Leek Life May June 2018

Page 1




National acts join wealth of local talent at jam-packed

Arts Festival Additional what’s on section inside

Party in the Park Carnival set to join popular celebration



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Editor’s letter .......................................6 Leek Arts Festival ................................8 Party in the Park 2018 .......................10 Leek Markets......................................12 Staffordshire County Show ................14 Lasar Radio ........................................16 Scooterfest ..........................................17 Stage Directions .................................18 Campaign for Real Ale .......................19 Leek Town Crier.................................19 What’s On ..........................................20 Haregate in Action.............................24 Leek Town Mayor ..............................24 Endon Well Dressing .........................25 Girl Guides .........................................25 Leek Rotary Club ...............................26


Local Theatre Groups ........................27 Property .............................................28 Gardening ..........................................30 Grow Moorlands ................................31 Great Gear Store ................................32 Quiz Corner........................................33 Local Film-maker ..............................34 Health and Fitness.............................37 Swimming Achievements ..................38 Reflections Coaching .........................39 Leek Trefoil Guild..............................40 Dear Chocolate Soldier ......................41 Lions Club of Leek .............................42 The Beatrice Charity ..........................43 Our Tintin’s Journey .........................44 Meadows School ................................44 Leek Life from the Past......................45 The Women’s Institute ......................46 Financial Matters ..............................48 Great Get Together ............................49 Motoring ............................................50 Classified............................................54

From the top of St Edward’s Church to the waters of the Caldon Canal Belinda Hargreaves Contents Editor life@timesandecho.co.uk Sophie Cotton Tracey Redfern Design & Production Thomas Brian General Manager tom@timesandecho.co.uk Mobile: 07855 242693 Jane Walters Advertising Sales jane@timesandecho.co.uk Times, Echo & Life Publications 18 Tape Street, Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent ST10 1BD Tel: 01538 752214 www.timesechoandlife.co.uk life@timesandecho.co.uk

Did you know that you can read Leek Life online? Visit timesechoandlife.co.uk Find us on Facebook search for Leek Life Magazine 6 Leek Life May/June 2018

o you ever wander down Derby Street and look above the shop frontages to take in all the various architecture we have in our lovely town? I often do and recently I had the opportunity to take a birds eye view of our town's extensive architecture – after climbing the 77 steps up to the top of St Edward's Church tower. I was primarily in attendance to capture pictures of our Town Mayor bravely abseiling down the tower all in aid of charity – and at the age of 70! However, I also took the opportunity to take in our lovely town at a slightly elevated view than normal – and, of course, there were also wonderful views of our surrounding countryside too, including the glorious Roaches. Coming back down to ground level, I have also, for this edition of Leek Life; visited the Caldon Canal to go on board the narrow boat of the 40-year-old Beatrice Charity; popped along to one of Haregate In Action's bingo evenings to get a picture of their latest donations to good causes; and I have also attended the launch of a new internet radio station for our area, to name but a few outings! It's always great to get out and about to gather content for the Leek Life Magazine. And there's certainly many events for us all to choose from to get out and about during May and June as the calendar for our town is jam packed full – so much so, that we have struggled to get everything in our What's On section and have run an additional special Leek Arts Festival What's On as there's nearly 40 events in that programme alone! Most of the events in our town are organised and run by volunteers who plough so much time and energy in to providing these much-needed community entertainments. And there's one local chap, who we also feature in this edition, who has filmed many of our area's events over more than seven decades – he is, of course, the very inspirational gentleman Gerald Mee. I hope you enjoy reading this packed edition of the Leek Life Magazine.


Until next time – take care!


Front cover photo by Brett Trafford Photography www.bretttrafford.com


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town's annual celebration of arts and culture is set to include some big names alongside a wealth of local talent. The Leek Arts Festival, which got underway in April, has already seen stand-up star Tom Allen performing his witty and disparaging one-man show ‘Absolutely’ at the Foxlowe Arts Centre, and another top act for


this year's festival, Scottish songstress Barbara Dickson, will be making a welcome return to the same stage on May 10. Other key names in the 2018 Festival programme, which contains nearly 40 events, is the ever popular Fairport Convention; TRADarrr; Climax Blues Band; and local favourites Demon whose 2018

appearance at Leek Arts Festival will mark the 35th anniversary of the release of their ground-breaking album The Unexpected Guest. Festival favourites the Birmingham Conservatoire Folk Ensemble will pack the Foxlowe stage again this year while other names in the programme include singersongwriter Aerynn whose

ew to this year’s Leek Arts Festival will be a performance by TRADarrr – seven hugely talented musicians playing a bewildering range of instruments and giving a new ‘edge’ to the folk-rock tradition. Headed by P J Wright, whose career has ranged from playing guitar alongside Bobby Vee, Del Shannon, The Coasters and Millie Jackson to membership of Ashley Hutchings' Morris On Band and Little Johnny England.; the line-up also includes Mark Stevens, drummer with Little Johnny England who has worked with artists as diverse as Kid Creole, Steps and Annie Lennox; Marion Fleetwood, who has played with Peter Knight's Gigspanner and the Phil Beer Band; and Guy Fletcher, from Feast of Fiddles, Little Johnny England, Morris On, Tickled Pink... the list goes on. TRADarr will be on stage at the Foxlowe Arts Centre on Saturday May 5. Tickets cost £20 and are available at the venue and online at www.leekartsfestival.org.


8 Leek Life May/June 2018


EALTH OF LOCAL TALENT ‘corroded-folk’ has won her fans across the world; and topnotch Steely Dan tribute band Nearly Dan. Festival spokesman Phil Edmeades said: “Alongside the big names there will be lots of local artists taking part including Leek Choral Society, the Phoenix Singers, Moorlands Voices and Wetley Rocks Male Voice Choir. “Then there’s a full range of other events including the Staffordshire Moorlands Open Art Exhibition, a chance to visit artists at work in their own studios, a country and western weekend, comedy club evenings, poetry, a free folk day and even some Morris dancing.

“We’ve tried to include as wide a mix of events as we possible can and we now just want people to get out, buy some tickets and turn up to enjoy themselves. “In total we’ve got 38 events which started at the end of April and will run through to early June so there’s plenty of choice and no one can claim

that there isn’t anything to do in Leek.” For a full list of this year's festival programme see our special Leek Arts Festival What's On Guide in our What's On pages. For further details and to purchase tickets for the festival's principal gigs, visit www.leekartsfestival.co.uk.

Leek Life May/June 2018 9


Carnival returns to town cen amilies are set to make a splash at an annual event in a town's main park this summer. Leek's Party in the Park will take place on Sunday June 17 and will, this year, incorporate the Leek and Moorlands Carnival parade. The Party in the Park, which is organised by Leek Town Council Event Committee, will once again include a giant water-slide down one side of the park's valley, along with live music on the bandstand. The carnival has, in recent


10 Leek Life May/June 2018

years, only paraded through the Haregate area of Leek but the event's organisers are now working with Leek Town Council to bring the parade back into Leek town centre and the crowning of the new carnival queen will take place in Brough Park. Celia Oakden, chairman of the Leek & Moorlands Carnival who has been making the carnival queen and retinue dresses for the last 30 years, said: “We are so encouraged and excited to be able to bring back the parade to the streets of Leek.


entre as part of annual event “We hope the people of Leek will turn out to support this event and hopefully organisations, companies and groups will enter into the carnival spirit by entering floats, decorated cars/trailers and walking groups.” The main Party in the Park event in Brough Park will run from 11am until 5pm, while the carnival parade will start at 12.30pm from the Ball Haye Green Recreational Grounds and be led by the 5th Leek Scout & Guide Band. The crowning of the new Leek & Moorlands Carnival Queen Chloe Dale, and other Leek Royalty girls, will take place in Brough Park at 2pm. Other entertainment at this year's Party in the Park will include the Buxton Billerettes, John Collins Fun Fair, free face painting, and a variety of artisan and community stalls. A licensed bar will also be available along with a hog roast and ice-creams. Chairman of the Leek Town Council Events Committee, councillor Roy Tomkinson, said: “We are very happy that the carnival is joining in on our Party in the Park this year. “We are hoping the family extravaganza is going to be another great success for everyone to enjoy.” There will be a prize for the Best Dressed Float, with judging taking place at the beginning of the parade. Anyone wishing to have a float in the carnival parade can call Leek Town Clerk Julie Taylor on 01538 381271 or email office@leektowncouncil. gov.uk. For any carnival related enquiries, email leekcarnival@gmail.com Leek Life May/June 2018 11



eek Markets have been at the heart of the towns shopping experience since the first Royal Market charter was issued by King John granting Ranulph de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester, the right to hold a weekly Wednesday market and an annual seven-day fair in Leek in 1207. Fast forward 811 years to 2018 and the town’s markets are still thriving. Staffordshire Moorlands District Councillor Edwin Wain, cabinet member for planning, development and property, said: “It is very pleasing to see the continuing growth of Leek’s indoor and outdoor markets. With the councils’ increased investment in the town’s markets we are looking forward to a bright future for the markets as contributors to the town’s economy and vibrancy.” May 19th will see Leek markets celebrating the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with the new Leek Farmers’ Market hosting some of the finest local food and craft makers in Leek Market Place alongside the Collectors and Vintage Market, live music and more. The day will also see the launch of the new Leek markets branding celebrating the history and heritage of Leek’s Victorian market halls. As part of the council’s investment in the future of the markets, shoppers on the day can grab themselves one of a limited number of Leek Market shopping bags featuring the new markets logo and the new Indoor markets loyalty card will


12 Leek Life May/June 2018

be launched on the day as well. Every purchase over £5 in the Buttermarket on Wednesday, Friday or Saturday and The Trestle market on Wednesday and Saturday qualifies for a stamp; collect nine stamps to enter the monthly draw to win £50 of Indoor Market vouchers. As May 17th to 31st is also 'Love Your Local Markets Fortnight' all purchases over £5 in the indoor markets will qualify for double stamps during this period. In this age of corporatism, markets are refreshingly original, whether you’re shopping at the Wednesday Charter Market, the monthly Farmers’ Market or the indoor markets in the Butter and Trestle markets; you’re often dealing with the business owner themselves, they know all about what you’re purchasing, offering that personal touch that big chain stores and supermarkets just can’t touch. And what a range of products there are – take a wander through the indoor stalls for example; on Wednesday’s there’s the traditional indoor Trestle Market and Buttermarket with a plethora of over 40 stalls with all of your daily essentials and treats including fresh food from the butchers, farm shops, fishmonger, greengrocer, ladies fashions and handbags, haberdashery, home interiors and lifestyle, books, collectables and more, complimented by the outdoor Charter Market with another 30 stalls throughout the town centre.


OYAL OCCASION’ SINCE 1207 Friday’s see the traditional indoor Buttermarket open with Archer Fairs Vintage, Collectors and Craft market in the Trestle Market and Saturday the Buttermarket and Trestle market are open with Archer Fairs popular

Collectors market in Leek Market Place. So next time you’re in town on a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday, why not make a visit to Leek’s markets and see what you can find, you may be pleasantly surprised!

