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the Birstall post Y O U R




No. 362

Longslade: best ever GCSEs


STAFF AND students at Longslade are celebrating after the college achieved its best ever GCSE results. The number of students gaining five the Leicestershire average. or more A* to C grades including EngPrincipal Kirstie Black said: “Staff and lish & Maths was 60%, a students are celebrating rise of 21 percentage points their best results ever. The from 2012, when Longslade past year has been somewas below the Government’s what challenging for the floor target of 40%. school and the results show Having been near the dedication and commitment bottom of county league by students and staff.” tables for GCSE performThe percentage of stuance for the last three dents achieving A*- C in any years, Longslade is now subject rose from last year, Pic: Principal Kirstie Black mid-table and in line with to 77%.

Mrs Black added: “The success is highly impressive given that Ofqual were warning that new GCSEs would be harder and marking tougher this year. I am delighted that steps have been taken this year to allow students to succeed and secure places both at Longslade and other local colleges as they move towards building their careers. The school will continue to build on its success and early next week I will be writing to parents to inform them of developments at Longslade over the coming year.” Longslade’s top performing GCSE Continued on page 2

Birstall bake off AMATEUR BAKERS in the village are being invited to take part in a ‘Great British Bake Off’ style event at the White Horse. Charlotte Foy from the White Horse said: “We have hosted a number of Macmillan's Worlds Biggest Coffee Mornings over the last few years and see it as a very worthwhile cause. “The idea this year is to include a baking competition similar to the television programme ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and would like to ask any

Continued on page 2

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GCSEs cont. from page 1

students were Patience Ablett (9 x A*, 2 x A) and Saad Khan (8 x A*, 3 x A). At A-level, the number of students at Longslade achieving a grade C or above was 64%, a slight increase on last year. Longslade students achieved a 98% pass rate. Leicestershire’s best performing state school at GCSE and A-level was Beauchamp College, Oadby. 80% of GCSE students gained five or more A* - C grades including English & Maths, and 89% of A-level students gained a grade C or higher. Nationally, the number of students at GCSE gaining an A* – C grade was 68.1%, down 1.3% on 2012.

Pic: silver medallist Dev Vagani

Medal winning Birstall boy WINNING A silver medal for England is his greatest achievement to date says eleven year old Dev Vagani from Birstall. Dev, a former pupil at Highcliffe school, won his medal at the Taekwondo UITF World championships in Hatfield last month. He started the sport when he was six and has competed in various national championships, winning 45 medals altogether. “I feel very proud in winning a silver medal in the World championships for England, I hope that I have made everyone proud of me” said Dev. “I like Taekwondo because it keeps me fit and healthy and teaches me to respect and care for people” he added.

Hair donated for charity A FIFTEEN YEAR old girl had her long hair cut off to help support a charity that makes wigs for children. Paula Wilmot, of Sycamore Road, had 10 inches of her hair removed by stylist Jemma Hale(pictured right with Paula) at Shapes salon on Birstall Road.

18 months ago Paula’s mum had breast cancer and having seen what she

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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.”

went through decided to support the Little Princess Trust, which uses donation of real hair to make wigs for children undergoing cancer treatment. Anyone donating to the Coping With Cancer charity at the salon was given a free wash and blow dry. Luke Halford from Shapes said: “We are delighted to support this charity, as we all know someone who has suffered from cancer.” Bake continued from page 1 amateur local bakers to bring their best offerings to the White Horse on Saturday September 21.” Categories will include: best cake, best savoury item and best young baker (under 16). The cakes, pastries and breads will be judged and tasted and the remaining amount will be portioned up for sale the next day at the Coffee Morning. “Baking has become so popular again and we hope this will be a fun event that young and old can get involved in as well as raising funds for Macmillan” said Charlotte. The judges will include local experts and the winners for each category will be announced at the coffee morning where they will receive their prizes. Look out for further details or call 2671038 for more information.


Birstall bargain hunters tour village yard sale THE FIRST ‘Big Birstall Yard Sale’ has been hailed a success, with 90 households taking part raising £721 for charity. Organised by Fiona Barnes of Gwendolin Avenue, the event saw householders selling off unwanted items in their front gardens, as well as raffle tickets. Promoted with a Facebook page and leafleting, the event, on Saturday July 27, saw hundreds of people tou

ring the village for bargains, guided on their way by a map printed by Birstall printers Flexpress. Colin Pole on Sycamore Road was

selling a variety of items including lawnmowers, books and clothes. He said: “I think this village yard sale is a great idea and could really take off, Fiona has worked so hard organising it”. Fiona said: “Getting it organised was a bit manic but when it all came together it felt lovely, people have told me they loved it and are asking when the next one is. “It’s success is one of the reasons I love living in Birstall, I don’t think it could have worked in a lot of places, it would not have got this level of support but in Birstall it’s a community thing, people like to do stuff and keep Birstall

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Boy who kept fighting A BIRSTALL boy who bravely battled with cancer for most of his life has died. Oliver Burton (11) was first diagnosed with cancer when he was three. He died at Leicester Royal Infirmary on Saturday August 3 surrounded by his family. Loved by many, Oliver inspired people with his courage and his character and will be missed by the many people who met him. The funeral service was held at St James Church, Birstall on August 19


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Pics: (from top) Colin Pole; a yard sale on Wanlip Lane; organiser Fiona Barnes & her daughter Gracie; Gary Clarke of Stonehill Avenue

special.” Fiona organised the raffle and the prizes, many donated by local businesses, and the £721 raised has been donated to seven charities including Rainbows and Macmillan nurses. The raffle was drawn by Birstall’s Oliver Burton (11) who sadly lost his fight with cancer a few days later on August 3. Fiona plans on making the Birstall yard sale a yearly or twice yearly event.

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SEP 2013

City Council plans for traveller sites


PLANS FOR gypsy and traveller sites on Greengate Lane and Red Hill Way have been submitted to Leicester City Council. The plans for Greengate Lane are: gate that will be monitored by a CCTV demolition of two dwellings, six pitches camera for gypsies and travellers, six amenity • there will be a “robust approach” buildings, hard standing, parking areas to any anti social behaviour at the sites and landscaping. • the maximum number of caravans At Red Hill Way on the on each pitch will be site of the old Corah two Sports ground the plans • no livestock will are for 10 pitches and 10 be permitted amenity buildings • visitors in caraFor both sites the landvans will be limited owner is Leicester City to two weeks except Council and the applicant in exceptional ciris Framework Housing cumstances Association. The City Council The plans state that: announced its inten• the boundaries of the tions to provide the site will be designed to sites in February prevent unauthorised 2012 – the proposal expansion was met with fierce • the site entrances will opposition from local Pic: the Red Hill Way site be protected by a metal residents who attend-

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ed public meetings and signed petitions. The LE4 Action Group was formed to campaign against the proposals. Spokesman Terry McGreal said: “The LE4 Action Group would reassure residents that this is not the end of the matter. This is not a done deal. We remain committed to opposing these sites and will continue to press the City Council to re-think this hugely unpopular decision. “There are strong planning reasons why permission should not be granted on both of these sites. The Action Group is being advised by a leading firm of planning solicitors and will make appropriate representations in response to these applications. The decision is now in the hands of the City Council’s planning committee who will consider the applications in about three month’s time. You can still play your part by submitting your own objections and we will shortly be arranging a meeting of the Action Group to provide residents with help and guidance on how best you can do this. Please go to our web-site or register your contact details with us by e-mail at and we will keep

you informed.” The planning application can be viewed on the planning section of Leicester City Council’s website. The applications are 20131494 and 20131493. You can object to the plans via the website or by writing to Planning, Leicester City Council, New Walk Ctr, Welford Place LE1 6ZG. The deadline is September 12.

