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Barnt Green, Alvechurch and Worcestershire

Property | Beauty | Fashion | Motoring | Lifestyle | Health | Celebrity | Food & Drink | Business Directory

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2 | Cornfield Magazine

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Cornfield Magazine | 3

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Hello and welcome to your November edition of the Cornfield Magazine.


This month we take the Christmas preparations seriously and get into full festive mode! We offer suggestions for a Christmas meal with a difference in our Alternative Christmas Dinner feature, looking at replacements for the traditional turkey centrepiece and fruity Christmas cake. We’ve selected our favourite wines for the non-wine connoisseurs amongst our readers to accompany any winter dinner party, or the allimportant Christmas meal. In a special feature, we count the many reasons why our readers should support Independent retailers and businesses this winter, and give some shopping inspiration in our Christmas Gift Guide (complete with essential stocking filler ideas, to avoid last minute panic-buys). We’ve researched the top trending children’s toys to buy for the little ones this winter, and provided a handy financial feature to help you to stay debt free this Christmas.


Richard & Sam

Contact Us Tel: 0121 796 6800 Email: Web:




Cornfield Publishing Ltd, Wythall Business Centre, May Lane, Birmingham B47 5PD

Richard Cornfield - Managing Director

Adelle Toomer - Sales Executive 07914 820 627



We spoke to mixed-media artist JJ Adams, whose bespoke, commissioned work is on display at Eaton Fine Art based in Solihull. The former-tattooist-turned-artist discusses the influence of the Pop art movement upon his artistic style in an intriguing interview. Inspired by the fantastic cover of this month’s issue, we take a look at the filming locations for the HBO fantasy sensation Game of Thrones. Our directors enjoyed a 'meet and greet' with Disney icons on a family trip to Disney on Ice at Arena Birmingham, and got suited and booted for the Coventry Sports Awards. Whatever you do, have a great month. Thanks again for continuing to support this great magazine. Enjoy the 'now' and most of all, keep it local. There's a lot of great stuff around you! ;)....




Sam Fraser - Managing Director

Tim Hackett - Sales Executive 07806 807 573

Eibhlin Kissack - Content Editor 0121 796 6800

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At Cornfield Magazine, we recognise the vibrancy and uniqueness of the brilliant independent retailers and businesses around us, and want to celebrate the original flair that they bring to Birmingham. There are many reasons why you should go ‘indie’ this Christmas, and we’ve listed a few for you to consider… For a distinctive gift list: Visit your local independents and treat your loved ones to distinctive and thoughtful presents. Why buy the same beauty set, cufflinks or chocolates that hundreds of other shoppers have also bought? Find bespoke, quirky items that your friends and family will treasure, carefully selected by independent business owners for their loyal customers. To be ethical: Shop at your local greengrocer’s, butcher’s and farm shops to ensure that the produce you buy is fresh and free range. Independent food stores have often sourced their products from within the local area, and therefore support local farmers. When food is locally sourced it has travelled much shorter distances than the food supplied at superstores. This means the local food contains more nutrients, is healthier, and is also a lot fresher. By buying your products at independent shops you will also boost the local economy and give back to the community! For high-quality customer service: Try the local stores around you. Independent retailers are passionate about the services they provide, and more often than not employ staff who share the same level of dedication. In certain shops and businesses, owners and employees will be experts in their field, and are able to provide specialised advice and answer any queries you, the customer, might have. For a Christmas full of charm and character, remember to shop ‘indie’. 6 | Cornfield Magazine

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Tis’ the season… to slave away prepping, basting and stuffing a ginormous turkey for Christmas dinner. But, this year it doesn’t have to be a chore! If it’s your turn to handle the dreaded task of cooking the all-important meal, why not try something new? After all, if you’re the designated Christmas chef, technically, you’re the boss. NB. If your guests complain, just pour them a large glass of port. Works every time.

Here are a few alternatives to the traditional turkey and Christmas pudding for readers to consider. Don’t panic lovers-of-tradition– these dishes ooze festivity. The meat The prospect of the dreaded Christmas turkey delights very few amateur cooks, (and from personal experience, very few dinner-eaters too). With an ever-evolving climate of technological change, why stay in the past when it comes to cuisine? This year, shake things up and try an exciting new Christmas showstopper. Or at least tweak the traditional centrepiece, a little.

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Ginger-glazed ham This Nigella-inspired alternative gives a tasty, festive twist to a British carvery favourite. Simmer the meat in a large pan with a few litres of ginger ale, adapting the amount to the size of your joint. Fill the pan to cover the meat, adding water to ensure that the meat is completely submerged. Add orange zest and squeeze the juice into the broth for added flavour. Bring to the boil, before lowering the heat for around two hours. For the glaze, use ginger preserve, brown sugar and cloves. If you are unable to buy ginger glaze, orange marmalade mixed with grated or ground ginger will also work. As an added bonus, ham makes the perfect sandwich filling for the inevitable leftover meat after the Christmas break.

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Stuffed pork loin with herbs Pork loin is another great alternative, and if you make crackling (arguably the best part of a roast) your guests couldn’t possibly complain! Try this Jamie-inspired recipe that combines rosemary, fennel seeds and a smoky pork flavour. Rub the herbs, seeds and a few pinches of salt into the score marks on the joint, before removing the crusts of a few slices of bread. Fry onions, garlic, sage and pine nuts in olive oil until softened, and add to the bread before mixing all together. After stuffing the pork with your bread and herbs mixture, roast for an hour until golden and crisp. Replace cranberry sauce with apple sauce for a harmonious pairing, and voilà! Christmas meat – done!

The pudding Christmas pudding: loved by some, hated by many. There’s something slightly unfulfilling about the spicy, fruity pudding that’s hard to pin down, and although it’s the epitome of Christmas dinner tradition, let’s admit…it’s a little unappealing. If you have little ones attending your Christmas meal, a chocolate-y alternative is the way forward. To end your alternative Christmas dinner on a delicious note, have a go at these delicious desserts.

Roasted pear with festive filling If, like most families, Christmas dinner is served in copious amounts, to the point that guests are no longer able to fasten their jeans, this dessert is ideal for you! It also requires little to no cooking and prepping, so, if you’re swamped with other things to do on Christmas day, this pudding is an easy alternative. Lacking stodginess, roasted pears produce a sweet and satisfying flavour without filling up your guests to the brink of tummy-explosion. Halve and core the pears before sprinkling them with ground cinnamon, and put them in the oven for around 20 minutes until softened. Toast walnuts and pine nuts until golden, being careful not to burn them, which can happen in a matter of minutes! Place half of the pear halves in a blender and add the walnuts and pine nuts. Add in some ginger and cinnamon for extra festive flavour. Scoop out the insides of the remaining halved pears before filling them with the blended mixture. Serve your pears warm or cold with fresh cream for a light and refreshing Christmas pudding. Be alternative this Christmas, and dare to change your menu to delight and excite your guests! Stepping out of your Christmas comfort-zone guarantees your meal will be far from bland.

Chocolate pudding With a scrumptious hot chocolate sauce, this rich dessert is the perfect way to keep your Christmas guests happy. After all, who doesn’t like chocolate? Mix together flour and cocoa powder, adding vanilla extract, caster sugar, butter, plain yoghurt, eggs, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Blitz the mixture in a food processor to make a smooth batter. Steam the mixture in boiling water, for a couple of hours until the pudding has risen. To make the gorgeous sauce, gently heat milk chocolate in a pan with double cream, golden syrup and more vanilla extract. A scrumptious alternative to Christmas pudding!

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Festive Gift Fair at the NEC

16-19 November 2017

Christmas is around the corner! More to see, try, touch, taste, enjoy and buy at The Festive Gift Fair Christmas means gifts for your loved ones, hanging decorations on the tree, excitement on children’s faces, party games, movies by the fire and a table fit for a festive feast…! All of which can be found as this fabulous Christmas Shopping Fair returns to the NEC, 16-19 NOVEMBER, with loads of NEW AND EXCITING stalls. Often the most time-consuming part is finding clever presents. There’s no need to be stuck for ideas, start with a trip to THE FESTIVE GIFT FAIR and you’ll see how fun and easy Christmas shopping can be! From the moment you arrive, you’ll be caught up in the excitement of the day, exploring 350 stalls overflowing with thousands upon thousands of CRACKING GIFT IDEAS and DECORATIONS that don’t cost the earth. The variety is HUGE, with presents for all ages – from babies to teenagers, and parents to grandparents. When your bags are full, you can drop them off at the Present crèche and continue to shop, or stop for a bite to eat in one of the FOUR sparkly catering/entertainment areas, where you can ENJOY watching a great lineup of live musical acts – to get you rocking round the Christmas Tree! No wonder FESTIVE GIFT FAIR is one of the most popular Christmas shopping events in the UK! We’ve picked out a few of our favourite NEW stalls.

For more information please visit


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To be in with a chance of winning some tickets to the Festive Gift Fair, simply email your details (Name, Address, Contact Number and date you received the magazine) to: with the subject heading ‘Festive’.

