Sunday, 23 July 2017






A heavyweight or not?
BATTLE OF THE BULGING BERRIES


Goostrey show in action
Kelvin Archer with world beating berry
  A Dunkirk spirit will be needed by growers poised this week for the annual battle of the bushes as gooseberries come under attack from a combined force of weather, disease and pests. Only several weeks ago all looked well as the fruit ripened and grew gently under their protective netting for the Mid Cheshire shows beginning on Saturday. But fickle weather, blowing hot and cold and late season torrents of rain, is doing its best to dampen the prospect of weighing in with a world-beating berry. Now, it will be a case of standing firm and rescuing the best from the trees before they burst. Terry Price, Goostrey Gooseberry Society's  current champion and show President, says reports suggest that all growers in the area are struggling to keep berries on the bushes. "I don't think there will be any records this year," says Terry. "They are busting all over and the heavy rain is finishing off a lot."  Terry, whose Just Betty gooseberry of 24 pennyweights and 22 grains, won the show at The Crown Inn last year, is hoping for a better result this time. Several weeks ago a berry from the same tree weighed 30 pennyweights but now like other growers the prospect doesn't look good. He added: "I think if someone can hold on to a berry of 28 pennyweights it is likely to be the heaviest in our show or any other. They are all struggling" Best of the bunch is expected to be among yellow berry varieties such as Woodpecker, Millenium or Montrose. Later shows in August may have the smallest berries of the year to put on the scales for the annual heavyweight whopper. And the overall champion in the fiercely-fought contests might be decided by a whisker! Visitors are welcome to watch the Goostrey Gooseberry Show - as all other shows - at The Crown starting on Saturday at 1 pm.A Junior Show won last year by Joe Banks Williams, eight, is again open to all under 16-year-olds who live in Goostrey and the surrounding area. His winning Woodpecker berry weighed 16 pennyweights and five grains. A prize draw on the day includes dinner for two at the Yellow Broom, Twemlow Green.
**The world record berry is a Millenium of 41 pennyweights 11 grains grown in 2013 by Kelvin Archer, a member of the Marton
and Lower Withington shows. 

Sunday, 16 April 2017






DEATH OF GOOSTREY CENTENARIAN


  Goostrey's oldest villager, Mrs Ruth Hough, has died only months after she moved into a home in the area. Ruth, who was 102,  lived in Brookfield Crescent and until recent times continued to take an active interest in local life and events. She was a regular member of the congregation  at St Luke's parish church where, with her late husband Ron, a former head teacher at Goostrey primary school, she was also a bellringer for many years. Her memories of local life will live on after her recollections were recorded on tape by Goostrey Archive Group for its oral history collection. She also "starred" in a radio documentary of author Alan Garner's nativity play "Bringing Holly from the Bongs" which was first performed in now demolished stables behind the Crown Inn 51 years ago. As part of the  BBC Radio 4 Extra programme about the play broadcast on Christmas Day 2015 she was interviewed as one of the behind the scenes helpers by producer Andy Cartwright along with original members of the cast who were pupils at Goostrey school. A villager said: "Ruth was an amazing woman. She took a tremendous interest in Goostrey and its organisations. Even at her advanced age, in recent times she continued to play bridge and went to church, but in the end I think she just wanted to slip away peacefully and quietly."
A former neighbour JulieAnn Leigh-Lockett, who now lives in Grand Island, New York State, with her family writes:
" She was a wonderful lady.She taught me how to make a hundred sandwiches from on tin of salmon for rose day refreshments and how to make perfect marmalade without bubbles, just like she did for the Women's Institute. I lived right next door to her for many years. A sad loss for all of us with memories".
Mrs Audrey Godfrey, the wife of the late Rev Ian Godfrey, vicar of Goostrey, who died last year, also has fond memories of Ruth,
She said: "Even though we were here for a short time,  my lasting memory of her will be with Ian and Ruth sitting in wheelchairs next to one another holding hands watching the Rose Queen place her wreath on the memorial at St. Luke’s last year. I said to Ian ‘are you two timing me?’ he replied ‘of course’ and Ruth chipped in ‘and haven’t I found myself a corker’! Happy days."

Wednesday, 12 April 2017





 VILLAGE BAR BANKS ON BEER BUFFS

Richard Jepson mans the pumps
A sample of the Bottle Bank's offerings
With pubs shutting at an alarming rate and turning into supermarket owned convenience stores, it is a blessed relief to see the trend locally has been reversed. Richard Jepson, who has hosted The Beer Emporium in Sandbach since taking over in July, has expanded his craft beer, wines, spirits bar and shop and take-out to the centre of Holmes Chapel. It was a blow I guess for customers to see the departure of the Nat West Bank from the village but Richard's venture in the former premises more than makes up for the loss - at least for the aficionado of real ales and other favourite tipples. The bar’s opening – named the Bottle Bank - happened sans fuss or fanfare. It was only when  I noticed a couple of iron tables and seats on the pavement outside the old bank building in London Road did I realise he  was open for business. Richard formerly worked in telecoms but the bearded mine host in charge of the hand-pumps – looking every inch  a jolly brewmaster - admits beer is his real passion. Lots on offer is locally brewed, including Merlin from just up the road at Arclid as well as brews from places around including Mobberley, Macclesfield, Wincle and Congleton but, like the Sandbach bar, it provides beers from around the world, and also like the Beer Emporium, will soon be boasting and offering some 400 different ales, lagers, and cider to take away or drink in, once in full swing. The Bottle Bank reminds me a bit of times before pubs were “poshed” up and fine dining became the norm… a place where you can stand at the bar and feel you don’t have to fork out for a meal!    Richard says local pubs have been very supportive of the enterprise which he believes will help to attract more visitors to the village. We should say cheers to that and wish Richard every success!
*Click on pictures to enlarge

Thursday, 30 March 2017








GARDEN THIEVES TARGET GOOSTREY

MAP OF GOOSTREY HIT BY THEFTS
WARNING.....Light-fingered thieves are out and about in the area. In a spate of raids, gardens have been targeted. The latest incident happened this week when a large blue ceramic pot with growing conifer was nicked from the front garden of a house in Brookfield Crescent, Goostrey.
 The theft was discovered on Tuesday. "The pot was so heavy it would have taken two people to have lifted it," says the owner. Last week in a heavy bench was lifted from a garden in Jodrell Bank.
 And this week in Holmes Chapel white metal fencing disappeared from Wye Close, but mysteriously returned after a threat to put CCTV footage online.
There have been reports of a blue van trawling the area on the lookout for easy to steal items in gardens and unlocked buildings. There may be many other thefts which have still to come to light.
Cheshire Police yesterday issued a warning about thefts in the county following the clocks being put forward. Victims are advised to contact police by calling 101.

Friday, 24 March 2017






KEVAN WAS LOVELY MAN AND FRIEND TO ALL

A very sad day today for the family and many friends of Kevan Royle who died after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His funeral at Vale Royal Crematorium reflected the regard and affection in which he was held not only in Goostrey where he lived with his wife, Sylvia, and inseparable soul mate of 54 years but among all areas of his personal and business life with 200 mourners seated and dozens more standing for the service and celebration of his life. Kevan, 77, was an engineer by profession and locally in Holmes Chapel formerly owned a business producing aerosols before dedicating an entrepreneurial flair to building and restoring and upscaling properties, including his home in Brookfield Crescent, and a project in Nantwich that won him official recognition and accolades.The service included his son-in-law Nigel Llewellyn describing many of Kevan's attributes, his kindness, warmth, his love of friendships in the Crown and for his village. "He was part of the DNA of Goostrey... and a lovely man..."