Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Radio Verulam Festive Film Guide - Friday 23rd December 2011

Ho, ho, ho! For this festive edition, Chris Aikman joined regular hosts Simon Carver & Danny Smith in discussing Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  They also looked back over the films of 2011 and ahead to some of the big releases of 2012.

The following are Simon & Danny's recommendations for films on free-to-air TV over the festive period:

Friday 23rd December
The Fog
3.30am – 5.05pm

Christmas Eve
The Muppet Christmas Carol
12pm - 1:40pm
Channel 4

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
5:50pm - 8pm

7.15pm – 9.20pm

Christmas Day
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
1.10pm – 3.20pm

5:20pm - 7:15pm
Channel 4

The Towering Inferno
1.35am – 4.20am

Boxing Day
The Wizard of Oz
5.10pm – 7.05pm
Channel 5

The Guardian
12.15am – 2.30am

Cat People
1.10am – 2.20am

2.05am – 4.10am

Tuesday 27th December
Marley and Me

Tropic Thunder
10.45pm – 12.25am

I Walked with a Zombie
1.30am – 2.35am

Wednesday 28th December
Star Trek – First Contact
1.50pm – 4.00pm
Channel 4

6.55pm – 9.00pm

Thursday 29th December
The Railway Children
10.25am – 1.00pm

Superman Returns
3.35pm – 6pm

Dorian Gray
9.00pm – 11.10pm
Channel 4

Friday 30th December
Sky High
10.20am – 11.55am

10.35pm – 12.15am

New Year’s Eve
Rear Window
10.00am – 12.15pm

The Queen
4.05pm – 6.05pm

New Year’s Day
The Bridge on the River Kwai
9.45am – 12.50pm
Channel 4

Licence to Kill
11.00am – 1.30pm

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
2.50pm – 5.05pm

Monday 2nd January 2012
2.20pm – 4.35pm

Tuesday 3rd January
1.55pm – 4.00pm
Channel 4

The following were not discussed on the podcast but are Danny’s choices for the remainder of the week:

Wednesday 4th January
11.45pm - 1.45am

Thursday 5th January
10.35pm - 12.40am

Friday 6th January
The Manchurian Candidate
9pm - 11.25pm

The Film Guide will be back on Friday 6th January 2012 at 6.30pm GMT on 92.6FM Radio Verulam and online at

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Miss 600 on the show!

On tonight's show Danny was joined on the phone by Hannah, one half of the very talented Miss 600, who spoke about all the exciting things that the band had experienced since they were last on Radio Verulam. Hannah, who was sitting her A-Levels during the summer, has experienced great success in 2011 as part of Miss 600, having appeared on BBC shows with Chris Evans and Terry Wogan, as well as appearing on 'Dancing with the Stars' in Poland.

Hannah was delightful and engaging and willing to put a brave face on during Danny's flirting! If you want to know more about the band then you can visit their website here and if you missed the interview then you will be able to hear it on 'Listen Again' soon.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Interview with George Dunn, Author of 'From the Valleys to Verulamium'

Local author of the popular and fast selling autobiography 'From the Valleys to Verulamium' gave us a moment of his time this evening to talk about his book. George Dunn describes his life from a young boy growing up in the small Welsh mining village of Blaina, through the experiences of the second world war and to how he came to live in St Albans, with his family.

Interestingly, George never initially intended to write a novel!! He's focused his autobiography around his memories of growing up during the First World War and his time during the Second World War when he was conscripted which includes all the vivid stories and emotions that went hand in hand with this timely period.

Highly recommended for history buffs, people with interest in the local area, the Second World War and autobiographies. To buy the book, head to:

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Tuesday Recipe Spot – Easy Christmas Biscuits - Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson

Tuesday Recipe Spot – Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson
My motto has always been 'Never trust a skinny cook!' I do like to share recipes that I know work for me. They are not necessarily of my invention – but I will always give you the origin and maybe the story behind them! These recipes are relatively easy to make – hence the title, Faff-Free Cooking. I have given quantities in ounces as well for those of you who still like to know stuff 'in old money!'
So today's treat is …. Easy Christmas Biscuits – spicy and nice
225g/8oz self raising flour
115g/4oz caster sugar (Golden would be nice)
115g/4oz butter cut into small pieces
1 egg – beaten
½ tsp each of ground cinnamon, ginger and mixed spice

1, In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar and spices.
2, Add the butter and rub in with your fingers so the mix looks breadcrumbs
3, Add the beaten egg and mix into a dough, knead lightly and place in cling film in the fridge for 30 mins. It will roll out a lot easier if you do this.
4, Roll out onto a floured surface and cut into festive shapes. You can do this freehand but cookie cutters are easier to use.
5, Place onto baking trays that have been lightly greased and bake in a pre heated oven at 170C/gas 4 for about 15 mins until golden brown.
6, Leave to cool on a wire rack and decorate with a dusting of icing sugar, coloured icing pens – I used edible glitter on mine in the picture.

Save one for Father Christmas!

Exclusive Interview with Miss 600 this Thursday!!!

This Thursday we're very, very, very excited to have Miss 600 back on the show for an exclusive interview. Tune in to hear the latest on releases, gigs and what the band is up to. We'll be updated with everything that the band has been up to in the last year and how life's been treating them since performing live on our show in the Summer. Not to mention, you'll be able to listen to more of that chemistry between Hannah and Danny...

Monday, 19 December 2011

St Albans Centre For Voluntary Services/Dragons Apprentice

This evening on the show we were joined by Susanannah Redmayne and Rose Steggles from St Albans Girls School and Michelle Hart from St Albans Council For Voluntary Services.
Susannah and Rose are from team "Switch" of the Dragons Apprentice competition and are part of an eight strong team raising funds for the St Albans & District Council For Voluntary Services. They are raising money by selling xmas fudge, jars of sweets and hampers which are available from the CVS in Catherine Street.
Tomorrow [20th December] the whole team + helpers will be bag packing at Waitrose supermarket in Welwyn Garden City. To date the team have raised £360 and the contest runs until 31st January.
Full details can be found at the CVS web site

For those of you who would like to volunteer in the local community over the xmas period , Centre 33 in Spicer Street and Open Door in Bricket Road are both offering oppurtunities and details can be found at the following links;

Sunday, 18 December 2011

This Week's Featured Track: Miss 600 - Typically Me

Hi Drivetimers

This week's featured track is the latest offering from friends of the show Miss 600.  It is called "Typically Me" and is rather good - enjoy!

