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Issue Number Forty Seven - November & December 2018 & January 2019

Let’s remember Janet, this is no longer Tannochbrae!


here’s three acronyms that seem to be dominating the headlines recently - the first, Brexit, which I have absolutely no intention of tackling - it’s a purely national issue with absolutely no possibility of a short term solution. And then we have two other acronyms - HS2 & the NHS - both of which have national implications, but also are already impacting on our area now. As far as HS2 is concerned, it seems that each and every week hails a hike in the proposed budget, obfuscation as to the proposed impact on the local infrastructure and a reduction in the perceived benefits of the whole project. Some stand to benefit - perhaps farmers who suspect that the UK Government will be less forthcoming than the EU when it comes to subsidies and have been l ooking for a viable exit strategy for years - lets face it, with milk prices at an all time low and imported meat selling at wholesale prices less than the cost of breeding in the UK, is there any wonder that the country seems to be covered in poly-tunnels - and if the Albanians and Rumanians are refused entry to the UK at picking times, their crops will probably rot in the fields. Stuck between Birmingham and Crewe, what other benefits are there for what will invariably be a £100 billion bill for what appears on the surface to be a cut of 20 minutes on a Brum to London run for the super-rich. And now to the NHS - the world leader on providing help for those in need without the need for insurance or deep pockets. I am a huge fan. I know GP’s and hospital consultants are handsomely paid - but money is by no means everything, and what we ask them to do is far and beyond what the NHS envisaged in 1947. Surgeries are at risk as GP’s are only too keen to retire they have paid their dues - and junior doctors are heading back to their homelands rather than face the ever increasing demands of a public who take them for granted. Unfortunately, I place an inordinate demand on the service and fully appreciate the demands of an aging population.. So it came as some surprise whilst waiting for an appointment at my local practice, which I use on a far too regular basis, to watch the screen flashing up doctors names I’d never heard of - four in a row including my appointment which was handled perfectly. However, if we don’t do something soon, we will end up with an “out of hours” approach where we can no longer form long term relationships with GP’s and consultants as they understandably take the pressure off and take whatever early retirements are on offer. Let’s never forget Janet, this is no longer Tannochbrae. Paul Mitchell - November 2nd

CONTENTS News in words ... Stafford Lions bring cheer to Chernobyl Children … Traditional treats at Penkridge Victorian Christmas Market … Stafford Sinfonia … Acton and Bednall Food Bank … Monthly Alzheimer’s Support Evenings … A blooming successful summer for the Haywoods community … Bradley Church blitz-clean … Summer success for Church Eaton’s budding artists … Great Haywood Under 5’s Christmas Bonanza …

... and in pictures The Fruit, Flower, Vegetable and Homecraft Show at Haughton … Splashing time for all at Brocton Pre-School … Crafts raise funds for Bradley church… Seighford exhibition raises funds for village hall … Haughton’s Harvest Festival Auction … Acton & Bednall BBQ & Fun Day … Walton Phoenix Club Charity Coffee Morning … Pumpkin carving fun at Walton High School … Church Eaton Primary School have been busy!

GETTING IN TOUCH My Village Voice is wholly independent and is published at 5 Globe Court, Stone, Staffs ST15 8JG 5,700 copies are distributed free to homes and businesses in the Acton Trussell, Bednall, Bradley, Brocton, Church Eaton, Colwich, Coppenhall, Derrington, Dunston, Haughton, The Haywoods, Hyde Lea, Milford, Seighford & Walton on the Hill areas - clients are welcome to visit us to view the distribution matrix. ADVERTISEMENT SALES - Louise Mitchell and Paul Oakley LAYOUT & DESIGN : EDITORIAL : EDITORIAL CONSULTANT - Paul Mitchell BA

TELEPHONE (01785) 819166 View the whole of this issue online at

The views expressed in this publication are those of our contributors and are not necessarily those of the publishers, nor indeed their responsibility.

All Rights Reserved © My Village Voice 2008 -2018


The show must go on whatever the weather What a year it has been for gardeners. First the cold, then the wet, and after that the long, hot, dry spell. Would the members of Haughton and District Garden and Countryside Guild have anything to show by September? Parched potatoes, too-ripe tomatoes, bolted beetroots and grub-riddled radishes could be all that they would bring to the tables. But no, the annual Fruit, Flower, Vegetable and Homecraft Show, held at Haughton Village Hall on Saturday, September 1, was a triumph of horticulture and craftwork. Beans, tomatoes, shallots, leeks and apples were amongst the entries in the fruit and vegetable section; dahlias, roses, fuchsias, sweet peas, pansies and geraniums were on display in the flower section, and fruit pies, savoury scones, photographs of the Guild’s trip to Hidcote and jars of chutney were among

items to be admired in the Homecraft section. This year’s new category was for a homemade wooden article. Certificates were awarded for first, second and third in each category and trophies were awarded to those with the most points in each section. The show was opened by Mr Tim Grattage who also presented the trophies to the winners. At the end of the show the Chairman of the Guild, William Hall, auctioned the remaining items. Trophy winners were: Hollinshead Rose Bowl – Gentlemen – Clive Plant; Hollinshead Rose Bowl – Ladies – Avril Cotterill; Charlie Gunter Trophy (Fruit and Vegetables) – Clive Plant; Rowland Dahlia Trophy – John Haynes; John Williams Trophy (Homecraft) – Barbara Riddle; Duff Cooper Trophy (First Time Winner) – Dorothy and Peter Broomhall (joint winners).

• Tim Grattage (centre) presents the Duff Cooper Trophy for First Time Winners to joint recipients Dorothy and Peter Broomhall • William Hall launches the produce auction with this beautiful table decoration

• Tim Grattage with the Hollinshead Rose Bowl for Ladies winner Avril Cotterill and runners-up Sue Edwards and Val Shemilt

• Skills in needlework, painting and woodwork were on display in the Homecraft section

• Left: Tomatoes did particularly well in this season’s hot conditions. Right: These beautiful table decorations have been formed with each using seven blooms

• Gathered outside Haughton Village Hall are trophy winners Barbara Riddle (Homecraft), Avril Cotterill (Ladies), Clive Plant (Fruit and Vegetables and Gentlemen) and John Haynes (Dahlias)


• Good enough to eat – a tempting display of both cooking and dessert apples

Haughton’s Harvest Festival auction success On Sunday 7th October 2018, The Bell Inn, Haughton hosted the annual Harvest Festival Auction. After many kind donations to auction the successful event raised £1188. The proceeds were split equally between 3 local charities of Church, School and Horace's Outing (a day trip for local pensioners).



Crafty goods raise funds for Bradley church Bradley Craft Fayre took place in the village hall on Saturday, October 6. Kate Fenton has been organising the Bradley Craft Fayre nearly every year since 1989. No longer a resident in Bradley, she unfailingly returns to stage the event in Bradley Village Hall each year, raising money for charities and good causes. This year’s profits of £535.10 are destined for Bradley’s church funds to help with the maintenance of the Grade I listed church and the churchyard. Ten interesting stalls exhibited a variety of tempting, handmade goodies for sale, ranging from jewellery to toys, felt ornaments, Christmas tree decoration to name but a few. Ruth Wright and Lydia Rossi were the two Bradley stallholders who took part, helping to add to the profits. Kate’s daughter Jane had made gallons of soup to be sold with a roll for a light lunch and there was tea and coffee with home-made cakes for afters. The final touch to a great day was the drawing of the raffle before it was time to pack up and go home.


