Page 1

the Birstall post Y O U R


DECEMBER 2011 Pic: Matthew Cochrane (5) with Santa at Riverside school


No. 341

Christmas wonderland A CHRISTMAS festival at the Methodist church and Riverside school’s Christmas fair got the festive season off to a magical start in Birstall. Continued on page 4

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Tara opens new centre

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Together they cut the ribbon to open the £4.8million building which has a 238 seat auditorium, a drama studio, media suites, outdoor amphitheatre, meeting rooms and a bar. Local landowner Charles Palmer-Tomkinson’s charitable trust donated £1million towards the project with £3.47million provided by the Young People’s Learning Agency. Mr Palmer-Tomkinson singled out planning consultant Will Antill for his work planning and guiding the project from an early stage. Guests at the opening event were treated to a performance of music and drama by Longslade students, who then escorted visitors on a guided tour of the building. Longslade Principal Liz Hall said: “I was delighted with the opening – it was exactly as we had hoped – a real celebration and a chance to show the auditorium at work, as well as guests having the opportunity to tour the building and speak with students. Having the PalmerTomkinson family at the opening was absolutely great and students really appreciated being able to talk about their pride in the building. Tara and Charles and the whole family asked a lot of questions about how we are using the Centre and shared ideas for developing it. Tara is keen to keep in touch with the college in the future. The impact of the building has been such a positive one – post 16 students have more space for study and everyone enjoys using the new auditorium. Community groups have also been positive about the building and we have a lot of interest in using the Centre for a variety of events.”


TARA PALMER-TOMKINSON and her father Charles were special guests at the official opening of Longslade’s new Palmer-Tomkinson centre.

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Child hit by car on way to school A NINE year old boy escaped serious injury when he was hit by a car on Greengate Lane, on his way to school. The father of the boy, Pritesh Vagani, was accompanying his son to Highcliffe school at 8.40am on October 27. Mr Vagani said: “My son was two or three feet in front of us as we all stood at the kerb and looked for any cars. There were none in sight, my son then crossed the road and was halfway across the first half of the road when the car coming down the hill skidded and hit him. He was thrown on to the front of the car and knocked to the pavement. The driver stopped, parked the car and just stood there.” The ambulance and police attended the scene and the boy was taken to

Pic: the scene of the accident hospital with minor injuries. The police completed and Accident Report booklet at the scene and say the investigation is ongoing.

Continued from page 1 The church was filled with displays made by local groups, businesses and individuals creating a special atmosphere in the subdued lighting of the church. Teachers from Riverside school led groups of children through the twinkling scenes to meet Santa and his elves in the grotto. Visitors could then cross the road to Riverside school’s Christmas fair which was raising money for new playground equipment.

Pritesh said: “I would like to thank children and parents are advised to only everyone who helped. The parents cross at the zebra crossing around us were great and the teachers A County Council spokesman told the also came to the scene and were fantasBirstall Post: “There are plans for the tic.” introduction of a 20mph zone in the Worried parents have been calling for vicinity of the school. It is currently some time for a 20mph speed limit and planned that this scheme will be impletraffic calming measures for the road. A mented during the next financial year, petition has been started to address the 2012/13, but this is still subject to the safety of pedestrians using Greengate approval of funding.” Lane and they are urging residents to In 2010 the City Council proposed sign it. The petition states: “As users of ‘traffic mitigation’ measures for GreenGreengate Lane, some of which use the gate Lane as part of its planning applicaLane twice daily when accessing Hightion for Ashton Green – the 3000 home cliffe Primary School, we are increasing- development planned for the site oppoly concerned about the safety of the site Greengate Lane’s junction with Lane, particularly for pedestrian users. Leicester Road. These include speed We are particularly worried in respect of humps and a one-way traffic light conusers of the zebra crossing. Many of us trolled shuttle at the railway bridge – have observed vehicles totally disregardthis will alternate the direction of traffic: ing the crossing or failure to stop beeast/west then west/east. cause of the high speed of the vehicle. A The County Council says there have few of us have observed ‘near misses’ been no injury accidents in the immediinvolving children and vehicles. We ate vicinity of the school in the last five would like to open discussions leading years. A school crossing patrol officer towards a 20mph speed limit on the employed by the County Council does Lane or physical traffic calming measoperate outside the school on the zebra ures that positively improve visibility and crossing. Amber flashing lights on the safety. Ideally, we would like to see a Children Crossing street signs were rereduction of the volume of transport moved some time ago - the County Counusing Greengate Lane for non-access cil were unable to provide an purposes.” explanation for this at the time of going Ms Pauline Aveling, the headteacher to press. To sign the petition go to at Highcliffe, supports the petition and any measure that could be taken to improve the safety of the school’s children – a school travel plan drawn up in 2010 requested a 20mph limit for Greengate Lane, and other measures. She said: “It’s always devastating Block Paving - Drives news to hear any of our children have Patios - Paths been involved in an accident. We are Ask fo ra very, very worried about the traffic on FREE Free Estimates QUOTE Greengate Lane – the speed of the cars Competitive Rates and the attitude of the drivers who aren’t Over 20 years experience in the trade prepared to slow down for the zebra crossing. “Our new crossing patrol lady in her Tel: 0116 269 6982 first month had a car drive at her on the Mob: 0781 2335825 zebra crossing and she had to jump out 2 Birchwood Close, Syston, Leicester LE7 2BL of the way.” To reduce the risk of accidents, all

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Pic: Stallholders at Riverside school: Lynn Apse, Velta Woodhouse, Jenny Drayton & Cindy Smith

Christmas Greetings from the Churches Together of Birstall a

Christmas Greetings from the and Churches of Birstall and Wanlip Come join usTogether for worship, as we celebrate the coming o Come and join us for worship, as we celebrate the coming of Christ! St James the Great, Birstall

St Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church

Christmas Eve 4pm Crib Service Christmas Eve 11.30pm Midnight Mass Christmas Day 10am Family Communion

Christmas Eve 4pm Crib Service Christmas Eve 7pm Youth Mass Christmas Eve 10pm Mass Christmas Day 9.30am Mass

Our Lady & St Nicholas, Wanlip

Birstall Methodist Church

Christmas Day 9am Holy Communion

Christmas Eve 11.15pm Holy Communion Christmas Day 10am Family Service


Parish Council notes

A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on November 14. Youth worker Helen McNulty reported that the young people who use Birstall Youth café had been taken on a successful camping trip and a summer outing to Skeg-

Salon supporting TOM A BIRSTALL hair salon is supporting a diabetes charity set up after the death of a Birstall boy aged just 15. Revive Hair on Went Road are supporting TOM, the charity set up by Tom Bucciero’s parents after Type 1 diabetic Tom died in his sleep of a diabetic coma in 2008. The Revive team decorated a tree at Birstall Methodist church’s Winter Wonderland event in November, covered it head to toe with edible decorations and then sold them in their salon, with all proceeds going to TOM. Stephen Thomas from Revive said: “We think this is a really worthy cause and urge all our customers to take part in supporting us and the TOM campaign.” • Students from Longslade College have recently organised fundraising events for TOM, including a sponsored swim at Birstall pool, raising £1500 for the charity.

ness. Two members of staff have now been trained as qualified youth workers. Volunteers at the café are receiving training that will help them back into employment. Similar projects to the Birstall café are being set up in Barrow and Anstey with the Birstall scheme being recognised as a successful model for youth work. Comment was made that the café had made a significant impact on antisocial behaviour in the village. Cllr David Gaskell reported that he would be bidding for Area forum funding for a mobility scooter storage building at Riversdale Court. Cllr Roger Wilson reported that a bus stop will be constructed early in the new year on the A6, southbound, next to the park and ride site. PCSO Stuart Venables reported that he will be leaving Birstall and will be assigned to Barrow. There are no immediate plans to replace him. PCSO Venables reported that arrests were made following the discovery of a house used to grow cannabis in the village, and that there had been no reports of antisocial behaviour on Halloween or bonfire night. The Council agreed to adopt new play areas at Hallam Fields. It was agreed to consider a request for a donation from Birstall Bowling Club subject to further information being provided and details of the club accounts. It was agreed to name one of the play areas at Hallam Fields Jubilee Park to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and to investigate the possibility of erecting a beacon at Hallam Fields. It was agreed to spend £1575 from reserves on flooring for the extension to the new pavilion.


Pic: Frank Bruno with Stonehill’s headteacher Alan Monks

Frank visits school FORMER HEAVYWEIGHT boxing champion Frank Bruno entertained a packed Stonehill school hall at a charity event. A crowd of 265 people heard Frank tell stories about his boxing career, and young people from Carl Gunns’ gym did a boxing exhibition. Stonehill’s Premises Officer Andy Dixon said: “It was an absolutely fantas-

tic night, everything went smoothly and Frank was excellent.” Ticket sales and a raffle with prizes donated by several local businesses helped the event raise £1300 towards the new school minibus.



Knitting guerillas from Birstall KNITTING GUERRILLAS who have been hanging zombies from trees in Birstall are inviting you to join them. Their first ‘yarn storm’ saw the tree outside Greengate Medical Centre (pictured right) decorated with knitted zombies. The ‘Knitting Guerrillas from Birstall’, or KGB , are

part of an underground movement of yarn-archists whose woolly adventures aim to enhance the urban environment and raise a smile. Spokesperson Niddy Noddy told the Birstall Post: “We would love to get some new recruits to join us and welcome potential guerrillas to contact us via the blog, facebook or twitter.”

