Tag Archives: draycott pubs

NEWS: Izaak to re-open / no to turbine / floods / local gathering

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid February 2014
We have news of…:  Izaak Walton pub reopens next month /date for our local gathering event / upset at turbine refusal / how flood-defence measures worked in Draycott.
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
Izaak is coming back

The surprise news is that the Izaak Walton Inn in Cresswell is to be re-opened.  Though it has been closed for a year, and was clearly getting dilapidated, it has been announced that £150,000 will be spent on its refurbishment – and it should re-open in a few weeks time, in late March (see our Events page for the exact date).

Izaak Walton Inn, Cresswell

Izaak Walton Inn

It seems that a new company, Mornington, has been set up with the intention of taking on the ‘difficult’ pubs owned by the Wellington Pubs property company.  The Izaak is one such pub.
With that kind of backing, the new manager at The Izaak should get more support than have the previous tenants.

Cathy Morton is to be the new manager. She told us: “This is not exactly a last-ditch attempt to save the pub, but it is a major effort to preserve it.”
Cathy, who currently lives in Stoke, said:  “It will be run mostly as a restaurant, though there will be a bar.  It will work much along the lines of  ‘Chef & Brewer’ type concerns”.
She also promised that it would have open fires, use local produce and suppliers for the food, and be child-friendly.
If you want to follow the progress of the refurbishment, Cathy has set up a Facebook page for the pub – click here to see the Facebook page.

Historians will also be happy to know that the Izaak Walton & angling memorabilia, which has adorned the pub’s walls in the past, will not be thrown away, but spruced up and retained.

– – –
Parish council snubbed

At this week’s meeting of Draycott Parish Council, there was some dismay among councillors that a planning application for a wind turbine on a remote spot at Draycott Cross had been turned down by Moorlands District councillors.

The application for 46 metre high (to top of blade) turbine had been passed by the parish council in December, and local planning officials too said they had no objections.  Councillor Mark Deaville (who represents our area) said he had only received one complaint.
But SMDC councillors rejected the application last week by twelve to one.  In their explanation, they said that they were responding to complaints from Tean residents, a mile away from the site, who were citing objections on the grounds of ‘visual impairment’.

Draycott Parish chairman Tony Fletcher clearly was not impressed by that logic, and said the SMDC decision “made a mockery of local decision-making”, as it ignored the parish’s recommendation. He also thought that such decisions left “no future for renewable energy”.

The proposed turbine was taller than the one that has been approved at New Buildings Farm in Cresswell – so it’s possible the application (at Fields Farm) may just be re-submitted, this time with a smaller structure.

(Want to comment on this item? Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.)

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Local ‘Democracy event’ date

This year’s ‘Parish Assembly’ for Draycott & Cresswell & Totmonslow has now been scheduled in for March 31st – and all are invited.  It will take place in the Church Hall at 7.30pm.

A parish assembly is a peculiar gathering, as it is NOT a meeting of the parish council (though it may be organised by the parish council).
In fact, it is an amazing piece of ancient democracy in which the electors themselves have their own day in the sun – and can discuss anything they like.
It is not under the control of any local government body, though, by law, the chairman of the parish council should chair the meeting.  No other councillor can take a privileged position during the meeting.
Fo more about what a parish assembly actually is and can do, click on this link – Parish Assembly rules.

So… how do you get something to be discussed at the meeting?  Simple, just ask for it to be put on the agenda!  Any local elector can do it.
The person drawing up the agenda for the assembly this year is Mary Edwards – you can phone her with your requests for agenda items on 01782 394807, or email her.  She is not able to refuse reasonable requests.
Get your requests in by March 20th if you can.

So… don’t just sit there.  Use this strange and ancient process to give yourself a chance to set the agenda!

– – –
Rains and floods

One thing about the incessant rain recently is that it has created a good opportunity to see how well local drains and ditches are working.
You may remember that constant rain did cause floods in Cresswell in 1987 – with minor flooding too in 2001, 2002, 2007, and 2009.

Well, from what we can see, things do seem to be working somewhat better.

