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South Birmingham, Solihull and Warwickshire
Property | Beauty | Fashion | Motoring | Lifestyle | Health | Celebrity | Business | Food & Drink
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IN THIS ISSUE
Hello and welcome to your NEW LOOK December edition of the Cornfield Magazine.
Christmas has officially arrived and firstly we would like to start off our December edition by wishing all of our readers a Merry Christmas and I know it may be a little soon but we wish all of our readers a very Happy New Year! With all of the Christmas festivities, it has been a little overwhelming, we have been here, there and everywhere this month and have a selection of fantastic reads for all to enjoy. We attended the Christmas Craft Fair at the NEC Birmingham. We also had the chance to interview Andy Bennett to talk all things music, including his brand new album, ‘Thinkin, Drinkin, Singin’. Then we had the opportunity to enjoy more music after being invited to watch an epic and intimate performance from Reggae legends, UB40, all in aid of the Birmingham’s Children’s hospital’s charity Star Appeal, held at the Park Regis Hotel in Birmingham. We were also lucky enough to pick up a signed Anthony Joshua Glove.
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On top of all of this we ventured into a world of Sci-fi, films and comics, at the Birmingham MCM Comicon, where we had the chance to meet many popular characters and superheroes, all of which could be found under one roof.
PS. if there anything you feel is missing or you would like to see more of in your Cornfield Magazine, please do get in touch. What ever you do, have a great month. Thank’s 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! ;).... Until next month folks....
Richard & Sam
WE CAN R ELIVE NOW D FLETS EA YOUR L HIS WITH T MAG!!!
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Servicing, Diagnostic repairs, MOTâ€™s Class 4/7, Air Suspension problems, Performance issues
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The White Swan Hotel Henley-in-Arden 100 High Street Henley-in-Arden B95 5BY Tel: 01564 792623 www.thewhiteswanhotel.com
Restaurant Open lunchtimes and evenings Monday â€“ Saturday Contact us for the Christmas Menu 2016 COMPLIMENTARY glass of wine and side order with every stone meal www.stoneaged.com
Our historic White Swan Hotel located on Henley-in-Ardenâ€™s vibrant High Street is so easy to reach from the M40/M42 and Stratford upon Avon, with good train links and free parking. As well as our 8 cosy and elegant hotel rooms, we have FUNCTION rooms for hire and a fine selection of ales and wine in our intimate and WELCOMING BAR complete with log fire. We have an extensive bar menu including tapas, and with STONEAGED restaurant we are a great venue for business lunches, a quick bite or dinner with friends and family. The STONEAGED experience will leave you with a lasting memory of GREAT FOOD, excellent service and a story to tell. STONEAGED is all about hot stone dining, focusing on top quality steaks, sourced from happy cows in Devon and Cornwall. If steak is not your thing we have generous stone baked pizzas and pasta dishes to tempt you. Book soon! Featuring: Jesters & Jazz Music and Comedy Club, Follow The White Swan Hotel website or social media for the BILLBOARD, coming soon.
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Christmas Market & Craft Fair Celebrating 50 years
The time of year has arrived when the Christmas festivities begin, making it the perfect opportunity to embrace the yuletide spirit with all that the West Midlands and Warwickshire has to offer. At this time of year we all look forward to a hot mug of mulled wine or cider, whilst wrapping up warm and venturing the many Christmas markets, Victorian fayres, outdoor ice rinks, Santa’s grottos for the kids and festive light switch on’s that are organised across the UK. Birmingham has Christmas covered for 2016, holding one of the best Christmas markets that you will find, the ‘Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market’. This year the annual Market has returned, and is bigger and better than ever, celebrating its 50th anniversary of partnership between Birmingham and Frankfurt. The event attracts 5.5 million visitors each year, whilst generating £400,000,000 from the City’s economy. In previous years the German Frankfurt Christmas Market has ended on the 22nd December, however, this year the market will continue through the festive period right up until the New Year in honor of its 50 years. The first market came to Birmingham 15 years ago in 1997 where the event was first introduced by Frankfurt’s City Council Director, Kurt Stroscher, organiser of all festivals and events. Kurt first had the idea of bringing a market over from his home City of Frankfurt, which lead to the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Markets home in Birmingham. The whole of Birmingham City comes alive at Christmas, helping all who visit, to get into the true Christmas spirit. The market itself caters to all with a wide selection of food, mulled wine, traditional gifts
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and crafts, plus live music to keep us all entertained. The market is not only popular with local residents; the famous market attracts visitors from afar, many of who return specifically for its yearly reappearance.
The History of German Markets The giving of presents at Christmas first came about when Christmas overlapped with the ancient Roman festivals that took place in honor of Saturn where gifts were showered on citizens and slaves alike. People would purchase their presents at their nearest Christmas market which originally only took place in large local cities including Frankfurt, Nuremburg, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden, to name only a few. The first Christmas market to be historically remembered took place in Frankfurt 1393 and would sell some of the best crafts and children’s toys, which consisted of simple wooden toys and ragdolls. Later, there was the introduction of hobby horses and rocking horses. There were also a variety of sweets and other Christmas gifts that were sold. Right up until the 1880s, parents would buy their children’s toys from the yearly local market ready for Christmas.
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Christmas markets remain a time that you enjoy spending quality time with friends and family. The social elements continue today where friends use the opportunity to catch up on the latest news whilst enjoying a hot mug of Gluhwein, creating the perfect Christmas atmosphere for one of the most loved winter celebrations.
The Frankfurt German Christmas Market 2016 As one of the largest authentic German Christmas Markets outside of Germany and Austria, Birmingham offers over 180 stalls combined with the neighbouring Christmas Craft Fair located on Centenary Square. There is something to be discovered for everyone and especially if you are looking for that something a little bit special for a gift this Christmas, with wooden decorations, delicate glass baubles, handcrafted leatherwork, toys, jewellery, winter accessories and much more to entice you into finding the perfect gift. The annual market also provides an array of food and drink stalls to tempt those taste buds. You will find everything from pretzels, chocolate crepes, schnitzels, bratwursts and roasted almonds. You will be spoilt for choice with a selection of warming treats. All can be washed down with a hot mug of gluhwein and a glass of weisbeer, as well as a tasty hot chocolate. There is also plenty of entertainment that can be enjoyed. There will be an ornate carousel to keep the children entertained, plus there will be live music at Victoria Square where acts such as peter’s Evergreens will be back by popular demand, performing a selection of pop classics and Christmas songs. Other acts performing include A little bit Buble, CBSO Brass Quintet, Lorna day, Soul Legend and Synergy, to name only a few. For the full line up visit www.germanchristmasmarketbirmingham.com/eventsbandstand/
The Christmas Craft Market – Centenary Square Adjacent to the Frankfurt Christmas Market and located at the heart of the Library of Birmingham, this dedicated craft market features an array of West Midland traders, selling a different yet distinctive selection of beautifully handcrafted items, all made by local artisans. The market also sells ethnic goods that are imported from places including Africa, India and south America, as well as decorative ironwork, wood carvings, handbags, toys, musical instruments and organic soaps and cosmetics. There are also a selection of local foods and drinks available including organic sausages, real ale, home made chutneys and cheeses. The Christmas craft market will also be open daily between 10am and 9pm. Enjoy a magical Christmas experience at the Birmingham Christmas Market and embrace all that Christmas has to offer over the festive season. For more information visit: www.germanchristmasmarketbirmingham.com Opening Times: Open daily from the 17th November - 29th December from 10am-9pm daily Closed on Christmas Day Location: Birmingham’s Victoria Square & New Street
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A delightfully easy cookie recipe that yields sensational results! Plus 3 secrets to the perfect shortbread cookies that no one can resist!
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Ingredients 2½ cups of all purpose flour ¾ cups of sugar, divided 1 cup of butter, cubed (and cold) 1 tsp of almond extract Zest of 1 orange ½ cup of dried cranberries (Craisins) Additional sugar to coat cookies before baking, if desired
Instructions 1: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2: Combine cranberries and a ¼ cup of sugar in a food processor, just until the cranberries are broken down into smaller pieces. 3: Combine flour and remaining sugar in a large bowl. 4: Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter to form very fine crumbs. 5: Stir in the extract, cranberries, sugar mixture, and orange zest. 6: Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together and forms a ball. Work the dough, JUST until it comes together - you don't want to over-work it. 7: Shape dough into a log, measuring two inches in diameter and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours. 8: Preheat oven to 325F. 9: Cut slices of cookie dough to about a ¼ inch in thickness. 10: Place about a half a cup of sugar in a bowl and coat the cookie slices with sugar. 11: Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or just until the cookies are set. Do not over bake. 12: Let cookies cool for several minutes on the baking sheet, before transfering to the cooling rack. Leave the cookies to cool. 13: Store in a airtight container for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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Oktogon Walking down Station Road in Knowle, it is difficult to spot the quaint brick alleyway in between the shops. A ram’s skull discreetly above the arch and a small black sign to the side are the only clues that hidden a few feet away is a beautiful Skandinavian Bar & Coffee House. It is hard to believe that barely two years ago this unique space, known then as The Octagon was a brick, windowless storeroom with little outside space, unused and forgotten about by Bonhams Auctioneers. Scott Martin and his mum Helen were looking for a challenge and found The Octagon in November 2014. They had a vision, from the time Scott spent living and working in Norway’s top bars and restaurants and it was a perfect fit for their idea of Scandinavian design and a London City feel. Every inch of space has been utilised to the max! The walls have been opened up and what was the loading bay has been transformed into a working area, storage and toilet facilities. The outside space is now a beautiful split level, heated seating area. They have even stayed in keeping with nature and built around the historically listed tree to create the raised decked area. They were hands on throughout the project and Scott's engineering background enabled them to create the complete vision they had for Oktogon. It was with his awareness and determination that Scott realised the mezzanine could be cantilevered, creating even more open space. The bar now looks like something straight out of a swanky London side street
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and is exactly how they envisaged. Scott and Helen’s hard work didn’t go unnoticed, as in April they were invited to the Built In Quality Awards Dinner at the ICC in Birmingham where they were presented with an award for ‘Best Change of Use of an Existing Building or Conversion’, beating thousands of entries. In September they won a further award in this category and have now been invited to the LABC Building Excellence Awards in London, where Oktogon, representing the West Midlands, has been entered into the National Awards being held on 28th November 2016. Oktogon offers a wide variety of specialist craft lagers, bespoke gins, wine and champagne, as well as coffees and cakes during the day. With the festive season upon us, the ski hut in the outside area will be selling mulled beer and wine and for New Year’s Eve there will be a fabulous Gatsby inspired party.
Oktogon 16 Station Road Knowle B93 0HT Facebook.com/oktogonbar
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Christmas is a perfect time to over indulge. Treat you and your family with luxury mince pies and impress the in laws with our tasty stuffing mix.
Luxury Mine Pies Ingredients 18oz all purpose flour 140z chilled unsalted butter 2 large eggs 4 tbs granulated sugar 2 tbs heavy cream 4 tbp fresh lemon juice 2 tsp table salt 280g sweet mincemeat 1 tbsp brandy
1) In a food processor ,combine everything except the mincemeat and brandy in a blender and blend until its in big clumps. 2) Shape the dough into 12 walnut size balls and press them into baking tins. 3) With the remaining dough,roll it out and cut Christmas trees or other shapes for the lids. 4) Mix the mincemeat and brandy together and spoon into the pastry cases. 5) Top the pies with the lids and brush with beaten eggs. 6) Bake for 20 mins in a pre heated oven 160c/ gas mark 4.
