Tag Archives: Draycott Arms

NEWS of: Lisa’s day; assembly ideas; jubilee festival

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors & District in late May 2022
In this post we have news of…: a wonderful day for Lisa in Cresswell / new garden idea comes out of village debates / jubilee celebration in Draycott…

There are also lots of events in and around our district this next few weeks! For news of loads of Queen’s Jubilee events and a scarecrow festival and many more, please go to our What’s On page

If you want to get an email alert each time a post on this site goes live – go to the button marked ‘Follow This Site via Email‘ (see button, right) 

_ _
Flowers for remembrance

Nice to see around twenty people attending the Annual Draycott Assembly (the occasion where the community can come together to discuss how they feel about matters in the district).
Many subjects came up for debate, from perennial ones like speeding, and how to stop it, right through to the provision of local allotments. It was really great to see so many from the community getting into viable discussions about their own neighbourhood and how they would like to see it flourish.
Well done to Denise Wheat for organising it.

One very interesting idea was the development of the Garden Of Remembrance project.
If you are ever up at St Margaret’s Church, walk round the back and you’ll see a plot of land, which is being cleared for this particular project (see pic below). John Clarke and his team are really getting stuck in.

However, some very serious suggestions to move the project up a gear were explored, including installing wood-carvings on the site, and even making it into a wildflower haven. Applications for funding are already in the air…
Everybody at the assembly was very keen on this idea! Let’s hope it properly gets off the ground.

_ _
The sun comes out for Lisa

One truly marvellous event this past month was the Cake-Sale & Auction on the neighbourhood-green in Cresswell. It was only expected to be a small do, but the sun came out, and dozens and dozens of people turned up too! (It was almost too hot).
The event was to celebrate Lisa, whom a lot of us will know through her blog ‘Finding The Mothership’ which recounts her journey through cancer. It’s a painful read sometimes, but also full of joy.

Some of the ‘Tough Girls Club’ – the bakers, the face-painters, the sellers and Lisa (in the red-spot dress)

So her friends from Cresswell turned out to raise money, in order to let her have some of the comforts of life – and they raised a staggering £4,800… Unbelievable!
Some of the auction-items, donated by local individuals, were quite amazing: beauty appointments, a signed England shirt, a voucher to Thornberry Hall restaurant, a voucher to The Draycott Golden Keg restaurant – and many more. In fact, some of the auctions couldn’t be finished and went online.
A great result.

_ _
Jubilee weekend

If you look at our What’s On page, you’ll see many many Jubilee-related events all happening around Draycott. However, it did look for a while as though there would be no such public event actually in Draycott itself. Our village councillors said they didn’t think anything would be successful here, not even the lighting of a beacon.

However – well done to Zara and Brayn, who’ve stepped into the breach by announcing that they would re-schedule their Annual Sausage & Cider Festival to Jubilee Sunday.
Anyone who’s ever tasted one of the special sausages that Zara dreams up for the festival will want to be there…

Talking of big village events, nearly everything has been firmed up for the Draycott Annual Fayre, which takes place this year on Sunday 10th July. It is not too late though to book a stall – Jane Meller is in charge of taking enquiries for that (on 01782 396373). This year the price for tables inside the marquee is £15, and stalls out on the field remain at £10 per spot.

_ _
Bulbalcious

Finally, a word of thanks to Bev Reardon and her Draycott Local People group. This is the group who published and sold Christmas cards and a village calendar, to raise money for a local planting initiative. Over £800 was raised by January, and is being spent on sowing plants across the village.
Some of the bulbs were dug into the grassy bank below St Margaret’s churchyard, and did have a brief flowering in April – which was good to see.

The bulbs will only come back stronger next year…

***
Want to comment on any of the items on this page?  Just use the comments box – scroll down to 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)

NEWS of: no roundabouts? / cricket changes / local painter / decor at Arms

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors & District in late January 2022
In this post we have news of…: changes to village roundabout plans? / dazzling decor at Arms / local artist’s work / changes at cricket club

For news of a Burns’ Night do, a singer coming to Fulford and other happenings in our area, please go to our What’s On page

_ _
Roundabouts plan to be sidelined?

For a few months now, rumours have been circulating that the plan for two roundabouts – one in the centre of Draycott and one in Cresswell – was about to be dumped. Sure enough, it looks like it could happen.

Way back in 2016, the developers behind the proposed huge expansion of the business park in Cresswell were told by planning officers that they’d need also to fund two roundabouts – to cope with all the extra expected traffic, including the lots more of HGVs. One roundabout would be built in Cresswell (where the lay-by is now) and one in the centre of Draycott (at the bottom of Church Lane).
They would be complicated to build, and expensive, but the council’s planners believe they are necessary.

