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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Brown 07740 166497 email@example.com
Rebecca Hill 07970 513144 firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Smith 07967 154187 email@example.com
Citylife In Lichfield Ltd
PO Box 7126 LICHFIELD WS14 4JS
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Citylife In Lichfield
Citylife in Lichfield Ltd does not endorse any business or organisation
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Your Local Magazine
6 Local News
Read what's happening in and around Lichfield
14 Sunbeams & Elgar
Jono Oates explores the bicycles of Lester's
30 10 Minutes With...
Local artist Molly Beard is in the spotlight
38 Easter Gift Guide
Find the perfect Easter gift for your loved one
From the Editor…
Welcome to the April issue of Citylife in Lichfield.
The world is poised to begin opening up once again and
emerging from lockdown and, while we’re excited, there’s also an
air of trepidation. Will all our well-known and loved local
retailers be able to open up or will some have, sadly, not
survived? It’s a very bittersweet feeling.
In this issue, we’ve focused on the festivities surrounding Easter
and put together an Easter Gift Guide, filled with wonderful,
locally made items, as well as an Easter Treats Guide to ensure
you have something delicious on the table this year! There’s also
a recipe from top chef Simon Smith in case you fancy cooking
There’s also pages filled with local community news, history
features, plus an interview with a local artist and illustrator.
So sit back, have a read and look forward to the brighter days
New Dance & Theatre
For a map of Lichfield city centre car parks
managed by Lichfield District Council, visit
Floral Tributes for
Willows Primary School is excited to announce
its Easter Trail event whereby schoolchildren
will be decorating Easter egg posters around
Lichfield. The children will be displaying their
Easter artwork in their home windows with the
hopes of locating a golden ticket!
Lichfield-based Cakes of Wonderland has
donated golden ticket prizes and will be
supplying some amazing treats for the lucky
Easter is a magical time of year and a great time
to explore the advantages of planting seeds and
watching them grow. Willows Primary School is
looking for help and support, and also trying to
raise funds, to create an exciting allotment
space where the children can be actively
If any local gardening companies or enthusiasts
would be willing to offer their help or volunteer
their time, or if anyone wishes to make a
donation, please contact the school on 01543
Happy Easter from all at Willows Primary
Bird's Eye View of
Citylife reader, Simon Wilberforce, sent in this
fantastic image of Abbots Bromley from the air!
Have you snapped an image of the local area
you wish to share? Send it to
firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration in
the next issue of Citylife.
Two new community art networks have been
created in Lichfield and Burntwood.
Supported by The Hub as part of its artistic
response to the pandemic, the networks have
been set up to bring together anyone and
everyone interested in dance or performing
arts to generate ideas and projects, explore
new ways of working, identify any gaps in local
provision and help to kick start the local arts
scene following the pandemic.
Lichfield and Burntwood Dance Network
(L&BDN), and Lichfield and Burntwood Theatre
and Performance Network (L&BPN), are both
run by experienced professional artists to find
opportunities to create and see high quality
dance and performance work on local stages.
The network is a space to easily discover new
friends and to connect with other artists,
performers, actors, choreographers and
teachers, as well as opportunities for
professional development and training.
Both networks can be found on Facebook at
Transfer of Car Parks
Since 1st March, Backcester Lane car park and
Gresley Row car park in Lichfield city centre
have been operated by Three Spires Shopping
Centre. This means city centre car park season
ticket holders are no longer able to use their
passes for Backcester Lane car park.
Lichfield District Council has managed the two
car parks on behalf of Three Spires Shopping
Centre since they were first built, however
Three Spires has now decided to take them inhouse.
Although season ticket holders can no longer
use them in Backcester Lane car park, the
passes are still valid in all other long-stay city
centre car parks managed by the district
As well as ticket machines, Three Spires is
setting up Connect Cashless for both car parks.
This is a pay by phone or pay by app scheme. It
will allow users to pay for their parking either
for the duration of their stay or they can buy a
season ticket for as long as is needed.
Families in Lichfield can remember their loved
ones at a special St Giles Hospice memorial
garden this spring.
Relatives and friends are being invited to
dedicate a unique Celebrate Lives Lived orange
Gerbera peg, which is personalised with the
name of their loved one, in return for a
donation which will help to fund the work of St
Giles supporting patients living with a terminal
The Gerbera pegs will then be placed in one of
the beautiful memorial gardens created at the
hospice sites in Whittington and Sutton
The gardens will create a colourful display of
Gerbera pegs dedicated to the memory of
loved ones, whether they have been cared for at
St Giles Hospice or not, which will then be
open to visitors throughout May, following the
current Government Covid-19 guidelines.
To dedicate your Celebrate Lives Lived
call 01543 432538. The closing date for
Celebrate Lives Lived dedications is midday on
Friday 16th April.
Congratulations to S Woods
and S Prince who both receive
a copy of Kim Nash's latest
novel, Moonlight Over
Does the man down the pub know better?
Do you usually take financial advice off the man down the pub or the women off the number seven bus?
Did your mate once have an ISA, which makes him an expert on all things financial?
Are you happy to trust your investment decisions to a non professional?
Should you really be seeking advice from a fully qualified, experienced financial adviser?
Many of us are starting to think about our savings, investments and pensions. Others are thinking of moving house, taking out life assurance,
booking holidays or just waiting to see what will 2021 bring. You may not have had your vaccine yet but hopefully it shouldn’t be too long before
things are getting back to normal.
I would suggest that looking at your life assurance, savings, investments and pensions should be on your list of priorities for 2021. Your financial
future and that of your families is important so please don’t neglect it. I am still taking on new clients and if you feel that you need advice then
please give me call so we can have a chat.
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
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 individuals.
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
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 you
I hope to hear from you soon.
Robin Place DipFA, CeLTCI, MLIBF
0121 323 2070, 07968 504805
The Bank Coffee
House in Alrewas has
been keeping local
during lockdown with
its Christmas tree,
which has been
November last year!
Having stayed fit and
healthy, the Coffee
shop owners thought that it would be a shame
to take it down, and instead decided to make a
feature of it. Recently, Alrewas Crochet Club
have been adorning the tree with beautiful
handmade decorations to mark different
occasions, such as Burns Night, St David’s Day
and St Patrick’s Day!
Project for Young
Broken Lightbulb is a
company based in
Lichfield working to
accessible and vibrant
arts events and creative opportunities that
disrupt and break down inequalities of access in
local communities and focuses on developing
opportunities for young people, women, and
minority and disadvantaged groups through
bespoke learning experiences and the creative
As well as cultivating arts engagement and
creative opportunities, the organisation
provides coaching and mentoring, consultancy,
workshops, and training to help individuals or
organisations to build their capacity, skills, and
knowledge through our provision of
professional expertise and best practices.
Recently, a new project called Activate Create
has been launched with the age group of 12-16
years old in mind. The project will create an
online platform as a space for young people to
develop networks, skills and confidence
through fun, creative opportunities aimed at
increasing local young people’s social action
A modular programme will offer meaningful
opportunities to affect and drive real change in
the area and foster a sense of belonging and
being heard, accepted and valued in the district.
Broken Lightbulb is looking for young people
aged 12-16 to get involved in the project, as
well as local groups, companies and individuals
who wish to contribute or collaborate on this
If you feel you could help, or if you are a young
person/parent who wishes to find out more,
visit www.brokenlightbulb.org or email
Ahead of the elections in May, residents are
being urged to sign up to vote by post or proxy
if they would prefer not to vote in person this
On Thursday 6th May 2021 residents across
Lichfield District will go to the polls to have
their say on who is Staffordshire’s next Police,
Fire & Crime Commissioner and who
represents them at Staffordshire County
The Burntwood Neighbourhood Planning
referendum, a by-election for the district ward
of Summerfield & All Saints, and a by-election
for the city ward of Stowe, which were delayed
due to Covid-19, will also take place.
Lichfield District Council is busy making plans
to help people stay safe while casting their vote.
There are a number of ways to have your say in
the May. Voters can cast their vote in a polling
station, by post, or by appointing someone they
trust to vote on their behalf, which is known as
a proxy vote.
The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm
on 20th April, and for a proxy vote the deadline
is 5pm on 27th April. To find out how to apply
for a postal or proxy vote visit
email@example.com or call 01543
If you have not yet registered to vote at your
current address, apply online at
www.gov.uk/registertovote by midnight on
Monday 19th April.
