Category Archives: News

Townswomen’s Guild is back

Townswomen’s Guilds is one of the UK’s leading women’s organisations, providing fun, friendship and a forum for social change since 1929. Over 31,000 women nationwide have joined Townswomen to enjoy national events, informative conferences, organised travel packages and to learn new skills.

Lichfield branch was established in 1959 By Mrs Trickett (who owned the chemist’s shop). Jane Dayus-Hinch joined in 1985 but after Jane left to work in Canada, a registered membership of 76 members (30 of whom were active) declined and the numbers dropped off, and sadly the Staffordshire Federation closed it in 2006.

A reinvigorated group of former members including Jane and Caroline Kerr have re-formed the Lichfield Guild. Jane told the Gazette: “Townswomen’s Guild did a lot of good work for charity and it was a very sociable place where mothers would take their daughters from the age of 14. The activities were varied and fun with walking, theatre-going, a choir (with a great following), holidays and trips out. Townswomen’s Guild has always been a happy place to meet and that is the atmosphere we are looking to create at our meetings, which have already begun. Anyone who was a former member, or knows anyone who was a member please alert them. We have rediscovered the old chain, gavel and cloth used in the Lichfield group and it’s business as usual!”

Former members of the original Townswomen’s Guild as well as new members are welcome to come and enjoy an evening on the second Monday of each month from August 10 at 7.30pm in St Mary’s in the Market Square. Contact Chair Jane Dayus-Hinch on 07702 967919 for more information.

Calling all young actors

The Lichfield Garrick will be holding children’s auditions for this year’s giant family pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, on Saturday 5 September from 10am.

The theatre is looking for 12 talented youngsters to appear in this year’s magical production with rehearsals starting on 16 November 2015.

Tim Ford, Lichfield Garrick’s Artistic Director, said: “We are incredibly proud of our annual Christmas pantomime and this is a wonderful opportunity for local young people aged between 8 and 13 to get involved with this year’s production.

“We are looking for local talented performers to work alongside our amazing cast of west end performers and professional dancers including the recently announced Graham Cole OBE and Lichfield’s favourite Panto Dame, Ian Adams.”

To apply, download an application form from and send it to by Friday 22 August 2015.

“This year’s pantomime promises to be a real spectacular and we are really excited to meet and see as many local young performers as we can for this wonderful show” continued Tim.

Jack and the Beanstalk runs at the Lichfield Garrick from Thursday 3 December 2015 to Sunday 3 January 2016. Ticket prices start from £12.50 for children and £21.50 for adults.

To book your tickets call the Box Office on 01543 412121 or visit

Edwardian Fete and Fair & Discovery Days and Trench Tours

On Sunday 9 August, back by popular demand is the Staffordshire Regiment Museum’s Edwardian Fete and Fair. This wonderfully evocative event creates a snapshot of the life that our soldiers left behind in 1914, in the last golden summer of the Belle Epoch.
Down in the WW1 trench system the Museum’s education team will be giving trench tours, ably assisted by the highly regarded re-enactors the Birmingham Pals, the Naval Brigade and even ‘The Sniper’!
New this year, the museum will be welcoming the Edith Cavell Trust and their wonderful re-enactors. The Trust demonstrates what nursing and medicine was like at the front, with a field hospital and nurses in contemporary uniform.
On the home front, watch out for the Suffragettes and Charlie Chaplin, ask an Edwardian policeman the time, and sit and relax in the elegant Palm Court marquee tea tent, complete with newspapers from 1914 and pianist. There’ll be lots of tasty treats available on the day including a Hog Roast!
There’ll be vintage fairground rides, lots of fun craft activities and the Icknield Male Voice choir will be wowing the crowds. Not to be missed are the fascinating photo and memorabilia displays of the local history group ‘You’re probably from Lichfield, Staffs if…’
With lots of stalls selling gifts, crafts, curios and all manner of vintage loveliness, this is a special event that commemorates and remembers the lives of those that lived through WW1.
The Staffordshire Regiment Museum Edwardian Fete and Fair starts at 11am and ends at 6pm. Adults £6, children, senior citizens and concessions £4, family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) £20.
Also on Monday 3rd, 17th and 31st August the Museum will be running their ever popular Discovery Days and Trench Tours that include uniform and weapons handling, lots of interactive activities and tours of the amazing WW1 Trench System. Tours run from 11am till 4pm. Prices are £5 for adults, £4 for children and concessions and £20 for a family ticket. Tickets include entry to the Museum’s fascinating collections.
The Staffordshire Regiment Museum can be found at DMS Whittington, Whittington, Lichfield, WS14 9PY. For more information go to or call 01543 434394

Johnson Birthplace Museum seeks new Bookworms!

The ‘Bookworms United!’ reading and activity club at Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum launched in 2013. The club offers children aged seven to ten years the chance to discover fantastic fiction from popular current and classic children’s authors, with the colourful characters and stories they encounter on the page bought to life through occasional activities and games. The Museum is recruiting new members this summer holiday and inviting aspiring bookworms to try out the next session on Saturday 1st August at 10.30am.

