Category Archives: community action

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 moves for closure of 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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Trying to close the college

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 closed…

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 bad news is that the parish council, at its July meeting, has decided to write to the Staffordshire Education Committee to ask it to withdraw its support for 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, a number of the councillors expressed a desire to see the school shut down.  By writing to the Education Committee, they hope they are taking the first step to achieving that goal.

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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.

- – –
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)

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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.

Highlights

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.

Photos

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!

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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.

barn-owl-moon

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 enquiries@staffs-ecology.org.uk 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…!

Cresswell

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.

otter

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)

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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.

Refreshments…
* 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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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.

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!

CFRs

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.

Fund-raising

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.

Quiz

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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Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
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(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: local markets / World Cup / path closure

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late May 2014 
We have news of…:  a car-boot sale in Cresswell, a nearby produce market, and a car-wash in Draycott / where to watch the World Cup locally / PCouncil approves footpath closure / Jean Tunnicliff passes away.
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

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Saturday shopping

Well, you wait ages for a market – then two come along at once!  And they are both taking place this Saturday (31st May).

First, the local community group, the CCG, are staging a car-boot sale on Saturday between 10am-2pm (weather permitting), at the Izaak Walton Inn.  It is a joint venture between the group and the pub to raise funds for a mobile defibrillator, which will be sited in a case on the outside of the pub.
Latest advice is that all villages should have a defibrillator – as, after a cardiac arrest, it acts to deliver an electrical current through the chest, which shocks the heart back into action.  Because time is of the essence after cardiac arrest, they are – literally – life-savers.
If you want a table at the car-boot, contact Shelagh Wood (07818 610248) or email CCG.  They cost £5 apiece.

Meanwhile, at next-door village Hilderstone, they are starting a monhtly fully-blown local produce market in their village hall – also on Saturday (but in the morning only – 10am to 12.30pm).  They are looking right now for craftspeople and produce people to take stalls, and welcome folks from Draycott & Cresswell.
So, if you make anything from jewellery to cheese, you might like to hire a table, which costs £5. Money goes to the Church Fund.
Incidentally, if you only produce a few potatoes, or just have a few flowers from the garden, you don’t have to take out a whole table. You can add them to the ‘General Produce Table’, at no charge.
Contact Jennifer for details.

And finally, don’t forget that tomorrow (Wednesday 27 May), you can get your car washed in the Draycott Arms car park for the Midlands Air Ambulance charity.

It’s all go, isn’t it?

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En-ger-lund, En-ger-lund!

Talking of action, you will not have forgotten that, in just two weeks time, the Soccer World Cup gets under way.
But… where should a true fan go to watch the games?
Well, in Draycott, you are spoiled for choice.

Brazil-is-hosting-the-2014-FIFA-World-Cup

Brazil hosts the World Cup

At the Draycott Sports Centre, all the matches are being screened in the bar, and the centre’s new bar licence will allow the serving of alcohol until midnight.
For England’s game on Saturday 14 June, which doesn’t start in the UK until 11pm, the club is putting on a whole evening of entertainment, including a pub quiz from 8pm.  Fans will need to buy all their post-midnight drinks at half-time!

The Izaak Walton is also pulling out the stops.  The TV in the pub’s bar will carry the games, with free bowls of chips at half-time at England matches to keep the supporters’ strength up. The Izaak has the same arrangement for post-midnight drinks on Sat 14 June as the sports centre.

It’s worth keeping an eye on the two venues’ Facebook pages for any World Cup updates.

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Footpath to close

Draycott Parish Council has given its support to the closure of footpath 18a, the 100 yard stretch that runs from St Mary’s Church in Cresswell down to Railway Cottages.  It seems a shame to lose that footpath, as – if another bit of land had been loaned in the future – it could have been a route through to the start of the old-railway track, which is now being developed as a ramblers’ trail.
However, it has little real use at the moment.

Talking of the Parish Council, its annual accounts are now available for inspection and comment, until late June.  Contact the parish clerk to be able to go and see them.

And, talking of government in general, our votes have now been counted in the European Parliament elections and the results are in.
Draycott in the Moors is part of the West Midlands Region, where we now have two Tory, two Labour and three UKIP MEPs representing us.

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Condolences

Finally our condolences to Stuart Tunnicliff, whose wife Jean has just passed away.  Many will know Stuart, who has been a stalwart of Draycott life for many years.
Back in 2009, he and Jean bravely spoke to the newspapers about the news that not just one of them, but both of them, had developed cancers; and how they had dealt with the shock.

