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latest in fashion and style.
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Your Local Magazine
12 Lest We Forget
A page of reflective poetry to remember the
34 Christmas at the Cathedral
Festive events at the City's famous landmark
40 The History of Croxall Hall
Jono Oates delves into the background of this
43 City View
The Newsletter of Lichfield City Council
50 Lockdown Reads
Local libraries share their most popular books
From the Editor…
We’re starting to get into the festive spirit a little more now here at
Citylife and, despite the pandemic being all around us, there’s also so
much to look forward to and be thankful for.
This Remembrance Day, the country will fall silent as we remember
those that fought and died for us and, although we can’t attend the
usual parades and memorial ceremonies, we will be using the time to
reflect on this year and what it has taught us. We may not have seen
friends and family members very often; we may have had work issues
due to Covid-19; or we may even have lost loved ones… but one thing
we have learned is that, as a nation, we do not give up.
The clocks went back recently, signalling the true start to the season
ahead, which brings dark evenings, drizzly days and cold snaps. However,
it’s also plays host to warm fires, cosy slippers and hearty meals! Every
In the November issue we’re bringing you the latest local news; even
more dining reviews from your favourite local restaurants; fact-filled
history articles courtesy of our resident historian, Jono Oates; and a
few festive extras to help you soak up the atmosphere of the festive
Feet up, cup of tea at the ready and enjoy this month’s issue!
Boost Wellbeing with
Be in the moment by
heading out to one of
the district’s parks or
open spaces and have
a go at a series of
A free online Park
Pause booklet has
been launched to help
people take time in
nature, to benefit
their health and
wellbeing and reduce
Ruth Piddington, Community & Education
Officer for Lichfield District Council, has
achieved a diploma in mindfulness. Until
recently she had been leading Health Walks
around Lichfield’s historic parks, but these have
been put on hold due to the coronavirus.
To help encourage people to soak up all the
benefits of the great outdoors, Ruth has
developed a range of exercises that incorporate
her new skills. From breathing techniques and
using all your senses, to spotting colours in
nature and getting up close and personal with
tree bark, these are just some of the eight
activities in the Park Pause activity pack.
To download the booklets, go to
Receives Lifeline Grant
Lichfield Garrick has
£279,446 as part of
£1.57 billion Culture
Recovery Fund (CRF)
to help face the
challenges of the
c o r o n a v i r u s
pandemic and to
ensure it has a
Lichfield Garrick is one of 1,385 cultural and
creative organisations across the country
receiving urgently needed support. A £257
million investment was announced as part of
the very first round of the Culture Recovery
Fund grants programme being administered by
Arts Council England.
The Garrick is a modern, purpose-built theatre
and plays host to the best and widest range of
musical theatre, drama, comedy, music and
family entertainment in the City of Lichfield. The
government grant will support the theatre reopening
this winter season in a safe, socially
distanced space, whilst reducing the loss of
income over the winter period.
The theatre looks forward to welcoming back
audiences new and old and looks forward to
being able to connect with those who have
been without cultural experiences, joy and
laughter this year.
Lisa Mason & Anthony Miles
(Admin team at WHW)
Communities are constantly evolving and
keeping residents informed, as well as gathering
feedback, are key issues. Having worked with
many rural parishes to develop methods to
improve community engagement, Lisa Mason
has turned her attention to Whittington by
setting up a What’s Happening Whittington page
This page is a place where anyone living or
working in the parish can share news, events,
promote local services, ask for
recommendations and report issues and, since
its initial creation in 2018, it has proved popular
with residents and businesses, connecting
neighbours and providing a way to share views
WHW also shares posts from groups and
businesses in Whittington, Fisherwick,
Hademore, Tamhorn and Huddlesford allowing
services and activities to reach a wider
Visit the page at
or search What’s Happening Whittington on
Mountain of Support
For many, coping with and recovering from
domestic abuse could be likened to climbing a
How fitting, then, that one Lichfield man
decided to do just that!
Paul Wright scaled Mount Snowdon to not only
raise awareness about domestic abuse but also
to raise funds for New Era, the domestic abuse
service for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
that helped a
close friend turn
her life around.
As well as
c h a l l e n g i n g
w e a t h e r
had to overcome
his fear of heights
when he tackled
Paul, aged 39,
who is Lichfield born and bred, is chairman of
Lichfield Social Community Football Club and
was joined by 17 friends, all of whom had to
conform to the social distancing measures that
were in place at that time.
Thanks to the generosity of friends, family and
local businesses, the group has already raised
£2,000 - more than doubling Paul’s original
fundraising target. To donate, visit
New Era’s confidential helpline for victims of
domestic abuse is available 24-hours on 0300
303 3778. Alternatively, a live webchat operates
round-the-clock via www.new-era.uk.
Final Farewell to
The funeral of Ken Knowles, the former Town
Crier of Lichfield, took place on Monday 19th
October and the cortege made its way round
the streets of the city, passing by locations that
Ken had appeared at on many occasions to
perform his civic duties as both Town Crier and
Socially distanced crowds gathered along the
route to pay their last respects to one of
Lichfield’s most well-known, and loved,
The private ceremony took place at Fradley
Crematorium with a live broadcast of the
service being available online.
Rest in Peace Ken Knowles - Lichfield’s World
Champion Town Crier.
Squash by the Spires
life and planted an oak tree in his memory.
Trust chairperson Chris Bull introduced Tony's
son Kevin, who explained how important the
Trust had become to his father and thanked
everyone for coming to recognise his part in
the canal's restoration.
Rotary Aid for
New Name for Festival
Lichfield Squash Club celebrated World Squash
Day and inspired people to try the sport of
squash on Saturday 10th October by holding a
Squash by the Spires event.
World Squash Day is an annual global
celebration of the sport and normally involves
clubs opening up their courts to allow people
to try it out. Given the restrictions currently
placed on indoor events, this year clubs and
federations were encouraged to ‘take squash to
the streets’ and stage outdoor events.
Lichfield Squash Club set up a mobile rebound
wall by the main entrance to the Cathedral and
two of the club’s coaches, James Roberts and
Gary Snowden, were on hand to show people
the basics of hitting the ball against the rebound
The Lichfield coaches were joined by Chris
Dawson, a professional squash coach who is
also the Chairman of the newly formed
Staffordshire Squash County Committee, which
is looking to build squash participation across
Full safety protocols were observed, including
mask wearing, sanitising equipment before and
after each use and maintenance of social
distancing. The coaches also took precautions
to ensure that no stray squash balls came into
contact with the ancient façade of the
LHCRT Pays Tribute
Family, friends and
colleagues gathered to
celebrate the life of
Lichfield and Hatherton
Tony, who passed away
last month at the age of
75, joined the Trust in 2005 after the death of
his beloved wife Jackie, but in that short time
became a key member of the volunteer team
and a friend to everyone he met.
Best remembered as an expert driver of diggers
and dumpers, Tony's favourite place to take a
break was next to the ramp on the Tamworth
Road section of the canal, and appropriately it
was here that the Trust held a celebration of his
Terry Partridge presents the cheque to
Lichfield Rotary Club has recently handed over
a cheque for £1,000 to the Lichfield Food Bank
at its local warehouse. The presentation was
made by the Club’s president, Terry Partridge.
The Rotary Club was pleased to hear that the
£1,000 will go towards providing up to 500
Christmas parcels of food in December.
Chairman, David Clarke, said that before
lockdown the Trust volunteers had presented
food parcels to 60 local people prior. After that
date the demand increased to 135 local
inhabitants of Lichfield and district villages
during the following 10-week period.
The Rotary Club meets at Darnford Moors
Golf Club which, in normal times, is every
Thursday lunchtime. Anyone interested in
joining can call for further details on 01543
Test and Trace
Lichfield District residents told to self-isolate by
NHS Test and Trace may be entitled to a one-off
payment of £500, if they meet the criteria.
The government has set up the Test and Trace
support payment scheme for residents whose
earnings are affected by staying at home. This is
for anyone on a low income who is unable to
work from home and will lose income by having
Locally the scheme is being administered by
Lichfield District Council and is running from
28th September to 31st January 2021.
For the full eligibility criteria and to apply visit
Lichfield Festival Association has changed its
name to Lichfield Festival Friends as of 1st
The Lichfield Festival supporter’s group was
formed after the Lichfield Festival began in 1981
to support the Festival through practical help at
events, along with financial contributions from
membership subscriptions and fundraising
events. Over the years it has become one of
the Festival’s main sponsors.
The name change reflects what the organisation
does and was approved by the membership in a
recent poll after this year’s AGM had to be
The Lichfield Festival Friends (LFF) looks
forward to the return of Festival events next
year. You can join the LFF through the website
www.lichfieldfestival.org, where you can also
donate to the Festival, which will be celebrating
its 40th anniversary in 2022.
Due to the current restrictions regarding
Covid-19, Burntwood Town Council has taken
the difficult decision to cancel this year’s
Christmas Lights Switch-On events across the
town. Unfortunately, social distancing
requirements prevent events being held where
people are expected to gather.
However, the lights will still be put onto the
Christmas Trees to bring some festive cheer to
the Town. The Town Councillors are also
looking at ways in which the festive season can
be celebrated in compliance with Covid-19
L Hall will enjoy an afternoon tea
for two at Cakes of Wonderland. D
York receives a granite chopping
board courtesy of Just Granite, and
N Haslam will enjoy a performance
of An Evening with The Fizz at The
Well done everyone!
When can you afford to retire?
How many pensions do you have? Will they provide you with enough income when you retire?
Do you know how much tax free cash can be taken from them and when?
What type of pensions do you have? Do you know the difference?
Would you like a professional to give them the once over? Have you got a full state pension?
How many years will it be before you can afford to retire?
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 goals.
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 Planning.
At the moment, given the current
circumstances, you may prefer a
telephone call or online meeting initially.
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 financial planning
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 there.
Our Financial Adviser team at Four
Oaks Financial Services are supported
by in-house research, client liaison and
As an experienced Financial Adviser I
work with clients, at all stages of their
life, 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, MLIBF
0121 323 2070, 07968 504805
Rag‘n’Bone Man at
Rag‘n’Bone Man will be appearing at Cannock
Chase as part of Forest Live 2021, the summer
concert series presented by Forestry England.
Neo-blues and soul singer Rory Graham, aka
Rag‘n’Bone Man, is an English singer-songwriter
known for his distinctive baritone voice. Having
won the 2017 BRIT’s ‘British Breakthrough Act’
and receiving the BRIT’s Critics’ Choice Award
in the same year, Rag‘n’Bone Man cemented his
success with the record-breaking release of his
4 x platinum No. 1 album Human and a further
BRIT Award for ‘British Single’ for the title track
Forest Live is a major outdoor live music series
that introduces forests to new audiences in
unique, natural woodland arenas around the
country. Going to a concert helps Forestry
England create beautiful places for people to
enjoy, run important conservation projects and
keep growing trees.
Rag ‘n’ Bone Man will appear at Cannock Chase
Forest on Friday 11th June 2021.Tickets are
now on sale at www.forestryengland.uk/music.
Window Poppies for
The Remembrance Sunday
Service at the Cenotaph in
Shenstone will be much
smaller this year due to the
restrictions imposed by
Covid-19. The Parish
Council has suggested a
number of ways residents
can still pay tribute, one being similar to the
“Rainbows for the NHS” with the idea that
children paint, draw or make poppies to be
displayed in windows so that on 9th
November the whole village will be festooned
with the emblem of remembrance.
