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Issue Number Forty Five - June/July & August 2018

There is indeed a lost world !


ay has been the month of discovery for me - of the columnist, Richard Littlejohn. I knew the name - my “uncle” Colin Reid was Features Editor of the Daily Mail before Richard took over in the 1980’s - many still follow his sister’s antics in Halifax (before that in Dinnerladies and as the very first Mrs Barlow in Coronation Street who had a mis-hap with a hair drier - Ann Reid of course!) Sadly Colin is no longer with us - he moved to Ireland, and passed away in the 1990’s. However, Richard Littlejohn has been making a good fist of reminding us of what we have lost since the 1950’s - his nostalgia is almost addictive. A kind friend, Phil Darby (from my days in Wolverhampton), recommended his work as running parallel to my own - and now I’ve just finished Littlejohn’s Lost World. If you were growing up in the fifties, absolutely everything is spot on - and yes the difference between the 1950’s and the 2015 is startling. His observations are uncanny - but there’s no turning back - cars that never started on a cold morning, and Jubbly triangles of orange ice that had every potential for knocking your teeth out ... back then a visit to the dentist that could leave you traumatised for life. Amazingly, despite all the healthcare warnings - childrens’ teeth seem to be more at risk today than 60 years ago when toothpaste was last on the shopping list. Are we just so much better at spotting problems these days? Or did we just believe that carrots helped us see in the dark? Richard Littlejohn is a keen observationist though I do find some of his views a little too right wing. But he’s not wrong - but change is always inevitable and whether children should be risking life and limb on home made bogeys on streets full of souped up cars or sitting fighting aliens on a 15 cm screen in darkened bedrooms on a sunny day is no longer the question. The question? We put our children under too much pressure to perform, they have access to doubtful graphics that didn’t even exist 20 years ago and are subject to all manner of social media that can be both addictive and potentially toxic. The answer? Sorry you’ve come to the wrong man. The past is in the past - and the future is coming too fast to predict. Is Richard Littlejohn right? Given the caveat that you can remember Four Feather Falls, then yes - but has he any answers - definitely not. The whole world is in a maelstrom - - the speed of change makes any possibility of revision totally out of the question! Sadly .... Paul Mitchell - May 31st 2018

CONTENTS News in words ... Haughton prepares for Best Kept Village … Haywoods Choir bakes and sings in aid of Asthma UK … Elite pro cycle racing returns to Stafford … Gin tasting event …‘Cuttlestones 300’ cycle challenge … preparing for war revealed on Cannock Chase … Haughton athlete scoops university challenge … Haughton’s Garden Guild Plant Fair …Brocton footballers support to hospice families … Derrington clean-up … New headteacher at Great Haywood

... and in pictures Derrington ‘Wildlife Activity Day’ … Royal Wedding Tea Party at St Bede's … Seighford Open Gardens … Putting on the glitz at ladies’ charity ball … Dunston’s Wool @ J13’s second year … Acton Trussell Beer & Live Music Festival.. Bednall residents turn out for BKV clean up … Step back in time at Wolgarston … Seighford Singers - the end of an era Bednall Scarecrow Workshop Staffordians in WW1 Royal Flying Corps

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 & Louise Mitchell & Paul Oakley LAYOUT & DESIGN : email: louise EDITORIAL : email: EDITORIAL CONSULTANT - Paul Mitchell BA

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

The views expressed in this publication are those of our contributors and are not necessarily those of the publishers, nor indeed their responsibility. All Rights Reserved © My Village Voice 2008 -2018


Haughton prepares for Best Kept Village 2018

In 2017 Haughton was selected outright winner of the Best Kept Small Village Stafford Area and was also awarded Best Kept Village Large or Small in the Stafford Area. This year the village is aiming to try and win again, but as always, the result is less important than the collective efforts to present Haughton as a pleasant place to live. To maintain their success in the


2018 season a launch meeting was held in the Village Hall to raise awareness and the first of the 2018 litter-pick sessions took place on Thursday, April 5. Regular volunteers came armed with their own brushes, spades, litter pickers and hi-viz jackets and everyone else was provided with all the kit they needed. A wide cross section of the village was represented, but new

volunteers are always welcome. As well as ongoing litter picks the group will be tidying the beds and borders together with the playing field and benches around the village. Haughton could not achieve its success without the ongoing support of all members of the community and a big thank you is given to all who help keep Haughton tidy in any way.

The Haywood Society visits Apedale Heritage Centre Following a talk in January this year by Les Mason from Apedale Heritage Centre, near Chesterton, 16 intrepid members of the Society made a guided underground visit on May 17 to the Apedale Mine. The Heritage Centre was founded in 2001 on the site of Apedale Colliery which had closed a few years earlier in 1998. It was the last coal mine to close in North Staffordshire, after holding the man-shift output record in the 1980s. The centre and the mine are entirely run by dedicated volunteers and funded from the café, mine tours and donations.

The guides were all qualified ex-miners with a wealth of experience and knowledge, a fund of anecdotes and a serious attitude to safety in what remains a potentially dangerous environment. The underground tour was preceded by an excellent and generous buffet lunch in the centre’s restaurant and followed by a guided walk, conducted by Les Mason, through the extensive Mining Museum. For more information on the centre, which also has a working railway and a country park, go to

• The Haywood Society following their underground visit to the Apedale Mine.


Wild about Derrington ‘Wildlife Activity Day’ After a cold and rainy week, Saturday, April 7, dawned fine – till 9am! At which time it started to pour. As the rain came down the gazebos went up and by lunchtime the rain had stopped and final preparations were completed. Though it was a little chilly this didn’t deter an excellent turn out for the fifth ‘Wild About Derrington’ event. This wildlife themed day out, which took place on the Millennium Green in Derrington, was bustling and buzzing throughout the afternoon. With an amazing variety of really wild activities and ‘hands on’ fun for everyone, the afternoon event was a great success. Families, groups and individuals of all kind came along with huge support from the village and hundreds of visitors from Stafford as well as much further afield. Activities included for the first time a fascinating small mammal survey with the Staffordshire Mammal Group, making nest boxes, log bird feeders, wildflower seed bombs and bird ID dials, pond dipping, willow weaving and wild eco-crafts plus activities and info about bats and bees. Visitors enjoyed ‘The Owl Experience’ and met real owls, as well as dissecting owl pellets with the Barn Owl Action Group. Lots of visitors potted up colourful plants for the garden and set some veggie seeds, went on a ‘Wildlife Nature Trail’, joined a guided walk or stopped at the raffle stall. Children and some grown-ups had their faces painted and many enjoyed the delicious home-baked cakes, accompanied by gentle music throughout the afternoon from Phil Tiso and Windmill Broadcasting. Organised and supported by Derrington Way Ahead, the Millennium Green Group, Derrington Guides, plus many village groups and individuals, in conjunction with Stafford Borough Council, Sustainability Matters, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Staffordshire Bat Group, Grounds for Conservation, Staffordshire Mammal Group, the Barn Owl Action Group, Perkins Engines Co Ltd, The Owl Experience, Mid Staffs Ramblers, Derrington Health Walks and Windmill Broadcasting. What a fabulous way to bring wildlife and people together! Thanks to everyone who helped organise the ‘Wild About Derrington’ community wildlife event.



