News items 2015

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 HAHO Events held in 2015

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HAHO events for June - December 2015

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WW1 Centenary Events 2015

WWI in 2015

a weekend of events at the

Minton Centre, Hartshill

18 & 19 July

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Community organisation Hartshill and Harpfields Occasions (HAHO) has already organised a number of events in its busy calendar, some well-established ‘favourites’, some newcomers to its offerings to the community.


The year started on 18 March, with the fourth running of a very successful evening of traditional indoor games, with about 20 local residents forming teams with staff and residents from St Dominic’s Court Extracare residential home. It was a most enjoyable evening for all concerned, with the winning teams receiving Olympics-style bronze, silver and gold medals, designed by local resident, Royce Bambrick, the creative force behind all HAHO’s art-work (as well as the adverts in this Newsletter). Then, in April, we held two pub quizzes, at The Greyhound and The Old House at Home, with about 40 people in all taking part, and again with medals for the top three teams.


The first major repeat event of the year, was the second running of Hartshill International!, held at the North Staffs Conference Centre on Saturday 2 May. Despite pretty indifferent weather conditions several hundred people enjoyed a whole range of performances, including the Penkhull Ukelele Band, the Black Dog Molly Morris Dancers, and two sets from The Boat Band. There were also several dozen stalls, indoors and out, some with goods to buy from different cultures, as well as Fairtrade and Traidcraft, others presenting information about support systems for newcomers to the area and the country, as well as more general matters. There was also the possibility to learn some words in a variety of foreign languages, from Russian to Bengali. The third major strand was a series of talks on a range of topics, including Human Rights, the local Afghanistan Association, the work of CAFOD, as well as personal stories from local residents who had come to the area from Poland, Pakistan and other countries. This event had a variety of aims. It reflected the cultural diversity of an area in which 30-40 countries / languages are represented, as well as highlighting and celebrating this diversity, and the international dimension of Hartshill. The Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Kath Banks, officially opened the day, and both our local councilors, Shaun Pender and Randy Conteh, also spoke on the international theme.


Shaun and Randy also took part in the two new events organized so far by HAHO in 2015. These were two meetings to help local people make their minds up regarding the elections on 07 May. These allowed both Parliamentary and City Council candidates to present themselves and their ideas to local voters, and enabled residents to put questions to the candidates before deciding who would best represent them. At the start of the evenings local residents had the opportunity to meet the candidates informally and tell them which things are of most concern or interest to them at election time. Then in the formal hustings meeting each of the candidates spoke about themselves, why they were standing for election in Stoke on Trent and what they would bring to the job if elected. This was followed by questions and comments from the audience.


In all regards the evenings were resounding successes. About 80 people came to each event, and all candidates, both local and parliamentary gave very good accounts of themselves, and responded with enthusiasm and passion to some very challenging questions across a very broad range of topics, from the NHS to schools, transport to taxation, as well as more personal angles, such as whether they would live locally if elected.


Joe Andrew, Chair of HAHO, said: ‘Both occasions were really memorable evenings. They were a real demonstration of democracy in action, and allowed local people to have great insight not only into the calibre of those standing for election, but into the whole democratic process!’


And still to come


On Saturday 20 June we will hold our fifth Midsummer Fair, also at the North Staffs Conference Centre. This event will build on the successes from the last four years, to provide a free public event in Hartshill. The Green Summer Fair is enjoyable, family-friendly and distinctly different from ‘ordinary’ summer fairs. The aim is to bring together individuals, families, businesses and organisations a broad Green theme. Last year about 500 people enjoyed the day; this year we hope for even more. It will run from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm, and will be officially opened by the Lord Mayor. Around 50 green / environmental organisations and businesses will be taking part, plus many local community groups.


Last year, 2014, saw many events to commemorate the start of World War I in 1914, both nationally and locally. Following on from the weekend of events in August last year there will be a similar weekend on 18-19 July, again at the Minton Centre. In advance of this weekend Baroness Shirley Williams will give a key-note address on ‘WWI, Vera Brittain, and War in the Twentieth century: A Personal Reflection’. This will take place at the Conference Centre, at 7.30 pm on Thursday, 16 July. All tickets for this have now been allocated; but please contact Joe Andrew at if you wish to be placed on the reserve list.


Then on Saturday and Sunday 18-19 July there will be a weekend of events and activities at the Minton Centre behind Holy Trinity Church on Hartshill Road, ST4 7NL. The theme of the weekend will be The Home Front in Hartshill. There will be an exhibition, a bookstall, readings of poems from the Great War and community singing of wartime songs. Three talks will be given: Reg Edwards will speak on ‘The Home Front in Hartshill’; Richard Talbot MBE will speak about the families of people from Penkhull who died in the Great War; and Barbara Andrew will speak on ‘Women in the early war years 1914-1915’. There will also be a film show of footage from the period, compiled by Professor Ray Johnson of Staffordshire University.


On Saturday 18 July the day runs from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. On Sunday the day begins at 12 noon and culminates with a wreath-laying ceremony in Holy Trinity churchyard at 4.00 pm.


All the Great War Centenary events are supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


And, in amongst all these serious events there will be plenty of chances to have fun with the fourth running of our Community Games, including for dogs! The details are as follows. Community Games: Saturday 06 June from 1pm – 3pm in Lodge Road Park; an afternoon of sports for people of all ages and abilities, run by Sporting Ventures CIC. Sunday 05 July from 2pm - 4pm in Richmond Street Park; Community games for people of all ages and abilities, run by Sporting Ventures CIC. Sunday 28 June from 2pm - 4pm in Hartshill Park (near St Thomas Aquinas School): Canine Capers: the Hartshill Dog Show - community games for dogs and their owners, with chances to win gold, silver and bronze medals, and rosettes for the dogs!


Over these years, many hundreds of people have come together and enjoyed those events. All these events have been and will continue to be inclusive, as reflected in the range and type of our partners; they will also reflect the diversity of our community, especially in terms of age and ability. The projects are also very much in line with the City Council’s Mandate for Change. They will encourage new businesses, support existing businesses, promote healthy lives and make the City an even greater place to live. 

HAHO  Hartshill and Harpfields Occasions THE STORY SO FAR 2015