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
Barbara Smith 07999 327419 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
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,
editorial, event listing or advertising editorial does not constitute an
endorsement by Citylife in Lichfield Ltd.
Your Local Magazine
20 One Hundred Years a Garage!
Jono Oates celebrates a local centenary
30 The Great Outdoors
Spruce up your garden now that spring is here
34 Bloom and Grow
Jo Howell embraces her new-found love for
38 Simply Pawfect
Keep your pets in the lap of luxury
44 A City of Flavours
Just a few of the best local eateries
From the Editor…
Welcome to the latest issue of Citylife in Lichfield!
It’s safe to say that spring is in full swing and we’ve started
experiencing some fantastic weather once again (along with the
odd smattering of ‘April showers’ of course!) For this reason,
we’ve decided to focus on your outdoor space this month and
have some fantastic idea on how you can easily spruce up your
As lockdown eases, restaurants and pubs have opened their
(exterior) doors and are inviting diners to enjoy meals ‘alfresco’
– we’ve put together a few of our local favourites for you to
discover and visit.
By popular demand we’ve also brought back the much-loved
‘Cutest Pets’ competition and are inviting you to send in pictures
of your furry friends. There’s also a pet section this month which
boasts lots of local retailers, boarders and groomers to ensure
your animals are happy, loved and looking their best throughout
As always we’ve packed this issue with history articles, nostalgic
features and community news items, so please grab a cool drink,
take a seat in your garden, and enjoy reading the May issue!
Back to Work!
City Aletasters with Leanne from Duke of York
With the reopening of pubs’ outdoors areas for
the sale of alcohol, the City Aletasters once
again have work to do!
On Monday 12th April the ale at the Duke of
York was diligently sampled and then drunk by
the Aletasters and met with full approval.
Leanne from the Duke of York was pleased to
welcome them to her newly modernised
outdoor hospitality area.
Nick Sedgwick, City Aletaster for 34 years, said
“We have to do what has to be done. It is a
tough job but we have missed it!”
LHCRT chairperson Chris Bull and DoE award
students hold a minute's silence
Duke of Edinburgh award students volunteering
with Lichfield's Canal Trust held a minute's
silence when they resumed work less than 24
hours after Prince Philip's death.
Having held their first work party after
lockdown the week before, it was especially
poignant that the second session so closely
followed the sad news.
The 10 young people started the session at
10am with a minute's silence, recognising the
value that the 40 or so students who have
worked with Lichfield and Hatherton Canals
Restoration Trust over the last six or seven
years have given the Trust.
The volunteers then got to work on cleaning
bricks taken from old Lock 24 so that they can
be reused. This not only saves the Trust money
(about £2 per brick) but also contributes to its
fundamental objective of doing all it can to
safeguard the environment.
On that theme, along the canal channel nearer
to Cricket Lane, a party of four used offcuts
from trees and hedges to create habitat piles
for invertebrates and small mammals.
Best Foot Forward
On Saturday 17th April, Trustees and volunteers
of The Stan Bowley Trust completed their epic
Best Foot Forward challenge which saw them
covering a staggering 11,300 miles in 18 days by
any human powered means possible.
They aimed to travel 7088 miles, the return
journey distance between former Staffordshire
police officer Alan “Stan” Bowley’s home and
Washington DC, where he received CyberKnife
treatment for 18 days. The group walked, ran,
swam, cycled, hopped and someone even
walked on their hands to achieve this distance!
CyberKnife is a radiotherapy treatment which
can deliver high doses of radiation with sub
millimetre accuracy, therefore targeting
previously untreatable cancer tumours.
If you would like to donate, please visit
For more information about the Charity and
CyberKnife go to www.thestanbowleytrust.org.
Tony McGovern has been formally appointed to
the role of Interim Chief Executive of Lichfield
District Council at a meeting of full council held
on Tuesday 20th April 2021.
The appointment comes after Diane Tilley
announced in January that she would be
stepping down from the role of chief executive.
Tony McGovern will take over as chief
executive from 1st June 2021 for up to six
months while a permanent replacement is
The role of chief executive includes being the
head of paid service at the council and acting as
the returning officer and electoral registration
officer for Lichfield District.
Having recently stepped down as Managing
Director for Cannock Chase District Council,
Tony McGovern has experience of senior roles
Top Award for
An exmaple of Darron's work
Chairman of Lichfield Camera Club, Darron
Matthews, has recently received a
photographer’s highest distinction, the
prestigious Fellowship of the Royal
Photographic Society. To gain the award, he had
to produce a panel of twenty images on a
common theme all of which had to be both
technically perfect and form a visually
harmonious display. Darron’s choice of subject
matter, nature macro photography, has gained
him an international reputation for his
stunningly beautiful, detailed images of insects.
Darron became Chairman of the club in January
2016, and has been instrumental in developing is
a friendly, social atmosphere where members
can discuss their work and improve their
photography. Darron is always willing to share
his knowledge and expertise and encourages all
members to share their skills.
Do you need a Financial health check?
Are your investments performing to your satisfaction?
Will your Pension allow you to do what you want to in retirement?
Is it time that you had a free one-hour Financial health check?
Would you like to speak to 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 the rest of the year will bring. You may not have had your second 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. 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 and the first part of 2021
working from home using online meetings
to great effect, keeping in contact with my
clients and advising them during a very
strange year. It shouldn’t be too long before
face to face meetings are the norm.
Your 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
Great British Spring
Lichfield District residents are being invited to
grab a pair of gloves and a litter picker this
spring and join in with the country’s biggest
mass-action environmental campaign.
Lichfield District Council is backing this year’s
Great British Spring Clean, which is running
from 28th May to 13th June 2021.
Led by Keep Britain Tidy, the initiative
encourages local communities to tackle litter in
their areas. This year organisers have set the
Million Mile Mission, which involves individuals
and groups pledging how much time they will
spend litter picking, which is converted into
miles in the hope that by the summer everyone
can enjoy a cleaner, greener, litter-free
The council will continue to lend its support by
providing litter pickers and red bin bags, as well
as arranging for the waste to be collected from
agreed locations that are accessible to vehicles.
To book litter pickers, red bin bags, and waste
collection, please email Nicky Haycock or call
01543 687550. Litter pickers are issued on a
first come first served basis.
Jethro Tull Coming
The Grammy Award winning rock group Jethro
Tull is to play at Lichfield Cathedral on Tuesday
2nd December at 7.30pm.
Postponed from last Christmas as a result of
the pandemic, the group, whose music is
marked by the distinctive vocal style and lead
flute work of Ian Anderson, is to perform a
repertoire of Christmas music, ancient and
modern, and will be joined by the Cathedral
Over the last 12 years, Ian Anderson has
performed in many of the great Cathedrals and
churches in the UK helping to raise muchneeded
funds for their preservation.
The concert is being sponsored by
Ecclesiastical and tickets are on sale at Lichfield
Cathedral Box Office, visit www.lichfieldcathedral.org/JethroTull.
Hammerwich residents are being invited to
have their say to shape the future development
of the area.
Hammerwich Parish Council has submitted a
neighbourhood plan for the Hammerwich
neighbourhood area to Lichfield District
Council. The plan will be made available online
for six weeks for organisations and individuals
to put forward their views.
The Hammerwich neighbourhood plan, along
with information about neighbourhood
planning, is available on the neighbourhood plan
section of the website:
The opportunity to comment on the
Hammerwich neighbourhood plan will run until
5pm on 5th May 2021.
After the close of the consultation, Lichfield
District Council will collate all of the comments
received and submit them to an independent
examiner. The examiner will look at the
comments and the neighbourhood plan when
assessing whether it meets the national
requirements and can proceed to the next
stage of the process, which is a referendum
within the neighbourhood area.
Our very own feature writer, and local
historian, Jono Oates took part in the March
the Month campaign to raise money for charity.
Jono, of Jono’s Tourism, Lichfield, participated in
the walking challenge, which saw him covering a
minimum of 11,000 steps every day throughout
the month of March, on behalf of Prostate
Cancer Research UK.
Over the 31 days of March, Jono walked a total
of 375,245 steps and raised more than £800 for
Congratulations to K Toothill
who wins a Molly Doodle
Dandy cushion, and J Warden
who scoops the fruit wine trio
from Clive's Wines.
Copyright Goes Under
The copyright to Whittington author Craig
Thomas’ novels has sold at auction online from
Lichfield for £36,000.
The sale, which took place on Monday April
12th with Richard Winterton Auctioneers live
from The Lichfield Auction Centre at Fradley,
saw international bids stack up from all over the
Mr Winterton said: “A wonderful and welldeserved
result for the copyright to this superb
collection of 18 novels whose audacious plots
spearheaded an entire genre.
“Craig’s catalogue was Lot 1 and it certainly
launched today’s sale in style with a huge
amount of interest from across the globe.
“The international nature of an online auction
with internet bidders joining us from all over
the world seems very fitting too, given the focus
on technology so intrinsic to Craig’s work.
“His fans regard the author as the true
originator of the techno-thriller and hopefully
this sale will prompt the beginning of a new
chapter for his impressive catalogue.”
He added: “We were especially pleased to be
carrying out the sale on the instructions of the
estate of Craig’s wife Jill as they lived for many
years in Whittington on the outskirts of
(courtesy of Craig Thomas Companion)
Donation to Canal
Jane and Brian Taylor
A couple have celebrated their Golden
Wedding anniversary by donating 50 trees to
Lichfield's Canal Trust to help create a wildlife
corridor in the city.
Jane and Brian Taylor were present on Brian's
85th birthday to see the first four trees planted
at Falkland Road in Lichfield.
Jane has been a member of Walsall Spinners, a
group dedicated to the crafts of spinning and
weaving, for 34 years and began doing handspinning
demonstrations at the Huddlesford
Heritage Gathering, a biennial event organised
jointly by Lichfield and Hatherton Canals
Restoration Trust and Lichfield Cruising Club.
Meeting members of the Trust combined with a
family tradition of organising events to raise
money for charity led to the donation of the
trees, Jane explained.
The trees donation complements the funding of
a row of new hedge planting along the line of
the Lichfield Canal at Falkland Road, thanks to
South Staffs Water.
The hedging is being funded through the South
Staffs Water PEBBLE Fund – Projects that
Explore Biodiversity Benefits in the Local
Central England Co-op
Extends Free Delivery
With community in mind, Central England Coop
has decided to provide much-needed
reassurance to its members. Instead of ending
its free delivery offer when all restrictions are
lifted it is extending the free offer for members
until the end of the year.
To help keep the community protected from
Covid-19, Central England Co-op launched a
delivery service in September 2020 with free
delivery for members. Unlike the majority of
supermarkets, delivery slots can be booked and
delivered in under an hour by the customers’
The service has been a lifeline for vulnerable
families, the elderly and time-poor parents who
were also contending with home schooling. But
as lockdown is slowly relaxed, it’s clear that
anxious members of the community may not
feel safe until they and the rest of the public
have been fully vaccinated.