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Chinasearch If they don’t have it – they’ll find it Located in Kenilworth is one of the most fascinating businesses that you will come across, called Chinasearch, Europe’s largest retailer of discontinued china with over 300,000 items in stock from 150 manufacturers. For over 25 years Chinasearch have helped extend the life of dinner sets, not just in the UK, but from all across the world by finding replacements for the broken and damaged pieces in their customers sets. Although finding replacements is a large part of the service provided, customers also like to extend their sets, with either an extra place setting or serving dish. Visit the Chinasearch Shop Chinasearch has its very own shop located onsite in Kenilworth, where you can visit to discuss your replacement needs in person and also buy new tableware, glassware and cutlery from a selection of brands including Dartington, Spode, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Joseph Joseph and Villeroy & Boch, to name only a few. With beautiful displays, from the moment you enter the showroom you will be amazed by the ranges and quality that are stocked, plus specific clearance shelves if you are looking to find a bargain. Chinasearch love to meet new faces and everyone is welcome, whether you are looking to browse the collections or if you need some expert advice. The team will be happy to help. Get Your Table Ready for Christmas Now that winter has arrived, Christmas is just around the corner. Whilst ordering your turkey or stirring up your Christmas pudding, spare a thought for making your table as festive as possible for your Christmas and New Year celebrations. Whether you need Christmas crockery, glass or that special cutlery set, having fabulous tableware and a great looking table
makes all the difference. It may even be that you are having an overdue family reunion or the grandchildren may be visiting for Christmas dinner. The chances are that you will require more plates, bowls and glasses than for the average Tuesday night family supper, but if you have a dinner set that is no longer in production, you may still be able to extend your set. Chinasearch has 300,000 pieces of discontinued china in their Kenilworth warehouse. If you need an extra place setting or a replacement gravy boat, which was broken last Christmas, then the item you need may be waiting on the shelves of Chinasearch. Or choose a new dinner set, wine glasses, cutlery and gifts from the on-site shop. Replacement China We all have accidents from time to time, it’s just a fact of life and it can happen with some of the most treasured family dinner sets, leaving you with a missing piece. If you do break some china over Christmas, a replacement piece may be in stock at Chinasearch, but if the piece you need is not on their shelves, Chinasearch provide a free noobligation search service for sourcing exactly what you're looking for. For more information Chinasearch are based in Kenilworth, have free on-site parking and offer complimentary tea and coffee. Check their website for more details and full opening times. Chinasearch Ltd, 4 Princes Drive, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2FD Tel: 01926 512402 Web: chinasearch.co.uk
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The Limes Country Lodge Hotel Annual Charity Gala Ball Over the last 8 years, David Morris, his son Daniel, and their team at The Limes Country Lodge Hotel have hosted their Annual Charity Gala Ball, fundraising in support of Help for Heroes. Each year over 200 guests, including ex-servicemen and members of the local business communities attend the Annual Gala Ball at the Limes Country Lodge Hotel in Earlswood, very close to Solihull. Previous attendees have included the Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Mrs Kate Wild and various movers and shakers including some distinguished military personnel. On Saturday November 12th , the award-winning Limes hosted their 8th Annual Charity Gala Ball and it proved to be the biggest and best yet! The Help for Heroes Charity is one extremely close to owner David Morris’s heart. David is ex-Navy himself, serving 18 years - and his eldest son Simon currently serves in the Royal Air Force. David is a very passionate supporter and fundraiser for Help for Heroes and has been delighted and so pleased with everyone’s generosity over the last 8 years. This year the event coincided with the Limes Country Lodge Hotel’s own Tenth Anniversary, so it was a double celebration – and a night to remember. The Hotel was transformed into a glittering setting again this year, to rival any red carpet event that you might find in the heart of London. With a James Bond/Casino theme, guests were dressed in their finest and welcomed on a wide red carpet under a shimmering portico featuring a stunning Aston Martin Vanquish artistically lit to set the scene. With welcome drinks and commemorative photographs upon arrival, guests were treated to three huge marquees extending into the Limes’ six acre setting, providing a warm and dramatically lit warren which encompassed a stunning white Cocktail Bar, Gaming & Casino tables, a huge Scalextric play track (all proceeds to Help for Heroes) and of course the band, DJ and dancefloor areas. The bars were fully lit and adorned with all of the Help for Heroes posters and with a four course Gala Menu with dishes inspired by the James Bond movies, the evening flowed seamlessly. Hosted by comedian Ollie Spencer, and with big band entertainment throughout the evening with Clayton Stevens, everyone was generously wined and dined before the main event of the evening, the Live Auctions and Raffle – and some fantastic prizes were on offer this year! Muhammed Ali’s signed boxing gloves, a choice of fantastic Holidays and City Breaks, two exclusive Clocks made from Lynx Wildcat Helicopter rotor blades, and the highlight of the prizes, a huge Help for Heroes banquet of goodies including a leather Golf bag and Four Ball Golf experience at a
Marriott Championship course, with an absolutely unique Chromed Desk Tidy and Pen, handmade from parts of the Royal Navy’s Sea King XV661 Helicopter that saw service in Afghanistan. Also including an exclusive bouquet of wine, this prize drew a lot of interest and ultimately was successful in raising a wonderful contribution to the Charity fund. With a disco until the early hours and a stream of taxis for guests, the evening was a huge success again this year – with everyone also commenting on social media and driving traffic through to the Help for Heroes charity site. The Limes Country Lodge Hotel will once again host for Help for Heroes next year – the 9th Annual Charity Gala Ball – so get those tickets booked and the ballgowns chosen for what again will be one of the most memorable events in the West Midlands’ business, social and charitable calendars. Contributions for Help for Heroes this year have so far reached in excess of five thousand pounds, with further pledges yet to be realised – David has been surprised and delighted once again by the level of generosity shown leading up to the event by suppliers, and on the night itself by patrons and guests, and would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all involved once again. “We will continue to do our utmost to support the Charity and the work that it does and we’re already working towards next year’s event – and what a wonderful target we have achieved to beat next year! Please everyone, save the date and make sure you can attend, it really is one of the best events of its kind in the Midlands.” For all enquiries please telephone the Events Team at the Limes (Hidden Gem – Best Hotel in the Midlands 2016 Winner) on 01564 703444, or simply register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org for this or any other business or social event that you’re considering.
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IVY ROUGE’S FASHION MUST HAVES
it’sChristmasss It’s December! And the only date in December that really matters is the 25th! I shouldn’t really say that out loud as both of my brothers birthdays are in December. Oops! But anyways who can blame me! The 25th is by far the best date, why? It’s Christmas day!! Family, presents, Christmas tree and food! Perfect!
Welcome to our NEW fashion article by local girl, Ivy Rouge. Each month she will bring you the best in fashion from designer gear to High Street retailers.
If you’re like me, you’ve been counting down and waiting for Christmas since September! I love this season, my favourite by a mile. I can now finally shout about it (because most people I know are scrooges and don’t believe that you should discuss Christmas before the 1st December) and listen to all the good hit Christmas songs, whilst driving on my way to work!
Ivy studies Fashion Business and Promotion BA Hons at Birmingham City University and is currently working full time at H&M, whilst Ivy aspires to one day work as a buyer in the fashion industry. Ivy’s hobbies: “I like to keep up to date with fashion trends by following fashion pages on social media!”
Instagram: @ivy.rouge Twitter: @ivyyrouge
The shops are packed with loads of beautiful clothing this year! Some really good value for money knitwear! Not to mention the beautiful designated departments for Christmas gifts!! So what do you want this year? I know what you want; you want a nice Christmassy glitter jumper for the Christmas season. Everybody wants to show off with their jumpers and get all festive! Well I do at least!
chosen fr om my ve ha I at th le mp sa l al sm a is re he ys wa As al ions: favour ite 2016 C hr istmas jumper co llect
The Collection Black Gingerbread Man Christmas Jumper: Item No: 0340207425 WAS £25.00 NOW £20.00 20% off selected items in store and online at Debenhams
This one by far is my favourite as it’s a garment, especially for Help for Heroes Charity. A percentage of the purchase price goes to the charity. I will most definitely be purchasing this, as I want to help this charity out as much as I can; it is a charity that is close to home and means something to me. The Women's Bear Christmas Jumper is fantastically festive with it's all over star pattern, Help for Heroes logo and Christmas Bear design. Show your support this season. Help for Heroes Women’s Christmas Bear Jumper Item No: 63204_WCLKW004TC
Red Herring Off White Robin Christmas Jumper
AND ONLY £35.00 Available in store and online at Debenhams
Item No: 0400207213 WAS £20.00 NOW £15.00 Available in store and online at Debenhams
Mer r y
s a m t s i C hr
Red Herring Navy ‘Mrs Elf’ Christmas Jumper Item No: 0400207217 WAS £25.00 NOW £18.75 Available in store and online at Debenhams
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She wears it
Ensure you are on trend this winter with our top picks for a smart and stylish outfit, with a touch of festive flair, ready for those Christmas celebrations. 01 Tommy Hilfiger TH 66 Glasses £230.00 specsavers.com
02 GIORGIO ARMANI Wrap Blouse £900.00 farfetch.com 03 Putty-Cashmere-Couture-Cape £1700.00 suzannah.com 04 Leather Clean Pencil Skirt £85.00 oasis-stores.com
05 'Humour' Studded Pointy Toe Bootie £140.00 nordstrom.com 06 DKNY Gansevoort Shopper Tote £170.00 monnierfreres.com 07 Burberry The City - Watch £350.00 thewatchgallery.com
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Atlas bar pendant in 18k white gold with diamonds Tiffany + Co
£2,100 One night pamper break at Champneys Spa reservations champneys.com
Gifts for her...
See a selection of ideas to help you choose the perfect gift for the lady in your life, to suit every budget.
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Twist + Spray
Fendi 3jours leather tote bag
House of Fraser
£1,840 GHD Platinum Copper Luxe Premium Gift Set GHD
Gift selection box 16 chocolates by Dermarquete Fine Chocolates Notonthehighstreet.com
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Personalised Leather Loop Keyring English Pewter 1 Pint Satin Band Tankard
Gifts for him... If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the man in your life, here are a few hand picked ideas that he will enjoy and treasure for years to come.
Louis Vuitton's Champs-Elysées Cufflinks louisvuitton.com
Ferrari Thrill Day Out Red Letter Days
Philips Aquatouch Wet and Dry Electric Shaver Debenhams
Iphone 7 plus - 256gb
Longines Flagship Heritage Watch
The Watch Gallery
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Look stylish this winter with a smart, yet casual wardrobe ready for all of your festive occasions. 01 Navy Star-Jacquard Silk Tie £80.00 harveynichols.com 02 Farah Brewer Slim Fit Oxford Shirt £55.00 houseoffraser.co.uk
03 Diesel Black Chronograph, Blue Face Watch £310.00 debenhams.com 04 Ray Ban Aviator - Silvertone Sunglasses £150.00 forzieri.com
05 Scotch & Soda Ralston Trump City Jeans £79.00 trouva.com
06 Belstaff Brentwood Tailored Pea Coat £520.00 countryattire.com 07 Tweed Commando Sole Brogue Boots £345.00 houseoffraser.co.uk
08 Ted Baker Aroseco Leather Messenger Bag £209.00 blueberries-online.com
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Physio 2 Pilates was established in 2013 to provide Solihull with its first Pilates Studio run exclusively by Physiotherapists. Founded by Zoe Rex, whose background is working with people experiencing long-term pain, our purpose is to make Pilates accessible to all ages and all abilities. We feel that it is important to provide a relaxed and personal environment where there is no pressure to perform, enabling every client to work at their own level and towards their own goals. We regularly work with people with a wide range of conditions including Back Pain and Osteoporosis, as well as people looking to improve or maintain their levels of fitness. Pilates works both the body and mind. It is a fantastic way to improve posture, balance, flexibility and strength. It can aid in the management of Back Pain, helping to strengthen muscles and working on control of movement. We offer individual sessions, small group sessions as well as both mat based and Reformer classes. Every class we teach is taught by a Chartered Physiotherapist who is Pilates trained. As Physiotherapists our extensive training and knowledge of muscle function, rehabilitation and injury prevention means that, whatever your goals are, we can help. Pilates for everyone! We would love to hear from you, so if you would like more information please contact us on 0121 240 9202 or by e-mail: email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook Physio2pilatesSolihull and Twitter @physio2pilates.
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From professional sportsman to weekend warriors. We provide expertise in diagnosis and treatment of hand, wrist and elbow conditions including upper limb nerve disorders.
Our dedicated team of hand specialists, are here to provide a friendly and professional service for patients throughout the West Midlands and beyond. At the first consultation our hand surgery consultant will aim to diagnose problems and formulate a treatment plan tailored to the individual’s needs. We have on the spot nerve testing facilities and, where possible, treatment will be given at the time of the first appointment. If surgery is undertaken we provide an individualised rehabilitation protocol and a team of hand therapists work to facilitate optimal functional return and so early return to work or sport.