The Parish Clerk would be delighted to
receive any pictures that children would like
to share for display in the Parish Office
window and in the Library. You can download
a poppy to print and colour (like the one
above) from www.shenstone-staffs.gov.uk.
CHAPS Gets Boost
The funding for the
National Miners’ Memorial
has received a huge boost
from the National Union
of Mineworkers (NUM)
and is now well on the way
to achieving the target of
£100,000 needed to
complete the memorial.
Earlier this year CHAPS
(Chase Arts for Public
Spaces) member and exminer
Len Prince visited the NUM to give a
presentation about the memorial to the
Yorkshire branch committee, with Chris
Kitchen in attendance; this followed on from a
visit to the NUM offices last year by President
of CHAPS, Mike Mellor. CHAPS is absolutely
delighted with the donation, which takes the
total to £80,000.
CHAPS wishes to thank everyone who has
made a contribution to this long overdue
tribute to those men, women and children who
worked in the coal industry; plans are on target
for the unveiling to take place in summer 2021.
Friary Grange Pool
pool at Friary
O c t o b e r
closure in March due to Covid-19 restrictions.
In-line with current guidelines, and lessons
learned from re-opening Burntwood Leisure
Centre, the Friary Grange pool is open for prebooked
lane swimming and is available for club
and group sessions.
Gym facilities and the dance studio also reopened
from 2nd November, following the
completion of work in an area shared with
Friary School. Class sizes and gym numbers are
reduced to make sure they are run in a safe and
The Friary Grange repairs programme includes
significant work on the roof and ceiling over the
swimming pool, which will mean the closure of
the whole leisure centre from 29th November
until 4th January.
To book swimming pool sessions, visit
To keep up
to date with the works at Friary Grange
Leisure Centre, visit
St Giles Hospice
is inviting people
to ‘light up a life’
Light Up a Life
loved ones who
are no longer
with us this
C o r o n a v i r u s
mean that the
festive services -
usually held at
churches across the region each year - will not
be able to take place in 2020. But the hospice
will instead be offering supporters the
opportunity to dedicate a light on their virtual
Christmas tree, to write a message to
remember family, friends and colleagues in the
Book of Memories and display a special Light up
a Life decoration at home.
An online version of the Book of Memories will
be made available to read and download from
the hospice website this Christmas, and the
physical books will be put on display to read at
selected sites throughout December.
Denise Walker, aged 64, has supported St Giles
since her partner, Peter, died in 2018. Peter was
cared for at St Giles for three days and Denise
took part in Light up a Life for the first time the
People can register for Light Up a Life online at
closing date for messages in the Book of
Memories is midnight on Thursday, 12th
November, and you can dedicate a light on our
virtual Christmas tree until 29th January, 2021.
Local Farm Shop Wins
Bradbury’s Farm Shop & Butchery, based at
Curborough Countryside Centre, has been
awarded Farm Shop of the Year 2020/21 in the
Central England Prestige Awards.
The awards, held in October, recognise small
and medium-sized businesses that have proven
to be the best in their industry over the
previous 12 month period.
Bradbury's Farm Shop & Butchery is passionate
about producing from its own family farm in
Hopwas and prides itself on sourcing produce
as locally as possible.
Lest We Forget…
This year, Remembrance Sunday (8th November) will be a very
different affair due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the
Government guidelines which do not allow groups of more
than six people to meet outside. Therefore, traditional
Remembrance Day celebrations, such as the laying of wreaths at
war memorials and gathering to pay our respects, will be off limits.
Instead, to mark this poignant day we have compiled some of the
best-known war poems so that we can all still pay tribute in our own
In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
For the Fallen
By Laurence Binyon
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
By Rupert Brooke
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
Now open Monday’s
& more late nights
By Nick Thompson, Militaria Specialist at Richard
Just when you think you have seen everything in the world of military
medals, this First World War archive landed on my desk.
It’s the story of Sergeant Charles Barker and includes one of the most
personal and poignant letters I’ve ever encountered.
Having entered the war in France serving with the East Yorkshire
Regiment, this brave soldier had transferred to the 31st Battalion
Machine Gun Corps – aka the ‘Suicide Squad’ – and had already earned
the Military Medal.
What happened next powerfully demonstrates both the horror of war
and the comradeship between soldiers.
In April 1918, while commanding the battalion to retreat at Merris
near the Belgian border, a German sniper managed to get Sgt Barker in
his sights and shot him in the head.
Barker’s pal, a Sergeant H Kyte, was standing next to his friend and,
realising he would not be able to save the dying man, made his final
minutes as comfortable as he could before he passed away in his arms.
Barker, originally from St Helens, Merseyside, was just 29.
Kyte then pulled his friend’s body from the battlefield into a nearby
field, buried him in the mist of gunfire – and later drew a detailed map
which he sent with a poignant letter back to Barker’s family so they could
The letter, addressed to the family of Sergeant C. Barker, of machine
gun corps, provides a tear-jerking account of the soldier’s last minutes.
Handwritten in June 1918 and then later typed up – we have both
copies in this archive – the document details how Barker was choking
for breath saying ‘my wife’ before succumbing to his wound.
In the letter, Sgt Kyte says: “I will do all I can to gather information
about your late brother.
“Your brother died in my arms and in his last moments he managed to
gasp out ‘my wife, brother’.
“As far as I can make out from his pleading look he wanted to be
remembered to his wife, brother, brother or relatives.
“Of course, I do not know if he has a wife or not [but] these were his
Kyte then goes on to discuss what happened to Barker in detail as well
as providing a pencil-drawn map of his resting place.
This proved invaluable too as
authorities used it to find Barker’s body
for reinternment in Meteren Military
Cemetery a few miles away.
A letter from the Commonwealth War
Graves Commission is part of the
This is all just such a special piece of
history and holding the original map and
letter more than a century later brings
that history to life in an incredibly
It really gives you a sense of just how
horrific the war was – that this man
dragged his fallen comrade and buried
him while gunshots were flying over
Many, many casualty groups of medals
have passed through my hands over the
years yet none have had quite such a
poignant effect than this group.
The collection includes Barker’s
Military Medal, 1914-15 Star Trio and
Memorial Death Plaque in its original
brown card holder and there are several
original portrait postcard photos of
Barker in uniform plus other framed
Barker’s brother served in the Royal
Engineers and survived the war, although
we don’t know what became of him
His 1914-15 Star Trio of medals,
named to 7569 Sapper F Barker Royal
Engineers, is included in the archive.
There are also lots of WW1 era shell
cases, badges, collar dogs, pieces of
shrapnel and other items in a 1914
Princess Mary Tin.
It’s an exceptional family group with
much scope for further research, estimated to fetch between £500 and
£800 in Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ online-only Antiques & Home
Sale starting 9.30am on Monday 14th December.
To book an appointment for a free valuation of medals or militaria with Nick
Thompson, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01543 251081.
Nick can also be contacted directly for virtual estimates via
St Giles Celebrates Staff Dedication
St Giles Hospice is celebrating the dedication and hard work of its longserving
staff and volunteers – despite celebrations being adapted due to the
Current restrictions mean that the annual Anniversary Awards ceremonies in
Whittington and Sutton Coldfield cannot go ahead this year, however more
than 200 team members at St Giles will still receive their cards and pin badges.
There will also be a virtual celebration
on the hospice website and social media,
which recognises the combined 2,000
years of inspirational service St Giles staff
and volunteers have given over the last 5-
The awards were presented as part of
Hospice UK’s Hospice Care Week (5th-
11th October), a national event which
celebrates the work of England’s hospices.
Among the award winners is Eileen
Harrabin, who started a job as a cleaner at
the Lichfield St Giles Hospice shop on
Tamworth Street more than 35 years ago.
Although she worked in the shop for two
days each week, she quickly decided that
she loved being there so much she started
volunteering for a further three days each
Quality Assurance Administrator Mandy
Cale, from Burntwood, who began
working at St Giles as a nursing auxiliary
in December 1990, is receiving her 30-
year badge. Mandy later undertook her
NVQ Level 2 training in Direct Care and
became a Health Care Assistant, working
on the Inpatient Unit for 15 years before
joining the quality and administrative
For more information about St Giles
Hospice and the expert care it provides,
Eileen (outside shop) and
Mandy with their certificates
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
region? We want to
hear from you!
Contact Citylife at
Thyme for Tea
We couldn’t wait to try out some of
the tempting dishes that were on
offer, so we sent our feature writer,
Jono, and sales consultant, Lorraine, to test
their taste buds at Thyme.
The restaurant has a very homely, warm and
welcoming feel to it and we were met at the door
and shown to our tables. Having browsed the
menu Lorraine opted for the Thyme Kitchen
Vegan Breakfast while I decided to try a dish that
sounded intriguing and different – the Persian
Lorraine loved the look of her breakfast and it
did not take her long to tuck in! The plate was a
vegan lovers’ delight – chef Susie’s own recipe
veggie sausage, pumpkin and rosemary hash,
spinach, mushrooms, beans, sourdough toast and
caramelised onions. Lorraine was particularly
impressed with the veggie sausages which were
not a ‘meat substitute’ but a true vegetable mix of
carrots and broccoli and were full of flavour. The
beans also hit the spot for her - not simply
poured from a can but the chef’s special recipe. To
accompany all this, Lorraine enjoyed the handcrafted
sourdough toast and a warming oat milk
Persian Eggs were definitely a first for me – but
they will definitely not be a last! A colourful mix
of Greek yoghurt, beetroot and mint hummus, a
smothering of pomegranate seeds, a sprinkling of
za’atar, all topped with two poached eggs and
sides of fresh coriander and toasted sourdough.
The whole combination was a melt in the mouth
affair but with the added crunch of pomegranate
seeds to give it that extra, healthy, bite. I have
never heard of za’atar – a nutty and tangy spiced
herb mix (including Thyme!) from the Middle East.
The Thyme menu also includes traditional
English breakfasts, porridge, pancakes and toast as
well as some temptingly different dishes – the
Shakshouka style baked eggs are definitely on the
list for my next visit!
Thyme Kitchen is at the Curborough
Countryside Centre, Watery Lane, Lichfield
WS13 8ES. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to
4pm. Ring 01543 264050 to book, email
email@example.com or visit their
Dining Out - A City of Flavours
Dining Out - A City of Flavours
A Festive Feast
The Lichfield Pantry, based at The Plant Plot Garden Centre on
Stafford Road, has a whole host of festivities planned as
The perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit is with a delicious
Festive Breakfast and the menu at The Lichfield Pantry has an array of
tasty treats to tempt you. There’s the classic Full English option as well as
a continental breakfast (boasting granola, fresh pastries, yoghurt, fruit and
breads), or something a little different such as eggs benedict or eggs
royale. There’s even a more American-style brekkie featuring a pancake
stack piled with bacon and maple syrup! Plus there are vegetarian and
vegan options too, so there is something for everyone. Tables of up to six
people will be available priced at £10 per person (£7.99 for children)
which includes a glass of Prosecco or a Bucks Fizz (or orange juice). It’s
the ideal way to celebrate the season with the family, with friends or even
as an alternative work do!
The fun doesn’t stop there, as The Lichfield Pantry is also opening on
Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings from 21st November to offer
diners a Christmas feast fit for Good King Wenceslas! On the menu is the
traditional festive fayre of turkey or beef with all the trimmings, plus
there’s a range of starters and the old favourite of Christmas pud for
dessert. Vegetarian and vegan
options are available, as well as
gluten-free (please discuss
alternative options when
making your booking). It’s just
£25 per person which
includes a complimentary
glass of Prosecco too.