School bids farewell to founding head The first and only headmaster of Stafford Preparatory School is bidding farewell to staff and pupils as he brings to a close a teaching career spanning more than 35 years. 59 year old Clive O’Donnell’s retirement in June marks the end of an exciting 11 year period at the helm of the school he helped to create in 2007. Since opening its doors more than a decade ago to 60 pupils aged between nine and 11, Clive has overseen the addition of five age groups to its ranks. The number of children joining the school has grown year on year so that it now accommodates a total of 125 in the reception class through to Year 6. “From the beginning it’s been wonderful seeing the school grow in size and thrive. We’ve built up a fantastic team atmosphere. I’ve been able to watch children arrive here when they’re four years old and progress right the way through the grammar school too, making huge strides along the way,” he said. Teaching was not something Clive seriously considered until he had finished his degree in English and history at the University of East Anglia and returned to his home city of Worcester. While deciding on a career path, he worked as an assistant green keeper at a local golf club. “Cycling home from work one day I called in at Worcester University, which at that time was a teacher training college, to see if they did a PGCE course. They had a spare place so I took it and started within a few days!” Having spent several years teaching, aged only 32 Clive became headmaster at the former Brooklands School in Stafford and 12 years later he was appointed as head of Birmingham’s Hallfield School. By 2006 plans were afoot to build a new prep school in the grounds of Stafford Grammar and Clive was keen to jump on board. “It didn’t feel like a gamble. I felt it was something I could get my teeth into for the last 10 or 12 years of my career. I’d been a head at two schools and this was going to be something I’d be helping to start from scratch, which was a really exciting proposition.” During his third headship he has relished the opportunity to spend at least one third of his working week in the classroom. “I’ve always found great pleasure in seeing children succeed, whether it be those who have had relatively big successes in national competitions, or others who may have struggled then found a lightbulb moment when they have grasped a topic or concept.” Clive has no intention of putting his feet up. Apart from spending more time with his wife, Kim, three stepchildren and two pet dogs, he plans to study part-time for a master’s degree in Shakespeare Studies and develop his interest in sports writing. The 6ft

• ‘Bye bye Sir’... The founding head of Stafford Prep School, Clive O’Donnell, with pupils (from left) Chloe Sandy (9), Haughton’s Hannah Baldwin (6), Ted Mincher-Lockett (6) from Norbury. 6inches tall theatre-goer and avid sports fan can also often be spotted among fellow Stafford Rangers fans at Marston Road or among spectators at Worcestershire County Cricket Club. “I’m not kidding myself that it will not be a wrench leaving Stafford Prep. I’ll miss the adrenalin and buzz of running a school and spending time with the children, but I do feel everyone has a natural working shelf life and I believe it’s good to finish while you’re still on a high. “Looking back, I have no regrets. It has been just a perfect, wonderful opportunity to have and I’m so thankful how it has all worked out. I’m grateful for the support I’ve had over the years from my deputy Cheryl Martin, who has been here from the beginning, from Mike Darley (SGS headmaster) and the rest of my colleagues.”

Haywoods Choir bakes and sings in aid of Asthma UK Haywoods Community Choir held a Big Asthma Bake Sale & Sing Night at Great Haywood Memorial Hall on 6th May, an informal evening enjoyed by all. The choir thanks all who supported them, raising £130 for Asthma UK. The choir has recently sung at Great Haywood Memorial Hall Open Day to promote itself. They rehearse Fridays 7.45pm9.15pm and new members are always welcome. Please contact Louise Cannon on 07513 466186 or email haywoods communitychoir@gmail. They are also on Facebook @haywoodscommunitychoir, Twitter Haywoodchoir and Instagram haywoodscommunitychoir. The choir’s Summer Concert takes place on July 7 at 2pm at Great Haywood Memorial Hall. Tickets cost £5, and are free for children. Proceeds will go to Colwich Parish in Bloom and Haywoods Community Choir.



Royal Wedding tea party at St Bede's The flags fluttered and the sun shone at St Bede's Prep School on Friday 18th May. Parents, pupils and friends attended a traditional outdoor tea party in the school grounds near Wolseley Bridge to celebrate the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. High tea was served and royal music was played to entertain the participants who numbered over 100. It was generally agreed that the event was a fine and appropriate way to honour and mark the upcoming nuptials.


Seighford Open Gardens - May 20th The weather was beautiful and everyone seemed to be happy to walk around the open gardens and have a good look at their neighbour’s garden!!. The Village Hall was very busy selling raffle tickets, with a painting demonstration by Paul as well as table top sales – the refreshments were excellent although due to the urn breaking at a critical moment Gloria had a lot of kettle filling to do, as well as maps of the Open Gardens to sell. At my end of the village - Church Farm was very busy with a pottery demonstration by local artist Carol Glover with lovely pottery on sale. Nigel did a willow weaving demonstration and sold out of all his samples. There was a total of 9 gardens to visit - with tabletop sales scattered around the village and on the village green in front of the Church where there was a scavenger hunt for the children arranged by Mary Clifford and Cynthia Price. Lots of tea and cakes were sold at Church Farm after the visitors had looked around our “work in progress.” Ken and Anthea’s grand daughter Eva sold out of the teddy bears she had rescued – each one was named by Eva and I don’t think you got away without purchasing a bear! Eva was raising money for Katharine House Hospice. The best outcome has been the social side and we have made several new friends who came to visit Church Farm. Bob and I would like to say thank you on behalf of the Village Hall Committee to all those who took part, baked and donated cakes, held games on the village green, opened their gardens to “strangers” exhibited their work or goods and helped out by serving refreshments. I think those who came round saw some interesting gardens of all sizes and readiness and hopefully next time we do this more people will join in. The money raised from the refreshments, rent a table and the raffle were going towards Seighford Village Hall and Seighford Millennial Walk. So far a total of £243 has been raised and hopefully those who sold items on their table tops raised more money for themselves. Thank you everyone for joining in, From Sue Eld.


• Marge Brown and Fred Waterfall inspect the pool at Church Farm

• Eva with her rescued teddy bears

• View down Church farm


• Mick is his sprint and hill climb car

Retired? More like re-tyred Mick Thomas, who lives in Bednall, regularly races in his Formula 4 sprint and hill climb car. He bought it for himself as a retirement present 9 years ago and now enjoys racing all over the country. His son, Glyn, also races the car and it can reach speeds of well over 100mph. Mick said ‘Glyn goes faster than me, but then he’s younger’! It is powered by a Kawasaki ZZR 1100 engine. Mick tells us it’s a wonderful hobby. He often races at Curborough, which is just outside Lichfield - there are no entrance fees so is a good day out for the family.

Happy birthday Delphine The Assistant Minister of Acton Trussell with Bednall, the Revd Delphine Howarth celebrated her birthday on 25th March. The picture above shows David Primrose presenting Delphine with a beautiful birthday cake made by Grete Willacy.


• From left with Redrow mascots Buster and Buddy are Andy Cutler, Redrow area sales manager, Cllr Mike Smith and pro cyclist Andy Tennant

Elite pro cycle racing returns to Stafford Pro cycle racing is returning to Stafford town centre this summer as part of a day-long celebration of cycling in the county town. The cream of British cycling talent will be competing in two evening town centre circuit races on Sunday, July 22, starting and finishing in Market Square. It will be the first time the Stafford Grand Prix races have been staged since 2015, when 10,000 people came out to cheer on the riders and enjoy the spectacle of professional cycle road racing. The pro races are part of Staffordshire Cycling Festival, a day-long celebration of cycling on July 22, delivered by RideStaffs and sponsored by Redrow Homes. As well as the pro races, there will be big-screen live action from the Tour de France in Market Square, lots of food and drink and cycling stalls, and Strider bike races for the little ones. Hundreds of amateur cyclists will also be getting in on the action for the Staffordshire Cycling Festival sportive before the pro races, starting and finishing in Market Square, with a 62mile route taking in some glorious Staffordshire countryside and some much needed food stops. A shorter 39-mile route is also available, with registration open now at At the end of last year, Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy and Wolverhampton pro cyclist Andy Tennant called for the return of pro cycle races to Stafford town centre, and Paul Rowlands from RideStaffs is delighted to be able to bring them back this year as part of the Staffordshire Cycling Festival. Paul said:“Staffordshire Cycling Festival will be a celebration of cycling for the whole family, and the icing on the cake is to once again stage elite pro racing in the town centre. This is only possible thanks to the support of Redrow Homes – who sponsored our Stafford sportive in 2017 and are the title sponsor for July’s event this year – and other business partners who are doing so much to support cycling in Staffordshire. Thanks also to Stafford Borough Council for their support and permission to host the event in the town centre.” Pauline Turnbull, Sales Director for Redrow Homes Midlands, added: “We are thrilled to be sponsoring this fantastic event for the second year running. Stafford is the perfect location for this celebration of cycling, with its easily accessible countryside and historic town – it’s no wonder we decided this was a great place to build new homes.” Cllr Mike Smith, Stafford Borough Council Cabinet member for leisure, added: “I expect thousands of spectators will turn out to welcome some of the country’s top riders to Stafford in what is a thrilling spectacle and a welcome return to pro cycling in the town centre.” Businesses who are interested in getting involved in the Staffordshire Cycling Festival can email Paul Rowlands at


