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the Birstall post Y O U R

C O M M U N I T Y

DECEMBER 2013

N E W S P A P E R

www.birstallpost.co.uk

Keen fan builds Tardis

No. 365 Pic: Ian Copp with Ood (Jessica Copp), Dalek (Kelly Wright) & Jadoon (Kerry-Jo Copp). Inset: Ian in his workshop

Car crash: man airlifted to hospital A MAN sustained life threatening injuries when his car crashed on the A6 in Birstall. The driver lost control of the vehicle near the entrance to the park and ride site – no other vehicle was involved.

THE UNMISTAKABLE blue panelled Police Box of Doctor Who fame is usually seen spiralling through a vortex of space and time or materialising on an alien planet. But the Tardis has now been spotted a little closer to home - Windmill Avenue, Birstall, in the back garden of

Continued on page 6

COUNTY ROOFING Slating • Tiling • Felting Asphalt Roofs • Single Ply Fascias • Soffits • Guttering Doctor Who fan Ian Copp. Ian (44) has just completed constructing his second Tardis – the first one has stood in his back garden for the last five years where it has proved a Continued on page 2

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THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

Birstall Christmas lights

Continued from page 1 hit with friends, family and visitors. Ian said: “One man knocked on the door having seen my Tardis from the street – he asked me if he could bring his young autistic son in to have a look. The boy walked all around it, touching it and the dad was in tears looking at his son’s reaction.” Ian is a lifelong Doctor Who fan – Tom Baker is his favourite Doctor. “As a child I always liked the Tardis and wanted one myself” said Ian. “If I had a real one, I would go back in time to meet my hero Charlie Chaplin and work with him or for him. If not that,

then back to see the Rat Pack performing in Vegas!” Ian’s carpentry skills have improved as he worked on his second Tardis “It’s been trial and error really, I think this one is the best, the challenge has been making it collapsible.” As well as being collapsible, Ian’s Tardis has lights on the inside and the signage is illuminated. He hopes to sort out transport so he can take it to community events like Birstall Gala where fans can have their photo taken with the Tardis. His creations got their first public opening when he opened his home to the public on Saturday, November 23, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who. In our photo with her dad and dressed as an Ood is Ian’s daughter

Jessica (7). She said: “I’m not really into it, I just wanted to be in the newspaper. But I do like Amy Pond.”

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A CLIFF RICHARD tribute artist will be one of the attractions at Birstall’s Christmas lights switch-on event on Friday December 6.

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.”

Cliff will be performing and will switch on the lights at 6pm, on the Sibson Road car park. And while you listen to ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ you can enjoy a free mince pie and mulled wine, courtesy of Birstall Parish Council who are organising the event. Fairground rides on the car parks at Sibson Road and School Lane will be open from 3.30pm, also the opening time for the Christmas market in the Village Hall which will stay open until 8.30pm. Santa will be in his grotto in the St James Day Centre from 6.30-8pm : £2 per child and every child who visits will receive a small gift.

Refreshments available at the event include roasted chestnuts, hot potatoes, burgers, hot dogs, tea and coffee. Anyone interested in having a stall at the market to sell Christmas related items can download a form from www.birstallparishcouncil.org.uk


THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

Tributes paid to Birstall councillor

DA Roofing & Building Tiling • Slating • Repointing Guttering • Fascias • Soffits

A COMMITTED Councillor who was Chairman of Birstall Parish Council for eight years has died. Stuart Jones (67) died on November 18. Born in Thurmaston on April 22 1946, Stuart ran an engineering business and latterly was a bus driver for Arriva. He became a Birstall parish councillor in 2002 and served as Chairman from 2004 to 2012. He was elected a Borough Councillor in 2007. The chairman of Birstall Conservative Association Mary Allen said: “We were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden and untimely death of our fellow councillor and friend Stuart Jones. “Despite having a hectic work schedule, Stuart found time to work tirelessly for the people of Birstall. One of his legacies will be the Sibson Road car park. He epitomised all that is meant by Localism supporting the Birstall Gala and the LE4 Action Group.” She added: “Stuart was an inherently good man and will be a great loss to both Birstall and Charnwood. Our sympathies go to his family at this time.” Chairman of Birstall Parish Council Ann Marshall said: “It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Stuart. He was a longstanding and committed councillor who was also Chairman of the council for many years. Our thoughts are with his wife Veronica and his family.” Charnwood Borough Council opened

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a Book of Condolence for Stuart in the reception area of the council offices on Southfield Road, Loughborough and flags were flown at half mast at the Council Offices and Loughborough Town Hall on the day of his funeral. Stuart leaves a wife, Veronica, children Nathan, Glen and Matthew and a granddaughter Layla. His funeral was held on November 29 at St Theresa’s church, Birstall.

Riversdale Court: plans get thumbs down PLANS TO extend a sheltered housing complex on the edge of Birstall’s Conservation Area are being opposed by the Parish Council and some local residents. Charnwood Borough Council want to refurbish and extend Riverside Court on Riversdale Close, building 11 new flats in a new extension and converting the existing flats into one bedroom self contained units. The £2.4million project would see the creation of a sun lounge and first floor balcony with views over Watermead Country Park. There are currently 25 units within Riversdale Court – 16 bedsits and nine flats. 22 are occupied by 23 residents. If the plans are approved there will be 32 one bedroom flats. The number of car parking spaces will be increased from 7 to 15. Birstall Parish Council is objecting to the plans on the grounds that the appearance is “totally at odds with the adjoining residential environment and the adjacent conservation area.” The Council is also concerned at the loss of trees, the location of waste bins, the parking provision, the impact on a 200 year old wall on Front Street and the loss of light for neighbouring properties. One registered objection from a White Horse Lane resident states: “The development would be a permanent eyesore. It would be depressing to have to come out

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THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013


THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

Indecent images: man jailed A FORMER governor at Riverside school has been jailed for 16 months for possessing and distributing images of children being sexually abused. Nicholas Black (61) was arrested in March 2011 and was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on October 29, where he pleaded guilty to several counts of possession and five counts of distributing indecent images. Black, of Dawes Meadow Road, was a governor at Riverside School at the time of his arrest. The court was told there was no suggestion any of the images related to young people at the school. A separated father of two, Black had collected more than 60,000 images, mainly of girls aged between one and 15. The Police were unable to investigate all of the indecent material because of its scale. Black admitted 10 specimen counts involving possessing 3,362 images at level one, 258 at level two, 770 at level three, 1004 at level four and 167 in the highest category, level five. Levels four and five are considered the most serious: level four is defined as showing penetrative sexual activity between children and adults and level five, sadism or bestiality. Black admitted five distribution counts involving an unknown number of images at all levels. The court was told Black admits what he did was wrong, has shown remorse and is ashamed. He has paid for counselling and attended a rehabilitation course. Black was made the subject of a 10 year sexual offences prevention order, enabling his computer use to be monitored.

Gym donation CARL GUNNS’ gym on Birstall Road has been boosted with a donation. Birstall dad Simon Oates’ two boys Sam (7) and Jacob (4) have been attending the gym once a week for a year. “They absolutely love it” said Simon, who has made a donation for some junior boxing gloves. “I think them coming down here serves them well, there’s discipline, exercise and it keeps them fit”. Carl said: “People like Simon are helping to keep the gym open, I’m really grateful for the donation.”

