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MAY/JUN 2012

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No. 94

Brookfield Farm: more houses & a new school? PLANS FOR 170 new homes on the site of Brookfield Farm have been given the go ahead and now the developer has announced new plans for a 420 place primary school within the site and 20 additional dwellings. Developers Charles Church’s scheme to build 170 homes was refused by Charnwood Borough Council. The developer appealed and in march a Planning Inspector ruled that the development could go ahead. The Inspector ruled that: • Charnwood Borough Council have


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The children spent a happy Saturday morning making Easter baskets and Easter crowns, decorating biscuits, and playing Easter games. They also searched for eggs in an Easter egg hunt and finished the morning with some lively Easter songs, with plenty of actions, followed by a reminder of the real Easter story from the local vicar, Rev David McDonough. Members of the PTA would like to thank everyone who gave up their Saturday morning to help at the event. The sum of £90 was raised towards PTA funds.


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not identified a sufficient number of sites to provide the housing required in the next five years and this site is available, suitable and achievable • the site is in a sustainable location • there is localised flooding in Town Green Street, Town Green and along Hallfields Lane but there is no evidence that this arises as a consequence of surface water run off from the appeal site, or that the proposed measures to Continued on page 2

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MAY 2012

Continued from page 1 control surface water … would not be effective • proposed modifications to the Red Lion junction and Hallfields Lane will mitigate the impact of increased traffic • there is pressure on spaces in local primary schools but the 106 developer contributions for education would mitigate this. • the development would be unlikely to have any significant adverse impacts on the intrinsic landscape character of the area in the short term with enhancement likely in the longer term as planting becomes established. • enhanced access as a result of the new links within the development and the creation of new rights of way would allow the public to have a greater appreciation of the surrounding countryside. It has now emerged that the developer Charles Church approached Rothley School in 2011 to discuss the provision of a new school within the Brookfield site. The plans would see a 420 place primary school costing around £5million built within the site. The developers would pay the full cost. The playing fields would go up the hill to the boundary with Wanlip. New allotments would be provided next to the playing fields and 62 houses would be built on the current allotment site with access from the existing allotment access on Loughborough Road. The new plans show a total of 190 dwellings for the site. As part of the proposed deal, Charles Church would get the existing Rothley School site. The school would be demolished and the developer is proposing to build 20 executive homes with a gated access. A County Council spokesman said: “The County Council has entered into discussions with Charles Church and Rothley Temple Estates [the landowner], following an initial approach made by the company to Rothley primary school

Parish Council notes

Pic: the original plan for 170 homes in 2011. “These discussions are necessary because the current school site does not have the capacity to take the anticipated increase in primary pupils that may arise from the Charles Church development proposals. “Discussions are still at an early stage, but have explored the options and potential locations on the Brookfield Farm development for a new school with Charles Church and representatives of Rothley Primary School. “The next step is to formally consult with parents, staff and governors from the school, the C E Diocese and the wider community of Rothley to seek their views. Plans for the consultation are currently being drawn up.” The spokesman said that the new school would initially provide for 420 places covering reception to Year 6, but would have the capacity to expand further in future years if needed. The full cost of the new development will be met by Charles Church. Chairman of Rothley Parish Council Percy Hartshorn said: “I am disappointed but not surprised by the Inspector’s

decision. The lack of a five year supply of housing in the Borough and the fact that Charnwood has not prepared its strategic plan were important factors. “I am a bit sceptical about these new plans for 190 houses and a school. Why would a developer pay £5million for a school and only increase the number of houses by 40? [20 at Brookfield Farm and 20 on the existing school site] I would have expected a significantly higher number. Is this the total development or is there another agenda?” He added: “The new school would have some positives – Rothley school is not big enough and is bursting at the seams. But the new school would not be in the centre of the village and would mean there would be more car journeys to the school and even more traffic in Rothley.” Rothley school declined to comment at this stage. Developers Charles Church have arranged a public exhibition of their proposals at Rothley school on Mountsorrel Lane on May 9 from 6-8pm and May 12 from 11am–4pm.

A FULL meeting of Rothley Parish Council was held on February 20. The County Council has agreed to install a number of gritbins in the village, subject to the Parish Council funding them at £200 each. It was reported that a Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire would be circulated in Rothley and Mountsorrel. A full meeting of Rothley Parish Council was held on March 19. It was agreed to ask the County Council to install a barrier to prevent vehicles parking on the grass verge at the junction of Howe Lane and Town Green Street. It was agreed to install a Blue Plaque on North Street to commemorate the birthplace of the sculptor and teacher Robert Jackson Emerson (1878-1944). It was agreed to arrange for a contractor to undertake a deep clean of the Village Hall over the Easter period. A FULL meeting of Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council was held on November 17. Two parishioners complained about the problem of parked cars along the pavement on Station Road, Cropston. Cllr Wise said she would take up the matter. PC Rhodes reported that the police had circulated leaflets in the area about the issue and the problem would be closely monitored. The council agreed to spend £2700 on alterations to the stage at the Memorial Hall and £1995 for the restoration of the hall’s floor. A full meeting of Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council was held on January 19. PC Ed Stephenson reported that he works by himself in five villages, with his bike as transport. It was reported that a motorist was injured when young people threw rocks from a bridge on Leicester Road, Thurcaston onto the A46. The council agreed a precept for the year 2012/13 of £32,000, the same amount as 2011/12. A full meeting of Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council was held on February 16. It was agreed to spend £540 on work to sycamore trees in the cemetery. It was agreed to recommend to Charnwood Borough Council that the Memorial Hall not be included in the Conservation Area.


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MAY 2012


Angry response to traveller site plans at public meetings HUNDREDS OF residents have attended public meetings to express their concerns about proposals to create traveller sites in Beaumont Leys, including one on Greengate Lane. The City Council initially identified three possible sites at Greengate Lane, Beaumont Way and Red Hill Way. The Greengate Lane site would contain 10 pitches on the site that is currently being used by a traveller family. Residents and councillors have voiced concerns about erosion of the Green Wedge, litter and traffic pressure on local roads. The City Council say the sites are necessary if they are to satisfy the statutory obligation to provide sites for travellers. They have received £1.5million from the government to create new sites in the city. A local action group has been formed

to campaign against the proposals. The LE4 Action Group has collected 2140 names on a petition, meets every two weeks and has organised meetings with councillors and MPs Stephen Dorrell and Liz Kendall. For details go to Responding to pressure from local residents, in April the City Council released details of the 350 sites it said it had considered before arriving at its shortlist of three. It has now added a further five possible sites, making a total of eight. Seven are in Beaumont Leys and one in Aylestone. The five new possible sites are: • land to the west of Thurcaston Road, Beaumont Leys • Tilling Road, Beaumont Leys • Strasbourg Drive open space, Beaumont Leys • Montrose Road South, Aylestone • Heachem Drive, Beaumont Leys Leicester City Council is carrying out a consultation on the proposals. Residents can complete an online questionnaire or pick one up at Birstall

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Parish Council in the Village Hall. For details to go es. Also on the site are plans of the proposed sites, details of the 350 sites that were considered and answers to frequently asked questions. The consultation period ends on Friday July 13. Thurcaston & Cropston’s County Councillor David Snartt said: “I am totally opposed to the proposal by the City Council to situate an authorised gypsy and traveller site adjacent to Greengate Lane. Recent planning guidance released by the Government states that “local planning authorities should strictly limit new traveller site development in the open countryside.” Therefore, in my view, this proposal not only goes against new Government guidance but does not fit with the City Council’s own criteria, outlined at a recent consultation meeting. “My main concern about the Greengate Lane site is the particular impact on local residents living in nearby villages especially linked to the 3,000 new dwellings on the Ashton Green just a stone’s throw away from the proposed gypsy and traveller site. I also fear for the implications these plans will have for residents with regard to the environment, infrastructure, including highways, schools and community safety.”



