdays from 3.30-4.30pm, dates of sessions are April 11, 18, 25 & May 2, 9 16, 23. Please contact Conrad on 07919 844629/ CLASH 2013 Monthly Meeting – Wed April 10 – NHS Podiatry & Arthritis (speaker TBC) & Lisa Preston (Director of Shoemed). Meeting held at Palmer Tomkinson Centre, Longslade Community College, Birstall, 7-9pm. First meeting free, subsequent meetings £2 Indian Charity Fundraising Buffet Tuesday May 14, 6.30-9.30 at Tamarind Restaurant, Peepul Centre, Orchardson Ave, Leicester £15 per person. To secure your place please send a deposit of £5 by April 14 to Kath Cramphorn, 29 Wyndale Road, Knighton, Leic LE2 3WS. The remaining £10 will need to be paid on arrival when your ticket will be issued.

Birstall Royal British Legion April 6: Pete Scofield (M/V) April 13: Karen West (F/V) April 20: Double Trouble (F/Duo) April 27: Jacqui Daniels (F/V) Dancing every Sat night with live entertainment Bingo, free beer raffle and not forgetting Open the Box Every Tuesday Night Bingo, starting at 9.15pm Quiz nights Sunday April 14 & 28 starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday April 21 at 8pm Rock & Roll nights Wed April 3 & 17 Food available every Sat 12noon-2pm Wakes catered for

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Table Top Sale & Mini Market Birstall Methodist Church Sat April 20 10am-1pm Good as New Clothes, home made cakes, preserves, bric-a-brac, books, toys, plants, raffle, hot dogs Coffee Shop : 10am, - 1pm Tables @ £10 0116 2672606 Leicestershire Police Birstall Beat Office

Cycle Hub Sibson Road, Birstall Saturday, April 20 10am until 12noon On site cycle health check Carried out by a City & Guilds qualified mechanic This is a free cycle check and does not substitute for a full service by a qualified technician On sale, Bike Lights, D-Locks £5 each Turn up on your bike and receive a free back pack! (first 50 cyclists only) Staff attending will be from Birstall Beat Team & Traffic Management

Players wanted for Girls Football Teams Birstall United Juniors FC are looking for players for their two girls teams for the 2013/14 season If you would like to play for the U13s team, please contact Peter Holgate on 07976 853182. If you would like to play for the U18s team, please contact David Preston on 07966 079788

Leicestershire & Rutland Dowsing Group Talk on keeping records Everyone who has problems organising their paperwork should considering attending the next meeting of Leicestershire & Rutland Dowsing Group as Avril Holland will speak

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about keeping records The talk will be held at the usual venue: St James’ Day Centre, Birstall Village Hall, on Saturday April 13 There will be change of format to meetings, beginning on April 13. Refreshments will be served before the start of the meeting, from 10am to 10.30am, rather than half way through the talk. At the end, the half hour from 12.301pm will be used for networking

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We meet on the last Wednesday of every month from 7.30pm onwards at the White Horse Pub in Birstall. Knit2gether is primarily a social group to bring together like-minded individuals to knit, crochet or weave together, share skills and socialise once a month in relaxed surroundings. Everyone is welcome – just bring along a project to be getting on with and enjoy a chat and a cuppa or a pint with us. Next Meeting Dates: March 27 April 24

Green Day Coffee Morning Friday April 26 10-11.30am Coffee & Biscuits Funds in aid of Abbeyfield Grove House, 35 Church Hill, Birstall 0116 2671523 All welcome

The Friends of Belgrave Cemetery Invite you to a Presentation ‘Belgrave Cemetery Soldiers of the Great War’ by Dr John Sutton Friday May 3, from 7.30-9.30pm Dedicated to the 28 soldiers who lie at rest in Belgrave Cemetery, this presentation tells the story of each of their lives before and during the ‘war to end all wars’ To be held at Greenacres, The Sidings, Red Hill Way (A563) Booking advised as space is limited Tel: 0116 2672018 Tickets in advance £2.50, £3 at door

Coffee Morning Saturday May 11 From 10am to 12noon At the Methodist Coffee Shop, Wanlip Lane, Birstall Various stalls including raffle & cakes All proceeds to Mothers’ Union Projects

