Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Faff-Free Cookery – Jamaican Veggie Patties – with Jackie Johnson



Faff-Free Cookery – Jamaican Veggie Patties – 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 Cookery.

So, today’s treat is - – Jamaican Veggie Patties

‘Sunshine on a rainy day’ and great to make with the kids for Nov 5th!

Ingredients:

Filling

½ a red pepper
2 carrots – finely chopped
½ small butternut squash – finely chopped
Handful fresh coriander leaves chopped
4 spring onions - finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic – squished
Tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
50 gms grated cheese
Salt and cracked black pepper
1 tsp curry powder or garam masala

Pastry

225g plain flour
Heaped teaspoon ground turmeric
Pinch of salt
115g Trex or other white cooking fat
Cold water to mix



Method
  1. Put the flour, turmeric and salt in a bowl and rub in the fat so it resembles bread crumbs. Add 4-5 tablespoons of water and mix in to a dough. Form into a ball and chill in fridge for 30 mins (the pastry, not you, silly!)
  2. Microwave the carrots and butternut squash for a couple of mins in a bowl with a little water to soften. Gently fry the remaining veg and seasoning in a pan and add the softened carrots and Butternut squash for 5 mins and then add the grated cheese. Leave to cool completely.
  3. Roll the pastry out into 8 rounds. Use a small saucer approx 10cm for this.
  4. Put an eight of the filling onto one half of the pastry, moisten the edge of the pastry with water and fold over the other half of the pastry to seal. Use a fork to crimp around the edge. Repeat until you have 8 patties.
  5. Place patties on a baking sheet and bake in a pre heated oven of 200C/ gas 6 for 25 mins until golden.




Monday, 29 October 2012

New Music Playlist w/c 29th October

Hi Drivetimers

Here is this week's new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Adele - Skyfall
Aerosmith - What Could Have Been Love
Bellowhead - 10,000 Miles Away
Coldplay - Hurts Like Heaven
Deacon Blue - The Outsiders
Donald Fagen - I'm Not The Same Without You
Honey Ryder - Worlds Away
Jeff Wayne Feat. Gary Barlow - Forever Autumn
Joe McElderry - Rescue Us
Josephine - Original Love
Joss Stone - Pillow Talk
Katie Cole - I Can’t Wait
Kristina Train - Dark Black
Kylie - Flower
Lana Del Rey - Ride
Madness - My Girl 2
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Matchbox Twenty - Put Your Hands Up
Matt Cardle - It's Only Love
Mick Hucknall - That's How Strong My Love Is
Morten Harket - Burn Money Burn
Moya - Making Me Fall
Olly Murs - Troublemaker
Paloma Faith - Never Tear Us Apart
Richie Sambora - Every Road Leads Home To You
Rick Astley - Superman
Robbie Williams - Candy
Scouting For Girls - Without You
The Rolling Stones - Doom And Gloom
Whitney Houston & R. Kelly - I Look To You

Items in BOLD are new additions

This week's featured track is chosen by guest presenter Stuart Anthony and is The Outsiders by Deacon Blue:

Friday, 26 October 2012

Jake Bugg's 'Jake Bugg'




So the sulky, Nottingham soloist rocker made it to number one this Sunday (21st october 2012) in the album chart. Not easy in a day of the disco disco, trancey dubstep world that we seem to be living in. As I speak, the X Factor weekend was themed on club classics and the top 100 DJ list came out via DJ mag. LUCKILY this Monday has seen a slight change in Radio 1's distinctly varied but perhaps favoured dance preferences move over to shed light on the rock scene as it begins its 'Radio 1 Rocks'.

 Although perhaps not as hard core as Wolfmother, The Blackout and Linkin Park which are currently being featured by Radio One. Jake Bugg certainly has a traditional (i.e., Beatles, with a bit of Dylan ('Note to Self') influence or even a tease of Arctic Monkeys) rock sound. With raw vocals, an excellent use of effects that highlight his genre and by no means overshadows the purest element of the genre and good rock music. Especially in tracks 'Simple as This' and 'Trouble Town' the effects truly pusha nd pull Bugg's musical creation in the right direction.

 Ok so a few of the tracks have similar sounds... However, I was pleasantly surprised at the overall content of the album. The slower tracks 'Seen It All', 'Simple As This', 'Country Song', 'Broken' really shine. Whereas the faster paced, hyped tracks debut single - 'Lightening Bolt', 'Two Fingers', 'Taste It' and 'Trouble Town' serve well as anthemic tunes. The hard edge to his voice only adds grit to each and everyone of the tracks.

'Two Fingers' could easily pass as an early Beatles track, with jingly jangly guitar, an ascending bass in the bridge and sing along chorus. Similarly, the length of most tracks average just 3 minutes (or the majority less) which brings songwriting back to its traditional root. Less self indulgent riffs, progression or vocal gymnastics. Its to the point and crude. I like it.

 A brilliant, young talent who exceeds himself live.

Fave tracks: Lightening Bolt, Broken Note to Self and Trouble Town.

Like Jake Bugg? Then check out my blog Vive's Verve and pay attention to; Marching DonaldJack White and Ben Howard

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Chris' Film Club: Invictus

Today in 1962, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to 5 years in prison.  Because of this historical event, Chris Aikman has chosen the film Invictus.

Invictus tells the story of the 1994 Rugby World Cup in South Africa and stars Morgan Freeman as Mandela and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar.


Jess Distill on SWEENEY TODD auditions and 'Said the Maiden'



Jess Distill's show business interests range quite wide, taking in folk performance troupe 'Said the Maiden' and work for theatrical production companies.  One of these companies ACT (Arts Commissioned Theatre) is starting work on their follow-up show to Fame which is SWEENEY TODD.  They are now holding open auditions for all cast parts - the only prerequisite is auditionees must be over 12 and a little vocal ability would be useful.

Get involved with auditions at the Sandpit Theatre in Marshalswick on the 18th November from 11am-2pm or 3-6 or 20th November 6-9pm.

Jess' aforementioned artistic endeavour 'Said The Maiden' are a vocal trio singing traditional English folk songs.  The band originated as school friends and play fiddles and guitars with ukuleles and accordions soon to be added.  They are currently recording an EP, appearing on November 16th at the Watford Pumphouse theatre and their website can be viewed at: www.saidthemaiden.blogspot.com


Today Lori West came in to tell us all about St Albans Calling



St.Albans Calling is the name of the new album showcasing talent from all around St Albans. The album features 14 original tracks from local musicians, the music ranging from jazz to indie with everything in-between. Each artist was asked to write a song that was related to St Albans in some way.