The Central England Co-op delivery service is
genuinely at the heart of the community, with
all the friendly drivers trained with ‘time to
chat’ badges. Orders are picked and packed
from a local store, with a choice of over 4,000
products that can be delivered within an hour
of ordering. The Central England Co-op vans
are electric, with a low mileage radius making it
not only fast for the customer, but kinder to the
Delivery is free for members and new
customers who use the promo code
Game, Set & Match as
Free Tennis Returns!
Free coach-led tennis sessions have made a
welcome return to Beacon Park in Lichfield.
Tennis For Free started up again at Beacon Park
on Sunday 25th April after Government
restrictions were eased to allow outdoor
Tennis For Free is a charity that aims to
encourage more participation in the sport. It
provides free coach-led group tennis sessions
and all the equipment needed.
The sessions will run every Sunday from 2pm
to 3pm at Beacon Park for adults and young
people aged 12 and over only, due to current
Covid-19 safety requirements. Booking is
essential. To register to take part in the Tennis
For Free sessions at Beacon Park go to
As Covid restrictions are lifted, Tennis For Free
expect to open up sessions to the whole family
in late summer.
Festival Gardens Saved
Staffordshire County Council and Lichfield City
Council wish to thank all residents who took
the time to respond to the recent Festival
Gardens/Friary Junction consultation.
The proposal was for an area of Festival
Gardens (approximately 253 m2) to be
transferred from the City Council to the
County Council in order to facilitate junction
improvements, which included a segregated left
turn lane and associated visibility splay.
At its March meeting, the City Council
expressed concern as to the appropriateness of
the proposals but wished to discuss the matter
further with Staffordshire County Council and
consult with local residents prior to any final
decision being made.
The public consultation generated over 280
responses with almost all being against the
proposal. In addition, a petition against the
proposals that was publicised locally attracted
in excess of 3,000 signatures. It is clear that the
residents of the City believe the benefits of the
proposal do not outweigh the negative
consequences and both Councils recognise the
strength of feeling expressed.
Following careful consideration of the
consultation responses and the outcomes of
the meeting with City Councillors on 1st April,
Staffordshire County Council has decided to
formally withdraw, with immediate effect, its
request to acquire an area of the Festival
Gardens. As a result, the County Council
proposals will not be progressed, and the City
Council will therefore not consider the matter
further at its next meeting.
Hundreds of businesses across Lichfield District
are being encouraged to apply for a one-off
payment this spring to help them reopen safely
as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Eligible businesses in the non-essential retail
sector may be entitled to a one-off cash grant
of up to £6,000, and eligible businesses in the
hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal
care and gym sectors may be entitled to a oneoff
cash grant of up to £18,000.
Lichfield District Council has emailed the 695
local businesses that have received coronavirus
grant funding in the past, to invite them to apply
for a Restart Grant.
A business may be eligible if it is based in
England; rate-paying; in the non-essential retail,
hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal
care or gym sectors; and trading on 1st April
To check eligibility and apply for a Restart
Grant, visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/restart by
30th June 2021.
Scouts Make Blankets
Scouts from 1st Burntwood group have made
the most of lockdown over the last few months
by making blankets for Burton YMCA.
The Scouts, aged between ten and 14 years,
made 23 blankets out of crisp packets which
have been presented to Burton YMCA. These
are then handed out to homeless people
around the area.
To make the blankets, the children had to first
collect and clean the crisp packets thoroughly.
They were then ironed together and finally iron
wrapped in plastic.
The children completed the project over a
number of months, not only learning new skills
but learning about the work of the YMCA and
the importance of the project.
1st Burntwood Scouts have supported the
YMCA on a few occasions now. Previously
taking part in the annual sleepout event as well
as collecting food items which were donated to
Help Animals in Need!
Look out for Animal Rescue Volunteers at local
outdoor events this year, starting with a charity
table top sale in Alrewas in May.
Animal Rescue Volunteers is a non-profit
organisation which supports smaller or less
well-known animal rescues and sanctuaries by
fundraising and collecting donations for them.
Group members live in and around Lichfield,
Tamworth, Rugeley, Burton and Walsall and are
able to collect donations from these areas.
Any donations of pet food, bedding, treats, litter,
pet toys etc can be dropped off at any of the
events - just look out for the pink tent!
Find Animal Rescue Volunteers at The Charity
Table Top Sale in Alrewas on 9th May between
10am-2pm. Table tops are located at various
points around the village and maps are available
from The Bank Coffeehouse, 59 Furlong Lane
and Essington House (50p donation towards
Alrewas and Fradley Village Charity). Social
distancing must be observed at all times.
To Advertise call:-
Barbara Smith 07999 327419
Steve Brown 07740 166497
Rebecca Hill 07970 513144
Two years into Transforming
the Trent Valley
By Louise Morris
The Trent Valley is a special landscape.
For millennia it has been an
industrious region. From farming the
rich fertile soils of the floodplains to
navigating the river; from extracting the
cool, sweet ground water for beer
brewing, to the mills and factories that
sprung up during the industrial
revolution, the Trent Valley has a long
history connected to its river.
It is the people and their communities
that form the beating heart of the Trent
Valley. This is a landscape in which people
have always lived, worked and relaxed. The
landscape has changed continually through
time and continues to do so. Mineral operations are leaving their mark on
the landscape and climate change is leading to an increased frequency of
highly damaging flood events. New transport links are scything through the
countryside and development is increasing pressure on our natural
‘Transforming the Trent Valley’ is a scheme that is embracing the
challenges and opportunities presented by this landscape. The Trent Valley
is peppered with a rich cultural and natural heritage that we are setting
out to celebrate and explore. Two years since our launch, and despite a
global pandemic, we have some exciting achievements under our belts.
We are working with the natural processes of the river to reconnect
the River Trent with its floodplain, and we are working with communities
supported by statutory agencies to improve flood resilience and restore
our natural habitats. Our singing success is the reconnection of an old
river channel at Cherry Holme, near Catholme, where a large river island
has been re-established, restoring much needed habitats for wildlife.
We will be improving access through the valley for walking, cycling and
paddling and have made great headway through upgrading some of the
worst sections of towpath along more than 5km of the canal network.
Our family activities, paused during the lockdowns, have moved online
with videos, worksheets and bookable zoom events keeping families
connected with nature. A broad spectrum of ‘Trent Talks’ have been
launched covering topics from bird ringing to recycling to dog walking and
attracting audiences across Staffordshire, the Midlands and even as far
afield as Japan! Community groups have been supported with over
£35,000 awarded to some great local initiatives with our Community
Finally, we are supported by a large team of volunteers, each helping us
in their own unique way. Survey volunteers are contributing to our
knowledge of the heritage features in the landscape including Stop Line 5,
a relic of the Second World War that is delineated by more than 70
pillboxes. Photography volunteers are capturing images and footage of the
valley to illustrate its transformation through time, and our Wildlife
Recording volunteers are supporting us in generating valuable biological
For more information about ‘Transforming the Trent Valley’, our projects,
our people and our partners, visit our website www.thetrentvalley.org.uk
Tales of a Private Chef
By Simon Smith
Some four years ago I was asked to join a friend of mine who was
the chef on the superyacht ‘Lady Feryal’ to help for a week at
the Monaco Grand Prix.
There would be 12 crew members to feed plus 12 guests who were
staying on board but, in addition, there would be 80 day guests changing
on a daily basis. The yacht had been chartered by an event’s company for
the week and was moored end on to the track with spectacular views of
the cars coming out of the tunnel. The resident guests had paid £12,500
each for four days and the day guests had paid £3,500 each for as much as
they could eat and drink. To some people that was seen as a challenge and
by midday they were crashed out and never saw a car.
One major issue that arose was that the event’s company hadn’t told
the resident guests that the yacht would be full of day guests for three
days. There were all sorts of arguments and upsets between the two
Resident guests were to have breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and a fourcourse
dinner. Day guests were to have a running buffet between 11am
and 5pm. The galley of course was only designed for the 12 crew and 12
guests as was the fridge space, so the logistics were a nightmare. In
addition, all the roads were closed between 6am and 6pm as they were
the racetrack! As a result, we couldn’t go shopping so had to order all the
food through an agent (which added 30% to the food cost) and it was
delivered across the harbour by tender at 4am in the morning.
While these yachts all look very pretty and spacious from the outside
the crew quarters are always very ‘cosy.’ As I was an extra crew member
with no allocated cabin space, they found me a sunbed mattress and I slept
on the floor of the engine room for the week.
Providing a 5-star service is difficult where staff numbers are restricted
by space and logistics, and the expectation is that you work at any time of
the day or night. Although these jobs seem glamorous (and they often are)
the work is really demanding and flexibility is all important.
Copyright to Firefox author Craig Thomas’
18 novels sold for £36,000.
Safe, in-person valuations of jewellery,
watches and silver are once more taking
place with certified gemmologist Heather
Callaway, vice-chair of the National
Association of Jewellers.
This Base Set Booster Box sold
for £16,000 as part of a £100,000
Makes Dreams a
By Richard Winterton
Not so many weeks ago, the thought of celebrating family occasions,
meeting friends for a drink and even just popping to the shops was fast
becoming the stuff of dreams.
With lockdown easing and the reopening of our high street shops, how
wonderful it is to see people out and about once more.
Perhaps it’s my imagination but I’m sure there are some smiles behind
I believe that ‘bounce back’ positivity is crucial to help craft a brighter
future for us all, especially after what we’ve all been through.
So many people have had a horrendous year.
The impact on families, relationships, physical wellbeing and mental
health is incalculable and the pain of losing loved ones to Covid-19 will stay
with us all.
Now, as businesses start to reopen and our freedom returns, it’s how
we manage to adapt and move forwards that will define our future.
Here at The Lichfield Auction Centre, we are looking forward to
welcoming people back for safe, free, in-person valuations on Thursdays
from 10am-4pm, strictly by appointment only.
Catering for anything from jewellery, watches and silver to pictures,
antiques and collectables, individual timed appointments will be in
accordance with ongoing Covid-19 advice, with people requested to wear
face coverings and use hand sanitiser.
Simply give us a call to book in advance.
In the past year we’ve revolutionised the business so we can safely do
what we do best.
When the first lockdown came into force last March, we were hours
away from staging one of our biggest Fine Arts Sale ever.
But as soon as Boris Johnson made his announcement we shut the
doors, postponed the sale and put our thinking caps on.
We had already suspended our face-to-face valuations both in-house
and at venues in the community and were instead offering ‘virtual
valuations’ and exploring ‘click and collect’ options.
We had to adapt quickly and came up with a completely new model for
online-only auctions and our day-to-day operations, keeping staff and
Fast forward 12 months and many of the processes we have put in place
will certainly continue.
Touch wood it’s working, as this last year has seen us recruit six extra
staff and launch a new website!