The ditches that were cleared last year to prevent flooding on the Uttoxeter Road near Totmonslow seem to have functioned well.  We saw no flooding there this year.

Waterlogged field at Cresswell

Waterlogged field by Sandon Lane at Cresswell (looking toward business park)

The drains on Cresswell Lane (that have been emptied) too seem to have worked well, even though there was some back-up causing temporary pools on the road.  The nearby field (behind the lay-by) was waterlogged – but not flooded.

However, in Draycott Old Road, problems continue.  One resident said that he’d seen the whole width of the road flooded at one point – and he thought that the gullies definitely required proper cleaning-out, and some attention to the routes of ditches needed sorting.
Draycott old Road has been a problem for a while – sandbags had to be got in for residents after melting snow in Jan/Feb 2013 (following heavy rain in summer 2012) because the culvert was damaged and had not been taking away water.
There are moves by the county council to work with the land-owner to get a stream there reinstated, which might help.

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NEWS: police visit; applications; pubs; footpaths

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-October 2013
We have news of:  police come to visit us; new licensing and turbine applications; some happy pubs; a blocked footpath stile; a missing telephone box

(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – – –
Come & see the police

If you’re interested in how policing works in Draycott & Cresswell, you’ll want to attend the Draycott Parish Council meeting on Monday (21st October).   PC Adam Charlesworth, our local bobby, and PC Alexander Gould will be there to outline their policy and to answer questions.
Draycott is part of the ‘Forsbrook & Caverswall’ policing area.

As usual when there is a special guest, the council meeting starts half-an-hour earlier than usual; thus things with the two constables get underway at 7pm.

Incidentally, the year-accounts for 2012-13 for the parish council are now published; and you can see them on the three notice boards across the village.
As usual, almost half of the council’s expenses go out in staff costs; this is one of the downsides of being such a small parish.

– – – –
Stile blocked

The weather – apart from the torrential showers! – has been relatively mild of late, so we’ve been walking the local paths.  If you remember, there was an article about local footpaths on this site a few weeks ago.

Footpath fingerpost at Cresswell

Undergrowth is nearly choking this stile in Cresswell

It’s a shame to see that one stile at least is completely overgrown – the one opposite the entrance to the cricket club in Cresswell.  We’ve now reported this to the Parish Council, who’ve been doing some good work recently on keeping paths maintained.

Oddly, the footpath fingerpost that used to stand outside the cricket club entrance seems to have been removed.  Or are we just imagining that there used to be one there?

– – – –
Phone-box – gone forever?

Another missing item is the telephone box at the end of New Avenue.  It was virtually demolished after something collided into it in June.

Phonebox spot

Where once was a phone-box…

BT must have decided that it wasn’t worth saving, and now all that’s left on the spot is the disturbed earth from which it was removed.

Will it ever be restored?   Seems unlikely.  After all, the other two telephone boxes in our area – the one opposite The Draycott Arms and the one in the Cresswell lay-by – have now both been de-commissioned.

– – – –
Sports Centre to be more social

Some more applications for the Parish Council to consider have come up.

The Draycott Sports Centre is really taking seriously its promise to try to become a centre of local entertainment.   It has applied under the Licensing Act to extend its hours – to start from 9am on weekends (mostly for all-day sporting tournaments), and to midnight for functions.
To see the full details of the sports centre’s applications, click here.

And a totally new planning application for a wind turbine on a Draycott farm has come up.  In addition to the one for New Buildings Farm, this new one is for Fields Farm in Brookhouses.  It’s slightly larger than the one requested by New Buildings Farm, but it is still in the ‘small’ category.  To see full details, click here.

Before they make their recommendations about such applications (which are then passed on to the district council) the Parish Council like to hear from interested members of the public.
So,  if you have thoughts – for or against these applications, or just a query -, either attend the parish council meetings and speak during the public-participation slot, or write to the council.  They say they want to hear from you!

– – – –
Pubs – some happy, some sad

Nice to see that a pub within walking distance of Draycott is re-opening.  The Butchers’ Arms at Forsbrook, which was in ‘downgraded’ state for a long time, has had a re-furb and re-opens on the 23rd of this month.  From the early photos that we’ve seen, it looks as though it could work.

