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Local Times

February Issue 2012

e n t ertainment * travel * fas h i o n * s t y l e * re s t a u r a n t s


Local Times

Save time, sav

Matt Henderson Commercial Specialist

em one y, b

Bob Davies

yg oing

Matt Smith

Motor Specialist


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Local Times

Paula Holloway, Dip. Hyp, M.H.F., M.N.C.H.,I.I.H.H.T. is a Registered Bewdley Hypnotherapist and highly recommended by Doctors.

Do you want to lose weight? Do you wonder how celebrities stay so slim? The Answer is: ‘GASTRIC BAND - SLIMMING HYPNOTHERAPY!’ It can also help you to: • Gain Confidence • Enhance Sports, Golf etc • Stop Smoking • Pass your Driving Test • Pass Exams and Get Better Grades • Lower your blood pressure • Improve Sales • Get rid of Stammering, • Get rid of Fears and Phobias • Dental Fear and Flying • Relax and De-stress • Sleep More Easily • Past Life Regression • Stop Asthma, IBS and Nail Biting

Positively Brewdley Looking forward to 2012 and the amount of business companies will be doing this Olympic year, promoting the region will be paramount to attract visitors to this historic town. The country will be having an influx of foriegn visitors to both the olympics and for the football amonst the regular visitors which are attracted to this fair island for it’s beutiful locations, towns and history. This year we could really turn round the fortunes of our town and many companies in the Wyre Forest region are experiencing an increase in orders. Look around and you will see that more houses now have the sold signs, which is another sign the econemy is improving. Your local Times, although a local magazine, does have a web site, and we do have visitors from far and wide and its helps promote the town and businesses which advertise when ever they can.

What is HYPNOTHERAPY? It is a very gentle mind therapy, half way between real sleep and being awake. No one has power over you and you won’t do or say anything you do not wish to. Paula successfully ran a slimming club at Glades Leisure Centre and is qualified to help you get on track with your SLIMMING SUCCESS.

For more information or to book a treatment, please call Paula on: 01299 403309

I have 15 years experience. I can help you to ‘LOSE WEIGHT’ without surgery, using Gastric Band Hypnotic Therapy (as seen on TV)

Candy Carousel, the pick and mix display unit, hired for wedding, proms and corporate events has seen an increase in orders since last November and has many dates already booked for 2012 and 2013, most of it achieved through advertising in the magazine and online. We are looking for more features and help with improving the web sites, so if you want to contribute to your magazine please contact me.

We want to launch a local newspaper version of Your Local Trader, probably published three times a year, and will be distributed throughtout the region and cater for those businesses which need to reach the consumer at their home. Let me know what you think of the idea.

Bob Cooper


Local Times


How to contact us: Editor: Bob Cooper 08456 199 038 Contributors: Steve Gould Trevor Kirton Advertising: Sales Team 08456 199 038 Bob Cooper 01299 402094 Studio Team Credit Control 08456 199 038


Now that Christmas is over and 2011 is consigned to history we can look forward positively to 2012. With the Olympics and the football to look forward to and the government promoting the country as Great Britain, we need to put Bewdley on the map whilst promoting your business or event. We shall be having more competitions with some great prizes, and more features for all the family to enjoy. We are looking for readers to contribute to the magazine with their stories of the local history of this region. Promoting your business to the local residents at compeditive rates remains our objective.



Accounts: Ken Bell Published by Your Local Publisher Ltd

DEADLINE next issue:

20th February Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. The publisher does not officially endorse any advertising material included in this publication. Your Local Times is a trademark of Your Local Publisher Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form electronic, mechanical, photocopied or recorded without prior permission of the publisher.



Local Times

Telesales Person Wanted! Have you got what we need? Are you bubbly, outgoing, full of enthusiasm with great communication skills? If so we need YOU! Experience in selling advertising would be an advantage. Full or part time to suit. Commission basis. High earnings are achievable.

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Local Times

Lemurs in Love As Valentine’s Day approaches there are two little lemurs at West Midland Safari Park that are celebrating the season of love in style.

West Midland Safari Park also have Ring-Tailed, White-Fronted Brown and Red-Bellied Lemur all living together in “Walking with Lemurs” - the largest lemur

After spending the chilly winter months snuggling up and getting to know one another, the loveable pair of Black and White Ruffed Lemurs that share a home in the Park’s Discovery Trail are quite clearly besotted and now only have eyes for each other. Nicknamed Romeo and Juliet, Park staff love nothing more than a good romance between their charges and it can be said that they are actively encouraging the lovey-dovey bond that is developing in their midst. And, just to make sure that their efforts don’t go to waste, staff didn’t hesitate in ordering the food of love for the cuddlesome couple to feast upon - hand delivered to their love nest, naturally. Bob Lawrence, Director of Wildlife said, “Love is most definitely in the air for these two, which is really rather good news as Ruffed Lemurs are critically endangered in the wild and anything that we can do to encourage the patter of tiny paws will be enormously beneficial to this species. Alas, this does come with its complications though, because Romeo also lives with a second female that staff have nicknamed Titania. So, it really is a case of watch this space”.

walk-through wood in the UK - located in the Park’s African Village. West Midland Safari and Leisure Park fully opens for summer on Saturday, 11th February 2012. The Park is then open daily until 2nd November 2012. Romeo and Juliet may be seen every day throughout half term in Discovery Trail. The Discovery Trail and Walking with Lemurs is included as part of the standard admission charge of £14.99 for adults, £12.99 for children. Admission prices also include a free return ticket. Amusement rides extra in all cases.

