Tag Archives: Checkley Bowls Club

Sport in go-mode!

For such a small area, Draycott & district is blessed with lots of sport – from fishing to ju-jitsu and cricket, and even horse-racing.
And it seems everyone is getting back into activity mode following the past year of lockdowns.

Ju-jitsu moves

Good news for lovers of martial arts is that Tara Burndred’s award-winning Tatsu Dojo has completed its successful move to Draycott Sports Centre, where the conversion of two squash courts into a Ju Jitsu room is now an excellent new facility.

Ju jitsu room at Draycott Sports Centre

As you’ll know, Tara and her team were formerly in a building on the Blythe Business Park, just 200 yards from the Sports Centre, but decided to decamp up the road. There was a possibility that the forthcoming new access road into the park might go through their old building – so it was a wise move in more ways than one!

Compliments must also go to Draycott Sports & Fitness Centre which is showing how flexible it can be, and responsive to local needs. (Believe it or not, there are over sixty separate sessions at the centre that one can currently book for, from spin-cycling and fitness classes right though to tennis training.)

Get racing!

The news that a horse being trained in this area had won a race at Uttoxeter Racecourse this month was quite a surprise to some people. Where are these stables?, they wondered.
Well, go to the junction of Cresswell and Saverley Green, and there you will find the Leavy Stables, which specialises in horses owned by consortia of ‘ordinary’ punters. The National Hunt trainer Barry Leavy is the one who puts the horses through their paces; Cresswellians often see the horses go through their ‘gallops’ across the fields.

Inishbiggle with owner Georgina Davies

Incidentally, the winning horse we are talking about was Inishbiggle, but you won’t have made much money if you’d bet on him. He was the red-hot favourite, so you could only get odds of a measly 2/9!

Cricket for all

The Blythe CC First XI (based in Cresswell) may not have made a great start to the season, but a cricket club is not just about the first team or the second team. If you look at the club’s fixture list, you’ll see it also has a roster of junior teams, from under-8s upwards.

Blythe Cricket Club ground
The Blythe CC ground has spectacular views

What the club doesn’t have (at the moment) is an all-female team. This is partly because cricket is one of the few sports where males and females can play alongside each other as equals; the rules say a woman could play in the first team if she were picked. Blythe already run a mixed adult men-and-women session.
Nevertheless, the club recognises that girls new to the game may feel more comfortable in an all-female situation, which is why there are special girls-only training sessions on Fridays between 6pm -8pm for girls aged under-9 and girls aged under-11.

It’s great that the club is making really efforts to make space to get youngsters into the game. A list of ‘open-sessions’ where youngsters (of both sexes) can just come along is available on application to club officials.

Just watch

Finally, it’s great to know that spectators are welcome again at outdoor sports activities. There’s nothing like watching a game of cricket on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Blythe CC’s Cresswell ground!

Even the bowls club which plays on the green at the Cresswell business park, Checkley Outdoor, welcomes visitors, though, as secretary Sue Stepek told us: “…we’re don’t really get big crowds…”!!

As you’d expect though, social-distancing is requested at all venues, even after lockdown restrictions are fully relaxed at the end of June.

Links to more sporting opportunities in this district can be found in the sport section of our Local Organisations page

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NEWS: annual assembly / last week for Colours / green bowls back

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late May 2019
In this post we have news of…: promoting the village assembly / Colour-Works exhibition last week / go bowling in Cresswell… 
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up soon in our locality – including ballroom-dancing lessons…  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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Annual gathering

The ‘annual assembly’ for our district of Draycott-in-the-Moors took place earlier this month.
An ‘annual assembly’ is a 100 year-old tradition, at which residents of rural villages come together for one evening in the year – to hear what their local organisations are up to, and to discuss some of the issues facing the village.

At our own 2019 Draycott Villagers’ Assembly, there were speakers from six organisations, (though, sadly, the speaker we most wanted to hear from, the manager of the Blythe CC Community Hub, was not present). All speakers were informative, and well-received.

