Civic Trust News 2013
The Future of Your Civic Trust - December 2013
The aims of Rolleston Civic Trust are clearly defined in The Constitution as follows :-
( a ) To stimulate public interest in The Parish
( b ) To promote high standards of planning and architecture in The Parish
( c )To secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of historic or public interest in The Parish.
Your Committee has serious concerns that these aims are not being or cannot be met unless we open debate on these aims and instigate change.
( a ) To stimulate public interest
Membership is dropping and our meetings are only drawing the faithful few. The Civic Trust continues to publish and distribute The Rollestonian. Though advertising revenue is steady, production costs are rising. Feedback informs us that few people value The Rollestonian and if it ceased to be published perhaps it would not be missed?
Our auditor has told us over the last few years that we cannot carry on without raising more funds.
We are clearly not stimulating public interest.
( b ) To promote high standards of planning and architecture in the Parish
Changes in the planning laws and the approach to planning decisions at National and Borough level appear to have marginalised The Parish Council’s control over planning issues and completely negated the influence of The Civic Trust. It appears to your Committee that our views are not listened to by ESBC, or indeed wanted. How can we continue to fulfil this aim.
( c )To secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of historic or public interest in the Parish.
Our Village Conservation Area was at one time sacrosanct and development kept strictly in keeping with the historic nature of our beautiful village. Over the last few years we have seen this change with more development within the conservation area and the use of new materials which were previously taboo. Our attempts to challenge this “modernisation” of the oldest areas of our village have been treated with contempt and disdain by the planning authorities. In the eyes of ESBC it seems there is no special case for the conservation area. If the development meets the relaxed planning requirements, then it is approved. As the new belief states “The default position should now be in favour”.
How can we secure our aims in this environment?
We clearly need new strategies to secure the Civic Trust’s future and a stronger input from all residents in the locality to secure the future of our historic village.
We need to attract more members and increase funds.
We need a bigger voice in the area of local politics to ensure people in power hear our voice and respect our views.
We seriously need our existing membership to support our aims and show commitment to our continued existence.
To this end you are invited to a Special General Meeting of Rolleston Civic Trust at Rolleston Cricket Club on Wednesday 15th January 2014, 7.45pm for 8.00pm start, to debate the above issues.
The aim is to strengthen the committee for the year 2014/2015 and develop strategies for increasing membership, funds and influence in our village.
This meeting is not only open to members but to all residents of Rolleston and the surrounding area.
Please come along.
Chairman, Rolleston Civic Trust
106 Station Road
The September meeting saw our return to the Cricket Club after the summer break. The speaker for the evening was Graham White and his wife Judy, who talked about their passion for their garden. The garden, which evolved over a period of twenty years, now features as part of the National Gardens Scheme. The site, a large plot featuring a deep ravine and stream, was sculptured and moulded into a garden of colour, structure, pathways and secret seating areas. Graham and Judy worked on the garden with the assistance of their three sons and the talk was an amusing insight in to the trials and tribulations along the way, as well as the successes of the transformation. The garden in Uttoxeter, is open each year and all proceeds are donated to charity.
October had been ear marked for a talk by Lee Timmins on “Policing before the Police”, unfortunately Mr Timmins was unable to join us and so the speaker for the evening was Mr Rod Pearson who stood in at the 11th hour. Rod’s talk, entitled “ Beside the Seaside – How the railways helped to develop the holiday resort” was a fascinating look at some of our favourite resorts; Skegness, Blackpool and Whitby as well as others further afield, such as Torquay and Margate and how the railways helped to increase their popularity. In the new industrial age, routes opened up the country to increasing numbers of tourists – from day trippers to holiday goers. Rod was able to trace the pattern of movement of people when embarking on their vacation; this was down to the different train companies and their routes in specific areas of the country.
November will see a dual talk by Graham Jacks, Group Scout Leader at Rolleston and Emily Jacklin a member of the Rolleston scout group. They will be telling us about their experiences as part of The Kenya Project.
