Sunday, 28 February 2010

Not Rumours After All

Thanks Asda - for nothing.

Seeing as you aren't going to tell me, I'll tell you - just in case you really don't know [hmm, yes I am being deliberately obtuse]. Heanor Haulage aren't going to have a workshop and offices at Langley Mill.

We first heard this last December but they were dismissed by the ‘Asda consultant’ - when I asked in January - as ‘local rumours’.

We have it on good authority - no not Fred [who the bloody hell is Fred] - that HH are eventually moving their complete operation to Ilkeston ... one day. Demolition will soon begin on the buildings but no-one seems to know what we'll have instead of the workshop and offices, the proposed [and passed] landscaping this side of where they were meant to be is still the same - according to the latest plans anyway.

If the shaking our houses suffered the other day with just a bit of archaeology is anything to go by, then I think it may be a good idea to take photo’s of our now intact roof ready for putting in a claim when it slides off onto the car - no I’m not joking, I am a bit concerned that this may happen, I do hope my fears are completely unfounded [I'm not the ‘lets see how much compensation we can screw out of them’ type or I'd have found something more lucrative to stub and break my toes on rather than my ironing board, the GOM and a door frame - the last 3 breaks, not necessarily in that order], but the buildings across from us are very close - this must be equally as worrying for most of Bridge Street's residents and not just us at the top, it's just that we got to experience a ‘taster’ of what is to come.

We have been warned by a very nice man that it will be extremely dusty during demolition - nothing new there as Heanor Haulage do already kick up a lot of muck, a large amount of which is filtered out by my nets [washed ‘em yesterday, they practically walked to the kitchen and it was like folding cardboard getting them in the sink - ‘I should keep my windows shut’, I hear you say, I can't because I feel like I'm suffocating at night with them closed.

And of course it will be noisy as well as dusty - we expect this, I know they're not out to deliberately annoy us - this has already been pointed out by the aforementioned very nice man [the same one that told us about the death of the trees - I'm trying to like him, honest] - but this won't stop me taking it personal and moaning accordingly - I am after all a practising grump.

Then, when we've had a little peace and have got used to our new but temporary vista [photo's will be taken], we're to expect more noise as the piling gets under way and the steel frame goes up for the new Asda store.

I'm still finding it hard to believe that it's all actually going to happen, probably because it seems to have been going on for so long - nearly two years since we heard the first whispers of Asda's interest in Langley Mill ...

Friday, 26 February 2010

R.I.P. Trees

About half a dozen men came with their tree munching equipment this morning. One went up a ladder and over the fence to the tree. The biggest obstacle was passing the branches back over the fence, they kept getting caught in that damn pointless [hmm, well] razor wire.

Fifteen minutes and it was all over - for our tree at any rate. They then moved on to other trees that are in Asda's way, I could hear them sawing and buzzing all morning.

Ahhh, poor trees - may they rest in pieces ...

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Saying Goodbye To A Tree

A man has just visited to ask us if we didn't mind parking all the cars further down the street from 9.00am tomorrow as they're taking down the tree at the top of Bridge Street.

What a sad day for me - but it has to be done now before the blackbirds start nesting in it again as we had a pair there last year all through spring and summer, I don't know how many young they raised but we seem to have a lot of blackbirds now.

'Natural England supports the recommendation for clearance worked to be timed to avoid the bird-breeding season, and the season should be taken to be from March to September inclusive. It is agreed that a site survey should be required, undertaken by a suitably qualified ornithological surveyor, should clearance works be programmed for any time within the birdbreeding season. Clearance would not be able to commence until the end of the breeding season if nesting birds were found.'

I hope they leave the trees at the back of us, as well as hedge sparrows, robins, tits and blackbirds, we get bullfinches visiting - something I've never seen at either Center Parcs or Rufford Park.

I suppose we'll have to wait and see ...

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


I tthhink thhe archaeollllogists arre excavvvvating in the builddding acrrooss fromm us - tiin waalls, concccrete floooor neeed I sssay morrre? exccuse me whiile I jusst caattch a chhhair thaat's on thhe mooove.

Norrmmal tyypping wiiiill be resuuuumed as soooon as poosssibble .......

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Digging Has Started

Since Rob's Heanor Tyres left Bridge Street, there has been a lot of digging activity on the yard and in the building, It looks like they've reached the foundations of the houses that used to be there.
I assume these may be the 'workers houses' referred to in the 'industrial archaeological interest' bit of the council papers:

.... 5. Derbyshire County Council - Development Control Archaeologist.