If you’re looking for a great
gift for a loved one this year,
why not purchase an
afternoon tea voucher? These
are eligible for early 2021 and
cost just £12.50 per person.
Plus The Lichfield Pantry is
also taking bookings in the
shop for its vast array of gift
hampers, fresh vegetables and dried foods. Christmas food deliveries to
the Lichfield area will be available on 21st-23rd December, or people can
arrange to collect their items from the shop.
Advanced booking for all meals is essential and the Lichfield Pantry can
comfortably seat 24 people each evening, following the Government
guidelines and adhering to social distancing rules at all times. So for a safe,
fun and delicious Christmas, pop in to The Lichfield Pantry and see for
at the Pantry
7pm till 9pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays starting
from 21st November
Indulgent mains and traditional puddings
Come along and enjoy a festive three course meal for
£25pp with a complimentary glass of prosecco
WE ASK THAT YOU PRE-BOOK IN ADVANCE
at the café or call 01543 253066
Homemade soup served with fresh bread
[vegan and gluten-free available]
King prawns with Marie Rose sauce and fresh salad
Battered mushrooms served with garlic mayonnaise
Roast beef served with a Yorkshire pudding roast potatoes or
Succulent turkey with homemade stuffing
Vegetarian and vegan options available
All served with creamy mashed potato, pigs in blankets, honey
roasted parsnip and winter veg
Traditional Christmas pudding
Homemade sticky toffee
Served with custard, cream or ice cream
Dining Out - A City of Flavours
Dining Out - A City of Flavours
Dining Out - A City of Flavours
30th Anniversary for
Rosemary Lodge Residential Home
celebrated 30 years in business this
October, having first opened its
doors in 1990.
What began as a vision in the
1980s to create a home with
personalised care for the elderly,
incorporating private en-suite
facilities (rare at the time), stylish
decor, lux furnishings, and super
comfortable accommodation, was
realised when owner, Susan
Angenent, first opened Boston House, as it was formerly known.
The first day of opening saw just three residents and four staff members, however
today the Lodge is firmly planted within the community and highly respected as a leading
private care facility in the area, with 32 residents and more than 40 employees (some of
which have been with the Lodge for 18 years).
Susan commented: “They were good times, great memories, long hours and each
member of our team had to multi-task, covering each position in the home. It’s a very
different home today but still full of love, energy and a desire to constantly improve our
services. This couldn’t be achieved without our amazing Rosemary Lodge Team of staff
led by Jane Evans, our passionate Registered Care Manager”
Staff and residents celebrated in style with banners, bunting, balloons, Champagne and
song and dance on Saturday 3rd October.
“We’d also like to remember our past residents that shared their lives with us and
their families, many of who remain friends of The Lodge. Our celebrations centre around
residents and staff living and working with us today; it’s a true privilege knowing them all.”
An Italian Haven
Creative Plants, based in Shenstone, is a
haven for everyone from the keen gardener
to the professional designer.
The centre specialises in procuring striking
bespoke Mediterranean plants and mature
trees which can be difficult to find in other
outlets, such as evergreen trees, screening
plants, topiary, olives, camellias and native
trees as well.
The team at Creative have expansive
knowledge which allows them to guide clients
into making the right choice for their own
gardens, as well as ensuring that they offer the
highest customer service standards possible.
Everything available from Creative Plants
has been hand-selected from its original place
of origin by the expert team, and all products
can be delivered to anywhere in the UK.
On site there is also an Italian Café, Prego,
for customers to sit back, relax and enjoy a
freshly roasted Italian coffee and a bite to eat,
whilst looking at the stunning Staffordshire
Wellness & Wellbeing
The Wellbeing and Wellness Coach has been developed with the
aim of making physical and mental wellness accessible to real
people. Founder, Susan, is a working Mum recovering from
complex trauma and chronic fatigue syndrome. While a huge
wellbeing advocate, Susan is also an advocate of enjoying
everything that life has to offer currently – including great food
Susan aims help people establish positive and simple, yet
powerful and effective, changes to their lives that will enable
them to achieve improved wellbeing without having to sacrifice
all of the fun! She believes you do not need to fit a certain
stereotype to pursue improved physical and mental health.
Services offered include: friendly online group yoga sessions
for all abilities; one-to-one yoga for beginners or those needing
more specialist advice; coaching for mental health; and coaching
for fatigue conditions.
Online group yoga sessions are priced at £5 per session on a
pay-as-you-go basis (reduced as low as £3.50 a session when
purchasing a class pass).
One-to-one yoga sessions start at £30 per hour.
Coaching sessions are priced at £45 per session or you can
book a block of six for £210.
• Claim your first online group yoga session for free using the
• Enjoy 25% of yoga class passes before 31st December using the
• Class passes can be purchased as gift certificates for Christmas
(posted at no extra cost).
• Complimentary 30 minute discovery session to find out if
coaching is for you.
• Online mindfulness and relaxation sessions
• Covid secure pre-natal workshop in Lichfield
For further information, email
The Deer Park Farm
Shop & Restaurant
Situated in the stunning Staffordshire countryside, The Deer
Park opened its doors for the first time in August 2020,
however The Prince family has farmed the land for four
generations, maintaining only the highest standards of animal
welfare and environmental care to produce the very best
Now, with the site open to the public, the family takes great pride
in creating a relaxing place to eat, drink, shop or work for its
The Farm Shop offers the finest produce, all of which is sourced as
locally as possible. There is a wide selection of fresh fruit and
vegetables, freshly baked breads and pastries, locally laid eggs,
homemade jams and preserves, English wines, beers and ciders, and
much much more.
Russell’s at The Deer Park is an award-winning in-house master
butcher who supplies locally sourced high-grade meat and wonderful
pies. Russell’s meat is also used in the restaurant.
On the first floor is a gift shop which showcases many small, UKbased
suppliers and retailers that have been handpicked to provide
customers with an inspiring selection of unique quality gifts to suit all
There are also four independent retailers on site.
Portfolio Photographic has more than 20 years of experience and
offers formal or quirky and engaging images that create memories for
you, your family or your business.
Red Velvet Bakery can provide the perfect cake for any occasion
be it a wedding, a birthday, an engagement or an anniversary. They are
also wickedly indulgent and beautifully decorated.
SOS Lingerie offers a range of luxurious ladies lingerie and
loungewear, with a bespoke fitting service and a range of jewellery
Birchover and Bromley is an inspiring florist with a range of fresh
and artificial flowers, lovely jewellery and gifts.
The on-site Linhay Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea,
a range of coffees and fabulous cakes. The delicious offerings are all
homemade , using seasonal produce from the fantastic range of
quality items from the Farm Shop.
With pop-up shops featured most weekends, and a festive market
event approaching, put a visit to The Deer Park on your Christmas
list this year!
Mention Citylife Magazine and receive
10% off at the farm shop
(doesn't apply in our independent retailers)
Members of Lichfield Memory Cafe have found
lockdown and the ongoing restrictions very difficult.
Without the weekly routine of visiting the Memory
Café, it can feel as if a lifeline has been taken away. The
Memory Café provides somewhere that members feel
safe in a fun, relaxing and stimulating environment and
is also a place to meet health professionals who can
Although Zoom sessions have been running
throughout lockdown, which have been beneficial for
some members, some have found it difficult to navigate
the necessary technology.
After working with community partners and
reviewing guidelines and safe practice, The Lichfield
Memory Café will re-open on Thursday 5th November
at the temporary venue of The Guild Room, The Guild
Hall, Bore Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LU.
The group will be considerably smaller, following
current local restrictions and guidelines. Bookings
must be made as there are only 12 places available.
Members will be able to access The Memory Cafe at
least once a month but if the need is greater, there is a
possibility of increasing to two sessions per week.
Booking is essential. Please contact Karen Wilkinson
on 01827 431002 or 01543 625002 or email
Transport for Britain
By Peter Longman
Following last month’s launch of our campaign to reopen the
Lichfield to Burton rail line to passenger traffic we have had a great
response to the on-line survey. Our plans to run a pilot charter train
service during the first half of 2021 are also gathering momentum –
we will provide more information on this together with results and
progress on the HS2 Lichfield campaign next month.
Arboretum Line Interim Survey Findings
The survey, which can be completed at
www.transportforbritain.co.uk/surveys, has so far revealed an
overwhelming response with 97.8% in favour of reinstating a regular
passenger service from Lichfield to Alrewas serving the National
Memorial Arboretum. There is still time to take part if you haven’t
already done so and also to register your interest in receiving further
Hydrogen powered train undergoing trials in Worcestershire
In relation to how people would choose to support the opening of
a regular passenger service between Lichfield and Alrewas, the
majority of respondents would be prepared to support the project by
joining a membership scheme with over two thirds also potentially
contributing to a crowd funding program or making a financial
donation. A quarter of respondents would also be prepared to give
their time and expertise to set-up and run the new service.
We also asked those completing the survey which other stations
they would like to travel to. Not suprisingly Burton-on-Trent followed
by Derby and Nottingham were the destinations most favoured by
daily commuters. While those travelling once a month or occassionally
for leisure would want to travel further afield with Derby, Nottingham
and Matlock being the preferred destinations. Other destinations
people would like to reach include: Chesterfield, Sheffield, York and
many places that may be accessible from Lichfield via connecting
services. Matlock also offers connection to Peak Rail.
In terms of train type, electric was by far the most popular option,
however, installing overhead catenary wires would be costly especially
as this often involves rebuilding bridges and other major infrastructure
works. The idea of using hydrogen is starting to gain momentum
especially with the recent trials of hydrogen powered trains in
Worcestershire. The collaboration between Porterbrook Leasing and
University of Birmingham has the potential to put hydrogen fuel cell
trains on our tracks much sooner and at a vastly reduced cost
compared to full electrification of the line. It is also completely carbon
neutral. This recently featured on BBC:
Final survey results will be published on the TFB website during
December. In the meantime, further details of membership and
funding options will be published on www.arboretumline.uk in
November. We will also be contacting those keen to be involved
over the coming weeks.
The Little Wool Shop
From nostalgic knits, future heirloom blankets,
toys and clothes, talented crochet artist Joyce
Swainston, owner of The Little Wool Shop,
Rugeley, has wide-ranging experience and knowledge
of crochet, and yarn plus a wide variety of yarns and
wools in stock for her customers to turn into
meaningful, creative and beautiful projects.
For Joyce, a lifelong love of crochet produced a
profusion of beautifully crafted projects, from
garments to blankets, from simple teddy bears to
mermaid tails, and for decades her hobby fostered
the dream of owning her own wool shop.
Having never run a business before, there was a lot
to learn, apart from the nitty gritty of running a
business, accounts, stock control, taxes and such like,
Joyce designed best layout and fitted her tiny unit out
with pristine new shelves filled with a veritable
rainbow of colour. Joyce soon found that the unit
was just too small, and two moves later, she landed
in her current premises on Upper Brook Street, just
as the pandemic arrived.
Covid 19 has disrupted thousands of lives and
businesses. Decisions had to be made, was it wise to
move? Would people still come to shops? Would
there be a market for her products? Despite all the
uncertainty Joyce took the very brave decision to
follow her dreams. So a building that was once the
old town bakery, and then a series of shops, is to
change again, becoming Rugeley’s newest, and best
In addition to a new shop, Joyce is branching out
online. Having always had a presence on Facebook,
which brought in a few sales, Joyce saw the benefit of
online retail during lockdown and her very own
website is currently under construction, with ‘click
and collect’ purchases in the plans, as well as local
deliveries of her products.