MAY 2012

Summer stroll in parish gardens GARDENS IN THURCASTON and Cropston will again be opened to visitors this summer.

Charnwood’s next Mayor from Rothley THE NEXT Mayor of Charnwood will be Rothley’s Diane Wise. Diane, of Cossington Lane, has lived in the village for 15 years and was elected a Borough Councillor in 2007. She said: “I feel honoured to become Mayor, it’s a position of trust and a big responsibility.” Before she retired in 2005 Diane was a teacher – her last position was teaching young people with learning difficulties at Leicester College. She moved to Rothley with her husband Harold 15 years ago, buying the Cossington Lane bungalow where they still live from Jack Moore, a former Mayor of Charnwood himself. “Shortly after we moved in Jack came round to ask my help in delivering leaflets” said Diane, which began her involvement in local politics. A Conservative, Diane was elected the Borough Councillor for Rothley and Thurcaston in 2007. She has served on several committees including licensing

and planning. She said: “What I find most rewarding is making a difference for people who live in your patch, it could be showing them a way forward or being a facilitator and putting them in touch with the right people.” She added: “As Mayor I am looking forward to getting round as much of the area as I can, representing the Council and the people of Charnwood. It will be a busy year.” The Mayor of Charnwood is also Chairman of the Council and chairs meetings of the Council. Chosen annually, the Mayor attends around 500 engagements each year. Diane Wise will take up her position on May 14, replacing the Borough’s current Mayor, Bernard Burr. Diane’s consort will be her husband, Harold. Pic: Diane & Harold Wise

The Open Gardens event, organised by Richard Hill School PTA, takes place this year on the weekend of June 30/July 1. Spokeswoman Linda Bennett said: “There will be a number of gardens open across the two villages of various types: a water garden, an oriental garden, family gardens, the school garden and many more! Thank you to all those gardeners who have kindly responded to our plea for gardens and have offered to take part in this year’s event.” Gardens will be open from 2-6pm on both days; tickets will be £4 each (accompanied children and wheelchair users free) and will be valid for both days. They can be purchased on the day from any of the Open Gardens or, from Monday June 18, from the Richard Hill

School Office, Anstey Lane, Thurcaston, Mon to Fri 9pm-3pm. Linda said: “Proceeds from this weekend will go to the School’s PTA funds which help pay for a number of things around the school. Currently we are trying to raise enough funds for an outdoor classroom which will facilitate the children’s learning in the outdoor environment. “Why not put the date in your diary now then come along, with your family and friends, and support this great community event? We look forward to seeing you.” For more information about this event please have a look at our website: or contact Linda on 0116 2363872 or email:


MAY 2012


Ambitious teen’s day shadowing football manager A ROTHLEY teenager with a passion for football spent a day shadowing Cardiff City’s manager.

Record recycling GREEN-THINKING Charnwood residents have been praised for helping the Council achieve record-breaking reductions in the amount of waste sent to landfill. New figures show Charnwood Borough Council is on course to hit an all time high recycling rate of 51% next year – the current rate is already a record 48%. In 2007/08 the Council’s recycling rate was 39%. Customer satisfaction with recycling services provided by Charnwood Borough council is steady at 97.6% A spokesman said the success is down to the Council’s introduction of new recycling bins last autumn which has made it easier for residents to recycle household waste. As well as reducing waste to landfill, the Council is generating more revenue than expected through its recyclates contract with Viridor. The money is generated through the sale of so-called ‘dry’ materials such as glass, plastic, aluminium and steel cans, mixed paper and cardboard. Viridor won the contract in May 2011 to transport and sort the 16,000 tonnes of mixed recycled waste produced in the Borough each year.

13 year old Rahul Karia, a pupil at Stonehill school, was a winner in npower’s ‘What’s Your Goal’ campaign, which aimed to find enthusiastic young people and provide them with work experience roles in football. Rahul spent the day with Cardiff manager Malky Mackay and his coaching team as they completed their daily activities at the club, including taking part in a post-match manager’s interview. Rahul said: “I have had such a brilliant day at Cardiff City Football Club shadowing Malky Mackay. I was able to take a peek behind the scenes at a championship side and really learn how to develop my leadership skills and managerial qualities. “Spending the day with Malky and the Cardiff team has been an amazing experience, and fun too! I am so glad that I won, it really has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a brilliant way for me to make my football dreams come true.” Malky Mackay said: “It’s been a real pleasure spending the day teaching Rahul how to lead an established championship side and showing him what it takes to be a manager. I have been impressed with Rahul’s determination, professionalism and a real instinct for the role, I hope we’ve been able to give him a leg-up in his quest to a football manager. npower’s What’s Your Goal campaign is a brilliant way to engage with the game’s next generation and will

inspire them to explore the vast career options in the football industry.”

Thrown fag costs £335 A GRANDFATHER has been hit with a bill of more than £300 after being found guilty of throwing a cigarette end from his car. Edward McGovern of Freehold Street, Quorn was prosecuted by Charnwood Borough Council at Leicester Magistrates’ Court over a charge of littering. A Council street warden was on patrol outside Bradleys shop on Station Street, Quorn on April 20, 2011 whe he saw McGovern drop the cigarette out of his car. Magistrates fined McGovern £100 plus £220.38 costs and ordered him to pay a £15 victim surcharge.

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MAY 2012

Historian seeks BU memories Local planning views DID YOU work at the British United factory in Belgrave?

A local historian is aiming to create a book or website of the memories of the people who worked there to show how the BU affected people’s lives, at work and at home. Burt McNeill said: “Over the last three years I have become good friends with an elderly man living in Birstall who spent virtually all his working life at the BU and through talking with him, as well as a growing interest in local history, I decided to launch this project. “Although there are one or two histories of the BUSM, there didn’t seem to be any record from the point of view of people who worked there. Considering over 4000 people were employed back in the 1960s it struck me as important that these memories of the BU and life around it, a way of life, were remembered. “I hope to collect memories from a number of people to record them orally or on paper, along with images of the factory and the Belgrave area from those times and to eventually present the collection as a book and or website for

MAINTAINING THE separation between villages and enlarging the local school were two concerns that emerged following a questionnaire circulated in Rothley by the Parish Council.

posterity. A piece of history.” Burt has organised a meeting on May 14 at 2pm, Belgrave library, Cossington Street. Burt said: “I hope the meeting will be an opportunity to present and share some of the memories and be a chance to socialise and start, or restart,

Marathon run in memory of teacher A PE SPECIALIST from Rothley School ran the Paris marathon in April and raised over £3000. Alex Palmer (pictured right) was running in aid of LOROS and in memory of Sarah Stonehouse, a teach-

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er at Rothley school who died from cancer in 2011 aged 39. Headteacher Fiona Parr said: “What Alex has done is mind blowing. All the children really got behind him and gave him their support. They designed the vest he ran in and organised their own fundraising in groups doing face painting, a raffle, selling cakes – they came up with all the ideas.” Alex (31) has been with the school for five years and ran the course in 3 hrs 45.

friendships.” If you would like to contribute your memories, or have any old photos, film or artefacts, contact Burt McNeill. Tel: 075 25 714 915, 8 Greenhill Road, Leicester LE2 3DJ

Planning applications P/12/0879/2: 10 Whatton Oaks, Rothley – attached single storey garage to the side of the house P/12/0776/2: 942 Loughborough Rd, Rothley – erection of a detached double garage to front of dwelling P/12/0711/2: Land to r/o 36 North Street, Rothley – erection of two dwellings and alterations to access P/12/0504/2: Rothley Baptist Church, 3 Woodgate, Rothley – erection of single storey extension to front of building with new roof over entrance and disabled access ramp P/12/0614/2:56 Swithland Lane, Rothley – erection of two storey extension and porch to side of dwelling P/12/0533/2: 67 Swithland Lane, Rothley – erection of two storey extensions to both sides of dwelling P/12/0435/2: 30 Grangefields Drive, Rothley – erection of single storey extension to rear of dwelling P/12/0842/2: 88 Swithland Lane, Rothley – fell 16 conifer trees and one silver birch, remove 2 branches to Cedrus (cedar) tree. Tree works in a Conservation Area P/12/0450/2: Park Farm, 81 Town Green Street, Rothley – replacement of roof tiles P/12/0451/2: 88 Swithland Lane, Rothley – 30% crown reduction to 2 Aesculus (horse chestnut) trees. Tree Preservation Order P/12/0893/2: 166 Station Road, Cropston – erection of single and two storey extensions to sides of dwelling P/12/0652/2: 180 Station Road, Cropston – erection of extensions to front, side and rear of dwelling and detached double garage to front P/12/0548/2: 16 Latimer Road, Cropston – erection of single storey extension to front and side and two storey extension to rear of dwelling P/12/0446/2: 47 Anstey Lane, Thurcaston – works to 1 sycamore tree and 2 ash trees. Felling of 2 ash trees.