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Students set up charity fayre STUDENTS AT Longslade set up stalls to sell cakes, sweets and all kinds of merchandise to benefit good causes. The Year 11 students were taking part in the annual Citizenship Fayre, where they advocate for a charity or pressure group as part of their coursework. Loaded with change, students and staff gathered early to buy various cakes, doughnuts and merchandise, all in aid of charity - there were also some brave boys who had their legs waxed Pics: students at Longslade’s Citizenship Fayre

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THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

Remembering the sacrifice TO MARK Remembrance Sunday in Birstall there was a parade through the village followed by a service at St James church. Taking part in the parade were contingents from The Royal British Legion, the Women’s Section of the Royal British Legion, The SAS, the Air Training Corps, The RAF Association, the Boy Scouts, The Girl Guides, The Boys Brigade, The Girls Brigade and Saint John’s Ambulance. After the traditional march to the church via Front Street, Whiles Lane, Birstall Road and Church Hill the column entered the village church and a remembrance service was held with Rev Vince Jupp taking the service. Wreaths were then laid at the memorial, led by

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Van drivers fined TWO VAN drivers are counting the cost of transporting waste without a licence after being caught in Birstall during a joint operation between the Police and Charnwood Borough Council. A total of 18 vehicles were stopped on the A6/A46 roundabout at Birstall and examined by the Council, Environment Agency and Leicestershire Police on Friday November 8. Two drivers did not have Waste Carrier’s Licences and were given Fixed Penalty Notices of £300 as part of Charnwood Borough Council’s annual Don’t Muck Around campaign which tackles illegal dumping. Cllr Jane Hunt, the council’s Cabinet mem-

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route to the church. Happily he recovered and attended the service. “The Birstall Branch would like to thank all who took part in the parade, The Police and Community Support Officers and all the church personnel and congregation for their tolerance and understanding in what is our major parade of the year.”

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the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Mr R Singh Sandhu. Chairman of the Birstall branch of the Royal British Legion Gilbert Nall said: “We had for the first time a support vehicle behind the marching column in order to safeguard the movement of the units. This was generously provided by Ausden Clarke Coaches and manned by Mr Lorne Kind. It immediately proved its worth by aiding an old gentleman who collapsed en

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Continued from page 1 Paramedics were called to the scene at 1.30pm on Friday November 15, and the man was taken to the University of Coventry Hospital aboard the air ambulance. Traffic was disrupted for two hours while Police accident investigators examined the scene. The man, who had to be cut free from the wreckage of his car, is said to be in a “critical but stable” condition in hospital.


THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

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THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

Young people support food bank BIRSTALL TEENAGER and Longslade College student Nillay Patel was one of several young people from across Leicestershire who decided to make the most of their October half-term and autumn weekends this year by joining the National Citizen Service programme. National Citizen Service (NCS), a flagship government initiative, provides UK teens between the ages of 16-17 a chance to give back to their local communities by developing and implementing a social action project within their hometowns. Nillay Patel (16) and the rest of his NCS team have dedicated time to promote and raise funds for Leicester Charity Links Winter Food Bank. He said: “I think the best part of my Social Action Project so far has been fundraising for such a good cause!” Nillay and team are promoting the food bank and helped out on the main

Pic: Nillay Patel (back row, 3rd from right) with some of his NCS team

collection day on November 29. The charity then gives the food donations to

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Leicester and Leicestershire’s most vulnerable individuals and families. This autumn’s NCS programme also included a four-day outdoor adventure residential complete with team-building activities like rock-climbing, raft building and abseiling, as well as three days of skills development with local and national businesses. Nillay said: “Since taking part in NCS, my confidence has increased. I didn’t know anyone before when I joined and was a bit nervous, but I met so many awesome people within the first few days! Also, my leadership and team building skills have improved, as I had to take charge in a group and guide them through each activity in order to succeed, especially in the raft building and Jacobs Ladder.” Nillay had this to say to any young person thinking about joining NCS: “It is such a good experience. You improve yourself in so many ways, plus you meet some great people. I would definitely recommend it!” For more information or to sign up for NCS, contact Phil Everett on 01522 574152 or phil.everett@eblo.org.uk or visit www.facebook.com/NCSEM1 and www.ncsem1.org.uk

Christmas thank you A BIRSTALL tattoo studio is holding a Christmas Fayre. Charnwood’s plan for ‘North Birstall’ include 1500 new homes, 15 hectares of employment land, health facilities, a new primary school, a supermarket, four pitches for travelling showpeople and a Wanlip link road. A total of 28 councillors voted in favour of submitting the plan, 17 voted against and two councillors abstained. Early next year the Local Plan will be examined by an independent planning inspector. If it is considered sound, Charnwood will vote whether or not to officially adopt the plan in the autumn of 2014.

“We want to say thank you to our customers for their continuing support over the year, but everyone is invited!” said Hayley Belcher from the Vintage Ink Tattoo Studio at 115 Sibson Road. The event is free but donations are welcomed – they will be handed over to charity. Hayley added: “All ages are welcomed as there will be no tattooing taking place and there may even be a special appearance from Father Christmas! Oak Homebrew will be providing food and refreshments, including samples of their beer, champagne and cordial. The event is on Saturday December 7 from 3-8pm.


THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

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Leicester City approves plans for traveller sites TWO NEW gypsy and traveller sites in Leicester, including one on Greengate Lane, have been given the go-ahead. Ten permanent pitches for caravans at Red Hill Way and six at Greengate Lane were agreed unanimously by the city council’s planning committee on October 30. During a public consultation most of the 1,500 people who responded were against the plans. The LE4 Action Group campaigned against the plans, collecting more than 2000

Car parks closed THE CAR park on the School Lane playing field and on Sibson Road will be closed for a period for the Birstall Christmas lights switch-on. The Sibson Road car park will be closed from 7am on December 6 and will re-open that evening, following the switch on event, which takes place at 6pm. The School Lane playing field car park will be closed from 12noon on December 6 and will not re-open until 7.30am on December 7. A spokesman for Birstall Parish Council said: “I must stress that any vehicles that are on the car park when we proceed to erect the fencing at the entrance will have to remain on site until after the event. The fencing will be secured and will not be removed until after the Christmas lights switch-on has ended. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.”

signatures on a petition. Birstall Parish Council also submitted a formal objection to the plans Permanent sites provide residents with a permanent home and operate in a similar way to council housing. Residents are responsible for paying rent, water, electricity and council tax bills. The City Council says construction work on the sites will begin in May and take about eight months to complete, but a final decision on whether the two sites can go ahead has been postponed while the Government decides whether it also needs to consider the proposals. The Government’s National Planning Casework Unit (NPCU) has written to Leicester City Council asking for further information on the plans for both sites. The additional information will be used by the NPCU to decide whether the Secretary of State needs to consider the proposals, or whether the city council can continue to deal with the planning application as normal. Leicester City Council is now submitting background paperwork about the planning application and the decisionmaking process to date, as well as its reasons explaining why the decision should be made locally. The NPCU is expected to confirm before the end of November whether it intends to call in the plans. The council cannot formally approve the plans until then. Numerous reasons can by used by the government to call in plans, including where they give rise to a substantial cross-boundary or national controversy, or have a significant effect beyond the immediate area. Chair of Leicester City Council’s planning and development control

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committee, Cllr Patrick Kitterick, said: “Further information has been provided to the Government and we hope that a speedy response is received, which will allow both these important decisions to be made locally by the council.” Spokesman for the LE4 Action Group, Terry McGreal, said that if the plans were called in “… it would be excellent news for residents because it will give us another bite of the cherry. Since day one we have repeatedly warned the Council that side stepping the development plan process has meant that the public has been deprived of their right to full participation in a process which should have involved not only meaningful consultation but also independent examination of the Council’s plans and proposals.” In September, Leicester City Council decided to evict the family that currently live on the Greengate Lane site, if they had not moved voluntarily by Oc-

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tober 31. At a meeting of the Gypsy and Traveller Assessment Panel on September 16, chaired by Andy Keeling, Chief Operating Officer at Leicester City Council, it was decided that : “Whilst the Council understands and takes account of the needs of the family, those needs cannot be considered over and above the needs of the wider gypsy and traveller community … they will be allowed to remain on the land until the end of October, but if they have not moved by that time, the City Council will look to evict them.” The meeting heard that complaints had been received about the site concerning the untidy appearance, noise from dogs, bonfires, horses tethered, encroachment on to adjacent land and businesses being run from the site. Two pitches at the City Council’s Meynell’s Gorse travellers’ site have been made available to the family.

