Category Archives: community action

NEWS: speedwatch group / money available / fun nights ahead / history book

In this post we have news of…: Speedwatch group for Draycott level / community fund deadline / a rockin’ time for all coming up! / local history book is back … …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including a Remembrance Poppy Ball. Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Draycott speed watch

Good news! Enough people have now volunteered in order to make the formation of a Draycott Speedwatch group possible. Although Cresswell has had a Speedwatch group for over five years, so far it’s been hard to raise the necessary enthusiasm for a sister one in Draycott.
This good news because if there’s one thing that residents report a lot it’s the excessive speeds of some motorists roaring along Draycott Level.

Speedwatch groups work with the local police, and are issued with official jackets and radar guns. This gives them the right to stand on the roadside and monitor the speeds of local passing motorists. They report the worst offenders.

You may have seen the thoughtful comment by Zara Hutson, the owner of The Draycott Arms. She says: “We are the only village in the area that doesn’t have some form of speed-reducing features – along the straightest and fastest stretch around! Everywhere else has humps, bumps, islands and lights, but Draycott doesn’t even have a mid-point (traffic island) for crossing halfway at a time.
“The speed some people abuse this at is terrifying.
“For me the new housing development itself are good things – a slightly bigger population will hopefully kick start a community that has stagnated. However, the access for the development at that (eastern) end of Draycott needs reviewing first, along with traffic calming measures throughout.”

If you think you can spare an hour every fortnight and join the Speedwatch group, contact Kate Bradshaw. Kate, who lives on Draycott Level herself, has very strong views about speed, and also thinks extra houses at Blythe Vale will cause an issue. The development, she says: “…would cause carnage … it is totally in the wrong place because of its proximity to traffic coming off the roundabout.”

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History book re-issued

As we reported before, all the books about the history of this district (a History Of The Parish of Draycott-en-le-Moors by Matthew Pointon) recently sold out.

Cover of Draycott history bookHowever, Mathew tells us he is still getting requests for copies, so he is now doing his best to satisfy the late-comers. He’s arranged an account on Lulu.Com (the self-publishing website) – which means the book is newly available!
Fortunately for us, Matthew is disregarding inflation rises since the first publication and is keeping the cover price at £10 – though VAT and p&p will push the cost up slightly. To order a copy, just click on here and follow the prompts.

Those of you who would prefer an e-book/Kindle version may want to wait a couple of weeks though. Matthew is in the process of figuring how that might work!

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Lots of local events to go to

As is usual at this time of year, suddenly there are loads of events being announced. As most of them are in walking distance (almost), you don’t even need a car to get to them!

Half-term is always good for kids round here of course with kids’ sports camp days in Cresswell, and soccer sessions in Blythe Bridge. (This latter venture is being funded by Forsbrook parish council – nice to see a parish council being so pro-active).
However, it’s not just about kids: for the adults, there are quizzes, dances, rock concerts, talks and more, all within a three-mile radius. Don’t forget the fireworks display at Forsbrook too.swinging sixties band with dr shevlin

And if you want a night for memories: howazbout a Swinging Sixties gig? If anybody remembers Doctor Shevlin, who worked at both Tean and Blythe Bridge surgeries, it’s good to report that retirement has not slowed him down – he is the guitarist with the ‘Swinging Sixties’ band (see pic above)…!

To check all the details of all the local events over the next couple of months, just click here.

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Apply now to community fund

It has been a long time in coming, but finally money from the local Solar Farm Community Fund is going to be handed out.
This is the money donated every year by the owners of the solar farm in Newton (Cresswell), to be used to underwrite community ventures across the Draycott civil-parish area (which includes Totmonslow, Cresswell, Draycott Cross etc).
Our local area-council has the task of sorting through the applications and choosing the best initiatives.

So far, only one set of applicants has managed to meet all the criteria: the committee of the Draycott Community Hall (aka the old Church Hall) in Church Lane has asked for £500 to help them install some insulating & flame-proof curtains. Anyone who knows the church hall will know how huge those windows are, and £500 won’t even pay half the cost of curtains for them, though it will help of course.

Draycott Church Hall windows

One of the Draycott Church Hall windows

If you thinking that you have an idea to improve the local community, the deadline to apply for the current round of grants is November 10th. Check out how to apply by clicking here.

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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

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NEWS: repairs / illegal planter / lots of industry / river trouble

In this post we have news of…: volunteers do self-help repairs / illegal planter / industrial hubs dumped in Draycott / River Blithe in trouble …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including a harvest supper. Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Doing it for themselves

Well done to those folk who have recently decided not to wait for whatever authorities to act, but to get out and fix some local street items themselves. According to a correspondent on the local Facebook page, it was all done by “community-minded” residents.

So… one of the parish council notice boards – the one on Draycott Level which was kicked over some time at the beginning of last month – now stands again! Its legs are a little shorter now, but as they are buried up to their top in soil, no one notices.
The torn felting on top of the Cresswell bus-shelter roof has been waiting a little longer for repairs, some six months or more, but it too has had a repair in the past week and now has a lovely new covering tacked on to it.