The Spread Eagle Island
Work is still on-going with the planting up of the Spread Eagle Island, although at a slower pace. The Acer has now been planted and is looking very well, with the leaves turning a beautiful deep red. At the beginning of November we planted a Crab Apple tree in place of the ailing Cherry. We have received many complimentary comments about the colourful summer display which makes all the hard work very worthwhile – thank you.
Civic Trust Programme 2013 - 2014
Friday 6th December
Christmas Event to be held at The National Brewery Centre
Wednesday 15th January
Extraordinary General Meeting – The Future of Your Civic Trust
Sunday 26th January
Mulled Wine at Apple Acres – from 12noon
By kind permission of Mr and Mrs S Richardson
Wednesday 19th February
Rev. Ian Whitehead
“Sacred Places : Sacred Spaces”
Wednesday 19th March AGM
Dr. Tim Jacklin
Life Under the Surface – Our Rivers and their Wildlife
Mrs Janet Spavold History Along the Road
Sunday 18th May
Plant Sale and Swap 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Old Grammar School Room
Proceeds to St Mary’s Church Fabric Fund
Where next for our village and the Civic Trust?
Back in the autumn of 2011 The Civic Trust featured an article in The Rollestonian concerning the new Localism Bill. Our new Coalition Government promised a voice for the people at Neighbourhood level in planning matters to protect our towns and villages from the threat of rampant development. The people were to produce their own “Neighbourhood Plans” which would allow them to have their say in how they wanted their neighbourhoods to develop and protect our beloved countryside from the desires of developers.
We did question the small print that said the plans must reflect National (Government) and Local (Borough Council) Plans and wondered which would take precedence. But hopes were high, this could really give local people a say in their future.
Rolleston Parish Council was at the forefront in the realisation as to what this could mean to towns and villages throughout our Country and quickly set in motion the means of producing our own Neighbourhood plan. A Steering group was formed by the PC from members of our Community (including The Civic Trust), meetings and drop in sessions were held, opinions were canvassed, questionnaires were issued, filled in and returned: and the Village gave a clear message as to what it wanted. The Village Neighbourhood Plan took shape, was issued for consultation to the community and appeared well received. Localism was alive in Rolleston and the Village seemed to like it. Perhaps Government intended to listen after all.
At Local Level (ESBC) however, things were not going so well. Their Local (Core Strategy)Plan seemed a little unsure as to the number of new houses required and where. What they were sure of, however, was that Rolleston was a village of means and had facilities that attracted members of the surrounding Communities to come to Rolleston to shop and use our non existent village hall or other attractions and amenities. So good are these facilities that Rolleston has been deemed a “Strategic Village” and: therefore falls into the category of Villages that need 100+ new houses. To fulfil this need the village requires the “Strategic Development” on The College Playing Field Site.
The Parish Council and the Village as a whole strongly disagree with this unilateral declaration of strategic importance by ESBC and the requirement for this “strategic” development, and have said so. Most villagers and the members of surrounding Parishes still use Burton for their needs and do not flock to Rolleston. This however is to no avail as ESBC know best. So be informed, you are of strategic importance, or at least the College Playing Fields are.
We are informed by ESBC that our Neighbourhood Plan does not conform to Their draft Core Strategic Plan and is not acceptable. We are told that certain parts of it are very good but in essence it does not reflect the amount of development we have been told we must have irrespective of what we want.
Here we come to the crux of the matter and the worries that niggled two years ago. Did the Government really intend to give the People a say in their future and what happens in their Towns and Villages. The answer is loud and clear and has been provided by ESBC.
I ask “is it me”; or does every promise that Government; of any persuasion; makes to let “The People” have influence in matters affecting our lives actually reduce our ability to do so.
So what now for the Village and the Civic Trust. We have seen our role in the planning process decimated over the past years. Our voice is no longer listened to or (we think) wanted. The default position now is in favour of development and from what we read in the press it appears planners are advising elected Local Councils that they must accept proposed developments if they are approved by the unelected planning authorities or run the risk of incurring unacceptable costs if decisions are reversed on appeal. Who is in charge?
