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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 February edition of Cornfield Magazine.


Our wonderful covers this month feature Birmingham’s very own reggae legends, UB40. Our exclusive interview with founding member, Robin Campbell, reveals details about the guitarist’s early life in Balsall Heath, UB40’s political activism and record-breaking performances, and the band’s upcoming live dates and soon-to-be-released new music. Planning the most important day of your life? Our 2018 Wedding Guide includes everything you need to organise the perfect day, from venue inspiration to alternative food options. We’ve felt the love this month and rounded up our favourite Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas and top European Romantic Escapes to spice up your February. In the run up to the Oscars, we take a look at some of nominated films and notable performances, and celebrate the women making history at this year’s Academy Awards®.





In support of World Cancer Day on 4 February 2018, we ask our readers to purchase official Unity Bands® from Cancer UK to help the brilliant cause. See our Health & Beauty section for more information, and join the fight against cancer today. As always, thank you for your continued support for our publication. We’ve had a fantastic month exploring what our wonderful city has to offer, and can’t wait to discover more.



Happy reading!

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

Tim Hackett - Sales Executive 07806 807 573

Eibhlin Kissack - Content Editor 0121 796 6800

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Be inspired, discover ideas and find guidance on how to plan your perfect day. Planning the Day Making arrangements for your big day can be an incredibly exciting, but also highly daunting process. Creating a checklist of points to consider when planning your wedding day enables you to manage your time effectively and (hopefully) remain relatively stress-free throughout the whole procedure. Our 2018 Wedding Guide is designed to help you to organise your day with ease, and provide you with wedding inspiration for everything from table decorations to flower girls’ outfits. Our feature includes some of the best wedding suppliers, salons, clinics, boutiques and venues our local area has to offer. Take a look, and start to make your wedding dreams a reality.

Venue The Hunt Finding the ideal wedding venue is often the hardest choice that couples face throughout the whole planning process. Selecting a venue that suits your individual tastes and caters for your wedding party size, whilst remaining within your budget, can prove to be a very difficult task. Placing this decision at the top of your to-do list, therefore, is highly beneficial. To narrow down the extensive list of possible wedding locations for your big day, you first need to make several key decisions. Consider your overall budget, and set your style preferences as a couple. Naturally, the best way to narrow down your search is to arrange to see venues first-hand. Booking appointments to view properties will give you a much clearer understanding of the

spaces on offer. The West Midlands is home to a wide range of fantastic venues surrounded by stunning landscapes; whether you’re looking for modern city spaces or historical buildings nestled in the countryside, there’s a venue out there for everyone.

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The Selection Process

Celebrate the love between you and your partner in style

Wedding Planners recommend booking wedding venues at least six to eight months prior to your selected wedding date to guarantee availability. Popular wedding venues may be fully booked for the summer months up to a year in advance, so make sure you leave yourself enough time to thoroughly plan, budget for and secure a deal with your dream wedding venue. Ensure you incorporate the venue into the theme you and your partner have decided upon for your wedding day. Manor houses are particularly well suited for ‘rustic’ wedding themes, whilst trendy inner city bars or art galleries suit more modern tastes. Find out whether venues have the capacity to hold the number of guests you have invited – this may sound like an obvious point, but choosing a venue too large for the number of guests invited may leave the space feeling empty, and of course a venue too small could feel overcrowded. Asking management teams to provide you with a seating plan of venues at capacity will give you a rough idea of how much space you are working with. Always consider how the weather might affect

your chosen space. British weather is unfortunately notorious for being unpredictable, so you and your partner should always consider how rain, or even snow, might impact your big day. Asking whether the venue provides a Master of Ceremonies or an Events Manager, or have bespoke wedding package offers, could also affect your decision-making. Remember to check whether venues have car-parking facilities and suitable lighting for wedding pictures – these details can have a direct affect upon your overall day.

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Décor Floral Installations & Bouquets Flower installations are set to be a must-have interior trend for 2018. This bold trend follows in the footsteps of creative innovator Raf Simmons, whose debut for Dior in 2012 showcased his outstanding creativity in more ways than one. The designer commissioned an architectural masterpiece for his runway show, using one million real flowers. Ceilings and walls of a Parisian mansion were draped with a tapestry of colourful blooms, creating a breath taking, magical space. Hanging dramatic arrangements of greenery and flowers has since become a highly fashionable trend for interiors. Floral installations create an incredible focal point within any given space, and definitely emanate a modern vibe. Varied bouquets have also become popular in recent years, with couples opting for flower species such as snapdragons and sea lavender rather than traditional roses.

Metallic Touches Gold, silver and copper accents are a clear choice for interiors in the New Year. Adding metallic touches to crockery, chairs and light fixings creates an intriguing industrial look, with copper having the added bonus of being a relatively inexpensive material to purchase. Contrasting with bright spaces, metallic details add warmth to colour palettes and will create an element of ‘modern glamour’ to your wedding décor.

Glass Open, bright spaces such as greenhouses and orangeries have been popular venues for weddings in recent years - perfect for couples that prefer the outdoors. There has also been a surge in the addition of glass decorations to wedding table décor, with wedding experts marking this trend as highly fashionable for 2018.

Natural Elements Going natural is the way forward for 2018. Wedding experts have found a rise in the use of natural materials for the creation of wedding favours, invitations and place cards. Tree saplings wrapped in hessian and mini jars of homemade jam, gin or soap are ideal natural wedding favours for your guests.

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Marquees Alternative Wedding Structures Marquees, yurts, tipis and tents make fantastic venues and are a brilliant way to shake-up traditional wedding day formalities. Magical, canvas-clad hideaways make the perfect setting for wedding guests to dine in, and can be furnished to suit personal tastes. Open fires, twinkling fairy lights, and bohemian-inspired interiors have been chosen by couples in recent years to jazz-up their alternative wedding structures. Whether you require an adaptable bar space, or a large dance floor with a built-in stage, there are plenty of options available to suit your needs. Far from mundane, marquees provide unique, versatile spaces with cosy atmospheres – guaranteed to make any wedding reception an unforgettable experience.

County Marquees County Marquees offers first class marquee hire in Birmingham and across the West Midlands. We provide a comprehensive service that includes a wide range of shapes and sizes of marquees, along with all of the ancillary products you need to prepare your marquee for your guests – we’re ready to meet your needs for the largest, or smallest, marquees. Offering catering marquees, Clear Span and Chinese Top marquees, as well as covered walkways, County Marquees guarantees to keep your guests warm and dry in all weather. Whether you’re hosting a wedding reception, birthday party or summer ball, you’re assured the best service and best value for money when you choose County Marquees. From ten feet to a hundred feet, we set up and take down all marquees quickly and efficiently, ensuring you have everything in place for your special day. Our team is dedicated to delivering excellent customer service, and always provide good, clean equipment at affordable prices. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today to discuss your marquee hire requirements. Call 01384 377 749 or 07850 721 383 for your no obligation quote now.

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Food & Drink Alternative Cuisine

Prosecco Station

Arguably the biggest wedding trend for the New Year is an alternative take on traditional wedding food. Opting out of sit-down, four-course meals, couples are instead seeking more informal methods of dining. From food trucks, to sharing platters and gourmet buffets, wedding cuisine has been altered in recent years to suit individual tastes and preferences. Why not try stone-baked pizzas or Indian street food for the main course, or create a dessert table filled with an abundance of sweet treats for your guests to choose from? By dining in a less formal way, guests are able to choose their own portion sizes, sample fantastic cuisine and hopefully reduce the amount of leftovers in the process!