Derrington art exhibition was well attended The Rosemary Hale Art Groups held their annual exhibition on the last weekend of October at Derrington Village Hall, a venue they have used for many years. The spacious village hall was filled with artwork created by the four groups which meet weekly, painting with guidance and structured tuition from professional artist Rosemary Hale. It was a very successful event with good numbers of visitors who enjoyed free art demonstrations as well as the exhibition itself. Visitors were asked to vote for their favourite painting and joint winners were Wendy Baskerville and Jaquie Lees. Jaquie is seen here holding her painting “We always try to create a fun atmosphere at our annual exhibition because that is exactly what we enjoy in our art groups” said Rosemary, “Each group is friendly and co-operative, involving beginners and experienced painters alike. We concentrate when we are painting but also enjoy friendship and laughter as well” See Rosemary’s website for details of her classes if you are interested in learning more:


Seighford exhibition raises funds for village hall An exhibition of art and pottery was held at Seighford Village Hall on October 14, with proceeds going towards work needed on the hall itself. The organisers are grateful to all the contributing artists and potter Carol Glover for supporting the fundraising efforts for the village hall. A special mention must go to Paul Holmes who spent the day doing demonstrations of his work, producing a wonderful squirrel in pastels in the process. Thanks were expressed to Gloria, Sally, Anna, Elaine and Mandy for providing tea and cakes and to Pam Kulikowski who organised all the exhibiting artists. Appreciation was also shown to Robert Eld and Jim Rowley for their assistance in lifting and moving. Thanks must go to Bridgeford Village Hall for the loan of the ‘donkeys’ and some extra tables and to Mike Huntley of the Hollybush, Seighford, for his donation of a voucher for the raffle and his constant support for village events. A grand total of £132.65 was raised from refreshments, raffle and commission on sales. This money will initially go towards painting the village hall.

• Art exhibits at Seighford VIllage Hall.

• Paul Holmes working on his pastel of a squirrel.

• Organiser Pam Kulikowski with some of her own work.

• Artwork by Hilary Bramson


• Pottery by Carol Glover

Lions bring cheer to Chernobyl Children Stafford Lions are keen to highlight the work they do with the Chernobyl Children’s Project (UK). Each summer, when the dust causes radiation levels to rise in Chernobyl, it is important for as many children as possible to leave their contaminated homeland for a few weeks of fresh air and clean food. Doctors in Belarus say that a four week holiday boosts the children’s immune system for at least two years, helping them to resist or recover from serious illness. Chernobyl Children’s Project brings around 100 children to Britain each summer for a recuperative holiday. While they are in the UK some of the children stay with families of the project’s volunteer group in Stafford. Along with other local charitable organisations Stafford Lions are more than happy to support this event in a number of ways: by attending the farewell party at The Hollybush at Seighford, paying for the entertainment – which over the last few years has been Magician David Oakley and A Box of Tricks – paying for pony rides at Ingestre Riding Stables, and giving all of the children a farewell gift as a memento of their stay in England. To find out more about the work of Stafford Lions or if you would be interested in joining, you can find them at, or on Facebook at Stafford Lions UK. Or you can contact them at

• The Chernobyl Children enjoyed a farewell party as a finale to their UK holiday. The Stafford Lions’ ‘friendly Lion’ was a big hit.



Traditional treats at Penkridge Victorian Christmas Market What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to visit Penkridge Victorian Christmas Market. It’s the annual event that everyone looks forward to and truly marks the start of the festive season. This year it will be held between 1pm and 7pm on Sunday, November 25, and with free admission and free parking, it’s a great day out for all the family. With a wide selection of craft stalls, delicious food and drink, as well as plenty to keep the children entertained, it’s no wonder thousands of people attend every year. The market will be bursting with local produce selling everything you need for your festive feast, from pickles and preserves to Christmas cakes and mince pies. And if you’re struggling to know what to buy someone, why not treat them to a hamper full of delicious foods and local delicacies. If you’re feeling peckish yourself, there will be a wide variety of refreshments available, including a hog roast, jacket potatoes, pizza and burgers to name but a few, plus the festive favourite, hot chestnuts. The Old Deanery Farm Cafe will be open, serving hot drinks and festive food, including a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

• Stall holders join in the Victorian theme.

• Christmas decorations on sale at Penkridge Victorian Christmas Market

In addition to all this fabulous food, there will be craft stalls selling everything from handmade jewellery, candles and handbags to decorations and wooden toys, making it easy to find unique presents for all your friends and family. There will be plenty to keep the children entertained, with Father Christmas making an extra-special guest appearance. There’s also something for the older children with Arthur’s Fun Fair, a fire eater and juggler, as well as Christmas carols, to get everyone in the festive spirit. The Town Crier will also be on hand to make sure you don’t miss anything. For further information on the event, please telephone 01785 714221 or log on to the website

Locals raise a cup for Macmillan Cancer Support The Hollybush Pub in Seighford hosted a Macmillan Coffee Morning on Friday, September 28, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. The event was organised by Gloria Chase who runs the Friday Cafe with Sally Heeley. Thanks were expressed to Mike and his team who were very supportive. All who attended enjoyed themselves and £115 was raised for Macmillan.


• Locals enjoying a cuppa and a cake at a Macmillan Coffee Morning at The Hollybush in Seighford. Photos courtesy of Ken Anderson

Stafford Sinfonia to play commemorative concert

The Stafford Sinfonia is a local charity that performs 3 - 4 concerts per year in and around Stafford and they are putting on a concert to commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War One in November. The Stafford Sinfonia will perform their next concert, ‘Thoughts of Home’, on Saturday 17th November 2018 at Rising Brook Baptist Church, Stafford at 7:30pm. Admission is £9.00, including refreshments, payable on the door; children accompanied by an adult are free. When Musical Director, Jack Lovell, sat down to choose the music for this concert, he wanted to mark the anniversary of the end of World War I with the music and sounds of the English countryside, paying tribute to some of the English composers who lived through the Great War. Including works by Elgar, Parry, Vaughan Williams and Butterworth, the programme will evoke thoughts of the gentle English countryside so different to the harsh conditions and terrifying


experiences suffered in the trenches. The concert also showcases two of the many talented musicians that make up the orchestra - Graeme Rudland, Stafford Sinfonia's Principal Bassoon, will perform Elgar's ‘Romance’ and the orchestra’s Leader, Simon Coombs, will play Vaughan Williams’ ‘Lark Ascending’. Both works are quintessentially English, conjuring rolling hills, warm sunshine and birdsong. Finally, as a classical orchestra, they needed a symphony! Jack chose one of the 12 symphonies Haydn composed when he was in England - the 'Drumroll' Symphony No. 103, which brings together our military and English themes through Haydn's expert hands in vibrant, classical, colour. Kerensa Guest said “We very much hope you can join us to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War I in the first concert of our 2018/19 season – it promises to be a thought-provoking and enjoyable evening."


Acton & Bednall BBQ & Fun Day

• Out in the sun and face painting fun for Arthur and Grace Seward.


The Annual Parish BBQ took place on Saturday 1st September. Carole Allen told us “The weather was stunning and lots of people came along to enjoy the fun. There was music, Bouncy castles and other activities for the children. The BBQ food and cakes were very tasty, and swiftly consumed by all. The Tombola stall raised a total of £235 for church funds, bringing the total from the Tombola held on 7th July and this one to £455. Many thanks to everyone who donated such lovely items, the generosity of the gifts was amazing and so many people commented on the quality of items on the table. Thank also to the ladies (Angela, Val {Peach}, Toni and Lucy) who gave up their time ticketing the items and running this stall. A fantastic team effort once again. Thank you as well to all the helpers and the all those who came along for making it such a fun event. We will all look forward to next year’s villages BBQ and Fun Day on 1st Saturday in September.”


