Category Archives: community action

News: lengthsman post / speed limits / Tai Chi / Labour’s man

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-September 2014 
News of…:  vacancy for a lengthsman / speed limits campaign hots up / Tai Chi classes / Labour’s election candidate …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

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Is forty too much?

The debate about speed limits in Draycott may be coming to a head.    As we have reported in the past, a few local people would like to see the stretch up the bank from the Draycott Arms (going in the Tean direction) changed from a 40mph limit to a 30mph.
That stretch of road is not only narrow, but has no pavement for around a ten-yard length. Police traffic teams have been in action in the area recently, and, yes, caught a number of speeding motorists…

Road sign near Draycott Arms

Road sign just up from Draycott Arms

So, what’s happening?
Mark Deaville, who as well as being a Draycott parish councillor is also the county councillor responsible for transport issues, has been talking to local newspapers – and told them he has made formal representations to the Highways Department to get the speed-limit at the Draycott Arms lowered.
He tells us that he’ll be meeting highways officers this week to check on how his proposal is being received.

Meanwhile, another Draycott parish councillor, John Ford, is starting a petition calling on local people to support the campaign to get the speed limit lowered.  John, who is also landlord at The Draycott Arms, said: “I am not prepared to wait until there are fatalities there. The road there is just like Brands Hatch!”
You’ll find copies of the petition, ready for signing, at his pub.

Watch this space…

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Are you handy?

Draycott Parish Council is looking for a ‘lengthsman’ for this district. The post would be suitable for a person with time on their hands.

But, you may ask, what is a lengthsman??
In fact, it’s an ancient term, but basically a lengthsman is simply a handy-person.  Their principal role is to carry out minor highway maintenance – clearing drainage areas, trimming hedges, keeping signs and local sites maintained, minor painting jobs and that sort of thing.  The lengthsman (who can be male or female) works on their own, usually using their own tools.

Interested?  Contact the Parish Clerk, Mary Edwards – on 01782 394807  or by email.

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Sam’s Labour’s man

Well, you can tell a general election is around the corner.  All the local politicians are doing their utmost to get coverage!
We notice for instance that our local MP, Bill Cash, has suddenly started writing a column for the local newspaper…

Meanwhile, Labour has just announced its candidate for the Stone constituency (Draycott falls into the Stone constituency): a young man called Sam Hale. You may remember Sam as a former member of the UK Youth Parliament (for Cheadle); and as a recipient of the Princess Diana Memorial Award for his service to this community.

Sam Hale

Sam Hale

Expect to see Sam and Bill knocking on our doors sometime soon.

The general election takes place in May next year.  Not only will there be parliamentary elections, but also elections for local councils.
In fact, all seats on Draycott Parish Council are up for grabs – so if you think you might want to stand for this parish next May, it’s worth starting to think about it soon.

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Get fit gently

We forgot to mention the Dojo Centre when we were mentioning the range of local keep-fit classes in a recent post.
As well as all the multifarious classes at the Draycott Sports Centre, the nearby Tatsu Kai Dojo Centre (on Blythe Business Park) also offers a wide range of fitness activities.  Its latest offering is TaiChi on a Tuesday night at 6:30pm for an hour.

TaiChi is very gentle, but, because it calls for concentration, it’s a great way of toning up.  The first lesson is free – so it’s well worth just taking a look.
Contact Tara for more info or just turn up.

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.           (The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address.  You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment).

If you find the photos on this webpage too small to see properly, all you have to do is double-click on the photo itself, and it will double in size immediately.

Cloggerfest 2014 success

To all those who said it couldn’t work, we have news for you: the second Cloggerfest free music festival – at Blythe Cricket Club’s ground – was a great day for audience and musicians alike!  Congratulations to organisers Dave & Lee Owen and Ange Heathcote.
For this one day in the year, Cresswell rocked…

Family fun

All the camping spots were sold out by the day, so the pre-festival (Friday) night was a chance for all the campers to relax – and for all the local people to come down and have a drink with them, as well as have a bop in the disco tent.  It was like a reunion as many people saw folk they had not seen for a while…!

