Page 1

the Birstall post Y O U R





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CHURCHES IN Birstall brought an apple press to the village to celebrate harvest this year.

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Over three days of pressing, they gave away 160 litres (35 gallons) of fresh apple juice made with local apples. Partners in the project were the new- ter from Birstall Methodist Church, led ly formed Birstall Transition group the team going into the schools. She whose aim is to promote environmental- said: “This is the most satisfying harvest ly sustainable lifestyles. project I’ve ever been involved in. The The press was taken into both Riverchildren have loved turning apples that side and Highcliffe Primary Schools would usually have gone to waste into where children in Year 5 operated the fruit juice which is far tastier than you press themselves. Surplus juice was would normally buy in the shops. Only taken into the dining halls for all the one of the 120 children we’ve worked school to enjoy. Rachel Parkinson, Minis-


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with said they didn’t like the taste!” The apple press was also the main attraction at the Community Harvest Continued on page 2

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Continued from page 1 event, where it was set up in the Methodist Church car-park on one of the hottest days of the year. Birstall Messy Church offered craft activities for families attending the harvest, which included the opportunity to make bread with local baker, Harry Allen. The event was also the first outing for St James’ Gospel Choir who led harvest praise. Thanks to generous donations from the White Horse and the local Co-op food store the barbeque, which was run by a team from Birstall Boys’ Brigade, helped churches to make a donation of over £100 to Skillshare International, a Leicester based overseas development charity. The churches now have shares in the apple press which is owned by a cooperative, so we can expect to see more Birstall apple juice production in years to come.

Pics: (top left) Harry Allen with grandson Owen & other young bakers; (top right) Imogen Barker and her grandmother helping with the breadmaking; making the apple crumble

The December issue of

Horse safety fears

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Dec 3. The copy deadline is Nov 18.

A WOMAN ruptured her Achilles heel after being chased by a horse. Clare Stafford of Holt Road was walking along the footpath that runs from Birstall Road to Netherall Lane. Seeing three horses in the field she turned back the way she had come. One of the horses began to follow her bucking and rearing. Ms Stafford fell and felt a severe pain in her calf. She managed to return to the gate on Birstall Road safely, as all three horses galloped into the next field. Doctors at Leicester Royal Infirmary discovered Ms Stafford had ruptured her Achilles heel and she will have to wear an orthopaedic boot for 12 weeks followed by physiotherapy. Ms Stafford said: “I do not want this to happen to anyone else. A bucking aggressive horse could kill a small child or cause damage or injury. If the horses had got through the insecure gate it would have had catastrophic results with either cars or pedestrians.” Members of Birstall Running Club are also avoiding the path. Race Secretary Bob Budge said: “This would be a normal route our runners would take to get to Watermead Park. But the horses there are very frisky and have chased us and the majority of our leaders won’t take runners that way any longer, although some do risk it.” The field is owned by Leicester City Council who rent it out for grazing. A Leicester City Council spokesperson said: “We were very sorry to hear about Mrs Stafford's accident, and have contacted the farmer who rents the land from us, in order to pass on Mrs Stafford's concerns. “We have also contacted Mrs Stafford in order to confirm this, and to advise her how she can correctly request the contact information for the farmer which she requires, in order to correspond direct with him.”

Dog mess INCIDENTS OF dog fouling were reduced by 47 per cent following a blitz on environmental crime. Charnwood Borough Council conducted a trial in three hotspot areas: Derby Road playing fields, Loughborough; Memorial Park, Sileby and Silverdale Park, Thurmaston between August and September. Enforcement activity included increased surveillance, high profile patrols and issuing fixed penalty notices. Charnwood’s Don’t Muck Around campaign also targeted litter and fly tipping. A total of 53 fixed penalty notices were issued. The campaign also involved raising awareness through a series of public events.



A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on October 10. Borough Councillor David Gaskell reported that the provision of a school within Hallam Fields will be discussed at a meeting at County Hall, at a date yet to be arranged. Cllr Gaskell said he had been made aware of the problem of reporting noise problems outside office hours, particularly in respect of wedding parties at Stonehill school. Cllr Gaskell reported that after visiting Riversdale Court sheltered housing on Riversdale Close, he was investigating sources of funding for a garage to house mobility scooters. Borough Councillor Serinda Shergill reported that she was appointed Young Persons champion for Charnwood and requested that issues relating to young people be brought to her attention. It was reported that Birstall’s County Councillor Roger Wilson had started a petition urging the County Council to do whatever it could to restore a bus service to the route previously served by the 99 bus operated by Paul Winson. It was reported that the building of the School Lane playing field pavilion extension had been finished on September 29, three weeks ahead of schedule. Shutters have been fitted to the external doors. Two stage payments totalling £42,000 have been made to the main contractor. The final account will be subject to a five per cent retention. Building of an office partition and internal decoration is imminent funded from Youth Café grant income. Once all the final bills have been received an application will be made for £11,146 of section 106 monies. A grant of £9250 has been obtained from the County Council’s Big Society Fund. It was agreed to purchase a hearing loop and a sound system for the Village Hall. The sound system consists of a microphone and loudspeakers to amplify speech and the hearing loop will benefit users of hearing aids. The total cost is £2300. A grant of £575 has been obtained from the Rural Community Council. Some councillors expressed their regret at the withdrawal of the Winson’s 99 bus. Comment was made that it is a lifeline for some elderly people and that it was a shame subsidies could be found for big projects like the Birstall park and ride but not for smaller services. It was agreed to request that the County Council review the location of bus stops in the village. Lead has been stolen from the doorway to the Age Concern Day Centre. The estimated cost of repairing the damage is £2000. The poor condition of the surface beneath the round stainless steel seat on Sibson Road near Hannah Parade will be reported to Charnwood’s street cleaning contractors, Serco. Comment was made that it was a shame that some shopkeepers did not keep the block paving surface immediately outside their shops in a tidy condition. The council has agreed a schedule of allotment fees. Rents are agreed at least one year in advance so that ten-

ants have one full year’s notice. With effect from October 1, 2010 all new tenants have been offered a half plot at £30 per annum. This rate remains unchanged for all those who became tenants after October 1, 2010. Existing tenants with a full size plot will pay £24 in 2012 and £25 in 2013 (concessions £12 in 2012 and £14 in 2013). Existing half plot tenants will pay £14 in 2012 and £16 in 2013 (concessions £7 in 2012 and £9 in 2013). The rates have been arrived at after consideration of other Councils’ charges and the need to take account of the current economic climate. It is expected that the income will fall short of administration and maintenance costs. The Council agreed that no changes be made to premises hire charges, cemetery charges or pitch hire fees. It was agreed that the use of carpets and vehicle tyres on allotments be prohibited, as these products are known to leach chemicals into the soil and contaminate the ground. The council agreed not to erect badger proof fencing at the Greengate Lane allotments.


Parish Council notes

Biker flown to hospital OUR PICTURE shows the Air Ambulance in Birstall following a collision between a van and a motorcycle. Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) landed in the car park of the Birstall Sports & Social Club on Birstall Road. They were on the scene in just nine minutes at 9.23am on Tuesday October 4, 2011. The 19-year-old biker had slid underneath the van, suffering from abrasions to his body and suspected pelvic and leg

injuries. DLRAA paramedics assessed the man and treated him at the scene for around 30 minutes. The teenager was given pain relief and immobilised on a long board, fitted with a neck collar and his pelvis was splinted before being airlifted to the trauma unit University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire for specialist care.


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Pavilion extension build complete KEYS TO the new extension at Birstall’s Youth Café were handed over to youth workers last month.