Couples often worry about the expense of buying drinks for their wedding guests. Why not create an element of fun and set up a ‘Prosecco Station’ where guests are able to ‘pimp’ their Prosecco? Customise your Prosecco Stations with jars of strawberries, raspberries, and flavoured syrups. Hiring professional Mixologists to serve drinks behind a cocktail bar is another way to provide a degree of entertainment for your guests and add additional flair to your wedding reception.

Create an unforgettable day for all – your planning starts here Sugarbliss Cake Company Creating Stylish Cakes For All Occasions At Sugarbliss Cake Company we are passionate about creating beautiful cake creations for our customers. Our award-winning, bespoke designs can be personalised just for you; from wedding cakes to elegant celebration cakes, at Sugarbliss we strive to deliver excellence for all of our clients. Working from our studio, we offer a professional cake design consultation service, lead by our experienced and friendly team. Our reliable ordering and delivery system guarantees your cakes will arrive safely and efficiently in time for any special event. The Sugarbliss Cake Decorating Supplies Shop, based in Knowle, stocks everything you need to make your very own cakes. Whether you’re looking for rolled-out icing, cake boards, cake boxes or cake toppers, Sugarbliss will have the product for you. We also offer an edible printing service, which allows you to have your favourite pictures as a cake topper! All Sugarbliss cakes are freshly baked to perfection in our ‘Cakery’, and are made with the highest-quality ingredients to ensure all of our creations taste as delicious as they look. We offer over 36 cake flavours, and also specialise in eggless, vegan, and dairy-free cakes.

Call now to book your free wedding cake consultation on 01564 774 223 Open: Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm & Saturday 9.30am – 5pm 1707 Knowle High Street, Solihull, B93 0LN

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Fashion Make your wedding day magical

The Dress Adding splashes of black and navy to crisp white dresses creates a dramatic and statement look. Vera Wang’s Spring/Summer Bridal Collection features designs with monochromatic detailing that serve as focal points, drawing the eye to the expert tailoring of the gowns. ‘Floral finesse’ is another popular wedding dress trend for new collections, with designers such as Oscar de la Renta creating mesmerising pieces that incorporate intricate floral patterns to make any bride elegantly bloom.

Bridesmaids Dusty pinks, gold and soft lilacs are at the top of the colour chart for bridesmaid dresses this season. Tea length dresses (on which the hemline finishes at the upper calf) are on trend for 2018. Holding a 1950s retro quality, tea length dresses add an alternative edge to wedding garments.

Two-piece outfits and co-ordinate sets, as well as draped, sheer fabrics are also a popular choice. Choose floor-length gowns with soft hues and flutter sleeves to create a whimsical ‘romantic’ look.

The Suit Check suits are making a definitive comeback. Daring statement prints and bold colours are favourites for this year’s wedding suits. Threepiece suits, with added new twists, have also been seen on the runway. Pairing jackets with a tweed or check waistcoat can break-up the traditional look, whilst patterned handkerchiefs add a modern pinch of style to outfits. Wildflower boutonnières, featuring an eclectic mix of floral colours and textures, are an interesting alternative for grooms wishing to make a statement.

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Flower Girls & Page Boys When selecting children’s outfits for your wedding day, consider comfort above all else. Choosing an outfit that looks great, but is made with itchy material or scratchy sequins, guarantees little ones will want to change by the end of the ceremony. John Lewis, Debenhams, M&S and House of Fraser offer fantastic collections of children’s wedding outfits to suit a range of budgets. Smaller local boutiques found in Knowle, Solihull and Barnt Green also offer a range of comfortable shoes, floral hair accessories and snappy bow ties.

Quirky Gifts How do you say ‘I love you’ in a gift? For the guests, it can be a daunting challenge to try to find the perfect gift for a couple’s big day. Some couples may opt for compiling a ‘gift list’ for their guests, which may include necessities for their new home. Some may simply ask for money to put towards their honeymoon. However, if no guidance is provided, it can be difficult to come up with original ideas for gifts that show you care. One option is to make a donation to a charity in the couple’s name – perhaps a charity that is held close to their hearts. Another idea is to sponsor an endangered animal on behalf of the couple, or adopt an olive tree in Italy or Greece, from which the newlyweds will receive gift packages filled with olive oil and handmade olive soaps throughout the following year (several companies can be found online that offer this gift set). Cookery classes for couples make a great wedding gift, and provide the opportunity for the happy couple to create fun experiences together that they will remember.

Fall in love with this year’s wedding dress trends

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Beauty New York Bridal Week saw catwalks filled with models sporting defined eye-makeup, up-dos and highlighted complexions. Beauty experts recommend that brides stick to their ‘classic’ styles for their wedding day, but with a little extra oomph. Natural-looking makeup will always look more flattering in wedding photos, and whilst trying out the latest hair and makeup trends can be tempting at first, it is always beneficial to bear in mind that your wedding pictures could look dated in a few year’s time. Glowing, fresh skin with hints of highlight and blush will create a minimal, natural look will have the added benefit of remaining classic in years to come. Eyeliner flicks have once again made it to the high fashion catwalks – for a more timeless look try less extravagant lines, and stick with subtle cat-eye flicks. Booking regular pampering sessions six

months before your wedding day will ensure your skin is in great condition for your important date, and is highly advised by beauty experts.

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Dentelle Aesthetic Skin Solutions Achieve radiant skin

for your wedding day. At Dentelle, we pride ourselves on being a centre of excellence in natural facial rejuvenation and non-surgical, natural aesthetic interventions. Our Solihull-based, multi award-winning clinic is one of the select few in the Midlands accredited with Save Face. At Dentelle, we prioritise our clients’ health and safety and put their care at the heart of every treatment. Combining expertise with passion, our team takes the time to understand individual needs and expectations to guarantee a high level of comfort and satisfaction for all clients.

Pamper Packages Start your wedding beauty regime today To ensure your skin is radiant and glowing for the most important day of your life, we recommend completing a course of treatments in the six months prior to your wedding date. Don’t leave it up to chance. Book today and start your journey towards achieving flawless skin.

Be the best you. Frustrated with fine lines, a red complexion or acne-prone skin? At Dentelle, we can help you to significantly improve the appearance of your skin and leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised in time for your wedding day. Whatever your skin concerns may be, our experienced team can guide you towards the best treatment to suit your needs, and plan an effective course of therapies and skin care. We offer a range of treatments that have been clinically proven to have psychological benefits, lift mood and create a greater sense of confidence for our clients with regards to their appearance.


Lip Treatments

Fire and Ice Facial

IPL Hair Removal and Skin Rejuvenation

Guinot Hydradermie Environ Vitamin Facial Radiofrequency Skin Tightening Profhilo Skin Refreshing Dermal Fillers (for lifting and improving facial contours) Wrinkle Smoothing Injections

Acne Treatments Manicures and Pedicures Eyelash and Eyebrow Treatments Relaxing Aromatherapy Massage Professional Makeup Artist (for glamour and bridal)

Call the clinic now to book a no obligation, confidential consultation or book your treatment now!

Call: 01564 770770 Email:

Exclusive Offer! 20% additional value on all vouchers bought between 1-14 February 2018 for Valentine’s Day

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Cooking Essentials

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1. Petite Blue Casserole Dish Gray & Willow. House of Fraser - £20. 2. Acacia Paddle Gray & Willow. House of Fraser - £22 3. Home Collection Stainless Steel Pan (24cm). Debenhams - £42 4. Butterfly by Matthew Williamson Measuring Cups Debenhams - £14 5. Classic 3-Piece Knife Set. John Lewis - £50 6. Mason Cash Bakewell Measuring Cups (Set of 3) John Lewis - £14

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20% off A-La Carte menu with this voucher during February 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.