And there’s more positive news to share.
Those early online-only auctions 12 months ago turned out to be – at
that time – our most successful to date and, happily, we have since built on
January to March 2021 was a record quarter for us.
In fact, everything fell into place to make March 2021 a record month in
its own right, with a £100,000 Pokémon sale and a specialist auction of
vintage tools helping us break the £500,000 turnover.
Since then, our auctions have included such wide-ranging wonders as the
copyright to 18 bestselling novels written by Firefox author Craig Thomas,
which went under the hammer in April.
Credited as the true creator of the techno-thriller, Mr Thomas’
catalogue included his landmark 1977 book Firefox which was made into
the 1982 Hollywood blockbuster directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.
After a sensational international online bidding battle, the rights sold for
Another April lot which attracted lots of media interest and press
coverage was a Beatles photograph signed by John, Paul, George and Ringo
for a teenage fan at ATV television studios in Aston, Birmingham, in 1963.
With such perfect provenance, there was no doubt amongst collectors
that, in the notoriously tricky field of Fab Four autographs, this was the real
deal and it sold at auction for £3,000.
We’ve also completed our 2021 Garden Effects Sale, which was joined
by 300 bidders online helping make it another ‘White Glove Sale –
meaning every single lot sold.
As well as that 100 per cent selling rate, it topped the 2020 garden sale
– also a White Glove record – and smashed last year’s figures by £10,000!
As our auction results testify, demand is stronger than ever so it’s a
fantastic time to seek professional advice and find out what those hidden
treasures could fetch under the hammer.
Everyone dreams of discovering a surprise windfall; with more exciting
plans in the pipeline, we’re looking forward to a positive rest of the year
and helping make more dreams come true!
To book an in-person valuation, free quotation for house
clearance or probate, email firstname.lastname@example.org or
telephone 01543 251081. Free home visits are also available
The Hub at St Mary’s
to Receive Funding
His Royal Highness, Philip
Duke of Edinburgh
The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, marked the
news of the death of His Royal Highness, Philip Duke of
Edinburgh, in Lichfield Cathedral on 9th April by leading prayers
and a time of silence in the midst of the vaccination clinic taking place
there, as the Cathedral bell tolled and the flag of St George was
lowered to half mast.
The Cathedral bell tolled again - 99 times - on Saturday 10th April at 12
The Dean said: “We received with great sadness the news of the death of
HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. He has served our country
selflessly as the Queen’s husband and consort since their marriage and her
accession to the throne in 1952.
“He has shown genuine concern for the future of our country, through his
interest in the environment, wildlife, education, and by ensuring we are at
the forefront of scientific advancement.
“While our monarchy has its formal and solemn side, Prince Philip has
shown a forthright wit and sense of humour and has helped the monarchy
adapt and embrace change over the years. The Queen described him as her
rock and he has been a major stabilising influence throughout her whole
reign. He will be sorely missed.”
Due to Covid Restrictions, the public were asked NOT to travel to the
Cathedral, nor to bring flowers. Instead the Church of England’s online
condolence book can be accessed via www.churchofengland.org.
For anyone living in Lichfield, the Cathedral will be open for periods of
private prayer and quiet reflection, details of which can be found on the
The Hub at St Mary’s is among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit
from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture
Recovery Fund which will enable The Hub to create a programme of
events over the summer, kick-starting Lichfield’s cultural life following
The Hub at St. Mary’s in Lichfield, situated above the city library, has received a
grant of £31,600 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to
help the organisation recover and reopen.
More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations
across the country including The Hub in the latest round of support from the
Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.
The Hub is a multi-use arts space committed to creating and showcasing great
art for everyone. This award will be used to offer a diverse programme of highquality
art, music and theatre events for the local community to enjoy and will also
allow us to provide much needed work for local artists. Over the summer months
it will be holding some outdoor activities, providing free accessible Covid-safe arts
Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support
almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other
cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus
The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead
to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of
closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a
much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the
The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last
year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in
need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts
Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund
and the British Film Institute.
Years a Garage!
By Jono Oates
Not far from Lichfield Cathedral, set back from Beacon
Street, stands a small garage, partially hidden on one side by
a local hotel’s function room. This compact, slightly
unobtrusive garage has been on this same site for 100 years and in
all that time has had just three owners. Opened in 1921 the garage
has the same name today as it did a century ago… Beacon Street
The garage was opened by Frederick James Crane. Initially he set out
to repair bicycles but he then started to branch out to motorcycles, and
finally motor car repairs as more and more cars flooded the roads in the
1920s and 30s.
Initially Crane sold, as well as repaired, motorcycles and in February
1922 he was advertising the sale of Rex-Acme motorcycles in the
Lichfield Mercury, a 2 ½ horsepower two-stroke, two-speed, AC model
was £55 – just over £3,000 in today’s money.
In 1922 Mr Crane’s garage was, as it is today, quite small and in
September of that year a potential customer wrote a letter to Mr Crane
and was very keen to make sure it reached its destination as he
addressed it to: ‘The Proprietor, the Garage on the road to Stafford, on
the outskirts of the town of Lichfield, on the brow of a small hill, and
about ten minutes’ walk straight up from the railway station and on the
right of the road. It is a wooden hut and nearly opposite a small cafe and
sweet shop. Lichfield’. With this very detailed description the Post Office
successfully delivered the letter!
By June 1928 Crane was selling Velocette motorcycles, racing bikes
which were very popular in the Isle of Man TT races. In that year
Velocettes finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Junior TT races and Frederick
proclaimed that he was the local agents for these ‘Supreme Motor
The garage also sold petrol and in April 1935 you could buy a gallon of
British petrol, a Regent Benzole mix, for 1 shilling and five old pence –
about 7 pence today. The price of a gallon of petrol today is approximately
Frederick Crane was born in 1889 and by 1939 was living on Beacon
Street (numbers 28 and 56 respectively), just further down the hill from
the garage, with his wife Ellen, whom he had married in Lichfield in May
1916. He passed away at the former Victoria Hospital in November 1970
at the grand old age of 80, following a short illness.
After his death, the running of the garage was taken up by one of
Frederick’s mechanics, Derrick Lowe, however in 1983 ill-health forced
Derrick to step down from the business and, on June 1 1983, Vic Greatrix
and his wife and business partner, Gill, took over the running of the
In September 1990 they were advertising the provision of: ‘Servicing;
Mechanical and Body Repairs; Accident Recovery and Electronic Tuning
for all makes of vehicle’ in the Lichfield Mercury.
Today, as the garage celebrates its 100th anniversary, Vic and Gil are still
at the helm, meaning that they are one of only three proprietors of the
garage in 100 years – and that is a record that not many Lichfield
businesses can match!
Sources: British Newspaper Archive
*Vintage Photographs by courtesy of The Beacon Street Garage
The Greenhill Bower
Cancelled, but Never Forgotten
By Jono Oates
On Monday May 31st 2021 the Lichfield Greenhill Bower,
one of Lichfield’s oldest traditions, should be taking take
place – but, for the second year running, the Bower
Committee has decided to cancel the event, in line with
government restrictions and in the interests of public safety.
The Bower dates back to medieval times, during the reign of King
Henry II, the first one probably taking place in 1145, and was
traditionally the procession that would take place after the Court of
Arraye. During these times each town and city in England had to muster
its own men to protect it from attack as there was no regional army or
militia at that time. The men would arm themselves with whatever
weapons they had to hand and would then take part in the annual
Court of Arraye to display arms and prove that they were a significant
fighting force. The men of the city would then assemble at the Bower
House on Greenhill, to enjoy beef and ale. This gathering then expanded
to include a procession round the city streets to display their weapons
and firepower, later accompanied by Morris Dancers. After a national
army was introduced the vast majority of Courts of Arraye died out
across the country, but Lichfield decided to keep the custom going, and
with it the Lichfield Greenhill Bower Festival which has continued right
through to the current time, even though the 2021 event, like the one
in 2020, will not go ahead.
This is not the first time that the Bower has not taken place however,
as it was also temporarily stopped during both World War One and
Two, as it was felt it was inappropriate to have a day of celebration
during such dark times for the country.
In May 1919 the Bower recommenced after a break of four years.
Huge crowds gathered for the revival and the procession tableaux
(floats) included those for: Belgium;
France; America; the British Empire and
the Girl Guides. The exhibits included a
German 33mm field gun, captured by the
South Staffordshire Regiment at Cambrai
in October 1918. The Mayor, Councillor
Henry Hall (of Hall’s the butchers) said
that ‘many of them never fully realised their great affection for the
Bower until they lost it’.
In 1947, the Lichfield Mercury reported that the Bower was revived
in all its pre-war splendour after the event was suspended during World
War Two. An estimated 50,000 people attended the event who were
entertained by a procession of tableaux and ‘grotesque’ figures as seen
on the Continent and provided by the amusement provider Mr John
Collins. Collins also provided the gilded coach on which the Bower
Queen, Miss Edna Birch of Chase Terrace, her deputy and her six maids
of honour travelled round the processional route. The crowning of the
queen took place outside the Guildhall and the Mayor was Mr William
Francis Limer Salloway, of Salloways jewellers on Bore Street, now
home to Lichfield City Jewellers.
The Greenhill Bower is one of Lichfield’s most ancient and famous
traditions and one which cannot be seen anywhere else in the country.
It is a tradition that all Lichfeldians should be rightly proud of and I’m
sure that many thousands will turn out once more on Monday 30th May
2022 to celebrate another successful revival of the Bower!
Sources: The British Newspaper Archive; www.lichfieldbower.co.uk
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
Handsacre Hall 1890s Francis Forster owner of Handsacre Hall 1890s Handsacre Hall 1930s
The Disappearance of
By Jono Oates
By a housing estate, just off Shropshire Brook Road in
Handsacre, is a small wooded area heavily overgrown with
bushes and nettles and surrounded on three sides by murky
water. Easily missed as cars travel along the road to Armitage, the
trees and bushes mask the former location of one of Staffordshire’s
most historic and imposing family estates… Handsacre Hall.
An information board on the Manor Court Drive side of the woods
provides some background to the Hall and also has diagrams showing
what it looked like during its heyday. During the winter months, when the
foliage dies back, it is possible to see some of the crumbled remains of
the former moated manor house which dates back to the 14th century.
A building had been on the site since before the Domesday Book in the
11th century and the first person to assume the name of the Manor was
Hubert de Handsacre, a knight at the time of King Henry I. The Manor
passed to several generations of the Handsacre family and at the end of
the 14th century the lord of the manor was Sir William Handsacre. In
1403 the King, Henry IV, was being challenged for the crown by the rebel,
Sir Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy. Handsacre supported Henry Hotspur but his
near neighbour, and fierce rival, Sir Robert Mavesyn, supported the King.
