Thursday, 28 September 2017

Chris' Film Club: A Bridge Too Far

Wrapping up a week of moving World War 2 Films, Chris' last pick is 1977's "A Bridge Too Far".

Another epic reaching almost 3 hours, this film is infact based on a Cornelius Ryan book! The film follows an allied paratrooper unit in 1944, who must reclaim a Netherlands highway to break into Germany.

Directed by Richard Attenborough, it stars an ensemble cast including Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Edward Fox, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford, Maximilian Schell and Liv Ullmann.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The Drivetime Sessions with Gracie! Sponsored by @FightingCockssa

On this weeks Drivetime Sessions we were joined by the sassy and soulful Gracie! She performed an acoustic version of 'Light The Way', a song she wrote for the charity Team Margot. More information on Team Margot can be found at this link

She also performed her single 'V.I.P.' and performed a cover of 'Fill Me In' originally by Craig David.

For more information on Gracie, including details of her upcoming gigs, you can visit her Facebook at 

If you would like to listen to the Drivetime Sessions again then visit and navigate to Wednesday at 5:30.

Chris' Film Club: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Continuing to look at Films based on the Second World War, today Chris and Danny discuss "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas".

Based on the novel by John Boyne, this 2008 drama is a powerful film about two boys who become friends during the horrors of the Holocaust. Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is the son of a concentration camp commandant, and Shmuel (Jack Scanlon) is a Jewish inmate in the camp.

The film also stars David Thewlis, Vera Farmiga, Rupert Friend and David Hayman.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Chris Film Club: The Longest Day

The theme of "World War 2" continues on this week's Film Club with 1962's "The Longest Day".

Retelling the events of 1944 when the U.S. Army and Allied forces began their invasion landing in Normandy, France, the Film follows a General who travels with his men onto Omaha Beach.

Stars (among others) John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Red Buttons, Peter Lawford, Rod Steiger, George Segal, Robert Wagner, Curt Jurgens and Paul Anka.

The film had 5 directors, 3 were credited and 2 were left uncredited.


Interior Design Feature with @ga_interiors

Today we talked to our interior design correspondent Gwendoline Alderton about new interior design trends for this Autumn. In Autumn the nights draw in and it's common for your rooms to feel a bit low and lifeless.  Using colour is a great way to bring life and energy into the room during Autumn, as it provides an instant energy lift.  Autumn colours are muted and easy to use in any room.  Popular colours include mustard yellow, which looks great with all natural colours.  Burnt orange/terracotta is also common, because it is muted and warm.  A bowl of fruit will also instantly lift the atmosphere of the room, due to the exciting colours.

Using different textures in your home is also a brilliant way to bring warmth into your home.  Woollen throws will not only keep you warm but are also very suitable for Autumn, and natural materials organically help you regulate your body temperature.  Other natural materials you can use include cotton and linen.

Vintage style material will also be popular this season.  Bedding is a good way to use vintage material to make a room feel cosy and lovable.  Red is also another colour which will be popular this season- it's always popular in the wintertime but this year its popularity will be heightened. 

Gwendoline's twitter: @ga_interiors

Monday, 25 September 2017

Chris' Film Club: Dunkirk

Chris returns this week to helm the Film Club once again, this Monday he sets the theme for the next few episodes as "World War 2.", strarting today with "Dunkirk".

Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, the film details the real life events of May 1940, when Allied troops were methodically evacuated from Dunkirk beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated.

The cast features Fionn Whitehead, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy and Kenneth Branagh.


Goodbye #Cassini mission, bats and heavy lifting, and #SotM Michele Dougherty with @smrolfe

A summary of the Radio Verulam West Herts Drivetime Science Feature broadcast 25/09/2017 5:30-6:00 pm BST

Goodbye Cassini

Michele Dougherty remembers the launch: "I thought, it's going to be exciting. I gave the impression I knew what I was doing but I didn't. When it finally happened [launched] and you're standing there and you're watching this thing go up, the ground shakes and you're standing there, thinking, I hope it's going to be OK, I hope it's going to be - and your heart is in your mouth. It really is."

What do we know now (only a small portion!)?
The rings: the Voyager probes did a fly-by of Saturn in 1980 and 1981, returning pictures that suggested there were around 10,000 rings, Cassini has returned data suggesting there are actually millions, with complex structures such as clumps, holes and gaps.

The rings are probably younger than previously expected - during the final orbits of the Cassini craft it passed between the rings and the upper atmosphere of Saturn and was able to take measurements of the rings to resolve this. If the rings are less massive than previously thought this means that they are younger, perhaps as young as 100 million years, and that means we are seeing Saturn at a special time, the rings as we know them weren't always like this, or may not have existed at all for large periods of the history of the Solar System.