Pic: the Golden Spoon winners

Cooking club’s golden spoon A COOKING club at Longslade College has won an award. Students celebrated winning their ‘Golden Spoon’ award by cooking some cakes and biscuits, helped by club coordinators Beryl Paddison and Sally Mayes. Beryl said: “This autumn we have followed themes – we made curry for Diwali, sausage and bean hotpot, appley cabbage and roast parsnips for bonfire night and trench cake for Remembrance Day. We will be making and icing Christmas cakes and making Christmas garland biscuits.” The club is part of the national Let’s

Get Cooking campaign, a network of cooking clubs funded by the National Lottery. Beryl said: “We have nearly secured the lottery funding for another year and have plans to make delicious healthy foods as well as hosting the local primary schools at Let’s Get Cooking Community Events and involving more students from Stonehill.” 11 students from all year groups at Longslade belong to the club, and there have also been visits from Stonehill pupils and local primary schools.

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Manny Sanghera’s sponsored moustache grow will help provide a bladder scanner for Leicester Royal Infirmary, for patients with cervical cancer. Manny (pictured below) said: “After my partner Paula was diagnosed in May and having had treatment in June, I especially cannot thank the team at Ward 1 in the LRI enough for all they did for her and I would like to give something back, both treatment and care was amazing. Whilst Paula

was on the ward she noticed there was not enough of the scanners, which can be a vital use of equipment after surgery . Anything to help this ward is great, I am so grateful! “I would also like to thank all who have already sponsored me and to Frank Bruno who gave a signed autobiography which Ian Haye of Birstall sold for £60 and kindly donated to our charity.”



Special birthday Horse in local field chases couple

A BIRSTALL woman celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends at Birstall Golf Club.

OUR REPORT of a woman being chased by a horse in the November issue has resulted in a reader contacting The Birstall Post with an account of their frightening experience in the same field.

Kathleen McQueen has lived in Birstall for more than 70 years and still lives independently, walking down to Sibson Road to do her shopping, and to the library.

A life member of Birstall Golf Club, she played the game until she was 90 and in her younger days enjoyed sailing and cycling. Pic: Kathleen McQueen with family & friends at her party

Birstall composer’s Olympic song A BIRSTALL musician has been commissioned to write a song which will be part of the cultural Olympics in 2012. The song ‘Gloria in Londinium’ by Kathleen Shanks, welcomes all countries of the world to come to the Olympic Games. Recorded at the Abbey Road Studios, London, ‘Gloria in Londinium’ is to go to choirs world-wide for an Olympics 2012 cultural event. Kathleen said: “I was so delighted to receive the commission. I wanted to reflect the idea of music as an international language, using the voice, without words, for the call and response to the Games. The East End of London has, by tradition throughout the centuries, welcomed people of all races and faiths. The song echoes the sound of Bow Bells

Pic: Kathleen Shanks

as the choir sings invictus, invicta, Gloria in Londinium, victory and glory in London.” Kathleen, of Elmfield Avenue, divides her time between her work as a composer and working as a Music Director in London. She is Music Director of the Capital Arts Children’s Choir, one of the busiest and most successful children’s choirs in the UK. The choir has just finished recording its latest CD ‘Soul of a Child’, with royal harpist Claire Jones. During Claire’s tenure as royal harpist she performed at Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s reception at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. The CD ‘Soul of a Child’ is now on sale in record shops and on Amazon. Pic: Kathleen Shanks

In November we reported how Claire Stafford was walking along the footpath from Birstall Road to Netherhall Lane when she was chased by a horse and fell, rupturing her Achilles heel. Rosie Houldsworth said: “It was July 2011, a lovely evening when we were walking, we went down Birstall Road, through the gate and intended to walk on the public footpath towards Netherhall Lane. After entering the field and walking in that direction along the footpath we saw three horses coming towards us. I said, let’s go back, but we were in between and would get nowhere quickly. “We tried to keep our eyes straight ahead but the horses circled round the back of us. We walked a little quicker and when we did turn around the larger of the horses was cantering towards us and then reared up on its hind legs. “My husband who is not used to horses put his hand up and said whoah or something like that, it slowed down and every time we got ahead of it, it did the same thing. It then got level with us, as near as touching or nudging us with its body. I didn’t know which way to go but we went straight ahead. “This carried on until we reached the stile going into Netherhall Lane, when the horse went in front of us and blocked us from climbing over. There was a lady the other side with a dog, she tried to coax it to one side while we got over. “By then the panic had set in, I had visualised us not getting out of that field without some sort of injury, my heart was pumping like mad.”

We ended up having to go into the local pub The Plough to have a drink and recover. I haven’t forgotten about this incident and how serious it could have been. The implications are frightening especially as this is a public footpath. This could have been elderly people or youngsters that would have panicked more than we did. Something has to be done before someone suffers a serious or fatal injury.” Mrs Stafford is concerned that further incidents may cause serious harm and is urging anyone who has had a similar experience in the field to report it to Parul Valand at Leicester City Council, New Walk Centre, Welford Place, Leicester LE1 6ZG The field is inside the city boundary and is let to a private individual who keeps horses there.



Ashton Green: city looks for developer LEICESTER CITY Council wants to find a developer to begin work on the first phase of the Ashton Green development – an ‘eco-friendly’ community of up to 3,000 homes on a 130 hectare site facing Greengate Lane. Having secured outline planning permission in March this year, following an extensive consultation exercise, the council wants to secure a developer to work on the first 950 dwellings. The formal process of selecting a developer will start in the new Year, with the work due to start on site in 2013, a year later than originally planned. Assistant City Mayor Councillor Ted Cassidy, who is responsible for economic development, said: “I’m really excited the plans for Ashton Green are picking up pace and I’m confident we will attract a developer to take us into the first phase of the scheme. “In such a difficult financial climate affordable homes are desperately needed in the city. This scheme will create a new community comprising of one of the largest developments of new homes Leicester has seen for many years, combined with almost 50 hectares of open green space.” Ashton Green is seen as the most significant and innovative housing scheme in Leicester in more than 30 years and it will make a significant contribution towards delivering the new homes needed in the city over the next 20 years, says the City Council. The scheme aims to deliver a range of family houses, a third of which will be available as rental and lower cost affordable homes. There will also be


employment land to create new jobs, new schools, community and health facilities, public transport improvements, retail and around a third of the site as public open space. The environmental standards for the proposed homes and other buildings have been set high to minimise the impact of the development. The plans include proposals for an energy centre for the new homes. In addition to the site being well served by buses, there are proposals to develop travel plans for residents, schools and workplaces as well as the potential use of electric vehicles and car

clubs. Birstall Parish Council, and many local residents, have expressed concern about the impact the development will have on traffic on Greengate Lane. In 2010 a traffic impact assessment produced by the City Council said that measures to deter traffic from entering Greengate Lane would result in “no material impact on Greengate Lane with the traffic from Ashton Green”. Critics say the traffic passing Highcliffe school is already dangerous and can only get worse once development starts.

Gym secures funds A FUNDRAISING run, increased sponsorship and several donations have secured the future of Carl Gunns’ Birstall Boxing gym. Carl said: “The run was very successful, nearly all the members took part and the parents have been very supportive. “But I feel very annoyed that local sports clubs didn’t lift a finger to help us, or even wish us well, when I have sponsored and supported Birstall football and cricket clubs in the past. “The only club that helped us was Birstall Golf Club who gave us some money for equipment and I would like to thank them for that.”

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Di Batterham A FORMER teacher at Stonehill School, Captain of Birstall Golf Club and England hockey coach has died. Diane Batterham died on October 30 aged 71, after a 10 year battle with cancer. She played hockey for England seven times in 1971 and later coached the Great Britain ladies team from 1987 to 1992, leading them to a bronze medal win at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Salon closes DAVIES & GREENWOOD, the Sibson Road hairdressing and beauty salon, went into administration on November 13. The Birstall salon opened in 2009.

Citizenship fayre STUDENTS AT Longslade College held a Citizenship Fayre in the school hall. As part of their Citizenship Course, students were advocating for voluntary organisations, pressure groups and charities by showing films, presenting their work and selling merchandise.


