Community news and events……



OPEN MEETING: Over fifty residents attended the open meeting in the Bishop Lonsdale School on Thursday January 5 arranged between the Parish Council and Taylor Wimpey. The meeting was addressed by Production Manager Ian Wood who seemed to spend at least half of the meeting apologising for the mistakes made at the site and the other half explaining how he did not know the answers to the questions he was being asked. He agreed to take the questions back to the office and find out the answers and hold a further meeting with a technical TW person attending. He gave his business cards out and asked anyone who had questions to email him at [email protected] or ring at 01543 496700. The meeting was also attended by Parish Councillors Graham Garner, John Leather, Tina Price, Eileen Amos and Borough Councillor Peter Jones.

Pic: Ian Wood addressing the meeting

LUNCHTIME CONCERT: The concert planned for Thursday January 12 has been cancelled, the next will be held on February 9.

ECCLESHALL SINGERS: Rehearsals have started for the Singers next series of summer concerts and new members are always welcome to join them. The group meets at the Methodist church on Stone Road every Tuesday evening between 7.30pm and 9.30pm. If you enjoy singing at whatever standard you are get in touch with the secretary Margaret White on 01952 550567 or visit the website at

CHURCH QUIZ: An inter church quiz takes place at the parish room of the Holy Trinity Church on Saturday January 14 starting at 7pm. Teams of six maximum, entry fee is £5 per head and includes a fish and chip supper. Bring your own drinks. Book your team in with David Beswick on 01785 850622

ONE MAN BAND: The entertainment for the next meeting of the Broughton W.I. is provided by Martin Jones and Peter Wilshaw, a two man one man band at the Broughton parish room on Thursday January 12 starting at 7.30pm.

PARISH COUNCIL: The next meeting of the Eccleshall Parish Council takes place on Wednesday January 18 at the community centre starting at 7.30pm and followed by a meeting of the planning committee. There will be a meeting of the Enhancement Committee at the community centre on Wednesday January 11 starting at 7.30pm.

WOMEN’S INSTITUTE: John Mottram is the guest speaker at the meeting being held in the parish room on Thursday January 12 when an auction of members’ donated gifts will be held starting at 7.30pm.

TRINITY MAGAZINE: There is a discount if we order the delivery of the Holy Trinity magazine this month at a cost of 50p per month. The 36-page magazine contains all the latest times and dates of cervices and activities along with contact details for church and town organisations. Contact Charles Taylor on 01782 658832 if you are interested.

ROTARY DINNER: Members and friends of the Rotary Club of Eccleshall Mercia will be partaking of a Christmas dinner at the Cricket Club on Wednesday January 18 at the cricket Club starting at 7.15.
They meet on Mondays at 7:30pm (Regular meetings held on 2nd & 4th Monday of each month at the Royal Oak.

EVENTS DIARY: The library in the High Street keep a diary for events in Eccleshall and they hope that organisations and clubs etc will check with the diary before fixing a date for their event. We are encouraged to enter details of our events once set so that others can check and stop events from clashing.

WINDOW SMASHED: The window of the Merckx Belgian beer bar was smashed during the seasonal holiday.

TEA DANCES: Heather Roberts (school of dance) is holding weekly Tea Dances at Eccleshall  Community Centre every Thursday between 1-30pm to 3-30pm.

£3 a session. Everyone welcome.

For more information contact Heather at  [email protected]

Peter Jones, 28 The Burgage, Eccleshall, ST21 6DR

01785 851381   07815 419166

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 (

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


Community news and events


ROTARY SANTA’S TOUR: Santa concludes his tour of the area with a two day visit to the various parts of Eccleshall. On Friday December 23 he moves to the Eccleshall West area and finishes on Christmas eve starting at 4.30pm in the central section of the town. Funds raised will benefit Rotary charities and other local charities. The Rotary Club of Eccleshall Mercia do the tour each year and bring a little seasonal cheer to the younger members of our community.

RACE NIGHT SUCCESS: Saturday December 12 saw the latest in a series of Race Nights at the Eagle Inn. This time the proceeds went to the Eccleshall Scouts. A wonderful sum of £337 was raised with prizes kindly supplied by the following:- Francesco, Staffordshire Gliding Club, Wines etc, London House, The Artisan, Eagle Inn, Star pizza, Merckx, Mr Simms, Bethan Ward, Eccleshall Chippy, The Royal Oak, The Bell Inn, BBs florist, Keith Hill, Daru Chini Thanks to all who donated prizes and all those who took part in the race night.

SCOUTS POST: Members of the 1st Eccleshall Scout group and friends have been busy over the last three weekends collecting a delivering Christmas cards within the town. This has become a traditional event much welcomed by folks at 30p per card. Money raised goes to Scout funds.


