Around the world in 80 scarves?

By Jack Gabriel

An Oadby and Wigston-based community group aiming to promote and educate healthy emotional well-being has started an initiative to knit scarves collectively long enough to go around the world.

Clare Lawrence-Simms, 51, a volunteer at the Oadby Free Spirit Foundation, helped launch the project, which particularly desires to help young people.

She said: “The project that we work on at Oadby Youth Centre is trying to help young people to learn skills as early as possible in their lives, that will help them to be able to deal with whatever life throws at them.

“We are living in a very challenging and ever-changing world, so to me, that is why this work is really important.”

Clare, who herself has suffered from anxiety and depression, started knitting an initial scarf earlier this year, but has since been inspired to create individual scarves that possess emotional well-being themes, such as joy, faith and fearlessness.

She added: “Our interim goal is to make the scarf long enough to wrap around King Power Stadium, our local and very inspirational football team.

“Our ultimate aim with this project has become to make it long enough to go around the entire world.”

Whilst Clare recognises it’s an ambitious feat, she has received admirable support from the community, as the scarves now accumulate to 12 metres in length.

She said: “It seems to have caught the imagination of the people in a way we never could have expected.


FEARLESS FASHION: Clare showcases one of the foundation’s self-knitted scarves which represents fearlessness

“It has shown me the amount of resilience, creativity, kindness, generosity, compassion and strength that we have in this community.

“Almost every time somebody tells me a story of their difficulty, it’s very moving, and the message is usually ‘I don’t want anybody else to go through what I went through.’”

The project is set to expand across Leicester, as the foundation prepares to reach communities in South Wigston and Eyres Monsell.

The Oadby Free Spirit Foundation welcomes any donations of ribbons, materials or funds to further the project, as well as any participants who want to get involved with the knitting of the scarves, whatever their history with emotional well-being battles.

Clare said: “The most inspirational people I’ve found, are the people who think they’re not at all inspirational.”

If you are interested in helping with the project, the Oadby Free Spirit Foundation can be found on Twitter at @Oadbyfsf, and on Facebook by searching ‘Oadby Free Spirit Foundation at Oadby Youth Centre’.

Second city bus attacked

By Jack Gabriel

A Leicester bus has been left with terrifying lookalike bullet holes in one of its windows as its service suffered a second attack within the space of a week.

The second bus was subjected to serious damage from an unknown weapon as a downstairs window was shot just two days after a similar incident.


SHATTERED: The 87 service is the second to have been targeted this week


The latest attack occurred on Wednesday evening at approximately 7.30pm, as the number 87 Arriva service was targeted on its route into the city centre.

Ashley Sutton, 20, who was onboard the bus, said: “We were heading down Aylestone Drive when suddenly there was a loud bang.

“Originally I thought we had crashed, until the driver came upstairs and asked us what had happened.”

He added: “We all went downstairs and saw the smashed window, which had 3 small holes in it.”

It is currently unknown what caused the damage to the window, but the holes were described as consistent in size and in their trajectory.

Mr Sutton said: “It looked as if either one person had fired a spray of projectiles or a group of people had fired simultaneously.


PERTURBED PASSENGER: Ashley says the attack has deterred him from using the service

“Nobody knew what to do with the situation, we all ended up waiting for a replacement service just a few metres from where the incident happened.”

The attack mirrored an almost identical event on Monday afternoon, which saw the number 51 Arriva bus in Braunstone targeted in a strikingly similar fashion.

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CLOSE QUARTERS: The two incidents were closely located, within a ten minute drive of each other   (Credit: Google Maps)

The first incident caused minor injuries to an elderly woman, who had to be treated by paramedics after she was injured by the flying broken glass.

Mr Sutton said: “Thankfully only a handful of people were on the bus at the time, because if it was rush hour somebody would have almost certainly been sitting beside that window and they could’ve been seriously injured.

“It has deterred me a little from using buses in the area, as I keep thinking ‘what if it happens again with a worse outcome.’”

Leicestershire Police are investigating both incidents. A police spokesperson said: “Officers are carrying out enquiries after a bus window was damaged.”

“Enquiries are ongoing to determine how the damage was caused. Officers are looking at the similarities between the incidents, but at this time it is too early to say if they are linked.”

Anyone who has any information about either incident is urged to contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Riverside festival returns to Leicester- But is it a good thing?

By Kiran Bedder-Patel


riverside festival imge1

The public come out in numbers for the Riverside festival

The Riverside festival returned to Leicester this weekend, with a range of food stalls, live bands and boat trips for the whole family to enjoy.

The free two-day festival which has proved a success for the past 20 years, starts at Bede park and goes along Western Boulevard where a range of arts and crafts tents are based.


Stephen Laing, 24, is from Kent but comes to the festival every year whilst visiting family.
He says; “Overall it’s a 10 out of 10. You can sit down and have a beer whilst watching the kids play on the bouncy castle. You can walk around look at the stalls and chill out with the family. It’s a good event and I’d recommend to come up here.”