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The government is very much saying that local people must now volunteer to get out there and fix things in their communities themselves if they want them done – and it looks like someone is taking that advice to heart.

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Illegal weeds

One little job that, sadly, hasn’t been done by the authorities is the removal of the old planter (on our main junction, of Uttoxeter Rd and Cresswell Lane). A year ago, Draycott Parish Council promised to remove this eyesore, which has broken legs and is full of weeds, but so far they seem unable to locate a man & van to do it.Planter Draycott Junction

It further turns out, as the council’s clerk revealed at the last meeting, that it is probably illegally sited. It seems that you can’t just plonk a planter down in a public space – you need permission, and a licence to say you have permission. (Who knew?)

Maybe the news that it is an illegal will hurry along said removal.

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Pity the poor Blithe

We had an interesting email from Nigel Peake the other week. There are probably very few people who know this village as well as Nigel, and he says that in all his days he has never been so concerned about the river.
He wrote:  “Sit on the bridge and watch the river go by??! A joke!!!! The river is virtually weed bound, hardly any river to see. I’ve mentioned this to a Parish councillor in the past, and as usual, naff all done. I was born and bred in Cresswell, and I’ve honestly NEVER seen the river in such poor condition.”

The River Blithe runs into Draycott from Blythe Bridge, before going on to Tittesworth reservoir and eventually meeting the Trent at King’s Bromley near Rugeley. It’s quite a significant river, and is the real reason that Blythe Colours settled here over a hundred years ago.

Nigel is right of course. It’s partly the invasion of Himalayan balsam – the weed that spreads like wildfire – which is choking the river, and partly the constant need to keep de-silting the water-course, which isn’t happening.

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Even the tributary into it, which runs from The Hunter pub through Paynsley fields and meets the main Blithe at the Blythe Business Base, is virtually invisible right now.
Further up, near to Wastegate Farm/The Hunter, the landowner is even now putting in extra drainage pipes, presumably to help it along.

Anyone got any ideas on how to save the Blithe?

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Bringing industry to Draycott

The chance to comment on the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s ‘Local Plan – Preferred Options 2017’ has now passed. The results of the feedback should be known in the New Year, but we already know that many of the comments were deeply unfavourable.

Residents in both Draycott and Cresswell felt a bit frustrated that any comment by them objecting to the Blythe Park expansion, or to the Blythe Vale development, would be ignored – as the approval for both has already been passed, and the Local Plan only looks at future scenarios.

But, surprisingly, there was a mention of the developments in the council’s documents. They figure in the section on the council’s industrial strategy policy: –

•   8.26          Note that: no rural employment allocations are proposed … given that in May 2016 the Council granted outline approval for a major residential and industrial scheme in the countryside at Cresswell (Blythe Park expansion) covering approx 8.58ha of employment land.  This satisfies the District’s residual employment land requirement for 2016-2031.
And –

Note that: the 48.5ha allocation of land at Blythe Vale (Policy DSR1) for mixed uses responds to a special regional requirement for high quality, employment development independent of the general employment land requirements for the District set out in Policy E2.

In other words, ALL the region’s industrial development, for rural areas, for the next 15 years is allocated to … Cresswell & Draycott !

So, expect the fields along the ridge overlooking Uttoxeter Road to be changing over the next few years – from quiet arable land to widespread warehousing and more.
And none of our political representatives, from local level to Parliament, seem that bothered.

***
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: grand opening / assault / Local Plan / fest success

In this post we have news of…: new community facility opened / man attacked / Local Plan emergency meeting / Cloggerfest success …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including a meeting to discuss a Speed-Watch project for Draycott Level. Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Assault

The Saturday night at the beginning of this month (2nd Sept) was not a good night to be out late on Draycott Level. A very loud group of lads were singing their way along Uttoxeter Road at 1.30 in the morning, a man was robbed and assaulted, and it was probably this night that a notice-board was kicked over and broken.

The worst incident, of a young man being assaulted, took place on the pavement almost opposite Stuart Avenue. The man was kicked and robbed of his wallet and jacket by a small group of youths who had jumped out of a car that was following.

Broken notice-board Sept 2017

The parish notice-board on Draycott Level – kicked over

An ambulance was called – but fortunately the injuries were not serious; and a friend, who had been walking with the victim, though he was chased, did manage to get away unscathed.
Curiously, the car had returned by this point – and the jacket and wallet thrown back (though some money was apparently missing).
Naturally, the police are looking for as much information as they can get. The car involved was a silver-coloured hatchback with one front light missing. If you know anything, they’d like you to call 101 and mention the reference number, which is 59 (Sept 3rd).

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Local Plan discussion

Draycott Parish Council called an emergency meeting this week to discuss the new proposed Staffordshire Moorlands Local Plan – the strategy which will decide how infrastructure issues such as housing will be allocated in the region for the next fifteen years.