The two rivals mustered their troops and were marching to meet-up
with their respective leaders when they fell across each other at High
Bridge on the river Trent. In the resulting skirmish Sir Robert killed Sir
William and at the Battle of Shrewsbury Sir Robert was himself killed.
The rift between the two Staffordshire families was later healed however
when Sir William’s son, also William, married Margaret, a daughter of Sir
The Hall remained in the ownership of the Handsacre family until the
middle of the 15th century when it became home to several families. At
the end of the 19th century the Hall was owned by Sir Francis Villiers
Forster, 3rd Baronet, and long-time Master of the South Staffordshire
Hounds. Forster also owned nearby Longdon Grange and used that as his
main residence while Handsacre Hall and grounds became a farm, loaned
out to tenants. For many years the farm was run by Mrs Fanny Boycott
and her sister, Miss Sarah Harvey, on behalf of Sir Francis. The farm was
exceptionally well run by the two sisters and the farm tenancy was then
taken on by two brothers, Ernest and Oswald Smallwood. When Sir
Francis died in 1930 the two brothers purchased the Hall and the farm.
In July 1931 Neville Wood, a writer for the Staffordshire Advertiser
newspaper, visited Handsacre Hall as part of his ‘More Nature Notes’
column, when he spoke about the beautiful effect of the irregular gables
as illustrated in the photograph taken at the time and stated that it was,
in his opinion, the ‘finest home in the immediate neighbourhood’. He
described the ducks playing merrily in the waters of the former moat and
the fact that the fourth side of the moat had been replaced by the
entrance drive and the foundations of the farm buildings. At that time the
farm consisted of 125 acres, with 40 acres under plough, and its primary
function was milk production.
Ernest Smallwood continued to farm at Handsacre Hall until October
1961 when he retired from farming. It was purchased by another local
farmer but the Hall quickly fell in to a state of disrepair and was subject
to large scale vandalism. In March 1973 Lichfield Rural Council granted
permission for it to be demolished leaving only a scattering of the original
Today the moated area is a Historic England scheduled monument but
the Hall itself can no longer be seen. In July 1931 Neville Wood
summarised his visit to the Hall by saying that ‘Handsacre Hall is in good
hands, and here is one little treasure that certainly will neither be spoilt
nor lost to the nation for a considerable number years at any rate’.
Unfortunately, Neville’s prediction did not stand the test of time and a
mere 40 years later this once magnificent, and ancient, manor house had
disappeared from the Staffordshire skyline for ever.
Sources: www.historicengland.org.uk; www.armitagewithhandsacre-pc.co.uk;
The British Newspaper Archive; Ridware History Society website
Now open 7 days
Limited Edition Prints of Memorial
Chase Arts for Public Spaces (CHAPS) is delighted to
announce its latest initiative enabling many to be involved
with the National Miners’ Memorial to be sited at the
National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas. Work is planned to be
completed on site early in June.
Artist Andy DeComyn has been working on sculpting the 25 bronze
panels which will be set into the stonework: these panels – or plaques
- tell the story of those who worked in the UK coal mines over
hundreds of years. Andy’s wife Francesca DeComyn is an illustrator
and has done all of the drawings which Andy has then worked from. The
drawings are obviously pieces of art in their own right and are now
available as limited edition prints. The black and white prints – 25 of
each drawing – will be signed and numbered by the artist, with a light
grey mount and with an explanatory leaflet, all in a cellophane wrap.
The completed, unframed signed and numbered print and mount
measures 10” by 8” and is available for £25 if collected or plus p&p if
The prints depict miners’ lives and include elements such as families;
camaraderie; pit ponies, the use of tubs; testing for gas, accidents and
disasters; Bevin Boys and WW1 tunnellers. Prints can be seen on the
group’s Facebook page where you can also follow progress of the
project : www.facebook.com/ChaseArtsForPublicSpaces.
For more information or to order prints email
email@example.com or phone 07583 655199
Classrooms is New Trend
AMidland start-up specialising in creating bespoke outdoor
buildings has revealed it’s seen a boom in demand to create
outdoor classrooms as inner-city schools look to teach
more lessons outside.
Bespoke forest schools – or outdoor learning hubs - are just one of
the new trends to emerge from the pandemic for South-Staffordshire
based Roundpeg Outdoor Buildings, which celebrated its first business
anniversary back in January.
Most of the interest and orders are coming from inner city schools
and the new outdoor classrooms are being hailed as having a “major
positive impact” on pupils for a host of reasons.
St Peter’s Primary School in Bartley Green, Birmingham, is the first
to have unveiled its 30ft by 10ft Outdoor Learning Hub, created by
Roundpeg, which it is using for science, DT and art classes for its 220
pupils, aged four to 11.
Just some of the creative activities which the primary pupils have
enjoyed in the outdoor classroom so far include whittling and bug
Now other West Midlands schools are pursuing plans for similar
outdoor classroom projects with Roundpeg, which is run by Adam
Timmis, of Rugeley, and Sally Ann Smith, of Tutbury, who have tripled
their workforce in recent months, including taking on apprentice Kyah
Hudson, of Cannock.
For more visit www.roundpegoutdoorbuildings.co.uk, email
firstname.lastname@example.org, find them on Facebook and
Instagram @roundpegoutdoorbuildings or call 07377 633735.
Local Book to Support MS Sufferers
Lichfield people directly affected by multiple sclerosis (MS)
have told their stories and offered their honest insights into
living with the condition in a new book.
Collected Stories: Living with Multiple Sclerosis has been developed
to provide a learning resource for health professionals across the UK
and was released during National MS Awareness Week (19th-25th
The book is one of the outputs from a research project carried out
by St Giles Hospice, Keele University and members of the hospice’s MS
The project began in 2018 and involved focus groups and interviews
designed to help understand the experiences of people with MS in
accessing hospice care and support. It was conducted by Professor Sue
Read and Teaching Fellow Dr Sotirios Santatzoglou from Keele
University, Dr Emma Hodges from St Giles Hospice and participants
from the hospice’s MS groups based in Whittington and Sutton
Following the study, the research team were so inspired by the
experiences the group shared that they spoke to participants about
how they might want to share their stories more widely.
Contributors include people living with the condition along with
volunteers and staff at St Giles Hospice. The book also features a
foreword written by community historian Professor Carl Chinn, who
offers a moving account of his childhood experience of living with his
own grandfather who was diagnosed with MS in the 1950s.
The powerful testimonies in the book feature the life stories of
several people diagnosed with MS, highlighting their different
experiences, the philosophies and coping mechanisms that have helped
them through the years and the actions of the wider community that
have helped or hindered their daily lives.
An exercise instructor working with the MS groups at St Giles and a
hospice member of staff have also contributed to the collection,
revealing how their own preconceptions have been challenged by their
experiences and the insights they have gained as a result.
For more details of the book or to buy a printed copy or
downloadable version, visit www.stgileshospice.com/MS-book
All proceeds from the sale of Collected Stories: Living with Multiple
Sclerosis will support St Giles Hospice and help fund vital care for local
people and families living with a terminal illness.
The Great Outdoors
Now the sunny weather is finally here, it’s time to throw the
doors open wide and embrace the beauty of our outdoor
spaces! Whether you have a wild, natural garden; a perfectly
honed landscape; or a modern entertaining space, there’s never been a
better excuse to enjoy the fresh air. We’ve put together a few of our
favourite items from local retailers to help make your garden area the
perfect haven for a relaxing summer.
Antigua outdoor dining set from £1499.99
Enquire for more information
Needwood Living, Alrewas & Tutbury
Belgio Perla Porcelain Paving Slabs are
reminiscent of Belgian limestone, which is
renowned for its consistent colours,
contrasting with embedded marine fossils.
Belgio is an enduring classic oblivious to
fashions or trends, it has been used
unceasingly for generations. Priced at
£42.59 per m2 inc VAT. Available from
Does Your Garden
Need Some Love?
Billy’s Borders is
run by Debbie, a lady
gardener who offers
fully insured garden
services and is
certified by the Royal
Her services include
weeding, pruning and
planting - but that’s
not all! You can also
have your garden designed and planned out to suit your
needs and requirements by Debbie, whether it’s redesigning
a new garden, having a revamp, or trying to find ways to
attract more wildlife.
Debbie is a local self-employed gardener with a passion
for all things horticultural and can assist in making your
shrubs shapely, your borders beautiful and your lawn feel
loved again. Available as a regular service, or one-off tidying
and planting job, Debbie’s reasonable rates have something
to suit all budgets.
Billy, her beloved canine companion, doesn't actively join
in with the work but provides valuable back up and final
inspection if required!
So if your garden is in need of a little TLC this year, give
Debbie (and Billy!) a call on 07760 296192 or visit Billy’s
Border Control on Facebook and see how this dynamic
duo can help you!
An increasingly popular choice, Devlin's
stocks several ranges of synthetic grass, to
ensure that your lawn looks perfectly
manicured any time of the year. Available
from www.devlincarpets.com priced from
The Weber Master-Touch GBS C-5750 grill
combines the traditional sense of a charcoal
grill with new innovative features and a dose
of convenience.With the included Gourmet
BBQ System grill, you can cook breakfast,
roast a joint, or bake a crispy pizza out in the
open. Priced at £279 and available from
Your Garden in May
By Byron Lewis
As we enter the month of May, it remains really busy here at the
Garden Centre - some plants are still unavailable, while deliveries to us
are taking a bit longer than usual (lots of stock like our solar lights and
garden tools got stuck on the Suez Canal!).
The weather for April was really cold at times but it was a dry month,
so lots of you have been busy gardening. If you've been planning a new
border or planting scheme, please have a 'plan B' as we may not be able
to get the usual range of plants that we stock - you may need to use a
different variety (or just go with the flow!)
The last of the spring flowering bulbs will soon be coming to an end.
To make the best of them next spring, simply remove the dead heads
and allow the plants to die back naturally. As the stems go brown, the
bulb stores food ready for next year. It’s also worth giving all your bulbs
a feed now – a handful of bonemeal around your clumps of bulbs will
help to bulk them up, giving an even better show next spring.
Tidy up, cut back and weed borders after the long winter we’ve had –
apply fertiliser around shrubs and especially on established plants. Lots
of people forget that older plants need food too. Use a liquid food which
is faster acting as this will help the older plants thrive.
Your lawn is probably ready for a cut (if you’ve not already done it).
Once cut, you can apply a weed and feed product to improve the grass.
If you’ve got a moss problem, apply a specific mosskiller product. This is
stronger than the combined weed and feed product so is more likely to
be successful. Once applied, the iron content in the mosskiller will work
quickly and you can then rake out the dead moss a couple of weeks later.
It’s also worth trying to improve the drainage in your lawn by aerating
it. You can do this using a garden fork and simply stabbing lots of holes
in it. Then fill in the holes with some sand, which will absorb any excess
moisture and hopefully reduce future moss problems.
