Programme Blogs

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 23rd September 2016

West Herts Drivetime - Fri, 23/09/2016 - 11:49pm
The 23rd of September is a special anniversary in the Carver household. On this day, in 1989, Simon realised that the woman who he saw a lot around the house, who gave him food, cleaned his beige jumpers, and kept bailing him out of jail, was actually his wife, Mrs. Carver. So this is the anniversary of Simon realising he had an anniversary to celebrate. Until then he had just been mildly confused about who this woman was and why she would annually set fire to one of his jumpers while screaming 'WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE?!' Luckily, things have got a lot better since then. He even occasionally remembers her name.

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 TV for the coming week.
The 39 Steps
10.35pm – 12.00am

The Bicycle Thieves
12.15am – 2.05am

The Man Who Would Be King
7.40pm – 9.40pm

12.55am – 4.00am

Miss Congeniality
9.00pm – 11.15pm

10.00pm – 12.20am

Primal Fear
9.00pm – 11.45pm
Movie Mix
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: The Road

West Herts Drivetime - Thu, 22/09/2016 - 6:30pm
The final 'Dystopian Future' film Chris chose this week is 'The Road', an adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy book of the same name.

America is a grim, gray shadow of itself after a catastrophe. A man (Viggo Mortensen) and his young son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) wander through this post-apocalyptic world, trying to keep the dream of civilization alive. They journey toward the sea, surviving as best they can on what they can scavenge, and try to avoid roving gangs of savage humans who will turn them into slaves, or worse.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Ian, Judi & Barbara from Batchwood Bowls Club

West Herts Drivetime - Thu, 22/09/2016 - 6:29pm
On today's Drivetime Session we saw Ian, Judi & Barbara from Batchwood Bowls Club.

The club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. A unique club welcoming new members with all abilities. On Monday evenings there are social evenings in which new members are welcomed to join. It is the club's focus on ensuring that players of all abilities and ages are welcomed. Players of all abilities, including those completely new to the sport.

For more details please visit their website:

And if you missed the interview you can listen to it by visiting and navigate to Thursday from 5.30pm.

Thanks to the Herts Advertiser for the photo
Categories: Programme Blogs

Testing the water…

Environment Matters - Thu, 22/09/2016 - 8:38am
If you missed the show and would like a 15 minute update on sustainability and the environment in and around St.Albans, listen to or download this week’s podcast now

And you can subscribe to receive our podcasts directly into your inbox on the Radio Verulam Website


The Freshwater Habitats trust is asking people in St.Albans and the South East to test their ponds or other local water habitats so they can map the quality places for wildlife. Hannah Worker explained that the tests are very easy to do and test for excess levels of wildlife harming nitrate and phosphate. The tests are easy enough for families and schools to use.

Order your test kit, find out more and report your results at

Option one of three  which includes hotel, park and ride, care home and up to 100 homes

The latest is a scheme by Hallam Land Management for houses, a hotel, a care home, park and ride and business facilities in a triangle of land next to Watling Street and the Park Street roundabout – and they have distributed glossy leaflets to those living close by showing the benefits of their plan.

The Green Belt around St.Albans seems to be constantly in the eye of developers, thinking up new schemes to tempt us and the planning authorities into supporting.

But local  county councillor Sandy Walkington is not convinced. On the show he spoke about his concern that this scheme would merge Park Street and St.Albans and cause unbearable strain on an already busy roundabout. He saw that before St.Albans Strategic Local Plan was in place, development companies would be testing the water with such schemes. He recommended that local residents who were worried about the scheme should tell Hallam Land Management.

Save Symondshyde: want as many people as possible to write to Welwyn Hatfield Council to object to their plans to build on 140 acres of fields in the heart of the Green Belt. They think Welwyn Hatfield have got this badly wrong and that they haven’t listened to local people.
Save Symondshyde reckon that Welwyn Hatfield aren’t making it easy for people to respond, but don’t worry, they’ve put together an improved easy guide on how to object to the local plan consultation. It’s on their website along with some suggested reasons that you may want to use to help you write your objection.

And if you need some inspiration then go to our blog earlier this month and listen to what John Gardener from Save Symondshyde had to say. And if you’re worried about how best to respond to plans for Symondshyde then John says do get in touch and he’ll be happy to help (
Nifty Food Waste Tip: The focus for this year’s Sustainable St.Albans Week is sustainable food, and, in particular food waste, so each week between now and Sustainable St.Albans Week 19-26 Nov I’ll be collecting and sharing your nifty tips on keeping food on plates and out of the bin.

