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!!!

Monday, 12 November 2018

Consumer Advice

Tonight the turn of Elizabeth Crampton to provide an update on current issues from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Why your insurer might refuse your claim

Your insurer may refuse to pay your claim because:
the policy was not in force when what you're claiming for happened
the policy is invalid because you didn't tell the truth when you applied for insurance or failed to disclose something which could affect your claim (for policies taken out, renewed or changed before 6 April 2013)
the policy is invalid because you deliberately or carelessly withheld information or misled your insurers (for policies taken out, renewed or changed after 6 April 2013)
the item is not covered by your policy
there is an exclusion clause in the policy which means that you can't claim for what's happened
you've missed some of the installments of your premium
you didn't tell your insurer about a change in your circumstances
you haven't followed the claims process correctly
you haven't kept to a condition of your policy
you have exaggerated the claim and are trying to claim for more than you should.

Your insurer must give you a reason for refusing to pay your claim. Check the details of your policy carefully to make sure that their decision is reasonable.

Banking – security and fraud

Contact your bank or building society straight away if you're worried someone might have access to your account. For example, if your:
card or security details have been lost or stolen
statement shows payments you don't recognise
card has reached its limit or account has gone into overdraft - and you weren't expecting it

Check your bank statement or the bank's website for the phone number to call for reporting security issues - or go to their branch in person.

If you haven't had money taken from your account, your bank or building society will still take action to protect your account, for example by cancelling your card or changing your security details.
More details on these items can be found at the web site

Friday, 9 November 2018

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 9th November 2018

Simon has scanned the tele guides and picked an irresistible "stay in with a bucket of popcorn" week of free-to-air TV movies for your enjoyment.

Pulp Fiction (1994)
10.00pm – 1.10am

Bridge of Spies (2015)
9.00pm – 11.45pm

They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)
9.30pm – 11.05pm

Heal the Living (2016)
11.25pm – 1.30am

Goodfellas (1990)
10.05pm – 1.00am

45 Years (2015)
9.00pm – 10.55pm

Warrior (2011)
9.00pm – 11.45pm

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Harry's Sleeve Notes: X by @edsheeran

Image result for multiply by ed sheeran

This week Harry and Danny chatted about Ed Sheeran's album 'X', which was released in 2014 and received worldwide acclaim. 

The tracks:
-Thinking Out Loud
-I See Fire

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The Drive time Sessions featuring The Paper Snakes

This week for the #DrivetimeSessions we had The Paper Snakes. They performed one cover and two original tracks for us. Their original tracks were: Red Jeans and Waiting and their cover was of Bill Withers Ain't No Sunshine. 

To find out more: 

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Sophocles' 'Electra' by @CompanyofTen

Today we talked to Jo and Deborah to the Company of Ten about their new play, Sophocles' 'Electra', first performed 410BCE.  It tells the story of Electra, who is awaiting her brother's return from exile, after her mother has killed her father, who in turn killed her sister.    Ending in the brutal murders of her mother and her mother's lover and exploring themes about retributive justice and moral right, this is one of Sophocles' finest and most timeless works.

Dates and times:

Friday 9–Saturday 10 November 2018, 8:00pm
Sunday 11 November, 2.30pm
Tuesday 13–Saturday 17 November, 8:00pm

Tickets: £12
Concessions: £11

Company of Ten website
Company of Ten twitter
Book tickets here

Hot Topics 6th November 2018

This week on Hot Topics of the show Danny and Ian discussed A Pizza-eating challenge, The World Conker Championships (won by a woman, Karen Holloway), a school which banned the use of bags, and Christmas on a Budget.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Stacey from @ItsOKToSayUK with an update on the campaign.

Stacey Turner came in to update us on the ‘It’s Okay to Say’ campaign and discuss Mental Health issues generally.

Stacey last came in 4 weeks ago to launch the campaign which, as well as shining a light on children’s’ mental health, reaches out to everyone to reassure them that there is support available.  She reinforced the message that the more we can talk about mental health issues, the more we can remove any stigma from it.

The Herts Advertiser is supporting the campaign and Stacey told us that since last Thursday’s issue was published there has been an incredible response, with people contacting both the paper and Stacey herself.

Having worked with both children and adults who have found it difficult to express themselves Stacey has needed to think outside the box.  She explained how she works with a local Thai Boxing champion, Ciarain Shanahan, to help kids who are struggling to talk about their mental health issues.  Any combat sport, she says, is non-verbal therapy and reaches out to children in a way that is not intimidating.  Stacey explained how it can help people untangle their thoughts, and make them more resilient.

Stacey will be back in the studio on Monday 3 December to give us a further update.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Harry's Sleeve Notes: The Hamilton Soundtrack by @Lin_Manuel

Image result for hamilton soundtrack

This week Harry and Danny talked about the soundtrack from the smash hit musical 'Hamilton', written by Lin Manuel Miranda, who also starred as Alexander Hamilton, the title character.

The tracks:
1. You'll be Back
2. The Room where it Happens
3. Burn
4. The World Was Wide Enough