Leek Life May/June 2018 13


Lots of agricultural fun for all the family

housands of families across Staffordshire are set to visit an annual county show this summer. Organisers of Staffordshire County Show said that the two-day half term event on May 30 and 31 is the perfect opportunity for a day out for all members of the family. This year's show programme is, once again, packed with attractions for children of all ages from youngsters who will enjoy the mud kitchen in the Woodfest area to teenagers who will be ringside for the revving engines of the JCB Dancing Diggers. Meanwhile the next generation of farmers will be inspired by the first class entries in livestock competitions across the showground and enjoy everything at the heart of the traditional agricultural show. The extravaganza, which takes place at the County Showground on Weston Road in Stafford, is one of the area’s major events on the calendar and is expected to attract more than 65,000 visitors. A huge part of its appeal is the large number of activities on offer across the extensive showground. Richard Williams, Chief Executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, said: “We know people plan ahead when it comes to days off and childcare during half term holidays so we want people to put the date in the diary now so they don’t miss out. “With it being a two day event it gives people the choice and we see many families return for


14 Leek Life May/June 2018

the second day “From babies still in pushchairs to grandparents and great-grandparents there is no doubt our fantastic show has something for everyone. It really is a family occasion enjoyed by all - it is where memories are made and talked about for many years. “For one fantastic ticket price the whole family gets to enjoy so many shows within one show - whatever their interest they are sure to have a wonderful time.” Holly Hobson, Show Secretary, said trade stand applications were coming in extremely well and urged anyone who wanted a trade stand pitch to showcase their services or product to more than 65,000 people to email holly@staffscountyshowground.co.uk or call 01785 258060. For more information about the show, and to book tickets for the event, visit the website www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk


Community focus for new radio station

new internet based radio station for Leek and the surrounding areas has been launched. LASAR (Leek and surrounding areas radio) went live on April 1 and the following day, Leek Town Mayor Brian Johnson carried out the official launch by cutting a ribbon at the doors of the new station which is based on the top floor of Bank House in St Edward Street in Leek. LASAR has a number of familiar local radio presenter faces on board including Dave Fuller,


16 Leek Life May/June 2018

Gary Shenton and founder member John Barratt, to name but a few. Chairman of LASAR Dave Kelsall said: “Things began for LASAR Radio back in November 2016 and we started transmitting on January 1, 2017. “We formed a community interest company in October last year which opened doors for funding which we were successful in getting from the National Lottery.” The funding of £9,700 has helped the LASAR Radio team to pay for the equipment to set up a studio and also help towards premises rent. Dave added: “We are looking for people to further sponsor us and/advertise with us. “The main focus of our station is to promote charity and community enhancing events. Plus we all believe that music is sole enhancing and therapeutic and we aim to cover all genres of music.” The LASAR Radio team currently consists of 14 volunteers but the team are happy to welcome any additional media-minded folk on board. The station already has quite a following including as far as Canada, Japan and Australia. Leek Town Mayor Brian Johnson said at the official opening: “I wish everyone at LASAR Radio good luck.” To listen to the new station visit www.lasarradio.co.uk.


Gearing up for scooter extravaganza housands of scooter enthusiasts are gearing up to visit the Staffordshire Moorlands this Spring. The North Staffs Jesters Scooter Club's 'Scooterfest 14' will be taking place in Leek on Sunday May 20. As in previous years, the main event will take place in the Silk Street Car Park area with further displays of the thousands of scooters overflowing into the rest of the town centre. Wendy Potts, a member of the Jesters Club, explained: “Scooterfest started in 2005 on an idea put forward by the late Stephen Povey after a success at the local carnival. “That year it attracted over 400 scooters and enthusiasts. Last year it is believed that Leek played host to an excess of over 2,000 scooters – it's certainly a sight not to be missed.” Wendy added that the event is held not only for the scooterists but as an entertaining day for local residents. She added: “As the main town centre will (we hope) be covered in scooters, car parking is available in High Street, Stockwell Street, Brook Street, and Haywood Street, which are all free on Sundays.” Running from 11am until 3pm, this year's Scooterfest is set to include numerous stalls indoors and out selling not only scooter parts and memorabilia, but CDs, vintage and modern clothing. Food will be available from a hog roast and burgers to ice creams; and Jesters Scooter Club will have a general information stall in the Trestle Market where souvenir patches and badges can be purchased along with raffle tickets. Wendy said: “The Ridden Custom Show is becoming more popular, and the Jesters offer 'one-off' designed and custom made trophies for


the winners with the judging taking place at around 1pm. “Musical entertainment is this year provided by '45 Sound' as they were very popular at last years event. They will be on stage at around midday and music will also be provided throughout the day by Mike Coburn from Moorlands Radio, popular DJ from Soul Sanctuary on Tuesday nights.” Scooterfest is a free event. All the Jesters ask is that everyone attending purchases a raffle ticket (which involves cash prizes) and/or make a donation, so that the event can continue each year and some is donated to charity. Jesters Scooter Club made charitable donations during 2017 to Waterhouses School defibrillator fund for the swimming pool, 2nd Leek Scouts 100 year celebration exhibition, and the Assert charity for people suffering from Angelman Syndrome. For further information about Scooterfest and/or the North Staffs Jesters Scooter Club call Steph on 07817 429616, or check out the Jesters facebook page.

Leek Life May/June 2018 17

Stage directions

by Richard Lane

A KILLER TRIBUTE TO QUEEN! WIN TICKETS FOR BUXTON OPERA HOUSE iller Queen the ultimate Queen tribute act has been thrilling sell-out audiences across the globe since they formed in 1993. Their extraordinary energy and accurate portrayal of the world’s greatest live band have rightfully earned Killer Queen the title of Queen tribute royalty. Following in the footsteps of the real Queen, their first public shows were at London University. Going from strength to strength, by 1995 Killer Queen not only secured a residency in London’s Strand Theatre but also attracted BBC coverage. Fronted by Patrick Myers as Freddie Mercury, Time Out described Patrick’s resemblance to Freddie Mercury as "Spooky,” his uncanny likeness was further proven when he recorded a number one hit single singing as Freddie Mercury on Fat Boy Slim's record The Real Life! This quality, combined with a powerful 3 1/2 octave tenor range, expert musicianship and dynamic stage presence has captivated audiences the world over. Killer Queen is here Friday 8 June at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £25 and discounts are available. To buy tickets contact Buxton Opera House Box Office, Tel: 01298 72190 or visit www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk




b. Brian May

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(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: 6th June 2018. 18 Leek Life May/June 2018


Scenic walks to the pub

new book is to be published this summer which highlights many scenic walks around the Staffordshire Moorlands. The third edition of Peak District Pub Walks has been written by Bob Steel and is being published by Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). The 25 routes in the pocket-sized book combine stunning landscape, fascinating industrial heritage and some of the best real-ale pubs in the region. Detailed route maps and inspiring photographs enhance the text throughout and useful information such as travel and pub details and timing tips are also given. Some of the routes covered in the book within the Staffordshire Moorlands include Churnet, Longnor, and Leek to Meerbrook, to name but a few. Bob, a geographer by profession


who has been a teacher for much of his life, is author of five other titles in CAMRA’s Pub Walks series and has written many magazine and newspaper articles. Apart from having a lifelong interest in good beer and good architecture, Bob is a keen walker, cyclist and organic gardener. Peak District Pub Walks has the RRP of £12.99 but can be preordered for £9.99 at https://shop.camra.org.uk/book s/peak-district-pub-walks-new-3rdedition.html Meanwhile, in other CAMRA news, the Quiet Woman in Leek has been crowned as the Pub of the Season for Spring in the Staffordshire Moorlands. The St Edward Street pub reopened last summer after a full refurbishment by it's new owners Lymestone Brewery.

Special cry for Leek Life readers

Oyez, Oyez! All ye who are reading this Leek Life mag, remember ye all that this town is special with a joyful welcome to our visitors and home folk. Summer is fighting hard to push the remnants of winter out of the way, your town crier hopes that you all have a wonderful summer in joy that yee will all partake in the Life of Leek.

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Leek Life May/June 2018 19

ek & What’s on in Le as in surrounding arene May and Ju

Already on.... • Beyond the Mirror Exhibition At New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme. With creations by Leek artist Erica Brook. Runn ing until May 5. • Open Art 2018 Exhibition at Nicholson Institute, Stockwell Street, Leek. Runn ing until May 12. • Tactile Tectonics Exhibition at the Foxlo we Arts Centre. Running until May 12.

5 Saturday May the area of tern Weekend In es W & try • Coun between re nt ce Leek town Sparrow Park in . ay With live m. Also on Sund midday and 6p ee event. Fr g. in line-danc music acts and pm at -4 istory Day 11am • Hartington H aking M se ee Ch . all ge H Hartington Villa h Time ug ro Th Hartington Exhibition and Exhibition. e Dyers Arms, Night 6pm at Th • Peaky Blinders e night. em th s . Fancy dres Mill Street, Leek . 31 3822 Details: 01538

Sunday May 6 • Volunteer Work Party 10am-1pm at Swineholes Wood, near Ipstones. Sapling pulling and dry stone walling with the Leek Group of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. Details: 01538 300264 • Art Day 1pm-3pm at The Quiet Woman, St Edward Street, Leek. Meet award-winning local artist David Hunt. Details: 01538 39847 7.

Thursday May 10 • Art Evening 7p m at The Quiet Woman, St Edward Street , Leek. Meet ar tist Ian R Pearsall. Details : 01538 398477 .

Friday May 11 • Dan's Dancing Devils 7.30pm at Longsdon Memorial Hall, near Leek. With Clare Thomas. Admission £5. Details: 07923 203346.

Saturday May 12 • Volunteer Wor k Party 10am-1 pm at Rod Wood, near Ch eddleton. Heath land restoratio with the Leek Gr n oup of Stafford shire Wildlife Trust. Details: 01538 385009 .

20 Leek Life May/June 2018

, St ay 13 iet Woman Sunday M At The Qu meet the rt d A p an U n io • Trent Pop , Leek. Mini exhibit reet Edward St 398477. ailway. ails: 01538 et Valley R artists. Det ay At Churn .co.uk D s in ra T • Toys and lleyrailway w.churnetva rough Park, Details: ww oncert 2pm-4pm in B t C d F . an d ree even • Bandst Youth Ban 's n to n oy k. P Brough Par Leek. With e Friends of hosted by th Monday May 14 es, • Wildlings 10.30am-midday at the Roach near Leek. Nature-based activities for 6 months to five-year-olds and their parents/carers. Free event but booking essential. Also on Monday May 21. Details: www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk.

Wednesday May 16 • Foxlowe Talk 7.30pm at the Foxlowe Arts Centre. The Biggest Aspidis tra in the World by Phil Brough. Free admissi on.

Friday May 18 Style 7pm at • Clothing Sale with Secret b, Cheddleton. Ashcombe Park Cricket Clu al Committee niv Car eton ddl Che by Hosted Free . UK ch ear in aid of Cancer Res on. issi adm

9 door and y May 1 t Leek's in al A n o Saturda si a the Roy oyal Occ h • Right R rkets. Celebrating arket wit ma armer's M aft makers. F outdoor w e n a with nd cr Wedding finest local food a oxlowe Arts e eF th f th o t a e m m p so -2 hare 11am • Plant S Railway. . et Valley rn u h Centre C t eekend A • Sci-fi W day. Details: un o.uk S n o Also yrailway.c za 1.30am-5pm rnetvalle an g a v a tr x www.chu Details: ry AutoE ta n Green. o o R rt k o e e N , •L rm a F ll y Ha at Heakle clubleek.org.uk. Bash 5pm es, ry ta o .r w w Birthday w ag st th 7 o 's w n T o . uati s Centre rt A • The Sit e w lo e Fox 11pm at th Admission £6. s. d n a b e nin

Sunday May 20 • Scooter-Fest 11am onward s in Silk Street Car Park and the rest of Leek tow n centre. With live music, thousands of scooter s, large market and more. Free event. Details: 07817 429616.