The album is due to be released on the 11th November and to celebrate this you can pop down to Kashu restaurant on Hatfield road where there will be live music to launch "St Albans Calling"

St Albans Calling will be supporting five local charities with the proceeds of the album.  To get your copy or find out more about the organisation you can visit their website:

http://www.stalbanscalling.org.uk/

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Kylie Minogue's 'The Abbey Road Sessions'



So the multi-millionaire pop starlet, Kylie, better known for perhaps her 80s cheese tracks including 'Better the Devil You Know', 'The Locomotion' and 'I Should be So Lucky'. Or maybe you're of a younger generation and are more acquainted with her dance era material including 'Can't Get You Out of My Head', 'All the Lovers', 'Slow' and 'Love at First Sight'? Either way, she's created a sixteen track album ranging in material but has twisted it all into altered, unheard versions of the tracks that made her a first-name sensation.

Aged 44 and arguably Britain's favourite Aussie, she's sustained her plateau of fame with a stripped down and instrumentally altered collection of her best hits. With a complete makeover, many of these tracks are completely unrecogniseable. You'll find yourself singing along, knowing all the words and still unable to put a finger on where exactly you know the song from until a signature line or melody from a chorus will alert you to the true nature and original sound of the track.

The swing version of 'On a night Like This' is something quite unexpected. The descending baseline is similar to that of Nina Simone's 'Feeling Good' whilst the build in strings and vocals creates huge drama and maturity that gives it a completely alternative persona. 'Hand on Your Heart' seems to have taken on an adorable southern state style through the use of brushes on the drums, a quaint guitar and charming vocals. Meanwhile, 'Confide in Me' seems to have taken on a much darker and dramatic version of its earlier self. I much prefer this 2012 version as the all important riffs, melody and general attitude have been kept, but appears to have been sandpapered down to a much better tidier track.

Other tracks on the album do have a limit in imagination or element of predictability to them such as 'Can't Get You Out of My Head' and 'Flower', but how many different sounds can you get out of one female artist?

16 tracks? One re-recording by Nick Cave? How much more exciting could it get?
Available from the 29th Oct.

Favourite tracks; 'Hand on Your Heart', 'On a Night Like This' and 'Slow'.

Like the review? Then head over to my blog Vive's Verve for more reviews including Emilie Sande, Lana Del Rey and The Noisettes


Chris' Film Club: Casino Royale

As it's director Martin Campbell's birthday, Chris Aikman has selected Casino Royale.  This was Campbell's second Bond film and the film that gave the world Daniel Craig as Bond.  His previous Bond film was Goldeneye, Pierce Brosnan's debut outing as 007.

Casino Royale stars Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen and Judi Dench.


New Music Playlist w/c 22nd October 2012

Hi Drivetimers

Due to a technical error (I forgot to hit "Publish"!) we are only now bringing you this week's new music playlist:
Adele - Skyfall
Aerosmith - What Could Have Been Love
Amy Macdonald - 4th July
Honey Ryder - Worlds Away
Josephine - Original Love
Joss Stone - Pillow Talk
Katie Cole – I Can't Wait
Kristina Train - Dark Black
Kylie Minogue - Flower
Lana Del Rey - Ride
Madness - My Girl 2
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Matchbox Twenty - Put Your Hands Up
Matt Cardle - It's Only Love
Mick Hucknall - That's How Strong My Love Is
Morten Harket - Burn Money Burn
Moya - Making Me Fall
Naughty Boy Ft. Emeli Sande - Wonder
Paloma Faith - Never Tear Us Apart
Pnau - Solid Ground (Too Much Worth Living For)
Richie Sambora - Every Road Leads Home To You
Rick Astley - Superman
Robbie Williams - Candy
Scouting For Girls - Without You
The Rolling Stones - Doom And Gloom
Train - Bruises
Tyler James - Single Tear
Whitney Houston & R. Kelly - I Look To You

Items in BOLD are new additions

This week's featured track is Superman by Rick Astley (released on 22nd October):


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Chris' Film Club: The Hunger Games

As today is Amandla Stenberg's birthday (she's 13 and played Rue), Chris Aikman has selected The Hunger Games.

Based on the wildly successful series of books where young people are rounded up and battle to the death
Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Donald Sutherland.


Today featured Gwendoline Alderton - Interior Designer


Last month, we talked about designing your home to suit your needs, this month we talk about how to design your house in order to sell it.  Methods of selling your home have changed in recent years and many buyers will trawl through the internet first - which may save you time showing only to serious buyers.  You will of course need pictures to suit and compliment your home fully, so take a photo in each corner on the room.  Make sure furniture looks comfortable and inviting and appropriate for the room.  As obvious as it sounds, make sure there is a bed in the bedroom for example.  If you don't have one for whatever reason, it may be worth borrowing one from a neighbour or through a second hand source such as freecycle.com

  Add value in any way you can, but not too much individuality (moose heads are not appropriate in this case!).  Also have a think about the types of people whom may visit; if older people are likely to be your main source of interest go for paler colours, make your home look soft and cosy with texture.  Families may want to see storage, kids play rooms, possibly two living rooms.  In general play safe with colours - subtle tones such as greens, beiges and browns.   Black paint for example will strip a lot of colour from the room - create a 'warm' environment.  Your house needs to look as spacious and airy as possible.   Don't clutter with oversized furniture - again borrow if necessary and put larger sofa into the garage for now.

Lastly, ensure that you show buyers that you love your home.  Complete those unfinished jobs in the garden, clean the shower and give a good impression of being a little houseproud.

For more tips, visit Gwendoline's website at www.gainteriors.co.uk

Monday, 22 October 2012

Chris' Film Club: Jurassic Park

For today's film Chris has chosen Jurassic Park as it's Jeff Goldblum's birthday (he's 60!).  The film sees dinosaurs wreak havoc at a futuristic theme park and stars Goldblum, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough and Bob Peck. Directed by Steven Spielberg

Radio Verulam Science Feature – 22/10/2012

Time Travel/Timelines in Films

Sam & Danny discussed how films (such as Star Trek, Looper, Back to the Future, etc) use time travel and whether there is any scientific basis in this.

Website:

(last month’s part of the Zooniverse website: Planet Hunters have had a planet discovered by its users confirmed called PH1 http://blog.planethunters.org/)

This month: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ keep up with all the latest news from Mars.

