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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February 2018

Posted on February 26, 2018 at 6:25 AM

Barlaston Film Night presented Paddington 2 on the 10th February which was a fantastic success. It was a really delightful crowd-pleasing film that appealed to the young, the old and all ages in between. In fact it was so uplifting that it should be prescribed as an antidote for the effects of the increasingly mad world that we live in!

Huge thanks to Kitson’s for selling tickets and our wonderful team of volunteers who provided refreshments and helped clear up and put chairs away at the end - Community Spirit is alive and thriving in Barlaston! The next Film Night will be on the 5th May showing 'The Greatest Showman', an exciting new musical full of up-beat songs based on the colourful life of circus impressario PT Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman (which is reason alone to save the date!). Tickets will go on sale at the end March.

The Barlaston Womblers have had a very busy month filling around 20 bags from the usual grot-spots. Meaford Road had to be tackled over two days; a beautiful crop of snowdrops was uncovered and a dodgy haul included a bag of ‘unusual’ toys, latex gloves and a stash of Feargal Sharkey CD's - could this be someone you know?? The kindest thing would be to encourage them to hand themselves in to the authorities - there will be a fine for littering but I believe CBT is very beneficial for addicts and Irish singers from the 70 and 80s! HUGE THANKS to Graham and Stephen for pre-wombling and Chris, Andrew M, Eric, Tim, Hillary, Vikki, Rebekah, Michala, Renee and newcomers Lucy, Zoe and Maddy who braved snow, sleet and hailstorms to make Barlaston a cleaner place for us all! Thanks for the beeps and encouragement from passing motorists – we appreciate your support.

Please support The Barlaston Womblers and join in with the Great British National Spring Clean over the weekend of 2nd-4th March! You can wash your road sign / pick up litter / polish a post-box / tidy a bus shelter / hoover a phone-box / clear a footpath / clean a speed sign / trim a verge / anything… just join in, PLEASE!! Speak to your family, friends and neighbours – help us to keep Barlaston beautiful. All groups and individuals can get involved - and don’t forget to send us your photos; we can share the shiny results with the community on our Facebook page and Website, and give you a Shout Out for all your efforts - THANK YOU!!

There will be an organised Womble on Sunday 4th March meeting at the Villiage Hall, Longton Road at 10am but if you’re not able to join us, you can still help - simply collect a pick, bag and rubber gloves from Becky at the Village Market on Saturday between 9.30am & 12, do your own patch, then claim your FREE cuppa on your return!

2018 Happy New Year!

Posted on January 3, 2018 at 12:35 AM


Well another year has come and gone and the Barlaston Community Group is now entering into its fourth year… and it’s already looking like a good one with Paddington 2 showing in February, another Pop-up being planned for March, a summer Tea Party, Open Gardens in July and an event to celebrate the end of the Great War has also been mentioned for later in the year.


The main event in December was of course our Golden Agers Christmas Party, which despite several inches of snow went ahead as planned. Over 70 people braved the weather to be rewarded by (several!) glasses of mulled wine and a sumptuous tea comprising plates piled high with sandwiches, festive nibbles and a variety of cream cakes - never mind the Wedgwood experience, we had our own Village Hall experience! Emily Barnett entertained everybody with a selection of festive songs and her beautiful voice more than made up for the hastily assembled Helpers Choir trying to find a tune to accompany the enthusiastic actions to some well known carols!


For the 2nd year running tea party guests were treated to a lovely surprise - Santa arrived bearing gifts. He was very sociable and chatted to everybody before handing out over 20 super raffle prizes (including donations by the Parish Council, Kitson’s, Premier, One Stop & Tesco’s). What a shame that Chris Hurst had to leave just as Santa arrived – I seem to recall that he missed him last year too! A HUGE Thank You to everyone who made the event possible - Barlaston residents are simply the Best!!

The Christmas Womble took place on the 22nd December and Womblers spread out along the top of the village festooned in tinsel & Santa hats bringing back a haul of around 11 bulging sacks! Huge thanks to Pam, John, Tim, Renee, Sandie, Liz, Graham, Malcolm, Andrew B, Michala & Chris with her little elf helpers Kyle, Shannon, Jacob & Ava. Andrew M. made up for his absence with a solo pick the day before on Meaford Rd and Clare picked along Old Rd later that day – thank you both! Everyone was certainly ready for the Après with mulled wine, stollen & Christmas cake, followed by a rousing rendition of The Womblers Come to Town (we missed you for the descant Clare!).