Open Day Sunday April 14, 2.30pm Elizabeth Park Sports Centre A friendly mixed club for ages 12 and above More info: 2207121 or


Bizzy Bees Play Group We have been running for over 40 years and we are looking for someone to take over running it. We meet every Friday at Birstall Village Hall, 10am to 12noon For more info contact Cheryl on 07972759973

Film Presentations From Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council ‘The Lady’ Friday April 12 (145 mins) This is an extraordinary true story of Aung San Su Kyi and her husband Michael Aris. We watch the peaceful quest of the woman who is at the heart of Burma’s democracy movement. This film depicts devotion and human understanding within a dangerously hostile regime.

‘Quartet’ Friday May 10 (145 mins) Starring Dame Maggie Smith, this wickedly comic film is about redefining old age with aspirations. It demonstrates how music can illuminate life. Four retired opera singers celebrate Verdi’s birthday endeavouring to perform an operetta at their retirement home.

‘The Life of Pi’ Friday June 14 Thurcaston and Cropston Parish Council will be showing these films at Thurcaston Memorial Hall. Starting at 7.30pm, tickets cost £4.50 and concessions are £4. The price includes refreshments and a lucky prize draw. Advance tickets can be purchased via the parish office, 0116 2367626 or at the door

St James Day Centre 200 Club Winners for March 2013 1st Miss Shelagh Noble 2nd Mrs Valerie Clements 3rd Mrs Leigh Reid 4th Mrs Margery Orton

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& crime report Stay Safe – Take a Look OnLine Ever seen the Police helicopter in the air above Birstall? Or a Police car using blue lights dashing somewhere and wondered what it was all about? Well - no guarantees - but it is possible the details have been posted online somewhere. There are a number of websites that carry up to date information of crime that is occurring in and around Birstall. Birstall Neighbourhood Watch’s own website: posts details of crimes and suspicious behaviour as soon as we become aware it is happening. In addition - If you choose to subscribe - an email will be sent to you every time a new item is posted. is a website run by Charnwood BC. There is a page for each village and a noticeboard that provides details of the incidents, rogue traders and other scams that are currently occurring. Leicestershire Police have a website This covers the whole of Leicestershire and also requests for information and witnesses to incidents that have occurred recently. This is just a selection of what is available online to keep you informed and, hopefully, help you avoid becoming a victim of crime but also to ask for your help if you see anything suspicious. And finally - you can now find ‘The Birstall Watch’ on Facebook! From a NHW Committee member

Crime Report : Feb 2013 Assaults 8, burglary 3, burglary nondwelling 2, damage 1, damage to motor vehicle 1, fraud 1, public order 1, theft 5, theft cycle 2, theft from motor vehicle 2, theft stores 4. There were 23 less recorded crimes compared to January. The overall reduction in burglaries I would put down to recent arrests we have made and the courts remanding the accused. Shop thefts have also reduced. This is largely due to us now working much closer with Beaumont Leys officers. We have managed to identify offenders quickly, so therefore made prompt arrests and the courts have supported us, stopping the thieves from returning to Birstall. Violent crime has increased slightly but this is due to more harassment cases being reported. There have been no serious physical assaults to be concerned about. Sibson Road has been raised as a beat priority. I have done this in order to target the youths that gather and harass shoppers to buy them alcohol. Officers will be more visible along this road for the next month to combat this and the reports of antisocial behaviour behind the shops. Over the last week we have conducted a test purchase operation within the village. I was pleased to see the no nonsense approach and tough stance from six of the seven shops tested. But I was obviously disappointed when one of the shops failed to ask for ID and challenge the young person who successfully bought alcohol from them. From PC 688 Des Hearnshaw – Beacon Officer PCSO 6611 Mark Butler & PCSO 6148 Charlotte White Tel: 0116 2677355 or 101




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Five year breakfast ONCE AGAIN the month of March found the Charnwood Branch of Cancer Research holding a ‘Big Breakfast’ at Roman Road, Birstall. The home of David and Jan Gaskell was opened to friends and family who came to enjoy a very traditional English breakfast – sausage, bacon, eggs, black pudding, tomatoes, mushrooms and fried bread together with lashings of croissants, fruit drinks, coffee/tea. Jan said: “This year it was breakfast only with no afternoon tea, but for those who felt unable to manage a large calorific breakfast/brunch there was coffee and scones. So is that the last ‘Big

