Tag Archives: Izaak Walton Inn

NEWS: scarecrows / speeding / homes for sale / Old Lane restored

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid May 2020
In this post we have news of…: scarecrow happiness / speeding on empty roads / historic homes for sale / Cresswell Old Lane is back!

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Scarecrow togetherness

Congratulations are due all round for the wonderful Draycott-in-the-Moors Scarecrow Festival  that took place across Draycott & Cresswell on the bank holiday weekend this month.
Nearly fifty households took part and there were some stunningly inventive and very humorous creations! Most importantly though, it brought people together.

Three people should be singled out though.
Chief among them is the main festival organiser Kate Bradshaw, who was tireless, despite the fact that she has plenty of other responsibilities.
Also, Helen Bickerton, who heads up the team at our local community-library centre at Blythe, deserves praise for stumping up the prizes, and taking part in a long day of judging.
And also Lee Warburton. Lee is basically the main man behind the village Facebook page, which has been so vital a lifeline during this current crisis, and it was he who collated the photo album of the festival. If you haven’t seen the album, click here and check out the brilliant entries.

Draycott Scarecrow 2020 First prize to Norman and Nella at 95 Uttoxeter Road

Scarecrow 2020 first prize to Norman and Nella on Uttoxeter Road

It’s not a coincidence that it is these same three individuals who have also pulled together the local Coronavirus volunteer support groups which have been working across the district to make sure no one who asks for help goes unaided.
Yes, each team’s individual volunteer plays their part and we shouldn’t forget that, but a big debt of gratitude is owed to these three in particular.
If they don’t each get a Certificate Of Thanks from the village council at the end of this year, then there’s no justice in this world.

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Speed-crow

One scarecrow in the festival was about more than just fun, it was making an important point.
The empty roads of the last two months have, unfortunately, encouraged some complete idiots to treat some our long stretches as racetracks. Two long straight runs, one along Uttoxeter Road from Blythe roundabout and the one to the railway crossing in Cresswell, are both 40mph limits, but sometimes you wouldn’t have believed it.

This clever scarecrow (pic right) on Cresswell’s Sandon Road, with its silver foil speed-gun and frowning face, didn’t fool anybody of course, but let’s hope it made the idiots think, at least for a second.

In the meantime, we are still waiting for the two speed-warning signs which should have been up in Draycott by now. Nearly eighteen months ago, the village council were given £5000 by the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership to purchase and erect them – but the project only limps along.

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Historic homes for sale

The recent easing of the restrictions on the property market means that three of our most interesting and historic homes are now properly back up for sale.

First: the old School House in Cresswell, which is so called because the Catholic church in the village maintained a small primary school on the site for many years.
Second:  Totmonslow Farm Cottage (seen from the back, right), which would once have belonged to the farm estate, but now it is separate.

Totmonslow Farm Cottage from the back

Totmonslow Farm Cottage, from the back

And then there is the 200 year-old Izaak Walton pub in Cresswell. It has been ‘dark’ for some time now, so it was no surprise when the brewery-owners sold it last year.
However the individual who bought it managed to get planning permission to re-develop it (with support from the village council) as a family home – which was a surprise, as it is Cresswell’s only ‘community asset’.
However, again, it is now back on the market, and goes to auction on June 1st.

Incidentally, it is hoped that the memorabilia from the Izaak (regulars will remember the old photos that used to line the walls, the old fish-figure weather-vane etc etc) might be saved for the village. The clerk of the village council, Denise Wheat, is on to the job – good luck Denise.

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Cresswell gets it right

Finally, the long-running saga of the road-sign on Cresswell Old Lane is over.
Some eight years ago, a keen-eyed resident noticed that the eastern half of Cresswell Old Lane was wrongly called ‘Cresswell Old Road, not just on Google Maps, but even on one of the official road-signs. And so he reported it to the authorities.
The details of this long-running saga to get the name corrected have been tiring and frustrating (even if a bit humorous at times!), but at last the sign has been corrected.

Cresswell Old Lane sign – right at last!

But… safe to say that the residents of Cresswell Old Lane can sleep sound in their beds at last, knowing that they are now definitely living in the road that they are supposed to be living in…

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NEWS of: planning surrender / Izaak Walton / speeding figures

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late February 2020
In this post we have news of…: speeding danger in Draycott / affordable homes for us? not now / Cresswell loses its pub / flood-zones … (NB – for what’s on, see the Events page).

