Tag Archives: Draycott Plant Nurseries

Planters project – done!

Over the last four years, the Draycott planters project has gradually come to fruition. It’s been a long and hard slog, but it now seems complete, and this summer has seen a lovely flowering of the plants in them.

The village ended up with eleven planters in all: two at the eastern ‘gateway’, two at the end of Stuart Avenue, two at the Cheadle Rd bus top, and one each at the ‘Village Centre’, Brookside, and Totmonslow – though the ones at Draycott West and at Cresswell have sadly been stolen in the last couple of months.

The whole initiative (see pics of examples, below) was the brain-child of local resident Lee Warburton, who took it on himself to construct most of the planters, with donations for the wood coming from the community (firstly through a Crowdfunder scheme in 2017) and a matching grant from the ‘Draycott Solar Fund’. Combined, all this raised around £500.

  • Planters, Draycott bus shelter
  • Planter sponsored by Horizon, Stuart avenue
  • Planters at Stuart Avenue
  • Planter, by Lee Warburton

However, then there was a big hiccup – the County Council introduced some red tape into the process. As ‘street furniture’, the planters needed licences. And so followed a pause of a frustrating few months!
Things only got fully rolling again in 2020, with the purchase of compost and flowers via the Staffordshire Covid-19 Fund, at which time students at Draycott Moor College came along, giving much-needed help with the planting.

Also round about this time, the village council felt it was time to make the whole scheme ‘official’, and stepped in to adopt the project (though its involvement did cause some £500 of unforeseen extra costs).
A further grant of £250 from the Solar Array Fund was sought, to pay our local horticulturalists (at Draycott Nurseries) to maintain the planters professionally for 2021 – and so keep the good blooms in fine shape!
All in all, the project has cost around £1500 since it kicked off, including those grants and donations from residents.

(Pic: Facebook)

It should be remembered however that much of the effort, including building and varnishing the planters, has been voluntary. Lee should get the most of the thanks, but a number of other residents have been instrumental too.
And now, the project is complete.

Future

The future seems safe too, as Draycott Nurseries have offered a sponsor arrangement, in which they will stock the planters each year. Grateful thanks go to Draycott Nurseries.

The ultimate responsibility (and maintenance) lies with the village council however. So, it has been out there recruiting volunteer local residents, who it wants to look after the individual planters – watering, weeding, feeding, and keeping a watchful eye.

With a little luck, and some good growing years, these nine planters will keep the village looking colourful for some time to come…

Just a little addition…

It shouldn’t be forgotten that the nine ‘official’ planters are not the only attractive horticultural sights in the neighbourhood.

Church Lane car park display

The planter at the end of Draycott Old Road has been there for over five years, tended by a local resident there, while the displays at the Church Lane car-park, Grange Farm (on Cheadle Road) and at the entrance to Meadowside, all also tended by local residents as a labour of love, are always guaranteed to lift the spirits.

You never know: at this rate, Draycott could start thinking about entering the Britain In Bloom competition!

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NEWS: top cricket / MORE houses? / open nurseries / council tax concern

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-August 2017
In this post we have news of…: Blythe CC go top of division / 100+ more homes for Draycott? / plant nursery re-opens / council tax worry…
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including the annual Draycott Sausage and Cider Fest. Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

– – –
Blythe go top!!

It may not have been the best of summers – but our local cricket team has certainly given us a lot to cheer about!
The first eleven at the Cresswell-based Blythe Cricket Club have been among the top teams in the NSSCL First Division pretty much all season, but they went even better than that this last Saturday by beating the leaders (away).
Their victory – by the narrowest squeak, but a proud triumph anyway – takes them straight to the top of the league.

This win now virtually assures them of an historic promotion to the NSSCL’s top tier – the Premier Division – though, yes, the final games must still be treated very seriously.

Musharraf Hussain victory signCaptain Peter Finch, who himself has played incredibly well all season, told the sports newspapers in an interview that a lot of the team’s success is down to this year’s professional, the Bangladeshi all-rounder Musharraf Hussain (see pic right).
Musharraf has settled into Staffordshire much better than many of his compatriots and produced consistent high-level performances.
Everyone has also been excited to see a fresh lease of life for the county over-50s bowler, Mark Stanyer – in one game, Mark produced figures of five wickets for no runs….

