Page 1

the Birstall post Y O U R




No. 366

Riverside pupil opens new store A BIRSTALL schoolgirl helped open Sainsbury’s new supermarket on Melton Road in November.

Hallam Fields school THE PROVISION of a new primary school by developers Jelson was a condition of the planning permission it was granted by Charnwood to build the Hallam Fields estate. Parents and local councillors have been pressing for the school to be built. The Birstall Post asked the County Council for an update and it released this statement: “We are aware that parents living in Hallam Fields have been waiting for a solution for additional primary places, and this is clearly a matter of concern to us. With this in mind, we have recently re-opened negotiations with Jelsons with a view to seeking an early solution. Whilst discussions are proceeding quite productively, as yet no agreement has been reached. We are hopeful we will be in a position to say more shortly.”

Eight year old Amy Carter from Riverside School joined store manager Darren Rhodes to officially open the store and welcome its first customers.

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Pics: (top) Amy & store manager Darren Rhodes with her winning design & (left) helping to open the store

Amy was the winner of the new store’s Bag for Life’ artwork competition, and her winning drawing has been reproduced on 2000 bags which were given to customers on its first day of trading. Amy’s design, featuring a banana carrying carrots and oranges, was selected from over 200 entries created by 7-11 year olds at the school. Mr Rhodes presented Amy with a framed copy of the bag and a £50 Sainsbury’s gift voucher. Continued on page 2 Celebrating 20 years of

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Tree wrap highlights food poverty THE CHRISTMAS tree wrap, knitted by members of the KGB (Knitting Guerrillas of Birstall) has been raising smiles outside Birstall Methodist Church since it was put up in the week before Christmas. Both young and old have enjoyed exploring the knitted pockets containing items from a Christmas dinner, from pigs in blankets, sprouts and mince pies to an aubergine for the vegetarians. While the knitting has a fun side, it also has a serious aim, says the KGB. The Christmas dinner theme aims to highlight the increasing amount of food poverty being experienced in the UK. KGB agents organised a collection of tins and dried foodstuffs to fill hampers for a local foodbank. Rachel Parkinson, minister at Birstall Methodist church, said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to host the Christmas Dinner knitting on our

tree. Christmas can be such a stressful time that anything that brings a bit of light relief is good for our general wellbeing. And the church wholeheartedly supports highlighting food poverty, which is high on our list of social concerns.” The knitted wrap was originally placed on the tree outside Greengate Medical Centre. Birstall Parish Council asked the KGB to remove it following some complaints from residents and after receiving advice that covering the bark may harm the tree. The council says that any hanging decorations can remain on the tree.

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Conservatory & Window Concepts Ltd received the report from the Consumer Protection Association, an organisation that helps the public to find safe, reliable contractors to carry out home improvements. CWC is run by local couple Byron & Mandy Manning. They said: “It’s thanks to our customers that we have received such a glowing report - it just goes to show that we always put quality first. “We would like to thank our customers for all their support through the recession years and particularly last year, and wish them all a very happy and prosperous New Year.”

Pic: Children explore the Christmas tree wrap

A spokesman for the KGB said: “We were only too pleased to donate the wrap to the Methodist church so that campaigning to raise awareness of food poverty can go on. In true Christmassy style they have offered the homeless

wrap sanctuary outside their church where its pockets are joyously filled with items for a delicious Christmas dinner. “Heartfelt thanks to them for taking in the Christmas dinner tree and allowing us to continue to raise awareness of the serious but simple need.” Anyone wishing to make a contribution of tins and packets of food to a local foodbank are welcome to leave them in baskets proved in the Methodist Church foyer and Coffee Shop anytime these are open.

Continued from page 1 He said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in the competition and to the school in helping us to set up this competition. We had some fantastic entries, but Amy’s work was just the pick of the bunch. We really liked how she combined the idea of healthy eating with groceries shopping into one drawing.” On Amy’s achievement, Tim Jewitt, Riverside Community Primary School’s Deputy Headteacher, said: “The children really enjoyed designing pictures for the bags. I would like to thank the team at Sainsbury’s for giving our pupils the chance to design the artwork, and I hope that the children have learnt more about healthy eating during the process”



Turbine: new addition to local skyline THE NEW wind turbine at Wanlip’s sewage treatment works became fully operational at the start of the new year. Erected in early December, it is the largest ly turned down the application but Severn type of onshore turbine to be installed anyTrent appealed and a planning inspector ruled where in the UK, 130 metres tall from the in favour of the turbine. ground to the tip of the blade. Each blade is Wind Energy 50 metres, or 164 feet. • In November 2013 the National Grid The turbine has been erected by Severn announced a new record had been set for the Trent and will produce 5000 megawatt hours generation of electricity from wind in the UK – a year of electricity, equivalent to supplying 6000 megawatts. This is 13.5% of the UK’s around 1500 homes with power. Jon Beeson, Renewable Energy Project Specialist at Severn Trent, said: “A huge amount of energy is needed to provide water and waste services to our customers. This turbine will help us limit the amount of electricity we need to take from the national grid.” Generating its own electricity will help Severn Trent keep the price it charges customers low, says the company. Mr Beeson said: “Severn Trent have the lowest combined water and waste bills in England and Wales and want to maintain this for our customers.” Pics: Severn Trent’s John Beeson in front of the new The turbine’s performance is monitored turbine & (below) one of the blades arriving on site. remotely from Manchester. The blades turn Far left: an engineer enters the door at the bottom 24 hours, seven days a of the mast. It contains a lift to the top. week and are stopped twice a year for one day for servicing. The blades turn to face the wind and if wind speed reaches 60mph, they total electricity demand, automatically rotate so enough to power 3,410,000 as not to catch the homes. wind and bring them• there are 4195 onshore selves to a complete turbines in the UK and 1075 stop. offshore turbines A Severn Trent • depending on local wind spokesman said: “As speeds, a turbine will generate part of our planning electricity 70-85% of the time conditions the turbine will not be fitted with lights. They were used while the turbine was being constructed to allow us to carry out work safely.” Some Rothley residents object to the new turbine. Borough Councillor and Established 25 years former Mayor of Charnwood Diane Wise DOMESTIC & COMMERCIAL said: “It is an absolute monstrosity and a BURGLAR ALARMS blot on the landscape, it looks like the Tiling • Slating • Repointing CCTV • Access Control • Fire Alarms sort that are being installed off shore.” Data Cabling • Nurse Call Systems Guttering • Fascias • Soffits She said she didn’t think the environUKAS Accredited • SSAIB Approved Installer mental benefits outweighed its negative ALL WORK GUARANTEED • NO VAT Please Phone for a impact on the landscape. Over 25 Years Experience Rothley Heritage Warden Marion NO OBLIGATION QUOTE Vincent said: “My big worry is the imALL WORK GUARANTEED & CERTIFIED Tel: 0116 4315689 pact these turbines have on bird life, 375 Loughborough Rd, Birstall Mob: 07789 116726 with bird strikes, and as more go up 0116 267 3737 across the country what effect they will 61 Worcester Ave, Birstall Mob: 0785 066 2323 have on bird migration. “Wherever you are, you can see it and the comments I’m hearing are about its awesome size, it’s overwhelming. Now we’ve got it we’re stuck with it, it does look better than electricity pylons, it has modern lines and if we have to have this sort of thing good design is essential and The new workout class it does have good design.” The Chairman of Rothley Parish Council, Percy Hartshorn said: “We didn’t want it but now it’s here it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. Some people are saying they like it and a few hate it, Guaranteed to help you see results without realising you are exercising but they’re about equal really and I Mondays and Thursdays • Stonehill High School, Main Hall 18:30-19:30 ONLY £4 don’t think most people have really Booking recommended • To book or for more information please contact Lara on: strong views about it.” 0788 589 9947 or email • Facebook: Fitness-with Lara Charnwood Borough Council original-