Further information is available from the Park’s official website or by telephone 01299 402114. your

Local Times


Severn Valley basks in the glow of new ‘Sherlock Holmes’ film hit The Severn Valley Railway is basking in the afterglow of the Christmas cinema box-office hit ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’, part of which was filmed on the popular Kidderminster-toBridgnorth steam heritage line.

bridge, and nobody – not even a stunt double or a dummy - was pushed from the bridge. The ‘drama’ was contrived – albeit entirely convincingly - by digital manipulation on a computer screen.

The Warner Bros film starring Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson was first released in Britain, the United States and Canada on December 16th, and through January has been the most watched film internationally, with box office receipts of more than £281 million ($442 million). One of the most breathtaking moments of a fast-moving drama rich in pyrotechnics and special effects, focuses - as many other films have done in the past - on the Severn Valley Railway’s best-known landmark, Victoria Bridge, over the River Severn near Arley. Cinema audiences see Sherlock Holmes push Dr. Watson’s new wife Mary (Kelly Reilly) from a steam train as it thunders across the 200ft iron span, in an effort to save her from the clutches of the evil despot Professor James Moriarty. She plunges into the river, where Holmes’ brother Mycroft (Stephen Fry) is waiting to fish her out. Or so it appears. In fact, when the sequence was filmed during three days back in October 2010, there wasn’t even a steam train on the 8


Local Times

Explains Dewi Jones, the SVR’s former Traffic Manager responsible for liaison with the film company ‘Elementary Productions’: “They simply attached a camera to the gib of a crane which was mounted on one of the railway’s ‘flat truck’ goods wagons, and we pushed it across the bridge with a diesel. “As the crane came onto Victoria Bridge, the gib was swung outwards over the river, and the camera was able to record the desired angles of the bridge from a ‘midair’ position. Everything else, including the steam train and the ‘lady plunging into the river’ sequence, was created digitally in the studio. It’s quite incredible what they’ve done.” Despite the absence of a steam train or any of the all-star cast on location at Arley, the

filming was a nevertheless lucrative and welcome contract for the Severn Valley Railway, which has benefited on numerous occasions in the past from the filming potential of Sir John Fowler’s famous Victoria Bridge, which, when built in 1861, was the largest ‘clear’ cast-iron span in the world. Other box-office hits which have homedin on Victoria Bridge include ‘The Seven Per Cent Solution’ (1976) – another ‘Sherlock Holmes plot’ with Laurence Olivier in the role of Professor Moriarty, Vanessa Redgrave as Lola Deveraux, and Robert Duvall as Dr. John Watson, and the 1978 re-make of the John Buchan classic ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’, in which the fugitive Richard Hannay (Robert Powell) is portrayed hanging by his arms from the giant span, as he attempts to evade the police. It is exactly five years ago this month that the Severn Valley Railway was delivered into the consciousness of cinema audiences right across the country in quite spectacular fashion, with the opening sequences of another Christmas blockbuster, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, which was filmed at the railway’s Highley station, strongly featuring the former Great Western Railway locomotive No.7802 Bradley Manor. For months afterwards, the railway was bombarded with enquiries from prospective visitors who wanted to ‘come and see the engine from Narnia’, and the SVR’s locomotive department was urged by senior management to run No.7802 ‘as often as possible’. On the small screen, the Severn Valley Railway has featured in episodes of many

TV dramas and documentaries including the BBC productions of ‘God’s Wonderful Railway’ (1980), ‘The District Nurse’ (1984), ‘Box of Delights’ (1984), and Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple novel, ‘The 4.50 from Paddington’ (1987). The SVR’s showpiece country station at Arley was also the location of the BBC television comedy series ‘Oh, Doctor Beeching’(1996-1997), starring Su Pollard and Paul Shane, in which Arley station appeared as ‘Hatley’. David Wilcock Media Affairs Severn Valley Railway 01691-718351


00 Model railway items to complete a large layout Call 07736540136


Local Times




Local Times

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Local Times


In Honour of the Snowdrop In ancient Rome, the month of February was recognised as a month of purification and its very name derives from the Latin word ‘februa’ meaning ‘purification’. On the 15 February the Romans celebrated the festival of ‘Lupercalia’ where the priests of the God Pan, would race through the streets whipping the women with goat skin thongs in order to promote purification and fertility. To all intents and purposes we may think we have left this rather bizarre ritual far behind, but echoes of it were still to be found in parts of Shropshire and Herefordshire up until the late 19 century. Here houses were ritually cleansed during late January, early February when the first flowering snowdrop was picked and carried through the house in a ceremony known as the ‘White Purification’. Snowdrops have always been associated with hope and purity and are often referred to as the ‘purification flower’.