Saturn and its rings

Cassini discovered 7 of Saturn's 62 known moons (Polydeuces, Pallene, Methone, Daphnis, Anthe, Aegaeon, S/2009 S 1)

Titan: The only moon with a substantial atmosphere. Discovered the first known 'rain' outside of the Earth - radar observations a few weeks apart showed methane showers had soaked the surface, but then evaporated. The Huygens lander took images showing networks of streams and rivers, leading into lakes and seas of liquid methane.

News in short: Bats collide with windows
Because bats did not evolve with smooth surfaces such as glass windows, their echo location doesn't work, they
don't receive the reflected signal and this can cause them to think it is a gap and fly into it. Imagine shining a
torch on to a mirror - you would only see the reflection if you are directly in front of it or very close to it.

News in short: Wearable sensors to help save your back
Pressure-sensing insoles were designed by scientists at the University of Quebec to monitor how participants distributed their weight when they lifted heavy items. This was combined with a hat-mounted accelerometer to track how they moved. An algorithm was able judge participant's posture correctly 95 % of the time and hence whether they were lifting correctly or incorrectly.

Sources: New Scientist magazine, 16th Sept 2017;

Scientist of the Month
Michele Dougherty

Michele Dougherty

Michele worked on the Cassini mission, as well as the Ulysses and Galileo missions.
Discovered the atmosphere around Enceledus!
For more on Michele's career please see:

Night Sky this month

Just passed through Autumn Equinox (22nd Sept), so nights are getting longer.

Orionids Meteor Shower, 21-22nd Oct, "The shower runs annually from October 2 to November 7. It peaks this year on the night of October 21 and the morning of October 22. The crescent moon will set early in the evening leaving dark skies for what should be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight." Approximately 20 meteors per hour at the peak, as a result of material left behind by Halley's comet.

Friday, 22 September 2017

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 22nd September 2017

Tonight Chris was back in the hot seat for the first time in months. And by 'hot seat', I mean writing this blog post. I don't mean actually presenting the Film Guide, that's very much Simon's job, and we call that the 'damp seat', for reasons known only Simon, Danny, Chris, and that terrified possum. We all know that the person writing the blog post is the most important person in any situation (or so bloggers have been attempting to tell people since the advent of the internet) because they are the one in control of the story. They can bend the narrative of history to their will. So be nice to Chris, or else.

Ok, that was a lie, but Simon was in the studio to talk about the UK box office, new releases in the cinema, and his pick of films on TV for the coming week.

The Last Picture Show
1.20am – 4.ooam

Cowboys & Aliens
9.00pm – 11.20pm
Channel 4

The Dambusters
3.15pm – 5.55pm

11.25pm – 1.45am

11.40pm – 2.10am

Django Unchained
10.00pm – 1.20am

In a Lonely Place
1.05pm – 2.55pm

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Chris' Film Club: The Three Musketeers

And the second "Bad Film" to round off this week is 1993's "The Three Musketeers".

In this action film, D'Artagnan travels to Paris hoping to become a musketeer, one of the French king's elite bodyguards, only to discover that the corps has been disbanded by conniving Cardinal Richelieu. Fortunately, Athos, Porthos and Aramis have refused to lay down their weapons and continue to protect their king. D'Artagnan joins with the rogues to expose Richelieu's plot against the crown.

Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland and Oliver Platt star as the titular characters, with Chris O'Donnell  as D'Artagnan and Tim Curry as the antagonistic Richelieu.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Drivetime Sessions with @Chris_Flegg sponsored by Ye Olde Fighting Cocks

On this weeks Drivetime Sessions we were joined by the Folk and Jazz acoustic singer Chris Flegg! He performed his singles 'Looking In The Mirror' and 'Winners and Losers' and performed a cover of 'The Boxer' originally by Simon & Garfunkel.

For more information on Chris Flegg, including details of his upcoming gigs, you can visit his website at Follow him on Twitter under the name of @chris_flegg.

If you would like to listen to the Drivetime Sessions again then visit and navigate to Wednesday at 5:30.

Chris' Film Club: Lost in Space

Moving on from the two "recent good ones" on this weeks film club, Chris now looks at two "old bad 'uns", the first being "Lost in Space".

This 1998 space adventure sees the space family Robinson on a journey to Alpha Prime in the hopes of establishing a colony, thereby saving humanity from extinction. Their plans are foiled by the evil Dr. Smith (Gary Oldman) and they find themselves curiously enough, lost in space.