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THE BIRSTALL POST JAN 2014 Pic: ‘Cliff Richard’ entertains the crowds

Birstall Christmas lights RECORD NUMBERS turned out last month to see the official launch of Christmas in Birstall. The Christmas lights switch-on event, organised by Birstall Parish Council was held on the Sibson Road car park with Cliff Richard aka Will Chandler, switching on the lights and entertaining the crowds with some of Cliff’s hits. Visitors also enjoyed joining in with carols performed by Birstall Brass: local music students led by Alan Holford. There were fun fair rides, a hot chocolate stall, a market in the Village Hall and a Santa’s grotto. Ann Marshall, the Chairman of Birstall Parish Council said: “We organise the switch on to provide an opportunity for the residents of Birstall to socialise, to welcome the festive season and to preserve our sense of community. “It was very well attended and we’ve had lots of positive feedback.”

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PARENTS AND Toddlers enjoyed a visit from Santa who took time out of his busy schedule to bring an early Christmas present to every child at the Acorn Under Fives Parent and Toddler Group at Highcliffe School. Santa called out each toddler by name to collect their present and if they were brave enough there was even a chance to have a quick word in his ear. The children and their parents sang “When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney” to their special visitor.

Diane Allen of Mountsorrel has dedicated herself over the last three years to supporting our troops out in Afghanistan by letting them know we are thinking of them and their welfare by sending them regular ‘tuck box’ type food parcels which they can use to boost their morale while out on patrol. The reaction from the troops has been immense and hugely gratifying, says Diane. So far this year she has sent out 852 shoe box size parcels with help and charitable support from local stores and friends, but she now needs extra gifts so that she can continue her work during the last few months of their term of duty. Anyone wishing to donate can call Dianne on 0116 237 6805 and she will be happy to tell you how and when to donate. If you own a store and would like to donate items for inclusion in the boxes, these will be gladly received says Diane. The boxes are sent post free by the Royal Mail and the next consignment will be in January.

Pic: Toddlers enjoying a visit from Santa at their Christmas party.


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The Feb issue of THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Jan 31. The copy deadline is Jan 17.


Seasonal displays in church THE CHRISTMAS festival at Birstall Methodist church enthralled visitors with its magical display of Christmas decorations. Nativity scenes, richly decorated trees and a market tent selling food and decorations helped to start the Christmas season for those attending.

Pic (left): Thomas Withers (8) tells Santa what he would like for Christmas

ATM arrests POLICE investigating a string of attacks on bank ATMs, including one in Birstall, have arrested six men for conspiracy to commit burglary and cause explosions. It follows a multi-force investigation into 33 attacks on ATMs across central England including seven in Leicester and one at Birstall’s branch of Santander on March 29, 2013. Six men aged between 27 and 39 have been arrested in Merseyside and the Midlands. Merseyside Police’s Detective Superintendent Chris Green said: “Some of the techniques used by offenders in these crimes are extremely dangerous and we are fortunate that no-one has been hurt. “The public are our eyes and ears when crimes like these occur and I would ask that if anyone sees anyone acting suspiciously near a bank or ATM to contact the Police as their information could be vital in bringing offenders to justice.”

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Jonah is champion SEVEN YEAR old Jonah Walker from Birstall is “really happy and excited” to be a new British Tae Kwon Do champion. Jonah, of Tempest Road, secured the title at the Tae Kwon Do Association Great Britain championships in Cardiff last November. He won his first round bout 6-3 on points and the semifinal 10-2. “To win the championship I wasn’t scared, I knew I had the best kicks” said Jonah. “In the final I scored a three pointer to the head with a reverse side kick.” He won the final of the Green Belt sparring category 9-2 to become champion. Jonah started Tae Kwon Do when he was five and trains at Sileby Tae Kwon Do club twice a week, and at his school, Ratcliffe College, with his instructor Gary Vickers a 4th Degree black belt. Jonah said: “I really enjoy

Tesco festive display DECORATIONS MADE by children from a local nursery helped to decorate the staff canteen at Birstall’s Tesco Express this Christmas.

Pic: Champion Jonah Walker

sparring because I like getting points and winning trophies. I want to be a black belt and keep winning sparring competitions.”

Parish Council notes A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on December 9. PCSO Charlotte White reported that there had been an increase in the number of burglaries, many in the Curzon Avenue area. Comment was made that many residents are not heeding advice to leave a light on when they go out in the evening, a signal to burglars that

the house is unoccupied. Borough Cllr David Gaskell reported that the Riversdale Court improvement scheme had been granted planning permission and he welcomed the development, saying he thought it would be an award winning scheme. He reported that the monthly Borough Councillors Surgery at the 10 Sibson Road building was proving popular, and

The store invited the children at Birstall Rainbow Nursery to make festive decorations on the theme of snow, Santa and Christmas trees, offering prizes for the best efforts. “I thought it would be a lovely idea for the children to help us decorate our canteen” said Debbie Press from Tesco. “I think they look fab and we have donatinvited any parish councillor to attend. Terry McGreal from the LE4 Action Group reported on the group’s options for mounting a legal challenge to the City Council’s decision to grant planning permission for two traveller sites on the edge of Birstall. The group has spent £5-6000 to date on legal advice, and if the group seek a Judicial Review the cost would be £20-25,000. The group intend to seek a barrister’s advice on the likely success of any legal challenge, advice that would cost £2000. The Council considered a request from the LE4 Action Group for assistance. The council has obtained legal advice on the legality of using public money to support such a campaign, and on issues relating to discrimination against the travelling community. The Council agreed to donate £2000 to the LE4 Action Group. The Council agreed a precept for the year 2014/15 of £339,940. This is an increase of 1.5%. The Council’s budget for the year, which includes the precept and Government grant, is £358,650. Birstall Parish Council Clerk Steve Blackburn will retire on February 28, 2014 after five years in the post. The new clerk will be Sue Coulson, currently the Deputy Clerk. The Council agreed to spend £475 on welding a steel skirt to the bottom of the gate on the Crossways car park, to prevent people gaining access at night by crawling under the gate. The council agreed to budget £10,400 in 2014/15 for a steel fence along the Loughborough Road boundary of the School Lane playing field. It was agreed to spend £645 on removing dead trees near the Greengate Lane allotments. They represent a danger to passers by. The Council agreed to hold a best kept allotment competition in 2014. Permission was given to the Youth Café to grow vegetables in the Village Hall Courtyard.

ed a handful of presents to them in thanks.”