However, what was disappointing was the level of attendance. Barring the speakers and their supporters, barely half-a-dozen other people attended.

So… perhaps it is time it is handled a different way…
Up to now, the organisation and publicity for this event has been left each year to the local council’s chairperson (even though this is not actually a council meeting) but, down the years, the assembly has never been the successful event it should be, suffering from poor publicity and confusion over its aims.
So, is it time a people’s working-party was formed – with the ambition to make this gathering the central success for the neighbourhood that it really should be?

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Blythe spirit

Congratulations to the Cheadle History Discovery Group and to Blythe Bridge Library, who, between them, have produced a fascinating exhibition about the history of Blythe Colour Works. This huge works dominated life in Cresswell for almost one hundred years, from the 1890s.
From photos to ‘specimen’ crockery, there’s interesting stuff to see.

A laboratory at the Blythe Colour Works, sometime around 1930

It was a bit of a surprise to learn from the exhibition that not only did the factory supply colours to pottery firms (including Wedgwood, Royal Doulton etc), but it also supplied industries that made plastics, glass, and even jewellery!

The exhibition is into its last week now at Blythe Bridge library so you still have time to go along to see it.
If you want something to whet your appetite, click here to see a little YouTube slideshow of the best of the exhibition.
The exhibition is free to enter.

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Bowling along

Welcome back to our local bowlers!
The outdoor season has just started again for the bowls club which plays on the green at Blythe Business Park in Cresswell.

Cresswell bowling green in summer 2018

Cresswell bowling green – after a rather dry spell!

Sue Stepek, the club’s secretary told us: “We still have 3 teams, aiming to give everyone who wants it a chance to play at every level; and we always welcome new members to join this friendly club”.

However, if you don’t want to join one of the teams as such, but just would enjoy a casual session instead, then ‘club afternoons’ are for you. They take place on Thursdays.
Sue can be contacted on 01782 396785 if you want more details.

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Time to reflect

In a recent post, we welcomed the new members that have been elected, and will create a new version of Draycott Council.
However, as we know, the future can only work properly if we remember the past. And sadly, the past – that is, the record of the previous version of Draycott Council over the last few years – was not a completely proud one.

So, what we have done is compiled a review of the 2015-2019 council’s achievements (and/or failings) as a kind of school-report. Click here to see the full review.
We hope that residents (including the new councillors) will read it and see that there is a need to find ways in which improvement and reform can happen – so that we can have a model village council in the future instead.

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

If you’d like an email from us each fortnight alerting you to 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

NEWS: sporting success / Local Plan inquiry / councillor vacancy / History Day

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-Sept 2018
In this post we have news of…: successful summer of sport / vacancy on Draycott Council / Local Plan inquiry to start / Church history day / A50 closed for weekend   …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including  a WW1 Evening…  Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Sporting summer

By any standards it has been a good summer of sport in Draycott&Cresswell. The cricket club led the way, but there was good news all round for our sportsmen and women.

Blythe Cricket Club’s First XI (based in Cresswell) surprised all the pundits with a hugely impressive first season in the NSCCL top division.
Despite being newly promoted, they ran neck and neck with the leaders right up until the last month, putting up some stunning performances. Even the last day of the season was a nail-biter – being an away match at local rivals Checkley for the honour of securing third place in the league… but captain Peter Finch and his boys overcame that hurdle, to cap a great run.
Well done to them – and there is a bonus, in the fact that the greatly experienced overseas player in the team, Jalat Khan, has settled in so well this season that he’s agreed to rejoin Blythe next year too.

At the Draycott Sports Centre, the men’s tennis side had an average season by their standards, but the actual sports centre itself has gone from strength to strength with the recent opening of a completely refurbished new gym (see pic below).
There are lots of offers on at the moment, so remember – you can now stay fit in comfort even when the weather turns lousy!

Fitness Club spinning bikes

The green-bowls side based in Cresswell (Checkley A), like Blythe CC, finished high up their division, ending the season as runners-up. After an indifferent first half of the summer, they raced through the second half with an amazing six wins from seven… !