A team of chief bookworms led by Janet Hill-Gibbs provide a friendly and supportive group to help members enjoy reading, develop their skills, make new friends, build their confidence and, of course, have fun! Books over the last two years have included a wide variety such as Michael Murpurgo, C.S. Lewis, Cressida Cowell and Roald Dahl. The club is run on a ‘stay-and-play’ basis and lasts an hour, so provides an ideal opportunity for parents and carers to enjoy an hour of Saturday morning errands in the city centre too!

Bookworms United is held on Saturdays at 10.30am fortnightly with sessions coming up on the 1st, 15th and 29th of August and continuing throughout the year. The cost is £4 per child, including books and refreshments, and discounts are available for family groups. You can come along on the day but booking in advance is advised to assure your place. To book call 01543 264 972, email or pop into the Museum on the corner of the Market Square.

August fun at Beacon Park

With the summer holidays in full flow, Lichfield District Council is reminding locals that there are a lot of family friendly events coming up at Beacon Park throughout August.

August kicks off with an Xplorer challenge for primary and pre-school aged children. Xplorer is about using a simple map of the park to find marked points. The activity is a good way to introduce younger children to map reading. The Xplorer challenge will take place on Thursday 6 August and then again on Thursday 27 August. It costs 50p a trail and will take up to one-hour to complete. It will start at the tennis courts and the trails will be available anytime between 11am and 2pm.

Then children and families are invited to the free entry Fun Day on Wednesday 12 August from 11am to 3pm. It’s a chance to enjoy games, stalls, inflatables, a carousel and face painting in the park. A highlight will be the Teddy Games, when children compete in races with their favourite teddy bear to win prizes.

Later in the month Beacon Park is hosting a series of Fairy Walks. Taking place on Saturday 22 August, the walks have proved really popular and are fully booked.

The park is a great place to spot bugs, and on Wednesday 26 August children can book onto a Bug Hunt and Pond Dipping session. These are running from 10am to 12noon or 1pm to 3pm and cost £1 each. To book please call Beacon Park on 01543 308869 or email

The Golf Tournament is continuing through August, where for an extra £1 added to a round, players can enter their scores to see who is the golf champion each day the tournament is running. There are prizes to be won in three categories: men (18s and over), women (18s and over) and children (17s and under). The remaining tournament days are Wednesdays: 5, 12, 19 and 26 August.

Everyone can enjoy a game of tennis on the park’s courts at a reduced price over the summer holiday as part of the Court Savers special offer. Adults can play for £4, while it costs £3 for children. Mini tennis is also available over the summer. With a smaller net and court, this is ideal for under 8s. It costs £2 a court, which can be paid at the Ranger Station where equipment is also available to hire.
2015’s summer of events finishes off in style with Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park on Saturday 5 September. It’s a chance to enjoy a free outdoor concert, children’s entertainment and fireworks in the beautiful surroundings of Beacon Park. Children’s activities start from 5.30pm, the warm up band will play from 6pm, and the main concert is at 7.30pm.

To find out more about what’s on at Lichfield Historic Parks, visit

Over 50s get fit at Burntwood Leisure Centre

attachmentBurntwood Leisure Centre holds low impact aerobics for over anyone aged 50 or above every Tuesday and Friday in the sports hall.

The group is always looking for more people to join in and get fit through gentle exercise. Although the classes are aimed at over 50s, people of all ages are welcome as the sessions are a good way for beginners to be introduced to aerobic activity.

Sue Robinson, 50+ Aerobics Instructor, said: “This wonderful group are a joy to teach, and we’d all love to welcome even more people to the class.

“Exercising is really important as you get older, as it helps with coordination, mobility and over all fitness levels.

“It’s a really friendly group and many often choose to carry on to a second activity afterwards, such as badminton, swimming or pilates, which is great.”

The 50+ aerobics class runs at Burntwood Leisure Centre on Tuesdays from 10.45am to 11.45am, and on Fridays from 10am to 11am. The class costs £3.60 or £3.10 for Leisure Activity Passport holders and there is no need to book, simply head to reception to pay. Leisure Activity Passports are free for anyone aged 60 or over.

2015’s Cycle Rides for All

Beacon Park taster ride 2014

The monthly Sunday cycle rides programme, Cycle Rides for All, is back for 2015.

Cycle Rides for All is launching on Sunday 29 March with a three and a half mile Lichfield taster ride setting off from Beacon Park.

This event signals the start of free monthly cycle rides that take place towards the end of the month, from March to September.

On top of rides to the National Memorial Arboretum, Fradley Junction and Fisherwick Lakes, this year’s programme also includes a taster ride round Chasewater.

The rides are graded from level 1, which is suitable for beginners, to level 4, which is for more experienced cyclists.

Debby Whiting, from Freedom Cycles, said: “We’re really pleased to be starting the Sunday cycle rides later this month and hope plenty of people will join us for the first one of the series.

