Page 1

the Birstall post Y O U R


JUNE 2013


Duck race sunshine A RARE warm and sunny bank holiday saw crowds flocking to the White Horse, Birstall to enjoy a day out at this year’s Duck Race.

No. 359

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“This years race was amazing and the good weather meant attendance was very high, there was a great atmosphere and everybody was getting involved to raise money for Birstall United Juniors Football club” said Charlotte Foy of the White Horse. There were appearances from Peppa Pig, Welford, the Tigers Mascot, as well as activities, stalls and games such as: Donkey Derby, football games, Coconut Shy, Teddy tombola, cake stall, bouncy castle, Face painting, River boat rides and BBQ. The event raised £3285. “This money will be used for crucial work to maintain the pitch facilities at the club by improving drainage, re-seeding them and adding fertilizer” said Phil Hughes, from BUJFC. There were nearly 2,000 ducks sold, many on the day. Pic: the bridge at the bottom of White Horse Lane was a good The race winner was number vantage point 78 and thanks to the generosity of many Juniors FC would like to thank all those local businesses there were lots of winwho donated prizes, namely; Lily and ners as there were 35 prizes. All winGrace, Shapes, Aroma Spice, Michaels ners have been notified. Butchers, Be Beau, Bains, Silly Prices, The White Horse and Birstall United Ruby Tuesdays, Leicester Outdoor PurContinued on page 2

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Parish Council notes BIRSTALL PARISH Council held its AGM on May 13.

Pic: (top) selling ducks are Charlotte Foy, Jenny Doyle & Janet Foy

Cllr Ann Marshall was elected Chairman for the ensuing year and Cllr Tony Fowler Vice Chairman. A new floor has been fitted in the Village Hall kitchen at a cost of £8483. An examination of the floor had revealed dry rot. It was reported that the Council expected to meet soon with Charnwood Borough Council to suits centre, Next, Boden, B&Q, Co-op, Chic Revive, TJ discuss the potential users of the new community Cycles, Birstall Fisheries, Tesco, Dining Room, Friends in hall planned for Hallam Fields. Soggy Homes, Lambourne Cafe, Great Central Railway, The Council agreed to proceed with the conBirstall Pet Supplies, Glenwood Interiors, Stonehurst struction of an access track from Meadow Lane to Farm park, Leicester City Football Club and Leicester the Worcester Avenue allotments. The cost is Riders. Thanks also to the Leicester Tigers promotional £10,455. team who gave a family ticket to the Semi finals as 1st It was reported that the Council is liasing with prize on their pass challenge game, Woodlands Nursery, neighbouring Parish Councils about providing a Unique, Nandos for selling ducks, Paddle plus for river shared dog warden service. This would only cover duties and boat rides and Think Sign & Print. Parish Council land. The Council receives more “Thank you to all of you who came down to the event complaints about dog waste than any other subject. and made it a real day to remember!” said Charlotte. A new village noticeboard will be erected on Kingsgate Avenue. A professional survey has valued the property owned by the Parish Council, excluding the bowling club, at £2,693,000. The current valuation of the bowling club is £181,890 • Extracts from the Financial Report & Accounts, year ended 2012/13 Net Reserves increased by £24,545 to £284,509 Income: Room Hire £33,837; Playing Fields £4,758; Allotments £2,351; Cemetery £16,450; Precept £376,953. Total: £461,009 Expenditure: Wages £231,948; Estates BIRSTALL Double glazing Expenditure £48,721; Rates/Utilities contractors, Conservatory & £37,987; Youth Café £8,820; Gala/Civic Window Concepts Ltd, has Service/Christmas £7,966; Postage £970; been handed a prestigious one-off items £68,481. Total: £436,464 award for the sustained A complete copy of the Annual Report quality of its customer & Accounts is available from Birstall Parish Council service by leading consumer interest organisation, the

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The CPA, which helps the public to identify safe reliable contractors to carry out home improvements, awarded its 5 year Membership Achievement Award to CWC. Membership of the CPA means that customers have their deposits and guarantee underwritten by the organisation. Mandy Manning from CWC said: “We put the interests of the customer first and we won’t compromise on our attention to detail or the quality of the materials we use. “Everything is carefully project managed by us personally and we do everything we can to ensure the work we do enhances your home.”

Olympic winners A TEAM of nine pupils from Stonehill School were the winners at an Olympic legacy day at Loughborough University. The students prepared for the event practising their sporting skills and designing team logos and mascots before taking on teams from Roundhill Academy and Wreake Valley Academy at sitting volleyball, table cricket, polybat, curling, boccia and wheelchair basketball. Stonehill were first with 106 points with Roundhill second on 84 points. Teacher Bridget Clarke said: “Throughout all the practice sessions and the day itself the whole team had a great time and played amazingly. The spirit of last year’s Olympics was really embraced.”



Stonehill’s plans to become 11-16 school STUDENTS COULD stay at Stonehill for an additional two years and take their GCSEs there, instead of moving up to Longslade aged 13-14 as they do now. Stonehill High School have begun the formal process of re-designating as an 11-16 school, and are also in the process of conversion to academy status which is planned for October 2013. Leicester College’s new principal Mrs Kirstie Black has expressed her “surprise” at Stonehill’s plans. In a letter to Stonehill’s headteacher Alan Monks she said: “We must register our surprise…as earlier this year you seemed to be stressing the importance of working together to secure 11-19 on the Longslade/Stonehill campus; indeed that this was essential in ensuring the best education for the young people of Birstall and making the best use of the resources available.” Stonehill announced its plans in April and is consulting parents – it organised an open evening on April 30 at the school. One parent who attended that evening said: “The future for Stonehill and Longslade is now unclear. Longslade has now expressed that they are making changes and becoming an academy which now appears to be a battle between the two schools with the children in the middle and parents in the dark. “As parents we are looking for the best education for our child but we seem to have ended up in the middle of a war between the two schools.” Longslade Principal Kirstie Black said: “We are not at war with one another. Any changes are a long way off and we are still in a consultation phase. We are looking at working with Alan, we want to work together. It is all in limbo at the moment and I’m aware there is some confusion – parents have raised the matter with me at our information evenings.” If Stonehill were to re-designate as 11-16, it does not necessarily mean all students would do their GCSEs at Stonehill and Longslade would become a Post 16 College, said Mrs Black. “There are lots of models out there of how we might work together” she said, citing as an example the new Charnwood College which was formed in 2012 by combining Garendon High School in Loughborough with Burleigh Community College under a single leadership team. The two schools are on the same campus, like Stonehill and Longslade. In the announcement published on Stonehill’s website, headteacher Alan Monks said: “Secondary Education in Leicestershire has been undergoing substantial change. The 11-14 and 1419 model put in place in the 1950s is effectively being replaced. The driving force for this change has been the need to improve outcomes for young people. Exam results at 16 in Leicestershire do not compare well with schools from similar areas in the country. In Birstall this is no different. Progress of pupils in the two high schools which feed into the upper school is seen by OFSTED as good, however, at 16 the exam results are not adequate and we know they do

not reflect the potential of the pupils. The strength of Stonehill High School in our very recent OFSTED report is seen as the way we personalise learning for the needs of the young people. We are able to do this be getting to know the young people well. There are therefore obvious advantages for our children to continue their education at Stonehill High School until they are 16 years old.” Mr Monks added: “The children are supportive and excited by these plans and we had a lot of support and encouragement from parents. We don’t see that there is any other option, this is what we have to do to improve education in Birstall for the whole of the community.” Mr Monks also expressed his concern at Longslade’s announcement for next years Year 10 that will cut down the number of subjects students can choose to study at GCSE, so that more time is spent on English and Maths. “It’s not appropriate for all students” he said. A spokesman for the Local Education Authority, Leicestershire County Council, said: “We are not involved in the consultations, although we are aware that they are taking place. We would encourage both schools to think carefully about what’s in the best interest of the community, and would also encourage partnership working.” If Stonehill’s plans are given the go-ahead by the Department for Education, it will need to reduce the number of pupils it admits to accommodate students staying on in Years 10 and 11. It currently admits 262 children each year ant this would fall to 150. There are 540 pupils currently at the school and the capacity of the school is 786. Stonehill has plans to build some extra classrooms and convert some of its existing classrooms into science labs. Stonehill will publish a report of its consultation process in September 2013 and a decision is expected sometime after October 2013. The students begin their GCSEs when they reach Year 10. The current Year 7 at Stonehill are expected to be the first year group at the school that would progress through to Year 10 at Stonehill in 2015, if the re-designation is approved. • Shortly before going to press we received a letter for publication from Stonehill’s Chair of Governors - it is printed on page 8.