Well, eight years later (!), the developers have put forward their alternative plan: no roundabouts.
Instead, the new propositions can be summed up like this: Cresswell would get just an extra, turning traffic-lane added (like the set-up at the T-junction at the top of Cresswell Lane), while the Draycott-centre junction would just be controlled by traffic lights.

In this diagram (above) the green hammerhead shape on Sandon Rd is where the new access to Blythe Park will go (eventually): no longer a roundabout, in this latest proposal, but a three lane t-junction
(By the way, the houses you see to the right of Sandon Road in this diagram haven’t actually been built yet – just in case you were wondering!)

Some residents will definitely welcome this: the roundabouts would have created permanent disruption for around a dozen households.
However, the problem is obvious: the new plan has the potential to create snarl-ups and backed-up traffic, both on Sandon Road and on Draycott level. It all depends on whether the planning officers accept the developers’ (new) traffic-flow assessments.

This planning application is now before Staffs Moorlands Council, and all residents have a right to submit a point of view on it. To check out the application, and make a comment – just click here.

_ _
Degg digs in

You can tell winter’s nearly over when cricket clubs start to announce their plans for the coming season.
Blythe Cricket Club (whose ground is in Cresswell) are no different, having just announced who their new captain is to be, and who their main sponsor for 2022 is.
The appointment of Scott Degg as captain is very welcome. Scott is a steady hand, which will be needed in 2022: Blythe had a rocky season last year, and only just escaped relegation from the NSSCL Division One.

Scott Degg – photo credit Blythe CC

The 2022 sponsor for the club is Thermograde, a chemicals company based in Stone.
_ _
Dazzling décor

Valentines is in the air, and Zara & Brayn at the Draycott Arms are encouraging sweethearts of all ages to think about a hearts&roses night (or two) at the ‘Inn In The Moors’ – the holiday flat which now has pride of place on the upstairs floor of the Arms.

New photos that have been released show what a special set of rooms the ‘Inn’ accommodation contains. Some amazing murals and an extremely stylish approach to interior design mark it all out as something the old Arms has never ever seen before!

Inn in The Moors, at the Draycott Arms

Roll on Valentines…

_ _
Artist in residence

It’s a strange thing but many of us here in Draycott & District hadn’t heard of John Bullock’s paintings until he exhibited at the Artists Collective Show in Shropshire last autumn.
John lives in the village, and, even though he didn’t start painting until he was 65, now sells his work to collectors from as far away as Germany.
Though his big thing is landscapes, he does do commissions, and his picture of Grange Farm (the farm on Cheadle Road just up from the Arms pub) was one such commission.

Grange Farm by John Bullock (photo credit John Bullock)

You can check out John’s work (and commission something from him if you like!), by accessing his Facebook page.

***
Want to comment on any of the items on this page?  Just use the comments box – scroll down to 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)

NEWS: dojo restart / covid rise / Arms changes? / 2021 stats

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.

Case rates in the Staffs Moorlands last week (courtesy of BBC News)

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.
Hmm.
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!

Red Lion beer garden – great view over the valley to Cheadle

One bit of good news is that their cooking remains – in the shape of a takeaway service.

_ _
Changes at the Arms?

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.

Draycott Arms - Brayn and Zara
Brayn & Zara

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.

Dojo’s half-page feature in the Cheadle & Tean Times newspaper

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!

***
Want to comment on any of the items on this page?  Just use the comments box – scroll down to 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)

NEWS of: new defib / fayre good report / ‘tower captain’ / laptops needed

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors & District in mid September 2021
In this post we have news of…: Third defibrillator for Draycott / reports of the fayre / bell-ringers’ news / save your old laptops

For news of an arts & crafts market and other events in our area, please go to our What’s On page

_ _
New defib for village

Excellent news is that Draycott-in-the-Moors now has a new public defibrillator – which was installed at the Draycott Arms just a couple of weeks ago.

Defib at The Arms

A defibrillator is a little unit which is used to deliver a mild electric shock to anyone who is in cardiac arrest, and so it can save lives. It is not a substitute for calling 999, but, when minutes count, it can be used while you’re waiting for the ambulance.

Well done to the parish council for facilitating the project, but well-done chiefly of course to the donors. These units are not provided by the authorities; cash is needed. And well done too to the Arms; the system will feed off the pub’s electric supply – without that, the mechanism could fail.

