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Saturday, 15 December 2018

Minutes of Residents' Association 18th December 2018

Draft Minutes of Burton Green Residents’ Association Committee Meeting December 11th, 2018

Dianne Adams, Hilary Cox, Andy Gibbs, Judi Hibberd, Janet Hickinbottom, Faith Ward and Mary Webb.

Thanks were given to Judi for accommodating the meeting when the Village Hall Green Room had been double booked.

1. Apologies and Minutes of the last meeting

Apologies had been received from Bron Putnam.

Summary of actions following the meetingResponsible
Check Red Lane lamppost workingRona
Speak to Hodgett’s Lane resident about overgrown hedgeRona
Inform Canley Community Centre trustees of presentation dateJanet
Application to Parish Council for funds to contribute to Bugle costsJudi
Progress Red Lane shelter projectMary
Invite Fiona Anderson to next BGRA committee meetingRona

Minutes of the last meeting and Matters Arising

See Minutes of September 11th

The minutes of the September 11th meeting were approved.

Matters Arising from the previous minutes

  • One lamp post not working had been sorted out very quickly. A check would be made to see if the other one reported was now functioning. Action: Rona
  • Rona had not yet managed to find at home the owner of the overgrown hedge in Hodgett’s Lane. She would try again. Action: Rona

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

2. Treasurer's Report

A report had been circulated. Dianne explained that current funds stood T £2946.26 with main expenditure being Bugle printing costs. The Armistice commemoration tea raised a profit of £69,79 and the recent Retired of Burton Green lunch made a profit of £66.48.

Q. How much do we charge for the lunches?

Thanks were given to Dianne.

3. Residents' views/concerns

Litter remained a problem. The last litter pick had been postponed because of adverse weather but some committee members go out independently. Mr Marshall had been asked to speak with Cala Homes to see if they could help with clearing the ditch and adjacent bank outside the site.

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

Review of Armistice commemoration

This was considered a very successful event and reflection of the true community spirit in Burton Green. The afternoon tea had been attended by 81 people and the evening beacon lighting by around 200 people. Rona thanked everyone who had been involved in any way.

Christmas plans - tree, cards and Sleigh evening

Andy had donated a tree from his garden (and offered another one for 2019!) Thanks were extended to Barry, Luke, Andy and Terry for erecting it on the Jubilee verge.

Details were given out of the Santa Sleigh evening.  Two groups of volunteers were needed at 4:15 and 6:15. The Balsall Common Lions would sort out administrative procedures and give out hi-vis jackets etc. Soup and bacon rolls would be available for volunteers at a cost of £2 per item to cover costs. Hot drinks would be provided free of charge. Christmas cards designed by the schoolchildren would be distributed during the collection. A major percentage of the funds (yet to be agreed) was to be donated to Canley Community Centre as voted for at the AGM. A representative from the latter would be invited to the presentation evening in January.
 Action: Rona

Hilary reminded everyone of the Food Bank collecting box in the hall foyer.

Grant application

It was decided a new application for £348 should be made to the Parish Council in respect of a contribution to 2018 Bugle costs. Action: Judi

Community fund 

See Parish Councillor’s Report below

Kenilworth Lions had also offered funding to a community project that utilised volunteers. The refurbishment of the air warden’s shelter in Red Lane was suggested. Mary agreed to seek volunteers and to provide further details in the Bugle. Action: Mary

Paddy’s comments on Cala Homes

Paddy Deeley had asked if information was available to distribute to new residents once the Cala Homes houses were occupied. Judi reminded everyone of the Welcome Pack that was available. It was decided that nearer the time maybe March/April 2019 we should ask Cala Homes to hold a stock of these to distribute to new home owners.

5. Village Hall

There was no further update. It was now likely that the new Village Hall would not be built and available until 2020.

6. Parish Councillor's Report

There had been some meetings of a joint group of organisations in the village to discuss the potential of the HS2 Community Fund.

The Parish Council was asked to keep an eye on the state of the roads during the building work on the new housing estate.

7.  Any Other Business

Judi highlighted a cycle event with 17000 riders which was proposed. Details are available at http://www.velobirmingham.co.uk. The event would be passing through the Balsall Common area.

Several members of the committee were planning to hold a coffee morning with proceeds going to Kenilworth Helping Hands. A local young man who had attended Burton Green School benefitted from this organisation and some of his old school friends had offered to help. A date was yet to be arranged.

Fiona Anderson of Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action had asked to speak to the committee about rural isolation. She was to be invited to the start of the next committee meeting. Action: Rona

The question of subscriptions was raised and whether the parish precept should be increased instead. It was decided that there were still advantages to be gained from personal contact when collecting subscriptions. To address some of the opposition faced by a few collectors, the committee agreed that a document should be prepared outlining what projects and activities subscription money helped to fund.

A reminder was issued of the Village Choir Christmas concert on December 21st and the Carol Service on December 23rd. Both events would take place at the Village Hall.

Rona thanked everyone for attending and especially Judi for hosting the meeting.

8. Date, time and venue of Next Meeting

The next committee meetings were scheduled for Jan 23rd, March 13th, May 15th, July 17th, Sept 11th AGM, Sept 30th, Nov 27th.