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Councillors do … nothing

The latest news about the Blythe Fields housing development (up by the A50 roundabout) makes us want to just weep.
As you may know, developers first applied to Staffordshire Moorlands Council for permission to build 118 homes on the site (in 2018); then they said they’d like to squeeze in a few more into the space – making it 146 homes on the site; then, this month, they applied to demand that the agreed quota on the site for ‘affordable homes’ (33%) be dropped, from 48 homes to… just eight!!!

St Modwen Blythe Fields estate brochure cover

Blythe Fields estate brochure – cover

It sounded like the developers (St Modwen Homes) were simply leading the council by the nose – and so surely the council’s planning committee would turn round and refuse this latest bit of elbow-twisting?
But, no, the councillors on the planning committee caved in like a pack of cards and surrendered. They shrugged their shoulders and virtually said –‘what can we do?’ (See the planning application; and also see webcast of the committee discussion by clicking here).

This is bizarre because the 33% affordable-homes target on estates is one set by SMDC themselves! – as a way of ensuring that housing estates include a proportion of homes for those struggling to get on the housing ladder, especially the sons and daughters of locals living in the district.
One little hopeful light was that at least one of our Checkley & Draycott Ward councillors, Pete Wilkinson, did speak up to express his concerns and vote against the move. Well done Pete.

But, of course, the fact is that mostly nobody really cares.
There was a lot of annoyed discussion about this matter on the village facebook page, but if you then look up the official planning comments page, only one resident actually went as far as to register an objection.

As for our Draycott village council, it will surprise no one to learn that (once again…) they couldn’t be bothered to put in a comment on this issue at all.
(Frankly, it seems a bit of a waste of time that we Draycott residents contribute £10,000 of our money every year to this lot if they can’t even be bothered to register comments on important matters like this).

No wonder big developers get their own way whenever they want – and in Draycott they probably will continue to do so.

On 7th March, the showhomes on the estate will be open to the public – but less well-off members of the community will now find hardly anything there for them… Like we said, it just makes one want to weep.

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Will the flooding experience be ignored?

The latest lot of flooding, which saw record levels of water in some areas, will probably be forgotten quite soon by planners and politicians. Only the victims will still rue the day. Sadly.
Yet, as the Met Office reports, February 2020 set a new UK record for February rainfall going back 150 years. Parts of Staffordshire saw more than three times their usual rainfall!

Pooling across the Rookery Farm track

Pooling across the Rookery Farm track

By coincidence, the Draycott & Cresswell community action group published an article about the local flood-zone a few weeks ago, saying that the risk of extra flooding these days surely now means that the extra industrial development on the Blythe Business Park in Cresswell should be reassessed.
A lot of the planned Blythe Park development is in an official ‘flood-zone’.

Even Boris Johnson might have his doubts. Three months ago, when he was on the campaign trail, he said: “We’ve got to stop building on areas which are vulnerable to flooding.”. (See full article).
We wonder what he would think of the Cresswell plans?

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Draycott – speeding hotspot

New figures for the amount of motorists under prosecution for busting speed limits indicate that Draycott Level is a fairly dangerous place.
Over the last two years, thanks to mobile speed cameras, police have evidence against 179 motorists speeding along here. This makes it the fifth worst in the whole Staffordshire Moorlands.
The trouble is that Draycott Level/Uttoxeter Road is a, long straight, wide stretch and motorists just seem to think it’s a free-for-all.

The county Highways Department are at least now changing the limit on the dual carriageway (i.e. from the A50 roundabout to Chandni Cottage) from 60mph down to 40mph – which means the whole of Uttoxeter Road through the village will now officially be all a 40mph speed limit. This will be a help.
Staffs County has also given £5000 to Draycott for road-safety measures. The village council has decided that should be used on two electronic speed-warning signs, but after nearly a year on the project by them the signs have not yet appeared.
(And, despite residents’ continual complaining, the council’s effort to set up a ‘speed-watch’ team of them came to nothing).

Will Draycott drop down the speeding-hotspots league table when it’s published next time? It will be a close thing…
Cross fingers anyway.

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Goodnight Izaak

The new owner of the Izaak Walton pub in Cresswell is wasting no time in fixing it up for its new existence (see pic below).Izaak Walton renovation, Feb 2020The Staffs Moorlands Planning Committee recently approved an application for ‘change of use’ for the Izaak from community asset (i.e. a pub) to a residential home.
(Incidentally, our Draycott & Cresswell village council supported this idea of losing the pub, and actually made an official comment to say just that).

