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The News & Information Magazine for Groby, Field Head & The Brantings

Charnwood 2011 - the 5th International Scouts & Guides Jamboree

Do you remember that wonderful Summer we had with that very hot week at the start of August?

We do, as Groby Scout Troop and Explorer Scout Unit joined with the 1st Groby Guides, to attend Charnwood 2011. Charnwood 2011 was the Leicestershire Scouts and Guides 5th International Jamboree held in the grounds of Whatton House near Kegworth, at the invitation of Lord Crawshaw, who could be seen touring the site daily. The camp started on Saturday 30th July. The Scouts and Guides arrived onsite and were directed to one of six subcamps, which were going to be their home for the week. The Scout Troop and Guide Unit were camping together on Desert Subcamp (Patagonia Desert) whilst the Explorer Scouts were on the 1418 age range subcamp, Jungle. In the evening was the opening ceremony for the 3,000 participants

Art Exhibition and Sale at Groby Village Hall A large collection of work by local artist Mark Wilde will be on show at his new exhibition in November. Christmas Exhibition 2011 will be held at Groby Village Hall on Saturday 26 November from 10am to 5pm. On display will be watercolours, acrylics, pen and wash, and pastels by one of the area’s most prolific artists. Both framed and unframed pictures will be on offer, with framing available. For more information, ring Mark on 01509 673064.

Your chance to meet council leaders

PEOPLE in Hinckley & Bosworth who have any concerns, comments or suggestions about the Borough Council’s services will get an opportunity to take their queries to the very top this month.

and volunteer staff members attending the camp. Most of the participants were from Leicestershire, but there were international groups including those from across Europe, Kenya, Ghana, Canada, Australia and New

Zealand. The UK groups included Scouts and Guides from as far away as Aberdeen and Cornwall. Sunday was Charnwood Challenge day. The groups spent the day TURN TO PAGE 16

Meeting Bella Swan at Black Park! In October I went down to the South of England with my Dad. I usually visit Black park, which is next to Pinewood Studios. As we were walking through the park we spotted a film crew. It turned out that Kristen Stewart, a main role actress in the Twilight movies, was filming her new movie “Snow White and the Huntsman”. After she had finished she went to her dressing room. We waited outside and she came out. She walked over to us and I asked Kristen for an autograph and photo. I talked to her for a while and then she had to go. I was excited to meet her. Kristen was good company and fun to be around.

Isabella Eagle

They will be able to talk directly to Council Leader Stuart Bray and Chief Executive Steve Atkinson at a drop-in session being held on Monday 14 November from 4.30pm to 6pm. Everyone who wishes will be given a 10 minute slot with the two people who lead the Council from a political and operational perspective. Slots will be allocated on a first come – first served basis. This initial session has been arranged to gauge whether the format is a success or not and whether it is worth continuing in the future. Councillor Bray said: “The Administration have always said we want to listen to what people have to say and this drop-in session is just one of the ways in which we are trying to achieve this.” Anyone wishing to take part should contact Jane Stew on jane.stew@hinckley-bosworth. or 01455 255606.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE • Norman’s Jottings: 12 & 24 • Voucher Scheme Launched: 14 • Allotments News: 15 • When is a Plan not a Plan? 18 • Elizabeth Woodville: 20 • Latest news from Groby WI: 21 • Groby in Bloom Disbanded: 22 • Live & Local: 28

Next issue out on 10th December • Article/Advert Deadline: 26th November

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069


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The day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life.

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069


Groby & Field Head Spotlight

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PO Box 8, Markfield, Leics. LE67 9ZT


01530-244069 Email us at: Visit the website at 3,500 copies distributed 11 times a year (no issue in July) to homes and businesses in Groby, Field Head and The Brantings. Compiled and published in the Parish of Groby & Field Head. Printed in Ellistown by Norwood Press. The Spotlight is a monthly compilation of articles, press releases, events, general items of interest and news items submitted to us by local residents, groups, associations, sports clubs and local authorities. The opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the Spotlight Production Team. The inclusion of any group or organisation in this publication does not necessarily imply a recommendation of its aims, methods or policies. Groby & Field Head Spotlight cannot be held responsible for the information disclosed by advertisements, all of which are accepted in good faith. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information in this magazine, but no liability can be accepted for loss or inconvenience caused as a result of error or omission. Groby & Field Head Spotlight reserves the right to amend, shorten or refuse to publish articles and/or advertisements submitted for publication. All contents © Groby & Field Head Spotlight. None of the articles contained in this magazine are to be reproduced in any way without first obtaining written consent from Groby & Field Head Spotlight.

NEXT ISSUE OUT Saturday 10th December

Advert Deadline:

Saturday 26th November

TO ADVERTISE: Call 01530 244069


LJG’s Art Attack The children of Lady Jane Grey Primary have all week been polishing their paint brushes and sharpening their pastels. As they have been enjoying a week full of artist activities designed to engage them in exploring the different media’s of art as well as to further ignite their enthusiasm for the subject. As the week coincided with Diwali the art activities took on a Diwali theme. With the children producing intricate Rangoli patterns, fabulous diva lamps, colourful firework displays, beautifully decorated Diwali masks, striking flame paintings and more. Throughout the week the children thoroughly enjoyed working in cross aged groups saying it was great to work with children from other classes. Staff were also delighted with the success of the week stating: “it’s been fantastic watching the children so engaged and creating such beautiful art work.” Parents and carers were also invited to the view the art work created at an open viewing. They too were amazed at the quality of the work created by the whole cross range of children. A fantastic art week for LJG!

I have just read the Groby Spotlight magazine and wondered if you would be interested in including some information about the U3A (University of the Third Age). The Glenfield U3A started in Nov 2010 and now has 130 members. Many of our members are from Groby, Markfield, Ratby and beyond. The Glenfield group holds monthly meetings at 2pm St Peters Church Centre, Glenfield, LE3 8DP, on the 4th Thursday of the month. U3A’s are self-help, self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for the over 50’s no longer in full time work, providing opportunities for their members to share learning experiences in a wide range of interest groups and to pursue learning not for qualifications, but for fun. Details of the U3A can be found on Our own details are on www.

Carol Knill 0116 291 9464

Ten Pin Bowling fundraiser for Rainbows Local man, and keen ten-pin bowler, Paul ‘Pip’ Walker has entered the prestigious English Open Ten Pin Bowling competition which commences on the 16th November 2011 at the Lakeside Bowl in Nuneaton.

In addition to having fun, Paul is using the event to raise funds for the Rainbows Children’s Hospice which provides such critical support to children with life limiting conditions. The English Open competition attracts some of the best bowlers from across Europe and beyond, competitors from Russia and the USA are not unknown! The competition is based on a ‘cut’ of the top scoring bowlers over a 6 game block after 4 days of qualification. The standard is very high and cut is likely to be around 220 average per game – but it could be higher! A high standard to achieve! All costs for the competition entry are borne by Paul, who asks you to support him in his fund-raising efforts for Rainbows by donating on-line at his ‘justgiving’ web page which is: When asked if he could win the competition outright Paul commented ‘If I could make the cut for the Sunday final day of competition I would be ecstatic. Winning? Everything is possible – but quite a few of these guys are semi-pro world class bowlers and beating them will be a challenge!’ Paul has promised to let us know ‘warts and all’ how he gets on, but as he has made quite clear, winning the support of local people through their sponsorship of him for this fund-raising is the important part of this exercise for him. Paul has secured pound-for-pound matched funding from his old employers up to a maximum of £750, so every £1 sponsorship could be worth £2 to Rainbows!

If we aren’t supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

Glenfield Millennium Green News The last gardening session took place on the Green at the beginning of October, the leaves are falling off the trees and we have had the first frosts. Time to hibernate? Not if you are a supporter of Glenfield Millennium Green. We are looking for ways to celebrate our first ten years. On April 13th 2002 the Green was officially opened although work had begun much earlier than this. We are planning to celebrate the first ten years at Easter next year, probably combining it with the annual Easter Egg Hunt. We would welcome your ideas or offers of help to mark the occasion, either for ‘fun’activities or money raising schemes. During the ten years we have had support from many organisations and individuals who we need to acknowledge. If you find it difficult to remember the area before the Green we shall have a display of photos etc to remind you. As part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations we are also applying to become a Queen Elizabeth 2nd Field. This will safeguard the Green for ever. We have registered as a site for a Jubilee Beacon and are planning activities during the day leading up to this. In the past we have had to cancel events if the weather was too wet. We must make sure that both the Birthday Celebrations and events to mark the Jubilee go ahead and offers of Gazebos will be asked for nearer the time. We will keep you informed. Have you taken any photographs of the Millennium Green? We would like to produce a calendar for sale at the end of our 10th year with a seasonal photograph for each month. Send your favourites to 2 Glen Park Avenue, Glenfield, Leics. LE3 8GG or e-mail them to Remember to add your name and contact details. Please note we cannot return photographs and if you have included people, they must have given you permission to use their image. You can phone 0116 2991868 for more information. Back to this winter and our final event of the year ‘Carols on the Green’ will take place on Saturday December 17th beginning at 6.45pm. Wrap up warm, sing some carols, wish your friends ‘Happy Christmas’ and be rewarded with a warm drink, mince pies and other seasonal treats. We look forward to seeing you there.

Christine Tordoff

FREE book full of advice for over-65s Independent Age, the charity which supports thousands of older people across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, offering information, advice and friendship, brings you Wise Guide: Life-improving advice for the over-65s.

This is a new, free, resource for older people; whether you are retired yourself, are keeping an eye out for your older relatives, friends or neighbours, or whether you volunteer or work professionally with older people. Pick up your free copy today! To order your free copy of Wise Guide: Life-improving advice for the over-65s, call 020 7605 4255 or visit the website: Wise Guide is also available to download from the website.

I accidentally left my electric toothbrush on all night. I’ve never seen the bathroom look so clean.

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

Don’t miss the Vista Christmas Carol Concert Get Christmas started with a glorious evening of carols at Leicester Cathedral on Saturday 3rd December.

Featuring the critically acclaimed Leicester Philharmonic Choir and the Kaine Gospel Choir, the service will no doubt get you in the Christmas spirit. The service is being held as part of festive celebrations by local sight loss charity, Vista. Well known carols will be sung including Once in Royal David’s City, O Little Town of Bethlehem, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear and, of course, Silent Night, to enable those with a visual impairment to sing along. The intimate, candlelit atmosphere offered by Leicester Cathedral is quite magical – a great way to start the Christmas season whilst raising money for a good cause at the same time! We hope you will join us for what promises to be a wonderful evening of entertainment. Tickets are just £12 (£8 for concessions, family tickets available) to attend this breathtaking arrangement of music and voices. Tickets can be ordered in advance and will also be available on the door. Refreshments will be provided including the obligatory mince pie! Doors open at 7pm with the service commencing at 7.30pm. Conductor – Richard Dacey • Solos by Treble William Fowler Organist – Mark Prescott To find out more about this event or to book tickets please contact Anand Bhatt on 0116 249 8807 or e-mail

I held a Festival of Peace and Meditation, but my neighbours complained about the quiet.

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

One Direction Visits Rainbows! The UK’s hottest new boy band, One Direction, took time out of their busy schedule to visit Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People on Friday 28th November as part of the BBC’s One Show Children in Need programming.