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Group ready for riot OUR PICTURE shows Birstall’s Beacon Officer PC Des Hearnshaw demonstrating his riot gear to Doreen Stirk at a meeting of Birstall Methodist Thursday Group. Des introduced himself to the group and talked about local policing and asked members to raise any concerns they had.

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New County councillor… THE CONSERVATIVE candidate Iain Bentley is Birstall’s new County Councillor, taking the seat from the Liberal Democrats.

Pic: Birstall RFC 1st XV winning president’s cup side

Club’s winning season BIRSTALL RUGBY football club is celebrating the most successful season in its history. The club brought their season to a close with a spectacular finish by being in the running in both leagues and two cup finals. In the President’s Spring Cup the 1st XV rode to a hard fought victory against Burbage winning 24-20. Spurred on by this success, they then took on much fancied Ashby 1sts on Finals Day at Vipers ground in the County Shield on Sunday April 28, narrowly missing out in a very close game to a converted try in the closing minutes to conclude 19-26. In an equally close finish to their League 2 campaign they eventually had to settle with runner-up place against Ashby 2nds having beaten every other team home and away all season, and losing out by a mere 3 points. The 2nd team however had better luck by finishing top of their League 5 campaign, clinched by beating a strong Hinckley side and now look forward to much stronger opposition next season.

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All this hard work, both on and off the field, means that on Friday May 17 Birstall RFC were represented at the Leicestershire RFU awards dinner to collect an unprecedented four trophies to mark what has been the most successful season in its history. On the Bank Holiday Sunday May 5, President’s Day brought the season to a jubilant close, with the 2nd beating a Steve Delves’ Invitational side, and the 1sts claiming victory against a President’s Invitational XV. A spokesman said: “A good crowd turned out to support both teams and enjoy a BBQ and beer tent on what turned out to be a warm and sunny day. Presentations concluded a successful day and the customary celebrations continued down at The Plough!” Off the field the club strives to promote stronger links with the community and were represented at the Remembrance Sunday parade. They also used the recent village showcase event at St James’ Church and have had a recruitment drive around the local hostelries. This summer they are holding Touch Rugby sessions from May 30 to June 27 and these are free to both ladies and gents 15 years and over. The sessions are run by fully qualified coaches and will be held on Stonehill School fields from 7-8pm every Thursday. “Many thanks to everyone who has offered their support this season, whether through playing, sponsoring, support or taking part in our social events. The atmosphere down at the club remains ever positive and we look forward to a brand new season with the 1st team joining The Midland League structure and the 2nd team gaining promotion to Leicestershire League 4!” said the spokesman.

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Cllr Bentley (50) lives in Wanlip and is the owner of Bentley’s Garden Buildings. He said: “I am delighted to have been elected, Roger Wilson will be a hard act to follow. “I will be looking to press for a primary school to be built on Hallam Fields, that is my number one objective.” Cllr Bentley also identified better Pic: Cllr Iain Bentley public transport within the village and not just on the main roads as an important issue, as well as parking problems near Highcliffe

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School and on Whiles Lane. Charnwood Borough Council have identified a site for 1500 homes at ‘North Birstall’, and an associated Wanlip bypass. Cllr Bentley said: “I think the North Birstall development will affect Wanlip more than Birstall, they have concerns about the link road and infill development and I am very much on their side. “Charles Palmer Tomkinson [the landowner] has given me his personal assurance there will be no infill at Wanlip on the eastern side of the link road.” Residents with issues or concerns can contact Cllr Bentley on 07973 634017 or email • May 2013 Birstall Election Result (turnout 29.5%) Iain Bentley (Con) 1152, Simon Sansome (Lib Dem) 975, Marion Smith (Lab) 659, Ken Tilson (BNP) 258 • Seats at Leicestershire County Council Con 30 (-6), Lab 10 (+6), Lib Dem 13 (-1), UKIP 2 (+2)

…& Parish Council chairman BIRSTALL PARISH Council elected a new chairman at its AGM on May 13. Cllr Ann Marshall joined the Council in 2011 and has lived in Birstall for 44 years. She said: “I feel very privileged to take on the role of chairman, and will do my best to discharge it as well as I can, with the valuable support of the Parish Councillors and the Council’s dedicated staff team”. She added: “I think we need to raise the profile of Birstall Parish Council, to let people know what we do, what we are responsible for, to Pic: Cllr Ann Marshall listen to residents’ concerns and try, if we can, to do something about them.” Cllr Marshall is married to Ed, has a daughter, and two granddaughters who also live in the village. Prior to her retirement she worked in the NHS as a qualified nurse and Health Visitor, initially at the Royal Infirmary and latterly in the community, managing a team of health professionals. Contact:


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Your say Care home, nursery, shops & flats on plans A SERIES of public exhibitions and consultation sessions are being held to give people the chance to have their say on Charnwood Borough Council’s strategy, which includes plans for 1500 homes at ‘North Birstall’.

Pic: Care Home

PLANS FOR a 60 bedroom care home, a two-storey nursery and a residential/retail building for Hallam Fields’ central hub have been submitted to Charnwood Borough Council by developers Jelson The care home will be a three-storey building located at the western end of Hallam Walk. The site will also have a two-storey building with four retail units on the ground floor and five apartments on the first floor.

The six week consultation aims to find out what people think about the soundness of the strategy which will guide development in the Borough over the next 15 years. At the same time, a new website has been launched to help explain the Council’s plan and includes an interactive map which allows users to see where growth is planned to take place across the Borough. The site can be found at The Core Strategy will also be available to view at the Council Offices, County Hall and all libraries during the consultation period. The Core Strategy includes plans to provide around 9,000 new homes, including affordable homes and create employment land to help boost the local NINE GARDENS will be economy. open to the public at this The consultation will begin on Monday, June 10 until 5pm on Monday July year’s Birstall Garden Trail. 22, 2013. The gardens are all around the Cllr Matthew Blain, Charnwood BorBlenheim, Allington & Worcester Aveough Council’s Cabinet member for nue area, and will be open from 2Planning and Regeneration, said: “As a 5pm on Saturday and Sunday June 8 Council we are committed to helping & 9. our Borough grow and prosper and I Admission to all the gardens is by believe this plan will help us achieve ‘Passport’ which can be purchased on that aim. It has taken a long time to either day from the stewards on duty reach this stage and I am very happy that we are now in a position to ask at each of the open gardens. Price of residents to comment on the soundness the passport has been held again at of our plan. Not only will this strategy £3.50, but you can purchase one in protect the Borough from unwanted and advance for £3 from the coffee shop inappropriate development but it will at the Methodist Church or these retailalso enable the Council to provide ers: Birstall Shoe Repairs, Went Road much-needed homes and employment News, Kingsgate News, McColl’s News, opportunities for our residents. We have Kingsgate Stores, Birstall Garden Centried very hard to balance the views of tre, J Michael butchers, Stonehill Averesidents with the growth that needs to nue Post Office, Ruby Tuesday, Mark take place. We have reached this stage Patrick Butchers, Supercare Dry Cleanfollowing years of consultation and eviers and Ann-El-Maria Hairdressers. dence gathering and this, we feel, is the Proceeds will go to Cancer Rebest possible solution to address houssearch UK and Birstall Methodist ing shortages and improving prospects Church. in our Borough.” In addition to the nine fully open Planning Officers will be available to answer questions about the plan and gardens there will be four ‘front garthere will be an exhibition of the plan dens’ each with a stall selling plants, on show. jewellery, ice cream and ‘afternoon All the comments received during the tea’. consultation will be summarised and considered by Full Council in October and, if approved, will be submitted with the Core Strategy to the Secretary of State for an Examination in Public. The independent inspector will consider all the comments and come to a view as to whether the Core Strategy meets legal tests and is otherwise ‘sound’: positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy. For more information, visit, call 01509 634929 or email • Exhibition at Wanlip Village Hall on June 11, 6-8pm and at Birstall Village Hall on June 12, 6-8pm