Local Times

Legend has it however that any ladies who wish to marry should refrain from bringing snowdrops into their home until after St Valentine’s Day. Carole Carlton is a lecturer, writer and author on ancient spirituality and Reiki. She runs Reiki courses from first degree through to Master/Teacher level for the UK Reiki Federation and also holds introductory workshops on the myth and legend behind the traditions of the year at the Mecure Hotel in Bewdley. Her book, ‘Mrs Darley’s Pagan Whispers’, outlines the eight major Pagan festivals (Prehistoric and Celtic) as they fall chronologically throughout the year. To discover more visit: www.arcanus. , follow her at or

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Local Times


Fun in the garden Throughout the year “It is wise to listen to the voices of the trees, for they tell us much that we might otherwise forget” Tacitus 2nd century Rome. Autumn shows us the beauty of the trees in all their glory, the brilliant foliage tints of golds and reds of Acers, through to the bronze and purples of the maples. Trees have been held as sacred since ancient times and were important to the history of every culture. The Saxons word for tree was Treow which also meant truth and trust. Vows, pledges, marriages and even the Magna Carta were made and signed under the trees. People believed that the trees would bear witness at the deepest possible level.

rain and are detoxified by the micro biota of the living soil. A healthy tree with a wide canopy around the house will significantly reduce pollution. So any urban woodland or parks will have the same effect on the urban environment. Trees provide a living wall or barrier to pollution So let’s get planting, you don’t need a vast estate there are alternatives for the smaller gardens, Rowans are a good choice giving spring blossom,wonderful autumn colour and vibrant coloured berries. Acers come in so many beautiful shades and are happy grown in pots, but give winter protection.

Trees provide us with materials to build our homes, fuel our fires and are vital to the functions of the planet. They balance the ground water table, the electrical charge of the atmosphere, the weather, the climate and even the magnetic field of the earth. Listening to a programme recently on urban pollution the conclusion and most effective solution was found to be plant more trees. The leaf within the canopy of the tree acts as a fine filter to the air. The pollution in the air gets caught in the microscopic hairs in the leaf. These number in billions and clear the air of tiny particles; these are then swept down the trunk by

A sure sign of the time of year is the constant leaf fall and collection this job seems to take over from the time spent mowing. It’s a job you can’t ignore if left the leaves will kill off the grass, but don’t burn them that’s a terrible waste of a valuable commodity. Pile in a heap and they will decompose within a year or two and make a rich organic matter to use as a mulch or soil conditioner. It’s very easy to make a special container for leaf collection this stops them blowing all over the garden again after you just raked them all up! All you need is 4 stakes and some chicken wire, make a square with the stakes and nail he chicken wire to it. There is always an exception to the rule and that would be the collection of leaves from around roses, these can over winter black spot spores, and a normal garden compost heap may not be hot enough to kill them off. Well what would autumn be without the odd bonfire and smell of burning leaves.

Even in Shakespeare’s time English summers were tricky “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summers lease hath all too short a date” so lets be ready when and if it arrives to enjoy every minute. 14


Local Times



LAP PANELS All other types of 6 X 6............£15.00 fencing 25 Kg BAG 6 X 5............£14.50 1 TONNE BAG Cotswold............£54.00.............£2.20 6 X 4............£13.50 including Wicket and Trellis Plum...................£63.00............ £4.00 6 X 3............£12.50 Fencing Forest of Dean...£63.00............ £4.00 FEATHER EDGE 6 X 5............£21.00 Building Sand....£35.00............ Installational 6 X 4............£20.00 £2.90 Available 6 X 3............£19.00 Golden Shingle..£63.00............ £4.00 POST MIX...£5.00 Greenstone.........£63.00.............£4.00 8ft Concrete Posts............................£8.60 Call for 1/2 Tonne Bag Prices 12in Gravel Board...........................£8.60 Stepping Stones Large..£4.00 each Concrete Blocks, per block............ 0.82p Stepping Stones Small..£2.50 each 6ft x 6ft Square Trellis.......................£15.10 Patio Circles 6ft.............£110.00 Fan Trellis 6ft...£4.99 Fan Trellis 3ft...2.99 Patio Pack 6.4 Sq Mtr...£117.00 ALL BEDDING & BASKET PLANTS Wide variety of Slabs & Circles VIOLA & PANSIES £1.00 PACK OF 6 COMPOST PRIMROSE 75P EACH

All different types available in tonne bags 1/2 tonne bags, Kg bags or loose e.g

3 x 75Ltr Compost...£10.50 3 X 60Ltr Compost...£9.00 Top Soil..per tonne....£18.00 Top Soil..25Kg bag....£1.80


HANGING BASKETS 16in New Wire.......£15.00 16in New Rattan....£12.00 14in New Wire.......£13.00 14in New Rattan....£10.00 12in New Wire.......£11.00 12in New Rattan.....£8.00 FRESH CUT TURF Coconut Cones......£12.00 7ft x 17in wide. Per Roll...£2.60

Household and Smokeless Coal & Logs available throughout the year

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Local Times


A sweet treat for your guests

Candy Carousel


Wedding - Anniversary - Prom Birthday party - Conference Event Whether it’s a corporate event, wedding, fund raiser, family fun day, child’s birthday or any celebration. You can be sure your Candy Carousel will delight your guests young or old. Standing at over 7 feet high and filled with the most delicious candy and sweets in a pick and mix style you can imagine. It’s a fabulous talking point and gives a big WOW factor at any event. The display unit is delivered to your venue where it is erected and your sweets and chocolates put into the display containers on the table ready for your guests to enjoy. It is unattended and therefore is available all day so you can enjoy sweets at any time. It’s a great hit with children but we all like to indulge ourselves and your guests will love the way you have supplied treats for them.

