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South Birmingham, Solihull and Warwickshire

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

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


Welcome to your October edition of Cornfield Magazine! This month we had the chance to speak to musician Simon Webbe about the romantic inspiration behind the ‘urban folk’ tracks on his new album, Smile. We received an exclusive invite to the event celebrating the release of hid new book Blue: All Rise: Our Story, which will give audiences an intimate insight into the collaboration in Birmingham this month. Combat half-term boredom with our round up of fun activities for the family to enjoy, and take a closer look at all things local. We’ve even provided hints and tips on how to create your very own DIY Bonfire Night and included our top film picks for night of ghoulish Halloween entertainment. Discover the delights of the Oktoberfest tradition and what to expect from Birmingham’s beer-filled festivities! Heart of England helped out with a project to create the brand new, beautiful lash salon ‘Henley Lash House’, which is now open! Ahead of the Birmingham Comedy Festival, we’ve chatted to some brilliant comedians - you can find the very amusing interviews on our website! Go on, have a chuckle. From health and fitness to exclusive celebrity news, this month we’ve got you covered.







Whatever you do, have a great month. Thanks again for continuing to support this great magazine. Enjoy the 'now' and most of all, keep it local. There's a lot of great stuff around you! ;).... Until next month folks....

Richard & Sam

Contact Us Tel: 0121 796 6800 Email: Web:



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

Richard Cornfield - Managing Director

Adelle Toomer - Sales Executive 07914 820 627


Sam Fraser - Managing Director

Andy Wilman - Sales Executive 07951 460 711

Tim Hackett - Sales Executive 07806 807 573

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Servicing, Diagnostic repairs, MOT’s Class 4/7, Air Suspension problems, Performance issues

Online Service History Records


Collection & Delivery or Drop & Shop in Touchwood MOT TESTING STATION

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House by Barry Chacksfield

Those readers, whose eye was caught by our feature on Baddesley Clinton, may be interested in Packwood House, which is also a National Trust property and in close proximity. It can almost be regarded as a companion piece to the former, although it is very different in both its history and its contents. The House

The Gardens

It is by no means a criticism to say that, whereas Baddesley is quite authentic, Packwood is a pastiche. Originally, the building was a mid-sixteenth century timber-framed farmhouse, occupied by generations of the Fetherston family until 1878. In 1904 the house and the estate were bought by the Birmingham industrialist, Alfred Ash, largely because “the Boy” took a great liking to them. In 1925 they passed to his son, Graham Baron Ash, who spent the next two decades re-creating a Tudor house, albeit with en suite bathrooms and a sprung dance-floor!

The splendid gardens, which alone make the visit worthwhile, feature a 17th century Yew Garden with topiary carefully crafted to depict the Sermon on the Mount. The garden terrace wall contains 18th century bee boles, cavities that served as a forerunner to beehives. The walled garden offers a superb colour display throughout spring, summer and autumn. From the gardens there is a walk round the lake, from which there are fine views back towards the house. There is also an extensive, beautifully laid out kitchen garden over the road, near the car park and café.

He changed the windows from Georgian sashes to Jacobean-style leaded casements. He remodelled an adjoining barn to resemble a Tudor Great Hall, complete with minstrels’ gallery and linked it to the house by a Long Gallery. Baron Ash, his name not a title, was a very farsighted man because he purchased, or rather rescued, much fine 17th and 18th century furniture from great houses, which, largely for financial reasons, were demolished in the inter-war years. The collection of furniture, tapestries and beautiful artefacts made Packwood into a very fine English country gentleman’s house, perfect for entertaining, which was exactly what Baron Ash wanted. He handed the house over to the National Trust in 1941. He lived in the house until 1947, when he moved to Wingfield Castle, which he also restored. In the context of English history the house is fairly unremarkable. Henry Ireton, later Cromwell’s deputy, son-in-law and a co-signatory of Charles I’s death warrant, stayed there before the battle of Edgehill in 1642. Nearly three hundred years later Queen Mary ‘popped in for a cuppa’.

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Activities There is a five-mile walk between Packwood and Baddesley Clinton. Within the estate there are also several walks, one of which takes in the ancient Packwood Church. Details of the walks can be found on entry. The gardens are also ideal for a picnic.

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Head over to the Eastside City Park and enjoy an unforgettable day of Bavarian culture! The Birmingham park will be transformed into a

Live music

spectacular traditional Oktoberfest setting, offering live music, specially

Brilliant atmosphere

brewed beers and an incredible atmosphere. What’s not to love? Wednesday 18th & Thursday 19th – 4pm - 10.30pm Friday 20th – 4pm - 11pm Saturday 21st – 11.30am - 4.30pm, 5pm - 11pm Sunday 22nd – 12.30pm - 7.30pm

Sunday Lunch special offer Bavarian culture for the entire family

Try some authentic German cuisine and sink your top-quality beers to the sound of traditional German music played by a live band, covering everything from Oompa music to German Schlager. Embrace the festivities to the full and dress in Lederhosen and Dirndl, or sit and observe the wonderful outfits in the huge tent, which can hold up to 1,400 people! Birmingham’s very own Oktoberfest will be the perfect event to enjoy with friends, family and colleagues. Bavaria Festbeer Brewery will provide specially brewed Oktoberfest beer to ensure the day is as authentic as possible and remains true to its Bavarian roots. Not a beer lover? Then don’t panic. The festival will provide a range of wines, ciders and soft drinks, providing a great experience for all. You can certainly expect sing-alongs, dancing on the benches and a glorious time all-round. The event is open to people aged 18+ Wednesday-Saturday, and children are welcome for Sunday lunch and Oktoberfest family experiences. For more information, visit Tel: +44 (0) 020 3239 5070 Email:

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Celebrated annually throughout Europe, Oktoberfest is one of the largest festivals in the world. Originating in Munich in the 19th century, the Oktoberfest traditionally commemorates the marriage between Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. On 12th October 1810, the citizens of Munich were invited to attend festivities held in front of the city gates to celebrate the royal event. The fields where the event was held were later named Theresienwiese (which translates as Theresa’s meadow) in honour of the Crown Princess and which locals often abbreviate to ‘Wies’n’. Horse races marked the closing of the event and were repeated in the subsequent year, giving rise to the tradition of Oktoberfest as the marker of the royal anniversary for the whole of Bavaria. The first amusement rides were set up in 1818, and small beer stands began to pop up at the festivities. In 1896 the beer stands were replaced by large beer tents and halls, set up by landlords and breweries. In 1910, Oktoberfest celebrated its 100th anniversary and a grand total of 120, 000 litres of beer was consumed! Today, Oktoberfest is an exceptionally popular event, drawing in annually around 6 million visitors from all around the world. The festival marks a permanent tradition of Munich and German culture, and is celebrated in cities and towns across many nations. Oktoberfest beer Renowned for its huge steins of prime Bavarian beer, Oktoberfest is certainly picky about the quality and variety of beer provided at the event. The beer drunk and brewed for Oktoberfest is a variety called Märzen, which contains up to 6% alcohol. Before modern brewing techniques, Märzen beer was brewed at the beginning of the year to ensure it would age in time for

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the autumnal months. (März is the German for March) Nowadays, the beer is brewed for at least 30 days, making it darker and stronger than most other varieties. Oktoberfest beer is made in accordance with strict German standards, called the Reinheitsgebot, which was established in 1516. The official breweries providing beverages to quench the thirst of Oktoberfest-goers are Augustiner, Hacker Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner and Spaten. Oktoberfest food To accompany the booze being (heavily) consumed at the festival, traditional foods are served in great quantity. Some of the cuisine found at Oktoberfest includes Hendl, potato dumplings, Blaukohl, Sauerkraut, pretzels and Weißwürste. Roasted meats are a popular favourite amongst locals. Oktoberfest Music Traditional folk music, marches and polkas are all played at the Oktoberfest celebration. Before each break, bands will typically offer up ‘ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit’ - a toast to contentment, cheerful moods and peace of mind.