If you have a tip, share it with us on twitter @RV_environment or email This week Steve suggested saving up leftovers in the fridge and then having a leftovers night one day in the week. He said it made a nice change, was a super easy meal and gave them some creative ideas for food combinations!

Herts Hike boot logo [847656]

There’s some great events coming up this weekend:

On Saturday, Walk in aid of Oxfam for the 21st Annual Herts Hike. You can choose between 3, 5, 8, 14 or 20 mile routes through the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside & can choose which you would like to tackle on the day.

All money raised goes straight to this years “Weather proofing” project  in Honduras where farming families on the frontline of climate change are helped to feed themselves despite more frequent droughts and floods.  Click here to learn more – Honduras Project

You could ask your company if they would be willing to participate in the Match Funding scheme where they match every pound you raise & can double your money?

Why not get a team together & compete with other teams to raise the most money?  Teams can be anything from 2 to 100 so invite all your friends & colleagues!   This year Oxfam are challenging you to do the “20 for 20” – can you get a group of 20 people to walk 20 miles?

If you’re not keen to walk but can donate 2 hours of your time then Oxfam are looking for  helpers and  marshals.

Next Tuesday join the HMWT for a family bat walk:, 27/09/2016 – 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Come and join us for a family friendly bat walk around the Common and listen out for these elusive creatures using bat detectors. Please note that this walk is weather dependent. Meet at Harpenden Cricket Club car park.

Categories: Programme Blogs

The Drivetime Sessions with Abbie Gathard

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 21/09/2016 - 6:31pm

The Drivetime Sessions was joined today for the first time by Abbie Gathard. She performed two beautiful original compositions titled 'Never Forgotten' and 'Drifting Away' as well as an excellent cover of Extremes 'More Than Words'.

For more information about Abbie Gathard you can visit her Facebook page here or her Youtube channel here.

You can listen to this weeks Drivetime Session again by visiting and navigating to 5:30 on Wednesday.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Hunger Games: Catching Fire

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 21/09/2016 - 6:30pm
Next on the Film Club is the second Hunger Games installment 'Catching Fire'

After arriving safely home from their unprecedented victory in the previous Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark discover that they must do a quick turnaround and begin a Victors Tour. As she and Peeta travel throughout the districts, Katniss senses a rebellion is stirring. However, President Snow proves that he is still very much in control when word comes of a cruel change in the rules for the upcoming 75th Hunger Games.

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson Star.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Elysium

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 20/09/2016 - 6:30pm
Moving along the theme of 'Dystopias' for this week's Film Club, today Chris chooses to look at 'District 9' Director Neil Blomkamp's 'Elysium'.

It’s 2154 and the Earth is overpopulated and polluted, with many living in poverty and with no healthcare. The rich are living on Elysium, a luxurious space habitat in the Earth’s orbit. Matt Damon plays a thief on parole, who desperately needs the to get to Elysium to save his life.
Also stars Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga and William Fichtner 
Categories: Programme Blogs

Bake it Easy with Lucy Clark @heavensacupcake- Scones

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 20/09/2016 - 5:49pm
Today on Bake it Easy, Lucy (@heavensacupcake) talked to us about how to make scones.

350g Self Raising Flour
1⁄4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
85g Butter
45g Caster Sugar
175ml Semi Skimmed Milk
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1 egg, beaten (for glaze)

• Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan oven/425F/Gas 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

• Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt with a wooden spoon. Rub the butter in finely until you get a kind of bread crumb mixture.

•Stir in the sugar and then add the milk to get a soft dough.

• Turn on to a floured work surface and knead very lightly. Roll out to aprrox 2cm/3⁄4in thick. Use a 5cm/2in cutter to cut out rounds and place onto prepared baking sheet. Lightly knead together the rest of the dough and cut out more scones to use it all up.

• Brush the tops of the scones with the beaten egg. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.

• Cool on a wire rack and serve with jam & clotted cream.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Escape From New York

West Herts Drivetime - Mon, 19/09/2016 - 6:30pm
This week Chris has chosen the Film Club theme of  'Dystopian Futures', starting off with 'Escape From New York'.

