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Guiding Tamworth on to the Tourist Map

By David Biggs, Chair of Tamworth Guild of Town Guides


Guides by Town Hall. Image by Stacy Birt.

ne of the attractions at Tamworth’s Heritage Open Day on 10th September was the sight of greenshirted tourist guides around the town centre enthusiastically helping visitors to understand and enjoy the town’s history and built heritage.

Since 2013 Tamworth has been fortunate to have its very own team of professionallyqualified Green Badge Tourist Guides to explain and promote the town’s history to locals and visitors alike. Four of the guides have also gone on to become qualified Blue Badge Tourist Guides for the Heart of England Region, adding much to their experience and expertise.

The guides operate together as the Tamworth Guild of Town Guides (TGTG), and the Mayor of Tamworth is ex-officio patron of the Guild. Working alongside Tamworth Borough Council and local heritage groups like the Civic Society, TGTG tries hard to promote what Tamworth has to offer.

Group tour outside Carnegie Centre. Image by Susan Biggs.

During the summer season the guides provide public tours which can be booked via the town’s Tourist Information Centre in Marmion House. The Guild also offers occasional themed tours such as the one the guides put together to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War One, which proved very popular. The guides are also available for private group tours all year round of the historic town centre, Tamworth Castle or St Editha’s Parish Church, or may do tailormade tours on request.

To find out more, visit the Guild’s Facebook page, and its website at:

Guides with Christopher Pincher MP


Looking for a Forever Home


Linda who is a fosterer carer took over the following day and has nursed them back to health with lots of love and reassurance. On the 16th September, Coco was adopted and has gone to his new home. We now need a loving home for Twiglet who, after everything, is a very The Lichfield and Tamworth branch sweet little lady who will make someone's have a small number of fosterers who look home complete. after cats and kittens that come into their care until they are found their new forever Twiglet is neutered, micro-chipped and homes. There are several cats and kittens fully vaccinated. If you would like to offer available for adoption at the moment Twiglet her new forever home please call including Twiglet. us on 0345 371 2741 or email An adoption fee Twiglet is a young, all black female who will apply. was found in a garden shed after giving birth to a litter of kittens. By the time we Twiglet may well go quickly, but were called the kittens would have been there are plenty more cats looking four weeks old. Sadly three kittens had for their forever home here: died and only one was alive. Twiglet and Also her kitten were dehydrated and in urgent during October Cats Protection Lichfield need of veterinary treatment. They were and Tamworth Branch will be appealing taken by our volunteers to a vet in for people with a variety of skills and a Lichfield where they were kept in love of cats to volunteer for the charity. overnight for urgent rehydration. The People from all walks of life are kitten, who we called Coco, needed encouraged to contact Cats Protection to treatment for an eye infection also.  find out how they can help unwanted and ere, Cats Protection Lichfield and Tamworth Branch tells us a little more about what they do to help and support our feline friends, and introduces us to Twiglet who is looking for her forever home…

abandoned cats in their area. Volunteers are desperately needed including various opportunities within our fundraising team; helping trap, neuter and return; fostering; events co-ordinator; home visitors and educational speakers.

If you have time to spare and would love to get involved please get in touch via our email address at, by phone on 0345 371 2741 or visit our stall in St Editha’s Community Room, 31st October 12 till 4pm.


Conservation Anniversary

n September, the Tamworth and District Civic Society marked the 50th anniversary of the introduction of conservation areas into the UK under the Civic Amenities Act 1967 with a presentation on today's historic environment by Tamworth Borough Council's Conservation Officer John Somers.

Sushil Birdi, John Somers, David Biggs and Peter Thurgood.

Brian Hoult with Dr Geoff Noon


All images copyright Susan Biggs

Mick and Val warmly welcome you to La Tavola Calda, Nuneaton’s favourite restaurant, no matter what the special occasion is that you are celebrating anniversary, retirement, birthday, office party or a romantic meal for two!

Our friendly staff combined with an inviting atmosphere will make your visit very special indeed.

We warmly welcome families of all ages from the young to the young at heart. With live entertainment every weekend, if you want to see what all the fuss is about call Mick direct on 07796 084672 to book a table.

Now taking bookings for December Christmas party nights - book now!



October 2017 8 20


Win Afternoon Tea for Two at Christopher's

Answer our anagram competition to win the perfect afternoon treat 20 Living in Tamworth’s Cutest Pet

Is your pet Tamworth’s cutest?

30 Detecting Finds and Adventures

Discovering the past with metal detectorist Gary Starkey


32 A Window on the Past

Tamworth’s chapels and churches 33 What’s on

Things to do in October

Welcome to LIVING IN


Welcome to LIVING IN Tamworth, a monthly magazine bringing you our pick of the area's news, events and stories. Each month LIVING IN Tamworth is delivered to 18,000 homes and businesses in Tamworth, Two Gates, Stoneydelph, Amington, Perry Crofts, Fazeley, Wilnecote, Drayton Bassett, Dosthill, Atherstone, Polesworth, Hopwas, Whittington and Elford completely free of charge; bringing you the best that the region has to offer. Each issue features heritage stories exploring the rich history of our area, plus community achievements and positive news, local events and 'what's on', interviews, competitions, home, style, and town and country living. Got a story or charity event you want to share with our readership? Think you’ve snapped an image that captures the spirit of your area? We want to hear from you!


Our business is bringing you everything that's great about living in Tamworth.