Walton Phoenix Club Charity Coffee Morning On Friday, October 19th, members of the Phoenix Gentle Exercise Group hosted a Coffee & Cake morning in aid of The Donna Louise Children's and Young Peoples Hospice. Over 100 Phoenix members attended the event which was opened by Ray and Jenny Barron, Mayor and Mayoress of Stafford Borough. Christopher Belyavin, Relationship Manager at the hospice also gave an excellent presentation. Well done to everyone who contributed to the success of the event which raised an amazing £724.00 for The Donna Louise charity. The Phoenix Group (for over 50's,retired or semi retired) offers a wide range of activities, from Book Reading to Zumba Gold. Members of the group also enjoy regular outings and monthly singles luncheons. • Above: The Home Bake table is always popular. Jo, Carol and New members are always welcome, so if you would like to Sue raised £139. try a new activity, have fun and make new friends,. Visit their website at for more information. For more information on The Donna Louise visit

• Left to Right; Prue Bradley (Group Leader), Christopher Belyavin (Donna Louise), Janet Palmer (Chair of Walton Phoenix)

• Members, Sue & Marie on the Bottle Tombola Table


• Left to Right: Christopher Belyavin, Mayoress Jenny Barron, Prue Bradley (Group Leader), Stafford Mayor Ray Barron


Pumpkin carving fun at Walton High School Fifty creatively and carefully carved pumpkins dressed the school reception area as students across all year groups contributed to this popular annual House competition. Walton’s Art Captains from the school’s four Houses, Deercote, Hazelslade, Kingsley and Oldacre judged the entries and the Headteacher, Mr Neil Finlay congratulated the winners and awarded house points. First place was awarded to Alyssa Harman from Y8 with her marvellous, ‘pumpkins of the Caribbean’ creation stuffed with goodies in a skilfully made pumpkin chest. In second place were Y8 girls, Millie Cashmore, Tillie Perry and Millie Ashford with their huge tiered scary haunted house. In third place was Molly Cox, Shea Morris and Emma Silverwood with a Purple overflowing bubbling creative cauldren. These colourful and crazy pumpkins were enjoyed by all visitors, staff and students over the last couple of days in the run up to Halloween and half term. Mrs Alison Cashmore, Assistant Headteacher commented, “What a fabulous effort across all year groups and houses”

• Joint 3rd Finlay Harvey-Taylor Y7

• 1st place Alyssa Harman Y8

• 2nd Millie Ashford, Tillie Perry, Millie Cashmore Y8

• Joint 3rd Shea Morris, Emma Silverwood, Molly Cox


• Overview of all pumpkins

Acton & Bednall News Acton and Bednall Food Bank During the Harvest Thanksgiving celebration 68 kilos were collected through kind donations from the congregation of All Saint’s Bednall, and St. James’ Acton Trussell, and villagers along with friends from Acton Trussell Community Café. A request for the following items has been made: Coffee, fruit juice, tinned meat, UHT milk, cat and dog food and treats for children. Please continue to support the Food Bank. The collection box can be found in the porch at All Saint’s or donations can be delivered to the Community Tea Rooms at Acton Trussell on Thursdays between 10.30 -12.30. Christmas is coming soon – seasonal items would be gratefully appreciated.

Bednall Best Kept Village 2019 Join us in All Saints Church, Bednall at 7.30pm on Tuesday 27th November to celebrate this year’s award, and plan for next year. If you’d like to be involved, but can’t join us that evening, then please contact Jim Goodwin: 715265, Toni Castle 713959 or Pom Fuller: 712575/ 07976 966118 Ideas include white fencing on the verges to mark the entrances into the village – a proposal which Friends of Bednall will put to the vote on 22nd January.

Friends of Bednall AGM Friends of Bednall will be holding a short AGM immediately following the Best Kept Village 2019 meeting in church on Tuesday 27th November. They will report income of £1,453.06, and expenditure of £898.95, with end of year reserves of £2,241.51. Friends of Bednall are developing proposals for white fencing on the verges on the way into the village, with members voting on 22nd January. The current trustees are David Primrose (chair), David Robinson (secretary), Neil Homer (treasurer), Pom Fuller, Toni Castle and Jim Goodwin. The constitution allows for nine trustees, with two more to be co-opted. Anyone interested in joining the committee, or becoming a member of Friends of Bednall, should contact David Primrose,

‘Strictly’ Carols Round the Tree Carols Rounf the Tree takes place again this year on Saturday December 15th, at Bednall Church from 5.00pm Come along before Christmas to sing carols around our beautifully lit outdoor tree outside Bednall church, followed by warm mince pies and mulled wine. Bring a lantern or torch and some warm clothes!

Dates coming up... BKV Meeting: Tuesday 27th November 7.30 Bednall Church followed by Friends of Bednall AGM Swing Song Merrily On High: Saturday 15th December at the Community Centre in Acton Elvis in Concert: Sat 1st December at the Community Centre in Acton ‘Strictly Carols Round The Tree’ : Friday 15th Dec at 6.15pm Floral Decorating in Church for Christmas: Thursday 21st Dec 11am all hands welcome. Christmas Eve Service: Sunday 24th December at 6.00pm, All Saint’s Church.


Monthly Alzheimer’s Support Evenings (MASE) What is a MASE Group? People are sitting at tables draped with lovely red and white tablecloths. An array of people in red shirts and blouses move around the room; these are the valuable volunteers who run the groups each month. Refreshments are being served and there is a lively buzz of conversation and laughter. At each group there is a different entertainer each month - playing both old and new songs, people are dancing and singing and enjoying an evening together. To someone looking in it has a 'good party atmosphere', but the MASE is a Group with a difference, it is one of five MASE Groups around South Staffordshire which provides support and information for people affected by dementia. The MASE brings together people with dementia, their families and Carers, and also has health care professionals in attendance. Many people withdraw from social activities because of dementia and can become socially isolated. At the MASE everyone is aware of the nature of the illness, so people don't have to worry or feel embarrassed. The Groups meet once a month in five different venues, Cannock, Haughton, Rugeley, Hednesford and Stafford. Our newly designed MASE leaflet shows what we call the ‘Tree of Life’. The tree is shaped as a face, and shows leaves blowing away from the branches. This depicts dementia so accurately, as once a leaf falls from the tree it will never return – just as when a memory fades in the mind of someone with Alzheimer/Dementia – the memory is lost forever. The service offered by each MASE group continues to benefit Carers and their cared for attending; this is reflected by the rising number of new people each month. The information, support and friendship the MASE gives to Carers and their cared for attending each month is quite unique - long may it continue! For further information on MASE you can visit their website at or contact either Elaine on 01785 823110 or Daphne on 01785 211140.


• The All Bloomers collect their GOLD award at Burton upon Trent Brewery

A blooming successful summer for the Haywoods community The ‘All Bloomers’ from Great Haywood certainly reaped a good harvest when they visited Burton upon Trent Brewery on September 20 to hear the results of the Royal Horticulture Society’s ‘In Bloom’ competition – they were awarded GOLD in the Large Village section. This was not the only good news, because on September 27, when they visited St Mary’s Church, Acocks Green, to find out the results of ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’, Friends of Shugborough Terrace, Friends of Mill Lane, and the Crossheads Friends were all awarded Level 5, the top award (Outstanding), Friends of Marlborough Close achieved Level 4 (Thriving), the Community Orchard at Cliff Road was awarded Level 3 (Developing), and the Friends of Hunters Close, Great Haywood were awarded Level 1 (Getting Started). To top it all, The Red Lion public house in Little Haywood won GOLD once again. These results are only achieved through the whole of the Haywood community working together, and their Chairman, Councillor Amyas Stafford Northcote, is proud of them all.