William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham and Matt LeBlanc also star.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Chris' Film Club: Baby Driver

Chris' next choice for a recent good film is "Baby Driver", released this summer!

Directed by Edgar Wright, it stars Ansel Elgort as Baby, a young getaway driver for bank robbers, who wants to just do one last job and leave the life behind, but it ain’t that simple.

Also stars Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and Eiza Gonzalez.

Scott Clarke talks to us about his 100th venue for a park run

Today we talked to local man and running enthusiast Scott Clarke, from the Harpenden Arrows, about what will be his 100th venue for a park run. Park runs are free 5k runs which happen all over the UK, and anyone can participate from the age of 4.  They are also now international, taking place in over 17 countries.  Scott to date has run 159 park runs (that's over 795km!), and has travelled as far as Ireland and Denmark to take part.  However, Ganavan Sands in Oban has been his favourite location to date because of the beautiful scenery.   Outside of park runs Scott once ran 72 miles in one day from Carlisle to Gateshead to raise money for the charity Breakthrough Breastcancer.

He started taking part in park runs in January 2014, as part of a weight loss mission after going away from .  He often runs with his sons, and he says they have been a great part of his journey.  His dog JJ also sometimes runs with him, and has taken part in over 20 park runs.  He often runs to raise money for charity, and once ran 11 park run venues in one day with friends, and raised over £1400 for Alzheimers Research UK. 

Scott will be running his 100th venue for a park run at Heartwood Forest on the 23rd September.  He says: “I am really pleased that I can do my 100th venue so close to home at Heartwood Forest, so that many of my friends from the Harpenden Arrows and my family can join me.”

Park runs start at 9am all over England on Saturdays, and all you need to do to participate is to sign up on the website and receive your free barcode.

Park run website:
Harpenden Arrow's website:

Monday, 18 September 2017

Chris' Film Club: Atomic Blonde

Chris returns to helm the Film Club this week, setting the theme today as "Two Recent Good ‘Uns, Two Old Bad ‘Uns", starting with 2017 release "Atomic Blonde".

This action thriller stars Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton, an MI6 spy sent to Berlin at the end of the Cold War, to track down a stolen list which contains the identities of thousands of spies.

Directed by David Leitch, who co-directed John Wick, the film also stars James McAvoy, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Sofia Boutella, and Eddie Marsan.

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday September 15th 2017

This week, Simon came in to the Drivetime studio for a lengthy guide on watching 'Flim', the 2014 British Comedy about a Bollywood director who attempts to make it big in Hollywood.

Ok, that was a lie, Simon was actually in the studio to guide us through the UK box office, new releases in the cinema, and his pick of films on TV for the coming week.

11.15pm – 1.40am

The Fast and the Furious
9.00pm – 11.10am

8.10pm – 10.00pm

A Time to Kill
11.05pm – 2.00am

The Equalizer
9.00pm – 11.35pm

The Town
10.35pm – 1.10am

Good Kill
9.00pm – 11.05pm

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Marianna, Michael & Hellen From the Quorum Singers

Joining Danny in the studio today were Marianna, Michael & Hellen from local mixed voice choir 'Quorom'. 

The group talked about what it was like to sing in such a welcoming singing group, and the upcoming performance by the Quorum Singers at Christopher Place this saturday the 16th in the afternoon from 1pm.

Their next concert is raising charity for the Borehamwood Food Bank on December 16th, and the singing group is always looking out for opportunities to work with local organisations!

The Singers rehearse weekly and are always looking for new members to join their Wednesday evening meets, come along to their open evening on the 27th of September to see if you'd be interested in becoming a member. 

For further details on these events and if you're interested in getting in contact with the Quorum you can visit their website: or their Facebook Page:

Max's Film Club: Lethal Weapon 2

Rounding off a week of simply the best of '80s Action' is 'Lethal Weapon 2' from 1989.

A year after the events of the first Lethal Weapon, Martin Riggs (Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Glover) are taken off an extremely sensitive case involving a number of South African criminals due to their diplomatic immunity. Instead being placed on protecting federal witness Leo Getz (Joe Pesci), an assassination attempt causes them to realise the two cases are closely linked.

Note: Basically the best film ever, everyone should watch it.


Drive Time Sessions with Beth Hedges! Sponsored by Ye Olde Fighting Cocks

On this weeks Drivetime Sessions we were joined by the Pop/Folk acoustic singer Beth Hedges! She performed her singles 'Run and Hide' and 'Have The Words' and performed a cover of 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' originally by Whitney Houston.

