Page 1



Looking ahead to Leek Show There’s still so much to come this summer


Stylish Accommodation… We offer stylish rooms, free on site car parking, complimentary wifi and, at weekends, an award winning restaurant that uses great produce from the best local butchers’ and suppliers. You’ll also be able to appreciate that produce at breakfast time with our Gold award winning sausages and butchers’ dry cured bacon. If a full English is not your thing then how about the finest hot smoked salmon from the Outer Hebrides?

Special Occasion? If you have a special anniversary or birthday to celebrate this year then for parties of 20 – 40 we can offer private dining, lunch or dinner, any day of the week!

Getting Married? Our restaurant also makes the perfect venue for an intimate wedding celebration providing a day to remember tailored to your wishes.

Less formal… For christenings, wakes and business meetings etc a homemade buffet option is also available.

01538 383729

King Street, Leek ST13 5NW


Editor’s letter ..............................................6 Community events - preview......................8 Community events - review ......................10 Leek Markets .............................................14 Singer Joni Talks.......................................16 Stage directions.........................................18 What’s on ..................................................20 Leek & District Civic Society ....................24 Borderland Voices.....................................25 Home Sanctuary .......................................26 Gardening .................................................28 Centenary Garden.....................................29 Property ....................................................30 Action West End .......................................32 Leek Conservative Working Men’s Club ..33 Leek Lions.................................................33 5th Leek Scout & Guide Band...................34 Leek Rotary Club ......................................35 Retirement ................................................36 Home-Start Staffordshire Moorlands ......37 Leek Town Crier .......................................38 Poetry........................................................38 Skydiving for charity.................................39 Health and well-being...............................41 Breastfeeding group .................................42 Reflections Coaching ................................43 All Saints’ Holiday Club............................44 Leek Life from the past .............................45 Quiz corner ...............................................46 The Women’s Institute .............................47 Financial matters......................................50 Leek Twinning...........................................51 Motoring ...................................................52 Classified...................................................58



Belinda Hargreaves Contents Editor Sophie Cotton Tracey Redfern Design & Production Thomas Brian General Manager Mobile: 07855 242693 Jane Walters Advertising Sales Times, Echo & Life Publications 18 Tape Street, Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent ST10 1BD Tel: 01538 752214

Did you know that you can read Leek Life online? Visit Find us on Facebook search for Leek Life Magazine 6 Leek Life July/Aug 2018


ow – just wow! Haven't we been lucky with the weather so far this summer!? And such lovely weather has helped to enhance what are already such fantastic annual events in our Moorlands town. I say it all the time – perhaps too much – but I just love Leek! We always have so much going on! However, I'll be honest with you, this makes our Leek Life Magazine team's lives very hard as we struggle to cram everything in to our bi-monthly magazines! We are very mindful that there are so many other events, individuals and organisations which should also perhaps get a mention – and hopefully, in time, we will cover everyone and everything at some point! Anyway, we have crammed in lots of pictures and information about how some of our many community events have gone so far this year – including the annual creative extravaganza of Leek Arts Festival. Now there are perhaps a few who raise concerns that the Leek Arts Festival programme has repetitions each year – but those gigs are always sellouts so the committee must be doing something right in choosing to invite such great acts back to perform in our little old town. So a big well done to you guys for keeping such a great programme of events going! Also in this edition, we focus on even more inspirational characters and organisations who keep our town ticking in it's own unique, and often quirky, way. We have the lovely Tanis and Gwen who have raised so much money for charity through their roles as stewards at the Dog & Rot; Home-Start Staffordshire Moorlands which has become one of the latest organisations set to have an award from Her Majesty the Queen; songstress Joni who has come back to live in Leek after performing in London; and Martin the Bookworm who has sold many a books at Leek Markets, as well as so much more. Plus we have many columns and features which have been submitted by other inspirational folk in our town – and that portfolio is growing as more and more people want to get involved in the ethos of our magazine – which is to celebrate and promote all things Leek. I would like to thank those contributors very much as, not only is your input much valued and a very interesting read, but it's also great to have others talking about Leek in this magazine, rather than just having my ramblings! Until next time – take care!


Front cover photo by Brett Trafford Photography










• Fixed Finance 0% 3 years • All fully serviced & guaranteed • 5 star safety • 7 airbags • High economy • Low insurance

1.2 Easy


2015 reg £5,199 12 available, all low mileages £99 deposit £99 per month x 36 £22 per week

1.2 Easy 3dr

2015 reg £5,999 6 available, all low mileages £99 deposit £119 per month x 36 £27 per week






1.2 Pop

2015 reg £5,995 8 available, all low mileages £99 deposit £99 per month x 36 £22 per week


2015 reg £9,995 6 available, all low mileages £199 deposit £129 per month x 36 £29 per week

Finance example: 2015 Fiat 500 1.2 Pop or Lounge

Sale Price £5,995 No Finance Charge

Deposit £99 APR 0% Per Month £99

Guaranteed optional minimum future value £5,896 Period 3 Years Mileage 5,000/8,000


Marsons Minimum Allowance


Per Week £22

for your old car with or without an MOT against our used cars, when its worth more we will give you more!!

Visit to view over 200 more cars!!! Leek Life July/Aug 2018 7


All the fun of tradition We have already seen so many fantastic community events take place in our lovely town of Leek this summer – but there's still so much more to come! Sunday July 1 sees the return of the somewhat quirky community event of 'Dr Plot's Lesser Known Leek'. This colourful event will take place in Leek town centre from 11am and include a procession of Gawain & The Green Knight through town, street theatre at 11.15am and 2.15pm, and art workshops between 11am and 2pm, and then another parade with youngsters and their families joining Gawain and the Green Knight at 2pm. On Saturday July 14 we have the 200 year plus tradition of Club Day – otherwise known as Walking Round Day. This event is still going strong with ten churches and their associated schools and clubs taking part. The 2018 Leek Club Day will be led by St Mary's Catholic Church and will have the theme of 'Peace'. The churches will initially individually parade to the Market Place for the traditional outdoor service at 2.30pm before collectively parading through the town at 3pm. Prior to the service, there will be music from Moorlands Praise. Pat Baldwin has been the main organiser, with the help of her husband Alan, for some years now. Pat said: “We would like you to encourage you all, young and old, to support Leek Club Day this year by coming to walk in the procession or even just to join us in the Market Place.”

8 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

Brett Trafford

Then moving slightly out of town, the Cheddleton Carnival will take place on Saturday August 11 Longton Scout and Guide Band will lead the procession of carnival floats, classic cars, tractors and fancy dress entrants from Harrison Way at 1pm to the grounds of Ashcombe Cricket Club. There will be all the traditional attractions of a carnival day including arena events such as band music, a parade of carnival queens, fancy dress entrants and a Dog Show. Millie Williams, who lives locally, will be crowned as the new Cheddleton Carnival Queen and there will also be a Classic Car display, an assortment of stalls and games, a Craft marquee, Nifty Fingers competitions, general refreshments, barbecue and licensed bar. An evening event in the marquee will see entertainment being provided by the Northern Lights acoustic duo this year. For further details about Cheddleton Carnival visit 765871740272628.


nal community events On Saturday July 28, our town's agricultural celebration of Leek & District Show will be staged at it's regular venue of Birchall Playing Fields. Leek Show Secretary Tanya Simcox said: “This will be our 56th Show and once again the committee are well underway planning a wide range of fun and entertainment for the whole family.� There will be the livestock classes from cattle and sheep and from goats and shires; together with classes and competitions in Horticulture, WI and Flower Design for adults and children alike. Two Craft Marquees will offer a wide range of crafts and gifts and the Ladies section will again be holding a baby competition by Pure Photography, who, this year, will be joined by TinyTalk High Peak & Leek Baby Signing. There will be a large number of trade stands and other stalls hosted by local businesses and charities, and the main ring entertainment includes the Field Gun Display Team and the Horses in Harmony Dressage Team, plus more. The free park and ride will once again be available from Ornua, The Mount and Leek Bus Station. Advance tickets are available (as of July 1) from Leek United Building Society Head Office and local branches, the Tourist Information Centres in Leek and Hanley as well a from

Leek Life July/Aug 2018 9


Summer’s been a blast so far! We all know that the community of Leek is extremely good at pulling out all the stops for events and this summer, we have also been helped in that success by lots of warm weather. Here we take a look at some of the amazing events which have happened so far! n April, members of the Scouting movement got all patriotic by taking part in this year's St George's Day parade in Leek which also included a service at St Edward's Church. Then in May we had a lively Country & Western weekend in Leek town centre with live music from country music stars, as well as lots of folk joining in on line dancing in the Sparrow Park area. Next in May came the ever-growing ScooterFest, hosted by the Leek Jesters Scooter Club, which saw thousands of scooters converge in our Moorlands town. Jesters' chairman Steph Knott said: “This was probably the biggest Scooter-Fest yet with the town heaving with scooters. “People from as far afield as Morton in Scotland and Bournemouth in Dorset joined


St George’s D ay parade

10 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

locals to make the event another total success. “Businesses boomed with trade and the people of Leek gave great support. The Jesters would like to thank anyone who helped to make the day go smoothly and thanks must go to all who bought a raffle ticket, especially the special few businesses that make a donation and help to keep the event going.” At the end of May, just outside of Leek, there was the traditional Endon Well Dressing weekend. Organising committee member Sylvia Jones said: “We had a truly great weekend. Candice the new well dressing queen had a great time and the weather was wonderful. “The maypole dancers were excellent despite the weather being so hot, and all the stall holders in the arts and craft tents were pleased with the response to their efforts and want to come next year. “All in all it was a very successful well dressing.” Meanwhile, throughout the latter part of April, all through May and early June, we had the creative extravaganza of Leek


Western & y r t n u Co




Leek Life July/Aug 2018 11



s Leek Arts Fe

Photo: Giles Metca


sM Photo: Gile

ll Endon We



tt Trafford

Photo: Bre

12 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

Photo: Bret

t Trafford

Party in the Park

Arts Festival. This year's programme of concerts, gigs and other activities offered something for all creative tastes. Leek Arts Festival spokesman Phil Edmeades said: “With a series of sell-out events - including Barbara Dickson, Tom Allen and Fairport Convention, I think we can safely say that this year's festival has been well-received by the people of Leek. “With 38 events in the programme it was a busy few weeks and we would like to say a big 'thank you' to everyone who has taken part, either as an audience member, as a performer or as a volunteer helper. “And we owe a special debt of gratitude to everyone at The Foxlowe for providing the main venue along with all the fantastic 'behind-thescenes' helpers to run the bar and assist with the hundreds of little things that need to get done each time an arts festival event goes ahead.” And finally, in June we had the fantastic day of the Party in the Park which this year also included the return of Leek Carnival parading through the town centre.


