Friday, 13 April 2018

It's all looking rosy at Spode

The Rose Garden, next to the Kings Hall in Stoke, has a list of public gardening days in 2018:

Monday, 26 March 2018

"Going, going, gone..."

Wow, things really are bad in High St. 'big retail'. The former M&S store in Stafford, on a prime site in a prime shopping town, just sold at auction for below the guide price. And auctioneers almost always set their 'guide prices' low, to encourage starting bids.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Suck it up

Chromatography Today fires up the lab and asks: "How Does Polluted Soil Affect Vegetables?"...

"several studies have shown that although vegetables take up contaminants from the soil, they do so at a low level that is unlikely to cause harm."

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Bags of trees

The Tree Council has a Community Tree Fund 2018 open to both formal and ad hoc community groups. Up to £700, to plant native trees during National Tree Week in late 2018. Apply by 31st March 2018!

Trentham Park oak, by Quimby.

It's wet and wild in Stoke

Welcome news of a forthcoming "major programme of works to link, buffer, restore and recreate wildlife habitats across the project area of Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme". Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is currently recruiting for it, including a full-time Rivers Team Manager.

The Trent at Stoke, flowing toward its meeting with the Fowlea Brook at the Minster.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

It's Cold in the West Midlands

Starting to be reported today...

"New research by National Accident Helpline (NAH) has found that 1 in 5 British consumers continue to suffer from daily nuisance calls. It found that in the West Midlands, 50% of people aged over 65 were cold called every day."

If the Which? magazine's "Ten tips to stop cold calls" fail to work for you, the UK's 7th-20th March 2018 Webuser magazine has a useful guide on how to ditch your land line completely, but stay connected to the Internet and use Skype.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Jolly Potters in winter - review

A good new midwinter review of Jolly Potters, Hartshill, from the Two Pint Perspective blog which is touring all the local pubs doing reviews.

Also has older reviews of Red Lion, Hartshill and The Holy Inadequate, Etruria.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Flat tops for 'Castle

A new report looks at "The cheapest place to buy a home if you're single". Topping the list is Newcastle-under-Lyme...

"It found that the average mortgage repayment on a one-bedroom flat in Newcastle-under-Lyme equates to 10.84 per cent of the monthly wage in the area."

I'd instantly suspect that the finding is probably being heavily skewed by the masses of low-cost single-person apartments needed by the zillions of students at the University Hospital and at Keele University. Also perhaps by "the area" being deemed to include Stoke-on-Trent, and thus dragging down the average wage.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Council for the chop

According to the weather forecast, springtime may be starting in Stoke on Friday. What better time, then, than this weekend for you to spring outside with the hedge clippers and trim back your overgrown hedge or tree? "Or else", says the city Council...

Council: 'Cut your overgrown trees and hedges back NOW!' (or we will bill you for doing the work) — Stoke Sentinel.

"Council bosses are targeting overhanging trees and bushes blocking pavements - and will bill anyone who fails to cut them back. The council's highway asset and group coordination team will now take over the enforcement.

In a report, public rights of way officer Paul Pearce said: “Failure to comply with the notice allows the highway authority to take any necessary action to remove the vegetation and then recover any reasonable costs incurred by so doing.”

Community leaders have welcomed the crackdown. Reg Edwards, secretary of Hartshill and Harpfields Residents’ Association, said: “If bushes and trees are overhanging across a pavement then people have to step into the road. It reduces the width of the pavement and it can be difficult to appreciate the scale of the overhang at times until you walk into it and it can be quite painful.”"

The Sentinel and the Residents’ Assoc. both use the word "pavements", which might mislead a little. Our "public rights of way" are not just on the roadsides, but are all paths, and the city has abundant off-road paths and tracks, and 'ways around the back' known only to locals. These also need trimming, as there are plenty of people in Stoke who walk because they don't have cars — 45% (nearly half) of all households in Stoke-on-Trent don't have access to a car.