Tag Archives: st margaret’s bell ringers

Our Remembrance

This weekend sees Remembrance Sunday, which by chance also falls on the same day as Armistice Day – November 11th. This particular Remembrance Day is extra special, as we all know, because it is the 100th anniversary of the day the Great War came to an end in 1918 – when peace was declared, and “the guns fell silent”.

All over the country, villages have been pulling the stops out to ensure their own war-dead and war-wounded are remembered; and to remind the young that war is a terrible thing, with a terrible cost.
The main event here in Draycott will the peal of bells for peace (see below for details).

War memorial

The folks who put this website together decided to make research into Draycott-le-Moors Parish’s war memorial our contribution to the Great War Anniversary project.
It was a big surprise to us that almost no-one knew much about how the memorial had come to be, nor about those whose names are commemorated on it, so we have been working on it (see our research).  Though research never really gets ‘completed’, we are happy that a lot more is now known about the memorial because of our efforts.

Draycott war memorial

Draycott war memorial inside St Margaret’s

This month we also got the good news that the Imperial War Museum has crowned our hard-work by approving our application to include it in its official listing of memorials. Check out the new entry – click here.

Efforts

Sadly however, the businesses, voluntary groups and institutions of Draycott district  don’t really seem to have risen to the great challenge as they have in other areas – with one honourable exception.
(As far as we know… though, if you know of other significant commemorative efforts in Draycott, please contact us).

Other Moorlands villages have: designed huge, creative poppy displays; put together commemoration gardens; arranged lectures & readings & concerts; commissioned sculptures; supported history publications; built beacons; and organised exhibitions about their community at time of war.   Even in villages next-door to us you will observe:  wonderful commemorative gates (Forsbrook); ghostly soldier figures (Dilhorne); a remembrance garden (Fulford); a cenotaph poppy display (Blythe Bridge); a ‘Poppy Party’ (Tean).
But here in Draycott, sadly, nothing to compare – bar the one we will now highlight.

(At least, someone has put up poppies on a dozen of the lampposts along the main section of Uttoxeter Road – thanks to them.)

However, back to the honourable exception.
For a major gesture, once again we have to thank John Clarke.  John, who seems to leads so many community projects here in this district, has worked with the bell-ringing team at St Margaret’s over the last six months to ensure that Draycott is part of at least one set of national celebrations.
At 7pm on Sunday evening (November 11th), the bells of St Margaret’s will ring out in a long peal, as part of the nation-wide ‘Ringing Remembers’ event – when thousands of church bells across the country and across other Moorlands villages will ring out, all exactly at the same time.

Not only will the action echo the bells that rang out for peace exactly 100 years ago, it will also be another formal moment to remember those who were mown down in the slaughter of World War One.  Everyone who wishes can attend, and all are invited to light a candle, as a commemoration, and as a hope for peace.
So it should be an emotional few minutes for all those who can be there, either inside or outside the church.  Thanks to John for making it happen.

Services

Of course, St Margaret’s Church will also be holding, as usual, its annual remembrance service. For details, please see our What’s On pages.

Grave of Bede Vavasour

Grave of Bede Vavasour at St Mary’s Church, showing the RAF symbol

As for observances at war graves, across Draycott district there is only one official war grave (see pic above) – that of Bede Vavasour, the young pilot who died in World War Two. He was descended from the Vavasour/Stourton family, who were the major ‘lords of the manor’ round here in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.  His grave can be seen in the cemetery at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Cresswell.  Each Remembrance Sunday, his grave is formally blessed by the church priest.

Inspiration needed

It’s a shame that Draycott’s efforts – apart from the admittedly wonderful bell-ringing event – have been so slim.
The village really does need some inspirational and energetic community leaders, ones who could come forward to make things happen on occasions such as these.
Cross fingers that there are, and that they will appear soon.

Remembrance display by Draycott Manor College

Remembrance display by Draycott Manor College

NEWS: Local Plan / Armistice events / potholes!

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in early March 2018
In this post we have news of…: Moorlands Local Plan / Armistice Day events / pothole misery …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including a pop-jazz band evening…  Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Plan coming to conclusion

The latest draft of the Staffordshire Moorlands ‘Local Plan’ is now published,  and copies can be seen in libraries and on-line. This is the fifth draft, and, in effect, this is the last, as no more changes are likely outside of a massive surprise.