The consultation was part of the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan by Rothley and Mountsorrel Parish Councils. Once adopted this plan will be consulted by Charnwood Borough Council when it considers future planning applications, and will be incorporated into its planning strategy for the Borough. 139 questionnaires were completed, representing 8.5% of households. Responses revealed concerns about local infrastructure being inadequate, parking problems, and doctors and dentists lacking capacity. Opinion was divided on whether more new housing is needed, with 38 comments saying more housing is not needed and 22 saying affordable starter homes are required. Rothley Parish Council Chairman Percy Hartshorn said that forthcoming meetings with the Primary Care Trust would provide further information for inclusion in the plan. He said: “We need to put this plan together and then put it out for further consultation. But we can’t do that until we get the housing figures for the area from Charnwood. We are still waiting for these and have been told they should be provided in September.” • Plans by Jelson to build 350 homes on Halstead Road have been refused by Charnwood Borough Council • Plans by developers Radleigh/William Davis to build 250 homes on land off Mountsorrel Lane between Walton Way and the old A6, and the construction of a link road are progressing. The developer has organised a public exhibition of the plans at the Rothley Centre on May 16 from 2-8pm. A formal planning application is expected to be submitted in July.

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MAY 2012


Model of Rothley station BACHMANN EUROPE PLC has handed over a cheque for £5,600 to the Great Central Railway as a thank you for allowing the company to produce models of its distinctive Rothley station. David Haarhaus, European Sales and Marketing Manager for Bachmann, said: “The distinctive Great Central buildings have proved popular and we have recently announced them in N scale. We have built good relationships with heritage railways and locomotive owners in recent years and handing over this cheque today allows a successful company like Bachmann to plough something back into the heritage railway community. The buildings have been superbly restored by the railway and need to be kept in excellent condition for us all to enjoy. An added benefit is that after visiting the station you can recreate it in miniature. We are also working with other heritage lines on building ranges including the Bluebell Railway, Severn

Valley Railway and Shillingstone Station which is being restored by the North Dorset Railway Trust”. Richard Patching, General Manager for Great Central Railway, said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Bachmann and as a leading firm in the model railway world their choice of GCR and Rothley station has clearly proved a popular one. We are delighted to be sharing in their commercial success; their commitment to us only goes to illustrate just how dedicated they are to assist in preserving our steam railways. We are sure the N scale range will prove just as popular, the announcement of its production was wonderful news!” The handover of the cheque coincides with the launch of the N scale

Pic: Dave Allen (left) Stationmaster at Rothley with David Haarhaus from Bachmann & (top), the model

versions of Rothley station which are now available from the shop on Loughborough station. The Great Central Railway’s London Extension was opened in 1899 and all stations were built using island platforms. These were accessed from a road

bridge and all stations on the extension were built to this design. South of Calvert in Buckinghamshire, the railway joined with the Metropolitan Railway and later the Great Western Railway for the remainder of the journey into the new London terminus at Marylebone.

Path linking villages needs volunteers TWO PARISH Councils are looking for volunteers to help them provide a footpath from Thurcaston to Anstey. Thurcaston and Cropston Parish Council and Anstey Parish Council are working together to provide a footpath beside Anstey Lane from Thurcaston Parish Church to the junction with Cropston Road. Pedestrians using the route include schoolchildren and parents taking children to playgroups – one mum submitted a petition asking for a pavement to be provided. The County Council say providing a pavement would cost £80,000 and that the amount of use would not justify the cost. The two parish councils have successfully applied for a sum of £9,000 from the County Council’s Big Society Fund and plan to provide a footpath consisting of compacted road planings. They have also each committed £1,000 of Parish Council money and have formed a joint committee to progress the work, chaired by Cllr Richard Younie, the chairman of Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council. The project is currently waiting for approval from the County Council Highways department. The work will involve trimming some hedges, using a JCB digger to prepare the route, spreading the planings and then compacting them with a vibraroller machine. Cllr Younie said: “We have identified 10 volunteers already but will be looking for more. They will be raking level the filling along the path, working in shifts.

We expect to be working eight hour days for a week to complete the job and hope to start in June.” Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Thurcaston and Cropston Parish Council at tel: 0116 2367626,

Jubilee supper THE ROTHLEY and District Royal British Legion are organising a commemorative evening comprising a traditional supper followed by entertainment, to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s jubilee year. The event will take place on Tuesday, May 29 at the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley and all are invited. Doors will open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Spokesman Norman Pratt said: “Following the meal a participatory evening of songs from yesteryear will commence. Vera Lynn favourites and some Old Time Music Hall classics intermingled with humour will make the evening fit the occasion. Banned is the current pre-occupation with bad news and dismal pronunciations. The future is what we make it and we are going to make the final year of the Queen’s reign as memorable as the past. Come and join us!” To book your place, please call either John Leake on 2303858 or Norman Pratt on 2375254.

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MAY 2012

Life on the farm Living & working at Brookfield AS YOU drive down Hallfields Lane in Rothley many people hardly notice the farm gate which leads to Brookfield Farm. There has been a farm on this site for many years, long before many of the houses which now make up the village of Rothley. Today Bill and Sarah Wright live at Brookfield Farm on Hallfields Lane. In this and future issues of the Rothley Post, Sarah will be writing about life on the farm: Spring has well and truly arrived here at Brookfield Farm. The cows are calving and the arable work becomes more intensive. Crop spraying and fertilizer spreading has to be fitted in around uncertain weather conditions. The spraying has to be carried out when the weather is dry and without too much

wind, whereas the liquid fertilizer needs to be applied when the ground is damp, but not too wet. The weather forecast has to be closely monitored as rain shortly after spraying can completely destroy the application. Farming has always been weather dependent, and this has by no means altered with modern farming techniques. During the spring months the maize seed is sown under a plastic film to aid the germination process. This photo-degradable and biodegradable film raises the temperature of the ground which results in a higher yield, with a longer growing season as the maize appears above the ground more quickly. We are then able to harvest the crop earlier which brings us in line with southern European countries and enables us to re-sow the next crop of wheat earlier in the year. The maize crop is normally made into silage for feeding dairy and beef cattle. However, the remaining 1500 tons of maize from last year’s crop has just been purchased by a customer for Pic: Flint the dog climbs on some maize use in an anaerobic digester

Pic: a new born calf for the production of electricity. This is becoming far more common with the move to green energy. Many of you will have heard that the owners of Brookfield Farm have been successful in their application for planning permission for house building on the farm. We will be continuing to farm at Brookfield for approximately the next 12 months. As Bill and his family have been tenants on the farm for over 50 years there have been many amusing and significant events that have taken place. Over the next few months I would like to share some of these stories with you. We have always been aware of the difficulties of the tractors trundling through the village, but when Bill was about 16 he caused more than the usual disturbance. He was following a school bus along North Street with several teenage girls waving at him from the back seat of the bus. Bill, naturally, lost his concentration and waved back. The bus stopped suddenly, but unfortunately Bill’s mind had wandered from tractor driving and to avoid hitting the bus he swerved and braked, but drove into the front of one of the terrace houses on




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North Street, doing some considerable damage to the house and the tractor. Fortunately no-one was hurt, but Bill’s father Jack was not pleased and made Bill do the morning and evening milking for a week. This was a job that the young Bill particularly disliked. These days it is Bill who is always reminding the drivers to slow down and concentrate, particularly driving through the village.