We are one of the UK's best known and most successful restaurant companies. We have 37 restaurants, including 4 sites with hotels so there are plenty of opportunities for career progression across the company. Our success is based on being the best – we have stunning properties, award-winning food and, we believe, the best people in the industry. Our restaurants look great, our food is unbeatable and our staff are outstanding. Working with us at Loch Fyne Seafood and Grill, you will feel a part of our family with like-minded people who progress their careers with utilising our career path, offering Leadership and Management Development programs, Chefs Academy and Apprenticeships for all roles and levels. All of our people get to develop their skills and knowledge of fresh fish and seafood too. Great performance is rewarded with our management bonus schemes (quarterly and annual), tronc, annual conference and awards, trips to Loch Fyne in Scotland to understand our heritage and company benefits which include Pension, Healthcare, Share Save Scheme, 33% employee discount, shopping vouchers to name a few. Great team, great place, fun environment rates of pay depending on experience. Job Type: Full-time and part time Required experience: Chef: 1 year Email your CV to:

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So, we have enjoyed a wonderful festive season, eaten too much, drunk too much alcohol, not exercised as much as we should have and now feel that we need to start 2018 on a healthy note. We call it “making New Year’s resolutions”. These usually consist of losing weight, joining a gym and cutting down on alcohol and cigarettes.

Eileen Fegan talks about the things you should think about to make sure that 2018 is as healthy, happy and free from illness as it possibly can be. There are a number of simple and effective habits for you to take up in the New Year, which will carry you all the way through the next 12 months. As Hippocrates said,

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” MOVE Exercising has both short-term and long-term benefits. As soon as you start any form of exercise, from walking to running on a treadmill, it can improve your mood, reduce stress, and even make your brain work better. Over time, exercise can prevent health problems ranging from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypercholesterolemia and depression. Exercising, no matter how limited, will also keep you young. Research shows that our cells don’t really age – they either grow or decay. If you exercise, then you trigger growth in the cells and your body stays stronger, younger, fitter, healthier and more resistant to disease. Oh yes, stick with the exercise because studies show that activity that is repeated every day for 3 weeks, becomes a habit and gets easier.

NEVER MISS BREAKFAST Breakfast stands for “Break – Fast”. During our sleep, we are recharging our batteries and not consuming any calories or

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nutrition, therefore, “Breaking the Fast” is one of the healthiest things you can start doing in 2018, to ensure you start every day off as healthily as you possibly can. A breakfast made up of protein and fresh fruit is very beneficial, as it starts off your metabolism and also prevents you from getting hungry and over-eating later in the day. A perfect breakfast would include eggs, bananas and brown/wholemeal/granary toast, with decaffeinated tea or coffee and a glass of water.

EAT AT LEAST 7 PIECES OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES A DAY A study of 65,226 men and women indicated the more fruit and vegetables people ate, the less likely they were to die - at any given age. Seven vegetables and fruit a day cut the risk of dying from cancer and heart disease. Risk of death by any cause over the course of a study by the University College London was reduced by 42% for seven or more portions of fruit and veg (up to around 10 portions a day).

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Trans fats are found mostly in processed foods, so if the list of ingredients includes the word, "hydrogenated," stay away. According to Dr. Michael Aziz, "Trans fats are really like plastic, and when we eat them they incorporate in our cells and the cells cannot communicate or talk to one another." Interestingly, trans fats are used to prolong the shelf life of food, however, they have the opposite effect on our bodies, by causing our cells to deteriorate and die. Dr Aziz goes on to say that, “Hormones are disturbed and weight gain follows, but more troubling, the risk for heart disease, cancer, stroke, infertility goes up.” Avoid the following foods that all contain trans fats:

Cookies - Crackers - Cakes- Muffins - Pie crusts Pizza dough - Margarine - Vegetable shortening - Cake mixes - Pancake mixes - Chocolate drink mixes Donuts - French fries - Potato chips - Candy Packaged popcorn - Frozen dinners GIVE UP SMOKING Smoking has been associated with at least 17 types of human cancer, but until now no-one has seen how smoking causes many of these cancer types. The authors of a study at the Welcome Trust Sanger Institute, found that, on average, smoking 20 cigarettes a day led to 150 mutations in each lung cell every year.

If you can’t take up all of the 5 habits I have recommended, then just choose one and stick to it. Small changes are better than no changes. As Socrates said, “It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” Finally, it is very difficult to make changes in our lives, however, I really hope that you have been able to find some inspiration and enthusiasm in this article. Small changes will lead to bigger changes and before long, you are automatically doing it. Life is always so busy, with work, family, socializing, running around… we forget to take care of ourselves.

Eileen Fegan, Clinical Director of Solihull Health Check Clinic Solihull Health Check Clinic The Lighthouse, 8 Gorcott Lane Dickens Heath B90 1FF 0121 745 7400

These mutations represent starting points for genetic damage that can eventually lead to cancer. The numbers of mutations within any cancer cell will vary between individuals, but experts said this study shows the additional mutational load caused by tobacco. Other organs were also affected, with the study showing that 20 cigarettes a day led to an estimated average 97 mutations in each cell in the larynx, 39 mutations for the pharynx, 23 mutations for mouth, 18 mutations for bladder, and six mutations in every cell of the liver each year.

MONITOR YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE According to Health Line, even a small amount of alcohol has an effect on your body. When you drink, alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream and distributed throughout your body. A tiny amount of alcohol exits your body in your urine and your breath. You absorb alcohol more slowly if you eat, especially if the food is high in fat. However, if you drink more than your body can process, you will get drunk. How quickly the alcohol is metabolised depends on a number of factors including size and gender. Alcohol consumption causes physical and emotional changes that can do great harm to your body. The long-term effects of alcohol abuse are many, putting your health in serious jeopardy and endangering your life. Sticking to the government’s recommended weekly guidelines of 14 units per week, will ensure you are as “safe” as you possibly can be. Remember though, there really is no “safe” limit when it comes to alcohol. So, if you want to start 2018 off on the right foot, try these 5 relatively simple life-changing habits and feel a difference immediately. It is really important that we start looking after our own health, because once it’s gone, there is no getting it back. No-one really talks about their health when everything is going well, however as soon we become unwell, with a disease, condition or illness, it is all you can think about, talk about and obsess over. Be proactive and make a change today.