Christmas 2017 Update

Posted on December 1, 2017 at 9:50 AM

There have been two ‘Sew-ins’ this month with Hilary and Sandie, representing the BCG and the Village Hall committees, doing a great job of cajoling a number of volunteers into cutting, sewing and ironing triangles in order to make decorative bunting that even Cath Kidston would be proud of! This will be used as part of the decorations for the Golden Agers Tea Party and will also be available for the hirers of the village hall to use as well.

Only a week to go until the Golden Agers Tea Party on Sunday 10th December, 2- 4pm in the Village Hall. The CK Community Choir will be back with a lively rendition of Christmas carols and we will be serving a sumptuous High Tea to rival The Ritz! We have had a lot of people working behind the scenes to make this a success but a special ‘Thank You’ must go to Tony and Sue Tudor who have called upon their many friends and contacts who have all been incredibly generous with their support: savouries and sweets have been donated from Wright’s Bakeries, we will be using Bengry’s freshly baked bread for the sandwiches and Burma Bacon will be supplying a selection of fillings. And that’s not all – Tesco’s have made a donation and the last time I spoke with Tony, he was on his way to see Mr Kipling, all exceedingly good! Please pick up your tickets from Kitson’s so that we know how many to cater for and remember – Barlaston Residents over 70 are FREE!

Barlaston made quite an impression in the Stafford Borough Community Awards announced this month and the Womblers, together with the Voluntary Car Scheme had been nominated for the Action in the Community Award and James Brown and Matt Todd for the Inspiring Individual Award. The standard was very high and it was thrilling to hear James and Matt’s names being read out as runners up in their section. You will remember that it is James (aka Bhudda Man) and Matt who have cultivated the area around the flats on Flaxman Close so beautifully. We hear that another water feature has been created in the shared gardens to the rear, so watch this space for news of Open Gardens 2018!

Our Facebook page continues to be popular and it is very satisfying to overhear friends and neighbours referring to it as their main source of local information. For example when residents woke up to discover they had no water on the 8th November, by 6pm that evening the ‘Watergate’ post had been seen by 2,823 people. By 6.45am the next morning it had been ‘shared’ 21 times and been seen by 3,847 people! Severn Trent had been phoning and texting some residents but not everyone, and by using Facebook people were able to keep updated with news of bottled water drop-offs and reconnection estimates throughout the day. If you are not already using Facebook, surely this is the incentive you need to give it a try!

Lastly and very sadly, we say goodbye to Patrick Linehan who died suddenly last weekend. Patrick was a Parish Councilor and very active on many committees and groups in and around the village. He was a founding member of the Barlaston Community Group and known for his flamboyant cravats, wonderfully sonorous voice and great sense of humour. We will miss him enormously. A service to celebrate his life will be held at 2 p.m on Monday 11th December at Bradwell Crematorium, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 8LE, followed by his burial at the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Station Rd, Barlaston. Attendees are asked to wear colourful cravats and clothes in honour of Patrick. Donations to the Douglas MacMillan Hospice gratefully received.

October 2017 Update!

Posted on November 1, 2017 at 11:20 AM

As you know, the Pop-up Supper - a Taste of Thailand, from Nui’s Kitchen, sold out within a week! Everything was home made using Nui's authentic traditional Thai recipes & not only was the food delicious, it was all so beautifully presented - the vegetables were (almost!) too pretty to eat, having been carved into a variety of exotic flowers! Thanks to everyone who came & supported the event. We particularly appreciate your patience when attending the Pop-ups as the hall does not have a commercial kitchen & producing food that is homemade & hot-to-table can be rather tricky. However, we’ve had lots of lovely feedback which confirms our customers enjoy the experience as a whole – Thank You!

The Barlaston Womblers had a very productive start to the month collecting 12 bulging bags from around the top of the village. Huge thanks to Tim, Andrew M, Sandie, Sam, Liz, Graham, Renee, Michala & Andrew B. who supplied the coconut & rolled oat cookies for the Apres in the Village Hall! Weird finds included a set of curtain rails, an old toolbox, telephone cabling, a grass box & a tyre... plus the usual bottles, cans & fast-food debris of course. Grrrrrr don't they know we've signed the Staffordshire Anti Litter pledge??!!

