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Barrow Voice is published by Barrow upon Soar Community Association. Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the editorial committee or the Community Association.

Barrow Community Association is a registered Charity No: 505692.
Barrow Voice Team
Advertising Deadline
24th July 2003

Summer Copy Deadline
31st July 2003
Copy to:
The Editor
17 North Street
Barrow upon Soar
Leics LE12 8PZ editor@barrowvoice.co.uk
Village News

MUCH MORE TO COME AT FISHPOOL

Tree planting at Fishpool

On Saturday 22nd March more than 200 people, representing 38 village organisations, gathered on the Fishpool Way site to plant trees. The event was organised by the Millennium Group with the purpose or raising awareness of the potential of this important village amenity. We are very grateful to David Frost of Fosseway Nurseries for letting us have the trees for considerably less than cost.

Over the next 12 months there will be considerable developments on the site with more opportunities for groups to become involved.

By the time you read this article we will be in the middle of installing a footpath around the site. A Shire Grant and a grant from the Parish Council have raised the 9,000 necessary for this. This footpath will give pushchair access from both ends of the site. At the same time we will be constructing two sets of steps, with volunteer help, from the entrances off Fishpool Way.

We have had the site surveyed by a wildflower expert and he has recommended various species for the different habitats on the site. During the next twelve months we will be inviting groups to plant wildflowers on the site.

  • We hope to develop a wildflower meadow on a 40 metre by 5-metre strip by the Paudy Lane fence.
  • On the wooded banks behind the delph hole we want to clear away some of the ivy and introduce native bluebells (not garden bluebells), primroses, violets, celandines and wood anemones
  • On the banks facing Fishpool Way we will introduce cowslips, harebells, primroses and plants from the mallow family.
  • On the wet area at the back of the site we will introduce Lady's smock, Ragged Robin and members of the saxifrage family.
Tree planting at Fishpool

This part of the project will depend on funds becoming available. We are seeking grant aid but if any organisation would like to contribute this would be much appreciated.

In the autumn we are hoping to have the large hedgerow, on the Paudy Lane half of the site professionally laid as part of a BTCV Course.

The money raised during the Millennium Year is to be used to plan and construct a 'Time Zone' on the site. This will consist of a 10-metre diameter sundial. The outer metre will be cobblestone with Mountsorrel granite blocks set in to signify the hours. In the centre of the sundial will be a 5/6 metre high gnomon to cast the shadow. Some banking and seating will be constructed on one side of the 'Time Zone'.

Tree Planting at Fishpool

Leading to the 'Time Zone' will be a 'Timeline Path'. We will be seeking the help of organisations to produce a mosaic, of an event in history, which will then be set into the path. The 12.000 raised in the Millennium Year is about half the funds we will need for this project and so we must again seek grant aid. It is our aim to complete this project for June 2004.

We are aiming for an 'official' opening event at the end of June 2004.

Fishpool Way is a village amenity for all to enjoy and be involved with. If you would like to know more about the Fishpool Way site or are prepared to volunteer to help then please contact the Millennium Group: -

Mike Morley: 212982, Mike Neale: 412204, Drew Kirby: 620793
Sue and Ted Rodgers: 416533, Lilian Middleton: 412270

FURTHER TWIST IN WILLOW WAY SAGA

The immediate future of the Willow Way site, between Nottingham Road and Cotes Road, with its allocation of 360 new houses is again hanging in the balance.

The original proposals for the 18 hectare green field development met with strong opposition from the Parish Council, who were delighted when new government guidelines in 2001 forced the Borough Council to rethink its housing allocations in the Charnwood Local Plan. The Barrow site was placed on the reserve list to be brought into use only if housing provision elsewhere in the Borough fell below expectations.

However at a public enquiry the developers successfully appealed against the decision, quoting figures which indicated a shortfall against government set targets. The enquiry inspector recom mended that the site be brought back into play without delay.

A new consultation period followed the inspector's report and during this time Charnwood planners looked again at what progress had already been made towards their agreed housing target. What they found, led them to believe that perhaps the Willow Way development would not after all be required at the moment.

We await the outcome yet again of the on-off, on-off situation which would be comical if the implications for Barrow were not so serious.

Villagers lobby for affordable housing

A group of interested residents met recently with Charnwood Borough representative Simon Folwell to press for the need for starter homes for local people if and when the Willow Way development takes place. A proposal to assist first time buyers within a specified post code area with the possible involvement of a housing association was discussed. A suitable mix of new housing with sufficient affordable housing is at the heart of the Village Design Statement in Barrow.

