Tag Archives: totmonslow

NEWS: Covid hotspot / green belt puzzle / Rev writes book / odd wreaths

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors & District in mid-November 2020
In this post we have news of…: Draycott’s Covid problems / Rev Whittaker new book / wreaths on junction? / planning in green belt….

For news of what’s on in our area at this time, please click here
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In a Covid hotspot

As we all should know, this month our neighbourhood suddenly found itself to be a Covid hotspot. Blythe Bridge And District – which includes us in Draycott – hit the news as being the worst-hit area in all North Staffordshire, with infection rates double the national average. How this little district managed to become such a Covid problem is unclear.

Of course, like all statistics, these figures are actually a little misleading, because they represent only a snapshot of a moment in time, and current deaths are not as high as in May, so we shouldn’t panic: and, what’s more, this week, thanks to lockdown, the figures are dropping.
But — it’s a definite warning to us. We surely need to stick to the guidelines as best as we can to try to force the figures down or we could be a hotspot for a long time.
(For the big picture, see BBC News Covid Figures Updates).

At the same time, there is one big moral problem in front of us: should we report neighbours who break the rules?
Many people believe we should, and Moorlands Police alone are currently receiving around 400 calls a week from dutiful citizens reporting breaches.
But for others, it feels very uncomfortable to be reporting on neighbours.
What do you think? Use our comments box at the bottom of this page if you have thoughts.

Meanwhile, if you observe a breach and you feel you need to report it, the police ask you not to call 101, but use their online Covid Rules-Breaking reporting form.
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Wreaths in odd places

We’ve had a couple of emails asking us about what is going on with the Remembrance wreaths on Draycott crossroads. Wreaths from Staffs County and Draycott Council have been tied to the bench there. It does seem almost disrespectful just to leave them on a road junction.

The question then is: why haven’t the wreaths been laid at St Margaret’s Church, where the village war memorial is, or by the war graves in Cresswell churchyard?

The answer is, apparently, that the rather lonely small tree at that spot is Draycott Council’s effort at a memorial to those lost in the Great War. The tree was the village council’s contribution to a national project back in 2014 to remember the war’s 100th anniversary. (Some of us thought that, as part of a national project, this tree was, er, a bit underwhelming… but there you go).
In fact, the village council has only half-completed the project; six years later, the plaque that was supposed to explain the tree’s presence has still not been commissioned, which seems very slack.

Be that as it may, our personal feeling is that wreathes should be laid at a ‘sacred space’, not at a road junction. What was the British Legion’s view, we wonder?
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Brian’s book

Many of us will remember the Reverend Brian Whittaker (see pic right) with affection. He was rector at St Margaret’s for fifteen years up to 2005, and also a councillor for this area. In fact he still performs occasional duties at the church even though he is now retired.

He has now become a published author with a book called ‘Jesus and The Gentiles’, in which Brian wants to refute the idea that Jesus was aiming his preaching primarily to Jews, and only secondly to Gentiles (Gentiles are anyone who is not Jewish). Such a description makes it sound a little heavy on theology, but we’re told that it is in fact very readable.
At just £1, it might make a nice Xmas stocking-filler for a Christian friend…
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Green belt paradox

There is more green belt in Draycott-Cresswell-Totmonslow than people think – and it was a green belt issue in Totmonslow that caused a planning puzzle earlier this month.

At a property there, the owner (who is the local councillor, Mark Deaville) put in an application for a kitchen extension. As ‘NPPF Green Belt’ rules apply to this part of Totmonslow, it probably wouldn’t have been passed – but as the applicant pointed out, if he built a much larger extension, that that would be allowed (under ‘General Permitted Development Order’ rules)…! Very paradoxical.
So, the planning committee at Staffs Moorlands decided to let Mr Deaville have the smaller extension, even though it was ‘against the NPPF rules’, as that would be less intrusive than any potential large extension.
Strange but true!

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NEWS of: church funds / Totmonslow housing / police Facebook / footpaths

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in early August 2019
In this post we have news of…: parish council doze through Totmonslow development / report those footpaths / police join Facebook / fayre funds for church… 
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up soon in our locality – including a Sausage & Cider Festival…  Check out the Events page)

If you’d like an email from us each fortnight about the latest Draycott & Cresswell & District news, please click the ‘Follow’ button in the top right-hand corner of this webpage
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

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Village council lack of action

The recent news that a development for five houses at Totmonslow has finally got planning permission launched a surprising discussion at the last Draycott parish council meeting.
Pete Wilkinson, one of our newly elected district councillors, had dropped in to observe the meeting. He expressed his deep unhappiness with the Totmonslow news, saying that the new cul-de-sac which will be built for the development is too dangerous: the cul-de-sac will exit straight onto the main Draycott-Tean road, too close to the brow of the hill for Mr Wilkinson’s liking. In fact he said accidents would be the inevitable result.