Stitchcraft with tea and cake A BIRSTALL woman with a talent for stitchcraft has turned her hobby into a business. The Littlebird School of Stitchcraft teaches sewing and woolcraft skills at local cafés and other venues and is run by Lisa Pidgeon. She said: “When I was made redundant from Health Service academia, I wanted to do work that fitted around my family life and children. I have always had a talent for stitchcraft inherited from my mother who was a tailor, or my grandmother who was a talented seamstress. “Traditional sewing and kitting crafts were an integral part of my childhood and beyond. It is fantastic that I am now able to pass on these wonderful heirloom skills that my own family taught me, and I especially enjoy teaching my own children. “For my own sewing machine I use my mum’s 60 year old industrial Singer – it is indestructible and beautiful. I work with it and feel her presence.” Lisa believes there is a recent resurgence of interest in traditional hand made stitchcraft. She said: “The recession has forced many people to ‘make do and mend’ and to explore sewing and wool crafts to save money and resources. A happy side effect of this is that stitchcraft is fun and, when infused with creativity it is an immensely satisfying thing to do.” Littlebird School of Stitchcraft is currently running a series of Creative Cafés in and around Charnwood, each focussing

Pic: Lisa Pidgeon at her sewing machine on hand stitching skills such as knitting, sewing and crochet. In January there will be a workshop running over three consecutive weeks at Stonehill school Birstall, focussing on machine sewing. Littlebird also offers individually tailored ‘one to one’ sessions if preferred, or small group sessions. “I am keen that the group sessions I run have a strong social element. The interaction between the individuals often fosters creativity – this is why I often run them in cafés – learners can discuss and chat with their peers while they work and

enjoy tea and cake! My own role is to facilitate their learning, and encourage them to enjoy the lessons. If learning isn’t enjoyable – it probably isn’t learning!” said Lisa. For further information about the workshops and classes visit or call Lisa on 07760232059. Creative Cafés run Monday mornings 10-12 at Stonehurst Farm teashop, Mountsorrel and every Wednesday morning 10-12 at Cooky’s café, Stonehill Ave, Birstall. They cost £5 for the first session which includes materials and £3.50 for subsequent sessions. The focus of these meetings at the moment is on crochet.




attend the Flower Club meetings which are held there each month. I thoroughly enjoy the flower arrangements being assembled BUT I hear very little of what the demonstrator is saying and I know I miss out on some very interesting and funny talks. This is a common problem when someone is hard of hearing and I am sure this Loop & Sound System will be very beneficial to a large number of people. I hope this will be installed in the very near future. Pat Cooke

Improvement? 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:

Pleased I was pleased to read in the Parish Council Notes that it has been agreed for a Hearing Loop and Sound System to be installed in the Village Hall as I regularly

Yet another un-thought out road improvement in our village, firstly the chicane on Birstall Road, drivers exiting the village centre cannot get a good view of what is coming into the village, several times I have been forced to stop for traffic leaving the village because drivers approach the chicane too fast, also I have had to make drivers reverse so that I can turn right into Church Hill. Now they have made the island at the entrance to Whiles Lane larger, do they not realise that the exit from the Cooperative supermarket actually comes out onto the entrance road for Whiles Lane, meaning that for a very short distance drivers are actually on the wrong side of the road, this is not for drivers to use as a means to get onto Wanlip Lane, I am very surprised that there has not been an accident there so far, when I leave the Co-op car park I used to turn left on to Whiles Lane and drive round the island thereby exiting Whiles Lane from the correct side of the road, this is not now possible as one cannot get a swing due to the size of the island having been altered, can anybody tell me why it had to be made larger, after all Whiles Lane is not the busiest of roads in the village, and in a time of cut backs, was the expense entirely necessary? Who is in charge of the planning for these so called improvements? Did they

actually leave their office and come and have a look both before and after? As a regular user of both these roads, it would seem to me that it was just an excuse to waste county money. M Denningberg

Poor relative I would like to put Mr Woods straight (letter page October edition) on matters which I hope will end this fiasco. Firstly, I never criticised the work done at the St. James day care centre, if you had paid any attention to what I wrote you would have realised that my point was that there are not the facilities in Birstall for all ages (and not just the older generation which I happen to be a member of!). One small village hall could not possibly hope to cater for a population the size of Birstall. As said before, other Charnwood areas have been given new Leisure and Sports Centres (first Mountsorrel and now Syston) and the other villages seem to be maintained to a far higher standard than Birstall and are far more visually appealing. I notice that Quorn is once again adorned with beautiful hanging baskets and other winter floral displays - perhaps the Councils would like to explain on this page why Birstall does not get the same attention? I'm sure residents would be keen to know. I have read that there is £15,000 available to Birstall Parish Council to spend as they wish - might I suggest making the village centre more attractive for residents and appealing to others who might be thinking of moving here? Replace the bus shelters with rustic wooden ones (like elsewhere in Charnwood) and pretty up the place, why not give Birstall a 'village' feel rather than a 'city' one which it seems to have? What about some attractive floral displays to match those in Quorn? Birstall always looks like the poor relative. Anne Godby

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Thanks We would like to thank everyone who supported our ‘Lunches for Lifeboats’ on October 15. We are delighted to say that £731.53 was raised for the RNLI Leicester Branch new lifeboat fund, with a further £289.90 taken from the sale of RNLI souvenirs and cards. Your generosity is really appreciated. John & Sheila Harrison, Front Street

Thanks I would like to thank family, friends and members of Birstall Bowling Club for their generous donations made to Derby, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance in memory of my husband Tony Mullins who passed away on August 15, 2011. A total of £610 was raised which all helps towards a very deserving lifesaving service which relies on voluntary donations. I would also like to extend my thanks to Birstall Bowling Club members and partners who went on the yearly bowling trip to Spain. Last year a fines system was set up and members’ misdemeanours cost them a fine of 50cents, the money collected was given to a nominated charity. This year the DLR Air Ambulance was chosen. Bowlers who bowled the wrong bias, used inappropriate language, dressed incorrectly, behaved badly or sat on the wrong seat on the bus all paid a fine of 50cents. This causes a great deal of amusement and fun not only for the Birstall Bowlers but also for the ex-pats we bowl against who are very willing to join in. John Hurst is the fine manager and does an excellent job, nobody gets away with anything and even the bowlers who tell on their friends get fined for ‘snitching’. £115 was raised for the Air Ambulance. I can only say a big thank you for all those who behaved badly. Birstall Bowling Club is a very friendly club and always ready to help others. Thank you Barbara Mullins

Short of stock The build up to Christmas and the New Year is causing acute problems for Age UK Leicestershire & Rutland. Whilst their shops are doing particularly well on sales, they are running into problems with donations of saleable items and are desperately short of stock, particularly furniture and bric-a-brac but also books and clothing. During and after the restive season, many people will be contemplating how they will make space for their presents or dispose of household furniture in order to accommodate new purchases made in the sales. Our motto is ‘Don’t Dump It, Donate It!’ All I can say is that we desperately need help from the public so that we can continue to help needy local older people through the money which is taken through our shops. All of our 22 charity shops around the two counties will gladly accept donations whilst furniture can also be collected from homes by calling 0116 2781208 Peter Ralphs, Leicestershire & Rutland Age UK Continued on page 12





Continued from page 10

Thanks Please thank all your readers for letting me have their used postage stamps to help buy and train a Guide Dog for the Blind. Please request that they keep saving as the need is always there. I’ve been donating stamps for 20 years, donating 9 million stamps. Thank you for your help, have a Merry Christmas. F B Savidge, 18 Rose Tree Ave, Birstall

Thanks To my customers in Birstall, may I say a very Big Thank You for your gifts and good wishes on my retirement. Phil Squires (Kirby & West milkman)

Thanks Hazel and I would once again like to thank everyone who contributed with goods to help us fill 500 boxes for the Samaritans Purse Shoebox Appeal. This year our boxes are going to Kiev. A special thank you to John & Anna, the RSPCA shop in Birstall, Footmedics, Michael on Leicester Market, Krismans on Melton Road, David & Siobhan, the late Jean Best, all those people who donated wool, and to all our fabulous knitters. To everyone who supported our fundraising events from the children who will receive these boxes. A Very Big Thank You. Hopefully we will be thanking you again next year as we have already started to collect items for our boxes. Daphne Stephenson

Thanks The staff and volunteers at St James Day Centre would like to thank all those who supported their coffee morning on November 12 at the Methodist coffee shop. We raised £135, so once again, thank you. Christine Winfield

Graffiti In response to Mr J Woods and the anonymous writer of the letter 'Put Straight' on October's edition of the Birstall Post; I am composing this letter having just put down the telephone to Charnwood Borough Council. This was one of many calls I make to them to report criminal damage in Birstall and in particular, graffiti, that is once again appearing throughout the village. I see this as 'getting off my backside' and taking positive action in trying to keep the area looking as pleasant as it can be. Each time I make these calls I wonder why local councillors and the Neighbourhood Watch committee fail to 'see' this graffiti, particularly as it is well documented that environmental decline is a contributory factor in attracting crime and anti-social behaviour. I note that the green box outside the Methodist church has had graffiti on it for several months when a local councillor lives a very short distance away. And who could fail to see the graffiti (that is more like a mural) on the wall between the petrol station and Station Road on the A6? If you haven't seen it, please take a look as you drive past, perhaps you will then notice the difference when it is eventually removed. D Jones

Noticeboard all details printed free Soar Valley Music Centre Junior Orchestra Symphony Orchestra Soloists & Ensembles Present

A Selection of Christmas Music with carols for audience participation Birstall Methodist church Friday December 16 at 7.30pm Bookings can be made through Soar Valley Music Centre: 0116 2664153, or pay at the door ••• Birstall Methodist Thursday Group Invite you to a

Christmas Concert with Ann Hughes at Birstall Methodist Church Thursday Dec 15 at 7.30pm No admission charge, but donations welcomed to support Alzheimer’s Society and Renal Unit at Loughborough Road ••• Charnwood Conservative Association

Christmas Fair Sat Dec 10 10am till noon, admission 50p Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP will be attending Raffle, tombola, books, produce stalls, games, cakes, bric-a-brac etc ••• St James the Great, Birstall

