Barlaston Community Group

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Village News

'To foster community spirit by participating in activities that enhance the environment and encourage neighbourliness within the village of Barlaston'. 

Barlaston Community Group, based in Barlaston, Staffordshire, UK

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April Update!

Posted on May 3, 2019 at 3:40 AM

Most months seem to go by in a blur these days but April feels like we’ve had all the seasons compressed into 30 days – hail stones to glorious sunshine! It will be Open Gardens (13th and 14th July) again before we know it… Lots of things ‘garden related’ have already been going on behind the scenes with local Parish Councillor Chris Hurst tidying up the car park by the Upper House and reclaiming a massive amount of overgrown land and Inde Johal and the rest of the OG working party chivying up the V.I.G’s (Very Important Gardeners!) who are busy getting ready for this year’s event and now meet on a monthly basis at The Duke of York pub. If you’d like to hear more about this or if there’s anything you’d like to get involved with then they’d love to hear from you – email [email protected] or give Chris (07443 912037) or Inde (07930 388264) a call.

This year’s Great British Spring Clean has been a great success and the Barlaston Womblers were particularly pleased to have been joined by Pippa Gee, High Sheriff of Staffordshire and her posse Camilla, Tilda and Clemmie, who picked litter from Orchard Place and Old Road with us in her last week of office. There have been five major Wombles this month resulting in a massive haul of over 72 bags from all around the village. The finale was a Spring Clean the Green and Egg Hunt when Womblers spent a pleasant afternoon in the sun collecting fallen twigs and branches from under the trees, making it easier to mow and improving the appearance of our Village Green. The Junior Womblers were rewarded with a chocolate bunny and Easter egg hunt organised by our very own Sara Morris. Huge thanks to Sara for this and of course to ALL our Wonderful Womblers who have risen to the GBSC Challenge so magnificently!!

Film Nights are still fantastically popular and we have A Star is Born coming up on Saturday 1st June. This is a musical romantic drama with fantastic performances from Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga. The film has won loads of awards and is a heart-warming story set against a backdrop of fantastic musical numbers – a perfect combination for our discerning Barlaston audience!

We also launched our first matinee! The success of Mary Poppins Returns, when we spent a fun afternoon in the village hall eating ice-creams, has encouraged us to put on more films during the school holidays – if you have any suggestions regarding which film to show please let us know! More details will be on our Website & Facebook page shortly.

Marching into Spring!

Posted on April 2, 2019 at 4:20 AM

There’s been a GREAT start to the Great British Spring Clean already! Cocknage was liberated by the Barlaston Womblers last week when they took up Parish Councillor David Norman’s invitation to litterpick around Cocknage Wood. Most people didn’t even realise that it was part of Barlaston but Renee, David, Gill, Ali, Michala, Andrew B, John, Pam, Sally, Andrew M, Maggie, Mark & Stan rose to the Cocknage Challenge & tackled some seriously neglected Grot Spots! A whopping 31 bags were collected as well as the results of fly-tipping over the years – tyres, fridge doors, a roof rack cover, full Argon gas canisters & a 54" flat screen TV! There were many curious passers-by and a number of residents stopped to ask how they could join in, so we are hoping for some new recruits in the area. David & Sally hosted the Après & the baking bar has been set even higher with a Sally Berry victoria sponge & melt-in-the-mouth tea loaf!

The success of the Cocknage Clean-up meant that the surrounding roads looked even worse! An emergency call was answered by the Famous Five & Blurton Road was restored to its natural beauty.

The Barlaston Womblers are doing a pick every week throughout the Keep Britain Tidy campaign:

• Sunday 7th April meet 10am Plume of Feathers carpark

• Saturday 13th April meet 10am Barlaston Village Hall

• Thursday 18th April meet 1pm on the Village Green for a ‘Clean the Green’ & Easter Egg Hunt

Or why not hold your own Clean-up?? It would be great if everyone could join in in some way - you don’t have to join the organised group wombles: you can wash your road sign / pick up litter / sweep a bus shelter / clear a footpath / clean a speed sign / trim a verge / weed a planter / anything at all… and don’t forget to send us a photo of your efforts and like previous years we will put the sparkling results in an album on Facebook for everyone to appreciate!

