Category Archives: News

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.

Burntwood Shop-Front Improvement Scheme

The Burntwood Business Community group (BBC) are launching a new grant scheme to help Burntwood businesses improve the look of the town. The community group, backed by Lichfield District Council and Burntwood Town Council, are holding an open event at Burntwood Memorial Institute, Rugeley Road on 4th March at 6.30pm, and all business owners are invited to come along and find out more about the group and its plans.
The new grant scheme, using money from the High Street Innovation Fund is aimed at helping shop owners improve their frontage by funding up to 50% of the costs, up to £1000. Improvements could be new signs or window graphics or hanging baskets and planters. Shop owners can come to the event on 4th March and find out how they can apply. The BBC group meets regularly at Munchies Café at Sankeys Corner on the first Wednesday of each month at 6.15pm and new members are welcome. For more information contact Burntwood Town Council on 01543 677166 or email

Dirty Dancing Tribute Show

An Evening of Dirty Dancing: The Tribute Show is a five star homage to the greatest movie soundtrack of all time, Dirty Dancing.

It includes classic songs Big Girls Don’t Cry, Hey Baby, Wipeout, Do You Love Me, Hungry Eyes and the Oscar-winning (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.

There will be sensational choreography and all those best loved tunes. So put on your dancing shoes and get ready to have the time of your life!

Please note this production is not affiliated with Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage on tour in the UK and worldwide.

An Evening of Dirty Dancing: The Tribute Show will play at the Lichfield Garrick on Friday 6 March 2015 at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £19.50 and can be booked online at or by calling Lichfield Garrick’s Box Office on 01543 412121.

Boost for Friarsgate

Plans for Lichfield’s Friarsgate shopping and leisure complex have moved forward again with an announcement via MP Michael Fabricant that the scheme has been earmarked for a £2.66m Regional Growth Fund government grant which would go towards the creation of a vital element of the scheme – a new bus station. The Friarsgate scheme, which is projected to cost £100m may add £211m to Lichfield’s economy over the next ten years, and create 750 jobs.

The Friarsgate scheme will include a cinema and retail outlets, but is smaller than the project initially put forward. Revised plans will be considered by the council in the next few weeks, followed by the submission of an initial planning application. There will be a public exhibition later in the year where locals and business owners will be able to voice their views.

Lichfield Winter Beer Festival

If you still suffering from from those post Christmasmas Blues then get along to the Lichfield Winter Beer Festival on Friday/Saturday 23rd/24th January .The beer and ciders have all been ordered so you can look forward to enjoying fine ales and traditional ciders at the wonderful Lichfield Guildhall.
The festival will feature no less than 30 + Real Ales most sourced from local and regional breweries plus a range of traditional ciders/perry and specialist bottled beers. Amongst some interesting names are Salopian Divine Comedy, Elland Catch the Rainbow besides regular favourites Dark Raven, The Hoard, Palmers Poison and Staffie
In additional there will be a choice of wines , fine quality food plus the infamous but now “Famous Pork Pies “ not forgetting ‘Jummy Cakes’ and a wide range of soft drinks for the drivers
For those who enjoy music with their beer then the they can listen to ‘ Radio Mary’ on Friday evening, this is the band that went down a storm at last years Fuse. On Saturday the very popular aptly named local band ‘Last Orders’ will play their very entertaining mix of covers.
The festival is open each day from noon-11.00pm entrance is just £2 before 6.00pm and £3 after 6.0pm if you are thinking of bringing a party you are advised to book your tickets .
Lichfield Arts President Brian Pretty said “ He was delighted that the festival is being held at the wonderful Lichfield Guildhall . These festivals are great community events , enjoyed by all, attracting many much needed visitors to the city , which boosts the local economy .”
Further information and tickets are obtainable on or 01543-262223

Beer Festival January 2015 Photo : Robert Yardley

Beer Festival January 2015
Photo : Robert Yardley

Friday 23rd Saturday 24th January -Lichfield Guildhall

Police helping you with your enquiries

Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, will return to Lichfield on Tuesday 6 January to hear about the issues that matter to local people.
He will hold supermarket surgeries in Tesco, Church Street, WS13 6DZ, at 2pm, and Morrisons in Beacon Street, WS13 8BG, at 3pm.

The ‘Let’s Talk’ events are the latest opportunity for people to tell Mr Ellis first-hand about crime and local policing and their experience of the criminal justice system. People are invited to come along to discuss any concerns they have about crime, policing and community safety – no appointment is needed.

Mr Ellis said: “This is a great opportunity to find out what people in Lichfield and the surrounding areas have to say. I want to hear what people’s experiences are of policing and the criminal justice system.

“How could things be done better to make sure the system fits the needs of people rather than people having to fit the system?

“These events give local people a chance to shape the future of policing and the criminal justice services for us all.”

For more details on ‘Let’s Talk’ visit
matthew ellis

Hunt for Christmas Trees on Twinkly Trail

Hunt for 11 Christmas trees and figures on display in shop windows across Lichfield City centre to claim a sweet treat!

Lichfield District Council launched its Twinkly Trail at Lichfield Christmas Festival on Saturday 6 December 2014.

The trail is aimed at children, and asks them to hunt high and low for 11 specially decorated trees and figures using clues in the colourful leaflet.

The Christmas trees and figures on the Twinkly Trail were decorated by school children across the district.

Councillor Ian Pritchard, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth & Development, said: “The Twinkly Trail is a fun way to entertain little ones while doing your Christmas shopping in the city.

“We’re always looking for ways to support our traders, and this trail will hopefully encourage people to visit more streets and shops across the city centre.

“Thank you to all the schools involved and to the shops for taking part in the trail.”

Everyone who completes the trail will get a sweet treat and can also enter into a prize draw to win a family ticket for a Gruesome and Ghostly tour of the city.

The trails are available from Tourist Information at St Mary’s in the Market Square. The deadline to enter the prize draw is 2.30pm on Wednesday 24 December 2014.