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, Worcester
Hand Clinic PA: Alison James Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0121 3641600 Quote: HAND&WRIST1 Handsurgeryconsultant.co.uk
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Another success for the multi-award winning
Our very own Health Correspondent has done it again. Another award for Solihull Health Check Clinic has been confirmed, with Eileen and Pat Fegan being completely delighted. Along with winning the Chamber of Commerce Customer Care Award in October, Eileen has just walked away with the prestigious West Midlands Woman of the Year Award 2016, for her ‘Outstanding Contribution to Health and Well-Being’. The glittering awards ceremony was held at the Novotel Hotel, Broad Street, on the evening of 11th November. The event was attended by more than 500 people, from businesses ranging from technology, social change, education and health care. Justice Williams MBE, founded the awards, to celebrate inspirational and dynamic women, who are passionate about the field they work in and who make a difference in society. These individuals are breaking boundaries within their field and they also contribute to the economic well-being of the region. The awards are also designed to celebrate the success, talent, achievements and outstanding contribution made by women in the West Midlands. The award was presented to Eileen, because along with Pat, who is her business partner and husband, they have provided a specialist early diagnosis and Health Screening Clinic, accessible to all and with appointments to suit the patients. Because Eileen lost her own Father tragically, in 2013, due to sepsis following a missed diagnosis of a urine infection, both Pat and Eileen are extremely aware that finding silent killers like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, bowel disease, urine infections and kidney disease, allow an individual to take steps to prevent the condition from becoming life threatening. Since the Clinic was officially opened in 2014, they have been awarded the Chamber of Commerce Future Face of Business Award for 2015, the Birmingham City Council Corporate Social Responsibility Award, the Solihull Chamber of Commerce Award for Customer Care 2015 and then again in 2016. When asked about what this most recent award means to the clinic, Managing Director, Pat Fegan said “We have an amazing team around us. Without the hard work and commitment to our patients, that every member of our team shows, we would not be a multi-award winning private health screening clinic. We are completely delighted that Eileen has been awarded the West Midlands Woman of the Year Award, for her outstanding contribution to health and well-being. The amount of patients who contact the Clinic after they have had their consultation, with praise and thanks, is testament to the professionalism, the compassion and the expert knowledge that Eileen has, about early health screening and lifestyle change”. The Clinic is not only available to individuals; they also go into Corporate clients and undertake health screening for executives, directors and employees. www.solihullhealthcheckclinic.co.uk
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MK Health Hub Introduces Cutting Edge Pilates Program Dynamic Pilates Located in Solihull, the MK Health Hub offers the very best systems to cater towards your health; fitness and wellbeing requirements, delivering bespoke programs to all. With an excellent team of expert coaches, MK Health Hub will work closely with you to motivate, inspire and support you in achieving your personal goals, whilst using the best training facilities you will find, all within a boutique setting, which makes this the ultimate hub of excellence for all your fitness and health needs. The MK Health Hub has recently launched its brand new Dynamic Pilates Program, incorporating a range of brand new equipment, including Pilates Springboards and the Allegro II Reformer Beds, specifically designed to deliver various Pilates movements combined with the more holistic elements of Pilates, whilst emphasizing on small amounts of cardio from other exercise classes. Dynamic Pilates mainly focuses on strength training, with MK Health Hub being the only place, exclusively in the West Midlands that provides both forms of equipment within its facilities. Dynamic Pilates is currently one of the most cutting edge programs in the UK. Not only is this an innovative way to exercise but the reformer beds deliver highly effective results for an all round total body workout, creating a slimmer, leaner and longer figure, toning the muscles in a short period of time. If you struggle with your posture then Dynamic Pilates will be the ideal solution to help make an improvement to bad posture, whilst burning up to 650 calories per session. Forget heavy impact and creating pressure on the joints, this brand new workout will help you gain long lasting results, transforming your body. MK Health Hub feels it is important that each individual taking part in a Dynamic Pilates class is provided with advice and guidance, which is why this class is taught in small group sessions, ran by highly qualified health and nutrition coaches that give time, taking care to make sure that you are performing the exercise correctly. Many exercise classes
can fail within large gyms and fitness clubs, purely based on class numbers being too high, leaving the tutor with no time to correct individuals who may be executing an exercise incorrectly, slowing down effective results and causing potential injury. This heart-pumping workout is all about sculpting our bodies in ways that other exercise classes cannot compete with by toning core muscles. The reformer beds that are used are not only a great way of keeping fit but the class is also fun, giving members a complete release, gaining total enjoyment. “After many years of different gym classes, I have finally found something that not only do I love, but it’s completely transformed my body. Its amazing!” Rachel Gray Sessions are now available 45 times a week, with each session lasting for 55 minutes. Never have enough time during the week? MK Health Hub also has classes available during weekends with classes starting from as early as 7am. If you are only looking to attend Dynamic Pilates sessions, then this fantastic program offers its own sole membership from just £43, or if you are not sure if this new class is right for you, then why not try one of the taster sessions for just £10. For more information on this exciting new Pilates program visit www.mkhealthhub.co.uk/dynamic-pilates/ MKhealthhub West Midlands, Cranmore Place, Cranmore Drive, Shirley, Solihull, B90 4RZ T: 0121 7040593 Like us on Facebook at @mkhealthhub Follow us on twitter at @MKHealthHub
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Christmas is a time when we all want to let our hair down, relax, enjoy ourselves and maybe enjoy alcohol more than usual. As long as alcohol is treated as a toxin that will have an effect on our physical and psychological state, then you will be able to monitor your intake effectively, to ensure that you get home safely and in one piece. Unfortunately, research has found that there is a growing group in our society, who are over indulging in alcohol and seriously putting themselves at risk of numerous risks.
Eileen Fegan talks about the silent stigma attached to older people drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. In this article, Eileen adopts the World Health Organizations (WHO) definition of ‘Older People’, as anyone aged 65 years or above. Currently in the UK, we have 11.4 million people over the age of 65 years. Older people are drinking a lot more alcohol now than ever before. The rise in alcohol misuse among older adults has increased dramatically in the last few years and almost half of all adults (5 million) in the UK over the age of 65, consume alcohol. Problems associated with alcohol use among older people have been described as a hidden problem, because of the stigma attached to it. There are numerous reasons why those aged 65 and over begin to drink alcohol on a daily basis and these can include; Isolation and loneliness Retirement Boredom Loss of friends and family
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Ill health Decreased mobility Stressful life events Financial difficulties Being in pain According to World Health Day, “It depends on the individual. You might begin drinking more after retirement because the sudden overabundance of free time can leave you with the feeling that you've lost purpose in life. This results in boredom and a sense of uncertainty which could invite you to drink more than you usually do. You might have suffered from loneliness after your children moved away, or after the death of your spouse or friends. It's natural to feel lonely under those circumstances, which push some people to turn to alcohol for comfort. You might also be suffering from stress or depression. The very real difficulties of aging - failing health, limited mobility, financial hardships, or caring for an ailing spouse -can easily pile up and impel seniors to drink. Or -- and this is true in two-thirds of the cases of alcohol abuse in later life -- you
might have had a drinking problem that has got worse over the years.” Alcohol misuse means drinking excessively – more than the recommended limits of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption is measured in units. A unit of alcohol is 10ml of pure alcohol, which is about: half a pint of normal-strength lager a single measure (25ml) of spirits A small glass (125ml) of wine contains about 1.5 units of alcohol. Recommended limits Tough new guidelines issued on alcohol have cut recommended drinking limits and say there is no such thing as a safe level of drinking. The UK's Chief Medical Officers say new research shows any amount of alcohol can increase the risk of cancer.
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The new advice says men and women who drink regularly should consume no more than 14 units a week - equivalent to six pints of beer or seven glasses of wine. The NHS recommends: men shouldn't regularly drink more than 2-3 units of alcohol a day women shouldn't regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day if you've had a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for 48 hours ‘Regularly’ means drinking this amount every day or most days of the week. Here's the good news: According to the National Institute on Aging, older people who seek help for a drinking problem have a good chance for recovery, because they are likely to stick to the suggested treatment programs, especially when the programs are geared specifically to older people 's needs. If you are family member or friends of an elder with a drinking problem, you can also help by realistically assessing the difficulties he or she faces, whilst being alert to changes in behaviour. You can assist a senior with a drinking problem by helping them acknowledge and mourn any losses that may have initiated the drinking problem, by helping them find treatment and a support group, or by suggesting alternative activities. If he or she is in danger from alcoholism, you may want to do an intervention -- that is, confront the person (perhaps with a Counsellor present) about the difficulties caused by the alcohol abuse and suggest the person immediately enter an inpatient or outpatient detoxification and rehabilitation program.
In the older adult, the brain’s responsiveness also alters, leading to a depressive state after alcohol, rather than a happy mood. This can result in impaired co-ordination and memory. Below is a list of examples of conditions that are exacerbated by or related to increased alcohol intake;
In the UK, DrugScope (2014) highlighted that two-thirds of older people with alcohol-use problems have a long history of alcohol misuse in younger age that persists into older age. Old age already brings with it conditions and diseases associated with getting older in years and people are more likely to be prescribed medications to keep certain conditions under control. However, the effects of alcohol can be far more serious with this type of individual. Alcohol can exacerbate the effects of certain medications and alter the effects of many prescribed drugs. Drinking alcohol with some medications can cause confusion, lethargy, psychotic symptoms and the inability to function safely.
Problem drinking in the over 65’s often goes undiagnosed for the simple reason that people tend to live less public lives as they grow older. Furthermore, doctors may not link symptoms that are also common signs of aging -- falls, loss of appetite, failing memory, sleep problems, or depression -- to alcohol abuse. Not everyone who drinks has an alcohol problem. The NIAAA offers some
The older person is also more at risk of damaging the liver, as old age brings with it metabolic changes and there is a fall in the water to fat ratio in the body. This can lead to decreased hepatic blood flow (blood to the liver) and reduced liver enzymes, causing the liver to be more susceptible to the damaging effects of alcohol.
guidelines to help determine whether you or someone you care about may be abusing alcohol. You might want to get help if you notice any of the following: Drinking to calm the nerves, forget worries, or reduce depression Loss of interest in food Gulping drinks down too fast Lying or trying to hide drinking habits Hurting yourself or others while drinking Frequently consuming more than one drink a day Needing more alcohol to get "high" Feeling irritable, resentful, or unreasonable when not drinking Developing medical, social, or financial problems caused by drinking
Heart attacks and high blood pressure Strokes Stomach ulcers, gastritis and liver disease Peripheral vascular disease Mental health, depression and impulsive behaviour Accidents: Falls and head injuries Oesophageal cancer Liver cancer Breast cancer
Organizations that can help with alcohol issues include the following; Drinkaware - 0300 123 1110 Al-Anon - 020 7403 0888 Adaction - 020 7017 2747 (out of hours 07818 587 696) Solihull Health Check Clinic - 0121 745 7400
Eileen Fegan, Clinical Director of Solihull Health Check Clinic RGN, BSc(Hons), CertEd, PGCert, CertITU, MhSc, ILM Solihull Health Check Clinic, The Lighthouse, 8 Gorcott Lane, Dickens Heath B90 1FF 0121 745 7400
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e l k r SpaChristmas 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
It’s the season to be jolly and get in the spirit of Christmas. Whether you’re buying for yourself, a family member, friends, colleagues or someone special. So let’s gets organised and let’s get shopping. Below are a few ideas for the best gifts there are out there in beauty products. From special small tokens to big wow factor gifts...
Gorgeous gift sets to instantly make you dazzle...
Even if it’s a gift for yourself.
A present a day keeps the festive cheer here. Charlotte brings daily smiles to the home with this gorgeous advent calendar.
Yves Saint Laurent do it again with this ‘luxurious mascara’ gift set. Keep eyes looking bright and awake throughout the late night parties and early morning starts... genius!
Divine body care t hat wil l leave you feeling a mil lion do l lars
Benefit ‘They’re Real’ eyeshadow set. This set is brilliant for all eye colours and skin tones.
Clinique Sweet Kisses - I’m in love with these little sticks. With a great selection of colours, they’re the perfect size to pop in your handbag and easy to top up throughout the day and night.
Sleek Makeup Solslice Highlighting Palette - The 4 beautiful colours in this palette will give you a dewy, radiant glow along with enhancing those cheekbones and brow bones.
