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Inside... January 2018

Welcome to CITYLIFE

Welcome to CITYLIFE in Lichfield, a monthly magazine bringing you our pick of the city’s news, events and stories. Each month CITYLIFE in Lichfield is delivered to 18,000 businesses and homes in Lichfield, Kings Bromley, Fradley, Alrewas, Whittington, Stonnall, Shenstone, Little Aston, Hammerwich, Burntwood and Longdon, completely free of charge; bringing you the best that the city has to offer. Each issue features heritage stories exploring the rich history of our area, plus competitions, interviews and the latest in fashion and style.

Got a story or charity event you want to share with our readership? Think you’ve snapped an image that captures the spirit of the city? We want to hear from you! Our business is bringing you Lichfield’s city life.

6 Win Afternoon Tea for Two Courtesy of The School House

16 Lichfield's Cycling Revolution Cycling in the city

24 Objects of Desire Heirloom pieces to treasure forever 26 Unearthing History By Gary Starkey

34 Hidden Spaces The Angel Croft Hotel

36 Window on the Past Carts, cars and cycles

CITYLIFE Contacts Editor - Joss Musgrove Knibb 07833 735048 Deputy Editor - Kate Gomez 07742 917708 Advertising -

Steve Brown 07740 166497 Rebecca Hill 07970 513144 Production - Helen Smith 07967 154187

Citylife In Lichfield Ltd PO Box 7126 LICHFIELD WS14 4JS CITYLIFE in Lichfield and CITYLIFE in Rugeley magazines are not connected to any other publication or publisher, and are wholly owned by CITYLIFE in Lichfield Ltd. Citylife In Lichfield Citylife in Lichfield Ltd does not endorse any business or organisation appearing in these pages, and the publication of any advertisement, editorial, event listing or advertising editorial does not constitute an endorsement by Citylife in Lichfield Ltd.


Win Afternoon Tea for Two at The School House


he School House, Church Hill, Lichfield is a unique venue for afternoon teas, delicious lunches, relaxed or occasion dining and wonderful weddings – all in the picturesque heart of the countryside.

Enjoy fantastic food, great wines and a relaxed atmosphere in The School House’s stunning restaurant, Manley’s Brasserie. Whether you fancy a succulent steak, fresh seafood, cuisine with a Mediterranean twist, a British classic or something a little different, Manley’s seasonal menus are designed with fresh, local Staffordshire produce at their heart. Manley’s Brasserie chefs use influences from around the world (as well as closer to home) to create dishes to suit all tastes. Their menus feature some of Staffordshire’s finest meats, Chef’s much-loved homemade pies and personally selected fresh fish from Birmingham's famous markets. Looking for private dining for that very special occasion? With five beautiful private


dining spaces within The School House, that are appropriate for 16 to 150 diners, they can offer the perfect environment for everything from a business meeting to a private family event. For more information just go to or call 01543 480009.

Win Afternoon Tea for Two at The School House

The School House’s Afternoon Tea is quintessentially English, and includes finger sandwiches, homemade cakes and scones, beautifully presented alongside a pot of tea of coffee – or why not add a glass of Prosecco? Served on Tuesday to Saturday between 12.30pm and 4.30pm, The School House’s Afternoon Teas are a delightful way to spend an afternoon in beautiful surroundings. Afternoon Tea is £14.95 per person (Tuesday to Friday) and £17.95 (Sunday).

To be in with a chance of winning afternoon tea for two, just unscramble the anagram and rearrange the letters to find an enriched bread with continental roots!

BECHOIR _______

To enter, just send your name, contact details and answer to The School House Competition, at or post your entry to Citylife in Lichfield Ltd. PO Box 7126, Lichfield, WS14 4JS by the competition closing date of Friday 26th January. One entry per household. Multiple entries will be disqualified. Winners will not be offered a cash equivalent. Full terms and conditions on page 42. Congratulations to Mrs S Phelps who gave the correct answer of Peppercorn Sauce and solved the anagram in the December issue.

Blues at The Guildhall

Paul Jones and Dave Kelly


ichfield Arts are kicking off 2018 with performances by two leading blues musicians, Paul Jones and Dave Kelly at Lichfield Guildhall.

Best known as founding and continuing members of the Blues Band, the pair have been playing together for more than thirty years. Dave Kelly is also known for his acoustic slide guitar playing, whilst Paul Jones is highly regarded for his blues vocals and harmonica playing on the live circuit. Paul also produces and presents shows on BBC Radio 2.

Lichfield Arts commented: “As well as their own original material, they play songs from the blues, jazz and soul repertoire with verve and


integrity. They not only know and perform the work of the greats, ranging from Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker through to Sonny Boy Williamson – they actually played alongside them, and enjoyed their friendship. A live acoustic set by this dynamic duo is an occasion you’ll remember. If you’re a true Blues fan, everything you need is here.”

Tickets are £21, £18.90 for Friends of Lichfield Arts and £10.50 for under 16s. Tickets and further information are available via, by calling 01543 262223, or by dropping in to the Lichfield Arts Box Office in Donegal House on Bore Street.



