Melbourne Village Voice February 2024

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MEMBERS of Melbourne Parish Council found themselves “between a rock and a hard place” – in the words of one councillor – before narrowly voting not to support controversial plans for up to 66 homes on Jawbone Lane. It was standing room only at the latest meeting of the parish council in Melbourne Assembly Rooms on February 6 as around 40 people packed the room out to hear the proposals from Davidsons Homes discussed. So many people went that the parish council doubled the normal time allocation of 15 minutes for public participation to allow residents a full half an hour to make their views heard. Plans from Davidsons to build up to 66 homes on land at Jawbone Lane were sent to South Derbyshire District Council at the end of last year. A planning statement accompanying the proposals detailed how Melbourne Parish Council had voted that they would support an application for a large scale housing development in return for free extension land for the cemetery, along with a new sexton facility, an upgrade to the public right of way to the newly granted land, and a right of way from Jawbone Lane. The statement said the parish council had acknowledged that a large housing development on the land was “not really in line” with its adopted Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP), which states among other policies that the separation of Melbourne and Kings

by Lucy Stephens

Newton should be maintained. The NDP, which runs until 2028, is a document setting out priorities for development in Melbourne following on from extensive consultation with the local community. Parish council minutes from the meeting in which the vote took place in October 2022 reveal that the discussion on the proposal was conducted during the exempt section in which the Press and public are excluded. The proposed site on Jawbone Lane has been the subject of a previous planning application from Linden Homes, which was rejected by South Derbyshire District Council’s Planning Committee and subsequently also dismissed at appeal. But the impassioned parish council meeting heard how, from some councillors’ point of view, the offer to extend land to Melbourne’s cemetery was exceptional in order to protect the opportunity for local people to bury their loved ones locally for many years to come. The room heard how the cemetery currently has capacity to remain available for around three or four more years. The proposed extension would mean it could serve the local community for another century or more. Another factor that came up for debate was the fact that local schools for primary aged children are currently experiencing a fall in pupils and a housing development Continued on Page 5.

L of a double act ...

WHAT are the chances? Two mates from Melbourne passed their driving test on the same day – and as luck would have it they even got the same examiner too! Sam Bancroft and Tom Stock have grown up together, going through Melbourne Infant, Junior and Chellaston schools alongside each other. At 17 they took on driving lessons with the same instructor, Lee Moore, and by chance ended up taking their test on the same day. Both passed with flying colours and are enjoying the freedom of their wheels. Instructor Lee said: “They both got fantastic passes, it was wonderful for them! Same driving instructor, same day, same examiner, same re-

sult! “First of all, it was lovely that there was a competition between the two of them. “I didn’t let the examiner know until the end of that day. “They’re both very safe and confident drivers –

for me, it’s about putting safe drivers on the roads around Melbourne.” As for whether Tom and Sam achieved exactly the same level on their test, The Village Voice couldn’t possibly comment. Suffice to say, both

achieved an extremely proficient level and passed their tests to an excellent standard, first time around! Tom (left) and Sam are pictured with their driving test results and about to say goodbye to their Lplates.

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Council budget cuts worries

ASTON-ON-TRENT Primary School is in the running for a prize – and votes are being counted this month. The school on Long Croft has been nominated for “Primary Education Provider of the Year” in an awards scheme run by well known publication Lots for Tots. The Lots for Tots Awards 2024 recognise local children’s businesses and services in

CONCERNS over local budget issues dominated the discussion at a recent public meeting in Melbourne, with representatives from many neighbouring parishes worried that there will be cuts in revenue from the district council. In the recent SDDC (South Derbyshire District Council) budget consultation, fears were raised that ‘Section 136 Concurrent Function’ funding, which amounts to a £400,000 spend across the district’s 31 parishes, would be cut, or potentially removed altogether. This funding is to pay for services like grass cutting, or emptying of street rubbish bins, which are currently provided and paid for by parishes but reimbursed by the district. Introducing the issue at a Local Area Forum meeting in Melbourne, Dr Justin Ives, Chief Executive at SDDC, described some of the budget pressures on the district, with a budget gap of some £670,000 this year, and an expectation that this could rise next year, and beyond. He did, however, allay some councillors’ fears that it could get as high as £5m or £6m over the next five years, saying that the district is “in a really good financial position”. He also outlined some of the main spending plans for the forthcoming year. He recognised the concerns

the Derby and Derbyshire area. Aston-on-Trent Primary School is up against other schools across the county having been nominated for the award by a member of the public. School head Sam Moore is pictured with pupils enjoying their award nomination. Anyone can vote on the website:

by Frank Hughes

over the S136 funding and the impact on parishes but reiterated that the funding would remain in place for the forthcoming financial year, and that if a review of this funding were to take place it would need to be early next year. Some councillors made the point that, overall, the budget seemed to be “Swad-centric” in that money was going towards projects there. Cllr Daniel Corbin from Aston ward, who also heads the opposition group on the district council, was particularly critical of the budget plans in relation to parishes, spending on a management restructure and the creation of new roles when the budget was under so much pressure. Also at the meeting, local police representatives reported on their efforts to tackle the priority issue of speeding, whilst also making a plea for more speedwatch groups to come forward. They also highlighted several successes in tackling drug related crimes, thefts from vehicles, and other road traffic offences. Problems arising from the recent flooding, most notably from Storm Henk in January, were also discussed and the efforts made by many volunteers to help protect property and lives were commended.

A ‘drop-in’ event is planned for February 16 at Sawley Memorial Hall for local residents and businesses to find out more about the work being undertaken by various agencies to reduce flooding in the area. There will also be a meeting of the flood liaison group in May. Stuart Martin from South Derbyshire Community Volunteer Service also addressed the busy meeting, with details of all the varied services being offered. One initiative highlighted was the Derbyshire Time Swap, which enables volunteers to offer time supporting others with tasks such as gardening, and in return get to spend the banked time in activities they want to do. Full details are on their website Finally, the chair made two announcements: firstly that the district will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, having been set up in 1974 following the amalgamation of Repton and S.E Derbyshire rural and Swadlincote urban councils. Ideas for celebrations are being sought. Secondly there will be two elections in 2024, both taking place on May 2, for the East Midlands combined authority Mayor and for the Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner post.

TV starring role for Melbourne

Village Voice February 2024 3 WE WOULD LIKE TO SAY A GREAT BIG

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TV COMEDIAN Johnny Vegas’s glamping site on two Melbourne fields has turned into a fast-selling proposition in 2024 with a current starring role on Channel 4. TV cameras have been busy filming the comic turned glamping entrepreneur in his quest to find a new site for his tourism site featuring lovingly restored old vehicles. Currently showing on Channel 4, the six-part series features Vegas and loyal PA Bev as they settle upon Melbourne for the site – with many local people having been invited to enjoy the opening of The Field of Dreams last year. Also taking on a hit role in the show, it has to be said, is Melbourne itself with many shots of the local area including Johnny and Bev seen driving over Swarkestone Causeway, and through the town, as well as chatting with Lady Ralph at Melbourne Hall and estate development manager Roger Lowe. Roger said the series had actually been around two years in the filming and he was pleased it had given a welcome spotlight on Melbourne.

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by Lucy Stephens He said: “My part in it was to represent the Melbourne estate. We met Johnny and Bev and showed them different options for the site. At that time we were still one of a few different venues they were going to see. I’m pleased that Melbourne came across so well.” Being highlighted on Channel 4 seems to have worked well for The Field of Dreams glamping site which has enjoyed a three quarters sell-out already for this year with booking into 2025 already open. Those catching up with the Channel 4 series can enjoy the programmes on Wednesday evenings. The site opens to visitors in April and the season runs until October. According to The Field of Dreams website, this year the site is situated on one field, not two, and three vehicles that were featured in 2023 have now been returned to their owners.

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Exciting Times for New Business A new print business has opened on the Station Road industrial estate, Melbourne. Caslon Press is an independent, family run, creative printer that works with creatives, small businesses and the general public. As part of getting the new space, founders Rob & Chantelle Moore have decided to branch out and open a small stationery shop with plenty of parking outside. Their existing print business will offer small jobs such as one-off printing and binding, to larger volume orders. Whether it’s a big or small job, they are always happy help.

“We have primarily worked with customers through our website historically but we’re now excited to be part of the local community as well,” said Rob whilst painting the new office. “We will be opening our doors on February 14th, so please do pop by if you need any anything printing.”


TOP: Johnny Vegas in Melbourne; TOP RIGHT: his loyal assistant Bev; and (ABOVE): Johnny trying out a bath ingeniously incorporated into one of his glamping vehicles.

FANCY having a cuppa with a copper? Derbyshire Constabulary’s local Safer Neighbourhood Team is holding a Cuppa with a Copper event right here in Melbourne, in Birds Bakery on Church Street. The event is open from 9am to 11am on Saturday, February 17. Residents from across all areas are encouraged to go along and have a chat with local officers, voicing any issues they have. There is no need to book, anyone can just go on the day. Police are hoping to see people taking the chance to say hello.

Their new space is home for all of their printing kit. They have invested in a slitter, creaser, cutter thats perfect for greeting cards, a hot foiler for luxury wedding and business stationery and a new printing press that uses the latest technology to produce the best quality print.


Above: Chantelle, George & Rob Moore


Above: The new Caslon Press office on the Station Road Industrial Estate.



4 Village Voice February 2024


AWARD-WINNING screenwriter and playwright William (Billy) Ivory visited Melbourne at the invitation of Samantha Niblett, the Labour Party Parliamentary candidate, for a screening of Made in Dagenham – his acclaimed 2010 film based on In the second set, organised by the MARS Cinthe strike at the Ford car plant in 1968. ema Club, Billy described the fascinating backIn a “double bill” screening at the Assembly ground to The Great Escaper, which is also based Rooms his most recent film, The Great Escaper, on a true story. Starring Michael Caine and the was also shown, and the audiences were enterlate Glenda Jackson, the film tells the story of a tained with a wide-ranging question and answer World War II veteran sneaking out of his care session prior to each film. home to attend the 70th anniversary commemoDuring the first set, organised by the local ration of the D-Day landings. Labour Party, Billy enthralled the audience with Born in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, Billy has insights into writing for stage and screen. He written for television, stage and screen; his next talked of the use of artistic licence and gentle huscreenplay ‘Finding Tipperary Mary’, stars Julie mour to dramatise important issues and historiWalters, while his next play, ‘The Market Deepcal fact, like those portrayed in Made in ing Model Railway Club’, will be staged at NotDagenham, which covered the sex discrimination tingham Playhouse. issues at the car manufacturer. LEFT: Billy Ivory on stage with Samantha Niblett. RIGHT: The packed audience at the Assembly Rooms.

‘Our roads could be better’

DERBYSHIRE County Council has admitted that because of comparatively reduced investment and ageing roads, as well as the recent exceptional weather-related damage, the county’s roads are not in the condition they should be. In an open letter published on the council’s website, Cllr Charlotte Cupit, cabinet member for Highways Assets and Transport, and highways director Julian Gould said: “We’re stating the obvious to say there’s been a massive increase in potholes to what we would usually see. We’re sorry for this.” The letter went on to say “… recent damage isn’t the only problem: this has been decades in the making with ageing highways and reducing investment comparatively.” The letter also said: “We are filling hundreds of potholes each day and have extra teams on. It

doesn’t matter though how many potholes we’re filling if the one outside your house or on your journey is still there. You, rightly, don’t care about the 90,000 we filled last year, just the ones that are there now. We’re also not doing comparisons with other counties. What matters is Derbyshire.” One local resident said he has made 12 specific reports of potholes in his area near Melbourne’s Castle Square, in the past month, and he pointed to Blackwell Lane, Ashby Road and Castle Street where damage to the local roads is self-evident. Anyone who has driven out of Melbourne recently along the Isley Walton Road cannot help but notice the poor condition of the road on the Derbyshire side compared to Leicestershire, where hardly a bump is felt all the way to the M1 junction. The letter said: “We’re also making the case nationally for more investment; this is starting to filter

through, which means we can do the above, but we will keep working together with others on this.” According to an RAC survey in 2023 some 30,000 callouts were pothole-related (up 33% on last year), and, quoting a Freedom of Information request, Derbyshire has the most potholes per region, at over 90,000. Another report shows that between 2018 and 2021 more than £13m was paid in compensation to UK drivers as a result of pothole damage across the 172 councils. Derbyshire paid out over £200,000 in that period. The letter added: “We don’t doubt this letter will get criticism. It probably would’ve been easier not to do it when we read the comments back. But please take this for what it is: acknowledging the challenges and problems and being open in what we’re doing. We’re human, we use our roads too and we want to sort this.”

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Also joining us in the showroom are Lemon & Lime Interiors so we can provide a full house staging service as well as interior design, and Kathy & Elaine from Lemon & Lime will be available at the opening to answer your interior design questions.

For those craft lovers out there, our range of fabulous haberdashery, roll ends and offcuts are an opportunity not to be missed….top quality fabrics at bargain prices! So whether you’re a crafter or thinking of making your own soft furnishings, we can help you chose the right fabric for your project. We are a small family run business making bespoke curtains, blinds, and various soft furnishings so it has taken some months for us to find a showroom in the right location and then get the interior the way we want it, but finally we are ready to open our doors and we’re so proud of the new showroom and what we are able to offer.

Local artists, along with local crafters will be using the space to showcase their products; it is a pleasure to be able to have them here with us. Well known artist Tom Fulep will also join us for the opening.

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£29k Arts Council grant for Festival