He is not the only one who feels this way. Among the official objections to the original proposal were comments from half-a-dozen residents and from Checkley Parish Council too (even through the development is inside Draycott-in-the-Moors area, and only borders on Checkley’s area).

Then Mr Wilkinson asked how Draycott Council had responded.
Silence.
It turned out that, though our village council were aware of the application, and its various updates, even discussing the issue a year ago, they had just … forgotten to make a response.
So what we see here is that the neighbouring parish council and a number of local residents had managed to put in official responses, but our own council, whom we depend on, had failed to.

It seems to us that this really is not good enough. Village councils should be there in the front-line, battling away on issues that affect the community, not dozing on the sidelines. Whether they agreed with the Totmonslow proposal or opposed it, their first duty was to make some sort of response. And they failed.
Ad this is not the first time (see Council’s dismal record).
So, again, we would ask Draycott Council to … just please wake up.

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Watching the detectives

According to surveys, the main public issue that bothers small communities like ours is crime. This is quite surprising, as small districts don’t usually suffer a lot of crime.

Moorlands Police logo
Our local Moorlands police are aware of this concern; and put on monthly meet-the-PCSO sessions at both Blythe Bridge and Tean to try to reassure residents.
But they have now gone a step further and last month launched their own Facebook page. It will list traffic reports, news of convictions & arrests, diary dates for consultation events and so on.

In one way, this doesn’t seem like a big contribution to crime-fighting – but it is part of the drive by local police to publicise what they do, in order to make us feel safer.

But, what do you think of this latest move by Moorlands Police? Is it just a gesture, or a useful initiative? Use the comments box on this webpage to express your thoughts.

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Hurrah for the fayre

The final receipts are in for the annual Draycott Fayre, which was held just a few weeks ago. Once all costs are taken out, the fayre raised a handsome £4000-plus for the parish church fund. St Margaret’s is nearly 800 years old, and, without such donations, would simply start to crumble.

In fact, the last annual report for the church tells us that it spent a staggering £50,000 in the twelve-month on maintenance (which admittedly did include major roof repairs). Fortunately, some grants had become available, and there were donations of £12,000 from local well-wishers, but you can see how money can get swallowed up very quickly.
(Surprisingly, this current annual report for the church has not been made available online, even though previous reports have been. A copy is available in the church itself though).

So, if you went to the fayre (see highlights below), you can have the satisfaction of knowing that a great heritage & community asset is safe for another year, thanks to your support…

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By the way, an even better series of photos of the day than the ones above has been created by Neil Archibald, and is available online for all to enjoy – check out the Draycott 2019 Fayre Album

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Report blocked paths a new way

Most footpaths in Draycott-in-the-Moors are maintained very well (though there are some problems in Cresswell where overgrown and blocked paths continue to be a long-standing and thorny issue).

It has been very frustrating trying to report problem issues over the last few years. Staffordshire County Council (who are responsible for path maintenance) have set up easy online ways of reporting potholes, flytipping, problems with bins etc – but not an online way to report footpath problems.
Until now.

Near NewHouse track

A blocked footpath

At last, you can report local footpath and bridleway problems on a custiomised webpage, thanks to a newly set-up and simple online process.
Click on Staffs Public Rights Of Way Issues.
Having created your online account, you can also track the issues you have reported (to make sure they do get fixed); and also can see matters reported by others.

Lots more people are walking for health – and our district has plenty of good countryside footpath routes (see some examples by clicking here and here) – so let’s make it as easy as we can for us all to keep walking.

***
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The local soldier who died at The Somme

As most of us will know, this month marks the 100th anniversary of the start of one of the most terrible slaughtering fields of World War One – the Battle Of The Somme.  Around one million men were killed or wounded across the course of this horrendous battle, which lasted five months.

What is less well-known is the connection of the Somme Battle to a little farm in Draycott-in-the-Moors.