~ Preservation ~ ~ Conservation ~ ~ Communal Interests ~

The band turned up at Rainbows to meet the children, young people and their families and treated them to an acappella rendition of their number one hit ‘That’s What Makes You Beautiful’. They then spent time meeting everyone who had turned up for this special surprise visit. One Direction’s visit to the local children’s hospice who are supported by BBC Children in Need was filmed as part of the charity’s appearance on BBC1’s The One Show aired on the 3rd November. Presenter Carrie Grant held interviews at Rainbows before the big surprise. These interviews help to explain the desperate need for a charity like Rainbows and give some insight into support BBC Children in Need gives the Hospice.. One Direction said: “The work Children in Need do with projects like Rainbows Hospice is so important to these children and their families. We have grown up with Children in Need and this was the perfect chance for us to show our support. With two weeks to go we hope the public will dig deep and give generously” Spokesman for Rainbows, Scott Lea said: “Having a visit from such a famous band was absolutely fantastic. And keeping it a secret was probably the hardest thing we’ve done in a long time! All the boys were brilliant, they really got stuck in with meeting everyone, having their photos taken and signing autographs. Everyone who came to see them had a huge smile and took away a lasting and happy memory. It really did mean the world to us.” Photos of the event can be seen on the Rainbows Flickr page available through their website

Presents most wanted by children this Christmas! From the sublime to the ridiculous..... this year coveted children’s presents certainly cover everything. Leading the market are two competing ‘children’s iPads’, the LeapPad and the Inno-Tab. Each tablet style computer comes with touchscreens and ‘apps’ such as games, ebook readers, video players and MP3 players. The price of £79.99 for either ‘iPad’ does not appear to be frightening off the parents, and toy shops across the country have been struggling to secure enough stock. At the other end (the back end?) of the market there is the ‘Doggie Doo’, a toy dog that has an unusual ‘doggie poop’ feature when it is taken for a walk. Apparently the aim is to teach children how to use ‘pooper scoopers’, which are included. Doggie Doo is also expected to be a runaway success...!

Groby Village Society

Thursday November 24 Island Life - Teaching on a South Pacific Island Mrs. Sophie Hadfield-Hill Thursday December 22 A Tudor Christmas Mrs. Alison Coates Meetings are held at Groby Village Hall Starting at 7.30pm. For Further Details Contact Hon. Secretary Mr. P. Castell Tel. 0116 287 9842 e-mail:- groby.villagesociety@ Non Members are Welcome

Don’t forget to send us your news! Email details to: and we’ll do our best to give you a mention. Tremendous!

What does it take to be happy with your spouse this Christmas? Not a lot of cash, apparently. In fact, materialistic couples are often the most unhappy, according to recent research. It seems that having money can lead to more bickering. The happiest couples are those who do not care about materialistic things. In the study, these couples scored on average 10 to 15 per cent higher on marriage stability and relationship quality than those where one or both partners put a great emphasis on material things. One researcher found that where materialism rules, “there is a pervasive pattern in the data of eroding communication, poor conflict resolution and low responsiveness to each other.” The findings were published in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy.

What will you spend on Christmas this year? It is likely that the sales this year will start BEFORE Christmas, as worried retailers fear being left with autumn and winter stock which they can’t shift..... so shop carefully, and you could save £££s!

Last week I replaced all the windows in my house. Then I discovered I had a crack in my glasses.

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

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Hospice Hope ‘Lights of Love’ service

The annual Hospice Hope ‘LIGHTS OF LOVE’ service will take place on Sunday 4th December 2011 at 4pm, at the Ferrers Centre, Staunton Harold. Please join us and celebrate the life and love of someone special by dedicating a light on the Christmas tree in memory of them. Featuring Concordia Choir and the Oddfellows Brass Band. For further details please contact Carol Smith on 01530 411896 or Kate Last on 01530 415129, or email

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

Jupiter rules the night sky in November Jupiter takes centre stage in November 2011, blazing away in the night sky from nightfall until the wee hours of the morning. You may have been wondering lately what super-brilliant “star” is shining in the east at evening. That’s no star at all! That brilliant light is the planet Jupiter, the fourth brightest celestial body to light up the heavens after the sun, moon and Venus. Because Venus – the sky’s brightest planet – sets in the west before darkness falls, that leaves Jupiter to lord over the November 2011 night sky. You cannot miss Jupiter because it beams like a lighthouse, easily outshining every star. Watch for Jupiter to move westward and upward throughout the evening hours. This dazzling world transits – that is, reaches its high point in the sky – at roughly 1 a.m. (daylight saving time) in early November 2011, and around 10 p.m. (standard time) by the month’s end. After soaring to its highest point for the night, Jupiter then descends into the western half of the sky. Look for Jupiter to set in the west earlier each morning as November approaches December.

Former Groby College student named Emerging Designer of the Year 23-year-old Yatri Pabari from Ratby, has been named Emerging Designer of the Year at the Midlands Fashion Designer Awards. Operating from her workshop above her father’s newsagents, she has sold dozens of dresses to women all over the country. Yatri, a former Groby College student, graduated from Northampton University in 2009 with a degree in fashion design. Her clothes were shown at Earls Court, London, during Graduate Fashion Week later that year. The following year, she was nominated for the River Island Gold Award and she caught the attention of fashion stylists at OK Magazine and Sky TV, which both featured her dresses. Her dresses now sell for up to £1,000.

Thousands of children in Leicestershire face a Christmas of hardship Thousands of children are facing hardship this Christmas because of the current financial climate. So this year Toys on the Table, which provides new toys for needy children, is expecting to help even more youngsters whose families are affected by unemployment, rising living costs and the struggle to find an affordable home. ​ The Leicester Mercury is adopting the campaign as its Christmas appeal. The Mercury is urging readers to buy a toy and help provide at least 8,000 Christmas presents for youngsters – two each for 4,000 boys and girls across the county. There will be more than 30 locations where you can drop off a gift for the appeal, including stores, council offices and even a chip shop. Last Christmas, 3,588 children received toys – up 24 per cent on the year before. This year, at least 4,000 children are expected to be referred by social workers, schools, churches and other organisations. The Toys on the Table campaign was started nationally 30 years ago by the Round Table. The campaign evolved into the BBC’s Children in Need but Voluntary Action Leicester kept it going in the county. Markfield Community Centre at Mayflower Close, Markfield has been registered as a drop-off point for toys. The centre is open 9am to 9pm weekdays EXCEPT between 4pm and 6pm on MONDAY, and 12 noon and 5pm WEDNESDAYS.


11/22/63 by Stephen King WHAT IF you could go back in time and change the course of history? WHAT IF the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination? 11/22/63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless . . . King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 - from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of Elvis and JFK, of Plymouth Fury cars and Lindy Hopping, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life - a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time. With extraordinary imaginative power, King weaves the social, political and popular culture of his baby-boom American generation into a devastating exercise in escalating suspense.

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069


Markfield & Thornton Theatre Group Presents: Mother Goose… the Gallivantings at Gooseberry Green

a traditional family pantomime written and directed by Muriel Walker at Thornton Community Centre Monday 9th January to Saturday 14th January 2012 at 7.30 p.m. nightly, with a matinee performance at 3.00 p.m on Saturday 14th. Tickets (£5 & £4) Concessions may be booked on 01455 822148

Christmas Tree Festival St Philip and St James Church Groby Saturday 3rd Dec, 10am to 6pm Sunday 4th Dec, 12 noon to 6pm

Entrance £2.50

Accompanied children free

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Sat 3rd 10am to 2pm Free Entry

Craft activities, games, stalls Light lunches 12noon to 1.30pm Father Christmas 10.30am to 1.30pm

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“Mother Goose” is one of the oldest pantomime stories and perhaps the one with the most obvious struggle between good and evil. Mother Goose is tested to prove her worth as a good, kind person. She has great wealth bestowed upon her, in the form of a goose which, believe it or not, lays golden eggs. However, she craves beauty and is tempted to enter the “Pool of Beauty”. If she does, she must give up all that she holds dear – and that includes Priscilla the Goose! Our version has all the elements that are beloved by Pantomime audiences. If you come to see us, you’ll meet the delightfully dotty Dame Gloria Gertie Goose and her beau, the bashful Billy Buttercup, the delectable Principle Girl and the courageously upright Principle Boy (who always fall in love with minutes of meeting), the Wicked Squire, (whose intentions are always dishonourable) and his sidekick Clodhopper - together with a bevy of beautiful fairies whose Queen may be Britain’s Next Top Model! To add a little more wickedness to the plot’s melting-pot, rumour has it that the Fairy Arachne, who vanished into the depths of Time, (Somewhere near Hill Hole), two years ago, is planning to make a comeback! Oh, of course, we mustn’t forget the Goose herself – Priscilla Hermione May – to be precise. We are fortunate indeed to have, as our Chorus, pupils from the Linda Williams’ Academy of Dance and Drama which is based in Desford. Linda’s own background as a West End dancer and choreographer are brought to bear upon all her teaching and her pupils’ dance routines are a pleasure to watch. Young dancers from our precious pantomimes are now, under Linda’s guidance, embarking upon or pursuing their own theatrical careers in prestigious London Dance Colleges. With all this on offer, can we persuade you to come along and support your local Drama Group? Pantomimes are only one part of what we do, but we have always been concerned that we maintain a good reputation for presenting colourful, happy shows which are entirely suitable for a family audience. We have worked hard over the years to bring good theatrical productions to the locality. If you haven’t been to see any of them, then I urge you to speak to someone who has, because a personal recommendation is, perhaps, more effective than any publicity article I write. AN APPEAL FOR HELP: Could you spare some time in January to come and help backstage for the pantomime? Rolling backcloths and shifting scenery is demanding work, physically – so, if you think you can help, please give me a ring on the number above and we can talk about it. The backstage helpers are a much appreciated team, and often have just as much fun as those on stage! Finally – tickets , we’re happy to note, are selling very quickly, so PLEASE RING AND ORDER YOURS!

Muriel Walker I tried some of that revitalising shampoo. My hair was awake all night.

