Tag Archives: draycott cross

NEWS: VJ bells / down a mine / ‘automatic’ planning / dance is back!

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in early August 2020
In this post we have news of…: bells will ring for VJ Day / development in Draycott to speed up? / Cresswell dance studios open again / exploring Draycott Cross mine…

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Seventy-five sounds for VJ Day

The coronavirus situation has put paid too many public events this summer.
In Draycott, the July summer fayre and the Sausage & Cider Festival have been cancelled, and now, most of the official VJ Day Anniversary event marking the end of World War Two back in August 1945. St Margaret’s Church had plans for a peal of its ancient bells, a bagpipe salute, and even cream teas – but it won’t happen now.

But John Clarke, the organiser of the event, is a never-say-die sort of fellow, so he has come up with a solution. Though the whole bell-ringing team cannot be present, a lone bell-ringer can be – so John has volunteered to be that lone ringer, and he will ring one of the bells seventy-five times, as a solemn tribute.

John will ring one of the main tenor bells, both of which date back nearly 400 years.

Painted frame in St Margaret bell-chamber

A mighty heavy St Margaret’s Church bell, in its frame

The tenors are the heaviest bells in the set (of eight) – each weighing around an amazing hundred stone each – so John will be pretty tired by the time he’s finished!
We wish him the best.

The event takes place this Saturday (15th August) just after 11am.

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Down the mine

It seems like another bunch of ‘explorers’ have been able to access the old, now abandoned, Draycott Cross Mine. They have just posted a 30-min video of themselves, climbing down inside the entrance and walking along some of the passage-ways.
It’s not clear if they had permission. And, even if they had permission, it was an incredibly foolhardy thing to do; they don’t seem to have had proper breathing apparatus.

The colliery at the Draycott Cross location was spectacularly unsuccessful.  First dug in the 1860s, it’s quite likely that not an ounce of coal was ever drawn from it. The owners only seemed to maintain it because it was next to the southern end of the Draycott Cross Railway Tunnel (which was a short length of track cut through the hillside, carrying coal from New Haden Colliery to Cresswell – and thence to the main line to Stoke) – and the tunnel itself was closed and blocked off in 1933.

Railway Tunnel - Draycott End

Cheadle to Cresswell Railway tunnel – Draycott end

In fact, only two shafts were ever sunk at Draycott Cross; though one of those was developed as a borehole after the war and now forms part of a water pumping station.

One strange story told by older folks is that, when the Draycott collieries complex (including New Haden) were finally abandoned in 1942, a lot of old radios were dumped down the shafts. No-one who tells this story can explain why though.
We can tell you though that these recent ‘explorers’ found no radios where they went…

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More building to come

People in this district will have watched carefully the latest announcements about the major relaxation of the planning laws by this government.
As the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said: “On land designated for growth… new homes, hospitals, schools, shops and offices will be allowed automatically.”  What’s more, the prime minister has come up with £12 billion to spend on building houses over the next eight years.
Also householders will more easily be able to build extensions.

As we’ve pointed out more than once, developers already have their eyes on the possibilities of the high ridge above Draycott overlooking Uttoxeter Road. Well, these government proposals will make it much easier for them to be processed.

Naturally a lot of people are very worried that rogue developers will take the announcement as a green light for them, especially as local objections might now count for less and less. If it worries you, a national petition has now been established – click here for details.

The other patch of land which might now come back into play for development is the field between St Margaret’s Church and the sheltered housing complex. This ‘glebe-land’  was under discussion in 2013, but negotiations did not proceed. It will be interesting to see what effect the new pronouncements have.

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Quick Quick … back!

We’d like to be among those to congratulate the Quick Quick Slow Dance Studios on recently re-opening.

The Cresswell dance-hall had to close during lockdown and faced a struggle to survive during the months – but the two owners, Hannah & Duncan, responded really imaginatively, and kept the business going in various ways.
They put out a regular podcast full of dance music plus reading out requests from listeners, many of whom of course had been attending dances before lockdown.
They launched a fund-raising drive to keep the business alive – and clients responded wonderfully, more than doubling the target that had been set.
And, just as important, they kept in constant touch with their clients – and kept their spirits up – with a regular flow of news and fun on their social media outlets .
All in all, they did brilliantly.