Margaret Dabbs - Treat those dancing feet and busy hands to this little box of tricks
Laura Mercier introduces this luxury sophisticated body set, a must for the party season, pure elegance
Nuxe, My Dream giftset... Says it all in the name
T: 07733 237 767
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Planning your wedding can be one of the most stressful things that you can experience, especially for those of us who are juggling family life, stressful work projects and other commitments. Organising a wedding can almost feel like a full time job for many, what with booking the dream venue, finding the all important wedding dress and searching for vendors that you can trust to fulfill your expectations.
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We all want to treasure that one special day, creating many happy and fulfilling memories, which can be shared with family and friends for years to come. We know that Christmas takes over in December but Winter weddings are on the increase and as recommended by many wedding professionals, it is always worth planning your wedding in advance, with 10 to 12 months being the average time spent in planning for the big day. That is why we have decided to think ahead by providing readers with some wedding inspiration and tips ahead of 2017.
The Venue Menu Finding the perfect Venue can be an extremely tricky task, with so many things to consider. With viewing after viewing it can all be a little overwhelming and the venue often has to fit with your theme. It’s always important to ask yourself what you actually want. Traditional, modern or rustic, there are so many choices! The sooner you book the venue, the easier it is to plan how many guests will be attending, the location and styling. There are also many different types of venues to choose from, whether it be a tipi tent, barn wedding, country house, modern hotel or luxury Manor. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to being located within Warwickshire and the West Midlands, also with the Cotswold’s being only a stone’s throw away. Location is crucial, especially if you decide upon a church wedding, as the reception venue needs to be close by for guests to travel between the two. The next important step is to consider your budget and do you want your chosen venue exclusively? Do you want your venue to be low key and intimate? Or will guests need to book accommodation? Plan ahead and be sure to reserve your date and book your venue 12-18 months before the big date, whilst securing a deposit, which then leaves you the freedom to begin working out your theme and style. It may also be wise to attend wedding fayres as they have some excellent deals available when booking your venue. It is certainly worth saving the pennies where you can.
honeymoon.com and www.honeyfund.co.uk to name only a few, for further inspiration and guidance. Guests can put towards a variety of activities and experiences that you can both enjoy whilst on your honeymoon, from scuba diving, cocktails on the beach or even a spot of sea kayaking. You may be a couple that love art, so why not focus on funding towards a piece of art that you both love from a favourite artist. Art Galleries often provide a special service that can be set up directly by the Gallery for guests to fund towards the project. This gift can be cherished for years to come and will always be a reminder of your big day. Putting together your wedding gift list does not have to be an uncomfortable and stressful task and you can even beat the wedding blues with ‘The Wedding Shop Gift List’. Visit www.theweddingshop.com for more information on creating your perfect list.
Honeymoon funds are a firm favourite with many couples and there are many honeymoon websites available that can organise it all for you with the click of a button. Why not visit www.buy-our-
elements can be styled to perfection and why not introduce eucalyptus pods and seeded eucalyptus, mixed with moss, rose hips and a spray of roses. This combination works extremely well for winter weddings. Creating the ultimate rustic bouquet will complete your vintage inspired wedding for 2017.
The Dream Dress
Gift List – Have no regrets Creating a wedding gift list can be more difficult than you would expect. It may well be that you don’t want guests to buy something in case you already own it or the item may simply not be to your taste. It just involves some time and patience by exploring a few ideas and gaining new inspiration on where to start.
bouquet include pinecones, holly, evergreen boughs and berries making your wedding festive and wintery for 2017. All of these
Winter Florals Choosing flowers during winter is more difficult due to its season; however there are many beautiful options for choosing a bridal bouquet and floral displays. Some great seasonal elements to include within your
The wedding dress, without doubt is what every woman dreams of on the lead up to organising her wedding day. It can also be quite a daunting and costly experience for many, but it’s most definitely worth it for your big day. With so many styles, it’s always best to gain some guidance from the professionals when it comes to body shape and being comfortable. Are you looking for fishtail or Aline? The only real way to find out what suits you is to try them all on, but try to limit the amount as things can become a little confusing and before you know it, you need to make a choice. It is recommended that when ordering a bridal gown that is being designed specifically to your measurements, be sure to leave 10 months at the least for
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the dress to be ordered. When your dress arrives you will need to book in around 3 fittings on the lead up to the wedding, allowing time for alterations, and don’t forget to order those shoes in advance as you will need them for your final fitting. Also, one word of advice, never take too many people to attend your wedding dress appointments, as much as opinions are helpful, not everyone agrees and don’t let others put you off choosing your dream dress, everyone’s opinions are different.
Picture Perfect Photos from your wedding day will be what you cherish forever, photos that you will want to show your children and grandchildren for years to come. Hiring a professional photographer for the day can be costly but for the majority of us a wedding photographer is a vital element to organising your big day. Be selective, most reputable wedding photographers will have their own website where you can view their portfolios and gain an insight to the type of work they produce. Make sure you settle on photography style before making the decision and do you prefer styled photos or spontaneous snaps?
Don’t forget to do your homework and read photographer reviews through websites and personal blogs. It may sound a bit extreme but if you are highly organised, set up an interview with your top 3 potential choices and make a list of questions to ask them and if you are into being creative why not create a mood board of specific images you like to give them a feel of you and your wedding, or alternatively create a few wedding photo idea boards through Pinterest, that you can share with the photographers. Honesty is crucial; if a photo isn’t going to work a good photographer will be honest and tell you if it is not possible. Before booking your interviews make sure the photographers have your wedding date available and last but not least be critical, know your rights and make sure your personalities don’t clash and that you feel comfortable working with your final choice. A practice test shoot can always be a great way to break the ice.
Sarah R Photography I pride myself on being the one component you do not have to worry about. Once you have met me and we have agreed your package, you will see why. I deliver, I am punctual, I try to just be another friend you have invited, only with a very responsible job and a rather fancy looking camera!
The Bridal Bar Located in Dorridge, The Bridal Bar is a boutique that provides a selection of exquisite bridal gowns and accessories to all brides to be. You can expect an expert service from a friendly and dedicated team that offer one to one appointments, making finding your dream dress an experience to remember and cherish. The Bridal Bar offers a personal service, making sure that all brides feel comfortable having the chance to ask any questions they may have whilst gaining expert advice. With an array of bridesmaid dresses and accessories The Bridal Bar provides a range of tiaras, haircombs, headpiece collections, jewellery and veils, plus a range of signature pieces with the latest prestige designs from Ivory & Co. If you are looking for that something a little bit different and require an eye catching statement piece for your big day, then you need look no further. Visit The Bridal Bar in Dorridge for all your wedding style requirements. The Bridal Bar Above Perfection Hairdressers 5 Station Approach Dorridge B93 8JA T: 01564 779285 www.thebridalbar.co
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The Regency Hotel - Venue Perfection Located in Solihull, The Regency Hotel is the idyllic venue to hold your wedding. With its versatility and space for intimate and larger weddings alike, this hidden gem is one of best venues within the West Midlands where you can celebrate your special day. The venue itself is situated in the leafy suburbs of Shirley but is also in close proximity to Birmingham. The professional and dedicated team will work with couples to bring your ideas to life with bespoke offers, tailoring your wedding to suit all of your needs. Facilities at The Regency Hotel are next to none, including two large air-conditioned function rooms that hold up to 120 guests for the day and up to 150 for an evening reception. The hotel also houses 111 rooms & suites, so there will be plenty of overnight accommodation for guests. The hotel also offers a civil wedding ceremony license to hold both the ceremony and reception, with use of the Regency Restaurant, Four Ashes suite and the beautifully located Courtyard Garden, which makes a stunning location for welcome drinks. There is a wide variety of luxury wedding packages and offers available, as well as a selection of wedding fayres which will be held throughout 2017, giving you an opportunity to gain an insight into what The Regency Hotel can provide for you including further information on the bridal accommodation, plus the chance to meet local suppliers for ultimate wedding inspiration. The Regency Hotel Stratford Road, Solihull B90 4EB Lauren Parkinson Wedding & Events Co-ordinator T: 0121 745 0404 E: email@example.com
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Matthew Curtis - Man Behind the Brand Currently taking the hair world by storm, Matthew Curtis is one of the industry’s most exciting and sought after hair stylists. Alongside running his thriving salon franchise across Stratford-Upon-Avon, Staffordshire and London, Matthew’s impressive credentials range from television
appearances and celebrity collaborations, to creating looks for some of the world’s most iconic and influential designers. Effortlessly cool, immensely knowledgeable yet utterly charming, Matthew’s driving passion is to bring fashion hair to men and women on the high-street.
New Year styles Matthew Curtis helps us create the look. With party season well and truly upon us, we asked Matthew to suggest some top tips to help you achieve catwalk ready hair in the comfort of your own home. Fresh off the Zeynep Kartal runway at London Fashion Week where Matthew Curtis headed up the backstage hair team is an understated yet beautiful up-do, created to complement the complex textures and intricate embroidery of Zeynep Kartal’s latest collection ‘A Royal Romance’. This hair style evokes a feeling of effortless romance and focuses on a low bun with a dishevelled texture and side parting. The perfect partner to an intricate or embellished party ensemble, this style oozes class without detracting attention from an outfit. HAIR UP STEP BY STEP 1. Loosely tong hair from the roots, leaving ends straight (as these will poke out of the bun). 2. Manipulate hair back from right-hand part into a low height ponytail. 3. Twist the length of the ponytail then rub fingers against the hair cuticle to roughen texture. 4. Twist the ponytail into a bun and pin very closely into to the head. 5. Tease strands around the head for a halo of dishevelled strands.
Matthew Curtis Hair Retreat
at Hoar Cross Hall Alternatively, if you fancy being pampered before a big event this season, why not pay a visit to the Matthew Curtis Hair Retreat in the stunning Hoar Cross Hall Spa Hotel, Staffordshire? With an extensive menu primarily focusing on hair and scalp care, the Hair Retreat uses state of the art technology and natural ingredients to deliver tailored hair care treatments and regimes, ensuring your hair will be looking it’s best this party season. Using the Kérastase Professional Diagnosis Camera, which features advanced micro imagery technology, Matthew and his team will offer each guest a complimentary analysis of the seven main parameters of their hair. This will identify the levels of oiliness, dryness, sensitivity, damage, shine, hair loss and density and will help to diagnose the course of action necessary. Matthew and his team will then choose a treatment to combat the hair’s flaws. Hair will be nourished and natural lustre restored. Once the hair is treated and back to looking its best, the Matthew Curtis Hair Retreat has an impressive LA inspired blow-dry menu starting from £25. Guests can choose from twelve different looks each named after a cocktail. For a sixties inspired look that is sexy and versatile, there’s the Espresso Martini; a more demure and sophisticated look is the French 75, a Hepburn-inspired up-do, or the Manhattan look offers Marcel waves with the elegance of a vintage movie star. Whichever option you plump for, you’re sure to wow under the fairy lights. For further information on Matthew Curtis or to book an appointment, visit www.matthewcurtis.biz
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Eaton Fine Art Gallery Diverse and eclectic NEW Gallery launches in Solihull Launching at the end of September, the Eaton Fine Art Gallery is made up of mother and daughter team Carole and Karen Blondel. With their passion for fine art they both wanted to launch something that could depict everything they love about art, which finally lead to the launch of the brand new Gallery located within the Touchwood Centre in Solihull. The Gallery features a selection of the best in modern and contemporary artwork from a range of new and established artists from local areas, right through to International renowned artists, from Wishbone publishers and Buckingham Fine Art Publishers. Carol and Karen have both worked in and around the arts industry for many years within the Solihull arts scene and are at the heart of what they do, priding themselves on delivering a friendly approach as well as offering expert advice and customer service. Having the knowledge and insight as to what the discerning art buyer is looking for is crucial when delivering clients expectations. The Eaton Fine Art brand conveys the best of British style, featuring its very own company crest, deriving from a common feature of jewelled artifacts, which was originally discovered within the Staffordshire Hoard, which displayed some of the earliest examples of Anglo-Saxon artistry and Craftsmanship. The Gallery had an extremely successful Grand Opening, which took place on the 19th November, featuring special artist appearances, including Kealey Farmer, Katy Jade Dobson, JJ Adams, Zombiedan and Tom Lewis. The event gave the chance for potential customers to meet the artists face to face, exploring more behind the artist and what they produce. With the success of the first event there will be a second launch, which will be taking place over two days, on the 10th and 11th December, which again will be promoting a range of popular artists. Artists will be making apperances at the Gallery between 1pm and 4pm on both days, giving the artists the opportunity to showcase their work to new and potential clients. This independent Gallery prides itself on having its repeat custom, as well as new buyers, supplying artwork to many affluent areas. The art that is sold at Eaton Fine Art
is fresh, edgy and captivating with particular pieces being exclusive to the Gallery and Solihull. Eaton Fine Art also provides home approvals, where they will be happy to visit clients in the comfort of their own home to show them a specific piece of artwork against a chosen location, ensuring that the piece of art is right for them and as expected before making the all important purchase. This allows for the client to consider if the art works well against all décor and interior. If you are interested in viewing a selection of Eaton Fine Arts, then head down to the brand new Gallery in the Touchwood Centre, Solihull on the 10th and 11th December for champagne, canapés and for the opportunity to meet some of the most eclectic artists you will find. Eaton Fine Art Opening Event 10th December 9am-6pm (Artist Appearance’s 1pm-4pm) Artists include, Leigh Lambert, Lhouette and Edward Waite. 11th December 11am-5pm (Artist Appearance’s 1pm-4pm) Artists include, Jean Picton, Ben Jeffery and Rob Bishop. Eaton Fine Art Gallery Touchwood Shopping Centre Solihull B91 3GJ Tel: 0121 704 9248 or 07932 915 448 www.eatonfineart.co.uk Facebook: eatonfineartsolihull Twitter: @EatonFine
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HELLO READERS… Each month we will be featuring ‘top tips’ from the ever evolving world of Computers & the Internet.
