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General election 2019

Yet another election is upon us – o joy…!
Seriously though (!), this one is even more important than most, so we’re giving you a whole page here about the technicalities and the personnel.

Scroll down for info on: how to vote; the constituency we are in; the candidates; and the candidates’ statements.


The deadlines for the various voting options (including voting by post) are all listed here.

For the rest of us, we should go to cast our vote at Draycott Church Hall, which will be open to voters between 7am and 10pm on the day. Parking is available (but watch out for those potholes in the lane!!)


We (Draycott, Cresswell, Totmonslow) are all in Stone Constituency, which is one of the biggest and most weirdly shaped in England.  It looks a bit like a hump-backed camel!  It stretches from the other side of Newcastle to Stone and to Cheadle, and to us of course. In fact, Draycott is at the north-eastern tip of the constituency. It’s a semi-rural constituency.

stone constituency - draycott parish area

Draycott is in the north-eastern tip of Stone constituency

A few links for you:
The BBC has kindly set up a page for us which will update on us on any significant news about the Stone constituency. As you can see from this BBC page, national politics doesn’t much impinge on our constituency (!), but the page is worth keeping an eye on.
The independent ‘hyper-local’ news website for our region ‘A Little Bit Of Stone’ has also set up a Stone Election updates page.
If you want to know the exact boundaries of the constituency, the Ordnance Survey Electoral Map is pretty good…


The nominations deadline was last week, so we know now that the constituency will be contested by: the Conservatives, the Greens, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.  No Brexit Party though, even though UKIP stood last time around.
You’ll find the candidates’ full names, their seconders and their addresses on the official government page.

One immediately interesting fact about the candidates is that only two of the four (the Green and the Lib Dem) actually live in the constituency. The Conservative lives in Shropshire and the Labour in Stoke.

Candidates’ stances

We had hoped by now to find an election statement from our candidates on their parties’ websites, but, at the time of writing (Nov 27th), only the Lib Dem had put up a full statement.
Anyway, here are their pages (keep checking them if you want to see a statement, eventually):
Conservatives for Stone (candidate Bill Cash)
Greens for Stone (candidate Tom Adamson)
Labour for Stone (candidate Mike Stubbs)
Lib Dems for Stone (candidate Alec Sandiford)

So we must rely on the local press for interviews and for setting up ‘hustings’. Thank goodness for the press!

The local online news-website A Little Bit of Stone has an online-only hustings event on their Facebook site on the evening of Wed December 3rd (between 7pm and 9pm).
The Eccleshall Today website has an in-person hustings at the Royal Oak pub in Eccleshall on Thursday 28th Dec – though the Conservative candidate declined to appear.

The local online news-website A Little Bit of Stone has done interviews with all four candidates:  Conservative candidate Bill Cash ; Green candidate Tom Adamson ; Labour candidate Mike Stubbs ; and Lib Dem candidate Alec Sandiford.
And the Leek Post & Times Weekly is interviewing the candidates, one each week. They started with the Lib Dem candidate Alec Sandiford on Nov 20th, so it’s worth going along to your library to see the back-copies if you haven’t read them already.

Please email us if you have suggestions about how best Draycott people can keep up with the election

NEWS: HGV lane / balloon drops / photos needed / sad war memorial

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late Feb 2019
In this post we have news of…:  lane approved for HGVs / balloon drops on Cresswell / sad saga of war memorial / appeal for photographers… 
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up soon in our locality – including a first-aid course…  Check out the Events page)

If you’d like an email from us each fortnight about the latest Draycott & Cresswell & District news, please click the ‘Follow’ button in the top right-hand corner of this webpage
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Lane approved for construction traffic

As we suspected, the application by the St Modwen developers to use Woodlands Lane (at the furthermost west end of Draycott, by Chandni Cottage) as a ‘haulage road’ for its construction lorries was approved without a hitch by the Moorlands Planning Committee.
The lane will now see dozens of lorries going along it while the building of the new Blythe Vale estate takes place. The building phase will take about two years.
Some residents did their best to oppose the plans, but their concerns were put to one side. (See objections one, two, and three).

St Modwen haulage road application

The lane will take construction traffic while the new main access road to the estate is being built

What is odd is that these objectors got no formal support from Draycott Council. Our councillors publicly said they opposed the plans – but, strangely, these same councillors did not register a formal complaint on the relevant planning-page as they could have.

