Well yesterday evening I visited my first Community Forum. It wasn’t just a first for me but it was the first time it had been held at Tanworth Village Hall. What a great turn out and actually I found it quite interesting.

The WI had Tea coffee and cakes which went down very well. Its not my place to give a report on the forum as there will be official minutes provided by County Council or  SDC I’m not quite sure which one.

We should all endeavour to attend our Community Forums they are held four times a year in different locations across the Arden area. There were people from Studley & Claverdon attending last night. It is interesting to note we all have very similar issues.

One thing I did notice is that it is always the same people that attend these type of things and always the same people who speak, nothing wrong with that but sometimes it would be nice to hear other voices and younger voices as I suspect their issues will be different to those that us past a certain age may have.

Last night the Police presentation got hijacked by speeding issues on The Common Earlswood which is a shame really as the common is due to have its speed limit decreased to 30 mph at some point this year.

The SNT spoke briefly about their Twitter Account, It is only personal opinion but they don’t seem to have embraced it quite like some of their peers across the boarder but its new and it’s a change and they are finding their feet. Let’s see how it all goes in the next few months.

It was interesting to hear how the Ambulance Service and their new model of distributing Ambulances across the District worked. I will try and find a link to it.

What did shock me and I didn’t vote because I hadn’t had time to think about it net alone think about potential nominations a new Community Forum Chairman was voted in. So Peter Oakley is now the Chairman of the Community Forum (Arden)

There was a brief overview of the new Police and Crime Commissionaires  which we will all have the opportunity to vote on later this year.

All in all it was very interesting I certainly will be attending another one as long as I am not away from home
Please can some one tell me, when writing/emailing a District Councillor or A County Councillor? How long it should take to respond via Email?

If they are on holiday are not on duty should they have an Out Of Office On. Especially if they are using the County or District council email address to correspond. (Hence people are writing to them electronically as Constituent (Customer) that may require a response or at least an acknowledgement of receipt.

After 3 weeks of not getting any type of reply. Is it acceptable?

Out Of Office, Or automated response Is perfectly acceptable?

In Business it is acceptable to get an Out Of Office or an automated reply saying your query has been received. Xyz will happen next. Or Xyz is on holiday/away from the office.

Stony quietness in my personal opinion is not acceptable.

Perhaps a bit of Netquiett should be taught to all those that have a CC or DC email address for official business. If the Officers of the Council can do it so can those representing Towns and Villages and Residents of Warwickshire,

Thank You Rant Over

After a long day at work and having worked one of my very few late shifts last night, I couldn't wait to get home collapse into bed ready to start my few days off. 

As I entered the platform on Snowhill Station I just knew there was something wrong and my dreams of collapsing into bed were shattered by the Guard of the Dorrige train wandering up and down the platform trying to relay why the train was still sat at the station instead of making its way to Dorrige.

It was hopeless I couldn't hear the announcements over the noise of the engine of the train, the Guard wasn't really that sure what was going on or how long the delay was. 

There was only one thing left to do! yep you guessed turn my faithful phone on and make my way to twitter. 

I think it was David Tweeting last night and as always (in my case) there were the updates in real time. The information I required to make an informed decision as to whether I should stay on the station or make my way home using a different mode of transport was readily available.

Its been years since I caught a bus from town to anywhere and I really did go on a magical mystery tour. I happened to catch a number 5 which said Shirley  but went round the wreakin. I got off when it reached Haslacks Green Road I walked as far as Shirley Station by which time the OH came to pick me up and take me to Whitlocks End to collect my little auto mobile by 22:16 hours I was home.

I logged in only to see the reams of tweets from London Midland keeping other passengers up to date and was only to glad I hadn't made the decision to wait at Snowhill. It was no good moaning or complaining things break and it at sometimes take time to mend.

The motto of this story I for one was really pleased with the information available on Twitter, the way the updates were presented and the way questions were handled and ultimately I was only 1 and a quarter hours later than I normally would be.

On this Occasion I think there was great use of Social Media and keeping people up to date. So its sad the signals broke and I was late but it was good I was kept up to date and could make an informed decision as to how I was going to get home. 

Thank you

Now pondering if I can get a paid job Tweeting ;-)
I just Loved This.

Any Ideas !

It has been over two years and continuous rebuffs of no one uses the web  but its almost there.

I can go quietly back to blogging hopefully confident in the Knowledge that those responsible for community websites will be regularly updating their Cyber Space Notice Boards, making documents downloadable, news up to date etc.,etc.

