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This is Burton Green, Warwickshire

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Seize The Opportunity

A biographical article by local resident Val Brown

May 1972 was a good month. My husband, John, and I, together with our four children, moved into a new house on Cromwell Lane where we were to spend a very happy seventeen year stay.

The children settled into Leigh School, where we knew the headmaster, Harry Hancock, and the nearby station was very convenient for John to travel to work. It wasn't long before the children joined in activities at cubs, brownies and scouts in the village hall and church down at Westwood. Over those seventeen years, we all made many good friends in the area. Our home always seemed to be full of people, buzzing with activity and as a family, we thrived on the atmosphere, never knowing who or how many would be around the table to join us at mealtimes.

They were very good years, but then, that time arrived which every parent experiences; the children moved on to university. Our empty nest was very calm and quiet. We missed them but decided that life is for living and so we decided to seize the opportunity to do some of the things we were unable to do while raising a family.

First we downsized and then we both resigned from our jobs to go and open a little antiques shop in beautiful Teesdale. We had no regrets and had wonderful times during the thirteen years we lived there, but our children and their children were settled in the south. We were missing them. We decided to move closer but were uncertain where to "hang our hat." Our eldest son resolved the problem by inviting us to stay with him and his family in St. Albans while we house hunted. Eight years later, in 2013, after visiting our daughter in Kenilworth, we were driving along Cromwell Lane when we saw a bungalow with a "For Sale" sign in the garden. Although it was in a very sad state, we knew that it was the place that was meant for us. After a lot of hard work, we are now ensconced in a beautiful home, in an area we love, just a short distance from where we spent some of the happiest years of our life.

What next? A peaceful retirement? Not quite. I still had another dream to fulfil and this was my big chance to make it all come true. Ever since childhood, I'd wanted to be a writer. The centenary of my mother's birth in 2014 was the beginning of my new career. She'd experienced some fascinating times through much of that century and so I wrote the story of her life, framing it within a social setting which saw many important changes over the period. I called it "The Girl In The Velvet Slippers."

After that I went on to write and publish two books of short stories, one of which, "A Bit What You Fancy", I'm currently working on to produce as an audiobook, which will be available in March of this year.

I was delighted in 2016 when I published my first novel, "Freedom's Progress!' Euphoric, I went on to write a further novel, "Marlon." I'm happy to say that readers are now asking for sequels to both books. I have ideas for them and will continue writing after I've produced my audiobook.

I understand how some people relish the idea of complete relaxation in retirement. If that's what they like, then I say seize the opportunity. For me, I share a full life with my husband, my family and my ten lovely grandchildren, I'm back in Burton Green and I can sit at my computer any time I like, for as long as I like, letting my imagination wander as I create my stories. In addition, I've embraced new technology and have enjoyed creating a blog to share information about my books. Please take a look

Val Brown

All of Val's books are listed on her page at Amazon, which is here:

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Sunday Special

A NEW thing is happening in the Village Hall at 10.30am on Sunday, 19th February.

“Sunday Special” is a café style family service that starts with good real coffee or tea and toast. This will be followed by contemporary worship, a thought provoking video, an illustrated Bible story, then three options: creative or active or a more meditative time. Something for everyone.

Please come along to the first one, enjoy, draw close to God, and tell us what you think. We plan to lead this every third Sunday, with the more traditional service on the first Sunday.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Berkswell Scout Group

The Berkswell( 53rd Coventry) Scout Group are getting closer to their fundraising Target for the build of the New Scout House due to the generosity of local Clubs and businesses.

In September 2014 the Berkswell ( 53rd Coventry) Scout Group launched a campaign to raise funds for the development of a new Scout House to replace the current run-down 1960s Scout House. The voluntary fundraising team have held a number of events, approached local businesses and charitable trusts and have raised over £300,000 of the £400,000 appeal target.

The build is due to start this summer but we still help to raise the £100K shortfall.

The Berkswell (53rd Coventry) Scout Group being presented
with their cheque by members of the Solihull Rotary Club
Very recently a cheque for £2,900 was presented to the Group Scout Leader, Bob Tabb, together with a letter from the Treasurer of the Solihull Rotary Club. The cheque was given to us because a local couple, who were supporters of the Scout Group recommended our Appeal to the Solihull Rotary Club's charitable trust committee. It was agreed that we should be one of the beneficiaries.

Bob Tabb, Group Scout Leader, said: "We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of local people and businesses. The funding already received means that we can get the basic structure built this summer. However, we still need to continue with our fundraising efforts in order to ensure that we can complete the project including the internal fixtures and fittings."

