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A family ticket to see Astley’s Astounding Adventures at The New Vic Theatre


ISSUE 14 Editor’s Letter .............................................6

Mayor’s Charity Ball .................................22

Circus Monument .....................................10

Edenhurst Superheroes ............................25

Lions Beach Party .......................................8 Scouts Castle Capers .................................12 40 Years Service ........................................14

Newcastle Town FC ..................................24

Gardening .................................................27

Home Improvements ...............................28

Scouts Volunteers......................................15

Newcastle Birds.........................................31

Award Winning Beer .................................17

Legal Matters ............................................35

Beer and Gin Festival ................................19

Motoring ...................................................38

Recipe ........................................................16 Stage Directions ........................................18

What’s On .................................................20

Dougie Mac ...............................................32 Charity Network Events............................37

Quiz Corner...............................................42

You are warmly invited to visit at any time. Please call 01782 664620.

Fun filled times in Newcastle

s we finally step into the summer season, we've not only had a bumper past few months to look back on, but we also have a whole host of fun filled events across Newcastle yet to look forward to. All sorts of exciting goings on across the borough have kept us busy recently and the team here at Newcastle Life have enjoyed being out and about to capture it all. We 'ooed' and 'aahhed' as the town's latest art was unveiled on World Circus Day - a very special George Street monument which pays hommage to our rich performance heritage. We clapped and cheered with delight watching the incredible performances of our young scouts - the Castle Capers show once again wowed the crowds! And we were delighted to hear of several fundraising events across the area; An evening of mystery and magic at the Mayor's Masquerade Ball raised an impressive £11,000 for charity; whilst youngsters at Edenhurst raced to the finish line to raise much needed cash for the Donna Louise Trust. Have you seen our photographer out and about? If so he may have caught you on camera! Take a look inside. As always, in this issue there’s a great line up of news and features for you to get stuck into; we look at Newcastle Town FC's step into the future; speak to a local Dougie Mac lotto winner; and learn about how the Lions Club have made a splash with a beach party for youngsters. With the gradual change in weather comes high spirits. I'm sure summer is just around the corner and there's plenty to do - so why not enjoy a glass or two of something fizzy at Seabridge Primary School's Beer and Gin festival, have a dance at the town's infamous Jazz and Blues festival, or get inspired by a whole host of new circus themed events! Whatever you do, enjoy yourself!


Laura Campbell Contents Editor Sophie Cotton Tracey Redfern Design & Production Thomas Brian General Manager Mobile: 07855 242693

Jane Walters Advertising Sales

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


‘TIS TH E SEASO N... Your gu ide






Life 77th ann ual par ade this Sep tember

Thank you to all of you have been in touch so far. Remember, Newcastle Life is YOUR magazine and we want to hear from you! Perhaps you have a story to tell or a photo to share; maybe you’d like to promote your event or your talent; or you may have exciting snippets of local history to interest our readers! Simply get in touch by emailing


to wh

Food this Christmasat’s returns Fest with a bang


Foodie celebrati fun and ons bac k for 20 17


• Tickets to • A set of see Taking Steps four Isado at ra Moon The New Vic books


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Kids make a splash at Lions beach party ince 1999, Staffordshire children have enjoyed a very special annual beach party and it’s all thanks to Newcastle Lions Club. Along with other Lions clubs across North Staffordshire, the group have organised and hosted the party at Waterworld on Festival Park, Stoke on Trent every year. With charity and community at the heart of what they do, the Lions Clubs cover the cost of hiring Waterworld and provide a goody bag for each child including sweets, chocolate, crisps, fruit, drinks and vouchers, and an Easter Egg for each carer. They also put on fun filled entertainment for the youngsters, including mascots from Stoke City and Port Vale and a Clown. Children who attend get the chance to attend a venue, with their school friends where they may normally not enjoy visiting. The event aims to help them improve their social skills and enjoy spending time with classmates and teachers. The schools use the event as an incentive for good work and as an opportunity to practice their


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writing skills in composing thank you letters to the Lions. This year over 800 children and young people were booked in to attend the event, many from local schools plus others travelling down from Northwich and up from Lichfield and Hednesford. 338 teachers and carers helped them to enjoy the day in safety. Lions Spokesman David Slack told Newcastle Life magazine: “The biggest buzz about the event for those organising it is seeing the faces of the young people, hearing their enjoyment and receiving the words of thanks as they leave. “Over 60 Lions Club members helped to ensure the safety of the young people, in addition to the many hours of preparation for the event. “We are proud to have had this idea of a special event for young disadvantaged people 19 years ago, and thank the schools for their support” For more information on the work done by Lions Clubs go to

