Newcastle Life Issue 36

Page 1


OPEN EVENING Tues 27 Sept 2022

T eG


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ISS U E 3 6 Editor s Letter .......................................6 Mayor Of Newcastle............................8 Eco-friendly Wall................................10 Scouts..................................................11 Schools In Bloom...............................13 Staffordshire County Show...............14 Charity Book.......................................18 Borough Emblem ..............................19 Commonwealth Games ....................20 Staffordshire Police............................21

Jubilee Celebrations .........................22 Wes Webster Photography ..............23 What s On ...........................................24 Art Student .........................................25 Art Competition .................................26 Gardening ..........................................27 Queen s Baton Relay..........................28 Quiz Corner.........................................30

FRONT COVER PIC By Wes Webster See our feature about Wes on page 23.


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here surely has been a wonderful mass of red, white and blue colours across the nation recently for HM The Queen s Platinum Jubilee. It s always so wonderful when communities come together for such celebrations and obviously this one was rather unique in HM Queen Elizabeth being the only British monarch to have reached such a monumental year on the throne. Happy Jubilee Your Majesty! Of course, the community of Newcastle joined in on the nation s Jubilee celebrations superbly with a host of organisations coming together to put on a jolly good patriotic show. See page 13. We also have a round-up of the return of Staffordshire

County Show which certainly proved a welcome return for the area. See pages 14 and 15. Also in this edition of the Newcastle Life Magazine, we have a number of features where the community have been banding together to help spruce up their areas; and we also have sporting and creative success stories, along with an introduction to the borough s new mayor. Happy reading! Until next time, take care!

Belinda PS: Do you have a story to tell about life in Newcastle? Email me at

Belinda Hargreaves Contents Editor Jane Walters Advertising Manager 07817128582 Erin Tuckwell Tracey Redfern Design & Production Times, Echo & Life Publications 18 Tape Street, Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent ST10 1BD Tel: 01538 752214


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Meet the new mayor in town


he new mayor of Newcastle Borough Council is councillor Gill Burnett.

Having worked as a carer for the past 30 years, the mother of one and grandmother of three is dedicating her first time as first citizen of the borough to lifting residents spirits post pandemic and raising money for two worthwhile causes. The Kidsgrove and Ravenscliffe councillor, who is starting her third term at Newcastleunder-Lyme Borough Council, is focusing on injecting a sense of fun during the next year and is already planning fund-raising events such as a 1940s night and 1920s ball/casino in aid of the Tri Services and Veterans Support Centre and Home Start Newcastle. The support centre, based in Newcastle, is creating a rural retreat in Mow Cop for exservice personnel, their families and the community. Operation R & R includes plans for four eco-friendly cabins and activities such as archery, bushcraft, bee-keeping and Tai Chi. Meanwhile, Home Start works alongside families experiencing a number of challenges including children s health, well-being and development; isolation, home environment and financial worries. As well as being a borough, county and town councillor, the Mayor is also a member of Kidsgrove s Town Deal Board which has secured £16.9 million of investment for the town a trustee of Kidsgrove sports centre and treasurer of the North Staffs 1940s Association. During her spare time, the Mayor s

hobbies include walking along the town s canals and spending time in local green spaces. She is also looking forward to marrying her fiancé, and Consort, David Faulkner in April 2023. Gill said: I ve lived in a small conservation area in Kidsgrove for more than 40 years and can t express what a fantastic area it is. My life as a councillor started 22 years ago when there were plans to install a phone mast outside of my house. I launched a campaign and as a result the mast was moved to a better location at the workingmen s club and the owners received compensation to refurbish the building. It was a win-win situation for everyone. I m expecting the next year to be really busy. I ve got lots of ideas. I m looking forward to raising the profile of Newcastle-under-Lyme, getting out and meeting new people, bringing together the community and hopefully having some fun along the way. Many people have been quite isolated for the past two and a half years so I want to do my best to help change that. Records show that there has been a mayor in Newcastle since 1318. As well as being a ceremonial role today, the Mayor chairs all meetings of the Full Council and holds the casting vote.



ill was made mayor after Newcastle Borough s Council s new municipal year began in May.