Well done to all…

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Councillor needed

Even though Councillor Steve Jones only died last month, process grinds on; and already Draycott Council is advertising the vacancy. Seems hard to be so quick at it, but it’s a legal requirement.

However, it’s not so simple as just holding an election.
For community councils like Draycott, an election has ‘to be called’ first, which means that ten people (who must all be on the local electoral register) must sign a document to say that they want an election.

The alternative is that the existing councillors will simply decide among themselves who should fill the spot (this is called ‘co-option’).
Usually ten electors would ‘call’ an election because they don’t trust their current councillors to make an intelligent or an unbiased co-option.

The notice-of-vacancy has now been published (see Draycott PC Website), and the deadline for an election to be ‘called’ is October 1st.

If you’re wondering what the requirements to be a village councillor are, and what the tasks entail, click here

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Local Plan

It has now been announced that the formal inquiry into the ‘final’ version of the Staffordshire Moorlands Local Plan will get underway in the first week of October.
[The ‘Local Plan’ is the framework for what will happen, planning-wise, in this Moorlands region over the next decade and more.]

Members of the Draycott community action-group, VVSM, have applied to address the inquiry, but it all depends on whether they get an invite – and that is in the lap of the gods. (See the article: VVSM hopes…)
They want to protest at the fact that 300 homes are to be built over the next five years in this small area, not to mention that there will be a large escalation of industrial factories. The Local Plan also sets out space for even further development in Draycott!

Our own local Draycott Council did not actually make a response to the final draft of the Local Plan (no one seems to know why!), so there is no chance of a representative from them being invited to speak, despite the massive issues facing our village.
One of the issues that should have been addressed by our council is the odd way that the planners are trying to change the ‘settlement boundaries’ around us. It looks like part of what was within the Draycott Settlement-Area appears to be being shifted into the new Blythe Bridge settlement area. Now, why is that happening?

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750 counting down

The celebrations for the 750th anniversary of St Margaret’s Church are hotting up: with the announcement that there is to be a History Day, during which the ways the church has been central to how this village’s growth since the thirteenth century will be outlined.
The event takes place on October 20th.

Draycott tomb ornament

This rose ornament seen here on an ancient tomb in the church was an heirloom worn by the women of the Draycott family down the years

Signed up to lead the day will be our two most prominent local historians – Matthew Pointon (who wrote the definitive book of the history of this area) and Lev Wood, the ‘face’ of the local history society.
We’ll bring you the details as they transpire.

Lev also has hit the limelight in a second way. Everyone who attended the Draycott Fayre this year will have seen his amazing World War One re-enactment complete with trench dug-out.
Well, Lev is also the man who has been credited with re-discovering an amazing, huge canvas on which is painted lots of scenes of battles from the Great War. It was painted by soldiers of the North Staffordshire Regiment, many of whom were recuperating from wounds themselves. It has a sad thrust though – along its base are listed over 900 names of the men’s comrades who had died in the conflict.
Click here for all the details.

This banner was stored away from sight for decades just decaying, but is now somewhat restored, and part of it can be seen in the special WW1 exhibition currently on at the Potteries Museum.
The exhibition is on there until November 11th, and includes other artefacts too, and it really is worth getting along as soon as you can.

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Finally … (but not totally finally…)

Don’t forget… the A50 is completely closed – in both directions – from Blythe Bridge roundabout to Uttoxeter from 8pm on Friday 28 September through until 5.30am on Monday 1st October.

A50 stretch

The bridge that stands there at the moment (by the JCB factory) should be fully demolished by the end of the weekend; and the adjacent new bridge finally up and working fully – so you’d think that that would finally be an end of the ‘A50-Growth-Corridor’ roadworks, wouldn’t you?
But, we’re told it won’t be. We can expect more disruption on the Uttoxeter end of the A522 until the end of the year.

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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, that means you might miss any responses to your comment

Place of sporting excellence

What an outdoors-y summer it has been! There has been no excuse at all not to get out and enjoy the weather … and our local sports facilities are certainly benefiting.
In fact, Draycott & Cresswell is now a centre for sporting excellence in many ways…

Best coaches and best support

If you want proof of just how well-regarded our local sport is in the rest of the region, look no further than the latest crop of awards.