What to see in the night sky:

Full Moon on Oct 29th.

Venus is bright in the eastern skies in the mornings – if we ever get a clear sky this month.  Jupiter is in the constellation of Taurus, rising in the east around 6pm and moving across the sky westwards providing good all night observing.  Even with small binoculars can see the four Galilean moons.  Leonid meteor shower, peaking on the 17th Nov, but active between 15th to 20th Nov with a rate of approximately 20 per hour.   Leo, will rise about midnight, but optimum viewing is around 2am onwards as the constellation rises.  Due to the debris left behind by the comet Tempel-Tuttle.  http://meteorshowersonline.com/leonids.html

Scientist of the month - Dmitri Mendeleev

Russian.  1834 – 1907.

Creator of the modern form of the periodic table.  Others had tried to several arrangements of the elements known at the time, but Mendeleev found the best way to organise them.  He placed them in order of their atomic mass and found that other properties began to align too.  It enabled him to predict the existence of then undiscovered elements – germanium, gallium and scandium.  Element 101 is named after him – Mendelevium.
He brought the metric system to Russia and became the head of Russia’s Bureau of Weights and Measures.
He was known for his long hair and beard, supposedly only cutting it once a year.  He was considered a bigamist due to a legal technicality that said you must wait seven years between your divorce and your next marriage – which he didn’t.
Worked on the idea that there were two elements lighter than hydrogen, the lightest of which constituted the aether.

Sources:
http://chemistry.about.com/od/famouschemists/p/mendeleevbio.htm
http://www.nndb.com/people/593/000091320/

The excellent video for last week's featured track is here: Katie Cole - I Can't Wait

Here is the brand new video for Katie Cole's latest track, which just so happened to be our Featured Track last week and is out today:

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 19th October 2012

Tonight's Film Guide saw Simon and Danny draw up plans for an epic adventure. They want to swim with dolphins in the Caribbean, climb Kilimanjaro, white water raft through the Grand Canyon and fight off orcs in Mordor. Needless to say that they started to bicker when it came to how they were going to get to each of these places. Simon proposed Magic Carpet but Danny was vociferous in his defense of Pegasus flight. As is now a common occurrence in the studio, they started fighting. Danny poked Simon in the eye but then Simon  slapped Danny with a cod that he was keeping in his back pocket. Both of them started to cry but by that point Chris had called for a responsible adult to come and pick them up and both were taken home, tears streaming down their faces. This is why we can't have nice things.

Ok, that was a lie, but Simon did join Danny in the studio to talk about the UK box office top 10 and Simon's pick of the best films on free-to-air TV for the coming week.


Friday
Taken
9.00pm – 10.50pm
More4


Saturday
In Her Shoes
9.00pm – 11.35pm
Film4


Kill Bill: Vol.1
10.45pm – 12.30am
BBC2


Sunday
The Book of Eli
9.00pm – 11.20pm
Channel 5


Tuesday
Date Night
9.00pm – 10.50pm
Film4


Wednesday
Twilight
9.00pm – 11.25pm
Film4





Claire Nall-Cain talks Charity and Bond!

Tonight we were joined in the studio by Claire Nall-Cain who was speaking about the upcoming charity premiere of Skyfall in Hatfield. The event is being run to raise money for the FSID (The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths) and has a host of famous people attending. If you want to attend it is black tie or there is a competition for the best Bond costume.

To get a ticket you can either get them in person from the Odeon box office at the Galleria in Hatfield and pay by cash or cheque or e-mail Claire directly at clairenall_cain@hotmail.com.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

St Albans Tour Guide Feature

Lynn from the St Albans Tour Guide was our guest on the show today. She came to give us the low down the local walks available in the area. With a town with well over 200 hundred years of history in the current buildings, it's no wonder that the tours are also popular with locals as well as visitors.

City Walks start outside the Old Town Hall in Market Place and take from an hour to an hour and a half. Tickets should preferably be obtained in advance from this website, Tourist Information Centre inside the Old Town Hall, but may also be purchased from the Guide on duty. These include "Amble in the Shambles" which is  a walk around the St Albans Market.


There's also  The Victorian walk which takes visitors from the medieval to the age of steam, the railway, factories and even the pioneering days of cinema. This was the age of massive expansion for the town, including a new prison whose front entrance will be recognisable to all fans of ‘Porridge’. 
The ghost walks are also popular in the winter time and with Halloween on the horizon there are extra walks in place for fans of the macabre. Expect spine tingling and woeful tales. This tour isn't suitable for children and tickets will need to be booked in advance!  

You can buy and collect tickets at the Tourist Information Office  at the Town Hall in the Market Place. 

For more information ring:  01727 864511  or check out the St Albans Tour Guides website: www.stalbanstourguides.co.uk


This week's featured track is I Can't Wait by Katie Cole - out Monday!

Here is the YouTube video for this week's featured track:


Chris' Film Club: Taxi Driver - and a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Anna Karenina at the Alban Arena

Today would be Peter Boyle’s birthday (he would be 77).  He played Wizard, a taxi-driving colleague of Robert De Niro’s Travis Bickle.  Classic Martin Scorsese film which sees Bickle slide into insanity as he sees the ugly side of New York City.



COMPETITION TIME

If you would like to win a pair of tickets, courtesy of the Alban Arena to see the film Anna Karenina on Wednesday 24th October (at either 1.30pm or 7.30pm) then answer the question below:

Who wrote the novel of the same name on which the film is based?

a:  Leo Tolstoy
b:  Leo Sayer

To enter our competition, click here.

One lucky winner will get to chose whether they would like to see the matinee or evening showing of this film and the winner will be announced during next Friday's Film Guide (19th October 2012). Competition closes at 6pm on Friday 19th October 2012.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Today we had Peter Graham from Centre 33 on the show



Peter is the chairman of Centre 33 which is run entirely by their highly dedicated staff & volunteers. Centre 33 is a drop-in centre where homeless and socially or materially disadvantaged people in the St Albans community can come to relax, be social, and enjoy a free meal and a drink in a friendly, welcoming environment.

They are looking for friendly people to volunteer throughout the week. If you can spare 2 hours a week or even 2 hours fortnightly they will be grateful; all they ask is that volunteers are over 18.