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& Poppies


by Barry Chacksfield

We British are a curious people. We either leave things to the very last minute, hoping, sometimes in vain, that it will all turn out well in the end, or we prepare so early that many people become bored, even irritated, well before the event. Christmas is the classic example.

Early in October, perhaps even by late September, the supermarkets offer us, on shelves euphemistically labelled ‘Seasonal Goods’, a selection of Halloween artefacts, designed mainly for children but alluring also to many an adult. Well before October 31st we see sales staff masquerading as witches or demons. Not that in some cases much disguise is needed. Last year, I was particularly struck by one tall young man, sporting a long skirt, impressive fake boobs, and a shoulder-length red wig. What had he to do with the ‘Un-dead’, I wondered, or was he rehearsing for a local amateur production of ‘Psycho’? Anyway, shunning the pumpkins piled like cannonballs on the deck of a man-o’war, I bought my precautionary selection of sickly sweets for any children who might come knocking for ‘Trick or Treat’. Needless to say, nobody came. They were all at home on their mobile phones, or their computers or even perhaps eating the remains of their hollowed-out pumpkins. The supermarkets did well: the media suggesting that the British spend more on Halloween than on Valentine’s Day. This is however not surprising since death is solid and permanent, whereas love can be fragile and transient. All the time this premature celebration of the ‘Souls of the Departed’ has been under way, every retail outlet, church, public place one could think of has been displaying a tray of British Legion poppies and a collecting tin. (Ironically, the poppy, because of its derivative, opium, is in literary tradition a symbol of oblivion!) Now, the poppies themselves are specially made to be cheap and fragile. They have a green plastic stem, often bearing a tiny sprig. This was designed, nearly a century ago, to catch the poppy in a buttonhole, but since virtually nobody has a buttonhole these days, the sprig is totally redundant.

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Thoughtfully, the Legion will even give you a pin to help affix the poppy to your clothing. This too is pretty useless, because the whole idea is that, having contributed once, you invariably lose your poppy by the next day (even as you change your coat!). I have tried many times to think of ways of making my poppy permanently evident. I could stick it behind my ear like some latter-day Carmen but my hair is too short to retain it. If I had a visible body piercing, say in nose or earlobe, I could perhaps insert it through that. No, by about the third of November, with more than a week to go, I am forced to venture out ‘poppy-less’ into the world and have to bear the steely-eyed reproach of a score of ‘veteran sentries’, posted every fifty metres along the High Street. Luckily, most, but not all of them, have got the message that ‘chugging’ is illegal, so I don’t have to pretend to be deaf as well as purblind. A solution to this problem would be for the Legion to invite us initially to contribute a double amount and take two poppies – a neat variation on the popular practice of: ‘Buy one, get one free’. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am always supportive of the work of the Royal British Legion. A very close friend, terminally ill, was magnificently cared for in one of their homes. Nor do we in my family decry service to one’s country. My grandfather was an infantryman who survived the trenches, my father, an RAF navigator, failed to return from bombing German-held Tobruk and my son was for ten years an officer in the Royal Navy. We must however be aware of signs of the times. When, last August, I asked my university graduate granddaughter what Passchendaele meant to her, she replied: ‘Nothing.’

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Events Solihull Round Table Firework Display Tudor Grange Park, B91 3LU Saturday 4th November Gates open 5.30pm, display starts 6.30pm Local charity fundraising event Entertainment for visitors of all ages, come down and make a donation!

DIY Bonfire Night

You Will Need: Metal box with a lid to store fireworks during your display

Health and Safety Tips Those lighting fireworks must be over the age of 18.

Torch to read firework instructions

Fireworks can travel at speeds of up to 150mph, so please take extreme caution when dealing with fireworks. Throwing a firework is a criminal offence and can have serious consequences. Offenders can be fined up to £5000. Check that the fireworks you purchase are designed for use at home and are suitable for the size of your garden. All fireworks should be marked with British Standard number (BS 7114). Check to ensure no wild animals or pets are hidden in a bonfire before it is lit. Hedgehogs in particular have been known to mistake pre-lit bonfires for safe spots to sleep in. When lighting sparklers, hold at arm’s length and supervise any children (must be 5+). Gloves should be worn at all times. Place finished sparklers in a bucket of water. Never touch the end of a sparkler, even after it has gone out.

Taper to light fireworks Bucket of water Bucket of soil to stick unlit fireworks in Non-flammable flat surface Supports for catherine wheels or rockets When Lighting Fireworks… Ensure no flammable objects, materials or plants are nearby. Place the firework flat on its bottom or stand. Warn people in the surrounding area before lighting the firework. Once lit, stand very far back and make sure no one else is in the surrounding area. If the firework does not go off, do not approach it to check as it may fire at any time. Keep a bucket of water nearby to place the remaining remnants of the firework in once it has gone off safely. Make sure wet fireworks are placed in the bin at the end of the evening.

Bonfire Night History Sparklers, bonfires, fireworks, hot chocolate... but why do we celebrate Bonfire Night? This annual tradition actually dates back to the 17th century and has been celebrated ever since. Guy Fawkes, along with several other men, plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament on November 4th, 1605. After their plan was leaked, authorities arrested Guy Fawkes and his men, finding 36 barrels of gunpowder in the cellars.

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Pet Care Animals are naturally fearful of loud noises, as they usually indicate a sign of danger. Your pet may be very timid on Bonfire Night, and show signs of distress. To make your pet as comfortable as possible try this advice: Take dogs for a walk before the evening begins. This will often tire them out, so they are less excitable once the fireworks start. Close all windows, curtains and blinds to reduce the sounds of the explosions inside the house. Distract your pet with a new toy, turn on the television or play some music to try to mask the noises outside. Make sure your pet is comfortable and reassured throughout the evening. Give them their favourite bed, blanket or toy for additional comfort and attempt to reassure them as much as possible. Bonfire Night Food Why not dabble in some of the classic treats traditionally enjoyed on Bonfire Night? Pulled pork sandwiches, pie and peas and jacket potatoes will warm up the cold autumn night, whilst toffee apples will satisfy your sweet cravings.

Bonfires were lit after the plot was exposed, to mark a ceremonial celebration of the life of King James I who was saved from the planned attack. This tradition gradually became more elaborate as the years progressed. Fireworks were added to the celebrations, and effigies of Guy Fawkes were sometimes placed at the top of bonfires. Children also often walked along the streets of their towns carrying figures of ‘the Guy’ and asking passers by for ‘a penny for the Guy’ before the evening festivities began. Even today, Bonfire Night is celebrated in parts of New Zealand and Canada dating back to the time of British colonial rule. Bonfire Night is celebrated throughout the UK, famously so in the town of Lewes, which is renowned for the extravagant celebrations that take place. Often the community creates huge effigies of contemporary politicians for satirical fun.

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20% off A-La Carte menu with this voucher during October Tel: 01564 732750 Loch Fyne Knowle, The Bank House, High Street, Knowle, B93 0JU T&Cs apply. Food only. Excluding Friday & Saturday after 6pm. Not available in conjunction with any other discounts offer or promotion. We reserve the right to remove this offer at any time.

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The villages of Knowle and Dorridge, nestled in on the outskirts of the Solihull area, are home to an array of unique, independent shops and fantastic local businesses. Florists, jewelers, bakeries, pubs, cafés and hair and beauty salons are but a few of the incredible services available within these areas.

The Knowle Society and Knowle Local History Society help to commemorate and preserve the history of the village, whilst maintaining the present-day character and charm of the area. Knowle and Dorridge’s Round Table and Ladies Circle have a great social calendar, organising regular events for the wider community to enjoy.

The dedicated businesses, alongside a number of local groups and societies, contribute hugely to the friendly community spirit found in the villages of Knowle and Dorridge.

Knowle and Dorridge’s picturesque high streets are brimming with excellent local services to eat drink and shop to your heart’s content, making the villages not only a great place to live, but also a brilliant spot for a weekend visit.

