Page 1


July/August 2017

Win a wine tasting experience with Halfpenny Green Vineyards and arrive in style with Signature Luxury Cars


Win tickets for The Wedding Singer at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

July/August 2017

Delivered to areas of: Hagley, West Hagley, Stourbridge, Pedmore, Oldswinford, Norton, Wollaston, Amblecote, Wordsley, Kingswinford, Lawnswood, Wall Heath, Kinver, Bobbington, Heathton, Stourton, Enville, Swindon, Himley and Sedgley

Local Magazine delivered to 16,000 Selected Homes and Businesses


Jonathon Pugh BDS MSc Implant Dentistry has over 25 years experience in implantology

Renew Your Smile With Dental Implants At Parkdale Clinic we offer quality patient-focused dental care in a modern and supportive environment. Our satisfied patients have found a renewed confidence after undergoing treatment with us and it is our privilege to find a solution to many problems traditional dentistry has failed to remedy.

Call us today and discover what we could do for you:

01902 420654

Parkdale Dental & Implant Clinic | 82 Tettenhall Road | Wolverhampton WV1 4TF |


town & village life magazine | july/august 2017




Hello Readers, It’s a good job us Brits are famous for our sense of humour because 2017 has already thrown enough our way to leave us either smiling or crying. Take politics for starters. When Theresa May called an impromptu press conference outside Number 10 in April, everyone took notice. We all knew she wasn’t standing before the news cameras to announce she’d lost her house keys. Of course we now know that indirectly she was doing exactly that. When she called a snap election, the country held its breath. When she then proceeded to lose the Conservative majority, compromise Brexit and pick up a new nickname, The Caretaker Prime Minister, the internet exploded with ridicule. She’s even managed to silence the Queen for the next two years, which is no mean feat. Now we sit poised on the precipice, waiting for good news. And lo we have a ray(s) of hope on the horizon: summer heat – and lots of it. As I sit to write this editor’s letter I am bathed in sweat and soaked


in sunscreen, with my ten tanned toes tickling the bottom of my Jacuzzi hot tub. Summer has arrived at last – and Michael Fish-types have it staying for the foreseeable, so we can all cheer ourselves with enough thermometer-busting temperatures to put travel agents out of business. It makes me want to hit the road Easy Rider-style, but not before I take a few CBT lessons from Streetbike in Halesowen first. So do enjoy as much sun as possible, whether you’re on holiday abroad or at home, but never let the heat haze fog your mind. Always remember to read up on your TVL summer essentials: we have fashion, beauty, health, business insight in our Meet the Boss feature, top-notch dining-out options and lots of home improvement ideas. All of which makes this edition almost too hot to handle.

See you in September!



July/August edition

The heart of the home – your dream kitchen 4 Recipe of the month 6 Stourbridge Rugby Club 8 12 Home Interiors Eloquent speaking flourishing in Stourbridge 16 Dudley South Ladies Luncheon Club 16 Finance: Inheritance tax and the residence NIL rate band 18/19 Kinver & Bobbington Supper Club 20 22/23 Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon Halfpenny Green Vineyards competition 26 Camphill Village Trust 30 Crosswords & puzzles 36

Grand Theatre competition Why it pays to insure our pets Gardening with Ann Winwood Gardening in the summer Meet the boss - Deborah Mitchell Halfpenny Green Vineyards’ food festival Holiday-ready beauty Mind Babble Ladies fashion – Stunning swimwear Swinfest Social scene Motoring review: Another fine Fiat Answers to Crossword & Puzzles

Advertising enquiries Email: Gisella Wiley (Sales Director) Editorial/What’s On information Email: Geoff Hall (Editor) Magazine Design Studio 28 Design & Print (


44 46/47 50 52 58/59 60 72 76 78/79 85 94/95 96 97

Congratulations to: TOWN & VILLAGE


Town & Village Life Magazine Ltd Lytham Rd, Perton, Wolverhampton, WV6 7YY Tel: 01902 744217

Winner of The Woman in Black competition at The Wolverhampton Grand Theatre Jen Sandford, Stourton Winner of Harley’s Smokehouse competition Sophie Hammond, Wollaston Winner of the West Midland Safari Park competition Louise Collier, Swindon

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


The heart of the home

– your dream kitchen If you love more classic designs and want to create the perfect country kitchen, choose traditional kitchen units with plinths, painted-in pastel hues. The addition of a statement mantle or a false chimney breast will create a real period feel.

A sensible investment Aside from the all the benefits to both the look and functionality of your home, adding a new kitchen is a really sensible investment. Not only does it help you to keep your home up-to-date, therefore retaining its value, it’s also attractive to potential buyers.

The kitchen is the heart of the home, it’s where we cook, eat, entertain and socialise, so it’s a pretty important space. That’s why, when it comes to making the most of your living areas or indeed adding value to your property, a modern, well-designed and practical kitchen is essential.

Exude style Encapsulate your home interior style with your choice of kitchen design. Modern homes with a contemporary interior are calling out for a suitably up-to-theminute kitchen. Glossy, handleless units are just the thing for creating a seamless look and a statement colour scheme will finish the design perfectly.

Seeing that a kitchen has recently been installed not only demonstrates that the home has been well looked after but saves the buyer having to factor in the cost of adding a new kitchen themselves. If you’re looking to sell your property in the not too distant future, then steer clear of more unusual designs and instead opt for a modern style with a neutral colour scheme that can be easily personalised by the buyer.

Perfect for family life Let your dream kitchen be designed around the things you love. If you’re a keen cook, you’ll want to ensure there’s plenty of functional space that allows you to work effectively. Gadget lovers will enjoy equipping their new design with a full range of handy tools, whereas wine connoisseurs will adore the addition of an in-built wine rack and cooler. For family life though, a large island is the perfect addition to any kitchen to provide a place to eat breakfast or sip a cappuccino whilst catchingup on the day’s events. 04

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

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.

New build properties - Albrighton

New build property - Albrighton

The building company has over 50 years of experience in construction, covering commercial and domestic development, with many of the carpenters and bricklayers having been employed by the company for over 20 years. 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. Refurbishment of ‘The Old Smithy - Albrighton

All work carried out on behalf of Boningale Homes

w w w. t h r e e - p i n e s . c o. u k Cullwick Court, Cullwick Street, Wolverhampton WV1 2UR 01902 499919 Email:



S t r aw b e r ri e s and Cream Cake

Serves 8 Ready in 1 hour 15 mins

Turn a simple Victoria sponge into something extra special with some juicy strawberries and lashing of cream. Time to get the best china out and have friends round for afternoon tea! cake INGREDIENTS


• 225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened • 225g (8oz) caster sugar • 4 large eggs, beaten • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 225g (8oz) self raising flour, sifted


Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla extract, adding a spoonful of the flour if the mixture begins to curdle. Using a metal spoon gently fold in the rest of the flour and enough of the milk to give a soft dropping consistency.


Divide the mixture between the cake tins and gently level the surfaces. Bake the sponges

• 1-2 tbsp milk

filling INGREDIENTS • 3 tbsp strawberry jam, sieved • 175g (6oz) strawberries • 300ml (1/2pt) double cream • Icing sugar to dust 06

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4. Grease and base line two 20cm (8in) round, loosebased cake tins. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric whisk until pale and creamy.

in the preheated oven for 20-25 mins until risen, golden brown and springy to the touch. 4.

Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 mins then carefully turn them out onto a cooling rack. Peel off the lining paper and leave to cool completely.


For the filling, hull and slice nearly all the strawberries (reserving a couple for decoration) and mix with the sieved jam. Sandwich the sponges together with the cream and strawberries. Dust the top thickly with icing sugar and decorate with the reserved strawberries.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

The difference is in the detail

Discover more than just a kitchen Where memories are made and living begins‌ We love creating kitchen designs that are perfectly suited to each unique home, as well as your budget, tastes and lifestyle. Meet your local designer at one of 50 in-toto studios nationwide and transform your kitchen. Visit our Stourbridge showroom Shop 4, Winwood Court, Norton Road, Stourbridge, DY8 2AE For more information or to book a free design appointment call: 01384 378 203 or visit #myintoto to share yours on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter



RFC Here at Stourton Park it seemed that no sooner had the season finished in April than all hands were concentrating on the Corporate Lunch in early May and the Hollywoodthemed May Ball. Over 1500 attended the May Lunch with lead speakers Lord Digby Jones and England rugby coach Eddie Jones. Plyvine Catering of Brierley Hill and Hanbury Marquees of Droitwich were the main contractors.

Our Annual Club dinner was held on June 10th with the guest speaker being the Chairman of East London Rugby Club, Nick Bracken OBE. Nick is an ex-Scotland Yard Commissioner and founder

member of “The Silver Hippos”, who follow European, English and British Lions overseas on tours. Our own Stourbridge Lions were promoted last season and will be playing local sides like Bromsgrove and Dudley Kingswinford in Midlands One West. The first XV will begin training in early July and a home pre-season game has been organised for August 19th against Chinnor who came third in National Two South last season. The Lions will be playing Chinnor seconds at home on the same day. The real excitement is that we have been selected by the RFU to be a host club for one of the fifty artificial grass pitches that the RFU are funding throughout England. Five pitches are already completed at Billingham, Shelford, Preston, WestonsuperMare and Aylesbury. Bulldozers will soon be removing the top soil prior to the laying down of the new surface. The RFU

intend to attract more regional and national representative games, whether that be for Ladies, Juniors or Senior rugby. The pitch will be available to rent by schools, colleges and rugby clubs throughout the West Midlands and will also be available for six-a-side football. The intent is that by September the new pitch will be ready to use. On the community front Higgs and Sons held their six-aside football Annual Charity Day here on June 22nd, over £13,000 was raised by the club on May 7th for the Stacey Hurrell Testimonial and on Friday May 12th our own Greyhounds and Grasshoppers met in their annual “Clash of the Titans” to raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. As ever the club house is available for birthday parties and wedding receptions. Please phone 01384 395000 for full details.

Robin Edwards

Chairman, Stourbridge Rugby Club

T: 01384 395000 E: 08

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017


Expert advice

on how to buy a bathroom will often be costs associated with this. Also in the past the pipework was generally on show and in today’s modern bathrooms it is likely to be hidden. A designer will work with you to create the bathroom of your dreams. They have extensive product knowledge that allows them to suggest the items that will work best for you

Buying a bathroom can be daunting, there are a lot of lovely products to choose from but making them work in your bathroom with the existing layout and plumbing can be a challenge.

Never accept a quote from anyone that has not done a home survey. Don’t underestimate the cost of installation and don’t try to skimp on this. A badly installed bathroom is a recipe for disaster, leaking pipes and faulty connections can cause damage and be dangerous.

Buy from an independent retailer that has a showroom so you can look at the quality of the products. They will manage the complete process from start to finish. Everything will be dealt with and you have one point of contact to discuss progress and issues as they arise. Research a retailers capabilities by looking at case studies on their website, talk to past customers, and look for thank you cards in the showroom that are current. Buying a new bathroom does not have to be stressful. Plan well and invest wisely to ensure that you enjoy your new bathroom for many years to come.

It is best to start with your wish list, leaving aside the practicalities in the first instance. You spend a lot of time in your bathroom and it should be your sanctuary. Think about what you would really love and then talk to a bathroom designer to help you achieve it. Consider all the best bathrooms that you have ever visited, from hotels to friends’ houses. Find the products that are a must have for you, a freestanding bath, a power shower or a wet deck. When you have an idea of what is important to you, take a look in magazines and save pictures of bathrooms that you like. Then take advice from a professional designer. Bathrooms are one of the most complicated rooms in the home to update. Old plumbing is not designed for modern products and there 10

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017



AWARD WINNING DESIGNS For almost 30 years we have been creating individually designed luxury bathrooms. Our team of tradesmen will carry out your renovation with great attention to detail delivering peace of mind and the outstanding customer service you receive will ensure your complete satisfaction. To arrange a personal consultation please visit

110 - 111 High Street, Blackheath B65 0EG Telephone 0121 561 4374 • email


you decide to select a new chandelier, a set of wall lights, some table lamps, spot lights or just a dimmer switch, you won’t regret paying some attention to the lighting in your room. Wall coverings these days come in an astonishing array of colours and patterns. They are strong, easy to hang, hard wearing and very user-friendly. Some come ready pasted. The materials and fabrics used in their manufacture can produce a whole range of fascinating effects and as well as paper and vinyl you will find them in other materials such as printed textile, linen, split-cane, cork and jute. Colours and patterns are as varied as the taste of customers and prices are not quite as high as you might imagine - unless of course, you opt for something hand-printed and totally unique.

