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FREE ❧ JESMOND COMMUNITY FESTIVAL ISSUE ❧

Wednesday 9 May 2012

News, views and who’s who in NE2

Photos from the Festival (p6), and a dazzling charity concert at RGS (p2)

SEC ON D ISS UE

Surprise celebrity interview inside (p2)

125 not out for Cricket Club Newcastle Cricket Club celebrates 125 years at the heart of the Jesmond community this Sunday with an open day packed full of activities. Visitors will get to try their hand at archery, Zumba and wine tasting, as well as the eponymous game; before kicking back in the stands to watch a cup match from 1.30pm. Fresh from a £150,000 refurbishment over the winter, the Cricket Club sports a new pavilion entrance further up Osborne Avenue with a ramp and automatic doors. “It would have been impossible to make all the progress of the last six years without the huge number of supporters who’ve been generous with their time, with donations and idea,” said co-chair of the Club, Olwyn Hocking. “It’s been extremely hard work to ensure the club’s future, but it is all worth it when you see so many more people enjoying using the

ground and pavilion, and the community all coming together”. The Club has a long tradition of self-help: last year’s volunteers won a special award from the English Cricket Board, and it was a high-profile community campaign over two years from 2004 which helped save the historic ground from closure. Over 60 volunteers turned out for its annual Cricketforce event on 1 April, wielding brushes and tools to get the Club in shape for the new season. It was a similar feat of altruism that brought the Club into being 125 years ago. The recent discovery of a newspaper article from 1887 reveals how money to convert the fields on Osborne avenue into a sports ground was raised – by a Fancy Dress Ball held at Newcastle’s Assembly Rooms, when several hundred partygoers danced until 3am.

Hocking also pays tribute to the ground’s current leaseholders, the Royal Grammar School. “They really appreciate how special the ground is and have been committed to its restoration,” she said. “The club is looking the best it has in many years,” she added. “But best of all is the expansion in sports activity: the new accessible entrances and facilities have meant that people with disabilities are now able to use the ground and pavilion. “There’s also been growing interest in women’s cricket so that’s been added this season as well. Against a national trend of falling participation in sport, and falling volunteering, the Club is a wonderful focal point that is bucking the trend and tempting people to roll up their sleeves and try something new.” The open day takes place from 11am to 4pm on Sunday 13 May.


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Youth4Youth Chernobyl Continuity concert dazzles RGS Variety concert fundraiser proves the North East’s youth is brimming with talent. Charlotte Krol reports.

Castletown Primary School Choir were one of many performers on the night.

Young performers from the region’s school choirs, music, theatre and dance groups took part in the annual Chernobyl Continuity Youth4Youth variety concert on Friday night. Chernobyl Continuity was founded in 1998 and Brenda Dinsdale has been running the Youth4Youth variety concert every year. She says the idea is for local kids in the North East of England to do something special for the youth of Belarus, who have suffered so severely in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The atmosphere at the Royal Grammar

School was alive with charity representatives, supporters, and proud parents, with This Morning agony aunt Denise Robertson MBE hosting the evening. Vitali Shumski from the embassy of Belarus was also in attendance, with Newcastle sheriff Jackie Slessinger, Deputy Lord Lieutenant George Mitchell and other dignitaries showing their support for the charity’s ongoing work. Gymnasts flipped across the performing arts centre’s stage, while various school choirs charmed the crowds with musical theatre pieces (including some Cameroonian song

chants)! Instrumental jazz pieces, solo vocal performances, acapella numbers and steel drumming also lit up the stage. Brenda expressed how talented she thinks the acts are: “There is no dress rehearsal. The performers come in at about 4pm on the day of the concert for a soundcheck and then they perform all the way through. I think to be able to do that tells you a little about the spirit behind it.” A poetry competition is held every year in conjunction with the variety concert, in which a resource pack about the Chernobyl disaster is sent to local schools and pupils are asked to write their own piece of literature. “It really encourages the children to think about it and put their thoughts onto paper,” Brenda enthused. It was clear during the onstage readings that the children had worked extremely hard; some of their writing moved audience members to tears. All proceeds from the event – taken from ticket, program and raffle prices – go directly to Chernobyl Continuity. “Every single one of the acts performs for free, they don’t even have expenses – but they do get a chocolate biscuit at the end!” Brenda revealed. If you would like to know more about Chernobyl Continuity or submit a donation, email zippy@talktalk.net or call 0191 2502040.

