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
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 email@example.com
Steve Brown 07740 166497 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Hill 07970 513144 email@example.com
Helen Smith 07967 154187 firstname.lastname@example.org
Citylife In Lichfield Ltd
PO Box 7126 LICHFIELD WS14 4JS
CITYLIFE in Lichfield and CITYLIFE in Rugeley magazines
are not connected to any other publication or publisher, and are
wholly owned by CITYLIFE in Lichfield Ltd.
Citylife In Lichfield
Citylife in Lichfield Ltd does not endorse any business or organisation
appearing in these pages, and the publication of any advertisement,
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endorsement by Citylife in Lichfield Ltd.
Your Local Magazine
16 Kim Nash Interview
Charlotte Benton interviews the local author
20 Ask Jono
Jono Oates solves a local historical mystery
26 Dine at Home
Treat Mum to a dining-in experience
36 Virtual Chasewater
We take a virtual stroll round the local beauty
38 Mum's the Word!
Find the perfect gift for Mum
From the Editor…
Welcome to the March issue of Citylife in Lichfield - the cold
weather is finally lifting, and with it come hints of springtime and
the promise of brighter days ahead.
The main event in March is Mother’s Day, when we celebrate all
things ‘Mum’ and shower our matriarch with gifts and love. We’ve
put together a beautiful gift guide featuring local retailers and
suppliers of everything from handmade candles, to bespoke
flower arrangements, to hand-crafted jewellery items.
Rather fittingly, it’s also International Women’s Day on 8th March
this year – a global day to celebrate
the social, economic, cultural and
political achievements of women
everywhere. Therefore, it wouldn’t
be right to let the occasion pass
without giving a nod to the two
fantastic female directors who are
behind Citylife in Lichfield Ltd!
Helen Smith and Rebecca Hill – this issue is dedicated to you!
Secured for Five Years
Donations Buy Laptops
for Lichfield Students
CJ's Events Warwickshire has been appointed
by Lichfield City Council to operate the
monthly Producers' Market located in Market
Square. The appointment has been awarded for
an initial five-year period.
In recent years the Farmers’ Market took place
on the first Thursday of the month, but with
declining stall numbers and footfall, Lichfield
City Council appointed CJ's Events
Warwickshire for an initial period of one year
back in 2020 to revitalise the market.
Back in January 2020, following a Working
Group with the local authority, the company
moved the date from the first Thursday to the
first Sunday of the month, and changed the
name from 'Farmers' to 'Producers', which
enabled the operator to attract and deliver a
wider variety of stalls and meet the
expectations of shoppers.
Despite the pandemic cancelling a number of
markets, the ones which took place have been
highly successful and have increased both stall
numbers and footfall.
The monthly market will take place on the first
Sunday of the month between February and
December annually. At present it will only be
essential food stalls whilst current lockdown
restrictions are in place.
For more information, or if traders wish to get
more information on trading, contact CJ's
Events Warwickshire on 01926 800 750 or visit
March the Month with
Whilst going for your daily exercise this month
you may well see a familiar site – Jono Oates,
affectionately known as Georgian Jono to locals,
can often be found pounding the streets of
Lichfield on his daily constitutional.
However, during the month of March, Jono has
taken on the March the Month Challenge for
Prostate Cancer UK and plans to cover a
minimum of 11,000 steps each and every day to
raise money for the charity!
You can support Jono, who owns and operates
Jono’s Tourism, in his quest by visiting
ndraising/jono-walks-lichfield. Or, if you can
catch him, you can also safely and carefully give
him some money on his rounds (you may even
get a little bit of local historical knowledge
thrown into the mix!)
As well as keeping
the litter picking
Legend’s other aim
was to see a litterfree
Recently, a project at
St Michael’s Primary
School covered the problems associated with
litter and the effect of litter on wildlife,
culminating in a poster competition where
children were asked to come up with an antilitter
There were some wonderful designs created by
the two age groups, and it was difficult for two
winners to be chosen, however a decision was
made and both winners received prizes of litter
pickers, hi-vis vests and badges provided by
Lichfield Litter Legends and a signed copy of
Lennie The Litter Legend.
Pictured is Bob Harrison, author of Lennie the
Litter Legend and organiser of Lichfield Litter
Legends, with the winners.
Nether Stowe School pupils with laptops bought
from generous donations
Students from a Lichfield school are to benefit
from new laptops to use in their remote
learning thanks to a generous donation by two
historic Lichfield charities.
Nether Stowe School, in St Chads Road, has
been given £6,650 to purchase laptops by the
Lichfield Municipal Charities and the Swinfen-
Broun Trust, which will help disadvantaged
pupils learn at home during lockdown.
The school, which is part of the respected
Arthur Terry Learning Partnership, is currently
open to look after vulnerable students and the
children of key workers and is providing a
remote learning curriculum for youngers to
study at home.
Lichfield Municipal Charities was established in
1654. The organisation runs 13 Almshouses,
known as William Lunn’s Homes, situated in
Stowe Street, which provide homes for poor
inhabitants of the City of Lichfield, while also
assisting local individuals and organisations in
times of need.
The Swinfen Broun Charitable Trust was
established in 1973, with assets from the estate
of the late Colonel Swinfen Broun, who died in
1948. It helps organisations and individuals
within the boundaries of the City of Lichfield.
Have Your Say on
Lichfield’s Car Parks
Car park users, residents and businesses are
being encouraged to put forward their views on
long-term car parking options for Lichfield City
Feedback from the consultation will be used to
help Lichfield District Council develop a longterm
car parking strategy for Lichfield City
Centre that will set out detailed
recommendations for future car parking
provision serving the city centre and how this
Consultation responses are being gathered
through an online questionnaire which is
The consultation closes at midnight on Sunday
21st March 2021.
Would you like to have a chat
with a local Financial Adviser?
I have lived and worked in Burntwood and Hammerwich for 50 of my 52 years, working firstly as a Police Officer for
25 years and then as a fully qualified Financial Adviser since 2016. My wife and both sets of our parents are from the
area and our children went to the local schools, as did we.
I was a School Governor at EDA for 8 years until 2015 and have been a Parish Councillor for Hammerwich since 2015 and for Boney Hay
and Central since 2019, doing my bit for the local community when I can.
With strong ties to the area I consider myself a local and therefore a local Financial Adviser providing Advice to locals. I look after over 100
households advising on their pensions, investments, savings and inheritance tax amounting to circa £27,000,000. My clients get a personalised
service and I see them once or twice a year depending upon their circumstances.
At Four Oaks Financial Services I am
supported by in-house research, client
liaison and administration teams. I spent
most of 2020 working from home using
online meetings to great effect, keeping in
contact with my clients and advising them
during a very strange year. For the first
part of 2021 this is likely to continue but
it shouldn’t be too long before face to
face meetings are the norm.
Our first meeting will be at my cost and
there is no obligation to proceed any
further. Financial Advisers get paid in a
variety of ways and I will explain this to
you when we speak. If you do decide to be
a client then you will get a personalised
service that matches your needs,
whatever they may be, as we are all
I will carry out a full fact find of your
circumstances and discuss with you your
priorities, where you want to be
financially in the future and how I may be
able to help you get there. I will speak in
clear terms and do my best to try and
help you achieve your goals.
As an experienced Financial Adviser I
work with clients, at all stages of their life,
to help them achieve their financial goals.
My clients are mainly in the Burntwood,
Lichfield and greater Wolverhampton
areas, although I do have clients much
further afield. You can find me on the
Independent rating sites Unbiased and
Vouchedfor, via my website -
www.financialadviser.me.uk or the Four
Oaks website – www.fouroaksfs.com
It is often said that people deal with
people, particularly local people, so please
give me a call or drop me an email. We can
have a chat and can take it from there if
I hope to hear from you soon.
Robin Place DipFA, CeLTCI, MLIBF
0121 323 2070, 07968 504805
St Giles Hospice
Mark Shanahan of Sutton Coldfield has run 20
marathons for the charity
St Giles Hospice is offering one lucky
fundraiser the chance to run this year’s London
Marathon after the hospice was awarded its
first-ever charity place at the iconic event,
which is set to take place on Sunday 3rd
Competition for places at the London
Marathon is always fierce. In 2020 more than
450,000 people applied for the 40,000 places
available in the ballot. The few remaining places
are awarded to top athletes and selected
charities – and St Giles has been incredibly
lucky to be awarded a charity place.
The charity place winner will have to pay a
£100 registration fee and pledge to raise a
minimum of £2,500 for the hospice.
