Monday, 31 December 2018

Alison Fielden & Co: Cycling Law, How Does it Affect You?


Thus rang out the words of Freddie Mercury and Queen in their well-known song. Indeed, the year 2018 witnessed a yet further resurgence of interest in cycling nationwide. You may even have acquired a bicycle yourself over Christmas, and now aspire to be the next Geraint Thomas or Chris Froome!

The latter part of the year gone by, however, has witnessed a public consultation taking place in relation to proposed changes in the law affecting cyclists. The Department for Transport has reported that in a recent five year period there were almost 2,500 accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists with no other vehicle involved - which resulted in 20 fatal pedestrian casualties and over 500 serious injuries. This is clearly not an insignificant problem.

A particular outcry arose in the case not so long ago of cyclist Charlie Alliston who collided with Kim Briggs on Old Street, London resulting in the sad death of Mrs Briggs. He was acquitted of manslaughter but convicted of the Victorian offence of causing bodily harm by “wanton and furious driving”, for which he received an 18 month prison sentence. The maximum sentence for that offence is 2 years.

It was realised at that time that for cyclists there is no equivalent to the offence of “causing death by dangerous driving” that vehicle users face. There is effectively a gap in the law.

Ahead of the public consultation about creating new offences in relation to cycling, one report concluded that there is indeed a persuasive case for legislative change to tackle the issue of dangerous and careless cycling that causes serious injury or death, in order to bring cycling offences in line with driving offences.

Another concern is that cyclists nowadays are “relatively silent” and are no longer required to have bells to warn of their approach (they were before 2011).

The Government has also proposed certain other changes in this whole area - for example to make cycling offences apply to any public area, not just roads. This might cover car parks and pedestrianised precincts.

There is plenty of food for thought, therefore, for cyclists at all levels. The consultation period is now closed, and it remains to be seen whether 2019 will be the year when the proposed reforms are implemented. A summary of responses to the consultation will be published in the near future.

Meanwhile, a very happy (and safe) New Year to all road users!

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Sunday, 23 December 2018

Barn Theatre Just So Review-Running to Jan 13th

Review by Carlo Vuolo - Cirencester Scene

The Barn Theatre’s production of ‘Just So, The Musical’ is a real Christmas cracker. The wonderfully talented cast of actor/musicians brings this compilation of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories to life in a fun-filled and action-packed tale of the Elephant’s Child’s quest to find answers to his many ‘silly questions’ and to politely ask Pau Amma the crab to stop playing with the oceans. On his travels to the great grey-green, greasy Lim-po-po River, accompanied by the reluctant Kolokolo bird, he discovers, inter alia, how the leopard got its spots, how the rhinoceros got its skin and how the kangaroo got its powerful hind legs. Finally his ‘satiable curtiosity’ leads him unwisely to ask the crocodile what he eats for dinner, and the ensuing tug-o-war between them
Imogen Halsey and Rosalind Ford
results in the Elephant’s Child getting his trunk.

Directed by Kirk Jameson, this enchanting musical revival, written way back in 1984, begins with the creation of all animals by the Eldest Magician and follows their (Lamarckian) evolution to the forms we are familiar with today. Full of wit, movement, musical virtuosity and superb singing this is the perfect family show and a great
Rosalind, Dylan and Lewis in Rehearsal
alternative to the traditional Christmas pantomime, and as good as anything to be seen in the West End.

A favourite scene has to be the flirtatious interplay between the giraffe and zebra, cast as giggling ‘Essex Girls’ pursued by the lecherous leopard and the scheming jaguar, which is a delight. These dippy girls are oblivious to the true intention of these comical spivs, which is not amorous but epicurean.Other highlights include the laid-back Parsee Man limbering up the travellers in a Samba-style Cake Dance, to strengthen them up for their journey, and the sheer power and presence of the rhinoceros singing ‘Thick Skin’ which has the audience rocking in their seats.
Enjoy a warm show in the winter!

Making full use of the theatre’s impressive lighting capabilities, contrasting well with the use of simple props, the show transports the spectators to darkest Africa, with stunning sunsets and dark damp jungles. It deserved nothing less than the standing ovation and rapturous applause it received from the very appreciative audience on Press Night.

Just So, The Musical runs until 13th January 2019.

Tickets from

The Barn Theatre, Beeches Road, Cirencester, GL7 1BN, 01285 648255

Star rating 5 *****

Drilling their parts for the public!

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

What's on in Cirencester 12th-23 December!

Corinium Museum: A place of wonder and the host to various events.