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - Friday 16th December 2011

Simon and Danny discussed the UK cinema top 10 and the week's new releases: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

The following are Simon's picks for the best films on free-to-air TV in the coming week:



9.00pm - 11.25pm

Channel 5


The Dirty Dozen

9.00pm – 12.00am



Star Trek

9.00pm – 11.20pm




9.00pm – 11.25pm



Groundhog Day

8.00pm - 10.00pm



The Class

9.00pm – 11:35pm


Santa Special Trains!

Tonight we were joined on the show by John Webster from ABFLY (The Abbey Flyer Users' Group) who told us all about the Santa Special Trains on the Abbey Flier this coming Saturday (17th December). Parents and children will be able to meet Santa himself on the trains leaving St. Albans at 10:07am and 12:22pm and the train leaving Watford 10:31am

Even if you don't get to meet Santa himself there will be elves handing out goody-bags, face-painters and balloon sculptors. The price for the event is just a ticket to ride on the train so an adult return from St.Albans is £4.50, children from 5-15 are £2.25 and under-5s travel free.

For more information on ABFLY you can visit their website here and if you want to learn more about
The Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership then you can read about it here.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Gale from Turin Brakes on Drivetime - Listen Again

On yesterday's show we were joined by Gale Paridjanian from the band Turin Brakes.  Gale and Danny talked about their new EP Xerox and the single Chim Chim Cher-ee.  Proceeds from the sale of the song are being dontated to homeless shelters in the UK & US.  To purchase the song, click here.

To listen to the interview, click below:

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tuesday Recipe Spot – Superb Sausage Rolls!– Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson

My motto has always been 'Never trust a skinny cook!' I do like to share recipes that I know work for me. They are not necessarily of my invention – but I will always give you the origin and maybe the story behind them! These recipes are relatively easy to make – hence the title, Faff-Free Cooking.

So, today’s treat is Superb Sausage rolls – Ho, ho ho!

Easy to make and freeze when you want a little something at Chrimbo!


Pack ready made, ready rolled puff pastry (size of pastry sheet should be 350mm x 230mm)

6 large sausages – (I used Cumberland)

A small apple, finely chopped

½ onion, finely chopped

A few fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

Pinch Mace

Salt and Black pepper

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

Beaten egg

1, Gently cook in a knob of butter, the finely chopped onion, apple, and Sage until soft but not brown and add the Mace, salt and pepper. Mix in the wholegrain mustard and leave to cool.

2, Remove the skins from the sausages and mix the sausage meat with the cooled onion mixture.

3, Place the pastry sheet on a floured surface and cut the pastry rectangle in half horizontally to make two smaller rectangles.

4, With floured hands, roll a long 'sausage' shape with half of the filling and place along the top of the pastry rectangle. Moisten the bottom edge of the rectangle with beaten egg and roll it all towards you (like a Swiss roll) to seal the edge of the long sausage roll. Repeat with the other half of the filling and pastry.

5, Brush the tops with beaten egg to glaze and cut into inch and a half pieces. Place on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 20 mins until golden brown.


Christmas Travel Feature with Andy Jarosz

So it's only 12 days 'til Christmas!!! And what a perfect Christmas treat it'd be to head off for a few nights to Europe in order to prolong the Christmas season and vibe?!

Our Travel Correspondent, Andy Jarosz updated us on his recent excursion to Bratislava and Budapest. Andy scoured the markets of Bratislava and Budapest where he thoroughly enjoyed the genuine, local and charming Christmas markets. Warm alcoholic beverages aside, the market sold a range of items and goods from local crafts to all sorts of foodstuffs. Meanwhile, the cities themselves which hosted the sites contained interesting architecture, cheap local transport, temperatures which equate those here and lovely restaurants.

So if you are considering either the culturally invigorating visit to a central European city or fancy setting further afield to watch the northern lights in the Scandinavian lands of Norway and Iceland, Andy gave us some very knowledgeable advice when it comes to traveling over the Holiday season;

  1. Be patient and considerate when it comes to weather. We never know what the weather is going to do tomorrow in West Herts, yet alone in Oslo next Sunday. So if there's the threat of bad weather then consider your options about going and whether it is even worth it, especially if it's only for a quick trip.
  2. Allow for time, time and some more time!!! Queues at the airport (COUGH-Heathrow-COUGH) and especially on the roads can be sloooooow. The 23rd December is notoriously known for being one of the busiest days to travel in the UK. So allow for plenty of time when getting from A to B.
  3. Be aware that hotels, even more so abroad, rack up their prices over the holiday season such as for new years. So be prepared to spend a bit more.
So, with flights out of Luton London Airport from £20-£30 each way to Central Europe (and for a bit more to Norway and Iceland) why not head off for a short trip? Alterntively, dont forget that St Albans has its very own traditional market on every Wedsnesday, Saturday and every day from the 18th December until the 24th.

For more information on Andy's most recent trip, then head to his website at:

Monday, 12 December 2011

Citizens Advice Bureau

Our guest this evening was Elizabeth Crampton from the Citizens Advice Bureau, Elizabeth offered the following advice for xmas;
Christmas is a really fun time but it doesn’t come without its challenges. Battling through the crowds and trying to remember who to buy for are just some of the hurdles that shoppers have to jump. But shoppers can also be caught out if they don’t know their rights, and mounting costs can leave some people with a new year debt hangover.