Another pub on the edge of Draycott, the Red Lion at Boundary, reports to us that it has already sold out its Christmas Day lunch bookings. Hmm.  You have to be quick these days!

Meanwhile, our poor old Izaak Walton, closed since January, remains in a very sorry state. We see that some mattresses have been dumped in the car-park.  What an indignity.

***
To comment on any of the items on this page, or suggest some new ones for future posts,  just use the comments box near the bottom of this page.   (You do not have to leave your email address, which is always kept private anyway, but, if you don’t, that means you might miss any feedback).
Also, if you want us to publish any notifications of births, deaths or marriages, please let us know.

NEWS: helicopter ride / bus changes / cook needed / sad Izaak

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-September 2013
We have news of:  raffle winners take to the skies; all change on the buses; Draycott College needs a cook; Izaak Walton looking shabby; and the Moorlands Parish Assembly.

(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – – –
Up up and away

Sometimes when you win a raffle prize, you’re not sure if you really want to accept it…
Susan Hughes must have wondered that when she won first prize in the Draycott Fayre raffle – it was a ride in a helicopter!

Raffle prize winners in helicopter

All smiles – it’s quite an adventure…

However, the prize was taken up after all, and Jarrod Ford from Staffordshire Helicopters gave Susan and her husband Mark a safe tour around Staffordshire’s skies.

– – – –
Bus service reduction

Meanwhile, back on the ground, as we feared, the new timetable for the X50 bus, that did used to come through Draycott every hour, does indeed now show a reduction in service.  It is now only every two hours, though it does run Saturdays too.

An hourly service – to either Hanley or Uttoxeter – was perhaps a bit of a luxury for a small place like Draycott, but it was very useful…

There is more than the X50 of course.
Two other routes serve Draycott, and you can easily find their timetables by going to www.travelinemidlands.co.uk.   There, select the ‘Timetables’ tab; put ‘ST11 9AA’ in the ‘From’ field; tick the ‘All’ category; and click ‘Search’.  You’ll then see the timetables for the 249 (which goes through Cresswell too), and the 6A, 6B & 6c though you will have to walk up to Bill’s Garage in Blythe Bridge for them.
The 184 seems no longer to run; and the old 7 service is now gone (replaced by the X51) – the number is being used by a quite different run altogether.

Let’s hope we don’t lose any more services.

– – – –
Sad Izaak

We passed the Izaak Walton pub the other day, and it does seem in a sorry state.
It’s been closed for some nine months now, and although a caretaker is clearly keeping an eye on the place, it is starting to look shabby.

Izaak Walton pub beer garden

The Izaak Walton beer garden as it is these days

The beer garden is badly overgrown, and the car-park wall is crumbling.

Rubbish in Izaak Walton pub car park

Rubbish pile in the Izaak Walton pub car park

In the car-park itself, someone has clearly been gathering for various get-togethers, and just chucked their rubbish.
However, it’s good to hear that the local community action group VVSM did also think the place was getting to be an eyesore, and they have been making attempts to keep it tidy.

The parish council did enquire of the estate agents who are putting the Izaak up for let what exactly the future is for the pub, but just got the usual answer: the owners are still looking for a suitable tenant.
If you’re interested in taking on the Izaak, here are the details of the let.

– – – –
Cook needed

Schools are all back now, and it’s interesting to see that Draycott Moor College is advertising for a school cook.
The job is only twenty hours a week, and only requires twenty meals a day to be prepared, so it would suit a part-timer.

If you want to know more, contact headteacher Roger Flint on 01782 399849.

– – – –
Stepping issues up a level

By the way, the Moorlands Parish Assembly takes place next on Thursday 19th September.  This get-together is when all parish councils in the district come together to discuss issues of mutual interest.

If you think something local should go to district level, you can let our Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish parish councillors know if you go along to the next parish council meeting, which is on Monday 16th – just three days before the district assembly.  they may take your concerns on to the big meeting.

***
To comment on any of these items, or suggest some new ones,  just use the comments box below.
You do not have to leave your email address (which is always kept private anyway), but, if you don’t, that means you might miss any feedback.

