Page 1

Issue Number Fifty One - September & October 2019

And will the vespa germanicus have to return to Germany if we have a no deal Brexit?


’m sure I don’t have to point out that this has been a bumper year for wasps - not unlike 1976 was for ladybirds - and the wasp season is by no means over yet! As a result of an unnecessarily painful experience and the discovery that stings make my neck swell and can lead to full blown anaphylactic shock - I now give wasps a very wide berth and treat them with the respect they do not deserve. Let’s face it, they do not give us honey, they predate on defenseless and harmless insects, they give off pheromones when they feel threatened which serve to attract other wasps to their aid. They even use our own fear pheromones to attract their fearsome friends to a potential ruck, and if squashed, the pheromones go to an all new level, calling in the troops from far and wide. When they do sting, they leave an odour that makes you a sitting, or running target for their cohorts to home in on. And why are we inundated now? Apparently, the over-wintering Queen wasps wake in April/May and the sterile females and male spend until mid August pandering to her every needs - nest, offspring etc, at which time they have 4 - 6 weeks to live plundering waste bins and stinging us. Seagulls may well be all the news right now - but the humidity and unpredictability of the up and down temperatures have made for a perfect storm and Staffordshire needs extra care - especially near any bins! And as it has been school holidays, there were groups of teenagers - especially girls waving oversize mobile phones - honestly, they look more like tablets - at the already angry wasps in what appears to be a game of ping pong. The result? The wasps will inevitably “communicate” - it’s only a matter of time until the realise they are being “digitally” assaulted - will they develop their own “digital” means of communication -“twatter” perhaps or “instaslam”? Oh yes, the shops have all run out of wasp spray I’ve traipsed the length of Stafford - not a can to be found - I’m tempted to go on to the web and google Agent Orange, Napalm even ... although I suspect I might well attract the attention of people with a more dangerous sting than wasps! One final thought - there’s two main species of wasp in the UK - vespa vulgaris and a german breed, vespa germanicus. Does this mean the germanicus will have to return home if we have a no deal Brexit?

Paul Mitchell - August 29th

CONTENTS News in words ...

Exhibition at Derrington Village Hall … Friendship through flowers … Church Eaton Tennis Club … Red Dwarf stars visit Penkridge … Neighbourhoods working together to bloom … In the market for some September fun for kids … ‘Messy’ medal ceremony at Acton Trussell picnic … Have a say on where you vote

... and in pictures Derrington’s Summer Spectacular … Charity champion calls for support for festive fundraiser …. Derrington Millennium Green - 20th Anniversary … Stafford’s Historic park restoration under way ….. Discovering the arts with like-minded friends - Stafford Arts Society … The Orangery at Ingestre celebrates its reopening … Haughton’s Best Kept Village Evening of Awards … Acton Trussell Scarecrow Trail 2019 … All that jazz gets pupils toe tapping at Colwich … Rimbach Twinning Visit

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 - Dan Mitchell and Paul Oakley email: LAYOUT & DESIGN : email: louise EDITORIAL : email:

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 -2019


Advertiser’s Announcement

Growing and Investing in your Children’s Future At St. Dominic’s Priory School our aim is to educate the whole person; to find the academic and personal strengths of each boy and girl, enabling them to succeed. We are an exceptional non-selective, Independent co-educational Catholic school, promoting Christian values and welcoming children of all faiths from the age of 3 to 16 years. Our school is small yet perfectly formed! All children are nurtured, known and free to be themselves. High quality teaching and small classes create a supportive environment where the true potential of all can be maximised. Students are encouraged to have a sense of purpose, enabling them to grow, learn and be independent; a combination that ensures our students flourish academically and socially, ready to face life’s adventures. New students and their families on joining us, don’t just join a new school, they become a part of St. Dominic’s ever expanding family. A generous £4.5m financial investment in our school site will see us benefit from new, modern senior teaching facilities and landscaped recreational areas, which we will take occupancy of in October 2019. The teaching block will accommodate new classrooms, state of the art science laboratories and specialist art, music, performing arts and drama studios. These facilities will not only enhance the education and experiences of our current students, but also those who attend the school for many years to come.

We are also in the unique and fortunate position of being able to offer our students an all through education from Pre-school to GCSEs on one site. Children, on joining our Pre-school class become an integral part of the whole school and benefit from being taught dance, music, languages and sport with specialist teachers who guide them through their time at St. Dominic’s; an accreditation which we believe is reflected in our GCSE exam results. Our most recent grades were once again above the national average, quantifying that we are one of the leading schools in the area. Our current GCSE curriculum has also recently been expanded, having taken into consideration our student’s needs and the changes in our modern world. We operate a fleet of modern minibuses to accommodate our student’s transportation requirements. We also provide wraparound care from 7.30am through to 6.00pm, along with a wide range of extra-curricular activities and homework support.

Please come and join us on our next Open Days, which are taking place on Saturday 12th and Monday 14th October from 9.30am to 12.30pm. If you are unable to attend, please contact our Admissions Secretary Louise Lloyd on 01785 814181 ext 2 to arrange an alternative day to visit; as every day is an Open Day at St. Dominic’s. Please do visit our website: and follow us on Twitter @StDominicsStone, Instagram @stdominicspriory stone and Facebook @stdominicspriorystone


• An exhibition of art in Derrington will include painting demonstrations by Staffordshire artist Rosemary Hale.

Derrington Exhibition to include painting demos Rosemary Hale's Art Groups will be holding an art event at Derrington Village Hall throughout the weekend of 26th /27th. October 2019, 10am to 4pm. Admission and car parking is free and home-made refreshments plus paintings and greetings cards for sale and a chocolate tombola. As well as an exhibition of excellent art work produced by the groups there will also be regular free painting demonstrations by professional tutor Rosemary at 11am and 2pm. The afternoon demonstrations will be particularly pitched to interest those new to painting as a new event this year. In addition to the step-by-step demonstration that Rosemary will do, she will also have illustrated painting notes and art materials for sale.

Rosemary is an experienced art tutor who teaches a variety of mediums, subjects and styles of artwork. She strongly believes that watching is a great way of learning and so painting demonstrations feature in most lessons. There is at least one structured project each term, plus more experienced painters are encouraged to paint their own subjects in their own style. There are four weekly art classes currently running at Derrington on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In addition, Rosemary also tutors a group in her home village of Foxt in North Staffordshire. All are welcome at her classes, no experience is required…just an enthusiasm for painting and a willingness to learn. Rosemary's contact details are: Email - rosemary@rosemary Tel: 01538 260007 mobile: 07728 483446 Website:


Dogs, logs, ukes and bras make summer spectacular Derrington’s Summer Spectacular was held on Sunday, July 7 and was the biggest event to date. There was a short church service prior to the official opening, which was held by the Reverend David Primrose who then kindly opened the fete. There was much happening throughout the day, including a log cutting competition, dancers from Dance Fusion, Little Women Choir, All About Uke ukulele band, the popular dog show and children’s races – as well as the extremely popular duck races and audience participation tug-of-war along with all the other usual fun activities. One of the most popular side shows was Bra Pong which raised funds for the charity ‘Terrible Titties and Other Bitties’, supporting those who have suffered from breast and other cancers. In the dog show the Best in Show was won by Roxy the Jack Russell with her owner Sybil and Reserve Best in Show was won by Neville the Lurcher with owner Wayne.

• Best in Show: Jack Russell Roxy

• Dance Fusion

• Reserve Best in Show: Neville the Lurcher

• Audience participation tug-of-war

• Log cutting competition

• All About Uke


• Reverend David Primrose

around the individual’s needs and wishes, is provided at a time to suit each client and there are no short visits, with the vast majority being a minimum of an hour. Many calls are there to provide companionship, help with shopping or appointments, meal preparation as well as personal care. Caregivers are matched to clients and support them regularly, enabling them to build strong and trusting relationships. One client described the service saying “ everyone does their very best to give the utmost respect, consideration and care.

Providing quality award winning care in the comfort of your own home Local care provider, Home Instead Senior Care, are celebrating their success in retaining the coveted ‘Outstanding’ for Caring category in their recent Care Quality Commission inspection. The Care Quality Commission is the regulator for care services across the country. Whilst Home Instead has been rated as Good overall, for them, it shows that their commitment and passion to provide the best service has been recognized with the Outstanding rating. Says director Judith Herrod, “We have to show evidence of good practice across five categories. The one which is hardest to achieve is Caring, as only your clients can prove how exceptional the service is. We reached Outstanding in June 2016 and our inspection this time shows once again that our staff are absolutely amazing - friendly, supportive and always going the extra mile to support our clients. This inspection shows that we have maintained the high quality care that our clients expect.” The success of the Stone based company, started by Judith in January 2008, is down to its ethos. All care is centred

Companionship | Personal care | Home help Dementia care | Palliative Care

Call 01785 817339 8 Whitebridge Estate, Stone, ST15 8LQ


My Village Voice

Bednall afternoon tea

NEWS IN BRIEF Have a say on where you vote A review of all the places residents use to cast their vote in elections across Stafford Borough is underway. A list of the current polling districts and stations is available for inspection on Stafford Borough Council’s website and now local electors are being asked to say what they think of them. The council wants feedback on any of the current places and buildings used and suggestions on alternative venues. As well as the borough poll, the council also runs general, County Council and Police, Fire and Crime commissioner elections. Council Chief Executive, Tim Clegg, the Returning Officer, said: “We try to make it as easy as possible for our residents to get to a polling station to cast their vote and I would encourage anyone who has a suggestion for a better venue to get in touch with us. “We are particularly keen to hear from those who may be expert in access for people with disabilities. If you think a polling station is unsuitable then tell us why and give us a possible alternative place.” All comments and suggestions will be made available to the public. Local electors can make comments by downloading a form from the website pollingreview2019 or by writing to the Elections Office at Stafford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Riverside, Stafford, ST16 3AQ. The review runs until Friday 20 September 2019.

On a lovely sunny afternoon on 29th June, many people from Bednall and Acton Trussell enjoyed a sumptuous afternoon tea at the home of Steve and Carole Allen. The afternoon was a huge success and enjoyed by all. A total of £1,009 was raised for Bednall church. Steve and Carole would like to thank everyone who attended, but also all the lovely ‘behind the scenes’ volunteers who helped to make the afternoon such a great success. As usual it was fantastic team effort.

Christmas Tree Festival St Editha's Church in Church Eaton is holding their Christmas Tree Festival again! It takes place from 10am 4pm on Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December. The famous Institute cafe will be open from 11am each day. Save the date - and you can find further details in Novembers magazine. If you would like to decorate a tree please contact Sharon Jones on 07531 906286.

Charity race night success A Race Night which was held at The Royal Oak in Church Eaton, in aid of Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, was very well supported and raised just short of £800. The organisers would like to express their thanks to all.

Stafford art show to have unusual Dutch auction. Sundial Connection Art Exhibition takes place from the 10th to the 21st September. The art exhibition 'Sundial Connection' will be putting on an auction on the last Saturday of the show at the Ancient High House. Several pictures will be up for grabs. A Dutch auction is a method of selling in which the price is reduced until a buyer is found. It will be a chance to buy, so come and snap up a bargain! The private auction will be on Saturday 21st September commencing at 1:00 pm. Interested people can register to attend the auction during the exhibition. JP Sumner and friends are exhibiting their individual styles. Each artist has strong connections to Cannock Chase and the natural environment.


Bednall Harvest Lunch Bednall Harvest Lunch takes place on Sunday 29th September at Brocton Village Hall, at 12.30 for 1.00pm. The price is £20 per head, this includes all gratuities and a donation to The Foodbank for Harvest. There will be a Choice of Roasts with all trimmings (you can choose on the day) also a Vegetarian option (Please pre-order) and a Choice of desserts, cheeseboard,coffee and mints. Bring your own drinks if desired,water and glasses will be provided. Bookings and payment required by 19th September please for catering purposes. Tickets are available from Grete 01785 661939, Angela 01785 714364, and Joan 01785 714309 The car park is small so combine transport where possible please.


