Page 1

the Birstall post Y O U R




No. 351

New speed limit


INTRODUCING A 40mph speed limit on a 50 metre section of Greengate Lane will help reduce traffic speeds, says the County Council. The County has given official notice that it intends to increase the speed limit on Greengate Lane from 30mph to 40mph for 50 metres north west of the junction with the A6. The Council says it intends to erect 30mph signs at the end of the 40mph section which will be more noticeable to drivers than the 30mph signs that are currently sited at the junction with the A6. A spokesman for Leicestershire County Council said: “We have received a Pic: Stonehill students Anjali Ghelan, Roshni Chavda, Marc Sammurs and Katie Macadom with Annette Bunney from Abbeyfield and Charlotte Torlington and Louise Moore from the Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation

Young and old give to charity STAFF AND residents from the Abbeyfield home on Church Hill were joined by schoolchildren to present gift baskets to a local charity. Abbeyfield donated the contents of the baskets and students from Stonehill school wrapped and decorated them in a competition, run by the school’s art department. The student who designed the best wrapped basket was presented with a

prize before they were all donated to the Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation, to be sold in their charity shop or raffled as prizes. House Manager at Abbeyfield, Jenny Fitzgerald, said: “The whole project was envisioned not only to raise funds on Celebrating 20 years of

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behalf of the foundation who work for the benefit of the local elderly and disabled but also to strengthen contacts between the generations and the two local charities, which is the theme promoted by both the school and Abbeyfield in their AGEnda Campaign.” Founded in 1989 by the late Mr David Clarke the Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation is a registered charity situated on Continued on page 5

Continued on page 2


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Parish Council notes

Continued from page 1 number of complaints about traffic speeds along Greengate Lane from the A6. ”At present the A6 has a 40mph limit and Greengate Lane is a 30mph limit and many drivers do not see the 30mph signs as they are concentrating on traffic signals and a pedestrian crossing. “The Council is proposing to move the start of the 30mph limit slightly further into Greengate Lane which means that drivers who have negotiated the junction will notice the 30mph signs. The strategy has been successfully used in other parts of Leicestershire and has been shown to produce a reduction in speed.” At their September meeting, Birstall Parish Councillors expressed concern at the proposals – comment was made that if new 30mph signs were needed why not just erect them, and that some motorists will accelerate when they see a 40mph sign. The Parish Council will object to the proposal. The County spokesman added: “It is not lawful to erect additional 30mph speed limit signs within an existing 30mph limit. “A 40mph speed limit is only being introduced on a short section of Greengate Lane close to is junction with the

Existing 40mph limit 30mph limit A6. This is necessary to allow the County Council to erect new 30mph signs just up from the junction in order to increase driver awareness and reduce speeds. Without this stretch of a 40mph, the Council would be unable to erect additional 30mph signs.” • A 20mph school safety zone is planned for the section of Greengate

Allotments are a good way of producing fruit and vegetables at a relatively low cost and you can produce them organically. Sue Coulson from Birstall Parish Council said: “New allotment holders find that they quickly develop new skills and knowledge and many plot holders see the development of their allotment as part of a positive lifestyle choice. They are also a good way to make friends with people who share your interest in gardening, and a great way to relax and unwind from the stresses of modern living. They provide an excellent form of exercise for people of all ages and abilities. “So for an immediate start, please telephone us to view one of the vacant plots, or to put your name on the waiting list for the future, please contact us.” Birstall Parish Council, Council Offices, Birstall Road, Birstall, Leicester, LE4 4DH. Tel: 0116 267 6191 or email:

A FULL meeting of Birstall Parish Council was held on September 10. Cllr David Snartt spoke to councillors about the forthcoming elections for Police Commissioners, which will be held on November 15. Inspector Gaynor Turner, the new Local Policing Unit Commander, introduced herself to councillors. She said Birstall was identified as a ‘Waymarker’ at the station, so she can see how long and when Police officers have been in the village. She said that on January 13 a new Safer Neighbourhood Policing strategy would be introduced that would see 11 officers covering Birstall, Anstey, Rothley and Quorn, with all 11 being put in one area if there is a problem. PC Richard Carruthers reported that burglary was falling and that operations were continuing to target it. He said that two people were arrested for burglary following phone calls from members of the public. PC Keith James, an officer with 11 years experience, has joined the Birstall Beat team. The Council agreed to object to a proposal from the County Council to relocate 30mph signs and introduce a 40mph sign on Greengate Lane. The date of the 2013 Birstall gala has been confirmed as June 29/30. The Council is to investigate providing an after school club at the School Lane pavilion. The club would have to be self-funding. It was reported that new legislation had been introduced concerning Tree Preservation Orders and it was agreed to obtain a map identifying Birstall’s protected trees. The council has agreed to obtain quotations for the provision of a new access track for Worcester Avenue allotments, and for improvements to the conditions of the paths between allotments on Meadow Lane. It was also agreed to purchase bespoke allotment management software at a cost of £189 per annum. This would replace existing paper records. The Council agreed to spend £14,397 on replacement fencing on the School Lane playing field, £38,507 on relaying paths on the School Lane playing field and £1443 on the installation of an additional lighting column on the playing field.



Existing 30mph limit, proposed extension to 40mph limit Lane near the school in this financial year. The road has a 7.5 tonne weight restriction which is regularly flouted by HGVs, say residents.

Allotments vacant BIRSTALL PARISH Council currently have vacant plots on the Meadow Lane site and the Greengate Lane site.

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Award Couple celebrate anniversary winning class A BABY signing class that meets in Birstall has been named by the UK’s biggest parenting site,, as the number one favourite preschool class in the Leicester area. The weekly TinyTalk classes, run by local mum Heather Avul, help parents learn how to use sign language to communicate with their baby before their baby can talk. Heather said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to win this award, and delighted that TinyTalk is the favourite preschool class of parents in Leicester. Parents come to my classes for lots of reasons: not only do they really help their baby to communicate with them, they are also fun musical classes and offer the social and support time too! The TinyTalk magic formula really works and also offers great value for money. I’m so pleased that the mums love what I offer so much.” Katie Mayne, Founder and Director of TinyTalk, said: “I’m really proud that Heather has been recognised by local parents for the fantastic work and passion she puts into teaching baby signing. Communication between parents and children is a crucial building block of healthy development and bonding. We are thrilled to be celebrating ten years of

They met at a dance in the little village they both lived in, at Earls Colne, near Colchester in Essex. Trevor was offered an apprenticeship in Leicester and after they were married they bought their first house in Queensgate Drive. In those early days nether the newly married couple nor their parents had phones so they used to ring once a week from a phone box outside Kingsgate shops to a phone box in Earls Colne. They moved to Walnut Avenue, had the phone installed, and now live in Hermitage Road. Mary has always belonged to the Baptist church in Earls Colne so she tentatively went along to Birstall Methodist Church where she joined the Young Wives, and later became the leading light in many of the church activities, especially the Sunday Club. Trevor is much involved with the property upkeep

Pic: Mary & Trevor Downs

of the church premises. The Methodist Church in Birstall owes them both a great debt of gratitude.


Daughters Rachel and Carolyn and grandchildren Luke, Emma and Joshua helped with the catering on the day.

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TinyTalk, helping thousands of babies develop their language skills through baby signing – and increasing their confidence and happiness too!” The award was decided by local mums, who voted for their favourite preschool class in the area. Last year over a million mums cast their votes as part of the awards. Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard said: “All the evidence shows that fun pre-school activities help kids blossom and gives parents fun time too. That’s why we wanted to celebrate all they have to offer with these awards. “Local mums and dads will be delighted to know Heather has some of the best classes in the whole country. Well done Heather.” For more information please contact Heather Avul on 07891912145 or

CROWDS OF people joined local couple Mary and Trevor Downs as they shared an open garden to celebrate 50 years of a very happy marriage.

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OCT 2012

Ashton Green: new link road Hallam LEICESTER CITY Council has submitted an application for an Ashton Green link road.


The road will link Thurcaston Road and Beaumont Leys Lane, from Birstall Lodge Farm on Thurcaston Road to an existing roundabout on Beaumont Leys Lane. If constructed, the route will be an alternative to Greengate Lane for vehicles travelling to and from Ashton Green. Ashton Green is a 3000 home development planned for Beaumont Leys, west of the junction between Greengate Lane and Thurcaston Road. • Details of the link road can be found on the Planning pages of Leicester City Council’s website. The reference number is 20121077.