Fine Art Sale Highlights

By Richard Winterton of Richard Winterton Auctioneers

ur Fine Art sale took place on Wednesday 6th December, and for ladies who like diamonds or antique jewellery, there was a delightful selection to admire and choose from. Amongst the highlights was an early Victorian gold chain with a hand shaped clasp set with turquoise which sold at £1500, a diamond single stone 18ct ring which sold at £1000, another single stone princess cut diamond 18ct ring that went at £800 and two 18ct gold bracelets that made £800 and £700. Buyers from the Far East bought strongly for lots of jade and underbid the collection of coral jewellery. Modern jewellery by well-known makers proved a perennial favourite when a pair of 18ct gold Tiffany earrings made £300. Although silver values had dipped very slightly by the date of the auction, all but three of the 90 lots of silver on offer found new owners. Top price of the sale was £4,300 for a George III silver standish which was inscribed with a presentation inscription dated 1836. £1,200 was achieved for a pair of 1960s oval silver trays. Tea sets and canteens of cutlery all sold particularly well. An Italian majolica dish painted with the


‘burial of Abraham’ from the biblical book of Genesis XXV, (as it was inscribed on the back), created a bidding war on the internet, in the room and with telephone bidders, with the telephone bidder finally succeeding at £2,800. Late 19th and early 20th century Worcester was well represented in the ceramics section. A brooch and a vase, both painted with Highland cattle and both by Harry Stinton sold for £380 and £320 respectively, and a pot pourri and cover decorated with pink and red roses made £600. Moorcroft of the early 20th century painted in the pansy pattern came in the guise of two vases. Despite interest on both the telephone and the room, bidders were unable to compete with the two-way battle on the internet, and the hammer came down at £1,350 and £1,900. Fine wines and whisky make ideal gifts and the 60 lots available once again showed the demand for this sector of collecting. Although some may be bought for investment and to lay down, others were certainly bought to be enjoyed over Christmas and the New Year. Of particular note were a bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 1949 that made £480, a presentation cased bottle of Bowmore “Sea

Dragon” 30 year old Islay single malt whisky in a ceramic decanter that made £1,150 and a presentation cased Bowmore “Blue Buchan” 22 year old Islay single malt whisky that sold at £420. The next Fine Art auction is to be held at The Lichfield Auction Centre on 21st March commencing at 10am, entries close on 19th February. For further details call the office on 01543 251081. Free valuations take place every Tuesday from 9.30am till 4pm at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, WS13 8NF.


We Love Lichfield

The We Love Lichfield 2017 Christmas giveaway saw more than £12,000 presented to good causes from across the district. Representatives from voluntary groups gathered at the George Hotel on Friday December 1st for the event together with civic guests representing the area.


he presentation was an opportunity to pay tribute to the hundreds of volunteers across the District - in the city, Burntwood and all the rural villages. Each recipient group made a speech about the work they did so that guests were able to gain an insight into the thousands of voluntary hours given every week across the District.

Simon Price, Patron of We Love Lichfield hosted the event and thanked everyone in attendance.

He also thanked The George Hotel which has raised £1,500 for the fund this year, Robert Yardley who as Sheriff of Lichfield raised more than £5,000, Louie Clegg of The Best of Lichfield, which raised £1,000 and the Museum Bowling Club which raised £1,600.

The fund began in 2011 with £24,000 sitting in dormant funds which was released by Lichfield District Council. This figure was match funded and since then fund-raising has boosted the balance. The capital invested is not touched – only the interest made is given out in donations. The aim is to create a fund with sufficient capital for it to pay out £50,000 every year to the community forever.


Peter Hitchman of Open Door Simon commented: “So far 168 grants have been made and we have given away £125,000 to groups in the Lichfield district who make a difference. People have come up to me today to thank the team for raising money. It should be the other way around. We are merely helping others do the wonderful things they do.”

The recipients of the Christmas giveaway were Lichfield Computer and Social Group £1,000; South East Staffordshire CAB £499; Lichfield Society of Artists £176; Burntwood Memorial Hall Association £700; Burntwood Town Council £1,000; Spark Springhill Grandparents Group £500; 1st Burntwood Scout Group £300; The Lichfield and District Live at Home Scheme £932.20; Open Door £700; Spokz People CIC £1,000; Stonnall Youth and Community Association £600; City of Lichfield Friends £1,000; Lichfield Talking News £1,000; Whittington FC Soccer Centre £250; Lichfield Social Club Dizzy Disco £1,000; Lichfield Garrick Theatre £1,000 and 1st Beaudesert Rainbow Unit £153.

A special extra Christmas gift of £250 was given to Friends 2 Friends, a group which provides learning and social opportunities to adults in the area with learning difficulties. The advisors of We Love Lichfield have decided to

give away an extra grant every Christmas from now on to a group that has previously received money from the Fund and has used that money well for the benefit of others. The gift will be a surprise every year in recognition. Many members of Friends 2 Friends want a day out, so the money will fund a trip to the seaside.

Each group had a goodie bag. The contents are given as recognition for the volunteers who give up their spare time to help others. We Love Lichfield wishes to thank the following organisations for their support; the Wolverhampton Grand for theatre tickets; Worth Brothers Wine for vouchers; The George for a meal for two at Darwin’s Restaurant vouchers and finally Arthur Price who donated vouchers for its Factory Shop.

For more information about We Love Lichfield visit

Julian Fisher and Caroline Bruno


Could you volunteer?


there are many volunteering opportunities available in Lichfield and the surrounding district. These include befriending, working on a canal project, volunteering at museums and arboretums, supporting lunch clubs, assisting in schools, mentoring young people, getting involved in festivals as well as opportunities to use your IT and office skills. The Lichfield Volunteer Centre currently has over 150 volunteering opportunities available to introduce you to lots of different possibilities. People volunteer for all sorts of


reasons including the desire to help others, gaining work experience and the opportunity to meet new people. Lichfield Volunteer Centre’s Volunteer Advisors carefully match prospective volunteers with suitable volunteering opportunities after first getting to know the person and what their skills and interests are.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering in Lichfield and District please call in to the Volunteer Centre at Mansell House, 22 Bore Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LL or call 01543 303030.

