Civic Trust News 2008

Winter 2008

Recent Events

So the summer ended – did you notice the difference? – and the Civic Trust got back down to earth with a new season to report on.

The first illustrated talk of our new season (September 17th) was “Snapshots of Japan”, presented and reported by Margaret Hewitt who, as a sometime teacher in Rolleston, knew several members of our audience and probably even more of you reading this note. Having visited friends in Japan, Margaret had the perfect reason to introduce us to her Snapshots. Her slides of temples, architecture, the bullet train, Kobe, Yokohama, Mount Fuji, the red crowned cranes of Hokkaido and a host of other scenic delights left us a happy audience (in my case tinged with a little envy).

The talk for October 15th was presented by Rod Pearson and entitled “Port Sunlight – Clean Living and Town Planning”. After a slight technical hitch members were treated to a fascinating insight into the life and times of philanthropist and soap maker, Lord Leverhulme, who started the manufacture of soap from vegetable oils instead of tallow. With his brother James he turned his small soap works into a national business – now part of the giant multi-national company, Unilever. His success stemmed from good advertising and his continuous consideration for both his customers and his staff. He founded the industrial new town of Port Sunlight for his workers – a forerunner of town planning and the more recent new towns. All in all an excellent talk

Our Winter Programme - - - -

The early programme of 2009 will be -

Wednesday 21st January, 8.00pm – The Salt Industry of the Trent Valley (Part 2) by Tim Moss
The follow-up to January 2008. To be held in the Cricket Club

Sunday 25th January - Mulled wine event at Appleacres. 12 noon. Ticket event.*

Wednesday 18th February, 8.00pm – Cycling from Coast to Coast - by Simon Richardson
To be held in the Cricket Club

Saturday 28th February – Pancake Races
2 pm on the Croft – see separate notice

(* Committee members’ contact numbers are displayed on the notice board outside Starbucks Newsagents).

Planning Matters

Although we’ve had our usual share of conservatories, extensions, dormers and tree surgery, the outstanding recent example of need for keeping some vigilance against the odds has been Grace Cottage (at the bottom of Anslow Lane). The current owner wants to enlarge the cottage by a quite significant amount and may well be given permission. However, it’s in the Conservation Area, which means that the Planners are expected to pay special attention to its preservation. We always write to the Planning Officer in situations like this that affect the appearance of the Conservation Area and, from time to time, we may well achieve success or some modification


Existing members will be aware that January brings the beginning of the Civic Trust’s new year. The new programme will be distributed and your annual subscription collected. For several years, long established members have taken this opportunity as an occasion to say that our sub (last increased in 1991) was too low to be sensible and, eventually, the Committee has submitted to pressure and raised the sub to £5 per household. Start saving up !!

And, of course, those readers not also Members are cordially invited to join. Annual family membership for roughly the price of a couple of pints of bitter - can’t be bad.

Civic Trust Pancake Races - Saturday 28th February, 2.00pm on the Croft

We will be having the usual adult and children’s races and this year an additional event – A WALKING RACE FOR THE OVER-65’s!

Entry forms are available from Mrs Sheila Lord, 62 The Lawns. Telephone 01283 813877 or e-mail All details will be on posters in the village notice boards nearer the event.

All race proceeds in aid of St Mary’s Church Fabric Fund

Pancakes will be provided in Rolleston Club after the races by Rolleston Pre-School. Proceeds in aid of Pre-School

Autumn 2008

Recent Events

For us, May started with a cycle ride from Lands End to John O’ Groats. Naturally we didn’t all go but Rodney Paul and Mark Jordan described their adventures together and illustrated them with a good set of pictures of where they went and what they saw. The piece of information that surprised me was that they didn’t cycle together (like a team in the Tour de France) but each went at his own comfort speed, having arranged where to meet.

That, then, was the last of our illustrated talks for the summer. No more meetings for us in the Cricket Club until September. Not, however, the last Civic Trust event.

On June 21st, 50ish members gathered in the garden of AppleAcres. You may remember that it had rained through most of the day, just to make the preparatory work more interesting but there was plenty of cover to keep us dry for the cheese and wine, the conversation and discussion and, the grand finale – the raffle. It was a good night, thanks to Mr and Mrs. Richardson.

And so the Civic Trust’s annual Summer Stroll, this year around Barton under Needwood.

On July 9th 2008 a group of 40+ Civic Trust members ventured to our neighbouring Civic Society’s Village to enjoy a guided walk and talk around the attractive settlement of Barton under Needwood.