Although the weather was rather overcast, thousands of families still converged in Brough Park to enjoy all the activities and displays on offer including a giant water slide, funfair rides, live music on the bandstand, and displays and performances by the Buxton Billerettes and a host of carnival queens. Hats off to both Leek Town Council and the Leek & Moorlands Carnival Committee for working collaboratively to make this day such a success. Leek Town Mayor Roy Tomkinson, who not only joined in on the parade in his civic regalia, but also joined in on the Buxton Billerettes performance, said: “It was a brilliant day. Yes the weather could have been better but at least it stayed dry. “There was something for everybody and everyone enjoyed themselves.” Roy added: “Ever since becoming a councillor I have wanted to bring the carnival back to town and we, with the carnival committee, have done that and I hope that the two events take place on the same day again next year.” Leek Life July/Aug 2018 13


Service with a smil

ave you had a wander around Leek Markets lately? We all know that internet shopping is becoming more and more of the norm these days but what is better than the personal customer service of buying from someone direct - face-to-face? In particular from one of the many lovely traders we have within both our indoor and outdoor markets! Leek shoppers can buy so many products right here on our doorstop with the traditional Wednesday outdoor market, the indoor Trestle Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the indoor Butter Market on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. There's fresh food from oatcakes to fish, and from meat to vegetables – all locally sourced and on offer at reasonable prices. There are gifts galore on offer at our markets from jewellery to antique items, and from hand-made soaps to silk scarves. Clothing for all ages from ladies blouses to men's boxer shorts and from shoes to tights can be found at our markets, and there are also


14 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

plenty of everyday items available as well as perhaps hard-to-find products such as vacuum cleaner bags, watch batteries and even bra extenders. Leek has certainly bucked the trend and still remains a vibrant market town and we have many characters trading on our stalls who offer service with a smile - or even a good old friendly banter! So why not get down to one of our town's many markets one day soon and discover what is on offer. And now there's even more of a reason to shop at our Leek Markets as Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has introduced a new loyalty card specifically for the town's indoor markets. For every purchase over £5 in the Butter Market on Wednesdays, Fridays or Saturdays and in the Trestle Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays qualifies for a loyalty card stamp and holders who collect nine stamps are entered into a monthly draw to win £50 of indoor market vouchers.


ile at Leek Markets

Here Leek Life Magazine gains a closer insight of the Butter Market from some of it's own traders: Grace Sims, of Grace's Underworld, who offers a wide range of ladies and gents nightwear and underwear, has been trading in the Butter Market for five years. She said: “We would love to see new faces in our market as well as our dearest regular customers. “We adore our market. It's a joy to work here as we have lots of fun and laughter.”

Janet Smith, of Janet Smith Clothes in the Butter Market, has been trading at Leek's Markets for 30 years. She began selling children's clothes and then changed to selling ladies clothes 15 years ago. Janet, who lives in Leek, said: “I would like to encourage more people to visit our market as it has a pleasant atmosphere and we are a full market with no empty units. “Our traders are very helpful and provide a good customer service.”

Sheila Chell, works on Karen Greenwood's Piece of Cake stall in the Butter Market. Karen has been offering cakes and decorations in the Butter Market for 14 years and Sheila has worked for her for three years. Sheila said: “We would love to entice more customers to come in and have a look at the variety of products we have in this market – and all at reasonable prices. “There's a great atmosphere in our markets and customers get a good personal touch here in the customer service they get.” Leek Life July/Aug 2018 15


‘I am delighted with the immense live music scene in Leek’ Songstress Joni Talks is back home in Leek performing at a variety of venues in the area – somewhat more intimate gigs compared to the ones she has been used to in London. Here she talks to Leek Life Magazine about her move 'back up north'. aving spent the last 15 years living and performing in London, it was no easy decision to move back home. Though I have always had a strong pull back to Leek and the Staffordshire Moorlands ever since I first moved away. Visits home were never far apart, then since recently losing my dad and having my daughter the pull just became so much stronger. I was initially anxious about finding work up here as I had spent almost a decade being a part of the company performing full time at The Brick Lane Music Hall and onboard The London Showboat. However, I have been delighted with the immense live music scene in Leek and the surrounding area of Staffordshire. There is a real open and supportive nature towards the arts. I am so grateful to all of the venues who have given me the initial


16 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

opportunity to perform for them without having heard of me on the local scene. I have loved creating set lists to suit the type of venue I’m hoping to appeal to; easy-listening renditions of popular covers in a retro style; ranging from contemporary hits with a vintage twist to authentic classics from the last 70 years. Being a part of The Black Lion acoustic festival and The Beer Dock’s first birthday celebrations was such great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing more of the local talent Leek has on offer. The Foxlowe Arts Centre invited me to do a concert upon hearing that I had moved back to the area and I have always loved performing in that venue with such great support from the volunteers there. Having not sung any of the musical theatre material I am so passionate about, I thought I’d take the opportunity to sing the songs I haven’t been performing recently. My friend, Paul Nash, accompanied me on piano for this concert. We met when he composed the score and musically directed a production of Jekyll and Hyde I appeared in. He now lives locally, and we have enjoyed performing concerts together again. Then for an extra treat I managed to get another friend and ex London co-star, William Byrne to join me again. He performed with me at The Foxlowe back in 2014 and had such a wonderful time that he was thrilled to come back again. With a string of west end credits behind him (most notably as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar) William is a vocal sensation. To find out where Joni will be performing next, visit



SAVE 80%




on all rooM siZe roll enDs

Deals on unDerlay & beaDing




£199 4FT & 4’6”

£279 5FT £379 6FT £499


£50 OFF


4 VICTORIA RD, FENTON (opp McDonalds) STOKE-ON-TRENT, ST4 2HS 01782 415636 Leek Life July/Aug 2018 17

Stage directions

by Richard Lane

WIN TICKETS F rom Buxton with love, grab a vodka martini for The James Bond Concert Spectacular. After last year’s highly popular performance, Q The Music Show is back at Buxton Opera House with the iconic music of James Bond. Compered by Madeline Smith who played Miss Caruso in Live And Let Die, this energetic evening features the very best of Bond. It’s estimated that half the world’s population has seen a Bond film. Countless awards have been lavished upon the series and they have starred some of the best known actors and actresses of all time. These fantastic films would not be complete without the music. This memorable evening gives you the chance to relive all songs. From the opening bars of

Monty Norman’s main Bond theme to Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Skyfall, Thunderball, and Live And Let Die. The James Bond Concert Spectacular brings you the cream of top musicians, plucked from leading orchestras and West End shows which elegantly capture the flavor of bond completely. For an evening that brings the style and thrills of 007,

The James Bond Concert Spectacular is just what you are looking for, shaken not stirred of course. The James Bond Concert Spectacular is at Buxton Opera House Sunday 12 August at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £22.50. Discounts are available. To buy tickets contact Buxton Opera House Box Office, Tel: 01298 72190 or visit: www.buxtonopera

To win two tickets to the James Bond Concert Spectacular at Buxton Opera House on Sunday 12 August at 7.30pm, answer the following question:


b. 2

c. 3

(Circle your answer)

Name........................................... Address........................................................................................................................................ .........................................................................................................................Daytime phone no................................................. Please send your entry to Leek Life Magazine, 18 Tape St, Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, ST10 1BD. Deadline for entries: 7th August 2018. 18 Leek Life July/Aug 2018


Luxury Holiday Home Sleeps 16 Self Catering

Overton Bank House, Overton Bank, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 5ES Enquiries: Gilly - 07718 335843 E-mail:

You are always welcome at

The Hollybush Inn Delicious homemade food served everyday including Sunday when we serve a traditional roast, and delicious daily specials

• Families welcome • Outdoor play area • Dog friendly • Large beer garden • A selection of real ales

Canal Side, Denford, Leek , ST13 7JT

01538 371819

A Loving & Caring Alternative to Kennels

• Your dog/s stay in our carer’s home • Carers are experienced dog lovers who are fully vetted, licenced and insured • Meet your carer before you book

Call Jane for a chat T. 01538 300225 or 07816 865410 • Staffordshire Branch (covering all ST postcodes)

Dog carers wanted!

Earn from £80.50 to £192.50 per week You need to be at home all day, have a secure garden, kids aged over 7 & love dogs

Leek Life July/Aug 2018 19

nding u o rr u s & k e e L What’s on in t 2018 s u g u A & ly u J areas during Ongoing events • Art Exhibitions: 'QuinQue' by a collective of five artists. Running from July 7 to August 11 at the Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek. The venue's Galle ry is open Wednesday to Saturday between 10am until 4pm. Free admission.

• Art Exhibition: 10am-4pm at the Nicholson Institute, Stockwell Street, Leek. With 'No Shrinking Violets Here' by the Midlands Textil e Forum. Running until August 4. Open: Mon to Sat. Details: 01538 395530.

Regular events

day evening at The • Acoustic Sessions: Every Mon Leek. et, Wilkes Head, St Edward Stre Bank House, St • Borderland Voices Workshops Patchwork Group – : day Mon y Ever et. Stre ard Edw day: Creative Writing 10.30am-12.30pm. Every Tues Space – 1.30pmtive – 10.30am-12.30pm. Crea . 708 528 38 015 3.30pm. morning in the car • Charity Car Boot Every Sunday of Animal aid In . park of Sainsbury's in Leek . charities Brough Park, Leek. • Couch to 5K Fitness Event at and athletes of all rs inne beg For . Every Saturday to better health way r ages to walk, jog ir run thei , 2.2k, 3.6k and 1.5k m, 800 from ose Cho ss. and fitne training ays: nesd Wed on 5k. Annual fee: £3. Plus Park Running ugh 'Bro ils: Deta . 6pm at ion sess Club' page on Facebook. at Leek Library, • Craft Club 10.45am-11.45am rday. For ages Satu y Ever . Stockwell Street, Leek n up. 50p per child. grow with over and s year e thre at Woodcroft Open • Forest School 10am-midday time. Cost £6 per term ng duri y rsda Thu Ever Space. For two-yearren. child e thre to child or £10 for up 272. 655 01 olds and upwards. Details: 078 o at the Hare & Gate • Haregate in Action Cash Bing days and Tues on pm 8.30 at n dow pub. Eyes Thursdays.

20 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

ards at The Quiet • Homeworkers Hub 2pm onw . Free coffee and Leek et, Woman, St Edward Stre . 477 398 38 015 ils: Deta . Wifi every Sunday at • Large Car Boot Sale 8am-1.30pm d, Leek With Roa tion Junc off ket, Mar the Cattle 07967 ils: Deta hes. indoor and outdoor pitc . 297 100 y Thursday • Leek Breastfeeding Group Ever at Home-Start, 3pm l unti 0pm 12.3 from n afternoo stfeeding Brea k 'Lee Find ils: Earl Street, Leek. Deta k. boo Face on p' grou ing at The Cock • Live Music: Every Saturday even Saturday t mos Plus . Leek et, Stre y Inn, Derb et, Leek. Plus Stre y Derb k, buc evenings at The Roe ntain Inn, Fou The at 5pm at day Sun y ever Fountain Street, Leek. at 2pm at Beyond • Open Mic Events: Every Sunday every second Plus . Leek d, Roa The Pale, Ashbourne Derby Street, Leek. k, buc Roe The at 8pm at ay Frid The Earl Grey, • Pub Quiz at around 8.30pm at nesday. Wed y Ever . Leek d, Roa rne Ashbou classes in the • Qigong Classes Twice monthly . £10 per class. 30am -11. 10am from m Rainbow Roo k or 07989 .co.u ong eqig Details: www.threetreasur . 986672 y Monday at The • TinyTalk and Baby Signing Ever -11am: Toddler 10am . Leek tre, Cen Foxlowe Arts . Details: Sign y Talk. 11.15am-12.15am: Bab eakandLeek ighP alkH inyT m/T boo www.face

Sunday July 1

-2pm at The n Dog Show 11am • Animal Charity Fu Details: Willows, Oakamoor. 36736/ events/8946977040 m/ .co ok bo www.face 10.30ament Artisan Market • Sunday Supplem than 70 re mo th Wi n centre. 3.30pm in Leek tow ery first Ev d. foo d an fts cra stalls selling local . Sunday of the month War m at The Nicholson • Free Tours 1pm-3p tour d ide gu te nu e 30 mi Memorial, Leek. A fre which is e tur uc str the of inside and outside e Monument' Get a locally known as 'Th and o both World Wars int t igh fascinating ins tails: De . ity un mm Co ek Le their impact on the ria mo me on w.nichols 01538 381271 or ww 30pm in own Leek 11am-2. • Dr Plot's Lesser Kn n Knight ee Gr wain and the Leek town centre. Ga g. lin tel ry sto d an ps procession, worksho ad, St m at The Wilkes He • Wilkestonbury 3p A s, rne Ca n Joh . With Edward Street, Leek rizon, Pluto is a Ho , yrd eb Blu s, lve Thousand Wo c Seaguls, cket Band, Soperifi Planet, The Tom Lo ly, available on t ke tic t but by On Parole. Free even or to event. from the venue pri

Thursday July 5

• Funhouse Comedy Club Doo rs open at 7.30pm for 8.30pm start at The Fox lowe Arts Centre. With comedians Adam Row e, Nick Page, Demitris Deech, Callum Oak ley, and compere Barry Dodds. Admission £10 . Details: k.

