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■ The New Year’s Hottest

Home Interior Trends

■ Spotlight on

Zig Zag Dance Factory

■ Fashion, Hair,

Health & Beauty


■ Tickets to see

The History Boys at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre




Unlike this dog, we don’t judge We don’t care how long it’s been since you last went to see a Dentist. We don’t mind what state your teeth are in. We’re just glad you chose to come and see us.

No judgment, no lectures, just comfortable, long lasting, great looking dentistry from a team who really care.

01902 324230


town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

Willows Dental & Implant Centre

How long has it been? Okay, we both know it may have been a while since you've visited the dentist. We are not here to judge. We know the gardening and flossing the cat kind of took priority. Let’s try and make this easier for you, let’s have a look at what we can do at Willows Dental to make this the best step you will take this New Year! Guaranteed no judgement. Here at the Willows Dental & Implant Centre we DON’T judge. No matter how long it has been we have always heard longer. No matter what state you feel your mouth is in we have seen worse. We focus on how you should feel empowered about making that step coming into the dentist. Our treatment coordinators are always on hand with a comfy sofa and a hot cup of tea to listen to what you want to achieve and not what we think you should be doing. We understand. For such a short statement it has such a big meaning. We understand that sometimes it can be a big deal for you and what you have had to overcome just to email or call us. We know what it is like to have the feeling of wanting to cancel the appointment just days before you’re meant to come in. Here at Willows Dental we can do as much or as little as you want us to do. This is all about making your journey specific to you. This is your time not ours. We're not just about a quick check of your teeth here. We check everything. We are thorough, gentle and understanding. That’s why here at Willows Dental we have a 30 point health check in which your dentist will not only check everything there is to check but discuss with you everything you would like to discuss.

We want to look after you, your family and friends for years to come. Although we are one of the largest and most technologically advanced practices in the Midlands, offering everything from routine healthcare to implants and cosmetic dentistry, we have old fashioned values. We know all of our clients by name and care about you which is why in the last 10 years we have retained over 90% of our clients who leave the area.

We have never turned anyone away. Here at the Willows we welcome everyone. There is no-one that we would turn away here regardless of how long it’s been and the story that has lead you to us, in fact we would love to be a part of your story. Why not take that all important step in the New Year and bring yourself to your new start?

Call us now on 01902 324230

Or email us at



FROM THE EDITOR Change is a word you’ll have heard a lot of lately. It’s been the basis of every political party’s manifesto in the run up to the general election. Promises, promises: will they be kept? And as for the biggest change of all, well, infuriatingly, we go to press just before election night so watch this space.

The changes we propose inside are all entirely attainable. It’s the usual stuff. We want to help you lose weight and get fit (see: South Staffs Leisure’s gym or Active Seniors, if you’re a mature reader). Spend time with family and expand your social life (see: Zig Zag Dance Academy or visit Enville Golf Club and newlycrowned Manager of the Year, Heather Mulley). Spruce up your home. Visit new places (take a look at Chaddesley Corbett). Be healthier and happier (our Beauty, Health and Fashion pages are a good start).

But in the meantime, I’ll make you a promise I know I can keep.

All that and I don’t even like New Year’s resolutions, not because I

Happy New Year readers! You’ve made it through another Christmas, walking the tightrope of death-by-mince-pies and dull relatives and emerged on the other side: in all seriousness, we hope you enjoyed it. Now it’s onwards into 2020 and already it’s all change.

think they’re pointless, it’s because they arrive too early. One minute I’m quaffing champagne on New Year’s Eve, the next I’m supposed to contemplate deep and meaningful stuff. The two make strange bedfellows – but then so is writing about New Year celebrations in the past tense in early December. If I can do that I’m sure I can give New Year resolutions a go… maybe, next year.


See you in March...

CONTENTS JANUARY / FEBRUARY EDITION 14 Stourbridge Rugby Club 26 Crosswords & Puzzles 30/31 The new year’s hottest home interior trends 40 Grand Theatre competition 50/51 Chaddesley Corbett 58 Gardening with Ann Winwood 60/61 Blacks Vets: Help your pet avoid dental disaster 62 Garden View: Witch Hazel 66 New Year’s Resolutions – What’s Yours? 74 Dear Diary… 75-77 A romance with dance 78 Recipe of the month 82 The New Year brings more changes for the Wine Estate 96/97 Royston Blythe 102 Your 2020 Vision for 2020 104/105 Women’s Fashion: Get fit look fab 114 What should we make of Astrology 122 Heather Mulley scoops Golf Club Manager of the Year 2019 124/125 Social Scene 126 Michael Streete Foundation 127 Index to advertisers 127 Answers to crosswords & puzzles

Town & Village Life Magazine Ltd 1 Lytham Rd, Perton, Wolverhampton, WV6 7YY Tel: 01902 744217 We gratefully acknowledge the support of businesses whose adverts appear in Town & Village Life magazine and whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy, The Publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss, damage or omission caused by error in the printing of an advert or editorial. All artwork is accepted on strict condition that permission has been given for use in this publication. Adverts are accepted on the understanding that descriptions of goods and services are fair and accurate. Town & Village Life magazine does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise – without the prior consent of Town & Village Life magazine Ltd.

Total distribution 16,000 copies bi-monthly






122-123 124-125 CONGRATULATIONS TO: Winner of the Grand Theatre Panto competition Pat Brockman, Hagley Winner of a mixed case of 6 award-winning wines with Halfpenny Green Wine Estate Deborah Richards, Stourbridge

GET PAID TO EXERCISE If you are interested in distributing Town & Village Life Magazine please call Mike or Irene on 01952 261267 (if we are unavailable please leave a message).

Advertising enquiries Gisella Wiley, Sales Director ( Editorial/What’s On information Geoff Hall, Editor ( Magazine Design Studio 28 Design & Print ( town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


Our School Road project is now complete and sold in its entirety. The project was completed ahead of schedule and within budget.

The build comprised of 6 new 4 bed builds, 6 new 2 bed builds and 5 renovated 2 bed town houses. Car parking spaces and a full landscape scheme was undertaken to provide a complete project which has received nothing but compliments from the local community and council officials. The scheme wasn’t without its challenges from planning to demolition to the build itself, but nothing was going to stop us achieving another stunning project. 06

3 pines JAN 20 DPS.indd 2

The whole scheme has been sympathetic to the original building, bringing a new lease of life to the former school, implementing modern building methods and utilising energy saving components where possible, such as solar panels. Even the original school bell tower has been retained and given a new lease of life. Overall, an enjoyable and successful project, on to the next one!

For updates on our projects please follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

03/12/2019 16:26

Whether you require refurbishment, extensions or new build, Three Pines are building contractors in Wolverhampton, who have the skills and expertise

to handle your project from planning through to completion. The company is well established as being outstanding in its

refurbishment and maintenance contracts and is considerate of the care and understanding needed when working on projects in both domestic and commercial sectors.

Three Pines Building Co. Limited, Cullwick Court, Cullwick Street, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV1 2UR Phone: 01902 499 919. Email:


Get cosy for our

Winter Sale with Cousins


town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

Be inspired by our choice, quality & low Sale prices Exciting new collections just arrived, all beautifully displayed and accessorised in our flagship stores. Pay nothing for a year. Not even a deposit.


your design, your size

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Extra Discounts off all Winter Sale prices Birmingham | Dudley | Manchester Extra Discounts end Sunday 19th January 2020. Pay nothing for a year available on all orders over ÂŁ500. Subject to status. Balances must be paid in December 2020/ January 2021 on the date specified at the time of purchase. Written details on request. Offer not available on clearance items, in-store concessions or web specials.

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05/12/2019 13:46

MAYTHORN COTTAGE, HARRISONS LANE, GAILEY, STAFFORD, ST19 5PS A large five bedroomed family home standing in a large plot of just under 2Âź acres in total with a paddock, beautiful gardens and outstanding leisure facilities including a detached leisure complex, swimming pool and separate 4 car garage with leisure room / home office over. Porch, hall, cloakroom, lounge, dining room, kitchen, laundry and conservatory. Two bedroom suites, three further double bedrooms and a bathroom. (EPC: D).

OFFERS AROUND ÂŁ975,000 VIEWING: Please contact the Tettenhall Office.

13-15 High Street, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton WV6 8QS Telephone: (01902) 747744

10 town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

Just Two Remaining

ANACAPRI, STOURBRIDGE ROAD, LOWER PENN, WV4 5NF There are just two properties remaining in this outstanding development of just six substantial, detached bungalows which have been constructed to their usual exacting standards by well-known builders of high repute, Messrs Hovi Homes Ltd. Located in a sought after residential address close to Wombourne Village Centre and within easy reach of local facilities in Penn and the City Centre itself. Each property offers: Porch, hall, living room, dining room, kitchen by Dayrooms, utility, bedroom 1 with en-suite, bedroom 2, bathroom, garage and a driveway. (EPC: B).

PRICES FROM ÂŁ359,950 VIEWING: Please contact the Tettenhall Office.

13-15 High Street, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton WV6 8QS Telephone: (01902) 747744 11

The Woodlands RetiRement Residence

The Woodlands Retirement Residence

66 Bridle Road, Wollaston, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 4QE

01384 394851 12

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

maintaining privacy and dignity. Individualised care is delivered within a secure, relaxed, homely and conducive environment, where a resident’s physical and psychological care, wellbeing and comfort are of prime importance to both staff and management.

The Woodlands offers a warm welcoming and family atmosphere. We have a team of trained and dedicated staff that bring compassion and experience to every aspect of their work, providing high quality, professional, person centred care. We put our residents at the heart of everything we do.

The Woodlands Experience You can relax in either of the two generous lounges or private gardens, enjoying the home cooked food or spending time with family and friends. Diets and daily living choices are tailored for you.

The Woodlands is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and provides excellent Palliative care.

Stimulate your Mind Everything from armchair exercises to vocalists and piano recitals. Parties to celebrate special events and birthdays are also hosted. You have the option to be as involved in our fun and engaging activities as little or as much as you like.

The Woodlands Philosophy The Woodlands philosophy of care is to offer the highest standards of holistic care to each resident based on an initial assessment and a regularly updated plan of person centered care; to encourage independence and individuality whilst

We liaise closely with family and friends, encouraging open, two-way communication at all times so as to ensure good relationships.

Training and Development We are committed to the training and development of our staff, which enhances the quality of life of our residents. All staff have an enhanced CRB check and receive a comprehensive induction. All have complete mandatory training and either hold or are working towards their NVQ level 2 and/or 3 in Health and Social Care. Each member of staff is fully supervised and has an individual learning and development plan, which ensures they are fully competent to deliver the highest standard of care in a professional manner.

At the Heart of our Care Planning Our trained and dedicated team is on hand 24 hours a day to help you. When you first arrive at The Woodlands an individual care plan will be prepared, tailored to your individual needs. We work closely with our local GP surgeries and their District Nurses to ensure the highest level of medical care and attention. We also have regular visits from other practitioners such as chiropodists, dentists, opticians and the hairdresser.


Lions finding it hard against some formidable opposition toward the foot of their table. They are looking forward to two Friday night fixtures under floodlights on February 14th against Worcester Wanderers and against Dudley Kingswinford on March 27th. The Colts have reached Round Three of the National Colts Cup and are playing Old Leamingtonians at home on Sunday January 19th. Local derbies attract a big crowd, so please come and add your voice.

After the disappointment of England’s loss in the World Cup Final and the wettest ny October and November ma you e) tur can remember (see pic e etit app might think that the ck. kno a en tak for rugby had Not so here at Stourbridge where all teams from the 1st XV through to the Under 5’s as well as the ever- increasing band of Girls and Ladies seem to be permanently shuffling their calendars to get maximum usage out of all the pitches. In particular we have recently introduced “SRFC Women’s Rugby Fit” for over fourteen-year olds on Monday nights from 7.30 to 8,30. This is all non-contact and is suitable for any experience or fitness level, the sessions are designed to be fun, with a rugby twist, no tackling, no bruises and no cauliflower ears. The sessions are free to club members and £2 per evening for non-members. The build up to Christmas was pretty hectic starting with Santa visiting on Sunday December 1st for the annual Christmas Fayre and a wellattended Corporate Lunch on Friday 6th where the guest speaker was Rob Wainwright, who captained Scotland sixteen times between 1992 and 1998. He was a colleague of second row Doddie Weir, who was diagnosed three years ago with Motor Neurone Disease and monies were raised on the day for the charitable foundation “My Name’5 Doddie Foundation”, firstly to raise funds for research into the causes of MND and investigate potential cures, and, secondly, to make grants to sufferers of MND and enable them to live as full a life as possible. The Charity, which has also been adopted by the North Midlands Rugby Football Union for the 2019/2020 Season has to date raised over £4 million.

The Six Nations kicks off in February and the final Saturday is on March 14th with Wales v Scotland, Italy v England and France v Ireland. And before we know it we will be into our regular May Ball in the huge marquee on Saturday May 16th, preceded by the Corporate Lunch on the Friday where this year’s speakers are the multi-sport commentator and pundit John Inverdale and the well-known and amusing cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew overseen by Master of Ceremonies, the ever-present John Bentley. Invitations will be being e-mailed in February. As always, the club house is available to hire for functions. Please phone 01384 395000 and ask for Donna Tromans, our Hospitality Manager.

The traditional Turkey Supper followed on Thursday 19th with accompanying carol singing and wassailing and after the final home game of the year against local rivals Luctonians on December 21st there was a club karaoke party to wind up the pre-Christmas jollies. So, the second half of the season beckons with the 1st Xv sitting mid-table and The

T: 01384 395000 E: 14

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


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A Modern Spacious New Bathroom Many of our projects come from recommendations and that is how Judith and Phil came to us. A friend had recommended Roman Bathrooms, not only for the fabulous design but because the installation had been so smooth and stress-free. “Our old bathroom felt very cramped with a bath and a shower,” says Judith. “When we visited Roman Bathrooms, we knew that we wanted to create a space that felt bigger, with a more spacious shower. “Everything came together really well with the design after we went to the showroom. We knew that we wanted wall and floor tiles, they make the room look larger and it is so easy to clean. We also have more storage than we did before, so it is free from clutter and always looks great. “We had been influenced by our friends experience and were not disappointed when it came to the installation. This was fantastic, everything was cleared away at the end of each day and our fitter was really experienced, adding ideas and suggestions about what would work best. “Overall we are delighted and would not hesitate to recommend Roman Bathrooms.” 16

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020



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I have had to write this prior to the outcome of the general election so hopefully the contents are still relevant. For regular readers of this column you will know that my pet love is pensions and for the vast majority of individuals especially those approaching retirement, I have highlighted a few examples below.

Employers Workplace Pension These are a “must have” for every employee no matter how old you are. What I find increasingly is that employees nearing retirement feel it is not worthwhile when in essence these are the group that will benefit first. 18

For example, for anyone with 12 months to retirement on a salary of £20,000 per annum, their gross pension contribution would be £1,000 which after tax relief costs £800. In addition to their contribution the employer will also contribute at least £600 giving a gross total contribution for the year of £1,600. If, after retiring, they then decide to withdraw the full amount, after tax they would receive £1,360 – an additional £560 more than what they paid in. I do not know of any other way to achieve a 70% increase on any savings with no risk whatsoever.

