My Village Voice - May/June 2022

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Issue Number Sixty Four - May & June 2022

C ONTENTS

The Good News... • Platinum Jubilee Celebration. What’s going on in your village? Pages 34 - 35 • Meet the New Mayor of Stafford Borough • Colwich & Haywoods looking spick & span • National Trust News and Walks • OakFest Returns in 2022 • Wildlife Event at the Castle • Bradley’s Kurt to have tea with the Mayor • Footy pitch improvements coming soon

Looks like a few months of partying are ahead of us... The national news has been dominated in recent months with the war in Ukraine, war not only brings out the worst in people, but also the best too. It’s heartwarming to see so many locals getting involved to help, from, in show of solidarity, the lighting up of the Shire Hall building in the town’s Market Square, (page 6) to Community Link also supporting the crisis, and Great Haywood Memorial Hall raising funds to help (page 18) and Stafford Rotary Club have been out in force with their collecting buckets (page 27). Generous Bednall villagers have also donated a huge amount of aid (page 36). Showing support in another way, Guerrilla knitters strike in Bednall (page 30) and Brocton residents are being invited to show their support (page 31). 2022 marks Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee, after 70 years of unwavering service to her country, it makes her the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. Parties are planned in Stafford, and in most of the surrounding

villages, see pages 34-35 for more details, and get involved! Many thanks go to Brocton resident Pete Bent, who has kindly sent in some wonderful photos of Fallow Deer, taken in Brocton and nearby. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many deer together in one place! (page 32) If you are a keen photographer and like to take photos in and around our villages, then please send them in to us at the email address below. Likewise, if you have any news from the villages, either that’s already taken place, or events that are coming up in July and August you’d like to promote, send them in for inclusion. I hope you all have yourselves a splendid Spring / Summer, I’ve already got my shorts on! Dan Mitchell 29/04/22

GETTING IN TOUCH In Pictures... • If you go down to the woods today • The J W Meakin Tractor Run 2022 • Easter goings on in Bradley • Stafford Camera Club Winning Images • Nursery Celebrates 3rd Anniversary • Bednall Safari Supper Once you’ve read your copy of My Village Voice recycle it by giving it to a friend!

My Village Voice is wholly independent and is published. 5,700 copies are hand-delivered 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 Bednall news kindly supplied by by Katie Holmes ADVERTISEMENT SALES - sales@myvillagevoice.co.uk EDITORIAL : dan@myvillagevoice.co.uk

TELEPHONE 07514 967890 Read this issue online at www.myvillagevoice.co.uk 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 -2022

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Staffordshire Kitchens More Than a Kitchen Company...

If you’re looking for a luxury kitchen, then contact the friendly team at Staffordshire Kitchens, the specialists in British and German kitchen furniture. They understand that the foundations of any successful kitchen design is first building a good relationship with their clients, so that they truly understand their individual needs, as well as what they want to achieve for their new kitchen. The process is relaxed and informal, but it is thorough in getting to know their clients, so that they can fully tailor a design, giving expert advice and recommend suitable products. For example, they can advise on the best appliances to suit different cooking styles, but equally they can recommend appliances that suit the look you want to achieve, which also suit your budget too. More than a kitchen company, they are experts in Interior Design too, so bring your project to them and they will consider the complete aesthetics of your intended space, before producing a beautiful and truly personalised design, that exceeds your expectations in every way. At their Stafford showroom, the team can design, supply & fit the kitchen of your dreams, delivering the whole package from concept, to design, to build, and all with minimal hassle to you. They offer an exceptional level of service, and whether it’s a small kitchen to maximise storage, or if you’re thinking of a large open plan extension with a family area, they can certainly help. Offering honest, expert advice, plus their variety of manufacturing partners, means they have something to offer everyone, no matter your taste, style, or budget. Staffordshire Kitchens are the ONLY Staffordshire

kitchen supplier of Contemporary & Traditional quality German Kitchens, renowned for their style & durability. German kitchen manufacturers have a worldwide reputation for design, function, and quality, and they have carefully chosen to partner with a German brand that steadfastly upholds these values. Their German partnership enables them to offer a truly diverse product range for clients, including popular styles such as modern, contemporary, true handleless, shaker, gloss, matt, as well as many luxury wood, ceramic, and glass kitchen doors. More than this, they can offer clients the very latest in modern kitchen technology, with innovative design features such as glass roller doors, Tipmatic Softclose doors, slight lift cabinets, motorised drawers and much, much more. The dedicated team are also experts in the design and supply of quality British Kitchens, including from Charles Yorke, specialists in fully handcrafted kitchen furniture. Their British kitchen collections include a variety of contemporary finishes, as well as traditional lay-on kitchen doors and in-frame kitchen doors. With a variety of shaker doors, cornices and handles we can make your kitchen very traditional looking. Alternatively, any style can be adapted to suit your personal tastes with the finishing details, accessories and even lighting creating a more contemporary aesthetic. The team look forward to welcoming you, greeting you with a good cup of tea or coffee as you sit down to discuss ideas for your new kitchen project. Showroom visits are by appointment only so they can guarantee time for you to discuss your project in full, and also to ensure you will have the showroom to yourself. give them a call today.

Showroom open by appointment - to book call 01785 229306

Staffordshire Kitchens First Floor Showroom, 200 North Walls, Stafford, ST16 3AD

01785 229306

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www.staffordshire kitchens.com


Keeping Colwich and Haywoods looking spick and span Hurrah Bloomers, the small wild flower meadow outside the Abbey, Great Haywood, and almost opposite the Spa shop is at last showing quite a lot of spring arriving : the fritillaries are out, and we have quite a few of them, showing different varieties: there are the wild Daffodils, blue Forget-me-nots, cyclamen and also several other bulbs which other "In Bloomers" have planted. This is the time of year when we can say with Mole, from Kenneth Graham's The Wind in the Willows "hang whitewash", throw down the paint brush and discover what's happening in the Great outside. The world is full of mysteries and interesting things. The bees are as busy as bees! and I think we all have a hankering to get outside with a fork and trowel and feel at one with nature. Certainly all the "in Bloomers" feel the same. We have no time to be bored! A. E. Housman wrote... " Loveliest of trees, the cherry now Is hung with blooms along the bough, And stands about the woodland ride Wearing white for Eastertide." The Saxon spring goddess, Eostre, is linked with eggs, they are an ancient symbols of Spring, rebirth and renewal of life. I think we all must feel that things are starting to get back to normal: the other day I was lucky enough to be invited to an afternoon tea and it was really nice to see ladies wearing dresses, instead of jeans. The dresses seemed to bring an air of happiness with them. Unfortunately the war in Ukraine is still going on, and we can all remember seeing the horror that constant bombing can bring. The B.B.C. recently broadcast a programme called "The Distant Barking of Dogs" which alluded to the war bombs falling near Mariupol in the Donbas region of Ukraine. I am sure we all fervently pray this war will end. It might be an I idea to plant a tree in The Haywoods, as a reminder of this devastated village. The tree will also make us feel akin to the population of the Ukraine Motoring through the Parish, my eyes have been

