A Summer of Making Memories
Welcome to CITYLIFE in Lichfield, a monthly magazine
bringing you our pick of the city’s news, events and stories.
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Each issue features heritage stories exploring the rich
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latest in fashion and style.
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Editor - Kristen Lackajis 07885 380632
Features - Jono Oates 07785 757201 firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Brown 07740 166497 email@example.com
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Citylife In Lichfield
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6 Local News
What's happening in and around the area
10 Lichfield District Council News
Doug Pullen shares the Council's latest business
20 Burntwood Town View
Burntwood Town Council's monthly newsletter
22 Days Out for Kids!
What to see and do in the area over the Summer
34 Lichfield's Hidden Writers
Jono Oates delves into the City's past
42 In All Their Glory!
Lesley Smith shares tales of her time at
From the Editor…
Welcome to the August issue of Citylife in Lichfield and, as I write this,
the sun is shining but what a mixed bag it’s been over the past month!
From torrential rain to the hottest day on record, it’s fair to say the City
has seen it all!
This month, I’m delighted to welcome the Leader of Lichfield District
Council, Doug Pullen, as a guest contributor in what I hope will become
a regular feature.
As it’s the Summer holidays, we’ve put together a feature showcasing
just a few of our favourite venues and events to take the children to;
we’ve also got our usual history features, written by the fantastic Jono
Oates (who potentially knows more about the City and its past than
anyone else!); plus Lesley Smith, curator of Tutbury Castle, shares more
amusing anecdotes about life at the castle in her column.
So take a seat in the garden (or inside!), pop on your sunglasses (or
rainhat!) and enjoy this month’s magazine!
A choir from Staffordshire is celebrating after
sweeping the board at the inaugural Midlands
Choir of the Year competition, organised by
Lichfield Festival as part of its 40th anniversary
Cor Bach from Newcastle-under-Lyme beat off
five rivals in a concert at Lichfield Cathedral to
lift the first Midlands Choir of the Year trophy
and were announced as winners of the
audience vote too.
The nine-strong male choir impressed the jury
with their renditions of Vive L’Amour, Lowlands
and Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
The group received a cash prize of £1000 and
an invitation to sing at the 2023 Lichfield
Festival as well as a further prize of £500 as
winners of the audience vote.
The competition was open to amateur, adult
singing groups of all types and musical genres
from across the Midlands region through a
recorded entry round, live semi-finals and the
final which took place in Lichfield Cathedral on
New Season at
Welcome to The Hub’s new season of events –
full of arts and culture for everyone throughout
The new programme is full of local emerging
talent with Let Me In productions leading the
way with Once the Musical (26th Aug-17th
Sept), its most ambitious theatre project to
Following on from the success of Star Wars and
Gaia, The Hub is continuing its exciting largescale
exhibitions with The Magic Of Middle
Earth celebrating the incredible fantasy world
brought to life by J.R.R. Tolkien (24th Aug – 11th
Muso legend, Tom Robinson, drops by on 5th
October and the new Friday Night Live music
series will keep the music coming.
Plus there’s comedy and cabaret galore with
Très Très Cabaret - an evening of burlesque and
variety plus the popular #BingoHun – Lichfield’s
very own boozy bingo night!
Find out about The Hub and all Hub events at
www.thehubstmarys.co.uk or pop in to pick up
Robert Yardley presents cheque to Simon Price of
‘We Love Lichfield’
On Thursday 14th July Councillor Robert
Yardley, Mayor of Lichfield during 2021/22,
accompanied by Mr Peter Hitchman and Mrs
Pat Peters (Sheriff and Sheriff’s Lady 2021/22)
presented cheques to representatives of their
During their year in office, the Mayor and
Sheriff raised £11,095.58 which was divided
evenly between their two chosen charities, ‘We
Love Lichfield’ & ‘Friends2Friends’. Simon Price
representing ‘We Love Lichfield’ & Mark White
representing ‘Friends2Friends’, were delighted
to each receive a cheque for £5,547.79.
The former Mayor and Sheriff hosted a variety
of successful charity events throughout their
year in office, including Beer & Skittles, Quiz
Night, Dinner Dance, Sunday Lunch, Race Night
& Vintage Musical Evening & Auction.
Councillor Robert Yardley & Mr Peter
Hitchman would like to offer their sincere
thanks to all the local businesses, groups and
individuals who supported their fundraising
activities and for their wonderful generosity
towards two very worthy causes.
Real Deal for Local
Richard Winterton with David Dickinson
Celebrity antiques expert David Dickinson
visited Lichfield recently to film with auctioneer
‘The Duke’ hosted a ‘dealer day’ for ITV’s
Dickinson’s Real Deal at Burton Market Hall on
Sunday July 10th.
The show, which is in its 18th series, sees
people take in their collectables for valuation
and then decide whether to put the item up for
auction or be tempted to take a dealer’s cash
offer. The Real Deal team was on the lookout
for hidden treasures and offering people advice.
Items consigned from the event at Burton were
then included in Richard Winterton
Auctioneers’ sale on Tuesday July 26th at The
Lichfield Auction Centre, Fradley Park.
This round of filming was extra special for
Richard Winterton Auctioneers as it coincided
with the realisation of a long-term wish for a
new premises at Burton, adding to the existing
premises in Tamworth and Fradley. The new
premises will offer pop-up specialist valuations
and an opportunity for members of the public
to learn more about auctions.
For more information on upcoming auctions
and valuation events, call 01543 251081, email
email@example.com or visit
Do you know how much money
you will need in retirement?
Are you concerned about inflation eroding your pension income, savings and investments?
Are you sure your pensions will meet your needs when you want to retire?
Do you even know what type of pensions you have got and what your tax free cash and drawdown
Would you like a free one-hour financial health check with an experienced local Financial Adviser?
Why don’t you give me a call to have an initial chat and we can take it from there.
Our first meeting will be at no cost to
you, without any obligation to proceed
any further. If you do decide to proceed
then the fees for initial and ongoing
advice will be clearly explained and
agreed with you before any further work
is done. Financial Advice will cost money,
which can come from the investment, but
I hope to be able to demonstrate to you
the benefit of good quality professional
If you do decide to become a client
then you will get a personalised service
that matches your needs, whatever they
may be, as we are all individuals. I will
carry out a full fact find of your
circumstances, look at your current plans
and policies and discuss with you your
priorities, where you want to be
financially in the future and how I may be
able to help you get there. I will speak in
clear terms and do my best to try and
help you achieve your goals.
As an experienced local Financial
Adviser I work with clients at all stages of
their life to help them achieve their
financial goals, whatever they may be.
You can find me on the Independent
rating sites Unbiased and Vouchedfor, via
my website - www.financialadviser.me.uk
or the Four Oaks website –
I hope to hear from you soon.
Robin Place DipFA, CeLTCI, MLIBF
0121 323 2070, 07968 504805
Stephen Fry Reads
Local Boy’s Story
James Peters, aged nine, from Rugeley was
announced as the winner of Lichfield Festival’s
children’s story writing competition. His
winning entry ‘Endless Journeys, Endless
Adventures’ has been recorded by the actor,
broadcaster and writer Stephen Fry.
Launched by Lichfield Festival as part of its 40th
anniversary celebrations the competition
challenged children to write an original short
story on the theme of Green Journeys, real or
imaginary, or to think about how they might
change and save the world. The competition
was sponsored by EQUANS, who are redeveloping
Rugeley Power Station, leading the
way in low carbon solutions to bring a greener
future for us all.
James, who is a pupil at Hob Hill Primary
School, wrote a story about a tin can who
dreams of the ‘endless adventures’ it might have
One of the highlights of the district’s social
calendar, Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park, has
secured sponsorship from a host of local
The free event, which takes place this year on
Saturday 3rd September, attracts up to 15,000
people, all eager to enjoy an evening of stirring
music as the sun goes down.
It would, however, not be possible without the
generosity of local businesses and the Council
wishes to thank them for supporting the event
through sponsorship and advertising.
Thanks to Gold sponsors Strongs Plastic
Products and Brownhill Hayward Brown; Silver
sponsors Rotary Club of Lichfield St Chad,
Lichfield Chamber of Trade and Commerce,
More Space 4 U, Zest education, Prizm
Solutions and Tenet Mortgage Solutions and
Bronze sponsors Wilcox Refinishers, Blue Print
Design, The Best of Lichfield, Keelys LLP
Solicitors, Beacon Street Garage and C
Thanks also to Lichfield City Council and
Swinfen Broun Trust for their support and
county councillors Richard Cox, Janet Eagland,
Colin Greatorex and David Smith who have
each pledged money from their Staffordshire
County Council 2022 Community Fund
The first residents have moved into a brandnew
sheltered housing scheme in Lichfield.
Bluebell Court is a purpose-built development
of 29 one and two-bedroom apartments
offering affordable homes for social rent.
Conveniently located for accessing the city
centre, on the corner of Rotten Row and
Deans Croft, this sustainable and accessible
scheme has been designed with the
environment in mind.
It has been built to new insulation standards
and every apartment features a heat recovery
pump, enabling warmth from extracted air to be
reused, which residents can control and
programme themselves for optimum energy
Bluebell Court has a communal space, rooftop
terrace and secure parking for cars, bikes and
scooters for residents and visiting family and
friends. The scheme is also pet-friendly, in
recognition of the wellbeing benefits a pet can
Pictured (l-r): Chief Executive of Midland Heart
Glenn Harris MBE, Vice Chair of Lichfield
District Council Harry Warburton, Chair and
Non-Executive Member of Midland Heart John
Edwards CBE, and Mayor of Lichfield Jamie
Float to Live
Tamworth & Lichfield Royal National Lifeboat
Institution (RNLI) branch will have a stand at
the Children's Fun Day on Wednesday 3rd of
August in Beacon Park.
Distressed by the stories of so many youngsters
drowning while trying to cool off during the
heatwave RNLI want to share some lifesaving
tips. It’s easy to get into trouble, not only at the
seaside but in inland lakes and rivers which
looks so calm and ‘safe’. The shock of very cold
water is a danger in itself, not to mention the
hazard of diving in when you have no idea
what’s below the surface.
RNLI have an advice page on their website –
just search “RNLI Float to Live” to learn more.
The idea is to try not to panic but to spread
out, starfish like, and float. Taking deep breaths
will help buoyancy and help calm you down
until help arrives.
Bring the children along to see the RNLI and
learn how to be safe in the water.
To Advertise call:-
Steve Brown 07740 166497
Rebecca Hill 07970 513144
Mike James 07900 982456
District Council House
is Open for Business!
By Doug Pullen, Leader of Lichfield District Council
There’s been a
tremendous amount of
change at Lichfield
District Council over the last
12 months as we (finally!)
fully emerged from COVID
restrictions, while also
recruiting a new CEO to lead
our organisation forward.
There’s far more to update
you on than I can cram into
this column (hint hint
Editor….), so I’ll start with what we are doing to our own
offices, and why we are doing it.
I’m a firm believer that council assets should all ‘earn their keep’ in
one form or another - including our offices – so I’m really pleased
that we’ve thrown open our doors at District Council House to
several new tenants, all of whom will help create a new sense of
vibrancy at our Frog Lane offices.
The opportunity for us to co-exist with businesses in the same
premises is exciting and with its excellent facilities and city centre
location we are confident District Council House will quickly
establish itself as a popular place for companies to locate.
We’ve replaced our somewhat ‘traditional’ customer service desk
with Penni Uni - a relaxed, dog-friendly coffee shop on the Ground
Floor at the District Council.
It has been created by the team behind Melbourne, the leading café
and catering group based in Bird Street and is a brilliant place to catch
up on emails, have an informal meeting or get together with friends
over a cuppa.
There is certainly plenty to tempt coffee lovers at Penni Uni. Its
coffee is roasted in-house and features home-made syrups with
flavours including vanilla, honeycomb and white chocolate.
Penni Uni also serves fruit smoothies, Jaffles (Australian toasties)
with fillings including New York Deli, brie, bacon and cranberry, spicy
vegan and cheese and bean and for those with a sweet-tooth a range
of stuffed cookies and cakes. Delicious!
Dogs are especially welcome with the coffee shop serving doggie
biscuits and ‘pupaccinos’ just for them. Stylishly decorated with
colourful graffiti art Penni Uni is open to the public Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm.
Our Business Incubator space, The Hive, is starting to take shape
nicely, with over 30 businesses taking up the opportunity to tour our
offices and give direct feedback on how the council can support them
more fully in their endeavours. We are looking at ways that we can
support small businesses and considering shared desks, meeting
spaces, short and long term space rental opportunities; plus we are
working with potential business mentors and advisors and investors
to create a vibrant, exciting destination for organisations to thrive in.
Lichfield District Council Leader, Doug Pullen, speaks with
businesses as they tour the newly available business space at
the District Council House.
Lichfield District already has a much higher than average business
survival rate – we hope that this will further solidify Lichfield as a
great place to start a business.
I want us to work much more closely with the voluntary sector in
Lichfield District, and we’d love some of them to take space within
our offices - and we are in advanced conversations with at least one
well-established charity to do just that.
We are using a small area of the car park at District Council House
to accommodate The Big Red Bike, a Charitable Incorporated
Organisation in the city which takes residents who are unable to get
out and about independently on rides around Lichfield.
This is a fantastic scheme which helps people in the district at risk
of isolation. They are carried in a two-seater electric tricycle called a
trishaw by a team of fully trained volunteers.
The bike is fully-insured and the service is free. It is great to see
people enjoying their rides around the city on this special bike and to
be able to support the scheme for the benefit of residents.
Finally, our offices are now back fully-open and we are once again
welcoming people in for face-to-face appointments. It is great to be
able to support people in person as we know some people prefer
and need personal support and our Customer Support team is happy
Most of our services are available online so it’s definitely worth
checking first on our website. If you do need to come and see us, we
just ask that you call ahead to arrange an appointment on 01543 308
000 and we can make sure one of our team is available to help.
Penni Uni Cafe
Phew - What a
By Lauren Hirst
We all like a bit of summertime fun but it’s important to keep our furry
friends cool and safe during the summer heat. Remember dogs can’t
sweat like we do to cool down. Greyhounds are particularly
susceptible as are flat nosed and are also often elderly or infirm dogs. The main
way they regulate their temperature is by panting (there are some sweat glands
in their paws to help dissipate heat but it only helps a little). Care is needed to
monitor their activity levels to make sure they don’t over exert themselves – they
just don’t know when to stop!
So here are some top tips that we use at Greyhound Trust Hall Green with our kennel
dogs and adopters to help our dogs remain cool and prevent any heat related problems.
1. There is no rule that a dog MUST be walked every day – a dog has never died
from not having a walk, but can if walked when it’s too hot. If you do go for a walk, go
very early in the morning or later in the evening (but even then it can still be very hot
and humid). Test surfaces with the back of your hand - it it’s too hot for you then it’s
too hot for your dog’s paws – this includes patios, artificial grass, and decking. Hose
down hot surfaces if your dog needs to cross hot surfaces to toilet.
2. Instead, play some ‘brain games’ with them in the house or garden to give them
something to do instead of going for a walk.
3. Access to water – have water bowls all over the house. A squirty bottle is
useful if your dog is reluctant to drink which also helps evaporative cooling when they
pant. A splash of milk or better yet bone broth in the water bowl may encourage your
dog to drink. Add extra water when soaking their kibble as a way to increase hydration
or switch temporarily to wet food which has a higher moisture content.
4. Evaporative cooling helps to bring down a dog’s temperature. Special fabric
cooling coats or cloths when soaked in cool (not cold) water draws heat from your dog.
Make sure they are regularly removed and replenished with cool water otherwise they
will warm up the dog’s body. Some dogs enjoy paddling pools to lie in. If your dog isn’t
keen on water, try adding bits of sausage to entice them in for a bit of ‘sausage bobbing’
and cooling their feet. If your dog gets hot – use your squirty bottle of water or garden
hose to wet him down – include belly ears, and between the legs.
5. Fans are another good way to cool your dog – freeze a large pop bottle filled
with water and place in front of the fan – instant air conditioning! Works for people too!
Never leave your dog in a conservatory.
6. Make some ‘dogsicles’. Stuff and freeze a Kong or hollow chew toy, freeze their
favourite treats like hot dogs, or make ice cubes with yogurt and mashed fruit or peanut
butter, bone broth, wet food etc - there are loads of ideas online.
7. It goes without saying, never, ever leave your dog in a hot car, even with the
windows open. Check your dog often during a journey as aircon doesn’t always reach
the very back of the car. If you don’t have aircon – consider if the journey is a necessary
– especially if you might get stuck in traffic with no breeze.
8. Remember that it’s the AIR temperature
and HUMIDITY as well as the sun that is
dangerous – just because the sun’s not out,
doesn’t mean it’s safe to go outside. Humidity
lessens the effect of evaporative cooling.
9. Familiarise yourself with the signs of heat
exhaustion: excessive panting, dribbling,
lethargy/lack of coordination, very red or purple
gums and inner ears, rapid pulse, vomiting,
10. Any concerns, take quick action – get to
a shady area, get cool water all over their bodies,
fan them to create a breeze, and get to the vets
straight away. It could make all the difference.
Enjoy the summer but please stay safe. For more
information about the dogs needing loving, forever
homes, please ring us on 0121 424 810, visit
www.greyhoundgtrusthallgreen.org.uk or follow
The Cookware and Tableware Specialists
The Kitchen Shop was opened 40 years ago in August 1982, by husband and wife team,
Barry & Hilary Woolston. They recognised a gap in the market, started off as a franchise
cookshop and soon decided to go it alone to allow them to offer a more eclectic range of
stock to their customers.
The shop in 1982 was much smaller than it is today, just operating on the ground floor.
On their opening day, 20th August, Barry remembers the queues down Market Street to
just get into the shop! “It was a phenomenal day. Hilary and I knew we’d made a great
In 1987 the shop was remodelled so a tableware, homeware & gift section could be
added upstairs. This important development effectively doubled the size of the shop with
the new fabulous staircase in the centre of the shop leading to a first floor department. In
2009, the family reinvested in the business. Vicky says “We gave the shop a facelift with a
complete new shop front. New lighting and air-conditioning was installed throughout the
shop, which created a much brighter and more comfortable environment for our
customers, especially on warm days.”
Although the business model is very much
the same today as it was in the beginning, the
digital era has brought in the addition of social
media pages on Facebook, Twitter and
Instagram. The Kitchen Shop now sells online,
with click and collect available too, and all of
their products can be viewed through their
google profile where customers can reserve
or ask questions about products.
Guess how many peppercorns
fit in the mill to win a set of
Enter in-store 1st to 31st August
• Cellar Dine
Be the “Fastest to Open 6 Beer
and win a Cellar Dine Gift
Set worth £29.99!
• Denby Halo
Guess how many minutes it takes
to make a Denby Halo Mug to
WIN a set of 2 Denby Halo
Mugs worth £36!
With thanks to the following suppliers for their support...
40 years on, The Kitchen Shop is run by Barry & his daughters
Vicky Woolston and Lizzy Braine with a team of friendly staff. Sadly
Hilary passed away in January 2021 which was a huge blow to the
family, but they are determined to carry on her legacy.
One thing that has not changed over the years is the high level of
customer service. All staff are regularly trained and their product
knowledge is second to none.
Independent retail businesses are facing uncertain times and need
your support to survive. Lizzy told Citylife “it is now more than ever,
important for us to ask people to buy local. As a Lichfield business
we are committed to also buy local. When we want our windows
cleaned and any building maintenance done we choose a local
supplier. The aim is to help keep the economy rolling in Lichfield.”
The Kitchen Shop houses a vast choice of products. Downstairs
you will find everything you need for your kitchen: a huge selection
of cookware, tools, knives, aprons, gadgets, bakeware, boards, mills,
small electricals & much more.
Upstairs you will find homewares such as cutlery, barware,
glassware, gifts and the largest range of tableware in the Midlands.
Expect to find leading brands such as Le Creuset, Smeg, Joseph
Joseph, Alessi, Denby, Burleigh, Emma Bridgewater and dozens more!
We are proud to be part of
Join Lizzy, Vicky and the
team this August in
celebrating an amazing
40 years of success in
business! Throughout the
month there will be FREE
in-store competitions, a
huge PRIZE DRAW which you can enter if you spend
£30. On their official Birthday, Saturday 20th August,
customers will be treated to a slice of birthday cake
and goody bags for the first 40 people spending £30
or more. Check out all the details in-store or on
From 1st to 31st August spend
£30 in-store and you will be
entered into our huge prize
draw – with a change to win
many fantastic prizes!
- £500 worth of
Le Creuset Products.
More details in-store.
27th August - 29th August
Bank Holiday Weekend
FREE In-store demonstrations
• Le Creuset gift with purchase.
• Exclusive festival deals.
More details in-store and on-line.
Spend £30 in-store on our
Birthday, 20th August and
receive a Goody Bag worth
While stocks last.
5 Market Street, Lichfield, WS13 6JX
Tel: 01543 268602
By Alison Thornhill
Who doesn’t like walking along a river? We know that
walking has lots of benefits over and above simple
enjoyment: it boosts the immune system, improves joint
flexibility and helps lower blood pressure. Even better, walking in
the outdoors amongst nature has been proven to boost our mood
and improve our mental wellbeing.
With this in mind, the Trent Rivers Trust (TRT) is working with
partners throughout the Trent Valley to bring about the Trent Valley Way
(TVW), a way-marked walking route, extending 170 miles from its
source near Stoke-on-Trent to the Humber estuary.
The TVW passes cities, towns and villages. It’s rich with wildlife and
places of interest. It links communities, attracts visitors and contributes
to the local economy. It connects the cities and towns which have built
their business, industry and heritage on the River Trent or within its
It is already established for 84 miles through Nottinghamshire and
Lincolnshire passing through Nottingham, Newark, Gainsborough and
The length upstream of Rugeley in Staffordshire is just a provisional
line on a map at the moment.
Trent Rivers Trust is currently completing a new 32 mile-long section
between Rugeley and Shardlow. This work is being partly funded by The
National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the Transforming the Trent
Valley Landscape Partnership scheme (TTTV) and Tarmac. Work is
underway to waymark the route and upgrade stiles, steps and paths. It’s
hoped this work will be completed by October 2022. There will be
circular walks along parts of the path and interpretation points at
various locations along the route.
You’re invited to a weekend celebration of walking Join us to help
us celebrate the launch of the footpath this September during our
weekend of walks. We’re running guided walks on Saturday 24 and
We’ll also be running a walk along the 51km stretch of the TVW
on Saturday 1 October.
Email or call me to register your interest
firstname.lastname@example.org /07887 720214.
For more information, visit www.trentriverstrust.org/trent-valley-way and to
find out more about the wider Transforming the Trent Valley project, visit
Got a story or charity
event you want to share
with our readership? Think
you’ve snapped an image
that captures the spirit of
the region? We want to
hear from you!
Contact Citylife at
Your Garden in August
By Byron Lewis
Phew what a scorcher!
The heatwave we experienced in July will have stressed most of us out
– along with lots of your plants too! Many plants suffered because of the
heat and may be looking a little jaded. There’s no harm in trimming many
of them back to encourage fresh new growth and possibly another flush
of flowers. Sunburnt leaves can be pinched off and these will quickly be
replaced. Give your plants a feed too and they should recover well.
As we enter August, this normally means summer holidays for many
people – lots have booked to go away but with all the recent airport and
flight disruption, you might be enjoying your garden for the next few
months instead! With that in mind, here are a few ideas for cottage
garden colour to make your garden an alternative holiday destination.
Cottage Garden Perennials
Lots of these popular plants will flower through the summer months and
generally need a little less looking after compared to some bedding
plants. Look out for plants like Verbena bonariensis with tall stems of
purple flowers. Shasta Daisies (Leucanthemum) are also typical border
plants with large white or pale yellow daisy like flowers which last for
weeks at a time. Agapanthus also flower in the summer, along with
Rudbeckia - try these together for a combination of blue/purple and
yellow. Removing dead flower heads on all these plants will encourage
further flowering into the autumn.
If we have another heatwave this month, please remember to water
your plants in the morning or evening - NOT in the middle of the day
when the temperatures are at their highest. This can stress your plants,
and some flowers and leaves are also liable to become scorched. While
watering, think about adding some general purpose feed to your
watering can to add vigour to your plants. The better fed they are, the
better they will perform. The same goes for hanging baskets and pots -
there is no natural water source in these, so the plants rely on you for
water and food. Water daily in hot weather.
Byron Lewis runs Lichfield Garden Centre at
Curborough Countryside Centre,
Lichfield. Tel: 01543 254306. Visit
www.lichfieldgardencentre.co.uk or find the centre on
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Burntwood Town View
A Note from the
It’s holiday season and I
wish all Burntwood
residents a safe and
enjoyable summer. Our
work at the Town Council
continues though as we
host Play in the Parks, our
next Markets and start our
Repair & Response Team
project in earnest – and,
Cllr Sue Woodward, Leader,
Burntwood Town Council
would you believe, start planning ahead for or
Christmas activities? Lots of other projects in the
pipeline from a renewal of our Heritage Trail to cycle
racks at our shopping areas. It’s amazing what our
town has achieved in partnership with local
community groups and organisations as we’ve
emerged from Covid restrictions and I pay tribute to
all of those groups who truly believe in a
#BetterBurntwood and work so hard to make it
The Producers Market at Sankey’s Corner goes from
strength to strength, with more stalls and more
people coming along to see what’s on offer! The
markets are held on the second Sunday of every
month – August’s will be on 14 August, from 9:30am
until 2pm. If you are interested in a stall, please email
Bert and Gerts on email@example.com
Burntwood Town Council’s newsletter
The day the Queen’s
Baton Relay came to
On 20 July, crowds turned out in their hundreds to see the
Queen’s Baton Relay come through the town to mark the
Commonwealth Games being held this year in Birmingham.