Wed 12 Dec: The Art of Roman Health, Afternoon Talk with Dr Valija Evalds, 2-3.30pm. The second of a series of 3 talks exploring Roman Art. This illustrated lecture will consider the art and architecture of health and medicine in the Roman Empire. £7 pa, £6 members. Booking recommended.
Wed 12 Dec: Cirencester Chamber of Commerce Christmas Social 6-8pm at New Brewery Arts Cafe, Cricklade Street. Please bring business cards and a guest! Visitors welcome. First two visits free. Register at Membership from £50 per annum.  Enqs Claire Wardell Secretary / 07896 297738.
Thur 13 Dec: Ciren Belles Christmas Social. Open to all women in Ciren. Usually meet 3rd Thurs of month upstairs at Somewhere Else, 7.30 for 8pm.  Further info Rev Katie Richardson ( or Vikki O’Keeffe ( or call 01285 659317.
Fri 14 Dec: Christmas Cracker 2018 with Cirencester Band, 7.30pm at Parish Church, Cirencester. Bandmaster Ian Hartnell. Presented by Mark Cummings, BBC Radio Gloucestershire. With Ciren Training Band and featuring Band Soloists. Admission FREE with retiring collection for The Churn Project.
Fri 15th Dec: Midwinter Medley Concert with Cirencester Male Voice Choir, Cirencester Singers, Corinium Community Choir and Cirencester Community Choir at Cirencester Baptist Church, starting at 7.30 pm. Tickets available from Cirencester Visitor Information Centre (by Museum),, or on the door – adults £10, under 16s free. In support of Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice.
Sun 16 Dec: CIRENCESTER RAMBLERS. From Mildenhall we follow the river Kennet passing the site of Cunetio, a former Roman town, to Stitchcombe returning via Cock-a-Troop Lane and Chopping Knife Lane.  5.3 miles.  Travel £4.  Bob Scott 07807 936674. Meet Waterloo Car Park 9.15am for 9.30am start.  R A Dogs Only. Visitors welcome. Details 
Sun 16 Dec: The Salvation Army, 10 Thomas Street, Cirencester, GL7 2AX at 6pm - Service of Carols and Readings. All welcome!
Mon 17 Dec: " Memories of childhood in Cirencester" 7.30 pm at The Salvation Army Hall, Thomas Street, Cirencester. An illustrated talk by Ken Brightwell, the Cheltenham Town Crier, for the Civic Society. Visitors welcome £3.00ppdetails at
Tues 18 Dec: Festive Lanterns, Children’s Workshop with Rebecca Shellenberger, 10.30-11.30am. Create a special seasonal lantern to brighten the dark winter nights. All instruction and materials provided. £5.50 per child, £5 members. Booking essential. Suit 6+.
Thur 20 Dec: Stories with Santa, Seasonal Storytelling, 10-10.30am and 11.30-12pm. Santa visits the Corinium Museum to tell a short story from the North Pole in a magical setting and present the children with a seasonal gift at the end. £3.50 per child (includes a gift), £2 pa. Booking essential. Suit all ages.
Thur 20 Dec: Songs, Games, Mingling and Fun with SIDDINGTON with PRESTON WI Christmas Party with music, games, wine and bring and share finger buffet. Visitors and guests welcome. Christmas Raffle, proceeds to The Cobalt Breast Cancer Unit. Tea and soft drinks available for designated drivers and abstainers. At Elizabeth Way Community Room Siddington 7.30pm.  More info Ann, 01285 641469.
Fri 21 Dec: Cirencester Singers Sing Christmas 2018! With special guests Victoria Clarke (keyboard) and Martin Page (guitar). 6-8.30pm at Parish Church, Market Place, Cirencester. Fizz and mince pie. A packed event so buy tickets early, £10pp, £1 child + booking fee from
Sat 22 Dec: Christmas Concert by Corinium Players Guitar Ensemble at Ashcroft Church, 12 noon. Enjoy your favourite Christmas melodies and carols on the classical guitar. Lasts approximately 1 hour plus  homemade soup, mince pies and cakes. Free but with retiring collection for the children to attend 2019 World Youth Guitar Festival.
Sun 23 Dec: The Salvation Army, 10 Thomas Street, Cirencester, GL7 2AX at 6pm - Family Carol Service. All welcome.
Sun 23 Dec: Cricklade Band Christmas Present at Cricklade Town Hall 7.30pm. Watch out for the posters on Facebook Page The Cricklade Band, and make sure of your tickets! Or email Paul at for updates. Tickets £6 from Council Office or McFarlanes, both in Cricklade High Street.
Mon 24 Dec: The Salvation Army, 10 Thomas Street, Cirencester, GL7 2AX at 11.30pm - Candlelit Carol Service. All welcome.
Sun 30 Dec: The Greyhound Pub Quiz is the last Sunday of each month with some great prizes and a guaranteed fun night for everyone. Starts 8.30pm. The Greyhound Inn, Siddington. 01285 653573.
Wed 16 Jan 2019: Upper Thames & Ridgeway National Trust Association Talk “Moscow to St. Petersburg by Boat”. The Speaker is John Farrow. The talk will be held at The Highworth Community Centre, The Dormers, Highworth, SN6 7PQ at 2:30 pm. £3 members, £4 visitors. Tea/Coffee and Biscuits will be served. Details:
Fri 18 Jan: Fact or Fiction – The Art of Writing a Thriller. With local author Glenn Salter, alias chartered surveyor, Simon Fairfax . Hosted by Cirencester Business Breakfast Club, 8-9.30am at Stratton Court, Gloucester Road, Ciren GL7 2LB. (Tea, coffee and breakfast available from 7.45am) Tickets £10 on arrival. Book in by messaging Lynn Hilditch 07715 567802 or email See
Fri 18 Jan: Volunteer with Citizens Advice. Information Session at our Cirencester Office, 2-3 The Mews, Cricklade Street, GL7 1HY. 10.30-12.30pm. Come along to find out how you can make a real difference to your local community.   We have a number of volunteering opportunities within our dynamic team. For more info re volunteering and to apply go to
Thur 23 Dec: AQIVA (Friends of Amphitheatre, Querns Woods & Four Acre Field) NO DEC MEETING. Alison, 01285 651765.