Why not get along to the Cresswell ground and check out the team’s run-in? See dates for Blythe’s remaining home games on our Events page.

– – –
More planning than we thought

It’s been a big few days for anyone who cares about the future of Draycott.

The very latest proposals designed for The Staffordshire Moorlands Local Plan (the strategy by which house building, open spaces and employment sites will be carried out in this region over the next fourteen years) are now published, and available for view either online or at your local library.
It is literally hundreds of pages long, so the local community-action group VVSM is still sifting through it trying to see what the main implications are for us locally. They should put out their views soon (we’ll let you know their conclusions as soon as we have them).

However, suddenly, yesterday, everything shifted under our feet…

We all knew that the fields on the ridge behind the houses on Uttoxeter Road up to the A50 highway have long had permission to be used as an employment site (the so-called ‘Northern Gateway’), but the poor state of the economy has meant there has been no takers … until now.
So, the owners, the St Modwen Group, have now started an interesting campaign to try to persuade the Moorlands District Council that at least part of that planning permission should be switched to house-building instead. They want to build 118 new homes on the triangular parcel of land almost next to and behind the Chandi Cottage Restaurant, then right along to the roundabout and around.
See map below.St Modwen Vale plan leaflet
This comes completely out of the blue to us, but in fact St Modwen say they have already had preliminary discussions with the council. All they need now is the planning permission, and they could start building in 2018.
After what happened in Cresswell, where a similar application for 170 homes was passed through – despite all the recommendations against it -, you have to wonder if St Modwen might well get their plans through.

Already a protest group of residents is being formed.
The protesters do have one advantage. Due to a strange quirk of boundary-creation, the St Modwen land sits just inside Forsbrook Parish Council’s responsibilities, not Draycott Parish Council’s. Remembering how Draycott PC was almost completely useless when it came to doing anything about the Cresswell application, it’s probably better for the protesters that they will be working with Forsbrook PC, which is a much more energetic council.

– – –
Shrubs and more

Despite the sluggish economy, people are still – thank goodness – trying to make a go of business.
So, it’s nice to see that Draycott Plant Nurseries have new owners.
Neil & Carolyn left earlier this year, after putting a lot of hard work into the place. Many of us had started to rely on them for plants, so, when even they felt they could not make it work, many of us feared the place would fall derelict.

However, new management is now in place. Draycott plant nurseriesBasically the stock at the moment is large shrubs, meant for designers creating ‘ready-made’ gardens, so the market is really trade customers – but anyone is welcome to go along and have a look. The nursery is open five and a half days a week.

We were told that, once everything is settled, the range will be extended, and we should see bedding plants on sale there by next year.

– – –
Deeper pockets needed by local council-tax payers

Just as we hear inflation is about to hit 3%, you can (probably) add yet another expense to your bills.

At its last meeting, Draycott Parish council had a debate about a large sum of money that it needs to pay out. Should it pay it in instalments, or instead pay the lot at once?
Experienced councillors pointed out that paying a large amount in one lump sum might leave the council’s financial reserves under-strength, meaning an increase in council tax would be required in the Spring to bolster them.

However, the remaining councillors decide to ignore that advice and plumped to pay in one lump sum. It’s unclear why they decided to do that.
It rather reflects the fact that Draycott Council already has an unenviable  record as one of the top twenty per cent of councils in the whole country that likes to put council tax up the most

As usual, the local tax-payers may well have to dig into their pockets to pay for this council’s strange decisions.

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NEWS: Paynsley Hall / plan opposition / new clerk / xmas trees / theft

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late November 2014
News of…:  full opposition to housing plan / new parish clerk – but curate leaving / Draycott’s historic registers go online / Paynsley Hall “at risk” / xmas trees & holly for sale / Stuart Avenue attempted theft  …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– –
Unanimous opposition

The parish council meeting which discussed the proposed new housing estate  for Cresswell saw a unanimous rejection of the plans by the council members.
It seems clear that the idea of building two new roundabouts in this area, one outside Blythe Park and one on Uttoxeter Road by Church Lane, is unacceptable.