Pension contributions for retired nil rate tax payers This is a little exercise I do for all my retired clients who do not fully utilise their personal allowance. You are allowed to contribute up to £3,600 per annum into a

pension if you have no earnings which, after tax relief of £702, actually costs you £2,800. If you then withdraw the £3,600 and it falls within your personal allowance there is no tax to pay so you have received a 25% return on your contribution, again with no investment risk.

Marriage Allowance Again for married couples where one does not utilise all of their personal allowance and the other is a basic rate tax payer, you can transfer 10% of the unused personal allowance saving £250 in tax.

Pension Contributions for higher rate tax payers nearing retirement This is the one area that so many people miss out on. I regularly meet higher rate tax payers who are nearing retirement and are saving into either a

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

cash or equity ISA rather than investing into their pension. The simple reason why this does not make sense is that for every £600 received net of tax, a higher rate tax payer has earned £1,000 and paid £400 in tax so by saving into an ISA every £1,000 gives you £600. If however this £1,000 was contributed into a pension, the full amount is retained. Then, assuming that on retirement you become a basic rate tax payer, you can withdraw the full amount and after tax you would receive £850, an uplift in excess of 40%. In simple terms, there is no comparison between the two methods of saving.

Over the years the investment opportunities have improved dramatically and investors with smaller pots can now have access to a range of Discretionary Fund Managers that offer portfolios diversified way beyond what was previously available which in turn generally reduce volatility whilst giving the opportunity of better returns. Although, as with most things in life apart from taxes, nothing is guaranteed!

Lifetime ISAs for first time buyers For anyone between the age of 18 and 40 who intends on purchasing a property in the future, a lifetime ISA is a must have savings option. You can save up to £4,000 a year until you are 50 years of age and then when you purchase a property the Government will give you a 25% bonus on your savings.

Ensure your savings are invested in a diversified portfolio that meets your needs and objectives This is something that everyone with savings should regularly review to ensure that their savings are working for them, whether it be cash deposits, equity ISAs or pensions, the difference a well-managed portfolio can add is substantial.

If you would like more information or need advice on your specific circumstances please feel free to contact the author John Webb of Midland Independent Financial Services Limited on 01543 468877 or john.webb@

John Webb

John Webb is a Chartered Financial Planner and a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society, the highest accolade designated by that organisation. The Personal Finance Society is the professional body for the Financial Advisory Profession in the United Kingdom, promoting the highest standards of technical knowledge, client service and ethical practice.

Midland Independent Financial Services is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Midland Independent Financial Services Ltd, 153 Avon Road, Cannock, Staffordshire, WS11 1LF. Telephone 01543 468877. 19



A luxury king size bed for the price of a double bed Additional promotions include 10% off single and super king size models

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23 Mill Street | Brierley Hill | West Midlands | DY5 2RG T: 01384 74166 | Visit our Showroom: Monday to Saturday 9.00 – 17.30 and Sunday 11.00 – 16.30 Hypnos is proud to be Carbon Neutral | Handmade in Britain and 100% recyclable * Terms and conditions apply. Offer available for a limited time – please ask in-store for details.


town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

Dreamland Comfort suppliers sinCe 1976

WINTER SALE NOW ON The Dreamland team have recently been invited to the Hypnos Factory to see the Development of the new Collections, with their big innovations Dreamland have decided to change the complete range displayed in store to showcase these new models.Working with Hypnos, Dreamland have offers on the complete range in the winter sale.

Comfort with integrity.We value the people, animals and places behind our new sustainable and ethical bed range. A new level of support

Pictured above: Owner Mike, whilst visiting the Hypnos display

A unique combination of supportive and expertly engineered pocket springs, with several rows of genuine hand side-stitching, work together to create the ultimate in traditional mattress tailoring and performance.

Ethically sourced

Wake up feeling good for all the right reasons. The Hypnos Origins Collection has been designed for comfort using the most responsibly sourced materials possible, including sustainable cotton and 100% British wool that’s traceable right back to Red Tractor assured farms.

23 Mill Street | Brierley Hill | West Midlands | DY5 2RG T: 01384 74166 | Visit our Showroom: Monday to Saturday 9.00 – 17.30 and Sunday 11.00 – 16.30



town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


Hayley Windows transforms period Belbroughton property with a modern twist

We have been looking forward to revealing this fantastic project that we completed earlier in the year, patiently waiting for spring and glorious weather to photograph and showcase this stunning property in all of its glory!

The homeowners came to us over a year ago with their initial plans to upgrade their traditional home; understandably this has been a long process and a relationship that has flourished over time. At Hayley windows we take on PVC Windows • PVC Doors • Conservatories • Roofline • Glass Extensions • Folding Sliding Doors • Repairs • Orangeries • Timber Composite Doors


Hayleys DPS Wolves mag JAN 20.indd 2

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

04/12/2019 09:56

a project with heart and soul and building a relationship with our customer is the key to a smooth and successful renovation. We encourage homeowners to take their time, go back and forth with product and design ideas as much as they wish. We are here through the early stages as a support and guide to help bring the best out of their property but also understand and reflect their design taste. Our immediate product choice was The Residence Collection window casements, this remained through to the end and was chosen as an alternative to timber, to enhance the property’s character. The second choice was also given to try and brighten the property internally and externally. Opting for white internally and a lighter frame colour externally, retaining a characterful look in line with the beautiful gardens and countryside, Painswick was a natural and fitting colour choice. Removing the current lead work also enhanced the new look opening up each room and making the most of the beautiful views. These decisions stayed set throughout the design process, we then took to the front door and porch. As it stood the front entrance was very grand and beautiful so we intended to replicate this as best as possible but with modern, more durable materials with minimal maintenance compared to the wood in situ. We decided on a Solidor composite door, initially sticking with a traditional look to mirror the current. As time went on with the quotation being fine-tuned, our customer came to us with a new outlook to push the project further with the modern facelift.

Quality, bespoke creations with an exceptional service! Unit 19 Enterprise Trading Estate | Pedmore Road | Brierley Hill | DY5 1TX | 01384 896989

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03/12/2019 16:35

Crossword Across 1 Informal gathering (6) 4 Intolerant person (5) 8 Bloodsucking worm (5) 9 Exceptional, particular (7) 10 Funeral procession (7) 11 Lazy (4) 12 Short sleep (3) 14 Fakir, mystic (4) 15 Admire, commend (4) 18 Winner’s trophy (3) 21 ____ and hearty (4) 23 Salad vegetable (7) 25 Branched horns (7) 26 Sibling’s daughter (5) 27 Large wading bird (5) 28 Smouldering pieces of coal (6)

Puzzle answers on page 127 Down 1 Join two ends (6) 2 Casual farewell (7) 3 Physically strong, fit (8) 4 Infuse, ferment (4) 5 Association, society (5) 6 Steering lever on a boat (6) 7 Pale with shock or fear (5) 13 Precious metal (8) 16 Four stringed instrument (7) 17 Sword case (6) 19 Delux, lavish (5) 20 Splits, cuts apart (6) 22 Subsequently (5) 24 Long period of time (4)

Sudoku How to play Sudoku It’s simple! Fill in the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 box, contains the numbers 1 through to 9 with no repetition. You don’t need to be a genius. These puzzles use logic alone. Watch out! Sudoku is highly addictive.

Word Search Can you find all of the British trees hidden in the grid?

























Yew town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

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town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


The New Year’s hottest home interior trends The winter sales are well underway which means it’s the perfect time of year to pick-up those bargain buys that’ll transform your home interior look this January. But, what styles should you be on the look-out for in 2020? Simply read on to find out...

Choose abstract Abstract art has become incredibly influential in home interior design and is now a trend in its own right. Bold colours, geometric shapes and eye-catching artwork offer an easy way to inject some personality into your room and embody the feel of the trend perfectly. Top-up on texture Want to update your home interior look in an instant? Then simply add texture. Choose cushions, throws, blankets and bedspreads in luxurious fabrics, knits and tactile faux furs, complete with decorative details like tassels and fringing to complete the look. 30

‘Argos Home’

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

This trend is perfect for those who love to buy the furnishings, art and accessories they adore, rather than those that just co-ordinate with their current home interior style.

‘Argos Home’

‘Argos Home’

A blast from the past The ‘eclectic chic’ trend combines a multitude of style influences from the past, drawing inspiration from all manner of sources, including everything from glamorous art deco designs to 1970’s retro looks, bringing them together for real dramatic effect.

The best of both What do you get when you mix Japanese minimalism and rustic Scandinavian simplicity? ‘Japani’. ‘Japani’ is a home interior trend which merges the best of both designs to bring a look that’s stylish in its simplicity and which is defined by uncluttered spaces, clean lines and a calming colour palette.

Fall in love with velvet Velvet is a huge trend for 2020 and the fabric has been used to create all manner of gorgeous cushions, carpets, curtains, sofas, and even wallpapers that can be found everywhere from the most modern to the most traditional home. And, it’s this versatility that will ensure the trend lasts. Remember, whatever your style you’ll find just what you’re looking for at any one of your local independent home retailers. So, what are you waiting for?

‘George Home’

Pay a visit and make your home look amazing today. 31


town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

Specialists in bespoke fitted bedrooms

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Visit us at 76 Mill Street Kidderminster. DY11 6XJ. Tel: 01562 825033


Kinver At least three charities have benefitted from the efforts of 59 men who recently drank £1,150 worth of whisky in one evening.

an excellent selection of top-quality whiskies to sample. The admission charge for the evening together with a raffle raised £2,110 which is to be donated to the Chris Westwood Charity for Children with Physical Disabilities, New Cross Hospital Cardiac charity and Living Springs local charity which focuses on support of children and families who have suffered domestic abuse.

Members and friends of Kinver Rotary Club were joined at their annual charity whisky tasting evening by members of Stourbridge Old Edwardians Club (where the event was held) and Wet We Whistle Whisky Appreciation Society

In view of the fantastic amount raised, which is more than envisaged, further charitable donations are likely.

This year they were spoiled with not one but two top whisky ambassadors, Phil Huckle, from Pernod Ricard and Colin Dunn from Diageo, who provided Graham Smith, one of the organisers said: “There was something for everyone, no matter what their taste, be it smoky or sherrified. Phil and Colin delivered an excellent entertaining evening, full of banter, whilst educating the audience in the art of whisky tasting. “Along with offering a great social event Colin, Phil and their respective companies provided superb whiskies with a value of over £1150, free of charge, which demonstrates the quality rather than the quantity of whisky that the guests consumed.”


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Visit our showroom


Pargeters: Over ninety years of excellent customer service

With roots that stretch back four generations, Pargeters is a familyrun furniture business with a difference. The company has been a mainstay landmark in Stourbridge since 1926. Supplying quality furniture and providing exceptional customer service has always been the focus of the business and this is no different today. Pargeters’ extensive showroom displays contemporary and modern designs, from leading British brands, over three floors.

chairs - which are all exempt from VAT - as well as sofas to match. With all of this and more you’re sure to find outstanding designs and style at affordable prices when you pay a visit – especially now as December 27th 2019 saw the start of Pargeters’ Winter Promotion with 30% off G-Plan and 25% off all leading brands. Customers at Pargeters are always surprised by the independent stores’ low prices, as Miles explains: “Sometimes an established business and single store furniture shop can be deemed to be more expensive to buy from than larger group stores.

“But I can assure you that it won’t cost you to shop at Pargeters, very often we are cheaper and will price match the leading brands. We pride ourselves on offering the lowest possible prices combined with the highest standard of customer service. Unlike our competitors, our staff are not on commission, which means their focus is entirely on helping you make the purchase that’s right for you – if, of course, you decide to buy from us. And, we don’t sell ‘add-ons’ - like finance or insurance - which some companies use to boost their profits.” Thanks to Pargeters’ competitive pricing, it’s clear that you’ll no longer have to accept that good customer service has to be sacrificed in exchange for low prices.

The company even offers free delivery within a 50 mile radius and will also take your old items away free of charge. Visit Pargeters’ showroom today to enjoy a legacy of 92 years’ worth of fine customer service.

A change in direction has taken place over the last five years, which has seen the store focusing on being an upholstery specialist and so it no longer sells bedroom furniture, curtains and carpets. Now instead, there is a brand new department that specialises in Sherborne lift and rise beds, reclining 36

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

• Duresta

Parker Knoll


All leading quality brands at the most competitive prices in the Midlands




Old Charm





G Plan


& many more brands FREE delivery within a 50 mile radius and we will take your old items away free of charge

Pargeters High Street, Stourbridge DY8 1EQ

01384 394176

Willis Gambier


3 Floors of fine furniture

Family run for 92 yrs







all other leading brands

Titmarsh & Goodwin

Collins & Hayes


FREE customer car park at rear



There’s an exciting new chapter beginning at long-established Tettenhall-based kitchen specialist, Dayrooms. As the company’s brand-new owner, James Lloyd explains:

Keen to maintain all of the values which have earned the company an outstanding reputation and loyal customer-base, James is as committed as ever to ensure the best client experience.

“Since taking on Dayrooms in August 2019 I’ve been busy moving the business forward and bringing it thoroughly up-to-date, whilst being careful to preserve all of the things that have made it the success it is today.”

And, despite the excellent personalised customer care, the reassurance of extensive aftercare and the highest quality products, Dayrooms is still able to offer really competitive prices.

In fact, James has long been passionate about the company ever since he started working alongside former owner, Andrew Day in the role as his assistant five years ago. “Over the time that I worked with Andrew I learned the business inside out and realised the importance of offering personalised customer care and the best quality products. When he retired last year I was delighted to have the opportunity to buy the business.”

“We will work to anyone’s budget within reason and despite being an independent company we are able to match like-for-like the prices of much larger organisations and high street names.” And, James is delighted to now be able to offer customers at Dayrooms the option to fund their dream kitchen using a finance package, something which hasn’t been previously available at the company.

business, James has maintained a real sense of continuity which has been reassuring for existing customers. “Yes, the company has changed but nothing has changed. Despite a fresh take on the business, things are still running as they were before Andrew retired – our process and methodology are exactly the same.” And, continuity is something which customers at Dayrooms have become accustomed to. “When a client buys a kitchen from us they deal with the same member of the team throughout the entire process and that person project manages the job to ensure smooth running from start to finish,” adds James.

Despite making improvements within the

So why not call into the showroom today to arrange a free quotation and get one step closer to making your dream kitchen a reality?