The ‘Introduction to Social Media’ - IT workshop went very well. Sara Morris linked up her laptop and used the new projector to help the assembled group learn how to create accounts on Facebook as well as navigate around Twitter and Instagram. It was a fun and informative evening and everyone felt it had been very beneficial – thanks to Sara and Sam Taylor for their input!

The artistic results of the ‘Paint a Pebble for Polio’ event have been hidden around the village and residents have been popping up on Facebook showing their finds (#endpolionow and #barlastonrocks) which has been great fun. If your child found a painted pebble remember to come to the Clean the Green event on the 18th April to claim your Easter Egg!

Film Nights are still fantastically popular & 100 Bohemian Rhapsody tickets were sold in less than 3 weeks! The next film is Mary Poppins Returns, a film for all the family showing as a matinee on April 26th at Barlaston Village Hall. Doors open at 2.30pm, film starts at 3pm. A heart-warming film designed for all the family as an Easter break treat – tickets are only £2 each and are available from Kitson’s Chemist as usual. Refreshments will be served & there’ll be FREE ice creams for the kids!

More exciting news this month was receiving a High Sheriff Award & a grant of £1,000 from the High Sheriff of Staffordshire, Mrs Pippa Gee, also a resident of Barlaston. The money will be spent in a variety of ways spanning across all age groups over the coming year – keep your eyes open for the Community Awards symbol which means that the event will be Free or at least heavily subsidised!

Barlaston's Buzzing

Posted on February 28, 2019 at 2:25 PM

Have you felt it yet?? Not just the welcome glimpse of warmer weather but the buzz of activity and fellowship with a variety of different groups forming and lots to engage the community! There’s a Barlaston Local History Group starting on 21st March, (which escalated from a WW1 project started last year by local historian Tim Cockin, Merrilyn Coutouvidis and a few others), there’s the Barlaston Open Gardens group, there’s a group that are working with the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust with Parish Councillor Chris Hurst & Liz Hill to remove the ivy that is suffocating a lot of our local trees, as well as talk of a Film Club and a Gardeners Guild… exciting times for Barlaston!

The first of this year’s Film Nights was on Saturday 2nd February when Mission Impossible – Fallout was shown at the Village Hall. The new film equipment was FANTASTIC – super picture clarity, not too noisy and much more room for the chairs as we didn’t have to leave space for a centre aisle. Fans of Action movies weren’t disappointed and, spoiler alert, Tom Cruise saved the world! Of course we know that the film you’ve all been waiting for is Bohemian Rhapsody and this will be shown on April 6th. Tickets are available at Kitson’s as usual, but don’t leave it too long as we only have a few left! We would like to hold regular Film Nights (every other month,) so if you have any suggestions or would like to help out in some way then do please contact us, we’d love to hear from you.

The ‘Paint a Pebble for Polio’ was on Tuesday in Half Term (19th Feb). Thanks to John Sayer from the Rotary Club for supporting the event & to Chris Hurst & Sara for organising the day following their efforts earlier in the year when they planted masses of crocuses in and around the village. The artistic results were fabulous and there are further plans to arrange a giant pebble-hunt in the spring!

We’ve had two big wombles this month - a Hardcore Womble Workout at the beginning of this month when we used the new hoops (that hold the bags open) bought with funds provided by Shaun at Premier. We are pleased to report that nobody’s eyeballs actually froze and a fantastic job was done along Blurton Road by Graham, Liz, Andrew M, Tim, Hilary, Michala, Stan and Andrew B. We also have Sandie, Stephen, John, Pam and Geoff who regularly womble their own patch.

Andrew’s rock bun bribe worked a treat on Saturday 23rd and we had a super turnout collecting 17 bags of rubbish from Meaford Rd, Old Rd & Station Rd. Wombling Wonders were Maggie, Gill, John C, Liz, Andrew M, Stan, Alan, Sue, Andrew B, Tim, John and new recruits Bernadette & Alison Dando, who’s father started a litter pick group many years ago known as Tidy Ted, so it’s great that she is following a family tradition! We also signed up another 4 new Womblers at the Apres which will swell the numbers in time for us to support the national GBSC (Great British Spring Clean) with a series of picks from March 22nd – April 23rd. If there’s a particular Grot Spot that needs our attention please let us know!

