Blog Archives

Skylark Pub set for revival

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Estate pub, The Skylark could soon re-open as a family venue.

Run down pub, the Skylark in Talke Pits could soon be reopened as a family venue.  Simon Richards of G3 Leisure who also lives in the area, held a public meeting on Friday 7th February to discuss his proposals with the local community.

Mr Richards explained at the meeting that his company was looking to spend a significant sum on the site to bring it up to a better standard and attract more families.  A Skylark revival page on Facebook now has over 350 followers with numbers growing by the day.

Mr Richards said: “Having been in the trade for many years, we have seen many things.  The most upsetting is to see estate pubs close.  Sometimes it’s not even the fault of the pub or lack of community support.  Many times it’s the greed of the breweries that force a pub into closure.  As with all business, every party involved has to make a living, but some forget this.

“The Skylark has been the heart of Talke Pits for as long as some can remember and during that time the pub has had its ups and downs.  As a local company we saw the closure of the pub, but due to financial interests we were unable to purchase the site.  Living in Talke Pits, we have seen the rapid decline in the pub and its grounds.  After much thought and research, we decided to really see if the community had lost heart in this once fantastic pub.  So we launched the skylark revival page.  After receiving phenomenal support from the local community, we decided to look into costs required to reopen the pub, bringing it back as the heart of the village.  I realised that the local community was lacking in a good wholesome family orientated food pub that offers great value for money.  We are also looking at installing a children’s play area and to provide entertainment.

“Given the amount of capital needed for the project, we wondered if our purchase would be a wise bet and decided to let the villagers and the local community have a say in this project.  We have also offered shares in our company to allow us to borrow less and minimise risk of failure.  Locals that buy shares will be buying a security in the pub and its land, in addition receive a dividend payment on their investment and receive a discount card.  This will give investors the chance to save the amount they invested over their visits to the pub.

“With community support, we can purchase, fully refurbish both internal and external areas of the site, and re-open as a great family pub with entertainment, which the community has shown it wants.  This move will not only secure the future of the Skylark, but will improve the overall look of the entrance to our village.  Our project will increase the kerb appeal of the site, improve its security and above all secure its future.”

Talke Pits Councillor, David Allport attended the public meeting:  “I have a big concern with the amount of Anti-Social behaviour around the site at the moment.  This is something we expect with boarded up buildings but I do think the Police need to do more.  It was pleasing to see someone so passionate about the pub revival and if G3 Leisure take on the site, I want to see it cleaned up as a matter of urgency”.

Kyle says: “From a Town Council point of view, if the Skylark revival is a success, I am keen to work with the owners to put on more community events for Talke Pits.  This area seems to be left out far too often and that must change.  I am also looking into a community asset register to protect the rest of our pubs in the community”.

If you are interested in the project, you can check out the Skylark Revival Facebook Page and company website: www.g3leisure.com

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A full view of Skylark Pub and car park.

Talke Pits Potholes Causing Chaos

Councillor David Allport

Action: Cllr David Allport

Councillors in Talke are calling for immediate repairs to be made to roads in Talke.  Oak Tree Lane/Pitt Lane in Talke Pits has fallen into a state of disrepair and requires urgent works.  Surrounding roads were addressed and resurfaced last year thanks to action taken by the County Councillor for Talke and Red Street, John Taylor.  Unfortunately the County Council did not repair the entrance to Oak Tree Lane.  The potholes have been present for well over 18 months and are now extremely dangerous.

Labour Councillor David Allport said: “A small pothole has now become a crater because Staffordshire County Council has failed to take action.  The pothole issue in Pitt Lane and Oak Tree Lane has been reported several times before, but we are yet to see any remedial works.  Cllr Stubbs and I want to see some swift action.  This road is busy as people use it to access Freeport Shopping Centre and the Arbour Farm.  Drivers have to swerve to avoid causing damage to their vehicles.  We have now reported this issue again and hope to have a response very soon.”

A spokesperson for Freeport Shopping Centre said: “We have received complaints from customers and delivery vehicles experiencing problems on the approach to this site.  We are surrounded by businesses requiring access with large vehicles, for example The Range, B&Q and Ash Road Markings to name but a few. We have also negotiated a bus service to the centre via First Bus Group and hope to increase and introduce further services and routes later this year.

“Last year we invested in roundabout sponsorships with the Borough Council and worked with Street Scene for landscaping works to bring awareness and improve the site. Both have been extremely helpful and it’s great to work in partnership.”

Labour Councillors have launched the local pothole patrol initiative and invite you to contact them with any complaints.

Staffordshire County Councillor, John Taylor: 01782 786227
Newcastle Borough Councillor, David Allport: 07870650248
Newcastle Borough Councillor, Mike Stubbs: 07500 091504

Kidsgrove Vintage Fayre Success

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Left: Worshipful Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme Eddie Boden, Newcastle Mayoress Mrs Doris Boden and Kidsgrove Mayor Councillor Kyle Robinson.

On Saturday 7th September I hosted the Kidsgrove Vintage Fayre at the Kidsgrove Victoria Hall.  The event was a huge success with lots of businesses attending to sell their vintage wares.  I made an appeal for raffle prizes and well over 20 individuals, groups and organisations donated prizes.  The Mayor’s charity made £400 and the Kidsgrove Tesco charity of the year, Diabetes UK made £150.  Many people commented on how different this type of event was for Kidsgrove.  We tried to avoid bric a brac to offer something more upmarket for the people of the town.  Following on from our success we have decided to hold this each year and we will continue to build on our events and celebrations. 

Thank you to all of the volunteers that made the events possible including Cllr Elliot Ashton and Mrs Ashton, Cllr Janet Parsons, Deputy Mayor David Allport, Tracy and Sam Holdcroft, Cllr Sylvia Dymond (shining bright like a Dymond!), Kate Coleman, Monica Mannion and many more.  These events wouldnt be possible if it wasnt for the support we get from these fantastic people.  Enjoy the photographs below.

A special thank you to Simon White of the Old Hall in Madeley who donated a £180 stay at the Charles II Suite with breakfast.  This helped us raise lots of money for a good cause and Mr Michael Page claimed the prize.