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E S T. 1 9 8 2


Opening Times Monday - Friday: 9am-5:30pm Saturday: 9am-5pm – 23 School Road, Tettenhall Wood, Wolverhampton, WV6 8EN – 01902 742185




as Rudge, James Schofield as Lockwood, Arun Bassi as Akthar, Dominic Treacy as Timms and Adonis Jenieco as Crowther. THE HISTORY BOYS will be directed by Jack Ryder, known for his acting roles in EastEnders and Holby City, he most recently directed Tim Firth’s The Band, which became the fastest selling tour of all time before transferring to Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre continues its reputation for producing quality drama with a new production of Alan Bennett’s classroom comedy THE HISTORY BOYS from Friday 7 – Saturday 22 February 2020. An unruly bunch of bright, funny sixth-form boys in pursuit of sex, sport and a place at university. A maverick English teacher at odds with the young and shrewd supply teacher and a headmaster obsessed with results… In Alan Bennett’s classic play, staff room rivalry and the anarchy of adolescence provoke insistent questions about history and how you teach it; about education and its purpose. Ian Redford (Coronation Street, EastEnders) will play unconventional History teacher Hector, Jeffrey Holland (Brassed Off, Hi-de-Hi!) as the schools Headmaster, Victoria Carling (The 4 O’clock Club, Coronation Street) as the progressive Mrs Lintott and Lee Comley (Years And Years) as fresh-faced teacher Irwin. The cast is completed by Thomas Grant as Posner, Jordan Scowen as Dakin, Frazer Hadfield as Scripps, Joe Wiltshire Smith

TICKETS FOR THE HISTORY BOYS FROM FRIDAY 7 – SATURDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2020 ARE NOW ON SALE. TICKETS CAN BE BOOKED IN PERSON AT THE THEATRE, BY CALLING 01902 42 92 12 OR ONLINE AT GRANDTHEATRE.CO.UK We have a pair of tickets to give away for the Press Night on Tuesday 11th February at 7:30pm. To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the following question correctly and email your answer to and include your address and contact details. Entries to be received no later than Monday 3rd February 2020.

Which famous author and playwright wrote The History Boys? A) J.K Rowling B) Alan Bennett C) Agatha Christie D) William Shakespeare 40

Competition Terms and Conditions Winners to collect tickets from the box office on the evening of the performance. Tickets cannot be exchanged and no cash or alternative prize nights available. Winners may be required to partake in relevant publicity.

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


at Leekes


It’s the perfect opportunity to update your home ready for the winter months with savings across the store and online from Leading Brands and our exclusive Casa Collection.

4.7 /5 rating on


Leekes Bilston, Great Bridge Road, W. Mids. WV14 8LB FOR OVER


Tel: 0333 222 4120 | Online:

EST. 1897

Checked on 18th November 2019.


Quality products and outstanding service

at De Rosa Installations

There’s no better way to improve the look of your home – and add to its value – than with the addition of new windows, doors, a conservatory or even a brand-new flat roof. Whatever installation you choose, you’ll need to find a company that you can trust to provide the highest quality products and service. And, there’s no better choice than the expert team at long-established local family-run company, De Rosa Installations limited. Founded in 1997 and registered as a limited company in 2012, De Rosa Installations has built an excellent industry reputation and has earned an incredibly loyal clientele over the years. Director Rob Alexander is the founder of the company and heads the team at De Rosa Installations which includes his son Adam Alexander - his sister, Gill Alexander Williams – the company’s Sales Manager and his brother Andy Alexander, an installer. Every member of the team is committed to delivering excellent customer service, as Rob Alexander explains: “We’re really proud to offer our customers a completely bespoke service and we place great emphasis on quality throughout all aspects of our business, whether that’s in the products we use or the service we provide.”

proven to last for decades. Our premium range of windows, doors and conservatories gives our customers plenty of choice when it comes to style.” Within the range there are many colour choices and styles to choose from, including popular flush sash systems. For those concerned with security though, an Endurance door is the perfect choice. “Endurance doors are incredibly secure and a really ‘high-end’ option.” And, when it comes to roofing systems, the company lead the way. As the only approved Sarnafil installers in the area, the De Rosa Installations team are able to install the architectapproved premium flat roofing system in their client’s homes. “Sarnafil has been used on many high-profile buildings around the country, including Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium and Manchester’s Arndale Centre, as well as featuring on programmes like Grand Designs.” And, Sarnafil can be used on everything from listed buildings to new builds as well as on allmanner of commercial properties. All fitting is taken care of by De Rosa Installations in-house team of specialist fitters who have been employed by the company for many years.

to be delighted with our installations. We are small enough to care but big enough to cope with any project.” And the De Rosa Installations team work across the West Midlands and beyond on all-manner of commercial and domestic projects and, each job is completed to the same exacting standards. “We take real pride in the work we do and we are always willing to go the extra mile for our customers,” adds Adam. Why not see for yourself why so many home and businessowners choose De Rosa Installations? Contact the team today on 01902 897111.

“Customer satisfaction is our number one priority and we want every one of our clients

That’s why most of De Rosa Installations business comes from word-of-mouth recommendations and their customers return time and time again. Experts in window and door systems, roofing systems – including flat roofs - fascias and conservatories, the company’s carefully-chosen ranges combine both style and practicality. “We only deal in high-end, highperforming products which are 42

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

Bespoke Windows, Doors, Conservatories in uPVC, Timber and Aluminium


■ Hard wearing ■ Aesthetically pleasing ■ No moss or plant growth ■ Low maintenance Lasting performance ■ Proven Design ■ Life expectancy of over 40 years Environmentally friendly ■ Solar reflective (No need for paint or chippings) ■ Unit 42, Wombourne Enterprise Park, Bridgnorth Road, Wombourne WV5 0AL

01902 897111 43

Curtains, blinds, soft furnishings and more…

Make your home look amazing in 2020 at Total Sewing Service You’ll find a fabulous range of soft furnishings that will make your home look amazing. A selection of home interior accessories including lighting, lamps, mirrors, vases, clocks, picture frames, ornaments and much more are now available. Suppliers of leading brands, like Prestigious, Ashley Wilde and Bill Beaumont, the Kingswinford based store offers something for every home interior, as Natalie Hemmings explains:

“We’ve recently introduced a new range of home interior accessories for the home which complements what we already offer. “We’ve got hundreds of swatches, wallpaper books and mini curtains for clients to choose from. We’re proud to supply fabric and wall coverings from top brands and have a fantastic choice of styles that’ll suit both traditional and modern décor tastes.”

And, you’ll also find a wide range of poles and blinds at Total Sewing Services to complete your new look. “Our professional team of fitters are on-hand to install all of our items in your home, which allows you to enjoy a brand-new look, hassle-free.” Offering a ‘total sewing service’ means that the team are experts in dress alterations too:

A full measuring, making and fitting service is all part of what the team offer, so all you need to do is pick the designs that are right for you.

“We specialise in bridal and prom-wear and can undertake any alterations that you require for a perfect fit.”

“Of course, if you’ve already found the fabric you want to work with, then we’re more than happy to take care of the making for you.”

So, whether you’ve found your dream wedding dress online and need some alterations, or if you’ve got some design ideas of your own, you can trust Total Sewing Service’s talented seamstresses to help. They also offer an embroidery service and have a new machine. They can embroider teddies, work wear, school wear and hobby clothing eg. equestrian. “We’re happy to undertake any clothing alterations, large or small - everything from a broken zip to customising a gown.” Whatever you’ve got in-mind, give the Total Sewing Service team a call today or call in at the showroom. You’re sure to be delighted with the results.


town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

January/February 2020 OFFer Free lining or 10% off* custom made curtains and blinds, when you present this advert at time of purchase.

Cur tains and Blinds ~ Soft furnishings Haberdashery ~ Alterations ~ Embroidery

Advice, Measure, Make, Fit Homeware and Accessories now in stock Bespoke curtains and blinds, all made to measure, with 100’s of fabrics to choose from Large range of wallcoverings • Huge range of poles and tracks • Haberdashery Wool and knitting patterns • Dressmaking fabrics and patterns Clothing alterations, specialising in bridal and prom wear, with tailoress on site New embroidery service, with logo digitising facility available

O p e n : 9 a m - 5 p m M o n d ay to Friday. 9am-4pm Saturday. Tel: 01384 295960

7 The Cross, Kingswinford, DY6 9JA


The UK’s Largest Stocks of Quality Rugs & Large Rugs Indian






Tel: 01543 468383 Ridings Park, Eastern Way, Hawks Green, Cannock, Staffordshire WS11 7FJ Open: Mon-Sat: 10-5 Sun: 10-4




A460 Rugeley

A34 A519




A460 A460 JT7

M6 J11



FrithRugs is a trademark of GH Frith (Cannock) Ltd. This Closing Down sale is our Cannock store only. All other stores are not closing down and prices in the other stores will be the usual prices and not those offered in the Sale at Cannock.


ghf377_cannock-closing-sale_218x140_v6.indd 1

06/12/2019 16:26

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

We’ve gOt neWs F o r Yo u New, high-quality, lighting pieces join the Lighting R Us family. As we all know, January is a month of new beginnings, with our new year’s resolutions. Maybe you want to start going to the gym? Or maybe you want to take up that hobby you’ve always dreamed of doing? Or maybe, you just want an excuse to redecorate? Well with our new lighting supplier, at Lighting R Us, we can help you do just that. Lewis Lighting has an electric range of lighting designs to breathe life into almost any interior and bring a little touch

of magic to the individual décor of a room. Their inspired collection is born from the findings of a journey into the world of the luminaire.

the likes and tastes of its owners, displaying a bold sense of refined character and setting the scene with a beautiful display of light.

Now, let’s talk about our favourites, the Lamer Pendant which encourages 360-degree distribution of light, dancing from the inner crystal droplets and through its outer glass to fill the living space with a warm glow. It presents a harmonious coupling of elegance and contemporary design, working effortlessly with gorgeous effect.

To view the stunning collection produced by Lewis Lighting visit our website at www. or visit our wonderful showroom at Unit 1a, Walton Works Industrial Estate, Macrome Rd, Aldersley, Wolverhampton, WV6 9HD.

A traditional statement piece that is outstanding is the Venice. It is a design that says a great deal about 01902 757825 Unit 1a, Walton Works Industrial Estate, Macrome Rd, Aldersley, Wolverhampton, WV6 9HD



Excellence as standard Winterdene Carpentry & Construction Ltd is a local company based in Kingswinford. We are a small family run business consisting of Lee, the founder and director who’s a qualified carpenter and has over 20 years’ experience in carpentry work. And there’s Lindsey, Lee’s wife and administrative coordinator of the company who has over 15 years’ experience in administration services. We carry out a comprehensive range of works which includes all aspects of carpentry such as joisting and roofing, 1st fix works which include wall studding, roof struts, door frames and floor joists through to 2nd fix works such as fitting skirting and architraves, various types of flooring, fitting

internal and external doors, loft hatches and a range of internal storage solutions. We also carry out full stair renovations and we specialise in kitchen installations. We also do a range of construction services including conversions and extensions plus work on outdoor spaces such as laying decking, timber cladding, building summerhouses and constructing porches and canopies. We pride ourselves on giving exceptional customer service from the first contact to the finished product. Every job is completed to the highest standard and we offer a competitive price to our customers. We have a lot of returning customers which we think speaks for itself.

electricians who we ensure complete any works to the standards we hold for ourselves. We also enjoy a good working relationship with a number of developers who we carry out subcontract works for.

We use a number of trusted tradesmen on our jobs where needed such as plasterers and

Please have a look at our website and get in touch if you’d like to discuss any projects.

07903 703028


town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


Chaddesley Corbett By Rob Taylor

Often when it comes to sleepy villages like Chaddesley Corbett there’s more than meets the eye.

Winterfold School

While it may lack the obvious interest that is attached to many of its neighbouring larger towns and settlements it nonetheless retains a quality which is deeply attractive to those of us interested in scratching below the surface sheen, to nose out rich veins of interest. Beautiful and certainly historic – Cedes Leage, Cheddesley, (known today as Chaddesley Corbett) was referred to by King Coenwulf of Mercia in 816 and again in the Domesday Book in 1086; the lords of the manor were the Corbet family – it has a layer of excitement to it because of the residents who live and have lived there: the people who do not and did not lead ordinary

lives. They are not and were not blacksmiths and bricklayers, their lives can enrich us still years on. A case in point is the tale of former Second World War fighter pilot, Eric Carter, a man who helped defeat the Nazis in a top-secret mission. Part of a secret RAF squadron sent to protect the frozen port of Murmansk on the first Arctic convoy to Northern Russia in 1941, it was some 72 years after his heroics that he was awarded the Arctic convoy medal in 2017. More than 3,000 seamen died over four years from 1941 in what was referred to as the “worst journey in the world” by Winston Churchill. Missions designed to ensure that supply lines to Soviet ports were

Parish church of St. Cassian’s

kept open proved critical to the war effort and Eric was just 21 when he flew with RAF 151 Wing. From making history to inspiring fantasy and wonder in 2017 was another Chaddesley Corbett resident: primary school teacher and author Annie Muscutt who established an imaginative creative writing workshop for her Year 6 pupils at Winterfold House School. She had just published her first novel ‘Eringuild’, a magical, fantasy adventure for older children, published in the summer of 2016; her next was ‘The Devil Within’, a thriller set in early 20th Century Britain. And then there is John Bate and the tale of the village’s oldest pub: The Swan Inn. This notable Chaddesley resident and expert miller-malster brewed up a longlasting legacy by first renting the pub from the Corporation of Warwick, together with paddock, buildings and a garden. The Swan Inn became a homebrew house and the popular Chaddesley drink


town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

Harvington Hall

it brewed was mild: pale, sweet, and strong. Noticeably lighter in colour than the equivalent Kidderminster or Black Country brew it soon garnered acclaim. And when Thomas Bate died in 1850 he could rest easy because his son Thomas Bate succeeded him as landlord in 1841. As it almost always has been Chaddesley is dominated by the parish church of St. Cassian’s (its nave was built in the 12th Century and it boasts a stunning 1817 pipe-organ) and its residents enjoy much from their local amenities which include nearby Chaddesley Racecourse; many village pubs,

Yew Tree Cottage

including The Swan and Fox Inn; and Harvington Hall – a moated, medieval and Elizabethan manor house that showcases some of the finest surviving examples of Priest Hides in England, probably so designed by master builder Nicholas Owen, who did much to keep Catholic priests safe during times of religious persecution.

The Talbot

And now that so much is no longer hidden – and with so much more left for you to discover – I’d suggest you pay the village a visit soon.

The Racecourse 51


A GreAt YeAr

for GivinG

Following the launch of its charity initiative in April, not-for-profit Health Cash Plan provider Paycare is celebrating collective success after raising over £17,000 for good causes in the region.

Its MyGiving scheme saw each of its 32 employees provided with £250 which they could either donate directly to a cause of their choice, or use to amplify an existing fundraising initiative. In just seven months, the team has raised £17,171.41 which has been shared with various organisations including Project GIVE, The Good Shepherd Ministry, and Bliss Baby Charity. Over £6,000 of this was raised by just one member of staff, who took part in a five-day trek of the Amazon for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity earlier this year. “As a not-for-profit, we’re already committed to donating every spare penny to causes within our local communities, and we’ve shared over £2.2million to date through sponsorships, direct donations,

and fundraising,” explained Kevin Rogers, CEO of Paycare. “Earlier this year, we came together to see how we could do more of this fantastic work whilst making it even more personal to our employees. The concept of MyGiving immediately felt right and offers benefits to everyone involved. “We encourage our team to utilise the funds and support a cause close to their hearts, and it also helps us as an organisation to reach out to even more people. The results since April have been absolutely fantastic and we’re delighted that it perfectly aligns with our combined mission of helping others,” he concluded. The MyGiving initiative complements the firm’s expansive corporate social

responsibility commitment which provides each employee with two additional days of holiday each year for the sole purpose of fundraising, donating or volunteering. Another team member who maximised her MyGiving fund was Anne Smith, Policy Administrator at Paycare, who put it towards her impressive fundraising total of £2,190.41 for The Alzheimer’s Society. She also used her two days of volunteering to support The Beacon Centre for the Blind. She said: “It’s been a wonderful initiative, and although we’re all already part of Paycare’s commitment to giving back, it just strengthens our individual sense of purpose at work. I can’t wait to plan my volunteering days and MyGiving fund for next year, and look forward to seeing what the rest of the team will be doing!”