Kids swim free FREE SWIMMING for under 16s has been re-introduced at the three swimming pools run by Charnwood. The new free sessions at Mountsorrel’s soar Valley, Loughborough and South Charnwood Leisure Centres, will be held during the general swimming times. The free swimming was continued until last summer by Charnwood Borough Council, following the withdrawal of government funding in July 2010, but the new scheme will be funded by Fusion Lifestyle, who run the centres for Charnwood. They are available for all under 16 yr olds living in the borough. Young people with a 50 per cent discount Wildcard, or Activ8 card, will be able to access free swimming at any time for general and family swimming sessions. The new timetable is available at the centres and on To apply for the free swimming sessions, under 16s just need to fill in a form available from any of the leisure centres and show proof of age and where they live and they’ll be given a Free Swim membership card, Activ8 and 50 per cent Wildcard holders can simply show their card. Daren Wlliamson, general manager at South Charnwood Leisure Centre added: “We noticed quite a drop off when the free swimming stopped so we’re really keen to welcome people back, and hope to see a growth in the number of young swimmers.”


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A THRILLER set in the Charnwood villages is the first novel by Barrow author Kay Nicholls. Kay, 69 has set the book in the locations in which she grew up including Rothley, Mountsorrel, Barrow and Quorn. ‘Ethereal Tenant’ follows the life of young Adam Rowe and is told through the voice of Jack Latimer, a semi-retired forensic psychologist. Kay said: “It’s the story of a boy who, in a dire situation, develops astral travel as a survival mechanism that although saving him, also threatens to destroy him.” Kay has been writing since she was a child and has written children’s

MAY 2012



Pic: Kay Nicholls stories, short stories and poetry. “Writing is mum’s passion” says daughter Angela, “and my sister and I have grown up with her stories. I think this is my favourite though, because it is so exciting and fast paced.” ‘Ethereal Tenant’ is available online at and can be downloaded to PC, iPad and kindle for £1.97.

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Prize winning vegetable grower THE THURCASTON and Cropston Gardening Club Annual Produce Show isn’t until September 1, many months away, but if the attendance at the March meeting is anything to go by competition will be very tough. Regular members, new members and visitors attended the meeting to hear David Thornton’s talk on growing prize winning vegetabl es. David, secretary of the National Vegetable Society, talked about the history of the local produce show a tradition across England;

Pic: David Thornton

with numbers currently on the increase. David also talked about the skills and dedication needed to win prizes at a national level. The East Midlands is a hot bed of prize vegetable growing and showing, and many of the country’s national champions live in the area, including David himself. So plenty for local gardeners to aim for! Growing vegetables to enter for any show isn’t a flash in the pan; it can be a year round occupation. David took us through the year: giving advice on getting seeds germinated, even using an electric blanket for under bench heating; feeding with nutrients to ensure healthy growth, and the use of fertilizers. He warned against pest and diseases, and their introduction into our greenhouses. Simple precautions and good hygiene (capful of bleach in two gallons of water to spring clean your greenhouse) are essential for prize winning entries. David led his captivated audience through the intricacies of growing prize

winning onions, leeks, potatoes, carrots, brassicas beetroot and tomatoes, looking at varieties, pests, cultivation, feeding and harvesting for each vegetable. Finally David pointed his audience to other sources of information, and encouraged us all to keep growing and showing. So, come and see the fruits of all our labours at the Thurcaston and Cropston Produce and Gardening Show on 1st September 2012. But before that, why not come to our next meeting: Wednesday 9th May, 7.45 pm – Pests and Diseases – Jeff Bates The membership fee is £12 for the year (pro rata) or £3.00 per meeting. Why not come along and give it a try? We meet at the Memorial Hall, Thurcaston. If you would like more information, please call Dave Haddon on (0116) 235 9758 From Thurcaston and Cropston Gardening Club




Richard Hill’s Church of England School Charity The Trustees of the Charity invite those under age 25 years who are attending or have attended the Richard Hill School to apply for a Grant to assist with educational activities (including social and physical training) not otherwise provided by the Local Authority. Applications should be made to the Clerk, Mrs. Ann Stringer, email or tel. 0116 234 0625 before the end of June for consideration during the month of July. Grants ranging from £100 to £1,000 will be awarded to applicants who meet the necessary criteria.


MAY 2012

Noticeboard all details printed free The Bark Foundation

Coffee Morning Saturday June 23, 10am to 12noon Birstall Methodist Church Centre ‘Recycled’ costume jewellery, raffle and tombola Proceeds from both events support HOTPEC Orphanage in Cameroon ••• Birstall Methodist Church

Garden Trail This year’s garden trail will be during the weekend of Saturday/Sunday June 9 & 10 from 2-5.30pm The area this year is in the Walker Road, Goscote Hall Road, Went Road and Fielding Road area Passports (£3) will be available at retail outlets in Birstall from midMay ••• Diamond Jubilee

Music in the Park Wistow Hall Saturday June 9, 5.30 for 7.30pm Bring your own picnic Music from swing band Junction 21 and the all female brass band ‘Boobs and Brass’ Finale & grand firework display at 10pm Tickets £12.50, 12-16 yr olds £5, under 12 free 0116 2318431 ••• The Annual White Horse

Duck Race Bank Holiday Monday May 7

Event starts 12noon, Duck Race at 2pm White Horse Lane riverbank and White Horse pub car park, Birstall Face painting, Peppa Pig, cake stalls, tombola, donkey derby, hook a duck, canoe experiences, bell boat races In aid of local Scouts/Guides/Boys Girls Brigade/Birstall Special Needs Playgroup Buy your duck now at Lily&Grace, Revive, or the White Horse •••

Secret Gardens of Cossington Bank Holiday Weekend Sunday and Monday, May 6 and 7 11am – 5pm each day Passport to Open Gardens Adults: 3.50 Children and car parking free Village gardens open, art exhibition in church, displays, plant and other stalls, tombola, raffle, quiz, refreshments, Pimm’s tent, hot dogs, children’s activity and much more For more info contact: 07754 892842 or All proceeds towards church repairs, extension and refurbishment •••

Coffee Shop Rothley Methodist, Howe Lane Every Tuesday morning, 10-11.30am Come rain or shine Now open : Book exchange Everyone welcome Tea, coffee, biscuits, toasted tea cake Proceeds for the Methodist Church ••• Are you employed/self employed and signed off sick? Get free, impartial, 1-2-1 support and advice on the issues preventing your return to work.

