J'AIME SEPTEMBER 2020

jaimemagazine

Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0

J’AIME

Y O U R L O C A L L U X U R Y L I F E S T Y L E M A G A Z I N E

Layers

of style:

WORK YOUR

TRANSITIONAL

WARDROBE

It’s vintage:

THE ART OF TIMELESS FASHION

FROM A BIRMINGHAM BOUTIQUE

EMBRACING THE

DARKER SIDE OF

INTERIORS

Your

favourite

glossy is

back!


Best of British SALE

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made furniture Sale, offering fantastic

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range, they are also stockists of leading manufacturers

including Sherborne, Alstons, Parker Knoll and David

Gundry amongst others.

At Sofa Gallery bespoke quality products are

manufactured using the finest materials that are all

UK-sourced. Once you have chosen your piece of

furniture from a wide selection of models, you can

select your fabric from an extensive range of over

2000 luxury examples from renowned fabric houses

such as Warwick, Jim Dickens and Romo.

You are able to specify the firmness of the seating

from soft, medium or firm and can make alterations

to the width, depth and height of the furniture

guaranteeing your total comfort.

As it can be difficult to visualise the furniture in your

own home, samples of fabrics can be provided and

you can even borrow pattern swatches to take home

making sure you have the perfect colour match.

You can view all of Sofa Gallery’s

products online via our website –

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Our Cannock showroom is open

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Open: Mon to Fri 9.30am - 5.30pm, Sat 10am - 5pm, Sunday 11am - 5pm. Open Bank Holidays


Welcome to J’AIME

Well, the past six months have certainly been a

bit of a rollercoaster for everyone, with the global

coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns

affecting daily life for all of us. It’s been an

undoubtedly tough time in particular for many

businesses which have felt the brunt of forced

closures and drastic changes to the ways they

operate. But as we head into autumn there’s a sense

of a return to some semblance of normality, with

restrictions easing as the months pass by.

And here at J’AIME we are delighted to be BACK!

That’s right, after a five-month hiatus from printing,

you can now once again enjoy your favourite glossy

lifestyle magazine in the flesh as well as online at

read.jaimemagazine.com. We’d like to thank all of

the advertisers who supported us with the onlineonly

editions, allowing us to continue to produce

J’AIME throughout the difficult lockdown period,

and we would urge all of our readers to get out and

use your local independent businesses - now, more

than ever, they need your support.

Sticking with the theme of ‘getting back’, in this

issue we take a look at the imminent return to

school for pupils across the area, as well as the

increasing entertainment and leisure activities

which are opening up. If lockdown has seen your

fitness efforts slide, then Lichfield personal trainer

Raul Romero has some top tips for getting back

into exercise.

Elsewhere, we chat to a Birmingham boutique

owner who has created a thriving business from

all things vintage, and we check out an Abbots

Bromley restaurant which is putting a fine dining

spin on traditional Indian cuisine. We hope there’s

plenty here for you to enjoy!

EDITOR: AMY NORBURY

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

07388 335 931

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

CONTRIBUTORS: JENNY AMPHLETT,

ALEX KELLER, RAUL ROMERO, DEBORAH

MITCHELL, HOLLY THOMSON

J’AIME IS PUBLISHED BY ASHBURY

PUBLICATIONS LIMITED AND PRINTED BY KEP

LIMITED, TAMWORTH.

Check us out online at:

WWW.JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

Find us on

/JAIMEMAGAZINE

@JAIMEMAGAZINE

@JAIMEMAGAZINE

SPONSORED BY

3


CONTENTS

InsideJ’aime this month...

6 Gingermegs Vintage - A thriving vintage fashion

boutique in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter

10 Property - Property of the month

12 Interiors - The dark side of bathrooms

16 Interiors - Back to school

22 Richard Winterton - Looking at house

clearances with Lichfield’s auction experts

26 Food and drink - Reviewing The Infinitii,

Abbots Bromley

28 Food and drink- A tasty treat from Dishoom

30 Health - Getting back into fitness with Lichfield

personal trainer Raul Romero

32 Travel - A sub-tropical paradise in New Zealand

36 Education - How local schools are creating a

safe learning environment for the return to

school

40 What’s On - A round-up of this month’s

exciting events

44 What’s On - Leisure activities in Covid-19

times

46 Fashion - Embrace transitional layering

48 Beauty - Feel your best during menopause with

Heaven Skincare’s Deborah Mitchell

50 Business - Jane Galvez of Ripple HR

SPONSORED BY

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FEATURE

Timeless style

FROM A LONGSTANDING PERSONAL PASSION, VINTAGE FASHION HAS BECOME A

THRIVING BUSINESS FOR GINGER EWART, OWNER OF GINGERMEGS VINTAGE IN

BIRMINGHAM’S JEWELLERY QUARTER. JENNY AMPHLETT DISCOVERS MORE

Ginger Ewart has always been a bit different. As a

12-year-old she went to lessons at her Birmingham

high school wearing a 1940s suit and a fit and flare

coat. Department store nylon skirts were never going

to cut it for her.

By her early teens she was buying her clothes from

vintage stalls on the rag market and learning how to

repair, restore and alter items to suit her frame.

What has now become a full-time business for Ginger

was all sparked by a chance find at a jumble sale in a

local church.

“I bought a 1950s black velvet coat and rarely took it

off,” she says. “That was the start for me.

“That was the fashion era that really captured my

interest to begin with. I also had a thing for the

Avengers at one point and started buying 1960s

clothes too as I wanted to look like Emma Peel.

“Buying vintage clothes is definitely more

mainstream than it was. When I was a kid I didn’t

know anyone else who bought their clothes that way.”

Apart from underwear and vintage reproduction

jeans, the 44-year-old, who still lives in Birmingham,

tries to ensure that everything she wears was made at

least 60 years ago.

Many fashion lovers are currently opting to avoid

fast, disposable clothes in favour of reusing and

repurposing existing pieces or buying second hand

items.

For Ginger this isn’t a new way of looking at clothes,

this has been her way of life for decades.

“There are a number of reasons why clothes made

in the past are just so much better than the sort of

things you could pick up in the average high street

today,” she says.

“The quality of the fabric is a key reason for me. I

hate synthetic fabrics. I don’t want polyester and I

don’t want nylon. I don’t want to wear those fabrics

myself and I don’t want to sell them to other people.

“The construction of older clothes is just beautiful

and I find that things fit so much better. If you spend

GINGER HAS LONG

HAD A PASSION

FOR VINTAGE

FASHION

£50 on a vintage dress you’ll often find you have a

dress that feels like you’ve spent £500.

“Vintage clothes often have hand finished details and

other touches that you just don’t tend to get today.”

The desire to stand out from the crowd and express

some individuality is also a factor for Ginger and

many of the customers of her business, Gingermegs

Vintage.

“I don’t want to dress the same as everybody else,”

she says emphatically. “I don’t want to buy a £10

dress that a million other people in the UK have

got. I don’t want to buy things and know I’m going

to have to throw them away because they’re falling

apart, or to know that they’ve been made cheaply in

a sweatshop.

“It’s not cost effective to buy cheap and disposable

clothes and it isn’t environmentally sound or ethical.

“If I buy modern gym clothes I know that they’ll

only be good enough to last for a few months. They

just don’t have any longevity. Who wouldn’t rather

6


uy something that they know they can keep for

decades?”

Clothes from the 1980s and 90s are particularly

sought after at the moment, but Ginger’s own

personal preference is for pieces that are considerably

older than that.

She specialises in items spanning Victorian times to

the 1950s, both to wear herself and for her business.

“I find clothes from that time the most interesting,

although I do occasionally buy and sell later pieces.

If I am going to buy something that was made

later then it has to be good quality and not mass

produced.

“When the 1960s came along there was a move to

mass production for clothes and the quality changed

so much, so for me to delve into that era or later it

really has to be a good label that was well made.”

Clothes from Ginger’s era of choice weren’t designed

to be washed every day, so that’s a principle that

Ginger tries to live by with her own wardrobe.

“I don’t wear and then wash,” she says. “If it doesn’t

smell and it hasn’t got marks or stains on it then I

don’t wash it. I certainly don’t take my clothes off at

the end of the day and automatically drop them into

the laundry basket.

“I wash my knickers every day, but most other things

can be worn more than once before being washed.

It’s just not necessary to put them through the

washing machine so often.”

It was around eight years ago that Ginger’s love of

vintage clothes started to become a business rather

than a private passion.

She was working as a primary school teacher at

the time and started off by selling some of her own

wardrobe.

GINGER EWART, OF

GINGERMEGS VINTAGE

“To begin with it was nothing more than a hobby

really. Selling some of my own things was something

to do. Then I decided to try it as a business.

“I switched to doing supply teaching then woke up

one morning and decided that making a go of a

business selling clothes was what I really wanted to

do. Fortunately it worked.”

She opened a Gingermegs Vintage shop in the

Custard Factory, trading there for around six years

before moving the business to the Jewellery Quarter.

Gingermegs Vintage has survived during lockdown,

largely because Ginger already had a strong online

presence and didn’t have to start launching a new

business model in the middle of a global pandemic.

