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Issue Number Forty Two - November/December 2017 & January 2018

“What if Christmas ... perhaps ... means a little bit more! ” said the Grinch


ed up with all the negative news - well now Halloween and Bonfire Night have come and gone - we can all try to forget about the dark nights, the weather and who is or isn’t running the country and make some plans for Christmas - and I don’t mean sitting at home looking at Amazon and Argos! We’ll start with the Christmas lights switch on in Stafford - this year on Saturday November 18th from 2pm . Mere Park’s Christmas Barn is now open 7 days a week -and There’s a Christmas Fayre on Wednesday November 22nd at Chillington Hall from 10am - 2pm Don’t fancy cooking this Christmas? Why not book now for Christmas Day Lunch at the Viceroy Indian Restaurant at Milford or at the recently refurbished Aston Marina - but hurry, places are limited. See their ads for more info on how to book. Saint Bede’s School are holding a Christmas Bazaar on Saturday 25th November between 11a.m - 2 p.m … the St Mary’s Christmas Tree festival takes place from Wednesday 29th, November until Sunday 3rd December - Wednesday until Saturday, the festival is open from 10:00am till 4:00pm. During these times, different adult and children's choirs will be attending. There will be refreshments and Craft stalls. On Sunday 3rd. December, the final day, the Church is open from 11:00am till 2:30pm, finishing with a Carol Service And it’s ll aboard for the Amerton Railway Santa Specials - on Saturdays & Sundays from December 2nd to December 24th Christmas Eve - children meet Santa and receive a present and parents get a drink and a hot mince pie whilst there’s Christmas Concert with the Moorlands Choir at St Chad’s in Seighford on Saturday 16th December tel 281117 for more details. Finally, for those for whom Christmas is still a festival to celebrate the birth of Christ, here are some of the Christmas Services in and around our villages • Christingle Ranton Sunday 10th December 4:30pm • Carol Service (with Seighford Singers) at Seighford Sunday17th December 6:30pm • Carol Service Ellenhall Friday 22nd 7pm • Carol Service Ranton Saturday 23rd 5pm • Midnight Mass Seighford Sunday 24th 11:30pm-12:15am So it’s all the very best wishes for the Christmas Season and the New Year to all our readers from all of us at My Village Voice - and, of course, from all of our advertisers too. who make this publication possible. Paul Mitchell - November 1st 2017

CONTENTS News in words ...

Expansion opportunity for Derrington Millennium Green … Dunston walkers build up an appetite & a thirst …What’s on at Newport Music Club, from jazz to classical … Autumn adventures at Dunston Pre-school Playgroup … The Haywoods Flower And Vegetable Show results … The Haywoods R.H.S. ‘It's Your Neighbourhood Awards’ … Defibrillator for Haughton Village Hall … Green fingered pupils reap rewards

... and in pictures Dress A Pumpkin Competition at Walton High School … the annual Haughton and District Garden Guild Show … Phone box saved at Walton-on-the-Hill … Discovering the delicate art of glass with Great Haywood’s Naomi Jacques … Dunston Harvest Festival Supper Celebration …Stafford Grammar School’s Netballers secure Midlands crown … Haughton’s Best Kept Village Trophy Presentation … Wolgarston’s MacMillan coffee morning fundraiser

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, Levedale, Milford, Seighford & Walton on the Hill areas - clients are welcome to visit us to view the distribution matrix. ADVERTISEMENT SALES Louise Mitchel Paul Oakley Dan Mitchell EDITORIAL CONSULTANT - Paul Mitchell 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 - 2017


The Colwich and Haywoods Twinning Association - Rimbach Visit 2017

• Rimbach visitors at the Anderton Boat Lift The Partnerschaftsverein, Rimbach visited the Haywoods between October 12 to 17, 2017. A Party of thirty-three, including ten German Youngsters and two members of the Rimbach Lions Club, arrived by coach on Thursday evening 12 October 2017. They were greeted at a reception held in the Great Haywood Sports & Social Club by their hosts, members of Colwich & Haywoods Twinning Association, the families of the villagers youth organisations and members of the Rugeley Lions Club. On Friday the coach set out to visit the Marston Salt Works where the visitors had a Guided tour of the former Salt Works, now a museum depicting the process of recovering the salt from the underground deposits that prevail in the Cheshire Plain. The conditions under which the workers toiled is also graphically demonstrated. Salt has been mined in Cheshire for over 2000 years and the Lion Salt Works was opened in 1894 and exported much of its output, the major country supplied being Nigeria. However, the Nigerian Civil War in the 1980’s greatly reduced demand and the Works eventually closed in June 1986. The works are situated alongside the Trent Mersey Canal and this facilitated the exportation through Liverpool via the Anderton Boat Lift which provided the link from the canal to the River Weaver and hence on to Liverpool docks. The Boat lift was the next stop, and after lunch the party embarked a boat which took them from the canal basin, into the lift caisson which then lowered them to the level of the River Weaver, about 50 feet (15M) below. There are two caissons which are counter balanced and operated hydraulically. The lift was also of great importance for the export of the products of the Staffordshire Potteries Industries from Liverpool, also using the Trent & Mersey. Over the years the lift was blighted by the effect of salt


water and other chemicals from nearby chemical works which eventually made the lift uneconomical. However, a Trust was formed to raise the money to restore the lift to its present operational condition as a tourist attraction and for private owners of canal boats. Once on the river thet cruised for two miles upstream and back noting the effects of industry on the river banks and the wild life that is now returning – there was great excitement when a kingfisher was spotted! On Saturday there were two visits. The Youngsters from Rimbach joined with some from the Haywoods for a trip to Birmingham by train, whilst the adults were back in Cheshire to spend the day in Chester where they could wander round the unique shopping centre with the two tiered shops dating from Tudor times, walk the walls of the old city and visit the Cathedral. Meanwhile the youngsters visited the Birmingham City Library and Art Galleries during the morning and had free time for shopping and leisure activities before returning to Stafford where they joined up with members 0f the 1st Colwich Senior Guides and members of the Colwich and Haywoods Youth Council for an evening meal at the Pizza Hut. Next morning, Sunday, the juniors from both Rimbach and the Haywoods met at Milford Common for a hike across Cannock Chase incorporating a wide game activity and a “military style” challenge led by the Colwich Senior Guides together with a picnic lunch. They were met by cars at Milford to be taken to Stone for a session of trampolining at “Flip Out” before returning to their hosts. Sunday was a more leisurely time for the adults with time for socialising with their hosts who entertained them with visits to local places of interest such as Trentham and Shugborough and even a trip along the Trent and Mersey in a narrow boat.

Bloor speaking for the Colwich Twinning Association replied to by Markus Altendorf, Chairman of the Partnerschaftverein, Rimbach. The general theme of these speeches was that the original members of the twinning movements were now well into retirement and indeed some have sadly passed away. Therefore the future of twinning in both communities was with the younger members and the general consensus was that this year’s visit incorporating both adults and youngsters had been a great success. Further, some of the Rimbach youths had been hosted by the families of the Haywoods youngsters, and this had also sparked an interest in the intermediate generation. The Colwich & Haywoods Association and youngsters are • Presentations at the Farewell Dinner – Left to Right: Annette Bloor (Acting Chairman, C&H all invited back to Rimbach next Twinning Assn) Christine Hill (Secretary, C&H Assn) Andy Cooper (Chairman, Colwich Parish year and there is now a real Council) Rolf Lempp (Deputy Burgermeister, Rimbach) Vicky Jenkinson (Colwich Youth feeling that the future of Co-ordinator) Clara Baltz (Rimbach Youth Co-ordinator) Norman Leigh (Rimbach Liaison Officer) twinning between the two communities is now seen as more On Monday there was a coach trip to Cosford to the Royal Air Force Museum. A Farewell Dinner was held in the positive than in recent years. Membership of the Colwich and Haywoods Twinning evening in Great Haywood Memorial Hall when 84 people from both Rimbach and the Haywoods were Association is open to all. At the moment there is no seated for the dinner. Following the dinner there were membership fee, all members paying their own way for speeches by Cllr. Andy Cooper, Chairman of Colwich parish visits. We also hold fund raising events. Anyone interested Council, to which was a reply from Rolf Lempp, a Deputy or requiring further information, should contact Christine Burgermeister of Rimbach. This was followed by Annette Hill (01889808194) or Annette Bloor (01889 881749).