Not onlynow does VVSM (the local community group) oppose the plans completely, but now the parish council have given a similar verdict, and Bill Cash, our local MP has also come out strongly against – so it seems like everyone in the district is “singing from the same hymn sheet”.

It’s still not sure that the Moorlands Planning Committee will having their vote on the plans at its meeting on December 18th – but it seems likely.
If you have views, you may want to talk to VVSM or the parish council before that meeting; as, afterwards it may be too late.

– –
Comings … and goings

After almost six months since the post was advertised, a new Draycott Parish Council clerk has been appointed.  Kate Bradshaw, who lives in Uttoxeter Road, and is already well known as the treasurer to St Margaret’s Church, will take up the role at the end of this month.  She’s going to be pretty busy – and we wish her the best of luck.
The parish council has also taken this moment to change its email address, which is now draycottparishcouncil@aol.co.uk.

However, otherwise, it’s bad news for St Margaret’s.  As we reported a fortnight ago, Chrissi Thompson, the youth club worker, is leaving at the end of the year, but now also comes news that the curate John Pretty is also resigning, as he is having to leave the area for family reasons – with effect from December 31st.
John and his wife Angela have been mainstays of the community at large – so they will be missed well beyond the church congregation.

– –
Time for history

Talking of St Margaret’s, history enthusiasts will be celebrating the fact that all Staffordshire’s historic Anglican parish registers (dating from 1538-1900) have just been published on the internet as part of the county ‘digitisation project’.
Records of 600 years of burials, baptisms and marriages in Draycott are now available to you at the flick of a keyboard!  The Draycott-le-Moors burial records cover over a thousand entries by themselves.. If you are trying to trace family history, it is an amazing resource.
However, if you are new to Staffordshire Archives Online, we suggest you go into our local library and get a little advice on trawling it first; as the huge size of the records can be overwhelming.

Paynsley Hall in 1960

Paynsley Hall in 1960, before parts of it were demolished

However, local history buffs may be depressed by the other news this month: the annual report from English Heritage about UK listed buildings has put the Paynsley Hall ruins on the ‘at-risk’ register.
Paynsley Hall is an ancient mansion on farmland in Cresswell. It was substantially demolished in the 1960s, though bits of it remain.  The remains weren’t in very good condition before – but EH says the condition of them now is even worse.
The ruins can only be approached by permission of the land-owner, though you can get a glimpse of them from the nearby public footpath (see the Cresswell-Paynsley Country Walk).

– –
Welcome the holly & the fir-tree

A little better news is that Christmas trees start to go on sale this weekend at the Draycott Plant Nurseries.  Our one from last year is still happily growing; so we can testify to their quality.
This year Neil is also providing some interesting varieties of holly, including Ilex ‘Golden King’, Ilex ‘Red Tips’ and the Ilex ‘Ferox Argentea’, the silver hedgehog holly. Ferox comes up like a 3-D effect with snowy tips.  Nice decoration…

– –
Petty crime

Finally, we have got a bit fed up of carrying reports of petty thefts recently, but unfortunately here’s another one.

This time it was an attempted garage burglary by two men in Stuart Avenue last week.  Even though it was before dawn, the attempt was foiled by a vigilant neighbour who frightened the pair off.  They weren’t caught.
As usual, the incident reminds us that sheds and garages are just as attractive to thieves as homes, so good security for them is a must.

If you have any help you can give the police, phone 101.

***
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).

If you find the photos on this webpage too small to see properly, all you have to do is double-click on the photo itself, and it will double in size immediately.

NEWS: housing plans back / Izaak changes / online plants / new tarmac

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid October 2014
News of…:  planning application now in for new Cresswell homes / management change at Izaak / another improvement at sports centre /  plant nursery’s online project …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– –
Housing development on planning agenda

Many of us were wondering what had happened to the proposals for two hundred new homes on fields next to  the Blythe Park site in Cresswell.  Nine months ago, there was a large exhibition at which the proposals were shown to the public.
Well, now we know what was happening to those proposals – they were being refined, and have now been formally submitted as a planning application to the local authority.  Click here to see the details.