Joyce still finds time to fund raise for local
charities, with raffles and prize draws amongst other
projects, and she still volunteers to help with various
charity events in the town. In the past Joyce has used
her shop as a collection point for kitted and crochet
goods that go to charities such as premature babies
that needed extra small garments.
Joyce’s dream has always been a wool shop, a place
where crafters can see and feel the quality yarns,
where beginners can find advice and support with
their first projects. A place where advice is clear and
free and the excellent value yarns are available in
every colour, texture and type imaginable. From
specialist wools for baby clothes to sparkly wools for
Christmas decorations, this shop will have the lot.
Are you Fit for the Fight?
The pandemic has provided a much
needed wake up call for the UK to
prioritise a healthy lifestyle as an
integral part of the fight against Covid-
Over the summer there was a huge
increase in people exercising, it was
the thing that most of us looked
forward to during the many months of
lockdown. Now as the new restrictions look to continue well into the winter and maybe
into next spring the Government is urging us all to keep going with our fitness regimes.
But darker nights and colder weather make these healthy behaviours increasingly more
difficult to maintain. But there is a way to overcome this. Your local leisure centre
provides a safe space to continue your fitness journey.
Since reopening, Burntwood Leisure Centre has welcomed lots of people back
through the door. The safety measures that have been put in place by Freedom Leisure,
who run the facility on Lichfield District Council’s behalf, go above and beyond in a bid
to offer peace of mind. The centre’s team has been trained and understand the
importance of supporting all their customers to return to activity and fitness and feel
comfortable in doing do.
It is not just physical fitness that is important. Exercising at Burntwood Leisure Centre
provides an immensely valuable opportunity to be around people during these times of
social restriction. To others it can help to keep structure in a day where work/home lines
can become blurred.
For more information about Burntwood Leisure Centre go to www.freedomleisure.co.uk/centres/burntwood.
Wasting Food is
Out of Date!
Lichfield District Council is proud to support the
launch of a new environmental initiative – Wasting
Food: It’s Out of Date.
Powered by WRAP, the UK’s leading sustainability
charity, Wasting Food: It’s Out of Date is a fresh new
brand aimed at raising awareness of the huge impact
wasting food has on climate change.
It has been created to help people realise the urgency
of the situation, where precious resources including
water, agricultural land, and energy are wasted when food
ends up in the bin.
To safeguard our planet for future generations, we must
make wasting food socially unacceptable.
In the UK, 9.5 million tonnes of food are wasted every
year, 70% of this comes from our homes. Of that, 4.5
million tonnes could have been eaten.
Dynamic videos and infographics will be shared from
the Wasting Food: It’s Out of Date Instagram and Twitter
channels, as well as on the website, to explain in detail the
environmental cost of wasting key items of food.
The website will also host an interactive quiz to help
people see how much food they actually waste at home.
• Bread waste in UK homes accounts for 318,000 tonnes
of CO2 generated every year – equal to over 140,000
cars. If everyone in the UK stopped wasting bread for a
year it could do the same for climate change as planting
over five million trees.
• Bananas are one of the most commonly wasted fruits in
UK homes; it takes 3,000 hectares of land to grow the
bananas we waste every year. Around 920,000 bananas
are wasted every day at home, requiring 330 billion litres
of water annually.
• We waste 1.2 million tomatoes from our homes every
single day, which is also a waste of the 15 million litres of
water that were needed to grow them.
Find out more at www.outofdate.org.uk.
J HOWELL &
FUNERAL DIRECTORS LICHFIELD
LICHFIELD’S LONGEST ESTABLISHED INDEPENDENT,
FAMILY RUN FUNERAL DIRECTORS.
SECOND GENERATION BUSINESS HERE TO ASSIST YOU
AND YOUR FAMILY.
24 hours a day
We are proud to be Lichfield's longest established family run funeral directors offering a wide range of
choices to suit all requirements. Horse drawn hearse, non religious ceremonies, floral tributes and
memorials are but a few of the services we offer.
Pre-paid funeral plans are also available.
For a truly personal service please call
Private Chapel of Rest 116 Netherstowe,
Lichfield, Staffs. WS13 6TS
The Ultimate Lockdown Find
The £390,000 Chinese ‘Teapot’
By Adrian Rathbone, Associate Director, Hansons Auctioneers
Atiny Chinese ‘teapot’ found in a Midlands garage during lockdown
has sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds at auction.
Phone bidders from around the world battled to buy the 18th
century imperial Chinese wine ewer which was found during a garage
clear-out and almost went to a charity shop.
The rare Beijing-enamelled object, which dates back to the Qianlong
period (1735-99) and resembles a small teapot, sparked international
interest after it was taken to a Hansons Auctioneers free valuation day.
Its owner, a 51-year-old semi-retired construction worker, feared
the experts might laugh at him when he showed them the tiny pot,
which measures just 8.5cm high, but it sold today (Sept 24) for a ‘lifechanging’
It smashed its £20,000-£40,000 estimate to reach £390,000 when
the gavel finally fell. Eight phone bidders from around the world,
including China and America, battled to own the item which was
eventually secured by a London buyer. Two almost identical teapots,
both with Qianlong reign marks, exist in the National Palace Museum
in Taipei, Taiwan, and the Palace Museum in Beijing, China.
Emperor Qianlong’s reign this art form reached heady heights of
perfection, with designs reflecting the emperor's extravagant taste.”
The rare Qianlong period wine ewer was sold on September 24 at
Find out if you are sitting on a fortune. Hansons hold their free
COVD safe valuation days every Thursday 10am to 4pm at their
Staffordshire Country House Auction Centre, Bishton Hall, ST17
OXN, (20mins from Lichfield). Home visits can also be arranged for
large or multiple items or clients who are clearing an estate or
For further information, please contact Adrian Rathbone on
01889 882397 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrian Rathbone, Head of Fine Arts at Hansons, said: “I am
absolutely delighted for our vendor. When objects achieve results like
this, it’s a potentially life-changing sum for their owners. This is one of
the most important objects I’ve ever had the privilege of selling. It has
to be the best lockdown find ever. It was found boxed up in a
Derbyshire garage and was destined to go to a charity shop.”
The seller said: “I’m thrilled. This will change a few things for us all.
It’s come at a really good time. I sat and watched the auction live at
home with my brother and family. It was tense. I got a few cans of
Guinness in beforehand. We’ll be going for a drink tonight and toasting
grandad. I might even buy that metal detector I’ve always wanted.
“The teapot has been in my family as long as I can remember. My
mum used to display it in a cabinet. We believe it was brought back to
England by my grandfather who was stationed in the Far East during
the Second World War and was awarded a Burma Star.
“Mum passed away 17 years ago, then dad nine years ago and the
teapot ended up in a loft in Newhall. Later it was boxed up and moved
to a relative’s garage in Church Gresley. We’d been thinking of sending
everything to a charity shop.
“But then lockdown came along and I finally had time to go through
the boxes in the garage. I’d always thought the teapot, which is what
I’ve always called it, was special. Even so, when I took it to Hansons I
was still unsure so dug out a few other bits and pieces for them to
value in case they laughed at me when I pulled out the teapot.”
Adrian Rathbone said: “Ewers and teapots of this type were
fashionable at court during the period of Emperor Qianlong. He was
fascinated by European enamel and the new method of enamel
painting and the style was replicated in his imperial workshops. During
Why not consider a Virtual Office
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We have been located at Watling Chambers Cannock Staffordshire for
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The perfect solution for a new or expanding business requiring a
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Registered Office Address
A company trading address does not have to be the same as their
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delivering statutory company mail and legal notices. A registered office
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Christmas at Lichfield
With an uncertain lead up to Christmas ahead, Lichfield
Cathedral is giving us something to look forward to this
upcoming festive season. For years the Cathedral has formed the
centre of many people’s Christmas celebrations and this year’s
celebrations, whilst bound to be different, will still give us all a dose
of that Christmas cheer that we crave.
The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield explains how the
Cathedral is having to rethink its Christmas plans: “Undoubtedly, Advent
and Christmas are going to be quite different in 2020. Whatever happens
between now and 25 December in terms of public health and national
policy, we’re reimagining a plan for Advent and Christmas with great
ingenuity. Christmas is such an important moment in the Christian
calendar that we will find ways to bring the atmosphere and spirit of the
season to the community we serve.”
festive cheer to the city and we fervently hope that this year it will also
serve as a beacon of light to a brighter future built on the joy of
Lichfield Cathedral is also pleased to announce a partnership with St
Pauls Cathedral in Minnesota, USA. Many will remember Minnesota for
events earlier in the year, being at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter
movement following the tragic death of George Floyd in May 2020. St
Pauls Cathedral in Minnesota will be projecting parts of the Cathedral
Illuminated show onto their own building during the first 3 days of the
illuminations in Lichfield – a truly unique International display of solidarity.
The Cathedral Illuminated will run from 16-22 December 2020, with
timed tickets from 17:00 into the evening. Tickets are £5.50 for adults, £4
for children (under 5s are free) and £16 for a family. Tickets for the
Cathedral Illuminated are available on the website: www.lichfieldcathedral.org/illuminated
Lichfield Cathedral was awarded the ‘Good to
Go’ trade mark in July due to its compliance and implementation of
For more information on Advent & Christmas at Lichfield Cathedral
visit: www.lichfield-cathedral.org or sign up for the Cathedral’s
newsletter to get the information in advance, including priority booking
Alongside a programme of services in the lead up to Christmas,
Lichfield Cathedral will be hosting the award-winning The Cathedral
Illuminated in a different format to create an enjoyable and COVIDsecure
experience for everyone.
‘The Cathedral Illuminated 2020: The Manger’ will be taking place from
16-22 December, with special earlier showings from 17:00 on into the
evening. This year the event will be completely outside, with a safe oneway
route created around the Close and significantly reduced number of
time slots per evening. The spectacular light and sound show will be
viewed facing the front of the Cathedral, where there is ample room for
people to enjoy the show whilst remaining safe and socially distanced
from other households.
“Christmas wouldn’t be the same in Lichfield without The Cathedral
Illuminated. Families from far and wide have made it part of their
Christmas tradition, and we felt it was important to rework the
illuminations for our current situation,” explains Peter Walker, part of the
artistic collaboration Luxmuralis that creates the light and sound show.
“We have been working closely with the Cathedral over the last few
months to create a truly festive experience that is safe for people to
attend. We have incorporated some really beautiful imagery into the
projection on the front of the Cathedral to create a special moment for
everyone who visits.”
To mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ The Christmas
Carol, a special piece has been created in collaboration with the Dickens
Museum London to kick off the illuminations. Following this there will be
a light and sound celebration of everything Christmassy - trees, presents,
carols, lights and Santa. The grand finale to the Cathedral Illuminated will
be a visual re-telling of the Christmas story, using footage of the inside of
the Cathedral as a backdrop to the story. It is set to be a joyous event to
add to our calendars.
This year’s Cathedral Illuminated is made possible in part by the
support of Richard Winterton Auctioneers. Richard Winterton expresses
his delight at sponsoring such an important event in the Lichfield
calendar: “Each year The Cathedral Illuminated brings so much joy and
Created by Luxmuralis artistic collaboration
Your Garden in
By Byron Lewis
Temperatures are dropping and so are the leaves on many of our
garden trees, but there is still work to do in the garden.
