New Chairman for Hertsmere Youth Council

A Queen’s School pupil from Radlett has been voted chair of the youth council for Hertsmere.

Jackie Warman, who is 16 but was elected when he was 15, started working with the youth council five years ago and has been actively involved in the local community.

In June, the youth council had an election for a new chairman to represent the youth of the area and through anonymous voting Jackie was awarded the title.

Jackie said: “It gives young people in the area a voice. The youth council is targeted at 11-19 year olds and it is really good to have on your CV.”

During the election, the voting decided between 10 other councillors which was then narrowed down to just three.

The youth council undertake small tasks around the area and they are always looking for new members to get involved.

Jackie’s father, Leigh Warman, said that the local community is something that has always interested his son.

“I am really proud and it is a fantastic achievement for someone his age,” Mr Warman said.

“All I can say is I am a very proud dad.”

The youth council complete projects in and around the community and work closely with the local mayor.

Each year, they get a budget of £3,000 to spend how they wish if the council agree with their proposed plans.

Jackie said: “It is a role that I am willing to take up and we are always looking for new members to get involved in the youth council.

“These people become your friends and it’s actually quite fun.”

The youth council provide a year round provision for ages nine to 19 helping them improve their chance of success and to raise aspirations in the most deprived areas in Hertsmere.

If there is anyone who is wanting to get involved, please send an email to and for the attention of Jackie Warman.


‘Thank you seafarers’

Harpenden Town Council raised the Red Ensign flag at the Town Hall to promote the UK’s dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers on Merchant Navy Day.

The Merchant Navy seafarers are responsible for around 95 per cent of the UK’s imports including food products.

At 10am on September 3, visiting ships in UK ports were encouraged to sound their horns in support of industry.

The Deputy Town Mayor said: “The Town Council was delighted to take part in the event and to show its gratitude and respect to all those that have served or currently serve in the Merchant Navy.

“We are grateful for those who keep the vital shipping links and transportation of goods for our country going; helping to sustain livelihoods and businesses.”

The nationwide call for the official flag of the UK’s Merchant Navy to be flown on public buildings and flagstaffs was supported by Harpenden Town Council.

“It is something that we can all take so easily for granted and I am pleased to have raised the flag and shared in raising awareness of the important work that they do,” the Deputy Town Mayor said.

We’re all going on a short summer holiday

A recent announcement has revealed that schools in England are now able to set their own term dates and summer holidays.

Academies and free schools have the power to determine their own term dates and many across England are already taking advantage of this change.

The Department of Education have also revealed that this change would soon be extended to council-run schools.

Some schools in the Hertfordshire area have already decided on the structure of their timetable for the next academic year and some have stuck to a more traditional schedule.

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “Hertfordshire’s recommended school term dates are based on proposals from a working party of representatives from both primary and secondary head teacher associations, working to a set of agreed principles.”

These agreed term dates for this academic year were published in January 2013 and can be found on the County Council’s website.

“While there was support for this model from the secondary sector at the time, we are aware that some schools subsequently chose to set dates which did not align with Hertfordshire’s dates,” the County Council said.

“It has always been acknowledged that academy schools are not required to follow the county council’s model and will ultimately make their own decisions regarding their term dates.

“Indeed, it is possibly that in the future there may be greater variety of term dates, and even term structures, as individual schools look at innovative ways of teaching and raising standards.”

Despite being given advice on how their academic year should look by the County Council, schools and academies now have full control.

By reducing the summer holiday time, parents are able to take their children abroad at cheaper prices but could still face fines if a child is taken out of school in term time.

Currently permission is needed for an adult to take their child out of school during term time and with consent from the head teacher if this is not granted, parents could risk paying a fine.

Parents could face up to £60 in fines and if they do not pay it within 21 days it increases to £120.

Prosecution fines can equal up to £2,500, a community order or a jail sentence up to three months with a Parenting Order.

The new decision was welcomed by the government who advised head teachers to think about local businesses if they plan to change term dates.

Decorative sword stolen from young blacksmith from Abbots Langley

A young blacksmith from Abbots Langley is asking for witnesses after a decorative sword was stolen during bank holiday weekend in Wimpole Estate.

Peter Williamson, 23 who lives on The Graylings in Abbots Langley, graduated last year and created the sword for his final project at Hereford College of Arts.

The sword, which measures two and a half foot, was stolen from his tent in Wimpole whilst he was away demonstrating in the folly.

Mr Williamson said: “It only really has value to me and I cannot what anyone would get from stealing it.

“It’s not something you expect to happen. The site that we were on was really far away, roughly around a km, and we had to walk to get to the other areas.”

On the day of the theft, it looked like it was going to be raining and Mr Williamson decided not to demonstrate the sword and left it in the tent.

According to Mr Williamson, it was around 9.30pm when someone asked him to show and demonstrate the sword and he realised it was missing.

If the sword was to be valued, the price would be around £3,000 according to Mr Williamson.

The sword was used for demonstrations to show people the skills and the work of an artistic blacksmith.