Bednall an area winner in Best Kept Villages competition The Best Kept Village competition is nearly over for another year, just the trophy presentations to be arranged in the autumn. The results of this year’s competition were announced by John Perry MBE, on behalf of The Community Foundation for Staffordshire on Monday 5th August at The Moat House Hotel, Acton Trussell. There was a large gathering of civic signatories, sponsors, judges and representatives from the 41 villages which took part in this year’s BKV and the winners and parents of the Children’s Poster and Poetry & Prose Competitions. The awards in the BKV competitions went to the Best Large and Best Small Villages and those Highly Commended in the four judging areas; the Best Large and Best Small villages in the whole of the county and the Spirit of Best Kept Village. John Perry said “This is my eleventh year as Chairman of the BKV Working Group and I was really pleased that we had one more village enter than last year, including three villages which hadn’t entered for some time one which had never done so before, Hill Ridware. A great deal of had work had been put in to prepare villages for their entry into BKV and to maintain them in top condition through May, June and July. Judges were impressed by the standards reached by the vast majority of villages, residents, volunteers groups and village organisations of all kinds had really worked hard to meet the challenges of BKV and the fickle British weather! The villages which had worked out a plan, got their communities to commit to BKV and then work hard throughout the judging period were rewarded by the top honours this year in what was a very closely fought competition”. The Best Large Village in the whole of Staffordshire in 2019 was Gnosall, and the Best Small Village was Tittensor (for the • Gnosall collected by Dave Clarke, presented by Paul Snape, Vice Chairman of second year running). Staffs County Council Area Winners in the Large Village category were: Gnosall, Brewood, Kings Bromley and Abbots Bromley and for the Small Village Area Winners were: Ken Lees of KGL Estates, Jan Altham and David and Jim Tittensor, Bednall, Edingale and Hoar Cross. The trophy Owen for their continued support and sponsorship in 2019. winners in each of the judging areas and holders of Thanks, are also due to the 70 volunteer judges who gave the iconic BKV trophies, which will be displayed in their their time to judge in the early rounds of the competition. villages for the next 12 months, were: Gnosall, Bednall, A few got pretty wet this year, one or two got sunburnt, but they all enjoyed the judging experience! Kings Bromley and Abbots Bromley. If anyone would like to judge in 2020 please contact Jo The competition was closely fought throughout the four judging areas and only the smallest of margins separated Cooper, Business Development Officer at The Community Foundation for Staffordshire. the villages at the top. Some villages will be delighted to have won and perhaps John Perry concluded by saying: turned the tables on their closest rivals but BKV is not all “Well that’s BKV 2019 almost over – the judge’s comments about winning, taking part is important too. Those villages will be sent out to all the villages who took part and we will who used BKV as a focus on their efforts to maintain and be arranging for the presentation of trophies to the four improve the environment of their villages, and succeeded, area winners to the four area winners in the next few weeks. This has been my last year as Chairman of the BKV Working are winners too – even if they didn’t win a trophy. The BKV Competition can only take place with the support Group. I shall step down with many happy memories of the of it’s sponsors and volunteer judges. The Community villages I have visisted and the wonderful BKV volunteers I Foundation would like to thank Staffordshire County have met all over the country. I wish the BKV Competition Council, Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd, South Staffordshire every good fortune in the future and I hope that it continues Housing Association, The Leavesley Group, Lafarge Cement, to develop as it has over the past 64 years”.



Derrington Millennium Green - 20th Anniversary

Derrington Millennium Green exists today as an excellent example of what can be achieved if communities work together to realise their hopes and fulfil their dreams! In March 1998, when two fields on the edge of Derrington were put up for sale by a local farmer, a small group of enthusiastic volunteers decided to see if they could raise the funds to buy one or both of the fields for the benefit of local people, nature and the environment. The hard work and dedication of the group paid off and they eventually bought both fields. The smaller 11.5 acre field is now Derrington Millennium Green, which is an important well used public amenity and wildlife haven. Consisting of two species rich wildflower meadows, a large pond, fruit and nut orchard plus a wide variety of trees and shrubs. The green was granted “Site of Biological Importance” (SBI) status in 2009. The larger 23 acre field is now Duddas Wood and is owned and maintained by the Woodland Trust. To mark the 20th anniversary of the green's creation, the Trustees and supporters have just purchased an additional 4.6 acres of adjoining land to expand this successful amenity. The additional land is flood meadow for the Doxey Brook which is now going to be preserved and created into an enhanced wetland nature reserve and conservation area. Public access will be available on designated paths. The Trustees thank everyone who donated time and money to make this purchase possible.We are working closely with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust on this project. A spokesperson for the Trustees said “when the opportunity arose to purchase adjoining land, we felt we had to try and raise the funds to expand the Millennium Green, as it has so many potential environmental benefits” He went on to say “over the last 20 years our group have been responsible for the planting of over nineteen thousand trees in and around our village, and this additional land will give us the opportunity to plant more. Trees are so important to our environmental and personal well-being and this extra land will also allow more people to sponsor more trees”.


An Opportunity To Protect More Flood Meadow In addition to the land we have already protected there is another 2.4 acres of adjoining flood meadow that we would like to purchase. Flood meadows are important because they provide wider environmental benefits. They contain floodwater reducing unwanted flooding downstream. The meadow grass traps silt, filters the water and helps improve the quality of the water as it is returned to the river. They are a vibrant and diverse habitat and home to many important and unique wildlife species such as water voles, otters, kingfishers and many types of insects, plants and flowers. It is a beautiful place for people to enjoy! Since the Second World War more than 90% of water & flood meadow has been lost in the UK, ploughed for agriculture or taken for house building with a devastating effect on wildlife populations. This is a fantastic opportunity to protect this beautiful site for both the public and the wildlife. We need to raise ÂŁ21,000 to purchase it. Please help us to protect this important habitat. Find out how you can donate by visiting: www. Derrington Millennium Green Trust (DMGT) is a registered charity (No 1179302) We are a totally voluntary organisation. The Trustees are volunteers and most of the maintenance work is also carried out by volunteers. There are NO staff wages or expenses. DMGT is completelyfunded by people who use and appreciate the facility.


Historic park restoration under way

• An artists impression of how the finished park and bandstand will look after restoration. Work has now begun on a £2.5 million restoration of an award-winning park in Stafford. The £2.5 million project to restore Victoria Park has received funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, and will include restoring key historical features – such as the bandstand and Mottram Shelter - as well as an improved aviary and enhanced catering facility. Work got under way on Monday 22 July with Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, the Cabinet Member for Leisure at Stafford Borough Council on hand to see the start of the development. Work is expected to be completed next summer. The children’s playground, splash pad and skate park are not affected by the restoration and remain open and the bowling green will remain in use. The Borough Council was successful in securing over £1.7 million of National Lottery funding as part of the ‘Parks for People’ programme to carry out the extensive work. The tendering process for the running of the catering operation in the park started last week. The park is more than 100 years old and has been awarded the ‘Green Flag’ as one of the best parks and open spaces in the country since 2007. In 2011 the council transformed the play area of the park, which proved an enormous success and it was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by online travel review site, Trip Advisor, for its great customer feedback. Councillor Trowbridge, said the council had an excellent track record in enhancing facilities across the borough. “This is an extremely popular park. It is a jewel in the crown of the town and this work will restore historic features so they are not lost for future generations. “We will also be improving existing facilities - using the feedback we received during consultations with residents, park users and those who play a key role within the park.” She added: “It is good to see work under way as we want to make sure we have a beautiful place for visitors and local


• Cllr Trowbridge, Leo Woodhead centre and Jack Snowdon, Project Manager for Woodhead at the historic bandstand which will be transformed as part of the work. people to enjoy for many years to come.” Leo Woodhead, business development director at Woodhead Group, said: “We’re delighted to be starting on site on this exciting project and beginning what we hope will be a successful collaboration with Stafford Borough Council. These works are our first in the West Midlands, and will improve existing facilities and create brand new spaces that will deliver social value and a lasting impact for users. As work on the site progresses, we will work closely with the council to minimise disruption and ensure the park remains accessible for all.” More information on the park at www.staffordbc. To take the virtual tour go to


Discovering the arts with like-minded friends Stafford Arts Society is one of Stafford’s best kept secrets, until now. Many in Staffordshire have still to discover the delights of the group’s well informed and eloquent speakers on fascinating subjects from the wide range of history, cultures and the arts, worldwide. The Arts Society was founded in Stafford in 2002, inspired by the success and popularity of arts societies in surrounding areas. The amazing inception and dynamic growth of the Stafford society over the years is vividly recorded in its cherished hard-back ‘Scrapbook’ and in 2014 the society was proudly awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. It thrives today with around 200 members, thanks to the work of its committee members, each dedicated in his/her role to furthering perception and learning of the cherished arts, that are open to everyone to enjoy. The Stafford society has one of the strongest memberships of any society in the area and continues to grow. The primary activity falls around its monthly lectures on amazing arts-based subjects, each one presented by an eminent speaker, all of whom have been assessed nationally to have attained the very highest standards of presentation. Meetings are held in the larger theatre of the Stafford Gatehouse where capacity easily accommodates the increasing numbers of attendees. The society generates links to all branches of the arts to open people’s minds to the pleasures, often hitherto undiscovered, that are out there. Within the Society a group of specialists visit and survey the rich heritage contained within our parish churches in Staffordshire. The ancient monuments, plaques and artefacts tell directly so much of the actual history of the village and the research and dedication of this team reveals a huge amount of information otherwise locked up and often disregarded.


A small team of learned experts in Stafford each year reviews hundreds of specialist subjects to draft an energising programme that will enthral the minds of everyone who seeks to engage in the arts. The programme of lectures is in place for two years ahead so it’s easily possible to see what is in store for us. The themes of these arts lectures are unlike any others. Subjects the group has enjoyed over the years include The Genius of China; Silver in Birmingham 1773-2003; 350 years of transparent painting on glass; Garden Design and the influence of the Arts; British Architecture now; Iran, Land of Great Kings, Shahs and Ayatollahs; The Renaissance of English Oak – the Craftsman’s choice; Bess and her Descendants – the Cavendishes of Hardwick and Chatsworth. The quality of the knowledge shared and imparted at these lectures does not come free but the society structures the

programme so that it is easily affordable. An annual subscription of £45 will entitle you to attend every one of the 10 lectures in a year, so at £4.50 for each lecture, it represents tremendous value and also entitles you to attend the bi-annual luncheon, again with an eminent speaker. There are quality specialised tours to local and often distant destinations, all focussed on the arts; valuable social opportunities to meet with like-minded people are created on these trips. Study days are also arranged to allow in-depth learning and appreciation of a particular arts subject. If you are interested in joining Stafford Arts Society, please visit the website where you will find everything that is going on and can download membership forms. Alternatively, please write to the Arts Society secretary c/o the Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford.

A Stafford Arts Society team recently presented the leather-bound church record at Seighford.


The Orangery at Ingestre celebrates its reopening Following a £1.5m restoration and redevelopment, which was made possible thanks to The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Orangery at Ingestre formally opened its doors on Thursday, August 15. The ensuing week of celebration events included an art exhibition, a community celebration and a promenade theatre production that were made possible thanks to National Lottery players. The diversity of activities reflects the Friends of Ingestre Orangery’s aim to bring back life to the previously derelict building and create a community hub. There is a strong focus on supporting and encouraging local artists, musicians, and groups, with two local choirs performing during the launch week and a children’s art workshop. Ingestre Orangery is a Grade II listed building (list entry 1259815) within the grounds of Ingestre Hall and is thought to have been commissioned in the early 19th century. Its history is tightly linked with Ingestre Hall built in 1613 and a third listed building, St Mary’s Church, built in 1676 and reputedly designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The Orangery was used for growing exotic fruit and plants by the Chetwynd-Talbots and subsequently the Earls of Shrewsbury until 1959 when the estate was broken up and sold. Ingestre Hall, Ingestre Orangery and the surrounding land were bought by West Bromwich Council (now Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council) and became a residential arts centre for children. The Orangery became unused and fell into disrepair until Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council granted the Friends of Ingestre Orangery a 30 year lease with a peppercorn rent, so that it could be restored to a sustainable use by the community. The National Lottery Heritage Fund has contributed just over £1m towards the total project cost of £1,546,986. Additional funding was secured from the Historic Houses Foundation, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Garfield Weston, the Pilgrim Trust and LEADER. Lara Rowe, Orangery Development Manager, said: “This is a very exciting time at the Orangery. It has been fantastic for the Friends of Ingestre Orangery and all involved in the restoration project, to see the preservation and development of this beautiful building and our visitors to be able to enjoy this unique place. Our challenge now is to ensure that The Orangery becomes a sustainable heritage space and iconic venue which functions at the heart of the local community.” Anne Jenkins, Director, England: Midlands & East, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are delighted to support the restoration of The Orangery not only to improve the quality of Ingestre’s fascinating heritage, but also to enrich the lives of its neighbours. As a community hub, people of all ages can now get fully involved with this exciting historic building.”