For more information on Beth Hedges, including details of her upcoming gigs, you can visit her Lemonrock page at She also has a YouTube page which features covers and original content, check her out at

If you would like to listen to the Drivetime Sessions again then visit and navigate to Wednesday at 5:30.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Max's Film Club: Licence to Kill

Our next 80s Action Film this week is another 1989 release, Timothy Dalton's second James Bond flick 'Licence to Kill'.

After the assault and murder of his newly married friend Felix and his wife, James Bond (Dalton) turns renegade and goes on the run from the British government as he chases drug Lord Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) to the Caribbean, where he teams up with ex cia pilot Pam Bouvier(Carey Lowell).

Look out for a young Benicio del Toro as one of Sanchez’ henchmen!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Max's Film Club: Tango & Cash

Max's week of '80s Action' on the Film Club continues today with another 1989 release (turns out they all are!) 'Tango & Cash".

Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell star as ace cops and narcotic experts Tango and Cash, who while on the trail of druglord Yves Perret (Jack Palance) find themselves framed for murder and forced into jail. Following an action packed escape sequence, they team up with Cash’s sister Katherine (Teri Hatcher) to clear their records and take the drug empire down.

Nascot Lawn; Let's Talk; Transformation Plans; Wellbeing

Four Issues in Tonight’s DriveTime

·         Nascot Lawn
·         Let’s Talk
·         Transformation Plans
·         Wellbeing

1. Nascot Lawn – Healthcare provision is a minefield! Take the case of Nascot Lawn. It is a large Victorian house in Watford that has been converted to provide respite care for children with complex health needs and learning disability. In June our local commissioning group (HVCCG) announced that they were cutting £600K a year of funding to the unit. At present it is due to close at the end of OCT. And here’s why this is stupid – there is a row about whether the provision of respite care should come out of the Health Budget or the Social Care Budget. There is intense scrutiny on this decision. For a full update, see the Healthwatch Press Release
And declare your support for Nascot Lawn on the supporters’ Facebook site.

2. HVCCG - Let's Talk
Our last Health Matters featured the HVCCG plan to ration services around Gluten free prescribing, over the counter medicines, being fit for surgery, IVF/ fertility services and vasectomy. The survey is only open until SEP 14; go here to have your say
There’s been lots of feedback; and a full update in next month’s Health Matters.

3. Transformation Plans
All this focus on saving is a concern – there seem to be minimal plans for what the CCGs will be doing once the turnaround is underway! That means that issues like winter pressures, workforce issues, staff motivation, and service transformation are getting very little attention. For the latest on the transformation plan (known as the “STP”) go to

4. Wellbeing
There’s a new service available for people who are experiencing a wide range of emotional difficulties such as anxiety, worry, low mood, depression and stress. They have some excellent coping strategies that you can use.

Go to You can refer yourself!

And finally – support National Air Ambulance Week -

Monday, 11 September 2017

Max's Film Club: Road House

This week, Max is taking charge of the Film Club, and today he sets the theme of the week as '80s Action' with 1989's 'Road House'.

Patrick Swayze plays Dalton, the ultimate bouncer, who has been hired to clean up the Double Deuce, one of the meanest bars in the south. Along the way he finds himself on the wrong side of the de-facto owner of the town.

Sam Elliot also shows up as Wade Garret, Daltons even cooler mentor and friend.

Consumer Advice

This evening we were joined by Elizabeth Crampton from St Albans Citizens Advice Bureau for our monthly update on consumer issues.

If you took out any kind of consumer loan, store card, credit card or mortgage in the 1990s or 2000s, you may have been mis-sold PPI.
PPI mis-selling checklist

If your answer is ‘no’ to one or more of the following questions, then you may have been mis-sold PPI.
If the insurance was optional, was that made clear to you?
Did the adviser tell you about any significant exclusions under the policy – for example, the exclusion that says you won’t be covered for any pre-existing medical condition?
If you took out a loan or finance agreement, did the adviser make it clear that you would have to pay for the insurance upfront in one single payment?
If you had to pay for the PPI as a single payment, did the adviser make it clear that the insurance cost would be added to the loan and that you would be paying interest on it?
Single premium PPI insurance normally only lasts for five years. If your loan or finance agreement was for longer than this, did the adviser make it clear that the insurance would run out before you had finished paying for your loan or finance agreement? The adviser should also have told you that you would continue to pay interest on the insurance premium, even after the insurance expired.
If you bought PPI after 14 January 2005, did the adviser try to persuade you to take it out by saying something like: ‘We strongly recommend that you consider taking out PPI?’ If so, the sale counts as an ‘advised’ sale and they should have issued a ‘demands and needs statement’ to show why a particular policy has been recommended, and why it’s suitable for you. If they didn’t, this is grounds for complaint.
You can complain if you think your provider earned a high level of commission from your PPI and this was not made clear to you when you bought it.