Anna goes ‘Beyond the Big Three’ The Staffordshire Branch of the Hardy Plant Society were treated to a wonderful lecture on October 20th, at Colwich and Little Haywood Village Hall, by Anna Pavord, entitled "Beyond the Big Three". Anna is the gardening correspondent for The Independent and the author of a number of books on plants and gardening. She is an associate editor of Gardens Illustrated magazine and has written for The Observer for some twenty years. As Anna's speciality is Bulbs, the "Big Three" are obviously daffodils, tulips and crocus, but Anna said - just look in your Spring catalogue for Summer Bulbs. - there are Alium, Lilies, Cyclamen - just to name three. Fritilla are hard to raise, so use pots and keep them near to the house Hippeastrum - Papilii is a lovely Amaryllis, and in fact there are over 600 favourite bulbs just waiting to be discovered and planted! How lucky we are! The list goes on - Iris, Tulips. (they can go blind and need space, they originally grow on mountainsides, and Muscari can grow anywhere One problem she has is remembering where the bulbs are, after flowering, as she has been known to put a big fork prong through the bulb. Many of the bulbs have come to us through the old Silk Road, such as Fritillaria persica, in the mid sixteenth and seventieth Centuries, in fact 20,000 new plants arrived in these journeys, and the reason they survived the long journey was because they were BULBS. The next wave were the woodland type. e.g. trilliums, who like a slightly acid soil, and then came the next wave of bulbs from South Africa in 1712, through Plant Hunters like William Lee (who broke a leg on his travels) and then John Elder brought back Snowdrops; and Charles Grey discovered Lily of the Valley, and had to endure great hardships to collect the plants through wire on battlefields, and also had to contend with wild boars! We are lucky here because we have good soil and can be good hosts to Gladiolus Cardinalis - which is a wonderful plant. Anna said one of her friends was the late Christopher Lloyd, and she really missed all his chats and advice, and recommends planting Nerine in pots.

• Guest speaker - Anna Pavord Where should one plant Bulbs? - in bowls from March to September, and plant them deep - so there is no danger of pronging them with the fork; they need a good mulch, use a had fork, and always be optimistic. Belladonnas like pots Zephyranthes candid are a lovely white. Never forget the wild flower garden, Crocus shed their seeds close to the ground and leave them 6 weeks after flowering, they love dappled shade and tree roots, and Anna loves the leaves of the arum. Triliums, Cyclamen grow in gravel gardens and need good drainage, and Anna quoted the gravel beds of Beth Chatto and the small aliums which flourish there: her favourate Tulip is Orphanidae Whittallii. Anne finished her lecture by telling us all to sow annual seeds, and plant Tulips in pots for display. and warned us all that however careful we are, not all flourish! The Society meets on the third Friday of the Month, at Colwich and Little Haywood Village Hall, 7.30 p.m. The next talks will be on November 17th, 'Winter in Bloom' with Samantha Hopes and December 8th, 'The Victorians , The Christmas Season' with Danny Wells. For more information contact Sally Celecia on 07929 444332 or visit

Peter’s Prison Sunday Presentation

A presentation was made to Peter Cox at St. Matthew's Church, Derrington on Sunday 8 October. Peter has been cutting the grass in the churchyard for over 20 years.


He was also a Prison Officer for 26 years before his retirement so it was very apt that the presentation took place on 'Prison Sunday' !

Pitching in for city sports stadia dash

• (left – right) Stafford Prep School sisters Olivia (9) and Molly Lamplough (6) and older sibling Josie (12) who attends Stafford Grammar School, cheer on their dad, Gavin, during a stop-off at Port Vale Football Club. The four are pictured with brass band members Darren Selby, Andrew Dickinson, Mark Sharman and Nicola Redhead. A mission to perform mini gigs at 52 sports grounds in to the Salvation Army’s Birmingham Citadel Band – drove every English city within 62 hours was accomplished by a the length and breadth of England, calling at every city to music teacher and his brass band companions – with half play a 10 minute concert. Starting and finishing in an hour to spare. Birmingham, the musicians called at 52 sports venues Gavin Lamplough and four fellow musicians crossed the including Wembley and The Oval. finish line at Villa Park, having completed an exhausting “One of the highlights was arriving at Brighton Football two thousand mile whistle-stop tour of football and rugby Club in the dark at 3am and being welcomed by a security stadia, cricket grounds, rowing clubs and racecourses guard, who turned on the floodlights and gave us a tour of across the country. Their efforts raised more than five the ground. We then performed a concert on the pitch just thousand pounds for Cancer Research UK. for him, which included a rendition of ‘Sussex by the Sea’. “It was brutal,” confessed the 39-year-old director of music It was surreal! at Stafford Grammar School. The crusade got underway at Edgbaston Cricket Ground “We never thought it would be so tough. We were literally and took them to cities as far apart as Truro, Norwich, going non-stop for three days to keep to our schedule and Portsmouth and Carlisle. Their repertoire included hit the target, but the generosity of people along the way popular theme tunes like Match of the Day, Grandstand was really humbling.” and Test Match Special, as well as anthems linked with During a sleepless three days the quintet - who all belong individual clubs.

• (left – right) Darren Selby, Stafford Grammar’s music director Gavin Lamplough, Nicola Redhead, Mark Sharman and Andrew Dickinson complete their charity challenge at Aston Villa FC


Expansion opportunity for Derrington Millennium Green The voluntary group that created Derrington Millennium Green and have successfully managed and maintained it since 1998 have been given the opportunity to expand the size of their project, as a neighbouring farmer has offered to sell them an adjoining 3.43 acre field. The adjoining field is a natural grassland meadow, but as it boundaries the Doxey Brook and about half the area of the land is low lying, it floods in heavy rain when the brook overflows, and is therefore designated by the Environment Agency as a flood meadow. This then allows the floodwater to spread across the field, which in turn holds the floodwater back, before flowing on downstream into the River Sow and on to Stafford. Natural grassland meadows, especially flood meadows are disappearing at an alarming rate and need to be preserved. The unique habitat that flood meadows support is so very important for a whole raft of environmental reasons! The group need to raise about £45,000 to complete this project, and to date (30th September 2017) have already secured £18.500 towards their target! Unlike other fundraising campaigns, the group are not asking you to send them any money at this time, but have

launched a ‘Pledge Form’ campaign, asking you to pledge an amount that will be redeemed from you if they reach their target. If you are interested in supporting this project, you can go online at for more information, where you can fill in or download a pledge form. You can also contact Trustee Mike Clements at 01785 249 334 or Trustee Roy Wood at 01785 242 451 or e mail them on


Walton Dress A Pumpkin Competition Walton High School were tripping over pumpkin entries as the school held this popular annual competition across its four Houses to find an overall winner. Well over 80 beautifully decorated, ingeniously carved and wonderfully creative pumpkins adorned the school reception area which caused quite an exciting stir during the course of the school day. Prospective Y6 parents had the pleasure of the pumpkin display on the evening of the competition as they toured the school at an Open Evening. The overall winner was Millie Cashmore, Y7 , who created a winding caterpillar of 7 huge painted pumpkins. Second was Scott White in Y9 with a carved pumpkin appearing to swallow a Walton pupil, leaving only one leg and a shoe visible! Third was Chloe Currie and her Tutor Group 9.1, who used a themed dressed mannequin and created a fantastic Harry Potter head for the top. Fourth was an exceptionally creative Haunted House Mansion presented in its own ‘grounds’! Love to Shop vouchers were presented to the winners by the Headteacher, Neil Finlay after he had judged the competition.

• Headteacher, Neil Finlay with Millie Cashmore Y7 (1st)

• Scott White Y9 (2nd)

• L-R Chloe Currie and Maddie Shaw Y9 (3rd)

• Freya Hill Y9 (4th)




Christmas Lights in Stafford will be a special time

Vacancies for Coppenhall Parish Councillors Following recent resignations there are now three vacancies for Councillors to serve on the Dunston with Coppenhall Parish Council. The vacancies are for the Coppenhall ward but living in the ward is not essential for an individual to apply for one of the posts. The criteria for standing as a Parish Councillor are; To be a local government elector for the area. To have lived in the Parish Council area for 12 months; or To have worked in the parish council area for 12 months; or To own a business in the Parish Council area; or To live within 3 miles of the parish boundary. If any resident wants to find out more of the role of a councillor or to apply for one of the vacancies please contact the clerk on or by telephone on 01785 604405.

Great Haywood Christmas Bonanza Great Haywood under 5s are holding a Christmas Bonanza on Saturday 16th December 3-5pm, Lots of crafts, face painting, activities, Santa’s grotto, refreshments and homemade cakes. If you would like to hire a table to sell your makes, the cost is £7 please contact Sam 07976 097824 or email:

Haughton lights Switch On The famous Haughton Christmas Lights switch on will take place on Saturday 9th December. It’s been moved a day back to the 9th to allow the folks who are at work to be part of the big switch on as well. If you’ve not visited during the lights before you really should visit Haughton to see it transformed into a Winter wonderland, always a great evening out!

Penkridge Charity Concert The Inner Wheel Club of Penkridge Invite you to join them for a Charity Concert With Annette Scott and her ‘Songbirds In Harmony ‘. It takes place on Friday 1st December 2017 In St. Michael’s Church, Penkridge 7.00 for 7.30pm Price is £10 and includes light refreshments and tickets are available from President Margaret Taylor Telephone: 01785 712358 Mobile: 07791 160648 or any Inner Wheel Club member. Car Parking is available at Market Car Park, Pinfold Lane entrance. Proceeds from the evening will go to Midlands Air Ambulance, Donna Louise Trust Children’s Hospice, and other Inner Wheel Charities.

An Evening of Poetry and Music The Haywood Players will be holding another Evening of Poetry and Music on Thursday 23rd November, 2017 in Colwich Church at 7.30 p.m. Please come along and enjoy good company, live music and wonderful poetry. Entrance is free, but contributions towards St. Michaels & All Angels, Colwich, would be very welcome.


