Food Miles in practice

Nigel's Butchers

Nigel’s Butchers

I am a big advocate of Try Ashbourne First. Before you buy anything online at least think about whether you could buy it in one of our independent retailers. I firmly believe that you will be surprised at just what is available and how cheap it is. I’m sick and tired of hearing about the “lack of choice” from people I hardly ever see making their way into our town centre but are happy driving down to Marks and Spencer’s. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the satisfaction of foraging and how food collected by hand somehow tastes better. The same is true of shopping locally. Good, fresh, locally sourced produce will always be better than something which has been processed, frozen, packaged, carried on a van for a couple of hundred miles and then has rested for a couple of days on the shelf. Continue reading

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Ashbourne bunting saved by Ashbourne!

Route progress

The bunting fundraising has continued to demonstrate that, with a clearly defined target, and with a local issue, Ashbourne folk and businesses dig deep. The original target of £5000 has been smashed and so in our virtual journey around the town we have made it to the finish. Last time we stopped on the Trees estate – a good place to stop and ponder the planning applications which are currently being considered by our local authorities. Continue reading

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October 30, 1914

Cracking read as ever

Great War Reports

fireworks web

R. Ward of St John Street decided on a topical approach to promoting the sale of fireworks – claiming they were suitable for blowing up the German Emperor.

On Page 5 one headline in particular catches the eye; although it does not stand out typographically the story demands to be read:

Derby lad wins VC.
Thrilling account of British pluck.

The lengthy account, credited to the Wesley Brotherhood Magazine told how 19-year-old Driver Fred Osbourne together with Sgt Major Farrell and Gunner Darbyshire of the Royal Horse Artillery, dubbed “The Undaunted Three” made a gallant stand after all other men in their battery had been killed or wounded in a fierce battle with German guns. Despite being wounded themselves and having a shortage of ammunition they used precision firing to knock out 12 German guns one by one.

Page 6 of the Telegraph carries a short report on the death…

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Police Cautions to be Scrapped in Staffordshire

Interesting that this is being piloted in Staffordshire

Andrew James

policeThe Government is planning to scrap the use of police cautions, where those who commit minor offences are given a formal warning, in England and Wales and the new system will be trialled for a year in the Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and Leicestershire police force areas, starting this November.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said victims should not feel that criminals are “walking away scot-free”.

Under the new system, offenders would repair any damage they have done or pay compensation for less serious crimes. Those who commit more serious offences would face court if they fail to comply with conditions set out by police.

If the new system is successful it will be introduced across England and Wales.

The Government says the scheme – which will also give victims a say in how the offender is dealt with – will be tougher and more simple than the current system.

Mr Grayling…

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We all love Status Quo

IMG_0156-0.JPGThe Hungarian Government has recently announced that they are considering taxing the internet with a “per Gb” charge. It has caused a greater uproar with groups from all parts of society creating an unlikely alliance.

On the face of it the proposal has some merits. Taxation of any sort needs to be cheap to collect and fair in terms of who it collects from. It would seem to score well on both counts. The taxation could be collected from Internet providers and mobile phone carriers rather than from end customers and those providers are all regulated and therefore “known”. Those organisations also tend to have sophisticated billing systems which are already capable of billing for any number of additional services. This could be implemented as a tariff change as opposed to anything more. They already do have regulated mandatory charges to deal with such as line rental and the wholesale and interconnect charges with other carriers.

It is also potentially fair and progressive. Continue reading

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Halfway to the Ashbourne Bunting target

willow meadow

Ashbourne’s bunting is now drawing in more support online and through donations and pledges directly to the Ashbourne News Telegraph. £5000 will secure it’s replacement which should last a few years. The organisers would still welcome volunteers who can help install and remove it though. This week we made it to £2500 which is a convenient number for the mathematically challenged. It means we are the equivalent of 4 miles of bunting along our 8-mile Ashbourne bunting route.

Last week we’d made it to the Fire Station and along the route we have already passed the scene of many Ashbourne News Telegraph stories. We head on up to the traffic lights and turn right onto Sturston Road. On the left hand side we pass number 13, lucky for Catherine Mumford who was born here in 1829. She married William Booth who founded the Salvation Army and earned herself a statue in the Memorial Gardens. On the right along here is Taylor Court – part of a development of affordable houses built in the last decade without the controversy seen by some of the greenfield sites. Continue reading

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Dry Stone Walling

I love dry stone walls – stone in general. Thanks for sharing the day and hope you enjoy doing it in future

Middle-aged Travellers

Keith learns a new thing.


There is a plot of land in the south of France we own, along with a pile of rocks arranged into the rough form of a house. The land is terraced up a hill running behind the house. There are about 20 terraced levels, each retained by a beautiful, laboriously crafted dry stone wall. The effort involved in building all of these walls must have been far more enormous than the house. At a guess it equates to over 400 metres of wall.

The local wildlife in this part of France include the nocturnal, free-range boar. These 150 kg roaming, eating machines have no aesthetic or functional appreciation for the walls. Just intrigue as to what goodies are hidden within. Whether it be the elusive truffle or not, the boar will tear into the wall with what appears the following morning to have been wild…

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