Make a budget and stick to it

Think about who you are buying for, what other seasonal spends you have, and how much you can afford. If you find that you have too many presents to buy and not enough money then why not agree with some friends or family not to buy gifts and instead plan to do an activity together in 2012.
Check the size before you buy

If you’re buying clothes or shoes for someone, try to find out their size beforehand. If you can’t do that discreetly and don’t want to give the game away by asking … check if the shop or seller would be happy to swap it. Remember: you don’t have a right to just change your mind and nor does the person you gave the gift to.

Keep the receipt in case it needs to be returned
If there is a problem with the gift and it needs to be returned, the shop will usually want to see the receipt to prove that it was bought at that store. Remember, if you pay by card then any refund usually goes back on that card, but you can ask if the shop will allow you to transfer your rights along with the gift.

Armchair shoppers get a seven day cooling off period

When you buy gifts online, over the phone, through a catalogue or TV shopping channel it is called ‘distant selling’. You haven’t been able to check out the product yourself and are relying on a picture or description so you get a seven day cooling off period (from the day after it’s delivered), to change your mind and send it back. So don’t just put items away to wrap up later – check them carefully as soon as they arrive.

For more details about these items and further advice on all other matters go to the web site

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Interview with Katie Cole - Listen Again

On the show today we were thrilled to be joined via Skype by Katie Cole, LIVE in LA!  Katie's current song "Found You" is this week's drivetime featured track and came out on Monday.

To hear the interview again, click below:

Friday, 9 December 2011

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - Friday 9th December 2011

Simon and Danny discussed the UK cinema top 10 and the week's new releases: New Year's Eve and Puss in Boots.

The following are Simon's picks for the best films on free-to-air TV in the coming week:


28 Weeks Later

10.00pm - 12.00am



Vicky Cristina Barcelona

9.00pm – 11.00pm

Channel 4



9.30pm – 11.50pm



Hot Fuzz

11.20pm – 1.40am



Heavenly Creatures





11.55pm – 1:20am


Katie Cole - Live from Los Angeles!

Tonight Danny was joined on the show (via Skype) by singer-songwriter Katie Cole. Katie is currently in Los Angeles and she's a favourite of the Drivetime team because she had visited us in the studio and performed her music for us live.

Katie spoke about her travels around America, recording her new album and where she'll be spending Christmas. Needless to say, there was plenty of flirting and Katie promised to visit us again soon in the future!

If you want to find out more about Katie, follow her on various social media sites or hear some of her music then you can visit her website here.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Interview with Joe Heeney from Resolve

Tonight Danny was joined on the phone by Joe Heeney from Resolve who spoke about the local Dragons Apprentice challenges. Resolve are a group that provide counselling and help for drug and alcohol problems and are working with a group called Identity from Onslow St. Audreys School.

Identity are putting on a Dance-a-thon on Saturday 21st January but before that they're doing a flash mob outside the Howard Centre in Welwyn Garden City so if you want to go along it will be between 1pm - 2pm on 1pm Saturday 7th January. For more information go to the Resolve website here.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Claudia Morris

This evening we had the pleasure of Jazz singer Claudia Morris and her guitar accompanist, Al.

Her album 'Twelve O'clock Tales' is available now both online and in stores. If you fancy seeing her live then head to her website ( or facebook page ( to find out more details for when Claudia is performing both locally and further afield.

'Messy' Church!!

On this cold and December afternoon, we were joined with Simon Carver, our film buff and the Minister for Dagnall Street Baptist Church to discuss 'Messy Church'.

This new initiative began in Portsmouth and has since spread like wildfire across the country. The aim is to bring families and extended families together in a religious atmosphere to work on arts and crafts, through music or by playing games. In a time where families are seemingly spending less and less time together, a Sunday service may not be the easiest way for families to spend time together or/and in the presence of God. As a result, this active and hands-on involvement with the local parish and community enables families to spend more time together. 'Messy Church' allows different age groups to come together from young children to Grandparents, elder siblings, cousins and parents alike under one roof and to get involved in activities.

Simon explained how this coming Saturday (10th December 2011) from 9:15am-11:45am the Church will be hosting it's 'Messy Christmas'. Families can arrive to have breakfast, participate in multiple craft activities, play games and sing songs together. And all with a Christmas theme!!! So come on down, or head to the Dagnall Street website ( to find out more information.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tuesday Recipe Spot – Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson

Tuesday Recipe Spot – Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson

My motto has always been 'Never trust a skinny cook!' I do like to share recipes that I know work for me. They are not necessarily of my invention – but I will always give you the origin and maybe the story behind them! These recipes are relatively easy to make – hence the title, Faff-Free Cooking.'

So today's treat is …. Jamaican Rum Ginger cake – just what we need to warm us up!


75g butter or margarine

125g dark muscovado sugar

220g Golden Syrup

80g black treacle

100ml dark rum (or orange juice for teetotallers)

2 beaten eggs

225g self raising flour

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground ginger

pinch salt

75g stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped

1, Put the butter or margarine, sugar, treacle and Golden Syrup into a saucepan and melt together gently and leave to cool, then mix in the rum followed by the beaten eggs.

2, Pre heat your oven to 180C/gas 4 and grease a 2lb/1 litre loaf tin and line the base with baking parchment.

3, In a large mixing bowl sift the flour, mixed spice, ginger and salt and make a well in the centre.

4, Add the mixture from the pan and mix together until smooth and stir in the chopped ginger.

5, Pour the mixture in the prepared baking tin and bake for 50 mins until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

6, Leave to cool in the tin. This cake will keep for about a week in an airtight container.

You can also serve this cake warm with a bit of custard too! Irie!!!!!!

Tourism Feature with Charles Baker from St Albans Tourism

Today on WHD our guest was Charles Baker from St Albans Tourism who gave us the 'heads up' on what's on in the run up to Christmas.

Christmas lights are well and truly on all over the district and there is late night shopping every Thursday in St Albans City Centre until 9pm, along with a market 4pm - 9pm every Thursday too!

