Monthly Archives: July 2012

News of: Sports Centre changes, community funds, a birthday – and more

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in late July 2012.

We have news of:  new faces at Draycott Sports Centre, B–son birthday, cricket success, support for historic churches, Primary School promises, improved broadband (?), more guerilla knitting, and community funds available now – and more.
(There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)
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Old churches need you

If you like to support the historic churches of this county, including the two in Draycott-in-the-Moors, you’ll want to know about the Ride & Stride event that takes place on Saturday 8th September.
This is when fund-raisers do sponsored cycle-rides – or walks – from one historic church to another. Half the money raised by any individual goes to their nominated church and half goes to the Staffordshire Historic Churches Trust, which does such a great job in helping preserve our ancient churches.

This is a great opportunity for someone who maybe isn’t a church-goer but who still thinks our local old churches should be looked after.
Foe details see SCHT Ride & Stride.

As for me, I don’t ride a bike, so I shall be walking from St Margaret’s (Draycott) to St Mary’s (Cresswell) to St Nicholas (Fulford) to Christ Church (Hilderstone). If you see me around, and want to sponsor me, just shout!!
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Happy birthday

Sometimes, when a friend reaches a significant birthday, you just want the world to know…

Bedson birthday sign

Happy birthday – you know who you are…

As you can see from the photo above, which was taken on the Uttoxeter Road through Draycott last week, one group of people decided to erect a large sign to ensure that at least the people of Draycott (and visitors) knew of one significant birthday locally!
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Make a promise…

A lot of Draycott/Cresswell children go to Forsbrook Primary, and the school is having an auction-of-promises in late September.
Already the school has had offers promised such as a voucher for a meal for four and a week in a villa, and right through to the offer by one parent to do somebody’s ironing for an hour!

If you think you can offer a promise, of a gift or a service, no matter how small, the school would like to hear from you.  Contact: Forsbrook Primary
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Broadband … improved…?

Shelagh has written to this website saying that BT has now made some improvements to the Cresswell telephone junction-box.  She says she thinks she’s noticed better results – but wonders if other people in Sandon Road also have.
If you’d like to respond to Shelagh’s query, just click here, then hit the ‘Reply’ link by Shelagh’s name.


Incidentally, we forgot in our last posts to wish Craig Leese good luck as the new Club Manager at Draycott Sports Centre.
Craig is the tennis pro at Draycott, so he knows the centre well, but it will be hard to fill the boots of the previous manager, George Havill.  George, who was quite a character, had been in post for fifteen years before resigning last month, so his presence will be missed.

Taking of sport, congratulations too to batsman Greg Prime at Blythe Cricket Club (whose ground is in Cresswell), who has now passed 500 runs for the season. He’s hotly pursued in the run stakes by the club’s overseas player, Asif Hussain, but poor Asif has not been able to play that many games this season.

By the way, Blythe do seem to have passed the danger mark this season at last. A couple of weeks ago, when they beat Betley, and so reached mid-table safety in the in NSSCL Division 1A. Excellent!
Don’t forget the team have an ‘interesting’ local derby on 25th August. See our Things To Do page.
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Want some funding?

If you have ideas for a small heritage or community project around here, you may be able to pick up a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of anything between £3000-£10,000.

The HLF’s All Our Stories programme is looking for projects that range “…from researching local historic landmarks, learning more about customs and traditions, to delving into archives, and finding out the origins of street and place names.  This new programme will give everyone the chance to explore their heritage and share what they learn with others.”
Applications open online on 31st July 2012.
Good luck – and if you do apply, would you let us know what happens?
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More knitting ‘attacks’

Caroline has contacted us to say that she’s seen yet another instance of a guerrilla knitting ‘attack’ in Draycott, this time on the road-sign on the Uttoxeter Road just before you get to Totmonslow.

Guerilla knitting in Draycott in The Moors

No one has yet ‘claimed responsibility’ for the guerilla knitting outbreaks in Draycott…

We mentioned in our previous article on guerrilla knitting that there were five examples in Draycott. Well, this latest one makes it six! All very mysterious.