Friday July 6 • Real Ale Trail At Churnet Valley Railway. Also on Saturday and Sunday. Det ails: www.churnetvalleyrailwa • Dan's Dancing Devils 7.30 pm at Longsdon Memorial Hall, near Leek. Admission £5. Details: 07923 203346.

Tuesday July 3

• Foxlowe Film Do ors open at 7pm for 7.45pm start at The Foxlowe Ar ts Centre, Leek. W ith the 15 rated 'I. Tonya. Admiss ion £5. Details: www.foxlowearts

Sunday July 8 • Bandstand Concert 2pm in Brough Park, Leek. With the Ashbourne Town Band. Free event hosted by the Friends of Brough Park .

Wednesday July 11lley Railway. Details: et Va • Curry Night At Churn lwa rai lley tva rne www.chu

Leek Life July/Aug 2018 21

Thursday July 12 • Folk at the Foxlowe Doors open at 7.30p m for an 8pm start at the Foxlowe Arts Centre. With Kevin Dempsey in Concert. Admission £12. Detai ls:

Saturday July 14nity Church, Derby Street,

At Tri • Coffee Morning eredge Country e Friends of Ledd th by d Leek. Hoste Park. 11am-1pm Connection Walk , • Arts and Crafts Stockwell Street e, ut tit Ins on ols ch Ni e th at £3 g st tin Co mee n Walton. historian Cathry Leek. With Leek 30. 55 39 8 53 01 : ils per person. Deta tdoor service in 2.30pm for the ou • Leek Club Day parade of ce followed by a Leek's Market Pla . m 3p at h the town churches throug

Wednesday Ju ly


• Foxlowe Talks 7.30pm at the Fo xlowe Arts Centre. With Bir ds of a Feather: 2nd Leek Scouts by Debbie Potts . Admission is fre e, with a bucket collection for th e Foxlowe. Deta ils: www.foxlowear

Saturday July 21nity Church, Derby Street,

At Tri • Coffee Morning men's odcroft (Leek) Wo Wo by d ste Leek. Ho Institute. olson War -1pm at The Nich • Free Tours 11am 71 or 12 Details: 01538 38 Memorial, Leek. k g.u .or ial emor www.nicholsonm urnet Valley itment Day At Ch • Volunteer Recru lle tva ne www.chur Railway. Details: m at Lyme Hog Roast 6.30p • Garden Party & r for ise -ra . A joint fund House, Longsdon ders and the on sp Re st Fir ity un Dunwood Comm eila 07881 Sh ls: tai De ma Trust. Guy Hilton Asth 978032. ntal Lounge at m in the Contine • Charity Night 8p drag show with Street, Leek. Full Rewind, Market and Dixi as well rta Be e m Dam entertainment fro e with all Ra from Rusty. ffl as a comedy show c. Tickets: £7. Ma ie ug Do of aid monies raised in

Sunday July 22 • Duck Race & BBQ 6pm at The Boat Inn, Cheddleton. Hosted by the Cheddleton Local Committee. In aid of Cancer Research UK. Details: www.cheddletonca

Saturday July 28

Thursday July 19

Show Doors inburgh Preview • Gary Delaney Ed the Foxlowe at rt sta m 0p for a 8.3 house. open at 7.30pm or Mo n sti orted by Ju Arts Centre. Supp : ils ta De Admission is £10. www.foxloweartsc

Friday July 2 0

• Yewstock '1 8 Also on Satu rday and Sund Yew Tree, Caul ay at The don, near Wat erhouses. Thre beer and mus e day ic festival. Det ails: www.yewstoc • Ukulele Band an Cheddleton Co d Pie & Pea Supper 7pm at mmunity Cent re. Cheddleton Lo cal Committee Hosted by the . In aid of Canc Research UK. Details: er www.cheddle toncarnival.c 22 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

l Show 9am-6pm • Leek & District Agricultura Details: k. Lee Birchall Playing Fields, .uk .org how www.leeks


ses Weekend At • Superheroes and Princes on Sunday and Also y. lwa Rai Churnet Valley net hur Monday. Details: www.c

ugust 18 Saturday A -1pm at The Nicholson War

11am or • Free Tours 538 381271 ek. Details: 01 .uk Le l, ia or Mem rg l.o ia or onmem www.nichols and ythemanley ce 8pm at Sw ker. Licensed bar. • Social Dan al W m ents. re. With Ti es refreshm Heaton Cent which includ on si is m ad 0 £5.5 0 227681. Details: 0126

Saturday Augus t


• Fashion Show 1p m for 1.30pm sta rt at the Nicholson Institut e, Stockwell Stre et, Leek. With Notty Hornblowe r.

Sunday August 5

• Wilkestock 3pm at The Wilk es Head, St Edward Street, Leek. With lots of loca l music talent. Free event but by ticket only, ava ilable from the venue prior to event. • Sunday Supplement Artisan Market 10.30am3.30pm in Leek town centre. With more than 70 stalls selling local crafts and food. Every first Sunday of the month. • Free Tours 1pm-3pm at The Nicholson War Memorial, Leek. Details: 015 38 381271 or .uk

Saturday August 11

• Cheddleton Carnival 1pm from Harrison Way to Ashcombe Park in Cheddl eton. Details: s/765871740272628.

Sunday August


• Bandstand Co ncert 2pm in Br ough Park, Leek With Dominic (C . huck Berry) Coop er. Free event hosted by the Fr iends of Brough Park.

Monday August 13

at The Nicholson • Art Exhibition 10am-4pm k. With the Society Lee et, Stre ell ckw Institute, Sto ights'. Running 'Ins and of Staffordshire Artists Open Mon-Sat. Free 29. ber tem Sep ay urd until Sat admission.

ust 19 . Sunday Aug ert 2pm in Brough Park, Leek event Conc ll. Free • Bandstand ) Rock 'n' Ro rd (The Loop rk. Pa gh With Rick Fo ou Br e Friends of hosted by th

Friday August 24

• Gin & Trains At Churnet Vall ey Railway. Through to Bank Holiday Monday. Det ails: www.churnetvalleyrailway.c

Sunday August


• Walk for all your Titties-worth Me et at 10.30am for 11am start at Tittesworth Rese rvoir, near Leek. A five mile fund-ra ising walk in aid of Breast Cancer Now. £5 per adult, £1 per child up to eight and £1 per dog. , Details: 07808 73 3870. Do you have an event taking pace during September and October which you wou ld like to see promoted in our next edition of the Lee k Life Magazine? Email details to life@timesandecho

Leek Life July/Aug 2018 23


Monitoring and celebrating the architecture of our town

ur town's civic society has played an active part of Leek life since it's formation more than 40 years ago. The group is open to all who share the same aspirations of seeing Leek - and 18 surrounding civil parishes prosper and develop. Leek & District Civic Society regularly monitors planning matters for the area, in particular when either listed buildings or conservation areas are involved. Society member Michael Stapleton said: “We are fortunate in the Staffordshire Moorlands that the district council has a Conservation Area Liaison Panel which reviews such proposals and makes appropriate recommendations to the planning committee. “We have a valued place on this panel and we make


24 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

every effort for one of our members to attend all meetings.” The society also keeps an eye out for any public consultations which may be offered, and try to take a full part in them. Michael added: “It is important to say that we are not against change or modern developments but feel that these must involve high standards of planning and architecture.” The society runs a local competition, usually every two years, to acknowledge excellence in developments, which have been completed in our area. The 'Civic Society Awards Scheme for the Enhancement of the Environment' sees an overall winning scheme being presented with a 'Gold Disc' and others receiving Certificates of Merit. Our town's civic society has also introduced a Blue Plaque Scheme for Leek which is a way to commemorate a link between the location and a famous person, event, or former building on the site. Leek currently has five blue plaques in position at: Greystones, Parker House, Sugden House, the Nicholson Institute and the site of the first Co-op shop on Clerk Bank. Soon, 54 and 56 St Edward Street are to have a blue plaque placed on their frontage. Number 54 as this was the last home of Sir Thomas Wardle

(1831-1909), who was Knighted in 1897 for his services to the silk industry in England and India; while 56 St Edward Street was where Elizabeth Wardle (1834-1902) founded the Leek Embroidery Society (circa 1879). Michael said: “We feel that recognising the town's history in this way enhances the visitor experience. “We are grateful for help with this scheme particularly from Leek Historical Society for verifying the accuracy of information on the plaques and the financial assistance from owners of properties which have blue plaques attached.” Leek & District Civic Society have also, in the past, engaged in litter picking, repairing posts and street signs as well as bulb planting. The group has also instigated additional tree planting in Leek town centre – namely in Silk Street Car Park and also a special commemorative tree at the bottom of Leek's Market place to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the granting of the market charter by King John in 1207. The society are always on the look out for new members. Michael added: “As you look around and see an interesting architectural feature and would like to learn more or notice something damaged or an eyesore and wish to see it remedied, then you are the sort of person who should be a member.” For more information feel free to contact our secretary on 01538 308634 or m.stapleton



he new home of a Leek mental health wellbeing charity has been officially opened by a long-supporting community leader. Town and district councillor Margaret Lovatt was asked to carry out the honours of opening the Borderland Voices' new premises at Bank House in Leek, at a special open day at the St Edward Street venue recently. Borderland Voices, which provides creative arts for health and mental well-being, moved from its former Queens Drive premises to Bank House in December and the recent official opening was an opportunity for members of the public to take a look around the new workshop space and offices of the charity. On introducing councillor Margaret Lovatt, Borderland Voices co-ordinator Andy Collins said that “there is no better person to ask to do the honours today.” In her opening speech Mrs Lovatt said: “I have always been a supporter of Borderland Voices.” She added that she missed Borderland Voices being based in Haregate but that she saw they have an excellent new home for the charity in Bank House and wished for them to be happy and successful in the future. Borderland Voices, which is celebrating it's


30th anniversary this year, was founded in 1998 by Susan Gaukroger who sadly died in 2013. The charity was presented with a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service last year by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire Graham Stow CBE. The special opening event was attended by many of the organisation's friends, supporters, volunteers, and members. A buffet was put on and guests were not only given the opportunity to take a look around the new premises but also enjoy the Bank House gardens which Borderland Voices members have recently tided up. To find out more about Borderland Voices and the variety of creative classes and activities they offer, visit A group of dare-devils are set to abseil down from a viaduct – all in aid of Borderland Voices. The team of three includes Borderland Voices volunteers Richard Egan and Zuleika Harrison as well as Jaz Bagdi. They will be taking on the daring challenge on July 22 at a viaduct on the Monsal Trail with their 'anchorman' Mark Fox. They have a fund-raising target of £1,500 and have already managed to secure £515. To sponsor them, visit

Leek Life July/Aug 2018 25


Unusual homely wares for your sanctuary new shop offering unique homeware has opened its doors in Leek. The scenic Victorian shopping arcade of Getliffe's Yard, a cobbled courtyard situated off Derby Street, is now home to a new store: Home Sanctuary. Owner Daren Bach has been running Home Sanctuary as an online business for the past two years, but decided to take the next step by opening up a physical premises so that customers can take a closer look at the unusual products on offer. Forty-one year old Daren, who lives in Stone, chose to set up shop in Leek after visiting other thriving independent businesses around the town. He said: “We have previously hosted three pop-up shops in Stone, as well as offering our homeware at a craft market. “But ultimately we decided to open the shop in Leek as the independent feel of the town is a good fit for the kind of products we source. “When we saw that the premises in Getliffe's Yard was available, we were keen to move in. The covered courtyard has a unique atmosphere and many of the other businesses you’ll find there share a similar ethos to ours.” Daren, who has been in creative industries throughout his working life, said: “We pride ourselves on our unusual homeware which is ethical and artisan. We currently source the majority of our products from India and Scandinavia, as well as from within the UK.