About twenty members of the public attended and the general mood was not favourable. Many residents said how disillusioned they were with Staffs Moorlands Council and how they didn’t believe in the fairness of the planning process much anymore.
Mark Deaville, our councillor on SMDC, attended (though our other two SMDC councillors did not). He said that, yes, growth (especially in new homes) was needed if Draycott/Cresswell was to get funding for better infrastructure projects such as traffic-crossing refuges, but also said: “Confidence in the Moorlands planning department is at an all time low”.

Some people also said that confidence in the actual councillors who sit on the council’s planning committee was also very low.
They pointed out that the latest proposals could see three roundabouts along Draycott Level (plus a new one coming in Cresswell) in just a one-mile stretch!
There was also general unhappiness that virtually the total quota for new industrial development for the whole Moorlands is being allocated to Draycott/Cresswell…

It would have been good to hear from all our parish councillors about what they thought of the proposals, but only Mark and Roger Holdcroft (the chairman of the parish council) actually spoke up with considered responses.

What happens next is that the clerk of the council will collate the public’s responses, and then incorporate those into the council’s own comments. She is hoping to publish these comments on the council’s website by this Saturday (16th).
Comments on the proposals must be put forward by Sept 22nd. Every adult in the district is allowed to make comments on the Plan – and Roger Holdcroft is urging people to do just that.
If you do nothing else, check out paragraph 8.26 in the Plan, and comment on that – that’s the most significant paragraph as far as Draycott is concentred.

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Grand opening

Much much better news is that the ‘Colin Dawson Community Hub’ on the local cricket club’s ground in Cresswell is at last open for business. Paid for by Lottery money, with generous donations from supporters also underwriting it, it is a magnificent building which will be warm and cosy all year round.
It has a large function room, a well-stocked bar, and a couple of smaller meeting rooms.
It really is a great achievement.
In the photo below, you can see : Austin Knott (club secretary), Brian Lawton (NSSCL cricket league chairman), Alison Grimley (chair of the club’s Lottery Bid) and Simon Owen (club chairman).

In front of the new hub: Austin Knott (club secretary), Brian Lawton (cricket league chairman), Alison Grimley (chair of the club's Lottery Bid), Simon Owen (club chairman)

All smiles in front of the new community hub

Opened formally this last weekend – Draycott’s oldest and most well-known resident, Betty Hammond, cut the ribbon – surrounding householders were also invited to come along and look round (and eat the free food!). The ones we spoke to had nothing but praise.

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The next step is to invite local groups and events-organisers to use the centre; and a list of charges will be published soon.
We were told that a small part-time post is being created – to employ someone to go out into the community and publicise just what a great resource is on our doorstep.
In the meantime, Alison Grimley, who has been overseeing the project on behalf of Blythe Cricket Club, says just to email her if you are eager to start using the centre in the near future.

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Cloggerfest success

A ‘new’ Cloggerfest was initiated this year.
Cresswell’s own two-day rock & nu-folk music festival is an annual event designed to appeal to the whole family. However, after a spot of bother happened last year, this year security was tightened, and the festival changed from a free event to a ticketed one.

Ange Heathcote, who organises the set-up, told us that all passed peacefully this year, partly thanks to some friendly police officers who were helping out the security effort! In fact some people without tickets were turned away on the advice of the security team.

Ange reported too that the admission fee did not deter people – some £2000 was taken on the gate and camping facilities were fully booked up weeks before…
The organisers on the music side told us also that the music fans themselves were well-happy with the line-up of bands and the quality of the sound; while the charity-events organisers (the local Rotary Club is big into this festival) said the kids enjoyed themselves too.

So… roll on Cloggerfest 2018!

***
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: big planning / community-hub opens / dangerous rail area / Totmonslow self-build?

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late-August 2017
In this post we have news of…: how Draycott is part of a national strategy / unfenced railway line / chance to build your own home / new community-hub opens on cricket ground /…
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including the annual Cresswell Cloggerfest Music-Fest. Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Draycott on the national planning agenda

The application to build over 100 homes at the east end of Draycott (by the A50 roundabout) seems to have caught everyone by surprise.
(It’s always a clever move by a developer to make a controversial application during the summer months as everyone’s attention is elsewhere – usually on a beach!)
Certainly our local newspapers and our local politicians seem to have made virtually no comment at all, which is both a shock and a shame, as this is a very big deal indeed.

What few of us realised is that this site, the huge so-called ‘Northern Gateway’ or ‘Blythe Vale’ site in the centre of Draycott is actually not just a local venture, but is part of a regional & national planning framework, linking major industrial centres like Stoke and Derby to the major networks.
The local community action group VVSM have been doing the research and came across a really interesting document proving this.

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It means that – once the economy picks up – this district is in line for a lot more industry and a lot more housing, and, as it’s part of a national strategy, we may not be able to do a lot about it. You have been warned…!

Anyway, at the moment, only the application for the 100+ homes is on the table. If you feel strongly about this development, you only have until 27th September to comment on the proposals. See the Blythe Vale Homes planning application by clicking here.

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Pavilion success

Happier news comes out of our local cricket club. The new pavilion/community-hub, on the Cresswell ground, is finished at last, and looks really splendid. The old pavilion had its charm, yes, but this smart new structure is the bee’s knees!
It cost over £250,000 (with help from the Lottery Fund) but it looks like it is well worth it.