There are some subtle differences to the original proposals. Instead of two hundred homes the plans now speak of 168 homes, though some of these will be three-storeys high.
However, the plans still include space for a community hall and a village shop – as well as public open space.

One thing that we didn’t know is the results of the survey that was carried out at the time of around a hundred people.  The Stunner newspaper is reporting that the results of that show that whereas two-thirds of the people who were asked opposed the plans, a third did approve of them.

If you have feelings about the plans, you may want to use these following useful contacts….
The Draycott Parish Council is being asked to consider the plans; and it meets this Monday (20th October) at 7.30pm at the Church Hall –  you may want to go to that meeting.  (Way back in January, the councillors said they would not act until they saw concrete plans – which are of course now submitted).
The local VVSM Community Group was vociferous in January about the proposals, being unhappy about the traffic problems and road issues that they saw ahead.  You can email them too.
And you may also want to email one of the three Moorlands District Council councillors who have responsibility for Draycott & Cresswell – Colin Pearce, Mark Deaville and Dave Trigger.

– – –
So long Kathy; hello Del & Suzanne

Yet again has there been a change of manager at the Izaak Walton Inn in Cresswell.  For the last five years, this nineteenth century pub has been open and shut a number of times, and had five different managers.
In the latest change-around, the manager who was installed last March, Kathy Morton, has departed – and rather suddenly at that.
Mornington Pub Co, who own the Izaak, have asked a London couple to take over, and, fortunately, the change has been seamless, with most regulars not even noticing.

But will the new managers, Del & Suzanne, be making any significant transformations?    Fortunately, it seems not.
Talking to us, Del said that the current quiz nights and music nights will stay, and all Christmas bookings will be fine.  All that’s happening is that the menu will be more “hearty & filling” in future, and maybe less exotic.  However, for the moment, the pub will remain closed on Mondays.
It’s good to see that the Izaak is still with us… though one suspects that this may be the last-chance saloon for the pub.

Kathy Morton

Kathy Morton – leaving the Izaak

And what of Kathy?  Well, it was always a tough situation.  The Izaak definitely needed a huge effort to pull it round after years of indecision, but once Kathy’s daughter Charlotte had left for university, and then when Kathy herself came down with a ruptured appendix, it must have been a very tough project indeed.
The good news is that Kathy is recuperating well, and has been offered another pub, in south Cheshire.
If you didn’t get our chance to say your goodbyes, you can contact Kathy on her Facebook page.  We’ll let you know when she moves into her new pub too.

– – –
Driving forward

The past year has seen a lot of improvements at the Draycott Sports Centre from which many of have benefited.  The latest improvement benefits your car.

Driveway at Draycott Sports Centre

New driveway at Draycott Sports Centre!

Yes… the centre now has a new drive, all fresh tarmac!  No more potholes and sudden crunches!

– – –
Online plants & flowers

The weather may be miserable, but that doesn’t stop gardeners, many of whom are still beavering away in their plots.
However, the rain doesn’t make for a good mood, so if you’re someone who doesn’t like to travel out more than you have to in this weather, the Draycott Plant Nursery has good news for you.   It has now set up its own ‘online shop’ (through the sales website Ebay), where you can find a selection of perennials for sale.  Do all your plant shopping without leaving your computer!

If you do go over to the site however, do ask to see the giant Helianthus Maximiliani. Not only has it grown beyond expectation (over eleven feet high now), the flowers smell of … chocolate.  Delicious!

***
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).

If you find the photos on this webpage too small to see properly, all you have to do is double-click on the photo itself, and it will double in size immediately.

NEWS: burglary / planning policy / pic puzzle / evening classes

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in early April 2014 
We have news of…:  unsolved burglary in Cresswell / latest Moorlands planning strategy / puzzle at Mango Tree / evening classes to come? / new gardening blog…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
Spring has sprung

It looks like Spring is busting out all over!  The daffodils are in full bloom; and the primroses, croci and the like are giving a very colourful show.
The rains of January/February seem a long long way away.