Anyone who already has a ballot place can join
#TeamStGiles for the marathon and all runners
will receive support from a dedicated
fundraising team member as well as an
exclusive St Giles running vest, a training plan, a
bespoke fundraising pack and route
To apply for the St Giles Hospice London
Marathon place, or to join #TeamStGiles, visit
New Virtual Theatre
Clubs from Lichfield
The Lichfield Garrick Theatre has started a new
online drama club for people to get involved in
drama and theatre activities from their homes.
The Coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to
theatre productions worldwide and has left
many people feeling helpless and isolated in
their day-to-day lives. So, in a bid to bring
people together and help them make new
friends while also getting involved in drama, this
new free initiative from the Lichfield Garrick
will see people come together in groups over
Zoom and take part in sessions that look at
various parts of theatre, including acting &
directing skills, screen acting, and Foley Effects.
Starting in March, on Monday evenings, people
between the ages of 11-17 are welcome to join
in with the Youth Theatre Club, and the Theatre
Club for those 18 and above will be hosted on
Participants can join for free, but should you
wish to contribute a small donation to the
running costs of the sessions, you can do this
either during the booking process or via the
link provided at the end of each session.
for more information.
£3,000 Donation for
Paul Wright hands over the cheque to Emma
Tennant of New Era
New Era, the domestic abuse service, which
supports children and adults in Lichfield and
across Staffordshire, has netted an amazing
£3,000 donation thanks to a group of
courageous local fundraisers.
The fabulous fundraising effort was
spearheaded by Paul Wright, chairman of
Lichfield Social Club Football Club, who
completed a gruelling sponsored climb of
Mount Snowdon, with a group of friends and
Paul, aged 40, who set himself an original fundraising
goal of £1,000, has been overwhelmed
by the generosity of local residents, and their
friends and family.
As well as battling the elements, Paul had to
tackle his fear of heights in order to reach – and
descend - the 3,560-feet peak.
He organised the sponsored climb after being
impressed with the emotional support and
practical help provided by New Era to a friend
who had suffered severe domestic abuse.
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 at www.new-era.uk.
Lichfield District Council has received £70,000
funding to support progress on several
important pieces of work linked to the Lichfield
City Centre Masterplan.
Plans are in place for 2021 to start developing
some of the ideas proposed in the Masterplan,
published last year, including public engagement
on long-term strategies for enhanced green
infrastructure, car parking provision, public
realm improvements and a feasibility study on
city centre pedestrianisation.
The purpose of the different strategies will be
to guide future development across the city
centre and support the delivery of proposed
key projects including the development of the
Birmingham Road site, the Bird Street
Courtyard site and the University West car
The £70,000 funding has been awarded by the
Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local
Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) through its
Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) Enabling Fund
and will be used to support several projects in
the next phase.
Congratulations to C Hagyard
who was the winner of a bottle
of Rhubling sparkling wine,
courtesy of Clive's Wines in
Charities, groups and not-for-profit
organisations that work to help the people of
Lichfield District are being invited to apply for
Lichfield District Council has £163,000 available
each year, over the next three years, to award
to community and voluntary sector
organisations that can deliver projects to make
From supporting older people to live in their
homes to working to look after the local
environment, the grants will help communities
across Lichfield District.
The minimum amount that can be applied for is
£5,000 a year over three years, subject to the
funds being available. The grants do not need to
Grants are available to formally constituted
not-for-profit groups that serve Lichfield
District, including local parish councils, public
sector organisations, and locally based
community enterprises and charities.
To find out more, and for an application pack,
visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/cvsfunding. The
deadline to apply is 29th April 2021.
Bollard Sleeves Offer
A series of new
bollard sleeves have
around the city by
Council to provide a
stark reminder to
residents that we are
still in the midst of a
despite the fact that
lockdown restrictions may soon be eased
The colourful wraps, in vibrant shades of lime
green, are designed to catch the eye and offer
advice following the current Government
guidelines, such as Pay By Card and Keep Your
Progress Your Career
Lichfield Football Academy is looking to recruit
new members for the term academic year
which begins in September 2021.
If you love football and you’re currently in year
11, you can combine your further education
with your passion for the game.
Offering BTEC Sport Level 3 Extended
Diplomas (equivalent to three A Levels), and
Applied Football Studies BSC (Hons), there’s
never been a better chance to learn while you
Elite training sessions are held at St George’s
Park and weekly competitive football matches
are played on the 4G home pitch. There’s even
USA Scholarships available for those who want
to study overseas.
To find out more about the Academy visit
www.lichfieldcityfcacademy.com, or call 07815
428301 to register your interest.
A Wash for Local
The statue of Dr Johnson, which dominates
Lichfield’s Market Square, was subject to a
The famous Lichfeldian received a blast with a
low-pressure system (a certified method for
cleaning stone safely), removing years of dirt
and grime, to reveal a fresher façade!
Join Nurture for a family-friendly ‘Historical
Treasure Hunt’ thanks to Jono’s Tourism and
Capture 24 Brand Photography.
Due to the success of this Historical Treasure
Hunt over February half term Nurture has
extended the activity until April 18th (including
the Easter holidays). Simply follow the map to
complete the missing sentences whilst
exploring this beautiful historical city as a family.
You can even tag #NurtureCommunity if you’re
a social media user.
Complete the ‘Historical Treasure Hunt’
mission by Sunday 18th of April – perfect for
adventure seekers of all ages! The trail is
pushchair and wheelchair friendly so ideal for
all the family!
The free Historical Treasure Hunt map can be
found online by visiting
www.nurturecommunitycic.org and clicking
into the events section. You’ll then see the
Lichfield Historical Treasure Hunt advertised
and can go into this event and download the
map in PDF format. Here you can then print it
off, or simply save it on your mobile phone!
A mysterious creature
has been caught on
camera roaming the
streets of Burntwood
at night… In fact, it’s
dressed up as a ‘Jawa’
character from the Star Wars film franchise,
complete with hooded cloak and glow-in-thedark
eyes – but who is this mystery person that
is sending the Burntwood community Facebook
pages into meltdown?!
It’s just good to see that someone still has a
sense of humour and is brightening up people’s
lives during tough times!
Have you seen the Burntwood Jawa? Post your
pictures and tag #BurntwoodJawa and
The Grandstand in the 1960s
By Jono Oates
Later this year the former grandstand and golf clubhouse at
Whittington Heath will be demolished to make way for the HS2
high-speed rail link and a familiar landmark will disappear from
The annual Lichfield horse race meetings started in 1702, making it one
of the oldest horse racing meets in the country. During the 18th and 19th
centuries the meetings were very popular and,
in 1737, a grandstand was erected to cater for the large numbers of
spectators that flocked to the course from all over the Midlands and
beyond. There was significant prize money to be won by the horse owner.
In September 1801 the race organisers offered prize money of one
hundred guineas, a very large amount of money at that time, for the winner
of His Majesty’s Plate which was for horses of no more than five years old
and set over a three-mile course.
By the end of the 19th century the races had begun to lose their
popularity, the quality of the races and the calibre of the horses began to
fall and the races started to attract the wrong type of clientele.
In 1875 the War Office bought the land surrounding the racetrack and
in 1881 the Whittington Barracks were officially opened. In 1890 the
racecourse grandstand was converted into an institution for soldiers from
the barracks, providing then with recreational facilities and a ‘home-fromhome’
environment. The Soldiers’ Home was the brainchild of Major Seton
Churchill from the barracks and it proved to be very popular will all ranks
within the militia.
In 1895 the War Office decided to ban all horse racing at Whittington
Heath as they said it was having a negative impact on the barracks. Major
Churchill, who was the Vice-President of the Anti-Gambling League,
described them as those ‘wretched races’ and said that he was glad that
the authorities had closed them down.
The closure of the races was not popular with everyone though and it
created a storm of protest from the racing fraternity and with Lichfield
businessmen as the races were very good for trade in the city centre. In
July 1895 a meeting was held at the Lichfield Guildhall at which a Lichfield
branch of the Sporting League was formed. Major Dalbiac, of the National
The Old Soldiers' Home
referred to a letter
written by Major
Churchill where he
had described the
Whittington Races as
being ‘of a very low
order’ and that they
had ‘sunk into the
hands of publicans
and bookies, and they
attracted the scum of
The Grandstand at Whittington Barracks
towns, such as
Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Walsall etc.’ A national election had just
taken place, with the Conservative and Liberal Unionist alliance replacing
the Liberal government of Lord Roseby, and Major Dalbiac hoped that the
new government would overturn the original decision and allow horse
racing to continue.