At the Staffordshire Moorlands 2018 Sports Awards, around half of the accolades went to folk based here in this village!

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Sports Team of the Year went to Blythe Cricket Club’s 1st XI, who won the NSSCL First Division title with more wins in a season than any in the league’s history.
The Sport Across Staffordshire (SAS) Volunteer of the Year was Angie Heathcote, who has been the managing hand in Blythe Cricket Club’s financial success.
And Sports Coach of the Year went to Tara Burndred of the Tatsu Dojo Club in Cresswell.

Meanwhile congratulations are also in order to Mike Heath at Draycott Tennis Centre; he won the ‘Tennis Staffordshire’ Volunteer of the Year Award (which is part of the national British Tennis Awards).

But it doesn’t stop there. Not only are our people among the best, so are the facilities.

Upgrades

As we all know ‘Draycott Racquet & Fitness Club’ – to give it its full title – offers tennis, indoor-tennis, squash, badminton, and gym. Classes on site include spinning.

In the last few years, they’ve refurbished the gym and squash areas but now they’re pushing on further – by investing over £20,000 into new equipment. Yes, on their way (as we speak) are eight new Impulse Machines, two New Star Trac Treadmills and additional free-weights. Lockers will also be installed.
Work is ongoing, but should be finished by the end of this month. Why not go along and check it out then for yourself?

Surely it’s that forward-looking attitude that has helped the club to produce its first world-ranked tennis player – Elliott Farmer .
Elliott achieved his world ranking in doubles earlier this year when he competed in the Tunisia F18 Doubles – reaching the semi-finals, which means he is now world-ranked. Congrats to him!
Elliott has been training for over 10 years now at Draycott (with his main coach here being Craig Leese). He is now also constantly travelling the world trying to achieve a world ranking in singles too. (Fortunately he has great sponsors – including the South Cheshire-based ABC Solutions company).

So… Draycott – a great place for high-class tennis.
And if you want to see some matches (almost as good as Wimbledon !), and see them for free, head down to the three-day long annual Draycott Open Tournament, which starts on August 5th.

Shiny new nets

Now, everyone pretty much knows the success story that has been the Cresswell-based Blythe Cricket Club over the past two years.
Not only did the club successfully bid for (and build) a new pavilion, costing some half-million pounds, but the first team achieved promotion to the NSSCL Premier Division in 2017, and this season are even challenging strongly for the championship.

But, again, success is built on great volunteers and by improving facilities. The most recent improvement has been the new nets, which replace the rather outdated old ones.

Not mentioned as often as it should be is the fact also that the club runs youngsters’ teams, with even an under-8’s team on the roster. There has been no women’s team since the last one folded in 2014, but (we’re told) the club has not stopped looking for a way to re-start it.

Bowling-yellow

However, one club that has had a slightly more difficult year than other local ones is the CP Outdoor Bowls Club, which is based on Blythe Business Park in Cresswell.

A major distraction has been the future of the business park itself, which will be transformed over the next year with the development of extra infrastructure and industrial units & factories.
However, it does now look as though the bowling green is safe; and the club will continue.

The surface of the club’s green has of course been an issue this summer; three months of hot dry weather have taken their toll. What was a bowling-green is currently a bowling-yellow! (see pic below)Cresswell bowling green summer 2018
But long-time secretary Sue Stepek is stressing the advantages of playing this beautiful game to all who are thinking of an outdoor pursuit.
She says: “New members are always welcome. Newbies will have opportunities to play at most levels. But, if they just want to play for fun, ‘club afternoons’ take place every Thursday through the season (from about 2.00pm). Please contact 01782 396785 – and I’ll make sure someone is around to welcome you!”

Great place to stay sporty

And we haven’t mentioned all the fitness activities in the village we could have – there are keep-fit classes at the dance studios in Cresswell for instance as well – but space is against us…

But, when you think about all that’s here… then, how lucky are we????