Pumpkin prizes MEMBERS OF Birstall Allotment Society enjoyed a social get-together at their open morning last month. Growers of the largest pumpkins and the tallest sunflowers at each of Birstall’s three allotment sites were presented with a prize by Mr Trevor Surgey, who has had an allotment in the village for 54 years. Pics: (right) Peter Davies with his prize winning pumpkin; (above)Trevor Surgey shakes hands with Janet Amey and other prize winners: Greg Puczylo, Peter Davies, Mary Farrell, John Kitchen and Richard Gibbon (for Aidie Clarke).

The £42,000 extension to the café was completed three weeks early. Located at the School Lane playing fields pavilion, the café is provided by Birstall Parish Council. Chairman Stuart Jones handed over the keys to senior youth worker Helen McNulty who said that the young people are keen to get in and do the painting and decorating themselves. Sue Coulson, Deputy Clerk to the Council, said: “This was all just a dream not so long ago and I cannot believe that it is almost complete. It will mean that the Youth Café will be able to accommodate double the number of young people during the cold and wet months of this winter to come, up to 70 will be

Pic: Stuart Jones & Helen McNulty

able to use the facility when it is open on Wednesday and Friday evenings, giving them a safe and warm place to hang out with their friends, and bringing them in off the streets.”

Pistol shooting competition THE REDHILL Revolvers held the annual Riley Classic Cup at the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre in October.

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In glorious sunshine and soaring temperatures competitors using a classic pistol shot three disciplines on paper and knock down targets. Steve Hancock was crowned the new champion with Bernard Harris second and Steve Prime third. For further info on the club call Steve Prime on 2676114 or 2676252. Pic: (l-r) Bernard Harris, Steve Hancock and Steve Prime

Celebrating 60 years A BIRSTALL couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on September 20. Norman and Cynthia Coltman of Loughborough Road met at the Plough Inn on Front Street where Cynthia’s parents were landlords.


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They were married at St James The Great, Birstall and have lived at their Loughborough Road home since 1963 where they brought up their three children, Hilary, Matthew and David. The couple have six grandchildren. To celebrate their anniversary they invited their church friends to an Evensong service at Wanlip Church followed by a buffet in the church hall. Norman (83) said: “Young couples don’t seem to stay together these days – you have to pull together and share things. We niggle each other but don’t really argue.” Cynthia (79) added: “You have to give and take and not expect too much of one another. Keeping busy is a good idea and baking cakes – Norman really likes his cake!”


Stonehill farm winners A TEAM of twelve year old pupils from Stonehill school will join TV explorer Ben Fogle on an adventure after winning a national competition.

10 students made a video about the school’s farm and entered npower’s Climate Cops SOS competition. It aimed to find students across the country who had introduced a new environmental initiative into the area. Stonehill’s entry impressed Ben Fogle and the judging panel with their team work and enthusiasm creating a school farm. Ben Fogle, npower’s Climate COPS ambassador said: “I have been really

impressed with the entrants but Stonehill High school’s film really stood out.” The Stonehill Farm was started in 2010 and now has two goats, two pigs, a dozen chickens as well as beds for crops. Pupil Joe Lewin (12) said: “It has taught us the importance of hard work and how to look after animals all around us.” Henry Mills (12) said: “The thing I enjoy most is handling and feeding the animals.” The whole school gets involved with the farm, which is located behind the school’s

Woman finds burglar in home POLICE ARE appealing for public help after a woman disturbed two burglars in her home in Birstall. The incident happened in Wanlip Lane at approximately 8.30pm on Thursday October 6, when the occupant of the house, a woman in her sixties, found a man in her home. When she challenged the man he told her that her house appeared to have been burgled when he arrived. The man left just before the woman spotted a second man climbing down the front of her house from a top window. The second man then got into a silver, saloon style car and drove off. A room in the upstairs of the house had been searched and a quantity of cash had been taken. One of the men has been described as being white, approximately 5’10” tall, about 40-years-old, of medium build with dark hair. He was wearing a blue or grey checked shirt and blue jeans. The second man was also described as wearing a blue checked shirt and had light coloured hair.

Detective Constable Maria Pancholi, the investigating officer, said: “If you live in the Wanlip Lane and surrounding area you may have information that could help us with our investigation and we would urge you to think back to that night. “Can you remember seeing two men matching the descriptions provided? Do you know them or have they approached you before? Maybe you witnessed them leaving the house or perhaps you have details of the car one of them left in? If so please call us and help us locate those responsible.” Anyone with any information is asked to contact DC 4319 Maria Pancholi on Leicester (0116) 222 2222, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key in the officer's identification number 4319. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous on 0800 555

design and technology block, with some parents coming in at weekends and during the holidays. Paul Walker, Head of Design, Technology and Art, said: “The pupils learn where food comes from, how to grow your own food and how to care for ani-


mals. The farm also brings some parts of the curriculum to life – evolution, selective breeding, pollination, the nitrogen cycle, recycling etc.” Eggs laid by the farm’s chickens are bought by the staff with the proceeds going towards the running costs. The winning pupils will join Ben Fogle on an activity packed adventure at the Outward Bound Centre in the Lake District later this month.



Girls’ Brigade award winners AFTER ANOTHER successful year, the 1st Birstall Girls' Brigade celebrated the girls' achievements at an awards evening. Forty girls aged five to 17 received badges they had earned during the year. Lucinda Beardsley received her Advanced Young Leaders award and is now leading a section within the company. Megan Sherriff, Louise Simpson and Elina Garton received their Foundation Young Leaders award after undertaking a training course and working within the company. This year the company is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a special Church Service at Birstall Methodist Church on Sunday November 27. Anyone who has had any connection with the company over the past 50 years is warmly invited to attend. For further information about the company or the 50th Anniversary celebration please contact Susan Wheeler on Leicester 2209318. Main Pic: Prize winners shows back row (l-r) Jean Yates (Founder Captain) Zoe Hodgson (winner Jean Yates trophy Senior Section) Olivia Dewing (winner Jean Yates Trophy Junior Section) Susan Wheeler (present Captain) Middle row (l-r) Katie Duddle (runner-up Senior Section) Anna Brown (runner-up Junior Section) Front row (l-r) Ellie May Burdett (runner-up Explorer Section) Grace Moore (winner Jean Yates trophy Explorer Section) Pic (left): 2011 presentation evening shows company on awards night

Flower club MEMBERS OF Birstall Flower Club enjoyed a workshop led by Sylvia Simes on producing pedestal flower arrangements.

Greengate lane travellers The photograph is of Carole Cottam with her flower arrangement destined for her church. The Flower Club will be helping with Christmas arrangements for the Birstall Parish Council Christmas Market on December 2.

THERE HAVE been 11 complaints of ‘anti-social activities’ made about the traveller family living on Greengate Lane since 2009. In a response to an enquiry made by Birstall Parish Council about the site, located near the junction with Thurcaston Road, Leicester City Council apologised for not keeping the Parish Council better informed

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about the situation. The City Council say: • officers are considering how best to address both the current conditions the traveller family are living in at the Greengate Lane site and their need for a long term site. • officers are also seeking to identify sites within the city which could be suitable for traveller families and which will assist the city in meeting its need to provide such sites in order to comply with our Core Strategy. • Leicester city has only one permanent gypsy & traveller site which cannot, at present, meet the identified level of need. There are usually only one or two vacancies arising at this site each year and there are currently about 30 families on the waiting list for a pitch in Leicester city. Having permanent traveller site(s) developed within the city will be better for all the city’s residents, both settled and travelling. • the site at Greengate Lane is regularly

monitored by the City Council (Property Services) for antisocial activities. Any reported antisocial activity is dealt with by Environmental Health Services at the City Council and appropriate action taken. Reports of antisocial activities should be made to the Council’s Environmental Help Line on 0116 2527000 or to the Multi Agency Traveller Unit on 0116 3058156

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Wizard Birstall band’s album launch of Oz A LOCAL band’s debut album will be launched at the Musician pub in Leicester on November 19.