An open invitation is now going out to everyone connected with the parish to come and take a look at it on Sunday 10 September (between 11am and 4pm). If you fancy going, please email the club, by this Friday, to say you’d like to be there, as it’s a matter of trying to judge numbers.

The pavilion/community-hub could turn into a major asset for the district as, apart from being a base for the cricket club, it is open for hire to local organisations – already a weekly yoga class has started up there. So, if you too run a class or such, you might want to check it out too.

If you can’t make it on the 10th, why not stroll along to see the first team’s last game of the season, on the 9th. With a bit of luck (and sunshine), the day will – hopefully – see the team crowned champions of League One… what a party that will be!!

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Open railway

For some time now, some of us have been wondering what Network Rail is up to by the Cresswell rail-crossing. A hundred yards along the main-line (in the Uttoxeter direction), the fencing that should be alongside the tracks, to stop both trespass and thoughtless kids from wandering onto the line, is simply… not there. It is completely wide-open.

An unmade road, which leads to a small group of six terraced homes (‘Railway Cottages’ by name) passes right by the unprotected area. The owners there form a small community (they get together to look after the unmade road and repair it, for instance) and have applied to Network Rail to fulfil its responsibilities, but, so far, no joy.

tidying the road to Railway Cottages

Repairing the road to Railway Cottages

If you also find this worrying, why not add your voice to the community’s, and write to Network Rail?
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Build your own home

It’s not often a chance comes up to build your own home, especially in beautiful open countryside… but this is what is on the cards right here in our parish – in Totmonslow.

Totmonslow Farm, which is no longer a full working concern, is the site of two potential conversions. A little way over from the historic old farmhouse itself, you’ll see some former farm buildings, which have not been in use for some years … though they do have charm of their own.
They are now up for sale, with planning permission: going to public auction on the 20th September.

Both sets of buildings also give a deal of space – click to see the details of The Barns, and of The Old Cart Shed.
It could be a dream come true for somebody…

***
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: Izaak dark / kids sports / fayre success / rail path hope

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-July 2017
In this post we have news of…:  Izaak pub closed again / Cresswell-Totmonslow railway path / Draycott fayre success / local sports camps for kids…
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including an Open-Acoustic/Open-Mic evening. Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Izaak closed again

The poor old Izaak Walton pub in Cresswell doesn’t seem to be blessed with the right star-sign. During the last five years there have been six changes of management, and – you guessed it – it has closed again.
Izaak closed 2017Rob & Lucy put in a good shift at the pub for nearly eighteen months – with good wholesome food at reasonable prices – and this popular couple seemed to be making a real go of it.
But the strain seems to have told; and in the middle of last month, they abruptly departed with just a brief sign left on the door (see pic).

The Izaak, which is at least 150 years old, is a real icon of Cresswell and it would be great to think another owner or manager will want to reopen it.
It was quickly put on the market – for £325,000 – and the rumour is that there is already firm interest.
Fingers crossed.

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Rail path support group

Our footpath network in this area is undoubtedly gradually falling into disrepair, but there may be fresh hope for one stretch of it at least.

The old railway branch-line between Cheadle-Totmonslow-Cresswell is now managed by Moorlands & City Railways, who lease the trackway from Network Rail.  They had hoped to restore a rail service on it, but that hope has disappeared; and so they decided in 2013 to open it up for public access, and now a lot of dog-walkers use it.
However, it is in fact still quite a rough track with ballast still lying on it and parts quite overgrown – so horse-riders and bicyclists have given it a miss so far.
(An exit from the path-track is (quite legally) blocked at the Cresswell end; and some walkers would like to request a permissive way put in to allow the path to be fully open at this Cresswell end).

But, a new group, The Friends of The Cheadle-Cresswell Railway, has now been started up, with the aim of seeing the trackway transformed into a more widely usable route. Darryl Worthington from Upper Tean is heading up the project, and he says support is growing for the idea.
The next meeting of the group is at the Anchor pub in Tenford (at the other end of Totmonslow’s Breach Lane) on Thurs 27 July, and all are welcome.

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Sunday best

Yes, the Draycott St Margaret’s Summer Fayre on Sunday last must go down as one of the best-ever.

AWCS Draycott Fayre

American Civil War re-enactors: stars of the fayre

Many more customers through the gates than last year, some spectacular events (truly spectacular!) and almost unbroken sunshine all day – it couldn’t be beaten for a great day out.
The money raised goes toward maintaining the village’s seven hundred year old church, so it’s a worthy cause.
Snake at FayreOne of the most popular side-shows was one that was quite new to the fayre – Christopher Reptiles. Snakes, iguanas, large lizards were all to be seen – and handled! When you’re being asked if you want a huge seven-foot long snake (see pic) crawling round your shoulders, it soon sorts out who are the bravest…

Thanks very much to John Clarke and his vast team of volunteer helpers who put on a fabulous day!
But don’t forget – there is no rest for this team. Work is already underway preparing for next year’s fayre; if you feel you can help, contact the team.