Rick Hill Volunteering Officer at Support Staffordshire (Lichfield & District)


The Lichfield Re:Cycle Story


By Kate Gomez

ichfield Re:Cycle started in summer 2013 when its three founders met at a juggling class and discovered they shared an interest in both cycling and recycling. This set the wheels in motion to start a confidence-building bike project in the city. Originally working out of people’s gardens and operating as a mobile community cycling service, the ethos of the project was, and still is, to promote cycling for everyone, from children and families to experienced riders, and to ensure that everyone has access to a bike and the skills and confidence necessary to ride one. As the project expanded, the group decided to look for a central base to set up a community cycle workshop and in late 2015, they were offered premises at Minster Hall, located just off Dam Street in Lichfield City Centre, where the Wheelie Workshop was officially opened in

Lichfield's Cycling Revolution

There's been a quiet revolution going on the city, with more and more of us taking to our bikes for work, everyday practicalities and leisure.

Cycling is not just great exercise, it’s fantastic for the environment and a really pleasurable way to access our beautiful city and county. Here, we explore not only one of the remarkable cycling charities that are making such a difference to the life of people in the region, but some of the cycling businesses that could help you make the switch to two wheels.


April 2016. Volunteers at the workshop give a new lease of life to unwanted bikes that have been donated, and these are then offered on long-term loan to anyone who would otherwise not be able to afford to buy one. Alongside this, Lichfield Re:Cycle show people how to maintain and repair their bikes and also organise a number of volunteerled cycle rides throughout the year to build people’s confidence. Past events include a Full Moon Ride, Christmas Lights Ride and a Halloween Ride. Not only are these a fun and sociable way to encourage people to cycle more (participants often dress up according to the theme!), they are also a great way of helping people to develop the necessary skills and experience to use their bike all year round. The project can make a huge difference to people’s lives. One young man had a bike but didn’t know how to ride it and so, volunteers at the workshop built him a balance bike and then continued to build his confidence through a series of short rides accompanied by volunteers. Within six months he was cycling to and from

college each day. Plans for 2018 include the second Ride Lichfield Festival in June - a weekend of talks, entertainment, films, and of course, bike rides! Alongside the family friendly ‘Lichfield Jolly’ (a leisurely jaunt around the city which often sees participants come ‘dressed to impress’), there will also be a ‘sportive’ for riders who prefer something more challenging. The group will also continue to support the ‘Cycle Rides for All’ programme, which runs from April to September, in partnership with Lichfield District Council and Freedom Cycles. They are also hoping to take part in this year’s Lichfield Bower, although whether this will be on a float or cycling behind one remains to be seen! New volunteers are always welcome, with a range of opportunities from bike mechanic to administration support on offer. If you are interested in getting involved with Lichfield Re:Cycle, have something to donate or are looking for a bike or related advice, you can find out more by visiting Alternatively, pop into the Wheelie Workshop (usually open on Tuesdays between 11am and 3pm at Minster Hall, off Dam Street) or email

Advertising Feature

Outdoor Cure

Outdoor Cure is a psychological and counselling service based in the Staffordshire area. So what do we do, and how are we different? Outdoor Claire Hadfield Cure offers Founder:Outdoor Cure psychological rehabilitation to enable you to live life to the fullest. We offer a variety of support including: • Post Medical Aftercare – providing support to enable you to regain and rebuild your physical and emotional strength once you have been discharged from medical services, following a life changing illness or incident. • Return to Work – after a period of ill health it is important to consider how and when you are going to return to work, and if any changes are needed in order for you to do so. We can work with you to develop a return to work plan that will take into account a wide range of factors. • The 3 R’s - a programme specifically designed to help you experience life to the fullest after a life changing injury, illness or incident. The 3 R’s are Reflect - giving you a safe space to explore the impact of your

illness/incident, Reconnect – identify who you are now, and Redirect – using your newly discovered self knowledge to make plans for the future. Outdoor Cure’s motto is ‘Think Different, Think Simple’. We aim to empower you to utilise the benefits of the great outdoors while introducing you to the practical techniques for a healthier mindset - quite simply – ‘Off the Couch’ therapy. To find out more or to book a consultation view our website:

Lichfield's Cycling Revolution

A Warm Welcome at the Strawberry Cabin

Set in the heart of the picturesque Staffordshire countryside and surrounded by the fruit fields of Manor Farm, The Strawberry Cabin is a contemporary new tea room and restaurant which opened in


Lichfield's Cycling Revolution

October 2017. With a delicious range of food on offer and a warm welcome guaranteed from the Cabin Crew, the tea room is quickly becoming established as a firm favourite locally. Cyclists are very welcome and with ample seating both indoors and out, together with 19 cycle racks, it is the perfect location for a scenic stop-off on a bike ride. For a great start to the day, try a Manor Farm breakfast with something for all appetites from a hearty full English to warming porridge. For lunch, choose from a range of soups, sandwiches or something more substantial from the daily specials board. On Sundays, a traditional roast lunch is available. Little visitors are of course catered for with a children’s menu and Gluten-Free and Vegetarian options are also available. A wide range of hot and cold drinks, tempting cakes and scrumptious snacks are served throughout the day. Take Afternoon Tea at the Strawberry Cabin, and enjoy a selection of both savoury and sweet treats to tempt your taste buds, served together with ‘bottomless’ tea or coffee. Available between 12pm and 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, Afternoon Tea for Two is just £20.00 (booking essential). The Strawberry Cabin is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 9am and 4.30pm and between 9.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays (closed


Mondays). For more information visit or call 01543 483680.

Welcoming Customers Old and New at Cycling 2000

Cycling 2000 opened their doors at 50 Wheel Lane, Lichfield on November 14th. David and Fleur Green live in Lichfield and are proud to have brought their family cycling business to their home city exactly three years after taking over their first shop in Burton which is jointly run by Fleur’s brother Paul. Their fantastic

Advertising Feature

showroom previously housed Grahams Cycles and Cycling 2000 will continue to be a bike shop with strong links to the local community. The family believe that cycling should be inclusive and are passionate about encouraging and enabling people to give it a go. As part of this, from spring next year, the shop will be hosting free maintenance classes open to everyone and will continue with the community rides and events they’re already involved in. Both in-store and online, Cycling 2000 has a great selection of bikes for all kinds of riders together with a wide range of cycling accessories. Maintenance and repairs are carried out in the workshop by qualified mechanics, resulting in a professional yet friendly service. Whilst levels of expertise and customer service are high, prices remain competitive and Cycling 2000 offers a price promise to customers – if a product is seen cheaper elsewhere they will match the price (subject to conditions). Cycling 2000 is open 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday at 50 Wheel Lane, Lichfield WS13 7EA and free parking is available. Get in touch via email at, or call 01543 258280. You can also visit their website


Objects £2,255


of Desire

Beautiful, desirable and destined to become heirloom pieces, treasured for years to come - objects of desire are the kind of investment pieces that are a sheer joy to behold...