To learn more about Paycare, please visit or call 01902 371 000 52

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

january/february, 2020

from PAYcAre to You we can receive this Christmas, so do take a moment to think about all that you have now, and what makes you truly grateful. At Paycare, we’ve had plenty of reasons to thank 2019. We’ve been able to support many causes — from Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, Project GIVE, Bliss, Tettenhall Tigers Volleyball Club and The Wolves Foundation. We simply couldn’t do this without our Policyholders and our fantastic team, so we’d like to share a huge thanks to them for their continued support. May we take this opportunity to wish you all a very healthy, happy, and prosperous 2020!

In this year’s festive edition, the Paycare team would like to share a special message with our readers.

Positive news in 2019 • Botswana’s high court decriminalised homosexuality

While many people may not look back at 2019 too fondly, in part thanks to what has seemed like a daily barrage of negative news, it’s important to remind ourselves that there is plenty for us to celebrate as we welcome in a new decade.

• Giant tortoise believed to be extinct for 100 years was spotted in the Galápagos • The Earth is Getting Greener and Leafier According to NASA

Being surrounded by loved ones and having good health can be two of the greatest gifts

• Scientists Learned to Spot Alzheimer’s Earlier

on Your mArks, Get set, Ho! As sponsor of this year’s Beacon Santa Run, Paycare was thrilled to see so many individuals running, jogging, skipping and walking the 5K circuit in aid of raising funds for the fantastic local charity. Beacon Vision has been supporting people living with sight conditions such as Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Tunnel Vision and Glaucoma since 1875. Its vision is a society where individuals value and protect their sight and where visual impairment does not limit or determine opportunity.

our LocAL Heroes Paycare is proud to sponsor two very special categories of the Express & Star Heroes Awards 2019 — Ambassador of the Year and Hero of the NHS. The first recognises the person who has done the most to promote their Black Country roots within their chosen charity, team or hobby, while the second is for a person who works or volunteers within the NHS and makes a difference to the lives of patients they care for. The awards take place on Thursday 16th January at Marston’s House, the first event of 2020 which the Paycare team is thrilled to support. 53

Wolverhampton’s best kept secret… Prep School Of The Year (Sunday Times) is co-educational until the age of seven, admits most pupils on a first-come, first-served basis which was another influential factor in the decision to name Newbridge the top Independent Preparatory School Of The year. Alastair McCall, Editor of Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide, said: “Newbridge is an educational gem, a precious find for the 150 children lucky enough to go there. On Sunday 17th November 2019, Newbridge Preparatory School in Wolverhampton was named:

The Sunday Times Independent Preparatory School Of TheYear 2020. Newbridge Preparatory School was named The Sunday Times Independent Preparatory School Of The Year 2020 – an outstanding achievement for any school – but for a small, nonselective school in Wolverhampton this is remarkable! How lovely that Wolverhampton is placed so highly on the UK’s Educational map. National League Tables The Sunday Times Parent Power article releases the UK’s national league tables. The rankings make

use of the most recent public examination results. For senior schools, they include A-level, GCSE, while junior school rankings draw on SATs taken in Year Six. Newbridge’s performance in the league table bears out the holistic approach of the school; which has finished in the top 20 six times in the past eight years; since the school has been under the leadership of Headmistress Mrs Sarah Fisher. Results from the new Key Stage 2 SATs (standard assessment tests) last year have propelled it to second place this year, its highest ever ranking. Pupils attained a scaled score of 113 for reading (where 100 is the expected level of achievement by the age of 11). For grammar, punctuation and spelling the level was 116, and in maths it was 114. Independent Preparatory School Of The Year 2020

“It manages to pull off the notable feat of achieving outstanding academic results (bettered by just four schools in England across the state and independent sectors) alongside developing the wider interests of its pupils - or allowing the children to have time for a childhood, to use the words of its excellent Headmistress Sarah Fisher.” “The school may have non-selective entry but by the time the girls leave at 11 they are much in demand across the best state and independent schools in the West Midlands. If ever the quality of education on offer here was a “best kept secret”, this award should ensure that is not the case for very much longer.” What an honour for a small school based outside of London – putting Wolverhampton firmly on the educational map of the UK!

The top scoring schools across the country are reviewed by a panel at The Times. The review includes inspection reports, website and social media. They are looking at the education beyond the academic as that has already been proven by the league tables. The Editor of The Sunday Times selects the winner of the award. Newbridge, which 54

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

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58 Worcester Street, Stourbridge, DY8 1AS Tel: 01384 390170


Visit Jacuzzi® Worcestershire this new year Jacuzzi® Worcestershire, based at Webbs Garden Centre in Wychbold, has been the perfect place for prospective hot tub buyers for nearly 12 years. As a global brand, Jacuzzi® carefully selects the locations of its own stores, and it’s never been easier (or more enjoyable) to sample the delights of a hot tub than with Jacuzzi® Worcestershire. The team is made up of Jennifer, Emma, Natalie and Yarna and together they are on hand to guide you through the premium range of hot tubs that Jacuzzi® has to offer, helping you to select the perfect model for you and your lifestyle. Whether you’re a large and busy family looking to get some quality time together, or a couple looking for the perfect way to relax after a long day at work, Jacuzzi® has the right tub for you. Plus, with the introduction of 4 stunning new hot tubs into our J-400™ Collection, a range known for its elegant styling and superior hydromassage, Jacuzzi® is the trusted brand that can deliver neckto-toe muscle relief like no other. As part of your research, Jacuzzi® Worcestershire offers the ‘try before you buy’ experience, meaning all you need to do is make an appointment, bring along your


swimsuit and enjoy a private wet test. Nothing compares to fully experiencing a Jacuzzi® hot tub to give you the confidence in your chosen model, or the chance to familiarise yourself with its fantastic features. Many people still believe that buying a hot tub is an expensive purchase, but with a variety of finance options available, enjoying a hot tub in the comfort of your own home has never been so affordable. Visit the team at Webbs Garden Centre and they will happily talk you through the range of flexible plans on offer. Whether you opt for 0% interest free credit, want to buy now and pay later or prefer to spread the cost over 10 years with deposits from as little as £100, they’ll make sure you choose the right option for you.

As one of the UK’s leading hot tub suppliers, you’ll enjoy first-class service, impeccable aftercare and benefit from the sound hot tub knowledge that the team at Jacuzzi® Worcestershire possess. If you’re looking for advice on what chemicals to use, instructions on how to replace a filter or just need some help on day-to-day usage, the team are always happy to help.e team are always happy to help. With Jacuzzi® Worcestershire, your hot tub purchase will be a fun, stress-free and exciting experience. So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of this premium service by calling 01527 869 378 or better yet, drop by the showroom and have a look at the range of hot tubs on display.

A n d f o r a l i t t l e o n l i n e r e s e a r c h , v i s i t w w w. j a c u z z i w o r c e s t e r s h i r e . c o . u k 56

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


a real garden centre for real gardeners

A New Year, A New Season

Seed potatoes usually arrive at the start of the new year, weather permitting. Once you get them home, put them to chit (allow shoots to form), egg trays are ideal for this, place them in a light, cool and frost-free environment. You can start seed potatoes growing in pots inside as early as you like, so long as they are protected from any frosts we may have. If you haven’t used winter wash on your fruit trees yet, do so on a mild day before the buds start to burst, this will clear up any pests and their eggs left overwintering on your trees. Make sure you have a grease band wrapped round tree stems, this can be kept on all year round to catch any pests climbing up the tree. If the weather is fine and frost free, get out into the garden to finish any clearing up jobs that weren’t done at the end of 2019, especially tidying up leaves and debris. This will help to prevent disease from spreading and removes hiding places for slugs and snails. If the snow and hard frosts do arrive make sure vulnerable plants – Hebe, Phormium, Cordyline, Palms and Tree Ferns are covered with fleece. Remember to make sure outdoor taps are lagged and covered over in the winter to prevent any cracking and leaks caused by freezing. Whilst you have very little in your greenhouse, January and February are the ideal times to turn it out, wash it down and disinfect it. Only wash glass 58

Use a seed compost and sow them into peat pots 2 to 3 seeds per pot. When they’re ready for planting out the roots will have grown through the pot and its then very easy to just pop the plant into the ground or a container. Plug plants will be available around the beginning of March, but they will need heat to start with. Grow them in the house to get a head start, but remember you need to take note of the weather conditions and not be in a rush to put tender plants out before May time.

down on a mild day to avoid cracking cold panes of glass.

Don’t forget our feathered friends, especially if the weather is poor – we’ve always got peanuts, seed, mealworms, fat balls and feeders in stock. Clean off bird tables regularly and remember to put out fresh water daily.

Having a clean greenhouse at the beginning of the season ensures that seeds and plants get off to a good start. If you want to start something off early in the greenhouse try sowing some sweet pea seeds in a cool environment. Tips are provided by Ann Winwood, Lealans Garden Centre, Wolverhampton town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


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Help your pet avoid a dental disaster Tooth problems can be difficult to spot but can make a world of difference to your pet’s health says Blacks Vets’ Dr Sarah Smith BSc (Hons) BVM&S MRCVS Could dental pain be an underlying issue for your pet? With 60-70% of tooth structure hidden beneath the gum line, painful problems can often lie undetected causing misery and suffering to our beloved pets. It is horrible to think that those we love the most could be really uncomfortable and have no way of showing us their distress. As Blacks Vets’ dental lead, I have a special interest in detecting and alleviating dental problems and in this issue, I would like to share with you a recent case study. Meet Harley a beautiful 5-year-old male cat who was brought in to see us with his mum for his regular check-up. As a Protect My Pet Club member, Harley benefits from two nose-to-tail health assessments per year and it was at one of these routine appointments that we noticed something may be wrong. Harley had been eating well and his owner had noticed no behavioural changes. This isn’t unusual as a pet will rarely stop eating even though they may be in considerable pain. However, it’s important to look for changes in the way that your pet eats as painful teeth may lead to gulping food instead of chewing or trying to chew on one side of the mouth.

Hardened dental plaque 60

Harley If you look at this picture you can see that his teeth are showing lots of tartar, which is yellowy brown, hard, dental plaque as well as some inflammation around the gums. This is usually as much as we get to see at a first appointment as our patients are reluctant to let us investigate further and general anesthesia is often required in order to conduct a thorough examination. town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

This picture was taken whilst Harley was anaesthetised and as you can see, a more detailed exploration of the first tooth has revealed a red spot that was previously hidden. This is called a resorption lesion and we find these commonly in cats. This kind of lesion represents an erosion of the tooth and is extremely painful. Sometimes they are only found through dental radiography as lesions can affect the structure of the tooth below the gum line. In this case, not only was the surface of the tooth affected but the roots too, something that couldn’t have been picked up with the naked eye. Fortunately for Harley, the source of his discomfort was found and treatment could be administered. He has gone on to make a full recovery and his mum is now introducing him to regular, gentle teeth cleaning sessions to help prevent a reoccurrence. This takes patience and perseverance, but a happy and healthy pet is the end result.

A painful resorption lesion is revealed If you suspect that your pet may be suffering from a dental problem, please book an appointment with one of our friendly vets at any one of our five Black Country branches, located in Dudley, Lye, Oldbury, Quinton or Sedgley. Alternatively, visit for further information.

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VIEW Witch Hazel By Rachael Leverton Winter is a great time to plant deciduous trees and at this time of year a tree with added winter interest is always a welcome sight. Enter the witch hazel. These lovely trees with their citrus-scented spidery flowers are widely sold in garden centres as container-grown plants. Look for plants with a number of evenly distributed well-placed branches and avoid those showing signs of stress, damage or disease. Ideally choose an open, sunny position in the garden. They also work well if planted next to pathways and doors where you can enjoy their gorgeous scent on wintery days. Avoid very shady sites though or the plant may become straggly. Witch hazels need free-draining soil that doesn’t dry out in summer. A light soil mixed with plenty of organic matter, such as well-rotted manure or compost, is best. They will also grow on heavier clay soils but make sure that as well as digging in plenty of organic matter you ensure good drainage by planting on a slight mound, about 25-30cm (10in-1ft) high and 1m (3½ft) in diameter. The only soil witch hazels won’t tolerate is a shallow chalky soil. And make sure you don’t plant them out if the ground is waterlogged.

Witch hazels grow slowly but eventually make large spreading shrubs. They aren’t fond of pruning so make sure you leave enough space around your plant so it can develop naturally. Make sure they are wellwatered throughout the first couple of springs and summers as they take a long time to fully establish and lack of moisture can cause flowers to drop. They don’t need regular feeding but applying a top dressing of a general fertiliser in late winter or early spring will help young plants to grow.

Happy New Year and Happy Gardening!

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town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

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Let’s go round again... By Mike Snelson

October and November, and although the yard got a little muddy our new storage facility has meant all of our firewood has stayed clean and dry.

Black Country Firewood would like to wish all of its customers a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

As I write this, we are in our busiest period of the year leading up to Christmas. We will take a well-deserved break over the festive period so all of the team can rest, recuperate and spend time with their families, and hopefully turn up refreshed (rather than hungover) to start the new year ready to continue the firewood cycle!

Well what a year 2019 has been. In January our beautiful baby daughter Isla was born, she has just begun to take her first steps! Her birth coincided with us starting the groundworks for our new purpose-built drying facility; we were pleased this progressed both on time and more importantly on budget, being completed in May. This enabled us to move all of the firewood we had chopped up and split in the spring undercover to continue drying.

As we have said previously, we encourage all of our customers, both old and new, to come and visit us in our Firewood Centre. Here you can learn about the different options of firewood we have to offer and most importantly, our firewood technicians can provide advice and answer any questions you may have.

The new building has been a large capital investment for us, we were fortunate to be awarded a European Rural Development Grant to help towards the cost, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers who wrote letters of support which helped the application tremendously. t was probably more luck than judgment but we timed the completion of the new building to perfection. Never could have we predicted the unprecedented wet weather in the autumn. We recorded record levels of rainfall for the 3 months of September,

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town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

Dudley South Ladies Luncheon Club Chairman Ann Rogers welcomed 33 ladies to The Lodge, Wellington Road, Dudley for a 3-course meal and to hear speaker Mr. Neil Brazier pose the question “Where does a Travel Agent have a holiday home?” Mr. Brazier is now retired as a Travel Agent after 53 years and during his career has visited 270 destinations and eventually chose Fethiye in Turkey to buy his own holiday apartment. He was very enthusiastic about all the area had to offer, including walking, the best natural marine area in the world, spectacular scenery, beautiful beaches and aquamarine seas. The area is very safe, eating out is excellent and very cheap with plenty of bars and restaurants and even a modern shopping centre to equal our Merry Hill. If you have £40,000 to spare why not join the 7,500 ex pats but perhaps not in mid-summer when temperatures can reach over 40 degrees.

