Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: 127 Hours

West Herts Drivetime - 29 min 19 sec ago
Finishing this weeks Film Club is '127 Hours', a film that takes place in one small Canyon crevice.

The 2010 Danny Boyle film is based on Aaron Ralston, the real life canyoneer who lost an arm after getting trapped under a boulder in the middle of nowhere.

Stars James Franco, Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Electric Umbrella: With Tom, Laura and Miles.

West Herts Drivetime - 35 min 15 sec ago
Joining us in the studio today were Tom, Laura and Miles with 'Electric Umbrella', a music project in which adults with learning abilities work with song writing professionals to create gigs, shows and club nights for all to enjoy!

As well as explaining a little about what Electric Umbrella has done for them, the three performed their theme song; 'Electric Umbrella' and did a version of Tom's new song 'Hyper'.

For more information, or to support the group you can visit

Categories: Programme Blogs

Green He(a)rts and is incineration back?

Environment Matters - 10 hours 44 min ago

incinerator_stoke_420_420x300.jpg (420×300)

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Cathy Roe from Herts Anti Incineration joined me to talk about newly announced proposals from Veolia to build a waste incinerator at Hoddesden, where our black bin waste would be burned. Plans for a similar facility at New Barnfield in Hatfield were eventually shelved last year, but this new proposal lacks provision for a materials recovery element to ensure that recyclable materials were removed prior to incineration.

Food waste still makes up a large portion of what goes into our black bins, and Cathy urged councils to make separate weekly food waste collections – and we can, of course, do something to reduce the 1/3rd of all food we buy being thrown out.

Herts County Council will be considering Veolia’s plans at the start of March and you can find out more on the HAI website.


This weekend has been chosen as a national weekend of climate action . Over 100 organisations as diverse as The Salvation Army and Greenpeace, plus a whole heap of celebrities like Jeremy Irons and Jessie Jay, have come together to warn  that we “Don’t lose what you love to climate change, just because no one knew you cared”

So they want us to  raise awareness of climate change and how it is affecting everything we love using the theme of a green heart.

At Heartwood the Woodland Trust will be running Show the Love craft sessions between 11 and 3, and in St.Albans town centre, Divest Herts will be inviting you to show support for their campaign to get HCC to free its pension fund of fossil fuel investments


Jeff Heine coordinates St.Albans Global Justice Now which is part of the Divest Herts coalition and he joined me to talk about how they will be holding a stall on St.Albans market this Saturday asking people to make a green heart card to ask Herts County Council to remove investments in fossil fuels from their pension fund. This is more important than it might sound as it’s not just HCC employees, but employees of 180 organizations including SADC and a range of community and voluntary groups that use this pension fund. Also, they have £129m invested in fossil fuels – over 3% of the fund.

Jeff said that, given the problems that climate change is causing both at home and in the rest of the world, investing in fossil fuels is, unethical, but also the Governor of the Bank of England has councilled against investment in fossil fuel. When governments finally take climate change seriously and legislate to leave fossil fuels in the ground, shares in oil,gas and coal will become worthless. Funds which don’t invest in fossil fuels often perform as well or better than fossil-fuel heavy funds, so divestment does not mean that existing pension funds lose out.

If you’re not going to be in the city centre on Saturday you can still sign the online petition, write to your county or district councillor, and check out your own pension fund.

Jeff also told us about the  mini reading group on Naomi Kleins’ book “This Changes Everything” that will be held at the Speckled Hen pub, Hatfield Road, St Albans AL4 0XG from 7:30-9:30pm on Thursday 18th February 2016. The evening should be stimulating and informative. Find out more on their website.

The St.Albans based discussion group Thinking Box will be discussing the Resource Based Economy this evening. In this session they will watch a film that features the life-long work of Social Engineer, Futurist, Inventor and Industrial Designer Jacque Fresco and a completely new economic model which he calls a Resource-Based Economy which may be a solution to the growing levels of economic inequality unsustainable practices causing damage to the environment. That’s this evening at Trinity URC on Beaconsfield Road 7.30-10pm.


And if nuclear weapons are of great concern to you, St. Albans Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament invites local members of the sponsoring organisations to join them on a march on Saturday 27th Feb. They will be meeting at St. Albans City Station at 11am outside the main entrance to travel together to Marble Arch where the march will assemble at 12 noon

They  will aim to catch the 11.18 train – 11.12 from Harpenden – and meet up at the St. Pancras ticket barrier if anyone is lost).Please bring the banners of your organisations as it is important that the event reflects the widespread public opposition to renewing Trident nuclear weapons.