• Local dignitaries were among the guests at the official reopening of The Orangery at Ingestre.

• The Orangery interior The official opening was attended by Deputy Lord Lieutenant His Honour Mr Simon Tonking and Mrs Tonking, Deputy Mayor of Sandwell Council Cllr Suzanne Hartwell and Mr G Deekan, Mayor of Stafford Borough Council Cllr Gareth Jones and Mrs Robinson, and Jeremy Lefroy MP along with 80 supporters and funders. Guests enjoyed music by Chetwynd, a local choir, and an art exhibition by Richard Bostock. During the week more than 400 people visited the Orangery to take part in celebration activities including a promenade theatre performance by Fired Up Theatre.

• The Orangery has been restored with the help of The National Lottery Heritage Fund.


How to beat Inheritance Tax in five easy moves! If you want your family to keep more of your estate when you die, then there are some simple ways to reduce the taxman’s take.

consider establishing a standing order (e.g. to provide funds to pay for grandchildren’s school fees) as it supports the intent to make the gifts on a regular basis. If you can satisfy the conditions for the exemption, the gifts escape IHT as soon as they are made.

Despite the fact that more estates are paying Inheritance Tax (IHT), relatively few people understand the rules, and even those who do often forget or ignore ways to prevent their families paying over the odds. So, here’s a reminder of some IHT-reducing strategies to think about as we approach the end of the tax year.

3. Place assets into trust

1. Give to family members One of the easiest, and potentially rewarding, ways to reduce a future IHT bill is to give some of your wealth away during your lifetime. You can give away up to £3,000 each tax year and not have to pay IHT on it. You can also make use of any unused gifting allowance from the previous tax year. So, a couple could potentially remove £12,000 from their joint estate before 5 April. Remember that last year’s allowance will be lost after that date. The gifted money could be invested on behalf of a child or grandchild. For instance, you could contribute towards a child's Junior ISA, which could give them a head start and get them into the savings habit. The most they can save is subject to a £4,368 limit this tax year – an allowance that will be lost after 5 April. You could also think about using the money to boost a child's retirement prospects. You can pay £2,880 a year into a child’s pension this tax year, and this will be grossed up to £3,600 by basic rate tax relief. Non-taxpayers cannot carry forward unused allowances, so this year’s opportunity will also be lost unless action is taken before the 5 April deadline.

2. Make gifts out of income Those with sufficient surplus income may want to take account of the ‘normal expenditure out of income’ rule – if you make regular gifts out of income and in doing so don’t affect your standard of living, they are exempt from IHT. This exemption is only limited by your personal resources and the amount of spare income available to give away. Keeping a record of who you made the gifts to, their value and the date they were made, should speed up the process of any checks made by HMRC. You could also

Assets that are placed into trust will be outside of your estate, provided you survive for seven years. So the use of trusts can potentially reduce an IHT bill. You can set up a trust right now or write one into your Will.The rules are complicated, and there are anti-avoidance rules that must be navigated, so you should take advice from an expert.

4. Save more into your own pension Saving into your own pension will avoid IHT at 40% which could be incurred were the same funds held elsewhere in your estate. This is because anything left in your pension can be paid as a lump sum or income to any beneficiary with absolutely no tax to pay if you die before the age of 75. If you are 75 or over when you die – and that is likely to be the case for most individuals –your heirs do pay Income Tax, but only when they take the money out. Even then, the tax is paid at their own marginal rate. So, maximising this year’s annual pension saving allowance should be on your list of potentially worthwhile estate planning options.

5. Review your Will Who you leave money to in your Will might affect whether or not IHT is payable. For example, money or property left to a spouse or registered civil partner does not attract IHT. But if your estate passes to a child, then IHT at 40% will normally have to be paid on anything over the £325,000 nil-rate band. This means couples often leave everything to each other. However, you could make provisions to ensure that your nil-rate band legacy is left to your children, via a trust for example, with the rest of your estate going to your spouse or civil partner. This could ensure assets are passed to children and other loved ones without attracting IHT.

To receive a complimentary guide covering wealth management, retirement planning or Inheritance Tax planning, contact Paul Duffill on 01785 255833 / 07966 534908 or email


‘Marvel’ Steve is named Staffordshire Volunteer of the Year A rainy March 6, 2017, saw the first training session for the newly formed Stafford Mixed Ability Rugby (MAR) team. Several matches and a good few injuries later, Monday, July 15, saw the latest training session of the Marvels presided over, as usual, by Steve Walker, the newly crowned winner of Staffordshire Volunteer of the Year 2019. In February 2017 Simon Northcott, of Worcester Warriors, contacted Stafford Rugby Club to discuss the idea of establishing a rugby team which enabled participation for adults of all abilities. Later in the month a small group gathered in the clubhouse to discuss the idea. Everyone was willing to give it a go in principle but it took Steve Walker to step into the role of team manager, general coach, main cheerleader and overall dogsbody to get the first training session off the ground. Between them Simon and Steve, supported by Olivia Walker, ran several sessions before the team and Steve were left to their own devices. Steve started working with near neighbour John Barclay, from Telford Stags MAR, to create a combined team of enthusiastic players. Together Steve and John ferry the teams up and down the country for games against Gloucester, Worcester, Swansea and Cardiff to name a few of the sides who

• Staffordshire Volunteer of the Year Steve Walker with the mixed ability rugby team he calls the ‘Marvels’. have had to face their combined might. three but has wisely chosen to ignore Not content with doing everything the bits which are now deemed else, Steve has unashamedly unleashed technically illegal in the modern game. his artistic side, coming up with the When numbers on the pitch have design for the shirts and christening the been low, the booming encouragement team the ‘Marvels’. In the culmination of received from the sideline makes the his latest venture he is spearheading sessions flow slightly easier. the team’s invasion of Spain for a Steve will now join all of September MAR tournament. the other nominees from across the Steve has been around for the last country to enjoy a totally unique day two years encouraging, listening and at the Mitsubishi Motors England just being there. He is the driving force Rugby Training Centre and behind the buzzing ball of energy Twickenham Stadium, home of which is the Marvels. The team has England Rugby. The club wishes him taken on board all of his sage advice, well and hopes that he makes the top especially in the dark art of the front three to claim the main prize.

News from Church Eaton Tennis Club

Church Eaton Tennis Club held a very successful fun “Strawberries and Cream” event on July 7th, to coincide with the middle Sunday of Wimbledon. The event was arranged by coach Steph and attracted adult tennis players from various sections, club old timers, new recruits, coaching pupils and some visitors from as far away as Northumberland (word had got around that Church Eaton was the place to be on July 7th)! The players were divided into two groups, one


group on each court. Round robin matches were played within the groups with a winner emerging from each, CETC Chairman Mike in one and visitor Paul from CECC in the other. The sun shone, a good turn out of players and spectators, the organisation was brilliant (both courts in action all the time), the strawberries freshly picked not a mile from the club, all in all a most enjoyable Sunday afternoon. Following on the success of the Strawberries and Cream afternoon

another event is planned for the final Sunday of the American Open on September 8th. A competition on 11th August for youngsters who have reached the stage of playing on a full sized court is pencilled into the calendar. Contact Steph on 07779 421345 for details, watch for general information about the club. Away from the courts, a fund raiser quiz night is coming up on September 28th.

Haughton village celebrates its best gardens Haughton’s Best Kept Village Evening of Awards was held at the Village Hall on Friday, August 16. This event followed the recent BKV announcement of awards, held by The Community Foundation for Staffordshire at The Moat House, Acton Trussell, when Haughton achieved Highly Commended in the Small Village Category in the Stafford area.

• Janet Harris receives the award of Best Kept Large Garden from Peter Lawrence

Ian Sunley, Chairman of Haughton Best Kept Village Committee, welcomed all the residents who braved the inclement weather to attend the annual village event. Committee member Peter Lawrence announced the results, gave an overview of this year’s campaign and thanked everyone who had taken part. Roger Barker, President of Haughton and District Garden and Countryside Guild, together with Peter Lawrence, presented prizes to the winners of the annual Best Kept Garden and Hanging Baskets Competition. Best Kept Large Garden – Oak Croft, Newport Road; Best Kept Small Garden – Rose Cottage, Newport Road; Highly Commended Gardens – 19 Moathouse Drive, 23 Moathouse Drive, 14 Ash Drive; Best Hanging Baskets – Laburnum House, Newport Road; Highly Commended Hanging Baskets – Belvedere, Newport Road, Avoncroft, Newport Road. This year, a Special Commendation award was made to Norman Williams who, at the grand age of 94, maintains his beautiful garden himself, including mowing lawns, tending rose beds, and planting borders with bedding plants which he grows from seed.

• Ken Birch – Highly Commended

• Denys Swift – Highly Commended

• Mark Burgess – Highly Commended

• Mervyn and Jocelyne Lock – Highly Commended

• Nonagenarian Norman Williams is awarded a Special Commendation for his garden maintenance skills

• Paul Robinson accepts the Best Hanging Baskets award from Peter Lawrence and Roger Barker.



Red Dwarf stars visit Penkridge auction room in quest for giant profits Two well known faces attended Penkridge auction house Cuttlestones’ Fine Art Sale on Friday, June 14 – in the form of ‘Lister’ and ‘Kryten’ from sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf – aka actors Craig Charles and Robert Llewellyn. The duo was filming an episode of BBC’s Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, and had consigned lots they’d sourced alongside their experts to try and turn the biggest profit. Sale highlights included lots as diverse as an Alfred James Munnings oil painting of a beach scene with huntsman on horseback with hounds, which sold for £2,700, a Gent’s Lemania military stainless steel wristwatch that fetched £2,000 and an historic 1949 Ariel motorcycle which achieved £2,900. However, fans will have to wait to find out what the celebs sold and how much the hammer fell at on their lots until the episode airs on the BBC later this year. MD and Head Auctioneer Ben Gamble said: “It’s always fun having the cameras rolling during an auction – it adds a real buzz to proceedings, and it was fun meeting Charles and Robert having followed their adventures in Red Dwarf over the years. We’re sworn to secrecy in terms of what they sold and who turned the biggest profit, but it was an exciting contest that should make for good viewing.” For more details on buying and selling through Cuttlestones’ auctions, head to

• Cuttlestones MD Ben Gamble (centre) with Craig Charles and Robert Llewellyn during the filming of Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.

Young skiers race to national title A young ski quartet brought a national downhill gold medal back to their school with an invitation to join a top flight snowsports squad. The Stafford Grammar girls’ side raced to success at the British Schools’ Indoor Championships in Manchester after clocking up the quickest combined under-14 slalom score. Eleven year old Georgia Blaikie top-scored for the team when she completed her under-12 race in 17.79 seconds to come sixth in her age group’s fiercely contested individual competition, which included athletes who are based in alpine resorts throughout the ski season. Her elder sister Elena, aged 12, chalked up 19.16 secs in the under-14 girls’ section to place her second individually, while 12 year old teammates Poppy Dixon, from Salt Heath, and Bradley’s Mischa Lovatt followed closely on 23.44 secs and 23.79 secs respectively, to bag the third and fourth slots. Winning the junior girls’ team title earned each skier an automatic place in the National Schools’ Snowsports Association squad, with the opportunity to attend training camps at Pila in Italy and the Netherlands-based Landgraaf ski centre next winter. Mischa, who trains alongside Elena and Georgia at the Stoke Ski Centre, said:


• From left: Max McVay, from Bednall, Chebsey’s Adam Merron, Elena Blaikie, Leah Dixon from Salt Heath, Georgia Blaikie, Bradley’s Mischa Lovatt, Eloise Gomersall, Poppy Dixon. “I didn’t realise how well we’d done. We’d hoped to get second place but when they didn’t call our school name I thought we’d missed out. Then we were told we’d come first and I couldn’t believe it. It’s really exciting to represent the school in an event like that. You get to see some great skiers.”