Perry family

Past visitors to Totmonslow Farm, which is on the main Uttoxeter Road, have always been struck by the two ‘dead men’s pennies’ which used to hang on the wall at the back entrance.
The name  ‘dead men’s pennies’  was the slang term given to the medallions sent to the families of the deceased after the war, to commemorate the men’s sacrifice.  For some families, to receive such medals was a moment tinged with bitterness.Totmonslow - a 'dead mans penny'
The medallions there remember two of the local Perry Family brothers (see the one for James in the picture above).
Sad to tell, the three Perry brothers, Joseph Harold and James Leslie and Arthur all died in the conflict.

It was Joseph who died at the Somme – aged just 21 – and sadly his body was never recovered.  However, his living descendant, Phil Robinson, told us that his name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial To The Missing; and Phil and his wife were able to pay their respects a few years ago.

Curiously, Joseph and his brother James (army numbers 12300 and 12301) were serving with The Highland Light Infantry when they died.  Why they were with a Scottish regiment is a puzzle, but Phil thinks that many young men, in their enthusiasm to join up, would enlist with non-local regiments just to get into the army more quickly; and they could even be transferred between regiments during active service.
So that could explain what happened to these lads.

Brothers in arms

Whereas Joseph died on the battlefield and was reported lost, James and Arthur were probably wounded and then taken to casualty hospitals, where they died.  We can presume this because they were buried away from battlefields.
James died in March 1915 and is buried at St Severs Cemetery in Rouen.
Arthur died in October 1915 aged 32 and is buried at Wimereux, near Boulogne.  Phil believes he was a married man, living at Tean before he joined up; his daughter was Mary Perry – the cousin of Joe Thorley and Pat and Eve Robinson.

(Joe and Pat and Eve are Totmonslow legends, running Totmonslow Farm themselves, for virtually the whole of the twentieth century, until the recent sad death of Pat, the last of them).

Perrys

The question is: why were the medallions at Totmonslow Farm?

It’s true that the Thorleys/Robinsons were close relatives of the Perrys, but the Perrys are considered really as a family that lived in Tean.  In fact, the lads are commemorated on Tean’s Christ Church War Memorial – NOT the Draycott war memorial. Perhaps the connection is through Mary Perry.

War memorial at Tean Christchurch

War memorial at Tean Christchurch – the three Perry brothers are named on it

However, if you also go along to Cresswell St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church graveyard, you will find lots of Perrys there also.  So the Perrys spread themselves around!

Heirlooms

The medallions are now in safe keeping as important family heirlooms; though the future of Totmonslow Farmhouse itself is uncertain.

The memory of that awful conflict, and a world in which young men had to go out to die in such terrible circumstances, will always, one hopes, be remembered – and lessons learnt.

NEWS: break-in / public spirit / solar arrays / tidy village

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid October 2015
News of…:  thieves strike in Draycott / latest on Blythe Park application / another solar farm on the way? / police thank residents / congratulations to Fulford …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including a Christmas Crafts Fair. Check out the Events page)

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Yet another vehicle break-in

We’ve been mentioning on this website for a while now, on and off, that there seems to be a spate of petty thieving going on locally.  The police say it’s down to small gangs of thieves driving over from Stoke-on-Trent to look for opportunities to make off with ‘portable’ items.
They seem pretty brazen too.  One resident told us he went outside his home when he heard some banging in the street, around 9pm, only to see some lads trying to force open his van! They ran off of course.

But, last night (14th October) thieves did manage to actually break into a van – parked on the owner’s drive – in Draycott Old Road, taking power-tools. Anyone with information should call the police on 101 – quoting incident number 0113.
The moral of the story is of course: if you see something suspicious going on, try to get what details you can, and phone the police.

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Public-spirited

Meanwhile, it’s good to know that the police were so impressed by the public spirit of some of the residents of Draycott that they have gone on record saying how grateful they are to them.
Some local people took part in the search to find a missing person, the unfortunate Michael Heath, whose body was eventually found last week in wooded areas at back of Draycott Old Road.  Mr Heath had enjoyed camping in the area when he was alive.

The death of Mr Heath, who came from Blythe Bridge, is not being seen as suspicious.

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More solar planning planned

The success of the solar-panels array at the Lower Newton Solar-Panels Complex between Totmonslow and Cresswell has led other local land-owners to consider installing them.

Solar farm (on Creative Licence)

This is a photo of panels on a typical solar farm.