HOME INTERIORS There is absolutely no excuse for living in a dowdy, uninteresting and bad environment.

And in today’s home-owning society it has never been easier to achieve eye-catching and comfortable results. There are userfriendly materials and tools in all the DIY stores and they are more than ready with help and advice. Home style magazines carry features and articles on how to do the necessary jobs. And on television there are programmes almost daily, showing how great changes can be achieved with a little imagination and not a lot more. First of all you need to wander round stores to see exactly what is on offer. Most of the larger stores have exhibition style displays that suggest a variety of colours, textures and materials being used together for a variety of effects. Colour charts show the range of paint and varnish colours available and many stores have paint mixing machines 12

that will produce thousands of subtly different shades - enough to match any soft furnishings or materials you can find.

On the subject of soft furnishings, it is important to remember that they are an integral part of the overall design effect. Fabrics soften and enhance the effect of the applied decor and the stores are crammed full of fabrics, designs and pattern books that will show you how to mix and match, enhance and embellish. Curtains add insulation to the room, keeping out the heat and cold as required. They can be bought in fabric lengths to make up at home, ready-made for those standard sized windows or made-to-measure to match your exact ideas. Don’t forget either that blinds, cushions, throws or lampshades can also lift a room from its dowdy doldrums and may be all that you need to make your room look like something from an exhibition. Lighting is important because it adds that essential emphasis to the decorating plan. Whether

An alternative to the above could be tiles. Tiles come in ceramics, pottery, wood or cork and are made for use on floors and walls, though the floor type are not necessarily heavier duty than those used on the wall. For ceilings there are fireproof polystyrene tiles that are exceptionally easy to hang. Hanging tiles can be a touch problematical especially in those awkward nooks and crannies because they are obviously not nearly so easy to cut and shape as paper, vinyl and the rest. However, buy the right tool from your supplier; practise a couple of times on an old tile and you should soon get the hang of it. When selecting floor tiles, have regard for the area in which they will be laid. On a floor inside a door to the garden, unglazed ceramics or pottery are best because the grit from the garden will soon wear away any glaze. In bedrooms and bathrooms, thick cork is best because it is warm to the touch, quiet to walk upon and relatively happy in the humid environment of the bathroom. For a kitchen, quarry tiles are an excellent choice. For a lounge or dining room, beautifully decorated continental glazed ceramics are probably the tiles of choice. So if your home does need that face-lift, what are you waiting for? Check out our advertisers to see what they have to offer!

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Quality, bespoke creations with an exceptional service!

Hayley WindoWs, conservatories and roofline

PVC Windows PVC Doors Conservatories Roofline Glass Extensions Folding Sliding Doors Repairs Orangeries Timber Composite Doors

We have now relocated to our new premises, you will find us at: Unit 19, Enterprise Trading Estate, Pedmore Road, Brierley Hill, West Midlands, DY5 1TX Please telephone: 01384 896989


• Old Charm •


• •

25% off all leading brands

• •

Family run for over 90 yrs

Wade •

Pargeters High Street, Stourbridge DY8 1EQ

01384 394176

Willis Gambier


3 Floors of fine furniture



& many more brands

Collins & Hayes

Titmarch & Gnoodwin




outstanding service



Quality furniture,

G Plan Washington Sofa

FREE customer car park at rear 14


Sale now on





Parker Knoll

Pargeters has long been known for supplying quality furniture and providing excellent customer service, that’s why the familyrun company has been in business for more than 91 years. Currently owned and managed by Managing Director, Miles Pargeter and John Pargeter, the company has been a mainstay landmark in Stourbridge high street since 1926 and has earned an enviable reputation. “The focus of the business has always been to bring our customers the finest quality furniture and service, and it’s no different today,” explains Miles. From its extensive showroom, Pargeters showcase contemporary and modern designs in their new displays from leading British brands, Parker Knoll, Bridgecraft, Duresta and many more over three floors. “Over the last five years we’ve changed our focus, moving away from bedroom furniture, curtains and carpets to focus on becoming an upholstery specialist.” And the store also boasts a brand-new department that specialises in

Sherborne lift and rise beds, reclining chairs all of which are exempt from VAT - as well as sofas to match. Customers at Pargeters are always surprised by the independent stores’ low prices, as Miles explains: “People often think that it’ll cost more to buy from an independent store, but I can assure you that it won’t cost you to shop at Pargeters. Very often we are cheaper than bigger group stores and we have a price match policy.” 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. “We pride ourselves on offering the lowest possible prices combined with the highest standard of customer service.” And now is the perfect time to pay a visit because the summer Sale has just begun and there are impressive savings of up to 40%. The company even offers free delivery within a 50 mile radius and will take your old items away free of charge. So, why not visit Pargeters’ showroom today to enjoy a legacy of over 90 years’ worth of fine customer service?

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017


Here at Flaming Fires, we look forward to the long winter evenings.....

• Contemporary and traditional designs • The only approved CHESNEY’S stockist in the area • Quality fireplaces at realistic prices • Established over 20 years High Street, Wombourne WV5 9DP (ON THE VILLAGE GREEN)

01902 898221

Find us on


• Affordable Prices • Heavy Furniture Not A Problem • Expert Advice KARNDEAN SHOWROOM NOW OPEN

• Stunning Showroom

We Can Uplift and Remove Old Carpets


Family owned and run business for over 40 years and counting! 88/90 Dudley Road, Sedgley Tel: 01902 883281


Eloquent speaking flourishing

i n S to u r b r i d g e

Stourbridge Speakers Club was celebrating after competing against Bromsgrove speakers club in a local competition for the much coveted Blarney Stone The competition involves each team putting forward 4 team members to compete against the opposing club to deliver prepared speeches using identical predetermined agreed topics. These were Seaside, Country and Town and each club had to deliver one speech in each category. This year, Stourbridge’s team included two new participants, one of which was a new member to the club.

The competition was judged by 3 external judges from different clubs, these were San Souci in Solihull and Stratford & South Warwickshire, and in their summing up praised the quality of all the speakers from the night. The competition was a close thing with the final voting resulting in a 2-1 majority vote in favour of Stourbridge. This brings Stourbridge’s winning streak to 6 wins and a total of 12 in the history of the competition. One of the participants, Ben, said “We are so proud to have won, thank you to all the team members’ hard work and to the other club members for their feedback and support to help us along the way”

The Stourbridge Club is always open to new potential members popping in to see the club in action, without any commitment. The Stourbridge meetings are held every alternative Monday evenings between 8 and 10 pm at the Stourbridge Institute. For more information contact the club on 07544 198309 or click on

Dudley South Ladies Luncheon Club At the June meeting Chairman Ann Rogers welcomed 4 visitors to join members for a 3-course lunch at The Lodge, Wellington Road, Dudley to hear speaker Patricia Boyd on the subject of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilees. Apart from being a superb speaker Mrs Boyd’s comparison of these two Queens was fascinating. They are the only two monarchs who have

ever celebrated a diamond jubilee, both serving their country for over 64 years. They were Queens in their own right, not through marriage, and due unexpectedly through death and abdication were propelled on to the throne at a young age. They both chose their own husbands; intelligent men who would have been famous in their own right if circumstances had been different. Happily Prince Phillip has a good sense of humour but Prince Albert had none, but both were invaluable rocks to their wives. Queen Victoria had 9 children and had a lot more power than royalty today but her Jubilee celebrations only lasted one day whereas Queen Elizabeth’s lasted five. Victoria’s voice was never recorded but our Queen has been heard in every nation and has the most famous face in the world. Members were invited to put in their diaries Ann Rogers’ Coffee Morning on Friday 11th August 10.30am to 12.30pm including strawberries and cream scones, raffle and Bring & Buy. This social event is held instead of a luncheon in August.


Meetings are held on the second Friday each month at The Lodge, Wellington Road, Dudley 12pm for 12.30pm. The next one is on 14th July when the speaker will be Mr. Michael Taylor a well-known local author who is speaking about “The Fact in Fiction”. Visitors are most welcome and can attend 3 times before deciding to join. Enquiries to the Secretary on 01902 372984 or email

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017




A DRI V E WAY A dream drive is closer than you think because at Resin Drives we will pay your VAT when you purchase either a Drive, Path, or Patio from our new and exclusive range.



Why should you install a Resin Drive? That’s simple; our product naturally drains water through it which means no puddles. Also, with a slip resistant surface it provides better traction for tyres and gives more grip for when you walk on it, making your drive a safe place to be!


0800 007 5733 LINES OPEN 7AM - 10PM

O R V I S I T W W W. R E S I N D R I V E S .CO. U K I N S TA L L E R S N AT I O N W I D E Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN743675). We are a Credit Broker and not a lender. We offer credit facilities from one lender ltd. trading as ltd.


advertisement feature

InherItance tax & the resIdence

nIl rate Band

The Residence Nil Rate Band or RNRB may be something that you have seen mentioned in the press and have either not taken the time to read it or not fully understood it. In fact it is a very important factor in financial planning for a great many people. First of all let us consider what RNRB is and then consider its importance. RNRB is the additional Inheritance Tax (IHT) Free Allowance which is available to use against a 18

property which at some point has been occupied as the family home. A Qualifying Residential Interest is defined by the relevant legislation as an interest in a dwelling –house which at any time has been the deceased’s residence and forms part of the deceased’s estate. RNRB is available where the property in question is inherited on the death of the owner by the direct descendants of the deceased.

Once fully introduced it could result in up to a £140,000 saving in IHT. Direct Descendants strictly in this context and by definition according to the relevant legislation means Children, Step Children, Foster Children, Adopted Children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren together with the spouses, civil partners, widows and widowers of these same. The first thing to note is that RNRB only applies to deaths on or after

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

6th April 2017. Secondly, is the fact that its level will be gradually increased over the coming years. Initially, for the tax year 2017-18 RNRB will be £100,000, increasing by £25,000 each tax year until 2021. Thereafter it will increase by the Consumer Price Index. RNRB is transferable between spouses and civil partners. Unfortunately large estates may lose RNRB through tapering which we will consider at a later stage. Inheritance Tax forms a substantial part of the government’s revenue and RNRB will have a significant effect upon the number of deaths resulting in IHT being payable. During the tax year 2015/2016 it is estimated that IHT was payable in 7.1% of deaths. By 2020/21 this figure is expected to have reduced to 6%. The amount of TRANSFERABLE RNRB that can be claimed upon second death will depend on how much RNRB was used on the first death. There is no requirement for the first of a couple to die to own a qualifying residential interest at the time of their death for unused RNRB to accumulate to the survivor. Where the first death occurred before 6th April 2017 the RNRB at the time of the first death is deemed to be £100,000, and regardless of the actual circumstances no part of this RNRB will be deemed to have been used on first death. The exception to this rule is where the TRANSFERABLE RNRB is reduced or lost due to the TAPER THRESHOLD TEST. (TPT) Where the deceased’s estate exceeds £2m (The Taper Threshold) the appropriate RNRB will be reduced by £1 for every £2 by which the taper threshold is exceeded to provide an ‘adjusted allowance’. The £2m threshold is the net estate value after deducting liabilities but before applying any relief or exemptions (including the current nil rate band, business property relief and spouse exemption) This can obviously have a substantial effect on the amount of IHT paid and financial planning considerations and subsequent

actions can be taken in order to reduce this liability. Legislation also includes provisions to ensure that an estate will not automatically lose benefit from RNRB linked to a former property where it has been disposed of prior to death. Specifically a person’s estate will benefit from a downsizing RNRB where prior to death they either downsized to a less valuable residence, selling or otherwise disposing of a qualifying residence so that the full RNRB can no longer be claimed AND they left either the lower value residence or an interest in it or some other assets to direct descendants on death. Downsizing or the disposal of the property has to take place after 8th July 2015 but there is no time limit on the period between disposal and when death occurs. This is a topic that could potentially save substantial sums in IHT and should be discussed in greater detail in order to use RNBR to its full advantage.

