Citylife in Rugeley and Cannock Chase July August 2021

CitylifeMagazines

In the Summertime! Our July and August 2021 Rugeley and Cannock Chase edition magazine is full of summer sunshine - just like the weather we hope - and, as usual, we have the usual mix of local news, recipes, competition and history features. So enjoy the blue skies, the sunshine and those Lazy- Hazy-Crazy days of Summer while reading our lovely July and August magazine!

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Full t&cs on page 34.


Before and After...

..........................

R

ugeley's iconic cooling towers came down on Sunday

6th June, changing the landscape of the town forever.

Local resident, Simon Wilberforce, sent us these before

and after images of the power station site.

3


Welcome to

CITYLIFE

Welcome to CITYLIFE in Rugeley & Cannock Chase, a

monthly magazine bringing you our pick of the area’s news,

events and stories. Each month CITYLIFE in Rugeley &

Cannock Chase is delivered to businesses and homes in

Rugeley, Cannock Chase, Heath Hayes, Ravenhill,

Etchinghill, Slitting Mill, Armitage, Handsacre, Colton,

Hamstall Ridware, completely free of charge; bringing

you the best that the area 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 region? We want to hear from you!

CITYLIFE Contacts

Editor - Kristen Lackajis 07885 380632

kristencitylife@gmail.com

Features - Jono Oates 07785 757201 jonocitylife@gmail.com

Advertising -

Steve Brown 07740 166497 stevebrowncitylife@gmail.com

Rebecca Hill 07970 513144 rebeccahillcitylife@gmail.com

Production -

Helen Smith 07967 154187 helencitylife@gmail.com

Inside...

8 A Window on the Past

Brereton Carnival through the ages

.............................

22 The Day the Steam Ran Out

A look back at the history of Rugeley's

iconic cooling towers

.............................

30 Tastes of the Season

Simon Smith is cooking with herbs

this month

.............................

Citylife In Lichfield Ltd

PO Box 7126 LICHFIELD WS14 4JS

CITYLIFE in Lichfield and CITYLIFE in Rugeley and

Cannock Chase magazines are not connected to any other

publication or publisher, and are wholly owned by CITYLIFE

in Lichfield Ltd.

Citylife In Lichfield

@citylifelichfield

@lichfieldcity

www.citylifeinlichfieldltd.co.uk

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


SI Cannock

& District

By Trish Mellor

........................

Membeship coffee at June's

Cannock and District Soroptimists were delighted

to take advantage of the easing of lockdown and

meet together in the garden of Soroptimist June

Bould to mark Membership Month and enjoy coffee,

cake and friendship. Everyone enjoyed the chance to

actually talk to each other face-to-face at long last!

Newest member Jill Mason, one of the club's longer

serving members Carole Holdcroft (a member for 34

years), and Club President Jackie Prince, all spoke of their

reasons for joining Soroptimist International and what it

is that they enjoy about their membership. They each said

that they had been drawn by what Cannock & District

Soroptimists actually do, certainly the things they do to

help locally but also the work nationally and

internationally to enable, educate and empower women

and girls. Each of them likes to help others and recognises

the strength of people working together to channel that

help. But the thing that then keeps their interest and

enthusiasm alive is the friendship and the experiences.

President Jackie thanked Membership Chair June for

hosting such a fabulous morning; she complimented

everyone on what they have done over the last year

during several lockdowns and said how much she's

looking forward to them all working together in the

coming year, as they prove that "it's what you do that

counts".

Anyone interested in coming along to one of the

meetings either on zoom or, soon we hope, at The Barns

in Cannock, email soropscannock@gmail.com.

Further details about Soroptimists and the work they

do can be found on the club’s website

www.sigbi.org/cannock-and-district, the Facebook page

www.facebook.com/SICannock, on twitter @sicannock

or on Instagram @sicannock.

5


LOCAL NEWS

Local Voluntary Groups

get Queen’s Award

Seven voluntary groups from across

Staffordshire have been honoured with Her

Majesty the Queen’s Award for Voluntary

Service.

The honour recognises outstanding voluntary

contributions in local communities and has an

equivalent status for voluntary groups as the

MBE has for individuals.

Groups recognised in this year’s awards include:

• Changes Tamworth

• The Fun Club Hub, Burntwood

• Marchington Village Shop

• Spark CIO, Burntwood

• Staffordshire Narrow Gauge Railway,

Amerton, Stafford

• Walk Ministries, Tunstall

• Whittington and Fisherwick Good Neighbour

Scheme

In the coming months, the seven groups will

receive their certificate signed by Her Majesty

The Queen along with an exclusive

commemorative crystal presented by the Lord-

Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Mr Ian Dudson CBE

KStJ who is Her Majesty's representative for

the County.

Representatives from the groups will also

receive an invitation to attend a Royal Garden

Party at Buckingham Palace. To date 105 groups

from Staffordshire have now received this

annual Award since it was created by Her

Majesty in 2002.

For details of all this year’s Award winners and

information on how to nominate a group visit

https://qavs.direct.gov.uk/ where a nomination

form can be completed and submitted online.

Nominations for 2022 need to be submitted by

15th September 2021.

...........................................

Rugeley Company

Supports Local

Hospice

A caring local company selling health foods,

vitamins and supplements across the UK is

donating vital funds to support St Giles Hospice

thanks to the generosity of its customers.

6

(From left) Zipvit Operations Manager Sarah

Dinshaw, St Giles Hospice Regional Fundraising

Manager Samantha Storey and Zipvit Sales &

Marketing Director Ben Mackay.

Zipvit has donated £20,751 to the hospice,

which supports patients and their families living

with a terminal illness.

Zipvit, based on Towers Business Park in

Rugeley, raised the money through donations

made by customers who ordered online using

the company’s website over the past year.

Online shoppers who spend more than £35 are

given the choice between selecting a free gift

for themselves or giving a donation to charity.

Sarah Dinshaw, Operations Manager at Zipvit,

said: “We are thrilled to have been able to raise

these funds for such an important local cause in

the last 12 months.

“I would like to thank our customers for

selecting the charitable donation as their gift

when shopping with Zipvit.”

For more information about St Giles Hospice

visit www.stgileshospice.com. To find out more

about Zipvit, visit www.zipvit.co.uk.

...........................................

Dementia Action Week

Cannock Soroptimists supported Dementia

Action Week on 17th-23rd May by featuring

real life stories from those who care for people

with dementia on its website and social media.

Some gave their story as a family carer, a spouse

or a son/daughter, others talked about their

caring role within a professional setting. All

were extremely powerful, written from the

heart and the Soroptimists were grateful to all

participants for having the courage to write

about such personal and emotive matters.

Each of the seven participants involved were

featured, one per day during the week, on the

club’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and all

were featured for the whole week and beyond

on the club’s website.