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Lunch club re-opens WI news A POPULAR lunch club has re-opened at a local church. The Birstall Methodist Lunch Club had been running for around 40 years until last December when the cook stepped down and problems with transport saw the closure of the facility. “This was a huge loss to the village as

many of our elderly diners were lost without it – we have 12 over the age of 90 on the books. However, having revamped the transport and catering arrangements we have risen from the ashes again” said Rev Rachel Parkinson. Pics: (above) volunteer Mary Downs (ctr) with Edith Appleton & Sheila Cockerill; (inset) volunteer Lyn Banner

ELMFIELD HALL was filled with the wonderful fragrance of fresh flowers as 29 ladies welcomed Kate from the Birstall florist Lily and Grace to our meeting on May 13. As usual the evening commenced with a particularly rousing rendition of Jerusalem and this was much enhanced by the excellent acoustics in the hall. Rosalie reported back on a trip to hear the Hathern Band in Loughborough and Bethan told us about an open evening that she and Kath attended at Ragdale Hall. Final plans were discussed for our 95th anniversary celebrations and our Coffee Morning on June 22. We will be competing against Anstey WI on May 20 at Birstall Social Club in the first round of our Skittle Tournament and a team will attend the Federation Quiz evening on July 26. As usual these are only a few of activities in the pipeline. Marion Thwaite will represent Birstall and Wanlip WI at the National AGM at Cardiff at the end of May and will vote for us on the resolution concerning the decline of our High Streets. We are asked to support local shops and call on decision makers do what they can to halt this decline and make the High Street the focal point of communities once more. The WI is an organization of over 200,000 women and together we can influence the ‘Powers that Be’. Then it was time for Kate to weave her magic and create three gorgeous flower arrangements in a jam jar, little spotty bucket and a cup and saucer. She certainly displayed her ‘traditional with an edge’ philosophy. A raffle of the flowers raised £31 for the charity Birstall Bags. As ever it was a truly delightful evening and we all learnt so much about the mysteries of flower arranging. Next month’s meeting is our 95th anniversary party at the Platform Café on June 3. We are asked to dress in clothes of 1918 and the best costume wins that month’s competition. From Birstall & Wanlip WI

Online map of county paths A NEW online map showing Leicestershire’s footpaths, byways and bridleways has been launched.

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Residents and visitors who enjoy exploring the county by walking or riding can access the map by logging on to Developed by Leicestershire County Council, it features approximately 1,896 miles (3,052km) of public rights of way. The guide is based on Google maps so users can easily zoom in on featured paths and also use the satellite option, which gives detailed aerial photographs, to get more of an idea of the surrounding landscape. The map also shows walking routes that are promoted by the council. Clicking on the routes provides links for further information, including some leaflet downloads.


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Birstall’s Church annual silver gala jubilee BIRSTALL’S ANNUAL summer gala will conclude with a firework display at 10pm and a proms in the park concert at 7.30pm performed by the Hathern Band and soprano Jenny Saunders. The two day event takes place on Saturday June 29, 12noon to 9pm and Sunday June 30, 11am to 10pm at the School Lane playing field.

ST THERESA’S Church on Front Street celebrated its Silver Jubilee on May 3. There was an impressive flower festival leading up to a Celebration Mass on the Friday evening. The mass was attended by many

local Deanery and Rosminian priests, members of the Local Churches Together, the Mayor of Charnwood and other civic dignitaries. The occasion concluded with a large celebration in the Parish Hall.

Saturday will feature dance displays from three local FOR THE first time Charnwood Borough Council is asking people acadeto choose their three biggest environmental gripes so officers mies, can take action during its award-winning Don’t Muck Around performcampaign later this year. ances by The campaign, which was originally local “Don’t Muck Around has been so launched in 2011, uses a combination of bands and successful in the past and I believe by enforcement and education to significanta Bhangra drum involving residents in the planning stage, ly reduce dog fouling, fly-tipping and ensemble. Sunday will it will be bigger and better than ever.” litter across the borough. feature more dance, and music from The campaign was crowned the best Cllr Jane Hunt, the Council’s Cabinet jazz, swing, brass and a big band. environmental campaign in the UK at the member for Regulatory Services, said: There will be dozens of stalls and a 2012 Keep Britain Tidy Network Awards. “The council is always keen to hear the fun fair on both days. Stalls are still It has also won a number of awards for views of residents so we can make sure available on both days –at the last gala the way in which it has been communiwe are tackling the issues which are there were over 70 charity and private cated. most important to them stalls. To book one contact Birstall ParTo find out how you can have a say, “We are essentially inviting residents to ish Council or download a form from visit take control of the council and steer it in the direction they want it to go – it For health and safety reasons, barnd really is Big Society in action. beques are not permitted at the proms in the park concert but visitors are welcome to bring their own picnics. The gala is organised by Birstall Parish Council who this year are asking for Electrical Services a £1 donation to help with the running costs. The net cost of the gala in 2011 no electrical job too small was £7,277 up from £5,699 in 2010. • Rewire The £1 donation will purchase a • Domestic Installations programme that contains a raffle ticket • Domestic Smoke Alarms for the prize draw, held during the inter• Consumer Unit Change val of the Sunday concert, and contains • Inspection & Testing details of the weekend’s event. The pro• Part P Registered gramme will be your proof of entry throughout the weekend.

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Market demolished LEICESTER’S INDOOR market is to be demolished. The 1970’s building which housed the fish and meat traders will be replaced with a new glass, steel and timber pavilion on the edge of the Corn Exchange. The new building is part of a £7million re-development of the area. Construction is expected to start soon on the pavilion which should be open by Christmas 2013. Once the fish and meat traders have moved in, demolition of the old building will start, making space for a public square on the site.




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:

Thanks On March 30 Kelly Bliss and I arranged a special party at Birstall Social Club, for Oliver Burton age 10 of Birstall who is terminally ill with leukemia. The day was such a success, it was advertised on local radio & East Midlands Today came along to film. There was a raffle, first prize big thunder off road driving experience donated by Susan Shale which was won by Stuart Bingham. Stand up bingo £50 cash price donated by Sue Norman won by Sacha Astill Ford & there were many more prizes. There was hair colour spraying by Lisa Vasilev, nail painting by Donna, Paige & Kelly, Kimmy's fun faces, Charlotte Smiles who brought a pets' corner, & a big thank you to Jackinaboxentertaiment who gave the children entertainment all day in their costumes. And my family & friends who helped throughout the day. And to the Birstall Social Club

as we could not hold these events without their support. Over 350 people came throughout the party some people just coming to donate, at the end the children had helium balloons which they wrote a wish on & we went outside to let them go.

