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Vote for The Reginald Mitchell Peace Garden Project at Tesco

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Please use your blue token and vote for the Reginald Mitchell Peace Garden.

The Reginald Mitchell Peace Garden project is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch the monthly funding scheme, which sees grants of £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local outdoor community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and this month shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Councillor Kyle Robinson said: “I am delighted that the Reginald Mitchell Peace Garden is eligible for this cash boost.  We are asking people to use their blue tokens in Tesco to vote for this worthwhile project. If we receive the most votes we will receive the maximum grant of £5k. This will help us pay for more materials, bedding plants, benches, memorial plaques and seasonal maintenance of the site on Cedar Avenue/Congleton Road, Butt Lane. We want people to remember that Reginald Mitchell was born in Butt Lane and his Spitfire helped our country win the Battle of Britain. I hope the public will get behind this fantastic project and use their vote for the Reginald Mitchell Peace Garden.”

Before and after photo of work completed so far.

Before and after photo to show the work completed so far.

Voting is open in stores from 1st February to 25th February. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £25 million to more than 3,000 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups each month. At the end of each month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for February. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

You can vote for this worthwhile project at the following stores:

2343    CONGLETON
2626    HARTSHILL EXPRESS
2772    KIDSGROVE
2850    LONGTON EXTRA
2899    MEIR HAY EXPRESS
2900    MEIR
3239    STOKE
3327    UTTOXETER
3328    NEW RD UTTOXETER EXP
4372    BLYTHE BRIDG UXTR EXP
5550    AUDLEY STOKE TRNT EXP
5782    FEGG HAYES EXP
5851    HANLEY EXTRA
6603    NEWCASTLE UNDER LYME REGIS
6848    CONGLETON WEST RD EXP

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Reginald Mitchell Peace Garden

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Next year the country will be remembering the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.  This air campaign waged by the German Air Force the Luftwaffe against the United Kingdom was the first of its kind.  In the end Britain won, but without that famous aircraft the spitfire we all may have been doomed.  Spitfire designer, Reginald Mitchell was born at 115 Congleton Road, Butt Lane.  Mitchell’s design was so sound that the Spitfire was continually improved throughout the Second World War. Over 22,000 Spitfires and derivatives were built.

Now I have an idea to bring Reginald Mitchell back home.  I propose to create a Reginald Mitchell Peace Garden on Congleton Road at the junction adjoining to Cedar Avenue.  I hope to get permission to transform the piece of land owned by JCDecaux.  Newcastle Borough Council sites the Butt Lane Christmas tree on this corner every year in December.

As part of the project I will be working with the Butt Lane LAPs to apply for funding for park benches, flower tubs, remembrance signage and a litter bin.  At the moment the site is run down and not maintained by anyone.  A location like this in the centre of Butt Lane should be utilised to create a seating area that everyone in the community can enjoy.  Residents have already offered their support by volunteering their time to help with the project.

I will also be proposing that one of the benches be in memory of Ada Nield Chew who was born on a farm in Butt Lane.  Ada joined the suffragette movement and fought for the rights of women to vote and to stand for electoral office amongst many other things.  We should be celebrating the lives of great people from our community to inspire our younger people to dream and do something great in the future.  We must remember our nation’s heroes at a local level.

I hope to keep you updated on our progress with the site.  Do you support this project?  Please comment and let me know.

 

Hello Kidsgrove, Canada Calling!

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Kidsgrove representatives welcoming Canadian representative to the Kidsgrove Victoria Hall.

Well it all started when I received an email all the way from Canada in May.  Professor Andre Kuczewski wrote an introduction and asked if I would support in guiding him around Kidsgrove if he were to make a visit in November.  I took the chance to email him back to make him aware he would be most welcome.  I was most impressed that someone from Canada was so interested in Kidsgrove and Butt Lane and for a very good reason.  As many people will know Reginald Mitchell was the designer of the famous spitfire that some say helped us win World War II.  R.J.Mitchell was born at 115 Congleton Road, Butt Lane, Staffordshire so Kidsgrove do have a special claim to this great mans existence.

Professor Andre studies the life of Reginald Mitchell and is also a professional photographer for a foundation website back in his home of Canada, Quebec.  I have to say he truly is a fantastic representative of the people of Canada and he wholeheartedly believes in preserving our history.  What is most amazing is that he knows more about British history than that of his home nation.

Professor Andre Kuczewski takes shots of famous property.

So on route from the train station the Professor took a visit to 115 Congleton Road where he took snaps of the blue plaque that is situated on the famous resident’s former home.  Whilst the pictures were being taken a lady who lives in the property came out to find out what we were doing.  I explained that the Professor had come all the way from Canada to see the blue plaque that was situated next to her front window.  She then walked back into the home to then re-emerge with a souvenir booklet of Reginald Mitchell’s life to hand to our visitor.  Her kindness and generosity was well received and Andre rustled in his bag to then hand over a gift box.  She opened the gift box to find about 20 Canada poppy pin badges for her to share with her family and friends.  After exchanging a few kind words we then got into the car to drive Andre through Reginald Mitchell way in Sandyford to arrive back at Kidsgrove Town Hall for about 9.15am.

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Joan Walley MP and civic guests fly Canadian flag for our special guest.

At Kidsgrove Town Hall a reception had been organised by Kidsgrove Town Council and this included Joan Walley MP, Town mayor Gill Burnett and Deputy Town Mayor Kyle Robinson (Me), Jon Honeysett, Cllr Janet Parson and her husband John Parsons in his town crier regalia, Councillor Mrs Bates, Allport, Burgess and town clerk Jill Waring.

A proclamation from John Parsons was read out for the Professor to welcome him to our great town and county.  Gifts were then presented by the Town Mayor to the well received visitor.  One of the gifts was a framed picture of a Spitfire signed by Reginald Mitchell’s nephew.  Professor Andre then also had gifts to present including books, Canada poppy badges and flags.

The event was enjoyed by all and many of us left the town hall knowing a lot more about Reginald Mitchell and what Canada did to contribute to saving the world from the Nazis.