Cloggerfest camping

Cloggerfest camping

Fortunately the weather was mild on the Saturday morning, and the family activities went as smoothly as chocolate (as one visitor said).  Zumba dancing sessions, zombie face-painting and crafts stalls were all doing good business.
Much of the profit from the festival will go towards establishing a new community centre/pavilion at Blythe cricket club.

Face-painting - zombie-style

Face-painting – zombie-style

The highlight of the morning however was the gurning competition (one of only two officially registered gurning competitions in the country).

Rob Shaw, Cloggerfest 2014 Gurning Champion

Rob Shaw, Cloggerfest 2014 Gurning Champion

Defending champion Rob Shaw ‘faced’ off over a dozen hopefuls though, and retained his title.


Many of us thought that the organisers would find it very difficult to keep the fifteen bands on the bill to the running order timings, but amazingly – and despite the bursts of rain – that’s more or less what happened!
The one-thousand audience just sat back and enjoyed what turned out to be a really well-run day.

All the acts came from within a twenty-mile radius, and each and every one was amazingly professional (in our humble opinion).
Hollie Vee & The Hubkaps are a blistering rockabilly outfit and they contrasted with the more rootsy appeal of the Wilcox-Hulse duo. Industrial-noise outfit Jimmy Dammage & Shadow were a late addition to the bill, but performed like they’d been rehearsing for weeks…

Jimmy Dammage

Jimmy Dammage

The two bands who helped create the event – Sons Of Clogger and Headsticks – finished the night with a storm!

Cloggerfest 2015

We’re told that preparations for Cloggerfest 3 are already under way, with the intention to expand even more.
If Cloggerfest 3 can be as friendly and professional as Cloggerfest 2 was, that would be some achievement.

Lee and Dave Owen

Lee and Dave Owen

Lee & Dave Owen, we salute you…!

If you want to see more reviews and more photos from the festival, click the Cloggerfest Facebook page.

To see the photos on this page better, all you have to do is double-click on the photo itself, and it will double in size immediately.     Just press the back-button to get back to this page.

Our library is under threat

If we don’t act now, the future of our nearest library looks grim …  That appears to be the message from campaigners who have been studying the latest proposals for the library service across Staffordshire.
The public has only a month left in which to make its views on the proposals known.

Library shake-up

We all know that libraries are changing.  Once you just went there to borrow a book, read a newspaper, or to study.  But now, there are all sorts of services.  At Blythe Bridge library, the nearest library to Draycott, there are now story-telling sessions, adult education sessions, public-meeting spaces, internet-access computers to use, and even a small art-gallery!

Blythe Bridge Library

Blythe Bridge Library

Libraries must keep changing – especially as they do less book-lending and more of providing e-publications online.  Footfall in libraries is not what it was.
Staffordshire County Council also has to cut its budget by fifteen per cent over the next three years.

So the County Council is redefining its libraries.  The biggest four (now known as ‘Extra’ Libraries) are safe; and fifteen more (known as ‘Core’) will be reviewed.  But the remaining twenty-four (now to be known as ‘Local’) have an uncertain future, and may well have their services broken up or ‘re-assigned’ – and Blythe Bridge Library is in this third, endangered category.

The county council is saying that it hopes local communities, using volunteers, might agree to take on ‘Local’ libraries – or somehow split the current services offered by the library across various local groups.  Or, maybe, under the ‘Local’ idea, it will give us an enhanced mobile-library system, or find a new and smaller building.


Of course, local people have not taken the news lying down.  A packed-out meeting last month saw objections flying thick and fast!   Forsbrook Parish Council has taken the lead in a campaign to resist major changes.
(Our own Draycott Parish Council is aware of the proposals, but has yet to take any major stand).

campaign doucument (opens as a WORD document) put out by Forsbrook PC makes interesting reading.  The figures in it show that not only is Blythe Bridge Library more popular than Cheadle Library, it also is considerably cheaper to run. Yet, strangely, Cheadle is safe!

Making views known

Nothing is yet decided.  The current proposals are only proposals; so the County is now ‘consulting’ the public.  (See: Library Future Proposals)
If you have views on the library service, locally or cross-county (or both), now is the time to make them known.
You can find the consultation sheets in any county library (Stoke-on-Trent libraries are separate to all this of course), or, if you prefer, you can fill in the consultation questionnaire online.  Closing date is October 7th.