Friday May 25 an. Also on The Winking M • Rock Night At : . Details Friday June 29 an.co.uk. www.winkingm

26 day and ay May o on Sun of fun Saturd ell Dressing Als ts o L . n W f Endo • Endon village o 'Endon Well e th in y : Monda . Details e family for all th n Facebook. pm at St 'o Dressing rch Event 1pm-5 erton. Also on tt u u h B C on rch in • Open ew's Chu osted by Buttert one m lo o h rt d H . h Ba m rc p a e -4 s 11am ing all re s a c w Sunday: . o h d more Group s onths an History ious 12 m v re p e in th

Sunday May 27 • Classic Car Day At Churnet Valley Railway. Details: www.churnetvalleyrailway.co.uk

y 28 Bank Holiday Monday Ma Roaches, the at day mid m 10a y • Wildpla s for eight to vitie acti ed bas near Leek. Naturebooking but t even e Fre . olds ear13-y Discover at 1pmessential. Plus Wildfamilies to seven year four at 3pm same venue. Aimed www.staffs: ails Det . ilies fam r thei olds and wildlife.org.uk.

Tuesday May 29 • Half Term Film 2pm at the Foxlo we Arts Centre. With Pa ddington 2 (PG) . Admission £2 . 1 Friday June der Festival At es Gala and Ci • Anything Go ing until y Railway. Runn Churnet Valle : Sunday. Details .uk alleyrailway.co www.churnetv

Saturday June 2 • Hartington Music and Bee r Festival Midday-11pm at YHA Har tington Hall, Hartington. Details: harting ton@yha.org.u


Sunday June 3 • Volunteer Work Party 10am-1pm at Swineholes Wood, near Ipstones. Dry stone walling and bracken pul ling with the Leek Group of Staffordshire Wil dlife Trust. Details: 01538 300264.

Monday June 4 • Wildlings 10.30am-midda y at Gradbach Mill, near Leek. Nature-based activities for 6 months to five-year-olds and the ir parents/carers. Free event but booking essent ial. Also on Monday June 18. Plus at the Roache s on Monday June 11 and June 25. Details: ww w.staffswildlife.org.uk.

Saturday June 9 Rod Party 10am-1pm at • Volunteer Work en ack Br . ton dle ed ar Ch Wood, Basford, ne of Staffordshire p ou Gr ek Le the clearing with . tails: 01538 385509 Wildlife Trust. De

Sunday June 10 • Bandstand Concert 2pm-4pm in Brou gh Park, Leek. With Bill Bailey Tradition, Jazz. Free event hosted by the Friends of Brough Park.

14 Thursday June Armistice and Soldiers - An • Songs, Scenes t School, rs Fi d oo tw es at W Tribute 7.30pm iday. A show Fr on so , Leek. Al Westwood Road re Stage nt l Theatre and Ce by Leek Musica ars since the ye 0 10 e at mmemor Post Office. Company to co ek Le m . Tickets fro First World War

Sunday June 17 • Father's Day Special At Churnet Valley Railw ay. Details: www.churnetvalleyrailway.co.uk • Party in the Park + Leek Carnival 11am-5pm in Brough Park, Leek. With a giant water slide, live music and more. Plus Leek & Moorlands Carnival starting at Ball Haye Green Recreational Grounds at 12.30pm, going throug h town to Brough Park. Details: 01538 381271.

Thursday Ju ne 21 • Double Sunset Meet at 8.15pm at Chrome Hill and/or at 9.15pm at Lowe Hill, near Leek A guided event . with Jeff Kent. Cost: £2 per adult for one ev ent or £3 for bo th events. Free for children. De tails: www.witancre ations.com/dou ble-sunset. Friday June 22 r 7.30pm start open at 7pm fo • Notflix Doors e-star show Arts Centre. A fiv at the Foxlowe £12/£10. s: et ck Ti h Fringe. from Edinburg

Leek Life May/June 2018 21

Saturday Ju ne 23 • Dining on the Railway 7pm at Chur Valley Railw net ay, Cheddlet on Station. H by Cheddlet osted on Carnival Committee in Cancer Resea aid of rch UK. £40 a ticket. • Social Dan ce 8pm at Sw ythemanley Heaton Cent and re. With Eric Reid. Licens £5.50 admis ed bar. sion which in clud refreshments . Details: 0126 es 0 227681. • Ashcombu ry Music Fest ival Midday at Ashcombe – 11pm Cricket Club , Cheddleton Tickets: www . .seetickets.c om

24 Sunday June .30pm at The ther Midday-10 • Great Get Toge d picnic day ntre. A music an Foxlowe Arts Ce sted by Peace ho x, Co e late Jo in memory of th 9492. 52 5 Details: 0780 Through Folk.

Looking ahea d.... • Dr Plot's Lesser Known Leek Su nday July 1 in Leek town ce ntre. • Yewstock At Ye w Tree in Cauldo n Lowe July 20-22 • Leek District Sh ow Saturday July 28. www.leekshow.or g.uk • Cheddleton Ca rnival Saturday August 11 • Action West En d Family Fun Da y In Leek on Saturday Sept ember 1. 07941 806986 • The Folk Gath ering In Alstone field from September 14 to 16. www.thefolkgath ering.org PLEASE NOTE : All above even ts are subject to change . Please check wi th venue's website and/or telephone numbe r for definitive details .

5: an (15), June ntastic Wom Fa A ds : ar 29 bo (15), May hree Bill ), June 12: T 19: The Post (12A Missouri (15) tbc, June , se ou g, ape of H in k Sh rs bb an E he la B T u e : ps Reg outsid c, June 26 tb ces Worksho k ) oi or G V (P hw d r tc an ou rl Pa • Borde £5. Darkest H Monday: reet. Every c. Admission Nicholson War sday: . Every Tue ater (PG) tb St Edward St he W pm T 30 at 2. e -1 iv pm .30am 1pm-3 . Creat ay of the Group – 10 am-12.30pm • Free Tours ry first Sund A ting – 10.30 l, Leek. Eve 528708. ia d Saturday. or ir 38 th 15 em Creative Wri y 0 M . er pm-1pm ev pm-3.30pm tside 11 30 ou 1. d us – Pl an . e th de ac Sp mon org.uk ur insi , rlandvoices. ute guided to n as 'The rough Park www.borde free 30 min locally know is s Event at B es ch tn hi Fi w d e 5K an ur s into both ct t er ru gh st nn si e gi in th • Couch to be g of r way turday. For a fascinatin ei Sa et th ek G ry n t' Le ve ru e en E . th or Leek k, jog Monum r impact on l ages to wal e from ars and thei or os W 71 ho ld 12 C or athletes of al 38 s. W es 38 £3. alth and fitn Details: 015 . Annual fee: to better he Community. orial.org.uk , 3.6k and 5k ssion at 6pm. em 2k m 2. , on ls 5k e Hare & 1. ho , 800m ning se www.nic h Bingo at th nesdays: trai ng Club' page on sdays in Action Cas ue e T at on eg ar pm Plus on Wed ni H • h Park Run down at 8.30 ug s ro ye E 'B : b. ls ai pu Det Gate ys. The ek Library, Facebook. and Thursda onwards at 1.45am at Le . For -1 m 5a .4 10 rs Hub 2pm b ay . Free ke lu or rd ek C tu ft Le ew , ra Sa et C om • •H P , Leek. Every Edward Stre 50 et . St re , up . St an n l 77 el om ow 84 Stockw with gr Quiet W 01538 39 ars and over ifi. Details: y W er d ev an pm ee 0 ff ages three ye .3 co ft t Sale 8am-1 Road, ro oo dc on B . ti oo ar nc ild W C e Ju ch at f per • Larg Market, of ost am-midday e C tl 10 e. ails: at ol C m et ti e ho D th Sc s. rm • Forest during te Sunday at oor pitche Every week or and outd ren. For e. do ild ac in ch h e Sp it re n w th pe ek O to Le or £10 for up Details: 07801 7 ent 10.30am £6 per child 07967 10029 ay Supplem upwards. nd d Su an an s th lly ld e ca -o two-year . With mor • Totally Lo 45pm town centre ry first pm in Leek at 7pm for 7. d food. Eve 655272. 30 en an 3. op ts af rs e cr oo l di D ca au s lo M lm 1: ng Fi lli e ay se M • Foxlow 70 stalls s Centre. Foxlowe Art (15), 15: e month. start at the Your Name Sunday of th y B e M r l ve al ri C D 8: y ay ab B M : ), (12A , May 22 Project (15) The Florida

22 Leek Life May/June 2018

Leek Arts Festival What’s On Wednesday May 2 m) at • THE LEMON TREE (Fil pm. 7.30 at tre Cen s Art e Foxlow d foo n nia esti Pal Bar open and nt. served from 6pm. Free eve

Thursday May 3 CLUB • FUNHOUSE COMEDY ets at Foxlowe Arts Centre. Tick for pm 7.30 n ope rs £10. Doo 8.30pm start.

Saturday May 5 s • TRADarrr at Foxlowe Art rs open Centre. Tickets £20. Doo 7.30pm for 8pm start. Pick up • LEEK OPEN STUDIOS Arts a map from the Foxlowe event. Centre. 10am-4pm. Free NO PIA D AN SSL CRO L • JIL RECITAL at St Edward’s e Church, Leek. 7.30pm. Fre event. • COUNTRY & WESTERN k, WEEKEND in Sparrow Par o on Leek. Midday to 6pm. Als Sunday May 6. Free event. The • WELL TRAVELLED at Free Cock Inn, Leek. 9.30pm. event.

. Foxlowe Arts Centre. 8pm Tickets £5 from venue. Y at St • LEEK CHORAL SOCIET pm. 7.30 k. Lee , rch Chu ’s ard Edw Tickets £9. • WETLEY ROCKS MALE VOICE CHOIR WITH ity REBECCA DONE at Trin ets Church, Leek. 7.30pm. Tick t £7 available from Leek Pos Office.

Sunday May 6 St • FESTIVAL SERVICE at . 0pm 6.3 . rch Chu ’s ard Edw

Monday May 7 Saints • SACRED SENSES at All g nin Run n. pto Church, Com m to until Saturday May 12. 10a nt. eve e Fre . 4pm

Wednesday May 9 E • LEEK FLORAL ART – TH at St BIRD FROM PARADISE Edward’s CE Academy, pm. Westwood Road, Leek. 7.30 r. £10 on doo Thursday May 10 • BARBARA DICKSON at ets Foxlowe Arts Centre. Tick for pm 7.30 n ope rs Doo . £25 8pm start.

Saturday May 12 Arts • FOLK DAY at Foxlowe Free Centre. 12.30pm – 5pm. event. • EVENING CEILIDH at

ance Centre. Tickets £14 in adv n ope rs Doo r). doo on 6 (£1 7.30pm for 8pm start.

Thursday May 31 DIER • DEAR CHOCOLATE SOL ets Tick tre. Cen s Art at Foxlowe for £12/£10. Doors open 7pm 7.30pm start.

