The Stone and Eccleshall Gazette - July/August 2022

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CONTENTS News • Stone’s Philip Leason is made Mayor of Stafford • Crown Wharf Theatre taking shape • Action Group warn of sewage released into Sow • Curborough Charity Day • Webcam plan for recycling sites • Warning on High Street fines • Trentham Summer Concerts • Funds boost for ‘Mecebrook’ • All systems go for Space 2022

In Pictures • Walton Community Centre Open day • Commonwealth Baton comes to Stone • Environment Matters - We can all make a difference! • Stone Festival 2022 in pictures • Friends Stump Up for Stonefield Park • Beacons Lit in Stone, Barlaston and Eccleshall Castle

Your environment - simple steps that can make a difference What a busy couple of months it’s been! Are you all partied out yet? May seemed to fly by as people busied themselves in preparation for the Queens Platinum Jubilee. June arrived and it started with Beacons being lit all across the land, here too in Stone, Barlaston and at Eccleshall Castle. (I bet there’s a few readers that didn’t even know Eccleshall had a castle?) The lighting of the beacons marked the start of a what became a weeks long celebration, with events and street parties taking place everywhere, marking Liz’s 70 year reign. See inside for photos from the Jubilee celebrations that took place in Stone and Eccleshall, at Trinity Skills for Life, Stone Stroke Club, Stone flower club, St Dominic's Women's Guild and Oulton Village Hall, to name just a few. It was so good to see everyone enjoying the celebrations together, even non royalists raised a glass or two I reckon. Then came Stone Festival, again lasting over a week, or more. A huge thank you goes to all members of the Festival Team, all of whom are volunteers. The team managed to put on a fantastic range of events throughout the week leading up to the Saturday Festival and Carnival, which were a return to form, despite the showers! Well done to you all, and enjoy a week or two off, before you start planning next years events! Congratulations go to Cllr. Philip Leason MBE, who was made Mayor of Stafford, and also to Cllr. Peter Jones, who was made Deputy Mayor, for the 5th year in a

row, a record! Did you know that Philip that has provided a regular heritage article for The Gazette for over 18 years, and Peter has provided 85% of all Eccleshall news for over 20 years! Well done to you both. It’s worrying news from Eccleshall Flood Action Group, as they warn of the huge amounts of sewage being released into the River Sow, the rivers are the cleanest they’ve been for 30 years, you could argue that’s due to us abiding by EU laws, that we no longer need to abide to. With the rise of wild swimming, and kayaking as popular as ever, especially here in Stone, it can’t be allowed to continue, surely? Staying on the environment, in this edition Cllr. Tom Kelt has submitted an article about the Environment, and what we can all do to help our planet, just some simple steps, to make changes in our daily behaviour, that can really make a difference when done collectively. Oh, and be sure not to drive down Stone High Street, you’re breaking the law if you do, (unless loading or unloading, and no, that doesn’t include loading a takeaway). Ten motorists were fined in a recent sting, and the police have said they will continue to fine anyone breaching the regulations, you have been warned! Finally I wish you all a great Summer, my favourite season, fingers crossed for the weather. If you’re lucky enough to be going away on holiday somewhere, I hope you all have a fantastic break, until next time, adios! Dan Mitchell 03/07/22

Heritage • Stone Section of the Cyclists’ Touring Club 1960’s By Chris Copp • Happy Memories Of Holidays And Day Trips Out By Philip Leason MBE

September / October edition is out on Sep 1st Editorial Deadline - August 20th Advertisement Copy Deadline - August 23rd



EDITORIAL Eccleshall News -

ACCOUNTS Angela Downing -

TELEPHONE 07514 967890 Photography in association with Martin Robinson 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 © The Stone Gazette Ltd Once you’ve finished with your Gazette, recycle it by giving it to a friend.


Paddles at the ready: pictured on the JCB World Headquarters’ lake are (left to right) The JCB Academy Head of PE Nik Morgan, student Michael Goode, water sports instructor Luke Gathercole, student Grace Fisher, JCB-sponsored canoeist Adam Burgess and students George Bolton, Daniel Peart and Rosalie Hurcomb.

Stone’s JCB-sponsored canoeist Adam makes a splash with students JCB Academy students put their paddle power to the test under the expert eye of Olympic canoeist Adam Burgess. The youngsters took to the water for a masterclass with JCB-sponsored Adam at the company’s World Headquarters in Rocester, trying out a host of new canoes, kayaks and paddle boards, donated by the company. And the Academy plans to put the £5,000-worth of new water sports equipment to great use – holding regular sports sessions for students as well as planning a marathon 70km fundraiser on the lake this summer, in aid of JCB’s NSPCC Platinum Jubilee Appeal. Following the water sports session, Adam, from Stone, shared his inspirational sporting story with more

than 150 Year 9 JCB Academy students in a presentation at the JCB World Headquarters theatre. Adam said: “It is brilliant to see JCB investing in the next generation of water sports enthusiasts – whether it’s for fun or at competitive level. Staffordshire has a proud pedigree of producing Olympic canoeists and it would be great to see some of these youngsters following in my footsteps.” JCB Academy Head of Physical Education Nik Morgan said: “The JCB Academy prides itself on offering the best educational and sporting opportunities for our young people. We cannot thank JCB enough for enabling the students to really broaden their horizons with this generous donation.”

Trinity Skills for Life celebrate the Jubilee On Wednesday 25th May, Trinity Skills for Life had an early Jubilee celebration to make the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Over the last few weeks, the students have worked tirelessly to make items to commemorate the Jubilee and these had pride of place in reception. The building was spectacularly decorated internally and

externally in the Jubilee theme of red, white and blue and was a wonderful sight to see. The students helped to make sandwiches, jelly and ice cream, which were enjoyed by all, along with lots of other tasty treats. Staff and students all came dressed in red, white and blue and a fabulous day was had by all, with games and food galore!

Return of Lions Club Easter Egg Raffle The weeks before Easter saw the welcome return of Stone Lions Easter Egg Raffles in a number of pubs and establishments in the local area, after a two year break due to the pandemic. Although there were a few less venues able to accept an Easter Egg this year, the result of this fund-raising


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project was a fantastic £1,545.00 being raised for local good causes. The Members of Stone Lions Club would like to thank all who contributed to making this venture so successful. The Golden Egg Trophy was awarded to the Old Smithy in Eccleshall, who raised a total of £105.00

Beacon Lit Up at Eccleshall Castle A full house of 300 people attended Eccleshall Castle, courtesy of Mr and Mrs M Carter Motley. ED I’m sure a lot of readers didn’t know Eccleshall had a castle! The beacon was lit following the sounding of the siren, the lone piper

Mark Shakeshaft and soprano soloist Victoria Stilwell. The beacon was lit by Parish Council events committee chairman Ros Carter accompanied by the Holy Trinity Church bells ringing.

Stone Probus June meeting The June meeting of Stone Probus was held at The Upper House, Barlaston, the after-lunch speaker was Michael Morton who gave a fascinating and hugely entertaining talk on a subject on every traveller’s mind at the moment titled ‘Where’s my bag’. Michael shared insights and incidents from his career in management in the airline baggage handling industry. The photograph shows Stone Probus President David Thompson with David Morton. Stone and District Probus is a vibrant and friendly group for retired Professional and Business people. We always offer warm welcome to new members joining our diverse membership. We hold a meeting with lunch and a speaker on the first Monday of every month. During the year we have an interesting and ongoing programme of activities and events. If you would like more information, please contact Jon Goodson, Secretary, 01785 613966 or e mail: Photo by Martin Robinson


Gazette NEWS IN BRIEF Coffee Morning St. Dominic’s Women's Guild are holding a Coffee Morning at St. Dominic’s Social Centre, Station Road, Stone. It takes place on Tuesday 12 July from 10.30am. Everyone is welcome to attend, all proceeds and donations are in aid of local charities.

Town Council launch ‘Resident Engagement’ events Stone Town Council announced in June that they will be piloting a series of resident engagement events to be held at the Frank Jordan Centre over the summer. The purpose of these events is to give Stone residents the opportunity to meet Town Councillors face to face, and discuss any local issues that might be affecting them. The first of the three pilot events took place on the 8th June, where residents had booked a 10 minute slot with a Councillor in advance, by emailing clerk@, or by calling 01785 619740. There will be 2 more sessions on Saturday August 6th, and Wednesday August 10th. See www.stonetown council. for more details and the times. Alternatively, and subject to availability, residents can walk in to the Frank Jordan Centre and speak to a Councillor without making an appointment. Councillor Rob Kenney, Chairman of the Council’s General Purposes Committee, told the Gazette “We hope that Stone residents will take this opportunity to meet their Town Councillors and discuss issues important to them and the town. If this pilot is a success, we would hope to be able to continue these events on a regular basis.”

Access Group Seeking Volunteers Do you have problems with access to public places in Stafford Borough; do you know someone who does? Do you struggle to use “accessible” toilets? We have been helping to improve access for parents and children, elderly and those with all types of disability since 1999. Could you come and help us with this? Do you have relevant experience or expertise? We need new users, helpers, and experts to keep going - having lost some from COVID and infirmity. We have Four meetings a year at the Borough Offices. We can pay for taxis, parking, deaf signing and interpreters. Fieldwork - visiting sites as you are able. If you wish to volunteer, make enquiries or raise issues phone 01785 600260, email or visit our website

(ACCS) forthcoming concerts Adbaston Community Concert Society (ACCS) have a series of concerts ahead. On Sunday 4th September there will be a Flute and Piano duet; with Dr Noemi Gyori and Prof Dinara Klinton. Then Sunday 6th November they are holding a Guitar Recital, with Laura Snowden. All concerts take place at the Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Adbaston, Staffs. ST20 0QE Starting at 5.30 pm. Tickets are £10. For more details take a look at their website at


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• In the picture: an outline map of the proposed Garden Village at Cold Meece

Funds boost for station plan at proposed ‘Mecebrook’ garden community A new train station for a proposed Garden Community in Stafford Borough has taken a step forward after receiving Government backing. The planned site for the north of the borough could see thousands of new homes, schools, health provision, transport links, employment areas and excellent digital connectivity. Now the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has announced the site, at Cold Meece near Stone, is to receive £330,000 to help prepare plans - with the majority of funding earmarked to look at rail infrastructure. The money is part of the national Garden Communities programme which aims to help level up the country and regenerate communities, with most of the new homes situated in the North, Midlands and South West. Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning at Stafford Borough Council, said the latest award was further demonstration of the confidence in the local authority and its partners to deliver such a major project. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for this borough to deliver a new community which we want to be the blueprint for best practice in so many fields such as the environment, transport, education and housing. And it is great news to see we have been successful in securing additional funding to investigate the feasibility of a new railway station on the West Coast Mainline for the proposed Garden Community.” The latest cash brings the total investment from the government for the project to nearly £1.5m. Stafford Borough Council received an initial £750,000 in 2019 and was one of only five local authorities - out of 150 submissions - to be successful in their bid for funds to explore the possibility of a garden settlement. The council say they will be working closely with the DLUHC to discuss priorities for the new funding for the Garden Community – which has a working title of Meecebrook. Preliminary studies have already been undertaken in key infrastructure - such as highway improvements, water and energy

provision - to support a sustainable development. The scheme is to be considered as part of the council’s new local plan process 20202040. Councillor Beatty added: “This is another step further towards creating a new garden community in the north of the borough. As the proposal progresses it would be part of the local plan process and subject to detailed consultation with residents.” The investment brings total funding for the national Garden Communities programme to more than £69 million. It will also support nearly 200,000 jobs in the schools, shops and offices developed within each Garden Community, part of the Government’s drive to help people secure good jobs where they live, grow the economy and tackle the cost of living. Staffordshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, Philip White, said: “We’re committed with Stafford Borough Council and other partners to ensure the Meecebrook development is sustainable with careful and considered planning, and so we welcome this additional funding from Government to help us achieve this. “We want to get the best deal for our communities through building new schools, road improvements with cycle and walking facilities and installation of digital technology, including gigabit broadband and 5G mobile connectivity. “And as we rebuild our economy after the pandemic this development must have the highest architectural standards and support our net zero ambitions.” Housing Minister Rt Hon Stuart Andrew MP said: “Building beautiful new homes in the places they are most needed lies at the heart of the Government’s levelling up mission. “Garden villages and towns are perfect examples of the vibrant, green communities we want to see right across the country and today’s funding will allow us to work hand-in-hand with local leaders and industry to deliver the high-quality new homes that we need.” You can see the Staffordshire Local Plan at


Gazette NEWS IN BRIEF Fradswell Events Lunch Club: This takes place on the 4th Wednesday of every month. Where you can enjoy a homecooked two course lunch and a hot drink for just £5. Booking is essential via Irene, on 07770 780078. Please note, there is a change of date for July: It will now take place on July 13 for fish, chips and ice cream sundae! Wednesday 'Drop-in for coffee': This takes place on the first Wednesday of every month, from 10am to 12noon. Join Jakkie, Barry and Victoria for a cuppa, biscuits, drink and chat! Catch up with friends in a warm, friendly environment. Everyone is welcome. This is a dementia-friendly coffee morning and we look forward to seeing everyone.

Oulton Summer BBQ The Next Big Event at Oulton Village Hall is the Summer BBQ and Musical extravaganza on Saturday 16th July. Featuring the fabulous Motown vocal Trio and Band The Angelettes. Tickets are selling fast and there is a limited number, so don't delay! Priced at £19.99 p.p. including Food, which is a Barbecue, from 7-8pm, followed by Strawberries and Cream. The band will be on stage from 9pm. A Bar will be available for all drinks. Contact Sue Petrulis on 01785 286879 or Chris Whalley on 01785 813377. Tickets must be bought in advance – there will none at the door.

Another successful event for Stone Lions Club (CIO) The return of the Stone Lions Club Annual PSA Blood Testing event, which took place on Tuesday April 26th after a 2– year break during the Covid pandemic, proved to be extremely popular, with 486 blood tests being made on the night. For the first time ever tests were ‘By Appointment Only’ which meant that the number of men waiting for a test to take place was kept to a minimum, and pressure in the car park was greatly reduced. Of the samples submitted for testing, 453 were given the Green Light, meaning that no problem had been detected and no further action was required. Out of the remaining tests, 16 received an Amber Light (indicating that there was a possible problem) and 15 received a Red Light, (highlighting a need for more immediate investigation by a medical practitioner). There were 2 tests that could not be processed because of issues with the blood sample. Processing of results was very fast and a number of men received their results the very next day. Stone Lions Club received a great deal of praise and compliments about the efficiency and organisation of the evening. Lions Mike Ward and Glyn Ravenscroft, who were the main organisers, are very appreciative of the support they received which helped to enable the event run so smoothly. “We are very grateful for the financial support we receive from Stone Town Council and a number of other local Parish Councils and the willingness of the Stone Gazette and local businesses to help publicise the event”, they say.“We are also very grateful for the help we receive from The Stonehouse Hotel and the Nurses who turn up after a full day’s work, and must not forget the support and hard work provided by all the members of Stone Lions Club, during the lead up to the event and on the night. All of this support is invaluable and goes towards ensuring this worthwhile service project is successful.” The members of Stone Lions Club are always happy to speak to members of our local community who are interested in finding out more about their activities and they way in which they help our local community. For more information please call 0345 8338478


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Crown Wharf Theatre is taking shape The Crown Wharf Theatre has come a long way since the last issue of the Gazette. It’s not a question now of if but WHEN it will be ready to open. With the back-of-house areas progressing nicely, work in the auditorium itself has now got under way. CWT charity trustee Leo Capernaros gives us the latest details… It’s been a fantastic and VERY busy couple of months down at Crown Wharf Theatre. Thanks to some grant funding, support from local businesses and the incredible support from the whole community, we’re getting closer than ever to opening our doors and delivering an incredible facility for the town. The back of house areas are fully boarded, plastered and we can even switch the lights on! The toilets are nearly completed and a central heating system goes in at the beginning of July. We’re now starting to think about all the fun stuff – paint colours, dressing room tables, mirrors… At the same time, work has finally begun in the auditorium. In May our two lighting grids were assembled, hoisted up and attached to the ceiling. The space instantly became more like a theatre, and we could finally rig up some working light and illuminate the space for the first time. It was quite a moment. Since then, the pace has been relentless. We’ve made some crucial adjustments to ensure the space is accessible for everyone. Then came some specialist fire-resistant paint to keep things safe. And cables, hundreds of metres of cables! As you can imagine, a theatre needs all sorts of power, lighting, sound and data cables buried in the walls, and this was done by other competent professionals and some very willing volunteers. Getting the cables in meant we could finally put in all the soundproofing, plasterboard and plaster finish required. The demands of keeping sound out, and sound in, are significant – and not easy when we’re neighbours to a particularly popular pub! So we’re going belt and braces and thinking about some testing to see where our leaky bits are (so to speak) and improving them. We’ve selected our contractors for the raked seating bank and the huge sprung timber floor, and these two massive pieces of the puzzle will be completed by the end of August (all things being equal).

Can you pick up a paintbrush for us? Now we’re fully plastered in the auditorium we have a serious amount of painting to do. So we’ll be contacting our brilliant team of volunteers soon to see who might be ready to pick up a paintbrush for us! If you’ve not signed up as a volunteer yet, head to our website at – we’d love to have you on board. And we’re looking for HVAC expertise… Up next we’ll be working on the handrails and balustrades for the balcony level, getting the acoustic treatments sorted, and focusing on our heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC). Getting the HVAC right is utterly vital. We have some basic plans, but if you or someone you know could help us out with some expertise then we’d love to hear from you. Please do get in touch by emailing So, when might the theatre be open? In summary, your future theatre has come a long way in recent weeks, and it’s a question of WHEN we’ll be ready to open now, not if. So when might that be? We have a couple more funding bids in the pipeline and hope to hear in the autumn. It’s hard to be more definite with so many variables – funding, contractor waiting times, supply chain issues etc – but the official line at the moment is: “Maybe this year, definitely next year!” Comedy, beer and bingo! Since the last issue of the Gazette, we’ve been out and about raising awareness and money for the theatre project. We had a sold-out comedy night in June at the Crown Wharf pub – thanks to everyone who came along. We sold beer (generously donated by Joule’s Brewery, our lead sponsor) at Stone’s Big Jubilee Picnic at Westbridge Park, raising £700 for the charity, despite the duck-friendly conditions on the day! And we had lots of fun at the Stone Festival Carnival by running some theatrical bingo. Here are some of our favourite calls: · 2-3 or not 2-3, it’s 23 · Don’t cry for me Argentina, it’s number sixteen-A · Once upon a time, it’s number 9 · Taming of the Shrew, it’s 62 · Do-Ray-Me, it’s 33 · I dreamed a dream, it’s number 18 Head to their website at for more information about the theatre project and to get involved.