Lottery Boost for
trust has already
benefited from a
launched at the beginning of March.
The Lichfield Community Lottery is a weekly
lottery that raises money for good causes
across the Lichfield District.
Tickets cost just £1 each, with a top prize of
£25,000, and for every ticket sold, 60% goes to
local good causes, including Lichfield and
Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, with 50%
going to the chosen cause and 10% to other
causes in the area of Lichfield District.
Within a week of the Lottery launch the Trust
had already sold 33 of its initial 50-ticket target,
which means it had reached £858 of its £1,300
The first draw for the big prize of £25,000 takes
place on Saturday 10th April.
To support Lichfield and Hatherton Canals
Restoration Trust and buy Community Lottery
School Named in
Honour of Local Lady
The Gurkha Welfare Trust has recently decided
to name a new school
building in memory of former
Rugeley resident and Rugeley
& Armitage Camera Club
member, Margaret Cross.
Margaret worked tirelessly
for more than 20 years with
husband Rob to support
former Gurkha soldiers and
their families, raising nearly
£110,000. Rob, a member of
Rob and Margaret
Lichfield St. Chad's Rotary Club, is a keen
photographer and former chairman of Lichfield
Camera Club. Both he and Margaret have given
talks about Nepal and the Gurkhas to
community groups, illustrating their
presentations with some stunning photographs
of their lives in and travels to Nepal and other
far-flung places. Their efforts were
acknowledged with the award of an MBE to
Rob in the 2021 New Year's Honours List.
Sadly, Margaret passed away last August and it is
entirely fitting that she will be given a
permanent memorial in a community she did so
much to support.
A beech tree and a lime tree
in Beacon Park were felled in
March after an inspection
highlighted concerns with
their long-term health.
After carrying out a health
check of the trees in Beacon
Park, an external tree
inspector instructed Lichfield
District Council to remove two of its larger
trees within six months after finding they both
had fungal pathogens.
The lime tree, which is next to the herbaceous
garden, had Ganoderma. This is an aggressive
form of fungus that will decay the tree quickly.
The beech tree, which is next to the pool, had
Ganoderma and Meripilus. Both forms of
fungus are deadly for a tree.
Two new trees are to be planted in their place.
Award for Cathedral’s
Lichfield Cathedral’s Organ Scholar, Liam
Condon, has been awarded the second most
senior organ playing diploma from the Royal
College of Organists.
Liam has attained his Associateship of the Royal
College of Organists diploma following
assessments of his playing together with
written and aural examinations.
The Precentor of Lichfield Cathedral, Canon
Andrew Stead, who oversees the Cathedral’s
music and worship said: “We are very proud
indeed of Liam, who has gained this notable
diploma despite the challenges offered by new
COVID regulations and technological hurdles.”
Liam graduated from Royal Holloway,
University of London, in July 2019. He regularly
accompanies the choir at Lichfield Cathedral
and helps to train new choristers. He has played
live on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.
New Biking Trails to
Cllr Victoria Wilson with Gary Kelsey, Forest Centre
Manager for Cannock Chase Forest, and Richard
Scott, District Civil Engineer for Forestry England.
New mountain biking trails being built on
Cannock Chase Forest will boost the local
tourism economy and help more people stay
The project, being developed by Forestry
England, will see the construction of a highquality
off-road mountain bike trail. A family
bike play facility and a new regional centre of
excellence for safe, off-road cycling are also
part of the plans.
The new trails will also be used as a venue for
the mountain bike races during the Birmingham
2022 Commonwealth Games.
Staffordshire County Council has provided
£50,000 towards the costs of the project.
School Children Give
Books to Community
Jackie, from Project Pathway, with Greywood MST
CEO, Pat Hunt, and schoolchildren.
The pupils of Greywood Multi-School Trust
(Henry Chadwick Primary, Queens Croft and
The Friary), spent World Book Day in March
celebrating their love of books by taking part in
an exciting project which demonstrated the
true meaning of the event.
Pupils from Early Years to Sixth Form were
asked to recommend their favourite book. Of
these recommendations, 12 books were chosen
to form a hamper of well-loved stories. The
books vary in age range and interest but the
commonality is that they were chosen by
children for children in the local community.
These hampers have now been donated to the
charities Project Pathway and Family Support
Greywood MST would like to thank the pupils
of the Trust, Spalding Books for their support
with the initiative and Project Pathway and
Family Support Services for the work they do
supporting local families.
Leisure Centre Gets
Greener with Grant
Lichfield District Council has been awarded
over £1.3 million for energy efficiency
improvements at Burntwood Leisure Centre,
the Beacon Park pavilion and the District
Council House in Lichfield following successful
bids to the Public Sector Decarbonisation
Over £1 million of improvements will be made
at Burntwood Leisure Centre including fitting
solar panels along with energy storage
batteries, installing an air source heat pump to
heat the building and the pool more efficiently,
energy saving light fittings, and a range of other
improvements that will make the building more
energy efficient and reduce its impact on the
environment. It is estimated that these
measures will reduce the amount of carbon
dioxide produced by Burntwood Leisure
Centre by more than 260 tonnes per year.
Work at the Beacon Park pavilion and District
Council House will target reductions in energy
usage and the increase of the thermal insulation
of the buildings at both sites.
A local lady donned her walking boots and
raised more than £300 by walking for charity.
Tina Hart Prieto, of Lichfield-based business
Capture 24 Photography, recently undertook
the 10,000 steps a day challenge in February in
aid of the charity Brain Tumour Research.
This involved walking a total of 10,000 steps
each and every day throughout February, and
Tina enjoyed strolls across Cannock Chase, as
well as walks in her hometown of Lichfield.
Tina set out to raise money for the cause
following her friend’s diagnosis of inoperable
brain tumours in 2018 and, although she took
on the challenge by herself, there were many
others across the country who decided to walk
Brain Tumour Research.
Throughout the month, Tina covered a total of
325,062 steps and raised a total of £315.
Hospice Hopes for
Spring Cycle Event
St Giles Hospice is hoping to relaunch its
programme of summer fundraising events
starting with Cycle Spring which is planned to
take place on Sunday 23rd May, with COVIDcompliant
measures in place.
This year’s event, which will be starting from St
Giles Hospice in Whittington for the first time,
introduces three new routes through the
beautiful Staffordshire countryside with varying
degrees of difficulty. The 27-mile route is open
to all cyclists aged 10 and above and the more
challenging 52-mile and 76-mile routes are open
to riders aged 16 and over.
Arrival times will be staggered from 7.30am to
ensure that social distancing can be complied
with, and bookings are restricted to a maximum
of six people from the same household or
Cyclists booking a place before midnight on
Wednesday 31st March can enjoy an early bird
offer of £25 (instead of £27) with entries
closing at midday on Thursday 20th May.
To sign up, or for further details, visit
78, is a long-term
supporter of St
Giles Hospice and
has helped raise
funds for more
than 20 years. Like
many other people
has been shielding
and every day activities have had to be put on
Unhappy about not being able to fundraise
Gladys decided to take up the
#GiveItUp4StGiles challenge in February and
have a ‘dry’ (no-alcohol) month. However, not
content with this, Gladys also joined the
#Miles4StGiles challenge and set herself a
personal target of walking a minimum of five
miles every day during February!
Each morning Gladys donned her trusty
boots and set out, encountering snow, gales,
rain, fog and, eventually, some sunshine on her
walks around the local countryside.
Gladys walked an amazing 320 miles over the
month (an average of 11 miles per day) and
smashed her original target of raising £1,000,
instead bringing in more than £3,000 for the
Her family would like to say thank you to
everyone who has supported and sponsored
Gladys along her way.
Free Survive Service
A free countywide service for Staffordshire is
helping victims of sexual assault and abuse – and
their family members and partners – recover
from the impact of the crime and cope with the
harm they have experienced.
Survive, the Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse
Service, provides free tailored, confidential and
effective support for victims, from reporting the
crime or recognising they need support, to
exiting the service.
Victims can seek support whether they report
the crime to the police or not. Services include
a local helpline, counselling and a specialist
support and advocacy service for victims, as
well as support for close family members and
The service will operate across Staffordshire
(not including Stoke-on-Trent) for two years,
with an opportunity for a further two 12-
month extensions after this.