Why not?
Unbelievably… it turns out that councillors were ‘unaware’ that they could register a comment.
Really, this is not good enough. They should know that they can comment. We have a right to expect more of our council….
The current crop of members on Draycott Council are, we know, good and honest people – but they don’t seem to understand how the modern world works, or how to represent their district properly in this 21st century.

In fact, as it happens, all the current members are standing down at the forthcoming elections, which take place in May… and so it is an ideal time for fresh blood to come in.
Would YOU like to stand for election and take a place on the council? Check out this guide on how to do it.

_ _ _
Funny thing happened….

A walk in the country is usually a quiet affair… but last week some of us went for a walk along the public track behind Blythe Business Park, when we saw a balloon come drifting down to land in a nearby field.
It landed quite softly and no one was harmed, but obviously it was not a planned landing…


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Then slowly, in front of us, just behind the rise in the ground, the balloon just deflated…
You don’t see that too often.

_ _ _
Calling local photographers

Lydia Hooley, the Staffordshire Police’s Community Engagement Officer, has contacted us to ask if we can put out an alert to friendly photographers.

Lydia is putting together a new ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ website and is looking for photographs that represent Draycott or Cresswell or Totmonslow. These should be pictures of recognisably local features, such as our scenery, monuments or ‘landmarks’.

Send your snaps to, and – who knows? – it could be your photo that goes on to represent Draycott and/or surrounding hamlets on the “localities page” of the new website.

_ _ _
Sorry memorial project

The ongoing saga of Draycott’s WW1 Anniversary project is not a happy one.

Nearly all other parish councils across the country responded to the anniversary of the First World War Armistice 100th Anniversary last year by organising wonderful projects and creating permanent reminders of that fateful day a century ago.

Fulford War Memorial Staffs

Fulford War Memorial

For example, in next-door Fulford, the local council worked with the village community group to ensure the anniversary would be remembered for a long time, by raising over £7000 to renovate the village’s old war memorial. (see pic right)

However, here in Draycott, our council dithered.
Eventually, virtually at the last minute, one councillor got a young yew from his own garden; and the council got permission to plant it in St Margaret’s churchyard.
Unfortunately, not all the families with loved ones resting there in the churchyard had been consulted, and some disliked this ‘intrusion’ – and objected, going to the diocese authorities. (The council also hadn’t got around to ordering a plaque to explain what the plant was doing there).
And, suddenly, a few weeks ago, some vandal uprooted it and chucked it in a bin – from which it had to be rescued.

Yew tree memorial

The yew memorial is now abandoned at the far end of the churchyard

It’s a bit of an undignified tale.

Surely, Draycott councillors simply needed to get their act together well before the anniversary, and plan out a proper and fitting memorial project.
But they didn’t.

No one seems to know quite what will happen next.

If you’d like an email from us each fortnight about the latest Draycott & District news, please click the ‘Follow’ button in the top right-hand corner of this webpage

Do you have news or information snippets that you think residents would like to see up on this website? If so – email us

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 address, that means you might miss any responses to your comment)

Draycott By-Election 2017 – the candidates

With the Draycott Council by-election coming up soon, on Thursday 6th April, we thought it was time to find out something about the two candidates.
We posted letters to both of them at their homes, asking them to tell us something about themselves and to let us have a photo. (This sort of exercise is carried out frequently on village websites like ours.)

We asked each candidate five questions.
Just one of the candidates presented an election statement, outlining why they hope you will vote for them.  The other did not reply.

Candidate answers

Roger Leach
Roger LeachWhat have been your main jobs in life?
•    For 11 years  I travelled the world with the Royal Navy sometimes on nuclear submarines, receiving a medal for the Indonesian Campaign.
After leaving the Navy I joined the pub trade in London. I then moved to Leicester where I worked Everard’s Brewery and was a publican for several years.
Finally I took a degree in wine and became a wine merchant  importing and selling  Italian, German and French wine.

In what ways do you think you have contributed to life in Draycott Parish in the last five years or so?
•    I led the Community Speed-Watch in Cresswell .
•    Fundraising for VVSM has also been one of my voluntary pursuits. With friends I organised a Curry Night, Elvis Night, sponsored walk, raffles, quizzes, canal boat trip and lottery.
•    Volunteering at the local library has enabled me to meet and understand the needs of local people.
•    Contributed to stopping the construction of a 950 megawatt Power Station in Cresswell.

