Stoke Lacy social events coming up
Stoke Lacy enjoyed a wonderful Jubilee Celebration event at the Village Hall on Friday 3rd June, a "Platinum Jubilee Tea Dance, Buffet and Sports Afternoon".
Janet Ivison has written a lovely report of the event in the Parish Council Notices section and some photos are scrolling above.
Live music was provided by "The Good Time Tea Time Dance Band" and all who came agreed that the Band played an excellent couple of sessions.
The band is made up of:
'Steddy' Ed Thomas - piano and vocals
Matt Warren - bass
Charlie Russell - drums
David Hurford - trumpet
John Francis - alto sax
Emily Wilson - tenor sax and vocals
Emily Wilson helped to organise the band for us and is a saxophone and piano teacher based just down the road in Wellington. So if you fancy taking up or re-learning either instrument, see Emily's listing under "Businesses - Art & Music" here in The Cider Press.
Stoke Lacy’s WCM&A (www.wcma.co.uk), one of Britain’s leading manufacturers of badges, promotional merchandise and awards, has established a unique project in the UK to turn to a more circular manufacturing style with proven environmental benefits.
It has been set up under the name “Sustainable British Manufacturing” and details of the project can be seen at www.sustainablebritishmanufacturing.info and downloaded as a very smart and informative pdf brochure.
WCM&A has eco-consciousness at its heart. Sustainable British Manufacturing is a unique initiative directly supporting environmental projects from the sale of factory waste materials, the reuse or recycling of key parts from its British made products and persuading customers to choose products made from more sustainable natural materials.
The Sustainable British Manufacturing initiative is based on WCM&A’s belief that they have a responsibility for the whole life cycle of their products, all the way from design to end of useful life and beyond – a “circular” manufacturing model based on the 3R’s – REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE. But the project goes further than that because they are turning waste into thousands of trees and tonnes of carbon reduction.
The company is turning its factory waste into gold standard carbon offsets, encouraging their customers to return to them any goods that cannot be easily recycled, which WCM&A then recycles for them, and encouraging customers to select products that use sustainable and natural materials. The environmental benefits are all achieved with no loss in quality, no additional cost to the customers and no increased lead times, all from informed decision making.
To thank its customers for making that choice, the Sustainable British Manufacturing project is planting trees in a forest with a company called Ecologi. The company started planting trees and purchasing carbon offsets in January this year, with ambitious objectives to offset of 100 tonnes of carbon and to plant 20,000 trees. The targets were a real stretch, but less than four months into the year the company has already offset 47 tonnes of carbon and planted over 5000 trees, so they are well on the way.
Stoke Lacy is privileged to have such a ground-breaking company in its midst, so do contact WCM&A if you would like to volunteer to help them in any way.
WCM&A, one of Britain’s leading manufacturers of badges, promotional merchandise and awards, has established “Sustainable British Manufacturing”
JUNE / JULY
Stoke Lacy is full of interesting people who are valued members of the community. Some have lived here for many years, even generations, others are new, arriving from near and far.
Let us know if you would like to be featured as one of the “Village People”.
This edition, we had the pleasure of meeting with Bill Morgan.
Bill is a relative newcomer to Stoke Lacy, having moved here from Reading in 2018. Bill hit the ground running. He is already a member of the Stoke Lacy Parish Council and the driving force behind the Neighbourhood Development Plan and, with his wife Pauline, an active member of the community.
Bill has never been short of energy. Prior to his retirement, his career had involved a succession of high-level projects, implementing IM (Information Management & IT systems) and organisational change programmes at some of the UK’s top companies.
Despite now having two Master’s degrees, Bill took an unconventional route, leaving school aged 16 and returning to studies later in his career.
From school, he started out in the money markets, trading and settling multi-million pound deals for Barclays Bank in London. However, after seven years of adrenaline-fuelled financial whirl (and a great social life!), Bill decided to take a dramatic turn and become a freelance photographer in North Wales, where he has family connections.
He set-up in business with a camera-obsessed colleague, producing both stills and videos, and Bill was the videographer, photographer and picture developer. The business covered both domestic and commercial work, from weddings to supplying content for the newly launched Channel 4 (S4C). Through that work, Bill got involved with a local recording studio and rapidly became adept at an array of electronics, cabling and technology.
After a divorce and change of life style, Bill moved to Swansea in the late 1980s where he picked up on his education taking an HND in Microelectronics, and then settled in Wiltshire, using his skills to join a computer system manufacturing company. His new IM career, at a time when systems were being developed and the standards of the future were still be fought over, won, lost and established, led Bill to Reading and in and out of a variety of IM firms and roles, focusing on building and running new projects. However, that not being sufficient to absorb Bill’s unbounded energy, he also completed a Master’s degree in Operations Management and an MBA at Henley Business School whilst extending his management roles into implementing the cost savings programmes of several corporate mergers.
From there, Bill struck out again on his own, working as a long-term consultant to many top companies, including NTL, Dell, Centrica, BAT, SAB Miller, Vodafone, JLR, Aviva and Transport for London, the latter as an extended 5 year role as Chief of Staff for Information Management.
Eventually, even Bill’s energy waned and he retired to Stoke Lacy to enjoy our idyllic peace and tranquility and small but vibrant community. Naturally, he didn’t entirely hang up his boots, but has a small photography and video production business “SkyCamera Promotional and Event Videos” (see the business listings here in The Cider Press). As well as his community roles, including being a volunteer projectionist at Bromyard’s Conquest Theatre, to keep him from any well-earned rest, Bill has also recently taken up learning the Saxophone but it’s far too early to ask him to play in a Jazz band!
You can reach Bill through the business listing or meet him at Stoke Lacy Parish Council meetings or, usually, at most community events. You are guaranteed a fascinating chat!
JUNE / JULY
Stoke Lacy is a rural community, but many of us are ‘townies’ who have no idea what is happening on the farms during the year. So, we have asked a local farmer to give us an insight, each edition, into what is going on “Down on the Farm”.
The time around the end of May and the start of June means the beginning of the summer show season. This can be a yearly highlight for many farmers and some will choose to show off their livestock at country shows and fairs. Typically, the show season will finish before harvest time because otherwise the two would clash and the harvest would be smaller or of a lower quality.
In June, for livestock farms, having finished with lambing and a round of dipping the sheep, shearing is the predominant time-consuming job. Shearing can cost around £1 per sheep. The beauty treatment doesn’t end there, because through the month the sheep will also be drenched, to get rid of worms, and will have their feet bathed to prevent discomfort and disease. For the cattle, the calves born during the Spring will have their horns removed.
June is an important month for crop farmers as well. Silaging continues and farmers will start haymaking around this time, with the hay being used to feed livestock in the winter. Potatoes will be irrigated, or watered, to encourage growth and the ‘filling out’ of the crop. Farmers will also be monitoring crops for weed control, fertilizer needs and pest management practices.
June also comes alive with horticultural blooms, with roses and hydrangeas ever-present.
July is an altogether quieter month with the livestock. Apart from the obvious feeding and milking, there isn’t as much to do through July. Lambs are usually given vaccinations against worms and will continue to be given footbaths and be sheared. A number of livestock auctions happen around this time and the strongest lambs will either be sold at the market or to the local abattoir.
Summer for farmers means that planting is over, but there’s still plenty to do in July for arable farming. Haymaking and silage collection carries on, with the baling a key component. A square bale is usually used to feed horses, while round bales are typically for cattle. Potatoes will still be in the irrigation process and will be sprayed with pesticides to prevent the crop being damaged or eaten. July tends to be the start of the combine season for cereal crops like barley and maize, so combine harvesters will be a common sight in the fields and on countryside roads.
In terms of flowers, in July wild lilies and carpenteria blossoms can be expected.
Painting by Deb Banks
Who would have thought that footpaths could be so complicated?
Having chatted to John Thompson, Stoke Lacy’s Footpath Officer, The Cider Press has discovered what a fiendishly complex set of issues are involved. Apart from the usual labyrinthine set of laws, regulations and rules, which are alive and well when it comes to footpaths, there are broadly three sets of interested parties, who do not always have coinciding aims and objectives.
Happily, there is a good deal of cooperation between them, but it is clearly wise to tread carefully, in every sense.
The three groups are the walkers, the landowners and the local authorities.
Walkers, and especially those whose abilities are challenged for a variety of reasons would prefer unimpeded, easier access to rights of way. Landowners want their land respected and their livelihoods protected. Local authorities want both and, ideally, someone else to police it and pay for it.
In the parish of Stoke Lacy, we actually have very few footpaths. Only four miles in total, as compared with up to some twenty miles or more in nearby parishes but some of those within our parish continue across the parish boundary to provide longer walks. The Stoke Lacy Parish Council web-site has a whole section on footpaths, including the parish footpath map, and can be found at https://stokelacyparishcouncil.org.uk/footpaths-report/
Broadly speaking, once upon a time right of way footpaths were more open and thus easier to walk along. Over many years, as farmers needed to secure fields, to contain livestock in particular, they gradually received permissions from local authorities to install structures across footpaths, typically stiles, pedestrian style gates, or kissing-gates. In return the local authorities and relevant laws required the landowners to bear the majority of the costs of maintaining the structures and ensuring that the rights of way remained accessible.