L-R: Jean se Whitehou Neil (member), eaker), p (S er zi Bra an Jill Buch e (committe ). er b mem

Meetings are held on the second Friday each month, 12pm for 12.30pm, at The Lodge. The first meeting in 2020 will be on Friday 10th January when hopefully local MP Mike Wood will talk about local and parliamentary affairs and in February Mr. Vincent Raymond-Barker will discuss “Two French Ladies”. Visitors are most welcome and can attend 3 times before deciding to join. For more information ring the Secretary on 01902 372984 or email

THE WALL HEATH COFFEE C Coffee & Tea | LunCh Time Dining | Cakes

We serve: • Freshly made paninis, toasties, sandwiches, salmon bagels and cakes. • Vegan and veggie food available. • Traditional Cypriot deli boards and British deli boards. • Milkshakes, hot drinks, cold drinks, freshly grounded Lavazza coffee, We Are Tea, loose leaf and biodegradable tea bags. Private hire, Children's parties in partnership with Krazee kids parties. self catered parties room hire only.

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What’s Yours? By Tracey Anderson

A New Year’s resolution is a promise for the new year. Regardless of what resolution you commit to, the goal generally is to improve life in the coming year. Resolutions can come in many forms. Some people make a promise to change a bad habit, such as quitting smoking or eating less junk food. Other people make a promise to develop a positive habit, such as starting an exercise program, volunteering in their community, or recycling more.

for Romans to make resolutions for the new year and forgive enemies for troubles in the past.

The Romans also believed Janus could forgive them for their wrongdoings in the previous year. They would give gifts and make promises, believing Janus would see this and bless them in the year ahead. And thus, the New Year’s resolution was born!

What is your promise for 2020?

The tradition of New Year’s resolutions dates all the way back to 153 B.C. January is named after Janus, a mythical god of early Rome. Janus had two faces — one looking forward, one looking backward. This allowed him to look back on the past and forward toward the future. On December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking backward into the old year and forward into the new year. This became a symbolic time

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Transforming garages around the UK Here at Garolla, we specialise in installing high-quality roller shutter garage doors. With a roller shutter garage door, you can completely transform the external appearance of your garage. Allowing you to enter your garage in style as well as ease, a Garolla roller garage door is made-to-measure from your garage’s exact specifications. This makes them especially suitable for smaller garages that have a limited headspace, as you can make full use of your driveway and headspace. But no matter the size of your garage, Garolla has the perfect roller shutter garage door for you.

With Garolla you can choose from a wide colour range. We have all of the typical garage door colours that you would expect, such as black, blue, white and red. Though these much-loved garage door shades are favoured by homeowners throughout the UK, Garolla also offers some extra special colour choices. If you want your garage to stand out on the street, then a roller garage door in fir green or anthracite grey will certainly do the trick. Whilst most of our colours come with a plain finish, Garolla have some garage door colours with a woodgrain finish.

These woodgrain finish shades are ideal for homeowners wanting garage doors with a wonderfully traditional appearance. Whichever roller garage door colour you decide to go for, our roller shutter garage doors are manufactured from the highestquality materials. Garolla also ensures that each roller garage door goes through an in-house quality control check before it is dispatched for installation. For more information about our roller garage doors please call us on 0800 468 1982. Garolla has a customer care team available 7 days a week to answer any of your queries.


Protect your car with a parking post from Profence

There’s been a rise in car thefts from driveways in recent years and so, protecting your vehicle has never been more important. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to deter thieves and make sure that your car stays on your driveway, as Shane Gamble explains: “Here at Profence we’re really pleased to be able to offer our customers a range of parking posts which will serve to protect their vehicle” Although Profence are fencing experts they also install bollards for both domestic and commercial clients so moving into parking posts was a natural progression. “There are many options when it comes to parking posts: there are posts that fold down, lift out and also push into the ground and we supply and install them all.” Whatever your requirements the Profence team can help you find the parking post that best suits your needs. “A small driveway will only need one post located behind the vehicle whereas a larger driveway will need several posts strategically placed for proper protection.” 68

Installing a post is a really simple way to give you peace-of-mind, whether your leaving your car on your driveway overnight or whilst you’re away on holiday. “There is no doubt that a parking post is a real deterrent to thieves because it shows that the homeowner takes security seriously and is doing what they can to safeguard their vehicle frombeing targeted.” Of course, the presence of a post also ensures your driveway is kept clear: “Posts can be used to keep parking spaces free too, which is particularly useful for our commercial clients.” Whatever the client’s requirements the Profence team are always onhand to offer help and advice. “We help our clients find the solution that’s right for them so that they can protect their vehicle,” adds Shane.

So, whatever car you drive make sure that it is protected this New Year with the help of a parking post from Profence.

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

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Make a Promise, Deliver a Smile As part of Willows Dental sponsorship program, Neel and Vicki (Principle Dentists and Owners of Willows Dental & Implant Centre) approached Promise Dreams to offer their support as the stories from Promise Dreams touched everyone’s hearts at the practice.

Promise Dreams is a national charity that aims to make a real difference to children who are seriously or terminally ill. Every child has a dream and whatever it may be Promise Dreams aim to make it come true - whether it be to go on the holiday of a lifetime and spend time with their siblings following extended hospital stays, the chance to meet their celebrity hero, a specially adapted trike to enable them to join in on family bike rides, or essential equipment and resources for their home. In fact, anything that will make life happier and easier for the family in need. Promise Dreams regularly hold fundraising events throughout the year and towards the end of every year they hold a Promise


Dreams Gala Ball. This year, Promise Dreams held a very special Gala Ball, celebrating their 18th birthday! The event was held at Wolverhampton Racecourse and featured a Live DJ set, including a Hip Hop and Club Classic DJ, as well as live music from the Live Wires all hosted by the amazing comedian and pantomime star Aaron James. Both Neel and Vicki attended the Gala Ball on 29th November 2019 and supported the charity by joining in with their auction. “2019 has been the toughest year in the charities 18-year history and although the charity is down on the amount of normal donations it receives, the amount of dream applications has continued to rise meaning that the charity now has a waiting list”, says a spokesperson from Promise Dreams.

Neel presenting Martyn, a long-standing Promise Dreams charity supporter, with a cheque for the

One dream the charity. Martyn is also a patient at Willows Dental charity currently has on this waiting list is one that is severely had to give up work to care for time sensitive for a 7-year-old boy him and are currently without a called Mahir. He has a very rare working washing machine and genetic disorder which currently tumble dryer. They have applied has no name. This condition means to Promise Dreams for both of the he cannot seat unaided and needs items and as soon as these are in help to be turned in bed at night. place he can safely go home and He is also reliant on a wheelchair be with his family. With everyone’s and is unable to feed and relies on help we can raise the money to a feeding tube to stay hydrated. make his family’s dreams come He is unable to protect his airway true and get this boy and his and relies on his tracheostomy family home as soon as possible. tube to keep his airway open, Neel, Vicki and the whole team at despite all these challenges and Willows Dental & Implant Centre being non-verbal he is able to show have made a promise to continue sadness or happiness with his facial supporting Promise Dreams expression. The outlook is that for the foreseeable future. Mahir will sadly have a shortened life. He has been in hospital since March 2019 and just wants to go home. The only way he can go home is if he has all the essentials required to be able to be at home. Due to his illness his parents have town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

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THE PERFECT COUNTRY HAVEN AWAY FROM THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE... If you’re looking for the perfect place to stay in the Black Country then you’ll be delighted to find New Wood Farm. Located in Stourton - just outside of Wollaston – New Wood Farm boasts two beautifully renovated self-catering cottages that lie in a tranquil and picturesque countryside setting that’s within easy reach of Stourbridge, Kingswinford and Kinver. The converted farm buildings have been designed to offer guests a cosy ‘home from home’ and have been lovingly restored by owners Linda and Mick Thornton, who were keen to retain their original character whilst creating a stylish and modern interior. Welcoming visitors from all over the world, the couple have long been ensuring that their guests enjoy a wonderful stay. As Linda explains: “We have been hosting the barn for over 20 years and have had guests stay with us from as far away as Australia and America, as well as from all over the UK. We also have a lot of local people stay with us too.” Holiday makers, business people, those visiting relatives and local people needing a place to stay in between a house move, renovation works or even to recuperate after surgery - have all enjoyed what New Wood has to offer. “There are plenty of different reasons why guests choose to stay with us at New Wood but we hope that the reason they return time and time again is

because of the enjoyable stay they’ve had.” The Barn sleeps four people and has two bathrooms and The Stable provides accommodation for two. “The Barn and The Stable both benefit from a wood burning stove,comfy leather sofas and a large TV.” There’s also parking available for up to three cars and free WIFI. “Our gates open onto a bridle path that leads down to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal, with no passing traffic which is great for walkers and cyclists.” Linda and Mick have worked hard to pay attention to those little details that make all the difference; there are flower boxes and planters outside the cottages, as well as a very unique addition in The Barn. “We’ve got a Wurlitzer juke box containing many vinyl records from the 1960’s and 1970’s in The Barn that many of our guests love,” adds Linda. With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that guests at New Wood Farm can’t wait to book their next stay.

For bookings or enquiries please call 01384 390520 or email: New Wood Farm, Hyperion Road, Stourton, Nr Stourbridge, DY7 6SJ


FP NEW Wood Farm Wolves mag May.indd 1

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

18/04/2019 13:52


Dear Diary… Did you ever keep a diary when you were younger? I did. I poured my angst-ridden heart out onto its pages. I look back on those fat notebooks with a mixture of fascination and horrified amusement. They are a funny, embarrassing, touching testament to my teenage turmoil and inner weirdness. I stopped journaling my thoughts at some point, but a few years ago, when I was gifted a rather beautiful notebook one Christmas, I started again. It was a good call. Writing in my diary helps me in many ways. I track my moods, my anxieties, the funny things my kids say, and the daily routine of writing helps me thrash out solutions to some of life’s challenges. There are many benefits to keeping a diary. Here are my favourites. It organises your thoughts - most of what we think and feel would be incomprehensible to anyone able to look inside our heads. Writing helps to articulate thoughts and make them comprehensible to our conscious mind. It improves your writing - Not everyone aspires to be a journalist or a writer. But many of us have to produce handouts, talks or web content in the course of our jobs. Writing daily in a diary helps us improve our style and fluency. It helps set and achieve goals A diary is a good place to write down ambitions, aspirations and New Year’s resolutions. Writing them down makes them real. They can then be used as a reminder, and to monitor progress. You can record ideas - It could be ideas for birthday gifts, holiday destinations or the name of the shop in which you saw the perfect curtains for the bedroom you’re currently decorating. The benefit of a diary is that it can all be recorded in one place, whenever it comes to mind.


It’s a stress-reliever - It can be helpful to ‘brain-dump’ anxieties, frustrations and pains into a diary. Teenage-me waxed lyrical about problems with my parents, teachers and how worried I was that no boy would find me attractive while I had braces on my teeth. Adult-me expresses concerns in my diary as a good way to free up any tension that prevents me from feeling content in my life today. You can reflect - Life races by at breakneck speed. We get caught up in dayto-day responsibilities and expectations. Journaling our thoughts is a good way to hit the pause button, take a step back and reflect. Whether it’s gratitude for something someone has done for us, or simply what we achieved today, a little daily reflection means can look back at our life after a few months or years and see how we’ve changed. We can note how our priorities have shifted and what we might do to be a better person in the future. It’s a memory prompt – Our brain is more likely to store information that we write down. Teachers know that when you write new knowledge down your brain makes stronger connections with the information which means you’ll be able to recall it more easily in the future. It boosts creativity - Diary-writing is a great way to unleash creativity. Everyone has the potential to be creative, but most of us don’t take the time. You can start a novel, jot down ideas for outfits, plan a themed party, doodle or sketch. It’s your diary... have fun with it.

By Sarah Davey

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020



town & village life magazine | january/february 2020



Preparation: 10 mins Cooking time: 30 mins Serves: 4

Ingredients 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion 8 rashers streaky bacon, chopped 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 300g risotto rice 1 litre hot chicken stock Grated parmesan to serve


Method Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and fry the onion and bacon gently for 5 mins to soften. Add the mushrooms and cook gently for a further 5 minutes until they start to release their juices. Stir in the rice and cook until the rice begins to look translucent. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring well and waiting for most of the stock to be absorbed before adding the next ladleful – it will take about 20 mins for all the stock to be absorbed. Once the rice is cooked, season and serve with the grated Parmesan.

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020



town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


The New Year Brings More Changes for the Wine Estate

After a bountiful harvest in 2019, Halfpenny Green Wine Estate looks forward to another fruitful year in 2020. With the expansion of the Wine Estate’s winemaking facilities by 8000sq ft currently in progress, Clive Vickers, the owner of the rapidly expanding Staffordshire Vineyard, reported that he was ‘delighted to be increasing the Winery space in order to accommodate the increase in their sparkling wine production’, giving space for more oak barrels to be used in this process. Also new for 2020, the Wine Estate has launched two new wines to add to its range of thirteen awardwinning wines. Both still, dry white wines, Solaris 2018 and Bacchus 2018, can now be found adorning the Wine Loft shelves alongside, to name a few, the new 2018 vintages of their very popular Red Sparkling Wine and Late Harvest Dessert Wine. Talking about popularity, if you are looking to spoil that special lady in your life for Mother’s Day this year, the Wine Estate is the perfect destination! On Saturday 21st March they will be offering High Teas in their beautiful Wine House and on Sunday 22nd March, the restaurant will be serving a delicious special three course menu, created by the head chef and available for one day only. Everything is cooked fresh to order and served directly to your table by a team of friendly service staff. Places are limited, so booking is a must by calling the restaurant on 01384 22112. If you are unable to make these dates, fear not as the Wine Estate’s restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, sandwiches, cakes and drinks. With an entire floor dedicated to wine and gins, a personalised wine labelling service, and a range of pre-made gift hampers available (with custom-made hampers also available), there’s no excuse to pass up on the perfect gift this March! The shop also offers gift vouchers for a range of experiences, including wine and gin tastings, guided tours, and vintage high teas to name a few. The knowledgeable shop staff are always happy to help you find the right gift for any occasion, and even sample some of the wine and gin ranges with you! If you are looking for something a little different; perhaps a commission or something custommade, The Vineyard Craft Centre is nestled in the beautiful grounds of Halfpenny Green Wine Estate. Here you will find a group of 15+ independent businesses showcasing their talented work, from handmade luxury gifts, artists, sculptors to jewellery makers, beauticians, photographers and more, including WILD Zoological Park.