November is an ideal time to get new borders established with
shrubs, trees and roses. If you want to move any existing shrubs,
you should be able to do so now without too much disturbance
to the plant. Lots of deciduous plants can be moved once they
have dropped their leaves. Be careful not to damage the roots as
you dig them out, and prepare the new planting hole well with
fresh compost and some bonemeal, which is a great root
Our new season roses are in now - be warned they look just like
pots of spiky sticks at the moment - but by planting now, they'll
be raring to go at the start of spring. If you've got old rose bushes
at home, now is the time to give them a hard cut back - they'll
respond well next spring with new shoots especially if you give
them a good feed at the same time.
Fruit trees and bushes are also good for planting in November.
This gives them the whole of next season to get established, with
some producing fruit in the first year of being planted. Most fruit
trees are suited to small gardens but do check the ultimate
heights, as this can vary. Fruit bushes generally prefer open
ground but some such as blueberries are quite happy in pots long
Later in the month, hedging plants will be available - if you need
a living screen for your garden, choose from hawthorn,
blackthorn, privet, laurel and others. All can be planted through
the winter as long as the ground is neither frozen or waterlogged
- just add some fresh compost and powdered fertiliser to the
ground when you plant.
As we hit the end of the year, most people turn their attention
to Christmas. Next month, we’ll take a look at selecting the
perfect REAL Christmas Tree and have plenty of tips to keep
your tree looking good into the New Year.
Byron Lewis runs Lichfield Garden Centre at Curborough
Countryside Centre, Watery Lane, Lichfield. Tel: 01543
254306. Visit www.lichfieldgardencentre.co.uk or find the
garden centre on Facebook and Twitter.
Bespoke Garden Creations
At F&S Garden Services their
mission is to create and craft
bespoke garden products for all of
With more than 30 years’ worth of
experience, plus a reputation for made-tomeasure
work that is unrivalled within the
industry, F&S Garden Services works
closely with each and every one of its
customers to plan, design and handcraft the
best quality garden addition they could ask
The process begins with the initial
concept and quotation. Once approved the
firm will begin designing and constructing
your building, touching base to make sure
you are kept informed at every step of the
way and are100% happy with your product,
to ensure complete customer satisfaction.
All products are made from the finest
timber available. Master carpenters work to
your customised brief and specifications to
make sure your garden is complemented
with the perfect creation.
All the wood used is treated to make it
durable. F & S bespoke sheds and
summerhouses can be designed to
maximise your outdoor space and create
an extra living area. With the option of
double glazed windows and doors and
Finally, your new garden feature will be
delivered to your door, your land must be
prepared and ready for us and your
product so it can then be fully assembled by
the team of experts, for you to sit back and
For ideas and inspiration, as well as to
view all of F&S Garden Services’s stunning
craftsmanship, take a look at the product
gallery online. Alternatively, visit the
workshop to discuss your ideas with a
dedicated member of the team.
Whether you are looking for a new shed,
a children’s playhouse, a garden room or
summer house, or even that ‘man cave’ you
have always dreamed of, F&S Garden
Services have the answer!
Visit F&S Garden Services at Unit
7 Ranton Business Park, Martindale,
Cannock WS11 7XL, 01543
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Here at Just Granite Ltd, we pride ourselves on being the experts for any worktop needs you may have.
Be it a beautiful bespoke and unique kitchen worktop, a bar, bathroom or even a barbecue area, we have
an extensive in-house range ready to be chosen by you! We stock a varied range, in a variety of materials,
such as our own competitively priced quartz, granite, marble and porcelain, as well as all the top brands
from around the world.
There really is no reason to go anywhere else!
Win a Granite Chopping Board
Just Granite takes great pride in offering its customers full
support, from the initial quotation right through to installation,
with all products being covered under a guarantee and offering
additional maintenance packages where suitable.
With the largest variety of natural stones in the Midlands, the
solid slabs are kept on-site and are available for viewing from
9am-5pm on Monday to Friday, and 9am-12.30pm on Saturday.
Located at The Stone Works, Pillaton Hall Farm, Penkridge,
We’ve got a bespoke Chopping Board (in the
colour of your choice) to give away! To be in
with a chance of winning this magnificent prize,
simply answer the following question correctly:
Where does the supply
of granite come from?
To enter, just send your name, contact details and answer to Just
Granite Competition at email@example.com or post your
entry to Citylife in Lichfield Ltd, PO Box 7126, Lichfield WS14 4JS by
the closing date of 23rd December 2020. One entry per household.
Multiple entries will be disqualified. No cash equivalent. Please note
you must be 18 or over to enter. All entrants’ information is
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Full t&cs on page 58.
The Vicarage, Croxall
The History of
By Jono Oates
Croxall Hall lies close to the villages of Alrewas and Catton and
not far from the National Memorial Arboretum. It can trace its
history back to medieval times, has been home to several
notable Staffordshire family names and has been subjected to financial
tragedies and tragic accidents.
In the 11th century Croxall was one of 140 manors in Derbyshire that were
granted to significant landowner Henry De Ferrers. For many generations
Croxall Manor was under the ownership of the Curzon family. During the 16th
century Robert Curzon was the Lord of the Manor and it was the childhood
home of his daughter, Joyce, later to become Mrs Joyce Lewis. During the reign
of Queen Mary, who was a Roman Catholic, Joyce was a Protestant dissenter
and, when she refused to retract her views, she was burned at the stake on the
Market Place at Lichfield.
Sir George Curzon, Sheriff of Derbyshire, was the last male Curzon to own
the Manor and Hall, and when his daughter married, the estate passed to her
husband, Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset and Lord Chamberlain to King
Charles I. In July 1643 Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, stayed at
Croxall while travelling south with an army of 3,000 Royalist soldiers.
During the time of the 6th Earl of Dorset, Charles Sackville, the poet John
Dryden (England’s first Poet Laureate in 1668) visited Croxall Hall several times
and his favourite walk around the area became known as ‘Dryden’s Walk’ which
still appears on maps today.
In 1779 John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset, sold the Hall to Mr
Thomas Prinsep, a ‘commoner’. Prinsep was a High Sheriff of Derbyshire, an
artist and noted cattle breeder, specialising in the ancient English Longhorn
breed. When Prinsep’s son, also Thomas, died in 1835 without any children to
inherit it, the Hall passed to his nephew, Thomas Levett of nearby Wychnor Hall.
As part of the arrangement, Levett agreed to change his surname to Levett-
Prinsep. His son, another Thomas, inherited the estate in 1849 and became a
Justice of the Peace for Lichfield and Brownhills, was a magistrate for
Warwickshire and was a director of the Lichfield Brewery Company on St John
Street for many years. He was also a benefactor to the local area, providing an
annual treat of afternoon tea at the Hall to the children from the Croxall and
Edingale School and, when his daughter married in 1896, he treated 200 local
residents to a
substantial supper of
roast beef and plum
pudding with ale,
followed by dancing
wife Georgina died in
1919, just a year after
they celebrated their
Anniversary, he sold
the estate and the Hall
and moved to
Overstowe, Gaia Lane,
in Lichfield. In
December 1920 Mr
Thomas Jenkins, a
former Mayor of
Burton Upon Trent,
purchased the Hall and
grounds for £55,000.
Thomas Levett-Prinsep of Croxall Hall
In 1930 the Hall was purchased by Captain Geoffrey Charlton and
when he died it passed to his son, Major Nicholas Charlton. Nicholas
had served in the Norfolk Regiment at the start of World War Two
but had been invalided out when injured in action. In the early hours
of November 13th 1942, a fire broke out in the library at the Hall
and swept through the building. Major Charlton, and his wife Ethel,
both perished in the fire. Their bodies were discovered in the
corridor outside their bedroom and it was believed that they had
gone to rescue a house guest in another room who, unbeknown to
them, had left the Hall the previous afternoon. Edith, Charlton’s
mother, escaped the flames by climbing down the ivy outside her
bedroom window and three servants, a Land Army girl and a twoyear-old
child, also managed to escape by lowering themselves to a
lower roof using bedsheets. The fire was so severe that the entire
west wing of the Hall had to be demolished and many valuable
paintings and art pieces were destroyed.
Now fully restored and in private hands, Croxall Hall has survived
the ravages of time, financial decline and a disastrous fire to remain
as one of the most impressive, and historic, country houses in the
The British Newspaper Archive; Croxall Hall by Helen Pilgrim
Not All Carpet &
Knight & Doyle is a family run business
in Lichfield serving local people and
businesses for over 20 years. When
getting carpets and upholstery cleaned,
they say the most important thing to know
is that one single cleaning method cannot
get the best results. The key is using the
right processes to get the right results.
Knight & Doyle has a wide range of cleaning
methods at their disposal. They also invest
heavily in the latest machinery and the training
of their technicians. All technicians have
recently undergone training in Covid secure
working practices, and they are trained to
identify the fabrics, leather, or hard surface to
be cleaned and use the most effective, environmentally friendly solutions
to get amazing results time after time.
The Right Carpet Cleaning Solution For Your Carpet Or
The right kind of cleaning process depends upon the type of material
to be cleaned and the kind of soiling and odours to be removed. For
example, do you just need to refresh your carpets and upholstery, or do
you need pet stains, urine, red wine, or paint to be removed? If you use
the wrong method it may look clean and smell nice for a few hours, but
the stain may have just been spread around and the smell will return.
A Premium Service Without A Premium Price Tag
Knight & Doyle partner Rich Doyle says “Because we have invested in
the right equipment and the right training, all our customers get the very
best service and the very best results. Take rugs, regardless of whether
we are cleaning rugs from a nursery school, someone’s home, a business,
or a stately home we take the same care and we use the same
machinery. It doesn’t matter if they are expensive Turkish rugs or less
expensive ones our work, care and pricing is the same. Our business is
built on honesty. Our clients know that our price doesn’t depend upon
their postcode, and that’s why our clients come back to us time after
Will My Carpet Be Dry?
How dry will my carpet be? This is the question many clients ask.
Knight & Doyle use Dry Carpet Cleaning and Very Low Moisture
Cleaning, and other methods, depending on the job. When they leave
your carpets will be dry to walk on and they always move the furniture
and put it back in place, which clients find especially helpful.
When selecting your carpet and upholstery cleaner they say it is
important to choose the company that offers the right cleaning
processes to get the right results, offers a competitive price, and whom
you can trust.
Hawkesyard Priory and Spode House Hawkesyard Priory Christmas Cake 1952
A 1950s Christmas at
By Jono Oates
In the village of Armitage, a few miles from Rugeley, lies the
Hawkesyard Estate, now an events venue catering for weddings,
conferences, and special occasions and with the focal feature of
the stunning Grade II listed Hawkesyard Hall.
The Hall was built in 1760 for Nathaniel Lister, a poet and former
Member of Parliament for Clitheroe, and on the grounds of a former
dilapidated manor house. Lister restored the house and grounds to its
former glories and renamed it as Armitage Park.
In 1839 the Hall was owned by Mary Spode, widow of Josiah Spode III,
who was the grandson of the founder of the Staffordshire ceramic
dynasty and who died in 1829. She made several architectural changes to
the Hall to improve and expand it and it became known as Spode House.
When her son, Josiah Spode IV, married Helen Heywood his mother
gifted him the entire estate as a very generous wedding present. After the
death of both Mary and his wife, Josiah continued to live on the estate
with his niece, Helen Gulson, both of whom had converted to
Catholicism. Josiah Spode IV died in 1893 leaving instructions that his
niece should continue to live at Spode House until her death, when it
should be transferred over to the English Dominican of Friars, however
Helen decided to move out of the Hall to a small cottage on the estate
and by 1896 the Priory Church of St Thomas Aquinas had been built
alongside the Hall.