26 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

“All products are independently made by skilled artisans so each item is unique. We receive fresh stock on a regular basis and rotate it so that customers will see new pieces each time they visit.” Home Sanctuary stocks a wide range of homeware and accessories from striking glass lanterns to natural woven baskets, from quirky tableware to elegant vases – all those finishing touches that make a house your home. Daren said: “It's about finding pieces that are individual and different to create your own sanctuary.” After opening on June 2, Home Sanctuary is already getting great feedback. Daren said: “The feedback has been amazing. There's been a lot of interest – all very positive – and there are still a lot of people who have yet to discover that we’re here.” Daren, who is assisted in the shop by Adriana, added: “We would love to hear from any local artisans who are creating products which we could stock in the shop.” In the near future the team are also planning to run interior styling workshops and Meet The Maker sessions from the premises. Home Sanctuary, at number 17 Getliffe's Yard in Leek, is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10.30am-4.30pm. The shop will also open on Sunday Supplement days, which take place every first Sunday of the month. To find out more and view some of the products on offer visit


DREAMING SPIRES here’s something wildly romantic about spires of flowers thrusting up through the other plants. Their shapes add drama to a border by contrasting with lower growing plants without looking out of scale. Stems clothed in flower fill the gaps between bushier plants, take the eye away from fences and walls behind and create movement as they wave in the breeze. They are well worth the extra effort when staking is required. These are some of my favourites. The classic spire-shaped flower is the delphinium with large flowers clothing the tall stems up to 3ft / 90cm tall. They traditionally came in every shade of blue, although now you can get white, pink and cream varieties. Delphiniums love a sunny spot and a freedraining soil enriched with lots of well-rotted muck or


compost. They will need staking as the flower stems are heavy and they also need protecting from slugs and snails when they start growing in spring. On a smaller scale are veronicas which range in height from 3ft / 90cm down to less than 9in / 22cm. One of my favourites is the glossy-leaved Veronica gentianoides which is palest blue. This lovely 1ft / 30cm tall plant will grow in good soil in sun or shade. Even lovelier is variety Tissington White. Slightly taller is Veronica Pink Damask with lovely rose-pink flowers in mid-summer. The taller cousins of veronica are veronicastrums that reach up to 5ft tall and have airy, often branching spires. These rarely need staking in my garden and I love their silhouettes against the sky. There come in shades of white, pink and blue and are easy to grow in most soil types in a spot that gets some sun. My favourite is the delicately shaped Lavender Tower. Verbascums (Mullein) come in a big range of pastel colours. There are many good seed mixes you can buy like Southern Charm which is a mix of pastel shades. Chaxii Album (white) is also easy from seed. Watch out for the caterpillars of the Mullein Moth in late May that can quickly devour the leaves and flowers if left to their own devices. There are many other wonderful spire-shaped flowers to discover – I haven’t even had time to mention lupins! - but I hope this “in-spires” you to add some dream spires to your borders. Martin Blow

Janet and I run Special Perennials, website We will be at the Plant Hunters’ Fair at Henbury Hall Garden, Macclesfield SK11 9PJ on Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1, garden and fair only £2.50. Carsington Water, Ashbourne DE6 1ST on Saturday August 11, free entry to fair. And at the Dorothy Clive Garden, TF9 4EU on Sunday August 26 and Monday August 27, gardens and fair £4. For full details of these and other Plant Hunters’ Fairs please see We are happy to bring orders to plant fairs for you to collect.

28 Leek Life July/Aug 2018



public open space in Leek has been dedicated as a Centenary Field in memory of those who lost their lives during the First World War. Birch Gardens, which is situated off Buxton Road in Leek, was recently officially dedicated as a Centenary Field as part of a national programme which is being operated in partnership with the Royal British legion, as a unique way to commemorate the centenary of World War 1. The dedication also means that the gardens are now safeguarded as a public open space through Fields in Trust scheme. The ceremony of dedication at Birch Gardens was attended by representatives of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Leek Town Council, the Royal British Legion, as well as the Friends of Birch Gardens. Derek Hilyer, Secretary of the Friends of Birch Gardens, said: “We’ve worked in close partnership with the council to improve and take care of these gardens so we’re delighted that this space will be protected in the future as somewhere to reflect on the past. “We hope people will come and spend some quiet time here to enjoy these pleasant surroundings in peace – it’s a real little haven in our busy market town.” The site of Birch Gardens was given to the town by William Henry Birch, which led to Prince Street being opened onto Buxton Road in 1928. The gardens were officially opened in 1935 – to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary. William's grandson, Bill Birch, who lives in Leek, said: “I do not have any documentation nor photographs regarding Birch Gardens but as far as I am aware my grandfather William Henry Birch, donated the land to the residents of Leek for a garden.” Bill added: “The garden is, and always has been, a tranquil place and of anywhere a fitting place to be dedicated as a centenary field in commemoration of 100 years, since the end of the First World War.”


INTRUDER ALARMS YOUR LOCAL SECURITY COMPANY Established over 40 years and trained by former police officers


- ALARMS - INSTALLATIONS - MAINTENANCE & REPAIRS - SERVICE - CCTV - SECURITY LIGHTING - FIRE SYSTEMS Self monitoring systems wired or WIRE FREE (no mess) FREE viewing of your home world wide 24 hours by your mobile phone or other devices FOR A FREE SURVEY CALL 24 HOUR ON

01782 397 589

Leek Life July/Aug 2018 29


Your local property expert in Leek that’s open 24/7 Get your FREE home valuation appointment or call Chris on 01538 54 24 54 30 Leek Life July/Aug 2018


Leek Life July/Aug 2018 31



Councillor Neal Podmore, Action West End treasurer Bill Birch, and Councillor Ben Emery.

Community enhancement flourishes thanks to donations

residents group in Leek is continuing it's aim of enhancing recreation and play within its community – thanks to a variety of donations. Action West End initially formed in 2007 to assist Staffordshire Moorlands District Council in their consultation with residents over a new play area on the Westwood Road Recreational Grounds in Leek. The group has since thrived over the past decade with its motto “to enhance recreation and play in the west end of Leek”. Members have gone on to help implement a number of improvements in the area including new paths in the Woodcroft Open Space; bird boxes, basket ball hoops, bike racks, new trees and mass daffodil bulb planting on Westwood Road Recreational Grounds, new benches in both areas, as well as raising issues about ongoing maintenance of the recreation areas in the west end of Leek. Over the past year, Action West End has been able to carry out further improvements thanks to donations from the Postcode Lottery, The Woodland Trust and also Staffordshire Moorlands District Councillors. The latest project has been to replace a number of blossom trees which were vandalised and also for tree guards to protect the new trees. This project has been made possible thanks to


32 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

funding from councillors Ben Emery, Neal Podmore and the late Robert Plant. Councillor Ben Emery said: “I am delighted with the new trees. They look fantastic and show off our green space to the max.” Action West End with support from SMDC, local councillors and generous donations from companies also holds an annual Fun Day in September to bring the community together. This year's event will take place on Saturday September 1 between 1pm and 5pm. There will be all the usual attractions of fun fair rides, grand raffle, live music, fun dog show, tombola extravaganza, community and charity stalls, owl display, donkey rides, and much more. Treasurer of Action West End, Bill Birch, said: “Our group is fortunate that the members are dedicated and work together to protect and enhance the environment. “Our group meetings provide a platform for any member of the community to speak on matters of concern and we would welcome anyone interested in assisting with the Fun Day, bulb planting and the preservation of the natural wooded area of Woodcroft to attend the meetings which take place at the Beggars Lane Bowling Club.” To find out more about the group, find 'Action West End' on Facebook.


Club’s charity donation total continues to soar

fund-raising duo have now donated a total of £114,000 to charity after hosting a multitude of events and activities over the past two decades. Tanis Pickford and Gwen Alcock have both worked as stewards at Leek's Conservative Working Men's Club for the past forty years. They began fund-raising for the Douglas Macmillan Hospice after Tanis' husband Douglas passed away in 1999. The pair host a variety of events and activities at the club, which is locally known as The Dog & Rot, and have now raised a total of £114,000 for the Dougie Mac, following their recent donation of £5,730. Tanis said: “We would like to thank everyone for their support, especially Ray Needham, Mick and Claire Sheldon, and Debbie and Paul


Titley who help with Sunday night auctions. “A big thank you also to Keith Walters and Neil Alcock for their tireless support.” The Dog & Rot is the only remaining working men's club in Leek following the closures of The Central Club in Market Street a few years ago, and more recently the Ball Haye Green Working men's Club. Tanis said: “I think the club is unique because it is small and friendly.”

Gwen and Tanis' roles as stewards include ordering beers, looking after the everyday running of the club, booking the entertainment, providing buffets for parties, funerals, weddings and other events. Tanis said of their longservice at the club: “After working here for so long and myself living here, Gwen and I both agree it's a way of life that we enjoy or we would not have been here so long.”

Lions roar into summer with lots of activities e had a fantastic two days at the Cauldon Lowe Vintage Car and Steam Show in May with wall to wall sunshine. We took our Fairground Organ and manned a stall selling bric-a-brac. We had a really enjoyable weekend and we would like to thank the organising committee for inviting us. Also in May, we had our 'Dinner Meeting' at the So Thai Restaurant in Leek where we all enjoyed a superb meal.