With so much to offer for all the family, Halfpenny Green Wine Estate should be on everyone’s Visit List for 2020!


town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

A family business, established in 1983, Halfpenny Green Wine Estate has 30 acres of vines managed by Martin, which produce award-winning wines, crafted by his son Clive. The acclaimed shop, restaurant, deli and tea room are run by Clive’s wife Lisa, and offer a great day out for visitors.







For a range of experiences, including wine and gin tastings, tours and high teas

Public Tours available for booking in 2020. Call 01384 221122 to book.

Available to book throughout the year, with a variety of catering options available.

Tom Lane, Bobbington, South Staffs, DY7 5EP visit call 01384 22 11 22


Wombourne Tandoori Restaurant Established 1989

Air conditioned

Cuisine of Bengal

Fully licensed Restaurant of the year West Midlands region 2016


Rafique Miah welcomes you to the longest established Indian Restaurant in Wombourne Village, serving sumptuous Bangladeshi Cuisine for 31 years. “We pride ourselves on our Quality of Food, Excellent Customer Service and Customer Satisfaction.” Recently refurbished in contemporary surroundings, air conditioned and fully licensed.

Treat your loved one to a special romantic evening for Valentines at the perfect venue to dine. Bookings only.

Our popular Take-away Service is still the best in Wombourne offering 10% off our Menu price. Tel:

01902 324148 01902 324437 Open 7 days including Bank Holidays - 5.30pm until 11.30pm

High Street, Wombourne WV5 9DN 84

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


Signature Luxury Cars “If you’ve got a special occasion to attend, why not take the stress and strain out of travelling there - and make it even more memorable - by letting us drive you in style?” Whether you’re going on holiday or leaving for a business trip, Signature Luxury Cars will get you to your destination on time.

Whatever you’ve got planned this year, make sure that you travel there in style, with Signature Luxury Cars’ professional chauffeur service. “We’re a discreet, professional luxury chauffeur service that’s based in the West Midlands and we pride ourselves on the excellent service that we offer our clients,” explains owner, Andrew Hickman. Covering all UK destinations, including airports and seaports, the company can take you anywhere you want to go.

And, corporate clients are always pleased to know that their personnel will receive only the best service. “We offer relaxed, discreet and efficient travel for your business personnel.” The company cover all UK sporting events too, so that you can enjoy door to door service, whatever the event.” With over 25 years’ experience working as a professional driver, Andrew knows exactly how to provide the very best service for every one of his clients.

Directors and corporate VIPs, in the electricity industry as well as local government.” In fact, Andrew spent the last 14 years of his career working as chauffer to Wolverhampton’s civic heads and in his role he has chauffeured the most senior civil servants, as well as visiting royalty from overseas. “My career as a professional driver has taken me the length and breadth of the country, as well as continental Europe.” With surprisingly competitive prices, it’s affordable for anyone to enjoy a little luxury with Signature. “Our R-Class Mercedes is complete with air-conditioning, privacy glass, DVD entertainment systems and space for up to seven people.” So why not contact Andrew today to enjoy the chauffeur driven experience, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that luxury travel doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

“Over the past two decades I’ve worked for Chairmen, Managing

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Airport Transfers • Weddings • Sporting Events • Concerts Anniversaries • Proms • Birthdays • And any other Special Occasion

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“From A to B without a worry” Locally based, covering all UK destinations no matter where you need to go, we can meet and exceed your expectations of what a chauffeured service should be.


Wedding Inspiration with Country Baskets

If you got engaged over Christmas, first things first: Congratulations! Now, there is no pressure to get married straight away. Some people like a long engagement, and if that works for you then that’s great. But if you are planning on getting married this year then it’s time to get organised! There are so many things to think about when it comes to planning your wedding and here at Country Baskets, we can help you tick a few things off what may seem like a neverending list. This is the perfect opportunity to indulge your creative side, celebrate your love and share wonderful lifetime memories with your nearest and dearest. Although the rustic wedding trend has been kicking around for a while now, we’re still totally obsessed with everything it encompasses. Natural materials, metallic accents and transparent touches are key for decorating your wedding venue as well as twinkling fairy lights and candles-a-plenty.

For a love that lasts a lifetime, choose flowers that do too! We have an abundance of stunning artificial flowers that will work wonderfully with a rustic theme and yet still look as beautiful as the real thing, in fact, you can barely tell the difference. Think textured blooms like pretty peonies, roses, hydrangeas in muted shades of blush pink, green and ivory, and lots of trailing foliage. You can’t go far wrong with a gorgeous cascading bouquet!

With 8 stores dotted around the country, there is no excuse not to come and explore this Aladdin’s cave. Selling a huge range of great value products including artificial flowers and greenery, homeware, wedding and event, glassware, pottery, baskets, craft, and seasonal products. Did you know that we are also online? Our website has a lovely inspirational area, featuring blog posts, craft and floristry projects, in-store floral demonstration dates and all the latest trend information!


Visit Us

Country Baskets, Gibbs Road, Lye, Stourbridge DY9 8SY

Follow Us

Facebook /countrybaskets Twitter @countrybaskets Instagram @countrybaskets Website


town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

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TDRBridal tdrbridal tdrbridal

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24 Manor Lane, Halesowen, West Midlands B62 8QB


Open: Monday: 9:30am - 8pm Tuesday: 9:30am - 8pm Wednesday: 9:30am - 3pm Thursday: 9:30am - 8pm Friday: 9:30 - 5pm Saturday: 9:00am - 5pm Sunday: 11am - 5pm

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

Exciting changes at

Rebecca Baddeley, Owner

There have been plenty of exciting changes taking place recently at Halesowenbased bridal boutique TDR. Owner, Rebecca Baddeley explains: “We are delighted to announce that our new build is complete. We’ve been working behind the scenes perfecting every fine detail and we are proud to announce that the TDR Group is all now all under one roof, which allows us to cater for your every need.” The company’s brand new extension has added 150 square metres to the premises, allowing Rebecca to bring together TDR Bridesmaids, TRD Menswear and Pandora’s Prom at the main bridal store in Manor Lane. “There are plenty of advantages that have come from having

the extra space: more stock, a seamless shopping experience - now that everything is under one roof – as well as a lot more fun! Since the new opening we have been crazy busy, it’s a buzz that we just can’t explain - we believe it’s an atmosphere you just have to experience.” TDR Bridal has been providing brides with a unique and exceptional service for 11 years and that experience has been applied to all aspects of the TDR Group. They have just won two categories in the Global Wedding Awards that took place in August 2019: Bridal Boutique of the Year 2019, West Midlands and Most Outstanding Customer Service, West Midlands A talented team of experts - individually trained in each sector – are ready and waiting to style you and your wedding party to perfection.

“We are so proud of our team and the experience they create not only for our brides, but bridesmaids and grooms too and we know that everyone will have so much fun when they visit us. We believe that all brides deserve a magical life moment when buying their wedding gown and we also apply the same philosophy to bridesmaids and grooms too.” And, Rebecca and the team have got plenty of exciting in-house events planned for the future: “We are so excited for the future here at TDR and we have planned lots of events that will utilise our gorgeous new space. These events include designer trunk show weekends, summer sales and accessory events, so please keep an eye out on social media for exciting updates,” adds Rebecca. Why not pay a visit to TDR today and make your special day amazing?


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Have you ever cupped hands around your face, slightly lifting your skin in front of the mirror and imagined a more youthful you? Then now is the time to turn back the clock on ageing skin with Wollaston Beauty Clinic’s revolutionary CACI SYNERGY FACIAL SYSTEM. These facials offer you an alternative to invasive surgery and dermal filling injections.

A CACI SYNERGY facial is a bit like a gym workout for your face. Micro currents are delivered to your muscles to gently stimulate and lift, and LED light technology is delivered to improve collagen and elastin which in turn smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles and improves the absorption of face creams by 500%!

Our CACI SYNERGY SYSTEM with added S.P.E.D™ micro current LED technology is different to all other CACI facial systems. The SYNERGY CACI system, offers ultrasonic peeling, antiaging light therapy and crystal free orbital microdermabrasion. The dual action of simultaneous LED and micro current energy stimulates tissue regeneration and aids in the production of collagen. The synergy of these two technologies provides more visible and longer lasting results.

“As we grow older we all need a little help toning and tightening our skin. CACI facials target fine lines and wrinkles while plumping and toning, we’re delighted to be able to offer this prestigious and award-winning treatment to our clients.”

Salon manager, Jenny Birch explains:

“All our CACI Therapists are expertly trained to the high standard required by the CACI academy and know exactly which facial muscles to tone.”



“The LED light therapy component is only available with a CACI SYNERGY SYSTEM and it’s very exciting to see the brilliant results these facials can achieve compared with other CACI facial toning systems on the market; we have many happy clients.”

“This facial system is suitable for both men and women, in fact there’s a specific facial designed just for men only, THE GENTLEMAN’S CACI FACIAL.” “We recommend a course of 10 treatments, with a one-off


maintenance treatment every 4 to 6 weeks. The facials are bespoke and completely pain-free. We also offer a great range of serums and anti-ageing moisturisers you can be using every day at home to complement your salon treatments.”

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town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

• Aldo Martins • Basler • Betty Barclay • Eugen Klein • Faber • Frank Walder • Joseph Ribkoff • Just White • Olsen • Oui • Rabe

SALE STARTS Friday 3rd January 2020

Open Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 10am - 4pm Ample parking behind the premises in New Street or on the road opposite the Esso petrol station.

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Getting to know more about...


Nick Malenko is renowned for his award-winning hairdressing and celebrity following, but here at Town & Village Life we wanted to find out more about the man himself.

He’s stolen the hearts of women – of all ages – over the last three decades and he’s been with his fabulous partner, Royston for the last 35 years. Now, aged 60 years young, Nick shares his thoughts on living life to the full...

Nick, you’re 60 and you look amazing, what’s your secret? Well, it’s really not a secret is it (he laughs)...plenty of Botox, plenty of filler, new teeth - I get it all done! Oh and of course, fabulous hair. Seriously though, keeping your hair looking good really will melt away the years more than even the best Botox practitioner can!

What advice would you give a 30-yearold Nick? Oh my god, I’d love to go back and do the whole 30 years again and again! I’d tell a 30-year-old Nick not


to change a single thing because he’s going to have a ball!

The best things in life are…? Friends! There is no time better spent than being in the company of fabulous friends and Royston and I are very lucky to have lots of amazing ones. We have a laugh, we holiday together and we’re there to support each other if we need to. We just wouldn’t be without all the special friends that we’ve made over the years - they are family to us!

You’ve been with Royston for 35 years, you work together and play together. How do you keep it all alive? We’re asked this question all the time and trust me, there are times when we could kill each other! For us, the secret is laughter and having fun wherever we go

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

- after 35 years if you can still do that then something is working well. From the day I met Royston we worked together so we’ve never really known any different - we’ve got the Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton salons and Royston spends a lot of time in Shrewsbury so we’re not together every day! To be honest, it’s harder when we don’t work together – but don’t hold me to that comment!

Your career in hairdressing spans four decades and there’s been plenty of awards for both you and the salons. What’s been the key to your success? How do you measure success? We measure it on happiness, loyal customers, a committed team and a business that allows us to live a fabulous lifestyle and, we’ve got all of these. Although it might sound cheesy, but after 30 years and more than 44 years in hairdressing, we love working in our salons and making our clients, many of whom have become great friends, look and feel the best version of themselves. I think the best advice I could give from experience would be to never think you know it all, always strive to be the best you can be, be careful to surround yourself with good people and you’ve got to be authentic - don’t waste your time trying to imitate others, do what you love and enjoy every second!

What would you say is the most iconic hairstyle ever? The Wedge

Who is your favourite fashion designer?

Who do you most love to go out for dinner with? Royston...who else...? We never stop laughing!

Where is your dream holiday destination? The south of France is our favourite destination at the moment but as we’ve just moved into a new house there’s no place I’d rather be than at home in my new back garden!

What about your favourite UK destination? We’re always working in London and enjoy staying over for weekends filled with shopping, cocktails and fabulous nights out! If we want to do something special and have a really relaxing and luxury weekend away and enjoy a bit of time to unwind then we will disappear to the Cotswolds.

What’s number one on your bucket list? I’m just happy being happy - it’s all about having a great time with great people, wherever that may be! It could be sitting in my garden or I could be jetting off somewhere incredible. I want to seize every opportunity and do everything that’s possible. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my 60 years – it still sounds crazy saying that! - is that so many things that I thought weren’t possible have been!

Who’s your dream client? My dream clients are in and out of our salon every single day. Lots of them have been coming for years, I know their families, their friends and all about their lives and they walk out of our doors with a big smile because they’ve had a great time and they love their hair.

What would you choose for your last supper? It would have to be homemade, shortcrust pastry steak and kidney pie with carrots, peas, perfectly mashed mash and delicious gravy!

It’s got to be Alexander McQueen. Back in the 90’s I was obsessed with Anthony Price on the Kings Road - Jagger’s trousers, Ferry’s lapels he was behind them all - glamorous and fabulous in equal measures.

It’s been great chatting

Who would you most love to share cocktails with?

the salon!

My Mum. I never had the opportunity to spend precious ‘grown-up’ time with my Mum because I lost her when I was 20, we would have loved going for cocktails together. If only ...

with you Nick, I’m looking forward to my next appointment at


town & village life magazine | january/february 2020



town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


Your 2020 Vision...

for 2020! Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We often reflect on the past year and mourn chances we didn’t take or connections we didn’t make. Instead of looking longingly backwards, perhaps 2020 is a good year to develop your vision for the future so that it’s… well… 20/20! Reflect on lessons learned

January is not all about new beginnings. It’s nice to think about all you accomplished during 2019. What did you learn? What did you achieve? A lot probably happened in the past 12 months, but life moves so fast that too often we don’t take time to reflect on all we’ve learned. Take note of your discoveries and think about ways you can apply those lessons with intention as you move into the new year.

Review your goals — short and long-term

Are your everyday activities helping you to accomplish your short-term goals? Are you working on meaningful projects? Make sure at least some of your daily activities help you to accomplish your shortterm goals, and that those short-term goals can build to let you accomplish larger goals and objectives. But don’t be a slave to your goals. It’s okay to change directions and shift deadlines. January is a great time revaluate. Are your long-term goals from six months ago still relevant to you today? It can be helpful to write down your goals using pen and paper, and then hang them in a place where you can see them. This acts as a visual prompt to remind you and inspire you during the day-to-day grind.

Nurture relationships

Sometimes friendships and family relationships get placed on the backburner when we’re busy. Are there friends and relatives in your contacts list who you haven’t spoken with lately? Use this season to catch-up, reconnect, and nurture the relationships that matter.

Request a planning meeting

It could be with your boss, or your partner! When you think about the next year — do you see yourself staying at the same job? If so, do you want to be considered for promotion or a transfer? Would you like to plan a big trip with your partner, or start a family? With your boss you might mention projects you’d like to lead, qualifications you’d like to study for. With your partner you might want to talk about joining a gym together, planning a safari, or taking up ballroom dancing. These discussions are useful in both your work and your private life. They can help you understand points of dissatisfaction in your work or relationship and give you the clarity you need to explore a change.

