General Interest - Regular features and spotlights on organisations

Winter 2004

Bradway Action Group - A Band of Gold - The Wildlife Garden - Time for a laugh

Bradway Action Group

The AGM of the Bradway Action Group in September was well attended by some 40 people. The following officers were elected to the committee:

Dorothy Astle Chairwoman

Ruth Darrall Deputy chairwoman

John Pritchett Secretary

Peter Stubbs Treasurer

Stephen George Membership Secretary

The following were elected onto the management committee:

Mike Bloy Tony Smith

Fiona Vallely Russell Wilkes

David Wrottesley

The chairwoman, Dorothy Astle, gave the annual report (see below).

Ideas for the future of the group were discussed. It was agreed unanimously that a membership fee should be charged and that should be £2 per individual per year; £3 per household per year. We hope you will support us by joining.

The group received 4,000 bulbs from the council. Thanks to the many people have been out planting them around Bradway. We hope for a spectacular display in spring.

In January (date to be arranged) Tony Smith will give an illustrated talk on Bradway. "Then and Now". Please Watch The Notice Board at the top of Twentywell Lane for details.

Chairwoman's report September 2004

Our first-year has been extremely busy as we have been tackling problems that have been needing attention within the area for a very long time.

Environment: 1,500 bulbs were planted with the help of Sir Harold Jackson school gardening club. A seat has been erected at the top of Twentywell Lane and another will be on the Bradway field. The council was consulted about the need to establish legal rights of way on the footpaths around the golf range and the side of the Bradway hotel; these have now gone through rights of way department and await official status.

Three litter picks have been held, the scouts helping in last week's collection. We have also had an increase in the number of the litter bins which has helped to keep the area neat and tidy. Dog bins have also been placed on the recreation ground. Local shops have also improved the area with plants outside their premises. We hope a large planter will be provided by the council soon, which Ian Makinson our local greengrocer will plant and maintain throughout the year. Also we hope to plant more spring bulbs.

Planning: There have been a lot of applications for home extensions. We have not normally opposed these unless we were asked for support by residents who felt the proposals were excessive. Outline Planning permission is being applied for on various pieces of land; these are publicised on the SWAP notice board.

Streetscene: Streetforce have been very busy answering our requests. Filling in pot holes, cutting trees back, replacing street lightbulbs, and replacing broken or missing road signs; adjustments have been made to the Twentywell Lane/Bradway Road road works as they progressed, ie, new dropped kerbs, and more bollards to prevent lorries parking on the pavements by the crossings. Parking at the shops is a problem, as many cars park all day. But there is no simple solution. Grass verges on the sides of roads are being destroyed by parked vehicles.

Police: The police have had success in reducing and curbing incidents by motorcyclists on the recreation field by a new gate at the golf range end of the field and temporally locking the gate at Bradway hotel; this has resulted in two bikes being crushed at the police pound. The situation is being monitored.

Contacts: We have made contacts with a number of groups with similar interests, ie Dore Village Society, Totley and Lowedges, and also have regular meetings with councillors and the SWAP co- ordinators. We have established good working relations with council officials and departments in both Sheffield and Derbyshire, eg Street Force, Environment, and Highways. We have endeavored to work at all times with the councils and officials in a friendly, helpful, and non- confrontational way, and this, we feel, has played a great part in helping to achieve our aims for the improvement of Bradway.

Talks: In January a talk was given by Sheffield Environment department, and in May by crime prevention. A public discussion was held at this meeting on what people wanted on the open space of the Bradway field. Many suggestions were made and publicised on the SWAP notice board.

Fun day: This was a very successful event held on August 26th for all the community. Many people attended, lots of children enjoying the games, and Sheffield playscheme, Agewell, Scouts, Brownies, Guides and playgroups all helped. £304 was raised toward more seats and play equipment.

We welcome suggestions and ideas. Please help us to achieve more for the benefit of the community of Bradway.

Dorothy Astle

A Band of Gold

As I sat feeling depressed about the imminent end of the year ( where do they go!) my thoughts turned to wedding anniversaries and wedding rings and their origins (after 26 years of marriage 1 think medals for resilience and fortitude would be more. appropriate!)

The custom for giving a ring during a betrothal probably made its debut in Roman times- finger rings seem to have been uncommon in pre-Roman Iron Age Britain. It is widely believed that the giving of a wedding ring developed from the Roman anulus pronubis a ring given by the man to the girl at the betrothal ceremony. The early Christians then incorporated the ring giving element into the wedding ceremony with the ring becoming the symbol of marriage.

The custom of placing the ring on the third finger of the left hand is also of Roman heritage and was so chosen because the Romans believed that there was a vein in this finger called the Vena Amoris which was directly connected to the heart (and wallet!) The rituals for blessing the wedding ring and placing it on the brides finger are traceable as far back as the eleventh century. In the Middle ages, however, confusion about which finger the wedding ring was to be placed on arose, when it was believed that the vena amoris was on the third finger of the right hand. By the sixteenth century, the 1549 Book of Common Prayer had declared that the wedding ring should be placed on the left hand. However, by the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries fashions changed again when, although the ring was placed on the third finger of the left hand during the ceremony it became stylish to wear it on any finger thereafter- most commonly the thumb!

During the seventeenth century some Puritans were keen to do away with the wedding ring as a sign of vanity and although they did not succeed, it is likely that the plain wedding ring first became accepted at this time. The custom of having separate wedding and engagement rings probably made its first appearance during the nineteenth century with the plain wedding band becoming the norm.