Gin tasting event comes to Stafford

A superb choice awaits you

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The Donna Louise’s Stafford and Colwich Friends are hosting a night of gin tasting on Friday, June 22, at Stafford Rangers FC to raise money for the children and young adults who rely on The Donna Louise. The unique event will see guests embark on a botanical gin-tasting adventure. There will be a wide range of unusual gins available, each matched perfectly with a selection of mixers and garnishes to create some really different and delicious flavours. Jean Tabernor, Chairman of Colwich Friends, said: “Tickets for our gin tasting event are available now. It promises to be a great night, with lots of different gins to choose from, each matched with a garnish and tonic. The Donna Louise has organised several gin-tasting events in the last year, and they’ve been a great success, so we hope our event will be really popular and help us to raise lots of money for The Donna Louise.” Tickets for the gin tasting event at Stafford Rangers FC are just £20 which includes entrance, a welcome drink, food and a balloon glass which guests are welcome to take home with them as a reminder of a great night out. Chris Belyavin, Relationship Manager at The Donna Louise, added: “Our Stafford and Colwich Friends Groups are brilliant supporters of The Donna Louise. By buying a ticket to their gin tasting event, guests will not only have a great night out, they’ll also be making a difference to hundreds of local children and young adults.” The gin night will take place at Stafford Rangers FC, on Friday, June 22, from 7.30pm. Tickets are available now, priced at just £20. For more information and to buy tickets, visit

Fantastic colours for the Spring/Summer season Fully air-conditioned, set on one level and fully accessible for all, you are welcome to browse their many collections and allow Blacks knowledgeable team to help you select the perfect pieces to suit your lifestyle. There are so many stunning colours for the Spring and Summer season, Black’s stock many exclusive menswear brands, such as leading Spanish manufacturer Florentino, with only 25 accounts in the UK. Chose from a realm of casual and formalwear including shoes, shirts and ties. Blacks also have a superb range of leather bags and Italian leather belts and accessories. With many years experience in the industry and experts in making the shopping experience as seamless as possible, come in store to find out why customers return time and again to shop with them.

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• A gin tasting event is to be held at Stafford Rangers FC to raise money for The Donna Louise.

Local auction house team to take on the “Cuttlestones 300” cycle challenge for charity Three keen cyclists from Cuttlestones Auctioneers & Valuers are set to take on a gruelling 100 mile bike ride from the businesses’ Penkridge sale room to Aberdovey on 16th June – all in the name of charity. Team members Rich Forrester and Andy Machin will be joined by General Manager Rosie Blackburn’s husband Stuart to take on the challenge of clocking up a total of 300 miles between them in a single day. The goal is to raise funds for two causes – The Birmingham Children’s Hospital and ‘Fiona’s Fight’, which aims to raise £5,000 to help send terminally-ill Stafford woman Fiona on holiday to Disney World with her three young children to make precious memories. Rich says: “I went to school with Fiona - when I heard the news that she had been diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer, and that this campaign had been launched to help send her on a precious holiday with her kids, I wanted to do something to help. At Cuttlestones we’re always up for a challenge, and with Andy, Stu and myself all keen cyclists we decided to take on this challenge. We’ll be splitting any proceeds between Fiona’s Fight and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, another cause close to all our hearts. “We’ve been training hard and now feel ready to take on this challenge – any donation, no matter how small, will help us raise funds for these great causes and will be gratefully received.” The trio will leave Cuttlestones’ Pinfold Lane auction room in Penkridge at 6am on 16th June, aiming to arrive in Aberdovey just before sunset. If you’d like to make a donation, you can head to either https://www.just or https://www.


• Cuttlestones Andy Machin (L) and Richard Forrester (R) will be taking on a 300 mile bike ride in aid of charity. Pictured with Cuttlestones MD and Head Auctioneer Ben Gamble (centre) - alternatively you can pop into Cuttlestones’ Penkridge or Wolverhampton sale rooms any weekday between 9am and 5pm to pledge your support.

Grammar boys net cup title

Back row from left: Spencer Gunnell (head of boys’ PE), Josh Moody, Tom Lakin, Will Byers, Connor Hyslop, Dan Gormley, Harry Cook, George Davies, Ben Gardner. Front: Joe Marsh, Matt Jones, George Nicholson, Harry Kilminster, Jacob Firth. A second half goal spree saw Stafford Grammar’s under-18 Byers added his name to the scoresheet when he footballers run out 3-1 winners over Sir Graham Balfour in converted a penalty after team mate George Nicholson the final of the Stafford and District Schools’ trophy. was adjudged to have been fouled just inside the box. SGS squandered early chances and it was Balfour who “They booked the use of Rowley Park's 3G off their own broke the deadlock at Yarnfield’s Wellbeing Park. Trailing back each week and when you've got a first team with 1-0, the grammar boys responded with a goal in the levels of commitment like that, it makes coaching so much opening minute of the second half as skipper Will Byers easier. My biggest difficulty has been selecting a starting provided a through ball for Matt Jones to slot past the line-up as it’s been a real squad effort,” said Stafford ‘keeper. The side went on to take the lead when Byers fired Grammar’s head of boy’s PE, Spencer Gunnell. in a free kick which Connor Hyslop volleyed home.


Evidence of a nation preparing for war revealed on Cannock Chase

• Gill Heath and Shane Kelleher They may not have contained the terrible mud and ever-present rats that were the twin torments of a Tommy’s life in the trenches, but otherwise a remarkably exact First World War training facility has been revealed decades after it disappeared. The mocked up front line even had hand-dug shell holes in the pretend no-man’s land between the ‘friendly’ and ‘enemy’ trenches on Cannock Chase. The long-forgotten earthworks are just part of the practice trenches, assault courses, weapons pits and firing ranges revealed by new technology. Amongst the most impressive and extensive remains, are the two First World War training camps of Brocton and Rugeley where over 500,000 men were trained for the trenches. Although contemporary plans of the camps do exist, the earthwork features were not marked, and they rarely appear on period photographs. The largest training site was located at the southern end of the Sherbrook Valley, between the two camps. Covering an area of over 40 hectares, practice trenches were constructed on either side of a dry valley to represent a battle-front of both allied and enemy lines. This comprised fire trenches, support and communication trenches, as well as hand-dug ‘shell-holes’. At Brocton alone there were at least 10 networks of trenches arranged in rows, thought to be constructed as assault courses. Dozens more weapons pits and isolated sections of practice trench that stretch across Coppice Hill and Brocton Field were also revealed. Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities who is leading on the county’s Great War Commemorations said: “Cannock Chase is a well-loved Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but also has some of the best preserved


Great War archaeology in the country. “While we knew about the training camps, these additional discoveries really bring to life the scale of the training that went on the Chase readying the soldiers for the real theatre of war. And, the beauty of this project is that by using new technology, we have been able to make the discoveries without digging up and damaging any part of it. It’s a great step towards protecting the Chase’s natural splendour and preserving its history for the future.” The use of LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology attached to an aircraft has allowed this unique opportunity to scan the area and see beneath much of the vegetation in an area which is now mostly defined by woodland and heath. Dave Knight, Aerial and Mapping Investigator at Historic England said: The aerial survey that Historic England has done for the Cannock Chase Through Time project has helped reveal a broad archaeological landscape of great historic depth, allowing us a better understanding and appreciation of the historic environment. “It has revealed thousands of features, most notably the remains of hundreds of First World War hut bases and dozens of military training sites. Once a Royal Forest to Plantagenet Kings, the Chase went through many changes to become the training ground of thousands of soldiers in the First World War. It has been particularly satisfying to train and work closely with volunteers, who have imparted as much knowledge on ourselves, as we have given back.” Staffordshire County Council worked with Historic England and a team of volunteers on the project following a £96k grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Bednall Scarecrow Workshop Anyone who goes into or through Bednall cannot fail to be amazed and delighted at the wonderful sight of the Maypole Scarecrows, on the lawn in front of the church. Pom Fuller along with Toni Castle, put scarecrow packs together, while Martin Warner erected the May pole and then secured the ‘children’ in their places.