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A BIRSTALL firm that specialises in quality conservatory, window and door installations continues to innovate and is still growing. Byron and Mandy Manning of Curzon Avenue run Conservatory and Window Concepts Ltd. They are now entering their fourth decade serving not only the local area but as far afield as London, Kent and Cornwall – mostly from the word of mouth recommendation of their satisfied customers. Byron said: “Our success is due to the fact that we will not compromise on quality.” Their latest new production is an innovative retractable screen that unobtrusively fits your window or door frame. It allows full ventilation and fresh air circulation, keeps out insects and remains out of sight until needed. For more details about retractable screens, conservatories, windows or doors contact CWC on 2674205.

Fields: residents’ concerns THE NEWLY formed Cedar Walk Tenants’ Association at Hallam Fields held its first meeting on September 17. Attended by around 20 residents and four Birstall parish councillors including chairman Pat Cleere, the meeting aimed to address the concerns of residents of De Montfort Housing Association properties on Hallam Fields. • street lighting – as the roads have not yet been adopted by the County Council problems with street lighting have to be reported to the developers • play area – this is now under construction, next to Tithe Close. It will be maintained by Birstall Parish Council • drains – until the roads are adopted, they are the responsibility of the developers. Litter is blocking some drains • local shop – construction of a shop is promised but occupancy depends on a retailer agreeing to take it on. Residents are eager for a shop as prices in the service station shop are too expensive • post box – there is no post box on Hallam Fields and the Royal Mail have not responded to emails requesting one • primary school – residents want one but the County Council say Hallam Fields children will be accommodated at Riverside • bus stops – there are no bus stops on the estate and no buses pass through the development. It was agreed the Parish Council will contact the bus operators • dog waste/litter bins – none have been provided at Hallam Fields, but a request has been made to Charnwood for provision. Comment was made that the section 106 agreement with the developers should have provided the facilities and infrastructure to meet the demands of Hallam Fields and the village as a whole, but there was little evidence this had happened.



Free swimming INSPIRED BY the Olympics and Paralympics? Then take the plunge with a two-month-long free swimming promotion at Charnwood’s three leisure centres. People aged 14-25 are being offered six free swimming sessions between September 26 and November 26 at Loughborough (Browns Lane), Soar Valley (Mountsorrel) and South Charnwood (Syston) Leisure Centres. To take advantage of this offer, you need to visit your local centre, register your details and pick up your card. To avoid disappointment, visit soon as there are only a limited number available. You can attend any suitable session (general, lane or adult) up to six times over the promotional period. The sessions are funded through Sportivate, a national scheme to increase participation in 14-25 year olds. To find out about other local Sportivate sessions see te_activities

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Pic: The HOTPEC orphanage

Orphanage matron to visit Birstall THE MATRON of an African orphanage supported by a Birstall couple will be visiting the village in October. Mrs Beatrice Mugri is from the HOTPEC orphanage in Cameroon, which looks after 123 children. It trains them in skills that will give them a better chance in life when they leave aged 14. Following a visit to the orphanage in 2007, the Bark Foundation charitable trust was set up by David and Joy Bark of Queensgate Drive. Its first project was the construction of a £45,000 baby unit, opened in 2010. David said: “We are now busy raising funds for our second project, to build a much needed residential volunteer and training centre. “Residential volunteer workers are desperately needed as the number of children in care is constantly increasing but there is no accommodation – so we are going to build a purpose designed accommodation unit to provide seven bedrooms and a large training/living room with kitchen facilities. “The orphanage is some distance from a road and it is difficult for people to arrive early enough in the morning to prepare the children for daily activities. Also it is dark by 6pm for the long walk home.” Without accommodation, the first volunteers from the Bark Foundation slept in a storeroom during their visit in

October 2011. Barbara Watson and her daughter Linda Yorke stayed for a month and were so shocked by the inadequate water supply they pledged to raise £4000 for a water storage tank, which is now being built. During her stay in Birstall, Mrs Mugri will be visiting Birstall Methodist PreSchool, the Special Needs Playgroup and Riverside primary school. David said: “The orphanage caters for both able and disabled youngsters. Nursery and primary education are provided on site and the staff are anxious to do

their best for the children.” If you would like to support the fundraising you can ‘Buy a Brick’ for a donation of £1. Call 2677576 for details. Pic: Fritz Mbah with Matron Mrs Beatrice Mugri

Continued from page 1 the edge of Charnwood Forest. The main focus of the Foundation’s work is to ease loneliness and suffering and to offer comfort and support to the elderly and adults of all ages with disabilities, throughout the Leicestershire area.



Birstall fireworks spectacular THE BIGGEST fireworks display in Birstall is promised by a local football club this November.

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A LOCAL dance school is celebrating after pupils achieved their best ever exam results. The Steps School of Theatre Dance run classes at Birstall Methodist Church and students took their exams at the end of July. 98 per cent of the results were Honours and 2 per cent Highly Commended. One Pupil, Olivia Huckvale, was also nominated for the IDTA theatre awards held in Manchester. Principal Michelle Upton said: “These results are the best ever! I am very proud of them all. Olivia’s nomination is fantastic, these nominations are very rare and only given to outstanding talent.” Michelle has herself recently been appointed an IDTA examiner.

Birstall United Juniors Football Club is having a bonfire party / fireworks display on Friday November 2 at 7pm at their training ground on Meadow Lane. Phil Hughes, from the organising committee said: “It will be the biggest bonfire and most spectacular fireworks display in Birstall and we have an extra special treat this year in the form of a fire-dance display by “Phosphorus” – a traditional English dance troupe with a twist. “People will not be allowed to bring their own alcohol onto the site, but there will be a bar selling cans as well as a BBQ and a tuckshop for the kids. “Entrance price is £2 per person and we’d appreciate it if people could bring the correct change when they pay on the gates which open at 7pm. The whole village is invited. You don’t have to be a club member to come along, so please invite all your friends and family along for what will be a great night.”


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IT MAY have been the Andy Murray effect, or his new racket - but whatever it was did the trick for 18-year-old Ciaran Bibby. Ciaran made it a double celebration at Birstall Watermead Tennis Club's annual championships. In his last year as a junior, he took the 18and-under title and then went on to win the men's trophy for the first time. He beat five-time men's singles winner, Matt Williams 7-5, 6-1. Ciaran lost in last year's final, so it was particularly satisfying for him to turn the tables on Matt. Club coach Laura Morley once more took top honours in the ladies' competition, beating Rachel Chalmers 6-2, 6-0. Rachel was then on the winning side with Audrey Preston in the ladies' doubles, beating Laura and Rochelle Muller 6-3, 6-4. In the men's doubles final, Martin Andrew and Spencer Wesson beat Mark Dearden and Steve Cooke 6-2, 6-4. Laura teamed up with Martin to beat Mary Whiteman and Ciaran Bibby 6-1, 6-1 in the mixed doubles. Meanwhile in the 18-and-under final, Ciaran beat another highlypromising youngster, Kieran Williams, 6-4, 6-1. In the junior events, Kuljit Tara won the under16s event, Joe Collins the under-12s final, while Mark Phillipson triumphed in the under-10s. After a rain-sodden summer it was a relief for the club to have a dry and sunny finals day - and organisers were delighted to see so many young talented players coming through and achieving success. Pics: (from top) Men's champion Ciaran Bibby, Ladies' champion Laura Morley, Men's doubles champions Martin Andrews (left) & Spencer Wesson, Ladies' doubles champions Audrey Preston (left) & Rachel Chalmers

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Nursery fete FUN AND games were followed by delicious homemade cakes and a barbecue at Birstall Rainbow Nursery’s summer fete. Pictured are: (top, l-r) Aiden Blay (4), Isaac Wordsworth (4), Connor Blay (3) and cook Diane Griffin; (inset, l-r) Sue Rigley, Thomas Clements (1), Sarah Rigley, Maisie Green (7), William Clements (3) & Laura Clements

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Birstall’s energy challenge


AT THE Apple Pressing & Community Day held at Birstall Methodist Church in September the Greening Birstall Group launched its Greening Birstall energy challenge initiative.

Pic: Donkeys Boridge and Yorick with their owners

Donkeys take Watermead walk YOU MIGHT take the dog for a walk around Birstall lakes, but how about a donkey? Reader Carole White spotted what she at first thought were two massive dogs. She said: “I got chatting to the owners, who’ve had the donkeys from young, who explained they like to walk them around for the exercise.”

