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INSIDE Search for village queen Page 4 Pupils show off new logo Page 8 Steve year as the Mayor Page 12 Daniel writes crime thriller Page 14 Secretary says farewell Page 19

Excavators uncover mortar shell BY KATIA HARSTON A MORTAR shell was discovered during excavation work near the river at Bullhouse Mill in Millhouse Green. Charles Booth, from the Booth Brothers firm, owners of the eco-office site, said it was found by a man working on a fish pass on the river. “A chap came to me saying he’'d found what looked like a bomb or a mortar shell. “I thought he was joking at first but he’d taken a picture of it and I could see it was about the size of a milk bottle. “I thought I’d better do something.” He contacted neighbouring properties and told them what had been found and then contacted the police. “I took my own photograph so I could show the police and it wasn’t near any footpaths or people. “I telephoned the police and they told us to stay away and they would deal with it.

The site: Excavators uncover a mortar shell working on the fish pass. “It was quite corroded but you could still see the fins on the back.” Insp Mark Spooner, of Penistone Safer Neighbourhood Team, confirmed it was a mortar shell. He said: “Police officers went out to Bullhouse Mill and had a look at the item. It was old and rusty and we sent a trained officer who assessed it. “He reported it did not look to have any explosive content and was reported to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal branch. “It was not a danger to people as it was in the middle of nowhere."

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A BADGER group is urging people in Penistone to be vigilant for ‘barbaric baiters’ during the badger breeding season. Monica Ward, of Thurlstone Road, Penistone, is chairman of the South Yorkshire Badger Group which formed in 1985 to protect badgers and their setts. She made the plea for vigilance of badger baiting, where the animals are dug out of their underground setts and attacked by dogs, as the crime is under-recorded. She said figures do not relate to what badger and other wildlife crime is happening. Monica said this time of year is a popular for baiters as it marks the peak of the breeding season for badgers, which are a protected species. “That's when baiters like to go out digging because they get a better show from the badgers as the sows try to protect their young and they will often fight to the death. “There have been problems in the Langsett and Midhope areas but a lot of it

has been resolved. I would hate to see it go back to how it was. That's why we need people to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.” She also said the snaring of badgers is a big problem in the area. “It’s where a piece of anchored cable or wire is used to trap an animal around the neck, or body, and tightens around it. “They are set to catch foxes and rabbits but badgers can get caught up in them and often die. “Snaring is more of a problem in our area and it is legal to do it. I think it is a really cruel way to catch an animal. Poisoning is happening too and it's put in food.” The situation has become so serious that an alliance called Operation Partnership has been set up between the group, police, the RSPCA and Farm Watch to try to rid the area of the cruel activities. “Those responsible are becoming confident in the knowledge that their behaviour is unreported. We are asking the general public to pass on any suspicions.”

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Butcher slams Penistone’s ‘second-rate’ fire service fire and the flames were up to 15 feet high and numerous people telephoned for the fire service. “But the appliance at Penistone was yet again unavailable. So one was sent from Barnsley and after a 15-minute journey it dealt with the remains very professionally. What worries me is this would have been the same response time had it been something more serious.” Noel is angry because while he was based at Penistone station he remembers the then chief fire officer making a public guarantee there would always be a 24/7 retained pump available because it's such an outlying area. “The concern for me is the pump from Penistone is rarely available in the day time because there are not enough retained personnel working during the day.

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able at night and weekends. “What if it had been a house fire? It would have still been 15 minutes before an engine got there and who knows what could have happened in that time..” A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “The response time was 11 minutes. We continue to provide a first-class emergency response to Penistone, which is an area of extremely low risk in relation to fires. “These record-low levels of incidents are thanks in part to our community engagement work to help residents reduce the risk of suffering a fire in their home. “In addition to this, we have recently started a recruitment drive which will lead to an increase in the availability of the fire crew from Penistone station.”