Invest in yourself

There’s a difference between being comfortable and being complacent. Try stepping out of your comfort zone and take an online course, sign up with the Open University or night classes at college. Try out a yoga class or a massage, or simply go away with a friend or a partner to a spa for a few days.


town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

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Get Fit, look fab Losing enthusiasm for your new fitness routine already? We’ve got the best selection of sportswear buys that’ll make you want to get back to the gym fast in 2020.

So, what are you waiting for? Treat yourself to a new workout wardrobe today and enjoy making your New Year’s resolutions a reality.

Image left & above model wears Littlewoods. See online for prices.

Cold Gear Graphic Leggings £45. Under Armour at FIgleaves.

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N uffield Health W olverhampton Hospital

Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital, Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton WV6 8LE 106

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

HAT-TRICK FOR HOSPITAL NUFFIELD HEALTH  NAMED  PRIVATE  HOSPITAL GROUP OF THE YEAR access to services, increasing reach and to benefit more of the UK public. Recently Nuffield Health joined independent healthcare providers across the country in committing to implement a new medical governance framework that will help ensure all independent sector providers in England are able to further improve the care they are giving to their patients.

In late 2019 Nuffield Health picked up the award for Private Hospital Group of the Year, for the third year running, at the LaingBuisson Awards. The award celebrates high quality care and continuous improvement, as well as innovation and excellence in going above and beyond. With a hospital site in Wolverhampton, Nuffield Health differentiates its approach through personalised, connected services spanning the health and wellbeing continuum. As the UK’s largest health charity, Nuffield Health has no shareholders, investing all its income back into its vision to build a healthier nation. This award represents a hat trick for Nuffield Health winning for three successive years. By connecting its health and wellbeing services, through outstanding day-to-day services in its family of 31 award-winning hospitals, 112 fitness and wellbeing clubs, healthcare clinics, and over 200 workplace wellbeing services, as well as flagship programmes to support communities by widening access, Nuffield Health are pioneering a unique form of personalised healthcare. 94% of its hospitals have received a

‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ rating from independent regulators. In its hospitals, Nuffield Health has continued to see exceptional patient satisfaction levels and have achieved 96% with all of its hospitals including locally at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital. In 2018, Nuffield Health delivered 1.5 million clinical interventions and developed a number of flagship programmes to support people through the different stages of their lives. These are designed to address areas where society’s healthcare needs aren’t currently being adequately met and where Nuffield has the people, expertise and facilities to meet those needs. These programmes help to widen

The Independent Healthcare Providers Network, which represents independent healthcare providers delivering both NHS and privately-funded care, asked former NHS National Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh to develop some key principles to strengthen and build upon on the medical governance systems already in place in the sector. Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital Director Steve Lowbridge said: “It’s great to be recognised three years in a row as leaders in high quality care and continuous improvement. We are committed to delivering outstanding quality across all our services and this award really is a reflection of our hospital team’s consistent hard work and focus to be the best for our patients.” For the Private Hospital Group of the Year Award, Nuffield Health was selected from a finalist group of six independent hospital groups within the UK. The finalists included a mixture of not-for-profit, privately owned and publicly listed organisations.

Steven Lowbridge, Hospital Director at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital

For more information on Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital visit or ring 01902 275127



town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


Hearing and vision are important for our health and wellbeing, though we don’t often think of our senses in this way. The Hearing Care Partnership together with Taylor Biddle Opticians have given their guide to building health across our lifespan through better hearing and vision.

What is healthy ageing? The World Health Organization defines it as “the ability to grow, learn and make decisions, to stay active. To be and do what you value throughout your life.” Different things affect our ability to age well, including our genes, our lifestyle, our location and our relationships with friends and family. It’s true that some of the choices we make in early life can alter the course of our later life, like how much we exercised and what we ate. But it’s never too late to make a positive change.

• Stay connected: Do things that give you joy and meaning, whether that’s playing tennis, taking up photography, or visiting places you love. All of these things help you to feel more positive. • Check your hearing and vision: People who look after their hearing and vision by getting expert advice and the right treatment, stay more active mentally and physically. By looking after our eyes and ears, we can be ready for whatever comes our way. Seeing things more clearly. Hearing and being heard. And enjoying more of the people and things that we love.

Staying connected Our eyes and ears are essential to healthy ageing. That’s because our hearing and vision are central to maintaining active social lives. While we may notice changes in our vision, it can be harder to detect – or come to terms with – the changes in our hearing. You may not notice changes in your hearing yourself. Instead, those closest to you will likely spot the signs first. So, what are the warning signs of hearing loss? • You might start watching TV at a volume that is louder than usual. • You might find it harder to hear what’s being said when there’s lots of background noise (for example in a busy café, restaurant, or meeting). This can lead to you withdrawing from conversations as you struggle to hear. • You need to concentrate more to understand certain voices (especially soft or low ones). • You find it challenging to hear over the phone. If you have noticed any of these in your day to day life, come and have a Free Hearing Assessment. Call us today on 0800 52 00 546.

So how can I look after my senses for longer? It’s never too late to make changes to the way you live. Here’s some tips to get you started.

The Audiology Service at Taylor Biddle Opticians is led by Helen Barton, who is dedicated to helping people live their lives to the full. She is driven to help each individual make the most of their hearing, to facilitate healthy ageing. “I have a passion for providing excellent customer care and I know that the key to this is good communication and listening skills. Working with The Hearing Care Partnership allows me the time I need to spend with each patient to ensure their care is tailored to them as an individual and to their lifestyle. Keep life in full colour with The Hearing Care Partnership and Taylor Biddle Opticians. Book a FREE hearing health check today on 0800 52 00 546 or visit

• Stay active: Just 30 minutes of activity a day can help promote mobility and health in later life. What counts as ‘activity’? Anything that raises your heart rate until you feel slightly out of breath. 110

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

KEEP LAUGHS LOUD Book your FREE Hearing Assessment today. C


Call us on 0800 52 00 546 or visit









Proudly in partnership with

Compton, WV6 8AF Wombourne, WV5 9JD


The last taboo Women of all ages are making strides in their lives like never before – we really are “Sisters doing it for ourselves”! But there is still one barrier which needs to be broken down and for women to talk about. Those annoying leaks, dribbles and accidents which happen when we laugh, sneeze or exercise. 7 million women in the UK – of EVERY age – have an issue with incontinence. This could be due to giving birth, surgery, the menopause or neurological issues – none of which are shameful or unnatural. And yet, we suffer in silence and shame; limiting our social lives, feeling anxious and isolated and spending £1,000s on products unnecessarily. We have a pain free, non-invasive treatment which is revolutionising women’s lives in just six sessions over three weeks! The Esmella Chair was bought by Suzanne Morison, the founder of the company, who had suffered from urge incontinence for many years and was becoming increasingly isolated and anxious. The results were so astonishing, Suzanne wanted to help other women with similar issues have a “Better Life Now” and knew with this revolutionary treatment she could.

Working alongside her daughter in law, Gloria, they work from the privacy and comfort of their home, aiming to make their clients feel relaxed and unselfconscious about the treatment; soon becoming confidantes. They want this treatment to be accessible to every woman of every age and offer a variety of payment plans to make sure that cost isn’t a barrier to stop women getting to live the best life they can. Please call Suzanne or Gloria on 01543571833 or 07376 069032 for a confidential chat or take a look at the website

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town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

Get Active with

Active Seniors run exercise classes for anyone post – retirement, regardless of age, who wants to become more physically active. Active Seniors is run by Kim Sproston and Angela Amphlett who are highly qualified exercise specialists with years of experience and are trained to deal with a range of health and mobility problems. Both are listed with the ‘Register of Exercise Professionals’ as level 4 Postural Stability Instructors and are also BACR IV trained (British Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation). Exercise can be adapted to suit individuals and clients receive guidance and help to get the most out of the exercises.

Our Strength and Balance classes are particularly beneficial to those who have experienced a fall or deterioration in their balance, but we also have classes that are suitable for those that are still active and want to stay that way! The evidence -based and endorsed exercises are great for those diagnosed with osteoporosis and for anyone looking to keep strong bones. Classes are designed to increase flexibility, joint stability, balance, coordination, agility, muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance. There are classes to suit a range of abilities and there are two levels of classes – one level for beginners or those needing a slightly less challenging option and one for the more able person. Strength and Balance classes are in Kingswinford, Wall Heath, Hagley, Sedgley, Norton Stourbridge. Our ‘Happy Hearts’ class is great for people who wish to improve their cardiac heart health but prefer to do this indoors away from the gym. Increase your cardiovascular and muscular endurance in this standing group exercise and circuit workout. Fitness and fun come together as you alternate non-impact aerobic exercise with upper-body strengthening exercises using hand-held weights, resistance bands and balls. Classes are suitable for people with controlled heart and lung conditions as well as people who just want to feel fitter in their retirement. The class also benefits those with conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. This class is in Amblecote.

Tai Chi for Health (arthritis and falls prevention) classes are a modernised and adapted version of the traditional form, designed by medical professionals and tai chi experts. It offers a safe, evidence based alternative and it provides all the benefits of tai chi in a manageable form. It is great for people with arthritis as well as many other controlled health conditions. It’s relaxing and has many health benefits including reducing stress and anxiety, improving balance and building strength. Tai Chi for health classes in Hagley, Wall Heath and Norton. Not sure what might suit you? Just call us for a chat and we can suggest a suitable class for you to try. MEN welcome in all classes. Ring Kim or Angela on 07512 546480 or email us at activeseniorsclass@gmail. com for more details and class times and to book your free taster class.

T: 07512 546480 E:


What should we make of astrology? By Louise Addison As the new year begins, those who enjoy astrology will check the heavens to see what the future might have in store.

our solar system to where the stars are. As the Earth follows its orbit around the Sun this imaginary line rotates, pointing to different stars throughout one complete trip around the Sun — or one year. All the stars that lie close to the imaginary flat disk swept out by this imaginary line are said to be in the zodiac.

Astrologers look for answers, signs and predictions in the movements of the celestial bodies. There is a long history of humans using the stars to plan their lives. Farmers used the skies as a calendar as long ago as Ancient Egyptians, when the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star, around mid-July, was seen as a marker of the imminent annual flooding of the Nile; and sailors have long used the night skies to aid navigation.

The astronomer Ptolemy helped popularise the 12 signs in his book The Tetrabiblos. They are: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Ptolemy also developed the idea that signs along the zodiac were 30° wide, and that the sun moved through them regularly during the year.

We don’t know who first came up with the idea of looking at divining the influences of nature on humans, but some form of astrology shows up in the various belief systems of ancient cultures.

For centuries, astrology was considered basically the same thing as astronomy - the scientific study of celestial bodies. This only changed around the beginning of the Enlightenment in the late 17th century with Sir Isaac Newton’s work on the motion of the planets and gravity. He started a whole new mathematical and scientific approach to looking at the sky and the motion of planets and the earth.

In ancient China, noblemen looked at eclipses or sunspots as portents of good or bad times for their emperor. The Sumerians and Babylonians watched planets and stars as a way to keep track of where gods were in the sky. The ancient Egyptians contributed the idea that patterns of stars made up constellations, through which the sun appears to “move” at a specific time during the year.


It’s thought that all of these ideas came together when Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in around 330 BC. The Greek logisticians and mathematicians worked out rules for how divination by the stars could work.

But the appeal of looking to the stars for answers has never waned. Astrology remains popular today, probably due to the fact that humans tend towards romanticism and also towards a psychological phenomenon known as confirmation bias where we search for interpretations that match what we already hope to be true. We latch on to events that corroborate our beliefs and ignore those that don’t fit the pattern.

Imagine a straight line drawn from Earth through the Sun and out into space beyond

But if nothing else, astrology is fun, and scientist that I am… I still read the horoscopes! town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

NEW YEAR, NEW LEGS, nEw YOU If you have varicose veins and want great looking legs for the summer, now is the time to act. Having these assessed and treated has never been easier. The Vein Clinic, led by Mr Simon Hobbs, Consultant Vascular Surgeon, treats the vast majority of varicose veins as walk-in, walk-out procedures, under local anaesthetic, with greatly enhanced recovery compared to traditional surgical treatments. The clinic, situated in the Wolverhampton Nuffield Hospital, uses the latest in medical technology to diagnose and treat the veins that are the underlying cause of unsightly and symptomatic varicose veins. Mr Hobbs is the only surgeon in the West Midlands currently offering the VenaSeal Closure system, alongside other popular treatments such as Radiofrequency ablation, enabling people to have their veins treated with minimal discomfort.

VenaSeal uses a medical grade super glue to seal off the damaged veins and as it involves fewer injections in the leg this treatment means that you can be quickly back to full activity enjoying the benefits of healthy feeling and great looking legs.

If veins are left untreated, they can lead to bleeding, eczema, phlebitis, brown skin discolouration and potentially leg ulcers, which take a long time to heal. During a consultation, an ultra sound scan will be performed to detect the source of the problem and from the size and position, indicate the required treatment.

Varicose veins are caused by a malfunction of valves in the veins which causes blood to pool and result in painful and unsightly bulges at the skin’s surface. Symptoms include aching, itching, swelling, throbbing and restless legs at night, with both men and women being affected equally.

Recognised by all major Medical Insurers. For self-paying patients, the consultation fee is £150 and an ultrasound of both legs is £99. For further information visit

Before Procedure

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Love your legs VARICOSE VEINS are a source of discomfort and can also significantly affect your selfesteem. Having these assessed and treated could be easier than you think.

• High quality varicose and thread vein treatments • Minimally invasive local anaesthetic techniques • Walk-in, walk out procedures • Quick recovery • Insured and self paying patients

Please call: 01902 793216 Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital Wood Road | Tettenhall | Wolverhampton | WV6 8LE



town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


Wolverhampton Grammar School


education is closer than you think Wolverhampton Grammar School is an extraordinary school. Founded in 1512, it’s one of the oldest schools in the country, within easy access of the wider West Midlands, Staffordshire and Shropshire thanks to flexible school bus links. National award-winning and ranked top of the league tables for grades 9-7 at GCSE, the school is rated “excellent” by school inspectors. The school also ranks top 25 nationally for GCSE results across all independent schools. First priority is the happiness of your child Children at Wolverhampton Grammar School receive pastoral care like nowhere else – that’s because happy children do well, thrive, and leave the school with excellent exam results and the confidence to embrace whatever opportunities come their way. Your child will never feel alone at Wolverhampton Grammar School. Assistant Head of Pastoral Care, Claudine Jones leads a team of staff to support and work with families to ensure every child gets the care and individual attention

that they need. Support includes a dedicated, expert pastoral team, School Counsellor and annual adolescent mental health tracking using the latest digital tools. Academic excellence The academic achievements of the students speak for themselves. All teachers are experts in their own academic disciplines, trained and experienced professionals who love their subjects as much as they enjoy teaching students. Small class sizes and space for individual tuition enables the teachers to get to know each and every child. Wolverhampton

Grammar School also offers a tailored and individual approach to UCAS and Careers support and students can expect the very best preparation possible when it comes to life after school. Our examinations and Sixth Form team ensure every student is supported with the very best support possible to ensure students make the right choice for their next step. Life outside the classroom The school offers over 100 extracurricular clubs – the largest range available from any school in the area. Everything from Political Forums, Technology clubs, Debating, Warhammer to Climbing, Cooking and Gardening. Residential trips begin as early as Year 3 and from Year 7, all children have the opportunity to travel to Europe, culminating in a choice of worldwide expeditions for older students. Interested to learn more? Contact Jane Morris, Admissions Registrar at Wolverhampton Grammar School by telephone: 01902 422939, email: or visit website:


town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

Independent Day School for Boys and Girls Junior School ages 7-11 Senior School ages 11-16 Sixth Form ages 16-18

Judged ‘Excellent’ in all areas by the Independent


acre site

TES Independent School Award Winners 2018

Schools Inspectorate

Junior School

Open Day

Wrap around care from 7.30am - 6.15pm

Flexible and convenient School Bus Services across 3 counties

Saturday 25 January, th

10am - 1.30pm

Apply now for September 2020.