Forsbrook PC is recommending that you answer Question 33 on the consultation document by ticking ‘Strongly Disagree’.

The sad thing is that questionnaires never quite get to the reality of the situation.
Think about it… with church halls and village halls now locked all the time; and with ‘community corner shops’ less and less in evidence; and with pubs getting more expensive; and with schools forced to exclude ‘outsiders’, where is there for a village community to freely meet and greet each other?  Only the library.

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?  Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.
(The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address.  You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment).

NEWS: notice-boards / new grants / is knitter back?

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-August 2014 
News of…:  new notice-board in Cresswell / grants for community schemes / is the guerrilla-knitter back? / wildlife project hits a snag / quiet life for newts / tennis for youngsters…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

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Taking notice in Cresswell

People in Cresswell woke up earlier this month to the sight of their smart new parish council notice-board.  The last one had given way to old age, and had simply fallen down.
It took a while to fund and sort out a new board, but it seems to be worth it.

Cresswell notice board

Cresswell’s smart new notice board

To save the parish council money, three volunteers came forward to say they would install it – which shows great community spirit.  So, thanks to Selwyn & Matthew Edwards and John Clarke, who undertook what turned out to be quite a tough shovel-and-pick job.

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Money for safety

Grants of up to £3000 are available at the moment to any locally-driven scheme which could enhance safety in the community.
The so-called ‘People Power Funds’ could support a Good Neighbour Project for instance, or activities for the young, or even security measures at public sites.

The money is coming from the Staffordshire Police Commissioner’s coffers; the window for this round of applications runs until Sunday 14 September.
If you think you might be interested, a free workshop to explain how it all works takes place at Moorlands House in Leek on the afternoon of Friday 22 August (email Victoria Ellis for details).

More details, including application forms and an animated video about the fund, are available now at the PCC’s website.  But, be aware: to get a grant you’ll probably need your application to be supported by a local police officer– so you may want to chat to our local PCSO Adam Charlesworth in the meantime.  He’s a very nice man!

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Secret knitter… is back?

Congratulations to eagle-eyed Jessica Lunt, who wrote to us saying that she thinks that the ‘secret guerrilla-knitter of Draycott’ may be back.
Guerrilla knitting is the eccentric practice of putting woollen ‘socks’ around public objects, usually by anonymous people, who try not to be seen doing it.  There are half-a-dozen examples in Draycott – though why Draycott is a centre of this practice, no-one knows!

Guerilla knitting at Cresswell

Is this a new instance of guerilla knitting?

Jessica says that when she recently passed the Cresswell sign, near the cricket club, she noticed that one of the little quilted shapes on it seemed relatively new.  The last report of any new ‘guerrilla-knitting’ was back in  2012 when we also put up some photos of the examples.
We checked, and we agree with her:  one of the ‘socks’ on the sign is newer than the rest in the village.
So… is the secret knitter back?  We shall have to wait and see.

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Wildlife hiccup

Talking of notice-boards, the Cresswell Community Group reports that its work to get a ‘village-description’ board erected near the Izaak Walton bridge was held up temporarily.
The board they propose will be very similar to ones in nearby villages, but, in this instance will display some of the various wildlife species to be found in Cresswell.

Although the CCG has raised the money to pay for the design, making and installation of the board, there were fears that such a board might require planning permission.   And, as a planning-permission application costs nearly £400 – which is a prohibitive amount of money -, the CCG have had to spend some time investigating what the actual planning status of such a board is.
However, they told us: “We are now pretty confident of going ahead!!”

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And lastly

A glance at a recently approved planning application made us smile.  The Moorlands planning committee recently approved a request to build an outdoor equestrian site at Marsh Lodge (on Uttoxeter Road) – but said that a condition of approval was that all activities there would have to cease … whenever the local newts are breeding.
I wonder how long newts take for their breeding time?

Meanwhile don’t forget that if you have kids at home these holidays looking for something to do that Draycott Sports Centre is running Saturday morning tennis coaching on 16th and 23rd August.  It’s pay-and-play – so you don’t have to be a member of the centre already.

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.           (The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address.  You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment).

If you find the photos on this webpage too small to see properly, all you have to do is double-click on the photo itself, and it will double in size immediately.