“There is no problem with the abilities of the personnel, they're just not available, which means the engine isn't. “How long are we expected to put up with a second-rate service?” Noel said there has been a number of occasions when a fire had broken out in the town or surrounding areas and an engine from Penistone hasn't been available to deal with it. “There was an accident at Crow Edge not long ago and two engines had to be sent from Barnsley rather than Penistone,” he said. He said most people he has spoken to about it still believe Penistone is a full- time station and don't realise it's usually only avail-

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A RETIRED fireman believes Penistone has a ‘second-rate fire service’ because an engine wasn’t available from the town’s station when flames engulfed a car outside the town hall. Noel Butcher, 56, of High Street, Penistone, retired after 27 years in the service. He spent ten years at the Penistone station and said ratepayers in the town are being let down because it only has a retained (part-time) station. This means a fire pump is kept there but fire-fighters are not based at the station and are employed on an ‘on-call’ basis. Noel said he is concerned the retained station is not enough, following a blaze in the town centre. He said: “A Peugeot 206 caught

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Cooks fork out skills to rescue lunch club A LUNCHEON club threatened with closure due to a shortage of cooks has been saved after more volunteers joined up. Millhouse Green and Thurlstone Luncheon Club has provided hot meals to pensioners every Tuesday for 20 years. There were fears it would have to stop unless more helpers come forward. One of the long-serving cooks, Keith Raynor, said the club had a great response from an appeal in the Barnsley Chronicle which led to three cooks coming forward along with six extra helpers. “Having just the three of us meant we had to cook nearly every other week. So we really were desperate to find more volunteers and more people to help serve. “We have got the appropriate people we needed and also got some extra helpers to serve food on the day, so we did quite well out of the appeal. “We could have closed but I'm happy to say the long-term future is looking good.” The club provides two courses and tea and coffee and the volunteer cooks have to shop for the food as well as do the preparations in the church hall kitchens. Keith is looking to increase numbers now more cooks are on board. “For those who come it's not just the hot meal but also the chance to get out of the house and have a good chat that makes it so important,” he said. “The only thing we need now is a few extra punters and anyone out there who would like to come, who is over 60, is more than welcome.”

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Search for village queen to mark jubilee celebrations... BY KATIA HARSTON A CAWTHORNE group will crown a village queen as part of its diamond jubilee celebrations. The summer fete committee is looking for someone to become the village queen and be crowned on June 2 to mark the Queen’s jubilee. The committee also wants to find three attendants and a crown bearer for the celebrations. Chairman of the committee, Margaret Broadhead, said: “We are

hoping to crown a village queen, and her attendants, outside the village hall and have a procession of villagers in fancy dress up to the church for the diamond jubilee service. “In the evening we’re planning to have a bonfire at the cricket club.” Entrants for the queen must be aged between ten and 12, attendants, and the crown bearer, must be between seven and eight and all must reside in the parish of Cawthorne. Margaret said names will be

picked at random in front of the church congregation to ensure all entrants have an equal chance. “The winner of the queen’s crown will have a dress specially made for them and will also receive a tiara,” she added. “They will then lead the procession to the church.” Entry forms are available at Cawthorne post office and Cawthorne village stores and need to be completed before April 8 and handed in at the same store.

Charity day: Marie Curie fund-raiser Katie Grinter admires the daffodil mosaic created by children from Cawthorne Primary which raised over £100. Also with the display are school council members Charlie Bradbury and Theo Marsden and teacher Ruth Kukula. Picture: Wes Hobson. PD21685

A blooming good effort to coin in aid BY KATIA HARSTON A ‘BLOOMING’ good time was had by pupils at Cawthorne Primary who made a coin mosaic as part of their fund-raising day for a charity. Children celebrated daffodils coming into flower with a ‘mini pots of care day’ for the Marie

Curie Cancer Care charity. Youngsters spent the day decorating plant pots and enjoyed a yellow-themed day of fundraising as daffodils they planted in autumn came into bloom. Teacher Ruth Kukula said pupils also took £1 to school and made a daffodil mosaic using the money

they had raised. The children learned to care for their bulbs over the winter to represent the care Marie Curie nurses give to patients. The proceeds will help the nurses provide more free care to people with terminal cancer, and other illnesses, in their homes.