Lynda, Colin, David, Les and Alan at the Cauldon Lowe Vintage Car and Steam Show

The Zone G Challenge took place this Spring which saw members from Cheadle, Gnosall and District, Leek, Stoke-on-Trent, Stone, Newcastle and Uttoxeter Lions Clubs meet at Rewind in Leek. It was an evening of fun playing table top games and Uttoxeter Lions Club was the outright winner. We were all ready for the lovely buffet which Mark at Rewind had prepared. At the end of May, Leek Lions Les, Colin and David took the Fairground Organ to the Endon Well Dressing; and our club also took part in the Lions Family Fun Day at Foxfield Railway, near Blythe Bridge on June 23. This is the second of our annual events wholly funded by the Lions Clubs for the benefit of children and young people attending special needs establishments and their families. In July, we will be at Leek Show with our Hospitality Tent and Canine Cafe with a good selection of doggy treats and fresh water. The usual rules apply- well behaved owners welcome, they can enjoy a cuppa and biscuits. Leek Life July/Aug 2018 33


Band marches on to second parade in the capital

he 5th Leek Scout & Guide Band are a traditional drum, bugle and military flute marching band which also has the recognisable sound of the bell lyre (xylophone) tuned percussion. These last few years the band has come into its own and in November 2017 got to perform in the Lord Mayors show in London. As a member of the Corp of Drums Society, and for having done such a good job last year, the band has been invited back once again and this year's event is set to be extra special as it will focus on the commemoration of 100 years since the end of the First World War. Bandmaster Paul Bullock said: “5th Leek Scout & Guide Band feel very honoured to do this and it's a fantastic experience for the youngsters to play alongside ex-serving military musicians including Grenadier and Coldstream Guards. “Our band had training with the world famous Royal Marines Band last October which stood us in good stead for what lay ahead in London at the Lord Mayors parade which sees thousands line the streets to watch. “Our band was very proud to represent our town of Leek, the district of Staffordshire Moorlands and our county of Staffordshire.” The 5th Leek Scout & Guide Band will be seen out this summer across Staffordshire and Derbyshire taking part in parades, carnivals,well dressings and supporting other local community events. During the events they will be fundraising


34 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

for their transport costs to take their second trip down to London in November. Paul said: “Sponsorship for the band is always welcome from local businesses and we would love to hear from anyone interested in doing this.” The band age range is from eight years upwards and instruments and uniforms are provided. Members learn to play and read music as well as to march, and the band is currently looking for new members with or without musical experience. Paul added: “Some members have joined the band first and then gone into scouts or guides, cubs or brownies as a result of joining as they have so much fun.” The band meets every Thursday evening at the 5th Leek Scout Group Headquarters in Fowlchurch Road, Leek. For further information email Paul at


Fellowship between local Rotary Clubs is a winner

ay was a busy month for Leek Rotary with the group’s efforts concentrating on local and International causes. The annual Auto Extravaganza at Norton Green had, as its main beneficiary, the Horton Head School where a scheme to help parents ease their children into the aims and aspirations of the school are supported. At the event there were 222 exhibits of vintage vehicles ranging from high powered sports cars to a steam lorry. Trade stands offering auto-jumble and refreshments were joined by two live bands to entertain the 2,000 visitors who attended. The event would not have been able to raise the total of £8,000 without the generosity of other groups who parked cars, loaned marquees and barbecues. Leek Rotary thank, particularly, the Air Cadets, two local Churches, the Young Farmers, Hollinsclough School and volunteer helpers without who’s help the day would not have been a success. On a wider scene, Leek Rotary Club participated in the End Polio Now campaign led by Rotary International which, after 30 years of funding, has led to the elimination of Polio from all but three countries in the world and annual cases reduced to the low twenties. The last major epidemics in this country were in the 1950’s and a Purple Car Rally was seen as a novel way of reminding folk that eradicating the disease is still a worthwhile objective. Local business had sponsored the Leek Mercedes, which is festooned with their emblems, and individuals have signed the car to raise £5,000 for the cause. The car took part in a four-day tour of the district visiting 25 towns and meeting 12 Rotary Clubs who, between


them, collected a further £3,450, which will be double funded by the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation, to give an effective £25,250 towards polio vaccine to be used in third world countries. The next event is a Country Evening in September, but you can see the car at Leek and Manifold Shows.

Leek Life July/Aug 2018 35


New chapter for Martin the Bookworm

eek has so many lovely characters and here's one of those such personalities who has worked in Leek's indoor markets for almost three decades. Even though Martin Jones does not actually live in Leek, he has still become a well-known face in our Staffordshire Moorlands town – especially to those who work and shop in the Butter Market. Martin has been running his Book and DVD Exchange stall in Leek's indoor markets for the past 27 years. However, the Stockport man - who is lovingly known in Leek as Martin the Bookworm – has now sold his last book as he has finally retired at the age of 72. He closed the shutters to his stall for the very last time on Saturday June 30 after running a closing down sale of his products for a number of weeks. Martin started selling his wares in Leek from a stall in the Trestle Market before taking on one of the units in the Butter Market around a decade a go. In previous years, he has also had stalls and units in other towns such as Macclesfield, Stockport, and Sandbach – but it was just in Leek where he continued for his final trading years. Martin said: “I love Leek markets. There's


36 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

great camaraderie with both customers and fellow stall holders. I am going to miss them all, especially my partner in crime Dennis Salt. “I will also miss shopping in Leek as you can get everything you need here, whether that be from the markets or from the many independent shops.” Martin has seen many changes in Leek markets over the years, however he added: “The majority of fellow traders have been here for years too. “We have had some great times. The markets team have always gone to great lengths to mark special events especially with dressing up which I have always enjoyed taking part in. “I have made some great friends here – both colleagues and customers.” Prior to trading books and DVDs, Martin was a pig farmer for 15 years and then a Transport Manager for a period of time. As for why he has left it until well past retirement age to finally retire, Martin said: “I just kept on doing this because I enjoyed it. “But now I have decided to call it a day and am looking forward to a busy summer travelling with my wife Christine.”


Senior Organiser Louise Walker, Administrator Tracey Johnson, and Family Support Worker Jackie Johnson.

Royal seal of approval for volunteer family support family support organisation which is based in Leek has been given the royal seal of approval for their volunteer work in the


area. Home-Start Staffordshire Moorlands is soon to be presented with a Queen's Award for Voluntary Services. The charity offers support, friendship and practical help to parents with young children in the Staffordshire Moorlands. That the charity is set to receive the accolade was announced as part Her Majesty The Queen's latest list of honours which recognises outstanding voluntary contributions in local communities. The award has an equivalent status for voluntary groups as the MBE has for individuals. Louise Walker, Senior Organiser at HomeStart Staffordshire Moorlands said:“We are delighted to receive the news of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, particularly in the year when we are celebrating 20 years since the scheme was founded.” She added that the award is a great honour and is testament to the commitment and dedication of the organisation's volunteers who

work so hard to make a positive difference to families with young children across the Moorlands district with their caring, compassionate approach. Chair of Home-Start Staffordshire Moorlands, Glennys White, added: “What a tremendous honour and privilege for Home-Start Staffordshire Moorlands to receive this award. “It is the highest honour to be awarded to volunteer groups, the equivalent of an MBE. It is wonderful to have the work done by our dedicated volunteers recognised. “ Home-Start Staffordshire Moorlands are always on the look out for additional volunteers. The charity also welcomes self referrals to the scheme, such as if a family feels they may be in need of support: eg: post natal depression, disability, health needs, or just generally struggling with young children. To find out more, visit Meanwhile, it has also been announced that Staffordshire Police Cadets adult leaders, including Leek Police Cadet Unit Commander Stephen Tubby, are also to be awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Leek Life July/Aug 2018 37


CHARITY SPONSORED SLIM FOR BILL eek's town crier, Bill Lomas, is pulling out all the stops to slim down – and he is hoping to raise lots of cash for charity along the way. Bill weighed in at 20 and a half stone before he began his diet and new fitness regime a few weeks ago. He has already lost an amazing 13 pounds and hopes to lose at least two stone by the end of July. Bill said: “I have been prompted to do this by a local businessman who has said he will pay for a new Town Crier livery.” Bill added that he is already feeling the benefits of losing some weight and that he hopes people will sponsor him so he can raise lots of money for the Dougie Mac charity. Sponsor forms can be found at the Earl Grey pub in Ashbourne Road, Tots Treats in Stanley Street, the Town


Clerk's office in Stockwell Street, as well as in Ponden Mill and also at the Town Crier Newsagents, both in Derby Street. A special cry for Leek Life readers:

Oyez, Oyez! Take heed of the plump town crier of Leek who is looking very bleak but wants to look sleek. Upon my frame hangs fat in shame. Some foods are forbidden to pass my lips, although sometimes past, it does slip. With a determination of will power, it's true, one day the Town Crier will look like you. Maybe not the bulge battle won, but a few pounds to drop for everyone. From a few pennies for the pounds to drop, to the sleek look that soon I will adopt. All for the Dougie Mac to get from

lbs to pounds, I will promise to stop from looking round. If you can help to raise the funds, my body will shed all the buns, that I have consumed before today and look so slim all the way, down from head to toe, at will all have to go.


Saying it with words

Everyone loves summertime and here, Leek Poet Brenda Pascall shares one of her poems about the sunny season: 'Summertime'

On Summer days so mellow, beneath a sea of sky; Where big white clouds just drift along, like tall ships sailing by; When the sunshine painted morning, turns into a golden day; And leafy lanes call out to you, to walk your cares away. 38 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

Then wander for a moment, where fragrant flowers grow; See dragon flies with jewelled wings, beside the streams fast flow; The meadows lush green carpet, will sooth your troubled mind. For nature holds the secret, and true peace you can find.


The sky’s the limit for Dan and Stevie

Leek man, who has been diagnosed with Huntington's disease, is to jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet – all in a bid to raise cash for a charity which supports those with the disease. Dan Shenton has always known that there was a 50-50 chance that he could develop Huntington's after his mum and nan both had the disease. In March this year, he was diagnosed with the hereditary illness which is currently incurable. Now Dan and his wife, Stevie, are aiming to raise as much money as they can for the Huntington's Disease Association to help fund medical studies. Stevie said: “We also want to help other families, like us, who are affected by the disease to be able to concentrate on making memories as a family as there is no time scale on when Dan's


condition will deteriorate. “We are looking forward to a family holiday to Florida next year with our two children, the whole of Dan's family, and my mum.” Since being diagnosed Dan has enrolled with Eroll HD which is a worldwide observational study for families with Huntington's. Stevie added: “There was news in the press in December regarding a clinical trial for people with HD which has been extremely positive and has helped us deal with Dan's diagnoses and we are hoping that one day Dan may be accepted onto the trail to help him and others with HD. “We have also started to attend the North Staffordshire Branch Support Group which holds a session every third Wednesday of the month at Hanley Community Fire Station.”

Dan and Stevie are pulling out all the stops to raise funds for the Huntington's Disease Association and recently raised £1,000 by hosting a Zumba event at Leek High School. The energetic fund-raiser was led by Zumba instructor Michelle Denny and more than 30 local businesses and friends of the Shenton's donated prizes for a raffle which was staged during the event. Stevie said: “There were also lots of delicious cakes baked and donated by family and friends for the event which saw over 30 people taking part in the Zumba class including myself, Dan's dad Mark, Step mum Michelle, sister Eliza and his brother's partner Sarah as well as other family and friends and fellow Zumba class members.” The Shenton's have also recently hosted a charity race night in Leek and are now gearing up for a Skydive which the couple, along with six others in their team, will be doing from 10,000 feet above Nottingham on Saturday August 4. Their aim is to raise more than £3,000 in total for the charity. Anyone wishing to sponsor the Shenton Skydiving team can do so at ding/shentonskydive Leek Life July/Aug 2018 39

RURAL FOOTCARE For the treatments of Corns, Callus/Hard Skin, Nail Trimming, Fungal Infections In the comfort of your own home.

To book an appointment call Carol on

07454 573288 or 01538 308300 Registered with RFHP SAC, Dip FHPAT/Dip FHPA

40 Leek Life July/Aug 2018



Mer ry to al Ch l ou ristm r re a ader s

Food glorious food... Crowds to flock to Leek Food and Drink Festival




st of

ises ho prom hts Leek e delig festiv


k rea ab o Sp r tw fo


MAY/J UNE 20 16

Party in WIN S the Park A TICKET ’s

right roy xton ion knees up al to Bu g Sess Bi

to recreate Festivities set ay Rudyard’s heyd

as Christmace ing R Pudd

ber ors lim petit e fixture Com tiv r fes up fo


Lif e

Celeb song rating 40 , danc year e an d fin s of e art


Times, Echo & Life Publications, 18 Tape Street, Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent ST10 1BD Tel: 01538 752214 Editorial: Advertising:


Fat Loss Do’s and Don’ts JP is a Body Transformation Coach who lives and works in Leek. Here he shares some health and well-being tips for Leek Life readers. s a Body Transformation Coach, I spend my time helping people to get into the best shape of their life. Below are the most common errors I find people are making and the ways to fix them.