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Running Fuel

By Verity Wright,

Running is a great way to burn calories and lose weight but at times it can be difficult to find a balance between satisfying your hunger due to an increase in activity and eating enough to keep you fueled. You may start thinking that because you have run you can eat what you want, or you may be so keen to lose weight that you don't eat enough to keep you going. If you skip meals or don’t eat enough of the right food before you run, you may feel like you are running through treacle and your legs become like lead; lack of fuel prior to running can cause mental tiredness as well as physical tiredness which can make the difference between a great run and a bad one. The area of sports nutrition is huge and quite complex so here are some very basic tips for getting your food intake right now that you are a runner. As a runner your body needs carbohydrates (carbs) and these are stored as energy in the muscles and liver as glycogen. They are then quickly and efficiently released when you are running. You also need good fats and protein. Fats are also an essential source of fuel and these are released more slowly, and protein is essential as this helps repair the muscles after running. That’s all the basic food groups sorted and to make sure that your body works more efficiently you need to drink plenty of water to store the glycogen (energy) in the muscles until you need it. If you don’t drink enough water throughout the day again you may struggle when you run. The following foods which are classed as carbs are rich in nutrients and should form the base of your diet: Wholemeal breads, cereals and wholegrains (e.g. oats, pasta and rice), fruit, starchy vegetables (e.g. potato, butternut squash) legumes (e.g. lentils, beans, peas and peanuts) Nutrient poor carbs Foods and fluids that contain carbohydrate but minimal or no other nutrients. All sugars (e.g. dextrose, sucrose, honey) soft drinks, energy drinks, sweets, carb gels, sports drinks and cordials and any type of white bread. These shouldn’t be a major part of your everyday diet. High-fat carbohydrates Foods that contain carbs as well as being high in fat. Pastries, chips, cakes, chocolate and crisps. These can be occasional foods but are best not consumed before running. My advice is not to reward yourself with “treats” after every run, yes you are burning calories but not as many as you think; optimise how much nutrition you have in one day, make sure you have foods that are high in nutrients like fruit, nuts, porridge, whole meal pitta, hummus, cooked meats and vary what you eat day by day. You could have stewed fruit for breakfast with some Greek yoghurt and a bit of honey or black pudding or ham and eggs. Try to have porridge or a smoothie for breakfast as this will release energy slowly and snack on fruit and nuts, banana nut butter sandwiches and try to cut down on your sugar content in your food. Try different things and see what works for you, keep a food diary but don’t become too hard on yourself if you don’t get it right all the time. Eat at least 2 hours before you run but if you are really hungry have a banana to keep you going. It’s all about balance so a treat like the odd piece of cake Verity Wright is an England Athletics Qualified Coach in Running Fitness and runs a successful Athletics Coaching business in the South of England. She competes as an endurance athlete in events from 10k to 42k over country, roads, fells and mountains. If you want to know more, you can visit her website

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REVERSE SHOULDER SUCCESS GIVES GRANDMUM VIRGINIA A BIG LIFT Hands up if your surgery was successful! At 71 years old Solihull grandmother Virginia Howell might not be handing out ‘high fives’ to show her delight but she is certainly all smiles when performing simple tasks such as hanging up her coat, following a special type of shoulder operation. And playing with her youngest grandchild – four-year-old Amy – is a dream come true after years of barely being able to lift her right arm away from her side.

The Midland

Hand Clinic


Do you struggle to open jars? Are your fingers painful and stiff? Do your thumbs hurt after a day of activity? Arthritis affects us all, increasing with age. From advice on pain relief to small joint replacement we can help.

Virginia, who used to work with special needs children, first injured both of her shoulders in a fall back in 2002. She had rotator cuff repairs on both shoulders and, for several years, things seemed to be okay. But gradually wear and tear on the right shoulder began to limit her arm movement and cause almost constant pain. “I couldn’t sleep because of the pain. I couldn’t perform simple tasks that most people would take for granted – if I walked into a room carrying things in my left hand I couldn’t turn the light on because there was no way I could get my right hand above waist height,” she explained. “Because I had already had two major shoulder operations I was worried there wouldn’t be anything else that could be done for me and thought I might have to spend the rest of my life on painkillers.” Virginia was told she needed a shoulder replacement operation but, because of her previous injury, it would have to be done ‘in reverse’. “The shoulder is a ‘ball and socket’ joint, explained Mr Amir Salama, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull. “In a normal shoulder the ball is formed at the top of the arm and this glides around a ‘socket’ on the shoulder blade. “However, because Virginia’s socket was so worn and arthritic and had no rotator cuff tendons, we had to do things in reverse. I attached a metal ball to her shoulder blade and then I fitted a plastic socket at the top of her arm.” A reverse shoulder replacement changes the centre of rotation of the shoulder and puts the outside shoulder muscles at an advantage. This allows them to lift the arm and replace the function of the torn and irreparable tendons in the rotator cuff. Six weeks after surgery and Virginia is amazed at the range of movement she now has in her arm but, better than anything, the constant pain she had suffered for years is gone. “It’s like I’ve been given a new lease of life,” she said. “I’m having great fun playing with young Amy and getting a full night’s sleep as well, I really can’t thank Mr Salama enough.” For further information, you can call Spire Parkway on 0121 704 5530

No waiting lists Fast access to diagnosis Consultations within 24 hours Appointment times to suit you Consultant of your choice

KG 20.10.16 Surgery was very prompt and I was made to feel very at ease. Whole process was smooth and efficient. Recovering well and happy.

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Exclusive interview with founding member of UB40s

Robin Campbell by Evie Kissack


Arguably the most successful reggae band in the world, UB40 have enjoyed a triumphant musical career that has taken them all over the world, performing in countless venues to audiences of thousands. This year, to mark the band’s 40th anniversary, UB40 will release a much-anticipated new album featuring

original tracks, and will continue to perform live shows around Europe. Since the band started in 1978, UB40 have impressively produced 39 UK Top 40 hit singles, spent a total of 6 weeks at number one, and have accumulated 238 weeks in the UK Top 40 charts. From the very beginning, the band has been renowned for creating music with a cause. Famous hits such as One in Ten and Sing Our Own Song are but a few of the band’s songs that embody the collective and widespread feeling of the times they were created in. Today, the band remains at the forefront of the reggae music scene, creating tracks that reflect the socio-political climate of 2018. We caught up with original member Robin Campbell over a few games of pool, ahead of UB40’s new album release and the second leg of their huge tour.

Firstly, how was the Cities & Towns tour last year? You’ve been all the way over to Australasia recently, haven’t you? Yeah, we’ve been all over. We’ve toured throughout UK actually; we played shows in Birmingham, London, Scotland – the only place we haven’t been is Ireland. Do you still enjoy touring? I’d stop doing it if I didn’t. Yeah, I love it. It has become a way of life. We’ve never stopped touring really. We had a couple of years off in the mid-90s, but that was after a particularly long period of touring around the world. We toured for six years and went around the world three or four times. We were exhausted! But, other than that, we have constantly recorded and toured for the last 30-odd years. How do you create set lists with 40 years’ worth of music? With great difficulty. It is really difficult. We have the luxury of having a lot of hits to choose from, but really people want to hear the same hits. It’s always the ‘Red Red Wines’ and the ‘Can’t Help Falling in Loves’. You know, the ‘Labour of Love’ tunes. We try to shuffle it around and change the songs to keep us interested by putting in a few that we might not have played in say…10 years. On the set that we’ve just done, I put in a few [songs] that people have always asked us for. It doesn’t matter what you play, someone will always say, ‘You didn’t play my favourite.’ Over the years you build a little mental list of popular songs. It’s me that puts the set together.