The donkeys are called Boridge and Yorick and have recently been on a trip to the Pennines with their owners, carrying all their equipment.

Birstall bowls club success BIRSTALL BOWLING Club members reached the latter stages in four county competitions, winning two. Diane Hurst beat Jeannie Flippance (Kibworth) to win the ladies county singles for the third time. Jan Everitt and Andy Wye won the county mixed pairs, beating Doreen & Patrick Hulbert (Shepshed & New Lount) 27-26 after an extra end in the final. Pa Walker, Jan Everitt, Jennie Groves and Diane Hurst were runners up in the ladies county fours, beaten by a Shepshed quartet skipped by Lynn Green in the final, and John Walker reached the semi final of the county men’s over 60’s singles before losing out to Kibworth’s Ron Jacklin. The club was runners up in the Leicester League Cup for the second year running following defeat by Blaby in a repeat of last year’s final. Birstall won the annual St John trophy charity match against Rushey Mead. £150 was raised during the evening, including a £50 contribution from Rushey Mead, which has been donated to the local St John Ambulance branch. Finally this month, the men beat the ladies in the annual Jean Cartwright Shield match, gaining revenge for the defeat last season.

“Whether you’re looking to save money or help the environment through reduced carbon dioxide emissions the energy challenges can offer real savings” commented Peter Ashford of the volunteer-run Greening Birstall Group. “For an average three bed semi-detached house the challenges could potentially deliver savings of £234 or some 800kg of carbon dioxide over a year.” The group of volunteers is encouraging all Birstall residents to join in the energy challenges to help save money and reduce carbon emissions as we move into the winter months. Peter said: “We are extremely grateful to the Birstall Post’s volunteer distributors in helping distribute the challenge cards. Where copies couldn’t be distributed with the Birstall Post we will be distributing the cards over the next few days. Anyone can take part and details of how to participate can be found on the challenge cards.” More information about this local, volunteer-run group and the Greening Birstall campaign can be found at, by emailing, or by phoning Peter Ashford on 07961 050592. The full list of the 8 energy challenges chosen by Birstall residents at a meeting in July 2012 is: • walk or cycle and reduce your weekly car use by five miles • turn off taps when brushing teeth • turn off all standbys • turn off lights when you leave a room • turn the thermostat down by 1°C • wash laundry at 30°C • top up loft installation to a depth of 270mm • reduce each normal shower time by 1 minute

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Walk raises funds A SPONSORED walk around Watermead Country Park raised £720 for Gunns’ Gym.


Around 70 people aged from four upwards took part in the walk to help raise funds for new equipment for the Birstall Road boxing gym. “It was a brilliant day and the support was fantastic” said Carl Gunns. A special guest on the day was super bantam weight champion Rendall Munroe, who brought along his championship belts. The money raised will pay for new boxing gloves, skipping Pic: Carl Gunns with boxer Rendall Munroe (centre) and gym users who took part in the walk ropes and mats.

Classic car joins Olympic parade A BIRSTALL man and his classic car helped Oakham celebrate the Olympic torch relay. Andrew Burford of Highgate Avenue and his 1976 Triumph Dolomite were part of the official procession as one of 18 cars, each manufactured in one of the Olympic years between 1936 and 2012. Carrying the flag of Canada to commemorate the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Andrew and his passengers, a schoolboy and his teacher, set off, the cars leading the procession. He said: “We had about 10 miles of driving and were treated to waves and

cheers wherever we went. Like the press reported, the ‘feel good’ factor really came through. “As we approached the last stop and my passenger was waving frantically to his mum - I’m beside the blue car! – the rain started and by the time we had all parked up it really started to pour. “Despite the rain I was proud to be there, to show off my car and represent the Triumph marque at such a high profile event.”


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outside to confirm the full removal of the stops, however the letter will state that if the bus service is resumed on this route at some future date, the County Councils procedure states that bus stops may be reinstated if necessary, without prior notification to residents. Steve Blackburn Birstall Parish Council Clerk

Sorry waste

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:

Bus stops I wish to reply to Tony Moore’s recently published letter about the bus stops in Wanlip Lane. I have taken the matter up with the appropriate officer at Leicestershire County Council and expect that they will take the necessary action. I can also confirm that the bus stops located in Wanlip and the southbound bus stops located on Wanlip Lane will be fully removed within the next fortnight as there is no longer a bus service operating in this direction. The County Council will write directly to the residents who have the bus stops

I can't believe that anybody with any sense would pick a monstrosity of a tree like that for the park and ride and at the cost of nearly £60,000. The person should be sacked. What a sorry waste of money. Also, why do we need a Union Jack flag at the cost of £650 for the car park in the village? It seems the only thing we have to speak of in Birstall is car parks! Surely this money would have been better spent on the swimming pool. Why should Birstall residents have to travel elsewhere (such as Mountsorrel) to use a pool? It is just another sorry sign and proof of the lack of facilities available to Birstall people. Still, when the silly flag is flying in the village car park at least it will be some competition for the stupid tree. We will all feel better then I'm sure. I will also ask once again, a question I raised on this page some months ago to Mr Blackburn of the Parish council regarding the bus shelters in Birstall to which he did not reply. Why have we got Loughborough town centre's left over and unwanted ugly bus shelters instead of pleasant wooden ones as there are in Quorn, Mountsorrel and Rothley? These would make such a difference to the

look and feel of the village. Why does Birstall not warrant the same as the other Charnwood villages? A Godby The County Council arranged the tree at the Park and Ride site and the funding came from the developers of Hallam Fields. The funding arrangements were dealt with by the County Council together with the choice of subject, although this was the subject of public consultation in the Parish. Parish Council involvement was relatively limited although we have received a significant sum of money to maintain it in future. Her comments on the flagpole do not merit a serious response, other than to say most Councils have – or should have – one and it is a fitting permanent object for installation in a jubilee year. I well recall replying (to someone, probably her) that the four bus shelters are a Borough Council responsibility. If she is angry about wasted money, does she think it appropriate for the Parish Council or even the Borough Council to waste money taking them down and then spend more money putting new ones up in the current economic climate? Steve Blackburn Birstall Parish Council Clerk

Thanks Hazel and I would like to thank everyone who has helped us over the years with our Shoe Box Appeal. Once again we have just sent off 300 very full boxes which we hope will give 300 children pleasure at Christmas. We have also sent a cheque for £750 for carriage. This is our last year for send-

ing the shoe boxes, however, we will still be very grateful for your donations as we will be doing other charity fundraisers in the future. Once again thank you. Daphne Stephenson

Pool What a fantastic four weeks it has been for sport, Britain and the world. With the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games "inspiring a generation" and the legacy for the promotion of sport in Great Britain, I am so very concerned regarding the closure of the well-loved and used Birstall Swimming Pool. I have written to the Longslade Governors, Birstall Parish Council, Amateur Swimming Association, Stephen Dorrell MP and even to Lord Sebastian Coe expressing disappointment and concern and appealing for a change of decision. The village the size of Birstall (approx population 15,500 and rising due to the new housing estate being built at Hallam Fields) needs a swimming pool for children and adults. I know for certain that I am not the only one to feel very let down by this closure, particularly as Longslade College promotes a healthy school lifestyle, and it being the Great Britain Olympic year. Where are our possible future Olympians and Paralympians going to learn to swim? I have recently read that Longslade are planning to spend £500,000 on new tennis courts and a football pitch. What about using some of this money for the swimming pool? I believe that the BIG Lottery Fund (reaching communities buildings) may be able to assist - I understand that they are able to assist schools and social

Longslade Community College would like to invite you to our…

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THURSDAY 11TH OCTOBER 2012 4:00PM - 8:00PM Longslade Community College, Wanlip Lane, Birstall, Leicester, LE4 4GH T: (0116) 2677107 F: (0116) 2674510 E: F: T: W: Y:


enterprises up to a sum of £500,000. Can nothing be done? Lynn Van Ristell It was with great sadness the Governing Body of Longslade Community College reluctantly agreed to close the swimming pool due to financial reasons and consistent maintenance problems that can no longer be sustained. Governors have expressed concerns over the income and expenditure for the pool. In common with many school swimming pools, the pool at Longslade has run at a loss over the last five years. Despite efficiency savings being made, for example energy conservation, the repair and maintenance costs have increased year on year. The reason for this is that the boilers and the unit which ensures the proper functioning of the pool (the Mynerga unit) are beyond their expected lifespan. The boilers did not pass their annual service and safety test in June and Governors were informed the pool could not be used. With this and the potential replacement of the Mynerga unit, approximate replacement costs to ensure the pool is safe and usable, as well as to a standard which is equivalent to other public swimming pools would require a minimum of £250,000. The estimated costs of £250,000 are a very conservative estimate; reports regarding the closure of the pool at Quorn put the costs for ensuring the pool is safe for users at approximately £2.5 million. In addition the building which houses the swimming pool is coming to the end of its useful life. The potential funding for the proposed football pitch is tied by the funding organisation to this particular project as part of the phased plans for the Palmer-Tomkinson Centre and cannot be moved to support the swimming pool. Governors will research the possibility of accessing Big Lottery funding, however they are mindful that even if the college were successful in gaining a grant of £500,000 this would not cover all the potential costs and on-going maintenance. On behalf of Governors of Longslade Community College

