Welcome to CITYLIFE in Lichfield, a monthly magazine
bringing you our pick of the city’s news, events and stories.
Each month CITYLIFE in Lichfield is delivered to 18,000
businesses and homes in Lichfield, Kings Bromley, Fradley,
Alrewas, Hill Ridware, Whittington, Stonnall, Shenstone,
Little Aston, Hammerwich, Burntwood and Longdon,
completely free of charge; bringing you the best that the
city has to offer.
Each issue features heritage stories exploring the rich
history of our area, plus competitions, interviews and the
latest in fashion and style.
Got a story or charity event you want to share with our
readership? Think you’ve snapped an image that captures
the spirit of the city? We want to hear from you!
Our business is bringing you Lichfield’s city life.
Editor - Kristen Lackajis 07885 380632
Features - Jono Oates 07785 757201 firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Brown 07740 166497 email@example.com
Rebecca Hill 07970 513144 firstname.lastname@example.org
12 Lockdown Sunday Roast
55 Bar on Wade Street tantalises the tastebuds
16 Father's Day Gift Guide
Take a look at our favourite gifts for Dad
18 Garden Revamp
A few ways to refresh your garden in lockdown
22 A History of Gin
Where did our love affair with G&T originate
34 Lichfield's Cutest Pets
A compilation of your furry friends!
Production - Helen Smith 07967 154187
Citylife In Lichfield Ltd
PO Box 7126 LICHFIELD WS14 4JS
CITYLIFE in Lichfield and CITYLIFE in Rugeley magazines
are not connected to any other publication or publisher, and are
wholly owned by CITYLIFE in Lichfield Ltd.
Citylife In Lichfield
Citylife in Lichfield Ltd does not endorse any business or organisation
appearing in these pages, and the publication of any advertisement,
editorial, event listing or advertising editorial does not constitute an
endorsement by Citylife in Lichfield Ltd.
Your Local Magazine
CEO Simon Price and son, James.
After the first closure in its 118-year history,
cutlery firm Arthur Price is reporting a change
in the products it is currently selling, illustrating
how life has changed during lockdown. The shops and
factories of this family-owned business remain closed,
but its website is seeing an increase in demand.
Demand not just for everyday cutlery due to more
people spending time at home, but increased sales in its
high-ticket, silver service pieces and more traditional
patterns as many people replicate going out to the pub
or a restaurant around their kitchen or dinner table.
Simon Price, CEO, said: “At the end of March, I’ll be
honest, I didn’t know what the future held for the
company. We had so many online orders so with lots of
planning, and a very small team of five people we were
able to recently start fulfilling sales will adhering to
strict safety working rules. It is lots of small steps as we
adapt to this new norm, but demand is steadily rising,
and you can see how life has changed over the last
three months just by looking at our cutlery sales.”
The business temporarily closed for the first time in
its 118-year history back in March. Started in
Birmingham in October 1902 it has survived two
world wars, the Great Depression and Spanish Flu but,
as a non-essential business, CEO Simon Price, the
fourth generation of the Price family at the helm,
closed the door on 23rd March. Simon together with
his son James are working in their Lichfield warehouse
packing boxes and dispatching orders supported by
three others, compared to a team of normally over
Order direct from www.arthurprice.com. There is
no minimum order and delivery is free.
After temporarily stopping work on Lichfield
District Council’s Birmingham Road site, The
Coleman Group resumed work on the key
gateway site on 11th May.
The project to improve the Lichfield site, which
includes the bus station and old police station,
was put on hold due to safety concerns around
the spread of the coronavirus.
Work completed so far includes resurfacing the
bus station and demolishing the police station.
Work picked up where it left off and started
with the removal of the police station
The work will be followed with finishing off the
bus station improvements, including refreshing
the bus shelters and adding in new benches and
bins. It will also see the creation of a
replacement 56-space long-stay car park, the
removal of the old bus station shops and toilets,
the installation of new toilets and landscaping of
To find out more, go to
Local Lad Runs
Instead of the dreaded end of Primary School
tests, a local Rugeley lad had his mind, and legs,
set on raising funds for the NHS.
Eleven-year-old Otto Homer, decided to help
raise funds to help the NHS during the current
Covid-19 pandemic. He set up a make-shift
donation box outside his house which filled up
rapidly with donations from residents of his
Etchinghill street and passers-by.
On Saturday 9th May Otto, who attends
Lichfield Cathedral School, ran up and down his
street for one hour, non-stop, cheered on by his
family and neighbours, raising more than £250!
Every year, pupils from Lichfield Cathedral
School in Years 5 and 6, as part of the school's
Ethical Leadership Programme, are encouraged
to develop a social responsibility where acts of
kindness are an everyday normality. This year
pupils were challenged to come up with their
own unique ways of raising funds.
From doing jobs round the house, to
sponsored events and bake sales! To find out
more and donate, please visit
ay. All money goes directly to the NHS
Selfies from the runners
On Sunday 19th April, more than 90 runners
from Chasewater Running Club took part in an
Ultra Marathon relay, around their local streets
and gardens, in aid of the charity 'Our Blue
Light'. The virtual baton was passed by each
runner who posted a selfie after completing
their leg of the relay.
Adhering to government guidelines and
restrictions, each runner ran for 15 minutes,
along a route that was close to home, or even
laps of their garden.
The relay took place between 07.30am and
8pm, with many of the 15 minute slots being
occupied by two or even three runners, who
each took part from their homes.
In just over 12 hours, the runners covered
128.5 miles, equivalent to almost five full
marathons. In total, the virtual relay raised an
incredible £1,815 for the charity, which
supports the mental health and well-being of
emergency service and essential workers.
The lucky winner of the gardening essentials kit
from Brookside Nursery in our April edition
was Damion Rice. Damion recently received
the kit and was delighted with it as, in the
current lockdown situation, he is going to spend
a lot of time in the garden this summer, growing
vegetables with the help of the children.
Daughters Ada and Emmy are pictured with the
gardening prizes, getting ready to do lots of
digging and planting!
Our thanks to Brookside Nursery, based in
Hints, for the prize. For more information about
the garden centre, visit
In his year in office,
Council’s Chairman has
raised funds for his
Although he couldn’t
give the money to
Lichfield Foodbank in
person, Councillor Joe
Powell was keen to
donate the money now to help support the
charity’s valuable work.
To find out more about Lichfield Foodbank, visit
Canal Bench Donated
to People of Lichfield
Beacon Park Tennis
When the coronavirus lockdown finally
ends, visitors to the Lichfield Canal will be
able to rest on a new bench donated by a
former city resident.
A plaque on the bench, which is sited on
the Gallows Reach section between
London Road and Cricket Lane, reads: “For
the people of Lichfield with thanks to all
who worked selflessly to restore the canal.
Donated by John Hayfield.”
John now lives in the Cotswolds but
remembers with great affection the central
role the canal played in his childhood, even
though it had been abandoned almost ten
He said: “We lived at 35 London Road - so
many an hour was spent down by the
“Lichfield is full of memories for me. I hope
the bench will be enjoyed as a place for
rest and peaceful reflection.”
The benches on the Lichfield Canal
Heritage Towpath Trail are made by
Lichfield and Hatherton Canals
Restoration Trust volunteer, Tony
Information on how to donate a bench can
be found at the Trust's online shop at
£10k Secured for
Lichfield District Council is celebrating
after its funding bid to the Greater
Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise
Partnership (GBSLEP) was successful.