Christingle Sunday December 11 at 11am A candlelit service in aid of the Children’s Society •••

Birstall Royal British Legion Dec 3: Krackle & Pop (duo) Dec 10: Jessica (F/V) Dec 17: Sam Bailey (F/V) Christmas Eve: Rachel Ball New Year’s Eve: Carl Stevens Dancing every Sat night with live entertainment Bingo free meat raffle and not forgetting Open the Box Every Tues night Bingo starting at 9.30pm Quiz Nights Sunday 11th & Thurs 29th starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sun Dec 18 Rock & Roll nights Wed 7th and 21st Food available Sat 3rd & 10th, 12-2pm Bookings taken for Christmas meals on Sat Dec 17 Open Bank Holiday Monday, 12-3pm Wakes catered for ••• Sat Dec 31 Churches Together in Birstall & Wanlip

New Year’s Eve Party 8.30pm onwards at Birstall Village Hall A traditional party including dancing, quizzes, games Bring your own drinks & glasses Shared buffet super – savoury or sweet dishes Entry by ticket £2 0116 2672606 •••

Dowsing Event Crystals expert Eric Henderson will be the speaker at the next meeting of Leics & Rutland Dowsing Group to be held at St James’ Day Centre Birstall Village Hall Saturday December 10 Eric will talk about ‘the way that vari-

ous substances can affect the aura’ The meeting will start at 10am Everyone welcome ••• Birstall & District Local History Society The next meeting will be held on Thursday Dec 8 at 7.30pm in Birstall Village Hall, Birstall Road, Birstall

‘My Life as a Tiller Girl’ Speaker: Margaret Hudson Visitors are very welcome ••• •••

Christmas on Coupons Rationing & Recipes from WW2 Despite Wartime restrictions, people were determined to celebrate Christmas in style Find out how they got around the shortages to have festive season fun Tuesday December 6 7.30-9.30pm A talk at Birstall Library by Nick Marshall Cost £3 inc refreshments Booking essential, please contact Birstall Library on 0116 305 8756 •••

Vintage Christmas Tea Party December 11, 1-5pm Mountsorrel Memorial Hall, Leicester Road Dancing, entertainment, home baked cakes, tea served in vintage china, dainty sandwiches In the theme of the Great British Bake Off and nostalgia with a fun atmosphere •••


Syston Band

Christmas Concert Saturday December 17, 7.30pm Syston Methodist Church, High Street, Syston Tickets £5 inc complimentary mince pie For details or reservations 0116 2675823 Accompanied children free •••

Film Presentations From Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council

‘Nativity’ Friday December 9 (105 mins) This delightful comedy shows an innovative musical re-enactment of the nativity. A primary school teacher, played by Martin Freeman, has the biggest challenge of his life, to lure the Hollywood producer to watch his school’s performance. This moving story becomes one of the happiest Christmas films you will ever see.

‘Water for Elephants’ Friday January 13 (120 mins) Based on a best selling novel, this film follows an unexpected romance between veterinary student, Jacob, and Marlena, the star performer in a circus. Their compassion for a special elephant shines through. Jacob is on the threshold of a huge career but for Marlena, the circus is her only life. Will her husband take revenge?

‘Larry Crowne’ Friday February 10 (99 mins) ‘Jane Eyre’ will be shown in April Thurcaston & 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 Heart of England Barbershop Chorus

Charity Singing Night in aid of LOROS Birstall Social Club Friday December 16 at 7.30pm Guests from choruses around the East Midlands Entry by donation at the door •••

Birstall Social Club, Wanlip Lane Come & dance the night away Every Tues & Sat night Ballroom & sequence dancing Cash Raffle Thurs Bingo Thurs, Sat & Sun Games room Secure parking New members welcome Function rooms available New Year’s Eve Disco and family night - bring the kids ••• Birstall Scout Group

Festive Fair Saturday December 10 at 10am Scout HQ, Birstall Road

Adults 20p, children free ••• Open House Informal Worship St James Church, Church Hill Sunday December 11 at 11am Do come along and join us for our

Christingle Service This lively, short act of worship is for all ages •••

Carols for All Wednesday December 21 7.30pm, St James Church, Birstall Come and sing! Free admission, refreshments All welcome ••• St James Day Care Centre 200 Club Results for November 1st Matthew Ball 2nd Mrs Ann Green 3rd Mrs Kate Mobbs 4th Miss Shelagh Noble •••

Christmas Coffee Morning In aid of Christian Aid Saturday December 17 10am to 12noon Birstall Methodist Church •••

Cheeky Cherubs Parent & Toddler Group Birth-4yrs Every Monday 10-12 at Birstall Methodist Room Warm friendly atmosphere Separate baby section Great place for parents to come & meet others Lots of fun, crafts & healthy snack for children Teas & coffees for adults No commitment, just turn up If you would like more details please call Paula on 07934551563 Hope to see you there •••

Christmas Coffee Morning Friday December 16 St James Church 10am to 12noon Bring & Buy, Raffle Coffee & Cake £1 •••

Christmas Day Informal Family Service With Communion St James Church, Church Hill Sunday December 25 at 10am Come along and celebrate Christmas – everyone welcome •••

CLASH Community Leicester Arthritis Self Help Free Computer Classes for beginners held weekly at Palmer Tomkinson Centre, Longslade Every Thursday starting Thursday January 12 – March 29

Every week, 3.30-4.30pm supported by college students Learn how to use the Internet, email and lots more For further information call Chris on 07954584402 or Charlotte on 07572811436 •••

Birstall Pool The pool will be closed for the Christmas holidays on Thursday Dec 22 at 9pm and re-open on Wednesday Jan 4 at 11am Swimming lessons for children are held Mon-Fri, 4-6pm and on Saturday mornings Pool staff are fully trained, friendly and experienced Contact the pool to arrange an assessment appointment for your child Tel: 2673461 •••

Scottish Country Dancing First Session Free Come and enjoy Scottish Country Dancing on either Tuesdays from 1.45-3.45pm or Thursdays from 7.30-10pm at Holy Cross Centre in Wellington Street. You don’t need a partner and beginners are very welcome at any time. It’s fun and great exercise to lively music. First session is free and only £3.50 afterwards. Dance for an hour, have a cup of tea then more dancing. Why not come along and give it a try! Contacts: 0116 2415857 or •••

Active Together’s Move More 4 Less week

Returns for its



year between Jan 16-22 Come & try out a variety of physical activity sessions without breaking the bank Sessions are FREE or just £1! Open to all adults 16+ For more info or to get your MM4L activity brochure please contact the Active Together team on 01509 632535 or email active together @ •••

The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy For children aged 5-17 aims to give children confidence and communication skills Syston Methodist Church Hall, High Street, LE7 1GP Beth: 01664 569 738 •••

Rainbow Co-operative Pre-School Playgroup Co-op Sports and Social Ground, Birstall Road, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4DE Help your child to ‘learn through play’ by bringing them along to our preschool to have fun in our friendly, safe environment • NEG funding for eligible 3 & 4 year olds • places available from 2 years of age • 3 hr sessions, 5 days a week, term time • high adult to child ratio of friendly qualified staff • secure outdoor play area • taster session available Call: Julie 07793630612 or 2671828; Trish 07733394236 or 2210185



Garden for play and learning A GARDEN at a Birstall Preschool was given a tidy up when parents volunteered to help out. The Acorn Under Fives garden at Highcliffe school was substantially developed last year to provide a large outdoor play area for the children. Spokeswoman Jacqui Booth said: “Like any other garden it needs maintenance from time to time! We were really pleased that so many parents turned out to help us achieve this in October and would like to thank them all for giving up their time and the effort they put into making the garden a great learning envi-

ronment for the preschoolers. “These are raised beds for growing fruit and veg, compost bins, and sandpit and a tree house. There’s even an overgrown area

A BIRSTALL ATC cadet has been selected to accompany the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire on her official duties.

with tunnels through the undergrowth for the young adventurers to explore!” Acorn Under Fives: 0116 2672795 www.acornunderfiv Pic: Acorns committee chairperson Andy Bettany

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cadets. He mixes well with adult staff Alexander Taylor (18) a member of and plays a vital link ensuring good staff the 1947 Birstall Squadron, will be one and cadet relations. I am highly confiof three cadets that are chosen each dent that his performance as a Lord year for this duty, after demonstrating outstanding achievement with their corps. Lieutenant’s Cadet will be a credit to the Squadron, Wing and Corps.” Alex (18) is a student at Longslade The two other cadets selected were College and joined the ATC in 2001. Jasmine Smith (16) from Burbage and His Commanding Officer Paul Vissani Cliodhna Betts (16) from Thorpe Astley. said: “Cadet Warrant Officer Taylor is The trio attended an investiture ceremokeen to keep Squadron standards at ny attended by the Lord Lieutenant Lady their high level and actively promotes Gretton in October. this with his NCO colleagues and junior She said: “I am delighted to welcome my three new cadets. I am very fortunate to be able to draw up such an able and talented group of cadets, and whether it is leading the procession at the County service, acting as a wreath bearer on Remembrance Sunday or an important duty at a Royal engagement, it is reassuring to know that I am being supported so competently by my cadets.” Pic: Lady Gretton with Cadet Alex Taylor