She sells items through her own website and also

through Etsy. The Jewellery Quarter shop has now

reopened, but by appointment only.

That’s not to say that things have been easy for

Ginger and her business in this strange new world we

are living in.

“At the beginning it was awful,” she says. “Then a

month into lockdown it seemed to go nearly back to

normal. Now things have started to quieten down a

little bit again.

“Some people just don’t have the disposable income

to spend at the moment and for others the future is

feeling uncertain.

“A majority of my customers are international, a lot

of them are in America, and they have been having

things very bad. It hasn’t helped that postage prices

have gone up too.

“I have to say that business is not as bad as I initially

7


thought it would be, despite not being as good as I

would like it to be.

“Up until COVID-19 it was going really well too.

I’m still doing better than clothes businesses on

the high street though. If I didn’t have an online

presence then I’d have had a problem.”

Her friends in the vintage clothes industry have

experienced similar trends during the pandemic,

despite selling clothes from different eras.

Ginger isn’t revealing the trade secret of where she

tracks down all those period pieces, but says her

favourite way to buy items is when she’s contacted by

someone selling a private collection.

Everything is carefully cleaned and restored if

necessary. Ginger is careful to use vintage items for

any restoration – so a 1930s dress will have 1930s

buttons rather than modern buttons with a period

look.

“My mum is quite good at sewing. She taught me

quite a lot of the techniques that I use and other

repairs can be quite simple such as replacing a

button or stitching.”

She avoids dry cleaning clothes wherever possible

due to the harshness of the chemicals, preferring to

stick to a more gentle and traditional hand wash.

Her customers range from people trying to track

down a unique piece that they know no one else will

be wearing to people who fully embrace a vintage

way of life.

“I’ve got customers that only wear vintage, even

down to their underwear and stockings, and wouldn’t

consider wearing anything else. And I’ve got

customers who are just looking to mix their wardrobe

up a bit and introduce some vintage things to wear

alongside modern items.”

They’ll often send

photographs of themselves

wearing their buys, which is

particularly nice for Ginger

if it includes items she’s

carefully tracked down or

personally restored.

The most expensive item

Ginger has ever sold is a

1920s jacket by a couturier

for £1,500, which she says

would have been expensive in

its own time too.

The price of items is dictated

by rarity and quality and

can often be comparable to

the price of modern clothes,

OLDER CLOTHES COMBINE

QUALITY CONSTRUCTION WITH A

BEAUTIFUL FIT, SAYS GINGER

despite the fabric quality and cut being superior.

Items currently available on the Gingermegs Vintage

website range from a 1930s blue lame evening dress

for £360, to £52 for a 1950s polka dot seersucker

house dress.

Ginger has somehow tracked down a corset cover

from 1910 (selling for £98), a 1940s swimsuit (£90)

and a pair of 1930s suede shoes (£70).

An impressive jewellery collection includes a 1940s

bakelite sword brooch (£160), a 1940s cowboy

brooch (£80) and a carved bakelite bangle (£65).

Running a business like Gingermegs Vintage may

seem a dream for anyone interested in fashion, but

Ginger is quick to stress that it’s been built up by

sheer hard graft.

“It can be flexible and fits in well around walking my

dog for example,” she says. “But I do work every day

and I do work a lot of hours.”

One perk, of course, is never being short of

something to wear for any occasion; although

Ginger says she does try to keep her own collection

of vintage clothes separate from the stock for the

business.

“I try to have a one in and one out policy with my

own wardrobe,” she says. “And I try not to keep too

many of my finds for myself. That said, I did sell off

quite a lot of my own personal collection and have

started building it back up again.

“I’ve got customers who have asked me to let them

know if I’m selling off any of my own clothes. I can’t

imagine that happening with modern clothes.”

You can visit Ginger’s online shop at

www.gingermegsvintage.com

8


JUST ARRIVED!

£2499

£2299

LOFT DINING TABLE SET - RRP £3899

2M TABLE, BENCH, 2 STOOLS AND 2 CHAIRS

GIZA DINING TABLE SET - RRP £3195

2M TABLE, BENCH AND 3 CHAIRS

£2499 £2899

RODIN DINING TABLE SET - RRP £3599

2M TABLE AND 2 BENCHES

PEAK DINING TABLE SET - RRP £3971

2.4M TABLE, BENCH AND 3 CHAIRS

BLACKBROOK

INTERIORS

WE ARE A FAMILY RUN BUSINESS HOME TO AN IMPRESSIVE

RANGE OF FURNITURE, INTERIOR FURNISHINGS, MIRRORS,

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CHANDELIERS. WE HAVE HUGE COURTYARDS FULL OF

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Closed Mon & Tues.

Open Wed - Sat 9am - 5pm. Sun -11am - 5pm

Tel: 01543 481010 - Email: info@blackbrook-interiors.co.uk

London Road (A38) Weeford, Nr. Lichfield WS14 0PS

www.blackbrook-interiors.co.uk


PROPERTY

City vs country

EACH MONTH WE SHOWCASE SOME OF THE BEST PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET. THIS MONTH,

WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS WITH A SLEEK CITY APARTMENT VERSUS A

PALATIAL COUNTRY PILE

CI T Y

Apartment 5 Hillcroft House, The Glade, Kenelm Road, Sutton Coldfield: £450,000

On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878

THE AGENT SAYS: This exemplary two-bedroom

penthouse apartment is ideally located for quick access to the

amenities in Sutton Coldfield while enjoying the privacy of

being tucked away at the end of a private road.

The apartment is accessed via the communal entrance but

features direct lift access into the apartment’s reception

hallway with a code. The reception hallway leads on to the

spacious drawing/dining room. Double doors lead out to the

private south-east facing balcony. There is ample space for a

dining area to the side.

The kitchen features plenty of storage space and stunning

black granite worktops.

The master bedroom features various built-in wardrobes and

direct access onto the balcony, as well as a high-spec en-suite

bathroom. The second double bedroom also features built- in

wardrobes and the apartment further features a shower room.

C OUNTRY

Haselour Hall, Haselour Lane, Harlaston, Tamworth: £2,995,000

On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878

THE AGENT SAYS: This remarkable home is steeped in

history, dating back to the 16th century. With over 19,000

square foot in area, the hall boasts extensive living, sleeping

and working accommodation complemented throughout by

magnificent original features dating back to c1550.

Within the grounds of the hall are a number of outbuildings,

including stables, garages and storerooms, as well as a

self-contained three bedroom annexe and beautiful private

chapel, still in use today.

Stunning original features include the oak panelled reception

hall and dining room, a fabulous Norman oak front door,

stained glass leaded windows and magnificent oak fire

surrounds depicting scenes from the battle of Hastings. The

property is set over four storeys with 11 main bedrooms. The

hall is beautifully grand, having been well maintained by the

current owners.

10


Jaime Mag_Ad_AW.indd 1 18/08/2020 08:21

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INTERIORS

The dark

side

IT may be the smallest room of the house, but the

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And far from making a space seem small or closed in,

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Combine dark walls with bright white sanitaryware and

floor tiles for a high contrast look, or be a step braver and

incorporate coloured sanitaryware, dark tiles, and even

dark painted ceilings, for a real wow factor.

Going dark can give an opulent feel within the space; opt

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12


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Proud to be a family run business for over 35 years

HOME IS WHERE THE WARMTH IS

“Fantastic

service and

great products.

Thanks Kieran”

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Whitaker

Heath

1/7 High Street, Erdington B23 6RG Next to Highclare School

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METRO DARK GREY TILES, £25/M2,

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ELECTRIC LAGOON BLUE WALLPAPER,

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DARK TROPICAL LEAVES MURAL, £29/M2,

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14


INTERIORS

Smart

studying

WITH so many of us turning to working from home over

the past few months, creating a home office space has

been top of many an interior wishlist. The importance

of having a space dedicated to productivity has been

demonstrated time and again during the Covid-induced

‘work from home’ revolution, helping us to both properly

get into work mode, and creating a division between the

work day and our home living space.

And with children around the country venturing back to

school this month, perhaps you feel it’s time the youngest

members of the family get to benefit from a study space of

their own?

Whether that’s a desk area in a corner of their bedroom,

a clever nook in an underused area - think under-thestairs

- or, if you’re lucky enough to have the space, their

own dedicated study room, having a place to retreat to

makes catching up on homework that bit easier. And with

so many stylish options available, it’s never been easier to

create the perfect study space for everyone, from little ones

to teens.

MODA CHAIR IN WHITE, £69, CULT FURNITURE.

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practices which make a great culture, with happy

people who achieve their best.

Let’s find out together how HR can ripple

positively through your business.

07771 780 146

jane.galvez@ripple-hr.co.uk

ripple-hr.co.uk


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FEATURE

Making things clear

WHETHER DOWNSIZING OR DEALING WITH A LOVED ONE’S ESTATE, CLEARING AN ENTIRE PROPERTY

READY FOR SALE CAN SEEM LIKE A DAUNTING TASK. BUT THE EXPERTS AT LICHFIELD’S RICHARD

WINTERTON AUCTIONEERS ARE ON HAND TO HELP, AS ALEX KELLER EXPLAINS

We spend decades filling our homes with

furniture, mementos and collections. But

– as has been brutally demonstrated by

coronavirus – life is full of uncertain twists

and turns.