Gala crime concern A MAN was stabbed and there were three arrests for violent offences linked to Birstall’s gala weekend in June. On the Saturday, seven incidents were reported to the Police and on the Sunday there were eight: these included two for damage to property, three assaults and two thefts. Birstall’s Beacon Officer PC Des Hearnshaw said: “The incidents of crime may not have occurred at the event but can be linked due to the people involved having been present and drinking there that day. The School Lane playing field is designated as an Alcohol Dispersal Zone and during the gala weekend four people were told to leave by Police and not to return to the event. Alcohol was confiscated from 7-10 adults and from six people aged under 18.” Speaking at Birstall Parish Council’s August meeting PC Hearnshaw suggested the Council could consider improving security at next year’s event. He told the Birstall Post: “I am also holding a Police meeting to discuss our approach to next year’s Gala so perhaps more officers may be present during the evening in the village. “If nothing more this will help with public confidence as the Gala in itself was a safe and successful event, where many thousands of people enjoyed themselves.”

Parish Council notes A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on August 12. Clerk Steve Blackburn gave a presentation to councillors on the work of the clerk, office staff and estates team. The chairman announced Cllr David Gaskell had resigned. PC Des Hearnshaw reported that assaults had risen dramatically in June and July. There had been eight incidents associated with Birstall gala, including a stabbing. Three arrests were made for violent offences over the weekend. PC Hearnshaw commented that people bringing their own alcohol onto the park and drinking all day had contributed to the problems, some of which occurred after the gala and at nearby locations. He suggested that next year the security should be improved. He reminded the Council that there was a street drinking ban on the School Lane playing field. This gives the Police the power to confiscate alcohol. Three candidates were considered for co-option to fill three vacancies on the council. Two were successful: Duncan Le May and Lorraine Amey. There are now two vacancies on the council. Those wishing to be considered for co-option can submit a letter of application to the Council. It was agreed that there was insufficient time to organise a produce and flower show this year. The Gala and Civic functions committee will consider it for next year. The Council agreed to take no action in respect of the ditch beside Meadow Lane. A quote of £3000 has been obtained for a 70 metre fence but there are issues relating to its suitability, durability and any liability the Council may have once it has erected the fence. It was reported that Birstall United Seniors Football club had admitted that some of its volunteers had tipped waste material into the ditch. This has caused problems with flooding on the Meadow Lane allotment. The tipping was reported to Charnwood Borough Council who decided to take no action. The football club agreed to remove the material. Following an inspection, the clerk reported that the ditch would need clearing at the Council’s expense. Planning applications have been submitted for the Meadow Lane access track (P/13/1560/2) and for the Meadow Lane BMX track (P/13/1583/2). It was reported that the council would be meeting with developers Persimmon to discuss the options for a community hall at Hallam Fields. Section 106 money of £465,000 has been allocated for the building. Comment was made that additional funding would be required to provide a worthwhile building. Street Snooker is a kick-wall game that combines snooker and football. It was agreed that further details be obtained for possible installation on the School Lane playing field. It was reported that the County Council propose to close the overflow car park at the end of Meadow Lane due to the prevalence of drug taking and antisocial behaviour. The Stonehill Avenue toilets were vandalised in June. The Council agreed to spend £1508 on a new boiler for the Estates building. There have been a number of complaints about overgrown allotment plots, and the lack of management of the hazel coppice. The Council agreed to bring the inspections up to date and to advise that the Council will take over management of the hazel coppice unless a maintenance plan is agreed and actioned.

THE BIRSTALL POST SEP 2013 5 Pic: April Palmer (right) and her daughter Katie with their Royal scarecrow family

Allotments open day KATE, WILLIAM and baby George made an appearance at Red Hill allotments open day. Many plot holders took part in the best scarecrow competition and April and Katie Palmer’s Royal scarecrow family came first. A steady stream of visitors enjoyed the other attractions which included tea and cakes, a produce stall and a bughouse workshop. The day raised £800 which will be spent on site improve-

ments. There are 109 plots at Red Hill and eight vacancies. For details contact Rita Randall on 0116 2993056


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Day on the farm for Birstall Brownies AN EVENING at Stonehurst Farm in Mountsorrel was the highlight of the summer term for 1st Birstall Brownies. The evening started with a promise ceremony in the picnic barn, followed by a tour of the farm on a tractor and trailer. The girls then held a shorn fleece, collected eggs and visited all the animals. While holding rabbits and guinea pigs in the small animal barn they watched young swallows making their first flights from the nest

onto the beams. Their guide than took the girls to the activity barn where they could swing on ropes and crawl through the strawbale tunnels. When the girls were asked “What was the best part?” most of them said: “all of it!” Pic: Amber, Grace and Katie emerging from one of the straw bale tunnels at Stonehurst Farm

Trip to New Zealand for Birstall student A STUDENT from Birstall is part of the British team that will be travelling to New Zealand for the White Water Rafting World Championships in November. Alex Joy (21), of Harrowgate Drive, has been kayaking for 10 years and has won national medals but only tried rafting for the first time this year. He said: “A friend I had met through university invited me to come along one weekend to try rafting and give it a go. I instantly took a liking to the sport and it has gone on from there.” White water rafting involves a team of six in an inflatable raft navigating a river that includes sections of white water. Alex is a member of the GB U23 team, who are meeting up once a month to train together. Alex said: “It is not only challenging me physically but mentally. As I have

Colourful gift for café A LOCAL artist has donated a painting to Birstall Parish Council’s Youth Café.

always been competitive and given the new challenge and the competitive side to the sport, I am hooked.”

Stewart Pawley of Sibson Road said: “I paint for fun and I usually paint what I feel like doing and worry about where the picture might end up afterwards. I was impressed with the Youth Café initiative when it was first talked about some years ago. So when I started looking around for a suitable home for this one, the Café came to mind as I felt it might appeal to young people.” He added: “This picture is slightly unusual for me maybe a little more grown up in subject matter. I usually paint picture book-like images in acrylic on canvas or using

pen and wash often depicting strangely coloured birds and animals. Birstall Parish Council Chairman Anne Marshall said: “The Council is delighted to receive this very colourful painting and we think the young people will enjoy it”.

The October issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Oct 4. The copy deadline is Sep 20.




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:

Birstall in 1963 50 years ago, in 1963, the modern extension of St James' Church, Birstall, was completed and dedicated. We are planning to celebrate this on Saturday, October 26 when the church will be open all day with a variety if interesting and entertaining items. The

history of the church will be portrayed through a series of documents, pictures and photographs, right through to the present day, and looking forward to the next 50 years. Apart from church based items we will be showing what life was like in Birstall in 1963, what was happening nationally and globally, what we were doing, wearing, eating and the music we were listening to. There will be performances from the St James' Gospel Choir, an exhibition of wedding dresses and refreshments will be served all day. Other items are still in the planning stage. Now a request, we would like the loan of any photographs of the village in, or about, 1963, and information about any events that took place in Birstall that year, we would especially like to see any photographs of the modern church under construction. If you can help in any way please contact Tony Bloxam, tel. 2675381, all items loaned will be handled with care and returned to the owner. We look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday October 26, it's your Parish Church, come and celebrate with us - you won't be disappointed. Tony Bloxam, St James' Churchwarden, 17 Sandgate Ave, Birstall, Leicester LE4 3HQ

School parking The start of a new school term is always a hectic time and parking is a source of concern for parents and residents alike. When children arrive and leave school each day parents’ behaviour can either protect or endanger them.