They use up otherwise under-developed land, create some income for the hard-pressed farmers,  provide more supply for the country’s electricity needs –  and it’s claimed they can even provide a little help in fending off climate change.
Just off Cheadle Road up at Draycott Cross, at Fields Farm, a planning application for one is under consideration at the moment.

The very latest move is a project proposed for Totmonslow; and it would be well-placed there, being close to the grid-lines that are supplied by the present one running at Newton.   However, it’s only in the early stages.

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Meanwhile, another planning application, the one at Blythe Business Park (Cresswell)– to build 168 homes and double the size of the industry in the hamlet – is now just over one year old.  Seems amazing to think that it was only a year ago that this giant proposal was first brought to our attention!

Cresswell proposal

Blythe Park Cresswell proposal – the planned new build is in pink – housing on the left, industry on the right. The stuff in blue is what is already there. The railway is marked by the grey line along the top of this graphic

There were over 150 letters of objection at the time, and the local community action group VVSM took that on board – and so have been stalwart ever since in opposing the development.
They are still managing to hold it off, though they could, as always, do with more support and more volunteers.  You can check the latest updates of what they are up to by clicking here.

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Community-minded

There has been a lot of talk in Draycott recently about whether we should all be more community-minded.  Well, one place that really has developed its sense of community is next-door Fulford; and it’s congratulations to the residents there who have worked so hard to keep their village beautiful and tidy – and, in so doing, picked up the Mid-Staffordshire Best Kept Village Award.

The Fulford Community Group – in partnership with their own parish council there – does a grand job of maintaining a community spirit.  Well done to them on their achievement.

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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)

History mysteries

There is good evidence that there has been a settlement in Draycott-in-the-Moors for around two thousand years – right back to Roman times. So…that means a lot of history!

The good news for local history enthusiasts is that there is going to be a History Walk round the village sometime this summer, probably in July.  The ‘Blythe Bridge & Surrounding Districts History Society’ is organising the event, and all will be welcome when it happens.

However – first comes the research!  Working alongside people from the village, the society members are pulling together a list of the places & sights here that would be essential for a decent history walk.
And here is where YOU come in.  What places would you suggest should be on a history walk of Draycott – Cresswell – Newton – Totmonslow? And why would you suggest them?
Even more, are there also local historical mysteries that you would like to see researched?
What we’d like is if you’d drop us an email with your suggestions.

Barn opposite Draycott Arms

Ancient barn (now a home) opposite The Draycott Arms.  What was it used for? What does the old shield on it represent?

But first, here are some thoughts and puzzles that a group of us came up with while thinking about it in the pub.

Places

Some places to visit are obvious – like the two churches – but what about some less obvious places?   Here are just some…

By Painsley Farm are the ruins of the old Paynsley Hall (now on private land).  Would it be possible to go there?
The strange holes in the rock-face behind The Old Post Office – could they have been made by Roman soldiers?
The barn building opposite The Draycott Arms bears an old carved shield on its end – what is the story behind that?

Draycott Old Rectory

Draycott Old Rectory – from an old postcard

The Old Rectory, the grade-2 listed home just up from The Draycott Arms on Cheadle Road, is redolent of history.  Can the walk-organisers get permission to see round some of it?
In Cresswell, along the dirt track opposite The Izaak, are some grown-over large building blocks: are the remains of an old mill?

What other less usual historical sites round here do you think the history society should be aware of?

Mysteries

At one time red sandstone was quarried around here – but where?
A stone with a strange design has been incorporated into the out-buildings at Totmonslow Farm.  Does it have a meaning?
Totmonslow was the centre of a Saxon administrative area – but where is the site of its famous ancient meeting house – the ‘hundred court’?
Where was the Draycott race-course?
Under gardens in Rookery Crescent there appear to be remains of air-raid shelters.  Is that what they are?
What happened to the large painting of The Assumption that was in St Mary’s until the 1960s?  Where did it go?

Can you suggest any other local history mysteries which the history society can try to research?

All suggestions welcome – no matter how vague!!  Every bit of research starts with a simple question… Email us with your ideas – or put your thoughts into the comments box at the bottom of this page.

Local books scam

Thanks to Michael Whitehead for this piece, that he wrote for this website

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I was very pleased to be sitting at my computer when an ‘alert’ popped into my inbox telling me that two new books had been published about local matters.  One was all about Cresswell, the other all about the old railway station at Totmonslow.