"widened" by the magnificent Magnolias I have seen, if I had a larger garden I would plant a Magnolia tree, I call them "magnificent magnolias", the white flowers are just as wonderful as the pink varieties. I also wonder if walkers near St. Stephens C of E Church in late January / early February have stopped to wonder at the lovely yellow witch-hazel catkins, the tree, near to the Church was full to bursting with them! Walkers round the back of the Church will have seen The Haywoods best ever snowdrop display, as the little white nodding heads of the snowdrops disappear into the woods. Every Haywoods/Colwich In Bloomer, knows there's always a gardening job to be done and Rudyard Kipling puts it perfectly in his poem The Glory of the Garden.... “And there you'll see the gardeners, the men and 'prentice boy Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise, For except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds. The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words. And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose, And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows “ Glory be, the weather is slowly getting warmer, and we can keep on top of keeping the village tidy, everywhere looks great for a short time, but then the litter louts start carelessly dropping empty crisp packages, and smokers drop cigarette ends and so the endless litter arrives. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone took their rubbish back home with them! But "hang litter-picking" let us think of nicer gardening jobs just waiting to be done. All my very best wishes to you all, young and old and let's make The Haywoods Shine! from Anne Clendon B.E.M President of Colwich and Haywoods In Bloom.

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Iconic building lit up in show of solidarity for Ukraine An iconic building in Stafford has been lit up in blue and yellow as a mark of support for Ukraine. Stafford Borough Council leader, Patrick Farrington, asked for the Grade II listed Shire Hall building in the town’s Market Square to be lit up in the colours of the Ukrainian flag throughout the coming weeks. The council leader, who has visited the capital Kyiv, has also written to the Ukrainian Ambassador to Britain, Vadym Prystaiko, to express the borough community’s ‘wholehearted’ support for the country. The ambassador received a standing ovation by MPs in the House of Commons recently. Councillor Farrington, said: “To see the human tragedy being created on this beautiful country by Russian aggression is heart-breaking and I want to convey our sympathies and support to the Ukrainians. “I have also asked the ambassador to let us know if there are other ways the Stafford Borough community can help him and his country.” He said: “I visited Kyiv as a student while studying the Russian language and had the pleasure of seeing in person

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St Andrew’s Church and the Great Lavra Belltower along with the wonderful views of the River Dneiper. “I am deeply saddened and troubled about the events we are witnessing on the country and its people.” The council leader also asked for the borough council website homepage to display the Ukrainian flag as a show of solidarity. The Shire Hall, which is owned by Staffordshire County Council and is to become a new enterprise hub providing workspace for over 20 small businesses, was lit up in blue and yellow on Monday 7th March.


National Trust Staffordshire News and Walks The 48th Annual General Meeting at Walton Village Hall, Stafford, in April was the last in the Staffordshire Centre’s series of talks for the Winter of 2021-2022. We would like to thank all those who attended these talks after reading about them in these pages and helped us to donate £1,000 from reserves to the Shugborough Estate. This will be used fto help create a wildflower meadow beside the Lady Walk. Although this was our last Members stop to take in the views on the Railway Walk talk until the Autumn, the Centre will be arranging - simply follow the joining instructions, meet at the monthly walks and some visits during the Summer designated car park, at least 10 minutes before the walk months. is due to start, and pay on the day. Most of our walks are in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and However, to ensure that the organiser knows that you Shropshire and are four to six miles in length. Because are coming and can let you know if there are any we begin walks around 10.00 we usually get to our lunch last-minute changes of plan, you should always book in venue - a local pub - by 13.30. advance, giving your name and contact details. We keep up an average pace with time to ‘stop and If you want to join us for lunch, it is often necessary stare’. We tackle stiles and hills but never mountains. So if to advise the organiser anyway, so that the pub can you want give the Centre a try and get some exercise be forewarned. along with some convivial company, why not join us on To see details of our current programme check out one of our walks. our Events pages at https://www.ntstafford.org.uk/ If you are not a member of the Centre the cost of Go to Events -> Book a Walk. These are updated joining a walk is £2.00 It isn’t necessary to pay in advance every month as new walks are arranged.

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PA R I S H P U M P Dunston Jubilee Picnic Lunch Dunston Big Platinum Jubilee picnic lunch is being held on Sunday 5th June from 12 noon onwards for Dunstonians and immediate families, on Church Close Green, with suprise entertainment, refreshments etc. fingers crossed for some good weather!

Staffordshire History Day 2022 The Staffordshire History Day is an annual event which brings together historians, researchers, local history societies and members of the public, together with our partners at Keele and Birmingham Universities, to explore and discover the stories of the people and places of Staffordshire. Speakers include Dr Simon Briercliffe of the Black Country Living Museum, John Grayson, Craft Maker and Senior Lecturer in Design at Staffordshire University, Dr. Andrew Sargent, Keele University and Dr Malcolm Dick, Birmingham University. The event will take place on Zoom, on Saturday 7th May between 10:00 – 15:30 BST To view the programme and to book your free place please go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ staffordshire-history-day-tickets-313666824917

Bednall Plant Sale A plant sale is to be held at All Saints Church, Bednall, on Saturday 28th May, from 10 - 12. Go along to see many different varieties of plants for sale, and perhaps sample some of the delicious homemade cakes! All proceeds to go to the church.

Hyde Lea Walking Treasure Hunt There will be a walking Treasure Hunt through Coppenhall and Hyde Lea on Friday, June 3, At 2pm. Starting from Hyde Lea Village Hall. No tickets required, just come along. For further information contact Roger 01785 211647.

Seighford Friday Morning Cafe The Friday morning cafe in Seighford Village HalL reopened on Friday the 29th of April. It’s open every Friday from 10.30--12.00. This is open to all. If the weather is good we will be able to sit outside.

Haywoods Toddler Group We are a welcoming parent and toddler group set in Great Haywood, offering the chance for Parents, carers and grandparents to drop in and get together with their babies and toddlers on a weekly basis for a chat and a cuppa, whilst little ones play. We are open every Thursday during Term Time between 08:35am and 10:30am at Great Haywood Memorial Hall.

Acton and Bednall Quiz Night Date for your Diaries!!! there will be a Quiz Night on Friday 7th October, at the Community Centre, Acton Trussell.