Do you feel there are special skills or special knowledge you can bring to the role?
•    There are huge traffic issues in the Parish. The knowledge I gained from Speed-Watch and working with the police would be useful.
•    Fundraising is a huge part of helping communities to improve where they live.
•    Working in the library enables me to learn about groups that have an important role to play in supporting communities.
•    Ensuring that residents have a say in planning and development.

What would you like to achieve for the community?
•    Bring the community together and have fun achieving this.
•    Encourage younger members of the community to become Parish Councillors.
•    Improve communication between the Council and residents

Patricia McLaughlin
Ms McLaughlin has not submitted an election statement to us by the deadline.
However, her election flyer was published on the village Facebook page for her – see Candidate Flyer

To check who the candidates are on the local government official site, and who ‘proposed’ them for the role, click here.
Draycott-in-the-Moors Council’s Facebook site
is also regularly updating information about the candidates; and the election and how local people can to take part in it.

The ‘Waste’ of Draycott

In St Margaret’s churchyard lies the forlorn grave of a young woman.  On the inscription it says she was just 25 when she died; and she came from Draycott-Waste.  But where and what was ‘Draycott-Waste’?

Nineteenth century

The full inscription on the young lady’s gravestone reads:  “Here lieth the body of Margaret, Daughter of John and Dorothy Jeffries of Draycott-Wafte, who died August 13th 1806 aged 25 years”.  (In the old days, an s was often written in the shape of an f).
Hers is not the only grave to refer to this place.

The grave of Margaret Jeffries in Draycott in the Moors

The grave of Margaret Jeffries

We know that by the time that Margaret Jeffries died in 1806, there was already a farm called WasteGate; and a farm of the same name is still there today – in the fields behind Rookery Crescent in Cresswell, near to Painsley Farm.
But is ‘Waste Gate’ the same as ‘Draycott Waste’?

The 1801 ‘Smith’ map of Staffordshire gives another clue.  According to this map, there definitely was a place called ‘Waste’ in the southern end of Draycott parish; but… it is a fifteen-minute walk from WasteGate Farm….

Draycott on the Smith map of Staffordshire 1801

Draycott on the Smith map of Staffordshire 1801

As you can see in our picture, the 1801 map shows ‘Waste’ as being where the old Bird-in-Hand pub was, and it seems to consist of just a couple of roadside buildings – probably the ancestors of the Bird In Hand!
So, maybe WasteGate and Waste are actually two different sites, though they are quite close.


The term ‘waste’ is actually an ancient one.  It pops up quite often in the Domesday Book of 1086: we are told that it comes from the Norman word ‘uastę’and was used to describe any open or uncultivated space (though not necessarily devastated land, as it does these days).
So that probably explains the name of the tiny settlement of Waste in south Draycott.

But what is the meaning of WasteGate?  Well, believe it or not, one man who studied Draycott’s history a good deal has an interesting theory about this.
Reverend Healey, who was the vicar of Draycott between 1966-1977, wrote a short history of the village, and in it, he entertains the thought that the term WasteGate goes back to Roman times.
It is known that the Romans established a small outpost in Draycott as one of the stops on the road they built between Chester and Uttoxeter, so, in his booklet, Reverend Healey speculates that ‘WasteGate’ might be a corruption of ‘West Gate’ – i.e. it marks a folk memory of one of the gates of the little Roman fort from 2000 years ago.
It seems a far-fetched idea, but if Reverend Healey likes the thought, who are we to argue?

This article was originally written by John Leavis.   If you have anything you’d like to see published on this website, just email it to us… and we’ll try to get it sorted. Do you know any other stories of Draycott-in-the-Moors?
(For more history stories of Draycott, click here).

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)

New Haden colliery

The main summer exhibition at the Cheadle Discovery Centre centred on the area’s collieries.  If you are a history lover, and you missed it, you missed a treat, as there were many display boards and lots of old photographs.

The only deep-pit colliery which can be said to have been within Draycott’s borders was New Haden Colliery – and the centre featured a whole display featuring the old pit.

Part of the New Haden Pit display at Cheadle Discovery Centre

Part of the New Haden Pit display at Cheadle Discovery Centre

New Haden’s workings basically stretched under the Draycott Cross ridge, and the great profitability of the pit was massively aided by the fact that the Cheadle to Cresswell railway line & tunnel ran almost right through it.
It seems to have started life as the ‘Klondyke’ pit (though we await corrections on that!) – just after 1900.