His hopes proved to be unfounded however and in September 1895 the
House of Commons debated a request to have the races reinstated. They
heard an appeal from the Bishop of Lichfield, Dr Augustus Legge, and a
number of local inhabitants, pleading that the races remained closed and
also a conflicting appeal from the Mayor of Lichfield, George Ashmall, ex-
Mayors and attendees of the Guildhall meeting requesting they be
reinstated. The government declined to overrule the original decision
however and the horse races were never held at Whittington Heath again.
In April 1927 the Victory Memorial wing was added to the grandstand at
a cost of £5,000, although there was still a £375 debt on the building by
1932, when they held a Market Fair in the grounds to try and raise funds
to clear the debt. Stalls included crockery, cakes and a white elephant stall
while Miss Joan Simpson was the ‘lady with a 100 pockets’ and there was
also a stall run by Mrs Wigs-of-the-Cabbage-Patch!
In 1957 the Soldiers’ Home was closed and the building became the new
clubhouse for the Whittington Golf Club. In 1994 the club bought the land
from the Ministry of Defence, becoming the Whittington Heath Golf Club.
The grandstand clubhouse is, however, on the planned HS2 route and is
scheduled for demolition later in 2021. A new golf clubhouse, funded by
HS2, is under construction and changes are also being made to several of
the greens to accommodate the high-speed rail track.
For nearly three hundred years travellers between Tamworth and
Lichfield will have passed by the familiar outline of the Whittington Heath
grandstand providing memories of one of the oldest, and at times most
successful, horse racing venues in the country. Later in the year, however,
another iconic Lichfield building will disappear from the skyline forever.
The British Newspaper Archive; The Lichfield Book of Days by Neil Coley;
Look after the
pennies… and the
pounds will come!
By Richard Winterton
As my Granny used to say: “Look after the pennies and the pounds will
look after themselves.” I might also add ‘look after the pennies and the
pounds will come’. Let me explain…
When I first go to a house, I say: “We are here to help you.”
If the property is full, we will check everything – the house of course
and the attic, the cellars if there are any, garages, the gardens, any sheds,
outbuildings, greenhouses, conservatories, orangeries… you name it!
To some, those jam-packed garages, overgrown gardens and crowded
sheds might seem daunting – at best the spectre of a dozen or more
journeys to the tip.
And that’s where we come in. We don’t cherry-pick, we carefully sift
through everything, identify potential lots for sale at auction (realistically
most things) and then safely dispose of anything which needs to be
scrapped, such as items which do not meet current fire or electrical
People do get concerned about sheds, gardens and garages – don’t be.
Let us come to you and take away the stress along with the items in
Over the years I have seen so many attics stacked floor-to-ceiling and
garages racked wall-to-wall and whether it’s a bulging basement or
unloved outbuilding, these places are so often chock-a-block with
Heaving sheds and garages are teeming with interesting finds, from
vintage tools and equipment to automobilia and random curios which
ended up there by default.
As I say, we don’t cherry-pick. We have a dedicated, very experienced
team and if there’s something there, we will find it!
Many times, the whole clearance costs can be covered from items
thought only good for the tip until unearthed in those places by our
As the saying goes ‘one person’s trash is another’s treasure’ – should
it perhaps also be ‘one person’s collection is another’s clutter’?
Whichever way, it’s never more true than in our specialised field.
There could be one tiny gem in an entire property; equally there could
be dozens! And they could be anything from anywhere in the world. The
possibilities really are exciting.
Once we’ve done that initial clearance and all the sifting, identifying and
cataloguing, we can then also dress a house for sale should the client
wish. And once the sale completes, we come back again to clear it and
leave the property completely clean for its new occupants.
The contents of house/shed/gardens etc are transported back to The
Lichfield Auction Centre to go through the auction process.
In this respect I liken us to a one-stop shop! We take care of the whole
process and, although we sell many things for thousands and thousands
of pounds, we treat items worth perhaps £5 to £10 with equal care. To
us, everything is important.
Whatever the situation, we never forget that this is someone else’s
home and belongings – possibly accumulated over an entire lifetime.
So, whether you are an executor clearing a deceased estate,
investigating downsizing options, administering probate, emigrating or
just keen to clear clutter (or should I say collection?), give us a call.
We’re always happy to have a look with a free, no obligation home visit
and give you our honest opinion and free quotation upfront.
That same helping hand is available for all properties inside and out,
ranging from houses, bungalows and flats to schools, offices and factories
and I am so proud of our bespoke, sympathetic service.
When it comes to probate, we’re especially adept at handling the
entire estate – as the National Association of Jewellers’ newest approved
member for auction services, all members of our jewellery department
are certified gemmologists and diamond graders.
Whatever the items in question, we can handle probate valuations and
estate clearances in their entirety.
Just about anything you can think of can come through The Lichfield
Auction Centre, from watches, jewellery and furniture to specialist
militaria, coins, silver, stamps, ceramics, vintage toys, comics and Pokemon
cards – the ultimate modern-day collectable!
Everything from boxes of mixed lots to automobiles can – and does –
go under the hammer in our online-only auctions.
There’s now so much detail with extra photos for every lot in the
online catalogues to help people all across the world buy in confidence.
We’ve also had so many lovely comments from clients about our
packing service and all the measures we have implemented with regard
So, from the back of a Lichfield shed to the front of a Hong Kong
collector’s cabinet, perhaps… that’s how it’s done.
Look after the pennies and the pounds will come – and furthermore
we will look after you!
For a free home visit to discuss house clearances, downsizing, probate
assistance or large collections, contact The Lichfield Auction Centre on
01543 251081 or email email@example.com.
Visit us online and browse our new website at
Richard Winterton Auctioneers has a
dedicated and very experienced house
A recent house clearance at a
property overlooking Lichfield’s
Richard was delighted to discover this vintage Triumph Stag in a barn
earlier this year.
10 Minutes With…
Local author of heart-warming
fiction novels, Head of Publicity
for Bookouture and book blogger,
Kim Nash, caught up with Charlotte
Benton ahead of the publication of her
fourth novel, Moonlight Over
Hello Kim, firstly may I thank you for
taking the time to speak to me today, I
know you are very busy.
Not at all, it’s my pleasure.
With the upcoming publication of your fourth novel, did you always
know that you wanted to be a writer?
Yes I did, ever since I was a little girl, however I thought to be a writer
you had to live by the sea and have a small desk by the window
overlooking the waves! An idyllic scene, but I know now that is not the
I presume you have been writing during lockdown, how has this
experience differed from your normal writing schedule/experience?
I am lucky, lockdown has not had a great impact on my writing. A zap in
creativity perhaps, but aside from that I am used to writing as when I can
fit it in, I don't have a set routine. You can't wait for inspiration, you just
have to get on with it!
What inspired you to write this book?
Muddleford is a fictional place but it is inspired by my happy childhood
memories. I spent many summers in Mudeford in Dorset, travelling down
with my Nan to visit my Aunt. I haven't visited in five years now, but it is
a lovely place that I adore.
If you could meet any other author who would it be and why?
I have been inspired by so many great authors of women’s fiction, but if
I had to choose one I would say Milly Johnson. She is best-selling author
of romantic fiction, with 18 best-selling novels to date. It was Milly who
inspired me to start blogging about books, she definitely inspired me and
gave me confidence.
What book is on your bedside table at the moment?
It is actually a book written by my friend Nicola May, I just started
reading it today, it is called Welcome to Ferry Lane Market. Nicola is one
of the many authors who was involved in the
Chase BookFest at the Museum of Cannock Chase in September 2019.
I helped to organise the event along with the ladies who work at the
museum, as avid readers themselves and with my connection to many
authors, it was a great opportunity for local readers to connect with local
authors. I am keen to run this event again once things are back to normal.
What do you like to do in your spare time to unwind?
I enjoy taking my dog Roni for a walk over Cannock Chase and spend
many hours watching my son play football for Hednesford Town under
13s. We also like to go and support the club’s first team along with my
son’s teammates and my friends, the other football mums.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I am fortunate that I don't really experience writer’s block. I try to
always maintain a positive attitude towards writing, often reminding myself
that you ‘can’t edit a blank page’. I think sometimes we can convince
ourselves that we cannot do something, when in fact we can, it’s just a
case of sitting down at the desk and giving it a go.