All dates have been conformed with the Village Hall bookings secretary.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Bugle - December 2018

The December 2018 edition of the Bugle has been published.

Just below are thumbnails of the page images. To enlarge any page image, click on the thumbnail below. Once you have the individual page, you may also need to click on the magnifying glass in your browser, where you can view the page at its original size...

The text of the Chair's Report has also been added to the Residents' Association page.

The archive of back issues of the Bugle is here: Bugle Archive.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Armistice Centenary Event

The WWI Armistice Centenary Event at Burton Green was centred around a display of soldier silhouettes, and a poppy cascade, created by children from Burton Green School.

Click on any image on this page to enlarge to full screen size

Local residents had also placed British Legion wooden crosses to remember individuals from their own families, and soldiers who had lived in Burton Green, at the foot of the display.

Click on any image on this page to enlarge to full screen size

On the afternoon of 11th November, there was an Armistice-themed tea in the village hall, attended by 75 residents and friends of the village.

The roles of soldiers from Burton Green who took part in WWI was briefly explained. There is more information about those soldiers on this page:

That was followed by a performance from the Burton Green Village Choir, and then communal singing of some popular war time songs.

The video below is not the complete performance, just 4 minutes of selected extracts (click on the video to play)...

In the evening, the poppy display was illuminated...

Local resident, and former soldier, Peter Stanworth, OBE...

Peter Stanworth with members of Warwickshire Constabulary...

At 7pm, a Last Post was sounded, followed by the lighting of an Armistice Beacon in an adjacent field. It was estimated that 200 residents had turned out to watch, lining both sides of the road. This was the scene looking along Cromwell Lane...

Below is a video of the Last Post, played by Claire Smith, and the Beacon (click to play)...

Related Post

Armistice Remembrance (Stories of local soldiers from Burton Green who fought in WWI)

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Armistice Remembrance

We do not know the names of all of the men from Burton Green who served in the First World War, because many records were destroyed by bombing during WWII.

We do know that at least eight men from Burton Green served in the army in the First World War: Alfred Tom Walden, Charles Chamberlain, Harry Soar, Herbert Barnacle, Percy Hollick, Walter Docker, William Cranmer and William Tommy.

Three of them were killed in action: Tom Walden from Red Lane who was killed at Gallipoli, Charles Chamberlain from Hodgett's Lane who was killed near Baghdad, and Percy Hollick from Cromwell Lane who was killed near the village of Fresnoy in France.

Map showing locations where soldiers from Burton Green were killed in action 1915 - 1917

Private Alfred Tom Walden
("The Hollies", Red Lane)
1890 - 25 March 1915

Alfred Tom Walden was born and grew up at "The Hollies", Red Lane.

The Hollies is the large old house which still exists near the corner at the top of Red Lane. It is the house in the background of this photo.

'Tom' Walden, as he was known, attended Stoneleigh school and after leaving school joined the army as a professional soldier. This was several years before the outbreak of war.

Click to enlarge
The image shown at the right is an extract from the 1901 Census. This shows Tom Walden at "The Hollies".

The image also shows some properties in 'Burton Green Road'. That is the road that we now call Cromwell Lane.

At the time of the 1911 census, Tom Walden was in Calcutta, India, serving with the 2nd Battalion The Royal Fusiliers who were garrisoned there.

The Government had originally believed that the war with Germany would be short, and 'over by Christmas'. In the event, by the end of 1914 many lives had been lost and a stalemate had developed on the Western Front. Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, thought that he could break the stalemate by opening a Second Front, landing an invasion force at Gallipoli, which would secure a sea passage to Russia, and capture Constantinople.

The 2nd Battalion The Royal Fusiliers, including Tom Walden, who had been recalled from India, together with battalions from some other British regiments, and forces from Australia and New Zealand, were sent to Gallipoli.

Depiction of Gallipoli landing by Charles Edward Dixon

The Gallipoli landing took place on April 25, 1915.

Heavy allied casualties were incurred during the landing, including the life of Tom Walden.

Tom Walden's name is remembered on the War Memorial inside Stoneleigh Church and on the Helles Memorial at Gallipoli.

Click this link for the official War Graves citation:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission details - Tom Walden

The Helles Memorial is the Commonwealth battle memorial for the whole Gallipoli campaign. Over 20,000 names are commemorated on this memorial.

April 25th came to be known as Anzac Day (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps). This was the first military action which had involved forces from Australia and New Zealand. It was a defining moment in the history of those countries as independent nations.
(See: https://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac-day/traditions)

Private Charles Henry Chamberlain
(Hodgett's Lane)
1897 - 29 March 1917

Charles Henry Chamberlain lived in Hodgett's Lane, in a row of cottages (now demolished) that used to be opposite the site of the village hall.

The Chamberlains had been a family of agricultural labourers. Charles Chamberlain's grandfather, also named Charles, had been born in Hob Lane, Burton Green, in 1842. By 1911, the family had moved to the cottage in Hodgett's Lane.  At the time of the 1911 census, Charles Chamberlain was 14 years old.