This could be the last opportunity to demonstrate your opposition to nuclear weapons before Parliament votes on the issue.

For further details call David Leigh on 01727 861247 or visit

You can also sign up to receive our weekly podcast on the Radio Verulam website. It’s really easy and you’ll receive all the news about local sustainability issues directly into your in box.

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Categories: Programme Blogs

The Drivetime Sessions with The Paper Snakes

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 10/02/2016 - 6:42pm
This week we were joined by two members of the super cool Paper Snakes, performing their two originals and cover. Both of the originals Paul and Chris performed, 'Bare Back Monkey' and 'Black Widow', had a classic accoustic vibe. Their final song was a simply beautiful cover of Paul Weller's 'You Do Something to Me'.

If you'd like to find out more about them, their songs and their gigs check out their facebook page

The session will be available for a week after broadcast at by navigating to Wednesday at 5.30pm.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Phone Booth

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 10/02/2016 - 6:30pm
Colin Farrell is Stu, an arrogant publicist who is cheating on his wife.

He picks up a ringing payphone to find himself talking to The Caller, a mysterious man armed with a sniper rifle and the determination to get Stu to admit his faults.
Also stars Kiefer Sutherland, Radha Mitchell and Katie Holmes.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Fostering - 12th November 2015

The Parents' Show - Wed, 10/02/2016 - 2:21pm
On this show we explore what it is like to be a fostered young person as well as to be the foster carer. There are highs and lows.This is an honest and inspiring show if you are interested in this subject.

Click To Listen >> Fostering
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Detterence

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 09/02/2016 - 6:30pm
A very small film from 1999, set in just a Colorado diner,

The President of the USA is trapped by a blizzard on the campaign trail, only then to receive the news that Iraq has invaded Kuwait again.

Stars Kevin Pollak, Timothy Hutton, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Sean Astin.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Couple Counselling - 5th November 2015

The Parents' Show - Tue, 09/02/2016 - 3:18pm
What can couples do when things go wrong? We talk to Sue Wintgens, couples counsellor and director of Encounter Learning Centre on her best advice for moving forward.

Click To Listen >> Couple Counselling
Categories: Programme Blogs

Health Matters - FEB 9 2016

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 09/02/2016 - 2:33pm
Four Issues in tonight's Drivetime:

1. Patient Experience in our Hospitals - there are three critical measures on hospital experience:-
1.1 Accident and Acute Cases - Watford Hospital is still experiencing long waiting times
1.2 Beds per 1,000 inhabitants - we are among the lowest in the country
1.3 Diagnostics - the Government guideline is that no more than 1% of patients should wait longer than 6 weeks - Watford have over 13%
It's not clear what will happen to St Albans City Hospital but patients in Hemel Hempstead are calling for a new hospital on land between St Albans and Hemel - with an A&E!

2. St Albans Local Strategic Plan - Healthcare can't cope at the moment - how will it cope with the 30,000 extra people that this pan envisages by 2030? The plan virtually ignores healthcare provision and we have grounds for complaint. Make your views known here

3. Rapid Response Team - There is a new (since NOV last year) team that aims to provide emergency care in our homes - so far over 90% of the cases they have dealt with so far have not had to go to A&E. Patients can only be referred to them by a Healthcare Professional so if your doctor, 999, or 111 is thinking of referring you to A&E ask them if they consider you would be better being referred to the Rapid Response Team

4. Zika Virus - now a World Health Emergency and very dangerous too. Everything you need to know about it is right here

Alan Bellinger
9th Feb 2016
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: The Evil Dead

West Herts Drivetime - Mon, 08/02/2016 - 6:30pm
The film club is back this week after a brief break! And this weeks theme is 'One Location Films'.

This 1981 Sam Raimi film is about a group of students who take a holiday in a remote cabin, but end up unleashing an ancient evil spirit.