Indecent exposure A MAN wearing black tights, flat black ladies shoes and a jacket with a fur hood indecently exposed himself to a motorist on the A46 near Birstall. The incident took place at 8.40am on Thursday December 5 between Wanlip Island and Hobby Horse Island. The man is described as being 6ft tall, 30-40 yrs old and clean shaven. The same man is being sought in connection with two further incidents on the same day, at 8.20am on the Melton Road in Queniborough and at 8am on Gaddesby Lane in Rearsby. Police are urging anyone who was in the area around this time who may have seen this man to get in touch. Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC 2217 Danielle Mistretta on 101, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key in the officer’s identification number 2217. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous on 0800 555 111.

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Ambitious bid for railway museum A BID for £10million that will kick-start the creation of a new world-class railway museum at Birstall’s Leicester North Station has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Great Central Railway – working over five years. In turn this additional in partnership with Leicester City Council spending could create more than 900 and the National Railway Museum in jobs in the area. York – plans to open the new attraction Annual visitor figures for the railway at its terminus at Leicester North. The and museum combined are expected to new museum will be filed with priceless locomotives and other artefacts from the national collection, telling the story of how the railways helped Leicester become a thriving industrial city. Managing Director of the Great Central Railway Bill Ford said “This is a Pic: Sir Peter Soulsby (Mayor of Leicester), Bill visionary project. In the last 12 months Ford (MD of the GCR) and Paul Kirkman (Directhe partners have worked hard to pretor of the National Railway Museum) signing a pare today’s funding bid. The museum joint memorandum of understanding for the project development. PIC LEICESTER CITY COUNwill help people reconnect with LeicesCIL ter’s railway story and our shared heritage. Together with our thriving steam reach around 230,000. The total cost of line, we’re confident tens of thousands the project is expected to be £15million. of people will visit every year.” £5million of match funding would be The new attraction will create 300 required alongside the lottery grant. short-term construction jobs and nine City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: full time posts once open. As part of the “This is a really exciting opportunity to bid process an economic impact study create a heritage railway centre of nahas been carried out which demontional standing in Leicester. strates the museum and railway will be “The museum will house items which worth £43million for the local economy are of both national importance and local interest, complementing the nearby National Space Centre and Abbey Pumping Station and helping to enhance the city’s reputation as an important visitor destination. “It will also create hundreds of new jobs, both during construction and on opening, while providing training opportunities in the rail industry for dozens of young people. We’re fully committed to this project and will be working with the Great Central Railway to help them deliver this ambitious Pic: blue area shows land required for the museum. Red area currently disused

Pic: An artist’s impression of a locomotive on display

scheme.” A striking building is planned to sit right alongside the Great Central Railway’s Leicester North station, close to the Greenacres centre. Uniquely, steam hauled passenger trains will arrive right alongside the exhibition halls giving the displays a vibrant context. With the completion of the separate GCR reunification project, the museum will be a shining jewel of an 18 mile heritage railway. Trains from the national network will also be able to run right to the front door, offering tourists a real alternative gateway to the city. The museum will be connected to the running lines to allow displays to be changed, locomotives and carriages moved and even operated over the tracks of the Great Central. The Director of the National Railway Museum Paul Kirkman, said: “Leicester had one of the world’s earliest railways, it was also a hub of the Midland line. When the GCR opened in 1899 it was a key calling point on the high speed railway of the time. The Great Central Railway museum will see some significant parts of the national collection put on display in the heart of the country and show how the railways changed lives.” As the bid is submitted the proposed line of exhibits is being unveiled for the first time. It includes the iconic ‘Green Arrow’ steam locomotive. A class V2 engine, designed by the famous engineer Sir Nigel Gresley, this type of locomotive

regularly worked along the Great Central Railway before it was closed. The sole surviving GCR passenger engine Butler Henderson will also be on display and paired with a wooden ‘Barnum’ Carriage. The carriage will be actively restored in front of visitors demonstrating the craft skills necessary to keep Britain’s Railway heritage alive. As part of the bid a full programme of educational activities has been devised so the attraction engages with families, the local community and schools. Bill Ford concluded “We already welcome visitors from around the country and country but the museum will help us achieve so much more for Leicestershire. It will be a busy museum telling relevant stories, which are interpreted in the ultimate way, with a ride on a steam train! We hope the whole city will get behind the bid.” The project partners will learn if they’ve been successful in April 2014. Initially a small grant will be released allowing the plans to be developed further. A successful second round application would see the full grant unlocked with the museum expected to be open around summer 2018.

The Feb issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Jan 31. The copy deadline is Jan 17.




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:

Roger Smith I hope that you can offer assistance in tracing an old friend whom at one time resided in Birstall. His name is Roger Smith and lived with his parents and younger sister on the eastern side of the main A6. Roger worked for the then National Provincial Bank in Kettering and later in the late 60's in London. Roger married a lady named Bridget and as far as I am aware had a daughter. At this time I believe the family was living in Biggleswade. Unfortunately in the mid 1980s Roger and I lost touch with each other. Hopefully one of your readers or perhaps Roger's sister may know where he now lives and could kindly furnish me with his contact details. David Arnold 57 Wallshead Way, Church Aston, Newport, Shropshire TF10 9LP

111 number The new 111 telephone call service for urgent medical care is now working in our area and across Leicestershire. Why should we use it? Most of us who call 111 (and might have called 999) are not experts in telling the difference between the need for urgent (fast) medical care and emergency (life-threatening) care. If you call 111 and the person answering decides you need emergency care they will send an ambulance to you immediately without you needing to call 999. Therefore 111 can get you emergency care without any delay. How should we use it? The person who answers your call (the call handler) is trained to get you the help you need quickly. S/he will ask questions about you and what has happened to you or the person you are calling about. You will probably be worried, you might even be scared but try to stay calm and answer the questions as well as you can. The call handler has medical experts (experienced nurses and a GP) available to help and, if needed, will transfer you to talk to them. Call 111 for the best service for you. If you need emergency care (an ambulance) you will get it; If you need urgent (fast) care, you will get it; If what you need is an appointment with your own GP within 24 hours you will get it. Even if all you need is just good advice about what you need to do, you will get it. Call 111 when you need medical help Kevin Blanks NHS Healthwatch

Thanks We would like to thank all friends, neighbours and customers at Anne-elMaria ladies hairdressers for all your

kind thoughts, cards and gifts on the birth of our daughter Isabella who was born on November 11, 2013. Thank you all once again. Martin & Giovanna Bouchard

Thanks I would like to thank the residents of Orchard Rd for their generosity in helping me raise £74.41 for last months Poppy appeal, and look forward to seeing you again next year. Thanking you Arthur Harrison, Orchard Rd

Thanks Thank you very much for the generous giving to my Poppy Tins on Sibson Road. I am happy to say we were up on last year with a total of £497.27. Thank you all so much once again. We did remember them. Val Joyce, Hawthorne Avenue Vice president of the Women’s Section, Birstall Royal British Legion