• Don’t constantly step on the scales. They are not a clear reading of progress. You can lose or put on multiple pounds very quickly but this does not necessarily translate to your waistline. More often than not it's water weight or a loss of muscle mass from a poorly constructed diet that you are seeing. Instead, do take regular fortnightly measurements and photos of your fattier areas.

This is the real way to track fat loss. • Don’t fall in the processed 'Diet Food' and 'Low Fat' trap. Just because something is low calorie and comes from a 'Health Range' doesn't mean it's good for you and your waist-line. They might be low on the calories but they are also low in any real nutritional value leaving your body in an even worse position to burn the fat. Instead, do pick real foods. Eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, nuts and berries in their most natural form are the best kind of 'Diet Food' available. • Don't starve yourself. ‘Crash Low Calorie Diets’ slow down your metabolism. The fewer calories going in, the slower your metabolism becomes. This is called Metabolic Adaptation. The moment you start eating again the metabolism is too sluggish to burn the extra calories straight away and the fat comes back in abundance. Instead, do eat plenty of food. Your energy needs from calories depend on your lifestyle and current body composition. A simple Google search for 'how many calories do I need?' will bring up loads of calorie calculators. Find out what you need and nourish your body.

• Don't just wing it and hope for the best. Fat loss needs a consistent approach to occur. You will need at least a bit of a plan of action. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Instead, do set yourself boundaries and rules then stick to them. This can be anything from eliminating in between meal snacks, creating and sticking to a shopping list of wholesome foods or cutting out the takeaways and alcohol for a while. It’s always a good idea to set a time scale. Pick an event like a wedding, party or holiday and use that as some motivation to changing your lifestyle. I'd recommend at least 12 weeks in most cases. • And finally....Don't give up! To change your waistline you have to change your lifestyle. This is often hard and takes much longer than anticipated. Take small steps in the right direction and don't give up if you fall. Instead, do make an effort every day to progress. When you go to bed at night you should ask yourself: "what did I do to succeed today?" Hopefully you will have multiple answers to this question, from turning down biscuits at work to taking the time to prepare a wholesome meal rather than going for microwave option. If you would like to learn more about fat loss feel free to contact me on Facebook, (@jptrainingguru) or pop into Cave Fitness Leek to arrange a consultation. Leek Life July/Aug 2018 41


Support for women wanting the ‘breast’ for their babies group of determined mums from Leek are not letting cuts to local NHS funding stop their plight to help and support local breastfeeding women or expectant mothers wishing to breastfeed their babies. In a push to raise their profile, the women who attend and now run Leek Breastfeeding Group, are going all out to let fellow mothers know they are not alone and that help, friendship, support and advice is out there despite cuts to professional health services in the area. Breastfeeding rates are at a worrying low level in this country despite the health benefits to both mothers and their children, but it is not always an easy option choosing to feed your baby. Breastfeeding can be an amazing experience but doesn’t come with a manual or instructions and can throw up many problems, particularly for first time mums. It can at times be painful, tiring, demanding emotionally and physically, and often women can give up in the early stages if they are finding it hard. This is where support from other women who are or have been in the same boat can really help. Expectant mothers are often not encouraged enough or given the positive information to help them choose breastfeeding or given the confidence or support to have a go at it which is where this peer-to-peer led support group comes into its own. The group, which is free to attend, meets weekly on a Thursday afternoon from 12.30pm until 3pm, and is now completely run by fellow


42 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

mums. New parents and mums-to-be are offered a warm welcome, plenty of tea and biscuits, lots of advice, practical information, first-hand accounts from others going through the same experiences, friendship, and even a shoulder to cry on if needed. The benefits of breastfeeding truly are endless but feeding, and motherhood in general, can be a lonely and isolating experience for so many women. This is something the ladies who go to this group know all about which is why they are campaigning so hard to keep this invaluable local amenity going. Up until recently the group met at the Beresford Family Hub in Novi Lane, but due to expansion at the school site, has had to relocate to the more central setting of the Home Start premises in Earl Street, Leek. Leek Breastfeeding Group has an active Facebook page @leekbreastfeeding where people can get in touch and ask questions, find out information about the group, or get advice on breastfeeding. Between the members there is a vast wealth of knowledge and experience of feeding techniques, latch issues, supply and demand, expressing milk, to tips on gaining the confidence to feed in public. As well as extending an arm of friendship to breastfeeding mothers an Infant Feeding Specialist from Nutrition and Nature also attends the group voluntarily on a regular basis to offer professional health advice. All mums will be made very welcome. By Deborah Boden


How to handle unexpected results 3 steps to move you forward y university year has just finished. By the time you’re reading this article, I will have my first batch of level 5 degree results – I’m a mature art student. Younger students will have finished their exams and be waiting nervously on their GCSE/A Level results. It can be a tense time. We’ve all worked hard and to the best of our abilities. We also, all have expectations of what our results should be, so what happens when you don’t get the results you want? It is likely you will feel some disappointment. These results may affect your career choices or your future study options. You may start to blame yourself or others - What would have happened if you’d done that extra days study instead of spending the day with a friend?? You may start ‘catastrophising’ about it. Does it feel like your career has ended before it’s begun? Does it feel like the end of the world? It’s really not. So I’ve pulled together three simple steps in moving forward:


Acceptance – Understand that what is done is done. There is nothing you can do to change your actual results, but lots to do to plan your future. Options – Look for options. What are your choices now? Do you look at alternative courses? Take a part time job and do re- sits? Do re-sits and postpone University for a year so you can do the course you want. Decision – Once you’ve made a decision you have taken control of your situation. This is empowering and puts you back into a position of strength and positivity. Once you’re back in the driving seat it is amazing how much better the world looks. Not only do you have a clear vision of where you’re going next, you’ll also have learned a little about yourself and about your resilience and ability to bounce back from disappointment, something no university can teach.

Carolyn Trafford. Reflections Coaching Tel 07714 216388. Email • Carolyn Trafford is a Leek based Creative Freedom Practitioner supporting others in achieving the life they want. If you need help keeping life on track do get in touch today to see how she can help. Leek Life July/Aug 2018 43


THERE’S SO MUCH HOLIDAY FUN AT ALL SAINTS’ SCHOOL ll Saints’ Holiday Club is linked to All Saints’ First School in Leek and is open during halfterms as well as during Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays. We welcome all children in the local area aged between three and 11-years-old. All Saints’ Holiday Club is a family and is part of a Christian caring community. We design our holiday clubs to develop children as caring individuals, equipping them with social and life skills. Our aim is to guide children so they are able to grow into responsible, caring adults who are able to realise their full potential. We put the children at the heart of everything we do. We offer activities that are fun, which inspire them to learn and take on new challenges, incorporating their ideas into everyday planning so building their confidence and individuality. Our qualified staff are enthusiastic and love to plan exciting activities with the children to ensure they are kept motivated and happy throughout the day, including all sorts of crafting activities and baking, whether it be cakes or biscuits – even some to take home for mum and dad if they are lucky! We have fantastic outdoor facilities which we use to our full advantage with the children, weather permitting. We are open from 7.30am until 6pm and our prices are very competitive. Your child doesn’t have to come to our school to join us and enjoy our action packed clubs. We can also cater for special dietary requirements. To find out more about what we can offer, contact Suzanne Sheldon on 01538 714918 or email


44 Leek Life July/Aug 2018


HMS Thetis and a Leek man’s role in the disaster – by Bill Cawley


he tragedy of HMS Thetis in which 99 men died nearly 80 years ago remains the largest loss of life suffered by the Royal Navy in a submarine disaster. I had known about it for some years as a chairman of an organisation I worked for in the 1980s had a connection with the tragedy. Bernard Donaghy told me that his father had taken part in the salvage operation on the submarines after it had been beached at Anglesey and had the grim task of removing the bodies from the craft. Thetis had sunk in Liverpool Bay between Liverpool and Anglesey. It had been launched from Cammell Laird ship in 1938. The Leek connection with the disaster is that one of the chief engineers from Cammell Laird who died on the vessel was a man from Spring Gardens; Arthur Robinson aged 45. Robinson had a brother a head teacher at a Leek school who during the period of the disaster acted as the family spokesman. Arthur Robinson had worked for Cammell Laird since boyhood. He had worked his way to become the senior engineer well respected for his knowledge in submarine construction and played an important part in the construction of what was the Royal Navy most expensive submarine It was a project fraught with problems and an earlier trial had discovered, for instance, that the steering apparatus had been put on the wrong way. A significant overhaul took place in the winter of 1938 which Robinson was involved in and new trials scheduled to take place for the 1st June 1939 in Liverpool Bay. The boat was full with 103 men, both military and civilian, when it left Birkenhead. The fateful decision was taken to take a trial dive and a Navy Officer checked to see whether torpedo tubes were empty of water. Unfortunately a false reading the officer believed that the tubes were empty of water when in fact they were not. Opening the valve led to water flooding the forward compartments of the submarine and the Thetis plunged bow first to the bottom of the bay. A whole series of errors by the

Royal Navy followed. The rescue ship was miles away off the Clyde, a false location reading led to the Navy searching an area seven miles from HMS Thetis actual position. There was an escape chamber on the Thetis but only four men got out. Someone panicked and tried to open the outer escape hatch before the chamber had completely flooded. As a result, the increased pressure outside the submarine caused an in-rush of sea water, thus drowning the escapee. Because the outer escape hatch remained partially open it rendered the escape chamber inoperative, preventing further escape. Robinson and 98 other men suffered a lingering death from carbon dioxide poisoning while the Royal Navy vainly attempted rescue above them. What made it the more poignant that the stern of the submarine stuck out of the mud and was visible. At the inquiry the Navy claimed Public Interest Immunity and were protected from prosecution despite all the errors made. The Thetis was successfully salvaged and was renamed the Thunderbolt. It was an unlucky vessel. It was lost off Scilly in 1943 with all hands. Arthur Robinson's body is buried in a mass grave at Holyhead Anglesey.

Leek Life July/Aug 2018 45


Let’s get quizzical COMPILED BY PAUL STEELE

General Knowledge Quiz 1. Who took over as the manager of Stoke City in May 2018? 2. Meghan Markle is now known as the Duchess of where? 3. Which country won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest?

6. What invention famously cost a penny at the 1851 Great Exhibition?

7. In which country was a version of TV show 'Big Brother' first broadcast

8. Launched in 1979, which was the first computer to sell for under ÂŁ100? 9. Jor-El is the biological father of which superhero?

10. Which measure of weight is also the alternative name for the snow leopard?

A Quiz for the Summer 1. Which song promised no worries for a week or two? 2. Which soap is set in Summer Bay?

3. Which character was played by Lindsay Wagner in the 'Bionic Woman'?

4. Which star of 'Cruel intentions' also appeared in 'I Know What You Did Last Summer'? 5. From which opera does the song 'Summertime' come?

6. Who played Nora Batty in 'Last of the Summer Wine'?

7. Warm weather in autumn is know as what type of summer? 8. What was Donna Summers only UK Number 1 hit?

9. Traditionally, one of which bird does not make a summer?

10. In the 2009 film '(500) Days of Summer' who plays the character Summer?

General Knowledge Answers: 1. Gary Rowett; 2. Sussex; 3. Israel; 4. General Data Protection Regulation; 5. Barbara Dickson; 6. Public flush toilets; 7. Netherlands; 8. Sinclair ZX80; 9. Superman; 10. Ounce. Summer Answers: 1. 'Summer Holiday'; 2. 'Home and Away'; 3. Jamie Summers; 4. Sarah Michelle Gellar; 5. 'Porgy and Bess'; 6. Kathy Staff; 7. Indian Summer; 8. 'I Feel Love'; 9. Swallow; 10. Zooey Deschanel.

