Category Archives: community action

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…)

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:

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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!


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.


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

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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?

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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).

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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.

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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).

NEWS: hacking / leadership issues / RIP Barry / road safety

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late August 2016
News of…:  primary school Chinese hacker / has Draycott PC served Cresswell well? / road safety poster competition / RIP Barry Phillips…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including a Sausage Festival! Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Hacked off

If you’ve tried logging on recently to, our local primary school’s website, this is what you will see on the homepage…

William Amory school website hacked

Yes, the William Amory School website has been ‘hacked’: somehow or other a very clever internet-nerd has figured out all the passwords to the website and ‘broken into’ it; and replaced it with whatever she or he wants.
It looks to us as though the villain in this case must be from the other side of the world…

It’s not quite clear how this breach occurred, but it is a warning to us all. If you maintain a home-made website you really do need to back-up all you create AND keep your firewall up to date – though, even that won’t help against a very determined hacker unfortunately…

– – –
Cresswell – poor cousins?

People living in Cresswell might be forgiven for having a hollow laugh at the new words all over the homepage of Draycott Parish Council’s website.
The words read “Let’s find a way to defeat the effects of the Cresswell 168 houses and industrial park extension recently passed by SMDC! Together we can be strong!

The fact is that Draycott Parish Council’s record on fighting the Blythe Park development has been rather weak.
Look at the facts:
When trouble was happening in Draycott Old Road with the college earlier this year, the council summonsed the college authorities to public question-and-answer sessions, to explain what was going on – and not just once, but twice!
Also, because there has been flooding of the ditches in Draycott Old Road, the council has asked the county councillor to make a special effort and draw up a special report about it.
So… the council does manage to act sometimes, especially over issues in the Draycott side of the parish.

But … when it comes to a huge problem in Cresswell (the Blythe Park housing development), what exactly has the council done during the last twenty months? Er…Written a few letters. And that’s it.

By contrast, when housing issues (often much smaller than ours!) have arisen in other Moorlands parishes, the councils there have shown leadership.
For example: in Leek East, a big demonstration (against The Mount housing plans) was organised; when they faced an unwanted development, Kingsley Council called an ‘extraordinary’ public meeting of locals; and Werrington Council organised a protest of residents outside Moorlands House.
These parish councils have stood up and united their communities.

The hundred-and-seventy Cresswell residents who signed letters opposing the Blythe Park application might feel just a little let down by their own community leaders on Draycott Parish Council; and a bit annoyed by the empty sentiments on the parish council’s homepage.

– – –
Farewell Barry

A sad occasion last week was the funeral of Barry Phillips.

Barry Phillips 2015

Barry Phillips

After a working life at Blythe Colours, Barry became something of a local historian, doing massive amounts of research not only on Blythe Colours itself but on World War Two in this district, especially about the American ‘Bolero’ Camp in Cresswell, even going to America to meet former soldiers who had served here.

He contributed his researches to the Draycott-en-le-Moors Online History website, the project which led directly to the definitive book about the parish A History of The Parish of Draycott-en-le-Moors by Matthew Pointon.

Barry had lots and lots of stories about this area, and he will be sorely missed.
We send our condolences to his wife Linda and his children, who are now grown-up.

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Draw a poster to keep us safe!

Finally, it has been a great summer for activities in our little district. From the local dance-hall to the sports clubs to the churches and to the library and the pubs, everyone has tried to lay something on to make the summer of 2016 memorable.  They all deserve a round of applause…  And it is not over yet – check our What’s On pages.

If your kids might enjoy a local stay-at-home project, they still have the chance, with a local road safety competition.
The local community group is asking kids between 4 and 11 to design a poster which will try to remind motorists to keep within the speed limit when going through our district.
When the kids have finished the poster, all they have to do is fold it up and push it into the letterbox in the Kiosk Information Centre (see pic below) in Cresswell lay-by. The posters will then be displayed – with prizes for the best ones.
Final entry date is Thursday 1st September.

Cresswell Information Centre

Change of use – from telephone box to ‘Information Centre’

As we all know, most of the parish is covered by a 40mph speed limit, but it’s the sort of law that gets broken as often as it gets observed… sadly… so this competition is a great idea.

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: beautifying Draycott / S106 ‘mistake’ / happy arrival at St M’s / map of new estate

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in early July 2016
News of…:  Cricket club gets S106 apology / happy event for Rev Jonathan / residents get floral! / map of planned Cresswell housing estate …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including summer play-sessions for children… Check out the Events page)

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Club gets an apology

You wouldn’t Adam&Eve it…
You may remember that we reported last month on the clauses in the formal agreement permitting the ‘Blythe Park Housing Estate’ to be built in Cresswell – the so-called ‘S106’ agreement.
Page eleven of the agreement indicated that Blythe Cricket Club, just up the road from the site, would earn up to half-a-million pounds if the agreement went ahead.