Finally, start looking to plant your hanging baskets and pots up with
summer colour, but don’t be tempted to put them outside just yet as
they may suffer with cold winds or frost – they can safely be put outside
towards the end of the month. The garden centre will be full of colourful
patio plants so you’ll have a riot of colour this summer!
Byron Lewis runs Lichfield Garden Centre at
Curborough Countryside Centre, Watery Lane,
Lichfield. Tel: 01543 254306.
Need a home office? More space? Or just a peaceful haven? Why not add an extra room in the
garden with Roundpeg Outdoor Buildings? With more than 30 years of combined experience,
Roundpeg can work to all budgets to design and create your perfect garden room.
Visit www.roundpegoutdoorbuildings.co.uk or call 07377 633735.
How does Oasis benefit your lawn?
Oasis is GreenThumb’s solution to help your soil make the very best use of any available
moisture, keeping your grass greener for long. With an added seaweed extract, Oasis improves
the colour and quality of your lawn whilst also strengthening root development. Complementing
your regular watering regime, Oasis means you’ll need to water up to 80% less!
Call us on 01543 676817 to benefit from Oasis.
Are pests damaging your lovely lawn?
Unfortunately, pests like Leatherjackets and Chafer Grubs are
fairly common in UK lawns. If left untreated, they can cause
serious damage to your lawn. Here at GreenThumb, we offer
a Pest Management Treatment which supports the recovery
of your grass after a pest attack. It deters the pests from
eating your grass, reducing any further damage.
Call us on 01543 676817 for more information.
Looking for help with a home painting project? Midnight Farm
can help. With over 30 years’ experience painting high-end
homes in the UK, Luke shares his wealth of knowledge to help
you achieve an expert finish with your own fair hand. Whatever
kind of task you face, from refreshing the woodwork in your
home to a total kitchen makeover, Luke can provide you with
the knowledge and skills to tackle all painting projects with
Find out more at www.midnightfarm.co.uk.
Bloom and Grow
By Jo Howell
Iam sure the more seasoned gardeners have been pottering,
planting and planning their patch of green for many months now;
after all a garden always needs something doing in it – even in the
cold, damp and short winter days.
But as a self-proclaimed amateur gardener, I feel I am only enjoying the
great outdoors in the last month or so.
Of course, the warmer days and lighter nights certainly do help in
keeping me busy each weekend and wondering whether I should pull
something that looks like a weed out or what shade of grey I should paint
You see, as keen as I am to learn about gardening and the joy it brings,
I am also a visual gardener. As I sit writing, I am in my conservatory
overlooking the garden and I have lost many an hour on a snowy January
afternoon, drawing plans, shading in spaces, neatly writing in names of
plants and imagining what my little green oasis is going to look like.
And slowly but surely, the garden – or extra ‘room’ of the house – is
coming to life. Bursts of white and purple pepper the raised beds and the
two yellow rose bushes are looking healthy and vibrant before the buds
start to bloom in another few months. The patio planters have shoots of
green popping up and the sweet peas are growing fast, desperate to be
re-potted outside… soon.
I am certainly no Alan Titchmarsh or Monty Don, but there is a huge
amount of joy in taking what was a fairly uninspiring garden a few years
ago and turning it into a space that offers so much. The patio is the
reading zone; the late afternoon and evening sun dancing across the
stones and the chairs angled just perfectly to feel the warmth on your
face. Walking through the arch, with its thick foliage and hidden fairy
lights, the garden is a hub of pretty colours, delightful smells, busy bees
and expectation. I’m never quite sure what’s going to burst into life next,
so each day and week is a delight and usually a question of ‘what is that
And then nestled at the back, on a small concrete patio, is the
entertaining zone. The comfy settee, the swing chair and the BBQ lie
ready for those (much) warmer evenings when friends can chat the night
away under the glow of the multi-coloured garden lightbulbs. And in the
absence of friends, it makes the perfect sun trap first thing in the morning
to enjoy a brew al fresco and listen to the world waking up.
My garden isn’t big by any means, but I have used the space to its full
advantage and whatever size garden you have, you can also do the same.
Ask yourself, what do you want from the area? Is it to offer a splash of
colour and smells or is it to relax in with a G&T? Do you have hours to
commit or, like me, are you happy snatching a few hours each weekend?
Gardening can bring so much joy, whether you know what you’re doing
or not, and there is surely nothing more satisfying than seeing a tiny seed
bloom and grow into a beautiful flower.
And of course, never ever underestimate the healing power of a quiet
moment in the garden.
Read more of Jo’s work at www.justanaveragejo.blog.
Library Auctions Return to Bishton
By Charles Hanson
The pandemic has been a testing time for everyone. The auction
industry, like many others, has had to adapt to doing things
differently. At Bishton Hall in Staffordshire, online-only book sales
have been buoyant with bidding all over the globe - and some eyewatering
prices paid for real rarities.
Jim Spencer, Associate Director and Head of Books & Works on Paper
at Hansons Auctioneers, has been keeping up the momentum with
virtual valuations and specialist online sales - but he's excited to
welcome the public back to the historic building and its grounds from
May, when he will be offering free valuations by appointment every
"I've been answering countless emails and calls during the pandemic,"
Mr Spencer said. "Parcels have been arriving at the hall almost every
single day. A first issue hardback of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's
Stone was posted to me by a client in Luxembourg, it arrived wrapped
in a tea towel and sold for £60,000 to a collector in California. It truly is
a global service."
"Many people have struggled throughout these challenging times, but
collectors with deep pockets - and stuck at home - have clearly been
very eager to acquire rare items at auction. We've seen some fierce
"It will be lovely to welcome people back to our historic setting. I'm
really looking forward to sharing my passion with the public in this
wonderful location, perhaps even hosting some of the valuations in the
fresh country air!"
Mr Spencer manages the regular
Library Auctions at Bishton Hall,
which have been going from
strength to strength. Some of the
highlights during the last six
months include a first edition in
English of Isaac Newton's Principia,
published in 1729, which sold for
£24,000; a second edition of
Moses Harris's Natural System of
Colours, published in 1811, which sold for £12,000; a first edition of J. R.
R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, published in 1937, which, despite lacking its dustjacket,
sold for more than £4,000, and countless Harry Potter books, the
most important of which fetched £68,000 in the Christmas Library
Auction. These specialist sales include rare books, manuscripts, maps,
prints, autographs and ephemera.
Hansons Auctioneers are now inviting entries for the next specialist
Library Auction in June. For more information, or to arrange a free
valuation, please contact Jim Spencer, Associate Director and Head of
Books & Works on Paper: email@example.com. Hansons
Auctioneers & Valuers Ltd, Bishton Hall, Bellamour Lane, Wolseley Bridge
Staffordshire ST17 0XN.
Two very impressive but contrasting images took top awards in Lichfield
Camera Club’s latest Merit Competition.
1. In the Advanced Section Darron Matthews once again showed his mastery of
macro photography taking first place with his amazingly detailed, if somewhat scary,
image “The Hornet.”
2. Debra Dingley who will surely be promoted to the Advanced section next
season, took first place in the Beginners/Intermediate section. Once again she
displayed impressive creativity with her still life: “Shattered.”
3.Other images from the Advanced Competition include this beautifully tranquil
landscape “Stalwarts of the Forest” by Graham Slight.
4. Anne Anderson captured this delighted still life image “Sunshine in a Can.”
5. Rob Ings also chose a floral subject with his “Phalaenopsis Orchid” image.
6. Contrasting light and shade added impact to this street portrait “Garland
Seller” by Richard Moore.
7. Images from the Beginners/ Intermediate section included “A Walk in the
Snow” by Sandra Morgan in which distant figures are beautifully framed by the tall
8. “Ladybird Hibernation” was beautiful observed by Ann Wright.
9. “Ancient and Modern” by Liz Thomas captured the contrasting architectural
styles of the Lichfield skyline.
10. “Foley Bluebells” by Tim Wayne reminds us that this magical, if short lived,
woodland flower will soon be in bloom.
to the email
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:
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Our showroom and stock barn is now fully open to our customers. You're welcome to call us on 01785 711096, or
email email@example.com, to arrange your visit. This will allow us the time to fully show you around and for
you to take in the varied materials and textures available.
Appointment times available are between 9am-5pm on weekdays and 9am-12pm on Saturday.
We are all really looking forward to seeing you again and getting back to normal as safely as possible!
Where does the supply
of granite come from?
To enter, just send your name, contact details and answer to Just
Granite 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 June 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 56.
As the world slowly opens up
again, there’s plenty of our furry,
four-legged friends who will be
needing a haircut, a walk or somewhere
to stay this summer! Find your pawfect
pet solution in our guide to the best
local pet services in the area.
Lichfield's first and only all-natural, raw food pet
shop! Raw Essentials offers a selection of raw dog
food brands, including Natural Instincts, The Dogs
Butcher, Furry Feasts, Manifold Valley Meats, Raw
Essentials, along with natural treats and dog
accessories, to ensure that all your four-legged
friend’s nutritional needs are met.
Based at Curborough Countryside Centre, you can
also find Raw Essentials on Facebook and
K9 ACRES LTD
A rural safe haven for your dog! K9 acres is a large
purpose-built secure dog field facility, based in
Longdon, available for private individual hire. With
two dedicated fields, 'Country' and 'Meadow',
there’s no better way for your four-legged friend to
enjoy the countryside!
To find out more, or to book, visit
www.k9acres.co.uk or call 07968 550006.
Ash Brook Dog Walking Field
Ash Brook Dog Walking
field is set across two
acres of beautiful
countryside and is
available for you to hire
on an individual basis,
seven days a week.
Enjoy hassle-free walking
knowing your dog is secure with 6ft high fencing and a
double gate coded entry system.
Radmore Lane, Abbots Bromley, Rugeley WS15 3AT
Booking is via the website at
Houndspeak is a professional and personal dog
training and walking service which is passionate
about creating an unbreakable bond between
you and your four-legged friend. Using ethical,
reward-based training techniques, which are
grounded in a sound scientific understanding of
canine behaviour, Houndspeak can help you and
your dog communicate with each other more
effectively. Also offers dog walking services to
nervous, reactive and rescue dogs, to help build
confidence. For more information, visit
L.J.S Dog Grooming
Accepting New Clients!
Level 3 qualified, insured, home-based
grooming in a relaxed environment and 1-to-
1 service. Offering full/part grooms, puppy
grooms (from 12 weeks), face/nail trims, deshedding.
Using natural products only with no
cage dryers or cages.
Facebook/Instagram - L.J.S Dog Grooming
Doggy Easter Raffle
Pauline and Ruth from Rugeley Welfare for
Dogs would like to thank everyone who
supported their Easter Raffle this year, and
thank Sam Macgregor for donating two of
the fabulous prizes.
A total of £330 was raised overall from the
raffling of the Easter hampers - this will go
towards the cost of keeping the rescue dogs
along with their vet bills.