Cannock Soroptimists and friends have also

provided hundreds of crafted forget-me-nots,

joining with the Cannock Town Centre

Dementia Friends group, to help raise

awareness of Dementia.

It is acknowledged that caring for someone

with dementia can be stressful and exhausting

but there is help and support available at the

Dementia Connect Line at the Alzheimer's

Society on 0333 150 3456.

...........................................

Funds Allocated for

Chase Trails

Cllr Adrienne Fitzgerald, Portfolio Holder for

Heritage & Leisure

Cannock Chase Council has allocated funding

towards the Commonwealth Games’ mountain

biking event taking place at Cannock Chase

Forest next summer.

At its meeting in June, the Cabinet allocated

£50,000 of funding made available in September

2020.

The bulk of the funding (£40,000) will be

allocated to upgrade the interpretation and

waymarking for the Cannock Chase Heritage

Trail, an existing 10-mile trail for cyclists and

walkers that links together the main towns of

Cannock, Hednesford and Rugeley and takes in

Brindley Heath and Birches Valley.

Around £8,000 will go on creating local

volunteering opportunities. These will be in

addition to the 13,000 volunteers currently

being recruited as part of the Birmingham 2022

Commonwealth Collective volunteering

programme.

This leaves £2,000 which would be allocated

towards hosting Roadshows in the District.

These are designed to explain what the

Commonwealth Games will bring to host

venues and what they can offer.


National Miners’

Memorial Update

.........................

The

National

Miners’ Memorial

being built at the

National Memorial

Arboretum (NMA) is

now well under way

once again!

Mike and Trish

Mellor, and Len and

Jackie Prince of Chase

Arts for Public Spaces

(CHAPS), visit the

NMA regularly to keep

up with progress and

hold regular site

meetings with Andy

Ansell and Paul

Johnson of the NMA;

Mark Walker of A

Walker & Sons, who

are building the

Derbyshire Stone

memorial, and artist

Andy DeComyn,

responsible for the 25

bronze plaques which

will be fixed to the

memorial. It is

expected that the

memorial will be

completed in July.

It is important that,

once completed, the

memorial receives a

fitting service of

(l-r) Artist Andy DeComyn with

stonemason Mark Walker, and Mike

Mellor and Len Prince of CHAPS

Pin badge

Print No 2, Mother and

Daughter

dedication which,

Covid guidelines

permitting, allows all those who wish to attend to be

present. To that end CHAPS is now in the process of raising

the funds to enable them to hold a suitable dedication

service which will include a Brass Band and a Male Voice

Choir.

Funds are being raised through the sale of

commemorative pins which are £5 each and limited edition

prints at £25 each. The prints are from the drawings used

by artist Andy DeComyn to make the bronze plaques and

were completed by his wife Francesca. There are just 25

prints of each drawing, each one signed and numbered by

the artist; they come complete with a pale grey mount and

a leaflet with information about the drawing and the

memorial, finished size is 8” x 10” so that they fit into a

standard frame.

You can find out more about CHAPS and the National

Miners’ Memorial at www.chaseartsforpublicspaces.co.uk

or www.facebook.com/ChaseArtsForPublicSpaces.

For more information or to order pins or prints email

info@chaseartsforpublicspaces.co.uk or phone 07583

655199.

7


A Window on the Past

Brereton Carnival

In June 1977 the whole country celebrated the Queen's Silver

Jubilee. Brereton residents formed a committee to organise the

village's festivities and Brereton Carnival was born. The venture

was so successful that it was decided to make the Carnival an

annual event. It had made an unexpected profit which was divided

amongst local charities.

After a break of many years BRACE (Brereton and Ravenhill

Association for Community Events) revived the Carnival. An innovation

was a theme for each year - A Day at the Movies, Fantasy, Heroes and

Villains, and Bringing Books to Life, to name a few.

1. Gaynor Hyson, the 1980 Brereton Carnival Queen. Her Maids of

Honour were Marie Finn and Maxine McDowell.

3. Brereton Carnival celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1986, when

the procession was led by the Carnival Princess Rebecca Stoddard and

her two Maids of Honour Amanda Burgess and Julie Smith

4. Brereton Carnival was revived in 2013 by the Brereton and

Ravenhill Association for Community Events and was held annually for

the next six years.

The last Carnival was in 2019.

2

2. In 1984 the Carnival Committee organised a competition amongst

local junior schools to design the front cover of the Carnival

Programme. The winner was 11-year-old Tonya Fisher from Hob Hill

School.

1

The Landor (local history) Society is a

focus for those who wish to learn more

about the history of Rugeley and its

surrounding parishes. It was founded in

1953 and was named in honour of

Walter Noble Landor, local and county

historian, who became the Society’s

first President. More information is

available at www.landorlocalhistorysociety-rugeley.btck.co.uk

3

4a

4b

8


9


All Smiles as Local

Business Reopens!

.........................

Lichfield Smiles, the award-winning

denture clinic based in the city, is

set to reopen after what can only

be described as a turbulent two years.

The clinic, run by clinical dental

technician Matt Burnell BSc Hons Dip

CDT RCS (Eng), offers a wholly

personalised approach to all denture

needs, delivering ‘smile solutions’

combined with the utmost of discretion

and exceptional service.

It was just under two years ago that disaster struck for the

renowned clinical dental technician and his dedicated team, when

a devastating flood swept through the period building, situated on

Upper St John Street, causing tens of thousands of pounds worth

of damage.

In the face of all adversity, committed Matt battled on and

continued to offer his services to patients already under his care,

making the visits to him as ‘normal’ as possible for clients, whilst

attempting to rectify the situation.

Sadly, the clinic experienced yet further issues when the Covid-

19 pandemic hit, which rendered the denture centre completely

closed and out of use for many months.

Fast forward to 2021, and the clinic appears to be finally ‘out of

the water’ (excuse the pun!). A brand-new refurbishment, both

inside and outside, means that the clinic is not only looking great,

but is fully compliant with all Covid regulations in order to be able

to safely reopen once again and offer the same fantastic, personal

level of service to its clients.

There is finally light at the end of the tunnel for Matt and the

team, and it’s a glaringly large flashlight-style beacon of light in the

form of yet more prestigious recognition in the world of dentistry!

Matt was recently presented with the title of President of the

British Association of Clinical Dental Technicians (BACDT), the

only UK association for dental technicians. This is not only a great

honour, but an incredible achievement, as the nominations for this

position involve votes from the Board and the association

members too.

What’s more, is that Lichfield Smiles is approaching its 10-year

anniversary so Matt is very much looking forward to celebrating in

style after what has been an extraordinarily challenging period!