• It’s Your Neighbourhood awards at St Mary’s Church, Acocks Green.


A reputation built on experience


arlet Stoves is a friendly, family run business that has the customer as its main focus. Since opening its doors for business just over four years ago, the showroom has changed significantly and the product range has increased. What has remained is the same cheery welcome from Keith and his team to help prospective customers choose the right appliance. When contacting Yarlet Stoves you will be helped by one of the family, so let’s meet the team! Sharon is co-owner of the business and works primarily on the Admin side of the business but is regularly seen in the showroom dealing with customers. “My job is mainly behind the scenes but I do enjoy meeting new customers and helping them as much as I can. Having used wood burning stoves personally for over 30 years, this gives me a great understanding of how they can transform a home.” Next we meet Bryn. Bryn manages the showroom and has a wealth of knowledge about the stoves on display.“Customers have lots of questions to ask when buying such an important item for their home, I am happy to help them make an informed choice.” Bryn was also a qualified Chimney Sweep, so has first hand experience from dealing with a variety of stoves. Guy has experience within the industry, having worked previously for other showrooms and a flue manufacturing company. As well as helping customers, Guy is focused on dealing with the Drooff Stove distribution to dealers around the country. “Yarlet Stoves is the main importer for the Drooff stoves, and has the largest selection of these stoves on display in our showroom. They are a great contrast to the fantastic traditional style stoves we also have in-house.” Finally, Keith, who is always at the end of the phone to help new and existing customers. Apart from working in the showroom, or helping out with installations, Keith takes in hand all the site surveys. When speaking with him, you gain a small glimpse of the knowledge and expertise he has in this industry. “I take pride in the work we produce as a company. Customer feedback is very important, and we treat it as such.” Yarlet Stoves is situated on the A34 between Stafford and Stone. Opening times are Tuesday 10.00am 4.00pm and Wednesday to Saturday 9.30am - 4.30pm. You can contact the team on 01889 508790 or email:

Yarlet Bank, Stafford, ST18 9SD Tel: 01889 508790


Fun Quiz Winning team On Saturday 20th October there was another very successful Fun Quiz at the Community Centre. Well done to Quiz Masters, Jan & Jim Goodwin, for setting all the excellent questions once again. £428.70 was raised for Friends of Bednall, to be used for items to benefit the Village. The date for the next one is booked for 27th April 2019 It’s such a fun evening, please put it in your diary, The winning team ‘Bednall B and Q’ (Baffling Questions) pictured here. Steve, Adam, Tim, Alison, Katie and Trevor.

Bednall’s craft fayre success The Craft Fayre in Bednall Church on 6th October was another great success with a steady stream of people all day, enjoying the variety of stalls. Special thanks must go to Mandy Robinson for organising such a great event once again. The fees from the stall holders, refreshments and other donations, which were gift aided, raised almost £600 for Bednall Church. Well done to everyone who served and provided beautiful refreshments and helped on the day.

Bednall is admired by all Pom Fuller from Bednall got in touch with the above photo, she told us... “A few weeks ago I came across a large group of walkers admiring Bednall’s Memorial Bench and scarecrow. They were delighted to have their photo taken. They are regular walkers through Bednall from Penkridge Library and congratulated us on our BKV success this year. It’s good others are enjoying our village as well.”


Bradley Church blitz-clean Bradley’s beautiful church of St Mary and All Saints was looking a little tired inside so the village decided to perk it up by giving it a thorough clean from top to floor, something that hadn’t been done for a very long time. Saturday, October 6, was the nominated day and promptly at 10am villagers streamed in with their brooms, brushes, dusters and mops in order to get down to some serious cleaning. The windows had already been cleaned, which had brought down layers of dust, debris, spiders and allsorts on to the ledges, walls, pews and furniture. The worst of this was vacuumed and swept up before the intricate carved backs on the choir stalls, the rood screen, pulpit and pew ends were wiped and dusted, as were the pew seats, hassocks and the rest of the furniture. Finally floors were swept again and carpets given a final vacuum clean. By the end of the morning it was time for the weary helpers to enjoy a well deserved cup of tea or coffee and to stand back and admire their handiwork before crossing the road to support the Craft Fayre in the village hall.

• Squashes galore! Pupils at Stafford Preparatory School enjoy the fruits of their labours.

Squashes galore! Youngsters harvest bumper crop Green fingered pupils at Stafford Prep School enjoyed a bumper crop of pumpkins and squashes from the vegetable garden they tend throughout the year. The keen young gardeners sewed an assortment of veg, fruit and flower seeds and reaped the rewards of their efforts when they grew so many gourds they were each able to take one home to eat or use as a decoration. “They’ve worked their socks off this year. They’ve learned how different weather conditions can affect how well plants grow. The pumpkins and turban squashes grew particularly well during such a hot, dry summer, which is fantastic,” said Julie Thompson, who runs the SPS gardening club.


More than 100 students awarded Bronze Arts Award 101 Year 8 students from Blessed William Howard Catholic High School have been awarded the Bronze Arts Award in recognition of their hard work during the last academic year. The Arts Award, managed by Trinity College London, encourages young people to enjoy and engage with different art forms – from fashion to film making, pottery to music. To achieve Arts

Award at Bronze level, a Level 1 national qualification, students have to collect and collate evidence of their experiences in the arts. It assesses their knowledge and understanding of the arts, as well as their creativity and communication skills. To develop their skills as both performers and audience members, students rehearsed and took part in both the carol service at St Austin’s Church in

• Some of the 101 children who received Bronze Arts Awards at Blessed William Howard Catholic High School.

Stafford at Christmas and the Blessed William Howard Music Festival in summer. The students also had an opportunity to watch the school show, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, and to write a review of the performance. The third project that all students completed was a piece of research into the career and work of a chosen artist. The final part of the award required students to share their arts skills with other people. Some students returned to their old primary schools and helped younger children enjoy a new arts experience. The external Arts Award moderator commented on both the wide variety and high quality of the work produced by the large number of students. He also praised the enthusiasm of students as they spoke positively about their involvement in both music and drama. “There has clearly been an incredible amount of time and hard work spent on the children’s portfolios. The differing ways in which young people have presented their work is also enjoyable to see,” said Chris Watt, Arts Award Moderator. The students were pleased with their achievements and proud to be presented with a certificate for their work. The opportunity is also available for them to continue on to Silver and Gold Awards.


Splashing time for all on Autumn wellie walks The children of Brocton Pre-School have enjoyed a wonderful start to the Autumn term, splashing in muddy puddles, deer watching on Cannock Chase, stream dipping and visiting the Brocton Bird Reserve at the end of Old Acre Lane in the village where they fed the many ducks, swans and geese to be found there. The pre-school manager said: “Being outdoors provides the children with huge health benefits and opens up a whole world of possibilities, lots of excitement, learning and play. It is a wonderful chance for the children to enjoy the outdoors and experience our local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.” Brocton Pre-School currently has spaces available for two

to four-year-olds. Their aim is to help children to build confidence and social skills, learn from new experiences, enjoy fun with their friends and prepare for their onward journey to school. Brocton Pre-School is held in Brocton Village Hall, weekday mornings 9.30am to 12.30pm. Funding is available for eligible families and children. Brocton Baby & Toddler Group for parents to stay and play is also run by the pre-school and is held term time on Wednesday mornings in the Village Hall from 10-11.30am. For further information please call Amanda on 01785 747470 (mornings only) or 07875 193427, email or visit for more information.

