Programme Blogs

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: 22nd May 2015

West Herts Drivetime - Fri, 29/05/2015 - 7:00pm
Young Honor Morrison was back in the studio after taking a few weeks off to recover from the trauma of being stalked by 80s teen heartthrob and St Albans Mayor, Matthew Broderick. Honor was telling Danny, Simon and Chris all about how she chose to relax and let off some steam. Turns out she went to a little spa in Siberia, away from the hustle and bustle of Hertfordshire life. There she took in a bit of Yeti hunting, went swimming in ice-cold lakes, and joined a small cult devoted to worshipping lentil beans.

Honor tried to espouse the wonders of the lentil bean, and told the story of Lakshuma, the Lentil Godess, who grew up in 12th century India. Lakshuma suffered from hayfever, and on one particularly pollenous day miraculously sneezed out a lentil with such force that it lodged itself in the ground and grew into a whole crop. Today India is the 2nd biggest producer of lentil beans, and some, such as Honor, attribute that success to Lakshuma.

Ok, that was a lie, but Simon was in the studio to talk about the new releases in the cinema, the UK box office top 10, and his pick of films on free-to-air TV for the coming week.

East is East
9.00pm – 10.55pm

Rear Window
3.10pm – 5.00pm

9.00pm – 10.45pm

Robin Hood
5.25pm – 7.00pm
Channel 5

Shutter Island
9.00pm – 11.40pm
Channel 4

8.00pm – 10.50pm

An Education
9.00pm – 10.35pm

An Officer and a Gentleman
9.00pm – 11.30pm

Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Charlie Wilson's War

West Herts Drivetime - Thu, 28/05/2015 - 6:30pm
The final film for this week is Charlie Wilson's War, which tells the story of Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson, who helped secure money for the mujahideen to fight against the Soviet Union during the invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

A funny and fascinating film, it stars Tom Hanks as Wilson and he's ably supported by Julia Roberts and the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Could you be a Community First Responder?

West Herts Drivetime - Thu, 28/05/2015 - 6:12pm
We were joined in the studio this evening by Ray Saunders, who spoke about the East of England Ambulance Service, and highlighted the need for more Community First Responders.

Community First Responders are volunteers sent by the ambulance control to life-threatening emergencies such as cardiac arrests. They live or work in areas where a group is set up and can get to an incident in just a few minutes while an ambulance resource is on its way. Their role is to help stabilise the patient and, in doing so, keep the patient alive until the arrival of the more highly skilled ambulance crew, who are trained to undertake further life saving techniques.

To find out more about the role of the CFRs, and whether you would be suited, visit the East of England Ambulance Service website:
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Ed Wood

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 27/05/2015 - 6:30pm
Continuing the theme of biopics, I've picked Ed Wood, Tim Burton's film about the man that some regard as the worst film maker ever. Starring Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette and Bill Murray, it is the charming tale of a man with a big dream, but maybe not the talent to pull it off.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Drivetime sessions with @nfstephenson

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 27/05/2015 - 6:16pm
This week on Drivetime Sessions we had Nick Stephenson a local singer/ songwriter who performed two original songs and a cover. First Nick perfromed "Banter and Smoke" then followed with "Shaking Rain". After that Nick performed a cover of Neil Young's song "Down By The River".

For more information you can visit Nick's website:

You can listen to this weeks drivetime session again if you visit:
and navigate to Wednesday at 5:30pm.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Add colour to your home with this summertime's interior trends @GA_Interiors

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 26/05/2015 - 6:38pm
Our Interior Design correspondent Gwendoline Alderton of GA Interiors shared top tips and advice for this season's trends.

Colours to use..

Image result for colors - orange

Image result for colors - greens

Image result for colors - pastel pinks

The colour for spring has been yellow, which is perfect for teaming with one of the summer's top colours; orange! and its a spicy orange to go with the Moroccan trend which will stay popular through to the winter and Christmastime.

 Add moroccan lamps, with copper and gold shades...

Image result for moroccan lamps

Green is also popular right now and ties into the tropical themes that are trendy too.  Try adding plants inside your home with tropical print cushions.