If this sounds like something you would like to get involved in then go to the link below:
http://www.centre33.org/

Or for more information you can email:
information@centre33.org




Chris' Film Club: The Untouchables - and a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Anna Karenina at the Alban Arena

Today in 1931 Al Capone was convicted of tax avoidance.  Because of this historical fact, Chris has chosen The Untouchables.  Brian De Palma’s film depicts the police’s attempts to shut Capone down.
It stars Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Andy Garcia and Charles Martin Smith.



COMPETITION TIME

If you would like to win a pair of tickets, courtesy of the Alban Arena to see the film Anna Karenina on Wednesday 24th October (at either 1.30pm or 7.30pm) then answer the question below:

Who wrote the novel of the same name on which the film is based?

a:  Leo Tolstoy
b:  Leo Sayer

To enter our competition, click here.

One lucky winner will get to chose whether they would like to see the matinee or evening showing of this film and the winner will be announced during next Friday's Film Guide (19th October 2012). Competition closes at 6pm on Friday 19th October 2012.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Indian Cookery Feature with Sheba Promod - Kerala Prawn Curry

Kerala Prawn Curry. Image © 2012 Sheba Promod

On today's show, our Indian Cookery Correspondent Sheba  Promod came into the studio to talk about another dish from the Kerala region.  We also discussed the basics of making rice.

Firstly let's take a look at cooking Basmati rice.  As obvious as it may seem there is a little bit of an art to achieving a good result.  Rice can become too sticky if overcooked, so there are some simple rules to abide by.  First of all wash to cleanse the starchy coating using warm water in a bowl - do this 4-5 times.  If you have time, soak in a pan for 20 mins then drain away.  It's imperative too to get the  measurements correct - 1 cup rice, 2 cups of water.  There are two ways to cook rice, the absorption method which is to boil all water away to achieve fluffy rice.  The other method is the rolling boil method, top up pan with boiling water then drain off.  With this method don't pour boiling water on to rinse it. With this Kerala Prawn Curry dish use 1 cup/2 cups water -  put boiling water in and cook for 8-9 mins  - cover with lid on medium heat, until simmering.  To check if all water has evaporated, open the lid and use a fork to separate rice in the middle.  Minutes are crucial here - if it is crunchy the rice has not been cooked enough.

Pilau rice is rice cooked in a flavoured broth along with ingredients such as whole spices, onions and vegetables.  After the rice has been fried for two minutes, add four cups of boiling water to the pan, bring to a gentle simmer and then cover with a lid and cook for 8 minutes. After this time, open the pan and using a fork, check if there if any moisture left at the bottom of the pan by gently pushing back some rice in the middle. if there is only a little moisture, replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave to steam for another minute or two. If there is no moisture, remove from the heat, gently fork through and transfer to a serving dish.

Sheba's Kerala Prawn Curry


Ingredients

Whole spices
1 tsp. mustard seeds

Powdered spices
½ tsp. Kashmiri chilli powder
4 tsp. coriander powder
½ tsp. fenugreek powder
¼ tsp. turmeric

Fresh leaves & herbs
15-20 Curry leaves

600g king prawns (with tails on if you wish)
3 tbps. vegetable oil or coconut oil
1 large onion, finely chopped2 ½ tsps. minced ginger
3 tsps. minced garlic
1 ½ tsp. tomato puree
400ml canned coconut milk
1 tsp. salt
3 pieces kokum- soaked in 5-6 tbsp. water for 10 minutes

Method


  1. Heat the oil in a large deep pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and fry until they begin to splutter.
  2. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and fry for a further 5 minutes, until they are soft and translucent.
  3. Add the tomato puree, fry for 1 minute. Add the fenugreek, coriander and Kashmiri chilli powders and fry for 1 minute before adding the coconut milk, curry leaves, salt and kokum pieces.
  4. Bring to a gentle boil, add the prawns and cook for 3-4 minutes until the prawns are cooked through.


Note: Substitute with tamarind pieces (1 piece, soaked in water for 5-10 minutes, squeeze the tamarind piece and use the prepared brine) or ½ teaspoon of tamarind paste.


For more from Sheba, why not check out her website http://absoluteindiancookeryclasses.com/

Chris' Film Club: The Shawshank Redemption & a chance to win tickets to see Anna Karenina at the Alban Arena

Today is Tim Robbins’ birthday, Chris has chosen The Shawshank Redemption for today's choice.  Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, a banker who is convicted (perhaps wrongly) for the murder of his wife. He befriends Red (Morgan Freeman) and makes a life for himself in prison.

This is a film that didn't fair too well in the box office, yet has become an all-time classic - and deservedly so!




COMPETITION TIME

If you would like to win a pair of tickets, courtesy of the Alban Arena to see the film Anna Karenina on Wednesday 24th October (at either 1.30pm or 7.30pm) then answer the question below:

Who wrote the novel of the same name on which the film is based?

a:  Leo Tolstoy
b:  Leo Sayer

To enter our competition, click here.

One lucky winner will get to chose whether they would like to see the matinee or evening showing of this film and the winner will be announced during next Friday's Film Guide (19th October 2012). Competition closes at 6pm on Friday 19th October 2012.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Chris' Film Club: From Hell - and a chance to win tickets to see Anna Kerenina (12A)

Today in 1888, Scotland Yard detectives received a letter supposedly from Jack the Ripper and signed “From Hell”.  Therefore, today's film is From Hell!

The film is based on a graphic novel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell about the Ripper murders
The film stars Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm and Robbie Coltrane.


COMPETITION TIME

If you would like to win a pair of tickets, courtesy of the Alban Arena to see the film Anna Karenina on Wednesday 24th October (at either 1.30pm or 7.30pm) then answer the question below:

Who wrote the novel of the same name on which the film is based?

a:  Leo Tolstoy
b:  Leo Sayer

To enter our competition, click here.

One lucky winner will get to chose whether they would like to see the matinee or evening showing of this film and the winner will be announced during next Friday's Film Guide (19th October 2012). Competition closes at 6pm on Friday 19th October 2012.