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SKYDS Syston Kids and Youth Drama Society Calling all children aged 7-12 Bored on a Friday night? Then come and join us at the Old Chapel, Church Street, 67.30pm to try your hand at some drama. It is an informal group that enjoys playing games and working on various types of performances that are then put on for the enjoyment of parents and relatives. The group allows you to build your confidence and performing skills and it’s a great way to meet new people. Come along and try us out, only costs £1 per week plus annual membership Everyone welcome For more info contact Mark Smith 07795821368 There is also a senior group for ages 12+ They are currently having fun working on an Elvis Murder Mystery. They have in the past worked on musicals, pantomimes, talent shows and short plays. All new members are welcome, come and give us a try. •••

Charity Whist Drives organised by Derek Farr will be held at the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley 7.30pm on Thursdays, May 3, June 7, July 5 Admission £2 All players welcome ••• Highcliffe Amateur Theatrical Society presents

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by Bill Cronshaw at Highcliffe School, Greengate Lane, Birstall Thurs, Fri and Sat, May 17,18,19 at 7.15pm Tickets £6 (£5) from box office tel: 0116 2671181 or on door ••• Birstall Methodist Thursday Group Coffee Morning Saturday May 26, 10am to 12noon at the Coffee Shop, Wanlip Lane In aid of Alzheimer’s Society & Renal Unit, Loughborough. All the usual stalls – home made cakes, tombola, books & puzzles etc Everyone welcome •••

Open Church For tea and cakes At St Leonard’s Church, Swithland Saturday and Sunday May 12/13 2-4.30pm Donations in aid of Church Funds •••

Charnwood Conservative Association

Spring Fair at the Rothley Centre Saturday May 12, 10am till 12noon Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP will be attending Admission 50p Raffle, tombola, books, plants, produce stalls, games, cakes & bric-abrac ••• The Parish of Birstall & Wanlip

Fifties Evening To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Saturday June 22 Birstall Village Hall at 7.30pm Music provided by the KB Band Prize for ‘Best Fifties Outfit’ Quizzes/Games/Raffle Tickets £8 inc supper (children under 10 free) Tel: 2676550 or 2677238 •••

Rothley Bowls Club Mountsorrel Lane, behind Library

Open Day Sunday May 13, 2pm Prospective new bowlers welcome All ages, membership free for 1st year Come and try bowls Please bring flat shoes Geoff Hall 2303266 •••

Farm Open Day On Monday May 7 at Pick’s Organic Farm at King Street, Hamilton Grounds, Barkby Thorpe from 10am until 4pm to help raise funds for Soar Valley Music Centre, a music charity based in Leicester Live music from students and staff of the music centre, craft stalls, cream teas, barbecue, games, a bouncy castle, animals and lots more to entertain the whole family Free entry & parking For more info on the Farm Day, tel: 0116 2693548, more info on the Music Centre tel: 0116 2664153 or see the website •••

Ladies Pamper Evening in support of LOROS Many stalls offering mini beauty treatments, beauty products, jewellery, gifts, cakes and much more Quorn Village Hall June 15, from 7-9.30pm Tickets £5 each and include a complimentary Pimms or soft drink First prize in the raffle is a Spa day at Eden Hall All enquiries for stallholders or tickets purchase at or phone Susan on 07837712001 •••


Organ Recitals Sunday May 20 At 8pm By Dr Simon Ainge Admission free Donations for the Church’s Development Fund Buffet from 7.30pm •••

Queen’s Jubilee Nostalgic Supper Tuesday May 29, 7pm Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane Supper followed by entertainment organised by Rothley & District British Legion All welcome To book call 2303858 or 2375254 •••

Rothley History Society Wednesday May 16 Mel Gould, Chairman of the Carillon Tower & War Museum talking about the ‘History of Loughborough Carillon & War Memorial’ Wednesday June 20 Bob Bracegirdle will be talking about ‘Bells & Their Music and Bellfounding at Taylors of Loughborough’ The meetings are at 7.30pm in the Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane, Rothley £3 for visitors, £2 for members All will be made welcome! •••

Wreake Valley Rotary Beer Festival Thursday May 3, 5-11pm Friday May 4, 5-11pm Saturday May 5, 12noon-11pm Sunday May 6, 12noon-3pm The new venue for this year’s event will be Syston Social Club, 36 High Street, Syston, Leic LE7 1GP •••

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Open Weekend May 19-20, 10am to 5pm A Celebration of Outdoor Adventure! at Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre, Red Hill Island, Leicester £1 entrance fee (refundable on completion of a questionnaire) FREE activities including archery, canoeing, the City Skylines Aerial Challenge, Olympic sports & much more! Competitions & Prize draws

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 •••

Guildhall Antique Fairs are proud to announce their new venue Palmer-Tomkinson Centre, Wanlip Lane, Birstall for their next Antique and Collectors Fair on Sunday July 15, from 9am to 3pm Admission £1.50 For stall bookings and enquiries please call 0116 2321966 or visit our website for details ••• The Charnwood Orchestra

Annual Summer Concert June 30, 7.45pm at St James the Greater Church, London Road, Leicester Schumann Genoveva Overture Wagner Wesendonck Lieder – soloist Marie Vassiliou Elgar Symphony no.2 Tickets £10 (£8 concessions), £3 for accompanied children under 16. Available from the Box office: 07718 153117 or email:, from members of the orchestra or on the door There will be an interval bar selling wine, Castle Rock Brewery real ale and fruit juice ••• The first ever

Saddington Open Gardens Saturday/Sunday June 23 & 24 From 11am to 5pm 15 gardens open

MAY 2012 11

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 •••

Stonehill School playing field Sunday May 6, 12.30pm Everyone is welcome for a fun day which includes two exhibition games, a BBQ, and fully licensed bar! •••

Film Presentations

Patient Information Day

From Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council ‘My Week with Marilyn’ Friday May 11 (99 mins) In 1956 Marilyn Monroe came to Pinewood Studios to make a film co-starring Lawrence Olivier and Dame Sybil Thorndyke. Although Marilyn was the greatest movie star in the world, there rose a clash of culture with Olivier’s intensity and punctuality. Played in our memorable film by Kenneth Branagh, Olivier quipped “Teaching Marilyn is like teaching Urdu to a badger!”

‘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.

‘The Artist’ Friday September 14 Thurcaston & Cropston Parish Council will be showing these films at Thur-

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caston 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. •••

Wanlip Fair Sat May 26 between 10am and 1pm at Wanlip Hall, next to Wanlip Church Proceeds towards the ongoing improvements of the hall. Adm free Stalls include plants, cakes, tombola, raffle, bric-a-brac etc Light refreshments available ••• Birstall Rugby Football Club

President’s Day

Advice and discussion on aspects of travel for the stoma patient Thursday May 31 10am to 12.30pm approx Loughborough Town Hall, Victoria Room Refreshments available Ring 0116 2585184 to book a place (need to book to attend) ••• St Petersburg Blagovest Ensemble conductor: Olga Kozlova

An Evening of Russian Choral Music Sacred and Folk At Mountsorrel Methodist Church LE12 7JB Sat May 12 at 7pm Tickets £5 obtainable from Geoff Wainwright, 0116 2376979 •••

Birstall Watermead Tennis Club Open Days to be held on Wed June 13 from 6pm Sunday June 17, 9.30am-1pm All welcome, juniors and adults, all levels of ability At the Co-op Sports & Social Club, Birstall Road ••• Rothley Parish Council

Annual Parish Meeting Friday May 11, 7.30pm Rothley Centre. All Welcome

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A workshop for mums Provided by Charnwood BRAS Information on practical issues like transporting breastmilk and on Employment Law Wednesday May 9, 10am to 12noon Mountsorrel Children’s Centre, Mountsorrel School Admission free To book call 07583 041054 •••

Food & refreshments For more information visit: 0116 2681426;; ••• Thurcaston & Cropston

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Mountsorrel Methodist Church Presents the 5th in the 11th Series of Sunday Night @ Eight


MAY 2012

George takes racing line A KART racer from Thurcaston has won a trophy at a competition in Cumbria.