We were made most welcome by Mr Arthur Kennedy the Chairman of the society and his fellow members who guided us on our journey around the village. Among many interesting buildings pointed out to us was the home of John Taylor, opposite St James Church on Main Street. He was one of a family of triplets whose education was funded by King Henry VII and whose name the secondary school has adopted. We also saw the 19th century courthouse in Station Street, the new Barton Health Centre and hospital and the site of an old brewery in Wales Lane.

Our groups met up at St James’ Parish Church where Rev Tony Woods made us most welcome and gave an informal and amusing introduction to the main features we could see inside the church. The members then repaired to Barton Bowls Club where a delicious spread had been organised by Jeff Pattison and liquid refreshments both warm and cold were available for us to imbibe. An enjoyable stroll during a window of opportunity on an inclement summer’s day!

Our Autumn Programme - - - -

Wednesday 17th September 8pm : ‘A Japanese Tour’ by Margaret Hewitt, to be held in the Cricket Club

Wednesday 15th October 8pm : ‘Port Sunlight – Clean Living and Town Planning’ by Rod Pearson, to be held in the Cricket Club.

Sunday 2nd November : Bulb planting, 10.30am – 12noon. Refreshment will be available.

Wednesday 19th November 8pm: ‘Sharps Pottery’ by Emma Ward, to be held in the Cricket Club.

Friday 5th December : Ticket Event, Civic Trust Christmas Dinner to be held in Melbourne Tea Rooms. Coach booked, numbers limited. *

* Committee members’ contact numbers are displayed in the noticeboard outside Starbucks Newsagents.

Planning Matters

The application we referred to in the last Rollestonian – the one that would have gained Rolleston Cricket Club another square with more improvements to match – was refused by the Planning Committee.

Otherwise there have been only the usual sprinkling of applications to add extensions, erect conservatories, insert dormer windows and apply tree surgery. No really significant planning applications in fact but it will hardly have escaped your notice that the Beacon Road garage site has been cleared. The new house that will presumably become No.8 Station Road is also well on the way.

Civic Trust Front Garden Report

The Front Garden Award took place in June this year. The village, as last year, was divided into 9 areas with each area covered by members of the Civic Trust to establish a short list of three gardens for each area. These were then forwarded to the independent judge for a further inspection – the outcome of which is as follows:

The winner of the O. D. Shelly Cup Front Garden Award is 38 Shotwood Close – Mr and Mrs M. Underhill
“It is a contemporary garden quite different from the usual lawn and gardens. They have a subtle colour scheme of yellows, peach and green. There is a wide variety of plant material with different shapes and shades of green. Quite a few structural features are used which would give year round interest.”

The following garden was highly commended:
The Jinnie Inn – Justin and Wendy
“Striking planting in barrels with pelargonium and verbena. Beautiful hanging baskets and planters bursting with petunia flowers. Pelargonium on the tables add a personal touch. Almost hidden water feature using reclaimed sleepers provides a gentle relaxing backdrop for the patrons. Barrels are also used to good effect to grow a selection of culinary herbs. A delightful oasis to sit in and enjoy refreshment.”

Special mention was also given to the following gardens:

20 The Lawns
“Quite a compact front garden but with lots of interest. A nice mixture of perennial and annual plants which provide a variety of colour and form. Clematis arch provides height interest, as do profusely planted baskets. A good variety of tubs give seasonal colour.”

12 Walford Road.
“As in previous years this is a very well tended front garden. There is a mass of colour in the annual border, hanging baskets, pots and dahlias”

Barn Farm and Florist Gate
“Deserve a special mention for their vibrant hanging baskets and border, which must lift the spirit of all passing by.”

The committee would like to thank the judge and members of the Civic Trust for all the hard work undertaken in searching out examples of horticultural excellence.

The presentation of the Shelly Cup and a gardens voucher for the Front Garden Competition will be held at the Rolleston Civic Trust meeting on Wednesday 17th September 2008 at the Rolleston Cricket Club at 8.00 pm.

Summer 2008

Recent Events

Our February was rather quiet for 3 weeks. All the activity was crowded into 4 days towards the end of the month. First Derek Palmer gave us an interesting history of ‘Well Dressings in Derbyshire and Around’ while the final event of the month was the ever popular Shrovetide Pancake Race. Socially, it was a very busy day in Rolleston which reduced the family team entries to zero but the 12 entries in 3 classes produced some exciting, competitive, racing. The winners were :-

INFANTS Pre-School Team 1
JUNIORS We Eat Pancakes For Fun
SENIORS Starbucks News Team
(for the second successive year – will they make it a hat-trick in 2009?)

The collection yielded £82.26 for St Mary’s Church fund and the Pre-School cooked and served pancakes in the Club afterwards to make a good end to another Civic Trust day.