Newcastle-under-Lyme s Annual Council meeting took place with most of the 44 elected members in attendance in person. This hailed a return, for the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, to the Astley and Garden rooms at Castle House. The Conservative Party is in majority control at the council and is being led once again by councillor Simon Tagg. Having laid out his Cabinet s priorities for the next four-year term, cllr Tagg said: People across the borough have entrusted us with the stewardship of the council for the next four years. Following four years of improvement at the council under my previous administration, we have a solid base from which to start. I intend to carry on that work and deliver on our promises to the electorate. Cllr Tagg confirmed councillor Stephen Sweeney as deputy leader and appointed his new Cabinet portfolio responsibilities as follows: One Council, People and Partnerships: cllr Simon Tagg; Environment and Recycling: cllr Trevor

Johnson; Finance, Town Centres and Growth: cllr Stephen Sweeney; Leisure, Culture and Heritage: cllr Jill Waring; Community Safety and Wellbeing: cllr Gill Heesom; Strategic Planning: cllr Andrew Fear. The Annual Council, which is the inaugural meeting of the municipal year, also saw other key appointments for the next year and beyond announced, including committee appointments and the announcement of the new Mayor. Cllr Andrew Parker is chair of the licensing committee, and cllr Joan Whieldon vice-chair, while cllr Paul Northcott is chair of the planning committee with cllr Mick Crisp as vice-chair. Cllr Paul Waring was announced chair of the audit and standards committee with cllr Barry Panter as vice-chair. Retiring Mayor, cllr Ken Owen, handed over the chains of office to incoming Mayor and longserving councillor, Gill Burnett. During his year in office, Cllr Owen raised more than £4,000 for his chosen local charities Tri-Services and Royal British Legion. The new Mayor announced her partner David Faulkner as Consort and Chris Faulkner, as High Constable. Katie Shaw will be the Mayor s Cadet. Cllr Simon White was elected Deputy Mayor.


Green with ivy about castle panels


green wall by Newcastle bus station, created using live ivy plants, is part of an ongoing programme to help Newcastle Borough Council become carbon neutral by 2030. Environmentally-conscious councillors are taking inspiration from schoolchildren to make Newcastle town centre greener. The council has recently installed a series of demonstrator green walls to railings by Newcastle bus station, on busy Barracks Road. A spokesman for the council said: The pilot scheme part of an ongoing programme to help the council reach its ambitious goal to become carbon neutral by 2030 could be introduced in other areas in the future if it s proven to be successful. The screens, created using live ivy plants, are designed to act as a natural barrier to traffic pollution while enhancing the appearance of an urban environment. As well as the aesthetic benefits, studies show that ivy provides multiple health benefits and has a superior ability to trap particulate matter from vehicles and motorcycles. In addition, the evergreen plant provides a welcome habitat for many birds and insects all year round, including bees who are attracted by a late season source of nectar. The dense foliage is also a great noise buffer. It follows recent work by pupils from Hassell Community Primary School to install a large filter system adjacent to the town centre ring road. The project created with funding from Staffordshire County Council s Climate Change Action Fund is supported by county councillors Simon Tagg, Stephen Sweeney, Graham Hutton, James Salisbury and Ian Wilkes with additional sponsorship from Brampton Recruitment and support from Newcastle South Local Area Partnership. It is set to be seen by Heart of England in Bloom judges who tour Newcastle-under-Lyme on Wednesday, July 13 as part of the borough s campaign in the small city category of the horticultural competition. It is hoped that students from Staffordshire

University will help to monitor and evaluate what affect the panels have. Council leader, councillor Simon Tagg, who is also Cabinet member for environment, infrastructure and climate change for Staffordshire County Council, said: I m really pleased to play my part in introducing this pilot scheme in Newcastle town centre and look forward to seeing how it develops. We are keen to try out the green wall idea to see if it makes a real difference to levels of traffic pollution; if data proves this, then we will look to roll them out elsewhere in the borough. Bringing nature into an area, where it can add value, can be a vital step to creating a sustainable future. Like the council s ongoing work to plant thousands of new trees in urban spaces across the borough, green walls are known as a simple but effective way to filter the air, generate energy-rich oxygen and create a more sustainable eco-system. Barracks Road is particularly busy, with a high volume of passing traffic and a shopping area, so it s an ideal place to trial this initiative. We re hoping to develop the scheme over time to increase the positive effect for wildlife as well as residents, visitors and the wider community. It will be good to show the Heart of England in Bloom judges what we re doing. The screens have been arranged to look like a castle as a nod to Newcastle-under-Lyme s heritage.

Council Leader Simon Tagg is pictured, centre, with councillor Ian Wilkes and Claire Leigh, Director of Brampton Recruitment


Sprucing up the community


embers of the Scouting movement have been helping spruce up the area in which they live. The 74th Silverdale Scouts recently joined members of the Newcastle Borough Council Green Team to plant out a number of planters in the area. A member of the Newcastle Borough Council Green Team said: What a lovely evening for enhancing your local area. That s exactly what 74th Silverdale Scouts did tonight. Big thanks to Garners Garden Centre for kindly donating the plants. Well done everyone.