Daffodils at Grange Farm

Daffodil bank at Grange Farm – on the Cheadle Road

By the way, if you happen to be interested in gardening and plants, it’s good to see that Draycott Plant Nurseries have now entered the blogging world. On their blog, they comment on the latest shrubs and flowers coming through at their place – some of which are surprisingly unexpected, even to them!

– – –
Who stole it?

Police don’t seem to any closer to finding out who committed the burglary in Cresswell last month. You may remember that £10,000 worth of electronic equipment was stolen.

If you think you can help – perhaps you saw somebody suspicious hanging about? – You can easily report it these days, anonymously if you want to.
See: how to report something to Staffordshire Police.

– – –
A little light reading

The latest Staffordshire Moorlands Core Strategy has now been adopted, and is available to be seen. You can either nip over to Blythe Bridge Library to read it, or peruse it online.

It’s a lengthy document (over 200 pages); and it barely mentions Draycott-in-the-Moors, which might be (actually) quite a good thing!
Draycott is identified in the Core Strategy as a ‘smaller village’ where only limited infill development will be allowed (see Policy SS6b, on page 95).
Also – the previous reference (from two years ago, which was in the ‘draft strategy’) supporting expansion of Blythe Business Park (which was in policy SS6c) has been removed – as recommended by the District Inspector.

As for that District Inspector’s Report, which was published in January this year, it was quite specific – and mentioned Blythe Business Park (in Cresswell) in particular.
This is the Inspector’s recommendation:
“The support for the expansion of the Blythe Business Park is not justified in the supporting text. The evidence indicates 70ha of employment land available in rural areas (over 56ha with planning permission) [doc MC(5)], and the location of the site is within a Special Landscape Area (Local Plan, Policy N8). There is no evidence before this Examination to indicate that account has been taken of the proximity and potential impact on the neighbouring settlement of Cresswell, or that questions regarding the possibility of contamination by industrial waste have been answered satisfactorily as part of the process of determining whether the principle of expansion is feasible or desirable. “ (Page 16)
And that simple statement makes the recent proposal to expand Blythe Business Park all the odder. The proposals to build 200 new homes here seem to fly in the face of the Inspector’s report…

– – –
Puzzling pic

The Mango Tree Indian Restaurant gained a new management as of the end of last year, and it has been settling in.

Mango Tree poster

Mango Tree poster

Part of the new approach was a publicity campaign using a new logo (pictured right), in the midst of the colours of the Indian flag – orange, white and green.
But one thing completely puzzled us: what is the graphic supposed to be showing?
We mulled it over.
Could it be: strangely-shaped mangoes in a strangely shaped tree…(?)  Or perhaps a fish leaping into a pool…(?)

Anyway, it turns out that we couldn’t see for looking.
The graphic is – of course! – of a young lady with her hands in the folded prayer (or ‘namaste’) position – a gesture which means ‘welcome’ in South Asia. The lady also has a red dot (‘bindi’) on her forehead.
It’s simple when you know.

– – –
Evening classes

One annoying thing about living here in Draycott is that the nearest evening classes are in Meir.   So it’s good to hear that William Amory Primary in Blythe Bridge – which is where many of our infants and juniors go to school – is thinking of hosting some.

On their latest newsletter, they say they are considering putting on classes in basic computing, languages, and crafts.
If you have views, they are asking you to let them know them – just email them.

***
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: big invite / Mum’s Day / old furniture / photo show

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late March 2014 
We have news of…:  annual-gathering reminder / Mother’s Day gifts, locally / how to spring-clean for charity / photo exhibition’s last week
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
Everybody invited…

Here’s a reminder that the annual gathering of the people of Draycott & Cresswell & Totmonslow takes place this Monday (31st March, starts 7.30pm).
An annual assembly, as it’s called, is when the people of the electoral area can gather to discuss and raise any issues they like.
This year, the Draycott agenda also includes the annual reports of our district and counrty councillors, a plea for more reporting of irresponsible motorists speeding through the district, and a request to the parish council to publicise their decisions.