If you would like to talk to someone about
accessing the Survive service, or would like to
make a referral, please call the 24-hour helpline
on 0300 330 5959 or email
Scheme for Start-Ups
Lichfield District Council is offering business
start-up grants of £3,000 to local residents who
have been made redundant or are out of work
and planning to start a business over the next
In total the council has set aside £200,000
from the Additional Restrictions Grant funding
it received from the Government, to invest in
new local businesses.
To be considered for support, prospective
applicants must first go on a start-up
masterclass workshop provided by Enterprise
for Success before applying for a grant. This
two-day interactive session will be a useful way
to get expert advice to help create a sound
The four applications rounds are: 28th May,
27th August, 26th November and 28th January
The scheme will run until January 2022, or
when all the funding has been allocated.
To find out more visit
In Memory of
died peacefully at
home on Thursday
2021 aged 94.
husband of his late
wife Elaine Farrant
(nee Price Evans).
He was very much
loved and will be
sadly missed by his nieces, nephew, great nieces,
great nephews and friends.
Mark was a devoted member of Lichfield
Cathedral for over 50 years and during that
time he was a regular attendee, got married
there, volunteered there, was a speaker, donor,
and a member of the Guild of Cathedral
Welcomers. He and his wife Elaine were also
actively involved with the annual Lichfield
Donations if desired to SSAFA may be sent to
F M & J Wait Funeral Directors, 25 Bird Street,
Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS14 6PW.
Local Beauty Spots
Cannock Chase and Chasewater Country
Park are set to receive £450,000 funding to
improve and develop facilities, enhance the
visitor experience and increase tourism to the
The funding comes after Staffordshire
County Council allocated funding from the EU’s
European Agricultural Fund for Rural
Development and committed money raised
from car parking fees at the two local parks.
Lichfield District Council is also contributing
towards improvements at Chasewater Country
Amongst the developments, there will be new
areas for children to play plus exciting new
walking, path improvements and upgrades to
the visitors’ centres.
The country parks will also see new
interpretation panels, multi-media displays
inside the visitors’ centres and a new walking
route linking the two.
Sunbeams & Elgar
The Bicycles of Lester’s
By Jono Oates
In the March issue of Citylife in Lichfield I requested our readers to
‘Ask Jono’ and challenge me to research the people, the places and
the locations of Lichfield that they wanted to know more about. I
received several requests last month and one in particular caught my
attention, setting me off on a voyage of discovery which led me to a
golden era of bicycles, a long-forgotten Lichfield garage, and the
composer of one of the most recognisable, and frequently sung,
musical works in Britain’s history.
The request came from Bob Cordon Champ, a Lichfield resident, who
asked me if I knew where the garage belonging to J Lester had been located
along Tamworth Street. Bob had in his possession a catalogue, dated 1911,
featuring a vintage bicycle, the Golden Sunbeam, with the name J Lester,
Tamworth Street, Lichfield on the front cover. Something in the back of my
mind told me that I had heard that name before and I was very confident
I would be able to find the exact location. A quick check of J P Gallagher’s
book ‘Trades of a City’ and the British Newspaper Archive told me my
intuition was correct and I was able to confirm that J Lester’s garage had
been on the site of a very well-known, and much debated, building in
Lichfield – the former Regal Cinema, more recently the Kwik Save
supermarket and now the Old Picture House residential apartments.
My next point of call was the census records, which told me that John
Lester had been born in a small village near Oxford in 1863 but by 1881
was living at 25 Lombard Street, with his sister and brother-in-law, and he
was an apprentice tinplate worker. By 1891 he was living at 14 Tamworth
Street, now the site of The Crown Inn, with his wife Emma and was a
locksmith and cycle maker. John ran his business from his own home
address and later expanded to have a Cycle Depot, then Motor Depot and
Garage on Tamworth Street, numbers 21-25, close to the junction of
John Lester sold a variety of bicycles from his cycle depot with
household names such as Raleigh, Royal Enfield, Swift and Triumph, and
including the Sunbeam, one of the most expensive and sophisticated
bicycles of the day. The Golden Sunbeam, as featured in the catalogue, was
launched in 1907 and was the ‘top of the range’ model, with real gold-leaf
in its trim, and the three-gear model cost £17, the equivalent today of
Bob is a respected authority on Sunbeam cycles being the author of the
book The Sunbeam Motorcycle and owns a Golden Sunbeam which is
Lester's Garage photo credit 'You're Probably From Lichfield If...' Facebook page
Golden Sunbeam from the 1911 Catalogue
Bob Cordon Champ's own Golden Sunbeam
currently on display at the Edward Elgar
museum near Worcester. Elgar was the owner
of two Royal Sunbeam bicycles and was a very
keen cyclist, covering many miles over the
Malvern Hills and beyond. His cycling
companion would say that he would often fall
silent on their cycling expeditions and she
would not disturb him as she knew he was
working on a new musical composition! In 1901
Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance marches were
published including the music for Land of Hope
and Glory, with words added in 1902. This
quickly became adopted as a patriotic piece and
is still sung with much fervour at the Last Night
of the Proms, under usual circumstances.
Lester’s also sold and hired out motor cars
and motorcycles as well as providing servicing
and tuning for cars and bikes. In April 1930 John
Lester died and the garage, and associated
buildings, were demolished. In July 1932 the
Sunbeam Catalogue 1911 J
Lester of Tamworth Street
Regal Cinema opened its doors, becoming the first fixed cinema in Lichfield,
with the opening films being The Beggar Student, a ‘scintillating musical
comedy,’ followed by The Old Man, a baffling mystery drama, written for
the screen by Edgar Wallace.
The building later became a bingo hall and then the Kwik Save
supermarket before remaining empty for several years. The Old Picture
House apartments are now nearing completion, with the apartments
bearing the names of famous actors of the day.
If you have any questions about the buildings, people or locations from
Lichfield’s history then why not be like Bob and Ask Jono?! Email Jono at
firstname.lastname@example.org and your question may be featured in next month’s
Sources: The British Newspaper Archive; Trades of a City by J P Gallagher;
*Vintage catalogue images courtesy of Bob Cordon Champ
A Mouseman dining table and chairs.
Tom Winterton setting up the annual
By Tom Winterton
Setting up your own home is one of life’s defining moments.
Securing your own space, your own floors, walls and doors for the first
time expands and redefines the old saying ‘home sweet home’.
But it also usually provides the new occupant with the ultimate blank
canvas – and that can be just as exciting or daunting whether they’re a
first-time buyer, renting anew or a serial doer-upper, repeatedly renovating
and moving in a perpetual quest for property perfection.
From painting or papering the walls to prepping the floors, there’s
always so much to do. And we haven’t even talked about the garden!
Putting one’s own stamp on a new abode can be incredibly exciting –
and financially frustrating.
Yet there is a wonderful world of furniture widely available at auction,
spelling both tremendous variety and affordability, with reasonable prices
to suit all pockets.
Plenty of antiques of course, but also mid-century design classics in teak,
up-to-the-minute modern oak and retro statement pieces.
Our furniture department is an ever-revolving Aladdin’s cave of home
and interior inspirations.
From Victorian dressers to designer dining suites, modern light oak to
much-loved mahogany, vintage vinyl settees and leather sofas to 18th
century stools, marble-topped tables to metalwork chairs, all rooms are
There’s also plenty of scope for upcycling too, reusing resources and
breathing new life into well-loved but now rather ‘distressed’ items
through restoration and renovation.
In fact, the whole concept of the wonderful world of auctions sits bang
on trend with the ethos of recycling.
Our popular Antiques & Home Sales take place at least twice a month
and the quantity and quality of furniture catalogued never ceases to amaze
From 1960s and 1970s designs, with its signature clean lines by wellknown
names such as Robin Day for Hille, John and Sylvia Reid, Ib Kofod-
Larsen, McIntosh and G Plan to high quality modern reproduction style
furniture such as that crafted by Titchmarsh and Goodwin, it is, as they say,
Auctions are great place to pick up superb desks and that perfect office
chair, plus other practical equipment, if you’re working from home rather
more these days.
And of course we all have a soft spot for the fine art furniture, which
just makes you go ‘wow’ when you check out the level of work and detail.
Even ultra-modern homes can accommodate carefully chosen period
antiques from Georgian through to Victorian and Edwardian times.
Modern light oak furniture
such as this sideboard comes up
regularly at auction.