Point me to Point me to offer a wide range of services to ensure your money management queries and concerns are dealt with and resolved to the highest possible quality. From a simple home insurance query, to the most complex of investments, point me to are committed to providing expert guidance for their clients and promise complete customer satisfaction. The point me to team value the relationships built with their clients, and are dedicated to ensuring individual short and long-term goals are achieved. The business is proud to announce the expansion of the company and financial services, offering advice on all aspects of the financial services market. “I always recommend point me to and their advisors. The service was second to none and everything was explained to us every step if the way.” Services: • • • •

Life Cover Investments Pensions Buildings & Content

• • • •

Landlords Insurance Financial Planning Income Protection Mortgages

• Critical Illness Cover • Buy to Lets

Point me to offer the additional services of annual reviews to guarantee clients are supported through every step of their journey. To gain professional help and advice for peace of mind, contact point me to today.

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01564 776016

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Glasstower Jewellery Glasstower Jewellery are a family run and owned business with a fully equipped jewellery workshop onsite, where all work is carried out on the premises, covering all aspects of jewellery repairs, from ring sizing to full restoration and stone replacement.

FR H EE To e a pr lth Jew be eve C el in nt he le g st c ry lo on k st e . s

They also offer a bespoke handmade jewellery making service using all metals and a choice of certified diamonds on request. The shop has a wide range of silver and costume jewellery to cater for all tastes and budgets, whether you are treating yourself or buying a special gift for someone. A same day jewellery cleaning and plating service is also available and engagement and wedding rings are also a speciality of Glasstower jewellery, adding that personal touch to your special occasion. For all enquiries please call Adrian or Kay. You can also Instagram @jewellerjosh for a small selection of previous commissions. Glasstower Jewellery, 1582 High St, Knowle, Solihull B93 0LF Tel: 01564 777775 -


BOOK NOW 40% off laser hair removal. Course of 6 treatments. Tel: 01564 776690 Offer ends Friday 29th December. T&C’s apply. Please quote Cornfield when booking. 130 Station Road, Knowle, Solihull B93 0EP

Ale Rooms Knowle plays host to its very first Micro Brewery! Ale Rooms boasts a warm and friendly environment, proudly serving customers a fantastic range of alcoholic beverages. Choose from a selection of traditional ales, delicious wines, craft beer, premium larger and a great selection of gin and spirits. Sit back and enjoy the rustic, unique style that this exceptional bar and restaurant has to offer. If you’re feeling a little peckish, Ale Rooms has got you covered. Compliment your drink with a tasty snack from Ale Rooms’ weekly choice of delicious, wholesome pies from the award-winning Pie Minister. If you’re looking for a venue to host an event - be it a celebration with friends and family, or a meeting with colleagues - Ale Rooms is the perfect location. The friendly team is happy to help with your event arrangements, and is always on hand to discuss your specific requirements. From ale connoisseurs to strictly-spirit drinkers, Ale Rooms has something for everyone. Open 2pm-11pm, 7 days a week. 1592 High Street, Knowle, Solihull, B93 0LF 01564 4000 40

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“Surviving in Harmony”

Choir Sings for Breast Cancer Support A newly formed choir of women who are surviving breast cancer has recorded a cover version of the Bill Withers classic, “Lean on Me”. The Pre-release will be available on Monday 7 August 2017 followed by the worldwide full release on Monday 4 September 2017. It could be a chart-topper. The Choir, 'Surviving Voices & Friends', consists of women from a charity called ‘Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer’ (LFBC) which is based in Birmingham UK and, believed to be the first of its kind. It is releasing the charity song to raise funds for a ‘LFBC House’ that will provide ‘Home from Home’ advice and support services for women battling the disease. It is the brainchild of Joan Blaney CBE and Veronica Kumeta, CEO of LFBC. Veronica and two friends who have since died of breast cancer, set up LFBC 17 years ago to raise awareness and educate women about the disease. She now wants to establish the house to provide after-care support, particularly for women at the start of their treatment for breast cancer. “Whilst medical-care is excellent, there is little after-care which only adds to the post-operative stress of women surviving breast cancer”, Veronica said. “Women are often lost at different stages of their treatment and need the kind of guidance and support our services will offer”. The thirty-strong choir, made up of women from across the English Midlands, are lending their voices to the campaign and giving hope to other women by sharing their experiences. “We are mothers, wives, daughters and sisters” said Dee Mattoo who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 33. “We still have responsibilities and through this beautiful song we are saying, lean on me in spite of cancer, lean on me in spite of fear, lean on me in spite of

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tears, lean on me and let me be there for you because we will survive this”. According to the charity 'Breast Cancer Care', 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, which makes this disease the most common for women in the UK. Women still need to be educated about the disease which many learn about when they find a lump. But there are other symptoms like a rash or an inverted nipple that they should know about. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the outcome. The single will go on sale in stores and online streaming services in 55 countries, all major cities and towns, by Music Untapped, a Birmingham-based record producing and publishing house. For more information contact Veronica Kumeta on +44 7768 911633 Email: or Joan Blaney CBE on +44 7912538522

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PARTIAL KNEE IMPLANT A TOTAL SUCCESS FOR ROB When company director Rob Francis was getting so much pain from his knee that he had to give up golf and the gym he realised he needed to get something done. But at 57 years old Rob felt he was just too young to have a full knee replacement and was looking for an alternative treatment. “I had reached the stage where I could barely walk a mile because of the pain. After having such an active life I found I had to give up a lot of the things that I enjoyed doing and were keeping me fit. “I knew I needed surgery of some kind. I just wasn’t convinced how much,” said Rob, a company director who lives in Solihull with wife Stephanie. Rob met with orthopaedic surgeon Mr James Arbuthnot at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull and, following an MRI scan, was told that although the left side of his knee was damaged the right side was in reasonable condition and could be kept if he decided on a partial knee replacement. “This sounded like the perfect solution – I lost the pain but kept a lot of my original knee! I was also told that if or when the ‘good’ section of bone deteriorated then I could have a full replacement at that stage,” said Rob.

Mr Arbuthnot explained: “A partial knee replacement can be a very attractive option to treat knee arthritis for younger patients as the function a patient might expect could be significantly better than with a full knee replacement. “The operation involves a lower risk of some complications such as infection and usually a significantly speedier recovery. A patient should expect the partially-replaced knee to last at least 15 years for the vast majority of people. “If the operation does need to be “re-done” in due course, it is usually possible to change the partial knee for a standard knee replacement. This is usually a lot simpler for the patient - and the surgeon - than reoperating on a failing full knee replacement. “A partial knee usually feels a lot more like a ‘normal’ knee than a full replacement and patients tend to be able to get back to better levels of activity. “When replacing only the worn out part of the knee, the surgeon needs to assess the rest of the knee to ensure

Rob Francis - back in his stride after knee surgery that it is ‘good enough’ to cope with a partial replacement. About one in four patients with knee arthritis could undergo partial rather than full knee replacement.” Now, back at both the golf course and the gym Rob, who had private medical insurance, said he was delighted with the results, particularly after just completing a 10-mile hike. “I’ve been swimming and cycling on a regular basis – things I just had to stop doing before the operation. I know a partial replacement might not be the solution for everyone but it has certainly worked perfectly for me,” he said.

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The Midland

Hand Clinic

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 Coldfield, Warwick and Worcester

Have you got wrist pain? Wrist pain is can be related to ‘wear and tear’, overuse or post injury. At the Midland Hand Clinic we aim to diagnose and start treatment on the day.

Interesting facts 1. Over 25% of wrist pain happens outside of the wrist. 2. Thumb based tendonitis is common and if diagnosed early is treatable without surgery. 3. In the younger male population scaphoid fractures are a common traumatic injury. 4. Chronic ligament tears can lead to arthritic conditions in the wrist. 5. The most common wrist lump is a ganglion.