“My main ambition now is to push advances in treatment

protocols and techniques, while raising awareness of clinical dental

technology within the dental profession and to the general public,”

comments Matt with, of course, the widest of smiles!

Find out more about Matt and Lichfield Smiles by visiting

www.smiles.uk.com of calling 01543 415288.


11


12

Summer In

The City!

...............................

By Ben Winterton

Summer is in full swing, venues are

opening up again and we are delighted

to be back offering valuations and

auction advice in the heart of

Lichfield!

From the start of July, Richard

Winterton Auctioneers returns to

The Hub at St Mary’s in the city

centre, above the library in the Market

Square, and it is going to be fantastic

meeting people once again and

hearing all about their treasures and

trinkets.

I’ll be at The Hub between 10am-

12.30pm on Tuesdays offering advice

on watches, jewellery, silver and

antiques and people can also take the

opportunity to securely drop off

general consignments for auction with

me.

Catching up with the team at The

Hub, executive director Louise

Fleming said: “We are delighted to

have Richard Winterton Auctioneers

back at The Hub as we know a great

many people in the community love

attending the venue to get their

treasure valued!

“Richard has been a wonderful

sponsor and supporter since The Hub

opened and we are grateful he

continues to support our work.

“As we get back into the swing of

This British Military Omega

RAF pilot’s watch, dating

back to 1953, sold at

auction recently for £2,000.

things our coffee shop is now open and makes a great ‘waiting room’

while you are waiting for Ben to take a look at your (hopefully) valuable

heirlooms.

“We look forward to seeing you soon.”

I couldn’t agree more!

With our streamlined, Covid-secure processes, it’s never been easier

to put your items quickly and efficiently through auction and, as our

results over the past year have shown, demand is stronger than ever.

We’ve introduced new fortnightly Two Day Antiques & Home Sales

online every other Monday and Tuesday, starting at 9.30am each day.

Jewellery, watches, ceramics, toys and collectables feature on Day One

with automobilia, household items and furniture on Day Two.

Appointments can now be booked to view auction lots (just call us on

01543 251081) and each sale has its own digital catalogue online – visit

www.richardwinterton.co.uk/auction-dates.

We are currently gearing up to auction a spectacular collection of

watches and jewellery on Monday, July 5.

From left: Watch and jewellery specialist Ben Winterton, The Hub

executive director Louise Fleming and auctioneer Richard Winterton.

Watch specialist Ben Winterton will be offering advice at The Hub in

the heart of Lichfield from 10am-12.30pm on Tuesdays.

Rolex watches through the years plus Omega, Hamilton and Jaeger-

LeCoultre timepieces all feature.

And there is some incredibly impressive gem set jewellery, including a

2.50ct pear cut diamond pendant.

It’s going to be a sale to remember – in fact we’re expecting it to be

one of the highlights of the year for our jewellery department!

What better time to get free professional advice and discover that

hidden gem?

Summer’s in full swing so let’s bring a little more sunshine by shining a

light on your hidden treasures – see you at The Hub!

Starting July 6, Ben Winterton will be at The Hub in Lichfield city

centre between 10am-12.30pm on Tuesdays offering drop-in advice.

Email ben@richardwinterton.co.uk or call 01543 251081.

Free quotations for house clearances, probate services and in-person

valuations at The Lichfield Auction Centre can be booked on 01543

251081 or by email to office@richardwinterton.co.uk – free home visits

for bulky items or large collections are also available to arrange.

Visit www.richardwinterton.co.uk.


13


Advertising Feature

Wildfire Folk are Back!

New Members Wanted

...............................................................

They may have only managed to rehearse three times in the

past 12 months but Lichfield’s Youth Folk Ensemble, Wildfire

Folk, are now rehearsing once again following the recent

Covid-19 restriction changes. They even have a new Musical

Director to help steer the band out of these troubled times.

The band was originally formed in 2009, when Lichfield Arts

commissioned a workshop to introduce the folk genre to the young

people in the local area which resulted in the first ever performance of

Wildfire Folk.

Twelve years on, they have released four EP CDs and, before the

pandemic hit, were playing to audiences around the country, at festivals,

church services and fundraising events. With regular performances in

and around Lichfield, they now have quite a following. Something that

they are really looking forward to doing again.

The group, due to its youthful nature, has regenerated itself on many

occasions as band members leave for university and new members join,

but through all the changes, the same fun vibrant and funky style has

always remained at the heart of this unique group.

It’s Folk music, but not as you know it and previous compilations

created by the group have included samples from Lady Gaga, Dr Who

and James Bond! Band members regularly receive top-class tuition at

weekly rehearsals and also get the chance to perform and grow in

confidence as part of a fantastic music group.

“If you only know how to play a few notes we will find something for

you to play, if you're a genius we will challenge you! No experience

required in playing folk music or learning by ear. This is an amazing

experience that will improve all aspects of your musical and

performance skills!”

Wildfire are always on the lookout for new band members aged

between 10 – 25, so if you can play any instrument from Grade 2 or

equivalent standard (no certificates needed), then this band could be for

you. They rehearse every Thursday evening in school term time, from

6pm till 8pm at Wade Street Church Hall, Frog lane, Lichfield, WS13

6HL. If you are interested, or know someone who may be, please come

or bring them along to one of our rehearsals. You can find lots of

information at www.wildfirefolk.co.uk or find them on Facebook.

Etching Hill WI

By Kathy Baxter

...............................................................

For our Zoom meeting on Wednesday 9th June, we had James

Haddow the ‘Taxi Driver Poet’ who gave a brilliant talk on the

entertainment of his passengers through verse, as he drove

them around Nottinghamshire and Derby. James has had a longtime

love of words and verse and has been writing and reciting

poetry for more than 16 years. He even created a special poem for

the WI.

We were all highly entertained by his light-hearted and personal

poetry. The vote of thanks was given by Ann Ingleby.

It is time to dust off the summer dresses for our 75th birthday party.

This is to be at the Chetwynd Arms Upper Longdon on Wednesday

14th July and promises to be an exciting day, hopefully the weather will

be kind to us.

Our social calendar is opening with future events to include a

charitable coffee morning for the 27th October and a provisional

booking at Beau Desert Golf Club for the Christmas meal on

Wednesday 1st December.

Our social time was organised by Ann who gave us an animal quiz this

time.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 14th July when our

speaker for the evening will be Vicky Farmer giving a talk on ‘A Day in

the Life of a Quiz Show Contestant’.

Further information for Etchinghill WI can be found on Twitter,

Instagram or Facebook.

14


15


Free Summer School

.....................

Hart School is

proud to

have been at

the heart of Rugeley

for decades, and

now, to further

support its

community, it’s

launching a free

summer school.

Based on a “We are

Rugeley” theme, the

Summer School, from

August 2-6, will

support the transition of Year 6 pupils and feature fun and

engaging activities, including a Go Ape trip.