The money, which comes from the Towns
and Local Centres Fund, will be used to
fund research to understand the strengths
Burntwood miner and pit pony, scamp
and opportunities of Burntwood town
centre and its relationship with
neighbouring urban centres.
Burntwood residents, businesses and
stakeholders will be asked to feed into the
research, which is set to take place over
the summer months.
The Show Must
Lichfield Garrick will set sail to Neverland
with the swashbuckling Pantomime
adventure, Peter Pan, later this year. In
advance of the performance, Lichfield
Garrick is searching for young local
performers to join the lost boys, on their
adventures in the magical world,
The Young Company is an integral part of
this and The Garrick looks forward to
working with some of the most talented
young performers in the area.
The company is looking for girls between
the ages of 8-13 (under 5ft 4) and boys
between the ages of 9-15 with strong
acting and some movement skills, though
previous stage experience is not essential.
Due to government regulations regarding
COVID-19, The Garrick will be conducting
auditions in a different way than in the past.
This year it is inviting applicants to submit
videos as their audition.
Please visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com/getinvolved/juvenile-cast-2020/
information, including a video audition
guide and application form. All audition
videos and application forms must be sent
to email@example.com by
Sunday 7th June.
All Juvenile audition videos submitted to
the theatre will be held securely on its
network, they will only be shown to
members of staff or creative staff that it is
deemed necessary by the Theatre’s
Safeguarding Team to do so.
The first phase of Beacon Park’s tennis
courts refurbishment was completed in
May, after Lichfield District Council and
Beacon Park Tennis CIO agreed a 21-year
lease of the city's four community tennis
The new lease means the charity can focus
on improving the facilities and encouraging
more people to play tennis and netball
more often, after taking over the
management of the facility.
Beacon Park Tennis CIO was formed to
step in and help rescue the courts, raising
the necessary funds to resurface the four
tennis and netball courts and add new
floodlighting to help extend play
throughout the year.
The charity has teamed up with HS2, Sport
England, the LTA, Lichfield Spires Netball
Club and Lichfield District Council to help
raise the £208,000 needed for the project.
Diggers moved in for the first phase of the
refurbishment work on Monday 11th May,
which includes creating new foundations
and resurfacing the four tennis courts. This
will be followed by phase two, which will
see new floodlighting installed.
Lichfield Spires Netball Club helped boost
the charity's coffers when it staged a 12-
hour ‘netball-a-thon’ and raised £2,600
earlier in the year.
To find out more about Beacon Park
Are you concerned about Life Assurance
or Critical Illness cover?
In these very difficult times do you have the correct amount of life assurance or critical illness cover?
If you died would your mortgage get paid? Would your loved ones be protected financially if you were gone?
Have you got Critical Illness cover to protect you? Do you think you need it?
Would you like a free protection quote from a local professional?
Do you think that insurance is expensive? Ask yourself “can you afford not to have it?”
I feel that effective Financial Planning is about knowing your Clients and them knowing about you. There is no one size fits all approach and
all Clients are unique with differing circumstances, needs and requirements.
If you become a client I will find out enough about you to provide you with effective financial planning. I will speak in clear terms and do
my best to try and help you achieve your
Usually you can visit our office in
Shenstone or I can visit you at home to
discuss your financial needs which could
include Pensions, Investments, Savings,
Protection and Inheritance Tax. At the
moment, given the current circumstances,
I can arrange a telephone call or online
meeting if you prefer. The first
appointment will be at my cost and there
is no obligation to proceed any further.
Any future costs will be explained and
agreed with you before any work is
carried out on your behalf.
As part of the process I will carry out a
full fact find of your circumstances and
discuss with you your priorities, where
you want to be financially in the future
and how I may be able to help you get
I am a member of a fourteen strong
Financial Adviser team at Four Oaks
Financial Services and am supported by
in-house research, client liaison and
As an experienced and fully qualified
Financial Adviser I work with clients to
help them achieve their financial goals. My
clients are mainly in the Burntwood,
Lichfield, Cannock and greater
Wolverhampton areas, although I do have
clients much further afield.
At Four Oaks Financial Services we
advise our clients on a range of
investments and are very proud to have
their trust and confidence to do so.
It is often said that people deal with
people so please give me a call or drop
me an email. We can have a chat and can
take it from there if you wish.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Robin Place DipFA, CeLTCI,
0121 323 2070, 07968 504805
Gold Award for
Lichfield District Council has won a gold
achievement award in recognition of the
way it manages its address information
The Exemplar Awards, held by GeoPlace,
celebrate excellence in service delivery
that has been enabled through local
government address and street
The gold award for address data is given to
local authorities that have achieved the
highest standard in national tests on data
excellence, and the supply of regular
updates to the national hub, which
manages address data from all authorities
in England and Wales.
The gold award is only given to local
authorities that have consistently reached
and maintained the highest standards in
national tests on data excellence.
A moving artwork for International
Nurses Day on 12th May highlighted the
anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s 200th
birthday as it was projected onto the
façades of Lichfield Cathedral and Stanford
Hall, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation
Centre in Nottinghamshire.
Defence Medical Services, Lichfield
Cathedral and Luxmuralis Artistic
collaboration, Peter Walker and David
Harper, came together to pay this tribute,
highlighting the immeasurable contribution
of nurses in civic and military life.
Inspired by the legacy of Florence
Nightingale the founder of modern nursing,
who was nicknamed ‘the Lady of the Lamp’,
the moving projections and original
accompanying music are designed as a
thank you to generations of nurses from
past to the present day.
Florence Nightingale pioneered many of
the nursing practices in use at hospitals
today, and her role in military nursing
established 150 years of compassion, care
and hope for those on the front line. The
Defence and National Rehabilitation
Centre opened in 2018 and continues in
the tradition of Florence Nightingale to the
Here to Help
Lichfield Foodbank is asking the
community to share the message that they
are open and here to help anyone
struggling to afford food in the current
The volunteer-run charity, which has been
supporting people in need in the city and
surrounding areas for more than six years,
has already fed five times more people
since the start of the coronavirus
pandemic than in the same period last year.
The foodbank provides a balanced package
of food for three days, plus a voucher for
each household member, redeemable at
Riley’s Greengrocers where it can be
exchanged for fresh fruit and veg, fresh
milk and bread.
Anyone needing support can call the
national Citizens Advice Helpline on 0808
208 2138 or call the foodbank on 07913
563901, or email
for a code number to take to a session and
collect a food package. Sessions are held
on Tuesdays 10am - 12 noon and
Wednesdays 1pm - 3pm at Life Church,
Netherstowe and on Fridays 12.30pm -
2.30pm at Wade Street Church.
For more information on how you can
donate food visit
www.lichfield.foodbank.org.uk or follow
the Foodbank on Facebook and Twitter.
Giving Back to the
Trish Mellor, Co-Chairman &Treasurer, Cannock
Friends of St Giles with items generously donated
by Newlife Charity
Life at St Giles Hospice has obviously
changed over recent weeks, a major
difference being that families can sadly not
visit the hospice at present. As well as
adding to the emotional stress, this also
provides practical difficulties. Prior to
Covid-19, patient families would provide
nightclothes and take laundry home for
washing. It is no longer possible for this to
happen: all laundry is now done on-site and
many patients, particularly those admitted
from hospital, have no change of clothes.