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Parking on yellow lines, double parking, pavement parking, blocking driveways and ignoring school crossing patrols ALL place children at risk. Inconsiderate parking is not only selfish but dangerous and can cause accidents. Parking restrictions are in place near schools for a reason – they protect our community’s children from possible injury. Drivers and children need good visibility around schools to be able to see each other. You would not want to be responsible for the injury or possible death of a child. So please think SAFETY over convenience when you take your children to school. PCSO 6611 Mark Butler Birstall & Wanlip Beat Team.

Oliver Burton After the sad loss of ‘Sir’ Oliver Burton on Saturday August 3 aged just 11, there is now a collection set up for people to donate so we can get a remembrance in Birstall in place and give to Oliver’s family. Our thoughts and love are sent to Oliver’s family at this sad time. If you would like to donate please contact Paula on 07934551563 or Kelly 07729660661 Paula Clifford

Questions I read with interest about the shambolic running of our local council. I have a few questions that I would love to have answered, after all it is my money that pays their wages. Why is the footpath along the back of Worcester Avenue not maintained at all? The last three summers a couple of local residents have had to take matters into their own hands and cut back the jungle to make it passable. We then watch with disbelief as some poor soul spends an entire week strimming the banks between a hedge and the football pitch that is hardly ever used, and also the bank that backs onto some of the houses, again an area no one ever uses, meanwhile the willow trees overhang so low you cannot actually walk along the path without moving aside branches in this same area. Speaking of branches why did it take three months and the tree to collapse where you have to walk under it at the corner of the football pitch and the children’s play area?

Let it took less than 3 hours to repair vandalised fencing in the same area that separates one area of grass from another? Hardly a priority, and once again it has been repaired within hours of being vandalised yet again. The shocking state of the grass verge at the car park end of Meadow Lane has been reported many times, recently a huge crater opened up in the verge this would have broken someone’s leg if they had walked over it, again it took weeks to have it filled with sand, which has already disappeared leaving another hole now marked by a breeze block. Today, August 1, predicted to be one of the hottest and most humid days of the year when it would be nice to have a window open, we can’t as we wake to the familiar stink of wet wood being burnt on the field at the end of Meadow lane. I have two questions regarding this antisocial and environmentally unfriendly practice. Firstly why is the wood burnt several times a year in the first instance? It would be much better to shred it and compost it for use on the allotments adjacent. Secondly if this is going to cost too much why burn it after a week of torrential rain when the wood is wet and so makes it stink more? This is left unattended come clocking off time –little wonder the local arsonists burn down storage sheds, they are being set an example by council workmen having bonfires several times a year. I know I am not alone in hoping that the skate park in this area does not go ahead, and that some of this money could be better spent maintaining the footpaths that are used daily by more than the 40 odd number quoted as expressing an interest in a skate park. If the skate park does go ahead what security measures are going to be taken? I would like CCTV installing that covers that area and Meadow Lane that way the drug dealers who openly sell their wares under the shelter and in the car park may move on and also the criminals who fly tip rubbish including tyres may be recorded and caught. I believe that the cost of all these improvements would not be more than the cost of a skate park that will be used by a handful of youths whereas maintaining the footpaths and verges would benefits hundreds of walkers every day. Perhaps before any money is spent you could run survey of local residents to see where they would like the money spent. Name & address supplied Steve Blackburn, Birstall Parish Council Clerk, replies: The Parish Council office is always available to residents to report issues of concern and we can and do pass on reports where the issues are not our responsibility, e.g. street lighting. We would ‘love’ to hear from your correspondent in person as there seems to be nothing in his anonymous letter which would cause anyone any real concern. The footpath he refers to is the responsibility of Leicestershire County Council and we are happy to ask them to deal with its condition. Strimming grass is part of our regular maintenance of our own grounds. Any faults which become aware of are repaired as soon as practicable and depending on the risk to the public but it is often a matter of opinion as to what is urgent and what is not. Now that we are aware of the ‘crater’ and breeze block we will deal with it. Burning green waste saves the Council (and community) thousands of pounds each year over commercial dumping costs and is always carried out when the forecast wind direction is away from houses. As for the proposed skate park, the Council is well aware of the demand for this type of facility; incidences of genuine trouble at Meadow Lane have significantly reduced over recent years - unless your correspondent feels that the presence of any young person constitutes a threat? As with all areas of the village, we rely on community-spirited residents to report suspicious activity to the police, whether it be drug taking or flytipping, and we are grateful for a recent report of flytipping in the ‘Archery Field’ which resulted in Police action and a successful prosecution. Steve Blackburn, Birstall Parish Council Clerk


Noticeboard all details printed free Open Church for Tea, Cakes and Books at St Leonard’s Church, Swithland from 2-4.30pm on Saturday & Sunday, September 7 and 8 Donations in aid of Church funds 1st Rothley Scouts

Vintage Duck Race Bunny’s Field, Rothley Saturday September 7 Gates open 2pm Last race 4.30pm Various stalls including tea, cakes, old traditional games, tombola etc The Bark Foundation presents two concerts catering for differing ‘tastes’ Friday September 20 at 7.30pm

‘After Eight’ a vocal harmony quartet and

‘Fabio A’Cappella’ a vocal quartet in the style of barbershop Admission £5 inc refreshments, tickets available 2677576 At Birstall Methodist Church The ‘Cliff as If’ concert advertised for October 19 has been postponed until Sat Jan 11

Birstall & District Local History Society We commence our meetings again on Thursday September 12 The subject of the talk will be ‘Oh, I do Like to be Beside the Seaside’ Speaker: Felicity Austin 7.30pm. Birstall Village Hall, Birstall Road, Birstall We welcome any visitors who would like to join us for this talk

Saturday Sep 7 at 2.30pm Richard Hill Primary School, Anstey Lane, Thurcaston Admission 50p, children free

Birstall Birdwatching Club

Thursday Sep 12, 10am in aid of Alex’s Wish Beacon Hall Country Park A fantastic morning’s entertainment Tiny Talk, Jo Jingles, goody bag for mums A four week fitness and nutritional plan It costs £20 to sign up at Or call Emma 07903 349475

Presents ‘The Long Journey North’ by Danny Green This is the title of Danny’s book which took him eight years to complete A visual exploration of the Arctic and Subarctic regions of Northern Europe with stunning images showing some of the most beautiful and iconic species that can be found in this varied and pristine landscape Tuesday October 8 at 7.30pm What’s Up! By Carl Baggott Carl has been taking part in a survey of Scotland’s upland birds and he will be telling us about his work and species of this wonderful area. He loves wild places, especially Scotland, and visually recording their beauty and wildlife Tuesday November 12 at 7.30pm Both meetings at The Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Visitors welcome £2 Free on-site parking and easy access Further info from Ken Goodrich 0116 2674813

Macmillan Morning Tea

Rachmaninoff – the Man and his Music

Birstall Flower Club

Mix and Match Carol Farmer Wed Sep 25 at 7.15pm Birstall Village Hall Visitors very welcome Sylvia Simes 2674206

Big Buggy Push

Charity Event at Rothley Court Hotel, Westfield Lane, Rothley, Leic LE7 7LG 0116 2374141 Friday Sep 27 at 10am Tea or Coffee and Cake for £4.95 per person Look forward to seeing you!

by Barry Collett Saturday Nov 9 from 10.30am-4.30pm The Old School Rooms, School Street,

From Classics to Jazz Concert by Rachel Lawson, clarinet / saxophone and Stephen Waterhouse, piano

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Coffee Morning The Rothley Centre in aid of Cancer Research UK Sat Nov 9, 10am-12noon Cake stall, plants, bric-a-brac, books, toys, Phoenix cards, gifts, tombola & raffle. Also this year we will have As New Clothes Entrance £1 to include unlimited coffee/tea & biscuits Everyone welcome – please support Cancer Research UK