This oxblood leather
armchair sold at auction for
Just with personal interior design taste, everyone has their favourite.
It goes a little further than furniture, too – wave goodbye to those blank
walls and choose from a huge selection of pictures ranging from original
oils and limited edition prints to vintage posters and decorative art.
Whatever your vibe or colour scheme, you can find a unique piece at
auction which will make you smile every time you look at it.
Mirrors of all shapes and sizes and superb quality rugs can be picked up
reasonably at auction along with other home furnishings such as vases,
dinner services and canteens of cutlery.
In fact, pretty much anything you would find in someone’s home is being
sold at auction nowadays.
It’s a clean sweep which even covers the bathroom – one of our
auctions last month included an array of boxed vanity units, basins, taps,
sinks, shower trays and doors, panels, toilets, a roll top bath and lighting
We won’t be leaving out the kitchen either – we sell white goods of all
shapes and sizes, often in superb condition, including fridges, freezers,
tumble driers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and power tools along
with other electricals such as televisions, vintage record players and
modern hi-fi sound systems. And we PAT test them all.
It’s perfectly possible to pick up a nearly new Samsung, LG or Sony LED
TV at auction for just £100.
As we’re talking entertainment, the furniture department also handles
pianos from the most prestigious grand to homely uprights.
A sale last month featured bagatelle boards and a brilliant foldaway bar
billiards; a full-size billiards table sold earlier in February and we’ve handled
games tables incorporating chess, backgammon and even a roulette wheel.
As this magazine was going to press our current auction included a
superb table football game.
And still we haven’t even talked about the garden!
Let’s step through our imaginary conservatory – yes, we handle all the
furniture you need for in there, too! – and survey the outdoors.
From maintenance of your lawn and borders to decorating the patio,
you can access it all at auction.
Although we feature outdoor items in our regular Antiques & Home
Sales throughout the year, a specialist garden sale is an annual spring event
Our last dedicated garden sale in June 2020 became what’s known as a
‘white glove sale’, meaning every single lot sold.
The 2021 Garden Sale on Monday 19th April, features 200 lots including
more than 20 lawnmowers, a ride on mower, benches, garden tables and
chairs, statues, stoneware, troughs, ladders, tools, potted external shrubs
and trees – even beehives!
So auctions really do have it all, from antiques to apiaries. After all,
there’s nothing like home sweet home!
For furniture enquiries, email email@example.com.
The Garden Sale on Monday, April 19, starts at 11am at The Lichfield
Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park. If the Government’s road
map out of lockdown continues as planned, bidders will be allowed to view
outside before the sale – check www.richardwinterton.co.uk for up-todate
details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01543
Businesses to Reopen
Businesses across Lichfield District are
being urged to seek advice and help as
they prepare to reopen in April.
Lichfield District Council is working with local
businesses to make sure they have the support
they need to get back up and running in
readiness for non-essential retail reopening
from 12th April. This follows the Government’s
announcement in February of the roadmap for
the phased lifting of lockdown measures.
This will include distributing Restart Grants to
non-essential retail businesses and hospitality,
accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym
businesses, as soon as the Government issues
guidance on how the grants will be paid.
In the meantime, businesses are being
encouraged to check they have Covid-secure arrangements in place for
their staff and customers and that all their risk assessments are up to
With venues only permitted to serve food and drink outside in step
2 of the roadmap, hospitality venues are being encouraged to take
advantage of changes in legislation to the process of applying for a
pavement licence. It takes just ten working days to process a pavement
license for al fresco dining. Find out how
to apply at
The council’s information officer will
be reaching out to businesses to offer
them support as they plan to reopen. This
is through the Reopening High Streets
Safely project, which is funded by the
European Regional Development Fund.
As part of this, the council is re-issuing
the free #LoveLocal resources pack,
which includes posters, social distancing
floor stickers and a shop window vinyl.
The council also produces LDC
Business News, which is a monthly email
newsletter to promote local business
news, grants and initiatives. To sign up for it, go to
For business support and advice, visit
To request a #LoveLocal resources pack or a meeting with the
information officer, email email@example.com.
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
on 12th April
The Mysterious Case
of the Chasewater
By Jono Oates
In February 1974, Wolverhampton businessman Ronald Milhench
emerged from the waters of Chasewater, near Brownhills, having
swum to the bank after his car had crashed into the lake. There
was, however, no sign of his wife who had been in the passenger
seat of the car. His wife’s lifeless body was later recovered from the
lake, starting a series of events that involved police investigations,
court appearances and the forgery of one of Britain’s Prime
Ministers. For the following 12 months, Ronald Milhench and
Chasewater were very much front-page news in the local and
On Wednesday 27th February 1974, Ronald Milhench, an insurance
broker, had been water skiing at Chasewater with friends from the
Chasewater Power Boat Club. Later in the day he returned to the club
with his wife, Kathleen, to look for some equipment he had left behind.
Driving a hired car, Milhench allegedly lost control of the vehicle and it
powered in to the lake submerging the occupants below the wintry icycold
waters. Ronald managed to escape from the vehicle, was unable to
locate his wife, and swam to the water’s edge before running half a mile
to raise the alarm. Rescuers could not locate her though and the
following morning when light came police divers eventually found her
body under 25 foot of water.
During the inquest, which was held on 14th March, a number of
surprising issues emerged which added intrigue, and the attention of the
media, to the tragedy of the incident. The hired Toyota car had caused
problems previously and had been checked by the garage a few days
before the incident. Mrs Milhench had described the car as a ‘veritable
death trap’ when it had surged uncontrollably across the road as she was
reversing out of their drive. It also emerged that she was planning a trial
‘marriage’ with her lover, although Ronald described their own
relationship as amicable and he was aware that she may leave him to live
with her lover on a trial basis. It was then disclosed that Milhench, a few
weeks before the fatal drowning, had doubled the insurance value on
Kathleen’s life – from £20,000 to £40,000.
Despite this potentially damning information the resulting inquest
ruled, by a majority verdict, that Kathleen’s death had resulted from
although the coroner
did express the
concern that the car,
even with a potential
mechanical issue, had
had enough velocity to
surge over a bank at
the side of the lake and
then be carried a
across the water.
therefore a free man
and was able to claim
the £40,000 life
insurance pay out.
However, this was not the end of Milhench’s story as in April 1974 he
was arrested and charged with numerous forgery and firearms offences
dating back to 1973. Milhench had become involved in a land
development case, regarding the purchase of 90 acres of land at Ince-in-
Makerfield, near Wigan, to provide a housing estate which would, he
estimated, net him a £1,500,000 profit over seven years. When the
project looked as though it might fail, Ronald obtained some officiallyheaded
notepaper and forged the signature of the then Prime Minister,
Harold Wilson. The letter indicated that Wilson was giving his full backing
to the venture, which Milhench hoped would sway the outcome of the
deal in his favour. He then, bizarrely, attempted to sell the forged letter to
a newspaper journalist for £25,000 and his plot was subsequently
In November 1974 Ronald Milhench was sentenced to three years
imprisonment at Stafford Crown Court for eight offences including
forgery, deception and firearms, one of which was the ownership of a
sten machine gun. News of his conviction made the national press as well
as local newspapers, and the case was even featured in the New York
Milhench was released on parole in March 1976, having served 16
months of his sentence, and in 1979 he headed off to Manila in the
Philippines to set up a water sports centre.
The Milhench case was a very unusual, and mysterious, one and the full
truth behind the accidental drowning and the court cases that followed
will probably never be known – but for a short period in the middle of
the 1970s the eyes of the country, and the national press, were firmly
fixed on the usually peaceful and tranquil lakes of Chasewater.
The British Newspaper Archive; BBC Home On This Day website
Fun Facts About
By Lauren Hirst
When we went to find a rescue dog many years ago, we
were initially looking for a terrier. The lady at the rescue
asked: “Have you thought of a greyhound?” I remember
looking at her aghast and saying: “Don’t they needs lots of
exercise?” at which she laughed and told me they are actually very
lazy, gentle dogs. She introduced us to Jasper who looked so fed up
being surrounded by yapping terriers.
Jasper came home with us a week later. That was almost 20 years ago,
and I have been volunteering for Greyhound Trust Hall for almost as long.
So here are some fun facts about this ancient breed if you are considering
getting a dog and have never thought about a greyhound.
