Latest News

Key Trust puts money in bank

July/August 2021

When the pond was dug in Barton in the 1700s, it was functional only, being used as a watering hole by the local farmers for their animals. Nowadays, it is very much a recreational amenity used by village residents for fishing, wildlife watching and teddy bear terrorising. As such, it needs to be kept safe and clean. It was the smell that drew the attention of the ’fish pond councillor’ Jeanette Taylor. Upon investigation it was discovered that the old railway sleepers that had been used to shore up part of the bank over 40 years ago were crumbling and blocking the drain from the pond to the brook.

Jeanette headed a campaign to raise money to remove the poplar trees, whose roots were damaging the bank, and make the bank safe for pedestrians again. The Barton and Dunstall Key Trust were approached and were happy to approve a grant of £10,000 which, along with funds raised from other sources, meant the work was able to start quickly. The Key Trust also covered a shortfall of £1500 when extra work was required.

Gabions (metal cages) have been filled with rocks to stop the bank from slipping again, with ready-planted coir rolls placed in front to give a quick start to plant growth at the edge of the pond. Native trees (oak, alder and rowan) have been planted and wildflower seeds sown on the bank around the trees. Thanks to the hard work from everyone involved, it should look good and last another 40 years or more.

New doors for a new start

June 2021

The Methodist Church at the top of Crowberry Lane was built in 1828 and has had several alterations in that time. A porch was added, the balcony was removed, extra rooms were added at the back of the church, the pulpit and communion rail were removed, the porch was replaced, a vestry added and a lovely modern kitchen was added.

If you’ve parked at the village hall car park then you will have driven past the Methodist Church and seen its most recent addition in the form of a striking oak extension.

This forms a porch to take you straight into the Church rooms. Users of the church with wheelchairs or pushchairs will no longer have to negotiate the tight turns previously required. Extra storage space has been created by the building work too. This work was only made possible by the generous grant of £15000 from the Key Trust, with other funds coming from the local Methodist Circuit, donations from church members and church funds. Reverend Helen Harrell said “We are looking forward to welcoming our congregation and other church users back to the buildings as soon as it’s safe to do so. This new extension demonstrates our keenness to make the church as friendly and welcoming as possible for all users.”

Rev Andrew Simpson delivers William Key Sermon on Good Friday

May 2021

Rev Andy Simpson receiving his ten shillings from trustee Adrian Wedgwood for delivering the William Key sermon on Good Friday 2021 – a stipulation in the will of William Key. His gift to the people of Barton and Dunstall eventually became the Key Trust.

This sporting life!

April 2021

Barton under Needwood is unusual in having a multi-sport club right in the centre of the village. Many local villages have a football club or tennis club or cricket club, each with their own grounds. In Barton, these three sports joined together in 1963 to form Holland Sports Club. The club was officially opened in 1965 by a member of the Holland family, Mr Sadler, on land given to Barton Parish Council by Mr W N Holland who had inherited the Holland estate upon the death of Miss Holland in 1961. Other sports have affiliated to HSC since then, including hockey, tug of war, netball, rugby, pigeon flying, walking football and touch rugby.

The HSC committee have been successful in developing the use of its facilities for members and the wider community but this results in the current lounge becoming crowded on occasions, with the kitchen area pushed to its limits. The answer has now arrived in the form of a modular building with a catering kitchen able to host members’ activities and be a source of revenue in the future. The trustees of the Barton and Dunstall Key Trust were proud to support this application with £30,000, to add to the monies from club savings. This function room is sure to become a welcome asset to the HSC and a valuable addition to the facilities of the village. .

Who is my neighbour?

December 2020

You will remember that during the first lockdown that started in March there was a large group of volunteers helping the isolated and vulnerable in the village. As the Parish councillors returned to their regular duties at the end of lockdown, the same group of volunteers decided to continue the work done by BVN (Barton Volunteer Network) and created a charity called Barton Neighbourhood Volunteers. This group managed by Jane, Lesley, Sue, Fran, Sally and Kay will continue to offer support in the form of shopping, prescription collections, information about hot meal deliveries and phone buddies. To get a solid start they applied for and received a grant of £1000 to enable them to purchase a laptop, phone line, insurance and DBS checks.

If you would like to join as a volunteer or if you need help of any kind, then you can ring 01283 296229.

The answer is in the soil

November 2020

You will have heard over the summer that gardening has become very important to many people’s peace of mind and wellbeing. That includes the ‘allotmenteers’ tending their produce on the 24 allotments on Dogshead Lane, which are owned and managed by the Key Trust. The land was given for use by villagers and that charity was later incorporated into the modern Barton and Dunstall Key Trust. Apparently there used to be several hundred allotments on the fields off Dogshead Lane. It would appear that they fell into disuse and returned to farmland.

One of the allotments that is always mentioned as being not only productive but beautiful is looked after by Sharon and Richard. When they took it over many years ago it was somewhat abandoned as you can see from the picture below. Lots of work, patience and planning has turned it into a beautiful space with paths lined with lavender, and sweet pea and apple tunnels to walk through. Fruit and vegetables of all kinds are grown in the raised beds, and the tomatoes, peppers, chillies and cucumbers fill the greenhouses to bursting.

All of the allotments are occupied at the moment, but your name could be added to a waiting list if you contact the Clerk.

Dunstall in contact

October 2020

Can you imagine having to go through the pandemic lockdown without a decent internet connection? That is nearly what happened to the residents of Dunstall when British Telecom left the village out of their plans for an upgrade of 95% of the country to SuperFast Broadband. BT said it would be unlikely that Dunstall would receive and upgrade for ten to fifteen years.

In 2018 the newly formed ‘Dunstall Community Broadband Partnership’ started negotiations with BT to create a partnership scheme to deliver the required infrastructure. After a huge amount of hard work, as well as generous donations from Simon Clarke and South Staffs SuperFast Broadband, the scheme asked the villagers of Dunstall for a donation, and sought other sources of funding such as councillor’s funds and the Key Trust.

The Trustees of the Key Trust were delighted to contribute £10,000 to help get the project going, and now Dunstall receives the same quality of broadband access as the rest of us. Without a decent internet connection the Dunstall Parish representative on the Key Trust would not have been able to join in the Zoom meetings that have had to take place instead of face-to-face meetings (see photo). Well done to everyone who worked to make this project successful.

Leading lights

September 2020

The Key Trust supports the Leadership Awards for outstanding pupils at John Taylor School here in Barton. Even in these strange times the school was able to find two top students for the winner and runner-up prizes.

Daniel Allen has been awarded £250 for his work as Head Boy and his enthusiastic support for many projects including the Anti Bullying Committee and raising awareness of mental health in teenagers. He has become fully immersed in the community life of the school, as well as being a good sportsman. The citation reads ‘Daniel is a hardworking and motivated individual who shows consistency across all his subjects and he is destined to make a difference to the world.’ This will hopefully start at Loughborough University where he has an offer to study Mechanical Engineering.

Madeline Fox has been awarded £150. She has been described as ‘a passionate and hardworking young lady who has always fully utilised her leadership skills to ensure all members of the school have a voice.’ She has been Head Girl, leading the sixth form committee and organising various fund raising events for different charities. In her roles as President of the Debate Club and Prosecution Barrister in the Bar Mock Trial, it has become apparent that she is destined for a career in Law and has an offer to study Law at the University of East Anglia.

The Trustees wish these two students good fortune as well as all those embarking on the next stage of their education. .

Dennis did his worst!

July 2020

Storm Dennis hit the UK in February and caused chaos all over the country, including many properties in Barton under Needwood. Over 70 properties were flooded with many residents waking up to flooded gardens, garages and ground floor rooms. Some residents had to leave their homes while repair work was done, and many have still not been able to return (thanks to Covid-19 and the lack of workmen and materials). This must be very distressing for everyone affected and the Key Trust have been looking for ways to help those severely affected residents.

ESBC are managing a Flood Resilience Support Scheme on behalf of DEFRA and several residents have applied (or are entitled to apply) for the grant of up to £5,000 (to include VAT). This grant is to be used to make their homes more flood proof for the future and hopefully prevent them ever waking up to this situation again.  If accepted for that scheme residents will need to obtain a survey and quotation for the necessary flood resilience work.

The Key Trust have been in discussions with a surveyor who is a specialist Flood Consultant.  Mr Waterhouse of Warwick York Chartered Surveyors is known to ESBC and currently working on properties here and in South Derbyshire. He has agreed to do the survey work for all properties in the village accepted onto the DEFRA scheme and the Trust has agreed to cover the cost of the survey work undertaken by the Mr Waterhouse.   This will enable surveys to be done without residents having to pay anything up front and means all the grant money can be spent on necessary work.

If you have been accepted onto the DEFRA scheme and would like the Trust’s assistance, please get in touch either by phone with Key Trust chairman, Jacqui Jones  (01283 711343) or by email .

Archie's wheels

June 2020

Towards the end of 2019 the Trustees were delighted to award Archie Robinson a grant of £500 to help speed him towards his goal of becoming the top karter in the local area. At the age of nine (only a year older than Lewis Hamilton) Archie took up kart racing with a team in Stoke, racing in the NATSKA championship (National Schools Karting Association). This championship is aimed at developing young people’s knowledge of both kart racing tactics and engineering, and introduces them to the rules and regulations of karting. This competition consists of 12 rounds at various locations around the UK and, after an upgrade to his kart, he was doing very well this season. In fact, at the beginning of March he was leading the championship and looking forward to making new friends, meeting old rivals again and winning more races this year. Of course, his ambitions have had to be put on hold for the time being, but the Trustees wish him well for the future.

