Friday, 31 October 2014

Friday, 31st October 2014

Where has he been I hear you ask?  A long story but I am still in the land of the living, having celebrated my 80th birthday last February.  Am still Town Crying and attended Kerry and Steve's wedding celebrations at the Haling Dene Centre (where Kerry works behind the bar).  I also welcomed our Friends from Ablon sur Seine when they visited us earlier in the year - and I did it in French!

I will be town crying next at the annual Penkridge Victorian Xmas Fayre at Penkridge Market on Friday evening, the 28 November 2014.  Please come along and introduce yourself - wear something Victorian too, like me!!!

Those of you who have lived in Penkridge for a long time - maybe even born here - will probably have been attending our Local History Meetings over the year where we have been having very good attendances.   But more of this in future blogs.   Our next meeting is at Haling Dene Centre, Cannock Road, Penkridge, on Tuesday, 25 November, 2014, from 10.30am to 12.30.   Free admission and coffee/tea and biscuits for a donation.  Bob Maddocks will be showing us old photos we keep discovering of Penkridge people and events from the past.  Please come along and join us and perhaps meet some of your old friends.  We even get people who used to live in Penkridge coming back to see us, even from many miles away.

And if you have old photos of your family back in the early days, particularly 1900-1970, then please bring them along and we can scan them in order to show them to others. We have now published several books about people and Penkridge over the years with loads of illustrations.  They are all on sale at Sally's hardware shop near the White Hart.   And Bob Maddocks has just written and published a new book he has been working on for years called "The Littletons of Teddesley Hall, 1740-1930".  Every household in Penkridge should have a copy as this family was the major landowner in our parish and our Lord of the Manor, employing many local people in the past.  It is on sale at Sally's Hardware Shop also.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Early this morning (Tuesday), cars on housing estates in Penkridge and Wheaton Aston had petrol stolen which caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage.  Petrol tanks were drilled and petrol stolen.  And then, unknown, drivers left a trail of petrol, visiting petrol stations to fill up and in the process spilled gallons of fuel on the forecourts causing danger to human life - this causing filling stations to close and having to phone for police and fire engines.   
KEEP ALERT - the safest place for your car overnight is in the garage or get it alarmed.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Jeremy Lefroy MP reaches the Top Ten

I happened to come across the following this morning - I wonder if Jeremy knows yet!  If he's following my BLOG, he will now!

Penkridge MP finds himself in "Top Ten Worst MPs on Twitter"

I rarely use Twitter but I did earlier this week.   I have been following the travels and problems of the last flying VULCAN BOMBER XH558, especially since it has just had the two of its jet engines burned out and two new ones (31 years old and kept mothballed) were installed over the last month.   Anyway, its now back doing Air Shows and it was due to fly to Fairford and then on to Farnborough early this week to open their SHOW.   I found it at Fairford just as the Pilot posted on Twitter that he was taxiing, and then taking off with the intention of "finding the Red Arrows".   I twittered him asking where are you all going?   His instant reply was "to meet up with the RAs and fly in formation to Farnborough to Welcome everyone to the opening of their Air Show".   That would have been quite a sight!

Keep a watch out for the Vulcan here in Penkridge - it has attended Cosford recently and was seen over Penkridge twice on that day.   It's home is Doncaster (Robin Hood Airport) and when it flies south to attend displays in the summer there is always a chance it will fly over our community.  You can't miss it - a distinctive shape of course but also a very distinctive sound.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Ablon visit, Carers Cafe, Allotment and Jubilee weekend

A busy week leading up to a hectic weekend ahead.   On Monday I attended the Carers Cafe at Haling Dene where I again met my old friend Miriam.  She used to live in Penkridge but is now in Rugeley but attends our Carers Cafe here in Penkridge as some of her family live here.  I can recommend it to anyone who is a Carer - one of the most responsible and stressful occupations anyone can do.  And many of us finish up caring for someone when we are retired - a partner, a mother or a father are the usual family members that people care for.   And the Cafe is a marvellous place to pop into once a month to have an hour or so with other people who have the same job as you - people you can talk to about your worries, your caring role and from the professionals from CASS get advice and help.  
Whilst I was at Haling Dene the Ablon party that has been staying with hosts over the weekend in Penkridge, gathered there to board the coach to the airport to return to their homes in Ablon sur Seine, the town near Paris on the banks of the River Seine.  Each year either Ablon people visit Penkridge (as this year) or we visit Ablon.   Penkridge families host Ablon families and they all looked as if they had had a good time this year.   Here is a quick photo I took of hosts and their Ablon families in front of Haling Dene just before they left.

