Friday, 21 December 2018

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: 21st December 2018

Simon Carver joined us in the studio for our final Film Guide for 2018.  Here is his choice of films on free-to-air TV for the forthcoming week:

Educating Rita
10.45pm – 1.00am
Paramount Network

Mamma Mia!
6.50pm – 9.00pm

Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)
10.00pm – 11.55pm

Christmas Eve
Furious 7
9.00pm – 11.45pm

Christmas Day
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
3.10pm – 6.05pm
Channel 5

Boxing Day
The Lego Movie
4.55pm – 7.00pm

8.00pm – 10.40pm

Eddie the Eagle
8.00pm – 10.00pm
Channel 4

Hot Topics: 18th December 2018

This week Danny and Ian covered the following items, Loss of mobile phone data, Xmas and recycling, and The Xmas Grinch at a school in Nebraska.

Friday, 14 December 2018

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 14th December 2018

Simon picks his choice of free-to-air movies in the run up to Christmas, with a smattering of Xmas movies but with some other genres in there for those already worn out by Xmas hype.

Week of 14th December 2018 – Films on TV

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

9.00pm – 11.05pm

Battle of Britain (1969)
4.00pm – 6.40pm

Elf (2003)
6.00pm – 8.00pm

The Grinch (2000)
6.55pm – 9.00pm

The Madness of George (1995)
7.50pm – 10.00pm

A Single Man (2009)
9.00pm – 11.15pm
Sony Movie Channel

Jaws (1975)
9.00pm – 11.40pm

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Hot Topics 11th December 2018

This week the ever popular[?] Hot Topics covered advertising standards complaints, Xmas Songs, Techie forecast for 2019 and Secret Santa gifts.

Health Matters. Hospital Fines, Stay Well, NHS 111, Patient Transport, 1,000 Miles!

Four Issues in tonight’s DriveTime

  • Hospital Fines
  • Stay Well This Winter
  • NHS 111
  • Patient Transport
  • 1,000 miles for the NHS

1. Hospital Waiting List Fines
West Herts Hospital Trust (“WHHT”) has been fined £888,000 by our local Clinical Commissioning Group because patients are waiting too long for planned and elective surgery – these fines are in respect of APR and MAY this year; further fines are likely to be levied at around £500K a month for the rest of the year.

How ridiculous is this? True, waiting times need to be improved and steps need to be taken to address the issue; but this is really the result of years of under-funding and that can hardly be fixed by imposing fines. In effect our Commissioning Group is saying “we’re fining you for not investing the money we haven’t given you over the last three years!”. But there is good news for WHHT – they’re getting an extra £11m to fix A&E!
2. Stay Well This Winter
Some strong tips to help you stay well this winter

  • If you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious – get help from your pharmacist.
  • If you have a long-term health condition like COPD (lung diseases), bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart or kidney disease, or have suffered a stroke, get advice from your pharmacist or GP on how to keep well during the colder months.
  • Remember to pick up your prescription before the Christmas holidays start. Many GPs and pharmacies will close over the holiday period.
  • NHS 111 will help you get the right medical attention urgently or visit which can direct you to a local service that is open during the holiday period.
  • Older neighbours, relatives, friends and other elderly members of the community are more vulnerable in the winter months and may need a bit of extra help this winter, so make sure you keep in touch.
  • It is important to keep warm in winter, both inside and out as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

For full details on staying well this winter, go to

3. NHS 111
The third instalment (of three!) on NHS 111. We’ve covered the general service, we had Health Advisor Beverley Squirrel (we would probably refer to her as a call handler) in the studio last month and this month we’re covering the support behind those call handlers.

Because this is the critical point about 111 – there’s a full service team available 24 hours a day – it’s not just the call handler and a computer as we heard last month from Beverley. There’s a 24hr GP, as well as a Pharmacist, a Dental Nurse, other Nurses and a Paramedic who assist with complex cases.

Talking to the Hatfield Rotary Club a couple of weeks ago there was universal agreement that the 111 service is exceptional! So our special thanks to the team and best wishes for Christmas.

4. Patient Transport
One of the real problem areas locally is that of Patient Transport - for full information go to

5. NHS at 70By walking to the studio this evening I completed my 1,000 miles for the NHS. So now reality sets in – my wife is picking me up after the show!

And finally - a very happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year!