Oh, do you? Yeah, yeah. If we all tried to do it there’d be too many arguments, because there’s half a dozen of us. But generally, they leave it to me and then say, ‘That’s quite a good set that is.’ [Laughs] You have some new music coming - Earl [Falconer] has written a few tracks for the new album. How does the creative process within the band work? Well, lyrically we work on our own stuff. Myself, Jimmy [Lynn] and Brian [Travers] are the three main lyricists. Earl has done a few tracks for this album, and Norman [Hassan] has done a couple before. So, yeah generally when it comes to writing lyrics we write our own. But, with the music, we don’t necessarily write it; we create music by jamming. We play together until we get something we like and then we’ll try to fit our lyrics to it. [Laughs] It’s that simple really. It’s a very longwinded process, I guess. In other bands people work separately and bring whole songs to the band. But, that tends to then be what one person wants, whereas we enjoy the collaborative effort. We like the end result that comes from us pulling in half a dozen different directions. How long has it taken to pull all of your ideas together for this album? Too long. Because we are still working so hard on the road, we don’t get an awful lot of studio time. It’s taken much longer than expected. It’s been several years since we first started working on the album, but in

reality we’ve only been in the studio for a few months because the rest of the time we are gigging. I guess when you get back from the road you just want to spend time with your families? You just want to ‘veg’ to be honest. It really is hard to get people back into the studio when everyone gets home. Everyone is just shattered and wants to recharge their batteries. It’s been difficult…a bit torturous. That’s why it’s taken us so long – it’s never taken us this long to make an album. Ever. But we do love being in the studio. We love the creative process – that’s what keeps your juices flowing. It can enthuse and reignite you. It must be difficult to get the right balance between performing live and reaching the fans that way, and meeting the demands to create new music in the studio. Exactly, and you can’t really earn money from records anymore because of the ‘downloading thing’. Even if people download music legally, you earn very little per download. Most of the time, our fans especially, people seem to download them illegally. [Laughs] Which is not great for you. No, we earn nothing. In the old days, making records was how you earned money and you toured to promote the album. Whereas now, you make an album just to stay current, just to say, ‘We’ve got some new material.’ But the money is on the road now.

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Do you think that’s one of the major changes to have happened within the music industry since you began in the late 70s? It’s the major change really – the destruction of record sales. In the old days, we could sell 100, 000 albums before an album’s release. If you did that now, you would have the biggest selling record for weeks. It’s just a different market altogether now. There are so many bands that are our contemporaries that stopped touring years ago. But, because their income streams have dried up (because there are no record sales anymore), they’ve got no back catalogue sales; they suddenly don’t have the sort of pensions they’ve been expecting. So, they’re thinking, ‘Err, we have to go back on the road lads.’ Suddenly you have all these 80s bands touring that haven’t been doing it for maybe…20 years. Even bands like Black Sabbath – I was talking to Toni Iommi a few years back and he said that their back catalogue sales have completely dried up because of illegal downloads. I think that was a band [Black Sabbath] that thought they never had to go back on the road again and then suddenly, like so many other bands, they’ve had to. That’s the great thing about your collaboration with PledgeMusic. You’re publishing so many previews and video clips online to keep your fans constantly updated. Do you think you’ve reached a younger demographic by creating so much online content? I think so, yeah. You’ve got a huge age range within your fan base in general. Well, that never ceases to amaze me; how many young fans we’ve got. A lot of that is to do with the way our Facebook works as well. Matt [Campbell] runs our social media pages, and he’s a lot younger than we are, so he understands all of the ‘online stuff’. We get three generations of people at our shows - that’s fabulous! I guess that’s why we have the longevity, that’s why we’re still here. We not only have a very loyal hard-core fan base that are now in their 50s and 60s, but we have fans of all ages, right down to teenagers. When I was younger the last thing you wanted to hear was what your parents were playing, you know what I mean? You looked for something

completely different. My father was a professional folk musician and the last thing I wanted to have anything to do with was folk music. [Laughs] It didn’t mean I couldn’t do it or didn’t enjoy it, but to do that as a profession felt alien to me. I wanted to be a musician and I wanted to play reggae, and my dad couldn’t understand that at all. [He would say] ‘Where the hell has that come from?’ And it came from the fact that I lived in Balsall Heath, Birmingham and I was surrounded by reggae and Jamaican pop music. I was listening to ska and it was the music that I loved, and that’s what I grew up on really.

We thought we were Balsall

Health’s answer to the Jackson 5

Was becoming a musician something you had always wanted to do? Even when we were kids we always used to speak about it. We always sang, (there are four brothers in our family), and we always harmonised. We thought we were Balsall Health’s answer to the Jackson 5. I remember when we went to see Bob Marley in 1976 basically that was when I decided what I wanted to do for a living. I said to my kid brother at the time, ‘If you’re ever serious about it just let me know.’ Finally, in the summer of ’78 he decided to give it a go. It was basically our social circle, our mates, which were in the band. We never advertised for musicians because we were self-taught. We all decided that whoever had jobs gave them up to give the band their full-time attention. We just committed to it and learnt to play together. Is it true that you decided to form UB40 before some members could even play instruments? Yeah! I think only two of us could actually play. I had been playing guitar since I was a kid and Brian had

been having sax lessons for six months or so – he wanted to be a sax player from the start. That was the only thing that was decided; that I was the guitar player and Brian was the sax player. And Ali [Campbell] always wanted to be the drummer! We kept saying to him, ‘You can’t be the drummer, you have to be the singer!’ He kept saying, ‘I wanna be the drummer!’ Finally, Jimmy got the drums and Ali was forced, really by all of us, to be the frontman. [Laughs] Earl has created a new track entitled ‘Bulldozer’ all about Trump. Your songs often have left-wing political subtexts - is this something that continues in the new album? It’s always been there in our music, apart from the Labour of Love series that feature covers of love songs. We’ve always had a political element to our lyrics, almost every song features some kind of antiestablishment, definitely anti-right-wing, anti-Tory context and our nemesis was always [Margaret] Thatcher. And now it’s…any of them really. Maybe that’s why you’re reaching younger generations too, because in recent years youths are becoming more politicised and are attempting to have their voices heard. About time too! I remember a time when music wasn’t political; the protest element of music just seemed to have been lost, which was a great shame throughout the 90s. Pop music of the day was escapist. The recent surge in the politicisation of young people…a lot of it will be down to [Jeremy] Corbyn. He’s almost ‘messiah-like’ in the way that younger generations have received him - it’s fantastic. Would you say that political music is definitely making a comeback? Yeah! Definitely. I think it’s becoming acceptable again. I think to be politicised and politically aware is very important. The state of austerity and what it’s done to people…I think people are embarrassed. I think people have just been woken up, especially young people. And then of course you have the rise of ‘the Trump’ – it’s unbelievable he’s been voted in. The fact that they [America] are the most powerful country in the world means that people have genuinely been frightened for our future…and about time.

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You’ve always been involved in community-led projects – UB40 played a gig for the Rainbow Pub in Digbeth a few years back, for example. Obviously the band’s name itself is a political statement… On a general note, at the very beginning in the late 80s, a lot of our gigs were Against Racism gigs. The Stand Against Racism movement was big. We played for the miners when they were on strike. We’ve always been involved in that kind of thing. We observed the South African Cultural Boycott for 20 years and refused to play there. We were even recognised for our stance, and got an award for not playing there! And then, when we did finally go in ’94, which was over 14 years after we started playing, we broke the live record. We still hold the live record there today. We played to ‘200and-something thousand’ people in three days (sic). And that was three football stadiums, 70, 000 people each night. That record has never been equalled since. That’s because people were aware of our stance in South Africa and valued that. You’ve played so many gigs over the years at incredible venues with UB40. Are there any particular live shows that stand out for you? Definitely playing in South Africa. It was the most moving set of gigs I’ve ever played. After having observed the Cultural Boycott for 20 years and to then go and play there with apartheid finished and Mandela president…there was an atmosphere of hope in the country – which, has unfortunately dissipated since – but at the time it was amazing. Sing Our Own Song was a song written for black South Africans, to have 70, 000 people singing the lyrics back to you is indescribable. Yeah, that turned my knees to jelly and gave me goose bumps. There are just so many highlights…playing Madison Square Gardens too. It