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This is

Horatio Matricardi’s If you’re looking for something different to make your special day sparkle look no further, the right place will come to you. Here at Horatio Matricardi’s you’ll find an experienced, fun-loving and friendly team, ready to raise the bar. It’s time for the drinks to flow! Whatever your tipple, we have it all. With access to an array of wines, beers, mixers, cocktails, soft drinks and fresh ground coffee, the possibilities are endless.

We are “purveyors of good times” We are purveyors of good times. We serve from our custom-built rustic bar, fitted out with six pumps and a range of optics, giving us the facilities to speedily mix your favourite drinks. As every event is different, we tailor our services to your individual needs. Be it a birthday, bar mitzvah, wedding, wake, festival or just a fun day out, we cater for your every desire. Our aim is to bring an exceptional level of service and experience to every function, making sure that you and your guests have a celebration to remember. So, feel free to call or email us and we promise to give your event that bar it deserves. Harry Wilson: 07784 965 245 Stefano Matricardi: 07773 373 346 or email:

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Christmas at

Royal Leamington Spa

Experience a magical Christmas at Royal Leamington Spa with fun, festive shopping and activities for all the family to enjoy! Combining a unique mix of independent stores, national retailers and great places to eat and party, you will discover something for everyone. From finding the perfect Christmas tree to perfect pressies, Royal Leamington Spa has everything you need to ensure your Christmas is packed with festive sparkle! Strolling around town you will see beautiful Christmas windows galore offering inspiration for the wonderful gifts you will find inside. You will also be able to enter the Golden Ticket competition from participating retailers for a chance to win fabulous prizes and our wonderful Christmas Angels will be on hand to offer help and advice and make your shopping experience twinkle. To make your house sparkle with festive cheer take a peek into the wonderlands at House of Fraser and Marks and Spencer on the Parade, or for something quirky visit Tiger or delve into treasures at Collective on Park Street. Discover unique gifts in our many beautiful independent shops such as gifts with a story from Fable or handcrafted ornaments and homeware from Driftwood Home and Hamesha.

From sparkling sequin dresses, maxi & short styles, pick up this seasons party outfit from Revolve, Mint Velvet or Monsoon and add some shimmering jewelled accessories from Pia, Lille Perle and Fabulous. Children will just love the bright, quirky Smiggle and the games and puzzles offered by Dolls Domain and The Entertainer! Look out for Santa too! – he will be sure to put in an appearance along the way with an opportunity for a selfie or two and a chance to win a wonderful shopping experience! During the day, Leamington is alive with tasty food stores, delis, cafes and bistros – all bursting with a wealth of flavoursome treats. Excellent restaurants with food from around the globe showcase awardwinning chefs. As evening comes, the town’s vibrant night time culture springs to life with traditional pubs, cool bars, dance clubs and live music venues. Join us on Sunday 3rd December to light up Leamington at our spectacular Lantern Parade. There will be the Yuletide Market, children’s rides, real reindeer and thousands of colourful handmade lanterns lighting up the town centre! And on Sunday 10th December come and cheer on thousands of Santas during the fabulous Santa Dash in aid of Myton Hospice. To top it off, this stunning Regency town which boasts fabulous Christmas lights, beautiful buildings and tree-lined avenues, is right here on your doorstep! Just 25 min from Stratford or Coventry you will find easy all day parking in the Covent Garden multistorey (CV32 5QB) for £3. You can also enjoy Sunday Markets and Late Night Shopping on Thursdays with free parking in the Royal Priors after 5pm.

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A round up of our favourite beverages to compliment a dinner party or Christmas meal and create a harmonious symphony of flavours! If you haven’t the first clue about selecting wine to impress your guests – this is the article for you. Our list of festive favourites will have you feeling like a true wine connoisseur.

Sparkling The Co-operative Les Pionniers Champagne NV Pop the cork and celebrate with this inexpensive, delicious champagne. A fantastic blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay, this popular bottle is excellent value for money. Balancing a sharp acidity with fantastic fizziness, this award-winning champagne has been placed amongst high-end bottles costing up to 23 times as much. Available from The Co-Operative, £16.99. RL Legras Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru Chouilly This citrusy, pristine fizz holds a fresh flavour with a zesty finish. The fruit used is sourced from the village of Chouilly, an area recognised for its outstanding standards. The cru-rated village is renowned for its excellent quality produce, which is reflected in the delicious brut. Available online from Lea & Sandeman, £28.50.

Red Château Cantin Saint-Émilion Grand Cru This plush French wine is textured with dark berry and rich cedar flavours. Working beautifully alongside beef, this Saint-Émilion is guaranteed to please your dinner guests. Available online from Waitrose Cellar, £25.99. Domaine de Lavail Vieilles Vignes Carignan A reasonably priced red that blends cinnamon spice with delicious fruity tones to create a luscious flavour that will work wonders with a meaty centrepiece. The natural, complex and full-bodied flavour of the wine will bring out the spices of your dish and sweeten the overall taste. Available from M&S online as a case of 6, £60.00.

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White Magnum of Soave Garganega, Filipi, Veneto A delicious, fresh and natural Soave originating in Italy, matured for several months. This wine works well alongside glazed ham (as recommended in the Alternative Christmas Dinner feature), and will cut through the saltiness of the joint. With an aroma of fruits and slightly earthy notes, this wine will beautifully complement your Christmas cuisine. Available online from Buon Vino, £14.95. López de Heredia Viña Gravonia Blanco, Rioja Golden in colour, this wine combines flavours of pear, honey, lemon thyme and macadamia nuts. The sweetness of he honey balances beautifully with the fruity undertones, creating a perfect wine to sip alongside a hearty Christmas dinner. The wine is made traditionally via long oak and bottle ageing in the region famous for its good quality dry whites. Available online from The Wine Society, £12.95.

Sweet Dessert Semillon Riverina GI From Australia’s Riverina district, this elegant dessert wine combines a sweet honey flavour with citrus, peach and apricot aromas. A beautiful match with blue cheese, this Tesco finest dessert wine has a deep amber colour and pronounced, full-bodied palate. The perfect beverage to accompany a Christmas cheese board. Available online from Tesco, £6. La Magendia Lapeyre Jurançon This French Jurançon is fermented in oak barells, giving it a strong flavour created by fruits, spices and vanilla. Set off against added woody nuances, the citrus note wonderfully lingers in the palate. Ideal to be paired with a range of cheeses for an after dinner sip. Available from Selfridges, £12.99.

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Brandwood Clinic Changing Lives Every Day: Sam’s Story Director of Cornfield Publishing, Sam Fraser, is undergoing Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) with Brandwood Clinic at their clinic in Monkspath. After many years of feeling self-conscious and embarrassed about his hair loss, Sam will complete a three-stage process that aims to rejuvenate his natural hairline and in turn, enhance his overall confidence.

Brandwood Clinic’s director-practitioners Paul Clark and Simon Lane are

The treatment Sam is receiving will reverse any visible signs of baldness,

two of the most experienced and highly regarded SMP specialists in the

thinning hair and hair loss. Sam’s hair is currently cut to a close shave,

world. The two experts created many of the techniques in popular use and

and is therefore at an ideal length for the treatment he will receive.

developed the most natural approach to replicating realistic-looking hair

Pictured below are images of Sam prior to the treatment, and here at

follicles. Paul and Simon ensure clients’ hair is matched and blended

Cornfield Magazine we will follow the

to create natural and realistic outcomes. As innovators and artists,

treatment as part of a three-part series,

Brandwood Clinic’s trained practitioners produce effective hairlines using

documenting the significant changes to

a natural organic pigment to perfectly replicate a hair follicle at its

Sam’s appearance and personal confidence

shortest length.

throughout the process.

Consultation stage: Sam’s Words From an early age, I have experienced significant hair loss. While this no longer affects my self-confidence as much as it used to, the opportunity to receive Scalp Micropigmentation is something I would not miss, as I find the results groundbreaking. Only recently, I came across an image of myself aged 18, with a full head of hair, and noticed how different my hairline now is, after experiencing hair loss. In my 20s, when I first started noticing signs of hair loss, I decided to shave my hair completely. Since then, my hair has never fully grown back. Hair loss can be a sign of aging, and due to the close shave I have, my hair often appears thinner than I would prefer. When I first discovered the incredible treatments available at Brandwood Clinic, I was compelled to arrange a consultation. A friend recommended the clinic to me after a conversation discussing the negative effects of hair loss on my overall self-confidence. After reading the online testimonials, that all suggested Brandwood delivered personal, considered consultations, I immediately arranged a consultation. I found that during my consultation, the practitioners took the time required to consider the best possible treatment for my condition. Paul and Simon were

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extremely professional and offered expert advice in order to find the most suitable treatment to match my personal requirements. Paul and Simon were extremely professional and offered expert advice in order to find the most suitable treatment to match my personal requirements. The realistic outcome of the treatments shown in the online testimonials is something that initially drew me to the clinic. I didn’t want my transformation to look unconvincing, and because of the exceptional results shown online, I felt that the process would look very natural. I hope the SMP treatment will significantly improve the aesthetic appearance of my hairline. I look forward to the three-step process, and am very happy to be left in the capable hands of the people, who are at the very top of their field.

