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Calling all Photographers.

We recently started featuring the work of some Gnosall photographers. If you would like your work to be considered for a future edition,please send a selection of your images to Bob Colman by email at

You should send between 6 and 8 images as high quality JPG files of a suitable quality for print reproduction. Try to include a variety of images on different subjects which reflect your photographic interests. Please include about 100 words describing yourself and your photography. 

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Village View

Following the two interesting articles from Peter Gillard and Paul Boston,would anyone else like to contribute to our Village Voice? If so,please submit,about one page of A4,to before 15th of the month.



You do not have to be an ex service person or a serving member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces,anyone can join! For more information,please contact the PRO Mr David Winterbottom on: 

01952 691131 or

72-strong team of wounded,injured and sick (WIS) military personnel and veterans have been selected to represent the UK at the 2018 Invictus Games.

The team of 72 competitors selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 was exclusively unveiled this morning at Horse Guards Parade.

The team of wounded,injured and sick (WIS) serving military personnel and veterans came together for the first time since selection at the iconic London venue and were joined by Prime Minister Theresa May who posed with the athletes for the first official team photograph and wished them luck for the Games in October.

The athletes – 64% of whom are new to Invictus –were also joined by former Team UK captains,including Paralympic Bronze medallist Dave Henson.

More hopefuls than ever before,451 WIS military personnel and veterans,trialled 11 sports for one of the 72 places available on Team UK. The trials were attended by HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle,in one of their last appearances before the Royal Wedding.

The rigorous selection process for Team UK was based on the benefit the Invictus Games will give an individual as part of their recovery,combined with performance and commitment to training.

The 2018 UK Team Captain was also named this morning as Mark “Dot” Perkins.

Former Royal Signals Corporal Dot was discharged in 2005 and now works as a civil servant rehabilitating injured soldiers and will compete in cycling and rowing. He said:“There are few moments in one’s life when an event occurs that truly transforms your life,the Invictus Games is it. They are all about empowerment,they empower us all to fight the chains of physical disability,to fight the intangible burden of mental illness and they empower us to focus on being the best we can be despite the scars that we all now wear.

Whilst participating in the games our scars are like medals that we can proudly display rather than hide in shame or embarrassment. Invictus allows us to be judged on what we can achieve,rather than what we can’t. To simply be selected for Team UK was an amazing achievement. To then be further selected as the Captain and to represent these incredibly brave men and women is extremely humbling,it is a huge privilege to be given this honour.”

The team will compete in 11 sports:Athletics;Archery;Wheelchair Basketball;Cycling;Powerlifting;Indoor Rowing;Wheelchair Rugby;Swimming,Sitting Volleyball,Wheelchair Tennis and a new sport for 2018,Sailing.

The Royal British Legion will be supporting the friends and family,including carers,of Team UK as part of its work to recognise the vital and valuable contribution that they make to the recovery of WIS Service personnel and veterans.

David Winterbottom –PRO for the Gnosall and District RBL Branch. 

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Mumpsimusand other slip-ups

There was a story,which was frequently retold in medieval times,about a monk who persistently said a phrase in the Latin Eucharist wrongly. Instead of “sumpsimus”,the Latin for “we have taken” he would say “mumpsimus”,which was nonsense.

When corrected the monk allegedly said that he had said it that way for forty years and “I will not change my old mumpsimus for your new sumpsimus”.As a result,mumpsimus came to be applied to someone who stubbornly sticks to using a word even when it is wrong.

In linguistics,a solecism is any incorrect usage. The word solecism comes from the language of the people of the ancient city of Soloi who,in the opinion of the Athenians,spoke a coarse and ungrammatical form of Greek. “Them are good!” is an example of a solecism. Solecisms are sometimes used by writers for a special effect. The poems of e.e. cummings are filled with solecisms which are creative and entertaining,such as “children guessed but only a few and down they forgot as up they grew…”.

Parapraxes,also sometimes referred to as Freudian slips,are the cause of many marital rifts.Parapraxes are sometimes believed to reveal what is really on someone’s mind. During a speech on education,Senator Ted Kennedy said”Our national interest ought to be to encourage the breast and brightest”,his hands cupping the air as he spoke. 

The average person makes between 7 and 22 verbal slip-ups a day,depending on how much a person talks. It’s debatable whether errors actually reveal unconscious thoughts and feelings. In most cases,they are simply due to confusing words that share similarities.

By Andrea Lacy 

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GnosallTowpath Restoration -Herb Bed opening

In 2016,we recognised that many years of neglect and invasive weed growth had produced quite an eyesore on the bank just north of bridge 35. We also noticed that many cyclists struggled to carry their bikes up/down the steps from the towpath to the Navigation car park.