NEWS: elections in / book success / accounts (?) / bowls club

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-June 2017
In this post we have news of…:  the recent election results / local history book success / council’s invisible accounts / bowls club open …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including a Fun Tennis Tournament. Check out the Events page)

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

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Results are in

Well, that’s it for elections for a while (hopefully!).
Since last year’s referendum, we in Draycott have had a parish-council bye-election, a county council election, AND a general election. The next lot is due in 2019.

As for the results, Tory candidate Mark Deaville was re-elected as one of our Staffordshire county councillors for the Cheadle & Checkley ward (which includes us) with a whopping 56% of the vote. No-one else was in sight. Sadly, the turn-out was just a measly 28% of the electorate.
Soon after the election, the Conservative administration on the county council confirmed that Mark will resume his post as the county’s Cabinet member for highways. Congratulations to him.

In the general election, it was a similar story with Conservative Bill Cash storming home to be (again) our MP for the Stone constituency. Oddly, the trailing Labour candidate did get a huge increase his votes too – but that is explained by the total collapse of the local UKIP vote.

Weirdly, Mr Cash has just put up a new website – https://billcashforstone.wordpress.com/ – about his work in this constituency, but it is the most amateurish piece of work we’ve seen in a long time. It’s hard to believe he approved it.
Sadly, Mr Cash has turned off the comments function of this website; it would have been nice to be able to put a comment on!

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Email a photo now

Our local library at Blythe Bridge has a photography completion running at the moment – and they are looking for photos of this whole area (including Draycott).
The idea is that the photos should be of a local quiet spot, somewhere where a person can just sit and contemplate the world. It could be your own back-yard, or it could be somewhere where you stop for a moment on your walks.

Draycott churchyard

A place to stop and think: Draycott St Margaret’s churchyard…

It’s easy to take part – just email your photo to the library – and you could be in with a chance of winning a prize!
Click here for the rules etc.

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Successful history book

Congratulations to local boy Matthew Pointon whose book about the history of Draycott-in-the-Moors raised over £700 in profit.
Matthew, who took not a penny himself, asked for the profits to be divided equally among the two historic churches in Draycott – St Margaret’s Parish Church and St Mary’s RC Church at Cresswell.

The parish council, who put up the initial money to see the book published, decided such an achievement needed a special event to celebrate it; and a History Event was held at St Margaret’s on June 3rd.

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During the afternoon, Levison Wood, the chairman of the local history society, led a special history tour of the village, which was very successful; and tea & cakes were served (for free!!).  Alongside that were special displays remembering the long, long history of this village.

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Bowls – a true Summer sport

One of the disadvantages of a lot of summer sports is that they can be cancelled because of rain. However, not so in crown-green bowls!
The sturdy members of the local bowling club in Cresswell pretty much carry on in the rain – unless it’s lashing down.

Sue Stepek, the club’s secretary, says the club is still keen to find new members – from absolute beginners to skilled champions.
Basic membership is £10 for the year, though that means you have to pay £1 each time you use the green. The clubhouse on the site was refurbished last year, so it’s a comfortable experience.
The great thing is that the green is pretty much open all the time; it’s sited at the entrance to the business park in Cresswell, so it is open 16 hours a day!

The club get-together is always on Thursday afternoon, so that is a good time to wander over and introduce yourself if you want to have a go, or get some guidance.

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Invisible accounts

Lastly, you may have seen on the noticeboards that Draycott Council has finally published its end-of-year accounts, and we all have until Friday 21st July to examine them, and, if need be, query them.

Trouble is: how do you get to them, to see them?

Most local councils now put a print-out on their noticeboards, or publish them online.  This what next-door Milwich Council and Dilhorne Council have done. The government is urging every council to do it one of these ways.
Some councils (including next-door Hilderstone Council) even publish the chairman’s annual report online.

But not Draycott Council.  At least, not yet.
In this district, what we have to do is first apply to the council clerk for permission to see them, and then (presumably – but who knows?) we have to trudge round to an address somewhere just to see the papers.
Wouldn’t it just be simpler – and more democratic – to publish them online on the council’s website?
Please?