We predicted that this change-of-use would happen, because a series of very good managers struggled and failed to keep it going: all of them said that the brewing company that owned the pub up until last year was simply charging unfeasibly high rents.
So it was almost inevitable it would go dark and, as ‘a failed business’ achieve its change of use approval.
Oh well.
Does anyone care?

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Want to comment on any of the items on this page?  Just use the comments box – scroll down to near the bottom of this page.
(The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address.  You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email address, that means you might miss any responses to your comment)

NEWS: roundabout details / Izaak price cut / new space for hire / rail petition

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late-January 2018
In this post we have news of…: details of new Cresswell roundabout / Blythe CC hub price-list / petition to improve rail line / discount in Izaak pub cost ……
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including a Valentines Ball…  Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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‘Cresswell Circle’

Detailed plans are now in for the large new roundabout which is to be built in the middle of Cresswell. The roundabout will service the new housing estate & expansion of the adjacent industrial site.

All the measurements are listed on the plans, and it looks like the roundabout will be some 25m across – about half the width of a football pitch – with a grass mound in the middle. Basically it will be built on the field behind the present lay-by; and the current length of Sandon Road opposite the lay-by will be re-worked, as a residents’-only access frontage.

Cresswell Roundabout details

All of us have just over a month left to look over the plans and to comment on them. Click here to get a better close-up of the plans, and click here to make your comments (by March 7th).
If the plans get the full go-ahead (which is very probable), we should see the work starting around Easter-time – so start to expect traffic delays about then…

Blythe Park Roundabout Development pic 2017

This artist’s impression shows the roundabout and planned houses in bright colours; and the existing buildings in dark shades (pic: SMDC Planning website)

What’s interesting is that the construction-works this year will also include the new central roadway through the whole Blythe Park development – at the far end of which (on a virgin plot beyond the current industrial park) will also be being built a large new factory-warehouse for a garden-furniture company.

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Community hub open for business

Better late than never, the price list for the hire of the new pavilion at Blythe Cricket Club (in Cresswell) is finally with us – and the prices aren’t bad at all.

In front of the new hub: Austin Knott (club secretary), Brian Lawton (cricket league chairman), Alison Grimley (chair of the club's Lottery Bid), Simon Owen (club chairman)

All smiles in front of the new community hub

If you remember, the brand-new facilities at the club opened at the end of last summer to great fanfare – in large measure, thanks to a huge £500,000 grant from  the Big Lottery Fund. Part of the club’s deal with the Lottery was that the ‘hub’, as it’s known, must be open for use by the surrounding community too.
The new-build includes new changing-rooms, updated toilets and baby-changing facilities – but, most importantly, as far as local residents are concerned, there is a shiny new large space (and bar) which is available for hire to the public.
And the prices are OK (well, we think so) – £50 for a half-day (not including bar & bartender). Check them out for yourself – see the official Blythe Community Hub – price list.

It’s an irony of the way that things go in the modern world that we have now have four community spaces for hire in our district (the village hall, the Cresswell dojo, the sports centre and now the cricket club), as well as – sometime in the next few years -, another one which will come as part of the forthcoming Blythe Park Housing Estate.
So, we have a plethora of ‘community hubs’ – but not even a little local shop!!   Oh well.

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Railway petition

Once all the new building developments are completed over the next five years, Draycott-Cresswell is going to start snarling up with lots more traffic – the amount of cars owned by Cresswell households alone is set to double.

It’d be nice to think then that the railway service into Stoke or Derby (from the rail station at Blythe Bridge) is an option for more comfortable travel. But, as anyone who travels the line at peak time will know, the carriage/s (yes, often there is just one coach!) is absolutely jam-packed. Not pleasant.

So the MP for Stoke South, Jack Brereton, initiated an online petition in early December, in which he called on the government’s railways minister to force the local operating company to renew the rolling stock and improve the service.

Trouble is that poor old Jack has only got 45 supporters so far. Oh well.

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Izaak reduced

By the way, still no word on what is likely to happen to the Izaak Walton Pub in Cresswell. When it closed in last year there were quickly rumours that a small resto-pub chain was interested, and there were high hopes that the old place would open again soon.

