Citylife in Lichfield November 2020


Our November edition has a sense of reflection as we commemorate Remembrance Day on our cover, which will be even more relevant this year. We also have all of our usual mix of features, food reviews, recipes, articles, local news, history features, competitions and much, much more! Why not settle down with a cuppa and have a read through during these long autumnal afternoons - and enjoy! Lest We Forget


Welcome to


Welcome to CITYLIFE in Lichfield, a monthly magazine

bringing you our pick of the city’s news, events and stories.

Each month CITYLIFE in Lichfield is delivered to 18,000

businesses and homes in Lichfield, Kings Bromley, Fradley,

Alrewas, Hill Ridware, Whittington, Stonnall, Shenstone,

Hammerwich, Burntwood and Longdon, completely free

of charge; bringing you the best that the city has to offer.

Each issue features heritage stories exploring the rich

history of our area, plus competitions, interviews and the

latest in fashion and style.

Got a story or charity event you want to share with our

readership? Think you’ve snapped an image that captures

the spirit of the city? We want to hear from you!

Our business is bringing you Lichfield’s city life.


Editor - Kristen Lackajis 07885 380632

Features - Jono Oates 07785 757201

Advertising -

Steve Brown 07740 166497

Rebecca Hill 07970 513144

Lorraine Hudson 078860 91933

Production -

Helen Smith 07967 154187

Citylife In Lichfield Ltd


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are not connected to any other publication or publisher, and are

wholly owned by CITYLIFE in Lichfield Ltd.

Citylife In Lichfield

Citylife in Lichfield Ltd does not endorse any business or organisation

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endorsement by Citylife in Lichfield Ltd.

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

Park Pause

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

wellbeing activities.

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

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


Lichfield Garrick

Receives Lifeline Grant

Lichfield Garrick has

been awarded

£279,446 as part of

the Government’s

£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

sustainable future.

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

on Facebook.

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



Lichfield Man’s

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

conditions, Paul

had to overcome

his fear of heights

when he tackled

the 3,560-feet


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


Final Farewell to

Town Crier

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

Food Bank

New Name for Festival

Support Group

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

the county.

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

Canals Restoration

Trust (LHCRT)

volunteer Tony


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

David Clarke

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

Support Payments

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

to self-isolate.

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, where you can also

donate to the Festival, which will be celebrating

its 40th anniversary in 2022.


Burntwood Switch-On


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


October Winners

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

Lichfield Garrick.

Well done everyone!

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Rag‘n’Bone Man at

Cannock Chase

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

in 2018.

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


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


CHAPS Gets Boost

from NUM

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


The swimming

pool at Friary

Grange Leisure

Centre reopened


Saturday 24th

O c t o b e r

following its

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

compliant way.

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

and remember

loved ones who

are no longer

with us this


C o r o n a v i r u s

safety measures

mean that the

festive services -

usually held at

Denise Walker

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

following Christmas.

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

Prestige Award

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.

The Soldier

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


Poignant Military


By Nick Thompson, Militaria Specialist at Richard

Winterton Auctioneers


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

locate him.

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

powerful way.

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

their heads.

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

family portraits.

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 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

COVID-19 pandemic.

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-

35 years.

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

Dining Review

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 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

Christmas approaches!

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


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

potato gratin

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

Vanilla cheesecake

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

Care Home


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

and wine!

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.

Special Offers

• Claim your first online group yoga session for free using the


• Enjoy 25% of yoga class passes before 31st December using the

code: 25OFF

• 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.

Coming Soon

• 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

and gifts.

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!

Reader Offer

Mention Citylife Magazine and receive

10% off at the farm shop

and restaurant

(doesn't apply in our independent retailers)




Re-Opening of


Memory Café


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

Project Updates

By Peter Longman


Arboretum Line

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, 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

news updates.

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 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

wool shop.

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

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









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

01543 255776

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


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

Address for your business at Watling



London & Midlands Management Services

We have been located at Watling Chambers Cannock Staffordshire for

over 20 years providing services including Virtual Office Address,

Business Mail Address, Virtual Mailbox Services and Registered Office

Address to businesses in Staffordshire and throughout England and

Wales. Confidential discreet and secure.

Virtual Office Address

We can provide individuals, sole traders, partnership, Limited

Company, Registered Charity, LLP, or PLC with a prestigious address for

their business or private mail. Our service will be of interest to

businesses engaged in finance, insurance, consultants, landlords, letting

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order, marketing, sales, home improvements, garden services and any

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Business Mail Address

The perfect solution for a new or expanding business requiring a

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or be based in another part of the country in need of a presence in the

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Registered Office Address

A company trading address does not have to be the same as their

registered office address. The purpose of a registered office address is to

provide Companies House and HMRC with an official address for

delivering statutory company mail and legal notices. A registered office

must be a full, physical postal address in the same part of the UK in

which a limited company or LLP is registered. Therefore, using our

registered office address service can be beneficial for owners of small

businesses, particularly those who trade from their home address as it

prevents their private details being displayed on Companies House

registers. A registered office address can also be useful to business

owners who own a UK limited company and live outside of the UK as

their company must legally provide a registered office within the UK.