Please help the Berkswell ( 53rd Coventry) Scout Group reach their fundraising target. You can contribute towards this exciting project for the young people in Coventry and Warwickshire by visiting our fundraising page on our website and pledging your support, here:

 Thank you.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Design Statement Steering Group

The Burton Green Village and Neighbourhood Design Statement Steering Group

We think it is important that we work to develop a Village and Neighbourhood Design Statement to help shape all the changes which are about to affect our village including

  • the construction and operation of HS2
  • new housing developments in and around the village
  • the relocation of the Village Hall

When we have developed and agreed our Design Statement it will set out the distinctive character of our village and the surrounding countryside and from it we will draw out the main principles which we believe should influence all current and future developments affecting Burton Green.

We will then use these Design Statement principles to work in partnership with the local planning authorities to influence all the developments affecting our village.

Would you like to find out more?
Would you like to be involved in some way?
Would you like an opportunity to express your views?

We are holding our Launch get-together in the Village Hall
at 7.30pm on Monday 6 th February

Please come along, the more the merrier – Burton Green needs you

Friday, 20 January 2017

Quiz with Fish and Chip Supper 4th February


Saturday 4th February
7.30 prompt

£12.50 per person
Bring own drink and glass

Tickets available from
Jill 024 7646 2070
Deirdre 024 7646 4188

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Minutes of Residents' Association Committee January 17th 2017

Minutes of Burton Green Residents’ Association Committee Meeting
January 17th 2017

Judi Hibberd; Janet Hickinbottom; Bron Putnam; Rona Taylor, Mary Webb, Dianne Adams, Trish Hancock, Faith Ward, Hilary Cox

In attendance: Cllr Archie Taylor

1. Apologies

Apologies had been received from Andy Gibbs and Cllr Caryll Green.

Summary of actions following the meetingResponsible
Approach PC for full costs of Bugle printingRona
Bank statement to be passed to DianneMary
Enquire about state of play of water problem and making good the damage in Red LaneRona
Proposal of community compensation Mary
Add school to Village email loop  Dianne
Copy for Bugle to be sent to Mary by February 20thAll

Minutes of the last meeting and Matters Arising

The minutes of the previous meeting of November 17th 2016 were approved.

Matters Arising from the previous minutes 

Approach PC for full costs of Bugle printing: Rona had not had chance to do this but would now prioritise it.
Action: Rona

Article on walking group for Bugle
Cllr. Taylor had been in touch with Cllr Richard Lloyd of Berkswell and Balsall and hoped to invite him to a parish council meeting to discuss footpaths. Cllr Green was also arranging to meet with Jackie and Mike Lynch who had responded to an enquiry about a footpath group.

Cromwell Lane car parked on pavement to be raised at police surgery: this matter had been resolved.

Arrange distribution of 30mph stickers with the Bugle: this was underway.

All other matters arising had been covered or were to be agenda items.

2. Treasurer's Report

A report had been circulated. Dianne went through it and explained that £88.20 had been spent on stickers and £40 worth had been sold already.
Gifts of thanks had been purchased for all those involved in the Christmas tree.
Mary would provide the bank statement for Dianne.
Thanks were given to Dianne.

3. Residents' views/concerns

There had been major problems with the water supply in parts of the village over the Christmas period. Workmen tackling the issue had made a mess of the Red Lane verge and broken a fence. This all needed to be made good. Rona would ring the person concerned and ask for an update. Nothing more had been heard since the previous Friday when he had explained that Western Power thought it had resolved the problem but found this was not the case and so the generator was back in use while the pump was out of action.
Action: Rona

The matter of personal compensation was queried. It was felt both personal and community compensation should be sought. Mary agreed to pursue the latter, suggesting £500 to include enhancement of the new Village Hall and the next Calibration of the speed gun.
Action: Mary

A meeting was to be convened at a later date about the water problems.

Post meeting note: the following day Mary received communication from the CEO of Severn Trent as follows:
"Thank you for your email and the feedback given. It’s always nice to receive positive feedback and I’ve fed this back to those involved in your case. 
I’m pleased to see that the issues you and the other residents have been experienced should be resolved soon. I was concerned to learn that Western Power were not able to fix the fault last week, but I’d like to assure you that we’re working with them to help identify the faults so that it can be repaired as soon as possible. 
My team also assures me that whilst the investigation is ongoing we do have a process in place to keep supply disruption to a minimum. 
In light of the inconvenience caused by the supply interruptions and sewer blockages I’d like to make a gesture of goodwill offer of £500.....

4. Update on and discussion of Residents' Association initiatives and issues

  • Review of Santa Sleigh Evening on December 16th 2016 and planning for Dec 2017. The committee considered this had worked very well overall and had raised a good contribution for Myton Hospices. Thanks had been received from various quarters and children had enjoyed it. A meeting for the presentation of cheques was scheduled for the following week.
  • It was agreed a feedback meeting with Balsall Common Lions would be useful and several points were made. It was suggested a simple supper could be provided for the volunteers to make it more of a social event. There had been sufficient volunteers so there was no need for additional Lions members except the "leader" of the groups had been very useful in monitoring progress and directing. Everyone had enjoyed the occasion.
  • Review of Burton Green Christmas card. There were 100 cards left. The cost had been £170 plus vat. It was good to involve the schoolchildren. Could Hickory's Smokehouse sponsor the card the following year?
  • Community Forum March 13th 2017. There was nothing to be raised on this occasion.
  • Rona said that 2018 would mark the commemoration of the ending of World War 1. It was agreed this would be an opportunity for a community event and suggestions were made for dancing, dressing in the style of the era and maybe the choir's participation. There was plenty of time to plan this but booking of the Hall and of a band would need to be considered.

5. Village Hall 

  • No one was available. Rona said after many months of no contact from HS2, members of the Village Hall committee had been invited to meet in Birmingham the previous week. HS2 had yet to approve new plans but was now putting pressure on the committee to submit for planning permission. 

6. HS2 Opposition Group

  • No one was available. There was to be a demonstration to invited participants of sound impact on February 4th at the village hall.
  • General correspondence had been received about correspondence with the community. 
  • A coach visit of new HS2 employees had been made to Burton Green as part of a tour of affected areas.

7. Parish Councillor's Report

  • Cllr Taylor said the Parish Council (PC) had been setting the precept which was to be at the same level as the previous year. 
  • The PC had needed to commission the building of a fence to deter dog fouling at the play area. 
  • It was likely a Neighbourhood Plan would be started.
  • It was important to follow up on monitoring of local footpaths as, for example, one local farmer was known to have ploughed up footpaths.
  • The progress of HS2 would generate planning applications, for example, bunds. WDC would consult with PC but the latter then had to report back within 10 days which allowed little time for community consultation. 
  • PC was concerned about the impact of house building on local traffic.Cllr Taylor had attended a meeting about building and different phases of road building. He felt consideration was being given to a road parallel to the HS2 line. 
  • A Village Design Statement (VDS) was to be launched and had to be sanctioned by PC. Developers could meet with the Village Design group to discuss designs. There would be a public meeting. Rona added that the VDS followed on from the previous Parish Plan. The designers of the VDS were supposed to be a freestanding group comprising representatives of the Village Hall, the Residents' Association, and the Parish Council etc. A flyer was to be issued inviting residents to a meeting on Monday February 6th at 7:30. to create a steering group with representation from all aspects of the village and a geographical representation. 
  • With reference to housing Cllr Taylor felt that building in Westwood Heath Road was likely. For the foreseeable future he believed the planned house building programmes would mean there would be no infill in the village. PC had opposed Coventry's Local Plan mainly because of its impact on traffic. Consideration had not been given to traffic from Balsall Common.

8.  Any Other Business

  • There had been a burglary at Broadwells Wood on New Year's Eve. A crime prevention officer was to be invited to talk to residents of the development.
  • The local postman had reported a burglary in Cromwell Lane. Keys had been taken and a car stolen.
  • It was suggested a food bank should be organised at Easter as the Christmas one had been very successful. 
  • Rona was aware of money being made available for the filling of potholes and Bron reported having already seen this in action in Red Lane.
  • The School needed to be added to the Village email loop. Action: Dianne
  • Caine Pickering had been requested to go into school. Rona had liaised with the police on this matter.
  • The next Retired of Burton Green lunch was to be held on March 31st. 
  • The next edition of the Bugle was due for distribution during the first week in March. Copy was needed by February 20th. Action: All
  • Mary reported that 100 bags were to be delivered for a clean up in the village.
  • Rona said that the Welcome leaflets were very useful and were well received. Printing off as required was an efficient way to produce them.A question was asked about when to collect the £3 subscription from new residents and it was agreed to leave this for the normal collection period.
  • Some door knockers had been moved on by the police.

9. Date, time and venue of Next Meeting

The next meeting would take place on March 7th 2017.