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Bradley’s Kurt to share special Jubilee Tea with mayor A former soldier, who was also a prisoner of war, is looking forward to being one of the guests of honour at a special afternoon tea to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Kurt Gasch, aged 96, is one of a handful of residents born in the same year as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll to have already accepted an invitation to attend the event in May. Stafford Borough Council is looking for nonagenarians to join the Mayor for an afternoon tea with music and memories to celebrate the 70 years the Queen has been on the throne. The only requirements are that the person is a resident of the borough - and was born in 1926. The ‘royal’ tea will take place at 3pm on Sunday 29 May in the Fitzherbert Suite of Stafford Rugby Club in the town’s Blackberry Lane. If you have a relative or friend living in the borough who was born in 1926, and they would like to attend the tea party, please get in touch with the borough council at jubilee@staffordbc.gov.uk. Mr Gasch, who was originally from the German village of Forst, was shot and captured fighting allied forces in the WW2 Battle of the Bulge and became a prisoner of war in Stafford Borough - which has been his home for more than 75 years. He was eventually sent to work on Hodgkins Farm in the village of Bradley, just outside Stafford, where he met his late wife, Violet. Kurt, who has three children, eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren, later became the warden at St Mary’s Church in the village. His daughter, Valerie D’Arcy, said: “When I told him about the celebration for the platinum jubilee he was so pleased and it really cheered him up.” The mayoral ‘tea party’ is one of a number of initiatives to mark the Platinum Jubilee. A four-day event over the long bank holiday weekend in early June is also taking place in Victoria Park to celebrate 70 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The collaboration between the operators of the park’s Alberts Café and the borough council will see a beacon lit on Thursday 2 June with live music, food and other entertainment across the weekend. And both carpet beds in Victoria Park and Stonefield in Stone will be displaying the jubilee logo.


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Bednall Safari Supper 2022

Get together afterwards at the home of Jan and Jim Goodwin 30 people attended this year’s Bednall Safari Supper, which was held on Saturday 19th March. The annual event has some couples cooking a starter, some catering for a main course and then some hosting a dessert, the diners move around between hosts houses as the night goes on, everyone had a wonderful evening. Thanks go to Jim and Jan Goodwin for holding the after party at their home.

Above - Dessert at the home of Pat and Rob Whiston

Left - Main course at the home of David and Karen Marsden

Bednall celebrations have started already! If you take a wander through Bednall, you’ll come across a ‘Scarecrow Street Party’ taking place on All Saints’ Church lawn, it’s there celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The scarecrows have been created and built by Toni and Paul Castle, and Alex Thompson and Terry Jones.

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Teddesley Hay Dog Library! Lillie Mae Orton is very keen to keep all our canine friends happy, so when they are walking past her home at Teddesley Hay, she has come up with this innovative idea… to have a ‘library’ of cute, furry toys, available for dog owners to borrow for their dogs. There is also fresh water and possibly even a treat available, if your dog is very well behaved!


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The J W Meakin Tractor Run 2022 Staffordshire Young Farmers Clubs held a spring Tractor Run on Sunday 27th March, in memory of Mr John Meakin. Emily and Isobelle Meakin, John’s daughters who were both past members of Chase Young Farmers approached Staffordshire YFC to help them honour their dad’s memory, as he sadly passed away in March 2021 following a short and aggressive battle with cancer. John loved tractor runs and ploughing matches from a very young age and during this time as a member of Staffordshire YFC, he loved to attend these kinds of events as well as always getting stuck in at the County Show, particularly with the YFC Show Floats Competition. The JW Meakin Tractor Run, which left Far Coley Farm on Sunday, took 42 tractors through the beautiful Staffordshire countryside passing through Little Haywood, Great Haywood, Hixon, Lea Heath, Kingstone, Admaston and Wolseley Bridges. The event saw many of John’s family and friends turn out for bacon baps and to wave the tractors off and then enjoy celebrating his life afterwards a hog roast. All meat was kindly donated by T G Sargeant and Sons and Paul Sargeant of Bramshall. Including all the donations, a raffle and tractor entry fees, the total funds raised to date is £1896 which will be equally split between Staffordshire YFC and Katharine House Hospice, who looked after John during his illness. Emily and Isobelle Meakin said “We are completely overwhelmed by the support for the Inaugural J W Meakin Tractor Run. To have over 40 tractors was awesome, and a sight to behold when they left the farm. It really felt like a celebration of our dad’s life and meant so much to us as we couldn't give him the send-off, he deserved at his funeral due to COVID. Raising money for Katharine House Hospice and Staffordshire Young Farmers was paramount to us. Dad was a vibrant member of Staffordshire Young Farmers all of his life, from the early raucous days, then later sharing his knowledge with the new generations. The tractor run epitomises Dad's life for us, with tractor's dating back to the 1940's, and all through the years, showing history and tradition all the way through to tractors built in 2022. It shows agriculture from every era, and Dad would have loved to see the variety and prestige that the tractors showcased. This event could not have happened without the help and organisation of the Staffordshire Young Farmers, who are such a dedicated committed group of agriculture enthusiasts. We are truly touched how well the run went and everyone’s support.” Leading the tractor run behind the safety car, Rybrook Landrover, Stoke loaned one of their community cars, a Landrover Defender 90 they had built at the dealership, part of their Heritage Fleet, which created a lot of interest along the route. Julia Taylor, County Organiser for Staffordshire YFC said “When Emily and Isobelle approached us at Staffordshire YFC to organise the event with them, we were grateful for the opportunity to raise funds for ourselves and such a worthy cause as Katharine House Hospice. It has been a pleasure to help family remember John in such a special way and everyone who helped out, including the YFC team of stewards and bucket collectors really enjoyed the day.” If anyone would still like to donate, there is a GoFundMe page which will remain open until the presentation for half of the monies raised is made to Katharine House Hospice at the Staffordshire YFC Pre Show Reception on 24th May. The link for this is https://gofund.me/1a8a6dab.

• County Organiser Julia along with Emily and Isobelle Meakin and Paul Sargeant

• Some of the Staffordshire YFC County Officer team who helped steward on the day

Photos by Sally Elkin of Rocester and District Camera Club

• Quite a line up!

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Easter fun times in Bradley... During the three weeks over Easter a Treasure Hunt was organised round the village of Bradley, with everyone who took part finding it challenging and fun. Part of the Hunt was to find beautifully painted pebbles which were hidden round the village. They are some amazing artists in the village. Bradley Church gates were decorated for Easter with eggs painted by villagers, along with chicks and ribbons. Thanks go to everyone who have organised the Treasure Hunt, the Pebble Painting and the Poppies, and of course, all those that took part. A group of knitters in Bradley are knitting poppies to make a stunning display for Armistice Day in November. They are aiming to have 1000 sewn onto netting and already have over 300. So if anyone has a pair of needles, please let us know and get knitting! from Judith Manners

Only another 700 to make!

The winning pebbles, painted by little Nancy.

The church gates were decorated for Easter

A selection of the other excellent painted pebbles

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Stafford Camera Club Winning Images We are really happy to say that we have had another successful season, despite the covid restrictions. Newcomers and people of all skill levels are welcome to join the club. We meet Tuesday nights at Stafford Cricket & Hockey Club. See www.staffordcameraclub .co.uk for details or follow our Facebook page. Here are a few of our winning images....

• Top right - The Radu Handoca Trophy and first place was won by Jane Rowbottom, her winning entry was ‘Winter Morning’.

• Middle right - The Handoca’s family choice was ‘Fallen’ by Sharron Hill

• Below - The panel competition was won by Julia Brooks with her image ‘The Age of Exploration”

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PA R I S H P U M P Derrington Art Class Derrington Village Hall hosts an Art Class for aII abilities, on Wednesday evenings between 7.00pm and 9.00 pm. Improve your drawing and painting, and learn new techniques with professional artist and tutor Mark Lippett. Either follow set exercises or bring along your own creative project. All abilities catered for including beginners. For more information call 07904 655149 or email marklippett@hotmail.co.uk

Great Haywood Memorial Hall Ukraine Appeal We are pleased to announce that our famous Coffee Mornings have started once again, from 10.00am, on every second Tuesday of the month. Everyone welcome! The Hall's Management Committee are pleased to announce that the proceeds from their Tuesday's Coffee Morning, and donations from generous guests, have enabled them to send £173.00 to the DEC Ukraine Appeal.