WI: hedgehogs & skeletons “HELPING HEDGEHOGS” was the theme of March meeting of Rothley WI, brought to us by Colleen Powell who began taking in distressed and injured hedgehogs and then posted a plea for help in the local press which brought her a wave of poorly, prickly little creatures, many of them orphaned to be cared for in Colleens home. Nursed back to health the hedgehogs would be released back into their habitat and with help from numerous sources and much fund raising this very worthwhile group of willing volunteers soon helped launch The Leicester Hedgehog Rescue some twelve years ago. Colleen proceeded to explain to members about the development of Leicester Hedgehog Rescue and how the work of her dedicated team of helpers has grown along with the numbers of

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these small creatures now being cared for. The history, lifestyle and habitat of hedgehogs was enthusiastically related to us along with a photographic display and a personal introduction to one of Colleens residents, an adult female hedgehog who had required major surgery resulting in amputation of her left back leg and who has been lovingly rehabilitated. In order to understand the lifestyle and the fascinating history of hedgehogs, for they go back millions of years even known to be older than sabre toothed tigers, Colleen’s presentation showed us how they survive for a good number of years. We heard about the risks of damage and disease to them in their habitat and how we all can help to protect them. The members of Rothley WI would certainly recommend to you, a visit by Colleen Powell and her professional, educational and highly absorbing presentation. Leicester Hedgehog Rescue can be contacted .uk Wednesday April 4 this year began with a sudden and exceptional downturn in our weather of almost 20° C with gale force winds, torrential rain and in some parts very heavy snow, so it was a pleasant relief for the members of Rothley WI to welcome guest speaker Steve Brooks of Glenfield Travel, who very soon turned the meeting to have the members warming up to Steve’s entertaining presentation on the ‘The Funny side of Travel ’. It was not long before there were chuckles all round as he proceeded to explain about his school days accompanied by a sense of humour, a memory for jokes and long humorous stories’ relating to a fairly wide variety of holiday destinations, organised by his own travel company based in Station Road, Glenfield. Having been educated in local schools he began his working life at Leicester Post Office progressing in 1981 to Proprietor of Glenfield Travel. He has thoroughly enjoyed his 31years of helping organise many holidays for happy and appreciative clients. Steve’s agreeable presentation was certainly enjoyed by our members at that cold afternoon

George Line (16), a pupil at Longslade College, won the prestigious Northern Easter Racing Festival, winning five of the six heats and both finals in this two day event. George said: “Leading in both finals was difficult as this technical circuit demands commitment to the racing line to ensure fast laps, but this can leave the leader open to challenge.” George, driving in the Junior Rotax Class, received a crystal trophy with an internal engraving of a race helmet. meeting and would be recommended to This year he is competing as a seedany community group meeting. ed driver in the national British Super Rothley WI meeting for May is ResoOne Series, the premier kart racing lutions, the June meeting brings the championship. He also hopes to race on RSPB’s, ‘Birds in your Garden’ by Chris the continent this summer. George is Andrews. Anyone interested and would with Langford-Line Motorsport and is the like hear this talk, please pop into Roth- Intrepid UK Kart Team Works Driver ley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane Rothley, developing the new Italian chassis and LE7 7PR , you can be sure of a warm telemetry systems. welcome and cup of tea/coffee. 1.45pm. Anyone interested in sponsoring Wednesday June 6, 2012. See you there. George can contact him at Rothley WI meets the first Wednesday in the month, 1.45pm. Rothley Centre, Mountsorrel Lane Rothley, LE7 7PR From Maureen Bulmer, Rothley WI

AT OUR March meeting Penny Hodgeson gave an excellent talk entitled “A Skeleton in the Cupboard”. She told us about the experiences she encountered in tracing her family history. She also warned us that we may find some unexpected surprises about our ancestors, which may not always be to our liking! Refreshments were then served; members had provided a delicious array of cakes and savouries for the event. Finally, a competition was held for members to make a hat out of newspaper. This resulted in an amazing array of stylish hats. The winner of the competition was Mrs Anne Allison. At our April meeting Mrs Jenny Asher gave a talk on ‘The Benefits of Aloe Vera’. We were told that this plant, which can be easily grown on a window ledge, has many important healing properties. The benefits of its use can be found in shampoos, creams and even toothpaste. Different samples were passed around the room for the members to try. Most surprising of all, was the Aloe Vera drink, which can help with a variety of internal problems. A very interesting and enjoyable evening. Our next meeting will take place on Thursday May 3 at the Memorial Hall, Anstey, Thurcaston when the members will discuss Resolutions Anyone interested in finding out more about the Women's Institute are warmly invited to attend. From Thurcaston & Cropston WI

Russian concert

RUSSIAN MUSIC is coming to Mountsorrel The St Petersburg Blagovest Ensemble is bringing part of a rich Russian musical tradition to the area this May, with a concert to be held at Mountsorrel Methodist Church, LE12 7JB, at 7pm on Saturday May 12. Local organiser, Geoff Wainwright, said: “The programme contrasts sublime, intensely spiritual Russian Orthodox church music with the zest for life and humour of Russian folk songs. “The Ensemble contributes to a renewal of a tradition of Russian unaccompanied singing going back a thousand years, which with its distinctive melodic patterns holds a unique place in the musical culture of the world. The singers are St Petersburg conservatoire trained and their five voices fill an auditorium. On previous UK tours they have enchanted audiences with echoing harmonies that appealed to a range of ages and musical tastes. This year they are bringing their music to many places that have not experienced it before. “We are really looking forward to hearing them. It is a talented group who sing wonderful music to a professional standard and are sure to give us an evening to remember.” Tickets, £5 each, are now obtainable from Geoff. For further information he can be contacted by telephone – 0116 237 6979 or by e.mail:


MAY 2012 13

Torch relay helpers DO YOU want to play a part in the greatest show on earth?

Brenda Hewett remembered NHW news & crime report Crime Update I’ve received a number of reports of children playing in and around roads which is obviously dangerous so please be aware of what your children are up to. We have also had a number of reports of youths causing damage, particularly on the park so please report anything seen. Good News In March there were NO reports of house burglaries which is excellent news. People still need to stay aware and make sure windows etc are locked – particularly if we get any warm weather over the summer months. How to contact us You can contact your local neighbourhood policing team – PC 2029 Ed Stephenson – by telephoning 101, selecting option 2 and when prompted, tap in identification number 2029, to leave me a message. I will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also send me an email by logging onto the website at and clicking on the ‘Neighbourhood Policing’ icon. I am also on Twitter so please follow me for up to date info – Charnwoodwest From PC Ed Stephenson Crime Report: Rothley, Feb 1-Mar 31 Burglary dwelling 2 (Garland, Hallfields Lane), burglary non-dwelling 2, theft 3, damage 6, theft from motor vehicle 2, fraud 2, assault 1

A FORMER Deputy Head of Rothley Primary school has died. Mrs Brenda Mary Hewett passed away after a long illness on February 23, 2012 aged 79 years. Her headteacher Miss Pamela Britt said of Brenda: “We will all have many happy memories of such a very kind lady and a wonderful friend. She was an excellent teacher and Deputy Head, so loyal and supportive at all times. Children, staff and parents all thought so highly of her and she made such a valuable contribution to Rothley School life. Children were given a very sound education as well as some fine experiences in art and nature study. Her Christmas plays were very wonderful.” As a gift to the school on her retirement in December 1990 after teaching at the school for 11 years, Mrs Hewett commissioned a weather vane for children to learn about the four points of the compass and wind direction. It remains a feature of the school building

and is situated on the older part of the roof. Her daughter, Mrs Sue Tranter, who currently teaches at Rothley C of E Primary School said of her mother: “She was a dedicated teacher who was always at her happiest when working with young children and was able to bring out the best in them. She is particularly remembered by her colleagues for her wonderful Christmas plays which were written and directed by herself, the fantastic artwork she enabled children to create, and her love of nature which was always evident and on display in her classroom.” Mrs Hewett leaves her husband, three children, seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Pic: Brenda Hewett, centre, with some of her colleagues and her two daughters on the day of her retirement in 1990.

Middle East talk ‘KNOW THE Past to Understand the Future’ was the intriguing banner headline that was sent out to attract a local audience to a second talk given by Dr Michael Lynch, a retired Modern History Lecturer from the University of Leicester at the Rothley Centre, in Rothley. The first talk given in January was on ‘Modern China’ and the second was on the ‘Middle East’, an area of the world described by Norman Pratt, the organiser, as a complex melange of states, religions, cultures and languages. Norman said: “The talk, which lasted just over an hour, attracted a mixed audience of all ages with some coming from as far away as Boston in Lincolnshire, and a great deal of praise was forthcoming for both the content and the

presentation by Dr Lynch. The audience were left with a better understanding of the background to attitudes which prevail in the region and were better placed to comprehend any future activities which might result, especially in terms of Western intervention. The questions asked at the end of the session were penetrating and well directed. The evening was a great success and future talks in the same format will be announced shortly.”