Hand Clinic PA: Alison James Email: Call: 0121 364 1600 or 07830 774 476 All patients welcome whether you have private medical insurance or you are self-paying Midland Hand Clinic lead by Mr G Shyamalan FRCS NHS consultant hand surgeon. 22 | Cornfield Magazine

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

Lets get lippy

. . r e b o t c O s i h t

Autumn has landed, beautiful make up has never been so simple to achieve. It’s all about luscious lips. Bright, dark, light, shiny, and much, much more, you can’t go wrong as long as you prep like a pro.... As the days are getting colder, we pop the heating on which plays havoc with our skin and especially our lips! Before you reach out for your favorite winter lipstick or shop for a new one, try my simple steps below before application. Not only will your lips feel much softer and hydrated, they will look plumper and ever so more kissable!


Scrub those lips Using circular motions to remove any dead, flaky skin, gently apply a generous amount of lip scrub to your lips and the surrounding area using circular motions to remove dead, dry and flaky skin. I love making my own natural scrub, it’s easy and very effective. I mix sugar, honey and a little bit of coconut oil together sometimes adding a dab of peppermint oil to plump... it tastes so good when you 'accidentally' get some in your mouth. If this sounds like too much effort, then a fab alternative is bubble gum lip scrub by Lush Cosmetics.


Line Your lips should now feel lovely and soft. It’s time to bring on the colour... This is a personal choice for you all. If you're are stuck for advice, go to your nearest and trusted beauty therapist or look into having a make up lesson. A great lipliner to start with and all round colour for all skin tones is Lipstick Queens lipliner in nude.


Hydrate Once you've exfoliated and your lips are no longer damp, apply some lipbalm to give them some much needed hydration. Coconut oil is a fanatic hydrater along with locking in moisture. I also love Mac's prep and prime, a colour free base that adds light moisture, smoothes and refines. Another lip primer I use is urban decay rehab lip prep... oil based this formula really feels like it’s melting away any dry, chapped lips, it’s a hug in a tube.


Colour This is the fun part of the routine. Colour can bring warmth, happiness and youthfulness to your look. It’s important you feel comfortable with the colour you choose. You can go from subtle and soft to the statement 'look at me', it all depends on your mood and personality. I also use it as a great tool for when i’m tired. Big pink lips are my go to colour when I’m trying to distract anyone from looking at my red eyes!!! My absoloute favourite is Nars Schaip. For a more subtle look I love Be Legendary Lipsticks from Smashbox, ‘latte’ is a perfect colour for a neutral, soft look.

T: 07733 237 767

Twitter: @amy_hickey

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Plank Your Way

TO ABS! Planking is designed to engage several major muscle groups simultaneously and help tone your stomach, bum, thighs and arms. As an added bonus, the plank requires no equipment and can be performed in the comfort of your own home! Although this exercise is difficult at first, the more this position is performed, the more stable you will become. As your level of stability increases, your posture, balance and overall muscle power will also progress, allowing you to hold the position for longer for maximum results. So, what are you waiting for?

Try this simple but effective isometric exercise to significantly increase your core muscle strength, build your shoulders and improve your overall health and fitness levels.

How the plank can positively affect your health Doing the plank for up to 1 minute a day can have very positive health benefits. The plank has been found to noticeably reduce the onset of lower back pain, as it strengthens back muscles and makes them less susceptible to injury. The exercise can also be performed as a prerequisite for weightlifting or sporting activities. Planking boosts your overall stamina, and therefore your overall performance in physical activities. The plank can positively affect your mood when practised on a regular basis, so even though it may be tough at first, it’s definitely worth it!

How to master the plank:


Find a large space with a solid floor and place your palms on the floor, directly beneath your shoulders. Add an exercise mat for extra comfort.


Stretch your legs out behind you with your toes touching the ground and extend your arms, pushing up, as you would when doing a push-up.

3 4 5 6

Tighten your core for added stability and support; ensuring your body is aligned in a diagonal line. Throughout the exercise, inhale and exhale slowly, controlling your breathing whilst focusing your mind. Make sure you squeeze your core muscles tightly without letting your back and bum sink to the floor. Hold this pose for 30 seconds at first; gradually increasing the time of the exercise each time you try it until you take it up to 1 minute.

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Plank Variations Side plank– Lie down on your side, keep your legs straight and align your body into a straight line. Raise your body, lifting your hips, legs and knees off the floor. Use your left arm for support if necessary. Squeeze your abdominal muscles and hold this for 30 seconds, increasing the time you hold the plank for, as you progressively get stronger. Repeat the exercise on your left hand side. Reverse plank – Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Place your hands on the floor, directly below your shoulders, and push up. Ensure your body is straight, and practise controlled breathing throughout the exercise. If reverse planking proves too strenuous at first, try the exercise with your elbows on the floor until you feel ready to progress to the next level. Caution: If at any point during the exercise you feel any discomfort, or feel the exercise is having an adverse effect – stop immediately. Be sure not to force yourself to hold the position for longer than you feel physically able.

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Dispel half term boredom with our guide to the best local activities and attractions for families this October. Take a look at our top B’ham spots to entertain the kids this school break. On a budget? Don’t worry! We’ve categorised our favourite picks to help you to manage your finances and make the most of your half term week.

Cheap and Cheerful Potter in the Parks

Get Creative

Embrace beautiful autumnal scenery and take a walk with the family in one of the many local parks Birmingham has to offer, right on your doorstep. Visit the Parkridge Centre at Brueton Park and enjoy the range of events and educational activities on offer this October. Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens host a variety of family events and Children’s Trails for just £1.50 per child. Be amazed by Brilliant Butterflies, Dangerous Plants, Garden Minibeasts and much more! Take the time to spot local wildlife, and bring along crayons and paper so your children can capture the colours of autumn in pictures.

Spend the afternoon at Barn Studio Ceramics embracing your creative flair at the studio, painting bespoke pieces of pottery to treasure. With prices starting at £3 per item, this fun family activity allows visitors to create their very own masterpieces, with expert staff on hand to offer help and advice. Contact the studio for details of extra opening times during school holidays. 01564 703 372 or 0121 705 7819

Mid-Range Recommendations Step Back in Time

Try Something New!

Visit Shakespeare’s England this half-term for a week of unbeatable entertainment. Meet the Pumpkin King, follow ghost trails, take part in the Warwick King James Festival and celebrate National Apple Day (yes, you read that correctly). Experience the night-time surroundings of Kenilworth Castle and its spooky history from 18:00 – 19: 00 (recommended for 5–10 year olds). The brand new exhibition The Play’s The Thing, organised by the Royal Shakespeare Company, invites you and your family to discover the secrets and stories from over 100 years of theatre. Open 10:00 – 18:00 daily. Ticket prices: adults £8.50, children (0-18) £4.25

Get active this half term at the award-winning Creation Indoor Climbing Centre, based in Moseley. Let your little ones burn off their excess energy by signing up for the Kids’ School Holiday Climbing Courses for just £10 per person on Mon, Wed and Fri at 10:30. Discover the newly opened cave system and brave the world of the indoor climbing system for a truly unforgettable experience. With instructors on hand to help you during your caving session, you’re sure to have a fantastic experience. Ticket prices: adults £8.00, concessions and Children (0-18) £6.00, students £3.75 + half price hire equipment. Cost for hire equipment listed online, open Mon-Fri 10:00 – 22:00.

01789 403 493

0121 449 8000

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3 Apps to Keep the Kids Entertained On Long Journeys This Half Term Duolingo (Recommended 8+) A fairly straightforward and popular app designed to help participants to learn a language online. With individual audio-based challenges, fun graphics and a system to help track progress, Duolingo will motivate your little ones to learn! Magic Piano (Recommended 7+) You will most definitely want to provide your children with headphones for this one (especially on a long car journey, trust me). This app is a fantastic way to engage and entertain your children, challenging them to recognise individual notes in famous songs, and make music in the process. Your child might just become the next Beethoven. Toca Kitchen (Recommended 4+) Encourage a passion for cooking with this fantastic app, designed to cultivate the culinary skills of your kids! The app allows children to make recipes, teach them about measurements and how to combine different foods to make fantastic individual creations. The app helps children to develop concentration skills and independence.