Finally, my wife and I nipped up to our allotment to plant some courgettes, sow some beetroot seed and generally weed, dig and tidy up.   We actually were there for over 4 hours in the end and came back "knackered".  I now hope I will still be able to get around this weekend to the parties with my proclamation - I had problems simply walking in the village this morning.  I must get a rest this afternoon and forget the gardening for a while (except watering the tomatoes in the greenhouse and the hanging baskets).  Oh! and I have unearthed the Union Jack which is being washed as I write this.  I also have some bunting so all this has to be put up before the weekend.   It doesn't seem five minutes since the Golden Jubilee - or am I thinking of our Jubilee wedding anniversary we celebrated recently. :-))   

Sunday, 20 May 2012

More Jubilee Parties and a Vulcan flypast

Looks like I won't be having the Jubilee Weekend off!   I have now been requested to give the Loyal Cry at another five parties - the Guides at Haling Dene;  Littlemarsh Park;  Nursery Drive;  the Monckton big do on the Monday;  and another village close by has requested my services.   I am told that the "Loyal Cry" is on its way to me so if your Road/Street/Avenue/Drive/Cul-de-Sac/area is organising a party (large or small) and would like the Town Crier to come along and give the Cry, then contact me quickly so I can include you in my programme.
On another note, did anyone else see the Vulcan Bomber fly south over Penkridge this lunch time on its way from Doncaster to Cosford to do a flypast and then it passed over again on its flight to do another flypast at the National Arboretum at Alrewas.   It was piloted by the man who took that plane to the Falklands and dropped the bomb on the aerodrome there. 
I saw the Vulcan as it did a flypast at Cosford and when I got back to Penkridge, my daughter told me they saw it on the west side of the village twice, going south and then back over on its way to Alrewas.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Only a month now to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.   Doesn't seem five minutes since we were celebrating her Golden jubilee - and for those that did in Penkridge, we are all now 10 years older!
As Town Crier I attended several Street Parties back in 2002 - but so far have only been invited to one this time SO FAR!    And that is to one being held in Cherrybrook Drive.  I believe leaflets have been distributed around the estate and quite a few families have promised to attend.  It will be a Grand Picnic and residents on the estate are being asked to bring along their own food and "furniture" and Lisa White (who is organising it) is arranging for the area to be decorated and for music to be laid on (if we can find a local friendly and co-operative resident who will allow them to "plug in" to their electrics).  Lisa can be contacted on 713053 if you want to register your attendance and/or offer help.
AND THE PENKRIDGE TOWN CRIER will be attending for the opening of the Party and will be giving THE LOYAL CRY - which is being specially written for all Town Criers in the country to "cry out" in their communities.    See you on the 2nd June.
If you are organising or know of any others being held in Penkridge, please let me know and I will do my best to also attend yours.

Bevan Craddock (Penkridge Town Crier)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Penkridge loses three more citizens - but they will be remembered.

If you  have logged onto my Community Website recently (, you will have seen my posting about the deaths recently of DAVID WYNN, PHIL GOLLINGS and FRED PERKS.  All three have been members of the Local History Group and all three have contributed to the books that the Group has published.   David contributed to our latest one (in it there is a photo of him flying solo at Halfpenny Green), Phil Gollings researched and wrote the History of St. Michael's School which includes some wonderful glimpses into village school life back in the very early days.   And Fred Perks also wrote two books about his life working on the Railways as an Engine Driver, much of it being in the age of the steam engine.   We have lost three good men and true, and with them we have lost an enormous amount of memories of Penkridge in the past.  But through the Local History Group and the publications they have written and contributed to, we have at least got much of their memories and experiences of life in Penkridge permanently recorded for future generations.

David Wynn's funeral has already passed, Phil Gollings is on Monday, 23 April, at 11.30am at St. Michael & All Angels Church and Fred Perks is to be held on Wednesday, 25 April, at 11am at Stafford Crematorium.