Oliver's family & friend had a lovely time & Oliver had lots of smiles. We raised in total £3540! The generosity & kindness of the community was unbelievable & how so many came to support this very special little boy. I would like to thank everyone who came, donated & helped to make Oliver's party such a success. Can I also put a huge thanks in to Riverside primary school that had a non school uniform day & raised £350, great! Paula Clifford

Thanks Many thanks to the person who kindly put our dog’s lost address tag through the letter box, on Blenheim Road. We searched all over for it, but with no success. Bernard and Valerie Codd

Concert Past members of the 663 Ensemble may be interested to know that we are still in being although now quite a small

group and would welcome new members, especially violinists. On June 29 we are giving a short concert at the Parish Church so why not come along, have a coffee and listen to Summer Days by Eric Coates and Show Boat by Jerome Kern etc, proceeds by donation, as always, to charity. Cynthia Coltman

than they have been getting and improving education must involve the community engaging in the discussions we are having. This is why we have spent considerable time talking to Parents both at Stonehill and in our feeder Primary Schools. Andy Dent Chair of Governors, Stonehill School



I came into school yesterday to talk to Alan Monks. As Chair of Governors of the school I was deeply concerned that a letter addressed to us from Longslade had found its way into your hands before we have even had a chance to answer. I am very surprised that Tony Stott the Chair of Governors at Longslade, would have sanctioned the release of a letter to the press. Particularly a letter which purports to wanting collaboration between the two schools. We believe the starting point for collaboration is trust. Like myself, most Governors of Stonehill give up a huge amount of their own time and live in this community and we want to take decisions in the best interest of the community. That is our job. We know this is also the case for the Governors at Longslade. Unfortunately, we fear that important decisions have been taken out of their hands because of the imposition of a Multi-Academy Trust. Even before the Academy Trust has been given the go ahead they are taking decisions which will have a negative impact on the children at this school [Stonehill] both now and in the future. Shortly before the imposition of the Belvoir and Melton Trust both myself, Tony Stott and the Head teachers of both schools had reaffirmed their commitment to working together collaboratively. We are consulting on changes to education in Birstall because we have received considerable support from parents and the community to do so. The children of Birstall deserve better

A few words about a smashing couple of people who live in Birstall, I’m referring to Gill and Ian formerly from Birstall DIY. They have been very supportive to my gym, Gunns’ Gym on Birstall Road over the last few years, and even when closing down they have donated a fantastic wood burner (it cost £72) for my Presentation Raffle which takes place in July at Birstall Parish Council Rooms. What a nice couple, they are always very helpful to us at the Gym, they will be missed in this village, one of few businesses who supported us at Gunns' Gym Good luck to both of them and on behalf of the kids at the gym, thank you. Yours in sport Carl Gunns Chairman Gunns’ Charity Gym

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Helter skelter I frequently take my four-year old Granddaughter to the Birstall Playing Fields as she loves to ride down the Helter Skelter. Can someone from the Parish Council explain why that the Helter Skelter is the only piece of equipment that looks as if it has not been re-painted for years! It is disgraceful. Most of the other equipment is fine, so, please invest in the paint to give this cherished slide a fresh look! Bill Hill - Birstall

Dog incident Whilst walking through Birstall Park on Friday at around 6.15 pm, my son and I noticed a man calling his dog (who was off the lead and should not have been). The dog and man were some way apart from each other and unfortunately, the dog did not respond at all to the man’s commands. The dog then took it upon itself to come up to us sniffing at my bag of shopping, jumping up at my son and generally providing unwanted and unwelcome attention to ourselves. We basically could not get it to go away and it continued to make a nuisance of itself stopping us from carrying on our journey. I was very angry by this time and shouted (as he was some way from us, and had made no effort to approach his dog to try and retrieve it) that his dog should be on a lead. He then verbalised a string of obscenities directed at myself and my 10 year old son. Unfortunately, by this time my son was getting rather agitated and afraid of the dog that would not leave him alone and started to run, the dog therefore chased him. My son was extremely afraid that the dog was going to bite/attack him, as was I. I then shouted again at the owner and he said “he is not going to hurt you”. My response was that – “how do we know that”. Eventual-


ly the dog went back to the owner but not before my 10 year old child was shaken and visibly upset. I made it quite clear that I thought that the owner was a very ignorant person (without using expletives). Needless to say he did not apologise just swore continuously at me again. The dog in question was a white pug. The owner was a very ignorant man who failed to control his dog whilst it terrorised my son and I. When are dog owners going to learn that noone wants unwelcome attention from their dog? They should also not be let off the lead in this area but unfortunately there is never anyone to implement the fines. Just because you assume you know your dog and consider that it is not a threat, the rest of the general public do not. I urge dog owners to be more thoughtful in this respect as was I, when I had a dog myself for many years. Name & Address supplied

cases because of our duty of patient confidentiality. Except to say we were sorry to read the comments in Mr X’s letter. We take all complaints very seriously and we encourage any patient with concerns to raise them with us directly so that we can try and resolve them.”


Many houses in the side streets of Birstall were built during a period when ordinary workers did not have cars. Most commuting was done by bus or on foot. There was little coming home in vans. As a result Birstall was left with many narrow streets, and grass verges. My parents protested against verges as they become receptacles for dog mess and its child unfriendly toxocara. Some selfish residents seem to fly tip granite blocks. I have witnessed children having accidents with the blocks. Better off residents very wisely have their verges converted over with tarmac. By removing verges altogether the What is wrong at Birstall Medical road can be widened and traffic calming Centre? You can’t get an appointment measures taken more advantage of. Thus within a week, even if you don’t ask for there would be room for emergency a particular doctor, or specific time. vehicles rescuing and serving children as The receptionist asks what you want well as grown ups and enough room for to see the doctor for, even if you don’t two sumo wrestles to pass. There would ask for an urgent appointment. Why be room for two fat ladies. I don’t see would I want to discuss my health prob- signs of withdrawal symptoms on Paget lems with a receptionist in a waiting Avenue or the Meadway. Also there is no room of people who can’t avoid listening, enhanced flooding hazard. Job done, even if they wanted to? end of mud. To get an appointment at the Diabetes A E Nixon Clinic is impossible. The surgery write to you, asking you to make an appointment but there are never any appointments for that month, and you are told to ring at First I would like to say a massive the end of the month when the new rota thank you for all your support in the is available. Of course the next month’s Local Elections, I didn’t win but I came appointments are taken when you ring. very close. Running an election camNow the Diabetes nurse is on sick paign is not an easy task, it takes a lot leave for several months, no appointof planning, a lot of effort and an army ments are available. Why hasn’t the surof volunteers, support and good will gery got temporary care for this gestures, like cooking burgers, giving important role? out muffins and cups of tea, or just a There are also regular problems place to sit down for a rest for a bit. I getting a repeat prescription. Several don’t mind telling you I was exhausted. times I have gone to collect my prescrip- It was nice meeting a lot of people who tion from the Co-op pharmacy only to be I haven’t seen since school. It was a told that the surgery has failed to issue unique experience. the paperwork, or the Doctor hasn’t Just to give you an idea of how much signed them. I know this is correct as work goes into an election. I designed once I was actually in the surgery, and three leaflets which were delivered to heard the receptionist talking to the every house in Birstall that’s about pharmacy and my name was mentioned 15,000 leaflets. (as well as others). I have a pedometer on my phone and I do not want to change surgeries, as by the end of the election with the assistI am told that the one on Greengate ance of Google maps I had walked just Lane is not much better. under a 136 miles. I lost over a stone Name and address supplied in weight (let’s face it I needed to). With The Birstall Post invited Birstall Medi- Roger Wilson, who has held the seat for cal Centre to respond to this letter: 20 years, retiring it was going to be an “We cannot comment on individual uphill struggle, but with your support I

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put up a fight and the Tories know this. The local elections are always difficult as most people vote for national interests not local interests. The turnout was also low, just 29.5%, which is a shame as local elections can be as important as general elections. One of the surprise results of the election was the Labour vote, I met Marion the Labour candidate at the count, she was very nice but she was also election agent for another candidate and so no Labour information went out in Birstall, but they managed to get over 600 votes. This comes back to my previous comment of voting for national issues rather than local as there were no Birstall issues raised by Labour, as they didn’t campaign. What was interesting at the count is the Labour representatives knew they had little chance of getting elected in Birstall and wanted the Lib Dems elected not the Tories. This is my first time standing for election in Birstall, (I haven’t decided if it’s my last just yet) and the reason I decided to stand is because Birstall is my home village. If it was Syston, Thurmaston, Loughborough I would not have stood. I’m hoping that the elected Cllr Bentley will take on the issues I raised in the election campaign: Hallam Fields not having a Primary School or Community Centre, getting the park and ride used for City games, Tigers games and East Midland Airport, getting a Leisure Centre or Stonehill Swimming Pool reopened, dealing with the travellers sites issues and actually defending Birstall by keeping it a village. On a personal note I would like to give a massive thank you to my campaign team, I could not have stood in Birstall without the assistance of local family, neighbours and friends. Simon Sansome (Lib Dem Candidate)


