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the Birstall post Y O U R


MAY 2013


Longslade’s new start AFTER THREE years near the bottom of County league tables for its GCSE performance, Longslade College has a new leader, a new partner and an aspiration to join the ranks of the County’s top performing schools within 12 months. The new Longslade principal is Mrs Kirstie Black, previously head at Melton Vale Post 16 centre. She said: “I am incredibly excited to be appointed principal at Longslade, I am passionate about young people and education and I am very optimistic about the future. Pic: New Longslade Principal Kirstie Black talks to students “What I want reasons. She was appointed principal in at the end of the day is to say : ‘Yes, I’d 2010. send my kids to this school.’ Longslade The former Head of Belvoir High is changing and changing for the better.” School and now the Executive Principal Longslade is working in partnership at BMAT and Longslade is Jon Sherwin with the Belvoir and Academy Melton (59). He said: “I am delighted to have Trust (BMAT), a successful academy been asked to oversee developments at trust comprising Belvoir High School for Longslade with a view to the college 11-16 year olds and Melton Vale Post 16 joining BMAT at some point over the Centre. next 12 months. Belvoir High School has been rated “My two sons came to Longslade, I as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted at its last two live locally in the catchment area and I inspections. am proud to have been given the opporMrs Black’s appointment follows the resignation of Ms Liz Hall for personal Continued on page 2

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Continued from page 1 tunity to work with the school and ensure its future success.” The new leadership team are seeking to establish and evaluate what the issues were that saw Longslade failing to reach the Government’s floor target for GCSE results in 2012. Mr Sherwin said: “We will be spending time talking to students and meeting with parents over the next few weeks, to answer their questions and to explain our vision and tell them what we are about.” A questionnaire will be sent to all parents, students and staff to help establish what works well at the college, and what needs improving. An information evening was also held at the college on May 2. Mr Sherwin said: “As a first step we have revised the curriculum for Year 10 next year to cut down the number of subjects students are studying and give more time to the essentials of English, Mathematics and Science. This is an approach which has proved to be extremely successful at Belvoir High.” Other measures that have been introduced include: • 25% of Year 11 students have started on an intensive intervention programme this term to improve their success at GCSE

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Parish Council notes BIRSTALL PARISH Council’s Annual Meeting was held on April 8.

Pic: Longslade Executive Principal Jon Sherwin

• the post 16 curriculum is being reviewed to ensure better progression for sixth formers on to university or into employment • the induction of new Year 10 and Year 12 students is being overhauled to help students have a better understanding of expectations and to prepare them for a successful start to their studies Students in Years 10 and 11 will wear a formal uniform from September and there will be a dress code for 6th form students. Mr Sherwin said: “We want a school where students and staff wake up wanting to come, and go home feeling happy. “We want to foster a feeling of identity, pride, achievement and high aspiration in the students, and to support them by explaining clearly how they can progress, set out a timeline and make them understand it’s realistic and what’s in it for them, that people take them seriously and that we care too much to see them prat about and fail.”

Youth worker Helen McNulty reported on the activities of the youth café, which is open on Wednesdays and Fridays at the pavilion on the School Lane playing field. Numbers of 12-19 year olds at the Wednesday night session fell away in October 2012 and it was agreed this session be offered to 8-11 yr olds. Publicity was sent out to schools, an open day was held and the session now attracts 35 young people, compared to 6-8 of the older group. Feedback from parents has been very positive. Activities include making things, cooking, Scrabble and Twister, led by young people and supervised by the youth workers. All day summer activities are planned. Funding for the Wednesday night session, £4500 a year, ends this April. Birstall Parish Council intends to transfer its funding from Friday night to Wednesday and to invite Charnwood Borough Council to fund the Friday session, which continues to be for 12-19 year olds. County Councillor Roger Wilson announced his retirement from local politics after 60 years – he will not be a candidate at the May elections. He said he hoped he could leave with the feeling that he had made some contribution to making Birstall a better place, that he felt he had had the support of the community and he thanked all those who had voted for him. Borough Councillor David Gaskell reported that he had received assurances that Charnwood would not recommend a traveller site in Birstall. He urged residents to object to Leicester City Council’s proposed sites once plan-

ning applications are submitted. The Annual Meeting was followed by the April meeting of the council. The clerk reported that the LE4 Action group, which is campaigning against Leicester City’s traveller site plans, had requested a meeting with the Parish Council. It was agreed that the Management and Policy committee review the Council’s procedures for its internal audit. It was reported that the first children’s play area at Hallam Fields has been adopted by the Parish Council. A Jubilee tree and a noticeboard will be erected in that area. Three other play areas at Hallam Fields are planned. The Parish Council will not have the responsibility of maintaining grass verges, balancing ponds or other grassed open areas at Hallam Fields. The parish churches have shown an interest in using the planned Community Hall at Hallam Fields. Developers Jelson will be consulted on what progress they are making with building the hall. There is dry rot in the Village Hall’s kitchen floor. Extensive work is needed at a cost of around £7500. The kitchen will have to be closed for seven weeks. Councillors discussed the proposed Meadow Lane/Worcester Avenue track. Some concern was expressed about the specification of the work and the assurances provided by a contractor. It was agreed to defer a decision pending further consultation with the contractor.

County crime rates falling CRIME FIGURES for 2012/13 show that all recorded crime in Leicestershire fell by 13.7% compared to the previous year. • assault with less serious injury reduced by 15.1% • criminal damage reduced by 17.8% • domestic burglary reduced by 7% • robbery reduced by 22.2% • serious sexual offences increased by 11.4% • serious violent offences reduced by 15% • theft from a vehicle increased by 4% • theft of a vehicle reduced by 15%

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sir Clive Loader said: “The figures show a great improvement, especially with regard to the crimes which cause most harm to people. Whilst not all targets have been met, Leicestershire Police is heading in the right direction and we are making a good start in delivering the key priorities outlines in my Police and Crime Plan.” Sir Clive Loader has published his Police and Crime Plan for tackling crime and reducing the number of victims in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland over the next four years. To read the full plan, executive summary of for further information on the Police and Crime Plan go to:


Mary Houghton




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A BIRSTALL Parish Councillor and amateur artist has died. ë

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“At least 1500” homes planned Pic: Mary Houghton

Mary Houghton (1940-2013) died peacefully at LOROS on March 18. Mary was a longstanding parish councillor and was secretary of Birstall and District Art Society for 13 years, playing a leading role in organising the society’s annual exhibition in the Village Hall. She had a career in nursing spanning 35 years, as a Ward Sister, conducting research into allergies and finally as a health visitor. A former chairman of the Leicester Board of Prison Visitors, Mary was also a member of the Parochial Church Council and a worshipper at St James Church. She lived on Front Street. May is survived by hr three sons and seven grandchildren. Her funeral was held at St James the Great, Birstall on April 9.