• Gold medal winning international figure skater, Cameron Sargent The Christmas lights switch on in Stafford will have another ‘Olympic’ feel this year when a group of young people do the honours and illuminate the town’s sky. Twelve months ago, gold medal winning canoeist Joe Clarke turned on the town’s lights following his success at the Rio 2016 games. And this month competitors from Special Olympics Stafford will perform the switch on for thousands who pack the town’s Market Square and surrounding streets. Gold medal winning international figure skater, Cameron Sargent, aged 16, (pictured) will be joined by volunteer coach Mia Sharrat, aged 15, and local athletes Jordan Wright, aged 20, 19 year old Chelsea Biddulph, and Sam Caswell aged 18, along with head coach, Clive Gibson. They will accompany the Mayor of Stafford Borough, Councillor Aidan Godfrey, on stage on Saturday 18 November. The day kicks off from 2pm with street theatre, amusements and an old school Christmas disco before the afternoon becomes a tribute to the 80s with a live musical show from ‘Now that’s What I Call 80’s’. The lights will be turned on at 5pm, triggering the launch of thousands of fireworks from the top of the Guildhall Shopping Centre, before the group come back on stage to do another 45 minute set. Clive started Special Olympics Stafford in 2002 and now has 30 athletes taking part regularly. He is a former Sport Stafford Borough Coach of the Year. “We were so delighted to be asked to turn on the Christmas lights in our town. It is such an honour and I hope recognition of the hard work these young people put in to overcome their difficulties and compete on a national, and international, stage.” Councillor Mike Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture at the Borough Council, said: “Each year we have real heroes from our own community to do the honour of turning on the Christmas lights and this year is no exception. “You just have to admire the never give up attitude of these young people as well as the love and dedication Clive has put in to help them achieve their potential. “I know this will be another tremendous day with thousands flocking to the centre of town for great music, fireworks and to see our inspirational young sports people.” For more details of the day and if you want to find out more about the Special Olympics go to The Stafford group also have a Facebook page - Special Olympics Stafford.


Haughton and District Garden Guild Show Haughton and District Garden and Countryside Guild held its Annual Fruit, Flower, Vegetable and Homecraft Show at Haughton Village Hall on Saturday, September 2. The show, which was opened by Alison Hollinshead of Red Lion Farm, attracted more than 700 entries in 64 categories, including heaviest onion, one aubergine, six runner beans, six pansies, a flower arrangement, a round of shortbread, a loaf, a knitted garment and a painting. This year two new categories were introduced for children, and these were competed for by pupils of St Giles Primary Academy, who were invited to produce ‘A garden on a plate’. From marmalade to marrows, radishes to roses and cakes to courgettes, a large array of fine produce, cookery and craftwork was on display, with certificates awarded for first, second and third in each category and trophies awarded to those with the most points in each section. At the end of the show remaining items were auctioned by William Hall, Chairman of the Guild. Trophy winners were: Hollinshead Rose Bowl – Gentlemen – Clive Plant; Hollinshead Rose Bowl – Ladies – Avril Cotterill; Charlie Gunter Trophy (Fruit and Vegetables) – Clive Plant; Rowland Dahlia Trophy – John Haynes and Jocelyne Lock; John Williams Trophy (Homecraft) – Barbara Riddle; Duff Cooper Trophy (First Time Winner) – John Haynes.

• The section winners with their trophies. Left to right: Clive Plant, Avril Cotterill, John Haynes, Jocelyne Lock and Barbara Riddle.

• Mixed cut flowers form a beautiful display.

• William Hall, Chairman of Haughton and District Garden and Countryside Guild, offers a bunch of gladioli to the highest bidder

• Beetroot, tomatoes, carrots and unusually-shaped vegetables make up just a small number of the colourful fruit and vegetables on display this year.

• Alison Hollinshead of Red Lion Farm presents the Homecraft Trophy to winner Barbara Riddle.


• Choosing between so many tasty-looking pickles and preserves must have been very difficult for the judges.

How much is a phone box these days - priceless!


ecent years have seen the proliferation of reclamation yards selling period architectual effects everything from 17th century Staffordshire “blue” bricks - through to 1950’s post boxes and Telephone boxes. Twenty years ago, you could probably pick them up for a fifty pounds - but now, expect to pay anything from £1500 up for an original K6 phone box (hundreds more to have them delivered and safely installed in you garden - and that’s with or without the phone inside! Town and parish councils have been urged to “adopt a kiosk” after the telecommunications giant decided to scrap hundreds of underused public phone boxes. And that’s exactly what villages throughout the land have done. They’ve realised they can make all the difference in the Best Kept Village and In Bloom competitions. The latest village in My Village Voices area to follow suit is Walton on the Hill. Berkswich Parish Council have saved the iconic red box on the A513 near to the Village Hall at Walton-on-the-Hill. And like other villages, the phone box is now a “working” information point for the the Parish, carrying essential info and what’s on notices from the local community initiatives. And it doesn’t stop there - the old phone box is a brand new book exchange - an ersatz library, with lots of books to borrow and swap. The Parish Council has also commissioned a map of Walton on the Hill with information about local landmarks and houses in the village. This will soon be in a leaflet to provide a village trail. Go and take a look. The Borough Mayor Councillor Aidan Godfrey had the honor of officially opening what will probably be the smallest building he opens during his mayoral term!

• A wealth of information - with maps showing the Village Trail and leaflets for local attractions this phone box is more like a tourist information centre.


• From the outside you probably wouldn’t know any different, but step inside, and it’s like a Tardis!

• A book swap - just leave one you’ve read, and take one you haven’t, perfect.


‘Moorland Voices’ sing in South Africa

• Moorland Voices performing Stainer’s ‘Crucifixion’, in Grahamstown Cathedral, RSA


ith members from the Staffordshire Moorlands, Seighford, Gnosall, Lichfield & Telford, this chamber choir has a varied and exciting repertoire. The group went ‘on tour’ to South Africa in April to sing with two former choir members who have returned to their homeland. On the Easter Saturday the choir’s moving performance of Stainer’s ‘Crucifixion’, in Grahamstown Cathedral, was highly acclaimed. In the following week a more informal programme of secular and sacred music delighted audiences in both Port Alfred and Bathhurst. Later, they joined with their friends’ choir in a concert to raise funds for reading books for local Township children, who began the evening with a traditional rhythmic & vibrant performance, conducted by one of the pupils – a very special moment! In recent months, choir members have continued to support the Township children they met, through a variety of fundraising initiatives. The choir perform regularly in churches and halls around Staffordshire and are soon to be making a third visit to St Chad’s, Seighford, this time for a Christmas Concert; on Saturday 16th December from 7pm. St Chad’s Church and South African Township youngsters will benefit from the proceeds.



Dunston walkers build up an appetite

Team Vicar Revd Susan Mayo, and parishioners from St.Leonards Church Dunston, enjoyed a ramble together after the church service, in the beautiful countryside of Dunston. The walk ended with a picnic together in Hyde


Lea Village Hall, and followed with a drink in the Crown Pub. Thanks go to Hyde Lea Village Hall for use of the Hall and big thank you also to Jeanette Floyd for organising the event.


What’s on at Newport Music Club Local musician Chris Gumbley is bringing Saxophone night to Newport Music Club on Saturday 18 November at 7.30 p.m. at Cosy Hall, Water Lane Newport. Chris taught at the Birmingham conservatoire and has also gained recognition through his Jazz Studies publications. Joining Chris will be Naomi Sullivan, head of saxophone at Birmingham conservatoire’s Saxophone school. They bring with them the young musicians of the Avesta Saxophone Quartet. Avesta was formed in 2014, when all members began studying the saxophone at Birmingham Conservatoire. This exciting concert will showcase a wide range of music styles and sounds: Music from the Renaissance to today, including works by Gabrielli, Mozart, Copland, Piazzolla, Gumbley, Lennon/McCartney and Sulzmann. Tickets for students cost only £3 so this is a wonderful opportunity for young aspiring musicians to enjoy the concert and gain inspiration. Do come along to join us. Leaflets and tickets are available at The Guildhall Tea Rooms, The Cook Shop (both on Newport High St), or from Hey Jude on Stafford Street, Cosy Hall (mornings only) or via the website Or phone 01952 810584 for more information.

DATE FOR YOU DIARIES The talented young pianist Iyad Sughayer is to play at Newport Music Club on Saturday 20 January at 7.30 p.m. Jordanian-Palestinian pianist Iyad Sughayer was born in Amman in 1993. Iyad received his first lessons at the age of five from the pianist, conductor and composer Mohammad Sidiq at Jordan’s National Music Conservatory. He made his concerto debut at the age of eight with the National Music Conservatory Orchestra. Iyad has performed numerous recitals and concertos across the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East. He has been a soloist with many orchestras including the European Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, the Royal Northern College of Music Symphony Orchestra, Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Youth Orchestra and the Cairo and Amman Symphony Orchestras. In 2012, Iyad was awarded a full scholarship to study with the distinguished Scottish pianist Dr Murray McLachlan at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He has gained a full scholarship to Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, where he is currently completing his Masters degree studying with the acclaimed pianists Martino Tirimo and Peter Tuite. The concert programme comprises works by the composers Handel, Schubert and Liszt. Leaflets and tickets are available again from The Guildhall Tea Rooms, The Cook Shop (both on Newport High St), or from Hey Jude on Stafford Street, Cosy Hall (mornings only) or via the website Or phone 01952 810584 for more information.