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069


New ante-natal breastfeeding workshop in Birstall The breastfeeding workshops being offered to expectant parents in the Charnwood area have been so well received the group has now added another location. The sessions are being run by the Charnwood BRAS (Breastfeeding Reassurance And Support) Group which is part of Leicestershire’s active breastfeeding peer support network. The group of volunteers recognised a need within Charnwood to help parents learn about breastfeeding before their babies arrived and believe that having this good understanding of the subject gives new mums a greater chance of success in those crucial early weeks. The new workshop is being held at Birstall Methodist Church Hall on Wanlip Lane from 2 to 4pm on the second Saturday of every month. Pregnant women are invited, preferably from about 33 weeks gestation, with or without partners. It is free to attend and is designed as a one-off workshop so each couple would attend once only. The venture is jointly funded by Children’s Health Services and Charnwood Borough Council and a local Health Visitor is part of the teaching team. Jay Field lives in Birstall and is a trained breastfeeding peer supporter with the Charnwood BRAS. She says “The antenatal workshop is so important for couples expecting their first baby. It’s a lot of fun, very informative and so useful. Your baby will thank you for attending!” The organisers are also keen to welcome those thinking about bottle feeding. They say that making an informed choice about which way to feed your baby is very important and hearing about the benefits of breastfeeding may help couples make a decision. Local midwives have been frustrated at not having the time to offer ante-natal feeding sessions themselves, so are delighted by this project and have been very supportive in spreading the word. For more information about this workshop or the Charnwood BRAS in general, please see To book a place please contact the group on 07583 041054

Ratby Village Society Programme For 2012

Meetings start at 8pm in the Village Hall, Main Street, Ratby, and are held on the third Tuesday monthly, except July and December when there are no meetings. The AGM takes place in February. All meetings include refreshments. Admission: members £1.60 - casual guests £2.50

• 17th January - Leicester’s Lord Mayor, Cllr.Robert Wann will be interviewed by Andy Cereseto for the ‘Personalities Revealed’ evening to support The Royal Anglian Regiment Benevolent Fund. These funds are used to help the serving and former members of the Royal Anglian Regiment and their dependants who are in need, hardship or distress. Private Chris Gray of Ratby was a member of the Royal Anglian Regiment who was tragically killed in action in Helmand Province on April 13th 2007. A picture painted specially for this evening’s occasion by artist Peter Griffin is to be raffled, and all proceeds will go to the fund. • 21st February -Annual General Meeting. • 20th March - Brian Leader and Dawn Tudor talk on ‘First Steps to Researching your Family History’ including information on photo scanning and restoration. Please bring a notebook and pencil with you. • 17th April - ‘The Secret Diary of Susiecue aged 65¾ Light-hearted memories of a baby boomer. • 15th May - Mrs Taylor - ‘Post Office Patter’ - the other side of the counter! • 19th June - A friendly ‘Table Quiz’ with a Royal theme to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. Come dolled up in

your glitz and glamour - bow ties and tiaras are the order of the night, and bring a flag to wave if you have one. • There is no meeting in July. • 11th August - Ratby’s Annual Show. Give a thought to the fruit and veg you will grow for this year’s event. Also floral, plants, cookery, preserves, poetry, handicrafts, photography and many more classes this time. Encourage your friends and neighbours to take part. You don’t have to live in Ratby to enter; everyone is welcome. Refreshments available. • 21st August - ‘Against the Odds’ a talk by David Scott touching on the lives of some remarkable blind people. • 18th September- ‘My duties as H.M. Coroner’ by the Leicester Coroner, Mrs Catherine Mason. • 16th October - Anne Halsey delivers her talk entitled ‘Rails and Rockies’, in which she describes a rail trip from Toronto to Vancouver and into the Rockies via the Rocky Mountaineer. • 20th November - ‘The Lives and Music of George and Ira Gershwin’ with Chris Simpson. Chris delivers his talk and plays the musical recordings of this famous couple. Refreshments include seasonal mince pies. • There is no meeting in December.

On the peril of choosing new kneelers The Rectory St. James the Least of All

My dear Nephew Darren After all these years, I now understand why the non-comformist denominations sit down, rather than kneel, to say their prayers. That way, no decisions have to be taken over the number, size, shape, colour, material and design of kneelers in church. Our present set was donated by a retired Major-General in 1899 to celebrate the relief of Mafeking and a century of use by the pious and notso-devout has taken its toll. Like certain members of our congregation, they now look a little worse for wear. Many have sprung leaks, so that when used, a jet of flocking is emitted all over the clothes of their neighbour, who then has to leave Mattins looking like a Yeti. Other kneelers have been occupied by grateful mice, who find them most congenial for nesting and who leave in high umbrage, creating chaos as Miss Mapp chases them down the aisle with her umbrella; that this provides her with the perfect excuse to leave before the sermon is, I am sure, entirely coincidental. The final straw came when my own, by some quirk in its design, now sounds like a whoopee cushion every time I kneel. It may cause the choirboys much amusement, but lends nothing to the dignity of our worship. So we have decided to have a completely new set – and therein lies the problem. Who makes them? What will be the designs? Who co-ordinates the whole project? There is enough here to occupy the combined minds of our Church Council for the next Millennium and there will be enough scheming, manoeuvring, signing of non-aggression pacts and formation of tactical truces to make the United Nations look like amateurs. Unfortunately, we do not have the ecclesiastical equivalents of the blue berets to enforce peace. The more patriotic members of the congregation have suggested they all show the Union Jack – presumably so they can be waved at appropriate moments in our services; one belligerent individual wants to see depictions of St. Michael slaughtering the dragon, John the Baptist’s head on a platter and other such tasteful scenes; on the other hand, dear Miss Timmins wants them all to depict doves or small fluffy creatures, which would make the church look more like pets corner. Cutting through these vital issues, I have suggested that the entire congregation converts to Roman Catholicism.... and then we could stand for our prayers and do without kneelers entirely. Your loving uncle,


Wine improves with age - the older you get, the more you like it.


Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069


Memorial service Sunday 13th November

News in Brief with Norman Griffiths

By the time your Spotlight arrives the plaque may have been fitted to the new war memorial outside Groby Club. It is hoped it will be in place for the service to be held on Sunday 13th November. The car park will be closed for the service but will re-open at 12.45pm.

What have you found in your garden?

These large six inch and nine inch bolts were recently dug up in a local garden. It seems that they are probably from the old mineral line in the village and and may be part of the fittings attached to the railway track. A nice memento of past times but not as good or as old as the remnant of a roman pot found in a garden on Highfield Road some years ago. Have you found anything interesting when you’ve turned over your soil?

Listen with Lister June’s street fair and ceilidh seems a long time ago as winter approaches. If you enjoyed listening to Aynsley Lister there’s another opportunity to see him this month. On Sunday November 27th he appears at the Musician on Clyde Street in Leicester. It will cost you £12 on the door but you can save a couple of pounds each by buying your tickets in advance. Aynsley is pleased with the response to his charity fund raising appeal in memory of his friend Rod. “I’d like to say a huge thank you to

everyone who kindly donated to Cancer Research UK,” he said. “Between the two events, the ‘Way of the Roses’ 170 mile cycle and the charity gig held in Nottingham, we’ve raised £1,721.”

Number plate thefts You may have seen on the television that the newest criminal ruse is the theft of number plates. This is a response to the increasing use of number plate recognition technology to fight crime. The special cameras are used to quickly and easily identify vehicles without tax or insurance. Filling stations and car parks often use conventional CCTV cameras to record the registration numbers of customers so that they can pursue those who don’t pay for petrol or outstay their parking permission. With fuel prices so high criminals are using stolen number plates to obtain fuel without paying for it.Organised crime gangs are also using the stolen plates to register stolen cars and to avoid ‘‘hot’ cars from being detected by the police. The number of stolen license plates is on the increase and it is estimated that one registration plate is stolen every fifteen minutes. “Motorists can reduce the risk of theft by using newly developed anti-theft screws on their number plates as the new screws are difficult to remove without the correct tool,” explained Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator Martin Cartright. Groby Neighbourhood Watch will be holding a Police surgery at Budgens car park on Saturday 12th November 2011 from 1pm to 3pm. Martin Cartwright, Police Community Officer Russ Leach, and beat officer PC Ned Kelly will be answering residents questions and supplying anti theft number plate screws.This new initiative is another attempt by the police

to crack down on the number of licence plate thefts that occur each year and several car dealerships have already pledged to fit them on all their cars as standard. Always report lost or stolen number plates to the Police immediately.

Changes planned for parish and community fund Voluntary organisations in the village and Groby Parish Council will need to take a close look at schemes they would like to be helped from Hinckley & Bosworth’s Parish Community Initiative Fund from April 2012. Changes are planned to the criteria for successful schemes and funding will be prioritised towards schemes such as children’s and young people’s play and community buildings. Over the past six years the Borough Council’s fund has awarded grants totalling £585,000 to local parishes and voluntary organisations to help pay for 115 schemes. But after this year’s grants were awarded the council reviewed the scheme and consulted with parishes, community groups, grant recipients and councillors to see if it could be improved. 0As a result of the review, the following changes have been adopted for 2012/13: Funding will be prioritised towards schemes such as children’s and young people’s play and community buildings Medium priority will be given to nature conservation features, sports and fitness equipment, footpaths and trails, and historic features Boundary walls and fences, bus shelters and car parks will no longer be funded Help in kind will be offered where possible (dependent on project, and capacity of services to assist) In the event the fund is over subscribed, then priority will be given to applicants who did not receive a grant the previous year. The maximum grant £10,000 will be per project and £10,000 per parish Value for money and evidence of need will be the priority areas for assessors. The total fund available for distribution next year will be £100,000. MORE JOTTINGS ON PAGE 24.

Cats Protection Christmas Fair 19th Nov

THE LEICESTER & DISTRICT Branch of Cats Protection is holding its annual Christmas Fair on Saturday 19th November 2011 at St Anne’s Church Rooms, Letchworth Road, Leicester LE3 6FN. It’s always a popular event, with plenty of items on sale. All proceeds are in aid of the organisation’s neutering campaign. The Fair runs from 10.30am to 12.30pm and admission is just 50p. See you there!

I saw a cafe serving an all-day breakfast, but I didn’t really have that much time.

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

Can you make space for a baby? Fostering can be one of the most rewarding experiences there is and makes a huge difference to the lives of the children who need it.

Leicestershire County Council is looking for more foster carers to look after young babies to give them a safe and caring home while they are unable to live with their own families. Since June in Leicestershire there have been 38 placement referrals for children under the age of 18 months to be placed in care. They may need to live with foster carers for a few days, a few weeks or for longer. No professional qualifications are required to become a foster carer. Anyone who likes children and wants to put their needs first can make a real difference. Foster carers can be: • Working or unemployed • Single or living with a partner • Male or female, from any race or culture • A home owner or tenant • Any age whether from your 20s or your 60s Currently in Leicestershire, there are 197 foster carers, who look after 316 of our children in care. The children are from all ages and have a number of different needs. One family who knows all too well about the rewards of fostering are the Lambert family. Tim and Marie Lambert from North West Leicestershire have three children and are fostering a teenager and also a five-week old baby girl. Marie said: “Tim and I love children and decided to look into fostering and adoption. We’ve never looked back; fostering is a truly worthwhile experience for us. It gives us a great sense of achievement and pride knowing that we are giving children the chance to lead a normal happy life where they can feel safe, secure and loved. Looking after a young and innocent little baby brings out the best in us and although she keeps us on our toes, it is hugely rewarding especially knowing that we are giving her the best possible start in life that we can.” Ivan Ould, Leicestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “Fostering makes a huge difference to the children who need to be looked after and also to those that find the kindness in their hearts to foster a child. At present we are particularly looking for carers to look after young babies and provide them with a loving home. “Heightened awareness because of cases like that of 17 month old Peter Connelly, known as Baby P, has brought child protection to the forefront of people’s minds. Following this, there was a lot of concern about making the right decisions and choices especially when it comes to babies. This in turn has lead to an increase in the number of babies in our care, a trend that is occurring throughout the rest of the country. “The County Council offers good support, advice and a comprehensive training programme for carers. If you are interested in fostering then please do get in touch and help make a difference to the lives of these young children.” If you believe you have what it takes to foster and can make space in your life, your home and your world please contact us today: Call on: 0116 305 4912 or on freephone: 0800 587 7767

A study of economics usually reveals that the best time to buy anything is last year.



Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

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Now researchers claim to have solved the mystery of how people coming into the room AFTER the argument can sense that something has happened. Apparently humans have a sense which allows them to pick up on the ‘emotional residue’ of sadness, laughter or tragedy, This ‘person-toperson contagion’ picks up on the positive and negative vibes of certain places. The scientists, which came from four universities in the USA and India, say: “the emotions that people experience emanate from their body, and leave a trace or residue in the physical environment; when other people enter that physical space, they can sense the emotional residue contained in the space.” Is that why so many ancient churches and cathedrals feel so peaceful? Let’s hope that all the emotional residue in your home this Christmas will be of laughter, love and happiness.