Memories I really enjoyed the poem ‘Before the Houses’ by Joyce Mason. She must have played in the same fields that my brothers and sister and I played in, I recognised the area from her description. We lived on the west side of the railway, Cliffe Road, which was the only road on that side of the railway in those days. This was the 20s, 30s, 40s. We had easy access to the fields. Strangely enough I also wrote a poem some years ago about the same area. It’s about the lovely memories we carry in our minds of the past and when you go back there it has changed. I’ve enclosed a copy of it in case you feel inclined to print it. Sylvia Neal Going Back Did you see the old house where we spent our childhood Was the lilac tree in flower and the peony in bud Did lavender invade the path, had the hollyhock grown tall Were pink roses rambling along the garden wall Could you see the church spire up against the sky Was the churchyard peaceful, where our dear loved ones lie Did you hear the evensong ring out across the square And had the massive chestnut blossom fallen everywhere Did you wander down the lane as we did in bygone days Then walk across the meadow where the horses used to graze As you stepped upon the grass did skylarks flutter up Was the sunlight glinting on the gold-

en buttercup From the bridge across the stream did you watch the water flow Climb up the spinney where the lovely bluebells grow Follow the rugged footpath leading down into the dell Then round beside the willow pond, the way we knew so well Tell me, was it beautiful, is it still as pretty Or has it been allowed to ‘progress’, if so more’s the pity After all it was the mere tranquillity that mattered I think I won’t be going back, my memories may be shattered

Bus shelters I hope that the request of Mr Bill Hill (‘Your Say’, December) for the bus shelter located in the Triangle to be re-located on Wanlip Lane is justified by it being a better example of a bus shelter than the two shelters located on Sibson Road. Now that I am no longer a car driver and using the bus services I am surprised and appalled by the inadequacy of those shelters. The seating is very narrow and slopes down towards the front and is uncomfortable to use and the sides do not extend far enough. When it rains the floor of the shelter half way along Sibson Road becomes one large puddle because the tarmac has not been laid correctly in order to drain away the water. It is obvious that none of the parish councillors use those shelters. I applaud those councillors who decided to establish the excellent car park at the end of Sibson Road, especially Mr Jim Garner for all his time and effort involved in that but no applause for having just two inadequate bus shelters on just one side of Sibson Road. Surely the present councillors can do better than allowing this sad situation to continue. Mr J Woods

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Noticeboard all details printed free 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! To reserve tickets call 0116 2677576 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 Highcliffe Harmony with Guests Moira Male Voice Choir presents

A Concert of Choral Music in support of the Stroke Association Saturday January 18 at 7pm St James the Greater Church, Birstall Tickets £7 and £5 (concessions) available from choir members or 01509 814327 Mountsorrel Methodist Church Presents the 1st in the 13th series of Sunday Night @ Eight

Organ Recitals on Sunday January 19 at 8pm by Dr Simon Ainge of St Peter’s, Oadby Admission is free Donations for the Church’s Development Fund Buffet from 7.30pm

Film Night ‘We Bought a Zoo’


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Tiny Tots Group A small friendly group for preschool age children and their carers We meet every Monday afternoon in term time at Birstall Village Hall from 1.30-3pm from January 6 50 per family For more information phone Marion Tegg 2673817

Birstall Royal British Legion Jan 4: Sharna (F/V) Jan 11: Claire Mac (F/V) Jan 18: Derren Boulton (M/V) Jan 25: Elly Jamaine (F/V) 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 Jan 12 & 26, starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday Jan 19 at 8pm Rock & Roll nights Wednesday Jan 15 Food available every Saturday 12noon-2pm Wakes catered for

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A funny inspiring and true story of triumph over adversity starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and Elle Fanning St James Church, Church Hill on Friday January 24 at 7pm No charge, refreshments available

• let go of the past • feel confident again Find help with many of these questions and more at the Divorce Recovery Workshop Phone us, or use the website to book on to the Spring course DRW gives you the opportunity to air your fears and frustrations among people who are in the same boat, without fear of being judged. I went on the course, somewhat reluctantly, several years ago and found the confidence to search for a new and happier life for myself. And where am I now….older and wiser, more prepared to see the other side and with a new and wider social circle. Ready for a new start. Don’t just go through it…grow through it! Contact Val White on 0116 2101702; 07554 122910 Enquiries Next 6 weeks workshop starts in Leicester on February 24

The Eunuchs & Concubines of Ancient China A talk by Dr Michael Lynch, Hon Fellow School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester Tuesday January 21, 7.30pm Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane Tickets £5 Call 0116 2375254 to book, then pay at the door •••

Charnwood Orchestra’s

Viennese Evening ‘Birthday at the Ball’ January 18 at 7pm Humphrey Perkins Community

Centre, Cotes Road, Barrow Experience a live reconstruction of the famous Strauss concerts of 19th & 20th century Austria Soprano soloist: Elizabeth Ryder Tickets £12 (£11 concessions) and £3 for accompanied children under 16. They are available from the Paper Shop, Barrow upon Soar or by phoning 07718 153117 or emailing:

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. 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. e-learning sessions - CLASH2012, a UK Online Centre, provides basic computer training at its after school e-learning sessions held at Longslade Community College in the Palmer Tomkinson Centre. Thursdays during term time 3.30-4.30pm Beginning January 9. Please contact Conrad 07919844629 for further information. 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

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Film Presentations “Love is all You Need” Friday January 10 (116 mins) Bringing in the New Year, our first film will be a life-affirming comedy set in an idyllic villa on the Sorrentine Peninsula. Ida, played by Trine Dyrholm and Philip, played by Pierce Brosnan, are offered a second chance at happiness when they least expect it. Tenderness and honesty overcome all complex problems in the end. This comedy is appealing to us all. “The Great Gatsby” Friday February 14 (143 mins) The great novel by F Scott Fitzgerald has been adapted into our great film, featuring Leonardo Di Caprio and Carey Mulligan. The multi-millionaire, Jay Gatsby, lives in an intoxicating world of the super rich. This is a story of impassive love, incorruptible dreams and dark tragedy. “Captain Philips” Friday March 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. Advanced tickets can be purchased via the parish office - 0116 236 7626 or at the door.

Save a Life – Give Blood Friday January 10 1-3.30pm and 5-8pm at Birstall Social Club, Wanlip

Lane, Birstall To book an appointment Visit or call 0300 1232323 NHS Blood & Transplant


Snow White & Seven Dwarfs with an all-male cast at Methodist Church, Birstall Tuesday to Saturday Feb 18-22 Tickets £5 Tel: 2122513

Dementia Dementia Carers support course People caring for someone with dementia are being offered the chance to learn more about the condition and how it affects the individual The course is run by the Alzheimer’s Society and lasts four weeks Commencing Jan 23, 12-2.30 Coalville Community Resource Centre, Comet Way, Coalville The course is free For more information or to book a place Contact 0116 231 1111 leicestershireandrutland@alzeime

Birstall Local History Society Thursday January 9, 7.30pm AGM & Queen Victoria’s Royal Navy by Nick Marshall Birstall Village Hall, £2.50, visitors welcome

New orphanage building A SIX year project to improve the lives of children at an African orphanage has been a rewarding challenge for a local couple. David and Joy Bark formed The Bark Foundation six years ago when they were part of a group visiting Cameroon with other members of the Methodist Church, led by Rev Edward Sakwe. During the trip they visited the HOTPEC orphanage and when they returned home they formed the foundation and set about fundraising for a £47,000 baby unit which was completed three years ago. In November, David, Joy and volunteer Barbara Watson were in Cameroon to see the latest building completed, a £55,000 volunteer and training centre (pictured). The result of a further three years of fundraising the building has eight bedrooms, an apartment and a lecture theatre that will benefit not only the orphanage but the surrounding community. Barbara Watson raised £4,000 single handedly to provide a water tower. David Bark said: “The difficult times

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have been working to achieve the huge financial targets that were set to complete the two much needed buildings. Both Joy and I are ‘fighters’. Once we have taken on a challenge we are both determined to see a project through to its conclusion. We have been much encouraged by the support we have been given by friends, colleagues, members of the Methodist church and many, many others. Without them we could not have achieved what we have. Finally, we have made a difference to the lives of 139 children and 20 plus staff and volunteers.” At the opening evening of the new building David and Joy were presented with a humanitarian award by Bishop Tembi Alfred Tembi on behalf of the board of management of HOTPEC. The Bark Foundation will continue to support the orphanage by raising funds to support the education of the children.