The January issue of

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



Hallam play area

Pic: Birstall bowlers and their hosts at the Indalo Bowls Club, Spain

Club’s Spanish trip Park & ride route

A FEW days after the outdoor season finished at Birstall Bowling Club, around 30 players and guests jetted off to Spain for the annual tour to Mojacar. THE ROUTE of the park and ride bus 17-14. During the tour, fines were given out to everyone for various misdemeanours and as a result £115 was raised for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA). Before the season ended, the club played the annual charity match against Rushey Pic: (l-r) Doug Simnor (Rushey Mead BC), Paul Smith (County Mead for the Officer, St John Ambulance), Grahame White (Birstall BC) St John Trophy. Birstall won the match and £150 was First up was a trip to Cabrera BC raised for the local St John Ambulance which Birstall narrowly lost 75-86. Top branch which included a £50 contribuBirstall rink was Val Hollis, Barbara Mullins, Rick Everitt and John Hurst who tion from Rushey Mead. won 19-13. The second game was against Almeria BC and resulted in a 67-80 defeat. Barbara Mullins, Dick Sharpe, Jan Everitt and Andy Wye were Birstall’s only winning rink with an 18-11 victory. This was followed up with a second visit to Cabrera and the only victory, 100-67. Two rinks won well with Malcolm Wright, Diane Hartop, John Hurst and Dave Clarke winning 36-6 to take top rink. The last game was against Indalo BC wishes all our patients who play on a carpet as opposed to the grass that the tourists were used to. The a Merry Christmas & a experience of the surface told as Birstall Happy New Year lost 55-97. The only victorious Birstall rink was Duncan Brown, Dave Amey, 141 Sibson Rd, Birstall Tel: 2677180 Bob Cooper and John Hurst who won The club played four matches during the week-long stay winning one and losing three.

Birstall Dental Practice

service from Birstall to Leicester city is being altered to make the journey quicker. Instead of coming into the city along Loughborough Road and Belgrave Road, the route will now run down Abbey Lane and Abbey Park Road. The change came into effect on November 7. The decision by Leicester City Council follows suggestions by local businesses and passengers that the change would improve the service, which began in July. Only about 10 passengers a week currently use the park and ride bus stops on Belgrave Road. The new route means passengers who previously used the Belgrave Road bus stops can now use the new stops outside and opposite Leicester College, either side of the flyover at Belgrave Gate. Abbey Lane and Abbey Park Road are seen as faster ways of getting into the city, which will potentially attract passengers travelling to Leicester College.

FOUR PLANNED play areas in the Hallam Fields estate will be managed and maintained by Birstall Parish Council. The Council agreed to accept ownership and responsibility for the first play area at its November meeting, subject to the area being fenced. It was agreed in principle to adopt the remaining play areas. Developers Jelson will provide the equipment for the play areas and a sum of £135,000 (2004 price, index linked) to be shared between the four sites. The first site will be provided within the Westleigh Homes site in the north east corner of Hallam Fields. Charnwood, the County Council and Jelson are still to negotiate a revised 106 agreement of developer contributions, following the County’s decision not to build a primary school at Hallam Fields. Charnwood will continue to press for a sports pavilion, sports pitches and informal open space. The ownership of these facilities may also be taken on by Birstall Parish Council but a decision will not be made until the full financial implications and management responsibilities have been provided. Grass beside the balancing ponds will be mowed by Charnwood and grass beside the highway by the County Council. The mowing of some incidental areas will in principle be accepted by Birstall Parish Council, subject to a share of the sum provided by Jelson as part of the 106 agreement. • Local councillors are unhappy at the County’s decision not to build a school at Hallam Fields and are urging it to reconsider. The County says it will expand Riverside school to accommodate the children.

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NHW news

& crime report AS THE festive season of Christmas is fast approaching, Birstall & Wanlip Neighbourhood watch would like to wish all the residents and members a Merry Christmas and a Happy and crime free New Year. Thank you all for your support and


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commitment to Neighbourhood Watch throughout the year. In the run up to Christmas most of us will be very busy going shopping to buy presents and gifts for loved ones. In the hustle and bustle of festive shopping it is very easy to get distracted especially in crowded shops: this could afford opportunities for the thief and heartbreak for you and the family. Listed below are some useful security tips for enjoying a safe Christmas. • While out shopping keep your purse or wallet close to your body and carry as little cash as possible. Be vigilant when withdrawing money from an ATM. Protect your PIN number, always shield the keypad with your hand. • Keep chequebook and cheque card separate. • Do not leave presents and bags on show in vehicle as easy pickings. • Remind children and young people to be extra careful not to give out personal information to people they don't know or to enter their bank details, full name, address, email, telephone number and any key password information on un-trusted websites. • Check your Christmas lights conform to the British standard. Always use an RCD on outdoor electrical equipment. • Don’t leave your presents and gifts under your Christmas tree or on view. • Never place candles near Christmas tree and don’t leave them burning unattended. • Remember to turn off fairy lights and blow out candles before heading to bed. And check that your smoke alarms are working. • Drink reasonably, enjoy the festivities but be aware of your surroundings and plan how you will get home safely , arrange to travel home with friends and only use minicabs that are licensed. Do not drink and Drive. • Keep an eye on vulnerable and elderly neighbours. If they are on their own consider inviting them to join you and your family for Christmas. • If you are expecting a gift delivery or parcel, make sure there is someone at home to receive it or a neighbour who can look after it until you return, rather than having it left on the doorstep • Don't leave boxes or other wrapping from your gifts outside for the refuse collectors until the last moment, as it announces to thieves that goods worth stealing are inside Raj Tara Committee Member, Birstall & Wanlip NHW

Crime Report: Oct 10-Nov 14 Assaults 4, harassment 1, burglary 8, burglary non-dwelling 4, damage 7, damage to motor vehicle 7, drugs 1, fraud 7, theft 7, theft of cycle 3, theft from motor vehicle 5, theft of motor vehicle 1, theft stores 3 Two well known burglars were arrested after being stopped by Police in a car that was stolen 10 hours before. These prolific burglars, with support from the Crown Prosecution Services, could be put in prison over the Christmas period. This will hopefully significantly reduce the number of victims. From PC 2139 Richard Carruthers, PCSO 6611 Mark Butler To leave a message for an officer, dial the new Police number, 101, and enter the collar number.

Act of Remembrance

PEOPLE GATHERED to remember the fallen at Birstall’s war memorial on November 11 at 11am.

Starlight students shine in musical STARLIGHT THEATRE school’s production of ‘Food Glorious Food’ ran for three nights to a sell out audience at the Peepul Centre in Leicester.



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“The show was an adaptation of the much loved musical ‘Oliver!’ Principal Tracy Liggins said: “With a superb venue like the Peepul Centre, it gives the students at Starlight a great opportunity to appear in a full length musical at a working theatre.” Stage class students are now working towards competitions held in the early part of 2012 followed by their dance show in the spring. For enquiries regarding enrolment please ring 0116 2355495 or visit their website.


Church news BY THE beginning of December, most people are feeling that the countdown to Christmas has begun. Even in a recession, we take to the shops, looking for Christmas presents and Christmas food. Supermarkets and stores play the annual repertoire of Christmas songs, town lights are switched on to encourage us out on the darker, colder nights, and schools are planning their Nativity plays, parties and carol concerts. Christmas tradition One of the most traditional aspects of Christmas, which many of us remember well from our childhood, is the singing of carols. They seem to have been with us from time immemorial, although many of them were written down by the hymn-loving Victorians. The words of ‘The first Nowell’ were French (Nowell = noel = birthday,) but it is sung to a very old, Cornish folk- song tune. “The holly and the ivy” has images of both Christian and pagan customs but the tune is an old French carol. Other well known carols such as ‘Once in royal David’s city’, ‘In the bleak midwinter’ and ‘We three kings’ were all written in the mid 19th century. Finding your voice at Christmas The famous King’s College choir service at Christmas on television gives us sublime singing and wonderful atmosphere, but singing carols ourselves is a different and no less enjoyable experience. There are a number of carol services and concerts at all the churches in Birstall and Wanlip, to which everyone is welcome (see noticeboard). On Sunday December 18 at Wanlip church there is a service of Nine lessons and carols at 6pm or, for a more informal service of carols and readings, come to Wanlip at 6pm on Monday 19. At St James, in addition to the popular Crib service at 4pm and the 11.30pm Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, we are inviting everyone to a fun evening of ‘Carols for All’ on Wednesday December 21 at 7.30pm, to sing some favourite carols together and enjoy some seasonal refreshments. Admission free. (For help with transport phone 2674913). To celebrate the New Year The final social event of the year will be the Churches Together New Year’s Eve party in the village hall on the 31st at 8pm. For information and tickets contact Joan on 2672010. Once the effects of the Christmas turkey and New Year celebrations have worn off, you might like to consider a guided walk through Bradgate Park on Saturday January 7 from 12pm to 3pm. For more details contact Rose Parrott on 07811 662235. Finally, a very happy and peaceful Christmas to everyone in this parish, from the clergy and congregations of St James, Birstall and Our Lady and St Nicholas, Wanlip. From Beryl McHugh, Parish churches Join us for Christmas In Advent there are a variety of special services to which anyone and everyone is most welcome. On the 4th is our ‘Toy’ service - part of the local ‘Toys on the Table in Charnwood’ project. Ann Jeffs from Loughborough will receive the toys on behalf of

less well-off families. They are quite desperate this year as various grants have been withdrawn. Bring along a toy, which is new or in reasonable condition. For families, a Christmas session of Messy Church will take place on Saturday 17th from 4 till 6pm with a “bring and share” party tea. Throughout December, look out for opportunities to ‘Get in the Picture’. Dress up and have a special nativity shot of you and your friends taken in our “Bethlehem photo studio” which you can then download for cards and gifts. Sunday December 18 sees our Sunday Club put on a short nativity play in our morning service. The popular evening carols service will be candlelit as usual. Thursday 15th in the evening our ladies Thursday Group are holding a