Newcastle Life Issue 14 9


‘Monumental’ day for New W

orld Circus Day was celebrated in style in Newcastle this year, as crowds flocked to witness the grand unveiling of the country’s very first permanent monument to Philip Astley, father of the modern day circus. On Saturday, 21st April, magician and illusionist Andrew van Buren, Newcastle Mayor Simon White and the executive director of the Federation Mondiale du Cirque, Zsuzsanna Mata showcased the George Street monument in Astley’s birthplace of Newcastle-under-Lyme. The bespoke, 15ft, metalwork sculptures were created in partnership between PM training, Aspire, Realise Foundation, The Philip Astley Project and the Van Buren Organisation. It was designed and built by 17 year old apprentices Candida Kelsall and Liam Robinson, from leading apprenticeship provider, PM Training. They carried out the design, welding,

10 Newcastle Life Issue 14

cutting, assembly, installation and landscaping of the sculptures and were supported by PM Training’s Artworks Manager, Phil Brown. The stunning display features metalwork silhouettes of a ringmaster surrounded by two horses on pyramid bases. Apprentice, Liam Robinson, 17, from Tunstall said: “Working on these sculptures has been amazing and seeing them installed has made me extremely proud.” He continues; “I’ve loved applying what I’ve learnt to this project; and it has certainly made me interested in the circus.” Phil Brown added: “To me, these projects are important because of the skills we share with the young apprentices. They get the experience needed to move into jobs and careers in engineering.” The sculptures are supporting a movement in the local area to improve the awareness of Philip Astley and his creation of the circus alongside the works of the Philip Astley Project. Artistes from Charity Circus, Circus Starr and Gandey’s Circus attended the unveil to add an


ewcastle’s circus heritage

element of glamour and showmanship. Performers included Mexican clown Chico Rico, Jaqueline and Gina Morales, Romy Bower, Brandon Navas and Ringmaster Joel Hatton. Also present at the event were an array of specially invited guests, including Will Nixon, Chief Executive Realise charity and Managing Director of PM Training, Peter Shaw (ITV Producer), Baroness Llyn Golding, Angie Osbourne Shaw, the Circus Friends Association and Ray Johnson (Staffordshire Film Archive). Following the unveil of the Monument Andrew Van Buren hosted a series of talks & vintage circus film showings at the New Vic Theatre. The unveiling on World Circus Day not only featured the sculptures but a new plaque dedicated to honouring Philip Astley in his birth town. Realise charity has supported the installation of metalworks sculptures across the county, including ‘the Bee’ installed last year on the A34/Knutton Lane roundabout, as part of its environmental improvement programme. Find out more about Realise charity at

Newcastle’s link with Monte Carlo

Back in January, Prince Albert and Princess Stephanie of Monte Carlo unveiled a Philip Astley Plaque in the city, and the unveiling of Newcastle’s newest monument saw the closing ceremony of the World Juggling tour, which also began in Monte Carlo. Andrew Van Buren returned the unique juggling clubs to Zsuzsanna Mata to be taken home to Monte Carlo who then gifted these unique juggling clubs to Newcastleunder-Lyme - a generous symbol of collaboration and honouring of Philip Astleys Birthplace. For more information, visit Newcastle Life Issue 14 11


Castle Capers wows th Newcastle Scouts put on performance to remember oungsters from across the Newcastle district have once again put on a performance to remember. The 2018 Scouts Show - Castle Capers returned to the Mitchell Arts Centre, Hanley, in April. Castle Capers has been running every two years since 1974, but this is the first time that the Scouts themselves have been part of the production team. Youth Producer Sam Heelis commented: “It’s been a really fantastic experience. We’ve written our own sketches, and the suggestions we’ve made have helped to shape the show. Scouting is all about young people so it’s great that we took a


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leading role both on and off the stage.” The show had something for everyone. There were songs from musicals such as Grease and Rock of Ages, hits from the likes of Keane, Elbow, and Madonna, and a special tribute to those who fought in World War One. Dedicated Scouts practised since January for the show, and amongst those who watched it come together was Newcastle’s District Commissioner Vera Bloor. She told Newcastle Life: “For me Castle Capers is what Scouting is all about: young people and leaders working together to put on a brilliant show. I’ve been so impressed by how talented everyone is, and the hard work which they’ve been putting in.”


the crowds once more

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40 years recognised ewcastle Scouts celebrated a special event recently, recognising one volunteer for four decades of outstanding service to the


group. Scout leader Ron Webb was presented with his 40 years service award by the Deputy District Commissioner, Dave, at an awards night held in Basford in April. Ron first joined the 65th 1st. Madeley Wolf Cub Pack in 1952. In 1956 he was invested into Scouts and took part in his first camp at Camp Hills Blackbrook. 1961 saw Ron take over as Assistant Scout Master at just seventeen years old, with help from District Commissioner C.H.A,Lewis. The following year he ran his first camp with the Penkridge Troop, at Blackbrook. In 1963 he went to his first training course at Kibblestone and in 1964 he was presented with his first Warrant. Between 1999 and 2010 Ron organised camps 14 Newcastle Life Issue 14

for all Troops in Newcastle District and from 2003 to 2006 he ran the collection from the car parking at Christmas to buy toys for the children’s Ward. In 2005 he received the Silver Acorn. Well done Ron!