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Don’t miss the Christmas Market at Markfield Court!

A Christmas Market will be held in the Social Centre at Markfield Court Retirement Village on Saturday 19 November 2011 between 10:30am and 1:00pm. The Raffle will be drawn at 12:30pm. The stalls will include raffle, tombola, books, crafts, cakes, Christmas cards & wrappings, bric-abrac and ladies clothing & accessories. Food and drink will be available and the bar will be open! All are welcome.

Mavis Hollingbery On behalf of the Markfield Court Residents’ Association

Groby store launches voucher scheme to raise funds for local schools The Groby branch of Budgens has announced a new voucher scheme to help raise funds for three primary schools in the village. The scheme was launched at the end of October and supports Martinshaw Primary School, Elizabeth Woodville Primary School and Lady Jane Grey Primary School. For every £10 spent at the Budgens Groby Store, shoppers will receive one voucher. Parents of pupils - and anyone else who wishes to support local schools - can then pass the vouchers on to their chosen school. The vouchers will be exchanged for cash by Budgens at the end of the scheme. So, please spread the word, and help to make this scheme a huge success!

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

Written over a urinal: ‘Express lane - five beers or less.’

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069


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Allotment Society News - from John Thornton O n the allotments we have a wonderful cross section of the community, with most trades and professions represented.

I enjoy walking the plots and getting to know members and discussing their successes and failures and seeing how much pleasure they get from their hobby. Talking to new member Richard Cox recently I suggested he might like to submit an article to Spotlight on his new interest and the pleasure he gets from it. So let Richard explain: If it’s green and growing it’s good, be it weed or vegetable! Why would anybody want an allotment? Vegetables are relatively cheap in supermarkets and the British weather gives no guarantees on whether anything will grow, and yet allotments are a national obsession. In my case I gave up the gym after 10 years because I was likely to be housebound for a few months and was considering early retirement, but wanted to remain reasonably fit as I enter life’s autumn, and I have not been a spring chicken for a good number of years. So I now have an allotment – well half – and I am tired out almost every weekend, with a self-satisfied smile on my face.

Weed counterattack

Having been allocated the plot, the first job was digging it over. That involved no finesse at all, just determination, brute force, gallons of sweat, and an intense sense of job satisfaction – much more than I ever remembered as a wage slave all those years ago. Job number two was to stick something in the ground as soon as possible: something that stood a fair chance of green growth rather than the weeds that were planning a massive counterattack after my digging. I could actually hear them plotting at night and the worst, most evil were

the mercenary bind weeds, egged on by phalanxes of dandelions. My choice of defence was a small troop of potatoes and a battalion of onions, and it proved successful. Potato foliage covered the ground and, if I am ever asked how to grow decent onions, I can honestly say: “Stick a seed or set in the ground, do nothing, and then dig up a perfect, large globe six months later.” And the third job after all this activity was to sit back and contemplate all my hard work. It was at this stage that I decided to ask some of my neighbours, all of whom had plots that looked like professional market gardens compared to my mud heap. You will never meet a more helpful, informed, experienced and often totally contradictory bunch of people.

Seeking moisture

I am in no position to offer advice. I am a mere novice in this multi-disciplinary, localised, annual agrarian revolution – so don’t ask. But I have mastered the art of saying ‘thank you’, and I have failed to shake off a growing interest in seasons, sowing, splitting, sinking and differentiating between what might be good and what is bad. At risk of sounding like the archetypal gardening bore – rain is good! OK, not so good when one’s wife is hanging out the washing, but that’s why we bought a tumble dryer isn’t it? And not brilliant if you want to spend the day on some sun-kissed beach, but we do not have many of those in Groby, or even Leicestershire. But it’s an absolute God-send when the young carrots are seeking some moisture a few inches underground. One of the other fascinating revelations is the wildlife. Never in my three score plus years on this planet had I found a use and purpose for wasps until 2011. Now, watching them feasting on aphids and white fly, it’s a matter of ‘the more the merrier’ – Jasper, you’re welcome back anytime to sort out my bugs. But the biggest lifestyle change has been brought about by people. The

internet, email, mobiles and phone have put us in touch, instantly all over the world, but they have not even scratched the surface of one-on-one personal relationships. Younger people interact using Facebook, professionals use LinkedIn: me, I’d rather talk face to face, and my little allotment has opened up a new world, with new people and new shared interests. There’s Ben, who has just discovered a rich and welcoming, well-established family tree in rural Ireland – can you grow Guinness on an allotment? Paul, whose soft fruit I took over while watching him show me how it really should be done; Richard, a school teacher who demands the very highest standards from his young vegetable students; and Martin, who seems to combine a career in premises management with dextrous green fingers. Each and every neighbour has a story to tell – and during those long summer days we would often spend an hour or so simply chatting about life. It may not be the solution to tidying up an allotment, but it’s a great way to relax and enjoy life!

Free guidance

This year I have grown potatoes, onions, peas, lettuce, radish, beetroots, carrots, peppers, cauliflowers and Brussels: I have also taken home marrows, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, different types of lettuce, shallots, and cabbage – all well-received gifts from my neighbours (special thanks to Ken and Nigel). Next year I am determined to be the one giving away my prize vegetables. But it’s not just neighbours who are making ‘allotmenting’ so worthwhile. The free advice and guidance dispensed by John, Jamie and

I’ve got no faith in my doctor. All his patients are ill.

Kathy – the ‘celebrities’ of Ratby Road – is more than just helpful, it demonstrates a long term drive to make every plot a success for every plot holder. So what is it that makes an allotment so satisfying? Clearly there’s the ‘outdoors’ element and working on the land; there’s the shared tasks that result in good neighbourliness; there’s the ‘getting out of the house’ factor; and, most importantly, there are the improved relationships at home – who can resist a bribe of fresh, hand-grown fruit and veg?

Penal colony

Working an allotment, I always used to believe, was a peculiarly British pastime, but my brother, an ex-pat living near Sydney, Australia, sent me an email to say that a group of fellow ex-Brits has taken on a site and divided it up into allotments. I suppose it’s a way of taking them back to their roots in the penal colony, when they had to be selfsufficient! However some things do not travel well: the plot holders are not allowed to garden on a Sunday because the noise might disturb the neighbours!


Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

Scouting Jamboree walking around the site attempting to complete over 50 different challenges whilst they familiarised themselves with the layout of the site. If successful with a challenge they were given “magic money” to spend at the evening street fair, which consisted of different stalls with prizes – it also provided an excellent opportunity for leaders to get ideas for fundraising stalls for village fetes and carnivals. Monday to Friday was for the sub camps to participate in a different activity zone each day. The zones were as follows: • Half Day It’s A Knockout involving giant inflatables and a great opportunity to get wet followed by an afternoon in the Discovery Zone covering a wide range of activities with environmental, global and awareness themes. • Adrenaline Zone contained a variety of exhilarating activities including Climbing, Ice Climbing, Abseiling, Slackline, Trampolines, Slippery Pole, Crate Stacking, Mountain Boarding, Bouldering Wall, Space Hopper racing, Challenge inflatable, Zorbing, Catapult Shooting, Spider Mountain, Water Zorbing and Giroball • Skills Zone was a whole host of different challenging skills including Backwoods Cooking, Drumming, Circus Skills, Giant Knitting, Table Top Crazy Golf, Cannons, Fencing, Glass Engraving, Archery, Air Rifle shooting, Pole Lathe Turning, Sports, Volley Ball, Pioneering, Pyrography, Ti Chi, Giant Art and many more. • Sub Camp Challenge with visitor’s day allowing Groby Beavers to visit the camp to see what was happening so they could look forward to being a camping resident at the next Charnwood. • Offsite Activities Zone - A few weeks before the camp each participant had been given a list of offsite activities they could choose to do on their offsite day. These included rock climbing, caving, geocaching or hill walking in the Peak District, scuba diving, mountain biking, rafting, sailing or a canoe river trip. Each night was a variety of activities including discos, films, karaoke, zumba, live bands, bingo, campfires and much more. The site had been turned into a tented village in the weeks before and consisted of a Medical Centre, Crèche for the Staffs’ children, Skip’s Kitchen for leaders’ meals and a Shopping Mall for Souvenirs and Sweets/Drinks. The big supermarkets did daily food deliveries to the camp. The Hub with its drop in chill out area provided the Internet Café facility for the campers and the camp had its own website. Telephones, Toilets and Showers were plumbed in. Beyond Belief was a quiet area for everybody to escape from the hustle and bustle of the camp, providing friendly support for those that needed it and a space for private prayer and contemplation plus various activities and games. It also provided for the religious needs of individuals with daily faith services. The Media Centre toured the camp daily, taking pictures and video for turning into a camp DVD to celebrate Charnwood 2011 and to provide footage for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies on the big screens. The professional media people attended to write several columns in local newspapers and on the Wednesday, BBC East Midlands Today held a live broadcast from the site. The Media Centre also produced a daily camp newsletter titled

Christmas Fair

Tuesday 29th November 2011 6.00pm til 8.30pm

At Lady Jane Grey Primary School, Wolsey Close, Groby. Lots of Christmas craft & arts stalls, selling items from vintage clothes, wooden name plaques to homemade cards & much much more. There will also be a cafe selling refreshements,fun and games for the children with great prizes to be won, plus there will be a special guest at the fair, Santa come and meet him in his winter wonderland. If you require a stall, please contact Deana McIntosh 0116 2320031. So why not join us for a fun filled christmas evening and pick up a few presents. Everybody is welcome. H.S.A at Lady Jane Grey Primary School

Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them.

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

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Chasing the blues away ‘Charnwood Discovery’. Two of our group were featured, with congratulations to Ellie-Mae (Groby Guide) for successfully completing her Baden-Powell Challenge Award during the camp and to Tom Taylor (Groby Scout Leader) for successfully completing his Wood Badge Training. The Groby Scout and Guide Leaders organised, prepared and cooked the meals for the Guides, Scouts and Explorers each day, with the kids themselves taking it in turns with washing and drying up. Groby Leaders were also involved in the running of the activities. Paul Wren, Group Scout Leader, was responsible for the logistics of getting almost 500 people each day onto the correct coach or minibus that would take them to their offsite activity. Alastair Paterson, Explorer Scout Leader, was based in the Peak District supervising the hill walking activity and making sure the group didn’t get lost as they walked from the village of Castleton up and over Mam Tor hill. Other leaders helped run the onsite air rifle shooting and drove canoeists to and from their activity. On the Friday evening, all the campers wore fancy dress to represent their subcamp, to come together for a closing ceremony featuring fireworks before ending with free rides on the several fairground rides brought onsite especially for the evening. Everybody enjoyed the camp and they are talking about attending the next Charnwood Jamboree in 5 years time. Most have made new friends and will have memories to last a lifetime. The Explorer Scouts have already met up again with a group from Liverpool who they met at the camp. We hope our report conveys the marvellous opportunities available, the variety of experiences and the potential for learning so much – which was packed into one week this summer. The voluntary leaders of Groby Scouts, Explorers and Guides, continue to provide their own variation on the Charnwood offering, on a weekly basis throughout the year, to local young people.