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Savile double to fix it for charity BY KATIA HARSTON FOR years marathon man Roger Cousins has been mistaken for Sir Jimmy Savile. Now the Penistone double has decide to use it to his advantage and will take on his ninth London marathon dressed as the late children’s TV presenter. It means Roger’s traditional running shorts are coming off and a sparkly tracksuit is going on for run on April 22. The 60-year-old, who has been a caretaker at St John’s Primary in Penistone for ten years, is well-known around the town for his fund-raising efforts. He said he was always being asked by strangers if he was Sir Jimmy, and in a nod to the real deal he’s gone out and bought his own shellsuit. Roger even has the trademark cigar to complete the look but proudly admits the silver mullet he sports is all his own hair. “With Jimmy passing away I decided it was time to do a tribute.” His previous marathons have seen him raise £18,310. St John’s Primary helped him choose where the money will go this year, with youngsters picking children’s charity Sparks. To donate visit

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All change: Penistone St John's C of E School pupils with teacher Lesley Sullivan as they attended a celebration service to mark the school becoming a primary school. Picture: Scott Bairstow. PD20780

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BY KATIA HARSTON CHILDREN at the new St John the Baptist Primary in Penistone may have to wait ‘two to three years’ before they’re all studying under the same roof. Headteacher, Antoinette Drinkhill, spoke about the merger of St John’s Infants and St John’s Juniors following a celebration held at Penistone church to mark the joining of the two schools. She is hoping an extension to the junior site will happen in the next two to three years to bring the children together under one roof. Ms Drinkhill currently bases herself on each school site for half the week and said the merger had been a success. “Children and staff have settled in splendidly and things are working exceptionally well,” she said. “I love my new role as headteacher of

the primary school and I feel very proud of the way children, staff and governors have worked hard to make the transition a success. “It is a real credit to all involved.” As they started the new term as St John’s Primary School pupils, the children celebrated by taking part in a service at St John’s Church. Pupils sang hymns and prayers and poems and readings were given by youngsters from each year group. A brief history of the school was read out by Ms Drinkhill, Canon Ian Wildey gave an address and Fr David Hopkin, who is chairman of governors at the new school, finished with a blessing. Other guests at the service included the Mayor of Penistone, Coun Steve Webber and the Mayor of Barnsley, Coun Karen Dyson.




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Scholars show off their new school logo CHILDREN at Springvale Primary have proudly unveiled a new school logo they helped design. Pupils worked with Penistone artist and illustrator Gill Tyler to come up with a design that was more in keeping with the new school, which opened in 2007. It replaced the old junior school demolished in 2005. The youngsters chose nearby Boulder Bridge as the inspiration for their drawings and decided to incorporate it into the final design. The ancient packhorse bridge is thought to be one of the oldest parts of Springvale and was used as part of the salt route. Gill said it was wonderful to work with such a dedicated team of children and said the final design was ‘tremendous’. “It is a really strong logo and will stand Springvale in good stead and shows the happy face of the school and the really creative, vibrant, happy confident children who go there. “I was very impressed.”

Design team: Local artist Gill Tyler with Springvale Primary pupils Adam Whiteley, year three, Lil Tolan, year two, Jessica Robinson, year two, and Matthew Walters, year four, all wearing their school uniform with the school’s new logo. Picture: Brett Carr. PD21750

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Councillor demands urgent review after frequent power cuts AN URGENT review in Penistone has been demanded following power cuts in the town and surrounding villages. Coun Andrew Millner has contacted supplier Northern Powergrid because of concerns over the reliability of its power supplies to homes and businesses. He said the Penistone ward had suffered ‘multiple significant power failures’ over the past two years and wants to know the root cause and what the company can do to stabilise supplies. “The cuts seem to vary between highvoltage failures, wide area network failures and local area failures. Often the outages have extended to several hours.” He believes possible redevelopment work such as Penistone Grammar ALC and town centre developments may have caused some ‘stress’ to the electrical infrastructure. “I’m being asked questions from resi-

dents concerned about the power outages, with some asking whether the Penistone area is in a third-world country.” Coun Millner told Northern Powergrid he expected its power infrastructure to be able to cope, and asked for a report on all significant failures affecting Penistone, Hoylandswaine, Springvale, Cubley, Thurlstone and Millhouse Green. Investigations are now being carried out by the firm to find the location of the fault. A spokesman for the company said: “This will involve using fault finding equipment, which may require excavation on site in order to isolate the section of cable that is damaged. “We would like to apologise to the residents of Penistone affected by this fault and reassure them that we are working hard to locate the fault so a full and permanent repair can be carried out.”