Thanks One Sunny evening in late August, the sound of a chain saw was heard, quite late I thought for a County Council workman. The noise came from the field at the back of Worcester Avenue. It turned out to be not a chain saw but a man with a petrol driven strimmer, cutting back the nettles that were encroaching the path which runs almost parallel to Worcester Avenue. Furthermore he was not a County Council workman, but a Birstall resident doing his bit to keep the path open. Through the Birstall Post may I say ‘Thank You’, your efforts were appreciated. Worcester Avenue Resident

The November issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Nov 2. The copy deadline is Oct 19.

Noticeboard all details printed free ‘The Changing Face of Rothley’ The story of steady development from 1780 to 2012 An Exhibition and Book Launch Friday October 5, 6-9pm Saturday October 6, 10am-4pm The Rothley Centre Information: Ursula Greaves 0116 2303500 Rothley History Society •••

Art Exhibition 18th Annual Exhibition of Paintings by the Birstall & District Art Society Sat Oct 27: 9.30am-5pm Sun Oct 28: 9.30am-5pm Mon Oct 29: 9.30am – 3pm Birstall Village Hall Free admission, many paintings for sale, café serving cakes and rolls ••• Annual Art Exhibition

Soar Valley Artists Sat/Sun, October 20/21 10am to 5pm Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Admission free Refreshments available •••

Autumn Afterglow Concert Friday October 12, 7.30pm at the Birstall Social Club Featuring the Leicestershire Barbershop Chorus with guests All proceeds going to LOROS & Mablethorpe Children’s Home Bucket collection on the door, raffle and bar •••

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Birstall Flower Club Location, Location Sandra Meakin Wed October 24 at 7.15pm Birstall Village Hall Visitors very welcome Sylvia Simes 2674206 •••

Coffee Morning Saturday October 20 In aid of the Rothley & District Ex Service Men and their Widows Come along and browse the stalls Enjoy a tea/coffee and generally have a chat with friends The event takes place at the Rothley Centre from 10-11.30am •••

Birstall Royal British Legion Oct 6: Deuce (M DUO) Oct 13: Neil Warner (M/V) Oct 20: Mark Brannelly (M/V) Oct 27: Double Trouble (F DUO) 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 Oct 14 & 28, starting at 9pm Acoustic night Sunday Oct 21 Rock & Roll nights Wednesday Oct 3 & 17 Food available every Saturday, 12-2pm Wakes catered for •••

Harvest Service at St James Church, Birstall Sunday October 7 10am (approx 45 mins) Come and join us at out All Together Harvest Service Bring some harvest gifts if you wish


••• Birstall Methodist Women’s Group

Coffee Morning at the coffee shop 10am to 12 noon on Sat Oct 6 to include cakes, books, raffle and tombola Proceeds to our charity Everyone welcome ••• Abbeyfield

Cheese & Wine Night Friday October 5 from 7-9pm Entrance £1 inc glass of wine, cheese & biscuits Funds in aid of Abbeyfield Grove House, 35 Church Hill, Birstall 2671523 •••

Keyboard player needed on a temporary basis for the Heart of England Chorus (a barbershop choir) We practise on Monday nights at Birstall Social Club Call P J Hunt 0116 2675339 •••

Continued on page 12

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Charity Coffee Morning in aid of LOROS Saturday October 13 in The Methodist Coffee Shop from 10am to 12noon Home made cakes, craft stall and raffle Win a handmade quilt Other good prizes •••

‘Event 4 All’ October 7 From 2-5pm at Birstall Co-op Sports & Social Club, Birstall Road Free Admission Beauty treatments starting from £5, Aloe Vera products, jewellery making and Tarot Card Read Text Varsha Lad on 07592524258 or email to book your place •••

Coffee Morning Methodist Church, Howe Lane, Rothley October 13 From 10-11.30am Proceeds in aid of Menphys and Methodist Church funds Raffle, Tombola, cake stall, white elephant Entrance fee £1 inc tea & coffee, biscuits

••• Rearsby Art Club

Art and Craft Exhibition inc Craft and Painting demonstrations with opportunities to have a go yourself! Rearsby Village Hall Saturday and Sunday October 13/14 From 11am to 4pm Admission £1 (inc one free tea/coffee) Everyone welcome •••

Gift Craft Fair Saturday November 3 Rearsby Village Hall From 11am to 4pm Christmas gifts for all the family Refreshments available all day Proceeds for St Michael’s Church, Rearsby Everyone welcome To book a table ring 01664 424696 ••• St James the Great, Church Hill, Birstall

All Souls Service on Sunday November 4 at 3pm We will be holding a short service of Hymns/Readings/Prayers and Reflection for those who have lost a loved one recently or in the past Open to everyone in the parish You will be very welcome Refreshments after the service

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••• Healthy exercise, good fun, great music and new friends

Try Scottish Dancing Monday evenings at Avenue Road School, Knighton 7.30 - 10pm Tuesday afternoons at Holy Cross Centre, Wellington Street 1.30 - 3.45pm Thursday evenings at Holy Cross Centre, Wellington Street 7.30 - 10pm Qualified teachers, don’t need partner, first session free of charge ••• Saturday November 10 7.30pm onwards at Birstall Methodist Centre Music by The Little Big Band for tickets £8 each (inc supper) phone Eileen 2929670 Proceeds to Kathleen Rutland (Vista) Care Home, Hinckley Road, Leicester Forest East •••

Talk on ‘Energy Medicine’

Birstall Birdwatching Club

Sing for Your Supper

A talk on Life Alignment will be given at the next meeting of Leicestershire & Rutland Dowsing Group to be held at St James Day Centre, Birstall Village Hall, on Saturday October 13 The speaker will be Anne Gregory Life Alignment is a system of vibrational healing that aims to clear energetic and emotional blockages The meeting will start at 10am Everyone is welcome •••

Film Presentations From Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council ‘The Help’ Friday October 5 (137mins) Based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett, this film explores the touching relationship between two black maids in 1960s Mississippi. In an era of social upheaval and racial tension, there are very funny performances and scenes of heartfelt emotion. As this film progresses, we can see ourselves or someone we know, within each of the characters. ‘War Horse’ Friday November 9 (146 mins) Michael Morpurgo’s moving story has been played on stage for over four years being set amid the backdrop of the First World War. Steven Spielberg’s film centres on the close connection between a young boy and his horse, Joey. Tom Middleton plays a debonair cavalry officer who buys Joey to ride him into battle. There is hope, courage and perseverance surrounding this one horse. ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ Friday December 14 Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council will be showing these films at Thurcaston Memorial Hall. Starting at 7.30pm,


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Cliff – As If! Will Chandler is the UK’s No.1 Sir Cliff Richard Tribute Act – he looks like Cliff, moves like Cliff and sings like Cliff. A superb evening of entertainment. Will also has a very special local connection as he was Baptist Minister at Rothley for some time. Tickets cost £10 (£5 under 18 yrs) to include programme and refreshments, available from Joy and David Bark 0116 2677576. Tickets will be numbered and there will be a ‘lucky ticket’ prize of £25. A raffle will also be held. •••

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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 bought at the door. ••• A Very Special Concert Saturday November 3 7.30pm at Birstall Methodist Church

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presents The Birds and Wildlife of Leicester City Council by Dr Helen O’Brien Looking at wildlife in the parks of Leicester city and what is being done to encourage habitat creation and nesting opportunities. Take a fresh look at Abbey Park and see what ‘urban birding’ has to offer Tuesday October 9 74 years at Rectory Farm by Phil Johnson Rothley is losing its farmland at an alarming rate, with Birstall already decimated, so it is easy to think that no-one cares about farms and the part they play in the preservation of our wildlife. Rectory Farm, on the edge of Eyebrook Reservoir, is proof of a successful farm and habitat creation and Phil will tell us all about it Tuesday November 13 Both evenings at 7.30pm at The Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley Visitors welcome £2 Contact Ken Goodrich 2674813 •••