Sunday May 13 SHOP • LEEK MORRIS WORK Clerk ool, Sch ar mm Gra at Old noon. Bank, Leek. 10.30am to 12 Free event.

Wednesday May 16 at St • DANIEL THE PROPHET pm. Edward’s Church, Leek. 7.30 nt. eve Free Thursday May 17 N at • FAIRPORT CONVENTIO ets Tick tre. Cen s Art e low Fox for £25. Doors open 7.30pm 8pm start.

Friday June 1 • THE PEAK DISTRICT BIG tre. BAND at Foxlowe Arts Cen Tickets £7.50. 8pm.

Saturday June 2 s • DEMON at Foxlowe Art rs open Centre. Tickets £15. Doo 8pm for 8.30pm start. Tuesday June 5 CLUB • FUNHOUSE COMEDY ets Tick tre. Cen s Art e low Fox at for pm 7.30 at n ope rs £10. Doo 8.30pm start.

Friday May 18 s • AERYNN at Foxlowe Art open Centre. Tickets £7. Doors 8pm for 8.30pm start. Saturday May 19 A • LOVE IN SPRINGTIME YAL RO E TH NOD TO rch. WEDDING at Trinity Chu With Moorlands Voices and pm. guests. Tickets £10. 7.30 Thursday May 24 • BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATOIRE FOLK s ENSEMBLE at Foxlowe Art rs open Centre. Tickets £15. Doo 8pm for 8.30pm start. CANA • LEEK BLUES & AMERI The ACOUSTIC SESSION at Free Cock Inn, Leek. 8.30pm. event. Friday May 25 at • CLIMAX BLUES BAND ets Foxlowe Arts Centre. Tick £15. Doors open 8pm for 8.30pm start.


Saturday May 26 e Arts • NEARLY DAN at Foxlow

Friday June 8 lowe • AARON CALVERT at Fox 0. Arts Centre. Tickets £12/£1 . pm 7.15 rs Doo Saturday June 9 S– • THE PHOENIX SINGER S PER VES I RD EVE NT THE MO rch, OF 1610 at All Saints Chu k Leek. Tickets £15 from Lee . pm 7.30 ice. Off t Pos

Thursday June 14 CLUB • CUCKOO’S NEST FOLK ets Tick tre. Cen s Art e low at Fox for £12. Doors open 7.30pm and 8pm start. The Lost Will ry by cke Tha e Jak of ent tam Tes . son John Watter

Saturday June 16 VS • DEFINITELY MIGHTBE R ADORED MANCHESTE s REVISTED at Foxlowe Art open rs Doo . £12 ets Tick tre. Cen t. star 0pm 8pm for 8.3

on For further informati s and to purchase ticket visit www.leekarts festival.co.uk Leek Life May/June 2018 23


DONATIONS GALORE BY LONGSTANDING COMMUNITY GROUP community group has donated it's latest fundraised pot of cash to a number of worthy causes. Haregate In Action, which has been supporting the community and organisations in the Haregate area of Leek since 2006, has recently donated a total of £1,500. The recipients of £250 each


were: Motor Neurone Disease Association, Ball Haye Football Club, the Mind charity (through local lass Beth Rudge's efforts for the charity), Ball Haye Green Youth Team, Leek Town Football Club and also Moorlands Radio. Steve Barks, secretary of the Ball Haye Football Youth Team said: “This generous donation


will go along way in helping us with training, tops and kits.” The money had been raised over the past year at a number of Haregate In Action events including it's Cash Bingo nights which take place at The Hare & Gate pub every Tuesday and Thursday with eyes down at 8.30pm, as well as at their monthly Children's Bingo. Founder member of Haregate in Action, Sandra Cooper, said: “We put on lots of events throughout the year and then the money we raise, we donate to good local causes every Spring. “We currently have 10 local residents on the committee but we are always looking for more people to get involved.” To find out more about Haregate in Action call Sandra Cooper on 01538 388620 or find 'Haregate In Action Events & News' on Facebook.

Mayor scales down church tower for charity

town mayor has completed a challenge of abseiling down a church tower. Town and district councillor Brian Johnson took on the adrenalin challenge at St Edward's Church in Leek this Spring. The 70-year-old had last abseiled around 50 years ago. He said: “I enjoyed it. The hardest part was getting myself over the edge but it was good fun and hopefully we have raised around £150 for local youth causes.” Mr Johnson was joined by around 30 other participants who scaled down the church tower, including Buxton & Leek College principal Len Tildsley. The event was organised by students who are currently on an outdoor course at the college.


24 Leek Life May/June 2018


Village tradition brings lots of family fun

his year's Endon Well Dressing will take place during the Bank Holiday weekend of May 26, 27 and 28. Once again there will be a multitude of events, displays and activities to entertain all members of the family. There will be a craft fair and arts marquee where there will be a potter, painters, musicians and various other artisans with plenty of opportunities for visitors to 'have a go' at a variety of crafts. On the field there will be a circus workshop and a children’s entertainer plus a number of fun fair rides. The Endon Well Dressing weekend, which is 174-years-old this year, will begin with a service in the church which is where the new Well Dressing Queen Candice Ameera Virani is welcomed along with the queen from 50 years ago who will also be accompanied by some members of her retinue from all those years ago.


After the service, there will be a parade to the village well where the water is blessed and the new Well Dressing Queen will take the first drink of the newly blessed water. The crowning of Candice will follow and then the maypole dancing will take place. On the Saturday night Las Palmas 6 (a Madness Tribute band) is performing. This event will be by ticket only. On the Sunday, Candice will attend a service in the Methodist Chapel with her retinue and the maypole dancers will perform in front of the well in the afternoon and there is an opportunity for people to have a go themselves. There will also be a duck race every day in the brook. To find out more about this year's Endon Well Dressing, visit the 'Endon Well Dressing' Facebook page.


TRIP OF A LIFETIME FOR GUIDES irl Guides from Leek are appealing for financial help to be able to go on a trip of a lifetime. Jessica, Emily, Claudia and Ella, who all attend 2nd Leek All Saints Guides, have been selected to join fellow Guides from across the country on a trip to Switzerland in February next year. In order to take part in the 'Snow and Ice Adventure', the girls each need to raise £1,000 and are now busy carrying out fund-raising activities and events including a bag pack at Leek's Morrisons scheduled for April 29. Girl Guide volunteer Zoe Gayes said: “The girls have organised bake sales at their individual schools and they are very much looking forward


to running a stall at the annual Action West End day in September, as well as planning many other fundraising activities throughout the year.” Anyone wishing to help the youngsters can call Zoe on 07703 600049.

Leek Life May/June 2018 25


Family fun at annual vehicle extrava

n May 19 Leek Rotary are holding their fifth AutoExtravaganza which comprises a gathering of vintage and collectable vehicles and accessories at Heakley Hall Farm in Norton Green. In past years the event has attracted over 250 private entries of classic cars, lorries, motor-bikes and tractors as well as autojumble. The event, which will run from 10.30am until 5pm, provides a social gathering for the various vehicle enthusiasts who come meet and exhibit, and is a great day out for local families to enjoy the spectacle and the various other attractions. Opportunities are also available for local charity committees to have stalls to sell their wares or promote their causes whilst at the same time, the club's nominated charity Horton Lodge School will benefit from the gate receipts. The day also has space for local traders with stalls offering home-made produce, crafts and garden plants at the same time as witnessing the Royal Wedding which will be televised in a marquee provided on site. The Rotary movement is based on regular attendance to foster fellowship, active participation in local life and an opportunity to put something back into society. Throughout the


26 Leek Life May/June 2018


day club members will be working to ensure that all who attend have a day to remember. Meanwhile, Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Northern Ireland are joining in a global effort to eradicate Polio – an initiative which is being led by Rotary International. Polio has been a thing of the past in this country for many decades, but children still need to be immunised to prevent the re-introduction of the disease from the few areas in the world where it still exists. This costs our Government £300 million a year. Success at eradication seems tantalisingly close with just 24 cases world-wide in 2017 but millions of children need to be vaccinated each year to contain these small pockets of infection and eventually eradicate the disease which crippled so many people just 60 years ago in this country. For every pound that Rotary raises for the cause the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation adds a further two pounds and this year Leek Rotary are joining in a Car Rally around Staffordshire to raise awareness of the cause. A Purple Mercedes car will travel between the major towns of the county to meet all organisations which have pledged to raise funds to “End Polio Now”. Leek Rotary are funding the car to ensure that all donations received go direct to the campaign and the club would be appreciative of sponsorship of advertising on the vehicle and any other help and support that may be provided. The Purple Mercedes will also be at the AutoExtravaganza in May. If you are interested in the work of Leek Rotary Club visit their website at www.rotaryclubleek.org.uk.


Commemorating 100 years since the First World War through drama, song and poetry

his year is an important year for two of our local theatre groups. Centre Stage Theatre Company was founded 20 years ago and Leek Musical Theatre (formerly All Saints Operatic Society) some ninety years ago. To mark these anniversaries the two groups have decided to collaborate in a performance to mark the most important anniversary of 2018 - the signing of the Armistice to end the First World War. 'Songs, Scenes and Soldiers - An Armistice Tribute' is the title chosen for this joint production which will be presented at Westwood First School in Leek, on Thursday June 14 and Friday June 15 at 7.30pm. The show will include excerpts from three plays: 'My Boy Jack', 'Journey's End', and 'Hobson's Choice' – all shows which have been presented in full to Leek audiences previously, and all shows which relate, in some or another, to the Great War. Interspersed between the plays will be songs of the war


period and which formed part of Joan Littlewood’s famous production 'Oh What a Lovely War'. This was presented by Leek Musical Theatre in 2014 to mark the start of the War. There will also be readings of some of the poems of the socalled war poets - many of whom were killed during the conflict. Plus as it is the centenary of the beginning of women’s suffrage there will also be references to the Women’s Suffrage Movement. The whole show will be linked together with an explanatory narrative and there could well be some audience participation. The cast will be made up of current members of both societies and some former members who have agreed to

return to support this special event. The societies have decided that all profits from the two performances will be divided between Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion and to boost the profits there will be a bar, a raffle and a stall selling commemorative items. It is also hoped that local firms or individuals may wish to offer sponsorship for the production or provide raffle prizes. If you can help in this way call 01538 383233. Tickets for 'Songs, Scenes and Soldiers - An Armistice Tribute' are priced at £8 and can be purchased from Leek Post Office in High Street; Graingers in Derby Street or at www.ticketsource.co.uk/leekm usicaltheatrecompany.