Field I expect many people have noticed that recently a large new gate has been installed on Greengate Lane at the entrance (just beyond the bridge) to the large area of land adjacent to the Great Central Railway. This area extends to the hedge which goes up to the boundary of Birstall Golf Club and I understand the hedge to be the boundary between Birstall and Leicester. Over the years this area has been mainly used for grazing cattle but last year all the grass was destroyed by the application of a weedkiller or chemical. I have been told the area is owned by Jelson Ltd Builders so it seems the ground has been prepared for the construction of a housing estate due to start at any time and the recently installed gate is obviously to provide access for lorries etc. With the recent announcements that 1500 or more houses are to be built north of Birstall and with a similar number to be built at the city’s Ashton Green site and with hundreds more to be built eventually by the city council on their land between Greengate Lane and the Golf Club it is obvious that in the next few years some 4000-5000 houses (this is not counting the several hundred on the Hallam Fields estate and which could be extended eventually to the railway) are going to be built adjacent to Birstall. These will accommodate an extra population of probably between 12,000 and 15,000 and the additional number of vehicles using the main roads and those cars probably coming into Birstall to use the banks etc will be tremendous. In view of the future scenario of having thousands of extra houses in the vicinity it is even more important that the present green wedge bounded by Greengate Lane, Leicester Road, the western bypass and the Great Central Railway is preserved as a natural area for wildlife and hopefully for some community use. Before the Queen’s visit to Leicester last

Continued on page 10



Continued from page 9 year I wrote to the mayor Sir Peter Soulsby suggesting a Jubilee Wood be created on the green wedge as was happening in many other places. He replied saying that as many trees were due to be planted throughout Leicester last autumn he did not feel a Jubilee Wood in addition to those was necessary. Then I had a letter published suggesting that needed sports pitches in Leicester could be established on the level area of the green wedge with woodland created (involving Leicester schools) on the rest of the site. There was no reaction, no response from Sir Peter Soulsby, which raises the awful suspicion that he may be regarding the green wedge as a site for even more houses as well as accommodating a permanent travellers site. It seems that those who are interested in preserving the green wedge as a mainly natural site are probably going to have to fight for that. An item published in May 2012 informed us that a study by the think tank Policy Exchange revealed that the planning system was failing to protect England’s wildlife and natural areas many of which are facing serious decline. It stated that developers should be required to ensure large construction projects deliver more benefits for wildlife than the harm caused by building on or near important natural sites. In the announcements from Leicester City Council and Charnwood Borough Council about their proposed housing construction there has been no mention about delivering benefits for wildlife. It would appear both councils have forgotten about wildlife or are deliberating and cruelly ignoring it. It will be interesting to know if the two councils have a policy for the wildlife which will be disturbed and mostly excluded from their proposed construction sites on the natural/greenfield areas. J Woods

We invited Jelson to comment on the work at the Greengate lane field. “The land is owned by Jelson but the present activities are in relation to its agricultural use – not development. We had a tenant on the land who hadn’t paid rent for 3 or 4 years who has now been evicted and it is now being managed directly by the farming side of the business. The land has been neglected and needs quite a bit of work. The gate at Henson Close is too small to get our equipment in and so the access at Greengate Lane has been widened and set back so that we can get equipment in clear of the road for health and safety reasons. There was an existing gate there already but it had been buried in the undergrowth.” Terry McGreal Land and Planning Director, Jelson Limited


Noticeboard all details printed free Thurcaston & Cropston

Open Gardens Take a tour through the gardens of private houses opened to the public Sat/Sun, June 29 & 30 2-6pm £4 per adult covers both days Wheelchair users and accompanied children free Details: Linda 0116 2363872 Leicestershire Embroiderers’ Guild

Open Day June 22 11am-4pm at Braunstone West Social Centre (otherwise known at St Mary’s Hall) Some of the work will be from recent workshops, other items will be from members’ own projects and some will be a creative expression of embroidery. During the day demonstrations will take place, amongst which will be crewel work, working with silks, machine embroidery and transferring designs to fabric, with an opportunity to try some. These demonstrations will appeal to embroidery and needlework enthusiasts alike including those who are just starting out. Information will be available on where to learn these skills and techniques. If you wish to discover the joy of stitch and handling and manipulating fabrics, come along, refreshments are available and entrance is free. For further details contact Deborah Phillpott on 01455 612261 Birstall Methodist Monday Women’s Group

Coffee Morning Saturday June 15 10am to 12noon Wanlip Lane Methodist Church Tombola, cakes, plants and books

Come along and grab a bargain Proceeds to our charity Motor Neurone Disease Association (local branch)

wine, Castle Rock Real Ale and fruit juice Scout & Guide

Winners for the 200 Club (St James Day Centre) for May 1st Mrs Valerie Tate 2nd Mr Howard Johnson 3rd Miss Katie Ball 4th Mr Roger Cowham

A Simple Approach to Healing A talk entitled ‘A Simple Approach to Healing by a Simple Dowser’ will be given at the next meeting of Leicestershire & Rutland Dowsers Speaker will be Julian Holland The meeting which will start with refreshments from 10-10.30am will be held on Saturday June 8 at St James’ Day Centre, Birstall Village Hall, on Birstall Road Everyone is welcome

Open Church for Tea, Cakes and Books at St Leonard’s Church, Swithland from 2-4.30pm on Saturday & Sunday, June 8 and 9 The Charnwood Orchestra

Summer Concert Church of St James the Greater, London Road, Leicester Saturday June 29 at 7.30pm Borodin: On the Steppes of Central Asia Prokoviev: Violin concerto No.2, soloist Benedict Holland Sibelius: Symphony: No.2 Tickets £10 (£8 concessions) and £3 for accompanied children under 16. Available from the Box Office: 07718 153117 or, from Leicester Tourist Information Centre on 0844 8885181, from members of the orchestra or on the door. There will be an interval bar selling

Summer Gala Saturday June 15 at 2.15pm at The Close, School Lane, Birstall by kind permission of Mr & Mrs Waters Band display, teas, cakes, stalls, games, barbeque Admission 20p Highcliffe Primary School

Summer Fair Saturday June 8, from 1-4pm The Great Highcliffe Bake Off, Bouncy Castle, Homemade & Craft Fayre, Fun & Games, Photo Competition, Food Stalls, Entertainment, Car Boot Sale Entrance fee 50p, Primary school children (all schools) free To book a car or stall please email Abbeyfield

Summer Fete Saturday June 8, from 2-4pm Celebrate Grove House’s 30th year Crafts, homemade cakes, refreshments, face painting, raffle Fun for all ages Funds in aid of Abbeyfield Grove House, 35 Church Hill, Birstall 0116 2671523 Entrance 50p All welcome

Film Presentations From Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council ‘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.

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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‘Lincoln’ Friday September 13 (150mins) Daniel Day-Lewis won the Academy Award for ‘Best Actor’ in this mgnificent film which follows our summer break. In 1865, President Lincoln struggled to being to an end the American Civil War. At the same time, he was endeavouring to achieve the constitutional amendment which would ban slavery in the United States for ever. How did he achieve these nearly impossible talks? ‘Les Miserables’ Friday October 11 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.