46 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

Quizzes compiled by Paul Steele - email: - Paul's 'Which One?' quiz game is available on Amazon.

4. GDPR was in the news in May 2018 but what does GDPR stand for?

5. Which 70 years old Scottish singer appeared with Nick Holland at Foxlowe Arts Centre during Leek Arts Festival in May 2018?


The Women's Institute (WI), which was formed in 1915 and is now the largest voluntary women's organisation in the UK, plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities. Here we take a look at what's been going on at local WI's and see that they are “not just jam and Jerusalem”. Is your WI group in the Leek and surrounding villages area? Would you like your group to be featured in our WI pages? Email Belinda at

Wetley Rocks WI

The much talked about Fashion Show took place at the Wetley Rocks Village Hall in April and proved a great success. During WI Business at our subsequent April meeting some focus was given on the show and thanks extended to all who attended with hope that one (or two) bargains were picked up. Thanks also to Zoe of The Windmill in Werrington for her support and last but not least, appreciation was extended to WI President Pat Axon for her efforts in arranging the event. A good time was had by all which may have been helped a little by the flow of wine and good company. At the end of Business, the speaker for the night was introduced and a very enjoyable hour or so followed. Martin Peet of “Mr.Simms Olde Sweet Shop” gave an entertaining talk about the history of sweets and their manufacture. He follows many years of family tradition in the business and clearly was proud and passionate about the industry. Martin immediately became ‘our friend’ when he distributed each of us with our own bag of sweets. He gave us a fascinating insight whilst learning for example that the sweet commonly known as ‘spaceships’ were invented 300 years ago by the Chinese who often enclosed medicinal herbs; liquorice or similar in rice paper. Liquorice root was the earliest sweet and

many forms have remained a favourite today. Of particular interest was the unique relationship of sweets to their locality. For example the ‘Everton Mint’ was first produced in Liverpool close to Goodison Park. It's said that before each match the sweets were thrown into the crowd thus prompting the fans to nickname their club ‘The Toffees’ which has stuck throughout history. The stories went on from Kendal Mint Cake; Pontefract Cake; Wigan’s Uncle Joes Mint Balls to more locally known Old Betty Plants Herbal sweets. The latter triggered fond recollections of Old Betty Plants factory in Hanley and the aromas around the area. The factory closed down in 1970 but Martin has personally been instrumental in reestablishing the production of OBPs herbal sweets by Barnetts confectioners, Nottingham. Martin was extremely funny in his presentation and smiles turned to frequent laughter. He stayed with us as we entertained him with tea and cake before he judged our competition which was won by Pat Axon; second Mandy Ellis; and third Pat Aust. April saw the end of another year’s Business for the Wetley Rocks WI. The May meeting was the AGM when committee members were appointed. Our meetings take place on the second Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm. For further information contact Secretary Barbara Hughes on 01782 302497 or visit Leek Life July/Aug 2018 47


Whiston WI

Members of the Whiston WI recently had a four night holiday in Jersey. Nine of us flew from East Midlands and enjoyed at great time. We stopped at the Merton Hotel where the food was great and we took full advantage of its Subtropical Aquadome, both indoors and out. Some of us particularly enjoyed the Watershute and Margaret Eyre was told at the age of 74 that she was the oldest person to have used it. We managed to see quite a lot of the island, enjoyed a paddle and of course an ice cream. An afternoon at the La Mare Vineyard tasting wines, ciders and chocolate was followed by Cream Teas. Some members went to the Durrells Zoo whilst others shopped till their suitcases were full. We had fun and so many laughs - our only problem now is where to go next year!

48 Leek Life July/Aug 2018


Woodcroft WI

At our April Meeting our members very generously brought in a huge supply of essential clothing to help homeless people or rough sleepers all of which were very gratefully received. Our Book, Film and Walking Clubs are all well supported and our newly formed Coffee Club is proving a huge success with a sizeable number of members turning up for a coffee and a chat. Also the recently started Craft Club has attracted an enthusiastic group of members willing to have a go at something new. Our ladies have a variety of craft skills and put them to good use when we made all the Share the Love green hearts to raise more money for A.C.W.W. a worthwhile cause of all W.I.s to help women around the world. Many of us visit Endon Well Dressing but how many of us realise how much time and effort is spent producing the stunning boards over the wells. Our speaker, Barbara Hall, demonstrated her skill in putting together a beautiful picture on a clay board, using only natural materials. We began our Annual Meeting with a talk about Data Security and Cybercrime. As this can happen to anyone, anywhere we need to look after our Digital Devices, be aware and spot the signs. We can report anything suspicious to

Rushton WI

In April we had our visit to Ford Green Hall at Smallthorne. The evening was dry but overcast however that did not distract from the outside view of the Hall and gardens. The primroses gave a lively bright flash of yellow and the carpet of purple and cream fritillaries was beautiful. The supper was all laid out ready for us and the buffet was wonderful followed by mouth watering cakes made by Pauline, a volunteer at Ford Green Hall. After our supper another volunteer, Chris, dressed in his splendid Tudor costume lead our tour of the hall. After the tour, and having said a big thank you to the volunteers, we made our way home. Everyone agreed what a successful visit it was giving us an insight into a part of the fascinating history of Ford Green Hall. Our Annual meeting had a good turnout. After welcoming members Glenys ran through the order for the evening. Our monthly business included Pam's reports on Leek Show entries and there are a few volunteers for individual entries. Swythamley WI will be hosting the Autumn Group Meeting in October. After discussing the Group Meeting format members, but best of all if something does not seem right then don't do it. We are hoping for a trip to Llandudno in the Summer if we can get enough people to fill the coach. After all the official business our Treasurer reported on the finances for the year. Thankfully, funds are robust and everything is in order. Our Secretary, Lynne, then outlined the past year's events. It has been a full year with something for everyone amongst the varied activities on offer. Jenny S. one of the joint Presidents thanked everyone for their hard work and support. Helen Mancy, our W.I. Advisor, led us through this year's Resolution to help raise awareness of mental health issues and we were all in favour, but gave the delegate discretion on the day. The Committee remains almost the same for the coming year but we have a new President. Anne S is willing to take on the role and our thanks go to the two Jennies who have been doing the job. Our June meeting saw Dorothy Entwhistle talk about The Wise Woman from the 17th Century. For our July 9 meeting we will have an activity evening as well as a Coffee Morning at Trinity Church on July 21. We meet every second Monday of the month at St. Luke's Church Centre in Fountain Street, Leek at 7.30pm. For further details visit: voted for one group meeting a year providing the speaker was suitable for a larger meeting and more than we can afford on a monthly basis. On to the Annual Meeting, we began with the financial report from Chris and the annual report from the committee from Karen. Both were proposed for adoption, passed and seconded. Then the resolution entitled "Mental Health matters" was outlined by Karen in depth, discussed and voted on. It was an easy decision to make but it was decided that discretion was given to our delegate, Carol Alcock, from Rudyard WI. Carol will represent us at the National meeting in Cardiff. Glenys thanked all the committee for their continued hard work in the smooth running of Rushton WI & the members for their support. New members are always welcome so do come along and join us for an evening. All members who had written a limerick for the competition read them out. One member whose name is easily rhymed was mentioned several times. Our June meeting focused on the Work of the Air Ambulance and had the competition of a Staffordshire/Derbyshire/Cheshire recipe for display. Our July 17 meeting at 7.15pm at Rushton Chapel will include 'Work of the Seaman's Mission' and a competition of a knitted hat for mission.

Leek Life July/Aug 2018 49


GENEROUS GRANDPARENTS The bank that likes to say ‘yes’ orget the Lamborghini – 2.4 million UK grandparents [1] have either raided their pension to support their grandchildren or plan to in the future. According to research from LV=, a quarter of generous grandparents (25%) who have already given away money to their grandchildren [2] have taken the funds from their pension. A further one in six (16%) plan to use their pension for this reason once they reach retirement age.


SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNTS Open-handed grandparents are willing to give away substantial amounts to their grandchildren, whether from their pensions, savings or wages, with the average grandparent having already spent £1,633. More than one in 20 (6%) have given gifts of more than £10,000. The generosity shows no sign of stopping, with many grandparents (56%) planning to give away even more money in future. The average grandparent expects to give away £2,938 in the coming years, with charitable grandmas expecting to give away £173 more than grandads on average.

LIVING INHERITANCE Pension savings are used to help with a wide range of things, from helping grandchildren get on the housing ladder (21%) and other highticket items like university fees (20%) or cars (17%). A similar number would help out with more day-to-day expenses such as bills (21%) and hobbies (19%). Grandparents often view the financial gifts they make as a ‘living inheritance’, with more than a third (37%) wanting to be around to see their grandchildren enjoy the money[3].

RETIREMENT FOCUS It’s heart-warming to see grandparents so willing to help out their grandchildren both day-to-day and with large ticket purchases. With one in five using their pension to help out, it’s important that these kind individuals plan for their retirement and have enough money left for themselves, as even smaller outgoings like bills can become harder to meet later in life, as well as the flexibility to access it. The generosity of grandparents in Britain is clear to see, and it is great that so many feel comfortable enough to be able to help out their family and plan to continue doing so. However, the average retirement is now much longer than for past generations, and people's lifestyle and associated costs are likely to change over this period.

GENEROUS, BUT ALSO ADAPTING TO YOUR CHANGING NEEDS The flow of financial support across the generations is a striking feature of the modern family. If you find yourself in this position and are approaching retirement, it’s important to structure your income in a way that offers you enough financial flexibility to enable you to remain generous, but also adapt to your changing needs. To look at the options available, please contact us on 01538 371288. Oliver Mellor Dip PFS, B.A (Hons) Brian Mellor Financial Services Ltd Tel: 01538 371288

Source data: [1] According to ONS Population Pyramid, there are 49,533,900 people aged over 18 in the UK. The research found that 39% of a sample of 2,002 adults were grandparents, indicating there are 19,318,221 grandparents in the UK. 56% of grandparents have helped or plan to help their grandchildren, and 22% of these would use their pension to do so. Therefore, 2.38 million grandparents have helped or plan to help their grandchildren, using their pension. [2] According to research carried out by Opinium Research on behalf of LV=, 25% of grandparents have already taken money from their pension to give to their grandchildren. [3] Statistics from research carried out on behalf of LV= by Opinium Research in June 2014 (total sample size = 2,043). The press release for this research was issued on 20 June 2014. The research was carried out by Opinium Research from 13–16 October 2015. The total sample size was 786 British grandparents over the age of 30, and the survey was conducted online. Results are weighted to a nationally representative criteria. Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change. tax treatment is based on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. although endeavours have been made to provide accurate and timely information, we cannot guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. no individual or company should act upon such information without receiving appropriate professional advice after a thorough review of their particular situation. we cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions.

50 Leek Life July/Aug 2018


Floral delight on latest trip to twin town

ine people from Leek recently visited our town's twin of Este in Italy during the Este in Fiori weekend. Chairman of the Leek Twinning Committee, Pam Wood, said: “As usual, we were made very welcome by our Italian friends and a full programme of visits and dinners was organised for us.” She added: “Four members of our group had never been to Este before and they were taken aback by the beauty of our twin town.” In addition to a packed weekend spent


enjoying the Flower Festival, visits to Venice, Padova and Verona were all organised by the Italian hosts. Mrs Wood added: “Massimo Giordano, who has special responsibility for Leek Twinning, pulled out all the stops to make sure that we all had a wonderful time.” Many trips have been made by residents from Este and Leek to each other's towns since the formation of the twinning more than 15 years ago. Anyone interested in getting involved with Leek Twinning can call Mrs Wood on 07545 447045.

