News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors & District in mid January 2022
In this post we have news of…: changes at The Draycott Arms? / Covid cases shoot up / local pub closes / martial arts club makes a fresh start / good year for this website
For news of a Valentines’ dance and a pig race (!) and other happenings in our area, please go to our What’s On page
Here to stay?
The announcement that Draycott Council was cancelling its monthly meeting for the second time in a row because of Covid concerns, really reinforces the fact that the disease is continuing with its sudden, surprising return.
Britain has the unwelcome record of having had more Covid deaths than any other European nation.
Even round here, which had been one of the least affected areas in England, cases are now 600% greater than they were a year ago (see table right), and are now higher than the national average. Last week alone there were also three Covid deaths in the Staffs Moorlands area – which may not sound much, but compare that to the whole summer, when there were none…
Could it be down to issues with the vaccination roll-out? Astonishingly, nearly one third of the adult population in this area have still not yet had their third (‘booster’) jab. And now it turns out that some of us are catching it more than once!
But, on the other hand, the government now seems to want us to “live with Covid” and treat it like we would bad flu.
It is quite confusing at times.
One casualty of the epidemic is the Red Lion pub at Boundary, just along from Draycott Cross. After fifteen years, Matt & Vicky are calling it a day; and Covid – which caused closures and dropping numbers of customers – is the root of it. It’s a real shame – their beer garden on a summer’s day was very very special, as were the conker tournaments!
One bit of good news is that their cooking remains – in the shape of a takeaway service.
One big New Year resolution very few of us expected to hear was that Zara & Brayn at the Draycott Arms have decided that a restful break for themselves is in order. If they can find someone else to run the pub for them, the pair want to take a time-out for the foreseeable future.
We wish them luck. They really have made the Arms a welcoming, quality pub, both for locals seeking a quiet drink and for diners who just want beautifully-created dishes – but we all know that, to do that, one has had to put in incredibly long, hard hours – and you can’t do that forever….
So… what’s needed now by them is someone who’s prepared to take on the kitchen, bar and restaurant, and see the Arms through into its next phase.
It’s a rental opportunity – if you know someone who’d be interested you’ll find all the details if you click here, or drop in to the Arms and ask. The pub reopens on Jan 18th after its seasonal break.
But – thank goodness – Zara & Brayn are not going anywhere, and will continue to live ‘above the shop’, no matter who takes over the pub. They will also still be managing the upstairs holiday-let (which is now on Air BnB, if you’re interested).
It’s good to think we will still see Zara out walking Indeea, and Brayn buzzing round the lanes on his bike!
Dojo keeps strong
The Covid business has not been good for some sports activities, especially ones for kids, and Cresswell’s own award-winning martial arts club, Tatsu Dojo, was badly affected by the restrictions for a while.
However, it is coming back strong. Just before Christmas, Tara Burndred and her colleagues made sure the world were aware of their renewed ambitions with a big splash in the local paper.
The club really does do a lot for local kids, and their sessions are meant as much as confidence-builders as anything else. They also do special women’s street-safety sessions, so look out for those – or contact the club directly to find out what’s what. Sessions are held at the Draycott Sports Centre.
How was 2021 … for us?
Finally, to reflect on our year here on this website.
It’s strange to think that it is eight years since we started – time flies! Back then, we could create eight posts a month, but now we don’t have as many contributors, so we only do two posts a month now.
Strangely, despite fewer posts, numbers of views are almost as high. Google-Stats tell us we had 21,000 views on this website in 2021!
The most visited page this year was the one on which we reported that this district was likely to get yet another housing estate.
The high number of views could be because this website is getting better and better known, and more people are subscribing (we now have 300 such regular ‘followers’). Subscribers are those people who request an automatic email alert whenever a post is published on this website. If you too want to subscribe, just click the Follow button in the top right-hand corner of this page and then enter your email address.
One such subscriber is David Bond – who recently sent us this kind letter:
“… Just a couple of lines to tell you that I love to read your Draycott News updates from afar. I have lived up in Lancashire for the last 40 years, but it’s great to hear about what’s going on back “home”. My younger brother Derek also reads the news, way down in Dorset. (I was amazed to read that Mrs Hammond, who I remember very well, had reached the grand old age of 106 before she died!!)
“My Mum and Dad, and other close family members, are buried in St Margaret’s churchyard. We call in there whenever we can but, thanks to Covid, have been unable to do so since Christmas 2019.
“Keep up the good work, which I am sure is greatly appreciated by many other former residents, both near and far.
Kindest Regards, David Bond (ex. 169 Uttoxeter Road) …”
Cheers David – a happy new year to you, and all our readers!
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