The Quarterly Village Publication produced by Barrow upon Soar Community Association


A lament to the cedar tree

A member of the Gardening Club who helps maintain Jerusalem Island writes, "to paraphrase slightly, the Bible requires us to 'love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul' and secondly 'to love thy neighbour as thyself'. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." He continues, "If these words are to be more than pious rhetoric, we must care for and cherish our environment so that our children and children's children may survive and prosper. Generations of Barrow people coming down the High Street have been uplifted by the sight of a mighty Cedar of Lebanon reaching into the sky.The life of this noble tree, still in its prime, has been cut short through damage and disease brought on by human selfishness. We shall lament its passing."


Difficult choices on Sileby Road

As a resident of the top end of Sileby Road, I was intrigued to be invited to the Parish Council offices on July 4th to view plans for ‘environmental improvements’ to Sileby Road. My first thought was that this would be to do with speed control.We have all seen the signs go up which indicate that speed cameras or such like may soon appear.

In the offices were two very large maps of Sileby Road. The first showed it as it is at the moment, the second was altogether greener and prettier. Was the plan really to improve the aesthetics of this end of the village? I had not seen this coming! Upon closer inspection, the proposal appeared attractive. All of the grass verges were going to be redone, with trees planted in each and bollards to prevent cars from parking on them.What a lovely idea. But, there was the problem. If people could not continue to park on the verges that are currently used for this purpose, then where on earth would they park? There is no escaping this problem which is already a big issue with those without off road parking. Suddenly all those green areas looked impractical and unrealistic. Surely addressing parking should be one of the top priorities, however much a greener Sileby road would be welcome?

The outcome of these plans is dependant upon public support.This is a difficult one, even as someone who would love to see the front of our homes become as attractive as our great gardens on this road. Perhaps by now decisions have been made, but hopefully all residents will find something that they are happy with if any changes occur.

Hayley Francesconi


Stately landmark disappears from view

By the time you read this, the magnificent cedar tree on Holbourne Close will be no more. It had been discovered that the tree was diseased, due to the fact that it had been vandalised some years ago and therefore the decision was made to fell it.

What a sad world we live in, when people destroy such a wonderful feat of nature. The tree was estimated to be 300 years old, so armed with a tape measure (industrial size) we thought we would make a note of its dimensions.The girth was 5.7metres and the canopy approximately 25 metres across, a truly magnificent specimen. It is strange going along the High Street towards Jerusalem Island and not seeing the majestic branches of the tree. I always presumed that the cedar had been planted when Barrow House, the home of John Crossley, the railway engineer, was built and the gardens landscaped but as the house was built in the mid 1800s, the tree pre dates the house by some considerable time, so when and why was it planted?

Last year when we had open gardens, the area around the cedar tree was used to serve tea and home made cakes - what a perfect setting. How many garden parties in the past were held in the same place, or how many courting couples used to sit under the tree on a summers day? I know of at least two village girls who met their future husbands, when they were young men on teacher training courses, staying at Barrow House, which was by this time owned by Loughborough College.

I am sure that they, as well many other people will be sad that this living link with Barrow’s past is no more, although it will still exist in the form of garden features, as many people have taken some wonderful wood from its sawn up branches.

I believe that at some time in the future another cedar tree will be planted for the enjoyment of several generations to come.

Val Gillings


The Trap’s Midsummer Music festival in June raised an astounding £6,500 for the County Air Ambulance (CAA).Twelve bands and artists performed for nine hours in front of hundreds of appreciative villagers from a 40 foot trailer in the pub car park.

Private donations, company sponsorship and raffle ticket sales, plus the pub’s own charity fund, contributed to the huge final figure. Landlord Nigel Toone commented “I’ve been raising money for charity since the 1970s, but we’ll have to go some to beat this!” Organiser Malcolm Wagg said “We’ve raised £14,500 for charity in just three years.This is down to the tremendous support we have had from local businesses, our brilliant organising team, the artists and the people of Barrow. It’s been very rewarding but hard work to co-ordinate and I’m taking a rest now. I’m confident the team will succeed without me.Anyone who wishes to help next year should get in touch with Nigel at The Trap.”

The CAA operates three helicopters from the West and East Midlands, and is entirely funded by charitable donations. They can reach almost anywhere in 11 counties within 20 minutes. CAA Fund raising co-ordinator Barbara Quinn, speaking at the event, said “It costs £2.4 million each year to stay operational, and not a penny comes from the government or lottery funding.After a major accident, if the victim is taken to an appropriate place within one hour, their chance of recovery is 40% better.The East Midlands Air Ambulance has been flying since 1999. Since then, over 2,300 people have been airlifted. It is quite safe to say that about 400 people are walking round our region today who wouldn’t be here without the Air Ambulance. I call it an insurance policy - you hope you’ll never need it.A heartfelt thanks to you all.”

Pictured at the cheque presentation at East Midlands Airport are (L to R): Paramedic, Jean and Nigel Toone, Malc Wagg, John Nunn (thank you John), Margaret Wagg, Jan and Ian Bott and their boys, Dylan a paramedic, and pilot Nick.
More information can be found at

Keith Chaplin


Barrow Youth Work to be

At a meeting held at the end of June, the Youth Service agreed to advertise for Youth Workers to re-establish youth work in Barrow. Sadly, the Youth Club building on the campus of Humphrey Perkins School and Community Centre will no longer be available. It is expected that, through ‘detached’ work, young people will be asked what kind of activities they would like to get involved in.