Breakfast at 95’? “Just like Frank Sinatra’s farewell concerts which appear to have taken place on a regular basis from the 1970s right through to his death in 1998 we have for the last five years said that this was to be our final breakfast event. “Well, watch this space and make a date in your diary for somewhere around March 2l, 2014 just in case. Many thanks to our friends who helped us raise £656 for Cancer Research. Not a bad morning’s work.” Pic: neighbours Di and Bob, Marian and Bert from Roman Road enjoying some good old fashioned home cooking.

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Scouts race in pool ON A cold night in February Cubs and Beavers from Birstall took part in the District swimming Gala at Cossington Street Pool. The Cubs entered races in the disciplines of front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke at different age groups. We had two second places, three jointly along with Groby beavers. Sarah third places a fourth Dolby, team manager and a fifth. for the Beavers was The fastest four very proud of her team. cubs then went into Cubs team were the relay race and Daniel, Finn, Luke, finished a creditable Barney, Ben, Joe and fourth and overall Jake. fourth in the team Beavers team were points competition. Ethan, Danny, Luke, The Beavers fared Adam, Arjan, Jaspal, much better with a win, a second and Kye and Samuel. Pics: (top) the Birstall Beavers receiving the two thirds and two fourths, earning trophy for first place are on the right with Groby enough points to win the team trophy, on the left & (inset) Birstall Cubs


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Flowers make Mums smile BIRSTALL BROWINIES helped make finger-knitted flowers for Mother’s Day. Agents from the Knitting Guerillas of Birstall (KGB) then ‘planted’ the flowers near to the Greengate medical Centre and invited local children and their mums to pick one on the day. The KGB’s woolly egg hunt kicked off on Friday March 29 and continues through until Wednesday April 3. “All you need do is get a camera, pop on a pair of sensible shoes and scan Birstall for woolly eggs. There will be a trail map issued on our blog in case you

want to find them all” said a KGB spokesperson. Submit your entries, with photographic evidence of your finds, to before April 6, 2013. The winner will be entered into a competition to win a Lindt Easter Egg cracker donated by Steve Wenlock of Flexpress Printers, Birstall. There is also have a prize of a beautiful knitted brooch, donated by a local knitter. Winners will be drawn at random. “The KGB would like to hugely thank everyone who has been involved, including those who have donated yarn, those who have made the wonderful woolly eggs, to Ruby Tuesdays and Birstall Methodist Church for acting as drop off points, to Little Bird School of Stitchcraft for continued support, to Flexpress for their donation of the prize and support with printing and to Dodgy, of "Good Enough" fame, who have funded the printing costs for flyers for this event” said the spokesperson.

Marathon run BIRSTALL’S CHRIS Tinbergen, will be looking to continue a family tradition by running in this year’s London Marathon.

For Chris (44, & pictured above) this will be his first attempt at a Marathon, after both father Dirk and sister Anne had both successfully completed the event in the past. Chris will be running on behalf of three local charities close to his heart, LOROS, Macmillan Cancer Support and Birstall BAGS and is actively looking for sponsors. Chris said: “This is without doubt, the most stupid thing I have ever agreed to do. I won’t deny I have found the training gruelling and with a succession of recent injuries, any ambitions of a respectable sub 4 hour time have now been replaced with an objective of just getting round in one piece. I would like to say I am looking forward to it …. but right now, I would be lying! But the aim here is to try and raise money for three incredible charities. I appreciate how difficult it is these days, but every pound I can raise will be going to great causes”. To sponsor Chrism you can donate online at http.// Alternatively pledges can be made by contacting Chris at


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Thanks from Molly MOLLY GALE of Birstall presented a cheque for £200 to the nurses on the day ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Molly (pictured centre) has treatment every 4 weeks for Multiple Sclerosis. Her Grandma Diana Godwin of Leicester raised the money at her local Social Club.