We know very little of Charles Chamberlain's individual military service record. All we know is that he joined the 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment in July 1915, and the date of his death, 29th March 1917. From the records of that regiment we can discover where the 9th Battalion went and what was happening on the day of Charles Chamberlain's death.

Charles Chamberlain joined the 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment in July 1915. This was two months after the initial landing at Gallipoli, at which Tom Walden had been killed. Military progress at Gallipoli had been slow and in July the 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, now including Charles Chamberlain, was despatched to Gallipoli together with other reinforcements.

However, the reinforcements were too few and too late. By Autumn 1915 it was recognised that the Gallipoli campaign had failed to achieve its objectives, and evacuation was ordered. Churchill, who had been the principal architect of the Gallipoli campaign, resigned from the Government.
(See: https://www.history.com/news/winston-churchills-world-war-disaster)

9th Btn Royal Warwicks Itinerary Jun 1915 - Aug 1919
In 1914, before the war began, the British government had contracted with The Anglo-Persian Oil Company to supply for oil for the Royal Navy.

In January 1916, following their withdrawal from Gallipoli, the 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, with Charles Chamberlain, was posted to Mesopotamia (now Iraq) partly to safeguard the oil supply. The British Government also needed to restore British influence in the area having recently suffered a major defeat at Kut, near Baghdad. The 9th Battalion travelled by sea around the Arabian Peninsular, arriving at Basra in March 1916. They then spent 12 months fighting and marching for 330 miles through hostile Iraq, reaching Baghdad in March 1917. It was during an engagement a few days after leaving Baghdad that Charles Chamberlain was killed. Records of the battalion report:
"The Royal Warwickshire was employed in searching the houses in Baghdad on March 12, and afterwards for some days were in charge of part of the citadel. On March 23 they moved out to Dowdiyah, and three days later had orders to advance up stream to Deltawa, near which place the 18th Turkish Corps was concentrating. Marching by night, at dawn on March 28 they arrived within 3000 yards of the Turkish position on the Maal plain. The advance began at ten o'clock in terrific heat, with a mirage which prevented any definite view of the Turkish position. Nevertheless, though the ground was very flat with no cover, nearly a mile was gained. Then a halt was made till two o'clock, when the whole brigade advanced and captured the enemy's first line. It had been a sharp fight; in the Royal Warwickshire 3 officers were killed and 7 wounded, with 140 casualties in other ranks." (Extract from 'The Story Of The Royal Warwickshire Regiment' by C. L. Kingsford, pp196-208.)

Charles Chamberlain's name is remembered on the War Memorial in Berkswell Churchyard and on the Basra Memorial in Iraq.

Click this link for the official War Graves citation:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission details - Charles Chamberlain

The Basra Memorial commemorates more than 40,500 members of the Commonwealth forces who died in the operations in Mesopotamia from the Autumn of 1914 to the end of August 1921 and whose graves are not known.

Captain Percy Hood Hollick
(Cromwell Lane)
29 January 1891 - 9 May 1917

Percy Hood Hollick lived in Cromwell Lane, in one of the large houses near Westwood Corner, and was aged 24 at the outbreak of war.

The Hollick family had been a family of farmers. Percy's grandparents, Joseph and Ann, had owned a farm at Arley (1841) and Percy's father, Alfred Hollick, farmed at Sherbourne Farm, Allesley (1881). Percy Hood Hollick was born on 29th January 1891 and had an elder brother, Thomas, and elder sister, Margaret.

At the time of the 1901 census, Percy was aged 10 and resident at a small boarding school in Priory Road, Kenilworth. His parents presumably had aspirations for Percy to acquire an education, to break with the family farming tradition, and to move into a professional occupation. At the time of the 1911 Census, Percy, aged 20, was living, by himself, at a house in Cromwell Lane, near Westwood corner, and was a trainee solicitor. A year later we learn that he was working with W Henderson Cleland, Solicitors, Coventry.

Percy Hollick enlisted on 10th August 1914 as a private in the Honourable Artillery Company. Percy Hollick was engaged on the Western Front throughout his time in the war. He was wounded, and that necessitated his return to England for treatment. Whilst in England he was given a commission in the 3rd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment and he returned to the front with that battalion.

Click to enlarge
During 1917, the 3rd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment was engaged on the Western Front near Arras. Percy Hollick was killed on 9th May 1917, during an attempt to take the village of Fresnoy. Records of the battalion tell us:
"The village of Fresnoy was lost to a determined German attack on the 8th of May, and over the following days all the battalions of the 5th Division were involved in trying to regain the lost village.  Artillery fire from both sides was intense, the fighting was savage; hand-to-hand, bayonet charges and bombing attacks.  Various parts of the village changed hands many times with isolated pockets holding out and keeping the Germans at bay for hours on end. The Royal Warwicks were involved in an assault on Fresnoy beginning at 2am on 9 May.  Before the men even got to the German positions many casualties were caused by shellfire catching them crossing the No Man's Land. During this attack the battalion lost 206 men; 60 of these were killed." (Extract from 'Birmingham Pals' by Terry Carter, p311)

Percy Hollick's name is remembered on the War Memorial inside Westwood Church and on the Arras Memorial.