Izaak walton Inn new sign

Seems like those hopes were dashed, and the caretakers have had to stay on ever since – though the asking price has been reduced, down to £325,000.
The whole pub-hospitality business is a very difficult one at the moment, but it certainly would be good to see some sort of future for a place that is so iconic of the whole village.

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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: Izaak dark / kids sports / fayre success / rail path hope

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-July 2017
In this post we have news of…:  Izaak pub closed again / Cresswell-Totmonslow railway path / Draycott fayre success / local sports camps for kids…
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including an Open-Acoustic/Open-Mic evening. Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Izaak closed again

The poor old Izaak Walton pub in Cresswell doesn’t seem to be blessed with the right star-sign. During the last five years there have been six changes of management, and – you guessed it – it has closed again.
Izaak closed 2017Rob & Lucy put in a good shift at the pub for nearly eighteen months – with good wholesome food at reasonable prices – and this popular couple seemed to be making a real go of it.
But the strain seems to have told; and in the middle of last month, they abruptly departed with just a brief sign left on the door (see pic).

The Izaak, which is at least 150 years old, is a real icon of Cresswell and it would be great to think another owner or manager will want to reopen it.
It was quickly put on the market – for £325,000 – and the rumour is that there is already firm interest.
Fingers crossed.

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Rail path support group

Our footpath network in this area is undoubtedly gradually falling into disrepair, but there may be fresh hope for one stretch of it at least.

The old railway branch-line between Cheadle-Totmonslow-Cresswell is now managed by Moorlands & City Railways, who lease the trackway from Network Rail.  They had hoped to restore a rail service on it, but that hope has disappeared; and so they decided in 2013 to open it up for public access, and now a lot of dog-walkers use it.
However, it is in fact still quite a rough track with ballast still lying on it and parts quite overgrown – so horse-riders and bicyclists have given it a miss so far.
(An exit from the path-track is (quite legally) blocked at the Cresswell end; and some walkers would like to request a permissive way put in to allow the path to be fully open at this Cresswell end).

But, a new group, The Friends of The Cheadle-Cresswell Railway, has now been started up, with the aim of seeing the trackway transformed into a more widely usable route. Darryl Worthington from Upper Tean is heading up the project, and he says support is growing for the idea.
The next meeting of the group is at the Anchor pub in Tenford (at the other end of Totmonslow’s Breach Lane) on Thurs 27 July, and all are welcome.

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Sunday best

Yes, the Draycott St Margaret’s Summer Fayre on Sunday last must go down as one of the best-ever.

AWCS Draycott Fayre

American Civil War re-enactors: stars of the fayre

Many more customers through the gates than last year, some spectacular events (truly spectacular!) and almost unbroken sunshine all day – it couldn’t be beaten for a great day out.
The money raised goes toward maintaining the village’s seven hundred year old church, so it’s a worthy cause.
Snake at FayreOne of the most popular side-shows was one that was quite new to the fayre – Christopher Reptiles. Snakes, iguanas, large lizards were all to be seen – and handled! When you’re being asked if you want a huge seven-foot long snake (see pic) crawling round your shoulders, it soon sorts out who are the bravest…

Thanks very much to John Clarke and his vast team of volunteer helpers who put on a fabulous day!
But don’t forget – there is no rest for this team. Work is already underway preparing for next year’s fayre; if you feel you can help, contact the team.

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Summertime sports

Although there has been a lot of sunshine this year (as well as rain, admittedly), the summer is only just beginning for children, who are just now commencing their school holidays.
So… some of our community organisations are laying on stuff for the kids to do.

Draycott Sports Centre is leading the way with a packed series of sports days during August… A huge range of sports – tennis, squash, badminton, hockey, dodgeball, cricket & football – will all be on offer at its day-long ‘camps’. Children from five upwards are invited to sign up (with parents’ permission) but don’t wait around: numbers are limited. Click here for details.
For children who specifically want to improve their tennis, Draycott Centre is offering an intensive day on 22nd July (part of the Great British Tennis weekend) – click here for details.

Meanwhile a new weekly kids’ dance-tuition session is underway at the Quick Quick Slow Studios in Cresswell – styles range from street-dance to ballroom.