This Morning agony aunt Denise Robertson: ‘there’s great community spirit here.’ Charlotte Krol talks to the renowned broadcaster about her patronage to Chernobyl Continuity and connection with Jesmond. Could you tell us why you are here at the Royal Grammar School today for the Youth4Youth charity concert? I have been a patron for Chernobyl Continuity ever since it began and have compared the concert every year that it has happened, apart from last year when I had sciatica.

vation. I remember the people who were fostering them here saying that the only problem they had was that they couldn’t ever get the children out of the bath because they didn’t have them at the time. They were lovely young people and a credit to their country. I’m now grabbed by the fact that it is youth for youth; it is the youth of the North East doing something for a country far away and I love that idea. Besides, the youth of the North East are so talented, it’s a pleasure to listen to them.

And what is it specifically about Chernobyl Continuity that affects you? In the beginning, I felt very moved by the plight of the children who, when they used to come over here, were absolutely lovely and were coming from such conditions of depra-

You have been hosting this event for 12 years so you have obviously been coming to Jesmond on these occasions. What are your thoughts about this area and its community spirit? Well, from what I see, there is a great community spirit here. It has always been known

outside of Newcastle as quite a posh area. But it seems to me to be it’s a posh area with a very human face.

Denise Roberts (left) with Charlotte Krol


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WINNER BAKES IT ALL Foodies face-off in flantastic quiche comp, writes Alex Carr. During the first week of the Jesmond Community Festival, Jesmond foodies were invited to enter their homemade quiches and tarts in a contest. Café 1901 on St. George’s Terrace held a quiche competition on 1 May and announced the winner the following day. Marins van Laar took home the title with his ham and asparagus quiche. The café’s staff judged the quiches and tarts, both savoury and sweet, based on taste and presentation. In previous years, Café 1901 has hosted cake competitions during the festival. Owner Tim

Jhoom in Jesmond

Boyers said the café wanted to do something different this year. The winner received a free tea or coffee and cake for two, courtesy of the hosts. Jesmond Festival attendees can expect more food events next week. Pizza Express will host a Junior Pizza Master Chef competition and The Northumberland Club will hold its Spring Graze.

JesmondLocal’s Kerstin Vogel and Alexandra Carr learn five key Bollywood movie moves with teacher Suzi Bradford Bollywood-style dancing and exercise came to Jesmond last week when Suzi Bradford taught a free “Just Jhoom” class at Jesmond Pool as part of the Jesmond Community Festival.

Photo by Neeta Lind

Bradford – who shares her favourite moves in the comic strip above – teaches Just Jhoom at the Jesmond United Reform Church on Fridays from 2:15-3:15pm and from 4–5pm. She also teaches Bokwa at Jesmond Pool on Tuesdays from 7:15-8:15pm.

Local elections: Labour snatch South Jesmond seat, while Lib Dems retain North Felicity Mendelson beats Chris Boyle with almost 50% of vote, reports Bob Cooper. The Liberal Democrats have lost one of the two Jesmond seats being contested in the local elections, while retaining the other with an increased share of the vote. South Jesmond councillor Chris Boyle lost out to Labour rival Felicity Mendelson, who brought about a massive swing to Labour. The party’s share of the vote more than doubled

since the last time the seat was contested, rising from 21% to 47%. Chris Boyle said he was disappointed, but that he had “really enjoyed” representing the people of Jesmond over the last nine years. Green Party candidate Tony Waterston polled 210 votes. It was a different story in North Jesmond, where incumbent Peter Breakey won 978 votes, comfortably beating his nearest rival,

David Hickling of Labour, with 523. Breakey increased his share of the North Jesmond vote from 52% the last time the seat was up for election, to 56%. The number of votes was significantly fewer for all parties, however, with a much reduced turnout compared to 2008. Voters in Newcastle also rejected the proposition of introducing an elected mayor to the city.


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Jesmond cycling routes “not fit for purpose” Kerstin Vogel talks to Councillor Nigel Todd about safe cycling and traffic infrastructure.

Is the council prepared to take radical action on issues like traffic calming, cycle lanes, cycle signing and development of residential streets in Jesmond? We would like to work with you on finding solutions to the problems, and within the budgets that are available improve the cycling infrastructure. I’ve experienced some of Jesmond’s cycle routes, and it’s very clear that they’re not fit for purpose. Is the council prepared to face short term unpopularity from motorists for future environmental and community benefits? We’re committed to pursuing the hierarchy of road usage as our guiding principles and being quite pushy about respecting the hierarchy. That approach puts pedestrians and non-vehicle users at the top of the list, of course. But it’s always best to try to work firstly at achieving consensus between different groups of road users who have a legitimate claim on access to the highway. This can take time because people need to come to an awareness of why changes are desirable as well as understand each other’s points of view, exploring what common ground might be there and how this could contribute to greater road safety. If in the end a choice has to be made between conflicting interests, that has to be done on the basis of principles, evidence and need, rather than

popularity contests. How soon could the council implement meausures towards safer cycling in Jesmond? I think we should regard this as a project and apply project management principles. So, there needs to be an agreed plan with clear overall objectives and specific tasks to be achieved, identifying whose responsibility it is to carry out each item, and that plan would shape a timetable. The two Ward Committees in Jesmond appear to be working together on cycling issues, and if that can be sustained then I imagine that progress will be quicker.