Monday, 10 December 2018

Consumer Advice

Tonight we were joined by Elizabeth Crampton for our regular update on current consumer issues.

Homeless people
This issue has been notable on St Peters Street recently so what is the local councils position on this?

If you're already homeless, or likely to become homeless within the next 8 weeks you can apply for help getting somewhere to live from your local council. This is known as making a homeless application.

The council will look into your situation to decide what help they might be able to give you. There isn't a set time to get a decision, but there shouldn't be an unreasonably long delay.

Before making an application you can check via the web site link below, If you're not sure, it's still worth applying because the council has to review all applications.

Wedding Insurance Policies

The kind of policy you buy, or even if you buy it at all, turns on how much you're spending on the big day and what kind of wedding you've planned.

Not every wedding is the size of an Elton John bash, so if you could easily rearrange it on your own, then wedding insurance isn't a must

However, if the financial and emotional stress of rearranging would be too much, insurance will be worth a look.

Venue cancellation and supplier failure are the two main reasons people buy wedding insurance; policies start from £19 for weddings of £3,000 and go up to £300 for £100,000 weddings.

More details on these items and much more  can be found at the web site 

Friday, 7 December 2018

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 7th December 2018

7th December 2018 – Films on TV

Simon picks his choice of movies on free-to-air TV:

Super 8 (2011)
7.45pm – 10.00pm

Arthur Christmas (2011)
4.40pm – 6.35pm
Channel 4

Casino (1995)
10.00pm – 1.50am

The Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
9.00pm – 11.35pm
Channel 5

Suffragette (2015)
7.50pm – 10.00pm

Love Actually (2003)
9.00pm – 11.45pm

Déjà Vu (2006)
9.00pm – 11.30pm
Sony Movie Channel

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

The Drivetime Sessions with the amazing @scarlettefever_

Today we were joined by the incredible Scarlette Fever! We asked her to perform 1 original song and 2 covers. Her original song was 'Let The Music Save Me' and she graced us with a cover of 'Santa Baby' and 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'. She has a new EP coming out called "December Prayer " on Friday 14th December. Scarlette Fever is also playing at Dylans @ 7pm on the 16th December.

You can find Scarlette Fever on:

(Her website)


If you missed this week's Drivetime Session you can listen again!

And the video of the session can be found at

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Hot Topics 4th December 2018

This week Danny and Ian covered - Gift Cards, An Ode To Kevin The Carrot, Must have Xmas toys 2018 and Superstitions.

Food correspondent Becky Alexander @thelocalfoodie joins us to talk all things local and yummy

Becky had visited the Christmas Market at the Vintry Gardens and was impressed with the busy atmosphere and array of gifts on sale.  There are plenty of foodie delights on offer; mulled wine, mulled cider and giant marshmallows in particular!  The Market is open until Saturday 22 December.

New cafe and restaurant openings in St Albans include a new coffee shop 'Nkora' in the Market Square and a Mexican restaurant 'Benito's Hat' taking up some of the site which was previously Jamie's.

There is also a new branch of  Turkish restaurant Tabure opening soon in Harpenden.

Becky will be joining us on the first Tuesday of every month to share and discuss local food news.

Friday, 30 November 2018

The Radio Verulam Film Guide 30th November 2018

Here are Simon's choice of films on free-to-air TV for the forthcoming week:

11.05pm – 1.50am

Hail Caesar!
11.35pm – 1.25am
Channel 4

The Incredibles
5.25pm – 7.35pm
Channel 4

The Rainmaker
10.05pm – 11.45pm
Paramount Network

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
12.00am – 2.10am
Talking Pictures

The Blind Side
10.00pm – 12.40am

The Usual Suspects
10.00pm – 12.15am

Julie O'Shea from @stacourtyard talks about their latest art exhibition

On today's show Julie O'Shea from The Courtyard Cafe joined us on the radio to talk about their latest exhibition "Different Views" featuring her work and the work of local artist Bridget Tompkins.

The exhibition comprises a variety of paintings on display in the main cafe and the rear dining room. The art is available for sale and the exhibition runs until the 22nd of December. The cafe is open Tuesday to Saturday 8;30am - 4:30pm. Also on display is their "Muriel", a collaborative effort buy Julie and Bridget.