The Derbyshire County Council - Development Control Archaeologist has highlighted that the site is of industrial archaeological interest, both in terms of standing buildings and the potential for below ground archaeology relating to the early Vulcan Works. The proposed redevelopment of the site will clearly have major impacts on both standing buildings and below ground archaeology. The historic buildings/below-ground potential of the site can perhaps be assessed as of local/regional significance and the impacts of development should therefore be mitigated through a conditioned scheme of archaeological work, under the provisions of PPG16 and Policy EN31 of the Amber Valley Local Plan. The scheme of archaeological work should include:
1. An archaeological desk-based assessment of the site, including standing buildings, to establish areas of importance.
2. Building recording of standing buildings, where judged of importance.
3. Archaeological excavation of targeted areas within the Vulcan Works and perhaps also within areas of back-to-back workers' housing. This may involve an initial phase of trial trenching followed by larger scale excavation should results prove significant.
The Development Control Archaeologist has therefore recommended that a condition is attached to any planning consent to ensure that no development takes place within the site until the developer has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological work in accordance with a written scheme of investigation (WSI) that is first submitted by the applicant and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

Or of course they could be just be fixing the drains ...

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Center Parcs

We spent last Monday - Friday at Sherwood Center Parcs, we had a great time as usual. I have to wonder though where they expect everyone to go, at times the dome is overcrowded fit to burst and the car-park is overfull. I have two maps, a new one and one that gets left in my ‘Center Parcs swim-bag’ which must be about 8 years old now. Comparing the two, there are at least 200 extra ‘villas’ aka cabins, chalets, huts and sheds - depending on their size and how peasanty you are, and everyone has to be somewhere, seeing as the dome is the only free activity, that's where most people hang out.

We had been in our villa before and really liked the views so chose it again [we paid extra for the choice]. Unfortunately it had been upgraded from a ‘comfort 1 bed studio’ to an ‘executive lodge’ which meant:

  1. It cost a lot more.
  2. There was a telephone.
  3. Complementary towels [but not to take in the dome]
  4. A Philips Senseo coffee maker.
  5. Philips blender.
  6. A dishwasher.
  7. Microwave.
  8. Clock radio
  9. Wifi access.
  10. 2 TV’s
  11. DVD player.
  12. Toiletries.
  13. Hairdryer.
  14. Wine cooler.
  15. And worst of all maid service.

It’s all very well having a maid come in but it meant that I had to tidy up, empty the bins and find somewhere to hide my shabby knickers and best bra [the T-shirt type that retains it's bumps, arrived in it's own suitcase, needs a shelf all to itself and appropriate supporting scaffolding] before she arrived. This resulted in me hanging the ‘No Service Today Thanks’ doo dah on the door to prevent the above. We went out and left the villa with a ‘lived in’ look [ok, untidy], came back a little later, took the sign off the door thinking the cleaner [maid, whatever] had been and gone, went out again, came back in a snow blizzard - oh dear, the bins were empty and everywhere was tidy - my face glowed with embarrassment.

The storage space for one couple is appalling, 5 coat hangers in a wardrobe that can’t properly accommodate anything hanging up as the rail went across, the space wasn’t even a foot deep so everything was skewiff. The rest was open shelves. Looking back at old photo’s I see that our clothes then were on a shelf above the bed, so no real improvement. Oh and there was a safe - which didn’t open, not that I'd got anything valuable to put in it, but that's besides the point - I could have hidden my underwear in it.

We had everything in the kitchen a professional chef could require - except somewhere to put food, if it didn’t fit in the fridge, it obviously wasn’t meant to be there, I can only deduce they must have wanted somewhere to store their extra pans, Pyrex dishes, etc and for us to go and eat out - not on your nelly! I'd seen their price lists for eating out.

It was blissfully quiet in our ‘villa’ - except when my family was visiting. There was no noise from the neighbours as even though we were adjoined both sides, the buildings have a double wall. The only sounds we heard were the smoke alarms which were very sensitive, very noisy and very frequent, you only had to wave a slice of bread at the toaster to set them off. But I suppose in the middle of all that woodland, fire is a big hazard.

The villa was clean [until we arrived] and warm at all times, the heating automatically adjusted throughout the day but you could turn it up if you wanted to. The radiator in the bathroom was in a stupid place - or the toilet was, twice I burnt my leg on it - but it certainly woke me up properly. The bed, ahhh, the bed - I wanted to bring it home with me, I've never been away and spent a more comfortable night, I will be buying a mattress topper as the bed there had one.