The Acton Social Group Tea Room The Acton Social Group Tea Room, at the community centre, Acton Trussell, is Open on Thursdays from 10:30am until 12:30pm. Serving Tea, Coffee, Cake and Toasted Teacakes. There’s Bacon Butties Every First Thursday of the Month. Everyone is welcome along for a drink and a natter.

Ranton Garden Open For Charity The gardens at Butt Lane Farm will be open to the public as part of the National Open Garden Scheme. It takes place on Sunday 29th May between 10am - 4pm The price is £4 for adults, children are free. There will be craft stalls, Arts, a steam engine and a busker providing musical entertainment. Light Refreshments, Homemade Pizza and BBQ will also be available. Butt Lane Farm is at Butt Lane, Ranton, Stafford, ST18 9JZ For more information at www.ngs.org.uk

Gentle Yoga Classes in Derrington There are 2 Wednesday gentle yoga classe taking place at Derrington Village Hall, first is an Over 60's Yoga (chair-based class) Wednesdays 10-10.45am (During term-time) And then Gentle Hatha Yoga (floor-based class) Wednesdays 1111.45am (During term-time) Places are limited, please contact Jenny on jenny@holistichorizons,co.uk or 07941185721 to book.

Oakfest present Quiz Night There’s a Quiz Night at The Royal Oak in Church Eaton on May 12th, with a 7pm start. Theres spot prizes and a prize for the winning team. Cost to enter is £10 per team (maximum 4 members). Please call 01785 823078 to book your table!

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Community Link Stafford & District Manager with some of the Teddy Bears.

Community Link Supporting Ukraine Crisis Appeal Charity staff at Community Link Stafford, the Friendly bus transport organisation, have pulled together and been collecting all sorts of items to fill a bus to support those people in Ukraine. Within only one week they had filled a bus load of stuff that had been donated by the many people who responded to their appeal for contributions, to help those displaced families in need. The various items included teddy bears, food packs, dry clothing, toys, medical supplies etc. Alan Vause (Minibus Driver) and Rachel Trow (Manager) who organised the collections said ‘’We are delighted with the response from so many people to have accumulated whole bus load in just a few days. Huge thanks to all those kind people in the Community that have helped make a useful contribution to those families suffering’’ Want to know more? To find out about services available or if you are interested in volunteering as a Community Link Stafford & District driver visit www.communitylinkstafford.co.uk or call Rachel on 01785 252050.


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Monkey Puzzle Nursery Celebrates 3rd Anniversary With His Worship the Mayor Councillor Tony Nixon off duties with Covid, the Deputy Mayor Peter Jones, the Deputy Mayoress Councillor and Mrs Peter Jones stood in for him at a celebration of the third anniversary of the Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery Stafford, in Garden Street, on Friday April 1st. Due to covid they were unable to officially open the premises. They had a tour of the facilities and had lunch with some of the children and parents, the owner Gaitri Sharma, Barbara Homer, and Marvin, the ever present mascot. The Deputy Mayor cut the ribbon to officially open the nursery.

Deputy Mayor Peter Jones cutting the ribbon

From left - Joy Jones the Deputy Mayoress, Barbara Homer, Gaitri Sharma, Marvin the mascot, Deputy Mayor Councillor Peter Jones

Deputy Mayor Peter with Marvin Monkey (Marvin is on the right!)

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Climate change panel choose first ever co-chairs A new group set up to tackle climate change and increase green recovery in Stafford Borough has announced the appointment of co-chairs. Roisin Chambers and Ant Reid were selected for the roles by their fellow members of the thirteen-strong ‘Climate Change and Green Recovery Panel.’ Representatives from across the area came together to form the new panel in collaboration with Stafford Borough Council. Some members are already strong voices on local environmental groups such as ‘There is No Planet B’ and ‘Sustainability Matters.’ Roisin, of ‘The Green Network’ said: “This is a great opportunity to work in partnership with a whole range of hard working and creative people to identify and share some of the fantastic work that is being done by people. Ant Reid Roisin Chambers “We all want to make the borough greener, healthier, safer and sustainable. There is so much that change as well as promoting green recovery.” different groups do that we should be proud of, from litter “And working alongside our officers, who also have an picking, tree planting, recycling and repairing; we need to enormous passion to take forward our green strategy, I spread the brilliant ideas and enthusiasm across the expect this panel to be a creative force for generating great borough. ideas and promoting initiatives that will benefit our “I feel so positive about the potential of the Climate Change community and beyond.” Panel to challenge and motivate residents to help each other Last year the council added ‘Climate Change and Green and the planet.” Recovery’ as one of four priorities in its new business plan. Ant, from Eccleshall, said: “As a community we all know we The authority has partnered with Keele University, the can do more to respond to the Climate Emergency that the Centre for Alternative Technology and other Staffordshire Borough Council declared in 2019 - but what? I hope and councils to look at what is required to achieve the zero aim for the panel to learn more about what everyone across carbon targets. the borough can do right now, and what we need to start Members of the panel recently teamed up with the doing real soon. We'll talk directly to you in our community council, volunteers and Severn Trent Water to plant the and will showcase projects that work and help communities new forest in the local nature reserve (LNR) off the town’s that want to do the right thing here." Fairway. The new LNR is the largest the borough council The panel is part of the council’s climate change manage and was chosen for the ‘Tiny Forest’ programme strategy. where thousands of trees have been planted as part of the Councillor Jonathan Price, Cabinet Member for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham to have a positive Environment, met the new co-chairs at the planting of a impact and lasting legacy for communities. new forest of 600 trees at a local nature reserve in Stafford. Councillor Price continued “We are, though, a very tiny He told My Village Voice: “It was great to meet Roisin and cog in a global wheel and locally we need our community, Ant and I am glad that it was the panel who decided who businesses and organisations to do their bit to contribute to they wanted to lead a group dedicated to tackling one of the this agenda.” biggest issues facing our community and world. More information can be found at “The one thing all members of this group have in common is www.staffordbc.gov.uk/Climate-Change-and-Greenthey are passionate about the environment and have the Recovery energy to drive forward initiatives aimed at tackling climate

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Bednall food bank success Because of the generosity of Bednall villageers, and with donations amounting to £630, we were able to do another successful Food Bank Run on 5th April. The items are donated to Cannock Food Bank. We provided the requested items - amounting to almost 1,250 tins of food. In addition there were many other donations of tinned food, and over 80 Easter eggs! The reception we receive from the volunteers is a very humbling experience - the need is so great. It is hoped that we will be able to do another run towards the end of May. Thanks go to Alison and Roger for helping with the transporting of food items, and for all your generosity, that makes it possible. Thank you, from Grete