Stuart Tunnicliffe

Stuart Tunnicliffe sold some of his paintings at the 2012 St Margaret’s Fayre to help out fund-raising for the church

By one of those sad ironies of fate, Stuart has just been featured in the Sentinel newspaper – where his memories of Longton Garages made fascinating reading.

***
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.

Forty year old Brownie pack

Prepare to go back in time…
Can anyone identify the members of this Draycott Brownie pack?  The photo was taken in 1975, in Draycott Church Hall.

Draycott brownie pack in 1975

… the way we were …

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

Mary Edwards (Brown Owl in the picture) started the troop in July 1973, and it ran until 1994.  Mary told us: “It was a wonderful time and there were some fantastic girls – some I am still in contact with today”.

We are also told that there had been a Brownies unit before, led by a Mrs. Burton, but we have no more information.  If you know any more facts, would you contact us?

Sadly, you won’t find a Brownie group in Draycott these days, or even a Girl Guides unit.  The Threapwood Guides Division, which caters to most of the south Moorlands including Draycott, can help you find the nearest one though, if you want to enrol your daughter.  There is a Brownies group at Forsbrook.

Some may even remember The Brownie Law: “A Brownie guide thinks of others before herself and does a good turn every day.”
I wonder if these former Brownies still remember their Promise?

Sara Kellaway

The photo is just one of many sent in to us by Sara Gibson (nee Kellaway).  Her father John Kellaway was very well-known in Draycott, serving as the People’s Warden at St Margaret’s Church for nearly 30 years, until 1984.
Sara was married to Barry Tabbinor.  Barry died in 1983.

Sara, who liked to help her father in his duties at the church, says he and she saw many rectors and curates come and go – including Reverends Chadwick, Healey, Bateman, and Wheeler, not forgetting ‘stand-ins’ such as Canon Charles Fox.

Sara, who remarried ten years ago, moved out to Australia recently.  Her son Simon and his family live out there.
Naturally, she sends best wishes to anybody who remembers her!

More photos from Sara’s collection to come…

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If you too would like to submit a photo or short video for this Photo spot, please get in touch

NEWS: bus misery / bar belle! / photo comp / solar farm response

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in early to mid May 2014 
We have news of…:  decimation of bus services / activity from The Izaak / a photo competition for Draycott / a response to the solar-farm plan
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

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Disastrous bus changes

The new summer-season bus timetables, which have just been released, make pretty horrible reading for Draycott. Services have been decimated.

The proud X50 service – which came in a couple of years ago with hourly services to Hanley and Uttoxeter – has been steadily whittled away, and is now reduced to a pitiful two buses a day, one in each direction.
The 182 service is no better.
And the 249 and 7A have disappeared altogether.

The 4 (the one that turns to go to Cresswell and then Stone) is much the same as it was, but it only has few runs anyway. The bad news there is that now we are getting more reports (about that service) of cancelled buses, and buses that turn up significantly late.
However, we should count our blessings – without the county council subsidy, it probably wouldn’t be there at all.

To find out which buses are currently running in Draycott in the Moors, click here.

Cresswell junction bus shelter

Cresswell junction bus shelter – no timetable to be seen

It would be somewhat bearable if we could be sure of what times these few buses were turning up, if at all. But the timetable-forms seem to be missing on more than one of our bus-stops. Only in Cresswell – thanks to the Community Group’s kiosk – can one be sure of finding a ‘hard-copy’ of the timetable.
We were told that there was a phone-number we could call to find out if a bus had been cancelled, but if there is, we can’t discover it. Anybody know it?

Burnt out bus timetable

Burnt out bus timetable at New Avenue shelter – not been replaced for months

Of course, if you can get to Blythe Bridge, things do get significantly better.
The best route-finder for all journeys is still Traveline – but don’t be surprised if it advises you to “first: walk to Blythe Bridge”!

The question is: can anything be done about this mess?
Colin Bostock has already told us about the lack of buses and how it is affecting his caravan-site visitors; and it is also clearly creating huge problems for older people trying to get to appointments.

If you feel strongly about all this, you might want to attend the Draycott Parish Council AGM, which takes place on Monday 19th May; and make your views known. As far as we know, the council have not yet taken action over this issue.

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Cresswell’s energy

Talking of Cresswell Community Group, they have now published their response to the planning application for a solar energy farm proposed for Newton.

The CCG seem broadly to welcome it, especially as it seems to pose no threat to wildlife. View their response by clicking here.

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Barbelle – what a lovely creature

Barbelle beer

Hello Barbelle…

Welcome to Barbelle!
This lovely creature can be seen perched on the bar at the Izaak Walton every night of the week; and is much favoured by the gentlemen who frequent the place.

