Civic Trust News 2009

Winter 2009

Recent Events

After the August break, when we assume that members are most likely to be on holiday, Civic Trust business started again with a committee meeting on September 9th and a general meeting – in the Cricket Club – a week later. Here, our President Tom Martin was the first person into action. He presented the two prizes for the front garden competitions to the hard working gardeners, namely:-

The Shelly Cup to Mr and Mrs Thornewill of 20, The Lawns, and The Forest Shield to Mrs Janet Stone of 3, The Lawns.

On behalf of the Civic Trust, Tom congratulated each of the winners on the wonderfully high standards they had achieved, and led the two rounds of applause.

And so to the first presentation of the autumn season. Advertised to be a talk by Sue Willmot, Sue had in fact permitted her husband, Nick, to come too – and a fine double act they proved to be. Nick’s brother, in retirement, owns the ‘Neva’, an American-built boat now registered in Manchester and was sailing it in the Blue Water Rally, a round-the-world journey from Gibraltar to Gibraltar. Reasonably enough this includes sailing from the Atlantic via the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, to the Pacific Ocean. Moreover, this leg of the journey needed two extra crew members and, out of the kindness of their hearts, Sue and Nick helped out. They not only saw the Panama Canal but also extended their journey to the Galapagos Islands on the Equator.

Their story was illustrated by one of the most interesting sets of holiday snaps ever. Particularly fascinating were the records of the Blue Water Rally boats (30 to 65 feet long) sharing a lock designed for, and containing, some of the largest ships in the world.

Congratulations Sue and Nick!

On Wednesday October 21st, Paul Nicholas gave a talk on his ‘Time in Africa’. The Cricket Club was full in anticipation of an interesting and informative talk and those present were not disappointed.

Visitors were first confronted with tables of African foods, artefacts and materials, some of which could be identified and others which baffled all; explanations came later.

Paul started his talk, covering his earlier times in Nigeria, with some historic facts regarding Britain’s and other European Countries’ role in the creation of current-day Africa and its effect on the original African nations and tribes, some of which now find themselves in two different countries. This came as a surprise to most and gave some insight into later ethnic problems.

Paul then told of his arrival in Nigeria in troubled times, his early travels with a Lady of the Cloth, and his arrival at the school where he was to teach. It was during this part of his talk that the uses of the foods and items earlier mentioned were revealed. Paul’s obvious love of his time in Nigeria and of the people he met was evident.

Paul’s slides and his detailed descriptions of what they revealed entertained everyone for well over the allotted time. But there were no complaints as question after question was well fielded by Paul.

A night enjoyed by all.

Civic Trust Programme

Friday December 4th
The Civic Trust Christmas Dinner.
Ticket Event, in the Jinnie

Wednesday January 20th 2010, 8pm - Lawrence Oates (ESBC ‘Green Space Officer’) with a talk entitled ‘Conservation volunteering, the way forward for Rolleston?’, Cricket Club.

Sunday January 24th - Mulled Wine at Appleacres. 12 noon. By kind permission of Mr & Mrs S. Richardson. Ticket Event.

Saturday February 13th – Pancake Races at 2pm on The Croft. Details below.

Wednesday February 17th 8pm- Local Author: Mark Rowe presents ‘Don't Panic’. England against invasion during World War 2 (with an emphasis on Staffordshire). In the Cricket Club.

Sunday February 21st - Snowdrop planting.

Wednesday March 17th 8pm - AGM. Followed by Sue Fraser talking about Sudbury Hall. In the Cricket Club.

Rolleston Civic Trust Annual Pancake Races
Saturday February 13th at 2 pm on The Croft.

Teams of 4 are needed in the following categories :
Infants (0 – 6), Junior (7 – 11), Young Adult (12 – 21), Senior (22 – 64),
Senior + (65 & over). Entry fee £1 per team.

We look forward to seeing you all at this traditional and fun Village event, so please come along and enter your team. You may even win a wonderful prize, not to mention the highest accolade of seeing your team photograph on the village notice board!!!

And, as an extra reward, you can treat yourselves to Pre-School’s delicious pancakes that will be on sale after the event in Rolleston Club. You may even fancy the idea of a glass or two?

Please see posters on village notice boards for further detail nearer the time. Or contact Sheila Lord, 62 The Lawns. Tel. 813877 for entry forms and enquiries.