Plans to improve water quality A PROJECT to improve water quality for Penistone residents is costing £400,000 and will see more than two miles of old pipes replaced. Plans for the work by Yorkshire Water went on display at a drop-in session at St John’s Community Centre at the beginning of the month. Residents were able to find out more about the project, why it needs to be done and how it will improve drinking water quality. Work starts on March 16 when engineers began to replace and clean some two-anda-half miles of old water pipes in the area, many of which date back to about 1900. They started on Ward Street and

Vicarage Walk, and are progressing through the town towards Cubley. Mike Tunnicliffe, project manager, said: “This work is vital in ensuring Penistone residents continue to receive some of the best water in the world, while at the same time increasing the robustness of our pipe network and reducing the possibility of disruptive and costly bursts. “However, we recognise a project of this magnitude is always likely to cause some disruption and we want to reassure everybody concerned we’ll be doing all we can to keep this to a minimum and ensure we get everything back to normal.” The project is expected to be completed by September.

Race set up to run alongside walk A RACE will run alongside this year’s Penistone Boundary Walk. Penistone Footpath Runners and Athletics Club secretary, Martyn Cartwright, said the group has organised a 16-mile race that starts and finishes at Cubley Hall, which has sponsored the event.

Martyn said runners can either do the full route individually or as a relay team of three. Cubley Hall is offering a free night at Staindrop Lodge for the first man and woman to cross the line, as well as individual and relay prizes. Details of the race at

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George flies out to Goa to help needy BY KATIA HARSTON GEORGE Reid is swapping the rolling hills of Millhouse Green for the slums of India. The 16-year-old will embark on the trip of a lifetime this month to help restore a dilapidated house and turn it into a school for abandoned girls. George, of Millhouse Lane, is one of 23 students from Silcoates School, Wakefield, who will journey to Goa to carry out the work. He said a school presentation about India prompted him to get involved with the project. “There was a little quote at the end that said ‘educating one child won't change the world, but for that one child the world will change forever’. That really stuck in my mind.” George heads out to Goa on March 28 to start the longterm project and will be working for 18 days at the site educating kids, building the house and providing medical facilities. He said: “The building is big enough for four classrooms, a dormitory, a kitchen, an office, sun terrace and a front and back garden, which will be converted so the school can grow its own food. “Once completed it will provide abandoned girls with a safe environment where they can gain an education and work themselves out of poverty. We hope by May we will be able to take in the first 20 girls.” He must find £2,200. To make a donation call 766773 or 07976 386111.

On a mission: George Reid who is travelling to India. PD22204

Area manager raises the problem of kids trashing Penistone’s public toilets YOBS are continuing to trash the public toilets in Penistone, pulling soap dispensers off the wall and setting fire to paper towels. Elaine Down, the area manager for Neighbourhood Pride, raised the problem at a Partners and Communities Together (PACT) meeting. She said there is often trouble with youths in the Market Place toilets and told members it’s getting worse.

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“We always have problems with kids going in there but recently they've decided to start pulling the soap dispensers off the walls and squeezing them everywhere. “Getting that off the floor and walls is no easy task I can tell you. “They’ve been taking paper towels out and shoving them down the toilets and sinks and are setting fire to them now.” She said a caretaker locks the toilets at about 6pm and groups

of up to 20 kids are often seen hanging around. “He hears them talking about how he has spent time cleaning them and how they (the kids) will do it again tomorrow.” PC Mark Silcock, of Penistone Safer Neighbourhood Team told Elaine that keeping track of the youths ‘is like juggling’. “You are following them around and moving them on. We cannot just take names willy-nilly.” He said kids were taught at

school that they didn't need to give their names to police officers, which made it made more difficult. “It's all about children's rights now.” Coun Ann Rusby, of the Penistone West ward, said kids should be taught respect instead. “It's ridiculous. If I was stopped in the street by a policeman I would be terrified and think ‘what have I done?’. But kids — They are not bothered.”

