Page 1

the Birstall post Y O U R


JULY 2013


No. 360

Village gardens opened for public NINE GARDENS in the Worcester Avenue area of Birstall were opened for the public to enjoy as part of this year’s garden trail, organised by Birstall Methodist Church.

Two more councillors resign TWO COUNCILLORS at Birstall Parish Council announced their resignations at the Council’s June meeting. The resignations of Cllrs Jim Garner and Doug Topley in June came after the resignation of the Parish Council Chairman Pat Cleere in January. When contacted by the Birstall Post, all three councillors said they had concerns about how the council was being run. Doug Topley said: “I don’t like the way the council has been run for quite a while now – we the councillors don’t run it, the clerk and the staff do. Most people I meet in the village say that, I’ve been told it by many people.” Mr Topley resigned after his suggestion to alter a commemorative inscrip-

Continued on page 3

COUNTY ROOFING This popular annual event was once again well attended, helped by warm sunny weather on the Sunday, and visitors were able to buy plants, teas and ice cream as they made their way between gardens. Pic: (left) visitors take a beak to admire a garden

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Mum wins crown A BIRSTALL mum has been crowned Miss Great Britain Leicester. Natasha Hawkes (23) will go on to represent the city at the national finals in November. “I felt on top of the world” said Natasha, “It has taken a few days to sink in but I feel so proud for myself and my family.” The event was held at the City Rooms in Leicester on June 7 and Natasha was one of 15 contestants who took part in three rounds – club wear, evening wear and an interview. PHOTOS: RUBICON PHOTOGRAPHY

Continued from page 1 tion on a public bench on the playing field was not supported. He felt that the wording should not contain “type1 diabetes” as children with that condition reading the inscription may become upset, fearing they may die from it. Mr Topley said: “It’s not only this, I’ve been thinking of resigning for some time, there have been lots of things over the last 12 to 24 months.” Jim Garner said: “We the councillors are the Parish Council, we employ the clerk and the staff, so we should tell them what to do after taking their advice on what we can and can’t to. But it is not like that, they are deciding what we do and it is a take it or leave it attitude.” Mr Garner resigned after the Council did not support his suggestion that a

Pic: the new UPVC window in the Village Hall

recently installed UPVC window in the Village Hall be taken out and replaced with a wooden one. He felt it was not in keeping with the existing windows, the Village Hall is in a Conservation Area and the Council should be setting a good example and not installing a window he described as “disgusting”. Pat Cleere said: “Who runs the council, is it the Clerk or the Council? To some extent it is the councillors’ fault, too many are prepared to be told what is happening. I liked to take a more proactive approach, be prepared and read up on all the developments. “They tried to persuade me to stay but I didn’t feel that things would change.” Reacting to the resignations of Jim Garner and Doug Topley, Mr Cleere said he was: “not surprised, but disappointed .” Established 25 years Birstall’s Parish Council’s Chairman DOMESTIC & COMMERCIAL Ann Marshall said: “I was sad to see Jim BURGLAR ALARMS go, no-one wanted him to go, he has CCTV • Access Control • Fire Alarms been a really good servant of the Parish Data Cabling • Nurse Call Systems Council. I don’t know why Doug reUKAS Accredited • SSAIB Approved Installer signed, the whole issue of the seat was Please Phone for a properly discussed. “As councillors we will not agree with NO OBLIGATION QUOTE every decision that is made, but deciALL WORK GUARANTEED & CERTIFIED sions are made in a democratic manner, 375 Loughborough Rd, Birstall if you don’t agree with something vote 0116 267 3737 against it but you have to go along with Mob: 0785 066 2323 the vote.” At the June meeting of the Council, Cllr Marshall explained how the decision can’t say things like that without substanto replace the Village Hall window had tiating it, without backing it up. If counbeen properly debated at the Council, cillors think something is wrong they including at meetings where Cllr Garner should put it in writing.” has been present. She added: “The clerk and his deputy The Council had been presented with work hard to ensure the council is proptwo choices: UPVC at £1397 and wooden erly run, and they need our support.” replacements at £1914 and had chosen The Chairman intends to organise a UPVC subject to Listed Building consent presentation to councillors by the Parish being given by Charnwood Borough Clerk, to explain his role and function. Council, which was granted in November Parish Clerk Steve Blackburn said: 2012. “The Deputy Clerk and I carry out the In respect of the way the Council is decisions of the Council – I get the inforrun, Cllr Marshall said she was aware mation, but I don’t decide anything. that some councillors had had concerns Jim’s resignation is a real loss, he has for a while but felt there was no evidone a huge amount of work for the dence of any impropriety. She said: “You council.”


Pic: the new Miss Great Briatin Leicester Natasha Hawkes

“I was very nervous beforehand but when I got out there in front of the judges my nerves just left me” said Natasha, who lives on Sand Pit Drive, Hallam Fields with her fiancé James and her two year old son. She added: “I am very much looking forward to all the great opportunities this title will give me but the main reason for entering was to show people you can still do this sort of thing as a mother.”

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Club play at top level FOR THE seventh successive year, Birstall Ladies Bowling Club will be represented in the National Championships. Pa Walker, Jan Everitt, Jennie Groves and Di Hurst, the current national fours champion, reached the Leicestershire final in the fours competition by winning four area games before victories over teams from Knighton in the quarter final and Kingscroft in the semi final ensured qualification for the event, which takes place in Leamington Spa at the end of this month. Jan Everitt and Jennie Groves just missed out in qualifying in the two wood competition. Both were beaten by just one shot in their county quarter final matches by Janet Irons (Blaby) and Lynn Green (Shepshed) respectively.

Bike ride for charity A GRUELLING 12 hour ride on a static bike has helped a Birstall man prepare for a charity bike ride in August. Richard Robinson (45) set up his bike at Beaumont Ley’s shopping centre on Saturday June 15 and rode it from 8am to 8pm with passing shoppers making donations to his charity Marie Curie Cancer Care. He has raised £1,000 so far. Richard, who has osteoarthritis and had a hip replacement two years ago, was using the day to prepare for the ‘Ride London 100 mile’ race around last year’s Olympic course in the capital. It takes place on August 4. He said: “Thinking about that race there is a mixture of excitement and worry as I’m not sure if my hip can take it, it will take me close to the limit.” Before his diagnosis Richard, of Briargate Drive, played football but has had to stop all sports except cycling because of its low impact on the joints. To sponsor Richard’s ride go to:

Pic: Richard Robinson on his static bike at Beaumont Leys

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THE DESIGN of a new King Richard III visitor centre in the heart of Leicester’s Old Town has been revealed.

The former Leicester Grammar School building at St Martin’s Place will be transformed to house a new exhibition, entitled ‘Richard III : Dynasty, Death and Discovery’ which will guide visitors through the dramatic story of the king’s The CPA, which helps the life, brutal death at Bosworth Field in 1485, and the story of rediscovery, in a public to identify safe relianearby car park. ble contractors to carry out The centre, which is due to open in home improvements, awardMarch 2014, is likely to attract 100,000 ed its 5 year Membership visitors and bring in over £4.5million to Achievement the city’s economy in its first year alone. Award to CWC. The £4million project will transform both the inside and outside of the VictoMembership of the CPA means rian Gothic building to create two floors of exhibition space and a new covered that customers allowing visitors access to the grave have their depos- area in which Richard’s remains were discovits and guaranered last summer. tee underwritten There will also be a new courtyard by the organisation. garden, glass entrance hall, viewing balcony, café and visitor entry from Mandy Manning from CWC said: “We put the inter- Peacock Lane. Last year, Leicester City Council ests of the customer first and bought the 150-year-old former Alderwe won’t compromise on man Newton School building, which is our attention to detail or the right next to the Greyfriars grave site.

