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!
Editor - Kristen Lackajis 07885 380632
Features - Jono Oates 07785 757201 email@example.com
Steve Brown 07740 166497 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Hill 07970 513144 email@example.com
Helen Smith 07967 154187 firstname.lastname@example.org
14 A Taste of Nature
A trip to the beautiful Deer Park
20 Wedding Guide
Everything you need for the perfect day
26 Wedding Bells of Cannock & Rugeley
Society weddings of the past
28 A Window on the Past
School days of yesteryear
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
Citylife in Lichfield Ltd does not endorse any business or organisation
appearing in these pages, and the publication of any advertisement,
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endorsement by Citylife in Lichfield Ltd.
Your Local Magazine
Congratulations to E Chadbourne who has won
a pair of VIP tickets to this year's Staffordshire
Etching Hill WI
By Kathy Baxter
As planned and with all Covid measures in place,
27 of our members met up for afternoon tea at
the Chetwynd Arms in celebration of 75 years of the
Etching Hill WI. The birthday celebration was the
first time many of the members had met since the
The marquee was prettily done up and the weather
was warm and sunny. It was fantastic to meet up with
everyone despite our socially distanced tables and the
consensus was that it had been a brilliant day. Our thanks
go to Fran O’Brien for organising the venue and to
Margaret Porter for ensuring Covid safety measures. Also,
thanks to the Chetwynd Arms for the lovely spread. To
finish we were all given a celebration cupcake!
On to the evening we were joined by WI members
from Longdon and Rugeley for the monthly Zoom
meeting. Margaret Devey welcomed this month’s speaker,
Vicky Farmer, herself a WI member. Vicky gave a
wonderful talk on ‘A Day in The Life of a Quiz Show
Vicky’s interest in quiz shows stemmed from a lifelong
love of all things trivia. She went on to appear in a variety
of quiz shows, including The Chase. Vicky’s next ambition
is to appear on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and we all
wish her well with that.
Other business included a review of the previous
weeks committee meeting and a reminder of upcoming
events which include the charity coffee morning on 27th
October hosted by Mary Davis and the Christmas party
provisionally booked for 1st December 2021.
For further information about the WI and future
meetings visit the Facebook page at Etching Hill WI
Jumbo Bins to
Council is trialing
new smart jumbo
bins in three
locations across the
District to reduce
The jumbo bins have
been positioned in
high volume areas
e x p e r i e n c e d
overflowing in past
due to the frequency
Cllr Justin Johnson with a
of them being emptied. These areas are Mount
Road in Etching Hill, Bideford Way on the
corner of Banbury Drive, Cannock outside the
shops and Sharon Way, Hednesford, also outside
The jumbo bins will hold 240 litres of rubbish in
comparison to a normal litter bin which only
holds 112 litres.
If the trial works then more bins will be
purchased for areas where bins overflowing is
Donates to Cruse
Millie Grimley, Liam Bennett & Jo Walker present the
cheque to Chris Hillman
Cannock Chase Crematorium recently made a
£10,000 donation to the South Staffordshire
branch of Cruse Bereavement Care, a charity
offering support, advice and information to
children, young people and adults when
Cannock Chase Crematorium is a member of
the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium
Management’s (ICCM) metal recycling scheme,
whereby residual metal items such as
orthopaedic implants or metals used in the
construction of the coffin are retained,
following the cremation process, and recycled,
with the written consent of the bereaved family.
The national ICCM scheme, introduced in 2006,
has raised over £7 million since its inception to
help fund bereavement related charities.
If you feel you have what it takes to support
bereaved people, please email
Recognition for Air
Heath Hayes Academy receives the award
A local school has won regional recognition for
its work promoting greener travel and
combatting air pollution outside the school.
Working with Staffordshire County Council’s
Active Travel Team as part of its Air Aware
project, Heath Hayes Primary Academy in
Cannock won the Regional School Travel
Awards for Primary Schools - an award given to
schools who have demonstrated excellence in
supporting sustainable travel.
Pupils and staff have been working hard to
implement the school travel plan to make the
journey to school more sustainable and less
polluting. They have also installed additional
scooter and cycle storage and introduced a
park and stride scheme. An anti-idling initiative
encouraging drivers to switch off their engines
when parked up outside the school has also
helped reduce air pollution.
People can find out more about the small
actions they can take to help reduce air
pollution at http://airaware.doingourbit.info.
Awards for Cannock
Young people from South Staffordshire College
Futures group have received awards after
volunteering in Cannock Park.
South Staffordshire Futures group are young
people that have left formal education. They
have volunteered in Cannock Park for several
weeks, following the lifting of some of the
All of the young people received certificates
and medals from Councillor Adrienne
Fitzgerald, which were funded by the Building
Resilient Families and Communities grant
Cllr Adrienne Fitzgerald with volunteers and their
gained by the Friends of Hednesford Park.
The medals are an initiative to encourage and
inspire young people to dedicate some of their
time to volunteering. They also received a badge
for their work in making a community banner
for the centenary of the Royal British Legion on
A new cohort from the South Staffordshire
College Futures group will be volunteering
again in September this year.
Energy Saving Project
in the District
Andrea Simpson, Nirmal Samrai, Cllr
Adrienne Fitzgerald & Martin Peake
Cannock Chase Council in partnership with
Chase Community Solar and Beat the Cold
have been successful in securing over £250,000
to deliver a Smart Solar project in the District.
The project will see 75 batteries installed in
council owned bungalows across the District,
which have existing solar panels installed by
Chase Community Solar in 2015.
This follows a report which showed that
tenants were only using 25% of the energy
produced by the panels, so approximately 75%
of the energy produced was going back to the
grid. The battery storage installation will enable
the tenant to store more of the energy
produced, reducing energy bills and reducing
Chase Community Solar is a community benefit
society who obtained over £1,000,000 of
funding to install over 300 solar panels on
council owned bungalows across the Cannock
Chase District in 2015.
Beat the Cold is a leading fuel poverty charity
operative in Staffordshire who offer specialist
advice to anyone in need.
The project is funded through the Energy
Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme via the
Energy Savings Trust
By Trish Mellor
Jackie Prince with Lesley Smith as George Eliot
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 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
You can find out more about CHAPS and the National
Miners’ Memorial at www.chaseartsforpublicspaces.co.uk
For more information or to order pins or prints email
email@example.com or phone 07583
SI’s Tree Planting
This year is
S o r o p t i m i s t
I n t e r n a t i o n a l ’ s
Centenary Year and
as part of the
club in the world is
being asked to plant
SI Cannock and
this project and absolutely delighted to have
reached 40 trees planted so far – with a
number more in the pipeline! McArthurGlen
Designer Outlet gave the club a huge boost by
planting 20 Oak saplings in May and one
member’s son arranged for a further eight to be
planted. During June another member’s son,
who lives in France, planted 10 trees in the
name of SI Cannock & District whilst an oak
The High Sheriff’s Tour of
the Trent Valley
By Louise Morris
From Biddulph to Burton: Touring the Trent Valley
Through June and July, James Friend, the High Sheriff of Staffordshire,
has been touring along the River Trent as it flows through the county.
Supported by Transforming the Trent Valley (TTTV), a landscape
partnership scheme headed by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and funded
thanks to The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the High Sheriff has
walked, cycled and paddled the Trent Valley raising money for The
Starting at the headwater of the River Trent on Biddulph Moor, we
followed the river as it flowed south towards Stoke-on-Trent.