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Open Day Sat Sep 7, 10am-6pm Free back stage tours every half an hour Theatre technical demo of light and sound: 12.30-1pm Free comedy hour at 4.15pm Kids’ Comic & Poet Ian Billings 11.30am 2 Funky Dance Explosion 3pm Free workshops in Bollywood dancing, singing and over 55s dance All events are free of charge but booking is recommended by calling 0116 242 3595 or visiting the Curve ticket office Thurcaston & Cropston Gardening Club

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Yard sale

Linda Kimberley-Brooks (ACMA)

On Saturday July 27 a Big Birstall Yard Sale took place. Hazel, myself, family and friends took part and we raised £200 for wishes for kids. A big thank you for all those who visited and helped to raise this sum. Also a big thank you to Fiona Barnes for organising the Yard Sale and making it a success. Daphne Stephenson

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Rothley This day course will look at the composer’s career and play a lot of his wonderful music. Presented by Barry Collett who founded the 75 strong Rutland Sinfonia in 1975 and conducted all its concerts for the first 26 seasons. Barry has made 11 recordings both as conductor and pianist and was presented with honorary life membership of the Elgar society for conducting all of Elgar’s orchestral music. Barry presented our first music event in March this year on the Life and Work of Sir Edward Elgar. Early enrolment advised to secure a place. Booking essential with £5 course fee. Further info from Marion Vincent 0116 2375156 or John Laurance 01509 889757 Organised by the Birstall and Rothley branch of the WEA with their financial support Please send bookings to John Laurance 33 Loughborough Road, Hoton, Loughborough, Leics LE12 5SF Cheques payable to WEA Birstall & Rothley Branch Please include name(s), address, email and phone number

SERVICING & REPAIRS to all makes of vehicle • Cambelts fitted • Specialist in Engine Management fault finding • All electrical work & MOT’s arrang ed wiring faults undertaken • ABS, Airbags, EMS, Keys Coded

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Saturday, Sep 28 starting at 7.30pm at Syston Methodist Church in aid of LOROS and church funds Tickets £6 inc light refreshments Tel: 0116 2609804

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 as 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. Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Birstall Conservative Association Invite you to an evening of Food for thought and a conversation

With your MP Stephen Dorrell To be held at the home of Karl and Serinda Shergill 51 Rectory Rd, Wanlip, Leics LE7 4PL Friday October 11 at 8pm £9.50 per person, bar/raffle Contact Mary Allen 0116 2673941 Serinda Shergill 0116 2675425

Birstall Methodist Women’s Group If you are new to Birstall or would just like to meet more people from the village then why not come along on a Monday evening and join us at 7.15pm at the Coffee Shop on Wanlip Lane This lively group of women of all ages will begin their Autumn and Winter Programme with an informal get together Come and have a chat and a cup of tea with us on Monday September 2, you would be most welcome Our next meetings are: Sep 9: Friends of Chernobyl’s Children, speaker Gill Winfield Sep 16: Dior Beauty Demonstration Sep 23: AGM Sep 30: Faith Harvest Supper Contact Diane Allen 0116 2209473 or Margaret 0116 2671181

Birstall Methodist Men’s Pantomime It’s that time of year again! Oh no it isn’t, Oh yes it is Rehearsals for the next pantomime will begin at the end of September This year our pantomime will be Snow White Singing, dancing and acting ability are not necessary but could be useful Fun and fellowship for men of all ages from 11. Ladies welcome too if you don’t mind helping backstage If you would like to find out more come to our initial meeting on Thursday Sep 19 at 7.45pm at the Birstall Methodist Centre on Wanlip Lane or contact Richard on 0116 2209462 after 7pm or email

Loughborough Website:

St James’ Day Centre 200 Club

August Winners 1st Miss Joan Healey 2nd Mrs Rose Parrot 3rd Mrs Margaret Suffolk 4th Mr Alan Green

Birstall Methodist Church Wanlip Lane, Birstall Saturday November 30 From 10am to 1pm

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

Barn Dance Sat Sep 28 7.30pm, Birstall Village Hall Tickets £8, students £4, children under 10 free inc Ploughman’s Supper Tickets available from Gill Pope 2675086 or Sandra Robinson 2677238

Film Night Song for Marion Friday October 11 at 7pm St James Church, Church Hill, Birstall A likeable and heartwarming British drama enlivened by a trio of terrific performances from Gemma Arteton, Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave No charge – refreshments available

Autumn Art Exhibition 2013 October 25-27, 11am to 5pm Newtown Linford Sunday School (next to main entrance to Bradgate Park) Around 100 original paintings will be on display – most of them for sale at very reasonable prices Admission free Raffle for an original painting with the proceeds going to Rainbows Hospice,

Table Top Sale Tables @ £10 each contact Margaret 0116 2671181 (this is part of the Methodist Church Christmas Festival Nov 29/30) Birstall Quilters Invite you to their

Annual Coffee Morning and Sale Saturday October 12 From 10am to 12noon at Birstall Methodist Church Come & join us relaxing with friends over coffee. Solve some of the problems of Christmas shopping. Try your luck in the raffle – 1st prize a quilt made by the group members. Sale in aid of Birstall BAGS (Breast Cancer Awareness Group)

Birstall BAGS

Race Night Friday Sep 13 at Birstall Social Club, £1 admission Everyone welcome, just turn up and pay on the door Fun for all the family Please come along and support your local charity, thank you •••

Belgrave Cemetery Bat Talk/Walk Friday September 13 at 7pm at Greenacres, The Sidings (A563) There will be a talk given by a local wildlife expert about bats where we’ll learn more about these fascinating creatures of the night, followed by a walk down to Belgrave Cemetery to see if we can find any bats

Woodlands & Gables Day Nursery present their annual

Summer Fair Saturday 7th September at Woodlands Day Nursery, 1 Park Road, Birstall

12 - 4pm,

50p adm, children free

Cake Stalls • Raffle • Face Painting Jewellery Stalls • Tombola Fire Engine • Refreshments All donations and funds raised will be going to ADAPT (Registered Charity number, 1138777)

Come along and join us for an afternoon of fun !


The event is free to the public. Refreshments will be available at Greenaces Booking is essential as spaces are limited Tel: 0116 2914484 Accompanied children welcome Suitable clothing is required on the night

Belgrave Hall

Heritage Open Day

Birstall & District Art Society

Belgrave Cemetery Sunday September 15, 10am to 2pm As part of the Heritage Open Day 2013 there will be a Heritage Trail of Killedin-Action soldiers and interesting people laid to rest in the cemetery Belgrave Cemetery record information will be available with display boards and complementary refreshments Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult Sturdy footwear advisable All visitors must keep to the path Anyone walking on the grass does so at their own risk For further information visit uk St James Gospel Choir

Concert Sat Sep 14, 7pm St James Church, Birstall Traditional, contemporary and spiritual music Admission free, all donation to Rainbows Belgrave Hall

Heritage Open Day Sat & Sun Sep 14 & 15 Take a one hour tour of the hall with a costumed guide and find out about the families that lived there Tours start at 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm Booking essential, free event Tel: 2666590

REGULAR YOGA CLASSES restart in the following two locations:

MOUNTSORREL: Memorial Hall on Tues 10th Sept 2013 from 7-9pm WOODHOUSE EAVES: St. Paul's School & Community Centre, Meadow Road on Wed 11th Sept 2013 from 7-9pm. These classes are aimed at enabling you to incorporating Yoga into your everyday life and are facilitated by a teacher holding qualifications in both Yoga and the teaching of adults. Both of these classes are suitable for all levels of ability, this includes people who have not practised yoga before, and you can join these classes at any time in the programme.