The first part of the meeting will however be given over to the guest speaker – Inspector Jonathan Ward, the new commander of local policing in the Moorlands.
The ‘Electors Forum’, when people can discuss local issues, follows the various reports.

All welcome – though only local residents can address the meeting.

– – –
No excuse for Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday (30th March), and, even if you have no transport, you really do have no excuse for not getting Mum a present – because Draycott Plant Nurseries is walkable from virtually anywhere within our area!  (It’s at the back of the Draycott Arms).

Mother's Day presents at Draycott Nurseries

Just a few of the possible Mother’s Day presents at Draycott Nurseries

The nursery has planters, shrubs and baskets that will all make for presents, at a range of prices.  If you prefer something more permanent, there is also the gift-shop section, which has ornaments, bird feeders etc.

– – –
Art photography

It’s too easy to forget that we have an ‘art gallery’ on our doorstep – at Blythe Bridge Library – and it’s always worth dropping in to look at the new exhibitions.

Right now you can see a display of the work of local professional photographer Will Brown.  Will, who lives in Blythe, specialises in portraits, but his more creative work can be seen at this show; and some of it is really fascinating.

Nemesis-apocolyptco, by Will Brown

Will has captured the Nemesis ride at Alton Towers in its ‘apocalyptic’ aspect…

This is the final week of the exhibition – so try to make the show if you’re at all interested in photography.
(Blythe Bridge Library closes at certain odd times in the week – so do check their opening times before you set out).

– – –
Spring clean with a conscience

Many of our neighbours seem to have been inspired by the sunnier weather to get on with their spring-cleaning.  Nearby charity shops will find they have a sudden influx of old woolly jumpers!

However, they’ve also told us that they’re puzzled over what to do about big items – like sofas, televisions etc, which are too big or heavy for them to deliver themselves.
Well, don’t despair…  In fact, there are some charities that will come fair distances to take away larger items, for free, even coming to Draycott.

In these days of food banks – the nearest one to us is the Cheadle Foodbank – it’s nice to know that someone is out there who will collect furniture, and then simply pass it on, free of charge, to people in need.  In North Staffordshire, ‘Furniture Mine’ fulfils that role.
(Be aware though that: if a Furniture Mine van turns up only to find the item is badly damaged, then they might charge a fee.  But, the way we look at it, it’s still a way to get rid of old stuff, and the fee does go to charity after all…)

The BHF charity warehouse in Stoke will also collect larger items.  They can take dressers, beds, you name it.  What’s more, they will also take electronic items, which is unusual. (They have specially-trained volunteers who will repair them if necessary). You can even book the collection of your items online!
The YMCA shop in Uttoxeter will also get its vans come to Draycott and collect large furniture items.

Of course, if you can manage to get your larger unwanted bits into your car and deliver it yourself, then, why not?  We think the nearest ‘warehouse’-type charity shop to us is the DMH store in Meir.  You can park outside the shop if you are unloading, or there is a municipal car-park just around the corner.

Finally, you may like your unwanted item to go to the ‘right’ person, and for free.  Well, you can use the Staffordshire Moorlands Freecycle Group, which is online only.  People can advertise any sort of items they no longer need, others reply via email, and then collect it from your home.
Also, people can advertise for items they require.
This is totally non-profit making and is done purely in the spirit of recycling.

However, if you have other suggestions – we’d love to hear them.  Just leave your thoughts in the comments box near the bottom of this page.

There you go – how to get a lovely, fresh–looking home, and help your conscience at the same 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).

Christmas makes its appearance

Well, it’s taken a while – but at last householders in Draycott-in-the-Moors have started putting up Christmas displays.

One of the first appearances this December was this snowman in New Avenue, even if he seems a little lost in a forest of twigs.

Draycott snowman

A snowman makes an appearance in New Avenue

But he was quickly joined by other arrivals…

Cresswell xmas display

They arrived by sleigh…

The group above makes regular festive appearances in Sandon Avenue (in Cresswell) – and they are very welcome back again!