The second stage began with a visit to Staffordshire University, where
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has restored the river channel thanks to their
ERDF funded SUNRISE project. We then cycled along the historic Trent
and Mersey Canal to Stone before following the river valley to Wolseley
On the third day of the tour, we walked the canal towpath through
Rugeley, where the Canal and River Trust has recently upgraded it to an
all access standard, and on to Kings Bromley. A small diversion took in
the Riverside Park at the former Rugeley Power Station site where TTTV
is working with Engie to enhance habitat and restore the floodplain.
The fourth stage saw us walk along the Trent Valley Way from Yoxall to
Alrewas where we took in the stunning views of the valley and passed
through flower-rich meadows. We ended at the National Memorial
Arboretum where we met up with some of the many volunteers who
have supported TTTV over the last 2 years and enjoyed a very welcome
We were treated on our fifth day with a visit to Cherry Holme, a
former river island that has been ambitiously restored as part of the
TTTV scheme. The new river channel, completed last September, is
was donated by a gentleman who read of the
project in the local paper.
SI Cannock President Jackie Prince said how
proud she was of all the efforts made by those
on the club ‘Tree Team’ but also by all club
members and the people of Cannock who are
supporting this so well.
If anyone has a tree to donate, or would like to
plant a tree or trees in the name of SI Cannock
& District, please contact Cannock Soroptimists
Residents to be Active
Cannock Chase District Council, in partnership
with Together Active, Staffordshire County
Council, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles and
Hednesford Town Council, has secured
£199,050 of funding from Sports England to
encourage residents to be more active.
The aim of the project is to connect local
communities from Hednesford North to
Cannock Chase via the
Chase Heritage Trail using
wayfaring tools, physical
i n f r a s t r u c t u r e
improvements and engaging
The project will increase
physical activity by easier
increased distance walking,
increased access to
Cannock Chase ANOB and
improved mental and
physical wellbeing through connection to place
The route will incorporate rest stops, which
will be co-designed through engagement with
community groups and will be inspired by the
natural beauty of Cannock Chase. The rest
stops will include distance way markers, with
embedded digital, interactive, and themed QR
codes, to measure increases in distance walked
and provide personal fitness targets.
The project will be completed before the
Games start in the Summer of 2022.
greening up nicely as nature begins to reclaim and naturalise it. Vegetation
is taking hold and is already providing a good diversity of habitats for
plants, insects, mammals and fish.
Our penultimate day started at Tucklesholme, a Staffordshire Wildlife
Trust nature reserve near Walton-on-Trent where the High Sheriff cut
the ribbon on our new Discovery Area. We then walked along the river
following the Trent Valley Way towards Branston Leas, another
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust reserve, before ending in Burton on the
The Tour concluded on Saturday 31st July at the TTTV Family Fun Day
on the Burton Washlands where families enjoyed bug hunting, trails and
storytelling on the banks of the river whilst the High Sheriff,
accompanied by friends and family, canoed to the Derbyshire border
with the Burton Canoe Club.
The tour has successfully completed 60 miles of the Trent Valley
between Biddulph and Burton. We have cycled 23 miles, walked 34 miles
and paddled 3 miles in 7 days.
To find out more about the High Sheriff Tour, read our blog and see
our photos, visit www.thetrentvalley.org.uk/high_sheriff_tour.php.
Day 1 Trent Head
Day 4 Walking the
Trent Valley Way to
Day 2 Cycling to
Wolseley Bridge (Credit
S. Cheshire, TTTV)
Day 5 Visiting Cherry
Holme (Credit L.
Day 3 Walking the Trent and
Mersey Canal towpath (Credit S.
Day 6 Walking the
Trent Valley Way to
Burton (credit L.
Day 7 Canoeing
the River Trent
By Kim Nash
Julie and Maureen at the Roman Way Hotel
TWIlight WI Cannock group are so very proud of
their committee members Julie Knowles and
Maureen Thompson who have been showing true
community spirit by volunteering at their local
Best friends Julie and Maureen met around 35 years ago
at their local play group when their oldest daughters were
around 12 months old. Julie started volunteering with the
Cannock Chase Clinical Alliance at the Roman Way Hotel
in Cannock in February this year at the start of the
vaccination programme. Maureen was already there and
had passed on that they were looking for admin volunteers
who were fast and accurate.
Julie, married to Mick, will be celebrating her ruby
wedding anniversary in October. She said: “My main reason
for volunteering was because I had time on my hands due
to being newly retired and I wanted to give something back
to the community and also be part of an amazing group of
volunteers and NHS staff.”
Maureen, who is wife to Les, added: “Life is hectic and a
juggling act at times but never boring. I love being part of
this vaccination programme. Working alongside clinical staff
and other volunteers is a privilege.”
President of the group, Clare Davies, commented: “We
couldn’t be prouder of Julie and Maureen. They’ve both
been committee members since the group’s inception in
early 2020 and play a very important role and are highly
valued. They’re wonderful ladies with hearts of gold and
giving up their already precious time really is a selfless act.
We’re so honoured to have them in our group.”
TWIlight WI Cannock group meet at St Luke’s Church in
Cannock on the second Thursday evening of the month.
The group runs from 7.30pm-9.30pm and new members
are most welcome. Please email any enquiries to
By Jill Gooch
Members and friends of Cannock
WI became detectives recently
to complete a ‘Line of Duty’
themed murder mystery event. Crime
groups of 2-4 people could be seen
loitering and looking for clues as they
walked around Cannock town centre
investigating the evidence to eliminate
suspects and murder weapons, led by
WI President Meena Khiroya (Chief
Detective Chief Superintendent Barbara Matthews had arranged with Hannah’s
Artisan Cafe for vouchers to be redeemed for drinks. This was a ploy to encourage
town centre trade, as investigators were to meet under the clock in the town square;
and also to allow for a place to compile documents in the DI’s folders!
To allow for inclement weather a timescale of a week was set for DI’s to complete
their investigations, liaise S.O.C.O. and present their evidence to forensics.
Assistant Chief Constable Jill Gooch, one rank superior, examined the folders and
awarded recommendations for promotion to AC-12 D.C. Gillian Gallear and her
‘mate’ Derek; and also, Fraud Squad member Gilly Piddock, who with the help of her
informant and his burner phone, nailed the criminal.
Great fun was had by all who really entered into the spirit of the event using
catchphrases from the TV series Line of Duty written by local author Jed Mercurio
OBE who grew up in Cannock.
Our WI meetings are on the second Thursday of the month at 10.30am at St Luke’s
Church Centre, Cannock. Visitors are always welcome to come and join us, but not
for a while – wait for the ‘all clear’! Follow us on Facebook for updates. You are also
welcomed to join by Zoom. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
Forever Home Success!
Lilly, Toby (pictured
centre) and Scout are all
rescues and belong to
Lilly came from a
marriage split, Toby’s owner
passed away and Scout
came from a lady that was
struggling to cope with him.
They all get along very
well because Snowy is so
calm and understands his
Here they are enjoying
their new forever home!
For more information on Rugeley Welfare for Dogs, or if you think you
could offer a home to a dog in need, then please call Ruth on 07900 090993
or Pauline on 07971 817877. Alternatively visit
www.facebook.com/rugeleydogswelfare. Please note that a home visit and a
donation will be required.
A selection of the watches sold at The Lichfield Auction Centre recently including the 1973 Rolex Explorer II, pictured centre front, which made £18,500.
The One to
By Richard Winterton
WE love watches here at The Lichfield Auction Centre!
Timeless timepieces – especially Swiss watches – are synonymous with
some of the biggest luxury brands in the world.
In the past 15 years, the industry has gone stratospheric and a number
of names have become nigh on impossible to obtain, resulting in long
delays and inflated prices for the most sought-after watches in the world.
Waiting lists on specific new models can even stretch to a decade – but
that means there’s a huge desire for vintage luxury timepieces.
And a remarkable wristwatch is not only a potently practical status
symbol – it’s very likely to be a sound investment, too, especially if it’s a
hard-to-find model or ‘reference’.
Take this particular 1973 Rolex Explorer II, which we took to auction as
part of a private collection.
Less popular commercially following its launch in 1971 but it’s a very
different story for such references today, with the watch highly sought
after by connoisseurs and collectors.
The distinctive orange 24 hour hand was originally intended to help the
intrepid wearer keep track of day and night in dark places such as caves or
extreme environments where the sun never sets.
A large triangle marker at 12 o’clock, cyclops eye for the date aperture
at 3 o’clock and ‘frog foot’ coronet marked this model out as a watch
somehow simultaneously atypical of the brand and quintessentially Rolex.
In fine functioning condition and presented on the original Oyster
bracelet, we expected this to be another timeless example of how vintage
watches can powerfully accumulate in value and we weren’t disappointed.
The watch sparked international interest and bidders from across the
world battled it out before it finally sold to a telephone bidder for
It was part of a private collection of 11 wristwatches including a rare
Eterna ‘Dirty Dozen’ World War Two British military timepiece, running
remarkably well despite being almost 80 years old, which sold for £700.
In fact, the entire collection totalled £22,360 hammer price.
Other vintage watches in the auction included a 9ct gold Rolex Oyster
Precision making £1,500 and a 9ct gold Rolex Precision selling at £1,200.
And a Rolex GMT-Master dating back to 1985 sold for £9,800 including
Three Omega wristwatches also sparked a great deal of interest. An
The 43cm tall Royal Doulton Prestige
figure ‘The Charge Of The Light
Brigade’, sold for £1,250. It is inscribed
with Alfred Lord Tennyson's
A three stone diamond ring,
sold for £8,400.
Omega Constellation chronometer sold for £500 and an Omega
Seamaster Cosmic made £320 – both were part of the aforementioned
An 18ct gold Omega De Ville from a private client in Lichfield sold for
£620, a lady’s 18ct gold Jaeger-LeCoultre Hermes made £440 and an Ebel
Beluga steel and diamond wristwatch fetched £600.
Jewellery in the sale included a 4.31ct three stone diamond ring, which
sold for £8,400 to the absolute delight of our client.
Also going under the hammer on the same day was a large collection of
ceramics including five large Royal Doulton Prestige figures depicting The
Charge Of The Light Brigade, jester Jack Point in three colourways and a
limited edition King Charles I, totalling £3,490.
That day’s sale saw a total of 728 lots go under the hammer with a 97.5
per cent selling rate, averaging £191 per lot.
It’s a great time to sell at auction but also a fab time to buy, whether
you’re a dedicated collector or looking to kit out your first home.
Whatever you’re looking for, it’s always worth browsing our online
catalogues at www.richardwinterton.co.uk/auction-dates.
Two Day Antiques & Home Sales are scheduled for September 6-7,
September 20-21, October 4-5 and October 18-19. All sales start at
We also offer free valuations here at The Lichfield Auction Centre by
appointment and you can drop into The Hub in the Market Square,
Lichfield city centre, between 10am-12.30pm on Tuesdays. Email
For auction and viewing enquiries, to book an appointment for a
valuation or to arrange a free home visit and quotation for house
clearances, telephone 01543 251081 or email
By Kristen Lackajis
Nestled deep within the rolling Staffordshire countryside,
situated down a winding tree-lined lane, lies a hidden gem
in the form of The Deer Park Farm.
Formerly part of the Hoar Cross Hall estate, The Deer Park occupies
an enviable position with far reaching views of The National Forest, with
the land having been sympathetically farmed by the Prince family for four
generations. It is no wonder that the family decided to create their own
little hideaway, inspired by, and very much rooted in, the nature that
The converted barn which dominates the Park houses a farm shop
which stocks a wide range of local produce from nearby artisan
suppliers. There’s fresh bread available and in-house master butcher,
Russell’s of Shenstone, provides meat of the finest quality.
Upstairs, a variety of bespoke gifts and crafts are available to purchase,
as well as a photographer’s studio, designer lingerie unit and a country
Then there’s the Linhay Restaurant. Beautifully appointed and
tastefully decorated in a classic country-style, with a modern twist, the
atmosphere is laid back and relaxing, and the staff friendly and attentive.
Outside, a paved terrace offers guests the chance to dine ‘alfresco’ and
enjoy staggering views of the surrounding farmland and woodland. It was
here that we chose to sample the
lunchtime menu so we ordered a glass
of English ‘fizz’ and had a look what was
Amongst the many delights were
several stand-out items featuring meat
from Russell’s, which we decided we
just had to try. I chose the Grass Fed
British Flat Iron Steak with Deer Park
Salad, which was accompanied by stout
and cheddar sourdough with dripping
butter. Served medium rare, the steak
was plentiful, lean and cooked to
perfection - delightfully pink on the
inside, it literally melted in the mouth.
The salad was crisp and fresh and I have
to say, having never tasted it before, I’m
now a huge advocate of dripping butter!
What a taste sensation!
My guest opted for The Deer Park Hot
Dog, featuring a Russell’s lightly smoked
spiced sausage on an onion bridge roll
courtesy of The Loaf Bakery. Served with
mustard, ketchup, creamy mayo, crispy
onions and garlic and thyme chips, this
was a very grown-up take on the classic
‘hotdog and fries’ and was declared
utterly delicious! Needless to say, we didn’t leave much on our plates!
If you’re looking for somewhere to while away the hours, enjoy the
local countryside, eat quality food, and do a spot of shopping, you’ll find
The Deer Park is the perfect destination for you. Visit The Deer Park at
Maker Lane, Hoar Cross, DE13 8QR or find out more on the website at
My Month in
By Amanda Milling MP
My work in Cannock Chase is
always directed by what
constituents contact me about
most. Two issues regularly raised
with me are the Chase Line and
local policing and crime.
Train users in Cannock Chase
have faced more than their fair
share of issues over the years.
These have included trains being
delayed, cancelled, or terminated
early, as well as persistent incidents
of antisocial behaviour (ASB) and fare-dodging.
While many of these issues have been actioned for
passengers, some problems have remained. This includes
the last service from Birmingham New Street which is
having a particularly frustrating impact on Rugeley
This train only goes as far as Hednesford, stopping short
of Rugeley. As many of you will know, this means
passengers are often forced to rely on lifts from family and
friends, or taxi services, to get home.
While I appreciate timetabling is an immensely
complicated issue, Network Rail is responsible for this
decision. I have written to the Chief Executive, Andrew
Haines, to again reiterate the need for the last service of
the day to reach Rugeley.
I know how important tackling crime is to Rugeley
residents. Whether it be antisocial behaviour, drug use, flytipping
or speeding; all undermine our communities and
even put peoples’ lives at risk.
I recently spoke to the new Area Commander for
Cannock Chase District, Chief Inspector Victoria Downing,
following Chief Inspector Becky Hyde’s retirement. This
was a fantastic opportunity to feed back some of the daily
concerns raised with me by constituents.
I also met with Emma Barnett, who is our new
Temporary Chief Constable, responsible for the direction
and control of Staffordshire Police.
Both women come with a wealth of previous experience,
and I know they will work hard to protect and improve
our communities here in Cannock Chase.
The Prime Minister recently announced his Beating
Crime Plan, reaffirming our commitment to cutting crime.
The plan includes measures to crack down on antisocial
behaviour and drug abuse. It also includes a commitment
that every local community will have a named officer on
call who is able to see crime in context – to know if it is
part of a pattern or a one-off.
I am proud of what has been achieved by our local
police force, especially given the extra pressure presented
by the Coronavirus. By recruiting more police officers and
implementing the Beating Crime Plan, we will continue to
cut crime across the country.
As always, if you have any issues you need my help with,
please email me on email@example.com, call
01543 877142 or visit www.amandamilling.com/contact.
By the late Harry Thornton, member of the
Landor (local history) Society
The Castle Inn, Brereton
People living locally during the 1939-45 war recall the late evening of 22nd
October 1940 when one of three bombs dropped by a lone German aircraft
exploded in the back garden of the old Castle Inn, blowing to pieces a
henhouse, complete with hens, and a greenhouse owned by the landlord Alf
Astbury. Mrs Elsie Richards, a daughter of Mr Astbury, still has a photograph of the
family and their evacuee standing in the bomb crater, estimated to be about two
metres deep and four metres wide. Surprisingly, only superficial damage was done,
including a broken window at St Michael’s church school over the road and broken
windows as far away as Market Street and Brook Square in Rugeley. Of the other
two bombs, one exploded on the road leading to the one-time Leafields Cottages
alongside the canal and the other near Rugeley’s old sewage works near the river
Three other bombs fell on the night of 9th September 1940, one landed near Hob Hill,
another put a crater in the Armitage Road between the Ash Tree Inn and Spode House
which disrupted traffic, and the other fell in fields near Armitage Church.
On the afternoon of Sunday 10th October 1943, a Spitfire plunged from the sky and
tore into a field beyond the bottom end of Batesway. The pilot, who parachuted to safety
and landed in the Trent Valley with only the loss of a flying boot, turned out to be Alex
Henshaw, famous chief test pilot at the Castle Bromwich Spitfire Factory, who later
recalled the incident in his book, Sigh for a Merlin, with pictures of the wreckage. He had
climbed to 17,000 feet in Spitfire MJ190 to test it at full throttle in a power dive over
Cannock Chase and was about to pull out of the dive when the engine began to shake
uncontrollably and violently and was soon threatening to disintegrate. With streams of
hot oil and coolant obscuring his view the pilot had no choice but to leave the aircraft.
The jerk of his parachute opening caused him to lose the flying boot which landed on the
Chase, but he landed on soft marshy ground near a farm where he was able to telephone
for a car to take him to the scene of the wreckage and back to Castle Bromwich.
Apparently, Alex Henshaw personally tested over 3000 aircraft, but only had to bail out
In addition, during WW2, the enemy action also took place in the area including a
Messerschmitt ME110 machine gunned Aelfgar School and the Green Bus café; Longdon
being bombed on 8th August 1940; bombs dropping in Armitage Road and the
Hawkesyard area on 9th September 1940; and, on 9th October 1940, the English Electric
Works at Stafford was bombed. Which involved a Brereton girl being injured.
My Weight Loss Story
By Patricia Harrington
It was in the car when I
noticed my tummy touching
the steering wheel. That’s
when I looked at myself in the
interior mirror and said
enough is enough, I want to
shine again and get my dreams
back on track!
We all love to go out for a meal and there is nothing
worse than saying I can’t have this or, even worse, feeling
guilty because you had a pudding! A diet will really turn me
off if I have to deprive myself or eat set meals. That’s what I
love about Sliming World food optimising, literally nothing is
off the table, and you learn to form new healthier habits.
If I had to pick a favourite meal it would be a roast dinner
every time - my boyfriend loves it too!
Slimming world has taught me how to shop for the right
foods and how to cook my food, so I didn’t feel hungry or
deprived. Our weekly meetings in group are a source of
great strength and my consultant, Jeff, is extremely
supportive and encourages me to be positive and stay
Eight months in and I’ve reached the summit - I’ve lost
five stone! That’s 70lbs - equivalent to 30 bags of sugar. I’ve
lost eight inches off my waist, dropped five dress sizes and
my fibromyalgia has improved.
Losing weight has changed my life. Now is my time to
shine, get out and enjoy life to the full once again!
Here at Just Granite Ltd, we pride ourselves on being the experts for any worktop needs you may have.
Be it a beautiful bespoke and unique kitchen worktop, a bar, bathroom or even a barbecue area, we have
an extensive in-house range ready to be chosen by you! We stock a varied range, in a variety of materials,
such as our own competitively priced quartz, granite, marble and porcelain, as well as all the top brands
from around the world.
There really is no reason to go anywhere else!
Win a Granite Chopping Board
If you require our services please do not hesitate
to call us on 01785 711096 or email your quote
request to firstname.lastname@example.org
With the largest variety of natural stones in the Midlands, the
solid slabs are kept on-site and are available for a virtual viewing
from 9am-5pm on Monday to Friday. Located at The Stone
Works, Pillaton Hall Farm, Penkridge, ST19 5RZ.
We’ve got a bespoke Chopping Board (in the
colour of your choice) to give away! To be in
with a chance of winning this magnificent prize,
simply answer the following question correctly:
Where does the supply
of granite come from?
To enter, just send your name, contact details and answer to Just
Granite Competition at email@example.com or post your
entry to Citylife in Lichfield Ltd, PO Box 7126, Lichfield WS14 4JS by
the closing date of 8th October 2021. One entry per household.
Multiple entries will be disqualified. No cash equivalent. Please note
you must be 18 or over to enter. All entrants’ information is
processed in line with GDPR Data Protection Regulations and our
Full t&cs on page 34.
Lichfield City Council
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER –
PLANNING & FINANCE
26 hours per week.
Salary: £16,542 to £17,210 per annum
(£23,541 - £24,491 Full Time Equivalent)
Closing date for applications: Monday 23 August 2021
Due to the retirement of one of our longest serving employees, the City
Council is inviting applications for this permanent, part-time post. The
successful applicant will be responsible for the secretariat support of the
City Council’s Planning Committee, and assist in the financial adminstration
of the Council, notably through the raising of invoices. Working closely with
both junior and senior council officers, the postholder will also support the
wider activities of the Council, as well as providing some
Based at the City Council offices at Donegal House, Bore St, this is an
interesting and varied post for which you should have a keen work ethic,
attention to detail, experience in a Planning environment, a working
knowledge of SAGE accounts and an ability to work to strict deadlines.
An application form and job description can be obtained from Lichfield City
Council (tel: 01543 250011 email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or from the
‘News’ section of the City Council’s website www.lichfield.gov.uk.
Interviews currently scheduled for w/c 6 September 2021.
Now open 7 days
Chastity by Morilee
A demure darling, Chastity
features a high, bateau crepe
bodice with modest long sleeves.
A matching waistband defines
your silhouette as the full A-line,
organza skirt flares out. Pockets
add a fun touch and the square
back completes the sleek look.
Shown in Diamond White.
Nikkal by Nicole Milano
Mermaid off-white crepe wedding
dress with long puffed sleeves, straps
and plunging V-neck. The beaded floral
tone-on-tone decorations create a
sophisticated, romantic 3D effect.
Aphrodite by Nicole Milano
Strapless mermaid wedding dress
of organza and Mikado with
minimalist charm. The overskirt
creates movement and enhances
the showy effect and the dress's
All available from Elsie May Bridal
Trent Valley Business Park, Lichfield
Telephone: 07506 768543
Coton House Farm
Located in Lichfield, and nestled away in the heart
of the Staffordshire countryside, Coton House
Farm is an exclusive-use barn wedding venue,
complete with acres of beautiful grounds,
fantastic facilities and oozing with a relaxed and
warm ambience. Coton House Farm provides the
highest standards of service mixed with a
personal approach to ensure your wedding is
tailored to you.
Offer something a little different for your
wedding toast with Rhubling – a delightfully
refreshing sparkling rhubarb wine from local wine
producer, Clive’s Wines. Made using the
traditional method to create bubbles, Rhubling is
the perfect fizz for your big day!
Available from Clive’s Wines of Burntwood.
Tel: 07972 269 620. www.cliveswines.co.uk
Jewellery with Life
Emily Jane is passionate about creating her pieces
as much by hand as possible; making each piece
truly unique, just like you. This 8mm rose cut
moonstone pendant, set in silver, is the perfect
accompaniment on your big day, or maybe the ideal
gift to thank bridesmaids. Priced at £37, alternative
gemstones are available also. Visit
www.jewellerywithlife.co.uk or join the Instagram
community at @emilyjanedesigner_
The Flower Kitchen Florist
The Flower Kitchen Florist offers the
most beautiful and breathtaking blooms
and foliage to create stunning bouquets in
a romantic and rustic style – perfect for a
bridal bouquet, buttonholes, table
centrepieces and wedding venue
decorations. Catering to all budgets and
designed with your theme and colours in
mind. Find out more by visiting
www.theflowerkitchen.florist, or contact
Treat yourself to a pre-wedding pamper
session to truly relax and reinvigorate! Foot
reflexology is a massage applying various
pressures to reflex points to your feet and
toes. These zones are connected to certain
organs and body systems, meaning
reflexology gives great health benefits. It’s
also the perfect way to unwind and recharge
prior to your big day! Visit Reflexions at
The Plant Plot Garden Centre, Stafford
Contact Debs 07595 486535.
The Traditions of
Happily Ever After
By Charlotte Benton
Picture this... The sun shining down, not a cloud in the sky,
loved ones gathering from far and near to celebrate the
marriage of the happy couple. Even the mental image that
we create in our mind at the prospect of a wedding fills us with
But where does this splendid scene stem from? What traditions lie
behind the weddings that so many of us long to attend or are lucky
enough to call our own? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular
marriage customs and their origins.
1. A White Dress
It has not always been the case that the bride would wear a white
dress. The bride once wore her best item of clothing, whether that be
black, white or any other colour. It was the wedding of Queen Victoria
and Prince Albert in 1840 that first introduced the traditional choice
of a white or ivory wedding dress. Once a sign of wealth, white
wedding dresses remain a signature tradition of western weddings
today and often symbolise the bride’s ‘purity’.
2. Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
The rhyme “Something old, something new, something borrowed
and something blue” is one of the most well-known wedding traditions
that symbolises the customs a bride should follow in hope of a
successful marriage. Whilst the ‘old’ represents the continuity of the
past and the ‘new’ illustrates the optimism of the future, a ‘borrowed’
item represents the happiness that the new bride will receive from her
husband, with something ‘blue’ protecting against evil. Together this fun
rhyme signifies the simultaneous continuity and hope towards a
3. Giving the Bride Away
Whilst this moment of the ceremony is often a poignant and longawaited
moment between the bride and her father, the tradition has a
rather more woeful past. Daughters were previously considered the
property of their father and the act of giving them away was once
more a transaction of property as opposed to a poignant marker in
both a parent and a child’s life. Today this intimate moment between
the bride and her dad is a beautiful part of the wedding ceremony as
the bride embarks on a new journey with the new ‘man in her life’.
4. Wedding Rings
The tradition of wedding bands stems from the Ancient Egyptians
who wore their wedding rings on their left hand following the belief
that the fourth finger on the left hand is where the ‘vena amoris’ (vein
of love) begins, eventually linking to the heart. Also, the cyclical nature
of a wedding band remains a symbol of eternal love between the bride
5. The First Dance
Now a traditional segment of a wedding, in the days of decadent,
royal balls, the first dance previously marked the start of the evening’s
celebrations. The lady of the house was invited to dance with the male
guest of honour. Today we see and celebrate the first dance of the
newlyweds, as their friends and family surround them on this first night
of their new lives.
6. Throwing the Bouquet
This tradition seeks to pass on some of the bride’s good luck to her
friends and family. In the 15th century, wedding guests once tore away
part of the bride’s dress, hair and flowers in hope of receiving some of
her happiness. Thankfully today's tradition is much more civilised,
although the bouquet toss is still highly anticipated by the female
wedding guests and there is often a scrabble to be the one who
catches the bouquet as she is said to be the next to marry her true
Today’s traditions that carve the pathway to happily ever after seem
not all that far from those of centuries gone by. Traditions prevail, after
all they are all based on one common theme, love.
Tastes of the Season
By Simon Smith
We are now in wedding season and can serve more than 30
customers at last although who knows how long that will last. The
problem caterers are facing this year is that the supply chain is not
working as it should. I have my first big wedding this month and the hire
company I used to use for crockery and glassware no longer exists and
the ones that are left are swamped with last year’s weddings that have
rebooked, plus the new bookings this year mean food supplies are
difficult to get hold of in large quantities and so many staff have left the
trade. That’s all before anyone gets pinged to self-isolate and suddenly
leaves the caterer with a large wedding and no staff! Yikes!
The lesson behind this is the smaller you keep your wedding the more
chance you have of it going to plan this year. The other benefit is that the
money you save by having 100 less people could be used for something
Rather than give recipes this month (as your caterer will no doubt have
offered you a selection of menus) I am going to give you some thoughts,
tips and advice after many years of catering for weddings and the pictures
this month are dishes that I have done for weddings in a more informal
Trends come and go and there is quite a bit of worry about what to
serve and how will it work. Everybody is looking for something different
now and no two events are the same.
There is a big move towards something less formal which is taking
people to farms, converted barns and even museums in search of that
extra WOW factor. There is a huge difference in venue costs and
whether or not you are allowed to bring your own caterers. Bringing
your own caterers, rather than using the venue’s supplied caterers, can
save you a lot of money and give you the opportunity to design your own
menu rather than take the limited menus offered by the venue.
More often than not I am now
being asked to do a wedding
breakfast of tapas, bowl food
(trendy since the royal wedding)
or afternoon tea. This gives the
guests a larger food choice rather
than the traditional three-course
sit down meal. It also gives
everyone a chance to circulate
and it becomes a much more fluid
event. Grazing tables are also
popular where many different
foods are laid out and people just
help themselves whenever they
feel like it. Just remember that on
a really hot day this can be
dangerous if the food sits in the sun for too long.
When deciding the menu remember you are never going to please all
the people, but it is only one meal in their life. I have often had dishes
discounted because an aunt doesn’t like one ingredient but remember
they can always have another option. You also need to work with the
caterer as cooking in a barn on a gas oven will be very different to going
to a hotel with all sorts of specially designed catering equipment. Take the
caterers advice and work within the limits of the venue.
It is worth deciding your priorities early as I have been told sometimes
that the budget it tight because too much has been spent on table
decorations, having an expensive hen do, having the drive resurfaced for
the wedding guests etc. The problem with researching wedding pictures
on Instagram or Pinterest is that there is too much choice and people
tend to get carried away. This applies to the menu as well and it’s not
always possible to have everything in the fridge, or life-sized margarine
sculptures of a horse (which I have been asked to do!)
If you are thinking of having a BBQ or hog roast remember that the
weather can turn nasty and you need a backup plan. In addition, both of
these involve a lot of smoke and depending on the wind direction can
waft through your marquee for hours which will taint everybody’s
Remember, it’s YOUR special day so take the time to think about your
food options, and discuss with caterers and venues, to ensure that
everything runs as smoothly as possible on the big day.
Bride and Bloom
By Jo Howell
Dress? Check. Heels? Check. Hat? Absolutely! In the
midst of summer, it can only mean one thing – wedding
season. And although the big day may look a little
different to perhaps what was planned, there has never been a
better time to pull out all the stops and get your glam on.
Whether you are the bride or one of the chosen few guests, there
are simple, and effective, top tips for every female to follow:
If you are the bride, I am sure you have been following a skin care
plan for a few months to ensure you are positively glowing on the
special day. And if you haven’t? Even 24 hrs can make a difference –
so, guests and Mother of the Bride, this applies to you too!
It goes without saying that hydration is key – so plenty of water
the day before but not during the evening as this will cause water
retention. But one thing you can do overnight is apply a light face
cream; nothing too heavy as it could look greasy on your skin the
And of course, a good night’s sleep is essential for the entire
wedding party! Bedtime has never been so important as dark circles
/ eyebags would be the most unpopular guest.
For the Bride, wedding makeup is a totally personal decision – but
it can be a difficult decision to
make! And probably the reason
many brides (and Mothers) bring in
a professional Make Up Artist to
take over and create the right look.
We recommend having at least one
trial before the big day so you, and
Mum, feel happy with the finish
However, it is worth considering
things like your wedding theme, the
style of your wedding venue and
what your wedding dress looks like.
All these factors will influence your
final wedding makeup look. Oh, and choose something which makes
YOU feel beautiful and confident. That’s the most important thing!
Be Our Guest
One of the most common questions I get asked is how to keep
make up looking fresh all day. The answer is very simple - setting
powder (or spray).
There are plenty of brands available but these little wonder
products really will be your saviour during a long, hot wedding day
and ensure your make up lasts and doesn’t smudge or fade before
the first dance.
If you’re not the bride, remember to keep your own make up light,
natural and respectful to the star of the show. Think of your own
outfit, ensure you choose bold lips or eyes (never, ever both!) and
always, without fail, use waterproof mascara.
And remember – skin first, make up second,
Read more of Jo’s work at www.justanaveragejo.blog.
Military Wedding Cpt Davies
Wedding of Dr Peate and Miss Price
at Cannock 1925
Wedding of Miss D Nicholls in
Wedding Bells of
Cannock & Rugeley
By Jono Oates
The church bells of Rugeley and Cannock are finally starting to
ring out once more to celebrate the marriages of couples
whose special day has been put on hold for 18 months.
Similar situations have happened in the past though, most
noticeably during World War One and Word War Two, when brides
often had to wait for their fiancés to return from the front on leave
before they were finally able to tie the knot.
On Wednesday 27th October 1915 Lieutenant Robert Wilkes, of the
11th South Staffordshire Regiment, married Miss Dorothy Hunter, who
was the daughter of local Cannock councillor Mr Jonathan Hunter, at the
Cannock Parish Church. Jonathan Hunter lived at Leacroft House at
Churchbridge and was the Managing Director of the Cannock and
Leacroft Colliery Company as well as President of the South
Staffordshire & Warwickshire Institute of Mining Engineers. The bride
was very well known in the local area and, despite the war, a large
congregation attended the ceremony. The service was carried out by the
Revd Llewelyn J Price and the bride wore a regimental gold brooch on
her dress, a gift from her brother Percy who was on active service in
France. The bridesmaids wore dresses of pale lavender crepe de chine
and ninon with waistbelts of mirror velvet and trimmings of skunk. After
the ceremony the guests attended Leacroft House, and the happy couple
departed for their honeymoon in Bournemouth.
A few years later on Saturday 24th January 1925, the Cannock Parish
Church was crowded once again, this time for the marriage of Dr
Reginald Crichton Peake, son of the Revd Peate the vicar of Barlaston,
to Miss Eileen Primrose Price, youngest daughter of Revd L J Price who
had officiated at the military wedding in 1915. Eileen, perhaps
unsurprisingly, had been heavily involved with church life and the parish
and had been a Lieutenant in the 1st Cannock Girl Guides. The guide
group attended the service providing an arch of flags as the newlyweds
left the church.
A military wedding held at St Augustine’s Parish Church in Rugeley
attracted a lot of local interest on 4th December 1917. Miss Hilda
Wilsone Broun, the only daughter of Mr and Mrs William Broun of
Lanrick House, Wolseley Road, married Captain Clement Cotterill
Davies of the Worcester Regiment. Captain Davies had spent many years
on foreign service with the army having seen action in the South African
Boer Wars, the Natal Rebellion and then in France during World War
One. He had been wounded in action on three separate occasions in
France and had returned home in March 1917 to take up war office
duties. Hilda Broun was a relative of Colonel Michael Swinfen-Broun of
Swinfen Hall, Lichfield, and amongst the many wedding gifts that the
happy couple received was a cheque from Colonel Swinfen-Broun, a
diamond bracelet from his wife and a clock from one of his daughters.
Just a few months before the start of World War Two, on Saturday 3rd
June 1939, the wedding took place of Miss Dorothy Eileen Nichols and
Captain D’Arcy John Desmond Mander at the Cannock Parish Church.
Dorothy was the elder daughter of Mr G B Nichols, the Custom and
Excise Officer at Cannock, and Captain Mander was the son of the late
Major D’Arcy Mander of the Durham Light Infantry. Mander, an officer in
the Green Howard’s Regiment, later served in World War Two where he
was captured and imprisoned in Italy. Escaping, he worked behind enemy
lines as a spy and setting up his own spy network in Rome with his
bravery earning him a Distinguished Service Order (DSO). Captured by
the SS twice (and escaping twice!) he later saw service in the Malaya
guerrilla war where he commanded the Green Howard’s.
Towards the end of the Second World War the cost of wedding
dresses had become too much for the bride’s family to bear and the time
taken to create them was putting pressure on seamstresses working on
uniforms and materials for the armed forces, therefore impacting
adversely on the war effort. So, on Saturday 22nd July 1944, Corporal
Florence Wooliscroft of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), set off
the down the aisle at St Augustine’s Church in a dress lent by Eleanor
Roosevelt, wife of Franklin D Roosevelt, the President of the United
States of America, when she married Corporal John Davidson of the RAF.
Mrs Roosevelt had set up a scheme where brides would donate their
wedding dresses to her and they would then be distributed to service
brides in America and Britain. Dressed in American silk lace, Florence, of
40 Park View Terrace, Rugeley, was given away by her father before
setting off on honeymoon with her husband to sunny Carlisle.
The hardships and restrictions of weddings during the two World
Wars has been very much reflected in weddings of the last 18 months.
However, as the Covid-19 restrictions continue to lift, hopefully the
weddings in Rugeley and Cannock will be much brighter, more enjoyable
and better attended as we head towards 2022.
*Vintage photographs no copyright but courtesy of the British Newspaper
Sources: The British Newspaper Archive; www.ancestry.co.uk;
Kate Bliss Hopes to Uncover
Sparkling Finds at Free Jewellery
By Charles Hanson
Jewellery finds, and auction results, have
shone brightly throughout lockdown and the
dark days of the pandemic.
Hammer prices have remained consistently
strong for both vintage and antique finds, gold
prices are buoyant and silver has sparkled. In
uncertain economic times, investors prefer
tangible assets - and collectors never tire of
buying beautiful objects.
If you’re contemplating selling at auction, free jewellery valuation days
are coming up in Staffordshire courtesy of TV’s Kate Bliss. The familiar
face from TV’s Bargain Hunt will be at Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, on
September 6th and November 8th from 10am-4pm.
Kate, a fellow of the Gemmological Association specialising in jewellery
covering antique and vintage items to contemporary pieces, hopes to
unearth some shimmering stars, perhaps a fine diamond or two.
Diamonds consistently excel at auction. We’re privileged to see
numerous examples in a wide variety of cuts, carats, clarity and colour –
including cinnamon. Lot 95 in Hansons’ July Fine Art Auction was a
cinnamon diamond 18ct gold cluster ring comprising a central, brilliantcut
4.11 carats cinnamon diamond. It was contested to £3,800.
95, £3,800, cinnamon diamond and
18ct gold cluster ring, with central
brilliant-cut cinnamon diamond weighing
Diamond ring found at charity shop
COST £5.50. ESTIMATE £7-8K
Diamond ring sold for £95,000
Though the classic white diamond
is the one we know best, coloured
diamonds exist in many hues, tones
and saturations. Colours include
pink and yellow as well as cinnamon.
Occasionally diamonds are
mistaken for costume jewellery.
One ring we assessed, purchased for
£5.50 from a charity shop’s ‘junk
jewellery’ box, turned out to be a
gold 2.30 carat diamond ring worth £7,000-£8,000. One of our all-time
top-selling lots was a diamond ring which achieved £95,000.
Kate Bliss will be at Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, Staffs, ST17 0XN, on
September 6th and November 8th from 10am-4pm. No appointment
necessary. Free general antique valuations are also available at Bishton. To
book an appointment, email email@example.com or call
01283 733988. Free general valuations are also available at The
Hedgehog, Stafford Road, Lichfield, WS13 8JB. Upcoming dates include
August 20th, September 3rd and 17th from 10am-1pm. To find out more,
A Window on the Past
Back to School
With September here, thoughts turn to the new school
year, so this month's photos explore five of the district's
schools, none of which (where they survive) are used for
their original purpose.
1. Shooting Butts School was built by the National Camps
Corporation in 1939 consisting of cedar huts set in 35 acres on the
edge of Cannock Chase. Its first us was for evacuees from Birmingham
during the Second World War. Staffordshire County Council took over
the buildings in 1948 when they became a Secondary Boarding School
for children between the ages of 11 and 15. All the usual subjects were
on the curriculum, but special attention was paid to the rural and
domestic sciences. Out of school hours there were plenty of social
activities including a choir, drama club, dances and socials and a
flourishing Young Farmer's Club. Pupils were transferred to Pipewood
School in the 1970s, though the buildings continued to be used for
various purposes by the Education Committee.
2. Taylor's Lane Secondary Modern School opened in 1939 as a senior
school for both boys and girls. With the reorganisation of education in
the 1960s it became Aelfgar Comprehensive School. An extension was
built on the other side of Taylor's Lane (on the field in the foreground
of the photo). This extension later became a Sixth Form College and the
original building was divided up. Part was converted into a Community
Centre and theatre, part Aelfgar Surgery and the remainder was YMCA
3. St Joseph's Roman Catholic School was built in 1908 by local
builder Charles Mason. It replaced an earlier mid-nineteenth century
building in Heron Street - a building later known as ‘The Guildroom.’
The 1908 building was replaced by a new school in Newman's Grove in
1972 and was later converted to a Community Centre. The photograph
was taken from the church tower.
4. Brereton National School for girls was built in 1891 in Main Road
to replace Brereton's first school built by the Misses Sneyd in 1826. It
became known as Brereton C of E School and from 1930 took only girls
aged 7-11. By the 1950s the school was becoming overcrowded. This
was relieved by the building of Nursery Field CP School in 1961. The
school (now named St Michael's C of E School) closed in 1971 when the
pupils were transferred to the new Hob Hill School. In the photograph,
St Michael's School is the tall building with a pointed window; the low
building next door is a remnant of the 1826 school.
5. A National School for Girls was built in Church Street in 1826 by
Baroness de la Zouche, where some 60 girls paid 1d a week to attend.
It was extended in the 1870s. With the growth of the town and the
introduction of compulsory schooling the Girls' School suffered severe
overcrowding. This was eased in 1913 when the girls in Church Street
and the infants in Talbot Street swapped buildings. In 1960 the infants
moved back to the Talbot Street building and the Church Street school
became a furniture store for the Education Authority.
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
Steve Brown 07740 166497
Rebecca Hill 07970 513144
Durrant Funeral Services works alongside
small local companies who have turned their
hobbies and ideas into a business in order to
create lasting memories of your loved one.
Pressed by Amber creates pressed flower picture
frames. Amber's love of flowers prompted her to start
pressing them and turn them into a memorial frame for
you with flowers from your loved ones’ garden. You can
find more of Amber's work on Instagram.
Moo's & Roo's Specials by Sammie are memorial pillar
candles with transfers with any design you wish. They can
include a loved ones’ photo and wording, even merging
several images together to appear as one. Sammie's work
can be seen on Facebook.
Magpie Memory Balloons by Bex are environmentally
friendly. After seeing pleas from crematoriums not to
release helium balloons as they deflate and are hazardous
to wildlife, Bex places wildflower seeds inside a clear
balloon, putting it in a gift box with your loved ones’
name, and providing a sharp wooden stick to pop the
balloon, enabling you to scatter the seeds and create a
mass of wildflowers in memory of your loved one.
Candlepot Decorations by Louise uses decoupage and
glass to create bespoke urns and light bowls. Using a
‘painting with paper’ technique to build an ethereal style
of images, the urns can be personalised with photos,
specially chosen words and dates. They can be used with
tea lights, LED lights or placed by a window. See Louise's
work on Instagram @candlepotdecorations.
Legacy Expressions Fingerprint Jewellery takes an
image of yours or your loved ones’ fingerprint using a
digital scanner. This can then be imprinted onto jewellery
or speciality items such as guitar picks, shot glasses, photo
frames and glass ornaments.
All of these items can be ordered through Durrant
Cannock Chase Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Bryan
Jones, welcomed the Secretary of State for Housing,
Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick to Cannock
during a visit to the town to see new homes being built.
Cannock Chase is among the first local authorities to take part in the
Government’s First Homes programme launched in May, as part of the
Phase 1 Pilot. The programme offers a minimum discount of 30 per cent
to first time buyers purchasing their first home.
