Citylife in Lichfield May 2021

Cafe Culture is definitely blooming in Lichfield and our bumper 60 page May edition magazine has plenty of ideas for the best places to dine! It's filled with all our usual mix of recipes, competitions, local news, history features and events. So why not sit outside one of your favourite bars, cafes or restaurants, order a refreshing drink, or flavoursome meal, and enjoy a read of our marvellous May magazine while sitting in the sun!

Cafe Culture is definitely blooming in Lichfield and our bumper 60 page May edition magazine has plenty of ideas for the best places to dine! It's filled with all our usual mix of recipes, competitions, local news, history features and events. So why not sit outside one of your favourite bars, cafes or restaurants, order a refreshing drink, or flavoursome meal, and enjoy a read of our marvellous May magazine while sitting in the sun!


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Welcome to


Welcome to CITYLIFE in Lichfield, a monthly magazine

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

Each month CITYLIFE in Lichfield is delivered to

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 jonocitylife@gmail.com

Advertising -

Barbara Smith 07999 327419 barbaracitylife@gmail.com

Steve Brown 07740 166497 stevebrowncitylife@gmail.com

Rebecca Hill 07970 513144 rebeccahillcitylife@gmail.com

Production -

Helen Smith 07967 154187 helencitylife@gmail.com

Citylife In Lichfield Ltd


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

the summer.

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!





City Aletasters

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!”


Young Canal

Volunteers’ Tribute

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

for Trust

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.


New Council


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

within Staffordshire.


Top Award for

Lichfield Chairman

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.

Advertising Feature

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Your first meeting will be at my cost and

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As an experienced Financial Adviser I

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Financial Adviser

0121 323 2070, 07968 504805





Lichfield Supports

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

to Lichfield

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.



Neighbourhood Plan


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.

Jono Marches

the Month!

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

the charity.

April Winners

Congratulations to K Toothill

who wins a Molly Doodle

Dandy cushion, and J Warden

who scoops the fruit wine trio

from Clive's Wines.

Well done!



Local Author’s

Copyright Goes Under

the Hammer

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




Craig Thomas

(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’

local store.

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.


Businesses Restart

Grants Available

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

for Homeless

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

the foodbank.


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

Grant Scheme.

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

Pokémon auction.


Positive Planning

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

those masks!

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

customers safe.

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

that considerably.

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 office@richardwinterton.co.uk or

telephone 01543 251081. Free home visits are also available

to arrange.

Visit www.richardwinterton.co.uk.


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

Cathedral website.


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

for everyone.

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

months ahead.

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.


One Hundred

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

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the spirit of the

region? We want to

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Handsacre Hall 1890s Francis Forster owner of Handsacre Hall 1890s Handsacre Hall 1930s


The Disappearance of

Handsacre Hall

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

Site of

Handsacre Hall


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

foundations behind.

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

a week


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

info@chaseartsforpublicspaces.co.uk or phone 07583 655199



Outdoor Forest

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

hello@roundpegoutdoorbuildings.co.uk, 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

support group.

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


Sue Read

Emma Hodges

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

01283 711272


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

Horticultural Society.

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.

Visit: www.lichfieldgardencentre.co.uk.


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

the fence.

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

bidding battles.

"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: jspencer@hansonsauctioneers.co.uk. Hansons

Auctioneers & Valuers Ltd, Bishton Hall, Bellamour Lane, Wolseley Bridge

Staffordshire ST17 0XN.



Camera Club


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.


6. 7.


1. 3.


2. 4.






please apply

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 stef@justgranite.ltd.uk

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:


Our showroom and stock barn is now fully open to our customers. You're welcome to call us on 01785 711096, or

email jgladmin@justgranite.ltd.uk, 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?

a) Spain

b) Italy

c) Germany

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

Granite Competition at competitioncitylife@gmail.com 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

Privacy Policy (available at citylifeinlichfieldltd.co.uk).

Full t&cs on page 56.


Simply Pawfect!

Simply Pawfect!


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.

Raw Essentials

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



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


07950 786362

Simply Pawfect!

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.


Cutest Pets


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

petscitylife@gmail.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

Go Ahead


Lichfield-based charity

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

in Lichfield.

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

Honey Whiskey

• Top with lemonade

Shake, pour and garnish with some

sprigs of thyme, lemon slices and

ice cubes.


* 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

Building Society

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

Dining Out

Tastes of the Season

By Simon Smith

BBQ Beauties!

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

BBQ skewer.

Cook on the BBQ. Time will depend on how

big you have made them and what sort of

BBQ you are cooking on.

BBQ Salmon

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

fresh ginger

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

to clean.

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.

Maali’s Asian


Food Review


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

something different.

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!

Dining Out

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

www.thelichfield pantry.co.uk

Dining Out




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.

Dining Out

Cannock Chase

Crematorium Opens

its Doors


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

Lichfield areas.

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 info@cannockcrematorium.co.uk 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

landscaped gardens.

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

Community Lottery.

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

farmers’ market.

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

first year.

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

Community Lottery.

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

until 2022.

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

and understanding.

“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

this summer

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

Lichfield Canal


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.

Artists impression

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

Caroline Cooper








24 hours a day

We are proud to be Lichfield's longest established family run funeral directors offering a wide range of

choices to suit all requirements. Horse drawn hearse, non religious ceremonies, floral tributes and

memorials are but a few of the services we offer.

Pre-paid funeral plans are also available.

For a truly personal service please call

01543 255776

Private Chapel of Rest 116 Netherstowe,

Lichfield, Staffs. WS13 6TS


Designer Outlet’s Long-

Awaited Opening!


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.

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GDPR Data Protection legislation. For a copy of our Privacy Policy please email kristencitylife@gmail.com

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3.The closing date is stated on each individual prize draw or competition.

4.Entrants’ details will be securely held by Citylife in Lichfield Ltd in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Details will be held

only until the closing date of the competition. After this date entrants’ details will be securely destroyed/deleted. Winners’

contact details will be securely stored only until the winner has been informed of their win/prize. After this details will be

securely deleted/destroyed.

5.Entrants’ details will never be shared with any third party. The only exception to this is the name (and if the prize is to be

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securely claim their prize, after which all details will be securely destroyed. The initial and surname of winners will be printed

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entrants in their creation or submission of materials.

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Whats on



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:



Ingestre Orangery

and Gardens

'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

team on

07970 513144

This ad...

£40 plus VAT



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