PLANS FOR ‘at least 1500’ new homes in what planners call ‘north Birstall’ feature in Charnwood Borough Council’s Core Strategy, which was approved by Charnwood’s cabinet on April 11. The plan proposes: • at least 1500 dwellings • 15 hectares of employment land • development to create a new Garden Suburb, containing shops and community facilities • 30% affordable homes • health facilities and a place of worship • a new primary school • a contribution to the expansion of local secondary schools • a supermarket (up to 100 sq.m) • Four pitches for travelling show people • a new roundabout on the A6, north of the A46 interchange • a new link road from the new roundabout to Wanlip and a Wanlip bypass to Rectory Road

Birstall Parish Council Clerk Steve Blackburn said: “The Parish Council is concerned about the plans and is monitor-

ing the situation.” Rothley Parish Council is urging its residents to object to the plans. “We do not want the extra houses, these plans would totally kill our village” said the Chairman of Rothley Parish Council, Percy Hartshorn Rothley County Councillor Peter Osborne is objecting to the Core Strategy. He said: “I do not believe that further ribbon development that is joining Leicester, Birstall, Rothley, Mountsorrel and Quorn is desirable.” Cllr Osborne also says that the strategy is flawed as it does not contain any alternative sites. Birstall Borough Councillor David Gaskell said: “Ideally we don’t want any new development, but we have to live in the real world. We must have these houses whether we like it or not, but I would be

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concerned if we are taking more than our share. “I quite like the idea of a garden suburb as it fits in with the location of the nearby Great Central Railway. The link road and Wanlip bypass concerns me, Wanlip Lane is over used as it is.” Cllr Gaskell welcomed the provision of a primary school but said it was urgent that one was built at Hallam Fields as soon as possible. The Core Strategy also includes plans for a new settlement of 4500 homes east of Thurmaston and 3000 west of Loughborough. The plans will have a six week public consultation period which is expected to start in June. The schedule has been delayed as the plans were called in by six Labour councillors and the consultation dates were not available at the time of going to press. Following the public consultation period the Core Strategy will be submitted to the Secretary of State, then it will be examined by an independent planning inspector. It deemed sound it will be adopted in October 2014.

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PUPILS FROM the Steps School of Theatre Dance won 77 awards at a dance festival in Atherstone.

Amongst the winners were dancers from Birstall crowned Festival Champions: Natalia Puczylo (9), Katie Jay Batson (10) and Emma Garner (14) The school is presenting a show called ‘The Magic of Dance’ at Longslade College on Saturday May 18, 2.30pm & 7.30pm. Contact Michelle Upton for tickets (£9) on 07909 861197



MAY 2013

New headquarters & fire station opens THE NEW £11million headquarters of the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue service was opened in Birstall last month.

Egg hunters seek chocolate prize The building, located at Hallam Fields, was officially opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Jennifer Lady Gretton. It will replace the fire authority’s former HQ at Glenfield, and also house a firestation manned by full-time firefighters working 24 hour shifts.

A WOOLLY egg hunt in Birstall attracted over 600 entries with one egg hunter travelling all the way from Chichester to take part.

Construction of the building started in 2011 – it contains offices, a community room, gym, rest areas, a kitchen, lecture room and training house. The building was designed by architects Pick Everard and built by Bowmer and Kirkland.

Organised by the Knitting Guerrillas of Birstall (KGB) participants had to find and photograph the dozens of woolly eggs secreted in the village. A KGB spokesman said: “From the beginning, with so many donations of wonderfully crafted eggs from very many generous knitters, with nine KGB agents helping with the hanging of the eggs, with support from our sponsors Flexpress, Dodgy and Little Bird School of Stitchcraft and the help from lots of kind local shopkeepers who let us display the eggs in their windows, it’s been great. Our mission has made smiles and as you know this makes us happy. Thanks to everyone who took part. “The only downside is that there can be only two winners. In first place was the Skye & Summer, with Michelle and Denise. They win a Lindt

Pic: (l-r) Peter Roffey, Chair of the Combined Fire Authority, The LordLieutenant of Leicestershire, Jennifer, Lady Gretton and Chief Fire and Rescue Officer Dave Webb at next to the commemorative plaque which marked the official opening of the buildings.

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cracker full of chocolate donated by Flexpress. In second place was Edelyn who came with her mum, Jackie, all the way from Chichester. She wins a knitter’s brooch by local knitter, Giant Rumble Buffin.” The following people also found lots of eggs. Adrian Barnacle (on behalf of Grace) – 58 eggs Amy and Lexie McLoughlin – 68 eggs Jackie Abela and her clan – 78 eggs

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Student talent on show at centre LONGSLADE COLLEGE’S Palmer Tomkinson Centre recently hosted three concerts featuring local students.

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On March 22 Citizenship students organised a talent show and an exhibition of artwork, and on April 18, Longslade students were joined by pupils from Stonehill for a joint band concert. On April 23 ‘A Show for Joe’ was a fundraising concert organised by the friends of Rothley teenager Joe Humphries, who died suddenly while out running on October 4. 2012. The concert was

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Traveller protest

Cricket Corner BIRSTALL VILLAGE CC held their Presentation evening for the 2012 season at BUFC. Players, families and associated members all enjoyed a great evening. We celebrated a mixed season from 2012, but the main celebration was the success of the 2nd XI who achieved promotion. Individual achievement was: 1st XI, Batting award - Dave Sharpe, Bowling award - Rich Sharpe, Player of the season - Mark Forknall 2nd XI: Batting award - Andy Lord, Bowling award - Mick Jones, Player of the season - Sam Carnan Birstall are looking to have a very strong start to the 2013 with the addition of new players to the club, juniors making the step up into senior cricket and current players getting back to form from previous seasons. We have made some improvements to the clubhouse and look to continue to build a successful club both on and off the field. We welcome any local supporters to come down and enjoy our facilities including 'the BVCC Bar'. Please check our website for all the latest news. From Joshua Saye Pics: Mark Forknall (left) & Sam Carnan

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A LOCAL action group is working with Birstall Parish Council to object to City Council plans for traveller sites on the edge of Birstall.

Messy church A SPECIAL session of Birstall Messy Church saw more than 80 adults and children gather together to celebrate Easter. Set up just over three years ago, and supported by both Methodist and Anglican churches, Birstall Messy Church usually meets on Saturday afternoon twice a month and is an experience of church designed for whole families to enjoy together. Crafts on a bible story or theme, storytelling, parachute prayers and a shared meal are all part of the Messy format. Pic: (l-r) Ella Kolade, Georgia White, Hollie Akiens

Planning applications are expected soon for the sites: a permanent site of up to six pitches at Greengate Lane, and up to 10 pitches at Red Hill Way. Steve Blackburn, Birstall Parish Council clerk, said: “We would say to residents that this is not the end of the matter. This is not a done deal. The proposals are not wanted by Birstall residents or the travelling community and your Parish Council will continue to support the LE4 Action Group in their efforts to persuade the City to reconsider this highly unpopular decision.” The LE4 Action Group, with the support of the Parish Council, will be holding an open day on Sibson Road as soon as the planning applications are submitted. “It will assist residents to construct appropriate objection letters” said Mr Blackburn. “These letters will be ‘personalised’ so that they cannot be dismissed as a petition and will be hand delivered to the City Council so they will have to be properly considered.” The planning applications will be considered by the City Council’s planning committee and although the City Council will effectively be considering its ‘own’ planning application they will have to do so in accordance with adopted planning policy. “Both of these sites lie within areas designated as ‘green wedge’ and this will be one of the grounds for objection. Indeed two previous applications for residential development of the Red Hill Way site were refused and dismissed at Appeal because of the impact on the Green Wedge. Even if the sites are approved they may still be grounds for a legal challenge against that decision” said Mr Blackburn. Terry McGreal is a member of the LE4 Action Group and has announced he will be standing as an independent in the May 9 by-election for the Abbey ward on the City Council.