Find out more about The Courtyard Cafe on their website:
and Instagram:

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Hot Topics 27th November 2018

This week Danny & Ian waffled about Sustainable shopping, edible insects, the Millennium Bug and the value of memorabilia

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Drivetime sessions with @Dodobones

Today we were joined by the amazing DodoBones! As per usual we asked them to perform 2 original songs and a cover. Their original songs were 'Waiting' and 'Jump Aboard' and they graced us with a cover of 'Pumped Up Kicks' (Foster the People cover). They have a new album coming out called "Four" on Thursday 6th December, which also the date of their album launch night at The Barn at The Horn, St Albans, doors open at 7pm and tickets are £5.00

You can find Dodobones on:

(Their website)

(Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) @Dodobones

If you missed this week's Drivetime Session you can listen again!

And the video of the session can be found at

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Christmas Trends with @GA_interiors

Gwendoline Alderton came in to talk about this years Christmas trends.

Gwendoline advised that generally all things 'wonderfully white' are on trend, but to avoid this looking sterile you can add glitter and different textures.

Blush pink is also popular and can be blended with either white or grey tones. Some lovely soft pink sofas are in the shops at the moment, and for materials velvet is very popular. For Christmas you can add pink to your gold decorations to be current and stylish.

You can also combine pink and red to give a warm, Moroccan, spicy feel.

For Christmas the two particular types of decoration on trend are tin and metal Mexican themes. Or if you want glamour go for plastic decorations like flamingos and peacocks in mixed materials.

A green Christmas tree is the way to go this year.

Gwendoline will be back in January with upcoming style trends for 2019.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Science feature 26-11-2018 with @smrolfe - #InSight #MarsLanding today, £50 note scientist and night sky including total lunar eclipse! #BloodMoon

Radio Verulam Science Feature 26-11-2018

Invading Mars
A new mission called InSight will land on Mars tonight at 8 pm (GMT), with coverage starting at the end of the West Herts Drivetime show at 7 pm on NASA TV, for links see below. The mission is a lander, a stationary laboratory rather than a rover, as being stationary is actually key to the science goals.

InSight is short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport and it’s science goals are: “The first is to examine the interior — what it is made of, and what processes occur. The lander will provide information on the size and composition of the Martian core, crust and mantle. It also will show "how warm the interior is and how much heat is still flowing through," NASA said. The second goal is to learn if Mars is tectonically active (including where seismic activity is located), and how frequently meteorites slam into its surface.”

“Nasa expects Mars to have a metal core, a dense mantle, and a lighter crust, but they are not sure precisely where the boundaries of these layers will be found.”

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

For links to watching landing commentary see:

Other sources:

£50 note to have a scientist

Nominations are still open until 14th December but a list has been released today of the nominations so far.

To be considered, the individual must be real, deceased and have contributed to the field of science in the UK.

Scientists who have inspired Sam:

Caroline Hershel (1750 – 1848) Born in Hanover, Germany in 1750, Caroline was only permitted a rudimentary education, prepared for a life in service. However, after her father’s death she moved to Bath, England to be with her brother William. Both of them initially pursued careers in music, but astronomy became a night-time hobby, and after a series of unsuccessful musical performances they took up astronomy full time. Working closely to support her brother, including developing better astronomical instruments, she became a successful astronomer in her own right. She discovered eight new comets, and contributed around 500 deep sky objects to what became the New General Catalogue, a classification system that is still used today. Caroline was the first woman in England be appointed to an official government position, and first woman to receive a salary for her scientific work (a sum of £50 per year!). She was also the first woman to be awarded Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Hertha Ayrton (1854 – 1923) had a rebellious personality, which was noticed by her teachers and classmates. Her cousins introduced her to science and maths. She studied at Cambridge, where she was successful in gaining a patent for a sphygmomanometer (s-fig-mo-man-ometer), a blood pressure meter. She led the choral society, founded the all-women Girton College fire brigade and co-founded a mathematical club. During her life, she registered 26 patents. She also worked in embroidery and teaching. Hertha won the Hughes Medal by the Royal Society for her work on electric arcs. She also conducted research about the formation of ripples in sand and water. Furthermore, she helped found the International Federation of University Women and the National Union of Scientific Workers.