Perhaps you need to downsize for personal

reasons or maybe a loved one has passed

away. Things happen, and they frequently

happen fast.

Fortunately, a helping hand you can rely on

in the most difficult of times is ready and

waiting.

Richard Winterton is a familiar figure

on television through his appearances as

auctioneer on programmes such as BBC

Bargain Hunt and Dickinson’s Real Deal on

ITV.

Indeed, the Winterton name has been

synonymous with auctioneering in

Staffordshire for an amazing seven

generations since 1864 – Richard’s wife

Jan and two of his sons, Tom and Ben, also

work at The Lichfield Auction Centre, the

company’s large, purpose-build HQ.

But when he’s not bringing the gavel down on lots

ranging from jewellery and watches to coins, medals,

rare whisky and even vehicles, Richard spends a

good deal of time out on the road giving advice and

personalised quotes for estate clearances and probate

services in Sutton Coldfield, Four Oaks, Lichfield and

across the Midlands.

“Whatever the reason for the situation, having an

entire property to sort through can seem daunting to

say the least,” says Richard.

“Add to that an upsetting emotional backdrop and it

can so often become an overwhelming circumstance.

“From the moment we receive that initial call or

email, we never forget that this is someone else’s

home and belongings.

“Whether it’s a house, bungalow, flat, office, school

RICHARD WINTERTON IN

ACTION ON THE ROSTRUM

or any other building large or small, we’re proud to

offer a bespoke, sympathetic, clearance service.

“Whether you are an executor clearing a

deceased estate, investigating downsizing options,

administering probate, emigrating or just tired of

clutter, we are happy to jump into action.”

Richard’s team works at a variety of houses and

flats every week. Recent jobs include the complete

clearance and subsequent auctions for properties as

diverse as a double glazing factory, a record shop and

Abbots Bromley School.

“Whatever the potential job, it’s always worth

checking with us first – we’ll give you an honest

opinion and quotation up front,” he says.

“We offer complete and part house clearance

services, starting with a free home visit to explain all

costs.

22


THIS ROYAL DOULTON ‘BOY ON A

CROCODILE’ WENT ON TO SELL AT

AUCTION FOR £7,000

“All items pass through The Lichfield Auction

Centre where our regular sales feature anything from

household ornaments and cars to jewellery, fine art,

coins, toys, medals and vintage whisky.

“Anything which cannot be sold – for example

items which do not meet current fire or electrical

regulations – are properly disposed of and we will

leave the property clean and ready either for new

occupants or to go on the market.”

The family firm has also recently become the

National Association of Jewellers’ newest approved

member for auction services and all members of the

jewellery department are certified gemmologists and

diamond graders.

“Whatever the items in question, we can handle

probate valuations and estate clearances in their

entirety,” Richard adds.

So why choose the auction process? Richard has

dozens of examples, including this quirky crocodilian

anecdote.

“At a local property we were clearing, the ceramics

and pots and pans were spread out and I spotted

something unusual in one corner,” he remembers.

“Our research team jumped into action and

confirmed this ceramic was in fact a very rare Royal

Doulton ‘Boy On A Crocodile’ and we went on

to sell it at auction for £7,000 – our clients were

overjoyed!”

He adds: “Unlike many auctioneers, we do not

cherry pick or farm out items of lesser value to other

firms, we handle the entire clearance.

“That’s crucial to what we do. We leave nothing to

chance so, if it’s there, we’ll find it.

“Now ‘it’ might not be – but our way of working

banishes any nagging doubt in the future; did we

throw something away that could have been huge?”

The firm’s large, meticulously-catalogued sales are

the key here.

“To us, everything is important,”

Richard explains.

“Instead of throwing away items

such as fridge freezers, we sell

them at auction. Every single thing

sold, be it for a tenner or tens of

thousands, is of benefit to our

clients.

“Be it lead statues in the

undergrowth of a garden or tools in

the garage, sheds, cellars and attics

are great hunting grounds for us!”

The 2020 pandemic has seen every

business evolve to incorporate

COVID-19 secure practises and

Richard Winterton Auctioneers is no exception.

The firm has moved all its auctions online and

big auctions are now scheduled from 10am every

Monday until Christmas bar two.

Other stringently observed coronavirus procedures

include protective equipment, social distancing

measures, deep cleaning and sanitiser to keep

staff and clients safe and premises and vehicles

disinfected.

“Our background is one of more than 150 years of

family experience,” says Richard.

“We have worked hard to evolve through the covid

crisis and I’m delighted our new way of working is

working so well.

A RARE FIND FROM A

HOUSE CLEARANCE

23


to specialist militaria, coins, stamps,

THE LICHFIELD AUCTION comics – you name it!

CENTRE IN FRADLEY

“There’s now a lot more detail with

extra photos for every lot so people

can buy in confidence and they are

doing so from all over the world.”

He adds: “We have received some

fab comments about our packing

service too and clients have been

very positive about all the measures

we have implemented with regard to

coronavirus.

“In fact I’d like to say a big thanks

to all my staff for all their hard work

and positivity.

“Some great feedback recently

commented on how what could have

“Pre-lockdown we were averaging £75 per lot and

been a stressful situation was ‘greatly

now we’re at £108.68 per lot. Coming off the back eased by the professional and caring team’ – I can’t

of our online-only Fine Arts sale – which attracted tell you how proud this made me of our clearances

more than 3,000 internet bidders – and subsequent team.

record-breaking auctions, it is so encouraging. “You cannot get better than to hear that from a client.”

“These figures include everything which passes For more information, contact The Lichfield

through here at The Lichfield Auction Centre, from Auction Centre on 01543 251081, email

house clearances to consignments from valuations. office@richardwinterton.co.uk or visit

“Everything from boxes of mixed lots and ceramics www.richardwinterton.co.uk

24


Sandwiches

and pastries

now back!

OnTheBreadLine

Sebastian Clough, a former student of University College,

Birmingham, and the French Pastry School in Chicago, has

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flavours using high quality ingredients. Using fresh local

produce, his customers most loved products include;-

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Dark Chocolate and Chilli Sourdough

Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Fudge Brownies

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F O O D & D R I N K

To Infinitii and beyond

NEW INDIAN RESTAURANT THE INFINITII HOPES TO PUT

ABBOTS BROMLEY ON THE MAP AS A DESTINATION FOR

FINER DINING, AS AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS

When The Infinitii opened in the picturesque village

of Abbots Bromley back in February, the restaurant

had grand designs on changing the perceptions of

Indian cuisine. With French-trained chef Indrajit

Lahiri at the helm in the kitchen, embracing the

concept of molecular gastronomy and bringing a

modern style of cooking to authentic Indian flavours,

and an impressive menu which couldn’t be further

from your typical curry house offerings, all the

ingredients were in place to make their mark.

But then, disaster struck in the form of the

coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants were forced to

close, and after little more than a month of trading,

The Infinitii’s promising journey was stopped in its

tracks.

Determined not to let their hard work go to waste,

the ambitious team quickly set about offering

takeaway meals to showcase a little of what they had

to offer, waiting for the day when they could unleash

the full Infinitii experience once again.

And it was definitely worth the wait.

Since reopening at the earliest opportunity in July

The Infinitii has garnered rave reviews from diners,

quickly earning a reputation as a dining destination.

Which is no mean feat for a restaurant still in its

infancy.

After hearing recommendations from several friends,

we were delighted to be invited over to sample The

Infinitii for ourselves.

The restaurant is super stylish, offering an elegant yet

relaxing space in which to enjoy not only top class

dining but the array of specialist gins and mouthwatering

cocktails available from the impressively

stocked gin bar.

In these Covid times, there are safety measures

in place to protect both staff and diners including

contactless hand sanitising on entry and plenty of

space between tables, while the staff themselves wear

masks during service.

And what better way to fully immerse ourselves

EXECUTIVE CHEF

INDRAJIT LAHIRI

in the restaurant’s unique take on Indian dining

than with a five-course tasting menu chosen by the

head chef himself. A quick conflab determined that

we were fuss-free diners willing to give anything

a try, although the restaurant prides itself on

accommodating myriad dietary requirements, with

plenty of tasty options to suit vegan, gluten-free and

keto diets among others.

A little amuse bouche to start proceedings comprised

three dainty numbers; a pickled rhubarb cube, a

pickled onion with smoked chicken and yoghurt

spherification, and a cucumber cream cheese with

heirloom tomato and honey glaze. They were tasty

morsels, and couldn’t be further as an appetiser

from the ubiquitous poppadoms usually offered -

something that, incidentally, The Infinitii steers clear

of.

Our first round of starters comprised two dishes

which had caught our eyes on the menu; the aloo

brie tikki and the Goan crab cake. The crab cake

26


was light, flavoursome and packed with crab meat,

topped with burst-in-the-mouth mango pearls and

encased in a light foam - the molecular gastronomy

well in evidence here. But it was the aloo brie

tikki which was the surprise hit; spiced mashed

potato stuffed with brie and coated in a crisp fine

breadcrumb, it was certainly moreish.