Volunteers needed Can you help save the future of scouting? ith volunteers on the decline, Newcastle District Scouts are on the lookout for enthusiastic and dedicated new people, in a bid to prevent local groups from being forced to close down. Volunteers are recruited on the merit of skills - you do not need to have scouting experience and there are lots of flexible ways to get involved. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be contributing to your community and developing yourself, all whilst meeting new people and having fun. There are 17 groups across the borough. To comply with scouting policy and the charity commission, each group has to have an executive, (Chair, Secretary Treasurer, plus others) who are trustees, and support the Group scout leader to deliver scouting in the group. Each group has section leaders, and assistant leaders, plus any occasional helpers. The district also has an executive, which supports the District Commissioner to oversee the district. Volunteers are needed for all roles, both uniform and none, and all roles are extremely rewarding and enjoyable. Whether its working directly with young people, running a specific activity, managing others, or simply looking after a meeting place or fundraising, there’s something to suit everyone. Volunteers will get to know more experienced leaders and receive training. District Commissioner Vera Bloor commented:


“Volunteering is great fun, and makes a real difference to the children of our area. If people can give even a couple of hours a month that would be great. Volunteering for scouting is great on CVs too, and skills are transferrable into the workplace.” Scouting increases young peoples confidence and encourages them to be better citizens - so why not get involved? For more information, email contact@newcastledistrictscout

Opportunities include: - Taking minutes of meetings - Fundraising events organiser - Accounts - Admin - Executive Committee - Group Secretary - Group Chairman Sections: - Beavers (ages 6-8) - Cubs (ages 8-10) - Scouts (ages 10 - 14) - Explorers (age 14 - 18) - Network (ages 18 - 25) - Scout Active support

Newcastle Life Issue 14 15

RECIPE Ingredients • 500g lean turkey mince • 3 rashers streaky bacon • 1 onion • 1 egg • 1 tsp basil (dried or freshly chopped) • salt and pepper

Homemade turkey burgers         A spell of warmer weather prompts all of us to start enjoying salads and lighter bites as we prepare for barbecue weather. As a weekend treat, or something a little special for a garden barbecue with friends, Newcastle Life brings you a special recipe for homemade turkey burgers. Method • Empty the turkey mince into a large bowl. • In a seperate cup or jug, beat the egg and add to the mince. • For a rustic burger, mix by hand. Smoother looking patties can be achieved by a brief spell in the blender, but be careful not to mix too finely. • Finely chop the onion and fry in a pan with a small amount of oil. • Chop the bacon into small pieces (or for ease cut with scissors) and add to the pan for about 16 Newcastle Life Issue 14

five minutes. • Add the bacon and onion to the mince and mix again by hand, adding basil, salt and pepper to taste. • Form into patties by taking a handful of the mix, rolling into a ball and patting flat. • Grill for about eight minutes on each side or until thoroughly cooked. • Serve in a sliced bap with lettuce and sliced onion, mozarella and fresh tomato with a sprig of fresh basil.


National recognition for Staffordshire beer Lymestone brings home Bronze medal he owners of The Lymestone Vaults in Newcastle are celebrating after scooping their first ever national award. Lymestone Brewery, based in nearby Stone, has won a bronze medal for its Cherry Stone beer at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) national awards. The brewery, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has won a clutch of regional awards for its beer over the last decade, and last year was named Staffordshire Brewery of the Year at the Taste of Staffordshire Awards. But this is the first time it’s been recognised on the national stage. The Pepper Street pub is the first Brewery Tap for the Lymestone Brewery, which is owned by Ian and Viv Bradford and run by Pub Manager Peter. As well as the Lymestone core beer range the Vaults also features guest local and national micro-brewery cask ales. Judged by brewers and industry experts and organised by SIBA at their flagship BeerX event in Liverpool on 14th and 15th March, the awards covered a huge range of beer style categories. Lymestone won the bronze medal in the speciality light bottled beer category for Cherry Stone after it landed gold at last year’s SIBA Midlands awards. Head brewer Ian Bradford said: “We’re absolutely delighted. Cherry Stone was incredibly popular when we introduced it as a seasonal beer a couple of years ago, so it quickly became one of our permanent cask ales and part of our bottled range. To get recognition for it at the SIBA national awards is fantastic. And to get our first national award in our 10th anniversary year is extra special.” Lymestone was founded in 2008 by Ian and Viv. The brewery – based at Mount Road, Stone – employs six people and also has two other pubs in addition to The Lymestone Vaults in Newcastle The Borehole in Stone and The Quiet Woman in Leek, which was opened by Lymestone last year.


A real family business, Ian and Viv’s daughter Sarah is a brewer at Lymestone, and son Harry manages the brewery’s pubs. There is more information about the brewery and its range of award-winning ales at

Newcastle Life Issue 14 17

Stage Directions

by Richard Lane

Win a family ticket to see Astley’s Astounding Adventures at The New Vic e have teamed up with the awardwinning New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, to give away a family ticket to see Astley’s Astounding Adventures.