Fayre 2014 – full results & pictures

As the last details trickle in, it looks like the Draycott Fayre 2014 will have surpassed even last year’s record takings.  It’s believed – though the full accounts have yet to be completed – that the event could have raised a staggering £10,000 altogether.
The money raised has come not just from the fayre itself but also from a fund-raising night hosted by the rock band Jacque Rabbit.

Vintage car

Many vistors came to see the hundreds of vitntage cars and engines on show

As the name – St Margaret’s Summer Fayre – suggests, the day is specifically organised to raise money to pay for the maintenance of the village’s parish church – which is over 700 years old, and in constant need of running repairs.   A worthy cause.

Raffle winners

Owl winner

Pauline Clarke (left) presents the owl to Annette

As we mentioned in our review of the day, one of the big attractions at the fayre was the live-sculpting feature – in which local boy Anthony Hammond created a wooden statue of an owl before our very eyes.
Her raffled it off for charity; and the winner turned out to be Annette Smith from Hollinsclough.  Annette was one of the exhibitors, who had brought along her red London taxi to show in the vintage-car rally – and she was really chuffed to be able to take the owl home with her.

If you enjoyed Anthony Hammond’s work, we can recommend that you take a trip to see his Cedar Tree carving at the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s base near Stafford. The piece is being billed as the largest chainsaw carving in Staffordshire…

Jacque Rabbit 2014

A night with the band Jacque Rabbit also raised funds for the church repairs

The other results people have been waiting for are those of the Grand Raffle.  Click here to see the full list of winners.
Congratulations to first-prize winner Wendy Mears: she’s won a full day for her and a group of friends to learn and experience wilderness-skills & bush-craft at the local Huntley Wood Outdoor Centre.  The day is led by ‘OWL’ Forest-School instructors.
(I wonder if Wendy will learn enough to be able to help us to decide how best to cook the red-currants in our garden – before the birds eat them all…)


Thanks also to all the people who have emailed in photos of the day to us. Though we had enough photos to create a small gallery of photos immediately, the additional pictures have helped to make the gallery much larger.

Viking conflict

The ‘Vikings’ enjoyed themselves with a number of battles

To see the full gallery of photos of the day – click here. (Don’t forget to select ‘Slideshow’, then ‘Show Info’ & ‘Full screen’ if you want the best viewing experience).

And that’s not all…

Just a reminder now that the good times never stop in Draycott district!

The next local big family event is at the end of August, when the cricket club has its Open Day & Music Festival at its ground in Cresswell.
The main event, on Saturday 30 August, features includes face/body painting, circus skills, bouncy castle, magic, balloon modelling and stalls… and even incorporates a ‘gurning’ championship!  More details on our What’s On page.
Don’t forget to put the date in your diary…

NEWS: Parish & College clash / Clerk vacancy / white posts / record land price

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late July 2014 
News of…:  Parish Council calls for action on Draycott College / white posts protect verges / record prices for Draycott pastureland / no takers yet for parish clerk job / cricket summer school for youngsters…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

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Draycott Moor in the news

Despite the fact that the school has broken up for the summer, Draycott Moor College is in the news.
On the one hand, it is generously throwing open its facilities to the community; but on the other hand it is in Draycott Parish Council’s black books.  The parish council would like to see the college admonished…

Draycott College play-area gates

Gates – now unlocked

First, the good news.   After years of trying to get the parish council to take responsibility for the small playing field on its site, the college has simply decided to let the community make up its own mind.  It is leaving the gates to the small play-area unlocked – and thus the community can make full use of it.

Draycott College play area

Draycott College play area

One local resident in Draycott Old Road told us: “I am so pleased for the teenagers here, and for the children, that the play-area is open. But we will need to watch out; and hope no bad elements start to use it.”

The other news is that the parish council has decided to write to the Staffordshire Education Committee to ask it to review its attitude to the college.
The college, which is privately-run, takes referrals for troubled children.  On the site, a small number of such children (fewer than twenty), who arrive from from all over the county, are educated.

Despite the fact that an open forum between residents and school staff was held only recently, the councillors are concerned about the number of anti-social incidents in and around the school.
At their meeting, some councillors expressed a desire to see the school shut down.