Principal Miss Rachael Sandham said: “Due to Covid

restrictions, Year 6 children haven’t had as much time in

the classroom, or the chance to take part in many

enrichment opportunities ordinarily offered by their

primaries.

“Our summer school is aimed at addressing these

elements and empowering pupils with the skills, confidence

and knowledge to support a smooth transition into Year 7.

“We’ll also provide tips to help settle in smoothly so

new pupils can hit the ground running in September 2021,

making a fabulous start to their Hart School career.”

Visit www.hartschool.org.uk for more.

16


As a family Jennifer Ashe & Son Funeral Directors know and

understand that the death of a loved one can be a traumatic and difficult

time. We are here to offer guidance and support to ensure the funeral

of your loved one not only gives you comfort but honours the

memories and life they leave behind. Jennifer Ashe & Son have

supported families across the West Midlands, Staffordshire and

Birmingham since opening their first funeral home in 2016 and are

proud to be 6th year running award winners of ‘Best of Three’ for

Walsall.

With branches based in Hednesford, Brownhills, Walsall and

Willenhall, and a further two opening in Wolverhampton and

Birmingham in the coming months, as well as our own in house florist

and stone mason, we are best placed to support families across the

whole of the West Midlands and Staffordshire when making

arrangements for their loved one’s final goodbye.

Jennife Ashe & Son have an envied reputation for delivering excellent

care and quality, we are proud to offer families a range of services from

the most simple to the most elaborate of funerals, we have several

packages aimed at supporting families whatever their budget. We are

committed to ensuring that funerals remain affordable for families, we

review our pricing structure along with those of our competitors

weekly, not only to allow families choice in the various types of service

they may want, but also giving them confidence that they are getting the

best possible service and care for their loved one, we are also proud of

our ‘Never Knowingly Overpriced’ guarantee, this is our promise to

families that if they do find the exact same services offered by another

Advertising Feature

Jennifer Ashe & Son Funeral Directors

...........................................................

Funeral Director at a lower rate we will of course match and beat that

rate.

Our most popular ‘at need’ funeral is the ‘Complete Cremation

Package’ priced at £2,600. This includes; Bringing a loved one into our

care day or night, completion of all legal paperwork, care in our

professional facilities, viewing in our private chapels of rest, all our

services for acting as Funeral Director, a Jaguar Hearse, a Jaguar

Limousine, Coffin, 3ft floral coffin spray, 30 Order of Service booklets,

Cremation at any Crematorium, Religious or Non Religious Funeral

Celebrant and payment of Cremation Certificates.

Planning ahead;

As with anything these days, the costs of funerals are also rising year

on year, we are finding that many families are choosing to protect their

loved ones from the increasing costs by paying for their funeral in

advance. We have a prepayment specialist available in each branch to

support those wanting to make arrangements to pay for their funeral in

advance, we have a range of prepaid funeral plans designed to suit all

budgets and requirements allowing plan holders both reassurance their

funeral wishes are followed as well as comfort that they will not be

leaving their families with the extra financial burden of paying for funeral

expenses.

In line with our commitment to offering affordable funerals as well as

being open and transparent all of Jennifer Ashe & Son’s prices are

published on our website; www.jafunerals.co.uk.

17


A Landscape Vision for the

Future of the Washlands

By Victoria Bunter

.........................

The Washlands is an extensive piece of natural land that follows the

river through to the heart of Burton-upon-Trent. Recently, a new

shared Landscape Vision has been launched for the Washlands,

headed by East Staffordshire Borough Council and in partnership with

the Environment Agency, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and other public

and private sector partners.

Transforming the Trent Valley is excited to announce that a range of habitat

enhancements have now been designed though our Living Floodplains project

which will make this vision into a reality.

The vision, informed by consultation with key stakeholders and the local

community, addresses how to best balance the regular flooding of the area

with the need for public access and recreation, whilst promoting nature

conservation and a more environmentally sustainable approach to green space

management.

This work will be completed in two phases over 2021 and 2022. Phase 1 is

the delivery of projects within the central part of the Burton Washlands,

primarily on East Staffordshire Borough Council Landholding. These are a mix

of wetland, river, grassland and woodland enhancements. Some of the

highlights include:

• Creating wildlife ponds in areas where stagnant water collects after

flooding. These ponds will have diverse vegetation and will support a host of

aquatic wildlife. Deepening the pools will also have the effect of collecting

water improving access across the floodplains during wetter periods.

• Addressing water flow in vegetated channels such as the Silverway. We will

look to lower the nettle-covered banks encouraging a more species rich

aquatic flora during periods of high flow, whilst maintaining flow during drier

seasons, ensuring water flow in the channel year-round.

• Reprofiling strategic

sections of the riverbanks by

changing the slope. This will

replicate how the river

would have looked before it

was artificially modified. By

doing this we will create new

habitats by varying the width

of the river, exposing gravels,

and creating areas of

shallower water. These new

Water standing on fields for long periods

after flooding.

habitats will support young fish and aquatic insects in the shallows as

well as invertebrates specifically associated with exposed river

gravels.

• Bringing in local wildflowers to the meadow areas supporting

pollinators and bringing attractive colour to the fields outside of the

amenity areas.

We would like to thank the various user groups of Burton

Washlands who have provided important local knowledge on the

project area and fed into the design phase for this project. This will

be a fantastic example of creating a landscape which can provide

both support for wildlife and enjoyment for people in the same

space.

We would like to thank our funders and partners including the

Environment Agency, National Lottery Heritage Fund and East

Staffordshire Borough Council.

‘The Washlands Vision’ sets out the landscape scale proposals for

the area and can be viewed at www.eaststaffsbc.gov.uk/washlandsproject.

Unused meadow areas which would benefit

from wildflower introduction.

Nettle banks alongside the Silverway.

Riverbanks that would benefit from reprofiling

to create a shallower beach profile.

18


Rugeley &

District Lions

Club

By Peter Fielding

........................

Now that lockdown is being slowly lifted Rugeley &

District Lions Club is beginning to get back to normal

in line with government restrictions.

We are pleased to announce that our presentation of

Mary Queen of Scots, by Lesley Smith of Tutbury Castle,

which was originally scheduled for due on 21st April,

has now been arranged for Tuesday 7th September at St

Augustine’s Church. Tickets cost £10 to include a glass

of wine or soft drink. Over 18s only.

Those who bought tickets for last year’s postponed

presentation can use them for this event.

If you have any questions or want more details about

Rugeley & District Lions Club please contact us on

email randdlions@hotmail.com or via Facebook.

19


Win VIP Tickets to the

Staffs County Show

The Staffordshire County Show will be held on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th August.