YOUR WISH LIST?

How refreshing to be able to take part in a parish council election after so many years. This edition features the new councillors and highlights what they see as the priorities in the forthcoming term of office. How does your wish list for Barrow match up with theirs? Please write or email and let us know.

The Barrow Voice postbag has been sadly neglected recently. We welcome your views on the content and format and want your opinions on the stories we are covering, whether you are a traditional letter writer or an electronic correspondent. Please make sure that you provide your name and address at the time of writing though this need not be published in Barrow Voice.

As I write this we are having April showers at the end of May. I hope when you read it summer has really arrived. Have a good holiday and we shall be back in the autumn.

The Editor

WORK IN PROGRESS ON THE THREE CROWNS

Story in pictures, work continues on the Three Crowns

Three Crowns work Three Crowns Work Three Crowns Work

NEW HOMES FOR FOSSIL TRAIL SCULPTURES

Fossil trail lizard sculptures

Maintenance of the Fossil Trail is one of those activities that is invisible to everyone except the people doing the job! For example, the Fossil Trail leaflets are made available from many local outlets, as well as some not so local. Lilian Middleton has until recently undertaken this quite major task and she is about to take a well-earned rest. Thank you, Lilian. Judith Rodgers has taken over this role.

The most obvious ongoing activity is sorting out problems arising from unwanted attention to the sculptures. Putting works of art into the public arena was recognized as being a risky business and this has proved to be the case.

Fossil trail sculptures

With one exception, all the sculptures can now be seen. Trilobite II (the old dog turd to its friends) is on the wall of number 35 Beveridge Street instead of number 47, but it has a splendid new bracket. In the last few weeks, the Kuehneusaurus (the lizards) have re-appeared. There are four of them, some being replacements kindly provided by Lorna Grossner, their creator. Roger Chappell has generously allowed them to be mounted high on the wall of The Old Workhouse, number 49, Beveridge Street. They are now out of reach of casual thieves.

Fossil trail sculptures

They are worth a careful look as they also have a new mounting. Once again, Kevin Harrison has come up trumps with a functional item that adds interest to the artwork. In creating the mounting he was assisted by Bill Buxton and in hanging it by Alf Brackenbury. We are really grateful to all of them for their contribution to this community asset.

The missing sculpture is the ammonite that was on a plinth outside Bishop Beveridge House. You may remember that this was pushed over a couple of years ago and reinstated. You will certainly have seen that it has not been there for some months, and this is because it was pushed over again. It took several lads to achieve this. As it clearly is a challenge, we do not intend to try again. Instead, we have asked if we can inset it into the wall round the garden of the Baptist Church and we have been given permission for this.

JDR

AN EXCITING YEAR TO COME FOR THE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

There aren't many of us left in Leicestershire! In the hey day of the visionary Leicestershire Plan, most Community Centres and Community Colleges had a team of local people whose brief was to oversee and advise on the development of community activities in the area.

Schools and colleges were to open their doors to the community and make their facilities available. Local organisations could affiliate to the Community Centre and then enjoy officially subsidised hire charges. Community Associations encouraged and promoted this community use and supported and initiated new community ventures.

With the advent of Local Management of Schools (i.e. by Governors), the role of Community Associations was diminished and gradually, they started to disappear. Now, in 2003, they are a rarity.

However, you will be pleased to know that Barrow has a vigorous and determined Community Association that is still doing what it was originally set up to do..and more. This is partly due to the dogged and committed work of its Council members and partly due to the Governing Body of Humphrey Perkins who recognise the value of the organisation and encourage it to continue to have a role in the management of the Community Centre.

Hopefully, this partnership will give strength to the community activities of Barrow when the County Council puts the new arrangements for Youth and Community Education in place. The County Council has indicated that it intends to continue to support community use of school premises and to promote what will be called Community Plus developments. So we should be able to carry on with yoga, keep fit, junior football, Panto, art classes, archery and the like. It may cost a bit more, but the more organisations that use the facilities at Humphrey Perkins, the more likely it is that doors will remain open. Well, that's my personal interpretation, anyway.