When Philip Astley and Patty meet, both know their lives are about to change. As the couple begin their adventure together, they are unaware that they will become the legends of one of the greatest stories ever told… This is an extraordinary story that starts from humble beginnings in Newcastle-underLyme, then spans the world as a spectacular phenomenon captures the hearts of millions of people. This is the story of Philip Astley. This is the story of circus.

Astley’s Astounding Adventures will be the New Vic’s most ambitious show ever. Filled with fast-paced action, humour, gripping drama and breathtaking circus spectacle, a large cast featuring faces familiar and new will bring to life this bold, colourful celebration of circus. Join us as we tell the story of our town’s hero who became the international impresario who invented circus…and conquered the world! To book tickets telephone the box office on 01782 717962.

To win a family ticket (group of four - must include one adult and one child) answer the following question:


B) Billy Smart

C) Billy Butlin


Name................................................. Address.................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. Daytime phone no......................................................... Please send your entry to Newcastle Life Magazine, 18 Tape St, Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, ST10 1BD. To be received by Tuesday 3rd July 2018. The prize can be used for any performance of Astley’s Astounding Adventures The production runs at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, from Saturday 7 to Saturday 28 July.

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Cheers! All invited to local festival

fter its huge success last year, Seabridge Primary School are excited to be hosting their second Beer and Gin Festival! There will be fantastic local bands and acts delivering live music throughout the day, to enjoy whilst sampling premium quality beer, premium gin and prosecco. Hot and cold food will also be available throughout the day with vegetarian and gluten free options, plus there’ll be an array of ice creams and lollies to keep you cool. There will also be a raffle, inflatable slide, bungee run, the playbus, donkey rides, glitter tattoos and much more! The event takes place on Saturday, 16th June. Tickets cost £2 per person in advance (tickets available from the school office) or £4 per person on the day. Children 16 and under are free of charge.



Come and try our exciting menu that includes: • British Fayre • Texas Classics and • New Brit-Tex Fusion Dishes FOR BOOKINGS AND ENQUIRIES PLEASE CALL 01782 680536 @jrstexas

Stone Road, Baldwins Gate, Newcastle under Lyme, ST5 5ED Newcastle Life Issue 14 19

What’s on

n Do you have a ? event to share Let us know!

do our best to .uk and we will co o. ch de an es tim guide Email laura@ our what’s on in t en ev ur yo feature

Philip Astley Exhib ition Visitors to the Bramp ton Museum can explor e a free 12-week exhibit ion on Philip Astley (Ends July 15th 2018) . By viewing circus prints, posters and cos tumes, visitors will learn about Astley’s life and how his career influenced later develo pments in the performing arts up to the present day. Objec ts on loan include items from the V&A Museum’s Theatre and Performance Collection on public vie w in Staffordshire for the first time. May 5th - July 15t h Jazz and Blues Festival The Popular Jazz and Blues Festival is for returning to Newcastle Town Centre of Lots May. in end week ay holid the Bank for music and activities are being planned the four days over the Bank holiday weekend. May 25th - 28th

k event Charity networ luntary and hire is inviting vo ds or aff St t or Supp an interest in th wi e os ps, and th community grou wcastleNe ctor, from across the voluntary se king event at or tw ne a in rt take pa under-Lyme to Newcastle, d, ar ch re, Cherry Or St George’s Cent Ju th ne. m on Monday 11 from 5pm to 7p June 11th Beer and Gin Festiv al Seabridge P rimary Scho ol will be ho second Bee sting their r and Gin F esti on offer, in cluding food val this summer. Lots , drinks, en Cost is £2 pe tertainmen r person in t. advance (tic from the sc kets availabl hool office) e or £4 per pers day. Childre on on the n 16 and un der are free June 16th

20 Newcastle Life Issue 14

Plant Hunters Fair Summer Plant Fair wit h a great value entry price of only £1 for entry to the plant fair and bri lliant 2-acre walled kitchen garden. Now’s the tim e to pick up some perfect plants to keep the col our going right through the season and where bet ter to find them than at this wonderful plant fair. The plants are loving ly grown by small spe cialist nurseries and these ent husiastic plants people are on hand to give hon est, straightforward advice on choosing and growing the right pla nts for your garden. Th e plant fair runs from 10am4pm on Sunday 24th June at Sugnall Walled Garden, 2 miles from Eccleshall. For more details please see ww w.planthuntersfairs.c June 24th

nt 2018 Homecoming Eve Event which The popular Homecoming ern day celebrates the home of the mod ey. Astl lip Phi tor, crea its Circus and June 30th, 11am - 5pm Three Counties Open Art Exhibition This popular annual art exhibition will be 4pm taking place on 14th and 15th July, 10am at Burslem School of Art, Queen Street, Stoke 2017, in ss succe huge its ing Follow ent. on-Tr the Three Counties Open Art Exhibition will return this summer to showcase a range of ire artwork by artists from Staffordshire, Chesh and Shropshire. the Pieces will be on display and there will be A opportunity to purchase the work exhibited. number of prizes will be presented at the y preview evening, which takes place on Frida 27th July, 6pm. Entry Fees: £15 Adult, £12 Concession, £8 Student. 14th and 15th July