Despite the change of date, the event will have all the attractions visitors expect from one

of the County’s premier events. The Show offers something for visitors of all ages.

A packed Main Ring programme includes a range of attractions from the breath-taking

Bolddog Lings to show jumping and the Grand Parade of Livestock. In the Country Pursuits

Arena visitors can watch the birds of prey display, the ferret roadshow or sit back and learn

all about pigs with the Hogg Show. Around the Showground there will be demonstrations

of traditional rural crafts such as thatching and drystone walling. However, at the heart of

the Show is livestock with over 1,000 cattle, sheep, pigs and goats and over 1,500 horses

and ponies.

There are a number of competitions and shows, including the Sheep Shearing Competition,

Farriery Competition, the Fur and Feather Show and the Bees and Honey Show with its

working hive. Children of all ages are especially well catered for with a children’s farm, an

exotic animal display, donkey rides and fairground rides. Shopaholics will be able to browse

over four hundred trade stands selling everything from cars to hot tubs. In addition there

is a food hall with a further fifty stands selling a range of mouth-watering local produce.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk.

We’ve got a pair of VIP tickets to give away, including free admission to the

show with access to the Member’s Pavilion and a two-course lunch with a

glass of wine. To enter, simply answer the question below and send your

details to us!

On which road is the County Showground located?

a) Western Road

b) Stafford Road

c) Lichfield Road

To enter, just send your name, contact details and answer to The Staffordshire County Show

Competition, at competitioncitylife@gmail.com or post your entry to Citylife in Lichfield Ltd, PO Box 7126, Lichfield WS14 4JS by the competition closing date of

9th August. One entry per household. Multiple entries will be disqualified. Winners will not be offered a 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 34.

Cannock &

District Men’s

Probus

By Peter Arnold

.........................

Returning to live meetings, Cannock & District Men’s Probus Club held

its AGM on Mon 24th May. Derek Gallear was elected Chairman and in

his opening address he expressed thanks to both the outgoing Chairman,

Michael Cardy, and his predecessor Patrick Garnett. A guest speaker

rounded off the morning with a chuckle by sharing “odd odes”.

During Lockdown, the Club has thrived via weekly Zoom meetings.

Particular thanks were given to Patrick Garnet, who set up Zoom, and to

Barry Dowell, our technical Guru. Their sterling efforts made these

meetings the highlight of the week for members. An established meeting

format evolved, opening with a short discussion of newspaper headlines,

followed by a thought for the day, then the main presentation before

closing with a lively magazine section.

Michael Cardy, Derek Gallear & Patrick Garnett

Initially the presentations were given by members and included being

transported to Innsbruck via flight simulator, learning about the Falkirk

Wheel, and sailing around the world single-handedly. These shared

experiences enabled members to get to know each other better while

gaining new skills in using Zoom. In recent months, most speakers were

external and talks included human trafficking, the construction of the

Trans-Siberian Railway and the dangers experienced in fleeing the

Japanese invasion of Burma - to name just a few.

Meeting are held fortnightly on Monday evenings. If you would

like to join us, please contact Barry Dowell, Secretary, on 01543

503320 or email bg.dowell@icloud.com.

20


Whats on

July/August

........................

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:

umra.cic@gmail.com

........................

Artisan Market

Brook Square, Rugeley.

First Saturday of Every

Month.

Next date: 3rd July.

21


The Day the Steam

Ran Out

By Jono Oates

............................

On Sunday 6th June 2021 at 11.15am the skyline around

Rugeley was changed forever, as the four cooling towers of

the Rugeley Power Station were reduced to a pile of rubble

in just a few seconds, ending a 60-year tenure as one of the most

iconic, and historic, images of Rugeley.

Construction of the power station, a joint venture between the

Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) and the National Coal

Board, started in 1956 with full production expected within five years,

and the building cost was an estimated £30,000,000. The first station

became known as Power Station A and had five cooling towers,

generating power via the supply of coal from the nearby Lea Hall Colliery,

and used the first, and only, dry tower in the country, aiming to eliminate

water loss. It was followed by the Rugeley B Station in 1972.

Work on the new station was disrupted several times by accidents

involving the construction workers. In April 1959 scaffolder Francis

Duggan fell a staggering 210 foot inside one of the cooling towers and,

amazingly, despite the height of his fall, Francis survived, sustaining two

broken ankles and a broken spine, and received treatment at Stoke

Mandeville Hospital. A few months later, in September of the same year,

fellow scaffolder Kenneth Glover fell 30 foot and also survived.

In December 1958 the Lichfield Mercury reported that the power

station would have the biggest cooling tower in the world and that the

towers were so large that you could even fit Lichfield Cathedral into

them! The site employed a large number of staff and construction

workers and on 31st May June 1959 thieves broke in to the site in the

early hours of the morning. They ransacked every office and succeeded

in stealing a safe from the one of the offices, containing £500 in cash.

Rugeley A was officially opened on 1st October 1963 by Lord Robens,

Chairman of the National Coal Board, and Sir Christopher Hinton, the

first Chairman of the CEGB. Lord Robens said he believed that the

power station would have a huge impact on the national and local

economy, and that he believed that production at the Lea Hall Colliery

would increase from the current 1.5 million tons of coal a year to two

million tons. The following weekend hundreds of people attended an

Open Day at the station, and the climax of the day was a dance in the

evening when the newly-crowned Electricity Queen was announced as

18-year-old Mrs Kathleen Morgan, wife of an electrician at the plant.

Production at the station almost came to a complete halt in October

22

1966 when a cracked 12-inch water main pipe, 30-foot underground at

Queensway, meant that water supplies to the station, Lea Hall Colliery

and many houses in the area were severely disrupted. Supplies of water

were only maintained by fleets of county and auxiliary fire engines who

pumped water from a ‘borrow’ pit to the A Station.

The station continued to be a popular visitor attraction and in 1970

over 2,000 people visited it, shown round by trained guides, many of

them were the wives or girlfriends of workers at the station. The station

also had many football, and sporting, teams and Rugeley Power Station

football team destroyed rivals Houghton 10-0 at home as they went top

of the Mid Staffs Division League Three in December 1974. Houghton

must have been fed up of playing the station as they were also despatched

5-1 in the reverse away fixture two months later!

The generosity of the workers at the station was shown in October

1982 when they raised funds to provide a specially designed intensive

care bed, suitable for both the X-ray department and the operating

theatre, costing £1,830. The bed was put to use immediately after the

handing-over ceremony at the Staffordshire General Infirmary and it was

later transferred to the Stafford District General Hospital which had just

recently opened.

In September 1986 the CEGB declared an Open House event on

twenty of its power stations around the country, including Rugeley.

