Monday, 28 July 2008

Town Crier meets up with a couple and their dog and discuss the issues of the day

I got my Claude Butler bicycle out and rode down to the town (if you want to argue whether Penkridge is a town or a village, I am quite willing to put the case for town). I had been asked to take some photos of the traffic island by the Parish Council. It looked absolutely marvellous today in the sunshine as I dodged the traffic on the A449 and took several photos, two of which are to be seen on the first page of the website.

I also wandered into the Memorial Gardens on the west side of the A449, adjoining the Bowling Green, and there, on this lovely sunny day, I spied two young people sitting on the bench in the middle with their dog. What a lovely picture that would make, with the church in the background, so I leaned my bike up against the wall and walked into the gardens and approached them, asking if they would mind if I took some photos of them to put on the website. They agreed and you see the results above.

Before taking the photos, however, we had a long discussion, covering many local issues and subjects - they learned a bit about me and I learned a bit about them - and their dog. Why doesn't this happen more often I thought. Why have many of us become silent, not communicating with all those wonderful people like these two I have just met. The world is full of wonderful people - isn't it time we talked to each other and discovered what language is really for.

Thank you, M and B for talking to me (or should it be listening to me, my wife says :-)) And "A" their dog had plenty to say to me I can tell you. I then took my photos of the island flowers and pushed my bike up Market Street.

On my way, I made a quick pop-in to Gordon Hawkins (Electrical Shop), another cyclist - why don't more of you folks out there cycle into the centre of our town to shop? I then called on my friends Colin and Sheila for a chat about two photos I had acquired. One of a Town Crier taken in the 1960's and one of a Penkridge C.E Schools, Class IIa - no date, but taken before the last war I think. All girls, with a banner behind them on which are the words "HDMC Strive and Sing School Choir". Can anyone help in identifying when this was taken and could you possibly identify any of the choir - it is a very clear photograph. Incidentally, Colin thinks he knows who the Town Crier is but we need to check with another elderly Penkridge person before releasing the information that Bevan might be the 6th Town Crier and not the 5th :-))

God Save the Queen

Thursday, 24 July 2008

A new interest for the senior residents of Penkridge


This morning, Local Historian Robert Maddocks (author of several local history books) and Town Crier Bevan Craddock, met 24 keen and excited elderly Penkridge residents at Haling Dene Centre in the community where, for 3 hours, we discussed the economic face of Penkridge over the last 60-80 years. Showing them photographs of the different buildings in the main street of Penkridge, we tapped into their memories of the past and brought to light many of the changes and the people who have lived and run their businesses in our community over the years.

It was great to hear all the stories, the names, the characters, the language of those people from the past, many of whom were personally known to most people in the room. They went to school with them, they played with them as children, they even married some of them, many were relatives, had been neighbours, worked with them, had good times with them and also the "not so good times" during the wars.

It was indeed a fascinating morning and I think has highlighted the need for more human contact like this in our community.

I will keep you informed of developments. We know that there will be others who would like to talk to us of their knowledge of the 1900's and we really do want to hear. If you know of someone who would like to be invited to our next gathering (and we certainly intend there to be one as we didn't complete our agenda today), then let me or Bob Maddocks know.

God Save the Queen

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Bringing you NEWS and INFORMATION

Town Criers have been delivering news and information to Penkridge people for over 400 years. Back in 1608 it was Edmunde Wolley, who was then called the "Bellman of Penkridge". Today it is me, Bevan Craddock, Penkridge Town Crier and Webmaster, appointed by Penkridge Parish Council back in 1989 (now nearly 20 years ago!).

And what better way than to bring you the news than via the Internet (as well as the traditional ways). So, as well as the website ( I have created this BLOG which will be a bit more chatty and not so formal - and will not necessarily be the views of the Parish Council. You can also add comments on the Blog yourself so please feel free to do so. News comes from all sorts of sources but in the end it is ordinary people that make up this community, not newspapers, television programmes, mobile phones, the internet, etc. So its news about what ordinary Penkridge people are doing that I hope you will read on this Blog and if you can help me by providing some of that information, all the better.

I won't be posting necessarily every day but on occasions I might even post more than one message (or Cry) in a day. It depends on what is happening - what Penkridge people are up to, what news they are creating or observing.

This is the end of my first proclamation on this Blog and I end it in the traditional manner with