Birstall’s biggest & best bonfire & fireworks! Birstall United Juniors FC Friday November 2 At Meadow Lane Training Ground Gates open at 7pm Entrance fee: £2 per person Everybody welcome Pay on the gate – please bring correct change BBQ/Can-bar*/Sweets *No alcohol to be brought onto site Also featuring phosphorus – traditional English dance with a flaming good twist! •••

Spooktacular Half Term Fun at Birstall Library Are you brave enough to come along to Birstall Library for spooky stories followed by scary crafts? Details are as follows: Thursday October 25, 10.30am to 12noon Suitable for children 5 years and older, pre-booking required 0116 3058756 Cost £1 for first child, 50p subsequent children from the same family Book now to avoid disappointment


••• Cedar Walk Tenants’ Association

Fun Day and Live4less day Sat October 6, 11.30am-5pm Nine Leys Square, Hallam Fields Farm produce, energy advice, table top sales Face painting, food and refreshments •••

Play in a Day Workshop @ Fearon Hall Loughborough Sat October 270 9.30am to 7.30pm. Cost £20 per person Explore the disciplines and skills involved in creating, rehearsing and performing a new play. In just one day! Open to anyone aged 16+ The workshop is aimed at anyone with an interest in creating theatre. Previous experience is not necessary but enthusiasm and commitment are. The day will begin with a short introduction to devising theatre before moving on to the practical work to create a new play. At the end of the day the play will be performed to an invited audience of family and friends. The participants will be encouraged to offer input into the creation of the play and also offer feedback on the work. Devising a play in just one day is an exciting way of experiencing theatremaking and offers the opportunity to utilise individual and collective imaginations. Places limited, book in advance Call 01530 417324 •••

CLASH Calendar events Wednesday October 10 Monthly meeting at Palmer Tomkinson Centre, 7-9pm Remap, engineers who use their ingenuity and skills to help people with disabilities to achieve much-desired independence in some aspect of their lives, or to enjoy leisure opportunities

previously closed to them. Richard Gays & Martin Grant Friday October 12 World Arthritis Day Saturday October 13 Cash for CLASH Community Challenge Sponsored Swim (Arthritis Awareness Event at Enderby Leisure Centre 5.306.30pm) To participate contact Karen on 07954584402 Friday October 19 Battle of the Bands (Arthritis Awareness Event at De Montfort Students Union 8pm-midnight) E-learning Do you want to learn basic computer skills and how to access the internet? Come along to Palmer Tomkinson Centre, Longslade Community College, Birstall on Thursday 3.30-4.30pm during term time and join in the CLASH free e-learning sessions. Contact Conrad on 07919844629/2006clashcwm@gmail.c om Get Online Week October 15-21, Clash Get Online Day, Thursday October 20 at Palmer Tomkinson Centre CLASH would like to thank everyone who supported the Coffee Morning on August 25. We raised £209.92 To support Cash4CLASH Community Challenge Arthritis Awareness Campaign, please visit: ••• Sonnerie: A British Harpsichord Society’s 10 Birthday


Birstall WI news BIRSTALL AND Wanlip WI held their first meeting after the summer break on September 3 at Highcliffe School. 25 ladies met up again on a lovely warm evening and caught up on past and future events. This included a new season of knockout skittle competitions when we will start by meeting our old adversaries Astill Lodge WI. Members have been steadily walking and swimming all summer and forms were handed into secretary Bev so that she can compile our total mileage for the Big Walk Little Splash competition for individual WI's throughout the country. Our speaker was senior fund raiser Adrian Walker from Loros. With the aid of a panoramic video tour around the building he certainly blew away a lot of myths about the work that they do. Loros is not a residential care home and their main purpose is to provide pain control by correct medication. They care for around 2,500 people every year whose average stay is 11/12 days and have 230 volunteers working there on a part time basis along with nurses and doctors. Unlike a hospital the building is full

of flowers and even pets are allowed in for comfort. The patients have access to different therapies, a beautiful garden and a imaginative chef who has been there for 18 years. We learnt that it takes 7 million pounds a year to run Loros so fundraising is a massive undertaking. It was a truly enlightening talk. This was followed by refreshments, our usual raffle and Ann Waite was chosen as the competition winner with 'a thought for a friend'. Our next meeting is on October 1 when Carol Smith will talk about being adopted and finding a family and the competition will be a homemade card. From Birstall & Wanlip WI

The November issue of

THE BIRSTALL POST will be published on Nov 2. The copy deadline is Oct 19.

Concert Saturday October 20 at 7.30pm Rothley Parish Church St Mary & St John (LE7 7PD) Works by: M Marais, J-Ph Rameau, A-L Couperin, J Duphly Performed by: Nicolette Moonen (London), baroque violin Susanna Pell (Richmond/Yorks), viola da gamba Medea Bindewald (Mountsorrel), harpsichord Admission free, donations welcome

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Free sewing class A FREE sewing class has been organised for anyone keen to learn more about mending and customising clothes. Organised by the Leicestershire Waste Partnership, which is made up of the county, district and borough councils, the first steps classes are ideal for any-


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one who is unsure about how to sew on a button, turn up a hem or stitch on a badge. Advanced classes will give people hands-on experience with a sewing machine so they can learn some of the different stitches and techniques available. The first steps class, which is one-off three hour session, will take place on: Saturday, October 13 from 9.30am 12.30pm: Rawlins Community College, Quorn The advanced class will take place between 1.30pm and 4.30pm. Guy Jackson, Chairman of the Leicestershire Waste Partnership, said: “These classes are a great introduction to sewing and we hope by the end of them people will seamlessly be able to repair, brighten up and customise old clothes.” Spaces are limited and the classes are available to Leicestershire residents only (excluding Leicester city). To sign up for a class call 0116 305 5705 or email Pre booking is essential.



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Local club host pistol gala REDHILL REVOLVERS held their third annual pistol gala in August. Held at the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre, the club welcomed pistol shooters from all over the country to participate in bell target, metal plate and hunter field target shooting. The event was sponsored by Solware of Tamworth who brought a selection of air weapons for a try-before-you-buy display. Pic: the winners on the day including Birstall’s John Masterson and Claire Jackson

NHW news

& crime report

Did I really see that? Countless crimes over the years have been solved thanks to ordinary people being aware of what facts are important and just how to report them. If you should witness a crime in progress then remember to try and keep calm and under no circumstance put yourself in danger. Most crimes happen so quickly that it can be difficult to memorise details which might be relevant. It is easy to become distracted by the sight of a distressed victim and to forget to observe the bigger picture. If you happened to catch sight of a suspect then did you notice if they were alone or did they meet up with other people? Did you perhaps notice if they appeared to drop anything, eg a bag or clothing, in the area?

When observing people start with the basics: gender, race and approximate age and then move on to more specifics: height, weight, hair colour and clothing. Facial features are, of course, important but if you notice any physical deformities such as a limp or a scar then this might prove really helpful to the police. Also, tattoos are another feature worth noting and it could help to narrow down the list of suspects. Were the suspects dressed casually or smartly and did their clothes look dirty, old or torn? If you happen to notice a logo or the name of a sports team on their clothing or on anything they were carrying then this is also worth noting. Witnessing a crime in your local area also means that there is an outside chance that you may have seen the suspect before. Take your time; give it some thought and you may have even more information than you first realised. Maybe you have seen them regularly in a local pub, café or shop, or perhaps you went to school with them. It could be that you worked with them some time in the past. Be sure to inform the police as soon as that connection is made. You might notice that the suspects escaped in a vehicle but think about how you would describe it. It is helpful if you


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Crime Report, Birstall: Aug 10 – Sep 9, 2012 Assaults 6, burglary 3, damage 4, damage to motor vehicle 2, drugs 1, fraud 7, theft 6, theft of cycle 1, theft from motor vehicle 4, theft stores 4 All crime is down with burglaries significantly lower than the last few months. The beat team welcomes PC Keith James who describes himself as very pro-active. Patrols continue regularly by the beat team and local police officers around Birstall daily in order to disrupt and detect crime, specifically burglary. From PC 2139 Richard Carruthers, PCSO 6611 Mark Butler and PC 1276 Keith James

