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The Friday Five 09.12.22

Published on: 9 Dec 2022


Location: Newark, Nottinghamshire

The job: “The post will offer an opportunity to work in the planning department and deal with a full range of applications, pre-application enquiries and appeals within a District with a diverse range of planning issues. We’re an ambitious, modern and forward thinking Council and we’re looking for somebody with the same values as ours to join us.

“Geographically the district is the largest in Nottinghamshire, incorporating the centres of Newark, Southwell and Ollerton, together with large rural areas. We deal with schemes ranging from large urban extensions (3000 houses and associated infrastructure), employment and retail developments, flood risk issues, schemes for gypsy and traveller provision and protecting the area’s important heritage. Newark & Sherwood District Council is a dynamic, progressive planning authority, with the first core strategy and allocations DPDs in Nottinghamshire, the first community infrastructure levy in England, and a programme to deliver growth in the context of a fantastic historic and natural environment.”

Bramley apple [square]Fun fact: You like an apple pie, right? 
Britain has literally hundreds of varieties of apple but the chances are the ones you mostly eat in an apple pie are Bramley apples, which are pretty much the default cooking apple in Britain. Why is that? And has it always been the case?

Records show that Bramleys were first seeded by a girl called Mary Ann Brailsford when she planted some apple pips in her garden in Southwell, Notts, in 1809. The tree that grew (vigorously) was included in the sale of the cottage in 1846 to a local butcher, Matthew Bramley.

A decade later, a local nurseryman, Henry Merryweather, asked if he could take cuttings from the tree so he could sell the apples. Bramley agreed but insisted that the apples should bear his name. The first sale of a Bramley apple was recorded in 1862 and by 1876, the fruit was being highly commended at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Fruit Committee exhibition.

But what’s so special about Bramleys? Well the trees grow vigorously, are resistant to common diseases and indifferent to heavy clay soil. They produce an abundance of fruit and the apples themselves are large. Eaten raw they are extremely sour but when cooked the flavour lightens and becomes palatable. Crucially, the apple becomes golden and fluffy when cooked.

So it ticks all the boxes of a fine cooking apple which is readily available in good numbers. Remarkably, as late as 2016 the original tree was still alive in Mary Brailsford’s former garden. Nowadays, too, 95 per cent of Britain’s culinary orchards grow Bramleys.

Southwell celebrates its fruity heritage in manifold ways: a local football club is nicknamed ‘The Bramleys’, the library is in the Bramley Centre, the community newspaper is The Bramley, There’s a Bramley Apple Inn  and, in 2009, Southwell Minster installed a stained glass window featuring an apple to mark its bicentenary.

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Location: Calderdale, West Yorkshire

The job: “If you’re looking for a challenging and varied role in a busy planning team, we’d like to hear from you. We have a number of roles available which include development management and planning enforcement posts. Applications will be welcomed from those who can demonstrate a recognised degree providing eligibility for membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute. We would also be interested in applications from individuals with an interest in studying to become qualified planners.

“Calderdale comprises of a fascinating mix of towns, villages and Pennine countryside, conveniently located between Leeds and Manchester.”

Alien [square]Fun fact: Here’s an odd one. There have ben many unsolved murders over theyars, but one of the most peculiar and intriguing occurred in Todmorden (in Calderdale) in 1980 – and it still has police, investigators and conspiracy theorists baffled.

On 11 June 1980, police were called to a coal yard in the town, where lay the body of 56-year-old Polish-born coalminer Zigmund Adamski, neatly deposited on a pile of coal.

Adamski had gone missing five days earlier after leaving his home 20 miles away to visit the shops. Though still wearing his suit, his shirt, watch and wallet were missing. He had one day’s beard growth and burns on his neck, shoulders and the back of his head. These had been dressed by a green ointment, the origins of which couldn’t be determined by toxicology tests.
His face, apparently, had a look of absolute horror. A post-morten found that he had died of a heart attack.

No motive or murderer was ever found. Not a single clue. And where information is missing, speculation fills the gap.

One popular theory is that Adamski was abducted by aliens. This was kicked off by the police officer who discovered his body claiming to have had a UFO encounter in the area a few months later. The Todmorden police were forbidden from speaking about the case after intense media interest in the wake of the alien abduction theory. Nowadays UFO conspiracy theorists are all over it.

Other theories about Adamski's death are a little more grounded. One is that he was in a feud with a family member who abducted and killed him. Another that he had been a Nazi during the war and was abducted, tortured and killed, possibly by the KGB. It’s all very odd, obviously. And it’ll probably never be solved. And on that cheery note…

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Location: Plymouth, Devon /Flexible

The jobs: “We are looking for two experienced planning officers to join our development management team.

“The first post is for a senior planning officer who will deal with a diverse caseload of major and minor planning applications, including leading on the delivery of a number of key site allocations to fulfil our ambitious growth agenda. The role will include negotiating complex S106 agreements, dealing with pre-application enquiries, including PPAs, providing advice to members of the public and elected members, representing the LPA at appeal and presenting at planning committee.

“The second post is for a senior planning enforcement officer who would be integral to maintaining public confidence in the planning system. This will be a hugely varied and exciting role where you will be responsible for managing a caseload of the most sensitive and complex enforcement investigations, leading on specialised enforcement initiatives, offering support to junior staff.”

