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.

Monday, 19 March 2012


A letter was recently delivered (but not to all the occupants of the 90 household Grange Estate) telling them that their post would not be delivered until further notice saying that "our postman has come across an accident in the area due to uneven pathways (and) he sustained serious injuries due to the incident".  They say that "this exceptional step has to be taken in order to safeguard the health and safety of Royal Mail employees and that an internal health and safety risk assessment will be undertaken to assess whether there is an unacceptable level of risk associated with the delivery".  

Royal Mail have told these 90 households they will have to COLLECT their mail from their Stafford Delivery Office and gave them a WRONG phone number if they wished to make further enquiries.  A private house in Stoke on Trent received many angry phone calls as a result of their mistake.

So if you are waiting for appointments to visit the Hospital, or are expecting any urgent mail, then you have to travel daily to Stafford (during their working hours) to collect it.  AND you have to take with you proof of identity.   

As one resident said "there are dozens of uneven pathways elsewhere on the pavements of Penkridge and many other towns, villages and cities in the country.  Does this mean we can expect many of Postal Delivery Services to be withdrawn?   How will the hospital sending out an emergency appointment know that it won't get there within a couple of days and they may well not receive it until after the appointment."


No wonder many of us now use other forms of communication (e.g. Email, Text Messaging, and Phone calls), instead of our once excellent Royal Mail Service.   Now, the only things that arrive daily is the rubbish mail - the majority of which immediately goes into the recycling container.   When you are out of job Royal Mail Postmen, you can always get a job with the Recycling Firms - collecting post instead of delivering it!


Monday, 16 January 2012

John Westwood

Many Penkridge people were saddened to learn that John Westwood had passed away recently after a long illness.   His funeral will be held at St. Michael's Church on Wednesday 18 January at 2pm.  

Lyne Hill Planning Application REFUSED by Councillors

in their
Thank you South Staffs DISTRICT COUNCIL REGULATORY COMMITTEE for REFUSING the Lyne Hill Outline Planning Application.   Thank you also to the many residents of Penkridge who attended the meeting and heard the 5 minute plea by resident Calvert Stonehouse who put the case for Penkridge most succinctly.  Thank you also to District Cllr. Len Bates for proposing the motion to refuse the application.  This was seconded by Cllr. John Raven and their motion to REFUSE was carried by 22 votes for and 3 against.   The applicant can, of course, appeal against the decision and if they do, then the community will have to continue to argue against their current proposals.  
Common sense and the views of the community have prevailed so far