However, Angry homeowner Nathan Hall, 27, who lives close to the festival calls it ‘absolutely pathetic’ and is ‘definitely not worth it’.
He says; “If you’re going to do it, make sure you cut it off by six o’clock and make sure everyone’s gone home by seven. It’s just too much. I’ve got a family, got bills to pay and work is a real struggle to get up for due to the noise in the night.”


Shannon Elbert, 30, who also lives by, disagrees however.
“There great music and great food, if you want to bring the kids along it’s a great day out for the family. I have family in Sheffield and we go all the time. I suppose it could cause a bit of traffic in the day but I don’t understand why people get frustrated with it.”


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Factfile on what the Riverside festival is



Gym closure angers members

By Kiran Bedder-Patel

A member of the Beauchamp Gym is angry and questions the decision over the closure after it was announced that the gym is to shut down in two weeks’ time.

Sean De Silva, 22, has been a member of the gym since 2012 and believes the decision is rash and is ‘quite appalled’.
He said; “This is the closest gym to me, it is local and very appealing and just does the job for me so I’m not sure what I’m going to do next.”


The Oadby-based gym is joined alongside the Beauchamp college and has been open since 2006.

With a dedicated weight room and 12 treadmills alongside a fitness studio, Sean says he is confused on the closure.
Sean adds; “Some of these people I have known for years come here, I used to go college here, people who went university come back to train together. The decision is bad.”

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Beauchamp gym is due to close in two weeks.


Cinema’s new craze

By Charlie Bourne

Ian Hunter picture

Ian Hunter

While the traditional, serial way of making sequels is still alive and well, recent years has seen story telling expand by creating universes using related stories to fill in the missing pieces of a bigger picture.

Giants like Marvel, DC and Disney have all had their own shot at this.

To understand more on this new cinema trend, film academics James Russell and Ian Hunter from the Leicester Media school explained more.

Ian said: “One trend within cinema this year is tying all those sequels together into these big hypodiegetic universes.

“Before there was Superman, Superman 2 and after that Superman 3, now with all the Marvel ones and so one there all tied in to one big universe.”

James said: “I think that’s certainly the way film producers would like to go.

“Kevin Feige (President of Marvel Studios) changed Marvel’s business model from selling the license to adapt their comics and decided to adapt them their selves, which is quite an ambitious thing to do and their shared universe came out of that.

“Now even characters like Doctor Strange and Black Panther – who are both very minor comic books characters – can introduced, developed and then have their own films released that can prove very successful.

“Others would like to do that but it’s very difficult to get those off the ground.

“Transformers are trying this, there is a Bumblebee movie coming out soon, and Fast and Furious are as well.”

Aside from the successes of Marvel and Disney, with their recent spin off launches from the Star Wars universe, other film production companies haven’t had their respective universe reach the same heights.

James said: “Universal wanted to make a universe of gothic monster films called the dark universe starting with a rebooted version of The Mummy, even though that was moderately successful it’s not enough to spark a franchise.

“DC have been successful by any measure except from when you compare them with Marvel where they haven’t been and they’re on a downward trend.”

But if some companies have struggled, why is the appeal to create these universes so hot right now?

Ian said: “It’s a way of managing audiences in relationship to the movie, so why do adapt a novel? People may have heard of the novel, it has proven its place on the marketplace and it’s a ready made story so your cutting down your chances of really fouling out, and it’s the same for sequels and remakes.

“It’s repetition of difference. So you make something that’s similar to what audiences know but slightly different, it helps package things in a way that is easier to sell.

“If you look at the Alien series there is loads of spin offs on all different forms of media, which maximises the profit you can make from a particular property,”

James said: “It makes financial planning easier, it’s a more stable way to bring out films and instead of bringing new ones afresh there is always one in the pipe line.

The film industry is an extremely intensive and expensive industry, so the need for big budget films to generate as much profit as possible is obviously crucial to production companies.

Sequels and remakes of older films are usually safer ways to help avoid cinema flops. However, when adapting beloved comics or remaking films that boast huge fan followings, judging the films success artistically can create division within viewers.

James said: “If you look at what DC have done, there are some hard-core fans who love what Zac Synder did and others find the depiction of the characters quite offensive.

“The Solo film that’s out soon has had a very difficult production, we had some work with Pinewood while that was going on. Someone was saying to me that they shot a scene and someone was wearing a cowboy hat, Bob Iger the head of Disney came over and watched the rushes and said I don’t like that hat.


“Think of the number of people that have chosen that hat, yet they had to go back and reshoot it. You can’t please everyone, and it’s the same with audiences.”

Discontent with remakes and sequels of films with big fan following, like the mixed reviews The Last Jedi attracted, may simply be because audiences and fans are looking at the film in different ways.

Ian said: “Fans are different from audiences. Star Wars is a kids film, the new trilogy is not aimed at people like me who saw the original film when it first came out, it’s different audiences.

“So what fans think doesn’t always carry over into what mass audiences think about films as they’re often looking for different things and general audiences might not be so worried about whether the film is accurate or if they got certain things wrong or right, comparing to what he fans think.”

With the film industry seemingly producing sequels at an increasing rate successful films are rarely one offs, but with the new trend of shared universes being adopted by multiple companies, it shall be interesting how new projects perform at the box office over the coming year.