LIVING Contacts

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

Steve Brown 07740 166497 Karen Wraxton 07791 635019 Rebecca Hill 07970 513144 Production - Helen Smith 07967 154187

Citylife In Lichfield Ltd PO Box 7126 LICHFIELD WS14 4JS CITYLIFE in Lichfield, CITYLIFE in Rugeley and LIVING IN Tamworth magazines are not connected to any other publication or publisher, and are wholly owned by CITYLIFE in Lichfield Ltd. LIVING IN Tamworth

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 Christopher’s


hristopher’s is situated at 13 to 14 Aldergate, in the newly established cultural quarter of Tamworth, and offers guests a sumptuous and contemporary dining experience in relaxed and chilled surroundings. Their head chefs combine the very best of English culinary tradition with a young and vibrant palate. Serving the finest, freshest and, wherever possible, locally produced ingredients, Christopher’s dedication to good quality food and welcoming hospitality, plus 40 years’ experience, creates the perfect place for luxury dining or a laid-back, mid-week treat whatever the occasion. Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea – pop in and sample their seasonal offers or reserve a table to avoid disappointment. Christopher’s is also open all day and evening for lighter refreshments, be that fabulous, specially selected coffee, or something from their sumptuous wine menu and comprehensively stocked bar. They also have a private dining room for private functions of up to 28 people.


Afternoon Tea

Christopher’s Afternoon Teas are served from 3pm till 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday and are the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and family over tea, coffee, cake and cucumber sandwiches for just £15 per person or £22 per person with a glass of Prosecco. For more information visit or call 01827 67676

To win Afternoon Tea for Two at Christopher's, just unscramble the anagram to find a traditional Austrian pastry treat with a fruity filling...

LADRUSTLEPPE _____ _______

To enter, just send your name, contact details and answer to Christopher’s Competition at or post your entry to Citylife in Lichfield Ltd, PO Box 7126, Lichfield, WS14 4JS by the competition closing date of Friday 20th October 2017. One entry per household. No cash equivalent offered. For full terms and conditions see page 34. Congratulations to Susan Foley who gave the answer 'Lemon Drizzle' and solved the anagram in the September issue. Susan wins Tea for Two at Christopher's.


Rolex - Precision and Beauty Combined


By Richard Winterton of Richard Winterton Auctioneers

he company name ‘Rolex’ was registered on 15th November 1915. The company and its subsidiary, Montres Tudor SA design, manufacture, distribute and service wristwatches sold under the Rolex and Tudor brands. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London in 1905 as Wilsdorf and Davis, Rolex moved its base of operations to Geneva Switzerland in 1919. The first self-winding Rolex wristwatch was offered to the public in 1931, and Rolex participated in the development of the original quartz watch movements. Although Rolex has made very few quartz models for its Oyster line, the company’s engineers were instrumental in the design and implementation of the technology during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1968 Rolex collaborated with a consortium of 16 Swiss watch manufacturers to develop the Beta 21 quartz movement used in their Rolex Quartz Date 5100 alongside other manufacturers including the Omega Electroquartz watches. Rolex was also the second watch company to create a water resistant wristwatch that


could withstand pressure to a depth of 330 feet. Wilsdorf even had a specially made Rolex watch called ‘DeepSea’. Rolex produced specific models suitable for extremes of deepsea diving, caving, mountain climbing etc. Early sports models included the Rolex Submariner 1953 and the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Sea Dweller. The second market for ladies’ and gentlemen’s Rolex wristwatches proves that they are still in high demand, with auction markets booming. In recent sales we have achieved amazing prices with live sales across a world-wide market via Recently, an 18ct gold gents’ Rolex OysterPerpetual Day Date wristwatch sold at a hammer price of £4,400; a gents’ stainless steel Rolex Submariner wristwatch sold at £3,000; a 1930s 9ct gold Rolex ‘Prima’ ladies’ wristwatch sold at £540; a 9ct gold 1926 Rolex Oyster Ultra Prima watch face sold at £1,300 and a Rolex Oyster Precision stainless steel gents’ wristwatch, in a presentation box sold at a hammer price £1,350. We have a Clock, Watch and Collectors’ Sale coming up on Wednesday 8th November.

Entries are now being invited. Free valuations are held every Tuesday from 9.30am to 4pm at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, Lichfield, WS13 8NF.


NCT offers parents a helping hand


s parents-to-be in Tamworth prepare for their new arrival, they can help build their confidence and reduce their worries by joining an NCT antenatal course. Courses are run by university-accredited specialist practitioners and, whilst there is a charge, discounts are available for those on low incomes. Profit from the course is reinvested back into the charity’s services.

To book an NCT Signature antenatal course in Tamworth, or to find out more information, visit the NCT’s website, call Helen on 0208 752 2477 or email

NCT also have a local branch which organises groups and activities in Tamworth. A Bumps & Babies group runs fortnightly at 10.30am on Mondays in the Community Hub in the Castle Grounds and a weekly buggy walk heads off from the same location every Thursday at 10.30am. The branch also organises Baby First Aid courses and Nearly New sales in the area. You can find out more about these local activities by following the branch on Facebook (search LichfieldtamworthNCT) and Twitter (@NCT_Lichfield).


Black Dragon Judo Club

lack Dragon Judo Club is run by Sensei Sean Fielding - Black Belt 4th Dan Renshi, who has over 30 years’ experience in the martial art, and his son Sensei Lewis Fielding, who has been practising judo since he was four years old. The club is run on a not-for-profit basis to give local adults and children the chance to learn judo. Everyone is welcome, regardless of whether they are a beginner or have experience, are looking to improve fitness or wanting to learn self defence, as Black Dragon can cater for individual needs. The club is part of the Tokushima Budo Council International martial arts association who

offer regular courses to help the club and its students progress and reach a high standard of achievement.

The club meets on a Wednesday evening between 7pm and 9pm at Glascote Meeting Rooms, Dumolos Lane, Glascote, Tamworth B77 2BX and there is a small monthly fee to help cover the club’s running costs. For more information or to book a place please contact Sean on 07771 401947.

Thousands enjoy ‘We Love Tamworth’ T

he sun shone as thousands of families enjoyed a day of entertainment and activities as part of the 2017 We Love Tamworth event in the Castle Grounds in September. Visitors enjoyed fairground rides, charity stalls, a dog show, demonstrations from local clubs and music from Tamworth Wind Band. Hundreds of children took part in face painting, art activities and adventure golf in the Children’s Zone and around 100 dogs either participated or attended the dog show.