Summer success for Church Eaton’s budding artists Pupils of Church Eaton Primary School entered the local Blymill Art competition prior to the summer holidays, and won a number of prizes. The task was to create a piece of art


work that depicted summer. There were three categories – age four to six, age seven to nine, and age nine to 11. Pupils won first second and third in the youngest and oldest categories and

placed second in the middle category. The successful artists were Lola, Lucy, Emily, Rosa, Hannah, Bella and Kai who each produced a beautiful, colourful creation.

Bednall’s Trophy Pole sited The Best Kept Village Trophy Pole has been sited in Bednall, and on Sunday 28th October there was a presentation during which the brass plaque was attached to the pole. Villagers were then invited for refreshments in Bednall Church. The Trophy Pole was awarded to Bednall for been named Best Small Village 2018. It will stay in the village for one year, unless of course they come first again next year!

Great Haywood Under 5s Christmas Bonanza Great Haywood Under 5s are holding their annual Christmas Bonanza on Sunday 16th December at the Memorial Hall, Great Haywood, between 3 and 5pm. To book a table to sell treats, makes or bakes they are priced at ÂŁ8 each. On the day will be an selection of local craft stalls, refreshments and homemade cakes and of course Santa in the grotto. To book or for more information, contact Sam on 07976 097824 or email:


What’s on at Acton Trussell Community Centre

“Barn Dance with Fish & Chip Supper” Friday 9th November Fun evening with Fish & Chip supper and a bar. Tickets £10.

“80’s 90’s Disco Night” Friday 16th November Mondays Bowls 2.00 pm -4.00pm Keep Fit 7.30 pm -8.30pm

Tuesdays Dance Fitness 9.30 am -10.30 am Photographic club 8pm -10pm 1st & 3nd Tuesdays every month. Gardening Club 2nd Tuesday in the month

Wednesdays Art 1.00 pm-3.30 pm Parish Council - 28th November - 7.45pm – 21.45pm

Thursdays Dance Fitness 9.30 am – 10.30 am Tea Room 10.30 am – 12.30 am Soft furnishing 11am.—1.00 pm Yoga 6.00pm -7.00pm BATS Choir 7.30pm – 9.30pm W.I. 7.30 pm -9,30pm 3rd Thursday of every month

Fridays Weight Watchers - 9.00am -11.00am

Sunday Messy Church 2nd Sunday of month

Acton Trussell Community Centre Acton Hill Rd, Acton Trussell, Stafford ST17 0RY For any enquiries regarding bookings of the village hall, please contact Sue Calvert on: 01785 713735


Opera Dudes Acton date The Opera Dudes will be performing their fabulous Christmas Show at Acton Trussell Community Centre on Saturday 15th December. This will be a night of festive cheer, fun, music and laughter. The songs will be a mix of popular opera, swing music, shows tunes and all your Christmas favourites. A fabulous way to start the festive season. There will also be a licensed bar. Tickets ÂŁ12.50 from Carole Allen 01785 715628 or Grete Willacy 01785 661939.


Stafford Camera Club - December & January Events On 11th December the club welcomes Sarah Howard, her presentation ‘Image Seen - Landscape Photography, Thoughts and Techniques’ Sarah’s interest in photography was initiated by her father, himself an accomplished amateur photographer, and developed further through time spent traveling overseas. Inspired, and subsequently mentored, by the renowned UK landscape photographer Charlie Waite. In 2010, she set up ‘Image Seen’ which offers a variety of landscape photography workshops throughout the UK and Europe, as well as tailored one to one tuition. She absolutely loves the workshops she does as not only do they give her great satisfaction, they also enable her to share some of the beautiful places she has been to. “As a creative tool the camera has allowed me to express my love of the landscape. I am a great believer of getting it right in camera rather than relying on too much manipulation in post production.”

The 2019 programme starts with Paddy Ruske on 22nd January his ‘Back Lighting’ with workshop looks to me an exciting night, members are invited to bring their cameras along. Paddy had his first camera at age 12 and have worked through dark room to digital His main interest is in insect photography followed by landscape and he says that he learnt about low light photography when he served with the Police. He has had numerous national and international success and had a Highly commended in the British Wildlife Photographic Awards. He has now developed an interest in creative photography using the camera rather than photoshop to make the image. Stafford Camera Club meet at 8 pm on Tuesday evenings at the County Staff Club, 77 Eastgate Street, Stafford. From 8th January they are moving to the Constitutional Club 5 Lloyd St, Stafford ST16 3AS Newcomers and people of all skill levels are welcome to attend. Visit their website at


St Austin’s children launch postbox in honour of poet To celebrate National Poetry Day, Royal Mail launched a special edition postbox in Stafford town centre, the childhood home town of Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy. Students from St Austin’s Catholic Primary School, which Carol Ann attended from 1962-1967, were invited to attend the launch and read some of her best loved poems, selected by the Poet Laureate herself. The launch was attended by local MP, Jeremy Lefroy and the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Stafford who enjoyed listening to the children’s readings. Situated in the Market Square, the postpox will be in place for just a month and is adorned with quotes from some of Carol Ann’s most famous poems. The postbox will be in full working order for the duration of its customisation. Mark Street, Head of Campaigns at Royal Mail, said: “As one of the guardians of the written word, we relish the opportunity to celebrate

• Left to right: Elliot Frost, Kondwani Nkhoma, Poppy Newman, Lucy Jones and Felix Fleming from St Austin’s reading poems at the launch of the new postbox in Stafford Market Square the work of Britain’s most treasured writers. Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry is studied by children across the UK, so it’s fantastic that children from her former primary school

can join us in honouring her in this way.” Carol Ann Duffy said: “I’m thrilled to have my poems in the Market Square, a place dear to my heart. And I’m

delighted that children from St Austin’s will be involved – as this was the school where I was first encouraged to write poetry by the wonderful Mrs Tilscher.”


What’s on at Brocton Village Hall

• Pupils line up to support the charity coffee morning

“Christmas Bazaar” Saturday 17th November Brocton Village Hall Christmas Bazaar offers an opportunity to get those special gifts for your loved ones and for the younger visitor, a chance to visit Santa's Grotto. Doors open at 2 pm and all are welcome. Refreshments are available.

• Meet Santa in his Grotto at the Christmas Bazaar

“Candles, Crackers & Carols” 8th December at 7:30pm Christmas choir concert isusually a sell out so get your tickets early to avoid disappointment Tickets £15 from Brocton Post Office to includes a Christmas meal and entertainment from Bel Canto Choir. A bar will be available.

“Curry Night” by popular request, Saturday 26th January, 7:30pm. An opportunity to taste different styles of curries (mild to hot). All are welcome. Tickets £12.50 available from Brocton Post Office.