Meanwhile nine year old Stafford Prep pupil Max McVay lined up with SGS students Adam Merron (12) from Chebsey and Eloise Gomersall (11) for the mixed contest and finished in sixth place, while Poppy Dixon’s 14 year old sister, Leah, competed in an individual slalom category.


Neighbourhoods working together to bloom Members of Colwich Parish In Bloom were happy to welcome Steve Middlehurst, a judge from the Royal Horticultural Society, to the villages on Tuesday, July 16, to judge our five entrants in ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’. The first visit was to ‘Friends of Shugborough Terrace’ where Steve met Fay and Ray Hemming and Ray told Steve about the history of the terrace and also talked about the very interesting planting everyone had done.

• Day of judgement: Royal Horticultural Society judge Steve Middlehurst with Ben, Anne, Marian, Tom and another friend of Sapphire Community Orchard.

The second visit was to see the work Irma was doing at Crossheads; this tucked away part of Colwich is now transformed with lovely flower borders along the path to Colwich School, and made very colourful with bright hanging baskets, tubs and containers. Steve was then taken to meet the ‘Friends of Marlborough Meadow’ and taken round by Jean Makin MBE. The path which wound round the meadow had been recently cut and the various grasses and wildflowers were showing themselves off in the gentle breeze. The beautiful horse chestnut tree at the beginning of the path looks down on the sapling trees which had been planted by donors. Jean gave Steve the portfolio of the history of the meadow to look at later. Cliff Road was visited next to look at the Sapphire Community Orchard; the recently resurfaced and edged path showed off the bee-friendly plants and wildflowers which looked so pretty. Marian and Alan Doehren had organised a refreshment break; it was nice to sit on one of the memorial benches and enjoy tea, coffee and the scones which had been made early in the morning by Ann Jones. The last ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ entrant was ‘Friends of Mill Lane’ where Steve was introduced to Cath Birt; all the beautiful apricot shades begonias had been purchased in the spring as small plugs and brought on by Cath and friends, especially Dave and Gill Horton who have helped maintain the many small flowerbeds on either side of Mill Lane. The morning finished with good, satisfying food at Chris and Wendy Barton‘s Canalside Fruit Farm Cafe where the group was joined by Chairman Amyas Stafford Northcote who thanked Steve for coming to assess the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ entries and wished him a safe journey home.

Al fresco dining for church fundraiser A summer lunch fundraising event on behalf of St Michael & All Angels Colwich was hosted at the home of Julia and Roger Hughes. The event was organised by the social committee who also provided a splendid array of food. Many thanks to everyone who supported this well attended event – what a lovely way to spend an afternoon in the beautiful English countryside.


In the market for some September fun for kids If you’ve spent a fortune trying to keep the kids amused this summer, then we’ve got the perfect day out lined up. Penkridge Market is holding an event on September 15 that will not only make you money, but keep the kids entertained as well. The Children’s Market will give you the opportunity to sell all of your unwanted items, find

fantastic bargains, plus give the kids a great day out at the same time. The market will feature stalls selling everything from nearly new children’s clothes to toys and handmade crafts. There will also be plenty of activities to keep the children entertained, with a petting farm, donkey rides, Diddi Dance and Toddler Sense taster sessions,

• Some young visitors at a previous Children’s Market


magic show, free craft area, as well as a special guest appearance from everyone’s favourite pig! The event will run from 10am to 3pm, and with free admission for children and only £2 for adults, it makes an affordable day out for the whole family. More than 60 stall holders are expected, selling a variety of goods from clothes, toys and books to handmade wooden toys, knitted items and personalised gifts. The majority of stalls will be undercover in the indoor market, making it a fun day out whatever the weather. Mother of two and brainchild behind the event, Kate Kingsley, said:“I wanted to create an event that not only catered for the needs of parents but also the children themselves. The Children’s Market gives parents the opportunity to buy and sell nearly new items, as well as new products such as handmade crafts, while the kids are having fun. They can hire a stall for as little as £12 and hopefully make a great profit too.” If you would like to book a stall at the event, please contact Kate by emailing For further information please call 01785 714221 or log on to the website

‘Messy’ medal ceremony at Acton Trussell picnic It was a special day on Sunday, July 21, when the annual Acton & Bednall Messy Church summer picnic took place at the Community Centre, Acton Trussell. Before the picnic there were some very competitive races for children and adults, giant jigsaw making, hole-in-one golfing, parachute football and beat the goalie – Cymone did a great job facing all the shots at goal. Plenty of fun, in true messy style, was had by all, so everyone was presented with a medal – then it was

picnic time. Thanks to Reverend Delphine and the Messy Team for making it such a fun afternoon. To join in the fun at a future Acton & Bednall Messy Church session, please come along to the Community Centre at Acton Trussell, ST17 0RY for the once-amonth Sunday afternoon session from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. There is always a variety of delicious snacks at the end. Dates for the diary are September 15,

October 20, November 17 and December 8. Looking further ahead, the very popular Messy Christingle will be held in St James Church, Acton Trussell, on the afternoon of December 24. You can check out other dates in the parish magazine, village notice boards and the St James Church Acton Trussell Facebook page. For more information go to the main website or phone the Acton & Bednall Messy Church team on 01785 716265.

• Children and adults alike took away a medal from the Acton & Bednall Messy Church summer picnic.


Acton Trussell Scarecrow Trail 2019 You could be fooled in thinking that Acton Trussell had a plague of crows given the number of scarecrows, and given that it was the Egyptians that first used scarecrows in recorded history to protect wheat fields along the Nile from flocks of wild quail, the only thing missing in Acton was an Egyptian themed scarecrow! Scarecrows have been popping up in Acton Trussell for several years as part of the village’s entry into the Best Kept Village Competition (formerly organized by the Community Council, now organized by the Community Foundation of Staffordshire) and have been praised by villagers and visitors alike. This year the BKV Team decided to put together a Trail for everyone to enjoy, and produced a map showing where the 54 scarecrows could be found. No specific route was suggested, everyone could wander around the village as they pleased, and many did! Over 100 maps were issued, and as most were issued to family groups, this represents possibly 400 people enjoying the village. The Trail, which ran until 21 July, started and finished at the Moat House, where people could leave their cars, collect a map from Reception and head off around the village. Everyone was invited to vote for their favourite scarecrow and the results are to be announced at the Village BBQ (to be held at the Community Centre) on 31 August. Here is a small selection of the many scarecrows on show.


Great Haywood Memorial Hall autumn events

The Memorial Hall has been busy over the summer with the usual coffee mornings on the second Tuesday morning every month and an art and craft fair. One of the aspects of the hall which has been most enjoyed by visitors though has been outside the building – the herbaceous border at the end of the car park which is planted and beautifully maintained by the Colwich Parish in Bloom group. We get fully back into the swing of things in September with a ‘Movies at the Memorial Hall’ evening on September 14 when the feel-good film, ‘Fisherman’s Friends’, will be showing. On October 4 the hall hosts another of the much enjoyed 60s/70s evenings with music, videos, dancing, a quiz and a fish and chip supper. The November evening event is another movie, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, on the 2nd. And if you’re looking for a special Christmas present, you’re certain to find one at the Art and Craft Fair on November 23. Other groups will be using the hall for their own events to which everyone is welcome. Keep your eye on the web page www.

Colwich Parish In Bloom

Anne Clendon BEM has relinquished her role as secretary after 27 years of loyal service for Colwich Parish In Bloom, formerly the Best Kept Village group. She is pictured (front centre) at a recent meeting of the committee when she was presented with various gifts in recognition of her valuable contribution to the group since 1992. Anne will continue to work with Colwich Parish in Bloom as she has accepted the newly created position of President. The new secretary is Karen Harper.


Staffordshire Commissioner visits GetWild project Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime, visited young people at the GetWild project in Stafford, which has received a £3,000 grant from the People Power Fund. The weekly GetWild sessions, held every Friday by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust at Doxey Marshes, use a range of activities including building dens, pond dipping, bug hunting and other activities to engage with young people in the area, providing them with opportunities to learn new skills, make new friends and inspire their sense of adventure. Matthew Ellis said: “The GetWild project is a fantastic opportunity for youngsters to get outside in our beautiful surroundings during the summer holidays, and I’m pleased to support the great work under way at Doxey Marshes through the People Power Fund.” The Staffordshire Commissioner has made £200,000 available through the People Power Fund and Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) Fund. The latest round of People Power Funding opened on August 1 and applicants have until 14 September to make their application. The People Power Fund supports locally driven community safety activities throughout Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. These include providing long-term positive activities for young people to help reduce anti-social behaviour or mentoring programmes for targeted local groups, through to activities that reassure and improve the quality of life for people in local areas. Matthew Ellis said: “The People Power Fund helps local communities with ideas to make their areas safer. It is really easy to apply for and is about preventing problems like anti-social behaviour through early intervention, whether that’s better security or anything that is likely to successfully

deter wrong-doing and community nuisance.” People Power Fund applications need to be sponsored by the group’s Neighbourhood Police Officer or PCSO and will initially be assessed by the local Community Safety Partnership. The People Power Fund is one part of the Commissioner’s Community Funding for 2019/20. You can find out more and apply at

• Matthew Ellis with young people and staff at the GetWild project at Doxey Marshes, Stafford.

Charity champion calls for support for festive fundraiser With only four months until his big ‘switch-on’, charity champion Graham Witter has already started to plan this year’s Weston Christmas light display. For the seventh year Graham plans to transform his family home and garden into a Winter Wonderland to raise vital funds for The Donna Louise Hospice in Trentham, which provided respite care to his late sister Jessica, and gave many hours of family support to Graham and his parents. Over the last six years Graham has raised a phenomenal £92,310 for The

Donna Louise, and this year he hopes to top the £100,000 fundraising mark. Now Graham is calling on local businesses to help him reach this milestone. He said: “Each year the light display costs thousands of pounds to organise and without the support of the local businesses who sponsor the event, it simply wouldn’t be possible. “By sponsoring the Weston Christmas light display, local businesses will not only be creating a magical event for our local community, they’ll be continuing my sister’s legacy and helping me raise much

• Last year’s Christmas light display in Weston.


needed funds for The Donna Louise which supports many local families like mine across Staffordshire and Cheshire.” Last year more than 15,000 people visited the Weston Christmas light display throughout December, raising an incredible £26,760 which helped fund a learning disability nurse for 12 months and provide two sign and symbol communication workshops for hospice staff. This year Graham is hoping the local community will come together once again and help him beat the remarkable total which was raised in 2018. However, without the support from local businesses, the event simply can’t happen or take place. He said: “There is a variety of exciting sponsorship opportunities available and with so many people visiting the display throughout December, as well as following us on social media, it’s a chance to grab some excellent brand exposure at a much-loved and liked community event. I’d love to hear from any businesses who would like to get involved to help make this year’s Weston Christmas light display bigger and brighter than ever before.” For more information about the Weston Christmas light display, and to hear about the sponsorship opportunities available to help support this community event, please contact Graham at graham@

Bednall Scarecrow Competition results We are pleased to announce this year’s winners for the Bednall Scarecrow Competition. Awards went to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

1st Place: Mr Recycle—Grete Willacy and Jan Powell. They will receive the shield to keep for one year and a plaque to keep.

2nd Place: Ring Master - The Greatest Showman - Yvonne and Mick Thomas and their daughter Jane Travers. They will receive a certificate.

