Page 1

the Birstall post Y O U R


JUNE 2012


No. 347

Cubs climb peak on expedition BIRSTALL CUBS enjoyed an expedition to Dovedale in the Derbyshire Peak District.

City must reconsider LEICESTER CITY Council is being urged to think again about its proposals to site three traveller sites in Beaumont Leys, including one on Greengate Lane. Local MPs Liz Kendall (Lab) and Stephen Dorrell (Con) have met with City Mayor Peter Soulsby and with the LE4 Action Group, which has been busy publicising the proposals and gathering 3000 names on its petition. The City Council’s plans for the sites are currently in a consultation period that ends on July 13. If Mayor Peter Soulsby decides to proceed with the plans, a planning application will be submitted. Before making his decision, Peter Soulsby has instructed a Scrutiny Com-

A group of eight cubs accompanied by leader Ged Sessions and some parents made the trip. Their first challenge was to climb the hill Thorpe Cloud. Ged said: “On reaching the summit Reuben Stafford came to the fore and was invested into the Cub pack. Following the ceremony the cubs proceeded to track down a Geocache point which was hidden on top of the hill. After that the only way was down and with it being so steep in places the naturally safe option seemed to be slide down on your bottom – but don’t tell mum when she has to wash those trousers! The group then hiked north for a couple of miles to Doveholes Caves to celebrate Jayan’s 11th birthday. Ged said: “We had cakes and sang happy birthday. After

Continued on page 2

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lunch we back-tracked following the river Dove until we reached the stepping stones where we could cross to the other side, which was fortunate as we could then indulge in a post hike ice-

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cream. “The cubs all had a great day and are looking forward to their next expedition. The parents also all had a great day and are looking forward to sending them on the next expedition…on their own!”

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Continued from page 1 mittee at the City Council to examine the process by which the three sites were recommended and this has been meeting monthly. At its meeting on May 14 the committee considered a 34 page report submitted by MP Liz Kendall – the three sites all fall within her constituency. Ms Kendall says: “I am extremely concerned about the City Council’s current proposals to develop authorised gypsy and traveller sites at Greengate Lane, Beaumont Way and Red Hill Way. “First, the current proposals do not form part of a comprehensive, city wide solution for what I have always believed is a city wide problem. “Second, there has been insufficient consideration of viable alternative sites in other parts of the city, including sites that are not currently owned by the council. “Third, my constituents have raised a series of questions and objections about the sites that are currently being consulted on which have yet to be adequately addressed.” She added: “Amongst my constituents’ top concerns is a deep sense of unfairness that all three sites proposed … are within the same part of the city. The sites are in the very communities that have been most affected with the problems associated with unauthorised encampments. Many of my constituents feel at their wits’ end and are extremely angry that after many years of dealing with the consequences of unauthorised encampments, the only option they are being offered is to have all of the authorised sites situated in their local community.” Ms Kendall suggests that 19 potential sites on council land, ruled out as unsuitable by the City, should be looked at again. Ms Kendall’s staff have visited several of these sites, taken photographs, commented on access and screening and submitted them to the scrutiny committee. She also suggests that the council consider compulsory purchase orders

on private land that is in a suitable location and suggests that the traveller community may be able to make a financial contribution to the costs involved. The LE4 Action Group has also been making submissions to the Scrutiny Committee, detailing how the proposals contravene planning policy for land designated as ‘Green Wedge’. Chairman Roy Rollings said: “The campaign is gathering weight and momentum by the day. We have had over 8000 of our ‘The Truth’ leaflets printed and distributed which has boosted web hits and also the number of complaint letters being sent in to the City Council via the action group. We as a group have submitted about 300 letters, with residents sending many more on their own. “Our petition stands at over 3000 signatures, again, this is rising all the time. We have also met with Liz Kendall, Stephen Dorrell and are just in the process of securing a meeting with the City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby. The City Mayor said in his meeting with Stephen Dorrell that he would consider the views of the county residents. “The prospects for success are exceedingly high. We have produced clear and detailed arguments against not only all three of the proposed sites, but also the City Council’s decision to place all of the sites in one area. We are striving for a city wide solution for a city wide problem and will continue to object to the proposal to build three sites in the LE4 area. Residents are keeping in touch and updating us with any news they receive, and our website continues to be a focus point for the campaign, allowing us to provide real time updates to all those interested in what we are doing.” rsites

The July issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Jun 30. The copy deadline is Jun 15.


Birstall duck race DRIZZLE DIDN’T dampen the spirits at the White Horse annual duck race this May Day bank holiday when a record 2300 ducks took to the water on the Whiles Lane riverbank. “It was amazing to see how many people braved the rain and attended the event despite the weather” said Charlotte Foy from the White Horse. “I would like to thank everybody who bought a duck, supplied a prize or supported the duck race in any way.” This year the race was started by Peppa Pig and Welford the Tigers mascot and was

completed in record time due to the quick flowing river thanks to the recent heavy rainfall. Over 20 people were lucky prize winners with £100 first prize, £50 second and £25 third prize. Other prizes were generously donated by the Hilton, Next, Lily and Grace, Revive, the Time and the Plaice, Ruby Tuesday, the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre and the White Horse. The event raised over £3330


Parish Council notes THE ANNUAL General Meeting of the Parish Council was held on May 14. There were two nominations for chairman for the ensuing year, Cllr Pat Cleere and Cllr Stuart Jones. Cllr Cleere was elected by 11 votes to six. Cllr Tony Fowler was elected Vice Chairman. PC Richard Carruthers presented the crime statistics and reported that two Mercedes vans in Birstall had had their catalytic converters stolen, on Lawn Avenue and Broadgate. Following a site visit at Hallam Fields, the Parish Council agreed not to adopt incidental grass areas at Hallam Fields. Maintenance will be taken on by Charnwood Borough Council. Councillors discussed a proposal to allocate £6000 for the purpose of integrating Hallam Fields Estate. Cllr Cleere commented that the council needs to keep in mind the needs of the estate and said there was no reason to believe that money wouldn’t be available as and when the need arose. He said he had been knocking on doors at Hallam Fields to introduce himself and listen to any concerns. It was agreed to erect a Parish noticeboard on the Hallam Fields Estate. It was agreed to donate £350 to the Greening Birstall group which will help

pay for publicising the group’s project, to be launched this summer. The council has obtained photographic evidence of the parties responsible for damage to the grass verge on the A6 near to The Drive and agreed to present the evidence to those responsible, requesting that they stop parking their vehicles on the grass.

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for local charities. Maria Middleton of Birstall Special Needs Playgroup said: “We are delighted that such a substantial sum has been raised by a very generous local community and that so many people turned up on such a wet day! Despite the weather we had a great day, there was a lovely camaraderie between the groups involved and we were overwhelmed by the efforts of so many people who baked a huge amount of wonderful cakes!” Funds were also raised for Girl Guiding, Scouting, Boys Brigade, Girls Brigade and the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre with each receiving £555 each. The scouts will be spending the money on new ovens for their camping trips and the girl guides are purchasing new tilt tables for the girl guides HQ. The playgroup will put the money towards specialist sensory equipment for the children with complex needs and multiple disabilities. The money will also fund various projects at the boys and girls brigade and Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre. Over the last four years the annual White Horse duck race has raised nearly £12,000 for local charities. For more information visit uk or call 0116 2671038.

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Open up your house to the outside world Wilson Windows is a family run business, started from a Birstall home in 1984 by Michael Wilson. Michael’s son Dale now runs the business with his wife Karen and their son Callum will be joining the family firm this month. "We're proud to still be a family run business" said Dale. "We manufacture our own products using the Rehau Tritec window design and are absolutely committed to high quality, attention to detail and outstanding customer service." New products and the latest technologies are a priority at Wilson Windows - the firm can supply energy saving window glass and self cleaning windows. The new 'Livinroom' from Ultraframe, pictured on this page, combines the light and sky of a conservatory with the walls and ceiling of an extension. Visitors to Wilson Windows' Loughborough factory can see their windows, doors or conservatories being manufactured. Call now for a no obligation instant quotation

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Pic: Stephen Thomas with Alice and below, Alice before the haircut

THE SUCCESS of a Prince’s Trust programme at Longslade College was recognised when Principal Liz Hall was invited to an event at St James’s Palace where she met HRH The Prince of Wales. Ms Hall was a regional representative longer than we anticipated and is clearly at the Prince’s Trust ‘No one Left Bevery appreciative of the significant and hind’ event that successful work aimed to conwith young people sider ways in as part of his which the Prince’s Trust Trust’s personal Charity. development “My sincere programmes for thanks must go to young people the team involved can be supportin delivering the ed and extendprogramme – ed. Karen Norris, MarLongslade got McSwiney, Ann has been runWright and Jayne ning the Yeates. Their hard Prince’s Trust work and support XL programme for young people at the college has ensured the for seven years. Pic: Longslade Principal Liz Hall with the programme is very It currently has successful and Prince of Wales 52 students Longslade is cerfrom years 10 and 11 taking part. tainly on the map as far as the Prince’s The XL programme works with young Trust is concerned. Well done to all people who are struggling with their Longslade students, past and present education and maybe at risk of excluwho have achieved success following sion from school. Small groups work on their participation in the XL proyouth led projects doing fun, practical gramme.” hands-on activities that aim to improve Longslade’s XL students have underpersonal and social skills, gain confitaken several projects including working dence, motivation and help re-integrate with pre-schools and primary schools them into mainstream education. and doing a DIY makeover at Birstall Liz Hall said: “We had an opportunity Youth Centre. to meet and speak with HRH Prince Year 10 student Kayleigh Burley said: Charles. He spoke to our group for “I really like to be part of the XL group, the projects are really good and my confidence is loads better since being involved.”