I thought: wow, these would make pretty good gifts.  So I clicked on to the link.

Cover of Cresswell book

Cover of Cresswell book

Immediately I was suspicious.  The Cresswell book cost 45 Euros, and the railway book cost 34 Euros.  That’s a lot of money!
Also, the photo on the webpage of the book-cover showed a lake. There’s no lake in Cresswell!

The next thing was the book blurb.  The first line read: “Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online.”  What was this?
Well, it turned out that the book just consists of material ‘scooped’ from the internet.
(It is legal to just copy material from Wikipedia, so long as you do an ‘attribution’, so the book-makers are perfectly within the law to do what they are doing!)

There is not even a proper author – a computer just sucks up relevant stuff off the web and the same computer probably even arranges it.  I would even guess that a hardcopy book is not created until someone orders one.
So, as you might have guessed by now: if a computer is doing it, it can create a package based on anything in Wikipedia.  The company behind this project have literally tens of thousands of so-called ‘books’ on their catalogue.

Scam

The whole thing is a scam of course; a legal scam, but still a scam.  Everything in the book is already available free on the internet!
Some bloggers have written posts about how angry they feel about this.

However I suppose that won’t stop people buying such ‘books’.  Some people have more money than sense; or may have been fooled by the internet site.
And I suppose that even I would be curious to know what the actual books looked like though.  Did anyone buy one?

PS – you can’t buy these books on Amazon any more.  Amazon has stopped selling them, thank Goodness.

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If you have something you’d like to write for this website – feel free! Just email us with your thoughts.

Want to comment?
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).

The ‘hundred’ of Totmonslow

It’s a good bet that most of us – whenever we pass the Totmonslow sign – have no idea of its historic significance.
Or… for that matter … know what a ‘Hundred’ is!

Totmonslow sign

The sign can be seen prominently on the main road

In fact, Totmonslow was the seat of one of the five ancient ‘hundreds’ of Staffordshire founded around 1200 years ago under the Anglo-Saxons.  Because Totmonslow was its ‘capital’ (so to speak), it also gave its name to the hundred.
As for the term ‘hundred’ – it is not easy to interpret but came to mean an area that held one hundred men capable of being soldiers – and so, roughly, thus, one hundred households too.

Large area

Totmonslow_Hundred

A map of the Totmonslow Hundred (credit: Wikipedia)

The Totmonslow Hundred covered a large area of more than 250 square miles; and basically was the north-eastern part of Staffordshire.   Within the hundred lay thirty parishes – among them being Uttoxeter, Leek, Cheadle and all of the Moorlands.
It is amazing to think that the tiny little hamlet we know now was then the centre of justice and administration for this wide area!

The system of government in which ‘hundreds’ played a part lasted around 1000 years, before largely falling into disrepute in the 1700s.   However, the concept of them still existed in law right up until the 1890s, when the hundreds were fully abolished.  (See notes on TotmonslowHundred in the 1830s)

But – where is the court?

So… that is why this tiny little hamlet that now only contains around twenty homes or so (and is one of the smallest sub-sections of Draycott) still has a place in history, and can be called an “historic” place.

But, talking of places, where exactly was the Totmonslow Hundred ‘court’?

Each hundred had to have a court, where the chief men would meet and where trials would be carried out.   It would probably have been a barn-like structure, or part of a settlement.
The fact is, in the case of Totmonslow, nobody knows where it was!

One day, maybe a future Time Team will turn up, do some excavating, and find out…

NEWS: construction; new bus service; N. Watch; and some winners

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-August 2013
We have news of:  completed construction projects at Totmonslow, Huntley Wood and the Church Hall; the new bus in Draycott; new Neighbourhood Watch group; and raffle winners.

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

– – – –
Building Draycott up

Well, the good weather seems to have helped a number of outstanding construction projects in this area to get finished, which is no bad thing.

The most obvious achievement was the restoration of the ditch-trench that runs alongside Uttoxeter Road at Totmonslow. It had become badly silted up, and overgrown, so it was a timely move by Highways to clean it up last month.

Ditch - cleared!

Ditch – cleared!

The work should prevent flash-floods across the road at this point. With luck.