Beat the January Blues

Posted on February 1, 2019 at 1:05 PM

January seems to have come & gone in a blur! The main event this month was the Pop-up Burns Supper in the village hall when 60 people enjoyed a four course meal compromising Cock a Leekie soup, Haggis & Neeps served wi’ a wee dram, Angus burger (from Mark’s Meats – delicious!), deep fried tatties & trimmings followed by a selection of Scottish puddings including Whiskey cheesecake, Jock-choc gateau, Cranachan, Clootie pudding & deep-fried Mars Bar ice cream.

Thank you to everyone who came & for creating such a fantastic atmosphere! Everyone had made an amazing effort with the ‘Touch of Tartan’ dress code & we had everything from kilts, jackets, ties, beautiful evening gowns with sashes to tartan shoes & a 'See you Jimmy' tam o shanter on top of a ginger wig! We also invented a new form of contemporary Scottish Dancing which involved a lot of bumping, grinding & stamping... best not to be attempted without a wee dram but definitely a crowd pleaser!! We’ve had great feedback from the event & it looks like it may become an annual event!

Of course we couldn't do it without our team of volunteers, & this time Chef Nobby McBlack was ably assisted by Thomas, Emily, Sabine & Sarah, with Super Trouper of the evening being Maggie Linehan who kept working until we forced her out of the hall at midnight!! A special mention also goes Tim Cockin, who had taken his guest home but then returned to help clear up & put away the chairs – what a star!

Due to the increasing popularity of the Barlaston Open Gardens event a separate group has been formed and the opening dates for 2019 have now been confirmed as the weekend of 13th & 14th July. We will be working closely with the new committee and there will be an Open Meeting for anyone who’d like to get involved, either as a participant or helper, on Monday 11th February, 7pm at the Duke of York – come along & find out more!

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019!

Posted on January 1, 2019 at 5:50 AM

December was a busy month in Barlaston, not just the normal busy-ness of getting ready for Christmas but with all our activities & events too! There was the first of our Coach Trips, this one to Liverpool at the beginning of the month which was a great success. Jenny Donovan took the lead in rustling up the numbers and spreading the word and there was a party atmosphere on the coach with some Christmas nibbles, mulled wine & sherry which helped lubricate our throats for singing the Beatles medleys on the return journey. It was great fun & we’re already thinking about a summer one – let us know if you have any suggestions!

The Golden Agers Christmas Tea Party went ahead on Sunday 9th December and everyone was in such a BRILLIANT mood! Around 66 residents enjoyed a sumptuous spread with entertainment being provided by the CK Community Choir. Sue & Ian Campbell-Kelly’s enthusiasm is infectious & within minutes the audience were tapping their feet, singing along & we spotted Stewart (the vicar) & Julie Jones as well as Bishop Geoff boogying away at the back of the hall too. Santa (aka Chis Hurst) arrived bearing chocolates which were distributed with no dodgy fumbling this year as Mrs Claus had sewn up the pockets on his tunic - thanks Marilyn! Huge thanks to everyone who came & to our many wonderful elf-helpers!

The Childrens Christmas party followed on the 15th December, when Santa visited once again this time bringing a number of elves to help with the party games whilst he distributed gifts from his grotto. All the children were so friendly & polite, it was a real pleasure to host! Thank you so much for coming and special thanks to Sara & her family & friends for organising the event, Sara truly is our ‘Children’s Champion’!

This year’s Chromble (Christmas Womble) went above & beyond the call of duty collecting over 20 bulging sacks mainly from the Meaford Road… All credit to Womblers Andrew M, Eric, Hilary, Sandie, Stan, Malcolm, Graham, John, Alan, Andrew B, Michala, Maggie & Tim – an intrepid bunch! The Apres was also the occasion to hear the results of the ‘Wombler of the Year’ award. This year the public votes had to be re-counted due to the late but impressive performance of a newcomer – yes, Stan will now share this prestigious award with Sandie who maintained a solid picking presence throughout the year. Congratulations to both Sandie & Stan, & to Team Tunstall who picked up the Outstanding Family Achievement award! We also take this opportunity to thank those guerilla Womblers who litter-pick regularly whilst fetching the paper, walking the dog or patrolling Hartwell Lane; unseen but not unnoticed – THANK YOU!!