Plymouth Argyle ground [square]Fun fact: Plymouth Argyle Football Club is the only professional club to have Argyle in its name. This is something of a mystery, given that Argyle itself is hundreds of miles away in Scotland and club doesn;t wear Argyle kit but various combinations of green and white over the years. Iindeed, the club’s ground – Home Park – is humorously known as the ‘Theatre of Greens’ (Greens/Dreams, geddit? Oh, never mind).

What’s known is that the club began life simply as Argyle in 1886. In 1903 Argyle turned professional, entered the Southern League and changed name to Plymouth Argyle.they won promotion to the Football League third division in 1920 and have remained in the league ever since.

The club is nicknamed – rather obviously – The Pilgrims and the club crest has the Mayflower on it. But whence the name Argyle? It seems pretty obvious, really. There is both an Argyle Terrace in Plymouth and an Argyle Tavern pub. Mystery solved, surely? Plymouth Argyle began life as a pub team, right?

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Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

The job: “We are looking for a team leader for a fixed term for two years to head up our dedicated South Warwickshire Local Plan team. You will need to have significant experience in developing planning policy documents along with good leadership and management skills or experience of managing people. The SWLP team is a dedicated team of policy officers across both Stratford and Warwick Councils and you will need to be able to manage all the different strands of preparing a local plan and drive the team forward to meet the timescales for its preparation. 

“We are also looking for a senior policy planner for a fixed term for two years to work within the dedicated South Warwickshire Local Plan team. To be successful in this post, you will need to be a good team worker and have initiative and good organisational and communication skills to be able to liaise with a variety of partners and stakeholders on all aspects of the local plan as it progresses through the various stages to adoption. 

“Located to the south of the West Midlands conurbation, South Warwickshire covers 488 square miles of predominantly rural countryside with a population of nearly 273,000. The main towns of Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Kenilworth and Whitnash are accompanied by a range of smaller historic market towns and over one hundred villages of varying sizes.”

Elephant wash [square]Fun fact: Royal Leamington Spa (within the Stratford District) may well be the only town in Britain to have had its own elephant wash. How so? Well, it was the home of Sam Lockhart, born in 1850 into the Lockhart circus family, who is believed to have been the first elephant trainer in Britain (as well as a trapeze artist). At one point he owned three Sri Lankan elephants and they are said to have performed at a circus building beside the River Leam. Lockhart also took them around the world.

The story goes that Lockhart would routinely walk the elephants from their quarters and down a walkway into the River Leam to bathe. Their enthusiastic trumpeting, however, disturbed worshippers at a nearby church. Parishioners complained and a solution was reached: an elephant wash was constructed further along the river where the elephants would cause less disturbance.

It’s an attractive tale and there’s even documentation showing the proposed new walkway in the local archives – though, tellingly, no mention of elephants. That Lockhart kept elephants in the town is not in dispute. But there are no contemporary records suggesting that he bathed them in the river, But, you know, come on! This is too good not to be true.

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Location: Glasgow

The job: “Neo Environmental, an award-winning planning and environmental consultancy, have an exciting opportunity for an associate or principal level town planner to lead our planning work in the UK. The successful candidate will ideally have relevant experience in the renewables sector. The position will offer the right individual the opportunity to work for a well-established and growing multi-disciplinary planning and environmental consultancy.

“The successful candidate will work on a wide variety of projects, with the main focus on renewable energy developments. Prospective candidates will be expected to have excellent report-writing skills and be well-organised with meticulous attention to detail.

“Duties will include:
    •    Overseeing all Planning work Project Management and delivery of EIAs,

    •    Planning Statements, DASs, etc

    •    Planning Submissions

    •    Stakeholder Engagement and Management

    •    Co-ordinating in-house consultants and liaising with clients

    •    Organising and conducting site visits, team meetings and scheduling work

    •    Subcontractor management

    •    Tender and Fee Proposal production.”

Stan Laurel blue plaque [square]Fun fact: The Britannia Music Hall in Trongate, Glasgow, is said to the be the oldest still working music hall in Britain - though it hasn’t always been a music hall since it was built in 1857/58. In fact it began as a speculative development, a space above shops first advertised as a drapery warehouse. It opened, however, as an entertainment centre –  the Britannia Music Hall.

Over the years it’s also housed a cinema, a store, a waxworks museum and an indoor zoo. It’s also had its name changed to the Panopticon. It’s now a listed building and is being conserved and used once again as a music hall.

Many well-known performers have set foot on its stage, from Harry Champion to Marie Loftus. Most famous of all, however, is Stan Laurel who made his debut at the theatre as a 16-year-old under his real name of Stan Jefferson (actually he was Arthur Stanley Jefferson). Born in Cumbria, Laurel moved with his family to Glasgow when he was in his early teens and his father ran the city’s Metropole Theatre. Legend has it that Laurel ‘discovered’ his comic character during his performance as a result of nervousness because he noticed his disapproving father in the audience (presumably disapproving because his son was performing at a rival theatre).

It’s said that young Stan felt he should leave the stage forthwith. On taking a bow, his hat fell from his head, causing mirth. He nervously tried to pick up the hat and clumsily kicked it into the orchestra pit, causing hilarity. A comedy genius was born.

True? Who knows? Nice story though. And, coincidentally, the Panopticon is in Argyle Street.

Find out more and apply

Image credits | Joanna Tkaczuk, iStock; V Chal, iStock; Roger Mechan, Shutterstock; Genia, Shutterstock; Simon Wicks