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The August issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Aug 2. The copy deadline is July 19.


A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on June 10. Ed Marshall was co-opted to fill a vacancy on the council. PCSO Mark Butler presented the crime report. He urged residents to continue to report crimes to the local police team. To improve communication between councillors and the public it was agreed to provide each parish councillor with an individual email address that would be linked to their own personal email. The email addresses and photos of individual councillors will be published on the Parish Council website. Photographs of councillors will also be placed on parish noticeboards. It was reported that owing to the success of the Youth Café on the School Lane playing field pavilion, volunteers were needed for the Wednesday night session for 8-11 year olds. Cllr Doug Topley reported that he had received a complaint from parents in the small children’s play area on School Lane about the wording on a memorial plaque on a bench, and recommended that the wording be altered. It was agreed to take no action but to look carefully at the wording of any future plaques. Cllr Jim Garner said that the new UPVC window in the Village Hall was a disgrace and should be replaced with a wooden one in keeping with the style of the building. He said the Parish Council should be setting an example as the building is listed and is in a Conservation Area. The Chairman Ann Marshall explained that the old window needed replacing as it was in a poor condition and that the council had opted for UPVC, subject to obtaining Listed Building consent, which was granted by Charnwood. Due process had been followed she said and no objections had been raised at the time. The council agreed that no action be taken in respect of the window. Cllr Garner announced his resignation from the council with immediate effect. Several Councillors responded, trying to persuade Cllr Garner to change his mind and praising his contribution to the council, but he said that if the window was not replaced, his resignation would stand. Cllr Doug Topley then announced his resignation and left the meeting. The Parish Council is looking again at providing a BMX track on the Meadow Lane playing field. Cllr Julian Howe said it was important to consult with and involve young people and parents at the earliest stage of any plans. Cllr Tony Fowler said consultation had taken place and that he was personally aware of 40 young people who have said they would like a BMX track. Cllr Fowler reported on his attendance on behalf of the Parish Council at a Buckingham Palace garden party. County Councillor Iain Bentley reported he would be meeting with officers from the County Council on Meadow Lane to discuss the options for making the ditch safer. He said he would also raise with them the condition of the grass verges on Wanlip Avenue and the grass areas outside the flats on Wanlip Lane.

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Parish Council notes


PUPILS QUEUED to give their teachers a good soaking at Highcliffe school’s summer fair. With their teachers in the stocks and piles of wet sponges to hand, pupils exacted revenge for all the homework they’ve been given and Mr Spedding, Mrs Gutteridge and Mr McFarland spent the entire day drenched. It was just one of the stalls at Highcliffe’s popular annual event, organised by the school’s PTA, which this year attracted record numbers. Pupils held a non-uniform day a few weeks before, donating prizes for what turned out to be possibly the world’s largest tombola, in lieu of payment for the privilege. Kaine’s Castles hosted three large bouncy castles and a sweet stall, Pick’s Organic Farm held a barbecue and Half Pints Childminders ran games with all giving donations to the PTA. Birstall and Wanlip Neighbourhood watch held an advice shop and PCSO Mark Butler attended, complete with Police van, which was incredibly popular with all the children. Many of the Highcliffe pupils were directly involved in the event. Year 6 students ran a series of stalls, games and a temporary tattoo parlour. There were also roaming buskers and demonstrations by John Gannon Karate Club, Faces Arts and the Dynamite Cheerleaders that drew in parents and grandparents alike.

Pic: Reg Sutton is presented with his award by Highcliffe PTA Committee member,Premila Mistry

The Great Highcliffe Bake Off once again was a huge hit. The winning partialness were: Best in Show : Mrs McDonald (adults), Reg Sutton (children) Large Cake : Mrs McDonald (adults), Oliver Clarke (children) 4 identical cupcakes : Izzy Pulford 6 identical biscuits : Reg Sutton Kelly Emerson, Chairperson of Highcliffe PTA

thanked all those who made the day go so smoothly. She said: “The summer fair is our big fundraising event of the year. A lot of hard work goes into organising it and I’d like to thank the PTA, all the volunteers, Highcliffe teachers and office staff and those businesses around the village who donated prizes to us.” Further donations are gratefully received. Please contact or for more information Pic (left): Highcliffe PTA Committee member Karen Diyar and Highcliffe Primary School Deputy Headteacher Ms Hickling prepare to judge the finalists of the Great Highcliffe Bake Off & (above) Faces Arts perform

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Birstall BAG’s events Longslade has TWO FUNDRAISING events by a Birstall cancer charity have raised over £5000. A sponsored 100 mile bike ride to Skegness on June 1 raised over £4000 for Birstall BAGS, when a team of 25 riders repeated the ride they first made 20 years ago. “Thanks to all the riders who gave up their weekend for us, especially organiser Dean Ward, they did a fantastic job and raised an enormous amount of money” said a BAGS spokeswoman. In May, hundreds of people took part in the fun run around Watermead Country Park, helping to raise over £1300. Two medals remain unclaimed, for Victoria Webb and Kerry Ives. These can be collected by contacting Birstall BAGS via

Ofsted inspection AN OFSTED INSPECTION OF Longslade College took place in June.

Pics: Birstall BAGS fun run & (below) some of the team that rode from Birstall to Skegness

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Principal Kirstie Black said: “One reassurance I received from the inspection team was their positive response to the changes in leadership at the school, and the new senior leadership team. “There is a great capacity to drive up standards across the college and this was recognised. I look forward to celebrating this success in the autumn term.” A school receives its report 10 working days after the end of the inspection and it is normally published on the Ofsted website after 15 working days. Longslade’s last Ofsted inspection was in 2009 when it was graded ‘good’. The Belvoir and Melton Academy Trust (BMAT) says it remains committed to working in partnership with and supporting Longslade College, having taken over leadership of the school this spring. A formal agreement has been made that will see Kirstie Black as principal until at least September 2014.

Mrs Black said: “The strategic plan set out by BMAT to take the college forward has been endorsed through the recent inspection – all involved are positive about the future.” • The new leadership team have introduced a uniform for Year 10 & 11 students from September 2013. Students were consulted and played a part in the uniform’s design. The new uniform (pictured left) consists of : royal blue blazer with Longslade badge; blue, gold and light blue tie, white shirt, dark grey v neck jumper, dark grey tailored skirt to knee, dark grey tailored trousers, black shoes, and blue and/or black PE clothing Trainers (including Converse and VANs), skinny trousers, hoodies, shorts or leggings are not permitted. Blazers and ties must be purchased at Longslade, priced £31. The optional jumper is £13.

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Juniors show their skills A TEAM from Birstall United Juniors Football Club travelled to Scarborough in May to take part in a tournament. The

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The Under 9s side, led by coaches Steve Gibson and Matthew Gregory, won four games and lost three to finish third, winning the Dads v Lads game 6-5. “They were a credit to the club and to Birstall” said a club spokesman. The trip was organised by coach Steve Hayward and the boys who went were Barney Sutton, Harvie Barnwell, Ralph Gibson, Will Bywater, James Smith, Daniel Harrison, Stan Alexander, Fin Gregory, Tate Rowe, Rory Hayward and Ed Borthwick.