Left to right: Lions Mike Ward and Glyn Ravenscroft

Two for the price of one at Stone Lions Club There is one vital question occupying the minds of the members of Stone Lions at the moment: “What is the collective noun for more than one President?” They have all been spending many hours considering the issue. Could it be a Plethora, a Plenitude, a Parade, a Package, a Pandemonium, a Parliament (perish the thought) or simply a Pride? What is the reason behind these deliberations, you may ask? To clarify matters, as from 1st July, Stone Lions will have 2 Presidents, as Lions Mike Ward, and Glyn Ravenscroft, will be taking up office for the next year, something of a new experience for the Club in recent years. Lions Mike and Glyn are no strangers to job sharing, having worked together as prime organisers for the Club’s Annual PSA Event. The members of Stone Lions Club are pleased to offer their support and best wishes to Mike and Glyn and are in no doubt that they will both do an excellent job filling this role.


The 4 images show some of the languages used on the Peace Pole in Stone. Can you work out which language is which?

Stone Quakers Standing for Peace Many people in Stone may still be puzzled by the Pole that stands in the grass close to the canal, between the Star Inn and Crown Meadow. It is one of many Peace Poles that now stand in nearly 200 countries of the world. This one was placed there in May 2016 on the initiative of Stone Quakers, otherwise known just as Stone Friends. Peace Poles were the idea of Masahisa Goi, a Japanese man who dedicated his life to spreading the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” by encouraging people to plant Peace Poles in whatever design they liked but usually with the peace message in 4 or 8 different languages. We hope that nobody needs to be reminded that the first two atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, with the loss of many human lives and producing a devastated landscape. The pole in Stone is similar to the one now standing in the rebuilt city of Hiroshima. In recent months, with the unpleasant conflict spreading across Ukraine, Quakers are not the only people to be anxious about the future. However one of Quakers’ key principles is to search for peaceful ways to resolve conflicts. Quakers have a long history, having been founded around 1650 by George Fox as a group of rebels against the established

church of the day. They have always stressed the principles of Peace, Truth, Equality and Simplicity, to which is now added Sustainability and care for our planet. Last summer a group of climate activists paused here on their walk up to Glasgow, where the international COP26 climate conference was held in November. (Their photo at the Peace Pole also appeared in the Stone Gazette last November.) Quakerism is a way of life and not a religious dogma. There are no fixed religious services, but regular meetings where thoughts can be shared. The pandemic has been a difficult time for Stone Quakers as meetings were restricted for much of the past 2 years. While some now have returned to meeting in person, there is also the opportunity to share thoughts in online meetings. At the moment, Sunday morning meetings start at 11am in Stone Station Community Centre. All are welcome. For information, contact the Clerk, James Went, on 01785 814129. Individually Stone Quakers invite everyone to pause when they pass the Peace Pole. At the moment, many will wish to reflect on the fighting in Ukraine, and the innocent people caught up in it, but other long-standing conflicts in the Middle East or in Yemen might also cross our minds.

The u8 local derby match between Stone OA Blacks and Stone OA Reds!

Junior Cup Final day at Stone Old Alleynians On Saturday 14th May seven of the club’s junior boys teams, aged 8-10, were involved in the League Cup Finals Day at St. George’s Park, home of the England national teams, near Burton. The whole day was enjoyed by all and was a real success and a fitting finale for the season. One of our teams, Under 8s Blacks, even managed to walk away with the trophy! On another occasion two of our teams even


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faced each other in a local derby fixture. What a great experience for the boys, managers and parents to share with each other and put the club firmly on the map throughout junior football in Staffordshire, based right in the heart of Stone. With over 25 teams new players and parents are welcome to contact the club through Facebook on: Boys - @StoneOldAlleynians1 Girls - @StoneOldAlleyniansgirls

Gazette Eccleshall NEWS IN BRIEF Eccleshall Calendar 2023 Summer is a great time for snapping our beautiful countryside, the producers of the Ecclian Society calendar are always on the look out for suitable photographs which highlight the beautiful Eccleshall area, and the vibrant life throughout the seasons for inclusion. If you have such a photograph or are willing to take a suitable snap do get in touch with Alex Hodson

Eccleshall Poetry Group The Eccleshall Poetry Group was founded almost 25 years ago! and is always keen to welcome new members who enjoy reading or listening to poetry. The group meets on the first and third Thursdays in each month between 2pm and 4pm in the Eccleshall Methodist church room, Stone Road, Eccleshall. Come and join them for a gentle afternoon of poetry. For more information email Lesley Mackness on

Eccleshall Monthly Market The Eccleshall Monthly Market takes place on the first Saturday of every month in the Royal Oak coach house on the High Street. The market showcases local small business talent and products between 10am and 4pm.

Councillor’s Surgery Borough Councillor for the Eccleshall Ward, Cllr Peter Jones, will be holding his usual monthly surgeries in the High Street library on Saturday 9th July and 6th August. Do drop in and see him, if only for a chat.

Refuse Collection Every other month, the Eccleshall Parish Council has arranged for a refuse collection truck to be in the Stone Road, opposite the Methodist Church, between 9am and 11am for residents to dispose of excess waste. The collection does not include soil, rubble, fridges, freezers, tv’s liquid waste, paint waste and hazardous materials. The next two visits are on Saturday 30th July and September 24th.

Historical Society Trip The Eccleshall Historical Society has a trip planned to Berrington Hall, Leominster on Wednesday 13th July. Details from Lester Stuart 01785 850826. The society meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

Women’s Institute The Eccleshall Women’s Institute meet in the Holy Trinity parish room on the second Thursday of the month starting at 7.30pm. The subject of the speaker for the 14th July is ”Safety in the home and online” by Coral Lawrence and Thomas Court.

Chebsey Cream Tea The Chebsey Parish Platinum Jubilee Celebration cream tea was held on Saturday June 11 in the Chebsey parish hall with four sittings. The event was a success with most sittings filled. Well done to Marg and her team for the arranging and serving and the good company provided to guests.

Get your skates on! As part of Eccleshall Parish Council’s entertainment for Jubilee, a mobile skate park was set up on the car park at the community centre, along with a Play Bus, sponsored by James Du Pavey. Both were well attended, the skate park was full of children on scooters and skateboards, and the play bus was enjoyed by the younger children, and by their parents who were watching the fun.


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Eccleshall Flood Action Group warn of sewage released into the River Sow on average for 30 hours a week You may have read in the national media about sewage overflows and wondered whether it is a problem locally? The Eccleshall Flood Action Group has identified that the River Sow is regularly being polluted by discharges of sewage for more than 1.25 days every week. According to data published by The Rivers Trust, a conservation charity which works to improve the health of our rivers, it is possible to zoom in on the individual sewage outlets which are monitored (not all are) and see how many times sewage was discharged in 2021 and for how many hours. The 2021 Rivers Trust Sewage Map ( ht t p s : / / t h e r i ve r s t r u s t. o rg / key-issues/sewage-in-rivers) shows where the sewerage network discharged treated sewage and overflows of untreated sewage and storm water into rivers in England & Wales in 2021. The Eccleshall Flood Action Group identified that sewage is being pumped into the River Sow at Sturbridge for an average of 30 hours per week. There were 100 overflows which lasted a total of 1,573 hours last year. This compares to a similar output of 28 hours per week into the River Trent at Pirehill near Stone. “This is the equivalent of 65 days or two months of continuous polluting discharge last year,” says a spokesperson from Eccleshall Flood Action Group. “Water companies are only allowed to discharge untreated sewage into rivers in exceptional circumstances. This level of sustained pollution cannot be considered as exceptional.” The number of discharge events had increased by over 50 per cent (up to 100 events in 2021 compared with 65 events in 2020) and the number of hours increased by 26 per cent (up to 1,573 from 1249 in 2020). One of the reasons the Eccleshall area is such a desirable place to live is due to the River Sow. The Sow catchment is home to nationally important sites of wildlife interest, including Cop Mere and Doxey Marshes, and a range of species which are dependent on good quality watercourses such as otters and a suite of

aquatic insects. As recently as 25 March 2022, in an article in The Telegraph, Liv Garfield the head of Severn Trent claimed that this was not an issue “on the priority list” of customers. “If people have not complained to Severn Trent, this is presumably because people were not aware of the level of pollution as these figures are not widely published. Of course, the cleanliness of our rivers is important to us,” says a spokesperson from Eccleshall Flood Action Group. “Clearly the sewage works at Eccleshall cannot cope with the increased demand from the high volume of recent housebuilding in Eccleshall. One wonders what has happened to the s106 contributions from the developers and the increased water rates from all these new homes if there has been no investment to increase the capacity of the sewage infrastructure,” The Government is currently consulting on its Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan, so it is a good time to write to your MP if clean water is a priority for you. Eccleshall Flood Action Group was established in 2017 to address issues of persistent flooding and increased flood risk in and around Eccleshall. For further information email eccleshall

Curborough Charity Day Returns If you love your vintage cars, then this is a day out for you! With a Speed demonstration of 100 classic and vintage cars and motorcycles on Curborough’s figure-of-eight course, a static car display with Food and craft stalls and Fun for all the family 29th August price £7 per adult £3 per child (under 18) Free for children under 5. Visit www.staffscyp. for more information. (Staffs CYP) are a registered charity that works with young people aged 5 to 18 throughout some of Staffordshire’s most deprived areas.Their aim is to provide subsidised and accessible youth clubs, sports projects, holiday activities and holiday clubs for young people, to keep them engaged in positive activities that promote their personal and social development as well as having fun. For any more information go to or @staffscyp

Stone Festival 2022 Fun Times For All!

After a covid enforced gap of two years Stone Festival returned, and what a week it was! A massive congratulations and thanks must go to the all of the volunteers that make up the Festival Team, who organised a week full of activities, your efforts were greatly appreciated by us all. The online art and photograpghy competitions and the dog show, all received many, many entries, see the festival website for some amazing pics. Then there were 15 runners in the Dog Derby and 46 running in the Steeplechase! Two wheel Tuesday had in excess of 300 motorbikes, scooters and push-bikes, parked up both sides of the High Street, from top to bottom, a huge turn out. Congratulations to the Parade Winners, the Walking Groups First prize went to - 1st Oulton Rainbows & Brownies (5-10 years)


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with "Guiding Through the Queen's Reign" And the Floats First prize went to Prestige Performance Academy - "Best of British" Well done to all those that took part in the walking parade or decorated a float, it has to be one of the most colourful parades in years! Despite a passing shower on the morning, Carnival Day and Parade was a great success, with many venturing out to find some fun at the fair or on the stalls. Yours truly managed to win a lovely bunch of coconuts at the shy (I’ve still got it!) With so many events taking place throughout the week, we’ve only space to show you a handful of the many hundreds of images available on the festival website, where you can also find all the results, and the winners from all events, visit www.stonefestival Photos by Martin Robinson


It shows they have kindly donated to Stone Festival 2022 Many Businesses, Groups and Individuals sponsor Stone Festival either financially or by giving them facilities, goods or services, or by supporting the Festival Programme with an advert. The list below shows the businesses who have supported Stone Festival in 2022 (at the time of going to print), more may purchase a sticker to support the Festival, so shop where you see the sticker! If we have missed anyone off this list, we apologise unreservedly. MAIN SPONSORS 2022 Blooming Grooming The Stone & Eccleshall Gazette

Lymestone Brewery M&S Westbridge Park Shires Vets Stone Carpet & Flooring ltd



Acorn Approved Used Coop Food - Walton Coop Funeralcare Fairway Service Station Granvilles Isobel Whittaker R G Bassett & Sons Regency House Dental Practice Revlon Tinsley Garner Vantage Point Creative

AED Donate Arcadia Café Baystone Interiors BEAR Blue Frog Garden Services BOD Card Factory Chocbox Costa Coffee Crown and Anchor Cuttlestones Dar Thai Spa Direct Recruitment Dominos Pizza Dunoon Francesco Group Stone Gill's Of Stone Griffins of Stone Butchers

SILVER SPONSORS Austin & Roe Joules Crown Wharf Just Quote Me

H&F Lift Trucks Happy Cactus Kitchen Hylands James DuPavey John Burton Solicitors Lee Walker Family Butchers Little Seeds Lockkeepers Hair Salon Mountfords Mr & Mrs M G Potter Ms J Handy Panda Press Peter Bowers Opticians Plants the Jewellers Salon 36 Stone Baked Café Sunshine Nails The Flower Room The Red Lion The Royal Exchange Tim Toft Violins Vickers Plant Services Willowsbrook Stone

SUPPORTERS: Pure IT A Little Bit of Stone Bibbys / Stone & District Angling Club CCET Oulton Watercolour Society Prestige Performance Academy Rooftop Studios Stone Air Cadets Stone Freemasons Stone Historical & Civic Society Stone Lions Club (CIO) Stone Master Marathoners Stone Ramblers Stone Round Table Studio B School of Dance The Inner Wheel Club of Stone The Rotary Club of Stone & District Hitachi Energy

Also special thanks to Website/Domain sponsor Pure IT. Will and Emma have sponsored Stone Festival’s domain for many years and now the website. For more info contact

The Stone Festival Committee would like to express their sincere thanks to the businesses, organisations and individuals who have contributed to the success of this year’s Festival.

You can still make a donation or buy a sticker for your business, and show your support, please email


Gazette Eccleshall NEWS IN BRIEF Community Band Do you play an instrument? The Eccleshall Community Band is a friendly, encouraging, open access band (woodwind, brass and bowed strings) for people of all ages and abilities. They meet between 8pm and 9pm on alternative Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in the Holy Trinity Church, Eccleshall. For more details email or ring ruth on 01785 859908 or Hazel on 01785 851259.

Eccleshall Jubilee Success The Eccleshall celebrations for Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee arranged by the Eccleshall Parish Council were a huge success. Over the four days of the weekend the events provided for the various sections of the community were well received. The Events Committee of the Eccleshall Parish Council should be congratulated for their months of work and efforts providing such a splendid weekend of events.

Starting with the beacon lighting at the castle on Friday June 3 to the Party on the Street on the Sunday which took place despite the terrible weather. The organisers would like to thank all of the providers and participants in the various sections of it. The website contains a selection of photographs of the events and a commemorative booklet will be produced later in the year including readers photographs.

Ecclian Society sorting Posts The Ecclian Society have been renewing the oak posts and installing a stainless-steel sleeve on the posts to protect the base of each post. The Society is looking for sponsors for the sleeves for £250, a plaque to be permanently fixed to the post showing the sponsors name or business. Contact Richard Egan or Myfanwy Freeman if you can help with sponsorship email: or myanwy Membership of the society can be arranged through Helen Holden the membership secretary at New arrivals to Eccleshall can receive a Welcome Pack’ from Wendy Baskerville containing useful information about local events as well as the historical background of the town. Wendy can be contacted on 01785 850765.

Was there a royal visitor?

The bouncy castle was busy all day

Stephen Hapgood with his beautiful MG.

Eccleshall Parish Councillor Chris Wilkins and his prized green MG.

Broughton Tennis Club Broughton Tennis Club has been around since the 1950’s and members play on two grass courts behind Broughton Parish Room at Wetwood ST21 6NW on the B5026 Loggerheads to Eccleshall Road. The season is usually between May and September. For more information contact Judy Thompstone on 01630 673104 or Louise Butters 01630 620479.

Musical Gifts Concert On Sunday July 10 a concert of music composed as gifts to loved ones. The programme will include Wagner, Strauss and Mendelssohn in the Holy trinity Church starting at 3pm. Tickets are £10 (accompanied children of school age free) from Kate Griffith 01785 850948 or from BB’s Floris, 11a High Street, Eccleshall.

Stone OA veterans compete in Jersey Masters

Eccleshall Jubilee Photos If you have a photograph of Eccleshall’s celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee that you are particularly proud of, or you feel it’s worthy of sharing with the world, please digitally send it to Ros Taylor for possible inclusion in the commemorative booklet that the Council is planning.

Validated Applications The planning applications which have been validated and move on to the next stage of approval or objection are shown on Facebook Eccleshall News each week. This gives neighbours the opportunity to object or support the application. The details are on the planning portal of the Stafford Borough Council website.

Men’s Fellowship The Trinity Men’s Fellowship is a group of Eccleshall area men who meet monthly for a meal and a walk in the surrounding countryside. On Friday 29th July the members are joined by their partners for a short walk in the Seighford area followed by lunch at the Holly Bush, a favourite hostelry. The August walk takes place on Friday 26th in the Woodseaves area with lunch at the Cock Inn afterwards. Membership is open to men in the area and details can be obtained from the group’s secretary Rob Hughes on 01785 851372.