Curiously, as the exhibition explained, one of the owners, John Slater, who took on the colliery in 1917, was a former footballer.
Perhaps it was him who encouraged the formation of a pit football team?

New Haden FC 1925

New Haden FC 1925   (thanks to Cheadle Discovery Centre for the pic)

For more information about the New Haden pit, consult Mathew Pointon’s local history book.  For more about the tunnel, click here.
Amazingly, a lot of New Haden is preserved as the old buildings are being re-used as part of the New Haden Pumps factory, on Cheadle Road.

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?   Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.

If you find the photos on this webpage too small to see properly, all you have to do is double-click on the photo itself, and it will double in size immediately.   Then just use the back-button to get back to this page.

PHOTO: Himalayan Balsam is coming to get you

You may have heard of a plant that is invading our grasslands – and is suffocating local species…  It’s the dreaded ‘Himalayan Balsam‘.
And Draycott in the Moors has not been able to resist its spread…

Himalyan Balsam

The dreaded weed

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

This photo was taken just a few days ago on the footpath/track at the back of Blythe Park in Cresswell.   The railing that you can see in the photo is on the footbridge over the brook (which itself leads into the River Blithe).  You can see that the weed is clearly choking the brook – so much so that you can’t even see the stream!

It’s not the only place you’ll see HB locally.  It’s a water-loving plant, so you’ll see it on the banks of the River Blithe; and we saw it along long stretches of the track of the old railway line from Totmonslow to  Cresswell.

It’s getting to be such a pest that the local Churnet Valley Partnership organise community balsam-weedings!   They also ask that you report it to them if you see it.

…as if we didn’t have enough to worry about…

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

NEWS: football update / Shevlin date / local mag / Huntley pic

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in late February 2014 
We have news of…:  what’s happening with Draycott Potter FC / Doctor Shevlin returns! / Uttoxeter magazine for Draycott / photos from Huntley Wood.
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
Forward to the Cup

Congratulations to Draycott Potters FC, who played superbly on the weekend to reach the semi-finals of the Ken Green Memorial Cup.  The lads had to face a tough test in beating Little Stoke FC, who are riding high at the top of the Uttoxeter League Second Division at the moment.

Matthew Stanyer

Draycott keeper Matthew Stanyer takes a goalkick upfield against Little Stoke. Draycott are in the blue strip.

Of course, it was a sad day when the team had to leave their Draycott ground last season after it was reclaimed by its owner.
Nowadays the lads play on the Forsbrook Parish pitch just behind Blythe Bridge Health Centre; and they have changed their sponsor, with the Blue Tiffin Restaurant sponsoring their away kit.
They have even changed the pub they use: they now meet at the refurbished Butchers Arms in Forsbrook.

The question is: will they therefore now change their name?  In the old days, twenty years ago, when they were founded by Brian Hilton, they were called Draycott Potter & Fulford FC, so the name has already altered over time.

Draycott Potter sign

The old Draycott Potter changing rooms sign – saying Fulford

Now that they play in Forsbrook parish, there is talk that they might change their name again, come the 2014/2015 season.

– – –
Bernard is back

Bernard Shevlin

Bernard Shevlin

One name from the past that is very welcome to hear again is that of Doctor Bernard Shevlin.
Bernard was the local doctor for many years, and is quite a character. In his surgery office he kept puppets, with which he would entertain worried children patients; and he was a regular voice on BBC Radio Stoke where he would talk about health in such a humorous and even light-hearted way you felt happy to be breathing!   In his spare time he’s also a member of the Swinging Sixties Band.

Well, he’s now retired; and on the talk circuit these days, where he is just as entertaining now as he was then!
He will be speaking to the Cheadle Historical Society on Wednesday March 12th at 7.30pm.  Non-members are welcome to the talk for a fee of £1 payable on the door – though you might want to get there early as the doctor is quite a draw…

– – –
Maidens in the wood

We reported recently on the fact that a film had been made up at Huntley Wood Outdoor Centre, which is just off the road from Draycott to Cheadle.
The centre is at last getting into its stride, with many ‘re-enactment’ groups – both historical and fantasy – using it for their get-togethers.   The centre, which has accommodation too, can be used for any number of outdoor activities including survival games and scouting.

'Lady of the Forest'

‘Lady of the Forest’ – photographed by Jasmine Whiteside

The centre is celebrating the wide range of activities up there by organising a calendar – with photos of events marking each month of the year.
We really like the photo for January in which a maiden (in distress? – surely not…?) seems to be lost amid the trees of the wood.  Photographer Jasmine Whiteside took the picture when she visited.
To see more, head for the Huntley Wood website.