at John Lewis
Hi I’m Lola… I am the Managing Director of “Tech Smart Training”. We deliver 121 “jargon-free” IT tuition and “Remote Computer Support”.
One to one lessons 1-2-1 tuition is a great way to help guide you through the computers & the internet. Lessons are carried out at your home or office or at the library we will come to you and if you don’t have broadband or even own a computer we can provide the necessary equipment to to get you started. Lessons start from just £35 per hour and they cater to all ages and abilities and even small businesses too! From just £10 a month you can have the confidence to use your computer knowing that if you ever get stuck “Tech Smart Training” are at the end of a phone. Remote Computer Support offers 24/7 telephone & email support, plus 2 FREE priority call outs and discounts across other products and services. Quote CADEC when you call & get your first month remote computer support FREE & a HALF PRICE 1 hour lesson.
This Month were looking at ‘Cyber Bullying’ What is Cyber bullying? Cyber bullying is any form of bullying which takes place online. Social networking sites & gaming sites can be great fun but what do you do when things go wrong? In a recent national bullying survey, 56% of young people said they have seen others be bullied online and 42% have felt unsafe online. Tips and advice • If you post abuse about anyone else online or if you send threats, you can be traced by the police without any difficulty. Every time you visit a website or make a posting, your internet service provider, has an electronic note of your activity. • Keep safe by using unusual passwords. Use a combination of letters, lowercase, uppercase, symbols and numbers. • If you are using a public computer such as one in a library, computer shop, or even a shared family computer, be sure to sign out of any web service you are using before leaving the computer. Getting help Contact Bullying UK (Part of Family Lives) Helpline: 0808 800 2222 For IT Training & Support give one of our friendly team a call on 0121 704 9648 or search online for “Tech Smart Training”. 46 | Cornfield Magazine
Head to the slopes for a chic chalet Christmas with the Chamonix trend at John Lewis. A palette of deep blues, whites and reds sit alongside plush faux-fur throws, ice skating boot stockings and motifs of snowflakes. Texture is key with wood, tin and ceramic sitting amongst alpine inspired graphics, all designed in-house to create a sense of retro nostalgia.
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With Helen Curtis About Helen: Single mum to a beautiful daughter, I have grown up in Knowle and feel the local area is close to my heart. I work part time in admin and my hobbies include fitness, I like to ‘try’ to keep on top of my fitness by going to the gym. I do however, love food and spend the autumn and winter months cooking and comfort eating. I also enjoy a pint of cider and a gossip down the pub. I will be using this page to bring you exciting news and information, with focus on local events, awards and all things good going on in the area.
Last month I introduced you to John Loveday. He was braving the cold and sleeping rough for two nights to raise money for the now homeless veterans of the British Army.
So, with Christmas now looming I hope you’ve all started, or even finished, the present buying! I am fairly impressed with myself for starting in October, although in all honesty that was one present and I haven’t done anything since. As unprepared as always! Not to worry though, as there’s lots going on in Solihull town centre this year to help make the shopping experience a more enjoyable one, with the German style market being earmarked as bigger and better than before. The ice-rink is not making a comeback, but don’t despair, this year sees the introduction of a Christmas Express Train. The train will be giving rides around the town centre, great fun for the kids! (Every weekend in December and daily during the week approaching Christmas). The Merry Monk Bar is back in Mell Square for those well deserved beers and mulled wine. Santa’s grotto in Touchwood promises visits from special guests including Presley the Polar Bear and an animatronic friend as well as a magician and activities with the elves. However, my favourite this year is the Nutcracker Christmas Trail, where you can collect a programme from participating shops and set about finding the 10 Nutcracker themed statues placed around the town centre. I am particularly fond of this as, I for one need a good excuse to get my daughter into the shops and I am banking on a ‘one statue, one shop’ negotiation, working wonders! Once you have found all the statues, just post your programme into the postbox at the Merry Monk Bar in Mell Square. You never know you could win an iPad Mini!
I caught up with John about his two nights. John left his house with a plan, it was due to be the coldest couple of nights of the year so far and John thought it best to try and walk through the night to keep his body temp up and stay as warm and safe as possible, then try to sleep during the day. After walking for 4 hours he quickly realised he would need to raise money for food in the morning so he started asking passers-by. Most ignored him, some told him they had no change and someone offered him a chip! When John was about to give up, a lady approached with McDonalds vouchers, a coffee and a sandwich. John walked throughout the night, spending an hour in McDonalds to warm up although he was asked to move on. With 12 hours to go, John was still walking as he had made the decision not to try to sleep again. Seeing a homeless man, he went to speak with him, his name was Rob and he was a veteran of the army and had PTSD. They shared stories and John shared his crisps. He survived two days and nights but he was beat and ready for his nice warm bed. John has raised £665 so far towards his target, help him raise awareness www.gofundme.com/home4heroes
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In other news… Ale drinkers listen up! Knowle has a brand new Ale and Wine Bar opening on 1 December, at the top end of the High Street. Mark Caldicott is opening The Ale Rooms, with a micro-pub style it will be specialising in a wide range of traditional real ales, for those who enjoy a quiet pint, the bar will be open between 2pm and 10pm daily. Giovanni’s, of Main Street in Dickens Heath, have been awarded ‘Best Italian – Midlands (Solihull)’ at The Food Awards 2016 held in London last month. The De Lucas’ own and run this authentic Italian restaurant, serving traditional Italian food. With the Italian background and passion, it is no wonder they have won this amazing award! www.giovannis-italian-restaurant.co.uk
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It’s All In
The Pixels? TV’s, we’ve all got one and in most cases we don’t pay too much attention to the picture quality because it’s “OK” but there are differences out there and with some of the popular broadcasters starting to offer 4K. Is it worth the hype? It’s all about the Pixels or to be more precise the amount of pixels crammed into a TV screen, the more there are the higher the resolution, the clearer the image. Standard Definition or SD with 704x576 pixels is the lowest resolution and the majority of TV broadcasts are still in SD, if you’re not watching a channel with HD after it, then it will be a standard definition broadcast. High Definition 1080p or HD with 1920x1080 pixels, although increasingly popular, still not every broadcast you watch is ON a High Definition channel, which is incredible considering the first broadcast in the UK was over 10 years ago. Ultra-High Definition 4K or UHD with 3840x2160 pixels, currently the highest resolution available. Content is still limited, but gains traction in all formats. In answer to the original question “is it worth the hype?” Well ultimately it is really down to personal preference, but if you are looking to purchase a new TV in the upcoming festive period then there are some key things to look out for to ensure that it will be able to display those 4K images, should you decide to subscribe in the future. UHD, 4K, HDR, HDMI2.0, HDCP 2.2.
Jon Knight is a director at Avicci with over 20 years in the Audio Visual and Smart Home industry and are members of Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA). If you are looking to incorporate multiple devices into your home or perhaps your existing amount of tech has got out of hand and requires a little stream lining, you may consider services such as ours. You may even be building or renovating; if so it’s the ideal time to speak to us, your local Technology Integrator about the installation of the correct Smart Home infrastructure to ensure a “Future Ready” home. AVICCI Ltd Integrating Technology www.avicci.co.uk
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Smart Homes • Certified Netw Networks orks • Multi-Room AV AV • Cinema Rooms • IP CC CCTV TV • Wireless Wireless Solutions Wirel Cornfield Magazine | 49
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Marksman Leisure & Shooting4Fun have been providing Shooting Activities to the corporate & private sectors throughout the UK since 1993. Whilst based at our Outdoor Pursuits Centre in Hanbury Worcestershire, we also travel to most suitable locations throughout the UK Oakland’s has a pavilion with covered shooting areas and despite being very rural we have running water toilet facilities and catering options to suit. Oakland's is just a ten-minute drive from Junction 5 of the M5. In addition to our Bromsgrove location, we will continue to travel all over the UK, so if you cannot come to us, then we can come to you. Many of our customers and clients comment on that we have one of the best jobs in the world and guess what they are right, having been in this industry for some 23 years, we still look forward to a new day and a new challenge, ‘Rain or Shine’, Wedding Day Laser Clay Shooting – Yes a Laser Clay Shoot for you and your guests without the associated dangers or mess from conventional shooting and all in their best Bib & Tucker Stag & Hen Parties – Again specialist shooting from Real Clays to Woodland Laser Tag Private & Works Parties – half day and full day programmes available Corporate Multi Activity Days – Up to 60 person Clay Shoots at a choice of 3 local venues Children’s Outdoor Woodland Laser Tag Parties for ages 7 to 107 ‘Our Venue or Your Venue’ Laser Clay Shooting Real Clay Shooting Rifle Shooting Outdoor Laser-Tag Indoor Laser Target Gallery Shooting Indoor Laser-Tag Archery Team Building Programmes Multi Activity Events
‘Rest assured if it’s not on our list we can find it’ Enquiries & Bookings - All of our shooting entertainment activities and outdoor pursuits are available on a pre-booked basis, all enquiries please, to Mark on 01527-575141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details, pictures and movie clips. www.shooting4fun.co.uk 50 | Cornfield Magazine
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Guide for Men
Here you can find the best tech that money can buy, from virtual reality to quadcopter drones. Here are a selection of 5 of the most talked about gadgets of 2016. Technology is forever changing and we all find it difficult to keep up with the latest innovations. Whether you’re looking for the highest rated technology this season or just need some general inspiration, then you need look no further. We have selected our top 5 technology must haves, which will take you right through into 2017. Virtual Reality Samsung Gear VR Headset - £99 Explore a new world with the Samsung Gear VR Headset. Experience supreme comfort that is lightweight, with low light leakage and reflection prevention. Use the easy to use touchpad with a simple tap or swipe for precision and control. This incredible piece of technology works seamlessly with Galaxy Smartphones using a micro USB connection. Let the journey begin! The Action Cam Polaroid Cube & Wi-Fi Lifestyle Action Camera - £119.99 The new lifestyle action camera makes sharing your favorite photos and videos easier than ever, you need not miss a thing. Waterproof Shockproof and mountable, the Polaroid cube has everything you will require. Cleansing for Men Clarisonic ‘Alfa Fit’ Face Cleaning System - £170 A cleansing device engineered specifically for men’s skin helping to clean away excess oil, sweat, pollutants and dirt for fresh and bright skin. This is the ultimate grooming must have for men. The ‘Alpha Fit’ is sleek, compact and waterproof. This peice of tech can be used for pre-shave cleanses, whilst suiting those of you with beards.