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Farmer pulls lagoon plans after threatening messages A FARMER withdrew plans for a slurry lagoon because of ‘threatening’ emails and strong reaction from residents. Plans by Jeremy Holmes, who runs Delph House dairy farm at High Flatts, have caused upset among villagers living near the proposed site, with some saying they would no longer take milk from the farm or visit its ice-cream parlour. The slurry store, which would have cost Mr Holmes more than £30,000, was to be built off Gunthwaite Lane, Upper Denby. Mr Holmes said: “We have had a very strong reaction from local people to the planning application including some very threatening emails. “The situation has been very distressing for myself and my family

and we have been taken aback by the strength of feeling. “As someone who has lived here all my life I have found this very difficult to deal with and don't feel I can continue with the plans.” Mr Holmes said he never set out to ‘find himself at odds’ with the community of Upper Denby but was trying to find a solution to new regulations being imposed on dairy farms by the EU. “I don’t currently know how we are going to proceed but we are working closely with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and the Environment Agency to find a solution that is agreeable to all.” Those living close to the proposed site were angry about the 247-square metre lagoon, which would have held 400,000 litres of slurry.

Gunthwaite Lane resident Kathy Fletcher lives 50m away from where it would have been. She said there was a sense of relief in the village the lagoon would not be going ahead because of concern over foul smells. “It’s a great relief the farmer has realised how concerned the villagers were about it and well over 100 people wrote in to object.” Mrs Fletcher said people had been boycotting the farm’s Yummy Yorkshire ice-cream parlour and had heard about the ‘threatening emails’. She said: “I can assure you none of the people involved in objecting to this would do something like that. “We are all very reasonable people and have gone about things

the right way.” Speaking about the decision to withdraw, a spokesman for the NFU said: “It is obviously very regrettable that Mr Holmes and his family have found themselves in a situation where, by law, they need to increase their slurry storage capacity, but finding a site that is acceptable both to environmental regulators and local residents has proved so difficult. “Complying with regulations is something dairy farmers up and down the country are struggling with, especially as it requires huge investment at a time when the industry is facing real difficulties. “We hope the Environment Agency can now work with Mr Holmes to help resolve the situation.”

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My year as Mayor As his term in charge comes to an end, Mayor Steve Webber looks back over the year and tells why it was an honour to serve Penistone. TO ANY new Mayor, the sudden transition from a town councillor to the position of Mayor is quite a shock. No longer ‘just’ a councillor, suddenly you’re the figurehead for Penistone Town Council – and Penistone itself.

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As Mayor Elect for the previous year you spend some time preparing for the role but no sooner have you been confirmed as Mayor than you are thrown into what quite possibly is the biggest event in your year – the Penistone Mayor’s Parade and Gala. While this event is admirably organised by Penistone Round Table, supported by Penistone Scouts and colleagues on the Town Council, this is undoubtedly a stressful time. This year I had the dubious honour of setting two records – seeing the largest attendance at the Saturday afternoon ‘Proms in the Park’ con-

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ABOVE: Mayor Steve Webber at the Penistone Community Centre after pansies were stolen in January. CENTRE: Mayor and Mayoress Steve and Lynette Webber open Penistone Market with Barnsley Mayor and Consort Karen and Daniel Dyson in July. FAR LEFT: Steve joined parents and kids from the Thurlstone Community Group last month as part of a campaign to stop ‘dog fouling’ at a playground adjacent to Westfield Avenue.

cert followed by the wettest gala weekend Sunday on record. To say Sunday was a disappointment would be an understatement. The first thought I had was that this would badly let down the people of Penistone, closely followed by the worry of the effect this would have on generating funds for my nominated charities. No Mayor likes to think they’re not ‘doing the job’ properly, nor do they enjoy the thought of letting down their charities and I’m no different in this respect. However, from this point forward the past nine months have gone from strength to strength – my wife Lynette and I have been made to feel so welcome at countless events, from village galas, school concerts, community events at St John’s Church to musical performances at our

own Paramount cinema and theatre. These have involved judging animals and works of art, marvelling at the commitment and energy of our young people to watching performances from the incredibly talented local groups in our community – groups of whom we’re both so incredibly proud. I’m also very proud of the way the Town Council, the church, our schools and all the community groups I’ve mentioned have worked together for the benefit of our community. I really enjoyed organising the Christmas carol concert in the fantastic new market barn – now even better as a community venue as the glazing works near completion – and I hope we will see increased community use as time goes by. Fund-raising efforts have gathered pace as the year has progressed and right now, thanks to the amazing generosity of the people of

Penistone, Round Table and local restaurants, the total raised is just under £3,100. There’s not much more time to fund-raise but I’m still aiming to break the £4,000 barrier – any help would be appreciated. As I go into the final three months of my year as Mayor there is one overwhelming memory I know I will keep when my year is finished, and that’s the sense of respect and pride the people of Penistone have for the role of Mayor itself. It’s been an honour being Mayor of Penistone and my thanks go to my colleagues on the Town Council for giving me the role, to all the highly motivated community groups within Penistone for bringing to life the true meaning of ‘community spirit’ and last, but not least, to the fantastic support and encouragement from the people of Penistone.