It  is good to see and I hope it lasts.

2011/2012 Community Achievements In Cyber Space

  • Earlswood & Forshaw Heath Residents Association (On-Line)
  • T-I-A Residents and Neighbour Hood Watch (On-Line)
  • SNT Alcester North on Twitter (WoW)
  • T-I-A PC new website (Great News)

Just A Reminder

I am taking a step back from Local for the moment. I have very little to do with any of the above organisations. 

However as a resident I have a vested interest in keeping up to date in whats happening Locally. 

I do that on the whole on-line :-) Because that is what my life style dictates whether it be a mobile phone whilst traveling or a laptop when away from home. Or just when I get home and to late to attend a meeting that I had every intention of attending. I am sure I am not the only one!

Quietly pondering & watching the world go by

Welcome to Alcester North SNT. Tel: 01789 444816, or 999 in an emergency. Please do not use Twitter to report crime.

I know what I haven't passed comment on and I am not quite so sure why not! especially as  last  year I was debating why WMP were tweeting and Warwickshire seemed to be being left behind on the technology stakes.

Please welcome your Safer Neighbourhood Team to Twitter. 

Its a start and I hope they use it to its full potential. I suspect there will be numerous debates about what should be tweeted and when, its new and its a change.

So why not follow your SNT on Twitter    

SNT Alcester North covers the T-I-A Ward which includes Earlswood and Forshaw Heath

Gosh another redecorated website. Its good to see :-). Also great that this years Parish Assembly reports are downloadable.

Its still the same address but you will be re-directed to the new website. 


There soon won't be anything for me left to do and I will have to get back to blogging in my own little corner.

A Very Busy Few Weeks In Tanworth & Earlswood

With 3 events making their first appearance

Thursday 21st June 2012
T-I-A Parish Council Meeting Earlswood Village Hall

Saturday 23rd June 2012
Earlswood At Malthouse Lane Fete

Thursday 28th June 2012
Arden Community Forum Tanworth Village Hall

Sunday 1st July 2012
Dare I say The Olympic Torch is coming to town :-)

Saturday 7th July 2012
Earlswood Methodist Church Fete
Wood Lane

Saturday 7th July
EMYC Boaters Fun Day
Lady Lane Warf

Saturday 14th July 2012
Tanworth Village Fete

Last year June 2011 I gave a brief overview of my blog stats from 2010 to June 2011 and a run down as to what was most popular it was called my Stats tell a Tale  and accessible at the link below.

During the last year June 2011/June 2012 my stats also tell a tale. Only overtaken by any post on the Olympic Torch,

The Police updates are now in 2nd place. (not that I have received any for a while so I can’t post them “I was given permission to post them”) Which is quite surprising as I know Of at least two occasions in Forshaw Heath that required helicopters and police cars. 

In 3rd place are the People searching for the Earlswood Methodist Church Fete.

In 4th Place are people looking for Parish Council things. (This omits the numbers looking at scribd and PC documents)

In 5th Place Shipston On Line Live Community Forum

In 6th Place people looking for the Earlswood Fete (it is not known if this is the Earlswood Methodist Church Wood Lane or Earlswood Malthouse Lane Fete but people are looking for Fete’s in Earlswood.

It seems to me now the SNT Alcester North Team is on line Tweeting (A great step forward) from this time last year. I hopefully won’t have any need to post the watch lists (Not that I receive them any more)

There you have it The Police would be tops again without the Olympic Torch.
I have a dilemma!

Scribd Vs Drop Box

When looking for a suitable platform to share documents with any reader passing by. I have to say I plonked for the first one I came across which was scribd. It has done the job quite nicely up until now and has some pretty nifty features. When I started uploading documents I really didn’t expect anyone to actually take an interest and read them Lesson Number One Learnt.
I suppose I put them on the blog for my own reference more than wanting to share. My blog is a bit of a home page for me, anyway I am naturally untidy, my desktop looks like WWIII has broken out on it and I can never find what I want when I need to. So uploading documents was a bit of a tidy up of the desktop getting rid of all the unwanted icons exercise.
Due to not doing my homework properly this is what I hadn’t realised until recently. Anyone who wants to download and print the document they are reading needs to sign up for an account I am not sure I want to put readers of the documents through that performance. It didn’t matter really as I didn’t think many people would read and there goes my 2nd failure of research.
Scribd has a stat counter on it which tells you exactly how many times a document has been read. Yesterday I nearly fell of my seat 1’014 reads of the 29 documents available the most popular being T-I-A PC Minutes for April 2012 with 274 reads, which is a really useful stat to have as it shows people do take an interest and read about what is happening locally.
So what’s this got to do with drop box another document sharing application. Well its quite simple if the reader of the document wants to download and print as long as they have PDF (as I save my documents to PDF) they can download and print without having to have an account.
I am now torn between having the stats and being able to prove people are interested in what’s going on locally and the do use the internet or providing an easy uncomplicated service for my readers without the nifty how many reads feature of Scribd.