The new unit brings the number of defibrillators in the locality to three – joining the long-established one in the Cresswell kiosk and the one at Draycott Sports Centre. It’s hoped one may be installed at The Golden Keg in the future.

_ _
Fayre enough

It’s a bit after the event, yes, but we should mention the Draycott Fayre, which took place on August 22nd.
Despite having to be organised very much at the last minute (to ensure it was Covid-friendly), things went smoothly and a good day was had by all. The Stunner newspaper did the event proud by giving it a centre-spread in its pages, using photographs taken by Neil Archibald.

Centre-pages coverage of Draycott Fayre in the Stunner (Cheadle & Tean Times)

(Neil Archibald is one of the stalwarts at Draycott St Margaret’s Church. Many of the church’s congregation were helping on the day, because the funds raised go toward the maintenance of our 800 year-old church).
Neil has put an album of dozens of photos of the day on to the Flickr website on the internet – click here to see them. There’s a nice sense of humour to them, so well worth checking out!

Of course, the numbers of visitors were well down on previous years, so the church won’t get its usual level of funding from the fayre this year, but still well-done to John Clarke and his team for making it happen, against the odds…

_ _
Aye aye captain

Talking of John Clarke, congratulations to him on being appointed ‘Tower Captain’ at St Margaret’s. The moniker sounds grander than it is (!), but it is an old title, meaning the leader of a church’s bell-ringers.

The Draycott St Margarets bell-ringing team, with John Clarke third from right (pic: St Margaret’s website)

The team at the church will be busy practising over the next months for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year, when bells will ring right across the country.
They always need volunteers (and it’s great way to keep fit), so, if you fancy a go, email John.

If you enjoy bells (and who doesn’t?), there’s nothing more calming than to sit outside the church on an evening when the team are practising (usually Thursdays). It’s a great way to relieve stress, honest…

_ _
Old makes new

Finally, don’t throw away your unwanted computers. Members of our local Rotary Club are asking for donations of second-hand hand laptops/tablets, which they will refurbish and pass on to neighbourhood schools.

The need for more computers for children is a Covid thing, because so many kids have had to go online for their education, and sometimes even just to catch up on what they’ve been missing – so kids without a lot of access to a computer are having a hard time.

By the way, if you’re concerned about any data that might be still on your computer, don’t worry. The promise is that the computers will be first ‘wiped’ by a professional technician, which makes it a great option.
Rotary’s Peter Nixon is also offering to come pick up the old computers; or you can drop them off at Blythe Bridge Library. Contact Peter for details.

***
Want to comment on any of the items on this page?  Just use the comments box – scroll down to 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

Council’s new (old) arms logo

Our Draycott village council recently decided it needed a logo for its official letterheads – so it chose to have the ancient arms of the Draycott Family.
But did they get the arms’ details right?

Call to arms
The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed that, as of last year, the village council has started using a version of the old arms on its official documents. This design now appears on the council’s official minutes.

Why exactly the councillors felt they needed a logo after one hundred years of existence isn’t recorded, nor do the minutes record why they went for the ancient Draycott Family arms as its logo instead of designing a more modern image.
(The Draycott Family were the ‘lords of the manor’ here for more than 600 years, from Norman times until dying out in 1698.)

Nevertheless, the council did it, and, last autumn, even went one step further.
The council had decided to buy and install a new public waste-bin (for £250) outside the churchyard – and decided (for a little extra cash), to have their ‘new’ logo permanently etched on to it (see pic below) … A little more historical research was done, and finally all the councillors were sure that the logo was designed to their satisfaction.

Bin outside churchyard

But are the arms strictly accurate?

Confusion
It’s very easy to get confused in heraldry matters. Everything in it is defined down to the very tiniest twist of a tail. As we wrote about in a previous article, even the sign on the Draycott Arms pub is wrong in a tiny one of its details.
The council learnt from the pub’s mistake; the colours are now all correct. The shape of the cross has also been slightly changed from the council’s earlier version – in the summer 2020 version, it was a more of a ‘cross urdee’ (in heraldic terms), which is not the Draycott Family arms’ type of cross.

Patonce
But is the cross on the new logo right, even after this correction?
According to heraldry, the Draycotts’ cross is a ‘cross patonce’, in which the ends of the cross splay out in three extended prongs (looking somewhat ‘like an animal’s paw’). But the current council version has more ‘nippled’ or ‘budded’ ends, which you might find on a ‘cross bottonnée’.
If you’re interested, the Heralds Net website has a guide to all the many different types of cross.