Council sets budget BIRSTALL PARISH Council will increase its precept by 1.5% for the year 2014/15 to £339,940. The precept is the Parish Council component of the Council Tax. It also receives central Government grant funding of £18,710 – this has been reduced by 14.6% compared to last year and will be reduced by 32% in 2015/16 and 16% the following year. The total budget for 2014,15 will be £358,650, and the amount collected per band D household is £84.81. The increase amounts to an extra £1.25 per year per band D household. 60% of the Parish Council’s budget is spent on staff wages. There are 8.5 full time posts. The Parish Council is responsible for the village playing fields, allotments, cemetery, Village Hall, 10 Sibson Road building, the Youth Café, the Stonehill Avenue toilets and the village car parks.



Belgrave Traveller sites: legal challenge? flyover THE BELGRAVE flyover will be demolished in February or March 2014, says Leicester City Council. Removing the flyover, built in 1976, will be the first part of the Belgrave Circle regeneration project, which aims to connect the Belgrave ‘Golden Mile’ with Belgrave Gate. Plans include re-aligning the existing roads and Belgrave roundabout and creating a pedestrian walkway from Belgrave Gate across the roundabout to the start of the Golden Mile. The scheme also aims to encourage Belgrave Road through traffic to take another route, either Abbey Lane or Catherine Street. Local traffic and buses will continue to use Belgrave Road. The old Sainsbury’s site will be redeveloped with a range of new shops including a Sainsbury’s local store.

A LOCAL action group is considering a legal challenge to Leicester City’s Council’s decision to site two gypsy and traveller sites on the edge of Birstall.

On October 30 the City Council decision to grant planning permission granted permission for a six pitch site for these sites slap bang on the dooron Greengate Lane and a ten pitch site step of Birstall residents.” on Red Hill Way. The decision was put A Judicial Review would see the City on hold when the government’s Nation- Council’s decision to grant planning al Planning Casework Unit (NPCU) permission challenged in court and if asked the City Council for details of the successful, the decision would be set plans. There was a possibility that the aside. Mr McGreal said the estimated Secretary of State would call in the cost of a Judicial plans. Review would be On December 18 the NPCU an£25,000. nounced it would not do so and that At its December the decision on whether to grant planmeeting, Birstall ning permission would remain with the Parish Council City Council. considered a reThe LE4 Action Group has camquest for assistpaigned against the city’s plans for the ance from the LE4 traveller sites. Spokesman Terry McGre- Action Group and al said: “The decision by the Secretary agreed to contribof State not to call in the two applicaute £2000 to its tions is clearly a disappointing one. We legal costs, to be are in discussions with both our legal spent on obtaining team and our funders regarding a possi- a barrister’s advice ble Judicial Review of the City Council’s on the chances of Pic: the Greengate Lane site

Alcohol theft from store POLICE HAVE released a CCTV image of a man they are looking for in connection with the theft of a large quantity of alcohol from a Birstall supermarket. A man entered the Co-op Store on Wanlip Lane on November 18 and stole alcohol. Police are linking the incident to other crimes in Mountsorrel, Rothley, Ashby and Oakham. Offices are also investigating the theft of number plates from a vehicle parked in Norman Way, Melton on September 12. Police Community Support Officer Jason Harriman is investigating the incidents, he said: “We are linking these thefts and would like to speak to anyone who may recognise the man in the images, even if you’re not 100% sure we would still like to speak to you as we can quickly eliminate people from our enquiries.” Anyone with any information is asked to contact PCSO 6679 Jason Harriman on 101, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key in his collar number 6679 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

a Judicial Review being successful. Mr McGreal said: “Birstall Parish Council have also kindly offered to make a generous contribution towards our legal costs but the LE4 Action Group would not be comfortable taking that money unless we felt we had the best possible chance of success. I personally believe we have a good case but unfortunately there is no such thing as a cast iron case and although we only have six weeks from the grant of planKEY: PITCH

ning permission to challenge the decision we need to take the time to come to a balanced and rational decision.” One source told the Birstall Post: “Even if the Judicial Review is successful and the decision is overturned on a technicality, what’s to stop the City Council just putting in another planning application?” The LE4 Action Group have arranged a public meeting at Birstall Village Hall at 7pm on January 10. Mr McGreal said: “We would encourage as many residents as possible to come along and listen to what we have to say.”

ADMINISTRATION / ACCOUNTS ASSISTANT 16 HOURS PER WEEK 10am to 2pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays Salary Scale LC1 (15-17): £16,215 £16,998 pro-rata / per Annum Birstall Parish Council is a busy and expanding parish and is looking for someone to undertake general administration and accounts duties from 10th March 2014. The successful applicant will be customer focused, enthusiastic and must be PC literate. The general administration duties will include dealing with members of the public both face to face and via the telephone, using bespoke management computer software for the bookings and the accounts, producing invoices, taking and recording bookings for the hire of the Parish Council's venues, booking in and recording cemetery interments and maintaining associated records and any other related duties commensurate with the post. Application forms are available from the Parish Council offices: 0116 267 6191 or you can down load an application form from the website: Please note that CV's will not be considered. All completed applications must be received by: 5pm on 24th January 2014


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In the UK a bicycle is stolen nearly every minute of the day. If you are the proud owner of a new bike then do ensure you have a good quality D-lock to secure it when left unattended. Look on for further detailed and comprehensive information about securing your property. Our monthly advice shops have a good stock of items such as UV pens, SmartWater kits etc and we can also engrave your bicycles with your postcode. Held on the third Saturday of the month, there is always someone available to offer further tips, hints and advice on how to keep 2014 safe and secure.