QQS Studios

The QQS dance-floor in happier times

But…. how do you re-open a dance-hall? All that exercise (i.e. all that breathing-out) in an enclosed space is still prohibited.
In fact… at the moment QQS is really only open for private lessons (for ‘households’ or bubbles’), but also – believe it or not – if you’re really missing dancing, you can hire the whole dance-hall for a reasonable price, and then you and your ‘household/bubble’ can have your own private dance!
If you want to know more about lessons etc, phone Hannah on 07975 914 649.

Though it’s not clear when public dances will happen again in Cresswell, there is at last a date for public classes at QQS: these will re-commence next month.

Hopefully, the classes will bring a little more normality to our lives… it will certainly be very welcome.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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: Vol of The Year/ new homes/ farm sold/ giant pothole/ village assembly (not)

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late May 2018
In this post we have news of…: your votes needed for Volunteer Of Year, 100-plus houses on the way, Draycott Cross’s huge pothole, ancient farm-site sold, village-assembly shambles …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including a cricket tournament on BH Monday…  Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Voting time

…no, don’t worry, it’s not our council election time (that’s next year), BUT your votes are requested please.

Nearly everybody will know John Clarke (see pic right). In the last few years he has been the go-to man for so much that happens in our village.
John ClarkeHe is best-known for the being the Chief Organiser of the Draycott Summer Fayre, which is now so successful that being organiser is almost a year-round job.
But John also does the little things too – he repairs our bus-shelters and notice-boards, delivers community newsletters, helped set up the churchyard lighting, and the like. He was the courageous fellow who climbed up into the church belfry for six months, working to restore the church’s 500-year old bells!
And he does it all for nothing.

In recognition of his work, this year John has been selected as one of the finalists in the Staffs Moorlands Volunteer Of The Year Award. However, the winner is decided by public vote – so, please take the thirty seconds to vote for him.
To vote: just click on this link  (and then click the button by John’s name at the bottom of that page).
You can also vote by phone: just call 01538 381356, and leave your name and say you are voting for John Clarke (outside office hours, you’ll be diverted to Carol’s answer phone, and you can just leave your name and nominate John on that).
Anyone is allowed to vote.

Please vote – and please encourage friends, family, neighbours to vote (deadline is in just a few days – on May 31st).
The other finalists are from the Moorlands’ big towns; so for a lad from a small village like ours to win, he will need all the votes possible…

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King of potholes

The county council used to have an excuse for the plethora of potholes. They said most of them were caused by unstable tarmac contracting in freezing winter conditions. Well, in a very hot Spring, that excuse looks less believable.
A really nasty pothole has appeared on Cresswell Lane leading up to the cricket club. Because of the incline, it’s hard to see it until the last minute, and we’ve seen cars swerving very late to avoid it. But this manoeuvre is crazy because you’re approaching the blind brow of a hill there…Pothole D Cross 2018
However, the king of potholes, well over six inches deep, is at Draycott Cross on the road leading up to Boundary (see pic above). It’s a nightmare because it’s on a very narrow bend; you can feel your axle crunching as you go into it. Motorists, beware.
To report a pothole, click here.

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“New village” for Draycott

As we predicted some months ago, a planning application for a local estate of over 100 homes has been given the final green light by Staffs Moorlands Council.

The developers, St Modwen, have had dibs on the land all along the ridge overlooking Draycott Level for some time; and when they decided they wanted to build houses at one end of it, it would have been a hard fight to stop them.
The new estate, which will sit in the pocket of land which has the A50 on one side and the Blythe Bridge roundabout on the other, will also have a new access road – which will come out by the Chandni Cottage restaurant.

