Let’s have a good old chinwag…

by ANTONY CLAY

YORKSHIRE folk may have a reputation for being taciturn but it seems that we are at least on good terms with our neighbours, even if they are from Lancashire or the South.

A recent survey has found that Yorkshire and Humberside residents are amongst the most likely to speak to their neighbours.

People in the South East and Scotland are the least chatty.

The new study has found that British residents are getting friendlier with their neighbours, with two thirds admitting they speak to their neighbours regularly and a further two in five revealing they know the majority of their neighbours by name.

This research was conducted after a study in 2016 previously found that one in three Britons couldn’t name any of their neighbours.

The study, conducted by the home interior specialists http://www.Hillarys.co.uk, quizzed more than 2,400 UK-based adults across the 12 regions of the UK about life in their neighbourhood.

When asked if they spoke regularly – at least once a week – with their neighbours, two thirds of respondents claimed that they did (66 per cent).

Talking about issues with their neighbourhood topped the list of topics spoken about (78 per cent) followed by the weather (55 per cent) and plans for the day (49 per cent).

A further two in five respondents revealed they knew the majority of their neighbours by name (41 per cent). In contrast to the 2016 poll where one in three could not name any of their neighbours, just one in nine (11 per cent) said this was the case now.

One in seven respondents had previously invited neighbours round for dinner (14 per cent).

More than one in five (21 per cent) said they preferred to ask their neighbours to house sit or look after pets whilst they were away from home over their family or friends.

Lucy Askew, spokesperson for http://www.hillarys.co.uk, said: “With so much negative news, it is great to see a sense of togetherness through neighbourly communities.

“It doesn’t cost anything to be nice and making friends with neighbours can lead to a lovely tight knit friendship group close to home.

“I am glad these stats have changed since the previous study back in 2016 wherein it implied Britons were shutting themselves away from their neighbourhood.”

Where do the chatty neighbours live?

The figures show what percentage of those who said they talk to their neighbours live:

  1. Northern Ireland – 19 per cent
  2. Yorkshire and Humberside – 15 per cent
  3. West Midlands – 13 per cent
  4. North East – 12 per cent
  5. Wales – 11 per cent
  6. South West – 9 per cent
  7. London – 7 per cent
  8. North West – 5 per cent
  9. East of England – 4 per cent
  10. East Midlands – 2 per cent
  11. South East – 2 per cent
  12. Scotland – 1 per cent
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Top coaches set to help kids boost soccer skills

by ANTONY CLAY

YOUNGSTERS can learn football skills from the best at a series of special kickabouts this month.


Manchester City FC coaches will be holding training sessions for Reception and Year 1 children in Mexborough.

The free sessions will be taking place at Mexborough Athletic Sports Club on New Oxford Road on Saturday, September 21, between 9.30am and 11.30am.

Full details and registration of interest can be made by telephoning 07568 588278 or emailing paul.fascione1@mancity.com.

No-one can attend without receiving a booking confirmation and the session time will be confirmed at the time of booking.

Getting fitter – on the high street?

by ANTONY CLAY

THE findings of a new survey suggest that you don’t need to pound the pavements in a tracksuit or work hard in the local gym to get fitter.
Shopping is the new way of keeping in trim in the minds of many people, it seems.

Over half of Rotherham residents consider going out and buying stuff a form of exercise, the survey suggests.

The survey of 2,750 Brits by online shopping website Kerchingandwin.co.uk also found that:

  • Over half of Rotherham residents would not walk 20 minutes to buy something;
  • Nearly one in five people would be put off walking somewhere if it was raining;
  • More than one in ten people would rather take the lift than walk up one flight of stairs;
  • A third of people in the UK avoid doing exercise altogether;
  • Two thirds of people say they are too busy to do enough exercise;
  • More than two in five people say online shopping has freed up more time for other things.

In a time when obesity is said to be at epidemic proportions — it is due to double by 2035 — the survey suggests that people are perhaps being a tad lazy when it comes to exercising.