Stafford Borough’s New Mayor Cllr Philip Leason M.B.E seen here in centre of photo on Rotary duties

Welcome to the new Mayor of Stafford Borough

Cllr Philip Leason was recently elected as the Worshipful Mayor of Stafford Borough Council for the civic year 2022/23 and takes up office on the 14th May. Philip was “born and bred“ in Stone and represents the St Michael and Stonefield ward on the Borough Council and served as Deputy Mayor in 2011/12. He is also a member of Stone Town Council and has been Town Mayor on two occasions. Earlier this year Philip retired as a magistrate have served 36 years sitting in both the criminal and family courts. He is a member of a number of organisations in Stone and is a keen local historian. After attending Newcastle College he went to work for Joules Brewery and later Bass and Trade Team. He then went to work at Royal Mail and in 2016 received an M.B.E. for services to Royal Mail and the community of Stone. Philip said he felt it is a great honour particularly during the Queen’s Jubilee year. His main charity will be the Staffordshire Lowland Search and Rescue Team, though will also be supporting other local charities. The Staffordshire Lowland Search and Rescue Team work in partnership with Staffordshire Police, West Midlands Ambulance Service, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue and Staffordshire Civil Contingencies Unit. They are Staffordshire's only approved volunteer lowland search & rescue team; with specialist training in locating and rescuing missing people in urban and rural lowland areas. Their highly skilled team of dedicated volunteers give up their own valuable time to 46 members of The National Trust visited Sandon Church provide a service to the emergency services 24 hours a in March, where they were given information and guided day - 365 days of the year. For more information visit tours on this historical 11th Century Church. www.staffordshirelowlandrescue.org

National Trust visit to Sandon 22


Cash support for buses to boost popularity Bus operators will receive cash help to keep local services running now if they show they’re trying to attract passengers for the future. Staffordshire County Council has agreed to carry on topping up large Government subsidies for another six months, provided companies are also promoting routes for when the financial support ends in autumn. The decision follows a move by the Department for Transport that ‘Covid’ subsidies for bus operators will be extended from April until the end of September. For the last two years Staffordshire County Council has paid operators the pre-pandemic rate of £7 million per annum for concessionary travel, even though actual user numbers have been far lower. David Williams, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “The extension of central Government grants until the autumn is absolutely essential to maintaining many services in Staffordshire at the moment. “The county council does not run bus services but has been doing all it can to help locally, which is why we are continuing to make concessionary fare payments at 100 per cent of the pre-pandemic level, rather than for current use. “Passenger numbers have not yet recovered and our extended cash support is conditional on operators showing how they’re trying to build up passenger numbers for when the subsidies end in the autumn.” The announcement by the Department for Transport says the ‘final Covid-19 support package’ will provide support for the development of ‘new, effective, financially sustainable networks that cater for the needs of the local public’. Staffordshire County Council does not run bus services, but does work closely with operators, councils and communities to promote a sustainable transport network wherever possible. David Williams added: “Around 95 per cent of bus services in Staffordshire are entirely commercial and usually there is only a little that the council can do to influence their operation. “Many people rely on these services for work, study and socialising and their loss would badly affect the county, so we are keen to work with the bus operators to help the network. “There’s a six month breathing space now for operators to really promote their services in the communities they serve and I would say to former passengers that if they value what’s on their doorstep they need to support their local routes.”

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The saints and the sinners in Stafford Grammar’s musical theatre production of Guys and Dolls.

Hi jinks and romance in the Big Apple The guys and the dolls dished out bucket loads of hi jinks, wit and romance as a young cast revelled in a joyous romp through the streets of 1950s downtown Manhattan in Frank Loesser’s musical. Freed from the constraints of the pandemic, the Stafford Grammar School performers embraced their first live theatrical production for more than two years in a fable about what happens to gambling men and the women who try to tame them. The show begins with a bet. Nathan Detroit (aka Adam Merron) wagers high-flying gambler Sky Masterson, played by Church Eaton’s Oliver Jones, that he will not be able to persuade virtuous and idealistic missionary Sarah Brown (Francesca Fitton) to go on a date with him to Cuba. Meanwhile Nathan is on a mission of his own - to dodge his long-time fiancée Miss Adelaide’s marriage quest, while also trying to set up the biggest crap game in town. Playing the irrepressible Miss Adelaide, 17-year-old Josie Lamplough, from Acton Trussell, said: “She is such a

likeable showgirl who always looks on the bright side, and people can relate to her. I wanted to show that she’s more than just a comedy character who sings some belting songs. Miss Adelaide is on a journey in her relationship with Nathan. “There’s been a buzz around the whole cast throughout the production. It’s wonderful to be back performing on stage again, doing what we love to do. Because of the pandemic some of the pupils who are in Year 9 or 10 had missed out on doing shows in front of a live audience, so there have been a few extra nerves for some performers this time, but it’s been brilliant.” Backed by professional musicians, the saints and sinners in the Guys and Dolls cast acted, sang and danced their way across a dizzy world of dice games, rackets and nightclubs in the Big Apple, in an exuberant declaration that they are happy to be back on stage.

(from left) Acton Trussell’s Josie Lamplough as Miss Adelaide and Francesca Fitton, playing Sarah Brown.

In Havana, Sarah (Francesca Fitton) is wooed by the charismatic Sky Masterson (Oliver Jones), from Church Eaton.

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Borough selected for footy pitch improvement scheme A programme to improve football pitches across Stafford and surrounds has moved a step closer. Stafford Borough Council has been selected as part of a national pilot scheme to improve grass pitches in the area over the next ten years. The announcement was made by the Premier League, the FA and Government’s Football Foundation - the UK’s largest sports charity aimed at improving the experience of playing football for everyone, by championing fair access to quality facilities. The borough council was selected following a successful process which included a detailed condition survey of local pitches. The Football Foundation will work with the council and other local partners to devise a delivery plan and explore funding opportunities to improve well-used pitches across the local area The local authority has 21 pitches in the borough that could benefit from the programme - with the potential of securing £2,500 per pitch for the work. As part of the pilot scheme council staff will be uploading pitch inspections to a new app which will be used by the Football Foundation to decide on the level of support the authority will receive. Work is currently underway to prioritise the list of sites for improvement using information from the Local Football Facility Plan. The plans have been created for every area in England and are the culmination of two years work with local authorities, County FAs and other stakeholders to identify projects that together represent a blueprint for building what each community needs and deserves.

Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “I am really pleased we have been selected and being part of this pilot scheme is a great opportunity for us to work alongside the Football Foundation to improve the condition of our grass football pitches and show our ongoing commitment to grassroots sport in the local area.” Having launched its ‘Power Up Your Grass Pitch’ campaign in November last year, the Football Foundation is on a mission to improve over 7,000 grass pitches by 2024 and 20,000 by 2030, to ensure the 12 million grassroots football players across the country have great places to play. The ‘Foundation’ has developed ‘PitchPower’ - a free ground-breaking web app that gives every club and organisation the ability to carry out their own grass pitch inspection. Once submitted, organisations will receive an assessment report with bespoke recommendations and advice from experts at the Grounds Management Association (GMA) on how to improve their pitches. This report also serves as a gateway to access Football Foundation funding to support pitch improvements.