*To comment on any of these stories, or suggest some new ones, just use the comments box below


Izaak Walton Inn open for business

STOP PRESS:  Since this post was written, new tenants are in at the Izaak Walton Inn.  See:  Izaak Walton Inn – recent history
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Yes, we know you’ve seen this announcement more than once…
But, after being open and shut for much of the year, the Izaak Walton Inn in Cresswell re-opened this week – again!
And this time, we hope it’s going to be open for a good long period.

Over the last few years, the Izaak has had an up-and-down history, and we’ve lost count of how many managers the pub has had.  To be fair, most were only ever temporary appointments, put in by the owners to keep the business running (at minimum level at least).

John & Trisha

The new tenants, John and Trisha, are new to the world of pubs, but John told me he’s always wanted to take on a quaint pub doing food and quality ales, and, when he was told about the opportunity, he decided that he couldn’t pass it up.

Trisha & John at The Izaak Walton

New to the Izaak – Trisha and John

He and Trisha are from Leicestershire (near Market Harborough) – and north Staffordshire is a totally new part of the world to them.

However, they both reckon they are here to stay.  As a mark of their commitment, they are even looking for a local college for their teenage daughter, Sky (who’s also a talented dancer, apparently).


After a week spent preparing the Izaak’s kitchens, food is back on, though the menu – says Trisha – is still being refined.
If the food is as good as the Bombardier beer (we can testify to how good that is!), then everyone should be happy.

Hours are now set at 12noon to 11pm every day – but there is no email connection as yet at the pub, so, to get in touch, you still need to use the phone  (01782) 392265.

Good luck to Trisha & John!

Draycott Fayre 2012 – report and photos

Well!  What a good day it was!
The St Margaret’s Church Fayre & Vintage Rally in Draycott-in-the-Moors on Sunday July 15th 2012 will be remembered for a long time.

After some very real concerns that the whole event might be washed out, in the end the fields remained dry underfoot and the rain stayed away and, without being T-shirt weather, it was still warm. The sun even came out at intervals.
Thank goodness.

Raising funds

St Margaret’s Fair is a genuine community event. (We know this partly because the man taking the entrance fee from us turned out to be Tony Fletcher, the chairman of the parish council…!)

Girls Tug of War

John Beardmore referees the girls’ tug of war – or … makes the attempt to, as best he can! (Photo: JC)

What’s more, over two-thirds of the stalls were run by local people, all of whom were anxious to raise money to help the village’s historic church with its huge running costs – which is what the day was mainly about.

For example, painter Stuart Tunnicliff (who lives at the Totmonslow end of Draycott) was not only selling his water-colours on the day to raise money for St Margaret’s, but is always willing to take a commission to paint any scene for a customer – just to raise more funds.

A special mention must also go to the staff of Draycott Moor College, who volunteered to run the burger stall. More than once, the huge queue nearly overwhelmed them, but they were so efficient that they managed to get their hungry customers what they wanted fairly quickly.
They raised hundreds of pounds.

An album of lots of photos of the day can be found by clicking here; and if you too have photos that you took on the day, we’d love to see them, and to then put them up too.  Just email us and tell us if you have any photos you can share.

Queen of Draycott

At every interval of the day, there was something to catch the attention – from the dog show to the vintage machinery, from the tug of war to the stalls, and from the magic show to the children’s carousel rides.
Jessica’s Junkyard had to be seen to be believed… while the refreshments stall (run by the Wibberley family) and book stall (Mary Edwards and Brenda Fulford) raised huge amounts of money.

But surely, the main moment was the crowning of the Queen of Draycott.
In honour of the Jubilee year, it was decided that The Draycott Queen should not be chosen from the young girls of the parish, but selected from the more grown up of our local beauties. So – congratulations to ‘Queen’ Lesley Cooper… though no-one seems quite sure what her rights and duties are… Hmm.