Sean Williams and Alastair Paterson

December is a peak month for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition first described by the psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal three decades ago. Research suggests that about seven per cent of the UK population now suffer from the condition during the autumn and winter. Recognised by the World Health Organisation, SAD can cause bouts of depression, weight gain and sleep problems. Many sufferers have difficulty staying awake during the day and/or have disturbed sleep (waking early, or sometimes over-sleeping.). This makes it hard for them to carry out normal routines. As night falls, the pineal gland produces melatonin and it is this that tells our body-clock that it is night-time. Bright light at day-break signals to the gland to stop producing melatonin, but on dull winter days (especially when people work indoors) not enough light is received through the eye to trigger this process. So some people feel in a low mood. Following extensive studies and trials, researchers have proved that brightlight therapy is effective in up to 85 per cent of cases. However, care is needed when purchasing light-therapy products, as some are being sold without medical certification. It is important to go to a supplier that sells boxes certified as medical devices. The Seasonal Affective Disorders Association (SADA), a UK charity that supports and advises sufferers from SAD, suggests exposure for up to four hours per day (average 1-2 hours) to very bright light (at least ten times the intensity of ordinary domestic lighting). SADA offers information guides from its website suggesting what people should look for when buying a light box for the treatment of SAD. Its postal address is PO Box 989, Steyning, BN44 3HG. The user of a light box can carry out normal activity such as reading, working, eating and knitting whilst stationary in front of the box. It is not necessary to stare at the light. Treatment is usually effective within three or four days and the effect continues provided the box is used every day. Tinted lenses, or any device that blocks the light to the retina of the eye, should not be worn. Light boxes are not available on the NHS, but they are free of VAT, when used for medical purposes. SADA recommends trying before buying - several companies offer a home trial or hire scheme.

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He’s very religious. He won’t work if there’s a Sunday that week.


Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

When is a Plan not a Plan? Norman Griffiths looks at aspects of the new planning rules

Don’t groan when you read the word consultation again. Britain’s complex planning system needs to be simplified, says the government, and this consultation is designed to simplify and replace more than 1,000 pages of regulations with 52 pages. It says this is necessary to kick-start house building and that planning authorities should assume that the default answer to development proposals is ‘yes’. Hinckley and Bosworth Borough council members have recently agreed on their response, but more about that later.

Neighbourhood Plans and Orders One of the changes is to introduce ‘Neighbourhood Plans’ which will be produced by town and parish councils or neighbourhood forums if there is no parish. They will establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood, and will sit within development plans produced by district councils. Communities will also be able to use Neighbourhood Planning Orders to permit the development they want to see without the need for planning applications. Plans or orders will not take effect unless there is a majority of support in a referendum of the neighbourhood. An independent qualified person will make sure that referendums only take place when proposals are workable

and of a decent quality. Proposed neighbourhood development plans or orders will need to gain the approval of a majority of voters of the neighbourhood to come into force. If proposals pass the referendum the local planning authority will be under a legal duty to bring them into force.

So when is a plan not a plan? This sounds good. So Groby will be able to have a plan that says we don’t want any more development, overstretched infrastructure or fuller roads. Well nothing is ever purely black or white, and what happens if a community says no to new housing? “If – and I don’t expect this to happen, certainly it would be very rare – if a council refused to provide any homes at all for the future of its people, that is clearly not a real plan. So they will be advised to have another go at it,”Greg Clark the Minister for Planning told the Daily Telegraph. So a plan that says ‘no’ is not a real plan and will need to be rewritten or be open to challenge by developers. If you are an optimist you may feel it will all be worthwhile. If you are not you may think we’ve seen all this before : communities give their time and Council Taxes to developing strategies and plans for the future. They may be effective or they to amount to very little. But the system Government gives you is all you have to work with so you just have to bite the bullet and get on with it. One view is that




Phone: 0116 262 3202

Fax: 0116 261 9186

the Coalition has little more in it’s armoury to kick start the economy, so a boost to the building industry is perhaps the last straw it is clutching.

Localism triumphs? And this may mean that Localism, a word which does not appear in the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), has to take second place. A case in point is the huge new development near Groby that was refused planning permission by Blaby District Council. It was opposed by residents as well as local parish councils and Leicestershire County Council. Although the 74 acres of land is near the M1 in the Blaby District Council area between Glenfield, Ratby and Groby. the traffic impact is forecast to extend as far as the A46/A50 intersection. The developers decided to appeal to Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Local Government, despite the fact that he is the champion of Localism. But Eric was sympathetic to the developers and believes that the benefits of the Wilson Bowden Development project outweigh concerns about traffic and residents’ complaints it would blight nearby homes. Tony Robotham, clerk to Glenfield Parish Council, told the Leicester Mercury that the development “will blight Glenfield by adding 250 homes, industrial units and another commercial centre. The council also believes that the associated traffic will further blight the area and cause major congestion,” he added. “It would appear that neither Localism nor the Big Society apply in Glenfield and that large developers, with the support of central government, are still able to ride roughshod over local opinions and concerns.”

Response to the consultation But life goes on and the Borough Council’s response to the proposed National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has been sent.

The main points include : • The document provides no clarity regarding existing documents that have been adopted by Local Planning Authorities • The NPPF states that local communities will have more power over the development of their neighbourhoods which will remove the ‘top-down’ planning regime of previous Governments. However, all decision making must be done within the strict parameters of the NPPF, retaining the ‘topdown’ approach. • The NPPF does not place any responsibility on the development industry to bring forward the dwellings for which they are granted planning permission. More must be done to ensure that these are delivered on the ground by the developers. • The requirement for Local Planning Authorities to demonstrate a five year supply of housing should be scrapped. There is far too much emphasis on securing development immediately which puts power in the hands of developers. A long term, plan led approach to development should be taken to ensure that it is delivered in a sustainable manner. • Protection at the national level should be given to Green Wedges. These are strategically important pieces of land which have successfully guided the development of settlements in Leicestershire. • Overall, the planning system is being made considerably more ambiguous, increasing the risk of any refusal of planning permission being challenged through appeal. This is a very brief summary of the submission. You can read the full document on



As part of our aftercare service, we now offer a monthly Bereavement Aftercare & Support Group, which has been set up to provide a FREE support service, not just to our clients, but to ANY bereaved person, irrespective of their age, creed, religion and length of bereavement. The group meets on the 3rd Saturday of every month in the catering suite at Anstey & District Funeral Services between 10am and 12noon.

Next dates: Sat 19th November and 17th December ARRAN BRUDENELL, Tel: 0116 234 0548

I bought some travel sweets but they were useless. I ate the whole packet. Didn’t go anywhere.

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

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BLENDER CARVINGKNIFE Address: ................................................................................................ CHEESEGRATER CHOPPINGBOARD COLANDER .................................................................Postcode: ............................. FRYINGPAN If you can find 12 KITCHEN UTENSILS in the Wordsearch grid JELLYMOULD above, you could win a SUNDAY LUNCH MAIN COURSE FOR KETTLE FOUR at CAFE SEVEN, Sevenoaks Garden Centre, Near Groby SALTCELLAR Pool (see advert on right) - or a £10 DVD Hire Voucher to spend at Glenfield Moviezone (see advert on page 2). SAUCEPAN AllTEAPOT you have to do to go into the draw is find - and mark a line through WOK - the names of 12 items you might find in the kitchen. These can run

vertically, horizontally or diagonally (and backwards!). Send your marked entry forms to: KITCHENWARE, Groby & Field Head Spotlight, PO Box 8, Markfield, Leics. LE67 9ZT to arrive by Wednesday 30th November 2011. Please remember to fill in your name and address. The sender of the first correct entry drawn out of the hat will win the CAFE SEVEN voucher and the sender of the second will win the Moviezone DVD hire voucher. Good luck!

80 choirs to celebrate the Jubilee in 2012

Choirbook for the Queen, a unique collection of choral music published in recognition of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, has just been launched The Choirbook, published by Canterbury Press, includes 44 anthems written in the last decade. 11 anthems have been specially commissioned from leading British composers, including one by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen’s Music. During 2012, to celebrate the Jubilee and to showcase the excellence of choral singing and composition, the Choirbook anthems will be sung by cathedral and collegiate choirs in every corner of the United Kingdom. The Choirbook has been taken up enthusiastically by directors of music so that 80 of the country’s most prestigious choirs will sing the anthems in services throughout 2012, many of which will also be broadcast. More details at:


When a woman found out that she was pregnant, she lit up the phone lines telling everyone the good news. One day later that week, she took her 4 year old son, Sam, out shopping. A woman asked the boy if he was excited about the baby. “Yes”, he said. “I know what we’re going to name it. If it is a girl, we’re calling her Molly and if it is a boy, we’re going to call it quits.

A man needs a mistress, just to break the monogamy.


Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

In the footsteps of Elizabeth Woodville Norman Griffiths asks novelist Philippa Gregory about her visit to Groby


veryone seemed to enjoy the Time Team visit to the Old Hall in Groby. The residents enjoyed the excitement of the dig in 2010 and the programme eventually broadcast last April. The Time Team researchers and presenters were all enthusiastic about their visit and what they found. The local archaeologists and the new owners of the Hall were pleased to welcome them and learn more about the site. But for one contributor to the programme, Philippa Gregory, it was all a bit more personal. Philippa knows more than most people about the life and times of the Queen whose name lives on in the village and is recognised and mentioned daily, as the children make their way to Elizabeth Woodville school. A graduate of the University of Sussex she also attended the University of Edinburgh, where she earned her doctorate in 17th-century literature. She has taught at the University of Durham, University of Teesside and the Open University, and in 1994 was made a Fellow of Kingston University. She has written many books and has achieved international recognition for her historical novels. Her best known work is probably The Other Boleyn Girl, which won the Parker Romantic Novel of the Year award when it was published in 2002. It was adapted for television in the following year but it is the 2008 film of the same name, starring Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman, which no doubt introduced Philippa’s work to a new and wider audience.

The White Queen But for the people of Groby it is The White Queen, her novel about Elizabeth Woodville, which is perhaps the most entertaining and relevant. Elizabeth married Sir John Grey in 1452, but was widowed when he was killed at St. Albans in 1461. Three years later she married Edward IV, making history by becoming the first commoner to marry a king. Her sons were to become known as the Princes in the Tower, young princes whose fate is still the source of much speculation. Philippa knew she would be fascinated by Elizabeth from the earliest days of reading about her. “Her background as a descendant of a family who claim to be related to a goddess was enough to have me absolutely enchanted straightaway,” she said. “It is in the

historical record that her mother was widely believed to be a witch, and that charge was levelled at Elizabeth also. This is exciting enough, but it also indicates that people were afraid of Elizabeth’s power, and I am interested in powerful women.”

Triumph of a commoner Philippa believes that Elizabeth’s ascent to the throne is one of the great triumphs of a commoner and was considered so exceptional in her own time that one of the explanations offered was witchcraft. “It is really a triumph of unlikely events,” she explained. “How unlikely that Edward, raising troops for a battle, would be diverted by a woman he must have met by chance? How unlikely that he would offer marriage when he knew as well as Warwick that to secure his reign he must marry well, preferably a European princess? How unlikely that even after a secret marriage he would honour his vows? It is a catalogue of unlikely events, and the only coherent explanation is that Edward and Elizabeth fell in love at first sight and married for love.” “I think she will fascinate modern women in the same way that many historical women strike a chord: despite so many changes in the world, women are still trying to find happiness, manage their children, seek advantage, and avoid the persecution of misogynists. As women of any time, we have a lot in common. Despite the amazing advances in the rights of women (and I am so grateful for these myself), the struggle for women’s freedom, independence, and the right to exercise power goes on.”