News: cup final / election candidates / pubs / a death investigation

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in early April 2013
We have news of:  Draycott Potter’s Cup final date;  county election candidates; Draycott pubs; sticking snow; hedge-cropping; street-dancing classes; and a death investigation.

(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
Cup Final

Who cares about whether Chelsea or another team will get to win the national FA Cup Final?
The big match for us here is The Uttoxeter District Charity Cup Final in which our very own team, Draycott Potter FC, will take part.
The Potters reached the final thanks largely to a hat-trick from – guess who! – goal machine Dan Rooksby, beating Cheadle Town End 5-2. They will face the formidable JCB Lakeside team– but with Dan in the form he’s in, they fear no-one.

The final takes place on Friday May 3rd at the Rocester FC stadium; it’s an evening kick-off at 6.30pm.  Perhaps we’ll see you there?

– – –
Diary dates

Other dates for your sporting diary are the first matches of the season for Blythe Cricket Club (whose ground is in Cresswell).
On  Saturday 20th April the First Eleven face Sandyford CC at home, while  The Women’s 1st XI have their first match the following day, also at home, when they play Five Ways Old Edwardians CC.   See Blythe CC’s full fixture list here.

And it’s nice to see that the Catholic community are using a local facility to have their informal gatherings.  The St Mary’s Church Parish Pub Lunch takes place every month or so, and they have kept the occasion local by using the Draycott Arms.  It’s a wise choice too, as you can pick up a Sunday lunch there for just £10.  The Arms even has free Wi-Fi these days.
The next St Mary’s parish pub lunch is on Sunday April 21 – check here for details.

(Sadly, we are all still completely in the dark about the future of the other pub in Draycott – the Izaak Walton.  The ‘To Let’ sign is up, but there’s little sign of activity; and now the parish council are thinking of asking the owners to explain the situation. If you are thinking you’d like to run the pub, these are the details.)

Meanwhile the youngsters have dates to look forward to also.  Not only is the Draycott Sports Centre starting street-dancing classes for children up to 14 years old, but a new computer-game club is now underway at Blythe Bridge Library.  The Warhammer Games Club is suitable for ages 8 upwards, and is free too.   (See details here).   Rather ominously (to our ears), the information reads “… bring your own armies.”  Hmm!

Snow at Draycott Centre

More than two weeks after the snow fell, and despite days of sunshine, there are still clumps of snow on the ground, as here at Draycott Sports Centre. Seems hard to believe, but then the laws of nature sometimes are!

– – –
County Council candidates

The final nominations for the candidates for the Staffordshire County Council elections are now in.  Draycott falls into the Cheadle & Checkley ward, where we have four candidates to choose from.
As Mike Maryon, our current county councillor, is standing down, we will have to vote in a totally new representative.

Mark Deaville, who already sits on the parish and district councils for our area, is taking on Mike’s Conservative Party nomination.  Jan Hale, a researcher, is the local Labour party selection, while Phil Routledge is the local Liberal Democrats’ choice.  New on the scene is the UK Independence Party, whose candidate is Peter Ellis.

As Mike picked up more than 50% of the vote in the 2009 elections results, Cheadle & Checkley should be seen as a safe Tory seat.  But, halfway through the Tory government’s term, who knows who the electorate will respond?
The election is on May 2nd.

Incidentally, if you were wondering whether there will be an election to fill the vacancy on Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish Council, left by the death of Ken Shelley, all we can say is we’ve not heard any news yet.
– – –

Hedge cut

You can’t say that the council’s hedge-cropping this year isn’t thorough. Most roadside hedges in our district have been cut back ruthlessly

– – –
Still no compensation for Steve’s family

Almost two years after the death of Steve Swinson from Cresswell, there is still no sign of compensation for his family.  You may remember that Steve died when scaffolding fell from underneath him as he was working in Switzerland.  Although a recent inquest ruled that it was an accident, the family are pressing on with their case for compensation.
Sadly, to achieve some progress, the family have had to push for a criminal investigation, and it must all be very distressing for them.
See Sentinel’s full report

***
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You do not have to leave your email address (which is always kept private anyway), but, if you don’t, that means you might miss any feedback.