Cycle route

WORK HAS been completed to create a new cycle route between Syston’s Hobby Horse estate and Wreake Valley Community College. The new on-road and off-road cycle facilities also link Syston with the Watermead Connect2 project that has boosted access for walkers and cyclists between Cossington, Birstall, Thurmaston and Leicester. As part of the scheme, a speed table and advisory 20mph zone have also been introduced at the High Street and School Street junction. They will help reduce vehicle speeds on the High Street and make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to cross. The £67,000 scheme has been delivered and funded by Leicestershire County Council in partnership with Sustrans. For more on the Watermead Connect2 Project visit: To download maps highlighting local cycle routes visit:

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Alice’s £1000 haircut NINE YEAR old Alice Joyce of Went Road was cheered on by family and friends when she bravely had her long hair cut off for charity. Alice was donating her hair to the Little Princess trust, a charity that creates wigs for children who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment and other illnesses. Alice smiled throughout her transformation in the knowledge that she had managed to raise over £1000 through sponsorship and charitable giving. Stephen Thomas, of Stephen Thomas Hair on Went Road where the event took place, said: “We tried to create a party atmosphere with balloons, a raffle and treats for the kids and some fizz for the adults! We just wanted to celebrate what we all, especially Alice, had achieved and it was great fun!” After having her hair restyled Alice beamed as she saw her new look for the first time and was presented with a large bouquet of pink and purple flowers, the colours of the charity, which were kindly donated by New World Florist of Birstall.

Alice and her family would like to thank all those that contributed and supported the cause: the hair and the money raised will really make a difference to the lives of those children suffering from illness, they said.



Distinctive petrol station is unique in UK A BIRSTALL petrol station is the most “innovative and distinctive” in England, say English Heritage, who have awarded it Grade II listed status.

Pic: Birstall petrol station and inset, Markham Moor

Birstall gala summer weekend BIRSTALL’S ANNUAL summer gala will conclude with a firework display and the popular proms in the park concert performed by the Hathern Band and soprano Jenny Saunders. The two day event takes place on Saturday June 30, 12noon to 10pm and Sunday July 1, 11am to 10pm at the School Lane playing field. Stalls are available on both days –last

year there were over 70 charity and private stalls. To book one contact Birstall Parish Council or download a form from For health and safety reasons, bar-



beques are not permitted at the proms in the park concert but visitors are welcome to being their own picnics. The gala is organised by Birstall Parish Council who this year are asking for a £1 entry fee to help with the running

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costs. The net costs of the gala in 2011 was £7,277 up from £5,699 in 2010. The £1 entry fee will purchase a programme that contains a raffle ticket for the prize draw, held during the interval of the Sunday concert, and contains details of the weekend’s event. The programme will be your proof of entry throughout the weekend. Birstall Parish Council’s Chairman Pat Cleere will announce the winner of the 2012 Birstall Citizen of the Year award at the gala – you can send your nominations to Birstall Parish Council. The deadline is June 15.

The Esso station at 400 Loughborough Road, near Red Hill island, is the last of its type to survive in the UK. The distinctive parasol canopy design was built in the 1960s and designed by American modernist architect Elliot Noyes (1910-1977). Noyes was an important figure in post-war commercial design and met the famous French modernist architect Le Corbusier while studying architecture at Harvard. He was commissioned by Mobil in 1964 to create an instantly recognisable and attractive design which resulted in the ‘Pegasus’ style petrol station. A spokesman for English Heritage said: “The design was used internationally and the canopies in Birstall are thought to be the only intact remaining examples in use in the whole of the UK. “They have survived remarkably well and the striking overlapping parasol design makes Red hill perhaps the most innovate and distinctive petrol station in England.” English Heritage have also awarded listed status to a petrol station on the A1 at Markham Moor, Nottinghamshire, which has a concrete canopy. John Penrose, Minister for Heritage, said: “These petrol station canopies are splendid reminders of an era, not so long ago, when motoring was first becoming available to all, and a family car journey was very often an adventure in itself. These designs were futuristic at the time and they continue to delight – they have clearly stood the test of time. “Listing doesn’t mean they must remain unchanged for all time, but it does mean that they will now have an extra layer of protection against demolition or inappropriate redevelopment.” Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: “The advent of motor transport perhaps did more to change life in 20th century Britain than any other single invention. Yet today hardly any petrol stations or other buildings relating to the birth of motoring remain – almost all have been swept away and rebuilt many times over. These two new listed buildings will strike an immediate chord with many people today and symbolise to future generations some of the flair and exuberance associated with driving in the 1960s.” The canopy listings are part of a wider English Heritage project to examine the impact of the motor car on the historic environment. The aim is to find out more about this major development in 20th century history and seek out the very best examples of architecture that represent this time. The project will culminate in the publication of Carscapes: the Motor Car, Architecture and Landscape in England published by Yale in autumn 2012. Written by English Heritage experts John Minnis and Kathryn Morrison, the book sets out to illuminate the century-long process that saw the world around us re-engineered for cars.

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The Theatre Group performed an adaptation of Greased to two sold out houses at the Palmer Tomkinson Centre in March which was followed in April by the Faces Arts Street dance show. Faces Arts is run by Jody Chesterton. She said: Faces Arts is about providing opportunities for local children to discover their performing talents. The development in their ability and self confidence of the children has been outstanding and the support shown by parents and the community is a credit to the people of Birstall.” Faces Arts are already planning additional shows for 2012 and Jody Chesterton sees an exciting future ahead. “The level of talent we see is hugely encouraging. It is wonderful to see children joining Faces Arts and growing with us through the years. A huge well dome to all the children who took part” said Jody. Faces Arts host their Theatre School classes on Saturday mornings and children are aged from 4-16. Children can enjoy a fun morning of dance, drama and singing. Each category is taught by experienced and talented professionals in a disciplined environment. There will be a series of Summer Schools during August. Faces Arts also host Street Dance sessions, After School Drama and Shake Up toddler sessions during the week. For more information on Faces Arts, contact Jody Chesterton on 07971 423201 or visit the website

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Cadets hike their way to third victory BIRSTALL ATC cadets have secured their third consecutive victory in the Charnwood Hike. Over 40 teams took part in the 20 mile event, held on April 14. Points are awarded for map reading, time taken between checkpoints, incidents and observation. Flight Officer Paul Vissani, the Squadron Officer in Charge said: “After running the whole of the 20 miles and completing a number of tasks including attempting to fill buckets with holes in, climbing over a river using cargo nets and crawling through

lots of mud, 1947 Birstall Squadron were able to retain their winning status and retrieve the 1st place shield for the third time running. “I am extremely proud that my cadets have managed to win this local event for the third consecutive year and I am sure that they will continue to be at their best next year to win it for the fourth time.” Pic: The Winning team members are (lr) Cpl D Taylor, Cdt Johnson and Cdt S Allcock



Jubilee party READER JANET Wildbore has sent us these photos of the street party in Laxton Close to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. Our July issue will feature photos of June’s Diamond Jubilee street parties held in the village. Please send us your pics by June 15.

Swan family at Watermead Park THREE GENERATIONS of mute swans are living on John Merrick’s Lake at Watermead Country Park.

Four cygnets hatched in May are the offspring of a bird whose mother still nests at the lake. The grandparent bird has found another male after her partner was killed by a dog, says Julie, a Watermead Swan volunteer. Julie has been looking out for the swans since 2005. She said: “I work in the wild with them. My aim is to try and keep them in their own environment. I go and see them and monitor them.”

Difficulties for swans are caused by dogs chasing them fishing tackle, litter, or territorial fights between them. Julie said: “You have to be very careful when you do rescue work with swans. If you don’t know the swans, their backgrounds, partners and territories you can cause more problems then you put right for them.” Julie can be contacted on 07951 285366

Tennis open day BEGINNERS, NEW members or anyone who would just like to try tennis are being welcomed to Birstall Watermead Tennis Club’s open days. You can drop in to the Birstall Road club, based at the co-op Sports and Social Club, on Wednesday

June 13 from 6pm and Sunday June 17 from 9.30am-1pm. A spokesman said: “You will be made to feel welcome in a friendly atmosphere. Annual membership will be reduced if you join on the day, so bring along a racket or borrow one and find out what the club has to offer.”

Steps pupils unbeatable A BIRSTALL dance school is celebrating after pupils were successful in two competitions. The Steps School of Theatre Dance is based at Birstall Methodist church. Principal Michelle Upton said: “I’m thrilled with the results! Pupils from Steps have only been competing in competition for two years and in that time they have proved to be unbeatable.”