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.

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@ 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. Throughout the year we at Midland Independent hold investment seminars with industry experts. If you would like to attend please email: 19

Kinver & Bobbington

Mary Bodfish looking at the romance between Kind Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson, which raised a unique constitutional crisis with intriguing results.

Supper Club

Are you fanatical about chocolate, or intrigued by Wallis Simpson and her affair with Edward VIII, or full of admiration for the air ambulance service? If so the autumn and winter programme planned by the Kinver and Bobbington Supper Club is just made for you.

The season closes sweetly with a visit by Jacqueline Smith who will tell us some of the history of chocolate-making in all its varieties together with a demonstration and then samples to taste.

The club, which meets at The Fox at Stourton for a meal and a speaker on the last Tuesday of the month from October to March, has just finalised its programme for 2017/18.

While Kinver and Bobbington Supper Club is named as a club, there are no membership fees and no commitment to attend every meeting. It is a group of men and women, who gather to enjoy a meal and each other’s company, listen to interesting speakers for the cost of a three course meal and participate in a raffle which supports local charities. Those to benefit from the 2016/17 season were: Living Springs, The Samaritans, Midland Air Ambulance, Mary Stevens Hospice, Action Heart, Beacon Centre for the Blind and Kinver Village National Trust committee’s millennium pathway project on Kinver Edge.

The season starts with the emphasis on comedy when highly entertaining speaker Dave Berry talks about “humour in retirement” while the November meeting features Phil Revell who normally limits speaking engagements to his native Shropshire. However, the club has enticed him over the border to tell of the children from Shropshire who travelled to the New World on the Mayflower. January 2018 sees the visit of Jason Dennis who will discuss the work of the County Air Ambulance Trust, followed in February by

If you would like more information on Kinver and Bobbington Supper Club please contact Chairman Ken Graham on 01384 872547. We have dry cleaned carpets & upholstery in over 100,000 homes

Can you imagine this

Dry Carpet Cleaning “no soggy carpets or wet dog smell in your home”

Yo dry u will clea ni ng ou r syste m!

We also clean...

Get M

ain R




50% Clean

on al l fu + Free rther room s Stain Guard


Leather & Fabric

Hard Floors

Tiles inc Grout Stone Vinyl • Karndean & Amtico

• Removes spills & spots • Sanitize & deodorise • Deep cleans & lifts carpet pile

We are locally based You can call us FREE on

2 0800 180 49 81


town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

34 Enville Road, Wall Heath Kingswinford, West Midlands DY6 0JT By appointment only

A family established business since 1992. Large enough to cope – small enough to care. Wet rooms and luxury bathrooms for the less abled are our speciality. Call us for a full design and in house fitting service.

01384 400016

Stylish Shade Solutions for your home

Simple, elegant and robust Inshade sails keep your conservatory cool in the summer months by reducing UV rays by up to 95% whilst maintaining natural light levels. Made in the UK from an exclusive solar control fabric – Inshade sails can be washed in a domestic washing machine to ensure they maintain their looks and performance for years to come.

7a Whitburn Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire WV16 4QN Tel: 01746 768138 Email:


S h a k e sp e a r e’s


Shakespeare’s birthplace

By Rob Taylor

Inevitably, whenever I think about Stratford-upon-Avon I think about William Shakespeare.

nonetheless, just the same as how so many of us associate England’s greatest playwright with boring bewilderment at school. Every kid has struggled at some point with Shakespeare – I can still vividly

remember the crushing boredom I experienced when reading The Merchant of Venice in high school. My classmates and I took turns to read it aloud in mumbled monotone, while our teacher gazed

Like The Beatles and Liverpool, the two are so indelibly linked in my mind that it’s hard to tell when one ends and the other begins. Visit Stratford and you’ll be just one of the many thousands of tourists who flock from all over the globe to revel in the unique atmosphere provided by Shakespeare’s birthplace. And every one of those visitors will no doubt be eager to watch a play written by the Bard of Avon at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, which sits proudly on the banks of the River Avon. Whether I’m just a victim of the town’s tourist-trap or not, this stream of consciousness exists 22

Clopton Bridge

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

listlessly out across the playing fields. It’s an uninspiring memory. The most interesting nugget to come out of class was that William Shakespeare is an anagram of ‘I am a weakish speller’ – I learned this from my good friend John Kirk and I’ve always found it ironic. Looking back, I blame my teacher. After all, when in the wrong hands, anything can be made mediocre. Today I find his writing truly epic – despite the appalling spelling [sic]. My only hope is that the following notes on Stratford inspire interest and not tedium. Situated in Warwickshire, Stratfordupon-Avon affords visitors historic houses, a famous theatre, a thriving street market, shops and many restaurants. Slap bang in the centre of England, the town has always been an important river-crossing settlement, market town and regional centre. The striking medieval Clopton Bridge is a Grade I- listed masonry arch bridge which crosses the Avon at the place where the river was forded in Saxon times, and which gave the town its name. In Elizabethan Stratford, farmers and people from other towns and villages regularly attended weekly markets. The market building – which burnt down in 1826 – was where Shakespeare’s father, John, sold the gloves he made. Stratford received its borough charter in 1553, just eleven years before Shakespeare’s birth. His father became Mayor of Stratford and soon bought two adjacent

Holy Trinity Church

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

houses, which he made into one. The house on Henley Street is now known as ‘The Birthplace’. A rambling half-timbered property purchased by a charitable trust in 1847, it was soon carefully restored into being a modern visitor centre focused upon providing insight into Shakespeare’s early childhood years. Today the building makes up but one of a collection, commonly referred to as the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. The other buildings include, most prominently, Hall’s Croft, a 16th century timber-framed house named after Dr John Hall, who married Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna in 1607, which contains exhibits on medical practices during the Tudor period; Nash’s House, once home to Thomas Nash, who was husband to Shakespeare’s grand-daughter, Elizabeth Hall, and now to the local history museum and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. This adorably cute thatched house was home to Shakespeare’s wife before their marriage in 1582. It is outside the town centre in Shottery, so a sightseeing open-top bus tour is the best way to bypass the scrum of Japanese tourists who will inevitably be vying to get “England’s most photographed cottage” in their viewfinder. In Church Street you will find King Edward VI Grammar School, where William was educated. New Place, Shakespeare’s home from 1597 until his death in 1616, is nearby. The short stroll across to Holy Trinity Church, where William

Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway are buried, is a must also. This ancient church contains, among its many fascinating features, 26 misericords in the choir stalls. These ‘mercy seats’ are fancifully decorated with carvings of mermaids and unicorns. Despite being one of England’s mostvisited parish churches, Holy Trinity still provides a moment of calm away from the bustle of the town. Its gardens border the river and are an excellent spot to watch for swans and boats floating along the calm waters. Cross the park to Stratford-uponAvon Butterfly Farm to discover hundreds of the world’s most spectacular butterflies flying in an exotic environment of tropical blossom, with splashing waterfalls and fish-filled pools and then ride the old chain ferry – which a ferryman winds by hand – from the Dirty Duck Pub in town to parkland and on to riverside walks. So whether you’re one of the few who believes the Bard to be a charlatan who just ripped-off the works of Sir Francis Bacon or perhaps the greatest poet of all time, do visit Stratford-uponAvon to examine the evidence for yourself. But a word of caution: whatever you do, don’t mess with Shakespeare’s final resting place, because his tomb contains a curse. It reads: “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbeare, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones.” 23

Let PEJ Construction

transform your home and garden this summer

Director Pete Woodbine overseeing a recent hard landscaping project in Alverley

If a tired, cracked or crumbling driveway is spoiling the look of your property then why not call in the professionals at PEJ Construction and transform the look of your home this summer? Established in 2007 by Directors, Pete Woodbine and Lisa Jones, the Tipton-based company has earned a loyal client-base and has become known for providing an unbeatably quick, efficient and quality service for every customer. Working with homeowners across the Midlands, PEJ has given properties of all sizes a fantastic new look by resurfacing and laying driveways, building new patios, adding small extensions, landscaping gardens and undertaking a full range of groundworks. “Every member of our team is highly skilled, experienced and CPCS and CSCS accredited. Each job that we undertake is completed on time and with a quality finish,” explains Pete. 24

Unlike many other companies, PEJ have their own specialist vehicles and equipment which enables them to work efficiently on every site, whatever job they’re undertaking. “We use our own diggers, dumpers and grab lorries and bring our own materials to the site, which means there’s no waiting around for deliveries to be made. As a result we can work quickly and make the process completely hassle-free for the homeowner.” And when the job’s done the company clears the site and recycles any leftover materials. PEJ has become well known for their ability to work to the highest standards, whilst completing jobs in record time, that’s why the company is always in demand with both domestic and commercial clients alike. “We regularly work with big names in the construction industry, completing groundworks on new build sites for companies like Persimmon Homes, IB Construction, MG Development, Tattenhall Homes and Maythorn Construction.”

With a wealth of commercial experience, it’s no surprise that the PEJ team are adept at handling large projects but they’re always happy to undertake small domestic jobs too. “We’ve completed jobs of all different sizes for our domestic clients, everything from very small patio areas to spacious driveways.” And PEJ’s clients have been delighted with the results. “Our clients have been really impressed with the work we’ve done for them and many have recommended us to their friends and family.” The company even offer interest free credit, meaning that clients can spread the cost of work that PEJ undertake. So, whether you want to enjoy the summer months outside in a redesigned patio and garden area, extend your family’s living space with a small extension or maybe improve the look – and functionality – of your driveway, contact PEJ Construction today.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

For all types of Ground Works, Remedials & Tarmac

We are an established and professional company that specialises in hardscaping and landscaping interest free credit available, please ask for details. (Terms and conditions apply)

Tarmac • Slabbing • block Paving Fencing • landScaPing • building Work “all Work guaranTeed” For a Free estimate call Pete Woodbine

07841 978496 PeJ construction Services Factory Locks Industrial Estate, Factory Road, Tipton DY4 9AU


Win a premium Wine Tasting Experience

with Halfpenny Green Vineyards and arrive in style the grapes are grown - as well as local farm shops, and various branches of Waitrose and Marks and Spencer in the region. Founded in 1983 by Martin Vickers, Halfpenny Green Wine Estate was originally arable farm land worked by the family. Passionate about wine, Martin planted 400 vines as a small hobby vineyard. Ten years and many acres later, after a flurry of awards and excellent reviews, Martin had a full vineyard and a blossoming business on his hands.

Nestled in the South Staffordshire countryside just 10 minutes from Himley, Halfpenny Green Wine Estate is one of the UK’s leading English Wine producers.

The picturesque 30 acre site is home to several varieties of red and white grapes, which are harvested and used to create award winning wines in the Wine Estate’s state of the art on-site winery. The wines are then sold in the site’s shop - just a stone’s throw away from where

Today, the site is managed by Martin’s son Clive, and Clive’s wife Lisa oversees the on-site shop and restaurant. A far cry from the days of the hobby vineyard, Martin can still be found tending to the vines, managing the on-site Craft Centre (home to 15+ businesses), and selling the critically acclaimed wines at markets and shows around the country.