Nearly half – 46 per cent – said that they considered shopping to be part of their exercise routine. The figure in Rotherham is 52 per cent.

When broken down by gender, it was found that women are more likely to treat a shopping spree for their season’s new wardrobe as part of their exercise routine than men – 51 per cent compared to 39 per cent.

Kerchingandwin.co.uk asked people how far they would be prepared to walk to buy something and nearly half – 48 per cent – said they wouldn’t be prepared to walk for just 20 minutes.

When broken down across the UK, it appears Londoners are the laziest, where 55 per cent said they would not walk a mile – though West Midlanders weren’t that fussed either with 54 per cent preferring to jump in a car rather than take a brisk stroll.

For Londoners, it could be that the city’s excellent public transport infrastructure makes getting around by road or rail a better option than on foot.

More than half – 51 per cent – of those in Rotherham said that they would not walk a mile to buy something with men (47 per cent) less willing than women (49 per cent) to walk to buy something.

The survey also revealed that nearly one fifth of us would be put off walking anywhere if it was raining.

The survey also found that one in ten, when presented with the choice, would rather take the lift than walk up just one flight of stairs.

Craig Larkin, of Kerchingandwin.co.uk, said: “It’s interesting to read that whilst many Brits consider shopping part of their exercise regime, many wouldn’t willingly walk for just 20 minutes to get there.

“The growth of online shopping has freed up more time for Brits to do other activities, such as going to the gym.”

Coming soon!!!

Out this Friday – the fab September edition of Chase Magazine, free with this week’s Rotherham Advertiser.

Great features, top pictures, fashion, motors, wine…and a quiz!What more could you want?


Make sure you get hold of your copy.

Back from the war to a reception for heroes

Tom Potter shortly after signing up

by GARETH DENNISON

A TRAIN carrying 25 men arrived at Masbrough Station at 12.25pm on June 19, 1919 — and heralded one of the biggest celebrations in Rotherham’s history.

The precious party alighted to the platform where they shook hands with the mayor, Ald George Gummer, and prepared themselves to greet the huge crowds outside.

These passengers — five officers and 20 men — were the last of the 5th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment to return from France after the Great War.

Rotherham was the regiment’s headquarters and spiritual home — and that day a century ago it seemed as if all of the town’s residents had turned out to express their thanks to the soldiers.

There was hardly a dry eye anywhere as people were overjoyed at the return of these men and peace and saddened thinking of those lost to the conflict.

The Advertiser reported at the time: “Remarkable scenes of enthusiasm — such as have not been seen in Rotherham since the early days of the war, were witnessed on Thursday when the cadre and colours of the 5th Batt. York and Lancaster Regiment returned from France after over four years strenuous service on the Western Front.

“It was as late as Wednesday before the mayor was able to announce the actual time. The inhabitants of Rotherham rose to the occasion in a splendid manner.

“Flags hung from many private residences, whilst many people sported patriotic colours in their coats and dresses.”

From the relative hush of the railway platform at Masbrough, the men stepped outside to be met by a massive cheer and a band playing Auld Lang Syne.

They processed the mile to the town centre via Main Street and High Street with a mounted escort and thousands of onlookers, who tried every trick to obtain the best view — the steepness of Doncaster Gate making it a popular vantage point.

The Advertiser article said: “Just as the procession was nearing its destination the church bells rang out a merry peal, and this continued until the speech-making commenced.

“On College Square itself the arrival of the cadre and flags was the signal for another spontaneous chorus of cheers which lasted several minutes.”

Once he could be heard above the noise, the mayor said: “It is my proud privilege, on behalf of the town, to tender to you our warmest congratulations on your safe return, and offer to you, as representative of all those who have returned previously, a very, very hearty welcome.”

The return of the 5th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment at College Square on June 19, 1919. Tom is standing between the two soldiers are carrying the regimental colours

Joyce Evans (66), of Leeds, researched the occasion because her great uncle Sgt Tom Potter was one of the returning soldiers.