“It has more sentimental value to me as I didn’t give up and pushed to do this project in my final year at college.”

Mr Williamson graduated from the Hereford College of Arts where he studied Artistic Blacksmithing.

With the other projects that he had to do the sword took around two months to create not including the planning and preparation.

According to Mr Williamson, his college tutors were initially sceptical at the idea of someone creating decorative weaponry as many other students want to pursue this.

“They said that it was really difficult and that you cannot expect to be able to do that without the ability,” he said.

“I decided to just learn the basics with hopefully pursuing this career when I was older.”

The sword was stolen from the tent in Wimpole Estate on Bank Holiday Sunday and anyone with information are being asked to contact the police on 101, with the crime reference OF/15/833.

An Inspirational Couple

In Raw, near Whitby in North Yorkshire, there is a couple who have an inspirational story to tell.

Dennis and Norma Carrick spend their retirement caring and rescuing abandoned and injured animals, whether they are wild or pets.

The couple have been helping abandoned and injured animals for 16 years and they never have a day off.

Mrs Carrick, 73, said: “We started at Whitby Dog Rescue and we have been here for 16 years now and every animal here is rescued.”

Dennis, 80, was the second coxswain on the lifeboat in Whitby and took Norma on a tour across the world.

In order to feed all the animals, the couple spend roughly around £60 to £100 a week on food alone but receive no financial help except for donations.

“We do hold some events in order to raise money including through jumble sales,” Mrs Carrick said.

The 73-year-old even went so far as to do a parachute jump and raised around £2400.

“I gave some of the money to other charities as well but never got a thank you or anything,” she said.

Across the six acres of land there are a whole host of different breeds on animals, from geese to sheep and goats to cats, all of which were rescued by the inspirational couple.

They do not breed any of the animals as that is not what the rescue centre is for but instead they look to re-home some of the animals (depending on age) and never put them down until they are too old.

Compared to other charities who charge around £100 for a dog, Raw Animal Rescue Centre give them for free.

Mrs Carrick said: “People ring up to tell about abandoned or animals that are going to be put done.

“We rescued sheep who were supposed to be put down when they were three but have lived until they are 13.”

As well as local residents getting in touch, the police are also frequently engaging with them and brought to their attention the nine puppies that were scattered around Whitby.

Mrs Carrick said: “Social services got in touch with us about a cat whose owner had to go into hospital.

“When we got it, it was so malnourished and skinny we don’t think it had been fed for a while so we put her in the attic and now she is called the cat in the attic.”

Some of the animals were obviously injured including a goat with one horn and ducks with Angel Wing (who are easy targets for foxes).

“We do get a lot of fox attacks especially this time of the year when they are breeding,” Mrs Carrick said.

As well as the inspirational couple, there is also a team of volunteers who take time to help with the caring and cleaning of the animals.

“Volunteers throughout the week but the workload is continuous and there are always jobs to be done,” Mrs Carrick said.

Despite the help of the volunteers, they are always looking for help around the farm and there is continuous DIY/manual labour work.

As said, their weekly spend of food alone is costly but they are always in need of appliances, equipment and materials to keep the farm up dated and secure.

After fifteen years of having no trouble, in September 2014 there was an incident that caused the couple to install CCTV.

Mr Carrick said: “We had an issue with the fox hunters who came onto our land and disturbed the animals resulting in having to put a sheep down.

“I was accused of firing a gun but the case was dismissed but since then a whole host of trouble has occurred.”

What happened after this incident was truly shocking to hear.

These included the tail and mane cut off a pony, the gate was lifted off its crooks and left open, intruders were on top of the stable and a sitting goose was disturbed which resulted in her leaving her eggs and as a result there were 13 dead goslings.

As well, there have been a few disagreements with the local vets who are called out to help the injured animals.

“If we find an animal injured during non-surgery hours, the vets we have dealt with the in past would refuse to come out and therefore we would have to put the animal down ourselves,” Mrs Carrick said.

The couple now have a vet that will come and check on the animals but they used to deal with Cleveland Vets but no more.

“I am sure vets have an obligation to treat wild animals as well as pets,” Mrs Carrick said.

This truly inspirational couple are always looking for and in need of any help and donations from people and businesses.

‘We regret to inform you that you have not been successful for this job vacancy’

These words are becoming all too regular in my day-to-day life and it is these words that have caused me, on many occasions, to really think about my potential career choice.

I have been writing for a long time and have always enjoyed it and, please correct me if I am wrong, but I am not bad at it.

Therefore, constantly reading these words is slightly degrading to someone who has aspirations as I do.

People keep telling me ‘it will come’ and ‘there will be other jobs’ and despite as much as I agree with them it is becoming tougher and tougher to get up the nerve to apply for more jobs.

I am currently doing so and it is tedious writing cover letters after cover letters but I am doing it and I know that one day, eventually, I will be a working writer.

The one thing that bothers me more is when a potential job states ‘unfortunately due to the high number of applications, we are unable to give feedback’… This should be mandatory by law.