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

Back row: Dave Moore, Dan Rainford, Alex Hulse, Matt Bradbury, Jamie Riley, Andy Lindop, Karl Cobane, Richard Jones Front row: Ian Bould, Steve Alder, Martin Weaver, Dean Buckley, Paul Griffiths, Mark Fox, Karl Hassall, Richard Pratt In April, the O35s veterans section at Stone Old Alleynians FC participated in the Jersey Masters tournament containing fifteen teams from England and Jersey. In what was a particularly tough initial group to qualify from, including both past winners and current holders, they played five matches before eventually losing in the semi-final 1-0 to St.Ouen from the island. Old Boltonians eventually beat Jersey St.Paul’s on penalties in the final. The Stone based team won the Fair Play award as nominated by the tournament officials. From the squad of sixteen, fourteen players attended Alleynes High School and

another fourteen have represented the club at adult level prior to joining the veterans section. The team also contained many managers and volunteers of junior teams within the club. The O35 veterans section also play in the competitive Potteries & District League with fixtures every other Friday night, whilst training on Tuesday nights at Alleynes. The club also have an active O50s and O60s section that meet weekly on Wednesday evenings. Photo knidly sent in by Richard Jones.

Councillor Philip Leason MBE

Stone’s own - Philip Leason MBE - takes chains of office in Stafford The new mayor of Stafford Borough was sworn in when the traditional ceremony returned to the town. Councillor Philip Leason MBE, received the chains of office at the Annual Meeting of Stafford Borough Council on Saturday 14th May. The ceremony returned to the town’s Gatehouse Theatre following an absence due to the pandemic. In 2021 the traditional ‘Mayor Making’ was held virtually for the first time in its more than 400-year history. Councillor Leason succeeded out-going mayor, Councillor Tony Nixon, for the 2022/23 civic year. The new Mayor is Stone born and bred and was awarded an MBE in 2016 for his services to the Royal Mail and community of Stone. He is also a former magistrate of 36 years and well-known local historian. Councillor Leason represents the St Michael’s and Stonefield Ward on the borough council and served as Deputy Mayor in 2011/12. He will be raising money for Staffordshire Lowland Search and Rescue Team along with other charities during his mayoral year. His wife Edith is the new Mayoress. Philip said he was looking forward to representing and promoting Stafford Borough during his time as Mayor. Councillor Peter Jones, who represents the Eccleshall Ward, continues in the role of Deputy Mayor. A parade through the town centre followed the investiture and included members of the Stafford based 22-Signal Regiment and Tactical Supply Wing of the RAF as well as the Mercian Corps of Drums and locally-based Royal British Legion. You can read more about the new Mayor and Mayoress from ED: Congratulations Philip from all here at The Gazette

‘Written in Stone’ Stone u3a’s Creative Writing Group U3a’s creative writing group meets every first Tuesday of the month, 10am- 12 noon at Christchurch. We are writing for pleasure in many different styles; journals, memoirs, stories, poems etc., anything that takes the fancy. In March we attended a very enjoyable talk at Stone Library given by a local successful crime-writer, Priscilla Masters. Do come and visit us, and consider joining if you like what you see – beginners and experienced writers equally welcome. Contact Group Leader Bel Crawford for further details 01785 817712.


Stone Stroke Club Hold Jubilee Party On Wednesday 8th June, Members of Stone and District Stroke Club celebrated the Platinum Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II with a party at their usual meeting place, Little Stoke Cricket Club. This sociable group like nothing more than getting together to enjoy each other’s company, and what better reason could there be to do this, than a once in a lifetime occasion? The Members were all delighted when their President, Mrs Joyce Farnham, offered to share her memories of a day spent with the Queen when she visited Stafford several years ago and everyone agreed that it must have been a very special occasion. There was plenty of time for reminiscing and talking about the changes between life as it was in 1952 and life as we know it now, followed by a Jubilee Quiz that gave everyone plenty to think about before a delicious buffet lunch was served. When lunch was over and all were suitably replete, it was time for an interlude of musical entertainment

provided by the CK Community Choir who soon had everyone enthusiastically joining in with both familiar and some lesser known songs. The Members and Volunteers at Stone and District Stroke Club would like to say a very big Thank You to the Stone Crown Bowls Club, whose generous financial donation made the party possible, The Secret Kitchen who once again provided us with a beautiful buffet, the CK Community Choir who entertained us all so royally, Little Stoke Cricket Club for their hospitality and our ‘Green Bus’ drivers for their continued support with transport every week. Now that life is gradually getting back to normal following the pandemic, Stroke Club is now able to accept a few more members. If you, or someone you know, has experienced a stroke and would like to know more about what we can offer, please call either Maureen on 01785 815573, Chris on 01785 812027 or Di on 07852 233160 for more information.

Friends Stump Up for Stonefield Park

The park has a group of volunteers who are known as the Friends of Stonefield Park (FoSP) which has been in existence for six years. Due to the pandemic the park has been the sole responsibility of the Streetscene team and the Park Rangers over the last few years who do an epic job! In April this year the decision was made for the volunteers to meet and work in the park once again. The stumpery was created by the FoSP about four years ago and it was decided this year to try to replant the stumpery as part of our work to keep Stonefield Park beautiful. As a result of the generosity shown by the Stone Chrysanthemum and Dahlia


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

Society, who have previously supported the FoSP, a number of suitable plants for the stumpery were donated in May this year from their plant sale and from other members and have now been placed in and around the two stumpery areas previously created near the Tennis Courts in the Park. Plants donated included hardy geraniums, assorted grasses and Sedum which have been placed with the existing ferns and hostas. This generous gift has enabled the FoSP to plant up the stumpery area as can be seen from the photographs and has breathed new life into another area within our beautiful park. Words and pictures by Dawn Johnson

Shining bright - the beacon is lit at the top of the tower photo by Jamie Summerfield

Stone’s Beacon Lit for Platinum Jubilee Stone Town Council lit a Beacon for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on the evening of Thursday, 2nd June. The Beacon was lit at St. Michael and St. Wulfad's Church, in Stone, at 9:45pm. It was one of thousands lit in the UK and the Commonwealth, and formed part of the official programme announced by Buckingham Palace for the Jubilee Weekend. Councillor Jill Hood, Chairman of the Council’s Tourism and Town Promotion Sub-Committee, told the Gazette: “We were proud to be part of this momentous celebration. It is only appropriate that this unique milestone in history is marked with beacons and music. We were honoured to be part of this special event for Her Majesty the Queen’s 70th year as our Monarch on her Platinum Jubilee, and I hope residents and visitors enjoyed all the entertainment that took part throughout the day and the evening’s events.”

Stone Rural and Barlaston Stone Rural and Barlaston Parish Council also lit up their Beacon on Thursday 2nd June, to mark the Queens Platinum Jubilee. The beacon was jointly lit by the Chairmen of the Parish Council's , Councillor A McCulloch, and Stone Rural Parish Council and Councillor P Fisher - Barlaston Parish Council Councillor Sue Haine, Councillor of Stone Rural Parish Council said "Stone Rural Parish and Barlaston Parish Councils' Beacon lighting event at the top of Old Road, Oulton Heath. It was a great evening enjoyed by all and thanks to all the villagers who attended. Many thanks to Howard James for the use of his field from which we we had a fabulous view of other beacons in the surrounding area."


Gazette Eccleshall NEWS IN BRIEF

Eccleshall Grand Singathon returns Adbaston Community Concert Society are proud to announce that the Eccleshall Grand Singathon will return on Saturday 15th October, at the Community Centre, Eccleshall. Please put the date in your diary for a day filled with music, fun, singing (and cake!) Look out for more details in the coming months. More details to follow on their Facebook page.

Adopt A Border It has been a long-standing tradition that the flower borders along the main path at Eccleshall’s Holy Trinity Church are maintained by volunteers. The church is grateful for the sterling work of Joan Biggs and Jan and Paul Green. However, they really do need some extra hands. The church is looking for someone to take on the task of caring for the border. If you feel that you could help, please get in touch with Kate Griffiths 01785 850948 email:

Empty Natwest Building The Eccleshall branch of the bank closed its doors to customers on Tuesday March 3, 2015, and the two stalwart members of staff moved to other duties. Peter Evans moved to nearer home in Cheadle and Faye Garlick similarly to a branch nearer home. They had served at the branch for five and a half years and were to be a sad loss to the businesses and residents of the area when such a convenience was removed. And now we find that the building will have new tenants, a restaurant on the ground floor and flats on the upper floors – removing an eyesore that has blighted the town centre for seven years!

Community Forum The Parish Councils first community forum took place on Wednesday May 11 in the community centre and attracted 22 of the over 40 local organisations who were able to send representatives. Although only a small number of members of the public attended the people from the local clubs seem to get something from simply meeting other groups. Of the people who attended, the Eccleshall First Responders received offers of volunteer support from two of the public, and one hopes to swell the number of responders. It is hoped to repeat the event next year.

Ecclian Volunteers Eccleshall’s Ecclian Society which is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of Eccleshall is seeking additional volunteers to help keep Eccleshall looking good. Do come and join them, Contact Richard Egan on 01785 851548 or email

Car Scheme Drivers The Eccleshall Voluntary Car Scheme, which provides transport to medical appointments for those without transport, is in need of voluntary drivers. Although the scheme currently has ten volunteer drivers, it is always useful to have additional drivers. There is no commitment, and drivers simply take on the journeys that they want to do. Drivers are paid 45p per mile and the passengers are charged at a set rate which the County Council suggests. The rate for a journey and return in the town is £5 for example. If you might be interested, please call Peter or Joy Jones on 01785 851381 or email for more details. or visit


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Jubilee celebrations at Stone flower club Stone flower club held a Jubilee themed night held Thursday 26th May at Walton Community Centre. Members and visitors were treated to afternoon tea refreshments whilst watching five committee members undertake floral designs, all themed around the Queens Jubilee. The evening was well attended and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, with the designs being raffled off, along with the table arrangements. The event was attended by Stone Mayor Councillor Jonathan Powell, and his wife the Mayoress, who were presented with some flowers as a gift. Stone flower club meets the last

Thursday of the month (apart from August and December) at 7.30pm Walton Community Centre, Whitemill Lane, Walton, Stone. Visitors are always welcome, the cost of the evening is £7 - membership is also available at £40 for the year. You don’t have to be a flower arranger to join or attend, just come and enjoy an evening of flowers and company of other people. The next demonstrations are Thursday 28th July demonstrator is Mark Entwistle from Cheshire and Thursday 29th September demonstrator is Pam Moseley from Whitchurch.

Warning as drivers fined on High Street Tens motorists were handed on the spot fines following an operation to stop cars flouting traffic restrictions on the High Street in Stone. Stafford Borough Council and the local policing team announced in April that they would be handing out fixed penalty notices in a bid to stop drivers breaking rules which they said was putting lives at risk. The street is covered by a ‘Traffic Regulation Order’ and ‘Public Space Protection Order’ which prevents vehicles and pedal cycles from driving or cycling through unless they have an exemption. More than 40 people were warned about breaching regulations during an operation earlier this year by the council and police to highlight the dangers on the pedestrianised High Street. And on Tuesday evening (26 April) ten drivers were given the £75 fixed penalty notices - with the council and police warning that more enforcement action would follow. The operation followed complaints about drivers ignoring the restrictions with money from the fines being used to help fund other community safety projects. Councillor Jeremy Pert, Cabinet Member for Communities and Health, told the Gazette: “We want to encourage more people to come into our local high streets to shop, eat and use the services they offer and they must be able to do that safely. The safety of the public is our primary concern and it is really disappointing that, despite the previous awareness campaign

and recent publicity about potential enforcement action, people have ignored the rules and our warnings. I hope these fines will serve as a deterrent to others.” Exemptions to the public space protection order include the emergency services, loading and unloading anything that cannot be carried by hand - between 4pm and 10am - and post office and cash in transit vehicles. There is no exemption for takeaway delivery drivers or blue badge holders. Chief Inspector Giles Parsons, of Stafford Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I urge motorists to stop using Stone High Street, if they continue to do so and are stopped by the police they should expect a fine to be issued.” More about Public Space Protection Orders from Public Space Protection Order - (PSPO) - Stafford Borough | Stafford Borough Council

2 Developers looking to win £1.5m tender at town park Two developers have thrown their hats into the ring to deliver the £1.5m transformation of Westbridge Park in Stone. Stafford Borough Council is now scrutinising both tenders from companies who want to take on a project that will include improved play facilities for youngsters, a multi-use games area, and outdoor gym equipment. The local authority expects to have a contractor in place in August. The council will then work closely with the appointed contractor to plan how they will build the new park, and when construction will start and be completed, following the award of the contract. A separate tender has been advertised for the new wheeled sports provision for the park. The proposed work will also see toilets, picnic and seating areas, enhanced pathways and landscaping with key space for local events and existing football provision incorporated in the design. The council has said the huge transformation will encourage more people using the neighbouring Trent and Mersey Canal for narrowboat holidays to stop and visit the town – with a boost to the local economy. The Commonwealth Games Queen Baton Relay will be visiting the popular park in July where it will be carried around the town centre before returning to the park’s Canoe Club and Stone Leisure Centre - which was opened in 2019 as part of a £9 million scheme. In the tender documents the borough council said it was looking to commission a “qualified and experienced company for the project management, design, supply and installation of all equipment…including for all necessary ground works, surfacing, landscaping, and reinstatement.” Cabinet Member for Leisure, Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, said she wanted to ensure the transformation of Westbridge Park continued the local authority’s ‘excellent’ track record of improving popular destination parks – such as the £400,000 refurbishment of Charnley Road and £435,000 revamp of Holmcroft Park in Stafford in recent years. Last year the borough council’s cabinet earmarked £1.5m for the development at Westbridge Park as part of an overall pot of over £2.4 million for leisure improvements in the town. She said: “This is a very important project that will benefit families, local people and visitors for years to come. As we have seen from successfully delivering several major projects, the process to ensure we have everything necessary in place takes time and care. “We will know more about specific elements of the project and timescales once we have the contractor in place in August.” Funding for the project has been boosted through money the borough council receives as part of developments in and around Stone. She continued: “This is a key part of our overall leisure, tourism and visitor offer for Stone, with ready access to the canal and the town centre, providing accessible walking and cycling routes linking together the town’s key assets and supporting our objective to support and grow the visitor economy as well as supporting local businesses and providing a high-quality outdoor environment designed to enhance the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors alike. “The park also provides an important space for events, including the annual Food and Drink Festival, – and the design incorporates this and the existing football provision.”


The Milkman Fortunately the milk now comes in the familiar glass bottles again, waiting reassuringly on my doorstep every Monday,Wednesday, and Friday morning. Rinse, return, recycle. And, oh joy! the occasional surprise bottle with a cartoon cow on it. These are definitely keepers. ‘How quaint, how old school’, I smiled to myself as I slippered off to bed each Friday evening after putting out exact coins in the milkman’s little tin cup. Mike of ‘Milk and More’ always knew where to find it. Oh, and not forgettting the note for 6 large free-range eggs for breakfast. But the wheels of time keep on turning. ‘Milk and More’ was taken over by a National Conglomerate, called ‘MILK or ELSE’, a much less homely vibe. A colourful flyer came with their first delivery, promising to continue the same excellent service but even better! Things went on as usual for a while. These people know how to lull you into a false sense of security before cranking the wheel. Then came a note from ‘MILK or ELSE’ saying ‘Sorry, we can’t accept cash any more.’ And there I always thought cash was king! OK. They agreed that a cheque in an envelope under the bottle would be acceptable. Very reasonable, more secure. After all a thief in the night could easily sneak off with coins in his pocket but wouldn’t find it quite so easy to try and cash a cheque for £6.26 every week. After a suitable interval they were very sorry that from next month they could only accept payment online. ONLINE?! What’s that when it’s at home?! The INTERNET? The World Wide Web for two bottles of semi-skimmed three times a week? And what if, on a sudden whim, I wanted to order cream for a mid-week apple crumble? Or go to Llandudno for a few days? How would the INTERNET know that if I didn’t leave a note? Well, graciously, ‘MILK or ELSE’ said they’d allow me to 'phone them on the same old landline number that I’d always used for Mike.’ I didn’t trust them. Wakes Week was coming up. I phoned to cancel deliveries for the holiday. I could hardly make out the response in a halting foreign accent. So different from friendly Freda who knew my sister Joan and whose youngest went to school with my twins. Me: Excuse me, where exactly am I calling to ? Voice: The Philippines. Me: The Philippines ?! How on earth can you tell what goes onto my doorstep – and what day I’ll be home from North Wales, - from the Philippines? I had no choice. ‘MILK or ELSE’ didn’t want my business any more. As luck would have it I was sounding off to my 80 year old neighbour about how this modern world was leaving us behind. ‘Not me’, she retorted smartly, ‘why don’t you try my milkman?’ ‘You have a milkman who still leaves you bottles on the doorstep?’ I lost no time. Coins, cheques, and written notes are all perfectly acceptable to my new milkman, Happy Harry, and fortunately the milk comes reliably in bottles on the doorstep again.

by Bel Crawford Stone Scribblers meet at Stone Library on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month between 11 am and 12.30pm, and you can find them at


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

Lord Lieutenant Meets the Artshed Team The Chuckle ArtShed project, based in Stone, is a three-year course for young adults with additional needs, with the aim of helping them secure future employment. The ArtShed team experience different subjects three days a week including media, film and theatre. The Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Ian Dudson visited the Chuckle House on Wednesday 8th June 2022 in his full regalia. The team got the opportunity to interview him, practicing the skills learnt in film and media, whilst finding out about his role and the part he played in

the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The team learnt that he has hosted many events for her Majesty. For the Jubilee celebration, he held a garden party for 700 people, that is a lot of cake! It was a wonderful experience for the ArtShed Team who all felt very honoured to meet him. The ArtShed team look forward to updating you further on what is happening at the ArtShed through their media studies. For details about the ArtShed project please contact the Chuckle house at

Pirehill pupils visit the Blue Peter Studio

On Friday 8 April, thirty, Year 4 pupils from Pirehill First School, were invited to attend a live recording of Blue Peter, at Media City in Salford. Kate Johnson from the school told the Gazette “This was a fantastic treat for

the school and all of the pupils had an amazing day, learning about how the programme was put together, experiencing the rehearsal and then the actual live recording! This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity!”