Now, rabbit isn’t something you find on many a

menu - and it’s almost unheard of when it comes to

Indian fayre. And while the rabbit varuval perhaps

isn’t a dish either of us would have ordered, this

beautiful presentation of marinated wild rabbit and

vegetables, was a standout offering of the evening.

Beautifully balanced and perfectly spiced, it was a

triumph.

As was the gin-cured salmon with pickled vegetables

which completed the second round of starter dishes.

Marinated in local Nelson’s gin, this exquisitely

presented dish is highlighted as one of the menu’s

healthy options.

A palate cleanser of organic vegan mango sorbet

from local Dalton’s Dairy Farm offered a little light

refreshment before the main events.

The tasting menu usually serves up two main dishes,

but chef Indrajit decided to throw in an extra

taster to ensure we made the most of the Infinitii

experience.

The three dishes on offer couldn’t have been more

different, so it was difficult to pin down a favourite.

The smoky lal mass offered up a bit of culinary

theatre, served under a smoking cloche which

imparted a delicate smoky hit to the dish of superbly

tender lamb loin, accompanied by a silky smooth

rustic mash and a tomato chilli gravy which offered a

nicely creeping heat.

At the other end of the flavour spectrum, the Kerala

fish molee was a South Indian feast of pan-seared

stone bass and coconut rice in a rich, indulgent

coconut sauce, while the Chettinad chicken served

up tandoor-cooked chicken breast on the bone with a

sage pilau and a spicier coconut-based sauce.

They were three excellent dishes, and we’d happily

order any one again.

While the portions aren’t overwhelming, they are

certainly generous enough to satisfy, so we were

pleased to move onto the fifth and final course. And

with the sweet offerings, crafted by The Infinitii’s inhouse

pastry chef, we were certainly saving some of

the best ‘til last.

The cinnamon chocolate mousse was a real dark

cocoa-powered treat, with a warming hint of spice,

but it was the gulab jamun cheesecake which stole

the show. Using traditional Indian sweet fried dough

balls as a base, the cheesecake was a revelation - light

and creamy, topped with macerated strawberries,

it was a slice of heaven. And that’s coming from

someone who’s not a particular cheesecake

fan.

Priced at just £30 per person, the tasting

menu is an absolute steal, and the perfect

way to embrace The Infinitii’s unique

culinary concept. The seasonally changing

menu, on the whole, offers superb value

for money, with starters from just £5 and

mains from £10.

Excellent food alongside exemplary,

considerate service made our first dining

out experience post-lockdown a hugely

memorable one - and one we can’t wait to

repeat.

27


F O O D & D R I N K

Twist on a classic

DISHOOM BRINGS A TASTE OF BOMBAY’S IRANI CAFES TO BIRMINGHAM, WITH THE RECENT

OPENING OF THE GROUP’S FIRST RESTAURANT IN THE MIDLANDS. HERE, CHEFS SHAMIL THAKRAR,

KAVI THAKRAR AND NAVED NASIR SHARE A DELICIOUS DESSERT FROM THEIR BOOK, DISHOOM

Pineapple and Black Pepper Crumble

This is Dishoom’s take on a British classic. You can

serve it warm or cold, on its own, or with custard or

a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. The tang

of pineapple and spice of pepper work wonderfully

together.

You can prepare the crumble topping in advance, but

don’t apply it until you’re ready to bake.

Ingredients - serves 4-6

For the filling:

1 large, fresh ripe pineapple (you need

around 750g flesh)

1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract

100g granulated sugar

A few twists of black pepper

For the crumble:

100g plain flour

100g rolled oats

100g granulated sugar

100g salted butter, cubed, at room

temperature

To serve:

Vanilla ice cream or custard

Trim the pineapple of its skin, prising out the “eyes”,

and cut into 2cm chunks, discarding the hard core.

Place the pineapple chunks in a saucepan and add

200ml water. If using a vanilla pod, split in half, run

a knife down the length to remove the seeds and

add the seeds and pod to the pan. (If using extract,

it goes in later.) Simmer over a medium-low heat for

20–25 minutes, or until the pineapple is soft, stirring

occasionally. If the pan starts to become dry, add a

little more water.

Meanwhile, make the crumble. Mix the dry

ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the butter

and rub in with your hands until fully incorporated;

there should be no loose flour left.

Heat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Once

the pineapple is soft, add the sugar and simmer for

a further five minutes. Add the black pepper and

vanilla extract, if using. Turn off the heat and set

aside.

Spread the pineapple mixture in a medium baking

dish and top with the crumble mix. Bake for 30–40

minutes, until the topping has formed a lovely golden

crust.

Allow to stand for five minutes then serve, with

vanilla ice cream or custard.

Extract taken from Dishoom by Shamil Thakrar,

Kavi Thakrar & Naved Nasir (£26, Bloomsbury)

Photography © Haarala Hamilton.

28


with

DINE IN WITH

RESTAURANT

QUALITY DISHES

We have teamed up with

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in your own home.

We will deliver a luxurious box containing

3 courses prepped, ready for you to heat,

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of delicious food by following the clear

instructions provided for a serious treat.

Tom changes his menu weekly using seasonal,

local produce. Deliveries take place every

Friday and Saturday free of charge* to Lichfield

and surrounding area. We can also courier

nationwide so you can have virtual dinner

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If you have an anniversary, a postponed

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a weekend treat this is perfect for you!

*£5 deliver charge applies to wider area outside of Lichfield

ORDER ONLINE

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or call 01543 415855


H E A LT H

Getting back to self care and fitness

THIS MONTH, LICHFIELD PERSONAL TRAINER RAUL ROMERO TALKS POST SUMMER HOLIDAY

FITNESS AND HOW TO GET BACK TO BEING THE FITTEST VERSION OF YOURSELF, DESPITE THE

BUSY DAILY GRIND AND CHALLENGES OF THESE UNPRECEDENTED TIMES

It has been a tumultuous year which has seen many

of us having had to take a break from our usual

training and self care routines and adapt to the

situations we have faced. Many of my clients have

risen to the challenge and adapted their training, be

it virtually online or in the park in rain or shine, in

the hope of maintaining and developing their fitness

levels.

For some, it has been logistically near impossible

to continue with their training, but they are now

ready and raring to take off where they left off and

concentrate on self care and building their fitness

back again.

So how can you ‘get back on the wagon’ and become

the fittest version of yourself, as well as balance the

normal daily grind?

Well, one quick and highly effective way of training

to get those endorphins flowing and leave you feeling

amazing, is HIIT training.

HIIT: What is it and why is it so popular?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It

is literally what it says on the tin; a training protocol

in the form of interval training, alternating short

periods of intense exercise with less intense recovery

periods.

It is a way of working your body to burn hundreds

of calories and increase fitness in a short space of

time, which is so key when we barely have time to

stop and think in our busy daily lives.

There is no universal HIIT session duration. These

intense workouts typically last under 30 minutes, but

can last longer depending on intensity and fitness

level. So, just taking out 30 minutes a day to focus

on yourself and your fitness by completing a HIIT

session, can get those endorphins going and leave

you feeling great, while also increasing your fitness

levels.

A common formula involves a 2:1 ratio of work to

recovery periods, for example, 30–40 seconds of

hard sprinting alternated with 15–20 seconds of

jogging or walking, repeated for as long as you can

AMBITION PERSONAL

TRAINING FOUNDER RAUL

ROMERO

do, which can then be built up by a few minutes at a

time. Sprinting is just one example; there is a whole

array of exercises to choose from that can form the

HIIT training.

Proven Benefits:

So apart from making you feel great, what are the

benefits of HIIT training?

Well, it has been proven to improve endurance and

cardiovascular fitness. The intensity also helps burn

a substantial amount of calories, even after you have

finished the workout.

It is super sustainable as it takes such little time to

do from our busy lives and can be done from the

comfort of your own home, without any specialist

30


equipment needed. Many also perceive it to be a

lot more enjoyable than traditional cardio exercises,

especially seeing as it can be done in groups and with

friends.

HIIT training is a great training method to improve

and sustain fitness levels. It can be combined with

other training methods to achieve even further

benefits. To give an example, everyone knows

broccoli is good for us, however typically broccoli

isn’t the only veg we eat, we mix it up with other

healthy veg! The exact same example can be applied

to training; HIIT doesn’t have to be the only thing

you do, it can be mixed up with other training

methods depending on what you enjoy. Of course, if

you prefer to ‘just eat broccoli’/just to HIIT training,

it will still be effective and help you feel great and get

in shape.

The 3 HIIT exercises I love are:

Burpees

Running man

Star Jumps

So, are you ready to try a HIIT workout? If you

want to give it a go and can find a spare ten minutes,

log onto Youtube and check out one of the short,

intense yet effective HIIT sessions on my Youtube

channel Hola Healthy Life. I’d love to hear how

you get on!

For any further fitness advice or questions, please feel

free to get in touch with me at

raul@ambitionpt.co.uk or via and social media

channels @ambitionpersonaltraininguk.

Good luck!