Est. 1825


SUMMER STOCK AVAILABLE NOW 1 Pepper Street, Newcastle-u-Lyme, ST5 1PR Tel: 01782 616150 Also at 37 Mill Street, Stafford, ST16 2AJ Tel: 01785 258648

Newcastle Life Issue 14 21


Having a ball Masquerade event raises a whopping £11,000 for charity


ewcastle residents enjoyed a masquerade ball recently to raise money for deserving charities. The glitzy Mayor’s Charity Venetian Masquerade ball took place at Keele Hall on Saturday 14th April, in a bid to support the provision of performing arts opportunities in North Staffordshire and people living with dementia. Borough Mayor Simon White hosted the event, which saw 203 people enjoy a three-course meal, cabaret, auction and live entertainment. A phenomenal £11,000 was raised for The Alzheimers Society and the Jill Clewes Academy for Performing Arts, as well as smaller local charities. Fundraising was helped by match funding from HSBC and Lloyds Bank.

Tim Wedgwood (left) compered the evening

The Mayor’s Consort, Councillor Gary White, Jill Clewes – The Jill Clewes Academy for Theatre Arts (One of the Mayor’s Chosen Charities) and the Mayor of Newcastle 22 Newcastle Life Issue 14

Staff from the funds


Jill Clewes and her Husband Philip Alcock

f from Santander who had agreed to match-fund part of funds raised Newcastle Life Issue 14 23


New horizons for local club

ewcastle Town Football Club has joined forces with a sports coaching company in a bid to strengthen its future and encourage new members. The club says that the official partnership with Ministry 4 Sport will also improve its training services. Newcastle has been building its ties with the coaching company, which relocated to the club’s HQ at Roe Lane Playing Fields in NewcastleUnder-Lyme in January. James Askey, managing director at Ministry 4 Sport, told Newcastle Life magazine: “Myself, Aaron and Sam have all played for Newcastle Town, and in 2013 we started helping out with the club. In January this year we moved to our new home at Roe Lane and now we have formed an official partnership. Our staff get to use the gym here and we get the benefit of 12 quality pitches for our holiday clubs. “In return we are helping to build club membership and we’re providing training. For example, we’ll be starting mid-week football sessions from June 6, from 6pm to 7.30pm, for players who want to improve their skills.” Starting from September, Ministry 4 Sport will be supporting the teaching and coaching of a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport (Performance and Excellence), alongside the


24 Newcastle Life Issue 14

football club. Gavin Appleby, director of youth at Newcastle Town FC, said: “We simply can’t offer the same quality of service by relying solely on volunteers. By partnering with Ministry 4 Sport, we can provide professional coaching and they can take our brand out there to schools and to parents, so we can encourage the next generation of players. “I don’t know of any other club who has partnered with a coaching company, and I feel this is a great move for the future of Newcastle Town FC.” Both organisations have been supporting Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s Festival of Sport, which runs throughout April and May. Together, they have been visiting schools and disability football leagues to provide taster sessions and training, helping to encourage more young people into the sport. To top it all off, they will be holding an open event at Roe Lane Playing Fields from May 25th to 27th. Mr Appleby said: “There’s going to be a bouncy castle, free football taster sessions and a tournament. It should be great fun and all are welcome.” For more information visit or



atman, Super Girl, Wonder Woman and Captain America landed at Edenhurst Prep School recently, as they took part in a fun run to raise funds for a local charity. Around 100 pupils at Edenhurst Preparatory School, Westlands Avenue, took part in a sponsored mile event on Wednesday 28th March dressed as their favourite superhero. The event was organised by the School’s Head of Boys Sport, Mr Adam Beasley to raise money for the School’s nominated charity, the Donna Louise Trust. Mr Beasley commented: “As a School we are committed to supporting local causes, and doing the sponsored mile seemed to be a great way to help raise funds for the Donna Louise as well as providing children with the opportunity to take on a sporting challenge.” The Donna Louise Children's Hospice are a Staffordshire based charity supporting children


with life-limiting conditions and their families. Former Stoke City FC star Andy Wilkinson attended the School for their final assembly of the term, which was also attended by representatives from the Donna Louise Trust. Mr Wilkinson ran the London Marathon in April for the charity. Mr Beasley added: “We are very grateful to Andy for giving up his time to come along and support the event, and in return will were cheering him on in his attempt to run the London Marathon.” The School’s Head of Science, Mrs Julie Nash, will be taking on a challenge to climb Snowdon later this year in aid of the Donna Louise Trust, as part of the School’s wider fundraising efforts for the charity. For further information about Edenhurst Preparatory School, call 01782 619348, email or visit

Newcastle Life Issue 14 25


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CORNFLOWERS AND KNAPWEEDS 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 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 we will be at the Plant Hunters’ Fair at Carsington Water, Ashbourne DE6 1ST on Bank Holiday Monday 28th May free entry to fair and country park P&D parking; Hodnet Hall Gardens, TF9 3NN on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd June with special half price entry for the stunning 63 acre gardens and plant fair at just £3.50; Sugnall Walled Gardens, Eccleshall ST21 6NF on Sunday 24th June plant fair and gardens entry £1.00; Henbury Hall Garden, Macclesfield (SK11 9PJ) on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July entry to this lovely rarely open 12-acre garden and plant fair only £2.50; Abbeywood Gardens, Delamere CW8 2HS on Sunday 8th July fabulous gardens and fair £3.00; For full details of these and other Plant Hunters’ Fairs please see We are happy to bring orders to plant fairs for you to collect.