It only reveals what we already knew: that Draycott, in effect, will soon become an urban village, as part of a ribbon development with Blythe Bridge. Blythe Bridge’s village-boundary is even to be extended this way.
Previous protesting comments from local residents did not shake the planners’ resolve.

So… Draycott will see two new housing estates in the next couple of years. Two already have permission to go ahead – one of 168 homes at Cresswell, plus one of 118 homes bordering the A50 on a site behind Chandni Cottage (which will soon grow, to become 300 homes). Overall, 1500 homes are set to be built in the Blythe Bridge/Draycott/Caverswall ‘ribbon’ area over the next 15 years.
Plus… the ridge overlooking Uttoxeter Road already has outline permission for further housing & employment ‘opportunities’ in the near future.

As for employment sites, Blythe Park in Cresswell is set to be one of the biggest developments across the region. Our local community-action group VVSM are on record as saying that “… what this means is that ALL of Staffordshire Moorlands’ quota for required rural allocation of employment-sites is now to be found in … Cresswell ! What’s more, the expected Blythe Vale allocation, which will stretch from Blythe Bridge to Cresswell, could mean dozens of workshops and small factories being built on the land there on top of the ridge over the next twenty years. All this will change the face of this village.”
Residents in Cheadle Road will also note that a new employment park is also earmarked in the Plan, on a site off New Haden Road (just down from Draycott Cross).Moorlands Local Plan symbol
(What’s a little mysterious is that sections on traveller-site allocation haves been left out. Previous drafts had sites in Draycott and Cresswell strongly tipped, but this current draft is silent on the matter. Watch this space, as they say.)

This final draft is now open to consultation, but only for legal points – one can no longer challenge the locations or numbers of homes & employment sites.

So… what’s next? Staffordshire Moorlands Council will submit this Plan for approval to a government inquiry in the autumn.
And there you have the only real reason to comment on the current Plan – because anyone who does make a comment will also be offered the chance to put their case before the government inspector in the autumn – in fact this is the only way you can ‘qualify’ to take part in the inquiry. It seems a daft way to do it, but there it is.
So, yes, fireworks could start again in the autumn – but don’t count on it.

SEE: Staffs Moorlands Local Plan Spring 2018 Revision

– – –
Pothole misery

Once upon a time, a pothole in the roads was an unusual sight. Not any more.
In the 200 yards along Cresswell Lane, between the A50 flyover and Blythe Business Park, motorists now have at least five chances to crack their axles. Pothole in Cresswell Lane
This length of road is in such a poor state that, as soon as a pothole is repaired, it breaks up again.
Motorists who know this stretch play a dangerous game, of swerving round them.

The plague of local potholes came to a head during the recent snowfalls: if you can’t see a pothole, you can’t avoid it. One poor driver smacked into the huge, snow-covered pothole outside Grange Farm (on Cheadle Road) – and told us all that his van had to be off the road for over a week for repairs.
Residents attending a recent council meeting also complained of the pothole that has suddenly appeared outside Hilltop Farm on the road between the Draycott Arms and Totmonslow; cars swerving round that particular pothole (in a stretch where fast-moving traffic is prevalent), have already caused some real near-misses.

Responsibility for repairs falls to Staffordshire County’s Highways Department who are promising £5million to sort the issue, as of April. The county even has a dedicated Potholes Update webpage!
But, as far as we are thinking, the answer to it all is drive more slowly… the potholes are probably here to stay.

– – –
Armistice commemorations

It may seem a long way off, but in November the country will be remembering 100 years since the end of the First World War. A series of commemoration events across November 11th will look back at the day the nation emerged from all that misery.

Draycott is being invited to take part, as are all other parishes across the UK, by ringing its church bells in a ‘joyful peal’ in the evening on the day.
And the St Margaret’s Bell-Ringing group would welcome any new-comers who feel they could contribute. Recently the group has struggled a bit to find enough members, so volunteering to help them could be your way to take part in the Great-War Armistice Event Day.St Margaret's church in snow

Ring a bell at St Margaret’s!

Anyone can ring a church bell – but you do need some practice, so expressing your willingness is best done now or as soon as possible. Your man to contact is John Clarke, and he will tell you what’s what.

