Category Archives: News

Sandfields Pumping Station meeting 11th April.

Sandfields 1The Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station are trying to save one of Lichfield’s hidden gems. There will be a meeting on Friday 11th April to discuss the outcome of the Heritage Assessment, the community consultation and the formalisation of the Friends Group. Everyone is welcome, and they would value your input.

Friday 11 April 2014 at 7:30pm
Curborough Community Centre
Reynolds Close
WS13 7NY

Tel: 01543 417149

VIPs attend the Coltman Trench Re-Opening.

SONY DSCOn Wednesday 26th March veterans, VIP’s, volunteers and schoolchildren gathered at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum to celebrate the official re-opening of the Museum’s WW1 ‘Coltman’ Trench.

Two years ago, a team of dedicated Museum volunteers decided to re-design and update the on-site trench system that has been a favourite with visitors for the last twelve years.  Years of hard work, dedication and inspiration have now created a remarkable new 500ft trench system that truly evokes life for soldiers ‘at the Front’ in 1916.

As the visitor enters the trench, they are immersed in a professionally created soundscape, filling the air with the whizz and crack of sniper bullets and the rumble of big guns in the distance. ‘Duck boards’ cover the ground and sandbags line the walls. There is a First Aid station filled with original WW1 artefacts, and an Officer’s Dugout where visitors can sit surrounded by bunk-beds, family photographs and other personal items as they watch a video presentation on life in the trenches.

Original signage points the way to a tunnel that gives a feel of the conditions that the enormously brave and tenacious men of the North and South Staffordshire Regiment both tunnelled and fought in, as depicted in the recent BBC TV series ‘Peaky Blinders’.

Visitors exit via a bombed-out French village with crumbling walls and the forgotten detritus of a home peeking from the wreckage.

This extraordinary trench system is dedicated to the memory of William Coltman. William Harold Coltman, VCDCM and BarMM and Bar was awarded many commendations including the Victoria Cross, the highest possible commendation for gallantry. He is the most highly decorated soldier of the First World War. William served as a stretcher bearer and showed extraordinary courage, saving many lives.

The Museum was also honoured to have present on the day 18 members of the Coltman family.

At the ceremony VIPs and students from King Edward VI School, Lichfield were given tours of the trench, before the ribbon was cut by Graham Stow, one of Staffordshire’s Deputy Lieutenants.

Brigadier Jim Tanner OBE, Chairman of the Trustees of the Staffordshire Regiment commented: “The Museum is also delighted to announce its future plan. The intention is to entirely rebuild the Museum on the current site. But in an exciting new development this new museum will encompass the museums of the Staffordshire Regiment, the Staffordshire Yeomanry and the Mercian Regiment to create the Museum of the Soldiers of Staffordshire and Mercia. In addition, the Army Medical Services Museum will move their fantastic collection in alongside us to create the National Museum of Military Medicine. This partnership will be called Front Line.

“Detailed planning and work are now underway. The effort required is considerable, not least the raising of the estimated £11 Million required, but we are hoping to complete the Front Line project sometime in 2018.”

The Museum is holding a series of fantastic events in 2014, including a Trench Tour and Discovery Day on Easter Bank Holiday Monday April 21st, and an Edwardian Fete and Fair on August 3rd. For details of these and their many other events go to  or call 01543 434394.

The Staffordshire Regiment Museum can be found at Whittington Barracks, Whittington, Lichfield  WS14 9PY. Opening times are Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm, and from Easter the Museum will be open on Saturday and Sunday 12.30pm – 4pm. Adults £3, children under 16, senior citizens and full-time students £2. Family ticket (two adults and up to 3 children) £6.


Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park needs you!

Lichfield Proms 13Lichfield District Council is calling on local businesses to make 2014’s Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park the best yet.

Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park is a free event for the whole family, and Lichfield District Council is hoping lots of sponsors will come forward to help raise the money needed to help stage the outdoor concert extravaganza.

This year’s Lichfield Proms is on Saturday 6 September, when thousands of locals will gather in Beacon Park for a spectacular evening of entertainment.

Set to feature The British Police Symphony Orchestra and the City of Lichfield Concert Band, along with a fireworks finale, it is the event to end the summer in style.

Sponsoring proms gives companies an unrivalled opportunity to promote their businesses to thousands of local people and visitors.

Sponsors can benefit from their logos appearing on posters, leaflets, the glossy programme, news stories, and on the Lichfield Proms website.

Sponsors also have prime seats at the event – right in front of the stage. Sponsorship packages range from £50 to £2,000, and companies can also take advantage of a special corporate entertainment package.