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Summertime sports

Although there has been a lot of sunshine this year (as well as rain, admittedly), the summer is only just beginning for children, who are just now commencing their school holidays.
So… some of our community organisations are laying on stuff for the kids to do.

Draycott Sports Centre is leading the way with a packed series of sports days during August… A huge range of sports – tennis, squash, badminton, hockey, dodgeball, cricket & football – will all be on offer at its day-long ‘camps’. Children from five upwards are invited to sign up (with parents’ permission) but don’t wait around: numbers are limited. Click here for details.
For children who specifically want to improve their tennis, Draycott Centre is offering an intensive day on 22nd July (part of the Great British Tennis weekend) – click here for details.

Meanwhile a new weekly kids’ dance-tuition session is underway at the Quick Quick Slow Studios in Cresswell – styles range from street-dance to ballroom.

Meanwhile, in next-door Blythe Bridge, Leek Town FC is holding its local Street Soccer programme, providing weekly pop-up football sessions for children. The sessions are free of charge, open to any children aged 8-18, and are held at Blythe Bridge Recreation Ground for six Thursdays (7-8pm) from Thursday 26th July.
With luck, once they’ve tried all these, the kids will be just plain tired out.
(Well, maybe…)

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RIP Kath

Sad to say, one of the great ladies of the parish has passed away.  Kath Bostock, of the Totmonslow Bostock family, husband of Bill, has died at the ripe old age of 94.
If you like, you can pay a tribute on this website

***
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 2017

It just gets bigger and bigger… The 26th year of the Draycott-in-the-Moors Summer Fayre promises a full thirty-six hours of fun (with a little sleep thrown in in the middle…) across Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th of this month (July 2017).
# Saturday Afternoon: A parade through the streets by some fifty re-enactors in American Civil War costume !
# Saturday evening: ‘Saturday Night Live’ brings three bands, a disco, hog-roast & beer festival !
# Sunday daytime: St Margaret’s Summer Fayre from 11am-4pm with The Human Cannonball, American Civil War skirmishing, vintage car rally…. and more !

 

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Everything takes place around Ford’s Field, slap bang in the centre of the village (for sat-navs, it’s ST11 9AE); and it’s all free to children of school age.
Now, if all that doesn’t wear the kids out, nothing will…

Saturday Parade

One of the biggest attractions this year is The American Civil War Society re-enactors. In costume from 150 years ago, they really know how to make history come alive – sometimes with big bangs…! They will be camping on the fayre field; and will parade from Blythe Bridge to Draycott on Saturday afternoon, leaving BB at 2.30pm, flags flying.
Make sure you come out to see them…

Party on, on Saturday

For those that love to dance or just appreciate some live music (and beautiful food), you get your moment on Saturday evening (8th July), when the field’s marquee will be put to good use.
The terrific Jacque Rabbit band (featuring local lad Richard Ward) will be back again, by popular demand; with Peter Wright’s ‘SuperiorSounds Disco’ on the decks kicking off the night at 7pm.
Two very lively bands are the support: Bear Withers (a “seamless blend of popular covers and bad jokes”!) and Moore & Moore Beer.

Team that with The St Margaret’s Beer Festival & Hog Roast (courtesy of The Draycott Arms) and you have a fun summer’s night entertainment, all under cover too. Price – £5 entry, kids under-17 get in free…

Biggest fayre ever

And it’s up early on the Sunday (9th) for everyone if you want to get your money’s worth at the fayre. The first event is the ever-popular Dog Show at 11.30am, (If you think your dog has the makings of a champion, be sure to get to the fayre by 11am to register).

From then on it’s fast & furious.
The two big attractions are the previously-mentioned  American Civil War Society re-enactors  who will be around all day – but also putting on an infantry drill display, organising a kids-only drill, and then having their own infantry-only skirmish (keep well back…!) during the course of the afternoon.
The other big attraction is Rodrigo Perez The Human Cannonball. Rodrigo is originally from Chile but is now based here in the Staffordshire Moorlands, and has performed over 3000 shots all around the world. The feat is quite extraordinary; he recently flew forty metres! If you don’t believe us, check out these videos

And of course – there is the long-established vintage vehicle rally, run by the evergreen Tom Sale, with over one hundred cars, motorcycles, lorries, coaches, machines, commercial vehicles and tractors. Every year, the rally alone brings in hundreds of visitors.

 

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Plus……. the Community Sports and Tug-of-War tournaments; the fun-fair, the ferret racing (with Malcolm Adlington), one that is new to the fayre Christopher Reptiles, the Coverdale Puppets show, the stalls selling everything from ice-cream to plants, the local community groups’ charity stands, and the ‘country-crafts experience’.
(If you or your local group wants a stand at the fayre, it is not too late to apply. Just email the Fayre Organiser, and he will help you sort something out – £10 a table.)