Those taking part enjoyed themselves tremendously finding that the instruction sheet was more difficult to follow than just cribbing the information from the next table! The results were quite outstanding! The latest edition to the scarecrows is a soldier placing a poppy wreath at the memorial bench. A fitting tribute to commemorate the end of the First World War. If you wish to make your own scarecrow and need some guidance you will find a helpful worksheet in the Bednall phone box on a clip—please help yourself. If there are none available please ring Pom 07976 966118. Many thanks go to Steve Fuller for donating the uniform for the scarecrow soldier.


• Councillor Maureen Compton with hospice Chief Executive Dr Richard Soulsby

Grant gives hospice sought after creature comforts Just like the old electricity board adverts from the 1990s, Katharine House Hospice has long dreamt of upgrading its heating systems to be “easily turn on- and off-able”. Now, thanks to a grant of £2,100, the charity has been able to start modernising the heating system in the Day Therapies half of the hospice building in Weston Road, Stafford. The donation was made as part of the Staffordshire Local Community Fund and was supported by Councillors Maureen Compton, Carolyn Trowbridge, David Williams and Mark Winnington. Katharine House Hospice’s Facilities Manager, Fred Austin, explains the difference this will make:“The heating system we have was installed when Day Therapies was built over 25 years ago and we have never had the funds to make any improvements to the original set-up. The heating had to either be on or off. “This money will allow us to complete the first phase of our upgrade – the installation of a new main control system to monitor and control the heating.” In the long run, the hospice hopes to secure further funding to extend the modernisation to include the other half of the hospice too, including the facility to control the heating on a room by room basis. Ultimately, this will make things much more comfortable for patients and more economical for the hospice.

Doxey fishing permits on sale Fishing fans are being invited to buy a pass to fish at a Stafford nature reserve and raise cash for conservation at the same time. A limited number of fishing permits for Doxey Marshes will be available to purchase direct from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. Permits for the 2018-19 fishing season run from June 16th 2018 and expire on March 15th 2019. They cost £15 for all adults, including OAPs and will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Applicants are reminded they still need a valid Environment Agency rod licence in addition to the Doxey Marshes permit, and that the reserve is regularly patrolled by fishing bailiffs. Land Management Team Co-Ordinator, Jeff Sim, said: “Staffordshire Wildlife Trust manages the site and maintains a closed season to protect the fish from disturbance during the breeding season. “This is very important as the site is a nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is not stocked to replenish fish numbers. Numbers of permits are regulated by the Government conservation body Natural England and the Environment Agency.” To purchase a fishing permit for Doxey Marshes head to -permit

Putting on the glitz at ladies’ charity ball A ‘Glitz & Glamour’ ladies only charity ball was held at Church Eaton Village Institute on Saturday, March 24. It was a fun and frivolous evening with guests making an entrance ‘Hollywood Oscars style’, dressed in their finest, with red carpet arrival photographs taken by local photographer Joanne Sharratt. Ladies were greeted with champagne and canapés served by attentive professional waiters. Guests then enjoyed delicious food with hilarious entertainment and music from drag acts including Mama Trish (as seen on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’) and also live music from a Robbie Williams tribute act. The event, organised single-handedly by local resident and business owner, Mrs Adele Edwards, was an enormous success, raising a huge £2,150, which will be split equally between Church Eaton Primary School and the charity ‘Make A Wish Foundation’, which grants wishes for very poorly children. Mrs Edwards feels passionately about the unique, wonderful, local school attended by children of her family and friends. The charity ‘Make A Wish’ is also a cause close to her heart and Mrs Edwards was inspired by a little girl called Gracie who is battling a serious illness. The charity made it possible for Gracie to enjoy a pony ride along the beach, making her dream come true.

• Sarah Hawkins, Heather Bond and Louise McLintock-Peasley posing with drag artists’Mama Trish’ and Co (far left & far right) who were among the entertainment crew for the evening.


Haughton Garden Guild’s annual outing

Haughton Garden Guild meets on the 3rd Monday of the month at 7.30 pm in Haughton Village Hall. They have a varied programme of talks and events to cover most topics around gardening and village life. These cover aspects such as Waste and Recycling; Garden Birds; Bulbs and Fuchsias. There is also a Plant and Garden Accessories sale, an Annual Show and the always appreciated Annual Outing. This year’s outing took place on Tuesday 22 May when a full coach of Haughton Garden Guild members went on an outing to Hidcote, a National Trust Art and Crafts garden in the north Cotswolds, Gloucestershire. Hidcote is well known for its colourful and intricately designed outdoor ‘rooms’. The weather was sunny and warm, and the rain stayed away all day. The gardens were just coming into bloom and the views over the Cotswolds were quite spectacular. The walks in the grounds presented a different vista at every turn, from displays of colours of all shades and well manicured lawns and hedges. A thoroughly pleasant day was enjoyed by all. If you would like to join us new members are always welcome.

Run to keep Katharine House running Katharine House Hospice is excited to launch its annual 10k and 5k Family Fun Run which returns to Shugborough on Sunday, October 7. This year the hospice is offering two brand new 10k and 5k routes, giving local people the opportunity to pull on their trainers and fancy dress to enjoy a really fun fundraising race around the scenic Shugborough Estate. Events Fundraiser at Katharine House Hospice, Lisa Carson, said: “This year it’s 25 years since we opened the doors to our Day Therapies centre. Local people were instrumental in getting the hospice started and they continue to be the reason we can keep it running. We can’t wait to see our superhero community out in force on 7th October to enjoy our Family Fun Runs which are suitable for all ages and abilities. “This year we have some fabulous new fundraising packs for all our runners so please book as soon as you can and help us to raise even more than our £20,000 goal. It’s not about how fast you go, it’s all about having fun; there’s no prize for the fastest runner but there will be a prize for the No. 1 fundraiser!” Stafford Railway Building Society is kindly sponsoring the event for the ninth year running so that more money raised from the event will go towards providing free care at the hospice. Mike Smith, CEO Stafford Railway


• Stafford Railway Building Society and Katharine House Hospice staff – all superhero fundraisers. Building Society, said: “We are delighted offer support to everyone taking part to be sponsoring this year’s Katharine and a few of our staff will be braving the House Hospice 10k and 5k Fun Run. This run too!” is the ninth consecutive year the Society People can register now via the has been involved in this event and it is hospice’s website – www.khhospice an essential date in the Society’s diary, only for members but also our team. run – and every finisher will receive a The work that Katharine House Hospice medal and chip timing, provided by JC does in the community continues to Race Solutions. Fancy dress is not inspire us all. The team at Stafford compulsory, but it is most welcome! Railway will be on hand on the day to


Feel-good festival vibe and Dunston’s blue skies mark Wool @ J13’s second year Visitors to the Midlands’ newest wool show on Sat 12th & Sun 13th May enjoyed an event packed with festival fun – and great weather to match! To mark its second year, the Wool @ J13 showground had almost doubled in size to accommodate more exhibitors, a greater range of workshops, more street food vendors, a packed schedule of entertainment - and plenty more fun wool and yarn-inspired activities. Over 27 different artist-led workshops, with topics ranging from felting guinea pigs to lace shawl knitting, big broom crochet to button making, peg loom weaving, wet felting – and pretty much everything in between – were well attended by visitors keen to get hands-on and learn new skills. Meanwhile, two shopping marquees packed with some 82 exhibitors – including several traders premiering their products in the ‘Saw them here first’ zone - meant visitors could discover a vast range of woolly delights.