What s your community group been up to lately? Email us at


More than nine decades of

Jones & Shuffs


well-established builders and plumbers merchant is continuing to go from strength to strength.

Jones & Shuffs, which is now trading in it s 98th year, has recently had yet another expansion with that of a new bathroom and kitchen showroom at one of its three sites. The company, which has been supplying building, plumbing and heating products to the building industry for almost 100 years, has branches in Stoke, Longton and Kingsley Moor. Jones & Shuffs Stoke is situated a few minutes from the motorway network for all your plumbing, heating and sanitary requirements; while the Longton branch is for all your building and landscaping requirements and there is also a new bathroom and kitchen building now open at this site. At Jones & Shuffs Kingsley Moor there is one of the largest bathroom and shower showrooms in the Midlands where the team offers displays from all the leading manufacturers. The company has eco bathrooms and kitchens on display, along with K.Vit bathroom collection and Scudo beautiful bathrooms. 98 years ago, the business was started by the present owner s grandfather. The team offers an express delivery services and takes pride in having well-trained and helpful staff.

Now offering a complete service with all aspects of building, plumbing, heating now available at one site, they have landscaping displays on the same site. Jones & Shuffs are landscape suppliers of Tobermore, Eatons, and Long Rake Spar. The company was established in 1924 and the business moved to Lytton Street Stoke to allow for the development of the A500, the original building was demolished to make way for the dual carriageway. The business opened a second branch in Longton specialising in the heavyside of the building industry. In 1983, they were one of the first builder s merchants to have a Computerised Point of Sale system. And in 1992, they opened their third branch which was a Bathroom Showroom at Kingsley Moor. Jones & Shuffs has carried out a number of charity fundraising initiatives over the years, including Company Golf days, sponsorships for local football teams and bowling clubs, as well as supporting local schools and colleges. To find out more about the business, go online to:


Youngsters get


chools across Newcastle have been joining the rest of the borough community in getting green-fingered for a competition. Newcastle-under-Lyme is once again competing in the small city category of Heart of England in Bloom after establishing an unrivalled reputation in the horticultural contest over more than 30 years. Judges, along with representatives of the Newcastle In Bloom team, have been visiting schools in the area recently to check out what the town s school children have been doing for their bit in the contest. A spokesman for the Newcastle Borough Council Green Team said: It was great to be back on the road with the bloom judges recently. We saw some amazing school projects in our Newcastle In Bloom local competition.


Record visitors at

county show


record number of crowds gathered for an annual agricultural show recently with an estimated 60,000 visitors over

two days. The Staffordshire County Show was a success as the gates opened to find a record number of visitors to the best of agriculture over the two days of Wednesday, June 1 and Thursday, June 2. The show was sponsored by Rea Valley Tractors and faced online ticket sales bearing all records, and it is expected to continue to grow for years to come. Along with the display of sheep numbers being at an all-time high and all stand areas selling out, the main ring of attractions included Big Pete and the Grim Reaper Monster Truck Display. Big Pete is the world s only real monster Truck, at 16ft tall and 12ft wide. Jumping 15ft in the air, crushing anything in its path, thrilling the crowds with their gravity defying stunts, performing twice each day. The Country Pursuits area was popular with visitors and featured Donkey Rides, falconry, The Hogg Show, Ferret Roadshow, Fly Casting Demonstrations, Farriers Competition and the Giant tortoises.

The show also included a Craft Fair, The WI, a Model Railway, Punch and Judy, a Jazz band and a Food Hall which celebrate the very best of British Produce. This success continued, with celebrations of the Jubilee giving visitors high spirits at the county show as trade stands had flags and bunting surrounding them along with fancy dress parades and Jubilee parades taking place. The Grand testimony that took place alongside the livestock entries was a true testimony to British Agriculture with the finest champion animals parading throughout the county show. During the county show, however, issues took place as some visitors experienced delays with travelling to the show itself. Unfortunately, there were three separate road traffic accidents on roads throughout Stafford that resulted in a large volume of traffic that wasn t attending the show to be diverted on to the A518, the road that served the County Show. Despite this, with it simply being out of the control of the Show Organisers, the County Show was an absolute success as Richard Williams, Chief Executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, said: There has been a constant flow of people coming in through the gates.