The best place to look for evidence of what the cross really looks like is probably St Margaret’s Church, of which the Draycotts were patrons for 500 years. You’ll see patonces all over it, from the patonce cross over the porch to the patonces on gravestones (see photos below). The patonce is even more popular in Cresswell at St Mary’s churchyard, where many of the older gravestones show it.

  • Patonce cross surmounting St Mary Church
  • Patonce cross on gravestone at St Mary's

But the most authentic Draycott patonces are to be found on the tombs of the medieval Draycotts, in a side-chapel at St Margaret’s, the so-called ‘Draycott Chapel’. After all, here the history of the Draycott Family is preciously guarded; generations of Draycotts are buried here, from the 1200s right up to the late 1600s.
In fact though, the medieval sculptors could be a bit sloppy, so the shapes of the crosses can vary a little – but the fact is that, generally, the Draycott tombs favour the fully splayed ends of the cross.


So – what’s the verdict? Well, in the long run, the verdict is that the council has deviated, but only slightly, from what we might call the ‘true’ patonce cross: the arms of the council’s cross are fatter than those on the tombs, and the council has also underplayed the splayed effect at the ends.
(Curiously enough, the Draycott Arms Pub sign is more accurate in this particular regard).

Does it matter?
The truth is though – even after all this deep investigation – that it doesn’t really matter (except to a few nerds like us…) what the logo looks like.
The basic fact is that the council, just like the pub, can have any version it likes, with any colours and shapes it likes. Until the council actually needs to ‘adopt arms’ formally, an exact version is not a statutory or legal matter.
In our opinion, the logo is nice & bright, fairly recognisable to most local people, and has a deep connection with the village… and is accurate to the Draycott Family arms to, er, 99%!

So … what does everyone think of the new logo?
Do they like it?
Or would they have preferred a more modern or original design to represent the council?

***
Want to comment on anything 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 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

NEWS: dog of year / Covid rules latest / Rev Sam! / green group

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors & District in mid October 2020
In this post we have news of…: Arms’ top dog / Covid rules – better for some, not all / saving the planet, locally / church man gets upgrade….

_ _
Top dog

Indeea, of The Draycott ArmsFirst things first… anyone who goes into the Draycott Arms will know that the most beautiful sight in there (…sorry Brayn!) is a dog called Indeea (pronounced: india). Indeea is not only beautiful but always calm, dignified and proud; a real asset to the pub.

But owners Zara & Brayn (and us) are not the only people to have recognised this.
Now, the Staffordshire online magazine The Mark has also honoured Indeea (in its current issue) with the title ‘Pub Dog Of The Year
Totally deserved!

_ _
Covid affects events

It’s getting hard to predict what’s on and what’s off right now.
The latest bad news is that the annual Festival & Procession of Lights in next-door Tean has now been definitively cancelled, which is a blow.
Meanwhile, the Cresswell dance-hall, Quick Quick Slow, is still badly affected. The government is still not permitting tea-dances (even when same-household couples are socially-distanced from other couples…) so the venue has now announced that there is no chance of social-dancing returning until the New Year at least, though classes are still happening there.
One feels very sorry, not just for the venue but the people who relied on QQS as a way to get out of the house and have an afternoon of pleasant exercise.

One thing is for sure, and that is that the Draycott Brownies project is not returning. After a successful couple of years, it was faltering due to lack of numbers, but, what with Covid etc, the Threapwood Division Of Girl Guiding, which oversaw the Draycott Brownies troop, has definitely decided it is unsustainable.
Funnily enough, Draycott Brownies were once one of the most popular troops in the area – this with older memories may enjoy clicking here for pictures from its past.

However, there is good news too. Our local library, at Blythe Bridge, is now fully open again, albeit on limited hours; Draycott Sports Centre is holding tournaments again and re-opening classes; and St Margaret’s Church is once more welcoming people back for its Sunday morning service (though you must book in advance via admin@stmargarets.org.uk) as is St Mary’s in Cresswell (though, with only 20 worshippers allowed in the church, it’s a case of ‘first come, first served’).

Blythe Bridge Library

Blythe Bridge Library is back

The rules are changing all the time. What will it all look like by Christmas?

_ _
Keep it green

In the midst of a pandemic and an economic crisis, it’s easy to forget that the planet is still under threat, so it’s good to welcome a new, locally-based environmental campaign, called Green Tean (& Draycott).
The driving force behind it is Alana Wheat, well known in the area for her girl-guiding and youth-club involvement.

At the moment it is basically a supporters’ forum working online (on Facebook), but it says that that its hope is to produce more ‘sustainable practices’ in the neighbourhood – especially regarding recycling, sustainable gardening, wildlife and more.
Its Facebook page is open to anyone to join..