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THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

YOUR SAY...

jumper-day Josephine Burgess, Save the Children

Stuart Jones

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: editor@birstallpost.co.uk

Thanks On behalf of Save the Children I would like to thank James and Paul and the staff of The White Horse, White Horse Lane Birstall for their support during this year. Their initial activity was to take part in Christmas Jumper Day 2012, then a lunch during Save the Children week in April, another lunch in October. Up to then they have helped raise about £500.Their final effort for this year will be Christmas Jumper Day which is to be held on Friday December 13. This is a national event and all you have to do is dig out a Christmas jumper from the back of the wardrobe or decorate an existing garment with tinsel and glitter and we ask for every jumper worn you donate at least £1 to Save the Children. We hope you will encourage colleagues and schools to take part. Further information can be found at www.savethechildren.org.uk/christmas-

Charnwood Liberal Democrat group were saddened to hear of the death of Stuart Jones, ex Chairman of the Parish council and serving Conservative Borough councillor. Stuart was a good man who put his whole heart into serving his community the old fashioned way, through public service. He was always a pleasure to talk to, and we had many long and amicable chats over the years about what needed to be done for Birstall's residents. He was a major factor in the Gala continuing as an annual event after its' original Millennium conception, and he put in thousands of hours as an unpaid volunteer on that committee and others at the Parish Council over the years. Society needs more people like Stuart. Please may I on behalf of my fellow local Liberal Democrats, send our respects and sympathies to his wife Veronica and family at this sad time. Ms H Edwards

Bus shelter How can it possibly be! In Birstall village's The Triangle, there is a perfectly good bus shelter which has been there for several years and, no doubt played its part in keeping the rain and snow away from many passengers waiting for buses. About half a mile away, along Wanlip Lane there is another bus stop, which only has a post with a sign on it! This is currently, the terminus for the Centrebus 22A bus to Evington, and is open to all the vagaries of the potential winter weather. Why cannot the people responsible for these two sites, use some of Birstall's high rates of Council Tax to remove the Triangle shelter and re-locate it in Wanlip Lane. Bill Hill, Wanlip Ave.

Before the houses I was recently at my brother-in-law’s and saw The Birstall Post. I had recently written a poem ‘Before they Built the Houses’ that I thought might interest your readers. Where Oakefield ended then, there were allotments, a wood, pond and field before you got to the Cow Bridge. I used to walk along the railway track as far as Fox Covert wood with my dog Lassie, often before breakfast, also across the golf course and round city farms. My maiden name was Rollett, the fourth of five girls. Muriel the eldest is now 88 and in a home at Oadby, Freda died on October 13, in Lancs. Doreen died aged 70 and I am next 78, then Christine 72, who now lives in Cornwall, My father had an ironmongery business at 178 Belgrave Gate, W Rollett & Son, he was the son but had no son to follow him, Freda, Doreen and I used to sing in Wanlip Choir. I married Gordon Porter who died aged 43. He and his parents ran the Off Licence at 77 Ratcliffe Road, Sileby. I later married an Australian Ernest Mason who died in 1995. Before they built the houses There was a perfect ring Of mushrooms, picked for breakfast With bacon, just the thing! Before they built the houses There were violets in the wood And delicate white anemones We picked them then, we could Before they built the houses There was a robin’s nest T’was an old blue teapot Whoever would have guessed? Before they built the houses In a barn where we could play A’jumping off the hay bales We were happy all the day Before they built the houses

We went fishing in the pool We caught the little tiddlers And took them back to school Before they built the houses Trees there were in a line The only that marks then now The Walnut Avenue sign Before they built the houses Our playground stretched forever We loved the fields, the flowers and wood Will we forget them NEVER Mrs Joyce A Mason, Bourne, Lincs

Dogs I am writing this letter as I need to express my growing concerns over the dog owners who live in Birstall or walk around Watermead Country Park. I have been involved (through no fault of my own) in a few altercations recently with people who believe that they are in the right when their dog is aggressive or out of control. The first incident was when I was walking with my dad and our two dogs and a friend joined us with her dog on an extender lead. We saw a couple in the distance who promptly got their dog to sit facing them, staring at a treat. We passed by (my dog off lead, my dads and the friends dog on lead). Our friend’s spaniel just happened to sniff this dog as she followed behind us and this was enough for the dog in question to forget all about the treat and launch at my dads dogs throat that was nowhere near her. When the owners were challenged and asked where the dogs lead was- the reply was basically that their dog was under control and that the spaniel should not have sniffed her dog. The dog was aggressive and didn’t care who it went for. I feel sorry for the dog as it is always the owners fault in my opinion if they stupidly choose to believe that a dog that stares at a treat is under control. All that was needed was a lead to ensure 100% Continued on page 12

Come & join with the Churches of Birstall & Wanlip as we celebrate the joy of

Christmas

St James the Great, Birstall December 1st, 10am, Christingle Service December 18th 7.30pm Carols for All Christmas Eve, 4pm, Crib Service Christmas Eve, 11.00pm, Midnight Communion Christmas Day, 10am, Family Worship

Our Lady & St Nicholas, Wanlip December 1st, 6pm, Churches Tog Advent December 15th, 6pm, Carols by Candlelight December 16th, 6pm, Informal Carols Christmas Day, 9am, Holy Communion

Birstall Methodist Church

December 1st, 10.30am, Toys on the Table December 22nd, 10.30am, Nativity Service December 22nd, 6pm, Carol Service Christmas Eve, 11.15pm, Holy Communion Christmas Day, 10am, Family Service

St Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church Christmas Eve, 4pm, Crib Service Christmas Eve, 7pm, Youth Mass Please note no late Mass on Christmas Eve Christmas Day, 9.30am, Mass


THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

Season’s Greetings Midland Window Installations would like to wish all of our customers a Very Happy Christmas and Wonderful 2014 As you may know, during 2013 we have been celebrating our 35th anniversary, serving our customers and local communities and raising funds for our selected charities, so don’t forget to visit our website to vote for the charity of your choice - www.midlandwindows.co.uk Now, we are looking forward to commencing 2014 on a high note and will be drawing our festive prize draw on Tuesday January 7th 2014.