It is unique and offers an alternative to the Chocolate Fountains that we see at many weddings and functions. The unit does not need to be attended, requires no electrical point, and conforms to all health and safety, which your venue would demand. The hire cost is very competitive and you get to take home any confectionary, which is left, as we never re-use it for any other function. You get to choose a variety of sweets from our range which you will find on our web site. There are a generous twenty four kilos included in the price, and this will supply up to one hundred and fifty guests. A deposit of £25 is required to secure your date but this is proving very popular so to avoid disappointment please book as early as possible.

Call 08456 199 038 or email: for more details. 16


Local Times

Candy Carousel


Hire the Candy Carousel for your Wedding Day and other Special Occasions Candy Carousel is a unique display unit Pick and Mix sweets and chocolates We deliver and set up the Carousel and you have it all day.

Visit our stand at Debenhams, Merryhill Centre, Wedding Fayre, 26th/27th February 2012

Call 08456 199 038 or email: for more details.


Local Times


DIY disasters

How many times have you eagerly started a DIY project full of enthusiasm only to get half way into it and get bored? If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. About 1.7 million of us are living with a DIY or home renovation project that’s remained unfinished for the past two years or more. If you think that’s bad, almost a quarter of a million households are so resigned to their ongoing DIY nightmare that they have lived with an unfinished project for more than 10 years. For many of those DIY part-timers a restful sleep is also out of the question, as 38 per cent have unfinished projects in their bedroom, while culinary creations will be difficult for the 2.8 million of us who are living with unfinished kitchen refurbishments. You won’t even be able to wash the DIY dirt off yourself if you are one of the 2.5 million British households living with an unfinished bathroom. And you can forget that fancy dinner party you’ve been planning if you’re among the 15 per cent of households awaiting completion of a dining room refurbishment. Make that another TV dinner. However, it’s not only your or your spouse’s sanity you risk by taking on sizeable DIY and renovation projects. You may also risk invalidating your home insurance policies, especially if you take on complex electrical, plumbing or building work that you are not trained to complete. If an unqualified householder causes a fire with faulty wiring or floods the house when installing a shower, they may find they are left picking up the cost of any claim.  A bad workman blames his tools, or so the saying goes, but in the UK it seems a bad workman blames lack of time to complete the job. Half of those living in a property with an unfinished DIY or renovation project blamed too little time for the project being 18


Local Times

left unfinished. Almost a third blamed a lack of finances for the incomplete project. If it isn’t time or money that’s stopping us completing a task, it’s other people, according to the study. Disputes with tradesmen, planning departments and neighbours have called a halt to nine per cent of unfinished projects.  Household appearance isn’t the only thing to suffer as a result of uncompleted tasks. It seems that when our DIY projects get left on the back burner, so do our social lives, as a quarter of households living with a never-ending renovation drama (NERD), have been unable to invite friends or family to visit their property. On top of this, unfinished DIY projects provide a big source of conflict. In a quarter of households this has resulted in arguments between partners. This is hardly surprising when you consider that in 10 per cent of all cases at least one room has been left completely uninhabitable. 


As a result, ongoing DIY dramas result in significant mental anguish, according to the study. Nine per cent of us with unfinished projects have suffered from insomnia, while five per cent believe the emotional stress has damaged their performance at

To save all the stress of decorating contact a professional, let them come along give you an estimate for the work, and you can relax while they complete the job. It may not cost you financially as you may think, but it certainly will not be as costley as an argument, or even worse, divorse from a loved one. After going out to work the last thing you want to do is to start decorating, so just relax, concentrate on the hard bit, choosing colours.

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Local Times


Bewdley has it’s own MOT station Keeping Bewdley Motoring Gary and Roger started Bewdley Auto Services in June 2009 and soon outgrew the small unit, which they occupied at Wharton Park Farm. Bewdley lacked a Mot and servicing facility so decide to apply for planning permission to convert the unit that they are in now. Having a wealth of knowledge in the motor engineering they are able to carry out repairs to a variety of vehicles both modern and classic as well as motorcycles They can now supply and fit tyres and now have a parts counter. There is quite an history to Wharton Park farm, once part of the Tickenhill Estate, the original Palace being built in the twelve century by Henry V11 for his son Prince Arthur, the then Prince of Wales. The farmhouse, built in the 16th century, was originally a black and white Gamekeeper’s Cottage but in 1873 the Estate was split up and sold and the two farms became the dowry of the countess of Portsmouth. In 1919, having returned from the Great War, Nellist Wilks took a five-year lease on Wharton’s Farm and in 1924 given the option to purchase both Wharton Farm and Park Farm and Wharton’s Farm combined to create Wharton’s Park Farm. In 1941 the present farm entrance and a road built by the local council fora tip which was located in one of the valleys on the farm. . 20


Local Times

WW11 was in progress and Nellist Wilks was seconded to do ‘War Work’ by the government based near Stratford-upon-Avon helping to increase food production. After the war he decided to put in a machine to dry grass and Lucerne, which could then be ground into animal feed, so in 1945 the dutch barn was demolished and the current building was erected. Grenville Wilks designed the building for the new drier and supervised construction. The stone came from Orton and Walter Edwards from Bewdley did the building work. In the great floods of 1948/49 there was a fund set up to help residents of Bewdley who had been flooded and Nellist Wilks offered the flood victims the facility of drying their carpets with the machinery and many were brought up to take advantage of the service. In 1950 the dryer was dismantled as it became too expensive to run, with the increase in oil prices and by 1987 the farm had been split into two by the introduction of the bypass. Now by 2011 the old building has been saved and sympathetically restored and will bring Bewdley its long awaited facility of MOT and servicing.