He wrote in his diary about the welcome they had received in Rotherham — and it struck her how much the day stayed with him.

She said: “What comes across with the Rotherham celebrations is the pride they had, and how much they had worked together, through any class differences.

“You can imagine, had it not been for that celebration in Rotherham, he would have just gone back to work. I think it was really important in helping him go forward when he got back from the war.”

Tom, from rural North Yorkshire, wrote: “It was a great day for us all. We marched from the station to the square in the centre of the town with the colours flying.

“A vast crowd had gathered in the square which included several mayors from surrounding towns, towns from which the men of the battalion had been recruited.

“We had a wonderful reception and then a dinner at the Crown Hotel. The next day the local newspapers were full of the news and photographs of the reception.”

Joyce described how photos from the day reflect the more sombre aspects of the occasion too. “The rejoicing and pride was intermixed with remembrance and sorrow,” she added. “Of 4,587 soldiers who served with the battalion, 850 men and 41 officers died. Seventy-two out of every 100 were killed or injured.”

Tom, who died in 1994, kept a lengthy account of his life — including 24 sides of A4 on his war experience.

“The diary is very special,” said Joyce. “It’s from an ordinary soldier’s point of view, when so many of these accounts are by people from more middle class backgrounds.

“In another part of the diary, he’s in the middle of all this horrendous fighting, but all he talks about are the football matches.”

Back in the square in Rotherham 100 years ago, the mayor ended the event by wishing the men well in their futures, including in settling into civilian life and regular employment.

Rising to a splendid ovation, Col TWH Mitchell also hoped that the men would be able to get work at a proper wage.

The next day Tom left Rotherham for Ripon, where he swapped his equipment for his demobilisation papers.

But finding suitable work proved tricky. While serving in France, Tom had refused a promotion to officer’s rank and so was only offered the job of relief porter at North Allerton station after the war.

He explained in his diary that he had declined the army commission because he felt a strong connection with his comrades and did not wish to leave them for another regiment.

But Joyce said: “Tom had placed more value on the comradeship of his fellow soldiers than promotion to officer rank. That was quite something.

“Did his Military Medal for bravery at the Battle of Kemmel Ridge and his training as a signaller count for nothing back in Civvy Street? Did the words of the dignitaries that day in Rotherham ring hollow in his ears?

“Eventually, through hard work and determination he did achieve a managerial role on the railways.

“Tom never spoke about his wartime experiences but I think he would always carry in his memory

Rotherham’s tribute to its territorial soldiers shown on that day in June 1919.”

How to get the best from your Drone

LIZZIE JAMES offers up advice and handy hints on their use

What exactly is a drone and who can fly one?

Drone is the common term used to describe a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) which is anything that can be remotely operated to fly. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and weights; with fixed wings (like a remote-controlled aircraft) or multi-rotor (like quadcopter or hexa-copter). The most common drones used by consumers are quadcopters.

Do I need a licence?

If you are buying a drone for recreational use such as capturing holiday moments or family days out, videos and photos for personal use, then you do not need an official pilot certificate. It is good practice however to register your drone with a third party body such as the Drone Safety Register to demonstrate that you adhere to safe use of your drone in publish spaces.

If you want to use your drone professionally, such as for wedding photography, aerial shots of an estate or for film production, this would be classed as a commercial gain and you would need relevant training (on a CAA-approved course which is typically two days long) plus the relevant permissions in place from the local aviation authority where you will be flying. In the case of the UK this would come from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).

For both uses you need to follow the CAA drone code.

Are there any new rules amateur drone users should be aware of?

Yes, from November 2019 flying any drone weighing over 250g (which is most drones) will require you to register as an operator which means taking an online course first. More information on this will be released soon by the CAA. We would strongly recommend you keep yourself familiar with all the rules on flying drones. The latest Drone Code information can be found via this link: https://dronesafe.uk/

Does it come with a camera attached?

Entry level drones generally come complete with camera gimbal attached. For more professional models, the camera gimbals are sold separately. This allows you to create a bespoke drone package to suit your photography needs.