Complaint A COMPLAINT about a Birstall Parish Councillor has been rejected. The complainant had alleged that Cllr Jim Garner’s actions in relation to a planning application had been affected by an alleged friendship with the applicant. The complaint was made in September 2012. Charnwood Borough Council’s Monitoring Officer conducted an initial fact-finding exercise and decided that a full investigation of the complaint was warranted. The investigation involved reviewing relevant documents and minutes, interviewing Cllr Garner, the complainant and some other witnesses. The allegation was that Cllr Garner supported a planning application and had: conducted himself in a manner which could reasonable by regarded as having brought his office and his local authority into disrepute; used his position as a member improperly to confer on or secure for himself or any other person an advantage or disadvantage. The complaint was determined on January 7, 2013. The investigating office concluded that on the balance of probabilities there had been no breach of the Code of Conduct.



Theatre school NHW news & crime report show Now that Spring is here at last, more people will be heading for the countryside in their cars and making good use of the Bank holidays. There is often a notable increase in crime in this season, involving cars parked in country lanes and secluded areas. Vehicles should always be securely locked and nothing left on display in the car. Most thieves are opportunistic and look for the easy prey. If your number plates are stolen, you could be liable for: • speeding fines • running red lights • illegal parking • congestion zone charges • driving off without paying for petrol Don’t be accused of something you didn’t do. At our monthly Advice Shop, we supply, free of charge to our members, anti theft number plate screws. Bicycles can be etched with your post code and the details given to the police. If your bicycle is stolen and subsequently found, it can then be returned to you. This service is also free at our Advice Shop and you can buy a cycle lock for only £4. Without the coding, cycle locks are £6 and there is an alarm lock available for £10. The next Advice Shop is on Saturday May 18 from 10am until 12 noon. From the committee, Birstall and Wanlip Neighbourhood Watch

Crime Report : Birstall & Wanlip, March 2013 Assaults 3, burglary 5, burglary nondwelling 2, damage 2, drugs 1, fraud 4, theft 5, theft from vehicle 3, theft stores 4 We have been working hard to identify possible suspects of crimes within the village. When PC Des Hearnshaw arrived, he soon realised that many of the crimes being committed in Birstall were by people living outside the village. He set up a new Police group called the LE4 Tasking Group. Its main purpose was to join up the nearby Proactive Police officers and share their local knowledge. This has resulted in lots of positive identifications and subsequent arrests. It won’t be long before the message gets out that Birstall is no longer a soft target. If people choose to offend here then we will hunt them down, no matter where they live and bring them to justice. Finally this month we have seen a slight increase in burglary offences. Some of these have been attempts where a large white male dressed in a grey hooded tracksuit has been seen nearby. PC Hearnshaw did chase this suspect on the Gates estate but he managed to evade him. Please be aware and report any suspicious people. Three people who had burgled a house in Birstall were arrested after crashing the stolen car near to the Hamilton Estate. Prom PC 688 Des Hearnshaw – Beacon Officer

‘A MUSICAL CELEBRATION’ was performed by the Faces Arts Theatre School children in April at the Palmer Tomkinson Centre in Birstall. Faces Arts, the locally based and well established Performing Arts Company for children, performed two shows to a sell

Group raise £1500 ST JAMES Monday Group have raised £1500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Holly Van Getten, accompanied by her parents Nick and Jane, accepted the cheque on behalf of the Trust. The Monday Group’s members have produced a folder of favourite recipes, the proceeds of which will be going to the Trust. If you would like a copy, for a minimum donation of £1.50, please contact Jane Scott on 2673761. Pic: (l-r) Jane Scott, Holly Van Geffen and Joan Verso

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out audience. Over 60 children aged from 4-16 years, from Birstall and the surrounding areas, performed scenes from various musicals such as Mary Poppins, Legally Blonde, Hairspray, Lion King and Annie. “The level of talent we see is hugely encouraging. It is wonderful to see children joining Faces Arts and growing with us through the years. The development in their ability and self confidence of the

children has been outstanding. A huge well done to all the children who took part” said Faces Arts principal Jody Chesterton. Faces Arts will also be staging a series of Summer Schools during the summer holidays in Birstall and Quorn. For more information on any of Faces Arts sessions please visit the website: or contact 07971423201

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Club showcase event Buy a duck & win a prize A SHOWCASE weekend for all the clubs and societies in the village was hosted in St James the Great in April.

The church was open all weekend and there were 23 different groups, clubs, societies and associations represented. The three churches, St James, St Theresa’s and the Methodist were all there under their ‘Churches Together’ banner to talk about the activities of the churches “The event kicked off late Friday afternoon with the ringing of the eight bells at St James followed that evening with joyful chords of the Gospel Choir rehearsing for their next performance” said spokeswoman Debbie Shephard “During Saturday we had demonstrations from the Flower Arrangers, the Hand Bell Ringers and the Workers Education Association who gave a spectacular demonstration of Tai Chi and then encouraged visitors to join in which was great fun and gave our Rector, Rev Vince Jupp, the opportunity to give it a go! “Sunday was less physical with a demonstration from the Flower Arrangers club who sent us all home inspired to be creative with our garden flowers. The weekend was an eye-opener to many people to find just how much there is to do in our village, in the way of sports, music, creative, charitable and just ‘fun’ activities.” The St James café was open all through the weekend serving tea, coffee, soft drinks and delicious home made cakes and rolls. “There was a real buzz in the church and a real sense of discovery as we all learnt about all the diverse activities that go on in and around Birstall and Wanlip” said Debbie. She added: “I would like to thank all

THANKS TO the generosity of many local businesses the prizes available for the duck race on May 6 are set to be even better and more plentiful this year, says organiser Charlotte Foy of The White Horse.

those who put so much time and effort into making the event a success. We have already had enquiries from groups we didn’t manage to track down this time, who would like to take part if we do it again. So, as they say, watch this space.”

“It’s great to feel that the whole village is getting involved with the duck race and despite difficult trading times that so many local businesses have been so kind in donating prizes” said Charlotte. The day will also have more attractions than ever; it’s now confirmed that the Leicester Tigers promotional team will be there as well as Peppa Pig and also a surprise Leicester city football star is set to start the race. There will be river boat rides from Paddle Plus, face painting, bouncy castle, coconut shy, football games, donkey derby, raffle, teddy tombola, cake stall and BBQ as well as many other stalls and activities to make it a great fun day out. The white Horse and Birstall United Junior Football Club would like to thank all those who have donated prizes, as well as Nando’s and Unique who are selling ducks. Phil Hughes of Birstall United Juniors Football Club said: “The money raised will be used on much needed renovations to pitches following the harsh winter floods and will ensure that the club can continue playing. So we would like to encourage all Birstall Post readers to come along and support the Duck Race. Not only is there a chance of winning some fantastic prizes, but there will be lots of fun and games for the kids too. All in all it will be a great family day out which will ultimately benefit the kids of Birstall.” The fun will start at 12noon and the


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duck race will start at 2pm. Ducks are available now from Birstall United Juniors Football club, Nando’s, Unique and The White Horse, Birstall. There are cash prizes to be won of £100, £50, £25 as well as those donated by the 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

Couple’s diamond wedding A BIRSTALL couple have celebrated their Diamond Wedding anniversary. Roy and Kath Warner of Windmill Avenue were married on April 4, 1953 at St Barnabas Church, Leicester. At the time Kath worked at Durstons Ladies Shoes and Roy worked at Gents on St Saviour’s Road. Roy (83) and Kath (80) have one son David. Pic: Roy and Kath Warner with their anniversary card from the Queen