We ve been so lucky with the weather, and we re delighted to see so many people here enjoying the show. Richard went on to thank those involved in putting on the two days of spectacles and paid tribute to the hundreds of stewards involved who worked tirelessly to make the show a success. Next year s show is expected to be held on May 31 and June 1, 2023, during half term week. The show s main sponsored will be Rea Valley Tractors once again and will feature the Bolddog Lings Motorcycle stunt display team performing in the main ring.

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Newcastle focus for charity book


charity is set to benefit from the proceeds of a newly published book which has a Newcastle focus. Clayhanger Press of Newcastleunder-Lyme have recently announced the publication of Westlands Stories by local author Paul Anderton. All the proceeds from the sale of this book are set to be donated to the Dougie Mac. A spokesman for Clayhanger Press said: The publication of the book has been made possible by the generous support of two local charities, The Strasser Foundation and the Barracks Trust Clayhanger Press has waived all production fees to ensure that all the money from the sales go to the Dougie Mac. In this exploration of the history of the Westlands area of Newcastleunder-Lyme local historian Paul Anderton shows how an unfashionablee district outside a small market town was transformed into a suburb praised d for its high-quality residential character. The book reveals the links between land used for military purposes and a Barracks in the town n. Newcastle Workhouse s last years arre described at the time when the town council s plans for a housing estate on the lines of the Bournville Village Trust were implemented. Detailed research and numerous illustrations highlight the way that Newcastle responded to the need to remove the Victorian legacy of unhealthy living conditions in the age when the provision of houses became a public responsibility. This book attempts to show how history is constructed, and how it explains, to a large extent if not totally, how the scene outside our windows has been created. Paul Anderton s writing

style together with the numerous illustrations, maps and quotes from those who remember the area before it was developed help to bring this fascinating exploration of social development in Newcastle to life and will be of great interest, not only to those who live in the area, but anyone who wants to discover the way that communities develop over time and the forces and pressures which drive those changes. Priced at £10 this 170-page book is available from any DougieMac Shop and online from Clayhanger Press. For further details email, call 07777 662442, or go online to:


Original borough emblem in safe hands


colourful plaque displaying the original official symbol of Newcastleunder-Lyme has been saved and preserved for future generations as a multi-million regeneration scheme gathers pace. The large, double sided sign bearing the borough s first coat of arms which sat over the balcony of the former Civic Offices in Merrial Street is now in safe hands following the demolition of the old council headquarters to make way for an ambitious redevelopment of the Ryecroft. A spokesman for Newcastle Borough Council said: The council was keen to protect the symbolic object as a visual reminder of part of the borough s heritage for years to come. It s been cleaned and is now ready for a new home which could include Brampton Museum, in Brampton Park, or the town centre. The first coat of arms, officially granted in December 1951, featured several components including a red castle, waves and fishes supported by black lions holding scythes and fleurs-de-lis from the arms of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Latin motto prisca constantia means ancient and loyal , a statement which has been associated with the borough for many years. The design was later modified following the merger of the Newcastle-under-Lyme

Municipal Borough, the Kidsgrove Urban District and the Newcastle-under-Lyme Rural District in 1974. The crest now depicts kids in a grove of trees to represent the town of Kidsgrove. The council spokesman continued: Blueprint plans for Ryecroft include residential new-build, a multi-storey car park, open plazas and new public space alongside better connections to the residential areas at the north of the town centre. Aspire Housing has announced plans to build a net zero collaboration hub on part of the site. The once-in-a-generation redevelopment of the brownfield site has been made possible as a result of the council securing more than £11 million from the Government's Future High Streets Fund, which included £7.3 million for Ryecroft. Council leader, councillor Simon Tagg added: The demolition of the Civic Offices is paving the way for a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform the extended Ryecroft area as part of our £11 million Future High Streets Fund allocation. We re very excited about the future but I m glad that it was possible to retain this little bit of important history. Many residents had contacted me about the possibility of preserving the crest so I am pleased we have been able to do that.


Ben jumps for joy for games


ewcastle-under-Lyme s triple jumper Ben Williams is celebrating after he was recently named in the Team England squad for this summer s Commonwealth Games. He will be going for gold at the Birmingham Games in the first weekend of August after securing his place with a jump of 16.82 metres earlier this month the fourth best of his career. His latest international appearance comes after he represented Team GB at last year s Tokyo Olympics. British Triple Jump Champion Ben, who has been sponsored by digger giant JCB since 2019, said: I am absolutely thrilled to be representing England at our home Commonwealth Games. I am feeling in great form and relishing the prospect of competing in front of a big crowd on home turf. I thrive on the atmosphere of large competitions, and this is one of the biggest in the world. Ben was inspired to start triple jumping aged eight while watching Jonathan Edwards