This year’s event also featured some additional extras in the form of a parade by the Mercian Regiment soldiers and flash mobs led by Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, as they moved around the Castle Grounds playing modern music on brass band instruments. A particular highlight was when they were joined by members of Tamworth Wind Band who emerged out of the crowd playing their own instruments as part of an


‘impromptu rave’. The Mr Wilson’s Second Liners appearance was part of the Music Outside element of the Arts in Unusual Spaces project. Soldiers of the Mercian Regiment and the Band of the Mercian Regiment paraded through the Castle Grounds and the town centre to mark 10 years since the regiment was first formed in Tamworth by its Colonel-in-Chief, HRH The Prince of Wales.

The We Love Tamworth event also saw the launch of Focus 24: 24 Hours in Tamworth. The project, also part of Arts in Unusual Spaces, had invited amateur and professional photographers and film-makers from Tamworth to submit footage of the people, places, objects and experiences of Tamworth, at all hours of the day. A total of 24 photographs, taken by 24 different photographers, have been chosen to represent 24 hours in the life of the town and a unique new film has also been developed to act as a lasting legacy. The film can be viewed online at



Tamworth Soup

ctober will see the fourth SOUP fundraising event held in the town since Community Together CIC joined forces with Mal Dewhirst, Tamworth poet and Artistic Director of Fired Up Theatre, to launch Tamworth Soup in January 2017.

The idea for SOUP fundraising came from Detroit in the USA and has since been developed in UK towns and cities. The idea is that members of the community pay a £5 entrance fee to get a bowl of soup with a roll and a vote. After hearing from three local community projects who are seeking a small amount of funding to support a local initiative, people are invited to use their vote to choose which project they think will benefit the community the most. After covering the cost of the soup, the remainder of the money raised is given to the successful group on the day.

The first three SOUP events have seen the Dig-iT group, Tamworth Ladies’ choir, a Girl Guide looking to fund a trip to an international Guide camp and a local nursery all benefit from


micro-grants. The event also provides a great opportunity for community groups to share ideas, resources and to help each other.

Mal Dewhirst, who came up with the idea of putting together Tamworth’s very own Soup commented: “I came across the idea through working on community development projects and was really enthused by the idea of local people supporting local groups and projects for the benefit of the community. I spoke to Lee Bates at Community Together CIC who said he would love to host it. We have tapped into the experience from Detroit SOUP, whose website is full of useful information about setting up a SOUP initiative.”

Lee Bates, Project Coordinator for Community Together CIC added: “When Mal approached us with the idea it was definitely something we wanted to support and we are pleased to be the hosts

of Tamworth Soup at our Hub in the Castle Grounds.”

Tamworth SOUP takes place on Saturday 7th October from 11am to 1pm at Community Together CIC Hub in Tamworth Castle grounds and everyone is welcome. If you are a group wanting to attend and make a pitch, you will need to complete a short application form which can be obtained by emailing



Helping wildlife this winter By Yvonne Moore of Tamworth and District Hedgehog & Bird Rescue

arol Tyler, of Coton Green, set up the Tamworth and District Hedgehog & Bird Rescue six years ago to help sick, injured or orphaned hedgehogs, birds and other wildlife species. Her principle aim is to return wildlife back to its natural habitat whenever possible or to ensure any creature unable to survive in the wild can live in dignity and security in a safe environment.

In 2016, Carol rescued 226 hedgehogs and has rescued around 100 hedgehogs and 30 wild birds so far this year. Bird species include a peregrine, little owl, sparrow hawk, ducks, racing pigeons and other common garden birds. She also reared an orphaned polecat. Carol has a team of volunteers who help with all aspects of running the rescue.

Carol is supported by a non-profit making organisation relying entirely on donations from the public and fund-raising events such as Tamefest and the Elford scarecrow festival. Carol gives many talks to a wide variety of schools and groups, and aims to raise the public’s awareness of the plight of hedgehogs and other wildlife. Through engagement with the public, we explain how wildlife numbers


are in rapid decline and can offer information about caring for wildlife including what to do if you find a sick, injured or orphaned hedgehog or bird. Several information leaflets are available upon request.

Here are some topical tips for autumn and winter to help hedgehogs, birds and other wildlife to survive the winter:

• Take care when clearing up gardens for the winter and leave a wild area for hedgehogs to nest in. Create hedgehog highways in your area to give hedgehogs access to many gardens and avoid using dangerous strimmers or toxic chemicals such as slug pellets.

• Hedgehogs can hibernate between October and May depending on the weather and may wake up and search for food and even make a new nest.

• Always leave bowls of clean water for wildlife to enjoy and never give hedgehogs milk as it makes them very poorly. Leave meaty cat or dog food out all year and local hedgehogs will reward you with regular visits.

• Bonfire season is very dangerous for hedgehogs. They see a pile of old wood and

logs as a nest and can end up coming to harm. Always build a bonfire just before you are about to light it to keep wildlife safe.

• Garden birds increasingly rely on good quality bird food in clean feeders in our gardens and we get the benefit of watching their antics!

If you would like to find out more about hedgehogs and birds, are interested in volunteering with us, or indeed find an animal or bird in trouble then please give Carol a call on 01827 701219 or 07946 076474 or like our Facebook page, Tamworth and District Hedgehog & Bird Rescue.


New season line-up at the Garrick


unning from September 2017 to January 2018, the autumn/winter season at the Lichfield Garrick offers drama, family entertainment, comedy, music and variety.

This year’s family pantomime is the mystical and magical tale of Aladdin, starring CBeebies’ Cat Sandion alongside the comedy duo of dame, Sam Rabone, and Ben Thornton. Aladdin runs from Thursday 30 November 2017 to Saturday 6 January 2018 with tickets from £14 for children and £23.50 for adults.

For younger audiences, Home for Christmas is a fun-filled adventure following a mother’s quest to make it home in time for Christmas. For adults, Crimes on the Christmas Express is an alternative Christmas comedy inspired by Agatha Christie, 39 Steps and Jason Bourne.