To learn more about Halfpenny Green Wine Estate, head to

COMPETITION Here’s your chance to experience Halfpenny Green Wine Estate’s award winning wines first hand - one lucky winner will receive a Premium Wine Tasting Experience for two. Relax in the shop’s Wine Loft, overlooking the rolling Staffordshire countryside; each guest will enjoy 6 half-glasses of the Wine Estate’s finest, tasting notes, a selection of paired cheeses from the deli, and a self-guided trail through the vines. Arrive in VIP style: the lucky winner will be collected from their doorstep by Signature Luxury Cars and chauffeur driven to the Wine Estate and then taken home at the end of the the tasting session. The local company covers all UK destinations no matter where you need to go. For further details visit 26

To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, simply answer the following question correctly…

What year were the first vines planted at Halfpenny Green? Email your answer including your name, address and telephone number to: or on a postcard to Town & Village Life magazine, 1 Lytham Road, Perton, Wolverhampton, WV6 7YY. All entries to be received by Friday 18th August 2017. Terms and Conditions To enter readers have to be at least 18 years of age. Winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries received and notified by telephone. Booking date subject to availability. No cash or alternative prize available.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017




Book a home visit

01384 273769

FREE HEATER with every patio awning until 30 September 2017

y enjo den gar your year all d roun

Visit us in store AWNINGS

Portway House Stream Road Kingswinford, DY6 9NT


Eaton Kitchens Celebrating 20 years in Business To supply so many leading brands is a testament to the success of the business. When it comes to customer service though, the entire team is as committed as Lloyd: “My dad, along with my two brothers, Stewart and Mark, all worked alongside me right from the start when the company was established in 1997, although my dad retired last year. My wife, Gill, undertakes all the administration tasks, while my mom, Colleen, liaises with our clients from their first enquiry right through to the completion and aftersales.” The friendly team at Eaton Kitchens

The team at Eaton Kitchen Designs is proud to be celebrating their 20th year in business this summer. As owner, Lloyd Pitt explains: “We’re really pleased to have reached such a milestone. We couldn’t have done it without the support we’ve had from the community over the last two decades and we’re very grateful to our loyal customers.” The company has long been committed to offering the highest levels of customer service throughout every aspect of the business, from the initial design process right through to installation. So, it’s no surprise that Eaton Kitchens has been rewarded with a loyal customer base.

that the installations they provide are quality and long-lasting. “We’re not interested in gimmicks or trying to draw-in customers with rock bottom prices because we want to ensure that our clients get the best products and service.” The company has built an enviable reputation in the industry over the years because they’ve always stayed true to their commitment to quality. “As a family-run business our reputation is everything to us. We’ve had great support from our suppliers and manufacturers who have authorised us to retail their products and because we’ve remained a small business we’ve been able to maintain the highest standards.”

Stewart and Mark head the company’s two separate installation teams and their sons have now joined the business. “The next generation is working with us now, as Stewart’s sons - Daniel and Josh - and Mark’s son, Lachlan, have all come on board. We don’t subcontract any of our fitting so that we can guarantee a friendly, efficient service on every job.” “Alongside designing and installing kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms, we can also undertake small building works,” adds Lloyd. So, if you’re keen to give your home a makeover this summer don’t settle for anything less than the highest quality finish, call the expert installers at Eaton Kitchens.

“Ninety percent of our work comes from referrals or repeat business. We find that our clients recommend us to their family and friends and contact us again when they want other work completed at home or if they move to a new property.” And it’s these discerning customers who really appreciate what Eaton Kitchens has to offer. Using only industry leading brands, like Siemens, Neff, Franke and Second Nature, as well as expert in-house fitters, the company work hard to ensure 28

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Kitchens with style – modern – contemporary – traditional Our Extensive range of kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms will enable us to create the room of your dreams. Our Computer Aided Designs will give you the opportunity to experience your new room prior to installation.


For a free no obligation quote please call in at: 20 Finchfield Rd West, Finchfield, WV3 8AZ Telephone: 01902 761600

w w w. e a t o n k i t c h e n d e s i g n s . c o . u k 29

Do you have what it takes to become a

Shared Lives Carer?

Local based charity, CVT (Camphill Village Trust), are currently in the process of developing a new Shared Lives Scheme across Dudley and the surrounding areas and are hoping to recruit paid carers from the T&VL readership. So what is Shared Lives? As a starting point, Shared Lives is sometimes described as ‘a bit like foster care for adults who may be vulnerable or have a disability’, but it’s so much more than that. As a Shared Lives Carer you are carefully matched to support the Person from your own home to develop the skills and lead an ‘ordinary independent life’ just like you and I. The Person then becomes part of the local community, using your social and wider family networks for extra support. Arrangements can be set up Long-Term or just for short-breaks and Respite. There is also opportunity to take part in social events and celebrations, as well as connect to a wealth of 30

support and friendships within the existing Stourbridge community. Training and the assessment takes about 3 months and once approved, CVT provide on-going support to ensure that the highest quality of care is maintained throughout each Arrangement. An Enhanced DBS Check and references are required. You are also paid between £400 and £600 per week depending on the level of support you provide, as well as receive significant tax breaks. You must be over 18 years of age but don’t need any qualifications or experience, just the right values, commitment and of course…..a spare bedroom. If you don’t own your own home, you will need to ask your landlord’s permission for use of your home as a Shared Lives Arrangement. Manager Dean Barnshaw who has 11 years’ experience of developing Shared Lives in Lincolnshire said, “Although this is a new direction for CVT, there is a real synergy with this model of care and the charity’s philosophy, in relation to building community and encouraging everybody to become

active citizens, regardless of ability. Currently, there are about 13,500 people being supported by 8,500 carers across the UK and the Government wish to expand Shared Lives significantly over the coming years. Not only is it cost effective in comparison to hospital or residential care, with average savings of £26K per person, Shared Lives also provides better outcomes for people when they remain in a homely environment, in terms of mental and physical wellbeing. We really hope to encourage more households to become involved; as it truly enriches the lives of everyone involved… it’s such a rewarding role.” If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Shared Lives Carer, then please go to: or contact Dean Barnshaw on 07984 896010 or email:

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Prevention is better than cure…! Boilers often break down in winter, and there couldn't be a worse time to be living in a cold house with no hot why leave it until it’s too late? Butco cover the whole of the Midlands and offer Fixed Cost Servicing & Maintenance Contracts for 1 to 3 years, giving you peace of mind from £9 per month.

for boilers,drains and electrics

Emergency call-out service

24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Wide Range of ExtraCare products available

Competitively priced with 3 levels of cover to choose from, all including an Annual Service.

For Contract Customers, with 98% of calls being responded to on the same day

Including Plumbing, Drainage, Electrical, Security products and services

ButcoCare Maintenance Contracts


ANN VICE R SER all E L I O B ed in includ nance e Maint acts r t n o C

Call today on 0121 355 1121 or visit our website:

Your home in safe hands! Butco Heating Ltd Trinity House, Kingsbury Road, Minworth, Sutton Coldfield B76 9DD

T 0121 355 1121




Can I reseal

Double glazing Problems?

my double glazing? Double-glazed doors and windows are made up of two sealed sheets of glass with an insulating void between them. This gap is either in the form of a vacuum, or more commonly filled with a heavy inert gas such as argon. Together, the panes of glass and the void between them are very effective at preventing heat loss. However, over time the effectiveness of the double-glazing can wane, especially if the seal goes around one of the panes of glass, allowing air to replace either the vacuum or the inert gas between the panes. The most common side effect of a seal going is that the window will fog up, as water vapour condenses on the inside surface of the window. If you notice your windows have become foggy, misty or steamy when you try to look through them, it means that the seals have started to fail. If you have any of the above issues with your double glazing get in touch with Blake’s Glass and Glazing for a cost effective solution. 32

Double glazing repairs to all windows and doors

Don’t replace the frames… just replace the Panes! • Locks repaired • Broken handles and hinges repaired • Upgrade existing windows • 24 hour emergency call out and boarding up service • All glazing backed by our 5 year manufacturers guarantee • 25 years experience, competitive prices

BLAKE’S GLASS AND GLAZING Call John 01902 279790 or 07973 295357 town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Wolverhampton Fireplaces & stoves ltd

Over 100 Fires, Fireplaces and stOves On display acrOss Our 2 stOrey shOwrOOm in 5 themed rOOms


Free SurveyS • Free Delivery • expert Fitting Service | Open 7 Days a Week, Mon-Sat 9.30am-5pm, Sun 11am-3pm

15 Merridale road, Chapel ash, WolverhaMpton, Wv3 9rX 01902 422111

New Solid Oak ranges in store as well as made to measure Curtains and Blinds



e l SNa ow oN!

Telephone: 01902 420699 17-25 Merridale Road, Chapel Ash,Wolverhampton

60% off

Solid oa k fur niture

QUALITY SOLID WOOD FURNITURE IN OAK Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat: 9.30am-5pm

Thurs: 9.30am-3.00pm


Kitchen and Bedroom Technique

Excellence All Round homes. We enjoy dealing with our customers, both old and new, and feel that we develop a really good relationship with them. “Our clients know that we’re always there for them and will tailor our service to meet their needs.” And when it comes to pricing the company is completely transparent: “We start with a design, and then adapt it to suit the budget. Our clients know exactly what it will cost from day one, so there are no added costs or nasty surprises along the way.”

Wolverhampton-based family-run business, Kitchen and Bedroom Technique, has been transforming the homes of its clients since 1982.

our client’s home or suit their requirements. We want our customers to enjoy their new room and be completely satisfied.”

With an excellent reputation and an extremely loyal customer-base, the company has become known as the premier choice for homeowners looking to create their dream fitted kitchen, bathroom or bedroom.

Owner, Steve, says: “We’ve got many years of experience, so we’re able to share our knowledge with clients to help them make the right design choices, whether their planning a new kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, study or office and everything we supply is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.”

Located in Chapel Ash, the business boasts an extensive, fullyequipped showroom that displays just some of the fabulous designs, products and accessories that are on offer from leading manufacturers. Able to take care of every aspect of design, installation and fitting, Kitchen and Bedroom Technique effectively meet the needs of each customer, undertaking all manner of projects both large and small.

And it’s this honest approach that has seen the company set itself apart from the competition.

Whatever you’ve got planned for your home, a visit to Kitchen and Bedroom Technique and a chat with the team is essential. “We recommend that our customers come in to the showroom to take a look at our designs and discuss their ideas, after that Stuart will arrange a home visit.” With Kitchen and Bedroom Technique you can rest assured that you’re dealing with a skilled, experienced and dedicated team, at every stage of the design, planning and installation process.

So, it’s no surprise that 90% of the company’s business is either repeat or recommended:

“Providing excellent customer service is incredibly important to us and we work to only the highest standards in everything that we do,” adds Stuart.

“We have many clients that have used us several times over the past three decades to update their

So why not contact the team today and start planning your dream room?

Owner, Stuart explains: “We’ve designed and fitted rooms in homes of all sizes. We have our very own team of skilled fitters that take care of everything from stripping out to re-plastering, as well as installing lighting and under floor heating.” “We provide a full warranty on fitting and will always sort any problems out immediately,” he adds. For customers who don’t require installation, the company are happy to supply products only, although planning is always essential: “Design is incredibly important, we won’t sell anything that isn’t going to work effectively in 34

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Specialists in the design and complete installation of fitted kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms

For further details please call 01902 714557 or email

80 Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton, WV3 0TT

Open: Monday to Friday 9.30am until 5pm Saturday 10am until 4pm


Quick Crossword Across 7 Picture house (6) 8 Annually (6) 9 Successor (4) 10 Type of artist (8) 11 Space craft (7) 13 Loosen (5) 15 Perfume (5) 17 The mean (7) 20 Put into order (8) 21 Knitting stitch (4) 23 Taken without consent (6) 24 Almost (6)

Down 1 American coin (4) 2 Longs for (6) 3 Incorrectly (7) 4 Thick sweet liquid (5) 5 Occur (6) 6 Permitting (8) 12 Precise (8) 14 Obvious (7) 16 Tidily (6) 18 Revoke (6) 19 Representative (5) 22 Annoy (4)




Puzzle answers on page 97

Word Search Find the words below in the grid and the remaining letters will spell out a phrase.

























WILLIAMS town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

As seen on...



Lighting R Us: Back better than ever better quality products.