Far from involving the people in planning this “Localism” Legislation appears to be having a totally opposite effect.
So does the Civic Trust have a voice anymore? Is there a need for a Civic Trust as an independent planning watchdog ? Our Village is under attack, our conservation area which was once protected by The Planning Authorities has seen many “relaxations in requirements” and we are told to welcome development or wither and die.
Local interest in the activities and aims of the Civic Trust is on the wane and membership is falling. Perhaps we are not dynamic enough for this new world which wants to swallow up our villages and our green fields. Perhaps we should be more pro-active in our response to development and re-set our default mechanism’s to acceptance as requested by our leaders.
Peter Barnett, RCC Chairman, 104 Station Road
Civic Trust Recent Events
May Plant Sale and Swap
Following the need to postpone our Plant Sale and Swap due to a very late spring, we re – scheduled for Sunday 19th May. By this time spring had really sprung and the weather was greatly improved – very warm and sunny. We are very grateful for the huge amount of plants and shrubs so generously donated and many thanks go to all Rollestonians and visitors who turned out to buy. We also had a plentiful amount of coffee, tea and cakes to offer, which after a session at the plant sale just rounded off the day nicely. At the end of the afternoon we made the princely sum of £50 on the refreshments and over £160 on the plant sale all donated to St Mary’s Fabric Fund.
Walk and Talk Around Catton Hall
A very pleasant evening was spent at Catton hall for this year’s walk and talk event in May. A party of forty Civic Trust members spent two hours exploring the hall, gardens and church of this very beautiful and welcoming stately home. The estate and house have been in the same family for over 600 years since 1405; the present hall was built in the 1740’s and is now the home of Robin and Katie Neilson. After starting with a guided tour of the gardens, which have been laid out in a formal style alongside the banks of the River Trent, we were taken into the hall where we had a small reception with canapés and wine during which Katie Neilson treated us to a fascinating talk on the history of the hall and its past inhabitants. Following our talk we were able to wonder around the public part of the house, most of us probably imagining what it would be like to live in such a lovely house. All too soon our visit was over and we left having been transported albeit for a short time to the 1700’s.
The June meeting saw our speaker Mr Alan Hopkins, talk about his extensive musical career and the many well-known musicians he was fortunate enough to perform with. Part of a musical family which formally owned Wisher Musical Instruments in Derby he entered the army as a bandsman in the 1950’s. After leaving the army he played professionally with such bands as Ray Macvey and then went on to lead his own bands. In later years Alan took over the family business, from which he has now retired but Alan is still involved in various bands and orchestras and spends a great deal of time in charity work.
Cheese and Wine Evening
Once again our thanks are extended to Simon and Helen Richardson as the Civic Trust and friends enjoyed a very pleasant evening at Apple Acres for the annual Cheese and Wine event. Despite heavy rain the previous day the evening was warm and dry, unlike last year when some of us had to resort to wellingtons. The good weather enabled our 63 guests to enjoy ample amounts of food and wine as well as some fine beer kindly donated by Simon without fear of dilution by rain water. The very successful raffle raised £197 which we aim to use for our continued input into the Spread Eagle Island renovation and other projects and expenses the Civic Trust is committed to.
The Spread Eagle Island
Over the past few months, work on the Island has moved on rapidly, most of the plants have been put in and seem to have taken very well. We have introduced the use of a bark mulch to help keep as much moisture in the soil as possible. The very hot weather has proved to be a challenge as a large amount of water has been required to keep the plants and newly laid turf alive and thriving. As there is no water on site we have to take water from the brook, quite an exhausting task for our group of volunteers made up of Civic Trust committee members, Parish Councillors and villagers, we usually meet twice a week as required, to ensure the site is well watered. The watering parties have been supplemented by the employment of Mr John Deakin by the Parish Council to water the island once a week.