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:

New Chairman

t ir s

Happy memories I was very saddened to hear of the death of Barry Young, I worked for him at the Goscote Hall Hotel and it was a very happy time of my life, he was a very nice man to work for, and the shows he put on were fantastic. It was a great shame when he left Birstall but I have some very happy memories Mrs A Davis

Thanks I am writing in the hope you would be able to print a big thank you to all

the caring people who I am sure stayed with me, missing their bus, after I was taken ill at the 22 bus stop for Birstall on Charles Street on Wednesday lunchtime 9/5/12 (the couple, 2 ladies, a First bus driver and the two ladies with the ambulance, one who lived in Birstall). All is well and I was able to visit my auntie in Birstall the next day. Many, many thanks, what special people. Mrs Linda Mandin

Travellers On the continuing saga of the proposed travellers’ sites in and around Birstall, Belgrave and Beaumont Leys, it seems a number of factors are to say the least ambiguous. Paramount among these is the definition of travellers – is it another word for nomads – a wandering pastoral community who have no fixed address. If so, can we then assume these sites are for short term stays only, but how long is short term, 1 week, 2 weeks, a month, who knows. Who administers the sites, allows entrance through the secure gates shown on the outline plans, how are rents, rates etc collected. There is a possibility of course that these sites will be permanent abodes for some families, you than have a whole raft of other questions or concerns. In an earlier letter to the Birstall Post I attempted to highlight some of them but it was deemed unsuitable to use the letters page of a free press to gain answers to some 15 or 16 queries from whoever the policy makers are. I can only hope this shorter correspondence will be allowed thus prompting further discussions on this vexed subject. K A Miller Editor’s Note: The ‘Your Say’ page of the Birstall Post is for readers to air their views, concerns and opinions on any issue, local or national. The letter to the Birstall Post to which Mr Miller refers and which I deemed unsuitable contained many detailed questions about the operation of the proposed sites. Such an enquiry is best directed to the relevant local authority. Furthermore, almost all of these questions are answered in the City Council’s consultation leaflet and website or in previous coverage in the Birstall Post. The questions Mr Miller raises above are also answered in the City Council’s leaflet: the sites will be for both short and long stays, they will be managed by Leicester City Council or a housing association, travellers will be required to sign a licence agreement, and the City Council or housing association will collect rent. Long stay tenants will pay council tax.

a l l M et h o d i s t


At the May parish council meeting I had the honour of being elected by my fellow councillors as Chairman of Birstall Parish Council for the next year as successor to Cllr Stuart Jones who has served in that position and worked hard for the village for the past eight years. As chairman I will try to be fair and balanced, stimulate debate and the exchange of ideas and hopefully maintain a harmonious council, because it is all the councillors together (20), each representing their own parts of the community and each with their own skills who make the decisions which affect the community. It is important to remember this when employees of the council have to administer and carry out the instructions of the council. If you are not happy with what they are doing, don't blame them, see your councillor! Also every council meeting has an agenda item for public participation where members of

the public can voice their concerns or ask questions. One area which will occupy more time in the future as it grows is Hallam Fields, as responsibility for the estate is gradually passed over from the developers to the County, Borough and Parish Councils. The Parish Council is keen to integrate Hallam Fields into the village and to help provide amenities as soon as practically possible. In progress is the first children's play area, waste bins and notice boards. Now that I am retired from work, as one of the councillors for Greengate Ward which includes Hallam Fields, I am gradually working my way around the estate answering questions and listening to concerns which will be fed back to the council. One question I will be asking in future is whether residents of the estate think a public meeting would be useful. A list of councillors can be found on the parish website and individual contact details from the council office in Birstall Road. Web: Email: Tel: 0116 267 6191 Cllr Pat Cleere Email:

Pree-sch ho o l 07717 132564 Out of Session Times 0116 2675690 Session Times


0116 2674355 • 07580161980 47 Copeland Rd, Birstall

The City Council’s consultation leaflet is available at Birstall Library, Birstall Parish Council Office and online at es. More information can also be found at, the website of the action group campaigning against the plans.

Allotments My brother has or shall I say DID have an allotment at meadow lane site but he has been evicted due to the fact of not living in Birstall now. Although he did for 50 something years. He has only moved just over the boundary. If there was a waiting list for allotments we could understand it BUT there isn’t, in fact they are giving them away to people who only have half. Why you might ask is that? Well they put the rents up to £30 for half a plot needless to say people are not willing to pay that much. I don’t blame them. They said, shall we say our rubbish councillors said, that it wasn't cultivated when there is in actual fact potatoes, cabbage, leeks, comfrey and numerous other things planted, do they know what you can plant at this time of year? Is it not better to have a plot worked than to leave it empty and be covered in weeds to the council obviously NOT. They obviously only know what vegetables look like when they buy it from the shops! They obviously have nothing better to do with their time at work than to trawl the electoral roll to see where people live. That allotment has been in the family for well shall I say as long as I can remember it was my dads and that’s what hurts the most! My dad had an allotment in Birstall from when they were first started in Birstall, my brother took it over when my dad had a heart attack 10 plus years ago, my poor dad will be turning in his grave. Our councillors do absolutely nothing for us they send letters out to say that someone turned the water on NOT with second class stamps BUT first class stamps! What a waste of money and we are paying for that! What’s wrong with them delivering them by foot when we all live in Birstall! He has paid for the year so what are they trying to do get more money, he has bought seeds and plants for the plot and planted them! The Parish Council really do not have a clue of what goes on at the allotments apart from walking around them and picking faults. We all treat them as a hobby and pleasure but they are taking that away from us. An allotment holder.

As a non-resident of Birstall, he is not entitled to a plot and has misrepresented himself as living in the Parish. The council has very exceptionally allowed him to continue on the plot this year so that he can harvest his crops but his tenancy will not be renewed for 2013 as we expect to have a waiting list of residents for next year. Steve Blackburn Clerk to Birstall Parish Council

Thanks My family and I have recently had the unexpected and sad task of arranging our mother's funeral. We should like to offer our heartfelt thanks to: Bert Tegg for conducting our mum's funeral services with warmth and care; Lisa and Kate of ‘Lily and Grace’, Birstall whose floral


garlands and spray adorned our mum's seagrass casket so beautifully; Sue and Ellis at Birstall Golf Club who, along with their team, provided our mum's friends and family with a relaxing, warm and welcoming venue, a lovely buffet and unlimited pots of tea after her funeral; Rick, Julia and their team at G E Gamble and Sons of Syston for whom nothing was too much trouble. They were always available to answer the smallest question, made all practical arrangements, guided us through decisions with patience and knowledge, and looked after our mum so carefully after collecting her from the hospital. Not only did they all act with expertise and professionalism within their own specialties, allowing us to concentrate on our family and friends and not worry about arrangements, but with thoughtfulness, care and empathy which truly helped us all get through a very difficult time. Thank you. Jayne Spence, Anne Burdett and families.

Green space An item published in the Leicester Mercury on May 11 informs us that a study by the think tank Policy Exchange states that the planning system is failing to protect England’s wildlife and natural areas many of which are facing serious decline. It states that developers should be required to ensure large construction projects deliver more benefits for wildlife than the harm caused by building on or near important natural sites. Therefore in view of the large development to be started soon at Ashton Green and the eventual building of a further large number of houses between Greengate Lane and Birstall Golf Club it is essential that the area between Greengate Lane and the Leicester Western By-pass remains as a green wedge. On that site there already an area of woodland, the habitat of a lot of wildlife; maybe it is not classed as ancient woodland but it has been there for many years and its wildlife need protecting. Most of the travellers who have camped around the vicinity in recent years have shown no respect for the environment and their unacceptable behaviour does not inspire confidence it will change for the better even on permanent sites which we are told will be properly supervised and managed by the City Council. Therefore, to place a permanent travellers site on Greengate Lane at the margin of the green wedge and in close proximity to one end of the woodland would be extremely inappropriate and a likely danger to the woodland and its wildlife. It would be very bad planning and could be said to be a dereliction of duty to the environment and to wildlife by Leicester City Council. Sir Peter Soulsby, the city mayor, has turned down my suggestion to create a Jubilee Wood on the whole area of the green wedge but he has not stated how he sees the area being used in future for the benefit of the public: so herewith is my revised suggestion. Most of the area of the green wedge is quite level ground and several pitches for football, hockey, rugby etc could be created there. This would provide much-needed additional pitches for various sports clubs in the city – especially needed for the extra population at Ashton Green etc. The rest of the green wedge adjacent to the Western By-pass and the Great Central Rail-

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Saddington Open Gardens Saturday/Sunday June 23 & 24 From 11am to 5pm 15 gardens open Saddington is a small tranquil village set in outstanding countryside situated near Kibworth Beauchamp and Fleckney LE8 OQY View gardens never seen before – small or large, each one with its own unique character and many with stunning views over the valleys and reservoir, then enjoy refreshments whilst you sit and admire the peaceful surroundings of this picturesque conservation village Profits to St Helen’s roof repairs & other local charities Adults £3 (accompanied children under 16 years free) Refreshments and cream teas (vegans catered for) Art sale, stalls, plant sales, children’s treasure hunt and much more! Disabled access limited (assistance will be given where possible) Free parking Sorry, no dogs allowed in the gardens •••

