Volunteer with Home-Start Erewash and make a difference to local families

This came through from Home-Start Erewash. It sounds a great way to help others, as well as improving your own skills and making new friends:

If you’re a parent or maybe a grandparent, you know just how tough family life can be at times. And we know it too. Our volunteers, who have parenting experience, help families with all sorts of problems, from the everyday to the overwhelming. Problems such as:

  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Lone parenting
  • Relationship difficulties
  • First-time parenthood
  • Coping with twins/triplets etc
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Coping with bereavement
  • Post-natal illness
  • Or several pre-school children
  • Children’s behavioural issues
  • Ill health, disability or special needs

Do you live in the Borough of Erewash? Could you spare 3 hours a week to befriend a family? If the answer is YES, call us now.

If you want to be a volunteer and make a difference, come and join our friendly course NEW COURSE STARTS IN LONG EATON:

Thursday 19th April 2012 10 sessions 10.00am – 2.30pm except school holidays

Come along and make new friends, learn new skills, gain confidence, and most importantly make difference. Travel arrangements can be discussed and all expenses paid.

Contact: Tina , Jo or Bren Tel: 0115 9304640 Email: homestarterewash@supanet.com

Charity No: 1107411 We welcome applications from parents of all ages, background and cultures. Enhanced CRB disclosure to be undertaken

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They’re stealing the fat of the insane!

On January 29 1820 Britain’s King George III died insane at Windsor Castle. And speaking of the insane, I’ve been reading Edwin Trueman’s ‘History of Ilkeston’ a gem of a book from 1880. Under the section on local beliefs and customs was an extract from a local newspaper in February 1867, replete with attempts to render the Victorian Ilkestonian accent and dialect in print:

The schoolmaster is certainly abroad at Ilkeston, or else the public are not aware of the secret doings of medical men. A few days ago, to the enquiry made by a gentleman of this town, how a deceased relative had been treated at a lunatic asylum, the answer given was “Ts nowt to say againt tratement he wor fat enuf, and lewked well, but they fatted him up fort docturs.” On the gentleman expressing some surprise at the statement, and asking what the good woman meant, she replied, “O, they fattens up them soat a people, and docturs taze ‘em.” “Take them – for what purpose?” said the gentleman. “O, to be sewer, they taze ther fat owt, and maise kester oil ont. I’s always bin agen kester oil sin I know’d it.”

According to Trueman’s reprint of the local paper, some of the good folk of Ilkeston believed doctors were overfeeding the insane to steal their fat and turn it into castor oil. Trueman took as sceptical a view as the reporter, rounding off the story with details of more way-out thinking, stating:

About as sensible as this old woman’s belief is the superstition, very commonly entertained in this locality, […] that it is ” bad luck” to carry a spade into the house on the shoulder, to cross two knives on the table, or to twirl a chair round on one leg.

You can read the whole of Trueman’s book for free. There’s a plain text and scanned version of it available through open library: http://openlibrary.org/books/OL1820746M/History_of_Ilkeston


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Neal James interview coming soon – Questions, questions, questions

Last Saturday we heard the first edition of Writing Beyond with the short crime story ‘Marks on the Wall’ by Neal James. The story was taken from his first collection of short stories, available in all the usual places and local libraries (as well as the University of Missouri campus bookshop). Neal James is also the author of three novels. His first was a spy thriller released in 2008 titled A Ticket to Tewkesbury. His latest is Threads of Deceit, a mystery set in the textile industry. All published by Pneuma Springs.

I mentioned on the show that Neal James would be returning to the Erewash Sound studios soon for an interview. This is your chance to ask any burning questions you may have of him. Maybe you’ve read Threads of Deceit and think you recognise some of the colourful characters from your own life. Perhaps you’re an aspiring author and want some tips. Or maybe you just want to know what else is in the pipeline from Neal James.

If you do have something you want to ask Neal James about his work then please use the comment box below, or email tris.walker@erewashsound.com or indeed get on www.facebook.com/erewashbeyond or www.twitter.com/erewashbeyond.

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Ilkeston’s reluctant MP

The political correspondent of the Sunday Express in January 1934 mused on just what our elected members were doing for their vast salary of £360 a year. Mr Flint had, he said, made a speech on the first day of the new parliament after his election. He had also seconded an address to the King. Then for over two and a half years at the time of reporting he said nothing. The member for Ilkeston, who lived in Birmingham and worked as a barrister on the Midland circuit, answered the charges frankly, stating:

“I would not have stood if I thought there was any fear of my being elected. I have no political ambitions whatever.