Please remember you don’t have to be a Barlaston Wombler to pick up any litter you see & help us keep the village tidy & a pleasure for us all to live in!

Barlaston Film Night presented Victoria & Abdul last Saturday & reflected resident’s appetite for a feel- good film. This was a biographical comedy-drama which contained some un-politically correct humour and got everyone laughing out loud! Thanks to Kitson’s as always for supporting our events by selling tickets & being helpful & supportive to all community activities!

August 2017 Update

Posted on September 1, 2017 at 11:40 AM

This month has flown and we just managed to squeeze in an event for the kids before the schools go back in the form of a Bug Hunt! The Big Barlaston Bug Hunt took place on Thursday and although we were dodging raindrops some of the time, overall we managed to stay outside long enough for the kids to get to know each other, play Splat the Spider and for everyone to eat their picnics. The event was organised by Bear Brylls (aka Sara Morris) who provided indoor and outdoor entertainment for a group of around 40 (kids, babies & adults).

On the nature walk we found a variety of jumping bugs, loads of creepy crawlies and a strange frilly snail. The children also found pieces of old pottery - possibly forming a part of the Barlaston Hoarde??! We were very excited to discover further evidence of an ancient civilisation but then realised it was only Patrick who had arrived to collect his grand-daughter (lol!) A HUGE thank you to St. John's Church for allowing us the freedom of the Church & grounds, and in particular to Dennis & Sue Croome for their help & enthusiasm.

The Barlaston Womblers have been out as usual with picks concentrating on the roads with the most volume of traffic. Too many bags are still collected on a regular basis however, and we were disappointed to find an increase in fly-tipping – in the last couple of weeks we have found a fridge-freezer, a double fridge & a builders bag full of rubble. Keep up to date with what the Womblers are doing by joining the Facebook group ‘Barlaston Womblers’ and posting pics of grot spots and/or ideas of how we can tackle the growing problem of litter.

Barlaston Open Gardens 2017

Posted on July 17, 2017 at 6:00 AM

Well the sun is setting on our 2nd Barlaston Open Gardens event so we'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved ... garden openers, garden visitors and all those in the Community Group for their contribution to the organisation of the event. We have had so many positive comments on the weekend.

Open Gardens Tickets now available!

Posted on June 30, 2017 at 7:00 AM

It's not long now until Barlaston Open Gardens.  At just £2 per person tickets are great value and will give you access to 18 gardens over the open gardens' weekend.  You can enjoy browsing the wide variety of gardens, sit and relax with tea and cake and even purchase some plants to take home. Full details of the gardens that are open and a map to help you find them easily are contained in the ticket brochure which can be purchased from Kitson's the chemist in Orchard Place, Barlaston.

Yarnbombing, what's it all about?

Posted on June 20, 2017 at 3:05 AM

Have you seen? The Yarn Bombed bike is back and it's on the village green. Take a closer look when you are near to find out why it's there.

More Yarn Bombs will be appearing round the village, let us know when you spot one!

A Birthday Womble

Posted on June 5, 2017 at 11:55 AM

The sunshine ordered for Mrs B's Big Birthday Womble arrived in good time & we gathered a surprisingly & disappointingly large haul. Meaford Rd, Tittensor Rd & Blurton Rd were cleared by Jon, Daniel, Renee, Andrew M, Sam, Eric, Mat, Clare, Graham, Liz, Olivia, Hilary, Jess, Harley, Michala & Andrew B - thank you everyone!

A stash of wing mirrors was found (what?!) & you'll be glad to know that the forensic profile of our Meaford Rd offender is increasing with the discovery today that he drinks Southern Comfort under a parasol in the bluebell woods.

A number of latex surgical-examination gloves were also found & we hope this is not in anticipation of all those Barlaston residents practising downward-dog yoga positions whilst picking up their dogs poo-bags! (Sorry)

Photo Competition Winner

Posted on June 4, 2017 at 8:10 AM

It was close all day but with a last minute surge Mick Bellamy is the well deserved photo competition winner. Congratulations.

Thank you to everyone who entered, it has been a pleasure as always getting to see all the fabulous photos that our Barlaston residents take.

Throughout this month keep an eye out for your photo opportunity for our next competition .... the theme is 'flora in and around Barlaston' to have a fabulous flora photo in place for July to celebrate our Barlaston Open Gardens on the 15th & 16th of July.