(This article has been edited since it was first published because of differing opinions about what was actually said at the meeting)

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Time to apply

It seems that no one wants to take up the post of Clerk to Draycott Parish Council.

Although the post pays £250 a month (working from home in your own time), there have been few applicants since the present clerk, Mary Edwards, announced her intention to retire.
So the post has been re-advertised, though applications should be in by the end of this month.

For more details, email Mary or phone her on 01782 394807

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White posts

If you’ve walked through Cresswell recently, you’ll notice that three or four properties now have white posts in their grass verges.

White posts on Sandon Road

White posts on Sandon Road

The posts are a response to the thorny problem of car-owners parking on verges.  (See our previous article about the issue).  The County Highways Department placed them there as an experiment, in response to a request from the local VVSM community action group.

If you’re interested in having such posts outside your home, or just want to know more, just email VVSM.

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Record prices for land

As we mentioned in a previous post, Newton Park Farm, which is at the top end of Cresswell Old Lane – and was the home of the late Ken Shelley – was being sold at auction.

What’s interesting is that the pastureland associated with the house – some 27 acres – went for a very high price indeed – of almost half-a-million pounds!   That represents a staggering amount of almost £18,000 per acre.

The Leek Post & Times, which reported the auction, commented in an article that the price per acre is quite possibly a record high-price for this district.

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School for cricket

Finally, this wonderful weather we’re having is proving very beneficial to Blythe Cricket Club in Cresswell.
The first team are really going great guns, and are not far off a promotion place – possibly helped by the support that’s turned out in the lovely sunshine.

The club’s ‘professional’, the international bowler Upul Indrasiri, must also be enjoying the weather, as he’s decided to set up a cricket summer school for youngsters aged from 7 to 19 (both boys and girls).
The first sessions take place at the club next week, although there is a second set of sessions in August.  For full details, and how to apply, see our What’s On pages)

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.

(The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address.  You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment).

If you find the photos on this webpage too small to see properly, all you have to do is double-click on the photo itself, and it will double in size immediately.

A good day at Draycott Fayre 2014

Draycott Fayre 2014 had a hard act to follow after the huge success of the fair last year – but, wow, it managed it brilliantly!
John Clarke and his fantastic team of volunteers not only managed to keep the rain off (how did they do that??) but to put on an event that was thoroughly enjoyable.


The Y Ddraig Viking re-enactment group were, once again, the outstanding element of the day.  At times very funny, at times extremely bloodthirsty (!), they even managed, in their encampment, to cook up a very decent barley stew…   Their versions of hockey, and of ten-pin bowls, were a revelation.
However, they seemed not to have learnt the lessons of 2013.  After being humiliated last year, when they challenged the children of Draycott to battle, they foolishly sought revenge.  Once again, they were annihilated.  Very sad…

Children charge!

Children charge!      (pic: JClarke)

In the marquee, the music from jazz clarinettist Eric Newton kept the party swinging; and the Draycott Women’s Institute sold out of home-made jam by 1pm!  (Luckily, there was still marmalade).

Out in the arena, special congratulations must go to Forsbook Girl Guides.  They helped master-of-ceremonies John Beardmore to organise the country games, and sportingly took on a men’s side in the grand tug-o-war.  The men, who looked very complacent after leading the series 2-0, were quite shaken when the Guides stormed back to take the last rubber.  Well done, ladies!

As usual too, there were some fascinating cars buses engines lorries and more in the vintage vehicle rally.  Organiser Tom Sales even managed to get a taxi to come along this year.

Meanwhile, out on the main road, a 1950s red double-decker bus, staffed by members of the Potteries Omnibus Preservation Society, plied its trade up and down the local lanes, picking up ‘passengers’, and taking them to and from the fayre.


An album of lots of photos of the day can be found by clicking here.
When you go to the link, just click the play button to start the slideshow; then we suggest you set the speed at ‘slow’, and don’t forget to click the ‘Show Info’ button to see the captions.  Have fun with the memories.

Special mentions…

Who were the hardest workers on the day?  The dozens of brave volunteers.
Most of them are resident in Draycott and surrounding districts, so it was a truly local set-up.