Have you snapped a great photograph of your pet during
lockdown? Do you think your pet has what it takes to
be a magazine model? We’re looking for the cutest pets
in the area, so send your photos through to
email@example.com, along with your name and your pet’s
name, and we’ll print our favourites in the next issue!
Make a Fast Friend
By Lauren Hirst
With so many people still working from home and going
on a staycation this year, many are considering getting
a dog. People contact us saying they don’t want to
support overbreeding to meet the demand for puppies and while
looking at alternatives have stumbled across greyhounds as pets.
The wider public are now party to what was a well-known secret
in greyhound circles – greyhounds DO make fantastic family pets.
Most retire between two and five years of age so have many years
of love to give.
Despite being bred for racing, they are one of the most laid back
breeds around. Short burst of energy and a nap is in order. Think the
Hussain Bolts rather than the Mo Farahs of the doggie world.
Greyhounds are adaptable and enjoy longer walks and even hikes but
are equally happy with 30 minutes twice a day. In between, a quick play
in the garden and a warm comfy bed is the order of the day, often on
their backs with legs stuck in the air at all angles, called roaching.
They say, adopt a greyhound, join a cult. While racing, greyhounds
have never seen other breeds of dogs and it can take some socialising
to make it less scary for them, but if they see other greyhounds, a meet
and greet, with lots of sniffing and tail wagging, is obligatory. It’s a great
way to make new human friends too.
The greyhound community has its own language: zoomies (a mad five
minutes of craziness in your garden), roaching (see above); roo-ing (half
way between a bark and talking); greyhound lean (full body lean against
your legs as a sign of affection). They are great to keep your legs warm
in the winter (aka greydiator) and many more. Greyhound owner and
Younger People Urged
to Have Vaccine
Staffordshire County Council heath chiefs are encouraging
younger to take up the Covid jab when offered as people
over 44 are invited.
All people aged over 44 in England can now book a vaccination and
the Council is encouraging all age groups not to delay in booking their
vaccination when available.
This comes as the government is set to launch a national campaign
aiming to encourage under-50s to take the vaccine, following research
that suggests younger people are more likely to be hesitant.
A recent survey by the Office for National Statistics stated that
although 94% of all adults felt positive about the vaccine, about one in
eight 16 to 29-year-olds said they were hesitant.
You can book your vaccination appointments online if any of the
following apply: you're aged 44 or over; you'll turn 44 before 1 July
2021; you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely
vulnerable); you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically
vulnerable); you have a learning disability; you get a Carer's Allowance,
get support following an assessment by your local authority or your
GP record shows you are a carer.
You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS.
After your vaccine you must continue to follow guidance,
restrictions, socially distance and get tested regularly – just because
cartoonist, Richard Skipworth, has written two hilarious greyhound
glossaries dedicated to greyhound language and behaviour – well
worth a read.
Greyhounds aren’t like other dogs. Some say they are more like giant
cats (for example, they are sensitive and independent). They certainly
aren’t brought up like other dogs having spent their lives in kennels.
Greyhound Trust Hall Green supports all their adopters throughout
their greyhound journey from selecting the right match until the dog
passes over rainbow bridge.
If you want a dog who can run off lead, catch a frisbee and yomp
across the moors, then greyhounds are not for you. But if you want a
loving, loyal companion dog and are willing to help them make the
transition from kennel to home life, then give us ring on 0121 425
4810 or visit our website at www.greyhoundtrusthallgreen.org.uk and
Facebook page to see our dogs who need forever homes, like the
handsome Brae, who recently joined us at our Watford Gap kennels in
you have had the vaccine, doesn’t mean you can’t catch it and spread
it to others.
The council is also keen to remind Muslim communities that the
British Islamic Medical Association has reviewed the analysis of Islamic
scholars and confirmed that having the vaccine during Ramadan does
not invalidate fasting.
Eligible people can book their vaccine by visiting the NHS Book a
coronavirus vaccination website.
For information about the current guidelines, testing options, or to
book, visit www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Coronavirus.
12 Jul Maria Vega flamenco LO RES
Lichfield Festival is Back!
Eleven days of ballet, cabaret, symphony orchestras, steel pans, family
fun, chamber music, live cooking, story-telling, drama, laugh-out-loud
comedy can only mean one thing – Lichfield Festival is back! Taking
place between 8th-18th July, the annual event brings thousands of
visitors to the beautiful cathedral city and is a cornerstone in the
region’s cultural calendar.
The 2021 Festival opens on Thursday 8th July with the captivating
Ballet Cymru performing a brand-new version of the classic ballet
Giselle in the spectacular setting of Lichfield Cathedral.
The Cathedral is the centrepiece of festival activities and this year
plays host to some amazing vocalists who top the line-up, including the
undisputed British Queen of Soul, Mica Paris, whose most recent
release Gospel in 2020 shot to No 1 in the UK R&B Album Charts, and
Brit-award winning folk singer/songwriter Eddi Reader, widely
considered Scotland’s greatest living female voice.
Liza Pulman, whose show Liza Sings Streisand wowed audiences in
2018, returns with timeless classics and lost gems, and master
impressionist turned pianist, Alistair McGowan entertains with a unique
mix of classic comedy and classical music.
Other highlights in Lichfield Cathedral include fiery flamenco with
guitar and Spanish dance duo Xuefei Yang and Maria Vega, a slimmed
down BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and superb vocal group I
Fagiolini with a concert of music both ancient and modern. Two
atmospheric late evening concerts feature baroque violinist Rachel
Podger (Bach by Candlelight) and jazz saxophonist and improviser
Tommy Smith OBE.
The Festival’s Aspire! Family Day takes place outdoors on the final
Festival Saturday, centred around the Cathedral lawn. It begins with a
new costumed production of Peter and the Wolf, designed especially for
the Festival, in the gardens of Lichfield Cathedral School. There’s an
appearance from the world-renowned Grimethorpe Colliery Band, plus
three Lichfield Mystery Plays, and song and dance from local groups.
The Festival continues its tradition of engaging Artists in Residence
who perform during the Festival. This year’s four superb collaborative
musicians are Chloë Hanslip (violin), Danny Driver (piano), Jessica
Walker (writer/vocalist) and Joseph Atkins (composer/piano).
Meanwhile, the creative partnership of Jessica Walker and Joseph
Atkins brings three cabaret shows: Roaring into the 20s; (Dead) Funny
Women; and Songs For Our Times.
Variety is the buzzword of every Lichfield Festival so it’s no surprise
there’s everything from an appearance by the Yorkshire Shepherdess
Amanda Owen, to live cooking and laugh-out-loud comedy from
George Egg, a whistle stop tour of Gilbert & Sullivan by the Charles
Court Opera and a monologue on the life of Clementine Churchill, wife
of Winston Churchill.
There’s comic entertainment from Justin Moorhouse (star of Peter
Kay’s Phoenix Nights) and Lichfield expat Katie Arnstein in her semiautobiographical
show Sexy Lamp. The story of another former
Lichfield resident, the 19th century composer, pianist and instrument
maker Muzio Clementi, is told through words and music, played on an
original Clementi square piano.
The programme continues with a series of spectacularly talented
Young Artists in recital, Notting Hill Carnival favourites The
Metronomes Steel Orchestra performing al fresco at Swinfen Hall,
Jonathan Gee’s jazz Quartet Re-imagining The Beatles and a return visit
by world music and folk group Kabantu.
The Festival is extremely grateful this year for the support it has
received from its corporate and individual sponsors and, in particular,
from Arts Council England and the Culture Recovery Fund.
Lichfield Festival 2021 runs from 8-18 July. Tickets and details from
www.lichfieldfestival.org. Festival Box Office 01543 306271 (call-back
service). General booking opens Tuesday 11th May with priority
booking for Lichfield Festival Friends opening on Tuesday 27th April.
11 Jul Mica Paris 12 Jul Metronomes Steel Orchestra
Fuse Festival to
Lichfield Arts is excited to
announce that Fuse 2021 -
the FREE music and arts
community festival – is back this
year, a month later than usual,
with a crowdfunding campaign
to make it happen.
It’s 20 years since the first Fuse
Festival took place and it’s grown
into one of the largest free
community events of its type in the Midlands, attracting 18,000 people
in 2019. This year it’s running from 13th to 15th August in Beacon Park
Lichfield Arts, whose volunteers run Fuse, is asking individuals,
families and businesses at the heart of the community to help make it
happen by supporting a Go Fund Me campaign, so that our community
can enjoy amazing experiences, create new friendships and reexperience
the excitement of live performance in a way which is
inclusive, educational, vibrant and fun!
“It’s very important to us that Fuse is free and inclusive. Our
fundraising has been badly affected by Covid, so we are asking for
support to ensure the event can not only go ahead and bring our
community back together, but also to deliver the Covid measures
needed to keep everyone safe” said Lichfield Arts Chairman Greg
To support Fuse, please go to the Go Fund Me page at
www.gofund.me/92fda4f1. For more information on Fuse visit
A City of
When it comes to dining out,
Lichfield really does have it all.
There’s a huge range of different
cuisines and cooking styles to choose from,
such as Thai, Mexican, Italian, Chinese,
Mediterranean, French, Asian, English… and
everything in between that you could
possibly want. There’s also a varied range of
restaurant vibes in the city, with chilled out
dining, quick and easy fast food, or something
more along the fine dining experience –
whichever you prefer, you’re still spoilt for
With pubs and restaurants open once again
and able to serve meals outside, we’ve put
together just a few of our favourites over the
next few pages to whet your appetite!
Tennessee Spice Lemonade
From Mixologist, Marco, at The
Bureau, Market Street, Lichfield
Tennessee Spice is a delicious
combination of whiskey from the
Deep South of America and the
pineapple groves of Hawaii make this
the perfect refreshing summer drink
this year at The Bureau!
• Simple Syrup – water and sugar
• 25ml of Aloha 65 spirit – ginger
and pineapple with chilli
• 50ml of Jack Daniels Tennessee
• Top with lemonade
Shake, pour and garnish with some
sprigs of thyme, lemon slices and
* Please note you must be 18 or
over to consume alcohol.
W.Osborne bicycle shop, 1970s.
Osborne’s bicycle shop in 1969
Bicycles, Bowering and a
By Jono Oates
After my feature in the April magazine about the former
bicycle and motorcycle garage on Tamworth Street, Lester’s
Garage, I was contacted by the owner of the Larder
restaurant at number 17 Bore Street. She said she had been told it
used to be a bicycle shop and also a bank and did I know any more
about it? Well, I like a challenge and so I set out to discover more
about the previous owners of number 17.
During the 1850s Thomas Haywood, a retired brewer, lived at number
17 with his wife Mary and his daughter, also Mary. Their daughter Mary
married William Slater and, when both her parents and her husband died,
Mary took up residence back at number 17. When Mary died in 1898, she
left a large bequest to help fund the Victoria Nursing Hospital at number
15 Sandford Street, which opened in July 1899, mainly as a result of Mary’s
legacy. The hospital moved to a new location on the Friary in the 1940s,
and when it was closed and demolished in 2017 a road on the housing
estate that was built in its place was named after her, Mary Slater Road.