St Giles had used up all of its stock but
Cannock-based Newlife Charity and
Cannock Friends of St Giles came to the
rescue in May, with four crates of
nightwear being provided from Newlife,
including nightdresses, dressing gowns,
underwear, slippers and pyjamas suitable
for men and women of all ages.
St Giles has launched Katie’s Appeal for its
key workers working during these
extremely uncertain times and anyone
who wishes to can donate at
gift of as little as £5 could pay for meals for
a patient at the end of their life.
Whilst in lockdown, we’ve been
sampling some of our favourite
restaurant’s takeaway menus.
This month, director Helen enjoyed a
Sunday roast from 55 Bar, located on Wade
I have to admit this is the first time I have
eaten food from 55 Bar Wade Street and
due to Covid-19 we decided to give their
takeaway Sunday roast a try. I booked in as
soon as I could as they do get booked up
quite fast - all it took was a simple Facebook
message (you can call too) and my order
was placed and a time given for me to pop
along and collect. We received fantastic
service, with safe, social distancing and
contactless delivery adhered to, and all food
securely boxed and organised.
We had opted for the family roast – the
star of the show being a slow-roasted,
succulent, whole garlic and thyme roast
chicken! Cooked to perfection, the meat
just fell off the bone, and it was served with
all the trimmings, including a mouthwatering
selection of roast and creamy
mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, honey
roasted carrots, gratin cauliflower cheese,
homemade Yorkshire pudding and red wine
Now I love our Sunday roasts and believe
me this really hit the spot, in fact this is one
of the best (if not the best) we have had, all
cooked by the super talented Chef Tom
If, like me, you get
hungry and are
portion size - don’t
be! There is plenty
of food to fill even
the most ravenous
After an hour’s ‘rest’ we dove into the
puddings. I went for the sticky toffee
pudding and custard and my partner had the
elderflower gin cheesecake. These were the
perfect, sweet end to a fantastic meal and
did not disappoint.
Currently, 55 Bar is also doing two
cocktails for just £10 so to put us in the
holiday mood we also opted for two
cocktails, these being a ‘Floss and Gloss’ and
a ‘Double-Blush’ cocktail, which we enjoyed
sat in the garden on our ‘staycation’.
If you are missing your usual sit-down
restaurant meal, I would highly recommend
55 Bar Wade Street for their delicious and
varied takeaway menu. The customer
service, quality of food and drink, and food
preparation is exactly the same as dining-in
– truly perfect!
Take a look at 55 Bar on Facebook, where
you can also view the menu (including a
children’s menu). Payment is via debit/credit
card and orders can be made over the
phone by calling 07753 977064 or via
Facebook. Sunday serving times are 12pm till
5pm so please order in advance so save
55 Wade Street, Lichfield,
The Bad and
While celebrating the local artwork in
support of the NHS and key workers,
Lichfield District Council’s community
safety team is also aware of a growing number of flytipping
incidents and reports of graffiti.
Since lockdown began, the district has seen some
wonderful artistic expression by youngsters at home
with their parents creating rainbow paintings, which
are being displayed in thousands of windows across
villages, towns and the city.
This show of solidarity and support for frontline
workers is ‘good’. However, where there is good
unfortunately you also get the ‘bad’, which is when
rubbish is dumped on local lanes, beauty spots and
The shared waste service for Lichfield and Tamworth
has continued to run a full waste and recycling service,
where other local authorities have cut back. The
council’s grounds maintenance, street cleansing and
parks teams have also been continuing to keep the
district tidy despite lockdown. This is something to be
applauded and is helping to keep some normality in
these difficult times.
Unfortunately, there is also the ‘ugly’, which is graffiti
defacing many areas of the district. Like fly-tipping, it is
illegal and costly to remove.
The council’s community safety team, working with
Staffordshire Police, is especially interested in stopping
someone who has spray painted the tag ‘LÖKM’ across
the Lichfield city.
If you have any information about graffiti or any
other environmental crime in the district, such as flytipping,
please report it to the council at
Record Sales for
By Alex Keller
Richard Winterton Auctioneers has achieved record
sales as business adapts to the coronavirus landscape
with two safe, online-only auctions.
The Lichfield family firm has revolutionised its business due to
coronavirus in order to operate safely.
A range of contactless, free, specialist valuations for jewellery,
watches and antiques plus COVID-19 secure options for house
clearances, consignments and collections are now available – for
details, please see our advert on page 15.
Sales at The Lichfield Auction Centre now take place behind
closed doors with strict social distancing measures for staff in
The Fine Arts & Specialist Sale achieved a 91.5 per cent selling
rate with 2,726 registered online bidders.
Highlights included the Peter McAleese SAS medals collection
selling for £25,000 and a stunning sapphire necklet (photo
attached) which fetched £32,000.
The Michael Gilbery Collection of paintings and sketches
exceeded £35,000 with a self-portrait of the artist making
“There were terrific results in all categories, from jewellery,
watches and silver to stamps, comics, cameras and whisky,” said
auctioneer Richard Winterton.
This fabulous sapphire necklet sold for
£32,000 in the Lichfield Fine Arts auction,
the first taking place entirely behind
closed doors. Left: The moment Richard
Winterton brought down the hammer
Tom Winterton achieved excellent prices for brown
furniture in the online-only Three Day Sale
“Hot on the heels of the Fine Art came our Three Day Sale on
May 19-21, again held entirely behind closed doors and with strict
social distancing measures in place.
“With 1,349 lots entered and 1,301 sold, a 96.4 per cent selling
rate was achieved with an average price of £116 per lot.
“All the hard work and meticulous planning paid off as we
smashed our Three Day Sale record, breaking the £150,000
bracket and attracting 2,742 bidders from around the world.”
Highlights included a collection of military watches fetching
£2,000, a stamps section totalling £4,000 and a specialist
technology section making £7,200.
“We also saw the strongest demand for brown furniture we’ve
seen for a number of years,” added Richard.
“We have evolved to operate totally differently yet our results
are better than ever. Safety of staff and clients is our number one
concern and we are taking every precaution in order to ensure
we can still offer a valuable service to people across Lichfield.”
New online-only Antiques & Home Sales begin on Monday, June
15, with another on Monday, June 22, and again on Monday, June
29, starting at 10am on all days.
Upcoming auctions include a sale of steam and hand-built
vehicles set to make thousands, a collection of Roman artefacts
and the important house contents of a large country estate.
Visit www.richardwinterton.co.uk, telephone 01543 251081
and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Father's Day is on 21st June - why not treat Dad to something
extra-special that he can enjoy whilst in lockdown?
Makita 18V Li-ion Cordless Combi Drill
& Impact Driver Twin Pack
(comes with 2 batteries)
Price - £219.99
Available from Tippers, Lichfield
This handmade silver plated brandy warmer
and glass is a stylish contemporary design of
a real old favourite. Let the tealight candle
gently warm the brandy to create the
perfect tipple for any time of year. Available
from Arthur Price, Britannia Way, Lichfield
Make a statement with a beautiful Liberty print
tie (in pure silk and cotton). Available from
Michael’s Menswear, Market Street, Lichfield.