And you can relax… as well

Need a rest? Thank goodness for the ‘Saint Margaret’s Bar’ and its cooling beers and ciders (and other drinks). A big thank-you to The Draycott Arms which will be running it this year. Zara Hutson from the Arms has promised a proper choice of beers, so if you enjoy a pint, it really will suit you.
The staff of Draycott Moor College has once again showed terrific willingness to join in community activities – they will be running the barbecue.
And don’t forget the wonderful Tea Shop run by Christine Wibberley & friends.

And you don’t even have to walk to the fayre! If you live in Tean, Cresswell, Blythe Bridge or Draycott, then jump on the special Fayre bus. POPS, the Potteries Omnibus Preservation Society, will be running a vintage bus around the villages all day from 10am onwards (but not to Meir Park, as previously hoped).  Check out the timetable by clicking on this link.  It’s free to ride, though a small donation would be appreciated.

The small print

This is a local event, all run voluntarily by local people for a local charitable cause (the ongoing, and expensive, maintenance of our lovely 13th century village church, St Margaret’s).
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 around 4pm.
Entry is £5, but children under-17 get in free.
On-site car-parking is free.
Website is: http://draycottfayre.co.uk/

On the weekend, the big A50 dual carriageway will be shut for repairs between Uttoxeter and Draycott-Blythe Bridge roundabout. This won’t affect the road by the fayre or local motorists, who use alternative roads, but if you’re coming from a distance, you might want to check your route.
First Aid is provided by 239 (Longton) Squadron Air Training Corps. They will also be performing a drill display in the main ring.
If you can’t remember last year’s fayre, check out our review of it.

Local people, can you….?

As has been said, this is a strictly volunteer-run local event with all profits going to our village’s oldest building. So, thinking of that – if you live locally, do you think you can help, by volunteering?
On the Sunday (and even the Saturday evening) there is always a need. People are required for all sorts of tasks – from the basic, like stewarding on the car-park, right through to ‘shepherding’ the main acts.
If you can spare even a little time, or have some expertise, please email the Fayre Organiser, John Clarke. He will be very happy to hear from you!
Fayre volunteers will also want to keep an eye on the special Fayre Facebook page.
And so, special thanks to Paul & Sandy Ford of Highfields Farm. From the very start in 1990, they have hosted the fayre on their land, providing a water and electricity supply too.

This page was last updated on July 6th

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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: housing change / pies! / election hot air / kids’ project

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid March 2017
In this post we have news of…:  local social housing changes / successful fund-raising at Chandni / Draycott Pie Day / election hot air / kids’ safety project…
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including an Arts & Crafts Spring Fair. Check out the Events page)
For daily updates & news about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

– – –
Get on housing list

Nowadays, many of us, but mostly our young people, find it very difficult to get a home. Decent affordable housing is in short supply.
One of the best things is of course to be on the local authority’s waiting-list, and many are.

However, the waiting-list system here in the Staffordshire Moorlands region is heading for a shake-up next month – and people needing a home may miss out if they do not make themselves aware of the change.
It’s worth registering for the new local social housing allocation scheme now, to be sure that you don’t lose out when the changes are implemented in four weeks’ time.
See details by clicking here.

– – –
Let’s eat pies

It’s only a month now until we celebrate Draycott Pie Day.  This splendid idea was dreamt up by Brayn and Zara (see below) at The Draycott Arms, and this year is a chance for YOU to show off your baking skills too!

Draycott Arms - Brayn and Zara
Yes, there is to be a proper pie contest – open to all-comers.
Just bring along your pre-baked pie on the day (Friday 14 April) and submit it to the judges. Pies will be marked on appearance, flavour, pastry quality & the story behind the making of it. There are prizes!
Check here for the rules.

– – –
Coppafeel cops cash

Talking of food and such, congratulations to the regulars at the Chandni Cottage Restaurant in Draycott, who have raised almost £1000 for the breast cancer charity CoppaFeel.
A few months ago they held a special auction evening and also did a sponsored walk, and the monies are now all in.
Brilliant!

– – –
Election hot air

As many of you will know by now, there is to be a by-election to fill the vacancy on Draycott in the Moors Council.  There are two candidates, and voting will take place on April 6th.
The by-election will cost the council £4000, a lot of money…

The whole business has seen a lot of hot air raised as people expressed dozens of opinions on what they thought of everyone else involved in the process. One of the by-products of all this was that a number of good potential candidates were persuaded not to stand and that is a shame.
The main stumbling-block seems to have been that a significant number of residents were against the idea of a ‘forced’ co-option (where the choice of the next councillor becomes a private decision for the six remaining councillors only), while on the opposite side a significant number were against the idea of a ‘forced’ election (where the electors decide, but which is a costly process).
The few good ideas to try to achieve a compromise got swept away in the torrent of noise, sadly.

However, the council must sort this out.  It is quite possible that another councillor may resign in the next couple of years; and we might have the same crazy situation all over again.
It’s time for a little leadership from the council.

– – –
Kids project needs dosh

Finally, it’s great to see that Tatsu Dojo, the martial-arts & fitness centre on Blythe Park in Cresswell, is running a project to help the children of our community, especially the vulnerable ones, become more aware of how to keep themselves safe.

