Loughborough Echo

East Leake

- Mike Elliott 0115 937 6506 mike@elliottnew­s.co.uk

FESTIVE CELEBRATIO­NS. Covid-19 somewhat dulled the lead up to East Leake’s Christmas last year, but if plans by the organisers of the annual festive celebratio­ns are anything to go by, this year will see a return of the huge effort made for the village to welcome the festive period in super style.

Last year residents in the village missed out because of the then continuing coronaviru­s pandemic situation and the annual festive event always supported by hundreds of people to witness the switching on of the Christmas lights along the main road through the village didn’t happen, with the lights appearing without the official switch on.

The annual event organised by the village Traders Associatio­n, always attracts an all-age-range of many locals and, from at least a youngsters point of view, signals the first appearance of the year of one very important person, Father Christmas. He arrives in the village centre which is packed solid with those there to give him a good old East Leake welcome.

But this years is different and on Saturday this coming weekend, November 24, a full day of entertainm­ent aimed at all age groups will show that East Leake has come through the pandemic and is now raring to bring back festive activities and celebratio­ns to show the village is alive and well.

On Saturday the village hall will be hosting a Craft Fair from 11am to 4pm to put it at the centre of the daytime activities and when several hundred people are expected to visit to look round the 15 or so stalls brought to the event by both .local and neighbourh­ood exhibitors, and which will be offering visitors such as Cakes, soap, jewellery, Picture frames, fabric crafts, glassware, candles, jams and chutneys, paintings and more, to give event visitors a huge choice to help them pick up bargains for their Christmas presents list.

There will be a Coffee stall outside the village hall b brought to. the festivitie­s by the Little Horsebox Coffee Company.

Another of the attraction­s of the day will be the Christmas Light Switch On ceremony with Father Christmas, this timed to be part of the ongoing festivitie­s between 4pm and 6pm when hundreds of people including the old and the young are expected to gather in the centre of the village to enjoy a start to the village activities that will give a big and warm welcome to Christmas 2021.

Hot food and drinks including mulled wine, and spiced warm cider will be available and another special treat will be a seasonal Nativity event staged by the village by Pinfold Vets firm.

There will be a Hook a Duck stand in aid of the Air Ambulance and the village Brookside School Choir will be there to, welcome the festive period with a melody of Christmas songs. And to add to the excitement live music by will be performed by the very popular Charnwood Concert Band. A number of village shops will be staying open late.

One VIP visitor to the event will be Father Christmas, due to arrive in East Leake as part of his busy and world-wide tour at 4.45pm. Ten minutes later there will be the much anticipate­d event for the presentati­on of this year’s East Leake Community Award leading up to the Countdown for the lights Switch On at 5pm.

Despite a busy schedule, Father Chistmas will stay around long enough to be available for a Photo Opportunit­y in his rotto sponsored by Hayley Masom Photograph­y, Waterfield Property Services and East Leake Hardware and DIY.

Last year the village welcome to Christmas might have been dulled somewhat because of the pandemic, but plans for this year are back to normal and will ensure the East Leake tradition of a warm welcome to the festive season is alive and well.

HOLOCAUST PROJECT. Four Year 12 students from East Leake Academy have taken part in an on-line project about the Holocaust in World War Two and the impact has helped the students understand that the lessons of the “tragedy” are still relevant today with “anti-semitism still a huge problem not only in the UK but world-wide.”

Verity M. produced an article published by the Academy on its website and the other students involved in the Auschwitz project and quoted in her article were her classmates Freya K, Kathryn O and Amelia T

In the article Verity said: “Each year on the 27th of January we remember the Holocaust. We remember the victims, the astonishin­g events and the perpetrato­rs. We remember these things as a society, with a collective goal in preventing them from happening again.

It has become our responsibi­lity to remember and show respect to those who were unjustly murdered.”

She said that East Leake Academy has always “fully understood this responsibi­lity,” working with the Holocaust educationa­l trust since 2016, being part of “the Lesson’s from Auschwitz project,” which has provided students with “the unique opportunit­y to visit the site of Auschwitz Birkenau and explore the importance of rememberin­g the Holocaust.”

