Saturday, 23 April 2016

Penkridge Town Crier gives 90th Birthday Proclamation for QUEEN ELIZABETH II at Historic Penkridge Market



May it please your most Gracious Majesty,
That we, the members of the Loyal Company of Town Criers, as your most humble and obedient servants, do hereby make the following proclamation:
At 2-40am on Wednesday the 21st day of April 1926, at 17 Bruton street Mayfair, unbeknownst to the nations of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the member countries of the Commonwealth, and all colonies affiliated to the throne, there took place the birth of our future sovereign,

As you celebrate your life of ninety full years, let every loyal subject be reminded of your influence, your graciousness, and your impact upon our lives. May the congratulations from each and every loyal personage demonstrate the affection in which you are held, as we wish you, our most regal and sovereign Queen, a joyous and happy ninetieth birthday.
Let us all, united loudly and proudly, proclaim together:



Sunday, 17 April 2016

Staffordshire Heritage Group Design for New Staffordshire Flag has been APPROVED

Good News - the new design below has been approved as the Staffordshire County FLAG.  Staffordshire people overwhelmingly voted for it and this is now our Flag for the Historic County of Staffordshire covering all the areas listed below.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Staffordshire County Flag - proposed

Can I urge you to vote below.   And can I recommend that you vote for the first design, proposed by the Staffordshire Heritage Group and NOT for the second one, proposed by Staffordshire County Council. 

Why?, I hear you ask.  Well, the answer is simple - Staffordshire Heritage Group has checked with many of the cultural groups in Staffordshire, some of them still covering the original Historical County, which includes Wolverhampton, Bilston, Walsall, West Bromwich, Smethwick, Stoke on Trent, and many other towns and communities now in the administrative West Midlands area. (See below)   So they are representing the people's views tbhroughout the whole of the County of Staffordshire.   Staffordshire County Council, however, now only represent about 40% of the people and their design below has a lion on which is part of their logo and does not represent the whole of Staffordshire.  Staffordshire Heritage Group's design is simple and the Knot is given much more prominence.   Please vote for the SHG design before 27 March 2016.


Definition: The Historic County of Staffordshire consists of:

The areas covered by Staffordshire County Council


The City of Stoke-on-Trent, including Hanley;
The Borough of Walsall;
The Borough of West Bromwich;
The City of Wolverhampton;
The Parish of Harborne, including Smethwick;
The Parish of Handsworth, including Kingstanding and Perry Barr;
The Parish of Rowley Regis, including Cradley;
The Parish of Kingswinford, including Brierley Hill;
The Parish of Aldridge, including Great Barr;
The Parish of Tipton;
The Parish of Sedgley, including Coseley, Lower Gornal and Upper Goral;
The Parish of Darlaston;
The Parish of Wednesbury;
The Township of Amblecote;
The Parish of Upper Arley;
Part of ancient parish of Sheriff Hales, including Heath Hill and Weston Heath;
The detached Parishes of Broom and Clent;


The Parish of Croxall;
The area of Tamworth east of the Trent, including Glascote, Amington, Wilnecote, Abington, Dosthill and Two Gates;
The area of Burton-on-Trent east of the Trent, including Stapenhill.


Staffordshire County Flag Vote

County Flags have become an important part of our regional and national identity. Most English counties now have a recognised County Flag, but Staffordshire is yet to obtain one. The Flag Institute maintains the Register of County Flags and works with county organisations to come up with suitable designs. The County Flags are based on the historic counties of the UK, rather than the modern administrative areas, so Staffordshire includes Stoke-on-Trent, Wolverhampton, and several other parishes that fall outside Staffordshire County Council’s area.
The Flag Institute has received two applications for a County Flag for Staffordshire, one from Staffordshire County Council (SCC) and the other from the Staffordshire Heritage Group (SHG), an umbrella organisation for many cultural groups in Staffordshire. Both applications meet the Flag Institute’s published criteria for applying, and both designs meet the Institute’s design guidelines, so the Flag Institute has decided that the only fair way to choose between them is to give the people of Staffordshire an opportunity to vote for the design they like best.
The two designs are shown below:
The Staffordshire Heritage Group's Design
Staffordshire Heritage Group’s Design
Staffordshire County Council'S Design
Staffordshire County Council’s Design
The gold background and red chevron, common to both designs, comes from the coat-of-arms of the de Stafford family and has been used in connection with the county since at least the 17th century.
The vote will take place from 9am on Monday 29th February and closes at 9am on Sunday 27th March 2016. The result will be announced the next day. To vote, just go to the Flag Institute’s website and follow the link from the front page. Voters are asked to confirm that they live or work in the historic county of Staffordshire.
Graham Bartram, Chief Vexillologist of the Flag Institute said, “This is the first time that the Flag Institute has had two applications for the same county and I think it is a reflection of how important County Flags are becoming to people, so we feel it is only fair to let the people of Staffordshire have their say on which flag will represent them. I hope as many people as possible will vote for their preferred design.”
The vote is only open to people who live in the historic county of Staffordshire, so if you do live or work in Staffordshire click the “Vote” button below to go to the live vote.


Thursday, 18 February 2016

Rare Bird sited in Penkridge

On Wednesday 10 February 2016, a rare bird was seen in Penkridge.   A Black Redstart was seen on a housing estate in the village, both on the ground in a front garden and on the roof of the house.   I understand a bird has since been trapped and ringed elsewhere in the parish since this siting. 

With the recent cold weather and frosts, lots of birds have been attracted to our bird feeders in our gardens.  Birds recorded include Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and the odd Brambling, Linnet, Redpoll, Siskin, Song Thrush, Robin, Dunnock, and Blackbird (I had 8 at once in my garden feeding on apples).   Starlings, House Sparrow, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, and Black-headed Gulls are common, with the occasional Lesser Black-backed Gull and Herring Gull.  

I have had Sparrowhawk and Buzzard regularly, the sparrowhawk taking one of the blackbirds.   Birds flying overhead have included Heron, Canada Goose, Mallard, Mute Swan, and late this afternoon, over 500 mixed gulls were heading SE towards their roost at Belvide Reservoir, a local nature reserve.  A Great Spotted Woodpecker made a brief visit recently, as did Jay, looking for acorns.  If you live near woodland, as well as Woodpecker, you will probably have visits from Nuthatch too.  Friends of mine get Bullfinch, Woodpecker and Nuthatch and all the Tits regularly - but they do have fields all around them and plenty of trees close by.

The winter is not over yet, even though the crocus, snowdrop and daffodil are out.   Hazel catkins are opening, and several garden plants are in flower.  On a sunny day, my bees are very active and bringing lots of pollen of many colours back to the hive.  Spring is not far away but I fear we have not yet seen the last of the rains, frost and maybe snow.  

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.