Tatsu Kai dojoThe project needs money though, so the organisers are hoping businesses will come on board and take some advertising on the centre’s premises.  As it’s for a local project, Tara and her team are only targeting local businesses so far.
If you run a local business, and think you can help, click here for details.

***
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)

Merry Christmas Tree Festival

Merry Christmas to one and all!
(Our apologies for not having posted recently – one member of the team left the area, one has been unwell, and the others have been off helping with Christmas projects.  Back to normal in 2017 we hope.)

The Draycott Church Christmas Tree Festival is one of the sadly too few times when a broad range of our community comes together just to share something for fun.  Families, neighbours, schools, businesses, groups are all invited to dress a tree and place it in the church for a week to be admired and even smiled at!
You don’t have to be religious to join in; it’s for everyone.  And whoever came along got a free mince pie; you can’t beat that.

Christmas wishes and promises

A number of the trees this year, especially the ones dressed by children, had not just baubles and tinsel hung on them but Christmas wishes & promises too.  Some were sad, like the plea to stop wars, but some made us smile.
We particularly liked the one (pic below) in which one child promises to help their mum… not every day (that would be too hard…) but… nearly every day!

Draycott Xmas Tree Festival 2016 - wish

A Christmas promise that (nearly) can be kept!

The special school in Blythe Bridge, Portland School, also used its tree to remind us all that they take the spirit of seasonal goodwill very seriously, illustrating ways in which they are helping a project in Africa, in a town called Bakau Newtown in Gambia.

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To see more photos of this year’s trees, click here.

Groups

Well done to all those who put in trees.

The pupils of Draycott Moor College made a real effort to bring in theirs, as the first tree they completed was accidentally broken and they had to start over again.
Well done too to all those who came up with ‘themes’. Jackie Knott, one of the stalwarts of Blythe Cricket Club designed a tree of cricket bats and cricket balls, while the Draycott Bell Ringers constructed a miniature ringing tower to go with their tree.
First Tean Brownies, Forsbrook Tiddlers Group, the Draycott WI and the Draycott Craft Club were just some of the other groups to take part.
And an especial thanks to John Clarke who did all the hard work in getting the festival off the ground and making it a success.

Although there was a good turnout this year, of nearly twenty trees, it really should be better supported.  It’s all over now for the 2016 event, but wouldn’t it be great if, next year, there were fifty trees??

How would you spend £4000?

Can you think of ways of spending £4000 for the benefit of the Draycott & Cresswell & Totmonslow community?
Believe it or not, this money is now sitting in the bank account of the Draycott Parish Council just waiting for good ideas from local people about what to do with it.

Solar farm

One of the best things about the vast solar energy farm in Cresswell is that, when it was being built, the developers promised that they would give over a percentage of the profits from it to the local community.
Well, almost two years have gone by since the farm went ‘live’ and started producing electricity. So, the current owners of the project, REG (Renewable Energy Generation) Power Management (who took on the project from Novus Solar, the kick-starters) have at last come good on the promise.
A grant of £4000, covering the first two years of operation, has now been paid over.

Draycott Parish Council must now decide on what are the most viable and most useful suggestions for what to do with the money, either in full or as a partial grant.  The only stipulation is that any suggestions must benefit the wider community of our district.
If you or an organisation you belong to thinks this is an opportunity – well, this is the time to put thinking caps on!

Pub-talk

A few of us were sitting in the pub, and we were kicking the thought around; and these are just a few of the ideas we came up with. See what you think…

#   One scheme that has been talked about for some years now, but has never got off the ground, is the idea of lighting up the exterior of St Margaret’s Church for a few hours a night. The idea would be to provide a great view for miles around of our oldest building.

St Margaret's Church, Draycott

St Margaret’s Church has stood on the hill overlooking Draycott for nearly a thousand years

#   Our community could do with more volunteer effort – local people to look after public flower-beds, to organise litter-picks, to go check on our more isolated neighbours, to organise village get-togethers.  How about using some of the money to set up a local voluntary effort scheme?
#   Other villages have a village sign on a totem pole, carved especially.  How about commissioning a sculptor to carve one for us?
#   The problem of motorists chucking their litter out of their cars as they go along Cresswell Lane is getting worse.  How about using the money to pay for a ‘Please Don’t Dispose of Your Litter Here!’ sign for the road?
#   The book about the history of Draycott-in-the-Moors is all but sold out.  How about ordering a re-print?
#   Installation of a defibrillator in the Draycott Junction telephone box?
#   A simple grant to the running costs of our local First Responders?
#   History enthusiasts will know that a few decades ago, the Draycott Women’s Institute did a brilliant survey of the graves in St Margaret’s Church old churchyard.  It’d be great to see a survey done of the old graves at St Mary’s Church in Cresswell too!
#   Some of the footpath stiles and kissing-gates in our area are in sore need of repair.  Could some money be put to that?

Do you have any suggestions to add?  If you do, just use the comments-box at the bottom of this page.