Greyhounds are the fastest land mammal (after the cheetah) but only
have short bursts of energy and then they need a long nap. Two 30-minute
walks a day and ‘zoomies’ around the garden is all they require.
Greyhounds wear muzzles while racing during the excitement of the
race and to make it easier to determine the winner in a photo finish but
by nature are very gentle, placid dogs. Many can live quite happily with
children of all ages.
Greyhounds are an ancient and noble breed. They are named in the
Bible and have been found in Egyptian tombs. Only royalty were allowed
to own greyhounds in the middle ages and they are mentioned 17 times
in Shakespeare plays.
Greyhounds have more red blood cells and bigger hearts and lungs
than other breeds to circulate more oxygen. They have a universal blood
type and are ideal blood donors with their placid nature.
Greyhounds have a 270-degree range of vision. They can see objects
behind them and over ½ mile in front of them.
There’s no doubt that greyhounds are unique and make wonderful pets
- it’s a secret that all greyhound owners know. If you want a high energy
dog to go jogging with, one that will play fetch for hours or catch a
frisbee, then a greyhound is probably not the dog for you. But if you want
a gentle, loving, companion to share strolls in the park with, then consider
a greyhound. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Greyhound Trust Hall Green has kennels in Shenstone and Stourbridge.
Visit www.greyhoundtrusthallgreen.org.uk or the Facebook pages for
for a Sales
Citylife in Lichfield
Ltd is expanding!
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.
The post is commission only and a
car is essential.
For further information and a full
job description, please email
The Newsletter of Lichfield City Council - April 2021
LICHFIELD CITY COUNCIL
Local Government Act 1972 S.127, and the General
Disposal Consent 2003.
Notice is hereby given that in respect of land currently held
as public open space at Festival Gardens, the City Council
proposes (subject to certain conditions being met, including
being satisfied as to the merits of the proposed works) to
dispose of approx. 253m 2 of land adjacent to the A51
Western Bypass/Friary Junction to Staffordshire County
Council to facilitate junction improvements.
Any person wishing to object to the proposed disposal must
do so in writing to be received by the Town Clerk at the City
Council Offices, Donegal House, Bore St,. Lichfield WS13
6LU or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than
9.00am on Tuesday 6 April 2021.
A PDF version of the plan below that allows for more
detailed viewing is available by emailing
The transport assessment supporting the St John’s
residential development identified a requirement for an
increase in traffic capacity at the A51 Western Bypass/Friary
junction. Staffordshire County Council (SCC) have
requested that approximately 253m 2 of land at Festival
Gardens be transferred to SCC to facilitate these
The preferred option, detailed below, consists of a
segregated left turn lane. The approximate land required by
SCC is shaded pink; the remaining ‘hatched’ area is the
associated visibility splay and can remain in City Council
ownership but must be kept free from obstructive
vegetation. Several trees would need to be removed to
facilitate these improvements, notably within the ‘hatched’
area; initial discussions with SCC confirm replacement
specimens to be planted nearby will be funded if the scheme
progresses. A plan highlighting which trees are likely to
require removal is available by email to
The City Council is consulting with residents and requesting
further discussions with SCC as to the appropriateness of
this proposal and its evidence base prior to making any firm
commitment on the matter. All comments received in
response to this consultation will be considered by the
Council at its meeting of 19 April 2021, at which time the
Council’s decision is scheduled to be formalised.
Lichfield Chef Appears in
BBC TV Show
Liam Dillon, chef and owner of
award-winning local restaurant,
The Boat Inn, is making his mark on
the BBC TV Show – The Great British
The Lichfield chef is starring in the new
series of the television show The Great
British Menu which started on Wednesday
24th March on BBC TV 2 at 8pm.
Born and raised in Lichfield, Liam has cut
his teeth in several notable kitchens in the
UK, such as Marcus Wareing at The
Berkeley, Five Fields in Chelsea, and Story
by Tom Sellers in Bermondsey, London.
Travelling further afield, he’s also had stints
at Quay in Sydney, Noma in Copenhagen and other experience at Eleven
Maddison Park, New York.
Returning to his hometown, Liam opened The Boat Inn, based in
Lichfield, in 2017 and transformed this tired road-side pub into a Michelin
School’s Out – in Nature!
By Nicola Lynes & Kathryn Kavanagh
Throughout the pandemic, Transforming
the Trent Valley have been providing lots
of opportunities for people to continue
to connect with their local nature. Our Trent
Talks, Wildchild videos, downloadable
resources from our website have all been
available for families and adults to help them
explore the outdoors in their daily exercise or
Now that pupils are back in school, we are excited to announce new
resources to continue supporting teachers and community groups in exploring
and learning about nature. As children have returned to schools, it is recognised
that ensuring the wellbeing of children is just as important as catching up on
curriculum they have missed – with our mini school packs you can do both!
There are three mini school packs that will be available to download from
the Transforming the Trent Valley website; ‘Recreation and Relaxation’,
‘Landscape Evolution’ and ‘Role of the River’. Each pack consists of a master
teacher booklet and a children’s activity booklet, and can be completed in and
around your school grounds or home. These packs are aimed at KS1 and 2.
For older school years or community groups who would like to find out
more about the wildlife in the Trent Valley area, we have developed our ‘Wildlife
Monitoring Survey pack’ and ‘Wildlife Identification Guide’. These two printed
resources are designed to be used to contribute towards the monitoring and
reporting of key wildlife species in the Trent Valley, and contain instructions on
where to spot and how to report your wildlife sightings. You can request
printed packs, or download your own copy from our website. This pack will be
launched on Monday 19th April.
All the resources will be added to our website during April and will be free
to download thanks to our funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
You can find the links to register here:
recommended, three AA rosettes restaurant (the only place in
Staffordshire to hold this accolade).
Drawing on his experiences from across the globe, Liam’s menu at The
Boat Inn is modern, honest, and focuses on British flavours with locality
at its heart. Known for quality-driven dishes, coupled with his
progressive approach to cooking, Liam's menus shine a spotlight on the
Midlands dining scene.
Liam said: “I grew up watching the programme, dreaming of being a
chef so it's a bit surreal, but also an honour, that here I am, years later, a
professional on the show.
“I enjoyed every single second. It was exciting, stressful... I was
surrounded by some amazing fellow chefs...it was actually a privilege to
be part of the programme.
"I am also extremely proud to be flying the flag for Staffordshire, and
representing my home town of Lichfield.
"It's been a tough year for everyone, especially those working in the
hospitality industry. Here at The Boat Inn, we've made many changes both
to the decor and the menu. We've also invested heavily in outdoor dining
and I and the team can't wait to
open the doors again and welcome
Liam’s menu for the Great British
Menu is creative, innovative and pays
homage to local pioneers such as
Lichfield born Samuel Johnson, who
wrote the early Dictionary of the
Bestselling Author’s Collection
Comes Home to Auction
The life’s work of a local
man and international
credited as creating the technothriller,
is coming to auction in
Craig Thomas’ 1977 landmark
Firefox was made into the 1982
Hollywood blockbuster of the
same name directed by and
starring Clint Eastwood.
Copyright to the book and the
former English teacher’s 17 other
Craig and Jill Thomas with Clint
Eastwood (courtesy of the Estate
of Jill Thomas)
novels – including two published under the pseudonym David
Grant – will be sold together as one collection by Richard
Winterton Auctioneers on Monday 12th April. A notice of
copyright assignment will be provided to the new owner.
Mr Thomas lived in Whittington with his wife Jill for many years.
He taught at Lichfield’s King Edward VI School and Shire Oak
School in Walsall Wood before the success of his debut novel Rat
Trap allowed him to move to writing full-time.
Fans regard Mr Thomas as the true inventor of the technothriller,
with his run of meticulously researched novels revolving
around cutting-edge technology.
Appropriately, the sale will be hosted online with live
international bidding through the internet.
Copyright to the 18 novels will go under the hammer at 9.30am
on Monday, April 12, as Lot 1 in Richard Winterton Auctioneers’
Antiques & Home Sale from The Lichfield Auction Centre.
For bidding and other enquiries, email
email@example.com or telephone 01543 251081.
Staffordshire Pie Drop
Staffordshire Pie Drop is a home delivery
service bringing you award-winning pies,
handmade in Melton Mowbray using locally
sourced meat and produce, straight to your door!