18ct white gold tanzanite and diamond cluster ring. Available at Salloways

18ct white and yellow gold pink sapphire and diamond ring. Available at Salloways

18ct white gold amethyst and diamond set chandelier earrings, bespoke piece from designer Fei Liu. Available to view at City Jewellers of Lichfield


18ct gold green-amethyst and diamond set dropper earrings, bespoke piece from designer Fei Liu. Available to view at City Jewellers of Lichfield

£3,000 £7,100

Stockist: City Jewellers of Lichfield, 39 Market Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LA. Salloways Jewellers, 23-25 Bore Street, Lichfield, WS13 6NA.



18ct yellow gold citrine and diamond earrings, bespoke piece from designer Fei Liu. Available to view at City Jewellers of Lichfield

18ct white gold aquamarine and diamond dress ring. Available at Salloways


One of a kind Whispering dress ring set with rose quartz, citrine, amethyst and green garnets, bespoke piece from designer Fei Liu. Available to view at City Jewellers of Lichfield


A New Home for Bob the ‘BFG’?

This month, the Hall Green Greyhound Trust celebrate the third anniversary of the opening of their Watford Gap Kennels near Shenstone and Citylife went along to meet some of the resident greyhounds and the volunteers who do such a fantastic job of looking after them.


all Green Greyhound Trust is the local branch of the national Greyhound Trust charity and is committed to finding new homes for some of the 9,000 dogs who retire from racing each year. The branch is run entirely by volunteers who are involved in anything from helping to walk and socialise the dogs to fundraising. New volunteers are always welcome, whether you are able to help out regularly or just every now and then. Becoming a volunteer dog walker is a wonderful way to get more fresh air and exercise whilst helping out a great cause! Contrary to popular belief, greyhounds don’t need a huge amount of exercise. They make great family pets and the Trust works with


Volunteers Roger, Lauren, Barbara and Adam with Billy, Bob, Sadie and Boss.

potential new owners to ensure they are matched with the right dog. Support for new owners doesn’t end when they take their dog home - the Trust is always on hand to give advice and support, particularly during the settling in period. All greyhounds re-homed by the Trust are neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and come with four weeks free Petplan insurance. One of the greyhounds in need of a new home is Bob, who volunteers have nicknamed the BFG – the Big Friendly Greyhound! With his unusual jet black coat with white flecks that look like snowflakes, Bob is a very handsome chap. Sadly his colouring and his size mean that he keeps getting overlooked by potential owners in favour of his smaller female kennel mates and so Bob has been at the kennels for quite a while. The Trust told Citylife that he’s a big dog with an even bigger heart and he’d make a fantastic pet for a family with older children – he loves to play football and is a fun, silly and affectionate boy. If you think you might be able to offer Bob a new home, you can arrange to come and meet him at the Watford Gap Kennels to have a play, and take him for a walk and see how you get on!

Canal Trust wants your photos!


The Trust also has a second kennel near Stourbridge with an additional 10 dogs. To arrange a visit to see Bob, or to meet some of the other 35 or so greyhounds in need of a new home, please call 0121 426 4810. For those who aren’t in a position to offer a greyhound a new home, a great alternative is to sponsor a dog. Some of the greyhounds at the Trust have additional needs and require special care or are in foster homes and you can make a monthly contribution to help with the costs of looking after them. In return, you’ll get a certificate, regular updates and even Christmas and Valentine’s cards to show how much your sponsored dog appreciates your generosity. For more information on the Hall Green Greyhound Trust, including how to sponsor a dog or how to become a volunteer, please visit You can also find them on Facebook @GreyhoundTrustHallGreen

ichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust is asking local photographers to submit their pictures for a 2019 calendar. The Trust would like photographers, amateur or professional, to focus on the two canals to produce photos to feature in each month of the calendar. Perhaps you have a snow scene at Tamworth Road on the Lichfield Canal; an image of wildlife at Fosseway Heath Nature Reserve, or an unusual view from a bridge on the Hatherton Canal? The photos will be judged by

members of the LHCRT board of directors and all photos used in the calendar will have full credit to the photographer with links to their website or Facebook page. The only rules are that the photographs must be landscape and high resolution, and the Trust will need to receive them by March 2018. There is no monetary or other prize for entry into this competition. Photos can be submitted by using the entry form at


Gift vouchers available



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

01543 255776

Private Chapel of Rest 116 Netherstowe, Lichfield, Staffs. WS13 6TS

01283 792923

36 Main Street, Alrewas, Burton Upon Trent. DE13 7AA


A Fresh and Glowing 2018 Advertising Feature

The excesses of the festive season can leave us all feeling like we need to get our 'glow' back. Here, we look at just some of the treatments available in the city ...