Annual scout & guide gala THUNDER, RAIN and a good serving of sunshine were the order of the day at Birstall’s annual Scout and Guide Gala. A parade led by the Thurmaston Scout and Guides Band marched from Stonehill School to School Lane and the home of Mr & Mrs Waters, who have hosted the gala for many years now. Brownie Leader Marie Upton said: “There were various stalls such as a cake stall which sold out in a matter of minutes for which we thank all those parents/people of Birstall who baked cakes for us to sell, a large tombola, which is always popular with the young ones and the lovely smell of a bar-

Pic: Scouts dodging the rain showers are (l-r) Lucas Craxford-Kearley(11), Ben Farnham (12) & Michael Brandist (13)

beque which is always a favourite too. “People had fun on the coconut shy, building towers against the clock and Birstall’s own bowling alley. Once the sun came out people enjoyed a cream tea in the lovely surroundings. We would like to thank all those involved in our Gala, Mr & Mrs Waters and parents who helped with transporting all the equipment to and from both the Scout Hut and Guide Hut,

Abbeyfield’s party THE ABBEYFIELD home at Grove House, Birstall held a summer fete to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The Mayor of Charnwood Sandie Forrest and her consort Roger Forrest were special guests. Abbeyfield House Manager Jenny Fitzgerald said: “The Mayor arrived looking splendid and was invited to partake of a refreshing cup of tea, with a choice of homemade delights. Introductions were then made to some of the residents and visitors, who were busying themselves enjoying tea and homemade cake.” After the cutting of the anniversary cake, the Mayor was presented with a beautiful arrangement of fresh flowers donated by Lily and Grace Florists of Birstall. Jenny said: “Despite the lack of sunshine, the Mayor and most of our visitors were kind enough to visit our stalls, and purchase raffle tickets, take part in the treasure hunt or have their photo taken as a surfer dude. Little ones were magically turned

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Pic: The Mayor of Charnwood Sandie Forrest cuts the birthday cake

into all sorts, with the help of Becky Fitzgerald and her face paints.” She added: “So thanks to everyone’s hard work, all had fun and the grand sum of £248 was raised. The money will go towards outings and entertainment for our residents. The staff and residents in particular wish to thank all those who attended especially the Mayor and her consort plus the volunteers for their fantastic hard work and support of our charity.” Pic (left): Sophie Laheen had her face painted




and his family who came to my rescue it had to end sometime! were so kind and helpful getting me into David Michael his car and taking me home. As luck P.S. A special thank you to Mr Barry would have it Annie only suffered from a West who over the last 20 years has mainpulled muscle in her chest and of course tained the flower beds outside the shop (at shock. If my dog had not had a harness on his own expense) for the benefit of the she would have been killed. The streets are people of Birstall. Yes they always looked no longer safe to walk a dog. Why can’t blooming good! the law be changed and the owners of these dogs, who are not responsible, be fined and the monies sent to the RSPCA I would like to take an opposite view to where I am sure it would be put to good use. And of course bring back dog licences. that of your correspondent with regard to the Birstall Medical Centre. Until I was Once again to the kind family: a big thank seventy I rarely visited the doctor and/or you. the hospital. Since turning seventy I seem Mary Ellen, Stonehill Avenue. to have acquired a season ticket for both venues. My memories of the doctor's waiting room were grubby little places with out I wanted to write and say how sad we of date magazines. The hospital memories are to see J Michael Butchers close. Going were of sitting for long periods of time in to the butchers and waving at the staff draughty corridors. In both cases there whenever we walked past over the last were long queues of patients and you seven years was part of our everyday roucould guarantee that you would be there tine. for the morning or possibly the day. The quality of produce and the friendliBirstall Medical Centre, as it is now,is ness of all the staff made it a joy to shop an open, brightly lit area with technology there. which ensures reasonably rapid throughThank you to all of you and good luck put of patients. Providing that you have for your futures. We’re just sorry we didn’t obtained an appointment, you do not have get a chance to say so in person! to speak with a member of staff, you are Beccy, Mark, Ben and Sophie Kay registered automatically. If you have not booked an appointment then, quite obviously, the receptionist has to ask you some questions to determine the best course of I would like to thank all customers, action. It is my experience that they keep past and present, who have supported me these questions to the minimum and speak throughout my lifetime at J Michael Meat in a quiet voice, so much so that you strugPurveyors Ltd giving me much happiness gle to hear what they are saying to you, so over the years. it is almost impossible for anyone else to I had hoped to sell the business so hear that conversation, unless of course there would have been continuity for both that person is 'earwigging'. the customers and the staff but unfortunateThanks to the astute monitoring of the ly after lengthy negotiations a sale was not Birstall medical staff, I was diagnosed as achieved. diabetic without being aware that I had the I am sorry it appeared so sudden and problem. This brought me into contact that we were unable to tell you in the shop with the diabetic nurse with whom I now about my decision, but with a summer have regular consultations. She is brilliant. break in my catering contracts, forthcomShe monitors, advises, cajoles and castiing staff holidays and my daughters’ wedgates as necessary. I have never had a ding (in June) I decided that was the problem booking an appointment with her. right time. Repeat prescriptions are again, in my Thank you all for your loyalty and experience, not a problem. The pharmacy friendship over the last 50 years, I and the ring me to tell me when mine are available staff will miss the daily life at the shop. But and on the odd occasion when I am get-

Very well served

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:

Good wishes I was sorry to see Michaels Butchers close. They have been there as long as I can remember. I would like to thank all the staff for their service and friendly chats especially Paul for making gluten free products when required. I wish David a long and happy retirement. Anne Birkin

Thanks May I through your pages say a big thank you to the gentleman and his family for helping me on Saturday May 25 when my little dog Annie, an eight year old Yorkie, was attacked by a very large dog who appeared out of nowhere, not far from my home. I am a lady of 73 years, who walks Annie on a regular basis. We were having a good morning shopping in the sunshine, as Annie had been poorly most of the winter, but now improving, until the attack. This has made me feel quite ill. The gentleman

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ting close to running out and they have not contacted me, then I ring them and they expedite matters. I recently suffered a mini stroke. The attention I received, initially from my own doctor from the Birstall Medical Centre and eventually from the Leicester Royal Infirmary was exemplary. Had I been royalty, I could not have been treated better. The doctor, the ambulance staff and the staff at Leicester Royal Infirmary were all very professional in everything they did for me. It seems to me that author of the letter is jumping on the band wagon of 'Knocking the Health Service'. I have memories of the old systems and have witnessed emergency treatment in other parts of the world. I prefer ours and here in Birstall, I feel that we are very, very well served. Name & address supplied

Grass verges I write with regards Birstall's grass verges, and recent letters about these featured in the Birstall Post. Surely the best, most cost effective (and environmentally friendly) remedy to the ongoing grass verge 'problem' would be for residents to STOP parking on them. Just a little consideration as to where people park their vehicles would avoid the damage that the residents themselves cause. With thought, vehicles parked on the road could easily be 'staggered' to allow traffic to flow. Most of the 'complainers' who wish to get rid of the verges have driveways on their properties, some of which would comfortably fit two cars, but they still chose to park (and damage) the grass outside their homes. The short message is if you don't like the mess and the mud in the wetter months - stop causing it! Personally, I can't think of a worse sight than the Avenues of Birstall patched up with mismatched tarmac of varying colour and quality. Because if the grass verges go - that is what we will be left with. We are actually very lucky to have the verges; when well kept they add character to our Avenues and improve the overall look of your home. I note that one 'Avenue' resident (who themselves caused a hole in their entire verge that was around a foot deep) has filled it full of house bricks so that they can continue to utilise the pavement as a car park. Another parks their large van ENTIRELY on the pavement (and this is on one of Birstall's wider Avenues, and when they also have a large driveway). Parking on the pavement (or verge) is a breach of the Highway Code. And as for comments with regards those residents who choose to 'protect' their verges. Some of those residents have repaired and replaced the damaged grass (damage caused by other people) at their own cost, as the Council refused to deal with the problem, and those residents continue to maintain their verges themselves. Parking on and damaging the grass verges is tantamount to vandalism. As a further point, some residents will remember that there was some quite serious flooding last year in some Avenues in the centre of the village. With the ongoing 'trend' to make gardens low maintenance by removing grass, the flooding that affected some properties would have been much worse had it not been for the grass verges (which act as a soak-away). Indeed, some properties (on Wanlip Avenue) were literally 'saved' from water damage because of them. The grass verges are the only reason why the water did not make it that far. I would suggest that residents in that area think very carefully before they continue with their quest to remove the verges. Flood damage eventually leads to your