However, before your imaginations go wild (!), we need to tell you that the Izaak commissioned a beer to be brewed for the pub and ran a competition to name it.
Anthony Reynolds’ nomination ‘Barbelle’ was eventually chosen as the moniker because of the pun in the name – a ‘Belle’ of the bar and the barbel fish (angling is a well-established theme at the Izaak).

Despite that excitement, Kathy and her team have managed now to settle down after the first few volatile weeks of opening – though she admits that the lack of a proper bus service (again!) makes it hard sometimes to attract staff.

She’s reaching out to the community now; and the first charity quiz takes place next week (on Wed 14 may) when the benefiting charity will be the local ‘Community First Responders’.  All welcome!

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Calling all snappers

Do remember, by the way, that the biggest date you should have in your diary already is – no, not the World Cup Final! – the weekend of this year’s Draycott Summer Fayre, which is on July 12 & 13.
The fayre is a major fund-raiser for St Margaret’s Church and helps to keep this ancient building in good nick.

A new fund-raising product this year will be a calendar, which will have in it a dozen photos of the lovely old church itself. But the creators of the calendar really need more photos, so that the dozen that will be in it really are the best possible.

St Margaret's church in snow

St Margaret’s church in snow

So… they want YOU to submit your photos of the church. It’s a completion; so there are prizes! All photos must be emailed in by 1st July; and will be on display at the fayre.
Email your entries (or queries) to St Margaret’s Church Photo Comp.

***
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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!

NEWS: new car park / holiday plans / scorer needed / Bear Withers / no play

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late April 2014 
We have news of…:  play-area plan abandoned / summer holiday planning / cricket season off to good start / Bear Withers regular slot / car-park improvement at hall…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

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Play-facilities now in the long grass

Following a well-attended public meeting in which residents and management at Draycott Moor College exchanged frank views, it seems that the chance for Draycott’s children to have their own play-area has now gone.

Some eighteen months ago, the college authorities offered the use of its small green space play-area (the one next to the college that fronts on to Draycott Old Road) to the parish council.

However the council has been unable to find anyone to take the responsibility for locking the area up at night. So, the college has now decided it may be better off converting the area into a car-park.

The meeting did also manage to resolve a number of other issues, including, ironically enough, the problem of the numbers of cars parking in the street outside the college.

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We’re all going on a …

Yes, it will be the summer holidays before we know it.  However, Chrissi Thompson, the youth worker who runs the Draycott youth club every Thursday at the church hall, is one who has definitely remembered that they are coming up.

Chrissi has organised a meeting for Wednesday 30th April at 7.30pm to discuss and plan for local children’s activities during the long days of July and August. She would welcome anyone interested in helping out and organising.
The meeting takes place at Blythe Methodist Church Hall – for more information please contact Chrissi.

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Play up, Blythe!

The first team at Blythe Cricket Club (which plays in Cresswell) has started the season well, winning their first two games.
The facilities for watching at the club are really very good – so if you find yourself at a loose end on a weekend, do stroll along and watch some good cricket. What’s more, this year, the first team is enhanced by the presence of a new professional, the Sri Lankan bowler Upul Indrasiri.
(See What’s On Page for forthcoming home games).

Blythe Cricket flag

The flag now flying at the club pays tribute to the Under-13 side, which had such a successful 2013 season

And… if you have a number of Saturdays or Sundays free, you could even be very useful to the club: as they are looking for volunteers to act as scorers. The duties are not arduous (!), and you get free cups of tea…
Email Blythe CC for details.

Incidentally, senior and junior practice nights are on Tuesday and Friday respectively at 6pm; while players are still required for the Sunday league team. The Sunday league team is not necessarily looking for the most skilled players…

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Bear with it

If watching cricket sounds too tiring (!), you may enjoy midweek nights at the Draycott Arms.   The Bear Withers group, which specialises in a combination of humour and covers of the better pop hits, practises there in the bar every Wednesday; and it’s a bit of fun to go along and hear what they are up to.

Bear Withers

Bear Withers – a pint and a tune

It’s a laid-back session, so if you don’t mind that it’s a more of a ‘jam’ than a finished set, you’ll always leave with a smile on your face.
There are no loud amplifiers, so your ears are quite safe. And it’s free, of course.

- – –
Surface renovations

It has been a very good couple of years for the church hall, where the roof has been fixed, insulation installed, the heating system upgraded, and there has been all-round decoration. It’s all part of an effort to make the hall more attractive to anyone who wishes to hire it.