• Chris Gumbley Saxophonist - Saturday 18 November

• Iyad Sug - Saturday 20 January

Discovering the delicate art of glass


ocal contemporary glass artist, Naomi Jacques lives in Great Haywood, Stafford, working from her own studio. Naomi graduated in 2016 from the University of Wolverhampton with a Honours Degree in Applied Arts. Her glass sculptural piece ‘Mother Torso’ was ‘Commended’ by the Contemporary Glass Society in the ‘The Glass Prize 2016’. Naomi exhibited in London earlier this year at New Designers One Year On 2017. This was an important exhibition, launching her work into the world, meeting new designer/makers and potential customers. The feedback and contacts made were incredible. Naomi has been supplied with crystals to explore and develop, an exciting venture for the emerging artist. Naomi’s work draws inspiration from exploring emotional battles. Through this she has developed her own process and style of working. Specialising in advanced kiln-formed glass techniques, Naomi’s unique way of working creates individual, delicate, sculptural pieces. They appear incredibly fragile yet in reality they are remarkably strong, supporting their own weight effortlessly. Using the medium of glass, she turns weakness into strength – demonstrating that good can shine through, strength can be regained and broken can be beautiful. She is

• Naomi’s “Mother Torso’, which was commednded by the Contemporary Glass Society in the ‘The Glass Prize 2016 constantly developing her work, taking in touch. Bear in mind that the largest to further inspiration from the nature date piece of work Naomi has made is a around her. full-sized Mother Torso – large scale is A new body of work has been something that can be obtained in this developed into collections showing medium. how this process can be adapted, Naomi runs local monthly workshops adding colour, softer, rounded, glass in Great Haywood and Colwich. She also beads, sheet and strings of glass. will run bespoke ‘party’ workshops for Light refracting and reflecting gives birthdays and hen dos etc. Please see her work the appearance of diamonds below for further information on those. and crystal to create tactile and If you would like to know more delicate pieces invoking thoughtful please visit her website at www. There is a mailing conversations. All Naomi’s works are unique pieces. list you can subscribe to, in order to be Commissions are considered and Naomi the first to know about up and coming does enjoy a challenge so please do get events and workshops.

• Naomi creates individual sculptural pieces that appear fragile but are in fact surprisingly strong.

• Naomi’s technique gives her work the appearance of diamonds and crystals.



Rowley Hall Strikes Up Partnership With Berkswich Football Club

Rowley Hall Hospital is striking up a winning partnership with a local junior football club. The private hospital has teamed up with Berkswich Football Club’s Under 7 team to sponsor them this season as they compete in the Mid Staffs Junior League. Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Michael Dobson has assisted with the Club for two years and has become Manager of the under 7’s team which his own son plays in. The Rowley Hall Hospital logo is now worn proudly on the team shirts and is also prominent on the club website. Berkswich Football Club was founded in 1988, started by a group of parents and children living in the Walton High School catchment area of Stafford. The club started playing within Berkswich Parish, which is where the club name originates from, and it has grown to 13 teams ranging from the Under 6’s team to the Under 18’s team. Matches kick off each week at the Walton High School playing fields and at Leasowes and other pitches across Stafford. Rowley Hall Hospital General Manager Lisa Powell said: “We are keen to strengthen our links with organisations throughout the local community and this sponsorship reflects that. “Berkswich Football Club provides excellent opportunities for local young people. We are keen to raise the profile of


Rowley Hall Hospital and spread the word about our services and facilities across Stafford and beyond.” Rowley Hall is also a member of the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce which brings together companies across the county and helps them to start-up, grow and succeed. The Stafford-based private hospital provides a range of surgical and non surgical treatments across 80 speciality areas including cosmetic surgery, hip and knee replacements and spine and back surgery. Mr Dobson specialises in a range of orthopaedic procedures including shoulder and elbow surgery, sports injuries, knee soft tissue and minor hand procedures such as carpal tunnel and trigger finger. He said: “We are very grateful to Rowley Hall for sponsoring our under 7’s team this season. “This sponsorship is a win-win situation for Rowley Hall and the club and we are delighted that the hospital has agreed to link-up with us. Hopefully, this will be a successful season for the team.” Patients who choose Rowley Hospital for private healthcare treatment can benefit from convenient and flexible appointment times, their own choice of consultants and single en suite rooms. To pay for your own treatment at Rowley Hall, book an appointment by calling 01785 332898 or for more information visit


Best Kept Village Competition 2017 Complementary Children’s Competitions

The results of this year’s Children’s BKV Poster and Poetry competitions were announced on Monday 11 September at Acton Trussell Community Centre. There was a large audience of young people, parents and relatives, residents from villages, competition sponsors, members of the BKV Working Group and County and District Councillors. They heard John Perry, MBE, Chairman of the Best Kept Village Competition Working Group, which organises both the main BKV and complementary competitions on behalf of the Community Council, declare the results. John Perry said: “We had another excellent response to all the complementary competitions this year, particularly the Children’s Poster Competition, which has now been running since 1974. The BKV judges saw hundreds of children’s posters when they judged the many villages which entered the BKV competition. Many villages sited wonderful displays of posters to draw the attention of both residents and visitors that their village was taking part in BKV. Some villages had displays of well over 100 posters at strategic points, other had several smaller displays at a number of locations, whilst others used single well-sited posters on noticeboards, in phone boxes, in shop and pub windows and there were a number of lovely displays in well maintained bus shelters. Wherever, they were displayed they were colourful, amusing and eye-catching and publicised the main BKV competition to great effect.” From all the many posters, the BKV Working Group had a difficult job to pick the winners. After very detailed consideration it was decided that: Winners in the 5-7 year age group were: 1st Prize – Ruby Goodwin, Kingsley Holt 2nd Prize – Karam Basi, Brewood 3rd Prize – Lottie Graney, Abbots Bromley Highly Commended – Lilli-May Robinson, Kinver. Winners in the 8-11 year age group winners were: 1st Prize – Ellie Zafiri, Longdon/Longdon Green 2nd Prize –Sam Payne, Haughton 3rd Prize - Amy Farmer, Gnosall


Highly Commended - Jacob Fox-Bailey, Longdon/ Longdon Green Highly Commended – Tilly Greatorex, Oulton The Community Council is once again grateful to Ken Lees of KGL (Estates) Ltd for sponsoring the Staffordshire Children’s Poster Competition. The winners of the Staffordshire Moorlands Children’s Poster Competition, sponsored by Lafarge Cement were as follows: Winners in the 5-7 year age group winners were: 1st Prize – Ruby Goodwin, Kingsley Holt 2nd Prize – Paige Price, Cauldon Lowe 3rd Prize – Amber Brough, Cauldon Lowe Winners in the 8-11 year age group winners were: 1st Prize - Tom Stone, Cauldon Lowe 2nd Prize – Libby Ham, Cauldon Lowe 3rd Prize – Tilly Oulsam, Alton The Community Council is extremely grateful to Lafarge Cement for sponsoring the Staffordshire Moorlands Children’s Poster Competition. The poetry competition, again sponsored by Jan Altham of Alrewas, produced some interesting work and there were extensive displays of Children’s Poems in Hednesford and Norton Canes. This year’s winners were: 1st Prize - Jasmine Green, Brewood 2nd Prize – Libby Leighton, Haughton 3rd Prize – Matthew Everitt, Haughton John Perry concluded by saying: “These complementary competitions really add something to the main BKV competition and I hope that they will continue to do so for many years to come. Entry details for next year’s competition will be available later this year, but if anyone has any questions or would like more details I can be contacted through the Community Council”.

Autumn adventures at Dunston Pre-school Playgroup The children at Dunston Pre-school Playgroup have been enjoying the autumn season with fun in the woods. They put on their wellington boots, collected their bikes, cars and wheelbarrows from the toy shed and headed off down the field to the wood. The children collected and counted apples and leaves of all colours in the wheelbarrow. Some of the older children took on a slightly bigger challenge of climbing to explore things higher up the tree. The children practised their skills on the balance bikes rolling down the hill and the younger children scooted around the trees in the cars. On the way back into playgroup for a well earned snack, they stopped to offer the chickens some grass. Another very busy and fun morning was enjoyed by everyone at Playgroup. Dunston Pre-school Playgroup is held in Dunston village hall and takes children from the age of two to five years. There are four qualified and dedicated members of staff. The Playgroup is set in a beautiful, rural location giving the opportunity to offer children some great outdoor experiences. In June they received a Good rating from Ofsted. Parents comments included: “We

love the open space and the care given by the wonderful staff.” “Dunston Playgroup is a magical place where children learn and explore.” “Dunston Playgroup is like a little family, a very special place. I couldn’t have wished for a better start for my little girl.” For more information about Dunston Pre-school Playgroup visit or check out the Facebook page. To enquire about a place for your child or to arrange a visit please contact or you can call 07870 467360.

