News since January 2003

Friends of Chernobyl's Children (East Leics) launched

In September/October a group of 7-8 year old children from Belarus will stay in homes in this area for a month. At the end of April a group called Friends of Chernobyl's Children East Leicestershire (FOCCEL) was formed to organise the visit and raise funds to cover the costs involved.

In 1986 80% of Belarus became radioactive following the Chernobyl disaster. In another 24000 years the area will be clean again. Meanwhile the children of Belarus suffer.

FOOCEL's aim is to give some of these children a longer lease of life by hosting visits to their homes for a month, every year for at least five years. Each month spent in clean air, with uncontaminated food, extends their lives by 1-2 years. This is a medical fact. For each child hosted, a minimum of £350 needs to be raised to cover the cost of airfare and medical expenses and to provide food and clothing supplies to the children on their return home.

There are now enough host families to accommodate the children, but what is needed is money and the fundraising effort has now begun in earnest. As well as appealing to businesses and individuals to sponsor a child, FOCCEL is planning many fundraising events, starting with a

Sponsored Walk/Bike Ride on 8 June
Starting at 10am from Queniborough School
Sponsor forms are available from Rearsby Post Office

This is very much a family event, with two options in each category (2 or 5 mile walk, 8 or 25 mile bike ride). FOCCEL is hoping for a good turnout from Rearsby!

If you would like to sponsor a child, please call 0116 260 8813 and speak to Rachel Branston (Project Coordinator).


All Change at the Parish Council

There will be four new faces on the Rearsby Parish Council when its new term of office begins (in May).

The new councillors are Stuart Beeken, John Blankley, Charlotte Cook and John Lambert. They join existing councillors Tony Crump and George Friendship.

The members standing down from office are Angela Fielding, Alan Green, Bob Lewis and Geoff Trolley.

(With only six people standing for a total of six available seats, there has been no need for an election.)

One of the council's first jobs will be to elect a chairman.

Rearsby Parish Council now has its own dedicated website. To go there now click here


Chairman of Parish Council retires

At the election in May, Alan Green is retiring as Chairman of the Parish Council. He has been a councillor for five years, Chairman for four and has had to co-ordinate the issues of the By-pass, the Village Hall redesign, Bog Lane access, the Preacher's Stone as well as the many small but important matters, which must be co-ordinated in a village like ours.

The most important of these projects must be the seven-arched bridge in which worked with English Heritage to bring the project to fruition. Alan has always been available to hear the worries of villagers, to give a lead to the Councillors, to mediate when necessary and to represent our needs to Charnwood Borough and to the County Councils. Alan will, no doubt still be seen from time to time at his observation post overlooking the Ford and we hope he will enjoy his return to private life, still remaining as informed and enthusiastic, as he has in the past.

We wish him and Joyce every good wish for the future.

George Friendship, Vice Chairman, Rearsby PCC


Liz & Brian move on

This month (March) sees the departure to the North East of Liz and Brian, the very popular tenants of The Wheel, one of Rearsby's two public houses, not forgetting Stella, their aptly named boxer dog, who leaves with them. Liz and Brian will now live close to Newcastle-on-Tyne at Wallsend.

They arrived in Rearsby in early 1996 and soon established a reputation for good pub grub and well kept beer. "They are a popular and hardworking couple", said the Chairman of the Parish Council," and they have taken a full part in the life of our village." The couple have also run temporary bars for village functions, in particular at village hall evenings and at they were involved in last year's most successful Golden Jubilee celebration held on the Playing Field. In conjunction with Ivan Roberts, who organises the event, the annual Tug of War for charity has grown to be a Boxing Day must for those seeking exercise and fresh air before drinking time.

Their regulars, as well as casual drinkers, will miss them and the cheery service that they have provided over the years! Liz and Brian said: "The move is tinged with sadness especially as we will miss our friends, neighbours and customers but most of all, the thing we will miss most of all, is the loyalty and hard work of our staff."

A Regular


Top marks for our village school

Rearsby School has recently received external recognition in two areas.
* Firstly, in the recent lists of achievements at Key Stage 2, the school was placed 9th overall out of 165 primary schools in Leicestershire.
* Secondly, the school has achieved the status of 'Investors in People', a mark of the standard of excellence achieved by all. Congratulations to the Headteacher, the teachers and all the members of staff, who contributed through their hard work and dedication to this prestigious award. The 'Investors in People' logo can now be displayed on all letterheads.

Village Design Statement unveiled to a packed hall


The Rearsby Village Design Statement (VDS) was launched at a cheese and wine party attended by more than 150 people in the village hall on 13 January. And there was no shortage of praise for the eagerly-awaited document, which had taken the 14-strong VDS team 18 months to research, write, get approved and publish.

Before handing over a copy of the design statement to parish council vice-chairman George Friendship, VDS chairman Brian Frodsham stressed the importance of the project he and his team had undertaken. As well as setting out vital guidelines for future development in the village, he said, it is a fascinating record of how the village has evolved over the years and what it is like today (illustrated by some 47 colour photographs). He went on to speak of Rearsby's rich heritage and how we should all take responsibility for preserving it.

Following George Friendship's words of acceptance on behalf of the parish council, special guest Jeremy Prescott outlined the role of Leicestershire and Rutland's Rural Community Council (of which he is chairman) in sponsoring Rearsby's VDS; it was, he said, the best he had seen. Finally Terry Ainge thanked Brian for leading the project and for his former work as chairman of the Bypass Action Group.

The evening was very much an informal occasion, giving villagers the chance to chat with the VDS team and invited guests (among them representatives from East Goscote, Charnwood and Leicestershire councils and Lafarge) and of course purchase copies of the design statement. It also gave groups in the village the opportunity to promote their work and activities: the History Society, Friends of Rearsby Church, Rearsby Scene, the Guides & Rainbows and the art club all had displays, providing added interest to the evening.

The VDS is available from the Post Office for a minimum donation of £1 and can be downloaded from this site free of charge from the end of February.


Left to right: Terry Ainge, vice chairman of the VDS team; Jeremy Prescott, chairman of the Leicestershire & Rutland Rural Community Council (sponsors of the VDS); Brian Frodsham, chairman of the VDS team; George Friendship, vice-chairman of Rearsby Parish Council; John Lambert, project manager and author of the VDS

More pictures of the launch
Click on each one to view a larger image

Jeremy Prescott

What is a Village Design Statement?

A Village Design Statement (VDS) is a document, produced by local residents in consultation with planners, which provides guidelines to developers on what they can and cannot do to a village. Its purpose is to help control development so that the village's essential character can remain.



Council appoints Heritage Warden

George Friendship has been appointed Heritage Warden by Rearsby Parish Council. George, a member of the Parish Council himself, is by profession an historian.

The warden's duties cover archaeology, local history, maps and heritage projects, natural history, buildings, graveyards, footpaths, etc. Individuals and groups are invited to contact George to let him know their interests and skills and to help at first carry out an audit of local matters of interest.

Click here to contact George now and register your interest in any heritage issue.


Back to main news
Bypass news archives