How much do they weigh?

This can vary. From 80g to 3.4kg and up.

How long does the battery last?

Battery life depends on the model, wind speed and type of use. The average time you can expect to get is around 20 minutes per charge. Battery life is usually displayed on your smartphone or monitor, so it’s easy to keep track of.

How do I control it/see what I am filming?

Most drones are controlled via a remote controller that links to your smartphone; this allows you to connect to the drone via Wi-Fi and view on your smartphone screen the image and controls for the drone. Because of this not all drones come with a joystick remote control as standard. Some drones also allow you to ‘tap fly’ which essentially means you can just tap on an area of your smartphone screen and the drone will fly in that direction.

What’s the maximum height I can fly?

120m or 400ft. On the display you will always be able to see how high or far you’re flying your drone. This is usually displayed on the bottom of your screen. If you’re worried about getting too carried away and flying higher than 400ft, you can go into your settings and set a maximum height. Once this height is set, no matter how hard you push on the controls, once it’s reached its max height it won’t fly any higher. It is strongly recommended that you do this to make sure you’re always flying safe and legal.

How do you stop it colliding with obstacles like trees or overhead wires?

This takes a bit of common sense and care for your drone when out flying. If you’re following the rules of the Drone Code then the drone should never be out of your sight which allows for more control by you, in being able to avoid flying into any obstacles. As a safety measure most drones come with an ‘obstacle avoidance’ system – this is made up of a variety of obstacle sensing and obstacle avoidance sensors located on the drone. The number of sensors varies model to model. The obstacle avoidance will either detect an obstruction and stop moving or detect an obstruction and fly around it safely. All of this will be displayed on your smartphone.

Can I use my drone on holiday?

If you plan on using a drone on holiday it’s essential that you check the local laws first. If you’re having a staycation then familiarize yourself with the Drone Code (dronesafe.uk), remembering to stay under 400ft and within line of sight. Wherever you are in the world though, the rules should be simple to find by searching.

Locking onto subjects – how important is this?

Locking onto your subject can be helpful if they are moving, so that you can keep them in the frame. It’s a great feature to use if you’re just getting to grips with using a drone for the first time.

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Can a gust of wind blow my drone away?

Drones use GPS to fly and are very good at keeping in the same location when the wind blows. All manufacturers will have a recommended maximum wind speed where they can guarantee the drone will still operate as it should – it’s advised to check this and the wind speed and strength before you take off.

How fast do they fly – and why is this useful?

Speed varies depending on model type. Varying usually within 30-45mph for hobbyist drones and then up to 60mph for some professional ones. Speed is useful for being able to make it to the location you want to film or shoot to maximise the length of time in the air shooting. For best results, slow and steady makes for a more cinematic-styled shot.

What if I run out of battery when it is too far to return to base?

Fortunately, this shouldn’t be a question you have to ask! Drones will have a pre-set battery warning level where the drone will kick itself into ‘Return to Home’. Usually it’s set at 30 per cent so it will be able to return home safely. You can change the battery warning to be higher than 30 per cent to give you more of a comfort zone. This is done in the settings option.

When might you want to fly indoors?

If you have a small drone like the Ryze Tech Tello drone, then flying indoors is something you can do easily. The other times you would want to look at flying indoors would be for commercial work – so maybe you’re filming a scene for a film by flying through a window or carrying out an indoor survey of a property etc. It takes good skill, training and control to be able to do this safely and it’s advised that prop guards are used to limit the risk of damage to the drone, property or yourself.

What does a normal hobbyist who wants decent quality videos/stills use?

Kit used by professionals can vary depending on the type of work being carried out. For a lot of professional filmmakers, they would use custom built drones or FreeFly – drones designed to carry heavier cameras like RED or Arri. Some professionals will also use the DJI Inspire 2. Mavic 2 drones can be used for commercial projects but are also very popular with hobbyists who want to capture high quality video and stills. If this is what you are looking for then the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the drone to look at, with a 20mp 1″ Sensor Hasselblad camera included. Mavic 2 Pro – £1,349.