HATS’ NEXT show is The Wizard of Oz, a musical play rather than the normal pantomime, but full of the same comedy, music and dance. Everyone knows the story because it’s based closely on the 1939 MGM movie, starring Judy Garland.

Skam, a hard rock band who have played more than 300 gigs across the country, were formed five years ago and consists of Steve Hill(guitar), Matt Gilmore (bass) and Ray Peverill (drums). Founder of the band Steve Hill was born in Birstall and educated at Stonehill and Longslade, where he is now a teacher. He said: “The album is a showcase of 10 of our very best own songs. It’s the best thing we have ever done and will blow people away! “I would really love the people of Birstall to get behind us and really make something out of this release. We have played Birstall Gala for the last five years and have hosted the Battle of the Bands at Stonehill school. Pic (above): Skam are (l-r) Matt Gilmore, Ray Peverill and Steve Hill

So come and see the twister, Munchkinland, the Emerald City, the Yellow Brick Road and enjoy a couple of hours of fun filled entertainment. Alternatively, you could come and join our happy band and be involved in the production itself, either on stage or behind the scenes. We are desperate for more male actors, but will welcome anyone, male or female, with open arms. Performances of The Wizard of Oz are at Highcliffe School, Greengate Lane, Birstall on Thursday, Friday & Saturday Nov 24, 25 & 26 at 7.15pm and a matinee performance on Sat Nov 26 at 2.30pm. Doors are open 30 mins before curtain up. Tickets are £6 (£5 concessions) and can be obtained in advance by phoning the box office on 2671181 or writing to 14 Fielding Road, Birstall, Leicester or by email at From HATS

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We like to do our bit to help the kids who love playing rock music as much as we do.” Skam’s album will be released by Casket Records on December 5 and will be available on iTunes and in record stores. It will also be available to buy at the album’s launch party on November 19 at the Musician Pub, Leicester.

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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:

Thanks Nicola Williams and family have asked us to pass on their thanks to the residents of Went Road for their support , kindness and generosity on the sad and sudden death of John. The collection finally totalled £125 which has been donated in John’s memory to Save the Children. Thank you all. Angela Allsopp and Jane Glover

Thanks A belated ‘thank you’ from all of the four Councillors elected to Charnwood Borough Council by the people of Birstall in May. For the first time for ages we are all singing from the same song sheet. This should work out better for Birstall because our demands, requests, observations and criticisms will have four times the clout, we hope! Our thanks are belated because, since taking office, we have hardly had time to take a breath. We have all been attached to various sub committees and have all undergone rigorous training in procedural and computer work and this, coupled with the number of

meetings and the number of outside appointments were are obliged to attend, mean that time management is vital. The new Councillors have had to get used to it, the senior councillors were already well aware. But now, we have all had time to take stock and we want to make some changes. We want to be more accessible and more responsive to the needs of the people of Birstall. To this end we intend to hold surgeries in the Old Council Offices on Sibson Road on the last Saturday in the month from 10am to 12 noon, starting on the October 29 2011. One or other of us will be present to listen to your concerns, requests and observations and to advise you as to what we believe to be the right course of action to take, or to take action on your behalf. We also intend to keep the Parish Council informed, on a monthly basis, of anything that is going on at Charnwood which affects Birstall. We would hope that the Editor of the Birstall Post (who is an ever present at Parish Council meetings), will publish those details so that everyone in the village is kept aware. We are conscious that, for what ever reason, Birstall would appear to have become a bit of an out-post as far as Charnwood is concerned. For example, in Loughborough and all the neighbouring villages, Charnwood seem to be investing in wonderful leisure centers, sports facilities such as skate parks and other amenities. We know that money is tight but we intend to ensure that Birstall gets its fair share of what is available. To that end the four Councillors will be meeting the Leader of Charnwood Council on the October 31 2011, to ensure that he is made aware of our hopes and aspirations. Finally, your councillors are only as good as the information they receive. Our names and details or on the Charnwood web site and if you don’t have access to the web, they can be obtained from the library or the Parish Council Offices. Keep us in formed and we promise we will keep you informed. Serinda Shergill, Iain Bentley, Stuart Jones, David Gaskell

Try harder Cllr Pendleton, Leicestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, tries very hard to justify the expenditure on Birstall’s Park and Ride facility, but only succeeds in exposing the invalid arguments and political stupidity that continue to be used.

“Passenger numbers are so far good its first month.....taking 2500 cars off the road”. Is that really good news given that it will take 36,550 cars per month to break even? Currently that’s 625 cars per week, 104 cars each day. The same calculation gives 166 people in a day using the bus (4000 in the month). What Cllr Pendleton fails to note is that to take 104 cars off the road, the council provides 40 very heavily subsidised bus journeys in and out of town. I must be missing something, but 40 bus journeys averaging 4 passengers on board is not an economical carbon-reducing alternative to 104 cars! I can accept that most passengers probably come from Loughborough direction, but “...followed by Birstall....” must be stretching things a little. Surely not many Birstall people are driving out of town just to catch the Park and Ride bus when we already have three buses down the A6 every 10 minutes or so? You need a better argument than this, Cllr Pendleton. Bruce Hughes

Donation The Friends of Belgrave Cemetery group would like to thank The Edith Murphy Foundation for their donation in September 2011. Due to the generosity of a gracious lady the group are assured that their work in the preservation of the cemetery will continue for another year. Dorothy Marshall, Chairperson

Thanks I would like to thank the kind couple who assisted my mother on Saturday October 1. She fell outside the café on The Meadway cutting the side of her face, hand and knees. She also damaged her glasses and was taken to the opticians on Sibson Road. The lady’s husband then walked back home, fetched his car and took my mother home. My mother who is 90 yrs was very shaken and didn’t ask their names. I do appreciate their kindness. My sincere thanks. J Proud (Mountsorrel)

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such wonderful food then we are sure that they will enjoy many more. Our only association with them is as paying customers. John and Pat Scott

CLASH Many thanks to everyone who supported CLASH annual events this summer. Birstall Scouts helped out at the Gala, Birstall Guides supported the Coffee Morning and the Sponsored Swim was a great success. Kylie, Michael, Donna & Aimee all swam a mile. Thank you to our other swimmers including Usha who swam for St John Ambulance. Do you have arthritis and want to learn basic computer skills and how to access the Internet? Come along to Palmer Tomkinson Centre on Thursday November 10 and join in the free e-learning4arthritis session from 3.30-4.30pm. Sixth Form ‘Digital Champions’ will help to support your learning. These sessions will be held fortnightly on Thursday at the same time. Do you have arthritis and want to come along and exercise using Wii activities and games at The Peepul Centre? All ages welcome, especially children and young people with arthritis. Come along to the Peepul Centre Sports Hall on Thursday November 3 and join in the free e-sports4arthritis session from 4-5pm. These sessions will be held fortnightly on Thursday at the same time. Christine Thomas, CLASH