Charles told us about the new 'Peace Tree' by the War memorial on St Peters Street where you can leave messages and prayers for loved ones.

For all tourism information go to

Monday, 5 December 2011

Be A Music Video Star With West Herts Drivetime

YOU can be one of the stars in Katie Cole's new music video for the song Found You.  Katie has asked us to pass on this message to our listeners:

"If you would like your video to be edited into the final video version of FOUND YOU, then all you need to do is record a video of anything you like. Simple! Could be you finding the milk at the back of the fridge, walking down the street or a your cat/dog. I don’t care as long as it comes from you!!"

For more information, check out her website

This Week's Featured Track: Katie Cole - Found You

Hi Drivetimers

This week's featured track is by friend of the show Katie Cole and is called Found You.  We will also be playing her version of the Christmas classic Silent Night.  Enjoy!

Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Sarah Buckingham from the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust joined us on the show this evening, she told us about Petition Fish which is a campaign urging ministers to create 127 Marine Conservation Zones, full details can be found at

Saving Our Wildlife

Wildlife-rich areas in England equivalent to four and a half times the area of Greater London1 could be at greater risk under the new planning system, according to The Wildlife Trusts.
The Government has now published an overhaul of the planning system in a National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which sets out ‘national priorities and rules’ within a more simple system which ‘safeguards the environment while meeting the need for sustainable growth’.
However, The Wildlife Trusts warn that any dilution of recognition, value and protection of Local Wildlife Sites will have dire long-term consequences for local communities and wildlife.
Full details can be found at the trust web site

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - Friday 2nd December 2011

Simon and Danny discussed the UK cinema top 10 and the week's new releases: Happy Feet Two, Hugo, The Big Year and The Thing.

The following are Simon's picks for the best films on free-to-air TV in the coming week:



9.00pm - 11.45pm




9.00pm – 10.50pm

Channel 4


While You Were Sleeping

9.00pm – 11.15pm



Lethal Weapon

10.30pm – 12.45am



Erin Brockovich

9.00pm – 11:40pm

Channel 5


Enter the Dragon

10.00pm – 12.10am


Thursday, 1 December 2011

Dragon's Apprentice - Sandringham School

Tonight we were joined in the studio by Emma and Katie who told us all about their efforts to raise money through their Dragon's Apprentice challenge. The charity they are representing is the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust and they are holding a charity vintage fashion show on Tuesday 6th December at the Sandpit Theatre at Sandringham School.

For more information you can visit their Facebook page here and to buy tickets you can go to the Sandpit Theatre website here.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Interior Design feature with Gwendoline Alderton of G.A. Interiors

Today on WHD we welcomed Gwendoline Alderton of G.A. Interiors and the topic this week was - The kitchen!

One of the big questions in kitchen planning is "where do I start?" - Gwendoline says to remember 'form before function'. Think what you will actually be doing in your kitchen. Will it be more multipurpose with a utility room, breakfast bar etc?

Think about the 'kitchen triangle' with each point of the triangle represented by sink, oven and fridge. The idea is to have the least possible space between them to make jobs easier in the kitchen.

Also think whether you want a traditional kitchen with lots of wood or a contemporary kitchen with granite worktops and high gloss units. Lighting is very important so think about 'task lighting' i.e. lights under worktops.

To find out more details go to

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Monthly Travel Interview with Andy Jarosz

This afternoon we had the pleasure of Andy Jarosz' company. He shared with us his wise knowledge on all things travel and what we can expect in December.

With Christmas creeping up on us, everyone is migrating to the shops. Many UK cities set up their own European or German Markets selling trinkets, food and drink. Why not though experience the real thing and go for a city break in the run up to Christmas to buy up some more unusual and cultured gifts? Flights to Budapest, Prague and Bratislava for example are extremely cheap and readily available from many budget airlines. If you want to really step up your game, then why not head over to New York City for a cheeky Christmas Shop?

For a real Christmas fuelled trip, then head North. Lapland is an obvious choice for this time of the year. Meet Santa, ride sleighs, play in the snow and hang out with reindeer and huskies. The Northern Lights are also notably, at their most dazzling this and next year so it couldn't be a better time to go! If Lapland doesn't tickle your fancy then how does Scandinavian neighbours, Norway, Sweden or Denmark sound for a festive trip?

Alternatively, if the thought of those twinkly lights give you a bit of a headache then why not opt for a sun filled, tranquil trip to the Canary Islands? Fuerteventura and Tenerife are still currently about 20 degrees. Morocco also offers a cultural filled and relatively close-by break where you can still be guaranteed some sun.


As of April 2012 there is going to be increased tax on flights of around £5-6. So for those who have already booked flights post April, you could potentially face an additional tax.

The Border control staff at London airports are going on strike as of tomorrow (30/11/2011). This is thought to have delays amounting to 12 hours and to make most impact at Heathrow. So check with your airline before flying, check on behalf of others if you're going to pick up anyone and if you can avoid flying into the UK tomorrow, then do.

Thanks to Andy for his time and knowledge!

Tuesday Recipe Spot – Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson

My motto has always been 'Never trust a skinny cook!' I do like to share recipes that I know work for me. They are not necessarily of my invention – but I will always give you the origin and maybe the story behind them! These recipes are relatively easy to make – hence the title, Faff-Free Cooking.
So, today’s treat is Cheddar, Chilli,Sweetcorn and Spring Onion Cornbread
A lovely savoury 'cake'

125g Cornmeal (Polenta)
125g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 eggs
1 tablespoon honey
150g plain yoghurt
150ml milk
25g butter - melted
50g each of grated cheddar cheese and cooked sweetcorn
6 spring onions and 1 de-seeded chopped red chilli.