• Kerry Ashdown, enjoying the Hat Exhibition at Wool@J13 Raising awareness – and funds – for good causes was also high on the agenda, with an exhibition of handmade woollen hats supporting Brain Tumour Research. A sock fashion show on Sunday afternoon, featuring hand knitted socks made by exhibitors and modelled by Stafford dance troupe The Stafford Steppers, and raffle with the main prize a beautiful Wool @ J13 cake designed and donated by Kat’s Kitchen in Manchester both raised funds for The Childhood Liver Disease Foundation. Last, but by no means least, on the fundraising front was the wonderful ‘Knitted Tearoom’ featuring delightful knitted cakes and cuppas crafted by the clever ladies of the Staffordshire Federation of the WI alongside real cakes and refreshments to buy. Proceeds from tearoom sales alongside cash raised during an auction of the knitted items went straight to a campaign to help raise £70,000 to buy a new Flaxitron machine for the breast cancer unit

• All the fun of the fair at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital. In total, some £800 was raised for these great causes over the course event. Elsewhere on the showground, visitors could enjoy the dulcet tones of close harmony trio, The Haywood Sisters, whose regular performances brought a vintage vibe to proceedings; a ‘stash swap’ where you could trade in your stash, weight for weight, for yarn left by other visitors and demonstrations including sheep shearing, spinning and angora rabbit care. Co-organiser of the show, Staffordshire-based wool artist Ingrid Wagner, who runs the event alongside Lower Drayton Farm’s Val James, says: “We are still on the come-down from what was an amazing weekend – we were blown away by the response of visitors, whose feedback that this is a truly unique event on the wool circuit is exactly what we wanted to hear. Once again, with this only being the second year of the show we’ve learned a huge amount, but the showground has the scope to continue growing and Ingrid and I have so many ideas to keep the event fresh and unique each year. We’re determined for it to become a real ‘red letter day’ in the wool and yarn calendar. “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful team of volunteers, without whose dedication,, hard work & smiles this event could not take place, everyone who visited over the weekend and to all the traders – we hope to see many of you back again next year!”

• Val James & Ingrid Wagner with the Haywood Sisters and a farm lamb With a successful second year behind them, the duo has already set the date for Wool @ J13 2019, which will • Sue Fuller, Volunteer, sporting a contribution to the Hat take place on 11th & 12th May. For more details about Exhibition, made by Clare Copestake, and Ingrid Wagner, the event, head to co-organiser of Wool@J13


Brocton Village Hall forthcoming events

“Motown / Soul Summer Disco” Saturday 9th June 7:30pm onwards. £5 admission, tickets Brocton Post Office. A chance to reminisce your youthful years or experience Motown and Soul for the first time and dance the night away. Bar and bar snacks available.

“Summer Family Barbeque” Saturday 14th July 5pm onwards. Burgers and Bangers available with bar. Bring all the family, Free admission. Enjoy the pleasures of chatting with friends on a Summer evening.

“Coffee Morning” Wednesday 22nd August 10:00 – 12:00am. Pop along for a chat and a cake with friends new and old. All are welcome. Bring and buy sale.

Further details for all of the above events is available from Chris Allan on 01785 665466 or

News from Great Haywood in Bloom

All the members of the Haywoods in Bloom are looking forward to welcoming the Royal Horticultural Society’s Judge, Robin Russell, on Thursday 12th July when he will come to look around Great Haywood. We have all been working very hard to make Great Haywood the best village in Staffordshire and we are keeping our fingers crossed for another Gold Award! All the Haywoods are looking lovely this Spring - well worth a visit. from Anne Clendon, Secretary to the “in Bloomers”


Adlington Apartments - Last few remaining! Brooklands House, a luxury retirement development, located on Eccleshall Road, Stafford, has recently opened and comprises 55 one, two and three bedroom apartments exclusively for the over 65s. Luxury accommodation Downsizing from your family home doesn’t mean you need to compromise on style and luxury in later life, as each of the spacious private apartments at Brooklands House offers modern, fully-fitted kitchens and generous living areas. Many feature en-suite shower rooms and separate bathrooms and most have walk on balconies or a patio area overlooking beautifully landscaped gardens. The building also has a table service restaurant, which offers breakfast and lunch daily, a stylish hairdressing salon, assisted spa and therapy room, activities room, guest suite and elegant homeowners’ lounge. Last few remaining Now with the last few apartments remaining, you are welcome to visit the development and talk with homeowners who have already made the move. Be assured that your own Personal Clerk will be assigned to help you every step of the way. From help with de-cluttering and changing utilities to a complimentary 8 - hour handyman service, there is always someone on hand to assist. Benefits to downsizing Research reveals that almost half of pensioners across the UK are choosing to downsize their homes and move into smaller, more manageable apartments. Moving to a retirement development offers access to a likeminded community. Although the apartments are private, there are plenty of opportunities for companionship, with community hubs that homeowners can be as involved in as little or as much as they like. Care and support if you ever need it The careful design and additional support that is provided for homeowners and their families is what really sets Adlington’s concept apart. Together with MHA (Methodist Homes), 24-hour on site care and support is available should it ever be needed. Plus, for added peace of mind there is a sophisticated emergency call system which operates in each apartment and throughout all of the communal areas and gardens, as well as a security video entry so you only allow access to people you know and trust. Sales success At Brooklands House 80% of the apartments have already been sold or reserved by eager purchasers. A selection of beautifully appointed show apartments and communal areas are available to view daily from 10am to 5pm.

For more information or to book an appointment, please call 01785 249 175 or visit

Haughton’s Garden Guild Plant Fair Haughton and District Garden and Countryside Guild held its second annual Plants and Garden Accessories Sale at Haughton Village Hall on Saturday, April 14. This year’s event was held at the start of the gardening season, bringing the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of young, hardy perennials at bargain prices. Specimens of aquilegia, dianthus, pulmonaria, hellebore and hosta could be found, as well as snowdrops in the green, ferns, fuschias and box. Gardeners in search of know-how or inspiration could purchase books and magazines, useful tools – old and nearly new – were available, as were containers and hanging baskets in all shapes and sizes, and wildlife gardeners were tempted by purpose-built bird boxes for their feathered visitors. Cakes, scones, jams and pickles were also available to buy and there was a lucky-dip prize for all who tried the tombola. After a long, cold winter and a disappointingly late start to spring, it was good to have such lovely weather for the sale. Although it was tempting to rush home with the new plants and put them into the ground many people stayed to have tea or coffee and cake, and to sit at the tables and chat. The sale raised funds for the guild, which runs a full programme of events, including speakers on gardening and countryside themes at monthly meetings, a trip to a notable garden and an annual flower, fruit, vegetable and homecraft show. Annual membership costs £6. Meetings are held at 7.30pm on the third Monday of the month at Haughton Village Hall.

• Members of the committee add the finishing touches to the stalls before the fair begins

• Purchases made, it’s time to relax with a cuppa

• Spoilt for choice – a lot of temptation for plant-lovers


• Garden Guild Chairman William Hall points out the usefulness of the seed trays

Brocton footballers give support to hospice families

Donna Louise Relationship Manager Chris Belyavin is pictured receiving a cheque for ÂŁ1,000 from Brian Townsend (Chairman) and some of the players


from Brocton FC, Stafford, before their match at their ground on Saturday. The money was raised at their recent sportsman’s dinner where The

Donna Louise was the chosen charity to be supported by some of the proceeds from the auction on the night.

Acton Trussell Beer & Live Music Festival Acton Trussell Beer & Live Music Festival takes place on Saturday 7th July between 2-10pm, at Acton Trussell Community Centre. Entrance to the festival is FREE! Katharine House Hospice and Milford Athletic Junior Football Club are organising a Family Fun Day on Saturday 7th July, with all proceeds from the event being shared between them. A number of family activities are planned for the day including beat the goalie, and tug-of-war competitions and bouncy castles for the chidren as well as live bands throughout the day. The Organising Committee are also planning a “Beer Festival” selling a range of local beers as well as having a wine and prosecco bar. In addition there will also be food stalls, children’s refreshments, ice cream and much much more. The event is free to enter and is open to everyone and with the help of a volunteer committee and staffing on the day by Milford Football Club it promises to be a great community event bringing family and friends together. If you are able to sponsor this fundraising event in any way or require any further information, please contact Mr Adam Shaw on telephone number 07392 226010.

