Bradgate Park 2021 calendar produced following photography competition

By Alexander Hodgkins-Jones

A fawn at Bradgate Park (Pic: Alexander Hodgkins-Jones. NB not a photograph from the calendar).

A calendar showcasing the best sights of Bradgate Park has been produced following a competition to find the best 12 images of the historic site.

Visitors were asked by the Bradgate Rotary Club to submit their best shots, which they did in their droves.

More than 500 entries were submitted.

Carolyn Holmes of the Bradgate Park Trust outlined the importance of supporting the estate by purchasing a calendar with the daily running costs of the park running into the thousands.

Calendars can be purchased online for £7 or at the park during weekends for only £5.

The proceeds will go towards supporting the Trust.

Leicester Light Festival launch night brightens up the city centre

By Alexander Hodgkins-Jones

Leicester’s four-day light festival sparked joy as it opened its seven interactive installations last night (ThursMAR5).

Light Up Leicester is a brand-new free festival which is brightening locations city-wide until Tuesday(MAR8) next week.

It is running from 5pm-10pm each day.

Launch night proved to be a success, with hundreds lining the streets to view the different artworks.


Shoefiti in Silver Street

The start of the event was delayed due to it not being dark enough, but by 5.30pm all of the artworks were switched on and dazzling shoppers.

Some of the places lit up for the first time last night include Jubilee Square, Humberstone Gate and Leicester Market.

Debbie Miles, an Ambassador for ArtReach at the Youth Culture sculpture in Orton Square, said: “It’s been quite popular. I thought being all the way out here we would get fewer visitors than the other attractions, but that hasn’t been the case.

“It’s nice to have something like this in Leicester.”

Using sensors and an internet connection, the seven light installations react to the different ways people can interact with them.

Three of these, Wavefield, Traces and Shadowdance, are brand new, with people passing through last night being the first members of the public to view them.


Wave features 500 hanging lights which emit soothing sounds

Wave, which is Debbie’s favourite of the attractions, was popular with visitors to St Peter’s Square, where 500 hanging lights lit up and sung out into the darkness.

One person exclaimed that the bauble shaped lights would make a perfect Christmas tree decoration.

Jade Burrell, who was there on launch day, said: “It is very pretty – but I am too short to reach half of [the lights]. I hope it returns next year.”


Wave-Field was popular on launch night

Children were understandably enamoured by Wave-Field, where visitors are invited to pair up and hop up and down on a set of giant seesaws.

This playful exhibit is located in Humberstone Gate.

“The most interesting one is Unexpected Connection,” said Debbie.

“Two people walk into a light tunnel from each side and then something happens when you get to the middle. But you’ll have to try it for yourself to find out what!”


Unexpected Connection in Jubilee Square

Unexpected Connection is located in Jubilee Square.

The festival is being delivered by Leicester City Council, ArtReach and BID Leicester with support from Arts Council England.



Video: A royal visit to Leicester Market from HRH Prince of Wales

Prince Charles makes a speech at Leicester Market, unveiling a statue and naming the market square. Hundreds waited through hail storms to watch him speak.

By Ben Sanderson

His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, visited Leicester Market on Tuesday, 11th February 2020.

Prince Charles, with his wife Camilla, Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall, was in Leicester to formally reopen Leicester’s market square under the new name Green Dragon Square.

Charles unveiled a plaque to rename the square after a medieval pub which once stood on the site of the square.

Camilla was presented with a miniature bronze statue by Lord Mayor of Leicester Annette Byrne to commemorate the royal couple’s visit.

After formally renaming the square, Charles shook hands with numerous spectators and conversed briefly with some.

These people had waited for around an hour through hailstorms and music to see the Prince.

Asked about his opinions on the Duchess of Sussex and royal engagement in politics, both of which have caused Charles and his family scrutiny over the past months, the Prince declined to comment.

Prince Charles shakes hands with the hundreds of spectators who watched his speech – but he ignores a line of questioning!

The event also featured drumming, a penny farthing and children singing about climate change.

The ceremony was part of a tour Charles and Camilla took with Charles’ son Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, of Leicestershire.

Among other things, this saw Prince William play wheelchair basketball, and Charles pushed his wheelchair closer to the basket to help his son score.

The speech Prince Charles gave at Leicester Market:

“Ladies and gentlemen, can I just say what an enormous pleasure it is for my wife and myself to be here today?

“We apologise for keeping you all waiting through hailstorms and other weather events and also if I may say so from preventing you from shopping in the splendid market here, which we so enjoyed seeing.

“It is a really special occasion for us to be able to visit Leicester and I do hope this city square will make a huge difference to all your lives.

“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your incredibly kind welcome.

“It really has made a whole difference to us and I do hope this great city continues to have great success in the future.

“Nothing could give me greater pleasure than to unveil this plaque and to reopen the square.”

Watch the videos for more.

A lady rides a large penny farthing while the backing music to a primary school singing a song called “Stop This Now” about climate change plays
Charles with his entourage. He has been getting active in the political scene, speaking on such issues as climate change and the Israel-Palestine conflict, and thereby breaking royal tradition
Charles was on a tour of Leicestershire
It has been a difficult start to the year for the royal family, who have been hit with the resignation of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as royals.


Slideshow: All the pictures from the Royal visit to Leicester

Students at DMU test their skills in cross-faculty crime scene investigation

By Perry Johnson

Drama students at De Montfort University pushed their improvisational skills to the limit this week as they acted in a simulated crime scene being investigated by Policing and Criminal Investigation students in a cross-faculty exercise.

The exchange, which took place on Monday(OCT14), saw several groups of Policing students investigate the crime scene, interrogate the actors as witnesses and deal with various issues that may arise in a real-life crime scene.


Policing and Criminal Investigation students inspect the scene:
From left – Imogen Alps (21), Shantel Obeng (20), Mubeshra Chaudhry (20), Gabrielle Forde (20), and Robyn Jennings (21)

Dr Alissa Clarke, senior lecturer for drama at DMU, said: “It’s really interesting watching our students throw themselves into the scenario so wholeheartedly; all whilst responding really thoughtfully and sensitively to the crime in question.

“It makes me realise how excellently our students can feedback and reflect on the skills they are using – it is a skill we really try to develop in students and one that is shared between these two courses that are really different.”

The cross-discipline activity, which has run annually for about four years, was held in the university’s on-campus ‘crime scene house’ and, whilst the exercise will not count towards the drama students’ grades, it provided both sides with the opportunity to put skills they have learned into practice.


Drama students acted as witnesses, journalists and people involved with the crime:
From left – Reece Reidy (19), Meredith Sawers (19), Kiana Smithdale (20), Meera Joshi (21)

Reece Reidy, a second-year Drama student involved, said: “I had to put myself into the situation and that mind frame so it felt very real; and I think it makes other people take drama more seriously.”

Gabrielle Forde, one of the third-year Policing and Criminal Investigation students in the exercise, said: “We get the theory part and we get the education part but with this we get the actual police practice which is good if you don’t get the opportunity to do real work experience for your desired job.”