Click this link for the official War Graves citation:

The Arras Memorial commemorates nearly 35,000 allied soldiers with no known grave who were killed in the Battle of Arras, fought between 9th April and 16th May 1917.


Some of the personal British Legion cross memorials that have been placed in the grass verge near Red Lane corner by present day residents...

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Those Who Lived

We do not know the names of all of the men from Burton Green who served in WWI because many records were destroyed by bombing during WWII. We do know that the following men from Burton Green joined the Army during WWI and survived the war.

Harry Godfrey Soar
b 1893. Joined Royal Regiment of Artillery in March 1915 as Private 86836 and was posted to France, in September 1915. Later transferred to Royal Engineers, as Sapper 334512.

Herbert Barnacle
b 1894. Lived at Burton Green Farm (opposite the School). He joined the Army Service Corps in December 1916 as a driver, Private 224729; between June 1917 and September 1918 he served with 13 different motor transport companies on the Western Front; in September 1918 he was wounded, returned to England and was admitted to Aberdeen Hospital; in October 1919 he returned to work on his father's farm as a ploughman.

Walter James Docker
b 1876. Lived in Hob Lane. In the 1911 census described as a market gardener, and on his sign-up papers as a fishmonger. During the 1920s he ran a shop in Spon End. He was aged 39 when he joined the Army Service Corps (Reserve) in December 1915, Private 319432; in July 1917 he was moblised and passed the driving test for the Foden Steam Engine.
William Thomas Cranmer
b 1879. The father of Bill Cranmer, who many present residents will have known. On his sign-up papers gives his address as The Ark, Burton Green. A storekeeper's assistant at the Maudslay Motor Co. He joined the 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshre Light Infantry, Private 46232, in December 1915.

William Henry Tommy
b 1898. Gives his address as The Cottage, Burton Green. In 1911 he was living in Wem, Shropshore, his place of birth. His father, also named William, was a house painter. On his sign-up papers William Henry Tommy described himself as capstan hand. Joined Welsh Guards, Private 4242, in December 1915; mobilised and posted December 1917. In June 1918 transferred to 4th Battalion Guards Machine Gun Regiment, Private 8158. Promoted to Lance Corporal in April 1919.

James Edkins
b 1895. At the time of the 1911 census he was 16 years old and living with his parents in Birmingham. He was married in 1935 and came to live at The Highlands, which was one of the houses opposite the water tower. He joined the Royal Engineers in April 1915 as Sapper 74730, and served in Egypt.

If you have any comments or would like to share any information about WWI please email: local.history@burtongreen.com

Related Post

Armistice Centenary Event (Armistice Tea, Last Post and Beacon)

Monday, 5 November 2018

Panorama: HS2 Going Off The Rails

The 17th December edition of the BBC program Panorama, 7.30pm BBC1, will be about the financial difficulties facing HS2 and questions about the future of the project.

You can watch the program on iPlayer, at any time, here:

"Thousands of homes and businesses are affected and land is already being cleared to make way for the new High Speed 2 train line - the biggest infrastructure project in Europe. HS2 has a price tag of £56 billion, but does anyone know how much it will really cost? As land gets bought up, Panorama investigates the impact the controversial rail scheme is having and what the final cost could be.

The programme hears claims that even as the first part of the project was being signed off by Parliament, there were already concerns within the company that the final bill for land and property would end up higher. Could mounting costs derail the budget and bring the future of the scheme itself into question?"

The project has not yet received the Notice to Proceed from government and can still readily be cancelled.

Choir Christmas Concert

Village Hall Quiz

QUIZ WITH Fish & Chip Supper

Hodgetts Lane

SATURDAY 17th November - 7.30pm
Tickets £12.50 /  Students £10.00
Bring your own drink and glasses please

Teams are up to 8 players and if you do not have enough for a team

you can be paired up with others.  Just let us know when you book.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Warwick University Sports Hub

This video is a computer-generated simulation of the impressive new Sports Centre for Warwick University which is due to open in Spring 2019.

More details here: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/sport/hub

Monday, 15 October 2018

Car Thefts

There were several local car thefts over the past weekend (13th/14th October). There were two in Hodgetts Lane, one in Charter Avenue, and others in Bannerbrook and Kenilworth.

The theft in Charter Avenue involved 'keyless' car theft. This is a sophisticated form of theft that is possible with some models of car in which a pair of thieves can activate a key fob to unlock the car even if the key is within someone's house.

This is a video of such a theft taking place in Solihull that was filmed on the householder's security camera...

Keyless car theft can be reduced by storing the key inside a Faraday bag. This is a simple bag with a metal mesh lining.

These are available from Amazon (and other suppliers) for around £8. There are many different brands available.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

A46 Link Road (Updated)

Update 6 October 2018

The planning scandal, involving protracted secret collusion among 3 local authorities and HS2, has now been reported by the Solihull Observer. There is little of substance that is new in this report, though it does include Solihull's official response. As yet there has been no official response from Warwick County Council to accusations that council employees deliberately lied to, and tried to mislead, the public.