3rd Place: The Mermaid—Brenda and Bob Curran and their daughter Lynn Acheson. The will receive a certificate. Thank you to ALL those who made such an effort to build a scarecrow for us, we enjoyed them all, they were truly wonderful to see. Bednall had more scarecrows than ever before and more people voted too. They were ALL admired!


Chanteuse Choir wow the crowds at FIMU in France Chanteuse Chamber Choir have recently returned from an incredible four days at FIMU, the Festival International de Musique Universitaire in Belfort, France. They were thrilled to have been chosen from over 86 countries to represent England. It was an amazing trip with every genre of music being represented from classical to electro pop to jazz, with acts performing on multiple stages across the town. A real feast for the ears. Their two performances were packed out with standing room only. Musical Director, Sue Brereton-Banks commented “Huge congratulations on what I thought was a fantastic festival. The ladies were brilliant. I think a standing ovation at the National Choreographic was wonderful, but then to see the audience at the Cathedral spontaneously rise up straight away, then to sit as we did an encore and then to rise up yet again— wow!, such moments are very special in one’s musical life. A massive thanks must also go to Les, our talented accompanist and the Chanteuse support crew.” Chanteuse Chamber Choir are available for hire and full details can be found on their website at www.chanteusechamber They are performing next in Great Haywood in September and their annual Christmas Concert will be on 14th December at St Mary’s Church, Stafford.

Rugby club cycle tour raises almost £10,000 for hospital

Stafford Rugby Club is supporting the Kidney Unit at North Staffs Hospital as its chosen charity for fundraising this season. The money will be used by the unit for many different things, including renovating the family room and buying new machinery for patients to use at home and on the ward. Fundraising events have seen members of the club giving up alcohol for a month, raffles, quizzes and members running the Stafford Half Marathon. The main fundraising event started on July 19 and became known as the Tour de Shire. The tour involved a number of dedicated club members, along with assorted friends, cycling from their base of Stafford Rugby Club to every other rugby club in Staffordshire and a couple of other venues on the way, totalling an amazing 270 miles over three days and taking in 31 venues across Staffordshire and one just across the border.


The conditions at time were testing but everyone pulled through completing part or all of the course. The cycling fundraisers were: Ali Oxley; Anne Thompson; Barry Dean; Ben Richards; Bruce McCulloch; Callum Jones; Cheryl Oxley; Chris Campbell; Darren Mottershead; Dave Austen; Dave Rock; Dave Talbot; Dave Wain; Dave Wareham; Jake Cawkwell; June Cooke; Keith Richards; Leyla Lawrence; Louise Stadler; Matt Smith; Matt Walklate; Nic Cassa; Pat Cawkwell; Paul Pooley; Pete Cooke; Pete Morrison; Russell Reardon; Scott Raine; Sean Dawson; Simon Davies; Steve Rowland; Stuart Black; Tim Woolman; Tom Williams and Will Richards. The Tour de Shire has raised a staggering £9,383.43 to date, but there is always room for more. If you would like to support the kidney unit then you can donate at: https://uk.virginmoney userUrl=JenniferWalklate&pageUrl=1&fbclid=IwAR3x9wZTvdf bxIy9Ad9fQIrrTsbZCQn1-0A2ISTwQ33XScvh22MKuua7-Po

Haughton Barn Dance Fun St Mary and AII Saints Church in Bradley present a Barn Dance, with a Fish & Chip Supper on FRIDAY 13th SEPTEMBER It will be be held in the marquee at the Red Lion Farm Haughton ST18 9JG, starting at 7.30pm. Calling the dances on the evening will be Eve and John Evans Admission is from 7pm finishing at 11pm, and there will be a pay bar and a raffle. Prices are Adults £15, Children 5-12 £7.50 and all tickets must be purchased in advance from 01785 780668 / 780764 or 780567. Please note this is an advance ticket only event and there is limited ticket availability.

What’s on at Acton Trussell Community Centre

MONDAY: Bowls 14.00 - 16.00 Keep Fit 19.30 - 20.30 TUESDAY: Dance Fitness 9.30 am -10.30 am Yoga 18.00 -19.00 WEDNESDAY Art Group 13.00 - 15.30 THURSDAY Dance Fitness 9.30 am – 10.30 am Tea Room 10.30 am – 12.30 pm Yoga 18.00 -19.00 BATS Choir 19.30 – 21.30 W. I. 19.30 -21.30 (3rd Thursday of every month) FRIDAY Weight Watchers. 9.00am -11.00am 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


All that jazz gets pupils toe tapping Teenage jazz musicians took their craft to Colwich Primary School in a bid to enthuse a new generation of music makers. The 16-piece band from Stafford Grammar hit the road with a toe-tapping programme of 1940s swing jazz, rock and funk, aimed at inspiring younger children to learn to play an instrument. Their whistle-stop tour took them to Colwich then on to St Andrew’s at Weston, before heading to Stone for a visit to St Dominic’s Priory and St Michael’s First schools. The SGS students demonstrated an array of instruments and gave a short performance, which also included a solo from 14 year old vocalist Josie Lamplough. Ten year old Colwich pupil Ashleigh Podmore said: “The music was so energetic and the musicians were really enthusiastic. I liked Josie’s singing too. Everyone really enjoyed it and it’s made me want to play the trumpet now.” There was another opportunity for the youngsters to explore music when Stafford Grammar became the venue for a mass sing-along as classes from 10 primary schools joined forces to form a huge choir, created in one afternoon by vocal experts. Three hundred pupils aged between seven and 11 took part in workshops led by four choral leaders, including Karl Westwood, a former member of the group Only Boys Aloud which came third in the 2012 series of Britain’s Got Talent. Karl, who is a vocalist and classical

• Singing coach, Karl Westwood, puts youngsters from Stafford Prep and Parkside Primary schools through their paces at a community choral day. Karl is pictured with (from left) Molly Lamplough (8), Jess Ashton (10), Belle Johnson (9), Elliott Martin (8), Sebastian Barron (7), Isla Morrison (7), Chloe Wright (8). pianist, helped pupils rehearse the 1982 top 10 single ‘Africa’, recorded by American band Toto. “I chose Africa to introduce them to older, pop-rock music. I wanted them to interact with the music by mimicking the rain and thunderstorms. It’s about children associating singing with having fun and being part of something enjoyable,” he said. Joining him were West End theatre musical director James Maddison and classical singer Stephanie Lamplough, who is the national assistant director of

music and creative arts for the Salvation Army. Also in the line-up was professional accompanist and teacher Susan Avison. Aspiring young singers from Colwich Primary, Seighford’s Cooper Perry, Stafford Prep, Parkside Primary, Burton Manor Primary and St Michael’s First School teamed up with children from Cannock, Coven, Penkridge and Newcastle, alongside several students from Stafford Grammar. The spotlight fell on the mass choir in an evening concert at SGS for family and friends, which attracted an audience of more than 750.

• Stafford Grammar jazz musicians Tristan van der Linden (15), Molly Baggott (16), Zoe Lawton-Allen (17) and Sam Higginson (18) hope to inspire a new generation of music makers at Colwich Primary School.


Pupils pick Florence for new lorry A new bin lorry in Stafford is to be named ‘Florence’ by pupils of an award winning local school. Earlier this year Stafford Borough Council announced that Gordon Banks would be the first person to have one of their bin wagons named after him – a move that was said to have bought a smile to the legendary England and Stoke goalkeeper’s family. Now a second new lorry, purchased as part of the council’s waste and recycling service, will be called Florence. Children from Burton Manor Primary School chose the name from a list of inspirational historical figures – including Florence Nightingale, Marie Curie and Emmeline Pankhurst. Teacher and leader of The Tree Tribe, Sarah McDonald, said: “This was a super opportunity and the children loved getting involved. They are looking forward to seeing Florence for the first time. “The Tree Tribe has worked hard to raise awareness in school and the local community about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. The children spent some time considering the name and decided that, having learnt about her in Key Stage One, Florence Nightingale represented a helping hand in the community.” The school’s Tree Tribe Club were winners in the ‘Youth and Education’ category at the Borough Council’s Community Awards for their involvement with several eco projects within the school and local area. The lorries collect around 54,000 tonnes of recycling and waste from 59,000 homes across the borough. Latest figures suggest residents recycle around 52% of what they throw out. More information on the service at binday


Rimbach Twinning Visit – July/August, 2019

• Visitors and hosts before the “Final Farewell” On Wednesday Evening, 31 July, 94 people gathered together in Great Haywood Memorial Hall, draped with the German and British flags, for a Gala Dinner to Celebrate 36 Years of Twinning between the Rimbach Partnerschaftsverein (PaRi) and Colwich and the Haywoods Twinning Association. The German contingent comprised 23 seniors and 20 youth members whilst amongst the hosts there were 20 youth members, The PaRi members were lead by their Chairman, Markus Altendorf and Clara Baltz in charge of the youth members. Incidentally, this week was the only one that coincided with the end of the German school holidays and the start of the English holidays!! Following the meal, Cllr Annette Bloor, the Haywoods Chairman, thanked all those who had helped organise the visit, welcomed our guests and in particular the youth section pointing out that the future continuation of the Twinning arrangement would be in their hands. This viewpoint was endorsed by Markus who also thanked the hosts for their hospitality He also gave each host family a small memento of the visit. Both twinning organisations have benefitted from new members in the guise of the parents of the youth. The evening was concluded by the combined youth choir who sang us their own version of “500 miles” that became “655 miles from Rimbach to the Haywoods”. The visitors had arrived in the villages on the previous Sunday evening by coach in pouring rain, having spent Saturday evening in Calais and having stopped en route to visit the Alma mater of their organiser< Norman Leigh, (Winchester College), for a conducted tour. Following a welcoming drink, the guests were introduced to their hosts who took them home. A programme of visits and events awaited them during the week. Each coach visit was accompanied by Association guides. By Monday morning the rain had stopped and the sun was shining for a visit to Liverpool. The Albert dock area was visited in the morning, the Liverpool & Maritime museums and Tate gallery the main attractions. The “thee graces” (the Liver, Cunard and Port of Liverpool authority buildings) were also viewed. In the afternoon a ferry trip aboard the “Snowdrop” was made to Seaforth and Wallasey before finally visiting the new Roman Catholic Cathedral and


Anfield, Liiverpool F.C’s ground. On Tuesday the weather forecast was not very hopeful, rain due to arrive before mid-day However, our guests arrived for the journey to Llandudno in good spirits, one PaRi member even arrived with his bucket and spade! The big attraction on arrival were the cable hauled trams to the top of the Great Orme. The weather stayed fine and the walks on the Orme were most invigorating, working up an appetite for lunch in the Orme café. The museum was also an attraction. Walks were taken along the promenade before the journey home, the rain timed its arrival just as our guests boarded the coach, lucky them!! Another fine day was welcomed as the coach set off for a more cultural visit to the Blists Hill Industrial museum. The German visitors were able to see where the industrial revolution started, not just for the UK, but for the whole world. The coach arrived back in the Haywoods in good time to prepare for the Gala Dinner. Thursday was the driver’s no drive day so the hosts took their charges to where-ever; Lichfield and its cathedral was a popular venue while some preferred to walk on the Chase .and around Shugborough or visit the local shops in Rugeley. Best of all was a canal boat trip along the Trent & Mersey and Staffs & Worcester canals. The youth had their own programme. (See the youth report). The evening was for parties. The youth were hosted by Christine Hill for a barbecue with equipment kindly loaned by the Stafford Lions. Other hosts opened their doors for quieter house parties with a buffet and drinks. Friday morning was, in some ways, the saddest, with tears of joy as guests and hosts said their fond farewells and expressed the hopes that we will see each other again, in Rimbach, sometime next year. The visit has been hailed as one of the most successful held in the Haywoods, the reason being that the enthusiasm shown by the youth members from both sides who jelled together so well that it bodes well for the continuation of our Twinning partnership to be carried on by future generations. Anyone in the villages who feels that they would wish to join the Twinning Association would be made most welcome. Please contact Keith butler on 01889 881690 for further information.

• Rimbach & Haywoods youth say “Farewell”

• Combined Youth Choir at Gala Dinner.