New headteacher at Great Haywood school Mrs Marie Therese Cornes has joined St John’s Catholic Primary School in Great Haywood, part of the Holy Trinity Catholic Multi Academy Company (HTCMAC), as the new Headteacher. Formerly serving five years as both Deputy Headteacher and Class 6 teacher at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Marie Therese is also a staff representative on the Board of Directors for HTCMAC, where she is instrumental in helping to set the strategic objectives for all eight member schools within the multi-academy company. Marie began her career in education as a parent helper in 1992, progressing to a teaching assistant and welfare officer at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary in 1993. In 2007 she gained fully qualified teacher status and joined St Joseph’s Primary teaching team. Joining education via this route has meant that she has experienced all angles of working in primary education, giving her a wealth of varied experience to draw upon. Also joining Marie is Mrs Jo Shaw who takes up her role as Office Manager and who shares Marie’s vision for the future of St John’s Primary School. Having already given the main school reception area a makeover during the Easter break, to create a more welcoming atmosphere, Marie is also currently developing a new school website and


• Marie Therese Cornes is the new Headteacher at St John’s Catholic Primary School in Great Haywood. working on building strong relationships with the parents, parish and the local community. She said: “I believe that the home/school partnership is what matters most to a school’s success. I want parents

to feel that I am here for them as much as the children and want to encourage good two-way communication. I hope to develop a strong and supportive school family within which all our children thrive and meet their full potential.”

Derrington clean-up

Four villagers and members of Derrington Way Ahead, met to undertake a litter pick on Tuesday, May 8. They tackled Blackhole Lane and Derrington Lane and in an hour and a half had collected three full bags of litter. That’s great news for local wildlife and also the local environment in general. Thanks to Colin, Tony, Edward and Karen.

Martial artist Billy bags championship silver A Church Eaton martial artist has an eye on this summer’s junior world jiu-jitsu championships after claiming a national silver medal in Wolverhampton. In the white belt 16/17 year age group 16 year old Billy Noble clinched the Gi under-70kg runner-up slot. The Stafford Grammar School student saw off London-based Cameron Mestchian in the semi-final of the BJJ national championships but lost to Bradford’s George Eatwell to miss out on the title. “It was a learning curve,” said Billy. “On the day I only just scraped into the weight category and that messed with my head a bit. I still went for it, but probably could have been better prepared. “My main focus now is to compete more. I’m looking forward to the world championships in July,” added the Church Eaton teenager, who trains at Stafford Fight Factory.

• Sixteen-year-old Billy Noble, from Church Eaton, was a silver medalist in the junior national jiu-jitsu championships in Wolverhampton.


No deer chasing on the Chase please!

It’s that time of year again - the Fawning Season. Deer on Cannock Chase will be giving birth from the beginning of June and at this time more than ever dog owners are asked to keep their dogs under control. If dogs are not under control and deer are chased, mothers and young can become separated. Mothers could die or be injured by running into fences, or into the road. Fawns would be left to die. This unnecessary distress can be avoided if dog owners act responsibly. It is a natural instinct for a dog to give chase unless it has been trained to obey commands not to do so. If YOUR DOG does not come back when called, it should be on a lead at all times, particularly when vulnerable deer are about. Staffs County Rangers will follow up any reports of deer chasing if the public can give details of the dogs and their owners vehicles/addresses. Phone 01543 871773.

Haywoods skittles evening

The Colwich and Haywoods Twinning Association held a very successful Skittles Evening with Fish and Chip Supper on 28 April at Little Haywood Village Hall. The event was attended by over fifty people who are members or friends together with friends from the Stafford Lions. We were particularly pleased at a good representation of our youth members who appeared to very much enjoy the evening. It was good to see them joining in and at one with what, to many youngsters, must be considered old fashioned entertainment. Small prizes were given to the winning teams and highest individual scorers. A raffle added to the record income of this annual event in the Twinning calendar.



C H U R C H E AT O N S N I P P E T S Josie runs for Cancer Research UK Church Eaton’s Josie Byford completed the hottest London Marathon on record in 5hs 22min and raised over £4,500 and still counting. Special thanks to the Royal Oak and the Village Institute for fund raising events and to all those who contributed to raising this magnificent sum.

Dog Training Club There is a weekly Dog Training Club at Church Eaton Village Institute on Wednesdays from 7-9pm, contact Doug Webb on 01785 823317 for details.

Junior Cricket Church Eaton Cricket Club’s training for 5-8 year olds started on Monday 14th May. If you’d like more details contact Stuart Godard on

Race night helps to cut the grass Church Eaton’s Cricket Club Race Night held at the village’s Institute was a sell out, and raised £960 towards the cost of a much needed mower. A fantastic amount raised, thank you to all those who attended.

Lease extended Glebelands Sports Association has successfully negotiated an extension to it’s lease securing the future for a further 15 years.

Church Eaton road closure Severn Trent Water Authority have given notice of road closures on the Church Eaton Road from the Village to the Junction of Goosemoor Lane from 18th June for a period of 12-13 weeks to replace water mains.

Theft Warning Two trailers were stolen over the weekend 11th/13th May from David Massie’s Farm, a cattle trailer was taken on Friday 11th with the thieves returning to steal a flat bed on the Sunday.

“OakFest” Saturday 7th July “OakFest” takes place on Saturday 7th July at Church Eaton Village Institute. It promises to be a live outdoor musical extravaganza with A1 DISCO providing the entertainment, and food and a licensed bar available. Tickets priced £7.50 are on sale at the The Royal Oak pub 01785 823078

Annual Choir Concert Church Eaton Village Choir Annual Concert in St. Editha’s Church on the 13th June at 7.30pm. The concert is supported by Church Eaton School (singers & musicians) and is in aid of Macmillan Nurses. Tickets are £5.00 from Daphne on 01784 823958.

Four Parish Extravaganza The Four Parish Extravaganza takes place on Saturday 9th June 11am-5pm. It’s an all weather event, set in the spectacular setting of Priory Farm, Bradley ST18 9ED. Entry £2.50 children under 13 free.

Church Eaton 877 reduced bus service Church Eaton now has a reduced bus service (877) from 1st April due to Staffs County Council withdrawing funding. This follows the public consultation held last year. This means that buses will just run on Mondays to Fridays with no buses at the weekends. As is the position now, there will be no service on bank holidays.


Communities unite over ‘excellent’ Repair Cafés The communities of Littleworth and Holmcroft have come together for five Repair Cafés that were set up by a leading environmental group in Stafford, Sustainability Matters, over a 13-month period (March 2017 until April 2018). The organising team staged a series of events at St John’s Baptist Church and Holmcroft Youth and Community Centre to try to encourage the local residents to preserve the longevity of household items. The overall aim is to reduce waste, as the problems associated with global warming become ever more apparent. The events have been well received by local residents, with the demand for future Repair Cafés being high on the agenda for those involved. Those who came along will know that the range of items successfully repaired by the volunteer expert repairers was vast, from bags and dresses to a lawn mower and a strimmer. They were very enticing and enthralling events, all of which attracted a good crowd, and most people went away content that their items had been dealt with sufficiently by the repairers. Above all, it helped to teach local residents to try and repair their items where at all possible. One visitor who brought a toy car described the Repair Café as an “excellent service; will highly recommend the Café”. This is just one example of positive feedback that has been received from the public regarding the Repair Cafés, which should see these events continue in the future. Robert Hine, one of the organisers, said: “It has been great to see so many people come together for the repair cafés. I hope everyone has enjoyed the events, and hopefully we can continue doing these in the future.” From Nathan Hine, Sustainability Matters

Haywoods Open Gardens Colwich & Haywoods Support Group has plans already in hand for this year’s events to raise funds for Katharine House Hospice. The ever popular Open Gardens Day is being held on Sunday, July 8. This is the group’s major fundraising event of the year, when many gardens of all sizes and designs are opened, providing residents and visitors with a pleasant day in wonderful surroundings. Programmes will cost £4, which will admit visitors to all gardens. Further information about the gardens opening will be available shortly, but if you would like to open your garden please contact Ann Jones on 01889 621372. On Saturday, November 24, the Colwich & Haywoods Support Group will be presenting an evening of Songs from the Sixties, given by local group ‘Sounds Familiar’. This will take place in the Great Haywood Memorial Hall, and will include a fish and chip 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 –

Bednall Boogie Night 60’s 70’s 80’s Themed party night Saturday 4th August 7pm - 11pm at Acton and Bednall Community Centre Licenced Bar Raffle Auction Prize for the best fancy dress (Optional) Raising funds for Friends of Bednall (for village improvements) and Bednall Church Tickets £15 including Buffet are available from: Pom Fuller 07976 966118 / Toni Castle 07977 657646 / Martin Warner: 07966 137064/ Please note: This event is to replace the Beer and Car Festival which has been cancelled.