Lizzie’s Drone Jargon Buster:

3D Sensing System – A combination of sensors used to detect obstacles and the environment around the drone.

4K Video – A quality of video recording. A 4k display is exactly 4 1080p displays in a 2×2 array from a size standpoint. The name 4k is derived from the fact the horizontal resolution is roughly 4000 pixels.

10-bit HDR – HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. This is essentially the amount of detail you can see in the shadows and the highlights of an image. 10 bit relates to the amount of information and data gathered by the sensor. With more information gathered you will have far better detail.

Active Track – A pre-programmed mode available on more sophisticated models allowing you to automatically follow your subject and capture footage at the same time.

CMOS Sensor – This stands for Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. This is an electronic chip inside the camera which converts protons into electrons for digital processing – essentially this is what captures your image.

FPV Goggles – First Person View Goggles, used to display the footage coming from a camera (usually mounted to a drone).

Gimbal – Commonly used to keep a camera stabilised with no vibration from the person holding it. A 3-axis gimbal ensures that the motion of the camera mounted on it is stabilized even if the person holding it is moving up and down or turning left and right. This is usually referred to as the pan, tilt and roll stabilization.

UAV – Unmanned Aeriel Vehicle.

UHD – Ultra high definition.

Did you know your dog can be a blood donor?

by ANTONY CLAY

IT is well known that people can donate blood. Indeed, it is an esential service that helps save people’s lives every day.

But did you know that dogs can also give blood?

Unfortunately, as is the case with human donations, not enough canines are offered up by their owners to donate which could lead to pets missing out on life-saving treatments, particularly during the summer.

The reason is quite simply that most owners are not aware that their dogs can make the vital donations.

Currently only 40 per cent of pet owners know their dog can give blood, according to new figures.

But the lack of knowledge varies dramatically across the UK with people in the North East most likely to be aware that dogs can give blood (57 per cent), whilst those in Wales were the least likely (30 per cent).

The charity Pet Blood Bank UK is now working with Vets4Pets to encourage more owners to register their dog to give blood, as the charity faces challenges over the summer months which lead to lower stock levels of blood during this period.

The focus is also on dogs with the negative blood type, as these supplies are often particularly low because only 30 per cent of dogs eligible to give blood have this blood type.

Dr Huw Stacey, director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, said: “Just like people, sick and injured dogs may need blood transfusions, and, in most cases, it is literally the difference between life and death.

“The reasons for needing a blood transfusion can be very similar between humans and dogs, as it is used to treat anaemia caused by anything from auto-immune diseases to emergency cases where severe trauma has resulted in dramatic blood loss.

“We recently focused on the topic of pet blood donation in our 2019 Vet Report, with the aim of educating pet owners, but we also wanted to understand what the current awareness was across the UK.

“That’s why we put together our latest research, which has found that awareness is unfortunately still low, with 60 per cent of people being unaware that pets can give blood, and only two per cent of 45-plus year-olds own a dog that has donated blood.”

Vets4Pets and Pet Blood Bank are hoping owners who give blood will help increase the number of dog blood donors, as the research revealed only 13 per cent of respondents have had, or currently own, a dog that has given blood, compared to 51 per cent who said that they have donated blood themselves.

Pet Blood Bank is the UK’s only charity that provides a canine blood bank service for vets, but the team often face issues with owners cancelling appointments and the heat effecting dogs being able to donate. This means stock levels of blood reduce throughout the summer.

The charity works with more than 50 UK veterinary practices, which act as donation centres where the Pet Blood Bank team can hold sessions, visiting each venue between three and six times a year.

The team is also on hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to dispatch blood, ensuring this is always readily available to help save the lives of pets in need.

Wendy Barnett, clinical director at Pet Blood Bank, said: “We hope by working with Vets4Pets it will help increase the numbers of people registering their dogs as donors, particularly negative blood type breeds, so we can continue our work of helping to save pets’ lives.