(Have you some photos of Christmas lights displays in Draycott?  Please email them to us; and we’ll put them up on the site.)

Last minute

It is also the time of year when we all suddenly realise we need a last-minute present.
Don’t forget that Draycott may not have regular shops – but it does have stuff to buy.

Draycott nurseries presents

Presents galore at the nurseries

At Draycott Plant Nurseries, there are tables full of presents and sparkling Christmas decorations.  You don’t just have to buy plants…

And, at Grange End Farm in Cheadle Road, you can even buy a special local food.

Staffordshire honey sign

Honey for sale…

Yes, local honey is available within walking distance of your home!

But if you don’t want even to walk, then you could support local charitable organisations by buying a ‘present’ from them for your friends.
Cheadle & District Animal Welfare Society is the organisation which looks after lost pets locally.  They have a sponsorship scheme for some of the cats and dogs in their care; ideal as a gift for a pet lover maybe?

Do you know of more local produce or local items for sale? Just let us know

Danny Finney

It’s with sadness that we reflect on the death of Dan Finney, which has now been reported in the newspapers.

Danny was one of Draycott’s great characters; and recently, after a couple of years of poor health, seemed fully restored to his usual vim and vigour, and had virtually made the snug of The Draycott Arms his second home.
Sitting on a stool in the corner of the bar, his genial smile and broad welcome always made the place feel warmer.

Last Wednesday (4th) Dan had a fall from a very high wall on his property, which overlooks the car-park of the Draycott Arms.  Despite the best attentions of the Midlands Air Ambulance, which was on the scene very quickly, he died soon after.

Gardening

You may remember Danny best as the man who ran the Draycott Plant Nurseries before Neil and Carolyn took over.
Though he had had previous careers as a miner, and as a building-trades supplier, he loved his gardening, so the nursery was his labour of love.
In his retirement, he sold timber off-cuts on the site; it was where many of us got our firewood.

His funeral – which takes place this coming Tuesday (17th December) at 11am at St Margaret’s Church – is bound to be a very well-attended occasion.  He had hundreds of friends.
His wife Isobel has requested no flowers, but donations to West Midlands Air Ambulance.

Tributes

A brief obituary was published this week.  See the obituary announcment – where tributes can also be written.

If you are a Facebooker, you might also like to add a tribute to him on the Draycott Arms page.  They have a special post, entitled, poignantly, “There is a vacant bar stool at The Arms…”  See their Danny tributes by clicking here.

NEWS: Speedwatch week / garages? / Xmas trees / Gandhi

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in end-November 2013
We have news…:  the new Gandhi restaurant / Christmas comes to Draycott Nurseries / Cresswell garages problems / local Road Safety Week reports / SMDC move planning pages.
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
Keeping roads safe

Congratulations to the Cresswell Community Speedwatch group who turned out recently for five days in a row to mark National Road Safety Week.

Cresswell Community Speedwatch

The speedwatch group use a machine that records speed

The stats that they report are amazing.
For example, anyone who thinks Sandon Road (the main one through Cresswell) is a quiet one will be surprised to learn that the group recorded 120 cars passing along it in just one 20-minute period.
As for motorists exceeding the speed limit (and they should know better – the group is out checking vehicles around once a week), the members noted eight in one hour one day!   The number-plates are automatically forwarded to the police.

The district-council councillor for this area, Mark Deaville, has taken the reports so seriously that he has promised that more speed-detector van slots will be allocated to both Sandon Road and Uttoxeter Road in the near future.

– – –
Neglected spot

Talking of Cresswell, it’s hard to know exactly what the future will be for the garages at the end of Rookery Crescent, or even the site that they’re on.

The six garages, which belong to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, are no longer for rent to local residents – and will not be in the future either.
So … what is to happen to the site?

Cresswell garages

Empty cans of lager and fast-food wrappers litter the forecourt to the garages

In the meantime, the place seems to be a popular drinking-spot, if the evidence of the cans left lying about them is anything to go on.