What is the most surprising thing you have discovered whilst writing
I have been amazed by how much my books have helped people
through lockdown. I have had numerous letters and messages sent to me
from strangers praising the power of my work during this unusual time.
One lady wrote how she had purchased my books for her Mum who had
sadly lost her friend to the virus, she spoke of how my books had helped
her Mum through the grieving process, enabling her to escape to another
world. My third novel is set in Portugal and at a time when we are unable
to travel, it has been lovely to hear how my books have been enjoyed by
many, leading them to feel as though they too have been on holiday,
offering an escape from reality.
What advice would you give to budding writers?
First of all, you have to make the time to do what you want to. If it
means sacrificing an hour in front of the television in the evening then that
is what we have to do. I always used to say, ‘I’d love to write a book if I
had the time’. If you really want to do it, don’t delay it.
Finally, what do you hope readers take away from this book?
I hope this book offers escapism to my readers, transporting them to
Muddleford with Nellie and Jack away from the current troubles of
Kim's books are all available to buy on www.amazon.co.uk (her latest novel
is available to pre-order) and you can find out more about Kim at her website:
Win a Copy!
We’ve got two copies of Kim Nash’s
latest novel, Moonlight Over
Muddleford Cove, to give away to two
lucky readers!* Correctly answer the
question below and send your details
for your chance to win:
Which county inspired Kim's
*One hard copy and one e-book. Please specify when entering
which version you would prefer.
To enter, just send your name, contact details and answer to
Book Competition at firstname.lastname@example.org or post
your entry to Citylife in Lichfield Ltd, PO Box 7126, Lichfield
WS14 4JS by the closing date of 23rd March 2021. 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
Full t&cs on page 42.
By Jo Howell
Have I told you today I love you? I’m sure I did; I know I say it in my
head every day, so I’ll remember to say it aloud tomorrow. And the day
after. And I promise I’ll shout it from the rooftops on Mother’s Day.
Although I’ve always thought it a little peculiar, we have a special day
to celebrate how much we love our Mums; surely, we should do this
every day? I know, I know - life gets in the way, we forget to call, we move
away, families fall out and before you know it, it’s March and you can’t
move for Mother’s Day cards and offers on perfume sets.
So, what can I do for you this year Mum? What can I do to make this
year a little bit more special – after all, don’t we all deserve a little extra
TLC after the last 12 months? I’m afraid one of my fabulous hugs will
have to be put on hold for a while longer but I came up with a few other
suggestions you may like:
Desert Island Discs
Yes, Mum, you get to choose your Top 10 favourite songs for us to
listen too – with no eye rolling, arguments or skipping songs. If you want
Elvis Presley, Gary Barlow or the soundtrack of Miss Saigon playing loud
all day – you can.
No, not for your favourite department store I’m afraid but vouchers
that you can ‘cash in’ whenever you like. Fancy a night off from the
cooking? Use a voucher. Want to choose the Friday night movie? Use a
voucher. There are 12 ‘blank’ vouchers for you Mum, so if you want to
make it a gift that keeps giving for a whole year – you can.
I know how much you love a scone with jam and cream, so let’s
recreate it in the comfort of our own home – but with a twist! Because
we can’t be together this year, your afternoon tea will be dropped on the
doorstep before we both enjoy it together via Zoom. And if you want to
pick the crumbs off your top afterwards – you can.
So, there you go Mum, a few ideas on how I can spoil you a little bit
more in 2021. And yes, I know it’s not just about the gifts or the day itself
– it’s about gratitude. I am so thankful you got to be my Mum; that it was
you who showed me the way, held me hand, wiped my tears and snotty
nose and now as an adult, gives the best advice – even when I don’t want
to hear it.
Of course, not all of us have our Mums to spoil anymore. So, if you,
like me, are missing yours this Mother’s Day, simply light a candle, take a
moment and look for the signs - be it her favourite song on the radio or
the daffodils poking through in the garden.
Because Mums, whether with us in person or not, will always be right
by your side. No matter what.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mum – I love you.
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
Where was Lilian
By Jono Oates
Last month I received a letter from Mrs Lynn Washbourne who
asked whether I knew the location of a shop in Lichfield that
her mother, Ethel Lindsay, had worked in during the 1930s.
The name of the shop was Lilian Hipkin’s and it was a fashionable
ladies’ dress shop. Lynn had recently moved in to the area and was
keen to know exactly where the shop was.
Although I didn’t know the answer immediately, I was very confident
that I would be able to find the answer to Lynn’s question. I have access
to all of the vintage photographs that form the St Mary’s Photographic
Collection, including street scenes and shop front photographs, I can
look at the photographs listed on the ‘You’re Probably From Lichfield
If…’ Facebook community group which has many photographs of
Lichfield from the past, and I also have a copy of JP Gallagher’s book
‘Trades of a City’ which lists all of the Lichfield shops with details of
their owners from the 1850s to the present time.
My confidence was rewarded when I discovered that Lilian’s shop was
at number 16 Bird Street from the 1920s to the early 1940s. I
discovered a photograph of the shop front, with two members of staff
standing outside the front entrance, in the St Mary’s Photographic
Collection and I also found several references to the shop in newspaper
advertisements, mainly placed in the Lichfield Mercury, using the British
The ladies in the photograph, Eileen George and Isabel Bailye, were
part of a team of dressmakers who worked in the upper part of the
building. Lynn says her mother told her that they had an excellent view
of the city from their vantage point but that they never went into the
shop area on the ground floor.
Lilian was well-known in Lichfield and in December 1929 she
provided the dresses for Miss Violet Garmstone, who played the lead
role in the Lichfield Amateur Dramatic Society’s performance of Vanity
Fayre. In September 1937 Lilian advertised in the Lichfield mercury
looking for two ‘superior girls’ as apprentices for ladies tailoring and
Ethel lived on Stockhay Lane in Hammerwich and Lilian lived at
Eileen George (l) and Isabel Bailye
outside Lilian Hipkin's shop in the 1930s
Mountain Ash, 49 Burntwood
Road, so the two women would
have been near neighbours.
Lilian’s husband was William
Hipkin who, by 1939, was a
In May 1941 Lilian sold number
16 Bird Street as she planned to
retire and announced a
Clearance Sale in the Lichfield
Mercury, with a good selection of
spring and summer dresses on
sale with many ‘startling’ bargains.
The contents of the shop,
including three Singer sewing
machines, were put up for
auction by Winterton and Sons
auctioneers in June 1941 and the
shop eventually became home to Margaret Salt, a milliner.
The shop has had many different uses since the 1940s including a
garden shop, an antiques shop, the wonderfully named play-on-words
‘Sixteen Birds Treat’ gift shop in the 1970s and MYM Video in the 1980s.
Today it is the Damn Fine Café.
Damn Fine Cafe
Ethel Lindsay outside her home
in the 1930s
If you’ve got a question about a shop or business in Lichfield,
want to know where it was or who owned it, want to know about
some of Lichfield’s well-known figures, spaces, places, or want to
know who did what to who, where and when… In fact, if you want
to know anything about the history or people of Lichfield then
why not Ask Jono?
Email your query to Jono at email@example.com, or write to
him at Citylife In Lichfield Ltd, PO Box 7126, Lichfield WS14 4JS
and he’ll try and answer your query in the next edition of the
magazine. Please include as much information about the place, or
person, that you would like to know about and also include any
photographs that might be relevant to the query.
*Thanks to Lynn Washbourne and her daughter Kate Carter-Brown for the use of the
photograph of Ethel Lindsay.
**Photograph of Lilian Hipkin’s shop window courtesy of the St Mary’s Photographic
Sources: The British Newspaper Archive; Trades of a City by JP Gallagher
John Louis Petit Lectures
There are two
u p c o m i n g
lectures about JL
Petit, in which
author of Petit’s
Tours of Old
discuss his most
talented Lichfeldian. On March 17th for the Johnson Society
AGM the lecture will focus on Petit’s more unusual artistic
achievements as a unique pre-impressionist in mid 19th
century Britain; while on April 9th for the Staffordshire
Archaeological and Historical Society Petit’s opposition to
Gothic and advocacy of what would later become
progressive-traditionalism will be the focus. Both lectures
will be on Zoom.
Contact the Societies for further details.
The Kitchen Shop
Says Goodbye to
It is with the greatest sadness to announce that
Hilary Woolston, founding partner of The Kitchen
Shop, Market Street, Lichfield, unfortunately lost
her battle with cancer at the end of January.
Along with her husband Barry, they set up their
cookshop in August 1982 and later two of their daughters,
Lizzy and Vicky joined them.