Compact and bijou was how my sister described our pad, they had a bigger but more peasanty villa with a lake view, [they still got a dishwasher and 2 TV's] we spent our evenings there with them playing cards until my brother-in-law finally won a game - late Thursday night. This villa was also their regular choice, for which they had to pay extra with it being in the central area.

One day we went for a walk around the lake and ended up at a bird hide, as we walked in to the semi-dark I had a quick glance around and noticed a man with a ‘proper’ camera at the far right sat with all the quiet people so I immediately tucked my compact ‘point and shoot’ job in my pocket and turned left to join the small noisy people doing their exaggerated whispering - as this was more suited to my grumpy old man [he doesn't do quiet]. Gradually everyone left except us and the photographer chap. My GOM carried on whispering at 60 decibels about which birds he could see while I'm trying to shush him, when this man started ‘whispering’ as loud as us. ‘Oi! Will you two be quiet?’ It turned out to be my brother-in-law who was trying - with great success [no thanks to us] to get some decent photo's of a Great Spotted Woodpecker, unfortunately the Jay wasn't nearly as obliging.

There aren't many shops [more than there used to be though], but we went in them all to laugh at the price labels, there weren't many customers in any shop except in the Parc market and Funtastic [toy shop], presumably everyone else had already been in to laugh at the prices or maybe even part with their money - not everyone is as mean as me. A browse around ‘Natural Elements’ resulted in me going back to the villa and stashing the complimentary toiletries in my case.

Between booking and arriving I received about a dozen emails trying to get me to pre-book bikes, meals out - or in [£2.50 delivery charge], and my activities - they obviously don't know me very well, the most active thing I wanted to do was press the button on my camera. I didn't go there to recklessly spend my money - when I go on a cheap holiday, then I spend lots of money.

We have been on a cheaper and much more ‘activity’ filled Center Parcs holiday, we were then eight sharing a villa, booked well in advance, made no choice where it was, but we did need bikes to get around.

There are some people I know who tried to sneak extra people in the boots of two cars, they got caught because they were daft enough to ‘stow them away’ in the pub car park just around the corner from Center Parcs. When they finally got to the ‘Arrivals Lodge’ they were ready and waiting for them - it made excellent Father of the Bride and Best Man speech material as it was a hen party that committed this particular offence.

Expense apart, I like Center Parcs, for us it's a ‘chill-out’ holiday where we go for the peace and quiet and a few mad dashes down the rapids, chutes and grand cascade [I love playing in water]. I am already looking to book another mid-week break for later in the year. The down side is that all the activities - with the exception of the dome aka sub-tropical swimming paradise - are outrageously expensive when you consider how much you've already paid just to be there.

If like me, you're prepared to pay extra when you book, rather than on activities when you get there, you can have the villa you want - it's all down to personal choice, I'd rather pay more for views and location than for swinging through trees, being smothered in a volcanic mud wrap in the hope of regaining my youthful skin [my GOM has offered to do that for free] or whacking at a golf ball.

The wild life ... well it isn't, it's tame and pops by for a snack or in the case of the swans and one squirrel, knock on the patio door and come in. In fact the only money we spent was on feeding the little blighters.

What number villa? I'm not telling you - or it may be booked when we want it again ...

Friday, 12 February 2010

Amended Asda Langley mill Plans

New [non-material] amended plans - AVA/2010/0141 - have been submitted today for the Asda/Heanor Haulage site. Odd that the HH workshop and offices bit is now referred to as 'neighbouring land'.
Told you I was nosy ...

... Amended plans were approved on 10th March 2010 ...

Written To Asda and More Rumours

Being somewhat nosy and having a ‘what shall we do to annoy someone’ with very little else to do day, I wrote to thinking that if the rumours that Heanor Haulage no longer required offices and a workshop across the road from us were true, then we were entitled to know what we were getting in their place. Let's face it, it's a biggish area we're talking about.

I received a reply [so I can't moan about that, but I'd really, really like to], not from Asda themselves but from a ‘consultant to Asda’. Obviously Asda are far too busy now they’ve got their own way - with our support - to bother with insignificant people like me.

This is the reply ….

Hello Julie,
I've received your query via the ASDA Langley Mill website.
I am aware that there have been rumours circulating locally around Heanor Haulage's future on the 'ASDA' site. I will speak to my colleagues at ASDA and come back to you with any further information as soon as I know more.
Kind regards,
(Consultant to ASDA)

This was nearly five weeks ago and I’ve heard nothing since. Knowing me as well as I do, I think I've been incredibly patient, surely they know something by now - Oh I see, I’m off in la-la land again, assuming that they actually want to tell us what they’re doing, hmm.