Does the council have any particular strategies in mind for developing safe cycle routes? We will be looking at this as part of the work programme flowing from the Newcastle Cycle Forum’s overall cycling plan which was agreed by the City Council earlier this year. The adoption of the new concept of creating seven City-wide strategic cycling routes as part of the plan offers a framework which, among other things, suggests identifying options for supplementary and local safe

Jesmond through a lens How’s that? Jesmond resident Terry Phillips won Jesmond Community Forum’s recent calendar competition with this snapshot of a match at Newcastle Cricket Club. You can almost hear the sound of leather on willow as you gaze on this idyllic view of a great English pastime.


Wednesday 9 May 2012

Bob Cooper ponders the joys of compost.

Leafing through the programme for the Jesmond Community Festival, one event in particular leaps off the page. Sunday 13th May is ‘Composting Day’, which promises ‘workshops, demonstrations and fun.’ Now for the average punter, there may seem nothing further from the idea of ‘fun’ than composting: a banal pursuit of eccentric gardeners with nothing better to do; mucky, messy and smelly, you might think. But don’t be so quick to judge. There are few subjects more fascinating, more intricate, than that of rotting organic matter. There’s a lot more to it than you might think. Gardeners hold competitions to see who can produce the best compost and, when you get it right, a lovely, crumbly substance is your reward. It’s soft and warm to touch and your plants will love it. If you think I’m talking a lot of rot, just have a read on and share some of my composting memories. There’s humour, twists and turns, and even romance along the way. When I first got an allotment, I became incredibly excited by the prospect of composting. I read all the books. The best thing to do, it seemed, was to have three compost piles: one on which to throw fresh waste; one covered over, in which the stuff was in the process of breaking down; and one of fully rotted material, ready to dig into the soil. But it’s not as simple as that. You have to balance out what kind of things you add to your compost. A layer of easily compostable, freshly-cut grass, for example (known as green waste), ought to be complemented by, say, a layer of nice woody perennials (known as brown waste). Too much green and the compost will be too wet; too much brown and it will struggle to rot. Compost also needs an ‘activator’ to speed up

Storytellers in training

Citizen journalists learn their trade at the first JesmondLocal bootcamp, writes Maria Loupa. Media specialists and volunteers came together to explore the world of citizen journalism last Wednesday at the first JesmondLocal Digital Journalism Bootcamp. Jesmond residents were shown how to tell

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the degrading process. I discovered early on that one substance I could use was human urine. It was serendipitous, then, that my allotment had no toilet facilities. The biggest question, however, was where to get the material from. It was all very well using bits of garden waste, but compost needs all sorts of nutrients, egg shells and banana skins, being particularly good sources. So I decided to set up a compost bin at home. This was problematic in that I shared a house with other chaps in their early twenties who perhaps weren’t as clued up on compost as I was. I wrote a neat list of what could be put in it, making it clear they were not to add anything else. Meat and fish in particular were a no-no. This of course was my first time. One thing I was unprepared for was that, as time passes, the volume of the contents of the bin gets smaller and smaller, as it rots down and ever down. I found, then, that there was no need to empty it for some time. I’ll just wait till it’s full, I thought, then take it to the allotment. In my composting innocence, I finally decided to empty the bin some months after first throwing stuff in it. Unsurprisingly, the thing was heavy. I quickly found removing the bag was not an option; it would surely split. And as I tried to take it out a putrid odour escaped. With all my effort and my nose level with the lid, I carried it down into Jesmond Vale, past the Blue Bell pub and through to my garden. It was the longest five minutes of my life. How could anything smell so bad? The stench was thick and palpable, as if an animal had died. When I finally got to my compost heap, I hurriedly threw on the contents. To my horror, I discovered a large fish carcass in amongst the peelings and leftovers. No wonder the stench

their own stories using their smartphones and free online tools, such as YouTube. Adam Perry of Media Trust came along to the session to provide some helpful tips on shooting video. ‘You should think about where it is best to shoot, write your questions down and think about how you will introduce and end the interview,’ he said. JesmondLocal reporters paired up with bootcampers and shared advice, working in teams to produce short audio and video interviews.