Planning P/13/0542/2 : 11 Sibson Road – erection of two storey building for 6x1 bedroom and 1x2 bedroom flats and ground floor A1/A2 unit following demolition of building P/13/0626/2 : Village Hall, School Lane/Birstall Rd – bricking up of one door, three windows and replacement of breezeblocks with bricks (Listed Building Consent) P/1230618/2 : Pavement on Loughborough Rd – replacement of 15m telecommunications column 3 antennas, equipment cabinets and ancillary works



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:

North Birstall Last month the Lib Dem candidate made a point of stating “there is to be a housing development north of Birstall” and that “the Tories have passed it”. Charnwood Borough Council is directed by central Government to provide 790 homes per year between 2006 and 2028: a total of 17,380 new homes over that 22 year period. This is obviously a major challenge and needs to be taken seriously. Without a Plan, developments are likely to be decided at appeals and full control over quality and content will be lost. The Borough Council as a whole has had to deal with this challenge and it has concluded that the strategic location north of Birstall has potential and should be examined further. The landowners, the Palmer-Tomkinson Trust and the Cooper family, have supported the idea of a garden suburb style development based on, for example the very high quality areas such as Swithland Lane, Rothley or Chaveney Road Quorn. The Borough Council’s priority is also to ensure a proper mixture of homes, jobs, and facilitiesincluding a primary school specifically to serve the garden suburb. It is vital that facili-

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ties are provided from the outset and the ongoing control of the landowners is a key consideration in making sure that this occurs. Having been scrutinised by a cross party Panel, the Borough Council’s Cabinet has included the proposal as a preferred location in its draft Core Strategy. The Strategy, will now go through a process of consultation and will be assessed by an independent inspector. The LibDem candidate has decided to personalise the issues rather than dealing with very important matters in a responsible way. As a serving Charnwood Borough Councillor Iain Bentley, the Conservative Party candidate for the May 2 County Elections has a strong record of ensuring that the concerns of local residents are heard. He is actively campaigning for a Primary School on Hallam Fields. He has lived and worked in Birstall/Wanlip for 30 years and has been a Charnwood Borough Councillor for Birstall/Wanip, since being elected in 2003. I believe Iain Bentley will make an excellent County Councillor for Birstall. Mary Allen

Thanks The family of Oliver Burton would like to thank the most wonderful and generous people of Birstall who attended Oliver's party at the Birstall Social Club on Saturday the 30th March. We were overwhelmed by the number of people who wished to be involved in sharing our darling boy. We would like to thank Paula Clifford and her team of hard workers for organising this fundraising event and the Birstall Social Club for allowing them to use the premises. We would also like to thank everyone who donated their time and skills to make this event so successful, sorry we can't name everyone involved. The money raised is being used to give Oliver as many happy experiences as possible while he is still well enough to enjoy them and giving the family, including Oliver's little brother, many memories to cherish. Once again big thanks to our wonderful community. Jane Burton (Oliver's Grandma)

Proud Over the last couple of years our daughter Paula Clifford has held several events to raise money for various local charities.

Like Carol Withers (April issue of The Birstall Post) we also miss our ex postwoman Lorraine, who delivered on the top end of Greengate Lane Estate, Birstall. Lorraine was always reliable, helpful and cheerful, she even rescued our Jack Russell when she ran off. Lorraine we wish you good luck in your new post in the Abbey Lane area of Leicester. Just why do the Royal Mail always change things when we do so get used to the regular postie? Old folks hate change! Anita Gamble and family

Shelters needed I write in answer to Miss V M Reynolds who wrote to this page in the March edition with regards to the bus shelters. I would like to say that I am in fact in the same position as you; there is no bus shelter near where I live and I too stand outside in the cold without any cover. My point was that Birstall surely needs more than four shelters - and ones

Thanks Thank you very much to the person who handed in my bracelet that was lost March 19, found in the Nationwide Building Society in Birstall. Not realising my precious bracelet was missing for over three days as is worn with two others, I just could not imagine where it could be, tried to retrack where I’d been, like a needle in a haystack. Then my husband rang the Nationwide and Yes it had been handed in, so if you could leave your name at the Nationwide I would like to thank you personally. Shirley Harrison, Birstall

Happy Birthday We would like to congratulate Kathleen Smith on her 100th birthday. She is a lovely character who was always happy and pleasant to meet in the village. Many more happy years, Granny Smith, may you celebrate them all with your family! Bill and Barbara Hill

Grass verges The Residents of Wanlip Ave are, again, requiring that something be done about the parlous state of the Grass Verges in our Avenue. Long-term Residents have for many years now been making representations to the local authority to take action and provide the wherewithal to remedy the dangerous verges. More recently, Bill Hill and Dave Cobb have met with the Charnwood Councillors David Gaskell and Iain Bentley who are supporting our concerns, and a Survey of Residents has resulted in 90% requiring remedial action on the verges. Wanlip Ave has been a 'rat run' between Sibson Road and Wanlip Lane and after many

Continued on page 14


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that do not look an absolute eyesore. They are (yet again) covered in graffiti and have been for some time. I often wonder if the parish councillors notice when the village becomes graffiti ridden? I do wait to see if it ever gets removed - but alas it never does until I pick up the phone to Charnwood Borough Council. A Godby



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Yesterday afternoon, March 30, she held another one at the Birstall Social Club, this time for a young lad called Oliver. Oliver is a Downs syndrome sufferer. He is also terminally ill. His parents, family and friends have been raising money to take him to Disneyland. Once again Paula called on her friends and contacted quite a few businesses to get things to be raffled, the response was to say the least, amazing, from Easter eggs to a coffee machine, from bottles of drink to hampers. People were not slow to buy raffle tickets or other items that were on sale. One man who heard about the party on the radio called in and gave what he had in his wallet, £140 (WOW) saying he had a child with Downs, what generosity! Everybody enjoyed themselves with nail painting, face painting, hair colouring, people dressed up as children’s TV characters and a disco, all these given free and all proceeds given to the ‘Oliver’s Wish’ fund. At the end of the afternoon when it came to adding up time, the sum raised was…wait for it…an outstanding…£3,560! We, as parents, are very proud of Paula and all she has achieved over the past 18 months, also we are grateful to all those who attended or donated items. A big thank you to everyone! Malcolm and Joan Denningberg

Tel. 07519 666 970 or email on



Continued from page 13 years, with three children being involved in accidents, we did manage to get the 'road-humps' which has reduced speeding, now the 'problems' associated with the churned up grass verges poses a further risk to our Avenue Bill and Barbara Hill, Dave and Brenda Cobb

Thanks A big thank you to the children, parents, staff and friends, for all the kind words, cards, lovely gifts and surprise send-off I received on Thursday March 21, for my retirement from the Birstall Methodist Preschool. I am looking forward to an enjoyable future. Kay Hilton

Kathleen’s birthday party A TEAM from the Co-operative Pharmacy wished one of their longest serving customers and one of Birstall’s oldest residents a happy birthday recently.