CREATIVE Melbourne is about to launch a new programme of free workshops to give lots of opportunities for different people and groups in the community to come together and be creative. Fulfilling one of Melbourne Festival’s original objectives in opening the Church Street gallery, the team there have been working hard to seek funding for this project and have had their efforts rewarded with a £29,000 grant from Arts Council England and grants from other funding bodies. Last year, project manager Clare Limb embarked on a round of consultations with partners such as Melbourne Community Care, Probus, U3A, Inner Wheel, local schools, South Derbyshire District Council (SDDC), Family Support Derbyshire and many more, to better understand how community engagement might be built through art and creativity. She said: “I am excited by the programme of workshops in the first phase of our project. We have got something for everyone to get involved with, ranging from water colour painting to letter press printing, creating with glass and modelling with clay. “The workshops have specific target audiences in mind, and include intergenerational workshops, sessions for families with young children, workshops for isolated and older people as well as for school children and young people, enabling people of all stages of life in the community to come together to create and connect.” The first phase of the programme is called The Blossom Project, based around the themes of renewal and hope as Spring approaches. It will begin at the by Frank Hughes end of February and last through to the end of April. After that there will be a joint the briefs to artists delivering to other funding bodies, includexhibition at the Athenaeum the workshops around being ining Derbyshire County Council and the Melbourne Gallery spired by nature as this is some(Covid Recovery Fund). alongside an Open Art Fair, thing many people told us “Like other community interscheduled for May 4-6 exhibit- connected them with their sense est organisations, increasing ing both the Blossom Project of wellbeing. costs have been financially chaland other work from local “Entry to the workshops will lenging, and additional funding artists. be free of charge, including all will enable us to deliver on our Thereafter, a second phase material and equipment, to re- community aspirations.” will be designed for late sum- move as many barriers as possiMore news on the free workmer/early autumn. ble for people to access and shops, including details of when The project will also employ a engage with the project.” and how to apply will be posted number of local experienced Phil Dobby, a director of Mel- in Village Voice, in the gallery, artists to deliver the workshops, bourne Arts said: “We are de- in posters around the village providing them with an income lighted and incredibly grateful and in venues, such as Royal stream as well as an opportu- for the £29,000 Arts Council British Legion and Whistlenity to exhibit in the gallery in Award, which will enable us to wood, where the events will be an exhibition running in tan- deliver the community work- taking place. dem with the project from shops project and other initiaDetails and links also appear March 27 to May 18. tives. It complements a number on the Festival website Clare added: “We have based of successful bids we have made

County council HQ plan latest

PROPOSALS to convert Derbyshire County Council’s headquarters in Matlock into a hotel plus leisure, residential and office space have gone one step further – and are due for a decision this month. The council has come up with a comprehensive budget outlining how it intends to claw back a predicted funding gap of £40million in the next financial year. Its historic Victorian, Grade 11 listed, HQ has been subject to a business case to turn it into a combination of hotel, events and leisure venue, residential accommodation plus a studio base for SME and start-up businesses. The scheme could generate more than 130 permanent jobs, provide significant economic benefit to Matlock and Derbyshire, save millions in re-

pairs and upgrades plus reduce the council’s running costs by further millions. Derbyshire County Council’s deputy leader, Councillor Simon Spencer, said: “We want to give County Hall a new lease of life that will capitalise on the special nature of the historic buildings and the uniqueness of Matlock being on the fringe of one of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions – the Peak District.” The council is also proposing the highest level of tax increase possible without triggering a referendum – 4.99 per cent. If agreed, this tax rise would generate £19.5million for the council, and would mean a band B household would pay an extra £1.10 a week. The budget proposals are up before the full council on February 14.

Homes scheme link to cemetery land

Village Voice February 2024 5

Continued from Page 1 would offer much-needed support. When councillors debated the proposals from Davidsons, the room heard fears around the provision for traffic, which it was felt would be of dangerous volumes using Jawbone Lane, a narrow country road. Simon Leech, of Kings Newton Residents’ Association, implored councillors not to vote for a proposal that would turn a “wonderful country road” into a “road through a housing estate”. After a debate of finely balanced arguments, parish councillors narrowly voted to object to the application, but also put forward suggested conditions should the application be granted, including boosting biodiversity through tree planting. Melbourne Parish Council is an important statutory local consultee on planning decisions affecting the local area. The plans are open to consultation until February 16, before they go before South Derbyshire District Council’s Planning Committee for a decision.


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Take your seat for the footy 6 Village Voice February 2024

MELBOURNE Dynamo Football Club now has its own set of stands for the first time in its near-75-year history after a generous donation from a local businessman. Nick Humphreys, who runs an estate agency and charity foundation, donated thousands of pounds to the football club so it is now the proud owner of a set of stands seating 50 people. It is the first time any club at Melbourne Sporting Partnership has had stands for spectators. Dynamo club chair Conor Raynor said the purchase of covered seating had been made a priority after the first team won the league last year. Should the team be promoted up to the next division, stands for 100 people would be a requirement. Nick, who lives nearby in Wilson, has had a long association with Melbourne Dynamos through coaching the under-sevens squad with Don Miller when his son Henry was in the team. Henry, now 17, is currently playing for Dynamo Reserves. Nick said: “I love football, and I love grassroots football. “I wanted to help out. I’ve been able to do this with part personal and part charitable funds.” Nick said his charitable foundation preferred to make donations to local causes and had in the past paid for a variety of things including a £13,000 specialist wheelchair for a young person in North-West Leicestershire. One incredible fund-raising evening raised a whopping £75,000 when Nick held a party in his

nt rnme Gove nded fu ons sessi able l i ava

by Lucy Stephens

back garden, at which Heather Small of M People was the headline act. The money paid for new kitchen and conservatory at the Rainbows Children’s Hospice in Loughborough. He said Melbourne Dynamo Football Club had been a very important part of his and his son’s life. “It’s the same bond that a lot of fathers and sons will get,” he said. “There’s a lot of reward out of seeing your child go through local grassroots football and the highs and lows that go with it, and about how to lose graciously as well.” Conor said: “All the parents are loving getting to sit down during the football rather than having to stand in the cold! “We couldn’t have afforded to do this without Nick.” Anyone interested in helping with further fund-raising should email Nick Humphreys has been a local estate agent in the area for many years and three years ago sold the majority of the company to a PLC, retaining a small office in the area serving Melbourne, South Derbyshire, North West Leicestershire with all types of residential sales and lettings. Any enquiries to his charitable foundation should be directed to

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THE headteacher of Weston-on-Trent Primary School has voiced his pride after Ofsted inspectors gave a “good” pronouncement. Mark Hibbert joined the 140-pupil school as head in September 2023, and two inspectors from Ofsted visited in December. The school on Forrester Avenue continues to be “Good”, according to inspectors Chris Davies and Christine Watkins. Their report published in January said pupils were proud to attend the school, who come from the village but also from further afield including areas of Derby such as Chellaston, Borrowash and Boulton Moor. The report said: “Pupils are proud of their school. They are welcoming, polite and respectful. They are very well cared for. Pupils are wonderful ambassadors for this inclusive school. They are enabled to sparkle, as the school lives out its motto, ‘Let your light shine’. “The school has high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. These expectations are met consistently. Pupils get along with each other. Older pupils care for younger ones. Pupils are safe and know that they can

share any worries with a trusted adult.” Ofsted inspectors were impressed with many aspects of Weston Primary, including how pupils benefited from “many opportunities and experiences the school offers”, which enabled them to “grow in self-esteem and confidence”. Academically, teaching of mathematics and priority for reading were singled out for praise, while inspectors found it was also “providing very well” for children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). Mr Hibbert (pictured above with some of the pupils) wrote in a newsletter to parents: “Ofsted remains a force for good in my opinion and I would like to thank everyone who was involved with the inspection at the end of last term. We had an overwhelmingly positive contribution from many people to support our team with its preparations and delivery which we can not thank enough for even when the phone call was on Christmas dinner day, Christmas Jumper day and Christmas Fayre evening. I still feel like we were able to showcase the very best that Weston has to offer.”