Thalgo Microdermabrasion. Renew your skin to reveal instantly visible results. £65, 55 minutes. Available at Body Beautiful Day Spa and Beauty Salon

Lip volume enhancing treatment (cost from £225). Available from GH Aesthetics

Pro-Collagen Age Defy. Experience the age-defying benefits of marine-charged Padina Pavonica: Smoothes, nourishes, refines. 1 Hour. From £60. Available at Body Beautiful Day Spa and Beauty Salon

Neck rejuvenation. A course of three initial treatments followed by a six monthly maintenance treatment is required. Available from GH Aesthetics

IPL Hair Removal Intense Pulsed Light is an innovative, reliable and safe method of removing unwanted hair for both men and women. It stands out as the most effective and least painful method compared to other permanent hair removal techniques. IPL is gentler on the skin and more versatile in treating a broader range of skin tones and hair colours. £39 per area, per session, or book six session for the price of five at £195. To book a FREE patch test call Erase UK on 01543 419516 Available at Erase

Stockist: Erase UK, 1 Tudor Row, Lichfield, WS13 6HH. Tel: 01543 419516 GH Aesthetics, 10A Tudor Row, Lichfield, WS13 6HH. Tel: 07814 631331 Body Beautiful Day Spa & Beauty Salon, 20 Dam Street, Lichfield, WS13 6AA. Tel: 01543 897600



Unearthing History

Here, Gary Starkey, local detectorist and member of the Tamworth and Lichfield Search Society shares some of the wonderful coins he has found over two decades of detecting.


s detectorists, coins are always high on the ‘want list’, and I have been fortunate in nearly 20 years of detecting to have found some lovely items.The earliest coins in the country are the Iron Age (800BC to 43AD) types and in 2013, myself and two friends found a hoard of Corieltauvi Tribe gold Staters (Image 1) from a couple of miles from my home. These are on display in The Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent. They are miniature works of art and had significant meaning to the people that owned them. Were they deposited to retrieve later when the Romans were advancing? We’ll never really know. Roman coins are to be found everywhere really but they are very nice to dig up occasionally. Image 2 shows a nice silver Denarius of Emperor Hadrian. After the Romans left there was a time when the creation of new coinage ceased for a while, and people probably just continued to use old Roman coinage until after the Anglo Saxons arrived and brought their own coinage - Sceats and Stycas mainly. Image 3 shows a silver continental issue called a Porcupine Sceat. These are not too common around this area but occasionally come to light. The Normans invaded next and brought their new coins with them. Image 4 is a very nice William the Conqueror penny. The quality of coinage is particularly good around these times and deteriorated after when silver was debased.

Image 5 is a late Norman coin of Richard the Lionheart and is a short cross example, found in the Lichfield area. The cutting of coins into halves and quarters was commonplace (to create ‘small change’)


and coins in Edward’s reign were refigured into long cross types to regulate this better. Image 6 is a penny of Edward I, the commonest pennies.

Coins remained very similar for many years and only really changed style significantly in Tudor times. Image 7 is a very nice reverse of Henry VIII. Image 8 is a beautiful example of an Elizabeth I shilling – these are hard to find with a good portrait as a lot were defaced for religious reasons, along with Mary, Edward VI and James coins.













‘Hammered’ type coins faded out after Charles II was reinstated and new ‘milled’ types appeared, these can be very ornate and Image 9 is a good example of William III coin of 1696. Shortages of silver sometimes led to more copper and bronze ‘token’ type coins being produced, Image 10 being a lovely 18th century token from Coventry featuring Lady Godiva on one side and an elephant on the other. Gold coins are obviously the ultimate finds ‘want’. I found this gorgeous Victoria sovereign from 1853 a few years ago and the photo doesn’t do the design justice (image 11) and Image 12 is a gold half sovereign of George V. These are just a few examples of coins that come out of the ground. If you’re a collector, visit my coin cabinet in Lichfield Antique Centre next to Minster Pool for coins from early to up-to-date and modern.



Rare vintage telephone found in Lichfield By Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers

striking jade green telephone much sought after by aficionados has been discovered in Lichfield. The phone, which dates back to 1934 and would have been used by a person of wealth, could potentially be worth thousands of pounds due to its rarity value. It was discovered in the city by Hansons Auctioneers’ associate director and vintage telephone enthusiast Adrian Rathbone, who said: “This is the holy grail of telephones – a jade green 200 series dating from 1934. In the 1930s, very few people had a telephone and those who could afford to have one had to rent them from the General Post Office. However, the vast majority of people were offered the standard model in any colour they liked - as long as it was black! “Back in the 1930s, if you were affluent, a member of royalty or lucky enough to be a film star, you could apply to the GPO for a telephone in a colour other than standard black. Only three official additional colours were on offer - ivory, Chinese red and jade green. These were more expensive to make and incurred substantially increased rental fees. They were a luxury few could afford in the depression era. To have one was a statement of wealth.” It is not only the colour that makes the Lichfield find special, it is the design. “When the GPO introduced the country’s first all-in-one telephone in 1929 it was revolutionary and replaced the previous clunky candlestick-types. This new model, the 200 series, was moulded entirely in gleaming Bakelite with the ear and mouthpiece as one unit. Meanwhile the body of the phone was an elegant pyramid form, echoing the Art Deco style of the day. Now considered a design


icon, the standard British phone of the 1930s sits alongside the likes of the anglepoise lamp and VW Beetle among design aficionados. You can even buy a modern plastic version. Most old Bakelite telephones went into the skip when the GPO updated them with plastic, mass-produced models from 1959 onwards. However, some savvy GPO workers saved some from landfill and kept them for posterity. The green phone discovered by Hansons was such an example. One sold for more than £2,000 a few years ago”. The telephone was sold in Hansons’ Christmas Fine Art Auction on December 19. Own a classic phone like this or any rare object? Find out at Hansons’ free valuation days held every Monday in Lichfield from 10.30am to 12.30pm at The Hedgehog Inn, Stafford Road, WS13 8JB and Sutton Coldfield, once a month on a Tuesday, the next being 9th January from 10am to 1pm at St Chads Church, Hollyfield Rd, Sutton Coldfield, B75 7SN. The valuation days are held in aid of St Giles Hospice, which Hansons is proud to support. Free home visits can be arranged by appointment for large/multiple items, estate clearance or downsizing advice. For further information please contact Adrian Rathbone, Associate Director on 01283 733988 or email

