CYCLISTS are being urged to join the city police in their fight against bike thieves in Worcester after new figures showed that 65 cycles were stolen in September – more than two a day. Police are urging cyclists to secure and mark their bikes due to their increasing popularity among the criminal fraternity.

Cyclists are being asked to have their postcodes stamped on their machines at the city police station. This new drive has come after an explosion in the number of bike thefts around the city, with the popular new mountain bike being a favourite target. The September figure for thefts is 30 per cent up on the previous month’s statistic. Sgt Mike Niccolls of Worcester police said: “Mountain bikes are worth between £250 and £300 and we recommend they be locked with the ushaped steel tensile locks because thieves are now using wire cutters and bolt croppers.”

From the Crowquill column Berrow’s Worcester Journal: I admire the action of the Mayor of Droitwich, Councillor John Croucher in getting to the heart of the matter where the frustrated young people of that town are concerned. He met a bunch of them on a street corner one night and listened to their woes sympathetically. He was soon convinced that they had a very real grievance and is determined to try to improve facilities for young people in Droitwich. Too many people are inclined to believe that a group of young people with jeans and long hair are useless layabouts and should not be allowed to stand about on street corners. But in some towns, facilities for the young are either inadequate or non-existent, and the growth of the so-called amusement arcade has simply provided a new place for them to congregate.

Unemployed school leavers cannot be expected to stay at home with the family every evening watching television. They need to get out and meet people of their own age and outlook. A well-run youth club is the best answer, but there are insufficient of them in the county.

WORCESTER is going into the attack against rheumatism – Britain’s most widespread disease – by forming a city-based branch of the Arthritis and Rheumatism Council. The inaugural meeting of the branch, whose patrons include Worcester MP Peter Walker and the Bishop of Worcester the Rt. Rev Robin Woods, will take place at the Guildhall next Monday evening. Anyone interested in helping this worthwhile cause of raising money for research into rheumatic disorders is invited to attend the meeting.

FROM the Jottings column of Berrow’s Worcester Journal: More and more the stream of modern life in the average English village seems to be passing the village hall by and leaving it high and dry. In a number of places they are in the red and others face increasing difficulty in making ends meet. The reasons are not far to seek. Young people possessed of motor cars or motor cycles are attracted by the bright lights of the nearest town with its dance halls and cinemas while stay-at-home entertainment laid on by radio and TV keeps other people from the village hall. Retired people who buy up old houses and cottages in the country hold aloof from village affairs.

Public meetings in villages, even at election times, are but sparsely attended. Apart from monthly meetings of the women’s institutes or an occasional whist drive during winter evenings, the village hall is little used.

Certainly it is not the live community centre it was intended to be.