School bake off raises funds for cancer charity Wolgarston High School took part in the annual Macmillan coffee morning fundraiser event on Friday, September 28, with students and staff showing their support by hosting a coffee morning in the library at breaktime and at lunchtime. They raised a total of £280 for the charity. Miss Roberts, Learning Resources Centre Administrator, said:“It is brilliant to be part of this event and as always we could not have done it without the help of Mrs Beach and her Year 9 students. This year they made some amazing cookies. “The amount of support we received was amazing. In total we sold over 250 cakes and cookies. For the first time this year we held our own Wolgarston Bake Off, which was brilliant.” Mrs Tracey, Science and Technology Technician, had the responsibility of judging the staff competition. Mrs Dodd, Mr Skinner and Mrs Jones all took time out to bake at home and the winner was Mrs Jones with her Victoria sponge covered in white chocolate butter cream icing, decorated with white chocolate buttons. “I took my role very seriously, as instructed by Mrs Beach, to find our very own Star Baker at Wolgarston,” said Mrs Tracey.“After much consideration and sampling of the cakes, I hereby declare that this Year’s Star Baker award goes to Mrs Jones.” Student helpers on the day were Shannon Muggleton, Tia Selvey, Erin Simm, Andy Speke, Lily McNally, Rylan Spencer, Jasmine Clarke, Bethan Hughes and Rachel Rollinson. Lilly said: “The cookies and cakes looked amazing. The double chocolate cake was delicious.” Mrs Beach said: “We would like to thank our Year 9 Food Technology students who decided to make a variety of cookies for the Macmillan charity in their lesson on Thursday this week. “Their hard work has helped us make a positive difference to such a worthwhile cause.” Students and staff at Wolgarston High School are dedicated to supporting cancer research and support. Mr Skinner said:“Together we have made a great contribution this week as a school. I cannot believe how much money we have raised and to have beaten last year’s record total is amazing. “I am determined to win the Star Baker award next year.”

“Quiz Night” Saturday 16th February, 7:30pm. Give your grey matter a workout and see how you find the challenge of our Eggselent General Knowledge quiz. All are welcome. Entrance forms available from Brocton Post Office. £20 per team of 4 to include light snacks.

“Coffee Morning” Wednesday 20th February 10:00 – 12:00am. Pop along for a chat and a cake with friends new and old. All are welcome. Bring and buy sale. For further details on all of these events you can contact from Chris Allan on 01785 665466 or email at


• Mrs Tracey hands over a slice of the winning cake to Joel Pearce Stanley

Cup titles at the double for grammar boys Two Stafford Grammar football teams made a dream start to their season when they captured regional trophies. The under-16 and under-14 outfits both secured Midland titles at the Independent Schools’ Association (ISA) championships, while five players also won a call-up to the ISA under-16 regional squad for their stand-out performances.

Among them are central defender Bruno Smith, from Little Haywood, and fellow defender Harry Tooth. The pair are joined in the ISA line-up by midfielder Huewlan Wright, striker Benno Briggs and goalkeeper Dan Gormley. The five will look to cement their places for upcoming fixtures against Repton School and Welbeck DSFC.

• Back row from left: Baha Baker, Brocton’s Josh Myles, Luke Turnbull from Colwich, Huewlan Wright, Chris McCarthy, Eddie Kilminster, Harry Tooth. Front: Tom Brownsil, Emil Agell-Argiles, Benno Briggs, Dan Gormley, Bruno Smith from Little Haywood.

Shot-stopper Gormley impressed in Nottingham when he kept Stafford Grammar’s hopes alive during a semi-final penalty shootout, while Little Haywood’s Smith was called on to seal the tie at the sudden death stage. Having progressed through the group phase in second place, the Stafford boys took an early lead against Birmingham’s Priory School in the semi-final but conceded twice. With the clock ticking down, Briggs volleyed in a shot to level the match at 2-2 to take the tie to penalties. Gormley kept out Priory’s first effort and with the semi-final poised on four penalties apiece after 10 shots, the SGS keeper pulled off another save before central defender Smith stepped up and calmly fired home. A single goal in the final against Leicestershire’s Dixie Grammar then proved enough to secure the title. Meanwhile SGS under-14s were in equally fine form when they lifted the ISA Midland crown for the fifth time in nine years. They finished as league leaders in the round-robin tournament in Leicestershire, having scored 11 goals and conceded only once on their way to the top. Ruben Cooner and Matt Cutler were dominant in midfield, while Bradley’s Mackenzie Tart netted four goals in his side’s 5-0 win against Birmingham-based Highclare.


£6,300 raised by Chanteuse Chamber Choir at spectacular fundraising Gala Evening

On Saturday 6th October, Chanteuse Chamber Choir held a Gala Evening at Staffordshire County Showground for over 200 guests who were treated to outstanding and intimate performances. With a ‘Dress to Impress with a Hint of Pink’ theme, to celebrate their tenth anniversary, the evening was presented by local Radio Stoke presenter Jodie Looker and began with songs from the choir. Auctioneer Mike Williams hosted a lively auction with fantastic prizes which proved hugely popular as tables competed against each other with some amusing, opposing bids! The evening continued with more entertainment from Chanteuse Chamber Choir and Brocton Hall Choir. The guests were treated to dancing at the end of the night with songs from Elton Towers, an Elton John Tribute Act. The event was in aid of Breast Cancer Now, which is a


charity close to the Musical Director’s heart. Sue Brereton Banks commented: “This was a truly amazing evening and we are delighted so many of our supporters donated so generously to this charity. We are very grateful to all the local companies who made this evening a success and for helping us raise so much on the night.” Donations to Breast Cancer Now can still be made by going to our JustGiving Page on our website at Chanteuse Chamber Choir will next perform on Saturday 8th December at Stafford Rangers Football Club, which promises to be a musical extravaganza to get you in the mood for Christmas! Tickets are now available from our website or by contacting us at

There’s A Body in the Lounge! What would you do if you found one in your lounge? That is exactly what happens to Calissa Hailsham -Brown in ‘Spider’s Web,’ which Castle Players (Castlechurch Drama Group) are presenting next. As it is by Agatha Christie, you can be assured of a riveting evening, full of red herrings and clues as well. If you have already seen this popular play, come along again and spot all the clues that Mrs Christie sprinkles about in the play. If you haven’t seen it, then come along and pit you wits against the Inspector’s. Can you spot the villain before he does? But whichever you opt for, don’t reveal the murderer at all. Don’t be a spoil sport!

Castle Players is an all age group. In this play, the ages range from 81 year old Terry Davis, the Director, down to 12 year old Lisalot Grantham. She has already appeared in many of the Society’s productions as a Caterpillar, Mr Mole, a 16th Century little Devil and now as the child the plot evolves around. Steve Morris has given great performances as Becket in ‘Murder in the Cathedral,’ Mr Frank in ‘The Diary of Ann Frank,’ and in many other roles. Here he plays the Inspector. The well-known local actor, Roger Butters who has often been associated with lawyers ( ‘The Winslow Boy’ and ‘Luther October 1517’ ) is now enjoying being a high-ranking civil servant, while Douglas Grantham has played everything from pantomime, comedy, to drama. Last year stunned audiences with his Luther in ‘Luther October 1517.’ In ‘Spider’s Web’ he is relaxing as a playboy. The play is being presented on Friday November 23rd at 7.30pm and on Saturday 24th at 2.30pm in Highfield Hall, Lovelace Close, off West Way, Stafford. Tickets £7 and concession at £5. from 01785 613183 or


Stafford's University of the Third Age (U3A)

• The Stafford U3A group recently visited the impressive Speke hall Stafford's University of the Third Age (U3A) is a social organisation for the retired and semi-retired. We offer a warm welcome to new members, and hope they join in the many activities on offer. These include learning opportunities, social events and lunchtime gatherings, and days out. We have had a very busy year, with days out to the Albert Docks in Liverpool and Speke Hall, Biddulph Grange, Moreville Dower House and Royal Gardens at Highgrove to name but a few. Once a month during the Summer months, we have had a series of extremely interesting and enlightening guided walks around various villages in Staffordshire and Shropshire, e.g. Alrewas, Tutbury, Forton and Meretown and Baswich. We stop for a meal after our walks at a local Pub. The Hostelling Group continues to attract new members . All of the venues are selected so that they are accessible by public transport, within easy reach of shops and eateries, things to see and places to walk.

