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.