Birstall Royal British Legion June 1: Ben Fischer (M/V) June 8: Mandy Mac (F/V) June 15: TBC June 22: Michael Jay (M/V) June 29: Rick Shaw Show Dancing every Saturday 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 June 9 and 30, starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday June 16 at 8pm Rock & Roll nights Wednesday June 5 and 19 Food available every Saturday 12noon-2pm Wakes catered for

Coffee Morning Saturday June 22 Birstall & Wanlip WI Methodist Coffee Shop, Wanlip Lane, Birstall Cakes, plants, crafts and tinbola

Welcome & Hospitality St James Church, Church Hill, Birstall is open every Saturday morning from 10am to 12noon and a warm welcome awaits all visitors If you are looking for quiet time and private prayer, just to have a look around or have a chat, do pop in. A cup of tea or coffee will be provided

Birstall Flower Club ‘Lost in Wonderland’ Jo Poulter Wednesday June 26 at 7.15pm Birstall Village Hall Visitors very welcome Sylvia Simes 2674206 Birstall & District Local History Society Thursday June 13 at 7.30pm Birstall Village Hall, Birstall Rd, Birstall

‘Loughborough Carillon’ Speaker: Mel Gould All visitors are very welcome Please note there are no meetings in July and August Mountsorrel United

Charities Fete is being held on The Green in Mountsorrel

Saturday June 8, from 10am to 12noon Stalls including crafts, jewellery, cakes, jams, bric-a-brac and also children’s games, BBQ, bouncy slide The Mountsorrel school choir will be singing and there will be refreshments in the Scout Hut The Mountsorrel Heritage will also have a display in the Scout Hut Please come along and join in the fun Mountsorrel Methodist Church Presents the 6th in the 12th series of Sunday Night @ Eight

Organ Recitals on Sunday June 16 at 8pm, by Ian Orr: Buffet from 7.30pm Organist Wigston Admission free Donations for Development Fund

Coach Outing to Gloucester Saturday June 22 The coach will leave Birstall at 9am Cost of coach £17 with an optional tour of the Cathedral at £4.95 For further details and to book a place please phone Gill Pope 0116 2675086

Birstall Garden Trail June 8 and 9 Blenheim & Worcester Avenue area 2-5pm Passports £3.50 on the day from any open garden

Coffee Concert Saturday June 29, 10.30-12noon St James Parish Church, Birstall Coffee provided by St James Monday Group and concert of light music performed by the 663 ensemble Donations to charity Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland

Birstall Sponsored Walk 2013

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Sunday September 8 Watermead Country Park Meet 10.30am at St James Centre or 11am at Meadow Lane car park The walk is only a few miles long so that everyone can hopefully take part, but if you can’t you are invited to sponsor Peter Ralphs, one of Age UK’s staff who enjoys matching £ for £ sponsorship from his previous employer, Barclays Bank. With Gift Aid each £1 pledged to him will be worth £2.25 to the charity! See Contacts below. Please join in the walk and bring your family and friends with you. You can obtain a sponsorship form from any Age UK Resource Centre or by calling or emailing the Admin Team on 0116 2992233 or

Wanlip Sailing Club

Open Day Saturday June 15 11am to 4pm Come along and try sailing at our friendly club (Wear suitable clothing) Families and children welcome We are off Wanlip Lane (A46) Syston See www.wanlipsc for details or phone 0116 2601216 Parent/Toddler Group

Cheeky Cherubs 0-4 yr olds every Monday (term time) Birstall Methodist Rooms 9.30-11.30am. £1 per person inc unlimited teas & coffees for parents and snack for child No weekly commitment Please feel free to just drop in or contact Paula on 07934551563 for further details

Birstall Gala Sat Jun 29/Sun Jun 30 Sat: 12-9pm, Sun: 11-10pm Proms in the Park: Sun 7.30pm Fireworks: Sun 10pm Stalls, funfair, dance, music School Lane playing field


Attempted bank job THREE MEN were arrested after an attempted robbery at a Birstall bank. Police say no-one was injured and nothing was stolen at the incident, which took place on Wednesday May 8 at 12.20pm at the Santander bank on Loughborough Road. The men arrested were aged 17, 20 and 25.

Funeral directors A FAMILY run funeral directors has opened in Syston. Chris Meynell and his wife Kathryn have lived locally for 40 years and with their four children are active in the local community. Chris said: “The benefit of using Chris Meynell and Family Funeral Directors is our devotion, personal pride and long term commitment to the local community. There are no shareholders to please or head office to answer to – families are our number one priority. “We endeavour to create a personal relationship which leads to a unique, sensitive service on every occasion. Most people find it easier to deal with people you know and the relaxed, flexibility that comes with that relationship – we feel the same.” Contact Chris Meynell & Family Funeral Directors at 28 Wellington Street, Syston LE7 2LG. Tel: 0116 2607954,



Tennis club open day AN OPEN day at Birstall Watermead Tennis Club saw the courts kept busy as potential new members discovered what the club has to offer.

Juniors reach final

The club’s committee, including coach Laura Morley, were on hand to give advice to juniors and seniors alike. Seven juniors, six families, one senior and one student all joined and can look forward to playing

“A GREAT bunch of kids who are a credit to their club and their village” have reached the finals of a national football competition. Proud manager Phil Hughes of the Birstall United Juniors under 10 Foxes watched his side win their place at the National Youth Futsal Finals in Birmingham by finishing as runners up in the regional finals in May. Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced small sided football game that is widely played across the world and is officially recognised by both UEFA and FIFA. The nature of the game places a large emphasis on technical skill and ability in situations of high pressure. The national finals will take place on June 29 at the Birmingham @Futsal Area where the Foxes will play teams from across the UK. Phil Hughes, manager of the Foxes said: “As you would expect in a regional tournament, the standard was very high indeed and so to qualify, undefeated, for the nationals from such a tough group is a great achievement. The kids have adapted to this format of the game really well indeed and they are all seeing a big improvement to their skill levels and their confidence on the ball. “What was very encouraging for me was that the organisers of the regional

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tournament commented on how well the kids were passing the ball around and as a manager that makes me very proud to hear. The kids are all really excited about going to Birmingham at the end of June and representing the East Midlands and it’s going to be a great experience for them to play against teams from all over the UK. This is a great bunch of kids and they are a credit to their club and their village and we should be very proud of them.” Pic: Daniel Yadav, Dylan Sands, Emillio Stavrou, Emmanuel Kambulu, Finley Hewitt, Joel Hughes, Matty Hull, Parees Patel, Parmvir Jurm, Vivek Parekh, Louis Marsden (not in picture)

Park’s mobile coffee shop

tennis throughout the year. The three courts are all floodlit, providing court time for social and competitive tennis.

VISITORS TO Watermead Country Park can now enjoy coffee and refreshments thanks to a mobile coffee shop. Leicestershire County Council and Leicestershire Food Links have found a local supplier to provide the service : Picks Organic, who will set up at the King Lear’s Lake car park every Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

A spokesman said: “The summer league competitions started well. During the first week of matches, all four men’s teams won, as did the second women’s team – a really positive start.” Pics: Newcomers go through their paces at the open day

A spokesman for Leicestershire County Council said: “We are delighted to be able to give our visitors the opportunity to enjoy good quality refreshments at our parks. “We hope the provision of locally-sources food and drinks will enhance the visitor experience and keep people coming back for more. There are also other plans to further improve the experience during the summer months.”


Church news A celebration May 11 2013 marked a very special day for the parish churches of Birstall and Wanlip when, with a joyful service of celebration at St. James, the ten churches which are bordered by the Soar and the Wreake, came together to

Garden Trail The Church is grateful to the garden owners who have kindly agreed to open their gardens for the 2013 Birstall Garden Trail which takes place on June 8 & 9. Full details are shown elsewhere in this edition of the Birstall Post. The Church is quite sure it will be more successful than the Bluebell walk which took place in April at Hambleton near Rutland Water. Although the weather was lovely – only one solitary bluebell was seen! Messy Baptism How do you have a ‘Messy Baptism’? When it is part of ‘Messy Church’! Leah was the first youngster to be baptised in Messy Church which meets on Saturdays twice a month. Our Minister Rachel Parkinson said: “It took a moment to realise that if I was serious in what I’d always said - that Messy is church in its own right and not just a “way in” to church on Sunday - then I needed to be looking at Saturdays not Sundays! In the event, it turned out to be one of the most special baptisms I’ve ever taken part in”. On the day Messy Church followed the usual Messy pattern of spending the first hour in a variety of crafts, this time all themed around baptism. Brenda Cobb, a greatly gifted artist on the Messy Church team, designed a font that people could help to decorate. A card and candle were decorated for Leah and the whole group did crafts based on the “footprints in the sand” reading to link to following Jesus. “Both Leah and I had arrived messily dressed for the crafts but we both got to put on a white dress which helped mark the worship out as special. All those attending were able to use all the symbols prepared and all enacted the turning away from evil and turning toward God. I found this far more powerful than just saying the words in the service book. And afterwards? Messy Church had a party! The “bring and share” tea wasn’t the most nutritionally balanced meal in the world but it all disappeared and they all finished the afternoon on a sugar high as well as a spiritual high!” Messy Church, has a “Seaside Special” on Saturday June 15, from 4pm to 6pm.