before the courts. There has been a lot happening this month including a Police Consultation event held in Sibson Road on the November 13 where members of the public were asked to give their views on Policing in Birstall. Many of those spoken to said that they were generally happy with their local Police however a number of issues were identified including Road safety (primarily speeding), Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and concern about drugs being used. In order to tackle YOUR LOCAL Neighbourhood these concerns we are looking at trying Watch team hope you enjoyed to set up a community speed-watch the Christmas festivities and that scheme, and we are also planning to From Birstall & Wanlip NHW you were lucky enough to get increase patrols in the areas that have been highlighted as ASB / drug-use hotwhat you hoped for. spots to try and resolve these issues. Some of your Christmas gifts may need Crime Report : November 2013 Assaults 6, burglary dwelling 9, burIn conjunction with the Neighbourextra security measures put in place in glary non-dwelling 4, damage 2, damage hood Watch we have also been out delivorder to raise the likelihood of their reering burglary advice leaflets to around turn to you should they get stolen. Accord- to motor vehicle 1, theft 3, theft cycle 2, 500 homes in the area around Roman theft from motor vehicle 1, theft of moing to IMMOBILISE, The UK National Road, Birstall Road, Loughborough Road Property Register, the top four items most tor vehicle 1, theft from store 8. and Curzon Avenue reminding residents wanted by thieves are: OVERALL CRIME is down for this about the importance of locking doors Portable computing devices month compared to October, however and windows. Can I say a huge thank you Due to their popularity laptop and house burglaries are up from four ofto all those that assisted with this, which tablet theft nowadays is a significant risk. fences last month to nine offences helped to speed up the task no end! They are portable and can be sold on this month, which is clearly of concern. Lastly, can I remind all residents that easily at a good price. There are several as the temperatures drop over the winter In four of these cases, entry was methods to protect your hardware includmonths we often see an increase in theft gained via either an insecure door or ing alarms, laptop locks and visual deterof motor vehicles as drivers leave their window and so I would remind all resirents such as stickers or labels. Most dents to ensure that these are locked and cars unattended with the engines running importantly be sure to register the serial whilst they are ‘defrosting’. Car thieves number of your device on IMMOBILISE secured whenever your home is unoccualong with your postcode which can be will be on the lookout for this and will pied to make it more difficult for a written on the back with a UV pen. simply drive the vehicles away, which can would-be burglar, as a lot of these Smart phones be a very costly mistake – especially as crimes are still committed by ‘opportunMaybe you were lucky enough to reinsurance companies will often NOT pay ists’ who see insecure houses as easy ceive one at Christmas. They are also high targets. out if the vehicle has been stolen in this on the list of things to steal amongst manner. As such, please ensure that you We are also still being plagued by thieves and many people can find themremain with your vehicle at all times shop theft with another eight offences selves victims of phone theft. Go to this month. I will add however that at the whilst it is defrosting to prevent yourself for more detailed from becoming a victim of this crime. time of writing, three of these have been advice and guidance on how to protect And as always, report ANY suspicious ‘detected’ with persons arrested and your phone activity to either Leics Police or your charged and of the remaining five, at Cash and Jewellery local Neighbourhood watch. least two have suspects identified who Do not leave cash or jewellery lying will be dealt with in due course, so hope- PC 1759 Dave Jaeckels, PCSO 6611 Mark Butler & PCSO 6148 Charlotte White visible around the house. Make sure you fully we are getting the message across L05 – Birstall Office keep valuables out of sight and where that shoplifting in Birstall will not be Leicestershire Police possible put them in a secure place such tolerated and that we will take every as a safe. Tel: 0116 2677355 OR 101 opportunity to put those responsible Twitter: @birstallpolice Bicycles

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Benefit cheat caught A BENEFIT cheat who illegally claimed more than £27,000 of public money has been given a suspended jail sentence. Amerdeep Singh Tara, 33, of Harrowgate Drive, Birstall, pleaded guilty at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on November 17, 2013, to five charges of fraud after a joint investigation by Charnwood Borough Council and the Department of Work and Pensions into benefit fraud. The court heard that Tara pocketed £26,467.96 in Council Tax benefit, Job Seekers Allowance and Employment Support for almost three years, despite renting out his home and studying for a degree at De Montfort University. Tara had also claimed Single Persons Discount on his Council Tax, despite living with tenants. It is the first time the Council has prosecuted someone for Single Persons Discount Fraud. The Council investigated Tara after two of his tenants applied for Housing Benefit. They also found that he had been advertising for tenants online. Tara was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 24 months, and ordered to pay £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge. The illegally claimed money will also be recouped. Councillor Jenny Bokor, Charnwood Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Revenues, Benefits and Customer Services, said: “There is no excuse for benefit fraud and we will not tolerate people stealing from the public purse. “It is simply not fair that this money is being diverted away from people who are genuinely in need and we welcome this successful prosecution. “We take benefit fraud extremely seriously and will investigate any allegations. I hope this case acts as reminder to potential fraudsters that we will take action.” If you suspect someone of illegally claiming benefits, you can contact or contact 01509 634849

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WI news

New cinema for town

TWENTY NINE ladies attended Birstall and Wanlip WI’s last meeting of 2013 at Highcliffe School on December 2.

THE OLD Baxter Gate hospital site in Loughborough is set to become a brand new multi-million pound cinema and leisure complex.

It was a suitably festive affair as we exchanged Secret Santa gifts and speaker Tina Bax gave us an inspiring demonstration of Christmas table decorations. There were plenty of mince pies and chat as we talked about yet another enjoyable year spent together. On December 1 we hosted a Carol Concert for the Bradgate Group of WI’s at the beautiful Victorian (and comfortingly warm) Harrison Road Methodist Church. Richard Tinley led the Service and David Bark played the organ as we raised £104.48p for the Church. Some of us will be meeting again before Christmas as we have planned trips to the Curve to see Chicago on December 9 and a Christmas Lunch on December 19 at the Platform Café. Partners are also welcome to come to both of these events. We next meet on January 13 at 7.15pm at Highcliffe School. New ladies are welcome to come and sample a meeting. Perhaps it could be something new to do in 2014? From Birstall & Wanlip WI


The site has been sold to developer Citygrove which wants to build an eight-screen multiplex cinema complete with up to seven family restaurants, including Nandos. The project will create around 180 jobs and will boost Loughborough’s profile as a top destination for shopping and leisure, says Charnwood Borough Council. The Citygrove development was approved by the Council’s Plans Committee on December 5, 2013. Councillor David Slater, Leader of Charnwood FACES ARTS, the Birstall based Performing Arts and Theatre School Borough Council, said: “I think it is fair to say the Company, performed their annual pantomime in the run up to Baxter Gate is overdue some tender loving care, and this complex will deliver that as well as giving Christmas at Longslade’s Palmer Tomkinson Centre. the town a major economic shot in the arm. hugely encouraging. At Faces Arts we ‘Snow White’ was the latest in a sucWe’ve been working on improving and regeneratpride ourselves on working with youngcession of performances from the Faces ing the town centre for a number of years and sters in the community and I Arts students this year. Students national companies are now recognising that would like to thank eveparticipating were aged Loughborough is the place they want to be.” ryone who supportbetween 11 and 16, Steve Wiener, CEO of Cineworld said: “I am ed this year’s and meet every Tuesvery pleased that Cineworld will be able to propantomime”. day after school. vide a new modern cinema for the residents of Faces Arts This year some of Loughborough and the surrounding area. We take have been the younger great pride in always trying to deliver the best established in children from movie experience for all members of the commuBirstall for the Tumble sesnity.” nearly ten sion where also Oliver de Chalus, Development Director for years and included in an Citygrove, said: “Operators who have now commithost a variety acro dance piece. ted to the scheme include Cineworld for an eightof weekly ses“All the children screen state of the art multiplex cinema, Pizza sions and Saturwere quite simply, Express, Nandos, Loungers Café Bars, Starbucks, day sessions for amazing” said Principal Dean’s Diner and Mimosa. We look forward to children aged between 18 Jody Chesterton. “They have commencing construction works late summer months and 18 years worked so hard on this production and next year.” the cheers they received by the audiencPics: (top) Dolly & Danny Dumpling plan to reses were nothing more than they decue Snow White from the wicked queen; (inset) served. The level of talent we see is Snow White & the Prince