property being uninsurable and will negatively affect property values. You will also find it difficult to sell your house. Just imagine walking along your Avenue with a continuing line of nicely maintained grass verges! Surely, that vision is much more pleasant than a mass of ugly grey/black patchy tarmac? So please, Birstall residents, rather than trying to get rid of the grass verges, take some pride in where you live; spend a couple of pounds and repair your verge. Then think where you place the wheels of your car. Allow the grass to grow! That way, not only will we keep the flooding at bay, we will greatly improve how our Avenues look, whilst having a greener and more pleasant environment for us all to enjoy. Name & address supplied

Builder I am in the process of taking a builder to court for non-completion of work and breach of contract. I do believe that he’s doing the same to other people in Birstall as he has said to me that someone is taking him to court over the quality of the work he’s done. If you are experiencing similar difficulties with a builder please contact me on with the name of your builder. Name & address supplied

Thanks I am writing to thank Mr Preston for finding my bike and handing it in to the police. My bike was stolen overnight by some horrible people, but they abandoned it by the pond near Hallam Fields. Big thanks also to PCSO Mark Butler, the Neighbourhood Watch and Spotted Birstall on Facebook for helping get my bike back to me. I am very happy to have my bike back. People of Birstall, please be aware that there are some naughty people still on the loose so look after your stuff! Malini Raivadera (aged 8)

Extremely satisfied I refer to the letter in your June edition which was about Birstall Medical Centre. I have never been there but felt compelled to reply in view of the comment made at the end of the letter “I do not want to change surgeries, as I am told the one on Greengate Lane is not much better”. My husband and I have been patients at Greengate Medical Centre for thirty years. In all that time we have never had cause to make one complaint about anything! We find the doctors, especially our own GP, very caring and supportive. The nurses are lovely, and the reception staff are pleasant and helpful. It is extremely well organised. What more can you ask for? Mrs Olive Ralston

When the centre was started the hours were Monday to Friday 9am to 12pm, today the centre is staffed by three full time people and is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm. The centre still supports many of the same groups and community schemes today as it did when it first started, on the last Monday of each month we run a community lunch held at the Syston Community Centre, this has been running from at least 1981 and continues to draw people in on a regular basis. One of the main aims of the centre has always been to help the most vulnerable people in our community who need it most; the commitment from our volunteers over the years providing thousands of hours of volunteering is truly commendable. One of the way in which we help the local and surrounding communities is to provide a social car service for journeys to hospital appointments, shopping trips etc. Our band of volunteers, use their own cars and we charge our service users 45p a mile which we then invoice at the end of each month. In some cases we provide transport to people who would otherwise not be able to get out of their houses to meet appointments. Volunteering can be a very rewarding vocation, we are always looking to build our volunteer base as the need for the centres services grows year on year. The time devoted need only amount to a few hours each month, the extra resource that those few hours provide will help the growing demand within the community. We can also provide volunteering opportunities to support a diverse range of organisations and people within Syston and Leicestershire should you not wish to drive. At present the center provides a wide range of key services to the community and supports around 21 villages around Syston. Some of the key services are: Minibus Hire scheme for the community: if you are a community group and you require an accessible minibus in the evenings or at the weekend to hire then please contact the Centre for details, we have three minibuses of varying size and configuration. A volunteer driver may be available if required. A Social Car scheme: this service is for the most vulnerable and disabled people in the community who find it difficult to travel

independently or to use public transport for their medical visits, shopping, visiting family or friends. Volunteer drivers use their own cars to pick up and return users to their homes. In the majority of cases the volunteer driver will wait for a reasonable period of time whilst the appointment or the visit is concluded. The social services mileage rate is payable to cover the volunteer’s petrol costs. Wheelchair Hire Scheme: these can be hired on a short term loan. Service users have described the scheme as a ‘lifeline’ as they have been able to take people with disabilities on holidays, or out and about in the community. Commode/Walker Hire Scheme: these are available on short term loan. Befriending/shopping: for the isolated and housebound people – contact the Centre for further details. Gardening Service & Handyman Service The Volunteer Centre also supports the following groups which aim to serve the most vulnerable in the community: The Friendship Club – for people with physical or mental disabilities. The ‘Young At Heart’ Club – for the housebound and disabled people. The Gateway Club – for people with additional needs. Arthritis Care – for those with an interest in arthritis. The Games Club – for the 50+ for their social enjoyment. Vista – for those with an interest in visual impairment. Transport is available. All our services are available to the people within Syston and all the outlying villages, we want to help develop a sense of community in the area. We want, with your help and support, to develop a community where everyone spends some of their time helping to meet the needs of their fellow man, and where everyone feels valued and cherished. Could you volunteer for just an hour a week or more and help to make a difference. Your community needs you. We are open Monday to Friday 9.00am5.30pm, 18 School Street, Syston, Leicester LE7 1HN. Tel: 0116 2607888 Email: Mark Smith

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Volunteer bureau Syston volunteer bureau was initially set up towards the end of 1977 to serve a then population of around 22,000 which included Syston and surrounding villages covering an area of around 25 square miles. The area and the population has grown considerably since then but the Volunteer Centre is still there. The project was set up to provide a flexible service to the local community to recruit and place volunteers, provide support, develop new ideas and opportunities and to establish close links with other statutory and voluntary organisations. The centre was to provide a focal point for organisations using volunteers and to promote volunteering and the Bureau within the local community.


Birstall tattoo studio A NEW tattoo studio has opened on Sibson Road. Vintage Ink Tattoo is run by husband and wife team Adam and Hayley Belcher and opened in April with support from the Princes Trust and Sir Thomas White charities. Adam, who has been tattooing for six years, said: “The studio offers a friendly atmosphere perfect for first tattoos or those looking to add to their existing ink.” “We specialise in custom work and freehand tribal and work closely with our clients to create a design they’ll love, and there’s no charge for design” added Hayley. Pic: Adam Belcher Vintage Ink Tattoo Studio is at 115 Sibson Road, Birstall, tel: 2674084


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Redhill Allotments Open Day

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

Open Church for Tea, Cakes and Books at St Leonard’s Church, Swithland from 2-4.30pm on Saturday & Sunday, July 13 and 14 Donations in aid of Church funds Leicester Host Lions Club

Summer Fair Sunday August 4 From 11am to 3pm at 34 The Ridgeway, Rothley, Leicester Variety of stalls, refreshments Music by Hiss & Boo Band Admission £2, children £1