Letters to Emma is a modern day ghost story based on the life of Anna Seward and the national tour of Frederick Knott’s Wait Until Dark arrives in Lichfield this October. Vamos Theatre return with Finding Joy, a show that approaches the subject of dementia and there will be thrills galore in Blackeyed Theatre’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Well-loved names will be appearing, from ‘Silver Screen’ with Robert Powell and Liza Goddard to ‘War Stories’ with Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan. America’s Got Talent winner Paul Zerdin will be bringing his (in) famous puppets while Jai McDowall and Michael Courtney present the best of the West End in Mad About The Musicals. Later in the season, Pam Ayres makes a welcome appearance.

Music treats include Jimmy Osmond, The Syd Lawrence Orchestra and two classical concerts - Vivaldi by Candlelight and the Richter Ensemble performing Beethoven Quartets. Local acoustic duo Chris Buckle and Dan Anketell return in Music Through the Decades. Irish comedian Ed Byrne heads up the comedy with Spoiler Alert, while Comedy 42 introduces some of the finest up and coming comedians on the circuit and Dirty Dusting stars Benidorm’s Crissy Rock.


The new season brochure is available from the Box Office or online at To book tickets, call 01543 412121 or visit the website.


Cutest Pet Competition Living in Tamworth’s

Cutie of the Month! Congratulations to Rocco, Living in Tamworth’s Cutie of the Month for October! Rocco is a Jack Russell/Pug cross

who will be two on Remembrance Day. Thanks to John for sending us this picture of this handsome boy.



e love looking through your pet pics here at Living in Tamworth. It’s such a hard job to choose which ones will appear here in our pages. We wish we could print them all! As you know, over the next few months we’re looking for Living in Tamworth’s Cutest Pet and we want to see pictures of your dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, horses – anything goes! Every issue we pick a selection and publish them here. The final winner will be selected from all of the images submitted, and this lucky pet and their owner will be the winner of £100 cash prize! The winner will be announced in September 2018. To enter your pet into the competition, send your pet pics to or post them to Living in Tamworth Pet Competition, PO Box 7126, Lichfield, WS14 4JS. Please clearly mark your entry ‘Living in Tamworth’s Cutest Pet’ and tell us a little bit about them. Apologies but we can’t return pictures posted to us. For terms and conditions see page 34.

Honey - Thanks to Helen for sending us this photo of Honey the cat, chilling on her back!

Lola - Nina sent in a photo of her puppy Lola

Cookie - is an 18 month old Shih Tzu and owner Tori tells us that after a bath she runs around the house like a firework!

Jewel - Helen sent us a photo of her daughter’s young cat, Jewel

Monty - Vicky sent us in a photo of Monty, an 11 year old Border Collie from Wilnecote

Mimi - Janice sent us in a photo of her dog Mimi

Your Garden in October By Byron Lewis

The start of the autumn brings with it the change in leaf colour of many of our popular trees and shrubs. We’ll take a look at some examples in this month’s gardening column… The Acer family contains trees ranging from the large Field Maple, through to the smaller more ornate Japanese Maples. All are deciduous and from the start of October, their foliage takes on some fantastic shades of copper, rust and bronze.

Deciduous Viburnum varieties such as Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’ has quite plain dark green leaves and white flowers during the summer months but in the autumn, the foliage turns a fiery red colour before falling.

Also on the red theme are leaves of many Cornus (Dogwood) varieties. Both of these shrubs are ideal for the back of a border and will tolerate lots of different soil types and positions. Many Cornus varieties are also grown for winter stem colour, which is revealed once the leaves have dropped. Try Cornus ‘Sibirica’ for red stems and Cornus ‘Flaviramea’ for bright yellow branches. These can look great when planted together. Other suggestions for plants which will turn colour include trees like Liquidambar, many of the ornamental Cherry (Prunus) varieties, and the Mountain Ash (Sorbus) varieties.These all have exceptional leaf colour as the nights draw in.

Some evergreen shrubs and trees can also react with colder autumn days by changing leaf colour – examples here are the Trachelospermum (Star Jasmine), a climber with scented white flowers, whose leaves are tinged with red when the temperature drops. Some conifer varieties also do this – Thuja ‘Rheingold’ turns amber, while Cryptomeria turns from Green to Bronze at this time of year. Next time, we focus on fruit trees and bushes, with some advice and information on the easy way to grow your own!

Byron Lewis runs Lichfield Garden Centre at Curborough Countryside Centre, Lichfield. Tel.01543 254306. Visit or find us on Facebook & Twitter.


Cutest Pet Cont... Living in Tamworth’s


Bruce - Here’s Bruce the Beagle celebrating his birthday, sent in by Sue

Cassie - the Lhasa Apso dog was sent in by Helen

Poppy - Helen sent us a photo of Poppy in her basket

Ozzi - Lesley sent us in a photo of her dog Ozzi

Jester - Thanks Debbie for the photo of six year old Jester

Co Co - George sent us his six year old Lhasa Apso Co Co

Rosie - was a rescue cat and owner Joe says he often finds her sitting like this!

Barney - Barney the dog was sent in by Paul

Harvey - Georgia sent us a picture of Harvey

Curlew - image by Jon Hawkins


Staffordshire offers hope for threatened birds

ight species of threatened wading birds have been seen breeding across Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s reserves in 2017.

Wading birds are ground-nesting species that live in a range of open habitats, including moorland, fens and marshes, wet meadows, farmland and gravel pits. This reliance on open habitat does make them very vulnerable to habitat loss, predators and disturbance. Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is committed to improving the fortunes of these birds across the county.  This year, the Trust’s Monitoring Officer, Jonathan Groom, has been able to assess the fortunes of curlew, snipe, lapwing, ringed plover, little ringed plover, woodcock, oystercatcher and common sandpiper.  Jonathan commented: “It has been a really pleasing year for breeding wader numbers across our reserves. Our reserves offer such variety, with many offering  suitable  habitats for waders like open moorlands and wetlands.  Some species are more difficult to monitor than others, but I have certainly been delighted to see that many including oystercatcher, lapwing, common sandpiper and little ringed plover were able to hatch young successfully.”