The unkind treatment of historians She argues that Elizabeth, like many powerful and effective women, has been unkindly treated by historians. “Some follow the gossip against her at the time that begrudged her good fortune; some point to the alliances she made for her family as symptoms of greed and self-aggrandizement. She gets little credit for surviving two periods in sanctuary, nor for her courage during the siege of the Tower. She is like many women “hidden from history”, and when her role is acknowledged she is often treated with very harsh criticism.” Although she writes extensively about real life historical characters she would not wish to be a woman

of any of these times. “A Tudor or Plantagenet woman was wholly ruled by men: either father or husband,” she said. “She would find it difficult to seek any education, make her own fortune, or improve her circumstances. Her husband would have a legal right over her that was equal to his ownership of domestic animals; and the chances of dying in childbirth were very high.”

Elizabeth’s brother Anthony If there are any male readers who feel that this all seems like some cosy women’s club there is reassurance that Philippa is even handed in her admiration, despite the unfairness of society to women. She points out that although Elizabeth took over the role of patron of Queens’ College from her predecessor Margaret of Anjou, her interest in education and culture may have been inspired and would certainly have been encouraged by her brother Anthony Woodville. She describes him as a true Renaissance man: spiritual, martial, thoughtful, and innovative. “He brought the printer William Caxton to England,” said Philippa, “and sponsored the first printed book. He was famous for his ability in the joust and he was a loyal brother to Elizabeth and a devoted uncle to her son.”

Retracing Elizabeth’s footsteps Having written The White Queen,which was published in 2009, Philippa was delighted to be involved in the Time Team project and the opportunity to visit Groby. “This was my first visit, and though I knew that Elizabeth Woodville had gone to Groby Hall as a bride, I hadn’t visited it before, so it was a really wonderful experience to me to see the parts of the house which were still present, and to imagine those that are gone,” Philippa explained. “I found it a wonderfully evocative site, I really loved the days I spent there and I thought the archaeology that was established during the programme gave a real sense of what a typical wealthy manor house would have been like.” But the best was yet to come for her, a moment when she would feel a connection to Elizabeth Woodville which went beyond her novel. “It was actually quite moving, when we found the clasp of the book, it was like an artefact had come to us through time,” she

recalled. “I imagined it was from her book, perhaps a prayer book or a bible and that it had worn loose from the book cover and been dropped on her way to chapel – she felt very close as I walked around the site.” If this has tempted you to read The White Queen, or perhaps give it as a Christmas gift, you can buy it in all formats: hardback, paperback, kindle edition or audio book. If you want to watch a video of Philippa talking about Elizabeth and Edward go to There are more videos on You Tube and you can read more about Philippa and her books on her website www.

Charitable work in Gambia You’ll also be able to read about, and donate to, her charitable work. Gardens for The Gambia was established in 1993 to provide water for wells in the gardens of rural schools in The Gambia. The vegetables they grow provide school dinner for the poorest children in school who would otherwise have nothing to eat all day, the surplus produce is sold and stationery and educational equipment is bought with the profit, and the children learn the basics of sustainable agriculture. The website explains that the gardens are planted rather like an English allotment and they grow all sorts of vegetables and salad vegetables. Usually the school also plants an orchard of citrus trees and walnut trees. Often pupils from the senior class of these primary schools will be made responsible for the health of their particular tree. They fence it to protect it from straying animals and they water it every day from the well.

I didn’t believe in reincarnation in my last life - why should I in this?

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069


All the Latest News from Groby WI I am the new girl on the block as far as reporting Groby W.I. matters to the Spotlight are concerned.

Attempt on record Youngsters at a local school are hoping to break a world record when they sing and sign simultaneously. Pupils at Lady Jane Grey Primary, Groby, and Inglehurst Junior, Leicester, will take part in the event on February 8. They will join youngsters across the country in the attempt to beat the record, which stands at 94,489 people. The children will recite Sign2sing, which has been composed specially for the event.

Margaret Gamble, our secretary, was extremely busy dealing with WI matters, and privately, so she sent out an SOS for help. After offering my services, negative thoughts came flooding in and, after rereading her last contribution “follow that” came to mind”. She writes just as she speaks, with good humour and no pretentions. Margaret will still report on outings and I hope to cover the monthly meeting. Here goes! I am having a bash at it and hope the P45 is not in the post after this edition. Our October meeting began, as usual, with Jerusalem. I mention this because the speaker congratulated us on an excellent rendering worthy of a choir. This praise was largely due to our President searching out a recording of the music, without vocals, an improvement beyond recognition. The business followed, packed with information regarding the many and varied activities taking place in the Leics. & Rutland Federation. A silver trophy was presented to Kay Blick, a member who had gained most points in the Annual Village Show. Lynn Mellor drew the raffle in aid of the Glenfield Hospital Breast Care Unit. The prize was a beautiful Quillow. The answer to your next question is ‘A cushion which when fully opened revealed a patchwork quilt’. Lynn had made this and it was a true work of art. Every member envied the lucky winner. Lynn was delighted with the result, the members supported the cause and raised £262.00. One very new member so much enjoyed her first visit that she intended to put her name down for nomination on to the committee. A most welcome gesture; usually it’s a case of pleading, gentle arm-

twisting etc. and threats of closure. Our speaker was Jane McGovern, a consultant for My Secret Kitchen, a business set up by Claire and Phil Moran, together with John Wood. I am not giving excuses in advance but it was a difficult initiation for me. Margaret had no regrets about retiring when she did. I was not sure what to expect when she started setting up. It held the promise of a cookery demonstration – the favourite of all WI members. When the table was complete it was clearly a mammoth tasting demo, with lots of plates of food samples. Every member had a taste of each product, which often involved taking a small amount of the secret recipe, sometimes cheese and a pickle, dips, cream cheese and fruit combinations, then putting it on a base of bread, biscuit etc. These samples came along at a very fast rate, accompanied by a commentary by Jane. I defy anyone to listen and take notes whilst tasting the product – sometimes on a piece of cracker biscuit or similar. A laugh went up from some members. It appeared that a sample arrived with no breadsticks or crackers. Where were they? A member shouted out, “Help yourself they are all in my lap”. My conclusion was that it seemed like a good idea but expensive, perhaps my age makes me a little frugal. I hasten to say these comments are purely personal and not necessarily those shared by Groby WI members. On the plus side no artificial colourings or flavourings were used and some of the ideas were innovative and extremely time-saving for a busy dinner party hostess. The Leics. Federation have had various outings during the month. These have been well attended by some of our members. One was a day out in London going around the various Olympic venues included crossing the

Teamwork is essential - it allows you to blame someone else.

Thames by ferry which was very surprising. They also pulled in a very interesting visit to Woolwich Arsenal. Into this busy day they managed to tuck into lunch and an afternoon tea. Another trip was to a cooking demonstration at Shearsby given by the TV cook Jo Pratt. Jo appears regularly in several magazines as well as being a regular on television programmes such as Daily Cooks Challenge and the BBC Good Food channel. All said they had enjoyed her demonstration and found her to be an extremely nice lady. A very popular visit was to a Pamper Evening in the Highcross Centre. Apparently the “make up” girls couldn’t believe the ladies were WI members. They thought they were in for a “stuffy” evening but obviously they didn’t know our members. It seems they had a job doing the make overs because of the laughing from those receiving and the comments of those watching, a great night out. Finally some attended a “posh do” at Greetham for the Autumn lunch. A lovely setting, great meal and a speaker who had been a Matron and had written a book entitled, “Matron Knows Best”. She spoke of her experiences as a nurse. Our next meeting is our AGM on the l7th November. I know this sounds rather dull but believe me things never seem to run to plan and we usually have a great meeting. Also we have Glenfield Country Market who will bring along a load of food goodies, crafts, cards etc. I know many members buy quite a few Christmas gifts on this occasion. Finally, I would like to thank Evelyn Ward for offering to help out with our reports. I am trying to ease down a bit, so we hope to do it between us. Any mistakes or scatty bits I can assure you will be mine.

Margaret Gamble and Evelyn Ward

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069


Groby Gardening Society News October Meeting This meeting took on a special look as we hosted BBC Radio Leicester’s “Down to Earth” gardening programme. This takes the form of a question and answer session recorded and broadcast at a future date. Society members pose the questions and a panel of experts give their answers. We were fortunate to have a very sympathetic and easy-going chairman in radio’s Chris Highton. His humour and understanding put all at ease which was especially important as some questioners did not realise that they would have to verbally pose their queries “on air”! The panel consisted of three people who all had local connections. Adey Dayman, from Derrys nurseries at Cossington, was born and bred in Glenfield. He attended Brookvale High School and The Community College in Groby and he still has many friends in the village. He often frequents the Stamford Arms. His horticultural education was completed at Brooksby College where he gained, with considerable distinction, his National Diploma in Horticulture. Helen Osborne joined us for our March meeting when she was an entertaining speaker. Members may especially remember her little “dog-in-a-flower-pot”. She runs the nursery in Barkby with her partner. The last member of the team was John Smith of Thornton Nurseries. He is known worldwide for his skills in the growing of fuchsias. On the night, he was described as “The Godfather of Fuchsias” by one of the panel. The Church rooms were opened at 6.15 to allow the sound engineers to set up their array of impressive apparatus and the usual seating arrangements were orientated to satisfy their technical demands. Our members came up trumps with the variety of questions submitted and the manner in they rather serenely posed them to the panel. The panel dealt with fifteen or so questions with humour and genuine “Down to Earth” wisdom. Subjects ranged such as “How to curb lily beetles?”, “Spring underplanting in a rose bed”, “Potential all-year round interest on a large pergola” and advice on various pruning techniques. A couple of

questions revolved around diseased or failing plants and the production of specimens to present to the panel was a rich source of humour.

We’re on the air! BBC Radio Leicester’s ‘Down to Earth’ came to Groby.

An Apology In the September issue Kay Blick was incorrectly reported as winning The Richardson Plate. The winner was actually Jane Marston and we apologise for the mix-up.

Christmas Supper (Dec 8th meeting) The usual list for members to itemise their contributions to the meal has been made available at the October 13th and November 10th meetings. Anyone who missed these, but would like to partake, could give Alvar a ring to arrange.

Forth coming events • 8th December 2011: Our traditional Christmas supper with entertainment • 12th January 2012: Annual General Meeting We always welcome new members and casual guests at our monthly meetings that are held at 7.30pm on the second Thursday of the month, usually in the United Reformed Church rooms on Chapel Hill. Details about membership and the events programme can be obtained from Alvar Johnson. (Tel. No. 01162877870) or E mail

Alvar Johnson






0116 2879715 / 07814224630 Blessed are those who have nothing to say and who cannot be persuaded to say it.