Well, the cricket club committee were furious about this announcement – because they had never discussed or agreed to anything of the sort!

Vice-chairperson of the club, Ali Grimley, has been after Staffordshire Moorlands Council like a terrier… and, after a long month of chasing it down, she has finally got a definitive reply from them:
From the information available, it appears that the principle of the ‘potential’ community use of the Cresswell cricket club pitches facilitated by securing a commuted sum from the Blythe Park planning permission does not appear to have been previously discussed with the club and I can only apologise for this lack of engagement.

So… — it was all a mistake…!!
It seems unbelievable that such an important document – signed, witnessed and sealed by lawyers – should have such a profoundly wrong supposition in it.
We probably have not heard the last of this, especially as it has embarrassed the club greatly – and club members may well wonder if a simple email apology is enough.

Incidentally, the clause has not yet been removed from the online version of the document.

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News street-map

Talking of the S106 Agreement, it includes a street map which shows how the new housing estate is likely to be laid out. (Double-click the pic to make it larger).

Cresswell housing estate street map

As you can see, a new roundabout will be where the Cresswell lay-by on Sandon Road is at the moment. A brand new road will lead into the estate from there, while the current entrance road will be bollarded off.
The housing seems relatively crowded for 170 homes – but some will be in multi-storey flats.

It seems like a fair few trees will be planted too.  VVSM, the local community action group, told us that it wants to take on a watching brief – to make sure the developers keep their promises – and it is currently looking for more members to join up and help in the task.

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Floral arrangements…

Hats off to the residents who have shown great community spirit in trying to beautify our district.

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The old planter at the start of Draycott Old Road was really looking rather shabby – so… well done to Sandie Banks Lyle and her helpers who restored, repainted, and restocked it… It really looks great now.

On the edge of the St Margaret’s car-park, some publicly-spirited soul has planted the rather empty looking mound… and it is now flowering nicely (see below).

Flower bed by St Margarets car park

And in Cresswell, the local residents group have been cutting back some of the vegetation which was making getting to the bus-stop so problematic.

It’s great to see people care.
And the reason this all matters is that: the district council (Staffs Moorlands DC) is withdrawing its grant, which has been given in the past to the parish council, to pay for a handyperson to do these kind of small jobs.
SMDC says it now expects community volunteers to take on such tasks…

All we could do with now is someone to sort out (get rid probably) of the ugly looking and dilapidated planter at the Draycott crossroads (see below).

Draycott crossroads planter

Over to you, Draycott Parish Council!

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Congratulations in orders

More good news is that last month our vicar the Reverend Jonathan Roberts and his wife Sophie (see pic) became parents for the third time.

Reverend Jonathan Roberts and wife

Such is Jonathan’s dedication to duty, he even spent an hour away from the happy nursery to attend the Draycott St Margaret’s Fayre (he is ‘rector’ of St Margaret’s Church) – before hastily rushing back …

It must be something in the Draycott air…

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)

Blythe Cricket Club – looking good, about to look even better

It is proving a crazy twelve months for Blythe Cricket Club as it refurbishes its club-house and changing rooms at the Cresswell ground.
But crazy in a good way!

It all started five years back, with an exhausting period of writing reports, undertaking negotiations and the rest – and then late last year Blythe were awarded just under half-a-million pounds in a Big Lottery grant!
The money has a specific purpose: to knock down the old pavilion, and create a brand-new club house – which will double as a purpose-built new Draycott & Cresswell community centre during the week.
New changing rooms (for women as well as men) are also part of the plan.

Blythe CC building work2016

Building work by the pavilion earlier this year

If you’ve walked the public footpath along the side of the ground, or you have been to watch a game there recently, you’ll have seen that work is already under way.

Community centre

But… why have the club-house double as a community centre?   Well, it was a condition of the lottery grant that the new building be open to the community – and the club are pretty happy about that anyway.
Club chairman Colin Dawson told us: “Our teams only really play cricket at the weekends (though the juniors sometimes play in the week), so there is plenty of time when members of the local community could use it.
“It will be ideal for a variety of uses, some ‘official’, such as a possible NHS outreach centre, to the more casual, such as meetings or dances and luncheon clubs. Anybody from the community is welcome to come forward with ideas on what they would like to do in it.”
It really will be purpose-built too, as for the first time at the ground, there will be disabled toilets.