Tea Afternoon Wednesday June 6 To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee At Wanlip Church Rooms, 2.304.30pm Various stalls, raffle All proceeds to Mothers’ Union Outreach Projects Reg Charity no. 250038 Mothers’ Union, Christian Care for Families •••

Thurcaston & Cropston

Open Gardens 2012 Weekend June 30/July1 2-6pm both days Tickets £4, valid both days, from any open garden Accompanied children and wheelchair users free Proceeds to Richard Hill School PTA funds •••

Birstall Flower Club Memories Are Made Of This Lorena Dyer Wednesday June 27 at 7.15pm Birstall Village Hall Visitors very welcome Sylvia Simes 2674206 •••

Raise the Roof for Macmillan Nurses Saturday June 16 at 7.45pm at St James the Great, Birstall with Singing for Fun An evening of popular musical classics & plenty or opportunity to join in! Anne Hughes (Director) Free admission – retiring collection •••

Birstall Royal British Legion June 2: TBC June 9: Leanne Disney (F/V) June 16: Mick Knight (M/V) June 23: Neil Alexander (M/V) June 30: Natalie Nightingale (F/V) Open Day to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on Tuesday June 5 Stalls, BBQ, tombola, prizes, free pool, raffle, acoustics Everyone welcome Dancing every Sat night with live entertainment Bingo Free beer raffle and not forgetting Open the Box Every Tues night Bingo starting at


9.15pm Quiz nights Sunday June 10 & 24 starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday June 17 Rock & Roll nights Wed June 6 & 20 Open Monday June 4 – families welcome Food available every Saturday •••

Colourful Mandala Demonstration A demonstration of how to create a mandala will be given by Sue Barry at the meeting of Leicestershire & Rutland Dowsers on Saturday June 9 A mandala is a piece of artwork with spiritual significance Paper will be provided but those planning to attend are asked to take along coloured pens or crayons The meeting will be held at St James Day Centre, Birstall Village Hall starting at 10am •••

Birstall Social Club Wanlip Lane Come and dance the night away Every Tuesday & Saturday night Ballroom & Sequence dancing Cash Raffle Thursday Bingo Thursday, Saturday & Sunday Games room Secure parking New members welcome Function rooms available •••

Open Church for Tea and Cakes at St Leonard’s Church, Swithland LE12 8TJ Saturday and Sunday June 9 &10 From noon until 4.30pm Donations in aid of church funds ••• Continued on page 11


way, a lot of it being sloping ground, could be planted with several hundred trees with a winding path going through them for walkers. There are currently 111 schools in Leicester and the tree area could be divided into 111 sections with each school being allotted a section and asked to germinate from seed, acorns etc q specific number of certain trees, then nurturing, growing then for a few years before planting them. This suggested scheme for the green wedge would provide extra facilities for hundreds of spots players in Leicester. It would provide an interesting environmental project for every school with each child sharing in the honour of having taken part in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations this year by starting the growth of trees for a Jubilee Wood. When planted they would know that their section of trees was an essential constituent part of that and thereby they had enhanced the environment and provided an increase of habitat for wildlife. Also it would provide a pleasant walkway for many people in future years. J Woods

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Syston Methodist Church are pleased to welcome Noah’s Nanny Goat Productions who present

‘Bible on a Washing Line’ on Friday June 15 at 7.30pm With a simple backdrop and a few costume changes, four people tell us bible stories that most of us have forgotten Drama, humour, tragedy, pathos and love expertly conveyed in about an hour For more info see (Originally part of the Bible Fresh celebrations in 2011) Tickets £5, children £3 From Fiona Pimm on 0116 2605508 Light refreshments •••

Rearsby Open Gardens Saturday and Sunday, June 23 & 24 from 2-6pm Art & craft display in church Garage sales around the village Refreshments available (lovely home made cakes) Admission £4 (children free) by programme from any of the gardens, village hall or church Proceeds for St Michael and All Angles Church Come and spend an enjoyable afternoon in Rearsby ••• Wreake Valley Rotary Club’s popular

Watermead Challenge Charity Run takes place on Wednesday July 11, 7pm at Watermead Country Park There are both 5 mile and 3 mile races in a lakeside setting Runners of all abilities are welcome


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to enter This year the event is supporting ‘Hope Against Cancer’ Leicestershire & Rutland’s local cancer research charity “Over 200 runners took part last year and we are hoping for an even bigger turnout this time around in support of such a good local cause” said Race Director Chris Battye Full entry details can be found at ••• Winners of May draw for St James Day Centre 200 club 1st No.49 Mrs Gwen Johnson 2nd No.44 Mrs Joan Merrick 3rd No.141 Mr Joe O’Byrne 4th No.128 Mrs Lucy Murphy •••

Birstall & District Local History Society The next meeting will be ‘Who Do You Think Lived In A House Like This?’ Speaker – Brian Johnson Thursday June 14, at 7.30pm in Birstall Village Hall, Birstall Road Visitors are very welcome ••• Mountsorrel Methodist Church presents the last in the Eleventh Series of Sunday Night @ Eight

Organ Recitals Sunday June 17 at 8pm by Iain Harvey Admission free Donations for the Church’s Development Fund Buffet from 7.30pm •••

Belgrave Cemetery Open Day Sunday June 17

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from 10am to 3pm Celebration for the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at 2pm There will be a service conducted by The Rev Pam Haynes attended by the Mayor of Leicester Sir Peter Soulsby During the day the Friends of Belgrave Cemetery grave plot information will be available, with refreshments, cake, book, plant and new-to-you stalls to aid cemetery care funds Belgrave Cemetery is situated on Red Hill Way (A563) •••

Coffee Morning Saturday June 16 10am to 12noon Methodist Coffee Shop, Wanlip Lane, Birstall Cakes, jams, plants, tinbola, plants, craft stalls and raffle Birstall & Wanlip WI •••

‘Birstall Village : A Brief History of Birstall 1900-2010’ by John Kilby The book is available, price £6, from Birstall library, J Michael butchers, Birstall Garden Centre or by mail order (£7.50) 0116 2925824 •••

Film Presentations From Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council ‘The Iron Lady’ Friday June 8 (105 mins) In 1975, grocer’s daughter Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to lead a major UK political party. Four years later she became Britain’s first female prime minister. This film is a poignant character study that revisits key moments in Margaret’s career as seen through the eyes of this lady in her eighties. Meryl Streep won an Oscar for Best Actress in her role as the ‘Iron Lady’.

‘The Artist’ Friday September 14 This romantic comedy won five Oscars including Best Actor award for Jean du Jardin. It also gained twelve BAFTA nominations. Being tender, romantic and incredibly funny, in black and white silence, this film describes the rise and fall of a dashing actor against the backdrop of tumultuous change in Hollywood.

‘The Help’ Friday October 5 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 Parish of Birstall and Wanlip

Coach Outing to Ely Saturday June 23 leaving Birstall at 9am departing from Ely at 6.30pm Cost £16 Optional Cathedral Tour For further information contact 0116 2675086 •••

At Your Service Two Open Days at Birstall Watermead Tennis Club Wednesday June 13, from 6pm and Sunday, June 17 from 9.30am-1pm at Co-op Sports and Social Club, Birstall Road Come along and enjoy the fun! Reduced membership fees on the day •••

Matsuri A celebration of Japanese art & culture Monday June 4, 12noon-4.30pm Queens Park, Loughborough Taiko drumming performance, dancing, street performance, demonstrations of haiku, origami, kimono and sushi plus authentic Japanese food •••

Jubilee Picnic in the Park Queens Park, Loughborough Tuesday June 5, 12noon-5pm Dance, music, drama, food, stalls ••• The Bark Foundation supporting Cameroon Orphanage

Coffee Morning Birstall Methodist Church 10am12noon Saturday June 23 ‘Good as New’ inc. lots of baby/children’s clothes, books, jewellery, lucky bags •••

Seagrave Open Gardens Weekend Organised by the Rotary Club of Soar Valley More than 15 gardens in Seagrave will be open on Saturday June 30 from 2-6pm & Sunday July 1 from 2-5pm The selected gardens promise an interesting range of styles, age and size Some are quite new, some quite small, whilst others are well-established and much larger Teas, cakes and other light refreshments will be available at the local hostelry – the White Horse Inn Admission £4 payable at the gate (accompanied children free) Proceeds from the event will go to Rotary Charities including LOROS & Rainbows Please contact Graham Martin 01509 815954 for further information •••

Barrow’s Got Talent Saturday June 16, 7pm Humphrey Perkins Community Centre, Cotes Road Tickets £6, phone 07718153117 Come and be entertained by a variety of acts •••

Barrowlympix Sunday July 8, 10.30am-4.30pm


Humphrey Perkins School, Cotes Road Admission free Community games, street dance, crazy golf, skate park, mini tennis tournament, circus skills, scalextric racing, fairground rides Enq: Carol 01509 412385 ••• Inter Care are hosting

MUSIC aid A fundraising day ‘The Roosters’ & 3 other local live bands, playing pop/rock, soul & folk Set in the grounds of the Carrington Arms, Ashby Folville Sunday July 22 from 3pm Tickets £10 pp with one BBQ item Children under 12 free Car parking, a well stocked bar, seating & children’s entertainment are onsite Inter Care is a unique local charity that reduces the waste of UK medicines and NHS disposal costs. We supply aid to over 100 African health centres direct and free of charge