We considered a cycle ramp but it looked a difficult proposition and we realised that towpath cyclists visiting the pub would be happy to lock their bikes at the bottom of the bank if there was room and something to lock to. An idea was born,“all” we had to do was:• Widen the towpath • Stabilize the bank with steel gabions • Fill the gabions with rock • Get rid of the weeds • Build sleeper retaining walls • Provide cycle lock anchor points • Shift tons of soil • Surface the widened parts with stone • Plant long term shrubs and short-term flowers • Get rid of the weeds (again)… Fast forward to Sunday May 6th 2018 and an official opening by Richard Parry,chief executive of the canal and river trust. We invited representatives from the village and local canal groups and had a splendid morning. There was one small glitch with the wording on the sign which has now been corrected. Many thanks to Roy and the team from the Navigation for providing our splendid buffet and to all the volunteers who make it all possible. If you’d like to join us and help continue the good work,please see the link below. Photograph © Harry Arnold MBE. 
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Gnosall Parish News –July 2018-Home Page


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Village Voice

FIRSTS (from Dolly tubs to Drip Dry)

In my 85th year I can look back on a lifetime with many notable firsts. My earliest memories are of travelling in the back of a car looking around in wonderment at the coloured lights above me I must have been less than 12 months old when,I am told,my grandfather,Edward Haywood,ran a taxi in Copenhall and mum used to carry me to see her relations in Gnosall/Haughton. It was early days of motoring and the coloured lights were the triplex (laminated) car windows. I have since lived through the ages from wartime,street games,love letters,telegraph boys,telephone boxes,manufacturing growth and decline,dolly tubs and Chinese laundries to walking on the moon and space travel.

I grew up during the second war,the second of seven children,in a rented terraced house in the North End of Stafford. Utilities were few,running water,outside toilet dolly tub built in with fire underneath and gas lights and gas cooking,much of which was done on the kitchen range. The tin bath in front of the fire was the only bathing facility,apart from the communal town baths. This was true both in the town and country. I was about five or six when the gas mantles in our house were replaced by electric light bulbs and with the electricity on tap this was a significant FIRST bringing with it the first valve radios and electric irons. When I came to Gnosall aged 10 things were even more basic,no gas or electric or running water. we collected our water from a pump in the front garden and used oil lamps for light. The range in the living room provided hot water and cooking facility,and heated up the smoothing irons,perhaps that is why the front door was always open from first light to dark.

The war probably slowed down the inevitable development of white goods,washing machines,fridges and telephones (other than phone boxes) were still ten years away,after the war finished in 1945. Then as a nation,we had a lot of catching up to do,economically,sociologically and technologically. Buses were still the frequent and the main mode of public transport and the steam trains still ran to most major towns and cities. There were few cars on the road and Motorways were still but a dream. Bicycles were the usual mode of transport and cycling or bussing up to about 7 miles to work was common,longer distances were not contemplated often. In general people lived within a mile or two of the workplace. Country villages such as Gnosall still had a railway station,used regularly by my cousin Marjorie when visiting our grandma Lydia Haywood who lived on Hollies Common. Marjorie suffered from travel sickness so preferred the train to the bus. (A comment on the state and comfort of buses and cars as well as the winding narrow roads).

I should quickly mention my teen years spent studying,trying to learn by heart the hundreds of equations and formulae from books. We were not allowed to use the electronic calculators just beginning to appear made by Sinclair. Instead we had slide rules and logarithm tables. How pleased I was to get a digital calculator during my working life.

I was fortunate to be one of the first to benefit from the 1944 Education Act which made grammar schools free and accessible to all. Thirty four children sat the grammar school entrance exam from Corporation Street School and Thirty four passed. The school leaving age was raised from fourteen to fifteen at that time. Unfortunately more recent national loss of large comprehensive manufacturing companies in favour of imports from Europe has led to the loss of technical colleges and sports and social facilities which were a lifeline to late developers and the lifeblood of many communities. Companies such as Lotus Shoes,Universal Grinding Wheel,British Reinforced Concrete,The Salt Works,English Electric and Dorman Diesel used to provide diversity of skills and valuable sports and social resources to the general population. My elder brother was one of many to take advantage of college evening classes. He left school at fifteen and by studying part time after serving his conscription to the RAF,he earned the title of Doctor Eric Ashton and a position as Principal of Newark Technical college. Not possible today I fear,even with the school leaving age now 18,though I am reminded that the cream will always rise to the top.

Post war austerity was ultimately followed by major technological developments as electricity overtook gas,coal and steam. Refrigerators,washing machines,tumble dryers,microwave cookers,were followed by electronic marvels,copiers,mobile phones,radio and television and other ‘luxury’ goods that we now could not possibly live without. Private motor cars,motorways became common,together with subsequent traffic jams and parking problems that beleague us today.

The 1950s saw overseas holidays replacing coaches and charas taking families to resorts like Blackpool and Bognor with package holiday deals to Majorca and Benidorm,in 1950 for the first time,one million Britons travelled abroad. Japan began to emerge as a quality manufacturer replacing its reputation for cheap,tinny toys.

