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:

Revving Up for the Classic Car Show at Stafford Castle


Organisers of the classic car show at Stafford Castle are inviting owners of veteran, vintage, classic and collectors’ cars to book their precious vehicles into the show.

The event, sponsored by RPH Motor Repairs from Astonfields, also gives owners the chance to enter their vehicles into the competition. Awards are presented to the ‘Best Vehicles in Class.’ Categories for the competition are: Pre 1920; 1920s and 30s; 1940s & 50s; 1960s and 70s; Future Classics; Best Vintage Tractor; Best Classic Commercial; Best Military Classic; and Best Vintage Motorcycle.

Thousands of visitors are expected at the show which is organised by Stafford Borough Council and is now in its 13th year.

Activities on the day include craft stalls, a miniature car museum, children’s quizzes and mini Land Rover rides; as well as entry to the Visitor Centre and Castle Keep.

The show runs from 11am to 5pm on Sunday 30 July. Admission to the event will be free of charge and car parking costs £3. Entrance to the Castle and Visitor Centre is also free.

For more information or to book your vehicle into the show contact Mark Hartwell, Heritage Sites Manager at Stafford Borough Council on 01785 619130 or email: [email protected]

For further event information visit, http://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/heritageevents



Stafford ladies take on epic London to Paris bike ride for Katharine House Hospice.

Bev Deb

This July, hospice supporters Bev Power and Debbie Wright will be taking on the iconic 300 mile London to Paris bike ride in a bid to raise £3,000 for Katharine House Hospice.

Both from Stafford, Debbie is 46 and works on the Chemo Unit at Stafford Hospital, while Bev is taking on this challenge to mark her 50th birthday this year!

Debbie said “We did a cycling challenge in Kenya last year but this year we wanted to do something closer to home and our hearts.  Katharine House is likely to be a place where people we know will need to use.  Some of our friends and family have been affected by cancer and cared for at the hospice and as part of my job I speak to a lot of people who use the hospice services.”

This incredible cycle connects two of the world’s most chic capital cities. The ladies will make their way through beautiful English villages and into the stunning countryside of rural France, passing historical landmarks and famous battlefields until they reach Paris. Cycling around 95 miles a day over 3 days, the challenge is no mean feat.

Events Fundraiser at Katharine House Hospice, Lisa Carson said: “London to Paris is a massive challenge for the ladies and we are so thrilled that they have chosen to take on this epic journey in support of the hospice.  We really can’t thank them enough.  The money they have raised will make a huge difference to the lives of our patients and their families”.

If you would like to help the ladies reach their £3000 target you can sponsor them by visiting:


If you would like to take on a fantastic  challenge like this one for your local charity call Lisa Carson, Events Fundraiser on 01785 270808 or visit www.khhospice.org.uk/events.

Katharine House Hospice provides free care and support for adults and their families who are coping with progressive illness across mid-Staffordshire. It relies upon the kindness of the local community to help generate over 75% of the funds needed to run its vital range of services.



Parking orders on an estate next to the route of Stafford’s new western access road have now been introduced.

Parking restrictions have been introduced on roads around Castlefields, to the west of Stafford town centre. Double yellow lines are being installed along the length of Martin Drive – which will form the gateway to the new Stafford Western Access Route off the Newport Road. In addition, there will be double yellow lines laid along Redgrave Drive and both double yellow and time restricted parking along Rose Hill.

Residents have been assured this week that the impact of the restrictions will be carefully monitored, with amendments being made if necessary.

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington, who is also the local county councillor, said: “The new parking restrictions are being introduced this week and residents will be able to see a real difference. We will of course be closely monitoring the situation and further consulting with people living in the area. We’ll also be checking that parking is not displaced elsewhere. We have introduced the restrictions along Martin Drive as this will form the gateway to the Stafford Western Access Route from Newport Road. We are also keen to potentially extend new regulations to other areas which may be affected by parking displacement. We know parking has been an issue on these roads and so the new restrictions should improve visibility and safety.”

You can find out more regarding the plans for Stafford’s new western access road HERE.

The new access road  will pave the way for multi-million pound development, new jobs and relieve town centre congestion has reached another milestone.