Christmas concert given by ‘Sing for Fun’ whose director is Anne Hughes. Tuesday December 20 at 7pm is a ‘Peace Light’ service with youngsters from Riverside School where we will receive and distribute a candle flame that has travelled from Bethlehem. Midnight Communion on Christmas Eve starts at 11.15pm led by Rev Jack Hanson. As with most of the events, just turn up. There are no ‘conditions’. All are welcome. Christmas Day itself, the Family Service is at 10am (not 10.30 as is usual on a Sunday) led by Rev Rachel Parkinson. Bring along a Christmas gift to show to others. Christmas can be stressful (it must have been for Mary travelling to Bethlehem 2000 years ago) but do find an

Continued on page 18

Trophy winning dancers PUPILS FROM Birstall based ‘Steps School of Theatre Dance’ enjoyed success at Lutterworth Dance festival. Pupils from the festival class competed over two weekends against 14 other dance schools across the country and came away with 33 trophies and a number of medals. Principal Michelle Upton also won the overall teachers trophy for choreography. She said: “The festival class has only been running for 18 months and in that time all pupils have been working very hard, it’s fantastic that all their hard work has paid off.” Pic: trophy winning pupils from the Steps School of Theatre Dance


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opportunity, either with us, or one of the other local churches, to find a few minutes to remember the true meaning of Christmas. All the services and events listed are free, but a collection will be taken at most events. Other News The Church Council has agreed the worship area is to be refurbished. The first change will be replacing the high windows with double glazed units. The date for the 2012 Men’s Pantomime is fixed for February 14-18, which, as usual, is half term week. Tickets go on sale in the New Year. From Tony Moore, Methodist church



Continued from page 17 Carol Service It’s December already! How quickly this year has gone and many of us are now busy preparing for Christmas. As you may know, December 25 was not the actual date of the birth of Jesus Christ, but was chosen as a convenient date to celebrate His incarnation, which happened some two thousand years ago. We hope that you will find time to come and celebrate this important event with us, and listen to “the reason for the season”, and we give you a warm invitation to join us for our Carol Service,

which will be held on Sunday December 18 at the Community Room, Highcliffe Primary School and Community Centre, Greengate Lane, Birstall, Leicester, LE4 3DL at 10.45am The service will last about an hour and will be followed, as usual, by free tea and coffee. Village Craft Fair On Friday December 2 we are having a table at Birstall’s Craft Fair in the Village Hall, School Lane when, on behalf of the Lodge Trust, we will be selling cards and craft items made by the residents. The Lodge Trust, based at Market Overton in Rutland, exists to make a Christian provision for adults with learn-

ing disabilities and is registered with the Care Quality Commission to provide Care Home Services without nursing. Christmas Services We are not able to meet in the Community Room over the Christmas holiday period, but we will be having services, so please contact us for details. For further information about this or any other query about the church or Christianity, then please ring 0116 2214883. All of us at B.I.B.C. wish you a very happy Christmas and every blessing for the New Year. From Anne Taylor, Birstall Independent Baptist Church


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Longslade Community College, Wanlip Lane, Birstall

Employment of Exam Invigilators Jan/March/May & June 2012 Longslade Community College wishes to employ Invigilators to work on a casual basis during the above examination periods. There will always be a Senior Invigilator in charge. Invigilators will be paid at the current LEA rate of pay of £7.73 per hour and be employed for periods of between 1 and 3 hours in an examination session. An initial one-hour training session will be provided for all invigilators and it is a requirement of the appointment that this is attended. If you are interested in some part-time casual employment please telephone 0116 2670806 and leave your name, address and telephone number, an application form and job profile will be sent to you. Alternatively ask to speak to Suzanne Collins (Exams Officer) if you have any questions. Closing date for applications 12noon, Wednesday Dec 16. All information can also be found on the College website:

College students’ Italian trip ART AND Design students at Longslade College visited Venice and Florence during a trip to Italy in October. “I think the highlight of the trip was the mask making workshop in Venice” said Hannah Wyglendacz, Assistant Faculty

Leader, Design & Technology Department. “It was creative and taught the students the history of the Venetian mask and carnival. Students were able to spend two hours designing and painting their own creations. The finished masks were fabulous and

students managed to get them home without any accidents! We then visited the Peggy Guggenheim Collection where the paintings and sculptures gave our students an opportunity to sketch ideas for their projects back at college. “On the final night we all went out for a meal together to share our highlights of the trip. Amidst the pizza and pasta students shared their best moments. “The sunset over St Marks Square”, “I learnt lots about the history and culture of Venetian masks” and “Our first trip along the Grand Canal”. “The trip was great fun and allowed the students and teachers the opportunity to work together in and out of school context that was fun, strengthened learning and built relationships. The students were a credit to the college and we look forward to arranging our next Art and Design trip abroad!”

Jelson profits PROPERTY DEVELOPERS Jelson saw their profits fall by 62 per cent last year. Developers of Birstall’s Hallam Fields, Jelson saw their profits fall from £4.85million in 2009/10 to £1.83million in 2010/11. Turnover also dropped from £61.2million to £60.6million. the company was founded in 1889 and is owned by the Jelley family.


Feast for the eyes BIRSTALL & DISTRICT Art Society held its 17th annual exhibition at the village hall in November. “We were very pleased to see all the people who visited the exhibition and made it such an enjoyable event, more than 600 people came through the doors and enjoyed our display of paintings and more than 40 were sold, so we must be doing something right” said the society’s secretary Mary Houghton. The prizewinners this year were: Sue Phipps for Landscape, Bill Benbow for Still Life, Bill Pepper for oils and Maya Patel (a junior member) for the best pastel. Margaret Pritchard won the Norman Sims prize for the best watercolour, Charlotte Stephenson the prize for the best acrylic and Sylvia Alexander for the most imaginative painting. The raffle for Alan Oliver’s painting raised £350 for LOROS and was won by Mrs Pam Martin of 39 Leicester Road, Mountsorrel. The award for ‘Best in Show’ will be reported in the January Birstall Post. Pic: Sue Phipps

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Belgrave book plans

Celebrating 40 years THE BIRSTALL Methodist Pre-school, based at the Methodist Church, was founded 40 years ago this year. It was originally a Playgroup founded to provide a safe place within the community for under school age children to play together and parents to meet other parents, with children of a similar age. In October, the pre-school held an open afternoon, inviting people to come along and celebrate with them, to look at old photos, to have a chat, some cake and a drink. The church also held a service to

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mark this special occasion, on the Sunday. Everybody from the pre-school would like to thank all of those that have supported the group over the years and continue to do so. The group now has places for 30 children each day, aged from 2 years old to school entrance age. Beryl Massey, the original founder of the group, said: “Things have changed so much since when we started, there was nowhere as much equipment available for the children to play with and we didn’t have the wonderful covered outside play area that they have now. In the early days, the children where only there to play and socialise, now the play is more structured, to fit in with the Early Years curriculum, which encourages the children to learn through play and help them get ready for mainstream school.” Pic: Some of the past and present staff with their Birthday cake (l-r) back: Elaine Goodman, Debra Gale, Sue Faulkner, Deborah Hanson, Sue Townsend, Christine Tilford, Beryl Massey (Original Founder), Laura Freer [Joint Leader). Front: Kay Hilton (Joint Leader), Andrea Swift, Jean Gale.

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THE FRIENDS of Belgrave Cemetery are at present putting together information for a booklet about this Victorian resting place. If you have relations who are buried here and have memories or old photographs of them which you would be prepared to share with others, the Friends would be very pleased to hear from you. The idea of the booklet is to give information about the history of the cemetery, details of the layout of the graves which will make it easier to find lost resting places and to celebrate and enhance names and dates on the memorials with a small paragraph about their lives which will put faces to some of the names. A spokesman said: “A member of the Friends said, “I think this is a great idea! It will put faces on some of my eight relatives buried here, how they dressed and give a little idea of what their lives were like and also what they did for a living. “We are only interested in general matters – we don’t expect very personal details. We aren’t expecting huge amounts of information, but even a little interesting snippet will bring these people back to life for the younger generation and also for genealogists of the future.” If you think you can help, please contact Sandra Moore on 0116 2363739 or e-mail on If you haven’t visited the cemetery before it is at the Red Hill flyover; approach from down Red Hill Way and turn left into the cemetery gates just before the A6 turning towards Loughborough. There is usually a member at the site every Sunday morning between 10 am and 12 noon. Further information can be obtained from Mrs Dorothy Marshall on 0116 2672018 e-mail

A SIXTEEN year old student at Longslade College ran 30 laps of a school playing field to raise money for charity. Dan Middleton, of Greengate Lane, ran 15 miles around the Stonehill playing field for the Blue Lamp Foundation, set up by PC David Rathband, the Policeman shot and blinded by Raoul Moat. Dan chose to support the charity as part of his Personal Development lessons at Longslade. “I believe any money raised for him and his charity would be very helpful and all the money goes to the emergency servic- Pic: Dan Middleton es” said Dan. The Blue Lamp Foundation relieves the financial hardship that some personnel of the emergency services face after being injured while on duty.