The Haywoods Flower And Vegetable Show The Haywoods Flower & Vegetable Show was held on Sunday 10th September in the Colwich & Little Haywood Village Hall, and it was lovely to see the Hall once again filled with flowers, pot plants, vegetable, flower arranging, baking, homecraft, photography and paintings. The Trophies and Cups were awarded the respective winners by Parish Chairman Cllr. Andy Cooper, who congratulated Peta Collier (Chairman of the Show) and all the committee members on the wonderful array of entries, and the work the committee have put in to keep the village show going - he said that many Show are finishing through lack of support, but the Haywoods Show looked flourishing. The Lichfield Cup went to Jean Tabernor (overall winner) The Ladies runner-up Cup - Hilly Burns. The Gentlemans runner-up Cup - Ted Minton. The Clendon Vase for Flowers - Jean Tabernon. The Sydney Rawlings Rose Bowl - Roses - Jane Cross. Rosern Trophy - Best rose in Show - Jane Cross Cys Dyble Cup - Pot Plants - Kate Souster W.H.Hunt Cup - Vegetables - Ted Minton C Morrall Plate for longest runner bean - D.Cottam Stan Hopper Plate - Best vegetable in Show (Parsnip) - M.Tabernor Canalside Trophy - Fruit - Yvette Lycett Great Haywood Memorial Hall Challenge Cup - Preserves - Hilly Burns Great Haywood W.I.Trophy - Baking - Joyce Minton Little Floral Art Challenge Cup - Floral art - Jean Tabernor Marjorie Chilton Trophy - Best floral exhibit - Jean Tabernor Burbridge - Handicraft - Gerry Freeman Jan Pugh Art Cup- Painting & Photography - Julia Smith, Alison Mayo Junior Trophy - 5-7 years - Ava Lycett Bishton Hall Cup - 8-11 years - Lily Hurley Junior Baking Section - Chloe Broome Flower & Vegetable Show Trophy - 12-16 - Kate Souster

After the Trohies were presented, the Raffle prizes were collected, everyone went home, well pleased with such a pleasant, although rather cold day.


Haywood’s R.H.S. ‘It's Your Neighbourhood Awards’


hat a wonderful Day it was on Thursday 21st September when some of The Haywoods Gardening Team went to The Welcome Centre in Coventry to hear the results of the Royal Horticultural Societys' It's Your Neighbourhood campaign to "Green up Britain". Ray Hemming received such a shock when the Shugborough Terrace Gardeners were named to receive the Royal Horticultural Societys' Special Gardening Exellence Award! Wow, what a fantastic start to the morning! Colwich Parish shone with pride as The Red Lion Pub in Little Haywood received a GOLD Award and in "It's Your Neighbourhood", the Friends of Mill Lane, Great Haywood and the Shugborough Terrace Gardeners, Little Haywood both achieved Level 5 OUTSTANDING; Crossheads Friends from Colwich and Marlborough Meadow, Great Haywood both had Level 4 - Thriving; Front Row L to R - Cath Birt (Friends of Mill Lane), Marian Doehren and the new Orchard in Cliff Road, Great (Community Orchard, Cliff Road), Anne Clendon (Secretary Colwich & Haywood was awarded Level 3 - Achieving. Haywoods Britain in Bloom Group), Irma Isensthmid (Crossheads Friends). Happiness abounded in the Hall when all Back Row L to R - Barrie Birt (Friends of Mill Lane), Robin Russell the results were known and the rain on the (Neighbourhood Judge), Alan Doehren ( Community Orchard, Cliff Road), journey homewards did not dampen the Ray Hemmings (Shugborough Terrace Gardeners) enthusiasm for being part of the R.H.S. campaign to make everything look better, more colourful and mentally stimulating We were sorry to learn that Jenny and her husband were retiring after 20+ years with Britain in Bloom and the R.H.S. but we all wished them both every happiness in their new "calmer" less stressful gardening life . The Haywoods Best Kept Village Committee are certainly not backward thinking and we can assure everyone we will keep to the Royal Horticultural Societys' policy of using environmentally gardening techniques and plants, and continue to enter even more groups into the "It's Your Neighbourhood". Three Cheers for the R.H.S. !

The Haywood Society find out about crime in the county Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire, Matthew Ellis, would like to express his thanks to The Haywood Society WI for their generous donation towards the Staffordshire Police Cadets after he visited them to discuss policing in Staffordshire. Over 25 members of the society were present during Mr Ellis’ talk where he provided an update on how the nature of crime is changing and becoming more complex including the increase of cyber-crime and the threats people now face online. Mr Ellis gave examples of the various types of cyber crimes that take place including email scams such as HMRC suggesting you are owed a tax refund, false websites aiming to steal money from you and criminals hacking into computers to steal money and information. During his talk, Mr Ellis also spoke to members of The Haywood Society about the importance of neighbourhood policing and the vital role PCSOs play in neighbourhood policing through building relationships with local people and businesses. Mr Ellis said: ‘I would like to thank The Haywood Society for their generous donation of £30 to the Staffordshire Police Cadets. The ongoing roll-out of cadet units across Staffordshire relies on community and business sponsorship so donations like this are extremely important to us.” Alan Bloor, Chair of The Haywood Society, added: ‘It was a fascinating insight to the challenges and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner. ‘He delivered a realistic presentation which didn’t gloss over the ever-moving problems of cyber crime,


PCC Matthew Ellis with The Haywood Society but demonstrated the great efforts being made to fight it. The human aspects of crime were also highlighted, both in prevention and detection.’ The Staffordshire Police Cadet scheme, established by the PCC in 2013, offers youngsters an alternative to other uniformed services where they can work towards recognized qualifications as well as learning to become better citizens. Many of the Cadets have found that through the scheme they are becoming not only more confident and outgoing, but that they are also benefiting both socially and academically, all while helping to build links between the police and young people.


Stafford U3A Christmas Tree festival Stafford's University of the Third Age (U3A) is a social organisation for the retired and semi-retired. They offer a warm welcome to new members, and hope they join in the many activities on offer. These include learning opportunities, social events and lunchtime gatherings, including anything from Bridge to Gardening to Golf to Theatre trips. They ran a Deaf Awareness Workshop in early October. Thirty two were in attendance - our own U3A members, other U3As and two excellent speakers - John Newton of Buxton U3A, and Philip LeMare from Hearing Link. Following this workshop, a new Deaf Awareness Group has been formed and will be holding meetings on the first Friday of the month, at the Northfield Centre, Stone Road, Stafford, from 10:30am til 12:00pm.The first meeting will be on November 3rd. They will discuss issues affecting hearing, Aids and Audiology, Lip Reading and Sign Language. They are participating in the Christmas Tree festival at St. Mary's church in Stafford. Last year, there were over 80 Christmas Trees on display. The festival will take place from Wednesday 29th, November until Sunday 3rd December. Wednesday until Saturday, the festival is open from 10:00am till 4:00pm. During these times, different adult and children's choirs will be attending. There will be refreshments and Craft stalls. On Sunday 3rd. December, the final day, the Church is open from 11:00am till 2:30pm, finishing with a Carol Service. The popular Monthly meetings are held at the Rising Brook Baptist Church on the second Monday of the month at 2:00pm, when non-members are invited to attend. Our last speaker gave a very entertaining and informative talk on the life story of the Duke of Sutherland The next meeting is on the 13th, November, and the talk is by Rob and Margaret

Dunston Harvest Festival Supper Celebration Dunston, being the community that it is, does things properly, and Harvest 2017 was no exception. On October 1st, after a Harvest Service earlier in the day at St. Leonards Church conducted by the Reverend Susan Mayo, the villagers gathered at Dunston Village Hall bring the “harvest home” with a traditional Harvest Supper. Needless to say, there was no shortage of takers for what was a splendid meal, all prepared and served by members of the community. Dunston remains one of Staffordshire’s most sought after residential destinations - and it is events just such as this that have helped keep this reputation alive!


• The U3A Christmas Tree from last year. Cross on 'Gurkha life and culture'. The dedicated contact for U3A Stafford, is Sylvia on 01785 593039, or visit or www.


• Spooky goings on - Photo by Firefoot Photography

Bednall Scary Riders! Ghosts , ghouls and spooky spectres were out haunting Cannock Chase over Halloween weekend thanks to riders from a local equestrian centre. The Halloween ride is one of the highlights of Cannock Chase Trekking Centre's programme of special events and riders enjoy the chance to don fancy dress for their outing. A three hour trek through forests and across moorland was followed by lunch in the centre's own bistro near Bednall. "Cannock Chase is a great venue for a Halloween ride because it has so many ghost stories and haunted places," said centre owner Miss Lisa Gregory. "Early morning fog as we set off created a really spooky atmosphere. "Our clients really get into the spirit of the day and put a lot of thought into their costumes. We really turn heads when we meet walkers and cyclists out on the Chase. And our lovely horses are so sensible that they really don't mind when they find that their rider for the day is a witch or a black spider!"

• (l-r) Katie Munn, Isla Williams, Freddie Fletcher and Year 5 class teacher Miss Fletcher.

Greek day at Cooper Perry Year Five at Cooper Perry Primary School Seighford enjoyed a Greek day as part of their topic work. They tasted different foods such as figs, olives, grapes and breads. They had a fun packed day full of different Greek inspired activities.

Derrington Parish Councillor Gill Retires

All aboard for Amerton Railway Santa Specials!