only has a capacity of around 16, 000, but it’s an iconic gig. To have ‘the Gardens’ sold out and a number one record at the same time, that was pretty special. And what about Birmingham? How does it feel to be back playing in your home city after touring the world? We played at Genting Arena back in December and we hadn’t played there for a few years, and it was just fabulous to be back there and have a brilliant crowd. Birmingham is quite famous for being a horrible place to play. Is it? I didn’t know that. [Laughs] Yeah! People hate playing Birmingham because Brummie crowds are supposed to be miserable. But actually, our Birmingham crowds are fantastic. As I say we’ve got three generations of fans, plus we’ve got hundreds of family members and friends in the audience and it’s always fantastic to come back and play Birmingham. We have played thousands of shows, but Brummie crowds are always great. [Laughs] How does your new album compare to your previous work? Getting Over The Storm had a country vibe to it, is this reflected in the new songs? [Laughs] Well, that was just a one off really, we gave it a try because we did a cover of a country song with Robert Palmer in the early 90s that was never released. Whoever controls Palmer’s publishing wouldn’t let us release the song with Robert’s vocals, so we had to rerecord it. Our manager said, ‘Why don’t you do an album of country songs?’ And we thought it was a good idea, because we’ve all got a favourite country song. Then people said, ‘Oh they’ve turned into a country band.’ But it was one album with country

songs. It’s still reggae; it’s still UB40. This album doesn’t have any steel guitar and it doesn’t have any country songs featured on it. It’s back to being standard UB40 material. It’s UB40’s 40th anniversary this year in June. Do you have any major events planned to commemorate this date? We are playing a few shows at the Albert Hall in London, and we are just starting to think about these gigs actually. It would be nice to get some Special Guests for the London shows. Finally, I’d love to know who your musical influences are? Obviously Bob Marley inspired me to want to become a reggae musician, but I’m inspired by all reggae artists. I listen, almost exclusively, to reggae. I do listen to R&B too. I tend to listen nostalgically; I listen to a lot of the stuff I grew up listening to. It doesn’t mean I don’t listen to new records; I’ve got a son who plays me current stuff all of the time. He’s constantly bringing new artists to me and saying, ‘Have you heard this?’ I’m well into (sic) contemporary artists like The Chronics. But, one single artist does not influence me. I’m wide open to everything. I like good music, and I listen to all sorts of music, but my true love will always be reggae. If I’m in the right mood I can listen to Nat King Cole or Michael Bublé though! [Laughs]

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The Gig Economy – What does it all mean? “To be self-employed or not to be self-employed (or employed as a worker)? That is the question!” Employment Solicitor (and self-proclaimed Shakespearean), Jade Linton, addresses the tricky question: ‘what is the gig economy and why does it seem to raise more questions than it answers?’ A ‘gig’ is a temporary job or one with an uncertain future. Generally associated with music concerts, cash-in-hand jobs and self-employed workers; the wave of the gig economy and the rights associated with it has been a big news story as of late. Uber* hit the headlines in recent months, when, to the company’s peril, they argued their drivers were self-employed and not workers for the company. Dismissing the taxi giant’s appeal, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) found that there were “permissible findings the drivers operated under Uber's control”, making them workers and thus entitled to employment rights such as the right to paid leave and minimum wage. Food delivery service Deliveroo appeared to escape the suggestion that the company’s riders were workers by relying on an under-utilised clause in the company’s contracts, which allowed riders to use a substitute and therefore remove the requirement for riders to perform work personally. A word of caution to the unwitting; make sure the reality of your working situation mirrors that agreed between the parties. Tribunals are all too willing to disregard a contract, which screams ‘self-employed’ when the reality of the situation says otherwise. If you need assistance with drafting employment or self-employment contracts, or interpreting your own contract, please contact a member of our employment team. *Uber BV and others v Aslam and others UKEAT/0056/17

Jade Linton - Associate Solicitor 9 The Courtyard Solihull West Midlands B91 3DA 0121 796 4024

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Local Events

What's On

EVENT - SPRING SING! Modern community choir Sing! Bentley Heath invites you to welcome Springtime with an evening of popular songs from ‘across the pond’. The singers will be sharing favourite hits from stars as varied as Jackson 5, Ed Sheeran, John Denver, Bryan Adams, The Three Degrees and the Beatles. The concert is on Saturday 21st April 7.30pm at The Core in Solihull. Tickets (£9.50) are available from The Core Box Office tel 0121 704 6962 and are also on sale at Palmers (school uniform and clothing shop) on Knowle High Street. Kindly sponsored by Standley and Co Solicitors, Knowle. Profits and collections go to this year’s charities: The Dyspraxia Foundation and The Men’s Shed Group (Marie Curie Solihull).

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.

show girls, flatulent Frenchmen and killer rabbits. Peterbrook Players are a talented local society with a great following so early booking is recommended as Singin' in The Rain (2017 show) sold out with a month to spare! Running time: Approx 2 hours and 40 mins, including a 20 min interval. Tickets: £16 Box office: 0121 704 6962 Website:

PILATES WITH HELEN For improved flexibility, better posture and enhanced muscular strength. Mon : 9.3010.30am. Thurs : 7-8pm. St. John’s Church Hall, Beaudesert Lane, Henley in Arden. £6 per session. No booking required. Please bring a workout mat. Email :


National Trust, Solihull Centre

Thursday 3 May 2018 An Evening with Eddie the Eagle Presented by Age UK Solihull in partnership with Solihull School and sponsored by Midland Eye. It’s 30 years since ski legend Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards won the nation’s hearts at the Winter Olympics in Calgary in 1988. Join us for a fun and inspiring evening as Eddie talks about his fascinating life on and off the piste. 7.30pm Bushell Hall, Solihull School, Warwick Road, Solihull B91 3DJ. Tickets: £16 adults, £14 children aged 16 and under Book at The Core Box Office, either in person, call 0121 704 6962 or visit Friday 13 July 2018 Summer ‘Out of Africa’ Charity Ball Join us for an evening of delicious food and great entertainment at our flagship, black tie annual fundraiser – this year, with an ‘Out of Africa’ theme. Three course dinner, dancing to a live band and other surprises during the evening. Tickets: £45 each, £400 for a table of 10. To book, call 0121 704 7842 or email: 7.00pm St John’s Hotel, Warwick Road, Solihull B91 1AT

Our National Trust meeting on Friday February 23rd is at Solihull Methodist Church, Station Approach commencing at 2pm in the Hall. Howard Drury will present a fully illustrated talk about New Zealand’s islands, plants, gardens and people. Starting in South Island with the Botanic Gardens at Christchurch, then to the Canterbury plains, alpines of the Southern Alps and wild flowers further south. His journey ends in North Island and the ‘Chelsea Flower Show of the South’. All are welcome and enquiries to Tony Fryer on 01564 776001.

PETERBROOK PLAYERS - MONTY PYTHONS SPAMALOT! The award winning Peterbrook Players proudly present their next musical Monty Pythons Spamalot, being performed at The Core Theatre (Solihull) 10th – 14th April 2018. Spamalot is a new musical lovingly ripped off from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail and taken from the original screenplay by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail. It features shenanigans including a bevy of beautiful

SOLIHULL HEALING GROUP We are a small group of healers who have been offering one-to-one drop-in sessions of about 25 minutes of energy healing to the public for Relaxation and Stress Relief. After 22 years in one venue we are MOVING, and that starting on 27 January 2018, all future meetings of the group will be on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month between the hours of 1 pm and 3 pm in the Byron Room at the Core Library, Solihull (formerly known as Solihull Central Library). The sessions are FREE but donations are gratefully accepted to cover our costs.