MP gets her teeth into dentist plan

SOUTH Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler has made the case for more dentists for the district in the House of Commons. The MP met the Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, who is responsible for dental care, to discuss the new NHS Dental Recovery Plan. The Government is investing £200m in its plan which includes expanding preventative care for younger children to help reduce tooth decay. New dental vans are also being launched to help reach more isolated communities, and around 240 dentists will be offered one-off payments of up to £20,000 for working in underserved areas for up to three years. Speaking in Parliament, Mrs Wheeler said: “Yesterday, for me, was dentist day. I had an appointment with the minister, and I had an appointment with a real dentist from South Derbyshire, so this news is absolutely superb. Please get them to move to South Derbyshire, and more free NHS

l Heather Wheeler (right) meeting with Andrea Leadsom.

dentists in South Derbyshire.” Further measures in the plan include introducing a New Patient Premium payment to incentivise dentists to treat around a million new patients who have not seen an NHS dentist in two years or more. The minimum value of activity will also increase from £23 to £28, and high-performing practices will also be able to deliver extra work on top of their contracted activity, ensuring that NHS work is more attractive to dental teams. Trainee dental places will be

expanded by 40 per cent as part of the first ever NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, as the Government looks to target the expansion into areas of the country which are underserved by the dental workforce. Mrs Wheeler, OBE, said: “This is an issue that I have been working on for some time as I have had a number of constituents write to me highlighting the problems we are experiencing in South Derbyshire. So I am extremely pleased with the Government’s NHS Dental Recovery Plan.”

The things you leave behind at the airport ...

£1,000 ‘warming’ grant deadline looms

Village Voice February 2024 7

A SUITCASE full of biscuits, a set of false teeth, a steering wheel and even a pendant containing a loved one’s ashes … these are among the thousands of items that have been lost or left at East Midlands Airport. Last year almost 4,000 lost items were handed in at the airport’s lost property office, of which 600 were in August alone. The airport says people leave things either because they are excited about going on holiday, in a hurry or are unsure about check-in and security procedures at the airport and anxious about flying. Everything from phones, tablets, earphones and hair straighteners to keys, passports, wallets containing cash and credit cards, clothing and baggage can end up left or lost at the airport. If items are lost in baggage reclaim or on board an aircraft, this is dealt with by the baggage handling company and the airline. Anywhere else on the airport site including car parks, check-in hall and departure lounge ends up at the airport’s lost property office, logged on a computer system and locked securely away. This can often include items of sentimental value such as children’s toys and even a pendant con-

taining a small amount of a loved one’s ashes. Sometimes they can be weird – such as a suitcase packed with only ginger nuts and digestive biscuits, a bag full solely of salami, as well as walking sticks and false teeth. Other surprising items include drills, a guitar, a snooker cue, snow globes and even a steering wheel and a bike. While almost 4,000 items were dealt with last year, only around 1,000 were actually reported by EMA customers as lost. Items of low value such as jumpers are held for 30 days, while those of higher value like electrical goods are held for 90 days. Ultimately if they remain unclaimed they are donated to local charities, with any unclaimed cash also donated to charities. “When people come to the airport, we understand some may be anxious or not concentrating and this can often mean they mislay, forget or leave behind a surprising and wide range of items,” said the airport’s director for customer services and planning, Mike Grimes. “My advice would be to be prepared, take care and when going through security, place different things like coats and electrical items in separate trays.”

l A bike, guitar, golf clubs, steering wheel ... just some of the items left at East Midlands Airport’s lost property office.

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ORGANISATIONS have up until March 1 to apply for a warm and welcoming spaces grant from Derbyshire County Council. Charities, community and voluntary groups still have time to claim up to £1,000 to hep them support people this winter. So far the county council has awarded more than £93,000 to 107 groups to help create spaces to help residents feeling lonely or struggling to heat their homes. The cash can be used to cover running costs, including energy bills, and to provide a drink or a bite to eat for visitors. In return, organisations need to pledge to provide a warm, safe space with comfortable seating which is free to use. The £150,000 Warm and Welcoming Space grant fund has come from Government money given to all local authorities to support communities during and after the covid pandemic. Application forms are available by emailing

Edward Hands & Lewis Solicitors – continuing to serve 2IPFSYVRI ERH SYXL )IVF]WLMVI JVSQ SYV SǽGIW SR Market Place as we have done since 1935 We do not compromise on service or skills and only SǺIV XLI FIWX XS SYV GPMIRXW

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Coppice Friends’ hospital bo

8 Village Voice February 2024

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MELBOURNE fund-raising friends Rosemary Newbury and Yvonne Robey handed over a cheque for £1,029 to a representative from the Derbyshire and Burton Hospitals Charity which will go towards purchasing new equipment. Having donated almost £2,000 to MacMillan last September, the duo decided to keep on raising and collected the additional money from the sales of jams, pickles and chutneys, from coffee mornings and a raffle. Yvonne’s father and Rosemary had recently benefited from treatment at the Derby hospital and wanted to express their gratitude. Handing over the cheque at The Chequers in Ticknall, Rosemary said: “We would also like to thank Tony Matthews at The Chequers and helpers Amy Boland and Isabella Paterson for all the support they have given. The ‘motley crew’ gathering on a Monday lunchtime at the Ticknall pub all very keen supporters!”

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Vicky said the hospital was heavily reliant on charity donations to the tune of £2.5 million per year and that the team was targeting at raising around £4million over the next few years. As well as fund-raising from local benefactors and people like Rosemary and Yvonne, the charity is promoting its weekly lottery which has a £500 first prize. To join

THE latest recipient of the Ray Gill Award for services to young people in Melbourne is Rachel Coupe, of the parish church. Rachel was presented with the award in Melbourne Parish Church where she has been running ‘Junior Church’ since 2011. Ray Gill was a Rotarian from Melbourne who donated a trophy to be presented to someone working as a volunteer to help young people in the village. Every year the trophy is given by Rotex to someone nominated for their sterling voluntary efforts helping young people. The Ray Gill Award for Rachel came after she was also one of those awarded a Bishop’s Badge in October for her many years involved in local l Kate Dumelow (right) from Rotex presenting the Ray Gill Award to Rachel Coupe. children’s ministry.

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Vicky Carey, who gratefully received the cheque on behalf of the hospital charity, said that the money had been raised to go towards new bladder screening equipment for the chemotherapy department; at the moment this department is having to share equipment with other units, so this will make a big difference.

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PARTING is sweet sorrow for exiting Church vicar Rev Steve Short – but he i role in the neighbouring parish that aw Rev Short will be conducting his last on February 25, before taking on his n Charge of Repton, Foremark, Newton ton. He said he would miss the people, sc ties he has met and worked with in M Smisby and Stanton-by-Bridge over th as well as the honey and mustard sa omelettes in Melbourne Hall Tea Room “As always with these things it’s bitte a parish priest, you have married peop you’ve buried, you’ve sat with the dying bereaved, as well as being involved in d community. “But there will be more of those m where I am going. You have to go throu “But what lies ahead is also exciting “I have tried to invest myself in th here and now I have to wave that down person. I’m very fortunate in that I’m but at the time, with clergy, once you le to be hands off and leave it to your suc Steve said he had particularly love local schools, Melbourne Infants and Ju ing forward to forging the same relation suite of schools in his new area.



it Rosemary and Yvonne intend to keep on sing funds, not only through their sales of memade jams and chutneys, but also from eir latest bright idea. They have recently quired vintage crockery for up to 35 people hich they want to hire out for parties, wedngs, christenings etc. Yvonne said that yone interested can call her direct on 508467773 and all the money raised will lp their fund-raising effort. They also wanted to take the opportunity thank local businesses who had helped em thus far and mentioned Wayne Spiers, ves Garage, Sharps Market Gardeners, st Kept Secret and Frocks and Frippery, of whom had donated prizes for the raffle. Pictured right are Isabella Paterson, semary Newbury, Yvonne Robey, Amy land and Vicky Carey (from the charity). ft are some of the cakes that were enjoyed a tea party they organised – Frank Hughes.

e says he is not going to short of memories ...