Meanwhile, up at Huntley Wood Outdoor Adventure Centre,  which is off Cheadle Road at Draycott Cross, the second of the three sites has finally opened.
Emma and Jonathan have been slogging away at it, transforming the old quarry, and now the ‘Wyldwood’ section  is open, as well as the already-running ‘Greenvale’ section.
The centre, which is only open at the moment for private bookings, hosts organisations such as survival groups, role-play organisations and scouting-type activities.  Hopefully, they will have an open day in the near future so we locals can see what’s been going on up there.
In the meantime, have a look at this Wyldwood Flickr slideshow, which outlines how the site came to be what it is.

And last, but not least, congratulations to the team who’ve finally got the ceiling renovated at the Church & Community Hall.

Draycott church hall roof fix

The scaffolding had to go up in the Church Hall – it’s a high ceiling

It has taken time and money, but means the hall will be dry and warm for many many years to come.

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X Fifty… what?

You many remember, a few months ago, there was talk that there would be changes to the X50 bus (which runs through Draycott between Meir and Uttoxeter).

Well, it looks like something was up after all, as we now welcome … the X51!
This month the new ‘ X51’ service is replacing some journeys usually undertaken by the X50 and the 7 bus (between Cheadle and Longton) and the 7A (between Tean and Draycott).  The 7 and 7A disappear to be replaced by using a combination of X50 and X51.
To be honest, we can’t figure out if this is just a new name for what is already happening or represents a major change.

If you understand what the difference is, would you let us know?

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Roll up for the winners

Incidentally, the winners of the St Margaret’s Draycott Summer Fayre raffle have been announced.  It looks like all the winners have been identified, so don’t get your hopes up. However, if you want to take a look at what you might have won, click on this link.

Of course, it’s against the law to raffle livestock, so no one would have won a kitten in the raffle…

Kittens for sale

Potatoes, eggs, kittens – this farm has them all…

…but – if you want a kitten, it looks like, according to this photo anyway, that Lower Manor Farm (which is diagonally opposite Church Lane) might be able to help.

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Neighbourhood Watch, anyone?

The community-action group VVSM are certainly not taking a rest for the summer!  As well as conducting a survey on the state of the bus-shelter opposite Rookery Crescent in Cresswell, they have just announced that they have another meeting coming up.
This time it’s to discuss the possibility of setting up a Neighbourhood Watch group in Cresswell.
Neighbourhood Watch is more than just ‘keeping a suspicious eye out’, it’s also a great way to share information about crime prevention in the community, as well as give a grassroots help to the forces of law and order.

There is more information about the meeting, which take place on August 29, on the VVSM website.

– – – –
Xmas already?

Finally, yes, Christmas does come earlier every year.

Proof?  The Foxfield Heritage Steam Railway project, which is over in Blythe Bridge, has just contacted us to say that places for its ‘Santa Specials’ are going fast, and that if anyone wants tickets, they need to be quick.

…what??  We’re still putting on the suntan lotion…

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Draycott news: new councillor; fresh election; pub quizzes; and more

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

We have news of:  our new county councillor; a parish council election; pub quizzes galore; Kimberley’s arrival; and five out of five for the Draycott Arms!
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)
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New man in town

Congratulations to Mark Deaville, who is our new county councillor.

Mark took on the Conservative Party nomination (succeeding Mike Maryon, who has retired from the council), and managed to win the Cheadle & Checkley ward quite handsomely at last week’s elections.
He polled almost half the total votes cast, which is pretty overwhelming. (See full results here).

Mark Deaville

Mark Deaville

Mark is pretty well known to most of us of course.  Not only is he already a member of the Draycott Parish Council, but he also sits on Staffordshire Moorlands District Council for our area – so he’s going to be pretty busy…

Mark lives in Totmonslow; and his ‘day-job’ is running the Anchor Inn at next-door Teanford, so he knows Draycott-in-the-Moors very well, and can be expected to stand up for this district.

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Parish election called

Talking of the Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish Council, the authorities have just announced that an election has been called – for the seat on the parish council left vacant after Ken’s Shelley’s sad death.
The usual procedure is that at least ten local electors must request an election for an election to take place; and we understand that nearly fifty put in a request (!)

The next announcement will be the date of the election (which must, by law, takes place in the next two months); and also the call for candidates.

We have been told that there is one person who will definitely stand, but if no other candidates come forward, then she will simply be “elected unopposed” and there will be no formal election process.
And, it seems some people do hope that that only one person will come forward – as this will save the cost of an election.  At an estimated £1500, the cost of an election represents around a quarter of the parish council’s annual budget.

