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.