6-5 Specials Skiffle Band The quartet, made up of retired volunteers, is dedicated to raising money for Dementia UK through their music. Based in Alvechurch, the 6-5 Specials Skiffle Band is available for hire, including (but not limited to): charity concerts, private gigs and performances for dementia sufferers at ‘Memory Cafes’. Keep an eye out for their new album ‘The Circle – It’s Skiffle But Not As We Know It’, out soon. All proceeds go to charity. For more information or booking requests, please contact John Davies on 0121 4450177 or 07904391584. Follow the band on Facebook: @65specials.

French or Spanish We meet up and speak French or Spanish - come and join us! We are located in Henley in Arden. The group is not a French or Spanish class - so if you're totally new to the language, you might want to find out about classes We are located in Henley in Arden Feel free to contact me for more details. M- 07891390947

Drawbridge Art Group has been running for more than 40 years with many of the original members still attending each week. Drawbridge offers something extra and different from most other groups, meeting weekly and offering the opportunity to draw or paint from life; a program can be sent by email on request. We meet weekly on Friday evenings at 7.30pm until 9.30pm in the church hall at the rear of Christ Church, Solihull United Reform Church on Warwick Road. The car park entrance is in Union Road, all members having a permit for use on meeting evenings. Membership is limited to 40 members but there are a number of vacancies at the moment. The annual subscription is £50. Potential members or visitors are welcome to attend single sessions at a cost of £5 per evening. Contact Terry or Edith Buckle on 0121 705 1941 or Gayle Hodges on 0121 604 2369

Children's Art Classes Solihull Parkinson’s Presents Can’t Sing, Doesn’t Matter, It’s Fun! Come and join us in an hour of planned voice exercises intended to help those with Parkinson’s and similar Neurological conditions to project their voices, better pronunciation, better diction and confidence building every monday 0945h £3,John Palmer Hall,Union Road,Solihull,B91 3DG contact 07905 598285 or

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

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

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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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.

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. Please call Claire on 0121 663 0335.

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

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

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:

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.

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

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

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!

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Too late, my time has come, Sends shivers down my spine, Body's aching all the time. Goodbye, everybody, I've got to go, Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth.

1. Which actor played Alex in the TV show `Family Ties`? 2. What is the only bird that can swim but not fly? 3. What character was Henry Winkler best known for playing? 4. Who duetted with Diana Ross on the hit single `Endless Love`? 5. Which sign of the zodiac runs from December into January? 6. Where would you find the Sea of Tranquility? 7. What is Victoria Beckham`s maiden name? 8. In the film `Who Framed Roger Rabbit`, what is the first name of Roger`s wife? 9. What is the second longest river in the world? 10. Who plays the Green Goblin in the 2002 film `Spider-Man`? Answers on page 52

48 | Cornfield Magazine

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Henley-in-Arden: A Reflection Back Part one of a three-part series Written by Evie Kissack in collaboration with Gerald Smith

A few months ago, I had the pleasure to interview Henley-in-Arden’s long-term resident, Gerald Smith, about his experiences living in the small town surrounded by the Warwickshire countryside. During the interview, Gerald spoke about his extensive involvement with the community, which consisted of various projects with local schools, charity events and the annual ‘Henley in Bloom’ competition. It was evident from my time spent with Gerald that Henley-in-Arden is not just a place to live for him. To Gerald, as to many other residents of the town, Henley-in-Arden is a communityled area that holds a carefully preserved and cherished collective history. This mini-series will explore the local history of Henley-in-Arden, reflecting upon how the town has changed over the years, and how it continues to maintain a traditional sense of community in the modern world. After listening to an intriguing voicemail from Gerald, left on the Cornfield office answering machine, I felt I needed to pay him a visit. Part one of Henleyin-Arden: A Reflection Back shares Gerald’s memories of the town during the 1970s, beginning with the appearance of Gerald’s Hardware shop on Henley’s high street, which opened its doors to the public in 1971. Gerald has kept meticulous scrapbooks over the years, filled with photographs and newspaper cuttings featuring Henley-in-Arden. During the few hours I spent chatting to him, Gerald showed me several scrapbooks that brought his stories to life and chronicled his years as the ‘go-to hardware man’. It was very moving to see that Gerald had kept cards from thankful school children – he later informed me he had worked closely with local schools in a project that aimed to encourage children to plant and grow their own vegetables. Gerald recalled tales of street parties, maypole dancing, and the annual carnival that saw residents design floats for a parade that journeyed through the streets of the town. When I first sat down with Gerald over a cup of tea, he pointed to a photograph glued neatly onto a scrapbook page with the caption ‘My Shop’ scrawled underneath it. Gerald explained, “My shop was called Gerald’s Hardware. I opened in 1971. This is my wife stood in the shop. We renovated it together. It was painted blue. We were right opposite the church, very central. I took lots of pictures of the shop during the 21 years that we had it. I’ve kept all of the cards we were sent too, you know, from the school children or friends and family.” Gerald explained how the town has changed over the years. He reminisced about the monthly cattle market that closed in 1995, and was subsequently replaced with a Costa Coffee franchise, and spoke about a dental practice

that no longer exists. Gerald noted my interest in the famous Henley Ice Cream – and explained the history of Tudor Dairies, and the various hands the shop has passed through, before explaining the privately-owned Ice Cream Parlour now makes ice cream on Midlands farms from traditional recipes. He mentioned Tudor Dairies used to have a factory at the back of the shop that has since been renovated into modern flats. Out of all of the amusing anecdotes Gerald shared with me, his annual appearances at Henley-in-Arden’s carnival were by far my favourite tales. Each year, in aid of charity, Gerald designed a float with a witty theme – creations made from papier-mâché moulded around his wonky bicycle. Gerald showed me photographs of his carnival floats; designs created in response to major news events. One float, named ‘HMS Gerald’s Hardware’ paid homage to the smallest boat to ever cross the Atlantic, whilst another resembled Sputnik. Throughout Gerald’s stories, a sense of prevailing community spirit emerged. When discussing his community involvement, whether it was working on the annual flower show Henley-in-Bloom that encouraged residents to take pride in their gardens, or his charitable work for Henley Youth Centre and participation in pram races, Gerald always seemed to hold a huge sense of pride with regards to his town. His stories told the tale of a small town and its residents, who often worked together to give back to the community and raise money for noble causes. Over the years, Henley-in-Arden has changed, not least in its appearance. Yet, today the town still holds annual events organised by its closeknit community. Local schools, artists, musicians and residents often come together for festivals, fetes and events to celebrate the town’s unique heritage. Next month, I will use Gerald’s personal reflections, memories and scrapbooks to explore the history of Henley-in-Arden throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

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Range Rover Sport Now, here’s a question that you might not know the answer to but will

By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Writer

almost certainly have an opinion on. Is the Range Rover Sport one of the most influential cars of the modern era? A decade or so ago it seemed like all the celebrities were arriving to events in a Range Rover Sport, and since then the SUV market has exploded. Now nearly everybody wants one. Furthermore, almost every manufacturer is now making them. The Sport is not really a full-blown Range Rover. It’s cheaper for a start, and comes with five seats, but it does offer the option of seven. That said, the additional chairs are tiny and aren't appropriate for fitting kids’ car seats. This is a lower, smaller ‘Rangie’, designed to appeal to a slightly less affluent, but still successful, crowd. And the focus has moved from out-and-out luxury to one that is more about power and pure on-road use. Of course, it’s a Range Rover, so it is well equipped, and the interior is of a high quality. The Windsor leather seats are impeccable - but the Sport is quite different to the full ‘Range Rover’. There are three diesels, two petrols, and even a new hybrid powertrain to choose from and all are tuned primarily for clout. Only the entry level TDV6 feels a little lacking, but equally I couldn’t recommend the powerful eight-cylinder petrol engine on offer - unless you own a small oil producing nation. This will really eat away at your cash reserves. Being designed for on-road action, rather than the full-blown Range Rover’s offroad capability, the Sport comes with optional air suspension. This keeps it comfortable and composed, even when cornering hard. The issue with driving it

fast is more the size than the capability of the car. Britain’s most enjoyable roads are just a bit too small to be throwing a twotonne SUV around, however good it might be. The Range Rover Sport is a status symbol, a luxury cruiser, and an enjoyable car to drive hard. But it’s expensive to buy and run - especially with its more commanding engines. And it’s not certain that the new hybrid unit can deliver on the claimed figures. Nevertheless, those who want one won’t be put off by such trivial matters.