Charnwood Borough Council is offering the chance of a lifetime to residents to join its pool of volunteers and help out during the Olympic Torch Relay. The council is playing a pivotal role in organising and providing stewards for the torch relay which will snake through Quorn, Loughborough, Hoton and Wymeswold on Tuesday July 3, 2012. Cllr Paul Harley, Charnwood Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture, said: “This is an exciting year for Charnwood and let’s face it, it doesn’t get any bigger than playing a part in the Olympics. “We’re delighted to be able to offer this exceptional opportunity to residents to join our volunteer pool which will help us manage crowds who we expect will line the relay route on July 3. “Full training and briefings will be given by our expert staff so there is no need to worry about lack of experience. If you’re over 18 and would like to add the Olympic Games to your CV, please get in touch!” Volunteers would be required between 7am and 12noon for the big day. If you are interested in taking part in this event and are 18 years or above please contact Penny Hopkins on 01509 634673 or email: before June 15.

Home Carers Required

Are you a caring person? Like varied work & job satisfaction? Join our team of carers in the Mountsorrel, Cropston, Quorn, Sileby, Syston, Birstall & Wymeswold areas. Flexible shifts, 10-40 hrs per week, & mornings, evenings and weekends available. No experience required as all training will be provided. Up to £7.25hr, plus travel expenses. Telephone essential. Ring Debbie between 8.30am & 4.30pm for more information on

0116 2696247 (quoting reference BP) Help At Home (Egerton Lodge) Ltd

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


MAY 2012

History society news

Local Lions share cash at annual dinner dance ROTHLEY & SOAR Valley Lions Club marked their 35th anniversary by distributing gifts of cash to local charities. At the annual Charter Dinner Dance, held at Birstall Golf Club in March, Lion President Ruth Johnson presented cheques for £2500 to David Lindley of LOROS, and Sophie Stevens from the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance Service, £3000 to Jenny Pearce from Vista and Rainbows’ representative Jennifer Leach received a cheque for £4250. The funds were raised by the Club from a range of activities throughout the year, including a 10K Road Race around Rothley village and a golf tournament organised jointly with Leicester Charnwood and Thurnby Lions. Guest of Honour at the event was Lion District Governor Robin Dukes, accompanied by his wife Rosemary, who congratulated the Club on their success and generosity, not only to those local good causes in attendance, but also to

several international campaigns organised by Lions Clubs International, such as Sight Savers and Water Aid. He was impressed by the range of other beneficiaries which had received support during the year, including Children with Cancer, Diabetes UK, English Federation of Disability Sport, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Wishes4kids. Lion President Ruth then presented Rosemary with a cheque for £500 for the district Governor’s wife’s chosen charity, the National Autistic Society. Following the presentation, Lions and guests danced to the music and beautiful singing voice of entertainer Jackie Lee, who had insisted that her fee should be included in the cheque given to Rainbows, her favourite children’s charity. Pic: David Lindley, LOROS, Jenny Pearce, Vista, Jennifer Leach, Rainbows, Lion President Ruth Johnson, Sophie Stevens, DLR Air Ambulance Service.

ON THE evening of March 20, we were thoroughly entertained by the excellent presentation given by Peter Cousins, who was clearly greatly inspired by the subject of his talk – “The Life and Times of Orson Wright 1853 – 1913”. Orson Wright, who came to be known as the “Champion of the People” thanks to his numerous entrepreneurial ventures, was born in the village of Dunton Bassett on 23rd July 1853. Orson left school in 1861 at the age of eight years and initially had a variety of jobs, including working as a farmhand. In 1871, he was working as a carpenter and joiner, having undertaken the relevant apprenticeship – these were the skills which later enabled him to pursue a career in building. At this time, he was living in lodgings in Birstall Street, Leicester, and was married to Ada Harris. By 1875, he was in business partnership with his brothers, but unfortunately, the business failed and they were declared bankrupt in 1878. Despite this setback, he was not deterred and, only three years later, with the purchase of land in Wigston, he was able to establish his own building business, known as “Perseverance Works”. The phrase “the sky’s the limit” comes to mind when considering the phenomenal growth of Orson Wright’s business from 1881 onwards! He became a prolific builder and, as demand for houses grew, he established his own brickworks to ensure a regular supply of his company’s trademark red bricks. He built rows of terraced properties, with shops at each street corner to supply necessities for the local residents. Streets were often named after his own family members, of which there were many, including his own children (he and his wife had a total of ten children, four of whom sadly did not survive to adult life). His own magnificent and stylish home, called Ashbourne House, was purpose-built to accommodate his large family – after his death, this property was demolished to make way for a 20th century, less architecturally-pleasing row of shops! Orson went on to build hotels, including the Grand Hotel on Canal Street, Wigston, and the former Grand Hotel on Granby Street, Leicester, as well as factories and warehouses to cater for burgeoning local industries. His business acumen knew no bounds and in 1887 he bought the whole parish of Newfoundpool - at the time of this purchase there were only seven houses in the parish, but in the next eight years he built homes to house over four thousand people! In 1890 he bought the Knighton Fields Estate for more building projects. He diversified into other enterprises, such as boot and shoe manufacture, a hat and cap company and by 1907, at the age of fifty three years, he became involved in the construction of the twenty eight miles long Derwent Valley Aqueduct. Apart from all these activities he also held a variety of public offices. For a man who came from truly

humble beginnings, his ambition and achievements to improve the lot of the people of Leicester were incredible. At the time of his death, aged fifty nine years, on the 10th April 1913, he was held in such high regard, that when his funeral took place on 14th April, fifteen horse-drawn carriages carrying family and local dignitaries followed his hearse, plus around two hundred people joined the procession on foot. Both he and his wife Ada, who had predeceased him, share the same grave in Wigston cemetery. His will was ten pages long and he left a legacy to the value of almost £8million in today’s money. In 1927,

Orson’s and Ada’s children paid for commemorative stained glass windows to be erected in St. Thomas’s Church, Wigston, in honour of their parents. The next time you are shopping in Leicester, do take the time to look upwards to see some of the legacy of Victorian architecture still in evidence above the shops. An example of Orson Wright’s work is to be found at the corner of Market Street, opposite to Fenwick’s, and another in the form of a magnificent crest atop the former Grand Hotel. Our next meeting will be in All Saints’ Church on Tuesday May 15, at 7.30pm when there will be a presentation on church organs and an organ recital given by David Gabe. All welcome. From Jennifer Kennington, Thurcaston and Cropston Local History Society

Strong man ROTHLEY’S VIC Parker came eighth in a competition to find Charnwood’s strongest man. Vic (71) of Templar Way, said: “I did all right. I lifted 190kg in the deadlift but the bench press let me down as my shoulder’s not so good.” The event took place at Loughborough Leisure Centre. The overall winner was Jeremy Lewis who lifted 230kg in the deadlift, 152.5kg in the bench press and 210kg in the squat.