Mary also left monies to St Chad’s Church and two stained glass windows
and an oak ceiling were installed in the church in 1905, funded by Mary’s
legacy. Mary’s gravestone stands in the churchyard of St Chad’s.
At the start of the 20th century William Bowering lived at the house.
He had a number of jobs over the years including that of a corn factor,
buying and supplying corn to merchants including supplying the Army
Barracks at Whittington. He was Honorary Secretary to the Lichfield
Horse Society, overseeing the annual Horse Show and Races in Beacon
Park, and he served in World War One as well as being a Lichfield City
Councillor both before and after the war.
James Asker also lived at number 17 during the First World War with
his wife Lydia and son Arthur, His son, Arthur, was a Lieutenant in the
British Army during WWI and had been invalided out of the army after
being shot and injured while fighting in the Dardanelles, Turkey, in 1915.
In February 1917 Arthur was killed in a tragic accident when his
motorcycle crashed head-on into a lorry at a road junction just outside
Felixstowe. In a tragic twist of fate, the lorry was being driven by a friend
of his. He was buried, with military honours, at St Michael’s churchyard
after a service at Lichfield Cathedral and his name appears on the
Lichfield War Memorial.
After the Askers, the property became a retail shop, belonging to
William Osborne. Osborne, oddly enough, had been an apprentice
engineer with John Lester, owner of Lester’s garage on Tamworth Street,
and William had started his own business on that street before moving
to, initially, 19 and then on to 17 Bore Street in 1926.
Osborne sold and repaired bicycles and stocked a range of the wellknown
bicycles of the 1920s and 30s – Humber, Singer, Premier and New
Hudson. William Osborne died in February 1945 aged 64, but the
business was continued, still using the name, by his former apprentice, T.
E. Bird. By the late 1950s Osborne’s were offering mopeds as well as
bicycles, with brands including Raleigh, Panda and Gadabout.
In 1963 customers could buy a Raleigh Runabout moped which was
described as having running costs that were ‘as cheap as walking’. It had
a top speed of 30mph, fuel consumption of 175 miles per gallon, was
guaranteed for 12 months and cost just 44 guineas - £46.20 in today’s
Osborne’s also started selling toys in the 1960s and in December 1969
parents could buy Scalextric, Ker-plunk, Mousetrap and Tippy Tumbles for
their lucky children that Christmas.
Osborne’s finally closed in the mid-1980s, after nearly 60 years of
trading in that same location, and in January 1986 the shop reopened as
the Derbyshire Building Society. Their opening offer in the Lichfield
Mercury promoted a Young Savers account and they included a
colouring-in competition for youngsters under the age of 10, with a first
prize of £10 for the best entry. Number 17 became Venture photographic
studio in the early 2000s and is today Larder, a restaurant set over two
The owners, and residents, of number 17 Bore Street have had a
significant effect on Lichfield over the years, from the lady that helped
fund Lichfield’s first recognised hospital, to the bicycle and toy shop that
many Lichfield youngsters had their first bicycle from, and took their first
‘wobble’ round the streets of the city!
Sources: The British Newspaper Archive; Trades of a City by JP Gallagher
Vintage photographs courtesy of St Mary's Photographic Collection
Tastes of the Season
By Simon Smith
We are, at last, into BBQ season. There are so
many choices with a BBQ whether it be a
traditional charcoal, a big green egg which
comes with a hefty price tag, or a gas one
which, again, range in price from the
affordable to a whole outdoor kitchen! My
least favourite are the portable ones where
the food is so close to the charcoal that it’s
bound to burn.
The biggest problem with cooking on a BBQ
is burning the outside but still having the
inside raw. Another problem is the ‘flare up’
where the fat dripping out of the meat
catches fire. This is a particular problem with
larger joints. I did a shoulder of lamb last
week (before the snow came and ruined
everything!) I marinated it in a curry paste for
24 hours. I then cooked it slowly in the oven
for three hours on a cooling rack so all the
fat dripped out. I finished it on the BBQ for
30 minutes so that you still get the taste but
no fat dripping and flaming. I would use that
same system for a rack of ribs. It always pays
to keep a squirty bottle of water by the side
to damp down the flames if things go wrong.
There are also those who like to sprinkle
herbs on the wood to infuse the meat and
give a nice smell to the area. Another method
is to use rosemary stalks as skewers.
A marinade will always be good for meat or
fish and although you can buy many different
ones in the shops it’s fun to make your own
as you can choose all your favourite
ingredients. You don’t need a vacuum machine
as you can just do it in a plastic bag. Put the
meat or fish in the bag, add some olive oil
(flavoured if you wish) and any number of
ingredients such as garlic, chilli, fresh herbs,
citrus zest and juice, ginger, curry leaves, or
balsamic vinegar. I would generally leave for 24
hours and then drain off the excess oil before
cooking. Start the cooking over a lower flame
to give the food a chance to cook all the way
through. Finish off over a hotter part of the
BBQ to give a caramelised outside. Bear in
mind that if you are cooking on a gas BBQ
with the lid down the temperature will
The recipe I’m doing this month is a
Vietnamese-style chicken skewer which is low
in fat so both healthy and easy to cook. I’m
also doing a salmon dish which takes just
minutes to prepare.
Chicken Skewer (serves four)
4 x chicken breasts (skinless)
1 x chilli
1 x lime, zest and juice
2ozs fresh ginger
1 x tbsp fresh chopped coriander
1 x tbsp fresh chopped basil
1 x clove crushed garlic
Salt and pepper to season
Roughly chop the chicken breasts and put
into a food processor. Chop the chilli and add.
Peel and grate the ginger and add. Add the
rest of the ingredients and season. Whizz
together quickly. I try not to purée the
chicken so that you still have some bite to it
rather than a mush. Take out and form into
kebabs, either round a rosemary skewer or a
Cook on the BBQ. Time will depend on how
big you have made them and what sort of
BBQ you are cooking on.
4 x salmon portions or ½ side
1 x bunch spring onions
1oz pickled ginger (Normally found in the
International section of a supermarket) or use
2 x tbsp soy sauce
1 x tbsp Lemon flavoured olive oil
1 x fennel bulb
Finely slice the fennel bulb and put in some
folded tin foil. Lay the salmon on top. Finely
chop the ginger and spring onion and sprinkle
on top. Top with the soy sauce and oil and
sprinkle with some sea salt. Close the tin foil
over the top of the salmon. This whole
package can then be cooked on the BBQ in
the foil for 10 minutes. When you open the
foil all the ingredients will have steamed
together and you won’t have a messy griddle
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.
**Please take extra care as bones may be in the fish.
We always love to try out a new eatery in Lichfield, so
our feature writer, Jono, was delighted when he was the
first Lichfeldian to sample the delights at the newly-opened
Maali restaurant on Bird Street.
Specialising in Asian cuisine, with a fabulous selection of
dishes from Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, Maali offers
I chose the Chicken Wings as my starter which could not
have been a better choice! Eight beautifully cooked wings,
cooked with what is described on the menu as ‘Maali’s
Secret Recipe’. Delicately and lightly battered, the chicken
was tender and had a spicy, but not fiery, finish. These eight
portions of spicy heaven soon disappeared with very little
My dining partner also really enjoyed the Gyoza starter
– a Japanese dish of dumplings, wrapped in a light pastry
outer. Served with a special dip sauce, they were light,
satisfying and very moreish.
For main course I tried the Chicken Pad Mama from the
Noodles section. Mama is a type of Thai noodle and Pad
means stir fry, and, as well as the chicken, there were plenty
of crunchy fresh vegetables. Wonderfully filling, it’s easy to
understand why this is one of Thailand’s most popular
dishes. My partner opted for Chicken Pad Gra Phao with
rice, another Thai classic, which was spicy and loaded with
vegetables and delicately flavoured jasmine rice. With a
wonderful selection of street food from across Asia, Maali’s
menu definitely tantalises the taste buds – Asian delights on
Lichfield’s Bird Street!
Food Glorious Food!
Meat platter £15.99 and
veggie platter £15.99
Delicious, homemade, freerange
and locally sourced
food is very much the
emphasis at The Lichfield Pantry.
From humble beginnings operating from a small
cabin as a zero waste supplier of dried food and
groceries in April 2019, The Lichfield Pantry, based
at the plant plot garden centre, has gone from
strength to strength. Starting out with a few staple
dried food items, owner Sam later incorporated
frozen foods, fresh fruit and vegetables and liquid
refills. But the story of success does not end
there… The opportunity arose to take over the
café/bistro on site at the garden centre. Sam saw
the potential to realise her dream and create a
café and deli alongside her zero waste shop.
Now, housed within a large open plan space,
The Lichfield Pantry consists of a café serving
breakfasts, lunches, light bits plus tea, coffee and
homemade cakes and scones.
The breakfasts in particular are proving very
popular with visitors and all of the ingredients are
sourced locally and of the highest quality.
Breakfast is served from 9am until 11.30am daily.
There are multiple choices such as the classic Full
English, continental breakfast, vegetarian breakfast
and Eggs Benedict. Priced at just £8.25 the Full
English consist of Poxton Pork free-range
sausages made at Smith & Ellis butchers in Fradley,
Packington Pork bacon, free-range eggs, beans,
hash brown, tomato, mushrooms, toast, black
pudding and a cup of tea or freshly ground coffee.
Another of the popular items on the menu are
the sumptuous sharing platters, designed to feed
two people (or one very hungry one!) The deli
board offers a selection of breads, cold meats and
cheeses, accompanied by olives, houmous, mini
quiche, pork pie and a sausage roll for good
The meat platter is a carnivorous delight, laden
with crispy chicken strips, barbeque chicken wings,
salt and vinegar infused pollock goujons, lamb
shish kebab, onion rings and a selection of dips.
Finally, the vegetarian platter combines the
same delicious breads, olives, houmous and
quiches, but mixed with a tempting array of
halloumi fries and crispy onion rings.
The Lichfield Pantry boasts a large outdoor
terrace with lots of sheltered tables plus extra
benches in the garden area. It also serves a range
of freshly ground coffee and loose-leaf teas,
perfect to enjoy in the sunshine with a homemade
scone or cake.
So why not pop by and sample the fine quality
of locally sourced, free-range food. Booking is not
essential, although is recommended to avoid
After your visit to the café, why not pop in and
see the zero waste farm shop. Here you can fill
your own containers with products such as rice,
pasta, pulses and nuts and seeds. There is also a
liquid refill station where you can find items such
as laundry liquid, washing up liquid, shampoos and
conditioners. You can also find fresh fruit and
vegetables, along side locally made jams, chutneys,
crisps and drinks.