Gold shortages meant that by the end of the Second World War, the use of 22 carat gold, which was thought of as the proper standard for a wedding ring, rapidly declined in favour of nine carat. In fact most post war brides wore nine carat rings. Over the last few years the demand for wedding rings has moved away from plain and simple bands towards more decorative and creative options.

Diamond set wedding rings and the use of other precious metals, particularly platinum are the latest fashion trends.

All types of gold are suitable for wedding rings and extensive and comprehensive tests by gold refiners have now proven that, despite the old wives tale to the contrary, 9ct gold is more hardwearing than 18ct. Indeed many jewellers would argue that 18ct, is the more long lasting of the two, in so far as it has a much deeper and richer lustre and tends to keep a better polish after many years of wear.

David Smith, D.W.Garrett Jewellers, Woodseats

The Wildlife Garden

The squirrels in my garden are racing around burying the peanuts they have just prised out of my ‘squirrel-proof' nut holder; the swifts and martins have long since gone and my garden robin and blackbirds have all returned after months of skulking in the undergrowth, resplendent in their new feathers. It can only mean one thing, winter is on its way. With the approach of winter comes one of the most hated of all gardening tasks, clearing up fallen leaves. It always seems that no sooner have you removed one pile of leaves, the moment you turn your back, yet more are blown back into the exact same spot. However, to my way of thinking, all these leaves are a free bonus rather than a problem.

There is nothing better than leaf mould for the garden, but it takes a long time for the leaves to break down. The traditional method is to put a mixture of leaves - preferably dry ones, into a wire enclosure and forget about them. After around 5 years, the fungal hyphae have done their magic and the rotted leaves will have changed into a fine crumbly compost. Nowadays accelerators are available to speed up this process, which means that the leaves are broken down and ready to use after just one year. Another method is to pack them into black plastic bin liners, but this time they need to be slightly moist or alternately, simply mix any dead leaves together with the rest of your garden waste in the compost heap, but they should total no more than 25% of the heap's mass.

If you do have to burn leaves or other garden waste, please remember that hedgehogs and other animals are likely to be hibernating in your bonfire pile, so please check it carefully before burning.

The only place leaves are not welcome in my garden is in the pond. Leaves can form a thick layer at the bottom of your pond and as they decompose, use up its oxygen supply. The simplest way to prevent this is to cover the pond with a net which will stop the leaves blowing in, but I prefer to raise it a little higher, so that birds and frogs can still have easy access.

Winter is a good time to thin out your pond plants if they have become overgrown. The recommended method is to leave the plants you remove by the edge of the pond, so that any wildlife living amongst them can make their way back into the water. A much better, albeit more painstaking way, is to wash the roots of your surplus plants in a bucket of water and when you have finished, slowly pour it back into the pond. These plants can then go straight onto the compost heap, although I check mine first for dragonfly larvae, which are often still clinging to the roots.

So, what happens when your pond freezes? If you have a very shallow pond or water in a pot, make sure you drain it completely because if it does freeze, the ice will expand and may crack your container. In a deeper pond this is generally not a problem and unless we are subject to a prolonged arctic winter, it shouldn't freeze completely, which means that any animals living in the mud at the bottom are usually able to survive. When my pond freezes over, I simply place a pan of hot water on the surface and this will slowly melt its way through all but the thickest ice. An old camping kettle is even better, but either way, take care when walking around on potentially icy paths with a container of hot water.

You can always put night lights under a metal bird bath in an attempt to keep it free of ice, but I think a far easier way is to empty it at night and refill it with cold water the following morning. Remember though, whether you are outside topping up seed holders or filling the bird bath, be careful and dress up warmly. Every year, people die in their gardens during the winter months having slipped on ice or died from the shock of venturing out of a warm house into the cold air, when all they were going to do was feed the birds. Our wildlife needs all the sympathetic gardeners it can get, not winter casualties.

The other killer in winter gardens is thick snow, not so much because it causes accidents, but due to the physical exertion involved in moving the stuff which can bring on heart attacks. Snow clearing is possibly the hardest, most back breaking job we ever do in our gardens, easily the equivalent of chopping a tree down with an axe, so always remember to warm up first and don't over do it.

Although thick layers of snow insulate plants and the soil from extreme winter temperatures, a sudden heavy fall will damage hedges, trees and shrubs by weighing down their branches and snapping them off. I go out and reduce the weight by knocking snow off these branches with a long-handled brush, but if you do this, make sure it doesn't fall on your neighbour's plot. There is nothing more annoying than having just cleared your drive, only to find your neighbour has come along a few hours later and knocked all the snow off his tree or hedge onto your side. I know, it has happened to me!

Happy and safe gardening.

Maggie Pie

Time for a laugh

An 80 year old couple were having problems remembering things, so they decided to go to their Doctor to get checked out, to make sure that nothing was wrong.

After checking them out the Doctor tells them that they were physically OK, but might want to start writing things down and make notes, to help them remember.

Later that night while watching TV, the old man got up from his chair, and his wife asks "Where are you going?" "To the kitchen" he replies. "Will you get me a bowl of Ice Cream" she says. "Sure" he replies. "Don't you think you should write it down?" she says. "No, I can remember that" he replies.

"And I think I'll have some Strawberries and Whipped Cream on Top please. I know you'll forget that so write it down. With irritation in his voice, he says, "I don't need to write that down, I can remember it fine", and stormed out. After about 20 minutes, he returns from the kitchen and hands her a plate of Bacon and Eggs. She stares at the plate for a moment and says, "You forgot my Toast".

Go to Bradway Bugle Past Issues

Opinions expressed in articles & services offered by advertisers are not necessarily endorsed by the publishers.

Text  © Copyright
Village Publications 2000

Web site maintenance by
Stratton & English Software Ltd.