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Village news

Tribute to Ann Burston

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Ann Burston, Chairman of RODSEC (and a highly active member of our community), who died on Monday 7 November 2005. Ann was a remarkable lady, who worked tirelessly for her family and as a volunteer in so many different organisations. She will be greatly missed. Her funeral service was held on Wednesday 16 November at 1.30pm in St Mary's Church, Rolleston, followed by burial at the cemetery. Over a hundred people joined Arnold and the family at Rolleston Club afterwards.

A full tribute can be read here.


Rolleston Hit By Flooding

On 24-25 October parts of the village were affected by flooding with some of Chapel Lane and Brookside closed. 


Trafalgar Day

An old tradition was revived when Rolleston celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in Rolleston Club on Sunday 23 October at 7.30 pm. The Rolleston Guisers' Play was last performed between 1905 and 1908 by five local men, two of whom were killed in action in the First World War. All the details of the script and costumes were published in the Burton Mail when one of the performers, Mr. Ben Topliss, was interviewed for "A Burtonian's Diary" in the 1950s as part of a series on mummers and guisers.

The Trafalgar Day Village Celebration, organised by the Rolleston on Dove Special Events Committee (RODSEC), also included items by the Kate Hayward Singers and the Barton Fiddle Folk, sketches by local performers and sea shanties, and ended with the traditional toast in grog "To the Immortal Memory". Further details and pictures can be seen here.

Before the event at the Club, there was a special Trafalgar Day Service at St Mary's Church at 6 pm.


Rolleston on Dove Horticultural & Handicraft Show

The annual show, held at Rolleston Club, attracted a large number of entries in 88 classes. The winner and runner-up in each class received a small prize, and the overall winner of each category was presented with a piece of Georgian Crystal. The Show was sponsored by Coors Brewers, Rolleston Allotment Society and Georgian Crystal, and generous donations were received from Dave Sharratt (DRS) and from the family of the late John Hill.

Champion sweet-pea grower, Mrs Angie Gillespie, won two awards, this time for her leeks and for the best collection of vegetables. The other award winners were Mrs. K. Turpin (flowers), Mrs. A. Amberley (plants), Mrs. J. Clarke (cookery), Mrs. Z. Hird (wine), Mrs. A. Burston (handicrafts), Mrs. J. Sherratt (painting), and Mrs. J. Wyatt (photography). The children's awards went to Miss A. Hubbard and Master R. Saunders. The Hart Award was presented to Darren Shaw, and the shields for the gentleman and lady with most points to Mr. G. Smith and Mrs. J. Clarke.

After the Show, fruit, flowers and vegetable were sold in an auction, which raised £300 towards the Club's annual Christmas parties for children and old people in the village.

The photo shows Angie Gillespie receiving one of her awards from Jim Toon.


Honour For Ex-Rollestonian

The Queen’s Birthday Honours, Diplomatic Service and Overseas List included the following: “Frederick Edward James, for services to the community, especially ex-service men and women in Ireland, the MBE”. Older residents may remember Eddie James who founded the Rolleston Scout Group and was the original Scoutmaster before the Second World War. He was also Secretary and Treasurer to St Mary’s Church and his wife Mildred (nee Tweed) was the Guide captain. Eddie “retired” to Ireland many years ago and is unable to travel to Buckingham Palace but will receive his award at an event hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland. <News>

Gardens Sunday

Eleven gardens were opened to the public on a hot, sunny afternoon for Rolleston's annual Garden Sunday (held this year on Sunday 19 June), organised by Mrs Sylvia Martin and her committee. They included the Allotments and five gardens which were open for the first time. One had a book stall, and there was a raffle based on the Rectory where Rev. Ian Whitehead has spent five years on his redesigned garden. For children there was a "feathered friends" trail with prizes for the winners in each age group.

At the Scout Headquarters there were refreshments, a plant stall, and stalls selling home-made cakes and produce. At St Mary's Church, Mrs Janet Stone was demonstrating flower arranging and several local artists were demonstrating their painting skills. The event raised over £3,000 for St. Mary's Church Fabric Fund. This will be used for the Church's ambitious programme of building and improvements, which will include disabled access and the extension and refurbishment of the Old Grammar School in the churchyard.

The photo shows an unusual view of the Church and Old Grammar School from one of the open gardens.


Community Day 2005

The annual Community Day (held on 11 June), organised by the Friends of John of Rolleston Primary School (FOJORPS) was marked by a touch of sadness for Headmaster George Arblaster, who is retiring this term after leading the school for 22 years. George was walking round the many attractions on crutches following an injury that he ascribed, mysteriously, to "enthusiastic jitterbugging".

A large crowd was entertained by Tutbury Band and the Pinxton Puppets, and stalls and attractions included a balloon race, football tournament, the "rodeo bull", pole-bashing, a roller-coaster and a ducking stool. Visitors who parked at the Elizabeth Avenue playing fields were able to enter the school through the new safety gate.

FOJORPS would like to thank the 50 local advertisers, sponsors and donors of prizes to the raffle, as well as the stall-holders and all who generously supported the event. The money raised will be used for the benefit of all the children at the school.

The picture shows Mr and Mrs George Arblaster.


Headmaster’s Retirement

Mr Arblaster has been Head teacher at the John of Rolleston School for 22years. George, as governors, teachers and many people in the village, know him, has worked tremendously hard and the result is the fine school that we have in the village. During the last decade it has been inspected by OFSTED three times and each time they have described it as a good school. Any one who has visited the school on Community Day can see the effort and energy that George expends to make the day a success working well with FOJORPS who organise the day. During his time here many alterations to the curriculum, pupil testing, finance and budgeting methods have been imposed by the Local Authority in Stafford and by the Government in Whitehall. George has taken these changes on board and carried them through, involving the governors in his deliberations so that the school has progressed with the minimum of disruption. 

Those who visit the school are quite likely to see George as a lollypop man on a crossing, car park attendant, teacher, handyman, managing building alteration, looking after disabled children, promoting school dramatic productions and musical events and in many other guises. It is hard to imagine George in quiet and peaceful retirement. Rollestonians wish him well.

George’s successor is already to be seen in the school. Mr Ian Bateman visits when there are matters to arrange for the new school year starting when he does in September. Mr Bateman has had local connections in that he attended the well-remembered Forest of Needwood as a pupil. (tribute written by Ron Price)


Making History

Rolleston Parish Council made history on Monday night (9 May) when Vicky Trelinska was elected its first female chairman. Beryl Toon was elected as vice-chairman.


County Council Elections

Three candidates stood in the Dove Electoral Division (that covers Rolleston) election on 5 May. The winner was Bob Fraser.


Where did the 'bank' go?

The picture (taken by Arnold Burston) shows Jeremy Marshall transforming the frontage of Starbucks News.


Daffodil Lunch

Margaret Hewitt has taken the idea from last year's successful Daffodil lunches – the focus of these was a guided tour of Rolleston by Arnold Burston with catering by members of the WI and Mothers’ Union. This one, held on Saturday 16 April in the old Grammar School room, was primarily a money-raising event to establish a working fund for a book being commissioned to commemorate Dr Williams’ School, Dolgellau, where she first taught. Old Girls from this area were joined by others from North Wales, the North West and the Home Counties. Pictures taken at the event appear here.


Gresley Male Voice Choir in Rolleston

Gresley Male Voice Choir gave a concert to a large and enthusiastic audience in St. Mary's Church, on 12 March, in aid of the Church's fund-raising for their ambitious programme of alterations and extensions. The Choir, under the leadership of their Musical Director, Karl Harper, presented a varied programme of choruses and delightful solo items, ranging from hymns to Freddie Mercury, and from classical pieces to songs from musicals. The accompanist was Karen Drummond, and Ron Whetton, the compere for the evening, enlivened the proceedings with quips and witty anecdotes. One of the Choir members, Deryck Barker, a member of the Choir and a Churchwarden at St. Mary's had arranged the event, and another Rolleston connection was provided by a tenor solo from Ken Wildes who lives in the village. The evening ended with coffee and biscuits served in the Old Grammar School, one of the areas to be renovated. The picture shows some of the Choir members with Karl Harper (right) and Deryck Barker (top left).


October “Calendar Girl” Comes To Dinner

To celebrate their 70th birthday Rolleston W.I. held a dinner at the Hilton House Hotel on Tuesday 8 February when “real” Calendar Girl, Tricia Stewart, told the audience how 12 Yorkshire W.I. members made headlines with their nude charity calendar and raised a fantastic amount of money for Leukaemia research.


St Mary’s Christmas Quiz 2004 Winner Announced

Congratulations go to Trevor Foster who won with a score of 97pts. Pauline Alty came second with 96pts. Also on 96pts were Noreen Wooliscroft who was placed third (after a draw) and Nick & Sue Willmot. The Bush family just missed out on the prizes again, with a score of 95pts!! The results along with all the answers can be found in the 2005 Spring issue of the Rollestonian and in church. <News>

Burns Night (January 25)

Rolleston Club have hosted a special Burns Night Quiz, including a traditional supper of haggis, with the traditional accompaniment of tatties and neaps (and a wee dram!). The haggis was addressed by William Gilmour in an impeccable Scottish accent, and exhibited to the audience by Club President, Jim Toon. The picture shows William Gilmour and Jim Toon.



Two fund-raising appeals have been held in Rolleston in aid of the tsunami disaster. At a sponsored hymn sing at the Methodist Church on Sunday 23 January, a large congregation sang 24 hymns, chosen by the congregations, in 1 1/4 hours, and a collection and sponsorship raised over £500. The organ was played alternately by Joyce Lockley and Jim Ottewell. This was in collaboration with St Mary's Church, which had already raised £1,200 in a joint appeal with Holy Trinity in Anslow.


Rolleston Gallery Group Exhibition

The Gallery's exhibition held at Hatton on 8th/9th January saw about sixteen local artists exhibiting their work - mainly watercolours and pastels. It was well attended and they were able to donate £100 to the local branch of the Macmillan Nurses Charity. Thanks go to the many Rollestonians who supported them. Plans have not yet been made for their next exhibition but details will be posted once known.


Three Minutes Silence

On Wednesday 5 January at noon, people gathered at St Mary's Church, to join the Europe Wide Three Minutes Silence being called for by the government. An opportunity to stop together with others and to donate three minutes of thought and prayer together with our financial donations to the DEC Earthquake Appeal.


A Call to Prayer and to Generous Giving

The scenes of devastation from the countries around the Indian Ocean have shocked us all. It is hard to comprehend the scale of the disaster that has wiped out whole communities, divided families, flattened towns and villages and injured hundreds of thousands of people. The breakdown of infrastructure has meant that many people still do not know if their relatives and friends have survived, it is hindering the delivery of aid and medical care and now threatens communities with disease. We are closely in contact with the Diocese of West Malaysia, one of our companion dioceses. The West coast, and in particular the island of Penang, has been badly affected by the tsunami. It has been estimated that more than 4000 people have been left homeless, 68 people have been killed and another 180 people have been injured. The Bishop of West Malaysia has assured us that they do not need extra help but as a diocese they are raising money to help alleviate the suffering in Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. In response to this appalling tragedy we ask all the churches in the Diocese of Lichfield to make Sunday 2 January a day of prayer and to take a special collection in order to provide practical help and relief. We appeal to all people to be as generous as possible.

(Bishops Jonathan Lichfield, Michael Wulfrun, Alan Shrewsbury)


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Last updated: 25 March 2006