Sterling Silver Solid ‘Weave’ Torque Bangle.
Available from Allen Brown Jewellery located at
Heart of the Country Shopping Village, Swinfen,
Lichfield, WS14 9QR
www.allenbrownjewellery.co.uk 01543 481 948
Dark Brown Leather and Stainless Steel
Wrap Around Bracelet. Available from Allen
Brown Jewellery located at Heart of the Country
Shopping Village, Swinfen, Lichfield, WS14 9QR
www.allenbrownjewellery.co.uk 01543 481 948
Leather, Stainless Steel and Carbon Fibre
Gents Necklace. Available from Allen Brown
Jewellery located at Heart of the Country
Shopping Village, Swinfen, Lichfield, WS14 9QR.
www.allenbrownjewellery.co.uk 01543 481 948
Jazzy, funky-patterned shirts are the latest
fashion trend for the summer months!
Available from Michael’s Menswear, Market
Support Your Local Air Ambulance
espite the lockdown and necessary social distancing in place, demand for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s rapid response prehospital
emergency service has not faltered, and the charity needs your help to remain operational.
Up to ten people each day in the area require swift medical intervention following a traumatic incident, such as a road traffic collision,
equine accident, or fall, or a medical episode including cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke. Yet, with fundraisers and events having
to be cancelled, the clinical team requires your support as the service’s missions are entirely funded by charitable donations.
There are a number of ways to get involved, including playing the charity’s Lifesaving Lottery. For just £1 per week, you could win
£1,000. Alternatively becoming a regular or one-off donor helps future-proof this vitally important service.
Find out more about Midlands Air Ambulance Charity at www.midlandsairambulance.com/donatenow and follow the organisation
on social media.
With a lot of us being furloughed or
working from home, coupled with the
exceptional weather we are
experiencing, means one thing… plenty of time in
the garden! And with a little extra time on our
hands, what better way to spend it than by
revamping your beautiful outdoor space? We’ve
got a few ways you can inexpensively transform
your garden into an alfresco paradise!
1) Add some colour
It’s a quite fix that brings instant colour and
life to a garden. If you have soil borders you
can purchase some beautiful shrubs and
bedding plants from your local garden centre
(as most are now open to the public again). If
you don’t have any flower beds, pots, tubs and
hanging baskets are a great way to add
2) Comfortable living
If you’re planning on spending more time
relaxing in your garden, then it could be time
to chuck out the tired, worn plastic table and
chairs that you’ve had for years! There are
some really nice and affordably priced bistro
and patio sets on the market at the moment,
with corner rattan sets being a particularly hot
trend this summer. Choose muted neutral
shades of grey or cream to add a touch of
Mediterranean sophistication to your living
3) A lick of paint
There is nothing that smartens up a garden
more quickly than a paint job! Fence panels
and sheds will benefit greatly from a coat or
two of protection and it gives your garden an
instant fresh feel. There’s plenty of colours to
choose from – you can keep it traditional by
opting for a dark brown stain, but why not try
the latest look which is a charcoal grey? Or
you could even opt for something a little more
flamboyant such as a deep purple or green!
4) Water water everywhere!
A water feature not only looks great, but it
provides a gentle trickle reminiscent of lying by
a woodland spring and soaking up the
sunshine! If you’re thinking it’s too much hassle
to install a water feature, you’d be wrong!
Nowadays they require no plumbing or water
supply as many are solar powered and simply
run in the sun! They’re quick and easy to set
up and require little to no maintenance at all.
5) Outdoor dining
We all love a barbecue – there’s something
about cooking in the great outdoors that
really gets us feeling at one with nature. And
now is the perfect time to think about
investing in a good, sturdy ‘barbie’ to see you
through the hot, long summer we’re surely
expecting! There’s a range of options, from
the less-expensive coal-fired kettle
barbecues, to gas-powered monsters, or why
not even get creative and design your own
brick-built barbecue/pizza oven? Family
mealtimes will never be the same again!
Get the look with these fantastic
outdoor items, all available from
Tippers, Europa Way, Lichfield.
Weber Smokefire EX6 GBS Wood Fired Pellet Grill, priced at
£1,449 inc VAT.
With a large area of dual cooking space, this BBQ is designed to
distribute heat evenly across the cooking area. Searing as well as
smoking the unique Weber porcelain enamel finish helps prevent
cracking and rusting!
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By Jono Oates
There’s nothing better on a warm summer evening
than sitting in the garden sipping a refreshing
glass of gin and tonic. Gin has, in recent times,
become more and more popular and is now, once
again, one of the nation’s favourite drinks – but
where did our everlasting love affair with a good old
In the 1st century AD a Greek physician called Pedanius
Dioscoride mixed juniper berries with wine to create a
herbal medicine which was supposed to soothe chesty
coughs and ailments. In the 11th century Benedictine
Monks in Italy also produced a juniper berry and tonic
By the 17th century the forerunner of today’s gin was
introduced in Holland, where they mixed juniper berries
with a malt wine, mainly to help sweeten the taste of the
sour wine. The mixture was called genever, and then
jenever, and was introduced into Britain at the time of
King William III, formerly William of Orange. It was said
that the British got so drunk on this new liquor that they
could not pronounce the full name due to slurring and
the name was shortened to the much easier to
pronounce: gin! During the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 17th
century the English troops had seen the Dutch soldiers
drinking jenever and had been very impressed with their
fighting prowess, seemingly improved by a tot or two of
gin, and this is where the term ‘Dutch Courage’ comes
During the 18th century, the Georgian period, the
country became obsessed with drinking gin to excess,
helped by its cost which was much cheaper than beer.
This resulted in the grotesque and disturbing etchings by
the artist William
Hogarth in 1751,
of ‘Beer Street’
compared to the
of ‘Gin Lane’,
image of the
her baby over a
flight of steps. This
resulted in the
Gin Act of 1751
where taxes on
gin were raised
licenses to sell it
harder to acquire.
During the late
20th century gin
in the last 20 years it has made a significant return and
there are now a wide variety of distillers and a colourful
range of standard and flavour infused gins, all
accompanied by carefully selected tonics to suit each
For my early evening treat I chose the flavoursome,
locally produced, Fifth Spire Gin. The company was
started by two friends, Tom and Rory, initially from Tom’s
spare room! They now have a gin and cocktail bar on
Swan Road, called The Spirit Works. Their gin is produced
using two copper stills, one filled with junipers,
peppercorns and coriander and the other is loaded with
citrus fruits – lemon, lime and grapefruit. I selected a
suitable bottle of tonic to go with it, added a sprinkling of
black peppercorns to depth, a line of green olives, a slice
of lime and finally a handful of ice cubes. It is a traditional
gin, with no extra infusions or add-ons, but is a glorious
drink, with a strong and positive flavour, and the citrus
fruits are definitely in evidence, giving it a tangy, but not
It seems Britain, and Lichfield, has fallen back in love
with gin… and long may that continue!
Fifth Spire Gin, and other cocktails, is currently available
for home delivery via www.thespritworks.co.uk or email
for further information at email@example.com.
Tastes of the Season
Well here we are still in lockdown
and the world is baking. Even with
a catering business I’m still
struggling to get flour and light
muscavado sugar which makes life
difficult. We are having to learn to
adapt as in the war years but
sometimes that can give us better
skills and a chance to experiment.
