Council Story – Carmen – 400 Words

Plans to sell off land within Thorne Town Centre have been agreed.

Local residents and businesses, have welcomed the news that the land, at the rear of 4 King Street, and the Peel Hill Motte, will be used by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council (DMBC), to create an Extra care housing scheme.

The principle of disposing of the land was initially agreed by Thorne and Moorends Town Council (TMTC) on 28 January 2014.

Peel Hill Motte was acquired in 1979, and was originally attached to a Bailey, and dates back to the Norman era.  The land, located at the rear of 4 King Street, was purchased in 1992, as part of the Council’s redevelopment strategy for the nearby Church Street.  The overall size of the site is 0.761 hectares.

The two sites were initially valued by the District Valuer at £426,500, but factoring in the additional cost of an extended construction programme and a watching brief, has reduced this sum by £85,000.  TMTC will realise a final sum of £341,500 from the sale, subject to DMBC approval.

Sarah Willis, 23, owner of Craft N Things, which is opposite the site, is pleased that the decision has finally been made on the future of the land.

She said: “It’s taken a while, but at least we can now plan for the future.  Yes, we’re going to have a period of large construction traffic, on what is a very narrow street, but this will start the rest of the regeneration of Thorne Town Centre.

“Other retailers will see what this great little town has to offer, and we can look to a brighter future, here in Thorne.”

HGV Driver Bill Whiteley, 53, of Moorends, thought the scheme would benefit many parts of the community.

He said: “It’s about time something happened with it, the Council have been talking about it for years, and finally, they have sold it off.  I just hope that they spend the money wisely, and not just waste it.”

Hairdresser Angie Smith, 47, of Stainforth was happy that the uncertainty was finally coming to an end.

She said: “At least we know what’s happening with it now, and they can get on with it.  Yes, it’s going to cause disruption, but at least the patch of wasteland will be put to good use for the community.”

Thorne and Moorends Town Council, and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council were asked for their comments and issued a joint statement.

They said: “At this time, we are negotiating the sale of the land at King Street, and the Peel Hill Motte, but we cannot make any further comment at this time.”

News Story – Carmen – 350 Words

Group seeking feedback on Mining Monument.

Residents of Thorne and Moorends are being asked for their views regarding the erecting of a new monument to remember the mining history of the community.

The Thorne Colliery Monument Committee, together with their partners, Thorne Heritage Society and Moorends Local History Association, have plans to build a new memorial for those who built and worked at the colliery, from it opening in 1925 to the closure in 1956.

The memorial, to be built at the side of Marshland Road, Moorends, is in addition to the current monument, erected in 2009, which is made from the old pit headgear and is located at the Welfare Recreation Ground on Grange Road.

Malcolm Lindley, spokesman for the committee said: “We understand that the people of Thorne and Moorends are very proud of their mining roots, and there are very few families in the area that don’t have some sort of connection with the mining industry.  We are trying to educate the next generation locally, with regard to the heritage of the community, and we would like the memorial to be a daily reminder of the people who made this area great.

“Since the pit heads were demolished, there are no obvious signs when walking or driving into the once thriving mining village, and the extensive research that we have undertaken, showed that most people were not aware of the current memorial.”

The group have worked hard showcasing the area as a former pit village, and they feel that the existing monument is “hidden away and kept out of sight”.  By having the new monument in a prominent place, Thorne and Moorends can look back in remembrance and move forward.

Part of the Thorne Colliery site at Moorends.    Image copyright H R Kirk

Part of the Thorne Colliery site at Moorends. Image copyright H R Kirk

Mr Lindley added:  “Two monuments are a great idea for Thorne and Moorends, so that the community can come together in remembrance of all those miners who have gone before.”

Thorne Colliery Monument Committee are asking for the community’s opinion and support via their website or by signing the petition located in various retail outlets throughout the area.

Creative Futures Semester 2 Assignment 1 – Dave Eccles – InDesign Booklet Ideas

For my Creative Futures – Graphic Design assignment, I’ve been asked to design a booklet, with a minimum of 8 pages, containing a minimum of 500 words of text, images, graphics, and using the skills of typography that I have looked at over the last semester.

With that in mind, I have to select a subject that is either featured within current affairs, or something that I am passionate about, or of course, a combination of the two.