was so toxic! One of my housemate’s trout dinners had found its way in. I should have known a clear list and set of instructions would be inadequate. When I asked my housemate Dave about it, he replied, “Duh, I just thought it would rot down.” So perhaps you might be asking, “When does the story get better?” Admittedly I’m not selling this as hard as I promised. But there is another theme that goes to the heart of my composting tale: love. When I first took over my allotment, I was in the first season of a blossoming romance. And like any plant in the garden, a seedling relationship needs a good supply of compost, if it is to establish itself as a hardy perennial. I was making my own, yes, but I was starting from scratch. I needed as much rotting matter as I could lay my hands on. I remember in those early days of gardening, my girlfriend Helen would come round to my house with bags of half rotted fruit skins and egg shells and mouldy bread from her kitchen. And just as a young courting gentleman might present his pretty fair maid with a nosegay of freshly-picked wildflowers, Helen would knock on my door and hand me two bags of stinking, decomposed rubbish. One day she came to my house via the park, carrying one of these lovingly prepared gifts. She sat on a bench, enjoying the view (and the smell), when, to her dismay, a terrier came rooting through the bag, trying to scoff the treasure inside. The owner caught up and responsibly threw Helen’s gift in a nearby bin, before dragging away the filthy creature. She was distraught, as you can imagine. But love prevailed and, casting aside dignity and hygiene, she foraged through the garbage and fished out what was left of her little parcel. Greater love hath no woman. And greater love hath no man than for his compost. The Composting Day festivities will take place at the West Jesmond allotments, off Forsyth Road, between midday and 4pm, Sunday. Don’t miss out.

One of the bootcampers admitted to never using their phone camera before, whilst another uploaded his video straight to his YouTube channel. By the end of the session, the teams had formed ideas for possible news stories, which will be developed and presented by the end of the festival. See JesmondLocal.com/bootcamps for more details on the project.


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Jesmond Community Festival in pictures

All smiles at the Grand Festival Fair, 28 April.

Hear ye: David Whinham captures the Festival Parade as it marches along Acorn Road on 28 April.

Songbirds: the RGS Chamber Music Concert on Thursday 5 May.

Volunteers hard at work in Jesmond Dene on Thursday 5 May

Waitrose lovelies at the Grand Festival Fair on 28 April

The Jesmond Community Orchard team on 29 April

Va va voom: vintage cars make their way along Osborne Road on 28 April, as part of the Festival Parade. Photo by David Whinham.

See more photos and upload your own at Facebook.com/jesmondfestival


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The JesmondLocal crossword

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Brought to you by the indefatigable Bob Cooper

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1 North Italian city (6) 2 Sweet that pulls your fillings out (6) 3/6 Former Newcastle footballer, recently interviewed by JesmondLocal (5,6) 4 Lorca play (5) 5 Insects’ home (7) See 15 down 7 Style of furniture from the 9 time of George III (7) 13/23 MP for Whitney (6,7) 14 Cats have this many lives (4) 15/19/7 Musical adapted from Gaston Leroux novel (7,2,3,5)

A score (6) Until you’re sick (2,7) See 3 down An age (3) Viz character who chortles at double meanings (6,8) See 12 across In which to make a rash decision (4,2,2,6)

13 Invented by Alfred Nobel (8) 15 Procession held as part of Jesmond Community Festival (6) 17 Advocating biblical authority (9) 20 Charity running hospital in Jesmond (8) 22 Dark-reddish colour (4) 26 Equip with weapons (3) 28 See 5 across 29 Distinguished musician (7)

M I KE L P W QU E E N S X I D I J A N LACT I C THE EMI GR E R A S B E C L A S S R O OM GA L L L E S N O A E S P E RANTO SUN U V H AWK E U D D I EG O A P A R S N I P I S TON U O D O O O D I M A ADO B ONANZ A P ADDY L D O B V M U R I S I B L E G A R C I A D N U M K T 33 Differ (8) 34 See 10 across 35 ______ Sauvignon, grape variety from the Bordeaux region (8)

Find us online We’re a hyperlocal news website for people who live and work in Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne. Find news, views and stuff to do in our neighbourhood at JesmondLocal.com JesmondLocal.com

@JesmondLocal

editor@ JesmondLocal.com

JesmondLocal


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Jesmond Community Festival Programme Jesmond Community Festival runs from 28 April to 14 May 2012. Here’s the final part of the programme up to Monday 14 May. For full details, visit Jesmondlocal.com/jesmond-community-festival-2012