– – –
Stop mucking about, SMDC…

One thing that we personally got upset about this week is the way that Staffs Moorlands District Council keeps altering the URLs of its webpages.

We spent fifteen minutes trying to find the webpage for planning applications that are up for decision currently.  This is because SMDC had dumped the usual webpage they were using, and have built a completely new page.
Unfortunately, they did not bother to inform the public – or to do a re-direct from the old webpage.
Grrr!!

Anyway, here is the new planning applications webpage.  Don’t forget to click ‘Draycott’ in the parish drop-down field.

– – –
Have a green Christmas

Happier news is that Christmas trees have now arrived at Draycott Plant Nurseries and are for sale.  You can pick them up and take them away now, or reserve them and collect them later.
The nursery has both quality cut-trees and pot-grown ones available, including Norway Spruce, Nordman Fir, Blue Spruce, Fraser Fir and Omorika …

Christmas trees

Draycott Nurseries – in the Christmas spirit

The shop area, which is in the top greenhouse, also has a range of gifts for gardeners – and also some bespoke Christmas wreaths for sale.

– – –
Goodbye Zest.  Hello Gandhi

Finally, have you noticed that the Zest Indian Restaurant at the southern end of Cresswell (behind The Hunter Pub) has now changed its name?  It’s now to be known as The Gandhi Indian Restaurant.

Gandhi Restaurant sign

The Gandhi is open seven days a week, for sit-down, and takeaway too

What seems to have changed, basically, is that – as well as the sit-down restaurant – it now has a fully automated online system for its takeaway service.  Just fill in the form on the website, and then sit back and wait for the knock on your door…
You need never struggle with difficult Hindi or Urdu pronunciations again!

Of course, you can still use the phone – but online ordering is obviously the way that restaurants will manage their takeaway services in the future.

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Christmas in Draycott/Cresswell

Yes, Christmas is coming, and the geese are getting fat, as the song says.

We did a quick trawl of all the events that are going on in and around Draycott/Cresswell for the festive period, and it’s really astonishing how many there are, even within walking distance. So, what we have done is draw up a list of them – from parties to kids’ events to carol concerts.
You can see the list by clicking here.

As you can see, the churches have their special Christmas services and carol concerts; while the local community centres (including Draycott Sports Centre) have their shindigs too, mostly on New Year’s Eve.

If you know of another festive event which we haven’t listed, please contact us with the details, and we’ll add it to the list.

In the Christmas spirit

Meanwhile, our local retailers, pubs and Christmas-card sellers have been feeling the spirit too.

At the Draycott Plant Nurseries, Christmas trees and wreaths are on sale – and they also have a stall there with decorations (for anyone who can’t remember where they put last year’s baubles!).

Christmas trees

Christmas trees – big and small – at Draycott PN

If you’re planning an open fire, Dan Finney (01782 392461 – he is based on the Nurseries site) has been busy sawing up logs and firewood ready for the festive rush.  Dan has not been so well recently, so his stock of cut-wood was running low, but we’re told it’s back up again.

The two local gastro-pubs, the Draycott Arms and The Izaak Walton, are both open for Christmas Day and Boxing Day lunch (though both are booking fast), as well as running a Christmas menu each day right up to the ‘big one’.
Both pubs are promising ‘Staffordshire turkey’ which sounds good.  Incidentally, the Izaak is still not on the web, so the only way to get through to landlord Richard is by the phone – so, if the landline just rings out, he suggests that you call his mobile, which is 07856 249087.
Our two Indian restaurants, Zest and Mango Tree are also open Christmas Day, so if you really can’t face making a huge turkey dinner, you have perfect excuses to eat out locally and avoid any drinking & driving…

So, can we also hope that Christmas will come with that very special bonus, a sprinkling of snow… ?
Just to remind us of how perfect snow can make things look, the folks at St Marys in Cresswell sent us this photo of the church under snow last January.

St Mary Cresswell in snow

St Mary’s Cresswell under snow – and holly

Saint Mary’s is also selling its own Christmas cards this year, with winter views of the church. Email St Mary’s for details.

…Definitely makes one feel Christmassy!