on TV win gold at the Sydney Olympics. Edwards still holds the world triple jump record of 18.29 metres, 27 years after setting it. Ben missed the last Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018 due to knee surgery and after bouncing back to fitness, almost quit the sport in 2019 as he battled to balance the need to earn money with the demands of training as an elite athlete. Ben added: If JCB had not stepped in to help with sponsorship I doubt I would have been able to continue representing my country at the sport I love. It is thanks to that support from JCB that I have been able to train full time as a triple jumper which has helped my form massively. I go into the Commonwealth Games as a medal contender which is a fantastic position to be in. Ben s life-time best jump of 17.27 metres came in August 2019 almost the length of a double decker bus. Guyana s Troy Doris secured the gold medal at the last Commonwealth Games with a jump of 16.88 metres.


New chief for local policing


he Newcastle Local Policing Team (LPT) has welcomed a new Commander to its ranks.

Commander and Detective Chief Inspector John Owen, has over 20 years experience within Staffordshire Police and has taken up the role after a varied career across several different departments including working in Criminal Investigations (CID), Counter Terrorism and Integrated Offender Management. Speaking of his new role, John said:

I m really excited to be taking up the role of Commander for the Borough and meeting partners and communities. I think the communities are clear in what they want from us; to respond quickly when they need us, to offer a quality of service that officers would expect for their families and to be in and around those causing criminality and dealing with them in the most effective manner. To find out more about policing in your area, visit the Staffordshire Police website.



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Community comes together for Jubilee


host of events and activities took place in Newcastle as part of the town joining in on HM The Queen s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. On Thursday, June 2 and Friday, June 3, there was an Outdoor Cinema, provided by the town s BID, at the Ironmarket; and the Guildhall was also open for visitors to view the entries from a children s art competition and memorabilia from the seven decades of the Queen s reign along with quizzes and craft work. Thursdays proceedings were launched with a special cry by the Newcastle Town Crier; and later on in the evening, Newcastle-under-Lyme s Jubilee Beacon was lit, at the highest point of Apedale Country Park. It was among more than 2,022 beacons which were lit across the UK and Commonwealth to mark the Queen's 70-year reign. On Saturday, June 4, there was a multitude of events at the Market Cross end of town with: a drumming workshop by Madula ; a crowning ceremony which was a re-enactment of part of the Queen s coronation; story telling; and a screening of a Ray Johnson heritage film. Meanwhile at Brampton Museum there was further Ray Johnson heritage film viewings; as well as a 1950s music/dance session. On Sunday, June 5, at the Guildhall there was: Loud Mouth Women; St Mary s Primary School Choir; Belly dancers; Magic shows and face painting; along with outdoor charity stalls and artisan market and street party. Plus in the afternoon, the Brampton Museum event space was a place for families to enjoy a community picnic.

Wes Webster PhotograPhy

Helping people to create

everlasting memories


ur lovely front cover for this edition of the Newcastle Life Magazine has been kindly taken and supplied to us by professional photographer Wes Webster. Here Wes tells us about his photography career:

I first picked up a camera when I was 17 years old, and realised at the age of 22 that I just absolutely loved taking pictures. I ve always been creative, having studied Art while at school, an HND in Photography while at college, and I definitely prefer to design and make something myself rather than to buy it. But photography is my real passion. There is something very special about witnessing something amazing whether it s an emotional moment at a wedding, a spectacular landscape under a dramatic skyline, or the grace and beauty of a dancer mid-leap and being able to capture it in a single frame. I have spent the last 20 years working as a professional photographer and I can honestly say it was the best career choice I could have made. I recently celebrated my 10th anniversary of running my own photography business from my home in Leek, Staffordshire, which is an achievement I am really proud of. Before I created Wes Webster Photography, I worked as a photojournalist, capturing news and sport throughout the West Midlands region. I was lucky enough to win an award as the Best News Photographer in the Midlands during my time in the newspaper industry. My images of Stoke City FC celebrating a goal, a murder scene in Stoke-on-Trent and the viral story about the

smoking ban not initially being legal locally helped me to receive this gong. Since then, I have been able to focus on what I do best helping people to create everlasting memories from special moments; showcasing local and national businesses and organisations through my commercial and PR work; and capturing the beautiful landscapes and scenery that I am so lucky to have on my doorstep. It has been a really rewarding journey so far, and I feel honoured to have worked with some incredibly inspiring people. My photography has taken me to places outside Staffordshire too, with a pinnacle moment for me being given the opportunity to work at St Paul s Cathedral in London. I ve also been asked to photograph some very high profile events, as the galleries on my website can show. I ve met and photographed many celebrities including Kylie Minogue, Rod Stewart, Mick Hucknall and Cannon and Ball to name a few. And I m also the lead photographer for a leading national theatre company. But as much as I enjoy working up and down the UK, my passion for photography has been heavily influenced by the people I ve met in the Staffordshire area, and by the stunning scenery nearby, and I still love to return to the place where I now call home. See more of Wes work at www.weswebster