Bewdley has it’s own MOT station Keeping Bewdley Motoring Gary and Roger started Bewdley Auto Services in June 2009 and soon outgrew the small unit, which they occupied at Wharton Park Farm. Bewdley lacked a Mot and servicing facility so decide to apply for planning permission to convert the unit that they are in now. Having a wealth of knowledge in the motor engineering they are able to carry out repairs to a variety of vehicles both modern and classic as well as motorcycles They can now supply and fit tyres and now have a parts counter. There is quite an history to Wharton Park farm, once part of the Tickenhill Estate, the original Palace being built in the twelve century by Henry V11 for his son Prince Arthur, the then Prince of Wales. The farmhouse, built in the 16th century, was originally a black and white Gamekeeper’s Cottage but in 1873 the Estate was split up and sold and the two farms became the dowry of the countess of Portsmouth. In 1919, having returned from the Great War, Nellist Wilks took a five-year lease on Wharton’s Farm and in 1924 given the option to purchase both Wharton Farm and Park Farm and Wharton’s Farm combined to create Wharton’s Park Farm. In 1941 the present farm entrance and a road built by the local council fora tip which was located in one of the valleys on the farm. .

WW11 was in progress and Nellist Wilks was seconded to do ‘War Work’ by the government based near Stratford-upon-Avon helping to increase food production. After the war he decided to put in a machine to dry grass and Lucerne, which could then be ground into animal feed, so in 1945 the dutch barn was demolished and the current building was erected. Grenville Wilks designed the building for the new drier and supervised construction. The stone came from Orton and Walter Edwards from Bewdley did the building work. In the great floods of 1948/49 there was a fund set up to help residents of Bewdley who had been flooded and Nellist Wilks offered the flood victims the facility of drying their carpets with the machinery and many were brought up to take advantage of the service. In 1950 the dryer was dismantled as it became too expensive to run, with the increase in oil prices and by 1987 the farm had been split into two by the introduction of the bypass. Now by 2011 the old building has been saved and sympathetically restored and will bring Bewdley its long awaited facility of MOT and servicing. your

Local Times


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Local Times


Jargon Busters Part 4

So, back to “normal” after the hectic time we call the Festive Season, hopefully there weren’t too many casualties among you. Apparently, January has long been recognised as the month with the highest number of suicides and depression, the joys of getting your latest credit card statement no doubt, with the subsequent grim realisation of how much money you spent on pressies, food, drink and any other excess we all seem to indulge in at this time of year, recover well my friends for 2012 is gonna be a good one, despite what the Mayans might think !!!! Anyway, back to business. If you recall, in the last feature we covered the various number of ways you can connect your pc or laptop to a video display and in fact, we have witnessed a growing number of customers looking for cables to allow them to use their laptops on a flat screen TV. It’s easier than you think, especially if you have a relatively modern unit because HDMI (see last issue) is fast becoming the standard and what’s nice is that you can send video AND audio down the same cable whereas the conventional way using a VGA cable requires you to use a second cable (usually a 3.5mm to 3.5mm stereo). Of course, if you have the luxury of a separate amplifier, you don’t even need to use the sound connection on your TV, simply hook up your computer to a spare input and enjoy enhanced sound. If you are fortunate enough to have the option of HDMI, you can enjoy the benefit of using your computer in High Definition. This is fine, 24


Local Times

but if you intend to use this setup to enjoy BBC iPlayer etc in HD, even though your TV might be capable of displaying HD, your Broadband connection may NOT be fast enough to “stream” HD content. In such circumstances, it might be advisable to download the film or program (if the website allows it), you can then reap the full benefits of the HD programme you want to watch, without relying on your internet connection. Of course, using VGA, which is pretty standard on all computers and laptops, despite their age, even though you will need to invest in a second cable if you want audio (as mentioned above), the screen resolution (1024x768) will be lower, so hence the quality inferior to HD, but the good news is, you will have far less problem with “buffering” than HD. So what’s BUFFERING I hear you ask...??? “Buffering” (in its simplest form ) can be defined thus: Imagine pouring water into a container with an outlet pipe using a funnel and rubber tube, the amount of liquid entering the container and just as importantly the speed it fills, will be dictated by a number of factors – the bore of the tube between the outlet of the funnel and container, the overall size of the funnel, the length of the tube and the neck of the inlet to the container. Now, don’t forget, the container has an outlet pipe so water is not just entering, but leaving at the same time and if the amount leaving is greater than what’s entering.... It stands to reason that a smaller bore tube will take longer to drain say a pint of water than a tube with double the size bore, simple common sense. In this instance, the delay between when you pour the water into the funnel and when it reaches the outlet of the container could be defined as “buffering”. So, how does this apply to your internet connection ??

4: In The Buff(ering) No doubt you will have been drawn into the confusion of which Broadband provider to choose – Virgin, AOL, Talk Talk, Sky, Demon, Plus Net – the list goes on. If you are in an area where you do NOT have access to a Cable network (such as Virgin, who bought out Telewest) that uses fibre optic cable, you have to rely on the humble BT network and dependant on who you listen to, speeds of 8mb download are abundant, but if you read the small print you will notice that the true speed rating is “upto” 8mb and in many cases, most of us have internet access at speeds way lower. We live in Far Forest and on a GOOD day we’ll get 3mb (Usually first thing in the morning, when people are at work or school or late at night, when people are in bed !!). The minimum recommended to stream SD (Standard Definition) is with a 2mb download speed. If you would like to know what speeds you’re getting, there are a number of websites that offer an online tool to test your connection, simply go to google and type “Broadband Speed Test” - you may be surprised at the results !!