Lesley, Queen of Draycott (second from right), is seen here with the three other beauties to have made the royal shortlist (Photo: JC)

However, some of us made sure Queen Lesley’s health was properly drunk to, and we met at the Pop Fishers Bar-Tent to celebrate properly – with some local Titanic beer.

Selwyn’s swansong

The day was also special for Selwyn Edwards. Selwyn is not only the treasurer for St Margaret’s Church, but has also been involved with the fayre ever since its tiny beginnings nineteen years ago.

He has decided to bow out at the top, by telling us all that this year is his final year as chief organiser – so it was especially good that the day went off so well.

Of course, we don’t envy him the tribulations he must have had in the weeks before the day, when this terrible summer of ours threatened to wreck everything (and did in fact force the cancellation of the planned Saturday half of the fayre).
And, don’t forget, he and all his team are volunteers, so it was even more tough.

Rain really could have ruined everything, as the main attractions – some hundred or so vintage cars, motorbikes, military vehicles and puffing mechanical engines – were, of course, open to the elements.

However, the few days of warm, almost-dry weather just before had done the trick – so John Beardmore, Billy Fenton and team, as well as the Highfields Farm owner Paul Ford, were able to mow it just in time and make it passable.

So – congratulations to all the organisers – especially site managers John Clarke, Tom Sales (who ran the tractors, vintage cars and commercial vehicles sections) and Daniel Newton, and a very special nod to Selwyn of course, for a great day.
All’s well that ends well!

(And if you have a comment to make about the day – do add it, in the little box at the bottom of this page)

See also the: Photos of the St Margaret’s Summer Fayre, Draycott-in-the-Moors 2012

Rains cause flooding

It’s quite easy to believe that this year we’ve had some of the wettest summer weeks on record.

It’s been a very worrying time for the organisers of the St Margaret’s Fair, which is due to take place in the centre of the village across all this weekend (July 14 & 15).
Because the fields are just sodden, the fair has had to be reduced to just the Satuday night disco and the Sunday activities. The whole of Saturday’s daytime activities have been cancelled.

Flood Friday

There were reports of flooding (temporary for the most part thank goodness) all across the Draycott in the Moors area last Friday (6th July).
‘Flood Friday’ the local newspaper, The Blythe & Forsbrook Times, called it!

At Brookside (the group of homes just up from the Draycott Arms), even the footbridge over the ford was covered in water.

Of course, as the report commissioned by VVSM had discovered, the land around the River Blithe in Cresswell is indeed a flood plain – so it was not surprising that the river surged up during Friday’s torrential downpour.

Flood over Blithe River footbridge (photo: JL)

As you can see in the photo above, this footbridge over the river, behind Blythe Business Park, was simply overcome. Thanks to Jacquie for the photo.

Flood at Blythe Business Park (photo: JL)

And in this photo, you can see the effect on the Business Park itself. Some staff tried their best to shore up the river banks, but the rain was incessant.
You may remember that, here, in 1987,  stock was washed away during the floods;  although, thankfully, this incident wasn’t as bad.

The weird thing is that it is St Swithin’s Day on Sunday (15th July). The legend is that if it rains on that day, it will then rain for a further forty days. But the good news is that the sun is set to shine on Sunday. The BBC Weather forecast says so!

The tennis courts at Draycott Sports Centre have been rained off many times…

Do you also have a photo or short video of a local scene showing the effect of the rain? If so, we love to see it:  please email it to us.

Related articles
St Swithin’s Day set to be dry

News of: big concert, speedwatch, phone box plans

News-in-brief of Draycott In The Moors in early July 2012.
We have news of: a big (free) concert, Community Speedwatch plans, plant discounts, reactions to Wetherspoons and progress for the phone kiosk – and more.
(There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)
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The concert of the year!