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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 Church for Tea, Cakes and Books at St Leonard’s Church, Swithland from 2-4.30pm on Saturday & Sunday, May 11 and 12

Pet foster carers The RSPCA is currently inundated with a record number of pleas for help from families needing to escape domestic abuse and asking for someone to care for their pets. We run a pet fostering service, PetRetreat, which looks after cats and dogs belonging to victims of domestic abuse. Many people going into temporary accommodation will have to leave their animals behind. Some people stay longer in abusive situations because they don’t want to leave their much-loved pets behind. With record pressure on this service, we need more people than ever before to come forward to foster animals in these areas – that way we can provide urgent help to people trapped in this harrowing situation. The sad fact is we get so many calls and we just don’t have enough foster homes. We simply cannot continue to help if we don’t find more fosterers to care for these very special animals. At the moment we are desperate for fosterers in your area, so please, if you think you can help get in touch Call us on 0300 123 8278 or via our website Carolyn Southwell (PetRetreat manager)

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Spring Fair

Mrs Kathleen Smith celebrated her 100th birthday on Friday April 12 and the team from the Sibson Road Pharmacy, which has provided health support to Mrs Smith for more than 15 years, were keen to help her have a good time. Pharmacist Amit Tanna and Dispensing Technician, Lorraine Rose, along with their pharmacy colleagues, delivered a bouquet of flowers to Mrs Smith and enjoyed reminiscing with her and her family about her Cooperative past when she used to work at the Co-operative shop on Rosetree Avenue. Mrs Smith said: “I had a wonderful birthday and a fantastic celebration at the local church hall and I am thrilled so many people came to see me on the day, some from very far away.” All nine of her grandchildren and a number of great-grandchildren visiting from Canada and the USA also joined her in the festivities. Pic: (l-r) Dispensing Technician Lorraine Rose, Mrs Kathleen Smith and Co-operative Pharmacist Amit Tanna

Co-op Sports & Social Club, Birstall Road, Birstall, LE4 4DE Saturday May 18 from 12noon-4pm Stallholders taking part will be selling jewellery, cakes, Body Shop products, pickles & chutneys, handmade cards, tombola stall, toys, new and pre-loved baby clothes, toys and equipment will be on sale. We also have a lady offering eyebrow and hand treatments. Teas & coffee will be on sale and the social club bar will also be open £1 entrance for adults, children free All money to ADAPT Prembabies who offer support to families with a baby needing intensive neonatal care at birth contact: Sue 07983 099170

The Big Lunch is an idea from the Eden Project in Cornwall that started in 2009 and millions of people all over Britain will be sharing food and fun within their communities on that day Sunday June 2 at 12noon At Birstall Methodist Church Open to everyone within the communi-

ty. Just turn up. Bring yourself or family or friends and a plate of food to share

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Coffee Morning Saturday May 25 10am to 12noon Methodist Coffee Shop, Wanlip Lane, Birstall Home made cakes, scones, bric-a-brac, plants, children’s games etc Rothley Bowling Club Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley (rear of library) A very warm welcome is extended to everyone to join us at our

Open Day Sunday June 16 from 11am to 4pm Light refreshments available throughout the day Everyone welcome (old, young, male, female, novices or experienced) All equipment provided – just wear flat soled shoes Come and ‘have a go’ and see what bowling is all about at a very friendly club Further details may be obtained from: Ladies Captain Carol Ballantine 0116 2301277 Men’s Captain Ron Flight 0116 2303856 or club secretary Mrs Carole Law 0116 2990178, email: Saturday May 18, from 10am to 12noon

Coffee Morning In the Coffee Shop, Wanlip Lane in aid of Macmillan Cancer Services and Birstall BAGS Cakes, puzzles, books, tombola and plants Thursday May 23, 7.30pm at Birstall Methodist Church A concert with Ann Hughes ‘Singing for Fun’ choir No admission charge, but donations always welcome for Macmillan Cancer Services and Birstall Bags Mountsorrel Methodist Church Presents the 5th in the 12th series of

Sunday Night @ Eight Organ Recitals on Sunday May 19 at 8pm by Adam Langeveld Organ Scholar at St Thomas, Wigston Admission free Donations for Development Fund Buffet from 7.30pm

CLASH 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 Sessions 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 May 2, 9 16, 23. Please


contact Conrad on 07919 844629/ Are you retired and have computer skills that you can use in the community to support local people to ‘get online’? CLASH ( would like to hear from you Please contact Chris on 07751072612 to discuss this further CLASH 2013 Monthly Meeting, Wednesday May 8. Post Arthritis Diagnosis, a clinical perspective (Dr Moorthy). Meeting held at Palmer Tomkinson Centre, Longslade Community College, Birstall, 7-9pm. First meeting is free, subsequent meetings £2 Arthritis Awareness May 24 – a Question & Answer session is being held with Dr Moorthy at the Peepul Centre, from 6-7pm Arthritis/MSK Health Day Event Saturday May 24 at the Peepul Centre from 10am Charnwood Conservative Association

Spring Fair The Rothley Centre Saturday May 11, from 10am to 12noon Admission 50p Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP will be attending Raffle, tombola, plants, books, produce stalls, games & cakes

The Magic of Dance Palmer Tomkinson Centre Longslade College The Steps School of Theatre Dance Saturday May 18, 2.30pm & 7.30pm Tickets £9, call 07909 861197 Watermead Challenge

Charity Run 3 mile or 5 mile route Wed July 3, 7pm Route around Watermead Country Park For runners of all abilities Proceeds to Syston charity Intercare Entries accepted on the night until 6.30pm Full entry details:

Belgrave Cemetery Forthcoming Events 2013 Sunday May 19 10.15am to 12noon Friends of Belgrave Cemetery AGM at Greenacres, the Sidings, Red Hill Way, Leicester All members are welcome to attend There will be a re-election of the committee, should anyone wish to put themselves forward Saturday May 25 ‘Morn Chorus’ walk Belgrave Cemetery 10am Bring binoculars and wear suitable clothing Free to the public (no need to prebook) Greenacres will put tea & coffee on afterwards Saturday June 8 Belgrave Cemetery, Summer Open Day 10am to 3pm There will be the FOBCG record information available together with cake, book, plant and bric-a-brac stalls, plus refreshments Sandra Moore will take two cemetery walks/talks at 11am and 2pm Dressed in Victorian costume

Picnic in the Park …Unplugged Loughborough’s Queens Park Saturday June 8, 12noon Music, arts, crafts, children’s shows, circus skills, Victorian Fair rides Acoustic musicians needed, also dancers, choirs and singers – contact Rebecca, Charnwood Arts 01509 821035 rebecca.abrahams@charnwoodarts.c om

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A Royal Occasion


A concert of music to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation of Elizabeth II Leicester Philharmonic Choir Leicester Symphony Orchestra Saturday May 11, 7.30pm at De Montfort Hall Tickets £11,14,17 (Concessions available) 2715030

• • • •


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Film Presentations From Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council ‘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 by endeavouring to perform an operetta at their retirement home. ‘The Life of Pi’ Friday June 14 (120 mins) June’s film is a beautiful adventure drama based on Yann Martel’s popular novel. The young Pi is charming and funny as he struggles to stay alive in a fishing boat in the Pacific Ocean with the other survivor, a Bengal Tiger, with whom he makes an unexpected connection. This film was nominated for several Bafta awards. ‘Lincoln’ will be shown on Friday September 13 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.