Karin Kay our volunteer garden designer has worked hard to achieve the display we have all been able to enjoy over the last few weeks. Karin now has plans to continue the planting over the autumn, by installing an Acer and the few other remaining plants, to complete the scheme. A working party will soon be gathering to embark on the next stage of planting. The Acer has been funded by the proceeds from raffles held at Civic Trust events, as have the Roses.
A huge thank you goes out to all the people involved in this project, it has been a long and complicated journey but well worthwhile. We hope that the Island continues to bloom well into the future.
Civic Trust Programme
Wednesday 18th September
Creating a NGS Garden: Graham and Judy White
Wednesday 16th October
Policing Before The Police: Lee Timmins
Wednesday 20th November
The Kenya Experience: Graham Jacks & Emily Jackson
Friday 6th December Christmas Event
The O.D. Shelly Civic Trust Front Garden Award and The Forest Shield Hanging Basket/Container Competition 2013
The 2013 Civic Trust Garden Award was judged during the first and second week of July. At the same time the judges were also looking to award the Forest Shield for the best Hanging Basket or Container. The Civic Trust would like to thank the independent judges for their time and expertise when judging these awards.
The presentation of the awards will be on Wednesday 18th September 2013 at Rolleston Cricket Club. The evening meeting begins at 8pm with a horticultural talk by Graham and Judy White and titled ‘Creating a NGS Garden’.
Winner Front Garden
Fair View, Anslow Lane - Mr and Mrs E Chapman.
This large garden is split into two by a neat driveway. A low wall allows a view of all the plants and borders which are a mixture of bedding plants and roses in vivid colours. Shrubs and small rockeries add interest as does the varying heights of the plants. The two lawns are in good condition and show the plants to their full advantage. Colourful Hanging Baskets and Tubs also add to the garden. An excellent winner.
12 Walford Road – Mr P and Mrs C Docksey
An interesting garden full of colour and different shrubs, giving height and depth to the borders featuring Marigolds, Petunias and Fuchsias. Baskets add to the display and merge well with the rest of the garden.
102 Station Road – Mr and Mrs J Brandon
A well laid out garden with an interesting and colourful display of plants. The roses, pots and shrubs bring colour and height to the garden.
22 Meadow View – Mr J Thomas
This is a neat and colourful garden which has been well laid out. The garden features large pots planted up with highly colourful Begonias resting on an easy maintenance pebble surface. These are complimented by baskets, trees and shrubs which add height and interest.
8 Beacon Road – Mr and Mrs B Pointon.
Here pots and containers have been used to display Hostas and Lilies to great effect. The rest of the garden is colourful and neat.
49 The Lawns - Mrs A Topliss.
This is a very colourful small garden showing a variety of plants with different heights around a small lawn.
Special mention should be made of the number of small town gardens in the newer properties that are a tribute to the owners. The following are good examples where the owners have made interesting and varied use of plants in the small space available.
9 Forest School Street – Mr L and Mrs M Holmes
A compact space split into two areas and planted in the style of a cottage garden with an impressive display of Lilies.
43 Forest School Street – Mr R and Mrs S Holder
Once again a small but attractive garden using Delphiniums, Lavender, Petunias and Fuchsias as well as small standard Rose bushes which all work together to create a pretty display.
Winner Hanging Basket/Containers
Bungalow opposite Old Post Office, Station Road -
These are two excellent baskets full of Petunias, Fuchsias, Begonias and trailing Nepeta. Full of colour, these baskets match each other well and the trailing plants add great height and depth to the displays.
Beech Mount, Beacon Road -
The use of special wall mounted containers to the front elevation of the property adds a great deal of interest and colour. Planted up with bright red Geraniums, Nasturtiums, Ivy, Lobelia and trailing Nepeta, the window boxes co-ordinate with the matching containers on the front wall. A very attractive display.
11 The Lawns – Mrs B Harrison.
The four baskets at the front and side garage give a great deal of colour and add to the attractiveness of the front garden. The baskets are all well stocked with a variation of plants including cascading Red Begonias, masses of Blue and White Lobelia and Geraniums.
