Friday, 22 June 2012

Action Mesothelioma Day 6 July 2012

On 6 July 2012, Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team and Mesothelioma UK are hosting an event at St Martin`s Cathedral, Leicester as part of Action Mesothelioma Day (AMD).

The theme of this year`s AMD is to call for a Global Ban on Asbestos, and this event, like the one in Derby earlier this year (see my article Reflection and Celebration of Life, this blog, 24 Feb 2012) will be entitled A Reflection and Celebration of Life.

For more information, please contact either Tracy Heseltine or Liz Darlison at Mesthelioma UK (

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Rambling On

Once again my copy of Nottinghamshire Walker lands on the doormat, and once again, it`s full of interesting things ;  details of Ramblers activities locally and nationally, an interesting article on local history (History Beneath our Feet by local  member  Linda Pitt), an account of a rally held locally to mark the first anniversary of the formation of Save our Forests and articles by guest contributors ( Cllr Bruce Laughton on Rights of Way and Steven Parkhouse, Chair of Friends of Kings Clipstone on The Kings Clipstone Project).

Speaking personally, I always like to read of local Ramblers activities in terms of grassroots campaigning and involvement with consultations etc. In this I am not alone - I seem to recall reading that the majority of paid-up Ramblers members  rarely if ever walk with their local group, which must obviously imply that they remain members to support the campaigning side of the organisation.

So let`s spare a thought for the hardworking individuals who give up their spare time to involve themselves in this way, and let`s have a quick look at some of the issues on the agenda locally at present.

Housing remains an issue and I understand that the Ramblers have objected to plans for four sites ; three on the grounds that they are open spaces (Henry Mellish Playing fields, an area of Broxtowe Country Park and Aspley Gardens) and a fourth (Jubilee Campus) on the grounds that it threatens a right of way, a listed building and a nature conservation area.

Mineral extraction remains an issue locally. A proposal for quarrying at Two Oaks Farm/Thieves Wood (in North Notts) is I believe uncontroversial, but the Ramblers are objecting to a plan for dolomite extraction at Holbeck which also involves limestone quarrying at Steetley and a clay quarry near Bilsthorpe. The reason for the objection is the impact on the countryside and in particular on historic Creswell Crags ( ).

The group has also attempted to reclaim four Lost Ways (historic paths) in the Besthorpe area. The County Council have accepted one of these claims but the other three have been rejected and are the subject of an appeal.

Elsewhere, relationships with the County Council have gone more smoothly, and the Ramblers have welcomed the news that the Council has purchased four former mineral railway lines (Bilsthorpe, Calverton, Cotgrave, Clipstone) which are to be opened up for use by walkers, riders and cyclists.

The group has also welcomed recent improvements and additions to the Rights of Way network in the Trent Valley and local groups will be involved with the Trent Vale Walking Festival (

That`s enough for now, but I hope these are of interest, even to those of you unfamiliar with the area. Reactions to the Ramblers` style of campaigning can vary wildly (too radical ? Not radical enough ?) but in my view they normally get the balance about right.

For more information, visit




Monday, 18 June 2012

Commonwealth Writers

As you may know, this year`s Commonwealth Short Story Prize was won by New Zealand`s Emma Martin for her story Two Girls in a Boat.

The way the Commonwealth Writer`s Prizes* work, is that there are a five regional winners (the regions in question are Africa, Asia, Canada/Europe, The Caribbean and The Pacific) . Of these, one is then selected to be the overall winner.

One imagines Ms Martin must be deeply chuffed to be this year`s overall winner, which is no small achievement.

Those nice people at Granta have put all five of the regional winners online, and they can be viewed here ;

More information on the Commonwealth Writer`s Prizes can be found at ;


 * The 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize was won by Sri Lanka`s Shehan Karunatilaka for Chinaman : The Legend of Pradeep Mathew.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Mr Whitehead`s Ghosts

Andrew Whitehead is a journalist, historian and collector, connected with the History Workshop website.

I might never have hear of Mr W except that someone I know had a couple of reviews posted on that site and I decided to check them out.

With one thing and another, I got sidetracked and ended up finding these rather excellent items posted online by this Whitehead chappy, who seems to be a denizen of some place called London ;

The Ghosts of Junction Road - 17 Feb 2012 and

Redfern`s Rubber Mats - 22 May 2012, both at

And also ;

A Tale of Two Shop Signs - 19 Feb 2012 at .

I don`t specially have anything witty or unusual to say about these, but I thought they were so good they were worth sharing.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Matlock Bath Grand Pavilion to Host Wildlife Photography Exhibition

This rather fetching little character reaches us with the excellent news that Matlock Bath Grand Pavilion will be hosting the Wildlife Photographer of the Year touring exhibition during the period 14 July - 2 Sept 2012.

It`s apt that this venue should be hosting an event aimed in part at encouraging an interest in wildlife as the Mat Bath Grand Pav itself was at one time looking rather endangered.

Thankfully, it`s cause is being championed by a determined group of local people intent on restoring the building to it`s former glory.

To learn more, see my article of a few days ago at .

Avarice and Greed

I like to introduce an element of avarice and greed into proceedings now and again, so in a spirit of naked self-interest, perhaps I could mention that this month`s Hoonaloon Books newsletter is now online and can be found at

Quotation Station

Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation.

Jane Addams

Saturday, 2 June 2012

A Dagger in the Library

The Crime Writers Association `Dagger in the Library Award` (formerly known as the `Golden Handcuffs`) is one of a number of awards given by that organisation as it seeks to propogate a taste for mystery and murder among the populace.

The award has certain distinctive qualities that set it apart from the others.

As the title would imply, the award is given to crime writers nominated by library users and chosen by a panel of librarians.

It is given to the "living author who has given the most pleasure to readers". However, that has been refined over the years and the award is now given not to the authors of bestsellers, but to up and coming authors and/or library favourites who are felt to deserve wider recognition. The award is given for the author`s work taken as a whole and not for one individual title.

 The flyer reproduced above relates to a planned Dagger in the Libray event in Heanor, Derbyshire on 5 July, but no doubt other libraries will be hosting their own events at round about the same time.

Regular visitors to this blog and to The Sexton Blake Blog will no doubt be aware of my fondness for literary criminality so I`m happy to give this award a plug.

Further info ;