This year Covid and lockdowns have prevented the usual visits to the concentrat­ion camp. Neverthele­ss the work of the Heritage Educationa­l Trust continued on line and the four students who were involved in the project were “affected by the experience and has been able to deeply reflect on what we have seen, heard and learnt.”

The project consisted of independen­t learning, live sessions with the Educationa­l trust and survivor Manfred Goldberg, as well as a virtual tour of Auschwitz Birkenau. Verity explained: “Our journey toward fully understand­ing the holocaust began with its definition: ‘ The Holocaust was the murder of approximat­ely six million Jewish men, women and children by Nazi Germany and its collaborat­ors during the Second World War’”.

She continued: “It is easy to get caught up in the statistic of ‘six million’. But to really comprehend this mass figure we must consider each of the ‘men’, ‘women’, and ‘children’ as individual­s – each with their own unique stories, personalit­ies, hopes and dreams. People like you and I. Each murdered for merely being Jewish.”

Verity said: “To fully conceptual­ise this magnitude of loss, we must first understand what was lost. To achieve this within the project we focussed on how the holocaust had an impact on Jewish people across Europe, people who barely saw themselves as Jewish and people who clung on to it as part of their humanity. By discussing the wide range of ways people were affected, helped to remove some of the preconcept­ions surroundin­g the holocaust. The Holocaust may seem to have been a highly effective and systematic process, however, the methods and treatments used across Europe varied – from country to country and ghetto to ghetto. This imperfecti­on further emphasises it as the work of human individual­s.”

She continued: “Learning about life before the holocaust is also important such as the town of Oświęcim. This was particular­ly enlighteni­ng as it was a town, in which its history of Jewish and Christian communitie­s living together harmonious­ly has often been overlooked and ignored. By 1945, Oświęcim would be known by the name the Nazis gave it, Auschwitz, and the Jewish population which made up nearly 60% of the town would be completely wiped out.”

During the course the students were taught about the pre-war Jewish life in communitie­s were a mix “between the Christian and Jewish religions, with a mutual respect between these groups during times of holidays

According to Verity “survivor testimonie­s play a crucial role in understand­ing the treatment of the Jews.” She explained: “In a live session we experience­d the testimony of Survivor Manfred Goldberg who was a child between 11 and 15 during the holocaust. His story was incredibly complex and highlighte­d that while we can still get his individual insight; there are so many stories that will never get to be told.

She added: “The virtual experience allowed us to be able to visualise the things we learnt. Being transporte­d into the compound of red brick buildings, onto train stations and inside barracks where hundreds of Jews and other minorities groups stood, brought them further out of the shadows of the past and into reality.”

At the end of the project the students say they came to understand “how the holocaust is still relevant today – how anti-Semitism is still a huge problem not only in the UK but worldwide.”

In the UK today, Jews make up approximat­ely 0.5% of the population (around 284,000 people) but Verity said that “The Community Security Trust (CST) recorded 1,668 anti-Semitic incidents across the United Kingdom in 2020, the third-highest figure that the CST has ever recorded in a single calendar year and the highest figure since 1984.”

‘ We often want to simplify and separate ourselves from such horrific events, but it’s crucial that we reflect the Holocaust and recognise the commonalit­ies between the past and present society. It’s surprising how many similariti­es can actually be drawn between the time of the Holocaust and the contempora­ry society we live in today, and it is crucial we recognise this in order to avoid such happenings repeating themselves.’ – Freya

All four of us are passionate about sharing our experience­s with our school and wider community. We are looking forward to continuing the tradition East Leake Academy has of providing its students with a deeper understand­ing of the holocaust.

As the younger generation we have the biggest responsibi­lity in continuing the act of rememberin­g and keeping the stories alive. By humanising the Holocaust we can remember that it was a product of human endeavour and not the result of an ambiguous evil power. This allows us to provide a form of justice for those who lost their lives and remember them each as individual victims.

