Ray Crowther

About Ray Crowther

Ray Crowther is here Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am with the mid-morning show – Stafford‘s community hub, a daily mix of consumer advice, topical local discussion, current affairs and good music.

Posts by Ray Crowther:

Winter wonderland at Jubilee Court wins festive competition

A seasonal competition has helped a housing association’s older customers to start celebrating the Christmas festivities.

There was plenty of festive spirit in evidence during the judging as residents of Independent Living Schemes managed by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) showed off their Christmas decorations.

Top of the tree this year was Jubilee Court, which featured a winter wonderland and themed decorations depicting festive celebrations leading up to Christmas Day itself.

One of the organisers of the seasonal display, Margaret, who has lived at Jubilee Court with her husband David for the past seven years, said she was delighted the scheme had won the competition.

“The winter wonderland starts in the outer hall, and leads through to another display in the inner hall which celebrates Christmas Eve whilst the main lounge is the setting for decorations to mark Christmas Day itself,” she said.

“Thanks go to everyone who helped with the decorations, which really are impressive,” she said. “They are lovely to look at, for those who live here and visiting families and friends.”

The competition was organised by Lisa McCaulder, Head of Health and Safety at SARH, and aimed to spread an important message, as well as festive cheer.

“We wanted to make sure that our Independent Living customers put up their decorations safely, especially as older people are more at risk of trips and falls, and the competition proved a great way to make them aware of potential hazards.

“That said, everyone had a fantastic time and we were really impressed at everyone’s efforts. Picking a winner was certainly difficult!”

SARH manages 18 Independent Living Schemes across Stafford and surrounding areas, with extra care services provided at Jubilee Court. Anyone who would like to find out more about the benefits they offer to the over 55s should contact www.sarh.co.uk.

Caption: Pictured at Jubilee Court, from left to right (seated) are SARH customers Colin Galliers, Christine Griffiths and Patricia Swift with (standing) Lisa McCaulder, Head of Health and Safety, Kathy Jones, Assistant Director of Housing Management, and Elaine Tomlinson, Extra Care Manager.

STAFFORD FM’s CRIMELINE: On the scent of offenders.


Staffordshire Police are appealing for witnesses to a robbery at Boots the Chemist on High Street Uttoxeter yesterday, 28th December 2016.

At 3am yesterday, 28 December, officers were alerted to the fact that front windows of the store had been smashed.Officers attended the scene and deployed a dog unit to search the premises. No one was found on site.

Unknown intruders had removed a large number of fragrances from the display counters and window displays before making good their escape.

It’s believed that the intruders made off in a vehicle that had been parked outside the store.

CCTV was secured and is being studied by officers as part of the investigation.

The staff have now confirmed that over 2500 pounds worth of Boots No7 products and perfumes were taken during the raid.

Have you been offered perfumes for sale or seen them being sold locally?

Were you in the high street area in the early hours of Wednesday morning and see anything suspicious?

If you can help with enquiries, please call 101 and quote incident 65 of 28 December.

Alternatively you can ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit goods seized from car on M6


Counterfeit goods with a retail value of over £15,000 if they were genuine were seized from a car on the M6 in Stafford.

The seizure was made by officers from the Central Motorway Police Group on Sunday and the goods handed over to Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team. Goods included potentially hazardous counterfeit perfume and electrical items. There were also fake branded clothes and trainers.

The car was stop checked on the southbound lane of M6 between junctions 14 and 13. All of the seized goods had been loaded at a Manchester warehouse earlier that day.

Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath said: “It’s pleasing to know that these potentially hazardous items will not be finding their way into people’s homes this Christmas or in the new year. We’d like to remind people that they need to remain vigilant about counterfeit goods sales all year.More and more counterfeit goods are now being sold online, particularly on social media sites. Counterfeit cosmetics and electrical goods can be dangerous.

“These items are increasingly hard to detect just to look at, so when something is being sold at a knock-down price, people should be extremely wary. It is always best to buy from reputable traders. We always say that if something is too good to be true, it usually is. In addition to damaging Staffordshire businesses, counterfeit goods sales help to line criminals’ pockets. These goods are substandard and can be lethal.”

Counterfeit goods are shoddy imitations that will leave people out of pocket and could cause serious harm. Fake electrical goods are hazardous as they can cause fires and electrocution. Harmful substances such as high lead levels in perfume are a risk with counterfeit cosmetics. They are increasingly sold online.