To remind you, it is the Community Association that has initiated and runs the following community activities: Barrow Voice, the Fossil Trail, the Round House, the Panto Group, the Events Committee (which has been incredibly successful in running a mountain of dances and other entertainments enjoyed by a very large number of Barrow residents) and, most recently, the Village Website. It operates a bar for events run by affiliated organisations, manned totally by volunteers. Historically, it was the Community Association that started BOSCAPS and it was very involved in Barrow Play Group. It also effectively managed the swimming pool.

On this buoyant note, the Community Association has approved an ambitious and confident Development Plan for the coming year. Since our 'home' is Humphrey Perkins, we are hoping to refurbish the Community Kitchen, redecorate the foyer perhaps in conjunction with Governors and staff and improve the facilities of the stage. Then, away from the school site, we have committed a substantial contribution to the splendid Fishpool Way project. And finally, we intend to support the newly formed sub-committee of Village Website Settlement Administrators. In this way, we hope to facilitate on-going training for anyone who wants to build the site, and encouragement to people who would just like to visit it.

You know what I'm going to say next, don't you! Yes, of course. We need more Community Council members who will get involved in doing whatever needs to be done. If you feel moved to offer a little time, or you have ideas, why not phone me (01509 412063) or email me (rodgers_david@hotmail.com)

BARROW WEBSITE

Following hard on the heels of the Community Association 'Movers and Shakers' meeting in March, the village has made rapid progress to develop its website. So much so that the professional developers of the www.leicestershirevillages.com site are putting up Barrow as a shining example to other villages who are wondering about their own sites.

Barrow Website Screenshot

Barrow is notable because of the large number of representatives of village organisations who have taken on the responsibility to become 'Page Editors'. By the end of April, there were 21 Page Editors working on web pages for 16 village organisations and at least four more about to start. Apparently, in most villages..including Ambridge.a very small number of enthusiasts do the lot. We always knew Barrow is special!

If you would like to take a look for yourself visit www.leicestershirevillages.com or go straight to the Barrow site. This is where you can find the web pages of village organisations arranged under headings. For example, under Leisure we have the Panto Group, the Gardening Club, the WI and Bishop Beveridge Club. Recently we added a Neighbourhood Watch heading, a Small Ads and a new link to the Barrow Voice Website.

Of course, some of the web pages are still under construction and will not be visible to you until they have been completed and approved. Please remind yourself that many of the Page Editors are not computer wiz kids. This site IS REALLY EASY to use!!

If, by now, you are feeling intrigued but infuriated that you can't actually make your own contribution, then you must REGISTER. The Welcome to Barrow upon Soar page (this is the Home Page) has a 'Register Here' invitation, top right. Click on it and it will tell you exactly what to do.

You have to be able to give an email address, so if you are using the library computer, you will need to 'borrow' email access from a friend (or set up a free online address with a web based service like Yahoo.) Part of the registration process involves you receiving an email with a password number that you use the first time you 'log in' to the site. The 'Log In' invitation is top right, near 'Registration'. When you first log in, you enter the given number but then you can change it to a more memorable password. Do write it down somewhere..you will have to remember it for future visits to the site.

Once you have confirmed your registration, as just described, you can post notices on the Notice Board and Local News. You can also ask one of the Settlement Administrators to upgrade you to Page Editor, but they will want to know a little about you: what page title; for what organisation if any; what position you hold in the organisation; where do you want your page to appear; etc.

If you get to this stage, you will probably find the BOOKLET helpful. An email to one of the Settlement Administrators will get one delivered through your door. You may also find a TRAINING SESSION useful. These will be on Tuesdays from 6.00 to 8.00 in the Computer Suite at HPHS and probably roughly monthly. There are also monthly sessions at the Ark Business Centre, Gordon Road, Loughborough from 2.0 to 4.0. You can phone Tina, the Project Administrator, on 01509 643448. All training sessions are advertised in the Barrow Website.

So far, I have emphasised the role of representatives of organisations in building up this website to make an interesting, dynamic and relevant account of our village. However, there are also individuals out there who have a wealth of interesting information that is just waiting to reach a wider audience. I've just visited the Appleby site. Someone there has been recording local earthquakes! You don't have to be involved in getting the material onto the website. We could find people who are willing to do it for you. Just tell us your ideas.

If you want help, information, to be upgraded, to have a page approved, a booklet or you want to offer something, just contact one of the four Settlement Administrators:

Judith Rodgers - 01509 412063
Simon Richards - 01509 413043
John Thursby - 01509 412467
Jonathan Billington - 07984 204603