Festive Prize Draw Accept a Midland Windows quotation, and pay your deposit, between November 1st 2013 and January 7th 2014, to be entered into our Festive Prize Draw 1st prize £50.00 cash 2nd Prize Wine and Chocolates 3rd Prize Cinema Gift Vouchers Prize winners will be notified personally on January 7th and names published on our website

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THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

Noticeboard all details printed free Birstall Methodist Monday and Thursday groups are jointly hosting a

Christmas Concert on December 12 in the church at 7.30pm with ‘Singing for Fun’ (director Anne Hughes) Admission free but donations are welcomed for Glenfield Paediatric Unit and local Birstall youth groups Refreshments will be served

Quorn Festive Art & Craft Trail Sunday December 1, 11am – 5pm Continued from page 10 that she could not attack and maybe a muzzle to be really responsible. The second incident was similar and it involved two dogs off lead that ran up to our dogs that were on lead at the time and promptly started to growl snarl and bite at legs and flanks. Tempers flared and angry words were passed but in the end my resolve is always the same- if you know that your dog is aggressive/selective or non responsive when off lead then do the sensible thing and clip it up. Notice that I do not mention breeds here as I do not think it is relevant. The other thing that I have to mention is walking your dog off lead down the street. I happen to know a few people who do this and generally speaking their dogs are amazingly well behaved but in the last four weeks I have witnessed three of these dogs suddenly run across the road to get to another dog or on one occasion to have a go at our dogs, narrowly being missed by a car. Please put your dogs on a lead before you lose them and cause an accident. I know that there are those that will disagree, but these past few weeks have shown me that even the most obedient dog can have a 'moment' and as far as I am concerned it is not worth it. Lee Meyer

Over 50 stalls at four venues in village Passport to all venues £2 Children under 16 free Many fine art and craft stalls: paintings, prints, sculpture, photography, jewellery, ceramics, glassware, woodturning, natural soaps, candles handbags, greetings cards, linens, plants & garden gifts, food stalls: preserves, home-made cakes, Christmas puddings and mincemeat and much more Proceeds to Rainbows Children’s Hospice and The Bridge Village Christmas Lights switched on at 4pm

Charnwood Conservative Association

Wreake Valley Rotary Club

Dec 7 : Christmas Lights Switch On, Market Place 11am – 5pm, lights switched on at 5pm Dec 6 & Dec 13: Christmas Market 10am – 4pm Dec 8: Christmas Pudding Market, 10am 4.30pm Dec 11: Christmas Farmers’ Market Dec 19: Mayor’s Carol Concert Dec 21 & Dec 24: Christmas Retail Market Dec 22: Carols around Christmas Tree 10am to 4pm Dec 24: Carols in Queens Park Bandstand 1-1.45pm

Santa and his Sleigh visiting Birstall December 15: Hallam Fields development December 19: Dalby Avenue area 6.30pm December 21: Walnut Avenue area 4.30pm

Impressions Steel Band are performing a fundraising concert of festive music on December 7 at 5pm Tickets £5 available from 0116 2121164 or 0116 2625744 at National Spiritualist Church 82 Vaughan Way, Leicester, corner of Vaughan Way & Causeway Lane across from John Lewis

Thanks Just a message of thanks to the people of Birstall who have supported me through the sad and sudden loss of my dear husband, “H”. Thank you for all of the cards, kind words and visits that I have received. Mrs Barbara Rodgers

Stamps Used postage stamps will help a blind person to lead a much improved life. Thank you. Deliver to 18 Rose Tree Avenue. F Savidge

Saturday December 7 Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley from 10am to 12noon Admission 50p Raffle, tombola, games, produce stalls, bric-a-brac etc Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP will be attending

Christmas Events in Loughborough

Birstall Village Hall Tuesday December 31, 2013 8pm start - till late Churches Together in Birstall & Wanlip

New Year's Eve Party traditional party with games,

Thanks I would like to thank all those kind people who helped my wife and I when I collapsed on Sibson Road on Friday October 25. Thank you all for your help and kindness. Keith & Barbara Newton

Christmas Fair

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quizzes, dancing and Buffet Supper Bring'n'Share please bring savoury or sweet food to share Bring your own drinks & glasses Tickets @ £2.00 - 0116 2672606

Birstall Royal British Legion December 7: Mick Knight (M/V) December 14: Colin Powell (M/V) December 21: Carlene Walters (F/V) Christmas Eve: Karen West (F/V) December 28: Mikey (M/V) New Year’s Eve: Steve Sinatra 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 Dec 8 & 29, starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday Dec 15 at 8pm Rock & Roll nights Wednesday Dec 4 & 18 Food available every Saturday 12noon-2pm Wakes catered for Christmas Handmade

Craft Fair Birstall Methodist Church December 7 11am-3pm A wide range of stallholders selling beautiful handcrafted gifts perfect for Christmas. The stalls range from ceramic and wooden decorations and frames to cushions, cosy knots and crochet gifts. There will also be tea cups and scented candles, paper crafts and cards and hand stamped and em-


THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

bellished jewellery. We will be selling tasty treats including fudge, truffles, cakes and festive bakes, pickles and chutneys. As well as stalls there will be festive music and a special visit from Santa Claus and his elf! He will be running a lucky dip with festive treats and a raffle for charity Entrance is free so come along and join in the Christmas spirit, with festive music and Santa and his elf running a raffle for a local charity

Film Presentations From Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council ‘Great Expectations’ Friday December 13 (128 mins) This fresh version of the Charles Dickens classic has distinguished actors: Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, David Walliams. It promises to be an entertaining film, before Christmas. Our New Year presentations will be on Friday Jan 10 and Friday February 14 Thurcaston and Cropston Parish Council will be showing these films at Thurcaston Memorial Hall. Starting at 7.30pm, tickets cost £4.50 and concessions are £4. The price includes refreshments and a lucky prize draw. Advance tickets can be purchased via the parish office, 0116 2367626 or at the door. The Bark Foundation (Charity No.1129762) presents

Cliff … As If! The UK’s No.1 Sir Cliff Richard Tribute Act Saturday January 11 at 7.30pm At Birstall Methodist Church Tickets £7.50 (under 16’s £5) inc. refreshments Looks like Cliff, moves like Cliff, sings like Cliff! The ladies of Birstall BAGS would like to invite you to all to our annual

Band Night February 8 At Birstall Social Club featuring two local bands and a disco Please come along and support your local charity and have a great night 8 till late All proceeds to cancer related charities

Come and Enjoy Music More! Do you enjoy classical music and would like to know more about it? Enjoy Music More meets at the Adult Education College in Wellington Street, Leicester On Tuesdays from 10am to 12noon from September to March each year. The well-known local organist, choirmaster and music teacher Robert Foreman talks to

us in his very individual style about a variety of music and we then listen to and discuss the music. Are you interested? Ring Martin on 0116 2592868 or Ken on 01455 822285

Birstall & District Local History Society Our last meeting for 2013 is to take place on Thursday December 12 in the Birstall Village Hall, Birstall Road, Birstall commencing at 7.30pm The talk will be about ‘The Gunpowder Plot’ which will be given by Sally Henshaw Visitors are very welcome and parking is available on the Birstall Playing Fields via the School Lane St James’ Day Centre 200 Club November Winners 1st Mrs Lucy Murphy 2nd Mr Richard Green 3rd Mrs Nicola Wills 4th Mrs E Hewson

Birstall Methodist Lunch Club Every Wednesday From 11.30am onwards Get-together in the Lounge 12.30pm two-course lunch hot drink £5.50 Come along for a taster Transport available More details: 0116 2672606 La Leche League Birstall and Leicester Slingmeet