93 Knowles Hill – Mrs N Hoose.
The baskets are well stocked and have a great deal of colour. Large vibrant Begonias in reds and orange alongside tumbling creamy yellow Petunias cascade from the baskets either side of the door with additional planting in containers beneath the window.
All the entrants to the competitions are to be congratulated on the quality of their gardens and baskets/containers. They add considerably to the ambience of the village and make it a pleasure to visit and walk around.
Ken Speed and Michael Hunt Anslow Gardening Society July 2013
Civic Trust Recent Events
We saw a return visit from Philip Heath for our February meeting, Philip, Conservation Officer with South Derbyshire District Council had previously spoken to us in 2010 about Calke Abbey. This time we covered five different South Derbyshire houses and their associated land and gardens. We followed the development Melbourne Hall and its lands including the rerouting of one of the main roads of the village in order that the owners would have uninterrupted views of the lake.
We also learnt of the eccentricities Sir Vauncey Harpur Crewe at Calke Abbey, who ousted his tenant from Repton Park after the tenant objected to Sir Vauncey taking pot shots at game birds in the grounds without prior warning – the tenant was a close relative. Following the dismissal of the tenant the house was allowed to fall into disrepair and eventually demolished.
Philip gave us a fascinating insight into the lives of the local stately home owners and their rather high handed ways.
March brought us once again to the AGM and the speaker for the evening was Chairman of Rodsec – John Phillips. His talk entitled ’Curtain Calls and Pratfalls’ covered both his love of amateur dramatics and his career in teaching, brought together with anecdotes and film. Most of his audience had a connection with John, either in taking part in one of his productions at The Forest School, or as a parent supplying suitable costumes and encouragement for the event, or as a lover of the theatre. His enthusiasm was infectious and his recall of past pupils and staff and their little foibles was amazing. We all had a wonderful time reminiscing with lots of laughs along the way.
Our long anticipated April follow up talk by Janet Spavold, who had previously spoken to us about local architecture and had guided us through Rolleston on our walk and talk last year, was sadly cancelled due to Janet’s temporary ill health. We aim to book Janet again for our 2014 programme.
Fortunately we were able to secure the services of Tim Moss, also one of our regular speakers who stood in very ably at the last minute with a fascinating talk of his life and career in the Tropics as a researcher and horticulturist for the banana industry. His work helped to ensure that the production and export of bananas allows us as a consumer to receive bananas in perfect condition. He was also able to tell us that the banana plant is in fact the world’s largest herb. The majority of today’s bananas are known as the Cavendish after William Cavendish 6th Duke of Devonshire. They originate from specimens brought from Vietnam and China and cultivated on the Chatsworth House Estate in the mid 1800’s by Sir Joseph Paxton, the Duke’s Head Gardener, who went on to design the ‘Crystal Palace’ for the Great Exhibition of 1851. This was an eye opening talk and slide show of an industry thousands of miles away and yet which has a presence in most of our lives in Britain today.
Sunday 21st April should have seen the Plant Swap and Sale in aid of St Mary’s Fabric Fund in The Old Grammar School. However due to the very late spring resulting in few plants to donate, it was decided to postpone the event until Sunday 19th May 2pm – 4pm. We tried to let as many of you know of the postponement by announcements in Church and on the village notice board as well as in our regular monthly meeting, apologies to those who missed these and turned up armed with plants and looking for coffee and cakes. We hope that you will all join us again on May 19th in The Old Grammar School, when the weather will be wonderful and the coffee and cakes plentiful!
Civic Trust Officers Committee 2014
Chair - Peter Barnett
Vice Chair - Clare Norman
Secretary - Vanessa Winstone
Treasurer - Sheila Lord
Committee - Roger Gawthorpe, Ali Lewis, Helen Richardson, Janet Sanderson
The Civic Trust regrets the loss of Sue Fraser to the Committee but she will continue to represent The Civic Trust at RODSEC Meetings.