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Enviro crime warning after hundreds of pounds in fines

Local business supports veterans Property business Jeffries Property Buyers, based in Stone have offered their support to a Staffordshire based Veteran’s group through a generous donation of the use of 3 acres of land, which was a former coal merchant site. The use of the land has enabled the dream of a Veteran’s Retreat and Respite Centre in Harriseahead (near Mow Cop) to become a reality. The project is being developed by the Tri Services Veterans Support Centre Charity that has been established for over seven years and currently provides support to thousands of individuals and families who have served in the armed forces, through their Newcastle Centre. The retreat is the exciting new project for the charity with a wide range of activities planned. Jeffries Property Buyers directors Ron and Julie Jeffries told My Village Voice : “We have always thought that Veterans deserve our full support for the sacrifices they make on our behalf. When we heard about the vision of having a retreat in Staffordshire, we wanted to do all we could to make it happen. As we source land through our business we decided to help this project with some land we had acquired. The Tri Service Support Centre Chair Geoff Harriman, Kathy Munslow and the team are currently working hard to bring this amazing project to life.” Geoff Harriman said “We couldn’t develop the Veterans Retreat without the support of other local organisations and business people such as Ron and Julie Jeffries. The aim is for the Retreat to provide a hub where veterans can meet and take part in a wide range of activities such as archery, bushcraft, Thai Chi, photography, art and bee keeping. In the future we will also be able to support veterans looking for a career change or to learn new skills such as construction and vehicle maintenance. We are also enjoying working with the local community and schools developing plans for a community garden and vegetable planting area. One of the main attractions will also be a wild flower memorial meadow and sculpture with places for everyone to relax. There are also plans to install eco-friendly accommodation to be used for respite for the veterans. We aim to create a supportive, inclusive and friendly atmosphere where veterans can meet likeminded people. We have extensive links with local services and businesses such as Armed Forces charity, SSAFA, Veterans UK, Walking with the Wounded and many more. It’s been heart-warming to see that this project has not gone unnoticed and recently was highlighted at the House of Commons. Our local MP Jonathan Gullis MP raised the names of everyone involved in the project in the House, with the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Leo Docherty. We are looking forward to the retreat being fully open and operational by mid-2023.” For more information on the Veterans Support Centre visit www.veteransupportcentre.org

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A senior councillor has warned litter louts in Stafford Borough that they will be hit in the pocket. The warning was made by Councillor Jonathan Price after hundreds of pounds worth of fines were handed out for environmental crimes. Offences include fly posting in the village of Gnosall, the dumping of around 40 bags of household waste in a woodland in Stone and disposing of business waste in resident wheelie bins. And Stafford Borough Council is currently prosecuting seven people for more waste related offences across the area. All the offences occurred within the last three months. In the most recent cases: · The owner of large advertising signs which were attached to railings on Stafford Road, Gnosall was fined £200. · A man was given a £400 fixed penalty notice after the 40 bags of rubbish were discovered in the woodland next to the town’s Walton Grange. · The manager of a shop in Uttoxeter was hit with a £100 penalty after disposing of the business’ waste in household wheelie bins in Pirehill, Stone.

The rubbish near Walton Grange

Councillor Jonathan Price, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “I hope this demonstrates that we take all environmental crimes seriously and will not hesitate to issue fixed penalty fines or take people to court where necessary. “Residents get in touch with us to report incidents including fly tipping, dog fouling, abandoned cars or people putting up posters and banners without permission in their area. These are all a blight on our communities, they can lead to further anti-social offences, they are expensive to clean up and can put people off coming to our wonderful borough - and that is not good for our economy.” Clearing up incidents such as fly tipping cost the borough council tens of thousands of pounds in the last 12 months. The local authority has a dedicated webpage www.staffordbc.gov.uk/grimewatch - to highlight illegal rubbish dumps - and how residents can get in touch with information. Councillor Price added: “We need help from our public to ensure we can catch and deal with the offenders and any details will be treated in confidence.” Contact the council in confidence grimewatch@ staffordbc.gov.uk or call 01785 619402.


Stafford Rotary Club Ukraine Collection Members of the Stafford Rotary Club, and others, held a bucket collection in aid of the Ukrainian refugees, in the Market Square, Stafford, on Saturday March 26.

Stafford Flower Club May Meeting Stafford Flower Club will be holding their May meeting on Wednesday 25th May, starting at 2.15 pm, at Rising Brook Methodist Church, ST17 9DH. Pat Simcock is offering an afternoon of flower arranging demonstrations with a difference as her title of “Whoops I have Done it again!”. She is a lady with bold ideas, and it will be interesting to see how she interprates them into her flowers. This month the club are asking those attending to bring any spare plants for them to sell, whether they be divisions, cuttings, young plants grown from seed or just some you no longer want. Therefore, there could be an eclectic collection of plants for you to browse and buy at bargain prices, who knows what will be on offer! They will be having their usual raffle of the flowers that have been arranged, the competition when you have to be “In It to Win It”. Your basic needs for your own flower arranging projects can be purchased from the general sales table. There will be also be a chance for everyone to catch up with friends for a chat over light refreshments during the interval before Pat finishes off her demonstration and they announce the winners of the raffle and “In it to Win It”. Do go along and join in the fun, you will all be most welcome. The club meet at Rising Brook Methodist Church, ST17 9DH starting at 2.15 pm. There are lots of parking spaces so you won’t have far to walk. For more information contact: stafford.flower.club@ outlook.com or ring Mrs M. Keast on 07708 025255.

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Grand Finale of the Beethoven Violin Sonata Series! Newport Music Club is delighted to welcome back the award winning musical duo Mary Hofman and Richard Ormrod to play the final pair of Violin Sonatas by Beethoven. The concert will be held at Cosy Hall, Newport on Saturday 14 May 2022 at 7.30pm. Fans will remember the previous concerts, one of which ended the Music Club’s 2019 – 2020 series. The two Beethoven Sonatas were written in 1803 and 1812 respectively, and are known for their beauty and complexity. Both are known as a challenge to musicians, but the internationally acclaimed pairing (see richardormrod.co.uk) of Hofman and Ormrod will, we are sure, deliver their usual exciting and accomplished performance. Additionally there will be a new piece of music specially commissioned for this series from noted Welsh born composer Hilary Tann. ‘First Light: A Meditation on Beethoven Op.96’. Her work has been described as ‘shimmering and weightless, effective and

moving’.(https://hilarytann.com/) Tickets for this concert are £13 adult, Students £5 and will be available from Deli 45 and Hey Jude in Newport, or at Cosy Hall on the night, but patrons are requested to contact the Music Club on newportmusicclub tickets @gmail.com or phone 01952 812920 to confirm the number of adults and children coming along.

Tree in Victoria Park dedicated to Elizabeth

Mayor, Mayoress, Hazel Nixon, and Cllr Trowbridge.