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can describe the make and colour but not all of us have that level of knowledge. However there might be other helpful details that you could make a note of, such as damage or rust to the vehicle or maybe there were bumper stickers or lettering on the side of the vehicle. So from now on let’s all try to be a little more observant and help to keep our local neighbourhood safe and secure. Most important of all, although your witness statement could prove helpful to the police and assist them in catching a suspect, never put yourself in danger. Next month: your chance to win a TV simulator! From Birstall & Wanlip NHW


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First Police elections NOVEMBER 15 will mark the first public election of Police and Crime Commissioners set to replace police authorities currently in charge over England and Wales. Police and Crime Commissioners, PCCs, will be responsible for deciding the priorities of the police force, managing the budget, hiring the chief constable and will be accountable for how crime is tackled in their area. By replacing the current Association of Police Authorities (APA) with PCCs, advocates of the scheme say the voice of local people and the accountability of the police service will be strengthened. Thirty-seven police and crime commissioners will be chosen throughout England, with the final list of candidates being announced on October 19. Four candidates have already been confirmed for the Leicestershire and Rutland area: Sir Clive Loader for the Conservative Party; Sarah Russell for the Labour Party and David Bowley and Suleman Nagdi who will be standing independently. Leicestershire Police have more than 2,300 police officers and 1,200 police staff and are responsible for almost one million people who live and work in the county. Their priorities are dealing with individuals who cause the most harm, protecting vulnerable people, trusting staff and officers to use their judgement to make good decisions and ensuring effective and efficient use of resources. Leicestershire Police Authority said: “Local policing remains our top priority and we have taken pre-emptive steps to protect the high quality of service that local residents and businesses deserve.” Supporters of the transition have argued that elected commissioners will make policing more accountable and receptive to local needs, as they will be referring to victims of crime when setting policing priorities. Critics of the scheme have said it could lead to the politicisation of the police, with PCCs choosing to support more conspicuous cases over tackling serious crime. There is also concern that commissioners may interfere with how the police force is run, because PCCs will not be elected to control the police force but to hold them responsible for what they do. From Claire Stevens


Church news Dancing the light fantastic? The Summer Garden Fete (pictured) already seems a long time ago, but many thanks to those who turned out to support it on a very un-summer-like day, when nearly £1500 was raised – an excellent total. With summer behind us, the prospect of a Harvest Barn Dance in the Village Hall on Saturday October 6 may help you to forget the autumnal nip in the air. Tickets are £8 (including supper) with reductions for students and children, so make sure you contact Sandra on 2677238 or Gill on 2675086 to reserve yours, as this is a ticket only event. CAP These are initials that you may not recognise; they stand for Christians Against Poverty, not a campaign group, but an organisation, including trained volunteers, which aims to help people who may have become bogged down in debt because they have not learned to manage their money. Two of our congregation at St. James have already taken a training course and are now running a Money Management course. More news about this will be published as the service expands.

Thanksgiving On Sunday October 7 at 10am at St James we shall have another of our “All Together” services, which have proved so popular with all ages. Last month around 120 people attended, and took part in some interesting ways of “Beginning and Ending”. This time the service will be a Harvest Thanksgiving and any gifts of food (particularly non-perishable items) will be gratefully received, and delivered to local charities. At 6pm there will be a traditional Harvest Festal Evensong at Wanlip’s beautifully decorated Church. Our Annual Thanksgiving service will be on Sunday October 21 at 10am, when we thank God in the parish communion, for all the gifts he has given us in our lives. There will be a Bring and Share lunch in the Village Hall at 12.30pm that day. A different sort of thanksgiving will be celebrated on November 4 at 3pm, when our annual All Souls service takes place. This is an occasion when anyone who has been bereaved can come and give thanks for the life of their loved one and light a candle in remembrance during a short service. Afterwards there will be light refreshments for those who wish to stay. From Beryl McHugh, Parish Church

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urday October 20, £10 per head including soup and drinks. Tel 2675194 for more details or to book. Rev Tony McClelland is to lead the day. November 3is a must for fans of Cliff Richards fans with a “Cliff as if” concert at 7.30pm at the Methodist Church. From Tony Moore, Birstall Methodist Church

Pics: St James’ Church summer fete, pics courtesy JOHN WALTERS

Harvest This Sunday If you missed the Community Harvest Festival on Saturday (and you get your Birstall Post in good time) you are welcome to join us at 10.30 on Sunday September 30 when Rev Rachel Parkinson will lead the worship, or in the evening at 6.30pm Twinning the Toilets Rest assured there are not to be two toilets in one cubicle! Many communities in the world have poor or non-existent sanitation, so the donations at the Community Harvest Festival will go to “twinning” our toilets with ones built in countries where sanitation is poor. The refurbishment has cost £8700 and £5200 has been raised in grants & donations. Contributions towards the deficit will be welcomed Jubilation! Is the title of our Christmas Festival on November 23/24. Preparations are now being made, and it would be no surprise to discover that there is a shortage of sugar in Birstall, given the amount of jam making that is going on! How would you make a display under the theme of Jubilation – think about it! Forthcoming Events A Barn Dance is to be held at the Village Hall on October 6, including a Ploughman’s Supper. Tickets are £8 Tel Sandra 2677238 or Gill 2675086. A Quiet Day at Rearsby Convent on Sat-

Time In the old joke, the man said, ‘Time flies’ – as a thief ran off with his watch. Seriously, how often we comment on the swift passage of time, finding it difficult to fit in all that we need and want to do. Yet each of us has the same 24 hours in a day as anyone else in the world, so perhaps the secret lies in how we use the hours we are given. John Wesley apparently divided his life into ‘spaces’ of five minutes and endeavoured to make each ‘space’ count for God. Many of us give undue attention to the secondary, meaning that we squeeze out matters of major importance and especially is this so where spiritual things are concerned. Psalm 90 (verse 12) tells us: “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” An unknown author wrote: “Let us then, by the grace of God, So number all our days, And let us in the strength of God, Take heed to all our ways, That we redeem the precious time, The minutes, hours and years, That we may not, when life is spent, Repent with bitter tears.” Course If you are interested in investigating spiritual things, then please contact us about the Introduction to Christianity course which we run. This is a free, short course and allows plenty of time for questions and discussion. Services Our visiting speaker for October 14 is John Jerrams from Loughborough. This service, as usual, will be held in the Community Room at Highcliffe Primary School (LE4 3DL) at 10.45am and you will be most welcome to join us at this and any of our Sunday services. For further information please ring 0116 2214883. From Anne Taylor, Birstall Independent Baptist Church



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Rain has destroyed swans’ nests HIGH WATER levels during one of the wettest summers on record destroyed some swans’ nests at Watermead Country Park.

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But according to Julie, Watermead Swan volunteer, the number of cygnets that hatched was only slightly down on the normal numbers. She said: “I heard on the radio that this was the wettest summer for 100 years! Our poor swans sat on their nests in the rain day after day. I felt so sorry for them when the high water went straight over some nests and destroyed them. “I had over 30 cygnets in my study area this year, but there has been a sharp drop in the survival rate. I can remember seeing their parents as tiny cygnets. A fantastic sight to see.” She added: “When the cygnets leave their parents quite a few of them join

the flock on the Mammoth lake at Watermead Country Park South. They live in harmony with the other swans in the flock while they grow up. They then find a partner and fly off to find their own territory to breed. We’re so lucky to have this on our doorstep.” Pic: swans & cygnets at Watermead Country Park

Birstall after school club? WOULD YOU like to see an after-school club and holiday club opened in Birstall? Birstall Parish Council are considering developing an after school club to run from 3-6pm for 38 weeks of the year and a holiday club to run from 8am – 6pm, for 12 weeks of the year. They say the fees will be very competitive. The Parish Council is seeking to establish the level of demand for such a facility in the village, which will be provided at the pavilion on the School Lane playing field. The Parish Council says the club will be: • Ofsted registered and approved • for 8-11 year olds • run by CRB checked and fully qualified staff • an After School Club: 3-6pm (tea

provided) • a Holiday Club: 8am-6pm (breakfast, lunch & tea provided) • competitively priced Further information is available upon request and on the Council website. A Parish Council spokesman said: “If you could forward us your comments before October 5 it would be greatly appreciated, you can contact us either by post, by writing to Birstall Parish Council, Council Offices, Birstall Road, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4DH or by email: or by completing our online poll on our website: or by completing our online poll on our website:”



Art exhibition THE 18TH annual exhibition of paintings and drawings by the Birstall and District Art Society will take place from Saturday October 27 from 9.30am until 5pm, Sunday October 28 from 9.30am until 5pm and Monday October 29 from 9.30am until 3pm. Most of the art displayed is for sale at reasonable prices. There is a café selling tea, coffee and juice, home made cakes and savoury rolls. There is a raffle to win a painting by a well known artist

and all visitors are invited to vote for the 'Best Painting in the Show'. Admission is free. The exhibition catalogue costs £1. There is free parking in the School Lane car park immediately behind the Village Hall. A spokesman for the society said: “It is a very friendly occasion and we would love to see you there. You will be made very welcome.” The venue is well set up for disabled people. Please contact Mary, the Secretary, with any queries on 0116 267 7833.