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Exercise those grey cells at The Arms

If you are looking for some intellectual excitement, you’ll be happy to know that The Draycott Arms is now putting on a pub quiz every Monday evening. Cost is £1 per person; and the entertainment is led by question-master John Ford.
Incidentally, this makes now four pub quiz nights within walking distance of Draycott.  As well as the Draycott Arms one, there is the Sunday night quiz at The Red Lion in Boundary, and the quizzes on Sunday afternoon and Tuesdays at The Hunter.

Kim Barker at Draycott Arms

Kim Barker – settling in at The Draycott Arms

If you do ever go along to The Draycott Arms for a pint, you’ll notice a new face behind the bar.  Kimberley Barker, who trained at The Weathervane just down the road in Meir Heath, is the new manager; and she says she’s settling in nicely.
She takes over from Amy Langridge, who has left for pastures new.

Talking of the management at The Arms (and their amazing Italian chef), we have to send our congratulations after the kitchens at the pub achieved a maximum five stars out of five for their food hygiene.
Local inspectors recently published their report on the ratemyplace.org.uk website. Well done!

(A survey of Staffordshire’s food-places done by local resident & Sentinel journalist David Elks was created too early to include The Draycott Arms, but it shows just how comprehensive these hygiene inspections are, and how hard it is to get a top rating. See his Staffordshire Food Standards Map).

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News: missing girl; speeding cars; advertise at cricket; 100 year old Hannah

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in early May 2013

We have news of:  missing teenage girl; the problem of speeding cars, and a new Speed Watch group; how to advertise with Blythe Cricket; and ANOTHER one-hundred year old!
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

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Have you seen Bethany?

Police officers are saying that they are now concerned about a local fifteen year old girl, Bethany Wallace, who has been missing for a week now.  Today they issued an appeal asking for sightings of her.
The police don’t think she’s gone far, but they would like to know where she is.

Fr all the details, click here.  If you think you know where Bethany is, call the police on the Staffordshire appeals telephone number, 101.

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Speeding cars – a big issue

The Parish Assembly meeting earlier this week – this is the annual meeting at which local people can bring up their concerns about life in Draycott – had a big discussion about the issue of cars speeding through the village, especially on Draycott level, and also on the hump by the Hunter pub at Cresswell.

Speed indication device at draycott

A ‘SID’

The parish council members were able to report that a temporary SID (speed indication device) had helped to catch over thirty motorists speeding along the stretch by the dual carriageway, but the councillors also reported their disappointment – that the SIDs cannot be placed in the village as often as they liked.

Of course, the discussion was heightened by the fact that we’ve had three accidents here in the past seven days – one on the road to Tean, in which a woman was injured; a hit-and-run in which a car seems to have smashed into a wall at Totmonslow; and another at the Cheadle end of the district when two people were injured in a crash at the Draycott Cross Road junction.

In a letter to this website, Danielle Dyke explained that this affects residents here a lot – her own father was injured in an accident right outside his own house.

What can be done?  Well, the parish council is pressing for the SIDs to be brought back here more frequently.
And at Draycott Cross, they have set up a new Speed Watch group. (We have had a longstanding Speed watch group in Cresswell for some time of course).

So… does anyone fancy being part of a new Speed Watch group at Draycott Level?  Full training is given, and it’s not hard work.  If you do, contact the parish council.

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Advertise at the cricket

Some happier news is that Blythe Cricket Club has had a great start to the season with two wins out of two for the first team.

If you run a business, or know someone who runs a business, you can support the club, and, at the same time, get some publicity.
The way to do this is to buy up an advertising hoarding space – there are around half-a-dozen of these  already around the ground. Among the advertisers you’ll find The Mango Tree restaurant, Johnson’s Homemade Pies, All Star Mower Repairs, Chandni Cottage Restaurant and more.

Blythe CC hoardings

Some of the hoardings on the Blythe CC ground

It only costs around £500 per board per season, so it seems a good investment to us.
Contact Blythe CC for details…

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Fun fact about Draycott

We promised a while ago that we’d try to bring you fun-facts about Draycott whenever we could.

Well, here’s one. According to the ‘British History’ website,  Draycott is certainly the place to be if you want to live a long life.
Even in the bad old days, when a man might live just to an age of forty on average, a Hannah Barnes, of Draycott village, who died in 1777, lived to be 100 years.

So, our very own Betty Hammond, who recently also celebrated her own one-hundredth, is maybe not so unusual after all!

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