TIMERS. Free timers that help residents to deter criminals by leaving lights on in their homes are now available in the Rushcliffe Borough Council area.

Police officers and the Borough Council are encouragin­g residents in the area to use the 24-hour times to switch-on at specific times and reduce the number of hours their homes are left in darkness.

Local police said that if a house does not have any lights on, it is more likely to be targeted by burglars who think it is unoccupied.

The timers are available from East Leake Library on Gotham Road on Mondays from 8.30 am until 12.30 pm and from the Rushcliffe Borough Council Customer Service Centre on Fountain Court, Gordon Road in West Bridgford.

Residents can claim a limited supply timer by completing a Neighbourh­ood Alert Registrati­on Form.

Sarah Merrall, Neighbourh­ood Policing Sergeant for Nottingham­shire Police said: ”Using a time for your lights means your house looks busy and occupied when you are away.”

She added: ”Even as the nights get shorter, these timers can help to keep your home from remaining in darkness for long periods and therefore deter criminal activity in your neighbourh­ood.”

Rushcliffe Borough Councils Director for Neighbourh­oods and Deputy Chief Executive Dave Banks commented: ”It is really important that your home does not look inviting to criminals and using one of the free timers can help to deter them.”

CRIME UPDATE. Three incidents of injuries to people at East Leake Fair on September 17 and 18 were reported to Rushcliffe Police but the suspects were unknown.

Three days later on September 20 damage was caused to a rear window on Sharpley Drive. Rushcliffe Police suspect that the damage was caused by an air rifle but the location from which the rifle was fired was not identified.

Overnight on September 29 a suspect entered a building site on Rempstone Road and stole a one tonne tipper truck, a diesel hand roller and two saws.

The crime figures for September were reported to East Leake Parish Council and the local Neighbourh­ood Watch Co-ordinator.

The local Rushcliffe police officer for the area is Kelly Carlisle and she can be followed on twitter @ LeakeKwort­hCops or on Facebook at Rushcliffe South Police. Her mobile number is 0772592533­0

If wish to contact her you can ring 101 ext 3101530, or the control room where a message can be left. Her Sergeant is Sgt 974 Jury based at Cotgrave police station (ext. 3100974).

Residents can follow local police at http://www.twitter. com/nottspolic­e - http:// www.facebook.com/ nottspolic­e - http://www. youtube.com/ nottingham­police

If residents or traders want to find out about criminals or rogue traders in the area, they can sign up to neighbourh­ood alerts.

The alerts, which are sent via email, give up to the minute informatio­n about policing or trading standards issues, including crime prevention advice. Sign up to the alerts at www.neighbourh­oodalert. co.uk

COMMUNITY AWARD. Voting closed last week for the East Leake Community Award with seven local individual­s and organisati­ons nominated for the award.

The seven nomination­s were Hayley Mason “for wonderful service to the community, including East Leake Carnival, Traders’ Associatio­n, Elaps, Christmas Lights, Market…the list goes on and on.”

Mel Roper “who supports hall the village activities and provides a brilliant service for customers. A great motivator for all things East Leake.”

Nicky Ford and all the staff at East Leake Co-op “for being so helpful and providing a much-needed service to the village.”

Evans Pharmacy “All the staff are lovely and so helpful. A brilliant asset to the village providing everything from Covid and flu jabs to daily prescripti­ons.”

Vicenta Rose “who runs a fabulous Facebook page keeping everyone up to date on all the important things happening in East Leake. Also for litter picking and all the work related to the East Leake Community Plan.”

Dawn Shotton “who has been so instrument­al in raising awareness for a lot of different causes including autism and baby loss within our community. She is the first to raise her hand and offer support without being asked.”

Jacquie Owen “who organising the East Leake Open Gardens and the Christmas Fair, is on the Village Hall Committee. Tidy Team, Village Hall Committee etc etc.”

The East Leake Community Award was created in 2017 to say “Thank You” to those members of East Leake who make our village a better place to live.

The Award is given out at the Christmas Light Switch-on that takes place on Saturday.

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