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Stage one: After my first round of treatment at Brandwood, I have noticed a significant improvement in the appearance of my hair and hairline. Although I personally am able to spot a considerable change, my colleagues, friends and family have only mentioned my hair, once it has been Before/after thinning hair/alopecia pointed out to them. This, for me, proves the treatment does look completely natural. I received a feathered hairline – one of the latest hairlines that Paul and Simon have created. As this hairline is totally exclusive to Brandwood Clinic, only the most skilled practitioners can create this look, which gave me complete confidence during the long procedure. Although the treatment does take several hours, it already seems very much worth the wait. The fact that the practitioners take the time to complete the treatment intricately and carefully is very reassuring. I have heard horror stories of men that have visited clinics they’ve found online, only to end up with unrealistic and ‘tattoo-looking’ hairlines. After my first round of treatment, this is not the case for me at all. The result so far is very subtle, and gives my thinning hair a much fuller appearance. I hope, by the end of the treatment, the result will have a noticeable affect on my confidence and in turn, my lifestyle. I already feel less self-conscious about my hairline than before, after only the first step of the process! Readers are able to follow Sam’s journey in Cornfield Magazine’s next issue, which will review the complete process of the treatment following the initial consultation.

SMP Solutions Scalp Micropigmentation is becoming an increasingly popular means of addressing hair loss for both men and women. The procedure replicates hair follicles at their shortest length and can either enhance your existing look or create a fresh appearance of closely-cut hair. Whether it’s a receding hairline, diffuse weakening of the hair on the crown, Alopecia Areata or total baldness; there is an SMP procedure and hairline choice to create your desired outcome. SMP works for any man experiencing hair loss, regardless of age or ethnicity. A non-invasive process, SMP rejuvenates both hairlines and clients, reversing the effects that baldness and thinning hair can have upon an individual’s self-confidence. Amongst their treatments are many exclusives, so advanced that they are difficult for other practitioners to copy. The combination of experience, artistic ability and skill allows Paul & Simon to deliver authentic-looking techniques, such as the 3D Scatter Technique. This development alone, with its textured effect and unparalleled realism, revolutionised SMP treatments.

Other Treatments Medical Micropigmentation For nipple and areola re-pigmentation, pigment enhancement, burns and scars and Vitiligo, Medical Micropigmentation aims to restore aesthetic appearance and significantly enhance the confidence of clients. Areola Breast Micropigmentation Cosmetic Breast Surgery Scars Lumpectomy Scars Aesthetic Appearance Scar Camouflage & Camouflage Re-pigmentation Health Screening Brandwood offers many medical tests, including those not routinely available under the NHS. These include, but are not limited to: Group B Strep Screening (Gold Standard) Food Intolerance Testing Young adult health screens And many others under the supervision of our Medical Director, Richard Jay. 0121 296 9280

Adding this to the numerous hairlines pioneered by Paul & Simon puts Brandwood Clinic in pole position amongst Scalp Micropigmentation providers. Clients travel from all over the world to consult them and you’re fortunate enough to have them on your doorstep. From October to December the clinic is offering up to £500 off a full SMP treatment including their unique two-year guarantee. Call now for a free consultation: 0121 296 9280.

0121 296 9280 | | Brandwood Clinic Limited, Shelly House, Farmhouse Way, Monkspath, Solihull B90 4EH Cornfield Magazine | 19

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The perfect gift for him

this Christmas. Lead by CEO and founder Rob Hallmark, Gruhme delivers exceptional products as pioneers in the men’s grooming industry. The passion-led brand brings personal drive and creativity to their products, offering an alternative to mainstream designer male fragrances. Gruhme’s men’s care range is designed and made in the UK and free from animal testing and allergens, making the products a prime example of exemplary British manufacturing. Gruhme Original Fragrance Eau De Toilette For Him With sensual aromatic and woody notes, this fragrance combines fruity scents with a base of oakwood and amber. Infused with Petitgrain oil sourced from the leaves of orange plants, Gruhme Original is a completely unique fragrance. The Petitgrain extract is believed to calm and soothe the mind – making Gruhme Original the perfect scent to encourage relaxation. Available as a gift set, the presentation box includes a 100ml bottle of the carefully created masculine aroma – the ideal gift for your loved one this Christmas.

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Cozmo, £199.99 Charming and mischievous, Cozmo is a reallife robot, designed with fun and friendship in mind. Paired with a free-to-download app, Cozmo constantly introduces new ways to play. With facial expressions, a host of emotions and his own emotive language, Cozmo is the perfect hi-tech gift for your little ones this Christmas.

Overdrive: Fast & Furious Edition, £169.99 Two highly detailed robotic Supercars, based on the highoctane vehicles found in the Fast & Furious films, are armed with unique weapons, upgrades, sound effects and controls. Within the game, players will battle alongside and against mainstay characters including Dom, Hobbs, Letty, and Tej. Movie moments will come to life as players battle the Toretto crew, or race against friends and family members. The game will require a separate, free-todownload Anki OVERDRIVE: Fast & Furious Edition app, and compatible device.

Top 5

Christmas Toys 2016 Beat the last-minute rush and check out our round-up of incredible gifts for the family to enjoy this Christmas. Our top picks are guaranteed to make your Christmas memorable, and provide endless amounts of entertainment.

Furby Connect, £34.99 The 90s classic has undergone a 21st century re-vamp! Furby Connect is now paired with the Furby Connect World app, and will light up via its antenna when there’s something new to discover! Furby Connect friends have colourful eyes that display more than 150 animations to help to express what Furby wants. Watch videos, listen to music, feed your Furby friend with the app and raise virtual Furblings. Available in a variety of bright colours, including teal and coral.

VTech Kidi Super Star, £49.99 Sing along to your favourite tracks this Christmas. With built-in microphone effects, you can alter the sound of your voice and even add in different sound effects! The VTech Kidi Super Star includes an mp3 and 3.5mm jack iPod connection, which allows you to plug in to your device and sing along to your favourite tunes. The impressive interactive features include rhythmic games and tongue twisters, which aim to improve musical co-ordination, and a built-in colourful disco light that creates the perfect atmosphere to dance!

LEGO Winter Holiday Train, £74.99 This charming set features a train, boarding platform, five minifigures along with Christmas essentials for some festive LEGO building fun. With an upgradable locomotive, the whole family can enjoy building this merry model with a motorised engine.

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Find Your

Perfect Winter Coat


The time is upon us to make that all-important investment of a winter coat to see us through the colder


months. Although we would love to only have to wear winter essentials for a short time, in reality, we Brits have to accept that our winter coat purchase will more


than likely not be tucked back into the closet until early March. This only makes the decision for your winter fashion all the more important. We’ve rounded up our favourite items ready to buy on the high street.

AW17 Coats for Him Top designers played with fabrics in this year’s aw17 collections for men. From parkas to duffels, topcoats to trenches and camel to dogtooth, this winter offers cutting-edge outer layers for all styles. 1. HAMMOND & CO Duffle Coat £150

07 01

2. M&S Faux-fur Lined Parka £129


3. HUGO BOSS Slim-fit Coat in a Wool Blend £530 4. BURBERRY The Wiltshire Long Heritage Trench Coat £1,295 5. YMC Factory Floor £450 6. MANGO Quilted Navy £169.99 7. ALBAM CLOTHING Cold Weather Parka £299

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AW17 Coats for Her


The AW17 collections for women saw designers sticking to the classics (trenches, faux fur and shearling), sticking with modern hits (the puffer), reinventing the practical (ski chic jackets) and experimenting with the 70s (vinyl). Here are our top picks inspired by the icons of the catwalk. 1. NILI LOTAN Sedella Faux Fur Jacket £1,500 2. MANGO Lapels Faux Fur Coat £199.99

03 04

3. MONKI Faux Shearling Coat £65 4. WHISTLES Iva Casual Puffer Jacket £149 5. UNIQLO Ultra Light Down Stretch Hooded Coat £89.90 6. HOBBS Saskia Trench £199

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The Midland

Hand Clinic

What have the Vikings ever done for us? They gave us Dupuytren's disease! This benign disease of the hand and digit causing your finger to bend down towards the palm was first identified by Barron Dupuytren a French anatomist and Military surgeon. It tends to occur in males and has a strong genetic predisposition those of Scandinavian or Northern European descent. If you keep poking your eye or having trouble getting your fingers in your gloves or pockets, come and enquire about our minimally invasive treatment options with injections, which have a proven record of rapid rehabilitation and early return to work, with high patient satisfaction.

Put Your Hands

In Our Hands Arthritis, including minimally invasive key hole to knuckles, thumb, wrist and elbow nerve injury including carpal tunnel Sports injury including fractures and ligament injuries Tennis related injuries including tennis elbow Golf related injuries including golfers’ elbow Finger contractures including Dupuytren’s disease Practice Base Address: Solihull Parkway Hospital Catchment area: Solihull, Central Birmingham, Sutton, Warwick and Worcester

Hand Clinic PA: Alison James Email: Call: 0121 364 1600 or 07830 774 476 All patients welcome whether you have private medical insurance or you are self-paying Midland Hand Clinic lead by Mr G Shyamalan FRCS NHS consultant hand surgeon.

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A M Y H I C K E Y ’ S M O N T H LY B E A U T Y T I P S

Don't let the fireworks

uo t spar kle you

Below are my top products to make you shine this month!