Come and join in, learn a new skill and enjoy the process. For more information either email or phone me on 0116 2302 402 or 0780 2728871 My name is Moira

Good Food Fair Sat & Sun Sep 21 & 22 11am-4pm Eat, drink and take home tasty treats with the opportunity to meet local food producers Adults £1.50, under 16s free

Annual Exhibition at the Village Hall Nov 2-4 Birstall Road, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4DH Open 9.30am-5pm, Sat & Sun; 9.30am-3pm Mon Free admission, wheelchair access, refreshments Free parking to the rear of the Village Hall

CLASH 2012 Drop-in Sessions for people with Arthritis and other Musculoskeletal conditions, to gather information and to have a general chat about these conditions. Sessions held every Monday, 10am to 12noon, Room 7, Peepul Centre, Orchardson Ave, Leicester LE4 6DP - sessions are free. Are you retired and have computer skills that you can use in the community to support local people to ‘get online’? CLASH ( would like to hear from you Please contact Chris on 07751072612 to discuss this further General Fitness Sessions Tuesdays 1-2pm and Chair Based Exercise Sessions Wednesdays 1-2pm for people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions at the Peepul Centre, Orchardson Ave, Leicester. Sessions are free and begin on Tuesday Sep 10 and Wed Sep 11 ‘It’s not just aches and pains’ Three new six week self management courses are taking place at three different venues and are free to individuals with


College seeks new sponsors THE SPONSORS of Longslade college have withdrawn their support but Mrs Kirstie Black is remaining as the college’s Principal. In a statement on the college website Mrs Black says: “I would like to reassure you that Longslade is very much on the path to improvement. I have and continue to maintain, that whichever school I work in it is my goal to create a school I would be confident in sending my own children to. I will continue to strive for this at Longslade.” The Belvoir and Melton Academy Trust (BMAT) were appointed as Longslade’s sponsors earlier this year, to help the college improve its results. Longsarthritis and other Musculoskeletal conditions. The courses start in the last week of September and will run through to the end of October. the courses will be delivered by CLASH members and concentrate on setting personal goals, pain management, exercise, the role of technology as a tool to support self management, working with professionals in the community (shared decision making) and medication use. The courses will run as follows: Mondays: 9.45-1pm, Coalville, Marlene Reid Centre Tuesdays: 9.45-1pm, Market Harborough Methodist Church Wednesdays 9.45-1pm, Loughborough, John Storer House For further info or to book a place please contact Doug or Lynda on 07954614466

The October issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Oct 4. The copy deadline is Sep 20.

lade has finished near the bottom of County League tables for GCSE performance for the last three years and in 2012 was one percentage point below the Government’s 40% ‘floor target’ of pupils gaining five or more A* to C grades including English and Maths. BMAT was created in 2012 and comprises Belvoir High School and Melton Vale Post 16 centre. Belvoir High School had an Ofsted inspection in June and was rated grade 3 – requires improvement. Ofsted award four grades: Outstanding (1), Good (2), Requires Improvement (3) and Inadequate (4). Sponsors help under performing schools raise their standards. If a sponsor is another school it is required to be “a successful school.” A County Council spokesman has said: “BMAT has withdrawn its interest in sponsoring Longslade to enable it to focus on its own schools.” Longslade, supported by the Local Authority and the Department for Education, is now looking for an alternative sponsor. Principal Mrs Black says she will remain in post for a minimum of a year. She has been seconded to Longslade from Melton Vale Post 16 Centre, where she was the Principal. She said: “I am fully committed to raising standards and improving outcomes at Longslade Community College and this has been my focus since starting last April. Indeed, we have seen considerable developments already including improved attendance, behaviour and a forecast of improved exam results.” She added: “Longer term we are looking at an 11-19 solution on site and commenced discussions with the Head and Chair of Governors from Stonehill High School along with the Head of Highcliffe Primary School prior to the summer holidays, to look at how this can be developed.” Stonehill High School is seeking to re-designate as an 11-16 school, with pupils staying on at Stonehill to do their GCSEs. Head teacher Alan Monks said: “In the last few weeks of last term there were considerable developments including the withdrawal of BMAT as sponsors from Longslade Community College. This does open up the opportunity for us to explore a wider variety of routes to providing the highest quality education in Birstall for all the children and young people of this community. This included discussions with Longslade and any potential sponsors. Early in September, Governors will need to consider the feedback to the consultation we have held with parents and decide upon the best route forward.” Longslade was inspected by Ofsted in June and the report is to be published in the last week of August (after this issue had gone to press). There will be a parents meeting at Longslade on Tuesday September 10 – letters to parents will be sent out at the start of the autumn term with further details.



NHW news

& crime report Using Cash Machines in Safety. Withdrawing cash from a cash machine or ATM has become a common and frequent practice for most of us. However, the fact they are so widely used and available has made them a target for would be thieves and fraudsters. Below are a few simple rules that if followed should make withdrawing cash from ATMs safer: 1. Choose an ATM in a location that you feel is well-lit and in a busy area. Preferably in a building like a bank, post office or shop. 2. Protect your PIN number. This includes covering the keypad with your other hand when typing your PIN into the machine. Memorise you PIN so you never have to write it down. Do not share your PIN with anyone even family and friends who you trust. 3. Before using the ATM check that it doesn’t look as if it has been tampered with, has anything stuck on or wires hanging out. 4. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by strangers offering to help or standing too close. 5. If your card gets stuck in the machine don’t leave it to go inside the bank. Use your mobile to summon help and stay with the card at the ATM. 6. If possible take a friend with you. They can ensure you do not get distracted or that others get too close and are there to help if your card does get stuck. 7. Always use the ATM when you are sober. Before a night out try to anticipate how much money you are going to need and withdraw it at the start of the evening. Written by a Birstall Neighbourhood Watch Committee member.

Crime Report : Birstall July 2013 Assaults 14, burglary 6, damage 5, damage to motor vehicle 6, theft 10, theft cycle 1, theft from motor vehicle 6, theft of motor vehicle 1, theft stores 8 When I took over the beat at the beginning of this year I immediately found that Birstall was being targeted by neighbouring criminals as they saw the village as an soft touch. I have worked hard developing good relations with our Police Neighbours at Beaumont Leys and as such Burglaries have reduced massively. Birstall used to suffer from 9-12 domestic burglaries every month but now we average 3-4 per month and these are now often attempts, where no entry has been gained. Much of this is down to several arrests we made at the beginning of the year. One particular arrest was of a male in April who had been targeting Birstall for 4 years, he is now spending the same amount of years inside prison. This had the largest impact on reducing burglaries in Birstall for a long time. I have built up a good intelligence picture of drug dealing activities around the village and again by working with other Police Stations I have co-ordinated search warrants and made arrests which will continue and always will be an ongoing priority for us. Reports of Anti-social Behaviour within Birstall increased when I took over the beat, this I believe was due to me asking