Recent trips have been to Cardiff, Cirencester and Swanage. New Groups are being formed all the time, such as learning Hebrew, Flower arranging, Whist and a Saturday book club. We also have a lot of activities for the rest of the year to look forward to; in November a trip to York, and in December a visit to the Symphony Hall. Many Groups are getting together for Xmas lunches, and a Stafford U3A lunch is being held at the excellent Chase Golf Club on the 11th. December. The popular monthly meetings are held at the Rising Brook Baptist Church on the 2nd. Monday in the month at 2:00pm, when non-members are most welcome. The next talk is on the 12th. November; this will be based on the Stafford Suffragette movement. The dedicated contact for U3A Stafford is Sylvia, on 01785593039. Alternatively, visit or

Georgia wins National Amateur Second Round Georgina Beeson from Grindley, Stafford, outpaced all her rivals to triumph in the Dodson & Horrell 85cm National Amateur Second Round on Jazzy Footwork. The twenty-four starters were reduced to twelve for a hotly-contended jump-off, and it was all about the clock as six provided double clears. But Georgina was quickest of them all, edging ahead of Jake Fronda to win by 0.52 of a second on Barbara Beeson’s Jazzy Footwork, a 12 year-old bay mare she has competed for the past three years. Maelor Equestrian Centre – Sunday 14th October 2018 Dodson & Horrell 85cm National Amateur Second Round Results

1 Georgina Beeson & Jazzy Footwork – 0/0 – 27.30 seconds 2 Jake Fronda & Fergal Fantasia – 0/0 – 27.82 seconds 3 Camilla Hardie & Beau Jangles III – 0/0 – 28.19 seconds 4 Jessica Large & Celilo J.E. – 0/0 – 29.80 seconds 5 Sharna Wing & Little John 1 – 0/0 – 31.89 seconds 6 Jenna Watson & Celebrations – 0/0 – 34.73 seconds


Luke is fundraising for Katharine House Luke Mcmahon is dancing in this year's local Strictly Stafford competition to raise money for Katharine House Hospice in Stafford. Luke 17, who is a My Village Voice distributor, and a 6th form student at Walton Hall Academy, is one of twelve people taking part in the event, in memory of his Dad Paddy McMahon. There are just a handful of practice dance sessions left before the big night at the County Show Ground on Friday 23rd November. • Luke Mcmahon Luke and his fellow dancers , of all ages, are working hard trying to remember their steps with the help of Danny Bell's professional dancers. You can help Luke reach his fund raising target of £500 by visiting https://www.justgiving-Luke-McMahon3 to make a donation. Tickets for the event are available by contacting the Katharine House fund raising team on 01785 270808.


Church Eaton Primary School have been busy! The pupils at Church Eaton Primary School have again demonstrated how they care for the community. They invited local residents, friends and family, to join them when the school hosted a charity MacMillan Coffee Morning to raise money, by selling cakes and refreshments. This was a very enjoyable and successful social gathering, raising £80 for a valuable cause. In addition, the pupils put on another wonderful harvest festival school production on Tuesday 9th October at St Editha’s Church. The children from this rural school, demonstrated how important it is to appreciate nature’s bounty at harvest-time and to share with those less fortunate as ourselves. During the production, there was some very jolly singing including the songs ‘Harvest Samba’ and ‘Conkers’. Some of the children also wore adorable costumes to help bring the production to life and the youngest members of the audience were even invited to join in. Plentiful donations of tinned and dried food were brought into school by the children and their families, ready to be delivered to the local charity ‘House Of Bread’.

It’s been an exciting time at Church Eaton Primary School in recent weeks with development and maintenance of the school’s grounds. New fitness/ play equipment (complete with fake palm trees!) has been installed in the main playground- funded by a grant from the National Lottery. The children were thrilled with the new addition to their playground and are having fun utilizing it already. In addition, the grounds at Church Eaton Primary School had a much appreciated boost of T.L.C when a team of 13 helpers from the company ‘AMEY’ came for the day recently.


This Community Day was organised with the help of Mr Corcoran. The strapping helpers from AMEY got the paintbrushes out and painted the EYFS fencing and playhouse. This has made the area look fresher and more inviting. In addition, the pathway around the pond area was re-laid and freshened up dramatically, along with the pathways around the allotment. It was a busy day and a lot was achieved. The school would like to thank Amey for their time and hard work. The children love the revitalised areas.

Church Eaton News Oakfest Musical Festival The Royal Oak outdoor “Oakfest” musical festival was a huge success with a massive turnout in great weather. The organising committee have been able to donate £1,000, divided equally to Katherine House, the Village Institute, St Editha’s Church and Chuch Eaton Primary School. Planning is already in hand for the 2019 event on August 31st. Fundraising events will be taking place during the year to support the event.

1st Eleven Promoted Church Eaton Cricket Club 1st eleven gained the points they required to get promoted to North Staffs and South Cheshire Division Seven. Well done lads.

Parish Council meeting Some of the items discussed at the September Parish Council meeting included... • Negotiations with Stafford Borough Council continue regarding the replacement phone box. • A new fingerpost for outside St Editha’s has been ordered. The hanging Basket and Tub Competition winners were; 1st prize - Cherry Tree Cottage - Mrs Jane Evans Runner Up - 2 Ashley Croft - Mrs Bee Byford Runner Up - 7 Parkers - Sheila Pearce & Thomas Smith There were also 3 highly commended.


‘Monumental’ folk duo to perform in Chebsey Chebsey Parish Hall is proud to welcome Live and Local once more and this time it’s with the multi-award-winning folk duo, Ninebarrow. Described by Mark Radcliffe as sounding “like two halves of one voice” and by Kate Rusby as “absolutely amazing”, Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere combine breathtaking vocal harmonies and melodies, delivering original songs that are inspired and rooted in the landscape and history of the British Isles. As well as crafting unique and engaging original material, Ninebarrow also take a wide range of traditional folk songs and rework them in their own distinctive way. In 2017 the duo was nominated at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for ‘Best Emerging Artist’. One of the highest accolades in their genre, this was even more exceptional because it was only a few months prior to this that Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere relinquished their jobs as a teacher and GP in favour of full-time music. Awarded five stars in both The Morning Star and the English Folk Dance & Song Society’s EDS Magazine, their latest album, ‘The Waters and the Wild’, has received airplay on BBC Radios 2, 3, 6 Music, Wales and Scotland. Folk luminary Mike Harding has hailed it as “absolutely monumental”. In June 2018, the album reached Number 2 in Amazon’s Folk Best-Seller chart. Not only exceptional singers and musicians, Ninebarrow are also passionate about the stories behind their songs. A live session on BBC Radio 2’s Folk Show has led to a string of sell-out shows across the UK. Engaging, charismatic and humorous – Ninebarrow are winning new fans wherever they go. See them live, and you’ll quickly understand why. Catch them on 9th December, at Chebsey Parish Hall, School Lane, Chebsey, ST21 6JU Tickets are available at £12.50 each, either from Derek Morris on 07776 295010, Becky Dobson on 01785 761896 or Rod Goldthorpe on 01785 761201 and there will be a bar and light refreshments.

• ‘Absolutely amazing’: Ninebarrow


Snap up ‘early bird’ tickets to for chance to ‘bag’ a free gift!