A tree was planted in an award-winning park in Stafford to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The English Oak was placed in Victoria Park, Stafford by the Mayor of the Borough, Councillor Tony Nixon, along with Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, Cabinet Member for Leisure. The planting was part of the national ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’ initiative to celebrate Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth ll’s jubilee year. It took place on Friday (11 March) - the 70th day of the year - as a tribute to the 70 years Her Majesty has been on the throne. Victoria Park will host a four-day event over the long bank holiday weekend as part of the celebrations with a beacon lit on Thursday 2 June. The event is a collaboration between operators of the park’s Alberts Café and Stafford Borough Council with live music, food and other entertainment lined up for the weekend. The local authority has received more than 20 requests from people wanting to hold street parties after waiving the cost of providing road closures for communities to celebrate with their neighbours during the ‘Platinum Jubilee’ weekend.

Allstars and Dynamos at Church Eaton Cricket Club Church Eaton Cricket Club is looking for new junior players, both boys & girls are welcome, between the ages of 5-15. They will be running their Allstars Programme again this year which is for all kids ages 5-8 who want an introduction into the sport - sign up is required for this through the ECB Allstars website, as it is organised by the governing body. The club have also announced that they will be running a Dynamo's girls team, this is for all girls aged 8-11 who would like an introduction into the sport. More info on this will follow in the next few weeks, check their website, facebook & twitter for these updates. http://churcheaton.play-cricket.com

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Two Horses Communing in a Landscape by George Stubbs takes pride of place

Stubbs at the heart of salons restoration at Weston Park Restoration work on the Salons at Weston Park, the stately home on the Shropshire \ Staffordshire border is nearing completion in readiness for the summer season. The First and Second Salon have been subject to a major restoration project thanks to support from Historic England, as a part of a DCMS Culture Recovery Fund scheme that was enabled through Historic Houses. The works involved the specialist conservation contractor Messenger BCR has been working under the direction of Weston’s land agents Balfours to effect a re-roofing of the complex roof structure above each room. Originally the open courtyard around which the House was built in 1671, the Salons were a Victorian creation to house the Smoking Room and Billiard room enclosing the rooms from the elements. They were then re-modelled in the 1960’s as picture galleries to display important paintings from the collection. The vital work, part funded with thanks to Historic England means that the spaces are now water tight and provide a fitting environment for the display of Weston Park’s historic collections of fine and decorative art. Gareth Williams, Curator and Head of Learning to the Weston Park Foundation told My Village Voice: “The First Salon has been re-decorated and both rooms have been re-displayed and old master paintings have been re-instated with the addition of George Stubbs equestrian masterpiece, Two Horses Communing in a Landscape. In addition, three other old master paintings have been conserved and are on display including Hendrik von Balen’s Bathsheba at Her Bath, which has been conserved by the Hamilton Kerr Institute at University of Cambridge thanks to funding from the Historic Houses Foundation; a work by Pieter van Lint of Christ and St John the Baptist and the re-discovered painting by 17th century artist Mary Beale of St Catherine, whose restoration was supported by Art Fund.” Four important marble sculptures have been re-introduced to the Marble Halls, taking the rooms back to their late 19th century appearance. The busts include the 1st Earl of Bradford and his daughter Lady Lucy Whitmore by Lorenzo Bartolini and proto feminist and champion of women’s rights, Caroline Norton by Peter Hollins of Birmingham, together with a further Hollins bust of the 2nd Earl of Bradford. The House at Weston Park is open to visitors on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays throughout the summer from 1pm – 4.30pm (last admission 4.00pm) on a free-flow basis.

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Gordon Baillie, Head Gardener at Arley Hall,Verity Conner, Chair of Homes & Gardens and Diarmuid Gavin

Worth The Wait ! Delayed by Covid for two years, the Homes & Gardens Day at the Staffordshire County Showground finally took place on 26 April and was much appreciated by the ladies of Staffordshire Federation of Women's Institutes. It was made even more special as the original programme - including Keynote Speaker Diarmuid Gavin - was fulfilled. Verity Conner, Chair of Homes & Gardens who organised the event told My Village Voice, 'It was great to meet up face-to-face with the ladies after all this time and to listen to three interesting speakers who engaged so well with the audience. The fabulous shopping experience added to the day'. Guerrilla knitters have struck in Bednall, thank you goes to Ladies were able to browse and shop from over 20 stalls Michael Waterhouse for sending in these photos that selling a wonderful range of unique items from homemade show a knitted and crocheted Post box topper. cakes to jewellery, felted animals, artisan chocolate, If you didn’t know, ever since lockdown they’ve been hand-made cheese, bags, collectables, gin from Uttoxeter appearing all over the UK on top of post boxes, in various and wine produced in Tamworth. Derbyshire Federation's Christine Oath and Nancy designs and styles. What a touching tribute Bednall’s is, the flag of Ukraine, and emblazoned with sunflowers, the Hawksworth judged competition entries for floral art and national flower of the Ukraine. Thank you to whoever is cakes using fruit or vegetables. The first speaker of the day was responsible, it’s beautiful. Gordon Baillie, Head Gardener at Arley Hall in Cheshire who gave an interesting talk on the work undertaken throughout the seasons beautifully illustrated with slides. Arley Hall is also used as a film set for Who Let the Dogs Out? and Peaky Blinders. Gordon was followed by David Hunter of Hunter's Gin Distillery in Uttoxeter who led us gave the history of Gin production from the back street distilleries when turpentine was the unlikely sweetener to the sophisticated use of botanicals today. The Keynote Speaker was Diarmuid Gavin, Garden Designer Diarmuid Gavin and TV Presenter whose life story on stage was told in a most engaging way. His slides charted how he has been influenced throughout his career from when his interest was first piqued by a quirky suburban garden in Ireland to his creation of contemporary designs at Chelsea. There were glimpses into his personal life, too, with the transformation of a modern house into a beautiful home, complete with a functional bath in the garden. The event may have been two years late but it was certainly well worth waiting for ! The Staffordshire Federation of Women's Institutes has a full programme of events planned for this year - for more information, please visit www.sfwi.org

Guerrilla knitters strike in Bednall

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Brocton residents show their support The humanitarian situation in Ukraine is increasingly desperate, as people are forced to flee their homes because of conflict, or live in fear for their lives. To show support for the people of Ukraine, Brocton Parish Council are inviting residents of Brocton, both adults and children, to add Ukrainian flags, messages of peace, blue and yellow crafts around the truck of the tree on the village green, alongside the yellow daffodils or carefully hung from the tree branches.

Pop in to John German to pick up a free template for decoration. There are Heart templates to be coloured blue and yellow and pictures of sunflowers (the national flower of Ukraine) to be coloured in, then please go ahead and display your heart, you may want to laminate it! A Stafford Facebook group called ‘Stafford and Surrounding Towns Supporting Ukraine’ has been set up to help local people and businesses donate all sorts of things and funds. If you wish to join the group you can find them here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/635452931077047/ Photos courtesy of Brocton Parish Council

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If you go down to the woods today.... Brocton resident, and keen photographer, Pete Bent, has kindly sent in these photos of Fallow Deer, taken recently in Brocton and on the Chase nearby. Many readers will know that if you venture up to certain areas of the Chase, around early evening time, you’ll be met by the wonderful sight deer, up close, some have become quite tame over the years, however you’ll still need to be quiet so that you don’t spook them off.