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

Progress Made at Talks with Planning Minister

The Leader of the Borough Council, Councillor Stuart Bray has met the Communities Minister, Greg Clark MP, in a bid to resolve the issue of land supply in the borough. The talks that took place recently made progress towards resolving the issue which has dogged the Borough Council’s ability to gain more local control over its planning decisions. Having sufficient land available to accommodate the number of homes that must be built in the borough over the next five years has been a significant factor in two out of four recent planning appeals to the Planning Inspectorate that have gone against the council. In both cases developers were able to overturn planning refusals from the Borough Council’s own planning committee. Cllr Bray had written to the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles MP, following a full debate on the matter by the Council earlier this year. As a result of that letter, Cllr Bray was invited to Westminster last week to meet with Mr Clark, as the responsible Minister. “Whilst there remain some technical issues for clarification, I felt that the meeting was productive and we now have a much clearer position as to how we can approach the land supply barrier more robustly than before. This will support the wishes of the local community going forward”, said Cllr Bray after the meeting. He added: “Further clarification on the technical issues will be secured by an exchange of correspondence over the next few days, after which I expect that the Council’s position can be stated more strongly at initial consideration by the Planning Committee and at any subsequent appeals. “This shows that the firm stance taken by the Administration, supported by the opposition, is on the right path to getting the right result”.

‘Drunkorexic’ students who skip food for alcohol This Christmas, beware a new social phenomenon: young people who choose to spend their money on drink, not food. They skip meals to ‘save’ both calories and cash which they then devote to alcohol. Their aim is to prevent weight gain, get drunk faster, and save money: but the consequences can be dangerous. Researchers warn that ‘drunkorexia’ packs a double whammy: it deprives the brain of nutrition while poisoning the whole body. The results can be a variety of serious medical problems, including short and long term memory loss. Disordered eating combined with binge drinking puts people more at risk of violence, risky sexual behaviour, alcohol poisoning, substance abuse and chronic diseases later in life.

If you’re not living life on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.



Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

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TIMBER from a cluster of diseased oak trees has been turned into planks to create new benches for visitors to rest at the Outwoods. Charnwood Borough Council’s Woodland Ranger Stuart Freeman came up with the idea after the Council felled a number of trees suffering from the rare Acute Oak Decline. With the help of a team of conservation volunteers, Stuart has so far made two benches and plans to construct a boardwalk and other benches for other Council sites. The wood was planked from three of 13 trees which were recently felled to prevent the diseased trees from posing a safety hazard to the public.

New row over free school transport

Parish acts to avoid winter road chaos

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Dying oaks give life to new benches at Outwoods

News in Brief with Norman Griffiths

“The wheels on the bus go round and round” is a song we sing to our children. But some parents living at Field Head have been told that although the wheels on the school bus to Groby still go round and round they will have to pay £400 a year for each child they want to put on it, even though there are empty seats on the bus which carries children who qualify for free school transport. Both parents and students turned out in force at the November Parish Council meeting to ask for the support of the Council for their petition and fight with Leicestershire County Council, and to question County Councillor David Sprason. Councillors from the Parish, Borough and County were united in their opposition to the imposition of the new charge and whilst acknowledging that the distance from school rules had been applied argued that there was a lack of common sense in the decision, particularly because of the dangerous nature of the A50 as a walking route to school. You can read a longer report of this issue on

THREE PAINTINGS of Bradgate Park: Spring, Summer & Winter - framed, 12” x 9” - painted by J.Hutchinson. Price: £25 o.n.o. Telephone: 01509 561 728.

Send us the details, cost of item and your contact phone number for the display box, together with your home address for our purposes only (not for publication). Max 4 items, please. Max price: £300. See page 3 for contact details.


A FUN and informal new way to play football is coming to Hinckley later this month. The FA and Mars have joined forces to create Just Play! Kickabouts, which are great for those who want to play without committing to a weekly game, a complicated league or fancy team strips. It’s all about loose, casual play. So any excuses about fitness or levels of experience should be left back in the changing rooms. People can just turn up and a football coach will help to organise informal and fun football sessions. It doesn’t matter about experience or ability. Anyone (man or woman) over 16 years of age can take part. Hinckley Club for Young People in Richmond Road has been awarded Just Play status and will be hosting lunchtime sessions, starting on Monday 21 November at 12.30pm until 1.30pm. The FA’s Head of National Game, Kelly Simmons, commented: “The FA Mars Just Play Programme will help us tackle the issues that are currently affecting adult grassroots football. We believe its success will open up football to a whole new audience which might have been put off by barriers such as lack of facilities, time or people to play with.”

what a good idea! Could a similar scheme be organised for Groby - possibly at Groby Community College? Let us know if you’d be interested in just turning up for a Kick About and we’ll pass your message on to the appropriate people! Do you pick sides using Paper, Scissors, Stone?

Although it has no responsibility for highways Groby Parish Council is taking steps to help avoid the chaos that severe winter weather can cause. One of the measures involves a stockpile of 10 tons of salt which has been salted away at Groby Cemetery. Supplies will be made available to members of the public on request, but they will have to collect it themselves. The salt is not for use on private premises but may only be used on public highways and pavements. Any volunteer worth their salt can probably be trusted to keep to the rules, but to avoid any doubt they will have to sign a declaration that the salt will only be used on the public highway.

Butlers Field no longer a wild flower meadow Members of Groby Parish Council have been told that Butlers field is no longer considered a wild flower meadow. It has been used as a dog walking field for some years and has been cut once a year for hay. It seems there have been problems with it becoming overgrown and so it has been decided to cut it 4 times a year in future and to retain its use as a dog walk.

Work is a fine thing if it doesn’t take up too much of your spare time.

Christmas Party Nights at The Queen’s Head –Belton Thurs 8th, Fri 9th, Sat 10th, Thurs 15th, Fri 16th, Sat 17th, Mon 19th, Tues 20th, Weds 21st, Thurs 22nd, Fri 23rd

Fresh, seasonal, locally sourced, homemade on the premises.

The Intimate Dining & Celebration Specialists Starters Leek & Potato soup, Smoked Bacon foam (V option) Cured Salmon, Potato salad, pickled cucumber, mustard & dill dressing Goat’s cheese & confit of onion tart, Basil & balsamic dressings (V) …………

Main courses Slow cooked Blade of Beef, Horseradish mash, celeriac & red wine jus Breast of Chicken, Fricassee of wild mushrooms, shallots, chorizo & potato, sauce béarnaise Fillet of Pollock, Sauté potatoes, spinach & poached egg Curried Parsnip risotto, Parmesan shavings, green salad (V) Served with seasonal vegetables …………

Desserts Christmas Pudding, Brandy & Praline ice cream (V) Chocolate torte, White chocolate sorbet (V) Local Cheeses, Crackers & piccalilli (V) …………

To finish: Coffee & petit fours Vegetarians & Dietary requirements catered for on request, Ask for details

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Christmas Day and New Years Eve menu available now! Christmas Day & New Years Eve Non-refundable Deposit £20pp required on booking The Queen’s Head 2 Long Street, Belton, Loughborough, Leics. LE12 9TP Fax: 01530

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069


Churches Together in Groby Remembrance Service (CTG, with the uniformed groups) 10.50am on Sunday 13th Nov at St Philip & St. James church

Fair Cuppa: an opportunity to meet with friends at the village hall. All tea/coffee is fairtrade Every Thursday, 10.00—11.30am.


Play, craft, story & chat for pre-school

children with a parent/carer. Every Friday in term time, 10.00 – 12noon Urban Saints During term time, held at the URC chapel: games, friends, crafts and a Christian basis to discussions. - for 5’s to 14’s on Mon evenings at 3.45pm, 6.30pm or 7.45pm - for 15-18’s on Wed evenings at 7.30pm - for 15-18’s o Fri at 7.30pm More details on the church websites Sunday services: please see websites and church magazines St. Philip and St. James Revd. Louise Corke 231 3090 United Reformed Church Mrs Norma Whittaker 287 6606 Children/Youth Worker Deb Goodhead 07730 596309

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

Groby in Bloom disbanded Norman Griffiths reports on the news that took the village by surprise

“Groby in Bloom is a lovely example of where, without ‘The Bloom’ the town would lack floral displays and be a much less colourful place. The Bloom group draws together many community groups with the common aims of environmentally improving the town for the benefit of all.” These were the words of the East Midlands in Bloom judges when they awarded Groby a Silver Medal in the 2010 competition. But unless a major rift between the group and the Parish Council can be patched up this is the prospect facing the village from 2012. The group of volunteers have maintained flower beds and planters throughout the village for some years, often winning awards, but the Groby in Bloom volunteers have resigned and appear to have said that they “don’t wish to talk about it any more.” At a recent Extraordinary General Meeting of the Parish Council the budget for 2012/13 was discussed and the Council requested a meeting with Groby in Bloom to receive a breakdown in their costings following an informal request to increase the Parish Council’s contribution for 2012/13. The group currently receives a grant of £3,000 from the Parish Council and amongst other issues raised there was concern that nearly £2,000 had been paid to a contractor for watering services. Although Groby in Bloom has not issued a statement to explain the decision it appears that a comment that ‘the money could be put somewhere else’ caused particular offence. At a meeting of the group Councillor Helen Lindsay and former Councillor Margaret Purves announced that they were withdrawing from the group, and on hearing this news other members present decided to follow. Many councillors were taken by surprise by the announcement, which discussion at the meeting suggested was included in a letter from the group to the council which has not been released to the Spotlight. Members praised the work of the Groby in Bloom volunteers over the years and one of the councillors recently co-opted said that they were “at pains to say we value Groby in Bloom.” He added that they just wanted to look at the £3,000, see how it is spent and what plans there are for the future. Groby in Bloom is dependent on volunteers and shares the same problems of other voluntary groups in the village, and this includes an ageing membership undertaking what can be demanding physical work. All the lady volunteers are over 60, explained Councillor Lindsay. Watering has proved a difficult issue which may have become an increasing burden for the volunteers. It has always been very time intensive even when it was undertaken by Parish Council staff before grounds maintenance was largely outsourced, although this was reduced following the decision to discontinue the use of hanging baskets in the displays.

Editor’s Note: This story was breaking as the Spotlight went to press and is based on the limited information available at the time.

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Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

“ Everything From A Blown Fuse To A Complete Re-wire! ” Groby Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Leicester Road, Groby Tel: 0116 287 1809 Fri 11th Nov: Anna Sat 12th Nov: Choc Ice Sun 13th Nov: Super Sunday ‘50’ Fri 18th Nov: Chris Ford Sat 19th Nov: Alive + Kicking Sun 20th Nov: Super Sunday ‘50’ Fri 25th Nov: Jane George Sat 26th Nov: 2 Hot Sun 27th Nov: Super Sunday ‘50’ Fri 2nd Dec: Kim Robinson Sat 3rd Dec: Kelly Jens Sun 4th Dec: Super Sunday ‘50’ Fri 9th Dec: Chris Robin Sat 10th Dec: Mike Tyler Sun 11th Dec: Super Sunday ‘50’ SEE ADVERT The Stamford Arms, 2 Leicester Road, Groby Tel: 0116 287 5616 Sat 12th Nov: FIRE & SKILL Sun 13th Nov: THE ACEMEN Sun 20th Nov: WOODVILLE Mon 21st Nov: HISS & BOO BAND Fri 25th Nov: LOROS LADIES’ NIGHT Sat 26th Nov: WELLARD WILLY Sun 27th Nov: TIME OUT (tbc) Fri 2nd Dec: STC Sun 4th Dec: MOJO HAND Fri 9th Dec: VERTIGO Sat 10th Dec: THE FREEZE Sun 11th Dec: WELL END VALLEY STOMPERS Tues 13th Dec: GROBY TUESDAYS General Knowledge QUIZ Every Sunday Music QUIZ Every Tuesday The Bricklayers Arms 213 Main Street Thornton T: 01530 230 808 QUIZ Nite: Thursdays Bagworth Working Men’s Club, Station Road, Bagworth. Tel. 01530 230205 New members welcome. Friday 18th Nov: CHARITY DANCE in support of WISHES FOR KIDS. Also Bingo and Raffle. Admission £2.50. Friday 25th Nov: FORTIES NIGHT with KAREN WEST.