The Lichfield Pantry Zero Waste Farm
Shop, Café & Deli is open daily from 9am-
5pm and can be found at The Plant Plot
Garden Centre, Stafford Road, Lichfield,
WS13 8JA. Alternatively visit
The BitterSuite pub, located on Upper St John
Street, has always prided itself on its constantly
changing selection of real ale, cider and gin, as well as
its friendly and welcoming table service.
April saw the pub reopen with its extended and
improved outside beer garden. Adorned with ambient
festoon lighting, a marquee to protect customers
from the elements, plus new wooden drinking booths
- it is now somewhere to visit whatever the weather!
Opening hours have been extended from 12pm-
10pm daily, except Sunday which is 2pm-9pm.
Anew, state of the art, crematorium opened on 19th April
to allow families in Cannock, Burntwood and the
surrounding area to stay close to home when they say
their final goodbyes to a family member.
This is the second crematorium opened by Horizon Cremation. It
has been built to provide an exceptional experience for bereaved
families. The crematorium design and management has been driven by
an understanding that the way we say goodbye has a significant impact
on our ability to move on and live with grief and the funeral experience
stays with families forever.
usage. Wildlife will be encouraged through careful habitat management.
Local charities will also benefit from the crematorium’s involvement
with the industry wide metal recycling scheme. The first beneficiary of
the funds raised will be South Staffordshire Cruse Bereavement Care,
a charity supporting bereaved people in the Cannock, Tamworth, and
The landscaped gardens at the front of the building have been named
The Fair Lady Memorial gardens after the name locals use to refer to
the adjacent Coppice Colliery which closed in 1964. The gardens,
offering attractive walks and spaces for quiet contemplation and
remembering, are open 365 days a year for local people to enjoy.
The crematorium opened for services on Monday 19th April. Covid
restrictions do not allow a public open day, this will be held later in the
year when social distancing restrictions allow for a more relaxed day.
Any local people who would like to look round the buildings are
invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an
appointment. Anyone wanting to visit the gardens and grounds can do
so and the gardens are open from 9am to 8pm seven days a week
through the summer months.
Set in a 12-acre site the crematorium combines three key
considerations for bereaved families, an experienced team of
compassionate people, thoughtful building design and beautiful
The light, spacious ceremony hall accommodates 140 mourners,
with more who can watch the service from screens in the stylish
waiting room. On opening the crematorium can welcome 30 mourners
in line with government guidelines. The coffin sits front and centre with
the backdrop of a large picture window overlooking the gardens.
Delicate, translucent voiles gently wrap around the coffin at the end of
the service or can remain open if the family chooses. A contemporary
multi-media system allows families to make music choices, show
photographs and play videos. For those unable to attend, the service
can be live-streamed or recorded. There will be one hour between
services so families can take their time.
In recognition of the proud mining heritage of Cannock the waiting
room features a display depicting the mining history of the area. The
team will support the community’s economy by employing local people
and source from neighbouring businesses where they can. All working
practices will be managed to reduce the carbon footprint of the
crematorium, solar panels and heat exchange greatly reduce energy
Lottery’s First Month
There were 27 lucky winners on Saturday 10th
April who scooped over £500 worth of prizes
following the first draw of Lichfield
Lichfield Community Lottery raises money for good
causes across Lichfield District. The first weekly draw
took place over the weekend and, although there was
no jackpot winner, 26 players won a combination of
cash and extra ticket prizes on the night.
One supporter of the Little Aston Recreation
Ground Association also won a Mercia Food Hub
luxury hamper filled with £400 worth of food, drink and
various vouchers all kindly donated from many of the
suppliers to Mercia Food and members of Lichfield
Chamber of Trade and Commerce all based in the
region. Mercia Food Hub is your local weekly online
More than 46 local causes have signed up to Lichfield
Community Lottery so far, which is already on track to
raise more than £53,000 for local good causes in its
From every £1 ticket sold, 60p goes directly to local
charities and good causes, with the remainder being put
towards prizes and operating costs.
Future draws will take place every Saturday night. For
a chance to win the £25,000 jackpot and other prizes,
go to www.lichfieldcommunitylottery.co.uk to find out
how to play. It is also where good causes can find out
more about signing up to be a part of Lichfield
To Advertise call:-
Barbara Smith 07999 327419
Steve Brown 07740 166497
Rebecca Hill 07970 513144
Cannock Chase Concerts Postponed
Forest Live, the outdoor summer concert series presented by
Forestry England, where acts perform in spectacular
woodland locations around the country has been postponed
The acts due to appear this year included Keane, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man,
and Jess Glynne, all of which were to play the popular Cannock Chase
site in June.
Forestry England statement:
“The Government’s roadmap out of lockdown has made it clear
that we cannot hold our Forest Live concerts this summer. We are
extremely disappointed, but this is the best way to keep our valued
customers safe, as well as the staff, volunteers, contractors and artists
that make Forest Live possible.
“We look forward to welcoming Forest Live fans to see their
favourite artists performing in the nation’s forests next year. We are
delighted to confirm that all Forest Live 2021 headline acts have been
able to reschedule all their performances and will be joining us in June
2022. All bookings remain valid for the 2022 dates and customers will
be contacted by their point of purchase. Thank you for your patience
“We would like to send our deepest apologies to everyone who
was hoping to come to a Forest Live gig this summer. We can’t wait to
experience the best live music in our beautiful forests with you next
Rag N Bone Man is also
postponed until next year
Keane were due to perform
year and thank you very much for your continued support.”
Forest Live is a major outdoor live music series held in June that
introduces forests to new audiences in unique, natural woodland
arenas around the country. Over 1.9 million people have attended a
Forest Live gig in the last twenty years, enjoying great music and
supporting the nation’s forests when buying a ticket. Going to a
concert helps Forestry England create beautiful places for people to
enjoy, run important conservation projects and keep growing trees.
Every year they plant some 8 million trees sustainably, caring for the
nation’s 1,500 woods and forests and welcoming 230 million visits
To find out more, visit www.forestryengland.uk/music.
South Staffs Water Supports
Arow of new hedging is being planted along the line of the
Lichfield Canal at Falkland Road, thanks to South Staffs
The hedging is the first phase of a planting scheme, by Lichfield and
Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, which will introduce new habitats
along Falkland Road, following the route of the canal. It is being funded
through the South Staffs Water PEBBLE Fund – Projects that Explore
Biodiversity benefits in the Local Environment.
The South Staffs Water PEBBLE fund offers funding of up to
£10,000 to projects will improve, restore or create habitat and have
a community benefit. For more information visit www.south-staffswater.co.uk/pebble.
Chris Bull, Pete Aspley, Peter Buck and
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
Designer Outlet’s Long-
The highly-anticipated McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West
Midlands opened its doors to customers at 10am on Monday 12th
April, providing shoppers across the UK with one of the country’s
finest open-air retail and leisure experiences. Located in Cannock, the
£160 million centre offers up to 80 iconic brands in its first phase, with
year-round savings of up to 60 per cent.
Underlining the centre’s excellent fashion credentials is a collection of
sought-after international names, including Coach, Kate Spade, Hugo Boss,
Levi’s, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Calvin Klein, Ted Baker, Reiss, Kurt Geiger,
Gant, Radley and Joules, all set in an exceptionally designed shopping
Completing the line-up of leading sportswear and athleisure brands are
Adidas, Under Armour and Skechers, while Starbucks and Five Guys are the
first much-loved food and beverage brands to open, with their restaurants
overlooking the Mill Green Nature Reserve. Shoppers can also look forward
to a host of exciting arrivals in the coming weeks, including the openings of
Nike, Wagamama and Asics.
To ensure that all customers enjoy a memorable day out when visiting, the
centre features a one-of-a-kind children’s adventure playground that’s adjacent
to the nature reserve, as well as luxury guest amenities, a dancing fountain, a
bespoke sculpture and a Changing Places facility.
Commenting on the opening, Centre Manger, Mike Thomas, said: “We’re
open! It’s been a long time coming, but we’re up and running, and we are
thrilled to welcome visitors from the local community, the region and even
further afield. The pandemic has affected every aspect of life, so I’m delighted
to be here today, seeing people start their new jobs, seeing visitors safely
shopping and enjoying a day out, and seeing the start of what is going to be a
shopping and leisure destination that provides our customers with one of the
finest retail experiences around.”
To create a greener, more sustainable retail destination for customers to
enjoy, the centre includes around 400 newly planted trees, along with solar
panels, on-site beehives, a wormery, electric car charging points and bicycle
parking. It also provides direct access to the adjacent nature reserve and its
network of footpaths, encouraging local shoppers to visit on foot.
The centre is Bureau Veritas Safeguard Covid-19 certified, with a wide range
of health and safety measures in place to keep customers safe and enhance
their wellbeing. These include hand sanitiser stations throughout the mall,
complimentary face masks available in guest services, social distancing signs in
the centre, queue management systems and store capacity limits, as well as
increased cleaning rotas.
Spanning 285,000 square feet in total over two phases, the centre will create
1,000 new jobs and support around £20 million of employment income each
year. A partnership with Walsall College for a new training academy has helped
connect local people to job opportunities with the various brands.
Bob Kean, Acting Managing Director for Cannock Chase Council, said:
“Despite the global pandemic, McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands
is open! It looks amazing and we’re immensely proud to have this designer
outlet in our District. We look forward to the ongoing benefits it will bring to
residents, the area and the local economy.”
Designer Outlet West Midlands is McArthurGlen’s seventh British centre,
joining its leading destinations in Ashford, Bridgend, Cheshire Oaks, East
Midlands, Swindon and York, and it is the group’s 26th location across Europe
and in Canada. The arrival of the landmark shopping centre is a significant
moment for McArthurGlen, as it marks the group’s first UK opening in over 20
years as well as a return to the market where it introduced the concept of
designer outlet retailing in Europe with Cheshire Oaks in 1995.
The centre has been brought to life as a joint venture between
McArthurGlen, Aviva Investors and the Richardson family.
Competition and Prize Draw Terms and Conditions
2.By entering the prize draw/competition, you agree to the terms and conditions stated.
3.The closing date is stated on each individual prize draw or competition.
only until the closing date of the 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
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 of materials.
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 conditions.
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 Ltd.
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 closing date.
17.When the prize draw/competition winner has been selected, this decision is final and no correspondence will be entered
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
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
Free Countryside Course
Free countryside course with animals, plants and
creativity for people recovering from mental ill
health. Courses are for Staffordshire residents.
Support with transport available. No prior
knowledge required but must be willing to commit
to 27 hours of the course. For more information
contact Carol on 07814 237211/email:
'Moving into the Light' Art Fair, a celebration of
Spring 22nd - 31st May, 10am until 4pm. In
partnership with Gallery at 12, Eccleshall, exhibiting
a range of arts, ceramics, glass, woodwork and
jewelry in the beautiful setting of the Orangery. Free
entry. Booking via www.ingestreorangery.co.uk
To Advertise please
contact our classified
£40 plus VAT