"Berkswell councillors were astounded to receive copies of a map showing a four-lane highway through Balsall Common. 
“It had been forced from Solihull council by the Information Commissioner after years of work by a local resident. A rapidly organised meeting was held with the SMBC Infrastructure Manager concerned... The current status is that nothing is yet planned (for phase three) but Coventry have a wish to put their traffic, caused by their planned development, through the Meriden Gap possibly through Balsall Common. 
“SMBC have not yet instructed their officials to tell Coventry that no route through Balsall Common is acceptable for a four-lane highway. 
“Berkswell councillors are committed to working with our borough councillors to kill this ASAP so that it gets no momentum.”
Full report here:


This is one of the leaflets that were distributed at one of the public information events.

Several residents independently asked about plans for Phase 3, as this was the phase that was of most concern to residents. Assurances were given that no plans for Phase 3 existed.

Maps did exist but had been classed as 'highly confidential'. These maps (which are reproduced below) have now been dismissed by Solihull as 'dots on a map'.

Original Post - 30th August

There has been much speculation about a proposed link road joining the A46 at Stoneleigh to the A452 near Balsall Common, or the A45. The official information provided by WCC is here:

The closing date for objections to Phase 1, the A46 roundabout, is Wednesday 5th September.  Please make your concerns known should you feel that more more complete information should be provided about the overall scheme before such strategic decisions can be made. Objections should be sent to:  The Secretary of State for Transport, National Transport Casework Team, Tyneside House, Skinnerburn Road, Newcastle Business Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7AR or nationalcasework@dft.gov.uk, quoting “A46 Trunk Road Stoneleigh Junction (Slip Roads) Order” and stating the grounds of objection.

At various recent public consultations local council employees from WCC have denied the existence of any specific plans for the 3rd phase of this project passing through Burton Green. Under the Freedom of Information Act, Dr Thornton has managed to obtain plans produced in 2016, and which had been labelled 'Highly Confidential'.

Dr Thornton made his original request for this information on 1st April 2016. Dr Thornton's original correspondence with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and their refusal to provide any information can be viewed here:

It has taken more than two years of appeal to the council, then the Information Commissioner, then the Information Tribunal, to obtain the judgement that withholding this information was unlawful.  The important message is that Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council withheld information unlawfully. The information that has now been released is 2 years old. We know that the authorities have done more work since then, in secret. This needs to be published without further delay. Councillors need to make sure that this happens.

Maps have previvously been seen which showed some 'high level' options for the road through Westwood Heath but this is the first time any options have been seen for the road to go through Burton Green or interfaced with HS2.  HS2 had previously denied they were in talks about Phase 3 of the road but only recently have confirmed that there have been discussions.

These are the documents now released by SMBC. You can enlarge these documents by clicking on them...

This is a detail showing where the proposed routes cut through Burton Green, according to the 2016 plan...

As you can see, in that plan, the Phase 3 Option 1 route passes across the area of the proposed Burrow Hill housing estate and the site of the new Village Hall. More recent plans presumably exist but are being kept secret.

This is an extract from a letter sent by Dr Thornton to SMBC:
"So that Solihull council will benefit from the assistance of electors, council taxpayers and the wider expert public much earlier in its deliberations on matters that may affect the environment, I hope that this decision will cause reflection within the authority and a greater understanding of the democratic principles and provisions of the Arrhuss Convention. 
Going forward, I hope you will ensure that council officers recognise that their previously claimed need for "space to think in private and debate and explore options and solutions" is, and should be, substantially restricted. Particularly, I hope there will be further reflection on your obligations under regulation 4 of the EIRs to publish environmental information at the earliest opportunity even if it has not been requested. The era of secret meetings between colluding planning officers from various local authorities, over an extended period, apparently without even the knowledge of elected representatives, should have been consigned to history. "

Previous Posts On This Subject

November 2017

There was a presentation and speculation about possible routes by Councillor Alan Marshall at the Burton Green Residents' Association AGM (item 8):

This is an extract:
"Whilst it is clear that a wide number of route options have been or are being looked at -- taking account of land and properties that would have to be acquired, disruption that would be caused, and the costs -- and that a route via Eastern Green was the least probable (because of overall distance to reach UK Central) -- it has seemed to Cllr Marshall that a likely preference would be to continue the phase 3 route along Westwood Heath Road (where there is space for road widening) and across a new junction with Cromwell Lane. This might then continue towards and across Nailcote Lane and Hodgetts Lane, crossing the West Coast Main Line railway above Beechwood Tunnel, then going across Truggist Lane, Baulk Lane and Lavender Hall Lane. A possible end point, where the new road could join the A452, would be the roundabout at the junction with Bradnocks Marsh Lane -- although an alternative, to avoid crossing HS2, would be to continue the new road on the east side of HS2 to join the A452 at the junction with Cornets End Lane and Hampton Lane. Nor is it clear whether the new road should be a single or dual carriageway -- and with few or many intersections? Of course, there are alternatives for the way the new road could pass by, or through, Burton Green and one that has clearly caught a lot of attention recently is it being constructed adjacent to the eastern boundary of HS2.  This could be achieved by taking phase 3 of the new road from the vicinity of Cryfield Grange along Cryfield Grange Road over Crackley Lane to pick up the HS2 alignment, passing under Cromwell Lane and along Hodgetts Lane to pick up the route I described earlier going between Berkswell and Ballsall Common towards the A452. James Llewellyn had responded: “I can well appreciate that residents are very concerned about the continuing uncertainties . . .  With those concerns in mind, rest assured that we are progressing the Route Options Technical Study as quickly as possible and we hope to be in a position to finalize the route options report by the end of November [2017].” We are planning a pubic consultation on the route option(s) in the spring of 2018."