For tickets please call 0116 2695925 ••• Soar Valley Music Centre’s Musical Theatre Group

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Thursday and Friday July 5 & 6, at 7.30pm & Saturday July 7, 2.30pm & 7.30pm Upper Brown Street Theatre, Leicester (the old Phoenix Theatre) Tickets £10, £7.50 for under 16s accompanied by a full fee paying adult Block booking offer of ‘Buy 10 tickets, get 1 extra free’ Tickets available from SVMC 0116 2664153 or post (with sae) from Soar Valley Music Centre, The Claremont Centre, Claremont Street, Belgrave, Leicester LE4 7QG


1940’s style entertainment at GCR THE GREAT Central Railway’s evocative wartime weekend returns in June. The event will run for three days from June 8-10. On Friday June 8 children will have the opportunity to meet King George VI at Quorn station where there will be a host of 1940s activities. The railway is laying on holiday entertainment 1940s style, including dancing lessons, Punch and Judy shows, donkey rides and the chance to be part of a 1940s fashion show. There is also the chance to experience life as an evacuee. Thousands of re-enactors will bring the stations and trains to life wearing period clothes, giving 21st century visi-

Swallow nests BIRDS MIGRATING to Leicester to rear their young this summer are getting a helping hand from staff at a city museum. Belgrave Hall Museum and Gardens last year proved to be a hit with a number of families of migrating Barn Swallows, which nested under the eaves of some of the museum's buildings. Now two special nesting cups which work exactly like the swallows' own mud nests - are being installed to give returning birds access to safe and suitable nests in which to rear this year's chicks. The nesting cups have been donated by the Leicester and Rutland Ornithological Society, who installed them in April. Birstall’s Ken Goodrich from the Society said: “Modern building regulations and barn conversions deprive this beautiful bird of its favoured nesting sites, so we are more than happy to work with the city council in providing the nest cups. “Leicester's mix of Victorian buildings and extensive park lands and waterways provides a variety of great habitats for birds. Val Hartley, from Belgrave Hall Museum and Gardens, added: “We were thrilled last year to have swallows choosing to raise a family in our grounds, so we contacted the council’s nature conservation officers for advice. We believe that the old-style buildings provide features that are essential for swallows to nest in - covered barn type structures with a clear, open flight path - and hopefully by providing suitable nesting sites we will encourage them back year after year.”

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tors the closest experience to time travel they can get. Period music and singers will be appearing throughout the weekend along with cameo scenes invoking the warring 40s. On Saturday and Sunday there will be flypasts of vintage aircraft, visits from VIPs, like Winston Churchill and displays of period vehicles.

Christine Brown, the wartime weekend event organiser, said: “The weekend will give visitors the real chance to experience what live was like in wartime Britain. The memories of a generation will be kept alive in the music and displays but we should never forget those who paid the ultimate price for freedom. We are opening the event with a family day this year so that children can experi-

ence the 1940s in a fun interactive way”. A busy timetable of steam hauled passenger trains will operate during the event giving visitors the chance to experience everything on offer. Each station is themed and at the French station ‘Le Birstall’ the new café will showcase live music and stage shows. There will be skirmishes between the French Resistance and Axis forces at 12noon and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday at Birstall. A full list of fares is available at

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Sporting display A DISPLAY of sporting and cultural life in Birstall is planned for Sibson Road this summer. With the nation’s eyes turned towards London for the Olympics and Paralympics, and with the Cultural Olympiad running in the background, Churches Together in Birstall and Wanlip want to highlight sporting and artistic talent closer to home. Local sports clubs and groups promoting arts and crafts are invited to submit a photo which sums up their activity – it might be a team photo or something a little more unusual. The idea is to celebrate all the things that go on in the village and to encourage more people to take part. Churches are keen to hear from any local photographers who might be willing to work with clubs to produce photos and from landlords of any premises in the Sibson Road that might be empty in July / August and could host a window display. The idea for the project was sparked by the Methodist Church nationally: the response of Methodists in the East Midlands has been co-ordinated by local minister Rachel Parkinson. In a deliberate link with historic industrial links, it consists of a series of 8 posters inviting people to “put themselves into the shoes” of people associated in some way with London 2012. Another aspect of the display is being designed by Anglican curate Stephen Crofts who hopes that the use of the relatively new technology of QR codes will encourage people to pray for countries competing in the Olympics. If you would like to take part in any way, please contact Rachel Parkinson: or tel 2671804

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Stonehill’s new kit THE McDONALDS restaurant on Red Hill island has donated a football kit to Stonehill School’s Year 7 team. Pictured is Year 7 coach Mr Darren Dhesi with the team.

Tea & a chat at club TEA AND biscuits, bingo and a chat are on offer at a pensioners’ social club that is looking for new members. The Monday Club meet every Monday from 2-4pm at St Theresa’s church hall on Front Street. All are welcome and


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admission is 50p which includes refreshments. Helper Rosemary Camp said: “We extend a warm welcome to senior citizens and offer a variety of activities including card games, a small raffle, dominoes, books and magazines and three games of bingo. “Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided, special occasions like strawberry teas are laid on from time to time and there’s always plenty of chat and laughter.” For more details call Jenny 0116 2675933. Pic: (l-r) Diana Booth, Joan Moore, Jean Barnett, Bridgett Broom, Jenny Keel, Rosemary Camp, Lisa Maddison, Joyce West, Joyce Jones & Win Merry

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Protecting your Electronic Equipment Losing computers, phones or tablets either through absent-mindedness or theft is becoming a common problem. As we acquire more electronic technology and become to rely on them for everyday living we need to take measures to protect them and also enable us to find them once lost. There are two websites available that provide free help: The first web site is administered by the Police. This enables the equipment to be registered. If lost equipment is handed to the Police they can access this register and, if known, reunite the equipment and owner. The second website provides free software that can be downloaded onto the device. It works in a similar fashion to the Apple Iphone and Ipad ‘Find my phone’ software. If the equipment is lost the software can be activated either via the internet or SMS text. Once triggered the current activity on the device can be silently monitored so you may just catch the thief logging on their facebook page. Alternatively, the device can be triggered to do a number of other actions. These include sounding an alarm, sending a message to the screen or locking the device. If the equipment has a webcam it can send a photograph taken from the camera. This will show the device’s immediate surroundings or the person using it at the time! The geographical location of the device is also provided. If your electronic equipment doesn’t have any protection software provided it is recommended by the Neighbourhood Watch that you check these websites and take steps to protect it before it’s too late. From Birstall & Wanlip NHW

Crime Report : Birstall April 17May 14 Assaults 5, burglary 11, burglary non dwelling 6, damage 6, damage to motor vehicle 4, drugs 1, fraud 3, public order 1, theft 3, theft from motor vehicle 5, theft of motor vehicle 1, theft stores 2. Automatic number plate recognition cameras have provided essential intelligence for the police. In May, burglars were disturbed after officers were tipped off by the cameras of a stolen car in Birstall. Year on year figures show total crime is down 20.5% and burglary down 28.6% From PC 2139 Richard Carruthers and PCSO 6611 Mark Butler A crime map showing the type and location of crimes at street level is available at



WI news Charity table supports group BIRSTALL & WANLIP WI were treated to a riveting talk at our May meeting given by our speaker Alison Briggs. She told us about The Mercy Ships. Most of us had no idea what amazing work the ship’s volunteers do around Africa. Originally started with a converted cruise ship, the floating hospital provides essential operations, training and education to people who previously had no hope of living a normal life. It was very humbling to realise just how lucky we are in this country. If you are interested in reading more about their work please visit They really are the most wonderful charity. After refreshments we discussed our future business. We have so many activities in the pipeline including the national WI ‘Big Walk Little Splash’ and a trip to Bletchley Park. Marian Thwaites won the coveted silver competition trophy with her ‘photograph of a spectacular view’. Plans are underway for our annual coffee morning to be held at Birstall Methodist Church on June 16 where our usual cakes, jams and plants will be on sale, along with a tinbola, raffle and craft stall. Our next meeting will be on June 11 when committee members will be hosting a ‘schooldays’ themed garden party. We will be dressing in school uniform and playing games, displaying our old school photographs, making paper aeroplanes and of course we will all be enjoying a delicious school dinner. The competition will be ‘Something I Used to Wear’.