Very bloody, yet darkly humourous, it was made for very little money but has become a cult classic. Bruce Campbell leads.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Les concerts a venir

Bouche à Oreille (Word of Mouth) - Sat, 06/02/2016 - 5:41pm
Christine and the Queens
le concert du 15 mars a Koko est complet mais une nouvelle date a ete anoncee. Vous pouvez deja achete vos billets. C'est le mardi 3 mai a la Roundhouse a Camdem.
3 mai a Roundhouse a partir de 19h, billet a partir de £20

Apres leur grande tournee francaise, retrouvez Alain Souchon et Laurent Voulzy sur la scene de l'Eventim Apollo. Vous pouvez acheter vos billets sur le site ci-dessous. 
26 mai a l'Eventim Apollo a partir de 20h, billet a partir de £30

retrouvez le groupe de rap de Marseille pour un concert evenement a Londres.
samedi 16 avril a l'O2 academy a partir de 18h30
Categories: Programme Blogs

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: 5th February 2016

West Herts Drivetime - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 7:00pm
Simon, Britain's entry to the Eurovision song contest in 1913 and whose performance famously kicked off WWI, was in the studio to promote his new cookbook. This put Danny out a little bit, not least because Simon was meant to do the film guide, but because Simon's 'new' cookbooks were just old Nigella books that Danny had got him for Christmas over the years that Simon had stuck his face on. The sight of Simon leaning over a bowl of asparagus in a nice white blouse would normally be enough to make even the hardiest person wretch, but to be honest, it's pretty much par for the course with Simon.

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.

8.00pm – 9.30pm

2.40pm – 5.00pm

7.15pm – 9.00pm

Field of Dreams
6.55pm – 9.00pm

9.00pm – 11.20pm

The Blind Side
9.00pm – 11.35pm

Zero Dark Thirty
9.00pm – 12.05am
Categories: Programme Blogs

Growth Mindset And PTA Social App - 22nd October 2015

The Parents' Show - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 2:47pm
This show combine two separate topics. First we spoke to Dr Frances Warren on the concept of Growth Mindset. She tell us how important the way we praise is and how mistakes are not a bad thing. In the second part of the show we speak to Tes McPherson the founder of PTA social – a wonderful fundraising app for schools to use. The app is free and can even be a source of revenue in itself

Click To Listen >> Growth Mindset And PTA Social App
Categories: Programme Blogs

Vocational Education - Is It Right For Your Child? - 15th October 2015

The Parents' Show - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 2:39pm
In this show, we talk about the option of a university technical education for our young people aged between 14 and 17 and discuss recent research that indicates how parents today feel that the educational system is not supporting the needs of many young people and getting them ready for the 21st century workplace. Guests include: Peter Wylie, Director of Education from Baker Dearing Trust and Paul Quinn, associate principal from Watford UTC

Click Here To Listen >> Vocational Education - Is It Right For Your Child?
Categories: Programme Blogs

The Drivetime Sessions with @ScarletteFever_

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 03/02/2016 - 6:41pm

Scarlette Fever returned to Drivetime Sessions this Thursday where she sang the beautiful 'Helena', an original composition written for her fiancée. She also graced us with another original composition, the classic from her 2012 album; 'Crash and Burn'. For her cover she performed a super relaxing version of 'Babylon' by David Gray.

To find out more about her and current projects check out her website or facebook page. Or you can listen to some of her songs at

The session will be available for a week after broadcast at by navigating to Wednesday at 5.30pm.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Vocational Education - Is It Right For Your Child? - 15th October 2015

The Parents' Show - Wed, 03/02/2016 - 2:37pm
In this show, we talk about the option of a university technical education for our young people aged between 14 and 17 and discuss recent research that indicates how parents today feel that the educational system is not supporting the needs of many young people and getting them ready for the 21st century workplace. 
Guests include: Peter Wylie, Director of Education from Baker Dearing Trust and Paul Quinn, associate principal from Watford UTC.

Click To Listen >> Vocational Education - Is It Right For Your Child?
Categories: Programme Blogs

Local Literary Feature with illustrator Laura Trinder

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 6:21pm
This month we were joined by local illustrator and part-time bookseller Laura Trinder. Laura is part of a Hertfordshire-based writers' and illustrators' collective 'Improper Books' who create a range of books, comics and graphic novels.

Laura's own book, Night Post, where the story is told entirely via pictures was launched at the end of last year.

Laura, and the whole Improper Books gang, try and get out to comic book events as often as they can. As people who are often working solo, she says it's nice to be able to get together and to meet the fans.