Snow White in Birstall

Planning applications P/13/2472/2: 120 Stonehill Avenue – single storey rear and side extension P/13/2404/2: 38 Stonehill Avenue – erection of single storey extension to rear of dwelling P/13/2373/2: Land rear of 86 Queensgate Drive – site for the erection of up to 3 bungalows P/13/2385/2: 23 Tempest Road – erection of single and two storey extensions with covered balcony to rear and dormer extensions to front of dwelling P/13/2356/2: Co-operative, 19 Wanlip Lane - repositioning of ATM on front elevation, new roller shutters to rear entrance and colour variations to shopfront entrance P/13/2325/2: The Trees, 104 Stonehill Avenue – demolition of public house. Site will be developed by separate planning application for housing P/13/2352/2: 4 Walker Road – the erection of a single storey rear extension extending beyond the rear wall of the original house by 3.60m with a maximum height of 3.52m and height to the eaves of 2.61m



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Church news We three kings… Most people will have had their fill of carol-singing by January but in the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, the season of Epiphany which follows Christmas, celebrates the arrival of the three Magi (or wise men) to visit Jesus. The words “three kings” don’t appear anywhere in the Bible, but the tradition of calling the gift-bearers “ kings” evolved in the sixth century and they were later given the names of Caspar, Melchior and Belthasar. The festival of Epiphany, which means “revelation”, comes on January 6, which we know in this country as Twelfth Night, the last day of Christmas. In some European countries, such as Austria and parts of Germany and Switzerland, groups of young people, “star- singers”, go from door to door dressed as wise men and receiving treats, but also collecting for charity. Perhaps we should substitute this idea for the less attractive trick and treats of Hallowe’en! Going back further Another very ancient festival, Candlemas, which dates back to the 4th or 5th century is kept at Wanlip church at 6pm on Sunday February 2, when the first time that Jesus was brought into the temple by his mother is celebrated by the lighting of candles within a communion service. Members of all churches (or none) will be very welcome. And in case you think that Anglicans are all about celebrating in traditional ways, come along to St. James on Sunday morning January 2 at 10am for the All Together service when you will see Epiphany through much more modern eyes! Starting again The dark month of January seems like a good time for another of our film evenings at St James- an amusing and true life story: “We bought a Zoo”. This will be shown at 7pm on Friday January 24 in the church. There will be no charge and refreshments will be available at the interval. Bring a cushion! An additional treat will be a concert by the Highcliffe Harmony singing group, conducted by Carolyn Necklen, and the Moira Male Voice Choir, on Saturday 18th January at 7pm in St James. Tickets will be £7 (concessions £5) at the door, and proceeds are for the Stroke Association. Many of our home groups, which meet weekly or fortnightly for discussion and fel-

lowship, will be starting up again this month after a Christmas break. If you are interested in trying one of these meetings, there is a booklet detailing more about them available at the back of St James’ church or leave a message on the church answer phone and one will be sent to you (2671797). A happy and peaceful New Year to everyone. From Beryl McHugh, Parish Churches

Pantomime Tickets Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be on stage for the 2014 Mens Pantomime. (Oh yes they will). It will run for six performances during half term week, Tuesday 18 to Saturday February 22 at 7.30 each evening with a matinee on Saturday. Tickets are £5 and obtainable from Deborah Tel 2122513. Christmas Festival Result Thanks to everyone who supported this 2 day event. To those who created the wonderful displays in the church, those who made the variety of goods for sale, those who braved the cold to sell the goods at the Christmas Market, and to those who came along and spent some money – Thank You. The sum raised for the Church (and part for Asthma UK) was £7410. Covenant Service At the beginning of each calendar year, those who see themselves as part of the Methodist Family, and many other Christians, follow the practice laid down by John Wesley in making an Annual Covenant, or promise. Put very simply it could be seen as the Christian’s ‘New Year Resolution’. This year our Annual Covenant Service will be led by our own Minister Rev Rachel Parkinson on January 5 at 10.30am. Luncheon Club The Wednesday Luncheon Club has been running in its ‘new’ form since May. The meal consisting of a main course, sweet & a cup of tea will cost £5.50. There are places available. Please contact Janet on 2671471 for details. See also article elsewhere in this issue of Birstall Post From Tony Moore, Birstall Methodist Church

Thanks We would like to thank you for your support at the Craft Fair in December. The Lodge Trust (Market Overton) was very appreciative of the funds raised. Discussion Topic

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On December 5, the world learnt of the death of Nelson Mandela. A common theme among the many tributes was an emphasis on his forgiveness of those who had opposed and imprisoned him. This was regarded as so remarkable because we generally find it very difficult to forgive someone and so often we hear people say, “I’ll never forgive (someone) because of (something).” Yet, on the other hand, we welcome receiving forgiveness for ourselves from another person. This is the subject for our Discussion Topic for January. The question is: “Forgiveness: why and how?” As always, these discussions are open to individuals of any denomination or religion (or none) and they are free of charge. 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 Please ring for venues for our services on 5th and 12th. We return to the Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School (LE4 3DL) on 19th and 26th. All these services begin at 10.45am and you will be most welcome to come along. Looking ahead, our visiting speaker for February 2 is John Tonks (Leicester). New Year Wishes BIBC would like to wish each one a very happy and blessed 2014.

City bus station plans A proposed £13.5million redevelopment of Leicester’s Haymarket Bus Station has won the support of the Department for Transport (DfT). In an announcement in December, the Government confirmed that the city council’s bid for £3.5million from the Local Pinch Point fund has been successful. Cllr Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The present bus station is a series of bus shelters on a number of traffic islands – it’s shabby and dangerous and not fit for the 21st century. The replacement bus station was originally designed to provide a safe environment for buses and passengers, but this extra money means we can go ahead with our plans for a concourse and waiting area that will give the city the high quality bus station it deserves.”

From Anne Taylor, Birstall Independent Baptist Church. Further information: please ring 0116 2214883.


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METAL WORK cutting, welding, making steel gates, fencing, erection of small buildings, repair work and other estate work. Freelance. Priced work or hourly paid. Must be experienced. Continual work. For more detail ring Fiona Parker on 0116 2300050 or email The Midlands Co-Operative

Sports & Social Club Birstall Road The ideal venue for for

Weddings • Parties Christenings etc Large Function Room with use of Kitchen

Separate bar for that quiet moment

Car Park with CCTV coverage Disabled facilities Mid Week Functions taken Give us a call at Birstall Rd on

2674059 or 07837 690287

Pic: the new bus station

The new Haymarket Bus Station would provide more capacity for local bus services, with the number of bus stands increasing from 12 to 23. Bus services that currently use nearby on-street bus stops will be relocated to the new bus station, to reduce bus queuing and congestion in the area. A new concourse building is also proposed. This would provide modern facilities and the latest information systems for bus passengers. Roof-mounted solar panels will help provide power for the new building and to charge mobility scooters at the Shopmobility centre which will be housed there. “By increasing the size of the station, and the number of bus services that can use it, this will also have a really positive impact on bus congestion in the area” said Peter Soulsby. “These plans also provide an opportunity to make this rather rundown area much more attractive to visitors, with wider pavements, more open space and improved seating all included in our plans.” The city council is also planning a number of improvements that will make the area around the bus station more attractive. The footpath on the opposite side of Charles Street will be widened and reconstructed with high-quality block paving. New trees, seating and decorative glass screens are also planned. The planning application for the new bus station will be considered by the council’s planning and development control committee on January 8, 2014. If approved, work on the new bus station could begin in late summer 2014 and be complete by Christmas 2015. It would be funded with £10million set aside by the city council as part of its Economic Action Plan, supplemented by the £3.5million announced by the DfT. The Haymarket Bus Station is part of Connecting Leicester – a programme of works that’s improving links for pedestrians, cyclists and bus passengers in and around the city centre and its historic Old Town. More information about the bus station plans, including artist’s impressions and a 3D fly-through, can be found at



Christmas lunch RIVERSIDE SCHOOL choir performed Christmas songs, poems and carols for the Birstall Methodist lunch club in December, before the group enjoyed their Christmas meal, shared by 62 members and helpers.