BIRSTALL’S CO-OPERATIVE supermarket has been helping a local youth group with fundraising. St Theresa’s youth group have had use of the charity table inside the store for the last four months. The table started out as a book stall with a suggested donation of 50p per item, but graduated to sell a whole range of things including toys, CDs and games. As a result of the kind donations from its customers The Co-operative collected a great total of £761.95. Mark Hickenbotham, the youth group leader, will use the money towards

Pic: St Theresa’s Youth Group collect the cheque from the Co-op store group events and trips. St Theresa’s youth group and the Co-operative would

Pub’s open mic night A NEW open mic night has started at The Old Plough on Front Street. Andrew Cejer and the Brass Bears hosts the evenings, held on the third Wednesday of every month. The first open mic night was on May 16 when Andrew accompanied by father and son brass duo from Birstall, Geoff

and Adam Davison performed. They were joined by Simon Faulks and fifteen year old singer songwriter Danni Wells also played on the night. Andres said: “It’s the perfect opportunity for Birstall residents to

like to express thanks to all those who kindly donated. perform in a relaxed environment and to let those good times roll.” Cejer and the Brass Bears can be contacted about open mic nights or their own activities via Facebook pages: The next open mic night at the Old Plough is on Wednesday June 20. “Come along and join in at the friendliest open mic night in Leicestershire”, said Andrew

From Birstall & Wanlip WI

Allotment award AN ALLOTMENT garden created by Longslade College students has been shortlisted for an award. Winners of the Don’t Muck Around environmental awards, organised by Charnwood Borough Council, will be announced in June. The aim of the awards is to recognise and reward people or groups who have made a positive impact on the environment. Cllr David Slater, Leader of Charnwood Borough Council said: “These awards are designed to recognise all that tremendous work and reward those people who make a difference – no matter how big or small. “The shortlist includes a wide section of our communities from primary school children, married couples, charities, businesses, neighbourhoods to residents’ associations as well as individuals who have all played a part in projecting Charnwood’s green and pleasant land.” Longslade’s allotment project saw a rundown piece of land transformed into a sustainable allotment-style garden. Others shortlisted for an award include the computer recyclers Complete wastes in Sileby, Thurmaston Parish Council for a poster campaign on dog fouling and SOFA, the Loughborough charity that recycles furniture.

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Cricket Corner BIRSTALL VILLAGE 1st XI has had a very slow start to the season in the defence of their 2011 title. The first game got under way against last year’s runners up Newbold Verdon with the conditions hardly representing a typical summer’s day. Newbold won a vital toss and sent Birstall into bat. The 1st XI got off to a steady start but with runs hard to score on a difficult wicket, the batsmen were always going to be hard up against it. Joshua Saye and Jon Gaydon put on a 70 run partnership to help achieve a respectable score of 1557. The fielding efforts were well below the high standards set by Birstall last season with crucial dropped catches and inconsistent bowling resulting in Newbold reaching their target in the 39th over. Birstall’s next match against newly promoted Braunstone CC went similar to their last match with Birstall setting a disappointing total of 138, Jon Gaydon once again in form with the bat scoring 42 and Paul Snuggs chipping in with 22.Fielding didn’t seem to get any better with again vital dropped catches in crucial moments of the game costing Birstall valuable points early in the season. Birstall struggled again against Burbage CC. Burbage seemed to be a massively improved side from last season setting a healthy total of 185-5 which eventually seemed to be too much for the 1st XI, even with a late charge by newcomer Kahil Mann-kler who scored a quick fire 47. Birstall ended 41 runs short and with only a losing draw. Captain Dave Sharpe remains positive but aware that the 1st XI needs to produce some form before any further damage is done. The 2nd XI has had a much better start to the season with a convincing win over Leicester University staff bowling them out for an embarrassing 56 in 26

overs with ever reliable Steve Findley picking up 6 wickets. Birstall reached the total in the 21st over losing no wickets with newly appointed captain Andy Lord scoring 34 not out and Ash Coulthard picking up a cheeky 10. The 2nd XI came back down to reality in their next match against a good Fleckney Village side away from home. Birstall bowled well to keep Fleckney to 145 with the new addition to the team Ram Desai picking up 4 wickets. The 2nd XI’s depth of batting was tested being unable enough to cope with the chase with ten of the eleven bats scoring single figures. Birstall is excited about their new talent Ram Desai scoring an exciting 69 and hope that he may be a quality addition to the 1st team in future games. Upcoming home fixtures for BVCC (All fixtures are Saturday 1.30pm start) June 2 – 1st XI vs Bharat Sports CC June 9 – 2nd XI vs Appleby Magna CC June 16 – 1st XI vs Woodhouse Eaves 1st XI June 23 – 1st XI vs Leicester Carribeans 1st XI July 7 – 1st XI vs Leicester Ivanhoe CC BVCC Social events Saturday June 16 - Quiz night! Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a quiz maestro? Well come and join us for a beer and a few questions as the quiz master ‘Hunty’ puts everyone through their paces. The quiz will follow the 1st XI’s game against Woodhouse Eaves. All members and supporters of the club are more than welcome. Look out for our monthly social events that will be taking place throughout the season. All information can be found on our club’s website from player profiles, fixtures, results, match reports and a large photo gallery for the 2012 season. From Joshua Saye



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BVCC Player Profile Name: Dave Sharpe Player role: 1st team Captain, batsman Years playing for BVCC: 29 Honours: League winner 4 times, Premier batsman of the year. Funniest BVCC moment:Prad being run over by the side screen last season. Cricketing hero: Steve Waugh My look a like: Matt Prior / Paul Nixon Goal for the season: Win the league for a 5th time. BVCC Player Profile Name: Jono Gaydon Player role: All rounder Years playing for BVCC: 5 Honours: Vice Captain 2012 Funniest BVCC moment: Prad being run over by the side screen. Cricketing hero: Freddie Flintoff My look a like: Professor Green / Freddie Flintoff Goal for the season: To bulk wickets and score a tonne.

Bike park opens LEICESTER’S CITY centre bike park is relaunching under new management following a major refurbishment. The revamped bike park – located in Leicester’s Town Hall – will offer 110 secure bike parking spaces, a well stocked bike shop and workshop, and improved showers, lockers and changing areas. Leicester City Council has awarded the bike park lease to local cycling organisation Future Cycles, which has taken over the day-to-day running of the facility. Fully qualified mechanics will be able to provide advice, repairs and servicing, with bike spares and a range of other cycling accessories available to buy. Tim Hudson, Future Cycles director, said: “We are extremely proud to be given the opportunity to manage Leicester’s Bike Park and we are very excited about its future. “The refurbishment has helped create a fantastic facility and we are looking forward to welcoming even more people as they realise that bikes can be a cheap, healthy and fun way of getting into the city centre.” The bike park is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6.30pm, and on Saturdays from 8.30am to 6pm. Parking charges are 50p for a hour or £1 for a day. Discounts on weekly, monthly and annual passes are also available. For more information call the Bike Park on 0116 299 1234 or visit

Free Riverside festival AN ANNUAL free family festival is set to bring a stretch of the River Soar to life with a weekend of fun and colourful activities. The Riverside Festival takes place on the Mile Straight, Western Boulevard and Bede Park, on Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10. The event, which is one of Leicester’s biggest free festivals, includes live music, activities for children and families, boat parades and fun on the River Soar, and eco-themed workshops. Visitors will be able to hear the best local musical talent, including runners-up and winners of the annual Original Bands Showcase, in which bands compete for the chance to join the start-studded lineup of the city's Summer Sundae Weekender music festival. The river itself will stage a decorated boat competition and boat rally, as well as floating tea shop, demonstrations, boat trips and relaxing riverside jazz music. Green-themed events include a huge range of activities from Green Light, a collective of local environmental groups, who will intrigue visitors with a scrap store challenge, mini beast hunt, swap shop and bird box making. There will also be an arts market, carpentry and willow weaving workshops, and BBC Radio Leicester's 'Grown Your Own' vegetables workshop. A mini cinema will show short films and cycling movies, as well as rare archive footage of Leicester. Cycling will also take centre stage at the Ride Leicester Bike Park, offering parking and free bike mechanic classes. Younger visitors to the Riverside Festival on Saturday will also be able to get up close to a giant metal whale, into which audiences can venture to experience a charming theatre performance, or choose to venture into the surreal world of magnified wonders with the Bee Cart. On Sunday, Compost Mentis - a talking puppet compost heap - will bring a smile to the faces of visitors of all ages. Other activities include workshops transforming junk into musical instruments, children's art workshops, circus skills, stilt walkers, fire breathing and dancing, story telling and adventure to ancient Greece. The Riverside Festival is organised by Leicester City Council, and sponsored by local housing provider Riverside, which is based on the banks of the River Soar. Leicester assistant city mayor for heritage, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: "The Riverside Festival has proved to be a hugely popular event for visitors of all ages, and this year's events look set to continue that theme of bringing family fun to the heart of the city. "I'd encourage anyone who has not sampled this wonderful festival before to visit and see what's on offer, as there's sure to be something for everyone on offer." Full details of the Riverside Festival are available at:



Diving Centre school hosts growing open weekend

BIRSTALL COLLEGE of Diving has expanded its operations in Birstall with the opening of its new training centre on 2500 PEOPLE visited an Lambourne Road. Run by Matt Sharp, Birstall College of open weekend at Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre off Diving provides a complete range of Scuba diving courses starting with try Red Hill island. dives through to professional training for a career in the dive industry. It also offers a full programme of First Aid courses ranging from basic life saving and First Aid through to HSE First Aid at Work and specialist courses such as the HSE 12 hour paediatric course, AED training and training in Oxygen administration along with First Aid and First Aid at Work instructor training courses. Other advances for this season include all new dive equipment for the training school and a full workshop providing service and repairs to all makes of Scuba Equipment. There is also an expanding club side for divers with various trips and social activities. This year’s plans include trips to Majorca, the Farne Islands and North Cornwall. Members ages currently range from 15 to 60. Courses are available to anyone over the age of 12 up to 90+ with beginners courses run every month. There are also plans to run a summer training scheme over the holiday period and a year long course in dive industry related studies starting in September. If you are interested in finding out more about courses or the club’s activities you can call Matt on 077172 35158 or visit the web site or just call in for a chat at 3 Lambourne Road.