Hilary’s family, friends, shop staff and regular customers
will miss her very much indeed!
A private family funeral will be held on 3rd March.
Hilary’s family have decided that there will be a memorial
and celebration of her life once friends can gather again. In
the meantime, donations can be received for Cancer
Research UK and Walsall Palliative Trust Fund in her
Please contact Ian Hazel Funerals Ltd, 23 Anchor Road,
Aldridge, West Midlands, WS9 8PT.
Opportunity for a
Citylife in Lichfield Ltd
We currently have an opportunity for
a Sales Executive to work on our two
magazines – Citylife in Lichfield and
Citylife in Rugeley & Cannock Chase.
You must be self-motivated and
comfortable speaking to clients on the
phone as well as face-to-face. A car is
essential for this post.
For further information and a full job
description, please email
Support Good Causes with
Lichfield Community Lottery
Tickets for Lichfield Community Lottery
will be going on sale from 2nd March
2021. Each ticket costs just £1 and can help
support local charities and good causes.
So far, 14 good causes from across Lichfield
District have signed up to be a part of Lichfield
Community Lottery following the virtual launch
in January. These include: Pathway Project,
Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, CACH, Rotary Club of Burntwood
and District, Friends of Burntwood Library, Hammerwich Bowling Club, Burntwood
Be A Friend, Burntwood St Matthew’s Cricket Club, Chasewater Railway, Lichfield
Litter Legends, Girlguiding Lichfield Division, Boley Park Pre-School and COGS
Prepares 4 Life CIO.
These not-for-profit groups and organisations can set up their own online lottery
page and, once tickets go on sale, will receive 50p in every £1 spent by players who
choose to support their cause. A further 10p in every pound will go to other local
good causes from across the district.
Lichfield Community Lottery’s first draw is on 10th April. Players have a 1 in 50
chance of winning one of the prizes, which range from the £25,000 jackpot to three
extra lottery tickets. To celebrate the first draw there is also an opportunity to win
a Mercia Food Hub luxury hamper, packed with locally sourced treats.
Local good causes can sign up at www.lichfieldcommunitylottery.co.uk, and the
website is also where supporters can buy lottery tickets when they become available
in March, as well as read regular updates.
The Joy of a Familiar Face
Local home care provider Visiting Angels has
been successful in delivering a different
standard of care to families in East
For many receiving care there is often little
consistency or continuity of care. Owner, Andrew
Lofts, says: “I could see the problem comes from
high staff turnover.”
Visiting Angels is a proudly carer-centric home
care provider. By looking after our staff with fairer pay and benefits, it believes these
problems can be stopped. Andrew continues: “Our staff turnover is much lower than
the industry average and for clients this means the visits happen when they choose.
“The unique thing about Visiting Angels is that you get to choose the carer who
visits you. You will meet the carer before you decide whether you would like them
to support you. We select the carers who we believe will match the client well and
then introduce them to the client and their family.”
Andrew concludes it’s not just about keeping people safe: “As well as ensuring that
people are protected, the same carer coming each time means our clients get to
know their Angel and there is joy from spending time with a familiar face. When
during the pandemic the advice has been that our elderly loved ones should not
leave their home, I am proud to say that we are fighting loneliness by ensuring a
regular visit from a friendly face.”
Visiting Angels is based in Burton on Trent and covers Burton, Tamworth and
Lichfield. For more information call 01283 319400.
Lichfield Camera Club
Produce images that are ‘Three of a Kind’ was the challenge for
Lichfield Camera Club members in the latest club competition. The
images could be on a common theme or a traditional triptych canvas
that was popular with artists of the Dutch Renaissance and more
modern artists such as Jack Vettriano. It is a technique that has also
become popular with photographers.
The winning image was Richard Moore’s monochrome study of three
Birmingham Churches entitled: St. Martin’s, St. Philip’s and St. Chad’s, with
each church juxtaposed with architecture of a very contrasting style.
Guggenheim Museum by Peter Evans
Andy Malbon recorded a recent event in Rugeley with
'There she goes!'
Richard Moore’s study of Three churches was the winner
The Mating Season by Sandra Morgan
Annette Keatley captured the flight of a biplane with
'Up, Up and Away'
Second place went to Anne Anderson for her beautifully
creative image of Pheasant Feathers.
Tim Wayne created this triptych '3 of The Forth' of the
magnificent architecture of the Forth Rail Bridge.
Lily Pavey’s '3
created by the
refraction of light
Joe Anderson took third place with another piece of great
creativity with his monochrome Cutlery Composition.
Tales of a Private Chef
By Simon Smith
In the days when
we were allowed
to travel and I
worked in St Tropez
I used to meet up
with another private
chef for a drink
every so often.
These jobs tend to
be for a two-week
spell when people
hire villas, the work varies a lot.
On this occasion he arrived at the villa and saw the
clients in the drive with a taxi and suitcases. “Ah we’ve all
arrived together,” he said. “No,” replied the client, “we
are just leaving.”
“Have I got the wrong date?” asked the chef.
“No, not at all,” came the reply. “We are going away on
a yacht for a couple of weeks, you are here to cook for
the dog. You will find the menu on the back of the fridge
door. Any problems ask the butler.”
There are many ways the uber-rich like to spend their
money and that is just one example.
Dine at Home
TThis year, Mother’s Day is going to be a very different
affair for many of us. With lockdown regulations still in
place, restaurants, pubs and eateries are all closed to
the public, but that doesn’t mean Mum can’t enjoy a meal
from her favourite place!
We’ve put together a few of our local favourites which are
offering delicious restaurant-quality takeaway meals to
impress and delight Mum this year.
Facebook/Instagram for details - Limited
Mother’s Day Cupcake Flower Bouquet - Can be tailored to
any colours you choose - Flavours: Vanilla, Chocolate and
Box of 6 Mother’s Day cupcakes - £10 available in Nude and
Blush designs. Flavours: Vanilla, Chocolate and Lemon.
Booking is essential. Full payment required at time of enquiry.
Collection on 13th March, 1-3pm
Contact: 07516497165 or
Also message us on Facebook
Treat Mum to an authentic and
delicious meal from Lichfield's
premium Mexican bar and grill.
With so many great dishes to
choose from, including a range of
tapas plates; the typical Mexican
fare of nachos, fajitas, burritos and
tacos; plus a street food menu
featuring gyros kebabs and
quesadillas, you’ll really be spoiled
Los Banditos also has gluten-free and vegan options, and two
fantastic Mother’s Day deals!
• Any Three Courses and a Cocktail - £22.95
• Any Main Course and a dessert - £13.95
Delivery service to start from 2pm
Please pre-order to avoid disappointment. Pre-orders will be
open from 1st March – call 01543 471537 to book your meal!
The Cheese Cavern
Treat your Mum this Mother's
Day to a cheese hamper from
The Cheese Cavern, a familyrun
located ‘under the arches’ in
Lichfield’s Corn Exchange.
Husband and wife team, Steve
and Debbie, have spent much of
their time visiting dairies and
local producers, gaining vast *Hamper shown is an example only
product expertise along the way.
There’s a choice of cheeses for your hamper, as well as a choice
of different flavoured shortbread biscuits or Turkish Delight, and
also chocolate balls to be included!
Hampers are available to order online from 1st March.
For more details visit www.thecheesecavern.co.uk.
Pizza By Goli
Mother’s Day is just
around the corner and, at
Pizza by Goli, we want to
help make your lockdown
celebration just as special
as if you were dining with
us. Simply choose from
the online menu and ring
through your order for a collection or delivery (within
Lichfield area). Pre-order whenever you can and card
payments are safer for everyone when possible.
10% discount is still available for NHS staff.
Visit the website and see the menu at
www.pizzabygolilichfield.co.uk then call the restaurant
on 01543 250916 to order.
Stay safe, eat well, be happy!
Original Painting as
ALichfield artist has donated an original
painting to the city's canal trust to raise
funds for its restoration work.
Stuart Sampson is known for his graphic designs in
waterways guidebooks and magazines, but has revived his
interest in painting during the lockdown.
A life member of Lichfield and Hatherton Canals
Restoration Trust, Stuart chose a vision of Lichfield Canal
in water as his subject for a series of paintings, the first
of which can be won in an online raffle.
In the paintings, which he collectively describes as
'Wishful Thinking', Stuart has tried to merge the present
with a parallel universe where the canal had never been
abandoned, and which one day might look very similar.