Amerton Railway is running its popular Santa Specials on Saturdays & Sundays December 2nd to December 24th Christmas Eve. Children meet Santa and receive a present and parents get a drink and a hot mince pie. Go to for booking details.


• Cllr Gill Cox (left) is presented with her retirement gifts by Cllr Alison Vaughan. Over a period of 34 years Cllr Gill Cox has worked tirelessly and enthusiastically for the Derrington Ward of Seighford Parish Council. During this time she had a short spell as a Stafford Borough Councillor and also spent some time involved in the local youth club. She decided in September that it was time to retire and enjoy more spare time with her husband Pete. In recognition of her time a presentation was made to her on behalf of the Parish Council and local councillors. She received a voucher for a local garden centre, a beautiful David Austin rose (Golden Celebration) and some luxury cookies to enjoy with her cup of tea. She will be missed by us all.


Defibrillator for Haughton Village Hall

• Village hall users with the new defibrillator. Committee members and users of the village hall were delighted when a Staffordshire Business offered to donate a Defibrillator to the hall. The Donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, recognised the advantages of the Village Hall having a defibrillator as many events held there have up to, and in excess or, 70 people at any one time. A Familiarisation and Instruction talk was given by a representative of WEL Medical on the 2nd November, which was attended by user groups and other interested parties. The Committee would like to thank everyone who attended, the West Midlands Ambulance Service for their help and guidance, and Paul Mulvey for his informative talk and demonstration. Special thanks to our generous donor for this Defibrillator which will bring peace of mind to many hall users.


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The Commando ethos, held close to every Commando's heart are; courage, determination, unselfishness, cheerfulness in the face of adversity. This means that you can call Zero Dry Time safe in the knowledge that the job will be done well, cost effectively and with the minimum of fuss.

“No soggy carpets or wet dog smell in your home� 'I am rightly proud of my military background and I put to work the Commando ethos.' said Ian 55 years from Barlaston near Stone. ' My work is second to none, and each time I take a job on, I'll not leave until it cannot get any cleaner. ' Continues Ian... 'I am acutely aware of the notion of being in someone's home and treat it accordingly. I focus on the job in hand until it is completed. My results are constant and exceptional with no drying time, it is walk dry almost immediately.' Insists Ian. So let the draw bridge down and call a carpet cleaner you can trust. Ian, the Commando Carpet Cleaner from Barlaston for a clean castle.

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Double delight for high fivers A Salt Heath youngster led the way as her school’s high fives team netted 80 goals in two tournaments to canter to regional and district titles. Eleven-year-old Poppy Dixon played a starring role in Stafford Preparatory School’s under-11 team which maintained a one hundred percent winning streak to lift the Independent Schools’ Association (ISA) Midlands high fives netball crown. Poppy, who trains with Stafford Netball Club, and team mate Ollie Moody, 11, also spearheaded the attack in the Stafford and District Schools’ tournament, helping to steer SPS to victory. The Prep outfit were fast out of the blocks in the regional ISA event and chalked up a 9-0 win against Shropshire’s Castle House. The championships attracted schools as far afield as Grantham and Kettering, but SPS pressed their advantage and saw off every opponent in the round-robin contest, scoring 50 goals and conceding only six. In the district tournament SPS topped their group with victories against Oakridge ‘B’, Cooper Perry, St Leonard’s ‘B’, Leasowes ‘B’ and Blessed Mother Teresa’s primary schools. The youngsters defended stoutly to keep a clean sheet throughout the competition and a 2-nil victory in the final against Oakridge ‘A’ secured the silverware and a chance to represent Stafford district in the county final next February. “High fives has a set rotation and all the children coped and played well. Poppy and Ollie were superb, however


everyone in the squad showed great sportsmanship and they encouraged each other even when they weren’t playing,” said SPS deputy head teacher, Cheryl Martin.

New Patron at Wildlife Trust

• Pictured is Trust Chairman Richard Higgs (left) with Ian. Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is delighted to confirm the appointment of HM Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire Ian Dudson CBE as the charity’s new Patron. Mr Dudson has been Lord-Lieutenant of the county since the end of March 2012 and is a former High Sheriff of Staffordshire. Having been active in the family business which has been based in Stoke-on-Trent for several generations, Mr Dudson is also a keen wildlife enthusiast. He began his patronage after being appointed at the Trust’s October board meeting. Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is the county’s largest nature conservation charity, with almost 15,000 members and owning or managing 27 nature reserves. The Trust’s Chief Executive, Julian Woolford, said: “We are extremely proud that Ian has endorsed our work by taking up the role of Patron. He will bring a wealth of knowledge to us, passion and increase the profile of our work further. Ian is a very well-known person in Staffordshire and his experience and expertise in several fields can only help us.” Mr Dudson was awarded a CBE for his services to the ceramics industry in 2002. After being appointed as Patron, he said: “Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has been working to protect wildlife and wild places where we live for almost 50 years. I have seen first-hand on a number of occasions the work the charity carries out, from looking after nature reserves to its fantastic education programme, where it inspires young people to gain enjoyment and understanding of the natural world. It is a great honour to be asked to be Patron of this fantastic charity.”


• Correspondence - Readers’ Writes

Thank’s to Cllr. John Francis

Chanteuse Chamber Choir Conquers The Isle of Man!

Dear editor Everyone on the joint committees of the Haywoods Best Kept Village Committee and Colwich & Little Haywood in Bloom Committee would like to thank our Borough Councillor John Francis for the wonderful help he has given us by awarding us £500.00 from his Community Fund. Without financial help we would be unable to continue our work in making The Haywoods such a lovely place in which to live. We have a vibrant village community, and it was lovely to see Cllr Francis at Higher Coley Farm, helping to celebrate the Parish Harvest. This is a good place to thank the entire Baggott family for their great hospitality, the High Sheriff for his attendance, and the Rev Geoffrey Stayton for his inimitable way of making the Harvest Home service such a warm and friendly gathering. Regards Anne Clendon B.E.M. Hon. Secretary to the Haywoods B.K.V. committees

Send your letters to

Green fingered pupils reap rewards

• (From left) Enjoying the fruits of their labours are 10-yearold Stafford Preparatory School gardeners Nayan Kumar, Freya Felton and Amelie Medford, both from Acton Trussell, Eloise Nicholls. Pumpkin soup, fresh veg and fruit salad were on the menu for a group of green fingered pupils who reaped the rewards of daily visits to their vegetable plot. Young gardeners at Stafford Preparatory School busily tended crops of runner beans, tomatoes, strawberries, salads and chives which they grew from seed, as well as an array of flowers. But the biggest attraction in their school garden was a large pumpkin, supported in a net. “I like watching everything grow and I really like being able to eat the vegetables. I go along to the garden with my friends and it’s good fun,” said 10-year-old Freya Felton, who lives in Acton Trussell. Pupils aged between six and 11 lend a hand in the garden each lunchtime and enjoyed the fruits of their labours when they harvested the produce this autumn.


• The Chanteuse Chamber Choir on the stairs at the Villa Marina A tour to the Isle of Man proved to be a very successful trip for Staffordshire’s Number One Ladies Chamber Choir. Stafford based Chanteuse Chamber Choir came away with not one, not two, but three trophies at The Isle of Man Festival of Choirs which ran from 20th-22nd October. The Island hosted its bi-annual celebration of singing which began on the Friday evening with a social gathering for groups from around the British Isles. The competitions started in earnest on Saturday with a superb calibre of music for ladies', men’s and mixed choirs. Celebrating their first win of the weekend in the Ladies’ Voice Section, the choir soon followed this by winning The Douglas Borough Council Trophy for “the most entertaining choir of the festival”. The icing on the cake came on Sunday when Chanteuse Chamber Choir went on to win their third trophy in the Ensemble Section. Musical Director Sue Brereton-Banks said “What a weekend! Many congratulations to my choir, all the hard work has paid off. Huge thanks to my fabulous accompanist, James Thorpe.” If you would like to hear these amazing ladies sing, you have will have an opportunity to do so at their next concert “A Christmas Cracker” which takes place on Saturday, 9th December at St Mary’s Church, Stafford at 7.30 pm. Tickets £10 for adults, £8 for under 16s are available from choir members or by contacting Jenny on 01785 509231 or . This is an event not to be missed!