The 1981 John Carpenter film is set in a dystopian 1997, where New York has become a prison island. When Air Force One is hijacked and crashes into the island, the president (Donald Pleasence) is taken hostage by a group of inmates. and Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell), a former Special Forces soldier turned criminal, is recruited to retrieve the president in exchange for his own freedom.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Finding Dory

West Herts Drivetime - Sun, 18/09/2016 - 3:11pm
The final Film Chris chose this week is the latest Disney/ Pixar release 'Finding Dory'.

The sequel to 'Finding Nemo' follows Dory, a blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The one thing she can remember is that she somehow became separated from her parents as a child. With help from her friends Nemo and Marlin, Dory embarks on an epic adventure to find them.

It Features the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Ed O'Neill, Albert Brooks, Ty Burrell and many more.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Ex Machina

West Herts Drivetime - Sun, 18/09/2016 - 2:58pm
The next Film in the 'Things Chris Saw Recently' theme is 2015's 'Ex Machina'.

In the film a programmer at a huge Internet company wins a contest to spend a week at the private estate of Nathan Bateman, his firm's brilliant CEO. When he arrives, Caleb learns that he has been chosen to be the human component in a test to determine the capabilities and consciousness of Ava, a beautiful robot. However it soon becomes evident that Ava is far more self-aware and deceptive than either man imagined.

Domhnhall Gleeson, Oscar Issac and Alicia Vikander star.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Star Trek Beyond

West Herts Drivetime - Sun, 18/09/2016 - 2:47pm
Continuing the week's theme of 'Film's Chris Has Seen Recently', Tuesday's Film Club looked at 2016's 'Star Trek Beyond'.

When a surprise attack in outer space forces the Enterprise to crash-land on a mysterious world, Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the crew must battle a deadly alien race led by Krall (Idris Elba), a lizard-like dictator, while trying to find a way off the hostile planet. 
Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg and Anton Yelchin also reprise their roles from the previous films.

Categories: Programme Blogs

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 16th September 2016

West Herts Drivetime - Fri, 16/09/2016 - 7:00pm
After last week, when Simon regressed back to his youth in the Stone Age, he has now found his way back to more modern times. More modern, but not quite present day. Simon came in a powdered wig and long stockings, and nothing else. It turns out that Simon was starring in an amateur dramatics production of The Madness of King George III, and had just come from rehearsal. If that wasn't horrific enough, he started doing lunges, because he 'has got a big badders game later and needs to be limber, what what'.  

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 TV for the coming week.

Mad Max
10.40pm – 12.25am

Toy Story 3
5.30pm – 7.10pm

Before I Go to Sleep
9.00pm – 11.40pm

The Football Factory
9.00pm – 11.20pm

Tower Block
10.00pm – 11.55pm

10.05pm – 12.45am
Categories: Programme Blogs

James, Katy and Jackie from Thoroughly Modern Millie by @HLOS60

West Herts Drivetime - Thu, 15/09/2016 - 6:39pm

On today's Drivetime Session we saw Harpenden Light Operatic Society, The production of the thoroughly modern Millie.

Danny was joined with James Russel, Katy Jane Meehan & Jackie Pulford in our studio at Radio Verulam. Katy will be playing Millie, joined by James who will be playing Jimmy and Jackie as Muzzy Van Hossmere. This production will be held at Harpenden halls from the 4th of October until the 8th of October. There will also be a 1925 event on the 6th of October at the Harpenden Halls and this is a fancy dressed evening where pictures will be taken and there will be other surprises.

Winners of six Tony Awards including Best Musical. Based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film, Thoroughly Modern Millie takes you back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City, when "moderns" including a flapper named Millie Dillmount were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce, and rewriting the rules of love.

Set in New York City in 1922, Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of young Millie Dillmount from Kansas who comes to New York in search of a new life for herself.

Tickets can be bought from the Harpenden Light Operatic Society website or from the ticket office

And if you missed the interview you can listen to it by visiting and navigate to Thursday from 5.30pm.

Categories: Programme Blogs

The Drivetime Sessions with Maclaren Walls

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 14/09/2016 - 6:33pm

On today's Drivetime Session we saw the return of Maclarens Wall, a duo consisting of Melanie Wall and Mac Maclaren. They performed two spectacular original compositions titled 'Miracle Child' and 'For a Day' as well as an energetic cover of KT Tunstall's  'Black Horse and the Cherry Tree'.