FAST FACTS • Max speed: 130mph • 0-62 mph: 7.2 secs • Combined mpg: 40.4 • 2993cc six-cylinder turbo diesel • Max. power (PS): 306 • CO2: 185 g/km • Price: £69,145

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Quiz Answers. 1. Michael J Fox 2. The penguin 3. Fonzie (in `Happy Days`) 4. Lionel Richie 5. Capricorn 6. The Moon 7. Adams 8. Jessica 9. The Amazon 10. Willem Dafoe

The annual competition pitting old rivals against each other restarts this year, keeping rugby union fans enthralled for the next few months. Following the Lions’ successful tour of New Zealand, old foes will once again lock horns in a battle to see who will come out on top out of the intense competition. Last year’s tournament was won by England, where only the team’s defeat to Ireland prevented the Red Roses from the Grand Slam and the Triple Crown titles. This is the fifth time England have been denied both titles on the final game, and the third time that Ireland have ruined their hopes - the previous occasions being in 2001 and 2011. It was a tournament that was swung on two results, and did not even involve the eventual winners. Ireland was the pre-tournament favourite, but after their loss to Scotland in the Nations opener, Ireland’s chances were left in tatters. England showed their grit with two narrow and unconvincing wins against France, and shortly thereafter, Wales.

defeat as England’s manager since the 2015 Rugby World Cup group stage match, which saw the team play against Australia. The match resulted in a calamitous World Cup finale for England, when the team failed to make it out of their group in their home competition. England extended their record of the highest number of Six Nations tournament wins outright, with the 2017 victory being their 28th win. The team are closely followed by Wales, who hold 26 wins.

The following day, Scotland lost to France in Paris, virtually handing the title to England on the second weekend of the competition. At this stage, England only needed victory over the eventual wooden spoon-winners, Italy. England did in fact win the game with a score of 36-15 at Twickenham. England’s next game was possibly the most convincing of all England’s performances throughout the tournament. The team beat Scotland 61-21 and claimed the Calcutta Cup.

Let’s hope the tournament lives up to the high expectations from fans and experts. Let the battle commence and may the best team reign supreme!

However, England’s hopes of a Grand Slam victory were smashed in an agonising fashion in Dublin, when the team lost with a final result of 13-9. This was Eddie Jones’s first

52 | Cornfield Magazine

This year’s favourites are England, followed closely by Ireland. Bookmakers predict 2018 could be England’s first Grand Slam win since their victory in 2016.

You can catch all of the action throughout February and March on BBC Sport and ITV.

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BACK IN THE SADDLE Far from just a cookery book Food and stories from an epic 10,403km journey on the ‘3 Tours Challenge’ through Italy, France and Spain.


he first, and possibly most endearing point to make with regards to Groves’ cycling diary-cumcookery book is that all proceeds from its sale are donated to the blood cancer charity, Cure Leukaemia. Documenting the experiences of four amateur cyclists on a journey across three countries completing the strenuous ‘3 Tours Challenge’, ‘Back in the Saddle’ gives readers an insight into the food that fuelled the gruelling 63-day journey for Geoff Thomas, James Maltin, Doug McKinnon and Hayden Groves. Upon receiving the book, a metallic-covered 280paged publication, I was unsure quite what to expect once I turned the page. Having only read the blurb, I was doubtful as to whether the balance between detailed recipes for European cuisine and personal reflection upon an arduous challenge of endurance would be struck. Despite my initial reservations, after reading ‘Back in the Saddle’, I was very pleasantly surprised. Equilibrium is almost created between intimate diary entries and instructional recipes, giving the book an interesting ‘USP’ and setting it way above the bar for culinary literature. The books only demerit, which, paradoxically could also be seen as its biggest triumph, is the blend between personal experience written in a diary-like format and the methodical nature of the recipes themselves. The book is around 50 per cent recipes, and 50 per cent anecdotes – therefore I would not recommended

it for readers wishing to simply read details on how to cook the perfect gnocchi. As an amateur cook with very limited culinary skills, I hold a love-hate relationship with cookery books. Often unintentionally overcomplicated or written in a patronising tone, cookery books are largely ignored in my household. ‘Back in the Saddle’, however, offers something much deeper than simply providing cooking instructions. Don’t be put off here – the book still has very detailed method/ingredient sections for readers wishing to attempt to cook the food found within its pages. Yet, rather than overly-healthy recipes using ingredients you may not have ever heard of or come across before, ‘Back in the Saddle’ features simple, hearty, wholesome food. Laden with delicious local delicacies and anecdotes from the tremendous cycling journey, Groves’ book happily marries food with his experiences to create a refreshing partnership. This is a cookery book that won’t be left on my shelf to gather dust.

and emotions throughout the difficult cycling challenge, and features personal family memories, information regarding local restaurants and vineyards, and beautifully written descriptions of the Italian, French and Spanish landscapes the four men cycled through. ‘Back in the Saddle’ is, at times, very moving – particularly so in the extracts written by Geoff Thomas (former England and Crystal Palace footballer), who was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2003. It is worth mentioning that the cookery book has been expertly produced; the imagery running throughout ‘Back in the Saddle’ is exceptional; a credit to Dave Hayward and Adrian Franklin. Photographs, often covering double page spreads, depict incredible landscapes and mouth-watering cuisine. ‘Back in the Saddle’ is definitely a book highly recommended for readers that enjoy tucking into palatable cuisine and piquant stories. If one thing is for sure, Groves definitely provides readers with food for thought.

“This isn’t a collection of favourite recipes from my career, and it’s certainly not a myriad of restaurant dishes that take a brigade of chefs three days to cook. The food is simple, delicious and driven by the landscapes of Italy, France and Spain. Inspired by every stage of our route through the 3 Tours Challenge: a cycling and food odyssey of 10,403k.” – Hayden Groves The recipes themselves are to the point and easy to follow, split into three sections entitled ‘Giro D’Italia Index’, ‘Tour de France Index’ and ‘Vuelta a España Index’, after the three cycling tours Groves and his friends completed. Each section features 21 recipes, amounting to 63 in total – paying homage to the number of days it took the guys to complete the ‘3 Tours Challenge’. ‘Back in the Saddle’ offers readers insight into the amateur cyclists’ thoughts

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Solihull February 2018 issue  

Welcome to your February edition of Cornfield Magazine. Our wonderful covers this month feature Birmingham’s very own reggae legends, UB40....

Solihull February 2018 issue  

Welcome to your February edition of Cornfield Magazine. Our wonderful covers this month feature Birmingham’s very own reggae legends, UB40....