News of: pot holes / Izaak closed / sponsor opp / new classes? / very old man

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in late February 2013

We have news of:  pot holes;  the latest about the Izaak; sponsoring in Cresswell ; possible actvities in new community centre; and the 127 year old man.
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
What do YOU want from a community centre?

This week a focus group met to discuss the proposed Draycott & Cresswell Activities Centre which (possibly) will be built on the cricket ground in Cresswell.   (For history of this idea, click here)
The new centre will provide (of course) a club-house for the Blythe Cricket Club on summer weekends, but, for the rest of the week and in the off-season, it will be a community base.

However, two things need to happen first – collection of evidence that people in Draycott & Cresswell can think of uses for it, and, secondly, lottery funding.

Which is where you come in.

Ideas needed!

In order to qualify for lottery funding the centre must be seen to be hosting activities that encourage good health or support families & youth.  What activities would YOU like to see there?

Examples might be: a place to meet for walking-for-health or ramblers groups, or other sports groups; a centre encouraging youngsters to be active – providing, say, table tennis facilities or cycle workshops; slimmers and/or fitness sessions; healthy-luncheon clubs; U3A style groups doing ‘gentle exercise’ classes; parents and toddlers activities; discussion and lecture groups; chess/dominoes/scrabble meetings; football teams tactics sessions; bird-watchers & wildlife conservation classes; gardening seminars; sports massage sessions; healthy-cooking & nutrition classes …. And so on.  The list is endless!!

So – here’s what you can do.  Contact Austin and tell him what you would like to see going on at a modern, new community centre in Cresswell. It doesn’t commit you to anything, and your identity will remain confidential – so you have nothing to lose, but you will be contributing greatly.
All ideas gratefully received…

– – –
Izaak – closed AGAIN

The saga of the Izaak Walton Pub, which has been open and shut at least half-a-dozen times over the last twelve months, goes on.
As some of you may know, the pub went ‘dark’ again a week ago, and a strange story has emerged.

Cresswell, Staffordshire

Cresswell, Staffordshire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems that the owners of the pub turned up, out of the blue, and said it was all-change again, and gave the present tenant, Richard, virtually no notice at all.  Richard has been looking after the Izaak for the last few months.
So the pub is closed

again.

We haven’t heard back from the owners yet, but this might be the time for some of our political representatives to step in and demand from the owners some sort of explanation as to the bizarre shenanigans that are going on at one of our most treasured heritage sites.
Richard, who is confused as anyone, says he hopes to be back.

Watch this space.

– – –
Holes in the road

It’s that time of year again when potholes start appearing. After the rains and freeze-and-thaws of the winter have weakened the tarmac structure, any fractures just split quite easily, producing… potholes.

We saw motorists in Cresswell Lane swerving to avoid a particularly nasty one there, so they can make life dangerous.  Fortunately that one was repaired quite quickly – Staffordshire Highways do pride themselves on being fairly speedy in getting out to make patches once a pothole is reported.

Pothole in Draycott Old Road

Pothole in Draycott Old Road

So, all we have to do is report them!
Here’s how – just click on the Staffordshire highways potholes page, and fill in the online form.

– – –
Sponsor a telephone box / information point 

The latest VVSM Action Group newsletter has been published and distributed to local households. If you don’t have a copy, just email VVSM for a copy.

In the newsletter, VVSM report on the degree of progress on the Cresswell Information Point (aka the old telephone kiosk) project. The formal name for it in the future will be ‘The Jubilee Kiosk’.
The group are managing the work; and it looks like it is coming along nicely, and may even be up and running by the summer. (For more information on the project, click here).

If you want to help advance the work, VVSM are offering each pane of the kiosk for sponsorship at just £10 apiece – which sounds to us like a bargain.
Businesses may well be interested in the offer, but individuals and local organisations are invited to ‘buy’ a pane too if they wish.
Just email VVSM.