Now it’s time for an apology – We’ve been bigging-up Bohemian Rhapsody for our Film Premiere on Saturday 2nd February but it appears that so has everyone else! The film has been so popular that the general release date has been extended until March. So, rather than put the Film Night back again, we will be launching with Mission Impossible – Fallout, on 2nd February. It’s an action film starring Tom Cruise & has been reviewed as having “a combination of thrilling stunts & insane daring providing a stunning piece of action cinema”, perfect ingredients for a Barlaston Premiere don’t you think?? Tickets £5, available from Kitson’s soon.

Equally (or possibly more?!) exciting is that the menu for the Burns Night Pop-up Supper at the Village Hall on Friday 25th January has been finalised and we are ready to take orders! Mark is supplying the Angus-burgers & a succulent breed of Haggis has been sourced from north of the border. This will be an evening of meeting, greetin’, smirtling & after-dinner reeling if you fancy it… and all for £16 per person! Hurry to Kitson’s to book your places now!

We wish you all a Happy New Year and thank you for helping us encourage community spirit and making Barlaston a happy & friendly place to live!!

November 2018 update

Posted on November 30, 2018 at 1:20 PM

Of course the highlight of the month was the amazing gathering around the cenotaph at this year’s Remembrance Service led by Vicar Stewart Jones. Around 400 people attended & Barlaston’s Yarn Bomber had erected a display using poppies knitted by residents over the past couple of months which received so many Likes it nearly broke the internet! In all seriousness it was a very moving occasion with people visiting the church over the following few days to see an exhibition put together by a team of volunteers who had recorded facts about the people from the village who gave their lives in the Great War.

We still have some places left on the BBT (Barlaston Bus Trip) to the Liverpool Christmas markets on TUESDAY 4th December. We want the coach to be full enough to provide a good atmosphere but not too full that we can’t have a few spare seats to put our shopping on! Oh, and somewhere to put the mince pies for the return journey of course. The coach will pick up from St. Johns Parish Church, Station Road where you can leave your car, setting off at 9.30am, returning from Liverpool at 4.30pm. Tickets are £14 each and include a mince pie and a Christmas tipple for the return journey. Contact Jenny Donovan on 01782 373334 or email us if you have any questions.

The new ‘Mid Month Gratitude’ slot on our Facebook page is attracting attention with residents thanking each other for deeds done, and this month two individuals are highlighted for helping the Womblers achieve their goal of a litter-free village – St. John’s very own Geoff Hambleton, who was caught on camera very early one morning fetching his paper, and new recruit Stan who has now got a regular route along Meaford Road. Thank you very much gentleman and keeeeeep pickin!

The Womblers had a very productive haul last weekend with around 13 bags & 4 Fly-tips notified. The gang on Hardcore Duties this month were Andrew M, Eric, Hilary, Andrew B, plus Graham who had done a pre-womble the day before & Shane & Ann who we accosted on route! The rest of us (Sandie, Stan, Sarah, Emily & I) got off quite lightly. It was great to welcome new recruits Sarah, & Emily, now our youngest member at one year old! MASSIVE THANKS all round - with everyone's help we WILL eliminate those Tossers (of rubbish obvs)!

Further to our big announcement regarding the Barlaston Cinema project, we can now confirm that the equipment has been installed and it’s lookin’ good! The image is crystal clear and fingers crossed the speakers in the village hall will be able to cope with the soundtrack to the film we have chosen to launch with – any guesses? Yes, Bohemian Rhapsody! Keep Saturday 2nd February free for our Film Premiere in the village hall!

Tickets are now being circulated for the Golden Agers Christmas Tea Party on Sunday 9th December, from 2 – 4pm in the Village Hall. If you are over 70, it’s free and only £5 for younger guests. Please don’t be put off if you can’t travel or if you are single as we can arrange to pick you up and there will be lots of opportunity to meet other like-minded people and sing along to some of the carols with the CK Community Choir. Santa will be making his usual appearance and hopefully this time he will have found a more suitable place to store the chocolates…. Some of you may remember his attempts to retrieve the Celebrations last year were rather disturbing!