“We do a quick safety check of all the bikes before setting off, to make sure they are roadworthy. We also recommend that safety helmets are worn and that you bring a packed lunch and drink, although we do have a café stop on most rides.”

Anyone who wants to join the Lichfield taster ride should turn up with their bikes at Beacon Park in Lichfield on Sunday 29 March at 11am. This ride is graded level 1, which means it is suitable for beginners. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

To see the full Cycle Rides for All programme, please visit

To find out more, or to check whether a ride is taking place if the weather is uncertain, please call Freedom Cycles on 01543 411633 or Karl Sproston at Lichfield District Council on 01543 308846.

Cycle Rides for All is run in partnership by Lichfield District Council, Freedom Cycles, Bromford, North Lichfield Initiative and Lichfield City Council.

Cycle Rides for All 2015 programme

• Lichfield taster ride (3.5 miles/level 1) on Sunday 29 March, meet at Beacon Park at 11am
• Fisherwick Lakes (8.5 miles/level 2) on Sunday 26 April, meet at Freedom Cycles at 10am
• Tour de Lichfield (9 miles/level 2/3) on Sunday 31 May, meet at Freedom Cycles at 10am
• Weeford & Packington Moor Farm (23 miles/level 4) on Sunday 28 June, meet at Freedom Cycles at 10am
• Chasewater taster ride (6 miles/level 2) on Sunday 26 July, meet at Burntwood Library at 11am
• National Memorial Arboretum (15 miles/level 3) on Sunday 23 August, meet at Freedom Cycles at 10am
• Fradley Junction (12 miles/level 2) on Sunday 27 September, meet at Freedom Cycles at 10am

Lichfield MP drops in on new home development

Walton Homes recently welcomed MP for Lichfield Michael Fabricant to one of its Staffordshire-based developments.
The high profile MP took time out of his busy schedule to visit the brand-new Ivy Manor development in Abbots Bromley, meet the team on site and discover more about the collection of homes being built and conversions undergoing re-development.
Speaking of his visit, Mr. Fabricant said: “This is a really sensitive site that perfectly reflects the character of Abbots Bromley village.
“During my visit I was pleased to have taken time out to look at the frontage of the conversion, from existing farm house to new home, and the way in which Walton Homes has retained the building’s original façade down to the use of the roof tiles and similar window frames.
“The development will, no doubt, provide additional useful accommodation in the village especially as there is a useful mixture of starter homes to those wanting larger more established properties.”
Helen Rollason, sales manager for Walton Homes, comments: “We were really grateful that Mr. Fabricant could come and see us at Ivy Manor and cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of our sales office.
“The development is already proving to be popular with one off-plan sale already, which is testament to our mixture of properties and the development’s idyllic rural location that offers all the benefits of village life.”
Ivy Manor comprises a mixture of elegant three-bedroom terraced properties as well as stunning four and five-bedroom detached homes, all of which are individually designed and have a distinct country-style appearance.
Prices currently start from £284,950 with the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme also available.

Walton’s heart-to-heart survey

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and during the time when love is in the air for couples, one Staffordshire-based developer has explored whether we share the love with our homes too.
Lichfield-based Walton Homes, recently questioned 200 people from Staffordshire and the West Midlands, to discover how they rated their home on their love list this year, and how their perfect day would shape up – and the results make for interesting reading.
The loved-up home results
When it comes to falling in love with a new home, first impressions count, it seems, with over half of respondents (57%) agreeing that it takes just two minutes to know if their new home is ‘the one’, with the lounge and kitchen being the most important rooms to impress.
Despite it being ‘closed’ for half a year, it appears that we’re a region of garden lovers with just over half of respondents (52%) saying that as part of their ideal home, out of everything, they would love a beautiful low-maintenance garden to enjoy. A high-spec kitchen came a close second with a clutter-free garage also scoring high on the love wish-list.
Behind the closed doors of home-owners’ existing properties, however, it isn’t exactly a rosy picture. A third of those questioned (35%) said that if they had the cash to splash, they would love an impressive kitchen make-over, with 27% wanting their homes to be professionally styled with mind blowing décor – especially in the master bedroom!
The Valentine’s Day results
On the day itself, a candlelit dinner for two has been replaced for something that’s a bit more active! Just under half (46%) of respondents would like to be romanced by a long walk in the countryside, followed by some hearty pub grub, with just under a third (32%) looking forward to a cosy night in front of the box with a good film. On the flip side, 15% of women and 22% of men from the survey said that they would rather forget Valentine’s Day this year!
Music, movies and food are all important within the home and for those who are choosing to stay in this weekend, 60% are opting for chilled-out tunes, with a quarter (25%) of romantics sticking to tradition with Barry White and Micheal Buble.
Dirty Dancing and When Harry Met Sally are neck and neck this year when it comes to romantic movies, with an equal 25% of respondents agreeing that they are the most romantic films to snuggle down to watch. Ghost and Titanic came in as second and third choices.