Early Years Visit Cosford Air Museum

Is that a big plane, or tiny children? Reception and Nursery children from They took part in a workshop, where they Oulton First School visited Cosford Air made a parachute and a helicopter and museum as part of their topic on all had a wonderful time exploring the transport. different types of airplanes.

Ex-students, (L to R) Lewis Hassall, Richard Jones and Callum Foxley-Dean with the haul of trophies.

Ex-Alleyne's lads take both trophies in Boston! In May, three Stone based ex-Alleyne's High School students participated in the world's largest youth soccer tournament, The Needham Memorial Day Tournament, in Boston, USA. Over 1,000 teams participated across the age groups, and this year saw Codsall High School's Football Academy u17 team win both of the u19 competitions they were entered for! It is the first time a team has ever won two tournaments simultaneously, even if it did mean playing four games back to back on Finals Day in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees! In total the team played eleven games over just three days. As a result of the success it is anticipated that several students will progress onto soccer scholarships at US based universities, something that the school specialise in providing for their students, whilst also being the highest achieving Level 3 course nationally. Lewis and Callum both joined the full-time football programme at Codsall in 2021 whilst Richard has ran the course since 2009, as Director of Sport. Richard still retains his links with Alleyne's, being a School Governor and also Community Development Officer for Stone Old Alleynians FC, whilst Callum and Lewis will be playing for the club's adult section next season.

Stone Rotary Club member, Victoria Fern marshalling out on the course at Cannock Chase.

Supporting the Ironmen Members of Stone and District Rotary Club along with Stafford Knot, and Rugeley Rotary Clubs have worked hard behind the scenes to help make the recent Ironman competition a great success. The team was led by Janet Stubbs of Stafford Knot Rotary Club. Together, they packed and prepared “run gear bags” for over one thousand competitors. Members from Stone, Stafford, Blythe Bridge and Cannock Rotary Clubs then provided on-course support at a bike feed station on Cannock Chase for the cycling leg. Janet said: “Our Rotary Clubs are delighted to have been involved in this amazing competition for many years now. It’s wonderful to have our Rotary Clubs working together to support the event in every way that we can.”


Environment Matters What is the environment? It is where we live and what surrounds us, the air that we breathe, the weather we enjoy, the rivers, the countryside, the buildings and the animals and plants in our neighbourhood. Our activities are constantly changing and degrading the environment. The population of the country is increasing and people need houses and jobs, to be provided where they live, requiring constant residential and commercial development, and infrastructure like roads and towns and provision of heating and power and food to our homes. Typically, this involves replacement of natural green space with buildings; it involves converting fuel into energy; it requires supply of materials and services to where we live and work and agriculture to grow our food; and it requires transport to move us around. Climate change - It is clear that the climate is gradually changing. Depending on our age, we can remember past weather patterns being different from those we are currently experiencing. We are now having warmer and wetter winters, hotter and drier summers, floods and drought and wildfires, earlier springs and summers, and more violent storms happening more frequently. Most experts agree that these changes are due to human activity. It is estimated that a 1.5 degree average temperature increase from pre-industrial levels is the tipping point between survivable and catastrophic change and we are currently 1.1 degrees above those levels and forecast to hit 2.7 degrees by the end of the century at current rates *. The drivers for climate change are the emission of “greenhouse gasses” (CO2, methane and others), into the atmosphere and this comes from internalcombustion-based transport, many manufacturing processes and from burning fossil fuel to generate heat and power for our homes. Meat production and consumption is also a major producer of methane.

Dumped trolleys despoiling Scotch Brook killing, the animals that live there but also ruining open water as a leisure asset. We are also personally responsible for water pollution through cleaning and cosmetic products that are washed away from our sinks and which contain harmful products for wildlife. Food production requires use of artificial and natural fertilizer to increase yields and herbicides and pesticides to control weeds and pests. These pollute the land and run off into the rivers polluting the water. Biodiversity – There is growing concern over the adverse effects of our activities on the flora and fauna of the world in reducing biodiversity (see David Attenborough and others). This has a knock-on effect on food supply, competition for water, physical and mental health, and culture. We are reliant on plants for nourishment and clean air and healthy food chains are vital to supply our needs. But development, climate change, and use of pesticides destroys habitats and kills key pollinators and the other species that rely on them.

Flooding due to heavy rainfall Waste – Modern living creates waste. Our lifestyle has become more disposable so we buy cheap and often and when we no longer have use for things, we throw them away. Most of the items we purchase, including food, is wrapped and a lot of packaging is plastic based and this also goes for the items themselves. Often, we dispose cleanly in our bins, which are collected regularly by the Borough Council. Often, we use the correct dedicated bin: green for general waste, brown for garden waste and blue for recyclable, e.g. glass and plastic. But sometimes we just throw litter on the wayside, or misuse the council bins. This means the town and, more visibly, the countryside is blighted with unsightly litter, and the possibility of reusing waste is reduced. Litter-picks are all well and good after the event but do not address the key issue. The collected waste could be recycled into new product, or it could be burnt to generate energy which is useful but can emit CO2 or it could be buried in landfill which is not good because the burial site becomes noxious and unfit for any other purpose. Pollution – We would all like to breathe clean air and to have clean open water nearby and to have a clean area to live. Unfortunately, our love of the motor car and convenient travel poisons the air with the products of combustion. Manufacturing processes generate smoke and other noxious gases. Rivers and lakes have become convenient places to dump unwanted materials – “out of sight is out of mind”. The water companies are responsible not only to provide us with clean water but also to remove our waste water comprising overruns from taps, used sink, bath and shower water and the contents of our toilets. Sewage is treated and removed from the natural environment. However, in extreme circumstances companies are allowed to dump untreated sewage into the river system and the sea affecting, even


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Green space - Open fields, meadows and woodland are a valuable resource for leisure and health. The requirements of an increasing population with increasing housing needs, and the demand for more commerce and profit, leads to more building and developers find it easier to build on green space than to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. Natural countryside is a great regenerator of good environment and provides habitats for wildlife and protection against some of the worst effects of climate change like flooding. Covering over land with tarmac and concrete exacerbates these issues by destroying green space and the ability of the land to cope with extreme climate. What can be done? – The issues described above may seem too big for individuals, and small towns and parishes to even think about addressing. You may think that it is the sort of thing that governments, major companies and international bodies should deal with. But when it comes down to it, many of these problems are caused by individuals directly, or by activities required to maintain their lifestyle or to generate business profit.

Smoke and other particulates pumped into the atmosphere

There are ways that we can help, for instance by: · Encouraging manufacturers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to introduce carbon capture where possible and to off-set where necessary through such measures as tree-planting. · Reducing our reliance on fossil fuel by using cars less, moving to other forms of transport and walking and cycling more. · Moving away from internal combustion of fossil fuels for transport. · Reducing the ambient temperatures of our homes, and moving away from fossil fuels for heating and power by introducing technology like heat pumps. · Using low and efficient energy products such as LED lighting and energy efficient white goods. · Using the planning system to require that new housing aims for net zero in energy use and waste production through insulation, solar panels and waste management systems. · Encouraging businesses to offer a working from home option to reduce the harmful effects of commuting; homes will require wi-fi access to enable this. · Reducing our meat consumption. · Encouraging manufacturers and distributors to reduce unnecessary packaging of goods. · Avoiding single use plastics for packaging and food containers. · Encouraging manufacturers to clean up their processes to reduce CO2 and particulate emissions and to ensure that their used products and waste can be disposed of without damaging the environment. · Making our possessions last longer and attempting to reuse or recycle and disposing of waste in an environmentally friendly way. · Providing recycling and disposal facilities and clamping down on illegal dumping. · Influencing Water Companies to avoid discharging untreated sewage into rivers. · Encouraging agriculture to reduce use of artificial fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides and to ensure that they do not pollute waterways. · Requesting stricter legal protection from illegal pollution activities and stricter enforcement of breaches. · Protecting green spaces and trees, including roadsides verges and hedgerows. · Directing new development towards brownfield in preference to green field sites wherever possible. · Making our houses and gardens wildlife friendly to encourage diversity and encourage pollinating insects. By acting together, we can put economic and political pressure on organisations to do their bit.

How can I get involved? Did you know that Stone Town Council have: · Declared a Climate Emergency (along with Stafford Borough and County councils)? · Instituted internal energy and plastic usage audits with a view to getting their own house in order? · Started working together with the borough on environmental matters? · Adopted a policy to ensure that environmental considerations influence their activities and decisions and the awarding of contracts? · An Environmental Sub-Committee to deal with environmental matters with an agreed budget and have assigned a working group to address specific issues? However, it is vital that the community gets involved with suggestions and activities because it is you, who will be most affected by environmental changes. In particular, the involvement of the younger generation is important as they will have to live with the consequences of the current climate emergency. The Town Council’s Environment Sub-Committee is planning to introduce public engagement sessions via the various markets and other events in the town and also social media sites, so look out for those. If you want to know more and would like to join or form a community environment action group, contact Stone Town Council to register your interest. Tel: 01785 619740 Email: * NB. The facts and statistics quoted are taken from various national media sources by the author, and have not been specifically verified by Stone Town Council. Article by Cllr. Tom Kelt


Aston-By-Stone W.I. welcome House Of Bread

Spitfire Group First Lady Julia Mitchell presents the cheque from the Canadian wing to theatre trustee Leo Capernaros

Spitfire Group goes even further in support of Crown Wharf Theatre The Star of Stone Spitfire Group has further increased its generous support for the Crown Wharf Theatre. The Spitfire Group aims to keep the story of the Star of Stone alive and to celebrate the huge community effort in the town that delivered the plane. In 1942, a Spitfire was donated to the war effort after the people of Stone raised £5,000. The Spitfire Group had already made both the Spitfire and its pilot, Flt Lt Karl Jacobsen, Gold Founding Partners in the theatre. This prompted four members to become Bronze Founding Partners themselves: Geoff Berriman, project leader; Gillian Weldon, chief admin officer; Peter Williams, IT officer; and Mark Wilson, group member and principal engineer at EleV8aviation. In addition, the Group’s Canadian Wing decided to become Bronze Founding Partners. And the Russell family followed suit and decided to make John Russell, Spitfire Group project manager, and Noreen Russell, Group chaplain, joint Bronze Founding Partners. Spitfire Group project leader Geoff Berriman said: “Crown Wharf Theatre is a tremendously important artistic development for the town, which includes a strong strand of its local history. Our Project of Remembrance for our Spitfire and its pilot fits into this perfectly. We have been able to make a substantial contribution to the funding of the Theatre. In return we have a permanent presence for the Star and all who flew with her. “We could not hope for a better project to support, so we are now looking for ways to extend it even further.” Leo Capernaros, Crown Wharf Theatre trustee, said: “We’re so proud to be backed by The Star of Stone Spitfire Group. Their generous support is helping us to push the project further towards completion. We’ve been so fortunate, right from the beginning, to have so many people stepping forward and backing the theatre. From individuals helping at our fundraising events, to businesses donating their time and expertise, to organisations like The Star of Stone Spitfire Group becoming founding partners, getting the theatre open is a real community effort.” A ceremony was held at Crown Wharf in June where Leo Caperanos, Crown Wharf Theatre trustee, was presented with the cheques.


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Are you fussy about the sort of bread you eat? Do you prefer wholemeal, sourdough, or any of the fancier types which have become popular, thanks to Bake Off? Now imagine you are homeless and hungry. Would it matter so much then? Or would you be happy to have the House of Bread come to your aid, providing any sort of bread – and, more importantly, aid. Aston-by-Stone W.I.’s speaker this month was Will Morris from the House of Bread in Stafford. Since the start in 2010, when just a few people were helped once a month on a Wednesday evening, this establishment now supports up to 120 people per week, 24 hours a day. Any homeless person in need receives help. This may be a meal, served at tables to emphasise the dignity with which everyone should be treated, or counselling, help to contact the necessary agencies or indeed, anything needed. Everyone is welcome, and is expected to treat others with the same dignity as shown to them. The food is good. Soup is made from donated vegetables, and served with humour: the colour of the soup is matched to a paint colour chart, so maybe today it’s called “deep umber”. That paint manufacturer now supplies all paint at no charge! Much of the food is donated from the big shop chains. Will spoke eloquently about the need for this charity and the people it helps. He received an award from Buckingham Palace for the work he does and an ASBO from Staffordshire Police at the same time! (Reason not stated!)

At the start of the meeting, the achievements of two of our members had been recognised: at the recent Staffordshire Federation of W.I.s’ Homes and Gardens day, Anita Murphy won the Helen Clayton Trophy for carrot cake, and Joan Jones won the Lichfield Crystal Vase for flower arranging.

We meet at Aston-by-Stone Village Hall on the second Wednesday of the month at 7.30, and you will be most welcome. If you’d like to know more about us, please ring 01785 615662 or email We look forward to seeing you.

Lions Chair of Welfare Paul Martin with the children and their new beds.

Stone Lions help Ukranian refugee family There can be very few people who have not suffered a feeling of helplessness when hearing of the plight of so many Ukrainian Refugee families, forced to leave their homes during the current conflict and seek shelter elsewhere. When Stone Lions heard of a local family who were housing relatives from the Ukraine in their own home, they decided to help in whatever way they could. They reacted immediately when they heard that the family were in desperate need of bunk beds for the children, who were currently sleeping on the floor and, with the assistance and generosity of a local supplier, they managed to purchase bunk beds, mattresses and bedding which were duly delivered to the grateful family in April.

Clifford Arms Classics Show The Clifford Arms in Great Haywood is holding its very successful annual Classic Vehicle Show on Sunday 11th September, from 11am till 3pm. As with previous years, entry for exhibiting your vehicle, or entry to the show is by donation. All proceeds are for the Air Ambulance and Blood Bikes Charities. The Crohn's and Colitis charity will be supplying tea, coffee and biscuits. The Norton Owners Club is just one of many clubs attending, this picture is from the pre covid show. If you would like to display your vehicle contact Barry Owen at


Betty is a True Royalist! Elisabeth Oliver (aka Betty) bought 2 Union Jack flags in preparation for the Jubilee, then made patterns, chopped them up and sewed them together to make this Jubilee waistcoat, with extras! Betty, aged 75, and originally from the Netherlands, has been living in Chebsey for 16 years, which has changed her from being 100% Dutch, to 90% English & 10% Dutch! She also decorated her bike, and cycled around the village to congratulate the other Elizabeth.

Webcam plan for recycling sites Cameras will be introduced this year at Staffordshire’s 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres so users can see how busy they are before setting off. By seeing whether there is a wait, users can stagger their journeys and reduce queueing at peak times. The initiative is part of an updating and improvement programme by Staffordshire County Council after it ended a management contract with contractors and took over running the sites directly. Simon Tagg, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change, told the Gazette: “This is a large, complex operation which only closes three days a year and I am delighted by the smoothness of the return in-house. This will ensure we maintain the best service for residents and it also allows us to be sustainable and innovative at the same time. Improvements such as the installation of cameras that residents can view on their phone or on their laptop are all part of the process to encourage recycling.” A report to be considered by the County Council’s Cabinet in July will hear that there are almost 1.6 million visits per year to the HWRCs, with 42 different types of material accepted and an average recycling rate of 71 per cent over five years. Since returning the service to county council control, the number of lorries removing recycling from sites has increased from four to seven – allowing more material to be accepted at individual HWRCs. Simon Tagg added: “Later this year we will be detailing investment for a significant improvement and maintenance plan for the years ahead. We want to make the HWRCs sustainable for the future, encourage greater use now and able to deal with future demand from a growing population.”


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St Dominic's Catholic Primary School is Outstanding! St Dominic’s Catholic Primary School in Stone is celebrating reaching official ‘Outstanding’ status in its recent Ofsted inspection. Teachers, support staff and students are all delighted with the result. The school was previously judged to be ‘good’ in its last full inspection in 2012 and in a short inspection in 2019. Since 2018, the school has become a member of The Painsley Catholic Academy and recently extended its provision with the opening of a pre-school nursery facility on site. All areas of the school were judged to be outstanding during the two day inspection at the end of March. This includes the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and Early Years provision. The report states; “Everyone at St. Dominic’s does their very best to live up to the school’s mission “As Children of God, we Love One another. Consequently, this is a very friendly and caring school. Leaders have very high expectations for every pupil’s academic success. They place equally high importance on developing pupils’ consideration for others…leaders provide an extremely wide range of exciting and innovative

activities to meet pupils’ interests and develop their talents. Leaders have designed the curriculum so that pupils link what they learn to the world beyond school….Behaviour in lessons and around school is exemplary.” Mrs Dianne Stokes, Head teacher at St Dominic’s told the Gazette, “I am delighted with this report which acknowledges the hard work, commitment and enthusiasm of the staff and school community.” St Dominic’s takes children from age 3 to 11 and welcomes children of all faiths.

Some groups, like our Further French group, don’t need a leader

From Crochet to Croquet and Scrabble to Spanish at Stone & District u3a There is something for everyone at Stone u3a, if you are not in full time employment. Almost all of our groups are back to meeting in ’real life’ once more, and new members are always welcome. We meet in all sorts of weathers, in many different venues in and around Stone, Aston, Walton and Oulton. We operate on the principle of use it or lose it. The aim each week is to create opportunities to READ, HEAR and SPEAK FRENCH. As well as sustaining the French you have, this builds the confidence to use it in new situations. Everyone in the group contributes to providing and presenting the material for our weekly sessions. The group is not suitable for complete beginners, but even if you have only a modest familiarity with French it may be for you. “It doesn’t matter how good you are or if you don’t understand everything that is said. Participating will help you move forward,’ says group leader Andrew Davies. Others, like the Photography group, need some expertise to begin with, but members can help to build on it. And others, like the Meditation for Relaxation group, are proving so popular that we are looking for a new leader. Could this be you? Leaders get special rates if they wish to join our u3a.