The Kids Disco on the 2nd was a huge success with many new residents bringing their children along and getting to know each other. Thanks to everyone who came & Sara, Jayne, family & friends for organising it! Our next event is the Childrens Christmas Party in the Village Hall on Saturday 15th December, from 2 – 4pm, where Santa will also be making a guest appearance. Admission is FREE but to help us cater for the event please pick up a ticket from Kitsons’s Chemist, Barlaston First School reception or drop us an email & we’ll save them at the door for you. Posters will be going up around the village and look at our Facebook page or Website for more details.

The New Year will be a busy time too with a Pop-up Supper at the Village Hall on Friday 25th January to celebrate Robbie Burns’ birthday. A rare breed of Haggis is already being hunted and a 4-course supper consisting of Cock-a-Leekie Soup, Och Aye Haggis & Neeps, Burnsish Burger and Chipped Tatties followed by a Deep-fried Mars bar or other Scottish delicacy, will be served to the lucky early-bird bookers. Numbers will be limited due to the space required for the frolicking that will follow, so again keep your eyes peeled for further info! We can’t afford a Caller, so it’s likely to be Mr Black in his skirt, oops kilt.

October 2018 update

Posted on November 4, 2018 at 8:10 AM

We seemed to have been waiting a long time for Mamma Mia 2, but we were not disappointed - what a FUN film – totally predictable but that in itself added to the enjoyment. There were laugh-out-loud lines and plenty of songs to sing along to, by the time Cher appeared the whole hall was ready to join in with ‘Fernando’ which we did with gusto! Everyone needs more singing and laughter in their lives and Mamma Mia 2 had it all!

Still on the subject of films, you may have already seen that our application to the Big Lottery Fund was successful – The Barlaston Cinema should be up and running from next weekend - WHOOP!! We have been thinking of all sorts of exciting things we can do like hold more sing-alongs, ‘old movie’ nights, nature and history talks/films, as well as produce a program so everyone knows what’s coming up well in advance. We’ve had a few volunteers already since the press release a couple of weeks ago but it would be great to build up a bank of people to fill the various roles so that we can share the duties around a bit. If this is something you might be interested in then we’d love to hear from you!

More good news is that we have responded to a resident’s request to resurrect a BBT (Barlaston Bus Trip) providing excursions for Barlaston residents and have booked a coach for a Christmas shopping trip to Liverpool on Tuesday 4th December. The coach will pick up from St. Johns Parish Church, Station Road at 9.30am, return at 4.30pm. Why go to Germany for the Christmas Markets when you can jump on a coach with friends and neighbours and sample the same delights without the hassle?! Tickets are £14 each and include a mince pie and a cheeky tipple for the return journey! Tickets are limited though and selling fast – get yours from Sean at Premier Village Stores, Orchard Place ASAP. Contact Jenny Donovan on 01782 373334 or email us if you have a question or need more information.

The Barlaston Womblers have been out and about again this month and new recruit Stan has already adopted Meaford Road as his patch and has been out picking several times since we last got together. He’s now got his own litterpick, tabard and supply of bags, so please look out for him and give him a beep and a wave if you see him! (And if you’re walking I’m sure he’d appreciate a ‘thank you’ and a quick chat). The October Womble was great and we concentrated on the top of the village this time, tackling Blurton Road (always a Grot Spot!), Longton Rd and Hartwell Lane and then back to the Village Hall for a cuppa and a cake obvs. HUGE thanks to the crew – Tim, Renee, Andrew B, Gill, Andrew M, Eric, Hilary, Maggie, Graham and Stan!

We are getting excited about the Golden Agers Christmas Party on the 9th December - Santa has confirmed that he will be making a guest appearance and will also be at the Childrens Christmas Party in the Village Hall on the 15th. Unfortunately we haven’t been able fit in a Pop-up Supper but have reserved the Village Hall on the 25th January 2019 (Burns Night) with a totally new plan for a Burger & Burns-ish Supper, watch this space!