Pies are frozen and can be cooked from frozen. You
can choose from a variety of meat/fish/vegetarian/fruit
and gluten-free pies in family size (600g) and individual
(300g). There is also the famous Melton Mowbray pork
Deliveries are weekly and with your first order you
receive a free pie! Visit www.piedrop.co.uk to see
the full range.
Your Garden in April
By Byron Lewis
Can you believe it's just over a year since Coronavirus took hold of
us, and garden centres (and everyone else) had to close? We adapted
pretty quickly here at the Garden Centre, offering home delivery to
allow our customers to carry on 'as normal' while they were locked
down. Hopefully, we won't have to repeat this again - it was a little bit
manic at times! The garden centre is now back open pretty much as
normal, with Covid-safe rules in place, of course.
The Coronavirus has also meant that, for various reasons, some plants
and products are already in short supply - there are few fruit trees,
ornamental trees and roses available at the moment as the demand last
year was so great. Many growers sold all the stock they had and were
unable to pot on plants in time for this year. In 2020, everyone
clamoured for compost like it was going out of fashion - this year already
it's the turn of chicken manure! Adding to this is Brexit, which is causing
some delays to plant imports with more paperwork and checking in
place. The best advice at the moment is: if you see it - buy it! You may
not find it later on in the year!
But gardening continues as normal and as we get into spring it's time
to get those grow-your-own patches full of seeds, seed potatoes and
seedlings. All are now available, so if you caught the gardening bug last
year and dabbled with growing your own food, you can carry on this
year too - your food will be fresher and taste better!
More tender veg, such as runner beans, are best left until the worst of
the frost and wind is over, and hold fire on putting tomato plants outside
until May (they are fine in greenhouses and conservatories though).
If your spring bulbs are almost over, remember not to chop off the
leaves - you can cut the flower stalks down, but allow leaves to die back
naturally, putting food back into the bulb for next spring. We recommend
adding a few handfuls of bonemeal around your bulb clumps too, to
enhance flowering in the future. Bedding plants will shortly be ready to
take their place but don't be tempted to plant too early - it only takes
a night with a sharp frost to kill them off!
Byron Lewis runs Lichfield Garden Centre at
Curborough Countryside Centre,
Lichfield. Telephone 01543 254306. Visit
www.lichfieldgardencentre.co.uk or find the garden
centre on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
10 Minutes With…
Molly Doodle Dandy
Local artist and illustrator Molly Beard (aka Molly Doodle
Dandy) caught up with Charlotte Benton to discuss
everything from how her creative flare has been present
since childhood to her proudest and most challenging
commission piece to date - an exquisite drawing of Lichfield
When did you first realise that you had this extraordinary talent?
Art was definitely my go-to subject at school, I took both art and
textiles at A level and my teachers encouraged and guided my work. As
a child I was constantly drawing, my Mom remembers how I always had
a pen or pencil in my hand and even took to drawing on the walls with
a felt tip pen! I specifically remember the wooden train set that I had,
Brio, I coloured in the whole thing. Art has always kept me entertained
Did you always want to be an artist?
Whilst at school I had always wanted to go to university, I had planned
to study animation, but as time went on I began receiving more and more
commissions. By the age of 17 I already had a strong client base, I was
able to continue developing my own style and I started to get a taster of
where this could go. I always knew whatever I ended up doing it would
be creative. I like to say this has been a happy accident!
What does your typical work day look like?
I am very fortunate that I have a wooden log cabin in the middle of a
field that is my studio so thankfully lockdown hasn’t affected my daily
routine very much. I get up before 7am everyday to look after my horse
before heading to the cabin and settling down at my desk. I make a todo
list everyday and like to keep my work varied, often spending the
morning working on commissions and the afternoon focusing on
creating new ideas. I think it can be unhealthy to only work on one thing.
I also have my little Jack Russell, Luna, to keep me company in the cabin,
she likes to have my undivided attention, so she definitely keeps me busy
too. Every so often clients come to the cabin to pick up their
commissions, of course this is socially distanced at the moment, but it is
always so rewarding to see my customers.
What are the main influences that inspire your current work?
At the moment it is the smallest of things. Just yesterday I was inspired
on my commute to
the studio when I
spotted a lady walking
her dog, she was
frantically waving at a
fellow dog walker on
the opposite side of
the road. It appeared that they knew one another, both waving excitedly,
but neither of them crossed the road. This small encounter has given me
lots of inspiration for a whole new range. I often draw inspiration from
the smallest things that are part of everyday interactions. I am also
inspired by architecture, particularly buildings in Lichfield. I like to take
my time to stop and take in the intricate details of each building, we so
often overlook them. For me the older the building the better. I love the
uniformity of small, quirky cottages, they are my favourite.
Do you collect any specific artwork for your own home?
I have several illustrators whose work inspires me. I love the work of
Jade Fisher, I love her use of bold colours and how her work is so
instantly recognisable. I also like Kareena Zerefos’ work and her use of
delicate watercolours. From a young age I have been inspired by the
work of L.S. Lowry. I remember a particular painting of his that caught
my attention as a child in my Grandma’s house, since then I have been
both inspired and intrigued by his work. I don't tend to draw inspiration
from one certain style, the artwork that I like is very varied.
Do you have a favourite piece that you have created or a piece that
you are most proud of?
My most rewarding piece has to be the Cathedral. It was my most
challenging and intricate piece to date. I was commissioned by a family in
Lichfield to create the piece and I am so grateful to them. It definitely
pushed me out of my comfort zone. As an artist you have the option to
choose how much detail you want to include, when drawing the first
spire I chose to capture the most intricate of details that the building has
to offer, I knew there and then that there was no going back!
Find more of Molly’s fantastic work at
www.mollydoodledandy.co.uk or follow her on
Facebook and Instagram.
There may still be a nip in the air,
however with the clocks having
‘sprung forward’ and British
Summer Time officially beginning, now
is the perfect time to give your house
some much needed TLC! As everything
begins to open up once again, we’ve
put together an interior guide filled
with some of our favourite local
retailers and stylists to bring
inspiration for your home.
Upcycled Floor Tom Drum Drinks Table
Stands on four chrome legs with a choice of
your pictures on top. Priced at £60.
All products are hand finished and are all
completely unique. Collection available in person
from Brownhills or can be delivered for cost of
fuel. Take a look at more items on Facebook and
“Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest
stars” (JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings)
Once again, Gingko come up with something a
little bit different but a lot more special. The
magical levitating and rotating Smart Moon
Light elevates any room.
Visit www.atthecedars.co.uk for further details.
The Galleria is a top-quality Wilton rug with
advanced construction and an exceptionally
high density pile, resulting in a beautifully
textured surface which really enhances this
modern floor covering. Priced at £250 for 1.6m
x 2.3m size. Available from Tatlow Carpets &
Flooring, Lichfield. Tel: 01543 264766.
On 12th April the Interior Choice showroom
will be back open, offeing over 8,000 options
covering curtains, blinds, wallpapers, shutters and
awnings, and top brands such as Iliv, Prestigious,
Romo, Villa Nova, Bill Beaumont,Voyage, Luxaflex,
Silent Gliss, Blendworth.
Three year Guarantee and professional fitting.
Book online for your exclusive appointment at
This beautiful pure wool primrose throw (£70)
and gorgeous rustic steel profiled sheep (£35) will
bring a luxurious country feel to any interior.
Available from Little Flock, The Plant Plot Garden
Centre, Stafford Road, Lichfield.
A beautiful piano, such as this upright model, is the
ideal addition to any home! All pianos are sold
guaranteed with free local home delivery. There's
lots of different models to choose from at Lichfield
Piano Centre, Curborough Craft Centre, Watery
The fantastic new showroom is now open
by appointment only. Please call 01889
576669 to check availability and to book.
Just Bathrooms & Panels, Unit 16 Trent
Valley Trading Estate, Rugeley, WS15 2HQ.
Re-opening 12th April, Ebben & Yorke specialises in
the best of British and Scandinavian wood and gas
stoves, stone fireplaces and R9 window systems.
Currently quoting and installing, get in touch now
on 07375 224378 to get your summer project
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.
On 12th April the Interior Choice showroom will be
back open, offeing over 8,000 options covering curtains,
blinds, wallpapers, shutters and awnings, and top
brands such as Iliv, Prestigious, Romo, Villa Nova, Bill
Beaumont,Voyage, Luxaflex, Silent Gliss, Blendworth.
Three year Guarantee and professional fitting.