Dedicated youth worker A DEDICATED Birstall Youth worker was prsented with a box of chocolates by Milk Tray man Tim Slack. Tim was taking part in a charity event raising money for LOROS and Prostaid, and was dashing around the county delivering chocolates to five women nominated for their community work. He met up with Birstall Parish Council’s Senior Youth Worker Helen MacNulty at Abbey Pumping Station. Deputy Clerk Sue Coulson said: “Helen has been instrumental in the success of the Youth Café which has considerable reduced the antisocial behaviour in Birstall. Helen puts so many unpaid hours into organising activities and sessions for the young people of Birstall that I thought it would be nice to give her a thank you.” Pic: Helen MacNulty with Tim Slack



Noticeboard all details printed free Rothley Parish Church

Christmas Market on Saturday November 26 10-12noon at the Rothley Centre Raffle, Toys, Gifts, Bric-a-Brac Nearly new women’s clothes Cakes, preserves Coffee & mince pies, hot dogs Children’s activities, Rothley School Choir Proceeds to Rothley Scouts, St John Ambulance & Rothley Parish Church All welcome ••• Friday Nov 25, 10am to 7pm Saturday Nov 26, 10am to 2pm Birstall Methodist Church

Christmas Festival ‘Winter Wonderland’ Adm to church £1 (accomp. children free)

Outdoor Christmas Market Christmas stalls, crafts, homemade produce Punch/hot dogs, games Friday Nov 25, 2-7pm

Table Top Sale Saturday Nov 26, 10am-2pm (Tables £10, tel: Margaret, 0116 2671181) Refreshments served throughout the event (light lunches Fri & Sat 12-1.30pm) ••• National Childbirth Trust Nearly New Toys & Equipment Sale On Saturday November 19, 1.30-3pm (NCT members admitted from 1pm) Beaumont Leys School Anstey Lane LE4 OFL •••

The Ibstock Brass Band St James Church, Church Hill, Birstall Sunday November 20, 7.30pm Come along and enjoy an evening of live music for only £3, pay on the door •••

Charity Fair Mountsorrel Memorial Hall Sat Nov 12, 10am to 12noon 30p entry, 20p concessions All welcome ••• Rothley Bowling Club

Autumn Fayre & Coffee Morning Sat Nov 19, 10am to 12noon at Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane Rothley Adm. 50p inc tea/coffee Lots of stalls inc bric-a-brac, cakes, homemade produce, crafts, tombola, raffle etc ••• Sue Faulks

Winter Art Course For children age 7-12 years November 19, December 3, December 10 & December 17 From 10am to 12noon Brownie & Guide HQ, Johnson Rd, Birstall LE4 3AT Course fee £32 (inc all materials & refreshments) ONLY 12 places available! Tel: 0116 2205164 Mob: 07984 197114 Come & enjoy some creative fun! •••

Birstall Royal British Legion Nov 5 Neil James (M/V) Nov 12 Ben Fischer (M/V) Nov 19 Amy C (F/V) Nov 26 Bonnie (F/V) 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 Nov 13 & 27 starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday Nov 20 Rock & roll nights Wed Nov 2 & 16 Food available every Sat 12noon to 2pm Wakes catered for ••• Birstall Birdwatching Club

Spanish Safari By Mike Webster Just a very short distance back from the beaches there is a beautiful land of mountains, meadows, streams and rivers and we explore some of these habitats on tonight’s journey The Rothley Ctr, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Tuesday November 8 at 7.30pm Visitors welcome £2 Contact Ken Goodrich 0116 2674813 ••• Richard Hill School PTA (Thurcaston)

Annual Christmas Fair Saturday November 26, 1.30-4pm Christmas gifts, Santa’s grotto, yummy cake stall, raffle, BBQ and refreshments, games and lots more! Why not come along for a bit of early Christmas shopping? Richard Hill School, Anstey Lane, Thurcaston ••• LOROS

Spectacular Firework Event Mallory Park, Kirkby Mallory, LE9 7QE November 5 Gates open 5.30pm, Funfair & Entertainment 6.30pm, Bonfire 7.30pm, Fireworks 8pm Free Parking Reduced prices for advance bookings Adults £4, Concessions £2.50, Family tickets (2 adults, 3 children) £12, Children under 5 free Gate admissions Adults £6, Concessions £3 Book your tickets early, call LOROS event line 0116 231 8484 or buy them online at •••

Soar Valley Trampoline Club Monday & Wednesday evenings from 5-7pm at Soar Valley College Sessions are for children from age 6 upwards Contact Annette for more details on 01664 840079 or email to ••• Steps School of Theatre Dance Proudly brings you

‘One Night Only’ A night of celebration showcasing the talents of local youngsters A night of fundraising activity for Birstall BAGS Palmer Tomkinson Centre at Longslade Community College Friday November 25 from 7pm Tickets £6, Concessions £5 For more information please contact Michelle on: 07909861197 Doors open at 6.30pm for fundraising activities Licensed bar •••

Friends of Belgrave Cemetery Group Belgrave Cemetery Sunday November 6 From 10am until 1pm The Friends of Belgrave cemetery as part of Community Service Volunteer programme for 2011 are organising Spring into Action Day And will be planting spring bulbs in the ceme-

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tery Members are most welcome to come along and help with the planting As usual cemetery record information will be available ••• Remembrance Service at Belgrave Cemetery Sunday November 13 10.45am for 11am start led by the Rev Pam Haynes All are welcome to attend •••

Birstall Christmas Lights Switch On & Craft Fair Friday December 2 The switch on will take place on Sibson Road Car Park at 6pm Carol Service performed by Leicestershire Art Birstall Brass Ensemble The Christmas Craft Fair will be in the Village Hall on Birstall Road from 6-9pm Free tea, coffee, mulled wine and mince pies in the village hall If you are interested in having a Christmas stall in the Village Hall please contact Sue Coulson on 2676191 or email: (Only Christmas related items to be displayed on stalls, £10 for 1 table, £15 for 2 tables, set up from 3pm) ••• Birstall & District Art Society

Annual Exhibition Birstall Village Hall Sat Nov 5 – Mon Nov 7 9-5pm (Mon: 9-3pm) Admission Free


••• Birstall & District Art Society Nov 8, 7pm Palmer Tomkinson Centre, Longslade

Artist: Tim Fisher Demonstration: A Norfolk Scene in pastel £3 for non-members ••• Wanlip Church and Community Centre Intend to run a

Coffee Morning/Fair Saturday Nov 26, 10am to 1pm Usual stalls etc. Light refreshments available Proceeds to further improve our facilities ••• St James Day Centre

200 Club October Winners 1st Mr Roger Cowham £25 2nd Mrs Cynthia Chapman £15 3rd Mrs Thelma Lane £10 4th Mr Brian Ward £5 •••

Birstall Flower Club Invite you to their

Open Meeting Jonathan Moseley National Demonstrator Dressed in Gold for Christmas Nov 23 at 7pm Birstall Village Hall, School Lane, Birstall Admission £8 inc refreshments Tel: for tickets to secretary 2674206 •••

Continued on page 10



Continued from page 9 Birstall BAGS welcome you to their

Ladies Gift Night Friday Nov 11, 8pm At the Earl of Stamford Tickets £3 inc glass of wine or fruit juice Crafts, gifts & goodies on sale perfect for Christmas presents and of course all proceeds go toward a local cancer related cause. Ticket only please which are available from any of the Birstall BAGS •••

Birstall & District Local History Society The next meeting will be held on Thursday Nov 10 at 7.30pm Village Hall, Birstall Road, Birstall ‘The Story of Grace Dieu Priory Speaker: Ernest Miller Visitors are very welcome ••• 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 ••• Birstall St James Church Social Group Invite you to a

Quiz Afternoon and Cream Tea Sunday Nov 27 at 2.30pm Birstall Village Hall, School Lane Cost £3 •••