How can someone improve their cover letter, CV and develop their skills if no one tells them how they could have been better suited for the position?

I apply for jobs that I am qualified for. Nothing that I cannot possibly produce good work but I feel that, especially in this current climate and the current government, there should be a push for more feedback on applications.

In addition, I am someone who works better under pressure and I find that I produce work better when I have been given a chance to write. Even my local newspaper are not letting people go in for work experience.

It does not make sense in my eyes. The government seem to be pushing for internships which are all well and good if you have the money to live in London on the minimum wage but there are some people who cannot afford this.

People need to give others more of a chance to prove that they are the right candidate.

I have also had experiences where jobs will not hire someone who doesn’t live in the area. I understand that it must be difficult for a publication to wait one week for a person to know the area but why then advertise the job on a national scale?

By doing so, people will apply only to be rejected.

If you want someone who knows the area, narrow down your search and only ask for people who can work in that specific place.

There is nothing more down-hearting when you know you can be great at a job and all you get are those words that just don’t mean anything.

What is worse, is when publications just don’t reply at all. That is just plain rude! I would prefer the generic lines than nothing at all.

Rudeness is vile and there is no call for it.

This is just a little rant about the ridiculous society that expects a fully trained, needing no advice or help candidate who will fit into the role without a second hesitation. But what about those who bring character to a role?

We get left behind.

Let’s Talk Daggers Announce UK Tour

In support of their debut album A Beautiful Life, Let’s Talk Daggers head out on tour this October.

Starting in Brighton on October 10, the band will visit other venues around the country including London, Bristol and Cambridge and will finish their tour in Manchester.

See below the list of dates and venues:


10 – Brighton – Green Door Store *

13 – London – Old Blue Last *

14 – Bristol – Red Lion

15 – Worcester – The Pig And Drum

16 – Bedford – Esquires

17 – Cambridge – The Portland Arms

18 – Manchester – A Carefully Planned Fest

On the 10th and 13th, Palm Reader will join the band.

A Beautiful Life will be released on October 23 on Tangled Talk Records.
Watch the new video for ‘I Love You Dad, But I’m Mental’

The band recently launched a PledgeMusic pre-order campaign which you can find out more about here:

Let’s Talk Daggers have teamed up with PledgeMusic

Let’s Talk Daggers and PledgeMusic have just launched a pre-order campaign around the band’s fantastic debut album, A Beautiful Life, which will be released this autumn.

This is the only place to get your hands on an exclusive hand numbered limited edition vinyl, signed by the band. Limited to 60.

From here you’ll also be able to pre-order the album digitally and as a limited edition CD.

On top of this the band are offering a wealth of other unique opportunities, including the chance to be in their next music video, an intimate (15 tickets only) semi-secret show in Brighton where they’ll play the new album in-full … and for everything else, well you’re going to have to go and take a look on the Pledge page.

Once the campaign hits its target 5% of the subsequent income will be donated to Nepal Earthquake: Help Children Now – Unicef

Check out the YouTube video below:

Here are the links to their website and Facebook and Twitter pages:


Palm Reader Headline Tour Announcement

Following the success of Palm Reader’s second full-length album, Beside The Ones We Love, they are pleased to announce a UK headline tour this September.

Frontman Josh McKeown: “We can’t wait to get back out in the UK. It’s been too long since we’ve hit some of these places up so we’re stoked to come back and see some old friends and make new ones”
See dates below for the gigs:
Sept 01 – Basingstoke – Sanctuary
02 – Plymouth – Exhile
03 – Derby – The Victoria Inn
04 – Glasgow – Ivory Blacks
05 – Sheffield – Riverside
06 – Swansea – Lemon Factory
08 – London – Surya

Debut EP from Bellevue Days

Bellevue Days are dispelling the reputation of their Croydon home by delivering an atmospheric, uplifting and captivating debut EP.

If you think that the superbly executed musicianship and structural nous across the four slabs of alternative rock, emo, indie comes from a band with far more than a lone year to its name, you will be forgiven.

The lyrics are the focal point and cover topics from lust to literature. Around the lyrics, which impressively 3 of the 4 members contribute to, they apply subtle layers to ensure the songs are dynamic and memorable.

This all plays its part in ensuring that an honest approach to song writing is implemented. This is very important to the band. So you’ll find no tricks or gimmicks within ‘The Sun Came Up When We Were Young’.

Recorded at Stakeout Studios with Jason Wilson, the four tracks are exceptionally well produced, but not overproduced. There’s a very organic feel to these songs and a great sense of balance. There’s warmth, there’s power, there’s delicate and intricate instrumentation and it’s all in fine proportion.

If you consider the raucous end of The Xcerts repertoire and the anthemic moments of Manchester Orchestra’s back catalogue, with bites of pop genius akin to the likes of Weezer, then you’re wandering into Bellevue Days territory.

‘The Sun Came Up When We Were Young’ is an undoubted summer soundtrack!

To listen to one of their tracks ‘Capability Capacity’ click the link below: