Monday, 9 January 2017


Two friends of mine are in Thailand watching and studying birds.   Today they found the very, very rare species - Spoon-billed Sandpiper - which winters there.  There are less than 200 pairs in the world and a big study is being conducted by a co-operative world team of Ornithologists and Ecologists to try and discover where they breed, feed and winter so they can conserve the habitat where they are found.   I saw my first at Mai Po marshes in Hong Kong many years ago when I was birdwatching there.   They breed in North Eastern Russia and winter in South East Asia.  This year three birds have been caught, ringed and satellite tracking devices attached to them and it is already telling us a lot about there habits and the places where they prefer to feed and rest outside the breeding season.   Peter Scott's Wildlife Trust at Slimbridge are involved and have set up a small breeding programme to try and breed these Sandpipers in captivity with a view to increasing the population in NE Russia.   For more information about this project click on this link. 

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Gailey HUB - proposed NEW and ENLARGED plans

New and enlarged plans for the Gailey New Strategic Rail Hub have been released and can be viewed by CLICKING HERE

Friday, 30 September 2016


Never mind, it doesn't matter - words we hate to hear.
They're said to us so often, every day of every year.
Maybe from our loved ones, neighbours or a friend, the
butcher, baker, milkman, the names don't ever end.

Sometimes they ask a question, or maybe tell a joke,
Or start to tell a story about some other folk.
And, "oh, the topic of the day" are often things they start to
say.  But somehow, in between the chatter,
Say "never mind, it doesn't matter."

They realise we haven't heard, cause we look blank and
quite disturbed.  Perhaps they think they're being kind, when
they just tell us ~"never mind".

But mind we do, we want to hear,
Conversation is very dear, to people whose hearing is
impaired, we're grateful for the time you've spared.
To try to make us understand, we do think you are very

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Our Queen's Official 90th Birthday

In Penkridge on Sunday 12 June, we celebrated our Queen's Official 90th Birthday at two Street Parties - one at the Haling Dene Centre with the Tutbury Band entertaining and other events and attractions.- organised by the Parish Council.  And at the Cross Keys Pub adjacent to the Canal, they organised a very successful Party under a marquee with all the trimmings, flags, bunting, food and drink.  Plus a Fancy Dress competition for the children.   The Town Crier gave the Royal Proclamation and opened both events.   A very good time was had by all, despite the torrential downpour in the middle of both events.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Penkridge Town Crier gives 90th Birthday Proclamation for QUEEN ELIZABETH II at Historic Penkridge Market



May it please your most Gracious Majesty,
That we, the members of the Loyal Company of Town Criers, as your most humble and obedient servants, do hereby make the following proclamation:
At 2-40am on Wednesday the 21st day of April 1926, at 17 Bruton street Mayfair, unbeknownst to the nations of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the member countries of the Commonwealth, and all colonies affiliated to the throne, there took place the birth of our future sovereign,

As you celebrate your life of ninety full years, let every loyal subject be reminded of your influence, your graciousness, and your impact upon our lives. May the congratulations from each and every loyal personage demonstrate the affection in which you are held, as we wish you, our most regal and sovereign Queen, a joyous and happy ninetieth birthday.
Let us all, united loudly and proudly, proclaim together:



Sunday, 17 April 2016

Staffordshire Heritage Group Design for New Staffordshire Flag has been APPROVED

Good News - the new design below has been approved as the Staffordshire County FLAG.  Staffordshire people overwhelmingly voted for it and this is now our Flag for the Historic County of Staffordshire covering all the areas listed below.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Staffordshire County Flag - proposed

Can I urge you to vote below.   And can I recommend that you vote for the first design, proposed by the Staffordshire Heritage Group and NOT for the second one, proposed by Staffordshire County Council. 

Why?, I hear you ask.  Well, the answer is simple - Staffordshire Heritage Group has checked with many of the cultural groups in Staffordshire, some of them still covering the original Historical County, which includes Wolverhampton, Bilston, Walsall, West Bromwich, Smethwick, Stoke on Trent, and many other towns and communities now in the administrative West Midlands area. (See below)   So they are representing the people's views tbhroughout the whole of the County of Staffordshire.   Staffordshire County Council, however, now only represent about 40% of the people and their design below has a lion on which is part of their logo and does not represent the whole of Staffordshire.  Staffordshire Heritage Group's design is simple and the Knot is given much more prominence.   Please vote for the SHG design before 27 March 2016.


Definition: The Historic County of Staffordshire consists of:

The areas covered by Staffordshire County Council


The City of Stoke-on-Trent, including Hanley;
The Borough of Walsall;
The Borough of West Bromwich;
The City of Wolverhampton;
The Parish of Harborne, including Smethwick;
The Parish of Handsworth, including Kingstanding and Perry Barr;
The Parish of Rowley Regis, including Cradley;
The Parish of Kingswinford, including Brierley Hill;
The Parish of Aldridge, including Great Barr;
The Parish of Tipton;
The Parish of Sedgley, including Coseley, Lower Gornal and Upper Goral;
The Parish of Darlaston;
The Parish of Wednesbury;
The Township of Amblecote;
The Parish of Upper Arley;
Part of ancient parish of Sheriff Hales, including Heath Hill and Weston Heath;
The detached Parishes of Broom and Clent;


The Parish of Croxall;
The area of Tamworth east of the Trent, including Glascote, Amington, Wilnecote, Abington, Dosthill and Two Gates;
The area of Burton-on-Trent east of the Trent, including Stapenhill.


Staffordshire County Flag Vote

County Flags have become an important part of our regional and national identity. Most English counties now have a recognised County Flag, but Staffordshire is yet to obtain one. The Flag Institute maintains the Register of County Flags and works with county organisations to come up with suitable designs. The County Flags are based on the historic counties of the UK, rather than the modern administrative areas, so Staffordshire includes Stoke-on-Trent, Wolverhampton, and several other parishes that fall outside Staffordshire County Council’s area.
The Flag Institute has received two applications for a County Flag for Staffordshire, one from Staffordshire County Council (SCC) and the other from the Staffordshire Heritage Group (SHG), an umbrella organisation for many cultural groups in Staffordshire. Both applications meet the Flag Institute’s published criteria for applying, and both designs meet the Institute’s design guidelines, so the Flag Institute has decided that the only fair way to choose between them is to give the people of Staffordshire an opportunity to vote for the design they like best.
The two designs are shown below:
The Staffordshire Heritage Group's Design
Staffordshire Heritage Group’s Design
Staffordshire County Council'S Design
Staffordshire County Council’s Design
The gold background and red chevron, common to both designs, comes from the coat-of-arms of the de Stafford family and has been used in connection with the county since at least the 17th century.
The vote will take place from 9am on Monday 29th February and closes at 9am on Sunday 27th March 2016. The result will be announced the next day. To vote, just go to the Flag Institute’s website and follow the link from the front page. Voters are asked to confirm that they live or work in the historic county of Staffordshire.
Graham Bartram, Chief Vexillologist of the Flag Institute said, “This is the first time that the Flag Institute has had two applications for the same county and I think it is a reflection of how important County Flags are becoming to people, so we feel it is only fair to let the people of Staffordshire have their say on which flag will represent them. I hope as many people as possible will vote for their preferred design.”
The vote is only open to people who live in the historic county of Staffordshire, so if you do live or work in Staffordshire click the “Vote” button below to go to the live vote.