Predictably, our Draycott Council had almost nothing to say about this,  (despite the new estate being on the parish border), but the Stunner newspaper reported  great disappointment from local residents Lee Warburton and Paul Dyke.
Paul said: “How on earth can an access road across an extremely busy carriageway, no more than a stone’s thrown from one of the city’s most dangerous accident black-spot roundabouts make any sense? Adding in the extra cars from 118 houses will only make things worse.”
Another resident, Brian Sammons said that the site was so isolated up on the ridge that it amounted to a “new village”.

St Modwen has yet to announce what building plans they have for the rest of the ridge stretching along to Cresswell. Watch this space.

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Historic site sold

One of Draycott’s most interesting properties looks like it has finally been sold. High Coneygreave Farm, up on Draycott Cross near Huntley Wood, is ‘under offer’ for around £400,000. High Coneygreave FarmThe farm-site is very old, though the farmhouse itself is probably only 19th century (does any local historian know the answer?) and is in a lovely spot, with views all around. The only thing that seems to have put buyers off is all the work needed on the house.

Incidentally, the farm is on the access road to Huntley Wood Recreation Park, a private facility which is mostly used these days by ‘game-playing’ or ‘role-playing’ societies. The members of these societies use the Wood’s open spaces to enact live scenarios similar to Dungeons & Dragons etc.
So the new owners of High Coneygreave will have to get used to wizards and wonder-women passing their door!

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What’s up at Draycott Council?

(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)

It might be best to try and forget the last council meeting.
The council was supposed to have organised a village-assembly (when the whole village comes together, to look back on the last year and plan for the next).
Well, it was a shambles. It was so badly organised and badly advertised that only one village organisation turned up specially (John Clarke, thank goodness, gave a report on the forthcoming village Summer Fayre) and less than ten people attended.

What’s more, the acting council clerk said she wasn’t attending, and no-one had thought to go and collect the paperwork off her for the meeting, so it was all a bit confused. Sigh.

Let’s hope the councillors get their act together in time for the Council’s Annual Meeting next month, when they have to report on the council’s achievements over the last year. Hmm…

***
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: car fireball / Blythe Vale go-ahead / footpaths concern / baby ballet!

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid- November 2017
In this post we have news of…: car in explosion at Draycott Cross / approval for 118 new homes / footpaths consultation / ballet for babies…
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including Remembrance Sunday events. Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Car in fireball

Details are slowly emerging of the weekend’s horrific car-crash at Draycott Cross.
On Friday evening, two cars collided near to Field’s Farm on Cheadle Road (half a mile up from the Draycott Arms) and, minutes later, one of them started into flames.
Fortunately some other, very courageous motorists at the scene managed to drag the young woman who was driving the car out of the vehicle … but only moments before a sudden fireball explosion.
The young woman, who has not been named yet, has severe injuries to her legs and is being treated in hospital.

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A local well-known couple, Karen & Tony Buckle, were in the other car – luckily, the pair were not injured.  In fact, Tony was one of the brave rescuers who – probably – saved the young women’s life.
A full account of the incident is on the front page of The Stunner newspaper, including a dramatic photograph of the blazing car.

What’s not clear is how the accident occurred.  Although the incident took place not far from a bend, in the darkness of night-time, yet it is a clear stretch of road just there.  Modern cars rarely burst into flame, so the police are also looking into why that happened.

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Disappointment – with result, with council

Many local residents are expressing their disappointment at the result of last week’s SMDC Planning Committee decision over the Blythe Vale housing estate application.  The developers, St Modwen, got the go-ahead they were looking for (with just one vote against), so we can expect work on building the 100+ homes (behind the Chandni Cottage restaurant) to start sometime next year.
It was always going to be a tough proposal to fight, as it had the full recommendation of local planners and is part of a national scheme – both of which facts mean that it would have taken a strong team-effort to have seen it overturned.

However, there is also great disappointment about the role of Draycott parish councillors – who did almost nothing to oppose the application, even though they claimed to be fully supporting the local residents who feared it.
Not only did our own council not even put in a formal comment on the planning-application website (even though distant Checkley Council did!), none of them even turned up to speak against the application at the decision meeting  … A spokesperson later claimed that all seven councillors had busy lives, implying that this made it too hard for even one of them to get there.