The setback is that baking is more
of a science than savoury cookery
which is much more forgiving as
far as quantities, ingredients and
temperatures are concerned.
As most children are still currently
at home, I’m giving a couple of
easy recipes that the children can
join in with and develop their skills
in the kitchen.
100gms macadamia nuts
50gms pecan nuts
1 x pack filo pastry
Melt the butter either in a
microwave or a pan. Take a sheet
of filo, lay it on a baking sheet and
brush with the butter. Lay another
on the top and brush again. Repeat
until you have 5 sheets.
Chop the nuts or whizz in a food
processor but only until chopped
By Simon Smith
not blitzed. Mix with the honey
and cinnamon. Put this mix onto
the filo pastry and roll like a
sausage roll. Bake in a preheated
oven at 180 for 15 minutes or until
the pastry is golden. When cold
slice and serve. For a bit of added
luxury I serve with mascarpone
and pomegranate seeds.
Jam Roly Poly
This is a long
one I had to
make for a
dinner in the
for the officer’s mess.
200gms self-raising flour
100gms shredded suet
1tbsp caster sugar
7tbsp raspberry jam
Mix the flour, suet and salt
together in a bowl. Add the milk
and knead together. Put on a
floured surface and gently knead
for a further 3 minutes. Roll into a
rectangle and put onto some
baking parchment on a baking tray.
Spread with the jam and roll up
like a Swiss roll. Turn so the joint
seam is at the bottom to hold it
together. Bake in a preheated oven
at 180 for 35 minutes. Serve with
Simon Smith runs a catering business
from his production kitchen in
Lichfield, providing bespoke private
dinners plus wedding, corporate and
event catering. Simon also undertakes
cookery demonstrations around the
country and with local businesses such
as Arthur Price and Tippers. During the
summer months Simon works for
private clients both on superyachts
and in villas in St Tropez and Europe. If
you are looking for catering or a day of
cookery skills go to www.simonsmithchef.com
*Please take extra care when
preparing and handling hot foodstuffs.
Go to www.food.gov.uk for further
A Green Sweep
Friendly and dedicated is our ultimate cleaning mantra. From domestic to
commercial cleaning, at Green Sweep we only use natural products and
provide a highly-trained, fully-vetted team, armed with that “can do”
All postcards are from Jono
Oates' private collection
Bore Street. Many of the buildings are very familiar here, on the right hand-side
the Guildhall, Tudor of Lichfield and the George IV pub. On the left is the pub
sign of the old Goats Head pub, now Barclays Bank and beyond it the shop sign
of the Lichfield branch of the Walsall and District Co-operative, which is now the
White Stuff shop.
Market Place and Dam Street. The building with the glass atrium on
the top was a large department store, the buildings were demolished
in the 1970s, and are now the NatWest and HSBC banks. To the right
you can see a butcher’s boy standing outside Hall’s the butchers, which
is now the Superdrug store, the bull’s head carvings are still on the
shop front, showing its former use.
Market Place and Market Street. This shows the other side of the
Market Square. The department store, D.H.Williams, can be seen again,
and on the left is the statue of Samuel Johnson which, at the time, was
surrounded by railings, and behind it the Samuel Johnson Birthplace
Sandford Street. Looking towards Bird Street, to the left is the
Old Brewery and the Royal Oak Inn. The buildings on the right
are much changed today but at the bottom of the street is the
George Hotel on Bird Street.
Market Street. Looking towards Bird Street, with the Johnson
Museum on the left. Beyond the museum is Meachams, a printer and
stationers, it is now The Bureau bar and brasserie. On the right is
Samuel Wood’s shop, a tobacconists, which then became another
tobacconists, B.T.Redington, today it is Jennie B’s wool shop. Beyond
that is Frisby’s, a branch of a large chain of shoe and boot shops, who
started in Leicester but had branches all across the Midlands, the store
is now the Dorothy Perkins clothes shop.
The number of domestic abuse victims making contact
with specialist support services has increased following
the launch of an awareness campaign last month.
The #YouAreNotAlone campaign, funded by the
Staffordshire Commissioner, driven by Staffordshire Police
and supported by victims’ services, depicts the signs of abuse
and signposts local services to reassure victims and
perpetrators that services are still available during the
Since the campaign’s launch on 21 April, there has been a 12
percent increase in the number of referrals into domestic
abuse victim support providers, in comparison to the same
four-week period last year*.
New Era provides free, confidential help and practical
support to anyone affected by domestic abuse, here in
Lichfield and throughout the rest of Staffordshire and Stokeon-Trent.
Commissioned in October 2018 by the Staffordshire
Commissioner for police, fire and rescue and crime along
with Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City
Council, New Era supports victims of domestic abuse, their
families as well as perpetrators of domestic abuse who want
support to change their behaviour.
New Era’s support for victims is provided by Victim Support,
while our services for people who want help to change their
behaviour are provided by the Reducing Reoffending
If you’re in an unhealthy relationship or experiencing
domestic abuse – or know someone who is - having the
courage to speak out can be extremely hard but it’s really
important that you do seek the right help, and as soon as
You can contact New Era directly yourself via the helpline,
email or 24-hour live webchat chat.
People can also be referred to New Era for support by a
third party, such as a teacher, or a social worker or a police
New Era contact details:
24-hour victim helpline: 0300 303 3778.
24-hour live webchat for victims via our website: www.newera.uk
If you want support to change your behaviour, ring 01785
601690 during offices hours, Monday to Friday.
C is for Creativity
Cis also for Camera, and in these times of restricted movement, a
camera is a great way to discover how creative you can be. It's
also a great way to keep younger members of your family
occupied on rainy days, and sunny ones too if they are stuck for ideas.
Fortunately, most people have easy access to a camera these days; the
one in your phone is ideal. Read on to discover some ideas for using it.
You'd be forgiven for thinking photography was just pressing a button.
In fact, it is more think-and-shoot than point-and-shoot. As you'll
discover, what comes before and after the button pressing is where the
One thing to keep in mind when you are taking photographs is that
you don't see what your camera sees. This is because we tend to filter
things out in our minds. Your intention might be to photograph a vase of
flowers, but what the camera records are the vase of flowers, the table
it's sitting on, and whatever is in the background.
Now that's not necessarily a problem, but by paying attention to
everything in the camera frame, you have a chance to avoid things that
might spoil the photo. Stuff like that basket of washing by the sink, or
some distracting poster on the wall. And of course, you can avoid the
telegraph pole growing out of Grandma's head in your holiday snaps if
you spot it before pressing the button. Think-and-shoot pays dividends.
So, what sort of things can you find to photograph?
• your pets,
• flowers, in a vase or growing in the garden,
• food, cooked or the perhaps the veggies before they are prepared.
What about more abstract things:
• reflections in a window or a pond if you have one,
• shadows of people or things,
• textures or walls and furniture.
You could be really sneaky and try to photograph things from unusual
angles, so they aren't obvious at first sight.
Perhaps this is a good point to offer a few more tips that could make
your photos more interesting.
1. Get closer to your subject. It's OK to fill the frame and even to cut
things off at times.
2. Don't just stand there, kneel down, or even lay down to see the
world from a different perspective. Equally, you can look down at things
(but don't climb on furniture to do so!).