1, Preheat the oven to 220c/gas7 and grease a 23cm square baking tin (needs to be 4cm deep)
2, Gently fry the sliced spring onions, chopped chilli and sweetcorn until soft.
3, In a large bowl mix together the cornmeal,grated cheese, flour, baking powder, salt and bicarb. Make a well in the middle.
4, Whisk together the eggs, honey, yoghurt, milk and melted butter and pour into the dry ingredients and mix in. Add the cooked spring onion mixture.
5, Quickly pour the batter into the baking tin and bake for 20 mins until golden. Place the tin on a wire rack and leave to cool for a few mins before cutting the bread into squares.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Business Link

This evening we heard from Roma Bhowmick formerly of Business Link.
Roma told us of new business incentives being introduced for small firms and full details can be found at the web site

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - Friday 25th November 2011

Simon & Danny had a look at the UK cinema box office top 10 and discussed the new releases; 50/50, Dream House and My Week With Marilyn.

The following are Simon's choices of the best films on free-to-air TV for the next seven days:

From Russia With Love
10.00pm - 12.25am

The Omen
9.00pm – 11.10pm

An Officer and a Gentleman
11.05pm – 1.20am
Channel 4

10.00pm – 12.10am
Channel 5

Lost Horizon
12.20am – 2.20am

Meet the Parents
10.00pm – 11:40pm

9.00pm – 11.45pm

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Harpenden Ladies' Circle Fundraiser

This evening Danny interviewed the very pleasant Olivia and Victoria from the Harpenden Ladies Circle. The Circle offers friendship, fun and are constantly busying themselves with fundraising events to help out local and national charities. They endeavour to raise money for as many different charities as possible and so, constantly keep their causes on the move.

The Circle has an upcoming fundraiser at Harpenden Public Hall this Friday and Saturday in cause for Grove House Hospice and also for Children with Cancer. The event will be hosting around 50 stalls selling everything you could need for Christmas gifts and stocking fillers alongside cake. Lots and lots of cake. So head down on either Friday or Saturday to fill your boots.

Tickets are available on the door for £2 entry or alternatively, grab some tickets at Topkins Pharmacy on Station Road in Harpenden for a bargain at £1.50.

Monday, 21 November 2011

St Albans CVS

Michelle Hart from the Centre for Voluntary Services was the guest on this evenings show, she told us about the following events and opportunities;

Mayor’s Pride Awards 2012
The Mayor’s Pride Awards will be back at the Alban Arena on 26 April 2012. Organised and delivered by St Albans City & District Council, in association with The Herts Advertiser and St
Albans CVS, the initiative exists to recognise and reward residents and groups for outstanding contributions to the community.

Volunteering for Shopmobility
Polite enthusiastic people are needed to help Shopmobility. You do not need any experience, as full training will be given. No physical lifting is involved. Some volunteers have disabilities themselves.
Volunteering is a great way to get out of the house and socialise. Your travel expenses will be paid. Even if you cannot commit to regular hours trained volunteers are needed that can fill in occasionally to cover regular volunteers on leave.

Xmas Volunteering
There are a number of opportunities to volunteer during the Xmas period and these and all the other information from the CVS can be found at their web site

Friday, 18 November 2011

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - Friday 18th November 2011

On this week's show Simon Carver and Danny Smith looked at the new releases The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and Justice.

Simon recommended the following films on free-to-air TV for the next 7 days:

Shakespeare in Love
11.05pm - 1.30am

9.00pm – 11.20pm
Channel 4

The Incredibles
7.10pm – 9.00pm

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
9.00pm – 11.10pm

9.00pm – 10:50pm

Nowhere Boy
9.00pm – 10.50pm

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Do You Have Memories Of The Odeon Cinema, London Road?

This evening we spoke to Anna Reynolds of the Odeon Journey project, this is a Heritage Lottery Fund project in collaboration with St Albans Civic Society, St Albans Museum, St Albans Arts Sport and Health (SAASH) and the Odyssey Cinema,and centres around peoples memories of the former Odeon cinema on London Road.
The project is collecting the memories on sound/film and by email and particularly keen to hear of handed down stories about the cinema from the 1920's/1930's or from anyone who worked there. The project will be exhibited at the Musuem of St Albans in the spring of 2012, and you get invloved this Saturday , the 19th November between 12 noon and 3.00pm by attending the museum in Hatfield Road where peoples accounts will filmed and dramatised.

Full details can be found at the web site or by emailing your acount to

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

November Interview with Mark Clementson

This afternoon Danny interviewed Mark Clementson, our very own Verulam Writers Circle correspondent. Mark gave us the low down on what November is all about for those who are more creatively inclined. Apparently, November isn't all about growing facial hair for Mo-vember. O No. November is apparently a great month for those who want to write. Whether you sit down and just free write or use spider diagrams to plan out a complicated plot... Whichever way you like to write, the Verulam writer's circle is all encompassing for all approaches and abilities of writers.

Mark explained how sitting down and thinking about what you're going to write or how isnt always the best approach to writing. Sometimes you need to just "sit down and write". So there's no better time to get involved with the circle.

Why not sign up for the annual 'Get Writing' conference which is occurring on the 11th February at the University of Hertfordshire. The day will include guest speakers, lunch and workshops to improve your writing or give you the opportunity to meet some people from the industry. Just head to and hit the 'Get Writing' link on the left hand side to find out more and sign up for a day of creativity.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Team Nebula from Dragons' apprentice

This afternoon we were joined in the studio by Sixth Formers Holiday Bannister and Harry Birch from St Georges School in Welwyn Garden City. The two were representing their 7-man team 'Nebular' which is competing in part of the in-school competition 'Dragons' Apprentice.' The aim of the project is to combine a charity, business mentor and school students to do their part for the community.

The entrepreneurial youngsters hope to raise £2000 through a variety of money making ideas including the hugely popular 'Y Factor' this Thursday, a talent show featuring musicians, dancers and magicians at St Georges School which will be judged by celebrity guests X-Factor star Beverly Trotman and Charlie Simpson's band member Andrew Balkwill. There's also a proposed and innovative 'positive thought a day' app for smart phones under development. All money raised is to go to 'Youth Talk', a charity which provides a counseling service for young people aged 14-25 in the St Albans area which councils in any worries or problems.