The St Petersburg Blagovest Ensemble

Concert Saturday May 18, 7pm Mountsorrel Methodist Church LE12 7JB The ensemble sings unaccompanied, following a rich Russian musical tradition Tickets £6 from Geoff Wainwright 0116 2376979 or

Cupcake Festival Loughborough Town Hall Saturday May 18 11am to 4pm We hope to bring together bakers from the region to promote and sell their cupcakes to the public, to meet like minded bakers and raise funds for Rainbows Children’s Hospice We are asking bakers to donate a minimum of 12 cupcakes which can be any style or flavour and hope to reach a target of 1,000 to sell on the day The Festival will combine a fun element of cupcake competitions; cake decorating demonstrations; children’s cupcake corner, face painting and shopping stalls; there will also be a raffle and all the cupcakes you can eat under one roof, including some we have already been pledged from Fiona Cairns, the Royal Wedding cake maker Entry for each category is £3 For details of how to donate cupcakes or enter the competitions or for more general information please email or visit Admission is £1 which secures entry into a Free Prize draw to win a Pandora bracelet, kindly donated by Tylers of Loughborough. Admission is free for children under 12 Wanlip Church & Community Centre

Coffee morning and plant sale Saturday May 18 10am-12noon Various stalls, light refreshments available Free admission

Birstall Flower Club The Italian Job Linda Smith Wednesday May 22 at 7.15pm Birstall Village Hall

Continued on page 16

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Continued from page 15 Visitors very welcome Sylvia Simes 2674206 Birstall Parish Council

Notice of Casual Vacancy Notice is hereby given that by reason of the death of Councillor Mary Houghton a vacancy has occurred among the members of the Parish Council. Any person wishing to fill this vacancy should apply to the Clerk in writing on or before June 3, 2013. The applicant’s name must appear on the current register of the Voters List or the applicant should during the whole of the 12 months preceding the relevant date have resided in or within three miles of the parish or the applicant’s only place of work during the whole of the 12 months preceding the relevant date is in the parish. The applicant must not be debarred from standing as a Councillor. PUBLIC elections cannot be held until the year 2015 but for the interim period the present sitting Councillors may co-opt to fill the vacancy. S G Blackburn Clerk Council Offices, Birstall Road, Birstall LE4 4DH

Donations to charity will be appreciated St James Day Centre 200 Club Winners for April: 1st Mrs Joan Merrick 2nd Mr Tony Bloxham 3rd Mr & Mrs Andrew Thomas 4th Polly

Vanished Birstall A talk by local historian Mike Smith A look at Birstall as it used to be including slides of buildings which are no longer here. Tickets are £3 to include refreshments. Booking essential for more information and to book contact the library on 0116 3058756 or Family History Taster Session Wednesday May 8 at 2pm Come along and find out about websites which can help you trace your family history £3 per person Booking essential For more information and to book contact the library on 0116 3058756 or email: NHS Blood and Transplant

Birstall & District Local History Society

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Thursday May 9 at 7.30pm Birstall Village Hall, Birstall Road, Birstall The talk for this month will be ‘The Good, Bad & Sometimes Ugly, Naughty and Nice Leicester People’ Speaker – Robert Gregory All visitors are welcome

Friday May 17 at Birstall Social Club, Wanlip Lane, Birstall 1-3.30pm and 5-8pm To make an appointment please call the number below 0300 123 23 23 or visit:

Coffee Concert

Charnwood Drawing & Painting Club

The 663 Ensemble & Friends will be providing a concert of Light Music at a Coffee Morning held at St James Parish Church, Birstall on Saturday June 29 from 10.30am to 12noon

Summer Art Exhibition 2013 June 1 and 2 11am to 5pm (12 on Sunday) Methodist Church, Main St, Woodhouse

Eaves Around 100 original paintings will be on display – most of them will be for sale at very reasonable prices This will be the Club’s 4th Annual Exhibition held in conjunction with the Open Gardens Weekend Admission free Refreshments available – homemade cakes, tea, coffee and cold drinks Raffle for an Original Painting with the proceeds going to Rainbows Hospice Loughborough Website:

Live Jazz Saturday July 6, 2-5pm The Sacred Heart Convent, Rearsby LE4 4YY Outdoor performance in the gardens, hall if wet £6, includes tea and slice of cake Under 18s free Cake stall, book stall, lucky dip, colouring competition In aid of Syston charity Intercare Call for tickets 2695295 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 BIRSTALL BAGS Sunday May 19 From 10am (registration), 11am start

Fun run/walk around Watermead Country Park BBQ, bar, raffle, cakes, penalty shootout

Tennis Open Day Sunday May 5, 10am-1pm at Birstall Watermead T.C Co-op Sports and Social Club on Birstall Road Half-price membership on the day

The June issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Jun 1. The copy deadline is May 17.

School fair FUN, GAMES and a baking competition are the order of the day for the annual Summer Fair at Highcliffe Primary School on Saturday June 8. “The Great Highcliffe Bake Off, now in its second year, will be the centrepiece of an exciting afternoon and everyone is encouraged to enter and show off their skills” said a PTA spokesman. Two age groups, under 16s and over 16s can submit one entry into each of the categories: one large cake, four identical cupcakes or six identical biscuits. Awards will be given to the winners of each category and there is a prize for best in show in each age group. Visitors to the fair will be able to sample the delights afterwards as the entries are sliced and sold to raise money for the school. Also featuring on the day will be a car boot sale, a market of homemade crafts, Indian food stall, bouncy castle, raffle – with prizes donated by generous businesses across the village, a coffee shop and entertainment provided by local groups. The event is organised by Highcliffe Parent Teachers Association, Kelly Emerson, chair of the association, said: “Our Summer Fair has been going for several years now and it goes from strength to strength. It’s our main fundraising event of the year and has been fantastically supported by pupils, parents and carers alike. We’re thrilled that our Bake Off competition is being run again and we hop for many entries from all ages.” The Summer Fair runs from 1-4pm on Saturday June 8. Entrance is 50 per adult, free for school children, and can be paid at both Greengate Lane and Elmfield Avenue gates. If you would like more information or are interested in taking a stall for the homemade craft market or a pitch for the car boot sale, email: or visit

Bowling club ALL FOUR members of Birstall Ladies Bowling Club’s national Championship winning team have been rewarded for their performances last season by being chosen for the England Women’s International Trial, which takes place later this month in Warwickshire. Pa Walker, Jan Everitt, Jennie Groves and Di Hurst will all be hoping for selection to play for England at the International Series, in Glasgow next month, just days before the four represent Birstall, Leicestershire and England in the British Isles Championships at the same venue. The outdoor bowls season is now underway at Birstall Bowling Club, and new members are welcome. For more details about the club, ladies can call Diane on 0116 2675457 and men can call Andy on 0116 2677969.

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Birstall’s suffragettes The Story of Birstall’s Suffragettes In 1907, in Birstall, two 23 year old schoolteachers at Ellis Avenue School, Eva Lines, who lived on Front Street and Ada Billington who lived in Netherhall Lane, were surprising their conservative parents with their sympathy for socialist opinions. It was not long before they were drawn to the growing demands for votes for women and joined the “National Union of Women’s Suffrage”. Today we accept that women have the right to a vote, but a hundred years ago women’s suffrage was a contentious issue that divided the country. It stirred many women to demonstrate in what, to Edwardian England, was a most unseemly manner. Within the year Eva and Ada realised that the National Union, composed of mainly elderly ladies who were very cool towards their youthful enthusiasms, was not for them and resigned. They joined the “Women’s Social and Political Union”, a decision prompted mainly by the forceful and inspiring speeches given by the Pankhurst sisters at two of fifteen outdoor mass meetings held by the Union in Leicester in 1909. In the WSPU they met another teacher, Jayne Wyatt, who taught at Pic: Eva Lines Harrison Road School, and working together for the next five years the trio beHe is sure to win the day, came known as “The Three Graces”. And you Leicester voters too From 1909 onwards the three, along Pethick Lawrence worked for you. with other Leicester suffragettes, took an Vote for him and not for Winston active part in parades, rallies and demonChurchill.” strations, and there was also the Union’s During the General Strike of 1926 they attended a mass meeting in the Market Place in support of the miners, standing for two hours listening to the strike leaders. After buying lapel pins in the form of a miner’s lamp they walked home to Birstall. Shortly after this family circumstances meant that although retaining their left wing beliefs, Ada, Eva and later Annie took no further part in active politics. A third suffragette, Violet West, allegedly lived in New Birstall but nobody of that name is recorded on Birstall’s census returns for 1901 and 1911. This is the first of a series of occasional articles on people and places from Birstall’s long history contributed by local historian and author Mike Smith.