====STOP PRESS:  A week after this article was written, these accounts were published online after all – see Draycott Council Accounts 2016/17. Thank you to the council for responding to residents’ requests).=====

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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: good Sport news / Draycott werewolf / community spirit / action funds needed

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid November 2015
News of…:  construction projects for tennis and cricket clubs / Emma’s happy Halloween at Huntley / a show of community spirit by the Arms / fund-raising drive launch from action group …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including a Star-Gazing Night. Check out the Events page)

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Sporting good times

The best news we’ve heard in a while is the news coming out of our two big sports clubs.

At at Draycott Sports & Racquets Centre, it’s just been announced that tennis-courts 3 & 4 are about to be completely re-made with a new ‘astro turf’ surface. For those who like to know such things, the colours of the surfaces will be blue and green. The work starts at the end of this month.
The extra great thing about this is the belief shown in the club by the Lawn Tennis Association, which has put up an interest-free loan which will fund 75% of the project cost.  Obviously the LTA see a real future for the sport in Draycott.

And, just a hundred yards away, at Blythe Cricket Club, there is other good news. As you may well know, the club has been concerned about the state of their pavilion for some time. It’s almost ninety years since it was constructed, and the small building with its thin wooden walls simply doesn’t fit modern needs. So… way back in 2012, the club first set off down the track to planning and funding a replacement.

Blythe Cricket Club pavilion

Blythe Cricket Club’s pavilion is showing its age

Well, the latest is that the process of seeking a Lottery grant for the new pavilion, aka the ‘Community Hub’, has gone through its last stage – successfully!  So – the money is in place, and building can start.
Of course, this will mean some disruption at the ground next year whilst the works are carried out, but it will all be worth it…

And, as we are on this stretch of Cresswell Lane, I suppose we shouldn’t forget the third sports club there – the Checkley Bowls Club, which plays on the green at Blythe Business Park.  The club, which is in its winter recess, recently had its awards evening; and our congratulation go to Eric Worsdale, who picked up the Cowans Cup award for the best average score across the season.

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Werewolves in Draycott Cross

Did you have a sighting of a werewolf on Halloween night? Well, we did – as the guests of the Haunted Huntley Halloween Event experience.

The spooky Halloween activity took the form of a walk through the (very dark) Huntley Woods – with all sorts of weird and …gulp… gory sights along the way (we were on the Adults-Only walk!). Bits of corpses were strewn across our walk; a very strange forester came to talk to us, as did a badly wounded scientist; and there was howling coming from the old quarry. Unnerving: to say the least!
And then this Scarefest culminated with a … yes … a werewolf, stumbling out of the trees toward us.

Huntley werewolf

One of the group managed to get a photo of the werewolf

Fortunately this hairy and snarling beast was eventually put down by the guides, using their special powers; and so Draycott’s Beast Of The Night was laid low.
Until next year that is, when, we are told, he will rise again….

One of the guides on the night was Emma King, one of the founders of the Huntley Wood Centre. Emma explained how, now the centre is up and running, she has decided to give up the actual management side; and has turned back to her first love, science.

Huntley Wood's Emma King

Emma King (left) explains the Huntley Wood concept to a visitor

So, Emma, who is a cosmologist with a PhD in physics, will be running science shows for children in Staffordshire schools next year. One of her shows is called “Explosive Food”; children will probably have much fun with that!

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Building on Blythe Business Park ?

One of the odd things about the planning proposals for Blythe Park is that they are STILL not signed off.
Although the SMDC Planning Committee gave formal approval for the plans – to build an extra 168 homes in Cresswell, and double the size of industry in the hamlet – way back in August, the proposal is still listed as ‘Awaiting Decision’.   This is because the community-agreements are not yet in place, and presumably there are still negotiations rumbling on.
Which all means that there is still a chance to defeat the plans.