Birstall Methodist Lunch Club

Saturday August 3 12noon – 4pm A fun event for all the family, with home made produce and allotmentgrown fruit and vegetables for sale Refreshments, competitions, craft stalls and much more! If you are interested in taking on an allotment, we have organic and nonorganic plots available to rent, talk to us on the day, or phone Rita on 0116 2993056 for more information Please wear sturdy footwear Entrance off A6 Loughborough Road, just north of Red Hill Circle Sorry, no parking on site except Blue Badge holders St James’ Day Centre 200 Club June Winners 1st Mrs Betty Howard 2nd Mrs Ruth Wright 3rd Mrs Lesley Walton 4th Mr Len Payne Saturday July 27 Charity Event at The Trees

Family Fun Day

Would you like to get together for a chat in the Methodist lounge on a Wednesday followed by a two course lunch plus a cup of tea at 12.30pm The cost is £5.50 and spaces are available for new members Any seniors in the community will be most welcome Transport can be arranged Further details from Janet on 1006 267 1471

All proceeds to help the following great charities Help for Heroes and Scotty’s Little Soldiers Hog Roast, Bouncy Castle, Face Painting, Mechanical Bull, Live Music, Karaoke Fun starts at 2pm until late Raffle & Prizes

Coach Outing to Hereford

Saturday October 19 at 7.30pm at Birstall Methodist Church Wanlip Lane, Birstall LE4 4JS Book early! Tickets £7.50 inc refreshments, available now.

Monday August 12 The coach will leave Birstall at 8.30am Cost of coach £12

Local emergency denture repairs & denture cleaning Pick-up & delivery service available in Birstall Call Steve

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‘Cliff As If’

Tel: 0116 2677576 to book Will Chandler is the No.1 Sir Cliff Richard look/sound alike His performance on Nov 3, 2012 was greatly enjoyed so we have booked him again. If you missed last November’s concert do not miss out this time!

Birstall Royal British Legion June 6: Slaters (duo) June 13: Tammy (F/V) June 20: Glenny Vee (M/V) June 27: Krackle & Pop (duo) 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 July 14 & 28, starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday July 21 at 8pm Rock & Roll nights Wednesday July 3 & 17 Food available every Saturday 12noon-2pm Wakes catered for The Parish of Birstall & Wanlip

Welcome to the Lord’s Table (September to December 2013) A 10 week course to prepare children and young people (aged 7 and above) to receive Holy Communion in the Anglican church. We are inviting parents/guardians to register with us Sep 3: 11am Information Session (after the Altogether Service at 10am) Sep 8: Registration/Preparation Course: St James, Birstall Sundays 1011am, dates 2/3 Sundays per month (not half term) Can’t make Sunday mornings? St Nicholas Wanlip VH/Church: we are canvassing numbers interested before setting up a course Both courses include teaching and worship at Church Services and require completion of all sessions, with some

homework. Further details please email your names/addresses/children’s ages to: for an information pack or contact Sunday School Leader Rose Parrott on 07811 662235

Film Presentations From Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council ‘Lincoln’ Friday September 13 (150mins)

Daniel Day-Lewis won a BAFTA for ‘Best Actor’ in this magnificent film which follows our summer break. In 1865 President Lincoln struggled to bring 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 tasks? Les Miserables’’ Friday October 11 (158 mins)

This epic musical drama film has great power. Anne Hathaway deserved her Oscar as Best Supporting Actress. Hugh Jackman won an Oscar nomination for his fearless portrayal of the convict Jean Valjean who only just survives starvation. We have to laugh at Helena Bonham Carter and Baron Cohen has Innkeeper and wife. Even if you have already seen this film, you’ll still be entranced. ‘Hyde Park on Hudson’ will be shown on Friday November 8. 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.

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Sessions are free Are you retired and have commuter 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 General Fitness sessions Tuesdays 12pm and chair-based exercises sessions Wednesdays 1-2pm for people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions at the Peepul Centre, Orchardson Avenue, Leic. Sessions 50p each. A variety of massage and aromatherapy treatments are now being offered to members and non-members of CLASH2012 at the Peepul Centre, by a fully qualified individual at a very discounted price (prices range from £9 to £17 dependent on treatment). Please contact Michelle Ridgeway on 07847435770 for further information or to book an appointment.

other instrument and record and produce their own music. Bursaries may be available. For more info contact SVMC on 0116 266 4153 or email or find us on Facebook or Twitter. Soar Valley Music Centre also runs After School Music Lessons in a wide range of instruments for all ages and abilities, junior and senior orchestras, ensembles, a Musical Theatre group and a Big Band. We are now taking bookings for September so if you have always wanted to learn to play an instrument or want to take up an instrument again that you played as a child, please contact us. Places may also still be available on one of our summer Music Weeks which run from Monday July 15 to Friday July 19 (Music Week) and Monday August 5 – Friday August 9 (Music Technology Week), 10am to 3pm, £32 per child per week. Please ring 0116 266 4153 to book a place.


Gunns’ Gym

Housing Meeting

Leicester Theatre

Are you interested in ‘self build’ housing for family life or for retirement? or in Cohousing, or in creating a Community Land Trust? A public meeting is being held to discuss how such housing could be promoted in the South Charnwood area Wednesday July 10 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall at the Old School Rooms, corner of School Lane/Birstall Road, Birstall Contact 07724 812 359 for more details

Front-of-house, outreach, communications & events •••

Presentation Evening Saturday July 6, 10.30am-6pm Presentations at 2.30pm Birstall Village Hall Street busker, vocalists, dance displays, robot man, Olympic gold medallist Nicola White For members only but adults admitted for £5

The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust

Charity Shield Football Match Kasabian Kick Off for Joe Sunday July 28 at 2pm Quorn Football Club, Farley Way Stadium, Quorn, Leics LE12 8RB Leicestershire rock legends Kasabian will be kicking off in support of the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust in the first JHMT Charity Shield all-stars game. An all-star Kasabian line-up led by bass player Chris Edwards will be up against a Leicester City Foxes Legends team including Muzzy Izzet and JHMT patron and former England and Tigers captain Martin Johnson. Admission to the match is by donation (suggested minimum £3 for adults and children) with under 5s free. All proceeds towards the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust CPR training and defibrillator campaign. For more information about the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust visit: http//

Volunteer opportunities

Music for Everyone

Drop in sessions for people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal condition to gather information and to have a general chat about these conditions – sessions held every Monday 10am to 12noon, room 7 Peepul Centre, Orchardson Avenue, Leic LE4 6DP.

Are you (or do you know someone who is) wondering what to do post 16 after GCSEs? Do you love music? Would you like to train for a career in the music industry? Soar Valley Music Centre is a music charity based in Belgrave which runs full time BTEC music courses. Courses available include Level 1 and Level 2 BTEC certificates (equivalent to 3 or 5 GCSEs) and Level 3 BTEC diplomas in Performance and Technology (equivalent to 3 ‘A’ Levels) Students can learn or improve their guitar playing, DJing, vocals or any



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Summer art classes LOCAL PROFESSIONAL artist, Sue Faulks is launching her new art studio in Birstall, with various workshops/courses for adults and children, throughout the summer. A wide range of media, subject matter, skills and techniques will be taught, in a small group setting. “The studio is a warm, friendly relaxing environ-

‘Get Creative!‘ Summer Art Courses, lead by professional artist Sue Faulks, from her new Birstall studio. Specialised, expert, small group tuition.

Artsy Videos for Teens (13 – 15 Years) Create illustrations for a group stop motion/ animation video!


August, 10 – 4 pm

£40 Portrait Workshop for Adults (In pencil & pastel) 24th August, 10 – 4 pm £40 For more details visit: or contact Sue on: 0116 2205164 or 07984197114 *Price includes equipment & refreshments. Lunch not included.