Bednall residents turn out for BKV clean up Bednall residents are invited to attend a monthly village clear up day, on the first Sunday in the month. Refreshments are available in the church at 11am for all. If you’d like to join in meet in church 10-12 noon. A big thank you to these volunteers pictured, who have already been hard at work. The village is looking the best ever. The team hope to gain a good place in the Best Kept Village results again this year.


Bradley Village Hall weekly activities

Mondays Chair Based Exercise for Older Adults - 10 to 11 a.m. Contact: Margaret Whittaker 780364 Mixed Media Art Class Contact Debbie Chatfield 781075 Post Office 1- 3 p.m. Friendship Circle 2 - 4p.m. Alternate Mondays. A social afternoon for retired people. All are welcome Contact: Doreen Jeffs-Watts 780723 Quilting 2 - 4 p.m. Also alternate Mondays to Friendship Circle A U3A Quilting Class Bridge 7.30 — 9.30p.m. For further information contact Barbara Daynes 823339

Tuesdays Watercolour Art Class 10 a.m. - 12 noon Contact: Sue Chatterton for details on 07714 10092. Tai Chi 1.30 - 3 p.m. Contact: Betty Metcalf 780554 Drama - 6.30-8 p.m. Contact Kyle 07890 835820

Wednesdays Bradley Singers 7.30 p.m. (2nd and 4th Wednesday) Contact: Pauline Pritchards 780658

Thursdays Indoor Bowls 7.00 - 9.00 p.m. (2nd Thursday each month) A pleasant social evening. Contact: Catherine Cartwright 780531 History Group 8.00 —9.00 p.m. (4th Thursday each month) Talks with local interest Contact: Catherine Cartwright 780531. This is your hall - anyone interested in organising other activities please contact: Stephen Furness, Chairman, The Bradley Trust e-mail: This hall is fully equipped and available to book for meetings, parties, social events etc. To book contact Mrs M Whittaker 01785 780364 or email


Choir’s sell-out ‘West meets East’ concert

• Chanteuse Chamber Choir and Volya at Stafford Ranges Staffordshire’s Award Winning Chanteuse Chamber Choir were delighted when the new Mayor of Stafford Borough, Councillor Ray Barron and his wife Jenny, joined them at Stafford Rangers on Saturday, after his inauguration earlier in the day. Chanteuse Chamber Choir provided their audience with a musical extravaganza, as part of Stafford Music Festival. They were joined by the exciting Ukrainian Male Voice Choir,‘Volya’ from Manchester. Their musical repertoire on the evening was varied and there was something for everyone. The evening culminated in the two choirs joining together for the finale of ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ and Dumi Moi’. Sue Brereton-Banks, Musical Director commented “What a wonderful evening. The ladies sang superbly and it was


such fun having Volya join us. It was also quite a challenge singing a song together in Ukrainian- but we made it. So looking forward now to our next venture as we celebrate 10 years of singing. If any other singers want to join us on our fantastic journey please contact us via our web site.” If you would like to hear these amazing ladies sing, you have will have an opportunity to do so on 6th October when they will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary with a charity Gala Evening at the Ingestre Suite, Staffordshire County Showground in aid of Breast Cancer Now. The evening will consist of a 2-course meal, music from Chanteuse, fabulous auction and raffle prizes and ending the evening with an Elton John Tribute Act. For full details and to buy tickets, please go to our website at

Step back in time at Wolgarston Dance Festival Wolgarston High School held its annual Dance Festival, showcasing local students’ talents, on Wednesday, March 28. Students from local middle schools and dance academies joined forces with Wolgarston High School to host the event which was organised by Mrs Sally Stanton (Head of PE). She said: “It was brilliant to see so many parents, family and friends turn up to show their support for our students.” This year’s theme was ‘Dancing through the Decades‘. Students from Penkridge and Brewood Middle, Wolgarston High, Dene Dance School, Sandra’s School of Dance, Revolution Dance Academy and Loco Academy all took the stage as well as 13 members of Wolgarston’s staff. Mr Greenwood (Director of Learning for Maths) hosted the event. He said: “As always it is a pleasure to host this event, we get to see up and coming talents plus everyone gets to hear my wonderful jokes.” This year all of the schools collaborated in paying homage to how the art of dance and music has changed over the decades, by performing routines to an eclectic mix of artists such as Wham, Chubby

• Wolgarston staff take to the stage

• Revolution Dance Academy strut their stuff Checker, the Bee Gees, Madcon and have. Every year I am amazed at the outstanding level of performance the Village People. Mrs Stanton said: “As always it achieved by all of the children and was great to see everyone come staff. They are amazing and have made together within the local community us so proud. I wonder what next year’s and celebrate the talent our students festival theme will be?”


A busy month at Great Haywood Memorial Hall May has been a busy month at Great Haywood Memorial Hall. As well as our usual regular activities, we’ve held our first monthly coffee morning and run an Open Day! 24 organisations had tables at the Open Day – a wonderful example of what Staffordshire village communities do. Those involved ranged from volunteer groups • Two of the Parish Councillors on hand to discuss plans for the Parish. such as Community Transport and Hospice Support to craft and hobby groups like the Permanent Way Model Group, Love Craft and Glass Fusion. The Colwich Parish Council was there too, giving our councillors the opportunity to talk to local people about plans for the Parish. And we had entertainment from the Haywoods Community Choir. The Coffee Morning was an occasion for people to sit and chat with tea and coffee and delicious homemade cakes and it was enjoyed by all. So we’ll be continuing these on the second Tuesday every month, 10.00am to 12 noon. All are welcome. • All smiles from the ladies at the WI table



Seighford Singers - the end of an era

• Seighford Singers at their last concert under Sue Alderson at Bridgeford Village Hall Seighford Singers started in September 2001 with residents who lived in Seighford and Great Bridgeford, under the leadership of Sue Alderson previously head of music at Alleyne’s School Uttoxeter. In the very early days rehearsals were in Seighford Village Hall but the choir soon outgrew it and moved to the excellent Great Bridgeford Village Hall where Christine Payne joined them as accompanist and where for the last 15 years they have practised and given their concerts. Sue and Christine are the crème de la crème - charismatic and talented. Both are members of the London Royal Academy of Music - one of the leading conservatoires in the world and both are professional music teachers. The choir has under their leadership become the envy of many other choirs with their accomplished parts singing and dynamic presentation, so it is sad to hear that Sue & Christine are now retiring. Sue is retiring to return to her beloved Yorkshire and Christine to concentrate on her work with the Leigh Singers and as a church organist. The choir have sung many concerts locally and in cathedrals from Wells to Barcelona via Sangimignano in Italy, have had an audience of a 1,000 in Spain, broadcast and recorded and at the other end of the scale, they have gathered at Christmas time in care homes and St George’s hospital to sing with residents and their visitors. Choir members say that with Sue and Christine they have had the time of their lives but now sadly they have given their last concert. At a party recently held at the Moat House Acton Trussell the choir members along with Sue and Christine celebrated their years together and their achievements. Choir members say “We owe them such a debt. They have taught us about music and life and introduced us to new worlds --- from choral singing in cathedrals to putting on shows like Grease. But above all they have dedicated


themselves to us and have given hours and days of their time, in season and out to our choir and our community. So we say thank you for the music and the joy you have bought us” We believe the choir is to continue under new leadership and we all wish them well for the future.

• Christine Payne, Geoff Cashmore and Sue Alderson


Acton Trussell & Bednall Scarecrows It’s that time of the year again when Bednall and Acton residents transform the villages with super scarecrows. This year they have outdone themselves, there’s even a rollercoaster erected in somebody’s front garden. Everywhere you turn you spot another scarecrow peering through a hedge, sat on a bench, perched up a tree, or even under one! It’s well worth a visit to both villages to appreciate the scarecrows in person. There’s also a childrens poster competition, with the posters on show. Well done to all for making our villages a fun and pretty place to live.