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50th Anniversary Service Sunday November 27 at 10.30am Birstall Methodist Church Officers & members extend a warm invitation to anyone who has had any connection with the company over the past 50 years to join us in this celebration service •••

Thurcaston Toddler Group We are a friendly parent run informal Toddler Group that opens its doors every Tuesday

from 9-11am (during school term times) for pre-school children from birth to 5 years. Children get to play with different toys, do a craft activity and have a snack and a drink as well as socialising with other children. Parents/carers can make themselves a drink have a chat and get a change of scene for the morning! Feel free to drop in and give us a try, admission is £2 – even if you have more than one child We are based at Thurcaston Memorial Hall, Anstey Lane, Thurcaston LE7 7JA ••• Soar Valley Music Centre 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 •••

Remember the 33 On 11.11.11 An Hour or So of Song, Story & Music Rothley Parish Church 7.30pm Friday November 11 Led by the Choir Under the direction of Simon Murphy Free admission Collection for the Poppy Appeal Info: 0116 2302931 •••

Leicester Symphony Orchestra The Battle of the Somme On Saturday November 12 7.30pm De Montfort Hall Butterworth : Banks of Green Willow Ravel : Le Tombeau de Couperin Rossi : The Battle of the Somme (with silent film) Guest Conductor Levon Parikian 6.30pm Free pre-concert talk with composer Laura Rossi and Dr Toby Haggith from the Imperial War Museum Full price £17/£14/£11 Children age 16 and under £3 Concessions available Tickets available from De Montfort Hall Box Office 0116 233 3111 •••

Local Artist Anne Kingham Exhibition at Hind Leys Community College,

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Free Girls Football Academy Every Saturday 10-11.30am at Memorial Park, Necton Street, Syston ••• The Latimer Player Present

Puss in Boots at The Memorial Hall, Thurcaston on November 24,25,26 Matinee Sat 26 7.30pm evenings, 2.30pm matinee All tickets £6.50 Available from 121 Leicester Road, Thurcaston 0116 2362692 •••

Table Top Sale at the Rothley Centre LE7 7PR Sat November 12 from 10am to 12.30pm Over 30 stalls: bargains galore. Adm 50p Tea/coffee/cakes available ••• 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 the purchase of a defibrillator for the Church ••• Highcliffe Amateur Theatrical Society Present

The Wizard of Oz at Highcliffe School, Greengate Lane, Birstall on Nov 24,25,26 starting at 7.15pm with a matinee on Nov 26 at 2.30pm Tickets may be ordered by phoning 2671181 or by post to 14 Fielding Road, Birstall LE4 3AJ or by mail to •••

Film Presentations From Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council ‘Oranges and Sunshine’ Friday November 11 (105 mins) Starring Emily Watson and Hugo Weaving, this film is an enlightening and thought-proving true story, set in Nottingham. In 1986 Margaret began a tireless campaign to inves-

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tigate the organised deportation by the British Government of thousands of British schoolchildren ‘in care’. They had been shipped to Australia. Single-handedly, Margaret united many broken families. ‘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. On Friday January 13, 2012, we hope to present ‘Jane Eyre’ 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. ••• Belgrave Ladies Bowling Club Thurcaston Road, Leicester

Autumn Fayre Sat Nov 26, 10am to 12noon, 50p Cakes, tombola, raffle, cards, bric-a-brac and other stalls Everyone very welcome, come and see our excellent bowling facilities Free membership for all newcomers in 2012 Further details from Ladies Secretary on 0116 2674234

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 MATHS & PHYSICS tuition. Experienced popular private/college tutor, PGCE & BSc (Hons), offers excellent exam preparation GCSE & A-level. Call 07980 749992 FISHER PRICE 3in1 Baby swing, chair and toddler rocker; hardly used £35. 0116 2376372 PUSHCHAIR SNUGGLE Bags £22.50 stalls: Rothley Centre 12/11/11; Birstall Methodist 26/11/11 also to order 0116 2376372 CHICCO Baby Ergo Gym hardly used £10. 0116 237672


NHW news & crime report Only Two Shopping Days to Christmas Many people like to give useful, sensible presents for Christmas. If this seems to make sense to you, remember that you only have two shopping days to Christmas. This is because the Birstall and Wanlip Neighbourhood Advice shop only opens on the third Saturday of every month, between 10am and 12noon. If you are looking for a thoughtful present, accompanied by advice, a cup of tea and possibly a chair, then call in. There should also be a Police representative present. Between now and Christmas you will find the shop open on November 19 and December 17. It is to be found at 10 Sibson Road, opposite the Garden Centre, at the end of the car park - just look for the sign board. The shop has a variety of products, many of which would make practical gifts this December 25. Any young person who is lucky enough to receive a new bicycle should make sure that they take it to the Advice Shop, where it will be post coded and the owner will receive a free lock. (Santa could take the bike to the shop and get it engraved before Christmas to make sure it's safe.) The shop also has alarmed padlocks to keep the bike safe in the garden shed. If you have anyone in the family who has recently become a student living away from home, then there are various alarms available to keep them and their property safe. There is also SmartWater which is used to mark things like computers. If stolen they can then easily be traced back to their owners. For the older person the shop provides many small gifts, which could be wrapped and hung on the Christmas tree. If you

are getting a smart, new purse for granny, don’t forget to pop in to the shop for a purse chain and bell. With these things added they should be able to keep your gift for a long time. A personal alarm might also be welcomed. Don't forget to keep your own money, credit cards, and gifts safe when out. Put your presents in the boot of the car, and leave a light on when you go out at night. Further details of of the above products can be found at And a Merry Christmas to you all. From Birstall & Wanlip NHW Crime Report : Sep 11 – Oct 10 Assaults 4, harassment 4, burglary 3, burglary non-dwelling 6, fraud 7, public order 1, theft 7, theft from motor vehicle 4, theft of motor vehicle 1. During cycle patrols on Friday Oct 7, police came across a group of young people from a neighbouring community. They appeared to be looking at houses along the Loughborough Road. One male came running from the garden of a house and immediately ran upon sight of the police. Chase was given and shortly after a male was detained and arrested for a public order offence, potentially preventing a burglary. The current local policing priorities are: • To work with partner agencies and residents to reduce incidents of damage to motor vehicles and antisocial behaviour in the areas of Dalby Ave, Newtown Drive and Worcester Ave between 9pm and 2am • To work with partner agencies and residents to tackle antisocial vehicle use on Stonehill Ave, Northfield Ave, Paget Ave, Wanlip Lane, Orchard Road, Lambourne Road, Worcester Ave and Meadow Lane (and surrounding park) in the afternoon and early evening. You can raise local policing issues at the Birstall Police Surgery on Nov 19, 10am to 12noon, Birstall Police Office, 10 Sibson Road, or email: charnwood.lpu@leicestershire.pnn.police. uk PC 2139 Rich Carruthers, 0116 222 2222


Thursday group cash OUR PICTURE shows Dorothy Bond, Chairman of the Birstall Methodist Thursday Group, presenting a cheque for £3000 to Andy Reed for the Richard Engelgardt Trust, as a result of last year’s fundraising.