Thank you to all the knitters – we’ve had a great response to our appeal for poppies and can’t wait to see what the Barlaston Yarn Bombers have in store for us at the centenary commemoration of the end of WW1 next Sunday!

‘Waterways’ was the theme for this month’s Facebook photo competition and there were some stunning entries. Have a look at these and Jon Kelso’s winning entry on our Facebook page. Jon is well known throughout the Midlands due to his photos being shown regularly on the BBC, TV, FB & Twitter, but we know and love him for the many fabulous pics of Barlaston he posts on our Facebook page - thanks Jon!

September 2018 update

Posted on October 1, 2018 at 9:05 AM

The Womblers were pleased to support the Big Staffordshire Clean-up on the 21st and we welcomed new recruit Stan, who many of you will know from the One Stop. Our Wombling Wonders this month were Alan, Sue, Tim, Michala, Sam, Gill and Stan. It was good to note that everyone commented that the bags were lighter than usual – hopefully it will be a continuing trend!

There was a VIG (Very Important Gardeners) meeting mid-month to gather feedback from the Open Gardens event which was well attended and demonstrated its growing popularity as an annual event. If there are any residents interested in opening their garden next year, or perhaps would like to help in some way, it would be great to hear from you. It is lovely to have our regulars opening but we would also like some new gardens to keep visitors interested and provide a variety. It is also exciting to report that the OG event has been nominated for an ‘Action in the Community Award’ with Stafford Borough Council, we’ll let you know what happens!

The popular Barlaston Film Night will be showing Mamma Mia 2 on Saturday 20th October at the Village Hall. Tickets are £5 and available from Kitson’s Chemist as usual. Doors open at 7pm, film starts at 7.30pm. Soft drinks, popcorn and ice cream will be for sale but if you want a cheeky glass of wine then please bring your own! We are expecting this to be popular so be sure to get your tickets early!

Dates for your diaries: The Half Term Disco for the kids has been moved to Friday 2nd November, to avoid a clash with Barlaston Cricket Club’s Fireworks do on the Saturday and will be from 5 – 7pm at the Village Hall. The annual Golden Agers Christmas Party will be on Sunday 9th December and the CK Choir has already been booked! We have a children’s party and a visit from Santa complete with sleigh (courtesy of Stone Rotary Club) lined up for the 15th December and are still trying to fit in a Pop-up Supper (Burger & Boogie Night?!) for the party season - start brushing up on your dad-dancing and get some new moves for the D-floor!

Barlaston’s Yarn Bombers have had a good response to their appeal for poppies ready for this year’s centenary commemoration of the end of WW1, but they still need MORE!! Double knit wool please and knitted or crocheted - any size will do. There are plenty of patterns on line and we also have printed copies available. Drop off points for completed poppies are Kitson’s Chemist, the Village Hall post box as well as St. John’s & the Methodist Church. Alternatively, gather them up from friends and family, drop us an email and we will be happy to collect them! If you have any further questions please contact us or give Sara Morris a call on 07961 377474.

August 2018 Update

Posted on September 2, 2018 at 4:15 PM

August has been a ‘planning’ month with lots of activities being talked about including a Half Term Disco for the kids on 3rd November, a Christmas Party & a visit from Santa complete with sleigh on the 15th December. We are still chasing the rental company for Mamma Mia 2 and will be able to give you a date soon for the next Pop-up Supper – a Burger & Boogie Night! Start brushing up on some new moves for the D-floor right now!

The Barlaston Womblers more than made up for their poor show last month with a great response to the Pride for the Bride themed Womble on the 26th. Regular Wombler Sandie had put out an appeal on Facebook to litter-pick & tidy the village before her daughter Lizzie’s wedding in St. John’s Church on Friday and the Womblers were happy to oblige! Parents of the Bride Sandie & Owen were joined by the vicar, Maggie, Graham, Liz, Andrew M, Malcolm, Gill, Margaret, Ann, Michala, Andrew B, Chris & trainees Kyle, Shannon, Jacob & Ava. There are not many villages in which the vicar litter-picks the bride's route to church for her wedding... but Barlaston is no ordinary village & Stewart Jones is no ordinary vicar!!