• Book early to get a Wool@J13 backpack as modelled by event organisers Ingrid Wagner and Val James. The team behind Midlands wool and yarn show Wool@J13 has launched the sale of ‘early bird’ tickets to its 2019 event on May 18 and 19 – and the first 100 to snap up tickets will also be given a free Wool@J13 backpack. As well as the chance to ‘bag’ a bag – perfect to carry your woolly goods around, leaving your hands free to explore more of that lovely woolly stuff – early bird ticket holders will save up to £4.50 per ticket on gate prices. Over the weekend, visitors will find a lot more to do than just shop – they can enjoy a textile exhibition, larger-than-life rope making, get hands-on in a new ‘have a go at’ Challenge Arena, and even adopt a farm animal courtesy of the regional Women’s Institute. A focus on men knitting will add to the fun of the weekend. The popular street food fayre will also be back, alongside the WI Tearoom, and visitors will be entertained musically throughout the weekend. Co-organiser and creative director of the show, Ingrid Wagner says: “As we look forward to our third year, we’re more excited than ever as we have so much planned – it really is going to be a woolly wonderland! “The early bird tickets represent exceptional value for money and would make the perfect Christmas gift for wool and yarn addicts. They are available for both individual days and the full weekend and, as well as saving money, will ensure that you can beat the queues on arrival.” Early bird tickets are available online now, priced at £4.50 for day tickets (advance £5.50 / on gate £7.50) and £7.50 for weekend tickets (advance £9 / on gate £12). To book tickets and discover more about the show, which will take place at Lower Drayton Farm near Penkridge, head to

Historic court to be held An ancient ceremony to enrol Freeman of the Borough is to be held in Stafford. People who are qualified to become a ‘Burgess’ – to give the role its correct title – will be invited to the special court to take place this month. The role dates back to the 17th century and allowed the title holder to vote for a member of parliament. Today, as well as having your name entered on the official ‘roll,’ it entitles a Burgess to an allotment at Coton Fields in Stafford. Potential candidates can apply to Stafford BoroughCouncil at any time during the year if they are a descendant of a Burgess or if they have served an apprenticeship or nationally recognised qualification in Stafford Borough – such as an NVQ level 3 or degree – and then practised the skills obtained in the area for at least two years. All the applicants will take an ancient oath and pay a shilling (five pence) to the Mayor’s Sergeant at the ceremony on Wednesday 14 November in the presence of the Mayor of Stafford Borough, Councillor Ray Barron. A transcript of the charter given by King John to the Freemen of Stafford, as well as other information, can be found on the Stafford Burgesses Guild website at www.staffordfreemen Interested in becoming a Burgess? Contact the Borough Council at or call 01785 619196.




A breif history of St George’s Hospital - By Nick Lakin St George’s Mansions stand on a piece of land which nestles between Queensway and Corporation Street. This relatively recent development utilised the shell of the former St George’s Hospital. However, the original building predates that title. First opened on October 1st 1818, the hospital went under several names, these being Stafford General Asylum, Stafford County Lunatic Asylum and Stafford Mental Hospital. Very little experience of treating mental health issues existed at the time and perhaps it was mere coincidence that the site chosen was adjacent to the County Gaol which had opened its doors in 1793. It was just over a decade later that Mary Ann Turner visited the asylum in 1832. She found that the imposing facade concealed a bleak and forbidding interior. During that initial visit, she would have been virtually overcome by the miasma caused by the back-up of discharge from overflowing closets, damp mattresses and patients who were out of control. Quite literally, one of the alternative names for the Bethlem Royal Hospital (first opened during the reign of Henry 111 in 1247), that is, Bedlam, would have adequately described the scene which greeted her. The noise levels were frightening in volume and content. Cackling, obscenities, shrieks, banging, stamping and moans were exacerbated by the high ceilings of the ‘galleries’ as the wards were called. This deafening cacophony was generated, however, by a small number of inmates whilst most sat staring into space or rocking to and fro. When Mary Ann first entered the institution at the age of 31, what had been described at its opening as ‘spacious apartments’ were, in reality, nothing more than cells with barred windows. The original publicity claimed that ‘the patients...have the benefit of warm and cold baths’. This euphemistic assertion, however, merely veiled the fact that these baths were used more as a punishment than a benefit for patients. The threat of spending time in icy water in a cold room usually had the desired, calming effect. At that time in 1832, the asylum housed 89 female inmates who were ‘cared for’ by just six robust ‘working class’ girls These employees were not badly paid but it was hardly the sort of work which would attract newcomers. The staff slept next door to the galleries and were on call twenty four hours a day. Moreover, there was a certain stigma attached to those working with patients classified as ‘insane’. At the time, mental institutions had an unenviable reputation and it was thought that they were places where inmates had to be ‘chained and beaten into submission’.


• Stafford Asylum Date:1829 - 1831 (c.) Pen and wash drawing of Stafford Asylum By F. Calvert (fl. 1827-1844)

• Date:1857 - County Asylum, Stafford

• Date:1994 - St. George's Hospital Chapel, Stafford - This was originally the chapel for the County Asylum on Corporation Street.

• Date:1940 - 1950 (c.) - The County Asylum on Corporation Street opened in 1818, to accommodate 120 private and pauper patients. The hospital moved to Seisdon near Wolverhampton in 1946 and the building became St. George's Hospital in the 1950s. The hospital closed in 1994. So, Mary Ann, who would become the asylum’s matron in time, who requested ‘ the powers that were’ for extra tea as a comfort would have seen one in ten of the patients ‘under restraint’. for inmates. She also recommended that canvas hammocks This would have been anything from a leather device to should be rinsed through to prevent ‘offensive effluvia’. prevent an inmate using her hand up to wearing a full straight As the matron of the institution, she eventually earned around jacket. Of course, it is now known that a range of afflictions were £100 pa and was able to mix freely with the doctors. By the time often misinterpreted as mental health problems. In reality, she retired in 1853, she had accumulated sufficient funds to many of the patients had Azheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Downs purchase a house in fashionable Brunswick Terrace. She passed Syndrome or even the after effects of syphilis. Some were away in 1877, aged 77. simply young mothers suffering from what we now know is All photo’s appear permission of postnatal depression. If you have any images to lend, or any extra information, Much of Mary Ann’s time was taken up with paperwork, please contact the Past Track team: Staffordshire Past Track, preparing monthly reports and endless accounts. It was she Staffordshire Archives & Heritage, Shugborough, Milford, who had to be informed when patients were restrained or to take responsibility for deceased patients’ belongings. It Stafford ST17 0XB. Telephone 01889 869137, email was during her tenure in the 1840s that a more understanding You can also keep up to date and caring approach was taken to the ‘insane’. It was Mary Ann with what’s new on Past Track by ‘liking’ our Facebook page. • LEFT Date:1920 - 1929 (c.) Norah Read, a nurse at St. George's Hospital after Mary Ann’s time • RIGHT Date:1927 Nurses Manual, County Asylum, Stafford Rules and regulations for attendants and nurses in the County Mental Hospital, Stafford. The manual includes sections on: • Duties of Attendants • Duties of Night Attendants • General Regulations



Across 1 Later on (10)

1 Debate (5)

7 Fail to care for (7)

2 Fastened (4)

8 Compassion (4)

3 Cad (6)

10 Comply with orders (4)

4 Okayed (8)

11 Destroy (8)

5 Simple songs (7)

13 Mend (6)

6 Wrong (9)

15 Head count (6)

9 Talked very quietly (9)

17 Carry on (8)

12 Completed (8)

18 Gaming stake (4)

14 Thoughtful (7)

21 Near (4)

16 Small pool (6)

22 Bishop’s district (7)

19 Penurious (5)

23 Unnecessarily (10)

20 Gaffer (4)

2 6 9 5 4 4 1 8 6 6 2 7 7 5 9 3 9 4 8

7 8 3 6 6 7 1 5 8 9



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My Village Voice - November / December / January  
My Village Voice - November / December / January