Staffordshire County Council has now started the process of buying land along the Stafford Western Access Route, which will link the A518 Newport Road and the A34 Foregate Street north of the town centre. The new road will enable thousands of homes to be built and the delivery of the £500 million Stafford Gateway development. It will also ease congestion in the town centre, particularly around the railway station as it prepares for HS2 connection. The process of purchasing all sections of land could take up to 18 months.

The new road will be built on land between Martin Drive, Doxey Road and Foregate Street and is expected to be completed in 2021. Work to improve the Foregate Street and Browning Street junctions was completed last month. Other preparatory work for the road has included a flood compensation scheme at Doxey Marshes, which recently picked up an award from the Institution of Civil Engineers.



999 service is 80-years-old today




Today, marks 80 years since the emergency call system 999 was launched in London on 30 June 1937. It was the first of its kind in the world, introducing a special signal indicating to the telephone operator that the call must receive immediate attention.

The 999 call system was introduced after a two-year inquiry, following the deaths of five women in a fire at Wimpole Street in London in 1935.

The choice of 999 was because in the dark or in dense smoke 999 could be dialled on the old rotary telephones by placing a finger against the dial stop and rotating the dial to its full extent three times.

The first week of the service saw it take more than 1,000 calls. They were indicated by red lamps and a loud klaxon. The first call was made by a Mrs Beard in Hampstead, north London, and led to the arrest of burglar Thomas Duffy.

Now, Staffordshire Police takes about 146,000 999 calls a year. Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday morning are the busiest times for 999 calls and we have a target of answering 90% within 10 seconds.

Matt Goldsmith, Contact Services Manager, said: “We urge people who have dialled 999 for a genuine reason and then decided that the police are not required to stay on the line and speak to one of our call handers. We will always call them back to make sure all is ok and this can take time and impact on others who have an emergency.”

A video ‘When to call 999’ is available at:



A £500 million scheme that could see a hotel, top of the range office space, and new homes in Stafford will be discussed by senior councillors next week.

The ‘Stafford Gateway Masterplan’ would develop land near to the railway station and has been planned on the back of HS2 which will see journey times to London slashed to under an hour from the county town.

A report on the scheme is expected to go before members of the Borough Council’s cabinet for the first time on Thursday (6 July).

Developers have shown interest in the site which could see 650 apartments, 150 houses, and a new multi storey car park with 1400 spaces.  And leading leisure chains have already expressed an interest in building a hotel with conferencing facilities.


The Council would work with other local authorities, who form the ‘Constellation Partnership,’ and Government to progress the plans on the back of the opportunities which HS2 will bring. Stafford is a hub station for HS2 which will see the high speed trains stopping at the town.

The 28-hectare site is next to the Stafford railway station and was home to manufacturing, industrial and rail-related use – with much of it now ceased.

Improvements would see another entrance to open up the railway station on both sides and enhanced walking and cycle routes through to the town centre.

Councillor Patrick Farrington, Leader of the Borough Council, said: “Our borough is growing and we have big ambitions for it.

“HS2 has presented an opportunity to deliver substantial economic growth and regeneration across the town. We want to ensure we have a vibrant town centre for the future – knowing that more residents and office workers in town will provide a boost to the High Street – and we will be studying these exciting plans very closely to ensure we are creating the right environment for businesses to flourish, for people to live, work and enjoy the area, and for communities to prosper.”

Stafford Borough has seen considerable growth over recent years including the £100m Riverside retail scheme in town, huge expansion of the army barracks, and hundreds of new homes. And work is underway on a new cinema in Stafford and an 83-acre business park at Meaford in the North of the Borough. Work will get underway this year on a nearly £10 million leisure scheme in Stone and there are advanced plans for a £2.5 million restoration of the county town’s award winning Victoria Park.

Councillor Farrington continued: “Our Borough is rightly seen as a great place to invest because of our position at the centre of the UK, with fantastic transport links. Recent figures show more than £1.5 billion has been invested in, or planned for, the area but we will not forget to protect what we already have – a safe, clean and green borough with an excellent quality of life.”

The cabinet will be asked to back the Station Gateway Masterplan and allow it to form part of the local plan review. The local plan governs development across the borough.

The full cabinet report for the meeting on 6 July will be available HERE  from Wednesday afternoon (28 June).