Church Hall car park

The new church hall car park – freshly tarmac-ed over

The latest improvement has seen the hall’s car-park re-surfaced – so no more crunching sounds as car-axles hit potholes.

Now, if someone can just fix bumpy ol’ Church Lane too…

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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: road death / bus cuts / tea club / E eggs / new web

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid April 2014 
We have news of…:  young woman dies in traffic accident / cuts to the X50 service / news of regular tea clubs / local eggs for sale / new websites go online / trials for the Izaak…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

- – –
Traffic death

The sad news is that there has been a death on the roads of Draycott.
Around half-past eight on Monday morning (14th April), a car and a lorry were involved in a crash, and the young woman driving the car was seriously injured. She died later in hospital.

Tributes

Local residents have already been laying tributes of flowers at the spot of the accident

The young lady, who was only 29 years old, has not been identified yet.
The causes of the crash, which took place on the main Uttoxeter Road (near New Avenue), are being investigated. If you can help with any information, you can call 01785 234094 or 101 – quoting ‘incident 123 of April 14’.

Update:  since this item was written, the young victim has been identified – as Christie Gallon, a hospital nurse from Cheadle

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Bus service depleted

It looks like we can expect only to see more cars on that length of Uttoxeter Road  – because Wardle’s, which operates the frequent X50 buses that come through Draycott along that stretch, have announced that they are severely cutting the service back.
The cuts might even leave just the one X50 service a day out of Draycott – in the early morning, to Hanley – and one service back to Draycott – in the early evening, from Hanley.

At other times of day, it may have to be a matter of walking up to Blythe Bridge, for most of us, to catch the buses from there.

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Yes, there will be tea & cakes

The other week, we reported that it was a shame that there are no regular community drop-in sessions in Draycott-in-the-Moors. Around us, in other villages, there are weekly or monthly tea-&-cakes events.

Well, we now stand corrected – and we apologise.  Because, at Cresswell’s St Mary Church annexe, there is, yes, a monthly afternoon tea session – and all are welcome.
One of the organisers, Margaret Mountford, told us that about a dozen people go along, mostly older people, and they enjoy good conversation and excellent baking.
The next one is on April 24 (see our What’s On page).

And, we have also been told that we should really mention the luncheon club at Blythe Bridge, which meets every Wednesday between 9am–2pm. It is run by volunteers, and is primarily for people in their later years. A meal and activities are laid on.
This activity is run by three teams of volunteers, from the Moorlands Home Link organisation.
MHL tell us that more volunteers would be very welcome – you’d only be needed about once a month. Contact Moorlands Home Link by email, or on 01538 750511.

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Izaak tribulations

The poor old management at The Izaak Walton have been going through a torrid time over the last two weeks.
First, the cellar kept flooding, and then manager Kathy suffered an electric shock, and had to be taken to hospital (only for a short time, thank goodness).
Sudden necessary improvements have also meant that the pub has had to close at short notice for a few hours – so some folks have turned up only to find the place ‘dark’.

However, we are assured that all is well now – and that the Easter weekend & Monday will be one for all at the pub to enjoy.

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Easter eggs

Talking of Easter, the hens are again laying, so local chicken-keepers are again offering their free-range, home-produced eggs for sale.

Fresh eggs sign

Fresh eggs for sale at a house in Cresswell Lane

Local farmers too make a special effort at this time of year. We noticed that Lower Manor Farm (on Uttoxeter Road, almost opposite the church) is not just selling eggs but wilja potatoes too.

We even bought some goose eggs at the Draycott Arms pub. They had the biggest yolks we’ve ever seen…

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New sites on the block

Finally, two new local websites to be aware of…
The webmaster for the St Margaret’s Church site has completely rebuilt it; and it now has a fresher, less complicated feel.  However, most of the ‘URLs’ have changed, so you will find that you need to re-set your favourites.
See: new St Margaret’s website

Also, the recently-formed Cresswell Community Group decided that it needed a website for its launch, so it created one – and you’ll find news and views about Cresswell on there. See: new CCG website

This new community group was formed after a decision to make the local VVSM group concentrate more on planning issues and major campaigns, and less about resolving matters at the grassroots.
So, the Cresswell Community Group will fill the gap – looking at street-level neighbourhood issues and opinions in Cresswell. It will be having regular get-togethers too, we are told, so look out for dates of those on its new website.
Members of CCG will be also be present at the Police’s drop-in session tomorrow (Wednesday April 15, at 2pm) at the lay-by on Sandon Road.

***
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).