Organised by ex-solder Tom Scott and his partner Amy, the day starts at 2pm on Saturday July 27, until 8pm. There will be a hog roast, bouncy castle, face painting, a mechanical bull, live music and karaoke. All proceeds will support Help for Heroes and Scotty’s Little Soldiers – a charity set up by the widow of Tom’s former troop corporal, who died in Afghanistan. It provides treats and holidays for the children of military personnel who have lost their lives on duty.

will be published on Aug 2. The copy deadline is July 19.

5th – 9th August, 10- 12 noon £50 *£90 for 2 siblings


A FAMILY fun day at The Trees on Stonehill Avenue, Birstall will be raising money for two military charities.


Covering a wide range of media/ subject matter


Fun day

The August issue of

Art for Children (7– 13 years)

we can deliver bulk loads of these items, call or visit for further details


Birstall & Wanlip NHW


Pic: Sue (above) & her studio

ment, where you can learn new skills and rediscover old ones” says Sue. For more details or to book your place on the course contact Sue on: 0116 2205164/mobile 07984 197114 or visit her website: Sue is fully CRB checked.

Garden party BIRSTALL PARISH Councillor Tony Fowler attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May. “It was a very nice day” said Tony, “I was struck by how the Royal Family came over as ordinary people.” The event was attended by The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, as well as 8000 guests. “Kate was very natural and relaxed and was clearly a nice person, and I was surprised that the Duke of Edinburgh was quite small, he looks a good 6 foot tall on TV” said Tony.



Orphanage needs funds A LOCAL couple who started a foundation to support an African orphanage are appealing for support to help complete the latest stage of their work. Joy and David Bark formed the Bark Foundation in 2008 following a visit to Cameroon. The first project was building a £45,000 nursery complex which opened in 2010. They are now looking to build a volunteer and training centre at the orphanage, hopefully completed by November this year. modation where they will be safe and Joy explained: “There are now 137 secure. There will be eight bedrooms in children, bringing an urgent need for total and a large training/theatre facility TWO LEADING local charities are set to benefit by around £3,500 more people on the site to attend to the underneath.” needs of this huge family 24/7 but the as a result of Birstall Golf Club’s 100 Hole challenge in June. Local construction firms are being orphanage is ‘bursting at the seams’ and asked for small contributions, like a tin Introduced in 2003, the event is beFarrell. there is no spare accommodation – so coming a key part of the club’s annual They set off at 4am and finished the we are building some! There is no money of paint or a bag of sand, and residents are being invited to purchase a brick for programme with this year’s benefiting challenge at around 9pm after 17 hours for wages but local people are willing to a donation of £1 – 9000 are needed. charities being LOROS and the Air Ambu- of play, with only a couple of short rework for ‘bed and board’. Overseas volA fundraising concert has been organlance. freshment stops along the way. unteers taking training expertise into the ised for Saturday October 19 at Birstall This year’s participants included DavDavid Clark said his feel “felt like orphanage currently have to lodge out in Methodist Church by Cliff Richard imperid Clark, head professional, Martin Weav- glass” after completing the challenge, the town and travel daily by taxi. That sonator Will Chandler – tickets are £7.50 er, who captains the club’s first team makes a volunteer expensive and the while all four players went to work on including refreshments. that is currently leading the county the Tuesday with sore feet and heavy legs. orphanage does not get the full benefit Online donations: men’s league, Marc Green and Josh Club Captain Mel Whiteman said: “We due to time lost travelling. Our new building will provide them with on-site accom- had a total of over £3,000 raised on the ate day, and there are more donations to come. It is a real physical effort to do 100 holes with just a couple of short breaks and we’re all proud of their efforts.” Birstall Golf Club has a busy summer ahead of it, as two major events are FAMILIES CAN join an Olympic gold medal winner and ride being hosted alongside a full club prothe cycle route through Watermead Country Park later this gramme. The Midlands Boys Championship will month. be staged on Thursday July 4 and the Leicestershire County Council is invitMidlands PGA Mark Group Open – part ing people to explore the Connect2 offThe August issue of of the Midlands PGA Order of Merit series – is being held on Thursday Aug 1 road cycleway with Dani King, a gold THE BIRSTALL POST medal winner from London 2012. and Friday Aug 2.

100 hole golf challenge

Olympic champion’s ride

will be published on Aug 2. The copy deadline is July 19.

Pic: (l-r) Dave Clark, Martin Weaver, Marc Green and Josh Farrell celebrate finishing the 100 hole challenge.

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Cabinet member for transport, Peter Osborne, said: “What better guide for our new Connect2 cycleway than Olympic star Dani King? She’s inspiring many of us to get our bikes out, for fitness and fun.” The free event, which kicks off with a BMX stunt show, takes place from 3.455pm on Tuesday July 2 with the 30 min ride starting at 4pm. It starts from the White Horse pub, White Horse Lane. The ride is open to people of all ages and children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking is advisable – to reserve your place, please contact 0116 3053179 or For more information, see

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was found. I hope this goes to show that targeting the right people does make a big difference. This I will continue to do with the help and support that I have received from everyone in Birstall. During the past five months I have asked for the community to be vigilant and pick up a phone when they see someone or something suspicious in their street. The response has been good but looking at ‘Spotted Birstall’ on Facebook it’s clear some people are still not A Very Cruel Scam sharing information with me. I urge The basis of all confidence tricks is the use of charm and deceit to gain the trust of everyone to pass what they know to us, victims who are then misled into acting less as only then can I be sure that I am cautiously than they would normally. They concentrating my efforts in pursuing finish up not only cheated out of their those that are causing our village the money but also feeling betrayed and angry. most harm. Dating services have been around for a As you will see from these figures very long-time; from the village matchmakcrime has begun to rise again, although er to newspaper adverts to dating agencies six of these were attempts. I am finding and speed-dating. Many people have formed happy and long-lasting relationships that sheds are being targeted across the village. Criminals are forcing their way through these services. With the advent of in but then not stealing anything. This is the internet, on-line dating websites have taking place on allotments and in peobeen established on which an applicant ple’s secured rear gardens. provides details of themselves and a profile You will notice that there are suddenof the partner they are seeking. Unfortunately no Fraud Offences recorded in Birstall. ly, thieves have found it very easy to abuse this openness in a callous way at a time This is because Leicestershire Police when people are emotionally vulnerable. have decided to record ‘bilkings of petUsing the victim’s preferences, the thief rol’ now as Theft. Leicestershire Police can easily construct a fake respondent who is currently trying to tackle Theft of appears to be their ideal partner. The relaPetrol as it’s linked in with Theft of tionship develops on-line and the victim is number plates from vehicles and other drawn in with increasing enthusiasm. They offences. New operations are currently are, in effect, seduced by this non-existent being implemented. person and are keen to meet them. A date Assaults have also risen dramatically, is arranged and eagerly awaited. Then, however five were against the person. closer to the time when the victim is emoThe rest were harassment type offences. tionally committed, a problem arises. It is, I am pleased to see more people comof course, a fiction but the solution always ing forward and reporting violent crime involves money. The victim is an easy target and, anxious to us. I am hopeful confidence will connot to delay the first meeting, provides cash tinue to grow within the village and to solve the problem. Then the process reports will increase. repeats itself until the victim eventually From PC 688 Des Hearnshaw – becomes suspicious or runs out of money. Beacon Officer But however it ends, they are left not just Email: out of pocket but hurt, bereft and betrayed derek.hearnshaw@leicestershire.pnn.poli when their new love just disappears and all their romantic dreams are dashed. Tel: 0116 2677355 or 101 Twitter: Do not be put off from on-line dating @birstallpolice but remember that there is a real risk.