New Music Playlist w/c 15th October 2012

Hi Drivetimers

Here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Adele - Skyfall
Aerosmith - What Could Have Been Love
Amy Macdonald - 4th July
Andy Burrows - Because I Know That I Can
Dionne Warwick - Is There Anybody Out There?
Honey Ryder - Worlds Away
Josephine - Original Love
Joss Stone - Pillow Talk
Kristina Train - Dark Black

Kylie Minogue - Flower
Lemar - The First Time
Madness - My Girl 2
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Matchbox Twenty - Put Your Hands Up
Matt Cardle - It's Only Love

Mick Hucknall - That's How Strong My Love Is
Morten Harket - Burn Money Burn
Moya - Making Me Fall
Naughty Boy Ft. Emeli Sande - Wonder
Paloma Faith - Never Tear Us Apart
Pet Shop Boys - Leaving
Pnau - Solid Ground (Too Much Worth Living For)
Rebecca Ferguson - Backtrack
Richie Sambora - Every Road Leads Home To You
Rick Astley - Superman
Robbie Williams - Candy
Scouting For Girls - Without You
Train - Bruises
Tyler James - Single Tear 
Items in BOLD are new additions


Our featured track for this week is I Can't Wait by Katie Cole:


Mick Hucknall's 'American Soul'


So the Simply Red lead singer continues his solo career with his 2nd solo album (in 5 years) at the handsome age of 52. What should we expect? Well.... READ ON!

The album consists of covers, which very excitingly includes Otis Redding's 'Thats How Strong My Love Is' among another 11 tracks. These generally do justice to the originals such as a darker version of Ray Charles' "Lonely avenue"as well as Nina Simone's "Dont Let Me Be Misunderstod". Many have been updated to a more alternative and modern approach such as Anthony and the Johnson's "Hope There's Someone" which is a pleasantly surprising chilling but brilliant soulful version.

Certainly, the first couple of tracks are upbeat and very funkadelic ("Turn Back the Hands of Time") but as you move further into the album the pace begins to slow down ever so slightly ("Lonely Avenue", "Tell it like it is" and "I Only Have Eyes for You"). However, it begins to gain more momentum at "Baby What You Want Me To Do" and "The Girl That Radiates Charm".

The album does certainly take on elements of 'American Soul' with the use of R&B like instrumentation and vocals.  The instrumentation despite being stereotypically slightly more southern with its use of acoustic and electric guitars ("Baby What You Want Me To Do"). The use of organ has been essential is securing this 'soul' feeling as well as gorgeous piano solos ("Girl that Radiates Charm"). Soft guitar solos such as in "Let Me Down Easy" allow for a smoother, more R&B focus on things take the main stage.

The Popster/Rockster overall sounds very much like he's in love. With the majority of the track upbeat -  the overall consensus is that everything is very fine and dandy in the world of Mr Hucknall.

A strong collection of songs to cover and well constructed. To write good songs and see them through is tough but pulling apart some of you personal favourites, updating them and still doing them justice must be as equally as challenging.

Fave tracks ; "Baby What You Want Me To Do" and "Hope There's Someone".

 Like the review? Then check out more reviews on my blog : Vive's Verve

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Win tickets to see Anna Karenina (12A) courtesy of the Alban Arena

If you would like to win a pair of tickets, courtesy of the Alban Arena to see the film Anna Karenina on Wednesday 24th October (at either 1.30pm or 7.30pm) then answer the question below:

Who wrote the novel of the same name on which the film is based?

a:  Leo Tolstoy
b:  Leo Sayer

To enter our competition, click here.

One lucky winner will get to chose whether they would like to see the matinee or evening showing of this film and the winner will be announced during next Friday's Film Guide (19th October 2012). Competition closes at 6pm on Friday 19th October 2012.

The film is a bold, theatrical new vision of the epic story of love, adapted from the timeless novel by Academy Award winner Tom Stoppard (“Shakespeare in Love”). The story powerfully explores the capacity for love that surges through the human heart. As Anna (Ms. Knightley) questions her happiness and marriage, change comes to all around her.




Friday, 12 October 2012

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 12th October 2012

Tonight Simon was not in the studio as he is still recovering from his failure to clear the roof of a car on a skateboard last week so his younger, taller, more dashing stand-in Chris Aikman was here to talk films, films, films. Before all that could happen though, Danny wanted to show Chris his new trick which involved shooting ping-pong balls from...

THIS WEBSITE HAS BEEN SHUTDOWN DUE TO EXTREMELY DISTURBING MENTAL IMAGES


Ok, that was a lie, but Chris was in the studio to talk all about the UK box office and the best films on free-to-air TV this week.


Friday
ITV4
11.15pm – 1.10am

Saturday
ITV4
11.00pm – 12.55pm

Tuesday
Film4
9.00pm – 11.15pm

Thursday
ITV2
10.45pm – 1.05am

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Stand Up To Cancer with Rachel Waters



Today Rachel Waters was on the phone telling us about the new funder raiser she's taking in part to raise money for cancer research. She was inspired to take part as her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer this April.

One in three people will be affected by cancer at some stage in their life ... or to put these statistics in a stark light you are more likely to know someone affected by cancer then you are to drop your phone whilst texting.

Stand Up To Cancer is a televised funder raiser for on channel 4. In which they will be calling on the brightest stars in entertainment, top scientists and the general public to raise funds, awareness and to take one step towards a future where cancer is history.

On the 20th October Rachel is gathering people to meet at Clarence Park in St Albans at 1.45pm. Participants can expect two laps around the park starting at the band stand and finishing at the Cricket Club House where there will be refreshments.

It would be also great if the runners turned up in pink which is the nationally recognised colour for breast cancer awareness. Any one can take part from children to adults and if running isn't your thing your very welcome to donate money!

Forms are available from Rachel or you can get a form from the Stand Up For Cancer site and turn up on the day.

For more information go to the following link

www.standuptocancer.org.uk/

We hope to hear more from Rachel as she plans to organise another (less physically challenging!) fundraiser this coming december. Watch this space!

Chris' Film Club: Grosse Pointe Blank

It's Joan Cusack's birthday so we look at a fairly early role for this talented actress.  Joan has managed to step out of the shadow of famous brother John and secure some great supporting roles which always leave a lasting impression.  This multi-stranded 1997 film tells the story of Martin Blank (John Cusack) a professional hitman who is pressurised into going to his school re-union by his secretary (Joan Cusack) and wished far away by his terrified shrink, the reliable Alan Arkin - to the small town of Grosse Point to settle a score with a rival killer played by Dan Aykroyd.  Aykroyd plays against type as the somewhat unhinged 'Grocer' and gives an acclaimed performance as far away from Elwood as he can manage.  Cusack's Blank is suffering from depression and seeks to redeem his troubled soul by reconnecting with Debi Newberry, played by Minnie Driver, a former flame he abandoned on prom night (seems to be a recurring theme in our recent movies...).  A running gag in the film is when he answers the truth about his chosen career to all who ask.  However it's all a bit of a downer for Blank, as he sees former friends settled into normal non-lethal working life.
Blank is not only stalked by Grocer and his terrorist accomplice LaPoubelle, also on his tail are two NSA agents tipped off by Grocer.  Grosse Pointe Blank is a black comedy written by Cusack and stands up as on of the most cutting-edge comedies in recent years.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Chris' Film Club: There's Something About Mary