Christmas Gifts for Little Ones

The Fairy-tale Block Playset: £25.00 - available from The Shop at No.9

With Christmas not far away, many of us are putting our Christmas lists together, and pondering ideas for the perfect gift for friends and family. We present here some fantastic gift ideas for the littleys in your life - guaranteed to delight on Christmas Day.

Stockists: City Jewellers of Lichfield, 39 Market Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LA. Tel 01543 416412 The Shop at No.9, 9 The Close, Lichfield, WS13 7LD. Tel. 01543 306150


The Wooden Pony Jigsaw £12.00 - available from The Shop at No.9

Nomination bracelets start from £29 and are available from City Jewellers

A Special Christmas Journey P

eople of all ages are invited to attend Lichfield Cathedral’s services, where they can reflect and pray in the magnificent surroundings of the cathedral. These include the Advent Carol Services on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd December, the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 17th and 24th December, and Midnight Mass on Sunday 24th December, as well as Choral Eucharist on Christmas Day and Cloth for the Cradle on Boxing Day. In the week leading up to Christmas, Cathedral Illuminated takes ‘Star of Wonder, Star of Light’ as its theme. On the back of last year’s illuminated event and this summer’s Great Exhibition, this display takes place at various times between Monday 18th and Saturday 23rd December. This will be a ticket only event. Please check the website for more details.

Shoppers can take a break from their Christmas shopping at the Shoppers’ Carol Service on Saturday 23rd December and have an hour of peace and reflection with some popular readings and Christmas Carols from 2pm. At the Family Crib Service on Christmas Eve, everyone is welcome to come dressed as a Nativity character. This celebration of Christmas in drama and song starts at 3pm.

An event for the whole family is the screening of The Snowman film on Thursday 21st December at 1.30pm, 3.45pm and 7pm. The film will be brought to life by a live professional orchestra.

The cathedral’s annual Christmas Tree Festival will once again take place in the Quire aisles of the Cathedral, with local schools, charities and businesses being invited to participate. From £50, £75 and £200 they will receive a beautiful fivefoot high Nordmann fir tree, a set of LED lights to adorn it, and a stand for their own publicity. Funds raised will go to The Friends of Lichfield Cathedral, a charitable organisation which supports the ongoing work of the cathedral. Visitors will be asked to vote for their favourite tree with trophies awarded to the winners. In 2016 more than 40,000 people attended the festival, which this year is being held between Saturday 2nd December and Wednesday 3rd January.

For any shoppers looking for that perfect Christmas gift for a loved one, the cathedral’s Shop at No.9 is the ideal place to browse through a great range of locally produced and unique handpicked items, including books, stationery, prints and candles.

To find out more about this year’s Christmas journey at Lichfield Cathedral, visit the website at Any businesses interested in taking part in the Christmas Tree Festival should call Oliver Birch on 01543 622460 or email


A Guide to Lasting Powers of Attorney


By Richard Wells, Managing Partner at Philips Legal Solicitors

ccessing someone’s finances if they become incapacitated or ill is a complex and protracted process, which could make things very difficult for a spouse, partner or children. Bills could go unpaid and if cash is needed for any purpose, it would be inaccessible. Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows someone that you trust to act on your behalf should the need arise. Your chosen person can then manage your affairs in your best interests. This could be in the long term or until such time that you are able to take up the reins again yourself. There are two types of LPA, both of which Philips Legal Solicitors can help you with. A Property and Affairs LPA This allows your nominated person to: • Manage your finances and property • Make sure your bills are paid • Make decisions about your assets


A Health and Welfare LPA This allows your nominated person to: • Make decisions about your medical treatment • Decide whether it’s best for you to continue to live at home or whether residential care would be more appropriate If you haven’t set up an LPA, your loved ones may have to pay out a lot of money on your behalf. The Court of Protection would have to appoint a deputy to manage your affairs, which is both time-consuming and costly. An LPA will avoid the distress of a delay and also preserve your assets to pay for the care you may need in the future. With Philips Legal Solicitors, setting up an LPA is a pretty straightforward process. Simply call us free on 0800 228 9988 and we will happily give you more details or arrange a meeting.


Tamworth Memory Café

he Memory Café at St John’s Church in Tamworth (behind Marmion House) offers a safe, supportive environment where individuals with memory loss and their friends, relatives and other care-givers can get together once a week and socialise with others in similar circumstances. Fun activities are available for everyone to take part in, although there is no obligation to join in and people are welcome to simply sit and chat over a cup of tea. The café encourages friendship, provides emotional support and reduces the isolation often felt by people with memory loss.

As well as bringing enjoyment and pleasure, shared activities can promote a sense of belonging and by remaining involved and active, a person living with dementia can maintain their skills and independence for longer. The café is run by Home Instead Senior Care and volunteers and was set up earlier this year with the support of the Heart of Tamworth community project, Communities Together CIC and Tamworth Borough Council. The café is open on Tuesday mornings between 10.30am and 12.30pm and there is no charge to attend, although voluntary contributions to help cover the café’s running costs are always welcome. Anyone interested is invited to pop in and see what the café is all about – there is no need to book and no commitment to attend.

For more information, please contact Karen at Tamworth Home Instead Senior Care on 01827 431 002


Daring and impudent robbery!


By Nigel Morris of The Peel Society

he Peel Society was formed in 1979 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Metropolitan Police Force, and promotes the study of the life, works and times of Sir Robert Peel and the Peel family. The society also runs The Peel Collection and Police Museum at Middleton Hall. Here, Chairman Nigel Morris gives a closer look at one of the fascinating objects from the museum’s unique collection of memorabilia.

The caricature by William Heath in 1829 illustrates that the new fangled police was not a popular move by Robert Peel, then Home Secretary and The Duke of Wellington, Prime Minister. It shows them robbing John Bull to pay for the new police, which replaced ‘The Charlies’ or night-watchmen. This is one of six caricatures recently purchased by The Peel Society. It shows Peel as a ‘Peeler’ with a truncheon.

The Metropolitan Police Act was the culmination of seven years of criminal justice reform by Robert Peel from 1822 to 1829. Peel assiduously reformed a chaotic system of criminal justice, which was neither certain nor fair. There were a multitude of offences for which the maximum sentence was hanging. Juries were reluctant to find defendants guilty, unless it was an absolutely certain decision. Peel’s reforms were contained in 40 pages, whereas there had been a multitude of different acts going back into medieval times. One item


his month, Shelley looks at the Kettle Brook Local Nature Reserve and tells us how people can get involved.

Of all the Wild About Tamworth project sites, the longest is Kettle Brook Local Nature Reserve (LNR). Over 3.5km in length, it comprises four separate sites and spans from Glascote in the north-west to Wilnecote in the south-east. It is a Site of Biological Importance (SBI) due to the areas along the brook and also includes man-made lakes, wet woodland, landscaped parkland and grassland linked by the Kettle Brook, which form an important green corridor through central Tamworth.

Wild About Tamworth! 28

By Shelley Pattison

There are two groups which manage this large site. The Friends of the Lakes manage the Stonydelph Lakes and Belgrave Lakes area and meet on the first Sunday of every month from 10am.  The Wilnecote Wildlife Conservation Group meet on the last Saturday of the month from 10am and they manage the Wilnecote end. Tasks vary from litter picking to bulb planting, tree management to path clearance.  Volunteers can stay for as long as they wish and can do as much or as little as they are able.  Both groups follow the site’s management plan

he did put into his reforms was that each criminal being transported to Australia was provided with two pairs of woollen drawers!

Peel was not allowed to have a national police force, but the Metropolitan Police Act 1829 became the basis of modern policing ‘The Police are citizens and citizens are the police’. He appointed two commissioners to lead the Metropolitan Police in London, one a lawyer and one a former army officer. They worked well together and the force was soon up to 3,000 men. Constables were paid 3/6d (17.5p) a day and they had 6,000 applicants for 3,000 positions.

The Peel Museum at Middleton Hall, B78 2AE, has an interesting display of police memorabilia going back to the 19th century. It also illustrates the history of policing in Britain. The Hall and Museum are open in October on Sunday October 1st and 29th. There is a small admission charge for the Hall.

and are trained to carry out these tasks and support new volunteers to learn the skills they need to help. All that is required is suitable clothing, sturdy footwear and a little time to make a difference. 

If this sounds interesting, why not join us for the Community Event on Sunday 1st October and find out more? Running as part of the recent Tesco “Bags For Life” funding the Wilnecote group was awarded, it is free to attend and there will be planting and craft activities, willow weaving and sculpture trail sessions, bug hunting and light refreshments. It will also be a great opportunity to meet the Wilnecote Wildlife Conservation group and find out more about their plans for the site.  The event runs from 10am to 2pm and parking is available on the site car park on Watling Street, opposite Stonydelph Lane.  

If you would like any further information about this event, either group, or the Wild About Tamworth project, please contact  or call 07970 067711. Shelley Pattison is Wild About Tamworth Officer at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

Underpass art project


major project to decorate two key Tamworth underpass routes with artwork depicting some of the town’s most iconic people, places and features has now been completed.

The work, which adorns the walls of the underpasses beneath Riverdrive Bridge, has taken shape over the last three years. Previous phases of the project included the painting of famous Tamworth sports people such as boxer Ryan Hatton, athlete Meghan Beesley, snowboarder Adam Gendle and footballer Marc Albrighton. Historical figures also feature including war hero Colin Grazier and former Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, together with iconic images such as Tamworth Castle, River Tame swans and a Reliant car. In the latest and final phase, artists have added colourful scenes of the River Tame, Ladybridge and the Castle Grounds, including the Bandstand and a jousting scene, depicting the action of the town’s St George’s Day festival.

The underpass artwork initiative is part of the ongoing Gateways project to improve links to Tamworth town centre. To deliver the artwork, Tamworth Borough Council teamed up with Art Recruitment Tamworth, organisers of the popular Urban Arts Festival which sees local artists decorating the Riverdrive underpasses with their own designs. In addition to the artwork, the underpasses have been cleaned, resurfaced and had new bollards installed.


Detecting Finds and Adventures

By Gary Starkey


ere, local metal detectorist Gary Starkey shares more of his remarkable discoveries with us. In this issue, Gary gives us a glimpse of some of the rare and beautiful objects that he has brought to light after hundreds, and even thousands of years, buried beneath the fields in and around Tamworth.


I never would have dreamt when I began detecting about 18 years ago that I would discover such amazing artefacts from the past all from quite ordinary looking fields and all probably with a story to tell. Some items can be broken and so obviously fell from someone’s garments when they were out working the fields, whereas some were possibly hidden from others bent on taking it. One such find is a hoard of gold staters (coins) found by myself and two friends back in 2013. They were scattered about on top of a hill but we think there should be a few more up there. They are

currently on display in The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent. 2013 was a very good year for me as I unearthed a total of 29 gold items including two super Medieval posy rings, both with inscriptions. I found a gold cross in superb condition and at first thought it was possibly a German prisoner of war item. I put it in my scrap box for a while but when I showed it to Theresa, our local finds liaison officer (FLO) she was amazed. Theresa sent it to the British Museum who confirmed it was a medieval reliquary dating to the 14th century and possibly unique. This too ended up in Stoke Museum with the two rings.