3. Try moving the camera, perhaps to follow something that is moving,
or to give a deliberate blur to the picture.
4. Try out the various options on your camera. Phone cameras often
let you choose a square picture, or create a panorama. (And remember,
panoramas can go up and down as well as side to side).
5. Experiment with different lighting - window light can often give a
lovely soft light that is great for portraits. A small torch can give a harsher
light for a different effect.
Once you have taken a few pictures, you can start to explore the many
options in photo editing. You'll be familiar with some of them, cropping,
and adjusting the brightness or contrast, for example.
The best way to discover what is possible is to play with the various
options in your photo editor. Or better still, try a couple of different
editors to find the one you like. My favourite for editing phone pictures
is Snapseed, which is completely free and has a wonderful range of editing
options (28 at the last count!).
Some of the things you can try are:
• convert to monochrome, black and white, sepia, blue tint etc.,
• exaggerate the colours, making them vivid for example,
• play with the contrast to alter the mood of the picture,
• experiment with overlays (something you can do in Snapseed, and
probably in other editors too),
• crop or rotate the picture to how you want it, the camera may have
a standard frame size, but your photos can be in any proportion you like.
Above all, experiment! If you aren't sure what a particular editing
option does, give it a try and find out on a spare photo. There is an option
in Snapseed to let you save different versions of your photo, so why not
try a few different ways to see which ones you like?
And when you have edited your masterpiece, you have a variety of
ways to put it to use:
1. print it - some local supermarkets offer printing facilities,
2. use your design in a greetings card with one of the online card
3. get the design printed on a mug or a mouse mat for example,
4. compile your favourite photos into a book using one of the online
printing companies, or just by sticking pictures into an album.
Photography is more accessible than ever these days with digital
cameras and smartphones. And if you are willing to experiment, you can
have a really creative time discovering just what they - and you - can do.
The accompanying photos were all taken and edited using a mobile
phone or a tablet.
David Gough, www.davidgoughphotography.com
Rose Garden and Martyr's Plaque Beacon Park
The Green, Green
Grass of Home
By Jono Oates
One of the comments that many people have made
during lockdown is that the air seems cleaner, the road
noise much quieter, the bird noise sounds louder…
and the grass seems to be much, much greener! I’m not sure if
this is based on fact, but perhaps it is because we now, generally,
have much more time on our hands when we go out walking.
Instead of a brisk A-to-B to get onto our next job, meeting or
appointment, we are perhaps now taking a more leisurely stroll,
making the time to take in the views, listen to the birdsong and
smell the roses.
Over the last few weeks I’ve visited a number of Lichfield’s
public parks and gardens, some well-known and others tucked
away. Most of these locations are large and spacious so it is fairly
easy to observe safe, social distancing.
My first choice is probably the most well-known green spaces
within Lichfield, this being Beacon Park and the Museum
Grounds. Beacon Park was formerly the estate that surrounded
Beacon Place, a large early 19th century family house, which was
finally demolished in the 1960s. After the demolition the
grounds were incorporated with existing public land, which had
been donated by Colonel Michael Swinfen-Broun in 1943, to
form the park as we see it today. The park includes the Rose
Garden, where the Martyr’s Plaque can be seen, and a woodland
walk at the far side, along the boundary of the A51 road.
The Museum (or Recreation) Grounds were landscaped in
1859 when the old Free Library and Museum, now the Registry
Office, was opened. The fountain in the middle of the grounds
Museum Gardens, Beacon Park
was donated by the Revd
James Thomas Law, another
notable Lichfield benefactor.
Darnford Park runs from
Ryknild Street right down to
Cappers Lane, separated by
Darnford Lane, and was
created as part of the Boley
Lane residential development
in the 1970s. There are some
lovely wooded paths and
trails along here and is very
popular with dog walkers
and hide and seekers of the
Lichfield Kindness Rocks
A smaller, and much more
compact, garden space is at
the Monks Walk, close to the
old Friary building. The
Franciscan Friary was
founded in 1237 and was
demolished during the
Dissolution of the
Monasteries in 1538, in the
reign of King Henry VIII. The
walk is reputed to be
haunted and the mysterious
figure of a hooded monk has
been seen walking round the
flower beds! The walk was
saved from being
redeveloped into a car park
in 2003 and is now
maintained by a group of
There are may other green spaces in and around Lichfield so, if
you are able to get out and about, why not explore some of them
this summer and discover the Green, Green Grass of Lichfield!
Lockdown may mean we can’t go into our usual
favourite eateries and cafes, but that doesn’t mean we
can’t still enjoy the food at them! With lots of
establishments diversifying and offering takeaway
options, we take a look at two in the local area.
A Taste of Italy
By Jono Oates
It’s not often you can sit under an olive tree and gaze across
open countryside with a coffee and a panini in front of you, but
you can at Café Prego, which is not in Tuscany or Puglia… but at
The café is located within the Creative Plants plant nursery, on
the Birmingham Road and I popped in on a Sunday morning
following a stroll round the stunning array of plants.
I opted for a red pepper and mozzarella panini, on ciabatta
bread and, as I have a very sweet tooth, I was easily persuaded to
follow that up with a lemon drizzle scone with cream and jam. I
do love a coffee and so, for me, it had to be a black Americano.
The panini was very tasty, the melted cheese and pepper
combination was perfect and the ciabatta bread added a
crunchily-satisfying bite to it. It came with a nice, fresh, salad and
a dollop of coleslaw and was nicely filling without making me feel
that my Sunday dinner should be put on the back-burner.
It was then time for a guilty pleasure treat - the citrusy tang of
the scone was delicious, it crumbled in the mouth and went down
As well as my wooden bench there are a number of other
tables and chairs, all safely spread apart, round the centre.
Customers can order their food and drink and then are called
when it is ready, it is then picked up by the customer from a table
outside the café. Social distancing is carefully observed and there
are hand sanitizers at the food collection points.
During the current restrictions the café is open to serve food
from 10am to 2pm. There is a special, limited, menu at the current
time serving burgers, paninis, jacket potatoes and soup, along with
a selection of cakes.
For more information visit
www.creativeplants.co.uk or ring 01543 481 640.
A Damn Fine Breakfast!
By Jono Oates
There is nothing better
than having a perfectly
cooked Full English
breakfast as a Friday
morning treat and I
certainly enjoyed my
fabulous fry-up from
Damn Fine Café today!
Having closed their
doors since lockdown,
Sophia and the team reopened
the café today to
provide a takeaway
collection only service.
My choice was an easy
one to make as it just had
to be the Full English Breakfast with toast. I ordered through the
Damn Fine Café Facebook page and received an instant response,
although they are also taking bookings through Instagram or by
ringing them on 01543 268934. I was given a specific time to
collect as there are no deliveries and orders must be placed in
advance. Sophia told me that people can call in at the shop, place
their order and then return to collect it at the designated time
later if they wish.
The hearty Full English consisted of two sausages; two rashers
of bacon; two hash browns; baked beans; mushrooms and a fried
egg. It looked so inviting and the aroma filled the air around me,
so it was with great enthusiasm that I got stuck in! Everything was
very well cooked and just how I like it –crispy bacon, moreish
sausages with plenty of flavour, juicy mushrooms and lightly
cooked hash browns which were not at all greasy! I’ve loved
baked beans ever since I was a nipper, they are still my favourite
go-to comfort food even now, and they added a lovely bit of
moisture to the breakfast – and, of course, I mopped the plate up,
bean juice and all, with my slice of brown toast.