Exciting things have been sparking up at Lighting R Us recently and we are ecstatic to finally share with you what it is we’ve been up to. We have totally transformed ourselves and we are back, better than ever. Perhaps you are wondering what we are on about? Well, firstly we have re-branded. Secondly, we now offer an admirable collection of homeware. So, you can refresh your living space with simple decorative accessories or furniture. Lastly, and the best of them all, we have a BRAND-NEW WEBSITE! This means you can transform any room at the flick of a switch with our vast array of products. Allowing you to choose from more styles and


The days of 500 products from 3 different brands are over. We now offer an extensive range of over 10,000 stunning products for you to choose from; all made up of the 10 brands we now stock online. Any lighting product you can think of, we certainly have it. Not to mention our gorgeous range of homeware and accessories. We would say we offer the full package when it comes to upgrading your décor. At Lighting R Us, we pride ourselves on offering a quality selection of stunning and unique lighting online, that will certainly illuminate your home and garden. Our new products cater to both modern and traditional homes. So, there is something to suit every style, décor, and personality. From industrial styled lights for a modern yet rustic approach, to a Tiffany product for that art deco feel. Perhaps go for a traditional ceiling light for a touch of class and character, or on the other hand, a glamorous crystal chandelier. Not to mention ultra-modern spotlights to make your home look sleek and stylish. However, if you want to go all out and impress, as well as showing you know a thing or

two about interior design, go for one of our feature pendants that have the definite wow-factor. Don’t let our name fool you into thinking that lights are all we do, because it certainly is not. Not only do we offer stunning lights, but we also offer an equally stunning collection of homeware and accessories too. Our popular range includes products such as mirrors, bespoke shades, accessories, as well as indoor and outdoor furniture. All from top brands like Pacific Lifestyle, Dar, and Endon. Be sure to check out our outstanding pieces, that will go perfectly in your home no matter what design and décor you have. Add the finishing touch and look online or in store today, because we guarantee something will catch your eye. Our brand-new website is now live at Browse through our large range of quality and stylish products online today, or alternatively, visit us in store at our Aldersley showroom in Wolverhampton.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017


Gift Shop Gallery Picture Framers Summer Sale n ow o n

Two floors of eye catching giftware, jewellery and home accessories provides a visual treat that makes shopping here such a pleasure. To complete that perfect gift, select from a range of beautifully designed contemporary gift wrap and bags. Open: 9.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Saturday



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


town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Bespoke sofas & Quality re-Upholstery

Manufacturing all manner of sofas, settees, chairs, chaise lounge, occasional chairs, curtains and soft furnishing from our base in Cannock, we at Ralvern upholstery can create any type of design - from ultra-modern to classically traditional. Using traditional skills we can also strip down your old suite, sofa, occasional chairs and re-create the original design with our superior re-upholstery service.

Call for a BroChUre tel: 01543 505539 or visit ralvern Upholstery, Unit 19, Martindale, hawks Green, CannoCk, staffs ws11 7Xn


Brierley Hill Bathrooms

Large Showroom Helpful Staff Free Survey Special help for the disabled & elderly Bath removed & shower cubicle with Anti-slip tray installed together with decorative waterproof wall panelling (no grout lines), shower valve, seat & grab rails

from ÂŁ1,950 inc. VAT Bathrooms fully fitted from ÂŁ3,950 inc. VAT 42

01384 484088 10/11 Garratt Street, Brierley Hill, DY5 1JU town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Manufacturers, Suppliers & Installers of all types of domestic and commercial fencing and gates. • Over 30 Years’ Experience • Free Quotations • Local Authority Approved • Competitive Prices • Insurance Work Undertaken • Metal or Wood Fencing & Gates • All work guaranteed



‘Good At What We Do’ Call us today on:

01384 482922

Heath Mill Industrial Est, Heath Mill Road, Wombourne WV5 8AP


Grand Theatre COMPETITION best friend Holly lure Robbie out of the dumpster and back into the limelight? Or is he going to see her head off down the aisle with Wall Street bad boy Glen. Only Grandma Rosie seems to be able to see that Robbie and Julia are the couple that are meant to be. West End and Musical Theatre star Jon Robyns plays Robbie Hart. Most recently he starred in Legally Blonde as Emmett Forrest, other theatre credits include Enjolras in Les Misérables, Spamalot, Memphis and Avenue Q.

One lucky reader can win 2 tickets to see THE WEDDING SINGER on Tuesday 3rd October at 7.30pm at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.

He is joined on stage by British singer-songwriter Ray Quinn as Glen who shot to fame as the runner-up in ITV1’s The X Factor in 2006 and as champion of Dancing on Ice in 2009. In 2014 he won

Dancing on Ice: Champion of Champions. His theatre credits include Danny Zuko in Grease (West End), Dirty Dancing (West End) and Legally Blonde (UK Tour). Don’t miss your chance to join the party of the year – with a musical that promises to get you up dancing faster than your Dad at a wedding, The Wedding Singer is packed with songs which capture all the fun and energy of the Adam Sandler smash hit film. Tickets for THE WEDDING SINGER from 3 – 7 October 2017 are now on sale at The Grand Theatre Box Office.

Step back in time and get ready for the biggest party in town! A sparkling new production of The Wedding Singer will play Wolverhampton Grand Theatre for one week only from 3 – 7 October. Jon Robyns, Ray Quinn, Cassie Compton and Ruth Madoc will star in the hilarious musical based on the hit film. It’s 1985. Hair is huge, greed is good and rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart is New Jersey’s favourite wedding singer. When his own fiancée dumps him at the altar a seriously bummed out Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own. Can sweet natured Julia and her

To book your seats today please go online at or contact the Box Office by calling 01902 42 92 12.

To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the following question correctly and send it on a postcard with your name, address and telephone number to Town and Village Life Magazine or email by Monday 21st August 2017.

What year is The Wedding Singer set? A. 1958 B. 1993 C. 1985 D. 2008 44

Competition Terms and Conditions Please send postal entries to Town & Village Life Magazine, 1 Lytham Road, Perton, Wolverhampton WV6 7YY or email info@townandvillagelifemag. To be received no later than Monday 21st August 2017. 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 | july/august 2017

Enjoy thE diffErEncE • Large selection of cards and gifts for all occasions

Arriving shortly

• Bags, homeware, watches and more from Orla Kiely

Cath Kidston Autumn Range

• Jewellery from Espree and Equilibrium

See Facebook for latest news

• Beautiful gifts for new baby and christening • Bags, homeware and much more from Cath Kidston

PuzzlEs • stationary • toilEtriEs • umbrEllas • watchEs

Now in Store

Radley London Bags Purses Watches Celebrations of Stourbridge, 47 High Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 1DE

Telephone: 01384 376546

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday: 9am - 5pm Sunday: closed Follow us on Facebook and Instagram – discover our latest new lines and special offers


You never know

what’s around the corner…

Why it pays to insure our pets By Deb Bellars, Group Insurance Manager, Blacks Vets Are all insurance policies the same? Insurance is usually something we all have in one form or another. Whether for our home, car or holiday, making sure we are financially protected should the worst happen, has become second nature. However, insurance may not be the first thing that springs to mind when we bring home a lovely new puppy or bundle of fluff kitten and you may not want to contemplate what would happen if your new pet fell ill or was hurt in a serious accident. Unfortunately, as there is no NHS equivalent for pets, medical bills can come as something of a shock to pet owners when their pet does require veterinary treatment, compounding what is already a very stressful and difficult time.

Unfortunately, the answer to that is no. There are four different types of policy: •

Cover For Life Policy These are the best type of policy to have, especially if your pet develops a long term, recurring or chronic illness. For example: diabetes, epilepsy, arthritis or a skin condition. This policy renews the vet fee benefit each year for the rest of your pet’s life, as long as premiums are up to date. Time Limited Policy - This type of policy will usually cover your pet for up to 12 months from when the illness or injury first occurred. Unfortunately, when the maximum cover or 12 months is reached your pet will no longer be covered for this problem. Maximum Benefit Policy (No time limit) - These policies have no time limit but have maximum cover for the life of your pet, per condition. Once this amount is reached

your pet will no longer be covered for this problem. •

Accident Only Policy - This type of policy usually offers the most basic level of cover and therefore usually has cheaper premiums, but less extensive cover. It does not cover illness and has no added policy benefits. (For example it will not offer holiday cancellation cover or death benefits.)

So, if for instance your pet has a road traffic accident or has been attacked by another animal, this is likely to be covered. Always think very carefully and give a great deal of consideration when selecting a policy and make sure that you read the terms and conditions.

Does Pet Insurance work on the same principle as Car or Home Insurance? Can I change insurance company annually if they offer cheaper premiums? This is not something that we would recommend as Pet Insurance works differently to other types of policies. If you choose to change your insurance

Most vets will have experienced heartbreaking scenarios where a client is left trying to balance their beloved pet’s medical needs with financial limitations, and at Blacks, we firmly recommend taking out pet insurance as a safe way to best serve the needs of our patients and their owners. Here is our guide to what to look for in a pet insurance policy. 46

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

cover is guaranteed by the insurer, we can liaise directly with them to settle veterinary bills. Alternatively, we can deal with insurers on your behalf and have insurance money paid to you to then settle bills with.

company and you have made a claim with your current company, it is vitally important that you are aware that any illness or injury that your pet may have had will then be taken as pre- existing. This means that this will then count as an exclusion on any future policy and will no longer be covered.

Do you offer a claim service where you can claim the money back directly on our behalf? Yes, we do and best of all it’s a free service! This is a huge benefit to clients as it allows them to concentrate fully on their poorly pet without worrying about insurance paperwork. We offer both Direct and Owner claim services meaning that providing

How can I be certain that my insurance company will pay the treatment costs for my pet? If there is any uncertainty as to whether your pet is covered for a certain procedure and the treatment is not urgent, a pre authorisation request can be submitted on your behalf to your insurance company. This needs to be submitted at least one week before treatment of your pet is started. This allows for an additional check and peace of mind should the treatment become costly. If approved, the treatment will need to be carried out as soon as possible as strict time limits usually apply. Not all insurance companies offer this to their clients so if you

feel this is something that your pet may need, please call your insurance company for advice. We appreciate that pet insurance can be a minefield when trying to select the perfect policy for your pet and your pocket. We always recommend a Cover for Life Policy which generally means that each condition is covered for the duration of your pet’s life, not just for the year. Here at Blacks Vets we recommend Pet Plan, which provides a great choice of cover options. Once you have made your choice, help is always at hand, simply call our Insurance Office based at our Dudley hospital on 01384 823534 and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help.





Worcestershire this summer Jacuzzi® Worcestershire, based at Webbs Garden Centre in Wychbold, is the perfect place for prospective hot tub buyers. As a global brand, Jacuzzi® carefully selects the perfect locations to sell hot tubs and it’s never been easier or more enjoyable than with Jacuzzi Worcestershire. The team is made up of Jennifer, Emma and Natalie and together they are on hand to guide you through the range that Jacuzzi® has to offer and help you to select the perfect hot tub for 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. As part of your hot tub research, Jacuzzi® Worcestershire offer the ‘try before you buy’ experience make an appointment and bring your swimsuit down to the garden centre so you can take a wet test under the privacy of a gazebo. Being able to fully experience a Jacuzzi® hot tub allows you to have confidence in the product you choose and familiarise yourself with how they work, whilst having expert staff on hand to help you and show you all the great features that only a Jacuzzi® hot tub has.

L-R: Emma, Natalie and Jennifer


A common misconception is that buying a hot tub is expensive and out of reach for many people - Jacuzzi® Worcestershire can offer a range of finance options available to you. As an added incentive, Jacuzzi are currently offering £1000 off* a select range of hot tubs. Owning a hot tub is easy, affordable and most importantly it’s enjoyable. Visit the team at Webbs Garden Centre and they will happily talk you through the finance options available – whether it’s 0% Interest or Buy Now Pay Later, there is something to suit everybody’s needs. You can even spread the cost over up to 5 years with as little as a £100 deposit.

With 5 star service from one of the UK’s leading hot tub suppliers, not only will you benefit from the sound knowledge that the team have in the process of buying your hot tub, but the aftercare that comes with a Jacuzzi® hot tub is second to none and helps to make your hot tub experience all the more enjoyable and easy. Whether it’s advice on using chemicals in your hot tub, replacing your filters or just general training on the everyday use of your hot tub, Jacuzzi® Worcestershire is prepped to help in every way. With Jacuzzi® Worcestershire, your hot tub purchase will become a fun, stress-free and exciting experience. To take advantage of this premium service and to benefit from £1000 off*, call today on 01527 869 378 or better still drop into the showroom and have a look at the extensive range of hot tubs on display. Visit if you’re keen to do a little more online research. Quote JW500 to receive £1000 off the RRP Inc. VAT on any J-300™, J-400™ or J-500™ hot tub. Order to be placed by 31st August and delivered by 31st October 2017 to qualify.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017


Summer in the garden

Spring started early this year, but then the sharp frosts of April damaged large amounts of young growth, setting everything back again. We even had customers mention that the frost had damaged young growth on Oak and Walnut trees, a very unusual occurrence. As we move from June into July and August there’s still time to plant larger pots of Geraniums, Fuchsias, Cosmos and Dahlias to fill in any gaps in borders. Water to get established and feed on a weekly basis. Dead head regularly and you’ll have colour through to the first autumn frosts, which hopefully will be late starting. Hanging Baskets want liquid feeding weekly - even with the slow release fertilizers added to composts, you’ll see the extra benefits from liquid feed. Baskets soon dry out

especially when they’re sheltered from rain at the side of a house so watering morning and night in very warm weather is a must. Tomatoes and cucumbers need water regularly during hot weather – preferably in the morning – this keeps the atmosphere humid and prevents the plants staying damp overnight which can cause problems with powdery mildew or botrytis – this is especially true for cucumbers as they can be very susceptible to mildew. Keep sowing or planting salad crops such as lettuce, spinach, spring onions and radish in the veg patch to get a continuous harvest. Use very fine netting to cover cabbages, cauliflowers, carrots and other particularly susceptible vegetables against flies, pigeons and butterflies. Harvest peas and runner beans regularly whilst they are young

Tips are provided by Ann Winwood, Lealans Garden Centre, Wolverhampton and tender, freeze any spares for home grown vegetables during the winter months. Keep beans and peas moist and spray over the foliage to encourage pods to set. There’s still time to treat moss on lawns with M O Bacter if the weather is not too dry and we have regular supplies coming in. For smaller areas of moss try the new Bio Press from the same supplier, which can be watered onto the lawn? For new potatoes in October, or at Christmas, plant seed potatoes in tubs in July and August. Growth will finish in October, but leave the tubers in their pots until required for cooking. Remember they’ll need frost protection once the winter frosts appear in November and December.


Bridgnorth Road, Shipley, Pattingham, Wolverhampton WV6 7EZ

Planted hanging baskets ready now Tel 01902 700209 50

Wide selection of Herbaceous, Shrubs and Trees.

Giftware, stone ornaments and bird baths always in stock. town & village life magazine | july/august 2017


Pick up your copy in store

Open to Retail & Trade customers Littles Lane, Wolverhampton WV1 1JY Call: 01902 577000


THE GARDEN IN SUMMER One of the problems summer weather brings in its wake is a tendency for tall and not-so-tall plants to bolt. Just a light sprinkling of rain will do it.

One minute you’ve a well ordered garden with border plants arranged in descending order from the back, the next, and you have an untidy wilderness of giants bending under their own weight. Have plenty of stakes to hand so you can tie them up before they fall down. Bedding plants will greatly benefit from a feed of weak liquid manure around the middle of summer. Hardy annuals will also need attention, water, feed and a brisk hoeing will suit them. If the weather is dry you will need to water the rock garden, vegetable garden and the lawn, and you should mulch like mad all over. Leave the grass cuttings on the lawn after mowing as this also prevents rapid evaporation of moisture. Don’t be taken in by lots of heavy rain, judge the dampness of the weather or otherwise by examining the soil, because in summer especially, rain can evaporate faster than it takes to soak the ground, even after a torrential downpour. You will have to clip and prune hedges and shrubs to keep them growing in the right way 52

and there will be lots of woody rubbish about. Don’t put this on the compost heap as it will take years to rot down. Instead, burn it and put the ashes on the heap. This is the peak time for cuttings. Roses especially can be propagated this way and it really is the cheapest and easiest way of increasing your stock.

Of course weeds will also be going great guns and they can become a nuisance on crazy paving and other pathways. You can use any of the proprietary herbicides if you wish, but common salt is cheaper and does just as good a job. Should you have ventured into cucumber growing you should keep a close watch on their development. They need plenty of water or the fruit will be bitter. The plant itself also likes to be damp, so spray it all over gently each day if necessary. As soon as several fruit have set, feed generously with liquid manure or some similar artificial fertiliser. Runner beans are another vegetable that need copious water, most especially when the flower buds are showing. Again the plants will greatly appreciate gentle spraying after each hot day is over, and careful attention to this will bring a reward of fresh succulent beans on your plate later on. Many gardeners think

it is just leaving the pods on the plant for too long that gives those harsh, stringy vegetables. This is seldom the case however and long pods full of almost mature beans can be just as palatable provided enough water has been provided throughout the fruiting season.

If you are thinking of laying a new lawn, the site may be cleared and levelled and left to ‘air’ ready for planting next season. On established lawns the work of mowing and watering must go on. In addition pay particular attention to edges by trimming and securing where necessary. Edges that have fallen away may be cut back, built up again and prepared for re-turfing. Turf should normally be laid in August but make sure it is well watered and it will take and do well. If your ground tends to be on the soft side, consider using a stiff metal or plastic lawn edging as this will provide the support needed to stop constant edge crumbling. The garden in full swing in summer should be a blaze of colour. Do remember however that blooms fade and die. They can spoil the look of the area if they are not removed, so keep dead-heading and, while you are about it, don’t forget to hoe amongst those weeds, they can be just as unsightly.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Making your driveway an integral part


by Martin Neenan, General Manager, at Boningale Garden Creations

Your driveway is an important part of your landscaping because it gives a first impression of your home – they call this ‘kerb appeal’, making the approach to your home attractive and appealing. However, is also likely that your driveway will be driven on every

day. That means in addition to looking good, it needs to be durable and functional. A well-designed driveway will take into account the surrounding landscape as well as your home’s architectural style and car parking needs. The four main issues that a designer considers when creating and building a driveway are access, safety, drainage and aesthetics. Materials are the most important component in the design and with so many options, from block paving and asphalt to concrete and gravel, to choose from, it may feel overwhelming. It’s important to look at the width and layout of your driveway to see

which will work best but ultimately, your budget and design goals will determine what you choose. A good designer will advise on the pros and cons of each material and may also suggest additional ideas, such as multiple colours to create a pattern, pattern stamping or decorative borders, lighting or gates. While many homeowners understandably want to maximise the space they have to park their cars safely on their property, try not to create a car park. Planting softens the hardscaping, creates a more inviting space and assists with drainage, but choose carefully the shrubs and plants that will be used in the borders alongside driveways – check for overhang, maximum growth and spread. For further information and advice on choosing a striking driveway, please visit, email or call us on 01902 376500.

For further information and advice, please visit, email or call us on 01902 376500.

garden creations

garden creations INSPIRING


Creating your perfect outdoor space is a big step, but you’ll be in safe hands with garden creations.



Our award – winning designers offer imaginative designs to suit your personality and life style, traditional or contemporary, large or small. Our experienced landscape team offer a complete planting and landscaping service which will bring your garden design to life.

Contact us today



So why not contact Martin for a free consultation to discuss your dream garden further.

01902 376500




Casino 36 Escape to the action Following the successful launch of Casino 36 in Wolverhampton, Company Director, Adrian Ballard, has turned his attention to the Castle Casino, Dudley, with the intention of creating a similar facility for the people of Dudley.

said, “the ground floor will house a 450 seat Main Stage Bingo hall, which will provide up to 14 sessions per week, with state of the art facilities and technology for a relaxed and pleasurable bingo experience. The casino will be on the first floor of the property, and will provide all the traditional casino favourites, such as Roulette and Blackjack, as well as the latest innovations in casino technology”.

Casino 36 Ltd plans to invest in excess of £12m in to the project that will create an additional 74 new full time jobs for the local community, the new facility is planned to open next year.

Mr Dobson further commented, “Bingo has never really fallen out of fashion, but in more recent years it has become a regular pastime for people in their 20s and 30s. It is becoming a familiar sight in Bingo halls up and down the country to see young adults enjoying their free time with the more mature generations, it is warming to know that we can be a part of this growing pastime”.

The new purpose built property will be located on the Castlegate Park which offers hotels, cinemas and restaurants amongst other forms of entertainment. The new Casino and Bingo hall will enhance the vibrancy of this area of the town and provide additional tourism, economic benefits and employment opportunities.

Mr Ballard said, “the fabulous job the Dudley Council have done in regenerating Dudley town centre has inspired me to look to the future of Dudley, and contribute to its forthcoming prominence”. He continued, “Dudley has, in my eye, always been a leading market town, the plans to move the area forward is admirable, and something I am keen to be involved in. I feel the opportunities our new site will provide will complement these plans and be an additional vehicle to bring much needed tourism back to the borough. When considering which new facilities to offer, we didn”t want to just cater to an existing client market. We are determined to provide something that the area is lacking, and are focused on providing new facilities in a friendly and safe environment where people can relax in an exciting and fresh new setting”.

Group General Manager, Craig Dobson said, “the Castlegate Park already has many great facilities, we wanted to build on that and drive more visitors to the area. We are keen to maintain the traditional Black Country roots of our existing Castle Casino but with a modern look. “Our new facilities will be spread over two floors”, Mr Dobson 54

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017


Dave Russon Painter & Decorator Professional Painting & Decorating

◗ Interior & Exterior ◗ Reliable & friendly service ◗ City and Guilds Qualified For a free quote please call

01902 687818 or 07710 485036 Woodbank Road, Sedgley, DY3 3NW

Perfection - Ironing Services • Very high standards • DBS checked • Excellent references available from existing customers • 20 years experience • Competitive rates Areas covered include: Stourbridge, Wordsley, Kingswinford, Wall Heath, Prestwood, Stourton, Amblecote, Wollaston & Lawnswood

Contact Marie on: 01384 621600 or 07512 746525

» 35 Years Experience » Fully Insured » Trusted, Reliable & Honest » Competitive Rates

Tel: 01384 271038

Mob: 07793 589984

» NVQ Level 3


10 Pineways, Wordsley, Stourbridge DY8 5JH

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Local company services all types of boiler

for just £39!

Around 50 people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning*

With local company Gas First servicing all makes of boiler for just £39, now really is a golden opportunity to get your boiler checked out for peace of mind. Based in Kingswinford, Gas First utilises the very latest combustion testing equipment and provide gas safety certificates after each service. Gas First engineer Martin explains: “ The special offer really is an inclusive price, we do not charge for add ons and we do NOT attempt to sell additional services. Customers can be assured that they are dealing with a gas safe registered engineer, fully trained and insured to offer a comprehensive boiler service. Servicing normally takes one hour.”

Anything else? “We pride ourselves on punctuality; if we say 2 pm we really do mean it.” Martin added “... and if someone is not ready for their annual service yet, they can still book now and secure the offer price, even if it’s not due till next year”. Services can be booked by telephone or you can book online at *source

So what happens if the service takes longer? Martin continues “a couple of weeks ago I spent over 2 hours sorting out a problem during a service. The customer was quite surprised when I said it was still just £39. People seem to think there is a catch, there isn’t. The offer is not FROM £39, it is £39. The offer is genuine and this is the amount you will pay.”


by Helen Taylor

Meet the boss

Deborah Mitchell’s Journey to Success The road to success in business is far from easy, as Deborah Mitchell discovered when she set out on a journey to launch her now iconic skincare range, Heaven. In this exclusive interview, Deborah reveals how she created her unique brand, took the beauty industry by storm and earned a legion of celebrity fans on her way to becoming a global success. A driving ambition was there right from the start when, aged 17, she joined Tettenhall-based hair salon Mr Nicholas. “Although I’m a sensitive person, I’ve always been incredibly ambitious and keen to move on to bigger, better things,” explains Deborah. And it was this ambition that pushed her to leave to set up as a mobile beautician. “I knew what I needed to cover my mortgage and quickly picked up several clients, but because I had little money to buy products, I decided to make my own.” 58

Her clients were delighted with her homemade products and soon Deborah was inundated with customers. “When I created my After Soother cream – which calmed inflamed skin – I decided to send it off to be professionally packaged. When I got the finished product back I excitedly showed my then husband, who was less than interested, so, I decided to throw him out.” Ending her marriage meant Deborah faced new challenges. “I couldn’t afford to pay the mortgage on my own, so I rented the house out to a lovely Chinese businessman named Henry, who shared a great deal of business knowledge with me, and moved back in with my parents.” More motivated than ever and keen to transform her situation, Deborah began working even harder and became ever more focused on the business. “To focus my mind I’d often ‘imagine my mountain’; thinking about where I wanted to be and how I could achieve my goals.”