So the subjects I have chosen to research are:

  • Sparkle


  • Thorne and Moorends Foodbank Group


  • TMCR – Today’s More Choice Radio


These subjects are things that I am very passionate about, and hopefully that will come through in the work I will be producing.

Foodbanks – A 21st Century Phenomenon

My target audience for this article, is local publications close to the North East of Doncaster.  Thorne Times, Doncaster Free Press, and The Star, the latter is a Sheffield based newspaper, but is distributed in Doncaster, as well as Rotherham, Barnsley, and Sheffield.

The age group that I am aiming at is all adults, as the subject matter affects everyone, because you never know if you will be requiring the assistance of a food bank.


According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research,  The United Kingdom is now the 5th largest economy in the world, slightly ahead of the French, and only beaten by the United States of America, Japan, China and Germany. [1]

So, why as one of the richest countries in the world, do so many families rely on foodbanks each week?

The Trussell Trust are one of the largest charities to organise food banks around the United Kingdom, and they have reported a large increase in numbers accessing their services in 2013-14.   913,138 people were given an emergency food parcel from the Trussell Trust, which was an increase of over 263 percent on the previous year. [2]

Service users who attend food banks, do so for a wide variety of reasons.  It could be that income has been reduced, or that people have lost their jobs.  There have also been changes to the benefits system, along with the rising cost of utilities.  In addition to this, any money spent on food and drink, has been reduced with companies not wishing to increase their prices, but keep their costs lower by reducing the size of the product that they sell.

To see how things have changed over the last few years, I visited a local food bank, to see for myself who visits, what support is there for the service users, and the difference these organisations make to peoples lives.

Thorne and Moorends Food Bank Group (TMFBP) organises two sessions per week for the local community who are in need to visit for food parcels, have a hot drink, make friends and be supported during difficult times.  Volunteers saw the need to support individuals and families within the local area, and the initial reaction from some in the community was less than positive.  Some questioned whether a food bank was required, others thought it was a gimmick that wouldn’t survive the summer, but after starting in March 2014, the Food Bank reached Christmas, and served 31 families on Christmas Eve, with over 175 bags of food given out.

The food bank also have links to local council services, Citizens Advice Bureau, and other voluntary providers, so that the assistance given to the service user reaches further than just food to feed for three days.

I had no idea what to expect walking through the door of the Thornensians Rugby Club, the home of TMFBP since August, but I have worked previously in a homeless shelter over Christmas, during my time at the Homeless and Rootless Centre in Sheffield.

During my brief time helping at the Food Bank, I saw people of all ages, those with families, those on their own, but everyone there had the same basic requirement.  They all had taken the brave step through the door of the Food Bank, knowing that they needed help in order to feed themselves and/or their families over the Christmas period.

The volunteers who run the Food Bank, do so for no money, or glory, but just to help other people who need a helping hand.  Most are retired, but their level of work or commitment is second to none.  They spare their time, and, in a lot of cases, money from their own pockets, to fetch food from local supermarkets and food suppliers, and also space from their own homes and garages to store tins, packets and jars, because there is only a limited amount of cupboard space within the temporary home of the Rugby Club.

So, what do the people using the Food Bank, get for their 3 day parcel of emergency food?

As it was Christmas Eve, the Food Bank took the decision to allow a higher amount of food to be given.  This would allow a little more breathing space for the service users, and also because the Food Bank would be closed on the following Wednesday, which was New Years Eve.

Tinned products, including new potatoes, carrots, processed peas, sweetcorn, beans, spaghetti, and meat were contained within one bag.  Fresh vegetables were in short supply, but the volunteers tried to spread the donations around as much as possible.  As many vegetable bags with onions, sprouts, and cauliflowers were filled, but these ran out after about 90 minutes.

2 loaves of bread were given to each family which had been donated by a local supermarket. along with other staples such as rice, pasta, pasta sauce, breakfast cereal, UHT milk, jams, and tinned sponge pudding and custard.

Where a family had children, each child received a selection box, and some other christmas chocolates, such as coins, or a little bag of sweets, to try and make Christmas slightly easier for the parents.

The most needy service users also received a chicken, which had been donated by a local food supplier in Scunthorpe, but there was not enough to go around, with only 15 available for the 31 families that walked through the door.

