ARE YOU looking for a stocking filler with
Then look no further: Birstall Local History Society's books
with their fascinating pictures and stories of 'Old Birstall'
will be enjoyed and appreciated by all who know our village.
Bygone Birstall. Vol 1 & Vol 2. 64 pages & 72 pages £2.50
each. Over 100 photographs of long gone halls, cottages, people
Birstall Trail. A tour of Old Birstall. 18 pages £3.00.
A map and specially commissioned illustrations by Tom Ball describe
34 places of interest.
Names Around Birstall. 36 pages £3.50. The stories behind
the names on our village War Memorial and our roads and streets.
John Mansfield of Birstall. 208 pages £10.00. Lived at
Birstall Hall for 40 years. As Leicester's Mayor and MP he faced
wars, a duel, municipal corruption, riots and poverty in the
streets. A revealing picture of local life two centuries ago.
Ring Mike Smith on 2675792 and your order will be delivered to
Teacher not guilty
A RETIRED primary school teacher from Birstall
has been cleared by a jury of sexually abusing two girls.
Mr Michael Robert Allan of Woodgate Drive was charged with four
counts of indecent assault. The incidents were alleged to have
taken place in the 1980s against two girls aged seven and nine.
The jury of nine women and three men at Leicester Crown Court
took just over three hours to unanimously acquit Mr Allan.
The court case was a retrial, the original hearing in July having
been halted because of a legal problem.
CHARNWOOD BOROUGH Council's new team of
Street Wardens will have the power under the Clean Neighbourhood
& Environment Act (2005) to issue an £80 on the spot
fine to persons who fail to pick up dog faeces.
If that fine is not paid, then court proceedings will be started
which may result in a fine of up to £1,000 plus costs being
Cllr Sandie Gough, Charnwood Borough Council's Cabinet member
for Environment, said: "Dog owners not clearing up after
their pets will not only be leaving a potential health hazard
behind but they could also find themselves out of pocket as well.
"Every dog owner should try and train their dog to go at
home and carry poop scoops just in case your pet gets caught
short when out for a walk.
"Poop Scoop bags are available free of charge from the Council.
Alternatively a supermarket carrier bag or nappy disposal bag
can be used. There is no excuse - clearing up after your dog
is an essential part of your responsibility as a dog owner."
There are approximately 6,000,000 dogs in Britain that deposit
in the region of 1,000 tonnes of faeces every day. Not only can
dog mess be unpleasant, it is also a health hazard and the council
is fully committed to educating dog owners in conjunction with
enforcement. Once you've scooped the poop you can double bag
it and pop it in any bin. Alternatively, there are waste bins
specifically for dog mess around Charnwood.
To report an instance of enviro-crime, such as abandoned vehicles,
fly-tipping, graffiti, litter, dog fouling and grot spots or
issues of street cleansing, call the Charnwood Borough Council's
dedicated hotline number on 01509 634563 or log onto www.charnwood.gov.uk
and fill in the online forms.
BIRSTALL AND District Art Society held
their 12th annual exhibition of paintings in the village hall
on Saturday November 4 until Monday 6.
Pics: presented with their prizes
by Jennifer Lady Gretton are (clockwise from top left) Serena
Seymour (7), Charlotte Platts (10), winner Karishma Shah (10)
and Bethany Fowkes (10)
The exhibition, visited by 830 people, was opened by well known
local artist Kathy Layfield.
This year we had a competition involving local schoolchildren
who were asked to prepare works depicting the seasons. The winners
were presented with prizes by Jennifer Lady Gretton.
Poppies by Rita Cowham
Anne Carter making a collage
Roses by Katy van Geffen
Gem & Colt by Bethany Rhodes
The Poppy Painter by Marion Smith
A Glimpse of Heaven by Sue Faulks
Our sponsors again donated vouchers for the winners of the
six categories of paintings. The results were judged by well
known local professional artists Andrew Michael-Smith, Peter
Sumpter, Alan Oliver, Kathy Layfield and Shirley and David Easton.
The results were as follows:-
o Best Watercolour was won by Rita Cowham for 'Poppies'
o Best Oil was won by Bob Harkness for 'Spring Tide'
o Best Pastel was won by Marion Smith for 'Rooster'
o Best Landscape was won by Sue Faulks for 'A glimpse of heaven'
o Best Still Life was won by Jean Bates for 'Aphrodites pebbles'
o Most imaginative was won by Charlotte Stephenson for 'Path
The best picture in the show, voted for by all the visitors,
was won by John Kennedy for 'A Quiet Place' with 37 votes
The raffle for the pastel 'Cloudscape' by Alan Potter was won
by Charlotte Stephenson an art society member.
Thanks go to all the visitors to the show, to the many businesses
in and around Birstall who displayed our posters, and the Posy
Bowl who brightened up the hall with all the lovely floral displays.
From Fred Parrott, Chairman BADAS
Hallam Fields art
DESIGNS FOR the public art at Hallam Fields
are being prepared by consultants Orange Dot and the artists
chosen by them for the project.
Lucy Banwell from Orange Dot said: "We have been working
with the artists and the Hallam Fields Design Team to refine
all the different ideas into a full programme of work to take
place over the next few years. As part of the programme artist
Martin Heron has been working with Jelson Ltd and the Design
Team to make small scale works for the site.
"He has designed a series of sculptural walls and look-out
points, which will start being installed next year. He is also
working on designs for a large land-mark feature for the site."