I was hunting for more staters one afternoon and found what the farmer thought was a spring, but I thought it looked silver and so again gave it to Theresa. It was confirmed as an Iron Age silver coil ring and I like to think it belonged to the person who buried the gold staters 2000 years ago! My favourite periods are Saxon and Viking eras and I have found

a few bits of both all around the district. One field with Viking items is close to the River Tame and as they were known to have come down river to attack Tamworth, they could have camped nearby and dropped these items! I am not surprised that Saxon items come up occasionally knowing that Tamworth was the capital of Saxon Mercia. The designs on some of these pieces can be very intricate and I love finding them. Saxon coins don’t appear too often in these parts and I am yet to find one but hope to soon. Other gold items in 2013 included two perfect gold sovereigns from early Victorian

times. The person who lost them must have been pretty peeved to find they’d gone from his pocket! Roman finds are fairly common anywhere and can be good interesting items. I have one small field which produces Roman every time I visit, but the fields around don’t produce anything - strange! Medieval finds are very varied. One of my nicest is a very small annular brooch in silver. The workmanship is superb and so it must have belonged to someone important. I also found a wonderful spur with points which presumably fell off the foot of a knight or soldier. As can be seen, interesting items can come out of the ground anytime, anywhere!

Tamworth in Bloom strikes gold!


amworth has been awarded Gold in the Heart of England in Bloom competition for the eighth year in a row. The borough’s award was part of the ‘Small City’ category, and was revealed at a ceremony at Warwick Castle on September 14th. Representatives from Tamworth Borough Council’s Assets and Environment team attended the ceremony to collect the awards where Tamworth also picked up two additional special awards for the community cabinet.

The first was a special award for the grounds maintenance at Cheatle Court sheltered housing scheme in Dosthill, who took part in the sheltered housing gardening competition. The grounds have been completely transformed with new fencing, planters and flower bed areas. This has been a successful make-over and created a great space for the residents to enjoy.

The second was the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Greening Grey Britain’ award for the Arts in Unusual Spaces project, which includes a community initiative called ‘Catch Art’, involving local artists and

school children in decorating and brightening up a selection of bus shelters across the town.

Months of hard work by community groups, sheltered housing schemes, businesses, council staff and green-fingered residents across the borough ensured it was the eighth year for the gold medal by helping to maintain the town’s high standard for floral displays, impressive community projects and thriving wildlife habitats. This year’s competition organisers also teamed up with the Mercian Regiment to celebrate its 10th anniversary.


A Window on the Past By Kate Gomez

From tiny ancient chapels to magnificent parish churches, the architecture and archives of Tamworth’s religious buildings all have stories to reveal. Here, Kate Gomez takes a look at some of the tales they have to tell, some of them spanning almost a thousand years of history.

Spital Chapel, Wigginton Dedicated to St James, the chapel was founded in 1274 to save the souls of Philip Marmion and his ancestors. However, there is both architectural and documentary evidence to suggest that this was a re-foundation, and that the building may in fact date to the 12th century, making it possibly the oldest building in Tamworth. ‘Spital’ is an old word for hospital, and the name is thought to arise from the chapel’s use as a hospital during the Black Death. Following the Reformation, the chapel was used as a barn before falling into disrepair and the chapel was restored and re-dedicated for worship in 1914. An intriguing discovery was made in the 1960s when archaeologists discovered the skeletons of a woman and two children illicitly buried in the unconsecrated ground surrounding the chapel.

St Leonard’s, Wigginton St Leonard’s was rebuilt in 1777 after the tower of the ancient chapel, which was in a ruinous state but still used for worship, collapsed and three of the bells fell out! Stones from the old chapel were reused in the foundations of the new Georgian brick building and in 1830, a north aisle was added. The church was further enlarged in 1861 with the addition of a Neo-Gothic chancel and a vestry. Close to the church is the Samuel Parkes VC Wigginton War Memorial, which commemorates the local hero along with those from the parish who gave their lives in the service of their country.

St Giles’, Whittington A church has stood on the site since the 13th century, although the only original part still standing is the base of the tower. Inside are several interesting features including the Jacobean oak pulpit which previously belonged to Lichfield Cathedral, followed by St Peter’s in Elford. The pulpit was discarded during renovations at St Peter’s in the 19th century and lay disused in the stables of the now demolished Elford Hall for many years before finding its way here. The windows contain fragments of medieval painted glass, believed to have been acquired from the Benedictine Abbey at Burton and the church organ is a memorial to 16 villagers killed in the First World War. Their names are inscribed on a brass plate made from a shell case brought home from the battlefield at Mons. Thomas Spencer, co-founder of Marks and Spencer, is buried here and the church hall is named in his honour.

St John’s and St Chad’s, Hopwas The little chapel of St John at Hopwas had been built in 1836 but by 1872, it was described as ‘full, small and inconvenient’. The Rev. William MacGregor headed up a committee to build a new church and in 1879, the foundation stone of St Chad’s Church was laid on a site donated by Rev T K Levett of Packington Hall. The new church was paid for in part by proceeds from levelling the old chapel. However, St John’s has not disappeared without trace – the cemetery can still be found on Hints Road, and the font and bell have been re-used at the new church which opened in 1881.

Sources: St Leonard’s Church, Wigginton – A Brief History All images copyright Kate Gomez and Living in Tamworth


Norman Chapel, Dosthill Alongside the parish church at Dosthill, is a small Norman chapel dating to the 12th century. This single-celled building was built as a Chapel of Ease to the parish church at Kingsbury, and was Dosthill’s main place of worship until it was replaced by the Victorian St Paul’s in 1872. Sometimes referred to as ‘The Wayfarers’ Chapel’, it is now used as a parish room.

Advertise your event in our what’s on guide for only £3 for up to 75 words max, please contact Kate Gomez 07742 917708 (Local charities and advertisers may place what’s on listings free-of-charge).