Image result for tropical theme interior plants

Gwendoline also suggested freshening up your bedroom with tropical print bedding.

If you love pink then you'll enjoy using the currently fashionable pastel pink, great when mixed with any neutrals whether beige, white or grey.


Image result for flamingo interiors   Image result for flamingo fairy lights Image result for white feather pendant shade

Very contemporary images and items are Flamingoes, especially fairy lights for indoor or outdoor decoration and white feather lampshades. Don't forget, updating lampshades create instant pattern and interest.

Fantastic top tips from Gwendoline also include door knobs and handles.  Its so easy and economic to update furniture by replacing the handles or knobs.  Experiment with ceramic or crystal.  Use the attention to detail to build up a theme with your rooms.

Visit Gwendoline's website:
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Braveheart

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 26/05/2015 - 6:00pm
The theme for this week is 'biographical films', and so I've plumped for the incredibly successful 1995 epic Braveheart. It stars and is directed by Mel Gibson, and it's about the legendary Scottish warrior William Wallace. Nominated for 10 Oscars, and winner of 5 - including Best Picture - it makes up for it's lack of historical accuracy with lots of blood, guts and macho posturing.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Don’t treat it like dirt!

Environment Matters - Tue, 26/05/2015 - 2:58pm

2015 is International Year of Soils and to remind us all of this Rothamsted Research in Harpenden held an open day entitled Soil is Life. On this week’s show we brought you a flavour of the day with interviews from

  • Gail Canning, a scientist working on a soil borne fungal disease which attacks oil seed rape and a variety of other common crops grown around the world
  •  Professor Steve McGrath, Head of the Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems about the crucial importance of soils in our fight against climate change, water shortages, and our effort to feed an ever growing population.
  • PhD students who explain their projects and why they have chosen to devote their talents to soil

You can find out more about events for the International Year of Soil at Rothamsted Research and hear an interview we did with Professor Keith Goulding on a previous edition of Environment Matters, discussing soils and climate change.20150517_105027A smiling Gail Canning explaining how Rothamsted Research is doing unique work warning farmers when a fungal disease affecting oil seed rape is most likely to strike, reducing fungicide use and cost.

Categories: Programme Blogs

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: 22nd May 2015

West Herts Drivetime - Fri, 22/05/2015 - 7:00pm
The feud with Mayor Matthew Broderick seems to have abated a bit, and no-one at the station has heard anything from St Albans' evil, yet democratically-elected (98% of the vote, with a turnout of 135%), leader for a whole week. As a result it was quite quiet in the studio, and Simon was even a little subdued. This was partly down to the presence of the show's Science Correspondent, Samantha Rolfe. Last week Sam hit Simon with a glass beaker to get him to do his job properly, and as such Simon has become a little timid around Sam.

Sam was back in the studio to help out on the show because Honor is taking another week off, as she has not quite recovered from Mayor Broderick's creepy attentions. While Sam's position as studio assistant is temporary, she has seemingly started to take over a little. She's decorated the walls in her favourite colours (zombie skin green and nightmare blue) and has hung up pictures of her family everywhere. We heard her on the phone to a locksmith trying to get a new lock fitted on the studio door. Basically, it appears that she might have moved in. Hopefully Honor gets back before Sam gets too comfortable.

Ok, that was a lie, but Simon was in the studio to talk about the UK box office, new releases in the cinema, and his pick of films on free-to-air TV for the coming week.

Dodgeball: a True Underdog Story
 9.00pm – 10.55pm

Apocalypse Now
9.00pm – 12.05am

Evil Dead
11.00pm – 12.50am

Jurassic Park
3.10pm – 5.40pm

Dances with Wolves
2.25pm –  5.15pm

We need to talk about Kevin
9.00pm – 10.45pm

Warm Bodies
9.00pm – 10.55pm

Jagged Edge
11.45pm – 1.30am
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Mean Girls (2004)

West Herts Drivetime - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:30pm
Written by Tina Fey (who also has a small role, along with SNL alumni Amy Poehler, Tim Meadows and Ana Gasteyer). The film stars Lindsay Lohan as Cady Heron who becomes a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett), the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George (Rachel McAdams). Amanda Seyfried makes her big screen debut in the movie.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Tongue In Cheek

West Herts Drivetime - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:20pm
We were joined in the studio by Claire and Belinda from Mardibooks this evening, who are involved in the local writers' group, Mardi Writers. They spoke about their upcoming event, 'Tongue In Cheek'; a spoken word open mic evening taking place at Cote Brasserie on Thursday 28th of May, at 7pm.