For the Coffee Lover Smarter Remote App Control Grind & Brew Filter Coffee Machine - £159.99 Coffee is the future when it comes to technology. With the Smart Coffee Machine you can schedule or adjust your brew time, whilst setting yourself reminders so that your coffee will be fresh and hot. The Drone DJI Phantom 3 Professional 4K Quadcopter Drone with Video - £1,049 Lets face it every man wants their own drone and this one has to be at the top of the list, with its 4K video and 12-megapixel Photo camera. This drone is easy to fly with its intelligent flight system. Other features include live HD video and the drone can be powered by the ‘Powerful’ mobile app, including the auto video editor.
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Given UK club culture has been making headlines of late due to it apparently coming 'under attack' from dastardly authorities and property developers, it seems incredibly pertinent for the latest brightly coloured, sugar-riddled Dreamworks job to centre on day-glow loving, party-starting, only-ugly-on-theoutside characters. Then again, this movie isn't made for adults. Is it? Well, yes and no. The rightly revered animation studio has arguably been the biggest exponent of what The Guardian's Andrew Pulver has described as 'kidult' narratives; sassy and subversive enough in script to keep parents entertained, but suitably innocent overall to still be aimed at little ones. In Trolls, the latest in the increasingly long list, that formula has certainly survived, meaning it's perhaps not too surprising the main characters will resemble certain parts of rave culture personified to anyone who has ever been to a rave. Digressions aside, the overall offering is perhaps surprisingly strong, and has been compared to the now-legendary Shrek elsewhere. Certainly Dreamworks will be hoping that's the case- we're not the only ones to have read about the studio buying the Troll brand wholesale, and therefore no doubt looking to revitalise a franchise that, whilst not dying since the 1960s, hasn't been too prominent in recent decades. Plot-wise, things focus on Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick), our strong52 | Cornfield Magazine
minded heroine, troll princess, but conveniently-feminine leading lady. She likes pretty things but also speaks her mind. She also likes putting on dance events, but takes it one step too far at a big old bash, alerting the dreaded Bergens to the whereabouts of her community. These nasty ogres are the reason the trolls had to flee to an undisclosed location 20 years ago, and now it seems the beasts are back and ready to eat the trolls' happiness, bit by bit. And no, that's not a metaphor- it's exactly what they do. Perhaps, then, the message to take from that premise is not to have parties that go on too late, or are too loud?
Although there's also the anarchistic reading- Bergens as cops, wanting to stop people who â€˜Just Want To Have A Good Timeâ€™. Either way, soon the horribles have kidnapped some background actor trolls, and as such it's up to Poppy and her rather melancholic, or at least killjoy comrade, Branch (voiced by none other than Justin Timberlake), to track them down and save the day. Aided no end by a supporting cast including Zooey Deschanel, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Russell Brand and John Cleese, cue lots of odd couple bits, some genuinely smile-inducing moments, and a definite hit in the funfor-all-the-family category.
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Introducing Disney's latest attempt to claw back some of its studio integrity after a hit and (many) miss(es) few years. This time round we're in the marvelous Marvel world of a neurosurgeon who suffers a horrific car accident, only to emerge weirder than ever. OK, so that's really dumbing down the plot to Doctor Strange, but it also gets the point across. Stephen Strange, MD, is a successful medic with perhaps not the most ideal surname in the game. After wrecking his ride, and very nearly losing his life in the process, a once high-flying career lies in tatters, and the hands he used to rely on for sensitive operations are in a similar state. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the ill-fated titular doctor at the centre of things, the same man who then finds himself the only chap capable of stopping inter-dimensional mayhem from bringing the world down to its knees. Because, according to this latest exploration of the fantastical on screen, the reality we see before us is not the only one out there, and alternatives are hammering at the door of our conscious, threatening to break it down and invade our own. Or something like that. Needless to say, then, this is certainly more Inception than Captain American, despite the lucky few attendees at the 15-minute preview being so quick to tweet how Doctor Strange could well be 'the next Winter Soldier '. Halfway between superhero stock stuff and mind-bending territory, it doesn't take long to realise this one has the special effects- shapeshifting buildings, impossible angles, otherworldly terrains- to pull off something quite monumental. Boasting a supporting cast strong enough to make you stand up and wonder if indeed everything is real, or notTilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams, and Chiwetel Ejiofor all feature in the credits- it has absolute blockbuster written all over its teen-friendly trailers, making this a definite contender. Then again, we've been wrong before.
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GAMES WIN a £10
Voucher from GAME To be in with a chance of winning the £10 voucher, simply go to our website and enter your details along with the ‘Scramble Extra Letter Answer’. Winner will be announced in next month’s magazine.
Go to: www.cornfieldpublishing.com Last Month’s Winner: Alex Virnuls - Solihull
1. What is the second largest country in the world? 2. In what 1980s film did Darryl Hannah play a mermaid? 3. For which newspaper did Superman work? 4. In feet, how high above the floor is the net on a basketball court? 5. If you were born on Christmas day which star sign would you be? 6. Who played bass guitar in the Beatles? 7. What is the highest mountain in the Alps? 8. Which football team do Liam and Noel Gallagher of Oasis support? 9. A koala bear eats leaves from which type of tree? 10. What constellation represents a hunter with club and shield? Answers on page 60
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You know I can be found, sitting home all alone, If you can't come around, at least please telephone.
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D M & C O . H O M E S - Y O U R L O C A L , P R O A C T I V E E S TAT E A G E N C Y
Wow, what a year 2016 has been for us all, not withstanding the three things that have affected the property market by way of Stamp Duty Changes, Brexit and President Trump! I am pleased to announce that with some seriously hard work behind the scenes and exceptional focus to our customer service levels DM & Co. has seen year on year growth as we come to the end of Year 3 and focus our efforts on delivering an exciting Year 4 to clients both new and old. We are certainly not stuck in our ways and consider change to be a positive factor. For those of you that know where our office is based (Yoxall Road, Shirley), having sustained growth we are now expanding within our current location to provide a larger open plan office to allow our staff to collaboratively work better, together to deliver our goals on a larger scale. Having agreed 96 sales this year (as we go to print) we are geared up to hit the 150 mark in Year 4 - Hopefully with little help from you? If you would like to get your property sold by a target driven, ambitious agency with an alternate outlook on traditional Estate Agency, please call Dominic or Olivia on 0121 775 0101 to arrange your FREE market
appraisal and discover what it is that we do that separates us from our competition. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support, without which we would not be able to compete in this market. It is evident that if you keep your clients happy and remain transparent at all times - success follows. Wishing each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year. Kind regards Dominic
New Year Offer Market your property with DM & Co. Homes in January and if you are not Sold Subject To Contract within 28 days, we will reduce our fee by 25%!* T&Câ€™s Apply.
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Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation On behalf of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, a charity that gives help and hope to those affected by Lung Cancer, Shelley Smith from Solihull organised a Fundraising Ball on Saturday 12th November at Hatchford Brook Golf Centre to help raise awareness and money that will go towards vital research. This foundation is actually the only charity in the UK wholly dedicated to defeating lung cancer, despite the fact it’s the biggest cancer killer in the UK yet alarmingly receives the least funding, claiming the lives of more people than breast and bowel cancer combined. This foundation provides both financial and emotional support for those who are living with this awful disease. The charity is very personal to Shelley and her family after her Father was diagnosed with Non Small Cell Lung Cancer in March 2012. The Fundraising Ball was in memory of Robert Stephen Smith who sadly lost of his life after a very courageous battle in April 2013. This is Shelley's third charity event for the Foundation having done the Birmingham Half Marathon for the last 2 years. Charlotte Hopkins, Fundraiser with Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, was amazed by how much the ball raised for the charity. She said, “This is a wonderful effort by all Shelley, and we thank her for all her hard work and her astonishing generosity. Everyone really enjoyed themselves, and we’re delighted to say that this will help us fund vital research work. We give around £1 million each year to fund research projects across the UK – so this is a big help to us”. “Every pound we put into research takes us one step closer to beating this dreadful disease and helping patients across the country.” For more information on Lung Cancer, from early symptoms to living with the disease and the help you can receive, please visit www.roycastle.org Pictures: The venue & Shelley Smith with Aila from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation who travelled from Liverpool to represent the charity. Anyone who wishes to make a donation can do so by following the link: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/robertstephensmith
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Quiz Answers. 1. Canada
3. The Daily Planet
4. 10 feet
6. Paul McCartney
7. Mont Blanc
8. Manchester City
Abarth 124 Spider The Abarth 124 Spider is cast from the same die as the Fiat 124, and to improve it Abarth has used the same tactic as it did to change the Fiat 500 into the Abarth 595. In other words, it has added lithe looks, noise and most importantly, muscle. The Abarth 124 Spider uses the same platform as Mazda’s MX5 and Fiat’s 124. However, while the Fiat has been constructed to be more of a cruising vehicle, the Abarth is more hardcore – and the most performance driven of the three brands. The Abarth uses the same 1.4-litre, four-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine as Fiat’s 124 - except in the Abarth it produces 170PS, compared with the Fiat 124’s 140PS. The Abarth’s power unit spins with the proper Italian sports car vigour you’d hope for. It feels wayward and entertaining at high revs - and you’re aware of the turbocharger when you push on. The sports car is quick to respond and the gear change is rapid and exact. The best thing about the 124 Spider, though, is the noise it makes. Popping burbles emit from the quad tailpipes when doing the 0-62mph gallop, as I found out testing the car at Silverstone Circuit, in Northamptonshire. The twoseater Abarth will reach the magical figure in 6.8 seconds, on its way to 143mph. Fold the roof, via a simple fastener, and the Abarth 124’s sound is even more delectable. For an added dose of pleasure, the Abarth 124 has a Sport setting. Hit the button and things become louder, tighter and faster. The throttle feels 60 | Cornfield Magazine
more insistent, and weight is also added to the steering, making you feel even more united with the road – or race track. The 124 Spider feels most pleased driven hard, with the tail-end hunkered down over the rear wheels. Even when you go too brutally into a bend and lose traction for a jiffy, the
By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Writer www.carwriteups.co.uk
FAST FACTS Max speed: 143 mph 0-62 mph: 6.8 secs Combined mpg: 44.1 Engine layout: 1368cc 4-cylinder turbo petrol Max. power (PS): 170 CO2: 148 g/km Price: £29,565
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Abarth 124 continues to play nicely. Working out what the rump of the car is going to do soon becomes second nature. On the whole, the Abarth 124 Spider is a grin maker, although your beam might falter for a moment when you see the price-tag - £29,565. Yes, it’s a large lump of cash, but once you’ve heard the melodious tailpipes, felt the performance and experienced the handling for yourself, you’ll appreciate that this car is worth every single bank note.
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ANDY BENNETT An Interview with Andy Bennett Album Launch - ‘Thinkin, Drinkin, Singin’ Local musician, Andy Bennett returns with the launch of his new album, Thinkin Drinkin, Singin, recently released through Swan Music on CD and vinyl. Andy is best known for his work with Ocean Colour Scene and features one of the tracks on his solo album called, ‘Old pair of jeans’, which he originally wrote for the ‘Saturday’ album.
working on over time. Not only are Andy Bennett’s musical and vocals skills excellent, but he is also an extremely talented songwriter and here at the cornfield we are sure that this album will be a great success.
The new album, ‘Thinkin, Drinkin, Singin’, is full of refreshing and inspiring sounds and has everything you would expect from a talented musician like Andy. You can really gain a great feel for the creative process that has gone into producing this album that Andy has been
This month we had the opportunity to catch up with Andy himself to find out more about his exciting new album, whilst gaining an insight into some of Andy’s personal influences within the world of music.
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Who are your musical influences and why? I have many influences from Bacharach, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Harry Nilsson, Neil Young, Motown artists, the list goes on and on. I love all genres of music, there are only 2 types of music as an educated man once said 'good and bad'! As a local artist, where in the Midlands is the best place or venue to discover new, up and coming talent? Well you could go to the venues where all the young bands play like the Flapper in Birmingham or you could just go to a local pub and be lucky enough to see some great live acts, alternatively people could come to the nights I put on at Shard End and Henley in Arden where you can see some great new up and coming talent! What advice would you give to those looking for a career in the music industry?
Could you tell me a little bit about your track ‘Hole in the Road’ and what was the inspiration behind this song?
Hole in the road was the first single off the new album (thinkin' drinkin' singin') and is about whatever the listener can take from it. To me the song is about my ambitions in life and trying to fulfil them. As in many people's lives there are obstacles that you have to overcome to achieve the goals you set yourself, the song was followed up by a second single called 'Drift away' and my latest single 'A little love' all of which are on my new album.