Who was William Key?

May 2020

William Key was a 17th century landowner and keeper of the Barton Ward of Needwood Forest. He died on 10th October 1651 aged sixty-nine, leaving various plots of land, the rents of which were to be distributed to the poor of the villages of Barton under Needwood and Dunstall. Over the years some have been sold, including that now under the Barton Business Park, and investments now produce the majority of the Trust's income. Some land  remains in the safekeeping of the Barton & Dunstall Key Trust most notably the Trust's allotments in Dogshead Lane.

The numerous charities of Barton & Dunstall were reformed into the Barton & Dunstall Key Trust in 1972. The Trustees decided to honour William Key's covenant and memory by maintaining a condition of his bequest that the Vicar of Barton should be paid ten shillings to deliver a sermon on Good Friday. This occurred this year under most unusual circumstances – the coronavirus lockdown. The sermon was given by Venerable Matthew Parker, Archdeacon of Stoke-upon-Trent online via Youtube. His ten shillings, or 50p in today’s money, will be paid by bank transfer – a most historic event! If you would like to see the William Key sermon then you should go to Youtube and search for ‘St James Church Barton under Needwood’. This should take you to the right place to find the service.

Digital Rainbows

April 2020

1st Barton Rainbows is the youngest section of Girlguiding in Barton with 14 5-7 year girls in the unit. Two Leaders run the Rainbows, Gemma Elkin and Emma Forsyth, ably assisted by two fabulous Young Leaders and supported by Duke of Edinburgh volunteers. Since most administration, record keeping and programme planning assistance is online after the recent implementation of a new Girlguiding programme, it’s become more important to have good IT to cope.

The trustees of the Key Trust were delighted to award a grant to cover the purchase of a laptop and printer for the unit. This means that they are able to access the internet reliably, create better documents and print straight away without relying on the support of others. They also hope to become more paper-free as they use group emails to contact parents, share their newsletter via social media, and make better use of Girlguiding resources that are online. It’s expected that this will enhance the activities that the Rainbows can take part in, and will improve their experience during the meetings.

Gemma and Emma (seen in the photograph with trustee Jim Black) said ‘Thank for the donation. It is appreciated and will support us for years to come.’ You’re welcome, Rainbows!

Golfing success

March 2020

Last year the trustees were pleased to give Abbie Talboys a grant of £500 to help her progression in her golfing career. 2019 was a tricky year as she was studying for her GCSEs while playing in golf tournaments at the same time. Even so, Abbie managed to drop her handicap to 11.7 over the year. She also represented the club and county in competitions and came third in the Midlands Region Girls championship. The grant has made a significant difference to Abbie's golfing development in 2019 by enabling her to enter more competitions, playing on different courses and in different conditions. This additional funding was particularly important as Abbie has changed coaches in 2019 which has resulted in an increase in the total cost of her lessons. The coming year is no less demanding with over 25 competitions coming up. Good luck Abbie!

Reaching dizzy heights

February 2020

The trustees of the Barton and Dunstall Key Trust were delighted to present hurdler Katie Brant with a cheque for £500 to support her blossoming athletics career. The money will help cover her travel costs for the many events she will attend in the coming year. The photo shows Katie at the track in Burton, with trustee Adrian Wedgwood.

Katie joined Burton Athletics Club in September 2017 and discovered that not only did she enjoy hurdling, but she was quite good at it too. 2018 was a good indoor and outdoor season but 2019 was even better for her as she improved her times in the 70m hurdles and 100m sprint by over a second. She finished the year ranked in the top ten in the UK under-13 girls for both indoor and outdoor hurdles. Other successes included being county champion for the second year at under-13 girls 70m hurdles and gold medal winning performances at the Much Wenlock Olympian Games.

The next year will be a new challenge as she’s moving up an age group to under-15 girls and the hurdles height also goes up by 3 inches. Good luck, Katie.  

Do your legs fold?

January 2020

The Trustees of the Barton and Dunstall Key Trust were delighted to present a cheque to St James PCC to cover the cost of renewing the old tables in the church hall on St James Road. If you’ve ever been to the hall then you’ll remember the tables as being heavy to move and lift and, because they didn’t fold, they also took up a lot of space when stored. The new tables are lightweight, and the legs are easy to fold down, making them much more user friendly. Storage is no longer a problem as they have their own wheeled trolleys. It’s hoped that all who use the newly renovated facilities at St James Hall will find setting up and clearing away to be a quicker, easier job now. Trustee David Okoye is seen in the photograph presenting a cheque to Mrs Sue Ives, Secretary of the PCC, with Mr and Mrs Wildgoose, the caretakers.