The local community action group, VVSM, has taken advantage of the situation and have been roaring ahead with their work – briefing their legal team, brushing up on the research, and generally keeping spirits high.
The group has a period of six weeks following any finalisation of the plans to make a legal objection, and this is what their thinking is at the moment.

Of course, that all needs money; and the group has launched a fund-raising drive. If you want to help, click here to find all the details.

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Dangerous junction

Sad to say there was another crash on Uttoxeter Road a few days ago. Two vehicles collided on the Draycott Arms junction, just as one of them was pulling out of Cheadle Road.
Fortunately, no one was really hurt, though the car looked a write-off to us when we saw it.

Draycott Arms
Good to know there is some great Draycott community spirit around though…
The first volunteer on the scene was none other than the chairman of Draycott Parish Council, Roger Holdcroft, who busily cleared the road of crash-fragments, so that the waiting cars (which were by now in a long tail-back), could progress.
And what of the lady involved in the crash? Well our Zara, landlady at the Arms, rushed over, and was able to take the lady back to the pub and give her hot tea until the rescue services turned up.
Good to see.

Incidentally, Roger will be holding his first come-and-meet-your-councillors session this Monday (16th November) at the Draycott Church & Community Hall (in Church Lane), 6.45-7.15pm. If you fancy a chat about anything in the district, he says he will be all ears.

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NEWS: protest update / bowls season / church services / election watch

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-April 2015 News of…:  candidates’ opinions to be published / deadline for Cresswell plans latest protest / revelations about the Reverend… / heat on the bowls green
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including the opening of the cricket season in Cresswell. Check out the Events page)

– – –
Forecast of a hot summer. Sort of.

We’ve had an interesting email from Sue Stepek, the secretary of the local bowls club at Cresswell, which has just kicked off its season.  She is absolutely sure that we are in for a scorcher of a summer…
“…  a cousin of mine has a friend who knows someone with a connection to someone who has spoken to a man who has said that this summer will be an absolute dream for bowls players. Warm, sunny afternoons with just a hint of a balmy breeze. It will only rain at night, he says, so that the greens won’t suffer. What could be a better year to start playing bowls?…”
Sue is very rarely wrong, we admit – but what about the friend of her friend’s friend? Hmm.

Anyway… this could be your passport to a healthy activity.  The club’s membership is just £25 per year, which allows unlimited access to the green (on Blythe Business Park at Cresswell) through the season.
Another way to do it is to pay the other membership rate of £7.50 + £1 each time you play. Click here for details

What else would you be doing on a sunny afternoon? This would be a really good way to avoid the gardening…

– – –
Place your questions now

Yes, we can’t avoid mentioning Election Day on May 7th.

As you know, we are in the Stone Parliamentary Constituency – and the local website for Stone & District is offering an interesting service.  It says it wants your questions about the issues, so that it can put them to the candidates. Click here to find out the details.
It’s also running a day by day look at how the candidates are doing.

One thing we didn’t know is that the Stone seat is the largest in Staffordshire, being predominantly rural, and covers Cheadle, Tean and Draycott in the Staffordshire Moorlands; Eccleshall, Gnosall and Blythe Bridge in Stafford Borough; and Madeley and Loggerheads in Newcastle-under-Lyme. No wonder it’s such a strange shape.
There are also lots of other facts about the Stone constituency on the BBC Election Website.

Meanwhile, we’ll be doing our best to keep you up with what’s happening with the Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish Council election.  We’ve already sent out letters to the candidates to ask them to outline a description of themselves and their abilities.
We’ll be publishing their replies on April 27th, in good time for the big day.

– – –
Going to government

Another team of hard-working people are trying to get involved with government – but this is all about something completely different.

As we all know, the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Planning Committee overturned the advice of its own experts and also sidelined the council’s own Core Strategy Plan – in order to approve an application to more than double the size of Cresswell’s housing and industry.

On behalf of residents, the VVSM local community action group appealed that decision; and the matter has now been referred to senior case-officers in the government’s Department of Communities.  The VVSM team have been working away furiously to meet the deadline set by the case-officers to submit major evidence.
You can read up on their progress, and find out how to help, by clicking here.