• Divorce (including Same Sex Marriage and Farming Divorces) • Dissolution of Civil Partnerships • Court process (Children and Finances) • Pre and post nuptial agreements • Arrangements for children – advice for parents and grandparents

Worried about visiting a Solicitor? Don’t be! Call me for a 20 minute no obligation telephone consultation to identify the options available to you.

T: 01538 361697 M: 07974 645147 E: W: Leek Life July/Aug 2018 51



he Skoda Octavia has been announced as the best new car of 2018, according to a consumer vote for the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018. Skoda’s new cars proved to be a firm favourite with the public this year, also securing the title of ‘Best Family Car’ for the Skoda Superb. Runners up for ‘New Car of the Year’ were the BMW 1 Series and the Peugeot 3008. Unlike other car awards which rely on editorial judging panels, Auto Trader’s New Car Awards were decided by 43,000 real car owners. The 12 winners represent the consumer champions of the new car market, based on the honest opinions of those who have bought, driven and lived with their new vehicles. This is the second annual New Car Awards from Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace. Brand new categories for 2018 included ‘Best Car for Dogs Owners’ and ‘Best Value Brand’, reflecting Auto Trader’s focus on promoting what really matters to the everyday consumer. Consumers decided the winners based on lifestyle factors like


BARNFIELDS GARAGE LEEK LTD • Servicing & repairs • MOTs (Class 4 & 7) • Commercial vehicle repairs • Renault specialist • Diagnostics • Tyres at competitive prices • Vehicle recovery • Vehicle re-mapping


Authorised MOT Testing Station

pr No og w ra do Pe Ren mm ing C uge au ing key itr o lt, fo oe t & r n

Adrian Wilson Garage

Sunny Hills Road, Barnfields Industrial Estate, Leek, ST13 5RJ

52 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

adrian wilson


• Mobile repairs

01538 382 815

reliability, running costs, appearance and practicality. For dog owners, durability was key, while for families, space, comfort and safety were the key considerations. Consumers were also asked about their overall satisfaction with their cars and how likely they would be to recommend it to others. Erin Baker, Auto Trader’s Editorial Director, said: “For the second year running, we wanted to use our New Car Awards to put the power back in the hands of consumers – and to recognise the brands that are doing things right. The Auto Trader New Car Awards champion the aspects of driving and car ownership that really matter to drivers and that aren’t always obvious in the buying process – like reliability, safety, running costs and driving experience. “Our winners have the seal of approval from real owners, which we hope will make finding the right new car much simpler for car buyers. Congratulations to all our well-deserving winners for continuing to push the boundaries of innovation and offering car buyers fantastic choice to suit every budget.”

Salisbury Street, Leek, Staffordshire ST13 5EE Telephone: 01538 399255


AND THE WINNERS OF THE AUTO TRADER NEW CAR AWARDS 2018 ARE: • New Car of the Year: Skoda Octavia • Best Family Car: Skoda Superb • Best Car for City Driving: Ford Kuga • Best Value New Car: Kia Rio • Best Car for Long Distances: Hyundai Tucson • Most Fun Car to Drive: Mazda MX-5 • Brand with the Best Car Features: Nissan • Best Car Launched in the last year: Volvo XC60 • Best Value Brand: Dacia • Best Car for Dog Owners: Honda Civic • Most Reliable Brand: Lexus • Best Car for New Drivers: Kia Rio • Best Green Car: Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate

 " ! ""!"! ""!" "!  "!""   ! " !"! "! !" !"" "  "!  



If you’re looking for a new car or 4x4 then Rudyard Lake Garage should be your first stop. We can buy or part exchange your current vehicle and help you get into your new car quickly without hassle. We provide excellent after care and we can service and MOT your vehicle when required. We also offer an extensive diagnostic and repair service should your vehicle need that expert touch to get it running smoothly again. We also offer a Free Collection and Courtesy Car service. If you require any further info then please feel free to give us a call.

Telephone: 01538 306254 !"! "!! "!"!" !" !" "!


We service most cars & 4x4s from NEW, including CHRYSLER and JEEP using OE and Equivalent Quality Parts.


Petrol costs getting too high? Then consider LPG! With LPG fuel being roughly half that of petrol, the cost of an LPG CONVERSION can usually be recouped within 12 months (based on £45.00 per week avg. fuel spend). Prices start from £1,750 (inc. VAT @ 20%).

01538 399377

C.A.R. Burton Street,

Leek, Staffs, ST13 8BU

Leek Life July/Aug 2018 53


Volvo XC60 named UK Car of the Year

he Volvo XC60 has been crowned overall Car of the Year at the UK Car of the Year Awards 2018. This comes only a month after it was crowned Best Medium Crossover by the same judges. The UK Car of the Year Awards recognise the best new cars on sale in the UK. The awards are judged by 27 leading UK motoring journalists, who all write for influential titles such as The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Telegraph, Top Gear, Auto Express, CAR, Honest, Auto Trader and John Challen, Editor and Managing Director of the UK Car of the Year Awards, said: "The XC60 being crowned UK Car of the Year 2018 is very well deserved, at a time when crossovers are becoming increasingly popular. Having been runner-up in 2016 with the XC90, it's fantastic to see Volvo now claim the top spot with its smaller – but every bit as impressive – stablemate." The XC60 offers class-leading connectivity. Volvo's innovative nine-inch touch screen control system is fitted as standard across the range. The intuitive system means the car's important functions and apps are only a swipe or click away. Using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you can even access your phone's key functions such as calls, messages and music directly from the interface. UK Car of the Year judge Anthony ffrench-Constant agreed, commenting: "The Volvo takes it for the quality of its interior and infotainment." Fellow judge Ian Lynas praised the XC60 further, saying: "Amid a sea of crossovers, the


54 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

new Volvo XC60 has emerged a winner with its build quality, high level of technology and, above all, sheer driving joy." Volvo's semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system is available across the XC60 range. This technologically advanced safety system takes the strain out of long car journeys by assisting the driver with braking, steering and accelerating, while keeping the car a safe distance from any vehicle in front. This system indicates Volvo's clear steps towards fully autonomous cars. The XC60 also features many groundbreaking safety systems, including Steer Assist which helps with the steering to avoid potential collisions, and Oncoming Lane Mitigation which will steer you back into your lane should you inadvertently begin to drift out of it. Both systems are new to the mid-size SUV segment and highlight Volvo's forward-thinking approach to safety. Jon Wakefield, Managing Director of Volvo Car UK, said: "Winning both the overall UK Car of the Year and Best Medium Crossover awards is a fantastic accolade for Volvo. The awards reflect the desirability and sophistication of the XC60. "The XC60's elegant Scandinavian design, cutting-edge technology and luxurious equipment levels have proved a big hit with customers, continuing the XC60's success story in the UK." For more information on the Volvo XC60, and to use the online configurator, please go to


Leek Life July/Aug 2018 55


New Honda CR-V: more space, comfort, convenience and technology ince the launch of the original CR-V in 1995, the model has been a benchmark in the SUV sector for space efficiency. The allnew model, available in the European region later this year, builds on this heritage to deliver the most practical and comfortable CR-V yet. At the outset of the creation of the all-new CRV, Honda’s engineers heavily revised the vehicle’s platform. The wheels were repositioned further towards the corners of the car, increasing the length of the wheelbase by 40mm, and improving ground clearance by 40mm. This change to the wheelbase, alongside an increase in vehicle width of 35mm, has unlocked further space for occupants, while retaining the same overall length.


Better space for occupants Inside, this extra space has been put to good use. Front passengers benefit from a 5mm increase in headroom and 16mm more hip room. The tandem distance between front and rear passengers is further improved by 50mm, while a thinner fuel tank positioned ahead of the rear wheels benefits rear legroom by 50mm also. The opening angle of the CR-V’s rear doors has increased by 6 degrees, which, combined with the increases in occupancy space provide easy entry and exit for passengers, and improved access for the fitment of child seats. A further highlight is the new ‘wrap around’ lower door sill, minimising the likelihood of dirt on clothes during passenger exit.

Best in class rear cargo area and seven seats for the first time Petrol models of CR-V are available with the option of seven seats, in which all three seat rows have reclining seats, thus ensuring long-distance comfort for all passengers. Second-row seats slide back and forth by 150mm on the seven seater, to create a large entry aperture and a comfortable seating position in the back, even for adults. The third row seatbacks fold down and tumble forwards to provide a larger boot capacity when not required. Boot capacity is also class leading, with the biggest ever 56 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

loading bay ‘footprint’ in a CR-V. New singleaction ‘dive down’ 60:40 split-fold seatbacks, combined with a two stage adjustable cargo floor at the rear of the car, can enable faster, easier loading and a completely flat surface for larger items right through to the second row seats when the cargo floor is in the upper position. These improvements have created a load space with a maximum loading length of 1,830mm on the five seater (or 1800mm on the seven seater) – up a whole 250mm on the previous model CR-V, and big enough to accommodate a 19.5inch frame mountain bike. Another option for owners is to adjust the cargo floor into the lower position to provide a deeper rear boot space.

Convenience and technology features throughout The all-new CR-V benefits further from a host of convenience and technology features. Cabin occupants in the front and rear can make use of extra-large capacity door pockets, enabled by moving the speakers further up in the door panels. These are large enough to fit a full size tablet device. In the front, a new three-mode centre console adapts to a variety of requirements including a convenient tray for a smart phone, or a large capacity space big enough for a small handbag. Starting from Elegance trim, twin USB ports are available in the rear, providing charging points for phones, tablets and other personal electronic devices. Executive grades also benefit from a hands-free tailgate, complete with the ability to set opening height for use in confined spaces.


Leek Life July/Aug 2018 57



• Fully qualified & experienced tree surgeon • All aspects of tree & hedge work undertaken • Fully insured • Free advice & no obligation quotes • Chainsaw training & assessments Tel: 01538 421607 Mob: 07812 598909


ELECTRICAL SERVICES Block paving and groundwork specialists • Decorative paving • Natural stone • Flagging • Fencing • Kerbing • Wrought iron • Gates • Garden walls CALL DARREN ON: 01538 420371 or 07538 490259 •

Domestic & Commercial Cleaning Cleaning from £10 per hour Spring Clean from £35 (min 4 hrs) Deep Clean from £45 Start & End of Tenancy Cleaning Carpet Cleaning

T: 07974 247959

E: Free no obligation quotes

Leek Electrical • Professional, local, reliable, tidy • Part P approved • All work guaranteed & fully insured • No job too small • New 17th edition fuse box £300 inspected & tested • Domestic & commercial



Tel: 01538 387169 or 07875 464866

58 Leek Life July/Aug 2018

Alan Lewis Electrical Contractors All types of domestic work undertaken No job too small Free friendly advice and quotes

Please call 07811 176311

Domestic & commercial Friendly & reliable Covering Leek, Cheadle, Uttoxeter & surrounding areas


01538 307005


• City & Guilds approved • Installation & service The Nook, Butterton, Leek, Staffs, ST13 7SP

T: 01538 304518 M: 07841 708861

WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADVERTISE? Call Thomas Brian on 01538 752214 or 07855 242693, or email tom@times

FO U CO R SA M G T EA RE L AT EE ND NE K S SE W HO E O W FF ER S Barnfields Close, Leek, Staffs, ST13 5QG Tel 01538 384141 Fax 01538 372392

Leek Life July Aug 2018  
Leek Life July Aug 2018