The residents of this district have a right to wonder if these people should even be on the council, if their ‘busy lives’ make it too difficult for them to make some effort over what is the biggest thing to happen to Draycott for the past 25 years.  We shall see: elections are due in 2019.

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Footpath maintenance under threat

Draycott & Cresswell are fortunate in having an extensive network of miles of public footpaths.
If one uses local footpaths regularly, the science says you’ll be healthier, happier and more at peace with yourself – great for thinking-time!
However, budget cuts mean that maintenance of our paths network is declining.Footpath fingerpost at CresswellUndergrowth is nearly choking this stile at Cresswell

Staffs County Council, which is responsible for local footpath maintenance, recognises that this problem has now turned into a major issue, and has started a public consultation to see what we all think about the current state of our footpaths & bridleways – and their future. However the county’s proposals are already causing concern; the Staffordshire Area Ramblers has filed comments already, not all favourable.
If you want to take part in the consultation yourself, click here  – you have until December 25th to put in your thoughts.
We wrote up a recent article on our local footpaths – it might give you a few ideas to go on with.

The local Draycott parish council has a special responsibility for monitoring foortpaths in our district; let’s see what response they make.

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Babies get balletic

Finally, this is a sentence we never thought we’d write: “baby ballet is coming to Draycott”…     But, no, not a performance by a troupe of six-month old prima ballerinas, but … some lessons for them!

We are not exactly sure what ‘b-b’ is but babies apparently get quite a kick (or a pirouette?) out of the classes.  Children up to six years can take part.
The classes get under way in January at Draycott Sports Centre.
So, we look forward to a fully staged performance by the pupils in twenty years time!

***
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: solar farm / mobile library / Pointon paints / tennis day

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in early June 2015
News of…:  solar farm coming? / uncertain future for mobile library / Rob Pointon paints the gardens / familiar tennis look  …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including a tennis-for-all open day. Check out the Events page)

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Solar panels on the horizon

There has been quite some interest in a proposal by a renewable-energy firm to put up a ‘solar farm’ on fields at Draycott Cross.  Last week around fifty people went along to a presentation by the firm to learn more about it.

What’s proposed at this stage (though no formal application has yet been tendered) is that a large number of solar panels will be erected across some thirty hectares of farmland.  The electricity they generate will be transferred to the National Grid.
Residents have been chatting about this already on the village Facebook page – see Draycott on Facebook.

The company, Solstice Renewables, tell us that opinions at the presentation were divided, with some people pleased to see a green energy initiative in the district, but with others concerned about its effect on the look of the landscape.

If you want to make up your own mind, follow these links…
To see more about the proposal, click here
To see more about how it will look and how our community might be affected, click here

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Mobile library under threat

As we predicted, Draycott’s mobile library service is being targeted for the axe.
Staffordshire County Council, which runs the service, wants to make cuts across the board, and the library’s users should prepare themselves for the worst.
The authority says that less than 1% of the population of Staffordshire now uses the mobile library.

Mobile library in Draycott

Mobile library stops by the Draycott Arms/St Margaret’s Court

The mobile library comes round here once every three weeks, stopping at Stuart Avenue and St Margaret’s Court.   It’s a particular boon for older people who can’t get over to the branch library at Blythe Bridge too easily.
It is true of course that the service is not well-used here in Draycott, but then it’s not very well publicised either…

The initial proposals have already been published (click here to see them) and there will be a consultation period in July and August.

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Rob’s on his easel again

We’re told that the present spell of uneven weather will alter in mid-week and it will be a really sunny June.  If that’s true, no-one will be more pleased than local lad Rob Pointon, who has a big event this weekend.

Rob was raised in Draycott (his mum Janet still lives here), so he’s hoping a few neighbours and friends will go along this Saturday & Sunday to the ‘Wildacres’ property in Consall (ST9 0BE) which has some terrific wild-flower and wildlife-friendly gardens in its grounds.