With her business expanding, Deborah needed to find a location to work from. “I needed a treatment room, so I started treating clients at the Holiday Inn, unfortunately, the only space available was their disabled toilet.” Despite the less than ideal treatment room, Deborah made a massive success of her time there, ultimately earning £12,000 a month before the company decided to run the operation themselves. In 1998 Deborah married her current husband, Chris Cox - the son of one of her former clients at Mr Nicholas - and moved to Oaken. The couple later had two children, Ella and Christopher. “I opened my salon in Shifnal as I was about to give birth to my second child, I renovated the building but I couldn’t afford to install a staircase. Although my father-in-law offered to lend me the money, I refused, knowing that facing difficult situations always made me come out fighting.” In fact, Deborah thrived on the challenge: “I managed without a staircase for some time and

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

when I finally could afford one, it was incredibly rewarding.” And there were similar challenges to come. “The handmade bottles, used for one of my early products, leaked in transit to Hong Kong. I purchased new packaging but again didn’t have enough money, so I re-mortgaged the house I rented out in Newport, bought a cheap house in Wellington and then remortgaged again to raise funds.” The investment was worth it, as Victoria Beckham took notice of Deborah’s brand and became a massive fan. “I was working at Beatties, doing treatments and selling my products from there – in fact I was supplying 16 of their stores. My brand was the highest earning on their beauty department, pulling in £10,000 a week, and Victoria Beckham often phoned up to purchase my products.” Deborah’s Age Defiance cream was now gaining a massive following. “The formula contains hydrochloric acid - effective at both treating spots and giving the skin a youthful look - so teenagers looked better and adults looked like teenagers.” Business was booming but, as a result of carrying out so many treatments, Deborah injured her wrist. “Obviously my hands are massively important, so at the time I insured them for £100,000. Now they’re insured for £15million, half the prorata turnover of the business.” The Heaven name was starting to become known internationally and Deborah was invited to Dubai by a buyer. “The buyer purchased £5,000 worth of products and paid for my flight. During that week in Dubai I made huge progress and was really able to take the brand forward.” Premature ageing of the skin is inevitable for those living in a country that has an incredibly hot and humid climate, so when Deborah’s incredible antiageing range hit the market, it was a phenomenal success. “On immediate contact with the skin my products make a remarkable difference to dehydrated, sun damaged skin, so everyone was interested.” As a result, Heaven even caught the attention of the royal family of Dubai.

Back at home Deborah maintained the pace and continued to make products and promote the brand. And, it wasn’t only the royal family of Dubai that were keen to find out more about Heaven. “I had a phone call inviting me to Buckingham Palace to do a treatment for the Duchess of Cornwall, she was really impressed with the results and asked me to come back again.” “Whilst I was treating Camilla I noticed that I had a prominent frown line and decided I needed to do something about it.” Not keen to opt for Botox, Deborah instead decided to create her own solution. “I focused my mind that evening and woke up in the morning with an idea; bee venom.” Deborah’s sister kept bees, so she headed straight to the hive. “There I found abeetoxin, a botulism toxin, which would relax the facial muscles.”

soon it became well known that I was doing the treatments.” Everyone wanted a piece of the action and soon there were many copycat companies trying to recreate Deborah’s revolutionary product. Even more interest developed in the Heaven brand and Deborah received a call from a buyer in China who wanted to buy her products. “It turned out that the buyer’s father was the CEO of Shiseido. I was able to strike-up a lucrative deal with them, thanks to the skills I learned from Henry.” And Deborah’s products would make an appearance in hundreds of countries across the world in the years that followed. “I was looking out of the window of my Marina Plaza office in Dubai when I remembered ‘my mountain’. Although I’m somewhere near to where I wanted to be, I still feel that I’m only on the first step as there’s still plenty more to do.”

“My clients loved it, Camilla tried the treatment and she was really impressed too.”

As passionate as ever about the business, Deborah has recently created an exciting product using Heaven’s latest Prism Light Defiance TechnologyTM – Prism Age Defiance Cream, to help improve the DNA of the skin structure, boosting collagen and elastin to protect against UV rays that come from sunlight as well as infra-red (IR) light from computer, tablet and phone screens (VIS).

Deborah perfected the formula and her clients reported even more benefits from the product than expected.

“My latest product is perhaps the greatest I’ve ever created. It’s a natural sun filter - that’s organic and completely free of chemicals.”

“It wasn’t just proving to be an alternative to Botox, it was also healing skin and conquering allergies.”

Never before has the skincare industry seen a product that is activated when it comes into contact with spectrums of light.

Clients noticed their scars disappeared and they were able to keep breakouts at bay.

“The cream is a revolutionary anti-ageing moisturiser that generates smoother, tighter skin and reverses the signs of sun damage, something we never thought we could change!”

Along with Royal Jelly, another natural product found in the hive, Deborah created the product that she’s become best known for. Not only did the treatment serve to fight the tell-tale signs of ageing but it also nourished and illuminated the skin.

“Gwyneth Paltrow started asking questions about bee venom and Victoria Beckham wanted to know why I hadn’t given her the product yet. Meanwhile I was still regularly treating the royal family.” Even the press noticed that the Duchess of Cornwall was looking better than ever and they contacted the palace for comment.

As with all of Deborah’s products the results are amazing. Prism Technology even has its own App that can be downloaded using your mobile’s light to create a home facial. It is available from the App Store and Google Play.

“When I saw that the press had got hold of the story, I knew it hadn’t come from me. It turned out that the palace had told them – as they never lie to reporters - so

Thanks to Deborah and her outstanding range of products, we can all hold back the years and enjoy looking younger for longer. 59

Halfpenny Green Vineyards On Saturday 10th June Halfpenny Green Wine Estate held their second annual Food & Wine Festival, a free event celebrating the local and British products sold in the shop and the wine made in the on-site winery.


The public came out in droves to enjoy a lovely day in South Staffordshire amongst the vines tasting wines, beers, gins and liqueurs, as well as a range of food, snacks and confectionery all sold in the Wine Estate’s shop and Wine Loft.

Visitors also enjoyed a chance to explore the 15 plus bespoke and artisan businesses in the on-site Craft Centre, as well as WILD Zoological Park, one of the latest additions to the site, featuring a range of exotic animals from all over the world.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017 Registered Charity No . 1086020

Join us for a with friends and family from Himley Hall to Wolverhampton Race Course and you can help to make a difference to seriously & terminally ill children.

REGISTER NOW : For more information please:

Call : 01902 212451 Email :

Visit :


Compton Hospice Family Camp Out the opportunity to enjoy two nights camping and two days and evenings of activities and entertainment.

Pitch your tent and enjoy a range of crafts and activities including archery, grass sledging, zip lining, keep fit and much more – all for one great price! Let mum master the climbing wall, while dad tries his hand at the shooting range and the kids go all Ray Mears in our bushcraft sessions. Alternatively simply soak

up the sun and get back to nature as you and your family explore the woodland glades away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In the evenings why not join in the Compton Campfire (weekend campers only), complete with acoustic sessions and a traditional sing-along, great entertainment for all of the family.

Pause the computer games, put down the smart phones and shut the lids on those laptops… join us for our third annual Compton Hospice Family Camp Out. Bring the whole clan and join the Compton team as they set up camp in the heart of the picturesque Kinver Scout Woods. From Friday 11th to Sunday 13th August 2017 we will be offering you

Weekend ticket for a family of 5 just £130! For more information please contact Vicki Wootton on 0845 2255497 or email 62

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Registered Charity No. 512387

nd Weekend a day passes available

Family Camp Out & Activity Weekend Archery * Rifle Shooting * Activity Wall * Keep Fit * Bushcraft * Campfires * Live Entertainment

Set up camp at the beautiful Kinver Scout Camp in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside, then try your hand at a range of activities including; Archery, Rifle Shooting, Bushcraft, Climbing Wall, Zip Wire, Keep Fit and much more all for one great price!

Make this summer one to remember and book your place today!

Friday 11th to Sunday 13th August 2017 Full Weekend With Camping Family (2 adults & up to 3 children) £130 per family Adults (aged18+) £35 per adult Children (under 18) £25 per child Full Weekend No Camping Family (2 adults & up to 3 children) £110 per family Adults (aged18+) £30 per adult Children (under18) £20 per child Day Passes (Saturday Only) Adult £20 Children £15 (under 18)


Summer – the most important season at

Halfpenny Green Wi n e E s t a t e To complement a visit, guests are also invited to dine in the Wine Estate’s restaurant and tea room. All food is prepared on-site and cooked fresh to order by a team of chefs, served to your table by waiting staff. Featuring a full mains menu served daily 12PM-3:30PM, as well as daily and Sunday specials, breakfasts, cream teas, cakes, drinks and high teas, the tranquil site near Wombourne is the perfect destination for a full three course meal, or even just a quick bite this summer.

As the sun pokes its head out, and the Great British public grab the sun cream and head outside, the staff at Halfpenny Green Wine Estate will be hard at work. July and August are the two biggest growing months for vineyards across the U.K., typically seeing the highest temperatures and sunshine levels of the year – all leading to bigger, juicier grapes, perfect for producing high quality wines. Halfpenny Green isn’t just working hard to produce internationally award-winning wines, though. Announced late May, the Wine Estate are now proud owners of a Silver Medal in the International Wine Challenge Cellar Door competition, which judges estates and vineyards based on their overall visitor experience – no small feat given that Halfpenny


Green were the only destination to win an award outside of the South East of England. Up for critique in particular were the Wine Estate’s on-site shop and Wine Loft, which offer visitors a unique insight into the English wines grown and produced entirely on the 30 acre South Staffordshire site. A selection of the Halfpenny Green’s wines are available to the public for free sampling 7 days a week. For a more in-depth approach, guests can enjoy full wine tasting experiences - complete with cheese and a self-guided trail of the vineyard - whilst overlooking the serene Staffordshire countryside. Or, new for 2017, the Wine Loft now offers gin tasting experiences, complementing the shop’s range of 70+ handcrafted British gins. The Wine Estate also offers guided tours of the vineyard and winery for those keen to learn more about winemaking in the English climate – including a tasting and a two course meal! Tours are available for booking on selected dates throughout the year; upcoming dates include Thursday 7th September and Thursday 5th October. Private group tours are available to book for groups of 15 or more throughout the year.