– – –
FUN FACT – 127 year old man 

Doing this website has introduced us to all sorts of fun facts about Draycott and its people – so we thought we’d have a regular slot called ‘Fun Facts’.  And if you have one you’d like to share, please let us know it.

For the first fun fact, we go to the Genuki website’s Draycott page, which reports the story of a remarkable centenarian.

It says that in Draycott-in-the-Moors “… resided Joseph Reeves, a shepherd, who lived to the age of 127 years, and accounted for his extreme longevity, under God, to his never having taken tobacco or physic, nor drank between meals, alleviating his thirst by rolling pebbles in his mouth.”

Advice worth following perhaps!

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To comment on any of these items, or suggest some new ones,  just use the comments box below.
You do not have to leave your email address (which is always kept private anyway), but, if you don’t, that means you might miss any feedback.

News of: tax rise? / local lad success / Valentines / reviewing the local NHS

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in February 2013

We have news of:  a parish tax rise? / local lad Rob Pointon’s success / Valentines at local hostelries / how to review the local NHS / why turbine was refused / and, a roadside con-trick…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
Council tax on the up?

The latest meeting of the Draycott Parish Council concentrated on deciding the council budget for the forthcoming year.

Councillors proposed that the so-called ‘precept’ go up by 3.8%.   In cash terms this means that the households of Draycott could be paying £6,750 for the parish council in 2013/14 – which is up from £6,500 last year. This means it would be an above-inflation increase, as inflation is currently around 2.7%.
Of course, the parish council part of the council tax is minute, especially compared to what the district and county councils and police service will demand!

At the meeting of the council, there was a feeling that extra cash was needed to improve the salary of the parish clerk.

The PC’s proposed rise now goes off to be considered by the  local authority.

– – –
Rob on the canals

Nice to see a local boy doing well… and in this instance we are talking about Rob Pointon, the painter.
Rob, who was raised in Draycott, and is now based in Burslem, is well-known to many of us and has drawn and painted many local scenes.  He’s the brother of the writer, Matt Pointon.

He’s an amazingly prolific painter, and in fact we seem to see his work all over the place all the time. Just last week, we saw some of his paintings in the Millard & Lancaster Gallery in Shrewsbury, where they sell for around £1000 each.

Rob Pointon painting

A painting by Rob Pointon, as seen in a gallery window in Shrewsbury

Rob specialises in ‘live’ painting, so to speak, standing in the open-air painting away furiously depicting what he sees in front of him, whether it’s town-centre scenes or landscapes.
Well, now he’s taken that idea a stretch further by undertaking  a year long project in which he’s been  touring the canal network on a narrowboat –  painting on location – and now the project is almost finished.

A touring exhibition of the 80 paintings he will have completed (called ‘The Year of The Boat’) will get under way in April, with an opening in Manchester.
For more information see Rob’s website:  www.robpointon.co.uk

Didn’t he do well?!!

– – –
Choose your Valentine now

You won’t need telling that it’s Valentines Day this coming Thursday.  If you haven’t bought your cards yet, time’s running out…

It’s also running out if you want to book that ‘special meal’ at one of our local restaurants.  The Draycott Arms are only running their Valentine’s menu on the day itself, so book ahead.  (Incidentally, if you really feel like going mad, you can buy a bottle of Moet & Chandon champagne there for £55… but… a glass of the house-white is just £3. Phew.)

The Izaak Walton is also going all out to make it a special time for lovers, and the Izaak’s Richard Graves tells us the music mix – which is one of the best things about the Izaak – will be ‘appropriately smooth’. And so will the Valentines dessert – which is a chocolate mousse over a chocolate sauce!
However, Richard says he’ll keep the Valentines feeling going into the weekend, retaining the menu for the Friday and Saturday as well.

Richard Graves

Richard Graves – the man (and chef) in charge at the Izaak

Richard also told us that he once cooked for the Queen when he was a chef in London. If he’s not too busy, he might tell you the story himself, and even show you the photo.

– – –
Roadside scam

Neighbourhood Watch is reporting a very strange confidence trick which has already taken in a number of unsuspecting people.