you, the public, to speak out and trust in me, my team and my Police Partners to actively take on and deal with your long term issues, with the hope of reducing your anxiety around this very personal issue. My team and I have dealt with 57 separate cases of ASB to date this year, that’s the same number as for the whole of 2012! We have concentrated our efforts on the long term issues that have had the greatest affect on people’s quality of life. We have used our powers under criminal law and by working with our partners to solve your ongoing issues. We have put into place Anti-social contracts, issuing warning letters and tried to empower you, the community to stand up against those that are causing you the most harm. I am confident that the people we have managed to help will go on to enjoy a peaceful time and I hope this will encourage more of you to come forward and report problems you feel we maybe able to help you with. Of course we can not solve every issue raised but I’m sure as some of you will now testify, we do not give up at the first hurdle and will support and enforce not just today but during the course of any problem raised. I identified that our shops were being targeted and that shop thefts reports were quite high here, about 8-9 per month. I did a lot of work when I arrived in making the whole process of identifying those responsible and making them answer for their crimes a quicker process. When I took over I worked with the shop managers to address this issue as a result we made several arrests which resulted in the main offenders being given prison sentences. For months we have only suffered with 1-2 theft stores. I returned from paternity leave 2 weeks ago and found that shop thefts had increased dramatically to 7-8 per month. As such I have again looked at the criminals and this week several good arrests were made. On Tuesday August 13 a male from Beaumont Leys was arrested for stealing from the Co-Op Store over the past couple of months. I charged him with these offences and made sure he was given bail conditions not to enter any part of Birstall village, so we may arrest him if he takes one step in our village. On Thursday August 15 another male from Beaumont Leys was arrested for stealing from the Birstall Co-Op Store. This male had been on the front page of the Leicester Mercury earlier in the week as other officers had been looking for him in relation to shop thefts within the city. He was charged with several thefts including the ones in Birstall. On Saturday August 17 the Co-Op store staff spotted another male attempting to steal from their shop. Their new protocol was activated and all the staff surrounded the male who had no choice but to drop the items then leave the store. I arrested him a short time later carrying other stole

items from the Tesco’s store. This male had also been on the front page of the Mercury wanted for other thefts in the city. As such he was later charged with several thefts from the Birstall shops and remanded in Police cells all weekend to appear at Court Monday morning. We have asked should he be released on bail for him to also have conditions preventing him from entering Birstall Village. As you can see there has been lots of good work going on over the past 7-8 months and this will continue. Birstall Police will do all we can to target, enforce and prevent crimes from occurring but it’s the community that really stop it. The staff within the shops are now being more vigilant and will work together with us to make sure the thieves find it almost impossible to come here and offend. The same can be said for burglaries and ASB, with the community working together and having more confidence in us - we are putting the criminals on their back foot. I hope this pro-active behaviour from the people of Birstall continues. From Beacon Officer Pc 688 Des Hearnshaw E-mail: derek.hearnshaw@leicestershire.pnn.p Tel: 0116 2677355 OR 101 Twitter: @birstallpolice

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Plumbing & Heating All Domestic Plumbing Full Central Heating Boiler Swaps & Upgrades Fully Fitted Bathrooms Wall & Floor Tiling ALL WORK GUARANTEED Local Business • Call Rob Scott:

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Sew your own SEW YOUR own fabric brick to help support the fundraising for an African orphanage. The Bark Foundation, which supports the HOTPEC orphanage in Cameroon, together with Cat Bolton have come up with this community arts brick project. The homemade 10x20cm bricks will be arranged into a display once the project is completed. To take part cut a template 10x20cm and make a knitted crocheted or woven brick less than half an inch thick. Label it with your name and address and send it to Birstall Methodist Church, Wanlip Lane LE4 4JS More details:

• Burglar Alarms • CCTV • Access Control • Fire Alarms



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Maths tuition to A level

Osteoporosis fracture risk scans Osteoporotic fractures are common in post-menopausal women and victims may suffer from pain, deformity and loss of independence. Hip fractures can prove fatal. Osteoporosis can be prevented if weak bones are detected early enough but scans for assessing risk of future fracture are not always readily available. However, you can now have a non-invasive scan for £22.

Friday 20th September Birstall Village Hall For information and appointments please call: 0845 224 6784 Healthcare Screening

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WEA African courses trek OPPORTUNITIES WITH the Birstall & Rothley WEA this autumn. Drawing With Mixed Media An opportunity to explore a range of creative techniques whilst developing the basic principles of drawing. This course will be excellent for returning learners wishing to hone their drawing skills but will also be appropriate for beginners looking to be inspired. Mediums covered will include graphite, charcoal, pastels, water soluble crayons, inks and mixed media. Learning is supported by demonstrations, one to one discussion and examples of artists’ work. Tutor: Jo Sheppard. Fee £70, discounted: £63 (not available to the retired) or Free Venue: The Rothley Centre, 12 Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley LE7 7PR Date: Monday 1–3pm, 10 meetings from September 16, 2013 The Habsburgs In an age when family history has become popular, we look at one of the most influential families in European history. It began as minor nobility in the early Holy Roman Empire, became holders in the title of Emperor, and is still recognisable. At one time it controlled vast territories in Europe, America and the Far East and even in its last stages it was removed from power only as a result of external rather than internal forces. Tutor: Aubrey Newman Fee £52.50, discounted: £47.25 (not available to the retired) or Free Venue: The Rothley Centre, 12 Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley LE7 7PR Date: Tuesday 10–11.30am, 10 meetings from September 17, 2013 Art & Perception Who or what inspired artists such as George Bellows, Stanley Spencer, Pierre Bonnard and John Piper, to develop their unique, often provocative, approaches to painting? This course explains some of the very different ways artists have expressed their view of the world in their art. No previous experience necessary-just a lively open-minded interest in art! Tutor Janis Baker Fee £56, discounted: £50.40 (not available to the retired) or Free Venue: The Rothley Centre, 12 Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley LE7 7PR Date: Wednesday 7.15–9.15pm, 8 meetings from October 2, 2013 Contact: Marion Vincent, Telephone: 0116 2375156 or send your enrolments to John Laurance WEA Treasurer, 33 Loughborough Road, Hoton Leicester LE12 5SF Please make cheques payable to WEA Birstall & Rothley Branch Visit our website! The Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) is a charity registered in England and Wales (number 1112775) and in Scotland (number SC039239) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (number 2806910). The registered address is 3rd Floor, 70 Clifton Street, London EC2A 4HB

BIRSTALL’S BRIAN Kirby will be trekking to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro late this month. Brian (57), from Westgate Avenue, will be raising money for LOROS. Previous fundraising walks he has done include the Great Wall of China, the Three Peaks Challenge and the Westhighland Way. He said: “After the loss of my late wife Janice Kirby I wanted to give something back to a fantastic cause.” To donate, go to

Path ploughed A RIDGE and furrow field in Birstall has been ploughed and will be planted with wheat. Landowners Jelson treated the grass in the field, located between Fielding Road and Birstall golf course, with the herbicide glyphosate before the ploughing the field in August. A footpath runs from Fielding Road to the golf course and this will have to be re-instated within 14 days. Leicestershire County Council confirmed they had received a report from a member of the public that the footpath had been ploughed up. A rights of way inspector will visit the field to check the footpath has been re-instated. The field had previously been grazed by cattle. The ridge and furrow pattern of ridges was created by a system of ploughing used in the middle ages (400AD – 1500AD)

Cubs joust having fun BIRSTALL CUBS summer camp at Fox Coverts was a real medieval affair. “No sooner had the Cubs set up camp than they were off on a rampage through the ancient woods tracking wild boar ready for a banquet the following night” said Cub leader Ged Sessions. “As darkness fell they could be seen creeping through the woods in search of mystical glowing amulets before hitting the sack ready for the next day’s adventure.” On Saturday they were up early and soon hard at work creating their own royal seals and making plaster casts of animal tracks. This was followed by archery training and then the grand tournament. Knights competed in numerous challenges including battling with pugil sticks on logs, jousting and axe throwing, with Charlie achieving the honour of best knight. Ged said: “As the Cubs battled to fill the moat with water to keep out the enemy, they seemed to be overwhelmed by the heat and there ensued an almighty water fight - well it saves having to wash. “As the day turned to night the campfire beckoned and a banquet fit for a king cooked in the embers of the roaring fire was heartily eaten, washed down with flagons of “mead” and rounded off with Ye Olde toasted marshmallows.” On Sunday, the cubs searched the forest for clues to the whereabouts of the missing princes, trying to work out who will ascend the throne. They split

Pic: Daneilla, Frazer & Maisie on the archery range.