In 1948 the house became a theological hostel for young Catholic
students and in 1952 they were featured in the BBC radio’s Light
Programme (now BBC Radio 2) Christmas Eve schedule. The Midnight
Mass service was broadcast to the nation via microphones dotted around
the church and the service was led by the Prior, Father Egbert Cole.
The students observed Christmas Day in a similar fashion that their
Dominican forebears of 1252 would have done, making only a slight
adjustment to their usual daily routines. Prior Cole explained that the
students were allowed a ‘lie-in’ on Christmas Day until 7.30am, compared
to their usual rising time of 5.30am, and that they then carried out their
usual chores and prayers. They enjoyed a festive dinner of beef and
Christmas Pudding and then at 8pm, rather than the usual prayers, the
whole community gathered for a social ‘mix’ where they sang carols,
Lay Brothers in the Priory Refectory
played games and performed skits, poking fun at
each other. They were allowed beer and cake at
the ‘mix’ - although it’s assumed that they did
not get too boisterous! The Prior explained
that they were not allowed any presents and
led an austere life and that they were allowed 1
shilling and three old pence (about 6p in today’s
money) pocket money each month. Father
Cole said that although their Christmas Day
celebrations would appear to be quiet and
boring to most people that they were quite
happy to celebrate it in that fashion and they all
looked forward to their special day. All of the
cakes, Christmas puddings and other fayre had Josiah Spode IV
been made by the lay brothers at the Priory and the community grew its
own corn, milled the wheat and baked its own wholemeal bread.
At the time the Priory had 10 priests, 26 students and 10 lay brothers
and the average age of the students was 20. Once they had completed
their training the students went out to work in the local parishes, some
went out on foreign missions to Johannesburg in South Africa, while
others went to teach in schools or continued their studies, lecturing and
The Dominican Order left the estate in 1988 when the Hall was left
empty and in a poor state of repair before being completely refurbished
and established as one of the most attractive, and fashionable, event
venues in Staffordshire.
Sources: www.hawkesyardestate.com; www.historicengland.com; The British
The Newsletter of Lichfield City Council - November 2020
Councillor Mark Warfield, Leader of the Council
Welcome to this issue of City View.
It has been some time since the last issue of City View in
February. It is hard to believe that words such as Lockdown
and Covid were hardly in our vocabulary back then, so much
has changed in the last few months and we all find ourselves
in a very different world these days. However, the City
Council has adapted swiftly, and the business of the Council
has continued uninterrupted. Thanks to a change in
legislation both Council and Committee meetings are now
being held on Zoom and although the City Council Offices in
Donegal House remain closed to the public, behind the
scenes enquiries are still being answered and the day to day
functions of the Council being fulfilled. I would like to thank
Officers for adapting so quickly to this new way of working
and for their commitment in these difficult times.
Unfortunately, the Civic calendar has been severely
restricted this year with many of our traditional events having
to be cancelled due to the current legislation as a result of
Covid-19. The Council did manage to uphold the traditions of
the Sheriff’s Ride and the Samuel Johnson Birthday
celebrations albeit on a very reduced scale. Officers are
currently working on the safest way to mark Remembrance
Sunday, the details of which appear in these pages. In the
interest of public safety, we have sadly taken the difficult
decision to cancel the Christmas Lights Switch on event on
Sunday 29 November, though the lights will still be erected
and turned on informally to bring some festive cheer to the
A vacancy has arisen in Stowe Ward as a result of Richard
Rathbone’s resignation. A notice of Vacancy has been
published however due to current legislation an election
cannot be held until May 2021. I would like to thank Richard
for his hard work and commitment to his Ward during his time
at the Council.
Each year the City Council makes available a sum in its budget to be given out to local voluntary organisations to
assist in their work. Clubs, societies and voluntary groups in the City of Lichfield are therefore invited to apply to the
City Council for a grant from the Council’s 2021/2022 budget. Grant forms are available by email at:
firstname.lastname@example.org and on the Council’s website at www.lichfield.gov.uk
Completed forms must be returned by 4 January 2021
To be eligible, organisations applying MUST operate for the benefit of people living within the boundary of the City
Due to current restrictions, the City Council has taken
the difficult decision to cancel the Christmas Lights
Switch on event scheduled to take place on Sunday 29
November 2020. We know this will be disappointing as
the Switch On marks the start of the festive season, but
public safety is paramount. The lights will still be erected
and turned on informally to bring some festive cheer to
Save the date for next years Switch on Event –
Sunday 28 November 2021
The Mayor, Cllr Deborah Baker accompanied by
Consort, Dr Steve Baker along with Council
Cllr Mark Warfield, Cllr Miles Trent & Cllr Dave
Robertson were in attendance as the
Sheriff, Dr Daryl Brown and Clerk of the Course,
Mr Nick Sedgwick set off to inspect the
boundaries of the City
The civic calendar has been severely disrupted this year as a
result of the global pandemic with the majority of events
unable to take place safely. However, two of the City’s oldest
traditions were maintained, albeit on a much smaller scale. On
Saturday 5th September to mark the 467th Sheriff’s Ride, the
Sheriff, Dr Daryl Brown and Clerk of the Course, Mr Nick
Sedgwick set off from the Guildhall in the Sheriff’s own Riley
vehicle to inspect the boundary of the City. A very small
socially distanced gathering met in the courtyard at the rear of
Donegal House/Guildhall during the morning. Everyone
wished the Sheriff well before commencing his inspection. No
horses took part in the ride this year and the usual luncheon at
Freeford Manor was cancelled. It is hoped the ride will be able
to continue in its usual format next year on Saturday 11
Similarly, the 311th Birthday of Samuel Johnson was marked
by the Mayor placing the traditional laurel chaplet on the
Statue at the corner of the Market Square. The Revd Nest
Bateman gave a brief blessing, observed by the Mayor, Town
Clerk and representatives of the Johnson Society. The usual
singing and entertainment were abandoned this year as a
result of the current restrictions. It is hoped that a more
substantial ceremony can take place next year on Saturday
18 September 2021.
It was with great sadness that we mourned the passing of the
City’s’ Town Crier, Ken Knowles at the end of September.
Ken was a well-known character in Lichfield, full of life and an
excellent ambassador for the City. Our thoughts and prayers
are with his family.
As this is the final City View of 2020, I would like to be the first
to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a happy and safe
A brief socially distanced ceremony was held on
the Market square as the Mayor placed the
traditional Laurel chaplet on the
Samuel Johnson Statue
If you would like to keep up to
date with more of the City
Council’s activities, you can
follow the City Council on Twitter
Visit the Samuel
The Newsletter of Lichfield City Council
On Sunday 27 September Ken Knowles, the City’s Town
Crier and Sword bearer sadly passed away after a short
illness at the age of 71. Ken had been part of the City
Council family since 2009 and no Civic event was
complete without him - cutting a dashing figure in his
bright red tunic, frilled shirt, and Tricorn hat. He took great pride in the traditions of the City and
his ‘shouts’ were an integral part of any event. He
was well known for his charismatic, upbeat and witty
personality, particularly when presiding as Master of
Ceremonies at Mayoral banquets or the Christmas
Lights Switch on. He
loved to ‘work a
crowd’ and his
endless repertoire of
anecdotes and jokes
often kept guests
things weren’t going to plan behind the scenes. In contrast, he
could also bring considerable gravitas to more sombre occasions
such as Remembrance Sunday.
Civic duties aside, he was an excellent ambassador for the City
and could often be found regaling local groups and charities with
tales of his travels around the country and the world - in 2019
alone he gave over 100 talks. He loved taking part in Town Criers’
competitions far and wide and in 2015 won the coveted title of Invitational World Champion in
New Zealand followed by British Champion in 2017. The pride Ken felt for Lichfield shone
through in 2018 when the biennial Town Criers competition was held in his home City, attracting
over a dozen criers from across the country. He also enjoyed performing in amateur dramatics,
supporting the intimate theatre during heritage
weekend by adopting his favourite alter ego -
that of Lichfield’s first son, Dr Samuel Johnson.
The warmth and generosity he gave to all those
who knew him will be greatly missed and our
thoughts are with his family and friends as they
come to terms with his passing.
Ken’s dedication to the City that he loved so
dearly will leave a lasting impression on us all
and Lichifeld will mourn his loss for many years
Markets in Lichfield
The Lichfield General Markets continue to operate on
Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays. A one-way system and
hand sanitiser units are in place on the market square
to allow the public to shop as safely as possible.
Although not currently operating at full capacity due to
social distancing measures there is still a variety of
traders offering a wide selection of goods and local
As well as the weekly General Markets on Tuesdays,
Fridays and Saturdays, a Producers Market is held on
the 1st Sunday of the month.
For more details or for any information or queries
relating to Lichfield Markets please contact the City
Council’s Markets Officers 01543 309853 or
Follow us on Twitter @LichfieldMarket
The Samuel Johnson
Birthplace Museum is open
and has achieved Visit
England ‘Good to go’ status.
A few changes have been
made to ensure a Covidsecure
experience, but visitors
will find the same warm welcome and fascinating house to explore. Entry remains
free of charge but due to limited visitor numbers advance booking is
For current opening hours, bookings and more information please visit the
Museum website at www.samueljohnsonbirthplace.org.uk.
Lichfield’s Act of
Remembrance, on Sunday 8
November will still take place
but on a much smaller scale
than usual due to restrictions
and precautions as a result of
COVID-19. This year the City
Council is encouraging
citizens to stay safe and
“Remember at Home”.
A socially distanced service
will be held at the Cathedral
at the slightly later time of
10:30am but there will be no
parade, civic procession or
ceremony in the Gardens of
Remembrance. The Mayor,
Councillor Mrs Deb Baker
and a representative from the
Lord Lieutenant’s Office will
instead observe the two
minutes silence inside the
In order to reduce the potential for a large gathering, those who wish to lay a
wreath in the Gardens of Remembrance are asked to do so throughout the day
on Sunday 8 November rather than all gathering at 11.00am; the Gardens will be
open from 9:30am onwards. Anyone visiting the Gardens on the day is asked to
adhere to strict social distancing and observe the one-way system at all times.
Anyone wishing to attend the Cathedral service should apply directly to the
Cathedral for tickets via their online booking system at:
Unfortunately, anyone without a ticket will be refused entry to the service on the
day. Please note it is a statutory requirement that face coverings are worn inside
the Cathedral and throughout the Service.
Stay Safe and Remember at Home
The Newsletter of
Lichfield City Council
Weddings at the
Located in Bore Street in the heart
of the city, the Guildhall is a
beautiful historic Grade II Listed
Building, and is a magnificent
setting for small civil ceremonies
and receptions. The main hall has
recently been refurbished and
bookings for 2021 are now being
taken. The Guildroom, on the Ground floor has paneled
walls and timber ceiling and a number of smaller rooms
are also available to hire, ideal for small meetings.
Please contact the bookings secretary to discuss
how we can facilitate your booking in line with
Please note it is currently a statutory requirement that
face coverings are worn inside the Guildhall.
For more information or to enquire over availability
please contact Helen Winter at Lichfield City
Council. Tel: 01543 309850 or e-mail:
A wedding brochure is available to download from
our website www.lichfield.gov.uk
Have you visited the City
Council’s website? It
offers a wealth of
information about the work
of the City Council,
including details of all
Council meetings and
associated documents. In
addition, it contains useful information about the
City, its history, festivals and major events, and its
many unique customs and traditions.