Leek Life May/June 2018 27


Franchisee welcomes further growth thanks to latest acquisition EweMove branch in Staffordshire is celebrating success after being recognised for its ‘ewe-nique’ approach to customer service and growing portfolio of properties, thanks to its latest acquisition. EweMove Leek & Hanley won the Best Customer Service award at the hybrid agency’s National Conference last month, with its owner Chris Walthall also being awarded the Franchisee of the Year accolade in recognition of his phenomenal success – launching without any prior industry experience and growing it to become one of EweMove’s most profitable branches. The agency was set up by Chris in 2014 to service the Leek and Hanley areas on the outskirts of Staffordshire. With no agency background or experience but having a successful career in sales-oriented roles, Chris has proudly grown the franchise to employ his two sons, Dan and Conor. The continuing growth of the agency has also seen EweMove Leek & Hanley complete on the acquisition of the Biddulph branch of Martin & Co. Chris explained: “As soon as I became aware of EweMove and learnt about its ethical approach to estate agency, providing customers with a personal and digitally-pioneering service


Chris Walthall (centre) pictured with Mark Sutcliffe (left) and Mark Askey (right)

28 Leek Life May/June 2018

combined, it was a no-brainer for me to join the flock. “It’s a decision I’ve never looked back on, and thanks to our recent acquisition of Martin & Co Biddulph, we’re in a great position for future growth.” Nick Neill, Head Sherpherd at EweMove Sales & Lettings, commented: “As the very first hybrid estate agency in the UK having launched in 2013, we’ve always had an unwavering commitment to customer service and pioneering technology to support our franchisees UK-wide. Chris thoroughly deserves his Franchisee of the Year award, and we’re thrilled to see the Leek & Hanley area flourishing.” EweMove, part of the Property Franchise Group family, is the UK’s most trusted sales and letting agency based on independent reviews through Trustpilot. The country’s first ever hybrid agency launched in 2013, it manages and sells thousands of properties across the length and breadth of the country. EweMove prides itself on providing exceptional customer service through its network of experienced local property agents on the ground, all supported by a national operations centre and cutting-edge technology. For more information, please visit www.ewemove.com/Leek, email Leek@ewemove.com or call 01538 54 24 54.


Your local property expert in Leek that’s open 24/7 Get your FREE home valuation appointment EweMove.com/Leek or call Chris on 01538 54 24 54 Leek Life May/June 2018 29



e all love to see cornflowers growing wild, although it is a very rare sight these days. These wildflowers are the annual Centaurea cyanus that can be grown from seed each year. There are however, lots of perennial types that have the same shuttlecock flowers but come up year after year in the garden. Cornflowers and Knapweeds all belong under the name of Centaurea which harks back to the ancient Greek legends regarding their healing properties. It isn’t just the flowers that provide garden interest. Many varieties have grey leaves often divided into lacy filigree. The flower buds are clothed in woody, shiny or spiny scales and can be almost jewel-like. One of my favourite natives is Centaurea nigra, known as Hardheads or Black Knapweed. It grows in all kinds of grassland and is a favourite of bees and butterflies all through the summer. The variety Elstead with larger, frillier flowers and the pure white variety, Waterfall White, are equally tough. Another native, Greater Knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa), grows well in our garden seeding around gently. There are many varieties suitable for the garden that enjoy the rough and tumble of the crowded border or naturalistic planting. The Giant Yellow Knapweed, Centaurea macrocephala has perhaps one of the most iconic flowers of the genus. The large globular yellow flowers resemble a giant thistle or cardoon flower. The buds are deep bronze and attractive in their own right. It would be a shame to dead head too promptly as the dead petals form a wig of brown hair atop the head-like seed pods (macrocephala = “big head”). For a more refined look


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30 Leek Life May/June 2018

to the border choose Centaurea glastifolia with its candelabra stems topped with silver-scaled buds and yellow flowers that are a smaller version of macrocephala. Even smaller is the dainty Eastern Knapweed (Centaurea orientalis). For an upright, purple-pink flowered cornflower you can’t do much better than the new variety “Caramia”. This will rebloom if cut back hard after flowering and grows to about 1ft 6in tall. Most gardeners will know Centaurea montana, the Mountain Bluet, for its blue flowers, grey-green leaves and low growing, running habit. There are lots of new colours available now: the white-flowered Alba Carnea is flesh pink; Joyce mid rose; Purpurea is royal purple, Ochraleuca is very pale yellow and Purple Heart is white with an attractive purple centre. The new variety Jordy is a “must have” plant with large burgundy flowers. It is more upright and reblooms through to the autumn if cut back hard after each crop of flowers finish. Centaurea are one of the best bee plants in the garden, particularly for bumblebees. In our garden, we have spotted many species of bumblebee regularly visiting Centaurea in large numbers. Butterflies are also attracted to the flowers to fuel up with nectar. Whilst deadheading flowers is useful for us gardeners, it’s well worth leaving seed heads on to allow charms of goldfinches (and occasionally Redpolls) to come take their fill of the seeds, even in mid-summer and particularly through the winter. Centaureas will grow in most soil types including sticky clay but if your soil is very acid you may find a dressing of powdered limestone each spring is useful. Spreading types can be divided before or between flowering. Martin Blow Janet & I run Special Perennials, website www.specialperennials.com we will be at: Plant Hunters’ Fair at Adlington Hall, Macclesfield on Sunday 13th May. Carsington Water on Bank Holiday Monday 28th May. Hodnet Hall Gardens on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd June. Sugnall Walled Gardens, Eccleshall on Sunday 24th June. Henbury Hall Garden, Macclesfield on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July. Details: www.planthuntersfairs.co.uk


Tidier gardens help fill flats at Belle Vue

ver recent months, a team from local charity Grow Moorlands has been working with the residents of Your Housing’s Belle Vue flats in Leek to improve how the area looks. The Grow Moorlands team, made up of students from The Meadows Special School in Leek, has tidied up the shrubs and given the place a thorough clean up. As well as being appreciated by the existing residents it has reportedly encouraged people to move into the vacant flats. James Coates, Customer First Co-ordinator from Your Housing Group, explained that the help from Grow Moorlands has really given the area a boost. He added: “It’s great that the youngsters have got involved in this project and it shows what can be achieved if people work together to improve their local environment. “We are keen to work with Grow Moorlands at some of our other sites too.” This is just one of the projects Grow Moorlands is involved in to help young people with learning difficulties and disabilities learn


new skills and enhance their employability. The community interest organisation undertakes a range of horticultural and grounds maintenance work in the Leek area, working primarily with The Meadows and Springfield Special Schools.

The Grow Moorlands team at Belle Vue flats in Leek.


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Great collectables business right here in the Moorlands Leek entrepreneur is living out his childhood dreams after buying a collectables business. Carl Barlow has created six jobs in Leek after purchasing and relocating the Great Gear Store, and he is using his skills as a digital marketer to grow the business. The Great Gear Store is every schoolboys dream, with thousands of collectable items in stock such as Star Wars figures, Harry Potter wands and pop and rock merchandise. Carl said: “I bought the business as a going concern in late Autumn last year and was immediately thrown into a whirlwind of Christmas sales, shipping out over 5,000 items from Beatles memorabilia to up to the minute TV themed memorabilia from programmes such as the Walking Dead. “It has been an amazing start and my eightyear-old son now thinks Santa works for the Great Gear Store.”


32 Leek Life May/June 2018

Carl bought the Great Gear Store and all its stock from its former owners in Kent. He explained: “My background is in digital marketing and I wanted to invest in an online business that can trade from anywhere. I have relocated the head office to Leek, recruited staff and brought in my wife Jane to help run the business. I’m now planning further growth by revamping the Great Gear Store website and exploring new sales platforms.” Growing the online side of the business fits seamlessly with Carl’s expertise. Having worked in the digital team at the former Britannia Building Society headquarters, in Leek, Carl founded an online digital marketing company, Digital Eyes Media, in 2012 which he’s using to revamp the Great Gear Stores online presence. Although there is currently no actual shop for the Great Gear Store, with most of the business being generated through the world wide web, Carl and his team can often be found at the Totally Locally Sunday Supplement which takes place in Leek every first Sunday of the month. Carl added that he believes the Great Gear Store has great potential. He said: “The market for memorabilia is continually growing and we have seen the growth of Comicon events across the UK in recent years. “The breadth of stock that we hold is huge. There’s a collectors’ market for virtually any theme you can think of and for all age ranges.” To find out more about the Great Gear Store visit to www.greatgearstore.com.


Let’s get quizzical COMPILED BY PAUL STEELE

General Knowledge Quiz 1. What name is given to a female fox? 3. Which fruit would you expect to find in the centre of a Sussex Pond Pudding? 4. Which African country was known as Rhodesia between 1964 and 1979? 5. In which London square can you see a statue of Charlie Chaplin? 6. What is the family name of an England 1966 football world cup winner and his nephew, an England 2003 rugby union world cup winner? 7. Who wrote the 2017 thriller 'Origin' which begins with the unveiling of a discovery that will change the face of science forever? 8. Which 1966 Beatles album featured 'Eleanor Rigby' and 'Yellow Submarine'? 9. The 2017 film 'I, Tonya' features which sport? 10. What was the name of the blitz according to the Sweet single of 1973?

A quiz for the Eurovision Song Contest 1. Which UK winner included the following lyrics, ‘Pounding away, pounding away’? 2. Which Canadian superstar won the contest representing Switzerland in 1988? 3. Which country has won the Eurovision song contest the most times? 4. In which country is the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest taking place? 5. Which group managed to get the UK’s first ‘nul points’ in 2003? 6. Which famous boxer’s father represented Ireland in 1968 with ‘Chance of a Lifetime’? 7. What was ABBA's winning song of 1974? 8. How many times did Cliff Richard win the Eurovision Song Contest? 9. Ireland won their first contest back in 1970 - Who was the singer? 10. Which Irish entry contains the lyrics, ‘Close your eyes, pretend it's just the two of us again, make believe this moment's here to stay’? General Knowledge Answers: 1. Vixen; 2. Elephant Man; 3. Lemon; 4. Zimbabwe; 5. Leicester Square; 6. Cohen (George and Ben); 7. Dan Brown; 8. Revolver; 9. Figure Skating; 10. Ballroom. Eurovision Answers: 1. Boom Bang A Bang; 2. Celine Dion; 3. Ireland; 4. Portugal; 5. Jemini; 6. Barry McGuigan; 7. Waterloo; 8. None; 9. Dana; 10. Hold Me Now

Quizzes compiled by Paul Steele - email: pnsteele@aol.com - Paul's 'Which One?' quiz game is available at Gafuzzle in Leek.

2. By what nickname was John Merrick known in the Victorian era?

Leek Life May/June 2018 33


Hundreds of hours of life in Leek

eek man Gerald Mee has been filming events and activities within Leek and surrounding areas for more than 75 years including visits to the area by royalty. Gerald's first use of a movie camera was in Southport in 1941 – footage which he still has today; while his first appearance on film himself was earlier in 1925 on 9.5mm film which his father had purchased from his friend. Gerald also still has that very same hand-cranked camera and accessories. Gerald said: “I started out filming with a 9.5mm camera before changing to a 16mm Ensign Kinecam in 1946 on a trip to Switzerland from London – where I was at University at the time. “I changed to video in 1987. Video 8, then SVHS and later to Mini DV, working on computer for post production.” Gerald was born at No 4 Market Place in Leek and moved to the west end of Leek in the 1940s, where he still lives today. He attended Moorfields Kindergarten School and then Leek High School


34 Leek Life May/June 2018

before furthering his studies at the University College London. He said: “I was going to Leeds University for a degree in Colour Chemistry and Dying as my mother's father was in textiles and his Hammersley brothers had a dye-works, but I changed my mind and took up pharmacy instead.” Early on in his working life, Gerald spent three years in the Derby Street pharmacy of the late John Martin. He said: “It was here that I acquired much of my photographic knowledge from John who was a pioneer movie maker and photographer. “I then spent my National Service in the RAF Medical Service in Egypt, Malta and Libya and on my release joined Stoke Amateur Cine Society and then the Institute of Amateur Cine Society in 1954 and have held the officers of Technical Officer, Chairman and President since then.” By this time Gerald had already founded Leek Amateur Cine Society with his school friend, John Cartwright, in 1940.


ek have been recorded by Gerald Ninety-two year old Gerald has filmed and produced well over 300 films and, by doing so, has covered a multitude of local events. He said: “It has been mostly documentaries but there has been one or two story films too. “I have recorded quite a few royal visits to Leek and to the Potteries including visits by HM the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne, and The Duchess of Gloucester.” Gerald has won a number awards over the years with his first in 1955 for his a 16mm film called 'Away to the Lakes' and, more recently, he was awarded an MBE for filming local heritage. Gerald has seen many changes in the world of filming over the decades. He said: “In the old days so much of the technique was trial and error. Now, in this digital age, the processes are so much simpler. “It is much easier today and the video quality has progressed tremendously and, in fact, digital images now are often much better than the chemistry of the original photographic methods.” As for his secret of making a good film, Gerald said: “A film must have an arresting start, a good middle, leading to a satisfactorily conclusion.”