For more information about Maclarens Wall you can visit there Facebook page or there Lemon Rock page.

You can listen to this weeks Drivetime Session again by visiting and navigating to 5:30 on Wednesday.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Flight paths – the problem continues

Environment Matters - Wed, 14/09/2016 - 8:45am
If you missed the show and would like a 15 minute update on sustainability and the environment in and around St.Albans, listen to or download this week’s podcast now

And you can subscribe to receive our podcasts directly into your inbox on the Radio Verulam Website


Singapore Road Signs - Warning Sign - Low Flying Aircraft.svg

Pete Crowder who lives on Lancaster Road in St.Albans is not just  unhappy about the increase in low flying aircraft over his house but also about the lack of interest he has received from Luton Airport, the CAA and local politicians.

He described the problem and the way the noise is affecting his life, and how he felt that his complaints had fallen on deaf ears. He was encouraged by the fact that Tracy Harvey, Head of Planning at SADC has now asked Luton Airport to respond to the “barrage of complaints”. Also her acknowledgement that the level of of noise and nuisance has increased since the introduction of RNAV last August and the fact that she’s also asked Neil Thompson, Operations Manager of Luton Airport, to arrange a local information and consultation meeting to address current issues and for information about a route change to the north of Sandridge. However, Peter remains to be convinced that this process will solve the problem and he encouraged as many people as possible to voice their concerns about aircraft noise by emailing

  • the CAA who are undertaking an airspace policy review on
  • Luton Airport and making a complaint at
  • or by phoning Luton Airport on 01582 395382


If you were listening last week, you’ll have heard that the focus for this year’s Sustainable St.Albans Week is sustainable food, and, in particular food waste, so each week between now and Sustainable St.Albans Week 19-26 Nov I’ll be collecting and sharing your nifty tips on keeping food on plates and out of the bin.

If you have a tip, share it with us on twitter @RV_environment or email #foodwaste

The first tip was from Stephen Geers, who, along with his wife and helpers, runs a childminding business. He makes lots of meals for some very fussy customers and has thought hard about how to avoid waste. He says that they’d reduced their waste by asking for school meal menus in advance and planning their meals to avoid the children having the same food twice in one day. 

There’s some great events coming up this weekend:

Next Transition St.Albans Open Food Garden: SAT 17TH SEPT: 2 COWPER ROAD  HARPENDEN  AL5 5NG

DROP IN ANY TIME BETWEEN 3-5PM:  This urban garden, near the centre of Harpenden, continues to evolve as more fruit and vegetables are grown. It wraps round all four sides of the house and is divided into several different areas, with fruit and vegetables gradually taking over ground previously planted with bushes and flowers.

Join a Bug Hunt looking for Spiders, Grasshoppers and Shield Bugs on Saturday 9.45am-noon Join Mid Herts Local Group on a bug hunt with Rory Dimond from Buglife, and a guided walk around the The Commons local nature reserve, encompassing Commonswood’s history, varied habitats and their manangement including a rare example of fenland in Hertfordshire.  Booking essential on the HMWT website.

Sunday – 10-1 Help bring in the harvest at Tewin Orchard as HMWT prepare for this year’s Apple Day celebrations. Booking is essential.

HMWT website:
We always love to hear from you :
Tweet us  @RV_environment
Email us at

Next week – putting your little pond on the big water quality map.


Categories: Programme Blogs

Health Matters - SEP 13 2015

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 13/09/2016 - 3:32pm

Four Issues in Tonight’s DriveTime
1. Referrals to our HospitalsNo referrals for non urgent patients to West Herts Hospital Trust (Watford, SACH, HH). Relates esp to·         Cardiology (Heart)·         Urology (kidneys, bladder, prostate etc)·         Ear, Nose & Throat·         Pain Management·         General Surgery
Trying to minimise waiting times. NB Watford & SACH in special measures – review last week.
What do DriveTime Listeners think about this; How will it affect you?
2. Future for our HospitalsThere were 4 options – loosely based on either a centralised model or a de-centralised model. New Build is coming out as the favourite, and it could possibly be near the M25 in Kings Langley.
Probably no decisions until early 2017; SAPG Meeting on SEP 28 at SADC Office Katie Fisher – Chief Exec (WHHT)  My Vision for Watford & St Albans Hospitals  

