News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid January 2015
News of…: Blythe cricket new pavilion progress / more transparency demanded of local authorities / give one hour to bird-watching / Foxfield Railway success / traffic on Cresswell Old Lane …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)
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Cricketing in winter
No… the cricket season has not started early! However, the folks at Blythe Cricket Club in Cresswell don’t relax during these months; as maintaining and caring for the club’s future is a year-round activity.
The good news is that the club has been able to announce that it has been successful in progressing to ‘Stage 3’ of their Lottery Grant Application for a new pavilion/community-centre. In practical terms, this means the club is now entitled to some grant-aid to help it to progress in matters such as designs, project-management and business plans. Up until now, it has had to rely on its own fund-raising (and some helpful donations) to try to pay for all the administration costs of the application.
Let’s hope that this is the start of something big – the existing dilapidated pavilion really cannot take too many more years.
Meanwhile, fund-raising goes on: the latest news is that the Your Housing Group has come up with a grant of £300 to help towards better facilities for young players.
Incidentally, the statisticians have been able to reveal that 2014 was Blythe’s best-ever season. Some fine bowling, and an outstanding performance from batsman Alex Heslop (with over 600 runs), really did the trick.
Well done to Blythe!
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Bird-watching at home
The seriously good thing about the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is that you don’t even have to leave your house to take part – yet you are making a serious contribution to the well-being of the wildlife of this country. The RSPB use all the data you will collect to keep an eye on the ups and downs of the birdlife in our own areas.
And all you need to do is spend an hour (sometime over the weekend of 24-25 January) counting the birds in your garden. Easy!
The RSPB make it doubly simple by providing you on their website with a checklist of what to look out for.
There are a number of bird-enthusiasts in Draycott.
At Huntley Wood, Chris Jones & Arthur Trevor erected a bird feeding station during the summer, and they have been encouraging birds to feed there. The idea is to get a perfect site for taking wildlife photographs, and they are also offering courses to anyone who wants to learn how to do so – see Arthur Jones Images .
The feeders make it possible to get remarkably close to the birds…
And remember the wildlife notice-board in Cresswell lay-by, which illustrates some of the less well-known birds that have been seen in this district. You may even see some of them on your garden-watch… with luck.
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Solar panels traffic
Thanks to John Holdcroft, who queried the yellow signs that recently appeared on the road from Draycott to Tean, directing traffic to ‘Solar Park Deliveries’. (See John’s email)
These signs refer to the Novus solar-panels complex that is being built on land belonging to Lower Newton Farm, on Cresswell Old Lane. (See our coverage of the proposal).
Any traffic that goes along Cresswell Old Lane has to negotiate some very narrow stretches, but at least it’s a good thing that the complex’s managers are directing traffic away from the residential part of Cresswell Road.
How are householders in Cresswell Old Lane finding the traffic flow? Please let us know… (see Comments)
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The trend in government at the moment is for ‘transparency’. The problem, it’s said, is that, in the past, councils and local authorities have tended to try to obscure what they do – because they dislike having to be accountable.
So, it’s interesting to see that Staffordshire’s Police Commissioner, Matthew Ellis, has decided to create what he calls a ‘Safer Neighbourhood Panel’ for our area of the Staffordshire Moorlands.
The panel, made up of local people and magistrates, will scrutinise the work done by police in this area and give feedback to their communities. It’s all part of his drive for ‘transparency’ and ‘open accountability’. To find out more visit the Police Commissioner website.
People interested in joining a Safer Neighbourhood Panel in the Moorlands area should email firstname.lastname@example.org
We think it’s a good thing. In a democratic society, surely voters should to be able to find out in a straightforward way what their representatives are up to; and be able to comment easily too on any activities.
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Finally, though the Foxfield Steam Railway is in the next district, at Blythe Bridge, it is near enough for us to congratulate it on its success in the 2014 Heritage Railway Association Awards.
It managed to pick up the award for Steam Railways – and the HRA praised the way that Foxfield has become a serious national visitor attraction.
We know that some people from Draycott volunteer at Foxfield, so congratulations to them too! It is indeed a fantastic achievement.
In case you are anxious to visit Foxfield, we should tell you that trains aren’t due to be running there again until April – but it may be worth sticking a note in your diary……
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