The £20+ Bracket Get Your Thinking Caps On With over 200 hands-on displays, Thinktank is a hub of interactive learning! The award-winning museum makes learning fun, allowing families to make amazing discoveries in the field of science and technology. Let your children’s imaginations run wild and visit the Planetarium shows, Science Garden and four floors filled with exhibitions that are out of this world. Open Mon-Sun 10:00 – 17:00. Ticket prices: adults £13.50, children (3-15) £9.75. 0121 348 8000

Deliciously Fun Hosting a range of activities and events this autumn, Cadbury World is the perfect place to visit with the family this October half-term. The self-guided exhibition tour gives visitors an insight into the wonderful world of chocolate, including a 4D Chocolate Adventure, a walk back in time to Bull Street and chocolate making experiences. Open Mon-Fri 10:00 – 15:00, Sat-Sun 09:30 - 16:00. Ticket prices: adults £16.75, children (4-15) £12.30. 0844 880 7767

Have a Wild Adventure Come face to face with animals from the African plains and Asia at West Midlands Safari Park! Discover some of the worlds’ greatest carnivore hunters and rare animals, including magnificent tigers, Philippine spotted deer and baby elephant Sutton! Follow the discovery trail to watch the daily Penguin Feeds and the Sea Lion Show, or be daring and enter Reptile World, home to some of the largest and most deadly reptiles from around the globe. Half term opening times: Mon-Sun 09:00 – 21:30, last entry 20:00. Book online tickets in advance and save up to 30%! Discounts are available for students, disabled visitors and senior visitors. Ticket prices: adults £23.00, children (3-15) £18.00 - children under 3 go FREE.

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South Birmingham SCITT

Dreaming of becoming a teacher? South Birmingham SCITT is nationally recognised as a high achieving partnership, which is structured and resourced to train teachers to meet the needs of 21st century learners. Within a supportive, encouraging environment, the staff will go out of their way to make you a success! Trainees will develop and reinforce the values, skills, and attributes, which promote good citizens and lifelong learning in students. Our committed Training Partnership of over 50 schools, work together to ensure that high quality learning for both trainees and their students takes place. Working in partnership with a number of Teaching Schools in the area (Ninestiles TSA, Colmore Partnership TSA and Waverley TSA) we are able to provide an established and successful Learning Pathway from ITT, securing early career development as an NQT followed by various continuous professional development opportunities, taking individuals right through to Headship. Achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) Postgraduate Qualification in Teaching and Learning (min PGCertEd) Primary and Secondary Teacher Training

experienced and practised teachers. Trainees will also be taught by experts from the SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training provider) and the partnership of schools that they are paired with. The South Birmingham SCITT offers a flexible learning programme that ensures candidates are able to tailor the training to their own individual needs, providing opportunities for trainees to maximise their personal preferences and potential.

100% employment rate

“There was a warmth about South Birmingham SCITT from day 1, and three weeks in, the partnership feels like home. The transition period to settling down has been incredibly smooth thanks in no small part to the staff who are welcoming, friendly and always willing to help.”

Learn from real teachers in real classrooms Train in at least 2 schools Secure career with at least 12 weeks annual leave

We’ll find the teacher in you

The yearlong school led initial teacher training programme (School Direct and School Centered Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)) offers a positive and supportive network to encourage the development of trainees. South Birmingham SCITT is committed to providing continued assistance, guidance and encouragement to ensure every trainee is a success. With the added benefit of training in at least 2 schools, those enrolled on the programme will receive a bespoke package of work experience and theory-based training. By learning on-the-job, trainees gain unparalleled insight through observation of

At South Birmingham SCITT we pride ourselves on our strong relationships with over 50 schools, including the collaboration with local Teaching Schools. We have an incredibly diverse workforce and learning environments. Whether you’re thinking of taking your career in a new direction, or looking to make the first steps towards your dream job, South Birmingham SCITT is there to provide you with the skills you need to achieve your future goals. The unique training scheme places candidates alongside experienced and practised teachers who are able to cultivate and support individual teaching styles, in order to ensure high quality learning and success for both prospective pupils and future teachers. South Birmingham SCITT guarantees trainees will be confident and competent by the end of the programme, and will always be NQT ready.

89% of trainees are employed within the South Birmingham SCITT Partnership - enabling them to have a continuous transition into the start of their teaching career.

professionalism, support and competence at South Birmingham SCITT, then I would like nothing more than to stay in their Partnership!!”

Based in the area of Solihull, South Birmingham SCITT offers not only the tools you need to become a part of a rewarding and fulfilling profession, but an easilyaccessible location for commuters to complete their training. The nature of the programme means that the training caters to everyone – from postgraduates and students wishing to travel later in life, to those looking for a career change. South Birmingham SCITT recognises the potential for teaching to transform lives and encourages trainees’ enthusiasm to achieve entrance into a rewarding, humbling profession. A career in teaching means that no two days are ever the same. Teaching requires creative ways of thinking, and offers practitioners the opportunity to continuously develop professionally. Although engaging 21st century learners might seem like a challenging prospect, embracing technology and modern pedagogy is a truly invigorating and inherently important task that you can become a part of.

Talk to us today and take your first steps towards the career of your dreams. Ideal candidates should show determination, drive, passion, and a willingness to learn! Applications open late October. Email: Web:

“I feel as though I have been here for years and not weeks and if the first three weeks are any indication as to the combination of

Tel: 0121 704 2581 ext 2929 Twitter: @SouthBhamSCITT

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After 10 years, Simon Webbe returns to the musical world with his brand new album Smile. The incredibly successful musician is set to release his album this October, featuring the beautiful lead single Nothing Without You, which was released back in August of this year. Simon, on hiatus from one of the UK’s most successful boy bands, Blue, has had a phenomenal solo career since the group announced their temporary break back in 2004. Simon’s previous double-platinum debut solo album Sanctuary included the popular tracks Lay Your Hands and No Worries, which both made the UK top 5. Simon’s fantastic career to date has seen him tour the globe, sell 15 million records worldwide and score 4 UK number 1 albums and 11 UK top 10 singles. No stranger to the UK’s television screens, Simon won over the nation’s hearts when he appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here in 2007 and he has even starred in films and a West End musical. The lead-single Nothing Without You was released back in July. What was the inspiration behind the lyrics? I wrote that song in the moment. I wanted to write something about my fiancée, and our relationship - where we were at that point. Every lyric is poignant to our relationship. It’s self-explanatory, and the verses tell a story. The bridge is a statement that I feel everyone can relate to. In life there are ups and downs and it’s basically a massive test to see how we bounce back from them. It makes us the people that we are. The song is based on an actual event that happened, when my fiancée and I had a misunderstanding. Because everything was going so well in the relationship, it was like we were both waiting for something bad to happen…because things were so good. A small situation was blown out of proportion, and I had to decide if I was going to be stubborn and stand my corner, or recognise the bigger picture – that I’m nothing without her.

Congratulations on your engagement! I heard you used the soundtrack to propose to your fiancée. It was in Jamaica, right? I had already proposed, but put the song onto the proposal video with the intention to release it on Valentines Day. It initially wasn’t going onto the album. Once the record label had seen the video and song together they said, “Why isn’t this on

the album?” so it was decided that it would feature. The song is the truth of what’s actually happening with me right now, rather than a hypothetical song. And have you set a date? We have, but we have to keep it under wraps…

How would you describe the sound of Smile? Urban folk. In my other albums, I’ve played with this sound and I’ve used instruments like ukuleles, but always kept a hip-hop groove. The Simon Webbe sound is renowned for the use of samples. For example, Lay Your Hands involved a high-pitched voice. I was happy with the woman singing, and the album tracks were the same. The song Dance On My Own from a previous album features elements of reggae, but it isn’t an in-your-face reggae sound, it’s a feel thing.” I didn’t want to miss out and not have a ‘stamp’. I liked the idea of a Sinatra-type voice mixed with my own for the new album.