Councillor Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure & Parks, said: “We couldn’t stage Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park without our sponsors. Sponsoring the event is a fantastic way to show your support for the local area, and your brand will be seen by thousands of people from across the region. Whether you can offer £50 or £2,000, your contribution will be appreciated and will help make this year’s event possible.”

If you are interested in sponsoring Lichfield Proms, please email or call 01543 308774.

For the latest Lichfield Proms news and special offers, visit



Groovy ‘Swinging Sixties’ exhibition

Carole Griffiths  and Sarah Lampet-WoodAn exhibition of memorabilia from the 1960s is taking place at Lichfield Museum at St Mary’s in the Market Square this month.

Lichfield Museum is hosting an exhibition of local 1960s memorabilia from Monday 3 March to Monday 30 June 2014.

The display will feature a collection of clothes, records, photographs and much more from the decade that brought us The Beatles, mini skirts and the beehive.

Peter Griffiths, Volunteer at Lichfield Museum, said: “The 1960s was such an iconic decade, and we are excited to launch this exhibition to show the designs and fashions of the swinging sixties.”

The Swinging Sixties exhibition will run at Lichfield Museum from 3 March to 30 June, Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 3.30pm. The display is free, but normal entry prices apply.

Admission prices to Lichfield Museum: £2.50 for adults, £2 for concessions, £1 for children over 5 and £6 for a family. Children go free during the school holidays.

To find out more about Lichfield Museum at St Mary’s in the Market Square, please visit

Image shows Carole Griffiths and Sarah Lampet Wood


Countdown to Young Police Cadets Concert

Cadets pic 1People are being urged to snap up tickets for a major concert to raise thousands of pounds for Staffordshire Young Police Cadets.


Tickets are on sale now for the prestigious show by the British Police Symphony Orchestra (BPSO) which will be staged at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre on Saturday 12 April at 7.30pm.


The event will have a Legends and Heroes theme and the orchestra will enthral the audience with music including Rossini’s William Tell Overture and Sibelius’ Finlandia.


The Cadet scheme was a key election pledge for Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis. It aims to strengthen links between the police and young people and promote good citizenship.


Successful Cadets units have already been launched in Stafford and Cannock thanks to funding from Patrons and Sponsors. All proceeds from the concert will help pay for the on-going roll-out of the Cadets programme across Staffordshire in 2014, including the purchasing of uniforms, the allocation of transport and much more.


Cadets have already spent several hours delivering leaflets to people in Lichfield about the concert. Tickets are on sale now at


Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold, who is organising the event, said: “Staffordshire Young Police Cadets are already working hard to support their local community.


“The service is all about giving advantages to young people – some from challenging backgrounds – who through a positive and vibrant programme can learn how to become responsible citizens.


“We want to sell 450 tickets to raise money for the Cadet charity and allow new units to be formed, uniforms to be provided, transport allocated and much more.


“Tickets will provide a great experience for friends and family as well as ensuring your hard-earned money goes to a great cause which is making a real difference locally.”


The BPSO is made up of musicians from across the UK, many who are either serving or retired police officers, police staff or other members of the extended police family.


The orchestra’s chairman is Staffordshire Police’s Chief Constable Mike Cunningham.


He said: “The BPSO is a fantastic orchestra who are nationally recognised for their excellent performances and I am personally thrilled that they’ve agreed to support the Staffordshire Police Cadets.

“The volunteers working with our cadets have seen the young people grow and develop during their short time within Staffordshire Police and we are all keen to support the Police and Crime Commissioner’s objective to continue and extend the cadets scheme wider.

“Staffordshire Police Cadets is making a real difference to the lives of young people and the communities they then support and I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of our community at this amazing event at the Lichfield Garrick in April.”


Cadets work towards Duke of Edinburgh bronze, silver and gold awards having a go at hiking, climbing and orienteering.


It is also hoped that the high-profile event will attract further Patrons and Sponsors to fund the Cadets Service. In return for becoming a Patron, businesses’ contributions are recognised through publicity, a framed certificate and other opportunities. For more details visit


Tickets for the concert, priced at £18 to £20, are on sale now at

VIP tickets, costing £40 and including a champagne and canapé reception, are also available.


A video promoting the event, featuring Mrs Arnold and Staffordshire Police mascot Kash the dog, can be seen at


Iconography Exhibition comes to Lichfield Cathedral.

iconographyUntil Thursday 27 February, the Elias Icon exhibition will be held in Lichfield Cathedral. The exhibition will contain works by the renowned iconographer Ian Knowles, who is currently the Director of the Bethlehem Icon Centre in the Holy Land.

Ian will be giving a lecture on Wednesday 26 February (13:15 – 14:15). The exhibition will conclude with Ian as artist in residence at Cathedral on the 27th February.

Ian Knowles was born in 1962, a professional iconographer, currently the Director of the Bethlehem Icon Centre in the Holy Land.

Ian was raised an Anglican but became a Roman Catholic in his late 20s. His love for icons began in his late teens as he explored the way art could relate to and express his faith. A visit to Greece when he was 18 opened the door on the world of iconography, an interest that grew and developed until, having stepped down from ordained ministry, he took an apprenticeship with Aidan Hart and became a professional iconographer in 2007. Aidan is perhaps the most accomplished English speaking iconographer, with a combination of deep Orthodox spirituality and a profound technical grasp of many aspects of painting and sculpture. Ian continues to work with him, especially in the development of the Bethlehem Icon School in Palestine.

Since 2008 Ian has worked for much of his time in the Holy Land, supporting the beleaguered community there through restoring churches and doing new works, in Palestine, Israel and Jordan. In 2010 he began to run a short course at the Emmanuel Greek Catholic monastery, which developed into the Bethlehem Icon School, a project to promote iconography in the Holy Land, and especially to form iconographers from among the local Christian population. In 2012 this was formed as a non-profit company, the Bethlehem Icon Centre, in conjunction with the Tantur Ecumenical Study Centre in Jerusalem, and with the support of Bethlehem University and with Ian as the Director and principle tutor. This is now in the second year of running a three year professional training programme in iconography with ten committed students, men and women of all ages from the Catholic, Orthodox and Coptic churches. Its patron is Archbishop Jules Zerey, the Melkite Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem.

Ian has a degree in theology from Oxford University, and a diploma in pastoral theology from Heythrop College London. Most of his work is done to commission, with pieces in churches and private homes from Colombia to London and across the Middle East. He has had solo exhibitions in Bethlehem and London, while contributing to others. He is a member of the British Association of Iconographers.

His website is where you can see examples of his work, including perhaps his most famous work, ‘Our Lady of the Wall’ which is an icon of the Theotokos specifically designed for and written on the Israeli separation wall, a work that has been featured in various articles and news reports around the world.



Music to pull at the heart strings Saturday 25th Feb.

hearts and notesA Midland’s premier community orchestra, The People’s Orchestra, are hoping to get people from Lichfield and the surrounding areas in the mood for love, as they prepare to perform a Valentine’s show entitled ‘The Love Concert’. The concert, which takes place this Saturday (15th Feb) at the Lichfield Guildhall, will see the orchestra perform a repertoire of love songs from hit films, as well as from classical musicals such as ‘West Side Story’. The ‘Love Concert’ which starts at 7pm, follows on from an identical concert The People’s Orchestra performed in Leamington. That concert proved hugely successful, with audience members taking to social media sites to express their delight after watching the show. Ian Hartwell wrote: ‘Another fantastic concert by @ThePeoplesOrch Absolutely loved the Phantom piece. Had goosebumps on par with seeing the show itself’. It’s hoped that the upcoming Lichfield show will prove equally as successful. Speaking about ‘The Love Concert’ in Lichfield, Sarah Marshall, chief executive of The People’s Orchestra, said: “Cinema and romance go hand-in-hand and film and musical soundtracks have contributed some of the most romantic songs ever written.What could be more romantic than hearing an orchestral performance of some of these romantic tunes in a cosy, intimate setting?” The People’s Orchestra who are based in West Bromwich have gone from strength to strength since their inception in 2012. They have performed at several concerts across the Midlands, including last year’s performance of ‘The Snowman’ at Malvern Theatre in December. With the Lichfield Guildhall able to seat around 100 people, tickets should be booked and purchased at the earliest available opportunity. To book tickets online, visit   Adult tickets are priced from £9 to £12. Child tickets are £5 each.

Lichfield Foodbank – Could you Help?

trussel trustCome and find out more at the launch meeting at Wade St Church on Friday 17th January at 2pm or 7pm

Do you….

Want to help others in your local community?

Have time and skills to use as part of a team?

Need some valuable experience to help your CV?

Come and find out more about the Trussell Trust, how foodbanks work and how you can help .

The meeting will last about an hour including a short presentation. Everyone is welcome. There are people in Lichfield who need your help – please support Lichfield Foodbank