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Icelandic guests can expect warm welcome ICELANDIC guests are expected to visit Penistone to celebrate 25 years of the town’s twinning with Grindavik. The secretary of the Penistone Grindavik Society, Sue Wood, is hoping to arrange the visit in April. The society was formed to encourage and support exchange visits and friendship between residents of both towns. The ten-strong group is in the early stages of planning a celebration of the twinning in Penistone.

Sue said: “It would be great to get the Grindavik and Penistone Town Council members together again, but it’s a diplomatic matter and the town council needs to invite them. “Our Icelandic friends are always impressed with the green landscape in Penistone because Iceland looks a bit like the moon. “Grindavik had taken off quite a bit since we first twinned, it’s now got roads whereas before there was just lava.” The towns were twinned on April 18, 1987, and Grindavik is on the south west coast of Iceland, about 40 miles from the capital Reykjavik.

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14 Penistone in Particular

Members of Penistone Town Council travelled to Grindavik for the ceremony, which Sue said was probably a first for towns in Iceland and the UK. Sue, who was in charge of the twinning and has visited the old town three times, added: “It’s great to know I have been involved all the way through. “The occasion was important enough to warrant the attendance of the Icelandic consul at the time, Jon Olgeirson, at the celebrations in Penistone and the ambassador to Iceland was at the celebrations in Grindavik.”

Daniel gets to grit with Mafia Daniel Kenyon swapped the rolling hills of Penistone for Palermo to write a book about the Mafia. Katia Harston spoke to him from the Sicilian capital. A FORMER journalist, Daniel moved to Palermo to work as a translator while studying the ‘Cosa Nostra’. He has used his time and experience on the Italian island to write a crime thriller called The Savage Heart of Palermo. Daniel, 34, wants to use the book to raise money for an anti-Mafia organisation called Addiopizzo, or ‘Goodbye Protection Money’. He said the organisation encourages people and businesses not to pay extortion money to the Mafia. “I wanted to write the book to show the Mafia how it really is, and not the glamorised version people often see in films like The Godfather. “The reality is much grittier; they dress in much less elegant fashion, most of them are far less handsome than Marlon Brando and Al Pacino and the opera house is one of the last places you are likely to see them,” he said. The book is based on fact and features real people and places, but Daniel isn’t too worried about ‘payback’. “Names have been changed, in most cases, to protect myself. “I would like to draw attention to the situation without making a martyr of myself. “But I will say that one of the people who features very briefly in the book actually turned out to be a Mafia boss

Bossing it: Daniel Kenyon has written a fact-based crime thriller based on the Mafia, which he hopes will raise money for an anti-Mafia organisation. and I never knew it at the time, though suspected something like it. “He is the owner of a bar where I used to drink and quite well known by many local people. That’s as much as I can say.”

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Ladies still loving every minute of it LADIES who attend Ingbirchworth Women’s Institute are ‘still going strong’ after celebrating the group’s 50th year. Two of the founding members, Hilda Irvine, 89, and Marlene Holmes, helped mark the milestone at a specially organised get-together at Ingbirchworth chapel. Marlene, 78, said it was ‘a really lovely afternoon’ with members enjoying a meal, an anniversary cake and entertainment by a man playing old time songs. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of being a member here,” she said. “One of the highlights for me was the Silver Jubilee celebrations in the village which the WI took part in as well as the Royal wedding last year.” Marlene praised the current committee for its hard work and said what keeps her going each month is the friendship and camaraderie within the group.

Celebration time: Founding members of the Ingbirchworth Women’s Institute Hilda Irvine and Marlene Holmes with current president Janet Oliver celebrating the institute’s 50th anniversary. Picture: Brett Carr.