Jo Fairfax has been exploring ways of making interventions using
lighting, Trudi Entwistle has been designing informal meeting
and seating spaces using earth mounding, and Nadya Monfrinoli
has developed a series of different projects that will involve
local people in making art work for the site.
Many elements of the public art programme also involve making
art work for the rest of Birstall - not just for Hallam Fields.
Lucy said: "There is scope for a significant serious of
arts workshops, events and celebrations, which will provide lots
more opportunities for people to get involved in the coming years."
The Team are currently exploring possibilities for funding the
Orange Dot are planning on inviting interested local people to
come and discuss the plans for the programme, and there will
be more details of this in a future Post.
AT THE November meeting of Birstall &
Wanlip WI, members listened to a very interesting and informative
talk given by Mrs Sheila Wilson, about her year in office as
Mayoress of Charnwood.
The Bradgate Group Carol Service will be held at Birstall Methodist
Church on Friday December 1 at 7.30pm.
The next Institute meeting is Monday December 4 at Highcliffe
School, It will be the AGM followed by a 'Bring and Share' supper.
As the winter months approach and the dark nights are upon
us, most people's minds are on Christmas and the New Year. However,
I would like to start by asking everyone not to forget simple
crime prevention advice. Thee has been a couple of occasions
in recent weeks where homes have been left insecure ie windows
open or doors unlocked and an opportunist burglar has taken his
As a police officer it is my role to prevent and detect crime
and so I would urge everyone just to take a few more minutes
each evening ensuring their homes are secure and not an easy
target for the criminals. If you require any further crime prevention
advice then please contact PCSO Butler or myself. Your personal
safety is also a primary matter to consider. If you are out late
try as much as possible to stick to well lit areas, travel with
another person or stay close to other larger groups you feel
comfortable around. I know this is not always possible but look
after number one, don't make yourself an easy target. Zip up
your bags and keep mobile phones out of sight. So far this type
of crime has not been a large problem in Birstall but it never
hurts to be vigilant.
Also, there to help you is your local Neighbourhood Watch. The
dedication and professionalism of the volunteers has greatly
impressed me in the few short months I have been here and they
are always so willing to help your community whenever it is called
for. They have a wealth of knowledge themselves to assist you
in any crime prevention you may require, I can easily see why
they are classed as one of the best schemes in the country. I
would also ask that if you see something you're not happy with
but don't feel it a matter for the police, let the Neighbourhood
Watch know (tel: 2676397) and if they think it serious enough
then we get to know anyway. Any information, no matter how small
can always help.
As I have touched on, burglaries have once again taken a turn
for the worse, you are not alone in this, the surrounding villages
have also suffered, please be aware and let us know of anything
suspicious, especially strange vehicles, bogus officials and
You may like to know that I have arranged for a covert speeding
device to be put n place at certain areas around the village,
due to the high amount of interest and complaints received about
the numerous speeding cars. Please be aware and if you are an
offender, slow down and have a bit more consideration otherwise
you could end up with a large fine and points on your licence,
or worse still, someone's death on your conscience!
Bringing it back to a nicer tone, I hope you will all have a
nice, stress free holiday season and enjoy yourselves and I hope
your new year starts well.
PC815 Chris Falle
Birstall Beat Officer
Village Watch news
Car Licence Plate Theft
This problem is on the rise with a 32% increase in London, thieves
steal or copy number plates from random vehicles and attach them
to another car.
This car is then used to commit motoring offences or even more
serious crimes such as:
o stealing fuel from petrol stations: known as 'Bilking'
o parking/speeding charges
o congestion/toll charges
Many victims are unaware that fraudsters are committing offences
in their name, until they receive fines through the post for
places they have never visited.
The Watch has been made aware of at least one such incident by
a member of the public visiting our Saturday Advice Shop. It's
important to report if your licence plates are stolen or removed,
and obtain a crime reference number as quickly as possible.
New anti-theft plates will be available, making it difficult
for thieves to remove them, and will shatter if tampered with.
Home Security at Christmas
Remember as the festive season approaches, to be extra vigilant
about home security - thieves would like your Christmas presents!
On behalf of the committee we would like to express our grateful
thanks to all who have supported the Watch during the year.
We wish you a Crime Free Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Ed Marshall, Chairman
Gyms 1000th member
Pic: Katie Solomons (left) is the gym's 1000th
member. She is pictured with Sonia Neale and Carl Gunns
CARL GUNNS' gym on Birstall Road has signed
up its 1000th member - 25 year old Katie Solomons from Syston.
Katie said: "I'm used to training four or five times a week
in a normal gym and it's hard to keep motivated. This will be
something new, I'll be keeping fit and learning boxing skills
She added: "Everyone here has been so welcoming, it's really,
Carl Gunns said: "It's terrific to have got to our 1000th
member considering I only started with seven. The effort and
the commitment of the girls has really surprised me - I am impressed.
Kicking for charity
A KARATE school that operates in the Charnwood
villages has raised £600 for Heartlink charities.
Eastwest Karate is run by Michael Gannon. He said: "We ran
a very successful kickathon at the club recently with some students
performing up to 2,000 kicks in less than an hour."
Eastwest has also been giving away short karate courses to local
schools as part of 'a fit heart is a healthy heart' campaign.
If you would like to find out more and receive a free v.i.p.
information pack and DVD phone Michael Gannon on 0116 2623080.
Pic: Shannon Smith roundhouse kick.