Now the latest Langley Mill Asda rumours are that Bridge Street is going to be widened by 8ft - although Highways and a bunch of geriatrics group of councillors said it was quite wide enough as it was, this judgement was made one day at 1.00-ish when everyone was at work so there were very few parked cars.

And, ahem, because Heanor Haulage's offices and workshop isn't going to be built Asda will now be open by November. Gosh, all my Christmas food shopping in Langley Mill - I think I'll have it delivered ...

Friday, 5 February 2010

Reply To Taverna Ted

A recent comment on my post - Heanor Tyres Has Left The Building:

Hello Grumpess

Tis I, Taverna Ted, remember me from last year? Don't you go on a bit, how does Mr Grump survive all the crap you dish out? Maybe he switches his hearing off if he possesses an atom of sanity, who could blame him for doing just that and cowering into a silent world cut off from the insessant chants of HRH. Hope he doesn't take offence and falls on his sword, me in a similar situation would have had a quick screw up Monkey Puzzle and then sucummed to the wrath of the Orient Express as it sped on it's way northwards into the distance leaving my tangled body on the track to be picked over by those bloody foxes. Look Grumpess this is the first time I have logged on to you since I posted my last thoughts of TT way back last Dec, I havn't read you all yet, must go on a sicky for a week and bring myself uptodate, the reason why I put these few lines together is to advise you that I took out a Patent on the handle I so time consumably mulled over and I see you have adopted "The Grumpess" as part of your handle, and so alas my dearest Grumpess expect to hear from my lawyers. Good of you to let people know where Heanor Tyres are moving to, but where is the repair garage bloke going to hang out, I, like yourself Lady Grumpess, also use their services. you could say HH will soon be "way the lads" but in a way a part of them will still be around, thank God for that you may say, where one door closes another opens, I can see poor old Bob being in for a rough ride in the future, go easy on the lad, he has a heart bigger than your mouth if that's possible

Best regards to you old Grumpess and my commisserations to Mr Grump.

Taverna Ted x

Hi Taverna Ted,

I thought that seeing as you bothered to spend the time to write a long comment that I’d publish it all here in full as hardly anyone reads the comments.

Right, lets get my reply in the right order:

Yes I do go on a bit, I did say I was starting to bore myself.

Mr Grump [as you've named him] survives just fine because for a cheerful chap he’s actually w-a-y grumpier than me - except when he’s laughing at me; which is quite a lot of the time. He's just stopped by briefly and tittered at your comment and my reply in progress.

Have they really changed the route of the Orient Express to go through Occidental Langley Mill on it's way to the north? Wow, I'm impressed, I must look out for that, I like trains.

Mr Grump has been to make enquiries [just for you] as to where the repair bit has gone and it seems they've all gone together to Boundary Lane - we don’t use their or Robs Heanor Tyres services but they are nice to chat to.

Hmm, yes, I know you were jesting but I wouldn’t bother having a week off work to read my blog:

  1. It’s not interesting.
  2. It’s very moany.
  3. It has already provoked you to produce so much bile [as evidenced by your comment] that it would be quite unhealthy for you to read it.

I haven’t got a big mouth, I rarely voice my grumpiness out loud because I’ve found that writing down my moans is quite cathartic enough. It is usually being tired after being kept awake by PMB that makes me grumpy, but once I’ve blogged about it I’m back to my happy self again. Having now read a proper grumpy book I find that I’ve got way too much time on my hands and far too few responsibilities to be a proper fully fledged grump - but I will try harder.

I will be very glad when PMB go - I like my sleep, but I’ll let you into a secret, I'll be quite sad when Heanor Haulage leave - but don’t tell anyone I said so. I know I moan about them but it’s only their lack of consideration that irks me. Shortly after they came Mr HH said he wanted to get on with his neighbours as they were here to stay.

‘OK,’ we agreed, but my idea of neighbourliness would have been to nip round to nearby properties shoving a note through letter boxes to warn us all of impending sandblasting days so we were prepared with our ear plugs and windows shut, or simply take ourselves out - rather than them fully expecting us to phone Environmental Health to shout at them over the noise. The back yard needs a bucket or two of tarmac to stop the ground from escaping with the wind and rain, poor Dean Street gets the worst of that. And they should definitely have retired their old rust bucket of a crane because the fumes from that when they've finally got it chugging and left it to warm up for half an hour or so really are horrendous. Other than that, I like to see them to-ing and fro-ing on the back [when they aren't too close for comfort] and I, ahem, will miss them.

I like Grumpess ta very much - I’ll continue to use it until something else appeals to me - hmm, Lady Grumpess mayhap …