Civic Trust Programme
Sunday 19th May
Plants Swap and Sale 2pm – 4pm
The Old Grammar School
Proceeds to St Mary’s Fabric Fund
Wednesday 19th June
An Extra-ordinary Career in Music
Saturday 29th June
Cheese and Wine Evening at Apple Acres
By kind permission of
Mr and Mrs S Richardson
Wednesday 18th September
Creating a NGS Garden
Graham and Judy White
The Civic Trust Award 2012
The Civic Trust award is given annually, where possible, to organisations or individuals who have made significant enhancements or contributions to the village.
This year as part of the AGM evening we invited Mr John Morris to accept the Civic Trust Award on behalf of the Transport Festival Management Committee and as recognition of his work in establishing the Rolleston Transport Festival. The festival which is now in its 5th year, started with an idea formulated by John and put into action with the help of the specially formed Management Committee. The event has gone from strength to strength with each year bringing in new attractions and displays, It has become an established date in Rolleston’s calendar with the proceeds supporting wide ranging village charities. This year the charities are the Almshouse Restoration Fund and the Scout’s Kenya Project.
Civic Trust Recent Events
In November we were treated to an informative talk on English Parish Churches given by Dr Robin Trotter. He helped us to identify features of Saxon, Norman, Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular churches using images of local places of worship as examples.
One of the earliest Saxon churches in the area is Repton but Dr Trotter reminded us of others nearby with significance. Cubley and Tutbury are Norman, Checkley is an example of Early English and Barton Under Needwood -perpendicular. Each era of architecture was placed in the context of Britain's history, religious conflict and preaching styles.A lot to pack in in an hour and lots of interest to try and remember!
December saw our Christmas event held locally at The Spread Eagle, saving us the dilemma of transportation. The evening was spent in a wreath of festivity with beautiful atmospheric décor and convivial company.
As we moved into the New Year, we all enjoyed the first talk of 2013 with our President, Tom Martin, telling us about the fascinating life and times of local boy made good - Layton Layberry, author and biographer. Layton at one stage in his boyhood lived in Dovecliff Road, only a stone’s throw from what is now our meeting place in Rolleston Cricket Club, but of course in those days back in the early 1920’s it would have been open land looking over to the osier or reed beds owned by the Mosley estate. Tom gave us a wonderful account of the ups and downs of the Layberry family, of Layton’s school days in Rolleston and his subsequent work on local farms. Layton started his writing career late in life after working as estate manager to large country houses in the south of England and then retiring from his later job in the civil service. He wrote a series of farming novels set in and around our locality, frequently describing parts of Rolleston. It was a fascinating talk, giving us an insight into Layton’s early life in and around Rolleston in the early part of the 20th century.
January also saw our Mulled Wine event at Apple Acres, thanks once again to Simon and Helen Richardson. We encouraged just over 50 guests to join us, enticing them with plentiful amounts of mulled wine and nibbles! The raffle raised just over £90 which we aim to put towards our on-going projects, including planting for the Spread Eagle Island.
Civic Trust Programme
Wednesday 20th February - Five South Derbyshire Landscapes. Talk by Philip
Wednesday March 20th - AGM. “Curtain Call and Pratfalls” - A view of local drama taken from the wings. Talk by John Phillips
Wednesday 17th April - History Along The Road. Talk by Janet Spavold
Sunday 21st April - Plant Sale and Swap 2pm – 4pm, The Old Grammar School Room. Refreshments Available. All proceeds to St Mary’s Fabric Fund
Civic Trust Front Garden Awards
The Civic Trust is once again holding the Front Garden Award. This year the judging will take place during the middle of July over a 4-5 day period. As in previous years the winner of last year’s competition will not be eligible to be considered for the next five years.
The Forest Shield will also be awarded for 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 private
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 on the village notice boards. The judge’s decision on the award will be final. We hope you enjoy preparing your gardens and planning your hanging baskets for the summer judging.
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Last updated: 12 January 2014