Wednesday 9 May Jesmond Methodist Church, St George’s Terrace Handicraft Workshop 2 10:00am – 12 midday Something for everyone Holy Name Church Hall, Towers Avenue La Jolie Ronde 3:40 - 5:45pm (French) Free taster sessions in French, for children aged up to 9. Contact Ruth Gibson on parujual2006@yahoo.co.uk Family Fun St Catherine’s RC Primary School, Greystoke Gardens, Sandyford Martial Arts Taster Sessions 6:00 – 6:45pm (children aged 6+) & 7:00 – 8:00pm (adults aged 16+) Led by Faye Farthing of North East Martial Arts. Family Fun Jesmond Methodist Church, St George’s Terrace Handicraft Workshop 3 6:30 – 8:30pm Something for everyone Newcastle Cricket Club, Osborne Avenue Journalism Bootcamp 7:00 – 10:00pm Something for everyone

Thursday 10 May

Contact Jesmond Library for details or ring 0191 277 4100. Something for everyone West Jesmond Primary School, Tankerville Terrace Top School Challenge 7:00 – 9:30pm Knockout quiz for teams of students aged 14/15 from Heaton Manor, Church High School, Central Newcastle High School and the Royal Grammar School, with Question Master Steve Drayton. To be broadcast on Jesmond Local. For a limited amount of tickets contact chrismurtagh@line-up.co.uk Family Fun Holy Trinity Church, Churchill Gardens Young Singers Concert 7:30 – 9:30pm Music The Mansion House, Fernwood Road Music at the Mansion House 7:30 – 9:00pm Songs by Schubert, Wolff, Brahms and Quilter, performed by Les Hodgson (Tenor) and Len Young (Piano), promoted by Jesmond Community Leisure to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the re-opening of Jesmond Pool. Tickets cost £10, and can be purchased fromJesmond Pool. Music

Friday 11 May

Jesmond Methodist Church, St George’s Terrace JesReel: Cars 10:30am – 12:30pm Family Fun St Hilda’s Church, Thornleigh Road Book Stall 11:00 – 4:00pm Something for everyone Jsmond Library, St George’s Terrace Ian Gillard’s Forensic Workshop for Children 2:00 – 3:30pm. Contact Jesmond Library for details or ring 0191 277 4100. Family Fun Café 1901, St George’s Terrace Jesmond Sings! 3:00 – 3:30pm Music Jesmond Methodist Church, St George’s Terrace Sounds@live 7:00 – 9:30pm (Doors open at 6:30pm) Music Holy Trinity Church, Churchill Gardens Monteverdi Vespers 1610 7:30 – 9:00pm Jesmond Consort, conducted by Jonathan Scott. Music

Sunday 13 May

Jesmond Library, St George’s Terrace Lunchtime Recital 12:30 – 1:30pm Music

Newcastle Cricket Club, Osborne Avenue Newcastle Cricket Club Open Day 11:00 am – 4:00pm Open Day

Northern Counties College, Tankerville Terrace Horticulture Knowledge Exchange 1:30 – 3:00pm Something for everyone

West Jesmond Allotments, off Forsyth Road, opposite 1 Highbury Composting Day 12:00 mid-day – 4:00pm Family Fun

Barney & Jude’s, Greystoke Avenue, Sandyford Lunch and Meeting Point for the Over 60’s Doors Open 11:30am, Lunch served at 12:30pm (Voluntary Donation £2:50) Fifty Plus

St Hilda’s Church, Thornleigh Road Poetry Evening 7:00 – 9:00pm Something for everyone

St George’s Church Hall, Osborne Road Semitones Concert 2:00 – 3:00pm Music

St George’s Church, Osborne Road Open Rehearsal7:00 – 8:00pm Music

Newcastle Cricket Club, Osborne Avenue Journalism Bootcamp 7:00 – 10:00pm Something for everyone

Exhibition Park, off Brandling Park or Claremont Road Fun and Fitness for Over Fifties 2:00 – 4:00pm Fifty Plus

Saturday 12 May

Monday 14 May

Jesmond Old Cemetery, Jesmond Road Heritage Tours 10:00am – 12 mid-day and 1:00 – 3:00pm Contact info@jesmondoldcemetery.co.uk Something for everyone

Barney & Jude’s, Greystoke Avenue, Sandyford R J Thompson 7:30 – 10:00pm Music

Jesmond United Reformed Church Hall, Burdon Terrace Open Morning for Mothers and Toddlers at Brandling Village Pre-School 10:00 – 12:00 mid-day. Family Fun

Jesmond Library, St George’s Terrace Tyne Rhyme and Wine 6:15 – 7:45pm


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