June 2017

A schematic from the West Midlands Combined Authority transport planning ducument:

December 2016

A report in the Coventry Telegraph, plus some local speculation:

Burton Green Water Tower

There is an article in The Telegraph about the Water Tower, which has been up for sale since June.

The article on The Telegraph website, which includes a gallery of further photos, is here:

The current guide price is £1.5M. The Estate Agent's details are below. The Estate Agent's description of the property mentions the 'stunning views over the surrounding countryside'. The description does not mention that much of the immediate countryside has been condemned by Warwick District Council to become a housing estate:

Friday, 5 October 2018

Draft Minutes of Residents' Association AGM 1st October 2018

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Burton Green Residents’ Association held on October 1st, 2018 at the Village Hall
Rona welcomed everyone including Councillors Coker, Cooke and Illingworth and Parish Councillors Andy Gibbs, Paddy Deeley and Archie Taylor.

She explained her aim was to make presentations as brief as possible allowing time for discussion of issues of importance.

1. Apologies 

Apologies had been received from Cllr Rowena Hill, Alan Marshall, Derek Silk,Mary Webb, and Betty Woodward.

2. Minutes of the last meeting 

The minutes of the last Annual General Meeting of October 30th, 2017 were accepted.
Proposed: Deirdre Vernon
Seconded: Jill Line

3. Matters Arising 

There were no matters arising.

4. Chair’s Report 

A report had been circulated in advance as follows:

The Residents’ Association continues to be vibrant, innovative and proactive in representing and supporting the Burton Green community.

The Santa Sleigh evening has now become a major event in our annual “repertoire”, thanks to our brilliant partnership with Balsall Common Lions. Last Christmas, collections at the doorstep, profits from Village Hall food sales on the night and a generous top up from Hickory’s, all contributed to an amazing £1000 total with £850 going to Zoe’s Place and £150 to the Balsall Common Lions’ charities. This year Santa’s Sleigh will be visiting Burton Green on Friday December 14th and residents will have an opportunity to vote for the Burton Green 2018 Christmas Charity at the AGM. We have set the bar high over the past 2 years, but I am confident we can match our £1000 record this year.

Thanks to the generosity of Joy and Rob Barnes, we were able to have a Christmas tree on the Jubilee Verge again last year and our Christmas activities also included a Christmas card competition, sponsored by Hickory’s, for Burton Green School students and a food bank collection at the Village Hall, with donations going to the Kenilworth Food Bank.

We had a village clean up in February and the next one is scheduled for October 14th. Several residents also collect litter on a weekly, and in some cases, daily basis, an on-going contribution to the community which we all greatly appreciate.

Our plant troughs at the entrances to the Village are a real asset to our environment, thanks to the hard work of residents who plant, maintain and water them.

Peter Hallam from WCC Highways Department continues to look after Burton Green roads, responding, usually the same day, to reports of potholes. This year we have also had major work completed on Red Lane pavements, following several years of pressure from the Residents’ Association. We continue to respond quickly to concerns about road flooding and faulty lighting.

Lunches for the Retired of Burton Green are always well attended; people look forward to catching up with friends and enjoying really good food at amazing value. We held a St Patrick’s Day lunch in March and a Royal Wedding lunch in July. Our next meal will be on October 26th.

The Speedwatch Team continue to turn out in all weathers. We all know our 30mph limit is frequently broken and the Team plays a key role in combatting this.

The Bugle has been published on a quarterly basis, thanks to Mary Webb and the distribution team who also this year helped with the Neighbourhood Plan. The £3 residents’ subscriptions have also been collected.

The Residents’ Association is always represented at the Burton Green Parish Council, where a monthly report is given, and at the twice-yearly Kenilworth Forum. 

The Jubilee Group has this year been planning a very special commemoration of the centenary of the 1918 Armistice. There will be an afternoon tea, 3-5pm on Sunday November 11th. That evening, we will also be lighting a beacon at 7.00pm in the field opposite the Jubilee Verge, preceded at 6.55pm by a bugler playing The Last Post. This is part of a national Beacons of Light scheme, with similar ceremonies held at the same time across the country. Two life sized silhouettes of First World War soldiers will be on the Verge and a cascade of poppies will flow down the fence. Residents will be able to purchase British Legion crosses on which to record the names of loved ones they have lost, to be placed on the Verge. 

The wealth of things which happen in Burton Green reflect the commitment of our residents; thank you to everyone for all you do.

A short presentation was made by Richard Coates, the chairman of trustees of the Leigh Foundation. He explained that grants were available for young people up to the age of 25 in the villages of Stoneleigh, Ashow and Burton Green.  Since Burton Greenhad established its own Parish Council, the Trust felt youngsters in Burton Green had not been kept well informed of the Leigh Foundation and he wished to rectify the situation and to alert families to the possibility of applying for funds to support university fees, purchase of school uniform or help with costs of educational visits, forexample. Educational groups could also apply. Over 18-year olds could apply themselves and parents could apply on behalf of younger applicants. Details of the Foundation were left for distribution.