Mini Christmas Fayre Thursday December 12 From 1pm to 2.30pm Birstall Village Hall Lots of stalls and refreshments whilst you grab the chance of getting some last minute Christmas pressies Come and support your local groups Everyone welcome

Getting set for a Shamanic Journey A talk on Shamanic Journeying will be given by Louise Walters at the

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meeting of Leicestershire and Rutland Dowsers on Saturday December 14. Everyone is invited to take along festive nibbles and non-alcoholic drinks to ensure there is a festive atmosphere. The meeting will take place as usual at St James’ Day Centre, Birstall Village Hall And will start with refreshments from 10-10.30am Admission £5 All welcome

Calling all Toddlers! Age 12 months to 3 years Bring a grown up to the ‘Netmums Favourite’ Parent & Toddler Group in the East Midlands Our sessions are fun, interesting and very messy Painting, sticking, play dough, biscuit decorating and lots more messy play Grown ups enjoy a cuppa while the little ones munch on a well earned snack of milk, fruit and a biscuit Lots of toys, books and jigsaws To finish we sing, clap out numbers or have fun with the parachute It’s a great place to spend an hour and a half of your day Interested? Call Karen at Acorn Parent & Toddlers 2672795 Monday mornings, term time only Venue: Highcliffe Primary School Community Room

The January issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Jan 7. The copy deadline is Dec 19.

Birstall Dental Practice wishes all our patients a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year 141 Sibson Rd, Birstall Tel: 2677180

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THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

Pay up or serve an extra year Parish Council Notes A BIRSTALL man serving an eight year jail sentence for money laundering faces an additional 12 months in prison if he fails to forfeit £20,900.

The amount takes into account how much Vikash Patel made from his illegal acts and how much he has in available assets. Patel (38), of Denegate Avenue, was convicted and jailed for his part in an £11million conspiracy in July 2013. The offences took place between January 2009 and February 2011. Patel and his co-conspirators laundered cash from a stolen £250,000 bond and £750,000 from fraudulent mortgage applications and transferred a total of £10million through their various bank accounts and on to China. Patel was convicted of conspiracy to convert criminal property, conspiracy to remove criminal property from England and Wales, and conspiracy to transfer criminal property. The bogus companies never filed accounts and the crooks never declared income relating to the

A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on November 18.

Pic: Vikesh Patel & co-conspirator Nisha Uddin, who has also been ordered by the court to forfeit money

fraud. The case was investigated by Detective Constable Chad Tolley of Leicestershire Police’s economic crime unit. He said: “The membes of this group received lengthy prison sentences, and now we are recovering their assets to ensure they receive no benefit from their crimes when they are released. Part of the cash in this case involved fraud, but we were unable to prove where the majority

came from. “Organised crime involving drugs, large scale fraud or theft, relies on people who are prepared to launder cash. This case should be a warning to anyone approached with what seems like an easy to make money that they should just say no – and ideally inform us directly on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Council launches scheme UNEMPLOYED teens in Charnwood are being given a helping hand by the Council to get a vital foot on the career ladder.

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Charnwood Borough Council is injecting £52,500 into the Charnwood Apprenticeship Support Scheme which will help small and medium-sized businesses provide places for 35 young apprentices. The scheme could see businesses, who employ no more than 250 people, receive a grant of £1,500 for each apprentice they employ over the next 12 months. Councillor David Slater, Leader of Charnwood Borough Council, said: “The jobs market is still very tough out there, particularly for young people who are not in education or training. “The Council is committed to ensuring a wide range of employment opportunities are provided throughout the Borough to keep Charnwood a prosperous and thriving place to live and work. “We have committed £52,500 to this scheme and plans are for this to support 35 local young people into employment.” Following the decision by Cabinet to approve the scheme, the Council will now look to establish links with local training providers to work with the Council and businesses to offer a range of apprentices for young people. Apprentices must live in Charnwood,

Chairman Ann Marshall announced that Cllr Stuart Jones had died that day. The Council observed a minute’s silence. Peter Barnsby was co-opted to fill a vacancy on the council. There are now three vacancies. PC Dave Jaeckels reported that on a community consultation event on Sibson Road, the top three issues raised by the public were road safety, antisocial behaviour and drugs. PC Jaeckels reported there had been three burglaries in Birstall the previous night, and one attempted burglary, all in the Freehold Road area. Entry had been made by insecure doors and windows. Cllr Neville Mayes reported on parking problems on Ambergate Drive during school collection times. The Council agreed to meet with Jelsons and planning officers from Charnwood to discuss the provision of a £416,000 Community Hall on Hallam Fields, to approach an architect to draw up plans and to authorise £10,000 to progress the plans. This will be refunded by Jelson when the development starts. The Meadow Lane allotments access track has been granted planning permission. The Council agreed to proceed with the plans at an estimated cost of £11,500. The work will be done in Spring 2014. There was some discussion about the provision of bus shelters. Cllr Julian Howe said he received more comments from the public about this subject than any other. County Councillor Iain Bentley was asked to enquire about getting the unused shelter outside the betting shop on The Triangle moved to another location. Currently no buses stop at it. It was agreed to investigate the costs of providing bus shelters. Charnwood Borough Councillor David Gaskell said he had plans for the Broadnook Garden suburb development at ‘North Birstall’ which he was authorised to show to the chairman of Birstall Parish Council and of Wanlip Parish Meeting. It was reported that a member of Parish Council staff has been bitten by a dog that was off the lead on the Meadow Lane playing field. The skin was not broken and the staff member did not wish to press for a prosecution. The name and address of the dog owner had been obtained and it was agreed to write a warning letter to the owner reminding them of the byelaws. be aged between 16 and 19 and not be in employment, education or training. Apprentices will be eligible for the National Minimum Wage of £2.68 per hour if aged 16 to 18 while 19-year-olds should receive £5.03 per hour. For more information on the scheme visit www.charnwood.gov.uk, call 01509 634727 or email david.hankin@charnwood.gov.uk


THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

NHW news

& crime report NOW THAT December is here, many of us will be buying gifts for Christmas. These are often placed under the Christmas tree and add to the excitement of the season. However, they should not be visible to passers-by as they could tempt the opportunistic thief. Most burglars gain access to homes via a back door or conservatory so it is important to secure back gates and sheds with padlocks or keys. Our fence spikes also provide a deterrent to climbing over walls, gates and fences. During these dark evenings, always leave a light on to indicate your presence. When you are out, this is still important as criminals will target the easy prey. A timer switch is a good investment, particularly if

you are away for a few days. The lights then will come on and go off at appropriate times. Our next Advice Shop is on Saturday, December 21, from 10am-12noon, where you can purchase an assortment of security devices to keep your home safe, talk to our police team, informally or privately, and enjoy a drink and a mince pie with us. Everyone on your NHW committee would like to wish the residents of Birstall and Wanlip a very happy Christmas. From Birstall & Wanlip NHW