Not really, my grandfather could sing really well and my whole family love music but that's as far as it goes! What are your fondest musical memories? I have many fond memories, but I think completing this new album and listening to it on vinyl for the first time! How often do you rehearse?
The album is about whatever the listener makes of it, there's pain, love and psychedelic moments throughout, the inspiration comes from my own experiences within! Which artists are you currently listening to on your playlist? I've actually got a lot of different styles and people / bands in my playlists, they include red hot chilli peppers, nirvana, Aaron Neville, the Animals, the Beatles, the La's, Eric Burden and war, the kinks, the list is far too long to continue! What’s your earliest memory of starting out in music? Sitting with my grandfather with a toy guitar and a record player strumming and singing along and eventually learning a few chords and writing my first tune! How do you feel about the Internet and the music industry? Do you think it’s had a positive affect on the industry? It has positive and negative sides to it and I think they'll get to a point where it works for everyone, not just the big names.
I like a lot of lyrics, ones that come to mind instantly are a Jackson Browne song called 'these days' and it says... "Don't confront me with my failures I had not forgotten them". I mean wow, also I like "look out kid it's something you did, god knows when but you're doing it again" from Bob Dylan's 'subterranean homesick blues'. There are so many and I spend my life reading and writing lyrics. I love finding my own meanings and I love it when I think I've wrote something great, not that I think I'm amazing but you gotta try right?
Is your family musical?
I'm still trying to figure it out myself! You are currently promoting your newest album, ‘Thinkin, Drinkin, Singin’. Tell me a bit more about the album itself, and what is the inspiration behind the album?
What are your favorite lyrics of all time?
Who do you think will be big in 2017? I have no idea, could be someone or some band we've never heard of yet or maybe the next X Factor winner, but if your question is really who would I like to be big in 2017, then I'd have to say me of course and some of my friends who are tremendous singers and players. If you want someone your readers may have heard of then I hope that 'the 1975' write something as good as their track 'chocolate' and continue to be successful.
I don't really rehearse so much anymore, I used to rehearse all day, everyday, but these days I pick up an instrument and have a little knock about on it for a while most days and it's usually a guitar. I get the band together when gigs come up just to blow the cobwebs off or if I have to rehearse with a new member. Are there any other hobbies or interests you have other than music? I like to watch movies and play records on my turntable but other than that not really. What’s your songwriting process? I get an idea come to me, pick up a guitar and play and sing all sorts of rubbish untill something starts taking shape. Then I write the lyrics, or sometimes a lyric will come first and I'll keep singing that over and over until a good progression comes! What is your most valued possession? I'd probably have to say my guitars. I've bought and sold a lot of guitars and I wish I'd kept every one of them, it changes from time to time but at the moment I'd say my Hofner western acoustic guitar made in Germany in 1964, it's got great character and a lovely tone! Have you ever had a ‘Crazy Fan’ experience? Yes, but again I can't really talk about it so I'll pass on this question!!!
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DMS Heart of England Music Academy 'A Fusion of Music and Dance 2017' Dorridge Music School started with a dozen pupils in 1985 and celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. DMS heart of England music academy, as it's now known has come a long way and is now the largest independent music school in the country, as well as being a registered charity it teaches families from all over the West Midlands a range of music tuition from beginner right through to diploma level. Leigh Perry is the Principal and Trustee and has worked at the school since it's opening. Leigh was shortlisted in 2015 for the ‘West Midlands Woman of the Year’ and has won ‘Business Woman of the Year 2016’. Leigh has also created the DMS Concert Brand - 'A Fusion of Music and Dance'. On May 7th 2017, Leigh will be producing 'A Fusion of Music and Dance' for the 7th time, staged at the Symphony Hall Birmingham. The charity event sees over 300 musicians, choirs and dancers perform live on stage alongside special celebrity guests which next year will include - BGT finalists, Richard and Adam and Beau Dermott, young opera star Faith Tucker, the Town Hall Gospel Choir and DMS Patron and rock legend Bev Bevan. The concerts have raised over £8000 for Leigh's chosen charities including The RSPCA Birmingham, The Acorns Trust, Marie Curie and Birmingham Dogs Home. Next years charities are The MS Society Solihull and Birmingham Dogs Home. The event is also raising awareness for ‘Delete Blood Cancer’, following a campaign by DMS to urge people, especially those of Asian backgrounds to become donors, following the sad loss of DMS pupil Riya Dandekar who was just 21 years old, when she sadly passed 18 months ago. For those interested in attending 'A Fusion of Music and Dance', there will be a coach to the Symphony Hall, which will be leaving from Knowle. For local business's or corporate clients who wish to advertise in the shows A4 programme, sponsor the event or join the expo on the day, email email@example.com To book lessons or tickets call the DMS on 01564 772831 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For more information visit our concert site www.dmsfusionlive.com or alternatively, visit www.dorridgemusicschool.com
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REGGAE LEGENDS UB40 TO PLAY CHARITY GIG IN AID OF BIRMINGHAM CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CHARITY UB40 performed a special concert in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s Star Appeal, as part of the Superhero Challenge Thursday, November 17th at 7pm, saw Birmingham’s legendary reggae band, UB40 perform an intimate concert at Park Regis Hotel Birmingham, as part of a charity fundraising evening in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s £3.65 million star appeal, to create the UK’s first Centre for children with rare diseases. The event, which sold out within an hour of going on-sale, has raised over £10,000, with further donations and auctions being made on the evening itself. As part of The Superhero Challenge – an attempt was made to break the World Record, by six athletes, for the longest consecutive workout (26 hours) to raise £100,000, which took place on the 20th November. Lenny Scarlett, one of the athletes that took part in the challenge and the curator of the charity gig with UB40, said: “We’ve had such an unbelievable amount of support and were pleased to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital charity’s Star Appeal. “The tickets sold-out so quickly with this event, raising £30,000 in only a short amount of time. We plan to go even bigger next year to continue out support for Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital.” UB40 guitarist and vocalist Robin Campbell said, “We love intimate gigs and it was for a great cause.” Elinor Eustace, Deputy Director of Fundraising at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are so incredibly grateful to Lenny and his friends for supporting our charity in this unique way.” “UB40 are such big stars and to have had them support our Star Appeal, was simply fantastic. Our new Rare Diseases Centre will be the first of its kind in the UK and all the money raised will make a big difference to our brave children and young people living with a rare or undiagnosed condition.”
The tickets sold-out so quickly with this event, and we’ve already raised over £30,000, so we plan to go even bigger next year to continue our support for Birmingham Children’s Hospital
To help and donate, please visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thesuperherochallenge All proceeds go directly to Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital Charity’s Star Appeal. For more information visit www.bch.org.uk/StarAppeal
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www .roluxuk.com www.roluxuk.com
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Ensign Conservatory Roof Solutions
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warm this winter It’s the time of year when we least plan to use our conservatories, especially if you don’t have the correct heating facilities, which only leaves the space feeling cold and unused. That is why Ensign is on hand to help with your conservatory needs, allowing you to enjoy warmth and comfort all year round. Traditional conservatories suffer with poor quality roofing materials including polycarbonate roofs, offering no insulation, so heat escapes, making your conservatory cold during the winter months, which can be a huge inconvenience when needing space for social events ahead of Christmas.
In need of Ensigns services during the winter then you need look no further… Tiled conservatory roof systems Ensign use a replacement roofing system that is thermally efficient producing remarkable results, leaving customers with an ambient
temperature all year, whilst having the added benefits of reducing rain noise and glare with a new aluminum or bespoke timber roof structure, featuring a wide range of colours and finishes, plus a 10 year guarantee with all installations. Conservatory roof insulation systems Looking for a cost effective alternative then Ensign can provide a twin vented insulated ceiling, saving up to 90% of heat loss that can be installed in most conservatories. The process takes 2 days and incorporates a thorough roof check before work is carried out and the benefits include reduced energy bills and maintenance. If you are in need of more information then Ensign will be on hand to help, beating like for like quotations, having experience in turning conservatories into a pleasant and relaxing family living space, whilst being a member of ‘Which Trusted Trader’. Ensign also offer a 10-year insurance backed guarantee with the CPA. Customers can expect a quality service from fully trained staff and will receive expert advice for completion of their home project.
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HENLEY-IN-ARDEN BADMINTON CLUB We play at the Memorial Hall, Station Road, Henley-in-Arden every Friday and Sunday evening from 8pm-10pm. The season runs from mid September to end April. We are looking for new members to join our friendly club playing good social badminton. If you would like to visit and play, just turn up (visitors fee £3). Free car park. Or contact us for further details 01564 793320.
Solihull Photographic Society Tuesday 13th December. Our President's Evening. Tuesday 20th December. It's a Knock Out Competition and informal Christmas social. Tuesday 10th January 2017. "All about Robins" by BBC presenter David Tideswell. All meetings start at 7.30pm and are held at the WI Hall, Warwick Road, Solihull. Visitors will be made welcome. £3 at the door please. Further information can be found on our website www.solihullphotographicsociety.co.uk
The Revels Drama Group presents Cinderella January 26th – 29th 2017. Knowle Village Hall. Thursday, Friday & Saturday evening performances 7.30pm Saturday & Sunday matinees 2.30pm. Doors open 45 minutes before performances start The much-loved story of ‘Cinderella’ comes to life on stage in Knowle. When a poor village girl meets the Prince of her dreams, will she get to the Palace Ball? Find out in this traditional pantomime, suitable for anyone aged 4 years old and older and enjoy the show! Tickets on sale from 12th December 2016 (Adults £8.00, OAP/Child £7.00, Members £6.00). Telephone 01564 779801 to book tickets or write to Linda Cooper, 44 Kixley Lane, Knowle, Solihull B93 0JG, enclosing a stamped, selfaddressed envelope for reply.
Pipe Fitting/Plumbing Vacancy Based in Wythall, South Birmingham, Heating and Associated Services Ltd are a long established and leading independent commercial Heating, Electrical, Ventilation and Air Con service, repair and installation company serving customers throughout the Midlands area. We urgently require a plumber/heating engineer to join our team to carry out plumbing and heating system repairs as well as assist gas engineers on installation of commercial boilers and heating systems where required. The role is mobile and a van is provided so a full clean driving licence is essential. We will offer a competitive salary to the right candidate relevant to
experience. If you are interested, please send your CV to email@example.com along with your salary expectations or call 01564 829310 ext 205 for an informal chat.
This area is for local events, what’s on, clubs and societies. These listings are FREE. If you would like to add your information on this page, then please email the details to: firstname.lastname@example.org
the worry of them disturbing others. Toys and snacks also available. Doors open at 10am. £3 per child (must be accompanied by an adult); adults free.
SILHILL BRIDGE CLUB
Festive Walk 2016 Tuesday 27 December 2016 Start any time after 9:00, finish by 16:00 Baddesley Clinton National Trust House B930DQ (5 miles from junction 5 M42) You do not have to enter in advance. Please save time on the day print and complete a Registration Form for your group and bring it with you. Entry as always is FREE but we would appreciate a donation for our 3 deserving new charities
Henley Drama Society Henley-in-Arden Drama Society Presents "Step into Christmas", at The Guildhall, Henley on 15th, 16th, & 17th December at 7.30 pm. Tickets £8 from Dukes, hads.org.uk or on the door. Join us in word & song with a selection of Christmas sketches, Poems, Carols & Songs, including Memories & Favourites from the Beatles Era Wine bar available. Come & Join in the Festivities!
