Friday, 6 November 2015


I am probably breaking copyright law by reproducing this but I am sure the author would approve of me putting it here on my Blog.  This poem must have been written either by a deaf or hearing impaired person or by someone who worked with them and knew exactly what a hearing impaired person feels.   And yes, I am a hearing impaired person too (one of 10 million in this country) and I attend a Hearing Impaired class where we learn lip reading.  It really helps us so please, please, do read this and look at people when you speak to them.   Drop me a line if you are hearing impaired.

Numbers Lament

If the person you're serving seems very slow,
It could be they're deaf, it's quite common you know.
Though we try very hard we often get muddled,
Don't think that we're daft or our brains are befuddled.
Out shopping, the phone or in everyday life,
Deaf people and numbers – the problem is rife!

One is OK it is easy to see
Two can be hard, it can sound like it's three,
Four and seven, well they are quite game,
but five and nine can sound quite the same.
Watching lips with six, then eight, nine and ten,
We ask “Did you say...'....? Or, please write down with a pen.

The teens and ten can lead to disaster,
Especially when it is money you're after.
Is it thirteen or thirty?, that's asking a lot,
One/three and three/zero are better to spot.
With hundreds and thousands and even for years,
Just break into numbers – much kinder for ears.

Please spare a thought for those who can't hear,
They'll be watching your lips and standing quite near.
Do get our attention before you start speaking,
Don't shout, hide your mouth or speak when you're eating.
We do want to hear you, we are trying so hard,
So don't leave us out 'cos our hearing is marred.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Consultation Day at our Penkridge Library again BUT WILL THEY LISTEN?

Staffordshire County Council are again consulting with Penkridge residents about our Library.  This time its the Opening Hours.   Not "when do you want it open?" But, "You can only have 28 hours (less than Eccleshall), and we give you four options (none of which suit me)". 

The Friends of Penkridge Library fought very hard last year to represent the views of Penkridge Community.  The largest petition in Staffordshire, we addressed the County Councillors, we were mentioned in the House of Commons - and we won.  They agreed we would remain a County Council managed and delivered Library, keeping our Librarians.   NOW they are still going on about if you want anything different from what we are proposing, then you must provide Volunteers.  We have already said loud and clear that OUR LIBRARY IS A STATUTORY SERVICE (and Volunteers demonstrated many years ago that we needed qualified librarians to run a permanent service). 

So, once again, the Friends are out in force in the community asking our residents to complete the "extremely difficult to obtain" Consultation Forms, and tell our County Council what hours they wish our library to be operating in the future.   AND DON'T FORGET, WE ARE TO HAVE 335 NEW HOUSES BUILT AT LYNE HILL SO OUR POPULATION IS GOING TO INCREASE BY AT LEAST 700 PEOPLE - AND IF ONLY HALF CAN READ AND WISH TO BORROW BOOKS FROM OUR LIBRARY, THEN THEY ARE GOING TO GET A LOT MORE BORROWERS COMING THROUGH THE LIBRARY DOOR.


Monday, 8 December 2014

Friends of Penkridge Library sends its petition to The House of Commons via our MP

As I type this Blog I am listening live to the broadcast from the House of Commons where very shortly our MP, Jeremy Lefroy, will speak about Penkridge's serious concerns at the proposed changes that Staffs. County Council is considering for our local Library.  Claire Geoghegan and her volunteers have lead the battle to prevent the downgrading of our very well-used Library and have demonstrated that magnificently, handing over the facts and figures as well as a 3,500 petition from the residents of our community.
And wonders will never cease, at just gone 10pm several of the names of the petitioners were mentioned in the House of Commons (and presumably will go down in Hansard), including Claire's  and mine.  "The whole world could have heard us if they had been tuned in to the LIVE broadcast."  You can go into the Parliament Archives and hear it if you like.  It might take a couple of days before it is online. 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Record Attendance at Victoria Xmas Market

Once again it was a great success with the car park full shortly after opening at 5pm although many people were coming in at 4pm.  The fairground attracted all the village youngsters and their parents.  Dozens of stalls were really stocked with some wonderful goods and I believe many people bought their Xmas presents there at very reasonable prices.  I wandered all round the stalls and thought the quality was excellent.  AND how well dressed the stallholders were in their variety of dress, hats and the colours were magnificent.  Penkridge Voices (our village choir) entertained hundreds with Xmas carols as you will see from the photos.   And wandering around the market was the tallest man I have ever seen!, even taller than my 6ft 7" friend, the Shrewsbury Town Crier.  Penkridge Town Crier was also there but you perhaps didn't hear him very often as I am afraid he couldn't compete with the music from the fairground.  But he did chat to and meet many people during the evening, and bought from some of the stalls and had a drink at the cafe.
Finally, the Fire-Eater was indeed outstanding and I particularly liked his final exhibition of the "Fire Whip".   BUT please, do not let your children play with fire.   Fireworks and Fire-Eating is only for experienced adults. A great evening AND it didn't rain! 
Thank you to the Police Officers for mixing with the crowd and keeping an eye on things.  Thank you to all the stallholders for dressing up and producing some wonderful stalls and products.  Thank you to Santa Claus for dropping in on our market and putting a smile on many youngsters faces.  Last but not least, a big thank you to Penkridge Business Association for organising the event once again and to our Market owners and friends, the Williams family, for hosting our Victorian Xmas Market 2014. Oh!, and of course, a big THANK YOU TO EVERYBODY WHO ATTENDED THIS YEAR.  HAVE A HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Penkridge Local History Group (Great Marsh Publications), underlines the importance of our Library and the Building to the community.

Another very successful and interesting meeting was held yesterday at the Haling Dene Centre, our last this year.   Claire Geoghegan (leader of Friends of Penkridge Library) started us off with a very interesting presentation on the history of our Library Building.  It has served the community in many ways over the years - the land in 1827 is shown on the map as a garden/allotment, let from the Littleton Estate. - Lord Hatherton gave the site to the Penkridge Savings Bank which had become a great success and in 1857 he got the permission of the National Debt Office in London to spend money on building the bank upon it.   In 1879 the Savings Bank was closed and funds transferred to the Post Office.  The building was then sold to the County Council and in 1881 they converted and enlarged the old bank building into a Police Station with quarters for a sergeant, a constable and two cells.  The Magistrates' Court, which used to be held in the Littleton Arms, was also switched to the building and in 1903 hearings of the case against George Edalji for the Great Wyrley horse maimings were held at the court.  Later Hollis Morgan was tried for the same offence there.  This all became national headline news and we now hear that Martin Clunes is appearing in a film being made about the incident.  (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle played an important part which uncovered a major miscarriage of justice.)

It was still a Magistrates Court until the mid 1960s when a public meeting voted in favour of it becoming a permanent library and which took over from the Mobile one.   So it has been an Allotment, our Savings Bank, our Police Station, our Magistrates' Court and our Library.   Now there is a big consultation taking place over changing the status of our Library which is being fought vigorously by the Friends of the Library.  The County has been petitioned by over 3,000 Penkridge residents.  A Listed Building with major historical interest cannot and must not disappear - a public library run by professionals for the community is the best use of the building and by all accounts, that is what the vast majority of Penkridge people want.