£5.00 on the door. Doors open 7.30pm. Fancy dress optional. Live entertainment – last Saturday of the month Last Friday of the month – Andy’s Charity Quiz £1.50 each Sequence dances Sunday Nights. £1.00 admission 8 o’clock. Tea Dance Wednesday afternoon 2 – 4 pm. £1 admission. Contact: Glenda 01530 230467 The Field Head Hotel Markfield Lane, Markfield Tel: 01530 245454 Tribute Nights/£2 Entry after 7pm. Fri 11th Nov: ROCK & ROLL Fri 25th Nov: BLUES BROTHERS Fri 2nd Dec: ABBA Sat 3rd Dec: ELVIS Fri 9th Dec: SWING MUSIC Sat 10th Dec: MICHAEL BUBLE Quiz Nite: 2nd Tues of Month The Coach & Horses Leicester Road, Field Head Tel: 01530 242 312 KARAOKE Nights:Sat 19th Nov and Sat 3rd Dec (’King of the Road’) The Nag’s Head, 18 Station Road, Glenfield, Leicester Tel:0116 287 2794 Sat 12th Nov: DARRELL & PAUL - Rock & Roll Duo, back by popular demand Sat 19th Nov: SIRE - Motown Tribute Mon 28th Nov: Open Mike Night The Club, Thornton Main Street. T: 01530 230251 Open to Non-Members Sat 12th Nov - The Generators 50’s 60’s 70’s Band Sat 19th Nov - Kamagra Rock Covers With Female Singer Sat 26th Nov - The Johnnie Eisenhower Blues Band Sun 4th Dec - The Austrian Stones 3.30pm Sat 10th Dec - Mick Ridgway’s Mojo Hand Band Sat 17th Dec - S Punk 7 New Years Eve - The Dirty Water Band

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Young people’s award scheme launches The search is on for the area’s most inspiring teenagers. An award scheme has been launched to acknowledge the achievements of teenagers across Leicester and Leicestershire. Nominations are open for the 2012 Lord-Lieutenants Awards which have seen new categories introduced to commemorate the 30th Olympiad and The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In partnership with organisations offering services to young people, including Leicestershire County and Leicester City Councils, and with the business community, the awards seek to identify and reward the very best examples of achievement by young people locally. Young people aged 13 – 19 by March 29th 2012 are eligible for nomination. This year’s categories are: • Young Community Citizen of the Year: Someone whose actions have helped generate pride in their community • Young Innovator of the Year: A young person who has inspired others with their creativity and innovation in engineering, technology, music or the arts • Young Volunteer in Sport Award: Someone who has given their time and energy to volunteer in local sport • Young Sports Personality of the Year: A young person who has exceeded expectations in their individual achievement or team work • Young Disabled Sports Personality of the Year: A young person with a learning and / or physical disability who has exceeded expectations in their individual achievement or team work The Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Lady Gretton, said: “This year is an extra special year due to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympic Games and, to celebrate, we have introduced these new categories. “We want to hear about the achievements of as many inspirational young people as possible and recognise and celebrate the wonderful work they do. “There are many good examples of what young people have achieved, sometimes despite great disadvantage and obstacles placed before them. I would urge people to nominate people they know and who they think should be recognised by these awards.” There will be a separate award for each category - the winners will all receive a trophy and a prize to the value of £500. From the winners of these categories one person will be announced as Lord-Lieutenant’s Young Person of the Year. This outstanding achievement will be marked by the presentation of a special trophy. The closing date for nominations is January 31, 2012. *Nominees need to be aged 13-19 as of March 29th, 2012. Nomination forms and more information can be found at: uk/llawards or Alternatively call the Lieutenancy Office at County Hall on 0116 305 6060.

I’ve got two wonderful children - and two out of five isn’t bad.

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

National Trust Leicester Association

Most National Trust houses closed at the end of October for their over winter “spring clean” to prepare them for next year’s season. However the house, garden and all amenities at Canons Ashby near Towcester will be open every weekend (12.00–4.00) until 18th December and the Museum of Childhood at Sudbury Hall is open every weekend (11.00–4.00) until 11th December. Also remember that the Parkland at Calke Abbey, Clumber Park, Kedleston Hall , near Derby, and Ilam Park, near Ashbourne, is open every day of the year with lots of wonderful walks. The restaurant and shop at Calke and Clumber Park are also open every day and at Kedleston and Ilam park at weekends. The build up to Christmas begins in November with a Christmas Food & Craft Market at Belton House on 19th/20th November (11.00-4.00). At Kedleston Hall there is a Christmas Craft & Food market on 26th/27th November and the main house is decorated for Christmas, with real live reindeer on the front lawn, on the first two weekends in December (11.003.00) In December Calke Abbey has a Christmas Craft & Gift Show on 10th/11th Dec (11.00-6.00) and also has its illuminated tree trail around the grounds for the first three weekends of the month. Hardwick Hall, near Chesterfield, will also be open and decorated for Christmas for the first three weekend of December (11.00-3.00) and Sudbury Hall will be decorated for Christmas and Father Christmas will be in The Museum of Childhood from Sat 3rd to Sun 11th December (11.00-4.00) The NT Leicester Association has an afternoon meeting on Wednesday 23rd November when Anne Halsey will present a talk on The Land of the Pharaohs (postponed from last month). The meeting will be at St Guthlac’s Memorial Hall, Holbrook Road, Leicester at 2.30pm. An evening meeting will be held on Tuesday 13th December at Highpoint Conference Centre, Glenfield Road, Leicester at 7.30pm. Val Williams will present an illustrated talk, An English Country Garden – why we love our gardens. Admission to both meetings is NTLA members £2.50 and visitors £4.00. For more information on the NT Leicester Association and its Talks Service call 0116 2229133.

Alan Tyler

Chairman, NT Leicester Association

Church schools led the way... Schools across the country have been celebrating 200 years of church schools. It was in 1811 that the Church of England’s National Society was founded - offering education to the poor in every parish - 50 years before the state joined in. The Archbishop of Canterbury has praised the founders of the National Society, who believed it was “inhuman and unjust” to send children up chimneys and down mines, and offered them an opportunity of education.

I don’t have a bank account because I don’t know my mother’s maiden name.



Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069

Groby company launches survey service for GPs’ surgeries A new phone and touch screen survey service developed by a Groby company has been launched. Engineers at unified communications specialists Voice Connect have designed the service for GPs who want feedback from patients to help improve access and services. As part of the Patient Participation Groups initiative that has been set up by the coalition government, GPs are rewarded for getting feedback from their patients regarding the quality of service provided. However, the cost of reaching large numbers of patients from representative groups is difficult to achieve. The new automated survey service has been designed to make the whole process quicker and cheaper. “We’ve worked with many areas of the NHS for more than two decades, but GPs have been a large focus for our business over the past eight years,” says Voice Connect’s Managing Director Stefan Olsberg. “This new service is a simple way to collect patient views with minimum cost and work. Because of its automated collection facility, the service almost completely eliminates staff involvement.” The new survey module allows patients to answer automated questions about the performance of a surgery during a phone call or using a touch screen in the surgery. Surveys can be anonymous, and all results are automatically compiled into one central database. GPs receive £1.10 per patient registered at the surgery in both this and the next financial year. The system can also be set to flag up special ‘at risk’ areas. For example, if a patient indicates that they are a heavy smoker, once they have completed the questionnaire they can be directed to reception to find out about stop smoking sessions offered by the surgery. Established in 1991, Voice Connect has worked closely with PCTs and GPs’ surgeries across the UK for over 20 years. The company provides a range of unified communication solutions for doctors’ surgeries, including their popular automated telephone appointment booking system Patient Partner as well as Medical Messenger and Smart Mail, a mailing service developed especially for GP surgeries.

Top Ten Things You Wouldn’t Know Without Movies It is always possible to park directly outside any building you are visiting. A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty. If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps. Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communication systems of any invading alien civilization. It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts - your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors. No one involved in a car chase, hijacking, explosion, volcanic eruption or alien invasion will ever go into shock. When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other. You can always find a chainsaw when you need one. Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds, unless it’s the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside. Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at that precise moment you turn the television on.

Crime Figures for Oct 2011 The following incidents were reported to the Police in the local area during October 2011. Description


Field Head

House Burglaries Actual: Attempted:

0 Actual 0 Attempted


Garage, Shed, Outbuilding Burglaries Actual: Ratby Road Attempted: Stamford Drive

1 Actual 1 Attempted


Theft of Motor Vehicle: Markfield Road



Theft from Motor Vehicle: Carmen Grove, Fir Tree Lane



Damage to Motor Vehicle:



Non-Domestic Assaults



Anti Social Behaviour Incidents



Crimes That Don’t Affect Residents Homes or Cars



TOTAL (Actual)



TOTAL (Attempted)



Theft: 4 / Damage: 2 / Other: 11

PC 0918 Ned Kelly • Sergeant Matthew Trott Local crime news in more detail is available at Information supplied by Martin Cartwright, Secretary - Groby Branch Neighbourhood Watch Tel: 0116 2874500 • Mobile: 07850 707050 Email: In An Emergency dial 999. Contact the local police on 0116 222-2222. Next meeting: Thursday 8th December 2011 at 7.30pm at Groby Village Hall.

Don’t let people drive you crazy when it is within walking distance.

Schools save £250,000 with Freeuse LA County schools have collectively saved around £250,000 after obtaining furniture from a recycling website. Around 12,000 items including chairs, tables, easels - and even a plastic skeleton and a grand piano - were put on Freeuse LA following the closure of King Edward VII school in Melton. Freeuse LA www.freeusela. org enables the county’s local authorities, schools and charities to give and take unwanted furniture, equipment and office items for free. Items from King Edward VII not only benefited schools such as Loughborough’s Burleigh Community College, Ibstock Community College and William Bradford Community College in Earl Shilton, but also prevented 45 tonnes of furniture and equipment from being sent to landfill – saving the council approximately £3,000 in disposal costs. Richard Blunt, County Council Cabinet Member for Waste Management, said: “It is fantastic to see schools taking advantage of Freeuse LA and making some substantial savings simply by reusing furniture and equipment. “Not only that, but by reusing these goods they have been doing their bit for the environment by preventing these items from being sent to landfill.” Scott Doughty, site manager at William Bradford Community College, said: We are delighted with the scheme. We are now using the furniture and other items we collected in all departments across school from post 16 to Maths and English.” Members of the public can use Freeuse LA’s sister website, Leicestershire Freeuse: www. to donate and take items for free.

Sample of items reused via Freeuse LA from King Edward VII: 915 x chairs 887 x tables 19 x design & Technology Workbenches 28 x PCs 1 x laser cutter (Estimated Value new - £9995.00) 11 x studio lights 4 x pianos and 1 x grand piano 1 x plastic biology skeleton 1 x sound desk 190 x Stools 1 x tensile strength tester 23 x easels

Groby & Field Head Spotlight • Mid-NOVEMBER 2011 • Tel: 01530 244069



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Nov 2011 Groby Spotlight  

The November 2011 issue of Groby & Field Head Spotlight

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