There’s a ghost in the house

A chilling overnight ‘Ghostly Gathering’ is being hosted by the Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Val Custance, in the oldest part of Long Eaton Town Hall on Friday 19 February.
 
The five-hour fundraising night will start at 9pm and go through the night until 2am and has been organised after a similar event at Ilkeston proved a big hit last year.
The event, which is being run with the help of a local psychic investigation group, is strictly for adults and will be a serious exploration into unexplained activity and haunting at the Old Hall.
 
Anyone wishing to attend is asked to raise a minimum of £25 which will go to the Mayor’s chosen charities - the children’s cancer charity Clic Sargeant and the Bone Cancer Research Trust, in memory of inspirational young Ilkeston schoolboy Alex Reid, who lived within the Mayor’s Ward.
 
Those taking part will be given the chance of experimenting with dowsing rods, crystals and other professional ghost-hunting equipment as they explore normally unseen areas of the building. 
 
The Old Hall and its associated buildings were built in 1778 as the home and farm of gentleman farmer, Henry Howitt.  The Howitt family lived in The Hall until 1839 when it was sold to the Reverend Francis Gawthorne whose heirs then sold it to lace manufacturer Joseph Fletcher.  In 1921 the Hall was bought by Long Eaton Urban District Council for its town hall.
 
During the event there may also be an opportunity for participants to view The Howitt Bequest, a selection of oil and watercolours which were left to the authority by the family.
 
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Val Custance, says:
 
“As with other old buildings within the borough, The Hall in Long Eaton has a colourful history dating back to the 18th century. This event is for those people who are interested in local history and paranormal activity so – if you dare – please come along and join me for this spookily different gathering!”
 
Refreshments will be provided during the evening and anyone wanting to take part should contact Sue Dunkley, Democratic and Civic Officer, on 0115 907 1115 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

Special event for museum fans

Historic documents and objects will be dusted down and put on show for a one day Behind the Scenes at Erewash Museum on Saturday 23 January.
 
The award winning museum team want to give residents the unique chance to see items not usually on display by opening up its wider collection for the event between 11am and 3pm.
 
Visitors will also be able to discover how objects in the museum’s collection are cared for and find out more about conservation techniques.
 
Artefacts being brought out of store will include some pieces from the lace collection, photos of Erewash, Stanton related items, ceramics from the Museum’s West Hallam pottery collection and more.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“We expect this to be a popular event with all those who love our museum and who are keen to seen more items that feature in its ever-expanding collection. It is one of the first events for 2016 and offers a great opportunity to view historic items and chat to the experts in this relaxed and welcoming event.”
 
The museum’s volunteers will also be on hand to chat to visitors about the museum and their role in its continued success.
 
Erewash Museum is situated in Ilkeston town centre, a short walk from the Market Place. Opening hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm, and Monday to Saturday during school holidays.  Admission is free.
 
For all the latest news from Erewash Museum, including events and activities, residents can check out the Facebook page www.facebook.com/erewashmuseum or the website www.erewashmuseum.co.uk

Let’s Talk . . . about a hat trick of things!

Residents can find out more about Ilkeston Railway Station and Erewash Borough Council’s key priorities over the next four years at this month’s Ilkeston and North Community Forum on Thursday 28 January.
 
The Forum will be held at Gladstone Lodge on Market Street, Ilkeston, and will begin at 7pm, with all residents welcome.
 
Residents will be able to listen to presentations on three topics - Ilkeston Railway Station, what the council’s budget is for 2016/17 to deliver its services and its key priorities within its Corporate Plan for taking the borough forward over the next four years.
 
Councillor Carol Hart, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Community Engagement, says:
 
“This will be an information-packed forum, giving residents a chance to find out more about things that will have an impact on them. The Railway Station is a major project for Ilkeston that we know will be of interest to many people.
 
“These are challenging times, so this forum is also a great platform for us to outline how we will work with our budget over the next financial year as well as present our Corporate Plan. This is a very important document – it is effectively our bible and sets down how we will work over the next four years across all areas.
 
“Our forums are very informal and welcoming so please join us for what will be a very informative get together, with plenty of opportunities for questions.”
 
Council officers carrying out the presentations will be Steve Birkinshaw, Head of Planning and Regeneration, on the Railway Station; Ian Sankey, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Resources, on the budget; and Lorraine Poyser, Director of Communities, and Rachel Fernandez, Performance and Community Manager, on the Corporate Plan.
 
Anyone wanting more information can contact the council’s Community Engagement Officer Colin Handley. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0115 907 2244.
 

New Year Boost For Erewash Groups

Voluntary and community groups across Erewash can apply for funding to help them with their work when Erewash Borough Council opens another round of its Small Community Grants scheme on Monday 11 January.
 
Groups both large and small can apply for up to £2,000 before the closing date of 5pm on Monday 8 February.
 
More than 50 local community groups have already been helped through the grants scheme over the last year, winning a share of just over £43,000 in total. Now the council wants to hear from more groups that are helping people in the borough and which could benefit from a grant to help them provide services and projects for local people.
 
Councillor Carol Hart, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Community Engagement, says:
 
“There are many, many groups and charities in our borough that play a vital role in our communities and provide wonderful support for residents of all ages in all kinds of ways. Our small grants scheme offers these organisations a real lifeline in what are challenging times.
 
“So I would urge groups to get in touch and apply for a grant. We want to hear from everyone but we are particularly keen to encourage those voluntary groups who have not applied before or who may have missed out in the past. Let’s hear from you – we’re here to help!”
 
The council stepped up its support for voluntary organisations last year when it doubled the amount of money available for small grant awards to £80,000  - and it made that amount available again for this 2015/16 financial year .
Organisations that have already been helped include Tree Tops Hospice, Stanley Village pre-school, Long Eaton’s West Park Walkers and the 16th Ilkeston Scouts.
 
Anyone wanting more details or help with how to apply for a grant can contact the council’s Community Engagement Officer Colin Handley on 0115 907 2244 ext 3575 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Information about how to apply can also be downloaded from www.erewash.gov.uk – click on the ‘Community and Living’ link at the top of the home page and then ‘grants’.

Wheels Are In Motion

A £130,000 project to provide an exciting and cutting edge wheeled sports park for Kirk Hallam has been confirmed this week by Erewash Borough Council.
 
The fun facility will ensure a thrilling new platform for fans of all things wheeled – from skateboarders, in-line skaters and scooters through to BMX riders.
 
The sports park has been confirmed thanks to joint funding by the council, the Lottery-funded Big Local Kirk Hallam group and WREN, a not-for-profit business that awards grants to community projects.
 
All three organisations will now work together to look at the design and layout of the facility and will also talk to young people in Kirk Hallam to ask for their thoughts and their preferred design option.
 
Once agreed, the wheeled sports park will be built on the popular leisure site at the rear of Windsor Crescent, which is already home to sports pitches, a children’s play area, changing rooms and a multi-use sports area.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“This is fantastic news for Kirk Hallam and we are delighted that we can now get on with the project at a site which is becoming an excellent leisure and sport ‘hub’ for young people in the area.”
 
Hi comments were backed by Brian Cooper, Chair of Big Kirk Hallam:
 
“We are very pleased with the news – it’s a great Christmas present for the young people of Kirk Hallam. We have waited a long time for a new skate park and it has been a clear priority identified by residents in our consultation about how to spend the Big Kirk Hallam funding. We are looking forward to working in partnership with Erewash Borough Council and WREN.”
 
Preparation of suggested designs and consulting with young people will start early in the New Year and it is hoped that the completed wheeled sports park will be open by the summer of next year.