Exhibitor applications open for Dunston’s ‘Wool @ J13’ 2018 event

• Grabbing a bargain in the shopping marquee at Wool @ J13 held in May 2017.


xhibitor applications are now open for the second annual Wool @ J13 wool and yarn festival. Taking place just 1 mile from J13 of the M6, in Dunsotn, at Lower Drayton Farm, the highly successful inaugural event in May attracted some 1,400 visitors and the organisers are aiming to double that figure in 2018. The 2018 edition is set to take place on 12th & 13th May in the same working farm setting; and most of the 40 exhibitors who attended this year have already signed up for next year’s event. Stafford based wool artist Ingrid Wagner, who organises the event alongside Lower Drayton • Wool artist Ingrid Wagner (L) and Lower Drayton Farm's Val James (R) are the creative Farm’s Val James, says: forces behind Wool @ J13 “We couldn’t be happier with the visitor and features on our website. We’d love to hear from all exhibitor feedback from our first event – it shows that of these businesses who have never exhibited with us our extensive market research and hard work promoting before. ” the event paid off. That’s not to say we haven’t identified Like the 2017 event, Wool @ J13 2018 will offer, areas for improvement, and we’re determined that 2018 alongside a shopping marquee with exhibitors is going to be even bigger and better. travelling from as far afield as Glasgow and Jersey, “What we’re most pleased about is that pretty much workshops covering a host of skills and topics; all of the exhibitors who attended the 2017 event a fleece sale; live music, a licensed bar and street food. have signed up to join us in 2018 and our first show’s A host of new attractions are also in the pipeline to give success has brought in a lot of additional enquiries. visitors even more to enjoy. Also, if you’re a new business living within a 50 mile To apply for a stall at Wool @ J13, which will take place radius of the show, you can benefit from our support on 12th & 13th May 2018 in Dunston, head to the packages ranging from stand offers to regular blog website at www.//


Stafford Camera Club - November Events A reputation built on experience


arlet Stoves is a friendly, family run business that has the customer as its main focus. Since opening its doors for business just over three years ago the showroom has changed significantly and the product range has increased. With 11 live fire displays and over 50 displays in total, including a selection of gas and electric fires, we are sure there is an appliance that suits your needs. The range of stoves are diverse and cater for all budgets, sizes and designs, from traditional styles to a more modern look. These are designed and manufactured from both Britain and Europe and include such brands as Chesney, Drooff, Woodwarm, Clock and Mendip, to name just a few. When contacting Yarlet Stoves you will be helped by one of the family so let’s meet the Team. Keith and Sharon are co-owners and are joined by their sons Guy and Bryn. Keith has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field, combined with his experience and building background. Apart from working in the showroom or helping with installations he takes in hand all site surveys. Sharon is seen regularly in the showroom but deals predominantly with the administration of the company. Having used woodburning stoves for over 30 years she understands how they can transform a home. Bryn manages the showroom and has a wealth of knowledge about the stoves on display. He also has first hand experience of dealing with a variety of stoves from his previous occupation as a chimney sweep. Guy too has previous experience in the industry from working at a flue manufacturing company, and works closely with Drooff for the distribution of their stoves. You can be sure of a warm welcome when visiting the showroom which is situated on the A34 between Stafford and Stone. Opening times are Tuesday 10am – 4.00pm, Wednesday to Saturday 9.30am – 4.30pm. Outside of these hours are by appointment only. You can contact the team on 01889 508790 or email Follow them on Facebook/YarletStoves.

Stafford Camera Club has a busy November programme and will be welcoming many experienced and exciting presenters these include; on 14th November Wildlife Experience presented by Wildlife Photographer - Scott Latham.

Scott is a conservation and wildlife photographer, based on the Staffordshire and West Midlands borders in the UK. He is published regularly in world image magazines and newspapers, and his images have been awarded in many competitions, as well as regularly giving talks about his work. He is an active contributor to conservation charity Scott, is the founder of Wild Exposures Ltd,

The family look forward to seeing you soon.

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


On 21 November the club welcomes Gary Allkins and his talk on Portrait and Wedding Photography. Gary is currently a Semi-Professional photographer working in a commercial environment, from product to people photography and training. Originally a published landscape photographer he expanded his skill set into other genres and now combines all disciplines into his photography. He specialises in flash, studio and continuous lighting to create those special images as well as working in a natural light environment producing high quality landscape and portraits. Stafford Camera Club meet at 8 pm on Tuesday evenings at the County Staff Club, 77 Eastgate Street, Stafford. For more information see

St Chad’s, Seighford Advent Activities

On 3 Saturday mornings in December 9-10am there will be an Advent Study Group meeting at St Chad's, Seighford, looking at the book: ‘Becoming Friends of Time by John Swinton’ which amongst other things addresses the matter of reclaiming belief of the heart as a response to profound intellectual disabilities, dementia and alzheimer's and also brain injuries. The nature of Time, Memory and the Future is fundamental to the Advent message and all are welcome. The book can be purchased ahead of time or simply turn up and some excerpts will be available. Every Thursday in Advent, Evening Prayers will be focused around the Advent Wreath before a trip to the Hollybush for a Pint!

Christmas Services • Christingle Ranton Sunday 10th December 4:30pm • Carols Service Chebsey Sunday 17th December 3pm • Carol Service (with Seighford Singers) Seighford Sunday 17th December 6:30pm • Carol Service Ellenhall Friday 22nd 7pm • Carol Service Ranton Saturday 23rd 5pm • Moorlands Choir Concert Seighford Saturday 16th 7pm • Midnight Mass Seighford Sunday 24th 11:30pm-12:15am • Christmas Morning Celebration Chebsey Monday 25th December 9am

Saint Bede’s School Christmas Bazaar

Saint Bede’s Prep School, Bishton Hall, are holding a Christmas Bazaar on Saturday 25th November between 11a.m - 2 a.m There will be Gifts, Accessories, Toys, Books, Cards, Christmas Items, Toiletries, Food, Art Materials, Jewellery and much more! Admission and parking are both free, and all are welcome to attend, go and get a bargain. The School can be found at Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, Stafford. ST17 0XN - for more details you can call 01889 881277.


Netballers secure Midlands crown Stafford Grammar School’s under-16 netballers avenged a heavy defeat at a regional tournament by turning the tables on their Worcestershire opponents when the sides met again in the final. The Stafford outfit looked to dominate the group stage of the Independent Schools’ Association (ISA) Midlands championships with 14-3, 16-2 and 14-1 wins against Shropshire-based Bedstone College, Tettenhall College and Herefordshire’s Lucton School, respectively. The event, held in Brewood, attracted 14 team across the region and was divided into two pools. Two further victories guaranteed progression from the group, but their ambitions of topping the table were thwarted when they were beaten 11-6 by Malvern St James. SGS regained their form in the semi-final where they notched up a 12-6 win against • Back row from left: Maddie Nicholson, Becky Lawrence, Chloe Patrick, Zoe LawtonAllen Front: Sophie Edgington, from Whitgreave, Sian Gwyther, Imogen Farnworth, Kidderminster side, Heathfield, Anya Cooner and Bednall’s Hannah Marsden. to set up a re-match in the final against Malvern. Zoe Lawton-Allen held their nerve and the grammar girls In an end-to-end clash both sides threatened to steal a ran out as 7-5 winners to lift the silverware. The side lead, but 15-year-old Stafford shooters Chloe Patrick and will compete in the ISA nationals next spring.


Haughton Harvest Festival Auction

In keeping with a tradition dating back over 30 years, a Harvest Festival Auction was held in Haughton on 8th October 2017. A new venue at The Tea Room, Red Lion Farm, proved to be a great success. Over 70 people attended and raised over ÂŁ1200 for

the benefit of local charities. St Giles Church, Haughton Primary School and Horace's Outing ( a day out for local pensioners ) will all benefit from this event. Thanks go to everyone who contributed and supported the occasion.


Haughton Best Kept Village Trophy Presentation Haughton won the title of Best Kept Village in Stafford Area in this year’s Best Kept Village Competition, which was organised by the Community Council of Staffordshire’s Best Kept Village Working Group. This award means that the trophy pole has returned to the village for the first time since it was won in 2013. The presentation of the Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd Trophy took place at midday on Monday 23rd October next to the trophy pole, which has been erected on a green in the centre of the village, near the church. Cllr Mike Allen, Chairman of Haughton Parish Council opened the ceremony and Cllr Derek Warbrick, Haughton BKV Team Leader and Co-ordinator gave a review of this year’s campaign. Mr John Perry, MBE, Chairman of the Best Kept Village Competition Working Group spoke about Haughton’s previous successes in the competition and outlined some of the highlights of 2017 which had impressed the judges. The trophy was presented by Mr David Owen, OBE, Chairman of Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd, on behalf of Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd, who are the sponsors of the Best Kept Village competition in Stafford Area. Cllr Warbrick accepted the trophy on behalf of the Haughton 2017 BKV Team and gave a vote of thanks, after which the Mayor of Stafford, Cllr Aiden Godfrey made the closing remarks. Following the ceremony, refreshments were taken at the Village Hall. Also attending were the Vice-Chairman of Staffordshire County Council, Cllr Mrs Kath Perry and Mr Ray Perry, BKV Working Group members and judges, Haughton parish councillors, BKV volunteers and residents.

• BKV Team Leader, Cllr Derek Warbrick outlines Haughton’s 2017 campaign to Mr John Perry, MBE, Chairman of the BKV Competition Working Group, the Vice-Chairman of Staffordshire County Council, Cllr Mrs Kath Perry, Mr Ray Perry and Stafford Borough Mayor, Cllr Aiden Godfrey.

• John Perry congratulates Derek Warbrick on Haughton’s success in this year’s competition.

• The trophy pole can be seen in the village on the main Stafford to Newport road


• Mr David Owen, OBE, Chairman of Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd prepares to present the trophy plaque to Derek Warbrick on behalf of the BKV sponsors of Stafford Area, Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd.