County cup winners THE OUTDOOR season finished last month for bowlers at Birstall Bowling Club and what a season it has been. Two National Semi Final appearances, seven Leicestershire titles and a runners up trophy, three Leicester and District Parks competition wins, two League titles and one runner up, League Cup runners up, and three other trophies won, as well as players reaching another four county semi finals and three county quarter finals, have made this the most successful season the club has had by quite some distance. The club competition finals took place in September and the winners are below. Ladies Winners: Championship: Jennie Groves, Runner Up: Pam Ratcliffe Handicap: Pa Walker, Runner Up: Pam Ratcliffe Maiden: Diane Hartop, Runner Up: Pam McMahon Pairs: Chris Winder & Pa Walker, Runners Up: Margaret Fritche & Diane Hurst Two Wood Pairs: Janet Wildbore & Diane Hartop, Runners Up: Sheila Jenkins & Val Hollis Fielding & Everitt Cups: Pam Ratcliffe, Runner Up: Val Ross Men’s Winners: Championship: Dave Clarke, Runner Up: Richard Smith Handicap: Richard Smith, Runner Up: Stuart Hartop Maiden: Ross Durance, Runner Up: Jack Berry Three Wood: Stuart Hartop, Runner Up: Dave Clarke Two Wood: Andy Wye, Runner Up: Dave Clarke Pairs: Malcolm Wright & Tom Cowles,

Runners Up: Derek Hemsley & Dave Clarke Club Night Cup: Brian Taft Mixed Competition Winners: Club Open: Andy Wye, Runner Up: Diane Hurst Saunders Cup: Diane & John Hurst, Runners Up: Pam Ratcliffe & Dave Clarke Adnett Cup: Velma Allen & Stuart Hartop, Runners Up: Pa Walker & John Eaton From Andy Wye Pic: The victorious Birstall team that won the County Cup

The December issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Dec 3. The copy deadline is Nov 18.


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Club’s finals day IT WAS high fives all round for young Birstall tennis ace Matt Williams when he clinched his fifth successive men’s singles title. Twenty-year-old Matt proved unstoppable yet again when he defeated Ciaran Bibby 7-6, 6-2 at Birstall Watermead Tennis Club’s finals day. In the ladies singles final, Laura Morley beat Kay Oakes 6-0, 6-1, the first of three titles for her. Laura and Jenny Cooper beat Audrey Preston and Lucy Evans 6-1, 6-0 to win the ladies’ doubles, and to cap the day, she and Mike Lale beat Mary Whiteman and Connor Winterton 6-4, 6-4 in the mixed doubles. The men’s doubles final was a tightly-contested match, with Dave Hutchinson and Spencer

Wesson defeating Ciaran Bibby and Colin Lister 6-3, 5-7, 7-5. In the under-18s final, Ciaran Bibby beat Ethan Oakes 6-1, 6-0, but Ethan pulled off a victory in the under-16s final, beating Kuljit Tara 6-1, 6-4. Adam Garratt beat Dave Evans 6-1, 6-2 in the men’s plate final. Winners were presented with their trophies at a barbecue later in the day and among the victors were Ciaran Bibby, Dave Watson, Wendy Morley and Dave Geschke, who comprised the winning side in the Winter Team Shield event. Pics: (above)Matt Williams (left) and Ciaran Bibby; (left)Kay Oakes (left) and Laura Morley

Children perform in new centre 200 PUPILS from seven local primary schools performed in a musical at the Palmer Tomkinson Centre. The production of ‘Yanomamo’ describes the crisis situation in the Amazon Basin, where rainforest trees are being felled for use as commercial timber, the land cleared for ranching and peasants live in shanty towns, while the future of the Yanomamo tribe is threatened. Songs performed by the children were accompanied by musicians from Stonehill and Longslade schools, directed by Alan Holford, with David Bark on the piano.

Thursday night is music night REAL MELODY, great composers, big bands and legendary vocalists – hear all these and more at the weekly meetings of the Leicester Dance and Swing Bands Appreciation Society. They meet every Thursday at Birstall

Social Club from 8-10pm and have been going for 25 years. The club’s honorary president is no less a person than Doris Day and the club members gather to listen to the music of the great composers including

Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart and Johnny Mercer. There’s an even longer list of bands and vocalists such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Ambrose, Ted Heath, Johnny Dankworth, the singers include Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes, Mel Tormé, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Julie London. Members prepare their own programmes, presented on a CD or tape. There is no pressure to be a presenter, everyone is equal. The annual membership fee is £1 with a 50p evening fee. For further information please contact Geoff Penrose on 0116 2201175.

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Special playgroup celebrates forty






IN JANUARY 2012 it will be forty years since Sheila Wilson and Mary Downs opened the doors of ‘Birstall Playgroup for Children with Special Needs’, then known as ‘Birstall Creche.’ They had recruited a team of volunteer helpers to play with the children in each session and had Birstall Methodist church’s support in offering the playgroup a home ‘rent free.’ They had also secured the support of the British Red Cross to pay petrol costs for the team of volunteer drivers, who would go out on Monday and Friday mornings to pick up the children from around the City and the County. Sheila and Mary were very clear about what they were trying to achieve. Sheila’s fourth child Miriam, then five years old, has Downs’ Syndrome. Miriam was a celebrated part of the family, much loved and much wanted but when she was first born and Sheila and her husband were given the diagnosis it was a massive shock. The emotional adjustment to the news but also the implications in terms of decision making, search for services and advice was bewildering even to Sheila who as a Health Care professional knew something about disability. It was this personal experience that inspired her to elicit the help of Mary and attempt to develop a service for children with disabilities and their families, in those early years when everyone feels so vulnerable and potentially isolated. Forty years on the Playgroup, now supported by BBC Children in Need, is still thriving! In some ways nothing has changed. Among the committed team of volunteers there are even one or two of the original helpers including Sheila herself. The venue remains unchanged and the rent is still donated by the Methodist Church. The group presently supports about 20 families by offering one or two mornings of play for the children. As has always been the case at Playgroup,

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the basic premise is that with the right support and attitude of the people around, getting messy and creative, learning about having friends and having fun are the things that children do best, regardless of a disability or difficulty. Parents and carers still say that what they need is contact with other people who can share their experience. They often go into the coffee shop at the church, to get together, an opportunity to relax but also to share useful information about services or practical day to day ideas about coping and enjoying their child. Other times they go and do a bit of shopping or visit a friend, forty years ago it wouldn’t have been called ‘me time’ but essentially we’ve all always needed some. We would love to hear from anyone who over the forty years of the life of the Playgroup, has had any involvement. Maybe you attended, maybe your child did, maybe you volunteered. We want to invite you to our party on March 24 next year to celebrate the playgroup and all the wonderful people that have been part of its’ long life! From Playgroup Leader Deborah Hoggar

Birstall & Wanlip WI BIRSTALL AND Wanlip WI did not meet in August but many members enjoyed a Summer coach trip to Webbs of Wychbold on August 15. At our next meeting on September 5 Richard Golden gave a talk on glass making and showed the members some very expensive examples of his work. Ann Waite won the competition 'My oldest treasured possession' with a beautiful traveling ink well. Also in September we also competed in two Skittle competitions with WI teams from Astill Lodge and Mountsorrel. Unfortunately we narrowly lost both games and are now out of the competition until next year. 26 ladies attended our most recent meeting on October 3 when Marianne Parry gave a captivating talk on candle making. She grew up in Denmark where candles are used far more frequently in the

home than in Britain often replacing electric lighting. We learned about the history of candles and how she set up her own workshop. Afterwards we were able to purchase from her very reasonably priced range of handmade candles. Incidentally did you know that the one cow could provide enough fat or tallow to keep a family in candles for 3 years? Of course today they are usually made of paraffin, soy or bees wax. Jane Glover won the homemade sweets competition with some delicious chocolate truffles. There will be no speaker on November 7 as we will be holding our AGM but there will be a quiz and buffet to round off the evening. We can be contacted by email at or visit for more details of our activities.