High up the list of hard workers must come the staff of Draycott Moor College, led by Lee  Stanford, who ran the barbecue.  The queue for their wares never stopped, and, despite bringing in lots more food than last year, they still had sold out by 3pm!
On the bar Neil Archibald (Archie) and his partner Anita Borasinski had stepped in at the last minute to run it – and the pair managed to keep their cool all afternoon, despite never taking a rest.
Meanwhile, in the tea-tent, the Wibberley extended-family made pot after pot after pot of tea (like it had gone out of fashion!).  It’s even possible they made record takings – of around £500-£600.
And John Beardmore of course.  Fortunately for all of us, he is feeling on good form at the moment, and he made everything flow smoothly.  We all feared the worst when he started to sing – but the grey clouds passed on, and the sun came out again. (…Only joking..!)

Nominate your favourite…

But, there were lots more moments and lots more heroes – which we haven’t mentioned.  So, why not nominate your favourite?
Just use the comments-form (at the bottom of this page) – and let the world know just what you thought of the day and its events…

Also, why not let us have your photos?  If you have two or three that you think reflect elements of the day, well, just email them to us, and we will try to put them onto our photo gallery.

A good cause

There can be no doubt that thousands of pounds were raised – though the final tally will not be known for a while.

And the profits all go to the repair and maintenance of our medieval & historic church of St Margaret’s.  When so much of the history of Draycott village is disappearing, the project to keep St Margaret’s standing and available to our children is surely a good one.
(If it’s been a while since you saw the beautiful interior of the church, don’t forget that the church is open to the public on Saturday August 2nd and Saturday 6th September form 2pm-4pm).

The result of the raffles will be known soon.  We’ll let you know the results in a future post on this site.
If you are wondering what happened to the vintage plane that was due to do a fly-over, well, so is everybody else. The thinking is: it might have got lost!

If you have a comment to make about the day – add it in the little comment box further down this page

Spot some wildlife…

Being surrounded by large patches of countryside, and with most of us having a small garden at least, Draycott-in-the-Moors is a great place for anyone wanting to help the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust with its Wildlife Sighting project, which it is doing in partnership with the Staffordshire Ecological Record.


Could you spot a barn owl? (pic: Darin Smith)

You don’t have to be an expert to help; and all it requires of you is that you  fill in a short form each time you see a particular species of animal or insect or bird, or even fish.
It could be a great summer activity to do with the kids, or grand-kids too…

It’s not just a paper exercise either.  Your forms will go to making up a species-distribution list, which is then used by planning authorities, among others, to map the ecology of an area.

Give your help…

Each time you spot, say, a woodpecker, all you have to do is record: the type of the species; the location (i.e. where you saw it); and the date of the sighting. Easy!

Of course, it’s not always that simple identifying the type of species, but if you have a good camera, take a picture and then just email the photos to and they will identify it for you.

The Wildlife Trust is especially interested in ‘protected’ and ‘priority’ species, i.e. ones  listed on the Staffordshire Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP), so if you spot any of those, well-done to you…!


The Cresswell Community Group is already taking part in the project; and at some stage hopes to put up a board in the hamlet listing some of the more interesting wildlife to be found here.


Are there ever otters in the River Blithe? (pic: Darin Smith)

CCG told us that they already have sightings recorded of fauna such as the otter, water vole, shrew, stoat, weasel, badger, hedgehog, bats and brown hare, though they are still waiting to record a dormouse…
The great crested newt also has habitat in the area.

In the bird world, the CCG say people should be able to spot the barn owl, bullfinch, cuckoo, dunnock, starling, house sparrow, kingfisher, lapwing, reed bunting, skylark, snipe, song thrush, tree sparrow, and yellowhammer.
You’ll be very fortunate though to spot golden plovers and wheatears – though there have been rare sightings.

Jacquie from the CCG told us:  “Cresswell is a good area for the project as it has areas of wetland that species such as snipe and curlew like. It also has areas of farmland that are not heavily cultivated, which attracts skylarks and lapwings.
“In fact… it would be brilliant if we could have hides in the area so that people could watch and study the birds especially!”

Remember – each record of a sighting helps to build up an ecological picture of Draycott / Cresswell / Totmonslow – so it’s all worth it.

*   For more information on the project, see the Recording Wildlife Factsheet (opens as WORD document)
For information on some fauna you are likely spot, click here
To find a sightings form online, click here
To download (and then print off) a form, click Species Recording Card (opens as pdf)

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.