Are you all ready for Draycott In The Moors big concert, which takes place this Saturday (July 7th)?
The Cricket Club – in Cresswell Lane, near the Izaak Walton Pub – has managed to get hold of Murphy’s Marbles, one of the leading bands doing fun Irish music, and are putting them on on a big outdoor stage.
The ‘Marbles’ are a cross between The Dubliners and The Pogues, and really do do a exciting, enthusiastic, dance-style gig.

The bonus is: the whole event is free!!
The club hope however you might spend a little cash in the bar on food and drink…

Murphy’s Marbles

Alison Grimley, chairman of Blythe Cricket Club, told us:  “We would love to see as many local people here as possible.  Hopefully the weather will be great – but, if not, the event will be under cover, so not even the Great British Weather can dampen our enthusiasm.”
That’s the spirit!

Watch your speed

The Community Speedwatch group of local residents is still maintaining its work on the residential part of Sandon Road, and is now set to expand by setting up second vigil further up the road, by the Hunter pub (on the fork to Saverley Green).
They told us: “This is an extremely dangerous junction and we have logged quite a few cars breaking the speed limit.”

Jacquie & Roger, who organise the sessions, say they are also willing to help anyone on the main Uttoxeter Road through Draycott to set up another speed-watch there, but so far no residents on the stretch have come forward.
The duties are not heavy: one can volunteer to do as little as an hour a fortnight, and there is a day’s training from the police too.
Just call Draycott Community Speedwatch on 01782 388077 if you want to discuss it.

Kids can act up all they want

The rain has been relentless, hasn’t it, and you may be worried about how to entertain the kids this summer.
Well, if they enjoy acting, The Venue performing-arts centre at Tean has a weekly drama & dance day-session starting in two weeks’ time. It takes place every Monday, and is £10 for the day.
See Fusion Performance news for details.

Gardening gloves… on

The rain has however been good for some gardens. Neil & Carolyn at Draycott Plant Nurseries want to encourage you to think like this (!), and local people should be getting, or have already got, a voucher through the door offering a discount at the nursery.
It’s Carolyn and Neil’s first summer in the business, and they are keen to make friends…

Telephone kiosk plans progress

You may be wondering whether VVSM – the informal residents group for Draycott/Cresswell/Totmonslow – followed up their idea to create a new use for the old telephone box in Cresswell.  Well, yes, they did!
VVSM told us: “We have submitted an application to the Community Fund for £1,000 to work on the telephone kiosk. We have asked the Parish Council if they will adopt it officially – and they are coming back to us.
In fact, a group has already been started up to look after the kiosk and the lay-by in which it stands. We have already had an offer from a resident on Sandon Road, who would like to join us and the VVSM committee would like to thank him.”
The kiosk may be used as a local ‘information point’ if it can be adopted.

As a way of raising funds for the group, VVSM also now have a stall at Cresswell car-boot sale – and are asking for donations of goods to sell.
We’re told that some donations have already come in (thanks to – John Beardmore, Laura & Andy Bird and Shelagh Wood!) but more is needed.
VVSM ask you to bring goods to 49 Sandon Road in Cresswell, or just ring Roger, who may be able to pick up, on 01782 388077.

Old pub preserved

We’ve had some good reports of the new Wetherspoons pub which has just opened in Cheadle. Wetherspoons has a reputation for taking old buildings and refurbishing them sensitively – and it looks like they’ve done something similar with The Wheatsheaf, which is an eighteenth century former coaching inn.
The pub does intend to open from 8am, all day every day, so it’s going mean quite a culture change in Cheadle.
See what Jacquie said about The Wheatsheaf – and add your own comments if you like…

*To comment on any of these stories, or suggest some new ones, just use the comments box below

Summer Fair – programme

STOP PRESS:  The Saturday daytime activities have been cancelled because the fields are simply too sodden.


Draycott’s big community day is almost upon us… and excitment is growing!

Yes, in a few days –  on the weekend of the 14th/15th July 2012 to be exact – the annual St Margaret’s Summer Fayre is back with us.  It takes place at Highfield Farm on ‘Ford’s Field’, which is the big field alongside the main road through the area.
It attracts hundreds of people each year, raising much-needed community funds in the process.