_ _
Revving up

Rev Sam CrossleyMore good news from St Margaret’s is that the curate for this benefice, Sam Crossley (pic right), has finally got his upgrade (‘ordination’, if you want the proper term!). He was created a fully-fledged ‘Reverend’ a couple of weeks ago.

Sam is of course a Newcastle United supporter and, curiously, his team has been doing very well in the last couple of years – in fact, ever since he arrived here. Could the two facts be mysteriously connected?!!!

A piece of news that Sam might well be intrigued to hear is that the village council has discovered that the lane leading up to St Margaret’s Church is not called ‘Church Lane’ at all, which is what we had all thought. In fact it has no official name; and the council will be discussing the naming issue soon.
(But let’s not ask Sam for his ideas; we suspect he may come up with ‘Alan Shearer Lane’ or something like that…!)

Does any reader have ideas for a new name for the lane? Add your thoughts in the comments-field further down this page.

***
Thanks to The Draycott Arms and St Peter’s Benefice for use of photos on this page

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?  Just use the comments box – scroll down to 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)

NEWS: funeral / MP’s absence / cricket blues / sausages!

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in early September 2019
In this post we have news of…: Bessie Hammond’s funeral date / Blythe Cricket team need you! / sausage festival success / where is our MP?
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up soon in our locality – including Draycott’s Macmillan Coffee Morning …  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

_ _
Betty’s farewell

One of this village’s biggest community gatherings for years takes place tomorrow (Thurs 12 Sept) when the funeral service for the legendary Bessie (Betty) Hammond takes place. The little church of St Margaret’s will be packed to the gills, not just with friends and relatives, but also those who respected her for her work as a village councillor and unofficial ‘aunt’ to the locality.
There may even be in the church some of those she helped bring into the world; in the days when the health services are not what they are now, she acted as an unofficial midwife, ready to help young neighbours giving birth at home.

Many people, especially those who have moved away, may not be able to get to the service, so the family have set up a tribute page on the internet. If you want to express your feelings, simply click on Keates Notices and leave your message as many already have done.
If you prefer the old-fashioned way, i.e. by post, address your cards to 10 Rookery Crescent Cresswell.

Talking of legends who have now left us, we also have the sad news that Graham Yates recently passed away. Graham ran the Izaak Walton Inn  in Cresswell for over a decade during the 1980s & 1990s, and you might well say that this was a high point for the pub.
Graham would no doubt have been distressed at the pub’s present moribund state and uncertain future.

++
Brexit blues

We all admit that the Brexit is the most pressing matter for our country at the moment, but … it does mean that some MPs are working on little else, and so are spending little time on constituency work, let alone other important matters like climate change.

Sir Bill CashIf you follow the activities of our local MP Sir Bill Cash (pic right) through sites like They Work For You, you’ll see that a massive proportion of his speeches are about Brexit, with a few about HS2. And in fact, the number of visits he has made to this constituency for his MP surgeries has fallen to a new low – just five for the year so far… We have not seen him in Draycott itself since 2014.

Sir Bill has even suspended his www.billcashmp.co.uk website (despite it still being advertised on his Parliament page) which was supposed to reflect local issues.
However, Bill is going hammer & tongs on his Twitter account – about virtually nothing but Brexit though.

Compare this failing to the impressive local campaigns web effort made by Jack Brereton MP in next-door Meir.  Compare it too to the tireless local work from the Leek MP Karen Bradley ( whose recent speeches in Parliament have been about Leek Hospital).
Both Karen and Jack are, like Bill, Conservatives.

Draycott & Blythe Bridge (Sir Bill’s constituency covers both) have been facing huge challenges in the last few years and – we would say – it’s time for Sir Bill to get a bit more local. Other MPs (like Karen & Jack) have tried better to balance their issues workload between local and national affairs, even at this crucial time, and maybe Sir Bill needs to do the same.
For example, he would be very welcome at the Checkley-Draycott-Forsbrook Master Plan Forum later this month!

++
Despair – joy – despair again

As we reported last month, Blythe Cricket Club’s season took a sudden turn for the worse in July when the First XI crashed to bottom place in the NSSCL Premier Division. All looked over for the Cresswell-based team.

Blythe Cricket Club ground

The Blythe CC ground has spectacular views

However, miracles do happen. Just two weeks ago, Blythe amazingly beat high-flying Meakins, and followed that up by also thumping Whitmore. It looked like the impressive Khan ‘twins’ had regained their form and Alex Heslop was hitting the runs again.
… only to slump again with a resounding defeat to derby-rivals Checkley.