– – –
John Giblin – press celebrity

Finally, it’s good to see that the local magazine The Uttoxeter & Cheadle Voice, which is distributed free to households, has extended its editorial area to include Draycott & Cresswell.
There should now be local news appearing in it whenever it comes through your letterbox.

We were intrigued to see an article about a ‘dream team’ of local amateur players, which included … John Giblin… – yes, the very same man who now manages Draycott Potters FC!  Nice to see that John’s playing skills are not forgotten – and, believe it or not -, he still turns out occasionally for the Potters.
Nice one John..

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: mini-museum, Potters strip, Izaak to let, & Jubilee piece

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

We have news of:   Izaak Walton Inn to let, again; Cresswell mini-museum; Draycott Potter strip; Jubilee bench – and more.
(There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – – – – – – –
Back to square one at Izaak

Just as things were looking up for Cresswell, along comes the news that the ‘To Let’ sign is back up outside the Izaak Walton Inn.

It comes down to rather bizarre shenanigans at the ownership level, where The Shaggy Pub Co, which was handling the pub on behalf of the owners, seems to have pulled out.
As they have done that, they have left their managers at the pub,  John and Trisha, high and dry.

The first the couple knew of all this was when the estate agents arrived to put up the To Let sign.
It seems a shabby way to treat these two good people, who have made a real good go at trying to run it over the last two months or so, and have quickly captured hearts and minds locally.

If you fancy buying John and Trisha a last drink, you’d better hurry – as they think they will have to leave within the next two weeks.

If anyone else thinks they can make a go of the Izaak – and four management teams, in this year alone, have tried – it’s being handled by James A Baker at £34,500 rent pa.

*To comment on this item,  just use the comments box (further down this page)

– – – – – – – –
Kiosk ‘museum’ on the way?

The likelihood of the red telephone box in the Cresswell lay-by becoming a community information point looks much closer now.
The box hasn’t been used as a working public telephone for some time now, and for the past few years has been just slowly decaying.

But now, the parish council has decided to support a plan to buy the kiosk for £1 from BT.
In turn, BT have formally announced they will accept the application – so long as there are no persuasive objections. People have until  October 2nd to lodge an objection (see pic of the BT notice in the photo below). Objections need to be sent to the Planning Development Dept at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Offices in Leek.

BT kiosk sign

BT gives notice, in a sign in the Cresswell kiosk, that it is happy to give up its telephone box

We don’t see why anyone would object though.
The idea, as first mooted by VVSM, the local residents’ group, is to see the kiosk turned into a sort of mini-museum – with information boards and photographs about the area’s history, wildlife, anything!
Other redundant telephone boxes up and down the country have had similar refurbishments, and have worked well.

Watch this space!

– – – – – – – –
Draycott’s Jubilee bench

Another piece of street furniture in the local news is our Jubilee Bench, a piece which celebrates the Queen’s 60th year as monarch.
Commissioned by the Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish Council, it has now been completed and is just awaiting installation.

The last parish council meeting saw an involved discussion over where it should be sited; and consensus was reached on placing it at the bottom of Church Lane.

It should be in place very soon.

– – – – – – – –
Potter back to winning ways

It was nice to see Draycott Potter FC bounce back to winning ways in the Charity Trophy. The team thumped Lamplighter Of Cheadle by a stunning eight goals to one, with young star Shaun Phillips recovered enough from a nasty leg injury to net two of the goals.

Rob Heatth, captain of Draycott Potter FC 2012/13 season
Rob Heath, captain of Draycott Potter with the 2012/13 strip

The team has also been showing off their new season’s strip, which has sponsorship from The Mango Tree Restaurant.  The Mango Tree is the Indian restaurant at the western end of Draycott.
Nice to see a local business supporting a local team!

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

Draycott Nurseries do Mother’s Day

At Draycott Plant Nurseries, the new owners Carolyn and Neil say they are all ready for the Mother’s Day (March 18th) rush!  Their plants have had a relatively easy winter, so the stock is wide.

Carolyn & Neil, owners of Draycott Nurseries

Carolyn & Neil are ready

The pair only took over the nursery at the latter end of last year, so this wil be their first full season here in Draycott. They are looking for a local property too, as at present they have to commute from Cheshire. Good luck to them!

See: Draycott Plant Nurseries