It requires minimal imagination to see how stresses and tensions would creep into that system. Walkers, who often take dogs on walks with them, can find stiles awkward. Farmers, who all too often suffer from uncontrolled dogs or uncollected dog-pooh, which can cause serious diseases in livestock, are typically less than enthralled at the idea of dogs loose on their land at all. Also, the farmers are ultimately liable if livestock escape from fields and cause any loss or injury so they tend to prefer stiles to pedestrian or kissing gates. Local Authorities, who never seem to have any money for such matters, try to perfect their side-step-shuffle and categorise footpath matters within a wide remit of “roads and public rights of way” and thereby prioritise roads. To the extent that footpaths do get any focus, it is, of course, the path more trodden that receives attention and the lesser used paths gradually sink into increasing decline.
In Herefordshire, the Council sub contracts the handling of highway associated issues to the Balfour Beatty Living Places team who through their front line “locality stewards” monitor our roads network as a priority.
Clarity is not a word that springs to mind. The good news is that despite the bureaucracy, things seem to work. Most walkers respect the land, control their dogs, clean-up after them and remember to close gates behind them. Most landowners are extremely accommodating, accepting that the footpaths be signposted, way-marked, and rights of way generally unimpeded. Most local authorities at least pay lip-service to being concerned but, in the case of Stoke Lacy Parish Council, take positive steps to help, not least in appointing a dedicated Footpath Officer, John Thompson, who puts in immense effort on an entirely voluntary basis and we should thank him for his service.
So, we ought to make the most of the footpaths that we have. Leave our vehicles and, if we are able, exercise by walking. It should be good for body and mind. Requirements are simple. Wearing appropriate footwear and clothing, together with the skills to read a map and use a compass, are sufficient to afford you the confidence to explore pastures new and experience the peace and quiet as you take in new views across our beautiful countryside that cannot be experienced from the driver or passenger seats of a car.
Let’s all continue to care. Do our best to keep right of way footpaths open and show support and respect for walkers and landowners in equal measure.
Neighbourhood Development Plan
There has been more progress.
The Herefordshire Council Consultation period ended on the 29th June and a ‘Progress to Examination’ report has been submitted for sign off.
Once this is signed by a Director, any comments received during the consultation period will be sent to the Parish Council for further responses. At this stage, Herefordshire Council will make an application to NPIERS (Neighbourhood Planning Independent Examiners Referral Service) for 3 potential examiners.
The Stoke Lacy Parish Council will then be asked to select which individual we would like to perform the independent examination.
Thereafter, there will be a referendum of parish residents on whether to adopt the NDP.
The following documents are live on the Stoke Lacy NDP Website and will also be uploaded onto the Herefordshire Council website:
Section 106 funding
Under S106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as a result of a new development taking place contributions can be required from developers towards the costs of providing community and social infrastructure. Herefordshire Council owes significant amounts of Section 106 funding to Stoke Lacy.
Stoke Lacy Parish Council is actively on the case, but it cannot hurt for individuals to write to them and ask: “Where is our money?”.
Ho hum; this is still an issue.
Drivers through Stoke Lacy continue to ignore the 30mph speed limit, some being clocked at 100mph!
We need more deterrents, probably speed cameras.
Meanwhile, all villagers should make sure that they drive very slowly and cautiously through the village, to set a good example and make a point.
Remember to gesture to motorists to slow down. Pretending to video record them on your mobile phone for some reason seems to work rather well. Also, continue to point and wave.
Don’t be embarrassed, they are in the wrong!
The footpath down through the village between Stoke Lacy and Stoke Cross is so overgrown that it barely exists and is very dangerous.
We need everyone to be ready to support pressure on Herefordshire Council to make a real and safe footpath.
Essential for walking between the church and the pub!
The Cider Press is funded entirely by our Sponsors. They are Cuckhorn Estate, Morgan Motors, WCM+A, Wye Valley Brewery, Stoke Lacy Parish Council and a private sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous.
This is a new funding model. Previously, The Cider Press was funded by paid-for advertising. Having funding from our Sponsors allows us to include all the local businesses, both in and serving Stoke Lacy, to be listed for free in our directory of businesses. The directory is a valuable community resource, which we expect to grow over time.