Raffle tickets for the first work, a 14inch x 11inch
depiction of Borrowcop Locks, hand-painted on canvas
board with acrylic paint, can be purchased at
www.raffall.com/LHCRT at the cost of £1 per ticket.
The first raffle ends on Saturday 3rd April at 11am. UK
delivery is included or collection is available from
Your Garden in March
By Byron Lewis
Almost a year since the start of the pandemic, and the
spring gardening season is starting again... nearly three million
people took up gardening for the first time last year. As the
Covid-19 outbreak gathered pace and people were told to
stay at home, they turned to their outdoor space as a way of
passing the time, improving mental health and making more
use of their exteriors - were you one of them? If so, don't lose
that enthusiasm - hopefully you'll have had lots of success (and
even if you didn't you can always try again this year!)
Many seeds can be sown in March, plus flowers and veg too.
The ‘grow-your-own’ market saw a massive surge in 2020 -
why not try growing your own tomatoes this year? There are
plenty of varieties available from seed, whether you prefer
sweet flavoured cherry tomatoes, through to Italian and
traditional types, most tomatoes are easy to grow. Sow in a
seed tray and germinate on a warm windowsill. Keep them in
a heated greenhouse or conservatory. Depending on variety,
some can be grown outdoors in the summer but do check the
seed packet carefully before you buy. Alternatively, readygrown
plants are available later in the month.
Seeds for many other plants can also be sown in March -
both indoors and outside straight into the garden. Just check
the back of the seed packets for full growing instructions. You
can easily fill a border with summer flowers for less than £10!
Choose easy hardy annuals like cornflowers and godetia
which can simply be sprinkled over the soil outside. If you've
got space indoors, marigold and petunia are easy summer
plants to try.
Summer bulbs are now ready to plant. Garden centres will
have all the popular types – from scented lilies to dahlias, as
well as tuberous begonia and gladioli. Plant them in March and
April for summer colour. Many will flower for years to come
with minimal effort and, as the bulbs increase in size over time,
so the display increases too. As with all bulbs, adding some
Bonemeal, both when planting and after flowering, will feed
the bulb and help to improve the show.
Byron Lewis runs Lichfield Garden Centre at
Curborough Countryside Centre in Lichfield. Tel: 01543
254306, visit the website at
www.lichfieldgardencentre.co.uk or find it on Facebook
Doxey Marshes by Colin Hayes
Launch of Rivers
Scheme in Stafford
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is excited to announce the launch
of a £2.5 million scheme in Stafford that will alleviate flooding
around rivers in the area, as well as encourage a range of
wildlife such as otters and lapwing. Improving public connections
to nature is also a large part of the scheme by upgrading access
to sites and creating more green spaces for families to enjoy.
The scheme has been given a boost thanks to a £150,000 donation
from Highways England which will fund an environmental feasibility
study that is already under way to develop, plan and cost a five-year
Ragged Robin by Victoria Bunter
plan for the exciting Stafford Brooks Project.
In partnership with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Highways England,
Stafford Borough Council and the Environment Agency the project will
make vast improvements to habitats surrounding the Sow and Penk
Rivers. 25 sites will be identified which can be improved for
biodiversity, flood mitigation and water quality. Action will then be
taken to help join up some sites so habitats are more resilient and
wildlife less isolated.
The scheme that will restore and create new habitats across sites
including Doxey Marshes, Kingsmead Marsh and Radford Meadows
supports the launch of the Trusts recent appeal, 30 by 30 which aims
to have 30% of the county put aside for nature’s recovery by 2030.
Restored sites could become home to a variety of wildlife including
otter, wading birds such as lapwing and snipe and a range of amphibians
as well as them acting as a key contributor in mitigating the effects of
Lichfield’s Window Wanderland
Residents and businesses throughout Lichfield
decorated the windows of their homes and shop
fronts as part of a national campaign to connect
people in a Covid-safe way.
The countrywide initiative, called Window Wanderland,
encouraged communities around the world to set up their own,
magical windows for people to enjoy.
The Lichfield version took place over the weekend of 26th-
28th February and saw many locals taking part – here are just a
few. How many did you spot?
Teddy bears enjoy tea at The Bureau
The Cathedral School in Cathedral Close
Holy Cross Roman
A Taste of the
Karib Kitchen is a new and
exciting eatery which
specialises in Caribbean
cuisine to bring a taste of
distant shores to Lichfield!
Having successfully traded at
food festivals around the country
for the past four years, and
experiencing the overwhelming demand for something a
little different, the owners of Karib Kitchen have realised
their dream and chosen Lichfield as their new base in which
Friendly staff, great customer service and superb food
can all be expected from Karib Kitchen, and diners can
choose from Caribbean classics such as jerk chicken, fried
plantains, and rice and peas, to more adventurous dishes
like goat curry and callaloo. All of which are freshly
prepared to order.
Based under the historic arches of the Corn Exchange on
Conduit Street, Karib Kitchen is available for online orders,
with deliveries available or collection at the restaurant. The
kitchen is open during the national lockdown and all
Government guidelines are being strictly followed adhered
Take a look at the menu online and order today at karibkitchen-limited.square.site.
Master the Art of
Do you love the smell of a freshly baked loaf wafting
through the house? Learn the skills you need to become a master baker with
Hunnypot Cottage Bakery.
Owned by Ruth Redgate, Hunnypot Cottage Bakery is renowned throughout the area for
range of over 40 bread flavours and styles, from traditional white and wholegrains to more
exotic treats. The bakery was even selected as runner-up in 2020 for the West Midlands region
in the World Bread Awards – the UK’s leading awards which celebrate the baking community.
The range of courses that Ruth offers (either individual, group, or virtual) can provide all the
skills you need to start baking, or extend your skills into artisan breads and pastries. Learn
about different ingredients, and how to improve your diet with home-baked, preservative-free
Group courses are held at numerous local venues and each course includes a deliciously
tempting afternoon tea.
Online virtual courses are also available. The initial price is for the online class which can be
taken at your leisure, and the content will be accessible for a month once you log on. You can
purchase add-ons such as flour, yeast, and tins.
A bread making day is a wonderful experience to share, makes the perfect gift for an aspiring
baker, or is a great treat for Mum this Mother’s Day!
Hunnypot Cottage Bakery also offers bread subscription boxes, available in two sizes, which
means a variety of fresh bread can be delivered to your door (or the door of a loved one)
every month! There are options of three, six, nine and 12 month subscriptions – making this a
fabulous, and unusual, idea for a present.
For more information, or to purchase your bread-making course,
Walking for Wellbeing
By Louise Morris
Lockdown Meals for
Due to the restrictions placed on our everyday
lives caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we
are all experiencing increased levels of stress
and anxiety. During the spring and summer months
there are greater opportunities to spend time
outdoors, but during the autumn and winter, when
the days are short, our time spent outdoors is much
reduced, increasing our chances of suffering from
anxiety and stress.
No matter what time of year, spending time surrounded
by nature and being mindful of the natural world around
us can make you feel calmer and more relaxed. Taking a
walk in your local park, along a quiet country lane,
immersing yourself in nature at a nature reserve or in an
ancient woodland provides us with an opportunity to
relax and breath. Using our senses to touch, smell, see and
hear nature is extremely beneficial to our mental
Transforming the Trent Valley is launching its Connecting
with Nature project in 2021, offering people the
opportunity to connect with nature to improve their
mental wellbeing. Participants will begin to understand the
river, wetlands and heritage of the Trent Valley through a
programme using ‘forest school’ type methods, including
community gardening, guided walks and bushcraft
For ideas on how to make your daily walk more mindful,
see our One Foot Forward page:
If you are interested in finding out more about how
Connecting with Nature could help you, email us at
TTTV@staffs-wildlife.org.uk or visit
some interesting and useful videos on mindfulness.
Liam Dillon of The Boat Inn with Jane Rutherford, Headteacher at King Edward VI School
The owner of a Michelin Guide restaurant is preparing and delivering meals
for staff at his former school during lockdown. Liam Dillon, owner of The
Boat Inn, attended King Edward VI School, Lichfield, and is providing his
‘Heat At Home’ meals free of charge every week during lockdown.
During this third lockdown, the restaurant’s team have been delivering their ‘Heat
At Home’ offering across not just the West Midlands, but the UK, selling out every
week. Liam, who found his passion for cooking while at the school, came up with the
idea to give something back to his alma mater.
Liam said, “I wanted to give something back to my community. Where better to start
than the school where I spent so many happy years, the place that gave me the
platform to now be my own boss as a restaurant owner.