Good shots MEMBERS OF Redhill Revolvers pistol club took part in an open competition run by the UBC at Coventry in October.

They won several medals with Claire Jackson taking the silver in the Ladies event. Pic: (l-r) Andy Brown, Steve Hancock, John Masterson, Claire Jackson and Ady Gathercole

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Scooter AN 8 year old boy accidentally left his micro-scooter outside the Post Office on Hannah Parade on Tuesday November 15. When his parents went back to collect it later, it was no longer there. CCTV from the Post Office shows that about 8pm later the same evening an elderly lady was seen taking the scooter, possibly just to keep it safe and prevent it being stolen. If this was you, can you please return it to the Post Office, where the rightful owner will collect it. PETE INGHAM Plastering & Property Maintenance

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99 bus petition 460 PEOPLE have signed a petition after the 99 bus service was axed in October. The service, operated on a commercial basis by Paul Winson Coaches, was used by many elderly people in the village to get into Birstall centre and back. The service was cut because it was not commercially viable. The petition is urging the County Council to do what it can to persuade and support commercial operators to re-route their existing services. Birstall’s County Councillor Roger Wilson is supporting the petition. He said: “I fear this will impact disproportionately on the elderly and disabled. Residents need access to local services and the current loss of buses will mean many will have to struggle through the winter which is widely expected to be as bad as last year. I urge the council to look at this again.” A Transport Scrutiny Review Panel at County Hall will be considering subsidised bus services when it next meets on January 13. A County Council spokesman said: “The petition will be considered by the Charnwood Highways Forum. We have spoken to Centrebus about the possibility of extending an existing bus route to cover the area in question, but this has been ruled out.” Council subsidised bus services are being cut throughout the country. Figures obtained by the campaign for Better Transport show that spending cuts have seen 1 in 5 supported bus services being cut, with more planned. In the last year 1114 bus services have been cut in the English regions resulting in a £36million saving. A Campaign for Better Transport spokesman said: “Council bus cuts are being made at a time when commercial bus services are also being hit hard by the cuts. A 20 per cent cut to the fuel tax rebate for buses, called BSOG, will come into force in 2012. This will combine with changes to the formula used by councils to calculate the way companies are reimbursed for carrying bus pass holders. Together these changes mean £100million in funding being lost from the bus network. Buses could be tipped into a spiral of decline from which they will struggle to recover.” • Community Transport services run by volunteers are available to the elderly, mobility impaired or the rurally isolated. For details, contact Loughborough Diala-ride on 01509 267147 or Leicester Dial-a-ride on 0116 221457

Bigger tea room THE TEA room at the GCR’s Rothley station is being extended to cope with increasing demand. Opened three years ago in a converted former grain store, the Ellis Tea Room had 26 seats and quickly became full, especially during gala events. The newly extended building will have 46 seats. The £35,000 project was boosted by a £10,000 grant from the County Council.


BIRSTALL’S LAMBOURNE Café has launched a meal delivery service. The café on Lambourne Road is run by Dawn Kilsby and Colleen Bird and the idea came when Dawn struggled to find a meals-on-wheels type service for her elderly mum. Dawn said: “The service isn’t just for the elderly, but for busy professionals or anybody who just wants the convenience of delicious homemade food brought to their door.” Dawn and Colleen make all the meals themselves using fresh local ingredients. Colleen said: “We pride ourselves on making home cooked meals and have only heard good feedback about our cooking – word of mouth has really helped our café grow and succeed.” Meals can be delivered either fresh or frozen - to find out more or to sample the food call in at the café or call 07591 292279


Cheerleading class A CHEERLEADING class that meets in Birstall offers a two hour class for £7. The Amy Owen School of Cheer trains on a Wednesday evening at Stonehill school – each lesson for 5-11 year olds

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features an hour of gymnastics and an hour of stunt and dance. Classes for 11+ are 2.5 hours and cost £7.50. Amy Owen said: “These are non competitive cheerleading classes where cheerleaders and parents can enjoy the sport of cheerleading without all the extra costs and commitments of competitions. Cheerleaders will now work towards achieving set targets with our brand new awards scheme where individual cheerleaders will each be awarded with a medal for demonstrating set cheerleading skills.” Amy’s Dynamite cheerleaders can now also provide you with cheerleading parties featuring routines, games and prizes to entertain your party guests. For more details contact Amy 0792 1768 449 or

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Wanlip Lane burglary JEWELLERY WAS taken during a burglary in Wanlip Lane. The incident happened sometime between 1.30pm and 1.45pm on Monday October 24, when an occupant from the house came home to find a window had been broken and spotted someone running down the side of the house. Inside the house it was clear that all the rooms had been searched and drawers and cupboards had been left open. Items of Asian jewellery including gold necklaces, gold bangles, bracelets and

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earrings were stolen along with some cash and a HP laptop. The man seen leaving the house has been described as being white, of skinny build and was wearing a black zip up top, dark denim jeans and a baseball cap that was on sideways. The man ran down the side of the house towards the centre of Birstall before turning right onto Orchard Road. Detective Constable Kerry Washington, the investigating officer, said: “I am hoping that with details of the incident, times, dates and a description we will be able to get witnesses to come forward. “If you can place yourself in the area at the time of the incident then have a think about if there is anything you can provide to our investigation. A name, further description, details of vehicles or anything that you think could be linked. It isn’t too late to help us so please get in touch.” Anyone with any information is asked to contact DC 4442 Kerry Washington by dialing 101. Follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer, and when prompted key in the officer’s identification number 4442. Alternatively, you may contact Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.


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Planning P/11/2549/2: 18 Lyngate Ave – erection of single storey extension to front of dwelling P/11/2601/2: Unit 49 Coal Cart Rd – installation of two gas tanks to factory yard P/11/2464/2: 64 Front St – change of use from retail shop (A1) to taxi office (Sui Generis) P/11/2457/2: Agricultural field at rear of Fielding Rd – erection of a 15m high monopole with six telecommunication antennas, one small scale ancillary radio equipment cabinet, one meter cabinet, minor ancillary works including a 1.8m high palisade fenced compound P/11/2439/2: 1-3 The Crossways – display of two illuminated fascia signs, one illuminated projecting sign and two non-illuminated hanging signs P/11/2414/2: 38 Hawthorn Ave – erection of single storey extension to side and conservatory to rear of dwelling P/11/2406/2: 14 Park Road – retention of detached timber garage to rear of dwelling (retrospective application)

WI news BIRSTALL & WANLIP WI’s penultimate meeting of 2011 took place on November 7 at Highcliffe School. There was no speaker this month as this was our AGM where minutes were read, votes of thanks made and the existing committee was voted back into office for 2012. We recalled the highlights of the past year and it was gratifying to note that recent recruitment has swelled our ranks from 15 in 2008 to the current 33 in 2011. We ended the evening with a buffet and quiz organised by the committee. Our next meeting will be on December 5 when our speaker will be Tina Bax who will demonstrate how to make Christmas Garlands.





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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.

AIRPORT CARS Birstall. Airports, Seaports, Long Distance, Courier. Tel: 0777 1984806 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 REX BRISLAND, guitarist, singer, poet, special man. In my thoughts all the time. Looking forward to seeing you again. With love Shelagh FOR SALE Grey ski trousers, size 32” offers around £8. Black judo/karate suit 170cm, offers around £8. Golf driving practice mat plus 2 caps & golf balls £4. Please call Leic 2671527 DOUBLE CARAVAN step. Strong tubular steel with non-slip rubber tread. £20. Tel 079 745 187 70 or 0116 2671922 Cat carry basket. Plastic, easy to clean, attached feeding bowl £10 Tel: 079 745 187 70 or 0116 2671922. Pair of ‘Silver Wedding’ china cups and saucers in an attractive box. £8 Tel: 079 745 187 70 or 0116 2671922 BOXED “me to you bears” new birthday, one for 18 yrs old, one for 21 yrs old £5 each Tel: 07874187895 “Birstall” JESSOP: Wanted to contact anyone with knowledge of “Joseph Jessop & Son”, Engineers, Leiceser 1866-1900. Please email: LOOKING TO Retrain? Personal Technical IT Training. Experienced Microsoft & Sun Certified trainer offers one to one training. Specialising in instructor-led technical applications in the areas of: Microsoft Windows Programming; Languages such as C#, VB, VB.NET and Java. Relational databases including Microsoft SQL Server & Oracle; Web Development technologies e.g. ASP .NET, JSP, JEE and XML. Microsoft Server technologies including SharePoint. For further details please telephone 0798749992

Remembrance event A REMEMBRANCE service at Belgrave cemetery was attended by 45 members of the public. Led by The Reverend Pam Haynes hymns were sung, prayers were said and candles lit as a mark of respect for the soldiers either laid to rest in Belgrave Cemetery or recorded on private family memorials. Poppy crosses were placed on the 48 Commonwealth War graves in the cemetery. At the end of the service refreshments were provided by volunteers from the Friends of Belgrave Cemetery Group.