Can you tell us why you decided to entitle the album Smile? These days everyone is on social media, pretending to be happy when on the inside they aren’t. No matter what is going on in the world,

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I just want to remind people to keep smiling. Most of my songs on this album are written with my fiancée in mind, so when it came down to the decision of what to call the album it just made sense to call it Smile. That’s how I came up with the lyrics ‘Smile my sweetheart/For better or for worse’. I wanted to get the message across that couples will go through ups and downs.

How did you find getting back in the studio producing a solo album after such a big break since your last album? Leading up to this, I did attempt to make other albums, but it just didn’t feel right. I have a rock album, an R&B album, and I also have a hip-hop mix tape…and now I have Smile. I took my time with it. The other albums felt like a warm-up, and for me this is the last album of this sound I’ll make.

How do you balance working and private life? Sometimes I have caught myself spinning too many plates, but that goes along with life itself. For me, I just take each day as it comes and try to be positive every day in what I do.

So you’re releasing your new book All Rise: Our Story with Blue in October. How was collaborating with the boys to write your collective story? Actually it was very easily done. It’s an interesting read because we find things out about each other, too. It’s a book of honesty, and I think it’s going to be a fantastic read. For those who do not completely understand Blue’s journey, they will definitely understand it through the book.

You’re returning to Birmingham for the book release event in October. What does Birmingham as a city mean to you? For the fans that have helped us get to where we are now, it will give them a more intimate experience; it will be a fun event for the boys and me.

We moved to Birmingham when I was 6 years old, and left when I was 19, so I did most of my growing up there. It’s a city that is close to my heart. I had my first kiss there, I had my first girlfriend there… I had my daughter there and my football career there. I’ve had some of the best moments of my life in Birmingham. So it’s very, very close to my heart.

Smile is released on 13th October, featuring 12 amazing tracks and the lead single Nothing Without You, that went viral when it released on Valentines Day after Simon had used the song to soundtrack the proposal to his new fiancée.

Can you tell us something about yourself that not many people know? Well, I think I’ve been a completely open book in this sense. There’s not much people don’t know. I do have a chocolate problem, though. I sometimes sleepwalk and eat chocolate out of the cupboard, or sugar. I often wake up with sugar or chocolate in my mouth, and have no idea how it’s ended up there. So there you have it. Selfconfessed chocolate lover, sentimentalist and versatile musician, Simon Webbe continues to satisfy our musical cravings with the launch of his uplifting new album, thoughtfully dedicated to his new fiancée. Ever the romantic, Simon’s new album ultimately gives a message of positivity. The lyrics seem to accept that relationships will be difficult at times and life will not always be perfect, but you should make the most of it and cherish those around you as much as possible. Excitingly, the Blue: All Rise: Our Story release event, which will take place in Birmingham’s Town Hall on 29th October, aims to give the audience a more intimate look at the band over the past 15 years. This was a brilliant interview, and I doubt I will ever top being sung to over the phone by Simon Webbe!

I’ve had some of the best moments of my life in Birmingham. So it’s very, very close to my heart

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Comfort is in the design Creating comfortable furniture goes deep into the Nordic roots and tells the story of craftsmanship perfected by families over time. Stressless has produced fine furniture from generation to generation and are designers of some of the most comfortable seating you will experience. The innovative designs plays with art and science to define and master streamlined and functional products. Founder Ekornes is now one of the largest furniture manufacturers and introduces its brand new leather studio at Thomas Hearn, which sells a wide range of Stressless recliners, sofas, home office seating, home cinema seating and accessories.

Thomas Hearn

Providing quality furnishings for your home

Thomas Hearn are suppliers of both modern and traditional furniture, which is displayed within their Kenilworth showroom, with designs sold to suit every room within your home, whilst offering an unrivalled friendly service. They offer free of charge delivery within a 50 mile radius. The expert delivery staff will also unpack and set up your new purchase within your chosen room and can also arrange for the disposal of your old furniture. Staff at Thomas Hearn have a vast experience in helping customers choose the right furnishings for their home at unbeatable prices. For further information visit, or alternatively visit the showroom. Thomas Hearn 102 Warwick Road Kenilworth Warwickshire CV8 1HL Tel: (01926) 854884

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Thursfields sets out

growth plans

for Solihull office Thursfields Solicitors is doubling the size of its Solihull office as part of its plan for growth. The Solihull team has moved into a 3,000 sq ft space at The Courtyard, Warwick Road, Solihull, close to their current premises. The new offices, at 9 The Courtyard, have a main road frontage and provide room for the firm to grow its current staff of 15 up to 30. In total, Thursfields employs 140 people across the West Midlands. Nick O’Hara, managing director, explained: “The move is part of our plan to become the ‘go to’ local firm in Solihull and north Warwickshire. We have a solid core of high calibre lawyers already working in Solihull providing services to commercial and private clients. Solihull is a vibrant and thriving economy and we have further capacity to recruit additional corporate and commercial lawyers to enhance our offering in this vital part of the West Midlands.”

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Peace of mind With holiday season underway everyone is making last minute preparations for their yearly retreat to the sun, planning days out with the children to keep them entertained, and you sane. Homes are often left unattended for days or even weeks at a time. It’s a sad thought but there are plenty of opportunists around who will not think twice about checking out an obviously empty property.

motion sensing and smart tracking cameras, even the ability to link up to a 24hr monitoring centre which will be alerted by any unexpected visitors. No matter how many cameras are on a property they will not stop intruders, but should the unfortunate happen then the footage could be vital in assisting the police in their investigations. For more information on protecting your home or business please don’t hesitate to contact us and arrange a free consultation.

A few tips to deter would be intruders are fairly straightforward: locked windows, timers on lights, car keys out of plain sight, get a neighbour to call round every few days to pick up the post and check things over. But a more successful deterrent is a professionally installed CCTV system. A competent company will ensure that the most vulnerable areas are covered, High Definition IP cameras are used, ample local storage for weeks of footage and live viewing from smart phones and tablets, so that you can check on your home whenever you like. There are a multitude of additional options to ensure that your property is secure, including

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Connected Home Systems Integrating Technology into Your Home

Jon Knight is a director at Connected 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.

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MGM Midlands Ground Machinery Midlands Grounds Machinery is proud to announce the completion of their brand new showroom and launch of their latest line of products! In addition to an extensive selection of Walk Behind Lawnmowers, MGM have expanded their product range to include new, larger machinery including the latest Ride-On Mowers and Compact Tractors from highly acclaimed, major brands. Delivering exceptional customer service is at the heart of MGM’s family business. Awarded ‘Partner in Excellence’ by Etesia and recognised as a Which? Trusted Trader, MGM is proud to be acknowledged by specialists in global landscape maintenance for consistently providing high levels of professionalism and delivering first-class customer service. The dedicated team is pleased to offer the additional service of sourcing machinery to match individual budgets and requirements. With 27 years of experience in Land Based Services Instruction, Director of MGM, Dave Tullett, offers tailored training solutions in all aspects of using garden machinery. Models are available to hire on a daily to monthly basis to suit customers’ projects. Stocking only the best quality machines in ground maintenance, MGM place reliability and efficiency at the core of the business to guarantee complete customer satisfaction. Tel: 01564 773614 Email: Web:

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Local Events

What's On

Solihull CAMRA Solihull CAMRA are proud to announce that Solihull's 18th Beer Festival will take place on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th October, from 12 noon till 11.00pm both days, at the Royal British Legion, Union Road, B91 3DH. 45 real ales, plus ciders and perry, food available. Homebrew competition on Saturday afternoon, live music Saturday evening. £10 entry (includes glass hire, programme & beer tokens— discounted for CAMRA & Solihull RBL members on production of membership card). (Please note: no entry to under 18’s)."