Nearly 17,000 visitors came to join in ‘behind the scenes’ tours at the A

and B plants, when they were told that each cooling tower cooled 7,000

million gallons of water every year and that between them Rugeley A and

B were capable of producing 1,500 megawatts of electricity – enough to

power electricity for 1.5 million people.

The Rugeley A station was closed in 1995 and in September of that

year hundreds of spectators gathered to watch the final two, of the

original five, cooling towers be demolished by a controlled explosion,

mirroring the demolition of June this year. The explosion had to be

carefully managed due to the close proximity of major overhead power

lines, the closest of which was just 20 feet away.

The closure of the Rugeley B power station was announced in

February 2016 and it closed on 8 June 2016. Over the last five years

various buildings and towers on the site have been demolished,

culminating in the demolition of the remaining four cooling towers on 6

June this year.

For the last 60 years local and visitors alike have known when they

were approaching the town by spotting the cooling towers as they

dominated the skyline from every direction. Plans are now in hand to

develop the site but, whatever is built there, it will not have the same

majestic, dominating and, at times brooding, presence of the grand old

towers of Rugeley A and B.

Sources:

The British Newspaper Archive

Courtesy of ENGIE


Now open 7 days

a week

23


Pawfect Pets

......................................

We had an overwhelming response to our call for the area's

Cutest Pets - here are just a few of them! Send your pet

pics to us at petscitylife@gmail.com and see if your furry or

feathered friend features in next month's compilation!

David is the owner of four-year-old

Bengal, Oscar

Georgie Beagle is owned by Dominique

Mr Kong is owned by Jack (he's so fluffy!)

This is 15-year-old Sooty, owned by Chris and

Lorraine. In this photo, Sotty was at a talk

given by a Bletchley Park engineer on the

Enigma Code Breaking Machine, before

lockdown, of course!

K9 ACRES LTD

A rural safe haven for your dog! K9 acres is a large

purpose-built secure dog field facility, based in

Longdon, available for private individual hire. With

two dedicated fields, 'Country' and 'Meadow',

there’s no better way for your four-legged friend to

enjoy the countryside!

To find out more, or to book, visit

www.k9acres.co.uk or call 07968 550006.

Looking for Homes

24

Up for adoption is Sunny. She is approximately 12-

18 months old and comes from Romania. She is fully

vaccinated, microchipped, spayed and has a full pet

passport as well. Timid and shy when she first meets

you, but a very sweet natured girl. She gets on well

with other dogs and has never lived with children.

Nancy is also looking for a forever home. She is

very affectionate and loving, and would make a

superb companion for someone who is patient and

understanding. She is fully house trained and travels

well in the car. Would suit a household with no

children.

To find out more, contact Rugeley Welfare for

Dogs on 07900 090993 or 07971 817 877.

Nancy

Sunny


My Month in

Parliament

By Amanda Milling MP

........................

Last weekend we saw the

iconic cooling towers of

Rugeley demolished.

For some of you they were

where you worked. For me

they’ve always been my sign

that I’m back home.

There is no doubt this is an

end of an era as the last link

to our area’s mining history is

removed from the landscape.

Whilst many of us will miss those towers that

represent our industrial heritage and for so long

dominated the landscape we must also look

forward.

In the month of the G7, an event that brings

leaders from across the globe together to discuss

how we can protect our planet for future

generations, this is Cannock Chase’s contribution

to that mission.

Not only will this site become home to

thousands of people and will have sustainability at

its core with low carbon homes.

Rugeley will be central to a project to design a

new zero carbon smart local energy system for

the town. This project which will show how such

a system can reduce carbon and energy costs for

local residents.

In November we will be hosting COP26 to

highlight climate change, the environment and net

zero are a global issue.

I’m proud that right here in Cannock Chase

we’ll be playing our part and accelerating the

United Kingdom’s path to a greener future.

Also this site will have space for new

employment opportunities – bringing jobs and

investment to our area. And ensure the next

generation get the skills they need at a new John

Taylor MAT through school.

The demolition of the cooling towers marks

the end of an era, we now need to look forward

to new opportunities for Rugeley.

As always, if you have any issues you need my

help with, please email me at

amanda.milling.mp@parliament.uk, call 01543

877142 or visit

www.amandamilling.com/contact.

25


Cyber Awareness at C&D

Ladies Probus

By Alison Cardy

...............................................................

The saying ‘You can’t keep a good woman down’ remains true

for Ladies in Cannock and District Probus Club who

currently meet on Zoom until pandemic restrictions are

behind us. We enjoyed a most interesting, enlightening talk from

speaker Kate Dempsey, Cyber Protect Officer, from Staffordshire

Police Cyber Crime Team to raise Cyber Awareness.

We were warned it could be a ‘dry’ subject but Kate’s Presentation

answered many everyday questions of internet use. She opened by

reminding us of the quote in Skyfall, when James Bond was told by Q: "I

can do more damage on my laptop sitting in my pyjamas before my first

cup of Earl Grey than you can do in a year in the field.” Bond may not

have liked being told this but today this is true and whatever age,

background or experience we have, we can all be affected by Cyber

Crime. We were advised that, like fire needs combustibles, oxygen and

fuel, similarly it takes three areas for the criminals to be successful.

WHO (a victim can be anyone); LOCATION (laptop or any device);

OFFENDER (anywhere in the world from a bedroom to organised

groups). Motivation can be money; fame and kudos for status of crime;

control; hacktivism; a business for competitive gain or political, at state

and military level, but the biggest asset gained is data.

Kate brought our attention to the three ways to obtain our sensitive

Information:

PHISHING (emails) - Usually an attempt to take credit card details or

upload malware which could close you out of computer. Often emails

look like they come from the bank or Home Office and if you respond,

they harvest your financial information. We were taught to Pause and

Take Five. Don’t panic and never respond to emails if they look

suspicious. Do not ‘unsubscribe’ either as that tells the criminals, who

are calling randomly, that it is a ‘live’ line.

TEXT MESSAGES - When distracted in our busy lives we may not feel

they offer a threat if sent from a bank, Post Office or delivery company

but in asking you to log in to the criminals ‘unsecured’ link, they have

access to your data.

VISHING (voice contact - phone calls) - Automatic phone calls may

be from what seems like a genuine ‘trusted’ organisation often

purporting to be the Police or HMRC asking for National Insurance

numbers; Amazon or Post Office; Health Provider or Police personnel.

To convince you, they often suggest you use a spoof phone number for

you to check. However, if there has been a data breech from a major

company, your Information can be circulated years later, to other

criminal groups and using your personal information, such as your name,

they are very convincing. Don’t be afraid to simply put the phone

down!

Alongside raising our awareness of Cyber Crime we were given tips

to help protect us, such as: creating a strong password using three

random words; saving passwords in your browser; using 2-factor

authentication; updating devices; and backup data.