Pic: Olivia Silvester, Tony Eveleigh and Mike Spearman

SOCIETY BUSY: During the festive period the members of the Ecclian Society and friends are busy making sure that the town centre looks at its best for the period. The Society installed over 60 small trees on the buildings in the centre after checking and installing Christmas lights on them. The lights-on event at the lych gate of the church is arranged each year by the Society for the children of the area and at the conclusion of the ‘carols under the Christmas tree’ evening they will be providing mulled wine for the carolers inside the Holy Trinity Church.

STONE ROAD OPENS: The normal road to Stone from Eccleshall was re-opened last week and allows easy access to businesses along the way.

HOSPICE MORNING: The Eccleshall Support group of the Katharine House Hospice were busy again on Saturday December 10 with a coffee and mince pie morning at the cricket club between 10am and 12 noon.


Pic: Joy Jones, Edith Adamson, Judith Roberts, Georgina Worth, Sally Ann Adamson, Vilma Hickman, David Milner and Pat Milner.

CHRISTMAS LUNCH: Members and friends of the Trinity Men’s fellowship will be enjoying a late Christmas dinner at the Swan at Forton on Thursday December 29.

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH:  On Christmas Eve ‘blessing the crib’ a special service for families takes place at 3pm and the Midnight Eucharist begins at 11.30pm. On Christmas Day there are two services the first taking place at 8am and the evening service starting at 10am At Slindon St Chad’s there is a Christmas Communion service at 11.30am on Christmas Day. There is no service in the church on New Year’s Day January 1 but the vicar Reverend James Graham will be in the church at 10am for prayers.

LIBRARY OPENING TIMES: The library will be closing early on Christmas Eve December 24 at 1pm and will be closed December 25, 26 and 27.

CHURCH SERVICES: There is a Christmas Day Mass at 9.15am at the Sacred Heart Church on December 25. There is a Carols by Candlelight service on Christmas Eve at 7.30pm and a Family Service at 9.30am both at the Methodist Church.

INTER CHURCH QUIZ: On Saturday January 14, a special inter church quiz takes place in the parish room of Holy trinity Church starting at 7pm. Teams of no more than six people, booking teams through David Beswick 01785 850622 £5 per person with a fish and chips supper. Bring your own drinks and there is a raffle.

ACOUSTIC NIGHT: The special Christmas Acoustic Night at the Royal Oak on Thursday December 1 was an amazing ‘full house’ affair, with over 80 people in the audience and 17 solo or group performers. The organisers would like to thank all the supporters of their monthly raffles they have raised £537 during 2016 for local charities. The first Acoustic Night of the new year will be on Thursday 5th January 2017.

TRUST LUNCH: Senior Citizens from the parish were treated to a Christmas lunch at the North Staffs Hotel, Stoke on Wednesday December 7. Although numbers were down slightly on last year the food and entertainment were well received. The guest of honour was the Mayor of Stafford Borough Councillor Geoff Collier and the Mayoress Cathy Collier.

NEW YEAR’S DAY WALK: Starting from The Rudge at 10am this annual walk is enjoyed by many who wish to blow the seasonal cobwebs away. It will end at The Rudge with a warming cup of homemade soup and mince pies.

TEA DANCE: The last of 2016 the tea dance takes place at the community centre for dancers of all levels on Wednesday December 28 starting at 2pm.

A merry Christmas!


HOLLY BUSH QUIZ: The regular Sunday evening quiz takes a seasonal break on New Year’s Day and Sally Bell an alternative quiz mistress takes over for one day on Sunday January 8 starting at 8.30pm. Peter & Joy Jones the resident quizmaster and scorer return on Sunday January 15.


BUCKET COLLECTING: Members of the Stafford Rotary Club were collecting courtesy of ASDA in Stafford on Saturday December 10 for their charity account all day. Many thanks to the customers who were generous in their giving.


Pic: Syd Birkin, Karen Milligan, Club President Brian Westerman and David Slee.



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

News and events from across our community


NEW VEHICLE: The Eccleshall Community First Responders took possession of their new vehicle recently, a Hyundai Santa Fe four wheel drive vehicle suitable for the many locations that they are called to. Thanks are due to the many local donations received to enable them to purchase the vehicle and the Sandon Road motors for their support. MacNellie did the signing on the vehicle. The responders would like to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to help in the provision of the new vehicle, without which of course, they would not be able to carry out the volunteer work that they do.

Pic: Martin Watson with the new vehicle.

NEW YEAR’S EVE DANCE: Eccleshall Community Centre is holding their popular New Year’s Eve Dance With special guests Bobby Jones and Bob Morgan on Saturday December 31. Tickets at £12.50 are limited but are available from 01785 850124. Bring your own celebratory food and drinks for a great evening and welcoming in the New Year. The evening starts at 8pm.

SANTA’S WELCOME: The Eccleshall Mercian Rotary Club sleigh brought Santa to the lych gate at Holy Trinity Church on Monday November 28 at 4pm. Dozens of children and parents and grandparents were present for the children to tell Santa their hopes and dreams for Christmas. At 5pm the chairman of the Parish Council Councillor Graham Garner sounded the siren which was the signal for the town centre businesses to turn on their tree lights, over 60 in all and the 25-foot tree in the churchyard.