Pic: Alexander and Bailey joust Jacob and Daniel

up with half learning basic archaeology skills while the others practiced juggling, diabolo skills and stilt walking before breaking camp and heading home.


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History of a vanished building NOTHING REMAINS today of Birstall Hall, built in 1758 on Roman Road. Local historian Mike Smith tells the story of the building Part 2: Birstall Hall & John Mansfield In 1797 Birstall Hall had a new tenant, John Mansfield Jnr. His father, John Mansfield Snr, Mayor of Leicester, was born in Barnsley and came to Leicester as a penniless boy. Ambition and not a little luck saw him progress from casual worker to ownership of first the George Inn in Friar Lane and later a prosperous mercers business with a money lending sideline. The sideline outgrew his other interests and became one of Leicester’s first banks. When he died in 1798, wealthy and owner of property in Birstall, John Jnr, aged 20, took control of the bank. To everyone’s surprise the son was so successful that in 1804 he was able to buy Birstall Hall and one hundred acres of surrounding land from the trustees. His story now falls into two parts, life and works in Birstall and life and work in Leicester and Westminster As Birstall’s lord of the manor he redePic: John Mansfield Jnr signed and extended the Hall and grounds trees, follies and rustic groves. with the principal rooms looking across Amongst his other acquisitions were landscaped parkland. The old stable block properties around the village, many in a and coach house at the entrance were poor state. Of the cottages and houses that demolished and rebuilt by the new kitchen he renovated I gardens at the will only mention back. Within ten two. ‘The Cotyears Mansfield tage’ on Birstall had bought all Road opposite the surrounding Church Hill was land within the extended and triangle of today’s updated from a Birstall Road, large farm house Roman Road and to become a School Lane gentleman’s resiwhich was landdence. ‘Cliffe scaped to include Pic: illustration of Birstall Hall by Tom Ball House’ was douan ornamental ice bled in depth house, mature

and its main entrance, much improved, was switched to the back to overlook the church instead of a farmyard and barn. The two oldest public institutions in the village, the church and the mill also needed urgent attention. In 1813, when Mansfield’s first wife died, he built a family vault beneath the church and paid for some structural restoration and when, in 1823, the spire, struck by lightning, fell through the roof, Mansfield covered much of the repair bill of £500. The mill house was rebuilt to include a village bakehouse, whilst the mill itself was enlarged and the water wheel, sluice gates and milling machinery were replaced. Educational provision in Birstall was virtually non-existent, a small ‘Dame School’ looked after about ten children and a Sunday school was held in a barn adjoining today’s Birstall DIY; children from the earliest years were expected to work either in and around the fields or assisting framework knitting in the home. Mansfield was well aware of the ignorance of the village children and after persistent campaigning he and his fellow churchwarden, Thomas While, eventually got the Sunday school in the barn incorporated in the ‘National Society For The Education of the Poor’. A grant allowed the school to operate five days a week, employ one or two teachers and improve the premises. Twenty years after Mansfield’s death a report on the ramshackle state of the barn premises resulted in a new school, now the parish office on School Lane. But the biggest change to Birstall brought about by Mansfield was driven as much by self interest as by charitable concern. After the improvements to his hall and grounds he was upset at the continual lack of privacy from the London Road (today’s Roman Road) which, with its punishing incline and heavy traffic, ran, literally, past his front door. As treasurer of the local Turnpike Trust, responsible for this road, he offered the trust a gift of a large stretch of his land to the west of the London Road on which to reroute a new, better engineered, road away from the hall. This offer was readily accepted and what is now Red Hill, with its gentler incline, opened for public use in 1823. The old London Road with the land flanking it was incorporated into Birstall Hall’s much extended grounds and did not reappear for a century. A new entrance road (today a cul de sac, The Drive) was built from the new road to the now completely private hall. Next article: Birstall & John Mansfield Part 2. From Mike Smith

Forum cash for Birstall LOCAL GOOD causes have received a portion of £15,000 from Leicestershire County Council’s Area Forum. The Bradgate, Rothley, Mountsorrel and Birstall Area Forum met in June and those attending voted for their favourite projects from a shortlist. The funding was allocated as follows:

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

• Minibus Disabled Adventure Club £700 • The Bungalow, Longslade Learning Hub £3884 • Renovation of Rothley Scout HQ £4320 • Birstall Methodist Lunch Club £1280 • Reach for the Sky – Gunns Community Gym £1500 • Station platform at Mountsorrel £3316

The next Area Forum meeting is on Sep 23, 6.30pm at the Palmer Tomkinson Centre, Longslade College. All welcome

Gospel choir concert ST JAMES Gospel Choir, based in Birstall, will be performing a concert in support of the Rainbows charity. The event will feature a variety of traditional, contemporary and spiritual music such as ‘Swing Low Sheet Chariot’ and Adele’s ‘To Make Me Feel Your Love’. The concert is free to enter but all funds raised from the collection will go to Rainbows. A spokesman said: “The concert we did last year in support of Save the Children was a sell out and raised nearly £700! I hope it will be as successful this year. In support of the Gospel choir, the Birstall Church Handbell Ringers will be performing some numbers too.” The concert is taking place on Saturday September 14 at 7pm, St James Church, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4DN


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Church news Events seem to be piling up thick and fast for the month of September, appropriately, since autumn will soon be upon us. At St. James’ church the first Sunday in the month is our informal All Together services (ie all ages, all tastes). The date is September 1 at 10am and this month the theme is “All change” – to find out what this means you will have to come and join us! Starting this month the Sunday School which runs every Sunday morning at 10am will benefit from a new initiative, which will help the children take a more active part in the service. The different age groups will each have their own programme and if you are interested to know more about how this will work, or to offer your help as a volunteer, you are invited to contact Rose Parrott on 2674755. Singing and dancing Some of you may have heard, on Radio Leicester one Sunday evening last month,

Zumba class A NEW Zumba class featuring moves centred on a chair start in Birstall on September 12. Zumba Sentao is a combination of strength and resistance training with dance fitness moves on or around a chair. “While using a chair for balance you are also using your own body weight to tone your muscles, strengthen the abdominal area and burn calories” says class teacher Lisa Cluer. Her classes are at Highcliffe School, Elmfield Avenue on Thursdays from 6-6.45pm

Bowls BIRSTALL LADIES Bowling Club’s Pa Walker reached the quarter final of the National singles championship, which took place at Leamington Spa last month. Having beaten Irene Barber (Middlesex) 21-10 in round one, she came up against the 2009 champion Jayne Croxall (Nottinghamshire) in round two. A close game saw Pa edge through 21-19. Next up in round three was former England player Caroline Campion (Oxfordshire) with the Birstall player winning 21-18 in another tight game. This set up a quarter final clash with current England International Sue Davies (Worcestershire). Despite playing well, Pa was beaten 12-21. Davies was the eventual runner up, losing to Amy Truran (Sussex) who retained her title. Last year’s National fours champions, Pa Walker, Jan Everitt, Jennie Groves & Di Hurst, qualified for the National Championships again this year, the seventh successive year a Birstall team has reached that stage. However, they were beaten in the first round by a team from Sussex, skipped by England International Lorraine Kuhler, that went on to reach the semi final. All four Birstall players were also part of the Leicestershire team that reached the National semi final of the Walker Cup. Birstall’s John Hurst finished runner up in the county men’s two wood competition. He was beaten in the final by New Lount’s Patrick Hulbert. Both players were due to represent Leicestershire in the National Championships at Worthing at the end of last month.