Radio Verulam follows the team (and all other competing teams as part of the Dragons' Apprentice) with much interest and wish them all the best luck. Head to for more information regarding the charity involved in the Dragons' Apprentice and all the projects that they're a part of. Alternatively head to in order to keep up to date with all the Dragons' Apprentice projects.

This Week's Featured Track: Caro Emerald - Stuck

Our drivetime featured track for the week is Stuck by Caro Emerald - enjoy!

Playlist w/c 15th November 2011

Hi Drivetimers

Here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Adele - Turning Tables / Rumour Has It
Amy Winehouse - Our Day Will Come
Beyoncé - Love On Top
Caro Emerald - Stuck

Ed Sheeran - Lego House
Erasure - Be With You
Glen Campbell - Any Trouble
James Morrison- Up (feat. Jessie J)
Jon Allen - Lucky I Guess
Kate Bush - Wild Man
Katy Perry - The One That Got Away
Lana Del Rey - Video Games
Manic Street Preachers - This Is The Day
Matt Cardle - Starlight
Nickelback - When We Stand Together
Nick Howard - Days Like These
Osmo - Heaven Or Hell
Rebecca Ferguson - Nothing's Real But Love
Seal - Wishing On A Star
Snow Patrol - This Isn't Everything You Are
Status Quo - Better Than That
Take That - Eight Letters
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga - The Lady Is A Tramp
Westlife - Lighthouse
Will Young - Come On

Items in BOLD are new additions

See you on the air!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Elizabeth Crampton from the Citizens Advice Bureau

Tonight Elizabeth joined us for her monthly advice slot where she talked about writing wills, the importance of checking your credit record and what to do if you receive tax letters from HMRC.

Elizabeth informed us that November is 'Write a will month' and encouraged anyone who hadn't written a will to think about doing so. It's important because there are strict rules about inheritance which may mean that money does not go to who you would like it to if you do not have a will. Many people are put off making one because they think it's quite a morbid thing or that it's expensive to do. Elizabeth says that it needn't be that expensive and you can actually download the forms and do your own but does recommend getting it checked by a solicitor. This month the charity 'Will Aid' are running a campaign where a solicitor will draw up a will for you in exchange for a donation, more information is available on their website: More information about making a will can be found at

Elizabeth discussed the increase there has been in the number of people being turned down for loans and credit cards. For some people it's not clear why they have been turned down but there could be a number of reasons including how good their credit rating is. There are three credit rating organisations who provide banks and other lenders with information about your credit record they are: equifax, experian and call credit. You can apply to see your credit record from any of these agencies online or by writing to them which will cost you £2. If you have a low credit rating or you have a limited credit history there are things you can do to build a better one such as applying for a contract mobile phone and avoiding making lots of applications for credit in quick succession.

The final issue Elizabeth discussed was tax letters which Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have been issuing people saying that they are either owed an income tax rebate or owe tax to the government. Elizabeth advises anyone who is told they owe HMRC money to check the information very carefully and comparing it with their earnings. If you do find any problems than you should contact HMRC as soon as possible. If you owe less than £3,000 it is possible that you can arrange to pay this back with an adjustment to your tax code. And she advises anyone that feels they will really struggle to pay the money back that they may be able to negotiate better repayment turns under hardship rules. Anyone who is retired and has an income of less than £17,000 can get help from 'Tax Help for Older People' on 0845 601 3321.

Eizabeth will join us again on 13 December.

Friday, 11 November 2011

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - Friday 11th November 2011

On this week's Film Guide, Simon Carver and Danny Smith discussed the new releases Arthur Christmas, Immortals, The Awakening and The Rum Diary.  Simon also reviewed Machine Gun Preacher and The Adventures of Tintin:  The Secret of the Unicorn.

The following are Simon's choices of films on free-to-air TV for the next 7 days:

Deep Impact
11.30pm - 1.20am

Let the Right One In
11.30pm – 1.40am
Channel 4

This Happy Breed
5.05pm – 7.15pm

The Conversation
11.15pm  - 1.25am

11.00pm – 12.45am

11.10pm – 1:00am

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Quality time with John Stephenson

This afternoon, we were joined by John Stephenson, the host of Radio Verulam's Friday Focus. A show which covers news and current affairs.

John wanted to tell us more about the upcoming 'Your Questions' event on the 15th November whereby a panel of local professionalise who appear in the public eye are put to the test by you, the local resident. These individuals have either a direct or huge influence on the control of our local community and it is through their participation on the panel that those of you who want answers or an impact will get your views heard or answered. The panel shall consist of; Journalist Matt Adams, County Cllr Derrick Ashley, District Cllr Beric Read, Headmistress of St Albans Girls School Margret Chapman, Director of AECOM Steve Campbell and of course John Stephenson himself will be in the chair.

Questions can be anything that effects you as a member of the community from queries regarding refuse incinerators, city centre parking or any day to day issues or queries you may have. All questions are submitted in advance, so either submit online via our website or turn up to the event at 7:00pm in order to fill out a form and enjoy the bar. Forms should be submitted before 7:30pm in order for the the panelists to collect and have a brief glance over in order to provide the best possible answers that they can.

Also head to our website to reserve a seat and if you're unable to attend then tune in on Sunday the 20th November at 6:00pm to hear the event in full.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Playlist w/c 7th November 2011

Hi Drivetimers

Here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Adele - Turning Tables / Rumour Has It
Chris Rea - The Chance Of Love
Coldplay - Paradise
Ed Sheeran - Lego House
Erasure - Be With You
Glen Campbell - Any Trouble
Hugh Laurie - Hallelujah, I Love Her So
Jon Allen - Lucky I Guess
Juan Zelada - The Blues Remain
Kate Bush - Wild Man
Lana Del Rey - Video Games
Manic Street Preachers - This Is The Day
Maverick Sabre - I Need
Melanie C - Weak
Nickelback - When We Stand Together
Nick Howard - Days Like These
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - AKA What a Life
Rebecca Ferguson - Nothing's Real But Love
Seal - Wishing On A Star
Snow Patrol - This Isn't Everything You Are
Status Quo - Better Than That
Take That - Eight Letters
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga - The Lady Is A Tramp
Westlife - Lighthouse
Will Young - Come On

Items in BOLD are new additions

'Getting Involved' with Michelle Hart

Michelle joined us today in the studio to talk about her most recent project "Getting Involved", an off-shoot from the St Albans Volunteer Service. The aim and initiative of the project is to make people more active in their local community.