Owned and run by Roland and Jane Horton, Cuckhorn Estate, Stoke Lacy is an event and equine venue with Tudor-style hall, barn, ponds and gardens. The venue is perfect for bespoke gatherings and intimate family celebrations and can also be hired as a regular meeting place for clubs and craftspeople. Riding arena hire and regular local and International freedom-based equine training opportunities are offered. You can see more about Cuckhorn Estate on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CuckhornEstate/
Morgan Motor Company
The world famous Morgan Motor Company, based in nearby Malvern, has its roots firmly in Stoke Lacy. The company was established in 1909 by H.F.S Morgan, whose father and grandfather had each been the rector of the Stoke Lacy Parish Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The family lived at the Old Rectory. Stoke House was built by the family for his sister, Dorothy Morgan. Each Morgan car is hand crafted using three core elements: ash, aluminium and leather. Every car is entirely unique, built to the highest standards by passionate craftsmen and women, whose skills are handed down through generations and perfected over a lifetime, bringing together heritage, innovation and cutting-edge technology. Morgan builds around 800 cars per year. The model line-up comprises the 3 Wheeler, Plus Four and Plus Six. Each one offers something unique, while retaining the true DNA of what a Morgan sports car should be. The best way to discover the unique charms of this motoring icon is to visit the Morgan Experience Centre in Pickersleigh Road, Malvern. It was recently extensively redeveloped, re-opening in summer 2020, and is open six days a week. There is a range of experience activities and attractions and a new on-site restaurant. Each year it welcomes around 30,000 visitors from around the world. Find out more at www.morgan-motor.com/
WCM+A, owned and run by Simon & Jules Adam, are sustainable British manufacturers of a wide choice of badges, promotional merchandise and awards. Founded in 1976, they employ over 50 people at the factory in Stoke Lacy, where they have been for over 18 years, selling their products via a distributor network throughout the UK with many items exported around the world. In the simplest terms they take sheet metal, plastics, acrylics, wood, bamboo, vinyl and paper and print them, bend them, shape them, form them or whatever is necessary to make a wide their range of completely UK manufactured, high quality, corporate and promotional merchandise. From literally millions of button badges every year to individual high quality personalised real wood gifts they’re leaders in their field. They use traditional and digital print techniques, mechanical and laser cutting and marking equipment plus a wide range of presses, punches, laminators and then different finishing techniques to add the final touches - it’s all in house from product design through manufacturing to final despatch and that’s how they like it for total quality control and to provide lead times second to none. The company has won many national awards for it’s products and services, including all of their industry’s highest accolades, as they pursue their mission of bringing more manufacturing and skills back to the UK whilst promoting more eco-conscious product choices. You can see what the company makes in Stoke Lacy at www.britishmademerchandise.co.uk and www.britishmadegifts.co.uk
Wye Valley Brewery
Wye Valley Brewery, based in Stoke Lacy, is run by Vernon Amor and employs around 60 people. It has been producing the very best cask, keg and bottled beers, using the finest ingredients, since 1985 and has built a reputation for consistent excellence in product quality and customer service. Its beers are served in more than 1,200 pubs and bars throughout the West Midlands and South Wales. It has grown from producing just 10 brewers' barrels a week to now brewing an average of 800 barrels per week; more than 12 million pints per year! An eco-conscious brewer, Wye Valley styles itself as a "Mean, Green, Brewing Machine", with the claim that very few other breweries can match it when it comes to sustainability. It is also local, with over 80% of its hops and raw ingredients coming directly from farms within 10 miles of the brewery. As well as sponsoring The Cider Press, Wye Valley Brewery supports a variety of local charities, not-for-profit organisations, clubs and community groups. It’s all about raising a glass to the community and championing local causes in the same way Wye Valley Brewery champions the ‘Great British pub’ - the original social hub! Read the whole story at www.wyevalleybrewery.co.uk/
Stoke Lacy Parish Council
Stoke Lacy Parish Council is our closest tier of government and acts as the voice of local people. It is made up of unpaid councillors who are elected to serve for four years. Currently, it is Chaired by Janet Ivison, the other councillors are John Davies, Bill Morgan, Anne Reece and James Wilson and the Clerk is Paul Hayden. It is a small parish council with a total budget of about £9,000 pa. A parish council is an elected corporate body that carries out beneficial public activities in a geographical area known as a civil parish. There are about 9,000 parish councils in England. A parish council receives the majority of funding by levying a precept upon the council tax paid by the residents of the parish covered by the council. In 2021-22 the amount raised by precept was, on average across the whole of England, about £38.50 per person. Other funding may be obtained by local fund-raising or grants for specific activities. Parish councils can vary enormously in size, activities and circumstances; representing populations ranging from fewer than 100 (small rural hamlets) to up to 130,000 (Northampton Town Council). Around 80% represent populations of less than 2,500 and two thirds spend under £25,000 per year. Stoke Lacy Parish Council has a web site www.stokelacyparishcouncil.org.uk/ which publishes all of its business.