Every third Sunday of the month. Monthly Artisan Market held in the historic market town of Newcastle-underLyme. Celebrating the best local makers, bakers and creators with an exciting mix of live music and street food too. Details: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday between 9am and 4pm selling a wide range of goods. Operated by the Antique Forum Group every Tuesday and Saturday between 8am and 3pm, selling a range of antiques, collectables and vintage items. Operated by the Antique Forum Group every Thursday between 8am and 3pm, selling a range of bric-a-brac and collectable items. Every fourth Friday of each month around the Guildhall and alongside the general market, between 9am and 2.30pm, bringing together food from local and regional producers and also periodic craft and creative makers. For further details about Newcastle s markets, go online to:

Arts and Crafts Sale at St Mark s Church, Basford. 11am-4pm. Products from local artists. Free admission. Refreshments available. Details: 01782 621424. Queen s Baton Relay in Newcastle Borough at Belong Heritage Gallery and Keele University campus, in Newcastle, and the Harecastle Tunnel and Trent and Mersey Canal in Kidsgrove as well as the Pump Track at Newchapel. Details: -baton-relay. Live Music at Castletown Distillery, Newcastle. With rock and pop covers band Coverup. 9pm until late. Please note that the information in this feature was correct at the time of print but all events are subject to change. Please check with the venues for updates. Do you have a public/community event coming up which you would like to appear in our What s On feature? Email what, when, where, etc, to our Editor Belinda at


Mum s memories inspires exhibition


n artist who ran away from the circus to go to university has showcased her work on home turf at the recent Staffordshire University s Degree

Show. Eve Travis is one of hundreds of students across Art, Design, Media and Performance courses to exhibit their final year projects in the show which featured earlier this Summer. After travelling the world as a circus performer, Eve, aged 30 from Newcastle-underLyme, decided to go back to university when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. She said: I worked in the creative industry for ten years and just wanted to create for creativity s sake. I dropped out of uni the first time to run away with the circus and then I ran away from the circus to come back to uni. In the Fine Art gallery, Eve paid homage to her mum who studied the same subject at North Staffordshire Polytechnic in the 1970s. She recreated a painting that her mother produced, whilst pregnant with her.

The miniature abstract artwork of a pregnant female form was carefully displayed on a museum-style plinth alongside Eve s interpretation of the piece; a large patchwork quilt that hung on the gallery wall. Eve explained: Going through this process I feel closer to my mum in a different way and feel that I have learned more about her. I wanted to manufacture this heirloom to give back to her and decided to make a quilt because I felt that is domestic and homely. In another room, Eve recreated a piece of performance art that her mum made during the same period which was projected onto the wall. Originally featuring Eve s mother and father with a musical accompaniment by a close friend, these roles have been reprised by Eve, her partner and best friend who is also a musician with a reworked version of the song. Eve said: When I came into my final year, I started thinking about the art performances that my mum told me about years ago and that there is no documentation of. I have these memories of memories that aren t within my lived experience and I have this myth of my mother that revolves around being at this institution that I am now also at. I was seeking connection with this mum that I didn t know before she became a mum. I feel that she gave up art to be a mother, so I wanted to remake one of her performances and gift it to her. Eve revealed her recreations to her mum during the Degree Show and filmed her reaction and their conversations. She added: I decided not to ask my mum for any finer details, so I ve made it based on this memory of a re-telling. What is interesting is that it will be wrong but it will be mine and it will be hers all at the same time.

art competition

Tree-mendous prizes for young artists


hildren from schools across the Newcastle borough have attended a special awards ceremony at Keele Hall recently after impressing judges in Newcastle Borough Council's annual painting competition. Young artists were rewarded for their impressive creative talents. A total of 37 winners in the council s annual Britain in Bloom children s painting competition picked up certificates and prizes from Newcastle Borough Mayor Gill Burnett. The theme of this year s competition, organised as part of the borough s successful Newcastle in Bloom campaign, was Bloomin Treemendous in recognition of the council s Plant a Bloomin Tree initiative which is creating carbon capture green spaces in urban areas to help mitigate the effects of climate change, contributing towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. There were a total of 608 entries from 15 primary, secondary and special educational needs schools in Newcastle-under-Lyme,

