Tag Archives: david bickersteth

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)

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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: Protest reaches govt / vicar’s farewell / changes at Arms / Tara tribute

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in early April 2015
News of…:  Cresswell protesters take it to the government / Draycott Arms changes / Tara is a Sports Personality! / our vicar prepares his farewells
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including the QQS Anniversary Ball. Check out the Events page)

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Cresswell protesters take it to the top

Well, despite the Easter holiday, the fight against the Cresswell planning application goes on – and now it’s reaching government level.

Although the planning application – to more than double the size of Cresswell’s housing and industrial units – was approved by Staffordshire Moorlands Council, the VVSM local community action group have once again been burning the midnight oil to try to stop, or at least, delay, the plans being implemented.
The new update from them is a plea to ask anyone who objected to the proposals to get behind their latest project: a direct appeal to the government.   You can read all about what they are trying to do and support them by clicking here.

VVSM document

The hundred-page document of objection drawn up by VVSM – but did all the councillors even look at it?

The more one looks into this matter, the odder things seem to get.
There is now quite a strong suspicion that some councillors on the planning committee (the one that made the decision) did not receive or even see the objections-document drawn up by VVSM.  The document spells out in detail the grounds for objection.

And it now seems that other rural districts in the Moorlands are (quite rightly) getting fearful after this decision – because, by approving this application, the committee has set a precedent, enabling the committee to ignore the so-called Moorlands Core Strategy, the very policy that protects many local small villages from inappropriate development.

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So long, Rector David….

It’s always a sad day when a well-liked neighbour leaves the area, but it is perhaps doubly sad when that figure is a well-respected local vicar.  After eight years here, Rector David Bickersteth is finally retiring from his role as a parish clergyman; and he and his wife Gillian will be moving back to his native Cumbria.

David and Gillian Bickersteth

David and Gillian Bickersteth

The Reverend David’s last duty at St Margaret’s Church will be to conduct the 8am service this Sunday (12th April), but he will then rush over to St Peter’s in Blythe Bridge to hold the 10am service, after which there will be a farewell event there.
We have found David to be nothing but open, trusting and welcoming.  We wish him the best in his retirement.

No successor has been appointed yet, though the vacancy is being advertised already.

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All change at The Arms

By coincidence, another established local figure is also taking a new direction in life.

As you may have noticed the Draycott Arms closed recently, but this is a temporary situation while the new owners get themselves moved in.
John Ford, the landlord & owner, decided that it was time for him and wife Deryn to return properly to their main business, the running of their farm, Cairneycroft.  Many of us have tasted the excellent beef that comes off Cairneycroft – as it was on the menu at the Arms!

John Ford at Draycott Arms

John Ford behind the bar at The Draycott Arms. Notice the Crusader Ale beer-pump…

Although John & Deryn have left the pub, you can still thank them for their work by using their Facebook site.  John told us that buying and refurbishing the Draycott Arms in 2012 was always, for him, a form of giving-back to his community.  The pub had been shut for two years when he took it over and some of us had feared it would not open again.  So…  in that sense… job done!
Thanks to them both…

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Congratulations Tara

One interesting thing about all the people we’ve mentioned so far – the VVSM committee, David Bickersteth and John Ford – is that they have been tireless in caring for their community.
But even they may admit that Tara Burndred has the energy of ten!

Tara founded and now runs the Tatsu Kai Dojo martial-arts and exercise centre in Cresswell, and rarely a week goes past where she is not announcing some new venture.
So, to us, it’s not surprising that the her work at the dojo has seen her listed for a Sentinel Newspaper Sports Personality Award in the sport in the community section…
Well deserved, we say!

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).