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

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Over the two days visitors were given the opportunity to take part in land and water based activities from climbing and archery to canoeing and much more for free. The City Mayor of Leicester, Peter Soulsby attended the event and was keen to find out more about the Centre and was happy to get involved with the activities, taking part in both LOPC’s Aerial Trekking and Powerfan. Various clubs and groups from in and around Leicester joined LOPC over the weekend to promote outdoor adventure. Clubs and groups included Lansdowne Dog Training Club, Midland Diver Training, Redhill Revolvers Field Pistol Club, and Leicestershire Scouts. Centre Manager and spokesperson Ed Sibson said: “The number of people that have visited the Centre this weekend has exceeded our hopes, we are proud to have been able to facilitate such a successful weekend of outdoor, adventurous activities and hope that more people will get more involved with these local organisations as a result”. LOPC is a registered charity that aims to provide young people and local community groups of all ages and abilities the opportunity to take part in adventur-

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from the same fund for other projects. The sums provided are all loans which will be repaid once development has taken place. The other projects benefiting are: • £500,000 for road improvements at Leicester’s former Saffron Lane velodrome • £982,000 for housing at Abbey Meadows • £469,000 for a surface water pumping station at Melton Mowbray • £1.6million for road improvements to accelerate the development of Glenfield Park. The investment is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs.

Free stall NEW BUSINESSES are being offered a unique chance to try out their trade on a free stall at Loughborough Market as part of a National Market Day event on June 23. Charnwood Borough Council’s markets and fairs team wants to support new traders with the free stall as well as offering a three-month half-rent deal for traders who stay on the market. Cllr Paul Harley, Charnwood Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, said: “This is a fantastic initiative and a golden opportunity for new local businesses to get a foothold in one of the region’s most vibrant markets. “The council is committed to helping the borough grow and prosper and we do whatever we can to help support local trade. Whether you sell crafts, home-made products, toys or any other products, get in touch and don’t miss your chance to take advantage of this great offer.” The offer is only open to new businesses. Council offices will be on hand to offer advice and new traders will be covered by the council’s insurance on the free stall day. Applications must be received by Friday June 8. For more information or a chat about Loughborough Market and how to take advantage of the offer, please contact 01509 634624 or email You can also visit

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Belgrave cemetery VOLUNTEERS HAVE created a quiet corner in Belgrave cemetery. Around three years ago, two members of the Friends of Belgrave Cemetery Group began the task of clearing piles of waste brick, marble and granite from the north east corner of the cemetery. Through working many Sunday mornings in all weather conditions, they eventually cleared a large area. A legacy received from a late member Mavis Green meant the group were able to pay for extra fencing. The work was carried out by Leicester City Council Bereavement Services and through a request of the Group’s the fence was moved back to the boundary. With roses purchased by a friend of Mavis and a seat provided by the council the ‘Quiet Corner’ was created. It provides a sunny peaceful place to sit and rest. Not content with their success, Jan Tebbatt and John Tomlinson carried on working along the north border once again clearing chunks of broken marble and bricks, by this time they were spending Saturday mornings toiling away on their project. Robinea-Frisia was the choice of tree planted to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. There will be a dedication ceremony on Sunday June 17 at 2pm, conducted by the Rev Pam Haynes and attended by Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby.

World market SHOPPERS ARE being invited to sample the culture of the world at a special Loughborough market to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Charnwood Borough Council’s Markets and Fairs Team are putting the finishing touches to Walk the World in Loughborough, a one-off celebration of food, produce and goods from all over the globe. Stalls will be set up from Market Place to Biggin Street and will feature a host of goods from Nepal and Turkey to Italy and Australia between 9am-4pm on Wednesday June 6. There will also be live entertainment in the shape of dancers, a pianist and singers. The market is part of Welcome World Week, a series of events in Loughborough which culminates with Games Time, a spectacular show of music, dance, performance and pyrotechnics in Southfields Park on Saturday June 9. Gates open at 8.30pm for a 9.30pm start.



INFO Patriotism New research from Saga reveals that older generations are leading the way with patriotism ahead of the Diamond Jubilee. An overwhelming 85% of over 50s think it is important to feel a sense of pride and affiliation for your country, over half (53%) say the royal family helps to build integrity and manners and 64% believe the Monarchy teaches us that a sense of loyalty to one’s country is important. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the over 75s (who will most remember the coronation) are revealed to be more patriotic and supportive of the Royal Family than any other age group. 87% of over 75s claim to be patriotic, 77% of them say the Royals teach us a sense of duty, and a third (31%) say that the Government needs guidance from the head of state. Interestingly, two in three (67%) of over 50s (and 79% of over 75s) wish that Britain was more patriotic and only 12% say they do not care about patriotism at all. Royal Celebrations The research revealed that those who were around during the Coronation are pulling family, friends and neighbours together for street and house parties to celebrate the crown again. A quarter (24%) will be watching it on TV with friends and family, more than one in ten (12%) will be going to street parties, and 9% will be celebrating with a family meal. There are very few that are keen to avoid the hype entirely, as only 4% intend on leaving the country to stay away from the celebrations. Then and now The study from Saga, which asked more than 8,000 over 50s about their views on patriotism, Jubilee celebrations and societal changes since the coronation also paints a picture of how different things are 60 years on. Despite the positive lessons they say society can and has learnt from the Monarchy, only 19% of over 50s believe Britain has improved since the Queen’s coronation in 1953 and 70% believe society has got worse. Ageing across Europe The experience of ageing in the UK is poor compared to other EU countries, with older people in this country the loneliest, poorest and the most concerned about age discrimination, according to a major report Ageing across Europe by WRVS. The research, which focuses on a range of indicators, including health, wealth and levels of loneliness in four countries (the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden), graded the UK third in its overall performance. Loneliness and lacking somebody to confide in are a particular problem in the UK, the report concludes. Older people in the UK have the highest rates of loneliness and they feel – more than older people in the other three countries - that they do not socialise as much as other people their age. One reason for this may be long-term underinvestment by local authorities in services that reduce isolation and loneliness. In terms of the overall health of over 65s, the UK performs relatively poorly. It has the highest prevalence of life-limiting illness among older people and the lowest

score for ‘feeling active and vigorous’. This may reflect particularly unhealthy lifestyles in the UK, with higher rates of alcohol consumption, and obesity than in the other three countries. In Sweden, whose older people are the healthiest of the four countries, public policy focuses on improving people’s health earlier on in life to ensure that they have a healthier old age. On average, UK pensioners have the lowest net income of the four countries and are most likely to have had to draw on savings or economise on their expenditure in the last three years. Older people in the UK also have the lowest perception of their own living standards. Out of the four countries, Britain’s over 65s are at the highest risk of poverty, with a fifth of pensioners at risk of poverty in 2010, compared to only six per cent of pensioners at risk of poverty in the Netherlands. This is particularly worrying, as the report finds that there is a clear correlation between income and health and income and social participation amongst older people, with poorer older people demonstrating worse health and lower levels of social participation. The UK ranks the lowest on the age discrimination theme, while Sweden performs particularly well, with a mean score that was higher by several points. This study found that: •On average people surveyed in the UK believe that old age starts at age 59, compared to an average of 61.9 in Germany, 62.2 in Sweden and 62.9 in the Netherlands •Older people in the UK feel more negative towards young people in their 20s than older people in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands •Older people in the UK more frequently feel that they have been shown a lack of respect because of their age than older people in the other three countries. •When examined by gender, it was found that older women in the UK were more concerned about age discrimination than older men. People in the UK are also particularly concerned, in comparison to the other three countries, that there is too much age segregation in society and that there are not enough opportunities for older and younger people to work together and socialise. Recommendations The report makes a number of recommendations, including: •Netherlands and Sweden have high rates of volunteering. There is huge potential to harness the social and political resources of the retiring baby boomer generation in the UK to provide peer support to older people and increase the opportunities for social participation locally. •The government should produce annual reports on Britain’s older population, including detailed indicators that cut across income, health and social issues and benchmarking progress against other EU countries. •The UK needs to tackle our particularly high perceptions of age discrimination. •The UK should explore what more can be done to encourage intergenerational mingling. This should include consideration of social environments, volunteering and the workplace.

