Knights, a Bishop and a cheque, mate.

November 2021

Anyone who owns a property knows about kerb appeal. How the entrance to your home looks is important, especially if you are trying to sell your property. The Fabric Group that looks after St James’ Parish Church felt that the Main Street entrance to the church grounds was ‘an unwelcoming disgrace’ especially since the Parish Council has made the village centre so attractive.

The stone gate posts had become unsafe having been hit by vehicles and cracked by metal expansion over the years. The main metal gates and the public footpath gate were in poor condition and in need of renovation. It was time to call in some specialist craftsmen to replace the stone posts and to strip down and repaint the metal gates before re-hanging.

The Key Trust was happy to support the project with a donation of £9788. The work was done by local contractors Knights Building & Restoration Ltd using stone quarried from Derbyshire and was finished in time for the Barton Teddy Bear Festival in September. The Bishop of Stafford, Matthew Parker, came along in all his finery and officially dedicated the posts and gates after the Sunday service, even bringing his own teddy to join in the fun. The lovely new gateway to the church grounds definitely adds to the attractive area around the church in the village centre.

Grant for Bowls Club renovation

October 2021

There has been a bowls club in Barton since 1927, although the first games weren’t played there as there wasn’t a green ready to play on. The creation of the bowling green cost £116 – which is the approximate equivalent of £6500 today. Perhaps they got a grant from a local charity for this?

In 1968 the new pavilion was built by Mr S.W.Clarke and he officially opened it on December 14th. It has been in full use ever since then not just as a bowling club but as a social club adding to the life of the village. It is the headquarters of the local branch of the Royal British Legion.

The recent Covid lockdowns could have destroyed the club with little or no income but the members decided to take advantage of the closure and completely renovate the interior. The result of all the work done by members is that the inside now looks fresh and up to date. The Key Trust was very happy to support the renovation with a grant of just over £11,000. This money was spent on the new floor and carpet, and on some of the upholstery.

One result of this work is that the membership has been boosted to 400. At a low point in the recent past the membership was as low as 67. There’s a rumour that ‘The Bowler’, which is the name of the bar in the club, has recently been used in Carling adverts under the headline ‘support your local’. Have you seen it?

The bowling is, of course, the reason for the club and there are many players of all ages with seven teams competing in various competitions. The club also hosts county competitions. If you are interested in trying bowls then pop down to the club on Dunstall Road for further information and you’ll be made welcome.

Well done to everyone at Barton under Needwood Bowls and Social Club for your hard work in keeping this important venue going. We look forward to hearing about your centenary celebrations!

Aiming high

September 2021

Evelyn Chisholm was awarded the 2021 Leadership Award for an outstanding student at John Taylor School sponsored by the Key Trust. Evelyn studied A Level History, Maths, Chemistry and Extended Project Qualification and was predicted to achieve excellent results, hoping to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Exeter University. She showed herself to be a hardworking and committed student with a drive to succeed that will guarantee her success in her chosen career.

Alongside her academic accomplishments, Evelyn immersed herself in extracurricular achievements that demonstrated her aim to make a difference within the school. Evelyn was Head Girl and her specific role was as an academic mentor.  She introduced a ‘buddy system’ to support sixth form students which has been a great success.  She was part of a student visioning group, working with the Head of School to discuss and implement the school vision and values.  After a long selection process Evelyn was chosen to visit Auschwitz and, on her return, became an Ambassador with the ‘Lessons From Auschwit’z project run by the Holocaust Educational Trust.  She was also a Reader Leader, working with a Year 8 pupil to support their reading skills.  Outside of school Evelyn was a Young Leader at her local scout group and has achieved her bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh awards. Evelyn has completed an Open Learn course in ‘Rights and Justice in International Relations’ and she has also completed virtual work experience in banking with Latham and Watkins.  Evelyn is determined and always performs to the best of her ability.  She clearly has a genuine interest in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and the drive to develop her skills further.  Her commitment and enthusiasm are clear and we have no doubt that she will make a difference to the world.

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. .