Gerald's latest creation is a conservation DVD which has been launched by the Leek & District Civic Society. 'Looking Out For Leek', which has been scripted by Trevor Siggers and narrated by Ray Johnson, centres on Leek's conservation areas and developments in the last few years and is a most interesting snapshot of our local history. Copies of the DVD can be purchased for £8 from Foxlowe Gallery or from Picture Book in Stanley Street.

We have teamed up with Gerald to offer one Leek Life Magazine reader a copy of Looking Out For Leek. To be in with a chance of winning the DVD, just answer this question:

What was the name of Gerald's 16mm film for which he won an award for in 1955? Answer................................................................................................Name..................................................................................... Address................................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................Daytime phone no........................................................... Email your answer, along with your name, postal address and telephone number, to life@timesandecho.co.uk by 5pm on Friday, June 29. Alternatively post your entry to 18 Tape Street, Cheadle, Staffordshire. ST10 1BD.

Leek Life May/June 2018 35

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36 Leek Life May/June 2018

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P is a Body Transformation Coach who lives and works in Leek. Here, JP offers tips for Leek Life readers on a quick and easy guide to making your own fat fighting meals. You can do as much exercise as you like, but you can't out train a bad diet. Master this simple system and your physical efforts will be rewarded. Before we start we need to understand the four food groups within this system and what they do. 1) Protein - for helping your body to repair and rebuild. Think meat, fish, poultry, chickpeas, lentils, eggs, meat substitutes. 2) Colourful vegetables and berries. These are packed with nutrients that will keep you healthy. Think Green beans, asparagus, broccoli, leeks, sprouts, peppers, cabbage, kale, blue berries and so on. 3) Dietary Fats - a great energy source for the body and hormonal health. Think olive & coconut oils, nuts, grass fed butter, eggs, cheese, oily fish and "fattier" cuts of meat like lamb, pork chops and steak. 4) Carbohydrates - another great energy source that your body can use especially when you are exercising on a regular basis. Think potatoes, rice, oats and pasta. Now to build a fat fighting meal. For this to work you need to use three of the four food groups. To make this easier you always include one and two which is your Protein and Colourful Vegetables/Berries. That means each meal is filled with the right macro nutrients to keep your body rebuilding and healthy. However we still need a good energy source. This is where we unleash either number three (Fats) or number four (Carbs). The trick here is to only pick one per meal. So you could have a 1,2,3 Protein, Veg and Fats or a 1,2,4 Protein, Veg and Carbs. This is an excellent way of nourishing your body with the right nutrients without over-doing the calories. Some real world examples: Fancy a big juicy high fat steak or Salmon? Swap the chips for some colourful vegetables and you have a great fat fighting meal. Fancy some rice, pasta or potatoes? Keep your calories in check by serving it with a leaner cut of meat, fish, low fat mince, chickpeas or meat substitute along with your colourful veg and you will be nourishing your body without going to heavy on the calories. Breakfast can be a bit tricky on this plan. We

Westerner's seem to rely on breakfast cereals and grains for our morning nutrition. Scrambled egg and bacon or, even better, salmon with a handful of fried green beans would be a great 1,2,3 meal. It's almost impossible to drop your body fat JP with one of his levels without healthy meal options some sort of dietary restriction. But use this plan and you can eat the foods you like whilst maintaining or even slimming down your waistline. Feel free to follow me on Facebook @jptrainingguru or pop into Cave Fitness in Leek for free advice on training and nutrition.

Butterton Moor House

Warm, beautiful, private swimming pool Our private pool is ideal for families, mums, babies/toddlers and other groups

Space now available in our Mums, Babies & Toddler Swims

Changing/shower rooms, baby change mats, pool toys, hair dryer Wed & Fri - £6 per adults, children free Birthdays/celebration pool parties ask for details General swim prices per hour: Adults £7, Children (ages 4-12) £3, Babies/Toddlers Free. Pool minimum cost £15 per hour Parsons Lane, Butterton, Staffordshire, ST13 7PD

Phone: 07870 380375 e: dianemlatham1@gmail.com www.buttertonmoorhouse.co.uk Leek Life May/June 2018 37


Young swimmers splash their way to high achievements

eek Amateur Swimming Club's Annual Presentation Evening took place this Spring and saw many members being awarded for their latest achievements. A small club compared to many others, Leek ASC produces some very pleasing results at all levels. Little ones as young as eight-years-old who train from two hours plus per week often hold their own and come away with medals, and many lessons learnt at their first galas and team events. The middle section of the club comprises of children of mixed ages, often training between five and eight hours per week, who regularly attend galas of different levels and often achieve and compete at the Staffordshire County Championships once they reach the age of ten. At the more senior/experienced end of the club, swimmers commit to train anything up to 12 hours per week, competing at some tough top end meets qualifying them for the West Midlands Regional


38 Leek Life May/June 2018

championships and English and British National championships. These competitors often achieve Gold, Silver and Bronze medals as well as championship/top boy/top girl cups. Based on the tremendous efforts of 2017, the following awards were presented to the well deserving swimmers: Overall Girls Champion: Eden Schiller. Overall Boys Champion: Callum Rushan. Junior Boys Champion: Harry Lancaster. Junior Girls Champion: Mandy Chen. Liz Stretton Cup for Junior Swimmer: Ben Hilton. President's Cup for Senior Swimmer: Lawrie Whitehead. The Jason Shepherd Memorial Cup: Callum Rushan. Age Group Winners were Girls 8 and Under: Grace Lancaster. Boys 8 and Under: Oliver Sheldon-Andres. Girls 9: Alex Hall. Boys 9: William McGinley-Keates. Girls 10: Caitlin Nixon. Boys 10: Ewan Underwood. Girls 11: Robyn Schiller. Boys 11: Alfie Lancaster. Girls 12: Lawrie Whitehead. Boys 12: Aidan

Ainsworth. Girls 13: Tallulah Shaw. Boys 13: James Yates. Girls 14: Hannah Underwood. Girls 14 and Over: Eden Schiller. Boys 15 and Over: Leo Taylor. Press and membership Secretary Sue Lancaster said: “Huge congratulations to all our fantastic swimmers. We are very proud of you.” She added: “A special thanks goes to all the coaches, committee members and volunteers who dedicate their time throughout the year to enable the club to exist and swimmers to achieve their potential.”

Meanwhile in other local swimming news, three Paddles swimmers, including one from Leek, took part in a para taster swimming day at Derby recently. Carl Cooper, Para-Swimming Talent Coach for Swim England, organised the session along with Jo Smith who is the Disability Liaison Officer for City of Derby. Richard Pilcher, the City of Derby Coach, took the group of Paddles swimmers through their paces and was very impressed with them. They were Jake Elms, who lives in Leek, along with Polly Sutton and Helena Poulson-Hooley, who all swim at Paddles Disability Swim School at Cheadle. Anna Lavan, owner of Paddles, said: “I'm so proud of the three swimmers and I hope they will go onto have a successful swimming career. “Carl said he was very impressed with the potential talent on show and will monitor our swimmers through their swimming journey.”



ne of the reasons I’m self employed is because back at the start of 2012 I was made redundant. Redundancy wasn’t a “dark cloud hanging over me” thing, at the time I really wanted to start my coaching business and strike out on my own. I was in a job I’d begun to hate and felt stuck there because the financial security blanket it provided was too good to leave. Redundancy provided an opportunity to embrace change, have a go at running a business, support my husband in his and give me a financial kick start through launching the business. The redundancy cheque has long since gone, life is sometimes tough, constantly exciting and very flexible. The last six years has seen me add an organic beauty range to my part time coaching business and start an art degree. That old saying “the only thing in life that’s certain is change” is very true, so when a business friend needed some admin support to cover maternity leave, I went back on the payroll part time. It’s been a challenging and hectic few months balancing my business, my degree and learning a new job, and just seven months later my predecessor has returned to work. It’s quite odd. I knew she would return in the


same way I expected my redundancy, yet both came with a mix of emotions. The strongest of these are shock and rejection, both common and natural emotions to have. But the job losses also presented a sense of relief. In 2012 that was because I disliked my job. In 2018 that need to balance a job with two businesses and a degree was a heavy weight, now lifted. So when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. So now I will be taking six weeks to perfect my artwork and complete an essay. On the 19th May and for three weeks my work will be on show at the Astound exhibition at the Nicholson Gallery and it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to perfect my work. Yes I will miss the extra cash for the luxuries in life, but it’s not everything. Life is for enjoying and for making the most of opportunities and I continue to do that. Dealing with change is a huge part of getting through redundancy or job loss and sometimes it is helpful to explore opportunities or work it through with a third party. I am a Leek based creative Freedom Practitioner supporting others in achieving the life they want. If there’s something you want to achieve get in touch today.

Carolyn Trafford - Reflections Coaching • Tel. 07714 216388 • Email: Caro@reflectionscoaching.co.uk • www.reflectionscoaching.co.uk

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Did you know that you can read Leek Life online? Visit www.timesechoandlife.co.uk

Find us on Facebook search for Leek Life Magazine

Times, Echo & Life Publications, 18 Tape Street, Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent ST10 1BD Tel: 01538 752214 • www.timesechoandlife.co.uk Editorial: life@timesandecho.co.uk • Advertising: tom@timesandecho.co.uk

Leek Life May/June 2018 39


Pictured are Angela Mc Mullen, Val Riley Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Leek Group, Val Harrison and Barb Oliver.