The Damn Fine Café Full English breakfast was a real delight, a
fantastic way to set myself for the day (no lunch was needed
today!). It was full of flavour, well cooked and well-presented and
at £5.50 it was great value too. Safe distancing and contactless
service was well observed and it was easy to order and collect,
with friendly and welcoming staff.
Damn Fine Café is at 16 Bird Street. Food orders
for Friday and Saturday mornings only can be made
by direct message on the Facebook
page(@DamnFineCafe), via Instagram
(damnfinecafe_lichfield )or by ringing 01543 268934.
Charlotte Mace 2018 with
Mayor David Leytham
(photo by Robert Yardley)
This year's Lichfield Greenhill Bower
Procession was sadly cancelled due to the
current lockdown situation, however we
asked for photographs from some of the
previous Bower Queens online, and you
willingly obliged! Here are some of the
Bower’s former Queens, including our very
own Rebecca Hill, who was crowned in 1995!
If you were a former Bower Queen, or a
deputy, and have photos from your special day,
email Jono firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll
publish your photos in our next issue!
We're sure that the Bower will be back
stronger than ever next year – here’s to 2021!
Harriet Chatwin 2017 with
Mayor Janice Greaves
Bethany Daire 2014 with
Mayor Norma Bacon
Rebecca Hill Bower Queen 1995
Sarah Froggatt Bower Queen 2001
Jane Dayus-Hinch 1980 with
Mayor Neville Brown
Sarah Brindley Deputy Queen 2001
Hastings at Hoar
By Jono Oates
Situated 10 miles from Lichfield is the former stately home of
Hoar Cross Hall, now a residential resort spa, but previously
home to many generations of the Meynell-Ingram family.
The land on which the hall was built was part of the Needwood
Forest and in the 11th century belonged to Henry De Ferrers, who
owned land throughout the country following the Norman
conquest. In 1740 the Hon. Charles Talbot, a relative of the Earl of
Shrewsbury, bought the estate and it was then sold to Hugo
Meynell, another major land owner and politician. He was one of the
two MPs who represented Lichfield in Parliament in 1762. The
Meynell family claimed that their family line could be traced back to
Hugo de Grand Mesnil who was one of the few known companions
of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings and was, again, a
Hugo Meynell was a noted fox hunter and developed a breed of
hound that was quicker, fitter and had a better sense of smell than
earlier breeds. He was Master of the Fox Hounds of the Quorn
Hunt in Leicestershire and is often considered to have been the
father of modern fox hunting. Hugo married Elizabeth Ingram-
Shepherd, daughter of Charles Ingram and their son, also Hugo, was
the first to be given the surname of Meynell-Ingram.
Their grandson, yet another Hugo, married Emily Charlotte
Wood, the daughter of Sir Charles Wood, 1st Viscount Halifax and
they oversaw the construction of the current hall, which was
completed in 1871 after 10 years of building work. It was designed
by the English architect Henry Clutton and was modelled on the
design of Temple Newsam, the stately home of the Ingram family in
Yorkshire. Several months before the building had been finished
Hugo Maynell-Ingram had fallen from his hunting horse and, just a
few months after the family had
moved in, he passed away. His widow,
Emily Charlotte, remained in
residence at the family home, and
arranged for a church to be built
alongside the hall, the Church of the
Holy Angels. The church, built in her
late husband’s memory, was
completed in 1876.
The couple had no children so,
when Emily died in 1904, her brother
Fredrick Wood, who had been living
with her at Hoar Cross since Hugo
had died, took the surname of
Meynell-Ingram to continue the
family name. In 1953 the last Meynell-
Ingram to live at the hall, yet another Hugo, and his family, moved to a
smaller residence at nearby Newborough and the hall’s long association
with the Meynell-Ingram’s came to an end.
In 1970 William and Gwynyth Bickerton-Jones bought the hall and
restored it before selling to businessman Stephen Joynes MBE, who
turned it into a luxury spa hotel which saw many famous celebrity faces
over the years attending to get their relaxation fix. Just last year, the
resplendent hall was sold once again following Sir Joynes’ retirement
and is now part of the Baron’s Eden Hotel group.
www.growingupinastatelyhome.uk/blog by Viv Wilson (nee Bickerton-Jones);
Lockdown restrictions have definitely put a halt to
most cafés and restaurants in and around Lichfield, but
with the restrictions starting to lift slightly, some of
them are now providing innovative ways to start
trading again. We sample the Italian delights of two
Takeaway at The Three Tuns
By Jono Oates
The Tuns have now
started providing a
limited food menu, full
of tasty treats like
pizzas and their
famous small Yakitori
sticks, and they have
also created a farm
shop within the pub,
stocked with essentials
such as eggs, fresh
vegetables, fresh meats, flour and more.
I love a slice of pizza, so as soon as I saw that they had chilled
takeaway pizzas on the menu, I was hooked, and I was one of the
first people standing in the queue when they opened their doors
for the first time since lockdown at 12 noon on Friday!
You enter the pub from the right hand side for the takeaway
service, directions are clearly marked, and to ensure safe, social
distancing. Inside the pub resembles an Aladdin’s Cave of drinks,
food and snacks. However only one thought was in my head…
They have a lovely selection of different styles and food
combinations to suit most tastes and I plumped for the Chilled
Pubs Special – spicy beef, jalapenos, red onion, pepperoni, sun
dried tomatoes and a sprinkling of fresh rocket – yummy!
You can’t eat the food on site obviously so, as I live fairly close
to the pub, I opted to walk there and back to collect my takeaway.
Once home I opened the lid of my takeaway box to find a huge
pizza oaded with all the ingredients that looked amazing, the
rocket leaves were placed in a separate container. The chilled
pizzas are part cooked by the pub so all that needed to be done
was to slide my pizza under the oven for a few minutes and it was
ready to be enjoyed!
The pizza was super-thin and slightly crispy at the edges – now
that is JUST the way I like it! I decided to cut it in half as it was
too big for just little old me, it would easily make two meals and
probably even more with added extras, like a side salad or mixed
I have to say that my expectations as I walked home breathing
in those wonderful aromas were well and truly met! The pizza
was light and crispy, the pepperoni, jalapenos and beef were all
deliciously spicy, without being of full chilli strength, and the
tomatoes and cheese provided a juicy and creamy balance, which
made every bite a simple, and not at all guilty, pleasure!
The Three Tuns on the Walsall Road currently opens from
12noon to 9pm daily, this includes the takeaway foods and the
farm shop. No drinking or eating is allowed on the site, it is
takeaway only. No pre-booking is required or necessary,
customers can turn up on the day.
Saturday Night ‘Make-A-Way’!
By Kristen Lackajis
What better way to enjoy a
Saturday night than in front of the
TV with a takeway pizza on your
lap?! And there’s no better pizza
than a traditional, freshly-made
concoction, so I was delighted to
be able to experience making and
baking my own concoction,
courtesy of Matt and Gemma of
Café Cigno in Burntwood and their
new venture Pizza Kits At Home!