3. HubsLarger Hubs at main centres (Watford, St Albans, Hemel) and smaller hubs at other centres (Harpenden, Berkhamsted, etc). Concept is to bring care closer to the community. Access to Diagnostics.
4. Care in the CommunityAlthough St Albans Hub is delayed (as it depends on the hospital re-configuration), there is plenty of scope for greater care in the community; these services have already been devolved:-
  • ·         ENT Service - Elms medical practice in Harpenden
  • ·         Gynaecology - Colney medical centre, The Elms in Harpenden
  • ·         MSK (muscles and bones) - St Albans Hospital
  • ·         Pain clinic- St Albans Hospital
  • ·         Diabetes - Principal Health Centre, St Albans
  • ·         Ophthalmology - Parkbury House
  • ·         Cardiology- Hertfordshire Clinic
  • ·         Vasectomy - Hertfordshire clinic
  • ·         Respiratory service- In patient's own homes
  • ·         Rapid response - In patients's own home
  •           Ultrasound service - Hertfordshiure Clinic, The Elms, Colney Medical Centre.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Inside Out

West Herts Drivetime - Mon, 12/09/2016 - 6:30pm
The new theme for the Film Club is 'Things Chris Has Seen Recently'. Ok, so it isn't the most imaginative, but it's a theme. The first film this week is Disney Pixar's Inside Out, about the personified emotions working within a young girl's mind, namely Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Fear.

It's a funny and movie - as well as beautifully voiced by the likes of Amy Poehler, Richard Kind, Phyllis Smith and Bill Hader - piece of animation, and worthy of all the critical praise it received when it came out. The trailer can be seen below.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Consumer Advice

West Herts Drivetime - Mon, 12/09/2016 - 5:56pm

Our guest tonight was Elizabeth Crampton from the Citizens Advice Bureau, the following topics were covered.


To deal with a debt problem, you will need to:
sort out how much money you owe
work out which are the most urgent debts for you to pay off
work out if you've got any money to pay your debts off and, if so, how much
deal with the most urgent debts as a matter of priority
look at your options for dealing with the less urgent debts and work out how to pay them off
contact your creditors and make arrangements to pay back what you owe
work out your options if you don't have enough money to pay off all your debts.
If you owe money and don't pay it back, the people you owe money to may eventually take you to court. This is called making a claim.

The people you owe money to are called creditors. If one of your creditors takes you to court, it's really important not to ignore the situation and to know what action you can take in response.

If you take action quickly, you can avoid the situation getting worse. If you don't take action, you could end up with a bigger debt, or even losing your home or your possessions. You could end up having to pay back money which you don't really have to.
On Line Shopping
When you bought the goods or services you may have been given a contract or terms and conditions. These should contain information about your rights, such as cancellation or delivery rights. They may also tell you what to do if you have a complaint.

If you bought services, the EC Services Directive says you should receive certain information about who you bought from and the terms and conditions of the service.

If you bought by internet, TV, phone or mail order, you should have received certain written information about your rights.more details on all these items and much more can be found at the web site
Categories: Programme Blogs

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 9th September 2016

West Herts Drivetime - Sun, 11/09/2016 - 8:31pm
Firstly, I must apologise for this post going up late, but I can assure you it is for a very good reason. On Friday, we suffered a small power failure in the studio. So far, so 'meh'. Yes, it is annoying when you're trying to broadcast a live, top-quality radio show and the power goes, but worse things have happened and most people would deal with it like adults. Most people, however, aren't Simon. As soon as the lights went out and the music stopped playing, Simon loudly announced that it was the apocalypse and that it was every man for themselves. Within two minutes he had regressed to his youth and was now wearing animal pelt instead of clothes and was trying to make fire using flint and sticks.

As this was going on Danny tried to get the power going, but found that Simon had taken all of the power leads to use as belts and washing lines because he now considered them useless. It's taken me two days to find a computer that Simon hasn't stolen the power cable from or defaced with his 'cave art' (mostly finger-painted self-portraits made out of instant coffee granules).

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 TV for the coming week.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
11.45pm – 2.45am

11.50am – 1.55pm

Toy Story 2
5.30pm – 7.00pm

The Producers
11.00am – 1.00pm

The Railway Man
9.00pm – 11.20pm

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
9.00pm – 11.10pm

10.00pm – 12.15am

Rabbit Hole
11.45pm – 1.10am

Categories: Programme Blogs