The Wagen Trust present: The Gunpowder Plot in the Midlands " With Historian Mairi McDonald Friday October 13th In St Peter's Church, Wootton Wawen Pig Roast from 7.15 pm History talk at 8.15 pm Tickets: Adults £10.0 to include ' Pig roast bap' Discounts for children Contact P Phillips 01564 793114 S Steele 01564 792505

Solihull Photographic Society - Tuesday 10th October - An evening of "fiddling and diddling" presented by Keith Cooper and Brian Swinyard. - Tuesday 17th October - Our Annual Panel Competition will be judged by Steve Clifford. All meetings start at 7.30pm and finish at 10pm, and are held at the WI Hall, Warwick Road, Solihull. Visitors will be made welcome. £3 at the door please. Further info can be found on our website

Knowle Charity Christmas Card Shop Dates: Saturday October 21st until Saturday December 16th Venue: Knowle Library, High Street, Knowle. Open library hours. Please come along and buy your Christmas cards, calendars and small gifts from a selection of local and national charities.

National Trust, Solihull Our National Trust meetings in October are held at Solihull Methodist Church, Station Approach. The evening meeting on Tuesday 10th at 7.45pm in the Church is a fully illustrated talk on ‘Stained Glass window makers of Birmingham School of Art’ by Roy Albutt. Our afternoon presentation is on Friday 27th at 2pm in the Hall when Elaine Warner of Knowle History Group will present ‘The Greswolde and Mermaid Arms’. All are welcome and enquiries to Tony Fryer on 01564 776001.

Shirley Ladies Circle We are Shirley Ladies Circle, a group of women aged 18-45 who meet once a month for social activities and to help raise money for charity. This year our chosen charity is Guide Dogs for the Blind. So far we have been part of the Shirley Beer & Cider festival to raise funds for them. On Thursday 23rd November we’re holding a charity fashion show. As a group we get up to lots of different activities, this summer we have been cocktail making, for a talk at Sarehole mill and axe throwing! If you’d like to get involved then contact us at: On twitter @Shirleycircle or at

Children's Art Classes Saturdays at Centre of England Arts. Two classes. 7-11 years and 12- 16 years £50 for five weeks. Booking essential. See for details or contact 01676 523357

Earlswood Village Hall Earlswood Village Hall (B94 6BZ) presents a Live Jazz Supper Evening on Saturday 7th October featuring 'Fiddlebop', one of the Cotswolds most popular Jazz groups. Its a chance to put on your dancing shoes and 'strut your stuff' to hot jazz swing with a gypsy zing. If you like jazz from the 30's and 40's then this is a night for you. Tickets £10 to include supper from Fiona on 10564 703 674. Doors/Bar open from 7pm.

LUNCHTIME RECITALS St Alphege Church hosts free lunchtime recitals every Wednesday featuring professional players, students and members of the church music

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

staff. The recitals last around 45 minutes, starting at 1.10pm, with home-made refreshments available from 12.30, an ideal way to have a relaxing break in the middle of the week. An up-to-date programme can be found at www.stalphegemusic. Admission is free, with a retiring collection at the end of the recital. All are very welcome to attend.

Arden PTFA Family Fireworks Saturday,4th November 2017 Venue - Arden Academy, Station Road, Knowle B930PT Gates open - 5pm Junior Display - 6pm / Main Display - 7.15pm Advance Entry Tickets - Family (2A+2C) £15/ Students (3-18yrs) £3/ Adults £5 At the Door - Family (2A+2C) £20 / Students (3-18yrs) £5 /Adults £7 Join us for - TWO displays, DJ, Music, Real Ale, Mulled Wine,BBQ, Jacket Potatoes, Novelty Stalls and more! Book online at /ardenfireworks If you need any more information, please let me know.

ReCOM Tablet/IPAD Training We are a small registered charity offering training on your own Tablet/IPAD in the local Community. Whether you are a complete beginner or want to improve your existing skills on your Tablet/IPAD our small, friendly and relaxed Classes could be for you. All makes and models of Tablets are welcome. We run classes in various venues throughout the Solihull area. We also run Computer/Laptop classes in various venues. For more info please call Claire on 0121 663 0335.


GIFTS HOME MADE CAKES, PRESERVES, LIGHT LUNCHES & REFRESHMENTS AVAILABLE. SATURDAY 4th NOV 10.30AM - 3.00PM Free Car Parking. Admission £1. Proceeds in aid of Church funds.

ARDEN ACADEMY PTFA are holding another one of their very popular Table Top Sales on Sunday 8th October 2017 10.30 –12.30 at Arden Academy, Station Rd, Knowle B93 0PT Stallholders-£8 for a table/£5 for a clothes rail. Entry-Adults 70p Children FREE. Website for booking adminptfa for more info

All About The Sew sewing workshops Fancy learnign to sew? We are a small, friendly and sociable classes in the Knowle and Lapworth areas. Sewing machines are provided to use and for most workshops all materials are supplied. No experience is necessary for beginners classes. Come along and have a go - you'll be hooked in no time! Booking essential. For more details see, ring Lorna on 07963 734756

Knit and Natter Elmdon Knit and Natter meets at 1.45 on the second and fourth Wed of each month at the church hall, Coppice Road, Solihull, B92 9JY. We knit items for the premature baby units in local hospitals, items for the Friends of Solihull Hospital, teddies for Malawi and Kenya. Items for the Christmas Bazaar in aid of funds for the church hall and have taken part in two special fundraising events. New members are welcome and wool and needles are provided.Further info is available by emailing

SOLIHULL STAMP & POSTCARD CLUB If you are interested in stamps or postcards, then we are here to support your interests. Our meetings include short talks and displays by members on favourite items from their collections and an opportunity to buy, sell or exchange items . We meet on the second Thursday of the month from September through till April at the Solihull Tennis/Cricket Club, Marsh

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

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Lane, Solihull B91 2PF from 10.30am – 12.30pm. £1.50 including tea/coffee & biscuits. Further details visit or phone Paul Woodness 01564 776 879

SOLIHULL HEALING GROUP We provide FREE Drop-in one-to-one Energy Healing sessions of about 20 minutes each for relaxation and to relieve stress. We meet on the first and third Saturdays of each month in the Knowle Suite on the First Floor of the Hub, Touchwood (access by way of the lift in the coffee meet-up area opposite the 3 Store) between 10.00am and 12.00am. Donations gratefully accepted to cover the cost of the rooms. Please call Paul on 0121 704 3735 or Peter on 0121 779 3220 for more details.

BABY MASSAGE COURSES Solihull – Mondays at 10am at the Womens Institute, central Solihull Hobs Moat – Tuesdays at 10.15am at St Marys Church Hockley Heath – Wednesdays at 12pm at the King George Memorial Hall. Come and learn all the baby massage strokes to help your baby with sleeping, relaxation, trapped wind, constipation and colic in a warm welcoming environment. To find out more email:


Studio 52 Studio 52, in Wychwood Avenue Knowle, offers small, personalised classes before and after work and during the day for Pilates, HIIT and Body Conditioning. Also available are 1-1's on the Pilates Reformer and HIIT & Body Conditioning.All equipment and mats provided. Pilates Mon 9am, 10.30am, 6.30pm & 7.45pm Wed 9.30am (over 65's) HIIT (interval circuit training) Tues 7am & 6.30pm Body Conditioning Wed 7pm Thurs 9am Contact Rachel on 07831 429989

YOGA WITH ANNA, Wednesday 9:15 - 10:15am, at Oliver Bird Hall and Fridays 6 - 7pm at The Dance Studio, Solihull Sixth Form College. Classes are open level and welcome to all, £6 per session, pay at the door. For more information or any questions please email or call 07539277644.