The judges comments in brief were: : A comprehensive programme of BKV awareness and good BKV posters. : The usual excellent display of children’s posters at the village hall. : Very tidy church surrounds and burial ground. : Tidy village hall and shop surrounds. : Good noticeboards and local information. : The Bell was tidy and had lovely hanging baskets; The Shropshire was “outstanding all round”. : The telephone box was clean and tidy and so too were the bus shelters. : The verges, small open spaces and the playing field were all very good. : The W.I. post and the milk churn features were very good : The play area refurbishment looked really good. : There was only the smallest amount of litter. Congratulations to your many litter pickers. Overall there was great BKV awareness and involvement. Judges said that Haughton was “a really attractive, neat and tidy village.”

• Above: Stafford Borough Mayor, Cllr Aiden Godfreywas impressed with all the efforts of Haughton’s villagers • Right: Once the speaches were out of the way, time to get down to the real business, of tucking into a few treats!


Wolgarston MacMillan coffee morning fundraiser Wolgarston High School took part in its annual MacMillan coffee morning fundraiser event. This year the students and staff showed their support by hosting two coffee mornings. On Friday 29th September the Library sold a selection of homemade and store bought Fairtrade cupcakes and cookies. This was done at break time and at lunch time. The Sixth Form took part too holding their own pop up cake shop in the Sixth Form Centre. Flavours ranged from Sicilian lemon to vanilla dark chocolate with marshmallows. “It is brilliant to be part of this event and as always we could not done it without the help of Mrs Beach and her Year 9 students,” said Miss Roberts (Learning Resources Centre Administrator), “The amount of support we received was amazing, in total we sold over 150 cakes and cookies between both locations.” Student helpers on the day were Kiera Hope (Year 12), Davina Dickinson (Year 12), Sophie Moseley (Year 13), Michael Craney (Year 13), Toni Dadd (Year 11) and Martha Ryles (Year 11). “We would like to thank our Year 9 Food Technology students who decided to make a variety of cookies for the Macmillan Charity in their lesson this week,” said Mrs Beach (Teacher of Design and Technology). The Year 9 students who made the cookies decided to pay £1 each to buy one of their own cookies because they smelt so good. “The cookies were amazing,” said Alfie Hibbs (Year 10), “I love it when we do things like this in school it is fun.” Students and staff at Wolgarston High School are dedicated to supporting cancer research and support. “Together we have made a great contribution this week to say ‘ We will help to beat this’!” said Mrs Beach. A huge thank you to Davina Dickson and Kiera Hope for taking photographs of our event. We managed to raise £90 for Macmillan.

• Natalie Newman and Sophie Swift (year 9 ) showing their support

• L-R Toni Dadd, Martha Ryles, Miss Roberts, Sophie Moseley and Davina Dickinson

• The Store is open for business!

• Alfie Hibbs enjoying his Fairtrade cookie


Railway Circle Clubroom Open Day Stafford Railway Circle was based in Stafford for many years, but outgrew its somewhat primitive clubroom, and moved to its new home in Stone, where it now has a large modern clubroom, based at 9 Emerald Way on the Stone Business Park ST15 0SR. It is to this clubroom that the Circle is inviting you all to their Open Day on Sunday 10th December, between 11.00am and 4.00pm. The Stafford Railway Circle was founded sixty years ago, in 1957. In those days, the membership consisted mainly of people who were interested in railways and how they ran, and railway modelling was very much a secondary interest. However, as the years went by, railway modelling became the predominant interest of the membership, although not to the exclusion of interest in the real thing. These days the Circle consists of members who meet a couple of times every week in order to share their common interest in railways. They have built and run several model railway layouts, all of which are built to exhibition standard. Once a year they organise one of the largest model railway exhibitions in the country, which fills three large halls at the Staffordshire County Showground. It is regarded as one of the leading model railway exhibitions within the UK, with dozens of model railway layouts being exhibited, with large trade support, and visited by thousands of people. If you are a railway modeller you may well find that being a member of the Circle adds to your enjoyment of the hobby. Not only can you take part in building, maintaining and running layouts rather bigger than you could manage to have in your home, but you will make new friends and enjoy the opportunity to acquire new skills and widen your interests. Got a problem with your own layout and would like help in resolving it? The Circle is where you’re almost certain to find someone who can help you with advice and experience. If your interest doesn’t extend too much to modelling, but you enjoy railways, the Circle is still the place for you. The Circle actively promotes interest in all aspects of railways and associated commercial transport. They welcome members who are not railway modellers, but who enjoy being in the company of like-minded enthusiasts. We have a sizeable railway library and there is always the opportunity to talk railways with others who share your interest. At the Open Day you will have the opportunity to see some of their model railways, both in exhibition condition and still in the course of construction, and have an opportunity to look around and talk to some of the members. Some of the layouts will be operational, and there is usually the chance to get to grips with operating one of them. Everybody is welcome and nobody will try to talk you into membership! Though the hope is that what you see may encourage you to want to join. For more information you can visit their website at or call 07986 094538.



King Edward V1 Grammar School Stafford by Nick Lakin from Church Eaton Whichever side of the long-running grammar school versus comprehensive debate one agrees with, it would probably be fair to say that the building’s architecture adds something to the appeal of Stafford town…well, more than the 1960s concrete railway station! But, of course, grammar schools have a much longer history than railway stations and comprehensives. It is likely that Stafford had a school even before the Norman conquest. The third Lateran council of 1179 ordered every college to maintain a school ‘in order that the opportunity of reading and improvement might not be withheld from the poor’. A few decades later in 1215 it was further ordered that all colleges and churches ‘of sufficient means’ kept a master to instruct clerks and others in grammar which, not surprisingly, meant Latin grammar. Reference to teachers in Stafford came to the fore in 1380 when a schoolmaster, Thomas by name, and a schoolmistress called Catherine were mentioned. Bishop Hales ( latterly one of the house names at KEV1) accounts showed £6.5s.11d was paid for a board of three scholars, Henry Grimsby, John Cokke and John Hurst for their services, doublets, hose, shirts, shoes and other necessities. Then, two centuries later between 1536 and 1541 came Henry V111’s dissolution of monasteries, convents, priories, friaries and chantry schools (a chantry being a trust fund for the purpose of employing one or more priests to sing a stipulated number of masses for the benefit of the soul of a specified deceased person). Henry’s son Edward V1’s advisors considered chantry schools to be ‘hotbeds of superstition’ and, although KEV1 was known as a chantry chapel, the relevant authorities were convinced that it was, in fact, a grammar school, and hence it survived. So, the Charter of 1551 stated that Edward V1 ordained that ‘there will be a Grammar School in the town of Stafford which shall be called the Free Grammar School of King Edward V1 for the education, teaching and instruction of boys and youths in grammar and that it shall continue for all time to come’. Given that the building became Chetwynd sixth form college and is likely to be turned to other uses before long, Edward’s grand assertion did not stand the test of time. Then, in 1789, William Wordsworth visited Stafford to meet with Joseph Shaw, the school’s headmaster since 1780 who, as an usher at Hawkshead school, had taught him Latin. Shaw himself died in 1825 and is buried in St Mary’s churchyard where he is commemorated by a plaque. So, a long and varied history for what was, originally, King Edward V1 Grammar school Stafford. The building itself, of course, will remain intact, hopefully. What did not survive the march of progress, however, was the school’s superb cricket pitch which disappeared beneath Tesco’s car park. All photo’s used appear courtesy of Staffordshire Past Track If you have any images to lend, or any extra information, please contact the Past Track team: Staffordshire Past Track, Staffordshire Archives & Heritage, Shugborough, Milford, Stafford ST17 0XB. Telephone 01889 869137, email: You can also keep up to date with what’s new on Past Track by ‘liking’ their Facebook page.


• St. Bertelin's Chapel was dedicated to an eighth century Anglo-Saxon saint, who had chosen Stafford for his hermitage. The wooden chapel was replaced by a stone one on the same site in the eleventh century. In 1954 St. Mary's churchyard became a Garden of Remembrance and the site of St. Bertelin's, at the west end of St. Mary's Church, was excavated; the outline of the foundations, seen above, were traced in stone. The Free Grammar School of King Edward VI was established in 1550 using St. Bertelin's Chapel as a schoolroom. In 1801, due to the poor state of repair of the schoolroom, the school demolished the chapel and the materials were used to build a new school on the corner of Gaol Square and North Walls in 1813 (seen below used by the Jap Co. furniture dealer) The school finally moved to new premises on Newport Road in 1862. In 1919 the education Committee took over the school and in 1928 built a new hall and wing facing Friars Terrace. In the mid 1970s the grammar school merged with Stafford Girl's High School to become a comprehensive.


• The school moved to new premises on Newport Road in 1862

• School Group - 1899 - 1901 (c.)

• This drinking fountain was erected on Gaol Square in 1889 by the widow of Thomas Sidney, in memory of her husband. Thomas Sidney was born in a house on Gaol Square (occupied now by Cafe Nero) in 1805. He was educated at Stafford Grammar School and went on to become Lord Mayor of London, 1853 - 1854. The fountain had basins for both horses and dogs. It was crowned by a figure of Samson, but was later replaced by a third lamp, which in turn was replaced by a four-dial clock. The fountain was destroyed in 1928 when a motor van ran into it; the clock was later restored and mounted on a new post near to its original site. To the left is Foregate Street.

• Scene from King Edward VI Grammar School's production of 'Twelfth Night'. 1924. The school, on Newport Road, was renowned for its dramatic productions.





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My Village Voice November / December 2017  
My Village Voice November / December 2017