What’s on in October

Sunday 1st October Dosthill Park Wildlife Group Help out with coppice management. 10am – 1pm. No previous experience needed and tools and refreshments provided. Meet at the car park on Blackwood Rd. Contact Dave Ansell on 01827 282 594

Sunday 1st October Friends of the Lakes Help with tidying and litter picking. 10.30am – 12.30pm. No previous experience needed and tools and refreshments provided. Meet at the car park on Bird’s Bush Rd. Contact Margaret Clarke on 01827 330669

Friday 6th October Community Together CIC Fundraiser Live music from Matilda Pratt performing some well-known songs as well as some of her own work. Doors open from 7pm. £5 per ticket available from The Hub

Saturday 7th October Family & Local History Open Day Tamworth Library 10am – 3pm Stalls by various local voluntary groups. Free admission. Call 0300 111 8000 for more information

Saturday 7th October Town Wall Conservation Group Help with scrub control. 10.30am – 12.30pm. No previous experience needed and tools and refreshments provided. Meet at end of Sycamore, off Hockley Rd, Wilnecote. Contact

Sunday 8th October Tameside Wildlife Conservation Group Help out with hedgerow management. 10am – 1pm. No previous experience needed and tools and refreshments provided. Meet at south end of lake, just north of Meadowbank. Contact Mandy Austin on 07849 977517

Sunday 8th October Friends of Wigginton Park Help with tree management. 2pm – 4pm. Meet outside rugby club at the end of Solway Close. No previous experience needed and tools and refreshments provided. Contact Richard Kingstone on 07723 411543

Friday 13th October The Tamworth and District Civic Society 7.30pm Tamworth Parish Church Crypt Talk about the crypt by local historian John Harper, followed by optional overnight stay in the crypt. For further information contact treasurer@tamworthcivicsociety .com

Sunday 15th October Friends of Warwickshire Moor Help with willow management. 10am – 1pm. No previous experience needed and tools and refreshments provided. Meet at the entrance of Moor Lane, near end of Leedham Avenue. Contact the group on 07968 495 494

Tuesday 17th October Sacred Heart Church Sherlock Holmes and the Crimson Cobbles. Doors open from 7pm. Tickets £8 (£6 concessions). Available from the Community Togerther CIC Hub or call 01827 709618.

Wednesday 18th October Broad Meadow Group Help with tree management. 10am – 12pm. No previous experience needed and tools and refreshments provided. Meet at the end of Lincoln Avenue. Contact Wild About Tamworth Officer on 07970 067711

Tuesday 24th October Tamworth Readers and Writers Group 10.30am at Christopher’s Restaurant, The Peel Hotel, Aldergate, Tamworth Julia Ibbotson, author of women’s fiction, children’s fiction and house history/biography

Wednesday 25th to Saturday 28th October Monster Mash Up A Halloween compilation show presented by Tamworth Arts Club at Landau Forte Sixth Form Academy. Tickets £12.50 & £10 concessions. Doors open at 6.30pm, starts at 7.30pm. Call Box Office on 01827 709618

Saturday 28th October Wilnecote Wildlife Conservation Group Help out with tree management. 10.30am. No previous experience needed and tools and refreshments provided. Meet at entrance to Quarry Hill, opposite Red Lion pub. Contact Joan Jenkins on 01827 286147

Sunday 29th October Hodge Lane Conservation Group Help with tree management. 10am – 12pm. No previous experience needed and tools and refreshments provided. Meet at the entrance off Chandlers Drive. Contact Diane Wells on 01827 703 820.

Monday 30th October The Tamworth and District Civic Society and Tamworth Literary Festival Joint event in Tamworth Parish Church for 75th Anniversary of Death of WW2 Enigma Code hero Colin Grazier G.C. 7.30 p.m. Colin Grazier Memorial Lecture - a talk about the Royal Navy by author Steve Dunn. £1 of every ticket sold will be donated to the Church's Stained Glass Window Guard Appeal. For more information contact treasurer@tamworthcivicsociety .com

Wednesday 27th September Wedding Fair Hosted by McKenzie’s Restaurant from 6pm to 9pm 1st floor, The Corn Exchange, Conduit Street, Lichfield, WS13 6JU For more information call 01543 417371

December 2017 Christmas Party Tribute Nights Please call 07796 084672 and pay a deposit to secure your table at La Tavola Calda Midland Road, Nuneaton, CV11 5DY Quote Living in Tamworth when booking


Tamworth Assembly Rooms ‘on tour’ continues


amworth Assembly Rooms will be back ‘on tour’ this season with a number of performances being taken out into the community to ensure audiences and theatre groups continue to benefit from live entertainment during the refurbishment of the historic theatre.

Annual favourites Tamworth Voices and Tamworth Arts Club will perform in different locations as part of Tamworth Assembly Rooms on Tour, while the Corporation Street venue is extended and modernised to bring it into the 21st century.

Details of the new season of Tamworth Assembly Rooms On Tour line-up is as follows:

Mercian Singers Concert The Coton Centre Saturday 7th October at 7pm A mixed voice choir (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) based in Tamworth and formed in 2017 having previously been known as the Tamworth Male Voice Choir. The choir will provide an evening of popular songs joined by special guests ‘Cor Curiad’, a ladies’ choir from Llanelli. Tickets are priced at £10.

Tamworth Arts Club – Monster Mash Up Landau Forte Academy Wednesday 25th to Saturday 28th October 28 at 7.30pm Tamworth Arts Club presents Monster Mash

Up, a deliciously Halloween dark themed compilation show. This spooky comedy is a loose parody of the classic 1970s Scooby Doo featuring all the m e m o r a b l e catchphrases and cheesy plot lines from the much-loved TV series, but re-imagined for modern day Tamworth. The show culminates in a monstrous finale which mashes up crowd pleasers from across the decades. Tickets are priced: £12.50 adults, £10 concessions. Family ticket (two adults, two concessions) £40. Buy 10 tickets and get 10% off the price.

Tamworth Voices featuring Tamworth Wind Band St Editha’s Church Saturday 2nd December at 7pm This popular Christmas concert returns, bringing Christmas cheer into the hearts of all who attend. Tamworth Voices will put a contemporary twist on the traditional choir, covering a wide range of musical styles and performing well known Christmas anthems. Tickets are priced: £10 adult, £8 concessions. The concert is a fundraiser for Macmillan nurses.

All event tickets are available via the box office online at or by calling 01827 709618. A transaction fee of £1 is payable on all online and telephone bookings. For enquiries about the Coton Centre, please contact Katie Smith on 07585 559172 or


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Living in Tamworth October 2017  

News, stories, features and events from where you live...

Living in Tamworth October 2017  

News, stories, features and events from where you live...