Members of other local link groups can participate in our groups for a small fee, but our annual group membership allows as many groups as you can attend for a one-off fee of less than £4 a month. See our webpage and contact our membership Secretary for more details. Search the web for Stone and district u3a to message individual leaders, find us on Facebook, or contact our membership secretary, Pat Woodward on

u3a Groups To Join Include Allotment Group, Art Appreciation Group, Art/Drawing Badminton, Bridge and Bridge for Beginners, Canasta, Craft, Crochet, Croquet, Crown Green Bowling, Computer Courses, (D of E) Discovery Award, Dressmaking, Folk Dancing, Further French, Gentle Exercise, German Conversation, Global Politics, Guitar, Hawaiian Canoeing, History of Painting, Industrial Archaeology, Italian Intermediate, Just Gardening, Kurling, Latin, Modern Wisdom and Cake, Paper Craft, Patchwork and Quilting, Patchwork/Quilting Beginners, Petanque, Photography, Quiz, Monthly Reading, Zoom Reading, Reading Shakespeare, Scrabble, Sew and Sew, Sewing and Yarncraft, Spanish, Strollers, Tai Chi Long Form, Talking Books, Table Tennis, Ukelele, Wine Appreciation, Written in Stone

St Dominic's Women's Guild Jubilee Garden Party St Dominic's Women's Guild held a Jubilee Garden Party where everybody got to enjoy the good weather, and a wonderful afternoon together. Why not join them at their Coffee Morning on Tuesday 12 July between

10am and 12 noon at St Dominic’s Social Centre on Station Road. The cost is £1.50 (which includes your tea / coffee) - with all proceeds going to local charities, all are most welcome to join us.


When Lions go bowling... On Wednesday 25th May, Members of Stone Lions Club congregated at Stone Crown Bowls Club for their Annual Bowls Competition. Due to Covid restrictions the event had not taken place during the last two years and all members were pleased to see the return of this popular event on their social calendar. The weather was very kind and everyone enjoyed a pleasant evening of bowling and spectating, followed by a ‘bring and share’ supper. After a very stiff competition the Trophy, named after the late Lion Bob Faulkner who was a Charter Member of the Club and a very keen bowler, was presented to Lion Sam Williams, a worthy champion! The event was organised by Lion Graham Garner and particular thanks must also go to the members of the Stone Crown Bowling Club who were on hand to offer advice throughout the competition and ensured the evening ran like clockwork.

National Trust Talks The Staffordshire Centre’s Autumn programme of talks at Walton Village Hall, Green Gore Lane in Stafford starts up again in September with

Life In the Fifties - on September 13th A Talk by Bill Durose Do you remember what it was like in the fifties? When TV was B&W and Radio Luxembourg was the radio station of choice if you wanted to listen to music recorded less than twenty years ago? When we rock ’n rolled to the music of Elvis Presley and the Everley Brothers. And who could forget Harry Rodger Webb? People were just starting to enjoy free health care with the introduction of the newly launched National Health Service. Kids were going to school in their new school uniforms - to experience the benefits (or otherwise) of the 11 plus exams, yearning for the day when they could wear drainpipes, brothel creepers or winklepickers. Bill Durose gives a talk illustrated with live music and song about home life, education, health and historical events in the nineteen fifties. There is no need to book in advance, just turn up at the door and pay as you go in. However, it would help the organisers if you book your place(s) on our website go to Events-Book a Talk. All talks start at 2.30 pm and you do not have to be a member of the Centre to attend. Admission is £4.50 for non-members of the Centre and talks are followed by tea and biscuits. To keep up with our future events watch out for us in these pages or check out our Events page at


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Walton Rainbows bowled over by cricket experience Walton Rainbows recently had a fabulous cricket session with Kathryn Whyle from Staffordshire Cricket; seventeen very excited Rainbows took part in Staffordshire Cricket’s All Stars programme and had lots of fun. Rainbow leader Jane told the Gazette “The Rainbows listened really well and we had some great feedback from parents. It was great to see them so inspired and

Kathryn was just great with them. It was also great to see them enjoying physical activity and enjoying the fresh air!” There was some amazing feedback from parents too: “My daughter had a cracking time tonight! She’s never played cricket before but has now asked if she can have a bat”. And, “What great fun, they all really enjoyed it. Thank you!”

Bishop Lonsdale Academy Visit

From left to right : Libby Dale, Peter Jones, Claire Jones, Ros Taylor and Gordon Dale.

Members of the Eccleshall Parish Council Events Committee visited the Bishop Lonsdale Academy on Wednesday May 25 to present all of the pupils with a packet of special Jubilee seeds for the children to plant at home. The group attended the morning assembly and spoke to the children. The principal Claire Jones took them on a tour of the facilities. All of the children have produced paintings to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and they were displayed in the Elford Room at the community centre from 2nd - 4th June. They were judged and the winners’ certificates will be awarded at school in the new term.

If you go down to the woods today… Stone and District Rotary Club have been busy with a very successful Teddy Bear Picnic and Book Readings held at Stone Library, on the first day of Stone Festival Week. A large number of teddies came along with their owners and enjoyed a lovely sunny morning meeting others, chatting and listening to stories read by Rotarians Victoria Fern, Mike Williamson and Mike Ellis. The Club provided picnic bags and there were prizes for the best teddies. One teddy attending was over 70 years old and another 44, they both had a wonderful time! Club President Sandie McQueen and Treasurer Victoria Fern welcomed the Mayor Jonathan Powell who spent time meeting families and awarded the prizes. Sandie said: “The Club loved organising the Teddy Bear Picnic, it was a lovely, timeless, thing to do and was very popular with the young and a digital age, it’s pleasing to see so many children enjoying books. It was such a success that the Club is planning to make it an annual event.” Top right picture shows Club President Sandie McQueen, the Mayor Jonathan Powell and Treasurer Victoria Fern ready to enjoy their picnics in the Town Square. The second pictures shows one of the winners with the mayor.


Queen’s Commonwealth Baton Relay to visit Stone! The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay is confirmed to visit Stone and Stafford during its final journey through England this summer, as the full route is revealed. Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – a journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games. In England, the Queen’s Baton Relay will provide the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022, as the 11 days of showstopping sport nears ever closer. The Queen’s Baton Relay is set to travel the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days, before culminating at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on 28 July 2022. Kicking off on Thursday 2 June, the Baton will spend four days in London, coinciding with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend. The Baton will then resume the international journey and return to England on Monday 4 July to commence a 25-day tour of the regions. On the afternoon of Tuesday 19 July, Stone and Stafford will officially welcome the Baton. A busy schedule of activities and events are planned for the Queen’s Baton Relay, with opportunities to highlight untold stories from Batonbearers who are striving for change in their community. During its time in the borough, the Queen’s Baton Relay will visit Stone’s Westbridge Park and town centre, and the award-winning Victoria Park in Stafford - where a number of activities are being lined up.

Sydney, Australia The schedule of activity for the Baton’s time in Stafford includes it being taken on a route from Stafford Castle to Victoria Park. It will then be transported via vehicle to Stone - with the baton relay leaving Westbridge Park, into the town centre, before finishing at the Canoe Club. Members of the public are encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, taking the opportunity to experience the buzz of Birmingham 2022 in their community. The Birmingham 2022 website will be updated with information over the coming months, with detail on the events and where to line the route. Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, Cabinet Member for Leisure at Stafford Borough Council, said: “There has been a lot of work behind the scenes by the council, our partners Freedom Leisure, and the QBR organisers to ensure Stafford and Stone were chosen as venues on the route of this fantastic journey of the baton - and now we can’t wait to see it arriving in our borough. I hope people will join us in cheering on our worthy batonbearers, and the celebration of the Commonwealth Games coming to the Midlands, in this amazing platinum jubilee year


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as Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth ll, Head of the Commonwealth, marks an historic seven decades on the throne. We are liaising with the ‘relay’ committee and will be able to announce more of what to expect on the day in the coming weeks.” Thousands of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through England, including those nominated in recognition of their contributions to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity. Between 40 and 130 Batonbearers will carry the Baton each day, and the Relay will reach hundreds of villages, towns and cities during its tour of the country. Travelling via land, air and sea, more than 180 communities in England will experience the Queen’s Baton on a route spanning 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres). From Kadeena Cox receiving the Baton from Her Majesty The Queen energetic cities and historic market towns, to rolling countryside and copper, aluminium and steel, the Baton also rugged coastline, the Baton will head as far features a platinum strand in homage to south as Cornwall and as far north as The Queen in her Northumberland. Platinum Jubilee year. It is also equipped Since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff with cutting-edge technology; 360-degree 1958 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s camera, heart rate monitor, atmospheric Baton Relay has been a tradition for the sensors and LED lighting. Commonwealth Games. For more information on the Queen’s Baton The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay Relay, visit began at Buckingham Palace on 7 October 2021, when The Queen placed Her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton and passed it to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, who had the honour of being the first of thousands of Batonbearers to carry the Baton. Since then, the Baton has visited Commonwealth nations and territories in Europe, Africa, Oceania. It still has further destinations in the Caribbean, the Americas, and more countries in Europe, including the Home Nations consisting of five days in Scotland, four in Northern Ireland and five in Wales, where it will finish on Sunday 3 July, before returning to England in summer for the final countdown to the Commonwealth Games. Throughout May and June, the Queen’s Baton Relay continued its journey through the Caribbean and the Americas, with visits to St Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Bermuda and Canada, amongst others. The Queen’s Baton for Birmingham 2022 was created in a West Midlands collaboration that fused art, technology and science. Made from

Batonbearers in The Cook Islands

Long serving members at Eccleshall W.I. Long serving members of Eccleshall WI, Josephine Tapley, Eileen Gittens and Maureen Kirby celebrated respectively 54, 64 and 62 years membership at the Eccleshall WI monthly meeting in June, when they also reminisced with stories and pictures on the changing face of Eccleshall during their lifetimes. Personal photographs were put on to slides, and trying to recognise members when they were young caused much interest, and amusement! The evening ended with a glass of fizz and a piece of the special cake made in their honour. Joyce Adnitt and Daphne Young are pictured with long service certificates presented to them in their own homes by Eccleshall WI committee members in June. Daphne was also celebrating her 90th birthday. She is seen here holding the beautiful card made by Chistine Weston and signed by all the Eccleshall WI members.

Joyce Adnitt celebrates her 50 years of membership

Josephine Tapley, Eileel Gittens and Maureen Kirby with celebratory cake

Daphne Young celebrates her 60 years of membership

Tilling Drive allotments Royal Scarecrows! Sally Hallows, a member of the Tilling Drive allotments, wrote to me to ask if I would judge the Royal Cake Competition and the Royal Scarecrow competition at the allotments. It’s not very often that in my duty as the Stone County Councillor I have the opportunity to eat cake! I immediately accepted the invitation. On June 4th I was greeted by Neil, another allotment member who showed off his allotment and explained his “no dig” method of gardening and how he grew and worked his allotment by lunar cycles. It was very interesting. If you have never visited Tilling Drive allotments then you are in for a treat, not only is it a huge area of beautifully kept plots but there is a real community spirit and friendliness. Sally took me on a tour of very impressive Royal Scarecrows, I awarded first place to a Beefeater and Corgi which

a lot of work had gone into. The cakes were all delicious, a traditional Victoria sponge judged first place on taste and attractiveness. Tilling Drive allotments group encompasses all ages and abilities and is fully inclusive, it is a great facility and it was a great pleasure for me to spend my time there. By County Councillor Mrs Jill Hood

Stone Scribblers invite you to join them Stone Scribblers are a small group who like to write and would love to welcome new members. We are not looking for the next Wordsworth, Graham Greene, or even J.K. Rowling, (Though you can be if you want to!) Beginners and experienced writers are equally welcome. Whatever you want to write, be it a story or a poem, a memoir or a song, don’t hide your talent, come and share it

with the Scribblers. So grab a pen and pad and come visit us in the library, every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, from 11am to 12.30. There is no charge; come check us out! Next meetings, Tuesday July 12th, Tuesday July 26th, Tuesday August 9th, Tuesday August 23rd. We hope to see you there.


Open day & Afternoon Tea events at Walton Community Centre It’s been a busy couple of months at Walton Community Centre. On Saturday May 19th they welcomed everyone back for their free ‘We’re Back’ Open Day. The Mayor and over 300 people came down on this glorious sunny day! Everyone enjoyed listening to the ‘Old Bones Bar Band’ in the Chairmans Hall & having some fabulous food & drink supplied by The Greek Taverna, Izaak Walton Brewhouse and Mr Whippy’s Ice Cream. In the Presidents Hall there were demonstrations & stands showing various activities that take place at the centre including: U3A groups, Fitness / Dance classes & Flower Arranging. On Friday 3rd June a fabulous traditional afternoon tea hosting over 60 people was held in the Presidents Hall. A tree celebrating the 'Queens Green Canopy’ was planted and an official


commemorative plaque unveiled by a young member of the centre, Ari Rowley (age 13). These celebrations reunited friends & members of the local community that had rarely seen each other throughout the previous 2 ‘covid years’. More events are being planned for the second half of 2022. Loneliness is a killer and Walton Community Centre is a hub where you can connect, meet new friends and get involved. There are numerous groups you can join whatever age you are and being a charity it’s always looking for volunteers to help with events so don’t hesitate to get in touch. The centre is always open to new ideas for classes and groups. Tel 01785 811653

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Help build memories for future generations Volunteering can help create a sense of community, build confidence, and gain new skills and recent studies show that 62% of respondents to a government survey (approximately 28 million people in England) have volunteered in any way in the last 12 months, *and Stone based Kibblestone Scout camp are looking for people to help them and experience the benefits of volunteering. As the camp spans 98 acres there is something for everybody to do from a handy man or woman, an adventurer, nature lover, cook, or those who just enjoy spending time helping others are just some of the people Kibblestone are crying out for. The 98-acre Stone based camp is on the hunt for volunteers from all backgrounds that are willing to share their skills to help others. There are a number of opportunities available such as joining the camps team of “Gotcha’s” who do all the painting, building, and putting things together; working in the shop or for those looking for adventure, instructor training will be given in a range or rope activities including abseiling or climbing. For those who are adventurous but don’t have a head for heights the camp also needs people to help with archery, rifle shooting and a range of other activities. The camp, which has been established since 1927 hosts 1000’s of people each year through Scouts, away days and school residentials, is keen to get more people in the community involved. We have a small shop on site, stocked with souvenirs and snacks. It’s open at weekends, and then evenings during the summer as well. It’s great fun and one of the best places to interact with all our visitors. For the adventurous we can offer full instructor training on the activities we have here at Kibblestone. We have a range of rope activities, from climbing and abseiling, to Cows’ Tails, High All Aboard and vertical assault courses. If you don’t have a head for heights then we have archery, rifle shooting and tomahawk throwing, and a multitude of other fun activities. Becoming a volunteer doesn’t only enhance the life of the volunteer but makes a significant impact on the young people who attend the camp. Karen Stevens who has been a volunteer at the camp for six years explains how varied and rewarding it is: “I do things like work in the shop, the kitchen and I’ve done cake decorating and made sweets with the Cubs & Beavers. I enjoy seeing the young people come out of themselves. There are always the boisterous ones, but then there are always the shy, quiet ones and it’s so gratifying when they make a joke or even just tell you what they’ve done that day. My favourite event was the Hallowe’en camp because I took over the menu and we had purple pasta, themed cupcakes, skull potatoes and mummified chicken – the expressions on their faces made my day.” Another volunteer Clive Leader says that quite simply it is the people that make volunteering so special. He explains: “The people you work with. The people we welcome to the site and especially the young people who get so much from what we do. My work as a volunteer goes to build the memories of the next generation. There is no greater reward.” There are no restrictions on who can volunteer and Kibblestone welcome applications from people from all walks of life, but all applicants will be subject to a DBS check. Once accepted volunteers will receive full training for whatever role they would like to try. To find out more about volunteering at Kibblestone contact Stevan Fern,


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Perrys with Hannah and Hogan - 1st place business section

Eccleshall Jubilee Window Display Winners The window display competition entries were judged on Wednesday 1st June and the results are as follows: Business section, 1st Perry the Butchers, 2nd Austin & Roe Estate Agents, 3rd Buttercups and Daisies Florist. In the Residential Section 1st 76 High Street, 2nd 49 High Street and 3rd 74 High Street. Each of the winners received a certificate for their efforts. The Parish Council wishes to thank all of the people who took part in the competition and making an effort to support the towns Jubilee celebration.

Eccleshall Poetry Group mark Jubilee Eccleshall Poetry Group are rightly proud of their latest collection of poems which celebrated The Queen's Platinum Jubilee. This collection features poems recollecting events from the Queen's Coronation to poetry group members' personal reflections of meeting Her Majesty, along with some momentous events during her 70 year reign. The Group's recent meeting in June was a relaxed reading of these poems, interspersed with tea and biscuits at their usual meeting place: Eccleshall Methodist Hall. If you haven't yet manage to buy a copy from various outlets in Eccleshall, the publication is still available to purchase for £3.00 from Eccleshall Methodist Hall on 7th July - 2.00pm - 4.00pm - when the Group will be meeting to read poems on the theme "Shades of Grey". Their following meeting on 21st July is an outdoor garden one, to raise funds for Croxton Church. The Group then has it's summer break and will reconvene, suitably refreshed, on Thursday 1st December at Eccleshall Methodist Hall from 2.00pm 4.00pm, when all will be welcome for the theme of Regional UK Poetry.


• Correspondence - Readers’ Writes

Eccleshall desperately needs a RING ROAD!

Meaford Jubilee Street party A Jubilee Street Party took place at St Vincent Mews, Meaford, Stone, photo from Sindi Kaur.