Personal Budgets
As Christmas looms on the horizon it is worthwhile planning a budget.
Try to find your most recent:
bank statements
debit and credit card statements or bills
receipts for things you usually pay for in cash

Make sure you include all your expenses, for example money you spend on your partner or family.

For more information on on these items and more go to the web site

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Chris' Film Club: Meet the Spartans

After a week of '3 good films', today Chris rounds things off with a very, VERY bad one, with 2008's 'Meet the Spartans'.

In this parody of '300' and other films, the heroic Spartan king Leonidas, armed with nothing but leather underwear and a cape, leads a ragtag bunch of 13 Spartan misfit warriors to defend their homeland against thousands of invading Persians whom include the Ghost Rider, Rocky Balboa, the Autobots, and an ugly hunchbacked Paris Hilton.

Note: Chris still hasn't forgiven his brother for making him watch this one in the cinema.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Drivetime Sessions with @SupermoonDuo (Sponsored by @FightingCocksSA)

To kick off the Drivetime's Autumn term, we were joined by the fantastic Supermoon. The acoustic duo are formed by Hannah Elizabeth and Griff Jameson, who beautifully performed their EP tracks 'You'll Never Know' and 'Time Takes Time' and performed a cover of 'I Only Want To Be With You' originally by Dusty Springfield.

For more information on their upcoming gigs and performances, including details of their self titled EP you can visit their Facebook here.

You can listen to the Drivetime Sessions again here, by navigating to Wednesday at 5:30.

Chris' Film Club: Spider-Man: Homecoming

The third 'Good pick' from Chris this week is summer blockbuster by Marvel 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'.

The umpteenth Spider-Man reboot in the past few years, 'Homecoming' is his first solo film to be considered a part of the 'Marvel Cinematic Universe', and focuses on both the issues of wanting to be an avenger, while being 15 and in High School.

Tom Holland stars as Spider-Man/Peter Parker, with Micheal Keaton being a fantastic baddy as the Vulture. Robert Downey Jnr, Jon Favreau and Zendaya also star.


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Chris' Film Club: Spectral

Up next on the Film Club, another good film! Today it's 'Spectral' from 2016.

A science-fiction film set in the near future, the film sees the US military involved in a civil war in Moldova, when weird spectral beings start showing up and killing people by touch. A group of soldiers get stuck in the middle of a city, surrounded by these creatures, and must find out how to stop them.

Stars James Badge Dale, Emily Mortimer, Max Martini and Bruce Greenwood.

The Living Room- a local addiction charity

Today we talked to three representatives from The Living Room, a Hertfordshire charity which helps people overcome addictions. This charity runs treatment centres in St Albans and Stevenage and provides free addiction treatment to adults with behavioural or substance addictions.  The Living Room is focused on breaking the cycle of addiction and is an abstinent space.  They encourage clients to look at the illness itself, and helps with issues with anything that may be considered addictive, not just substances.

We talked to Rochelle, who works specifically with eating disorders.  She is based in Stevenage and runs the disordered eating group, which meets on a Tuesday.  She said the support clients give each other is one of the most important reasons for group therapy, and makes the clients feel more comfortable when otherwise they might feel isolated.

The Living RoomWe also spoke to "Jo", a former client, who struggled with an eating disorder.  She said she found the living room via friends online and on the first morning was admitted to a group session straight after a consultation.  She said the atmosphere was one of acceptance and the treatment was open ended, and most importantly free.

The Living Room will be holding an open day on the 14th September from 1:30 to 4:30.  Anyone can drop in and talk to former clients about
Useful links:
The Living Room's website
the back of 156 Hatfield Road, St Albans

Monday, 4 September 2017

Chris' Film Club: Coherence

This week. Chris mixes things up again with a selection. 4 Films, '3 good, 1 bad'.

First, one of the good films, is 'Coherence', written and directed by James Ward Byrkit. Shot over 5 nights at his house, this thriller sees a group of friends at a dinner party thrown into chaos after a blackout, and weird things start happening in their street.

Largely improvisational and with a mostly unknown cast, it was made for just £50,000.

Being Mrs C


Penny Carr joined us tonight for more money saving tips.
How to save money when having a baby
Second hand is the way to go there are many local Mums Groups on social media or use Freecycle where you can obtain many items free, also sign up for loyalty schemes with major supermarkets where many children's items are offered.

Phone Apps
You can use the app Stocard to store all your loyalty card details in one place, then you simply swipe your phone at the check out.

More information on these subjects and many more money saving tips can be found at the web site