Spokeswoman Mary Downs said: “The lunch club has been serving the community for over 40 years and is the only group of its kind in the village. New members are always welcome.” The club meets every Wednesday at the Methodist church – 11.30am onwards for a get-together followed by

lunch served at 12.30pm. It is £5.50 for two courses and a hot drink, and transport by minibus can be arranged. Mary said: “The lunch club is not just about having a meal, it is meeting up with friends, making new friends and even re-uniting with old friends. “Ask any of our members and they will tell you that it is a most enjoyable and sociable time.” For more details contact Mary 2672606 or Janet 2671471.

Start 2014 running GET IN to running by joining a free beginners course led by a qualified leader. The sessions are aimed at people who are completely new to running and all abilities are welcome. The first meeting is on Wednesday January 8 but you can joining the 10 week course at any time. Sessions last 30 minutes plus on safe routes, meeting at the car park of the Birstall Royal British Legion HQ on Front Street at 6.55pm for a 7pm start. Leader Dave Snutch said: “Come on down and be amazed at what you can achieve. It’s free, it’s healthy, it’s safe and properly organised and it’s in Birstall.”



Tel: 0116 2601851

School concert A CHRISTMAS concert at Stonehill school showcased the talents of students from local primary schools and Longslade, as well as those from Stonehill. Presented by Michael Scrivens, the Head of Music and Creative Arts at Stonehill, the concert featured instrumental solos, wind and string ensembles, and a choir.

Free money advice BUDGET HEALTH checks are being offered to Charnwood residents who are worried about making ends meet. Charnwood Borough Council has teamed up with the Money Advice Service (MA) to offer advice on making money stretch further. Appointments will be strictly private and held every other Thursday from January 9, 2014 between 9am and 5pm at the Council Offices, Southfields Road, Loughborough. The sessions are open to anyone but with a particular focus on tenants with rent arrears and those on benefits. Anyone who wishes to make an appointment can call on 01509 634666.


Brickwork • Patios Re-pointing Tiling • Plaster Patching • Fencing etc

Plans approved PLANS FOR a £2.4million refurbishment of Riversdale Court have been given the go ahead by Charnwood Borough Council. The sheltered housing complex on Riversdale Court will be extended to provide 32 self contained flats.


No job too small Friendly Reliable Service Free Quotations • Fully Insured

Tel: 0116 260 7716 Contact Dave Snutch 07834 140354

Mob: 07770 785400 Email: Website:





Birstall BAG’s cancer corner A New Year and a New YOU! Birstall BAG’s would like to inspire ‘Birstallites’ to make a New Years resolution aimed at a healthier lifestyle. A New Year's resolution is a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year. In particular we would like to reduce the number of smokers in the village. Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK. Every year, around 100,000 people die from smoking, with many more deaths caused by smoking-related illnesses. Smoking increases your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions. Some may be fatal and others can cause irreversible longterm damage to your health. Health risks Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancers. It also causes cancer in many other parts of the body including the: mouth, lips, throat, voice box (larynx), oesophagus (the tube between your mouth and stomach), bladder, kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas Smoking damages your heart and your blood circulation, increasing your risk of developing conditions such as:

coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease (damaged blood vessels), cerebrovascular disease (damaged arteries that supply blood to your brain) Smoking also damages your lungs, leading to conditions such as: chronic bronchitis (infection of the main airways in the lungs), emphysema (damage to the small airways in the lungs), pneumonia (inflammation in the lungs) Smoking can also worsen or prolong the symptoms of respiratory conditions, such as asthma, or respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold. In men, smoking can cause impotence because it limits the blood supply to the penis. It can also affect the fertility of both men and women, making it difficult for you to have children. Secondhand smoke Secondhand smoke comes from the tip of a lit cigarette and the smoke that the smoker breathes out. People who breathe in secondhand smoke are at risk of getting the same health conditions as smokers, particularly lung cancer and heart disease. For example, breathing in secondhand smoke increases a non-smoker's risk of developing lung cancer or heart disease

by about 25%. Babies and children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke. A child who is exposed to smoke is at increased risk of developing respiratory infections, a chronic cough and, if they have asthma, their symptoms will get worse. They’re also at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and glue ear. Getting help Your GP will be able to give you information and advice about quitting smoking. You can also call: the NHS Smokefree helpline on 0300 123 1044 the NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline on 0800 169 9 169 For More information please visit: CategoryID=53 For more information on the funds we have raised, projects we support and forthcoming events see Contact us by email

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.


Longslade College, Wanlip Lane, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4GH Editor: Mr Jerry Jackson

TELEPHONE EXTENSION Sockets fitted by ex-BT engineer. Cable, BT and digital TV. Over 25 yrs experience. John 2675132 AMLI DESIGN Architectural Consultancy. Plans drawn and submitted. Extensions, conversions, new build. David Ives B.Sc.(Hons) FBEng MCIOB 0116 2674395 / 07974807111

The Feb issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Jan 31. The copy deadline is Jan 17.

Appliance Repairs & Sales

Electric Cookers & Hobs Washing Machines Tumble Dryers Dishwashers Cooker Hoods

• Sales, Repairs & Upgrades • Wired & Wireless Networking • Branded & Custom Built PCs • Laptops, printers, peripherals & accessories • Server Installation & Support • On-site Maintenance & Remote Support • Original & Compatible Cartridges/Toners • Buy Dell products through our store

Tel: 0116 2671166 Mobile 07969 953958

Editorial/Advertising (Tel & Fax)

0116 2674213 Correspondence, news etc can be handed in at: Birstall Library or to our office in the Youth Centre, Longslade College, Birstall Email -

Covering Leicestershire

0116 2672583 Mob: 0796 7 191975 3 The Meadway, Birstall LE4 4NG

Quality spectacles at the best prices visit our showroom proSP CS eyewear GET A QUOTE FROM US BEFORE YOU BUYYOUR NEXT PAIR OF SPECTACLES Same day service on most plastic lenses Top quality lenses including Varilux, Nikon, Zeiss DESIGNER FRAMES

Contact Mike or Teresa Keily on 0116

237 6098

Unit 3, Victoria Mills Fowke St, Rothley Easy Parking

Birstall Post (366) January 2014  

Birstall Post January 2014

Birstall Post (366) January 2014  

Birstall Post January 2014