Some of the group have been out and about talking to people in other, nearby areas; and it’s nice to report that councils in both Hilderstone and Fulford are formally supporting the objections to the plan.

– – –
Service(s) nearly as normal

There had been some concern that church services at Draycott St Margaret’s would have to be suspended because (as we reported last week), the rector Reverend David Bickersteth has now retired.
However, the church wardens have managed to organise cover and services will continue at the old church; Reverend Noreen Russell, though semi-retired herself, has stepped into the breach.
However – keep checking the church’s website for the actual times of services.

One thing that surprised us was to learn that David had previously been working in Yorkshire… except that… he hadn’t.  This was a mistake in a story written about the retirement in one of the local papers.  In fact, David and wife Gillian had been in Cumbria for the 26 years previous to their coming to Draycott.
Also – who knew that David’s father was Dean of Lichfield? … except that … he wasn’t.  David’s father was Chapter Clerk of Ripon Cathedral.

Glad to have cleared that up.

***
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NEWS: restaurant warning / Mary retires / thefts / Bowls sucess

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid June 2014 
We have news of…:  Mary Edwards to retire / attempted thefts in Draycott / poor rating for Mango Tree / bowls club’s unexpected success in the rain…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
The end of an era

A milestone in the life of Draycott will be passed very soon when Mary Edwards finally steps down as Clerk to Draycott Parish Council.
Mary has been a fixture in the public life of Draycott for as long as anyone can remember, serving for decades as the parish clerk; so it really came as quite a startling surprise to hear her announce her intention to retire.

Mary said that the sheer volume of paperwork involved in the job these days had persuaded her that she didn’t wish to carry on.  She’s been supported in her decision by her husband Selwyn.

The notice advertising for a new parish clerk will appear in The Stunner, and other local newspapers, this week.

– – –
Thefts

At the last parish council meeting, the members heard about the spate of attempted thefts that have occurred in the village in the past couple of weeks.

One incident will need your help: two young men wearing hoodies were spotted on CCTV stealing a catalytic converter from a Toyota in Uttoxeter Road on Saturday (14th June) at at two o’clock in the morning.  A VW Caddy was parked nearby.  Do you know anything that can help police?

In another incident, two youths broke into the premises at The Draycott Arms pub last Tuesday afternoon – though, fortunately they were disturbed, and did not get away with anything.  Did you see anything?

As usual, if you can help police, phone 101, or – if you prefer to be anonymous – phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

– – –
Flying the flag

Support for the England team out in Brazil has been relatively muted, we’ve found.  Maybe fans are just being ‘realistic’ about the team’s chances…

Izaak Walton Inn - England flag

Izaak for England!

In fact, we have only spotted a few flags flying in Draycott-in-the-Moors, particularly this one at The Izaak Walton Inn.
(Though, the landlady Cathy did confess to us that she “doesn’t know an awful lot about football…”)

Let’s hope for a more encouraging result against Uruguay on Thursday.

– – –
Disappointing for Mango

It is very disappointing to report that, for the second year running, the Mango Tree Indian restaurant in Draycott received a very low (one-star) assessment from the Staffordshire food-hygiene organisation ‘RateMyPlace’.
This means the restaurant has got a long way to go to achieve even a ‘satisfactory’ rating.
The inspection was not an overall standards-check – so the restaurant is fine to continue to serve customers – but the idea is to kick the management into making significant improvements.

In comparison, Blythe Cricket Club got three stars out of a possible five.

– – –
Welcome rains

Finally, a good news story!
When Checkley Bowls Club turned up for a match in Sudbury recently, the green there was sopping wet and unplayable.  The green simply couldn’t cope with volume of water produced by the continual downpours that we had a couple of weeks ago.

Fortunately someone remembered that CBC’s own green (on the business park in Cresswell) has very good soak-away system, so it was probably in fine condition – so all the players jumped in cars to return to Cresswell – and resumed their match there.
And Checkley won…!

Moral of the story?  You can’t beat good drainage.

***
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