Meanwhile, in next-door Blythe Bridge, Leek Town FC is holding its local Street Soccer programme, providing weekly pop-up football sessions for children. The sessions are free of charge, open to any children aged 8-18, and are held at Blythe Bridge Recreation Ground for six Thursdays (7-8pm) from Thursday 26th July.
With luck, once they’ve tried all these, the kids will be just plain tired out.
(Well, maybe…)

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RIP Kath

Sad to say, one of the great ladies of the parish has passed away.  Kath Bostock, of the Totmonslow Bostock family, husband of Bill, has died at the ripe old age of 94.
If you like, you can pay a tribute on this website

***
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: broader-band! / community money / Izaak jobs / garden days / fly-tipping

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in early March 2016
News of…:  superfast broadband in Cresswell / £2000 community grant / catering jobs / show off your garden / fly-tipping…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including a ‘Black & White Ball’… Check out the Events page)

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Money for the community

As you drive on the A50 towards the Blythe Bridge roundabout from the Uttoxeter end, you’ll see what looks like fields of snow to your left. In fact, it’s the Lower Newton Farm ‘solar array’ with its nearly fifty thousand panels.

This solar farm was ‘energised’ as they call it (we would just say ‘started up’!) at the end of March last year, and if it meets its targets it will have supplied enough energy by now to have met the annual electricity demands of 3,400 households.  It’s all a very environmentally friendly site, as residents saw on the Open Day last year; and should have saved the UK 6000 tonnes of Co2 emissions in the last twelve months.
Recently, the builders of the site, Novus Energy, sold it to BlackRock, a major investment concern.

Solar farm (on Creative Licence)

A photo of a typical solar farm array. The one at Newton has slightly lower frames

But what will probably be of most interest to most of us is that BlackRock has agreed to pay £2000 per year into a community fund for all Draycott-in-the-Moors area – to be administered by Draycott Parish Council .  And the first payment will be in April.

So – what do you think the money should be spent on? All ideas welcome, though they will have to be approved by the parish council.

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Untidy Cresswell

When we wrote an article about ‘Untidy Draycott’ some months ago, there were mixed reactions.  Some people thought it was outrageous to say the village needed extra tidying effort, some said we weren’t critical enough.
A lot of the input came from you, the readers, who supplied us with photos and sightings.
Sad to say we keep getting more and more such photos, not fewer.

Fly-tipping at Railway Cottages

The latest photo we have received (above), from ‘Tricia T’, is of some fly-tipping near Railway Cottages, which are on a track just off Cresswell Old Lane.  It’s a shame.

Please keep your photos of sightings coming.

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Izaak looking good

One site that has got a heck of a lot tidier in the last few weeks is the area around the Izaak Walton Pub.  Yes, someone has really got stuck in, cutting back overgrown greenery, and clearing away any litter, and doing minor repairs.

Weathervane at Izaak Walton

Weathervane at Izaak Walton. Which way does the wind blow for the pub now?

As you might have guessed, the reason for this is that the Izaak is re-opening shortly, under new management – after a year of being empty.
A sign outside the pub says that the management is recruiting bar and kitchen staff.

If you have been trained in catering, now is a good time for you, as the Draycott Arms is also advertising for staff!

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Broad(er) band at last

Householders in Cresswell tell us that they’ve received a letter from ‘Superfast Staffordshire’ announcing that superfast broadband is now finally available in most of Cresswell.  Draycott Level up to the church has had it for a while. It’s not quite clear to us if Totmonslow has it yet. If you are not sure if you are ‘on the grid’ yet, try using the Broadband Availability Checker.

It’s been a while coming, but we should be grateful to the county council that they have sponsored this project.  If it had been left to the market, it would have been much longer in reaching us.

Cresswell broadband cabinet

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s all plain sailing yet!
Yes, it is now a fibre-optic cable all the way up to the ‘green cabinet’ but it’s still a copper cable from there to individual homes.  And it isn’t an automatic fix; one still has to talk to one’s internet-provider about getting the faster speeds.
But it does mean that people in Cresswell and Draycott can now have a better, more reliable connection if they want one.

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Open gardens

There was an interesting idea last year put about by some of our local community leaders that it would be good to have a ‘gardens competition’ for charity.
That idea didn’t work out, but we all agreed that there are some hard-working and skilful gardeners in our district.

Well, we’ve just had an email from the National Gardens Scheme (the NGS) asking if we’d mention on this website that the scheme is looking for local garden-proud householders to help them out.
The idea is that you open up your garden for a few hours (charging a small admission fee) and that the money goes to both the NGS’s chosen charities and also to your own chosen charities.