For more information about our open events or joining our School, please contact Jane Morris, Admissions Registrar. T: 01902 422939 E: or visit

Dedicated, Expert Pastoral Team



town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

candidate for Wolverhampton South West, in a ‘Question Time’ style session. The questions asked by the girls indicated the topics that they feel passionate out: Will Brexit affect refugees coming into the UK? (Isabel – Year Five) Will you help the people whose houses have been affected by the floods? (Esha – Year Four) What is the one thing you would change about parliament? (Lillian – Year Three) Politics is very much the topic of conversation amongst our children in school as they are often exposed to political views and issues via their home and community; and media. At Newbridge, we teach children about politics with the intention of helping them understand that they are active citizens in a country where our democratic process should be valued.

Journey to Democracy Tour As part of this process we recently visited the Houses of Parliament with our Year Six girls. The visit started with a tour of the Palace of Westminster. As Parliament was not in session due to the general election campaign, the girls were able to access different parts of the Palace of Westminster on their tour. Initially, they walked the same route that Queen Elizabeth II took at the recent state opening of parliament; as well witnessing some of the preparations being made for the outcome of the general election on 11th December 2019. They also had the opportunity to walk through ‘Aye’ and ‘No’ lobbies to help them understand how the MPs themselves vote when making government decisions. The girls stood amongst the seats in the House of Lords and had the opportunity to explore how it is independent from, and complements the work of, the elected House

of Commons. The tour guide explained how the Lords shares the task of making and shaping laws and checking and challenging the work of the government.

Journey to Democracy Workshop Beginning 850 years ago, the girls explored how Britain went from being an absolute monarchy to a modern-day democracy. The girls found out about four key figures: King John, William and Mary of Orange, David Lloyd George and Boris Johnson. They investigated historical artefacts and clues, using these to solve questions about who had the power to make laws and how laws have changed over time. By the end of the workshop the girls appreciated the importance of democracy and understood how everyone, including themselves, can now have their say in how the country is run, whether through campaigning or through voting in elections.

If you get elected, what are you going to do about homelessness? (Charlotte - Year Five) How are you sure every child will grow up to get a good opportunity for a job in Wolverhampton? (Sofia – Year Four) Next year, 37% of children will be living in poverty. What will you do about that? (Thrisha – Year Five) At Newbridge, we believe that children need to understand the privileges and responsibilities that come with democracy so they’re ready to become active participants in the political process as adults.

Parliamentary Candidate Question Time In school, a week later, we hosted, Stuart Anderson, the Conservative

#futurevoters Twitter: NewbridgePrep51 Facebook: NewbridgePreparatorySchool 121

Looking for membership of a premier club Why consider anywhere else? Enville Golf Club was founded in 1935 on the principles of friendship, sportsmanship and cordiality. Located in the picturesque rolling countryside of South Staffordshire the Club is unique to the area in that it offers not one but two 18hole Championship courses. We have close ties with both The R & A and England Golf. We have hosted many national tournaments including the Reid Trophy, Open Qualifying, Girls British Open Amateur Championship and more recently the English Senior Ladies Open Championship. In April 2021 Enville will host the R & A Girls Under 16 Amateur Championships. Our work to encourage women’s participation in golf has been recognised by the R & A and England Golf. Our Ladies Academy which runs from March each year is highly recommended for any lady who wants to get into golf. From the complete beginner to those with limited experience who want to develop their game this structured programme (also including lots of fun and laughter) will put you on the path to a life-long love of golf. Our Girls Golf Rocks initiative also offers younger golfers the chance to give the game a go during the summer months. We have a thriving ladies section and if you are looking to take up golf or move clubs our General Manager Heather Mulley will be more than happy to provide more details. In November 2019 Heather was named the Golf Club Managers Association 2019 Manager of the Year. The most prestigious awards in golf club management took place at the GCMA Conference at De Vere Cotswold Water Park in South Cerney on Monday 11 November 2019. Heather, described by her nominee as an “outstanding manager with a unique style”, received her award from Jamie Abbott –MD of Intelligentgolf. The judging panel was particularly impressed with Heather’s work to develop women and girls participation, her leadership in the club’s hosting of the R&A Girls Amateur Championship, and heartfelt and tactful leadership. Bob Williams, GCMA CEO, said: “The GCMA Golf Club Management Awards reward the exceptional performers in our industry. Manager of the Year is the ultimate acknowledgement of excellence, and Heather is a truly worthy winner. As ever, the judging process was incredibly tough, and credit to all the finalists. However, it’s clear that Heather is an 122

extraordinary manager who is clearly held in high regard at Enville, and fully deserves this accolade.”

Heather Mulley Manager

Having two courses allows members to play at any time without the need to book tee times. Both the Highgate and Lodge courses are made up of heathland and woodland habitat and they offer an exceptional and challenging golfing experience. Our greens are becoming acknowledged as some of the best putting surfaces in the country. The practice facilities are second to none and provide for every aspect of the golfers requirements. There is a 360 yard long grass teed driving range allowing even the biggest hitters to warm up. Together with three full sized chipping and pitching greens the practice facilities are outstanding. Enville’s free-draining soil provides consistent playing surfaces all year round and our course and practice areas very rarely close. Enville Golf Club is truly the hidden gem of English golf and undoubtedly one of the finest golf clubs in the area in the most beautiful and scenic part of South Staffordshire. Pictures from our annual Prize Presentation Night can be seen in the Social Pages when trophy and cup winners from throughout the year at Enville gathered together with family and friends to receive their awards. Membership opportunities are available, which are incredibly good value for money, with all Enville has to offer. We welcome visitors Monday to Friday and Enville makes a fantastic venue for a day of golf. Please contact Heather for details of membership, the 2020 Ladies Academy, Junior Golf or group and society visits and bookings or take a look at our website: town & village life magazine | january/february 2020


Social Scene







Enville Golf Club Stourbridge

1. Bob Dimmock, Heather Mulley, Sue Dimmock, Eddie Boyle 2. Michelle Evans, Richard Shaw 3. Lucy Rozga, Adam Rozga

Sponsored by

On Friday 22nd November Enville Golf Club held its annual Prize Presentation Night. Competition winners gathered together for the presentation of prizes, cups and major trophies played for throughout the year. Prizes were awarded by Club Captain Bob Dimmock, Lady Captain Sue Dimmock, President of the Club Eddie Boyle and George Williams on behalf of Enville Estates the Club Patrons. Following a wonderful two course meal speeches and prize presentation commenced.  The night was attended by over 80 winners, family and friends and organised by the Club’s General Manager Heather Mulley.


Specialists in helping people to retire early

4. Mary Rozga, Gary Rozga, 5. (Past Captains) Mathew Payne (2011), Bob Dimmock (Current Captain), Alan Thomas (2005), Pete Beaman (2018) 6. Tracey Bolton, Andrew Tolson, Paul Muncie 7. Helen Peters, David Peters 8. Ian Stretton, Tony Jacques 9. Davina Stretton, Lorraine Jacques 10. Luke Jones, Devon Stevens 11. Paul Griffiths, Stu Bennett 12. Sara Riding, Nick Zacharias 13. Andy Wood, Rob Jones 14. Sophie Jones, Tina Jones, Ian Jones 15. David Poole, Ben Bolton, Steve Bolton

town & village life magazine | january/february 2020

Social Scene









15 125

Just Just because because itit cannot cannot be seen, does not be seen, does not mean mean itit does does not not exist exist

Michael Streete Foundation (MSFDN) is a Michael Streete Foundation (MSFDN) is a registered charity that supports vulnerable & registered charity that supports vulnerable & disadvantaged young lives, primarily those disadvantaged young lives, primarily those affected by indiscernible medical conditions affected by indiscernible medical conditions such as Sickle Cell & Mental Health disorders. such as Sickle Cell & Mental Health disorders. Kereen Streete established MSFDN in loving Kereen Streete established MSFDN in loving memory of her brother Michael who lost his memory of her brother Michael who lost his fight against Sickle Cell Anaemia in the fight against Sickle Cell Anaemia in the summer of 2012 at the tender age of 30. summer of 2012 at the tender age of 30.

Throughout 2019 MSFDN has been extremely Throughout 2019 MSFDN has been extremely busy hosting events and projects for our busy hosting events and projects for our beneficiaries, Education Establishments, beneficiaries, Education Establishments, Communities and our amazing supporters. Communities and our amazing supporters.

MSFDN strive to mitigate barriers for young MSFDN strive to mitigate barriers for young lives to ensure that they are given the oplives to ensure that they are given the opportunity and have access to the necessary portunity and have access to the necessary resources required for them to become the resources required for them to become the best best versions versions of of themselves. themselves. Through Through music music and and other other creatively creatively inspired inspired activities, activities, MSFDN MSFDN advocate advocate for for young young lives lives to to ‘have a voice’, have access to opportunities ‘have a voice’, have access to opportunities and and knowledge, knowledge, develop develop creativity creativity and and learn learn new skills whilst also offering targeted new skills whilst also offering targeted support support and and resources resources to to those those in in need need of of receiving receiving it. it.

Sometimes Sometimes we we laugh laugh and and remember all all the remember the good good times times of of which which there there were were many, many, and and sometimes sometimes we we cry. cry. Chair Chair Person Person of of MSFDN MSFDN Kereen Streete Kereen Streete

+44 +44 (0) (0) 208 208 312 312 1731 1731

Volunteers, supporters, partners... because of Volunteers, supporters, partners... because of you we have been able to achieve so many you we have been able to achieve so many great great things things this this year, year, all all of of which which would would not not have been possible without your help have been possible without your help and and support. support. We We thank thank all all who who supported supported our our last last fundraising fundraising event event which which was was Proudly Proudly Sponsored Sponsored by by Jaguar Jaguar Land Land Rover Rover -- Lancaster Lancaster Wolverhampton. Wolverhampton. The The event event was was a a great great success success and and we we look look forward forward to to more more partnership partnership events events with with Jaguar Jaguar Land Land Rover Rover -Lancaster Wolverhampton and other Lancaster Wolverhampton and other companies companies next next year year as as we we could could not not contincontinue ue to to positively positively impact impact lives lives without without you. you. To To contribute contribute to to the the growth growth of of MSFDN MSFDN in in 2020, 2020, please please visit visit our our website website where where you you can can Donate, Donate, Fundraise Fundraise and and so so much much more! more! Please Please feel feel free free to to contact contact us us for for more more information. information.

@MSFDNOfficial @MSFDNOfficial


Registered & Registered Charity Number: 1163636. Registered as as a a Charity Charity in in England Englandtown & Wales. Wales. Registered Number: 1163636. & village lifeCharity magazine | january/february Company Company Limited Limited by by guarantee. guarantee. Registered Registered in in England England Number: Number: 09523007 09523007


INDEX OF ADVERTISERS Airport, Transfers & Executive Travel Signature Luxury Cars 85 Bathrooms Roman Bathrooms 17 Beauty Salons & Wellbeing Heaven Skin Care 98-101 Wollaston Beauty Clinic 93 Beds & Bedroom Furniture Dreamland 20/21 Leekes 41 Woodrobes 32/33 Blinds – Curtains – Shutters Castle Blinds 35 Total Sewing 45 Boiler Service & Installations Gas First 71 Bridal Wear TDR Bridal Halesowen 89 Building & Maintenance Contractors 6/7 Three Pines Caravan Accessories 73 Cannock Caravans Care Homes 12/13 The Woodlands Carpentry & Construction Winterdene Carpentry & Construction 48 Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning 34 Zero Drytime Carpets/Flooring – Supply & Fit 15 ND Walters Car Sales & Service 129 Lancaster Jaguar Land Rover Coffee Shops 65 Wall Heath Coffee Co Dance Classes 75-77 Zig Zag Dance Factory Dentistry 2 Willows Education 120 Newbridge Preparatory School Wolverhampton Grammar 119 Estate Agents 10/11 Berriman Eaton Exercise Classes 111 Active Seniors

Fashion - Retail Aristocats 94/95 90/91 Classy Rags Fencing & Gates 69 Profence Financial Advisors Midland Independent Financial Services 18/19 Fireplaces & Stoves 22/23 Flaming Fires Wolverhampton Fireplaces 27 Firewood Black Country Firewood 64 Fitness & Leisure 103 South Staffordshire Leisure Floristry Supplies & Craft Products Country Baskets 87 Furniture & Furnishings Cousins 8/9 41 Leekes Pargeters 37 Sofa Factory 29 49 The Wood Depot Galleries & Gift Shops 55 Stourbridge Galleries Garage Doors 67 Garolla Gardening & Landscaping 59 Lealans Garden Centre Golf Clubs 123 Enville Golf Club Groundworks, Construction & landscaping 63 Evenfield Haberdashery / Alterations 45 Total Sewing Hairdressers 96/97 Royston Blythe Health Care Cover 52/53 Paycare Hearing Care 111 The Hearing Care Partnership Hospitals – Private 106 Nuffield Health Hospital Hot Tubs 57 Jacuzzi at Webbs of Wychbold Incontinence Treatment 112 Better Life Now

Jewellers 130/131 Rudells The Jewellers Kitchens - Supply, Design & Fit Dayrooms 39 Roman Bathrooms 17 Lighting 47 Lighting R Us Live Music Venues The Robin2 81 Loft Ladders / loft Boarding Revealaspace 66 Luxury Travel Signature Luxury Cars 85 Opticians 109 Taylor Biddle Painters & Decorators Dave Russon 62 63 Patrick Bellew Parking Posts 69 Profence Racecourses 79 Wolverhampton Racecourse Restaurants & Pubs 83 Halfpenny Green Wine Estate Wolverhampton Racecourse 79 Wombourne Tandoori 84 Rugs 46 Frith Rugs Self-Catering Cottages 72 New Wood Farm Solicitors 117 MFG Solicitors Theatres 132 The Grand Theatre Tiles & Interiors 5 Tile Choice Vein Clinics 115 Simon Hobbs Veterinary Services 61 Blacks Vets Vineyard & Craft Centre 83 Halfpenny Green Wine Estate Windows, Doors & Conservatories 43 De Rosa Installations Hayley Windows 24/25, 35

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Profile for Jonathon

Town & Village Life Magazine January/February 2020  

Town & Village Life Magazine January/February 2020