“Every week until lockdown ends, I will be delivering five of our ‘Heat At Home’
meals for teachers and staff who are working so hard, helping pupils, during these very
Jane Rutherford, Headteacher at King Edward VI, Lichfield said, “It was a pleasure to
see Liam again at school. It is such a kind gesture, and his weekly deliveries will put a
smile on the face of many of the school’s hardworking staff. One of the first meals
went to one of Liam’s former teachers.”
The Boat Inn has again been added to the 2021 Michelin Guide and is the only 3*
Rosette establishment in Staffordshire.
Every week Dillon and other chefs at The Boat star in lessons live on Facebook
explaining his ‘Heat At Home’ dishes and how to cook them:
To order a ‘Heat At Home’ meal visit: www.theboatinnlichfield.com/online-ordering.
In these testing times we have doubled our efforts to make your life as easy as possible while adhering
to the various restrictions. We can offer a live virtual guided tour of our stock yard and swiftly send
samples directly to your door, subject to availability.
There really is no reason to go anywhere else!
Win a Granite Chopping Board
If you require our services please do not hesitate
to call us on 01785 711096 or email your quote
request to firstname.lastname@example.org
With the largest variety of natural stones in the Midlands, the
solid slabs are kept on-site and are available for a virtual viewing
from 9am-5pm on Monday to Friday. 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?
To enter, just send your name, contact details and answer to Just
Granite Competition at email@example.com or post your
entry to Citylife in Lichfield Ltd, PO Box 7126, Lichfield WS14 4JS by
the closing date of 23rd April 2021. 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
Full t&cs on page 42.
‘Best Foot Forward’ for
Members of a local business
networking group have
helped to organise a
charity event in aid of the Stan
Bowley Trust, Lichfield’s cancerbased
charity which raises money
for cancer radiotherapy treatment
and was instrumental in bringing
the revolutionary CyberKnife
machine to the UK.
The Lichfield charity is named after Alan ‘Stan’ Bowley, a Staffordshire
Police officer who died in 2011 from cancer but who had benefitted from
CyberKnife therapy in Washington DC following a successful fundraising
Now, to mark the tenth anniversary of his death, the charity is launching
its ‘Best Foot Forward’ campaign and inviting people to collectively cover
a distance of 7,088 miles (the distance of the return journey from
Congleton, Cheshire, where Stan lived to Washington DC). This can be
done as a group and entrants are free to run, walk, cycle – or climb the
stairs – to cover the mileage over 18 days.
Event organiser, Stuart Bravington, has already seen 45 people sign up for
the challenge, which will take place from 31st March to 17th April. He’s
now calling on local people to get involved, sign up, and take on the
challenge to help the Trust in meeting its target.
To take part, visit www.thestanbowleytrust.org and click on ‘events’ and
‘Best Foot Forward’, which will tell you how to register, log your miles and
By Lauren Hirst
Looking for lovely gift ideas or just want to treat yourself or
Greyhound Trust Hall Green has had to think outside the box about
how to raise funds to enable us to continue finding loving homes for
retired racing greyhounds. All our usual fundraising events were cancelled
last year and looks like it’s going to be at least the summer of 2021
before things start to resemble anything like normal. So, if we can’t bring
merchandise to you in the physical world, then we decided to bring our
merchandise to you via the world wide web.
Our lovely volunteers, Tracy and John Tew, take good care of our
merchandising and online shop (as well as helping with everything else).
We are relying on the online shop more than ever for the things we need
or want. Luckily for us Mr & Mrs Tew are ahead of the game and help is
at your fingertips for that special gift. We are also working in partnership
with the very talented cartoonist, Richard Skipworth, Olivia May
Creations, and others, who donate a percentage of all sales to the Trust.
Giving birth can be a traumatic experience at the best of
times, but having a baby during lockdown must have
been extremely distressing as, in some intsances,
partners were not allowed to be at the new mother’s side
during labour, and family members were restricted from
meeting their new bundles of joy.
To celebrate the miracle of birth, and to recognise those who were
born during the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, a beautiful and
thoughtful window display has been created at St Mary’s on Market
Square. Decorated with circles, each depicting the name of a
lockdown newborn, the church window is adorned with colourful
We are also going to be expanding the range of our own merchandise
available online that has previously been available at our kennels. As the
public are currently unable to visit, items such as greyhound coats,
muzzles, collars, leads etc will be made available online.
If you can’t adopt a dog, there are other ways to help… Go online and
have a look and support the greyhounds in care at the same time. And
while you're there, why not have peek at the gorgeous greyhounds who
are looking for their forever homes? Might there be room in your home
and heart for a retired greyhound?
Visit the online shop at www.greyhoundtrusthallgreenonlineshop.com.
A ‘Virtual’ Tour
Spring has nearly sprung and the nights are becoming lighter,
however few of us are able to get out and enjoy it due to the
Government restrictions following the Covid-19 outbreak.
Instead, Jono Oates leads us on a virtual stroll round the stunning
waters of Chasewater and delves into its history.
Set in over 900 acres, of which 200 acres is water, Chasewater is the
third largest reservoir in Staffordshire in terms of volume, and also
provides a wonderful location to go for a stroll and admire the views, as
well as the abundant wildlife.
The reservoir also has an extended history which goes back to the
end of the 18th century and is linked to both the extensive canal and
railway networks that helped propel the Midlands into an industrial
The first reservoir was formed in 1797 on the site of the Crane Brook
Valley and was originally called the Norton Pool and Cannock Chase
Reservoir. It provided water to sustain the Great Wyrley and Essington
Canal, which was part of the Birmingham Canal Network, and which
suffered from lack of water due to the large number of canal locks in the
area, which consumed water at a very high rate.
The reservoir dam, however, burst in 1799 and the whole local area
was flooded, with the floodwaters reaching as far as the village of
Shenstone some five miles away. The dam was strengthened and rebuilt
in 1800 with a design by Thomas Dadford, a noted canal engineer, and
despite some remedial work in 2010 it has remained intact ever since.
In 1849 John Robinson McLean developed the South Staffordshire
Railway Line and, due to the proximity of the collieries of the Cannock
Chase Colliery Company, by 1871 a railway line was linked around the
reservoir supplying coal across the Midlands and beyond. Parts of the
original railway line are now used by the Chasewater Railway heritage
By the 1950s the use of the canal network had significantly declined
and large sections of the Great Wyrley and Essington Canal had closed,
therefore reducing the demands on the reservoir. In 1957 the Brownhills
Urban District Council purchased the reservoir for £5,600 and it
became re-named as, simply, Chasewater. The reservoir now changed its
purpose from industrial to recreational as sailing boats and speed boats
took to the waters and restaurants and cafes opened. Visitors came in
their thousands to walk round the waters and spot the increasing influx
of wildlife, flora and fauna as the reservoir became a natural habitat.
There are a number of walks around Chasewater for when the
Government restrictions are over, some of which are on wide, cinder
paths and roads, and others that will take you through forested areas and
right up to the water’s edge. The best place to start any of the walks is
at the Chasewater Innovation Centre on Pool Road at Brownhills, where
there is ample parking. Call in to the centre to pick up a walking trail map
of the site and ask advice about the best, and most suitable, walk for your
group or family.
Walking clockwise from the centre takes you towards the Brownhills
West station of the Chasewater Railway heritage museum. The history
of the heritage railway line goes back to the 1960s and a two mile
section of the original colliery track is in operation today, with the Santa
Specials railway trips being very popular at Christmas. As well as the
heritage railway museum the Sidings Railway café provides light
refreshments and is a great stop off point for a coffee and a slice of cake
during your walk.
Walking counter-clockwise takes you along the reservoir dam wall and
from there you can walk along road towards Burntwood Rugby Club,
towards the town centre, or take one of the several forest paths by
following the directional arrows to take you to the Chasewater Heaths
station on the railway line, which has a shop and another café for a
refreshments break. From there you can walk along to the Brownhills
West station and back to the Innovation Centre.
Walking around the main pool of Chasewater, using the designated
paths, is approximately a three mile walk and will take, without
refreshment breaks, an hour and a half at a gentle pace. Walking around
the roads to encircle the whole of the pool areas, will take nearly twice
as long but will avoid the waterside paths.
