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The Friday Five 16.12.22

Published on: 16 Dec 2022


Location: Cambridgeshire, Peterborough

The job: “With a clear focus on delivering sustainable growth and a refreshed operating model we now need two senior leaders to play a key role in the delivery of the combined authority’s strategy. We are ambitious for growth and laser-focused on building a globally competitive, environmentally responsible, and socially inclusive economy across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“We want inspirational leaders, with the highest ambitions and expectations for the combined authority and the diverse and brilliant community we are proud to work for. You’ll be committed to ensuring our successful economic, financial, social, and environmental recovery; and build and inspire our team with innovation and delivery.

“You will continue to build on our successes in transport and infrastructure, housing, education and skills and inward investment across the region and prepare us for the future with authentic, strong, and visible leadership.

“In addition to being the Combined Authority’s S73 officer, you will be responsible for legal, democratic services, finance, procurement, information technology, human resources and the programme management office.”

Edith Cavell [square]Fun fact: Peterborough is home to the Edith Cavell Campus, which consists of a Peterborough Hospital and the Cavell Centre, a secure unit for people with mental health problems.

Although Edith Cavell’s connection with the town is relatively light, it’s one of which they are understandably proud: Norfolk-born, she spent part of her adolescence at the Laurel Court boarding school in the town.

For those who don’t know, Cavell was a nurse working in German-occupied Belgium who was court martialled and executed by the German Army during the First World War. Her crime was to have helped Allied soldiers escape from Belgium into neutral Holland. She was shot by a firing squad in 1915.

Even though medical personnel were protected under the First Geneva Convention, this protection was forfeit if their practice was used as a cover for “belligerent” action. Under this clause, the German army charged Cavell with treason. Her guilt was not in doubt - with the aid of others, including a Belgian aristocrat, she had helped 200 soldiers escape to safety.

She had also tended indiscriminately to wounded soldiers from all sides of the conflict: indeed, she was quoted as saying "I can't stop while there are lives to be saved." the night before her execution, she is reported to have said "Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone” – words which were later inscribed on a memorial to her near Trafalgar Square in London.

Cavell was just 49 when she was shot and had been considered a pioneer of modern nursing in Belgium . Her story became a cause celebre and provided huge propaganda value to the Allied forces; as early as 1916, the first film about her appeared, The Martyrdom of Nurse Cavell. There have since been plays, more films, books, songs, television programmes and even an opera. In 2005 she was even voted the 48th greatest Belgian by viewers of a television show, despite not being Belgian.

Find out more and apply


Location: Nearest NRW office/hybrid

The job: “You will be Natural Resources Wales’ lead strategic advisor on land use planning. In this role you will lead our advice on planning policy that supports positive environmental outcomes. This includes a lead role in:

  • promoting policies in our engagement with Welsh Government
  • advising on strategies, legislation and national planning policy and guidance
  • developing priority guidance for colleagues in NRW and for external key stakeholders
  • liaison with Welsh Government and other planning bodies.

“You will have a strong background in advising on planning policy and with be either an experienced planner, or have worked in environmental management with a good knowledge of the planning system in Wales. You will have proven experience in developing practical solutions to complex, contentious or novel challenges.”

Whitesands Beach, Wales [square]Fun fact: Natural Resources Wales was responsible for laying the 1,400 kilometre (870-mile) Wales Coastal Path that enables people to walk a continuous route along the entire length of the Welsh coastline. It’s considered the first such dedicated path in the world to do this and runs through 11 national nature reserves and two national parks.

Plans for the new all-Wales coastal path were first unveiled by First Minister Rhodri Morgan in June 2006, when he opened the 201km (125m) route around Anglesey. The idea for the path was fuelled in part by the economic success of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

The Wales Coast Path was officially launched on 5 May 2012 and follows the entire coastline, from Chepstow in the south to Queensferry in the north. At either end it also links with the Offa’s Dyke Path which follows the Wales-England border. Together the two paths enable a full circumnavigation of wales on foot.

The path is praised for its natural beauty and the extent to which it has opened up the fabulous Welsh coastline to visitors. There is some controversy, however: the Open Spaces Society in particular has criticised some landowners who do not allow the path onto their coastal land. In fact, some 270km (170m) – more than 20 per cent of the route – is on roads and sometimes out of sight of the sea. What they need is an equivalent to Scotland’s Right to Roam…

Find out more and apply


Location: Gedling, Nottingham

The job: “As a development management officer you will manage a diverse caseload of planning applications, appeals and pre-application enquiries. We are a driven and high performing team and are constantly seeking improvements to the services we deliver.

“The successful candidate must be well organised and self-motivated with the ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines. You must have excellent communication and negotiation skills and the ability to contribute to a high-quality service to our customers.

“Applications are invited from experienced practitioners and exceptional graduates looking for their first planning role. This is a great opportunity to work within a small friendly planning service and make a real difference to the communities we serve.”

Papplewick Pumping Station tower [square]Fun fact: Papplewick Pumping Station near Gedling is considered to be one of Britain’s finest Victorian waterworks and even enjoys protection as a Scheduled Ancient Monument - despite being designed and built in the early 1880s.

The pumping station buildings, which are grade II* listed structures and a scheduled ancient monument, were built in the Gothic Revival style. Internally, the main engine house has outstanding cast iron fittings and stained glass.