Anyone who thinks they’ve been victim of fraud or cybercrime can

report it to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040,

And if money is at risk, it is important to inform your bank. A

suspicious or fraudulent text message can be reported by forwarding to

7726.

Members wished they had known these details earlier to enable them

to protect themselves. The vote of thanks was given before Chairman

Anne Bumford dealt with Club business, finishing with a ‘thought for

today.’

Should anyone wish to join Cannock and District Ladies Probus, to

share friendship, if you are recently retired or simply looking for a new

group of friends, you may join on Zoom as a guest initially until the ‘new’

normal arrives. We normally meet on the first Thursday of each month

at The Chase Golf Club at 12 noon, where a meal and fellowship is

shared, with speakers on interesting topics. New members are always

welcome: annual membership is £16 and a two-course lunch is £17. For

more information contact Barbara on 01889 882 166 or Anne on 01922

418 037.

26


Sniffing Out Treasures with the "Truffle Pig" of Rare Books

When asked how he unearths so many hidden treasures for

auction, book specialist Jim Spencer says: "I'm like a trained

sniffer dog or truffle pig. I plough through every old box of bits, get

to the back of every shelf, check the corners of every dusty drawer,

until something emerges like a speck of gold. Then I go down the

rabbit hole of research, hoping to bring it to life for collectors."

In the last few weeks alone, Jim has made numerous exciting

discoveries. In a box of old books, he found a small order of service for a

funeral - that of Sir John Everett Millais PRA (1829-1896), painter and

founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. "Just think of St

Paul's Cathedral on 20 August 1896," said Jim. "Someone clutching this

little book, watching the pallbearers, among them Sir Henry Irving and

William Holman Hunt, it's spine-tingling history."

He loves scrapbooks and always checks every page. In a scrapbook

album compiled by WP Granville, electrical engineer, he spotted two

autographed letters signed by Sir George Simpson, meteorologist for

Captain Scott's Antarctic Terra Nova Expedition, 1910-1913, as well as

two photographs of Simpson conducting experiments with a balloon

during the expedition. "This is really important," said Jim. "Collectors will

be scrapping over this one - no pun intended!" The scrapbook is guided

at £1,000-2,000, but Jim suspects a bidding battle will see it race away for

more. "I read Cherry-Garrard's Worst Journey in the World a few years

ago, and it's remarkable what these people went through. This is a little

slice of that expedition."

Jim discovered a single leaf printed in 1484 by William Caxton - the

By Charles Hanson

........................

person who introduced printing in

England. "This is from Disticha de

moribus, and it's a tangible piece of

our printing history." This single leaf

of text is guided at £300-500.

Jim has a soft spot for the comedic

or bizarre and was pleased to dig

out a small manuscript book

recording the theatrical exploits of

John Cole (1792-1848), disastrous

bookseller, publisher and antiquary.

"Cole was an eccentric character

who seemed to avoid success

A letter and photographs depicting

Simpson conducting experiments

whenever possible. This curious book records in meticulous detail the

series of completely mundane events leading to Cole performing a

soliloquy on stage in Northampton. Why he thought it necessary to

devote an entire book to the history of this insignificant performance is

anyone's guess - but I love him for it."

Jim is always keen to hear about antiquarian books, modern firsts,

manuscripts, maps, prints and ephemera. He offers free valuations by

appointment every Monday at Bishton Hall, Staffordshire, and catalogues

a quarterly specialist Library Auction. For more information, or to arrange

a free valuation, please contact Jim Spencer, Associate Director and Head

of Books & Works on Paper, Hansons Auctioneers at

jspencer@hansonsauctioneers.co.uk or call 07807 563 472.

27


28


Rugeley WI

By Margaret Bennett

.........................

Rugeley WI committee have been in touch with

their members on a regular basis since their monthly

meetings were put on hold during the Covid crisis. A

quick visit or a telephone call, just to make sure

everyone is ok, has been greatly appreciated by

members.

Members who are computer literate have been

joining in the Wednesday afternoon Zoom meetings

hosted by Barbara Coppard or Wendy Holland.

Participants have been having a weekly quiz which

has produced a lot of fun and laughter from

members with comments such as “Well, I didn’t

know that” or “I must brush up on my geography!”

It was decided by the Committee that, as

restrictions are easing, an afternoon tea at Marsh

Farm can be arranged for Wednesday 7th July.

Members of the Rugeley WI have been contacted

about arrangements and are looking forward to the

event.

The WI Centenary planter outside Rugeley Library

has been re-done with summer plants by Barbara

Johnson and Wendy Holland and will give a lot of

pleasure to people passing by.

It is hoped that, restrictions permitting, our regular

meetings be resumed during the summer period but

members will be contacted when this happens.

Rugeley WI meets every last Wednesday in the

month at St Paul’s Community Hall at 7:30pm. For

information, contact Ann on 01889 570875 or

Barbara on 01889 804889.

29


Tastes of the Season

By Simon Smith

The Joy of Herbs

Herbs are one of the easiest things to grow in

a garden or pot on the windowsill. They have

so many uses: flavour, medicinal, floral

additions to a flower display, as well as flowers

in the garden.

So many garden centres stock them and also

supermarkets in pots as well as bags. You may

as well buy the ones in pots which can then

be planted once you have used the herbs you

need for cooking. Normally so much gets

wasted from a bag which is such a shame.

I also make my own herb oils which is very

easy and looks attractive on the plate. To do

this choose your preferred oil. Choose you

preferred herb and blanche in boiling water

for five seconds and then put straight into

iced water. Drain off and dry the excess

water. Put into a fast blender with the oil. The

amount of oil depends on what strength you

prefer. Blitz together and then strain through

a fine sieve. Do not force through as it will

turn bitter but rather leave for a couple of

hours. Store in the fridge for up to a week.

You can also add stems of herbs to a bottle of

oil to gently infuse and look good on the

shelf.

If you have an abundance of herbs during the

summer you can pick them, pop into an ice

tray, cover with water to freeze them and

then add you herb ice cube to dishes in the

winter.

If you are cooking with herbs as a garnish it’s

important to add them to the sauce at the

very last minute so that they stay green but

will still give you the same flavour as adding

them sooner.

Many of these herbs will give you beautiful

flowers for a short period of time. These are

great for garnishes and also added to

cocktails. Borage, for example, grows

profusely and will have blue and purple

flowers for most of the summer. These are

traditionally used for drinks made with Pimms.

Chives will give you a blue starburst flower

which are great to liven up a salad. Rosemary

and thyme give much smaller flowers, but they

are still great to sprinkle on a summer salad.

Herbs also make a great infusion and if you

have one of those glass teapots with a mesh

compartment in the middle they work really

well. Fill the compartment with fresh mint and

ginger, top with nearly boiled water and leave

for five minutes. Much better than using a

bought tea bag. Be careful with mint as the

flavour varies enormously between them. My

favourite is apple mint or spearmint. Although

you can get pineapple and chocolate mint I

don’t feel they work so well as an infusion.