The launch night on Thursday the 3rd November was a success, with many partners and other contributers to the community getting involved. This included the one and only Radio Verulam, the Police and the NHS.

The organisation will be co-ordinating events all over the St Albans District inclusive of workshops, tours around the council offices and will also be offering training. The training could assist in boosting your career or bettering the skills you could need for the workplace and all whilst contributing to your local community. Perhaps you could get involved with your local neighbourhood watch, school council or attend council meetings?

To find out more, whether you are an organisation or individual, head to:

This Week's Featured Track: Lana Del Rey - Video Games

Hi Drivetimers

My featured track for this week is the brilliantly haunting Video Games by Lana Del Rey - enjoy!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Middlesex &Herts Wildlife Trust

This evening we heard from Sarah Buckingham of the Middlsex & Herts Wildlife Trust, Sarah told us about winter activities and the impact HS2 [the new high speed rail link] will have on wildlife.

Here are some activities you can become involved in to help wildlife this winter;

Make a bird feeder
Help the birds out through the colder months with a tasty snack you can make yourself.

Buy food for the birds
You can support the Wildlife Trusts when you order bird food through Vine House Farm. It's easy!

Build a nestbox
Provide a place for birds to keep snug and warm over winter

Make an insect hotel
Creepy crawlies need warm homes too!

Garden for wildlife
Top winter tips to make your garden wildlife friendly.

What to look out for

See what wildlife you can spot this winter too...

Winter birds spotting sheet
How to spot winter birds
Identifying winter nuts and berries
What could eat a sparrowhawk?
Full details of the trust can be found at the web site

Friday, 4 November 2011

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - Friday 4th November 2011

On this week's Film Guide Simon Carver & Danny Smith discussed the new movies In Time and Tower Heist.

The following are Simon's recommendations for films on free-to-air TV for the next seven days:

The Negotiator
9.00pm - 11.40pm

9.00pm – 11.15pm

9.00pm – 11.35pm

She’s the Man
9.00pm  - 11.05pm

The Name of the Rose
11.50pm – 1.55am

Iron Man
8.00pm – 10:20pm

Boogie Nights
11.30pm – 2.30am

Thursday, 3 November 2011

'The Dragons Apprentice' Interview

Tonight we were joined in the studio by two enterprising young men, Anthony and Connor, who are both taking part in 'Dragons Apprentice'. Their aim is to raise a lot of money for their chosen charity and their charity happens to be none other than Radio Verulam! They were given £100 at the beginning with the idea being that they could do anything with that money to make more. You will probably see them around St. Albans at the some point in the next couple of weeks, selling their wares. We were very impressed with their endeavour and wish them and their team (Team Orion) the best of luck!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Special Feature on WHD - Danny talks to Luisa Zissman of Dixie's Cupcakery!

Today WHD spoke with Luisa Zissman of Dixie's Cupcakery who very bravely 'bared all' along with 28 other women to help raise funds for the Cancer Treatment & Research Trust.

This brave move to pose nude for a calendar is to help raise funds for a campaign organised by her friend Charlotte Solomon, after Charlotte suffered a molar pregnancy last year, which causes miscarriage and pre-cancerous cells to form in the womb. This rare condition is suffered by approx. 1500 women a year and can affect anyone at any age.

Luisa said that posing and being snapped for the calendar was great fun for all the women involved and Luisa is Miss January! So far the girls have raised 58k for the charity and is this is before the calendar goes on sale in mid November!

The calendar can be purchased from Luisa's shop - Dixie's Cupcakery which is based at 11 Market Place, St Albans. Dixie's Cupcakery has been open in St Albans since July 2011 and Luisa's motto is 'cupcakes make people smile!'

Luisa has even created a special cupcake named ‘Charlotte’s rocky road’, to help raise funds for her friend’s calendar and campaign.

Luisa is please to say that Charlotte is on the mend and doing well!

For more details visit:

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

November Tourist Info with Charles Baker

This evening we played host to Councilor Charles Baker from St Albans District Council. Charles updated us will all events going on throughout November and the unavoidable run up to Christmas.

He began with a break down of all events going on this weekend across West Herts for fireworks night.

The marathon of firework spectacles begins at;

Crabtree School on 5th November at 6:30pm (gates open at 5:45pm).
Redbourn Common on 5th November from 6:30pm
Verulamiam Park, St Albans on 5th November at 7:30 (gates open at 6:00pm)
Harpenden Rugby Club, on 5th November from 4pm and goes on throughout the evening
Butterfly World, St Albans on the 6th November at 6:30pm (event runs from 5:00pm until 7:00pm) Email for more details.

As Christmas approaches, the festivities begin! We start with the turning on of the lights at St Peter's Street on Sunday the 20th November. With events going on from 3:30 including a funfair, Christmas market, live music and an appearance from Santa, it's hotting up to be a fun filled and festive day.

Other noteworthy light turning on ceremonies are going on in;

London Colney on the 25th November at 5:30pm
and Harpenden on the 27th November at 5:00pm

For more information, inclusive of all events going on throughout the St Albans district and to download the action packed pdf file containing all information please head to the website at or alternatively-'like' the St Albans tourism board on Facebook.