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Church news WE USUALLY associate April with the real beginning of Spring, but with the gloomy forecasts of continuing cold weather this year, one can only live in hope! For the church, April is also the month of the Annual General Meeting (APCM) and on Wednesday April 17 at 7.30pm in St. James everyone on the electoral roll can hear an up-to-date report on the past year’s events, successes and sorrows and how the finances are standing up to the recession. Due to the generosity of donors to the Memorial Fund for the much-missed and loved Minne, wife of Rev Stephen Crofts, improvements are going ahead to the Howard Room in St. James’ Community Area. The room was once a little-used chapel at the back of the church, which was later converted to a room to facilitate catering. This has now proved inadequate for increased usage, so further kitchen equipment and a new, practical floor covering is to be installed, so that visitors and congregation can be sure of a “warm” welcome. Much less welcome is the verdict that numerous leaks in the church roof will necessitate repairs costing over £26,000 for which funding has to be found. It is perhaps surprising to some people to realise that 2013 marks 50 years since the building of the “new” church at St. James, an event which will be celebrated later in the year. The first news has been received from Peter and Gill Chester, members of St James Church, who have left their jobs in Social Services and IT at County Hall to travel to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. There they are spending six months on behalf of the Church Missionary Society, in a remote village (thankfully away from the fighting) lending practical support to help the local people become self-sufficient and rise above the poverty line. They are having to contend with a daytime temperature of 35°C, have no running water or mains electricity or public transport and live in an area where, apart from the tribal language, most people speak only French. The villagers are helpful and are very wiling to work on projects, but have no experience of how to plan and make full use of available resources: this is the job the Chesters have to tackle. Most of us could never even imagine ourselves faced with such a task and can only admire the courage of Peter and Gill, and try to support them in our prayers. From Beryl McHugh, Parish Churches

SCAFFOLDING THAT was seen at the front of the coffee shop in March has now been removed. The workmen were attending to the verges. A new process was used with the intention that it should need no future significant maintenance. It was done at a cost of £1848 which has been met from church funds The Men’s Pantomime was able to make a donation of £2000 to church funds, which more than covers the cost of the repairs detailed above. Some funds have been retained in the Men’s Pantomime fund with a view to possibly replacing some scenery flats. The first meeting for the next pantomime is Thursday September 19. The Special Needs Playgroup was delighted to hear that they have been awarded a grant from the BBC Children in Need appeal. This secures the group’s finances for the next three years. The group, which has been running for 40 years, provides a valuable service for young children with a variety of special needs from a wide area. Our friends at Rothley Methodist Church will celebrate their 190th anniversary with a special service on April 14 led by Stella Bristow from Oxfordshire who is known to many Birstall folk. The Church Annual General Meeting

takes place at 4pm on Sunday April 21 at 4pm and will conclude with a short act of worship. From Tony Moore, Birstall Methodist Church

THE OPEN-AIR Mission is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year, as it was founded in June 1853 by the London barrister John MacGregor, with the aim of letting people who would never enter a church hear the good news about Jesus Christ. The organisation has been faithfully carrying out this task in city centres around the country ever since and also helping those who need training in preaching in the open-air in other countries. We were able to be represented at their Supporters’ Conference at the beginning of March, which was held at Willersley Castle in Derbyshire. About 75 people gathered and we were blessed firstly, by good ministry from a Derby pastor, who spoke on the benefits, privileges and responsibilities Christians have through their spiritual adoption as sons and daughters of God. Secondly, there were both encouragements and prayer points from the reports given by three of the evangelists on their work in city centres, fairs and beach missions (at Tenby and Weymouth) over the last year. Thirdly, there was the enjoyment of good fellowship, meeting fellow-delegates from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. There was some free time on the Tuesday afternoon and many of us took the opportunity to visit the Cromford Mill (currently undergoing restoration work as an International Heritage Site) and have a walk in the spring sunshine alongside the Cromford Canal. Services Our Sunday services from April 14 will be in the Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School (LE4 3DL) from 10.45 am and you will be most welcome to join with us. (Please note: we are not able to use the school on April 7, so please ring for venue.) Our visiting speaker for April 21 is Stan Braybrook (Shepshed). Further information, please ring 0116 2214883. From Anne Taylor, Birstall Independent Baptist Church