“We often have problems getting blood in the summer and keeping stocks from being critically low, as the number of no-show appointments increases.

“Dog owners often cancel last minute, due to the weather or going on holiday, and then we find it difficult to book appointments in.

“Unfortunately, we currently have a lack of negative blood type dogs donating, and our research shows that only 30 per cent of dogs eligible to donate are this type. Labradors are one of the most common dogs we have registered with us, but they generally tend to be positive blood type.

“Breeds that are most likely to have a negative blood type include Dobermans, Flat-Coated Retrievers, Weimaraners, Greyhounds, Pointers, Lurchers and German Shepherds.

“We currently have over 10,000 registered dog donors; however, this doesn’t mean that all 10,000 are still active donors.

“On average we have 1,000 new registrations a year, but for many reasons dogs stop donating over time, such as moving away, a change in health status, or retire due to age. This is why it is so imperative that we have a constant steady stream of new donor dogs, as stocks can diminish quickly.

“We can also see that demand for blood is increasing across the UK. Last year we sent out over 5,000 units of blood to vet practices across the country. And, as negative blood can be used for all dogs in an emergency, these stocks decrease at a faster rate. It is an ongoing challenge to keep stocks up.

“We have recently launched our first mobile donation unit, which is really helping as it allows us to reach more donors. We can hold sessions at short notice and visit areas where we don’t have a donation centre nearby.

“One of the most important things for us is to ensure that people know that their dog can become a donor and that any concerns around the process are addressed.”

According to the new research, 27 per cent of respondents think giving blood would hurt their dog, whilst a third think their dog would be scared when giving blood and one in five think their dog would be unwell afterwards.

However, ensuring donating blood is a safe and enjoyable experience for every dog is something that Pet Blood Bank prides itself on achieving with every donation,

“Our primary concern is always the happiness and safety of the dog, and we have a strict welfare first policy with any donation,” said Wendy.

“We ensure that all dogs who come in to donate are weighed, that their blood is screened, and they undergo a thorough check-up to evaluate if they are fit and healthy enough to give blood.

“The dog also has to meet a set of stringent criteria. They have to weigh over 25kg, be on no medication other than preventative flea and worm treatments, be between one and eight years old and have had the core vaccinations. They also can’t have travelled abroad or have been imported from outside the UK or Ireland. These criteria help to ensure the safety of the blood supply for both the donor and recipient dogs.

“We also have to ensure that both the dog and the owners are happy and stress-free, and we try to alleviate any fear. If there are any concerns, we won’t take the blood, but on average 75 per cent of dogs that come in for a session will donate.

“Whilst people may have a fear of needles, this is not something that extends to dogs. With reassurance from the Pet Blood Bank team and their owner, who is encouraged to stay with the dog during the donation, we find our donors are very relaxed and happy throughout the process.

“It only takes around five minutes for each unit of blood to be taken and we use local anaesthetic cream to prevent any discomfort. There are plenty of treats on offer, as well as lots of fuss and belly rubs. We make it a very positive experience for all our donors, so much so that many of them come bounding through the doors, full of excitement for what lies ahead.”

Each donation is split into two components – packed red blood cells and plasma, and each of these can be split in half meaning one donation can help to save the lives of up to four other dogs.

Red blood cells can survive for up to six weeks, whilst plasma can be frozen for up to five years.

Dr Stacey said: “Some of our practices have been working with Pet Blood Bank as donation centres for years. We are always keen to help organisations and charities that share our goal of working hard to improve animal welfare.

“We hope that this helps to raise awareness of the important initiative and that more dogs sign up to become donors. This really can help to save thousands of pets’ lives every year.”

Breeds that are more likely to be negative blood type:

  • Airedale Terrier
  • American Bulldog
  • Border Collie
  • Boxer, Doberman
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • English Bull Terrier
  • Flat Coated Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • Greyhound
  • Lurcher
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Pointer
  • Weimaraner