Crime Report : Birstall & Wanlip October 2013 Assaults 6, burglary dwelling 4, burglary non-dwelling 5, damage 4, damage to motor vehicle 4, drugs 1, public order 1, theft 6, theft cycle 3, theft from motor vehicle 6, theft of motor vehicle 2, theft store 4. I took over from PC Des Hearnshaw at the beginning of October and I am hoping to continue the good work that he was doing on the beat prior to moving onto pastures new. I have already met with a number of local residents and am intending to get out on patrol as much as I can to prevent crime and provide reassurance

to members of the local community. As you can see from the above crime figures, we have unfortunately had a slight rise compared to the previous month, which is somewhat disappointing and fails to reflect the hard work that has been going on behind the scenes. The main areas where we have seen an increase are non-dwelling burglary and cycle theft as well as two motor vehicle stolen this month compared to none in September. The majority of the nondwelling burglaries are to sheds, garages and outhouses and so I would remind residents to ensure that these are locked and secured with a good quality lock in order to provide a deterrent to a would be thief. Also, by ensuring that gates giving access to rear gardens are secured we can stop those responsible from getting into back gardens in the first place, which is where the majority of these buildings are located. Similarly of the three cycles that have been stolen this month, two of them were not locked up. By making sure these are locked and secured when left we can hopefully prevent further offences being committed. Theft also continues to be a problem with the majority of these being so-called ‘drive offs’ from the Shell Patrol Station (when people fill up with fuel then drive away without paying). We are working closely with the Petrol Station to address this issue which will hopefully lead

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Heads shaved for BAGS A FAMILY shaved their heads and raised money for Birstall Cancer charity BAGS. A BAGS spokeswoman said: “A huge thank you to this group of men from the same family for having a big head shave in support of a family member and donating all the proceeds to our cause. “It was a very honourable thing to do and an amazing amount of money was raised in the process.” Pic: (l-r) Dave, James, Paul, Dan, Martin, Steve, Tom and Ian

Group launches book A NEW book’s editor was dressed as a Victorian schoolteacher as she arrived by steam train to launch ‘Living Memories – Belgrave Friends Remembered’. Sandra Moore arrived at the GCR’s Leicester North station to promote the book, which tells the stories of some of those laid to rest in Belgrave cemetery, recounted in pictures and words from their friends and families. She was dressed as Elizabeth Goodwin, the head teacher of Belgrave National School during the early years of the 20th century and was greeted by Bill Ford, Managing Director of the Great Central Railway Director. Sandra said: “The book has been in preparation for over two years and contains memories of more than 140 of those laid to rest in the cemetery. “The subjects are not the captains of industry or well-known civic dignitaries

From PC 1759 Dave Jaeckels

Tel: 0116 2677355 or 101. Twitter: @birstallpolice

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but were ordinary people who are far from ordinary.” Living memories may be purchased for £10 from Birstall library, or contact Sandra Moore, 0116 2363739 or booklaunch@friendsofbelgravecemetery.c o.uk

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to a fall in these offences in future. On a positive note, we have had a number of good arrests this month with two males arrested in relation to a theft of a motorbike and another male arrested in relation to three incidents of damage to motor vehicles. All of these are currently on Police bail whilst further enquiries are conducted. If you witness any suspicious activity, report it either via the Police on 101 or 999 (if a crime is in progress) or via your local neighbourhood watch co-ordinator.

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THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

Rampage WI news on street A TEENAGER FROM Greengate Lane was part of a gang that went on the rampage on a Leicester street.

Burglar steals medals A BURGLAR stole war medals from a Birstall house and the police are appealing to the public to help locate them. The incident took place between 4.45pm on Monday October 28 and 7.50am on Tuesday October 29 in Paget Avenue. The back door of the property was broken into and a number of items were stolen including a silver Pandora bracelet which had 11 charms on it including Statue of Liberty, gingerbread man and a baby’s pram, an Omega Seamaster gent’s watch, various items of

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jewellery and a white Samsung 10” tablet. DC Anna Burton is investigating the incident. She said: “The war medals belonged to the victim’s late father, they’re of great sentimental value to him and he’s very keen to get them back. “If you recognise the medals and have been approached by someone selling them or any of the other items stolen during the incident please contact us. “If you saw anyone acting suspiciously in the Paget Avenue area on October 28 or 29 in the evening or early hours we would like to speak to you, any information you can provide may prove useful to the investigation.” Anyone with any information is asked to contact DC 4450 Anna Burton on 101, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key in the officer’s identification number 4450. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.

CHRIS MEYNELL

Zayd Bobat (19) was one of eight defendants aged between 16 and 19 who admitted causing an affray on Loughborough Road on July 4. Bobat was part of a group, some armed with knives and bats, who confronted another group of young men outside the Comfort Hotel. When the second group fled, Bobat and his co-defendants attacked the two cars they had arrived in causing extensive damage. Bobat was sentenced to nine months in prison. Parveenjyot Singh(19) of the YMCA, East Street, in the city centre, was jailed for eight months, with an additional 20 weeks for breaching a suspended sentence. Zayd Bobat (19) of Greengate Lane, Birstall, was sentenced to nine months in prison. Reuben Stretton (17) of Shire Close, Western Park, also admitted an unrelated offence of driving a car after it was taken without consent and received a total of 10 months in jail. Johvarn Weston (16) of Rose Street, near Abbey Lane, was sentenced to six months’ detention and training. Lydon d’Costa (18) of Highbury Road, Northfields and Juke Wyatt (18) of Kensington Street, Belgrave, both received none-month detention sentences, suspended for a year with 150 hours unpaid work orders. Daniel Rai (17) of Prestwold Road, off Hastings Road and Ahmed Samankar (17) of Kashmir Road, St Matthew’s were both given youth rehabilitation orders, with six months of supervision, and were each placed on three-month curfews, between 9pm and 7am.

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24 MEMBERS attended Birstall and Wanlip WI’s meeting on November 4, 2013, our AGM. We are looking forward to our Christmas Carol Service at Harrison Rd Methodist church, on December 1 at 4.30pm. It's a family "do" and everyone is welcome. Having started all things Christmassy our next meeting will include the sharing of a "Secret Santa" where everyone gives and then receives a gift. We can also look forward to our Christmas lunch at The Platform Café on December 19. Following the AGM we enjoyed tea and home made cakes and scones. We were then shown how to make an angel for the WI Christmas tree to be displayed at Birstall Methodist Church Christmas Event on November 29th. Every member made one at the meeting so now we have 24 angels to decorate our tree. There was just enough time left for a quiz, with a box of chocolates for the winners. Our next meeting will be on December 2 when we welcome back Tina Bax with her demonstration ‘Decorating your Christmas Table’. As usual the meeting will be held in the Community Rooms at Highcliffe School commencing at 7.15pm. From Birstall & Wanlip WI

Law firm jobs LOCAL LAW firm Edward Hands & Lewis has announced a recruitment drive for 29 new members of staff. The volume of new staff required is a direct response to a growing demand from both private and commercial clients for its legal services, says the firm. They are looking to recruit 20 residential conveyancers, a commercial property solicitor, 2 paralegals, 2 legal secretaries, a telesales assistant, a social media assistant, an accounts clerk and an administration assistant. The company has an office on Loughborough Road, Belgrave and provides legal products and services to individuals and businesses mainly across the East Midlands but also nationwide and internationally. Managing Director, Paul Stubbs said: “This past 18 months have been a fantastic time for the firm, our staff but most importantly for our clients. Sustained and controlled growth has enabled us to provide a wider range of legal products and services whilst maintaining an award winning standard of client care”. Edward Hands & Lewis won the Services Excellence Award at the Leicester Mercury Business awards in 2013, Business of the Year at the Oak F M Pride of Loughborough awards in 2012 and are the official solicitors of the Leicester Riders basketball team. For more information on the positions available please see their website: http://www.ehlsolicitors.co.uk/ourpeople/working-for-us/


THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

The decline & fall of Birstall Hall NOTHING REMAINS today of Birstall Hall, built in 1758 on Roman Road. Local historian Mike Smith tells the story of the building and its inhabitants. Part 4: The Decline and Fall of Birstall Hall After John Mansfield’s death each succeeding sale reduced the influence of the hall’s residents resulting, eventually, in the complete disappearance of the Hall and its estate. John Mansfield’s widow shook the dust of Birstall from her feet with unseemly haste and bought a villa at Brighton which she named Birstall. Her estate sale, on July 17, 1839, was conducted by Benjamin Payne, a man of many parts, auctioneer, member of Leicester’s corrupt corporation and newspaper proprietor. The main lot, Birstall Hall and grounds, was bought by Thomas Smith for £40,000 [about £1.8million in today’s money]. Smith, once Mansfield’s chief clerk had risen to become a partner in the troubled Clarke and Phillips’ bank. Most of Mansfield’s other village properties were bought by the While and the Paget families except for lot 41. This block of eighty acres of farmland west of the turnpike, (today the Goscote Estate), was withdrawn from sale. The reason became apparent some months later when, in 1841, a handsome new country Pic: Birstall Hall house, with landscaped gardens arose from lot 41’s empty land. It seemed that, prior to the sale, Payne made an offer for the land himself and, after accepting the offer on his own behalf withdrew it from sale and employed Henry Goddard, Leicester’s leading architect, to design and build Birstall Hill House, today known as Goscote Hall. Thomas Smith, with the Hall and his delusions of grandeur, was in trouble from the start. Attempting to stave off the collapse of Clarke and Phillips he mortgaged the Hall. It was to no avail and in 1843 his bank crashed with debts of a quarter of a million pounds. The estate came up for sale again, but now, shorn of its extra houses and land, it was just another country house in exten-

Pic: Lieut Arthur JC Clarke

sive grounds. It was bought by Robert Brewin, a wealthy Leicester industrialist with a factory on Frog Island. The seventeen years that Brewin lived there, as lord of the manor, were noted for his philanthropy and open handedness. Every year he threw the grounds open, ILLUST: TOM BALL providing his workers with transport for a day out into the country, from which they returned to free food and entertainment at Birstall. As a liberal nonconformist mayor of Leicester Brewin was a leader in the reform of town and government. He died in 1860, much mourned by the people of Birstall and was buried at Leicester’s Great meeting Chapel. Brewin was responsible for reducing the extent of the hall estate by one third when his daughter, Ann, married William Walker. He gave them a large slice of its grounds (from The Cottage on School Lane to today’s Holt Road) on which they built their grand new house, The Holt. William Worswick, who already owned Normanton Hall near Hinckley, bought Birstall Hall in 1861. A shadowy

presence in Birstall village, he was possibly the wealthiest of all its owners. He was an industrialist with interests in coal mines, a number of which he owned in North Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. His stewardship of the estate was efficient but quiet, although he still gave his time to a number of causes, especially the formation of an effective Leicester School Board to oversee education in the town. After a long illness he died in 1871 paying the then enormous sum of £120,000 [£5.4million today] death duties. As befitted a devout Roman Catholic he was buried at Mount St. Bernard’s Abbey where, his obituary states: “At the conclusion several hundred of the country people were allowed to view the last resting place of him whom they had looked on with love and respect in life.” Joseph Crisp Clarke, owner of I.P.Clarke, sewing cotton manufacturers of Belgrave, paid £20,000 [£0.9million today] for the hall estate in 1872 and although he employed nine indoor servants in the hall plus a coachman and outdoor staff he soon found the estate running on borrowed time. Taxation, a farming depression and decreasing profitability of the family business (which at its peak employed 4,000 people and manufactured 1,000,000 reels of cotton a week) saw the estate mortgaged and then blocks of land sold off for building. The two largest plots sold were at the bottom of Roman Road where Freehold Road, Perseverance Road and East Road were built and The Slopes on Birstall Road where Guy Harlings, High Barn and a number of larger houses were built. With Joseph’s death in 1914 his son Arthur, a regular soldier, put the estate up for sale, a plan frustrated by the outbreak of war. But with the coming of peace an empty hall and neglected estate came on the market in 1922. By 1923 it was sold, the hall was demolished and the development of the Curzon Avenue and Roman Road area began.

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THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

News from the churches What’s Christmas all about? Are you the sort of person who starts buying Christmas cards and presents for the coming year in the January sales? Perhaps you keep your eyes open during your summer holidays for original gifts for special people? Or do you just keep putting off even thinking about buying such things until the week before the big day? Would we all be so generous to each other if we had no Christmas? During the 17th century the Puritan government attempted to put an end to Christmas festivities. An Act of Parliament banned all feasting and merrymaking on Christmas Day. Even going to church was forbidden! Thankfully all these efforts failed and our traditions are still celebrated in our multi-cultural society. After all, those angels on Christmas Night did announce that Jesus was born to bring joy and peace to ALL people. (And there must surely have been a party in heaven that night!) But the recent dreadful results of the typhoon in the Philippines and Vietnam must surely remind us to be generous to all those who do not even have the means to eat and survive, let alone celebrate as we can. Perhaps that’s what Christmas really means. Here and Now There’s a splendid list of Christmas events taking place in our churches this month starting with a special Carol service for the Scouts and Guides at 3pm on Sunday, December 8 and the Fire Service Carol concert at 7pm on Thursday 12th – both of these at St. James, Birstall. On Sunday 15th Wanlip church hosts a service of Carols and Readings by candlelight at 6pm with light refreshments to follow, and on Monday 16th there will be Carols round the Christmas tree, also at Wanlip at 6pm. The popular Carols for All will be held again on Wednesday December 18 at 7.30pm at St James, followed by seasonal refreshments. The season climaxes at St James with a Crib Service for children and families at 4pm on Christmas Eve and Midnight Communion starting at 11pm. On Christmas Day there will be services of Communion at Wanlip at 9am and Birstall at 10am. Finally to welcome the New Year, there is a Watch Night service at Wanlip on December 31 at 11.30pm.

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All are welcome at any of these events. The clergy and people of our two parish churches wish everyone a joyful and peaceful Christmas and New Year. From Beryl McHugh, Birstall Parish churches

Welcome back The church is looking forward to welcoming back our minister Rev Rachel Parkinson who has been away on a three month sabbatical. Rachel returns on December 9, having had a well-travelled three months. I am sure we shall hear of some of her adventures and experiences over the coming months. Christmas Services There are several opportunities to share in the real meaning of Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. All are welcome to all our services. On Sunday December 1 we shall share worship with all the Birstall & Wanlip congregations as we have an Advent Carol Service at Wanlip Parish Church at 6pm. This is part of Churches together in Birstall & Wanlip. Wed December 18 brings the Leicester Male Voice Choir to Birstall where they will share in the Peace Light service starting at 7pm Sunday 22nd there will be carols by Candlelight starting at 6pm. There will be a midnight service starting at 11.15 pm on Christmas Eve which will include Holy Communion. On Christmas Day the service at 10am will be a Family Service. Our minister Rev Rachel Parkinson will lead the services on 22nd, 24th & 25th. Girls Brigade Our Girls Brigade are presenting an adaption of the C S Lewis play “The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe” on Tuesday December 10 at 6.30pm. Tickets are £3.50. Ring 07974595485 for more details. Refreshments will follow the performance. From Tony Moore, Birstall Methodist Church