A rare sighting of a Buzzard

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Wildlife event at the Castle Get along to "Wildlife at the Castle" event on Sunday May 22nd between 10am and 4pm for a free, furry, family friendly, fun packed day! With so many animals to see and interact with, plus local produce and suppliers, this is every nature lovers dream. Free childrens workshops around the site, cakes and jams, local ales, coin minting in the keep, live music from local artists, a woodland trail and local schools will also be making the woodland round our castle look extra special. All this and lots more... Car Park: £3 Motorbikes: £2 Pedestrians & Pushbikes Free

St James’ clean up Helpers busy at work at St James’ churchyard, Acton Trussell, clean up day - thanks to all who came along to help keep the churchyard looking good. Photo by Eleanor Simms

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Bradley Jubilee Celebrations The Friends of Bradley Church have been reminding ourselves of life in Bradley during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Over the years the village has seen some fabulous events and we thought it would be a really lovely idea to bring back one of those old traditions and therefore we invite you to join the Wheely Good Pageant Sunday 5th June. The Pageant will begin at 12pm from The Village Hall You are invited to join in with your wheels! and encorage you to join in the fun by dressing up in your favorite dressing up costume of the last 70 years! Or perhaps anything red, white and blue or maybe come as your favorite royal? Perhaps your hidden talent is roller skating or skateboarding? Why not drag around your hoover, ride a tandem or your bike, or give someone a ride in your tractor, push someone in a wheel chair or even a wheel barrow? Dress up your pram or pushchair ....everyone can get involved! At the end of the pageant you are then invited to bring your picnic and spend the afternoon with your Neighbours and friends on the green spaces in Malthouse Lane. If you can't make the green spaces, drag your chairs out to the end of your drive and see who else is around. We hope you all have a lovely day!

A right royal knees-up! Join 100+ elderly members of our community are expected to join Cherishers 'thank you' parties for Queen's Platinum Jubilee! We have spectacular plans for a ‘thank you’ party involving 100 elderly members of Rugeley on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend. Cherishers will be holding a street party outside our shop in Upper Brook Street, Rugeley Town Centre on Saturday, June 4th to mark 70 years of service by the Queen. It’s a fantastic opportunity to bring elderly people together after all we have been through over the past two years. Join in and share friendship, food, drink, live music, and fun to say thank you with our BIG Street Party! We have disabled facilities at our shops, and we can provide transport if needed. Due to catering needs we do require that all those wishing to attend please pre-book by calling 01889 578822.

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Derrington’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations To celebrate our Queen's Platinum Jubilee join us for a Community Lunch in the Park (an outdoor event) on Saturday June 4th, starting from 12 noon. It all takes place on the Children's Playing Field in Church Lane, Derrington Bring your own Food, Tables, Chairs, Gazebos etc. There will be a Bar, Toilets, & Background Music. There’s Parking on site for a number of cars. Enjoy a flutter on Swan Racing (ducks really but just imagine!) If you can help put on this community event please contact us. For details contact Roy on 07816 291 201 or Helen on 07866 228 544

Colwich and Haywoods Platinum Jubilee Fete Colwich Parish Council would like to invite you to join them celebarate at a Platinum Jubilee Fete. It will be held on Saturday June 4th. It takes place on the Jubilee Playing Field, Main Road, Great Haywood ST18 0TS. The event is being organised to commemorate Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee, and also in response to local requests for a village fete, so it is hoped that there will be a large turn out. They have also invited various local small independent business' to have a stall. It has been a difficult couple of years for many, and this is a chance for all to show some support. They also have many local support groups including the RNLI, the Phoenix Club and Colwich in Bloom all of whom are keen to enlist new members! There will be children's entertainment and the evening will finish off the day with music and fun. There will be food and refreshments. It is free entry to all. They look forward to welcoming you, go along and help to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. Put it in your diaries. 1.30 pm Opening with Haywood Community Choir Stalls and Displays, Refreshments, Children’s activities Fun for all the family 6pm Colwich Has Talent (there are two categories: Under 18 years of age, Over 18’s) If you wish to enter, contact Wendy.plant@colwichparishcouncil.gov.uk 7.30pm Opening the evening entertainment - Jason Grey 8.15pm Tom Vaughan Singing as Robbie Williams The evening will close at 10.30pm

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Bradley Village Hall Activities

These are just some of the items donated, I couldn’t fit everything in the photo!.

We are pleased that some of the regular activities have now recommenced. Monday Post Office 1 - 3 p.m - Quilting 2 - 4 p.m. U3A Quilting Class Alternate Mondays Tuesday WatercolourArt Class 10 a.m - 12 noon Contact: Sue Chatterton for details on 07714 100921 Tai Chi 1.15 - 2.15p.m. Contact: Betty Metcalf 780554 Wednesday Thursday Indoor Bowls 7.00 - 9.00 p.m (2nd Thursday each month) A pleasant social evening Contact: Catherine Cartwright History Group 8.00 - 9.00 p.m. (4th Thursday each month) Talks with local interest Contact: Catherine Cartwright Friday Pilates 6.30 - 7.30p.m. Contact: Sarah Black for details 824744 Sunday Knitting and Crochet 1.30 - 3.30p.m. Contact: Jean Beaman 780567 This is your hall - anyone interested in organising other activities please contact: Stephen Furness, Chairman, The Bradley Trust e-mail: swfurness@hotmail.com This hall is fully equipped and available to book for meetings, parties, social events etc. To book contact Mrs M Whittaker 01785 780364

Ukranian Appeal Thanks On behalf of our son Alex, we would like to thank you for your incredibly kind donations towards the Ukrainian appeal. Over a period of 4 days the village of Bednall donated over £1000 worth of items ranging from food, medicinal items, toiletries, baby food, clothing and so much more. Every time I opened the front door there were bags of anonymously donated items left outside. As usual, the kindness of this village has been amazing. Alex worked in liaison with The Ukrainian Club and The Polish Red Cross who took a convoy of lorries over to Poland to help those refugees who made it over the border. The generosity shown was phenomenal, and your personal donations went directly to the people who needed it the most. Thank you all. Carole and Steve Allen, Bednall

Volunteers at the warehouse ‘boxing’ the items ready to go.

Unloading the lorries in Poland

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OakFest Returns for 2022 Add the date to your diary… OakFest is a fantastic annual music event that takes place at The Royal Oak pub in Church Eaton. This year it takes place on Saturday, September 3rd. It’s an amazing family friendly event that will have epic street food vendors, live music and much, much more! It opens from 12pm with our awesome music starting at 2pm running until 11pm. Come and join us for an awesome day/night out with the family. It is a FREE entry event, however we promote the sales of ‘OakFest’ wristbands (on sale soon at the pub) and proceeds go towards local charities. Previously, through wristbands, donations and fundraisers throughout the year we’ve raised thousands for local charities including Church Eaton Primary School, St Editha’s Church, Church Eaton Village Institute & Katharine House Hospice.

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