Chris White, the conductor of St. James Gospel Choir talking to Dave Andrews about the choir and its support for Rainbows at the next concert. This will be on Saturday September 14 at 7.30pm at St. James. There is no charge for tickets but all donations will go to the Leicestershire Children’s Hospice, so please support this if you can. Other social events in September include a Barn Dance at Birstall Village Hall on Saturday September 28 at 7.30pm, with a caller for the dancing, and a ploughman’s supper is included in the price of £8 (students £4). Tickets are essential in advance and can be obtained from Gill Pope on 2675086 or Sandra Robinson on 2677236. A new experience? One of the features of church life at the parish churches of Birstall and Wanlip is the existence of home groups which meet at different venues and different times of the week to talk about and to study Christian belief - and to socialise - together. There are now eight of these groups of various sizes none of them too large to fit into the average sitting room! Anyone who is interested in trying out this sort of experience is invited to take an explanatory leaflet from the back of the church. You will find St James church open on Saturday mornings between 10am and noon, so drop in for a cup of tea or coffee and find out more. From Beryl McHugh, Birstall Parish Churches

Methodist Ministers Sabbatical On Sunday September 8 our Minister, Rev Rachel Parkinson, starts her 3 month Sabbatical. This gives Rachel a complete break after 10 years as a Methodist Minister. Her work is not a 9 to 5 job, but a calling that involves a total commitment, almost 24 hours a day. We wish Rachel well for the 3 months she richly deserves and look forward to welcoming her back on December 8. During this period Rev Dave Warnock at Syston will be acting Superintendant. Several Local Preachers have been given a dispensation to Preside at Holy Communion during Rachel’s Sabbatical. One of these is Roger Wilson who will do so at Birstall on September 15. Children, Harvest & Apple Juice On Sunday September 22 a special service for the Charity ‘Action for Children’. It will be led by Audrey Baker, assisted by Peter and Eileen Molesdale. The theme is “Who is my neighbour” and the parable Jesus told in answer to that question “The Good Samaritan”. Sunday Club and Laudate will be involved. As this is ‘Big Welcome Sunday’ it is a good opportunity to test out our welcome to our community at the Methodist Church. The last Sunday in September (29th) is our Harvest Festival. Mrs Sandra Herbert from Whetstone Pastures Farm will lead our 10.30 morning service and Rev Dave Warnock the 6 pm Evening worship As part of harvest, on Saturday 28th between 10am & Noon the apple press will be in use, so do bring along your apples and containers for apple juice. The Apple Press will also be in use at Riverside & Highcliffe Schools around this time. Pilgrimage To A Hindu Temple Every September the local Methodist Churches undertake a short ‘Pilgrimage’ one Sunday afternoon. Last year we went round Watermead Park. This year, it seems there will be very little walking as we are to visit the Hindu Temple and Community Centre on Weymouth Street, ‘Shree Sanatan Mandir’. We will be accompanied by Rev’d David Dean of the St Phillips Centre. After our tour we shall share worship in the nearby Church of the Resurrection. It promises to be a fascinating afternoon on September 8 at 3pm (at Weymouth Street). Table Top Booking As part of our Christmas Festival, on Saturday November 30, there is to be a Table Top Sale. If you wish to ‘book’ a table (£10 for 10am to 1pm) phone Margaret on 2671181. From Tony Moore, Birstall Methodist Church

Discussion Topics After the holiday period break, our series of Discussion Topics is starting again. We know what’s right and wrong, right? But how do we know and is what is wrong for you, right for me? These are some of the approaches which can be taken in considering September’s subject, which is: “What is the basis for knowing what is right and wrong?” If you missed the information given previously, these discussions are open to individuals of any denomination or religion (or none) and you can opt to attend as many or as few of them as you wish. They are free of charge, last about an hour, are informal and it is expected that participants will show respect for others’ views. If you would like to attend this month’s discussion, then please contact the number given below to register your interest and state your preference for day(s) and time (morning/afternoon/evening) and we will get back to you with an agreed date, time


and venue. Sunday Services (including Harvest) As the new school term starts, we are scheduled to resume our Sunday morning meetings in the Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School, Greengate Lane (LE4 3DL) at 10.45am on September 8. We have two visiting speakers during this month: the first one is Peter Thackeray (East Leake) on the 22nd and the second is John Tonks (Leicester) on the 29th. We will hold our Harvest Service on the 29th, when we will give God thanks for the food and blessings we have received as well as remembering our brothers and sisters who do not have enough to eat. You will be most welcome to join with us in our services and we invite you to do so. For further information please ring 0116 2214883. From Anne Taylor, Birstall Independent Baptist Church

Sewing classes move A LOCAL teacher of stitchcraft is re-locating from her Birstall home and will now be based at the Cross Corners centre, next to Belgrave Hall. Lisa Pidgeon started the Little Bird School of Stitchcraft in 2011 and has run classes and workshops to share her skills in sewing, knitting, crochet and more. Little Bird SOS steering group member Jacqui Booth said: “Initially we were keen to set the business up in the heart of Birstall, but lack of affordable business premises in the village led us to look slightly further afield. After considering other premises, Cross Corners came up as the ideal location. We are confident that the beautiful buildings and gardens will be a popular destination for people who wish to relax and socialise by learning a new skill. We hope that the people we have already worked closely with in Birstall will feel welcome to make the short journey by foot, bike, car or bus to come and view our work,

Pic: Lisa Pidgeon

share in the skills we have to offer and join in with the groups we already run.” Workshop and social events are planned including the next meeting of the knit2gether group on Wed Sep 25 at Cross Corners from 6-9pm with free tea and coffee – new members are welcome

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The names may relate to the area of the body being treated, the type of machinery being used or the length of treatment. The names include: • stereotactic body radio-

Birstall BAG’s cancer corner Understanding Radiotherapy Xrays were discovered more than 100 years ago. They are used to help make a diagnosis by taking pictures with xrays and as a treatment for disease in the form of radiotherapy. Radiotherapy uses invisible high energy x-rays and similar rays (such as electrons) to treat cancer. It works by destroying cancer cells in the area that's treated. Although normal cells can also be damaged by radiotherapy, they can usually repair themselves. Many people with cancer will have radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment. It can be given either as: • external radiotherapy from outside the body using high energy xrays • internal radiotherapy from a radioactive material placed within the body. Radiotherapy can cure some cancers and can also reduce the chance of a cancer coming back after surgery. It may also be used to control a cancer or to help improve the symptoms of it. There can be side effects from the

radiotherapy but these can be mild with the patient mainly feeling tired during their course of radiotherapy. In recent years advances in the use of radiotherapy have resulted in new specialist forms of the treatment. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a specialised way of giving radiotherapy. It is able to shape radiotherapy beams to fit the outline of the tumour more precisely. It can also give treatment from many different angles. IMRT can allow different doses of radiotherapy to be given to different parts of the area being treated. This means lower doses can be given to the healthy tissue surrounding the tumour. Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) uses scans and specialist equipment to precisely target radiotherapy to treat certain cancers accurately. It’s only suitable for some people, usually those with smaller cancers. SABR is usually given over a shorter time than standard radiotherapy. SABR is known by a number of different names and this can be confusing.



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therapy (SBRT) • stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) • extracranial radiosurgery • extracranial radiotherapy • stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT) • CyberKnife™ (machine) In Leicestershire all radiotherapy is carried out within the Cancer Centre (The Osborne Building) at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. 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


Planning P/13/1523/2: 22 Curzon Ave – creation of decking and installation of awning to rear of dwelling P/13/1477/2: 50 Gwendolin Ave – erection of single storey extension to rear of dwelling P/13/1471/2: Land adj 27 The Meadway – erection of a dwelling P/13/1455/2: 64 Elmfield Ave – erection of a single storey extension to side & rear of dwelling

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