With only two matches to go, it looks like the last game of the season, on Sat September 21st, at the club’s Cresswell ground, could be do-or-die. If you can turn out to cheer the team on, then, you never know, the club may just be able to avoid the drop and stay in the Premier League another season.
See you at the pavilion!

++
So scrumptious, that…

Finally, we like this photograph, which was sent in by one of our readers. It shows (part of) the ‘Seven-Incher’ speciality-dish served up at the Draycott Arms Sausage Festival last month.Draycott Arms Sausage Festival 2019The Seven-Incher is a taster dish, providing an example of each of the seven exclusive sausages made especially for the festival.
So why are there only three examples in this photograph? “Sorry” says our correspondent, “but I couldn’t wait: it all looked too delicious! By the time my companion had got the camera out, I’ll admit I’d just had to get started… which is why only three are left!

Music at Draycott Arms Sausage & Cider Festival 2019

As well as sausages, there was music. Spot the two ladies joining in the fun – by ‘playing’ toy guitars!

And no wonder the sausages are so delicious. Zara, the chef, takes freshly-killed meat, and makes her own exclusive concoctions for the festival, which, this year, included an astonishingly good version of the South African ‘Boerewors’ (one for Brayn, no doubt!).
The Arms really is becoming the leading gastro-pub for miles around. We suggest you eat there now – before it becomes impossible to get a table…

***
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: Cricket’s loss / Cross accident / Arms alterations / Responders’ decade

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late April 2019
In this post we have news of…: death of cricket club stalwart / three vehicle pile-up / temporary hours at the Arms / gathering for local life-savers … 
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up soon in our locality – including a one-man show about WW2…  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

_ _ _
RIP Colin

Many of us were sad to hear that ‘Mr Blythe Cricket’, Colin Dawson, had passed away at the end of last month. Starting off as a player and ending as club president, Colin served Blythe Cricket Club over some sixty years.
He will be remembered a lot for spearheading the campaign to raise half-a-million pounds to replace ageing facilities at the club’s ground in Cresswell.

Blythe CC presentation

In earlier days: Colin (in cap) accepting a donation for the club

Understandably, members at the club have been saddened by the news; and tributes have been pouring in. At Colin’s funeral, the traditional salute, of cricket bats held aloft, was observed as the coffin passed by.

In his honour, the friendly match which opens every season at the club has been renamed – as the Colin Dawson Trophy Match –, and will be held this year on April 20th. Following the game, a plaque will be placed on the new pavilion remembering him.

He will be missed.

_ _ _
Accident at Draycott Cross

The Midlands Air Ambulance had to be called into action last Wednesday (17th) after an accident locally, which involved a van, a lorry and a motorcycle. The motorcyclist was flown to hospital.
Amazingly, despite the immediate injuries and the state the vehicles were left in, no one was seriously hurt.

Accident scene (image from Staffordshire Police)

The accident took place on Cheadle Road at Draycott Cross, by the turn off to Huntley Wood.
It’s an open stretch of road on what is otherwise a narrow lane, so it is a place where motorists tend to speed up. However… the cause of the pile-up has not yet been identified.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident 326 of April 17.

_ _ _
Light eats at Arms (for a month)

The long planned-for alterations at the Draycott Arms are now under way and should see the current pub morph into a gastro-pub plus bed & breakfast by the beginning of June.
Obviously, the builders will need a free hand, so – only for a while folks! – the full menu at the Arms is being suspended while the kitchen is affected… but snacks will still be available.
(The bar is unaffected… so, carry on drinking…. phew!)

Draycott ArmsAs a consequence … new hours will apply during the alterations, which are: evenings only (from 5pm) during the week; Saturdays noon to late; and Sundays, afternoons only, i.e. 3pm-6pm.

However, as is the way with building stuff, things can change – so keep an eye on the Arms’ website for updates.

_ _ _
Ten (and more) years of responding

If ever (God forbid) you find yourself suddenly seriously ill at home, the likelihood is that it will not be an ambulance first on the scene to you, but a ‘community first responder’.  These are voluntary, local, trained-up people who are on stand-by to help in the first ten minutes of a 999 call, while the ambulance is making its way.
They are, quite simply, potential life-savers.

Our local group, the ‘Fulford & District CFR’ turned ten years old last year, and is having a belated gathering next month – to which we are all invited.
During the course of the event, there will also be a session on how members of the public can use a defibrillator, which, again, can be life-saving. (There is a public defibrillator in the Cresswell kiosk, though there is none in Draycott yet).

