Civic Trust News 2018

Summer 2018

It would appear that over the last two or three years it has been an uphill struggle for Rolleston to keep its identity and prevent the continual expansion of the surrounding urban spread from swallowing us. We have battled long and hard, but finally have to accept our role as a strategic village, though still reluctant. ESBC’s Local Plan has proved to be dominant and we must adapt and use it to our best advantage. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is now time to move on and ensure we obtain the best possible benefit for Rolleston.

The Civic Trust is deeply involved in all aspects of the village and continues to try to keep the village informed and entertained as detailed in the short resume of our efforts over the last year.

Meetings Programme

Our programme began in April with a talk by Shirley Horton, entitled One for the Road. May saw a change in our usual format with our Walk and Talk being earlier than usual, this year it was a guided walk round Lichfield. Due to a lack of guides in Lichfield numbers had to be reduced, but twenty members had an entertaining talk followed by the usual sandwiches and chips in one of the oldest inns in the town.

June saw a talk by Bob Baker who gave us some extracts from a school log book, following this talk those attending were able to put questions to Naomi Perry, a planning officer with ESBC concerning the designation of Rolleston as a strategic village, and so into our summer break.

We resumed in September with a talk entitled “From Russia with Love” by Cathy McAteer and in October we welcomed John Hawkins to give a talk on Bess of Hardwick.

Our final talk for 2017 was from Malcombe Goode who gave us the facts about Burton at war in 1917.

Our first speaker in 2018 was one of our best known local historians, Richard Stone who gave us Folk Tales and Festivals, he was followed in February with another of our regulars, Janet Spavold who reminded us all of the Sanitary Potteries of South Derbyshire.

Our season finished in March with Shirley Horton who also started our season twelve months ago, doesn’t time fly.


Our plant swap was held on the 13th May and raised £233.78 for St Mary’s, this was a good improvement on last year and our plant swap continues to be a well appreciated event in the village.

Village Projects

Spread Eagle Island and Burnside Troughs

We continue to assist The Parish Council in maintenance work on the Island and on Burnside with the help of Janet Sanderson, Karen Kaye and their small band of helpers. The display on Burnside through the summer was particularly spectacular and The Committee have decided to award this year’s Civic Trust Award to The Burnside Troughs in recognition of Janet and her team’s splendid efforts.

Brook Hollows

It has been a busy year behind the scenes for The Civic Trust and The Parish Council in regard to Brook Hollows. We have attended a series of Community Conversations during November and December to meet with other town and village residents in the lower Dove valley. The aim was to identify project ideas in the valley to take the Transforming the Trent Valley Project forward and secure the Heritage Lottery Funding for the whole scheme. This hard work has ensured that Brook Hollows is identified as a priority project, and indeed work is already underway with specialist consultants identifying ways of saving the lake and woodland and costing individual schemes. Funding is not finally secured as yet, but we are well on the way. Final decisions will be made in 2018.


Over the year the Civic Trust has continued to publish our village magazine, The Rollestonian, and we thank all the various groups within the village who continue to give their support and produce the many articles that give our magazine its unique local flavour. The hard work of Lesley Bayston and Anne Overton over the year in learning the ropes while ensuring the Rollestonian was issued and distributed on time has been much appreciated and I personally thank them for bearing with it despite the inevitable problems and traumas. Well done.

Neighbourhood Plan

Following the decision of The Secretary of State re the College Playing Fields Development it was clear Rolleston’s Neighbourhood Plan, as originally submitted to ESBC, was never going to be accepted by ESBC and progress to referendum.

At a Public Meeting in March 2017 called by The Parish Council and attended by Planning Officers from ESBC, it was finally conceded that a new Neighbourhood Plan was required and a new working party established to ensure this would happen. The first meeting of the new group was held on the 2nd May.

It has been very difficult to produce a plan that clearly will not reflect what the residents of Rolleston actually want as, shown by the number of questionnaires returned during the production of the old plan. That, however, has been the task set for the new team, and they are on target to have the new plan ready for referendum by the end of 2018. There will undoubtedly be contraversity over the new plan, but as I said earlier, it is time to move on.


At our AGM in March the following were elected to serve as your Committee

Chairman Peter Barnett
Vice Chairman Roger Gawthorpe
Secretary Anne Overton
Treasurer Mike Hill
Committee Sue Fraser, Phil Irwin, Linda Martin, Michael Nichols

With many thanks for the continuing support of our members.

Peter Barnett

Monthly Meetings

At our March meeting we welcomed back Shirley Horton whose subject was ‘Street Names’ and she also had some interesting photographs and facts about chimney pots! In April we were entertained by Brian Morris ‘The Magic Lantern Man’.

On Sunday May 13th we have our annual Plant Sale and Swap outside the Old Grammar School, with refreshments available inside, and at our monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 16th, we have Paul Newsham, talking about church architecture (‘Blessed Assurance’).

Our last meeting before the Summer break will be a ticketed event – we will have an entertaining speaker, David Tideswell, telling us about ‘The Blue Tit: Raising a Family’, after which we will have a light buffet supper. Tickets for this will be available soon.

Our monthly meetings are held at Rolleston Cricket Club, 7.30pm for an 8pm start, and all are welcome.

Sue Fraser

Spring 2018

Looking Forward to 2018

When looking back at my opening reports for the past New Years, especially 2016 and 2017, the outlook for Rolleston appeared gloomy with our plans and wishes being thwarted at every turn. Rolleston would do as it was told and accept the responsibilities and consequences of being a Strategic Village. I can now report that the Village has taken a deep breath, and got on with it.

We must all now look forward to 2018 and hope that things can only get better.

On the positive side we can look forward to the many varied and entertaining events arranged throughout the year by our wealth of village organisations, The Parish Council, St Mary’s Church, RODSEC, Rolleston Club, our Women’s Institutes, The Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Guides, TREATS, The British Legion, The Cricket and Football Clubs and The Civic Trust to name but a few (apologies if I have not included you all). How do we find the time to fit it all in?

Rolleston’s Neighbourhood Plan is progressing nicely and it is hoped that this will be in place by the end of the year. We can still hope that Localism will apply in Rolleston, but I still have reservations.

The effort to secure the Heritage Lottery Grant to fund The Central Rivers Initiative for transforming The Trent Valley is well underway and Projects for Rolleston feature well in The Lower Dove Valley portion of this project. Again we should know what the project holds for Rolleston by the end of this year.

The Civic Trust will continue to assist The Parish Council to keep the heart of our village looking its best and we hope to add more features during the year.

Our programme of speakers for our monthly meetings at The Cricket Club is as varied and interesting as always and all are welcome to come and join us. Our fees for membership remain at £5.00 per household, what value for money.

We continue to fund and produce The Rollestonian and hope that through our efforts we continue to add to the wonderful community spirit that exists in our village despite all that has gone before.

Now is really the time to look forward.

Civic Trust speakers

At our November meeting we welcomed back Malcolm Goode, who this time told us about ‘Burton at War in 1917’. He’s already booked for November 2018 for the final chapter on World War One. Our new year began in January with Richard Stone telling us about ‘Folk Tales and Festivities’, followed in February by Janet Spavold taking as her subject this time ‘The Sanitary Potteries of South Derbyshire’. In March we welcome back Shirley Horton whose subject will be ‘Street Names’ and in April we will be entertained by Brian Morris ‘The Magic Lantern Man’.

Our monthly meetings are held at Rolleston Cricket Club, 7.30pm for an 8pm start, and all are welcome.

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Last updated: 19 May 2018