Without going into Conservation,Space travel,Global Warming,the Cinema,computerization,the internet,fast food outlets,the elimination of diseases such as tuberculosis,diphtheria and Polio and the birth of the NHS and developments in photography and Video,I feel as though I’ve only scratched the surface of the journey to the modern day. Perhaps I may have the opportunity to reminisce further in this column at some future date. We might look back on how we lived probably with a more positive bias and what we did before Cars,Television,refrigerators,central heating,photocopiers,calculators,supermarkets,mobile phones or even the NHS and the EU,also,what became of working men’s clubs,children’s street games,slide rules and log tables? How many talented and skilled artists,secretaries and printers were put out of work as computer graphics and word processing took over?

What a momentous occasion the decision to join the European Economic community was in 1957. It took another 40 years (1993) before it became what we all initially feared,‘The European Union’. I was surprised to realize that I have lived most of my life within the EEC. The result of both political developments has had a profound effect on British Manufacturing Industry and our social wellbeing as described earlier. Over the last 50 years we have come to rely on importing all our component parts and most of our raw materials. I have watched while great British companies have gone to the wall. Car makers like Austin,Morris,Leyland and Rover,Motor bikes such as BSA,TRIUMPH,NORTON,VILLIERS and bicycles such as Raleigh and Rudge even large companies such as English Electric,Ferranti and ICI. I have already mentioned those lost from Stafford and the effect on Sports clubs like Bowls,Cricket and Football.

Inevitable you may say. Can Brexit benefit us by reversing the trend? Of course it can but we need more technical colleges,apprenticeships and entrepreneurs to sponsor them and get back to becoming a more competitive self sufficient GREAT Britain.



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A small Moravian church on the banks of the river Wye has a fascinating history with some relevance to us in Gnosall. The village of Brockweir was a busy little port in 1833,as it was the highest point on the river which was navigable by larger ships. This meant that many men lived and worked in the village,loading and unloading the boats. It was described at the time as ‘a city of refuge for persons of desperate and lawless character’. Although it was called a city,the population was only about 350. There were seven public houses,but no church or place of worship.

The local doctor thought something needed to be done and approached some Moravian Christians in Bristol. The Moravian Church,also known as the Unitas Fratrum (Unity of the Brethren),originated way back in 1457 in central Europe in Bohemia,now the Czech Republic. Jan Hus formed the breakaway Hussite movement there,and it became the first Protestant church,now known as the Moravian Church. There are currently more than one million followers around the world.

The Moravian minister in Bristol agreed to help found a church in Brockweir. The Duke of Beaufort gave some land in a beautiful spot by the river Wye,the site of a former cock-pit. (Cock-fighting with betting had been a popular but cruel pastime there for the men on Sundays). Money was raised through local voluntary contributions and the church was built. It was opened and dedicated in May 1833 with 400 adults and 120 children attending. Things quietened down in the village.

Time passed,ship-building declined,the railway came up the valley and a new bridge was built over the river. The congregation declined and the Moravian Christians found it hard to keep the church open. The Baptist minister in Monmouth stepped in and helped,in a modern ecumenical experiment in 1961. This joint Moravian/Baptist initiative became well-known. By 1993 the Brockweir church was able to ‘stand on its own two feet’ again. Now this is the only church in the village offering regular public worship and all Christians and people of other denominations or none are welcome at services.

What relevance has this story to Gnosall? The example of ecumenism,of churches working together to find a solution to a problem and then keep up the contact and open doors is one we know well. A simple faith,based on the Sermon on the Mount,with a willingness to help others is one Moravian Christians follow. They do not believe in accumulating wealth. They recognise themselves to be a church of sinners who require forgiveness daily. In the Wye valley crime was reduced through this approach and a peaceful,law-abiding,friendly community was the result. Maybe there is something in the story for us to think about here in our lovely village in Staffordshire. 

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Tennis Court

The new tennis court is now complete and should be ready to play on in early July. The court was constructed by Charles Lawrence Contractors who,despite a delayed start due to adverse weather in early spring,have built a wonderful court,laid the bases for two new benches and the base for outdoor gym equipment that will added in the very near future. The court is a free to use facility and the council hope it is enjoyed by parishioners and visitors of all ages. The court surface is designed for tennis and racket sports and is not suitable for playing football or cycling on,(the multi use games area is designed for these sports). 

Fun Day and Village Picnic Saturday 21st July

– a date for your diaries!

From 11am – 2pm there will be a number of free activities on The Acres starting with the official opening of the tennis court at 11am. There will be organised activities on all designated recreation areas,the basket ball hoop,the football pitch,the Multi Use Games Area,pond dipping off the boardwalk. Why not bring a picnic and make use of the designated picnic site. The ice-cream van will be on site as well as a refreshment stall. Look out on village notice boards for more information.


The fun fair has been booked to coincide with children breaking up for school summer holidays. It will be held on the Village Green (off Brookhouse Road) from 20th – 22nd July.

Dementia Friendly 

Gnosall Parish Council is a recognised Dementia Friendly Organisation and at a recent meeting agreed to demonstrate the Council’s awareness of this and considered ways to support sufferers and families in ways the Council can manage including an information pack,to waive booking fees of the Grosvenor centre for dementia related activities,to sharing information via the Parish Council’s newsletter (GMK),by holding an annual fund raising event and possibly creating a tranquil sensory garden. Further details will be shared in the autumn.


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