These guys do a terrific job, and need our support. The event takes place on at Fulford Village Hall (about two miles from Cresswell) on May 9th.  (STOP PRESS: the event has now been postponed to June)

***
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

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)

NEWS: action-man John / buses future / Arms expansion / new council clerk / race trial

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late June 2018
In this post we have news of…: Draycott’s Volunteer of The Year / buses survey / b&b business coming? / welcome to Denise / race case shame …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including  live-music from local lad Matty Edwards…  Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

– – –
John’s busy time

John ClarkeA big thank you to everyone who voted for Draycott’s own John Clarke (right) in the Moorlands Volunteer Of The Year Awards.  The result was announced at a special ceremony in Leek and our John came an honourable joint second. It’s all based on a public vote, so second is a very good result for someone from a small village such as ours.
As John said, it’s a time of great flux for our neighbourhood, so anything that gets a positive headline for Draycott has got to be a good thing.

Right now though John is hugely busy putting the finishing touches to the preparations for this year’s Draycott Fayre Weekend (on July 7th & 8th). He is chief organiser (and bottle washer!) for the fayre.
Plenty of late bookings are still being arranged, with the most fascinating one being the promise of the sight of a reconstructed World War One trench dug-out (see below)!

WW1 dug out re-construction
It’s being created by the secretary of the local history society; and for anyone interested in the conflict of the 1914-18 War it will be a big draw.

Do keep checking the updates to the line-up, because – as we say – lots and lots of stuff keeps being added on… and you won’t want to miss out on anything…

One thing you can do to help is put up the official poster in your window or business – just click here to access the 2018 FAYRE Poster , and then just print it off and put it where you think people will see it. Cheers!!

– – –
Buses survey

As we reported last month, there was a brief glimmer of hope that the number 12 bus route, which runs through Draycott & Cresswell, might be restored after it was cancelled in March. However even that small hope has now been dashed, as the county council has now definitively refused to continue the subsidy for it.

Some Staffordshire local/parish councils have stepped into the breach and stumped up money to keep their village bus services running, but it’s an expensive option. The other question is: how many people would use the bus even if it was brought back?

The district’s local newspaper, the Cheadle & Tean Times, is now running a survey on the issue, basically asking “would you use a bus service if there was one?” If it’s something that worries you, it’s worth completing the survey, which is on page six of the current issue.

– – –
Arms expansion

While sifting among recent planning applications, we saw that Zara & Brayn at the Draycott Arms are continuing their plans for the pub by putting up proposals for a few bed-and-breakfast rooms.  It certainly would be great to have such accommodation in the heart of the village, as the nearest alternatives are just out of walking distance.

However, Zara & Brayn, just like John, might be a bit too busy over the next seven days to worry about that side of their business. Next weekend (Sat 7th July) they are the hosts of the Draycott Saturday Night Live In the Marquee event, when they will be putting on a mini beer & cider festival to accompany the live music on stage.

Hassell St Jive Candy

Hassell St Jive Candy are the headliners at Draycott Saturday Night Live

Looking forward to that!!

– – –
Shame

Draycott hit the national headlines for all the wrong reasons last week when one local resident here in Draycott was convicted of inciting race hatred in views she expressed on her website.  Barbara Fielding-Morriss, who is 79 years old, describes herself as ‘white supremacist’, a despiser of Jews and a fascistic supporter of Hitler. She faces a possible seven years in prison when she is sentenced next month.
She chose not to have legal representation during the trial, which the judge was very surprised at.

Fortunately, it seems Barbara is almost a lone voice and has very few members in her ‘party’. But it does all leave a very bad taste in the mouth.

++++++++++++++++++
The Draycott Council bit

(Our local Draycott Council gets up to so many odd things that we almost can’t keep up, so we have given the council its own little section)

After all the confusion and upset over the last couple of months, a new clerk to the council is finally in place.

The very popular former clerk felt compelled to resign in March saying she felt under-valued by councillors and harassed.
A confusing period followed, in which one new appointee came in and then absented herself, followed by a rather flawed advertising process, and – finally – a further appointment was made.

Amazingly, this rather messy performance has ended up with a good candidate.  Denise Wheat is well known in Tean (the next village along from us) for being a leading light in community projects there and is an established business-woman (she runs her own photography concern).

Denise is already taking courses in the responsibilities and functions expected of a clerk to a village council. Although clerks are not elected so they can’t make policy decisions, they are expected to ‘manage’ the council’s actions and procedures.