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In the club: Alison Littlewood’s new book has featured on Richard and Judy.

Cold season makes spring a thriller for author Alison A FORMER Penistone Grammar pupil has had her first novel recognised by TV Stars Richard and Judy. Alison Littlewood’s A Cold Season, a supernatural thriller, was chosen along with seven other titles for the Richard and Judy Spring Book Club 2012. It tells the story of Cass, a mother trying to build a new life for herself and her young son Ben after the death of her soldier husband Pete. Cass returns to the village where she lived as a child but her new home is not what she expected. When a snow storm cuts off the village, she is faced with problems and a fight to protect her son. Alison, 40, who now lives in Sandal, was inspired to write the story after travelling over the Pennines. “I think people in Penistone can relate to being cut off because of heavy snow,”

she said. “It is amazing, I have just been ploughing away on my own and I have been trying to develop my craft. “You just carry on thinking nothing is going to come at the end of it because publishing is so difficult to get into. “I have been so lucky and it has been amazing seeing it in the displays in WH Smiths. It has been very surreal.” Alison has already tasted success with her short stories, as a writer of dark fantasy and horror fiction she has appeared in numerous magazines. Her passion for literature goes back to her childhood and growing up in Penistone has played its part. “I have just loved books since being a kid and my mum used to take me to Penistone Library when I was a kid,” Alison said. “I was taught by James Burke, he was a great teacher, I always remember his lessons.”

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‘Map needed to protect from ballistic blades’ WARD members in Penistone want a location map created to show existing and proposed wind farms so ‘more realistic’ separation distances between turbines, roads and properties can be enforced. Coun Robert Barnard asked for the map to be produced after reading how high winds in Huddersfield damaged turbines and blades fell off three of them. Reports show there were problems at Hepworth and at two farms in Upper Cumberworth. A fourth windmill in Holmfirth was also damaged. The firm which made the damaged turbines has promised a full investigation. Coun Barnard said: “It appears gales have caused disintegrating turbine blades to be flung all over the place. “I do feel like saying ‘I told you so’. “I have repeatedly warned about the dangers of ballistic projection from both broken blade sections and lumps of ice when objecting to planning applications.

“But these risks have not been taken into account. There is even a formula which allows one to calculate how far a blade section could be flung based on the height of the tower, the radius of the blades and the speed of rotation. “In most cases this equates to around ten times the blade-tip height yet we have turbines situated much closer to roads and houses. Given that we are seeing endless applications for turbines, this problem is only going to get worse unless we are prepared to enforce more realistic separation distances.” Mayor of Penistone, Coun Steve Webber supports Coun Barnard’s calls for action on separation distances. He said: “As a member of Barnsley Council’s planning regulatory board I have been asking for some time now for a cohesive boroughwide location map of existing and planned turbine sites. “So when we’re asked to consider an individual application we can assess it against the existing density within the area concerned.”

Towering: A turbine under construction in July.

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Susan says farewell as she retires A SCHOOL secretary has retired from Oxspring Primary after 27 years. Susan Lowe started out at the Sheffield Road school as an administration and teaching assistant in September 1984. The 62-year-old, of Silkstone, said much had changed at the primary over the years and the decision to retire is because she’s ‘an oldie’. The highlight for her has been writing a book on the school's history from 1880 to 2010. She is now planning to spend her time walking and playing more golf. “I’ll be doing a bit more exercise and going on holidays.” She celebrated her retirement by going out to dinner with colleagues.

Farewell: Oxspring Primary School retiring school secretary, pictured left, Susan Lowe with pupils George Broad, 11, and Lorna Williams, ten. Picture: Scott Bairstow. PD20938

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Acclaim for Claire with top award A LECTURER and researcher from Hoylandswaine has been made a fellow of the College of Occupational Therapists. Claire Craig, 42, who works at Sheffield Hallam University, is one of only 86 to receive the honour, the highest the organisation can give. She is a researcher in Lab4living within the art and design research centre at the university, and is also a teacher in health and wellbeing. The focus of her work is around active ageing and people with dementia. Claire, who lives in Hoylandswaine but is originally from Royston, said it is ‘an exceptional honour’. “It’s great to be recognised by my peers,” she said. “It also shows the strength of the occupational therapy provision at the university, as I’m the second person to receive the fellowship, and there are only 86 in total across the country.” Naomi Hankinson, chairman of council at the British Association and College of Occupational Therapists said Claire is a talented and inspirational educator. “Much of her work centres on the important role that occupational therapy plays in the well-being of older people and people with dementia. “She is a wonderful ambassador for the pro-