Left to right: Cllr Jitu Choudhury, Noor Islam, of the Spice Cube, Cllr David Slater, leader of Charnwood Borough Council, Spice Cube chef Enamul Hussain, Jake Karia, of Global Fine Foods, and Darren Creed, of Loughborough College

Curry lovers vote for their favourite CURRY LOVERS should head for Mountsorrel after two of its restaurants won prizes in the first ever Loughborough curry festival.

Museum objects on display INTERESTING OBJECTS from Leicestershire’s museums will be on display at Birstall library on Wednesday October 17. The library, normally closed on Wednesdays, will be open from 10.30am to 12noon and Alison Clague from Charnwood Museum will be on hand to chat to visitors about the items on display. Refreshments will be available and visitors will also be able to borrow books and DVDs.

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take some home with them!” The judging panel was made up of Cllr David Slater, leader of Charnwood Borough Council, Darren Creed of Loughborough College, Jake Karia, of Global Fine Foods and guest chef Alex Capau. Cllr Slater said: “I thought the event was a brilliant success. The Curry Festival is one of several events arising from the authority’s Corporate Plan and I was delighted to hear that participating restaurants had gained custom over the three weeks of the festival. It was an opportunity for all participating restaurants to showcase their skills to new and existing customers.” The two runners-up in the best restaurant category were Taste of India, of Churchgate, Loughborough and Tandoori Empire in High Street, Quorn.

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The site, near the National Space Centre, has stood empty for 10 years. It will be home to 36 new businesses. More than half of the site is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. Leicester City Council has acquired the land for the project and has negotiated funding from the government and the European Regional Development Fund. The City Council say the Park will be a major centre for innovation and technology businesses. It aims to develop the city’s knowledge economy, covering research, development and innovation and to create highly skilled jobs for local university graduates.

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The Spice Cube in Mountsorrel carried off the top restaurant prize and the best takeaway went to Noorjahan. The festival, organised by Charnwood Borough Council in partnership with Loughborough College, was designed to promote local businesses as well as reward those restaurants serving up the best grub. Enamul Hussain, 22-year-old chef at the Spice Cube in Loughborough Road, has revealed he was called in to cook on the night of the judging at the last minute when head chef Bablu Rahman was taken ill. He admitted: “I was a bit nervous but it did give me a chance to shine and everyone involved at the Spice Cube is over the moon about winning the best restaurant title.” Mr Hussain prepared signature dishes using a sweet lime from the Sylhet region of Bangladesh as well as a Bengali chicken dish. He said: “I have been interested in cooking since I was a young boy and used to watch my family working in the kitchen. I guess it is something I have a real passion for but I learn something every day from Bablu and our other chef here, Monshad Choudhury.” More than 2,000 votes had been cast in the search for Loughborough’s top curry house in the first ever festival of its kind in the Borough. The top three restaurants as voted for by the public were then visited by a judging panel. One customer wrote about the Spice Cube: “Friends from Bournemouth came to visit, tried it, loved it and wanted to



Loughborough wins second gold LOUGHBOROUGH HAS struck gold for the second consecutive year at the East Midlands in Bloom awards. Judges were wowed yet again by the town’s horticultural offering as it scooped a Gold Award in the Best Small City in the East Midlands category as well as winning the category outright.

Queen’s Park also won a discretionary award for horticultural excellence in parks while Chapman Street Garden Association won a special Judge’s Award. Last year, Loughborough won Gold in Advertise in

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the Best Small City category as well as a number of other awards for town residents and businesses. It is rare for an entry to win Gold in consecutive years. Mike Jones, vice-chairman of the Bloom Board, said: “This is a remarkable achievement; few Bloom entries get a gold two years running, but the key to our success was the huge effort made by volunteers working on community groups across the town. In celebrating our award, however, we should not forget that the main reason why Bloom is so important, is that it gives great pleasure to thousands of local people. Long may it continue.” Loughborough in Bloom 2012 saw more than 100 different people, groups, organisations and businesses take part from across the town. In 2010 Loughborough was awarded a Silver Gilt Award and also scooped the region’s Least Littered Town and Best Residential Garden awards.

Green grants ORGANISATIONS ARE being offered the chance to keep their community venues cosy and reduce their energy bills at the same time. Leicestershire County Council is offering Shire Community Climate Change Grants of up to £5,000 for organisations to improve energy efficiency in their community buildings. Charities, faith groups, village halls, sport / community building committees and parish councils can apply for the money. Projects that have recently benefited included Lutterworth Town Council, which received £3936 towards the installation of solar PV panels and the Billesdon Family Fun day which received £463 towards educating people about saving energy. The grants could cover projects such as the installation of energy efficiency measures including new heating systems, roof or cavity wall insulation, water conversion systems and solar panels. They are also available for community events or projects that promote awareness of the issues of climate change and training courses relating to energy efficiency and climate change. Richard Blunt, County Council Cabinet Member for Climate Action, said: “Communities across Leicestershire have already benefited from these grants and now we would like to hear from more community organisations that are interested in finding out more about this energy saving scheme.” To apply and for details including examples of projects that have benefited from a SHIRE Community Climate Change grant go to: ts Alternatively call Nailesh Ramaya on 0116 3058111 or Di Braker on 0116 3057082. • To apply for a practical project, applicants must first either have undertaken an energy audit or an Energy Performance Certificate.

Planning P/12/1940/2: 29 Walker Road - Velux window in roof space. P/12/1902/2: 23 Roman Road – Erection of a single storey extension to side and front of dwelling P/12/1893/2: 7 Kedleston Avenue – erection of two storey extension to side, porch to front and replacement of flat roof with pitched roof to front of dwelling

Cancer group MARIE CURIE Cancer Care’s Fundraising Group for Charnwood has just started up and is looking for members. They will be organising a variety of different events, while supporting Marie Curie Cancer Care to help raise funds to allow terminally ill patients to die in their own home supported by their families. Members of other groups have joined for a variety of different reasons, but many have had some experience of a Marie Curie Cancer Care nurse. One support group member said: “I give my time in thanks for the care given to my son in his last few days, to help raise funds for others to get the same care as he received.” Another member said: “Because of Marie Curie Cancer Care my cousin, aged 29, was able to come home for his final days. In his memory and to help others have the same privilege I volunteer and support the charity.” If you would like to join the group or find out more, contact Anna 01604 442315 or email: for an informal chat.

Splash bash YOUNG PEOPLE can make all the right waves in a new fun event at South Charnwood Leisure Centre in Parkstone Road, Syston. The Friday night ‘Splash Bash’ is for eight to 16 yr olds who want to enjoy time in the swimming pool with their friends – and splashout or chill out to the latest sounds. Under-eights can attend the session if accompanied by an adult. As a special introductory offer, the ‘Splash Bash’ entry price of £3.20 includes a free drink and snack after the session. Cllr Paul Harley, Charnwood Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture, said: “This is an ideal opportunity for a bit of fun in the pool for this younger age group and part of the wide range of sporting activities on offer in the borough.” There will be special occasions when a twin-track inflatable will be available which can be used to hold fun races between two children at the same time. Further details on activities at the leisure centre are available on 0116 2640057 or by visiting:



Could fish oil be key in protecting the elderly against muscle deterioration? Presented at last month’s British Science Festival, a new study by University of Aberdeen scientists will examine if the consumption of fish oil combined with weight training exercises could help protect the elderly against muscle deterioration. Skeletal muscle is the largest organ in the human body and has many important roles in determining our physical abilities and overall wellbeing. During healthy ageing muscle size is reduced by approximately 0.5-2% a year. This process known as sarcopenia - can result in a reduction in quality of life and loss of independence. One way muscle function can be maintained is through exercise. However, whilst in young people (18-35) exercise increases muscles mass, as we age our body is less able to increase muscle mass through exercise alone. Pilot data from a study of elderly women conducted by the University of Aberdeen showed that after 12 weeks of resistance exercise training those taking fish oil improved muscle strength by 20% compared to an 11% increase in the placebo group. This new study – which is funded by at grant of £330,684 from the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) will expand on these findings. It will also examine the positive impact of the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil on muscles in the body, with the aim of potentially developing new treatments for sarcopenia in the future. Dr Stuart Gray, from the University of Aberdeen’s Musculoskeletal Research Programme, will lead the research. He announced the launch of the study at the British Science Festival stating: “This study will be the first to monitor changes in muscle function and mass in response to the combination of fish oil and resistance exercise. “We will ask both males and females over the age of 65 to undertake an 18 week programme of resistance training, where half the participants will also take fish oil supplements and half a placebo supplement. “We will monitor changes in muscle mass, volume and fat content in the participants using MRI; insulin sensitivity and inflammation in blood samples; and changes in protein synthesis and molecular signalling in muscle biopsies. These changes will indicate to us the impact of fish oil on the body in helping prevent against sarcopenia. “We believe the benefits of fish oil are due to a number of factors. Older people tend to have low-level inflammation in the body which interferes with the muscles’ ability to increase strength and mass. The anti-inflammatory qualities found in fish oil may reduce this inflammation and therefore inhibit this interference. “Also the omega 3 found in fish oil helps make muscles more fluid and proteins involved in increasing muscle mass function at a higher level in the body. We hope that providing new mechanistic

insights into the benefits of fish oil on muscles could lead to the development of new pharmacological treatments to prevent against the loss of muscle with age.” Bargain Will Writing Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland staff are handling high numbers of enquiries relating to their annual Wills Campaign which runs through September and October. Peter Ralphs, Business Development Manager there, said ” There’s been a huge response since advance details were first publicised in July - hundreds of people gain peace of mind every year by writing their will through our campaign and many show support of needy local older people by leaving a legacy or sending a donation." Twenty four offices of local solicitors have kindly agreed to reduce their Will Writing charge to £35 + VAT for a single uncomplicated Will, an estimated saving of at least £100. Anyone wishing to take advantage of the Will Writing Promotion should simply contact Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland on 0116 2992233 to find out the names of the solicitors participating in the scheme in their local area. Warm Front: help heat your home Six million households will cut back on heating this winter - while free help goes unclaimed Consumer Focus, Citizens Advice, Age UK and National Children’s Bureau, are urging people in the East Midlands worried about their energy bills to find out if they are eligible for free heating and insulation improvements from Warm Front. The call comes as new research from Consumer Focus shows that around six million households across England plan to cut back on heating their home this winter due to worries about affording their energy bills.1 Over 700,000 of these households live in the East Midlands. Yet at the same time millions of pounds worth of help is being left unclaimed under Warm Front, the Government’s scheme to help the poorest households in England to make their homes warmer and cut their energy bills. Over 2011-12 the Warm Front scheme was under-spent by over £50 million.2 The number of applications for the scheme fell sharply after being over-subscribed in 2010-11. Claim rates are again low this year. Across the East Midlands only 1,002 people applied to Warm Front between April and July 2012. Although higher than the claim rate in April - July 2011 when there were only 610 applications, this is a big fall from the 11,336 applications in the whole of the financial year 2010-11. The Government introduced changes in September that will make more people and families with children, who are living on low incomes, eligible for the scheme. As the eligibility criteria for help under the Warm Front scheme is widening, even if someone has been turned down before they may be able to get help this year.


As this is the last year of Warm Front the organisations are joining together to promote the scheme to make sure that as many vulnerable people and families as possible get this help. The heating and insulation improvements Warm Front offers could help thousands of households to stay warm and well and save up to £600 off their energy bills each year. Jonathan Stearn, Programme Director at Consumer Focus, said: “A cold home can damage your health. So it’s very worrying that high energy prices are leading so many people to cut back on their heating. We want to make sure that as many people as possible are helped to cut their bills and stay warm and well through the Warm Front scheme this year. We would urge anyone struggling with their bills to find out if they can claim free help.” Mervyn Kohler, Special Adviser for Age UK, said: “Warm Front is being phased out. When this year’s budget is exhausted, that’s it. But so far, applications are really low, and the scheme may gift an under-spend back to the Treasury. A cold home is a serious health hazard, and older households (who are particularly at risk) can act now, knowing that by Christmas they will be warmer and better prepared for the dangers and worries of a cold winter”. Warm Front offers measures worth up to £3,500 (£6,000 if you need oil central heating). These measures are free to most people who receive help from the scheme and can make a big difference to their health and financial well-being, in particular in affording other bills and saving for emergencies. People can find out if they can get free help from Warm Front by calling 0800 316 2805 or by visiting their local Citizens Advice Bureau or Age UK. Further information and an online application form are also available on It currently takes on average just eight weeks to install heating or insulation from the day you apply. So if people apply now their home could be warmer at a lower cost, by Christmas.



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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Birstall BAG’s cancer corner Living with and after cancer A diagnosis of cancer can have an impact on many areas of your life, both during and after treatment. Now your primary cancer treatment has ended, you may feel ready to get on with your life and look forward to the future. But it’s common to have days when you feel less positive, or to have days when you still feel some of the effects of treatment. To begin with, it’s important not to expect too much of yourself and to accept that it will take you time to recover. If you think about everything you’ve been through, then it’s not surprising that your recovery is likely to be gradual. You may have new challenges to cope

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with, such as physical effects caused by your cancer or its treatment. It usually takes time to adjust to these and to find out what’s now normal for you. After your treatment is over, how often you’ll see your specialist for check-ups will depend on the type of cancer and the treatment you had. However, it’s important to remember that support is available to help you with any physical or emotional problems you have. Many people find that over time they settle back into their usual routines. You may want to think about planning a holiday, seeing friends, getting out more, getting back to hobbies or sport, and going back to work. The experience of cancer may also make you think about what’s important in your life, and you may make positive changes as a result. It is important that you get information and practical advice to help you cope with any issues you have whether it be about side effects of treatment, generally talking about cancer or about managing your finances. These are just some of the areas cancer patients have had issues with. Advice, support and information is available to you with them all through Macmillan Cancer Support, the Cancer Information Centre at the Leicester Royal Infirmary (see contact details below), or ask you nurse specialist or GP.

Symptoms & side effects Cancer and cancer treatments can cause a range of symptoms and side effects. These can often be effectively managed or controlled. Financial issues Get practical advice about financial issues Practical issues It can help to think ahead when going to work, planning a holiday, getting travel insurance Relationships & communication Cancer can have an emotional and physical impact on your relationships, but there's help available for you, your family and friends Life after cancer When your treatment is over, it's important to give yourself time to adjust to any physical or emotional changes. Eating well Cancer and its treatment can sometimes cause problems with eating. There are tips to help you manage different eating problems and maintain a healthy diet. Work & cancer Access Macmillan's range of resources about work and cancer, whether you're an employee or an employer looking for information Emotional effects A cancer experience can trigger a range of emotional responses for you, your family and friends, but there are a number of ways to manage them and get support. Physical activity Find out more about how physical activity can help during and after cancer treatment Birstall BAG’s continue to fund the Birstall Time Out Group held the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at the Village Hall and are delighted to confirm that thanks to your generosity and support we recently presented the University Hospitals of Leicester with £8231 to help with the new Cancer Information Centre at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

For more information: nformation/Livingwithandaftercancer/Livi ngwithandaftercancer.aspx Macmillan Cancer Support free phone help line 0808 808 000 Monday – Friday 9am-8pm. University Hospitals of Leicester Cancer Information Centre on 0116 258 6189. To reflect the interest and support of the local community Birstall BAG's seeks to be inclusive of all cancers and the group welcome villagers to support the many events they organise each year within the local community. The live band evening at the Earl of Stamford on Saturday September 8 featuring Midnight Wire and Leaving Party raised nearly £400. Thank you EoS management and staff, the bands and all the people who supported us on the evening. A Leicester-Skegness sponsored bike ride is also be planned by a local BAG’s supporter for sometime next spring. Contact us for more information. We also have our ladies Christmas meal in December – details currently being finalised – watch this space. For more information on the funds we have raised, projects we support and forthcoming events see


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Birstall Post (351) October 2012  

Birstall Post Oct 2012

Birstall Post (351) October 2012  

Birstall Post Oct 2012