Rob Pointon at wildacres

Rob Pointon at wildacres

Rob has developed a skill in speed-painting and he has been furiously daubing canvases of the changing scenes in the gardens.  His twelve new paintings will be for sale when the gardens are opened up for visitors as part of a charity drive for the Moorlands NSPCC branch.
You don’t have to buy a painting of course; you can just go along to enjoy the gardens and the cream-teas!  However, if you are acquainted with Rob, he says he hopes you’ll stop by and say hello.
For more details, click here.

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Tennis open day

Another event this weekend takes place on the Sunday (7th).
As part of the  Great British Tennis Weekend Project, Draycott Sports Centre will be putting on introductory tennis sessions for juniors and adults.

We often forget that Draycott is one of the major tennis clubs in north Staffordshire; so it comes as no surprise to hear the Draycott Men’s Team, the 2014 champions, are once again leading the pack in the the City & Suburban Tennis League.
So… if you really are interested in tennis as a sport for you, Draycott is just about the best place to be in this whole region!

***
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: party politics / rabbits / new solar farm / new car park

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-May 2015
News of…:  Why rabbits aren’t welcome at church / a consultation meeting with residents over proposed solar farm / a new car park for college? / why party politics are part of parish councils now…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including a Cup game for Blythe Cricket Club. Check out the Events page)

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Parish parties

Reading through the results of all the parish council elections in the Moorlands, Draycott PC is obviously the odd one out of the pack.
It seemed that nearly all town and parish council members now identify themselves with a party-political label, and there are even ‘political majorities’ on many councils now.
In the old days, parish councils used to be politics-free zones.

It seems then that Draycott is going to be one of the last parish councils where party-politics will not play a part.   In fact, only one of the candidates for our parish council, Mark Deaville, was standing on a party ticket (Conservative).

What’s your opinion? Do you think our parish council should try to remain non-party-political, or should it accept the way things are changing?
Use the comments box at the bottom of the page if you have views.

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Solar energy date

It looks like this district could have its second solar farm soon if a new proposal is accepted.
Lat year, an application for a solar farm at Newton (between Cresswell and Totmonslow) went through with virtually no opposition, and it is now well-established, and up-and-running.

Newton solar panels view

From a distance, the solar panels at Newton look like a lake…

These sorts of projects basically consist of a number large solar panels placed in a field to gather the sun’s energy; and then underground cables take the electricity away to the main grid. Such projects are part of the drive for ‘green fuel’.

The new plans are for a 52-acre site on Fields Farm, just off Cheadle Road at Draycott Cross.
Residents will have a chance to make their minds about how they feel about the idea if they go along to the consultation meeting on Thursday 21st May from 4.15pm to 8pm, at William Amory Primary School in Blythe Bridge.
The developers will be there to explain the details.

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Parking bliss again?

Residents in Draycott Old Road will be cheering when they hear that Draycott Moor College has put in a planning application to build a car-park in the grounds of the school site.

Why? Well, lots of problems have been reported concerning narrow access along that road because of all the cars parked there by the college’s teachers, supervisors, and staff. Add to those vehicles all the cars that residents themselves want to park there, and it can become difficult.

The college promised a while ago they would put in these plans, and it’s good to see they kept their promise.

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Rabbits are not always cute

Anyone who has visited the graveyard at St Margaret’s Church recently will have noticed a new sign that has recently been installed.

Anti rabbits sign

Anti rabbits sign (to see this photo larger, double-click it; then press back-button to return)

The churchyard is, apparently, plagued with rabbits chomping through the flower offerings among other things.

The church wardens are pleading with residents not to encourage the rabbits. As you can see from the notice, they want relatives to place particular kinds of plants/flowers – ones that will drive the rabbits away, such as red-hot pokers (which doesn’ surprise us!).  All these anti-rabbit plants may even cause the little critters to abandon the churchyard for good.
We’ll see.