Church news Diamond Jubilee Celebrations at Methodist Church At 10.30 am on Sunday June 3 there will be a Special Diamond Jubilee Family Service, (followed as usual by coffee). At 1pm a ‘Jubilee Lunch Party’ to which everyone is welcome. There will be games & quizzes and a ‘Jubilee Hat’ competition. It will be on a ‘bring and share’ basis or by making a donation. It would be helpful if you are joining the party, to add your name to the list in the Coffee Shop (open Tues to Sat 10am to Noon). Garden Trail There are 11 Garden owners who have kindly opened their gardens for the 2012 Garden Trail. All are in the Goscote Hall Road and surrounding area on Saturday & Sunday afternoons of June 9 & 10, 2pm to 5.30. Passports for admission to all 11 gardens are now on sale for £3 (and on the day from any of the open gardens for £3.50). Proceeds to Prostaid and to Birstall Methodist Church. Passports can be obtained from the coffee shop at the Methodist Church and the following shops; Birstall Shoe Repairs, Went Road News. Kingsgate News, McColl’s News, Kingsgate Stores, Birstall Garden Centre, J Michael Butchers, Stonehill Avenue Post Office, Ruby Tuesday, Mark Patrick Butchers, and Ann-ElMaria Hairdressers Church Meeting At the recent annual church meeting, the re-ordering of the church was considered and the possibility of having a weekend led by the Lay Witness movement. No firm decisions were taken but both areas would be looked at in more detail. Return of Edward Sakwe Rev Edward Sakwe, who was Minister at Birstall (prior to Rev Rachel Parkinson) is returning to Birstall on 24th June to lead our Church Anniversary morning worship. Edward currently has pastoral oversight of churches in Cannock. 10 Days Cycling Rev David Warnock, Minister at Syston is a keen cyclist and is setting out to travel well over 800 miles in 10 days. He starts from Lands End on June 18 and hopes to reach John O’Groats by June 28. He is inviting sponsors to support work of mission based at Syston Methodist Church.


St James Church, admission free but a collection for charity. A group from the churches recently enjoyed a trip to Bruges. Leigh Reid writes: On a cold and wet morning our intrepid bunch of travellers set out for London Road railway station, bound for the land of beer and chocolate! We had a lovely journey by Eurostar to Lille and transferred by coach to Bruges and a really comfy hotel. Raining there too! Next morning we could take stock of our surroundings and went on a walking tour of the old city of Bruges, which is absolutely beautiful; medieval buildings and lace and chocolate shops everywhere. The streets ring with the sound of horses hooves as they pull carriages over the cobbles. The weather was cold and wet, which was a good excuse for a hot chocolate laced with rum or cognac! Very welcome it was, too. The tour of the brewery with a sample glass of beer at the end also went down a treat. There were wonderful views of the whole city from the roof of the brewery – well worth the steep climb.

A visit to the Church of the Holy Blood revealed the most moving statue I have ever seen of Christ, lying dead in his mother’s arms. The emotion stayed with us then as we went to the war cemeteries of Passchendale and saw the rows and rows of white headstones of the young men who died there and the thousands of names inscribed on the walls surrounding them – so many thousands, and so young – 18, 19, 20 and 21 years old, most of them, and so very many unnamed and marked ‘Known only to God’. The Allied cemeteries are beautifully kept, the grass trimmed and flowers placed on the graves. In very marked contrast was the German cemetery, entered through a black painted tunnel and a small, dark building to a place of black slate blocks set in the ground, each one with some names inscribed, and also the number of ‘Unbekannt’ or ‘Unknown’ soldiers who were in each grave, also a mass grave which held more than 7000 young men, their names engraved on the brooding black blocks surrounding it.

From Tony Moore, Birstall Methodist Church

WITH ALL the events of the Jubilee week still in our minds – the 50s evening on Saturday 2nd at the Village Hall; the lunch, and service at 5pm at Wanlip on Sunday 3rd and the bonfire and fireworks at Wanlip (from 8.30pm) on Monday 4th this is a weekend to remember. However, the next big event in Birstall will be the Gala, when Churches Together will be holding a service on the playing field on Sunday 1st July at 11am to which all are invited. Also on Saturday June 16 at 7.45pm the ‘Singing for Fun’ choir will present a concert in

No ‘Known only to God’ here, no flowers, no towering white cross, just a few groups of small, black granite crosses and a group of four black, sorrowful statues. But all these men, Allied or German, were all someone’s son, brother, husband. We travelled on to Ypres, now a lovely spacious town which was reconstructed from what appeared to be just piles of rubble after the bombardment, with just some of the tower of the cathedral Continued on back page



Continued from page 19 standing. The cathedral, now so beautiful, dominates the town, and is quite close to the Menin Gate, where a short service is held every evening, to honour the thousands more men whose names cover the walls of the Gate. The scale of the slaughter is just unbelievable. Hill 62 (62 metres being the height above sea level) retains the original trenches and shell holes of the war. With all the rain that was falling, there was a lot of mud and water in the trenches, which brought it home to us how the men would have to have lived – horrific. There is, at Hill 62, a small museum of artefacts from that dreadful time, and also many photographs showing the horrors of the deaths of men and horses. Many of the stumps of trees that were destroyed are still there – it was called Sanctuary Wood – but now they are covered in small wooden crosses and national flags in remembrance. And so home. I, personally, will never forget what I have seen. There are many different types of mentary or alternative therapy is From Leigh Reid, Parish Church complementary therapy, including: matherapy, Acupuncture, Massage theraIf you are considering using any “Long to reign over us” py, Visualisation, Yoga. complementary or alternative therapy it At the beginning of June there will be An alternative therapy is generally is very important to talk to your cancer special celebrations locally, nationally used instead of conventional medical doctor or specialist nurse (Keyworker) and in the Commonwealth to mark the treatment. for advice about the safety of the theraQueen’s Diamond Jubilee. After 60 Unlike complementary therapies, py. It is also very important to let your years on the throne, many people will alternative therapies are used instead of complementary or alternative therapist not remember another monarch but this conventional medical treatment. know about your conventional cancer country has had a long line of kings and People with cancer have varitreatment. queens. Some of them were given interous reasons for wanting For more information: to try alternative therhttp://cancerhelp.cancerresearchuk.or esting nicknames. A few of these dealt with the king’s appearance (like William apies. Some people g/aboutRufus for his red face and Edward Longmay not start concancer/treatment/complementaryshanks for his long legs) or character ventional treatment alternative/about/the-difference-between(examples are Æthelred the Unready and and may choose to complementary-and-alternative-therapies use an alternative Macmillan Cancer Support free phone Richard the Lionheart). Others were given names which reflected the way therapy instead. Or help line 0808 808 000 Monday – Frithey governed the country, such as Althey might stop conday 9am-8pm. fred the Great and William the Conquerventional cancer treatUniversity Hospitals of Leicester Canor. It is a reminder that the character ment and switch to an cer Information Centre on 0116 258 and quality of our rulers make a differalternative therapy. 6189. ence to us. Some alternative therapies are very To reflect the interest and support of We send our good wishes to Elizacleverly promoted so that people reading the local community Birstall BAG's seeks beth II and thank her for her dedicated about them think that they work very to be inclusive of all cancers and the service to the United Kingdom and Comwell. But the claims are not supported group welcome villagers to support the monwealth over the last sixty years. In by scientific evidence and they may unmany events they organise each year addition, Christians are also subjects of fortunately give some people false hope. within the local community. Jesus Christ, the “King of kings and Lord Examples of alternative cancer theraFor more information on the funds of lords,” for which they are eternally pies include: Laetrile, Gerson therapy, we have raised, projects we support and grateful and especially blessed. Shark cartilage. forthcoming events see Services A useful website to use if you want to Our visiting speaker for June 17 is learn more about any particular compleBryn Jones from Derby. This service, as usual, will be held in the Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School and Community Centre, Greengate Lane at 10.45 a.m. and you will be most welcome to join us at this and any of our Sunday services. For further information please ring 0116 2214883. visit our showroom London meetings You may be interested in meetings to be held at the Metropolitan Tabernacle eyewear in London from July 3 - 5, when eight GET A QUOTE FROM US BEFORE YOU BUY YOUR NEXT PAIR OF SPECTACLES main speakers from the UK and USA will Same day service on most plastic lenses speak on “The Holy Spirit”. Details can Unit 3, Top quality lenses including Varilux, Nikon, Zeiss be found at Victoria Mills . Fowke St, DESIGNER From Anne Taylor, Birstall InFRAMES Rothley Contact Mike or Teresa Keily on 0116 237 6098 dependent Baptist Church Easy Parking

Birstall BAGS cancer corner Complementary and Alternative Therapies Many people with cancer, indeed any sort of ill health, seek out complementary or alternative therapies to help them without actually knowing what the difference is. The phrases complementary therapy and alternative therapy are often used as if they mean the same thing. They may also be combined into one phrase – complementary and alternative therapies (CAM). It is not always easy to decide whether something is a complementary or alternative therapy. But there is an important difference. A complementary therapy means you can use it alongside your conventional medical treatment. It may help you feel better and cope better with your cancer and treatment. A good complementary therapist won't claim that the therapy will cure your cancer. They would always encourage you to discuss any therapies with your cancer doctor or GP. Complementary therapies are available from many different types of people and organisations. Cancer patients can find out about organisations that provide complementary therapies from their keyworker or local cancer information center.

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An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is still required if you are selling or renting out your house. Call David Jackson on 0781 5519490 to arrange your EPC

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The birstall post 47 x 59mm £26 • 47 x 120mm £44 98 x 59mm £44 • 98 x 120mm £78

1) Decide what size you want 2) Send us a sketch of your ad 3) We design, publish This Siz & send e you the Wednes bill days


CALL 2674213 for an advertising rate card, or view online at The prices above exclude VAT



Longslade College, Wanlip Lane, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4GH Editor: Mr Jerry Jackson Editorial/Advertising (Tel & Fax)

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

Birstall Post (347) June 2012  

Birstall Post June 2012

Birstall Post (347) June 2012  

Birstall Post June 2012