ALTERNATE SPRINTING

AND WALKING FOR AN

EASY HIIT BLAST

31


T R AV E L

A sub-tropical paradise

HOLLY THOMSON, FROM LICHFIELD LUXURY TRAVEL EXPERTS RB COLLECTION,

EXPLORES NEW ZEALAND’S STUNNING BAY OF ISLANDS

HIKING AT URUPUKAPUKA,

BAY OF ISLANDS NEAR PAIHIA,

NEW ZEALAND

Sitting far above the rest of the country just before

the great expanse of the Pacific sea, the Bay of

Islands is a sub-tropical paradise. The region is well

known for its fantastic lush scenery, large variety of

wildlife and never-ending list of activities. It is also

home to New Zealand’ s historical roots and was the

place where I first felt a real connection with New

Zealand’s people, culture and legends.

I have been to the Bay of Islands twice. The first

was Christmas 2018, when I joined a three-day trip

which coincided with Christmas Day. The second

was for a long weekend road trip, this time with my

friend Steph.

The most popular area of the Bay of Islands is

Paihia. This small tourist town is around a threehour

drive from Auckland and sits snugly in between

many of the popular tourist sites this region has to

offer. The town itself is small and cute, with a lot of

Kiwi charm. There is a lot of accommodation to

choose from, from hostels to luxury condos.

I stayed at the Peppertree Lodge and the Haka

Lodge. While the Peppertree Lodge was quite basic,

we loved the Haka Lodge for its good location, really

comfy beds and dorms, and sociable atmosphere.

The town boasts a small high street which offers

everything a tourist may need. I particularly

enjoyed my visit to Ella’s Fudge Bar where I treated

myself and my housemates to a variety of delicious

homemade fudge!

The high street also had several great eateries and

bars for any budget. For pizza, the Pizza Shack

is a great option, with views of the sea from the

restaurant and huge pizzas to share. On the wharf

are even more places to eat and drink. Me and Steph

32


JUMPING DOLPHIN NEAR

PAIHIA, NEW ZEALAND

particularly liked Charlotte’s Kitchen which had

great cocktails. The menu was limited but the view

and ambiance made up for it.

The things to do in Paihia were numerous and suited

every traveller. The most famous is the cruise to the

Hole in the Rock. This two-hour ferry ride takes you

out in the Bay of Islands harbour, on the search for

dolphins along the way. As you near the mouth of

the bay and the open sea, you will come across the

famous Hole in the Rock which, on a good day, the

ferry can sail through.

On my first trip, the weather was closed in. We

enjoyed a presentation from the staff about the

different animals that lived in the area. Of course,

since the weather was so closed in, we didn’t see any

this time around! On arrival to the Hole in Rock,

although impressive, it was a scrabble to get a photo

without getting too wet from the rain! If you don’t

see dolphins on your trip to the Hole in the Rock,

the company offers another trip free of charge. Of

course, since most of the clients are tourists, they

most likely would have to go out of their way to take

up this offer. Luckily, I was able to keep the voucher

safe and redeem it a few months later.

The second time around the skies were clear and

we had a much more enjoyable experience. We saw

dolphins and they showed off a few tricks to our

ferry as we sailed past. The Hole in the Rock was

surrounded by calm waters this time and we were

able to successfully sail through the rock, the boat

blasting the horn as we went through which made for

an amazing echo.

I was also amazed by the lone house sitting on the

cliff face opposite the Hole in the Rock. Covered

in clouds the last time I had taken the cruise, my

second time around it was an intriguing sight and I

wondered who, if anyone, was brave enough to live

there.

Linking to the Hole in

the Rock cruise, the

company also offers you

the opportunity to take a

one-way trip to Russell, the

town on the opposite side

of the bay. Known for its

raunchy history, the town

was popular with pirates and

whalers at the beginning of

New Zealand’s European

history. The town gained a

reputation for debauchery

and gambling, but these

days it is a lot sleepier and

is best accessed by boat.

Although it does have road

access, it can take many

hours to make your way around to the small town.

On our first trip to the area, we decided to take up

the offer for a cheap trip to the town and went over

to explore.

Unfortunately, on this day the weather was still

closed in and as we landed on the opposite shore,

the heavens opened. We took refuge in The Duke of

Marlborough Hotel which, in New Zealand, is well

known. A few of our other travel friends did decide

to hike Flagstaff Hill that day but were disappointed

with a lack of views and a whole lot of cloud.

On a better day, this town is great for a walk and a

KNOWN AS THE PROTECTORS OF

THE FOREST, KAURI TREES ARE

SIGNIFICANT IN MAORI CULTURE

33


RB COLLECTION’S

HOLLY ON A TRIP TO

THE BAY OF ISLANDS

visit to the historic museums which detail the town’s

interesting history.

Other popular tourist attractions in the area include

the Waitangi Treaty Ground, which is the site of

the first accord between the British Crown and the

Maori people. Here, history has been preserved

and you can learn about why there were issues

with this treaty and why Maori representation and

preservation of the culture is so important. Many

visit this site for a Maori demonstration, but if you

are travelling to Rotorua at any point in your trip

it is better to save your money for this experience

down there. I didn’t visit this attraction due to money

constraints, but it is a great spot for travellers in New

Zealand who wish to learn a little more about Maori

and European history.

Another popular attraction in Paihia is the range of

water sport activities. My trip kayaking and paddle

boarding to a waterfall was one of the highlights of

my visit to this region. We first met on the wharf and

hopped in a boat to travel inland towards Haruru

Falls. On the way, our guide told us stories of the

river and we enjoyed watching the birdlife on the

riverside. As we got closer to the falls we transferred

into kayaks. As we reached the falls, we were

encouraged to go underneath them. This was huge

fun and we tried many times to do this and see how

long we could stay under the water.

The last time I had visited this waterfall it was a wet

cold day and I had watched the kayaks with remorse

for them. This time, on a warm summer evening it

was a great experience and we stayed in the water

longer than we needed to. A few of us opted to kayak

or paddle board back while others warmed up in

the boat. We paddle boarded all the way back to the

river mouth as dusk fell. This led to an incredible

moment. As it got darker, we started to notice the

water around our paddle boards

glowing. Intrigued, I put my hand

in the water and was amazed when

the water around my hand started to

glow. This was the elusive glowing

plankton I had heard so much about

from other travellers all over the

world.

Every time we paddled the whole

area around our boards glowed

and it was a truly magical moment.

None of us wanted to get out of

the water after this and were so sad

to get back to dry land. I would

recommend this trip even without

the plankton as it was a great way to

spend the evening.

Aside from Paihia, the Bay of Islands

region has a lot more to offer. On

the long drive to Paihia from Auckland there are a

couple of places which stand as great stops along the

way. The first is Whangarei Heads, around halfway

to the Bay of Islands. This peninsula has an amazing

beach, breath-taking views from the cliffs and a great

sub-tropical climate and landscape.

We stopped here for an afternoon and really enjoyed

our walk up the cliff to amazing views over the whole

area. Looking to the left, we watched as the cliffs fell

into the Pacific Ocean. On our right we had a view

of the rolling fields leading back to Auckland. The

area also has fantastic surfing beaches and is worth a

THE FAMOUS HOLE

IN THE ROCK

34


longer stop for the keen surfer.

On my first trip to the Bay of Islands, we stopped

off at a slightly different beauty spot, the famous

Hundertwasser toilets of Kawakawa. These public

toilets were created by the Austrian-Kiwi artist

Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who commissioned

and designed the unusual tourist attraction. It is the

only public toilet in the world which is seen as a work

of art. We spent a short toilet break enjoying the

uniqueness of this ‘work of art’.

One place that stands out to me is Hokianga, a

small town on the left of the peninsula. The area

is surrounded by tropical rainforests and across the

bay from the community are amazing sand dunes.

We stayed at a local hotel here, which was a nice

change from a hostel. On our first evening here, the

power went out and we had to go to sleep early by

candlelight. It made for a memorable Christmas

Eve and when we woke up on Christmas morning,

we were greeted by a buffet breakfast and sunshine.

The dunes across from the town are popular for sand

dunning and we got in a small boat to go

experience the fun.

The unique thing about these sand dunes

is that they go into the water. We spent a

few hours here getting braver and braver,

eventually trying out the steepest and

longest dune for a more exciting ride.

The area is also known from its kauri

trees, and we joined a local Maori

representative for an informative evening

about the trees and their significance to

Maori culture. The kauri are known as

protectors of the forest and in the past

have been heavily logged from their good

bark. Even Buckingham Palace features

a lot of kauri. Unfortunately, this heavy

logging means that there are not many

left and the species also has to contend

with kauri dieback, a disease that is

attacking the remaining few.

It is therefore important to disinfect your

shoes before you enter a kauri forest.

Our guide shared this information and

more as we took a twilight walk among

the huge trees. We finally got to visit Tane

Mahuta, known as the God of the Forest.

He is featured in the Maori creation

story as the child of Ranginui (the sky)

and Papatūānuku (the earth). It is said

that his parents were wrapped in an

eternal embrace, leaving their children in

darkness. Tired of this, Tane pushed his

parents apart bringing life to the world.