inaugurate the Two River Partnership. The presence of Bishop Tim Stevens put the seal of approval on the event, which was made colourful by art work and flowers, and hearty singing rang around the church. A number of joint events are already planned, ranging from a D Day dance at Thurmaston on June 4 , a Scarecrow walk on the weekend of June 22 at East Goscote, to a Journey in Faith course (starting September), marriage preparation groups, and even a first aid course! From Tony Moore, Birstall Methodist Church Summer events planned Discussion Topics In the (hopefully) warmer month of You may have heard the story of a young June some dates for your diary. On schoolboy busily painting in class when the Saturday 22 June a coach trip is being head teacher, who was walking around the arranged to Gloucester, leaving Birstall room, stopped to look at the boy’s work. “What are you painting?” he asked. “God,” the at 9am and returning at approx. 8pm. boy answered. “But we don’t know what God The cost will be £17 with an additional looks like,” the head teacher said. “Well, we optional charge for a guided tour of the will when I’ve finished!” the boy replied. This cathedral. Names are required as soon is the subject of the Discussion Topic for as possible, either on the list in each June, entitled: “What is God like and how can church, or phone Gill on 2675086. we know?” If you missed the information Closer to home, St. James Monday given last month, these discussions are open Group, with the 663 Ensemble, are hold- to individuals of any denomination or religion ing a coffee concert from 10-12 noon in (or none) and you can opt to attend as many St James church on Saturday June 29, to or as few of them as you wish. They are free of charge, last about an hour, are informal raise money for the Friends of Uruguay. and it is expected that participants will show A church in Salto, Uruguay has been respect for others’ views. If you would like to built and dedicated in memory of the attend this month’s discussion, then please late Cathy Harrison of Birstall, who contact the number given below to register worked among deprived children there, your interest and state your preference for and was a tireless fund raiser for the day(s) and time (morning/afternoon/evening) poor and homeless. and we will get back to you with an agreed date, time and venue. At the Birstall Gala, there will be a service at 11am on Sunday June 30, led Sunday Services Our services are generally held in the by Churches Together. Every one is invited to attend (bring your own folding Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School (LE4 3DL) at 10.45am and you will chair!), and during the day there will be be most welcome to join with us. Owing to a a tent, where you can rest or chat with variety of reasons, we are in the Community church members. Room only on June 16 and 30. Please ring From Beryl McHugh, Parish for the venues on the other Sundays. Our visiting speakers for June are Nick Stenfalt Churches Pics: (top) Bishop Tim (centre) and Archdeacon Tim (to his left) with some of the Two Rivers Mission Partnership leadership team; Two Rivers Mission Partnership banner depicting silhouettes of the 10 Churches, produced by members of St James the Great Church.

(Wigston) on 9th and Simon Harrison (Leicester) on 30th. Further information: Please ring 0116 2674248.

From Anne Taylor, Birstall Independent Baptist Church


Club’s new green AT THE end of the last outdoor season, Birstall Bowling Club had a new green installation. Money was raised from club funds and a development loan from Bowls England. The whole process was completed in under a week by Fineturf, who are based in Grantham. The old grass (which was over 50 years old) was removed, the area cleared, it was aerated, cultivated and levelled, and 40 tonnes of sports sand spread, before fertiliser was applied and the final top surface sown. Photos of the project can be found on the Fineturf website Despite the less than perfect winter, the green was ready to be played on at the end of April and both Men’s President Duncan Brown and Ladies President Val Ross were on hand to deliver the first bowls on the new green. A club spokesman said: “Later this month Pa Walker, Jan Everitt, Jennie Groves and Di Hurst will be representing

Birstall, Leicestershire and England in the British Isles Championships, which are taking place in Glasgow. Everyone at the club wishes them the best of luck.” The club would welcome new members and for further information, ladies can call Diane on 0116 2675457 and men can call Andy on 0116 2677969. Pic: Ladies President Val Ross and Men’s President Duncan Brown deliver the first bowls. (Picture taken by Tony Griffith)

Man charged A MAN has been charged following an incident in Cropston in October 2012. The man aged 39 has been accused of attempted rape, kidnap and causing a female 13 to engage in sexual activity.

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June 15 from 10 to 12 at the old council office (opposite the garden centre) on Sibson Road. Please pop in for a chat and see what security products we have (all sold at cost price). We also code cycles for free.

Swans raising their young

From Birstall & Wanlip NHW

THE SWANS at Watermead Country Park will be nesting and laying eggs now that spring has come. Swans take 2-3 weeks to build their nest and sit on their eggs for 5-6 weeks. Watermead swan volunteer Julie said: “I remember two swans nesting in Birstall a few years ago. They had been sitting for five weeks and their eggs were due to hatch any minute. I kept going down to see if they had hatched. Disaster struck, someone put planks of wood across the water and cruelly took her eggs. the poor swan didn’t know what to do, she just sat there on her empty nest. The public who had been watching her over the past few weeks eagerly awaiting the sight of little cygnets just couldn’t believe that someone could be that cruel to her. “The following year we saw a very different sight. The students from Longslade and

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Stonehill all came down to see her and keep an eye on her from a safe distance. That was fantastic to see. Her cygnets hatched that year and thank you to all the students for their concern, care and interest. “If you see eggs in a nest without a swan they are not deserted. A swan will return to them. Swans will get off the nest to feed. If you take eggs you are committing an offence. You are also being very cruel, killing what has the potential to grow into a swan and you are also spoiling enjoyment for other people. “This area is patrolled and the nesting all logged. Any illegal activity is reported to the police. I know many of the public like to help too by keeping an eye open and reporting things to me. “We have a fantastic area for swans and birds. Not everybody is fortunate to have this on their doorstep. If you’re interested come down and enjoy watching their progress and bring your binoculars. Watch nature and see what happens to those eggs.”

NHW news Adult loans

THE WEATHER is getting warmer and we all need to be extra careful, both at home and when we are out.

If you are out in your garden enjoying the sunshine, please make sure any windows and doors are locked. It is all too easy to leave valuables on show and forget that you have left your window open. If you are gardening, please make sure you lock your tools away in a shed or secure place. Leaving tools outside can be used by an opportunistic burglar, as can ladders which are not secure. If you are going away please make sure that your property is secure and you have told somebody that you trust that you are not at home. It is a good idea to ask someone to make sure any post is pushed through your letterbox, as this is a sign that nobody is home. Please try not to put your bin or recycling out a week early, ask a neighbour or your coordinator to do it for you. Curtains that are closed all day when they normally would not be is an obvious sign that you are not at home. You can get several gadgets that turn lights on and off at set or random times, these can be a visual deterrent as it looks like someone is home. Finally, please be careful if you are on holiday. It is all too easy to feel safe and act differently to how you would when at home. Please use your common sense and keep yourself and your valuables safe and secure. Above all, have a lovely time in the sunshine and enjoy your holiday! The next advice shop is on Saturday



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ADULT LEARNERS can access loans to pay course fees from August 2013, after the Government announced changes to the funding of adult education. For the first time adult leavers aged 24 or above have the option of applying to the Student Loans Company (SLC) for a loan to pay their course fees. Learners will only need to start repaying the loan once they have completed the course and are earning over £21,000 a year. A spokesman for Leicester College said: “This new funding means that many more people over the age of 24 will have the opportunity to study on level 3 and level 4 courses, allowing them to experience the related benefits such as increased wages and job satisfaction.” The loans will not be means tested and applicants will not be subject to credit checks. They will meet 100% of the course fees. Loans are available for courses including Advanced & Higher Apprenticeships, QCF Diplomas/Certificates at levels 3 and 4, Access to HE courses (full and parttime) and A levels. Leicester College has a range of full and part-time courses at levels 3 and 4, from hair and beauty to business, IT and care. A college spokesman said: “Whatever your age, whether you are retired and want to advance your knowledge, are working and want to boost your career prospects or want to study for a professional qualification, Leicester College can help you.” To find out more: www.leicester, tel: 0116 224 2240