Motorists are being warned of fraudsters who park in lay-bys off main commuter roads and flag down passing cars. They say their own vehicle has broken down and then ask for money (in exchange for jewellery or gold) to enable them to get help.  The jewellery is fake of course.

Recently, the con-men have been working in Blythe Bridge, Leek, and Wolseley Bridge – so, in our backyard. If you see anything, contact Staffordshire Police on 101.

– – –
Turbine refused

You may remember our article about a proposed wind turbine in this area, in the southern part of Draycott parish to be exact.  It was turned down by the planners.
Annoyingly, the Planning Applications pages on the council website don’t always say why a proposal is refused, but it seems in this instance, it wasn’t because of objections. The planners simply weren’t convinced that enough research into the ecology of the spot had been carried out by the farmer who was asking permission.
So, it may yet come back to the table.

– – –
Get your view of the NHS heard

The shocking news about Stafford Hospital and the poor treatment of patients there sent a chill down everybody’s spine I suspect.  But nothing would have really come to light unless a group of determined users of the hospital insisted on standing up to criticise the services. They were pushed back many times, but wouldn’t be silenced.

Now, we’re told, the NHS is going to be more open to criticism, and even down here at our level, we can ‘review’ services more easily.

For instance, many of us use the Pilpel & Ptrs surgeries in Tean and Blythe Bridge, and now you can go online and put down your feelings on the service there.
On the Pilpel & Ptrs NHS Choice pages, there are already some fairly uncomplimentary reviews (!), so if you’ve had good service there, why not go on and write down your thoughts to blanace things up.
Or.. maybe you agree with the criticisms?

***
To comment on any of these items, or suggest some new ones,  just use the comments box below.
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Draycott Arms reopens

It may have been a slippy, frosty day on 10th December 2012, but it was almost like the Draycott Arms (on the corner of Uttoxeter Road and Cheadle Road) had never been away – the place was full for its first night back after two years of being closed!

The new owner John Ford – who is well known to many as one of our local parish councillors – has bought the pub outright, so there are no problems of ‘tie’ which beset so many other pubs.  John’s son Glynn is the licensee.

John Ford at Draycott Arms

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

One thing that delighted many folks who turned up was the ‘guest beer’ – an ale called Draycott Crusader, which was especially commissioned from Marston’s Beers by the pub.
The ale is John’s own tribute to the village, and refers to the famous medieval tomb in St Margaret’s Church of a knight in full armour.
The coat of arms that you can see on the pump (in the photo above) is the coat of arms of the ancient Draycott family which ran this area as their fiefdom in the Middle Ages.

Draycott Arms sign

Draycott Arms pub sign

Some of us wondered if John would keep the old pub-sign – which also shows the Draycott coat of arms. After all, some people might think it a bit old-fashioned.

But John told us that he has decided to go with tradition. The only change he has made was to remove the weather-beaten old sign, and have a new version made in freshly-coloured paints. It looks good…

It is also good to see that the older parts of the pub, like the Snug, have not been altered much. The old red-tiles on the floor are still there, and the bar, with its old tiles, looks much the same.

The Draycott Arms will be operating as a Free House, though half the pub is of course allocated as a restaurant area, so it’s selling itself not just on its beer but its food too.

A “gift”

John also told us that the pub is, in a way, his ‘gift’ to the village after years of living here.  He told us that he doesn’t expect to make huge profits out of the business (though he’d prefer not to make a loss!) but that he simply felt that the pub should not be allowed to go under.

He’s had a lot of support in his venture too, and not just from his family – the pub’s Facebook page has almost 400’likes’!
On the first day of opening, we also spotted some of his fellow parish councillors enjoying the delights of the restaurant.

So, what of the future?
Well, it looks like the beer will keep flowing. As well as Draycott Crusader, the real ale list includes Marston’s Pedigree and Jennings Cumberland Ale.
As for the food, the kitchen is a family affair, so it will be home cooking, using beef, lamb and other produce, directly from the Ford family’s own local Cairneycroft Farm.

Draycott Arms

The Draycott Arms. This photo was taken just before the pub sign over the front door was restored

It’s great to see someone taking on the challenge of keeping village institutions going – good luck to John and his family…

To contact the Arms, simply phone 07973480132 / 01782 395595

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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!