The Town Council was there, on Chasetown High Street to
hand out water, sweets and flags and to wave as Jane Sutton,
and the other baton bearers took the Baton on to
Chasewater. There was a great atmosphere, and it was definitely a moment to remember
for years to come.
and Repair Team
We are really pleased to have taken delivery of BURRT, out
fully electric, zero emission micro van. BURRT is helping to
extend the Town Council’s ambition to help make the Town
look and feel great. We are hiring a new member of staff
who will complete the Team and enable us to respond to issues, make minor repairs to our
infrastructure (such as our signposts, defib phone boxes, planters etc) and report problems to
the right authority or landowner. BURRT will become a familiar sight around town. Give him
a wave when you see him!
Play in the Parks
We have brought back Play in the Parks for 2022. This much-loved free event runs from the
end of July through August, in different parks in the town. We work with our partners, such as
St John’s Church, Spark and Fun Club, to organise these family friendly events, aimed at families
with primary school age children. There are games, rides, and a bouncy castle, all free, and
residents are encouraged to come and join the fun, and get the best use out of their parks. For
details, please follow our social media.
The Old Mining College Centre | Queen Street |
Burntwood WS7 4QH Telephone | 01543 677166
Website | www.burntwood-tc.gov.uk
follow us on Twitter @burntwoodtc and Facebook
Community Seed Share.
The Town Council has agreed a small grant to help fund a free community seed share scheme,
where residents can bring seeds to swap, or find some seeds and small plants they can grow
and nurture at home. We have installed a small greenhouse at the front of the Old Mining
College and people have been bringing seeds and plants to share, and you are welcome to
come and have a look and help yourself. Find us on Facebook by search Burntwood
Community Seed share, or call in the Old Mining College weekdays.
Gritting schedules in Burntwood.
It seems strange to be talking about gritting in August, but Councils do plan far ahead. Although
Burntwood Town Council doesn’t have the responsibility for highways (this rests with the
County Council), your local Councillors share residents’ concerns a key route in town, Stables
Way, wasn’t included on the winter gritting schedule, and have been highlighting this problem
with County officials for quite some time. Cllr Sue Woodward said, “I am really pleased that
the lobbying has finally borne fruit and am grateful to the local highways officers for not letting
this slip off their agenda.” The Town Council will also be providing some new grit bins to make
sure that we can help tackle icing problems this winter.
Prepare to ‘Bee’ Amazed!
Opening on Saturday 30th July,
Lichfield’s newly established ‘Maize
Maze,’ complete with bee theme, is
all set to get families buzzing this summer!
In its first year of operation, the ethos behind
the maze goes much deeper than simply
providing a place to play… it aims to celebrate
the country’s farming industry as well as the
incredible biodiversity of nature. The humble
bee is this year’s focus and, although known for
producing delicious honey, the role that bees
play in our everyday lives is so much more
important as they pollinate a lot of the food that we need to survive, as well as
supporting the habitats of our precious wildlife.
The family-run site features a 10-acre maze, plus a mini-maze for little legs,
offering a combined total of over 3 miles of winding paths to explore, with
wildflower strips and more than 65,000 sunflowers to help encourage nature’s
own pollinators to get busy too!
There’s lots to see and do, including a sandpit and lots of mini tractors to play
on, and all visitors will receive a maze map, stickers and an activity card.
Families are welcome to bring their own picnics, and there will also be an onsite
caterer, Strawberry Fields of Burntwood, to provide food, drinks, and snacks,
plus ice creams for a cooling post-maze treat! There will also be a small gift shop
to stock up on lovely bee and nature themed gifts.
Ticket prices start from £5 and pre-booking via the website is strongly
recommended to avoid disappointment.
Find out more at www.lichfieldmaizemaze.co.uk or search
@lichfieldmaizemaze on Facebook and Instagram.
Saturday 6th, 13th & 20th
Climbing at your Cathedral
Try your hand at scaling an
8-metre-high climbing wall
at the Cathedral and get a
whole new perspective on
the great west front.
Conquer your fears,
explore your sense of adventure and step out of
your comfort zone!
Venue: Outside Lichfield Cathedral
Find out more at www.lichfield-cathedral.org/climb.
Sunday 7th August
Toy Story on the Farm!
Join Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Mr Potato Head and Bullseye
for a toy-tastic day of fun on the farm! There’ll be
tons of fun during the day, including animal
encounters, face painting & temporary tattoos, plus
meet and greets with your favourite Toy Story
Venue: Burntwood Alpaca & Animal Experience,
Ironstone Road, Burntwood.
Time: Various times throughout the day.
Price: From £2.99.
Visit www.burntwoodalpacas.co.uk to book and find
Saturday 13th – Friday 19th August
Free Children’s Summer Activities
Keep your cool in the sun with some crafty summer
fun at Lichfield Cathedral. Design, draw and colour
stained glass windows, along with other craft
Venue: Lichfield Cathedral
No need to book, just drop by and join in!
Monday 22nd – Friday 26th August
Summer School at Lichfield Cathedral
Looking for something fun this summer holiday?
Drama, geocaching, singing and art? Sports, splashing,
games and crafts? Lichfield Cathedral and Lichfield
Cathedral School’s Summer School could be the
place for you!
for more information.
Summer Fun at Sam’s
Join the Samuel Johnson
Birthplace Museum for fun
craft activities in the house
here he was born! The
theme for these
workshops will be celebrations. Traditional toys can
also be found throughout the house during the
school holidays for all to enjoy.
Venue: Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, Market
Time: Workshops will start at 11am, 12pm & 2pm.
Price: Tickets cost £3.50 per child, and all must be
accompanied by an adult.
Advanced booking is essential. Call on 01543 264972
or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more
and book tickets.
Until Sunday 7th August
Carters Steam Fun Fair
Beautifully restored vintage fairground rides make
Carter’s the world’s prettiest travelling fun fair!
Experience the joy of a traditional British funfair and
make memories with your family.
Venue: Beacon Park, Lichfield.
For further information, or to book ride tickets, visit
Until Wednesday 31st August
The Beach at The Cathedral
We're inviting everyone to come to the Beach and
enjoy the space. Borrow a deck chair for a while and
put your feet up, build sandcastles with the kids,
borrow from our collection of garden toys and
games for family fun, grab a drink and some snacks
and while away the day.
Venue: Lichfield Cathedral
The Beach is free! Pop along whenever you like.
Escape from it All!
Want to test your skills, unleash your creativity or vent
some anger? Lichfield’s brand-new live games experience
promises exhilarating fun for people of all ages!
Based in an old office block, the interior rooms at Escape Time
Lichfield have been fantastically transformed into different experiences
to engage the mind and body. First off, there is a paint splatter room –
perfect for kids who love to get creative, not to mention messy! Inside
this UV-lit studio is a plethora of ‘tools’ to entertain. Throw darts at
paint-filled balloons, shoot at friends and family using paint pistols, or
have a bash on the drum kit and watch the powder paint fly! There’s
also T-shirts to paint on, or canvasses to play with and create your own
masterpiece! Ponchos and shoe covers provided!
Fancy a good old game of shoot ‘em up… with a difference? Then
spend some time in the Gel Blaster room and have fun firing waterbased
gel pellets at neon targets with space guns! Or if car racing is
your thing, there’s a purpose-built model racetrack for you to put your
driving skills to the test!
Finally, for the grown-ups wanting to let out a little anger, the Rage
Room is the experience for you! Strictly for the 18 plusses (due to
health and safety), the room is filed with an array of breakable items
(crockery, china, glassware, mirrors, TVs, furniture) for you to smash and
obliterate your way through with a baseball bat or, if the mood takes
you, a crowbar, all whilst listening to your favourite music! Safety gear is
To top it all off, there’s the classic Escape Room too. In just 60
minutes, a team of up to six people must solve a series of puzzles
against the clock in order to escape… or be locked in forever! But will
you get out?
Visit www.escapetimelichfield.co.uk to find out
more and to book your experience. Use special
code CITY25 to get 25% off your session price
during the school summer holidays!
www.escapetimelichfield.co.uk | Book online using code CITY25
Crossfield House, Crossfield Road, Lichfield WS13 6JR | 01543 387424
Play in the
Burntwood Town Council is putting on a series of
free events throughout the summer holidays. The
dates and venues for these sessions are all listed
below, and they take place between 11am-3pm.
Monday 1st August - Cherry Close Youth Centre
Wednesday 3rd August - Springhill Academy
Monday 8th August - Cherry Close Youth Centre
Wednesday 10th August - Redwood Park
Monday 15th August - Burntwood Park
Wednesday 17th August - Burntwood Park
Monday 22nd August - Chase Terrace Park
Wednesday 24th August - Springhill Academy
Making Magic at Auction
Bringing out a little auction magic is a thrill which
never goes away, from clients’ initial ‘wow’ when a
valuation takes them by surprise to an even bigger
‘WOW’ when the hammer goes down.
Following our special event at the Lichfield Garrick
in June (more hopefully coming soon too) we are
delighted to announce new weekly free valuations at
Burntwood Library on Tuesdays from 2.30pm to
4.30pm, catering for all jewellery, watches, gold and
The new sessions at the library at Sankey’s Corner,
Bridge Cross Road WS7 2BX, start on Tuesday,
August 2, so do drop in and make the most of a
buoyant auction market.
As demonstrated by our recent summer Fine Art
Sale, collectors all over the world keep their fingers
on the pulse.
Highlights included a 1901 Della Robbia plaque,
which sold for £4,200 – a wonderful result for our
centenarian vendor! Also under the hammer was the
1895 silver gilt Phoenix Challenge Cup from the
Royal Dublin Society Cattle Show, eventually selling
By Richard Winterton
And we had a huge amount of interest for earrings,
belts and stationery which belonged to Wallis, the
late Duchess of Windsor, totalling £1,730.
We’ve had a triple treat of television magic
recently, filming for ITV’s Dickinson’s Real Deal in July
and hosting more TV cameras for a reboot of Cash In
The Attic, coming to Channel 5 later this year and
featuring our very own David Fergus.
We’ve also appeared on new episodes of BBC
As well as a fine premise for TV, discovering hidden
treasure is the essence of what we’re about too and
it’s now even easier to get a free valuation with us.
The new Burntwood Library sessions add to our
existing pop-up valuations on Tuesdays at The Hub at
St Mary’s and we’re also at The Trinity Centre over in
Sutton Coldfield on Mondays from 9.30am-11.30am.
You can also drop in for jewellery valuations to our
Tamworth premises in Church Street on Wednesdays
and book in at Fradley on Thursdays, so if you’re
wondering about some mysterious object or
heirloom, wonder no more – let us see if we can
make some magic happen!
This Della Robbia plaque
sold for £4,200.
The 1895 silver gilt Phoenix
Challenge Cup, originally presented
for best animal in the Fat Cattle
Classes at the Royal Dublin Society
Cattle Show, sold at
auction for £3,000.
Ben Winterton, Sarah Williams and Rob
French had a fab day at the Alrewas Show,
with our stand attracting a great turnout.
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or post your
entry to Citylife in Lichfield Ltd, PO Box 7126, Lichfield WS14 4JS by
the closing date of 30th August 2022 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 50.
Dining Out - A City of Flavours
By Ruth Redgate
This month’s recipe is inspired by ‘Mr Hunnypot’ as we
both love mushrooms on toast!
Makes 1 loaf or 6 rolls
113g x plant-based milk
85g x wholemeal flour
85g x white bread flour
60g x dried mushrooms
20g x oil
10g x fresh yeast
4g x salt
Making the Dough
1. Soak the dried mushrooms in the milk overnight, then
2. Mix the yeast with the milk using your hand until it has
3. Place all remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pour
the milk/yeast mixture into the dry ones.
4. Mix using your hand until it comes together.
5. Tip the rough dough on to the table and using the heel
of your hand knead until a smooth dough forms, takes
about 10 mins. You are looking for the windowpane effect.
6. Cover the dough and leave to rise for about two hours
or until double in size.
7. Tip the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface
fold using the plating action (ie left corner into the middle
right corner into the middle, the next left side into the
middle, right side into the middle).
8. Place on a baking tray, cover if needed but only loosely
with a clean tea towel/bowl etc and leave to rise for about
9. Preheat oven to 200°C and place a container in the
bottom with water.
10. If making one loaf slash the bread, place in the oven for
15 mins, remove water and bake for a further 10 mins or
until golden brown and when tapped the bottom sounds
11. If making rolls bake for 20 mins with the water in for
the whole time. Serve toasted with garlic butter and of
course extra sautéed mushrooms if you wish.
Ruth Redgate is the owner of Hunnypot
for more information.
Dining Out - A City of Flavours
Woodland Walks at The Deer Park
Whilst visiting the fantastic farm shop and
Linhay restaurant at The Deer Park, why
not take the opportunity to enjoy the
surrounding countryside that lies on its doorstep?
Park Hollow Woods
Head through the gate at the top left of the field
adjacent to the main building (opposite the cow shed)
and head left to cross over and access woodland
through the gate. Look for the sign directing you where
On entering the woodland, head left to follow the
signage for the circular route which takes about 30
minutes to complete.
After about 15 minutes, as the path drops away down
the hill, there is an option to go left along the path and
enjoy a longer walk up to Jackson’s Bank, or to simply
head right and walk up the hill to The Deer Park.
Jackson’s Bank Walk
Begin on the Park Hollow Woods route, as above. After about 15
minutes, the path will drop away. Continue downhill to the gate into
the field (please keep dogs on a lead) and head left to the kissing gate
which brings you out opposite a traditional red brick farm.
Keeping the farm on the left, carefully cross the road to head down
Beck’s Lane towards a ford. Cross the ford
via the bridge on the right-hand side and
keep straight for about 200-300 yards until
a left-hand bend with a track to the right.
Turn up the track and after 200 yards
look for a path on the left to turn and
follow the way-markers for The Kissing
Gate Way (please note: this track can be
very muddy in wet weather so an
alternative would be to continue up Beck’s
Lane until the end, turn right up the hill for
a short distance and then Jackson’s Bank is
located on the left).
Follow the path straight all the way
through Beck’s Bank until eventually you
emerge to follow the left-hand side of a
large field. Keep a lookout for grouse!
Keep straight on to exit the field in the
top left corner of the road, taking care as
cars can travel quite fast down the hill here.
Turn left and head down the hill for 200 yards where you will see
the car park for Jackson’s Bank over the road. There is a series of
circular walks of various lengths which return to this point. To return
to The Deer Park, simply retrace your steps.
On arriving back at The Deer Park, you can enjoy refreshments in
The Linhay and a mooch around the farm shop too!
Dining Out - A City of Flavours
Time for Tea!
Afternoon tea is a quintessentially British treat and in the amazing surroundings of Swinfen
Hall, it simply doesn’t get better, or more British, than this! Helen Smith and her guest
took a trip out to this former gentleman’s estate in the Lichfield countryside to sample
what was on offer.
On arrival we were greeted by the imposing grand house, set in beautiful gardens, as we ambled down
the long driveway and, on entering the hall itself, you are transported back in time thanks to the sublime
grandeur, which oozes centuries of history dating right back to the Medieval era.
As the sun was beating down and there was a light, summer breeze, we opted to dine outside, which
also afforded us views to die for overlooking the magnificent building and its well-kept gardens. We were
seated and served with a choice of two delicious beverages, either a chilled flute of Taittinger
Champagne or Hattingley Valley English Sparkling – absolutely perfect to sip on such a fine day! The tea
selection we chose was ‘Peach Sencha” - a green tea blend with undertones of sweet, juicy ripe peaches;
and ‘Grandma’s Garden’ which was an aromatic fruit tea blend combined with all the hedgerow fruits
you can think of. Again, both great choices for a warm day. The tea used at Swinfen Hall comes from The
Lichfield Tea Company which is located at the neighbouring Heart of the Country Shopping Village, or
there is a specialist 'Iron & Fire' coffee available for serious caffeine lovers.
We were sat, basking in the glory of it all and feeling very refined, sipping our glasses of sparkles, when
the main event arrived. A beautiful cake stand, adorned with freshly made sandwiches, sweets and
savouries, was presented before us and we eagerly devoured it with our eyes, before tucking in!
The sandwiches for the day were in keeping with the very British atmosphere and were filled with
poached salmon and cucumber, egg and chive, roast vegetable hummus and roast beef, horseradish and
rocket. Cut into the traditional finger shapes, we quickly remembered our manners and decadently
nibbled (rather than scoffed!) our way through. Next, we moved onto the warm buttermilk scones (both
plain and fruit) which were served with the traditional clotted cream and jam and went down a treat,
before finally tucking into the sweet treats before us - vanilla and chocolate tarts, pistachio and
chocolate delice, violet and raspberry macarons and, last but not least, parsnip blackberry sponge (which
was a new one on me!), and all made in-house by the Hall’s talented pastry chef. Quite simply - Wow!
The flavours of each dessert were just exquisite and, despite being a slightly unusual combination, they
complemented each other perfectly.
Afternoon Tea is available between the hours of 12pm - 4pm on select dates
every month, with upcoming dates being Sunday 14th August and Sunday 18th
If you fancy treating friends, loved ones, or just yourself, to an afternoon tea at
Swinfen Hall, please do book in advance as places fill up fast. You can check
availability, plus see what other events are taking place, on the website at
Dining Out - A City of Flavours
Courtesy of Swinfen Hall
Clair O’Mara, Sales and Events Manager at
Swinfen Hall, shares her favourite dessert
from the menu with us. These delicious lemon
posset shots are biscuit based, topped with
lemon curd, then torched meringue to finish it
For the Base
200g x crushed digestive biscuits
1. Place a small amount of crushed
digestives into the bottom of each
2. Transfer your lemon curd to a
pastry bag and pipe a small amount
into each glass.
3. Transfer your meringue into a
pastry bag fitted with a large plain
tip and pipe a big dollop on top of
each shot glass.
4. Using a kitchen torch, carefully
toast each meringue top until they
are golden brown. If you are using
plastic shot glasses, be mindful just
to toast the tops of the meringues,
otherwise you run the risk of
melting the plastic!
5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Whisk constantly until lemon curd thickens and reaches
175 degrees F.
For the Lemon Curd
8 x egg yolks
150g x sugar
115g x butter
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 4 lemons
(You could also buy the lemon curd ready-made to make it easier at
For the Italian Meringue
225g x caster sugar
50mls x water
110g x egg white
Method for Lemon Curd
1. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, butter, lemon zest and juice in a medium
stainless steel or glass bowl and set over a saucepan of barely simmering
2. Whisk constantly until lemon curd thickens and reaches 79°C.
3. Remove from heat and let cool, whisking every few minutes to aid
4. Cover with plastic wrap so the plastic touches the surface of the curd
and chill for a few hours or overnight, the curd will continue to set as it
5. This can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for 1-2
weeks or frozen.
Method for Meringue
1. Cook the sugar and water together in a small saucepan over high heat
until it comes up to 115°C.
2. When the mixture reaches about 100°C, begin whipping the egg whites
in a stand mixer on medium-low speed until they are foamy.
3. When the sugar reaches temperature, remove from heat and pour very
slowly in a steady stream into the whipped egg whites.
4. As soon as all the sugar is incorporated, turn the mixer onto high, and
whip until completely cool.
Dining Out - A City of Flavours
Lichfield has long been a centre of literature and journalism, from Samuel
Johnson’s 1755 Dictionary of the English Language which influenced writers,
journalists and scholars for over 100 years, to Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of
Charles, whose book Zoonomia provided some basic suggestions of the evolution of
mankind well before his grandson’s Theory of Evolution was published. However, in
this feature Jono Oates looks at some of the lesser-known, but still influential, Lichfield
Over the years many writers have written about Lichfield, or been based in Lichfield when
creating their books and plays. In 1705 army officer George Farquhar stayed at the George
Hotel on Bird Street, while recruiting troops for the Grenadiers. It was said that while he
was there, he wrote sections of a play, the appropriately-titled The Recruiting Officer, which
was published in 1706. He also wrote The Beaux’ Stratagem which included references to the
landlord of the George at that time, Mr Boniface. When the Lichfield Garrick opened in July
2003, one of the first performances was The Recruiting Officer, starring the renowned actor
Corin Redgrave, and they also put on The Beaux’ Stratagem in 2005.
King Edward VI School 1940s
Swan Hotel Bird Street 1940s
One of the best-selling children’s books of the 18th century was The History of Sandford
and Merton by Thomas Day. Originally published in 1783, two further volumes were
published in 1786 and then 1789, the year that Day passed away. The books told the story of
two young boys, one rich and one poor, who became friends. The rich boy, Tommy Merton,
was spoiled, arrogant and pampered by his parents, while the poor boy, Harry Sandford was
down-to-earth, diligent and hard-working. The two boys are mentored by the local pastor, Mr
Barlow, and gradually over time Tommy comes to recognise the core values of hard work,
kindness and generosity, becoming a mirror-image of his chum Harry.
Thomas Day was a member of the Birmingham Lunar Society, a club containing some of
the most well-known names of the 18th century Enlightenment Movement, whose members
included Josiah Wedgwood, Matthew Boulton and Lichfield’s own Erasmus Darwin. In 1770
Day was living at Stowe House, opposite St Chad’s Church, with another member of the
Society, inventor Richard Lovell Edgeworth. Day came up with the idea of creating ‘The
Perfect Wife’ and bizarrely took two young orphans from a Foundling Hospital in London
back to Lichfield to try and ‘mould’ them to perfection using mental and physical cruelty to
‘toughen them up.’ His project, unsurprisingly, failed miserably, though he had much greater
success as a children’s author many years later.
In 1855 the noted American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter and
The House of the Seven Gables, visited Lichfield, primarily to see Samuel Johnson’s house on
Breadmarket Street. He stayed overnight at the Swan Hotel on Bird Street, where he enjoyed
a breakfast of a cup of chicory and a lamb chop and was served by a waiter who he said: ‘like
most of his class in England, had evidently left his conversational abilities uncultivated’!
Hawthorne enjoyed his walk round the cathedral close and Minster Pool and he then walked
to the Market Square to visit the former home of Samuel Johnson. At this time the house
was a privately-owned building, in the days before it became a museum, and was a
haberdashers owned by Mr Thomas Clarke. Unfortunately for Hawthorne, the shop was
closed and the doors locked so he had to leave Lichfield disappointed without seeing the
inside the house of the man who had been an inspiration to him.
The acerbic poet, Philp Larkin, stayed with his aunt and uncle on Cherry Orchard during
the early days of World War Two while escaping the bombing raids on Coventry, where he
had been born. He frequented several of the pubs of Lichfield, including the George Hotel,
and wrote three poems at the time: Christmas 1940, Ghosts, and Out in the Lane I Pause. In
the latter poem he describes standing by the railway bridge on Rotten Row and hearing the
voices and the laughter of the soldiers and their girlfriends as they left the pubs on Greenhill.
Road to Lichfield
(image copyright Penguin Classics)
Penelope Lively published the Road to Lichfield
in 1977, describing the story of a middle-aged
housewife from Kent travelling up to Lichfield to
look after her terminally ill father’s property after
he has moved to a nursing home, where she meets
and falls in love with another man. Although she
had written several children’s books this was her
first book for an adult audience and it was shortlisted
for the Booker Prize in 1977. The book has
been featured recently in the front window of
Waterstones bookshop on Market Street.
Sources: Patrick Comerford blog; The Literature
Citylife's Cutest Pets!
Whether it's a dog, cat, bunny or budgie - everyone loves their pets so
we've put together a montage from just a handful of the pet pictures
you've sent in over the last month! Is your pet on this page? Take a look!
Tina Osin sent in a picture of Anzan,
the six-year-old Tibetan Mastiff
This is Molly and Thomas's
Cavapoo, called Lilly!
Smokey, owned by
Gail and Paul, is a
Collie with the most
Helen and Dave's African Grey Parrot
is called Ollie - here he is with one of
his favourite toys!
Owner Jasmin couldn’t resist sending
in a picture of Dora, her little Wee-
Here’s a picture of Bear,
sent in by owner Beth
Owens, rocking his
Gill also owns this beautiful
Silkie, called Bongo!
Norman and Lenor sent in a picture
of their beautiful 'chorkie', Mia, who is
living her best life in Fradley!
Frank, the one-year-old Shih
Tzu, is so nosey that owner,
13-year-old Phoebe, often
finds him peering out from
behind a cushion, especially
if he thinks food might be
Alex, the teacup Yorkshire
Terrier, is now nearly
Sent in by owner Ellie.
Degan, owned by Gill, sadly
lost an eye – but it doesn’t
bother him at all! Here he
is relaxing at home!
Adorable Polly, sent in by Anna Walker,
loves to cuddle up to her toys.
Lichfield’s Lost Pubs
The Mitre Inn
Jono Oates continues his search for Lichfield’s lost pubs, this month featuring a
building that is still standing, but today provides an entirely different form of
entertainment from the time when it was one of Lichfield’s most popular pubs.
The Mitre Inn stood at 24 Tamworth Street, one of Lichfield’s well-established pubs, and in
October 1830 the Staffordshire Advertiser reported the death of the landlord, Mr Gould,
aged just thirty-nine. A tragic double-death befell landlord John Holloway in 1898 when his
daughter, Margaret, died on March 6th at only 14 days old and his son, Charles, died on
February 21st at just six hours old.
The most notorious landlord was undoubtedly Thomas Bowdler who had an action-packed
tenancy at the Mitre from 1902 to 1910, when he seemed to spend more time behind the
dock of the court than behind his own bar!
His first misdemeanour was in November 1904 when he was up before the city’s
magistrates charged with eight summonses for allowing illegal betting in the Mitre Inn, during
the month of October. Undercover police officers had posed as punters and had placed a
number of bets with Bowlder and witnessed several local men also placing bets during
normal pub opening times. When the police officers raided the Mitre, Bowdler asked them
not to go upstairs as his wife was in bed feeling very poorly and knew nothing about the
betting. The Police Inspector did go upstairs however and when he told Mrs Bowdler that his
officers would undertake a complete search of her bedroom, she then surrendered the
betting book to the Inspector, which she had hidden underneath the bed clothes. Bowdler
was found guilty and ordered to pay £20 and 2 shillings, a cost that would come back to haunt
His next brush-with-the-law came in June 1906 when he appeared in court charged with
selling a horse that had been drugged and was not fit for purpose. Frank Foster, a builder of
St John Street, sued Thomas and his business partner, Alfred Boddy, for breach of warranty
on the sale of a mare on April 20th that year. Many landlords had more than one business at
that time and, as well as being a landlord at the Mitre, he also operated as a horse dealer with
his partner Alfred. The defendants claimed that the horse was ‘sound and honest, and as good
a thing that ever went in a bit of leather.’ Foster, however, begged to disagree, stating that the
mare appeared to have been drugged. When he put the horse in two of his carts, it kicked
them both to pieces and, when he finally settled the horse, he claimed that it was so slow
and stupefied that it took him four hours to complete a journey that would normally take
him just one. He complained to the two traders but they refused to reimburse him, or take
the horse back, so he took them to court. The judge described it as an ‘extraordinary case’
and clearly doubted the stories provided by the plaintiff and the defendants but said he did
not believe that the arrangement between the three men for the horse was a legally-binding
warranty and therefore Bowdler and Boddy could not have been in breach of warranty, so
finding in favour of the defendants.
Bowdler soon had a problem with another of his horses when out riding on Whittington
Heath in August of the same year. The horse stumbled as it was jumping over a fence,
throwing Thomas to the ground. He suffered a very nasty knee-cap injury and also lacerations
to his face.
When the Mitre Inn was closed in March 1910 due to the large number of other pubs in
the same area, Bowdler became the licensee of the Malt Shovel Inn on Conduit Street in
December 1910. In September 1915 Bowdler, having left the Malt Shovel and living in
Bridgtown, Cannock, filed for bankruptcy with debts of £183. He had fallen heavily in debt to
the Lichfield Brewery Company which owned the Mitre and the Malt Shovel, and Bowdler
blamed the costs of the court case for illegal betting from 1904 for his financial downfall as,
with court costs and charges on top, he claimed that the original £20 fine had cost him well
The Mitre Inn is now the Crown Amusement Arcade, providing entertainment of a
different kind, and the Malt Shovel, as featured in our May magazine, is the Fat Face clothing
Site of the Mitre Inn 24 Tamworth Street
Mitre Inn (to rear of car) 1930s
Malt Shovel Hotel 1880s
*Vintage photographs of the Mitre courtesy of
Jono’s Tourism. Vintage photograph of the Malt Shovel
courtesy of St Mary’s Photographic Collection.
Sources: The British Newspaper Archive; Lichfield
Pubs by Neil Coley, The Old Pubs of Lichfield by John
The Queen’s Baton Relay began on 7th
October 2021, with Her Majesty The Queen
placing her Message to the Commonwealth
into the Baton. The Baton is now on its 294-
day long journey to every corner of the
Commonwealth. We caught up with the Baton as it
passed through Lichfield, Burntwood and Chasewater!
The baton heads down Beacon Street,
Jane Sutton, of charity
Stephen's Story, takes the
Baton in Chasetown,
Volunteer and former frontline
nurse, Raina Dickinson,
with her nominee, Marie
Coles, in Burntwood.
The Baton arrives at Pier 52
Watersports Centre at
Chasewater Country Park
(photo courtesy of Stuart
Gunn, Staffordshire Birdseye
Sebastian Kearns takes the Baton on
(Photo courtesy of Stuart Gunn,
Staffordshire Birdseye Photography)
and a jump!
(Photo courtesy of Stuart
Gunn, Staffordshire Birdseye
The Month in
We take a look at the events and
activities over the last month, bringing
you a round-up of the city in
Jack and Jill's Pre-school, Darwin Park, is
delighted to have been awarded a £1,100
grant from the Ford Britain Trust, for new
equipment to enrich the learning of local
children. Staff members
The Addams Family Musical Lichfield Garrick
The Fun Club Hub at Lichfield Pride,
Duke of York
Official opening of Davisons Law
on Bore Street
The Beach at Lichfield Cathedral
Lichfield Festival, Ayanna Witter-
Johnson concert at Lichfield
Mark White representative of
Friends2Friends accepts a cheque from
Peter Hitchman and Pat Peters.
The cast of Robin Hood Community
Musical took part in a trolley dash
at the Co-Operative Boley Park
store to raise funds for Lichfield
Lichfield Fuse Festival Beacon Park
Queen's Baton Relay runners Lichfield
Central News weatherman Des Coleman with City of Lichfield Probus
chairman Peter Hitchman
Cars in the Park, Beacon Park
Lichfield Festival Firework dsiplay,
Schoolchildren - In All Their Glory!
By Lesley Smith
The cathedral close at Lichfield is an
understandably popular choice for school
trips. This means the surrounding area in
the heart of Lichfield is often packed with
crocodiles of children, weaving their way through
the streets, chattering excitedly.
At Tutbury Castle, where I am curator, we too have
lots of school trips with children as young as preschool
right up to A level and some university
students too. As I write this article, we have 147
children, aged an average of 12, enjoying the warm
Lesley Smith as
Queen Elizabeth I
sunshine and spending time with the various activities we lay on. Mary
Queen of Scots and Elizabeth 1st (not at the same time!) are popular and
appear in the fabulous Normal Church at the foot of the castle hill, then
up to the falconer and musicians from the late medieval period. On a hot
day like today, the knights in armour have the roughest time in the heat
as they heroically give four or five presentations to smaller groups.
These visits bring great joy and often hilarity. Once, when I was being
Elizabeth 1st draped in pearls, ruffed and glittering, to an audience of 140
youngsters of about 12 years of age, a boy said: “Why are you wearing so
many pearls Your Majesty?” To which I was able to extoll the virtues of
our great sea explorers like Drake and Raleigh, Elizabethan superstars
and, of course, the great sea battle we won against Spain. I then turn
victoriously to the boy and said: “And what was the name of that great
sea battle?” (which we had discussed five minutes earlier). He looked up
with a finger on his lips and replied with absolute certainty: “PEARL
HARBOUR!” Which caused helpless laughter from the teachers, and who
could blame them!
Another, looking at me as Mary Queen of Scots in a magnificent gown
made by top experts in their field, said: “Please Queen, my gran has got
one of those dresses, but it is knitted and over the toilet roll!” My
costumiers loved that story and so do I each time I repeat it to dinner
A child called Wayne featured in one of my favourite moments. It is
possible to tell from a distance which of the children might be what is
euphemistically called “challenging” and believe me, Wayne was
challenging if the shouting of his name was anything to go by in terms of
frequency. “Wayne, get off that wall!” and “Wayne, put that stick down!”
and so on about every two minutes as the teacher’s voices grew more
frantic. Suddenly, he ran up the inner staircase to the Great Hall and there
I was in full Elizabeth costume under my canopy of state, raised up slightly
on a platform, white face and reddened mouth and cheeks, lit by candles
burning next to me. Wayne spun round to look at me and upon seeing
me gave me a two-fingered salute in the face! Now Wayne did not know
I was alive, like many others, he thought I was a wax model – but I was
very much alive as I roared at him: “What do you think you are doing
boy!” Wayne took off with both feet, landed on his bottom and
backheeled himself to the safety of the back wall with eyes like
gobstoppers. “Come here Wayne” I said, and he got up and bowed deeply
whilst I proceeded to tell him how to help me and sat him on a little stool
by my throne so he could fetch and carry, to which he answered
reverently: “Yes, your Majesty.” That meant when the other children
trooped in, there was naughty Wayne, sitting by the queen and he could
not have been more helpful or respectful. The other children were
mesmerised, especially when Wayne told off a child for talking and
apologised to me! At the end I knighted Sir Wayne, aged nine, for services
to his queen. That was almost 20 years ago, and I do wonder if Wayne
remembers and, more to the point, if he is still a naughty boy!
Win Season Passes
to Tutbury Castle
Situated in the heart of England, Tutbury Castle sits on wooded slopes
overlooking the winding River Dove, with spectacular views across the
beautiful Derbyshire hills.
Occupied since the Stone Age, the castle is first recorded in 1071, as one
of the new castles built to stamp the authority of the Norman
conquerors across the Midlands. Since then, the castle has played an
important part in English history on many occasions, in warfare and in
The castle is best known as one of the prisons of Mary Queen of Scots,
who was held here on four occasions. It was here that she became
involved in the plot that ultimately led to her bloody execution at
Seat of the de Ferrers family and later of the earls and dukes of Lancaster,
Tutbury was also one of the great centres of power in medieval England,
visited by many English kings, and home to the great John of Gaunt, 2nd
Duke of Lancaster.
It also had its bloodier side, as it was besieged, destroyed and rebuilt
several times. It was destroyed for the last time by Act of Parliament in
1647-48, after holding out for Charles I in the Civil War. The destruction
was incomplete, leaving the dramatic ruins that we see today.
Since 2000, the castle has taken on a new life, welcoming thousands of
visitors every year. With historical re-enactment, archaeological
excavation, an authentic Tudor garden and mediaeval herbery, the
‘haunted’ Great Hall and King’s Bedroom, and of course the tearoom,
there’s something for everyone.
We’ve got two
to Tutbury Castle to giveaway to two lucky
readers (each one submits two adults and
two children). To be in with a chance of
winning, simply answer the following
question correctly and send it along with
In what year was the castle first recorded?
To enter, send your name, contact details & answer to Tutbury at
email@example.com or to Citylife in Lichfield Ltd, PO Box 7126,
Lichfield WS14 4JS by closing date of 23rd Sept 2022. One entry per household.
Multiple entries disqualified. No cash equivalent. Entrants 18 or over. All
(available at citylifeinlichfieldltd.co.uk). Full t&cs on page 50.
Tuesday 2nd August
The City of Lichfield Ladies' & Men's Probus
Members of the club meet on the first
Tuesday of every month and new members
are made very welcome. The next meeting
will feature a quiz, with tea and cakes.
Venue: St Matthew's Sports & Social Club,
Burntwood, WS7 9EP.
To find out more, contact Peter on
firstname.lastname@example.org or 07971
Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th August
The Battle for Mercia
Travel back to a time where the Vikings have
arrived and set up camp. But will you join
them or fight against them in the Battle for
the Kingdom of Mercia? An immersive family
adventure will see the grounds of a Georgian
mansion transformed with games such as axe
throwing and archery, a village encampment
with artisan and merchant stalls, food and
drink, plus more!
Venue: Bishton Hall, Bellamour Lane, Wolseley
Bridge, Nr Rugeley, ST17 0XN.
Price: Free admission. Parking £2.
Promote your event in our What’s On guide and reach over 16,000 homes and
businesses for only £20 for businesses and £10 for charities. Entries must be 50
words maximum. To book contact Rebecca Hill 07970 513144
Please clearly mark your email ‘What’s On Lichfield'.
Until Thursday 25th August
Stained Glass Exhibition at Lichfield
This touring exhibition of stained glass panels
celebrates the Centenary of the British
Society of Master Glass Painters (BSMGP),
founded in 1921. Over 80 artists from across
the UK and overseas contributed to the
Venue: Lichfield Cathedral
Time: Open during usual opening hours
Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm.
Thursday 25th August
Tea, Secrets &
Scandal at the
as author and
historian, Jono, leads a walk and talk around
the grounds of Swinfen Hall, telling the
fascinating story of the family estate, including
the scandalous revelations of its former lady
owner, Patience Swinfen, which shocked
genteel Victorian Britain to the core!
The tour starts at The Barn with a welcome
drink, followed by the walk, and returns to
The Barn for more stories and afternoon tea.
Venue: The Barn, Heart of the Country
Shopping Village, Swinfen.
Price: £30pp, includes afternoon tea (with fizz
or non-alcoholic drink). £10 for children aged
12 and under.
Book online at www.jonotourism.co.uk/tours
or email email@example.com.
experienced historian, Jono, on a walking tour
round the beautiful woodlands at The Deer
Park, close to Hoar Cross Hall, and uncover
some of the hidden stories about the hall. Set
in the middle of the Needwood Forest, the
land dates back to the 11th century when it
was owned by Henry De Ferrers. After the
walk and talk, enjoy a sumptuous afternoon
tea at the Linhay restaurant at Deer Park, and
the stunning views of the Staffordshire
countryside which surrounds the working
Venue: The Deer Park, Maker Lane, Hoar
Cross, DE13 8QR.
Price: £35pp to include walk, talk, and
afternoon tea. £10 for children aged 12 and
Book online at www.jonotourism.co.uk/tours
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily in August
Pop-Up Market Place
Throughout August, The
Deer Park will host a
pop-up shop featuring
top quality bespoke
floral displays and wreaths for the home; a
range of unique chopping boards and tables
sustainably sourced from local oak and
created by Mortimers Workshop; plus an
array of wonderful watercolours, prints,
cushions, cards and homeware from ACH
Venue: The Deer Park, Maker Lane, Hoar
Cross, DE13 8QR.
J HOWELL &
FUNERAL DIRECTORS LICHFIELD
LICHFIELD’S LONGEST ESTABLISHED INDEPENDENT,
FAMILY RUN FUNERAL DIRECTORS.
SECOND GENERATION BUSINESS HERE TO ASSIST YOU
AND YOUR FAMILY.
24 hours a day
We are proud to be Lichfield's longest established family run funeral directors offering a wide range of
choices to suit all requirements. Horse drawn hearse, non religious ceremonies, floral tributes and
memorials are but a few of the services we offer.
Pre-paid funeral plans are also available.
For a truly personal service please call
Private Chapel of Rest 116 Netherstowe,
Lichfield, Staffs. WS13 6TS
Support Staffordshire was delighted to
have held the prestigious Support
Staffordshire Volunteer Star Awards,
recognising the work of many outstanding
individuals and businesses who have given
their time freely during what has been the
most challenging of years.
The awards, described by a previous host as
‘our own mini Pride of Britain Awards’ aim to
publicly recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements and
commitment of volunteers and organisations who go the extra mile to
support the local communities.
The Lichfield District event, held this year at The School House in
Weeford on Monday 20th June, was an overwhelming success and
feedback has been excellent with guests saying how inspiring the
volunteers’ stories are.
There were 10 awards presented during the evening hosted by Richard
Winterton of Richard Winterton Auctioneers Ltd. The main event
sponsor was Chasetown Civil Engineering with other local businesses
Award Winners for the Lichfield District were:
Lifetime Achievement – Sponsored by Chasetown Civil
Winner – Christine Ann Jones of Whittington Village Hall and
Whittington Wednesday Club
Commendations - Joseph Eric Wood of Lichfield & Hatherton Canals
Restoration Trust and Ross Hawkes of Lichfield Live
Volunteer of the Year – Sponsored by SureStore Lichfield
Winner – Rhiannon Heming of Spark (Burntwood) CIO
Commendations - Pam Beale of Lichfield Repair & Share Café,
Transition Lichfield, Lichfield Arts & Lichfield Litter Legends and Elaine
Hutchings of Helping Each Other Lichfield and Surrounding Areas
Personal Achievement – Sponsored by Staffordshire County
Winner - Mary Clarke-Mortiboys of the Midlands Bowel Cancer
Commendations – Trevor Hill of Lichfield Re:Cycle and Charlotte
Aspley of Shining Stars UK
New Volunteer Team of the Year (less than 2 years) - Sponsored
by Support Staffordshire
Winner – Lichfield Litter Legends
Commendations: BLASTAction Young Volunteers, Better Way
Recovery and Lichfield Cathedral Vaccination Clinic Volunteers
Volunteer Team of the Year - Sponsored by Bromford
Winner – Kendall & Wall Charitable Trust
Commendations – Fun Club Hub Young Leaders Team at Fun Club Hub
and Team Cathedral at Lichfield Cathedral
Volunteering Support for the Over 65s – Sponsored by Home
Instead Tamworth and Lichfield
Winners – Jean and John Spraggett of Spark (Burntwood) CIO.
Commendations - Terry Tricker & Frank Knighton of Whittington and
Fisherwick Good Neighbour Scheme and Diane Watkins of Meeting
Volunteering Support for Young People – Sponsored by
Winner - Shevonne Hodson Walker of Spark (Burntwood) CIO, NCT
& Lichfield Reduce and Reuse
Commendations - Fun Club Hub Young Leaders Team at Fun Club Hub
and Liberty trainee youth work team at Liberty Jamboree
Young Volunteer of the Year – Sponsored by Richard Winterton
Winner - Shenae Knox of Spark (Burntwood) CIO and Burntwood Be
Commendations – Thomas Wright of Lichfield & Hatherton Canals
Restoration Trust and Jackson Minor of Fun Club Hub
Business Contribution to Communities Award – Sponsored by The
Community Foundation for Staffordshire
Winner – Hindleys Bakery
Commendations: Florette UK and Lichfield Garrick Theatre
Trustee of the Year – Sponsored by Lichfield District Council
Winner – Ian Scott of Staffordshire Network for Mental Health
Commendations: Mary Clarke-Mortiboys of the Midlands Bowel
Cancer Support Group and Stephanie Edwards of Spark (Burntwood)
Kendall & Wall Charitable Trust, winners of the
Volunteering Team of the Year award
Lichfield Litter Legends, Winner of the NEW Volunteering
Team of the Year award
Woolacombe, North Devon
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