Book online for your exclusive appointment at
The fantastic new showroom is now open
by appointment only. Please call 01889
576669 to check availability and to book.
Just Bathrooms & Panels, Unit 16 Trent
Valley Trading Estate, Rugeley, WS15 2HQ.
Transform your kitchen with a new worktop
from Penridge-based Just Granite - authorised
fabricators of both Caesarstone, Silestone
Quartz and also Corian solid surface, benefiting
from the full backup and support of the after
Ted Todd Almond Engineered 15mm Flooring
(2.812m2 Project Pack) priced at £117.94 inc
VAT. With FSC certification (the environmental
gold standard of the timber industry) and a
hardened oil finish that combines a natural look
with a subtle sheen. Available from
The Avento Shower Room Suite consists of a
basin and basin unit, pan, cistern and seat,
shower and screen, heated towel rail, mirror
and wall and floor tiles. Full suite is priced at
£3,192.00 inc VAT. Available from
The Luxe collection features a time-tested design
with modern and contemporary accents.
Sumptuous, soft-touch velvet fabric with quilted
accents and the addition of studded detailing
ensure the Luxe will bring luxurious flare to any
modern living space. Priced at £799 (usual RRP
£1,299). Available from Half Price Furniture
No more untidy shoes cluttering up your
doorways! This gorgeous hall settle is a best seller
from Paul Martyn Furniture.
Available in new or reclaimed pine, they can be
made to measure to fit any space in your home. In
a wide selection of colours and finishes.
The Galleria is a top-quality Wilton rug with
advanced construction and an exceptionally
high density pile, resulting in a beautifully
textured surface which really enhances this
modern floor covering. Priced at £250 for 1.6m
x 2.3m size. Available from Tatlow Carpets &
Flooring, Lichfield. Tel: 01543 264766.
This bespoke corner cupboard looks lovely
with contrasting paint colours.
For over 33 years Paul Martyn have been
specialising in made to measure furniture in a
variety of timbers and colours.
Customers can chose fixed or adjustable
shelves and all sizes can be tailored to their
Win a Fruit Wine
Experience three very different locally
made fruit wines in a gift set from Clive’s
Wines of Burntwood.
Clive’s Wines are made from real fruit and
are not mixed with a grape wine. They contain
no sulphites, artificial colours or preservatives
and only British sugar is used. The fruit used in
the wine is locally sourced wherever possible
and the elderflowers are picked by Clive
himself from around Burntwood and Lichfield!
We’ve got one gift set, containing three
187ml bottles, courtesy of Clive’s Wines,
to give away. To be in with a chance of
winning, simply correctly answer the question below:
Where is Clive’s Wines based?
To enter, just send your name, contact details and answer to wine 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 April 2021. Full
t&cs on page 42.
Win a Molly Doodle
Enhance your home interior with a
stunning cushion created by talented local
artist and illustrator, Molly Beard (better
known as Molly Doodle Dandy).
Embellished with a print of Twilight
Walkies, from original artwork by Molly
Doodle Dandy, these vegan-suede cushions
are handmade in the UK and feature soft
faux-leather with a plump fibre insert.
Measuring 43x43cm, these beautiful and unique cushions are perfect for
sprucing up your home!
We’ve got one cushion, courtesy of Molly Doodle Dandy, to give
away. To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following
question correctly and send your contact details.
What is Molly Doodle Dandy best known for?
a) Her Art
b) Her Photography
c) Her Writing
To enter, just send your name, contact details and answer to cushion
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. Full t&cs on page 42.
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
Club Takes to the
In its latest competition members of Lichfield Camera Club had to apply their talents
to the theme ‘River Landscapes.’
1. The winner of the Advanced Section was Rob Ings with his image of Ashness Bridge
above Derwentwater in which the moody sky contrasts beautifully with the orange tones
of the mountainside.
2. Tim Wayne took first place in the Intermediate Section with his impressive drone shot
of the River Trent at Essex Bridge.
3. Graham Slight captured beautiful evening light in his image “River’s End, Day’s End.”
4. Richard Ell’s “Water Mill” evokes a scene of tranquillity that reminds one of Constable
5. “Lower Falls” by Darron Matthews captures lovely Autumnal colours in this delightful
6. The stunning colours of a Dublin sunset feature in Anne Anderson’s shot “River Liffey,
7. Debra Dingley’s “The Golden Hour” was another image to capture the beautiful, warm
colours of Autumn in an image that included a lovely reflection.
8. The brilliant colours of a sunset over the Thames at London were brilliantly captured
by Kevin Terry in his image “Thames at Night.”
9. A much more sombre mood is created in Annette Keatley’s atmospheric image “Misty
10. Liz Thomas captured magnificent mountain scenery with her image "Glacier Ends,
The Memory Café
Home Instead offers the Lichfield and Tamworth
Community the Memory Cafe - a place where
individuals with memory loss and their caregivers
can get together in a safe, supportive and engaging
environment. It is somewhere people can interact, laugh,
cry, share concerns and talk openly about their problems
without feeling embarrassed or misunderstood. The cafe
encourages friendship, provides emotional support and
reduces the isolation often felt by people with memory
loss. The cafe provides the opportunity to meet regularly
with others in similar circumstances. By talking and finding
out how others deal with things people can better manage
their own situations. Members feel they belong and find
recognition and acceptance.
The social side is probably the most important aspect of the
cafe. It provides a chance to have a cuppa and chat with
friends. Appropriate, fun activities are available for everyone to
take part in if they want but there is no obligation or pressure
to do so. By remaining involved and active, a person living with
dementia can maintain their skills and independence for longer.
As well as the Memory Cafe Home Instead also run an
exercise class called Love to Move. It’s specially designed to
get older people functioning better, as well as this, there are
other benefits that can help to improve the lives of people
living with the effects of memory loss or mobility problems.
For more information visit
contact Karen Wilkinson at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 01543 625002.
Easter isn’t just about giving
chocolate eggs. Show that special
someone you care by choosing a
thoughtful, unique gift from one of the
many local artists, producers and
retailers in the area. Take a look at
some of our favourites...
“It always seems impossible until it’s done”
Can be just like getting up in the morning so you
need the Edge Alarm clock from Gingko. Inspired
by the cutting edge of bamboo, its unique design
incorporates a clock and a light in one. See
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
Give an egg with a difference to a nature
lover, such as one of these hand painted replicas
of birds eggs. As well as being an ethical gift, it's
one they'll want to keep forever. Priced at £13
and available from www.odonatastudios.co.uk.
Based in Penkridge, Lizzie Busy's Emporium
specialises in a range of bespoke gifts for your
loved ones, such as unique candles and wax
melts. They're all eco-friendly and vegan, plus
available for postage anywhere in the UK.
These gorgeous local mugs by artist Mandy
Billington incorporate the beautiful buildings of
the city, including Lichfield Cathedral,
Dr Johnson’s Birthplace and the old clock.
Priced at £12 each and available from MB
Tel: 07841 108207,
Easter isn't just about chocolate so give a gift
they can keep forever with these life-sized
porcelain eggs to hang in the home. Priced at £6
each with three designs to choose from.
Available from www.odonatastudios.co.uk.
Silver, rainbow moonstone set pendant priced
at £119.00 available online from Allen Brown
01543 481 948
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
Why not plan an Easter feast
this year? Take a look at
what a few of our favourite
local producers, bakers and retailers
have on offer to make it a really special
celebration as lockdown starts to ease
and everything begins to open up
Celebrate Easter in style with vintage china
hire from Time for Tea Lichfield. Whether you're
planning an Easter tea or garden party, birthday
or baby shower, make your event look stunning
with elegant fine bone china, sparkling glassware
and other accessories.
For further information visit
email@example.com, or take a look on
With a degree in Decorative Arts, Laura Webb
expresses her passion for the finer details,
aesthetics and pastels, through her incredible
luxury treat boxes and buttercream cakes.
Lockdown has provided Laura with the chance
to combine her two great loves – art and food!
Find more of Laura’s work on Instagram
Laura at Laurawebb02@outlook.com, or
telephone 07812 056599.
The Vegan Baker provides a taste of plant based
joy delivered directly to your door! Using only
the freshest of ingredients ensures these plant
powered bakes are an absolute treat for vegans
and non-vegans alike. Local and postal delivery is
Visit theveganbakergifts.etsy.com, or find on
Instagram @the_vegan_baker1 and Facebook at
Simply Prosecco offers a gorgeous Prosecco van
for hire at weddings, parties and events.