Some of the hidden dangers of counterfeit goods include:

• Counterfeit alcohol such as vodka contains dangerous chemicals which can cause may health problems such as blindness
• Counterfeit perfume can often burn skin or leave a nasty rash and may contain lead
• Fake sunglasses often offer no UVA protection, causing eye damage
• Illicit tobacco is unregulated and cigarettes can be a fire risk as they do not burn out like legitimate products
• Counterfeit children’s toys can often be unsafe with unsuitable small parts and children’s clothes may be inflammable

pic: Some of the counterfeit items seized from the car.

Stafford FM’s online auction – Thank you!

Stafford FM’s online fundraising auction is now closed. Many thanks if you supported us by placing a bid or donating a prize.

One of the first to call into our studios after the auction had closed was Jack and Leah who called in earlier with mum Lucy Brundrett. They came to collect their winning item (a crystal gift set from Hadleigh of Stafford).  It was great to meet you guys, hope you enjoyed your visit.


Stafford FM is a not for profit community radio station, staffed by a great team of volunteers.  Any profit or surplus must be used for securing or improving the future provision of the service for the people of Stafford, or for delivering social gain to the benefit to our community. Events, such as our online auction, are crucial to maintain the station and help us move forward.

Keep listening to 107.3 Stafford FM to hear the total amount raised and for more exciting events in 2017.

Merry Christmas!


Community news and events…..

CAROLS ROUND THE TREE: Over two hundred people took part in the Parish Council’s ‘carols around the tree’ event in Eccleshall town centre on Monday December 19 and the weather was kind. Carols were sung at various points along the High-Street culminating in the Holy Trinity Church where the Ecclian Society served hot mulled wine. The music was provided along the way Stafford Brigades Youth Marking band.


Pic: The band members at the crossroads and in the church.

CAN YOU HELP: Eccleshall’s Elverra Pony Rescue is a non-profit organisation set up to aid the large number of surplus equines. They take in ponies and horses for many different reasons and offer them a safe home for life to all equines, rehabilitating and re-homing those that we can. Their aim is to re-home as many ponies as they can, which they do through a long-term loan agreement with clauses and conditions agreed by both parties.  They do not sell the ponies as they do not want them to end up in the same situation that brought them to Elverra under any circumstances, Although the pony still belongs to us there is a re-homing fee.  This is not a set figure as each pony is different, and is purely to cover our costs and allow us to continue taking in ponies that need our help.  As a non-profit organisation, they rely heavily on their hard working volunteers, fund raising and donations. Elverra recently  had to take their Gypsy Cob, Tiger,  to the vets for a scan, unfortunately he needs an operation and with the vets quoting £1,000 they need some help reaching this amount. They have their shows, Christmas Fairs and sales, but would appreciate any donations to help them reach their target. If readers feel able to donate feed, haylage, straw or even some valuable time to help us look after these deserving ponies then please do not hesitate to contact: Yard Manager – 07790 592611  Secretary – 07583 944678. For more information about all the ponies looking for their forever home you can find us on Facebook at Elverra Pony Rescue – Sturbridge.”


Pic: tiger – the horse

SHAWS LANE DEVELOPMENT: Concerns about the housing development by Taylor Wimpey on the site at the rear of the community centre have resulted in visits to the site several times by officers from the Borough Council’s planning and enforcement departments. The Parish Council has registered its concerns about the way materials are being transported onto the site using the St Chads; entrance instead of the Shaws Lane works entrance and a number of other concerns which have now been brought forcefully to the attention of the Borough Council officers and especially the Taylor Wimpey site manager and senior management.

UNITED CAROL CONCERT: A full church took part in the annual United Carol Concert at the Holy Trinity Church on the evening of Sunday December 18. The Handbell Ringers Group welcomed everyone to the church and the church choir accompanied by Steve Enock. The Bishop Lonsdale Academy Choir performed two songs accompanied by Martin Jones from the Croxton Community Choir. There were nine readings from members from the various churches. There was a retiring collection for Young Minds.