What is amazing is that Tane is the only

living God in the world at more than 2,000 years old.

When we went to visit this huge tree, our guide led

us to him and directed our attention in the opposite

direction. When we then turned around it was a

pretty amazing and impressive sight. The tree is so

huge that it has a whole ecosystem on it, with other

trees growing on the top. This experience was a great

way to connect with Maori culture and heritage and

is well worth doing when visiting Northlands and the

Bay of Islands.

The Bay of Islands has more than many may first

think and therefore is a great destination for a longer

holiday or a trip which encompasses more than just

the beach. I really enjoyed both of my trips up to

this region and think it shouldn’t be overlooked when

planning your own trip.

To plan and book your trip to New Zealand contact

RB Collection on 01543 258631 or email

vip@rbcollection.com.

Read more of Holly’s travel reports at

www.everydaygetaway.co.uk

THE HUNDERTWASSER TOILETS

OF KAWAKAWA ARE CONSIDERED

A WORK OF ART

35


F E AT U R E

Getting back to school

WITH SCHOOLS AROUND THE AREA LOOKING TO REOPEN TO ALL PUPILS THIS MONTH

- WITH SOME RETURNING FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SIX MONTHS - WE TAKE A LOOK AT

WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO CREATE A SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL

Schools across the UK have been

putting plans in place ahead of

reopening their doors to all pupils

this month.

For some children and their

parents this will be their first

time in a classroom environment

since March, and for some it’s an

intimidating prospect.

Safety measures are being

introduced to help keep pupils,

school staff and their families safe

from infection.

These include bubbles being

created for year groups, with

youngsters prevented from having

contact with pupils in other years.

Measures adopted by many schools include separate

entrances for different year groups, staggered arrival

and end of day times and lunch breaks spent in

classrooms.

Some schools have created play area zones for each

school year, others have asked that bags, pencil cases

and other items are not brought into school from

home.

Here are some of the safeguards being introduced by

schools in our area:

The Blue Coat School, Edgbaston

The school will reopen for all pupils on Monday,

September 7 with some changes to arrival and home

times to keep year group bubbles separate and to

accommodate deep cleaning.

A school spokesman said: “The classrooms have

been configured so that each bubble can be socially

distanced. We have implemented a range of

protective measures including increased cleaning

regimes, marking of social distancing points for

children to line up, installation of hand sanitisers

around the site plus signage to remind the children to

wash their hands, allocation of different drop-off and

collection points at the start and end of the day and

demarcated areas for break and lunch time play.

“An isolation room has been set up for any child with

a suspected fever or displaying other COVID-19

symptoms. They will wait there until they are

collected by a parent or guardian. Additional

isolation rooms will be set up as required.”

The school has created an enhanced programme

of online learning, which it plans to share with

pupils and their families in the event of a second

coronavirus peak. It has also said that it plans to

remain open for the children of key workers should a

second wave happen.

Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls

Pupils from every year group are due to return on

Wednesday, September 2, with an earlier start time

planned for year sevens.

The school staged its first ever virtual open evening

during lockdown.

Girls due to join the school for the first time are

usually invited in for a new intake day during the

school summer holidays but were instead shown

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a recorded introduction video and asked to join a

specially created website.

St Dominic’s Grammar School, Brewood

Unlike the majority of schools across the country,

St Dominic’s was able to welcome back all primary

aged pupils before the school summer holidays

started.

In a message to parents, School Head Peter McNabb

said: “Our small size and large spacious areas mean

we can take more children back and follow all the

required guidelines. We are uniquely placed in this

respect and have been working hard, making plans to

bring this to reality.

“Miss Hovland, our head of lower school and

logistics, has worked incredibly hard to make St

Dominic’s safe with increased hand washing areas,

removal of soft furnishings, cleaning in the middle

as well as the end of the day and specific ‘safety

bubbles’ for students.

“However, it still feels very much like St. Dominic’s

and we have been careful to undertake all these

measures in a sensitive manner. The response from

all the children and parents who have already

returned has been very positive.”

He said that plans were in place for pupils from all

year groups to return in September and added: “We

are confident that although some secondary schools

might struggle to open in September, like primary

schools, our small size will enable all our year groups

and classes to return.”

The school reopens on Wednesday, September 2 and

is offering virtual tours via Zoom for potential new

pupils and their families.

Elmhurst Ballet School, Edgbaston

Along with other ballet schools around the country,

Elmhurst Ballet School has taken the decision to

delay auditions for 2021 admission to the school until

January 2021.

A school spokesperson said: “Collectively the schools

understand the impact COVID-19 has had on

training and applications so this will help shape their

next round of auditions to allow students to feel

supported and prepared, especially as they secure the

next important stage of their dance training.”

The school has, however, been staging three-day

online ‘back to dance’ masterclasses delivered by

Elmhurst teachers and Birmingham Royal Ballet

dancers accompanied by the school’s resident

pianists. There were separate timetables for 10 to

13-year-olds and 14 to 19-year-olds.

Maple Hayes Hall, Lichfield

The school is reopening for all pupils on Wednesday,

September 9, following on from a phased return for

pupils from some year groups in June.

The latest advice for parents is that any pupil who

is presenting symptoms of coronavirus should not

attend school for 10 days and that parents should

contact the school office.

SOME CHILDREN ARE RETURNING

TO THE CLASSROOM FOR THE

FIRST TIME IN SIX MONTHS

38


LO CA L A R E A

What’s On Local

YOU MAY NEED TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX WHEN IT COMES TO FINDING

THINGS TO KEEP YOURSELF AND THE FAMILY ENTERTAINED THIS MONTH

WHAT: BONSAI DEMONSTRATION

WHERE: BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS, EDGBASTON

WHEN: SEPTEMBER 13

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is back open to the public, although

you will need to book tickets and time slots in advance.

Visitors can stroll around its four glasshouses, including a tropical

house where you can pretend you’ve been whisked away to

somewhere exotic. The children’s playground is now open daily and

the tea room is serving takeaway drinks and snacks.

Many of the garden’s upcoming events have been postponed or

cancelled but you can still go along to a demonstration by the

Midland Bonsai Society. They’ll be talking about the best care and

practice for bonsai trees, and you can even take along your own

bonsai tree for the experts to look at.

Visit www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk for the latest

information.

WHAT: SAFARI PARK AND THEME PARK RIDES

WHERE: WEST MIDLANDS SAFARI AND LEISURE PARK

WHEN: EVERY DAY IN SEPTEMBER

You’ll need to book your tickets in advance, but West Midlands

Safari and Leisure Park has now reopened its doors to the public.

The adventure theme park and its rides have reopened, with some

ride vehicles being left empty to help people stay socially distant.

Feeding of some animals is being allowed again and the lemur

woods and goat walk have been reopened, with visitors asked to

wear a face covering as they stroll through amongst the lemurs.

Visit www.wmsp.co.uk for more information.

WHAT: BEER GARDEN AND STREET FOOD MARKET

WHERE: WARWICK CASTLE

WHEN: SEPTEMBER 3, 4 AND 5

Digbeth Dining Club has joined forces with Warwick Castle to turn

the castle into a beer garden and street food market.

The Open Arms sees an array of tasty food options from some of

the best street food vendors around. You can enjoy your food and

drink outdoors while listening to music courtesy of DJs.

Tickets must be booked in advance and you’ll be allocated your

own table which you can share with up to four adults, or up to six if

you’re all from the same household. Visit

www.digbethdiningclub.com/theopenarms for details

40


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MEYER GURTEEN OLYMP

CLAUDIO LUGLI CULTURE

HATICO CASA MODA VIYELLA

Based in the Jewellery Quarter we buy and sell most prestigious watch brands including

Rolex, Breitling, Omega, TAG Heuer, Cartier, Panerai, IWC and look forward to meeting

you for a pre-arranged appointment to view the watch of your choice.

All of our watches are meticulously prepared by an experienced watchmaker and come

with either the manufacturer’s warranty, or our 12 months warranty. Additionally we offer

a 14 day money back guarantee on all online orders for your peace of mind.

WATCHES OF SUTTON LTD, BRANSTON COURT, BRANSTON STREET, BIRMINGHAM B18 6BA

ALL VISITS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

TEL: 0121 405 4055 - EMAIL: SALES@WATCHESOFSUTTON.CO.UK

WEB: WATCHESOFSUTTON.CO.UK

WATCHESOFSUTTON

WATCHES_OF_SUTTON


WHAT: FLOATING CINEMA

WHERE: MYSTERY LOCATION NEAR BIRMINGHAM

WHEN: SEPTEMBER 9 TO 13

An events company is staging a floating cinema near

Birmingham, with the audience made up of up to 24 mini

boats, each holding up to eight cinemagoers.

The organisers are keeping the details such a closely guarded

secret that they haven’t yet revealed the location or the films

due to be shown.

What they will say is that people who attend need to purchase

an entire boat’s worth of tickets and that everyone attending

will receive free popcorn.

People who are interested in taking part can pre-register their

details and then receive an email once tickets sales are open.