Discussion Topic The discussion topic this month is part of an occasional series which examines aspects of the Christian faith more closely and concerns the questions: “Why did the Lord Jesus Christ come?” and “Why bother with Him this Christmas?” As always, these discussions are

open to individuals of any denomination or religion (or none) and they are free of charge. 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. Village Craft Fair We will have a table at the Christmas Craft Fair in the Village Hall on the evening of Friday December 6, selling Christmas cards, books and crafts in aid of The Lodge Trust, a charity based in Rutland which provides Christian care for adults with learning difficulties. There will also be a limited number of free calendars. Please support this event and come and say ‘Hello’ to us as you enjoy the lights, music and mince pies. Christmas Carol Service This will be held on Sunday December 15 in the Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School (LE4 3DL) at 10.45am and the speaker is Andy Banton (Dunstable). You will be most welcome to join with us for this traditional celebration of Christmas. Other Sunday Services We will meet at Highcliffe as usual on 1st, 8th and 22nd but please ring for venues for 29th and the first two Sundays of January 2014, when we are not able to use the school. Our visiting speaker on December 8 is John Todd (Loughborough). Further information Please ring 0116 2214883. From Anne Taylor, Birstall Independent Baptist church

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Bowling club FOLLOWING THE conclusion of the outdoor season, members of Birstall Bowling club headed to Spain for a tour of clubs in the Mojacar area. Four games were played in superb weather conditions with the club winning two and losing two. Throughout the week fines were being issued by team captain John Hurst and after under a week, £300 was raised, which included a contribution of 50 euro from the Cabrera club, one of the opponents on the tour, following a barbeque and karaoke night. The money has been donated to the Birstall Breast Cancer Awareness Group (BAGS) £137 was raised for the local St John Ambulance branch following the annual game against Rushey Mead. This included a £50 donation from the opponents.

Dementia group A NEW group has been set up in Thurmaston for those affected by dementia. Thrummy Drummer Dementia Group’s aims are to help alleviate the isolation experienced by both sufferers and carers. A spokesman said: “At each meeting there will be a short talk on subjects that will be helpful or of interest, along with entertainment which has included dancers, choirs and flower arranging demonstrations. “Our next meeting will be on December 19. We will celebrate Christmas with a choir and lots more, there will be mince pies along with the tea, coffee and biscuits served at all our meetings. We extend a very warm Welcome to all those who live in the Borough of Charnwood and are affected by dementia.” The Group meets between 10.30am – 12.30pm at Elizabeth Park Sports Centre, Checkland Road, Thurmaston, Leicester LE4 8FN The Thrummy Drummer will continue to meet on the second Thursday of each month throughout 2014. For more information please call Jane or Marian – 07754 109798 or just turn up on the day,. The cost is £1 per head.

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THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

Art society show BIRSTALL AND District Art Society held its 19th Annual Exhibition during the first weekend in November, which raised £263 in aid of LOROS. The exhibition was opened by renowned local artist, Kathie Layfield, and over 500 visitors attended over the three day event. Members of the society are a mixed ability group sharing a common interest and the beginner is as welcome as the most accomplished artist. 147 framed paintings in a variety of media were exhibited, including oils, acrylics and watercolour, as well as mixed media, together with dozens of mounted originals. Two of the exhibitors were junior members under the age of 18. “Once again the standard of work on display was extremely high and covered a number of categories, from portraits and figures, still life, landscape and woodland, water and boats, nature and wildlife, to abstract and experimental work” said a spokesman for the society. The category winners were: Stuart Jones Trophy for Junior Members – Gemma Vissani The Norman Sims Award and Cup - Charlotte Stephenson Portrait/Figures – Bill Benbow Still Life – Charlotte Stephenson Abstract/Experimental – Sue Wakerley Landscape/Woodland – Mary Pepper Water and Boats – Moira Carson Nature including Wildlife – Mary Pepper

Pic: Charlotte Stephenson with John Nixon

Waste site hours THE OPENING hours of the recycling and household waste site at Mountsorrel are changing. The county Council introduced reduced winter opening hours from November 2. The site will now be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. From April 1, 2014 to September 30 it will be open seven days a week. The winter opening hours are now 9am – 4pm and in summer, 9am – 7pm. The hours of the county waste sites have been reduced as a cost cutting measure by the County Council. It has to reduce spending by £110million in five years. For more details: www.leics.gov.uk.waste

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THE BIRSTALL POST DEC 2013

Birstall BAG’s cancer corner Cancer Prevention Many people when told they have cancer look back and wish they had made changes earlier - the World Health Organisation say that up to 70% of cancers are preventable! There are many things we can all do to help reduce our risk of cancer and there are plenty of resources out there offering advice about how to reduce your risk of cancer. Here are just a few Birstall BAG's would like to tell you about. cancernet.co.uk cancernet.co.uk is a resource for individuals and their families living with and after cancer. It describes the treatments for cancer, their side effects and tips on how to cope with them. Professionals and patients have teamed up to provide evidence based advice, guidelines and practical services emphasising the benefits of self help and lifestyle to improve

well-being, reduce the risk of relapse and improve long term fulfilling survival. The site is very practical, listing lifestyles and foods to avoid or do more of. canceractive.com canceractive.com is a Complementary and Integrative cancer charity. The site covers orthodox medicine and complementary cancer treatments that may increase survival and even prevent a cancer returning. Canceractive uses all the latest available research to inform easy-to-read webpages and articles within there regular magazine. Cancer Active founder Chris Woollams has also written a variety of very readable books on the subject. Books Books on the subject of lifestyle and cancer worth a read include the pivotal publication by Dr David Servan-Schreiber 'Anti Cancer A New Way of Life'. The author having been treated twice for a malignant brain tumour became a lead-

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Small Ads Small ads are 25p for the first 16 words. 17-32 words: 50p. Enclosing payment, post your ad to us or hand it in (inside an envelope) at Birstall library. Trade/business rates for small ads are 25p a word. You are liable for the trade/business rate if you are offering a service for which you are asking for payment, or if you are advertising new goods for sale. All text will be printed bold. Box outline £1 extra. Max 50 words. Phone numbers count as one word.

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ing figure in his engagement for integrative approaches to the prevention and treatment of cancer. He popularized his knowledge through teaching seminars, lectures, books and a blog. He died of brain cancer in July 24, 2011, after almost 20 years fighting cancer. Professor Beliveau and Dr Denis Gingras's book 'Foods to Fight Cancer' is a very easy read and provides a step by step guide to the scientific studies currently available. The studies strongly suggest that certain types of cancer can be prevented by modifying our dietary habits to include foods with the power to fight tumours at the source and thus prevent their growth. If you want to know more about Turmerics anti cancer properties or why chocolate is a good obsession then this is the book for you. Finally nutritionists Maureen Keane and Daniella Chace have compiled a rigorous review of healing foods that boost your immune system in their book 'What to eat if you have Cancer'. Keane and Chace provide a useful introduction to the human body and the microscopic world inside all of us. This publication contains recipes, menus and the latest research on cancer and nutrition. For further information look at each of the recommended websites www.cancernet.co.uk, canceractive.com or as always www.cancerresearchuk.org and Macmillan Cancer Supports free phone help line 0808 808 0000 Monday – Friday 9am-8pm. University Hospitals of Leicester Can-

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Birstall Post (365) Dec 2013  

Birstall Post December 2013 community newspaper

Birstall Post (365) Dec 2013  

Birstall Post December 2013 community newspaper

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