Camera club’s annual print competition Stafford Camera Club ended the season with their exciting ‘Annual Print Competition’ This years annual competition was judged by Claire Carter ( The competition is divided into Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced Sections, with the judge selecting the overall top ‘Colour’ and ‘Mono’ prints of the year. If you are interested in joining Stafford Camera Club, they meet at 8pm on Tuesday evenings at the County Staff Club, 77 Eastgate Street, Stafford. They frequently have 30 to 40 guests at talks and competitions, all with the aim of improving their photographic skills and meeting other people with the same passion. Newcomers and people of all skill levels are welcome to attend. See Colour Print of the Year - Female Polar Bear, by Gill Wheeler was the ‘Beginners Colour Print’ of the year and was judged to be the ‘Colour Print of the Year’. Congratulations to Gill, in her first year at the club.

Mono Print of the Year - John Simpson’s ‘Urban Boxes’ was judged to be top ‘Advanced’ Mono Print and ‘Mono Print of the Year’ of the Year.

Other winners were Beginners - Mono On the hunt by Jane Rowbottom

Above: Intermediate Mono - Keeping Watch by Pam Bennett Left: Intermediate - Colour Daydreaming by Andy Birch


Learn the art of stone carving a new event at Shugborough Hall The National Trust’s Shugborough Hall Estate will host a three day course in the traditional craft of stone carving in collaboration with local craftsmen from Amerton Arts Studio. Inspiration for the carvings will be drawn from original examples on the estate. It is a brand new event for the National Trust at Shugborough which will bring the tapping of the dummy mallet and ringing of the stone echoing around the courtyard of this Georgian mansion. “Carving stone with traditional hand tools is now a rare pastime and a thoroughly absorbing experience” commented course tutor Miranda, she added “We will be exploring the carvings found on the Estate’s triumphal arch for inspiration, some of which are very intriguing and quite easily overlooked” The course is suitable for beginners as step-by-step tuition will be given, you will take your carving home at the end of the course and all materials are provided. Please visit or for more information.

• Top right: Gill Bertram releases a character from the stone Left: John Broadbent with this gorgeous pig and piglet Below: Amerton stone carvers at their weekly class. For information about joining them see their website at


‘Stafford Together’ launches to support local voluntary groups A new innovative fund has been launched at this year’s Staffordshire County Show with the aim of supporting the voluntary sector in Stafford and all the surrounding areas for the long term, through offering grants, from the investment growth in the monies raised. This scheme is backed by the Community Foundation for Staffordshire, who already has £7m invested for the benefit of the area. The aim is to offer people and businesses the opportunity to raise money for a local sustainable endowment fund that will be there for the long term, with all of the monies staying locally, continuing to support local people long after it has been raised. With the launch of Stafford Together, this also gives people the opportunity to leave legacies for the benefit of their local area or to pull together existing trusts and charitable funds to help ease the burden of administration. Lord Stafford, the Patron of the new fund said “I am delighted to be part of Stafford Together, as I have seen first-hand what a difference small amounts of financial help can make to people's lives, and how something like Stafford Together can benefit the local community both through the voluntary and business sectors. We are always stronger together, and I for one feel very proud to be part of the borough of Stafford”. The launch of Stafford Together is supported by a variety of people from the business community, voluntary sector as well as public sector, all working to ensure a thriving voluntary sector supporting people locally. Councillor Jeremy Pert said at the launch that “Stafford Together had all the hallmarks of bringing the voluntary sector in Stafford and the surrounding areas together,


Pictured are Councillor Jeremy Pert at the launch with Mayoress Councillor Jenny Barron, Mayor of Stafford Borough Councillor Ray Barron whilst creating a lasting legacy for the voluntary sector in the work that they do. The voluntary sector in Stafford is already vibrant and strong and this sort of additional support can only help in time benefit more local people.” For more information about Stafford Together and how to get involved please either call the Community Foundation of Staffordshire on (01785) 339540 or visit

Horse care experience for college students Cannock Chase Trekking Centre, based at Bednall, welcomed students from Sandwell College in April for a trek across the beautiful Cannock Chase landscape and a session on horse care. The trip is an end of year celebration for the hard work put in by students who are currently studying Animal Care Level II and Level III at the college. Organiser Rebekah Bowdley said: “Sandwell College’s Animal Care courses have proved particularly popular over recent years. The opportunity to visit Cannock Chase Trekking Centre and to trek out and groom the horses is a unique opportunity for students and one which they thoroughly enjoy. We have an ongoing relationship with the Trekking Centre and are already planning next year’s dates.” Lisa Gregory, owner and founder of Cannock Chase Trekking Centre, said:“We love sharing our passion for horses with the students from Sandwell College and it’s great to see them immerse themselves in the activities. The students vary in ability from complete beginners to more experienced riders – and we ensure all have a fun time.”

Weston open gardens

Weston Open Gardens and Scarecrow Festival takes place on the 23rd and 24th June, from 10 am to 5 pm. Entry is £4 per person, children are free. There will be approximately 14 gardens open plus a Scarecrow Festival, and a vintage car rally on the Sunday. If you’re hungry there will be bacon rolls, ploughmans lunches and cream teas available. If you’re feeling up for a challenge there will be adult and children's quiz / treasure hunts. For more information please contact Hazel Evans 01889 271929.



Staffordians in WW1 Royal Flying Corps by Nick Lakin

• The FE2b reconnaissance aircraft - Just imagine being strapped into this whilst German planes were attacking... The RFC at the beginning of, and during, the Great War was the air arm of the British Army. Eventually, it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service in April 1918 becoming what we know as the Royal Air Force. Its primary role at that time was photo-reconnaissance with just firearms for protection. As the war dragged on, aerial battles with the German Luftstreitkraefte ( the forerunner of the Luftwaffe) became more common as did the strafing of infantry and emplacements. Probably the earliest local man to join the RFC was Mr Blackmore who left W G Bagnall, the Castle Works manufacturer of locomotives and railway engineering. Other intrepid men included Messrs Wain, Webb, Woodhouse and the Wood brothers who who were all given mention in the press in November 1914 ( Bill wood in fact convalesced at Sandon Hall Red Cross hospital after having been severely burned after a plane crashed into the hangar in which he was working). ‘Intrepid’ is probably a rather mild word to describe the courage of these men as not only were the planes themselves at the outset of aircraft design but the Calthrop Guardian Angel parachute did not become standard issue until the end of the war (they had been used by balloonists for three years previously). It is very likely that these early RFC entrants had been inspired by the visit to Stafford of Gustav Wilhelm Hamel, the German born son of Edward V11’s physician who had been naturalised in 1910. Hamel had made demonstration flights in his Bleriot

• Daredevil racing pilot Gustav Wilhelm Hamel, photo from 1913


aeroplane taking off from the Common plot and the Lammascote. Hamel died when his Morane-Salnier monoplane disappeared over the Channel on a flight to compete in the Aerial Derby. Another strong connection between Stafford and the RFC was the fact the W H Dorman and Co manufactured the Constantinesco and Colley Interruptor-gear which enabled forward gun firing through the propeller. The idea for this synchronisation device had been first fitted to the German Eidecker monoplane fighters in Germany although they were somewhat unreliable. The British Constantinesco gear appeared in 1917 and this proved to be relatively reliable. Probably the best known Staffordian who flew combat operations was 21 year old Ernest George Perry who joined the RFC’s No. 11 squadron and was stationed in France. He became an observer/ gunner on the FE2b reconnaissance aircraft which meant that he sat ahead of the wings and the pilot in the nose of the plane. Whilst his forward view would have been excellent, his rear view was very limited which was not good given that the German fighters had developed the tactic of attacking from above and behind. As well as the reconnaissance role, Perry would have had two Lewis machine guns and spare magazines but he would have had to have some strength to change magazines whilst flying at up to 80mph. Perry was shot down in April 1917 at which time the expected average lifetime of aircrew was just over 17 hours. This became known as ‘Bloody April’ when the RFC lost 245 planes with 211 airmen killed or missing in action. Perry himself, and his pilot John Cairns, had to make a forced landing behind enemy lines and they spent the remainder of the war as POWs.




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My Village Voice - June / July / August edition  
My Village Voice - June / July / August edition