***
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).

Was there coal in Draycott Colliery?

History – even recent hstory – is not as detailed as people like to think.
For instance, this poster, which has just been donated to the Cheadle History Centre, raises more questions than answers…

Draycott Colliery Procession poster

The old Draycott Colliery was to be found on our side of the hill, at Draycott Cross – roughly, just before where the Huntley Wood Outdoor Centre is now sited.    On the opposite side of the hill, the Cheadle side, was New Haden Colliery.

Draycott Colliery was a stop on the former railway track from Cresswell to Cheadle, but, despite that advantage, it wasn’t very successful, and closed not long after opening, in 1906 – though, later, there was some thought given to creating  an additional siding on the same land to make a storage area for railway wagons.   It was owned by the same company that owned the railway line, which is why this procession route goes from Draycott and then down into Cheadle town centre.
The site may also have been the site of outcroppings (illegal coal-scavenging) during the 1920s General Strikes.

So… in fact, this poster presents a bit of a mystery.  It clearly claims that coal from the Dilhorne seam had been found at the mine.
Now, many local historians believe that Draycott closed because the owners found no coal there.   However, clearly, this poster (dated 1904) indicates the opposite…
…or does it?  Was this procession perhaps a ‘stunt’ – some massive confidence trick – to persuade investors to put money in.?  Who knows?

Water board

Draycott Colliery was not quite finished however – as the site was later taken over by the Water Board, with a proposal to build a reservoir.  The shafts sunk for the colliery were the basis for the Water Board’s bore holes established in the 1940s.
You can still see, from the side of Cheadle Road, a water pumping station that is still in use.

Exhibition

This poster will be featured in an exhibition at Cheadle History Centre, due to take place in autumn this year, which will be all about local industry during the early twentieth century and especially during the Great War time.

And this is where you can help.  Do you have letters, documentation, photos or artefacts (relating to mills, mines and factories) that date back to that time?  Cheadle Centre would dearly love to hear from you.
Just contact Cheadle History Centre – or email us, and we’ll email you back all the details you need to know.

If you want also to write something about the village’s history for this website, just email us

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Draycott horse-races

After our posting a few days ago about some of the history mysteries of Draycott, guess what turned up?

Yes, in the collection of the late Joe Thorley was this card from the Draycott Races of 1873…Draycott Races card cover

As you might imagine, the print is pretty faded now, but, with a magnifying glass, it is readable.

Among the names you will recognise are that of W Vavasour and G Vavasour.  The Vavasours were the leading family round here, and the descendants of the original Draycot family.
One of the Vavasours was still the ‘patron’ of St Margaret’s Church right up until the 1980s.
There is also a George Bagnall listed as a clerk of the course, Bagnall being a common name in this district.

What is also fascinating is to see the types of racing that were held at the course.  The steeplechase even drew a first-prize of thirty pounds, which was quite a sum then.

Draycott Races card

Draycott Races card, 1873

Also there was trotting.  This is interesting to know as, these days, you will only find the one trotting venue in the Staffordshire Moorlands – at Longnor.  Meets are held twice a year there.

Roman villa

But – where were the races actually held?

Julia Wood, in an email to us, says she thinks they were probably held along Draycott Level.

She also says she remembers a story as a child about some evidence of a Roman villa at Draycott Cross.  Another mystery!
Do you have a mystery to tell us about – or even a solution to one? All suggestions welcome – no matter how vague!!  Every bit of research starts with a simple question… Email us with your ideas – or put your thoughts into the comments box at the bottom of this page.

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If you too have some old photos or documents about Draycott-in-the-Moors, would you  please get in touch?

PHOTO: Golden fields

The recent sun has brought the best out of gardens… and the land.

Wheat field at Draycott

A field of gold… 

(If you find this photo too small to see properly, all you have to do is double-click on the photo itself, and it will double in size immediately!
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This wheat crop at The Fields Farm in Draycott Cross looks good enough to eat already!

This view looks south, over Draycott Level in the distance.

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