If you are interested contact Graham & Judy White, who will come along and advise you the best way to go about it.
Well, why not, when it is all for charity, show off your bloomers? (!)

***
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: Dark Izaak / shelter repairs booked / Parish enters C21st / weight-loss class

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late December 2015
News of…:  a bad year for Izaak Walton Inn / Draycott bus shelter to be refurbished / sports centre offers a Weight Watchers class / hard drive for Parish…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including a New Year’s Eve ‘casino’! Check out the Events page)

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In the dark about the Izaak

It is now almost a year since the Izaak Walton Inn in Cresswell closed.  The restaurant-pub has had a dismal record of closing and shutting and closing and shutting over the last five years, which makes one wonder just what the management company that owns it is up to.

Mornington Pubs, which seems to be an offshot of the Wellington Pub Company (which owns a number of other pubs across the Midlands) and they have a chequered record of being able to run pubs successfully. The Izaak is not one of their best examples.  To try to get it going again, Mornington reinvested in the pub in early 2014, but the experiment didn’t even last a year.

Weedy baskets

Hanging baskets at the Izaak Walton – now withering away

For months Mornington have not responded to any enquiries from us (on this website) or from our local councillors, and the pub (from the outside at least) seems to have just been left to ‘go dark’… so, maybe they are not too concerned about what the local community thinks.  The pub doesn’t even seem to be on the market anymore.

Who knows what will happen?

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Stopping the rot

Some good news is that, at last, there will be repairs to the bus shelter by the Draycott Arms.  No buses stop there anymore, but school children do use it to keep out of the wind and rain when they are waiting for their school transports.
The fact is that the old wooden apex was simply rotting – including the tiles in the roof -, and leaks were coming in by the bucketful – and it was going to collapse sooner or later.

Draycott Arms shelter disrepair

Missing tiles on Arms bus-shelter

So, Draycott Parish council has now found £400 from its accounts to do the necessary repairs, ordering felt-shingle instead of the current wooden tiles for the roof, but still keeping the ‘rustic’ design look.
A local man, Louis Cotterill, has been called in to do the work, and it’s hoped the renovation should be complete before the Spring.

Talking of public transport, it has been reported that the Cresswell to Blythe Bridge buses have had problems with… their tyres (!).   One parish councillor says that an eighty year old lady was recently asked to get off the bus a mile before her stop, because the driver was worried about the state of his bus’s tyres.
Has anybody else had issues like this?  Please email us if you have – we’d like to know.

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Invisible sign

Thank you to Joey Marston who emailed us this photo.

Faint 40 mph sign

Joey says: “… do you have a problem with speeding cars in Cresswell?  I wouldn’t be surprised.  This speed-limit sign is so faded it’s virtually invisible.”  The sign is on Cresswell Lane, just 50 yards from the Uttoxeter Road junction.
Well, we did report it a while ago…. but nothing has happened.

(If you too have any photos or items of info you think others would like to see, just email them to us!)

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Watch your weight at sports centre

You’d have thought the wonderfully mild weather lately – which has seen the flowering of daffodils already in Draycott! – would have meant we all could walk off the extra pounds gained at the Christmas tuck-ins.  However, the miserable and continuing rain has forced a lot of us indoors.

So… Draycott Sports Centre is coming to the rescue – if you really are wanting to lose weight over the next few months, the centre has set up a group that will help you achieve your goals.  Yes, Weight Watchers has reached into even our sleepy little corner of the world.
The WW class is starting at Draycott Sports Centre on Friday 8th January at 5.30pm. Good luck!

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Digital breakthrough for Parish

It seems amazing to think that, less than five years ago, all the records of Draycott Parish Council were kept on single pieces of paper.  To check the decisions of the council one had to go to the Clerk’s house and read over the papers…!

Well, two years ago, the parish council finally entered the 21st Century and the so-called ‘Age of Localism‘ – and started to create digital records.  Nowadays you can see all the discussions of the council online …

But, believe it or not, actually, all these official, legal digital records were backed up on a helpful & friendly individual’s private computer – not the safest option!  So… now at last, the parish council has bought an ‘external hard-drive’, on which all its records can be stored, and which is the full and legal property of the council.  Welcome to the 21st Century!

And a happy 2016 to all…

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NEWS: mobile library / target in sight / public walk / F-book pix

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late January 2015
News of…:  mobile library under threat; life-saver funds closer to target; join a country walk round the village; court news; put your photos on Facebook …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area – including the Valentine’s Ball. Check out the Events page!)