Community Transport Charity Wins Award

Community Link Stafford & District provides a reliable, friendly and professional door-to-door Dial-a-Ride community transport service has been selected today as a 2019 Weston Charity Award winner. The charity will receive a core grant of £6,500 from the Garfield Weston Foundation and a year’s strategic planning support from a team of four business leaders to enable it to become more efficient, effective and sustainable. The charity which carries out over 46,000 passenger journeys each year has been selected from a field of nearly 200 frontline charities delivering youth, welfare or community services in the North of England, the Midlands and Wales. Graham Wright, Chief Executive of Community Link Stafford & District said: “Community Link is delighted and grateful to have been chosen as an award winner. External recognition for our work in the community can be a great catalyst to widen access to our service across the local area and very motivational for our team and current service users.” Philippa Charles, director of the Garfield Weston Foundation said: “Community Link Stafford & District has been selected due to the strength of its ambition and demonstrable openness to constructive challenge and external perspectives. This charity’s impact extends far beyond its direct service users.” The year-long coaching programme between the charity and their team of business leaders is facilitated by another charity, Pilotlight, whose CEO Gillian Murray said: “Small charity leaders in Staffordshire face the constant pressure of frontline issues which can divert resources away from longer term thinking. Through the Weston Charity Awards, this strong local charity will continue to do its great work whilst working on transformative plans to make an even greater impact on the communities it serves for years to come.”

• Lola, Imogen and Ella Ridgway celebrating National Ice-Cream Day (21st July) at Canalside Farm, Great Haywood, Stafford. Photo by Chloe Ridgway



My Village Voice NEWS IN BRIEF Seighford Parish Council members Seighford Parish Council members are listed below following the local elections which were held on 2nd May. Chairman Cllr David Price (Great Bridgeford) 01785 282654 Vice-Chairman Cllr John Busby (Derrington) 01785 780102 Cllr Mrs Carole Allen (Derrrington) 01785 212746 Cllr Neil Brown (Great Bridgeford) 01785 282237 Cllr Mrs Charlotte Darvill (Derrington) 01785 281630 Cllr Mark Hodgkins (Seighford) 01785 282006 Cllr Mark Turnbull (Great Bridgeford) 01785 282309 The Clerk John Charleton is presently on sick leave and the Locum Clerk is Lisa Horritt Tel: 01785 240358.

Haywoods & Colwich bus service Service 282 - New Monday to Friday service between Stowe-by-Chartley, Hixon, Tixall, Great Haywood, Colwich and Colton, to be operated by Lunar Cars, started from 10th July. Revised timetables will be available on the Staffordshire County Council website or you can email publictransport@ for a paper copy of a timetable.

Bednall Book sale Get yourself some bargain books on Saturday 5th October 10.00am—12.00noon, at All Saints Church, Bednall. You’ll find hundreds of books for sale in excellent condition. There will also be Bacon Baps, Delicious home made cakes and a Tombola.

Acton Fun Quiz With Fish & Chips Raising funds for Friends of Bednall, the quiz takes place on Saturday 12th October at 7pm prompt at Acton and Bednall Community Centre. Tickets are £10 per person (Teams of up to 8) and bring your own drinks, glasses, cutlery, condiments, bread & butter, and pudding (if required). (Meal will be served in a small box) Tickets are available from: Toni 07977 657646 or email Pom: 01785 712575/ 07976 966118 or you can email

Best Kept Village Presentation Day Bednall was named as Best Kept Village In the Small Village category in the South Staffs Area. 2nd place went to ActonTrussell, congratulations to both villages on another tremendous result, keeping it in the Parish once again. Bednall was also AREA WINNER in South Staffordshire. This means they keep the ‘TROPHY POLE’ which is sited opposite church, for another year! BKV Presentation Day will be held at 2.30pm on Saturday 5th October in All Saints Church, Bednall. The BKV Plaque for 2019 will be screwed onto the Trophy Post outside the church. There will be tea, cakes, wine and nibbles. A presentation will be made to this years winners of the Scarecrow Competition . If you would like to be present could you please confirm by email to or phone Pom 07976 966118. Also, please let Pom know if you can help with refreshments (cake, wine or nibbles) or help setting it out, serving or clearing away.


National Trust day out

National Trust Staffordshire Centre Coach Visit to Nether Alderley and Quarry Bank Mills Thursday 12th September 2019 These two mills are less than 8 miles apart, so we are taking the opportunity to visit both place in one day. Nether Alderley Mill, concealed under the long sloping roof of the medieval building is a fully restored, working corn mill. We will take a guided tour, and learn all about the process of milling and hear fascinating stories about the lives of the millers. Please note: Access to the upper floor is limited, but there is a virtual tour on the ground floor. There are no toilets here but there will be a comfort stop on route. We travel to Quarry Bank for lunch in one of the restaurants or a picnic in one of the designated areas. You will be free to discover the very different worlds of owners and workers, who lived and worked side by side. You will discover what it was like to work in a cotton mill, see heritage machinery in action and feel the floors shake beneath your feet as the spinning machines turn and the looms weave. You can explore the domestic life of the Greg family in Quarry Bank House. We will take a guided tour of the Apprentice House and step into the lives of the pauper children who worked in the mill. We leave at 4.00 pm to journey back to Stafford. Visitors: £16.50 None NT Members add: £23.60 Pick ups: Wildwood: 9.00 am Stafford Railway Station: 9.20 am Please remember to bring your National Trust Membership Cards. Contact for booking: Joan Jobling 01785 822592 : BOOKING ESSENTIAL

Wheaton Aston Historical Festival Experience what life was like 100 years ago Featuring The Royal Warwickshire Regiment 1914-18 , The Great War Society, Tommys Sisters, The 16th Lancers Display Troop, Enfield Historical Reenactment Society, Lead Historical Suffragettes, Shirley Pipe Band Local Vocals. Living History Displays, Re-enactment Camps, Arena Displays, Military Parade, Village Games, Stalls, Refreshments Takes place on 21-22 Sept 2019, 10:00 - 16:30, at Lapley Road Wheaton Aston ST19 9ND Tickets Available on the gate or from eventbrite. Family £20 Adult £8 Child £4 Under 2’s free For more details visit www.wheatonaston-historical 07502 322657


Stafford Film Theatre [SFT] Autumn Season 2019 Stafford Film Theatre has revealed an exciting programme of thirteen award-winning English and foreign language films for the upcoming Autumn Season, which starts on Tuesday 10th September at The Gatehouse with 2019 Oscar-winner GREEN BOOK. This touching ‘odd couple’ road movie (based on a true story) has refined concert pianist Don Shirley and his rough minder/driver Tony Lip navigating prejudice and discrimination as they journey through 1960s southern USA. Other SFT movies in September-October include THE WHITE CROW, directed by Ralph Fiennes about dazzling ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, built around his defection to the West from the USSR; another chance to see and hear on the big screen Rami Malek’s stellar performance as Freddie Mercury in BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY; also Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams in DISOBEDIENCE, a sensitive movie about rekindling of a forbidden love affair within a North London orthodox Jewish community. Among the foreign language films being shown, there are several gems, including two Cannes Festival award winners: CAPERNAUM, in which streetwise youngster, Zain sues his neglectful parents for failing to raise him properly but then has to survive alone in a tough Beirut; and Swedish folk-tale drama, BORDER, about a lonely customs officer with a special nose for spotting contraband! The full programme through February 2020 can be found on Stafford Film Theatre’s website: Films are screened on most Tuesday evenings at The Gatehouse Theatre, Eastgate Street, Stafford. The evening starts at 7.30pm with the main feature at 7.45pm Tickets can be bought from the Gatehouse box office on the night, or in advance by phone (01785 619080) or online at Prices are £7.00 full price and £6.00 concessions, including booking fees. There is also the opportunity to buy a membership for all thirteen films of the Autumn/Winter Season, which is just £59 for full members, or £47 for concessions. A not-for-profit organisation, run and supported by local

volunteers, Stafford Film Theatre will celebrate its 70th anniversary on 17th Sept with a special event and screening of Oscar-nominated classic 1949 British film ‘The Fallen Idol’. More details will be advised in early September and are on the SFT website. Contacts for further details: SFT membership secretary: Suzan Kerridge suzan@ or 01785 280566 SFT committee chairman: Graeme Sillitoe graeme. or 07903 932080 website:

• Capernaum – image attribution: Christopher Aoun, Sony Pictures Classics

• Green Book – image courtesy of Universal Pictures

The White Crow – image courtesy of distributor: Sony Pictures Classics


A sideways look at jazz opens Newport Music Club’s new season

Much Ado About Jazz, opens Newport Music Club’s new season on Saturday 21 September at Cosy Hall at 7.30pm. The Much Ado duo - Al Gurr on keyboard and Chris Gumbley on clarinet and saxophone – will revisit some of the jazz classics; but in their own, unconventional, way. In their own words, they describe it as an evening for people who like jazz – and also for those who don’t! So we expect them to impart some of their secrets about how it all works and how they appear to make it look so easy. Chris is a local artist well-known to many for his easy style, and with Al on keyboard too, we promise that the evening will include much humour and some great music. Do come along and join us for what promises to be an informative and fun evening. Ticket are £13 and are available on the door from 7.00pm, but we advise you to either buy in advance from The Cook Shop, Guildhall Tea Rooms, Hey Jude or Cosy Hall. You can also reserve tickets (01952 810584 or via the website). If you enjoy the evening you can convert to a membership for six concerts (just £55 in total). And this year we are also offering taster tickets to welcome young people to join us, and to stay just as long as you wish - £8 for a joint ticket for an adult with a child or student. See more details on our website


Blazers through time show success! MyStage Academy, a theatre school based in Stafford, blew their audiences away recently with the premier performance of brand-new production, “Blazers Through Time.” Written by Principal, Pippa Attwood, this all singing, all dancing show follows the story of 5 school children who travel back in time from 1981 after finding themselves in detention. Visiting World War 2, The Psychedelic 60’s, 1920’s Chicago and even the opening of the very first Disneyland back in the 1950’s, this detention was certainly not for the faint hearted! Principal Pippa Attwood says, “It was such a treat to see our talented students bring to life a piece of theatre that is so close to my heart on the fabulous stage at The Friary Theatre. At MyStage Academy, we specialise in triple threat training and to see all of the students bring together all 3 disciplines of musical theatre with such success and professionalism has blown me away.” MyStage Academy runs from Sir Graham Balfour School every Saturday from 10:30-13:30, teaching Singing, Dancing and Acting to students between 6-18yrs. The school has been established since 2014 and celebrates their 5th Birthday this September! There are FREE taster sessions (7th & 14th September) for anyone who is thinking of joining in the Autumn term. The Academy’s next performances will be a Festive treat for all this December followed by the ever popular and exciting trip to London where students perform on London’s West End in the summer. Head of Dance, Chloe Welch says, “We are excited to get back to class in September to really perfect technique in jazz and musical theatre dance styles before starting on routines for our Christmas Show. Watch this space!”