You can sign up for information here: www.zip-tickets.

com/event/show/floating-boat-cinema-europetour-1547170

WHAT: KITTY CUDDLES

WHERE: KITTY CAFÉ, GRAND CENTRAL SHOPPING CENTRE

WHEN: EVERY DAY IN SEPTEMBER

The Kitty Café at Grand Central had to postpone its first

birthday celebration due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s

now back open every day for people in need of feline cuddles.

You need to book a day and time in advance on the website,

before going along to enjoy some furry company with your

refreshments.

The website includes names and photos of the cats, so that

you can find out more about them before your meal. Check

out www.kittycafe.co.uk

WHAT: LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTRE

WHERE: KING EDWARDS ROAD, BIRMINGHAM

WHEN: SELECTED DATES IN SEPTEMBER

The second city’s Legoland Discovery Centre is back open to

the public, and includes all the rides plus the 4D cinema that

visitors are used to. Tickets need to be bought in advance.

The Lego brick pits are currently closed, but every guest is

given their own bag of Lego to play with during their visit.

This is then returned at the end and deep cleaned before

other people are allowed to use it.

The centre is still planning its adults-only events, with

the next due to take place on September 9. Visit www.

legolanddiscoverycentre.co.uk for details.

42


OPEN

FOR NEW

RESIDENTS

WE

REMAIN

COVID

FREE

Rosemary Lodge Care Home for elderly ladies and gentlemen offers a level

of care, community and comfort that is second to none. Situated a short way

from the bustling City Centre of Lichfield and set in landscaped gardens,

Rosemary Lodge is light, spacious and beautifully decorated, offering residents

just the right combination of activity and relaxation. Residents are encouraged

to retain their independence and individuality whilst being fully supported to

live a fulfilled and enjoyable life.

A family run concern that has been a highly regarded part of the community

for almost 30 years. Offering 24- hour care, fully trained staff work together

to communicate with residents to ensure that personal care needs are met in

a fully person-centred approach, thus building an important relationship of

trust and friendship.

Two qualified chefs offer a nutritionally balanced and varied menu, catering

for any dietary requirement, using fresh, locally sourced produce, served in

a spacious dining room that offers views out towards the Orangery and the

gardens and fountain.

The Orangery offers the perfect space for residents, family and friends to

meet up, chat enjoy coffee and snacks at any time of the year.

Based in the heart of Staffordshire in the picturesque village

of Alrewas, our shop is packed with ideas and inspiration for

your home. Incorporating Jo Raybould Interior Design within,

for those who require the services of a professional designer.

needwoodliving.co.uk

136 Main Street Alrewas, DE13 7ED

01283 711 272

info@needwoodliving.co.uk

All rooms are en-suite, and are designed to comfortably accommodate

individuals and couples. Full wi-fi throughout to allow residents to keep in

touch with family and friends through video link or FaceTime.

Regular activities and entertainment include movement to music, musical

theatre groups, pet therapy, pub lunches, and visits to local events are regularly

organised. However, privacy and peace and quiet is also ensured. There is also

an on-site hairdressing and beauty salon.

Rosemary Lodge also offers respite care, holiday stay and limited day care.

Rosemary Lodge Residential Home

191 Walsall Road, Lichfield. Staffs. WS13 8AQ.

In the first instance please contact Jane Evans - Registered Care Manager

or Shirley Kent - Administration Manager.

01543 415223 - Email: roselodgehome@aol.com

www.rosemarylodgecarehome.co.uk

CQC RATING GOOD


LO CA L A R E A

Getting out and about

WHEN IT COMES TO GOING PLACES AND DOING THINGS, 2020 HAS BECOME THE YEAR

OF CANCELLATIONS AND POSTPONEMENTS. BUT THERE ARE STILL PLENTY OF THINGS

YOU CAN GET OUT AND DO SAFELY. HERE ARE SOME OF OUR TOP PICKS

Visit an open-air market

There are so many wins when you visit an openair

market at the moment. You can support local,

independent business, stock up on essentials, stay in

comparative safety outdoors and surely it even counts

towards your daily exercise tally.

There are so many markets to choose from in our

area, from farmers markets to bric-a-brac stalls. You

can stay close to home or travel a bit further afield to

sample the delights of a neighbouring town.

Our favourite markets include the Buzzards Valley

Artisan and Local Business Market at Buzzards

Valley Vineyard in Tamworth, where there’s

free parking and free entry. The next will be on

September 13.

Take to the greens

Golf can be for everyone, regardless of their age,

gender and bank balance. If you can hold a golf club

then you can learn to play golf.

Golf is great exercise (although electric buggies are

available) and a brilliant way to spend a few hours

outdoors. The necessity to steer clear of flying balls

also helps to ensure people will abide by social

distancing rules too.

The J’AIME patch is blessed with so many brilliant

golf courses that we couldn’t possibly choose a

favourite. However you might want to give The

Belfry Hotel and Resort a try – spa treatments and

BEAUTIFUL SUTTON PARK IS

THE PERFECT SPOT FOR SOME

RELAXING LEISURE TIME

afternoons teas are also available if you’ve earned

one after all that walking.

Anyone for tennis?

Tennis was one of the first sports to resume after

lockdown restrictions began to be eased.

Contrary to what some people may believe it can be

a year-round activity, and not just for warm days in

the middle of summer.

There are numerous clubs to choose from in the

area, including Four Oaks Tennis Club which was

established in 1906.

The bowl of strawberries and cream you may want

to indulge in afterwards is purely optional.

Park life

We’ve all had months of strolling around our own

neighbourhood as part of our daily exercise, so why

not stretch your legs slightly further afield and see

what else the second city and surrounding areas have

to offer?

There are literally dozens of parks and green spaces

to be uncovered, if you fancy taking in some different

trees and flowers for a change.

Choose the right park and you could combine your

exercise with an ice cream or a takeaway coffee from

a café, and do your bit to help support the local

economy.

44


The

Boat Inn

tatlowcarpets

& flooring

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Abingdon, Adam’s, Associated Weavers, Axminster, Brintons, Brockways,

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Furniture moved ✔ Our own regular fitters ✔

Owned by the mighty talented and award winning

chef Liam Dillon, The Boat Inn won best newcomer

in the esteemed 50 Best Gastropubs award at

the end of last year and also this year won the

highest new entry. It’s no 20 on the list.

Inevitably, Liam has had a challenging time during

lockdown however, he has really come back

fighting and used the time to pivot his business

and focus on the restaurant interiors and

garden.

Extensive refurbishment works has meant that

The Boat Inn has a brand new feel both inside and

outside with the new glass lantern roof over the

chefs table, renovated toilets and a new floor

throughout. In the garden a poly tunnel has been

built and the finishing touches are being made

to Liam’s aquaponics system which will allow the

team to have an abundance of fruit, vegetables

and herbs throughout the year moving towards

organic produce wherever possible. This all serves

to prove that Liam is serious about where he is

guiding The Boat and has put plans in place to be

the best it can be.

The restaurant will be back open on Friday

September 4th with tables from midday until

9.30pm. Bookings are now being taken for each

weekend in September and the diary is open for the

rest of the year too. Regulars and newcomers alike

are sure to be thrilled by Liam’s British Classics

with creative, modern flair that is distinctive of

his style.

Liam has also made available takeaway Afternoon

Tea which celebrates great produce and packaged

individually for social distancing purposes. These

can be ordered, collected and enjoyed anywhere

....in the garden at The Boat or taken away home or

to meet friends and enjoy in a park or gardens.

The Boat Inn is fast becoming Staffordshire’s most

sought after foodie idyll and is a really exciting

offer for the area, with nothing else like it in the

immediate vicinity.

Call for details - 01543 361692 - Open Wednesday (evening) - Sunday

www.theboatinnlichfield.com - Walsall Road, Lichfield WS14 0BU

AUG/SEPT

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Finance facilities now available

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Please see our website for further details

www.tatlowcarpets.co.uk

Tel: 01543 264766

Open to the public. Mon-Fri: 9.00am - 5.00pm. Sat: 10.00am - 4.00pm

Unit 4, Europa Way, Britannia Enterprise Park, Lichfield, Staffs, WS14 9TZ


FA S H I O N

Layers of style

AS THE UNPREDICTABLE WEATHER VEERS FROM SUMMER SUNSHINE TO

AUTUMNAL CHILLS, AMY NORBURY TAKES A LOOK AT THAT HERO OF

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING - LAYERING

EARLY autumn dressing can be a bit of a minefield. After all,

it’s that time of year where we regularly see chilly downpours

one minute, blazing sunshine the next.

A hefty coat might seem like a good idea when it’s see-yourbreath

cold as you leave the house, but feels like a wardrobe fail

when you’re sweating through the rush-hour commute, while

bright blue skies can fool you into thinking outerwear is an

unnecessary extra - until the heavens open, that is.

And therein lies the conundrum; how do we dress for all

weathers at once?

The simple answer? Layering. The number one rule for having a

great transition weather wardrobe is learning how to work layers

to your advantage.

Opting for a few light layers, rather than one bulky one, makes

dressing - and undressing, in the case of a surprise midday

heatwave - a breeze, whatever the weather.