It's former NFL quarterback Brett Favre's birthday today (yes, Chris is going for the obscure angle here we feel...) and he makes a cameo appearance in today's film, an early gross-out effort which has since become the benchmark to which most modern American comedies now aspire to.  Cameron Diaz plays the titular character and magnetic draw to a quartet of desperados in the form of Ben Stiller, Matt Dillon, Chris 'Groundhog Day' Elliott and our own Lee Evans.  Stiller's character Ted can't seem to live down his (very) painful departure from his prom date with Mary back in high school and seeks her out in later life, aided by down-at-heel private eye Healy (Matt Dillon) who also ends up taken in by Mary's charms.  As if this isn't enough he has to contend with Evans as a supposed British architect (actually a pizza delivery guy), the lesion-infected ex Elliott and Favre as a good-natured guy smeared by Evans -  all of whom have their eye on the eponymous Mary.

It's certainly not family-friendly material, bad language plays out alongside wince-inducing physical gags but it is basically a solid comedy from the makers of 'Kingpin' and 'Me, Myself and Irene', often cited as today's answer to the Zucker/Abrahams team behind the Airplane and Naked Gun movies.  We like it here anyway!


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Chris' Film Club: The Devil's Backbone

It's director Guillermo del Toro's birthday today so we look back at a recent film of his, 'The Devil's Backbone'.  As with his fantasy film 'Pan's Labyrinth' this is also set in Franco's Spain in the 30s in Spanish language and concerns mysterious goings-on in an orphanage.  One of the orphans is missing presumed dead and the children insist a ghostly presence is responsible.  A classic slow-burning gothic horror.



Today we had Andy Jarosz: Travel Correspondent


This month we're looking at Travel Agencies and some new destinations.  As we approach the end of the year many think about  planning holidays.  Last minute deals often bear fruits but also consider booking a long time ahead as tour operators can improve the holiday experience by having an early idea of numbers.  In the last 2-3 years travel companies have suffered financial losses with some going under altogether, therefore it is wise to make sure your agent, tour operator and even airline are bonded with ATOL or ABTA - a lesser company may not get you home if they go under but a fully affiliated company will be under obligation.  Also worth bearing in mind is that companies like to retain customers as much as possible and may offer discounts and offers - so if you had a good experience with an operator it pays to go back.

Today's show looked at up and coming destinations, Portugal known for the Algarve, but north of it is the beautiful Alentejo region - a little bit cooler than the Med, it has beaches and vineyards, historic towns and you can also rent houseboats in an artificial lake that's been created there.

A little further afield are many islands in the Caribbean Islands such as Trinidad and Tobago and the little known Turks and Caicos - where you can discover not just beaches, but history, culture and walking trails.

One other thing to consider is countries which are off the Unsafe to Travel list, one of which is the East Asian country Burma.  A few years ago saw political struggle and protests but democracy has taken a better hold and it is becoming a popular destination yet again.  Don't expect much 5-star luxury but if you are willing to rough it just a little you will find some of the best buddhist temples in the East and be treated well by rural Burmese.

Another place whcih many will not consider is Beirut - its' past problems are well documented but it is fast becoming a hip and cool destination with waterfronts, nighclubs and restaurants and is recommended for a 4-5 day break.  For information please visit the Foreign Office website for advice on safe places to travel.

Andy's website can be found at www.501places.com

New Music Playlist w/c 8th October 2012

Hi Drivetimers

Below is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Adele - Skyfall
Amy Macdonald - 4th July
Andy Burrows - Because I Know That I Can
Dionne Warwick - Is There Anybody Out There?
Honey Ryder - Worlds Away
Josh Osho - Giants
Josephine - Original Love
Keane - Disconnected
Kylie Minogue - Flower
Lemar - The First Time
Leona Lewis - Trouble
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Mick Hucknall - That's How Strong My Love Is
Morten Harket - Burn Money Burn
Moya - Making Me Fall
Muse - Madness
Naughty Boy Ft. Emeli Sande - Wonder
Nickelback - Trying Not To Love You
Paloma Faith - Never Tear Us Apart
Pet Shop Boys - Leaving
Rebecca Ferguson - Backtrack
Richie Sambora - Every Road Leads Home To You
Robbie Williams - Candy
The Overtones - Loving The Sound
Train - Bruises
Tyler James - Single Tear

Items in BOLD are new additions

Our featured track for this week is Skyfall by Adele:

Monday, 8 October 2012

Monthly advice feature with Elizabeth Crampton from the Citizens' Advice Bureau

Elizabeth Crampton from the Citizens advice bureau joined us on Drivetime this evening, the item covered :
Car Insurance
Insurance price hikes could hit consumers sooner than expected following a ban on gender discrimination.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled it is illegal for insurers to offer different prices to men and women.
The overhaul comes into full force on 21 December 2012, but many experts expect insurers to hike prices sooner.
As a result of the ruling, young women's car insurance costs are likely to soar, men's annuity rates (which translates into retirement income) are likely to plummet while women may pay more for life insurance and men more for health insurance.
Where one gender loses the other is likely to win, and vice versa, but not necessarily by the same margin. For instance on car insurance, while young women's premiums are expected to rocket by 25%, young men's costs are unlikely to drop by the same amount.
Workplace Pension Reforms
Millions of people are not saving enough to have the income they are likely to want in retirement. Life expectancy in the UK is increasing and, at the same time, people are saving less into pensions. We need to address these challenges.
Starting from October 2012 employers will automatically enrol their workers into a workplace pension if they meet certain criteria. This will help to address the issues that prevent people from saving into a pension.
The short address for this page is: www.dwp.gov.uk/workplacepension
Holiday Bookings
What is Flight-Plus

In simple terms, after 30 April a firm will need to hold an ATOL to sell a flight with either accommodation or car hire, or both. This is regardless of whether the firm is acting as agent or principal for the components.

The exact definition and requirements for Flight-Plus and Flight-Plus arrangers will be set out fully in the revised ATOL Regulations. Key points to note include:

    Flight-Plus is a flight sold with accommodation and/or car hire. However, other elements sold with the Flight-Plus that form a significant part of the holiday must also be included in the arrangement.

