Wednesday, 22 February 2012


I guess most will have heard by now of the appalling raid on Margaret Kettle’s store in the village. Her shop is also the Post Office and no doubt this attracted the unwanted attentions of  three mindless morons – as plainly there is really nothing of great value on the premises to steal! But like a previous raid just before Christmas, Margaret was left shaken by this latest episode during the middle of the night. It was fortunate that on this occasion her son, Robert, was on hand and managed to tackle the intruders sans most of his clothes and sent them fleeing. He was left with a very blooded and swollen eye but we can only speculate the outcome if he had not been present. Apparently two torches were stolen as well as Margaret’s handbag from her bedside and it can be hoped that police forensics will lead to their capture. The bag has been recovered in Liverpool.
Given age her age of 89 and slight build, Margaret must have been very alarmed by the experience but some hours later as police sealed off the premises in search of clues, she gave no hint of being traumatised as a result. She appeared outside her shop to assure well-wishers that she was unscathed but Robert had suffered injury.
It was probably the same trio who carried out the previous robbery on what is a Goostrey institution, known far and wide as an “Aladdin’s” cave for the range of items, mostly of low value that Margaret sells, more as a service to the community than for profit. Those of a certain age in the village will remember when Margaret and her late husband, George, ran Goostrey’s postal services. Not only did they manage the sub-post office but they sorted the mail behind the shop in Main Road and employed the posties! It was a real rural service and I doubt if a letter was ever incorrectly delivered. I was always aware when George delivered the post – the smell of the smoke from his ever present cigarette wafted up the stairs through the letter box! In recent times it was Margaret who came to the rescue of the post office. When it was threatened with closure she volunteered a corner of her shop for its relocation as a branch of Plumley village post office. Let us hope this latest incident will not end the association.
I’ve ranted in the past about the condition of the village’s roads. After yet another protest about Church Bank and Blackden Lane, I see a patch team from the council’s highways department made a fleeting visit the other day to fill in a few holes. I have it on good authority that unless potholes are more than four inches deep their repair is not regarded as urgent. And who said that size doesn’t matter! A member of the gang confided that it was a waste of time and some of the village’s roads needed resurfacing but there was no money in the kitty. He said it was up to residents to keep banging on about it. Something that I intend  to do in view of the continued shaking and rattling of the house from vehicles hitting potholes in the lane. As I told the council man I lived through the Manchester blitz and it was never as bad as this “bombardment” from the road.
It was another sad occasion almost a week ago when, with others from the area, I attended a service of thanksgiving for the life of Ken Albutt in the Cotswold village of Painswick. Ken and his wife, Jane, moved some five years ago from Cranage to Edge near Painswick, to be close to their children. The packed St Mary’s church was a reflection of the high regard and the love and affection in which Ken was held by his many friends


  1. Very sad news on all accounts,John.
    I remember so well the Kettle's great love for country music. Their shop was the absolute nucleus to the village. It contained the most amazing array of goods. I hope the robbers are truely punished for such an asinine act.