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (1900 – 1979) was an English-American astronomer and proved in her 1925 doctoral thesis that Hydrogen is the principal component of stars, using data collected by Annie Jump Cannon. This work was considered at the time to be the most brilliant thesis ever written in astronomy. However, despite the evidence she had found, her work was reviewed by Henry Russell and he dissuaded her from her original conclusion as it went against the ideas of the time. He is often credited with the discovery when he came to the same conclusion after getting repeat results by a different method which he published four years later. Cecilia was an inspired seamstress, an inventive knitter, and a voracious reader as well as the first woman to be promoted to professor at Harvard University and, later, the first female Chair of the Department of Astronomy.

Night Sky This Month(s), December and January

“The Geminids is the king of the meteor showers. It is considered by many to be the best shower in the heavens, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982. The shower runs annually from December 7-17. It peaks this year on the night of the 13th and morning of the 14th. The first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight leaving dark skies for what should be an excellent early morning show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.”

Venus will be in the morning sky and Mars will be in the evening sky.

Total Eclipse of the Moon “Blood Moon”
 21st January 2019
Starts at 02:36, ends 07:48, with greatest eclipse at 05:12 (approx. half an hour either side in Total Eclipse).

Friday, 23 November 2018

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 23th November 2018

23rd November 2018 – Films on free-to-air TV

Simon's top picks of movies to see this week on your (small) silver screen.

Air Force One (1997)
10.00pm – 12.25am
Channel 5

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
5.05pm – 7.00pm

The Jewel of the Nile (1985)
2.45pm – 4.35pm

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
7.35pm – 9.50pm

The Martian (2015)
9.00pm – 11.50pm

Star Trek into Darkness (2013)
9.00pm – 11.35pm

The Black Swan (1942)
5.00pm – 6.45pm

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Next week's shows with @smrolfe @ga_interiors @dodobones @fberrynews and @simoncarver475

We have plenty of treats coming up for you next week on West Herts Drivetime.

On Monday 26/11 it's our science feature with Space Doctor Sam Rolfe.

Then on Tuesday we will have our interior design spot with our correspondent from the world of decor, Gwendoline Alderton.

On Wednesday we excite your ears with the Drivetime sessions; this week with the fantastic Dodobones.

Image result for dodobones st albans

Front-page Franki from the Herts Advertiser is our regular Thursday guest, with the hottest local news stories.  And finally on Friday we end the week with Simon Carver and the Radio Verulam film guide.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Hot Topics 20th November 2018

Danny & Ian covered the following subjects, Xmas 100 years ago, peanuts in dynamite, and Kangaroos can't moonwalk!

The Drivetime Sessions with @AmeliaLappert (and mum!)

Today we were joined by the amazing Amelia Lappert! As per usual we asked her to perform 2
original songs and a cover. Her original songs were 'Crossroads' and 'Everybody Fears' and she graced us with a cover of 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love' (Darkness cover).

You can find Amelia on: 

If you missed this week's Drivetime Session you can listen again!

And the video of the session can be found at

Monday, 19 November 2018

Local Theatre Update

David Widdowson joined us tonight for an update on local theatre.

Herts Jazz Club – Gilad Hekselman Trio  at Maltings Art Theatre  
27th November - 19.30
Gilad Hekselman – Guitar, Aaron Parks – Keyboards, Kendrick Scott – Drums

In November 2018 one of the world‘s great jazz guitarists Gilad Hekselman embarks on a European tour celebrating the release of his 6th record as a leader. The new project, ZuperOctave, is a bass-less trio featuring two of the world‘s most in demand jazz musicians, Aaron Parks on synths, Rhodes and piano and Kendrick Scott on drums and pads. It’s a retro-futuristic sound – imagining the sound of the future of jazz as it was perceived in the past. We’re privileged to have this excellent band on a short UK visit.

Tickets: £16/£15/£12

Abbey Theatre

Humdingers Comedy returns with another brilliant line up of some of the best acts around. Join us for a night of top quality stand up comedy.

On Thursday 22nd November, the superb Carey Marx will headline. A regular at London’s Comedy Store and no stranger to TV appearances, Carey brings a relaxed yet confident performance style that you’ll love.

He’ll not be alone. We are also lucky to have the brilliantly reviewed, and extremely funny Jenny Collier to open the show, and support from rising stars, Ross Smith & Sara Barron.

Tickets are £10 online, or £12 on the door (previous nights suggest we are unlikely to have tickets on the door, so secure your seats early!)