Dear sir Eccleshall desperately needs a RING ROAD. The High Street has become a nightmare to All: Cars, Buses, Lorries, Tractors, Cyclists and pedestrians. (1) I can remember between the 1930’s and 1940’s the High street was made narrower, by widening the pavements. It was picturesque, but was it practical? The pavement extension should be removed, and the splendid posts and troughs should be moved to the inner side of the pavements. (2) If this idea is unpractical, a RING ROAD should be constructed. If one looks at the map on the centre pages of issue 77 of Eccleshall Guide, it can be seen that the foundations of such a road are already there, with the exception of any lane between the road to the potteries, A519, and the road toLoggerheads, B5026. This could be sorted by purchasing some land from the Castle, where they already have the means to a driveway entering the Loggerheads Road, from the Potteries road. (3) Or why not extend the Library car park, and make it FREE. If Eccleshall is to survive as a prosperous, attractive, country town, this project should be carried out sooner, rather than later. Yours, very concerned B Helen Ladell Eccleshall

Stone Scooter Club fundraiser for Ukraine Hi Dan, just to let you know that the club’s fundraising event at Morrisons last Saturday for the Ukraine Distress Appeal raised a staggering total of £601.84 Many thanks to all the generous people of Stone that donated into the buckets. Kind regards Len Stone Scooter Club

Doctor Carr Retires

Oulton Llama on the loose! Recently a pet Llama went on walkabout in Oulton, where it quickly discovered the delights of hedge pruning! The owner was quick on the scene and village harmony was restored, after it was returned to its paddock. Photo by Martin Robinson

Bronze Award for Rainbows! Over the last twelve months three Rainbows, Daisy, Rosie and Isobel from 5th Stone Rainbows have been working hard on their Bronze Award and at a recent award ceremony they were presented with their awards by their Rainbow Leader, Mrs Jill Piggott, who also happens to be Stone and Eccleshall’s Division Commissioner. They have worked hard on gaining interest badges and have learnt new skills, including first aid skills and how to keep well.


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

A personal message: “Having worked at the surgery since September 1993, reached the age of 60, and struggled with my health over the past year, I have decided it is time to hang up my stethoscope. As such, I will be retiring from the practice on 31st August. Over the past 29 years I have been greatly helped by the support of my fellow GPs and a brilliant team. I have also experienced such kindness and generosity from of you, for which I will always be hugely grateful. Whilst I am very sad to be leaving the practice, I am delighted to be able to announce that Dr Sherjel (Serj) Khawaja has agreed to become a partner as of the 1st September. Dr Khawaja has worked at the Crown for the past year and has been very well liked and respected by staff and patients alike. It would mean a great deal to me if you continued to support him and Drs Lucy Jones, Sarah Brookes, Alison Shelley and Harriet Pearce in the same way that you have supported me. As they care for the community in the months ahead. With many thanks”. Dr David Carr Eccleshall

Help raise vital funds for Diabetes UK Dear Editor, We are inviting people in the Midlands to raise vital funds for Diabetes UK this summer and support our push to help as many people as possible know their risk of type 2 diabetes. The One Million Step Challenge runs from 1 July to 30 September and is ideal for anyone looking for a way to get more active. You take one million steps over the course of three months – around 10,000 steps per day – and get sponsored for every stride. There’s also the half a million-step challenge, ideal for anyone who may find taking 10,000 steps a day difficult, or the longer 1.7 million-step version for those who really want a challenge. Type 2 diabetes is serious and there are almost 2.4 million people in England at a high risk of developing the condition. However, research has consistently shown that for some people, combined lifestyle interventions – including diet, physical activity, and sustained weight loss – can be effective in reducing their risk by about 50%. That’s why we’re encouraging people to understand their risk by completing our free Know Your Risk tool. It only takes a few minutes, and anyone at moderate or high risk can directly sign up to their local Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. You can find the Know Your Risk tool, and information about the One Million Step Challenge, at the Diabetes UK website ( Thank you, Peter Shorrick, Midlands and East Regional Head at Diabetes UK The Gazette reserves the right not to publish any correspondence that arrives without a name and address or email address. It is our policy not to publish any addresses unless specifically asked. We also will not publish any letters that we consider to be offensive or divisive - this is a freely distributed publication with a responsibility to its readership beyond that of a paid for publication. It is for this very same reason that we do not carry a Personal Column or any advertisements for personal services that could be deemed potentially offensive.

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Stone ballet stars to dance with the English Youth Ballet this summer Three budding ballerinas training at Stone’s Rooftop Studios have successfully auditioned for the English Youth Ballet. Molly Philpott (11), Isabella Buckley (10) and Maria Kelly (9) impressed in a competitive audition process and will now and will join a cast of professional dancers in a full-length production of Swan Lake at the Regent Theatre in September. The process will provide the girls with a unique insight into life at a professional ballet company; an exciting opportunity to navigate the journey from journey from acceptance at the audition, to classes, challenging choreography, tough rehearsals and enjoyable performances in the theatre; mirroring exactly what a dancer in a professional company experiences. Studio director, Laura Keeling, says: “These girls all work exceptionally hard each week and show amazing dedication and passion in all their classes. Congratulations girls that hard work has paid off. We are all very proud of you and cannot wait to see you perform on that big stage! We’d also like to say a huge thank to ballet teacher Miss Verity for preparing the girls so well for ahead of their audition and for the ongoing support and inspiration she gives to all of our students.” Rooftop Studios is Stone’s only RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) ballet school; training students to the RAD syllabus and offering the chance to move up the grades with classes catering from toddlers taking their first steps in dance right through to those taking their higher grades and learning repertoire for professional level auditions. Ballet classes for adults are also on offer at the studio, including the RAD’s hugely popular Silver Swans for over 55s. For more information on ballet at Rooftop Studios head to To sign up for a free trial of any of the classes at the studio, email

New Homeware Store Opens In Sandon’s Old Smithy After restoring a historic building in Sandon, Rustique Living has taken over The Old Smithy, which is part of the Sandon Estate. This early 19th-century building is full of character and a perfect match for the business - that specialises in the retail of rustic homewares and furnishings. Director, Joel Paxton (23) told the Gazette “The Old Smithy had not been occupied for many years and to be given the opportunity to restore such a historic building has been a genuine honour. I originally set up the company in my first year of University (Keele). I am finishing off my Masters, but my passion for this venture has seen me take the leap to make this my full-time job.”


Pupils created a thousand paper cranes for a display at a children’s peace monument in Japan.

Where do you read yours? Over the years we’ve received many photo’s from readers, capturing them enjoying their Gazette, at various locations all around the world. It’s nice to know that whilst busy packing their flip-flops and sun cream, some are taking their Gazette away with them to read poolside. Pictured above, on the left, is Eccleshall Jeweller, David Spencer, with a friend, enjoying his Gazette high up in the French mountains! Are you off on a holiday? Send us your selfies holding up a Gazette in a far flung place! Spencer the Jewellers pass a milestone this year, having now been open for 18 years in Eccleshall! ED: Congratulations to David, Angela and all of the team at Spencers, where do the years go?

Barbara Bell Exhibition There will be an exhibition of oil paintings by Barbara Bell on display at The Festival Drayton Centre Frogmore Road, Market Drayton, TF9 SAX. The exhibition takes place between June 21st - July 30th. Barbara told the Gazette “I have enjoyed painting for most of my life, ever since I was a little girl, and have attended local art groups for many years. My favourite medium is oil, as I love the effects that can be achieved with light and shadow. I also love walking in the countryside and because of this, I like painting places where I have been. It feels as though I have more affinity with my work when I have actually waked along a particular pathway or just stood admiring a lovely view. Although landscapes are the main subjects of my work, I also enjoy painting figures and especially dancers. Could it be that I am a frustrated non-dancer? More recently, my painting played an even greater part in my fife during a long, challenging period of illness - it was profoundly therapeutic. This continues even now during my recovery. I wanted to do this exhibition as my art has been invaluable to me and I do hope that you will enjoy seeing a selection of my work.”


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

One thousand paper cranes and a wish for peace A Stone teenager led the way as pupils created a thousand paper birds for display at a children’s peace monument in Hiroshima, in memory of a Japanese child who died through atomic radiation. The story of Sadako, a 12-year-old girl who suffered from leukaemia because of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, captured the imagination of a Year 11 class at Stafford Grammar School. The group, aged between 15 and 16, decided to embark on a mammoth origami project called ‘Paper Cranes for Peace.’ Fifteen-year-old Matilda Blackburn forged ahead and her classmates followed her lead. It took more than two months to cut and fold the paper birds, which they then threaded into chains ready to send to Japan. “As a form challenge it’s been brilliant, as you work as a group and help each other. I really enjoy origami and was able to show others how to do it. Even the artistically challenged got involved,” said Matilda, who chalked up the highest number of cranes. “There is a moral behind the story of the little girl in Hiroshima and this is our way of showing that we support world peace. Unfortunately, the war in Ukraine shows how history repeats itself and nothing really changes. But at least having our cranes displayed at the monument is a way of getting our voices heard,” added the Stone youngster.

Sadako developed acute leukaemia 10 years after being exposed to radiation when the bomb was dropped. In Japanese tradition, folding one thousand origami paper cranes is said to make a wish come true, so while she was in hospital she began creating little birds alongside her vision of a more peaceful world. After her death in 1955 a monument, funded by Japanese children, was built in her honour in Peace Park and each year schools, individuals and organisations across the world contribute cranes to Sadako’s memorial as a tribute to peace. Models made by the SGS students are being draped next to the monument and the school is added to an official database there. Their involvement in the venture was prompted by teacher Sam Sheehy, who taught English at the Hiroshima International School for two years. “My former school has a club that organises lots of events related to world peace, such as folding cranes, visiting ‘hibakusha’ (atomic-bomb survivors), and attending memorials. I reached out to the club and they were really pleased to get involved and to spread the message of peace to the UK,” said Sam. They also made the project a charity fund raiser and collected £350 in sponsorship for Staffordshire Women’s Aid.

Students at the Hiroshima International School took charge of the consignment of origami birds from SGS.

Walton Priory Middle School Onward and Upward for Walton Priory Middle School Life at Walton Priory Middle School has never been better! We’ve had a fantastic first half of the year and we can’t wait to see what a new academic year will bring. In December, we were awarded with the NACE Challenge Award which is given in recognition of school-wide commitment to providing outstanding provision for high achieving pupils, which helps them achieve their true potential. We are the only school in Staffordshire and one of only 463 schools internationally to achieve this prestigious award. In April, Miss Houlton was pleased to share the incredible news that she has achieved Chartered Teacher Status. This is a significant award that recognises outstanding teachers. A massive congratulations to Miss Houlton as she is the first staff member of our school to receive the qualification (and one of only 18 teachers in the West Midlands) but we are sure she will not be the last! In June, we were delighted to find out that students Libby and Annabel in Y7 were chosen as this year’s ‘Ultimate STEM Challenge: My Net Zero Community’ winners! Their entry titled ‘Walton Goes Dark’ focused on investigating how much energy the school could save by switching off lights and electronic devices when they are not needed. As a result of winning, the school has been awarded a £3,000 prize grant to encourage further change within our school in this sector. Along with our innovative STEAM curriculum timetable, we are always looking to enhance the students experiences and provide a variety of opportunities before they leave us in Y8. This therefore led to Miss Woolliscroft and Mr Shingler recently embarking on an Archery Instructor Course so they can now deliver archery as part of our PE curriculum timetable to our students. We are inviting prospective parents of children currently in Year 3 (Year 4 in September) to come and visit our school on our Open Days on Saturday 17th & 24th September to get a taste of life at Walton Priory Middle School. Tours will be taking place from 9:30am – 12pm, booking is essential. Please visit our website at www.waltonpriory to find out how to book your place! We wish everyone a wonderful summer break and we look forward to welcoming you back in September!


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

Manor Hill First School At Manor Hill we pride ourselves on our family ethos, everyone belongs and is valued here, the children are at the heart of all that we do and we like to work in partnership with parents and carers to achieve the best together. It is our priority that the education your child receives here will enable them to achieve their full potential. We hold the vision that children should be provided with awe inspiring experiences and made aware of the endless possibilities that await them in the modern world. Here at Manor Hill, staff work hard to deliver our bespoke engaging and exciting curriculum, which is ambitious and challenging for all pupils. We ensure that children are nurtured to become confident and conscientious individuals with many skills and attributes to contribute to society. Our school is an expanding school and has benefitted from extensive redevelopment which affords us a spacious and modern learning environment which is well resourced, bright and inviting. Our classrooms are spacious and well equipped with the latest learning technologies, creative displays help to reinforce our dedication to learning throughout the entire school and we have a wonderful abundance of outdoor space, which is used to great effect for sports, Forest School and outdoor learning. Our onsite, school run Nursery offers care from age two to four and has modern, well-resourced learning environments. Children here experience a dedicated curriculum and wealth of learning opportunities rooted in our knowledge of child development and are supported by a talented team of experienced practitioners. Wraparound care is available at the school from 7.30am to 5.30pm at Hilltops, our school led before and after school facility. Staffed by our own team, children transition easily to and from school and are able to participate in activities of their choice in a relaxing and informal environment. Please do not hesitate to contact the school on 01785 812418 to arrange a tour with Mrs Roden, the Headteacher. As our school community grows we would love to welcome your family to join ours, as the children say,

‘Manor Hill is the place to be!’


St. Michael’s C.E. First School At St Michael’s CE (VC) First School it is our aim that every child develops a love of learning and a desire to reach their full potential. This is done through providing all children with an exciting and engaging curriculum that both inspires and challenges them, whilst being supported by a team of experienced teachers and teaching assistants. Our strong Christian ethos and values mean that every child in our school feels valued and part of our school community. Our engaging curriculum is further enhanced through WOW weeks, learning outside of the classroom, educational visits and visitors into school. Peripatetic music teaching allows all children in Year 3 learn to play an instrument. Our extensive school grounds which include a large playing field, woodland nature area, pond and outdoor classrooms provide an excellent area for our Forest School and outdoor learning lessons which are accessed by every child in the school. Every child takes part and wellington boots are a must! The School Nursery is located in a purpose designed building. The large room allows children to explore all aspects of learning through a wide range of practical, hands on activities. The building has its own large, enclosed outdoor area with soft flooring throughout. Whether it’s riding the bikes, exploring in the sand, splashing in the water or climbing through tunnels and exploring tents our large outdoor environment has plenty of room for it all. Children can join from the day after their third birthday with flexibility of days and hours offered to parents to meet their requirements. We operate our own onsite wraparound club from 7.15am until 6pm where children have fun with access to a wide range of toys to play with, craft activities, outdoor play and themed sessions. Take a look at our website or give us a call on 01785 334930 to arrange a visit.


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

Stafford Grammar School & Stafford Preparatory School Stafford Grammar School is an independent school for girls and boys aged 3 – 18. We offer an inspiring curriculum, a wide-ranging extra-curricular programme (‘SGS Extra’) and a caring community where our students are known as individuals. There is a warm family atmosphere at Stafford Grammar School, and a real sense of fun! Our school is a very special place. Our pupils support each other and form life-long friendships across year groups as well as with their own classmates. There is a real sense of belonging at Stafford Grammar School, where our pupils grow in confidence and are comfortable being themselves. Our parents and students often comment that SGS feels like a family. Stafford Grammar School benefits from hard-working and dedicated teachers who go the extra mile to support our pupils and ensure that they make excellent progress. We are a forward-looking school with traditional values. But we are not trapped by our history and we do not confine our pupils in an academic hothouse. We get to know all of our pupils as individuals and we build their confidence. This is how we nurture successful, resilient, respectful, community-minded and caring individuals who can make a difference in the world around them. This is the ethos by which we live and learn. Stafford Grammar School has a forward-thinking and ambitious vision. We are always seeking to develop and improve the school. We benefit from: • Extensive playing fields • Tennis and netball courts with floodlighting • Design and Technology workshop • Art studio • Modern, well-equipped science labs • A modern music room equipped with iMacs for composition work • Recently upgraded wifi to ensure excellent wifi connection for our Bring Your Own Device Programme • A modern Sixth Form Centre with study areas and a large sixth form common room and kitchen facility • A large, modern sports hall, which is used for netball, basketball, football, cricket, Zumba, gymnastics, badminton and more


Christ Church C.E. First School Christ Church C.E. First School is situated at the heart of the community it serves, in the market town of Stone, welcoming children from Reception to Year 4 in single year groups. We are part of the Key Education Trust alongside Christ Church Academy and Oulton C.E. First School. The school is rated good by Ofsted and SIAMS. Our dedicated school staff provide the children with a safe and happy learning environment, helping them reach their full potential. We are proud of our school and our children’s love of learning. Our curriculum is inclusive, immersive and creative to ensure that all children can thrive. We aim high and try to be uniquely the best that we can be. As a Church of England school, we uphold our Christian and moral values in all aspects of our work and also recognise and value the other beliefs of our diverse school community. This enables all children to build secure and lasting relationships with their peers and staff. Wrap around care is available on site from 7.30am – 6.00pm and is provided by Little Stars Childcare. Visit We still have spaces available in our Reception class for September 2022. If you would like to learn more, please see our school website for more information and to view our promotional video: or call the school office on 01784 336545 to arrange a visit.

“Be the best you can be in God’s beautiful world” Executive Headteacher: Mrs A Graham BA (Hons) NPQH


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

Christ Church Academy ‘At Christ Church Academy, aspirations become reality.’ “The curriculum and extra-curricular offer are exceptionally rich. Each pupil is known and cherished. The Christian vision and values have a life-lasting and life-enhancing impact on personal and intellectual development.” These are just some of the things said about the school during our SIAMS inspection, in which we were judged as 'Excellent'. In 2022, Ofsted visited the school and confirmed that it continues to be 'Good' and that 'pupils at Christ Church thrive'. At Christ Church, we are proud of our broad and balanced curriculum which we enrich through residential and daytrips, themed days and weeks, visiting guests, an aspirational reward scheme and by constantly listening to our children about what they like and don’t like. Our schemes of learning and programmes of study are regularly refreshed in light of new material and changing cohorts of children. Children enjoy and benefit from a curriculum that is taught by specialists in subject rooms such as science labs, computing suites and Design and Technology rooms. Innovative and dedicated heads of department constantly evaluate the provision given to pupils. Children at the Academy typically leave at the end of Year 8 achieving above average standards, whilst making strong progress in English, Maths and Science. As a Church of England middle school, each member of the school community is valued, respected and treated equally regardless of gender, race, belief and ability. Everyone in the school community is special and is supported by our shared Christian values of forgiveness, friendship, compassion, trust, thankfulness and koinonia. We seek to enable children to achieve their potential through perseverance, hard work, challenge and fun.