including two from individuals. The overall winner of the under seven s category was Clark Davis, aged five, from the Demetae Academy in Newcastle who impressed the judges with his dramatic painting of silver birch trees as the dark background really contrasts with the colour of the birch. Amber Smith, from Thursfield Primary School in Harriseahead, was the main winner of the over ten s section. The ten-year-old s entry showed hands gifting a tree to the world which linked in with the Plant a Bloomin Tree campaign. Clark and Amber s masterpieces were stars of the show at a recent exhibition held at the redeveloped Brampton Museum. Newcastle-under-Lyme is once again competing in the small city category of Heart of England in Bloom after establishing an unrivalled reputation in the horticultural contest over more than 30 years. The painting competition is sponsored by The Art Studio in Newcastle and Alton Towers.



Sea Hollies

une into July is the time Eryngiums (Sea Hollies) are coming into bloom but they ve been looking good all spring with their dramatic, exotic looking leaves and will continue to inspire into the autumn as architectural seed heads replace the flowers. The largest specimen in our garden is Eryngium eburneum (the ivory white sea holly), now over 4ft / 120cm across and sending up multiple branching stems topped with whitish thimble flowers to a height of 45ft / 120/150cm. We ve found it to be completely hardy in our free draining soil. It is usually evergreen and holds its seed heads through the winter. Eryngium agavifolium has wider, toothedged leaves and greenish flowers. Looking like a desert agave, it is completely hardy and appreciates a deep, rich but draining soil. Eryngium zabelii Jewel, an old variety with intensely blue flower stems and flowers most of the flower colour comes from the stiff, spikey bracts that surround the flowers. This one is deciduous leaving just brown flower stems behind when the leaves die in winter. Like all eryngiums it will survive drought, but this type tends to shed its leaves in extreme conditions. Jewel is about 2ft 6in / 75cm tall. Slightly taller, with equally blue stems and flowers is Eryngium planum. This species is more drought tolerant. Smaller is Eryngium bourgatii with the whole plant giving a bluish silver effect from the silver lines on the leaves to the silver-blue flowers. A good choice for the front of the border, rockery or gravel garden. Low and ground-hugging is Eryngium variifolium with marbled leaves and short spikes of silvery flowers. A quick word about Miss Wilmott s Ghost E. giganteum. This is biennial so if you lose it after flowering that s what s meant to be! It will seed itself although seed can take 2 years to germinate. Its name comes from the habit of the eponymous lady to sprinkle a little of its

seed in gardens she visited when she felt they needed brightening up! Janet and I organise Plant Hunters Fairs, specialist plant fairs at wonderful locations offering great value days out. Cholmondeley Castle, Malpas on Wednesday, July 13: Special reduced entry price of just £4.50 to garden and fair. Entry by advance ticket. Capesthorne Hall and Garden, Macclesfield on Sunday, August 14: Entry to gardens and fair only £3.50. Pay on the gate. The Dorothy Clive Garden on Sunday, August 28, and Monday, August 29: Special reduced entry price of just £5 to garden and fair Entry by advance ticket. For further information go online to: Martin Blow

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Four borough destinations for royal b


our locations within Newcastle-underLyme borough will receive a visit from the Queen s Baton Relay in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games this Summer. The four locations that the Baton will visit in the borough on July 18 are the Belong Heritage Gallery and Keele University campus, in Newcastle, and the Harecastle Tunnel and Trent and Mersey Canal in Kidsgrove as well as the Pump Track at Newchapel. Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen s Baton Relay a journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games. The Queen s Baton Relay is set to travel the length and breadth of England for a total

from around ten local primary schools will visit the sports facilities on campus, where year five and six children will take part across different sporting activities in an informal multi sport competition, celebrating the spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship embodied by the Games. Mike Huss, Operations and Active Lifestyles Manager at Keele said: It is with great pleasure that we welcome so many young people to Keele University Sports Centre to help us celebrate the Commonwealth Games Queen s Baton of 29 days, before culminating passing through Newcastle. We hope the event inspires at the Opening Ceremony for future generations of Birmingham 2022 on 28 July sporting talent in the local 2022. area. The Baton began it s Moving on to Belong journey across the UK on June Heritage Gallery, the Baton 2, spending four days in route activities will include a London, coinciding with the Philip Astley Circus Queen s Platinum Jubilee Celebration. Belong s CEO, Weekend. The Baton then Martin Rix, said: We re resumed the international journey and return to England really excited to be part of this historic occasion. It on Monday, 18 July to couldn t be more fitting that commence a 25-day tour of we ll have the opportunity to the regions. showcase Newcastle-underOn Monday, July 18, Lyme s heritage as the Newcastle-under-Lyme will original home of modern officially welcome the Baton. circus, and residents, A busy schedule of activities and events are planned for the colleagues and local school children are all looking Queen s Baton, with forward to joining in the opportunities to highlight spectacle as the Queen s untold stories from Baton Baton follows its route bearers who are striving for through the Belong village change in their community. and heritage gallery. The Baton s first visit will For the events in be to Keele University and, to Kidsgrove, members of the mark the occasion, children


