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March 2010

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Local Times

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Local Times

Get in touch! To advertise your business or tell us your news contact us on the numbers below:

Editor: Robert Cooper 01299 402 094 Features and editorial: 01299 402 094

editorial@yourlocaltimes.co.uk

Advertising: Val Talbot 01562 744014

val@yourlocaltimes.co.uk

Published by Your Local Publisher Ltd 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.

Welcome As another edition rolls off the press we find – hopefully! - that spring is now just around the corner. With the winter blues behind us, let’s look forward to the better weather and time to spend outdoors, either in the garden or attending the ever-growing number of events which our county offers us. In forthcoming editions we will be bringing you some interesting features including recipes, events and news throughout the region, gardening and home maintenance, motoring and advice from a number of businesses and experts from around the district. There will be a new section for the kids with competitions, something for our older generation and sport for those who are more energetic. We shall be launching a new website for the magazine, which will link to many of our local businesses and trades persons, and which will have discussion forums and links to many of your favourite items. As always, we look forward to hearing from our readers.

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.

Robert Cooper Editor

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your

Contents

Local Times

This month YOUR FEATURES 06

The perfect wedding Maggie and Lynnes’s new venture with bridal wear and flowers

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Angler Extraordinaire Des Taylor’s regular column on fishing

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Speeding Police and communities on speeding

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Mother’s Day Leading up to Easter

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Mother’s Day Recipe This month’s recipes for a treat

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The Harriers A review of the transfer market and competition

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Homes and Gardens Creating your perfect retreat

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A Local Business Saving energy with double glazing

Your Local Business Merchants premier fish and chips

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Ask the Expert The first in a regular series of questions and answers by local experts

Your Local News Promoting safe behaviour on the railways

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Your Local Sports Tae Kwon Do family martial arts classes

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Book Review A review of books by local writers

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Your Local Community News Snippets of news from around the region

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Your Local Business Featured This month - Harwicks Landscape Centre

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A Local Business Do we have to own our own car?

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Your Local Schools Custard pies at the double !

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Your Local Community News Friendly rivalry between parishes

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Your Local Garden Calendar Month by month by Whitlenge

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A Local Business Life’s too precious to spend on DIY

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Your Local Charity Kemp Hospice Midnight Walk

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The Countryside on your Doorstep Changing the farming landscape

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Your Local Attractions Safari Park lions

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Local Computers Attack of the Mutant Laptops

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FEATURES

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YOUR

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Front Cover Image Snowdrops supplied by Alison Ashmore

Your Local Garden Centres Wedding Fayres Local Attractions Your Local Sports Teams


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Local Business

your

Local Times

The perfect wedding Every girl dreams of her wedding – and now two Bewdley women have teamed up to help the Big Day go beautifully without breaking the bank. When Lynne Shaw’s daughter got married she realised what an expensive occasion it was. She had the idea of hiring out bridesmaid’s dresses, saving brides the unnecessary expense of buying several gowns which would only be worn once. Research showed very few people were offering the service – and so Rainbow Maids was born. Lynne’s friend and colleague Maggie Dalloway had just completed converting a unit at her home in Long Bank which was ideal for the new business. And since Maggie was a florist of 25 years’ experience, she decided to offer a wedding flowers service alongside. Now Rainbow Maids and Maggie’s Flowers are holding an open weekend on March 6 and 7 to showcase their services. Brides-to-be will be able to view more than 200 bridesmaid dresses, suitable for the very young up to young adults. Maggie will be making up sample bouquets. Rainbow Maids offers a fitting service and offers dresses in a variety of styles and colours. Popular this year are chocolate colours and muted shades such as dusky pinks and purples. Burgundy is always a popular choice. When it comes to flowers, unique and stylish designs are in. Hot news for table displays are tall martini glasses. Hand-tied posies with wide ribbons are popular, and it all gives Maggie the chance to show off her creativity. She also offers wedding balloons and favours. Sparkle looks set to be a main theme of weddings in 2010 - whether it’s diamante on dresses or chunky stones incorporated into the floral displays. Lynne and Maggie are full of suggestions to help make dreams become reality .They also offer a range of packages depending on how much you wish to spend. Drop in at their base at unit one, Blackmanstitch, Long Bank, on Saturday or Sunday, March 6 and 7, between 10am and 3.30pm. At other times they are available by appointment only. 6


Planning a Wedding Maggie and Lynne invite you to our open weekend

Sat 6th and Sun 7th March 2010 10 am - 3.30 pm On show will be displays of

Maggies Flowers By Design Rainbow Maids Bridesmaid Dress Hire Wedding Balloons Wedding Favors Where To Find Us Unit 1, Blackmanstitch, Long Bank, Bewdley DY12 2QW Turn left at top of Bewdley Bypass

Maggie 01299 404065

Lynne 07768461363

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Local Fishing

Des Taylor

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Local Times

The Big Fish Angler Extraordinaire

I am often asked the question “what is your favourite country to go fishing”? Well in all honesty I have two answers the first for sheer beauty and unbelievable sights I have to say Northern Norway way up in the Arctic Circle. Here I have enjoyed catching big coalfish, cod and wolfish but for me the attraction of the place is in the surrounding. I will say to you if ever you doubt there is a God then visit Northern Norway and you will realise that only a God could have made such a place! Blue glaciers protrude from the snow covered mountains and their slopes continue deep into the gorges of the Fjords where the water is rich with a natural larder that feeds the abundance of fish life present. And if you are lucky you will see the “Northern Lights” a sight that I can only say is breath taking. I remember one night returning to the fishing lodge having taken cod to over 20lbs, eating wolfish as

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Playing a good pike in Canada

we sat around a huge log burner and the lodge surrounded by snow that crept up to the window sills and a Norwegian guide shouting “quick outside the Northern Lights are on stage.” All of us ran outside and there before us was one of the great sights on this planet the “Northern Lights”. A sky full of psychedelic colours that only nature could form, I stood there for ages in minus 20 degrees like a child, an unforgettable moment in my angling life. But my second answer is for pure all-round fishing quality and that country has to be Canada. There I have taken record halibut to 245lbs from Tasu Lodge just south of Alaska. I have taken 200lb white sturgeon from the Frazer River, 40lb pacific salmon from the Queen Charlotte Isles, I have also taken true wild rainbow trout to 10lbs that fight like a 20lb rainbow in this country, lake trout that hunt pike yes a trout that eats pike and grayling to over 4lbs in the Wolf River in the Yukon again in the Artic Circle. Whilst fishing Grizzle or Black Bears may watch or indeed fish alongside you! Moose feed their young and Orca Whales swim alongside the boat hunting salmon in the sea. For me as an all-rounder Canada lets me show my skills, fly fishing, lure fishing, deep sea fishing and even carp fishing where 20lb carp can be caught one a chuck in the Canadian rivers. Yes Norway and Canada are my favourite fishing locations and most of my trips have been with top angling tour operator Anglers World Holidays so why not ring them on 01246 221717 to get a brochure and maybe have the fishing holiday of a lifetime.


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email: sbsbaits@btconnect.com Mon - Thur 7.30 am - 4.30 pm Friday 7.30 am - 1.30 pm Saturday 8.00 am - 2.00 pm Come and see the fishing bait experts and catch more Units 27 & 28, Meadow Mills, Dixon Street, Kidderminster, Worcestershire DY10 1HH.

Tel: +44(0)1562 754172 • Fax: +44(0)1562 754173

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Community News

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Local Times

Reassurance on speeding

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hecks on speeding ‘hot spots’ in Bewdley have shown that drivers are not exceeding the limits, a local councillor has revealed. Councillor Stephen Clee, who represents Bewdley and Arley on Wyre Forest District Council, went with the county highways liaison manager to Callow Hill to check speeds of vehicles coming over the brow of the hill and down past the Running Horse. Despite local concerns, speed guns showed drivers were not breaking the 40mph limit, he told Your Local Times. The checks followed fears raised at the last PACT – Police and Communities Together - meeting about speeding in several locations. Councillor Clee said another area highlighted at the meeting – Red Hill – had seen a reduction in speeds as people were parking along one side of the road which was slowing other motorists down. “I’m not saying a car or other vehicle doesn’t speed but the majority of times when it’s been assessed speeding isn’t an issue in these locations,” he said. Another concern raised at the PACT meeting was Forestry Commission lorries using Load Street. Councillor Clee said they had seen a marked decrease in articulated lorries and some buses using the town centre during the roadworks, and he

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hoped they would continue to use the bypass once the work was completed. Potholes caused by the harsh winter weather continue to litter the roads, but Councillor Clee said they were being tackled. In one February week 28 teams had filled 9,000 potholes in the county’s roads and the work is continuing. The next PACT meeting takes place on March 3 at Bewdley Baptist Church in High Street at 6.30pm. Members of the public are invited to raise any concerns or issues with the local policing team and councillors. What do you think? Is speeding a problem around the Bewdley area and what are the biggest issues for road users – motorists and pedestrians? Email your comments to us at editorial@yourlocatimes.co.uk


Misted Double Trade UPVC Frames Glazing Replaced Open to Public Sealed Units Manufacturers Glass cut to size Fixings and sealants Decorative leaded lights and bevels all available

Windows, doors and conservatories in white, rosewood or light oak Supply only or fitting service available

Visit our factory or call Ace Glass and Windows

01562 827563

Unit 37, Meadow Mills Industrial Estate, Dixon Street, Kidderminster, DY10 1HH Local Company established 20 years

Answers to crossword in next month’s magazine

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Mother’s Day

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Local Times

The British The Britishtradition tradition that’s that’sswept sweptthe theworld world

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he morning of Sunday March 14 will see mums up and down the country enjoying breakfast in bed, receiving cards and gifts, and relaxing while the kids do the chores. At least that’s the theory! Many countries around the world now have a special day to honour those hard-working home and family makers. But Mothering Sunday, to give it its proper name, all began in the UK as far back as 1600. It was a time when children from poor families were sent to work as domestic servants in the homes of the rich. Once a year they were given a day off to visit their Mother Church on the middle Sunday of the Christian fasting period of Lent, which leads up to Easter. The day was also known as 'Refreshment Sunday' or 'Mid-Lent Sunday' and Mother’s Day now always falls on the third Sunday of Lent. After going to church the children would visit their own mums, boys taking flowers and girls a freshly home baked cake called Simnel cake. Eventually the day became known as Mothering Sunday and it continued until the industrial revolution, returning to the calendar after the Second World War. Celebrating Mother’s Day is a tradition which has spread across the globe. Some countries place it on the second Sunday of May; others, like Mexico, always hold it on May 10. This is a significant holiday for Mexicans, with a special church Mass for the Virgin Mary In India the idea is still in its infancy but it is catching up with other festivals celebrated in this culturally diverse country. It has taken a hold in the metropolitan cities and is fast spreading to smaller cities, too. Just like in the UK, cards and flowers top

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the gift list; mums gets a day off from the kitchen and children make special meals. Flowers play a part in Australian celebrations, but in a different way. Wearing a coloured carnation shows your mum is living; a white carnation is worn as a tribute to a mother who has passed away. Mother’s Day is huge in Canada, with card sales breaking records year on year. In South Africa mums and children swap roles, with mum relaxing in front of her favourite DVD while the child takes over the kitchen. But it is probably in the USA that Mother’s Day is most celebrated. A national holiday, it began about 100 years ago, firstly as a call for peace and then a campaign for better sanitary conditions, called Mother’s Work Days. The church in West Virginia closely associated with it has become a national historic landmark. However you mark it, with an expensive gift and visit to a restaurant, or a home made card and slice of almost-burnt toast, let’s pay tribute to our mums – those unsung heroes of the home.


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Mother’s Day

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Local Times

Cook up a treat for Mother’s Day

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In Bewdley Worcestershire Full and exciting workshop program, weekly classes for beginners and improvers and day workshops most days of the week. Come along and learn a new craft, give your home that fashionable Homemade look. We stock a great selection of patchwork fabrics, books, threads etc. We also stock some gift items and are your local stockist of Yankee Candles and East of India gifts. Opening Hours: 10:00am - 4:30pm Opening Days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Closed Wednesday and Sunday. 24 Load Street, Bewdley, Worcestershire DY12 2AE

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your

Local Sports & Fitness

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Local Times

The Harriers March 2010 is here already and the campaign is rolling along nicely up at Aggborough Stadium, home of Kidderminster Harriers.

Under the guidance of new manager Steve Burr, the team are continuing to battle away in their quest for promotion from the Blue Square Premier and up towards the Football League. Those of you who saw them in action during February will have been treated to some great football from the new man in charge at the club, as the team eased past Grays Athletic and picked up excellent draws away from home against the likes of Crawley Town and Oxford United. There was movement in the transfer market – defenders Liam Dolman (Corby Town) and Zac Costello (Evesham United) left Aggborough on loan whilst in came wing-wizard Marc Goodfellow from Burton Albion, as well as exciting 19 year-old prospect James Lawrie, who has already represented Northern Ireland at Senior level. The fun continues in March with several more home games planned. Here is what you can expect to see up at Aggborough during the month – though do please check with the club before setting out to a match as fixtures are often subject to change at this time of the year.