Tickets are £4.50 on the door, including a drink and nibbles. To book a spot, email

The event is supporting the local charity, The Cresent.

More information about Mardi Writers can be found on their website:
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 20/05/2015 - 6:30pm
Will Ferrell in a rare straight role as IRS Auditor Harold Crick. Harold's life, though, is being narrated by nearly forgotten author Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson). Fiction meets reality as his whole entire life events e.g. his work, love life and death are being controlled by Kay. Harold must find the narrator only he can hear to try stop his imminent death. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman and Queen Latifah also appear in the film.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris Flegg performs live in the studio this afternoon

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 20/05/2015 - 5:47pm
St Albans based singer songwriter, Chris Flegg, joins us in the studio.

you can watch live @dapperdan75

The first song is Troubadour Cafe.

Chris plays jazz guitar with his won jazz trio and is a singer songwriter on the acoustic and folk scene.

He has released 4 albums of original songs to date, including his latest; Gazing At The Stars All Night.

Chris will also perform 'There's a Sound' and his cover will be 'The Girl From Ipanema'.

For more information on Chris, visit his website::

Chris Flegg
Categories: Programme Blogs

Eating Your Way Through Exams - 14th May 2015

The Parents' Show - Wed, 20/05/2015 - 2:27pm
In this edition we hear from  the amazing Dale Pinnock, ITV’s Medicinal Chef and Katharine Tate – the Food Teacher,  about how to support our children’s nutritional health in stressful periods – especially during the dreaded exam season

Click To Listen > Eating Your Way Through Exams
Categories: Programme Blogs

New Music Playlist w/c 18th May 2015 & this week's featured track by @shaun_escoffery

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 19/05/2015 - 8:18pm
Hi Drivetimers

Here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Andreya Triana - That's Alright With Me
Bryan Ferry - Midnight Train
Caro Emerald - Quicksand
Elbow - What Time Do You Call This?
Electro Velvet - Still In Love With You
First Aid Kit - Cedar Lane
Florence + the Machine - Ship To Wreck
Hozier - Someone New
Hunter Hayes - I Want Crazy
Lawson - Roads
Lenny Kravitz - Ooh Baby Baby
Longfellow - Where I Belong
Lucy Spraggan - Unsinkable
LunchMoney Lewis - Bills
Mark Knopfler - Skydiver
Nathan Carter - Wagon Wheel
Paul Weller - Saturns Pattern
Shaun Escoffery - Perfect Love Affair
Sheppard - Geronimo
Sia - Big Girls Cry
Simply Red - Shine On
Take That - Higher Than Higher
Texas - Are You Ready
The Shires - State Lines
Thea Gilmore - Coming Back To You
Van Morrison and Clare Teal - Carrying a Torch
Walk the Moon - Shut Up And Dance
Will Young - Love Revolution
Zac Brown Band - Homegrown

Items in BOLD are new additions

This week's featured track is Perfect Love Affair by Shaun Escoffery:

Categories: Programme Blogs

Rainbow Cup Cakes @heavensacupcake

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 19/05/2015 - 6:51pm
Lucy Clark joins us in the studio today to share her Rainbow Cup Cake recipe..

Image result for rainbow cup cakes

These are fabulously easy to make and really add the 'WOW' factor to any party. Especially popular with children, you can adapt colours to suit a theme or favourites.

Using Lucy's classic vanilla cup cake recipe, which you can find on her website, split the mixture into as many bowls as you want colours.  Lucy recommends using colour paste rather than liquid.  Then divide your coloured mixtures equally between cases and bake for approximately 20 minutes at 160 (for fan ovens).