l baton isit Harecastle Tunnel and Trent and Mersey Canal, Canal and River Trust have organised a unique adventure for the Baton, as it is carried on a narrowboat along the canal. This will be followed by a themed programme of activities with local schools and members of the community. The final visit for the Baton will be to Newchapel Pump Track, where local schoolchildren and members of the local community will take part in cycling and sports events. Thousands of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through England, including those nominated in recognition of their contributions to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity. Between 40 and 130 Batonbearers will carry the Baton each day, and the Relay will reach hundreds of villages, towns and cities during its tour of the country. One of the confirmed community Batonbearers in Staffordshire is Tracy Paine, a co-founder of Belong villages, who was nominated for her contribution in transforming care settings for people with dementia. For further information about the Queen s Baton Relay go online to: eens-baton-relay.


Batonbearer Gill

ne of the batonbear ers for the Newcastle -under-Lyme route of the relay is set to be Gill Powell, who lives in Clayton.

She told the Newcastle Life Magazine: Back in January 2022 an article popped up on my work email asking for people from Newcastle to be nominated to be Commonwealth Games Baton Carriers. I thought it would be a great opportunity and I got my daughter Rebecca Powell to nominate me. I have spent 25 years plus volunteering with Girlguiding, running a Rainbow and Brownie Pack in Newcastle. Also I have been helping run youth groups at St Giles Church for over 25 years. Gill continued: I never thought I would be selected. I was really surprised, as there was a lot of competition and after some form filling and an acceptance email I have been informed I will be carrying the baton on Monday, July 18, when the baton route that day will be starting from Keele University then heading into Newcastle through Stoke and then ending up in Kidsgrove - as yet I don t know the exact part of the route that I have been allocated. Gill added: I am really excited now as my Baton Bearers Uniform has arrived and I am just waiting for finalisation of the details eg timings and location. I am so excited and am really looking forward to the day, I am very nervous but what an opportunity and honour and a privilege it will be. If any of the readers are free on July 18, I would love your support along the route.

quiz corner

Let s get quizzical

1. Which popular British kids' cartoon features Richard Ridings, Morwenna Banks and John Sparks among its voice cast? 2. Which artist, in May, had a 1985 single propelled to the top of the charts on iTunes and become their most streamed song ever on Spotify after it appeared in the new season of Stranger Things? 3. How many inches in a foot? 4. Where do winning teams get between 16 and 24 points? 5. What are listed in Crockford s Directory? 6. Anthony Albanese is the new Prime Minister of which country? 7. Who is reprising his role as Anakin Skywalker after a gap of 17 years in the new Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi? 8. Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision song contest in May for which country? 9. If you are measuring capacity in the UK, how many gallons are there in a peck? 10. On 19 May 1499, which future bride of Henry VIII got married for the first time? 11. Élisabeth Borne became the first woman to hold the role of Prime Minister in which country for more than thirty years? 12. What is the name of Woody and Jessie's horse introduced in the movie Toy Story 2? 13. What delicacy is a Wigan slappy? 14. Which entertainment awards had 86 categories this year? 15. Which Commonwealth country s official language is Portuguese? 16. In which English city was Manchester City s new signing Erling Haaland born? 17. Who was the top scorer in the Women s Super League this season having scored a goal per game? 18. Ncuti Gatwa will take over from Jodie Whittaker as which television character? 19. What astronomical objects are known as dirty snowballs? 20. Which rugby league team were the original red devils? 1. Peppa Pig 2. Kate Bush The song is Running Up That Hill 3. Twelve 4. Cricket s County Championship 5. Anglican clergy 6. Australia 7. Hayden Christensen 8. Ukraine 9. Two 10. Catherine of Aragon 11. France 12. Bullseye 13. Pie in a bread roll 14. Grammys 15. Mozambique 16. Leeds 17. Sam Kerr (Chelsea) 18. Doctor Who 19. Comets 20. Salford (Man Utd FC borrowed the nickname)

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