* Please note that the centre is currently closed due to the Covid-19
outbreak. You can keep up to date by visiting the website at
** PLEASE REMEMBER, IF YOU WISH TO EXERCISE, YOU MUST DO
SO STARTING FROM YOUR OWN HOME, AND NOT TRAVEL
ANYWHERE TO EXERCISE. PLEASE ONLY EXERCISE ALONE, WITH
MEMBERS OF YOUR OWN HOUSEHOLD, OR WITH ONE OTHER
Sources: www.enjoychasewater.co.uk ; www.chasewaterrailway.co.uk
J HOWELL &
FUNERAL DIRECTORS LICHFIELD
LICHFIELD’S LONGEST ESTABLISHED INDEPENDENT,
FAMILY RUN FUNERAL DIRECTORS.
SECOND GENERATION BUSINESS HERE TO ASSIST YOU
AND YOUR FAMILY.
24 hours a day
We are proud to be Lichfield's longest established family run funeral directors offering a wide range of
choices to suit all requirements. Horse drawn hearse, non religious ceremonies, floral tributes and
memorials are but a few of the services we offer.
Pre-paid funeral plans are also available.
For a truly personal service please call
Private Chapel of Rest 116 Netherstowe,
Lichfield, Staffs. WS13 6TS
Alockdown Mother's Day doesn't
have to mean you can't spoil
your Mum - if anything, in fact,
she should be made to feel even more
special! Take a look at our gift guide,
packed with beautiful items from local
retailers, to delight and inspire you in
time for Mothering Sunday on 14th
Odonata Studios is a little golden, treasure house
of curated gifts and jewellery to suit all budgets. At
just £6 this little Matchbox Flowerpot is a lovely
gift for your birth mum, adopted mum or a woman
you treasure. Find Odonata Studios at The
Courtyard at Middleton Hall, Tamworth, B78 2AE,
or online at www.odonatastudios.co.uk.
Silver earrings set with blue topaz, crystal and
freshwater pearls. Priced at £240 and available
online from Allen Brown Jewellery at
Tel: 01543 481 948.
Say it with flowers this Mother's Day! With a
detailed eye for colour and a passion for design,
Rob and the team at Secret Garden will make
sure that Mum is truly won over!
Available from www.secretgardenlichfield.co.uk,
tel: 01543 418710.
Add some bling to your keys, or use as a charm
and jazz up your handbag, with this leather
heart-shaped keyring adorned with a stunning
Priced at £8.99 including delivery, visit
www.loveemvy.com, or find on Facebook at
Emily Jane is a creator of handmade jewellery
inspired by nature. She is passionate about
creating her pieces as much by hand as possible;
making each piece truly unique, just like you. Her
tagline is Jewellery With Life because that's what
Discover more and shop on her website
www.jewellerywithlife.co.uk or join her
community on Instagram @emilyjanedesigner
A gift for your mum that will bring her joy every
day of the year! Eight Swarovski crystal pink hearts
shimmer in a heart shaped steel foil. Guaranteed to
bring rainbows into your home by hanging in a
sunny spot. £25 and other colours are available.
These gorgeous mugs are created by local artist
Mandy Billington. This hand-drawn cow mug is
available in blue, pink and yellow and priced at £12.
Available from MB Designs at
Tel: 07841 108207, or
A beautiful Cupcake Bouquet consisting of
seven individually decorated cupcakes finished
in a bouquet style.
Can be vanilla, lemon or chocolate.
Order through Facebook/Instagram
@CakesofWonderland or call 07516497165.
The two-seater Marseille Velvet Dining Bench is
now available in the grown-up shade of Navy
and will look majestic in Mum’s living or dining
room. Also available in three other colours and
two different sizes. Prices start from £525.
Available from Peppermill Interiors, Burntwood.
“Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes
with a Mother” (Unknown)
Just one of our beautiful gifts for that special
person. Visit our shop at
www.atthecedars.co.uk and go to our
Mother’s Day Gifts’ section where you can
see more of our collection.
Arriving early March is the stunning St Emilion
Upholstered Dining Chair to add traditional
French style to Mum’s dining set-up with its
delicate button back. Priced at £225 from
Peppermill Interiors, Burntwood. Pre-order
today on 01543 375 872.
The 2.1l KitchenAid Food Processor will chop,
purée, knead, mix, shred, and slice with
simplicity, everything from cucumbers to
tomatoes, cheeses and more, knead pizza and
bread doughs! Priced at £155.98 and available
from Tippers, Lichfield. www.tippers.com
Scratch-brushed silver and 18ct yellow gold
plated pendant. Priced at £68 and available
online from Allen Brown Jewellery at
Tel: 01543 481 948.
These Leaf Stud Silver Earrings are handmade by
Rachel Anne Jewellery – a fantastic designer/maker
based in Leek. Rachel creates stunning pieces of
vintage and nature inspired jewellery from fine and
sterling silver. Priced at £38.
Find more handcrafted pieces from over 30
Staffordshire artists at
Baking is just the beginning. With 10 speeds and
more than 10 available attachments, the
KitchenAid Classic 4.3l Stand Mixer can whip
up everything from pasta to ice cream, sausages
to salsa and so much more. Priced at £289.09
and available from Tippers, Lichfield.
The Apiarist, a gin infused with local honey,
brings the unique character of the sweet golden
nectar into a more ‘adult’ setting. Made using
raw honey from hives near Lichfield with bees
which forage the nearby countryside.
Priced at £39 and available from
Based in Great Haywood, Claire at Myrtle Fox &
Maude has a passion for harnessing the natural
beauty and wildness of flowers, inspired by the
changing seasons and the landscape of Staffordshire.
Visit the website at www.myrtlefoxandmaude.com to
see more of Claire’s stunning creations and to order.
Tastes of the Season
By Simon Smith
Cooking for Mum!
Time to spoil the Mothers again and show
how much you love them after all the hard
work they put in raising a family. But this time
You may have to cook a meal and deliver to
them so they can reheat it but it will still show
how much you care. If you don’t feel like doing
that yourself there are lots of companies that
will be delivering this year and you can find a
list in this magazine on page XX. Many catering
companies have diversified to survive and it’s
good to support them so that when things get
back to normal they are still there to go and
Mother’s Day was always a quick seller in the
catering trade with many options for dining
but the most popular being the roast as it
always falls on a Sunday. Normally restaurants
take two or three sittings and you can feel a
bit rushed but this year it’s time for a change.
If you are delivering at meal you have prepared
to reheat it will probably be in a foil container
with is quite hard to make attractive but a few
fresh flowers will lift the dish no end, or a
bunch of flowers on the tray.
For the first recipe I’m going to do a really
easy one so the youngsters can prepare it for
the Mum’s or Grandparents, under the
watchful eye of an adult however.
Again, recipes are for two this month because
of lockdown restrictions.
Baked Chicken Breast Italian Style
2 x chicken breasts
1 x mozzarella ball
8 x cherry tomatoes
1 x bunch fresh basil
¼pt tomato juice
3tbsp double cream
Salt and pepper
Lay the chicken breast in a tin foil baking tray
big enough to keep them side by side and not
too huge. Mix the double cream and tomato
juice and pour over the chicken. Tear the
mozzarella into strips and place on the chicken
breasts. Chop the cherry tomatoes in half and
place on the top. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or
until the chicken breasts are firm and cooked
through. Sprinkle with chopped basil.
Chicken One-Pot Roast
½ chicken (or whole if you have a big
appetite). You can also use chicken portions
without skin if you prefer.
2 x carrots
1 x parsnip
2 x white potatoes
2 x rashers smoked streaky bacon (or any
bacon you prefer)
2 x sage leaves
2 x bay leaves
1 x sprig rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel the carrots, celeriac, potatoes and
parsnips and cut into one-inch chunks. Prepare
the chicken into joints of about two inches
(see photo). Mix the chicken and vegetables in
a bowl with the sage, rosemary and bay leaves,
and toss together. Put in a roasting dish and
season with salt and pepper. Cook in a
preheated oven at 190 degrees Celsius for 35
minutes (turn everything after 15 minutes so it
This is another ideal dish for children to do
for their mother’s with dad supervising,
Simon Smith runs a catering business from his
production kitchen in Lichfield, providing bespoke
private dinners plus wedding, corporate and event
catering. Simon also undertakes cookery
demonstrations around the country and with local
businesses such as Arthur Price and Tippers.
During the summer months Simon works for
private clients both on superyachts and in villas in
St Tropez and Europe. If you are looking for
catering or a day of cookery skills go to
*Please take extra care when preparing and handling
hot foodstuffs. Go to www.food.gov.uk for further details.
To Advertise please
contact our classified
£40 plus VAT
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