The Quarterly Village Publication produced by Barrow upon Soar Community Association


Yes, it’s Christmas and we try not to be too heavy and serious at this time of year. However, we did promise an update on how the downturn in the housing market is affecting the Willow Way development and the impact this will have on benefits for the village. This relates to money which the developers have pledged to improve facilities in Barrow.

So, a quick run down on what is and isn’t happening yet: some good news and some not so good. The money to assist schools (Hall Orchard, Humphrey Perkins and Rawlins) has been passed over and in this edition you can read about the new sports hall on the HPHS campus, just one of the projects which has benefited. Funding to improve health facilities is in place and awaiting a decision on spending. The installation of cycle lockers at the station and of new bus shelters is also likely to go ahead.

In some cases a certain number of houses need to be occupied before money is released by the developers. At the time of writing there are only about 125 on the David Wilson and Miller Homes sites and this means that traffic calming on Nottingham and Cotes roads is delayed. The developers are not obliged to fund playground facilities until the tally is 200 so children in the new houses could be waiting a while.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this issue in future editions. Until then, it’s time for the traditional end-of-year thank yous – to the Barrow Voice and Mulberry Square teams including our distributors, to our advertisers for their support for another year and to all you contributors and readers. Have a good Christmas and we’ll be back in 2009.

Frances Thompson              (Information courtesy of Barrow PC and Charnwood BC)


HPHS awarded the status
of Arts College

David Edwards shares his vision for the future with Judith Rodgers.

When I interviewed David Edwards, Humphrey Perkins High School’s head teacher recently, he explained that he saw this as an endorsement for his vision for promoting the arts. And the vision? – to create a community in which involvement in the arts is seen as the entitlement of all, not of the few. His targets are not only his 900+ pupils but also the feeder primary schools and the wider community.

Great strides are being made already towards achieving the vision. Year 9 children are thoroughly enjoying an extensive Arts curriculum option that includes music, drama, art, film, dance, media and stagecraft. To facilitate this, the old gym has been transformed into an Arts Theatre, the school hall has been kitted out as a dedicated performance space with new lighting and a splendid sound system and the foyer now doubles up as an impressive art gallery and dining hall. If you could pop your nose through the hall doors on a Tuesday afternoon, you would find lots of young children strumming, plucking, blowing and bowing a variety of musical instruments, all totally engrossed in the very beginnings of music making. Serious music-making but it is clearly such fun. Recently a choral festival involved schools from all over Leicestershire; there were performances of Shakespeare, of dance, of cheer-leading; you name it, it’s happening.

I asked David where the community fits into all this. He pointed out that there are already several well-established arts groups that use HPHS regularly: the Youth Theatre, Panto Group and four dancing schools including Charnwood School of Dance. From now on, they will all enjoy the much improved performance facilities. But he also hopes to see new community arts activities particularly involving families, senior citizens and mothers and young children. For example: come-and-play opportunities, a community arts festival, therapeutic art workshops and a family learning arts activity day. He also wants to build community choirs, bands and an area orchestra based at HPHS where adults and children work together to practise and develop their creative skills. He would like to re-establish the tradition of singing that is fast disappearing from our lives. His dream is that from their earliest days, children grow up with the assumption that singing, playing music, dancing, drawing etc are activities that can be for all, not just the chosen few and that they will want to continue these throughout their lives. David says ‘it is a vision. It won’t happen in my life time but I want to set the foundation for all this to be started”.