For an utterly different evening out, the March meeting took us to Burton’s Constitutional Club – a brilliant idea for an evening in a splendid bar, the opportunity to look round this fascinating Victorian building (which started life as the General Post Office) and to enjoy a first rate buffet supper.

In April we met Wayne Ball, a Ranger with Severn Trent, who introduced us to ‘Local Reservoirs and their Wildlife’. He is one of four who, between them, take responsibility for five reservoirs. Their responsibilities include taking care of the large areas of land which surround the reservoirs themselves. Foremark, for instance, is a 230 acre reservoir surrounded by 500 acres of land. They are pleased that they can call on a team of 27 volunteers who have for instance, cleared a large area of trees and scrub and created new ponds, all with the intention of letting in more light and thus increasing not only more wild life but a more diverse wild life. There are now newts, butterflies and dragonflies where there were previously none and a new one acre glade has been observed to provide a home for 38 species of bird, 20 butterflies and 13 dragonflies, all of which are new inhabitants.

At our recently held Plant Swap in April we attracted an extensive collection of cuttings, shrubs, perennials, annuals, biennials, tomato plants and even the odd five foot palm. Despite a short, sharp shower at the outset, the remainder of the event took place in warm sunshine and enticed a steady stream of interested gardeners looking for a bargain and willing to share their expertise. After perusing the plants on offer, most visitors took time for a leisurely cup of tea or coffee and a piece of homemade cake.

We were able to present St Mary’s Church with £87 by the way of donations given for the plants. The proceeds from the refreshments amounting to £41 went to the Civic Trust Funds for future events. This was a very successful event and one which seems to be well established in the Civic Trust calendar.

The Civic Trust Award For 2007

This year, on April 16th, the plaque was awarded to St Mary’s Church for the work done in extending and improving the Old Grammar School building. Present to receive the award from our Chairman were Carol Webster (Parochial Church Council), Ken Holland (Builder) and John Lowe (Project Manager). In her acceptance speech Carol commented on the fact that the necessary finance had come from several sources of which the Village Design Statement Group in particular had played an important role in bringing a seventeenth century building into the 21st century without losing its essential character.

Our Summer Programme - - - -

Saturday 21st June : A Cheese and Wine Evening to be held at Appleacres, thanks to Mr and Mrs S Richardson. Ticket event – from committee members.*

Wednesday 19th July : A summer stroll around Barton under Needwood. To be guided by Arthur Kennedy, Chair of Barton Civic Society. With supper to follow at Barton Bowls Club. Ticket event – Available from committee members.*

Wednesday 17th September “A Japanese Tour”. By Margaret Hewitt, to be held in the Cricket Club

* Committee members’ contact numbers are displayed in the noticeboard outside Starbucks Newsagents.

Planning Matters

You may remember that back in Autumn an application was received for a house to be built adjacent to the Dovecliffe Hotel and hence outside the Development Line for both Stretton and Rolleston. The application included the transfer of land to create another cricket square and two football pitches at no cost to the clubs. The application was withdrawn on the day before the Planning Committee was to meet. Since we considered it a very beneficial offer we supported it and were, therefore, disappointed.

Well, it’s back! Slightly changed, it’s true. But, we consider, still a good offer – so long as the Clubs agree. So we’ve agreed with the application again. Keep your fingers crossed!

Front Garden Awards Reminder

Judging will take place for the 2008 Front Garden Award during the last two weeks of June. All front gardens will be considered unless specifically withdrawn. Observations will be made from the pavement / public highway and will not encroach on to private property. Front gardens not visible from the pavement / public highway will not be included in the competition unless requested otherwise. The Judge’s decision will be final.

The winners will be notified in due course in the Rollestonian and also in the village notice boards. Happy digging!

For enquiries regarding the competition ring Janet Sanderson on 01283 815480.

ESBC Site Allocation Document

Those of you who keep an eye or an ear on Central Government activities will be aware that it wishes the national housing stock to be increased by a large proportion over the next 20 years. How large isn’t awfully clear – we would probably be horrified if we knew – and until recently the possible local effects have remained a mystery. However, figures are now beginning to appear and it is even possible to estimate what the effects on us may be. The figures quoted here have come from two sources – ESBC (some of you may have seen the information in the E.S.News) and the CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England).

We start with the West Midlands Regional Assembly who, after considerable discussion and consultation, agreed that over the next 20 years 360,000 dwellings could added to the West Midlands stock. The Government riposte was to say ‘add another 60,000’. Currently, then, the various sub-divisions of West Midlands are scratching their heads in an attempt to increase the figure they first thought of. We shall concentrate here on ESBC and let the rest of the West Midlands take care of itself.