All herbs have their preferred partner, such as

fish with dill, parsley or fennel; chicken with

tarragon; beef with thyme; lamb with

rosemary. These all work well together but

that is not to stop you playing with

combinations and seeing what works for you.

If you have just used the leaves of thyme or

rosemary, keep the stalks for making stock as

they will give a great boost to the flavour.

Even if you use a shop bought stock these will

give an added oomph to your sauce.

Salmon Fillet with Honey, Mustard

and Garden Herbs

(for 4 people)

4 x 200gm salmon fillets

1 x tbsp grain mustard

1 x tbsp runny honey of your choice

1 x cup finely chopped mixed herbs (I would

use parsley, dill, fennel and mint for this)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix

the honey and mustard and brush evenly on

the salmon fillets. Put onto a baking tray and

roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until firm

to the touch. Take out of the oven and dip the

top in the mixed herbs so you get an even

green carpet of herbs. Serve on a bed of

crushed Jersey Royal potatoes with a knob of

butter.

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

www.simonsmith-chef.com

*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.

30


Advertising Feature

About Thespian Arts

Our Mission

...................................................................

With a collective 148 years of experience in

performing arts, our team understands how to

get the best out of our young performers.

Our students join us to have fun, make friends, learn new skills,

and develop not only as a performer, but as a person.

We are a Community Interest Company that believes in

offering every young person the opportunity to benefit from the

arts. We are often opening new branches, growing our list of

classes and services to further meet the needs and wants of our

community.

Our members are offered lots of on-stage experiences at

popular public events, and at theatres across the West Midlands.

We believe that the best place for our members to learn about

being on the stage - is on the stage.

Thespian Arts are one big family, and we pride ourselves on the

standard of our classes, sessions, and performances.

31


Ronald David Cooper

By Cyril Cooper of The Landor

.....................

(local history) Society

Iwas recently given access to ‘The War Diary of English Electric’

and was amazed at the amount of material EE produced on their

various sites during WW2 and their rapid turn round of orders.

Not least the number of tanks they produced at Stafford and tested

on Cannock Chase.

In their Roll of Honour, I found the name of my Uncle, Ron Cooper. I

was unaware that he’d worked at EE and if he did, would have expected

him to be in a reserved occupation. However, he either volunteered or

was conscripted into the Army in 1943.

He was born at Bay Cottage in Colwich on 19th September 1924 to

George Henry Cooper and Florence (nee Wetton). His service career

started in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment but at some stage was

transferred or attached to the 20th Royal Fusiliers and The Royal Welch

Regiment before ending up with The Border Regiment.

He was a member of the Signals Platoon and his letters tell of hard

training at The Battle Training School in Yorkshire including house-tohouse

training in the bombed-out areas of Hull (sad to be using the

remains of someone’s home to hone your battle skills).

A Rugeley

Awakening!

By Hilary Goodreid

........................

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen our High Streets buzzing

with the chatter of shoppers, stopping to browse market stalls,

grab some food ‘alfresco’ and listen to the chilled vibes of acoustic

guitars. Rugeley is no exception, but on Monday 31st May, the

town held its first Artisan Market, and for a few sun-filled hours you

may have wondered if ‘Lockdown I & II’ were figments of your

imagination.

The Artisan Market is to become a regular visitor to Brook Square in

Rugeley, visiting on the first Saturday of each month, with many more

stalls lined up for the next event on Saturday 3rd July. Whether you’re

a local crafts person, make tempting delights in your kitchen at home or

make your own beautiful clothes, and are looking for a way to increase

your profile, drop an email to market organisers Sketts, on

info@sketts.co.uk and they will give you all of the latest information.

Many of the stall holders sold out of stock at the first event, so it’s

definitely worth getting involved.

With Rugeley starting to come back to life, The Town Council have

several events planned for the Summer, with the long awaited ‘Virtual’

He was finally with the 2nd Batt.

Border Regiment in India when at midday

on June 5th 1944 part of a working party

was injured and later died when a round

from a 2in. mortar which was being

ranged fell short. The round fell 200 yards

short of target and killed seven and

injured twelve. Three of the killed and five

of the wounded were pioneers who were

helping the section to dig in.

He is buried in The Imphal War Cemetery in Eastern India, Plot 1, Row

F, Grave 8. He is remembered on the plaque in the Lych Gate of St

Michaels and All Angels Church in Colwich and is also recorded in The

Memorial Book in the Regimental Chapel in Carlisle Cathedral.

Ron had two

brothers who also

served in the Army,

both returned safely.

I was only 11 years

old when Ron went

to war so did not

know him well, but I

find it ironic that he

was a Signaller and

so was I.

More ‘plane

crashes’ to be had!

Fringe Festival, which was

postponed from May 2020, being

shared via their social media

accounts and sent to the town’s

pubs, to show between the Euro’s!

This will happen over the course of

the weekend of 25th, 26th and 27th

June. Thanks to Heritage Lottery

Funding, the artists were each

filmed on stage in the Rugeley Rose

Theatre. The footage has been

edited into a fabulous film by Brave

New Beast Film company, who were

blown away by the local talent. If

you’re planning to be home that

weekend, position your TV so that it’s facing the garden, pop a few beers

and some Pinot in the cooler, and soak up some excellent

entertainment.

To round up the long anticipated school holidays, there will be the first

Rugeley Festival of Food & Film, held on St. Augustine’s field, on Sunday

29th August and Bank Holiday Monday 30th August. The two-day event

will enable you to buy day tickets for each day, for back-to-back Big

Screen films and our own Fringe Festival footage, and feature street food

stalls from our local restaurants. The Rugeley Rugby Club will be running

the bar with Tickets are due to go on sale very soon, so keep an eye on

Rugeley Town Council’s website for more information. Bring your picnic

blanket or camping chairs, and come and soak up the atmosphere – and

the excellent refreshments!

Keep up to date with what’s happening in Rugeley by visiting

www.rugeleytowncouncil.gov.uk.

32


J HOWELL &

DAUGHTERS

FUNERAL DIRECTORS LICHFIELD

LICHFIELD’S LONGEST ESTABLISHED INDEPENDENT,

FAMILY RUN FUNERAL DIRECTORS.

SECOND GENERATION BUSINESS HERE TO ASSIST YOU

AND YOUR FAMILY.

24 hours a day

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

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

memorials are but a few of the services we offer.

Pre-paid funeral plans are also available.

For a truly personal service please call

01543 255776

Private Chapel of Rest 116 Netherstowe,

Lichfield, Staffs. WS13 6TS

33


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