Laura really welcomes the growth in popularity of comics and graphic novels - they're not just for geeks! She says the audience for her work stretches from young children through to adults.

For more information about the work of Improper Books visit:

And Laura has her own blog as well:

Categories: Programme Blogs

100 Chair Challenge & latest on Butterfly World

Environment Matters - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 9:52am


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Not a party game or an extreme sport – the 100 Chair Challenge is a project by local JPA Furniture to rehome 100 unwanted chairs as part of Sustainable St.Albans Week. I spoke to Fiona Edwards from St.Albans company JPA Furniture to find out more.

Fiona said that the 100 Chair Challenge had been received with enormous enthusiasm and had collected 91 chairs. New homes had been found in all sorts of places, including one to a member of St.Albans Abbey congregation who had shown their gratitude with a donation to the Abbey. If you have a chair looking for a home, Fiona said that she’d do her best if you contact her at

Fiona’s passion for ensuring that JPA-Furniture are a sustainable part of the local community was evident in everything she said. In fact, we sat chatting for another hour after recording the show, such was her passion.

She’s keen to take part in new projects: the Herts 500 Chair Challenge, a creative chair up-cycling challenge and lots more.

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Before Christmas you may recall that I spoke to Sally Cornish, one of the staff of Butterfly World, which owners Breheny Civil Engineering had just announced would not be re-opening in the Spring. Their problem was their inability to secure funds for the planned bio dome which would make Butterfly World into an all year attraction.

The outcry from former Butterfly World staff and from the butterfly loving public has been overwhelming and over 50,000 people have signed the on line petition.

A Save Butterfly World group has been started, and I spoke to their chair,  John Horsfield. He explained that a group of enthusiastic individuals had got together to look at the possibilities for Butterfly World. They plan to set up a Butterfly World charity which would open doors to funding that was not available to a private company. They plan to work with Breheny not against them and John stressed that they are not a protest group. He thought that multi-million pound bio-domes would not be part of their plans, but some all year building might well be. You can check out their website and John asked that you show your support on social media and don’t forget about Butterfly World whilst his team works hard to secure its future. We’ll keep you updated on Environment Matters.

  1. Exciting times for Transition St.Albans. At an  Extraordinary General Meeting on Wed 10th Feb 7.30pm Fleetville Community Centre AL1 4QL they will seek approval to change their name to Sustainable St.Albans and to register the group as a charity. All members welcome to come and join in the discussion
  2. Green Drinks are back for people wanting a chat with like minded people over a pint. Everyone is welcome to join the Green Drinkers on February 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm Waterend Barn  St Albans. Although different people attend each time, typically there are cyclists, food growers, energy campaigners and people who are just interested in sustainable issues generally.

Next week there’ll be no show on Tuesday as we’ll be bringing you a taste of the mad fun at the St.Albans Pancake Race, but on Thursday we’ll hear what campaigners will be doing with green love hearts on St.Albans market.

Follow us on twitter @RV_environment and email us on



Categories: Programme Blogs

Wogan in West Herts with @BeingMrsC

West Herts Drivetime - Mon, 01/02/2016 - 7:43pm

Today, instead of her usual thrifty feature, Penny Carr was discussing our collective memories of Terry Wogan, who sadly passed away at the age of 77 over the weekend.

The broadcasting icon left a fond impression on many of us in West Herts, with his irrepressible good humour much in evidence when he attended the St Albans Literary Festival in 2014.
Two listeners, Kate and Vanessa, contacted the show with their memories of Wogan, with Vanessa speaking to us over the phone. Their recollections of meeting and listening to Wogan over the years stand as a testament to a uniquely talented broadcaster, with an evergreen charm.

If you wish to hear our tribute to Sir Terry Wogan, it will be available for a week after broadcast at by navigating to Monday from 5.30pm.  It is also available via our podcast, which you can find on iTunes by searching for Radio Verulam or by clicking here.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club:Prometheus

West Herts Drivetime - Thu, 28/01/2016 - 6:30pm
Our final entry in this weeks film club, 'Prometheus' is Ridley Scott’s semi-prequel to the Alien franchise.
Starring Noomi Rapace as a scientist who discovers a star map that possibly points to humanity’s origins, A bit of a disappointment, but Michael Fassbender’s android David steals the show.

 Also stars Charlize Theron, Idris Elba and Guy Pearce.

Categories: Programme Blogs