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A THIRD of ‘pain sufferers’ in the East Midlands worried about their dependency on painkillers More than a third (37 per cent) of people in the East Midlands using medication to treat pain are worried about their dependency painkillers to manage their daily lives. One in three (33 per cent) say they need painkillers in order to continue working. These are the results of a new study by Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity. Clinicians at Nuffield Health say painkillers are often seen as an easy or cost effective treatment option instead of treating the underlying medical problems. Of more than 3100 people surveyed nationally, more than half (1659) managed pain or injury with painkillers in the past 12 months. The figures for the East Midlands show: • A quarter (24 per cent) have been taking painkillers for more than five years. • Almost one in five (18 per cent) admit to taking more than the recommended safe dose. • Nearly a third (29 per cent) said they take between five and ten pills a day. In the East Midlands, a small group are using opiates (6 per cent) including morphine and pethidine to manage their pain or injury. Two fifths of people are reporting sleeping problems due to pain and (6 per cent) are using sleeping pills. Experts say patients need to be aware of the side effects of taking painkillers, which can cause sickness, stomach problems, including bleeding or ulcers, constipation, drowsiness or serious medical problems like liver disease, kidney problems and heart disease. Consultant Spinal Surgeon at Nuffield Heath, Mr Manoj Krishna, said “A lack of knowledge, or fear of treatment, can lead patients into long term use of painkillers, often without a clear diagnosis by a specialist. This can be a very bleak existence with patients becoming depressed, losing their jobs, and often becoming dependent on the drugs. I regularly see patients who struggle to deal with drug addiction after their medical condition has been successfully treated. With advances in medicine it is important that patients explore their options fully. Surgery, physiotherapy or even an effective exercise programme may be more appropriate. In the 21st century in a country with a world class health service, our patients in pain deserve a better deal.” The figures show that one in seven (15 per cent) of people who sought treatment

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

from a GP expressed unhappiness with the outcome of the appointment. Over half (57 per cent) cited being prescribed only painkillers as the source of their frustration, while three in ten (30 per cent) thought that their doctor lacked enough knowledge about their condition. In the East Midlands, over one in ten (12 per cent) said they had stopped searching for a suitable treatment as they had been told the risks outweigh the benefits. Of those who had managed to find a solution, 17 per cent used physiotherapy, while 6 per cent had surgery. A fifth (19 per cent) of people said their pain or injury recovered over time, suggesting long term use of painkillers is not a suitable treatment option. Cabella Lowe, Head of Physiotherapy Services at Nuffield Health said: “Only a fifth of people in pain in the East Midlands are being successfully treated by physiotherapy. We believe more people could alleviate their pain by seeing a physiotherapist” For many in the East Midlands, the repercussions of failing to find a curative treatment can be revealed: of those still reporting pain or injury; over a third (35 per cent) are unable to exercise and almost a fifth (19 per cent) report suffering from depression. Lack of awareness putting East Midlands residents at risk of losing their sight Over half of adults in the East Midlands have never heard of Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and 63 per cent of adults in the East Midlands wouldn't visit their GP or optician straightaway if they experienced blurry vision or wavy lines. Lack of awareness of the symptoms and


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urgency needed to treat the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK is leaving people in the East Midlands at risk of losing their sight, warns the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). Over half of adults in the region questioned as part of a YouGov survey had never heard of Agerelated Macular Degeneration (AMD) before, while 21 per cent incorrectly thought it was a condition that affected the brain. AMD is the biggest cause of sight loss in the over 50s and there are over 500,000 people with the condition nationally. There are two main forms of AMD, wet and dry. There is no current treatment for dry AMD but sight saving treatment is available for the wet form if diagnosed in time. A worrying 63 per cent of people said they wouldn’t visit their GP or optician straightaway if they started experiencing blurry vision or wavy lines, which are common symptoms of the condition. Wet AMD can take your eyesight in as little as three months if left untreated. The recommended time it should take to be diagnosed is seven days; however this relies on people being able to spot the signs immediately. The exact causes of AMD are not known but genetics, diet, alcohol intake and sensitivity to sunlight are all believed to have an impact. Smoking is a clear risk factor, with smokers two times more likely to develop the condition than non-smokers. It's as strong as the link between smoking and lung cancer. However, the survey showed that over half of adults in the East Midlands didn’t think that stopping smoking could reduce the risk of sight loss and 71 per cent didn’t think that wearing sunglasses may play a role in protecting their eyes. Helen May, RNIB's Optometrist, said: "Losing your central vision can have a significant effect on individuals and makes everyday tasks such as reading, telling the time and preparing food more difficult,

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and can prevent people from driving. However, it doesn't have to be this way and people should not be losing their sight unnecessarily when there's treatment available. "RNIB is encouraging people over 50 to find out how to spot the signs of wet AMD and understand why it's important to act quickly. About 40,000 people develop wet AMD each year but the deterioration of your sight can be managed with treatment, if caught in time." Sheila Hewitt, who lives in Leicestershire, hadn't heard of AMD before she was diagnosed with the condition. She said: "The changes came about very quickly. I noticed things like telegraph poles weren't straight lines anymore. Losing my sight has had a big impact on my life; I can't drive or go far on my own anymore. "Before I was diagnosed with AMD, I thought the condition was just genetic and didn’t realise that the risk could be reduced through healthy eating or wearing sunglasses." If straight lines start to appear wavy, curved or distorted it may mean you have AMD. Small print becomes difficult to read even when wearing glasses and people's faces start to appear blurry. Make sure you are able to spot the signs and if you notice these changes in your vision make an appointment to visit your optometrist immediately. Find out more about AMD and other eye diseases at Alternatively, call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or google 'RNIB spot the signs'.

Tel: 0116 260 7954 email: 28 Wellington Street, Syston, Leicestershire LE7 2LG



Birstall BAG’s cancer corner The BAG’s thought it might be a good time to remind readers what BAG’s is all about, why we exist and what we seek to do. Clare Wells, founder of BAGS was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 1998. Her determination to encourage all women to be vigilant, to self examine and access medical care as soon as possible inspired the formation of BAGS, a local fundraising social group. Although the group originally focused on raising money to support local Breast Cancer services, to reflect the interest and support of the local Birstall community for several years now Birstall BAG's has sought to be inclusive of all cancers and the group welcome villagers to support the many events they organise each year within the local community. Clare’s cancer recurred and sadly she died in 2003 but her close friends have carried on with her vision and to date over £20000 pounds has been donated to local cancer services. Since Septem-

ber 2010 the Birstall BAG’s have funded (£4k+ per annum)the running of ‘Time Out’ a Coping With Cancer drop in complementary therapy group held the second and fourth Wednesday of each month 1.30-4.30pm at the Birstall Village Hall on School Lane. Time out is a group for anyone affected by cancer patients, carers, families and friends. Enjoy a complementary therapy in a calm, relaxing atmosphere, and chat to other patients and carers over a cup of tea. No need to book - just turn up! You will be made very welcome. For more information contact Coping with Cancer on 0116 223 0055. Currently the BAG’s hold a variety of annual events to bring the community together to have a bit of fun and raise funds. Our next event, on June 1 will see 15 local chaps cycle from Birstall to Skegness, if you would like to support them please email the BAGS or visit the Just Giving page set up to enable online donations

eforbags. We also have a Family Race Night Scheduled for Friday September 13th at Birstall Social Club and will look to have our usual Ladies Christmas Meal night in early December – watch this space! We are very grateful to everyone that has and continues to support us, we are keen to make as many people as possible feel engaged with our activities and donations so please if you have any comments or thoughts on how we can best represent and meet the needs of the Birstall community, get in touch. 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. For more information on the funds we have raised, projects we support and forthcoming events see

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 2000 STERLING Europa 460/2, 2 berth, end washroom, fully equipped, service history, £2500 ono Tel: 0116 2200741 FOR SALE Boys’ bikes – good condition: Trek MT 220, 24” wheel, 21 gears, Giant MTX 250, 24” wheel, 18 gears, both black & grey. £40 each ono. Man’s Diamond Back, pro racing mountain bike, 26” wheel, 21 gears, colour – blue. £30 ono 07759223162 (Birstall)


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BP13 06 359  

Birstall Post (359) June 2103

BP13 06 359  

Birstall Post (359) June 2103