Church Lane

One idea that already has gained traction is that of using the money to pay for the repair of the surface of Church Lane.  This little un-made track up to St Margaret’s Church has so many potholes in it that there are more holes in it than road!  Some funeral directors are even saying that they will soon refuse to take their expensive hearses up this track.

Church Lane, Draycott in the Moors

Should community cash be used to repair Church Lane, Draycott in the Moors?

Using the community money to improve the surface of this track does seem fraught with problems though.  It’s an ‘unadopted’ road, so the Highways Department has no responsibility for it, so the question really is… shouldn’t the church, the house-owners living alongside the track, and even the farmer who sends his tractors up along it, actually pay for the repair of this track, or at least pay the lion’s share?  It’s a thorny question.

Apply…

Within the next months, the clerk to Draycott Council will be formally inviting local organisations and individuals to make suggestions.  We will let you know when this happens as soon as we know.

***
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: shelter expense / Remembrance / speed madness / history at risk

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in early November 2016
News of…:  An expensive bus-shelter / WW1 Draycott man remembered / speed demons back in the village / Paynsley remains “at risk” …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including a decorated christmas tree festival. Check out the Events page)

For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

– – –
Paying for a bus shelter with no buses

What do you do with a bus shelter when no buses come to it any more?  That is the dilemma that Draycott local council finds itself in.
The bus-shelter next to the Draycott Arms – which was built and is owned by Draycott Council – was crumbling and decaying, but then again, no buses have stopped there for two years (since the Uttoxeter express bus was cancelled) – and it’s pretty unlikely we’ll ever get a bus along that route again.
So – should anyone bother doing anything about it at all?

Well, Draycott Council felt they should repair it, and so they put £500 into renovating  the whole roof at the end of the summer, plus a further sum into repairing the perspex glazing for the noticeboard inside.  Now it turns out that they may well have to put in a further £100 in, because now the structure is swaying in high winds and needs bracing…
(To add insult to injury, someone has taken to dumping piles of old wood at the back of it as well).

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This is all taxpayers’ money of course, so all of us should be thinking about what the solution could be to this particular headache.
If you have a thought, why not present it at the next council meeting, on Monday November 21st?

– – –
Remembrance

We are almost exactly in the middle of the four years of the 100-year anniversary of World War One, which lasted from 1914 to 1918.

This year there is a special commemoration at Stoke Railway Station to remember the men of the North Staffordshire Railway who died in World War 1.  Of those who went to the battlefields, one in ten NSR men never came back. One of them was a Draycott man.

Stoke Railway Station war memorial

Stoke Railway Station war memorial

Sergeant Philip Hawley Bagnall, who joined up in 1914 and was killed just one year later, lived in Draycott before the war.  He is remembered on the Draycott Church war memorial, as well as on the Stoke Railway Station war memorial.
Lev Wood, of our local history society, researched his story, which you can read for yourself by clicking here.

On this year’s Armistice Day, Friday 11 November, the event at Stoke station will see the names of all those NSR men who died being read out to passengers and public on the platform. The reading will take five hours, with one name being announced every two minutes. A two-minute silence will follow at 11am.
If you can’t get to Stoke Railway Station, a parade & silence is being held in Blythe Bridge on Remembrance Sunday (the 13th).

– – –
Speedsters are back

The community speedwatch team in Cresswell has been hit by a couple of resignations, so it no longer has the personnel to get out regularly with a radar-gun and do the useful work they were doing.
The planned Draycott Level speed-watch project seemed never to have got off the ground.
The official speed-camera vans, which for a while were seen pretty regularly round here, also seem not to be putting in so many appearances.

And that is all a shame, because the threat of speed-cameras does deter offenders… and now the biggest idiots seem to be back, seen bombing up and down the local roads once again.  We observed one moron doing what must have been eighty, in a car with a souped-up engine, along Cresswell Lane one Saturday evening a couple of weeks ago; while the forty miles an hour limit on Draycott level is hardly ever kept to at all, is it?

Dead badger on Cheadle Road

Dead badger on Cheadle Road

The speed disease seems to be spreading to Cheadle Road (the really narrow, bending road up to Draycott Cross).  The road-kill there is not just badgers either.

By the way, if you see a dead badger, you are supposed to report the sighting – click here to check what to do.

– – –
Paynsley … continuing to decay

Once again the annual report from English Heritage about UK listed buildings has put the Paynsley Hall ruins on the ‘at-risk’ register.  Sadly, this notice about Paynsley seems to happen year after year: the remains of the medieval moat keep decaying, but no one seems to want to do that much about it.

Paynsley Hall was an ancient mansion on farmland in Cresswell (just behind what is now Blthe Park) .  It was even the site of a small skirmish in the English Civil War in the 1600s when the Parliamentarians ransacked the place.
It was substantially demolished in the 1960s, though very small bits of it remain.  The remains are, as we say, in very poor condition, though actually it is hard to know just how poor, as the remains can only be approached by permission of the land-owner, which is rarely given.

Two years ago, Draycott Council promised to make enquiries, but nothing seems to have transpired.

***
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).