Lots of opportunities for group

his year the Trefoil Guild celebrates 75 years, although our Guild here in Leek was formed somewhat later. We meet monthly at the Leek Town Football premises, and anyone interested in supporting Girlguiding, whether having been a guide or not, would be assured of a warm welcome. We always plan together a full and varied yearly programme, incorporating interesting speakers, crafts and demonstrations during the winter months, with the summer months enjoying the outdoor pursuits, and of course many opportunities to share together lunches, cream teas and other food delights. One of the roles of the Trefoil Guild is to support in any way we can, any guides selected to represent our county abroad and this year we have two guides eagerly looking forward to their adventures and we look forward to sharing in their experiences on their return. Within the Trefoil Guild we have opportunities to partake in challenges, socials and holidays. Last year some of our members enjoyed a week at Lorne in Ireland, and this year the venue is in Somerset. A trip to Worcestershire


40 Leek Life May/June 2018

is also planned, with a seaside trip in the planning stage. In February we recognised a very important and celebrated date of the Guiding calendar. 'Thinking Day' which falls on February 22 celebrates the birthdays of both the Founder Lord Baden Powell and his wife Olave Baden Powell who was the World Chief Guide. As March is the beginning of Spring we embraced the season with a very informative talk given by Val Riley of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Leek Group. Val explained how the county-wide trust which will be celebrating 50 years in 2019 encourages all age groups, from six months to adult, to respect wildlife in all forms, their habitats and woodlands. The volunteers of the Wolseley Centre on the A51, work tirelessly to promote an awareness of opportunities to enjoy, such as, bug hunting, pond dipping, tree carvings and seasonal nature trails. Anyone wishing to find out more about the Leek Trefoil Guild can contact Barb Oliver on 01538 384987.



play inspired by the letters between a World War One soldier from Leek and a young girl from Cornwall is to be performed in Leek. Over one hundred years ago, Edwin (Ted) Hassall of Leek was a soldier in the trenches of the Battle of the Somme. He found an empty chocolate wrapper in a trench which had the words 'From Little Joan, White Rock, Wadebridge, Cornwall' on it. Touched by the kindness that children back home in England were thinking of the soldiers, Ted wrote to Little Joan and a sequence of letters followed between the two. Leek historians Bill Cawley and Richard Benefer have carried out a lot of research in to these letters and have written a book about the Chocolate Soldier as well as hosted a number of talks focusing on the heart-warming story. Now Historia Theatre Company, which is based in London, is bringing a play version of the story to the Foxlowe Arts Centre on Thursday May 31. 'Dear Chocolate Soldier' is a theatrical piece based on the extraordinary letters accompanied by poetry and songs from the period. Kate Price, who formed the theatre company and is directing the show, first came across the Chocolate Soldier story in the 80s and used the basis of the letters for a show which she toured around Royal British Legion clubs and elderly homes. Some 30 years


on and she has revived the show which will be premiered in Leek this summer. She said: “We are tremendously looking forward to the premiere in Leek - it is almost like bringing the show home. After that we are doing more performances in the Early Summer Tour as well as a later Autumn and Armistice Tour.” The locally written book 'The Chocolate Soldier' was released through the Leek & District Historical Society in November and is available to purchase from Picture Book in Leek. Co-author Bill Cawley said of the Historia Theatre

Company's show coming to Leek: “I've always thought that the Hassall story should be told to a wider public. It's a marvel of story which I think has potential to even be made into a television drama or a British made film.” Fellow book author Richard Benefer added: “It will be a real pleasure to see the story of Ted Hassall's letters to little Joan and her family being told, on stage, in the town of his birth. “The play really does bring the letters to life.” Tickets for 'Dear Chocolate Soldier' on May 31 at 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm) are priced at £12 and are available from www.foxloweartscentre.org.uk

Leek Life May/June 2018 41


Fun for youngsters thanks to Lions his Spring members of our club, together with fellow lions from Zone G Lions Clubs, welcomed pupils with special needs together with their teachers/carers to our 20th Annual Beach Party held at Waterworld in Hanley. Pupils from The Meadows in Leek and Cecily Haughton Schools near Leek were amongst the 661 youngsters who attended and helped make this another successful day. Lions Les and David dressed as Minnie and Mickey Mouse to welcome our excited guests. The children


thoroughly enjoy their swimming sessions and it is a useful social experience meeting children from other schools. All too soon it was time for them to leave after a fun filled session in the pool. The High Sheriff of Staffordshire Humphrey DS Moncrieff and his wife Judy helped us distribute goody bags to the children and Easter Eggs to their teachers and carers. To see the happy faces of the youngsters, hearing their enjoyment and receiving words of thanks as they leave, spoke

Group Photo Waterworld 2018.

volumes. Each year the Lions Clubs cover the substantial cost of hiring Waterworld, providing the Goody Bags, Easter Eggs and entertainment for this event. Youngsters attending do so through their schools; this year pupils from local schools were joined by others from Northwich, Lichfield and Hednesford. Every year we receive thank you letters, drawings and paintings. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the schools, because without their continued support this free event would not be such a success. Forthcoming events for the Lions Club of Leek include: Vintage Car and Steam Fair at Cauldon Lowe on May 12 and 13 when we will be taking our Fairground Organ and having a stall. Then on June 23rd we will part of the Lions event at Foxfield Railway for children with special needs and their families for which invites have been sent out through their schools.

Humphrey DS Scott-Moncrieff DL High Sheriff of Staffordshire and his wife Judy with Lions at Waterworld. 42 Leek Life May/June 2018


Four decades of boat trips for youngsters Staffordshire Moorlands charity, which offers additional needs youngsters the chance of a trip on a narrow boat, is celebrating it's 40th anniversary this year. The new season for the Beatrice Charity, which has a narrow boat of the same name, began on April 1 and the charity is set to provide around 90 groups of children trips along the Caldon Canal in 2018. The charity, which is run purely by volunteers, has, over the past four winters, carried out a major refurbishment of the narrow boat including: new flooring, kitchen, toilet, cabin walls, central heating as well as the boat's engine. 2018 is set to see the Beatrice volunteers take 30 care groups and 30 social/family gatherings out on the Caldon Canal waters, as well as the 90 children groups. Nancy McGregor, who lives in Leek, has been volunteering with the Beatrice Charity for three years and, just last season, became a skipper for the charity's boat. The 40-year-old said: “I am unable to work but volunteering here helps me to get out of the house. “We have a lovely team of volunteers.” Former Navy man Terry Simpson is in charge of training the volunteers who help to keep the Beatrice running. He said: “I've been involved with the Beatrice for six years. I decided to help out after I retired.” Mervyn Gamage came on board with the charity last summer. He said: “I used to own a boat on a canal myself but sold it a few years ago.


For me this is a way of getting back on a boat but in a positive way.” The first Beatrice began work in 1978, and the current boat was built in 1999 and converted to its present configuration the following year. It is moored next to Cheddleton Flint Mill. Schools are not charged to take groups of children on Beatrice trips as part of the charity's vision is to “give children with special needs a pleasant, interesting and memorable outing in surroundings which are, for many, otherwise denied to them.” Chairman of the Beatrice Charity, Derek Hilyer, said: “The Beatrice Charity is funded by kind donations from various groups, as well as fees from non-school boat trippers. “Our next refurbishment project for the Beatrice is set to be a new lift which enables wheel-chair users to enjoy a trip on the Beatrice.” For further information visit http://beatricecharity.org/charity

Terry Simpson, Derek Hilyer, Mervyn Gamage, and Nancy McGregor. Leek Life May/June 2018 43



campaign to purchase night-vision goggles to help find lost dogs is continuing. Our Tintin's Journey is a book about a little Jack Russell who went missing but was then tracked around the Moorlands by many members of the community before finally being found alive and well. So far 200 'Our Tintin's Journey' books have been sold but book creator and fund-raiser Sharon Holloway says that at least another 100 need to be sold before they can finally purchase the night vision goggles. To further promote the book Sharon hosted a stall at a recent Sunday Supplement in Leek, outside Dougal's Den in Stanley Street, which stocks the Tintin's Journey books. Sharon said that it was a great day for Team Tintin. She said: “We ran the stall in conjunction with National Pet Month and Doglost UK. “I would like to say thank you to Lynn Haigh at Dougal's Den for her continued fabulous support, and also thank you to Moorlands Radio



'Lest We Forget'

oungsters from a Leek school have recently returned from a battlefield tour to mark the centenary of the World War One.


44 Leek Life May/June 2018

for their support.” She added: “I am so pleased I live in Leek for many reasons but particularly for the great community spirit. It was also this spirit that helped in the safe return of little Tintin too.” To find out more about the book visit the 'Our Tintin's Journey' page on Facebook.

Anton and Ethan, from The Meadows, were joined by teachers Mrs Thomas and Mrs Wright on their trip to France and Belgium where they visited some of the major sites of the Great World War. They joined a group of fellow secondary school students from across the West Midlands for the commemorative trip, which included attending one of the daily Act of Remembrances at The Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium. Anton and Ethan laid wreaths at both the Thiepval Memorial in France and at The Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium, in memory of Leek soldiers. They also visited the Commonwealth War Graves at Lijssenthoek in Belgium where Ethan and Anton laid another wreath. This time on the grave of Sergeant Sydney Gerald Kelly of Leek, who died on September 29, 1917 at the age of 30. He had been in the King's Royal Rifles Regiment. Head of Meadows School, Mrs Wright, said: “Special thanks go to Mr & Mrs Alan Bate, of the Royal British Legion, for their support in providing poppy wreathes and posies, so that The Meadows School could honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”


Here local historian Bill Cawley takes a look through time at one particular house in Leek. I enjoyed watching 'A House through Time', a BBC television documentary that looked at a house in Liverpool – 62 Falkener Street. Our family has Liverpool connections so it was good to look at a place we know well. My mind turned to the possibility of doing something similar for a house in Leek and the details of a late Victorian slander case gave me the opportunity to do so. 18 Deansgate in Leek, built in the mid Victorian period, and now the base for an alternative medical practice is the house I decided to investigate. It is the largest house in the street and in the 1890s was the home of Frederick Simoni who was born in Northern Italy in 1831. He was in the country at least since 1853. Trade directories for 1884 and 1896 indicate that he was initially running his music business in Cheadle and then in Leek. In the 1881 census he was living at 2 York Street and in 1897 at 18 Deansgate. He indicated that he was married in the census but lived alone at his addresses in the town. Simoni arrived in England as a political refugee following the crushing of the Italian nationalist movement by the French and Austrian Armies in 1850. Many of the middle class professionals supported a unified Italian State. At that time Italy was not one country but a collection of states many of them dominated Dear Editor,

I was intrigued by Bill Cawley`s article on Joe Strummer`s (John Mellor) connection to Leek as a friend once told me his brother had met him while working at the Britannia's HQ in Cheadle Road. It all seemed like a wind up at the time and checking biographies yielded nothing but now

by foreign powers and under the influence of the Pope. People of liberal persuasion supported the uprising and fled into exile amongst them the leader of the movement Giuseppe Garibaldi. The refugees went mainly to the US or to Britain. Britain was very sympathetic to the cause of a united Italy. Frederick Simoni was one of the numbers of young Italians who were forced into exile. A number of Simonis, many of them from Emilia Romano, were amongst the most ardent followers of the movement numbered among the 1,000 most diehard supporters who fled. He arrived penniless in London and had turned to the one thing he knew best- music. He had been taught music locally for over 40 years. He was the conductor of the Leek Choral Society and other choirs and had a music instrument shop adjourning the Wilkes Head pub. It was in that pub that he was slandered one March day in 1897 by Millward an auctioneer from Longnor. Millward accused Simoni of taking sexual advantage of his young female pupils. Millward began to berate the Italian by saying that he objected to foreigners and accused him of being a “lascivious man and has seduced his young girl pupils.” Well, Millward could not prove it and Simoni won his slander case. He was awarded £10 in damages and awarded costs. Simoni is not reported to live in the town in the 1901 census so perhaps the infamy of the case made life problematic for him and he left the area possibly to return to a unified Italy an outcome which he long desired. I am thinking there may be something to it. My friends brother was at university in 1974 and during summer holidays his mother, who worked at the Britannia, got him a job there where he met John and they became friends as they had a mutual love of music but they lost touch at the end of the holidays. Dave Jones, Leek

Leek Life May/June 2018 45

THE WOMEN’S INSTITUTE 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 life@timesandecho.co.uk.