“I’m looking forward to really getting involved with four new communities and four churches, as well as the six schools and the organisations that are within them,” said Steve. “I’m really excited about getting out to meeting people, listening and learning.” As for the role of a parish priest, for Steve, building relationships is key. Even if fewer people these days are regular church-goers, the local priest is still a prominent figure in communities up and down the country, and inhabiting the role takes a person able to listen to people at the most vulnerable times of their lives – losing loved ones, as well as welcoming them to the world. He said: “It’s about giving of your time. As a priest you get to share in people’s lives. Even when they wouldn’t go anywhere near a church, they still see the local priest as theirs. People do open up to you. The dog collar, I think, will open up far more doors than it closes, even if it’s a conversation in the street, and sometimes it’s much more than that. “People will welcome you genuinely into their homes, which is just incredible and wonderful. You’re also sitting with nervous couples thinking about their wedding, making it easier for them, putting them at their ease. “St Paul said it best. ‘We weep with those who weep, and we rejoice with those who rejoice’.” The Village Voice wishes Rev Steve Short all the very best in his new role.

g Melbourne Parish is also excited by the waits him. service in Melbourne new role as Priest-inSolney and Willing-

chools and communiMelbourne, Ticknall, he last seven years – ausages and cheese ms! ersweet,” he said. “As ple, you’ve baptised, g, you’ve sat with the different areas of the

memories to be made ugh it – it’s tough. g. he four communities the road for the next m not going far away eave, you really have ccessor.” ed working with two uniors, and was looknships with a greater

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Airport gives rare butterfly a helping hand

10 Village Voice February 2024

A VOLUNTEER community group in Aston-on-Trent has gone one step closer to introducing a rare butterfly to its five-acre site. The Friends of Aston Local Nature Reserve have received a sponsorship donation from East Midlands Airport Community Fund. In order to encourage the rare White Admiral to the site, the money has paid for 15 wild honeysuckle plants, on which it solely feeds and lays its eggs. Friends group secretary John Holloway said: “We’re delighted that the airport’s Community Engagement team has confirmed its commitment to local natural conservation activities in such a positive way. Volunteers will now plant the honeysuckle in shaded woodland areas and hope to record sightings before too long.” The airport’s donation will also help towards providing tools and equipment for the volunteer group plus craft materials for young people’s activities that raise awareness of their diverse local green environment. East Midlands Airport Community Engagement Manager Colleen Hempson said: “We’re really pleased that money from our Community Sponsorship Fund is being used in such a positive way to benefit the local environment and wildlife. I look forward to hearing about progress in encouraging the White Admiral butterfly to the nature reserve.” The original Friends of Aston Brickyard – a site which later became a nature reserve – formed in 2012 to transform into a wildlife haven land which had once been a quarry. Since then their efforts have resulted in a huge boost to local butterfly populations with sightings of the White Letter Hairstreak – a species once feared extinct in the UK – as well as the striking Common Blue, another butterfly which has suffered a decline in population despite its name. (White Admiral picture courtesy Colin Bowler)


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MEET the organisers of this year’s Melbourne Carnival – who are busy planning this year’s event. The annual summertime festival is months in the planning from dedicated volunteers, and the committee behind the fun is already busy organising the procession through the town followed by the carnival itself. Gemma Bettelley said she was “thrilled” to be continuing to lead the carnival for another year to ensure its ongoing success. Gemma said she extended her “heartfelt gratitude” to all those who consistently support the event each year. Organisers hope plenty of people will get behind 2024’s

earthy theme: ‘How does your garden grow?’, which draws on Melbourne’s rich market gardening heritage; at one time the town had more than 150 market gardens. Today only three remain: Heaths, Jacksons and Sharps – all of which have been going for generations. Heaths has been growing vegetables on the outskirts of Melbourne since 1914; W Sharp & Sons was started in 1896, while Jacksons began life in 1912. Early bird tickets are currently on offer for this year’s carnival for a limited time. To buy tickets, visit and email melbourne

Down on the Farm With Ben Stanley

Wellington House, Church Street, Melbourne Contact: or ask to speak to Kay in the Gallery.

l The Melbourne Carnival Committee (front row) Rebecca Stead (secretary), Gemma Bettelley (chair) & Christian Peat (treasurer); (back row) Penny Mitchell, Pip Cole, Tim Margett, Sarah Young, Sarah Stainthorpe & Tracey Ridley.


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VEGANUARY only lasted until around midday on New Year’s Day in the Stanley household inevitably. Dry January fared a little bit better than that. However, my new year’s resolution that has been a small triumph is managing to go on a good strong walk for half an hour once a day: enjoying being out in the countryside but not working in it. I have found that even a short walk every day is very medicinal for the body and especially the mind; Solvitur ambulando is a Latin phrase which means ‘it is all solved by walking’. However, this new healthy walk has been under threat this week because every time I have gone to go for my walk I seem to have been interrupted by the introduction of new life. Yes, it is a little bit early for calving, but it has to start at some point and, having waited nine long months for a calf to be born, it can be the most exciting, invigorating and sometimes heartbreaking time of the year on a farm. This morning’s walk setback was instigated by Melbourne Park Jura (yes, they all have names). Melbourne Park is our herd prefix (stable name) for the pedigree Longhorns and Jura is a maiden heifer – first time mum. Jura’s great, great grandmother was one of our foundation cows called Iona. Iona was a fantastic old cow if not a little stubborn and strong minded (just like my seven-year-old daughter Iona). Although sadly the old cow is no longer with us, we do have three of her daughters within the herd – Gairsay, Hebrides and Jura that make up the ‘Iona family’ all named after Scottish islands. Altogether we have about

10 cow families in the herd, ‘Iona’ being one of them, and each family has their own unique personalities and characters, just like any human family. Jura, who is a lovely, sweet cow with nice bonnet horns, had been ‘messing about’ calving all morning, getting up and down, getting up and down again, rubbing her bottom on the wall, spinning about and doing a lot of first-time mum cow stuff. Generally speaking, not getting down to business. When a cow is calving it is difficult to get much else done, because at that crucial moment when Jura or the calf may need some help, you simply cannot be anywhere else. If at all possible I try not to interfere unless I have to. After a long period of labour the calf was born naturally but I immediately noticed the calf had some fluid on its lungs and so had to lift the calf and clear its airways, then I found a good long piece of straw to pop up the calf ’s nose to make it cough. Once happy that the calf is breathing with rhythm, I then left Jura to it and got out of the way, so that she could bond with her first calf and encourage it up to suckle. Time for my walk. I would encourage everyone to get out and take a walk. We are so lucky in our area to live on the edge of some beautiful countryside with a fantastic network of footpaths. Soon, once the weather permits, you will be able to add to the enjoyment of your walk as we enter spring and you will begin to see the fruits of all the local farmers’ toils and labours out in the fields, beautiful cows like Jura and her calf grazing on lush green grass with birds singing in the

background: all good for the soul. But this experience does come with responsibility, and I would ask you to enjoy your walk (or run) with my short, adapted Park Farm walking code: n Don’t run directly at stock! They are gentle herbivores. You look like a predator with eyes in the front of your head. Slow down and calmly go round stock in single file to not disturb them. If that means coming off the footpath a bit that’s fine. Show them you are not a threat. n If cattle are stood at the gate, quietly walk around them; cattle are gentle creatures, you do not need to shout and wave at them: this will scare them and can make their behaviour unpredictable. Then leave the gate as you found it. n Keep your dog under control, especially those of you in red trousers with bouncy labradors; you are not the dog whisperer you think you are, and any dog can lose its head given a bit of space and a lamb to chase. I have seen it so many times and it is deeply upsetting for all involved. n Pick your dog poo up. Dog poo causes abortion in cattle and sheep. n Once you’ve picked it up don’t hang your dog poo in the hedge. n If walking at night back to Melbourne from a night out at the Bulls Head, consider the stock … lots of phone torches charging down the hill will frighten cattle and sheep half to death. n Go in the right gear! And don’t wear your white trainers if you walk off the path because you don’t want to get your snazzy footwear muddy you ruin the crops. All simple stuff. I look forward to seeing you on your walk.