Oulton C.E. First School & Ladybirds Nursery Oulton CE First School is rated GOOD by OFSTED and SIAMS. We are a popular village school set within a strong local community, although we welcome a significant number of our children from surrounding areas. Our school caters for children from three years of age (in our Nursery) through to learners of nine years (Year 4). At Oulton First School, we have a wonderfully committed team of staff who create a happy, welcoming and secure environment in which our children can thrive. We aim to involve all members of the school community in learning, in school life and in celebrating our successes! We believe that the partnership between parents or carers and the school is vital and we actively encourage the community to become involved in the life of the school. The school is set in extensive grounds, which accommodates a trim trail, sensory garden, wild life area, outdoor classroom and a newly created nature area. We are a Forest School provider that utilises our school grounds as well as nearby Kibblestone International Scout Camp. As a Church of England school, we promote Christian and moral values, whilst also recognising and valuing other beliefs.

Our School Vision: Hand in hand at Oulton, we strive to follow Jesus' example offering friendship and forgiveness through a trusting and welcoming community where all our loved and valued as children of God. We are thankful for the exciting and vibrant curriculum, which enables everyone to flourish and achieve their God given potential. I will cover you with my hands and protect you. Isaiah 51:16 (ICB) Our Ladybirds Nursery provision offers free 15 hours funded childcare. Nursery intakes are September, January and April. The school offers a range of extra-curricular clubs and wrap around care is provided by Little Stars, 7.30am – 6pm daily. Please contact the office or visit our website for further information.


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

Springfields First School Springfields First School in Yarnfield is a very happy, busy school where children enjoy learning. We are a growing, rural schoo situated in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside just outside Stone. We accommodate children from Reception to Year 4 and in our teacher led Pre -School, we offer 30 hours childcare, providing outstanding provision for children from 3 to 4 years of age. We actively promote a healthy active lifestyle and have an extensive outdoor area with a school field, playground, individual gardens for Reception and Early Years, climbing frames and all weather pitch. We are now able to offer Forest School provision for all of our pupils. Our creative curriculum is fun, purposeful and challenging. We aim to develop confident children, who enjoy learning and are proud of their achievements. Our results for the end of Early Years and Key Stage 1 are consistently higher than National levels. All children have the opportunity to learn from specialist sport coaches and music teachers. Through positive attitudes and partnerships between pupils, staff and parents we endeavour to develop the whole child, meeting individual needs in a safe and secure environment, where differences are celebrated. We have our own Springfields Care Club, which operates Monday to Friday 7.30am-9.00am and 3.30pm-6.00pm.

We have places available in our Reception class for September 2022 and in our current Pre-school and Year 1 to Year 4 classes. We are proud to show parents around our school. Please make enquiries on the phone number provided below. Alison Bagnall, Headteacher Springfields First School, 01785 337310. Email

Springfields Pre-School Springfields Pre-school at Springfields First School in Yarnfield offers an exciting, secure and caring learning environment with extensive indoor and outdoor learning areas, where children are provided with the highest quality early education and care. The highly qualified, enthusiastic and committed Teacher-led staff team work hard to give children the very best start to their school life. Our curriculum is creative and based on the individual needs of the children and they are encouraged to develop confidence and independence as they explore, investigate, question, problem-solve and evaluate, with the support of skilled and highly experienced Early Years staff. We believe that each child deserves only the very best care and learning opportunities. We will always listen to you, work with you and respect your wishes so that we can provide a seamless approach to ensuring your child learns and is happy, safe, and secure whilst at our pre-school. The Pre- School offers up to 39 places for children aged 3 to 4 years. Our care is flexible; we offer half day, school day and full day sessions (in conjunction with our on-site Springfields Care Club). Children who are eligible receive 15 or 30 hours of free Early Years education funding. Fees are charged for children who are not eligible for a funded place and children can begin at Springfields on their third birthday. Please contact us to arrange a viewing and come and see us for yourself. We look forward to meeting you soon and showing you our outstanding Pre-school!


Denstone College Brighter, more sustainable education announced for The Prep at Denstone College In September 2021, Denstone College welcomed a new, younger audience. The Prep at Denstone College successfully opened for pupils aged from 4 years old upwards. With The Prep doing so well and reaching over 100 pupils in the first year, Denstone College has announced ‘Phase II: Developing Education’. The Prep aims to have smaller class sizes and more inspiring space. Lotte Tulloch, Head of Denstone College said “Following a most successful launch in September, we have seen numbers and interest in the Prep grow beyond all imagination. It truly is achieving its aim of being the prep school of choice for parents in the Midlands. We have now started breaking ground to deliver the much anticipated second phase of building work which will be ready for opening in September 2022.” The developments will include extra-large open-plan classrooms with dedicated spaces for art and creative, innovative science and technology discovering spaces. Along with this, space will be provided for individual support and a high-end ICT computer suite. The work will benefit the entire age range and the pupils will be excited to see their new lighter, brighter educational spaces. The exciting developments have both an eco-friendly and pupil wellbeing approach at the core of the investment. The inclusion of skylights along with sustainable materials being used, means that The Prep will be doing more to have less impact on our planet. Inspiring pupils with conscious actions to have less impact on the beautiful environment around us. Bespoke tours of Denstone College and The Prep at Denstone College can be arranged by emailing or calling 01889 591415. The full development plan document can be downloaded here:

St Joseph's Preparatory School St Joseph’s Preparatory School is a successful Catholic, co-educational independent school and nursery for children from ages 3 to 11. At St Joseph’s we place great emphasis on nurturing each child as an individual, which combined with small class sizes allows children the opportunity to discover and develop their own talents, whether they be academic, musical, sporting or artistic. A broad and interesting curriculum is offered, which includes the introduction of French, Music, PE and Dance in the Nursery Class, Ballet in the Pre-Prep and Spanish and Latin in the Prep. We pride ourselves in addressing each child’s individual needs, and our SEND department provides outstanding support to children requiring additional help. We are a non-selective school and our high standards of teaching ensure that pupils are well prepared for entrance examinations to a variety of senior schools. We are extremely proud of our entrance exam success rates, and regularly achieve 100% success in getting our pupils into their schools of choice, including, Denstone College, Newcastle under Lyme School, Stafford Grammar, Newport Girls, Adams Grammar and St Joseph’s College. At St Joseph’s we offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities including music, cookery, art, fencing, archery, gardening, climbing wall club, chess club, dance workshop along with football, tennis, gymnastics, rugby, and netball club. To assist our parents, we offer extended care at St Joseph’s and run a before and aftercare club which extends the school day from 7.30am to 6pm. 30 hours free Government funding is available to all eligible nursery and reception children aged 3 to 5. If you would like to arrange a tour of our school, please call 01782 417533 or email


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

80s Mania

Trentham Summer Concerts Are Back This July Trentham Summer Concerts 2022 returns with 4 unmissable shows taking place on Fridays and Saturdays, from 15th July through to 23rd July offering separate nights of live music entertainment for the family to enjoy by the stunning lakeside. Not only do the concerts offer live outdoor music in an incredible setting, but also a safe way for people to get back into enjoying live music with the added bonus of being able to enjoy a picnic and make memories with the whole family. The Trentham Summer Concerts – July 2022 line up is as follows: Friday 15 July: 80’s Mania Saturday 16 July: Monster Rock Anthems Friday 22 July: Ultimate Party – 80s 90s 00s Saturday 23 July: Britpop Liv

Alastair Budd, Senior Director at Trentham, comments: “We are amazed by the response we’ve had so far for this year’s summer concerts line-up and we can’t wait to see it’s return. With acts to suit all tastes from 80's Mania to Britpop Live and everything in between, our 2022 line-up has something for everyone!” Tickets are priced at £19 per person. Children are welcome, but under 16’s have to be accompanied by an adult, under 3’s go free. A small number of VIP gazebos are also available for £65. The gazebos are 3m by 3m plus private grass space and include a 6ft trestle table and six Trentham deckchairs all located within the premium seating area with an elevated view across the lake. Doors open at 6pm for a 7.30pm start. For more information and to book tickets, please visit: https://trentham

Mike at a local croquet match

Stone Rotary Grows Sandie McQueen, President of Stone and District Rotary Club was delighted to welcome Mike Ellis as a new member of the Club at its last meeting. Mike and his wife Sue moved to Stone from Lancashire eighteen months ago and live in Walton near to their daughter and family. Mike and Sue have actively supported good causes and communities for many years and this has included raising money to buy books, furniture and equipment for an underfunded speech therapy unit, helping with a local Covid support group and, over a three-year period, raising all the funding needed to rebuild an entire community centre. Mike is a retired design director with skills advertising and promotion, web design, graphics and marketing. His creative abilities have already been put to good use by the Club along with his debatable skills as a crown-green bowler and croquet player! Mike said: “I have been made incredibly welcome by all the Rotarians in the Club. I always knew Rotary Clubs did great things for communities and I am amazed by what the Rotary Club achieves; it’s brilliant. I am so pleased to now be a member and look forward to making my own contribution…joining Rotary is one of the best things I have ever done.”

Pirehill pupils make the most of the Jubilee Sport's Gymnast Jaydon Paddock visits Oulton First School Pupils at Oulton First School were delighted when Team GB gymnast Jaydon Paddock visited their school on Friday 27th May as part of the Sports for Champions scheme. Jaydon hosted an assembly discussing his sporting journey and answered many

questions from pupils. The highlight was a demonstration of a back flip and pupils participating in a sport's circuit. £250 was raised by pupils for the school. It was a fantastic afternoon which hopefully the children will remember for years to come.

Pirehill First School made sure to make the most of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee! The teachers used the celebration to form part of their curriculum, with the children creating artwork to mark her Majesty’s 70th year as Queen. They ended the last week of half term with a Red White and Blue themed day, a dress as a king or queen day, a street party, kindly provided by the Catering Team, and the Pirehill Great Jubilee Bake Off Competition, which was judged by Jamie Smith, Group Exec Chef of the local Paragon Group.


• Jubilee Celebration Tea Party OVH

Oulton Village Platinum Jubilee Tea Party

Elaine Robinson wearing one of the blankets - Photo by Martin Robinson

Oulton Village Hall Management Committee arranged an outdoor Tea Party for the Jubilee, 150 local residents attended the event. Refreshments were arranged by the committee which included sandwiches plus a selection of delicious homemade

cakes and scones. Entertainment was provided by the Campbell-Kelly Community Choir and by guitar and vocal duo Elizabeth and Chris Jervis. Photos by Martin Robinson

Clubs join forces for charity knit The Inner Wheel Club of Stone members along with the Stone Trefoil Guild members have been busy knitting squares to make into blankets for the Charity Hamlin Fistula U.K. Every woman treated at one of the Hamlin Fistula Hospitals in Ethiopia are given a colourful knitted blanket on their arrival and they have come to be a symbol of warmth and comfort of care that women receive at Hamlin. These beautiful Knitted items go on to be a treasured possession for years to come. Twenty-two Blankets were delivered by Elaine Robinson International correspondent for the Stone Inner Wheel club along with the incoming President Helen Whetnall who is the Trefoil Guild link, to the headquarters in Halesowen. Thank you to all who spent many hours knitting them as we are assured that they give great pleasure to the recipients. To learn more of the essential care that Hamlin Fistula provide for these unfortunate women visit :

• Committee check out the Jubilee Prosecco!

Deputy Again, Again... Councillor Peter Jones, from Eccleshall, was installed as the Deputy Mayor of Stafford Borough for the fifth year in succession on Saturday May 14 in a ceremony at the Gatehouse Theatre Stafford. The ceremony was first held on the 7th May in 1640 when the first Mayor, Matthew Craddock was installed. The 269th Mayor of Stafford, Councillor Philip Leeson, from Stone, was installed on Saturday May 14 and his wife Edith was Councillor Peter Jones installed as the Mayoress. There was a parade through Stafford town centre and a service at St Mary’s Church. In this Borough a councillor may only serve once as the mayor whereas councillors may serve unlimited times as Deputy Mayor, Councillor Peter Jones holds the record for the number of consecutive terms, five.


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

• Campbell-Kelly Choir belt it out

5th Stone Beavers, beavering away at the Abbey Street bed,

Stone In Bloom Volunteers Have Been Busy Keeping Stone Looking Beautiful Stone in Bloom volunteers had an exciting few months getting the town ready for Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and the town’s very own Summer Festival. First of all, the wild flower seeds were sown by Rob Kenney and Peter Jones (a big thank you to Peter for volunteering his time to Stone in Bloom for the town again). The wild flowers are already in bloom and they look stunning in various areas around the town. Stone Town Council had their hanging baskets delivered and Jill Hood and Rob Kenney decorated the High Street with Union Jacks, as ever more thanks to B&M for lending us the trolley to transport the flags while we were putting them all up. The anchor bed was completely overgrown and things were out of hand, someone had been sleeping in the middle of the bed and had completely flattened the plants. It took the team 3 hours to put it back into shape, with 11 bags of weeds and rubbish which Streetscene kindly took away for us. We work at our own relaxed pace, pruning and clearing weeds and cutting back winter growth, there is no hurry unless it rains, and the results were good. At the same time 5th Stone Beavers were beavering away at the Abbey Street bed, half of them weeding and planting, the other half litter picking around the Priory Estate. They enjoyed themselves using the litter pickers. Through the Stone & Eccleshall Gazette I appealed for help with Rebekah, the half narrow boat which sits on the canal

Determination pays off for local young author Sixteen year old Kayleigh Richardson is a local author who wrote her debut novel during the lockdown in 2020. After receiving two rejections, she is now having her debut released in Waterstones, Amazon, Book Depository and more. You can purchase it for £8.99 from these online stores. Kayleigh’s debut “Remember Me”, which is a dystopian thriller centred around the trials of a woman and her family in the 1800’s, where everything around them is far from reality. Through her accomplishment, Kayleigh wants to show other young people that they can achieve their goals, despite any knockbacks. If at first you don’t succeed... Kayleigh will be attending an upcoming book signing at Waterstones in Lichfield, towards the end of July.

bridge and is in a bad state of repair. Two people kindly came forward, one the brother of Rebekah who the narrow boat was named after. It looks promising and we may be looking for funding and in-kind help in the very near future. I often pepper this article with thanks that are 100% genuine, many people think we are council run but we have no affiliation to Stone Town Council other than there are a few councillors who are volunteers. My point in mentioning the thanks is that we have some volunteers who do long hours in full time jobs and families who come out and volunteer in all weathers, plus retired people who also give up their time for their town. We’ve recently welcomed Sue, a new volunteer who has recently moved to Stone from Eccleshall. This month’s gold award goes to Leanne of Clover in Stone High Street, who kindly gave us drinks and a cake as a thank you showing once again the famous Stone Community spirit. If you would like to volunteer call our secretary Tracey on 07545 780935 or Jill on 077364 13097.

The equipment for hire in use - (bingo caller not included!)

Bingo Machine For Hire! Want to run a bingo session but lack the equipment to do the job? As part of its commitment to the community, Stone and District Rotary Club have available for hire, at a small charge, an easy to use electronic bingo machine along with lots of bingo cards and dabbers; all you need to get going. The photo shows that the machine has a large screen that’s easy to read. Club President Sandie McQueen said: “Running a Bingo session is a great way to raise funds for a group or cause and the Club are delighted to be able to make this equipment available to help others in the community.” There is even a list of bingo calls included so ‘duck and dive’ and get ‘the key of the door’ to get started. You can get in touch with Stone and District Rotary Club at:


Gazette Motoring The 2022 Honda HR-V Advance Style Hybrid A review by Syd Taylor As soon as my test car arrived, my friend who is - as they say - built for comfort rather than speed, asked me, with a cheeky grin extended across his chubby cheeks, for a lift to an appointment with a made-to-measure suit specialist. So, in less than propitious circumstances I found myself becoming acquainted with the deceptive spaciousness of the latest generation new Honda HR-V hybrid. I have to declare that this car did not come into being fully formed as the transportation of choice for an overweight passenger eager to grab an under-priced suit from an obliging entrepreneur. No. The new HR-V is made for greater things. But wait. This might be classed as a compact SUV based on the Jazz supermini but it's much bigger inside than you would think and it rivals the likes of Renault's small SUV which in my opinion cannot compare in the quality stakes. Such comparisons serve to doubly underline the great divide between Honda quality and the lightweight offerings of rivals from the likes of Peugeot and even Vauxhall. Here's a vehicle that places a premium on its versatility with the ingenious Magic Seat system that allows the split seats to dive down into the floor for more space or tip up to allow for sideways loading of awkward objects like a

bicycle. What's more you can do it all with one hand. So what greater challenge could there be than to deliver Mr. Maidstone, on the large comfy seat of the Advance version, to his tailor? Not to mention rescuing him, when the time came, from his unstoppable sartorial overspend and being able to make use of the Magic Seating versatility to ensure all suits could be laid flat. Imposing but not belligerent, grand not gross, the new coupe-inspired SUV design is styled to suit all discerning tastes - cleverly presented as a sturdy car that doesn't need to 'shout' to draw attention. The new look makes for a very attractive car indeed. But not only does it look better - It drives better too.


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

Inside you're plied with a sense of reassurance such as one gets when sinking into a comfy chair of the sort that accommodates you with barely a perceptible sigh. The same is true for your passengers. Everything in the cockpit is clear and... the words are 'common sense'. With features like heated seats, Honda's new infotainment system, multi-angle rear-view camera, cruise control, dual zone climate control (That's posh speak for air-conditioning really, because after all - it's hard to see how its deployment might affect the ozone layer!) and much more to soothe and relax you as you are sheltered from the nastiness of the outside world. It costs a competitive £31,035.