OUR PICTURE shows representatives from Heart-Link and Cystic Fibrosis receiving a cheque each for £1000 towards their charities from the Birstall Methodist Monday Group. The money was raised by holding coffee mornings at the Methodist coffee shop, members having coffee mornings at their own homes, selling quiz forms, cake and book sales, and also fun filled theme evenings at the Methodist Church. If you would like to join the group, please come along on Monday evenings at 7.30, you will be made most welcome, or phone Margaret on 2671181 or 2673674.

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The forthcoming programme: Nov 7 Craft Evening; Nov 14 Aloe-Vera; Nov 21 Embroidery Evening; Nov 28 Christmas words and music; Dec 5 Christmas get together and Dec 12 Christmas Dinner at the Golf Club. A spokesman for the group said “In this picture is a most genuinely thought of member of our group, Janet, who sadly passed away not long after this photo was taken.”

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Top award for Guide Gemma

Breastfeeding support workshop

BIRSTALL WILL host free breastfeeding workshops for expectant parents. Gemma Lawrenson, of Birstall Guides, was presented with the Queen’s Guide The new workshop will be held at Award by Chief Guide, Gill Slocombe at Charnwood 2011, Leicestershire’s Internation- Birstall Methodist Church Hall on Wanlip al Guide and Scout Camp in July. Lane from 2-4pm on the second SaturThe Queen’s Guide Award is the high- yoga and co-directing a show with 150 day of every month. local Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. est award a member of Girlguiding UK Pregnant women are invited, preferaCharnwood 2011 was a week-long can achieve, taking up to three years to bly from about 33 weeks gestation, with activity camp held in the grounds of complete and consisting of five modules or without partners. It is free to attend Whatton House aimed to chaland is designed as a one-off workshop and was attended lenge the indiso each couple would attend once only. by over 3,000 vidual on many The sessions are run by Charnwood Guides and Scouts different levels, BRAS (Breastfeeding Reassurance and from all over the such as PersonSupport) Group. UK and the world, al Skill DevelopJay Field lives in Birstall and is a 15 of which were ment and trained breastfeeding peer supporter from Birstall as Community with the Charnwood BRAS. She says: part of a Guide Action. Gemma “The antenatal workshop is so important group Gemma was presented for couples expecting their first baby. helped to lead. with a solid It’s a lot of fun, very informative and so Chief Guide Gill silver brooch useful. Your baby will thank you for Slocombe had and a certifiattending!” travelled up especate signed by For more information about this cially for the counthe Queen. workshop or the Charnwood BRAS in ty presentation of Gemma general, please see six Queen’s Guide (26) has been Awards, a record for Girlguiding Leicesa member of Girlguiding Birstall since To book a place please contact the tershire. Gemma said: “Meeting Gill was she was seven years old and is proud of group on 07583 041054 a highlight for me. She was so down to her achievement. “The award took me earth and really proud of all our achievetwo and a half years to complete and over that time my confidence and appre- ments.” Gemma would like to thank all her ciation for the guiding organisation has family, friends and guiding colleagues increased immensely” she said. The for all their support over the past three BIRSTALL’S PARK and ride service saw challenges that Gemma undertook inyears and hopes to continue gaining new passenger numbers rise by 18% in cluded: volunteering for local charity experiences through her involvement in its second month. Leicestershire AIDS Support Service; helping to plan and deliver a performing guiding. The £5.5million facility was opened For more information about joining arts festival for over 2,000 guiding memon July 18 and in its first four weeks, Girlguiding Birstall, contact Rachel Smith 7613 journeys were made on the service. bers; being part of a team of young women who launched a national petition on 07907579685 8992 journeys were made in the followin 2010 to have all airbrushed images in Pic: Gemma Lawrenson receiving her ing four weeks. the media labelled; planning and leading Queen’s Guide Award from Chief Guide Gill The standard fare is £3. For details a leaders exploration to Belfast; learning Slocombe at Charnwood 2011. go to

A LOCAL guide leader has achieved a top award. 1st


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Fundraising evening THE CHARNWOOD Branch of Cancer Research held their 4th Ladies Evening at the Village Hall in Woodhouse Eaves. The event raised fund for the continued research into the treatment and causes of cancer. Ladies from all around the area, including Birstall, Rothley and Mountsorrel joined together in an evening which provided free demonstrations of reflexology and advice on beauty and fitness. The fashion show this year was the autumn selection from the Green House Collection. There was a wide range of stalls including pickles and jams, birthday and Christmas cards, gifts, cup cakes, cosmetics, fashion accessories and jewellery. This year the branch was joined by Joy Bark, who with her husband David, are the founders of The Bark Foundation. This was formed in 2008 to support the HOTPEC Orphanage, Buea, Cameroon. Jan Gaskell, Chair of Charnwood Branch of Cancer Research, said: “Joy is an expert on broken and unwanted jewellery and the large variety of items she had for sale proved to be one of the highlights of the evening. We were delighted that our two charities were able to give support to each other and hope we have the opportunity to be able to join together for future events. “Once again we would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all who supported our Ladies Evening. This year we were pleased to see many of our regular supporters and also a great number of new faces. The evening raised over £530.” Pic: Joy Bark (left) at her jewellery stall with Stephanie Holden

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Church news Shop without dropping? If you are starting to plan your cards and present –giving, have you considered the wide range available from Fairtrade? There is an excellent catalogue, which Jane Scott at St James has available and you can be assured that everything you spend will be helping some of the poorest people in the world to earn a living as craft producers. Contact Jane on 2673761 or go on line to Darkness and light November sees the annual, solemn service of remembrance at St. James church on Sunday 13 at 10.30am, made more poignant year by year, as the toll of young men and women killed in warfare continues, even though the “war to end all wars” (World War I) may seem a distant memory. Many of the other events organised by the churches seem to be towards the end of the month as the Advent season begins. For many people, particularly the children, Advent means calendars or perhaps lighting an Advent candle day by day. It is very unlikely that personal calendars were anything to do with the first Christmas, but the idea of light, showing the way and dispelling darkness has everything to do with the birth of the very special child, Jesus. For this reason much is made of candles at our annual Churches Together Advent service which will take place on Sunday November 27 at Wanlip church at 6pm. The hymns and carols, which we sing together all have this theme of light, and candles will be lit during the service. Social events The same very busy weekend includes the annual Wanlip Christmas Fair to be held in the Church and Community room from 10am on Saturday November 26. From there, you might be tempted to Mulberry House on Front Street, where there will be Christmas stalls and light lunches on offer from 12 to 2pm, in aid of the RNLI and Vista for the Blind. Then on Sunday afternoon (27th) at 2.30 pm you are invited to an informal Quiz afternoon with cream tea at Birstall Village Hall. Approaching festive season From then on, Christmas events will take over the calendar. We look forward to the Christmas Carol services at Wanlip on December 18 & 19 at 6pm. Then, instead of standing in the cold and/or wet, singing carols to your neighbours, why not bring your neighbours to St James, on Wednesday December 21 at 7.30pm for a fun evening of “Carols For All” There’ll be some help from the organ and the piano but it will be “chiefly yourselves” singing favourite carols and enjoying refreshments together. All completely free! More details next month. From Beryl McHugh, Parish Churches