Creating the Perfect Smile


By Matt Burnell BSc Hons Dip CDT RCS

t Lichfield Smiles we recognise that taking the first steps to having a denture created, and finding your perfect smile can be a little daunting, so I thought I’d explore here the steps to creating a denture, from first enquiry to final fitting. When we first meet a client, we spend as much time as they wish chatting about the process of creating a denture, and how that denture will fit in to their lifestyle. There’s no pressure to make a quick decision. Should the client decide to look at having a denture created, we make a note of the size, length, shape and colour of the client’s teeth, plus the shape of the client’s face, nose, and jaw. This allows a denture to be created that beautifully emulates the original teeth. We make sure that details such as the tiny ridges on the palette are reproduced so that the dentures feel natural in the mouth. In addition, tiny blood capillaries in the gums are hand-painted and teeth are individually placed so that each set is perfect for each client – we make sure that your new smile is perfect for you. Dentures are initially made from a mould that is carefully taken

of the client’s mouth. The teeth in the denture are then individually positioned to create a natural look. If the client needs more time then the prototype version can be taken home to experience the feel and appearance of the teeth before the final stage. This prototype is then processed in the desired final material. The process is not completed until the customer is entirely happy. You can be confident that your finished denture can last 15 years or Matt Burnell, British Association of Clinical Dental Technology award more. winner 2015, 2016 and 2017 There really is no reason for anyone to struggle with ill-fitting, uncomfortable or unflattering dentures. The right denture not only massively improves the quality of life of each customer, it can transform your appearance and confidence, and even improve health as food can be properly chewed to release nutrients. Dentures from the award winning Lichfield Smiles start at just £550. So, for a free, informal chat with our lovely, friendly team, just give us a call on 01543 415 288. We’re looking forward to meeting you.



Erasmus Darwin House in January

his year Erasmus Darwin House, Beacon Street is hosting the next instalment of the Lunar Legacy Programme entitled ‘More Lunarcy’. The Lectures take place on the night of the full moon (or as close to this as possible) at College Hall, in the Cathedral Close, unless otherwise specified. The first lecture takes place on 31st January at 7.30pm, when Ruth Richardson will be speaking about ‘The Body Snatchers’. She will discuss how, during the 18th century and continuing into the 1830s, body snatchers robbed fresh graves of their contents to supply dissection rooms. She also considers the influence of this reality on Mary Shelly when she wrote Frankenstein. The Lecture costs £5 per person and booking is

The Importance of Being Earnest


he Importance of Being Earnest will play at the Lichfield Garrick from Tuesday 27 March until Saturday 31 March

Hannah Louise Howell will play Gwendolen, and she will be joined by Geoff Aymer, Louise Coulthard, Thomas Howes, Peter SandysClarke and Simon Shackleton, playing Chasuble, Cecily, Algernon, Jack and Lane/Merriman respectively. They join the previously announced Gwen Taylor as Lady Bracknell and Susan Penhaligon as Miss Prism.

Hannah Louise Howell’s theatre credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Alastair Whatley earlier this year at South Hill Park Arts Centre. Geoff Aymer’s televsison credits include Guerilla and Eastenders and Louise Coulthard won the


required. In the Lecture taking place on 1st March, Nick Seager will talk about Daniel Defoe. You can also discover Life below Stairs during the Georgian period on the Erasmus Darwin House Cellar Tours taking place during January. Tours cost £2 per person, start at 2.30pm and are on 6th and 20th January. Booking is recommended. Erasmus Darwin House can be found at Lustrum Award at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe for her play, Cockamamy.

Thomas Howes is best known for playing William Mason in ITV’s Downton Abbey. He has since appeared as Yashvin in the 2012 film adaptation of Anna Karenina and played Winston Churchill in Murdoch Mysteries.

Beacon Street, Lichfield, WS13 7AD Tel: 01543 306260.

Gwen Taylor as Lady Bracknell.

Peter Sandys-Clarke’s TV work includes The Royals, The Crown and Indian Summers and Simon Shackleton has appeared in EastEnders, Silk, The Queen, Lewis and Torchwood.

Oscar Wilde’s much loved comedy The Importance of Being Earnest follows Jack Worthing’s endeavours to marry Algernon’s cousin, the beautiful Gwendolen. But first he must convince the fearsome Lady Bracknell of his respectability. Wilde’s classic play looks at the clash of town and country in a story of romance, identity, perambulators and capacious handbags.

Tickets start from £23.50 and are available from the Box Office on 01543 412121 or

Images by Manuel Harlan and Jay Brookes


The Month in Pictures

W pictures...

e take a look at the events and activities of the last month, bringing you a round-up of the city in Images by Jonathan Oates

Make a Christmas Stocking, Visit Lichfield event at Lichfield Library

Twinkly Market at Minster Pool Walk

St Mary's and Market Square at the Christmas Food Festival

Regency Dancing at Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum

Santa Dash Run, Stowe Fields

Aladdin at Lichfield Garrick

Opening of Bitter-Suite Pub, Upper St John Street


Salvation Army Band at Three Spires

Rock Choir at Chamber of Trade Christmas Fayre

Cllr Michael Greatorex and Cllr Janice Greaves, Mayor of Lichfield at the Bishop's Palace for the Cathedral School Christmas Concert