Tuesday Recipe Spot – Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson

Tuesday Recipe Spot – Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson
My motto has always been 'Never trust a skinny cook!' I do like to share recipes that I know work for me. They are not necessarily of my invention – but I will always give you the origin and maybe the story behind them! These recipes are relatively easy to make – hence the title, Faff-Free Cooking.'
So today's treat is …. Chocolate Fridge Cake – great to make with the kids for Bonfire Night!
250g/8oz digestive biscuits
150g/5oz milk chocolate
150g/5oz dark chocolate
100g/3½oz margarine or butter
150g/5oz golden syrup
100g/3½oz dried apricots, chopped
75g/2½oz sultanas
60g/2oz walnuts, chopped
100g/4oz glacé cherries, half the quantity chopped – leave the other half whole for decoration

  1. Use cling film to line a 20cm (8in) shallow, square-shaped tin. Leave extra cling film hanging over the sides.
  2. Crush the biscuits into small pieces using a rolling pin. (Put them in a plastic bag first so they don't go everywhere!)
  3. Melt chocolate, margarine or butter and golden syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally.
  4. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the broken biscuits, apricots, sultanas, half the pot of glacé cherries and walnuts.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the tin. Level the surface by pressing it down with a spoon firmly. Mark out 16 squares on the mixture and place a glacé cherry in the middle of each marked out square.
  6. Leave to cool, then put the mixture in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set.
  7. Turn out the cake and peel off the cling film. Cut the cake into the 16 squares.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Interior Design with Gwendoline Alderton

Today we were joined on the show by our interior designer, Gwendoline Alderton who was specialising this week in bathrooms. Gwendoline broke down her bathroom management into easy categories that defines a bathroom. Her belief in "Design is in the Detail" defines how to throw together a bathroom successfully.

To begin with, Gwendoline explained how function needs to take place before form. So consider how much space, storage, how many sinks or baths you may require and what the needs are for those in the house such as if they're disabled or young children for example. Those who are disabled may prefer walk in units to high top baths, shower curtains to doors or seats in showers and easy-to-use taps.

Secondly, take into consideration the style you'd like your bathroom to take have. The style will dictate the content of your bathroom. For example, would you like a modern or traditional bathroom? If traditional you may want to consider a roll top bath or a free standing bath and a lick of paint as opposed to tiles. A modern bathroom on the other hand may require more floating units, carcass frame units or walk in units.

Finally, use luxurious items to help decide where and how you would like to set up your bathroom. Why not consider having the bath positioned in the middle of the bathroom to fully utilise space? Another pointer to ensure that the bathroom oozes luxury could be lighting. Head onto the web to research 'Lighting Zones' for your bathroom and always, always make sure that the lights you do use are waterproof and are fully sealed lights. Twin this expert lighting with tactfully placed mirrors to show off and enhance your bathroom. For finishing touches, include artwork (make sure it's waterproof!), bath bubbles, salts and perhaps the odd magazine to pass time and help you relax.

For more information about interior design, check out Gwendoline's website

Friday, 28 October 2011

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - Friday 28st October 2011

Tonight Simon Carver was not available so Chris Aikman snuck in and discussed with Danny the new releases of the week, including The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn 3D, The Ides of March and Anonymous.

Below are Chris' choices for the best films on TV in the coming week:

12:25am - 1:55am

8:00pm - 10:00pm

No Country for Old Men
9:00pm - 11:20pm

Brighton Rock
3:00pm - 5:00pm

1:15pm - 3:55pm

Chris runs his own film and television blog and it can be found at

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Live from Assisi, Italy: Father Richard Watson

Canon Richard Watson, Sub-Dean of St. Albans Abbey, joined us on the phone all the way from Assisi to explain the amazing feat that he and a group of young Christians have been undertaking. They've walked from Loreto, on the east coast of Italy, to Assisi. That is about 108 km in all!

They did this to attend a meeting of all different faiths, attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and The Pope. Once the group get back to St. Albans (and have a good rest!) expect to hear them again on Radio Verulam, telling us all about their adventure (and this time not over a dodgy phone line!)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Living The Dream in the studio!

Tonight we were joined in the studio by Zoe Jackson, Danny Lane and Sarah Offer. Zoe is the founder and Managing Director of Living The Dream, a performing arts company run by young people, for young people. Danny and Sarah are just two of those young people that take part and perform in the company and they discussed the aims of the company, what sort of things the company provides (classes, after-school events and corporate events to name but a few) and how you can get involved. For more information you can visit their website here.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

New Music Playlist w/c 24th October 2011

Hi Drivetimers

Here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Beverley Knight - One More Try
Chris Rea - The Chance Of Love
Coldplay - Paradise
Dolly Parton - The Sacrifice
Ed Sheeran - Lego House
Glen Campbell - Any Trouble
John Allen - Lucky I Guess
Juan Zelada - The Blues Remain
Kate Bush - Wild Man
Manic Street Preachers - This Is The Day

Matt Cardle - Run For Your Life
Maverick Sabre - I Need
Nickelback - When We Stand Together
Nick Howard - Days Like These

Noah And The Whale - Waiting For My Chance To Come
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - AKA What a Life
Paul Carrack - Time To Move On
Smoove & Turrell - Hard Work
The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band - Dark Side Of Love
The Pierces - Kissing You Goodbye
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga - The Lady Is A Tramp
Westlife - Lighthouse

Items in BOLD are new additions.  


Friday, 21 October 2011

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - Friday 21st October 2011

On this week's film guide Simon and Danny discussed the week's new releases, which includes Contagion, Monte Carlo, Paranormal Activity 3 and The Help.

Below are Simon's choices for the best films on free-to-air TV for the next seven days:



11.30pm- 1:30am



The Hurt Locker

9.00pm – 11.30pm

Channel 4


Die Hard

9.00pm – 11.35pm



The Bourne Ultimatum

10.00pm - 12.15am



Monty Python’s Life of Brian

9.00pm – 10.30pm



The Blues Brothers

9.00pm – 11:40pm



United 93

12.25am – 2.30am