Falling crime figures LEICESTERSHIRE POLICE has achieved a 4.3% reduction in crime for the year 2011/12 compared to the previous year. The figure has been achieved despite a £34.5million reduction in the Force’s budget following the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR). A total of 68,151 crimes occurred in 2011/12, 3,083 fewer than last year. The Force reduced total crime by 4.3%, narrowly missing the 5% reduction target set by the Leicestershire Police Authority last year. In 2011/12 all user satisfaction rates stayed above 86%, with the rates for burglary victims above 91%. The Policing Plan, released on March 30, 2012, laid out plans to achieve 88% satisfaction for all users in 2012/2013. Chief Constable Simon Cole of Leicestershire Police said: “Protecting our communities is our core aim. The 4.3% reduction in crime has been achieved by working in partnership with local people, responding to what they tell us about criminality and incidents of antisocial behaviour in their neighbourhoods.” The latest 4.3% reduction in crime continues a five year series of year-on-year crime reductions for Leicestershire Police. The 2011/12 results include: • all crime reduced by 4.3%, or 3,083 fewer offences • assault with less serious injury reduced by 9.7% or 522 fewer offences • criminal damage reduced by 8.0% or 1,027 fewer offences • domestic burglary reduced by or 3.7% or 162 fewer offences • robbery increased by 19.1% or 150 more offences • serious sexual offences reduced by 10.4% or 77 fewer offences • serious violent offences reduced by 2.5% or 8 fewer offences • theft from a vehicle increased by 2.8% or 140 more offences • theft or unauthorised taking of a vehicle reduced by 18.9% or 288 fewer offences

Compared to five years ago, all crime has reduced by 22.7% with domestic burglary down 17.7%

New PCSO ROTHLEY HAS a new Police Community Support Officer. PCSO 6595 Alex Bierne has joined PC 2029 Ed Stephenson on the Rothley beat.

MAY 2012 15

Jabberjacks website praised

A MUM from Rothley was shortlisted for an award for the franchise she helps to run. Verity Graham and Jackie Johnstone of Quorn, run Jabberjacks, a children’s party franchise. Their website was shortlisted at the national Franchise Marketing Awards and was up against major brands such as McDonalds and Molly Maid.

Jabberjacks now has nine franchises throughout the country, which deliver children’s parties and pre-school classes using a unique blend of music, actions, dance

HAT’s spring play HATS SPRING production is a comedy with music called ‘Free and Easy’ written by Bill Cronshaw. Do you remember the sounds of the 60s – ‘These Boots Were Made For Walking’, ‘Downtown’ and many more? If so, come and re-live these sounds and follow the possible demise of the ‘Last Drop’ public house, famous for its Free & Easy nights, now subject to the devious plans of Dodgy Ron. Will they survive to entertain their regulars again or fall prey to his evil

plans to close the pub and turn it into an entertainment centre? Full of fabulous 60s songs and not forgetting those famous miniskirts! Come and re-live your youth or find out what it was like in Mum and Dad’s youth! Performances are at Highcliffe School, Greengate Lane, Birstall on Thursday 17, Friday 18 and Saturday 19 May at 7.15pm. Please note that there is some adult humour in this production. Tickets are £6 (£5 concessions) and can be obtained in advance by phoning the box office on 0116 2671181 or writing to 14 Fielding Road, Birstall, Leicester LE4 3AJ or email: From Highcliffe Amateur Theatrical Society Pic: some of the cast rehearsing a scene

and a cast of colourful characters to captivate young imaginations. Verity and Jackie started their Jabberjacks journey by running their own children’s party and pre-school class franchise before taking on the entire company in 2010. For more information about Jabberjacks, please visit, call 01509 413873 or email You can also follow Jabberjacks on Twitter @Jabberjacks. Pics: (top) fun and games at a Jabberjacks party and (inset) Verity Graham (left) and Jackie Johnstone

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MAY 2012

New captains looking forward THE NEW Captains at Rothley Park are looking forward to the golfing season. The new Men’s Captain is Robin Laurie who lives in Rothley. Robin moved to Leicester from Glasgow in 1971 and played County golf during the 1970s. He joined Rothley Park in 1996 and since 2006 has played for the County senior golf team. He has a daughter and three sons who played junior golf at Rothley Park. “I have been playing golf for over 50 years, as a single figure handicap golfer for 47 of those, but believe me I am still able to make silly mistakes along with the best! I am delighted to be appointed Men’s Captain and I am looking forward to an enjoyable and successful year.” Ladies Captain this year is Alison Marsh, who also lives in Rothley. She joined Rothley Park as a junior member 38 years ago and has been a key single figure handicap player for the ladies division over the years. The club is very proud that Alison has also been appointed the 2012/2013 Leicestershire County First Team Captain. She said: “As Rothley Park Ladies Captain for 2012 I am currently really enjoying the off-season 9-hole fun competitions. Once the season begins in April we start to play our club competitions and matches against other clubs throughout the County. I am looking forward to a busy golfing year and raising money for our chosen charity for

The next issue of

THE ROTHLEY POST will be published on July 7. The copy deadline is June 22.

Pic: (l-r) Robin Laurie, Steve Shellard and Alison Marsh

2012, Multiple Sclerosis. “We are always delighted to welcome new lady members to Rothley Park and will be organising events during the year for ladies and junior girls to come and see what a great ladies section we have. There are now opportunities for working ladies to enjoy evening and weekend golf as well as our regular Tuesday ladies day. If you’re interested in taking up golf or are a golfer who has moved to the area, we’d love to hear from you. Just ring the club and they will forward you on to me.” Junior Captain, Steve Shellard, is another Rothley resident and is a student studying a Sports Diploma at Loughborough College. Steve has been playing golf since he was 12. “Golf is becoming a very popular sport with kids and teenagers because they are now identifying with the young tour professionals who have a strong image. It’s a great sport and requires a high level of skill to play

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at the top level” he said. If you would like information about joining Rothley Park Golf Club please phone 0116 230 2809 and ask for Club Manager, Danny Spillane.

Village history LEICESTERSHIRE based building materials firm, Lafarge, is backing a major new project to unearth the county’s history. Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK, which has its headquarters in Syston and operates a flagship granite quarry at Mountsorrel, has donated £500 to the Charnwood Roots Project. The initiative, run by the Leicestershire Victoria County Trust, aims to research the history of 27 towns and villages in and around the Charnwood Forest area of Leicestershire – Mountsorrel, Syston, Rothley and Quorn among them. Local people will be invited to get involved and help with archaeological digs, document research, building and landscape surveys and oral history gathering. A major development grant of £19,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) enabled the venture to get off the ground while other donations, including the money from Lafarge, has demonstrated local support. A condition of gaining the lottery grant, the local fundraising means the Trust can apply for further HLF backing to support what organisers hope will be a four-year project involving hundreds of Charnwood residents. Angus Shedden, site manager at Mountsorrel Quarry, said: “Leicestershire contains important sources of igneous rock which have been quarried since Roman times so quarrying is a major element in the history of both the county and of Charnwood Forest. “Lafarge is proud to be part of this heritage and proud to be able to support such a pioneering project which will really bring the community together to delve into the past and ensure it is recorded for future

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 Rothley library or Rothley Post Office on Woodgate. 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. AMLI DESIGN Architectural Consultancy. Plans drawn and submitted. Extensions, conversions, new build. David Ives B.Sc.(Hons) FBEng MCIOB 0116 2674395 / 07974807111 REIKI TREATMENTS at Blue Moon. First visit half price. Vouchers available. Visit for details

Contact us THE ROTHLEY Post is delighted to receive contributions from residents. You can send us: Details of a community event such as a rummage sale, fete or coffee morning for free publication on our ‘Noticeboard’ page. Items of news - we’re interested in everything: club and society news, prizewinners, charity events, church news, complaints, praise, new projects, new facilities, trips, sport, crime, anything that concerns or interests you. A letter for our letters page - we welcome letters on any issue, local or national. All letters must include the sender’s name and address (though not necessarily for publication). Photos - we particularly welcome old photographs giving an insight into local history. Small ads - you can sell items with a classified ad for only 25p! How you can contact us: Email: Phone or Fax (0116) 267 4213 Hand in your items at Rothley Library, Birstall Library or Rothley Post Office on Woodgate. Write to us at The Rothley Post, Longslade College, Wanlip Lane, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4GH The Rothley Post is an independent newspaper


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: Rothley Library, Rothley Post Office or to our office in the Youth Centre, Longslade College, Birstall

Rothley Post (94) May 2012  

Rothley Post May 2012

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