Christmas Tree Festival, Lichfield Cathedral

Nutcrackers in the City


Past, present and future at The Angel Croft Each month, Citylife will be exploring the ‘Hidden Spaces’ of Lichfield and letting readers take a peek at parts of the city’s fascinating past not usually seen by the public. In this issue, we revisit the Angel Croft to find out from Dan Friel how the restoration of this iconic building on Beacon Street is progressing…


ith modern additions and alterations stripped away, the interior layout of the Angel Croft currently resembles the building as it would have been when it was originally built in around 1750. As work has progressed, several intriguing discoveries have been made, giving us an insight into the history of the Grade II* Listed property and its grounds. Work on the floor of one of the upstairs rooms revealed a reused beam which pre-dates the 18th century building and may even have been taken from one of the inns which previously occupied part of the site. Fragments of wallpaper reflecting the styles and tastes of former centuries still cling to the walls in places and outside, old glass bottles and a commemorative brick marking Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee have been brought to light. Wherever possible, the building’s original features are being retained. Dan has been pleased to find the roof in much better condition than expected, with many of the distinctive green and grey coloured Westmorland slate tiles intact. Window shutters have been restored and where necessary, replicas created by a local carpenter and any surviving period fireplaces are being stripped back to their original state. As the building is very much a working site at present, several features such as the Portland stone steps at the front and rear entrances have been removed for safekeeping and restoration. The ornate ironwork gates are currently with a specialist firm in Wolverhampton who are working from old photographs to bring them back to their former glory and it is hoped they will be back in place in early 2018. Once work is completed, the main building


Rear of Angel Croft

will house five luxury apartments with a two bedroom house planned for the former Bothy in the garden and the stables converted to what Dan envisages being a combined office/residential space. The remainder of the site is still in the early stages of design but Dan is currently exploring the idea of transforming the neighbouring Westgate House and cottage into a boutique hotel. As well as restoring the Angel Croft and its associated buildings with care and attention, Dan is also keen to support another aspect of Lichfield’s history which is associated with the site. Former entrances to the Hanch Tunnel, which was Wallpaper c1810 built 1856 and 1866 to carry water to Sandfields Pumping Station, are located in and around the grounds, and Dan is liaising with the L i c h f i e l d Waterworks Trust to explore how this heritage can also be preserved and reflected within the site. To keep up to date with developments at the Angel Croft, visit In addition, regular updates will be posted on a notice board at the site’s entrance in the car park.

The cellars



A Window on the Past

Getting our first bike as children is often our first taste of a little bit of independence, but how did Lichfeldian’s in the past get around the lanes and roads of our city and county?

Carts, Cars and Cycles Here, the local history group ‘You’re probably from Lichfield, Staffs if…’ take a look at Lichfield’s transport solutions over the past century. 1. The Number 820 bus (do you remember catching this home?) 2. Horse and cart coal delivery on Shortbutts Lane

3. Steam trains at Trent Valley Station (the old Maltings building is in the background)

4. Lesters Garage (21 Tamworth Street) C1940

5. An advertisement for Lester Cycles dated 1901

6. The Lichfield Motorcycle Depot, Tamworth Street (also known as Don’s) 36

7. An advertisement for Lichfield & Tamworth Motorcycle Depot (Don’s)

8. Do you remember riding around the old Dimbles track on something like this? 9. The old Dimbles track

For more stories, pictures and memories, visit the group’s Facebook page ‘You’re probably from Lichfield, Staffs if’ or go along to their next meetings on Tuesday 6th February and Tuesday 6th March, 7pm till 10pm, at Lichfield Social Club, Purcell Avenue, Lichfield, WS 13 7PH. For more information call 015434 16393 or 01543 268842. The group’s great displays of local photographs and memorabilia can be booked free of charge to appear at shows, nursing homes and clubs etc.

Aladdin’s Just Magical


A Review by Joss Musgrove Knibb

n 2nd Dec I joined an excited audience of all ages at the Lichfield Garrick for a performance of Aladdin. As someone who is not (whisper it) particularly fond of pantomimes, I was expecting it to be a pleasant but not particularly engrossing couple of hours watching a traditional panto. The set should have given me my first clue that The Garrick were about to pull off something extraordinary. The front of stage was adorned with huge golden dragons, and even before the curtains opened the quality of the set was impressive. Aladdin was in short, nothing less than a triumph. It was uplifting, gripping, life-affirming and incredibly funny. It entertained from start to finish, and I genuinely believe that every member of the audience felt the same. The story is set in ‘Old Peking’ where Aladdin, the son of Widow Twankey, a washer-woman, wishes to marry the beautiful Princess Jasmin, daughter of the Emperor of China (Ian Billings). Despite Jasmine and Aladdin’s love for one another, her father forbids her to marry, or even speak to any man who is not a Prince and very wealthy. Abanazar, the villain of the piece (and played with knowingly hammy Shakespearean relish) persuades Aladdin to enter a magical cave, where he finds a hoard of treasure (enough to let him marry the princess?), and a magical lamp. Abanazar wants the lamp, and the genie it contains within continued on page 39











continued from page 37

to make him the most powerful baddie in the world. From here the story unfolds, with stage fights, mummies, elephants, magic carpets, chases, music, dancing and an eye-popping array of costumes and scene changes. This is panto done at the highest level, and it was superb. Sam Rabone’s Widow Twankey was a masterclass in pantomime daming. What I really loved was the sense that he was enjoying it as much as we were. There’s a warmth and joie-de-vive to his performance which is just infectious. Robin Johnson’s Abanazar was was dastardly and delightful, and both Adrian Bevan (Aladdin) and Cat Sandonion (Princess Jasmine) were highly watchable and pulled every scene off with aplomb. Lizzie Wofford as The Spirt of the Ring, and Cameron Johnson as the Genie of the Lamp both received huge applause from the audience and very nearly stole every scene they were in. James Mitchell’s PC Pongo and Ben Thornton’s Wishee Washee added great comedic value. Aladdin plays at the Lichfield Garrick until Saturday 6th January. If you’ve not seen it yet, I can’t think of a better way to start the year.


Home welcome


• Buying • Selling • Renting • Letting

Advertise your event in our what’s on guide for only £3 for up to 75 words max, please contact Joss Musgrove Knibb 07833 735048 (Local Charities and advertisers may place what’s on listings free-of-charge). Please clearly mark your email ‘what’s on listing’.