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

COMMUNITY SUPPORT WORKERS URGENTLY REQUIRED For work in and around the Birstall area of Leicestershire Full & Part Time Hours Available Experience preferred but not essential as we provide full free training with the opportunity of gaining a Diploma in Health & Social Care. Must have own transport £7.50-£8.54 per hour. Immediate starts. If this sounds like the position for you then please call Debra Matthews on 01162 696247


Cricket club BIRSTALL VILLAGE Cricket Club is in early preparation for the 2013 season. They have recently held their AGM to discuss and decide business and plans for the upcoming season. Election of positions in the club were made: President: Ian Hunt, Chairman: Andy Merry, Secretary: Dave Sharpe, Treasurer: Ian Bartlett, 1st Team Captain: Andy Galpin, 2nd Team Captain: Tony Clapham. Andy Merry has decided to pass on the responsibilities of club secretary this season and take a slightly more reduced role within the club. Andy has held the position of club secretary of Birstall Village Cricket Club for over 20 years and has done a fantastic job in this time. He will still remain an integral part of the club and is looking forward to just enjoying the season. BVCC has gained some new players who are looking promising with our BVCC under 15’s improving every week at nets and also look promising with the chance playing a part in the senior teams at some point this year. The season begins for both teams on Saturday April 27 (all fixtures are Saturday 1.30pm start) April 27: 1st XI vs. Braunstone Town (away); 2nd XI vs. Barrow and Burton (away) May 4: 1st XI vs. Huncote (away); 2nd XI vs. Gilmorton (home) May 11: 1st XI vs. Burbage (home) ; 2nd XI vs. Broughton (away)

Date for your diary: BVCC Presentation night with quiz! Saturday April 13 at Birstall United Football Club. Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website: From Joshua Saye

WI news 26 LADIES attended Birstall and Wanlip WI’s meeting at Highcliffe School on the March 4 for another very enjoyable evening. We rattled through our past, present and future business so the time remaining was devoted to Mr John Stirling one of our most entertaining speakers ever and ended with really delicious cakes made by our hostesses of the month. Mr Stirling was a child actor who became a Stage manager and director of many popular TV shows and Soaps. A close director friend died and bequeathed him two Irish donkeys and eventually the Michael Elliot Trust was created in his memory. After help from Challenge Anneka, stables were built in the Peak Forest and Freshfields Donkey Sanctuary was born. Being an ex actor we were treated to an excellent impression of Brian Blessed and many anecdotes of his actor friends. These donkeys and famous friends have helped many children with learning difficulties and have raised fortunes for the trust. During one three week sponsored walk from Scarborough beach to Blackpool Beach, walkers and donkeys were cared for by 36 different WI’s at each village along the route and this is why Mr Stirling has a soft spot for all WI ladies. He takes every opportunity to talk to us whenever he is asked and has spoken to 507 WI’s over the past 22 years. Another charity donkey walk ended with a private and totally unexpected audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Our next meeting will be on April 8 when we welcome back Ken Goddard who will be guiding us through a ‘Beginners Guide to Opera’ and our competition is an ‘Opera Wordsearch’. From Birstall & Wanlip WI

New captains BIRSTALL GOLF Club’s new skippers drove in with words of praise for the hard work of the course’s green staff. New men’s captain Mel Whiteman said their efforts over the winter should ensure the club has a successful year. “The course is in wonderful condition considering the weather we have had. The green staff have done a magnificent job, and worked within budget despite all the extra work they have had to do”. Mel, who lived in Birstall all his life until moving to Sileby a few months ago, has been a member at the club for 15 years. He is joined by new ladies captain Chris Hyde, who lives in Rothley and is also President of the Leicestershire and Rutland Ladies Golf Captain Association. The new junior captain is 16 yr old Mir Patel who lives in Curzon Avenue, Birstall. The captains have chosen LOROS as their charity for the year. Birstall Golf Club will again host members of the Midland Professional Golfers Association, firstly for the Mark Group Pro-Am on Friday May 17 and will also stage the Midland Golf Union’s Boys Championships on Thursday July 4. On August 1 & 2 the course will again host the prestigious Mark Group Midlands Open. It is one of the tournaments on the Midlands PGA Order of Merit and attracts a top quality field including former Ryder Cup players like Peter Baker. Pic: Mel Whiteman, Chris Hyde and Mir Patel are welcomed onto the first tee by some of the club’s lady members