Pic: Santa meeting children

LODGE DINNER: On Monday December 5 members, partners and friends of the Eccleshall Lodge enjoyed an early Christmas dinner at the cricket Club.


TREES INSTALLATION: Members of the Ecclian Society and friends erected over 60 Christmas trees complete with lights on Sunday November 27 ready for the switch on the next day. Thanks to members of the community who allowed the brackets to be fitted to their homes a business premises and the use of the power.


Pic: Luke Sargeant, Mike Starkey, Graham Garner and Keith Legge installing trees.

PARISH PLANNING: There is a meeting of the Parish Council planning committee on Wednesday December 7 at the community centre starting at 7.30pm. members of the public are invited to observe the meeting.
There is no full council meeting in December the next meeting is on Wednesday January 18 7.30pm at the community centre.

SINGERS CONCERT: ‘Winter Melodies’ is the title of the Eccleshall Singers concert taking place at the community centre on Saturday December 10 starting at 7.30pm. Admission on the door £6. Bring your own food and drinks and enjoy the party style for full details of Singers activities. The Singers will also be performing at Cheswardine Hall on Friday December 9 starting at 2.30pm.

LUNCHTIME CONCERT: On Thursday December 8 the seasonal edition of the Lunchtime Concert arranged by the social committee of the Holy Trinity Church takes place in the parish room starting at 1pm. A hot bowl of soup, sandwiches and entertainment from the children’s choir from Bishop Lonsdale Academy. All this for the princely sum of £5 on the door.

GEORGE FORMBY: Part two of the story of the life of George Formby is the subject of this Wednesday December 7 Historical Society meeting at the community centre starting at 7.30pm. Visitors always welcome.

HOSPICE COFFEE MORNING: The Cricket Club is the venue for the seasonal coffee morning fund raiser for the Katharine House Hospice Support Group on Saturday December 10.

BETTY’S PASSING: Popular local pensioner Mrs Betty Wilshaw passed away last week in her sleep, she will be missed and we give condolences to her family and the friends that knew her. The funeral service takes place at the Holy Trinity Church on Thursday December 15 at 12.30 and wake afterwards at the cricket club.

NO SERVICE: there will be no 6pm evening service at Holy Trinity Church on Sunday December 11.

FELLOWSHIP GROUP: The next meeting of the Methodist Fellowship Group has special guests in the form of the children from the Springfields Nursery performing the nativity on Tuesday December 13 at 2pm in the schoolroom.

SANTA’S SLEIGH: Santa will be visiting Gnosall East on Wednesday December 10 starting at 6pm and Gnosall West on Saturday December 10 starting a little earlier. On Tuesday December 13 he will continue his tour at Tittensor, on Thursday December 15 he will be at Woodseaves. Santa will be accompanied by members and friends from the Eccleshall Mercian Rotary Club and they will be collecting for Rotary Charities.

UNWELCOME VISITORS: Work started at the Taylor Wimpey housing site behind the community centre recently and the unwelcome visit was the pile driving which has been starting at 8am and the large heavy lorries entering the site through the Churchfields estate instead of the Shaw’s Lane entrance. The Borough planning department and enforcement department have been flooded with complaints and officers have been visitors the site.

SCOUT POST: First Eccleshall Scouts are once again providing there Christmas Post service. It starts on December 3 continues December 10 and December 17 all outside the library between 9am and 12 noon. The cost is 30p per card which can be delivered inside the area bounded by the 30mph speed signs. Money raised helps Scout funds.

COMMUNITY CINEMA: Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant star in Florence Foster Jenkins film at the Royal Oak on Thursday December 15 starting at 8pm. Admission by ticket is £5 available from the Oak, newsagent, Sean Hirst and James Du Pavey.

ECCOUSTICS AT CHRISTMAS: The Eccoustics will be providing the entertainment for the Women’s Institute’s December meeting at the parish room on the 8th starting at 7.30pm.

PENSIONS LUNCH: On Wednesday December 7 many dozens of senior citizens from Eccleshall will be dining at the North Staffs Hotel, Stoke provided by the fund raising efforts of Eccleshall Trust.

CRAFT FOR CHRISTMAS: The Broughton W.I. will receive a talk on Craft for Christmas at the Broughton parish room on Thursday December 8 starting at 7.30pm, the talk will be given by Lucy Gleave.

ECCLESHALL GUIDE 2017: The 19th edition of the Guide is at the proof stage and is expected to be ready for distribution sometime in December.



ROTARY DINNER: The annual Christmas party for the Stafford Rotary Club takes place at the Brocton Golf Club on Wednesday December 14. The entertainment is provided by members of the club and is attended by members, partners and friends.



SINGERS CONCERT: Eccleshall Singers are providing the music at St Matthews Church, Derrington on Tuesday December 13 for a carols and readings service starting at 7pm.

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