Rushton WI

Our March meeting was held on the Spring Equinox and after the 'Beast from the East' and the following mini version we had hoped for a sign of Spring. Temperatures were dropping as I left for Rushton and it was tempting to stay indoors. But it was worth the short journey for an entertaining meeting with Bill Lomas, Leek Town Crier, as guest speaker. After brief details of events in March and April including arrangements for our visit to Ford Green Hall, Glenys and Gill outlined their day at the Spring Council Meeting. The speaker's Clementine Lovell and Jules Hudson were both very entertaining. Both qualified as anthropologists then branched into music and television respectively. Now Clementine is company director and performer with Pop-Up Opera and Jules a television producer and presenter through Time Team, Countryfile and Escape to the Country. They both had an interesting tale 46 Leek Life May/June 2018

to tell. Following a conversation with David Brain and Jo Davies, Rushton WI have offered to litter pick around both St Lawrence Church and Rushton Methodist Church. We hope this will contribute to the village Spring clean up. Business over Glenys introduced Bill Lomas in full regalia - there was no competition over the bells. He outlined his job in the community much of which involves raising money for local charities. We all learned something new from the special names for Bill's items of clothing to the range of competitions town criers compete for. Bill is certainly an ambassador for his work and is loved by young and old in Leek. His warm greetings and enthusiasm are welcomed by all as are his seasonal bag of gifts chocolate at Easter and toys at Christmas. Supper followed, which was delicious. Thank you to our tea and cake hostesses. The competition for Spring flowers in a small vase

was won by Glenys with Josie second and Chris third. Well done to all who entered especially after the previous weekend's wintry blasts. May 15 will be our AGM followed by a quiz, supper, committee, and the competition will be a Limerick containing word "Quiz" to be read out by author. Our meeting on June 19 will focus on the Work of the Air Ambulance with teas by Josie and Barbara. The competition will be a Staffs/Derbys/Cheshire recipe.


Queen of the Moorlands WI

The speaker at the March meeting of the Queens of the Moorlands WI group was Patricia Clee, who gave a fascinating talk about her experiences of 40 years of smallholding near Cannock Chase. As she related her experiences and shared pictures of her rare breed sheep, she demonstrated how she spun her own wool, stopping to show members what she was doing and answer questions about the process. Patricia also handed round samples of her spun wool, showing that wool does not have to be dyed to be beautiful. The members were appreciative of her conversational style, and agreed that we didn’t understand how she fit everything she does into her day. The subject of our April meeting was Rudyard Lake, Past and Present which was a multi media presentation given by Ray Perry. Anyone interested in joining our group can contact us at our Facebook page, Queens of the Moorlands WI – Leek. Alternatively, you are welcome to come to a meeting at the Leek

Woodcroft WI At our February meeting of the Woodcroft WI we heard all about the work of the Street Pastors in Leek. We are impressed with the fact that volunteers are prepared to patrol late at night to help anyone in need. We were invited to have a look for ourselves even if it is past our bedtime. March should have given us the opportunity to see a variety of owls but our speaker was unable to attend. Not daunted, one of our committee came to the rescue with

Community Fire Station. Our meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month, at 7.30pm.

a Round Britain Quiz and it also gave our ladies a perfect opportunity to catch up with each other's news. Our W.I. has plenty on offer with the Book Clubs, the Walking Group and Film Club and we have added a Coffee Club and Craft Club for in between meetings. The varied green hearts we made for the 'Show the Love Campaign', have proved popular especially as they are in keeping with the W.I. Movement's green policy. Using different media such as appliqué folk art painting, paper craft and needle felting – many hearts were made. These were then given to members for a small donation to Associated Country Women of the World. Our two presidents then did a display at the WI Spring Council meeting for all Staffordshire Is and made a further £83. A group of us really enjoyed the powerful production of Votes For Women at the New Vic Theatre. At our April meeting at St. Luke's Church Centre, we learned about the art of Well Dressing from Barbara Hall. In May it will be our Annual Meeting when we hope we can attract new committee members. Leek Life May/June 2018 47


MARKET MATTERS on’t let current global uncertainties affect your financial planning. It’s important not to let current global uncertainties affect your financial planning for the years ahead. People who stop their investment planning, particularly during market downturns, often miss out on opportunities to invest at lower prices.


HIGHER INFLATION AND FASTER INTEREST RATE RISES At the time of writing this article in February, markets had reacted to the signs of faster wage growth and a strengthening US economy that may lead to higher inflation and faster interest rate rises. The global sell-off began following a solid US jobs report that fuelled expectations that the Federal Reserve would need to raise interest rates faster than expected because of the strength of the economy. That concern prompted the pullback from stocks. The Bank of England seemed to offer support for the view that rates in general are on an upward path with a strengthening UK economy, meaning interest rates are likely to rise sooner than the markets were expecting. INVESTORS SHOULD FOCUS ON LONGTERM HORIZONS Trying to second-guess the impact of events such as Brexit or the recent stock market correction – or even attempting to make a bet on them – rarely pays off. Instead, investors who focus on long-term horizons – at least five to ten years – have historically fared much better. Sensible diversification – owning a mix of assets, including shares, bonds and alternative investment such as property – can help protect investors over the long term. When one area of a portfolio underperforms, another part should provide important protection – and it’s never too early or too late to start taking this considered and strategic approach.

MEDIA FRENZY Volatility, risk and market declines are a normal part of the investing cycle, but the media likes 48 Leek Life May/June 2018

drama. Reports will use words that make these market fluctuations sound alarming, so be cautious about reacting to the unnerving 24/7 news cycle.

STAY STRATEGIC If you have a well-diversified portfolio, then it’s more important than ever to stay the course. You have a strategy in place that reflects your risk tolerance and timeline, so stay committed. However, if you reacted and sold in a previous market decline or have not implemented a strategic asset allocation, then now is the time to have a discussion about your investment options.

STAY CALM Be aware of the psychological affect this type of volatility has on you as an investor and resist the urge to be reactive. The recent decline was expected and is coming after financial markets as a whole have experienced a historic bull phase for close to ten years now.

STAY FOCUSED No one knows how severe any market turbulence will be or what the market will do next. It could be over quickly or linger for a while. But no matter what lies ahead, proper diversification and perseverance over the long term are what’s most important.

Oliver Mellor Dip PFS, B.A (Hons)

Brian Mellor Financial Services Ltd

Tel: 01538 371288 www.brianmellorfs.co.uk


Peace Through Folk to host a united celebration Leek-based group is pulling out all the stops to take part in a nationwide celebration. The Great Get Together, which is held in honour of the late Jo Cox, is set to see many events take place across the country on Sunday June 24. And for Leek, the Peace Through Folk organisation has a day of celebration lined up for their Great Get Together, which they will be, this year, hosting at the Foxlowe Arts Centre in Leek. The garden party and picnic is set to “celebrate all that unites us” with Folk, Blues, Americana and classical music and song – along with creative artists and fun. Running from midday through to 10.30pm, it will be free admission although a donation of an 'in date' packaged or canned item of food would


be much appreciated for Leek Food Bank. Leek's Great Get Together celebrations will also be taking place at the Roebuck in Derby Street with a 'Buck on a Summer's Day' – a Blues and Americana music event. Any singer, musician, band, choir or creative artist who would like to be involved in Leek's Great Get Together at the Foxlowe can email peacethroughfolk@ gmail.com or call 07805 529492.

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T: 01538 361697 M: 07974 645147 E: hello@jojohnsonfamilylaw.co.uk W: www.jojohnsonfamilylaw.co.uk Leek Life May/June 2018 49


Drivers warned over divulging me

rivers are being informed of some of the unlikely medical conditions they’d need to tell the DVLA about if they are ever diagnosed. While severe conditions and major surgical operations obviously impact a person’s ability to drive and handle a vehicle safely, there are others that, on the surface, don’t seem like they’d have any detrimental effects. In fact, there are a range of unlikely illnesses and conditions that harbour side effects – from hearing loss to sleep depravity – that might affect the ability to control a car, van, or motorbike safely. And people who don’t tell DVLA about a medical condition that affects their driving could be fined up to £1,000 - and may be prosecuted if they’re involved in an accident as a result.


Déjà vu Surprisingly, GOV.UK lists déjà vu as one of the health conditions that could affect driving. While most people will regard déjà vu as a common experience in healthy individuals, it is

also associated with certain types of epilepsy – this experience is a neurological anomaly related to epileptic electrical discharge in the brain. It is this medically induced déjà vu which drivers need to inform the DVLA about.

Labyrinthitis Labyrinthitis is a common inner ear infection that causes a delicate structure deep inside the ear (the labyrinth) to become inflamed. Symptoms can vary in severity, but usually get better after a few weeks. They can include mild headaches, some hearing loss, ear pain and vertigo. However, in some cases symptoms can last longer and have a significant impact on ability to carry out everyday tasks. Sleep Apnoea Sleep apnoea is a relatively common condition where the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, interrupting normal breathing. This may lead to regularly interrupted sleep, which can have a big impact on quality of life, increase the risk of developing certain conditions and even

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50 Leek Life May/June 2018


medical conditions cause drivers to fall asleep at the wheel. It’s in these severe cases that people should contact their GP for further advice and consider informing the DVLA.

Eating disorders Having an unhealthy attitude to food doesn’t seem like something that could affect driving ability, yet there are severe cases that cause horrible side effects such as being weak and dizzy. Drivers must tell the DVLA if they suffer from an eating disorder (eg anorexia nervosa) and if it affects their ability to drive safely. Arthritis Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint with around 10 million people suffering across the UK. It can affect people of all ages, including children, and as the most commonly affected joints are those in the hands, spine, knees and hips, drivers should tell the DVLA if their condition affects driving and has lasted more than three months.

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Leek Life May/June 2018 51



onda’s new diesel Civic manual hatchback hit retail forecourts in February. The automatic will be available in early summer. Entry-level S model with manual transmission starts from £20,120 OTR rising to £24,925 OTR for an EX trim car with the six speed manual gearbox. Trim levels mirror those of the existing 1.0 VTEC Turbo petrol model with S, SE, SR and EX trims available. The EX trim is also available with


52 Leek Life May/June 2018

an optional Tech Pack for £600 which adds LED headlights with washers, LED fog lights, wireless phone charging and heated rear seats. PCP pricing for the new car, which is built at Honda’s UK manufacturing plant in Swindon; with monthly payments starting at £249 a month on a three year 5.9% APR contract for a Civic 1.6 i-DTEC SE Manual. The comprehensively revised 1.6 i-DTEC engine delivers an outstanding combination of performance and efficiency. It produces 120 PS at 4,000 rpm and 300 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. “The arrival of the diesel variant completes the line-up for the Civic hatchback in the UK,” commented Phil Webb, Head of Car at Honda UK. “This 1.6 i-DTEC is the most technologically advanced diesel unit we have launched to market and will deliver a very competitive offering for both the retail customer and the fleet market.” Pricing for the automatic Civic diesel will follow in the summer when the car becomes available.


Leek Life May/June 2018 53



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54 Leek Life May/June 2018

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