Your Incoming Business Mail

Your incoming business mail is received at Watling Chambers and

forwarded unopened to you or held for collection by you from our


To Contact London & Midlands Management Services

Please visit or telephone 01543




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:

Lichfield Cathedral was awarded the ‘Good to

Go’ trade mark in July due to its compliance and implementation of

COVID-secure measures.

For more information on Advent & Christmas at Lichfield Cathedral

visit: or sign up for the Cathedral’s

newsletter to get the information in advance, including priority booking

for events.

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 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

its customers.

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

secure locks.

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

479568or go online at


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,

ST19 5RZ.

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?

a) Spain

b) Italy

c) Germany

To enter, just send your name, contact details and answer to Just

Granite Competition at 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

processed in line with GDPR Data Protection Regulations and our

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Full t&cs on page 58.



The Vicarage, Croxall

The History of

Croxall Hall

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

and entertainment.

When Thomas’s

wife Georgina died in

1919, just a year after

they celebrated their

Golden Wedding

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.

Croxall Hall

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 &


Cleaners Are

The Same


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

Hawkesyard Priory

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:;; The British

Newspaper Archive


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.

Grant Applications

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: and on the Council’s website at

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

of Lichfield.

Christmas Lights

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

the City.

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

Group Leaders;

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

Civic Events

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

September 2021.

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

Sad Farewell

to Lichfield’s

Town Crier




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

entertained when

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

to come.

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



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

formal wreath-laying

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

current legislation.

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


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

the Guildhall.

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.

Public Participation

Council Meetings

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 (

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

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


The National

Miner’s Memorial

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:, follow progress on

Facebook @ChaseArtsForPublicSpaces or phone the project leader on

07583 655199.

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

*Activity pack includes Gruffalo mask and paws, activity leaflet, crayon and

pencil, nature spotters’ game and stickers and can be purchased for £3.50.


Top 10

Lockdown Reads


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

Christy Lefteri

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

of souls.

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

the answers.

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


Christmas Gifts

for Gents

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,

Heath Hayes.

Minimalistic design is key with these beautiful

silver cufflinks.

Priced at £149 and available from Allen Brown

Jewellery located at Heart of the Country Shopping

Village, Swinfen.


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

no exception!

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

Road, Lichfield.

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

specific animals.

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

streaky bacon.

Wild Boar or Venison with Redcurrant and

Orange Syrup

4 x venison cutlets (or pork)

4 x rashers streaky bacon

4tbsps redcurrant jelly

2 x shots cassis

1 orange

2tsps pink or green peppercorns

Orange juice


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 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,

he will!

For more information on any of the upcoming events and shows at

the Lichfield Garrick visit

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 (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


3rd-5th November

Poppy Fields

Am installation in

collaboration with Luxmuralis

to pay respects to the fallen

for Remembrance Day.

Time: 5.30pm – 8.50pm (timed


Venue: Lichfield Cathedral

Price: £6.50

Thursday 5th November

Memory Café

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


Venue: Online

Price: Free


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.

Time: 7.30pm-8.30pm

Venue: Zoom

Price: £6

Tickets available from

23rd-24th December

Festive Breakfast

Enjoy a festive family breakfast

with a glass of Prosecco or

Bucks Fizz on arrival.

Venue: The Lichfield Pantry,

The Plant Plot Garden Centre,

Stafford Rd.

Price: £10 per person.

Maximum 6 people per table.

Advanced booking required.

Call 01543 253066.



To Advertise please

contact our classified

team on

07970 513144

This ad...

£38 plus VAT

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Privacy Policy, which in turn adheres to GDPR Data Protection legislation. For a

copy of our Privacy Policy please email

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with our Privacy Policy. Details will be held only until the closing date of the

competition. After this date entrants’ details will be securely destroyed/deleted.

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informed of their win/prize. After this details will be securely deleted/destroyed.

5.Entrants’ details will never be shared with any third party. The only exception to

this is the name (and if the prize is to be posted) address of Competition/Prize

Draw winners that will be communicated to the competition partner to allow

winners to securely claim their prize, after which all details will be securely

destroyed. The initial and surname of winners will be printed in our magazines –

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using or publishing materials provided by the entrants (but not address or contact

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breach of any other legislation entailed by entrants in their creation or submission

of materials.

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prize is non-transferable.

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11.No purchase necessary.

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over (unless otherwise stated).

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final and no correspondence will be entered into.

18.Citylife in Lichfield Ltd accepts no responsibility for the prize being lost,

damaged or delayed in transit. When the prize is provided by a third party, Citylife

in Lichfield Ltd accepts no responsibility for any change to the prize, or for the

quality of the prize provided.

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