In the past, it has been mainly a vintage-vehicle show plus extras, but this year it spreads to two days and will feature a lot, lot more than just the vehicle event.

English: Tug-o-War at Kirkmichael Highland Gam...

A tug of war competition is just one highlight of the Fair

Selwyn Edwards, the organiser, tells us that, therefore, the event will be bigger and better than ever!

Lots of things to do

As well as the vintage vehicles on display, there will be lots of stalls, from crafts-stalls to garden-produce to the now legendary cake-stall. Many of the organisations which play such a role in local life, from the Women’s Institute to the U3A, will also have information points telling people about what they do.
One highlight will be the Draycott Crafts Group stall, which will be selling work they’ve made through the year.
If you want more details of these, you’ll need to contact Pauline Clarke.

The Saturday evening disco & Karaoke, which will be run by Gracelands DJ, has been a success in previous years, and it’s been decided that you can’t have too much of a good thing; so it’s on again. (Entry to the bar and disco, which is in the large marquee in the field and starts at 8pm, is just £2.50 for adults).

John Beardmore is the MC

On Sunday, the ‘Draycott-Olympics’ commence!  It’s all for fun of course, but the games are an opportunity for all children to take part. For details of the type of games, and how to get involved, see the section further down this page.

The small print

Of course, you get nothing this good for free, but the admission price to the event has been kept down. It’s £2.50 entry for adults, with school-age children getting in for the bargain price of … well, nothing at all!

Both Saturday and Sunday day are the same admission price, and a bar is open on both days too.

To summarise:
SATURDAY (11am-4.30pm): car boot sale, gymkhana (GYMKHANA  NOW CANCELLED – as of 7th July), stalls, tug-o-war competition, tractor demonstrations, vintage vehicles rally.
SATURDAY EVENING (8pm-midnight):   Disco & Karaoke
SUNDAY (11am-4pm): Punch & Judy show, magic show, dog show competition, sword fighting demonstration, stalls, vintage vehicles parade, Best-dressed Queen competition, children’s ‘Olympics’, barbeque.

The refreshments tent is always well-attended…

St Margaret’s

The profits will largely go to helping with the running costs of St Margaret’s Church, the 13th century church that you can see looking down on Draycott.

It takes tens of thousands of pounds a year to maintain this lovely and historic church, so fund-raising such as this is always welcome. (If you want to look round the church, it is likely to be open during Heritage Weekend in early September, so put that date in your diary…)

To mark the fact that St Margaret’s Church is the centre of attention, there will be a small service, conducted in the marquee, at 5pm on the Saturday,  ie, between the gates shutting for the day-session and opening again for the disco. If you want to attend, ask St Margaret’s rector, Reverend David Bickersteth, about the details.

Take part

As well as those who run stalls, there is a real opportunity this year for the rest of us to take part.
Basically, there will be an open Dog Show competition, a tug-o-war competition, and games for the youngsters.  Competitors will want to contact Tom (01782 398282) for details of how to enter. Pubs, groups, church-organisations and neighbourhoods etc will need to contact John Clarke for details of how to enter teams into the tug-o-war.
Meanwhile, the childrens’ games – featuring Egg & Spoon races, tug-o-war, race through tyres (stepping into), and a rather cute wheelbarrow race etc – are ones kids can just volunteer to enter on the day, but if you want more information, again, John Clarke is the man to contact.

For us older folk (!), there is one competition restricted to over-50s only; and that’s the Best-Dressed Queen competition on Sunday. You can come as a lookalike to Elizabeth II, or you can just dress up in as regal a finery as you can find in your wardrobes.
For stalls, the dog show and The Queen competition, contact Pauline.

It sounds like it will be a brilliant weekend, and let’s hope – for Selwyn’s sake, as much as ours! – that the weather is kind.

We’re crossing our fingers….