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Our libraries’ uncertain future

You may remember that last year there was a major consultation on the future of Staffordshire’s libraries.  Our nearest one, the one at Blythe Bridge, was particularly at risk – until there was a large backlash from the library’s supporters.
However the exact future of Blythe Bridge Library is still to be finalised, though it does look like volunteers will be given a major role in helping to run it.  A final decision will be made by the county council’s Cabinet on 18th February.

But, there’s other worrying news for our local library services. It seems like our mobile-library services could also face cuts.  The mobile library visits Draycott once every six weeks, stopping at Stuart Avenue and The Old Post Office.
If you are concerned about the news, you may want to report your feelings to the Parish Council – which meets next on 16th February at the Church Hall.

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Life-saver on the way

Better news is the news from the local community action group, VVSM.  Shelagh Wood from the group tell us that the campaign to raise funds to buy a community defibrillator for the village has really taken off over the last couple of months – and the group are now just a couple of hundred pounds short of the target. Congratulations to them for their hard work!
A defibrillator is a piece of equipment which could be absolutely crucial if someone has a cardiac arrest.

Most cash raised has come from the proceeds of the Wednesday night pub quiz at the Izaak Walton, where up to thirty people, divided up into teams, regularly fight it out in a battle of wits!  Landlord Del has upped the stakes by doubling the prize money recently…

All new teams welcome, or, if you just wish to come along on your own, just ask to be invited to join one of the regular teams.  In fact … some of them could do with some help! (No names, no …)

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Take in some fresh air in Draycott

Another date for you diary is the guided walk around Draycott & Cresswell in three weeks time on Sunday 22nd February.   Austin Knott, who is well-known to many of us for his wicket-keeping exploits at the cricket club, is leading the walk.

Cows in Cresswell

Our charming countryside

It should be fun, as the idea is not to charge around at pace, but to enjoy the countryside and learn a bit more about the sights that surround us.

All are welcome (though no dogs, except guide-dogs, please) – and it’s free to join.  You don’t even have to book – just turn up at 10am at Blythe Cricket Club (just up the hill from the Izaak Walton).
The walk is in association with the Moorlands Healthy Walks Programme

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Court news

Two men who have been charged with possession of and intent to supply a Class B drug have each pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Charles Milner, (aged 24, from Rookery Crescent in Cresswell) and Douglas Malbon (aged 25, from Stuart Avenue on Draycott Level), have each been sent for trial at Crown Court, to appear on April 13.

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Facebook photos

Finally, if you like taking photos, and want to share them, why not add them to the Draycott in the Moors Facebook site?  It’s what is known as an open ‘group site’, so… all you have to do is join the group, and you can then start posting.

Ice - in a pool at Newton

Ice – in a pool at Newton

At the moment there are photos on the site of winter-weather in Draycott, such as the one above.

***
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 know of something that you’d like to us to mention, please email us.

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: Facebook page / Kathy’s goodbye / Half off food / inquest result

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late October 2014
News of…:  Draycott has its own Facebook page / Kathy Morton writes to say goodbye / Half off restaurant meals / inquest into nurse’s death …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

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Chat about Draycott on social media

Well, it had to happen sooner or later … Draycott-in-the-Moors, which includes Draycott Cross, Cresswell and Totmonslow, now has its own Facebook page.

The good news is that it is an ‘open’ group – which means anyone can join the group and, once in the group, they can start a conversation or post a comment without formalities.
To join, you need to have a Facebook account first of course, then need to make sure to be actually logged in to Facebook as you click the ‘Join Group’ button on the page. That’s it…

Already it is being used to mention local job vacancies, promote local events, and to comment on local matters.
Check it out at www.facebook.com/groups/draycottfriends/

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Kathy says goodbye

As we mentioned last week, there are now new tenants at the Izaak Walton Inn, following Kathy’s departure.
Now Kathy has written to us to say how touched she had been by people’s messages of good luck, and to explain why she felt she had to leave…:

Kathy Morton

Kathy Morton

“…Hello!   I’d just like to say goodbye to the people of Cresswell who supported the Izaak during my time there.
My move wasn’t actually overnight; I have known for around 6 weeks about the change… Unfortunately the Izaak was not making enough money; and the parent company decided to revert to the old system, of bringing in management couples (who work on a percentage of turnover to pay themselves and their staff) – this makes it a low cost way for the Wellington/Mornington Pub Company to operate the pub. Although I loved the Izaak, financially it was not viable for me.
I’d like to wish the new managers Suzanne and Derek lots of luck at the Izaak.