One service user who I spoke to, Mary, who only wished to use her first name, was overwhelmed with the support given by the Food Bank.

“I don’t know how my family would cope this Christmas without this help.  My husband and I just haven’t got enough money to feed ourselves and the children week in week out.

“It has been very difficult since he was made redundant, and my hours have been reduced at work.  The children do at least get their school dinner free when they are at school, but they are off for Christmas now, so it’s put extra pressure on what little money we have.

“We are just to thankful to the Food Bank, the volunteers, and the people and shops that donate.  Without them, I just don’t know what we would have done.”

Mary’s story is typical of what I heard from the people I spoke to, with many not wanting to give their name to me, as they felt embarrassed and ashamed that they were relying on handouts from a Food Bank.  One man I spoke with, explained that until the end of 2012, he owned a successful business, but with other companies going bust, it had put so much pressure on his company, he had lost everything, including his car and house, and now he was living in a shared house with 3 other people.

The rise in the use of Food Banks has grown over the last five years, and the spread of these organisations doesn’t look likely to fall in the future.  Feeding your family and yourself is one of life’s basic requirements and those who are struggling to make ends meet will continue to use these facilities.

One of the volunteers working during my visit was Maria Barraclough, a 43 year old mum of 3 from Thorne who spoke to me as I was due to leave.

She said “These people didn’t know what they were going to eat on Christmas Day, or even if they were going to eat.

“The help we can give people over the festive period, will hopefully get them on an even keel, to look toward the New Year, with fresh hope that they can build on their future.”

With that in mind, the dawn of 2015 will still see the Food Bank helping families, but hopefully to a lesser extent, with families finding their feet over the coming months.

Photography Assignment – Thorne Flyover and Princess Royal Swing Bridge

ThorneFlyover-UnderThorneFlyover PrincessRoyal


Thorne in South Yorkshire, is somewhere that I spend quite a lot of my non-university time as I present radio shows on the local community radio station, TMCR.  All routes in and out of Thorne have photography interest, be that ponds, lakes, water towers, or bridges, and I selected one of the bridges as part of the assignment.  One bridge that then became two!  Once I had looked at the main selection, the Thorne A614 Flyover, I discovered a little gem below.

I selected the flyover bridge, as there are multiple elements to it, so that I can demonstrate Symmetry in the first photo, which is taken from below the bridge, opposite the Canal Tavern, and I happened upon it by chance.  Parking the car close to the pub, this photo was taken, leaning against the car at the point of the passenger window.  A happy accident of parking in just the right place.

The second photo, is slightly further south, but with the leading line of the bridge running at the top across the photo, but what struck me was the leading line of the canal, but also the stillness of the canal, showing the reflection of the townhouses built alongside the water.

The third photo, is of the Princess Royal Swing Bridge, which was the bridge I happened upon by accident.  Again leading lines are a strong feature of the photo, with the two sides of the bridge going into the distance, and I have deliberately left in the concrete bollard to try to break up the photo, by giving an image in the foreground in focus and leaving the background slightly out of focus.


Photography Assignment – Wykewell Lift Bridge

Wykewell-East Wykewell-Road

Wykewell Lift Bridge, is located in the east of Thorne, and allows vehicular traffic to cross the Keadby and Stainforth Canal.  When barge and boat traffic wishing to pass, the bridge lifts to almost vertical.

Even though the weather was inclement, by increasing the ISO, it gives for a better photo.

The first photo is taken from the canal towpath, and faces east towards Keadby.  Being restricted by the level of access on the towpath due to a fishing match, I was unable to get to a position that I was completely happy with, but I have learnt from that, and will re-visit the spot in the future, and hopefully on a clearer, brighter day.  I have off-set the bridge to the right, and the starkness of the bridge, is counteracted by the yellow brickwork of the house behind.   I kept the pylon in the right line for rule of thirds, and with a little tinkering in Photoshop, I considered adding a second pylon for the complete rule, but decided against it, so to keep the photograph completely natural.

The second photo is taken from the hand rail on the bridge, and gives a sense of depth and perception, as the foreground is out of focus, and the background is sharper.  I experiment with the focus being the other way around, and both work, and give a different aspect to the photo.  There is also leading lines within this photo, with the hand rail, and also the lines on the road deck.