HARRIERS IN MARCH V EBBSFLEET UNITED – TUESDAY 2ND – 7:45PM V YORK CITY – SATURDAY 13TH – 3:00PM V SALISBURY CITY – SATURDAY 27TH – 3:00PM V CAMBRIDGE UNITED – TUESDAY 30TH – 7:45PM.

TICKET GIVEAWAY

Fancy seeing Harriers in action during March or at any other point this season? Here at Your Local Times we’ve teamed up with the club for a special competition and have two FREE match tickets for a League game to give away. Send your answer to winner@ yourlocaltimes.co.uk or text a, b or c with your contact details to 07736 540136. For which country does new Harriers player James Lawrie play? A) England B) Republic of Ireland C) Northern Ireland Full terms and conditions later in magazine.

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Homes & Gardens

Local Times

Creating your perfect retreat Creating your perfect retreat

Every cloud has a silver lining – and if the recession has meant people–moving Every cloud has a fewer silver lining and if the home, it hashas encouraged morepeople peoplemoving to recession meant fewer improve where they are. home, it has encouraged more people to

corners, the ‘bits’ that let the property down visually, thatthat are let high so corners,the thebits ‘bits’ themaintenance, property down just a few days work forare us high but amaintenance, lifetime of joyso visually, the bits that forjust ouraclients.” few days work for us but a lifetime of joy

improve where they are. In fact ‘putting down roots’ has often meant just many homeowners to Inthat, fact with ‘putting down roots’ haswanting often meant make their homeowners outdoor space. At a time just the that,most withofmany wanting to when we may be cutting back on holidays, the make the most of their outdoor space. At a time garden a perfect wheniswe may be cutting back on holidays, the retreat; a place to escape garden is a perfect theretreat; stresses and strains a place to escape of the modern life. stresses and strains

for our clients.” Getting your home and garden up to scratch now will give an and edgegarden when the housing Getting youryou home up to scratch market gets give backyou up to speed, forhousing those now will anfull edge whenorthe who are planning to ‘stay put’, a beautiful market gets back up to full speed, or for low those maintenance garden tolow who are planning to ‘stay put’, a beautiful enjoy yourselves in. to maintenance garden

of modern life. All this has meant a very timemeant for a Allbusy this has Creative Landscapes, very busy time for theCreative garden design Landscapes, business based at the garden design Whitlenge business Gardens based at in Hartlebury. Whitlenge Gardens in Hartlebury. Keith Southall, who has 30 years of experience tackling everything from postage to the Keith Southall, who hasa 30 years stamp of experience grounds of everything a ramblingfrom Tudora postage hall, said: “People tackling stamp to the aregrounds not going away so much, they are spending of a rambling Tudor hall, said: “People more in their ownsogarden, and are time not going away much, entertaining they are spending barbecuing, so they want it right. The more more time in their own garden, entertaining and astute of coursesorealise that it right. truly isThe themore barbecuing, they want absolute best time to improve not move.” astute of course realise that it truly is the absolute best time to improve not move.” Keith has seen an increase in people wanting help to make the best of their in property Keith has seen an increase people by wanting bringing their gardens up to full specification. help to make the best of their property by bringing their gardens up to full specification. “These have not always been full garden makeovers,” added Keith. “This yeargarden we have “These have not always been full seen an amazingadded increase in clients asking to makeovers,” Keith. “This year weus have tidy up those small frustrating and awkward seen an amazing increase in clients asking us to tidy up those small frustrating and awkward 18

enjoy yourselves in. Deciding just what you’d like from Deciding just your what garden, the style you’d like fromand your features to garden,that theappeal style and you, can be a daunting features that appeal to task. Ideas you, can and be a daunting inspiration abound task. Ideas and at Creative Landscapes’ inspiration abound at three-acre garden. Creativeshow Landscapes’ You’re boundshow to find the three-acre garden. perfect trees, shrubs and alpines You’re amongst bound tomore find the than 800 varieties; takeand in the scentamongst of the more perfect trees, shrubs alpines camomile walktake the unique turf labyrinth, than 800lawn, varieties; in the scent of the sitcamomile in the stone folly, and admire the naturalness lawn, walk the unique turf labyrinth, of sit theinman streamand andadmire waterfalls. the made stone folly, the naturalness of the man made stream and waterfalls. In the design studio watch the ‘before and after’ film and mull things over the teaand room. In show the design studio watch thein‘before after’ Keith also your garden youroom. filmwill show andvisit mull things overtoingive the tea ideas andwill help youvisit costyour the project either a Keith also garden to giveasyou whole in stages. ideasorand help you cost the project either as a whole or in stages. In these uncertain times it’s nice to have your own a place for the it’s whole to your In haven, these uncertain times nicefamily to have enjoy somewhere to connect with nature. ownand haven, a place for the whole family to Now could the perfecttotime to look again at enjoy andbe somewhere connect with nature. theNow garden! could be the perfect time to look again at the garden!


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Local Business

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Local Times

Saving Energy With Double-Glazing Remember the gimmicks and the phone calls from the double glazing sales people making offers of incredible savings, well that now has all changed. Forget the national companies and focus on your local supplier who will offer, not only a competitive installation, but also the quality and expertise your property deserves. Improvements in the way the frames and the glass are made and the security the locking devices offer all go to show how the industry has moved into the twenty first century. Emphasis on the environment means your home will retain heat in the winter and, with some new glass on the market, keep the interior cool in summer. Choosing a reputable supplier and installer has never been easier. Bridgnorth has a showroom, staffed by the people who matter the most, the owner and in most cases the family, so we know we have the confidence when enquiring about double glazing, conservatories and other related products we are getting sound advice. The Real Bridgnorth Window Company is no exception, run by Martyn Donnelly and his wife Bianca; this is a truly family business. The showroom in Whitburn Street, Bridgnorth displays a variety of windows, doors and

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conservatory displaying the quality of products your home deserves. With experience in the window fitting business for 20 years Martyn will you lead through the information on the type of windows, doors and conservatory suitable for your home. He will come out and professionally measure up in detail to make sure everything fits correctly and give you a price for supplying and fitting together with the usual FENSA guarantee. Martyn has designed and managed many installations throughout Shropshire and Worcestershire using the best materials with high performance characteristics and an installation service, which is second to none. With a great team of fitters they build first class bespoke conservatories and porches taking great care of your property by sheeting up your carpets and furniture and cleaning up after completing the installation. Go to www.bridgnorthwindows.co.uk web site for more information or call Martyn or Bianca on 01746 762855. Why go anywhere else but your local supplier.


Your Local Expert

Ask the expert ... the accountant

Tim Giles is a Chartered Certified Accountant working as a partner at dhjh. They have offices in Bewdley and Tenbury Wells. I have recently seen articles in the press warning people that the code numbers issued by HM Revenue and Customs for 2010-11 may be wrong. How has this happened? HM Revenue and Customs have recently implemented a new PAYE system to issue coding notices and as with any new system there are teething problems. In particular there have been three main faults which are: Coding notices have been issued for employments that ceased some time ago, two notices have been issued for the same employment or code BR (basic rate) or DO (higher rate) has been issued for the first time. I have heard that I can offset the total cost of buying a van against my self assessment tax. Is this correct ? Any motor vehicle bought for use in a business will attract some tax relief, however in the case of vans and commercial vehicles the whole purchase price can be offset against your taxable profits. If for example you were a basic rate tax payer and you bought a £12,000 van for your business you would reduce your tax bill by £3,360. This sounds very attractive but you have had to find £12,000 from cash flow or have had to take out a loan. If the van was essential then, fantastic, your tax bill is reduced but if you did not need a new van then your bank balance has fallen by £8,640 or you have another loan to repay. Remember, Tax Relief is always good - but not just for the sake of it. Can I prepare my own tax return? Yes you can, since April 6 1996 we have had a system in this country called “Self Assessment”. This makes the tax payer responsible for keeping the necessary records, collating all the information and completing his/ her tax return correctly. Many people are now filling in their own returns but if completed incorrectly this could leave you open to a Revenue Enquiry with interest and stringent penalties payable on any additional tax liabilities. If you use a qualified ( ACA or ACCA ) accountant you can be sure that they will help you to correctly identify your income and ensure you claim the correct expenses to ensure that you only pay the you need to. For example, how many of us are aware of the rules relating to capital allowances without seeking professional advice? Your accountant will also liaise with HMRC on your behalf ensuring that you are not inadvertently supplying inaccurate information. As soon as the relevant accounts are prepared and all the additional tax information is to hand after April 5, your tax liability can be calculated.

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Local Book Review

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Local Times

BOOKS for MARCH PIRATE LATITUDES by Michael Crichton

After his sudden sad death from cancer, Michael Crichton has left behind ‘Pirate Latitudes,’ but what a book to go out on! Set in Jamaica in 1665, it’s an entertaining tale of swashbuckling and derring-do, bawdy goings-on, hurricanes and monsters on the high seas and, of course, the all-important quest to net ‘the gold.’ Villains are vile - a word of warning to those readers who are of a squeamish disposition - and our hero, Captain Charles Hunter, suitably dashing and fearless; women chuck themselves at him like moths to candlelight. Typical of the genre, Hunter is one of those protagonists who inspire devotion and loyalty in equal measure from his rabble crew, each of whom have a personal reason for going after the sadistic Cazalla who guards Matanceros, an impregnable Spanish stronghold and the target of Hunter’s mission. To take a film analogy, think ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ crossed with ‘The Dirty Dozen.’ It’s great knockabout stuff, an easy read, and I polished it off in two evenings. Published by Harper Collins ISBN: 978-0-00-732908-3 RRP: £18.99

POWER PLAY by Gavin Esler Gavin Esler is best known for presenting Newsnight, but for many years he was the chief North American correspondent for the BBC and in this, his second novel, he displays his absolute command of American politics and the dynamics of power in the White House. For this alone it provides a fascinating insight. The novel is mostly written in an intimate first person narrative through the eyes of Alex Price, the British Ambassador. The plot hinges on the mysterious disappearance of Bobby Black, the American vice-president, just as he is about to engage in a vital ‘kiss-and-make-up’ meeting with the British Prime Minister. That he disappears on a shooting trip on the Scottish moors lends the novel a superbly sinister edge. A terrorist attack is feared and the main suspect is Iran. The British are roundly blamed for lax security. However, it emerges that Black has many enemies, some close to home. This is a subtle book, perfectly nuanced with a slow burn and a surprising ending that leaves unanswered questions.

Published by Harper Collins ISBN: 978-0-00-727810-7 RRP: £12.99

Books reviewed by local author E.V.Seymour, creator of the popular “Paul Tallis” spy thrillers. You can visit E.V.’s website at www.evseymour.co.uk 22


Bewdley

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An offer from Your Local Times 23


Local Business

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Local Times

Hardwicks Landscape Centre Confirmed as Platinum Partner for Rolawn Premier Turf and Landscaping Products Hardwicks Landscape Centre, based in Wolverley near Kidderminster, has recently been confirmed as a Platinum Partner for Rolawn, Europe’s largest producer of cultivated turf. Rolawn’s award-winning Medallion® turf is Britain’s biggest selling and most frequently specified and Rolawn is also recognised as Britain’s leading supplier of high quality topsoil. The Rolawn brand is a recognized benchmark of quality and service and only the very best retailers and distributors are recognized as Platinum Partners. Hardwicks is therefore the only approved supplier of the product in the West Midlands area. This is yet another success for the company that has been supplying quality landscaping products to customers and trade for over 50 years. A family built and run business, Hardwicks is immensely proud of their reputation for providing the very best quality and choice in the area. Alongside Rolawn, Hardwicks can also supply quality hard landscaping materials such as decorative paving and walling, garden edgers, lap panels and decorative fencing, together with a choice of driveway and path aggregates. They supply natural stone, in the form of rockery, paving and walling as well as lawn turf, grass seed, screened topsoil, with fertilizers and compost to compliment them.

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Customers are both trade and retail, and although Hardwicks deliver mostly in the West Midlands area they have been known to deliver large quantities of materials as far away as London and Wales. Neil Hardwick, Managing Director said ‘We are delighted to have been awarded the title of Platinum Partner from Rolawn and this demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing the very best quality products and service in the area. If you haven’t visited recently do come along and meet with our knowledgeable and dedicated staff that will be able to help you with all elements of planning and creating your perfect garden’. Hardwicks Landscape Centre is open weekdays from 8am until 5pm and on Saturdays 8am until 4pm. Hardwicks Landscaping Centre is situated in Wolverley, near Kidderminster DY10 3RW. Telephone 01562 850447, or contact them through the website www.hardwicks-landscape.co.uk. Bring the family along and claim a free gift of a cuddly teddy bear with this feature!


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Local Schools

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Local Times

Custard pies Custard pies double! at the double! at the

C

ustard-pie throwing pupils at Bewdley Primary School were ‘doubled’ up with laughter during their maths lessons. The youngsters took part in a ‘doubles challenge’ to encourage them to know their doubles – double two is four, double four is eight, and so on. The challenge was in two parts - ‘The Gold Challenge’ and ‘The Custard Pie Challenge’.

From left, Kimberley Moore, age 11, Harry Field, age10, teacher Simon Cottrill and Jordon Poolton, age 10.

All children took part in the gold challenge where they were set bronze, silver and gold targets, recalling doubles in ascending and descending order to achieve the award. The children were rewarded with special stickers. Youngsters taking part in the custard pie challenge had to agree to be a ‘target’ if the winner chose them. The challenge was how many levels children could recall in the sequence 1+1=2, 2+2=4, 4+4=8, 8+8=16, 16+16=32 and continuing.

Headteacher Paul Roper is custard pied by seven-year-old Bronwyn Teasdale (left) and Kimberley Moore, 11

Headteacher Mr Paul Roper said: “The children were fantastic, recalling doubles well over a million. Well done to everyone who took part. We have some real stars!” The doubles finalists went forward to a grand final where they chose a friend or teacher to receive a custard pie in the face. Guess who they chose!!

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Teacher Amy Crowther with eight-year-old Isobel Smith.


your Gardening Calendar January

Whitlenge Garden Calendar

July

MARCH February

The first month of spring often sees cold winds, but the clocks will go forward and the days lengthen.

August

At Whitlenge we give the garden borders a thorough weeding and then mulch the bare soil with bark or compost. This will cut down on maintenance in the coming weeks and hopefully months.

March

April

This is a good time to plant climbers, putting in supports of wood ladders, trellis and wire at the same time. This makes it so much easier to train the plants as they start growing. Give ponds a really good clean out now, removing old leaves and debris, also clean pumps and filters and replace where necessary. Start feeding fish but only a little at first.

September

October

Scarify lawns, remove thatch and moss and give your grass a spring feed. It’s time for the first cut but set blades at the highest level.

May

Cut back deciduous grasses such as Miscanthus to 10cm off the ground and tidy/cut off dead from the evergreen grasses such as Carex.

November

At the end of a cold March day in the garden the best rewards are the first stems of rhubarb gently stewed with sugar and served with gallons of custard. Mmmmmm!

December

June April Mulch beds to eliminate weeds. Prune early flowering shrubs. Plant evergreen trees and shrubs.

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Your Local Charity

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Local Times

KEMP Hospice Midnight Walk – Registration now open! Join together with your friends for KEMP Hospice’s women’s midnight walk. The magical walk starts at the stroke of midnight on Saturday 19th June at the Wyre Forest. The route is approximately 5 miles along forestry paths. Once you have finished we will be on hand with a glass of fizz and a bacon roll to help you celebrate! Registration is £10 to include a Midnight walk T-Shirt and refreshments. You can register online at www. kemphospice.org.uk or telephone 01562 861217 for a registration form. Hospice at Home KEMP’s Hospice at Home service is up and running and our Health Care Support Workers are now providing care for people

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at the very end of their lives in their own homes. We offer both day and night support for patients, and the feedback we have received has been very positive. Providing night support for patients has enabled families to achieve a full nights’ sleep knowing the needs of their loved one are being tended to.


Local Attractions Playtime for cubsfor Cubs Playtime It was just another big game for three young cubs at West Midland Safari Park when they were introduced to their latest toy.

The toy - which resembled a large ball of knitting wool - was made from rope and it wasn't long before the cubs took it to task by using some rather familiar 'kitten-like' tactics. All three embarked upon playtime with gusto - pawing, gnawing and jumping - and having great fun all round. Not wanting to spoil the fun, mum Shadina looked on to see what all the fuss was about. As with most cats, once the game was over and they had lost interest, the cubs retreated for an afternoon nap leaving their toy muddied and decidedly the worse for wear. The three female African lion cubs, born at the park in October 2009, have been nicknamed Layla, Libby and Lizzy by park staff and have been winning over visitors in their first season at the park, which has now fully reopened. West Midland Safari Park has a total of 35 lions, which includes the only pride of White Lions in the UK, in their four-mile self-drive safari. West Midland Safari & Leisure Park is open until Friday November 5. Standard admission costs £12.95 for adults, £11.50 for children. A family saver ticket costs £44, which admits two adults and two children. Admission costs also include a free return ticket. Amusement rides charged extra in all cases. Further information is available from www.wmsp.co.uk

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Local Business

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Local Times

MERCHANTS

A premier fish and chip shop Ever since Merchants, Bewdley’s premier fish and chip shop opened its doors twentyfive years ago under the present owners; the inevitable winter flooding from the nearby river Severn plagued it. Photographs adorned the walls of the shop for many years as a reminder of such times but since the installing of the new flood defence system along Severn Side North, flooding has now been consigned to the history books. It was never in doubt that the quality of the fish and chips was second to none born about by the numbers of tourists and residents who waited in the queues that formed on busy bank holidays and weekends. Merchants in the past has had many awards for best fish and chip shop and currently holds the title Midlands Fish and Chip Shop of the year and no doubt awards will continue for many years to come. It is great to see another business in the town, which has remodelled itself for twenty first century dining with its stainless steel branding adorning the new shop front. Inside, the walls are decorated with a picture of the Bewdley river Severn and it’s famous bridge and with the lighting in the café, brings with it a contemporary feel of a modern diner. The remodelling of the existing shop over the last few weeks with its modern contemporary look, and the fish and chip 30

shop being integrated into the adjoining café has resulted in Merchants now open for business. The fish, Cod, Hake,fresh Roe Pollock, Lemon Sole and Haddock, sit along side the Roe, battered sausage and the traditional varieties of pies. There are also the chicken and the usual fish and chip shop menu as well as the compliment of the curry sauce and traditional mushy pies to temp any pallet. With the re-arrangement of the shop and a doorway to the adjoining café there are now seating for many more diners than before but traditionally it is the walk along the riverside eating your fish and chips from the wrapping, which brings memories of childhood flooding back. Another business success for the town of Bewdley, which is looking to a brighter and prosperous future.


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All local produce when in season

Flowers for all occasions FREE delivery to your home

Tel: 01299 400 346

bewdleyfarmshop@btconnect.com

Dog Lane, Bewdley DY12 2EF 31


Community News

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Local Times

Artistic pupils’ Artistic safety pupils’ message safety message

S

econdary schools in Wyre Forest recently took part in an art competition to promote safe behaviour on the railways. Wyre Forest District Council and London Midland challenged youngsters to create images around rail safety. The competition also aimed to create awareness about the many deals London Midland offers when travelling by train to tourist attractions.

Family tickets to the Sea Life Centre, Think Tank and Cadbury’s World were presented to the three winners as prizes and the winning drawings are being displayed at Kidderminster Train Station.

Councillor Tracey Onslow, Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet member for housing and environmental services, said: “We were impressed by the enthusiasm for this competition and the entries were thoughtful and imaginative. The standard of entries was very good and we were spoilt for choice for winners! “This is a great way to get thinking about rail safety issues and also for parents to be aware of the great deals that are on offer to local and regional tourist attractions. “The council is keen to promote the many benefits of travelling by train which include cutting your carbon emissions and avoiding traffic jams, speed cameras and parking problems.” Janeice Stewart-Nedbaylyuk, London Midland delivery manager for Birmingham South, added: “Many children use Kidderminster railway station to both commute to school and also socially, so it is very important for the children to keep safe whilst at the station.”

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Pictured are, from left, Charlie Southerton (12) of Bewdley School, Councillor Tracy Onslow, Andrew Farley (12) of Wolverley Secondary School, Janeice Stewart -Nedbaylyuk of London Midland and Rhiannon Clark (11) of Wolverley Secondary School.


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Local Sports & Fitness

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Local Times


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your

Community News

Local Times

District District news news round-up round-up

W W

yre Forest Citizens Advice Bureau has completely refurbished twoBureau interview yre Forest Citizens Advice has rooms at Load Street, Bewdley. The completely refurbished two interview project hasrooms been made possible co-operation at Load Street,with Bewdley. The from Sthas Georges Hall. possible with co-operation project been made Fully trained advisors from St Georges Hall. are now available to offer free, non are judgmental advicetoevery Fullyconfidential, trained advisors now available offer Thursday betweennon 10am – 1pm. Specialist free, confidential, judgmental advice every caseworker appointments with debt and Thursday between 10am –dealing 1pm. Specialist bankruptcy are also available. caseworker matters appointments dealing with debt and Bureau manager Kate said: “This is a major bankruptcy matters areBennett also available. step forward for the bureau andsaid: one “This we have Bureau manager Kate Bennett is asought major to doforward for a very time but weone didn’t have sought the step forlong the bureau and we have funding the right to do forora very longlocation. time but we didn’t have the “The new arelocation. fully accessible and adjacent to funding oroffices the right the Load carare park. hope to continue to to “The newStreet offices fullyWe accessible and adjacent expand service Bewdley andto arecontinue lookingtofor the Loadthe Street car at park. We hope people are interested to train volunteer expand who the service at Bewdley andasare looking for advisors, reception staff and board people who are interested to also traintrustee as volunteer members who can help the trustee direction of the advisors, reception staffshape and also board CAB service. members who can help shape the direction of the “Our CAB sincere service.thanks go to Nexus for the valuable funding received andgofortothe management committee “Our sincere thanks Nexus for the valuable of St Georges Hall and Town Council for funding received and forBewdley the management committee their of St support.” Georges Hall and Bewdley Town Council for their support.” his year’s Discover Bewdley Weekend has moved to the end ofBewdley May to avoid the has his year’s Discover Weekend roadworks. moved to the end of May to avoid the The works are due to be completed on May 7 so the roadworks. event has been moved from the starton ofMay that month The works are due to be completed 7 so theto May 31.moved It will from include artsofand event30 hasand been thean start thatcrafts month to market Severnside Northan and theand museum May 30along and 31. It will include arts crafts is set to have a full programme. market along Severnside North and the museum is Organisers many retailers, businesses, clubs, set to have awant full as programme. churches and schools as possible get involved. Organisers want as many retailers,tobusinesses, clubs, The Pub and Regatta will then be held on June churches and Club schools as possible to get involved. 5, followed the Regatta town’s carnival The Pub andby Club will thenonbeJune held12. on June 5, followed by the town’s carnival on June 12. ritish flowers are the subject of Bewdley & District Horticultural Society’s ritish flowers are the subject of meeting Bewdleyon & April 7. Horticultural Anne Daley will be themeeting guest on District Society’s speaker April and there will Daley also bewill a mini spring 7. Anne be the guestshow. The meeting takeswill place at Wribbenhall Community speaker and there also be a mini spring show. Centre in Shaw Hedge Wribbenhall at 7.40pm The meeting takes placeRoad, at Wribbenhall Community for an 8pm start.Hedge Entrance is £1.50 with freeat 7.40pm Centre in Shaw Road, Wribbenhall refreshments. Non members always – for an 8pm start. Entrance is are £1.50 with welcome free refreshments. Non members are always welcome –

T T

B B

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just turn up or for more details ring Diane on 01299 402670. just turn up or for more details ring Diane on 01299 402670. airtrade Fortnight continues until March 7 with shoppers asked to makeuntil the Big Swap. airtrade Fortnight continues March 7 For of make buying withinstance, shoppersinstead asked to theyour Bigusual Swap.tea bags, chocolate bar or even of flowers, buytea a For instance, instead buyingwhy yournot usual Fairtrade versionbar instead? way producers in the bags, chocolate or evenThat flowers, why not buy a developing world instead? get a fairer deal. retailers, Fairtrade version That wayMany producers in the caterers, schools in Bewdley are developing worldand get churches a fairer deal. Many retailers, supporting the scheme, along with the townare council, caterers, schools and churches in Bewdley development and flood Visitcouncil, supporting thetrust scheme, alongcommittee. with the town www.thebigswap.org.uk to be inspired and register development trust and flood committee. Visit your swap. to be inspired and register www.thebigswap.org.uk your swap.

F F

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he Orchard Project at the QEII Gardens is the subject of Bewdley Museum’s he Orchard Project at the QEII first Gardens is the exhibition for 2010.Museum’s first subject of Bewdley The exhibition titled exhibition for ‘Jubilee 2010. Gardens Orchard Project’ uses materials from local archives, maps The exhibition titled ‘Jubilee Gardens Orchard and up-to-date photographs explain the past, Project’ uses materials fromtolocal archives, maps present and future of orchards the area. and up-to-date photographs to in explain the past, Wyre Forest District present and future of Council orchardsisinworking the area.in partnership localCouncil organisations to create Wyre Forestwith District is working in a traditional orchard at the southern end the QEII partnership with local organisations to of create a Jubilee Gardens, Bewdley traditional orchardwhich at theadjoin southern end ofMuseum. the QEII This is part of a wider projectMuseum. designed Jubilee Gardens, whichcommunity adjoin Bewdley to reverse the numberproject of orchards, This is partthe of decline a widerincommunity designed both county countrywide. It is hoped the new to reverse theand decline in the number of orchards, orchard will and be open to the public the end May both county countrywide. It isathoped theofnew - to coincide with theto Discover Bewdley Weekend. orchard will be open the public at the end of May exhibition canthe be Discover viewed atBewdley the Severn Gallery -The to coincide with Weekend. in Bewdley Museum Tourist Information The exhibition can beand viewed at the Severn Gallery Centre. It isMuseum open daily 12 noon until 4pm in Bewdley andfrom Tourist Information until Friday 26. from 12 noon until 4pm Centre. It isMarch open daily The museum reopens until Friday March 26.on April. For more information The museumvisit reopens on April. For more www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/museum or contact the information visit museum on 01299 403573 or contact the www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/museum museum on 01299 403573 rt classes for adults take place in Stourport each Wednesday. byplace Malcolm Brookes, rt classes for adultsLed take in Stourport they are suitable for allby abilities including each Wednesday. Led Malcolm Brookes, absolutethey beginners. They for takeallplace at Church are suitable abilities including House, Rectory Lane, between 4-6pm. Contact absolute beginners. They take place at Church 01562 732978 details. House, Rectoryfor Lane, between 4-6pm. Contact 01562 732978 for details.

A A


The Sun & Slipper Inn Mamble, Worcestershire DY14 9JL

Find us off the A456 between Clows Top and Newnham Bridge

Traditional hand pulled local beers and lagers Meals cooked fresh to order using local produce Try Rogers “famous” hand cut chips using local potatoes

A La Carte Menu and traditional Sunday lunch Best in the area Fixed price Menus 2 course lunch £9.95 Tuesday to Saturday 2 Course Dinner £12.95 Tuesday to Friday Due to popular demand now Saturday night 2 course £15.00 3 course £18.00 Closed all day Monday We cater for small weddings, Christenings, Funerals and luncheon Clubs

TEL 01299 832018 for reservations www.sunandslipper.co.uk

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your

Local Business

Local Times

Do we have to own our car? Owing your own car used to be considered to be the ultimate status symbol. Taking the family to the nearest showroom to inspect and test drive the latest model, choosing the colour and deciding which extras we should have fitted, at an additional of course, to make ours car a cut above the rest when it came to showing it to envious neighbours. Times have now changed and we can now browse the Internet viewing the models from the comfort of our own homes and reading up on the specifications, journalistic reports, comments and criticism of how good or how poor the model may be and of course how much it is going to cost us. And what do we do when the vehicle has reached its sell by date or the mileage has determined that repairing is no longer an economical viability. Certain vehicles will hold a sensible second hand value, should you find someone with the money to buy it, but most, will have lost most of its equity and only serve as a part deposit to trade in for another model. Most of us rely on our cars to get us to and from work, take the children to school, collect the shopping and take us on holiday so we want a reliable and safe vehicle which we can use without the traumas of break downs. When we come to purchasing a new car the alternatives are varied. Cash,from our hard earned savings,hire purchase at an excessive rate of interest, bank loan, at a modest rate of interest or an alternative is to lease your vehicle. Leasing has always been popular in America and with some businesses taking advantage of

38

certain tax breaks it makes perfect sense Leasing has many attributes over purchasing. Firstly, we can have a brand new car, of our choice, for a period of time, usually three years, and after that time give the car back and exchange it for another brand new model. Secondly, it comes at a fixed cost per month, so we know from day one what it is going to cost us. Thirdly, after paying our initial deposit, which in some cases may be your old car taken in part exchange, we can keep our savings in the bank for more deserving times like holidays, children’s education or being able to move to a larger house. Fourthly, we do not have the hassle of disposing of the vehicle when the shelf life has expired. We just take it back and pick up a new one. Now, what could be simpler. So for as little as £99 per month and two to four year deals, with a flexible deposit, you could have a brand new car sitting on your driveway. No more costly repairs, MOT’s or bartering over selling your old vehicle, just give the experts a call at Severn Valley Leasing and see how easy it is to be the proud owner of a brand new car.

Leasing is the future Call today on 01299 401572 www.severnvalleyleasing.co.uk Email:severnvalleyleasing@yahoo.co.uk


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Local Times

Let battle commence!

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Telesales Person wanted for

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Local Trader.biz

High Earnings ! Call Bob on

01299 402 094

S & T HOME CARE LTD YOUR SAFE & TRUSTING SERVICE

We are a Domiciliary Care Agency looking after the elderly and disabled in the community. S & T Home Care provides the highest standard of care & support for people who want to stay in their own home. We take pride on offering reliable flexible & friendly care which is individually tailored to your needs. Our experienced team are available to assist you with:

Personal Care Preparing and serving meals Weekly shopping Domestic help and Laundry Waking and sleeping nights Assisting with medication

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Unit 3 Ditton Priors Trading Estate, Ditton Priors, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16 6SS

Bewdley Gallery Trevor Price established Bewdley Gallery in 1980 and has a range of original paintings, limited and open edition prints all at competitive prices. The Gallery also has a picture framing service with hundreds of designs to choose from and with 25 years of experience. All work carries a lifetime guarantee. Fine arts has experienced a renaissance over the last few years and Bewdley Gallery exhibits many of the paintings that appeal to collectors and enthusiast alike. You are welcome to come and browse, admire or begin collecting fine artwork.

Lax Lane, Bewdley, Worcestershire DY12 2DZ. 01299 400 918 41


Homes & Gardens

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Local Times

Call in the experts – because life’s too precious to spend on DIY ! We live increasingly busy lives. When we’re not working, we’re providing a taxi service for the children or looking after ageing relatives. So when weekends – or even our annual holidays – arrive, it’s not surprising we’d rather not be up a ladder with a paintbrush in our hands. And that’s where people like Geoff Orchard come in. Geoff is the proprietor of Complete Plastics, the Bewdley business which installs Roofline products – fascia boards, soffits and guttering, plus upvc doors. Not only will he give your home a smart new look, it will also stay virtually maintenance free, giving you back your spare time to do all those things you’d rather be doing. Geoff knows all about getting your priorities right in life. After working for companies installing roofline products, windows and conservatories, he decided to become his own boss and went into business for himself 10 years ago. After just three years, however, he was diagnosed with bowel cancer and had a lengthy stay in hospital and nine months of chemotherapy. With a wife and a three-year-old child, Geoff was determined to fight back – and after beating the cancer he resumed his business. Now he understands first-hand that our spare time should be spent on things which make us happy rather than jobs we could get the experts in for. Geoff prides himself on offering a quality job at a quality price with a personal approach. Much of his work comes from word of mouth recommendations; always the sign of a good tradesman. So why not take care of all those high maintenance areas once and for all – and start living!

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S L Tramontana Plastering, Rendering, Floor Screeding, Coving All plastering work undertaken Free, no obligation quotes Your Local Plasterer T: 01299 403 669 M: 07977 137795 E: tramontana27@yahoo.co.uk

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The Harriers competition Last month we gave you the chance to watch some of the action at Aggborough for FREE. Your Local Times teamed up with the club and had two free tickets to give away for a home League game. Our lucky winner correctly answered this question - With which club did new boss Steve Burr begin his managerial career? The answer was, A) NUNEATON BOROUGH. The winner, chosen at random, was Andy Jones. Congratulations and the tickets are on their way to you !!

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Community News

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Local Times

Project is bearing fruit Project is bearing fruit

O O

rchards used to be a common sight in the Wyre Forest area. Apples, rchards to be a common pears and used cherries found an easysight in the thanks Wyre Forest area. railway. Apples, route to market to the local pears and cherries found an easy The loss of the railway, and of cheap young route to market thanks to the local railway. labour, made them less economically The loss of theimports railway,replaced and of cheap viable; cheaper them, young and labour, made them less economically many of the orchards were lost to grazing viable; cheaper imports replaced them, and and a changing farming landscape. many of the orchards were lost to grazing changing however, farming landscape. A and fewaremained, and these remnants are at the core of a new campaign few remained, and up these toAsee orchards oncehowever, again make an remnants are at the core of a new important part of our landscape. campaign to see orchards once again make up an important part ofisour landscape. Grow With Wyre a Heritage Lotteryfunded landscape restoration project. A Grow Withbetween Wyre is Natural a Heritage Lotteryjoint venture England, the funded landscape restoration project. A Forestry Commission and local community joint venture between Natural England, the groups and landowners, the three-year Forestry Commission and2011. localItcommunity scheme runs until October covers groups and landowners, the three-year 70 square kilometres of countryside and has runs until October It covers 18scheme different projects in total. 2011. Orchards are 70 square kilometres of countryside and has just one part of the work. 18 different projects in total. Orchards are just one part of the work. Programme manager Bob Griffith, based at Callow Hill, explained that as well as Programme manager Bob aGriffith, restoring existing orchards, numberbased of at Callow Hill, explained thattrees, as well which have traditional fruit theyasare restoring existing orchards, a number of also working to create new orchards with which have traditional fruit trees, they are grants to landowners. also working to create new orchards with grants to landowners. The orchard project is a winner on many fronts. Grow With Wyre focuses on five The orchard project is aarcheological winner on many key areas – biodiversity; and fronts. Grow With Wyre focuses on five historical restoration and information; key areasregeneration; – biodiversity; archeological and economic community historical restoration and information; engagement and improving physical access. economic regeneration; This scheme ticks most ofcommunity those boxes. engagement and improving physical access. This scheme ticks most of those boxes. 44

Old orchards, says Bob, contain lots of habitats which need to be protected; new Old orchards, Bob, contain lotsThe of orchards will addsays to the biodiversity. habitats which needproject to be protected; Wyre Forest LiDAR – a form ofnew orchards will add to the biodiversity. The high-tech aerial mapping – has identified Wyre Forest LiDAR project – a form of lines of old orchards, adding to our high-tech aerial mapping has A identified historical knowledge of the –area. mobile lines of old orchards, adding to fruit press will tour local events inour the historical of the A use mobile autumn; fruitknowledge growers will be area. able to it fruit press will tour local events in the and the juice will be sold locally or given to autumn; fruitarea. growers will be able to use it schools in the and the juice will be sold locally or given to schoolscourse in the will area.help landowners get Training the most out of their orchards while Training course helphow landowners contractors will bewill shown to prune get the most out of their orchards while sympathetically. contractors will be shown how to prune sympathetically. For those with an area they wish to plant with fruit trees, Grow With Wyre is holding those with an area wish to19. plant anFor ‘orchard creation’ daythey on March withhow fruitto trees, GrowanWith Wyrewhat is holding Learn develop orchard, to an ‘orchard creation’ day on March plant and how to space the trees – and19. at how develop orchard, theLearn end of thetoday take aan local varietywhat of to plant how to space the trees – and at fruit treeand home! the end of the day take a local variety of Tofruit findtree outhome! more or book a place email alison.coggan@forestry.gsi.gov.uk or call To find out more or book a place email 01584 813828. alison.coggan@forestry.gsi.gov.uk or call 01584 813828.


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Attack of the Mutant Laptops Since Man first walked upright, we’ve had a fascination with forces beyond our understanding, a higher power if you will. There are a great number of people on this planet who truly believe we are watched over, judged and scrutinised by an almighty being ( God, Buddha, Mother Nature, Allah and so the list goes on ), but in this age of technology there is one allencompassing overseer that is common to all religions, creed and race – the computer !!!! This seemingly harmless box of electronics has taken over our lives where in so many cases, we are unable to live without it and a day sans laptop is bordering on cold turkey for the fully initiated. We can’t go a day without our regular Facebook, MSN or World of Warcraft fix. Let’s face it, are we so important that all our friends and family need to know that we’ve just been to the toilet or had a ham sandwich for lunch ??? ( The aftermath of “celebrity culture” – don’t get me started !!!! ) Even the movies pay homage to this technological “miracle”, let’s take a look at a few; War Games – A young Matthew Broderick accidentally accesses a military computer thinking he’s playing a new strategy game when in fact he’s triggered the countdown to global thermonuclear war. The Terminator ( and all subsequent sequels ) - A cyborg from the future is sent back to the modern day from a computer-controlled society to try and assassinate the mother of the leader of a rebel force who have risen up against the growing army of computer-led machines and robots that have turned against us ( deep-seated paranoia folks !! ) Tron – A video game designer gets “sucked” into a supercomputer where he has to fight his way back to 46

the real world by defeating the programs he created. ( Sequel due later this year – Tron Legacy ) Independence Day – The world is saved from a powerful alien race by downloading a virus into the aliens’ computer system ( do alien computers use Microsoft Windows, hmmmmm ) You’ve Got M@il – Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have a long distance relationship with the aid of emails. The Matrix ( and both sequels ) - A young computer programmer has his perception of reality challenged when he is introduced to Morpheus, the leader of a group of rebels who have discovered that real life is in fact an illusion and that we’re all simply part of an enormous computer program. The list goes on, but deep down I suspect the movies are one way for the deeply paranoid among us to express their fear that one day we’re all going to be taken over by computers and their techno-offspring !!! Machines should make our lives easier, stress free and more efficient – what a joke ! When you consider that we should now be aiming to achieve a “paper-less” office, home and working place, never has there been so much paperwork ( ask nurses, doctors, police and your nearest secretary ). It’s as if we don’t exactly trust our beloved PC and yet, we rely on it so much for everything in our lives – where would we be without mobile phones and the internet ?? How many of you can remember a time without such electronic luxuries, was it a better time ?? Well, if we’re all going to be subjugated by the nearest IBM super-computer and left to rot while machines take over the world, I know where I’ll be – sitting at home, reading a book with a nice glass of wine, enjoy your servitude people !!


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Your Local Times March 2010