“I am now working for Titanic Brewery (based in Stoke) and am looking forward to opening the newly refurbished Ye Olde Kings Arms in Congleton on the 17th November. I hope if anyone from the area finds themselves in Congleton they will call in and say hello!”

We also wish Kathy, and daughter Charlotte, the best of luck at Ye Olde Kings Arms.

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Fifty per cent off food

You don’t get offers like this very often: to celebrate its first anniversary in Cresswell, the Gandhi Indian restaurant is offering 50% off dishes on its menu! The offer, which excludes alcohol & ‘set meals’, runs for a fortnight from Monday (27 Oct) to November 9th.
The Gandhi used to be called Zest, and is the restaurant at the back of the The Hunter pub (which is on the road out to Hilderstone).

Gandhi Restaurant sign

The Hunter and the Gandhi Restaurant are on the same site

We called in at The Hunter last week to sip a very pleasant pint of Abbot’s and one of the other pleasant aspects of the pub is the roaring log fires, which make one feel very seasonal indeed…

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Death mystery

Some six months ago, a very popular young nurse, Christie Gallon, died on the roads of Draycott Level when her car was involved in an accident with a lorry.

The inquest into her death has now been held, and the truck-driver has been exonerated of any blame.
From what the coroner discovered, it seems that Christie’s car was moving across the road and went into the path of the truck.

But why was the car moving in that way? Sadly, it seems we shall never know. Only Christie could have told 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).

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!)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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: Izaak latest / school open day / cricket fun / xmas dates

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late September 2014 
News of…:  why the Izaak has had odd hours lately / Draycott Sports Centre news / open day for toddlers at William Amory / Blythe CC end season on a high …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

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Kathy on the mend

You may have noticed that the Izaak Walton Inn has been shut at odd times over the past fortnight.  Well, poor Kathy, the manageress, had to be rushed into hospital for what turned out to be an appendix complaint. We can now tell you that she is recovering, but it hasn’t been easy – and we wish her lots of luck getting back on her feet.

Izaak Walton Inn

Kathy had just put up this magnificent hanging basket display before she had to go to hospital. Stunning display!

However, the Xmas bookings rush has already started at the Izaak, and we believe that the Izaak may close Monday afternoons in future to allow the staff some breathing space.  It’s worth phoning ahead if you are intending to make a day of it at the Izaak.

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Autumn … and then New Year

Talking of booking ahead, the Draycott Sports Centre is already taking bookings for its New Year’s Eve party!  Yes, we know Autumn must be with us if festive-season plans are already taking shape…

apples windfall

Autumn brings the usual windfall of apples. This load of apples comes from the trees at the Cresswell layby. Enough for a decent crumble here…

One piece of news we forgot to report back in August was a report of the results of the Draycott Open Tennis Tournament, which is the annual LTA- approved tournament held right here in Draycott.
Phil Dixon, the Hampshire player, took the title, but it’s nice to say that some of the club’s own players did well in the tournament too. Ryan Hallam was third-placed (out of ninety-six entrants!), while youngsters Zak Wedgwood and Eva Shaw were both runners-up in their age-group categories.

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Playing to win

Congratulations too to the Blythe Cricket Club team, which is based here in Cresswell.  The First XI came a very respectable fifth in the table – but the interesting statistic is that only one other team in their division achieved more wins than them.  It’s exciting watching Blythe…

Blythe CC cricket shed

Fund-raising at the club has already paid for this store-shed, which is sited at the east end of the ground

However, the hard work at the club does not let up just because the season is over. There is still a lot of work to do as the club members press ahead with the project to build a community pavilion.  Although more grant-aid has been sought – and gained – even more funds will still be needed.
You can help by attending functions at the club.  The next big one is the Halloween Party at the pavilion on Friday October 31st; don’t forget your Dracula capes…

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Time for school

And if there aren’t enough dates to remember, here’s one more – if you are the parent of a toddler.
William Amory Primary School & Nursery in Blythe Bridge has organised an Open Day (on October 21st) for parents seeking to place their youngster at a school in 2015.  William Amory is one of the catchment schools for Draycott.
For full details of the day, click here .

***
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.