Draycott Photo: Sunset at the Hunter

As the year turns towards winter, we’ve been fortunate to have some mild days and vivid sunsets.

Sunset at the Hunter pub, Cresswell

A spectacular sunset behind the Hunter pub

Terry took this photo as he was driving out of Cresswell toward Hilderstone on the Sandon Road.

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

Izaak Walton Inn – 2010-2020

The Izaak Walton Inn (the mid-19th Century pub/restaurant on Cresswell Lane by the Cresswell railway crossing) has had an up and down history for a decade – before finally closing for good…
Here we look back on the last few years.

+++

2020

Back on the market and at auction on June 1st.

It is hoped that the memorabilia from the Izaak (regulars will remember the old photos that used to line the walls, the old fish weather-vane etc etc) might be saved for the village.

2019 – RIP
Izaak’s status as a pub is overturned.
In December 2019, an application for ‘change of use’ was submitted – see SMD/2019/0752.  The application was to turn the pub into a private dwelling, and it was approved.
It looks like the decision to let the pub run down turned to the benefit of the former owners.  Once a pub has ‘no appeal’ for its community or potential pub managers, planning permission for change of use is much easier.
Draycott village council chose not to defend this historic community asset. Their position was that they’d be quite happy to see the pub closed and altered (see Draycott Council official comments).

2017 / 2018 / 2019…   Closed.
Managers Rob and Lucy leave in June 2017.
The owners (Fleurets) had put it up for sale since January 2017, having previously been marketed in 2012 and 2014.
They say they did get five offers to reopen it as a pub – but refused them all – before selling it in November 2019 to new owners, who will re-develop it into a home if they can get permission.

March 2016 [open for over a year]
Izaak is opened again in early 2016 – under new management.  Rob Shaw and Lucy Gibson, a young couple, make a real go of the business, getting good reviews.
But they too cannot sustain the business.  In June 2017, a notice is suddenly posted on the pub door saying “Closed until further notice” and a week later, the pub is back on the market again.

2015 [open for two months only]
February: Izaak closed again

2014 [open for nine months]
The pub re-opened in March 2014, now newly owned by the Mornington Pub Co, and under a new manager, Kathy Morton, who, though a local girl, had run pubs successfully all across the country.
Before opening, the pub was given a £120,000 facelift.
Kathy stayed seven months, and then was replaced by another Mornington-appointed manager, Del, in October 2014.

2013 was a bad year

As the pub came out of 2012, it seemed to have found some new stability with new landlord Richard Graves, after a topsy-turvy 2012.
But Richard left in January 2013, and the pub was closed – to remain ‘dark’ for fifteen months.

Richard Graves

Richard Graves – landlord and chef at the Izaak Walton

History pre 2012

As everyone will know, The Izaak had had a chequered history even before that.
Its thatch-roof burnt off in 2003, causing a temporary closure, but its reputation as a home of good food recovered in the years up to 2010 under the partnership of Anthony (Lockett) and Wayne (Mendes).

It was even in the Top Ten Best Restaurants of North Staffordshire 2006 (as drawn up by Sentinel food critic Alan Cookman).
But, after Anthony & Wayne departed some years ago, it’s been an open-and-then-shut situation, and some bad reviews didn’t help.

But, it’s a great pub, and there are records of it as a hostelry going back 150 years, though it might well be older than that.

What’s more,  if anyone is a fan of fly-fishing, you’ll be in Heaven in the bar, which has lots of memorabilia about fishing – including a copy of ‘The Compleat Angler’ (which was written by Izaak Walton himself of course) which is dated 1795.

There have been a few managers since the beginning of 2012:  Zandy & Karen, then Jean Claude and then Neil, and John & Trisha  of course.
To be honest, we feel that the large corporations that own so many pubs now don’t always give their tenants a fair crack of the whip.  Let’s hope that Criterion, which owns the pub at the moment (December 2013), do give the present tenant a chance to succeed.

We’d like to see the pub make its 200th anniversary in 2050. Crossed fingers…

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