Woodland path on verge of reopening

Homes hit by power cut

Village Voice February 2024 11

MORE than 2,500 homes in Melbourne, Kings Newton and surrounding areas experienced a power cut during wintry weather. The power outage happened at around 2.45pm on Thursday, February 8. It was confirmed by the National Grid that it had affected more than 2,500 homes in the DE73 area. Power was restored to many in little over an hour but by the evening there were still 13 properties affected in the DE738DG and DE738DS areas.

by Lucy Stephens

A PATH through much-loved woodland enjoyed by residents of Aston and Weston-on-Trent is expected to re-open soon. It had been closed due to safety concerns over vulnerable trees. Contractors for Richmond Villages – which operates a care home in Aston-onTrent – were granted permission by South Derbyshire District Council to complete safety works in Long Walk Wood, involving felling dangerous trees. Contractors Glendale Services have been employing specialists to carry out the felling this month and the permissive path is due to re-open after they are completed by February 23. Residents were told in December that Richmond Villages was closing the permissive path because of safety fears. Village manager Kerstin Taylor said in the care operator’s latest letter to residents: “As soon as the woodlands are free from risk to residents, we will notify residents via both Aston and Weston Parish council websites as well as Richmond Village’s Facebook page. “Please follow these notice boards for updates and information, including any changes to this timeline should these be necessary due to unavoidable delays. We would like to thank residents of this community for their support and patience during this time of closure and look forward to soon reopening the woodland path for all to enjoy.” During the first two weeks of the works, residents were told that small machinery such as a narrow tracked wood chipper would be used to undertake works to dead and diseased trees. The letter from Ms Taylor also told residents that, where possible, habitats would be created, with small branches chipped to provide ground cover, and all efforts would be made to protect local fauna and wildlife


7.45 - 8.45pm

Then Social dancing for all levels Admission £5 in advance or £7 on the night. Contact Kenny G on or call: 07399 471 912 to book your place. Join us... on a minibus trip to the within the woodlands. In the third week of the works, a small alpine tractor and timber trailer is expected to be used to take away felled wood. Richmond Villages is holding free health information evenings on the third Thursdays of the month. The next will be held at 6pm on February

15, and is on the topic of navigating health care options and jargon. Then, on March 21, there will be a talk on “preparing for the unexpected, and expected, events in later life,” also at 6pm. Anyone interested should phone reception at Richmond Villages to reserve a place.

Thursday 21st March £15 - Contact the office to book. Telephone: 01332 863585 Email:


Community Care NEW Office Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 10am to 2pm

The Common Touch... FEBRUARY at Whistlewood this year will be very tree focused. With help from the National Forest Company we are hosting a hedge laying course; last year the rural charity CPRE financed such a course. February is the month of love, and we love our hedgerows; there are just so many benefits including carbon sequestration. This country has lost so many over the past decades because we didn’t value them enough, totally devastating wildlife numbers including lots of small mammals. These hedges were amazing wildlife highways allowing populations of creatures to move around and thrive. Hedge laying is a winter pursuit. It can only be done on trees after they are about seven years old. First you have to clear the branches sticking out from the side of the hedge you’re working on; this is called siding up. Then individual trees are cut almost all the way through the trunk quite close to the ground using a bill hook, a large distinctively shaped knife.

Next comes the tricky bit of bending the tree over, this is called pleaching. The tree is pulled over to about 45 degrees and then the next tree is done the same. To keep all these bent over stems in place hazel stakes are banged in along the middle of the hedge and the hedge is finished off with long thinner stems of hazel or willow woven along the top like a rope. The whole hedge is very strong and it’s surprising how quickly it grows back and thickens up. The hedge trees, like hawthorn, blackthorn and hazel, will be kept alive like this for many hundreds of years if the hedge is managed well. We don’t lay all the hedges at the same time. This is to create a diversity of habitats for wildlife and birds and foraging opportunities for us humans! We are really pleased to be helping keep the skills of this old rural craft alive, one of our Whistlewood core values. If you need to define a boundary, go hedge instead of fence. It’s the greenest solution. – KATHERINE PARRISH

Februar y half term at Calke Abbey

Calling all nature explorers! This half term, we’re challenging you to embark on a family adventure and see what’s stirring around you. Connect with nature and use your senses to discover winter signs of life around Calke. Are you up for the challenge? Download your trail sheet from our website.

ocial icon

C . .

© National Trust 2024. Registered charity no. 205846. © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor.

Time to lay hedges

Black Country Museum

12 Village Voice February 2024

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Village Voice February 2024 13

What’s On

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Need a job done? Think local...

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Spring Colours with Victoria Brown Melbourne Royal British Legion, Derby Road DE73 8FE


Thursday 29 February:

Melbourne Tennis Club Table Quiz and Fish and Chip Fundraising Supper Melbourne Sporting Partnership, Cockshut Lane. at 7.30 p.m. £13.00 p.p includes fish, steak pie or sausage & chips. Teams of up to 6. Contact: or call 07939 599310



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Please contact Liz on 01332 863743

Coffee Morning Methodist Church Wesley Hall, Potter Street. 10am - noon


Thursday 7 March:

Melbourne Area Derby u3a Meeting with guest speaker Melbourne Assembly Rooms. 2pm. £1 includes tea/coffee.


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Thursday 21 March:

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14 Village Voice February 2024


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Councillor Jane Carroll FRIDAY 1st MARCH 2024 from 5.30 - 6.30pm The Library, Melbourne Assembly Rooms, High Street, Melbourne



MY OLD friend Henry Dunnicliff kindly sent me a copy of the Village Voice dated August 2023, which contained an account of the tragic deaths by lightning of William Bailey and Hugh Dallman in June 1846. They are buried in adjacent plots in the Baptist cemetery in Derby Road. I am a direct descendant of William Bailey, and possess his two Bibles and other documents. My great great grandfather was William Heap Bailey, who was born to his widowed mother Elizabeth eight months after his father’s death by lightning. In fact the family had three older children: Thomas (born 1835, named after his own grandfather) and two subsequent daughters Sarah and Elizabeth, who both died in childhood. I have Thomas’s maths book of 1848. He was clearly a phenomenal student. It seems he moved away to Derby and subsequently to Lincolnshire where he married. His brother, William, was also obviously a bright lad too. In the 1861 census, aged 14, he is recorded as a bookkeeper. He went on to be one of Melbourne’s notable sons. By 1867, he had moved to London. He captained Upton Park FC (forerunner of West Ham) when winning the London League. In 1870 he played soccer for Scotland against England in London. How he qualified for Scotland is a mystery. About that period he sat the entrance exam for the civil service. That was a re-


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rette cards. The other sister, Winifred, had no children. Sadly, everything ended badly. My great grandfather’s wife died in middle age. After his retirement he lost his considerable wealth in a financial crash before he died in 1926. His son, Wilfred, died of typhoid in WW1. His film star daughter Hilda made a disastrous marriage, and her only child died in infancy. My father, an only child, was six years old when his father, Wilfred, died. His widowed mother was in very reduced circumstances and returned to Melbourne with my father, living initially in Victoria Street. Bass paid for his education in recognition of the huge contribution his grandfather had made to the firm. His mother never remarried. Amongst my father’s relatives in Melbourne was his uncle Will Parker of Furnace Farm, one of his boyhood haunts, now flooded under the reservoir. In the 1930s he identified furnace slag in the bed of the stream west of the farm. He returned in 1959, when the reservoir construction was imminent, to discover and excavate the ruins of an early ironworks helped by a band of local volunteers, including retired coal miners. It was a minor sensation in the field of industrial history, and demonstrated that Melbourne’s industrial roots were much earlier and more substantial than previously thought. Bill Bailey


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cently introduced requirement, as previously jobs had been filled on the say-so ‘recommendation’ of a sponsor – a system open to corruption and nepotism, and often resulting in incompetent and lazy staff. He came third in the exam. However, he still needed a sponsor. Having no connections, he wrote to his MP, Michael Bass. I have Mr. Bass’s reply: ‘There is a junior clerk’s position for you at the Paymaster General’s office.’ Subsequently, he sat the higher exam for a more senior grade, coming top out of over 100 candidates. Again he wrote to Mr. Bass. This time the reply was ‘come and work for me in my brewery’. So he moved to lodgings in Burton run by a Melbourne family, and married their daughter. No doubt this kept him in touch with folk in Melbourne ever after. Ultimately, he rose to be London manager of Bass’s business and thus a key figure in building Bass into perhaps the largest brewer in the world, selling 24 million gallons of beer a year in London alone. He became the most prominent person in the industry in London, the Grand Treasurer of England within the Freemasons, and an associate of high society. His son, Wilfred (b1881, my grandfather) also joined Bass in Burton, and married Agnes Parker of 16 Potter Street – opposite the old Bailey home of 1846. Wilfred had two younger sisters. Hilda became a celebrity in Edwardian theatre and subsequently a star in silent film and later in radio, and even featured on ciga-

JANUARY 10 each year is Inner Wheel Day and this year the organisation is celebrating its 100th birthday. Inner Wheel is one of the largest women’s service organisations with members in more than 100 countries across the globe. A 100 years’ birthday party was organised by four ladies from District 22 (Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire), two of whom are members of Melbourne Inner Wheel. An afternoon tea was arranged at The Hostess Restaurant, Mansfield, and 150 ladies from the clubs in the district attended. Notty Hornblower from Hope House Costume Museum entertained us with a fashion show “Through the Decades” and members were encouraged to dress up accordingly. There

a gift for each lady of sugar almonds in a gold box. The attention to detail was second to none. Well done ladies. The objects of Inner Wheel are “to promote true friendship, to encourage the ideals of personal service and to foster international understanding”. Members achieve these goals in various ways, combining personal service with fund-raising, all with fun and friendship. If you would like to know more about the Inner Wheel Club of Melbourne please contact the secretary, Rachel Cooper at, or on 01332 863411. We look forward to hearing from you. Diana V Eley, Barrow-upon-Trent.

TREMENDOUS FLOOD WORK OVERLOOKED were many “flapper girls” present! The tables were decorated

I REFER to your edition No.374 January 2024 and your article on the flooding experienced recently in the local area. As the owner of Hollybush House in Barrow upon Trent (featured for some reason twice on your aerial photographs?), I was very disappointed to see that you made no mention of the tremendous work completed in Barrow over the last 20 years by both the parish and South Derbyshire councils in

with blue and yellow balloons (Inner Wheel colours), gold ones, flower arrangements and

the protection of both property and residents. Plus, no mention of the enormous efforts carried out by many local volunteers to help vulnerable residents with sandbags etc. In my own case our property did not flood (despite what you may read from your sensationalist pictures). This is because of precautions we have taken including flood barriers, sump pumps and non-return valves which were used for the first time in

24 years. I believe, with the right flood protection methods and continued support from our local council, many “at risk properties can be made safe, and we can continue to live happily in our lovely Derbyshire village. As Anne Heathcote said “… it’s what happens here." Mr TJ & EA Boyse, owners Hollybush House, Barrow.





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Are YOU in this old school photo?

Village Voice February 2024 15

A FORMER Melbourne schoolgirl is hoping to plan a reunion to mark their classmates’ 70th birthdays – and she wants to hear from people in the photo above to help make it happen. Melbourne Junior School classmates Susan Orme and Vaughan Saxby came up with the idea of a reunion after finding the old photograph from their school days. Melbourne Historical Research Group has published a book detailing school days from the town but Susan and Vaughan have found it is missing their year. They also do not know why not everyone from their class is on the photo. Susan has contributed the following evocative memories from her own school days – now she’d love any of her and Vaughan’s old classmates to be in touch. In our day Melbourne Junior School was set over three locations with class one on the infant school campus. A second class was at the bottom of Salsburys Lane on the site which later became the swimming baths and is now converted to a residential property. Here in the single storey building with its high level windows we wrote with pencils sharpened in an enormous pencil sharpener attached to the teacher’s desk. Every morning crates of milk were delivered into the walled playground where they stood forming an ice top in winter or the cream started to turn in summer. We all received a one third of a pint bottle of milk and a straw which we drank before going out for morning playtime. A further two classes were in the double storey building opposite the top of Salsburys Lane on Penn Lane (now I understand converted into flats). We sat at double wooden desks. White ceramic ink wells were filled with blue ink and we wrote with nib pens using just the correct amount of pressure so as not to leave ink blobs on our work. Exercise books or jotters had space for your name on the front and sums (adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing) and spelling tests were neatly written inside and handed in for marking. Science consisted of nature walks, watching farm animals being

born, and once we made a hot air balloon from tissue paper which was launched from the playground with the use of heat from a primus stove. Art was drawing, painting, paper mache and projects made from cardboard, egg trays and washing up liquid bottles. We learned a lot from reading books or looking in the illustrated encyclopedia. School was strict and discipline regularly handed out, cane for the boys, slipper for the girls. For less severe offences standing at the front of the class facing the wall or having chalk or a blackboard rubber thrown at you was commonplace. The ‘nit’ nurse visited and combed through our hair with a comb dipped in a foul smelling liquid checking for outbreaks of head lice. The toilets were outside in the side yard and Izal toilet paper, like thick hard greaseproof paper, had ‘now wash your hands please’ printed on each sheet. We used to screw the toilet paper up and rub it hard to soften it before use so it did not scratch you and it had an adsorbent score of around minus five. School dinner was served in a prefabricated building where the doctor’s surgery is now situated. Dinners consisted of meat or fish, pies and stews with potatoes and, as we lived in a market gardening village, plenty of seasonal vegetables. This was followed by a milk pudding (rice pudding, sago or semolina with jam topping) or jam roly poly, spotted dick, jam or syrup sponge or chocolate sponge with pink custard. Dinners were supervised by Mrs Dallman, who we affectionately called Mrs Dinner Dallman to distinguish her from Mrs Bessie Dallman, the teacher. After lunch we returned to the playground which was on the opposite side of Penn Lane to the school building. A line painted across the middle of the playground divided the girls from the boys with no crossing allowed. Skipping, ball games, jacks (five stones) and cat’s cradle were popular games. The playground supervisor blew a whistle at the end of playtime and we obediently lined up and marched back into school.