Pic: Ada Billington

shop on Bowling Green Street in which they could help. The high points of these years were participating in two great rallies and parades around Leicester in 1910 and 1911, when they were photographed. They also took part in mass demonstrations in London, but never participated in violence or property damage, although, as we shall see, they enjoyed the cut and thrust of heckling opposition speakers. In 1911 Eva married and, living on Front Street, continued with her suffrage work. In 1913 Jayne became chairwoman of the local branch. In 1914, with the coming of the Great War, the Union agreed to suspend all activities against the government. It seems that with the long break from action and with, in 1918, women over thirty being given a conditional vote, Ada and Eva ceased suffrage agitation. However they remained keen, active socialists and joined the Labour party . In the nineteen twenties, although not active suffragettes, they remained committed to Women’s Rights and as a result of attending lecture courses and discussion groups they, along with Eva’s younger sister Annie, became active socialists. At the 1923 General Election when, in South West Leicester, Winston Churchill stood against Pethick Lawrence they regularly heckled Churchill’s meetings by singing: “Vote vote vote for Pethick Lawrence,

APPLICATION FOR VARIATION OF PREMISES LICENCE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN That Birstall Parish Council has applied for a licence to use the premises known as School Lane Playing Field, Birstall for the purpose of Regulated Entertainment (Live Music, Recorded Music, Boxing Display and Performances of Dance)for the Birstall Gala 2013: 29th June & 30th June 2013 Dated: 1 May 2013 Any objections or representations in respect of the application should be made in writing to the Deputy Partnership & Customer Services, Charnwood Borough Council, Council Offices, Southfield Road, Loughborough, LE11 2TX. Representations/objections must be received by: 29 May 2013 The applicant will be supplied with copies of any objections. A record of the application can be inspected at the Council Offices at the aforementioned address during normal office hours. It is an offence to knowingly or recklessly make a false statement in or in connection with an application. Any person found guilty of such an offence shall be liable on summary conviction to a maximum find in the sum of £5,000.00

Bicycle safety checks 35 BIKES were postcoded, 50 backpacks given away and bikes were checked for safety by Police mechanics at a Bike Hub event in Birstall. Organised by the local Police beat team at the Sibson Road car park, visitors were also able to buy bike locks, hear advice about bike safety and security and meet NHW volunteers and their local police officers.

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Visit gardens in the Blenheim Road & Allington Drive area of Birstall Birstall Methodist Church’s

GARDEN TRAIL Saturday and Sunday 8th and 9th June 2013 2.00pm – 5.30pm Adults £3.00 in advance (passports obtainable from local retailers or telephone 0116 2677576) £3.50 on the day Accompanied children (16 & under) free

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WI news SPRING HAD finally arrived by April 8 and 28 ladies of Birstall and Wanlip WI enjoyed a joyful evening at Highcliffe School. During future business we were told about Summer lunches, Container Gardening Workshops, a Synagogue tour, Markfield Open Gardens and a Speaker’s Audition evening. These are just a very few of the activities that are available for WI members countywide. Our own group has organized a coach trip to Springfield Shopping Centre in August and the annual Bradgate Group skittles tournament will be starting soon. So you see we have plenty of opportunities to get out and about in the WI! Our speaker Ken Goddard maintained the happy Spring atmosphere by presenting each lady with a daffodil and then playing wonderful video clips from Tosca, Carmen and Verdi’s Rigoletto. It really was a ‘Beginners Guide to Opera’ and he dispelled all myths that Opera is difficult to understand. You just have to expect that all the leading sopranos will be dead by the last act and use subtitles! We ended our musical evening by watching a video of ‘Last Night of the Proms at the Albert Hall. We waved our flags and sang along with gusto to Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Brittania. It was good fun and there was still time for refreshments, a chat and an Opera Word search competition. Our next meeting will be in the Elmfield Hall of Highcliffe School on May 13 at 7.15pm. ‘Lily & Grace’ will be demonstrating some Spring flower displays and the competition is an arrangement of three spring flowers.

Church news Luncheon Club Restarts As a result of an extremely encouraging & well supported meeting the good news is that the weekly Luncheon Club will be relaunched on Wednesday May 1. It had been closed since December 31. Meals freshly cooked by a small family business will be delivered to church & served immediately, thus continuing with the “home cooking” tradition. The meal consisting of a main course, sweet & a cup of tea will cost £5.50. It is mostly for people who live alone. There are a few places available; please contact Janet Bradford on 2671471 for details. If anyone would like to join the team of volunteers, please contact Sheila Wilson on 2675973 Church Anniversary On the morning of June 2 it is our Church Anniversary and we look forward to welcoming Rev. Peter Hancock (our District Chair from Northampton) who will be leading Worship at 10.30am. The Big Lunch Following the service on June 2 at 12 noon we are joining in ‘The Big Lunch’. This was started in 2009 by the Eden Project (in Cornwall) to get communities to meet up at events of all shapes and sizes and in 2012 a massive 8.5 million people took part. They range from simple get-togethers, street parties, to events in community halls in villages, towns and cities right across the UK. If you would like to join in The Big Lunch 2013, you will be one of millions of people sharing food, stories and skills to strengthen the communities that we live in this summer. Just come along to the Methodist Church –we are providing tables and chairs, selections of food on each table, entertainment and lots of laughter. No need to book, just turn up and bring a plate of food to share. Prize for the best party hat ! Christian Aid Week In the week of May 12 - 18, members of the four Churches in Birstall & Wanlip that make up ‘Churches Together in Birstall” will be taking part in ‘house to house collections” for the worlds poorest people. It is still a scandal that 870 million people are in desperate need of food! If you get a red envelope through the

door then do please contribute and hand it back to the volunteer who will call. Alas there are not enough volunteers to collect in every road in Birstall & Wanlip, so if you don’t get an envelope, do contribute through the many other means that are available. If you can offer to help with collecting, please contact Mary on 267 5154 There is the rumour of a Christian Aid lunch on Friday May 17 at lunchtime in the Methodist Coffee Shop. This has yet to be confirmed. From Tony Moore, Birstall Methodist Church Two rivers partnership Many people are probably aware that churches in all parts of the country (and in all denominations) need to share resources, including buildings, ideas - and clergy - if they are to remain as vibrant parts of each community. The parish of Birstall and Wanlip is already committed to a group of 10 Anglican churches, situated between the Soar and the Wreake rivers, forming an alliance to be known as the Two Rivers partnership. This includes other large villages such as Syston and Thurmaston, but also much smaller ones such as Ratcliffe and Thrussington. To seal this partnership, all ten churches will be well represented at a “launch” service, attended by the Bishop of Leicester on Saturday May 11 at 6pm in St. James’ church, Birstall. It will be a joyful occasion, to which a couple of people from each church will be walking to Birstall, carrying a symbol of their parish, and it is hoped that they will be welcomed by a large congregation from all the parishes. Please feel invited to come and celebrate this important occasion, with refreshments after the service. From Beryl McHugh, Parish Churches