Discount available for block bookings

Just remember – we’re all pulling from the same funnel and there’s only so much water..... Until the next time. Steve Gould




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Easter Cake


Ingredients 150 g salted butter 300 g caster sugar 5 eggs 2 lemons, zest only 250 g ground almonds 70 g plain flour For the topping 85 g salted butter

Preparation method

Prep: 30 minutes | Cook: 30-40mins 1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. 2. For the cake: using an electric whisk, cream together the butter and sugar until light in colour and smooth. Whilst still whisking, slowly add the eggs and lemon zest, until everything is well combined. Then, gently fold in the almonds followed by the flour. 3. Bake the cake in a lined and greased 24 cm round cake tin for 30-40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. 26


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50 g caster sugar 100 g glucose syrup 50 ml water 50 g whole almonds 50 g crystallised ginger 50 g sultanas 50 g whole Hazelnuts 50 g mixed peel To serve Crème fraîche or Greek yogurt 4. For the topping: meanwhile, gently heat all the topping ingredients in a pan over a medium low heat until the butter and sugar are melted and the nuts and fruit are well coated in the syrup. 5. Once the cake has been in the oven for 30 minutes remove, pour over the syrup topping mixture, turn the oven up to 200C/180C fan/ gas 5 and cook for a further 10 minutes until the nuts are lightly toasted and glossy. Leave to cool. 6. Once cool slice and serve with crème fraîche of Greek yogurt.


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Top Floor now in the top 10 Specialists in the design, supply and installation of high quality flooring has just achieved the status of being in the top ten of their recommended list of Amtico Retailers Originally started in 1986 it still occupies the same showroom on Bewdley Road, Kidderminster where customers can browse the array of supplier standard flooring products including the recently installed Amtico and Amtico Special Vinyl flooring stands which boast a full range of these luxury products. Stocking products from leading manufacturers such as Amtico, Karndean, Crucial Trading, Polysafe, Kahrs and Marmolean will meet your flooring needs whether it is Carpet, Vinyl,Wood, safety flooring or Natural Wood. Being a small family run business emphasis is on customer service and the very best customer care offering detailed specifications of the products and unbiased advice when it comes to matching colours and choosing the right product.

Highly trained and experienced fitters who pride themselves on perfection of their work, is followed by no obligation quotation and carry out initial consultations and measurements.

Top Floor aim to offer its customers, not only fantastic service but also incredible value for money and if you would like to know more information about a beautiful new design floor for your home, then the showroom is certainly worth a visit. The showroom is open from Monday till Saturday from nine in the morning till five o clock in the afternoon.

You can also visit the website on or call Kevin on 01562 822516 who will be pleased discuss your requirements.



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Lucky 7’s Snack Wagon **** 4-star rated **** Hot snacks – Cold snacks Tea – Coffee

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Top Floor

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• Family Run Business • Commercial & domestic Luxury Design Floors • Experienced Highly trained Fitters • Carpets • Vinyl • Natural Stone Open Mon-Sat: 9am-5pm

Call Kevin on 01562 822516 16 BEWDLEY ROAD, KIDDERMINSTER, DY11 6RX


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Puzzle Corner



3. Quietening, gagging (7,2) 3. Quietening, gagging (7,2) 8. Santiago is its capital (5) 9. Weird collection of animals (9) 8. 10. Santiago its capital Vulgar, is impolite (4) (5) 11. Grow older (3) 9. 12. Weird collection of animals (9) Ecstasy, euphoria (5) 14. Self-murder (7) 10.15. Vulgar, impolitemusters (4) Recuperates, (7) 17. Impels, encourages (5) Maleolder possessive pronoun (3) 11.19. Grow (3) 20. Inflated publicity (4) Intros toeuphoria operas and 12.22. Ecstasy, (5)ballets (9) 24. Famed Jaguar sports car (1-4) 25. House, dwelling (9) 14. Self-murder (7) DOWN 15.1.Recuperates, musters (7) Egyptian sacred beetle (6) 2. Not tame (4) 17.3.Impels, Edge ofencourages garment (3) (5) 4. Intuitively feels (6) 19.5.Male possessive pronoun Resourceful, inventive (9) (3) 6. Rotating, twirling (8) ”_ Brosnan”, ‘Bond’ 20.7.Inflated publicity (4)actor (6) 11. Breathed (9) Laziness, lethargy 22.13. Intros to operas and(8)ballets (9) 15. Unsubstantiated gossip (6) “_ Stone”, actress (6) car (1-4) 24.16. Famed Jaguar sports 18. Spielberg or Gerrard (6) 21. Stringed toy (2-2) 25. House, dwelling (9) 23. Observe, view (3)ç


3 8 4 3 4 5 1 7



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2. Not tame (4) 3. Edge of garment (3)


4. Intuitively feels (6)

2 6 8 9 3 3 7 4 8

6 5 3


DOWN 1. Egyptian sacred beetle (6)