With twenty years experience with hybrid systems it's small wonder that this is one of the best systems. You get 131PS from the 1.5 VTEC Turbo petrol engine and the two electric motors, and the latest generation CVT automatic puts drive to the front wheels. It's one of the smoothest engine/transmission combinations available. The car switches automatically between hybrid and petrol depending on driving conditions. Even if you need to 'press on' the mechanical composure remains. Should you be inclined you could change up and down using the paddle shift on the steering wheel and reach 110mph - but it is such a refined SUV that your driving style will become so much more relaxed. And with that efficiency comes excellent fuel economy - of an outstanding 67 mpg in Eco Mode when I drove particularly gently . Whether in traffic or on the open road you'll never feel less than well-served by the Honda brand of self-assurance and it's hard to resist a feeling approaching smugness. Road manners are exemplary and you always feel safe and secure never. Chassis and suspension enhancements have been tuned in collaboration with variable-ratio electrically assisted steering to give precise and secure handling and yet retain an essential compliant ride quality. This is a safe, responsive and very predictable top quality car that makes its mark through inducing a serenity of poise. And motorway travel too is quiet and smooth and the equal of some luxury saloons. And what of my friend? When I returned to collect him from the clutches of the tape measure at the very upmarket (By appointment to... etc. etc.) tailors, I stopped by the entrance. At once a uniformed commissionaire sprang to attention. That's the effect a well-suited HR-V has on the world: instant respect.

Gazette Motoring Cost of living a barrier to electric car ownership According to research commissioned by Europcar, the recent rise in the cost of electricity has put off 3 in 10 buyers from purchasing an electric vehicle in the next 12-months. Nearly half of those surveyed (47%) also said that the purchase cost of the vehicles was deterring them. With the current high levels of inflation and a squeeze on the cost-of-living, household budgets are under even more financial pressure this year to warrant the financial step to electric car ownership. The latest figures published by the SMMT2 shows electric car registrations rose 40.9% in April and accounted for more than one in ten new car registrations. However, for those considering buying electric the main concerns are still the same: · Purchase cost - 47% · Battery range - 36% · Lack of charging infrastructure - 34% Other concerns include: · Lack of knowledge about electric vehicles and ownership – 17% · Vehicle performance – 14% · Resale value – 13% “Buying an electric car is a major financial investment and given the current economic climate affordability appears to be a major concern”, explained Ron Santiago, Managing Director, Europcar Mobility Group UK. “Whether buying and running a conventional fuelled car or an electric, car ownership costs have increased over the past 18 months, with increased fuel costs at the pump and electric costs at the plug.” It’s not just the purchase cost, living with an electric vehicle is completely different to a conventional fuelled car. Adjusting to uncertainties such as battery range, where to charge if not at home, length of time it will take to charge, all these issues have been cited in our research. To help make the transition to electric and address some of those uncertainties, Europcar offers a 'try before you buy' experience, helping motorists build their knowledge and confidence they need before making that big financial step. “There are alternative options for motorists who would like to drive greener cars without incurring the high costs of ownership, such as vehicle rental, car clubs and car share schemes”, added Ron Santiago. “Whatever the decision motorists make to transition to greener driving it needs to be affordable, and people need to feel comfortable with electric car ownership to ensure the long-term Government net-zero emissions goals are achieved.”


• Stone Heritage

Stone Section of the Cyclists’ Touring Club 1960’s Cycling is the theme of this edition’s selection of images from the Staffordshire Past Track. These photographs were donated by Jean Harper of Swynnerton and show members of the Stone Section of the North Staffordshire District Association of the Cyclists’ Touring Club on rides and at social events in and around Stone during the 1960s. Jean’s parents, Gordon and Irene Smith, formed the Stone section with Dave Steele in 1962. Gordon Smith was the manager of the Barlaston branch of the Stafford & Stone Co-operative Wholesale Society. We hope you recognise some of the faces and places in these photographs. Over 46,000 other images are available on the Staffordshire Past Track website ( To find out what’s new on the site just click onto the ‘Latest Additions’ tab. You might also like to try out the GPS Location Explorer feature on the site: when using a mobile device with GPS enabled the page will show a list of resources nearest you. With 'automatic updates' switched on the results will automatically reload every few metres you walk. It works particularly well where there are a lot of resources – give it a go in Eccleshall and Stone and see what things looked like in the past on the spot you’re standing. If you have any images to lend, or any extra information, please contact the Past Track team: Staffordshire Past Track, Staffordshire Archives & Heritage, Unit G, Beacon Business Park, Weston Road, Stafford ST18 0WL. Telephone 01785 278379. email: You can also keep up to date with what’s new on Past Track by ‘liking’ our facebook page.

• Stone Cyclists, Stone, 1962-1965. The Stone Section of the North Staffordshire District Association of the Cyclists' Touring Club starting off on an endurance ride from Granville Square in Stone. They were aiming to complete 100 miles in 8 hours. In the background can be seen the Post Office and Charles Babb's shop. In front of the telephone box is the club's support van. The starter is Alf Purton, proprietor of Purton's cycle shop on High Street, Stone. Standing at the back is his son Derek Purton. Fourth from right in the group of cyclists is Gordon Smith, sixth from right is Irene Smith. Second from right, wearing glasses and seated on the back of a tandem is Sheila Bailey (nee Purton). In the front row, second left is Neil Banks. (Staffordshire County Museum).

• Annual dinner, Stone Branch, Cyclists' Touring Club, Stone, 1962-1965. Annual dinner and awards presentation of the Stone Section of the North Staffordshire District Association of the Cyclists' Touring Club. The venue is probably the Darlaston Inn. Far left in the back row is Gordon Smith, far left in the front row is his wife Irene Smith.. (Staffordshire County Museum). • Annual dinner, Stone Branch, Cyclists' Touring Club, Stone, 1962-1965.

The venue is probably the Darlaston Inn. Far left is Irene Smith. (Staffordshire County Museum)

• Stone Cyclists, Stone, 1962-1965. Starting off on a ride from Granville

Square in Stone. In the background can be seen the Post Office and Charles Babb's shop. Third from right is Gordon Smith and second from right is David Steele. (Staffordshire County Museum).


Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read

• Social evening, Stone Branch, Cyclists' Touring Club, Stone, 1962-1965. Social evening for members - the venue is probably the basement of the Co-operative Store on King's Avenue, Stone. Left to right: unknown, Dave Handy, Jean Smith, Dennis Horobin, Gordon Smith, Marilyn Milner, Dave Steele, Jack Massey, Irene Smith, Guy Goodhill, Alan Raw, unknown. (Staffordshire County Museum).

• Within Living Memory with Philip Leason MBE

Happy Memories Of Holidays And Day Trips Out By Philip Leason MBE Early this year we saw the queues at airports as passengers waited to get away on holidays. Today it is common for people to travel to all parts of the world for their holidays, but in the 1950’s and 60’s a lot of people spent their holidays in the U.K. In this area North Wales was particularly popular with people often staying in caravan parks in places such as Rhyl, Prestatyn and Abergele Blackpool was another popular venue. People who didn’t go away also had the choice at day trips offered by the local coach companies as well as the railway. In the 1950’s and 60’s British Railway advertised trips from Stone to the coast. I remember being taken on such trips and how my father would always buys my brother and I a comic from the newspaper kiosk in Station Approach next to the bike shed, to keep us good on the journey. Both Joules and Bent breweries hired trains to take their employees to the seaside for the day. Stone and District Scouts also hired a few trains as a fund raiser, for example in December 1983 the hired a train for a day trip to London.. Turning now to coach companies and Browns coaches who operated under the name of “Waltonian Coaches” ran a variety of excursions as well as being hired by local groups for outings. Perhaps the coach company which operated the widest choice of tours was Bassets. An advert in the 1960’soffers trips to Belle Vue, Blackpool, Southport, New Brighton, Morecambe, Chester Zoo, Rhyl (via the Horseshoe Pass), Llangollen, Sandbach market , Llangollen and Llandudno all within a two week period. It was in 1949 that Reg Bassett started his coach company, when he purchased the business known as “Stone Motors” from J. Diffin . This was just after Diffin’s had purchased coaches from Eric Goodall who had been operating in Stone since 1928. Although now owned by Reg Bassett the excursions continued to be advertised and booked at the Diffin office in the High Street. Reg’s first driver was infact his sister Mrs Hilda Latham, who had driven coaches during the Second World War taking employees to and from ROF Swynnerton. From October 1949 Diffin’s ceased to take bookings and so arrangements were made for Duutons in the High Street to handle them.

• Bassetts of Tittensor's entries in the 1975 National Coach Rally Blackpool were CYG154H and NWW163K C45F Plaxton Panorama Elite Bristol LH6L's new to Robinsons Great Harwood in 1970 and 1972.

The coaches had a distinctive grey and light blue livery with a chrome emblem in the form of wings surrounding a B C monogram on each side of the coach. Bassetts’s had also acquired from Diffin’s the County Council contract to take pupils from Tittensor to Granville Secondary Modern and Alleynes Grammar school s in Stone. This was the start of a number of contracts they had with the Council over the years. A lot of readers will remember Bassett’s taking pupils for swimming lessons at Trentham Gardens during the summer term. Another contract which the company had in the 1960’s was taking student s from the GPO College in Yarnfield down to London on a Friday. The coach and the driver were then hired to a London company on the Saturday and used to take Londoners on trips. It then returned on the Sunday with a new set of students for the college. In April 1967 Bassett’s purchased the four coaches which had been operated by Leese’s of Barlaston. In addition to the local work and day trips the company also operated one or two week holidays both within this country and on the continent. They also ran popular mystery trips, weekend breaks, evening tours (which always included a stop at a pub on the way back) and annual trips

• Arthur and Gloria Botfield standing by the coach

to Blackpool Illuminations.. Since 1996 Bassett’s provided the transport for the Port Vale Football team as well as coaches for the supporters club. In 1997 Bassetts became the first coach operator in the U.K. in achieving British Standard recognition. In 2003 it was announced that the company were going to cease operating Bassetts Coachways and the fleet was to be sold. The sale took place on Saturday 15th February 2003 and consisted of 29 coaches and two cars. The sale of the fleet and over a 100 other lots including spare parts and office furniture realised a final auction value of nearly £1.5 million. All the coaches went to other operators, some buying more than one. The customer base and Goodwill was sold to Alfa Holidays. Although the company no longer exists people still have happy memories of the trips and tours they undertook on Bassetts Coachways One of the other most popular coach holidays taken by local residents were Worthington Tours . The family lived in Stone and widely advertised in local publications including on the back cover of the St. Michael’s Church Review.” The business was started by Jack Worthington who opened a cycle shop in Stone in 1920. In 1921 he bought a charabanc which he drove himself and ran outings and tours with it. Over the years he expanded the business into Stafford and the Potteries and had pick up points in Wolverhampton and the Smithfield Garage in Digbeth in Birmingham. By the start of the Second World War in 1939 he had a sizable fleet of vehicles. During the war only essential travel was allowed and Jack turned his attention to supplying transport to ROF Swynnerton. To get workers to the factory a special railway branch line was constructed and large numbers of people travelled from Stone and the Potteries by train. Jack operated a fleet of buses collecting workers employed at the factory from the towns and villages without railway stations. In addition he ran coaches around the 7 residential hostels built in the area for the workers. The factory occupied such a vast area that he also operated an internal service taking workers from the various workshops to and from the station at Cold Meece. In 1947 Jack brought Red Warrior Coaches at 65 Hurst Street in Birmingham and it was here that he moved the business to. Jack often travelled to the continent looking for new ideas for his tours and checking out hotels. In his absence the business was controlled by his son John. John apparently was interested in radio hamming and jazz. Jack Worthington continue to live in Stone at Hawthorne Lodge on the Lichfield road and was driven to work in a black chauffer driven Jaguar with the registration number of 1920E- 1920 commemorating the year he started his cycle shop in Stone. He was described by one of his employees as “a large flamboyant and extrovert man unsteady on his feet who suffered from diabetes. He travelled everywhere by car – even across Hurst Street to the barbers for a shave It was rumoured by all the staff that he had shares in Bells Whisky which was his only tipple and which he always drank as a double with Canada Dry.” Jack died in the late 1960’s and Worthington Tours was taken over by National Travel in 1973. I hope that the above will be back memories to some readers and will be of interest to others. Please help us to keep the heritage of Stone alive for generations to come. If you have any photographs relating to the anything mentioned here please contact Staffordshire Past Track. All photographs will be treated with the utmost care and returned safely to their owner after they have made digital copies.


Young Head will leave school in tip-top shape

Young Head will leave school in tip-top shape A school praised as ‘excellent’ in all aspects by inspectors, is bidding farewell to its young headteacher after three years of outstanding results and new building projects. Thirty-six-year-old Lee Thomas will leave Stafford Grammar (SGS) in top shape after a team from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) highlighted the exceptional quality of pupils’ development, academic accomplishment and additional achievements. In recording the highest rating, the report states that pupils ‘demonstrate an excellent understanding of respect and tolerance of others’ and show ‘outstanding attitudes towards their learning’. It also flags up their noteworthy ‘contribution to the school and local community.’ “I’m so pleased the report captures a sense of the warmth and energy at the heart of Stafford Grammar. It comments on how the teachers ‘know their pupils extremely well’, which is central to our success,” said Lee, who became the youngest headmaster in England’s senior independent sector in 2019 when at the age of 33 he took the up the mantle at SGS. “I’m delighted the inspectors attributed the school’s success to ‘the challenging nature of the teaching and learning focus in school,’ which is my absolute passion, but equally that pupils develop through the rich extra-curricular programme and that the spirit of active participation is so strong here. “I feel very proud that our pupils’ contribution to the local community and their ‘notably strong sense of respect for diversity’ has been recognised. These values are at the core of our school,” he added. Since taking charge Lee implemented a range of improvements including a dance studio, an artificial turf sports pitch, theatre renovation, the use of ICT across the curriculum and a new website. He also led the school through the pandemic with a full curriculum delivered live online. According to The Times, SGS is branded the highest performing school in Staffordshire, based on a three-year average of A-levels. A fresh challenge now lies in store as he prepares to take the helm of a 940-pupil state high school in London. Lee will move to the capital in September to lead The Green School for Girls, an oversubscribed secondary school and sixth form with academy status, based in Isleworth. “It’s been a huge honour to lead Stafford Grammar School, which is such a special community. We have amazing pupils and over the last 14 years, and the past three years as headteacher, I’ve seen them grow up into wonderful young people. I’m going to miss them greatly. I am also going to miss our staff, who are my friends as well as colleagues. “The challenges of the pandemic have not held the school back and we’ve seen exciting developments and outstanding results. The school is in a very strong position and has a very bright future. I am looking forward to a new challenge but will always have my family links to Staffordshire and will never forget my Potteries roots!” he said. He will hand over the reins to 48-year-old Nick Pietrek, the current headmaster at Buckinghamshire-based Thorpe House independent school for boys. Nick previously taught history and English in the south of England before taking up a deputy head post in 2012 at a high-ranking independent school in Sheffield. SGS chair of governors, Julia Causer, paid tribute to Lee’s contribution. “I’ve seen Lee lead the school in such an exemplary manner and he’s committed himself completely to ensure the best learning environment for all the pupils. The ISI inspectors have clearly been able to see this. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with him and we wish him all the very best. I know he is going to work with the new Head over the coming weeks to ensure that there will be a seamless transition, ready for September.”


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ASTON-BY-STONE W.I. S.O.S. FASHION SHOW The present fashion is always handsome”, goes the saying, so we were bang up-todate in presenting the newest fashions at our June meeting. Brave members volunteered to model the clothes brought by S.O.S., and made it look so simple! We were all dressed in red, white and blue, to offer a late celebration of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. The lovely clothes made splashes of colour as the models walked up and down the improvised catwalk in the centre of the room. Later there was an opportunity to buy the clothes, which were factory over-production for the most part – and great bargains, to boot! This being a W.I. meeting, there was tea and home-made cake to revive us after

the concentration of viewing the clothes. The competition was for a flower arrangement in a jug, and produced some truly stunning entries. This had been an open meeting, at which we were very pleased to welcome guests; this is always the case, and we love to see new people at our meetings. Ladies, why not come to a meeting? We meet at Aston-by-Stone Village Hall on the second Wednesday of the month, at 7.30 p.m. Our next meeting will be on July 13th, when Ruth Taylor will make flower arrangements using British flowers. If you would like to know more about us, please contact us at, or ring 01785 615662.

All systems go for Space 2022 Space 2022 is getting ready to blast off – with all finishing touches being finalised ahead of the launch of the summer programme. The Space summer programme brings together public, voluntary and private sector organisations to provide enjoyable positive activities for young people that increase their skills, improve their health and wellbeing and create opportunities, while also aiming to reduce levels of anti-social behaviour during the school summer holidays. In 2021, over 6,000 young people, aged between 8 and 17, enjoyed over 1,400 activities funded by the Staffordshire Commissioner as part of the Space programme. There were over 17,600 attendances at events, equating to over 35,333 hours. Space 2022 will begin on 25 July and end on 26 August, and will offer a variety of activities including swimming and gym passes, multi sports and park events, trips out and arts and crafts. Space was relaunched in 2015 and has since gone from strength to strength, with a

77% reduction in youth ASB during the summer period since 2016. When the programme began in 2016, 1,395 reports of youth-related ASB were recorded compared to 320 in 2021. Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Ben Adams said: ‘Space clearly makes a difference, providing memorable experiences for many while diverting some away from potential involvement in low-level crime and anti-social behaviour. ‘The activities provide an opportunity for Staffordshire Police and partners to engage with young people who may be going through a difficult time to help nurture, support and develop them and this is why I have committed to Space running for a further three years.’ Details of activities including how to book will be available on the Space website in July. Please keep checking to see what activities are being added for your area and sign up for the Space newsletter to receive notifications. See more at : www.staffordshire



Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read



Stone & Eccleshall’s Favourite Read