Decisions Decisions ;-)

Click On Video To See. Even have a listen. A Blast From the Past or what!

Well there it is Forshaw Heaths 7 Seconds of Claim to Fame :-)

Surprising what little gems of information the Internet holds.Blimey you live and learn its now a Catering Equipment Sales Type Place.

Well 7 seconds isn't quite fair, Forshaw Heath has at least one past British Champion  plus  a Bone Marrow Donor  2 times over.

Not bad for 1 1/2 miles. I suspect there are a few more claims to fame as well :-)

Well for quite a few weeks I have been harping on about the Shipston Community Forum On Line.

I would first of all like to say thank you to all those people that were forward thinking enough to pick up the Gauntlet and go for it. You are absolute stars.

I found the Shipston Forum its self very interesting.

Of course Shipston is not my area of residence! but it seems to me to have similar issues to my neck of the woods, so its good to see and hear we on the other side of the WCC area aren't alone.

These are my thoughts on the Live Community Forum.

My thoughts on filming the drop in half hour before the forum. I am not so sure this should be done as people drop in to talk privately. However this time I guess it was slightly different. 

The meeting its self was very informative. 

Although it was good to see the children teaching the adults about IPads and getting the youngsters involved a good Idea. I am not so sure there was a requirement for the trial to offer a live feed from else where. Although it was very interesting.

My thoughts on the subject. Keep it simple and uncomplicated.That way there are less things to go wrong and it in my view will be easier to get the buy in of any skeptics.

Plonk a camera in the corner of the room, make sure the sound is good and let it all rock and roll naturally. People soon tend to forget the cameras are there and begin to relax.

If there aren't many people in physical attendance sobeit, If there aren’t many people watching on line sobeit.

The fact is leaders of a local community have given people the choice of watching, attending and participating whether it be physically or virtually. 

I think Shipston led by example, and all in all did a great job.

I for one hope the idea gets rolled out across the whole County as a matter of course but that's just my own personal opinion.
Oh goodness me I wish I hadn't got the urge to play with the blog. Now I have messed it up again.

Memo to ones self
  • Save the original format of old blog before messing with a new style.
  • Know how to set up the social media buttons
  • Learn how to upload,save in the right size, centralise the leading photo
  • Don't mess when tired and just got home from work 
  • When all else fails read the instructions
  • Remember how to do HTML if that is what it is called these days


Forshaw Heath, just one and a half miles long and roughly one and a quarter miles wide, has had a very tranquil history.

It was in existence in the 9th century, when it was known as Foxshawe, the place of foxes. Foxshawe came within the influence of Solihull and the owner of a large moated house paid one penny a year as a tithe. The remains of the moat are still to be seen - a muddy waterway in the middle of a field.
 Solihull's interest declined and Forshaw Heath, as it was now called, became part of the domain of Stratford-on-Avon and remains so to this day. There has been little turbulence known in the district.

The other large house is Forshaw Park Farm, a very beautiful, well restored place which has been occupied since 1624. The house together with its huge barn are now listed buildings. In the 1930s it was occupied by a very eccentric character named Harry Seager. He lived and worked nights and slept in the day in a dreadful old chair. He never went upstairs. He wandered about the district on his old horse, Dolly, but he was a wonderful naturalist.

Harry had a theory that at one time the sea reached Forshaw and the only hill, BiddIes Hill', is really a cliff. He had a huge collection of sea shells, which he had gathered locally to reinforce his ideas. Shells can still be found in the woods.

These woods are part of the Forest of Arden. They are very lovely in the spring with bluebells, lilies of the valley, marigolds and foxgloves. There is also a very fine sweet chestnut tree. The Turkey oak also here, is said to be hundreds of years old.

This is our quiet Forshaw. Heath, at least it still is, but 'times a changing', now that we have the M42 on our doorstep.


