Archive for September, 2017

Appeal underway to keep Leekfrith Torcs in Staffordshire

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Back in February, people worldwide were amazed at the story of how two friends struck gold in a field in Leek.  But, this isn’t the first time the mention of treasure and a Staffordshire field

Torcs discovered in Staffordshire

have made the headlines – with the Staffordshire Hoard springing to mind!

The four intricate artefacts that make up the Leekfrith Iron Age Torcs were an amazing find and are believed to be the earliest example of Iron Age gold ever discovered in Britain.  I blogged about this earlier in the year at Staffordshire Strikes Gold again and hits the national headlines

Now, a fundraising campaign has been launched to raise £325,000 to save for the nation the ancient jewellery.

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, and its friends organisation are leading the campaign and already have a track record in saving unparalleled artefacts and world-leading treasures. These include the Staffordshire Hoard – the largest and most valuable collection of Anglo Saxon treasure ever discovered, and the Wedgwood First Day’s Vase, made by Josiah Wedgwood himself on the opening day of his Etruria pottery works in 1769.

We only have until 5 December 2017 to raise the money and I am urging residents, businesses and organisations to step forward and show their support.  People can show their support and make a donation here.

You can also watch interviews with the two metal-detectorists who made the discovery here.

People get their first glimpse of plans for new Staffordshire History Centre

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017


This month we are giving people a sneak preview of our plans  for the exciting new Staffordshire History Centre at a series of open days.

I have blogged about this before when we appointed the architects and design team but now it seems much more real as we can all see exactly what the new centre is going to look like.

The new Heritage Lottery funded £4m centre would be located on Eastgate Street in Stafford and would hold our historical records. It would provide a bright, welcoming space for visitors and exhibitions with browsing areas creating an easy entry point to the archives.

The plans, which are going  down very well include artist’s impressions and designs, ideas for future exhibitions and even a 3D model which helps show how the new centre would link into the William Salt Library.  People also liked the idea of bringing our collections together in one place and liked our ideas for the kinds of exhibitions that would be on display and going out into local communities.

You’ll also find more details on the project or how to sign up to the new e-newsletter at

A busy week for parents with children back at school

Friday, September 8th, 2017

It’s September again and this week sees children across the country heading back to school for the new term after the summer break. And for some parents and families, it could also see teenagers off to college, university or to do an apprenticeship and leaving home for the first time.

The county council is working hard to continuously improve results and give our children and young people the best schooling experience we can, and we will continue to work with our partners to support our schools to improve even further.

Our teachers and other school staff work exceptionally hard to help pupils achieve strong academic results. For this September start, 9 out of 10 parents in Staffordshire were also offered their first choice primary school, and we are continuing to create more school places to cope with the rise in pupil numbers. Over the last year we’ve created nearly 1,500 more school places in both primary and secondary schools in readiness for the new school year.

This week also saw the national roll out of 30 funded hours of childcare for three and four-year-olds available for working parents.  It’s great news for eligible families, it puts more money in their pockets by either saving on fees, or allowing a parent to go out to work, or it simply makes a massive improvement to their work-life balance.

And to start the new term, 15 more schools will benefit from our “20 is Plenty” scheme. These flashing signs help keep children safe on the way to and from school by encouraging motorists to slow down when near schools.

So, with our roads amongst the safest in the country and recent evidence suggesting that a brisk ten minute walk is good for our health, it’s a great opportunity, this term  to leave the car at home and walk to school with the children.