Discussion Topics Modern lifestyles can be so very hectic, with a constant pressure to meet deadlines, to fulfil our daily responsibilities and we can often add three jobs to our ‘To Do’ list for every one we complete, so there doesn’t seem to be the time to think about our personal answers to ‘Life’s Big Questions’. BIBC is offering the opportunity to consider some of these fundamental issues in a series of Discussion Topics, which are open to individuals of any denomination or religion (or none) and you can opt to attend as many or as few of them as you wish. It is proposed that the discussions

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will be held monthly (except during the holiday periods) and last about an hour; they will be free of charge, informal and it is expected that participants will show respect for others’ views. The topic for May is: “Origins: Aliens, Evolution or God?” If you would like to attend, then please contact the number given below to register your interest and state your preference for day(s) and time (morning/afternoon/evening) and we will get back to you with an agreed date, time and venue. Sunday Services Our services during May will be held in the Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School (LE4 3DL) from 10.45am and you will be most welcome to join with us. Our visiting speaker for May 12 is Bryn Jones (Derby). Further information please ring 0116 2214883. From Anne Taylor, Birstall Independent Baptist Church

Students excluded TWO LONGSLADE students have received a fixed term of exclusion from the college after fighting in the streets. The incident occurred on Windmill Avenue and Wanlip Lane during lunchtime on Tuesday April 23. A large crowd of students looked on as residents called the Police and the college to deal with the incident. Longslade’s new Principal Mrs Kirstie Black said: “These students have been dealt with and will have a period of fixed term exclusion.” Longslade Executive Principal Mr Jon Sherwin said: “There are some issues around the behaviour of a small minority. Our job is to make sure that the minority does not set the tone.”

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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.

Scouts’ trip to Lakes WHETHER 25 metres below ground under snow covered mountains, or climbing natural crags, a team of seven Birstall Scouts conquered all the challenges that an expedition to the Lake District could throw at them. The group of seven, all aged 10-14 years, stayed at Great Tower Scout Activity Centre on the banks of Lake Windermere. The group undertook a variety of activities during their four day trip, including caving in the Yorkshire dales in caves which were formed 350 million years ago at the end of the last ice age. This challenge required scouts to wade through underground streams of snow melt water or commando crawl between solid rock all up to 25 metres below ground level. Other challenges included bell boat racing on England’s largest lake, where teamwork and communication were paramount to winning races, and climbing natural crags which required team members to completely place their trust in their fellow scouts who were manning the safety ropes on which they abseiled down. The Scouts challenged themselves to plan a route, navigate and walk nine miles along the banks of Windermere and the surrounding countryside. “This expedition allowed us to take in the wonder and the natural beauty of the environment that we were in, and also watch the pride of the RAF as the scouts climbed to vantage points where the planes were passing beneath the level from which we were viewing. The scouts learned and put into practice the country code to ensure the beauty of the lakes was preserved for others” said Scout

Leader Gareth Woods. He added: “The trip allowed all participants to build confidence and trust in each other by attempting new activities, as well as the opportunity to learn and develop skills for life such as team working, communication, leadership and community values. These skills will enable the scouts to achieve in their future lives and careers which is rewarding to witness.” All scouts reported that they had a fantastic time, says Gareth, and that they enjoyed every minute of the week, the highlights ranging from the variety of activities to the stunning surroundings and the development and strengthening of friendships and bonds. “Birstall Scouts are always looking to recruit new leaders to enable us to provide development opportunities to as many young people as possible in Birstall. We teach a wide range of skills from health and fitness to crafts and adventures, therefore no matter what your skills are there is a place for you. If you feel you could help us in providing these opportunities, then please contact us at the Scout Hut, Birstall Road next to Gunns’ gym – Friday nights, 7.30-9pm term times where you could start your next adventure” said Gareth. Pic: scouts in caving equipment, having returned from under snow covered mountain in background

Easter bonnet parade ACORN UNDER Fives held their annual Easter Bonnet parade on the last day of the spring term to raise funds for the group and to introduce the children to the reception teacher at Highcliffe Primary School. This year the children paraded their hats around the classroom inside due to the inclement weather. However, this didn’t dampen the spirits as children, parents and grandparents took part in the games and sampled the cakes on the cake stall. A surprise visitor arrived to help the reception teacher, Dan McFarland, to judge the hats and this was Peppa Pig kindly modelled by Katie Bateman. Thank go to Kaine’s Castles who loaned the costume. The winners were Shivam Patel in first place, Charlie Watts in second place and Faryl

McManus in third place. “Every child received a prize for entering and there were some fantastic designs” said spokeswoman Jackie Bateman. “The organisers would like to thank everyone who donated prizes for the raffle and volunteers who helped on the day. The amount raised totalled just under £400 and this is to be spent on toys and equipment for the children” she added. Pic: (l-r) Charlie Watts, Shivam Patel and mum Nikki McManus modelling her daughter Faryl’s hat

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 GRAVE FOR SALE at Belgrave Cemetery 07531 602911 BIRSTALL BASED company require an office assistant to support busy team. Full time Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. A knowledge of commercial catering equipment would be beneficial but not essential. Please email your CV to CARAVAN for sale : 2004 Lunar Stellar 2 berth with all mod cons. Motor mover, awning, ground sheet, hitch & wheel locks, electricity hook up. Aquaroll and wastemaster. Last serviced 2012. £5,500 ono. Tel O116 2673338


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Birstall BAG’s cancer corner Helping yourself when you are diagnosed with cancer When most people think of cancer treatment surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the first things that come to mind. Of course these orthodox methods form the basis of most treatment regimens but there are also a number of measures individuals can take to help themselves. Birstall BAG’s would like to introduce you to some useful sources that provide information on how you can help fight your cancer yourself or how we can all help prevent cancer occurring or re-occurring.

Macmillan Cancer Support has an extensive section on their website dedicated to ‘How you can help yourself’ which covers exercise, diet, emotional wellbeing, complimentary therapy, support groups and alcohol consumption, all of which can be considered alongside traditional orthodox treatments. rinformation/Livingwithandaftercanc er/Emotionaleffects/Howyoucanhelp yourself.aspx Another useful source of information about how to help yourself comes from a charity called Cancer Active who provides information about Complimentary and Alter-

native Cancer Therapies and about how to prevent cancer. Their founder Chris Woollams, who has published a number of books on the subject, was inspired to search for all the evidence he could find to help his daughter following a diagnosis of advanced incurable brain cancer. Their circumstances are touching beyond belief and very inspiring. From these personal beginnings Cancer Active has grown tremendously, it is an invaluable asset publishing a regular magazine ICON and maintaining a website that is loaded with information about published research in the field. The final organisation we would like to signpost you to is Cancer Net which is an independent organisation comprising of a multidisciplinary group of health professionals and cancer survivors. contains educational advice sheets for patients affected by cancer, their relatives and health professionals. It has identified the areas and levels of infor-


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mation which patients need to help them make decisions, cope with the side effects of therapy and help them make informed lifestyle choices. It also provides a useful resource for services which may be useful after a diagnosis of cancer such as support groups, academic and commercial organisations. The founder and current editor is Professor Robert Thomas a consultant, cancer specialist, with 20 year’s experience in patient care. Macmillan Cancer Support free phone help line 0808 808 000 Monday – Friday 9am-8pm. 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. Please support our next event: May 19 Birstall BAG’s 5k walk/run around Watermead Park For more information on the funds we have raised, projects we support and forthcoming events see Birstall BAG’s continue to fund the Birstall Time Out Group held the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at the Village Hall.

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Birstall Post (358) May 2013  

Birstall Post May 2013