Prosecco is also available by the bottle and
themed hampers can be ordered with free
delivery locally. The Skinny and Rosé Skinny, at
only 68 calories a glass, is causing a stir too!
Visit Simply Prosecco at Barton Marina Artisan
Market on 17-18th April or find out more at
Based in Burntwood and specialising in quality
bespoke homemade cakes, bakes and fudge, Tina’s
Temptations and Fudging Lovely has something for
everyone. Ranging from luxury celebration cakes
to treat boxes comprises of a variety of different
tasty items, you’ll find the perfect nibbles to help
you celebrate Easter in style!
Find out more on Facebook
Why not try something a little different? Dove’s
Delights offers gourmet graze boxes, platters and
tables for any occasion. Plus, there’s also rustic
cheese and ice cream carts to hire for your
wedding or event! Vegan and vegetarian options
available. Visit www.dovesdelights.co.uk to see more
or place an order.
*£3 off orders with code VOUCHER3 at checkout
(exp 31/5/21 - t&Cs apply, some products excluded).
Something a little different that hits the chocolate
spot are these Scotch Egg Cupcakes from Cakes
of Wonderland, filled with your choice of Crème
Eggs, Oreo Eggs or Caramel Eggs and covered in
sugar sprinkles – but hurry, the last day for
ordering in time for Easter is 28th March! Visit
Nothing marks a special occasion quite like a
little bit of bubbly! Why not try something
different this year like this sparkling rhubarb wine,
or Rhubling, as it's known? Made using the
traditional method to create natural bubbles,
Rhubling is the perfect, light fizz to enjoy with a
loved one. Available from Clive's Wines of
Burntwood. Tel: 07972 269 620.
Tastes of the Season
By Simon Smith
A Feast for Spring!
Now we are in
springtime at last, the
sun is supposed to be
shining and lockdown
is gradually lifting so
that we can meet
friends in the garden
(at least that was the
theory at the time of
This time of year is certainly one of my
favourites as far as food is concerned as some
of the finest ingredients all come together at
the same time. There is spring lamb, Jersey
Royal potatoes, English asparagus (due in May)
and garden mint peeping through the soil. The
dish I am doing this month will combine all of
these for a stunning Easter feast.
I would always recommend going to a local
butcher for meat as you will get exactly what
you want rather than to a supermarket where
you will only get what is available. For this dish,
I’m using a six-bone rack of lamb from
Russell’s, Shenstone, who also have an outlet at
The Deer Park, Hoar Cross.
The spring lamb is always lean and tender but
expect to pay a bit more at this time of year.
That being said, it’s worth every penny.
Rack of Lamb with Spinach and Mint
Mousseline (for two people)
1 x 6 Bone rack of lamb
1 x chicken breast
2oz fresh spinach
10 x leaves fresh mint
1 x egg white
8oz Jersey Royal potatoes
1 x bunch fresh asparagus
2tbsp redcurrant jelly
2tbsp fresh peas
Take the fat off the lamb round the flesh as in
the photo. Roughly chop the chicken breast
and put into a food processor with the egg
white, 8 x mint leaves and spinach. Season with
salt and pepper and whizz together until you
have a smooth green paste. Spread this neatly
on to the back of the lamb where the fat was.
This will not only give you a lovely flavour but
it will also stop the lamb from drying out.
Thoroughly wash the Jersey Royals and cook
in salted water with the skins on, drain and put
into a bowl with 1oz butter, the two other
mint leaves roughly chopped and season with
salt and pepper. Lightly crush with a spoon and
mix together. Form in a pastry ring.
Cook the peas in boiling water and then put
into iced water once they have come to the
Cut the bottoms off the asparagus leaving you
about four inches from the tip down and
gently fry these in 1oz of the butter until just
giving way to the touch.
To cook all of this, preheat the oven to 190
degrees Celsius and put the lamb in for 20-25
minutes. For the last 10 minutes put in the
little cakes of potatoes.
In a frying pan melt the last 1oz of butter and
stir in the redcurrant jelly. At the last minute
add the peas and asparagus and stir until warm.
Serve with the sliced lamb rack and potato
This may all sound a bit complicated but in fact
is quite simple if you do it by stages. Don’t try
and do the whole thing together as you could
do the potato cakes in the morning and reheat
Tales of a Private Chef
I was asked to do a last minute job in St
Tropez which was for the following day so not
much notice. I asked my agent what it was and
she said she couldn’t tell me any more other
than it was at Chateau St Tropez to support
the resident chef for a week. She was not at
liberty to say who the client was but could I
please take Maltesers as the chef couldn’t find
any there and the client was very specific.
When I arrived the next morning I was shown
round the chateau. I was told that I was there
to cover the midnight until midday shift as the
client kept LA time. There are many tales from
the week but one that sticks in my mind was
on night three when the clients had booked a
private room for 12 in a restaurant for 8pm.
The body guard had been to the restaurant to
check out safety and privacy issues to make
sure the client could escape from the back
door if anything went wrong.
That evening I got to the chateau at quarter to
midnight to start my shift, went through
security and saw both blacked out limos and
the bodyguards in front of the chateau.
I went down to the kitchen and the other chef
told me they hadn’t yet been out to the
restaurant and were still round the pool
partying! His shift was at an end so he went
home and I started work on breakfast prep,
however at 1am the butler came and informed
me that the guests were not going to the
restaurant now as it was too late, and would
instead like me to serve a three-course dinner
as soon as possible as they are all starving!
The one thing about working for celebrity
clients is that plans always change at the last
minute - It doesn’t matter how organised you
think you are, there will always be a curve ball
heading your way!
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.
Competition and Prize Draw Terms and Conditions
1.Entrants’ details will be held and processed in line with Citylife in Lichfield Ltd’s
2.By entering the prize draw/competition, you agree to the terms and conditions
3.The closing date is stated on each individual prize draw or competition.
4.Entrants’ details will be securely held by Citylife in Lichfield Ltd in accordance
competition. After this date entrants’ details will be securely destroyed/deleted.
Winners’ contact details will be securely stored only until the winner has been
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 –
no other details will be published.
6.By entering the competition/prize draw, entrants agree to Citylife in Lichfield Ltd
using or publishing materials provided by the entrants (but not address or contact
details apart from initial and surname) in any of their publications and online.
7.Citylife in Lichfield Ltd accepts no responsibility for any breach of copyright or
breach of any other legislation entailed by entrants in their creation or submission
8.Only one entry per prize draw/competition, per reader.
9.Except in the case of cash prizes, no cash equivalent will be offered and the
prize is non-transferable.
10.All prizes are subject to availability and the prize suppliers' terms and
11.No purchase necessary.
12.Prize draws and competitions are only open to UK residents aged 18 years or
over (unless otherwise stated).
13.Competitions and prize draws may not be entered by any employee of
individual associated with any employee, agent or third party of Citylife in Lichfield
14.Winners will be selected at random in the case of applicable prize draws and
competitions, or by an independent judge in the case of photographic/art
competitions from all entries received.
15.Winners will be notified by Citylife in Lichfield up to 28 days after the closing
date of the competition/prize draw by the contact details provided by the entrant.
16.A list of the surnames and county of residence of the winners will be available
by writing to Citylife in Lichfield Ltd no earlier than six weeks after the competition
17.When the prize draw/competition winner has been selected, this decision is
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.
19.Competitions may be amended or withdrawn at any time.
20.By entering the competition or prize draw, you agree to having your name,
(photograph, where stated) and city or county of residence published in any of
Citylife in Lichfield’s publications and online.
21.Unless otherwise stated, the promoter is Citylife in Lichfield Ltd, PO Box 7126,
Lichfield, WS14 4JS.
22. Citylife in Lichfield Ltd do not express any warranty or endorsement of any
competition prize, information, service or product provided in connection with a
competition by printing or otherwise publicising any competition.
23.To the full extent of the law, Citylife in Lichfield Ltd shall not be liable for any
loss, claim, punitive, indirect, incidental or consequential damages of any kind
incurred as a result of entering this prize draw or competition.
24.By submitting photos, text or artworks as part of competition/prize draw entries
you agree that you own these photos text or artworks, that it is your original work
to which you own all rights to distribute, and that your entry is accurate, moral and