£2m Cannock Chase conservation plan approved

• A 10-year plan to manage Cannock Chase’s natural habitat has been approved by the government’s nature conservation agency. The agreement with Natural England means Staffordshire County Council will receive more than £2 million in Government funding towards managing the nationally and internationally important wildlife areas on the country park. Mark Winnington, the county council’s cabinet member responsible, said: “The Chase is identified at national and European level for its wildlife significance and we are required by law to protect and maintain its special features while, at the same time, balancing those duties with maintaining its use for recreation and enjoyment. We welcome this tremendous support for its future management. There are few sites in the region that are so significant for wildlife and heritage, but also so important for people’s enjoyment. Through this scheme we will get the best we can for all interests and use more sustainable and effective ways to manage this beautiful place.” Natural England has approved a plan to support continued restoration and management work to help bring the habitats into better condition for wildlife. Approved management methods include controlling areas of scrub, trees and bracken, cutting and burning heather to prompt regrowth and careful management of wetlands and wood pasture habitats. The new scheme also includes a pilot grazing scheme and the exploration of wider grazing on the site to make management more sustainable and to address management needs that can’t be replicated through other means. Emma Johnson, Natural England Area Manager, said:

“As people become increasingly aware of the need to balance their enjoyment of nature with the need to look after it, it is our role to advise councils like Staffordshire on how best to achieve this balance. That is why we are delighted to support the new conservation plan for Cannock Chase, an area loved and enjoyed by many. Famed for its beauty and rare wildlife, it is more important than ever that we conserve this valuable heathland and bring the site back into good condition through sustainable and effective techniques such as grazing.” Cannock Chase is an internationally significant home to rare plants and animals, especially important as around 80 per cent of heathland has been lost in the UK since 1800. Mark Winnington added “By law we must preserve Cannock Chase’s natural habitats and Natural England expects us to use environmentally-friendly methods such as grazing to help manage vegetation to prevent the land becoming overgrown. The current grazing plan beginning next year involves up to six cattle in one small area and all rights of way are being kept open and the area will remain fully accessible. Before the grazing scheme can be expanded there would be a further public consultation and the scheme would need approval from the Planning Inspectorate.” Cannock Chase is and remains legally protected because much of it is common land and it is designated as both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation, within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


Making memories at Wolgarston Prom On Tuesday 2nd July not only was the England Women’s football team playing in their nail biting semi-final match against America in France, another important event was taking place at the same time. Wolgarston High School held its annual Year 11 Leaver’s Prom at The Moat House in Acton Trussell. The event was organised by Miss Sarah-Jane Roberts (Learning Resources Centre Administrator), Mr Matthew Skinner (Head of Pyrenees), Mrs Caroline Dodd (Head of Himalayas), Mrs Alison Garland-Ridding (Head of Rockies), Miss Lindsey Allen (Learning Mentor) and Mr Daniel Dellicompagni (IT Technician). “It was a really amazing evening, I have had so much fun,” said Holly Morphew (Year 11 Student), “It is something that all of us will never forget, it has been a brilliant evening.” Parents and other students arrived at The Moat House for six o’clock to see the students making their entrances. This year there was a variety of different transportation used. They ranged from Porches, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, tractors, horses to an ice-cream van. Students were greeted with custom made non-alcoholic mango and passionfruit cocktails and were then seated at their tables in the main function room, where all of the students dined together on an exclusive three course menu. All of the students were given forms to vote for their Prom King and Queen. Once all of the votes had been counted up, the winners were announced. This year’s Prom King and Queen were Jamie Robbins and Millie Gould. Both were presented with custom made crowns and sashes. The prom queen was presented with a customised bouquet that was supplied to us by Lavender Florists in Penkridge. “It has been a pleasure for us to organise prom for our students and see them enjoying themselves after working so hard this year at school. All of our students have all done Wolgarston proud, ” said Miss Roberts, “I would like to thank everyone who has helped make this event so special. We would like to thank The Moat House, Lavender Florist and Party Box (for the balloons) that helped us to create this • Prom King and Queen 2019 Jamie Robbins and Millie Gould magical evening for our Year 11’s.”

• A group shot taken at The Moat House in Acton Trussell


• Arriving in style - Abbie Paddock, Dani Varley and Alex Prime

• Chloe Best,Amelia Meakin Bond,Ellie Hinks, Millie Webster, Tegan Cartmel, Melissa Roper, Kiera Burgess, Megan Hodgetts, Freya Jones, Alicia Kerry, Demi Leigh-Davies and Carla Hodgkiss

• Darcie Smith and Joeb Chard

• Tom Allan, Zac Cox, Tyler Dunn, Lydia Twigg, Rhea Nicholls, Izzy Richards and Eleanor Greensill


Colwich & Haywoods support Katharine House Hospice Dandy Duo Music & Comedy Evening Saturday 9th November We will be presenting an evening of music and comedy given by Dandy Duo on Saturday, November 9. This will take place in the Great Haywood Memorial Hall and will include a supper followed by a pudding. Further details will be available shortly. Further information on the group’s fundraising events will be published over the coming months, but in the meantime have a look at the website – www.colwichkhhospice

New Choir at Ingestre A new choir is being formed at the recently restored Orangery in Ingestre Hall Gardens. It is hoped to attract singers from the local communities and potential members are invited to get in touch. The standard will be well within reach of amateurs as long they are prepared for a bit of work and are willing to maintain a serious attitude to rehearsal. This doesn’t mean it will be all tears and misery (except perhaps for the conductor!). In fact rehearsals are expected to be thoroughly enjoyable under a director whose charismatic style (he says!) is matched by his tireless patience and understanding. The favoured repertoire will be Renaissance and Tudor music complemented by music of the twentieth century. However this is not written in stone (or even in Ingestre) and there is always room for flexibility.

A certain quality of sound is required and to this end a brief non-challenging audition will be required to establish the type and suitability of the voice. Singers will need to have a good pure tone that blends well in ensemble and a discerning ear. An ability to read or at least follow a musical line would be useful. Otherwise the ability to learn by heart quickly and accurately is essential. People who are not trained in music need not be put off as the conductor prides himself on his ability to help people who feel less confident. (That’s actually true!). Of course qualified musicians will be welcome as long as they remember who waves the stick. Anyone who would like to consider joining may contact Carol on 07799 672 863.


Take this job and you might end up in jail! Here’s a job which, on first impression, may not seem to be ideal. First off you won’t get paid. Then you may get called out in the middle of the night, and it guarantees you will end up in jail. That said it could be the most rewarding thing you have ever done, claim HMP Featherstone independent monitors who are looking for new recruits to swell their ranks. There are currently seven monitors at HMP Featherstone prison which is based near Wolverhampton. They are all members of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) which consists of ordinary people who have volunteered to do a pretty out of the ordinary job. Chairman of IMB HMP Featherstone, John Credland explained the role. “Every prison and immigration removal centre has an IMB attached to it, their role is to ensure that Home Office/Ministry of Justice rules and regulations are properly applied and that proper standards of care and decency are maintained”. The job, which is unpaid but expenses are covered, is hugely interesting, challenging and absorbing but it is not for everyone. You need to be enthusiastic, open minded, have good communication skills and have the ability to exercise sound, objective judgement. “We would like to hear from anybody who is 18 or over and lives within about 25 miles of HMP Featherstone. We are particularly keen to hear from young people and those of working age from black and minority ethnic communities since these groups are under-represented on the existing Board,” said John Credland. “You do not need any special qualifications or experience as we will provide all the necessary training and support. The task typically takes up something in the region of five half days a month but we can be flexible about that,” said John Credland. HMP Featherstone is, what is known as, a Category C and is classified as a resettlement / working prison. Currently there approx. 687 prisoners retained at HMP Featherstone. If you are interested, then either phone 020 3334 3265 or download an application form from Completed forms should be sent to imbrecruitment@ Please quote campaign reference 995/ Oakwood/Featherstone/2019

New gum buster funded by litter louts in Stafford

• Cllr Price and the gum buster in the Market Square, Stafford. Litter louts have helped to pay for a new machine to remove chewing gum from the streets of Stafford. Fines given to people throwing rubbish on the ground in the town centre have been used to help purchase the ‘gum buster’ for Stafford Borough Council. People were handed fixed penalty notices of £75 for littering – although the amount is reduced for early payment. More than 300 people over the last couple of years have been fined which has contributed to the around £21,000 cost of the new machine – along with money from a government grant. Councillor Jonathan Price, Cabinet Member for Environment, said:“How ironic that those who have treated our borough as a giant dustbin have actually contributed towards helping us keep the area clean. “Residents who take a pride in the area are rightly annoyed at people who discard chewing gum on the pavements. It leaves a stain on our streets and can be difficult to remove. “I’m really pleased we have been able to purchase this specialist piece of equipment through these fines and the government grant – but I’d much prefer everyone to put their chewing gum, cigarette butts, crisp packets or whatever other rubbish they have, in a bin!” Around £42,000 is spent on removing chewing gum from the streets as part of the £1 million spent from the council budget each year keeping the borough clean. The buster uses a steam cleaning method to deal with the gum and will reduce the number of hours it has previously taken to tackle the issue. To report litter or fly tipping concerns contact or 01785 619000.



Bednall Baptisms

The Baptism of Amelia Rose was held in Bednall church on Sunday 25th August. Her parents, Naomi and Rob Browne, accompanied by godparents, family and friends, welcomed her into the Church of England. The service was officiated by Rev. Delphine Howarth. Amelia is the first grandchild to Carole and Henry Bloxham, Moors Covert farm, Bednall.

The Baptism of Adeline Aubrie Cecilia MacDonald was held on 26th July in All Saints Church, Bednall. Parents Frazer and Emma MacDonald were accompanied by Adelineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Great Great Uncle from Teddesley. Frazer was a pupil at All Saints Primary School. The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Delphine Howard.


Signs of life at House of Bread café House of Bread’s (HoB) community café, CAFE43, which has been tucked away on Browning Street for the past few years, now has brand new signage to direct people to its doors. CAFE43 has been up and running since late 2016 and was set up by HoB to be the one-stop place for the vulnerable and homeless of Stafford and the surrounding areas. The café not only offers food but also a huge range of support with organisations like Citizens Advice holding drop-in sessions as well as professionally trained caseworkers on hand to help anyone who needs help such as advocacy, advice, signposting and accessing the food, clothing and toiletry banks that HoB offers. CAFE43 is also hoping to become a popular venue for events in the future, bringing the community together. Will, Director of House of Bread, said:“The signs going up for the café are a huge step forward for us. We have come a long way over the past few years and with HoB’s 10 year anniversary next year, this is an important indication that we are needed more than ever.” CAFE43, on Browning Street, is open every week on Tuesday 12-6pm, Wednesday 9.30am - 8pm and Thursday 9.30am - 6pm.

Friendship through flowers If you love flowers and you love making new friends, then Stafford Flower Club could be the place for you. The club has been in Stafford for more than 60 years, and provides a great opportunity to get new ideas on flowers and their presentation, while letting relax and enjoy meeting new people who have the same love for flowers as you. The club meets monthly in Rising Brook Methodist Church, on the fourth Wednesday in the month, usually in the afternoon. Its activities include demonstrations of flower arranging by qualified demonstrators, talks, workshops and the occasional lunch. Alongside all of these are money raising activities such as a sales table, cake and produce stalls, tombola, and the chance to win one of the arrangements. There are usually at least six of these and they all have to be won. Now is a good time to visit the club because the summer is passing and autumn is when the club starts to meet again before Christmas. In September, the demonstrator Pam Owen will bring her interpretation of ‘Autumn Glory’ while in November Ann Russell will create ‘Christmas Sparkle’. October is when the club holds its Open Evening, when Mark Entwhistle, who is one of the most senior NAFAS demonstrators (National Association of Flower Arrangers Society), will present the ‘Secret Life of Colours’. For further information, please contact the club secretary on 01785 212094.


Big hitters retain schools’ crown Stafford Grammar scooped the Stafford and District Schools’ under-13 rounders title for a third successive year in a tightly fought contest. The ‘A’ team narrowly defeated tournament hosts, Blessed William Howard, before seeing off Walton High. The SGS ‘B’ side almost derailed their title hopes, but the firsts clawed back to take a half rounder lead, finishing on 4 - 3.5 to lift the crown. Meanwhile Stafford Prep’s under-9s had to settle for the runner-up slot in the Independent Schools’ Association (ISA) Midland rounders event. Competing on home turf, the youngsters got off to a slow start, losing 10.5 - 4 to Kenilworth-based Crackley Hall. They stepped up a gear to defeat Derby’s Old Vicarage 11.5 - 3.5 before nudging out Crescent School, from Rugby, by half a rounder. A 9 - 9 draw with Malvern St James completed the campaign and placed them second in the table.

• Stafford Grammar’s under-13s captured the Stafford and District rounders tournament for the third year in a row. Back from left: Verity Gray, Hannah George, Laura Adams, Jess Lucas, Sophie Mayne. Front: Alice Bradburn, Grace Mensing, Ruby Goode, Constance Whorton.