5. Treasurer’s Report 

Dianne had submitted a report. Copies were available in the hall.

As Dianne was unable to attend the meeting, Peter Tacon had kindly agreed to present the report.There was a deficit for the year of £856.83 which had been partly planned because of a donation of £334.48 to the Village Hall relating to the Queen’s 90th birthday and Jubilee event.  There remained an operational deficit which would be rectified once a grant for Bugle printing had been settled. The total net assets at 21 August 2018 stood at £3309.24

Rona thanked Peter for both presenting and inspecting the accounts. There were no questions.

6. Election of Independent Examiner 

Peter Tacon again agreed to act as Independent Examiner.
Proposed:  Eileen Nisbet
Seconded: Liz Saxon
Unanimously agreed.

7. Election of Committee members  

 Janet Hickinbottom, as Joint Secretary, conducted this agenda item.

The constitution required that the officers and three committee members should stand down.  All the officers, Rona Taylor, Mary Webb, Janet Hickinbottom and Judi Hibberd and Dianne Adams were re-elected
Proposed: Alison
Seconded: Barbara Noronha
Unanimously agreed.

Three committee members also stood down and agreed to be re-elected: Andy Gibbs, Bron Putnam and Hilary Cox
Proposed: Peter Tacon
Seconded: Liz Saxon
Unanimously agreed.

Helen Hehir was nominated as a new committee member.
Proposed: Eileen Nisbet
Seconded: Hilary Cox
Unanimously agreed.

Trish Hancock had stood down from the committee during the year to take on the role of secretary to the wine club.  She was thanked for her contribution.

Janet explained that more residents were welcome to join the committee and could either declare their willingness during or after the meeting.

8. Discussion of key Burton Green issues

Village Hall update

Cheryl Wall, Chair of the Village Hall trustees, explained that the current big issue remained the new village hall. At long last the planning application was to be heard on October 9th. Cheryl would be speaking at the meeting. Once permission was granted, tenders could be issued for the building work. Questions were asked about the length of time the building work would take and when it was likely to start.  As the start date had already been delayed, there was uncertainty around this although the consultants had estimated six months to build. The lease on the current Village Hall would end in June 2019 but it was felt unrealistic that the build would have started before then.Another question related to the location of the entrance to the new hall.  This was just beyond the current footpath entrance.  A map would be made available at the Village Hall AGM in November. Currently plans could be viewed on WCC Planning website.

Three new Village Hall trustees would be sought in October 2019 when the term of office of some trustees would come to an end. Anyone who wanted to know what was involved should contact Cheryl.

Jill outlined the forthcoming Village hall events as follows:
October 13th: dancing to Off the Cuff with supper £15pp
October 28th: car boot sale with breakfast available
November 17th: Quiz Night with fish and chip supper £12.50pp

Rona thanked Cheryl and all the Village Hall residents for their hard work.

The Link Road

Andy Gibbs, with the aid of maps, outlined what was known about the proposed link road joining the A46 at Stoneleigh to the A452 near Balsall Common, or the A45. The official information provided by WCC is here: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/a46linkroad

The road would be important to local infrastructure with pressure of traffic from Warwick University, A46, A45, A452, Jaguar Landrover, Gaydon and Solihull and was supported by Coventry City Council as a relief road. It did not depend on HS2 but could help to provide access to a HS2 station.

Andy explained that the Phase 1 of the project related to a roundabout on A46 and this part of the scheme remained mainly uncontroversial. Phase 2 related to how the road would link to Westwood Heath and Phase 3 was the haziest and had most impact on Burton Green.  At various recent public consultations local council employees from WCC have denied the existence of any specific plans for the 3rd phase of this project passing through Burton Green. Under the Freedom of Information Act, Dr Thornton managed to obtain plans produced in 2016, and which had been labelled 'Highly Confidential'.

The Phase 3 Option 1 route passes across the area of the proposed Burrow Hill housing estate and the site of the new Village Hall. There had been speculation that the dual carriageway might run along the top of the HS2 cutting and certainly there was a likelihood of it following the line of HS2. But currently there was no certainty about where it might impact on Burton Green.

A question was asked whether the tunnel would be strong enough to support a dual carriageway. HS2 had said this was not part of their plans and would have cost implications.

Did the councillors present know any more?  They said they did not.

Even the plans for Phase 2 were fluid.It was generally agreed that many residents had resigned themselves to the coming of HS2 but could not stand the impact of a dual carriageway too and this would have a profound social impact on the village.

Santa’s Sleigh Charity

Four charities had been proposed as recipients of the donations on the night of the Santa Sleigh event.  These were:
Canley Community Centre
Coventry Boot Fund
Helen Ley Centre.Kenilworth
Helping Hands

Brief information was provided about each charity. Attendees were asked to complete slips to cast their votes.

Post meeting note: the majority of votes cast were for the Canley Community Centre.