KATHLEEN MARY GALT 1929-2024 KATHY’S warm, personal funeral service, wholly conducted by her close friends and family, took place on January 31 in Melbourne Baptist Church where she had been a member and Deacon during her years living in Melbourne. Marcus Nolan led the service and gave the eulogy, the organ was played by Philip Heath, Kate Hewlett spoke of Kathy’s life in the church, and Penny Heath arranged the flowers and substantial refreshments. A private burial ceremony was later conducted with family in Wirksworth, where Kathy was raised. Although educated and becoming a teacher in Derbyshire, Kathy’s career soon became intercontinental: in the British Forces education service in Germany followed by the International School in the Hague, where she became a headteacher. In 1959 she moved to the USA to work as a training officer for BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) and for 17 years she trained staff in North America, Canada and the Caribbean. Florida became her home when she married Colonel George Galt, who was involved with the NASA space program and Kathy volunteered at the US Airbase hospital. She was a member of the Baptist church in

Florida, lectured at the Florida Institute of Technology and recorded books for the talking program with the library of Congress in Washington. On returning to the UK in the early 1980s, Kathy lived at the top of Chapel Street in Melbourne. Someone said: “Oh, that’s Aggie’s Cottage,” which stuck, and Kathy opened a shop in that name, selling high quality pre-owned ladies’ clothing. (Lomas Opticians and Top Turkish Barber have been more recent occupiers of the shop premises.) She later loved living in a

Blanch Croft cottage. Kathy was closely involved in Melbourne life. In addition to her responsibilities at the Baptist church, she was Vice-Chair of Melbourne Civic Society and a National Trust volunteer room steward at Calke Abbey, where she also delighted in driving the buggy. Kathy – also known as ‘Aunty Mary’ – was kind and hospitable, loving to entertain and to celebrate her dual nationality each year on Thanksgiving Day, to arrange a feast, or coffee and courgette cake for Civic Award judges, or a bacon bap for a ‘Breakfast on the Run’ event. In 2008 she moved to Belper to be nearer her family and friends of longstanding. However, she continued to visit her beloved Melbourne often, retaining and nurturing her friendships here. She continued to volunteer at Calke for many more years, also at Kedleston Hall. Kate Hewlett opened her address: “Kathy Galt! What a wonderful woman! Stately as a galleon! Such poise, presence and personality. Someone whose company you sought and enjoyed.” ….. “Her views were appreciated, delivered with that wonderful voice and perfect enunciation. It was a joy and privilege to know her.” And so say all of us!

We played out in all weathers, dressing appropriately: girls in dresses, with cardigans if needed; ankle socks and sandals in summer and skirts and jumpers with three quarter length socks and stout lace-up shoes in winter, adding coats, scarves, hats and gloves as it got colder. The boys wore shorts summer and winter alike. We gained leadership and team player skills by being in gangs. Life skills were learned by amusing ourselves and inventing games. Hunting, fishing and building or mending things were learned with dad or grandad. Mum and grandma taught us to cook and sew and we helped by looking after younger siblings. None of us were wealthy. We had little and expected little, but what we had we shared with friends. The sad passing of one of our class mates Timothy Shone in 2023 found Vaughan and myself regretting not keeping in touch with our school mates. So the aim now as we all turn 70 is to trace and get in touch with as many of our class as possible, arrange a reunion, catch up and to reminisce together. If you or anyone you know is on or should have been on the photo please get in touch at with any information you have. We would love to hear from you.


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16 Village Voice February 2024


Rugby club’s first team put in some strong performances

RIGHT: Melbourne Rugby Club’s first XV in its pulsating victory against West Bridgford on February 3. PHOTO: Jansen Brown Studios

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AT the start of February Melbourne Rugby Club’s first team had risen to sixth spot in the league with some strong performances on muddy January fields. A loss at home to first placed Long Eaton began the month but the following week the first team put in a great performance after travelling to Sutton Coldfield, with an impressive finishing scoreline of 36-7 and tries for Donnelly, Pearce, North, Benstead, Worley and Suddaby, plus three conversions for North. Away to Mellish Rugby Club a week later, the first team once again came out with a strong performance, securing a bonus point win. With Warren scoring an early try two

minutes into the game, it turned to be a closely fought encounter ending 32-29 in Melbourne’s favour. The first team’s next game against Paviors proved once again to be a nailbiter although things did not go Melbourne’s way this time with a thrilling 26-25 final scoreline and Paviors snatching the final victory. But a further narrow scoreline to higher placed West Bridgford a week later saw Melbourne the victors, coming out 28-24 on top. The second XV, meanwhile, has had an extremely strong series of performances and at the beginning of February was sitting fourth in the league. Playing under the lights at the MSP in the evening of January 12, the seconds se-

cured a great win against Long Eaton, coming out well on top at 26-5. A further strong performance later in the month saw the seconds overpower Mellish 31-10. Melbourne played well in their home game against Sleaford later in the month but came up short against the other side’s strong first team, who dominated the scoreline 32-10. But they fared much better against Paviors Seconds in their first February game with a convincing 44-31 victory. A cancelled game for the thirds has seen them only go out for one encounter so far in 2024, a 38-24 loss to Ilkeston seconds, with tries for Lakin, Hurscome and two for Martin, with four conversions for Foster.


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ten as a comfortable 4-1 away win followed a week later. Against Mansfield Hosiery Mills goals from Issac Nkrumah, Oscar Supple, Macca Jones and Tyler Withers earned Dynamo a welcome three points, taking them into a midweek trip to Mickleover Reserves. But a strong home side put Dynamo to the sword in a 7-0 drubbing. That was not the best preparation for a cup semi-final which was next up for Melbourne as they travelled to Derby Singh Brothers. All looked well as the first team raced into a 3-1 lead thanks to Sam Simpson, Oscar Supple and Tyler Withers. But a last minute equaliser quickly followed a second Singh strike to take the game to penalties. With Melbourne’s recent record in penalty shoot-outs it was no surprise

l Melbourne Dynamo first team in action against South Normanton.

they lost 5-3 in a disappointing end to another great Derbyshire Cup run. The tough games kept coming with a long trip to top of the table Pinxton with the home side claiming all three points thanks to a hugely disputed goal in a very physical encounter. The 1-0 loss ended a tough month for the first team. In stark contrast to the first team’s form Melbourne Dynamo Reserves won both their league games in Jan-

uary. They began the year with the Robin Bentley show as he struck four goals to go with a Pav Sahota strike in a clinical 5-0 home victory against Sherwin. A long trip to Ashover proved fruitful as a brace apiece from Joe Shadbolt and Riley Moore secured a deserved 4-1 win. This left the Reserves top of the table with a threepoint lead and a game in hand going into the last three months of the season.

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