NHW news

& crime report

Always be careful and treat initial contacts with caution before becoming too committed. The need for money will usually be cleverly constructed so that it seems like your idea to send it. Be very suspicious of any hint of this kind and never fully trust anybody until you have met them. Even then, let the relationship develop before making any serious commitments. The fraudster is only after your bank balance and will soon move on to the next victim if they realise you are not going to be an easy touch. Genuine respondents will be just as keen to meet you as you are to meet them and are very unlikely to raise any obstacles that require your help at this stage. 0116 267 6397

Crime Report : Birstall & Wanlip, May 2013 Assaults 11, burglary 1, burglary non-dwelling 6, damage 3, damage to motor vehicle 5, drugs 1, public order 1, robbery 1, theft 13, theft cycle 2, theft from motor vehicle 1, theft of motor vehicle 3, theft stores 4 For the first time in a very long time Birstall has had a period of rest from crime. Since the arrest and prison sentence of my main target we have not yet had a Burglary Dwelling and other crimes have also reduced. The one listed here was an attempt burglary on Greengate Lane where a mark on a window

Starlight’s summer show STARLIGHT THEATRE School’s end of term show was a mixture of musical theatre and dance which was performed over four nights to rave reviews at Groby Community College. “All the students performed brilliantly and had a great time” said principal Tracy Liggins. She added “We have been really busy this year and have just spent the last weekend in Skegness at the British Theatre Dance Association’s Gala weekend where the students performed on Butlin’s Centre Stage.We are looking


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forward to next year already.” Seventeen year old Lilie Scott from Birstall, a teacher and student of Starlight from the age of three, graduated this summer from Leicester College of Performing Arts after completing a 3 year course. “Although it will be sad to see her leave, we wish her success in her career as a professional dancer, and offer her our congratulations” said Tracy. Starlight Theatre school offers dance training in a variety of subjects from two years upwards. If you would like any further information or would like to book your child in for a taster session, then please contact 0116 2355495 or visit the website


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Cubs make bird boxes THINGS WERE very noisy down at Birstall Scouts this month with the banging of hammers and rasping of saws. Scout Leader Ged Sessions explains: “The Cubs have spent two nights building bird boxes. After measuring them out and marking up the wood they got down to the hard work of sawing the wood to size and fitting all the panels together before attaching the roof and covering it with roofing felt. It was a good job they had to

share the saws and hammers, because 26 kids hammering at the same time would have given me a serious headache.” When complete the Cubs met up on a Saturday morning with Dale Osborne,

Watermead Country Park’s Senior ranger. He explained what type of birds would use the boxes and showed the cubs the best places to position the boxes. He installed the first box and will put the rest up over the coming weeks. The Cubs noticed that boxes fitted a couple of years ago by previous Cubs were already providing homes for this year’s blue tits. Pics: (top) Oliver & Jacob sawing while Charlie looks on: Watermead Park Ranger Dale Osborne with cubs Charlie, Jake, Ben, Daniela & Bailey

Boy’s ride for charity A SEVEN year old boy from Birstall cycled 23 miles to raise money for charity. Jack Ruddle, a pupil at Riverside school, set off on his bike on Sunday June 2 around Rutland water to raise money for Heart Link, a charity that he himself has benefitted from. His dad Matt said: “He decided himself that he alone wanted to give something back to this amazing charity. He raised a fantastic £678 on his challenge. Well done Jack!”

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Jack, from Lambourne Road, said: “I really enjoyed it and I felt like I could have gone a bit further. I was looking forward to my ice cream half way round!”


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WI reflect on past IN 2007 Birstall and Wanlip WI were in their 90th year and struggling to survive with only 13 members. They were contemplating closure but in only 5 years times have changed and on June 3 30 ladies celebrated their 95th anniversary in 1918 style at the Platform Café at Leicester North Station. We are thriving again and last year we were one of the fastest growing WI’s in Leicestershire. Some members dressed in costume of the era and we ate our meal whilst the glorious evening sun bathed the Leicester skyline. During the evening we looked at memorabilia from our past including a copy of Home and Country the very first National Federation WI journal of 1919. While some things have changed the principles of the movement remain much the same. In 1918 Mrs Fielding Johnson was voted the first president of Birstall and Wanlip WI when most of the ladies wore large hats and lived on the Loughborough Road in houses with names but no numbers. Super musical entertainment was

provided throughout the evening by Mick Roff and we ended our very enjoyable night with a singsong and a celebration cake. Andrea Scott’s costume won the competition cup. Our next meeting is at 7.15 pm on July 1 at Highcliffe School when Sandra Moore will talk to us about characters in Belgrave Cemetery (coincidently we had a lovely view of the cemetery from the Platform café) and the competition will be a Victorian Style Object. From Birstall & Wanlip WI

Guitar workshop A LOCAL guitar teacher is offering an improvisation workshop. Simon Faulks is an experienced teacher and performer on the live music circuit and says his two hour workshop will teach the building blocks of improvisation and provide an opportunity to jam with others. There are six places available for the workshop on Friday August 2 from 10am until noon. Contact Simon on 0795 437 9482 for details.

Farmers’ markets THE COUNTY Council has linked up with Leicestershire Food Links for a series of farmers’ markets to be set up at both Watermead and Beacon Hill country parks over the coming summer months. Produce on offer will include organic meats, cakes, dog treats, locallybrewed beer, olives and savoury pies. Nick Fell, the County Council’s Countryside Manager, said: “It’s an innovative move to welcome local suppliers and we’re delighted to be collaborating with Leicestershire Food Links.” The dates for the farmers’ markets are: Watermead North July 21 and September 8 and Beacon Hill, August 11 and September 29. Open 10am5pm.


Church news Another jubilee for Birstall! In this year of anniversaries and celebrations, we in Birstall have a very special anniversary of our own, and one well worth celebrating. It will be 50 years in November since the extension to St. James was opened, to accommodate the growing congregation, which ensued from the building of new estates in the village. Since then it has hosted all manner of occasions and hospitality, from weddings to baptisms, from concerts to fashion parades. To mark the 50th anniversary we would love to hear from you with your memories of St James’ church – did you attend Sunday school, were you christened or married in the church or were you in the choir? Were your parents (or grandparents) married here? Do you have photographs of any occasion you have attended, or programmes or posters? If so, please get in touch with me, Leigh Reid, on (0116)2676550. I look forward to hearing from you with your memories.

A plea on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers For some years now the local churches at Birstall and Wanlip have supported, with donations of food and sometimes clothing, the work of the Leicester City of Sanctuary. Currently Leicester receives up to 43 applications a week for help for homeless refugees and fugitives from political oppression. Small donations of money are always welcome but there is now a particular appeal for toiletries for men and women, and gifts of toys such as simple, colourful books, play bricks, dolls and drawing materials for children. If you are able to help with any of these items, they can be left at St. James church on Saturday mornings between 10am and 12 noon or contact Rose Parrott on 2674755. From Beryl McHugh, Birstall Parish Church

Garden Trail Result The Garden Trail, around gardens in Allington Drive and Blenheim Road area, was blessed with good weather. It raised £2945.45 for Cancer Research and Birstall Methodist Church. The church is grateful to the many folk who helped on the day; the retailers who sold programmes, especially the garden owners and the sponsors, Birstall Garden Centre. It seems highly likely that this Garden Trail may well be the last. It has been run by Birstall Methodist Church for 24 years and has provided a lot of pleasure for many people down the years.