9. Any Other Business 

Cllr Coker said this was the last time he would be attending the BGRA AGM in an official capacity as he would not be standing for re-election in 2019. He had always been proud to be included in Burton Green’s developments over the past 12 years and had fought against HS2 on our behalf. Rona thanked Michael for his loyal support, wisdom and judgement and he would be welcome to visit Burton Green and our events in the future.

Parish Councillor Taylor said there was some doubt about what was happening with HS2. A contact who was writing a report on behalf of Burton Green had exposed the spiralling cost of the railway to government. There had been a terrible lack of communication regarding HS2. He felt the great majority did not support HS2.

Rona thanked Hilary and especially Mary who was unable to attend but had insisted on helping with the refreshments.

10. Date of Next Annual General Meeting 

 The next Annual General Meeting would be held on September 30th, 2019 at the Village Hall.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Car Boot Sale 28th October (Burton Green)


Sunday 28th October 2018

Hodgetts Lane, CV8 1PH

Spaces available in car park @ £10 per car (NO VANS)
3 tables available inside for Table Top Sale @ £10 each

Cars and tables to be in situ by 8.30am ready to open by 9.00am


Car Park to be cleared by 12.00 midday

Enquiries to 0771794891

Thursday, 20 September 2018

HS2 Ground Surveys and Project Delays

Ground Surveys

HS2 will be undertaking 'Ground Surveys' (borehole drilling) commencing September 24th in fields off Crackley Lane and in Burton Green. The work will last for 6 weeks. HS2 will be working from a site at Westwood Heath.See this article in the Kenilworth Weekly News:

General information about ground surveys provided by HS2 is here:

Specific details about ground surveys in Burton Green are here and here (PDF files).

Road Closure

Cromwell Lane (presumably the section between the Bridge and Red Lane corner) will also be closed on Friday 5th October between 9.30am and 3.30pm. This is to enable tests involving ground penetrating radar.

Project Postponements

Construction work for HS2 (at the national level) had been planned to begin this November. The start has been postponed by 7 months. This is the second postponement to the start of construction.  HS2 euphemistically refers to this postponement as "additional time to optimise their designs".
"HS2 has pushed back the start date for its civils work, with construction now expected to commence more than seven months later than originally planned... This is HS2’s second change to the notice to proceed, with work having originally been scheduled to begin in November this year. The confirmation of the delay came in a response from transport minister Baroness Sugg to a question from Lord Berkeley. She said: “Following consideration of supplier feedback, the HS2 Ltd board has recently decided to move the date of notice to proceed from 1 March 2019 to 1 June 2019 in order to provide suppliers with additional time to optimise their designs.”"

Cost Uncertainties - Geological Factors

One reason for this setback would appear to be that the civil engineering contractors' projected costs were over budget. Part of the reason for the unexpected cost hike seems to be the uncertainty in the ground conditions.

"Leading geotechnical engineers have said that the cost of delivering HS2 could rise sharply as a result of the use of target cost contracts without geotechnical baseline reports (GBRs). One engineer, who has worked closely on the project, has suggested that the price rise resulting from the client effectively passing all risk to the contractor could be as much as 30%... which makes the project unaffordable and will result in delays."

HS2 seems to be anticipating that a better knowledge of the ground structure will enable a more accurate estimate of construction costs to be made, which they hope will bring the project back within budget.

Doubts About the Future of HS2

Civil engineering construction cannot begin until the project is given a 'Notice to Proceed'. The Notice to Proceed was originally planned for November 2018. It is now planned for June 2019. The construction phase of the project can be cancelled at any time until June 2019.

Despite the 7 month postponement to the start of construction, and the extended cancellation window, HS2 is claiming that the project will still go ahead and will still be delivered on time. Given that the timescale for the planning phase seems to have been overly optimistic, and neglected to allow 7 months for 'design optimisation' (a 50% time overrun), it is difficult to believe that the construction timescale was not also pie-in-the-sky.

Other Problems at the Department of Transport

Meanwhile, at the Department of Transport:
"Transport secretary Chris Grayling has recruited the former boss of British Airways to lead a review of the railways after presiding over a string of problems. Keith Williams, who left the airline in 2016, will chair a deep review that will cover both train operators and the track operator, Network Rail."

Or, as Harry Cole from The Sun put it:

The Need for an Intelligent Progressive Transport Policy

The following paragraph is not official government policy, nor Conservative Party policy. It comes from an article on the Conservative Home website:
"Develop a collective backbone, and scrap the £50-100 billion idiocy of High Speed 2 (HS2).  HS2 is nonsense and always has been. Return the money to the Treasury to fund other parts of the New Britain Agenda and invest in a Priority Projects Investment Fund throughout Britain.  Commit to break ground on HS3 (the high-speed northern link) and Crossrail 2 before the next election.  Revamp commuter lines into London, Manchester and Birmingham.  Prioritise the introduction of Mobile Block Signaling that allows more trains to run safely, especially on hard-pressed suburban routes.  Presume in favour of reopening old railway lines – and invest a decent chunk more in road and cycle routes while we’re at it.  Let’s show that we care about peoples’ daily transport dramas, and that we’re dealing with them now, not in 15 years’  time."
From here: