Saturday, 25 October 2008

Church behind Times

Perhaps the Church "Clockman" was checking to see whether anyone ever looks at the Church Clock when he put the clock back one hour on Friday (maybe even earlier). The Town Crier has learned that the Railway and Bus Companies have been inundated with calls asking why their services are all running an hour late. Special buses and trains have had to be run because of the number of complaints.

When the Town Crier pointed out to passengers waiting in the cold for an hour that it was not the fault of the Train and Bus Companies but of the "Clock Tender" of Penkridge Church, they said they would therefore be sending a bill to the Church for extra costs incurred as some, it seems, had ordered taxis to take them to their destinations.

Meanwhile, the Penkridge Town Crier has volunteered his services to wander the streets of Penkridge proclaiming the correct time that European Summer Time ends.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

A Break in Scotland

No news for a while is because we have just been for a short break to Scotland - our first Coach Tour. NOT our first visit to Scotland I hasten to add as we have travelled all over Scotland since our marriage 46 years ago. Our honeymoon was spent in Scotland!
This time we went on a luxury coach from Wolverhampton and stayed at Tyndrum in a great hotel - the Ben Doran - excellent food and staff. Each day we were coached out to places like Stirling, Loch Lomond, Ben Nevis and Fort William, Oban, Glencoe, etc. Unfortunately, we had a lot of rain but still managed to see some wonderfuly scenery and met some lovely people.
Last night we had a Scottish party with the pipes and dancing, followed by a great meal, including, of course, haggis and neeps!
Great to be back in Penkridge but nice to see the mountains - and the first snow on the tops and red deer starting to descend to the lower ground.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

TALENT IN PENKRIDGE - is there any?

6 years ago I posted the following on this website. I am still waiting!

Penkridge is a town with a population of over 9,000 people. I am attempting to discover how many of them have hidden artistic talents which can be illustrated on the following pages to show the rest of Penkridge and in fact, the world. Painters, musicians, actors, poets, writers, artists, photographers, craftsmen and craftswomen, etc. etc. I believe everyone of us has some gift, some way of expressing themselves and which they enjoy doing. Some people have turned their artistic creation into something they can make a living at, others just create for their own enjoyment and keep it very private.

If you are a Penkridge artist or craftsperson and have in fact developed to the stage where you are selling or would like to sell the products you create, then this can be your shop window. If, on the other hand, you are not interested in selling your creations, can I persuade you to let others see what you have done. It might encourage others who have not "tried" to actually "have a go". Your name and address can be kept confidential if you wish. Simply contact the Webmaster and arrange for an informal chat. Let the world see what Penkridge people can create! Your work can be illustrated by images or by words (or both) - and even by sound! All copyright will be retained by the creator and that will be made clear.

Although the main purpose of these pages is to illustrate the artists of today, if anyone can supply me with information on Penkridge artists of the past then it would be nice to pay tribute to them too.

Go to: to see some of Penkridge's talent. I would like to be inundated with requests - come on, spread the word.


Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Wednesday's in Penkridge

I feel like going out Town Crying and telling people to avoid Penkridge at all costs on Wednesdays. Why? Well, today I had to collect a 90 year old lady who was disabled and take her to her hairdressers in the village and that entailed using the A449. As usual, on a Wednesday, the A449 was gridlocked with people queuing from outside the village to go to Penkridge Market - to the car park by the River Penk off the A449 near Bull Bridge. I eventually made it by trebling the mileage it usually takes. While she was having a wash and set, she asked me if I would go to the market for her but there was no way I could cross the A449 in the car so I came home and my wife agreed to walk to the market and collect her order.

An hour later I then collected my client from the hairdressers and took her to the Co-op to buy her food for the week. I eventually managed to find a space in the Co-op car park but while waiting in the car I watched cars pouring into the car park and unable to find any spaces, reversing out again, causing all kinds of problems for other cars and pedestrians. Not that everybody was shopping in the Co-op - I saw several people not only parking in disabled spaces although they didn't display a Blue Badge, but also walking off into the village and NOT into the Co-op.

There wasn't a space to park anywhere in the village this morning - the Chapel Car Park was completely full and all the road verge spaces were taken. Co-op car park full and all Market Street - the most dangerous place to walk in the village - narrow pavements and cars parked all down one side. Bellbrook completely full of cars and even Haling Road (Belbrook end) narrowed down to one way right up to the junction with illegally parked cars.

Our Penkridge Market is becoming more popular but at the expense of safety and inconvenience to many local people on market days. We have nowhere to create any more car parks as the planners have allowed development on ALL our open spaces in the community. THE CAR HAS TAKEN OVER PENKRIDGE - WE ALL COMPLAIN THAT SOMETHING SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT IT BUT WE DON'T WANT TO ADMIT THAT WE COULD EASILY SOLVE THE PROBLEM OURSELVES. I tried - I got rid of my car. My wife has one and we share it. I have a bike although its not very safe to ride a bike in Penkridge (particularly on Wednesdays).

Practically all Penkridge houses have two cars, sometimes three - some even four, parked in their drive or on the road every night. If they were all parked outside the house on the road at the same time - Penkridge would entirely become grid-locked.

A Big Problem - but when we ask the experts to suggest solutions - there is a big outcry as the only solution is to control where cars go and where they are parked. Everybody would appear to feel that they have a right to take their cars wherever they want to take their bodies. THE CAR IS NOT PART OF YOU - YOUR MOTHER DIDN'T GIVE BIRTH TO YOU AND TO YOUR CAR. YOU WEREN'T BORN WITH A CAR!

There are other ways of getting around our community - dare I say "walk, or ride, or share - whether it be by car, bus or train". WE HAVE TO REDUCE OUR DEPENDENCE ON THE CAR IF PENKRIDGE IS GOING TO BE A PLEASANT PLACE TO LIVE.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

My first visit to an excellent Delicatessen

I took my wife out for lunch today - but not in Penkridge! However, we were supporting a Penkridge family. They have recently purchased a lovely very old shop just over the border in Shropshire in the centre of Newport - the Wycherley Delicatessen at 49 High Street, right in the centre of this Market Town.
It must be one of the oldest buildings in Newport, built in approx. 1610, nearly 400 years ago. Liz and Tony Minshall, who have lived in Penkridge for a very long time, have set up a lovely small business, running a Tea Room on the first floor, and a Delicatessen on the ground floor, specialising in local cheeses from Shropshire and Staffordshire, with a few rare ones from further afield. With Xmas not far away, Hampers are a speciality of theirs too.
I recommend you pop into Newport and taste their cheeses, drink their coffee or teas, served by caring staff (including Liz and Tony's daughter Jenny), and, like me, I am sure you will love the experience. I wish we had one in Penkridge!