Top award: Researcher Claire Craig has received the highest honour in her field. fession both here and abroad.” It follows Claire becoming a National Teaching Fellow last year, and success in the university’s own ‘inspirational teaching awards’ when she was nominated by students for her approach to learning. She will receive her award at the College of Occupational Therapists’ annual conference in Glasgow in June.

Much of her work centres on “the important role that occupational therapy plays in the wellbeing of older people and people with dementia

” Umbrella company floors it with renewable energy AN UMBRELLA supplier in Penistone has become one of the first in the country to benefit from a share of an £860m renewable heat incentive. The Booth Brothers’ offices, based in an 18th century former cornmill in Millhouse Green, qualified for the financial support because it will be kept warm through an under-floor heating system powered by a renewable energy heat pump. The incentive scheme was launched last year to make it more

20 Penistone in Particular

‘financially attractive’ for industry and businesses to install low carbon heating systems like heat pumps, biomass boilers or solar thermal panels. Charles Booth said being one of the first installations to be accredited under the scheme was ‘very satisfying’. “It’s good for Booth Brothers in terms of developing our strategic target of carbon neutral for our Bullhouse Mill site and eco-umbrella factory.

“Last year our Old Corn Mill offices were commended for their eco-rating. “We generate electricity from two wind turbines, solar panels and hydro-generation so making the heat we use low carbon was naturally the next step.” Climate change minister Greg Barker said renewable heat is a largely untapped resource and an important new green industry of the future. “It’ll help the UK shift away from

fossil fuel, reducing carbon emissions and encouraging innovation, jobs and growth in new advanced technologies,” he said. About half of the country’s carbon emissions come from the energy used to produce heat – more than that created from generating electricity. It is hoped the RHI will reduce emissions by 44 million tonnes of carbon, equivalent to the annual carbon emitted by 20 new gas power stations.

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High wind protocol review on the A628 THE frequent closure of the Woodhead Pass due to high winds is causing frustration for Penistone commuters. Coun Robert Barnard has contacted the Secretary of State for transport, Justine Greening, about the closures and has asked for a review of the protocols that decide when the road shuts. He said: “It has been closed more than usual this winter. “A number of people have complained to me that is it closed more frequently when it doesn’t need to be. “I have brought it up within the police authority and wrote to the Department of Transport.” Coun Barnard has received a letter from Mike Penning from the department. “He says it is aware of the situation and the department will be conducting a review into the protocol of dealing with high winds in the Yorkshire region focusing on the A628,” said Coun Barnard. He also said the department is looking at changing criteria. “Hopefully there will be more consideration in the way they deal with protocol,” said the Penistone East ward councillor. “The problem is closing the road to all vehicles when it should only be high-sided vehicles, which are those that get overturned by high winds. “It is usually curtain-siders which are vulnerable with high winds if they are empty because they turn over easily when they are not loaded. “The issue we have got is more people than we realise commute to Manchester across the A628 and instead are having to use the M62 and that’s pretty bad in the morning and evening. “It adds at least 30 miles to the journey. “There are also businesses on that road and when it’s closed they are losing trade.”

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Norman conquests: Cawthorne Primary School pupils Olivia Scholey, eight, and Robert Hill, eight, who took part in the school’s museum day.

Dressing up’s the Norm at primary school A CLASSROOM at Cawthorne Primary was turned into a museum for the day with pupils playing the part of bilingual tour guides. Parents were invited to look around the museum which youngsters in class four created as part of their studies on the Battle of Hastings, the Bayeux

Tapestry and Norman conquerors. Teacher Ruth Kukula said parents were amazed at the artefacts pupils had made to go on display. “The children really threw themselves into it and became the experts, showing parents around,” she said.

“They made all kinds of artefacts like helmets and little model ships, stitched their own tapestries, we even had a castle in the classroom.” As well as creating displays, children made a reception and shop area where they sold artefact gifts to visitors and made a profit of about £10.




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