Bye bye pavilion

As the pavilion finally comes down, it will be the end of an era.
The pavilion was built in 1926, when the ground was owned by the Blythe Colour Works.  The owners at the time, the Wildblood Family, were the old-fashioned type who believed in ‘providing’ for their workers.  It was they who created the cricket ground (as well as the tennis courts).

However, the poor old wooden pavilion can no longer stand the winters, so it was simply empty half the year.  The new centre will be weather-proof!

Cresswell residents will be pleased to hear that the problem of congested road-parking on the top of the hill will be much alleviated, as parking facilities are also being improved.


The idea is of course to ensure that the club has a future for another 100 years.

It will also be more community-oriented than it has been in the past. A few years ago Blythe had no children’s cricket teams, but now around a dozen teams use the ground including under-nines to under-17s.
Sadly, the senior women’s cricket team had to fold because it couldn’t attract enough players.  Hopefully, it will return one day.

Blthe Cricket:: New structures, some te,mporary, some not!

New structures, some temporary, some not!

The residents too should find that, from now on, the new centre gives their community projects a place in which they can focus, and make good things happen!
(The crazy thing is that the new housing estate about to be built in Cresswell also has a community centre as part of its plans, so very soon Cresswell will have two community centres within 100 yards of each other!!).

With good fortune and a ‘following wind’ as they say, the new developments at the ground will all be finished by Christmas.

In the meantime, why not go along and have a look for yourself?  If you go on a Saturday afternoon, you can even have a drink at the club-bar….

“We are a Hamlet”

This latest entry on this website has been written by local resident, Rin.
She has become more and more dismayed by the proposals that Staffordshire Moorlands Council have for our parish, and especially for little Cresswell.  If the plans go ahead – linking the Blythe Park industrial complex to a large housing estate and then on to a second, even larger industrial complex right along the River Blithe to Blythe Bridge -, it will change our parish completely.

This is Rin’s plea to the authorities to change their minds…



WHY O WHY don’t the council listen and consider the views and impact on the lives of people that they are supposed to be representing – whom we have placed in that position of trust – to do right by them?


This is my own perspective regarding the proposed expansion and I am sure that it has been said before but just to reiterate re the traffic increase.
It is hard enough to attempt to get out of the junction of Sandon Road Cresswell which joins Uttoxeter Road Draycott at peak times.
I use the word ‘attempting’ as anyone who tries to do this knows just what an exasperating and lengthy process it is.


The thought of the extra traffic accrued from the proposed housing will bring the area to a standstill even if the houses proposed have only one vehicle – and I am sure that there will in most of the homes be two. We are talking at least 200 extra vehicles in these areas at peak times.


We are then having to consider the expansion of the industrial site with huge storage facilities to be built and again extra vehicles which the council has now proposed.
Traffic, extreme noise and road dust, will be going through this area constantly throughout the day and night making the day time as busy as the aforementioned peak times.


I know that some expansion has to go ahead but once again I have to state that we live in a HAMLET – the sort of place the government has stated should not be built on.


As a disabled person I moved here because the area was flat and easy for someone to get to me if I needed help.  This help will not be easily available if the council’s plans go ahead.
The small village of Blythe Bridge will be solid, the large A50 roundabout – which is terribly difficult to get across already due to peak time congestion and the frequent accidents occurring …  the extra traffic increase will be exacerbated.

My doctors and family help all come from the Blythe Bridge area which is why I came to live here. The council’s proposals will make me feel very vulnerable again.  There does not seem to be any thought from them and they have not taken into consideration the knock-on impact of all of their plans.  They seem to see what they want to do and nothing else.

To conclude, as previously mentioned although I am sure that most of this has already been said before, I am speaking from my own perspective.  I urge EVERYONE who may be in the same position as myself to speak out against these plans and show the council that they cannot just do as they please when the people, that they are supposed to be representing, voted for them and to a degree gave them their jobs believing in them as people. We are believing in them as representatives for us as we are affected and don’t want their proposals.

These proposals need to be stopped before they begin as it will be too late once they go ahead.  This can not be done by a few, and people cannot assume that their Input is not imperative to this campaign. Your voices as people are very very important and CANNOT BE LEFT TO A FEW!

Your voices are needed if you want change, so I am asking you all on behalf of all like myself whom can only fight to a degree due to ill-health, please speak out if it will affect you.  If we are all in this together, that will change things. There are enough of us if we try.  If you are not in favour of these proposals PLEASE GET INVOLVED.


If ou want to know more about how to object to the council’s proposals, Bev Reardon has written up a suggestion for what you should do on the village Facebook page.
If you want to comment on Rin’s words, just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.