The village information above is taken from The West Midlands Village Book, written by members of the West Midlands Federation of Women's Institutes and published by Countryside Books.


I am quite nervous about writing openly on a blog in fear of offending or upsetting anyone which really isn’t my aim; however as a Cyber Pal recently said it is one of the beauties of the Internet being able to share thoughts and points of view with others.

A blog is a good a platform as any to do such things.

The internet can be such a useful tool. Of course like anything else it has its pros and cons and you have to weigh them up.

I have recently listened to a group of people talking about the pros and cons of the Internet and been told no one in our local area uses it. 

I often wonder how people can make that sweeping statement and what research they have actually done to support it other than asking those who actually don’t use the Internet. 

Of course it stands to reason that some people don’t even have a computer net alone venture on-line no one is arguing that point.

I think people tend to forget not all of us live in close proximity to our neighbours and it is not actually a matter of hanging over the fence or stopping in the street to catch up, some people work and are not seen from one weeks end to the next,

I am a firm believer that the Internet should not be used as a replacement for people communicating with each other in the traditional way but should be used to enhance communication and make information easily available especially for those that don’t have the opportunity to briefly bump into a neighbour for a quick chin wag and a quick update.

Perhaps I am the only one. "I doubt It" but when I am away from home I do tend to catch up with personal emails and local goings on even if it is to pass an evening away in yet another hotel. I have alerts set up on both email and mobile type gadgets.

To be told no one will keep up with home whilst on a train or away from the local area once again suggests those that do not travel for work have not asked those that do. 

Of course I keep up to date when away from home . I like to know whats going on.

I think the fear of the Internet is probably the lack of knowledge , the bad news stories "which the press tend to have a field day with" plus the scare mongering from those unwilling to accept there is an alternative way to reaching people they can't normally reach. 

I just think it is about giving people a choice not sacrificing one form of communication for another.

As I was also told no one has commented which appears to measure the success of a website or blog. Its not about who comments and who doesn't its about those that that read and perhaps don't feel the need to comment. and giving those that do feel they can comment the opportunity. 

Thanks Cyber Pal I have been trying for almost two years to open comments up. I eventually found it.

Glad I wasn't walking to the station when that happened It happened two or 3 weeks ago so it doesn't look as bad now as it did then.

Whilst having a wander around Google I found the following from Feb 2012

For more reading on Lowbrook Farm visit  the link below


It is something that those living in Forshaw Heath & Earlswood perhaps need to keep in touch and updated with as it affects us as well as the residents of Tidbury Green.

OK so I know this is a Forshaw Heath & Earlswood in Warwickshire blog but I am also concerned about some of the suggested development in the Tidbury  Green area and share the residents concerns. 

For those of us that live so close to county borders we really do need to work together in order to protect the environment we live in from being eaten away. 

My concerns are also about the impact additional traffic could have as I also live on the cut through to the M42 junction and now don't even contemplate walking to the local station.

I think I  said it on this blog a couple of years ago although I am appalled at the state of our lanes and roads ,the pot holes and their hidden dangers. I have almost got to the stage of hoping they never get fixed as in some instances they create natural traffic calming. 

It doesn't do my car any good but hey I wouldn't need a car if there wasn't so much speeding traffic, I would still be quite happily walking to our local station. As I have done on and off since I was a child.

BTW has anyone tried getting out of the junction at Lowbrook Lane on to Norton lane, what a nightmare.
Oh what it is to be British! Another Bank Holiday another special occasion and I wake up to rain and a dull day. So I decided to show my patriotic side by decorating my blog .

I really do hope the weather cheers up. I can’t help but think of all those people that have done so much work organising Jubilee events to bring their communities together.

Just for once I hope the sun will come out and shine or at least it stays dry. Mind you us mad British don’t tend to let the rain stop us from celebrating such an event. Oh well I suppose we have 4 days at least one of them might be good.

I was pondering on what I would do to celebrate the jubilee I did think about decorating the shed if Mum were around there would be no getting away from flags and bunting strewn around the garden.

Although I was away at the time when Princess Di and Prince Charles got married she made Dad take the TV outside and spent the whole day with her bunting friends and TV watching the wedding drinking tea and eating cakes.

I still have the photos. I was thinking what she would have done if it had poured down with rain. No problems she would have just taken most the decorations inside and done something else quirky.

Memo to ones self. Dig the photos out :-)