Autumn 2009

Recent Events

The early summer quarter gave Civic Trust members an entertaining variety of chances to meet. The first – or maybe it was the last of the old season, in May – was when Angie Gillespie with 40 travels in Egypt to her credit, wore her Egyptian Gallabea to introduce us to ‘The Plant Kingdom of Ancient Egypt’. With 5,000 years of history, much of it depending on the incredibly fertile soil of the Nile Valley, she pointed out that it wasn’t surprising that Egypt used to be self sufficient in agriculture. In fact, dates and olives, grapes and cereals, rendered not only self sufficiency but for much of the period permitted an export trade with the eastern Mediterranean. Many plants necessary for our comfort today were almost certainly first grown in the Nile Valley; grapes were grown and wine was made but the national drink was beer!

The reason Egypt’s land needed no fertiliser was because the Nile’s annual floods added masses of silt to the area. But in recent years the Aswan dam, while providing a greater water supply and good control over the flow through the modern Nile valley, stopped the annual addition of all that fertile silt. Now agriculture depends on artificial fertilisers.

Angie showed illustrations of pictures and models that at the graveside ensured the same things would be available in the after-life. And with many pictures of the remains of ancient temples and statues, she drew the proceedings to an end. She had taken us from 3000 BC up to the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen and she promised to return with more stories to bring us up to the present day.

In June, by comparison, we had an open air event. Wayne Ball, a ranger with Severn Trent Water, had invited us to Foremark Reservoir for an introduction to part of the many acres of land not open to the general public. It’s a Nature Reserve which the rangers are managing for the benefit and protection of the wild life including birds, bats, hares, badgers and much more. Bird boxes and bat boxes have been strategically placed and so for an hour and a half Wayne helped us to pick out the varying wild life and bird calls. Everyone felt better educated and more familiar with the wild life and the time went all too quickly. Moreover, although it had rained pretty much all day, for our walk the clouds at last cleared.

And so, off we went to Ticknall’s ‘Staff of Life’ Inn for a well-earned supper. Well worth our exercise!

Our July ‘meeting’ was different, yet again. The annual Wine & Cheese Party was held in the garden at ‘Apple Acres’, by the kind permission of Helen & Simon Richardson. A marquee was hired from the Scouts and so we were waterproof, as well as well-fed and with enough wine and Burton Ale to satisfy the assembled thirsts. All in all a very successful evening. There was a successful Raffle producing approximately £100 which will go to the Rolleston United Foundation which is an educational charity providing small grants for school leavers, resident in the parishes of Rolleston and Anslow, who are starting college courses, apprenticeships or vocational training.

Front Garden Awards 2009

O.D. Shelly Cup Civic Trust Front Garden Award

This year’s Front Garden Competition was judged over a period at the end of June and the beginning of July. As in recent years the village was divided into nine areas and the initial judging taken on by volunteers from the committee and the membership. For each area up to three gardens were put forward to the final round, to be considered by our independent judges. One aspect of the Front Garden Competition is that the garden must be visible from the public highway so that the judge does not have to enter the property. This is to ensure that no misunderstanding occurs about trespass.

In addition to the Front Garden Award we have introduced a new competition to award the Forest Shield to the best / most interesting and varied container garden or hanging basket display. I know the judges had a very difficult but enjoyable task in arriving at the winning displays. They were very complementary about all of the gardens and came to their conclusions after several visits around the village. Their deliberations are as follows:

The winners of the Shelly Cup and a twenty pounds garden voucher are -
Mr and Mrs Thornewill, 20 The Lawns.

“Excellent use had been made of a small area. From a distance it looked attractive, neat and colourful. On closer inspection a good variety of plants had been used in the borders, the small rockery and the hanging basket / containers. All of these were in perfect condition. We were particularly taken with the well clipped hedge, only one foot high, bordering the public footpath. This consisted of Euonymus and Spirea, in delicately contrasting colours and textures, placed alternately along its length. A red Penstemon, just at its best, also caught our eye. A Sweet Pea arch, a water pump and bird bath added extra interest and height to the garden. The proportion, the balance and the perspective of the layout and planting, we felt complemented the house front with its attractive gates and garage.”

The runners up are Mr and Mrs Chapman, Fairview, Anslow Lane.

“Another excellent garden. This had the advantage of a large area for planting which had been extremely well and attractively used. Viewed from the road it had an interesting rockery running the length of the right hand side, a well stocked herbaceous border running down the left and Rose borders either side of the drive. These led the eye down to where the left hand border opened out into a larger and most attractive area filled with even more Roses. A delicate pink flowering Sedum had been used to good effect as an edge to the border running down the path.”

“It was no easy task to select the winner and we were impressed with the standard of the gardens we inspected. Others which perhaps deserve special mention and are in no particular order are:

Highly Commended
Mr and Mrs Docksey, 12 Walford Road.
Mr and Mrs Hunt, 34 Walford Road.
Mrs Wheeldon, 101 The Lawns.”

The Forest Shield (for a Container Garden / Hanging Basket Display) and a twenty pounds garden voucher was won by -
Mrs Janet Stone, 3 The Lawns.

“The two hanging baskets were most impressive. They were packed with a variety of plants and we particularly admired their subtle colours, their balance and the effective use of trailing foliage which greatly added to their architectural appeal. In addition good use had been made of other planters at ground level where stronger colours had been used. There were also a number of other pots containing different forms of Hosta, each seemingly, from the distance viewed, with minimal slug damage!”

There were numerous others with which we were extremely impressed.

Runners up
Mr and Mrs Aldridge, 11 Shotwood Close

Highly Commended
Mr Marsden and Ms Mann, 6 Needwood Ave.

The Civic Trust would like to thank our judges for their hard work and deliberations.

It is hoped to make the presentations to the winners the Cup and the Shield at the 16th September meeting of the Rolleston Civic Trust

Civic Trust Autumn Programme

Wednesday, September 16th
8,00 Meeting in the Cricket Club with a talk by Sue Willmot on “A big adventure in a small boat – The Panama Canal”.

It is hoped that the presentations to the winners of the Shelly Cup and the Forest Shield will be made this evening.

Wednesday, October 21st
In the Cricket Club at 8.00. Paul Nicholas on “Time in Africa”.

Wednesday, November 18th
In the Cricket Club at 8.00. John Clews on “The RSPB”.

Friday, December 4th
The Civic Trust Christmas Event. Time and Place to be announced.

A Victim Of The Credit Crunch

It may surprise you to know that a recent victim of the current financial problems besetting the Country and The World, “The Credit Crunch” as christened by the media, is The Civic Trust.

Not Rolleston Civic Trust I hasten to add, but the National umbrella body to which the Civic Trust in Rolleston affiliated.

The Civic Trust was a registered charity and, though it received funds from individual societies such as our own in affiliation fees, it was reliant on donations related to its insurance activities and from Government and Local Authorities. Due to the “Credit Crunch” these donations have ceased. The result, as with any body whose outgoings exceed income, on 15th April 2009 the Trustees of The Civic Trust resolved to put The Trust into Administration.

At this point some may say “why do I need a Civic Trust anyway, IT doesn’t affect me”. This may well be a valid point, but let me remind you of the objects of your Rolleston Civic Trust.

The Society is established for the public benefit for the following purposes.

· To stimulate Public interest
· To promote high standards of planning and architecture
· To secure the preservation protection development and improvement of features of public interest

In order to achieve these purposes Rolleston Civic Trust undertakes the following actions

· Promotes research into subjects directly connected with the objects of the Society
· Acts as a co-ordinating body and co-operates with local authority, planning committees, drainage and all other local and statutory authorities, voluntary organisations charities and persons.
· Promotes activities of a charitable nature
· Publishes papers, reports, etc.
· Makes surveys’ plans, maps and collects information in relation to places or buildings of beauty or of historic interest.
· Holds meetings, lectures and exhibitions
· Provides public advice and information.

The Civic Trust is a Society comprised, of and controlled by, its members, and membership is open to all who are interested in actively furthering the purposes of the Society.

All this may sound a little pompous and over the top, therefore you may ask again “why do we need a Civic Society”. Let me simplify the aims a little.

The Civic Trust is a representative body of the people of its given area who are interested in their community. It gives them a voice in regard to the structure of their community and how their community is to develop and grow. Not all views are the same and some people’s idea of a benefit to the community may be a horror story to someone else. This does not mean all ideas are wrong, (you may guarantee that every idea will have its opponents), but our systems of democracy allows forums for discussion and debate concerning such ideas. Such a forum is the Civic Trust.

Developments in the community are debated and discussed. Regular meetings are held to this end. Views of the community are made known to Parish, Local and County Authorities. Watch is kept on local places of beauty and historic buildings, this being of particular importance in Rolleston as it is one of 9300 conservation areas in the country.

As a point of interest the creation of conservation areas was as a direct result of pressure from the Civic Society Movement nationally in the 1960’s.

There is continual pressure on the authorities to allow development and growth, some of it good, some not so good. For example some people like wind farms and feel this is the only way forward in the future; companies want to extract sand, gravel or ore; central government wants to build houses, schools, hospitals: and home owners want to extend or add conservatories, etc.

Yes, some ideas are good, some are bad, but consider if you had no choice but to accept such developments, like it or not.

Could this happen? Consider some recent changes in planning rules.

If a proposed extension is less than 20% of the floor area of the existing building and the development meets building regulations, then the application for that extension is rubber stamped. Even in conservation areas (What happens with the next 20% increase, then the next, etc.)

Back gardens are considered “brown field” sites and are preferred areas for development.

Pressure has been applied to Government to speed up the planning process, the time for objections to local applications has recently been cut to ten days.

Government is talking in terms of re-defining green belt.

You may agree with the above changes or you may not, that is not the point. The worrying point is your voice in regard to development is slowly being silenced. Do you agree with that?

If you want a voice Rolleston Civic Trust is there to give you that voice, come and join us.

Finally, regarding the Civic Trust at a National level, things have moved on. On the 1st of June 2009 “The Civic Society Initiative” was launched at Covent Garden. This again is a charitable body whose address is The Civic Society Initiative, Unit 101, The Tea Factory, 82 Wood Street, Liverpool, L1 4DQ. E-mail address is

One of the first challenges taken by the new Society is to promote The English Heritage “Conservation Areas at Risk” campaign. This campaign aims to stop the decline in Conservation Areas, the main reasons for such decline being -

· Unsympathetic replacement doors and windows
· Poorly maintained roads and pavements
· Street clutter
· Loss of boundary walls, fences or hedges
· Unsightly satellite dishes
· Traffic calming or traffic management
· Alterations to front elevations, roofs and chimneys
· Unsympathetic new extensions
· The impact of advertisements
· Neglected green spaces

Do you recognise any of these problems locally? Do you care about your community? Do you want your voice to be heard and not ignored?

Have you considered Rolleston Civic Trust Civic Trust? You may not have time to be actively involved but supporting membership numbers are important when making representations on village issues.

Summer 2009

Recent Events

It’s a beautiful warm April day and there’s nothing better to do than sit in the sunshine, Apart, that is, from writing these notes for the Rollestonian - - - .

Back in mid-February, when there had been a demonstration of how difficult British weather could make our lives, Simon Richardson described the coast to coast cycle ride explored by himself and his friend, Paul Salisbury. First came their training schedule – diet control and bike rides along safe local roads to build up muscles and confidence.

Then came the Ride itself. They wet their wheels in the Irish Sea at Workington and set off for the east coast via Bassenthwaite to Trelkeld and their first night’s rest. Next day included the climb up Hartside - three and a half miles which took an hour because of the minor matter of a nineteen hundred foot climb to the crest. And on they went, sticking to quiet rural roads wherever it was possible.

Finally, fifty miles to Newcastle, and only another ten miles to go to Tynemouth where the tyres were wetted once more, this time in the North Sea.

On February 28th Rolleston’s Annual Pancake Races were held. There was a simply magnificent entry of 31 teams of assorted sizes and ages, 10 Infants, 9 Juniors, 7 Seniors, 3 Families, and 2 ‘Senior Plus’.. The winning teams, in age order, were Mischief Madness, Hot Runners, Flipping Mental, Family-Gopman-Hicksills, and The Extremes. Sheila Lord, who organised the whole athletics afternoon wishes to thank all of you who took part, whether as competitors, supporters or pancake providers in the Club afterwards. Between you all you created a splendid village event that we hope will be repeated for many years to come. Your financial contributions of £143.20 went to St Mary’s Fabric Fund.

The Civic Trust’s Annual General Meeting was held in the Cricket Club on March 18th. We opened with the presentation to Blue Cross of the CT Award for 2008. On our behalf, County Councillor Bob Fraser presented the plaque to Becky Smith, Blue Cross Deputy Centre Manager.

A later presentation was made to John Carlton who retired from the CT Committee. He admitted to “at least 20 years” serving, much of it spent working in Brook Hollows and also as CT Treasurer.. He was presented with a pair of engraved glasses by Committee Chairman Roger Gawthorpe who was himself about to retire (from the chair but not from the Committee) after 3 years of Herculean effort.. Roger was replaced as chairman by Peter Barnett. There were other changes too – you will find the members of the new committee outlined below.

After the AGM the evening was rounded off by Borough Councillor John Morris with a brief history of Barrel Organs. It’s a complex story, dating back at least as far as the pan-pipes of classical Greece although the first organ claimed within modern classification is dated from 1502 in Salzberg. By contrast the earliest truly modern instrument is identified as having come from Derbyshire’s Peak Forest during the eighteenth century. The evening concluded with John showing and playing his own Barrel Organ – which he built himself. All in all a first class presentation.

And so, on April 15th, to Richard Stone, a historian who has studied some out-of-the- ordinary corners of history. This year’s advice was “How to sell your wife”. Richard concentrated on examples from Staffordshire and Derbyshire, recorded in the various newspapers available in local archives. The concept seems not to have been unusual, a chap could simply take his wife to market, perhaps on a halter to keep her under control, and sell her like any other item coming up that day under the auctioneer’s hammer. It’s not all ancient history either. The most recent example we were given was only a century ago. Search your family history !(An interesting side issue was our own meeting. There were more women there than men. I wonder why ?)

Finally, for this quarter, the Civic Trust annual Plant Swap. For the two hours this was open on a sunny Sunday afternoon (April 26th), there was a steady flow of people from which it seemed that everyone went away happy. Some swaps, some purchases, some ‘Mystery Plants’ (because not all those on the stall were labelled) – but this only added to the fun. If you weren’t there you also missed some first rate home-made cakes to be washed down with tea or coffee or orange juice. Chat about plants while enjoying a tasty treat. The end result was £128.80 for St. Mary’s Fabric Fund. We consider it an afternoon well spent. The Civic Trust would like to say ‘Thank You’ to every contributor and to wish you all ‘Good Luck’ for this year’s gardening

Our Summer Programme

Wednesday, June 17th
Summer Walk and Talk – the hidden side of Foremark Reservoir. To be guided by Wayne Ball, Ranger with Severn Trent Water. This evening’s walk will start at 6.30pm and will last approximately one and a half hours during which we shall discover the hidden gems and conservation projects undertaken by Severn Trent.
Ticket event with limited numbers (£7 each, from Committee Members). Supper to follow at the Staff of Life, Ticknall

Saturday, July 18th
The Civic Trust’s Summer Party – A Wine and Cheese party (Ticket Event) to be held in the garden of Apple Acres by kind permission of Simon and Helen Richardson.

Wednesday, September 16th
Back to the Cricket Club for a talk on “The Panama Canal” by Sue Willmot

Front Garden Awards, 2009

The Shelly Cup, for the 2009 Front Garden Award will be judged between July 6th and 10th. All front gardens will be considered unless specifically withdrawn. Observations will be made from pavement/public highway as the judges will not enter private property. However, a front garden not visible from outside can be included, if requested. As in previous years, the winner will not be eligible for the next 5 years.

As mentioned in the last Rollestonian, this year there is an additional aspect to the competition. The Forest Shield will be awarded to the most interesting and varied container garden or hanging basket display. Again these will have to be visible from the highway as judges will not enter private property unless specially requested.

Winners will be notified as promptly as possible and will be announced in the Rollestonian and also on the village noticeboards. For enquiries regarding the competitions, please ring Janet Sanderson on 01283 815480.

The Civic Trust’s New Committee

Peter Barnett - Chairman
Clare Norman - Vice Chair
Vanessa Winstone - Secretary
Sheila Lord - Treasurer

Sue Fraser, Peter Galloway, Roger Gawthorpe, Helen Richardson and Janet Sanderson

Spring 2009

Recent Events

Christmas does seem to me to stretch out time in some way I can’t quite fathom. It is not that the Christmas break itself – from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day – often feels like three weeks, but that the end of the Autumn quarter in our 2008 programme (the end of October) seems like half a lifetime ago. However, it was then, November 19th, that our last talk of last year was presented by Emma Ward.

She told us that her Fine Arts education led to her working on tapestries for the National Trust and that when she wanted a change of venue (and to be closer to her boyfriend) she transferred to Sharp’s Pottery in Swadlicote. The company started work in 1821 – ‘Swad’ was a good spot for pottery manufacture because of the way that a good clay overlaid the coal in that area of South Derbyshire.

As well as the pottery items that their competitors in Staffordshire produced, they were ‘big in toilets’ (to quote Emma) – toilets for flushing, for dry composting and for other applications too. It seems that, by the standards of the time, they never developed into a large international manufacturer but they had had the forethought to take out an early patent and to be willing to licence its use to many other manufacturers. Even the best remembered name in lavatories, Thomas Crapper, manufactured under a Sharp’s licence.