1 2 3

Desert Dusk Palette Encapsulating the shimmering dunes and iridescent, shade-shifting light of a desert at dusk, the 18 subtle sandy nudes, vibrant ochres and glimmering metallic hues are utterly hypnotic. With eight mattes, six pressed pearls, three duo-chrome toppers and one pure glitter (specifically designed to complement each other) you won’t know which to try first. Too Faced Glitter Palette Step into your own glitter lab and experience an explosion of creativity with 8 sparkly prismatic Glitter bomb shades. Use the white and black matte basses to brighten or intensify the glitters or apply wet. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick I call this radiance in a pot... With various complimentary colours you can find a perfect match whatever your skin tone.


Baked to Last Blusher - Body Shop Swirl on our slow-baked high intensity blusher for great colour pay off. With two complementary shades to choose from, you can add a pop of pretty pink under the cheekbones and a subtle touch of shimmering orange to highlight the cheekbones for sculpted perfection.


Mac Dazzleglass Large particle pearls reflect and refract light to mimic the brilliance of quartz and opal crystals. Glides on with a non sticky, non tacky, lightweight and moisturising feel.


Glitter Lips The innovative product will revolutionise lip colour as you know it. With amazing staying power-you'll be bowled over by its colour, shine and durability.

T: 07733 237 767

Twitter: @amy_hickey

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Christmas Gift Guide The Cornfield

Need inspiration for your loved ones this Christmas? Then look no further – our Gift Guide features perfect hand-picked products that will make your Christmas wish list sparkle.

HydraReplenishing Lotion Esthederm Feel Unique £18.00

Arcade Large Cuff Silver Finish Les Georgettes £99.00

'Kane' Brown Croc Leather Chronograph Watch

Card Holder

Tommy Hilfiger £199.00

Jack Russell £160.00

Westlab Relaxing Dead Sea Salt Scrub Boots £18.45

Two Arch Forest Green Tassel Earring Wolf & Moon £84.00

Leather Belt With Clearly Visible Grain Purifying Facial Ritual Travel Set Urban Veda £11.99

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Antony Morato £50.00

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Intensive Retinol Serum Esthederm Feel Unique £43.00

Leather Satchel Lipault £149.00

Scratch and Sniff Wine Book The Present Finder £15.99

Gentlemen’s Hardware Hardware Flight Ready Kit Wild & Wolf £16.00

Edwin Jagger 3 Piece Shaving Set Ivory Colour Annabel James £77.00

Vince Camuto Homme Gift Set House of Fraser/Debenhams £55.00

The Edinburgh Gin Christmas Calendar

Prosecco Pong The Present Finder £14.99

Somerville Mole Cashmere Beanie Cotswold Trading £80.00

John Lewis £100

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Eaton Fine Art Mother and daughter team Carole and Karen Blondel are at the heart of Eaton Fine Art, bringing their passion for modern and contemporary art and artists to the Solihull Fine Art sector and the wider market. Carole and Karen are dedicated to bringing some of the best artworks into new and established collections around the area, and beyond. As part of the local community, Carole and Karen have an expert understanding of what the discerning art buyer is looking for, and over the years have earned a formidable reputation for delivering exceptional customer service and exceeding clients’ expectations. The pair recognised a gap in the market, and have been deliberate in creating Eaton’s brand to exude British style. The company’s crest features a pattern derived from a common feature of jewelled artefacts discovered within the Staffordshire Hoard – some of the earliest and finest examples of Anglo-Saxon artistry and craftsmanship. Eaton’s reference to this art through its branding reflects the essential spirit of British art that has long been upheld. In a wonderful fusion between ancient art and modern art, Eaton Fine Art celebrates the continuation of the British ‘quality-oriented theme’ that its ethos still retains.

provide bespoke pieces from established, new, local, and internationally renowned artists. Based in Touchwood, Solihull, Eaton Fine Art has connections with an extensive list of artists, and offers corporate or private hiring opportunities, artist commissions and hosts exclusive live artist events. 0121 704 9248

Carole and Karen pride themselves on providing friendly, expert customer service, and are able to

JJ Adams Eaton Fine Art is proud to exhibit bespoke and commissioned pieces created by internationally-renowned mixed-media artist JJ Adams. Having had work featured in the likes of Vogue and GQ magazines, JJ Adams is one of the most celebrated and talked-about collectible contemporary artists. JJ has collaborated with incredible creative professionals and celebrities, having completed projects with Rolls Royce, Bang & Olufsen and one of his personal heroes Guns N’ Roses Slash. His new collection features brand new subject matter, consistent with his instantly recognisable style. Limited edition artist proofs and embellished original pieces from the new collection are available exclusively through Eaton Fine Art.

Your work focuses particularly popular culture, especially the tattoo series us here at Cornfield Publishing really love. What messages do you think your art portrays? I think firstly my work is a way to introduce people to art who otherwise wouldn’t buy art; my work can also be viewed as relatively self-explanatory. I tend to see more and more people that like and enjoy that about it, but it also has a deeper message. I am a firm believer in ‘you should buy it if you like it’. Tattoo’s themselves are so relevant to popular culture, which in-turn spans across demographics and generations alike. The ability to create artworks based on combining icons with the kind of tattoos that I think would suit them, gives me great pleasure. It’s exploited further when clients and collectors decide they also like them enough to spend their hard-earned money in having a piece on their wall at home. It’s always humbling for me and I’m always hugely grateful for the collector base that has grown over the years for their continued support of my work.

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Have Andy Warhol’s career, and the Pop art movement as a whole, had an influence your work? Absolutely, Pop art is a huge inspiration. With the growth in the art market of more digital-based artists as well, I think the ability for artists like myself to take inspiration from the likes of Warhol, Lichtenstein and Banksy, (to name but a few), and have no restrictions in creating something unique or original with that inspiration/idea is at the very foundation of what I do. I can be just as easily influenced by the jingle of an advert on TV or a nostalgic memory from my own past and childhood, be it films, TV shows or even games and toys.

There’s an element of ‘off-beat’ humour to your work. Do you think the impact of your work lies in the comical aspects and ‘unexpectedness’ of the pieces? Absolutely, art can be too serious sometimes - after all it’s supposed to be about creativity and expression and sometimes we can get lost trying too hard to convey a message. I was the class clown and I express that in my work to this day. Where do you come up with the ideas for your work? With thanks to my publishers, I always have a pretty hectic schedule, so am in London quite a lot but also visit various towns and cities (galleries) all over the UK. I can easily by influenced by what

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different regions hold dear as their own popular culture. My studio is my own little place of selfindulgence, be it working around high-powered computer hardware and high definition screens or my artist easels & spray paints, being able to kick back sometimes with some Pink Floyd plying loudly, I’ll always find some degree of inspiration to play with. I have kids as well so they are always a good resource for unexpected ideas! The commissions you’ve created are fantastic, particularly the project for Slash from Guns n’ Roses. How does it feel to have one of your icons respond to your work in this way and commission bespoke pieces? It blew me away, I remember holding my own copy of the LP of Appetite for Destruction back in the 80’s and admiring the artwork on it that Slash had drawn. Who would have thought one day Slash would like my artwork, it really blows my mind. Can you tell us a little about your creative process? Well that is a difficult one. It varies every time but usually if an idea or something seems impossible to do, then I want to make it happen even more and I will start by creating a loose collage and work from that. I use everything from acrylics to spray cans to my computer; whatever it takes. One of the greatest things about being a true ‘multi-media’ artist is being able to pull together various resources to define my interpretation of an idea or a particular theme/subject. The ability of exploiting various mediums is that I’m always able to evolve an idea with far fewer restrictions than others might face. You’ve been a part of some brilliant collaborative projects. What’s your favourite thing about working with other artists and creatives? Seeing how another artist would interpret my work or being able to take something someone else has done and put my own spin on it. I like a challenge and I usually work alone so collaborations are a

great way to get out of the studio and be creative with another creative mind. I’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with other artists, but also with other brands, and that can be quite interesting. A project I did last year working with Bang & Olufsen was great fun. How would you describe your artwork to those who might not have discovered it before? That’s a tricky one. If someone asks what I do for a living, I usually just tell him or her I am a graphic designer to avoid having to describe my artwork, as I find it hard to explain my style. I guess Pop art with a hint of tattoo art and a dash of graffiti? I try to be careful not to give myself any sort of label as many artists have suffered with their own stereotyping in the past. I think that in order for me to continue to flourish and be creative in general, I prefer to just see where things take their natural course. I’ve attended so many events and exhibitions and heard so many different takes on what I do, I probably enjoy more hearing the public’s reaction and descriptions than trying to explain them myself. You were a tattoo apprentice before you became an artist. When did you make the transition from tattooing to creating largescale artworks? That is a long story! It was a good few years ago, I gave up on becoming a tattooist in 2000 mainly due to the competition and also a lack of confidence, I moved into sign making and graphic design but it was when I was messing around with tattoo art a few years later that I merged the two. I think it was 2007 when I really started pushing my large-scale artwork.

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Game of Thrones:

Filming Locations Words by Evie Kissack

As a self-confessed Game of Thrones rookie, I have never quite managed to fall completely in love with the far-fetched fictional plot. After several attempts to get into the popular HBO sensation, I found myself seven series behind dedicated GoT fans - almost losing all desire to catch up and become a fulltime binge-watcher (despite my admiration for Sean Bean’s lovely Yorkshire accent). Something, however, that consistently caught my eye, was the beauty of the cinematography and landscapes acting as the backdrop to the mythical plot. For readers who, like me, don’t follow the plot extensively, GoT is based on a series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin and involves vast amounts of violence, an extensive cast list and a lot of quests to conquer fictional lands. The series is told from different characters’ perspectives, following several principal storylines simultaneously in various plot arcs. Without delving too deeply into the complex storyline that unfolds over seven complicated series, this article looks at the jaw-dropping natural landscapes used for the on-location filming. The fictional lands Westeros and Essos in GoT are both created through a blend of on-location shooting and CGI. Northern Ireland, with its striking coastlines and beautiful open landscapes, has served as one of the main filming locations throughout the series. The filming of Winterfell and the North is predominantly shot in areas including Carncastke, Castle Ward, Tollymore and Forest Park. Initially, Doune Castle in Scotland was used for on-location filming in the first season; however, the directors chose to stick to the Titanic Studios in Belfast and the natural rugged valleys of the land of Guinness as the backdrop for the following series. Tours beginning at Castle Ward, a National Trust property, allows fans of the series to see the famous beech tree-lined road named Dark Hedges in Ballymoney.

The crew shot scenes in Thingvellir National Park to portray the fictional areas of the Riverlands and the Vale of Arryan. Iceland’s stunning natural landscapes perfectly captured the otherworldly settings of the plot - especially the breathtaking glacier Vatnajokull and Lake Myvatn. Several locations in Morocco were used for the filming of Slaver’s Bay and the Free Cities, such as the historical port city of Essaouira, where the stunning architecture and coastal backdrop created impressive-looking scenes. The Spanish cities of Girona and Almeria were used to film scenes taking place in Dorne, the Reach, Dothraki Sea and Quarth. Mainly covering the sixth season, various towns and Spanish cities have been used for location filming. Malta and Croatia have also played a huge part in the filming of the series to date. The historical city of Dubrovnik doubles as the setting for many market scenes and several iconic shots in the fictional King’s Landing. A labyrinth of cobbled streets with buildings dating back to the 16th century, it’s not hard to see why this medieval-looking location was chosen to shoot scenes for the actionpacked series.

Finding a location to shoot the freezing wastelands scattered throughout the GoT plot was of vital importance during the making of the seven seasons. In the first season, the crew largely relied on fake snow and CGI to create the appearance of frozen climates. Yet, scouting Iceland as a filming spot gave the following series a more realistic and plausible realisation of the script.

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Mind-Blowing Game of Thrones Facts Only a Superfan Would Know


Northern Irish rare pigs were saved by the series. Kenny Gracey, farmer of Forthill Farm in County Armagh, has revealed that the GoT series’ demand for rare Iron Age pigs has saved his business. Gracey’s traditional breeds of pig were frequently used during the filming of GoT as they fit with the medieval setting of the plot.


Kit Harrington was forced to hide during filming. Actor Kit Harrington, (who plays Jon Snow), was made to hide underneath a large umbrella whilst the crew filmed series seven to avoid paparazzi and on-looking fans.


The GoT disease ‘Greyscale’ was based on a real-life illness. Author of the GoT novels, George R. R. Martin, is rumoured to have based the fictional fatal disease ‘Greyscale’ on leprosy. In the series, Greyscale leaves any characters unlucky enough to contract the disease with horrific scales.


A new species has been named after a GoT character. In 2013, researchers discovered a new species of sea slug native to Brasil, and found a resemblance between GoT character Daenerys Targaryen’s long hair and the sea slug’s fronds. The

GoT character, known as ‘the Khaleesi’, and played by Emilia Clarke, became enshrined in the scientific world as the new species was named ‘Tritonia khaleesi’.


Classified GoT scripts were allegedly stolen from novelist George R. R. Martin. In 2011, Martin posted on his personal blog stating that several scripts that had been posted to him by the writers of the series had allegedly been stolen. The scripts are yet to be found.


Two GoT actresses have matching tattoos. Maisie Williams (Arya) and Sophie Turner (Sansa) have matching tattoos of the date ’07.08.09’ – the day they both found out they had been cast as the Stark sisters.


GoT is the most pirated series in the world. According to one website, more people are illegally downloading GoT than any other show in the world, with downloads of one episode hitting almost 4, 280, 000 times.


There’s a whopping 150, 966 onscreen deaths. One fan of the fantasy series created a YouTube video comprised of every GoT death

throughout the seven seasons. A record of 150, 966 deaths (including animals) have been shown on-screen to date.


Actress Sophie Turner adopted her on-screen pet. Lady the direwolf was adopted by her onscreen owner in real life after her fictional death. The dog, called Zunni, became part of the Turner family back in 2013, and lives with actress Sophie Turner at her family home.


Harvard University offer a GoT-inspired course. One Harvard professor has explained the reason behind the course entitled ‘The Real Game of Thrones: From Modern Myths to Medieval Models’ as being a way to engage students with medieval history.


Animal Rights group PETA has protested GoT costumes. Costume designer Michele Claption has revealed that some of the capes worn by men of the Night’s Watch in one season were actually IKEA rugs. Following complaints by animal rights group PETA regarding unethical ‘real fur’ costumes; the show began usingfaux fur as much as possible.

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We Wish You a

Debt-Free Christmas,

and a Happy New Year!

It’s extremely easy to get carried away at Christmas and be pulled into the routine of spending as much as possible, forgetting that December’s paycheck has to be stretched much further than other months. Here’s some of our advice for making minimal dents to your budget this December, and making Christmas shopping (slightly) less stressful… Time One of biggest factors that leads to overspending at Christmas is undoubtedly last minute buying. We can all admit to leaving Christmas shopping to the final hour, and more often than not have found ourselves in an endless queue at Debenhams on Christmas Eve. Saving yourself enough time to buy your gifts before the high street madness will ensure you space out your purchases, resulting in a happier wallet and calmer temperament. Consider the gifts you want to buy now to avoid hectic spending and panic-buys. Use money comparison websites and plan where to shop. For the spontaneous people amongst our readers, this might seem like a thoroughly dull exercise. However, comparing prices before you buy actually saves time in the long run, and of course allows you to stretch your budget further. Take the time to find out which shops are offering the best deals whilst you have the time – it’s worth it for your bank balance and sanity! Buying festive items early spreads out your costs – meaning a huge chunk of money will (hopefully) not suddenly disappear from your account the week before Christmas.

Get Creative It’s very easy to splash out on decorations for Christmas. But, spending too much on these unnecessary items can easily push your bank balance over the edge it may already be teetering on this December. Replace plain, plastic baubles with festive homemade crafts for a personal touch. Making your own Christmas decorations with the family is an easy way to avoid unneeded costs! After all, sprigs of holly sprayed silver and covered in glitter have a certain ‘charm’ that you just can’t get in Harvey Nichols’ home section. Homemade decorations will have more personality than any branded ones could ever muster, and guarantee a unique, original and individual tree.

Budget The most vital part of managing excessive Christmas spending is creating a realistic budget. Break down your estimated costs for various expenditures, taking into account how much you can afford to spend in order to be comfortable in January. Keep in mind your goals and resolutions for 2018 – you can’t keep fit and join a new gym if the money isn’t there! Several apps are available to download, designed to help you easily manage your finances. Set spending limits, and stick to them! Forward planning is the way to go this December.

Pay Upfront Avoid borrowing and loaning and pay upfront! The biggest rule to avoid post-Christmas debt is to not spend money you don’t have. Contactless payments may be the future, but often these payments aren’t withdrawn from accounts until several days after a purchase. This means you might be lured into a false sense of security with how much disposable cash you actually have. Remember that Christmas is a time to celebrate with friends, family and loved ones. Don’t let the overwhelming pressure to spend cloud your better judgment. Be free from debt this Christmas – and make it magical!

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Propped-up shovels, bags of compost, a scattered assortment of tools, broken brushes and rakes, spare garden furniture that has never been used – sound familiar? If you find your garden shed has become a tiny warehouse of useless garden utensils and cluttered chaos, you’re not alone. Our simple storage ideas will give your messy garden shed an innovative makeover. No need to splash the cash for a state-of-the-art garden storage facility! You can transform your shed into a haven of organised bliss, using unique upcycled materials. Firstly, throw out any broken rakes, tools and unused garden furniture! The time has come to let go. When you are free of clutter, sweep the floor and dust away cobwebs to create a clean, dry space ready to be revamped! If you want to give the wooden walls a lick of fresh paint, now is the time. Pastel colours and neutrals work well to brighten up small spaces. Hanging storage! Attach an old coat hanger rack to the wall of your shed, polishing metal or re-varnishing wood before securing it in place, for an original way to store your tools. Tie string around the handles of spades, trowels, and sweeping brushes so that you are able to hang tools from the coat hanger hooks easily. For a shabby-chic way to display indoor plants, use upcycled tin cans as kooky plant pots. Rinse out the cans, removing labels and ensuring the metal is completely clean. Use bits of leftover material or hessian to tie around the can, and secure with glue dots or a glue gun. Add other flourishes, such as string or ribbon, for additional flair. Finally, add your plants to your new hanging pots, filling with soil or compost as needed. Using funnels, preferably metal, place balls of wound string in the top and feed through the narrow end. An easy DIY method to avoid tangled string and make unwinding a quick and easy job!

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Seed storage Use old spice containers, labelled with the name of the seed, to store your harvested seeds. The secure cap and glass ensures your seeds will be kept dry during the winter months. As they are portable and have an easy dispensing mechanism, spice containers make perfect seed storage pots, reducing the fuss of packets that can often become damaged or tear in the wetter weather. Alternatively, use a labelled pillbox, as a compact and efficient method of storing seeds. If you have pre-bought seed packets and want an easy way to store them, hang up strips of ribbon from the wall, and use pegs to organise and fix individual packets in a precise and eye-catching way. Make use of spare space Hang up floating shelves, using old clear jam jars as a way to store spare nails, screws, nuts and bolts. The transparency of the glass means you are able to see the different shapes and sizes before you start rummaging around aimlessly! Use an old teapot to plant flowers in, as an alternative to an ordinary hanging basket! If you have room, use an old chest of drawers painted in a block colour as a way to organise larger tools such as drills and hammers.

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Fill your winter garden with scent, colour and silhouette! Don’t let the garden go bare and dormant over the colder months. These winter-flowering plants will brighten up your pots and borders. Heather: Winter-flowering Heather is a brilliant plant for low growing texture. It comes with pink, white and purple flowers. Pansies: Winter-flowering Pansies are a gardeners staple-ideal for filling pots and window boxes for a flash of colour. Snowdrops: Snowdrops can be one of the first flowers to open in the new year and grow happily under trees and shrubs. Look for Galanthus nivalis for a woodland style. Daffodils: Some daffodils come up so early they can bloom in winter! Look out for Narcissus Rijnveld,s 'Early Sensation’ from January onwards, and 'February Gold’ that flowers slightly after. Even more winter garden colour ideas! Evergreens don’t have to be green! Look for unusual leaf colour like Blue Spruce, Juniper Blue Star or Yellow and Gold conifers. Ornamental cabbages look great in containers while Photinia Euonymous light up borders. You can also try berrying shrubs like, Holly, Cotoneaster and Pyracantha.

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Design Project by

John Lewis: AW17 We believe a beautiful home enhances your life. That’s why design is at the heart of everything we do. Discover the latest additions to the exclusive Design Project collection of original, progressive and beautiful pieces for the contemporary home.

Design Project No138 Pleated vase in grey £35, No138 pleated wide burgundy vase £25

Design Project No045 wall light £60

Design Project No49 double bedstead £699, No49 bedside table walnut £225, No24 Brick throw £65

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Design Project No104 Lazy Susan, £50, No098 tableware from £7, No18 tumbler £5

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Design Project No004 sideboard £999, No122 reclining chair & footstool £999, No130 rug £420

Design Project No002 sofa £1,399, No022 side table, £199, No111 rug £300

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CornďŹ eld






A monthly guide to the best homes

For Sale in your local area



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Free Valuation

Register With Us


Take advantage of a free no obligation valuation and our competitive selling fees and experience the difference for yourself.

Want to keep up to date with properties you might be interested in? Register with us to receive regular property updates.

We have a dedicated financial team to assist with any mortgage advice you may need.

Welcome to Darren Blower Estate Agents Darren Blower Estate Agents opened its doors in Alvechurch in 1996. We work hard to provide a community minded service, which values all our customers. We appreciate that selling, buying, letting and renting can be an extremely testing time, so we do everything we possibly can to provide a professional, honest and friendly service. The office is managed by Deborah Molesworth who has nearly 30 years’ experience in the financial and estate agency industry. Deborah is supported by staff with an exceptional local knowledge enabling them to offer a comprehensive and trustworthy service. Our philosophy is that we are passionate and dedicated to all aspects of property selling and letting. We ensure we have a thorough knowledge of our properties and go above and beyond to meet the needs of our customers, our testimonials say as much.

Bear Hill, Alvechurch - £325,000 NO UPWARD CHAIN - We are delighted to bring to the market this beautifully renovated, two bedroom, double fronted, end terrace cottage, situated in the heart of the village of Alvechurch. The property has been carefully refurbished to an extremely high standard offering a modern style within, whilst still retaining the character. The property comprises of: Sitting Room with feature fireplace and wood burning stove inset, extended Kitchen Diner with a range of matching wall and base units in a high gloss finish and complimented with a solid wood work surface, having integrated appliances and breakfast bar, There is a wood burning stove in the dining area and French doors lead out to the rear garden. A downstairs Bathroom with P-shaped bath and shower over with low flush WC and wash hand basin. Upstairs accommodation consists of a Master Bedroom with a feature fireplace and En-Suite shower room and a Double Bedroom with a feature fireplace. To the side of the property there is a driveway offering parking for two vehicles and to the rear, a garden. The property has double glazing throughout and gas central heating. The EPC rating E prior to improvements and we understand from the Vendor that the property is Freehold.

Our service includes: Competitive Fees

Access to our in House Operating system

We advertise on Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location, our own website, local papers and our facebook page

Regular Progress Chasing

Quality Brochures, including floor plans

Open 6 Days a week

Distinctive Boards

Tenant Find or Managed Service for Lettings

Accompanied Viewings


What Our Customers Say... Thank you so much for all your help, I could not have asked for better agents. You have helped me to get my life back on track and to secure my future – I will always be so grateful to you. I hope very much that you will do me the honour of being my Letting Agents as I would not want to ask anyone else – YOU ARE THE BEST!

24 Red Lion Street, Alvechurch, Worcs., B48 7LF - Tel: 0121 445 3636 Bromsgrove 01527 535212 | Redditch 01527 535211 | Wythall 01564 718480 |

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A Seasonal overview As remarked in a previous edition of this publication, we noted that historically the percentage of agreed sales that collapse amounts to around 33%. This figure remains a constant regardless of the locality, price levels and indeed any other factors. However, here at Charles Howell Estate Agents our ‘fall through’ rate is consistently below 10%, a figure we’re justly proud of. It can be devastating for sellers to secure a buyer and then identify their dream onward purchase for the chain to then collapse, incurring expense as well as being emotionally draining. How do we ensure that the minimum number of our agreed chains collapse? Firstly when we visit the house to agree a marketing strategy and price, we pay great attention to the property, its integrity and condition providing suggestions as to possible works that might be usefully addressed prior to the marketing campaign. This will hopefully reduce the likelihood of issues arising upon survey. Secondly, we ensure that we are fully briefed about the situation of the Clients and their particular circumstances from the outset. If our Clients are looking to move in a few months time and their would-be buyers need to take occupancy swiftly, clearly that’s a mismatch with the potential to at least be challenging to manage the transaction if not actually cause the chain to collapse. Thirdly, our staff see the transaction through in its entirety from the initial home visit and valuation, the marketing process, negotiating the sale and

CRUCIALLY seeking the agreed sale through to a successful conclusion. We are meticulous in quantifying and qualifying the ability of the buyer to purchase the property, checking their chain, funding and timeframe from the outset. It is the staff who are familiar with the house, clients and their circumstances who can trouble-shoot any issues that might arise in a timely manner and minimizing the probability that the chain collapses. One of our colleague agents in the village now runs their Barnt Green “sales chasing” operation from another location, meaning that the staff who are responsible for trouble shooting are disconnected from the clients, their property and indeed their situation. If selling your most prized and treasured possession, make sure that you entrust the sale of your home to an agent who will guarantee that continuity throughout the entirety of the process, our fall through rate suggests that our methods yield a better outcome!

Given we are both in the ‘older age’ bracket, we felt that what could have been a long, drawn out, experience became a journey where we were supported all the way through, making it so much less stressful than we perhaps anticipated. Mr & Mrs T – Bromsgrove

From the first phone call to booking a valuation, through to the valuation visit, through to the photographs the team were engaging and enthusiastic and professional. All viewings were handled with courtesy, professionalism and great communication especially at chasing and progressing our long and difficult chain I can’t thank them enough. We’ll never use another estate agent. Mr N - Alvechurch

Very helpful with immediate replies to phone calls and texts. Very good at chasing Vendor’s solicitors. Mrs E – Stoke Prior

May we take this opportunity of thanking all of the staff for their help & guidance. We would recommend Charles Howell Estate Agents to anyone who wants 'the best'. Mr & Mrs H - Blackwell

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0121 453 4344 Here at Wise Move we always go the extra mile so we have put a tailored package together just for you plus you will save hundreds of £££s at the same time. Full internet coverage including Rightmove and Zoopla Accompanied viewings 7 days a week 365 days a year Viewings available from 9am to 9pm No sale no fee No long contract tie in Feedback after every viewing Genuine buyers waiting High quality photographs Eye catching For Sale boards Full after sales service to get your property to completion with ease And to save you hundreds of £££s we will reduce our fee by 25% and if it’s not sold within 2 weeks we will reduce it by another 10% so give us a call on 0121-453-4344 and speak to a member of the team or you can pop into our Rubery branch for a chat.

Discounted fees when selling your property WE NEED PROPERTIES ON YOUR ROAD Our discounted fee does not mean a discounted service... Genuine buyers waiting Family run independent Estate Agent Full colour details Accompanied viewings available 7 days a week Accompanied viewings from 9am till 9pm Free professional photographs of your home No sale No fee Full after sales team

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Last month’s winner: Donna George from Solihull


In my imagination There is no complication I dream about you all the time In my mind, a celebration The sweetest of sensation Thinking you could be mine

1. In what 1984 film does `Gizmo` appear? 2. Which heavyweight boxer is nicknamed `The Real Deal`? 3. What is the largest planet in the Solar System? 4. In centimeters, what is the diameter of a standard CD? 12, 14 or 16? 5. In `The Lord Of The Rings`, what type of creature was Legolas? 6. In what year did the Great Fire of London occur? 7. Who sang `Just A Little Bit`, Britain`s entry to the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest? 8. Who had a hit album in 2002 called `One Love`? 9. In the famous Nintendo games, what is the name of Mario`s brother? 10. Who had a hit in 1997 with `Tubthumping`? Answers on page 54

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2017 SEAT Leon FR I’ve just spent seven days behind the wheel of the newest Leon – the three or five-door hatchback from Spanish automaker, SEAT. The contemporary model isn’t ground-breaking in looks – more progressive – and that is no bad thing. After all, why take a scalpel to an already fetching face? The Leon’s cousin is the VW Golf – and that, too, has been fine-tuned of late. The Spaniard is better looking than the German, but then beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. It’s less pricey to purchase, as well. I drove the FR Technology five-door variant, equipped with a 1.4 TSI 150 petrol unit.

than the preceding model’s. The touchscreen tablet-esque media system kicks most of the buttons that used to be in the Leon to the kerb. This tidies the instrument panel up no end. Regrettably, regularly having to hunt for a function on the touchscreen can prove a little disrupting at times.

What’s different? Well, the Leon’s lights and grille have been given a slightly sharper look, but you’d have to really squint to notice. Then the FR model has been given full LED headlights, and its twin tailpipes denote that it has more spirit than the Leon’s below it. The hatchback’s six-speed manual transmission is easy-going and meticulous in finding the correct gears. The steering is nicely responsive, too. Might stems from the 1.4 petrol turbo powerplant – a smart unit that locks off half the cylinders, which helps conserve fuel. The Leon, in FR guise, is not a hot-hatch, but it’s a warm hatchback, with zero to 62mph realisable in 8.0 seconds. Additionally, due to that cylinder shut-off ingenuity, you can squeeze 57.6mpg out of the tank.

The FR gets surplus kit packed into it as well, comprising: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; sat-nav; rear parking sensors; dual-zone climate control and cruise control. Furthermore, the boot is more than adequate, with a load capacity of 380 litres. It’s not the largest, but it equals the Golf’s – and it trounces the popular Ford Focus’ boot, which only offers 316 litres.

The Leon FR Technology’s strength is tallied with good handling, and the SEAT adheres to apexes like epoxy resin. This is due to the FR’s 17-inch alloys and dropped suspension. The only disadvantage is the hard ride, which is perceptible on pitted road surfaces. Luckily, well-padded seats help make up for the car’s rigidity, and they’re fantastic at keeping you supported when entering and exiting tight bends. The SEAT Leon’s cabin is well-judged, with ample room in the front and rear. Natty touches, for example: piano black trim, a touchscreen system and an electric handbrake, make the car’s interior feel chicer

So, yes, there is far more to the new SEAT Leon than its looks. It’s unquestionably less conformist than a Volkswagen Golf or a

By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Writer

FAST FACTS • Max speed: 134 mph • 0-62 mph: 8.0 secs • Combined mpg: 57.6 • Engine layout: 1395cc petrol turbo • Max. power (PS): 150 • CO2: 114 g/km • Price: £21,350 ubiquitous Ford Focus, and you happen to get a lot of motor for your money. Also, the 1.4 TSI 150 powerplant offers more ‘oomph’ than lesser petrol-propelled Leons. Plus, it’s quicker and less costly to buy than the 150ps diesel version.

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Welcome to Top Car Leasing Ltd Welcome to the Top Gear Leasing where you will find the most competitive rates for all your motoring needs. Use our easy to complete "Quote request" form on our website or phone or email us and we will quickly respond with the information you need. Top Gear Leasing Ltd supplies new cars and vans with a combination of keen prices and top quality service.

We specialise in contract hire, contract purchase sale and leaseback, finance lease and personal contract. You will find more information on these products in "What is Contract Hire" on our website We have low overheads and low prices as a result. We can offer all major makes and models of new cars available in the U.K and deliver to you anywhere in the U.K mainland. All cars have standard manufacturers' warranties and U.K specification. All our prices include delivery, road tax etc so there is nothing extra to pay.

SPECIAL OFFERS (See our website for more deals) Volvo S90 Diesel Saloon 2.0 D4 R DESIGN 4dr Geartronic Business Contract Hire Contract term: 18 months Rental profile: 6 + 17 Annual mileage: 10000 2 litre Diesel Automatic

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Mercedes-Benz C Class Saloon C200 SE 4dr

Mercedes-Benz C Class Coupe C200 Sport Premium 2dr 9G-Tronic

Audi A4 Saloon 1.4T FSI Sport 4dr

Business Contract Hire Contract term: 48 months Rental profile: 6 + 47 Annual mileage: 10000 2 litre Petrol Manual

Business Contract Hire Contract term: 48 months Rental profile: 6 + 47 Annual mileage: 10000 2 litre Petrol Automatic

Business Contract Hire Contract term: 24 months Rental profile: 6 + 23 Annual mileage: 10000 1.4 litre Petrol Manual

£206.75 £1,240.50 + VAT initial rental

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+ VAT monthly rental

Contact Hire and Leasing, Vehicle Sourcing and Disposal, All Types of Funding Solutions Tel: 01789 772211

Fax: 01789 491201



Top Car Leasing Ltd, Unit 5 Waterloo Park, Bidford-on-Avon, Warks. B50 4JH Company Registration Number: 8408557

VAT Number: 163191615 Cornfield Magazine | 53

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Quiz Answers.

1. Gremlins

2. Evander Holyfield

3. Jupiter

4. 12

5. Elf

6. 1666

7. Gina G

Kalah UK

Real World Training to Make Our Young Ones Safer Kalah UK schools combine techniques developed by three Israeli special-forces units to deliver training that helps students survive even the most brutal of attacks. Only Kalah UK schools train the Kalah System as developed by Idan Abolnik. Following the increasing levels of teen violence throughout the UK, Kalah have developed a specific training programme for older children, aiming to provide younger people the opportunity to develop proven real-world skills to combat violence. The programme at Kalah comprises of a full hand-to-hand combat syllabus and extensive training in knife defense techniques and strategies. The clubs doors are open to everyone, and classes are focused on delivering world-classs practical training to give students a real understanding of the threats they might face, and how to deal with them if they do arise. Combining physical training with methods to cope with the fear of violence. Our training stands out from other programmes in that it teaches children to face a new level of violence to enhance their safety and ability to deal with bullying. The Kids Anti-Bullying Campaign begins Wednesday 8th November at 7pm. Six-week programme costs ÂŁ37 plus booking fee. The Dolphin Centre School Drive Bromsgrove Worcestershire B60 1AY 01527 304005

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8. Blue

9. Luigi

10. Chumbawumba

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Ashes 2017 The battle for supremacy resumes by Alex Dudley

It happens every two years, but this year’s Ashes series between England and Australia looks to be the most intense and enthralling in recent times. Heading into the first test, both sides are very evenly matched The 70th Ashes series begins on the 23rd November in Brisbane at midnight, and the fifth and final test is played in Sydney on January 4th. The main obstacle for cricket fans across Britain will be the start times of the matches. The fourth and fifth tests will begin at 11:30 pm, but the trickiest start time for the fans at home, will be the third test, which begins at 2:30am. Excitingly for English fans, and for the first time in Ashes history, there will be a day-night test, which, it is believed, will encourage fans to watch the normally lowest viewed test of the series, the second. However, fans will still need to take a slightly earlier breakfast between the 2nd and 6th December, when the match begins at 4:00am. The last series, two years ago, ended in a narrow win for a below-par England side. They wrapped up the series in Nottingham, giving them an unassailable 3-1 lead. However, England went on to lose convincingly in the final test in London at the Oval. Much of this year’s build up has been centred on one star player, 26 year old, Ben Stokes. He was arrested in Bristol at the beginning of October after a brawl outside a nightclub. Much was made of the fact that the all-rounder was still named in the travelling squad, despite the ongoing investigation. The squad flew out to Australia on 28th October for their final preparations. However, Stokes did not fly out with them.

30,000 fans will also travel to support the team. The passionate ‘Barmy Army’ are renowned as the best cricket supporters in the world. They follow England touring sides and are a recognised group, with members able to sign up for newsletters and offers. Former test captain, Andrew Flintoff, was full of optimism for the upcoming series. Speaking on BBC 5 Live, he said: "It's not a case of England winning; it’s a case of by how many. It's the type of side you would want to be involved in, from the coach and the captain down. I think England will have a good winter. It's probably the best England team I think we have ever had." Despite Flintoff's optimism, bookmakers are leaning more towards an Australian win, making them the narrow favourites to regain the urn in January. The other interesting sub-plot to the series concerns the current England head coach, Trevor Bayliss, who is the first Australian born head coach in the nation’s history. You can watch every moment of the latest chapter in the historic rivalry between England and Australia, live and exclusive on BT Sport, from November to early January. The Ashes dates back to 1882. Since then there have been Tests of which Australia have won 130, England 103 and 89 drawn. Currently, both countries have won 32 series.

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Metal Detection


Regton Metal Detection Specialists Welcome to our wonderful world of metal detectors where you can choose the perfect machine for you. Whether you are an experienced metal detectorist or you are treasure hunting as a hobby, we can help you find that hidden treasure. Regton stocks a wide range of metal detectors and accessories for metal detecting from manufacturers worldwide. You are also very welcome to visit our showroom in Birmingham, where you are able to see and try all of the major metal detector brands. Our display includes the Garrett ACE range, XP DEUS wireless metal detector, Scanmaster budget machines, treasure and adventure metal detectors and many more. Furthermore, Regton stocks a full range of accessories for all of the brands we sell. Accessories for metal detectors available at Regton: Headphones to suit any budget. Pinpoint Probes for finding treasure in the hole. Find and coin storage for displaying coins and finds. Batteries and chargers. Trowels of all shapes and sizes for all of your metal detecting needs. Carrying bags for all products in stock. Barrelling and cleaning items for all of your treasures and finds. Magnets to help reach metal objects in awkward places. Other miscellaneous accessories from gold panning kits to baseball caps. Also, we have what is probably the largest selection of metal detecting related books, videos and DVDs in the country. Our books range from those helping you to identify your finds, to Iron & Bronze Age and Saxon & Viking reference works.

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Netflix's hottest shows reviewed - by Alex Dudley

Viewers anticipate the fourth season Birmingham's loveable gangsters, the Peaky Blinders return at the beginning of November and excitement for the new series couldn't be higher. The previous season ended on a cliffhanger, when in the closing scene all members of the organisation, except Tommy Shelby, were arrested. Tommy, played by the incredible Cillian Murphy, shows award-winning acting throughout every episode of the show, allowing viewers to believe that Tommy is in fact the 'good guy' in the face of the law. Joining Murphy in returning for the new series are Helen McRory, who plays strong woman Polly Shelby, and the incredible Tom Hardy. The cast is what really separates Peaky Blinders from other period dramas, as it is strong from top to bottom. This is shown once again with Golden Globe winning actor, Adrien Brody, joining the cast to play the head of a new Irish/American gang, who will be the Shelby's new advisors. Season four kicks off with Tommy receiving a letter on Christmas Eve, warning the Peaky Blinders that they are in danger of obliteration by the new gang in town. Upon hearing the news, Tommy flees back to Birmingham and the original home of the Blinders, Small Heath. From here, Tommy will have his work cut out when trying to reunite his family and rebuild the trust that was lost during their arrest, while also dealing with the threat of the new gang in town. Once again, scenes for the upcoming series were filmed earlier in the year at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley.. While in Dudley, show creator, Steven Knight, referred to the Black Country Museum as: "the home of the Peaky Blinders." With excitement for the new fourth series already at fever pitch, the BBC has announced that a fifth series is already in the pipeline, with Knight stating: "The prospect of writing series five is truly exciting. "I have a real loyalty and affection for it, it's my baby and I wanted to do it for 20 years."

The show has put Birmingham on the map with its global popularity only increasing with every season; it's especially popular in North America and Scandinavia. Viewers persuaded the BBC and Netflix to put forward the release date of the third series, so the full series was on Netflix moments after the final episode of the series was broadcast in the UK. Following on from the popularity of the show, Peaky Tours were formed. The tour shows the areas in which the real gang operated in Birmingham during the 1920s and with tour operator, Carl Chinn, they have somebody that can answer any question imaginable not only about the Peaky Blinders, but the history of Birmingham in general.

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Local Events

What's On

This area is for local events, what’s on, clubs and societies. These listings are FREE. If you would like to add your info on this page, then please email the details to: If you would like your event in a black box, it’s a minimal charge of £20 per month. Or if you would prefer to sponsor the page with the banner at the bottom, please call our sales team on 0121 796 6800 for more info.

Welcome to our local what’s on guide, giving you the latest in event listings local to Barnt Green, Alvechurch and surrounding areas. Whether it is arts, entertainment, fitness or a local community group, we are on hand to help promote your event listing. For further information or to send through your event details email and we will be happy to spread the word on what is happening near you. EARLSWOOD VILLAGE HALL PRESENTS: SATURDAY DECEMBER 2ND HOWDENJONES ‘Wonderful songs, gentle anecdotes and delicious leg-pulling..a gem of an evening!’ They are both singersongwriters, based in The North West of England, who have that special magic that captivates the audience in a unique, intimate atmosphere. Stripped back, gritty, often poignant, sometimes humorous, observations that reflect life’s ups and downs, their show is a family friendly mixture of songs, tunes and stories that has the audience joining in, singing along, and laughing as they share their travelling experiences through their music and northern-tinged banter. With powerful harmony, skilled musicianship and beautiful arrangements, they write all their own material and between them play, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo and bodhran. TICKETS: £12 to include a two course supper from: Fiona 01564 703 674, Jean 01564 703 239 or, Doors/bar open from 7.30pm

Social night of Ballroom Graham & Denise Darby present a social night of Ballroom, Latin & Social Sequence dancing on Saturday 14th October at Kidderminster Harriers Social Club, supporting the Midlands Air Ambulance and Midlands Blood Bikes, dancing to live music by Graham Darby. 8pm - 11pm. pay on the door £5 per person. for further

information please call 01543 502722

Sunday afternoon dance Graham & Denise Darby present a Sunday afternoon dance, supporting the Midlands Air Ambulance & Midlands Bloodbikes at Lickey End Social Club, Ancestor Road, Lickey End on Sunday 26th November, 2017. Ballroom, Latin & Social Sequence Dancing to live music by Graham Darby - Doors open at 1pm, dancing from 1.30pm - 4.30pm £10 per person (includes a High Tea) Please pre-book. For further details please call 01543 502722 or visit

KINGFISHER PROBUS KINGFISHER PROBUS hold monthly midday meetings at Foxlydiate Arms on the second Thursday of every month. Retired or semi-retired gentlemen will be made very welcome and membership is free until 2018. A meeting consists of a lunch, followed by an interesting talk. We also organise walks, trips, dinners and golf when partners can attend. Join us at a monthly meeting or contact Max Sayer on 0121 445 4724.

ART IN THE VILLAGE Learn how to draw and paint or improve your skills. Small friendly groups in home-studio setting in Barnt Green village with plenty of one to one tuition.All abilities welcome. Daytime and evening classes available. Contact Jo Pardoe on 07967 041446

Yoga Mavericks Alvechurch based yoga guide. Strala trained. Flow class Sundays 10am Alvechurch Village Hall. £8 per session. A modern approach to a traditional practice, great music, suitable for all. Spots must be reserved due to limited space. Add my facebook page, or message 07960320656. Private sessions available.

YOGA, MINDFULNESS MEDITATION & DEEP RELAXATION For Stress Relief, Fitness, Vitality & a Good Night’s Sleep. Classes in Blackwell & Alvechurch. Individual sessions available. To book contact Sally: 0790 366 3085, or visit

The WorcesterBirmingham & Droitwich Canals Society The Worcester-Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society meets at the Alvechurch Boat Centre (meeting room behind The Weighbridge pub) on the first Tuesday of every month, except July & August when we have Summer walks. There is usually a guest speaker and raffle. Non members are very welcome to attend. Meetings start at 7.45pm. Please visit our website: for more information.

Due to the popularity of this page, we are now having to limit the amount of words for each post. If the post is too long, it may be edited by us or not included at all. We will also only keep a post for a few months to make space for new events etc. So, please keep it short and to the point! Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this magazine is accurate, the Cornfield Magazine cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or endorse companies, products or services appearing in this magazine. The Cornfield Magazine cannot be held responsible for any breach of copyright arising from any material supplied. Published monthly by Cornfield Publishing Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission from the publisher.

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If you would like to place an advert call: 0121 796 6800. Please quote Cornfield Magazine when calling, so that our advertisers can locate where the calls have come from.




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ADVERTISING PAYS Ignorant Bob wakes up in the morning after sleeping in an advertised bed with advertised sheets. He will shower in an advertised shower, with advertised soap and have breakfast of advertised juice, advertised cereal and advertised bread. He will then put on advertised clothing and look through his advertised Smart Phone and scroll through a highly advertised Facebook, Twitter and instagram. He will then drive to work in an advertised car. Ignorant Bob has a local business, but he doesn’t advertise. He says that “advertising does not pay”. So finally, when his un-advertised business goes under, Ignorant Bob will advertise it for sale...

Don’t be an ignorant Bob!!! If you want people to know about your business and really shout about it, call Cornfield Publishing. Promoting and supporting local businesses is what we do best.

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Cornfield Magazine Barnt Green issue November 2017  
Cornfield Magazine Barnt Green issue November 2017  

This month we took the Christmas preparations seriously, getting into full festive mode! Our November issue offers suggestions for a Christm...