Staffordshire as a whole will have to absorb another 54,900. ESBC would provide 12,900 at the annual rate of 645. Of these, 550 would be in or immediately adjacent to Burton, with 95 shared between Uttoxeter and the villages. After 20 years Burton would have added 11,000 with 1,900 added to the rest of East Staffordshire.

It may provide some comfort that we are told that, in this context, Rolleston is considered to be village and the Planners are very conscious of the need to protect the thin green line that separates us from Stretton and greater Burton.

So current discussion is concentrated on where the Burton contribution can be built. Roughly half the sites needed are believed to be available within the Burton envelope. Expansion is difficult because not only is there a considerable river flood plain but beyond it is a different County, part of the East Midlands. The bulk of the second half of the necessary sites will have to be on the west side of the town and probably built on green field sites.

Over the past few weeks you may have noticed references in the media to ‘eco towns’ proposed for various areas of the country. These would be in addition to any other proposals referred to in the documents above.

When we examine the real nitty-gritty there seem to be four sites in Rolleston that may be considered suitable. At present these are simply sites ‘suggested to ESBC by external agencies’.

· The college/school playing fields.
· The triangular field at the bottom of Craythorne Lane.
· The paddock immediately adjacent to the west end of Meadow View.
· Craythorne Golf Course.

And before you relax too successfully, it is believed that central Government is about to commission consultancy work to examine how even higher regional housing numbers might be accommodated.

*Recent house building rates in East Staffs (2001-06) led to the construction of 1650 new dwellings. There is no separate figure for Burton.

Peter Galloway

Spring 2008

Recent Events

On 21st November, we had a repeat visit from Stuart Dixon, professional horticulturalist, whose interests clearly take him to some fascinating places. This time, be regaled us with his tales of two Edens: ‘The Eden Project and Eden Gardens of New Zealand’.

We finished the Civic Trust’s year with a Christmas Dinner at the Jinnie. A great time was had by all with food, wine and company of the highest quality. A particularly successful raffle raised £162 which was donated to Rolleston Pre-school Play Group, to supplement their building fund.

This year began on 16th January with an introduction to ‘The Salt Industry of the Trent Valley’ by Tim Moss. His interest stems from the research undertaken by his local History Society. Tim, the Chairman of the Hixon Historical Society gave us a fascinating and knowledgeable insight into a local industry which began life in the 1690s. The work was very arduous, with the conditions extremely hot and uncomfortable. The industry employed men, women and children, all enduring the same harsh environment. We are very lucky that these conditions do not prevail today!

The Mulled Wine event, held at Apple acres by kind permission of Mr & Mrs S. Richardson, was enjoyed by approximately 60 people, who raised an impressive £77 on the raffle to be donated as a contribution for the purchase of stage blocks to be used in St Mary’s Church for future concerts.

Our Spring Programme - - - -

Wednesday 12 March, 8 pm at the Cricket Club
Extra meeting for the AGM to include discussion of the annual subscription fees. Mike Jobson will then give a talk.

Wednesday 19 March
Guided Tour of Burton Constitutional Club with buffet supper to follow. This is a ticket event with limited numbers (see village notice boards for details).

Wednesday 16 April, 8 pm at the Cricket Club
Wayne Ball on ‘Foremark Reservoir: a conservation challenge’.

Sunday 27 April, The School Room, St Mary’s Church. 2 pm – 4 pm.
Plant Swap: Please bring along your cuttings and surplus plants to be swapped - with a small donation towards St Mary’s Church Funds. Light refreshments will be available.

Wednesday 14 May, 8 pm at the Cricket Club
Rodney Paul and Mark Jordan on their fund-raising cycle ride: ‘Lands End to John O’Groats’.

Looking Ahead

Civic Trust Front Garden Award 2008

The 2008 Front Garden Award will be judged as usual over a 2 – 3 day period. This year judging will take place over the June-July period. As in previous years the winner of last year’s competition will not be eligible to win the award for the next five years.

There is no need to apply for entry to this competition; all front gardens will be automatically considered - unless specifically withdrawn.

Judging dates will be announced in due course in the Rollestonian and also displayed on the village notice boards. The judge’s decision will be final. We hope this notification will give you plenty of time to prepare your gardens.

Planning Matters

Apart from the usual collection of extensions, conservatories and other alterations, the outstanding move is probably that serious work on the Dower House has started and the plans show that it will be kept in line with ‘listed building’ needs. We hope it will become a very worthwhile part of Rolleston’s Conservation Area, leaving behind the alterations made during its existence as the Dove Clinic.

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Last updated: 19 December 2008