Maintenance Week Starting on Monday July 15 the premises will receive attention during the ‘Maintenance Week’ to cover a variety of tasks, the largest single task being the redecoration of the Lounge. Senior Property Steward John Towson will be organising the week, and will be pleased to hear from volunteers who can help – whether it be half a day or all week.

Coffee Shop Holiday The Methodist Coffee shop will be closed for two weeks from July 15.

Changes To Our Worship Area Birstall Methodist Church has appointed Mr Nigel Walter of architects ‘Archangel’ from Cambridge to look at the feasibility of altering our Worship Area. One of the main objectives will be to make the worship area link more suitably into the rest of the premises. Nigel will visit on Monday July 1 when he will meet members of the Church Leadership Team and the Property Committee. Everyone involved with the church will be included in the later consultation process on plans. The firm have recently been involved with work at Oadby Methodist Church.

All Saints Or St Gabriels Or Edgehill Road Many Birstall residents worship at one of the three Methodist Churches in Belgrave (Claremont St, Harrison Road and Edgehill Road). The premises at Edgehill Road have caused considerable problems and the wor-

shippers there are expected to move to All Saints Anglican Church, as this is used by the Anglican community only on Sunday afternoons by the Leicester United Christian Fellowship. On 14th July there is to be a Circuit Service at their new Venue. (It is the church with the statue of an angel near the Gypsy Lane/Catherine Street/Barkby Road Junction).


GCR war weekend

Methodist Ministers In Triathlon The sport of Triathlon combines the three disciplines of swimming, cycling & running. On June 8 a Methodist relay team went to Blenheim Palace to take part. Consisting of our Minister Rev Rachel Parkinson (who swam 750 metres in the lake), Rev Dave Warnock (cycled 12 miles) and Ann Cairns (Syston) ran the final 3 miles. The trio came a creditable 107th out of 270 participating teams. From Tony Moore, Birstall Methodist Church

School of Theology in London The Metropolitan Tabernacle is holding its 38th annual series of lectures from Tuesday July 2 to Thursday July 4 this year. The theme is: ‘Recovery from Spiritual Decline’ and there are 12 speakers from all around the UK. Although the name ‘School of Theology’ sounds rather ‘heavy’, the speakers are all very practical in what they have to say and there is much welcome fellowship among the Christians attending. We plan to have a representative there and hope to give a short report next month. You may be interested in the excellent bookshop at the Tabernacle [], where you can also order CD and DVD recordings of this and previous Schools. The Tabernacle is situated in the Elephant and Castle area of London and is known as the church where the famous 19th Century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon was minister for 38 years, often preaching to a congregation of several thousand people. There is much free information which you can download, see

THOUSANDS OF visitors from the UK and abroad descended on the Great Central Railways for its Wartime Weekend in June. Rothley and Birstall stations were in Nazi occupied territory but no-one seems to have told the Americans – they had set up a base camp at the Greenacres café, complete with jeeps, half tracks and machine guns. As well as re-enactors in the uniforms of Allied and Axis forces, there were dozens in civilian clothes of the 1940s including many children, some dressed as refugees.

Birstall activities With the holiday season upon us, the next in the series of Discussion Topics is planned for September. Simon, our evangelist, has now visited very street in the village and is returning to those roads which he first visited some four years ago. He is continuing his research into people’s views on ‘Life’s Big Questions’. If you have already been visited and have any questions about what was discussed, then please get in touch at the telephone number below. Our Sunday Services will be held in the Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School (LE4 3DL) at 10.45am on July 7 and 14. Please ring for the venues on the other Sundays in July and August. Further information: Please ring 0116 2214883. From Anne Taylor, Birstall Independent Baptist Church

Kids’ activities THE PLATFORM café at Greenacres will be offering activities for children this summer. Located on The Sidings near to Leicester North GCR station, the café will be open on Mondays from 10am – 4pm from July 15. There will be colouring, craft and outdoor activities to keep the little ones entertained plus kids can eat for £1 with every full priced adult meal purchased (excluding August bank holiday). Twitter: @The Sidings LE3 Facebook with Greenacres

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



Birstall BAG’s cancer corner Understanding Personalised Cancer Treatment Increasingly the term ‘personalised treatment’ is being used in the context of cancer and Birstall BAG’s thought you might like more information about what this actually means to those diagnosed with cancer. Doctors and Scientists are learning more and more about what drives cancer to develop and grow. With some cancers Doctors are already carrying out complex tests on biopsy samples in order to identify the specific genetic changes that are making the cancer grow or causing it to resist treatment. There are an endless amount of genetic changes and who knows how many more to be discovered and the combination of changes varies considerably from one cancer to another. Identifying in the laboratory a particular change, which in genetics is called a mutation, is just the first step. In order for the mutation to have any significance for treatment a means of testing biopsy samples for that mutation consistently needs to be available. A drug to target that particular mutation must then be developed or found and finally the drug must go through many stages of lengthy clinical trials often initially in vitro (cells in the laboratory) before being trialled in humans. Eventually if the trial of this targeted

drug show benefit over the existing or in addition to available treatment a license to use it will be granted. Within the UK in the NHS a further level of approval looking the full breadth of effectiveness is necessary before it can be used. An example of a targeted drug used to treat one particular mutation in lung cancer is called Tarceva. Tarceva is a tablet and it works by blocking particular proteins called epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) in the cancer cells. Cancers that have EGF receptors are called EGFR positive. Between 10 and 15 people out of every 100 with non small cell lung cancer (10 to 15%) have EGFR positive cancer. Doctors test the biopsy sample to see if the cells have EGFR receptors and if positive the patient will be prescribed Tarceva. Whilst this treatment is not a cure if the patient responds they will have a much better quality of life and live longer. Many cancers now have targeted treatments available if the particular mutation relevant to the treatment is found within the biopsy sample and hopefully in the future, as doctors and scientists learn more about genetic mutation in cancer, the unique code of all cancer patients disease will be identified and the drugs they are prescribed will

be totally personalised to their unique number and variety of genetic mutations. Maybe one day we really will have the means cure or control all cancers! Macmillan Cancer Support free phone help line 0808 808 0000 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

Planning P/13/1001/2: 24 Fieldgate Crescent – double story side and single story rear extension P/13/0977/2: 23 Sandgate Ave – single storey rear extension P/13/1046/2: 4 Spinney Rise – the erection of a single storey rear extension extending beyond the rear wall of the original house by 6m, with a maximum height of 3.165m, and height to the eaves of 2.6m P/13/1016/2: 37 The Meadway – the erection of a single storey rear extension extending beyond the rear wall of the original house by 4m with a maximum height of 3m and height to the eaves of 3m.

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SINGERS FROM Birstall were part of a 425 strong choir that filled the stage at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall. They were part of Anne Hughes’ Singing for Fun choir, taking part in a ‘Raising the Roof for LOROS’ concert. The programme featured songs from the shows and popular music hits, conducted by Anne Hughes. The concert raised £12,000 for LOROS.

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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 BOWLS for sale: Size 0, £40, Size 1 £40, Size 4 £40, Bowls trolley £20, Various bags £5 each. Tel: 0116 2675698 PONDOVAC ‘Oase’ only used once cost £100 from F.I.S.H. bargain, £70 Tel: 07874187895. Garden furniture, table oblong slatted wood on very heavy cast frame with two matching chairs, £45 Tel: 07874187895. Bedroom chair commode padded seat vgc Tel: 07874187895

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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.

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Bp13 07 360  

Birstall Post (360) July 2013

Bp13 07 360  

Birstall Post (360) July 2013