The right Council…
Lichfield City Council is the ‘parish’
authority for the City and is the smallest of
the three councils serving the City area.
Within the City we deal with local matters
such as the markets, maintenance of open
spaces and churchyards, civic and
mayoral events, the Samuel Johnson
Birthplace Museum and public lettings of
Lichfield District Council (Tel: 01543
308000) is the larger local authority
dealing with such matters as planning,
environmental health, refuse collection,
housing, car parking, arts and tourism,
and leisure services.
Staffordshire County Council (Tel: 0300
111 8000) is the responsible authority for
wider services such as Education, Social
Services and Highways.
City Council meetings are currently being held via Zoom. The ‘Zoom’ link and password is published together with the public
notice of meetings displayed at the City Council offices, Donegal House, Bore St and is also available to the public by email to
the Town Clerk (email@example.com).
Dates and times of meetings can be found on the noticeboard outside the Guildhall and on the City Council's website at
Council meetings are open to the public, with public participation sessions held at full Council. Advance notice needs to be
given to the Council of the subject matter of each question, and any person wishing
to speak must contact the Council Offices by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
before noon on the day of the meeting.
Planning Committee Meetings
At its meeting of 11 May 2020, the Council resolved that due to COVID-19, ward
members would be asked to submit comments to Officers via email regarding
planning applications. Delegated authority was granted to submit those comments to
Lichifeld District Council in the name of the City Council.
Monday 7 December 2020 6.30pm COUNCIL
Monday 25 January 2021 6.30pm COUNCIL
Tuesday 16 March 2021 6.30pm COUNCIL
Monday 19 April 2021 6.30pm COUNCIL
Monday 17 May 2021 6.30pm ANNUAL COUNCIL
Wednesday 26 May 2021 7.30pm ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
By Lesley Smith,
Curator of Tutbury Castle
My work as a curator and historian usually takes me to
literally hundreds of venues right across the UK each year,
to give talks and formal lectures.
The year 2020 has been somewhat quieter, enabling me to do more
research, publish, and to consider in depth this extraordinary nation.
During the year I was approached by a group, Chase Arts for Public
Spaces (CHAPS), who have amongst their group members of Cannock
Soroptimists, who have supported me and the Castle for over a decade.
CHAPS are seeking to erect a monument in 2021 within the National
Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas to recognise the work of all who
worked in the mining industry in both war and peace, some of them
losing their lives.
I know only a little of the industry, including that Roman and early
British civilisations mined. Some were deep and others were shallow
mines. Over the centuries that followed many changes to the industry
brought us to the high-tech mines we have known in our lifetimes. Within
the British Isles, we have sought in the earth for gold, silver, tin, copper,
lead, iron, slate, and the ‘black gold’ known as coal, as well as a wide
variety of other minerals, from Blue John to soapstone.
On closer examination of the history, I have found women miners -
sometimes accompanied by young daughters – working on the coal face.
In the nineteenth century (some say earlier), children as young as seven
worked from 6am to 7pm, often half-naked in the heat. Davey lamps were
designed to minimise the explosion hazard, and tiny caged birds - such as
canaries, that would fall dead from their perches - gave an advanced
warning of deadly gas.
Deep in the darkness, pit ponies and dogs would work loyally alongside
the miners – toiling in their own black sweat. “Cave-ins” and explosions
took many lives in horrible circumstances. Wives in shawls and young
children would huddle anxiously near the pit entrance, after the dreaded
signal that told of an accident ripped through the crowded streets. The
stretchers borne by exhausted pit rescue groups, too often carried the
dead. The animals that served died alongside them.
The health of working miners was peppered with lung-disease such as
emphysema, pneumoconiosis, and chronic bronchitis. The lack of sunshine
and often inadequate diets meant that rickets was commonplace. This
disease disfigured limbs with “bow-legs” being the most obvious sign.
There was also a great camaraderie, as working men of the same
families, generation upon generation, formed other families within the
tight mining communities.
Without doubt, the hugely wealthy industrial powerhouse of the
Victorian period was particularly dependent on mining. The fruit of the
black sweat made the machines run, and exports boomed, whilst ships
and trains were made in the flare of welders. All these things could not
have happened without the mining community. War efforts were well
served ensuring the essential work continued providing fuel.
In recent years, a sea of professions made life safer as engineers,
surveyors, and health & safety officers provided the support that was
needed to minimise accidents.
Now the wheels no longer turn, and fossil fuel is out of date. There are
still some small mineral mines worked but the great industrial heart has
gone out of mining in the way that many of us remember. In this quietness
should be gratitude for those centuries of toil, provided for by the mining
community, some of whom paid the price of their work with their lives.
Now you know why I am writing this, as I support this memorial that
is brilliantly designed and recognises the men, women and children as
well as the animals who have served over the centuries.
It also makes sure that we don’t forget a once proud and thriving
industry that brought such riches and comforts from the deep earth, that
contributed so much to our prosperity as a nation.
Many industries and arts have made us great, and mining is one of them,
and should not be forgotten. If you would like to offer or make a
donation, even a small one, or would like to find out more, do please
contact: email@example.com, follow progress on
Facebook @ChaseArtsForPublicSpaces or phone the project leader on
Donations can be made at
You can donate by text, through : DONATE
To donate £5, text CHAPS to 70970;
To donate £10, text CHAPS to 70191
* Fundraising, payments and donations will be processed and
administered by the National Funding Scheme (Charity No:
1149800), operating as DONATE. Texts will be charged at your
standard network rate. For Terms & Conditions,
Lesley Smith as Elizabeth I
Deck the Halls!
The Handcrafted Party opened its doors in February 2020,
just before lockdown! The brainchild of long-term friends, Sue
and Elaine, the duo shared a passion for hosting fun kid’s parties
for their own children but were often left frustrated as finding
decorations to fit in with unique party themes was challenging.
With Elaine’s background in design, and Sue’s in professional
conference management, the pair were perfectly suited to
running their own party and events business and the new
company was born!
Not only can you get fantastic bespoke balloon creations,
such as balloon garlands and sculptures, but you will also find
an array of party accessories and items for hire to ensure your
event is perfectly catered for. There’s decorations, tableware,
vintage tea sets, backdrops, plinths, light-up letters, candy carts
and welcome boards… in fact, anything you need for your
special occasion can be supplied!
Sue and Elaine will work personally with
you to help plan your day, advising on
colours and themes and designing
personalised items too.
Based at a local garden centre craft village
means that there is ample free parking onsite
for the ease of picking up your preordered
items, and orders can be taken in a
variety of ways, including via social media,
email, telephone or the website!
Orders are now being taken for Christmas
and New Year celebrations.
Calling all Gruffalo
If you’re looking for outdoor fun for the kids this winter, look
no further than Cannock Chase Forest. Gruffalo and his friends
are back from December 18th with a brand-new adventure for
you to enjoy.
Follow the Gruffalo Spotters Trail, spot the signs and see
what creatures you can find! With the amazing new Gruffalo
Spotter 2 app, fun activity pack and trail, you’ll get to interact
with all your favourite characters as you go in search of the
Download the FREE app before you arrive, pick up an activity
pack* from the café and tiptoe into the deep dark wood to
meet the characters from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s
much-loved children’s book... in a socially distanced way of
And while you are there, Cannock Chase Forest is a great
place to escape during the festive season. Wintery walks on
way marked walking trails, refuel with festive treats from
Grounds Café – and at the weekends there will be extra
goodies like mulled wine and hot fresh doughnuts to be
enjoyed from the traditional Christmas refreshment cabins and
you can buy your perfect UK-grown Christmas tree.
Conveniently located and a stunning setting for your next
family adventure, Cannock Chase Forest is bursting with
opportunities to explore the great outdoors.
Find out more at www.forestryengland.uk/gruffalo-spotters
*Activity pack includes Gruffalo mask and paws, activity leaflet, crayon and
pencil, nature spotters’ game and stickers and can be purchased for £3.50.
By Charlotte Benton
Staffordshire County Council's Library has recently revealed the
most popular e-books that were read during lockdown. From
the end of March, when lockdown began, up until September,
there has been a 450% increase in people using Staffordshire’s e-
book service, with over 50,000 e-books being loaned.
We reveal the Top Ten books in the county that were loaned in
1) The Beekeeper of Aleppo by
This is the remarkable love story of a
mother blinded by loss and her husband
who insists on their survival as they embark
on a life-saving journey along the Syrian
refugee trail to Europe.
Nuri, a beekeeper, and his wife Afra, an
artist, live a simple but fulfilling life in the
beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo, a life rich in
family and friends - that is until their world
is destroyed. When all they care for is lost
due to war, they are left no other option
than to escape, but after all that Afra has seen, she is left blinded by the
trauma. Despite this they must embark on a perilous journey, through
Turkey and Greece, towards an uncertain future in Britain.
In a broken world, Nuri and Afra battle through their pain of
indescribable loss, whilst facing dangers that would defy even the bravest
In the face of war, darkness and tragedy there lies love, courage and
most of all hope. A testament to the triumph of human spirit, a thoughtprovoking,
powerful novel, told with deceptive simplicity, ultimately
reminding us of the power of storytelling.
2) The Unexpected Return of
Josephine Fox by Claire Gradidge
After 20 years away, Josephine ‘Jo’ Fox
returns to her hometown of Romsey. As an
illegitimate child, her family regarded her as an
embarrassment however now Jo wishes to
return to her childhood home and uncover
the secrets of her past.
Arriving back in the town the day after the
Luftwaffe bombing Jo finds the local pub now
merely ruins with rescue teams scouring the rubble for the remains of
the seven people known to have been inside when the bomb hit. To their
surprise they discover an eighth body - a nameless teenage girl. Several
questions remain unanswered, who is she, where is she from, but most
predominantly - who killed her?
With the help of old friend, Bram, Jo sets out on a quest to discover
the girl’s identity and expose the circumstances of her death. Little does
she know her own personal mystery will be revealed along the way…
The perfect read for fans of Sunday night drama. Immerse yourself into
a mysterious, dark tale of wartime family secrets and lies that reside in a
small English town.
3) Know Me Now by C J Carver
With so many plot twists you’ll be left
feeling dizzy in this fast-paced crime
mystery. The suicide of a 13-year-old boy
and the death of a 65-year old man have an
integral link, this being Dan Forrester, ex-
MI5 agent who joins forces with old friend,
DC Lucy Davies in an attempt to uncover
As the investigation gains momentum,
the pair begin to unravel a foreboding
mystery, spanning decades into the past as
they unearth a ghastly secret. They embark on a dangerous road of death
and dark conspiracy, in the quest to find the truth. One thing remains
clear - digging up the past can be deadly.
With exhilarating twists and turns, Carver’s portrayal of the
charismatic combo creates an exciting chemistry that adds to the pageturning
tension, non-stop action and gripping mystery. Following not only
the perplexing avenues of the mind, but also the dark, contemporary
world of genetic science, once again Carver’s trademark style enthrals
the reader from the start.
A captivating, suspense thriller, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of
your seat until the very end.
4) Unsuitable Match by Joanna Trollope
5) Letter to My Younger Self by Jane Graham
6) Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter
7) My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay
8) The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
9) The Muse by Jessie Burton
10) This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik
For further information on what your local
library has to offer and how to start borrowing e-
books today, please visit
Free Spirit at City
Lichfield jeweller, City Jewellers, is currently proudly displaying a copy
of the Free Spirit bronze horse sculpture in the shop's 'poppy' window
on Bore Street.