Stafford Prep’s under-9s finished runners-up in the Independent Schools’ Association (ISA) regional tournament. Back from left: Hannah Simpson, Charlotte Searle, Grace Seward, Amy Clarke, Esha Gill, Naveen Chahal. Front: Jessica Fairclough, Katie Allan-Smith, Isabel Sandy, Annie Bradburn, Emily Bucknall, Lola Sandy.


Stafford Camera Club September & October events On 24th September the club welcomes Chris Upton, a professional photographer, based in Nottinghamshire (UK), specialising in Travel, Landscape and Social Documentary photography. He will be presenting his ‘Passion for Pictures’ presentation. Chris is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society and is proud to be a brand ambassador for Fujifilm. His images are represented by several international stock agencies and clients have used them worldwide across many different sectors. On 15th October the club welcomes Phil Cooling FRPS. His ‘Weird and Wonderful’ presentation will take us on a journey from his early days with digital photography to achieving his F.R.P.S in 2014. Phil says, ‘my early work was dreadful....I took anything & everything and then threw the photoshop kitchen sink at them to add impact’. He quickly got through this phase and began to produce images that won club competitions and gained entry to International Salons. This was his ‘Wonderful...ish period’ but then he moved on to specializing in creative composite images, which some may find weird, but became the subject of his F.R.P.S. panel. There should be something in the presentation for everybody. Stafford Camera Club meet at 8 pm on Tuesday evenings at their new venue The Constitutional Club, 5 Lloyd St, Stafford ST16 3AS Newcomers and people of all skill levels are welcome to attend. See www.staffordcamera

Charity boost from cremations in Stafford A charity has been given thousands of pounds thanks to recycled metals from Stafford Crematorium. Artificial hip and knee joints, along with nails and screws from the coffins, have been passed on to a recycling company in return for money which is then donated to charity. Once consent from the families has been given, the metal is filtered out as part of the cremation process leaving the ashes to be collected by the deceased’s loved ones or buried. Stafford Borough Council, which runs the crematorium on the town’s Tixall Road, has donated around £50,000 raised from the artificial parts and other metals to several charities since 2013. The latest recipient is Fountains Counselling Service (FCS) who received £8,000 from Councillor Jonathan Price, Cabinet Member for Environment. Fountains Counselling Service provides voluntary counselling for adults including supporting those through bereavement. Councillor Price said: “I’d like to think that those who have had loved ones cremated will draw some comfort from knowing their loss is helping fund these incredible charities. “It is fantastic to see how much has been raised by our crematorium over the years for so many good causes - and very pleasing to hear how this money is helping the charities with their excellent work.” The Tixall Road site was awarded ‘Gold’ status by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management and has retained its green flag as one of the best open spaces in the country. More details about the service can be found at


Young head takes helm at Stafford Grammar A trend in favouring youth at the helm of Stafford Grammar School continues with the appointment of the youngest headteacher in England’s senior independent sector. Thirty-three year old Potteries-born Oxford graduate, Lee Thomas, takes up the mantle as the new term gets under way. He follows in the footsteps of his predecessor, Mike Darley, who stepped down after more than two decades in the role. Already a familiar face at SGS, Lee came on board to teach English 11 years ago, encouraging students to achieve some of the school’s best results. “I suppose I am young to be a head, but because I’ve been at the school in other senior roles, I am not sure that it gets noticed very much. Mike was 32 when he became head and I’m 33, so it’s something of an SGS tradition!” he said. Growing up in Stoke-on-Trent, Lee attended Blurton High before moving to the sixth form college in Stoke to take A-Levels. He excelled in his studies and went to Oxford University where he gained a degree in English. “It was a privilege to go to Oxford, which I never expected. I went to Somerville College and absolutely loved it – it was so friendly and nothing like the Oxford stereotype. They were very happy times and I go back to visit every year.” Inspired by one of his teachers, he chose his future path when he was 16 years old. “The students I teach always find it funny when I tell them I wasn’t very keen on English before GCSE. I thought it was all about spelling and punctuation, things that I didn’t enjoy. But then my teacher inspired me with a love of literature and it just came alive. I wanted to give to others what she had given to me,” he said. A career in teaching began back home at his former secondary school, but two years later a chance conversation pointed him towards SGS. “When I got my first teaching job, I could finally afford driving lessons! One day I was chatting to my instructor and he told me he thought I’d like working at Stafford Grammar School. I didn’t know the school, but a few weeks later I saw an advert: they wanted an English teacher and I applied for it. “I fell in love with the school when I started work here. There is a genuine sense of belonging and pupils are valued. The way students support each other and the way the staff go above and beyond expectation, inspires me every day.” “My vision for SGS is a school which finds and encourages the best in every pupil, whether in an academic subject, sport, music,

• Stafford Grammar School welcomes 33 year old Lee Thomas, England’s youngest senior independent school head. drama or any other talent. I have an absolute passion to drive the school forward to the next stage of its development. Yes, it’s about having very high expectations, but it’s also about caring. That’s what is so special about SGS, the school is like a family.” Despite the rigours of running a secondary school, Lee has no intention of abandoning the classroom altogether. “I don’t like being shut away in my office and would much rather be popping into lessons and seeing what pupils are learning. And I’ll still do some English teaching – I am the head ‘teacher’ and the team captain has to be in the game as well! As a head I think you should lead by example.” When he is not working, Lee enjoys trips to the theatre, swimming, weekends away and spending time with his family.

Writer thanks publisher with lunch for 100 people It isn’t uncommon for a customer to thank a business for a high-quality final product or standard of service. However, it is unusual for a customer to organise a large event to show their gratitude. This is exactly what Alan Beckett did for LifeBook on July 16, when he thanked the company for the creation of his private autobiography ‘I Did It My Way’ by hosting a large lunch in LifeBook’s honour at the Moat House Hotel at Acton Trussell.

• Alan Beckett with LifeBook founder Roy Moëd

He most certainly is living up to his book title. Alan, now retired, decided to write his autobiography with encouragement from his grandson Alex who wanted to learn more about his grandfather and the events that he had experienced as a younger man. It was Alex who referred LifeBook to his grandfather, having found details online, and shortly after a conversation with the founder of the company Roy Moëd, Alan started his private autobiography journey with LifeBook. He said:“I feel so much more at ease having done this and with what was achieved. Thinking back, it was quite remarkable really... and the friends and family I have given copies to ring me up and say, ‘Alan, this book is fantastic! I can’t put it down’.” Since 2011 LifeBook has helped hundreds of people around the world write their private autobiographies for their families and friends. Alan completed his 66,000-word book in April 2018, and during a customer service check-up call in April this year, Alan stated his interest in giving something back to the Surrey company. LifeBook has never experienced anything like this before and everyone who worked on Alan’s book was, understandably, flattered. The event was attended by project manager Tom, interviewer Leisa and founder of LifeBook Roy Moëd as well as members of Alan’s family and his connections from the local area.



The history of the Clay Family - by Jon Clay The Clay family originated from Horsefair in Rugeley where the family had been running a leather workshop for a number of generations. The Clay family have lived in and around Derrington, Haughton and Ranton for over 100 years; they were at one time the dominant family in Derrington.

The photo above was taken in 1969 in Derrington Village Hall. All six children of Walter and Constance are in the photo, the ones I know are…from left to right, Horace, his wife Emily. Constance, Lucy Clay then her husband Frederick Clay, the next two I don’t know, its then Walter, Henry and Hotario. Walter Clay (1860-1947) married a Constance Maria De La Mare (1863-1952) in 1883 and they soon moved to Stafford. Constance was a descendant of persecuted Huguenots who fled France around 1740. Walter was a print compositor and work was more available in Stafford. After a few years they moved to Long Compton near Haughton, by then they had already started a family, they went on to have six children.

Walter De la Mare Clay (1884-1972) Ranton Walter married Edith Foden and together they had eleven children. He eventually settled in Ranton where he died in 1972.

Henry Jackson Clay (1886-1975) Brazenhill Haughton Henry was better known as Harry, he was a butcher and ran a shop in Gaol Sq Stafford, he lived in Brazenhill near Haughton where he carried out most of his animal slaughters and meat preparation. He married Pricilla Parry and together they had three children, Edward, Walter and Pricilla.

Frederick Clay (1889-1978) Derrington Frederick was a bricklayer and builder, he was the proprietor of F Clay & Sons. He married Lucy Anslow and they had twin sons Bernard and Wilfred. He built a house in Derrington for his family, it still stands today on the corner of Mount Pleasant and Church Lane, it’s house name is Wilberick House, named after himself and sons, Wil for Wilfred, Ber for Bernard and ick for Frederick. Frederick built many of the houses in Derrington, in fact the majority of homes in the village today were built by him and his sons. Frederick also built the village hall out of his own pocket, another villager donated the land and Fred built it. The photos below show the roof being completed. Freds wife Lucy was involved in with the church, she would ring the bell and help out with flowers and cleaning. Their son Bernard married and settled in Bradley, Wilfred married and lived in Yew Tree Close for the remainder of his life.

Constance Clay (1891-1986) Derrington Constance married Reginald Taylor a horse dealer and they lived in Bridge House Derrington. They had four children.


â&#x20AC;˘ MY VILLAGE VOICE HERITAGE Horace Albert Clay (1893-1974) Coton Clanford and Derrington Horace Married Emily Anslow and during the 1st world war he worked for Vickers in Woolwich, London. After the war they moved back to Coton Clanford living in one of the cottages next to the little chapel. When the council built the new flats in Derrington they were one of the first to move in. They had and raised 3 children in the cottage at Coton Clanford, Stanley, Linda and Peter. Horace worked for English Electric until retirement, he was a keen crib player and won several trophies in local pub competitions. They are pictured left.

Horatio Charles Clay (1895-1984) Derrington Horatio lived in Derrington and had four sons with his wife Elsie.His eldest son Oswald was killed WW2. His second son Douglas died aged 53. His third son Clifton Roy Clay married Ivy Nicklin, they lived in the small cottages next to the Red Lion pub, Ivy ran the post office from there for many years, they had two children Roy and Jacky. Clifton Roy was a keen footballer and played for Derrington, he died suddenly in 1970 aged just 48 years. The fourth son was Arnold Challinor Clay, he lived in Derrington all his life, he married Olive Emberton and they had one son Christopher. Arnold worked for Staffs County Council as a fitter. Olive was well known in the dog world as a breeder and international Judge. Arnold & Olive lived in the bungalow opposite Derrington church.

One of the final Clays left in Derrington died on 8th July 2019. He was Peter Mallows Clay pictured above with his wife Sylvia. He had lived in Coton Clanford, Ranton, Seighford and for the last 55 years on Mount Pleasant in Derrington.




1 Pharaoh's tomb (7)

1 Thrive (7)

5 Muck (5)

2 Council tax (5)

8 Curses (5)

3 Absent (7)

9 Sundry (7)

4 Heavenly (6)

10 Ardent emotion (7)

5 Primary (5)

11 Sycophant (5)

6 Big cat (7)

12 Shelter (6)

7 Sledge-pulling dog (5)

14 Old salt (3,3)

13 Weariness (7)

18 Took part in a play (5)

15 Put into words (7)

20 Profane (7)

16 Young goose (7)

22 Capital of Iraq (7)

17 Concealed (6)

23 Tedium (5)

18 Saunter (5)

24 Foe (5)

19 Papa (5)

25 Savings (4,3)

21 Light weight (5)

4 8

5 3 1 7 8 2

5 4 6


8 2 8

1 6 7


1 6 2 9 1 5 3


9 1

2 6

DRY ORGANIC CARPET & UPHOLSTERY CLEANING We use the most powerful deep cleaning dry organic system in the world which means.

Zero Drying Time! Our system will: Deep clean and remove soil & spots • Lift and revive matted carpet pile Leave a clean, fresh scent • Reduce allergens • Leave carpets dry & ready to use Using our low moisture system - Solvent and Detergent free We shrink the drying times - not the furniture

Call Ian Plimmer: Tel: 01785 814272 or 0800 634 3561

or visit


U P TO 1 5 % D I S CO U N T When You Mention This Advertisement




Profile for My Village Voice

My Village Voice - September/October 2019  

My Village Voice - September/October 2019