Once the epitome of granny chic, the cardigan has made a huge

comeback in recent seasons for its stylish versatility. Cardis were

a firm favourite all over the autumn/winter 2020 catwalks, with

Miu Miu, Chanel and Gucci all showcasing the new knitwear

hero. And when it comes to layering, cardigans are a key player;

throw over a dress to keep the chills at bay, team with jeans and

a shirt for casual cool or add under a lightweight jacket for an

extra layer of protection against the elements.

The biggest dilemma of the transitional season is often whether

or not to leave the house without a coat; you don’t want to be

carting around a heavy winter number ‘just in case’ nor do you

want to be caught unawares when the thermometer dips. A

trusty trench is probably the most versatile outerwear option for

all seasons, while a longline blazer can be layered with a shirt

and fine knit for added warmth without the bulk.

While the days of sandal weather may just be behind us, it

doesn’t mean ditching the floaty dresses and skirts of summer

entirely just yet. Switching out your summer footwear for a pair

of trusty boots will mean you can eke out that section of your

wardrobe a little while longer; layering your summer dresses

with light knits and knee highs will see you well into autumn.

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33


B E AU T Y

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For an instant hydration boost, try my

Orange Flower Hydrogel, £37

(30ml), with its added benefits of

organic vitamin C to restore balance and

help maintain the oil levels in the skin.

It’s the perfect anti-aging solution too,

as it helps to penetrate fine lines even

around the delicate eye area.

BEAT THE BREAKOUTS

During the menopause hormone levels

start to drop and you may find that you

develop spots and acne breakouts. It’s

essential to clean away pollution, dirt

and grime to keep your skin in tip top

condition.

My Bee Polish, £37 (30ml), extracts

toxins without harming the outer layer of

the skin and because it’s the first nonabrasive,

anti-ageing exfoliator to contain

the patented formula ABEETOXIN® it

also helps alleviate fine lines and wrinkles

as well as lighten pigmentation.

For an extra deep detox,

try Willowbee® Mask &

Cleanse, £55. It contains

bark from the willow tree, a

natural and organic alternative

to aspirin, and its antiinflammatory

and healing

properties make it ideal for oily

skin. Massage into your skin

after cleansing and leave on

for 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Alternatively you can apply before bedtime, leave

overnight for an intensive treatment, and wash off the

next morning.

ENLARGED PORES

Anyone who has enlarged pores will

know just how frustrating they can be.

Introduce the “double cleanse” into

your daily skincare routine – the first

cleanse can move the dirt around your

face so doing it twice means you get

deeper into your pores.

Because my Cleanse and Foam

Wash, £37 (145ml), is a nonabrasive

exfoliator, toner and cleanser

in one it helps to balance oil levels

while repairing skin.

It improves elasticity levels while

balancing oil levels to reduce shine on

your T-Zone.

Once your face is fully cleansed apply

a few drops of Heaven’s Clarifying

Serum, £55 (30ml), either on its

own or combined with your favourite

moisturiser. Because it contains

naturally-occurring microbes it helps

kill off nasty bacteria and bring the

skin back to equilibrium. It also has

a soothing scent which can promote

relaxation and induce sleep.

All products featured are available online at www.heavenskincare.com

48


アパート

夀 䔀 䄀 刀 匀 伀 䘀

䈀 䔀 匀 倀 伀 䬀 䔀 䘀 䤀 一 䔀 䨀 䔀 圀 䔀 䰀 䰀 䔀 刀 夀 ꀀ

伀 渀 攀 漀 昀 琀 栀 攀 氀 愀 爀 最 攀 猀 琀 挀 漀 氀 氀 攀 挀 琀 椀 漀 渀 猀 漀 昀

挀 漀 渀 琀 攀 洀 瀀 漀 爀 愀 爀 礀 ǻ 渀 攀 樀 攀 眀 攀 氀 氀 攀 爀 礀 椀 渀 琀 栀 攀 唀 䬀

匀 瀀 攀 挀 椀 愀 氀 椀 猀 琀 猀 椀 渀 搀 攀 猀 椀 最 渀 椀 渀 最 愀 渀 搀 洀 愀 欀 椀 渀 最 Ⰰ

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䄀 䰀 䰀 䔀 一 䈀 刀 伀 圀 一 䨀 䔀 圀 䔀 䰀 䰀 䔀 刀 夀

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アパート 夀 䔀 䄀 刀 匀 伀 䘀

昀 椀 琀

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挀 漀 渀 琀 攀 洀 瀀 漀 爀 愀 爀 礀 ǻ 渀 攀 樀 攀 眀 攀 氀 氀 攀 爀 礀 椀 渀 琀 栀 攀 唀 䬀

匀 瀀 攀 挀 椀 愀 氀 椀 猀 琀 猀 椀 渀 搀 攀 猀 椀 最 渀 椀 渀 最 愀 渀 搀 洀 愀 欀 椀 渀 最 Ⰰ

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Specialists in designing and making, remodelling and refurbishing

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匀 Staffordshire 琀 愀 昀 昀 漀 爀 搀 猀 栀 椀 爀 攀 WS14 圀 匀 㐀 9QR 㤀 儀 刀

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眀 www.allenbrownjewellery.co.uk

眀 眀 ⸀ 愀 氀 氀 攀 渀 戀 爀 漀 眀 渀 樀 攀 眀 攀 氀 氀 攀 爀 礀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀

昀 椀 琀


B U S I N E S S

The Ripple effect

JANE GALVEZ, FOUNDER OF INDEPENDENT HR CONSULTANCY RIPPLE HR, SPECIALISES IN

WORKING WITH SME BUSINESSES TO OFFER A BESPOKE HR SERVICE TAILORED TO EACH CLIENT

Jane says: “In the last three years I have grown

Ripple HR, without any business contacts in

Lichfield to a business working with 30 clients over

various sectors in the West Midlands.

“The businesses I work with include manufacturing,

web design, print, charity, accountants, dentists,

recruitment, vehicle leasing, wine merchants, pubs,

IT, building supplies, PR, energy, legal and building.

“I have used my experience gained in various

boardrooms, in Private Equity and growing a tech

business from two employees to 50 with global reach

where I learned HR as it progressed, to help these

clients develop their businesses.

“Each business is unique but applying Ripple’s

positive approach, being part of the team on the

factory floor, in the offices or out on the road, has

given these clients the support they need when they

need it and built enduring relationships based on

solid practical, no nonsense advice.

“We have adjusted the structure of some businesses,

made redundancies, helped managers to develop

their own skills and develop their teams. I do

this with a smile, face challenges head on, roll up

my sleeves and find the most realistic solution.

This creates good HR practices which are visible

throughout the business and send ripples to others

as they create a positive culture to transform the

business – that’s why my business is called Ripple

HR.

“I have recently started working with individuals in

areas such as redundancy consultations, grievance

support, mentoring, coaching, and mental health. I

trained as a mental health first aider last year which

has given me the opportunity to bring this into the

workplace and provide an improved offering to my

clients and individuals alike.

“Supporting young people in their journey

from university or college into their first role is a

passion of mine, which I offer support for either

in a professional capacity or through my personal

contribution to the local community working with

South Staffs College developing the employability

JANE GALVEZ OF RIPPLE HR

skills of their students. The CIPD included this work

in their 2019 annual report which you can find on

the Ripple website.

“I have also been working with the HR software

support platform X-Pert HR to help them develop

their revised platform with their Head of UX who

has written a testimonial on the Ripple website.”

For more information visit www.ripple-hr.co.uk

or email jane.galvez@ripple-hr.co.uk and you

can also find Ripple HR on Facebook at

www.facebook.com/RippleHR

50


Probate and formal valuations

for inheritance tax purposes

Our reliable and sympathetic

team can assist all executors in the

administration of deceased estates

From jewellery and large collections

to cars, furniture and household

items, we handle everything

Comprehensive, bespoke

clearance service and

downsizing solutions

We handle clearance of an entire

estate from houses, bungalows and

flats to offices and all other buildings

We specialise in:

Antique and modern jewellery

Watches

Gemstones

Silverware

Coins, medals and militaria

Works of art

Whisky and wine

Vintage toys

Stamps and ephemera

Cameras and record collections

Scientific equipment

Antique and modern furniture

Qualified

All members of our jewellery

department are certified

gemmologists and diamond graders

Record-breaking

international sales

More than 3,000 bidders from

all over the world joined our latest

online Fine Arts Sale

Online services available

Virtual estimates, online auctions

and contactless collections.

Valuations and viewing by

appointment only

STARTING 3RD SEPT

Weekly Valuations

Every Thursday

For your Jewellery

and Watches

With Heather Callaway

FIRV FGA DGA AMEA

The Hub at St Mary’s

Market Square,

Lichfield City Centre, WS13 6LG

Thursdays 10am-4pm

Established – Professional – Transparent

The Winterton family name has been synonymous

with auctioneering in Staffordshire since 1864

01543 251081

www.richardwinterton.co.uk

richardwinterton@richardwinterton.co.uk

The Lichfield

Auction Centre,

Wood End Lane,

Fradley Park

WS13 8NF

NAJ A4 ad_August_2020.indd 1 07/08/2020 16:17

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