2 7 6

2 7

6 4

5. Resourceful, inventive (9) 6. Rotating, twirling (8) 7. ”_ Brosnan”, ‘Bond’ actor (6)

Oil Paintings

11. Breathed (9)

13. Laziness, lethargy (8)

15. Unsubstantiated gossip (6) 16. “_ Stone”, actress (6)

Commission your own unique artwork today

18. Spielberg or Gerrard (6) 21. Stringed toy (2-2)

Phone Colin on 01905 428 252

23. Observe, view (3)ç

Worcestershire independent school HTIS seeks Free School status Holy Trinity International School (HTIS) in Kidderminster is applying to become one of the Government’s new Free Schools as from September 2013 and, as part of its application, is required to provide evidence of demand. Therefore families interested in sending their children to Holy Trinity International as a Free school are being asked to complete a questionnaire, available at, and return it by Friday 10th February. An independent day school since 1903 and run by a Charitable Trust, HTIS provides a high quality education for children from Kidderminster and the surrounding Worcestershire area. HTIS Head, Mrs Pamela Leek-Wright, stated: “The Government is keen to know the level of interest from local families who would wish to send their children to our school to benefit from the School’s nurturing environment in which all students’ progress, both on a personal and academic level.” HTIS has a warm co-educational family atmosphere in which children receive a highly individual education, with students at ‘A’ level and ‘GCSE’ enjoying excellent examination results year on year. Under the Free School scheme, class sizes throughout the school will be restricted to a maximum of 22 and in some cases less, and as of September 2014, the school plans to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme in its refurbished Sixth Form Centre. Interested families must complete the Evidence of Demand Questionnaire, available on the Home page of the School’s website at or by contacting the School direct on 01562 822929, or by emailing: – deadline for all submissions Friday 10th February 2012.


Widowed, Divorced or Single? Ladies and Gentleman 50+ Would you like to enjoy interesting events, meals out, theatre, cinema, shows, music, day trips, riverside walks, lunches etc? If you do, then why not join ‘FRIENDS’. This new group has successfully started in Bewdley and members meet up once a week in

The George. Then now is the time to join FRIENDS 50+. Come and enjoy Bewdley and the switching on of the Christmas lights with a glass of punch and mince pie and enjoy the atmosphere of Beautiful Bewdley in a warm friendly group. The group is non profit making and would cost just £10.00 for the

whole 6 months membership. The group is being organised by Paula from Bewdley for the good of the community.

For more information on Friends 50+ please call Paula on: 01299 403309 your

Local Times


Local Speaking Putting On A Performance

In previous months we’ve looked at how we generate ideas for a speech or presentation and then how we consolidate them into notes that we can use to aid our performance. This month we’ll consider the actual delivery. It’s important to remember that you’re ‘on stage’ from the moment the audience can see you, so make sure you look the part. How you dress will depend on the occasion but your best efforts will be undone if you are ... well, undone. Many years ago the MD of a major British car manufacturer got up to address the world’s motoring press at the Paris Motorshow. Unfortunately his zip was undone. I doubt anyone remembers what he said but a subsequent cartoon of him with Union Jack underpants showing remains in the memory! To give of your best you need to feel confident with every aspect of your performance. If you are well prepared you will know that you will perform well. If you are to be introduced to the meeting by someone else, make sure they know who you are, the correct pronunciation of your name (unless it’s obvious) and any background information that may be appropriate. When you arrive at the lectern or wherever you will be speaking from, give yourself time to gather your thoughts – look around the room and smile at the audience - and take a couple of deep breathes before 32


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starting to speak. This will reassure the audience and give you time to settle. Do not rush your delivery. Speak at the pace that ensures that the audience will have time to take in what you are saying. Pause after any key points to allow the listeners to reflect on what you’ve said. Keep scanning the audience and making eye contact. This will help to hold their attention and it’ll also alert you to how they are reacting. But don’t be put off by one person scowling if the rest are smiling and nodding in agreement. They may be concentrating very hard ... or they could just be thinking about last night’s football results! Vary your voice in terms of speed and volume appropriate to your message. Think about how music is a mixture of loud and quiet, slow and fast. If there is little or no variation, the audience will soon be asleep. As the renowned US businessman and author, Seth Godin, puts it, “Learn your message well enough that you can communicate it without reading it. We want your humanity. If you can’t do that, don’t bother giving a speech. Just send everyone a memo.” And finally, don’t say “…and finally …”. Or “Thank you”. Taking the musical analogy again, try to use your voice to indicate that you are drawing to a conclusion. And finish with a flourish so that the audience is in no doubt that you are done. A vocal roll of drums and clash of cymbals is required!

David Wike runs short workshops that specialize in helping people who are nervous, or even terrified, of speaking in public: He is also Communications Officer for Stourbridge Speakers Club:

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for a free no obligation estimate


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Rural Skills Training 2012 A programme of training courses designed to offer new skills and employment opportunities to those living in rural Worcestershire. A series of 6 courses will cover all aspects of running a smallholding and there are other days which will offer training in countryside skills such as fencing, hedge laying, and charcoal burning. On the food production side there will be bread making in a wood-fired oven and turning fruit into pickles and chutneys. Those with fruit trees can learn how to prune them and then turn the end product into juice or cider. Eligible applicants will pay only £25 per course (plus materials costs in some cases) as they have been selected under a programme co-financed by RDPE LEADER. All the courses will run from 9am to 5pm and will be held at Uncllys Farm, Bewdley DY12 2LR. The Ruskin Studio at the farm is an award-winning green oak framed building with easy access and a wood-fired range. Introduction to Countryside Management Bread in a Wood Fired Oven, Saturday 11th February This is baking at its most primitive and its most enjoyable! We can’t build an oven in a day but will get our hands very muddy making a prototype while our bread dough rises. Then we will use the completed Uncllys Farm wood fired oven to bake our rustic loaves. Course fee £30 to include materials. 34