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Birstall BAG’s cancer corner The National Gold Standard Framework There are a number of initiatives designed to help patients and their carers prepare for end of life. The National Gold Standard Framework (GSF) is one of these. GSF involves the primary care team, (your family doctor and district nurses) or care home staff, working together with you and with other professionals involved in your care. The aim is to improve the organisation and quality of care for everyone in the last years of life whatever their age or illness. GPs and the district nursing team identify patients who they believe are in the last year of their life. The patient will then be placed on a palliative care register. Some surgeries know these patients as gold patients, ensuring all staff know who they are, their condition and make every effort to ensure their calls are given priority. Their condition will be continually assessed and their care planned. Planning a patient's care is the key. It's done in consultation with the patient - the aim is to ask a patient what kind of care they would like and where they would like to receive it. These preferences are then recorded and passed on to other medical professionals including out of hours

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doctors who don't know the patient personally. Many surgeries and primary health care teams (district nurses, GP’s, Macmillan Nurses) meet regularly to discuss their current gold patients. By coordinating, assessing and planning a patient's care in this way doctors and nurses can avoid admitting a patient to hospital when it is not essential and can enable the patient to be cared for and to die in their chosen place wherever possible. You matter because you are you. You matter to the last moment of your life. And we will do all we can, not only to let you die peacefully but to help you

BIRSTALL BAGS are holding two fundraising events this month. The cancer charity is holding a coffee morning from 10am to 12noon at Birstall Methodist Church rooms on Saturday April 13. A spokeswoman said: “We would love to see you all there. This was a great success last year raising over £300. Any cake donations would be much appreciated and all proceeds go to cancer related charities and to help fund Time Out at Birstall Village Hall, held on every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month.”

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to live until you die Dame Cicely Saunders, Founder of the Modern Hospice Movement For more information: http://www.goldst andardsframework.o 2b_or_Patients_Fa milies_and_Carers.html 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. For more information on the funds we have raised, projects we support and forthcoming events see

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On Sunday May 19 from 10am there will be a fun run/walk around Watermead Park. The spokeswoman said: “Please come along and support us, this a great family day out starting on Whiles Lane at 11am with registration from 10am and finishing at Birstall United FC on Meadow Lane where there will be a bbq, bar, raffle, cakes and penalty shoot out, and prizes for the winners.” Any raffle prizes you wish to donate would be gratefully appreciated and anyone who could spare a couple of hours to help marshal on the day would be more than welcome. Please get in touch with us on our web site, and look out for our posters locally.

The May issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on May 4. The copy deadline is Apr 19.

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.

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 BUILDING PLANS drawn and submitted for Local Authority approval. Free quotations. Quorn Plan Services 01509 413332 MOBILITY SCOOTER Pride Destiny 4 wheel, red. Very good condition. Max speed 4mph. Range 20 miles. Includes front basket, rear bag and walking stick holder. £385. Tel: 0116 2675992

Planning applications P/13/0469/2: 7 Gwendolin Ave – the applicant Advance housing is a Registered Provider, specialising in providing housing & support services to adults with mental health problems or a learning difficulty. The existing house provided a home for three unrelated adults with mild mental health problems sharing communal facilities such as the bathroom, kitchen and lounge. We propose a change of use from single dwelling to two one bedroom self-contained flats. P/13/0392/2: 10 Elmfield Ave – erection of 1st floor extension to side of dwelling P/13/0368/2: 1B Sibson Road – variation of condition 2 of application P/09/0365/2 to extend opening hours from 17.00 hrs to 23.00 hrs from Monday to Sunday & Bank Holidays P/13/0383/2: 233 Wanlip Lane – single storey rear extension P/13/0336/2: Land adj 27 The Meadway – erection of a dwelling P/13/0363/2: 1 Kedleston Ave – erection of 2 storey extension to side & single storey extension to front & rear P/13/0344/2: 10 Keswick Close – erection of a single storey extension to side of dwelling P/12/0307/2: 54 Beechfield Ave – erection of single & 2 storey extension to side and single storey extension to rear of dwelling


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

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

Birstall Post (357) April 2013  

Birstall Post April 2013

Birstall Post (357) April 2013  

Birstall Post April 2013