INFO Diabetes Diabetes is a disease characterised by an increase in blood sugar which affects around 2.9 million people in the UK, and is a growing public health concern ( When foods high in sugar are consumed this causes an increase in the blood sugar level. In healthy individuals the body regulates this by releasing the hormone Insulin, so that the cells in the body can absorb and store the sugar. However, in individuals with diabetes this process is disrupted. The signs of diabetes include; • Weight loss • Increase in thirst • Increase in hunger • Increase in urine frequency • Blurred vision • Weakness/feeling tired • Tingling in hands and feet • High blood sugar levels • Sugar in the urine (sweet smelling urine) If you notice these signs then visit your doctor and get tested. Your doctor may ask for a urine sample and a blood test to confirm or rule out diabetes. If diagnosed with diabetes you can reduce the risk of health complications by eating a healthy diet low in sugars/carbohydrates (sweets, cakes, beer) and regular exercise. Obesity/ being overweight, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet are all risk factors for developing diabetes. If these risk factors can be reduced then the chances of developing the disease can be minimised.

Staying Safe this winter With the nights getting longer, temperatures are dropping and the sun is becoming a rarity. It’s safe to say winter is here. It is estimated that an extra 20% of people die each winter compared to summer in the UK The underlying problem to this is the rising cost of energy prices, as staying warm during winter has a significant impact on health. It is estimated that 40% of these deaths are caused by heart attacks and strokes. There is an increased risk with these diseases at temperatures below 12°C. This is because at this temperature blood pressure starts to rise. Another 30% of these deaths are caused by respiratory problems. At temperatures below 16°C the body’s resistance to respiratory disease is reduced. It is recommended that the main rooms occupied (e.g. living room and bedroom) are heated to a minimum of 21°C in the day and 16°C at night. The government is in the process of speaking to energy suppliers to lower the cost of energy prices to consumers From Samantha Price Wise Guide Life-improving advice for the over-65s The new, free resource for successful living in later life, brought to you by Independent Age, the charity which supports thousands of older people across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, offering information, advice and friendship. Wise Guide is a new, free, resource for older people; whether you are re-

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Sports grant A YOUNG footballer from Birstall has received a grant from Charnwood Borough Council. Cameron Jones (12) was given a £250 talented athlete grant to help towards transport costs after he was accepted into Kettering Town Football Club’s academy. Cameron’s dad Daniel said: “We as a family very much appreciate any support offered to Cameron. This grant contributes greatly to costs incurred for travel, training kit, nutrition and physiotherapy. “Future aspiring professional footballers are students and as such need supporting for many years. Cameron is very pleased to receive the grant, as a young sports person the grant is recognition of his dedication and commitment to play at the highest level in the sport he loves.” Charnwood Borough Council offers a range of grants to support sports clubs, coaches or officials and talented athletes throughout the borough. They are: • Sport Development Grants - available for clubs for up to £250 • Coach/Officials Grants - available for up to 50% of courses costs to a maximum cost of £250 • Talented Athletes Grants - available for up to £250 for athletes competing at regional level or above • Sports Facilities Grants - available for up to £800 The deadline for the next round of grants is the end of December with grants being awarded at the end of January 2012. For more information, guidance notes and application forms: regrants

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tired yourself, are keeping an eye out for your older relatives, friends or neighbours, or whether you volunteer or work professionally with older people. Janet Morrison, Independent Age Chief Executive, says: “At Independent Age, we have been listening to the needs of older people for almost 150 years. We know from experience that older people today face a whole host of different issues, ranging from loneliness and isolation, to bereavement, problems with health, a lack of opportunities and many others. “We believe there’s lots of information that older people need but don’t always get. That’s why we have put together Wise Guide. This comprehensive and concise guide draws on the knowledge that the team at Independent Age has gained over years of advising older people. We have tried to make Wise Guide as user friendly as possible because we believe much of the information available to older people today is dense and difficult to read.” Wise Guide is a one-stop resource to help the over-65s, whether you want to pay less on the train or find an NHS dentist; avoid a fall or get out of debt; install a walk-in shower or find a cleaner. Whatever it is you’re looking for help with, Wise Guide will have an answer. Packed full of tips and nuggets of advice, Wise Guide will help you to discover how to: • Boost your pension and cut your bills • Make your home safer and easier to manage • Join the online community without getting scammed • Stay fit, healthy and happy • Get out and about for as long as you can To order your free copy of Wise Guide: Life-improving advice for the over-65s, call 020 7605 4225 or visit the website: Wise Guide is also available to download from the website and available in Kindle format.

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Elderly woman’s cash stolen DETECTIVES FROM Charnwood local policing unit are appealing for public help after a distraction burglary at the home of an elderly woman in Birstall. The incident took place sometime between 7.30pm and 7.45pm on Monday November 7 in the Denegate Avenue area when two men entered the victim’s home separately. One of the men claimed that the other was a burglar and he was trying to detain him. The victim was asked to check the locations where she kept her money and whilst she was distracted a fawn coloured handbag was stolen. The bag contained cash and paperwork. Both suspects were white, one of them has been described as being about 5’5” tall, slim to medium build. He This is the BAG’s final Cancer Corner of 2011 and it feels particularly ill timed to inform you that December is Childhood Cancer Awareness month in the UK. In the UK around 1,500-1,700 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed each year in children 0-15 years. The most common childhood cancer is leukaemia which affects 35% of children diagnosed. A further 24% are diagnosed with brain or spinal tumours. Children’s cancers are very different to adult cancers. They occur in different parts of the body, and respond differently to treatment. Generally, the causes of childhood cancer are unknown. It is possible that some cancers actually start inside the womb when the foetus is developing and rapid cell division is occurring, but it is not known why this should happen. Similarly, it is thought that some cancers can occur after exposure to a

type of virus - such as the virus that causes glandular fever for example. Again, the process surrounding why this should happen is unknown. Locally cancer treatment for children is carried out at the University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL). The hospital has recently launched a £1.4 million appeal to enable them to create a world-class Children and Young People’s Cancer Unit for 0-24 year olds at Leicester Royal Infirmary. Currently, our children are treated in the children’s hospital. Young adults have specialist cancer treatment on adult wards across the hospital. This can be particularly difficult for teenagers and young adults, both when first diagnosed and treated for cancer, and if they need to make the transition from children’s to adult cancer services. The new integrated unit will totally transform the environment in which children, teenagers and young adults are

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was wearing a black woolly hat and a treated. The careful use of design, lightgrey top. ing and colour will turn an ordinary The second suspect was of similar hospital ward into a space that children description to the first suspect but possiand young people will find stimulating, bly slightly younger and with a slimmer whatever their age. face. Birstall BAG’s have already been in Detective Constable Kerry Washington discussions with the Charitable Appeals is investigating the incident, she said: Team at UHL to see how Birstall can “The suspects have tried to confuse the support their appeal – watch this space. elderly occupant into informing them For more information please contact: where she kept her personal possessions and then gone on to steal items from the Macmillan Cancer Support free phone premises. help line 0808 808 000 Monday – Fri“This was a despicable crime against day 9am-8pm. University Hospitals of an elderly woman and it is vitally imporLeicester Cancer Information Centre on tant that we trace the people responsible. 0116 258 6189. “I would urge anyone who was visited in similar circumstances or saw two aboutus/leicester-hospitals-charity/ourmen acting suspiciously in the area on space-cancer-appeal/ that evening to contact us. Even the Our recent ladies gift night at the Earl slightest detail could help with our enof Stamford raised well over £500. quiries. Any calls received will be treatThank you to Dawn and Hicko at the ed in confidence.” Stamford, to all the stall holders, all the Anyone with any information is asked businesses and individuals who donated to contact DC 4442 Kerry Washington on raffle prizes and of course to those who Leicester 101, follow the instructions to came along to make the night such a leave a message for a police officer and huge success. when prompted key in the officer’s idenTo reflect the interest and support of tification number 4442. Alternatively, the local community Birstall BAG's seeks contact Crimestoppers, which is free** to be inclusive of all cancers and the and anonymous, on 0800 555 111. group welcome villagers to support the many events they organise each year within the local community. We urge those affected by cancer to YOUR COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER visit the Birstall Time Out Group (see Longslade College, Wanlip Lane, separate advert). Birstall, Leicester LE4 4GH Our next fundraising event is our Editor: Mr Jerry Jackson annual ladies Christmas meal at the Editorial/Advertising (Tel & Fax) White Horse, Birstall on Monday December 5 - ticket only event £20 each which includes a three course meal. Tickets available from any of the Birstall BAG’s. Correspondence, news etc For more information look at our can be handed in at: Birstall Library or to our office in the website or email Youth Centre, Longslade College, Birstall A healthy, merry and bright Christmas to all of you.

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Birstall Post (341) Dec 2011  

Birstall Post Dec 2011

Birstall Post (341) Dec 2011  

Birstall Post Dec 2011