(The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address.  You don’t have to, and it is always kept private anyway and never published, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment).

Draycott Summer Fayre 2014

If you were as astonished and as impressed as we were by last year’s Draycott St Margaret’s Summer Fayre – well, prepare to be amazed.  This year is going to be even bigger, and even better!
It’s not long now until the big day – so make a note in your diary. The fayre takes place in the centre of Draycott on Sunday July 13th.

Engines galore

If you enjoy Top Gear, you’ll absolutely love the massive displays of hundreds of classic cars, tractors, engines, trucks and motorcycles.
But, the vehicle fun doesn’t stop there – this year, a miniature railway is on site, a vintage double-decker bus is offering rides, a World War Two plane is flying overhead… and there are carousels and mini-quads at the funfair!

This is the twenty-first year of the Fayre; and, because of last year’s outstanding success, organisers expect thousands of people through the gates.

Family day

But, of course, there is more to the event than just fun for transport buffs.  This is a family day…
It is also a local & traditional country occasion, with the usual dog-show and country games for the kids, not to mention craft displays by local organisations.
As usual, the funds raised will go to a great cause: maintaining the village’s ancient church.

But, if you are still wavering, there are two other main attractions which you will enjoy.
The fantastic Y-Draig group re-enact the Viking era, with authentic costumes and encampments.  They will demonstrate Viking fighting skills too – though, when Y-Draig challenged the village’s children to battle last year, the poor Vikings were put to flight!

Viking versus Children battle

Draycott children charge the ranks of the Vikings in 2013…

Meanwhile, the famous jazz-busker Eric Newton will lead the live-music bill.  Worth the admission fee just by himself…

Full list
Just make sure you don’t miss anything….

* Dog show – all dogs welcome!   A national dog-show judge will be making the choices
* The Y Ddraig Viking re-enactment group will set up a Viking village; and demonstrate Viking sports during the afternoon
* A vintage Dakota plane will be flying overhead at around 2.50pm
* Children’s country sports – all children invited!  Forsbrook Guides are supervising
* Punch & Judy Show; and Magic Show
* Eric Newton, ‘The Jogging Jazzman’, plays his clarinet

* Vintage and collectors’ tractors on display
* Classic cars, trucks, lorries, buses and motorcycles and static-engine displays
* Funfair, run by Duncan Milner – including a ride-on miniature train

Vintage double-decker bus* The Potteries Omnibus Preservation Society is running a 1949 double-decker bus in a continuous circuit along the main road to Tean then to Blythe Bridge and back to Draycott all day.  (There will also be stops at Rookery Crescent in Cresswell, at 10.35, 11.30, 12.25, 1.20, 2.15, 3.10 and 4.05).
Trips are free – though donations would be welcomed…

* Mr Braunton has his mini-quad bikes out on the field – just for kids!
* Draycott Sports Centre are giving everyone a chance to play ‘short tennis’; and take part in fitness exercise routines
* The Huntley Wood Country Activities Centre is hosting a Country Craft Village, featuring locally-born Anthony Hammond and other craft workers. Anthony will be carving a wood-sculpture from scratch, which is beign raffled off at the end of the day
* Stalls: selling local produce, second-hand goods, books and craft items. Organised by stalwarts Selwyn Edwards and Pauline Clarke.

* Tea Shop with sandwiches, cakes and hot drinks, run by Christine Wibberley and her team.
* Barbecue – run by Lee Stanford & his team from Draycott Moors College – with beef-burgers and hotdogs.
* Bar, run this year by Ben Hart and his team.

* And don’t forget to buy a raffle ticket from Bill & Nola Ward !
The top prize this year is well worth winning, being a “bushcraft experience day” donated by the Huntley Wood Outdoor Experience Centre. The lucky winner will, along with a group of up to 10 people, be able to spend a day at Huntley Wood, with expert bushcraft tuition from Christian Fox of OWL Craft.  The day can cover a variety of topics, from edible plants to fire lighting and making shelters and other wilderness living skills, depending on what the lucky winner is interested in, and is suitable for adults or children.