The route up Tittensor Rd to the Upper House Hotel was restored to being as nature intended, along with a good section of Meaford Rd, Old Rd & Blurton Rd. Thanks to everyone who came & we all wish Lizzie & Dave a Wombling Merry Marriage. The Womblers did offer to form a litterpick arch for them to walk under after the nuptials but strangely they declined...

The annual summer kids event – picnic & kite-making on the green went ahead on the 2nd August and despite it being advertised at short notice (sorry – we hadn’t quite recovered from Open Gardens!), those that came had a nice time chatting whilst the children had a good time running about with their kites. Thanks to Sara (our children’s champion!) & Andrew who was on lunchtime Tea Duty.

Barlaston’s Yarn Bombers have put out an appeal for LOTS & LOTS OF POPPIES ready for this year’s centenary commemoration of the end of WW1. Double knit wool please & knitted or crocheted - any size will do & the more the merrier! There are plenty of patterns on line and we also have printed copies available. Drop off points for completed poppies are Kitson’s Chemist & the Barlaston Village Hall post box. Alternatively, gather them up from friends & family, drop us an email & we will be happy to collect them. If you have any further questions please contact us or give Sara Morris a call on 07961 377474.

The Facebook photo competition this month was won by Lisa Dixon with her photo of Teddy. The theme was ‘Animals about in Barlaston’ and Teddy romped his way into the lead leaving the other dogs, cat, horses, sheep, butterflies, alpacas, ducks & swans behind… (what, no cows??) Look out for an Autumn theme later this month.

July 2018 Update

Posted on August 3, 2018 at 11:20 AM

Well, after all the anticipation and media hype from our Flaxman Manor promotion company (aka James & Matt!), the Barlaston Open Gardens event went ahead on the 14th & 15th July and was a HUGE success despite the many scorched lawns and crispy foliage! The event attracted around 470 visitors over the weekend with a total of £1,186.74 being raised for individual charities as well as £700 for the village hall, which in turn will benefit the community. In addition to the many residents that came out to see the gardens, meet their neighbours and enjoy a cuppa and delicious home-made cakes (not to mention the Prosecco & Pimms!), we were also able to give a warm Barlaston welcome to people who had travelled from all over the Potteries as well as further afield - Nottingham, Birmingham and London to name but a few… We were also told of a lady who had travelled from South Africa to visit her family in Barlaston and had timed her trip especially to coincide with the event – we really hope it’s true!

This was the third year of opening and twenty three gardens opened to the public over the weekend. There were a few surprises this year with a number of Classic Cars joining us on the Village Green and The Upper House Hotel hosted a musical event with a well known string quartet playing four sets for the various visitors throughout the day. The feedback has been tremendous and we already have a number of new gardens on the waiting list for next year. Thank you to everyone who came and supported the event and a massive WHOOP! of appreciation for all our wonderful VIGs who so kindly allowed us all into their gardens to wander about and enjoy the fruits of their jolly hard work!

The Film Night showing of ‘Finding your Feet’ starring Imelda Thornton, Joanna Lumley, Celia Imrie and Timothy Spall, was absolutely brilliant, and without giving away the ending, the last scene had the whole audience gasping! If you haven’t already seen it – do. It’s funny, moving, and sad, and there’s dancing involved, what’s not to love?! That last sentence can also be applied to what we hope will be our next film – Mamma Mia 2. We are chasing the film company for a date, so start practising your Abba & Cher numbers in the shower now and watch this space for more details!

The Barlaston Womblers have been a let-down this month – holidays, trapped nerves and too busy are NOT acceptable excuses… We have had some success recruiting in the school holidays but we’ll have to exert a 3-line whip for an August pick as some of the lanes are already looking like a recycling depot. Of course, it could all be avoided if people just took their rubbish home grrrrrr!

We have our annual summer Kids Event on Thursday 2nd August - Meet on the Green by the Downs Carpark, bring a picnic and join us for kite-making and Fun! 12.30pm-2.30pm Free to Barlaston residents. The weather’s due to be a scorcher again but if it rains don’t worry, we’ll be picnicking in the village hall.

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