What’s on in January

Sunday 7th January Wedding Open Day

12pm – 3pm at The George Hotel, Bird Street, Lichfield T: 01543 414822. Come along and see just how lovely your wedding day could be at The George! Admission free

Monday 8th January Lichfield Waterworks Trust

Monthly public meeting at 7.30pm, The Bowling Green pub, Friary Rd, Lichfield. Update on campaign to save the Grade II* listed Victorian Waterworks at Sandfields Pumping Station, Lichfield followed by talk on Crumpwood Ram Pump House by Chris Pattison. All welcome attendance free but voluntary donations welcome. For more information, visit

Sunday 14th January Wedding Open Day

12pm – 4pm at Moor Hall Hotel & Spa, Moor Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield T: 0121 308 3751 See the Charter Suite dressed for a wedding, wander the grounds and chat to our wedding co-ordinators. Admission free

Monday 15th January Lichfield Embroiderers' Guild

Winter Beer Festival

‘Try something new’ – a workshop to try different stitches and techniques. Come and meet others interested in


stitch and embroidery! No experience necessary! 7pm for 7.30pm at the Fire Station, Birmingham Road, Lichfield WS13 6HU. Plenty of free parking opposite. Please join us for what should be an enjoyable mini workshop and a chance to meet the group. Visitors very welcome - £4. For further information, please call Iva Davies on 01543 252177 or email

Wednesday 17th January South East Staffordshire Association of National Trust Members. Meetings held at The

Guildhall, Bore Street, Lichfield. At 7.30pm: Wall Roman Site, talk by Dr Mike Hodder. Association members £2, non members £4. For more info call 01543 416144

Thursday 18th January Lichfield Civic Society

A presentation and talk by David Gallagher: ‘You’re probably from Lichfield if…’ 7.45pm in The Lichfield Room, Wade St Church Community Hall, Frog Lane, Lichfield, WS13 6HS. Admission is free to members and school students. Non-members are always welcome - £3 at the door.

Saturday 20th & Saturday 27th January Burns Night Celebrations

ichfield Arts’ Winter Beer Festival returns to the Guildhall on the 19th and 20th January. Over 30 beers and ciders have been ordered including a wide range of real ales plus many from local and regional breweries. Also available will be a fine selection of traditional ciders and perrys plus Lichfield Arts’ regular bar, and Famous Pork Pies. There’ll also be live musical entertainment on both evenings. Entrance to the festival is £2 or £3 in advance, after 6pm they will be available on the door but if you are bringing a large party ring 01543-262223 to reserve your tickets.

Sunday 21st January Wedding Fayre

11am to 3pm at The George Hotel, Bird Street, Lichfield T: 01543 414822A wide range of exhibitors will be on hand to help you organise your very special day. Free admission & £100 worth of vouchers to be won!

Wednesday 24th January Stonnall Conservation Society

Stonnall Conservation Society are delighted to welcome MR ANTONY POULTON-SMITH to their next meeting held on Wednesday 24th January 2018 at the Youth & Community Centre, Main Street, Stonnall WS9 9EE. His subject on this occasion will be ‘WHEN NATURE CALLED!!’ Mr Poulton-Smith is a freelance journalist and author having had 65 books and many articles published on subjects ranging from ‘the origins of towns and villages, to hills, streets, fields and even public houses.’ For more information, please visit

Words Alive! Launches

Moor Hall Hotel & Spa, Moor Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield T: 0121 308


3751. Celebrate the birthday of Scotland’s best loved bard with a 3 course meal and dancing to an authentic ceilidh band. £39.50 per person or from £145 for two people to include an overnight stay with full English breakfast.

Saturday 27th January Live Life on Broadway

7.30 pm in Lichfield Cathedral. The

music on the night will be brought to you by local choirs, soloists and a live band, all performing a range of songs from famous Broadway musicals. Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for under 16s. For online tickets please visit (includes a small booking fee) or call Marilyn on 01543 300176. All proceeds for the evening will go to 'Live Life Give Life' to raise awareness and support organ donation. Organised in partnership with Lichfield's Kaleidoscope Choir.

Tuesday 30th January Arthritis Care Lichfield Branch Are you living with Arthritis? If so, why not come along to the monthly meetings of the Lichfield Branch of Arthritis Care? We meet at The Community Room in the new Lichfield Fire Station on the fourth Tuesday of each month (except August & December) from 7pm to 9pm, and offer support, signposting and social activities. Transport is provided for a small contribution. For further information please contact 01543 263347 or 255698

Wednesday 31st January Lunar Lecture

The Body Snatchers by Ruth Richardson: 7.30pm until 9pm: £5pp At College Hall, The Close, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 7LD. Booking essential, please call 01543 306260

he Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum is launching a brand new weekly club for 7 to 11 year olds. ‘Words Alive!’ will launch on Saturday 20th January at 10.30am, and sees a new look for the Museum’s former ‘Bookworms United’ club. The sessions will offer a variety of activities throughout the year, each designed to help young readers engage with words in a lively way.These will vary from reading aloud to writing poems and stories, illustration, scripting and performing short plays together, and even combining words with sounds or song. Held in the inspiring setting of the historic house where Lichfield’s famous wordsmith developed his own love of the language, the hour-long sessions cost just £3, with discounts available for families. The club is led by Don Atkinson (an award-winning poet and former teacher of English and Drama in primary and secondary schools) and Lesley Bushell (an animator and illustrator of children’s books) whose recent work has been on display at Lichfield Library. To book a place or to find out more, contact the Birthplace on 01543 264 972, email, or visit the Museum on the corner of the Market square 11am to 3.30pm daily.


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Citylife in Lichfield January 2018  
Citylife in Lichfield January 2018  

Bringing you fresh new features, stories and news in our first issue of 2018!