Ordering is easy – you simply visit the
Facebook page, select what you want from the
menu, and your pizza making kit is delivered to
your door (with social distancing in place) in real
takeaway pizza boxes, for an authentic
The dough needs to be fully defrosted for 12
hours in the fridge and then left at room
temperature for a couple of hours so it can
prove, so ordering the day before you wish to
indulge is a good idea! I ordered on the Friday
morning with the intention of cooking and eating
my pizza on the Saturday night.
Making the pizza is lots of fun and a
great idea for children who want to
get more involved with baking!
Stretch and ply your dough with your
fingers into a delicious pizza base, and
then pop it into a hot pan and add
your toppings. Once the base starts
to turn a lovely golden brown, simply
pop the pan under a hot grill to cook
the top of it and melt all that
After it’s cooked, you can transfer it back to the takeaway box
and voila! You have a fabulous, authentic takeaway pizza that you
have lovingly created yourself!
Being a ‘meat-feast’ kind of girl, I went for the works – crispy
bacon strips, chicken, chorizo and pepperoni, along with red
onions for my topping and it was absolute perfection. The best bit
being that it comes piping hot and superbly fresh from the oven!
Juicy and fresh, with a light crispy dough base, I was extremely
impressed and would highly recommend this to both parents
wanting to entertain the kids and adults wanting a bit of pizzamaking
Pizza at Home Kits can be found on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/pizzaathomekits and contacted via
messenger or via email at: Pizzaathomekits@gmail.com.
Thank you to everyone who has sent us pictures of their pets. It’s an
incredibly hard job choosing who to feature as we think all of your furry
friends are gorgeous!
If you haven’t already sent us pictures of your pets, please send them to
email@example.com (remember to clearly mark your entries ‘Cutest Pet’
and to tell us the name of your pet, and a little bit about them). Sorry but we
can’t return any pictures sent to us by post.
Cutie of the
Smudgie is a nine-year-old Lhasa Apso/Jack Russell cross and has been owned
by Jennifer since she was just 15 months old. Jennifer said: “She is the biggest
baby in the world and loves to be loved. This photograph is at Dobbies Garden
centre in Shenstone. She just didn't feel like walking. Too many legs and feet
were frightening her. She was very happy once we put her in the pot,with my
cardigan as a cushion!”
Meet Lexi the10 year old puppy!
owned by Ruth Forster
This is 3 month old Lichfield regular
Miniature Dachshund ‘Bella’ making herself
at home in sister ‘Jasmines’ bed! Jasmines
face says it all... ‘It was so quiet before you
arrived’ Eloise and Mark
Selina Henson sent this photo in
of her 6 year old whippet Louie
He’s a cheeky Boston Terrier
owned by Helen Bonser
This is Casper hes 14, we was
fostered from Angel's Small Paws
Dog Rescue 6 years ago, he ended
up staying with Elaine Hanson
This is Dexter Cockerpoo. Vicky and
Andy Fordham and their family have
loved getting to know him so well during
lockdown. He’s been best friends with
their two boys and a true delight.
This is Wissage when he was a
kitten. He lives with Ann-Marie and
Meet Rocky he is just over 6 years old
and a little busy on his phone.
He is owned by Judith
Here is Percy pug Instagram
@percypug27 his favourite past time is
going to his favourite coffee shop
Melbourne in Lichfield!
This is Bailey looking
rather cool! Sent in by
Here we have Betsy Boo
owned by Charlotte Ashby.
Betsy has her own instagram
Pluto is owned by 10 year
old Mahari. Pictured here
relaxing with his snack!
This is Jo Howell’s
beautiful girl, Harley!
This is Pickles owned by
Catherine. She’s a rescue from
Romania and Catherine has had her
almost 3 years now, she’s a proper
Here we have Elvis. He's a bit crazy,
but very special to Louise as he was
her dad's cat, who sadly past way in
2017. Elvis is now 6.
Please meet Manuel (black) and Margot
(ginger). Rescued through a cat sanctuary - Little
Paws Cat Haven ran by a group of volunteers.
They are the best of friends and are always
looking out for each other. They are super loving
and cuddly and enjoy nothing more than a
snooze together on our bed!
Laughter Despite Lockdown
By Chris Purchase
It’s a very weird feeling to find out your job has become
illegal overnight. I’ve always wanted to be an outlaw so
now I get to feel like James Dean just for choosing the
right career. As a comedian living in the UK it’s not
something I would ever have expected to happen. I’ve been
a stand-up comedian for over a decade, living in Lichfield for
the majority of that. Thanks to Tom and Rory at the Spirit
Works we run a monthly stand-up show which has thrived
with the full support of the community here.
I’m also a runner and as a runner I feel compelled to tell
you that I’m a runner as soon as the opportunity presents
itself, did I mention I’m a runner? I took up running last
October in a bid to get healthier, I say healthier when really
I mean it was getting really expensive having to rebuy
clothes in ever increasing sizes. When running through
Lichfield it’s incredibly uplifting to see the outpouring of
support for everyone on the frontlines, from rainbows in
windows and painted onto driveways in chalk to handmade
wooden signs declaring the NHS heroes in people’s front
gardens. You can’t help but get a little emotional when you
know everyone’s going through the same thing but still going
strong. I’ve obviously had to adapt so that I’m running on
increasingly remote routes, last Sunday I found myself
running on the grass alongside the A5 in a bid to not
inconvenience any families on actual paths trying to adhere
to social distancing rules adding an extra adrenaline level to
my runner’s high as sixteen wheel lorries thundered past.
I’ve never felt more alive.
As with my exercise I’ve also had to adapt my career to
our ongoing situation. Initially I thought I’d have to do
something else entirely but being a middle aged father of
two most online employment opportunities were out of
reach. Unable to travel to audience filled venues I was stuck
with how to continue working within the present guidelines
and so was born “Live From His Dining Room” a topical
comedy news show I stream every Sunday night into other
people’s homes via social media. At first it was incredibly
weird to get dressed up in a formal evening suit and perform
to only a phone in my own dining room, lit by floodlights I’d
bought for £3 on a market stall, but the reaction I got from
my online audience was such a huge boost that it’s become
a regular show. Now I’m not sure if I’ll remember how to
deal with a live audience, it’s much easier to handle a heckler
when you can just delete their comments instead of
dwelling on them during a 2 hour car journey home at 3am
on a Friday night eating a sad, cold pasty you bought from
It has been encouraging to see so many small businesses
adapt alongside the community, from restaurants like
McKenzies offering takeaway Sunday lunches to Melbourne
coffee shop ensuring their customers stay safe while still
providing everyone’s much needed caffeine fix to our
beloved Spirit Works, venue for our stand-up show Comedy
42, delivering their well renowned cocktails and own brand
gin to people’s homes. Things like this have added a level of
normality to a situation that’s anything but normal.
And who knows when we'll go back to normal or even if
that normal exists anymore, what I do know is that every
time I’m having a bad day this pretty little city finds some
way to cheer me up, give me hope and prove that whatever
happens we will find our way through. Now if you’ll excuse
me I have a new personal best to get on the A38.
If you’d like to see any of the things I’m doing during the
lockdown to distract us from it all you can check out my
website www.thechrispurchase.com or on all forms of
social media www.facebook.com/thechrispurchase
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