What young man on the threshold of a career would want to be hampered by having to attend to divisions and such things in the House of Commons when he should be looking after his practice? I had not the slightest intention of standing for Parliament. But just about two weeks before the election Mr JH Thomas, who is an old friend of my father’s and who played cricket with me when I was a youngster of five, rang me up and asked if I would stand. He told me that I had not an earthly chance. I would not have stood if I had known that I would get in.”

I think Mr Flint’s candour, if not his parliamentary work ethic, his admirable. It reminds me of Gyles Brandreth’s overused quip that the only thing he couldn’t stand when being an MP were his constituents.

AJ Flint MP did eventually muster the enthusiasm to speak again in parliament, making a speech in April 1934 in support of the Road Traffic Bill, calling for cyclists to carry compulsory lamps.

Surprisingly enough he announced in 1935 that he wouldn’t be standing for re-election, mainly because he really did have no chance of winning this time.

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Writing Beyond: Weekly showcase of new writing from Erewash and Beyond

Tomorrow we’re going into the studio to record the first story for Writing Beyond, our new writing feature. Writing Beyond is the rebranded ‘story of the week’, opened up to promote other forms of writing including poetry, travelogues and comedy sketches.

If you’ve got a story, poem, sketch or similar that you want to share with our listeners please email tris.walker@erewashsound.com.

We’re looking for new writing and will be more than happy to accept your sound files of stories, poems, etc to play out on the show. If you’re local to Erewash we may even be able to get you (or a voice actor friend) into the studio to record your work. We air every Saturday from 1pm so keep it clean and suitable for a family audience. Running times of Writing Beyond will vary but ten minutes maximum should be used as a guideline.

Our author tomorrow is from just beyond Erewash (Amber Valley) and is the pen behind a collection of short stories and three novels. He takes his influence from a diverse range of authors including James Patterson and Thomas Hardy and writes in a number of genres. This week we’re being treated to crime fiction featuring one of the author’s recurring characters.

There are a couple of clues above for any sleuthing readers but for now the identity of this week’s author will remain a mystery. Watch this cyberspace for details.

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Twin Town News: Poker Addict’s Compensation Gamble

An online poker addict had his claim for compensation thrown out this Tuesday by the Administrative Court of Chalons-en-Champagne, Ilkeston’s French twin town. The 37-year-old addict blamed the state for his gambling losses and sought 100,000 euros in compensation.

The Ministry of the Interior in France hold a list of gamblers banned from casinos, either voluntarily because of addiction or by order because of things such as cheating. Internet gaming sites licensed in France must query the Ministry’s list of around 36000 names before allowing the registration of a player.

The poker addict asked the ministry in April 2010 to be put on the list to ban him from casinos both in the real world and online. However an administrative error meant that he could still register to play poker on the Internet until the mistake was corrected in December 2010 during which time he had lost 10,000 euros to his addiction.

In spite of admitting that an error had been made the court dismissed his claim for compensation. The addict’s lawyer says that he will appeal. It appears though that he is as lucky in the courts as he is in the online poker rooms.

You can read the original story at: http://www.lunion.presse.fr/article/marne/le-joueur-de-poker-accro-deboute (French)

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Story of the week #1: Clown by Seymour Jacklin

Each week we bring you a short story from a talented writer and we were very happy to feature Seymour Jacklin from Stories from the Borders of Sleep in our first show.

Stories from the Borders of Sleep is a weekly podcast of tall tales and fantastic fables. Each episode is around 8-18 minutes long and they all contain audio gems of imaginative, dreamlike narratives. You can subscribe to them in iTunes (or similar) by searching for Borders of Sleep. Or you can go straight to http://www.bordersofsleep.com

Seymour was kind enough to let us use one his stories for the first Erewash and Beyond of 2012. We played Clown, a playful tale of a real full time clown and his bamboozling of pirates. You can hear the story again in its original podcast setting here. Or check the full archive at http://www.bordersofsleep.com/p/archive.html.

Seymour is also involved in a range of other creative endeavours in addition to his writing, from playing in a ceillidh band called “The Scrumpy Badgers” to performing in the “Noah’s Nanny Goat Productions” theatre company.

We’re extremely grateful to Seymour for letting us play Clown and we hope you’ll drop by his site to listen to more.

We’re looking for stories of around 5-10 minutes. If you’re a writer and want to get your work on the radio email tris.walker@erewashsound.com. Erewash and Beyond airs every Saturday from 1pm on 96.8fm and the internet (www.erewashsound.com).

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