    The flight and accommodation and/or car hire must be requested within one day of each other, but it does not matter which the customer requests first.
    
    The trip must be over 24 hours in duration or include an overnight stay.
    
     If a firm sells another ATOL holder’s flight inclusive package and then adds separate overseas car hire or accommodation, this is also classed as a Flight-Plus, which the firm will be required to protect under its licence.
    
    The flight must have its outbound leg departing from the UK, except where the arrangement includes travel departing the UK by another method such as ferry, coach or rail, in addition to an overseas flight.

Please note that the requirement to hold an ATOL to sell flight inclusive packages and some Flight-Onlys under ATOL remains.

Chris' Film Club: Galaxy Quest

Today is Sigourney Weaver's birthday and we celebrate that with a look at one of our favourites here at Radio Veralum: the fantastic GALAXY QUEST.  The 'Aliens' actress sends up her Sci-Fi roots by playing a principal member of a short-lived and long-forgotten (apart from by its' hardcore fanbase) show in the genre of Star Trek and many lesser shows.  The former stars, led by Home Improvement's and The Santa Clause's Tim Allen and joined by amongst others Alan Rickman (of Die Hard/Harry Potter fame) eke out an existence by doing the convention circuit - the dizziest heights of fame they can achieve until they are called upon by intergalactic forces to protect their homeland.  Trouble is, these aliens believe the transmissions of their show are historical documentaries and the fading stars are real life heroes, able to save their species!  Galaxy Quest also stars Sam Rockwell as a bit-part player determined to make his mark in real life in a great comedy suitable for all.  Never give up!  Never surrender!

Friday, 5 October 2012

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 5th October 2012

This week Chris Aikman has returned to produce the show and bring back some normality to proceedings. Whilst he was away last week Danny managed to blow a hole in the roof of the studio using homemade napalm (nope, I don't know how he did it either) and Simon ended up in hospital after insisting that he most certainly could jump over a car with his new skateboard and that anyone who disagreed was a 'stinky poopy head'. They say he may never walk again.

Ok, that was a lie, but Simon was in the studio to discuss the box office top 10 and the best films on free-to-air-TV for the coming week.

Friday
American Gangster
10.35pm – 1.20am
ITV1


Saturday
Back to the Future
8.00pm – 10.20pm
ITV2


Sunday
The Quiet American
11.00pm – 12.35am
BBC2


Monday
‘Crocodile’ Dundee
8.00pm – 10.00pm
E4


The Girl with the Pearl Earring
11.35pm – 1.10am
BBC1


Tuesday
Parenthood
10.45pm – 1.00am
ITV1


Wednesday
Sliding Doors
11.15pm – 12.50am
BBC1


Thursday
Man on Wire
9.00pm – 10.25pm
BBC4






Paul Small & Paul Rosenthal came on the show today to talk to us about their charity cycle ride



On the 16th October 2012 Paul Small (right), Mark Bunting, Paul Browning, Richard Marchand, Paul Rosenthal (left), Sam Skuce and the most recent recruit Karen Zammit will embark on a cycle ride longer than they would have ever imagined... 1200KM from St Albans to Marbella - Southern Spain all in aid of fundraising for the good cause of GOSH "Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital" & Grove House Hospice.

If you want to Donate to them all you need to do is go to the link below:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=PaulRosenthal

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Chris' Film Club: Thelma and Louise

Today is Susan Sarandon’s birthday. Thelma and Louise is directed by Ridley Scott and starring  Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen and Brad Pitt, the film sees best friends Thelma and Louise go on a road trip, when things go disastrously wrong. Both Sarandon and Davis are excellent and the US countryside is very beautifully filmed.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Chris' Film Club: Children of Men

Today is Clive Owen’s birthday 47 years young. The plot of Childen of Men focuses on Humanity who have stopped having children and are in a state of crisis. A young woman becomes pregnant and is suddenly sought after by everyone. Clive Owen has to protect her. The film is very stylish and well directed. Several scenes are cleverly done in one incredibly long take.

 

Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson – Dorset Apple and Cinnamon Cake

Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson – Dorset Apple and Cinnamon Cake

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 todays treat is …. Dorset Apple and Cinnamon Cake – an autumnal treat!

Ingredients

225 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing – you could use a mix of half butter/half margarine
225 g caster sugar, plus extra for dredging
3 large eggs
225 g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
25 g ground almonds
      450g cooking apples – peeled cored and chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas4 and grease and bottom line an 8 inch loose bottomed high sided tin. This is a ‘tall’ cake!
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. One at a time add the eggs. If the mixture curdles add a spoonful of flour and stir.
  3. Sift the remaining flour and the baking powder into the bowl and fold in with the ground almonds. Add the chopped apple pieces and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Spoon into the prepared cake tin, smooth over the top using the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until well-risen, brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the cake starts to look a little too brown, cover with a sheet of baking paper after about 45 minutes.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin. Serve the cake and dredge with extra caster sugar.


Just in time for autumn sunshine!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Local tourism feature with Charles Baker from St Albans District Council


Charles chatted with Danny today as this month is a very special one for St Albans.  After seeing the St Albans Beer Festival entertaining record crowds we continue with the St Albans Food and Drink Festival until the 7th. Tonight from 8p.m. is 'Grow it, Cook it, Eat it' where the Grow Your Own Food group of Transition St Albans celebrate and share their harvest. They aim to show how to address some of the challenges of Climate Change and Peak Oil in our own gardens. There is a small demonstration garden, a tour of the Verulam Brewery, apple pressing, advice on growing your own, and seeds and seedlings to take home. This takes place at THE FARMER'S BOY in London Road.

Some highlights of the coming days include tomorrow's 'Get to Know Your Mushrooms' event at CARLUCCIO'S in Christopher Place bringing the wonder of mushrooms to you. Join them for a glass of wine and a chat whilst one of our chefs cooks a variety of easy-to-please but impressive mushroom dishes for you to taste. Our food expert will host the event and encourage you to smell and touch a variety of mushrooms.  This is an opportunity to engage with food lovers and get passionate about mushrooms. Cost: £20.00

Thursday's activities include the History & Haunted tour at the WHITE HART HOTEL as well as the Food and Drink Festival Awards at ST. MICHAEL'S MANOR with a three course meal and a welcome drink. There will be a raffle in aid of the Mayors Charities. Sponsored by St Michael’s Manor, Mokoko, Flagship Wines, and Radio Verulam. Time: 7pm for 7.30pm Cost: £30.00 - and hosted by our very own Jonny Seabrook and Roma Bomile!