Solihull Pensioners’ Convention We are a friendly, non-party-political and non-denominational group of pensioners who meet at the Solihull Methodist Church Hall on the fourth Wednesday morning of each month. The National Pensioners’ Convention campaigns to improve the quality of life for pensioners during their retirement years. As a local branch we have speakers on important issues affecting pensioners such as care, health, sheltered housing and specialist holidays but also mixed with lighter topics. New members will be very welcome. contact: Alan Thomas, Secretary 0121 705 3342
Earlswood Village Hall 14th December: Jez Lowe's 'Snowed In'. Jez Lowe's Christmas tours have become something of a tradition of festive winter-tainment with a night of songs, banter and seasonal Scrooge like tomfoolery. Tickets £14 (to include a light supper) available from Fiona on 01564 703 674. Friday 16th December. ' Flicks in the Stick's presents 'The Bridge of Spies'. Doors/Bar open 7pm, light snacks available during the interval. £4 members £5 non-members - pay on the door. 17th December. Pre-School cinema. Bring your little ones to sample the experience of the Big Screen without
meets at St. Helen’s Church Hall in St. Helen’s Road, Solihull, on Mon and Thurs evenings for duplicate bridge, and Wed afternoons for rubber/Chicago bridge. We pride ourselves on being a friendly group open to new players of intermediate standard and above. Wed afternoon sessions are particularly helpful to people wishing to improve their standard of play. Further details from the Secretary on 01564 782232 or the Web: www.bridgewebs.com/silhill
Solihull Local RSPB Group. Meetings held on second Tuesday in the month at 7-30 pm at the Oliver Bird Hall, Church Hill Road, from September until April. Interesting talks, no knowledge necessary, just enthusiasm for wild life. £4 non members £3-50 members. Monthly walks led by an expert.Further information Tel. 0121 707 3101.
HENLEY BRIDGE CLUB meet Tuesdays at 7pm for a friendly game of duplicate bridge at The White Swan, High St, Henley in Arden. Contact the Secretary 01564 792993 or the Treasurer 0777 887 1930
WINTER WONDERLAND Winter Wonderland is a truly magical experience for both little ones and grown ups with many families returning year after year. Visit Santa in his snow-capped log cabin, walk through IceMountain, take a spin on the Winter Carousel and Sleigh Ride. Visit the Elve’s Mail Room and Geppetto’s Christmas Toy Shop. See Santa’s Reindeers, Dancer and Prancer staying in the Winter Village. Winter Wonderland is always a complete sell out and operates on bookings only. Wonderland, Telford Town Park Telford TF3 4AY 01952 591633
Meet Santa Saturday 19 November Touchwood - Saturday 19 November - Sunday 24 December Santa Claus is coming to town! Come along to meet him and his elves in the grotto, located in the Atrium at Touchwood, and you may come with an early Christmas present!. Entry costs £5 per child.
Solihull Vision Team Solihull Vision Team present Carols for Life in aid of Cancer Research In St Alphege Church, Solihull , on Thursday, December 15 at 7.30pm £10 for adults £5 for children (including wine and mince pies) Tickets call 01675 443274 or 07802637902
ARDEN ARTISTS We are a small friendly group of painters aiming to expand our membership. We meet every Tuesday afternoon at Knowle Village Hall for a tutored session covering all aspects of watercolour painting, with occasional ventures into ink and wash, and pencil and charcoal drawing. All levels are welcome, so even if you have never tried before, why not come and have a go? For further details please either call in one Tues afternoon or call the number 0121 705 2784
Antarctic Grotto National Sea Life Centre Meet Father Christmas in his Antarctic Grotto, complete with his Gentoo Penguin neighbours, from November 26 to December 23. Families will be able to see an underwater Christmas tree situated in the UK’s only transparent 360˚ Ocean Tunnel. Tickets start at £12.75, with reductions available for tickets booked in advance. Visit the Sea Life Centre website for details.
The Strolling Players SOLIHULL CHANDOS CHOIR Solihull Chandos Choir with the St Alphege School "SongSquad" invite you to join them for their traditional Christmas Celebration at 7.00pm on Wed 14 Dec 2016 at Shirley Methodist Church. Tickets £10; children £4 (including refreshments). Further details, or to book online go to www. solihullchandoschoir.org or call 01564773951
a singing group based in Knowle, present their annual concert at Knowle Village Hall on Saturday, 10th December. "A Medley of Song" is being performed in aid of the R.N.L.I and begins at 7.30p.m. Tickets cost £8.00 ,available from 01564772071 or from any of the Players.If you are interested in joining the Group, please contact 01564778163 for more details. We would love to find another Alto, a top Soprano and some Tenors.
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Christmas Craft Fair at Knowle United Reformed Church, Station Road on 19th November from 10.00am till noon. Entrance is 50p to include a drink. Come and choose your Christmas presents!
Solihull Writers Solihull Writers is a friendly writing club meeting every second and fourth Wednesday at the Solihull Methodist Church, 7:30-9:30pm. For details call Helen on 07946 075233 or see www.solihullwriters.co.uk
Lions Festive Walk Invite your friends and relatives to walk off the Christmas pudding. This year’s FREE Festive Walk from Baddesley Clinton NT House on Tuesday 27 December offers a choice of 3, 6 or 9 mile signed circular routes and an opportunity to make a donation for the Prostate Cancer UK, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, Motor Neurone Disease Association, and local causes. Details online at www.knowleanddorridgelions.com/walk or call 08458 335 894
Festive Fun crafty drop-in Thursday 8 December Festive Fun crafty drop-in 10.00am - 11:30am and 1.30pm - 3.00pm, Parkridge Centre, Brueton Park, B91 3HW Come and have some festive fun this December, drop in and make a Christmas craft. We'll have a range of crafty bits to pick from, maybe make a Christmas card or even a reindeer tree decoration. This session is suitable for a wide range of children. Admission applies and £1.00 per craft.
Knowle Ramblers We are a friendly walking club meeting at weekends on a fortnightly basis. Our walks are usually about 7 miles in length with occasional shorter walks. We meet at Knowle Village Hall Car Park and lifts can be provided to the walk's location. New members are welcome, please bring walking boots and a picnic lunch. Details of our programme can be found on our website, knowleramblers.tripod.com, or by contacting Margaret on 01564 776355 or Glenys on 0121 705 1059
KNOWLE FLOWER CLUB we meet at 1.30 pm on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, at the Knowle Village Hall, St. John's Close, Knowle. If you enjoy flowers, we have a
demonstrator on the 1st Thursday, when you can sit and watch and a practice class on the 3rd Thursday, when you can learn how to flower arrange. Visitors are very welcome. Further information please contact 01564 777588 or 0121 704 2211.
Knowle & Dorridge Lions Knowle & Dorridge Lions invite you to visit our website www.knowleanddorridgelions.com and consider whether you would like to join our active & thriving club and help put something back and organise some of the most popular fundraising events in the area – Knowle Fun Run, Lions Festive Walk and Heart of England Bike Ride. Call President Richard Buckley on 0845 33 58 94
Tots and Tales Tots and Tales is a new group for babies and preschool children with a parent and carer. Thursdays, term time, 10-11.30am at Solihull United Reformed Church, 741 Warwick Road, Solihull. Opposite House of Fraser. Push chair access and limited parking via Union Road. Twenty minutes organised time of nursery rhymes and stories followed by craft, refreshments and free play. All welcome. No charge. www.solihullurc.org.uk
Pauline Quirke Academy Spaces now available at Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts, Solihull. PQA is a weekend performing arts Academy, based at Lighthall School, Shirley. We provide tuition for children and young people from 4-18 years. Students spend three hours with us, rotating through sessions in Comedy & Drama, Musical Theatre and Film & Television. We are currently enrolling for all our age groups, to come for a FREE taster session please call Helen on 07772 897655.
Solihull Local Group RSPB Meetings are held the second Tuesday in every month, from September until March 2017. They take place in the Oliver Bird Hall, Church Hill, Solihull at 7-30. Talks are varied and interesting. Admission charge for talks is £3-50 members, £4 non members. For further information please contact 0121 707 3101.
Solihull Ramblers We are the local group of the Ramblers' Association, which is a registered charity caring for the countryside. We provide led walks of various distances between 3 and 15 miles. Our walks take place 3 times a week throughout the year, on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays. Also weekly evening walks during the summer months. Other activities include social events and weekends away. Newcomers are very welcome to join us
on 3 "taster" walks. Further details at www.solihullramblers.org.uk or call the group secretary on 0121 705 5753.
BARSTON U3A Small. friendly branch, meeting on the second Tuesday of the month at 2.30, welcomes new members. Further details from the Membership Secretary 01564 777262 or at www.u3asites.org.uk/barston
Magical Lantern Festival Birmingham Botanical gardens November 25 to January 2 An amazing display of lanterns and illuminations for all the family. There is also a range of international food and drink stalls.There is also a chance to run with dinosaurs or try out a virtual rollercoaster. Tickets prices at £12.50 for adults and £8.50 for children.
Friendly Folk Folk Dance Club Friendly Folk meet at 7.45 every Monday evening from September. We meet a t Elmdon Heath Community Centre, Cornyx Lane, B91 2SF Folk dancing is probably the simplest form of dancing with no fancy footwork to learn. If you have ever been to a barn dance and enjoyed it, why not give it a go? Newcomers are always welcome, with or without a partner. For further information contact Neil on 0121 444 1492 or Jim 01564 773929
Join us, TANWORTH-inARDEN Village Hall Our Film Club meets at 7.15pm 2nd Thursday of the month October to April. Watch great films in good company.We have a bar.Contact Mike on 01564742106 or Jo on 01564742374.
Local Yoga Classes Monday 7.45pm- 9.15pm Mixed Ability: Highfield Hall (beginners welcome) Tuesday 10.30am - 11.45am Ladies Only (all abilities) Highfield Hall. Thursday 11am - 12.30 Intermediates Hockley Heath Pavillion. Friday 10.30 12am Beginners Hockley Heath Baptist Centre. For availability or for more info contact Jane (experienced qualified Yoga Teacher) on 07734284144 or email@example.com.
KNOWLE BADMINTON CLUB Knowle badminton club play at Arden school sports hall every Tues evening from 7.30-10pm. Currently looking for new members to join our club. We are a friendly, welcoming club and have a mixed and mens team in the Coventry
league. We use feather shuttles and are looking for good social/ league standard players. Please contact me if you are interested in coming along or just turn up and join in. Pauline - 07770140249.
HENLEY FLOWER CLUB Enjoy learning about flowers at Henley Baptist Church Hall at 7.30pm on the second Tuesday each month when there is a demonstration followed by refreshments. Visitors welcome £5.00. Telephone 01564 792837.
Cottage Garden Society We are a friendly group and meet on the first Saturday afternoon of each month from September-April, 2.30pm at Bentley Heath Community Centre, Widney Road, Bentley Heath, Solihull B93 9BQ. We have a talk every month on a variety of garden related topics. All welcome. Contact Margaret on 01564 783475 for further info.
BRIDGE From Beginner to Grandmaster – new members welcome. West Mids Bridge Club is situated in our own licensed premises in the centre of Solihull. Bridge is available every day with duplicate sessions to suit every level of player. Lessons and practice play with qualified English Bridge Union tutors for beginners, improvers and beyond. Visit our website www.westmidbridge.co.uk at 909 Warwick Road, Solihull, B91 3EP (on the corner of Hampton Lane and Warwick Road). Or, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Christine on 07747 115320
Father Christmas at The Fort Shopping Park Visit Santa and his reindeer at The Fort Shopping Centre. Entry to the grotto is £6 and includes a gift. If you want a photo too, the overall price is £8.50. The grotto will be open from Sunday, November 20 to Christmas Eve. Opening times vary, check The Fort website for details.
Friends in Recreation Group If you are 50+ come and meet us at the Bentley Heath community centre Widney Road, Bentley Heath, Solihull, West Midlands B93 9BQ. Every Wednesday afternoon from 1.00pm to 4.00pm. (But you can come when it’s most convenient). To paint for pleasure. For further details, please call 0121 704 4136
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uxury, Modern, LFeel Classic
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The largest stockists of landscaping products in the Midlands Bricks Blocks Sands Cement Pavers Decorative Slabs Decorative Gravels Natural Stone Plaster Steel Lintels PVCu Fascia Boards Decking Turf Plumbing Guttering Timber Fencing Joists Roofing
Buildland Coventry Prince William Henry Foleshill Road Coventry CV1 4HW
Buildland Ltd Head Office Oxleasow Road East Moon Moat Redditch B98 0RE
Redditch Timber Alder Drive East Moon Moat Redditch B98 0RE
01527 519 444 0121 747 2700 www.buildland.co.uk
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Our ‘NEW LOOK’ December Magazine is inspired by all things festive. With the Christmas spirit being in full swing, we have prepared some exc...
Published on Nov 24, 2016
Our ‘NEW LOOK’ December Magazine is inspired by all things festive. With the Christmas spirit being in full swing, we have prepared some exc...