Newcastle Life Issue 14 27





1 l a e D





4 VICTORIA RD, FENTON (Opp McDonalds) STOKE-ON-TRENT, ST4 2HS 01782 415636 28 Newcastle Life Issue 14


Spring into warmer weather with a clutter-free home warm welcome for brighter days can be tempered by the realisation that all that lovely sunlight does an excellent job of highlighting the clutter and mess that accumulates over winter. A spring clean is an essential item to include on your annual household calendar, but while it may be a chore, it is also an opportunity to not only get rid of surplus stuff, but to make an extra penny or two at the same time. Before you tackle the spring clean, take a little time to research which items to put in a 'sell' pile. Selling things on websites like eBay and Amazon can be a great way to make a little extra money and you can also pick up a bargain if you don’t mind used items. Justin Woolridge, commercial marketing manager at phone recycling company, Envirofone, has put together a list of the most popular second-hand items to sell online to show you what to focus on to guarantee a sale.


Clothes If you have lots of clothes you’ve only worn a couple of times, then selling them online is a great way to make sure they don’t go to waste, putting extra cash in your pocket at the same time. Mainstream and high street brands always sell well as they are the most


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Newcastle Life Issue 14 29


searched for, while children’s clothing is another best seller, particularly as they grow out of their threads so quickly. There’s even a demand for used underwear online, with well over 3,000 items currently listed on eBay.


Tech Most households will have lots of old tech lying around the home, whether it’s a smart home assistant you’ve never taken out the box, or an old games console. Apple or Samsung items are always particularly popular, whether it’s a tablet, an old laptop or a phone, and there’s also a big demand for used PlayStations and Xboxes. Tech recycling websites like can provide a quick sale on your old smartphone, offering payment on the same day they receive the phone.

Furniture Brits are putting in the effort to improve their homes, with many turning to second-hand websites to grab cheap deals on furniture. Chest of drawers is the most searched for furniture item on eBay, while garden chairs and tables also feature highly in searches for this

category, with a full set selling for an average of £60. As with clothes and tech, well-known branded furniture sells particularly well.

Toys Bedrooms up and down the country are full of old and unused toys, but many people don’t realise just how well special edition or original versions hold their value. Classic toys like Lego sets can sell for hundreds of pounds, and if you have any family favourites like Connect 4 or Jenga, it could be a good opportunity to cash in. Stuffed toys like Beanie Babies also hold their value, with certain types selling for four figure sums. Sports There is a huge demand for all sorts of secondhand sports gear, with many people continually looking for the ultimate way to get into shape. Old bicycles, particularly big brands like Raleigh and Shimano, tend to sell well on auction sites, as does home gym equipment, including weights, exercise bikes and bigger machines such as treadmills. It might be best to just bin your old gym clothes though.


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30 Newcastle Life Issue 14



House sparrow tops Staffordshire list he latest results from the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch have revealed the top three birds spotted in Staffordshire were the house sparrow, starling and blue tit. Now in its 39th year, the Birdwatch is a chance for people of all ages to count the number of birds that visit their garden, helping the RSPB build up a picture of how they are doing. This year, more than 450,000 people took part across the country – including 8,659 from Staffordshire – counting an impressive 6.7 million birds. The event held over the last weekend in January revealed an increase in sightings of smaller birds, such as goldfinch, long-tailed tit and coal tit that can usually be seen visiting gardens and outside spaces in mixed flocks. The house sparrow remained at the top of the Big Garden Birdwatch rankings as the most commonly seen garden birds with more than one million recorded sightings throughout the weekend. Starling held down the second spot once more, with the blue tit moving up one spot to round off the top three.


Daniel Hayhow, RSPB Conservation Scientist, said: “Our garden birds are a part of our everyday life, whether it’s the robin perched on the garden fence or the flock of starlings you see on your way to work. To have hundreds of thousands of people spend an hour watching the wildlife in their garden isn’t only great to see, but it also helps us build up a picture of how our garden birds are doing, which is really helpful.” It is likely that the warmer temperatures during the autumn and winter will have made it easier for these birds to find food, like insects, in our gardens, which in previous colder winters would have been harder to come by because of frosts and snow. The survey also highlighted a dip in the number of recorded sightings of blackbirds (18%), robins (-12%) and wren (-11%) on last year’s figures. For a full round up of all the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results and to see which birds were visiting gardens where you live, visit Newcastle Life Issue 14 31