The Ale and Sausage Festival is also being held at THE JOLLY SAILOR at 3 Stonecross from the 4th-7th.

All culminates with the Festival Finale Market - for an opportunity to discover the diverse range of restaurants from around the district. including Darcy's and many more. There will be plenty of food and drink demonstrations to watch at the AGA Rangemaster Cookery Theatre co-hosted by very own Danny Smith and station program controller Nick Hazell and many stalls with local food to try and to buy. So don’t have lunch in - eat out and experience som ething new! Also, there will be entertainment with music from “The Horn Presents…”, and the opportunity to sing along with the choir of St Peter’s Church as The Vicar Rev. Coleen Hurst blesses the Market on this Harvest festival Sunday. (Approx 10.45).  12.30 sees the serving of a Traditional Sunday lunch at St Alban's Cathedral's Abbot's Kitchen.  Of course don't forget the St. Albans Cake-off! from 3-4 judged again by Danny Smith and Matt Adams, editor of the Hert Advertiser.

More details can be found at
http://www.allaboutstalbans.com/food-and-drink-festival-12-events/3 and
http://www.enjoystalbans.com/


Chris' Film: Club Duck Soup

Today is Groucho Marx’s birthday (he would have been 122!) Duck Soup sees the Marx brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo) take control of a small country called Freedonia, who eventually starts a war with their neighbours. Classic one-liners, beautiful physical comedy (notably the famous mirror scene) and quite biting satire.

New Music Playlist w/c 1st October 2012

Hi Drivetimers

Better late than never, eh?  Here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Amy Macdonald - 4th July
Andy Burrows - Because I Know That I Can
Beth Hart - Baddest Blues
Deacon Blue - The Hipsters
Dionne Warwick - Is There Anybody Out There?
Jack Savoretti - Breaking The Rules
Jeff Lynne - At Last
Josh Osho - Giants
Keane - Disconnected
Lemar - The First Time
Leona Lewis - Trouble
MIKA - Celebrate
Muse - Madness
Naughty Boy Ft. Emeli Sande - Wonder
Nickelback - Trying Not To Love You
Pet Shop Boys - Leaving
Pnau - Solid Ground (Too Much Worth Living For)
Rebecca Ferguson - Backtrack
Ren Harvieu - Do Right By Me
Richard Hawley - Seek It
Robbie Williams - Candy
The Beach Boys - Isn't It Time
The Overtones - Loving The Sound
Train - Bruises
Tyler James - Single Tear

Items in BOLD are new additions

Our featured track for this week is 4th July by Amy MacDonald:

Monday, 1 October 2012

Chris' Film Club Pan's Labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth

Today in 1936 Francisco Franco becomes head of the nationalist government of Spain. Pan’s Labyrinth is set in post-Civil War Spain, is directed by Guillermo Del Toro and is about a young girl, Ofelia, who finds a labyrinth and interacts with a mysterious faun.

 

Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Sarah Buckingham from the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust was our guest this evening

 
Badger cull

What you can do to help: http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/badgers-and-bovineTB#petition
What’s happening?
This autumn trials will take place in Gloucestershire and Somerset to test the suitability of ‘controlled shooting’ as a method of culling badgers in an effort to combat the problem of bovine TB in England. The trials will assess the practicality and cost of this culling method, rather than trapping and culling badgers. They will not assess the impact on levels of TB. A number of legal attempts to block the trial have been rejected and the cull is expected to get underway soon.

The Wildlife Trusts’ position on badgers & bovine TB
The Wildlife Trusts are very conscious of the hardship that bovine TB (bTB) causes in the farming community and the need to find the right mechanisms to control the disease. However, we believe that a badger cull is not the answer. Biosecurity and vaccination should be at the centre of efforts to tackle this disease rather than a badger cull.

We believe that efforts to tackle the disease should therefore include the following measures:

• Biosecurity: All possible measures should be pursued to prevent disease transmission on-farm.

• Badger vaccination: Support landowners to use the injectable BadgerBCG vaccine. We also urge Defra to continue developing an oral badger vaccine.

• Cattle vaccine: Complete development of a cattle vaccine and secure change to EU regulation to permit its commercial deployment.

How could a badger cull make the bovine TB problem worse?
Badgers typically live in social groups of four to seven animals with defined territorial boundaries. Culling disrupts the organisation of these social groups, causing surviving badgers to range more widely than normal and increasing the risks of disease transmission. This is known as the 'perturbation effect'. The Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB concluded in its final report (2007) that it was 'unable to conceive of a system of culling, other than the systematic elimination, or virtual elimination, of badgers over very extensive areas, that would avoid the serious adverse consequences of perturbation'.

What are The Wildlife Trusts doing?
Our involvement with this issue over a number of years has led us to the conclusion that a sustained programme of vaccination, alongside improved biosecurity measures, would be the best means of tackling bTB.
We are therefore working hard to demonstrate how the badger vaccine can be deployed practically. Last year Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust was the first non-governmental organisation to begin deployment of the injectable BadgerBCG vaccine and a number of other Trusts are beginning vaccination programmes in 2012.

The Wildlife Trusts are making the case for vaccination to the Government and we will continue to press them to reject the badger cull.

What can I do?
The key to convincing the Government to reject the culling of badgers is to show that vaccination is a viable way to control bovine TB. A number of Wildlife Trusts are carrying out vaccination programmes, but they need your support. If we can demonstrate the effectiveness of badger vaccination we can convince the Government to abandon the cull.


Fabulous Fungi!
Sunday 21 October, Stevenage

Fungal Walk in Pryor’s Wood Nature Reserve. 10am.

From Stevenage take the A1072 (Martins Way) until it meets Gresley Way, to the right.

The reserve entrance is a short way along Gresley Way, on the left, to the right of a large gate. Some parking near by or further back off Gresley Way. (TL264264).

For further information contact Penny at Mid Herts local group.

Book with Vicky Davies: tel: 01707 390064.

Suggested donation: £3



An Autumn Adventure
Saturday 13 October, Brookmans Park

10.30am to 12.30pm

Join us for a morning of autumnal activities and crafts at the fascinating Gobions Wood Nature Reserve, with all its weird and wonderful trees.

Suitable for children between 5-11. This is a free family event but please book in advance as places are limited. Please bring an adult with you!

Sorry but no toilets are available on site.
call Susannah on 07876 508034.