Denise has a difficult job on her hands, not just with guiding the current councillors, but in responding to the government’s calls that village/community councils be more active and more transparent. What’s more, there are elections to the council in less than twelve months!
Good luck to her.

***
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

NEWS: cricket joy / online paper / comunity fund / GOSH charity / car-boot / Shashi RIP

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid June 2018
In this post we have news of…: cricket club’s great start to season / reading the Stunner online / county hands out money to community / the Arms goes for a charity ride / book a car-boot spot …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including a free live-music afternoon…  Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

– – –
Boyz doing good

Congratulations to our very own Blythe Cricket Club  for a cracking start to their season. The Cresswell-based team were promoted to the NSCCL Premiership for the first time last season, and some thought they may be destined to head straight back down again. But, not so!
The lads had a 100% record until meeting this season’s leaders Porthill Park but even now still figure in the top five of the table.

Blythe Cricket Club ground

The Blythe CC ground has spectacular views

One wise new signing was Jalat Khan.  Although we are not long into the season, the Pakistani international leads the batting and bowling stats! What with the consistently expert bowling of ‘veteran’ Matt Goodwin and the leadership of captain Peter Finch, all looks set for the club to have a good summer.
However a real test comes up on 23rd June, when Blythe is at home to reigning champions Meakins.
Entrance to matches is free.

(By the way, if you are wondering where the young wicket-keeping star Jack Hammond has gone, well, it’s not far – he transferred to Checkley).

– – –
County Council gives money back to public – shock

The end-of-the-financial-year summaries have just been published for the county council’s ‘Community Fund’. Under this scheme, every county councillor is given a sum of money to distribute to projects in his or her own ward.

mark deaville

Mark Deaville

Our own county councillor, Mark Deaville (his Cheadle & Checkley ward covers Draycott) nominated just over £7000 to thirteen local projects in 2017/18.
In Draycott and Cresswell, his nominations saw £800 for Checkley Outdoor Bowls Club (which plays in Cresswell), another £800 for furniture for the new Blythe CC Community Pavilion (also in Cresswell), and £300 for curtains for the church hall. Click here to see details of all those grants.

Mark is now making his nominations for 2018/19, so if you have a community project that you think could do with a few quid, just ask! Click here for details on how to do that.

– – –
Stunner enters 21st century

It’s interesting to see that our local newspaper The Stunner (aka The Cheadle & Blythe Bridge Times & Echo) is now available online as well as in paper form.  So, if you prefer to keep up with the world on your computer (or phone), well, now you can.
You can now get the whole of paper’s content, cover-to-cover, not just the headlines, by taking out an online subscription.

However, we are pretty old-fashioned, and still prefer the crinkle of actual paper…
What’s more, thanks to Lloyds Newsagents in Blythe Bridge, who still employ a paper girl, we don’t even have to leave home to read it, getting it delivered through the letterbox.

– – –
GOSH!

Recent visitors to the Draycott Arms will have noticed that mine-hosts, Zara and Brayn (pic below), are looking even fitter and leaner than usual.

Draycott Arms - Brayn and Zara

This is because the pair are currently training for the 100-Mile Charity Cycle Ride – which takes place in July, raising money for the famous children’s hospital Great Ormond Street (aka GOSH).
Unlike a lot of so-called ‘challenges’ this one is really quite tough. It’s an up-and-down course, and will certainly be exhausting. (This is why we have preferred to simply support their just-giving page rather than take part ourselves!)

It’s a great cause too. Check out how to contribute by clicking the pair’s Just-Giving page.
Alternatively, why not head on down to the Draycott Arms ‘Music in The Sun’ event this Sunday (10th), and make your contribution in person?

– – –
Make some money

Next month’s Draycott Summer Fayre Weekend  is offering us all a chance to make a little pin money.   Every little helps…

For the first time, the fayre’s car-boot sale will be a stand-alone affair, taking place on the Saturday (the morning of July 7th). There is a large field to fill, so there is plenty of room.
As it’s the first time of trying, the cost of a pitch has been kept deliberately low – just £5 per spot (including car).  It’s free entry for the public.

Draycott Fayre 2016 - ice cream

Draycott Fayre (2016)

However, it is best to book your pitch in advance. Maureen Winfield is in charge of the organisation of it all – so email her if you want to make sure of taking part.
Time to check the garage…

– – –
RIP Shashi

It’s always sad to report the death of a member of the community, but sadder when it is someone who has done so much good.
On May 24th, Doctor Salpekar Shashikar died at his home in Upper Tean, aged 81; he leaves his wife Prabha. Shashi will be missed.

***
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