The bronze model is a copy of the life-sized version which stands at
the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas and has been loaned to
City Jewellers by Gartmore Riding School of Hammerwich.
The Free Spirit tribute celebrates the horse’s contribution to Britain’s
rich history and the animal’s unfaltering service to mankind.
Pop along to City Jewellers to see the replica for yourself, or find out
more about the memorial at www.freespiritmemorial.co.uk.
What do you get the man who has everything?
We bring you a selection of fantastic gift ideas from retailers in and around the Lichfield area.
The Scruffs Winter Essentials Pack has
everything he needs to stave off the cold weather
and keep him warm and toasty! Includes a fleece
hat, neck warmer and gloves.
Priced at £12.99 and available from Tippers,
Europa Way, Lichfield.
Not only do these Luxury Leather Grays Wallets
provide somewhere to store cash and cards, they
also look smart and stylish!
Priced at £40 and available from Needwood
Living, Main Street, Alrewas.
A stylish way to open up beer is with this dog
head beer opener.
Priced at £15 and available from Needwood
Living, Main Street, Alrewas.
And why not team that wallet with a Luxury
Leather Grays Briefcase for those all-important
‘man about town’ meetings?
Priced at £145 and available from Needwood
Living, Main Street, Alrewas.
This selection of fine treats from Chocolate
Treasures will be sure to make him 'sweet on you.'
Priced at £19.95 and available from Chocolate
Treasures, 176 Hednesford Road,
Minimalistic design is key with these beautiful
Priced at £149 and available from Allen Brown
Jewellery located at Heart of the Country Shopping
Titanium contemporary rings are perfect for
someone who needs a hardwearing jewellery
item. Priced from £220 and available from Allen
Brown Jewellery located at Heart of the
Country Shopping Village, Swinfen.
Something a little different to jazz up any suit
are these Mother of Pearl thorn cufflinks by
Babette Wasserman. Priced at £155 and available
from City Jewellers, Bore Street, Lichfield.
Keep him on time, all the time with this
stunning Rado Captain Cook Automatic Watch.
Priced at £1,820 and available from City
Jewellers, Bore Street, Lichfield.
Socks are always a winner at Christmas! These
Viyella three-in-a-box sets come in a variety of
colours and designs.
Priced at £17.95 and available from Michael’s
Menswear, Market Street, Lichfield.
Everyone loves the feel a luxury material
against their skin and these Viyella
Cashmere Blend Long-Sleeved Shirts are
Priced at £99.95 and available from
Michael’s Menswear, Market Street,
Timeless by Paul Oz is a fabulous piece
for the watch-lover in your life.
Priced at £385 and available from The
Courtyard Fine Art Lounge, Dam Street,
Give the gift of music this Christmas with a
piano from the superb range of upright and baby
grand pianos available at Lichfield Piano Centre,
Curborough Hall Farm, Watery Lane.
Can’t decide what to get him this year? How
about a gift voucher for a male beauty treatment or
Prices vary. Visit Body Beautiful Day Spa & Salon,
Dam Street, Lichfield.
You can never have too many screwdrivers…
apparently! This set of six Kraftform
Screwdrivers are just the ticket for the DIY
Priced at £14.99 and available from Tippers,
Europa Way, Lichfield.
A limited edition print evoking Britain's
industrial heyday in Leigh Lambert's
unmistakable style. Priced at £398.95 and
available from Framework, Tamworth Street,
A Staffordshire Bull Terrier bust by Matt
Buckley from the EDGE Collection.
Priced at £175 and available from Framework,
Tamworth Street, Lichfield.
Treat him to some eco-friendly grooming
goodies in a handmade stocking.
Priced from £15 and available from The
Lichfield Pantry, The Plant Plot Garden Centre,
Stafford Road, Lichfield.
Go a little larger with a handmade hamper
filled with a selection of male grooming treats, all
of which are cruelty free.
Priced from £20 and available from The
Lichfield Pantry, The Plant Plot Garden Centre,
Stafford Road, Lichfield.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through
his stomach… so a handmade hamper of locally
made produce makes the ideal gift for the foodie
in your life!
Priced at £20 and available from The Lichfield
Pantry, The Plant Plot Garden Centre, Stafford
Choose from a range of fresh produce, localsourced
items and a great range of gift ideas, to
suit all tastes and budgets, at The Deer Park
Farm, Maker Lane, Hoar Cross.
Get him feeling more ‘zen’ by floating his cares
and worries away! Flotation therapy is said to
relieve stress and aid mental health.
Gift vouchers for different treatments and
prices available. Find out more at Time to Float,
Marston Road, Stafford.
A lovely selection of unique leather wallets
provide a stylish and safe way to store the
Priced at £17.99 and available from Paul
Martyn Furniture, Heart of the Country
Shopping Village, Swinfen.
In a variety of different designs and materials,
the Kirk chair is the perfect fireside companion
for those long winter evenings!
Priced at £649 and available from Paul Martyn
Furniture, Heart of the Country Shopping Village,
Tastes of the Season
By Simon Smith
It’s all in the Game!
Game season is upon us at last. Not to
everyone’s taste but those who enjoy it await
its arrival with enthusiasm.
Gone are the days when pheasants were hung
outside in the shed until the maggots fell out
of the bottom before they were deemed ‘ready
to eat’. These days, people are a lot more
select about the strong taste of game and
mostly avoid it.
Bear in mind that game of any sort is a much
leaner bird or beast than one that is farm
reared. They have to forage their own food and
travel long distances to get it and burn off
their fat. For this reason it tends to be much
drier and should always be cooked with care.
Pigeon, for example, will be as tough as boots
if cooked more than pink and the same tends
to apply to all other game, so you need to be
I remember when I first worked in Switzerland
in the mountains, hunters were always bringing
us their bounty and more often than not it
was wild boar. These were always brought as
they were shot and as an apprentice it was my
job to skin, gut and butcher these beasts. A joy
when the fleas leapt out! Half the animal was
used for prime cuts and the rest was
casseroled, served with spätzli and put on the
tourist menu as the cheaper option. The neck
and shoulders were put in a marinade and left
for some months to fully ‘mature.’
For those of you who live in the country near
pheasant roosting spots, try this hunting
method from the old days. Soak a pound of
sultanas in Brandy overnight when the snow
falls. Lay a trail of these a foot apart leading
from your back door into the snow. The
pheasants will start eating the sultanas and
follow your trail until they fall over drunk on
the doorstep (do you believe that one?!)
When I cook game birds I always take the legs
off and cook those separately as a confit as
they are too tough when just roasted.
More and more shops are now selling game
but my favourite supplier is Russell’s of
Shenstone and at The Deer Park at Hoar
Cross. Darren the manager goes shooting
himself and you can order directly from him as
I have often done when being asked for
Pheasant and Autumn Vegetable Casserole
4 x pheasant breasts
8 x rashers streaky bacon
½ a small celeriac
8ozs diced butternut squash
1 x red onion
4 x small Maris Piper potatoes
2 x sprigs fresh thyme
1 x clove garlic (optional)
Peel and dice the potatoes into 1cm squares.
Do the same with the celeriac and red onion.
Make two pints of chicken stock or use stock
cubes for this. Peel and crush the clove of
garlic and add to the stock. Add the other
chopped vegetables and thyme sprigs. Put on
the stove to simmer and cook until vegetables
are nearly done and then add the pheasant
breasts, cover with tin foil or a lid and simmer
gently for a further five minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking put the
streaky bacon under the grill and cook until
Serve the vegetables and stock in a deep bowl,
add the pheasant breast and top with the
Wild Boar or Venison with Redcurrant and
4 x venison cutlets (or pork)
4 x rashers streaky bacon
4tbsps redcurrant jelly
2 x shots cassis
2tsps pink or green peppercorns
Wrap the individual cutlets in streaky bacon
and cook in a medium oven for 10-15 minutes.
Remove the zest and segment the orange. Put
the cassis into a pan with the orange zest,
redcurrant jelly and orange juice. Simmer and
mix together. Add peppercorns to finish and
garnish with orange segments.
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
*Please take extra care when preparing and handling
hot foodstuffs. Go to www.food.gov.uk for further details.
Christmas at The
The Lichfield Garrick Theatre has long been recognised as
bringing first class pantomime to its main stage, attracting
audiences from across Staffordshire and beyond.
This year the theatre & arts charity is excited to stage a further two
Christmas experiences for audiences this Christmas season, specially
designed to ensure they are COVID-secure.
Opening Saturday 19th December and running until Thursday 24th
December is ‘Freddy the Teddy’s Christmas Feast.’ A storytelling
experience that provides a warm and loveable introduction to live
theatre for 3-7 year olds. Written and acted by Jonny McClean, the
Lichfield Garrick’s Associate Director, we invite you and your teddies to
join us for a wonderful tale of tasty food, mischievous mishaps, and
Christmas Cheer! Bring your bears to meet Freddy for the cosiest
Christmas Storytime around.
Families are also invited to come along and explore the enchanting
setting of Santa’s Grotto every day from the 19th-24th December
(except for Monday 21st) making sure the boys and girls have the chance
to meet Santa before Christmas Day.
If you would like to send Santa a letter prior to your Grotto
experience, you can post it via the Magical Unicorn post service! The
Magical Unicorn will be flying into the theatre’s Box Office to collect all
the children’s letters for Santa from 1st November until 10th December.
As well as the two Christmas events, the Lichfield Garrick’s
Christmas season commences on its main stage with the opening
of Jack and The Beanstalk: The Bite-Size Panto! (19th December – 3rd
January). It’s one of the UK’s most popular pantomimes, where Lichfield
legend Sam Rabone will be back in a dress to play Dame Trott – oh yes,
For more information on any of the upcoming events and shows at
the Lichfield Garrick visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com.
Promote your event in our What’s On guide and reach over 18,000 homes and businesses for
only £15 for businesses and £5 for charities. Entries must be 50 words maximum. To book
contact Rebecca Hill 07970 513144 firstname.lastname@example.org (businesses who are
already advertising in the relevant issue may place additional what’s on listings free-of-charge).
Please clearly mark your email ‘What’s On Lichfield'.
What’s On in
Am installation in
collaboration with Luxmuralis
to pay respects to the fallen
for Remembrance Day.
Time: 5.30pm – 8.50pm (timed
Venue: Lichfield Cathedral
Thursday 5th November
Lichfield Memory Café, in
support of dementia and
Alzheimers sufferers, is reopening
with a new venue.
Venue: The Guild Room,
Lichfield Guild Hall
Booking is essential as limited
spaces. Call 01543 625002.
Until 7th November
An online art exhibition from
the Lichfield Society of Artists,
hosted by Erasmus Darwin
for further information.
Wednesday 11th November
The Making of the West
Midlands ‘Sacred Landscape’
A Lunar Lecture, delivered on
Zoom, by Dr John Hunt,
Honorary Research Fellow,
Department of History, School
of History and Cultures,
University of Birmingham.
Tickets available from
Enjoy a festive family breakfast
with a glass of Prosecco or
Bucks Fizz on arrival.
Venue: The Lichfield Pantry,
The Plant Plot Garden Centre,
Price: £10 per person.
Maximum 6 people per table.
Advanced booking required.
Call 01543 253066.
To Advertise please
contact our classified
£38 plus VAT
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