Although the company, with its coal burning kilns, went out of business as a result of the Clean Air Act of 1956 there is still an original kiln and a museum collection to demonstrate what used to be made in Swadlincote.

There is also the ‘Magic Attic’. This wonderful archive of local newspapers and other documents developed relatively recently when local people, really interested in local history, realised that the whole local history record was likely to vanish as more newspapers went out of business. They decided to do something about it. And their Archive is still growing.

Still in November, St Mary’s Church was decorated for Advent with Christmas Wreaths and Christmas Trees, each decorated by a village organisation. On the Friday night the ‘Beatus Choir’ brought along their ‘Carols at Christmas’ for a church full of people to share.

Next the Civic Trust held its Annual Dinner. This year we went to Melbourne Hall, most of us by bus, and had a whale of a time. The food was very good, we took our own wine and nobody missed the bus home.

After that, Christmas really did seem to have arrived. We hope you all enjoyed your own Celebrations.

Then we entered 2009. We’ve started once again in the Cricket Club with a talk. Some of you will remember Tim Moss who, last year, introduced us to the Salt Industry of the Trent valley. This year he had chosen to regale us with an introduction to ‘Droving’, linking it very loosely to the salt of last year.

Although cattle had been driven from place to place in Britain since 6000 years ago, droving reached its zenith when cities began to grow (in the 18th and early 19th centuries). After a relatively little growth a city can’t be fed by local farmers alone. So herds of cattle, flocks of sheep, geese and turkeys were driven large distances. In some cases the drive started in Scotland and finished in London. In even earlier times (medieval for instance) armies going to fight abroad took their food supplies ‘on the hoof’ to ensure their food was fresh when it was needed.

As you might expect Drovers drove in the summer months. Then took their money back home to their farms for the year’s real work.

Where does salt fit into all this? Well, salt was found in a few localised areas but was needed everywhere. So strings of pack horses would carry salt – often using the same Drove Roads, remnants of which are still out there today.

Our Programme For Spring - - - -

Wednesday March 18th, 8.00 pm in the Cricket Club - Annual General Meeting to be followed by an ordinary meeting on the topic of ‘Barrel Organs’ by John Morris

Wednesday April 15th, 8.00 pm in the Cricket Club - Richard Stone on “How to sell your Wife”

Sunday April 26th, Plant Swap, 2.00pm to 4.00pm. In the Church School Room. Proceeds to St Mary’s Fabric Fund. (Refreshments available)

Wednesday May 20th, in the Cricket Club - “Travels in Egypt” by Angela Gillespie.

Wednesday June 17th - Summer Walk and Talk.”The hidden side of Foremark Reservoir. Refreshments at a local hostelry. Ticket Event (limited numbers)

Planning Matters

It seems reasonably certain that most of you reading the Rollestonian live in Rolleston. Many live here because you like the place, even though you may have moved here. I’m sometimes surprised by the people I meet who, on discovering where I live, say “Rolleston? Oh, that’s a nice place to live. I wish I lived there”. I find it gives me quite a glow.

Of course, living here comes with responsibilities too. Responsibilities to preserve, or even improve, the place that will be passed on to a new generation. Those people, in particular, who live within the Conservation Area, need to make sure they know if they are constrained in anyway. Presumably none of us expects that, just because we own a house, we can change it significantly – by extension, sideways or upwards, for instance. It’s advisable, at least, to ask advice from a planning officer before jumping in at the deep end. This is particularly important if you have a ‘listed building’. But then you know that anyway, don’t you?

Trees are another item to bear in mind. In the new Conservation Area document and the Village Design Statement, trees and gardens are noted for adding to the beauty of the village. It seems that back-garden development, with the backing of the Government and hence the Council, is doing away with some of the garden aspects, but individual trees in individual gardens are worth protecting and must be protected. At least until planning permission has been sought. This is important even outside the Conservation Area.

Front Garden Awards 2009

It is time once again to think about our annual Front Garden Award. The competition, as usual, will be judged over a 2 – 3 day period, this year at the beginning of July. As in previous years, the winner of last year’s competition will not be eligible for the next 5 years.

In addition to the Front Garden Award the Committee would like to introduce a new aspect to the competition, awarding the Forest Shield to the best, most interesting and varied container garden or hanging basket display. These will have to be visible from the public highway as the judges are instructed not to enter onto private property.

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

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Last updated: 28 December 2009