A warm welcome for new Dougie Mac Shop F

ollowing our recent shop move to our new location on Newcastle High Street, we’d like to thank the community for making it such a resounding success and welcoming us with open arms. Our commitment is to provide quality items at low prices and to be the charity face of the high street, serving and supporting the local community. However, we rely on the generosity of the public for your continued support of donations. This includes clothing, home items, quality furniture and everything in between! With secure parking, a dedicated donation point and a friendly team on hand and always happy to help, it’s so easy to donate to our Newcastle shop. And remember… if you have furniture to donate, or if you can’t get to us to

32 Newcastle Life Issue 14

drop off your donation, don’t forget we offer a free collection service; just call 01782 627428 to organise a date and time. So if you’re due a clear out and would like to donate some items to Dougie Mac, or if you’d like to pick up a bargain, our Newcastle shop is open 9am – 5pm from Monday to Saturday and 10am – 4pm on Sundays. You’ll find us on the High Street near to McDonalds. Plus, if you’re a UK taxpayer, please don’t forget to gift aid! Did you know that by completing a simple form in-store, we can claim an extra 25% of the value of your donated items – at no extra cost to you? Pop in and see us soon, The Dougie Mac team x


LUCK OF THE DRAW Newcastle lady scoops charity jackpot

riday 13th may be unlucky for some, but it certainly wasn’t for one lucky Newcastle lady who picked up a whopping £4,500 rollover prize in the Dougie Mac lottery. Mrs Morris has paid for a weekly play in the Dougie Mac lottery ever since its inception in 1996, more recently, opting for a second weekly play too to maximise support for the hospice whilst doubling her chances of picking up a prize! Now her dedication and support has paid off after she won the bumper rollover prize which had been rolling since before Christmas. “I was so shocked when I received the phone call.” said Mrs Morris. “I never win anything so this really took me by surprise! Mrs Morris is no stranger to the work of Dougie Mac and has a number of close personal connections with the hospice: She lost her father 40 years ago not long after the hospice had been set up in 1973; followed by her son Richard who passed away in the hospice’s inpatient unit 11 years ago, just 6 months after his diagnosis. Finally in 2010 her husband Bill was cared for at home by the Hospice at Home team before he sadly died. “Dougie Mac do such fantastic work and provided me and my family with so much support. My husband Bill initially went into the Dougie Mac for three weeks for respite where the


staff were incredibly knowledgeable and helped to manage his symptoms.” Mrs Morris explained. “As Bill’s wish was to be at home, we had the support of the Hospice at Home team, who for the five days leading to Bill’s death, were constantly around to ensure his comfort and to give me support and guidance on what to expect.” Mrs Morris plans to put the money towards some home and garden DIY and encourages local people to play the Dougie Mac lottery too. “£1 per play is definitely worth it. It’s a fantastic cause and without it, I’m not sure how I could have coped. It gave me great peace of mind to have a great local hospice to turn to when enduring difficult times.” Donna Adams, Head of Lottery, said: “Giving away cash prizes with our weekly lottery is a great way of us being able to thank our loyal supporters for their generosity. “Our lottery offers a fun way of supporting a cause that is close to your heart and what’s great is that the chances of winning are really good. “Every week, a guaranteed 99 winners pick up some super cash prizes and the hospice benefits greatly from the money that is raised. Win or lose, you’re still supporting your local adult hospice.” Anyone interested in playing the weekly lottery can visit Dougie Mac’s website or call 01782 344321. Newcastle Life Issue 14 33


What should I do if I receive a ‘notice of intended prosecution’? Beswicks’ Crime Partner Andrew Turnock

notice of intended prosecution (NIP) is sent to the registered keeper of a vehicle or the nominated driver of a vehicle that is alleged to have committed a motoring offence. If a traffic camera has snapped you exceeding the speed limit or going through a red light, you will receive a NIP. It is a warning that you may face prosecution. Your notice of intended prosecution will identify the time, date, place and nature of the alleged offence and will ask you to provide details of the driver of the vehicle at that time. You must respond within 28 days. Never ignore a NIP as it could result in you receiving a summons and having to go to court. If you weren’t the driver at the time of the offence, you must provide the name and address of the driver to the police. If you were the driver of the vehicle and admit


the offence, you will be faced with some options. In the case of speeding or careless driving, you might be offered a driver improvement course or a fixed penalty fine with penalty points on your licence. For company, lease or hire car drivers alleged to have committed a motoring offence, the NIP will be sent to the lease or hire company. They will provide your details as the driver of the vehicle, so that the police can then contact you. They may also charge you an additional administrative or handling fee. Early action is essential in all motoring cases. If you receive a notice of intended prosecution or a summons, get in touch straight away to see how we can help you. If you don’t have time to handle the NIP paperwork, let us deal with the matter for you. Get in touch by emailing or phoning 01782 205000. Newcastle Life Issue 14 35


When it comes to family law matters: think before you speak (or post)! hen going through a divorce or trying to agree amicable child arrangements, we appreciate that you need to talk to family and friends to gain their support and understanding. This is perfectly acceptable so long as those you confide in understand the importance of privacy in family law proceedings. As Lauren Jodrell, family law expert with Grindeys in Stoke-on-Trent explains: keeping matters private in these circumstances is very important. “Where the family court is involved, airing your dirty laundry in public is never a good idea because of the potential harm it could do to your case. This includes discussing details of your case on social media, such as Facebook or Twitter”.