Tickets are available from

Ten of Herts
Friday, 23 November 2018, 8:00pm
Saturday, 23 November 2018, 8:00pm

In a first-time collaboration, the Company of Ten partners the Kings of Herts male voice harmony chorus, setting out to complement songs from their barbershop repertoire with a parade of musical and theatrical offerings.

Harpenden-based Kings, who draw members from all over the county, have been singing for fun and charity since 1983. They ‘relish the challenge of stepping on stage at the wonderful Abbey Theatre’. Gentlemen, you are very welcome!

A Christmas Carol

Saturday 15–Saturday 29 December 2018
2.30pm, 5.30pm & 7.30pm

Tickets £12
Concessions £11; 13 and unders £6

Make your Christmas complete with a trip to Victorian London, home of old Ebenezer Scrooge. On a snowy Christmas Eve, three ghosts take Scrooge on a fantastic journey. By glimpsing his past, present and future, he learns to love Christmas and finally make friends with the kind people around him.

A Christmas Carol

15 December 2018–29 December 2018


22 November 2018

Friday, 16 November 2018

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 16th November 2018

Simon delivered his 'free-to-air' TV films for you this week with his usual enthusiasm - enjoy! :)

TV Films 16th November 2018

Notting Hill (1999)
9.00pm – 11.45pm

The Bodyguard (1992)
9.00pm – 11.40pm

Cocoon (1985)
2.35pm – 4.50pm

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
10.45pm – 12.50am

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
9.00pm – 12.10am
Sony Movie Channel

Tootsie (1982)
7.40pm – 10.00pm

Parkland (2013)
9.00pm – 10.50pm

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Harry's Sleeve Notes: 'Back in Black' by @acdc

Image result for back in black

This week Harry and Danny talked about tracks from the classic rock album 'Back in Black' by the Australian rock band AC/DC. 

The tracks:
-Hell's Bells
-Back in Black
-You Shook Me All Night Long
-Rock 'n' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The Drivetime Sessions with the effervescent @Abbie_Gathard

Today we were joined by the effervescent Abbie Gathard! As per usual we asked her to perform 2
original songs and a cover. Her original songs were 'Taking Chances' and 'Can't Wait' and she graced us with a cover of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'.

You can find Abbie on:
Twitter (@Abbie_Gathard)
Facebook (

You can find Abbie's music on:
Deezer (
Spotify (
YouTube (

If you missed this week's Drivetime Session you can listen again!

And the video of the session can be found at

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Hot Topics: 13th November 2018

This week on Hot Topics Danny and Ian discussed fascinating facts about 5th November and Bonfire night, Commonly-used phrases and their origins, and Pencils and their sad demise!

Health Matters - NHS111, Hospitals, Stay Well

Health Correspondent Alan Bellinger with Beverley from NHS 111 & Danny

Five Issues in tonight’s DriveTime 
  • NHS 111
  • Hospital Reconfiguration
  • Stay Well This Winter
  • Open the Bag
  • NHS at 70

1. NHS 111
Discussion with Beverley Squirrel from NHS 111; we’ll be asking her
  • What made you want to become a Call Handler?
  • What training did you have before you "went live"?
  • You're clearly very good at this - do you enjoy it?  

2. Hospital Reconfiguration
The public meeting was held on OCT 23 – it was well attended – especially by people from Hemel Hempstead! The two core issues that are being examined are
  • A new build site for planned care? And
  • Have they correctly factored in the expected population growth?

 Only one comment – can you believe how long we’ve been talking about this?  

3. Stay Well This Winter
Much more on this next month but I thought DriveTimers would find this site useful
It is a great site telling you what to do if you get any of these ten common winter illnesses
  • Colds
  • Sore Throat
  • Asthma
  • Winter Vomiting
  • Painful Joints
  • Cold Sores
  • Heart Attacks
  • Cold Hands & Feet
  • Dry Skin
  • Flu

4. Open the Bag
Next time you go into a Pharmacy for your prescription you'll probably be asked to "Open the Bag"! That's because any problems can easily be rectified in the Pharmacy; any mistakes spotted after you've left the Pharmacy probably means medicines are wasted. 

Show your support by responding to this short survey

5. NHS at 70 – I need just over 2.4 miles a day to complete my NHS 1,000 miles – that’s just 119 to go!!!