If you are interested more widely in how Staffordshire will remember Armistice Day, there is a free event taking place next Sunday (10th March) in Stafford – the Staffordshire Great-War Commemoration Conference – and all are welcome. If you have an idea, or just want to join in, this could be a meeting worth attending.

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Get fit – in Draycott

It’s that time of year again – and, after the winter slump, it’s time to get fit! In Draycott, fortunately, we have a lot of classes and sessions to help you achieve just that.
From ab-crunching to spinning, from zumba to dancing, we have a lot of classes in this district.  And some of them are even classed as ‘gentle exercise’ – so you’ve no excuse not to take part!

Sweat a bit

The more ambitious among us will of course want to sweat a bit – and you’ve a deal of opportunity here.

The Draycott Fitness Sports Centre is the obvious place to look.  There are keep-fit sessions of one sort or another every evening.
There is Zumba on Mondays, Circuit-Training on Tuesdays & Thursdays, Pilates on Thursdays, and Cardio-Tennis on Thursdays.
Spinning classes  are virtually every evening, being on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
What’s really great is that nearly all of these sessions can be attended by non-members as well as members, so you can just turn up. Most classes cost £4 to £5.

Fitness Club running-machines

There are plenty of running-machines to go round

If you don’t like going a class, well, you’ll really like the Sports Centre’s latest development – the Draycott ‘cardio-room’.  It’s only just opened, so it’s brand spanking new.  Here you’ll find running machines, rowing machines, static bikes, cross trainers and more.
Same sort of cost applies – £4 per session – though getting a membership may be more economical if you think you’re going to be using it regularly.  In fact, a monthly gym-only membership is now available at the centre.

And – we know we shouldn’t say this, because a drink doesn’t necessarily help one’s fitness… (!) – the centre’s bar is open every evening (even to non-members, no sign-in required), so you can relax after your shower with a cooling beverage of your choice.

Keith Carder is the centre chairman – if you need to know more, just email him.

Kick yourself….

Draycott is well blessed, because the Sports Centre is not the only place doing keep-fit sessions.
The Quick-Quick-Slow Dance Studios on Blythe Business Park in Cresswell also has some open fitness classes.

Kick fit poster

It’s best to use a big room when practising kick-fit…

Every Monday evening is the fearsome-sounding Kick-Fit Class (£4 per session); while the well-known instructor Damien Hey leads Zumba classes there on Tuesday evenings.
(Did you know that the word zumba is derived from fusion of a Colombian term meaning ‘fast moving’ and the word rumba (party)?  Sounds about right.)

Gentle exercise

But, for some, sweaty exercise is not appealing.

For them, we recommend the afternoon tea dances every Wednesday at the Quick-Quick-Slow studios.  There are tea, coffee, biscuits and cakes provided, though (wouldn’t you just know it?), the studios’ licensed bar is open throughout the afternoon too.

QQS Studios

The QQS dance-floor – nice and airy

If you like the idea of coming to the dancing, it’s best to phone first (07961 786 585) to make sure that there will be space for you – it can get crowded.
If you don’t know how to dance, a basic and brief introduction to the art is provided beforehand.

But… maybe yoy fancy something completely different? Believe it or not, we’ve been told that bell-ringing is a good form of exercise
The Draycott Bell-Ringers meet every Monday evening at St Margaret’s Church to practise on the bells there.  Newcomers are always welcome – email John for details, or just turn up at the church from 7.30 onwards (you don’t have to be a member of the church’s congregation) – and it’s free!

Staying with ‘gentle exercise’, don’t forget there is also Pilates, which is a form of concentrated stretching, at the Sports Centre.

We’ve also been asked to mention the local Walking Football games, where you are invited to have a kickabout on a small artificial pitch – but no running is allowed!  These are for over-50s only; and the beginners’ game on Friday afternoons, which is very informal, welcomes women too.
However, you’ll have to travel a couple of miles for that. Walking Football games take place at Cheadle Leisure centre – contact Ian for details.

Other activities

We haven’t touched on full sporting activities in this post.  Sorry about that – but we will do that in a future article.

And… if you have any suggestions about exercising / keeping fit sessions or even other sporting activities in our area, would you email us?  Or leave a suggestion in the comments box below. Thanks!