Who can I discuss my case with? Obviously you can discuss your case with your legal team and with anyone appointed to help you try to resolve matters amicably, such as a family law mediator. When you go to court about a family matter, the judge in charge will usually only allow you and a handful of other interested people to be involved in the proceedings and to have sight of any relevant court papers and reports. If you are getting divorced, it is likely that only you, your former spouse and your respective solicitors, barristers and courtauthorised experts will be allowed to participate in the proceedings. In cases involving children, permission may also be given for social workers and other professionals to become involved, as well as someone from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) appointed to look after the interests of your children. You may also be permitted to have a support worker in attendance. For example, if you have been a victim of domestic abuse you may have someone from Women’s Aid with you. It is perfectly acceptable to discuss 36 Newcastle Life Issue 14

your case with anyone who is involved in the negotiations to resolve the family matter in hand.

Who shouldn’t I discuss my case with?

Family and Friends Family and friends may be your main source of support during court proceedings so sharing and discussing certain matters is acceptable, but you must not mention anything to them that the court has specifically told you not to discuss and under no circumstances must you show them any court papers or reports.

Social Media Posts to social media platforms is an absolute no. This is also something that friends and family need to understand. Not only will they attract disapproval from the judge, they could also amount to contempt of court if you reveal confidential or sensitive information. This is also likely to aggravate what will already be a difficult situation. Personal attacks about the character of your former spouse, or the competency of the professionals involved in the case, could also be libellous and result in civil proceedings and a claim for compensation being brought against you. Press and Media During court proceedings for divorce or child arrangements, members of the press will be excluded to protect your privacy. It is highly advisable not to speak to press or magazines about your issue whilst court proceedings are in progress. This may sound like advice for only the rich and famous but many magazines are interested in the stories of ‘ordinary folk’ but this is not something that should be explored until your matter is resolved. For a confidential discussion about privacy in family law matters, or for help and advice on any other family law issue, please contact us on 01782 840 542


Calling all local voluntary groups

re you aware of the wide range of voluntary and community activity that takes place in Newcastle-under-Lyme? Would you like to find out more, maybe get involved and offer support? Support Staffordshire is inviting voluntary and community groups, and those with an interest in the voluntary sector, from across Newcastleunder-Lyme to take part in a networking event at St George’s Centre, Cherry Orchard, Newcastle, ST5 2UB from 5pm to 7pm on Monday 11th June 2018. The aim of the event is for local groups to showcase what they do. For the groups taking part it is an opportunity to network with other voluntary and community groups in Newcastleunder-Lyme and the wider North Staffordshire and also to talk to advisors from Support Staffordshire and the Staffordshire Council for Voluntary Youth Services (SCVYS) who can help with all aspects of running an organisation including funding. For the general public and organisations like the Rotary and Round Table, it is chance to make contact with local charities and to find out about local causes they can support. This networking event is one of the quarterly voluntary sector meetings that take place under the name of Newcastle-under-Lyme VCSE Locality Forum. These are held to provide an opportunity for local voluntary and community groups to find out about key current issues and planned initiatives, generally by health or other public sector bodies such as Staffordshire County Council, that are relevant to the sector, to provide feedback on these, and to network and share good practice with other voluntary groups. Jill Norman, from Support Staffordshire,


explained: “We are holding this meeting in the early evening as we are particularly keen to attract those voluntary and community groups run by volunteers who perhaps work during the day and cannot normally take part in our day time meetings. It’s an opportunity to highlight what your group is doing and find out about others in the local area. It’s a chance to share ideas and explore working together. It is also a chance to find new volunteers and new funding.” This year, for the first time, it will also host the presentation of the Newcastle Volunteer of the Year Award. There is still time for local groups to nominate one of their special volunteers to receive this prestigious award. Nomination forms are available on or by phoning Support Staffordshire on 01538 381356. For further information and to book a place at the 11th June networking event please email Natalie Shields, the Support Staffordshire Newcastle Locality Officer at or you can phone her on 07507 643187 For more information about Support Staffordshire please look on the website or visit one of our Newcastle drop in sessions, currently held: •Every Wednesday – 2pm to 5pm – Talke Library •Every Thursday - 10am to 12pm - Newcastle Library •Or call 0300 777 1207 or follow @supportstaffs for the latest updates.

Newcastle Life Issue 14 37



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


38 Newcastle Life Issue 14

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.


Newcastle Life Issue 14 39


Drivers warned over divulging medical conditions 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, 40 Newcastle Life Issue 14

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 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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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

42 Newcastle Life Issue 14

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

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

Newcastle Life Issue 14  
Newcastle Life Issue 14