The details

Portable toilets are laid on.
A giant marquee will keep us all dry, should the weather be a little unkind.
Parking – in the next field – is free.
Admission to the ground is £4 for adults; kids under sixteen are allowed in free.
The fayre is held, as usual, right in the centre of the village on Uttoxeter Road (ST11 9AE) with gates open at 11am.    The day closes at 5pm with a church service in the marquee.
For more details, and to hire a table for a stall (just £10), phone 01782 396190.

And just a reminder: most of the people who put on the fayre are local volunteers doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.  So, as well as to everybody mentioned above, thanks must also go to:
Paul Ford, who goes above and beyond in letting the fayre use his fields and helps also to prepare those fields
Master of Ceremonies, John Beardmore
Tom Sales, who manages the tractor collections – and more
And… of course… John Clarke, who has managed to bring all these talents together to make it all happen!
…and, er, anyone we’ve forgotten to mention…

And – if you’d like to remember the wonderful day it was last year – just click to see photos and reports from Draycott Fayre 2013

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Your CFR neighbour could save your life

It seems hard to believe – but your best chance of surviving a heart attack probably comes from the fact that there is trained volunteer living just around the corner from you…
These ‘Community First Responders’ volunteers are not to be found in every district – yet for Draycott, we are lucky enough to have twelve dedicated volunteers waiting for that emergency call.

In fact, if you are unfortunate enough to suffer a suspected heart attack, it is quite likely that a CFR will be first on the scene. They are also called out for bad falls; and, more and more, to road traffic accidents, strokes, faints, fittings and bleeds. They hold the fort while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
Which is why the first ‘medic’ you see might well turn out to be your next-door neighbour!


The ‘Fulford & District Community First Responder’ group is the one covering Draycott-in-the-Moors.  It covers a largely rural area – which runs from Hilderstone to Meir Heath, but centring on Fulford and Draycott.  In a ‘remote’ area like ours, ambulances can easily be twenty minutes away, but CFRs, because they live locally, are only five minutes from getting to us.
Responders are just ordinary folk – from businesspeople to retired persons, from young adults to senior citizens – who have all taken the training, provided by the NHS, and have qualified to be able to administer emergency treatment.

Fulford CFR Vehicle

Fulford CFR Vehicle

Why do they do it?  Mel Avis, one of the group’s stalwarts, told us:  “I can only speak for myself in terms of why I joined up – it was basically a mix of gaining new skills and also doing something positive in the local community. But I guess there will be similar drives for anyone who wants to be part of the caring or medical professions.
“Yes, it is quite an undertaking, and we’re a pretty committed bunch of individuals, but I guess the rewards come with the job!!”
None of the volunteers is paid.

Last year, four members of the group left, having been recruited by the West Midlands Ambulance Service. Fortunately there were some willing local residents quickly willing to step in and undergo the intensive training (and re-training – each CFR must re-qualify every three years…)

Busy? Yes!

Mel told us that this CFR group is one of the busiest teams in the region.  In 2013, members responded to nearly 500 emergency calls, and this year is already on course to beat that figure.  That’s an emergency call-out nearly twice every day…
A few of the volunteers, Mel told us, are even qualified to respond on Blue Lights (though they will get Advanced Driver training to make sure they can do this safely).

The twelve members of the team work on a rota – though, of course, they never know what emergency is likely to come up and when.


But what is really astonishing is that such an important service relies completely on donations; as a charity, Fulford CFR, like all other CFRs, is not funded by the NHS.  (Fortunately, a lottery grant last year helped boost the team’s funds, and enabled the purchase of a new emergency vehicle).

So, even if you haven’t the time or inclination to volunteer as an actual responder, you could help with raising funds – from shaking a bucket to sponsored events.


The latest fund-raising venture is the weekly charity-quiz night which is held at the Izaak Walton Inn in Cresswell every Wednesday night (chips provided free!). If you can get along, at least you know your money goes to a good cause.
And, if you are interested in becoming a First Responder, someone will usually be at the quiz night who can answer your queries.  No prior experience is required.

To find out more, or to help, contact the Fulford & District CFRCo-ordinators by email, or phone 07946 185945.

You can also follow the team on their Twitter page.
There are two websites to look at too: The Fulford CFR Website, and the West Mids Ambulance Service CFR Page

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