Pre School is aged 40! For a church group that has clients all mostly aged between 2 and 5, the age of 40 seems a bit strange. It was 40 years ago that ‘Birstall Methodist Playgroup’ opened its doors. It has now been updated to a ‘Pre-School’. In October this group celebrated its 40th birthday and this included a special service commemorating this milestone. The Special Needs playgroup celebrates their 40th birthday early in 2012. Girls Brigade (also 40) Our Girls Brigade continues to grow, and as a result need a little more storage space. One of the rooms on the first floor is having a stud wall put into place to create the extra space the girls need. The church is grateful for a donation of most of the materials for this project, which ended up costing only £30! The GB too reaches the 40th anniversary

of the founding of the 1st Birstall Company and this will be celebrated in the morning service on November 27. Memorial Service On Remembrance Sunday, November 13, our minister Rev Rachel Parkinson will take a special memorial service at 6pm. This service will not just be thinking about those who have died in conflict, but also especially those close to us who have died. Winter Wonderland Christmas Festival Friday & Saturday November 25 & 26 are the two dates for our Christmas Festival when the church will be full of decorated trees, displays, models, and arrangements. If previous years are any guide, it will be worth a visit to admire and appreciate the design skills and ingenuity of many Birstall folk. The displays will be open Friday 10am to 7pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. On Friday 25 there will be an outdoor Christmas Market starting at 2pm, until 7pm whilst on Saturday 26 there will be a table top sale 10am to 2pm. Refreshments & light lunches will be available on both days. From Tony Moore, Methodist Church

Birstall Baptist News As I write this, we are looking forward to our Anniversary and Harvest Thanksgiving service on October 16, which will be led by Rev Alvin Shuttleworth from Shepshed. This year we will be making a donation to support the work of MERF (The Middle East Reformed Fellowship), which undertakes relief work in the Middle East. During September we have continued to enjoy fellowship and ministry with our friends at East Leake Evangelical Church on Sunday evenings and also on their ‘Away Day’ on Saturday September 24, held at the Lodge Trust in Market Overton, Rutland, when the ministry was led by Rev. Gwynn Williams from Cardiff. Our visiting preacher for November, on Sunday 27, will be Mr Stan Braybrook from Shepshed. We will be hosting a stall at the village Christmas Fair on Friday December 2 and our Carol Service will be on Sunday December 18. We meet in the Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School and Community Centre, Greengate Lane, Birstall, Leicester, LE4 3DL on Sundays at 10.45am and you will be most welcome at any of our Sunday services. Three ‘frees’: if you are interested in finding out more, we offer a free, short introductory course to Christianity (which will be arranged at a mutually convenient time and venue); we also offer free CDs (of Sunday sermons) and free Bible Studies. Simon, our evangelist, is continuing to visit around Birstall on the East side of the A6. For further information please ring 0116 2214883. From Anne Taylor

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Birstall chips chosen CHIPS FROM Birstall Fisheries feature in a new nationwide advertising campaign by Pukka Pies. A colourful poster shows two diners enjoying pie, mushy peas and chips, at Rothley Park Cricket Club. Tim Lee from Syston based Pukka Pies Ltd said: “The photo shoot lasted several hours, as did the quality of the chips. “I personally chose Birstall Fisheries as my family have eaten from there over the years and you are always guaranteed a great meal as well as being greeted with a friendly smile.” Paul Kyriacou, the owner of Birstall Fisheries, said: “Pukka Pies are a great company with excellent products and I’m pleased that they chose us for their advertising campaign.” Pukka Pies was founded as a one man concern in 1963. The family owned

company has been based in Syston since the 1980s.

Guides meet hog BIRSTALL RAINBOW Guides had a visit by a falconer and a hedgehog expert this autumn. 1st Birstall Rainbows welcomed Kinder Falconry who brought along some birds of prey for the Rainbows to meet. A week later the group met Jane Muggleton who cares for sick and inured hedgehogs. Claire Birch from Girlguiding Birstall said: “Jane brought along a hedgehog called Daisy Moo. The group hadn’t seen a real hedgehog before and all remained quiet whilst Daisy Moo woke up to say hello. Daisy has made a full recovery and so will be released back into the wild very soon.” Hedgehogs in the UK are currently on the decline and the Rainbows learnt all


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about what can happen to them and how the use of slug pellets are affecting their numbers. Jane advises “if you find a hedgehog out in the day, it’s likely to be poorly” so give Jane a call on 07970 177 437. The Rainbows group gave Jane a supply of cat food to feed the poorly hedgehogs and baby ‘hoglets’ as a thank you. If you are interested in any aspect of Girlguiding Birstall contact them on

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Christmas lights switch on event CAROLS, a fun fair and a Christmas market with free mince pies and mulled wine will all feature at this year’s Birstall Christmas lights switch-on event. Held on Friday December 2 at 6pm on the Sibson Road car park and in the Village Hall, the event is organised by Birstall Parish Council. A Santa’s sleigh will be arriving and music will be performed by Leicestershire Arts Birstall Brass ensemble. A council spokesman said: “It is unfortunate, but unavoidaEveryone gets a cough now and again, but if you've had one for over 3 weeks you should see your doctor: coughing could be a sign of lung cancer. 40,000 people are diagnosed with Lung Cancer in the UK every year. 550 live in Leicestershire. Birstall BAG’s urge you read on and learn a little more. November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer. Symptoms of lung cancer include: • coughing • unexplained weight loss • shortness of breath • chest pain There are two main types of primary lung cancer, which are classified by the type of cells in which the cancer starts. These are: • Non-small cell lung cancer • Small cell lung cancer Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for around 80% of all cases. Small cell lung cancer is less common and accounts for around 20% of all cases. Small cell lung cancer is more aggressive than non-small cell lung cancer, and it usually spreads faster. Causes of Lung Cancer Smoking cigarettes is the single biggest risk factor for lung cancer, and it is responsible for 90% of all cases. Tobacco smoke contains more than 60 different toxic (poisonous) substances, which are known to damage DNA and can trigger the development of cancer. These substances are known as carcinogenic (cancer-producing). If you smoke just one cigarette a day, you are three times more likely to get lung cancer than a non-smoker. If you smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day, you are 20 times more likely to get lung cancer than a non-smoker. Diagnosis There are several tests that may be used to diagnose lung cancer. These include: Chest Xray, CT Scan, bronchoscopy, lung biopsy, mediastinoscopy, PET Scan. Treatment Treatment of lung cancer depends on the type of tumour, its location and how far it has spread, as well as the persons general health. The outlook following treatment is always much better if the cancer has been found at an earlier stage. If you have any of the symptoms of lung cancer the sooner you see a doctor the better. EARLY DIAGNOSIS

REALLY DOES SAVE LIVES! For more information please contact: Macmillan Cancer Support free phone help line 0808 808 000 Monday – Friday 9am-8pm. University Hospitals of Leicester Cancer Information Centre on 0116 258 6189. To reflect the interest and support of the local community Birstall BAG's seeks to be inclusive of all cancers and the group welcome villagers to support the many events they organise each year within the local community. We urge those affected by cancer to visit the Birstall Time Out Group (see separate advert). Our next fundraising event is our annual LADIES GIFT NIGHT Friday November 11th 8pm onward Birstall Earl of Stamford pub. Ticket only even, tickets £3 each which includes a glass of wine or juice. Tickets available from any of the Birstall BAG’s. For more information look at our website or email


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ble that in the interest of Health & Safety we will be closing the Sibson Road car park from 7am on December 2 and will endeavour to reopen it as soon as possible after the Christmas lights event later the same evening. “I must stress that any vehicles that are on the car park when we proceed to erect the fencing at the entrance will have to remain on site until after the event. The fencing will be secured and will not be removed until after the Christmas lights switch on has ended. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.”

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Birstall Post (340) Nov 2011  

Birstall Post November 2011

Birstall Post (340) Nov 2011  

Birstall Post November 2011