Bowling huts to be replaced

The VHPFF trustees hope to replace the dilapidating bowling huts at the playing fields to provide WCs and improved scoring accommodation.

The planning application for a new Bowling Hut will be proposed for on the same site as the existing huts (rather than a new hall or extension of the pavilion) and will require external funding.

VHPFF bowling huts



Scouts seek volunteers

Looking for a new challenge in 2019?

Adult Volunteers of any age – and – a new position for a Young Person

  • 1st Goostrey Scouts are keen to welcome new volunteers to maintain the strength of the group. If you’d like to consider getting involved this year, then please contact Group Scout Leader, Neil Memmott at
  • 1st Goostrey Scouts are also looking for a young person aged 18 to 25 to join the Scout Executive Committee for 12 months to lead the increased involvement of young people shaping the Scouting Experience we provide. If you are interested then please contact Neil Memmott before the end of February. More details can be found here 


Annual Blackden Friends’ lecture to shed light on Roman gladiators

Gladiators, an aspect of Roman culture that still fascinates audiences nearly 2,000 years later, will be the subject of this year’s Friends of The Blackden Trust lecture on Saturday 16th March, 3:00 – 4:30pm.

The annual lecture, presented this year by David Jennings, Chief Executive Officer of the York Archaeological Trust, will be held at Terra Nova School, Jodrell Bank. It will piece together the story of 82 skeletons, many of which are thought to be gladiators, and use them to shed light onto life and death in the Roman arena.

Blackden Trust lecture

David Jennings

The skeletons were discovered in what is believed to be a Roman cemetery in York in 2004 and 2005 and have been the subject of at least three television documentaries

The lecture will explain how the skeletons, overwhelmingly adult males, had numerous injuries, pathological conditions and unusual burial rites. The evidence shows that these people displayed signs of having led a life that physically left its mark on their bodies while also being treated differently at their time of death and burial.

David Jennings explained: “In this talk I will update the latest scientific analysis, revealing the origins of these people, and discuss the evidence which will give the audience the chance to come to their own conclusions on whether these people spent their lives as gladiators.”

One of the organisers of the event, Chair of The Friends of The Blackden Trust Reg Crawford, said: “As well as listening to David’s unique insight into the life of Roman gladiators, the audience will also be able to find out about the wonderful work done by The Friends of The Blackden Trust.”

“It is now more than ten years since the formation of The Friends of the Blackden Trust. We are a non-profit organisation who fundraise and support events in The Old Medicine House and on site in many practical ways, including helping with the programme of guided tours.”

We welcome all those who would like to help to save this special place and share it with people who appreciate it. If anyone feels they have the time and would like to apply to become a member of The Friends of The Blackden Trust, we would be pleased to hear from them.”

There will be refreshments available after the lecture and tickets, which cost £13, can be obtained from the website or the Eventbrite app.  Click the following link to book tickets:

The programme of events for the coming year can be found on the Blackden Trust website:

Winter Blackden

A Wintery Blackden

Help the scouts plant a hedge 3rd March

Join in with Goostrey Scouts to finish the ‘turf fields’ hedge on the 3rd March from 1.00pm.

They have 30metres of hedging to plant; some kindly donated by Chester Zoo and 10 Cheshire Damson Trees kindly donated by Goostrey Parish Council ( think of all the jam! and the biodiversity such a hedge will bring in years to come).  Damson trees have traditionally been planted in hedges through Cheshire, bringing pretty white blossom in spring followed by delicious dark fruit in September – for tasty jam, fruit crumbles and even damson gin!

The scouts would like to extend a welcome to all the local community … dog walkers, jam makers, bird watchers, youngsters & oldsters … to join them and help plant a tree.  (Where are the ‘turf fields’ ? Behind Mount Pleasant Residential Park in the middle of the village)

Paul Kemsley: “All are welcome, there’s lots of work, just bring a spade and please do come.”  (Please email…. if you need further details)

Did you know…..Market Drayton was famed for its Damson Fair when Lancashire textile makers  would buy damsons to make dye for their cloth until synthetic dyes killed the industry. The Damson Fair ran in Septembers between the 1850s and the 1930s.

The skins were used to make blue-grey dye for RAF uniforms in World War II, and damsons mixed with ammonia turned cloth green – army uniforms in the First World War were dyed khaki with damsons.

United Utilities can help you feel secure..

This looks a good idea: full details at

United Utilities offer Priority Services including a password scheme to protect you against bogus callers – it is free and could help you, your family or your friends benefit from additional support so UU can respond quickly to those particular needs. (It can also link to a similar scheme with electricity providers.)

Even if you don’t need these services yourself, if you have a family member, friend or neighbour who might benefit from a little extra support, please let them know about Priority Services. It is completely free to our customers in the North West – and you don’t have to be the named bill payer to benefit from Priority Services.

Bogus Callers

We want you to feel safe so if you’re unsure if a caller is from United Utilities, call us on 0345 672 3723 to check their identity, we won’t mind.

Password Scheme

Our free password scheme will help protect you from bogus callers when there’s a knock at the door.

If you would like to register for Priority Services, please:

  • fill in our secure online form; (you’ll need your account number)
  • or
  • call us on 0345 072 6093. We’re available to speak to you 8am-8pm Mon to Fri, 8am-4pm Sat. Outside of these times you can leave a message and we’ll call you back.

As you know, United Utilities is the water and wastewater company that serves over 7 million customers in over 3 million homes right across the North West, and we have been doing a lot over the past couple of years to improve our services in giving more support to those who need it most.

We all need a little bit of extra help at some stage in our lives.  This could be due to age, ill health, a disability, mental health problems, financial worries or even language barriers.  By registering for our free Priority Services scheme, customers could benefit from additional free services from us, to support their particular needs, including:

  • A free phone number connecting them to a dedicated, externally trained team, to listen, help and support
  • Nominate a carer, family member or even a friend to speak to us on their behalf
  • A knock and wait service, so if they have mobility needs we’ll always wait, allowing them enough time to answer the door
  • We’ll notify them of any planned interruptions to their water supply
  • Bills and letters could be printed in braille, large print or even on coloured paper
  • Add a password to their account as added protection from bogus callers
  • Translation services if English isn’t their first language
  • Help and advice if they’re struggling to pay their water bill

For customers with internet access, there’s even an online accessibility tool, changing the look of our website to suit their needs. All they have to do is click on the ‘Accessibility Help’ button on the bottom right of each page of our website.

You don’t even have to be the account holder to join and registration really couldn’t be easier.  You can either:

  • Visit our website complete a simple online form
  • Call our friendly Priority Services team direct on 0345 072 6093
  • Also, when someone registers with us, with their consent, we could also add their details to a similar free scheme with Electricity North West (who manage the electricity network in our region).  If eligible, this would provide additional support if there was ever a loss of power too – so two for the price of one!