BRIDGE CLUB REVIEW: Eccleshall Bridge Club has had a successful year. The Club is affiliated to the English Bridge Union and meets on Tuesday at Offley Hay Village Hall and the Eccleshall Parish Room on Wednesday. They sponsored one of the floral baskets in the High Street and took part in a competition supporting  BBC ‘Children in Need’, raising £96. The club hold several competitions throughout the year and in 2016 the winners were:-Presidents Salver:-  Valerie Prentice & Audrey Durrant, Lady’s Pairs:- Mollie Joseph & Libby Dale,  Gentlemen’s Pairs:-Tony Whatmore & Charles Mellor, Frances Bird Trophy:- Mollie Joseph & Nick Cheadle, ‘Children in Need’:- (local heat) Geoff Williams & Valerie Prentice,  County Pairs:- (local heat) Ruth Timmis & Rob Stevenson, Anyone wishing further information should ring Margaret Atkins (01785 796201) or the Club website (www.bridgewebs.com/eccleshall)

SCRAP COLLECTIONS: The neighbourhood watch have noticed a number of reports posted on Facebook about a white transit van seen cruising around our area and the driver asking for scrap.  The registration, Y332 GDR, is false and does not appear on the DVLA computer so if you see this vehicle again in this area then please report it to 101 immediately. The police do know of its existence but require further sightings so they can intercept it asap.

ACOUSTIC NIGHT: The first of the new year takes place on Thursday January 5 starting at 8pm in the upper room of the Royal Oak.

SANTA AND BABY BOUNCE: Santa was the surprise guest for the babies in the special Christmas baby bounce group in the library on the morning of Friday December 16. He joined the babies, children and parents in a number of seasonal songs and songs that they enjoyed at the regular baby bounce sessions. Each child received a small gift of a book of favourite rhymes.


Pic; Santa and some of the children and parents.

MEN’S LUNCHEON: Members and friends of the Trinity Men’s Fellowship enjoyed a belated Christmas lunch at The Swan of Forton on Thursday December 29.

TREES DOWN: The Ecclian Society would appreciate any help we can give when they take down the over 60 Christmas trees in the town centre on Sunday January 8 starting at 10am. If you can assist them call at the 72 High Street for the starts of the work.

POETRY GROUP: The groups suggested these for the poems at the their next meeting on Thursday January 5 will be Colours. The session starts at 2pm and ends at 4pm and visitors who enjoy poetry are always welcome.

CRICKET PRACTICE: Winter might be here but preparations are already underway for next season. In January Eccleshall Cricket Club will be beginning their Junior Winter Academy at Alleyne’s Sports Centre in Stone, run by ex-Staffs & Worcestershire Academy player Myles Coughlan. In advance of this, the club would like to invite you to their development evening at the club on Friday January 13 at 7pm. This will be an opportunity for you to register and meet the coaches who will discuss the content of the academy, and will be available to answer any questions that you may have. The academy is open to kids in year 5 and above, and the club would love to see as many there as possible in readiness for the new season. It is the perfect opportunity for the young players to develop their skills and be able to hit the ground running come the 2017 season.


RECYCLE CHRISTMAS CARDS: If you care to drop off your Christmas cards at the Broughton Parish room before the middle of January they will be taken away and recycled. Star the new year off well.

TWO MAN ONE-MAN-BAND: Peter Wilshaw and Martin Jones will provide the musical entertainment for members of the Broughton W.I. on Thursday January 12 starting at 7.30pm. It will be an opportunity to raffle off all that Christmas excess.


SPEED WATCH: If you would be interested in helping to spread the word of slower speeds in the Croxton area or just wish to know more about the work of the Croxton group please get in touch with Peter Davies on 01630 620202.


KATHARINE HOUSE: During his Mayoral year Councillor Peter Jones donated funds from his Mayoral Charity to several organisations including the Katharine House Hospice. The donation part funded two public access defibrillators for the use of visitors to the hospice. Councillor Jones was present to celebrate the installation of the hospice main site defibrillator.


Pic: Peter Jones

MP VISITS ROTARY: Jeremy Lefroy MP was the special guest at the Rotary Club of Stafford on Wednesday December 21 at the Constitutional Club in Stafford. There was no club meeting on December 28.


CHRISTMAS QUIZ: There was a Christmas themed quiz at the Holly Bush Seighford on Sunday evening December 18 when 15 teams took part. There were small prizes for the best decorated table and most original seasonal hat in addition to the prizes for the quiz rounds.


Pic: most of the people taking part in the quiz


Councillor Peter  Jones

Borough Councillor Eccleshall Ward

28 The Burgage, Eccleshall, Staffs, ST21 6DR
01785 851381 / 07815 419166