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Smallholding Series 1. Introduction to Smallholding, Friday 17th February For those considering taking on a smallholding or just wanting to know some basics of animal husbandry, this introduction will give an insight into the realities of the Good Life. It will cover practical issues such as acreage needed, water and fencing for animals, record keeping and where to find help. Hedge Laying Friday 2nd March repeated Saturday 3rd March A hedge that has been maintained in the traditional style is a beautiful sight! Why are hedges laid and how is it done? This course is mainly practical, covering tools, skills and safety considerations. You will be working on a local hedge. Charcoal Burning, Friday 23rd March Charcoal hearths were once a vital part of the Wyre Forest’s economy. Now ethically produced charcoal is in demand, and you can learn how to make a quality product in a controlled burn, while enjoying a spring day in the woods!

For further information and bookings contact Bewdley Development Trust on 01299 405516 or .


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Dizzy Dollys Laundrette Self Service • Service Washes Ironing Service Football Kits • Curtains etc Free Collection Delivery Whole Wyre Forest

01299 828 386 Opening Times 7:30am - 8:30pm 7 DAYS A WEEK Last Wash 8:30pm 9 Lombard Street, Stourport-on-Severn, DY13 8DP

Solution to Crossword No 31 ACROSS 3. HUSHING UP. 8. CHILE. 9. MENAGERIE. 10. RUDE. 11. AGE. 12. BLISS. 14. SUICIDE. 15. RALLIES. 17. URGES. 19. HIS. 20. HYPE. 22. OVERTURES. 24. E-TYPE. 25. RESIDENCE. DOWN 1. SCARAB. 2. WILD. 3. HEM. 4. SENSES. 5. INGENIOUS. 6. GYRATING. 7. PIERCE. 11. ASPIRATED. 13. IDLENESS. 15. RUMOUR. 16. SHARON. 18. STEVEN. 21. YO-YO. 23. SEE.



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Richard Wilks Animal Bedding & Landscape Material Merchants

We Supply

Top Soil & Compost Coal, Fire Wood & Calor Gas Hay, Straw, Wood shavings & Sawdust Sand & Gravel Rockery & Walling Stone Decorative Gravels & Slate Woodchips & Bark for Landscaping & Play Areas

BUILDER Roofer and General Builder Fencing, Patios, Gutterings, Fascia Boards, Garden Walls etc Call Jeff for a Free Quote

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Established 30 years


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Keeping Hens – Equimix Feeds at

Stourport on Severn offer a trouble-shooting guide Keeping Hens – Equimix Feeds at Stourport on Severn offer a trouble-shooting guide. As so many of us are now keeping hens in our back gardens, here are some problems that may occur from time to time and tips to overcome them. Last month I talked about bullying and feather pecking hens and then egg laying. This time it’s stopping a broody hen, garden plants surviving and predator problems. Stopping a hen from being broody It can be irritating if a hen goes broody (especially if you don’t have a cockerel) and you would prefer her to go on laying eggs, so you will need to stop her broodiness. The best way to do this is to move her from her nest and confine her in an airy coop with a slatted or wire mesh floor where there is no opportunity for nesting; but of course give her plenty of food and water. If possible, lift the coop off the ground. The idea of this is to cool down the hen’s breast and the air circulating around the coop should help. It sounds harsh but this should

do the trick in just two or three days. Another idea that might work is to dunk her warm breast in cold water a few times. Predator problems Hens are very unlucky really, being vulnerable to a number of cruel predators. We all know to protect against foxes but badgers are just as serious a menace and can use their strength and gnawing abilities to burrow under fences and get into hutches to eat a chicken on site; so make sure your hutches are sturdy and securely locked up at night. Sparrowhawks will also take chicks and small bantams. If you have bantams you may need to keep them enclosed in covered runs. Stoats and weasels can also get through fences and kill chickens. But, unfortunately, if you want your hens to be free-range you have to balance their liberty and quality of like against these dangers. Hens and your garden plants Sometimes people worry about chickens eating poisonous plants, equally they worry that their hens will eat their carefully planted seedlings or flowers. It is rare for a chicken to eat a poisonous plant as they are quite savvy about what they like and dislike. This is useful as it would be very hard to remove every single plant that might be harmful to free-range chickens. For example, flowers such as daffodils, tulips, foxgloves and hyacinths and evergreens such as ivy and conifers could all be harmful if eaten, but most hens don’t touch these by choice. You may have to avoid planting primroses, Layers Pellets pansies, violets, sweet peas and marigolds within Mixed Corn reach as these may all get eaten. Hens will eat any bedding plants succulent, light green leaves. Poultry &with Water Feeders Plants with tougher, dark green leaves are usually Chicken House safe. Hens eat salad leaves, spinach and many Advice other green Feed vegetables so you will need to protect these. Hen Care Products They love eating grass and there are many weeds they relish so as dandelions, chickweed, cleavers, wild Layers garlic, Pellets fat hen, sorrel and hairy bittercress. Mixedwill Corn Some hens eat clover, dock leaves and nettles. Poultry & Water Feeders elder and find plantain They don’t like ground Chicken too House and mallow tough and bitter.

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Feed Advice Hen Care Products

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