The machinery itself is fantastically beautiful in its own right, using six steam driven boilers (only three operational at any one time) to power engines driving pumps which drew up to 6.8 million litres of water per day from below ground, where it was filtered naturally by the underlying bunter sandstone.

It really is a marvel of Victorian engineering. Each boiler is nine metres long and two metres in diameter, encased by a brick lining to conserve heat and can hold up to 15,000 litres of water.

Each of the three boilers consumed about two tons of coal per day, and initially generated 190 kW of power - necessary to draw the water into the station’s covered reservoir. The pumps remained in use until 1969. They’ve now been replaced by modern pumping gear.

But the Victorian pumping station itself remains open to visitors as a museum which now also houses engines from other industrial operations. These include an old winding engine from nearby Linby Colliery and two engines obtained from a Player’s tobacco factory.

Find out more and apply


Location: Walsall, West Midlands

The job: “We are looking for a highly motivated team member to join our planning policy team within the planning and building control service area.

“This is an exciting time for Walsall as we embark on the preparation of a Walsall Local Plan that aims to provide a comprehensive development plan to deliver growth and regeneration through delivery of new housing, employment and infrastructure.

“The role includes:

  • preparation, monitoring, review and application of statutory planning strategy
  • maintaining a strategic overview of regeneration activity
  • representing Walsall’s interests in national, regional and sub-regional planning and regeneration policy issues
  • leading the formulation of planning strategy
  • support for other members of the Planning Policy Team as required.”

Leather saddle [square]Fun fact: There’s a general rule that if you want to know something about the industrial or social history of a place, find out the local football team’s nickname. Walsall FC are called The Saddlers. This one’s a gimme.

Walsall is pretty much the home of the leather saddle making industry in Britain and still has loads of saddlers, even today. It all started some time in the 16th century, where workshops of skilled leather workers sprang up around the town’s numerous tanneries which were themselves sited along the River Fleam (which flows through the English Midlands). 

By the 18th century, Walsall was a renowned centre for the leather trade. By the early 1800s the town had begun to specialise in leather equestrian goods – there were six bridle-cutting firms, as well as seven curriers (who dye leather ready for manufacturing).

By the end of the 19th century, lorinery – the manufacture of the metal components of equestrian equipment – ranked alongside Walsall’s other major industries. And, of course, there were the saddles, and Walsalls was making some of the best and most sought-after in the world.

All of which does prompt the question: What is it about Walsall and leather? Typically, it’s a simple matter of geography – all the raw materials required to produce the leather were close by.

To whit: Hides came from the abundance of cattle grazed on the lush pastures of South Staffordshire and North Warwickshire. Lime needed to remove the hair from the hides was excavated from the lime pits of nearby Rushall. Oak bark, a tanning agent, was available from the adjacent Cannock Chase or Forest of Arden. And the River Fleam provided the constant supply of water that is an essential element in the tanning process (incidentally, tanning hides was traditionally THE most disgusting job, but we'll save that for another week).

Next time you watch Walsall FC – which you do a lot, right? – think of this small nugget of Friday Five factification.

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Location: Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

The job: “Penguin Recruitment is delighted to support a highly regarded planning, landscape and environmental consultancy in Hemel Hempstead on the hire of an associate director or director to help drive the team forward and deliver excellent work across numerous sectors, but with a particular focus on the renewables and minerals sectors.

“In this role, you will help prepare and submit planning applications for renewable energy (onshore wind and solar), minerals and waste, infrastructure and built development (residential and commercial property). In addition, you will offer the relevant complementary services such as providing planning advice, community engagement, enforcement, consent implementation and dealing with appeals.

“To be considered for this role you should hold/be able to demonstrate:

  • a relevant qualification and MRTPI status (or close to submitting)
  • experience at the relevant level (public or private sector)
  • experience of renewables and/or minerals projects"

Airliner [square]Fun fact: 

When next in Hemel Hempstead look up and you may be lucky enough to see the Bovingdon Stack. No, it’s not a giant Victorian chimney – nothing so, er, romantic, I’m afraid; It’s a stack of aeroplanes waiting to be given permission to land at Heathrow Airport.

Wait, what? These things have names? They do indeed and Heathrow alone has four such phenomena: The Bovingdon Stack, The Biggin Hill Stack, The Lambourne Stack and The Ockham Stack. They correspond to arrivals from the north west, south east, north east and south west respectively. These are each known as Standard Arrival Routes, or STARs.

Each is also above an airport or aerodrome, large open spaces being rather necessary for safety reasons, obvs: RAF Bovingdon; Biggin Hill Airport; Stapleford Aerodrome; and (the former) Wisley Airfield. 

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about aircraft stacks: “They can be visualised as invisible helter skelters in the sky. Each stack descends in 1000 ft (300 m) intervals from 16,000 ft (4,000m) down to 8000 ft (2,100m). If these holds become full, aircraft are held at more distant points before being cleared onward to one of the four main holds.”

The Bovingdon Stack was very nearly the location of a major incident on 1 December 2003 when an air traffic controller misdirected a United Airlines Boeing 777 into a level of the stack already occupied by a British Airways plane. The two flew within 180 metres of each other, which is quite close when you think about it.

News: Something nearly happened above Bovingdon. Once.

Find out more and apply

Image credits | iStock; iStock; Ian Francis, Shutterstock; iStock; iStock