Local Yoga Classes Mon 7.45pm- 9.15pm Mixed Ability: Highfield Hall (beginners welcome) Tues 10.30am - 11.45am Ladies Only (all abilities) Highfield Hall. Thursday 11am - 12.30 Intermediates Hockley Heath Pavillion. Fri 10.30 - 12am Beginners Hockley Heath Baptist Centre. For availability or for more info contact Jane on 07734284144 or

For improved flexibility, better posture and enhanced muscular strength. Tues - 7-8pm Thurs 9.30-10.30am Lowsonford Village Hall, Rookery Lane, Henley in Arden, B95 5ER £7 per session. No booking required. Email:pilateswithhelen

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Slip inside the eye of your mind Don't you know you might find A better place to play You said that you'd never been But all the things that you've seen Will slowly fade away

1. In which book of the Bible is the birth of Moses? 2. Which of the Rocky films was released in 1983? 3. Who provided the voice for Woody in Toy Story? 4. What was the first name of Wayne`s friend in `Wayne`s World`? 5. From which football team did Chelsea sign England midfielder Frank Lampard? 6. What make of car does TV`s Mr Bean drive? 7. Where in the body is the patella? 8. Which famous singer is an anagram of `No I Decline`? 9. What is the Italian for `mixed fruits`, and is also the title of a famous song? 10. Who was the female judge on the first of ITV`s `Pop Idol` series? Answers on page 54

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Last month’s winner: Emma Brown from Alvechurch

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Volvo V90 R-Design Volvo estates have come a long way since their ‘wardrobe on wheels’ image. We all knew they were safe and comfortable; they just weren’t sexy. That all changed some years ago, and the last V70 looked great; perhaps even better than its saloon sibling, the S80. Then in 2016, the V90 and the booted S90 came along; two stunning cars with more than a hint of sporting appeal woven into the luxury, ride comfort and space that Volvos always offer. The models have been a success in the short time they’ve been out – but the V90 is the one that most people favour. As an estate car, it’s more practical, even though the Swedish car maker has made the load area slightly smaller than the previous V70’s. For those who like versatility and don’t want the ‘conservative’ estate car image, Volvo has recently put its R-Design stamp on the V90. This means you can still drive an estate car, but one that looks hunkered down and stimulating. Yes, stimulating – who’d have thought a Volvo could have that effect? The R-Design flavour has always given Volvos that extra something – it’s made the cars spicier to look at and hotter in the way they handle. The V90 R-Design is a genuine looker – a great piece of artwork all round. Its kerbside appeal is boosted even further, thanks to its 15mm lowered ride height, silver door mirrors, gloss black grille and flashy 18-inch alloy wheels. The jazziness continues inside, with semielectrically operated leather and nubuck sports seats. There are also metal-effect inlays, a vivid LED driver’s display, sports pedals, and illuminated tread plates. My test car was fitted with the D4 engine, hooked up to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The D4 is a 2.0-litre turbo diesel unit delivering 190PS - a well-judged output for regular commuting. It’s quick enough for most palates, reaching 62mph in 8.5 seconds, but it is prudent, too. If you see over 60mpg from this engine, I wouldn’t be taken aback.

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The V90 is refreshing compared with its rearwheel drive German equals. It’s driven by its front wheels, and is nimbler to wield. The Volvo feels sprightlier, thanks to the weight of the pedals and steering - and while this is no small vehicle, it feels far from overwhelming, due to how acquiescent it is. Because of the R-Design’s lowered, firmer suspension set-up, the V90 R-Design will corner quickly without perceptible body lean. However, the drawback is that there’s no option to alter the suspension on the fly. Mind you, air suspension can be substituted when you buy the car new, although it will cost you £1,500 for the privilege. On the regular nonR-Design V90s you’re offered a more cushioned ride. But if you’re determined to go for a sporty estate, and don’t mind a lower, firmer system, then the stock V90 RDesign is an excellent choice.

By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Writer

FAST FACTS • Max speed: 140 mph • 0-62 mph: 8.5 secs • Combined mpg: 62.8 • 1969 cc 4-cylinder twin turbo diesel • Max. power (PS): 190 • CO2: 119 g/km • Price: £38,205

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Combat Sports Centre

Kickstart your Boxing and Martial Arts training today The Combat Sports Centre is a fully equipped Boxing and Martial Arts Centre based a short walk outside Solihull Town Centre. It is the proud home of the Borough's two most successful sports clubs: West Warwicks Amateur Boxing Club and The International Kickboxing Academy. Despite receiving a great deal of media attention for their numerous accolades in both Kickboxing and Boxing, Head Coach Paul Gilmore attributes their success to the Centre's welcoming and friendly environment for new starters: 'Boxing gyms can be intimidating places. I understand that every champion was once a beginner and that everyone is on their own journey. Whether it's a parent looking to develop their child's self confidence, a person looking to learn a new skill or even just get fit. There is a class on our timetable for everyone.' To book a free trial lesson in Boxing, Kickboxing or MMA, please view timetable on or contact Paul direct 07855487324 @mayorofhobsmoat

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The kids are back in town. Stranger Things Season Two Netflix's hottest shows reviewed - by Alex Dudley

Netflix’s most anticipated event of 2017 is right around the corner. Stranger Things is set to return to our screens for its second season in October. The shows’ popularity reached soaring levels in 2016, with the highest number of viewers switching on their screens for this show alone. The supernatural horror is set in a fictional rural town named Hawkins, Indiana in the early 1980’s. The town is home to the Hawkins National Laboratory, a place where experiments are performed…using human subjects. These experiments are organised by the government in a secret attempt to try to discover information about certain paranormal activities. The Stranger Things cast is one of the many factors that separate the show from its main rivals; the stars of the show are only 12 years old! Actors Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) and Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) gained critical acclaim for their work in the first season, and this is sure to be the same following viewers’ next binge. The first series starts as a young boy named Will Bryers disappears after an encounter with a mysterious creature that has escaped from the National Laboratory. As Will’s mother and friends search for him, his three friends meet Eleven, who has also escaped from the mysterious laboratory. From here, the show goes from strength to strength as the friendship that forms between the three boys and Eleven really comes across as genuine. They continue to help her to evade the grasp of armed military officers, who are attempting to take her back to the laboratory. With each passing episode the plot becomes darker and darker with new secrets coming out, encouraging viewers to watch episode after episode. Will’s mum also plays a vital role in the search for her son as she feels his presence in her house, seemingly in a parallel world.

The last two episodes are among the best of any television series that I have ever seen. The concluding scene opens up the gateway for the new series and explains why so many viewers have been waiting impatiently for October to arrive. During the awards season, the show cleaned up, with all the main actors winning at least one award. As well as this success, Stranger Things won four awards for ‘TV show of the year’, one of which is the converted MTV award. The show was also credited with four Golden Globe nominations - the most of any television show at the awards ceremony in 2016. Rotten Tomatoes credits the show with a 95% rating, placing it amongst the top three rated TV shows from 2016. If you haven’t seen this show, you’re massively missing out! There is still time to binge watch the entire first series before the second season is released… Coming to Netflix, worldwide, on October 27th. It is sure to exceed all expectations.

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Quiz Answers.

1. Exodus

2. Rocky III

54 | Cornfield Magazine

3. Tom Hanks

4. Garth

5. West Ham United

6. Mini

7. The knee

8. Celine Dion

9. `Tutti Frutti`

10. Nicki Chapman

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

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

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

£234.75 + VAT monthly rental £1,408.50 + VAT initial rental

Mercedes-Benz C Class Saloon C200 SE 4dr

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Audi A4 Saloon 1.4T FSI Sport 4dr

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

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

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

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+ VAT monthly rental

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Fax: 01789 491201



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

VAT Number: 163191615 Cornfield Magazine | 55

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Cornfield Magazine October 2017 Solihull  
Cornfield Magazine October 2017 Solihull  

Welcome to your October edition of Cornfield Magazine! This month we spoke to musician Simon Webbe in an exclusive interview about his new a...