The Secretary of State visited a development of 10 First Homes under
construction off Walkmill Lane in Bridgtown by Vistry Partnerships.
Walkmill Place is the second site in the country to feature First Homes.
The Council gave planning permission in 2018 for 116 homes to be
built on this site. As part of the S106 planning agreement 20 per cent
were to be provided as affordable housing with a mix of rented and
shared ownership homes.
As the development progressed with the involvement of a Registered
Provider, 58 of the new homes will now be available for rent or shared
ownership, which is in addition to the 10 First Homes.
The Council’s new Corporate Plan, which includes a focus on
supporting economic recovery post the pandemic, has an increase in
affordable housing for residents as one of its main priorities.
The Secretary of State was also able to meet the Council’s Portfolio
(l-r) James Warrington, Cllr Bryan
Jones, Cllr Adrienne Fitzgerald, Robert
Jenrick, Nirmal Samrai, and Bob Kean.
Holder for Housing, Councillor Adrienne Fitzgerald, Interim Managing
Director, Bob Kean, and Head of Housing and Partnerships, Nirmal
Samrai, as he toured the site.
He went on meet two management trainees employed by Vistry
Partnerships who are currently working on the development, Quantity
Surveyor, Ella Hodnett and Assistant Site Manager, Lee Callaghan, and
spent time meeting Jodie Heap and Antony Heap who took advantage of
the Government’s Help to Buy scheme to buy a home on the
He ended his visit by planting a tree to mark the launch of First
Homes at Walkmill Place in association with Homes England, Cannock
Chase Council, Vistry Partnerships and the Ministry of Housing,
Communities and Local Government.
By Margaret Bennett
What a fantastic time members of Rugeley WI had on
Wednesday 7th July when they went to Marsh Farm for
Members not only enjoyed their sandwiches, scones and
cakes, with copious cups of tea, but the social occasion was
thoroughly enjoyed by everyone too.
With the easing of Covid restrictions it was agreed that
Rugeley WI would re-commence their monthly meetings
held at St. Joseph’s Community Hall, with members would
be notified accordingly.
If you would like to join our WI you will be made to feel
most welcome. Why not come as a visitor? The first three
months are free. For further details contact Ann Stewart,
President, on 01889 570875 or Barbara Coppard, Vice
President, on 01889 804889.
Cannock & District
By Alison Cardy
As Covid and lockdown dates dictate our
lives, we were reminded of how lucky
we are, as we learnt of experiences
encountered when Chrissy Caseley-Whereat,
our speaker, gave a Talk to Ladies of Cannock
and District Probus Club.
Choosing the ‘University of Life’ instead of attending University, at 16 her
son chose to go travelling. Australia, Thailand and Vietnam were included in
his journey before arriving in Cambodia, a country he has grown to love. He
caused worry for his parents when due to arrive in Thailand the day of the
tsunami but arriving a day late, enabled him to help shocked and destitute
local people. At six foot four and now a teacher with five languages, he is
settled in Cambodia with a family and when visited by his mother, it was VIP
treatment for her.
A 23-hour flight, with merely a break in the interesting Bangkok Airport,
did not deter her but customs did give concerns with their ad hoc attitude,
as to who they allowed into the country! Transport was the first eye opener
Cannock Chase Ladies
By Pat Preece
Cannock Chase Ladies'
Probus Club re-opened
its monthly meetings
recently when the new
Chairman, Mrs. Norma
Hutchinson, welcomed the
A minutes’ silence was
observed in honour of two
ladies who had passed away,
Winifrede Haynes, a past
Chairman of the club, and Mary
Davies, both ladies will be sadly
missed at club.
This special day was made
even more enjoyable when the
Pat Preece, John Butterworth, Norma Hutchinson,
and Sheila Yard
Chairman welcomed Mr. John Butterworth MBE to speak about his day at
Buckingham Palace and what he did to be awarded the MBE for services to
journalism and charity by the Queen. He also showed a DVD of the event which
was very interesting. Sheila Yard gave the vote of thanks.
A short business meeting followed during which the Chairman introduced the
committee to the ladies. She then thanked everyone for attending and said that
it had been a very happy afternoon when everyone had really enjoyed being
reunited with their friends after such a long time. She then wished everyone a
safe journey home.
The club meets on the last Thursday of every month at 12 noon at the Barns
Restaurant, Huntington. New members are always welcome to share friendship
Membership enquiries to Pat Preece, Secretary, on 01543 571186.
as there was no age limit on drivers nor MOTs on vehicles and the simple
way to deal with any bumps was to pay the police ‘to ignore!’ She later drove
a ‘tuk tuk’ for the experience but frightened her passengers, who chose to
walk instead! Two garden hoses were used for personal washing; one for
upper part of body and the second for below but not to be mixed up. Food
was also an adjustment in culture as people ‘grazed’ all day. The barrier of
language was bridged by the common denominator of nodding and smiling
but she caused amusement when at least trying to communicate. Perhaps it
was better not to know some things as Chrissy was quite content to
understand she was eating strips of beef, only to learn that it was tarantula
legs. She had tried to avoid the ‘apparently tasty’ insects and bugs but was
advised that it was rude to refuse so had to take the attitude of “When in
A visit to the 12 Century City of God Temple and Lotus Pond added to
this amazing experience. A hotel was used where you could relax, swim or
have a massage and take an afternoon break from the crowds. It enabled a
view of the wonderful sunset, with time to wander through the Temples
before enjoying a picnic on return. Monks were revered and showered with
gifts and money; one even drove a BMW and wore a Rolex watch. After
three full weeks, the penultimate day saw our Speaker walk over a rickety
wooden bridge and fall in the river!
Chrissy was commended for her bravery!
Should anyone wish to join Cannock and District Ladies Probus, meetings
take place 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. Contact Barbara - Membership Secretary on 01889 882 166, or Anne
- Chairman on 01922 418 037.
Bumper County Show!
Excitement is building ahead of this month’s
Staffordshire County Show on 25th & 26th August.
The Show is fortunate to be able to go ahead without
restrictions, however, Government guidance will be
The main arena has an action-packed line up for the whole
day with The Bolddog Lings Motorcycle stunt team performing
with some breath-taking aerial stunts. Scurry Drivers will also
lead their equestrian charges around the ring in high-speed
races, and an array of other attractions will ensure there is
something for everyone.
The much-loved country pursuits area will have all the usual
attractions such as the quack pack, the farriers, the giant
tortoises as well as the UK’s only pig stage show more widely
known as ‘The Hogg Show’ which will perform at the County
Show for the first time.
The Staffordshire County Show always delivers a fantastic,
enjoyable day out for the whole family. There is a great deal to
see and do with a Craft and Antique Fair, Food Hall, Donkey
Rides, Poultry and Rabbit Marque, An Animal Farm, Punch and
Judy, and so much more. The final preparations are being put in
place now to ensure a wonderful day out for all.
It’s going to be a busy two days with advance tickets sales
higher than any year on record. Advance sales close on 17th
August so anyone who has not bought a ticket is urged to visit
www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk. Advance ticket sales offer a
real saving on gate admission prices.
for a Sales
Citylife in Lichfield
Ltd is expanding!
We currently have an opportunity
for a Sales Executive to work on our
two magazines – Citylife in Lichfield
and Citylife in Rugeley & Cannock
Chase. You must be self-motivated
and comfortable speaking to clients
on the phone as well as face-to-face.
The post is commission only and a
car is essential.
For further information and a full
job description, please email
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