For the rainbow coloured icing, simply layer the different colours in your piping bag and start decorating!

Visit Lucy;s website:
Follow Lucy on twitter: @heavensacupcake
Follow Lucy on pinterest: Heaven is a cupcake

Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Bridesmaids (2011)

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 19/05/2015 - 6:30pm
Anne's (Kristen Wiig) life has turned upside down after her bakery is shutdown and she's broken up with her longterm boyfriend. Best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and, as maid of honour, Anne prepares to pull out all the stocks in the name of true friendship but a whole load of fresh challenges develop to try uphold her. Also stars Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Rose Byrne.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Incinerator latest and new event, Sustainable St.Albans Week

Environment Matters - Tue, 19/05/2015 - 8:05am

This week we heard the latest on the long running saga of the plans to build an incinerator at New Barnfield in Hatfield. Val from Welwyn and Hatfield Friends of the Earth updated us. She summarized the state of play so far as follows…

Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) entered into a contract with Veolia Environmental Services (VES) in July 2011 for the provision of residual waste treatment services.  Veolia proposed to build and operate an energy from waste incinerator at the Council owned New Barnfield site in Hatfield.  Following a public inquiry and the subsequent inspector’s report, the planning application for the facility was refused by the Secretary of State on 7 July 2014.  As a result of a successful High Court challenge by VES the application was referred back to the Secretary of State for re-determination.

All interested parties have recently submitted further representations to the Planning Inspectorate and have been advised that a decision will be issued on or before 16 July 2015.

In the meantime interim waste contracts are in place at existing incinerators, initially until 2018 with the opportunity to extend until 2021.  The interim contracts are said to be achieving savings on previous years’ costs and increasing diversion from landfill.  The percentage of household waste reused, recycled, or composted in Hertfordshire continued to improve in 2013/14 to 49.2%, an increase on the 2012/13 total of 45.5%.

Under the terms of the contract, HCC has requested a revised Project Plan from VES which is to be submitted by 7 July 2015.  Should planning permission for the proposed incinerator at New Barnfield be granted, the Council has said publicly that three options will be considered and a decision made by the end of 2015:

Ÿ           to proceed with the incinerator;

Ÿ           to proceed with the revised Project Plan;

Ÿ           to terminate the contract with Veolia.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest news on Hatfield Against Incineration’s website at or email any questions to Welwyn Hatfield Friends of the Earth at

Looking ahead, Gail and Catherine from Transition St.Albans came into the studio to tell us about a brand new event in the St.Albans calender, Sustainable St.Albans Week. In the last week of November, it has been timed to be in the week preceding the Paris climate change talks.

Any group, company, individual within the St.Albans District is invited to run an event aimed in some way at making us more sustainable. Over 30 organizations have already signed up to run events as diverse as an eco-jobs fair, tree pruning training, a film showing and a bring and buy book swap. Participating groups so far  include various faith groups, schools, the university and many more.

Find out more and sign up at

Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Wayne's World (1992)

West Herts Drivetime - Mon, 18/05/2015 - 6:30pm
In Aurora, Illinois, rock and roll enthusiasts Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) host a budget network cable television show called Wayne's World in which they incite eccentric locals and discuss topics of interest (largely music and beautiful women). They accept a $10,000 takeover bid from major television executive Benjamin Oliver but soon realise they've made a big mistake. Also stars Rob Lowe and Tia Carrere.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Tools With A Mission [TWAM]

West Herts Drivetime - Mon, 18/05/2015 - 5:53pm
 Our guest tonight here on West Herts Drivetime was Chris Penn from Dagnall Street Baptist Church who told us about TWAM.Started more than 30 years ago, TWAM has given help where it is needed most, by collecting and refurbishing tools and equipment no longer required in the UK and sending them overseas.
The types of tools and equipment required are;
A full list can be found at the web site
The annual collection will take place at the church on Wednesday 27th May from 12 noon until 7pm
Categories: Programme Blogs