‘Wine Estate’ isn’t just a fancy term for a vineyard, though, as the site is also home to a bustling craft centre with over 15 artisan businesses, all offering bespoke services. A great place to pick up a special or commissioned gift, or simply just indulge your hobbies, the craft centre wonderfully complements the site’s intimate feel. Opened in 2016, WILD Zoological Park is one of the newest additions to the site. Showcasing a range of animals from all over the world, featuring daily shows and feeding times, it’s the perfect way for the whole family to spend a day together. Halfpenny Green Wine Estate is open 7 days a week, 9AM5PM. If you’re looking for a different day out, pop along to the South Staffordshire site. With something for all ages and appetites, Halfpenny Green Wine Estate is the perfect summer destination.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

A family business, established in 1983, 30 acres of vines are managed by Martin and 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.





public tours

(by booking only) Thur 7th Sept Thur 5th Oct

à la carte evening

Wine & Gin Tastings

Friday 15th Sept

in the Wine Loft throughout the year

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


Harleys to unleash their Gelato experience

It’s the quintessential treat of an English summer… a flute of bubbly, sweet strawberries and ice cream. Add that to that of a stately seat setting in a rural hideaway, a garden terrace with views over the gentle,

Staffordshire landscape and you’re getting close to perfection. And if the rain comes, as it often does, the chilled indulgence is available indoors. This enticing experience is being offered as the latest development in the Harleys Smoke House story. But owner Terrie Beardsmore is quick to point out “it’s not just another trendy ice cream parlour.” Opening in July, The Gelato Bar, promises to add another food heaven experience at the family-run business in Kinver. Already, each floor of the reclaimed stables and outbuildings delivers a distinctly different mood for diners. Seamlessly stitched together with wrought ironwork balustrades, woven with rustic themes, a staircase from the main restaurant takes you to a relaxed cocktails area on the first level. After a few more steps there’s the option of well-established tapas dining and a little further, the new Gelato encounter. Continue and you’ll discover even more ‘treasures’ aimed at private functions, conferences and wedding parties. Rooted in American food traditions, the smoked tastes of the Land of The Free have been cleverly integrated into a menu that also delivers Spanish-derived tapas dishes and all of them magically pandering to less ostentatious British preferences. Now the flavours of Italy are joining the party in a kind of alchemy that promises extraordinary results. The whole Harleys project is the stuff of dreams – fabulously grandiose in concept, outrageously brave, a plan scorned by bankers – yet, executed in a way that only the best of Black Country could do. What you see is owner Terrie Beardsmore’s vision. With “soul mate” Wilf and son Simon, this

family trio has created a genuinely unique UK dining experience. In recent weeks, the arrival of the Gelato churning machine has seen extensive staff training and the development of tantalising recipes. Gelato cakes, iced treats using fresh fruits, an assortment of gins, prosecco and champagne are being developed, along with more traditional summer offerings. “The Gelato bar is another extension to our walk-through dining experience. If customers wish, in a single sitting, they can have three different cultural food events in different settings. “Our surroundings obviously lend themselves to English countryside imaginings and we’ll be obliging with traditional ice cream flavours to suit. “Look out for elderflower, lavender, sherry trifle, apple pie and even bubblegum infusions,” says Terrie. Gelato – Italian for ice cream – is defined by its distinctive texture and is a world apart from regular ice cream. Served at lower temperature, it is silkier and softer and because the percentage of fat is generally lower than its rival, it allows main flavour ingredients to shine through. Since it opened in November 2015, thousands of covers have been served at Harley’s, just across the courtyard from the more traditional Dunsley Hall.

For table reservations, large or small or further details please call 01384 878899, alternatively book via the website 66

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

The r Gelato Bheare you

w g soon openin your experience can end mpagne granite ha with a C ade ice cream. m m o or h e g in azing din A truly am ce on experien rstep. your doo

At Harleys, we are focused on providing that home smoked taste of yesteryear. BBQ isn’t about flash grilling, it’s about slow cooking over a low heat to give you that succulent taste. What lies behind the Victorian wall at Harleys Smokehouse? A veritable oasis of herbs, fruit trees with a slice of tranquillity and loads of mint for our Mojitos. You can sit sipping a large selection of Gins and then savour the flavours of the grazing boards, whilst waiting for your table in Harleys Smokehouse to dine on ribs or steak… the choice is amazing.

SmokehouSe and Cocktail bar

Open: Monday to Thursday 12pm-9.30pm Friday & Saturday 9am-10pm Sunday 9am-9pm To avoid disappointment please book on 01384 878899 39a Dunsley Road, Kinver DY7 6LU harleyssmokehouse


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 over 28 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.

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 68 town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Travel in Style with

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 summer, make sure that you travel there in style, with Signature Luxury Cars’ professional chauffeur service.

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.”

“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.

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

S I G N AT U R E | L U X U R Y C A R S Luxury Chauffeurs for all Occasions

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

Contact: Andrew Hickman: 07931 440225 / 01384 458326 email:

“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.


Wollaston Beauty Clinic CHEAT TO THE BEACH… BLITZ THAT CELLULITE Got cellulite? You’re not alone. The cosmetic condition affects nearly 90% of women, even those who are slender and fit. Cellulite can be caused from changes in metabolism, physiology, diet and exercise. A high stress lifestyle increases catecholamine levels, a hormone which has also been associated with the development of cellulite and these days stress is difficult to ignore. The good news is there are things to help and lessen the effects. One very simple trick, which will only take 5 minutes of your time each day, cost you almost nothing, and will help to cleanse your entire body inside and out is Dry Brushing! It will kick start and wake your body up in the morning and will significantly improve tone, help to banish cellulite and boost cell renewal for smoother, softer, more radiant skin. We offer a dry brush available from ESPA made with natural bristles from Mexican cactus plants to swiftly stimulate circulation and eliminate toxins. Products like ESPA’S detoxifying seaweed bath and detoxifying body oil massaged into affected areas will enhance results.

4:00 pm:  A handful of raw almonds and a herbal tea. 6:00 pm: A dinner consisting of 3 cups of steamed broccoli, 2 ½ cups of cooked lentils and quinoa and a large glass of water with cucumber slices. 8:00 pm: Chamomile tea.

ESPA Seaweed Bath £29

Regular exercise and detoxification is a key player in battling cellulite. Detoxification helps your blood flow and your skin maintain its elasticity. Here is an example of one specifically designed to help with the process of getting rid of cellulite:

ONCE A WEEK DETOX DAY: 7:00 am: Large glass of water with a lemon wedge and pinch of cayenne pepper. 8:00 am: Fresh green juice served over ice. (green apple, kale, spinach, parsley and celery). 10:00 am:  1 cup of fresh berries (blueberries or raspberries) and a herbal tea. 11:00 am: Another large glass of water with cucumber slices. Noon: 1 cup of brown rice with a large green salad of chopped raw vegetables dressed with olive oil & lemon juice.

Do not consume ANY meat, fish, dairy products, alcohol, gluten, caffeine or sugar. The more water you consume, the easier your body can rid itself of toxins. Eat as many raw fruits and vegetables as you like. Make sure to add a daily multivitamin to your diet. We sell the ADVANCED NUTRITION PROGRAME range of supplements; ask us which one would be right for you. Boost your homecare regime with one of our cellulite body treatments. Choose from a holistic style, deep tissue massage treatment or one using light therapy, and vacuum suction. Alternatively, our CACI ECM treatment gives instant lifting and contouring to the buttocks and toning to the thighs. This treatment will improve the appearance of cellulite and break down fatty deposits. It will stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage, which will help to flush toxins away giving a smoother and tighter, dimple-free appearance. Available now with 3 for 2 this treatment is a great pre-holiday body blitz. ESPA Skin Brush £18

2:00 pm:  Another large glass of water with a lemon wedge and a snack of sliced, raw vegetables or hummus. ADVANCED NUTRITION PROGRAMME Provitality £55


town & village life magazine | july/august 2017



Visable results after just one treatment

Buy 2 ge Fs REEt 1 “Quave £40 * o te TV


Caci Electro-Cellulite Massager Treatment “The ECM Treatment” Lifts firms & tones buttocks, legs and thighs

153 Bridgnorth Road Wollaston DY8 3NU 01384 393305 where relaxing & pampering is essential

Wollaston Beauty Clinic *Terms & conditions apply. Offer not available in conjunction with any other offer. Full payment required when booking. Not valid with voucher payment or beauty point redemption or course of treatments. Available throughout July & August 2017. No refunds on cancellations or unused bookings. Course of 10 treatments recommended.


H o l i day

-ready beauty If it’s nearly time to jet off on your summer holiday then it’s time to book in at the salon and treat yourself to some pre-holiday pampering to make sure you’re ready to hit the beach. Silky smooth skin First things first, the summer is here so it’s essential to keep on top of any unsightly body hair and visit the salon for regular waxing sessions. Before – and in-between – appointments make sure that you’re exfoliating your skin to avoid ingrowing hairs. Moisturising is really important too, but don’t forget to give the moisturiser a miss on the day of your appointment.

Fake a tan The last thing you want to do when you touch down in your holiday destination is step of the plane looking pale and washed out, so make sure you’ve been for a professional spray tan before you leave the UK. For best results and a lasting finish, wax – or shave - at least 24 hours before your appointment. Waxing is definitely the best choice for hair removal if you’re fake tanning, as hair that’s shaved grows back quickly and if you shave too soon after your tan you’ll remove the golden hue you’ve put on. 72

Image Courtesy of Monsoon

Not properly removing hair before a fake tan will mean that colour will cling to the follicle and leave a dotty and uneven finish. Exfoliate the night before your appointment to create a smooth base for your tan. Keep skin free of all moisturiser, perfume and deodorant on the day of your appointment and don’t forget to bring loose fitting clothing to change into afterwards.

Now your feet are looking fabulous it’s time for a manicure. Long nails look gorgeous painted in a bold hue and paired with tanned skin.

Head-turning hair

Treat your feet

Your hair really takes a battering in the summer months, especially if you’re on the beach and in and out the pool, so preparation is essential if you want to avoid frazzled locks when you get home.

It’s easy to overlook your nails but if you’re hitting the beach or slipping on a pair of sandals, then perfectly painted toe nails are essential.

Leading up to your vacation deep condition your hair regularly and make sure that you book in at the salon for regular trims.

In fact, feet need a real treat at this time of year, so book in for pedicure and make pampering your feet a part of your everyday beauty routine.

After your holiday you can help to repair your hair and get a glossy finish with a professional Olaplex treatment at the hair salon.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Classy Rags Casual & Designer Wear

Mother of the Bride Hats Jewellery French & Italian Casual Designer Wear Shoes Evening Wear Fascinators Bags Accessories


0121 434 3727 627 Bearwood Road, Smethwick Birmingham B66 4BL 73

To me it’s science, to you it’s weightloss by Deborah Mitchell

Summer’s here and you haven’t started that diet that you said you’d start every Monday, since Christmas. You think you need a face-lift. You’re unhappy in your skin and you’re not quite ‘beach body ready.’

In just one treatment you will notice significant results to the firmness of your skin; not just all over your body but also on your face. The Lipolis7 is also face friendly, meaning wrinkles and lines will appear reduced after one sitting.

making you look younger, healthier and feel happier. You’ll definitely be left wanting more.

The treatment is non-abrasive and rejuvenates your skin,

Book your first treatment now, you will not regret it.

I know what you’re thinking… ‘What about the side effects?’ I say ‘what side effects, there are none!’

Now that I’ve grabbed your attention, let me tell you how I can change all of the above in one single comprehensive treatment, with no needles or workouts involved! There is so much pressure on women to diet and get that perfect ‘beach body’ but I’m going to tell you how I can help you lose weight without putting the hours in at the gym (there’s method to my madness)… Lipolis7 is a slimming and skin rejuvenation device which is designed for spas, salons and home-use. ...First let’s talk about how Lipolis7 works for weight loss. Fat within the legs, abdomen and buttocks literally shrinks, as Lipolis7 collapses the fat; promoting your lymphatic system which in turn eliminates the toxins out of the body. To me it’s science, to you it’s weight loss. After the fat is collapsed, radio frequency melts the fat further. The vacuum then speeds up your body’s metabolism, which in turn allows the fat in the cells to disperse. It’s been proven to take inches off of waist lines, after just a few treatments. CELLULITE, BE GONE! ‘What about loose skin’ you ask? ‘Won’t I need a skin tuck now that the fats gone?’ No, as I said, I can change it all in one treatment. The reason I created this machine is because I always hear about people being unhappy in their bodies, just as I was, or believing that plastic surgery and botox is the only route if you want to look younger. They couldn’t be more wrong. 74

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017


Mind BaBBle

As this is my very first article for Town & Village Life magazine, I thought it only polite to introduce myself to you! I’m Sue Wilkinson, and I am a Psy-TaP practitioner and hypnotist.

the best trainers, and found the creator of PsyTaP, to teach me what I needed to know.

The first thing most people say to me is “What is PsyTaP?” followed by “I’m not looking into your eyes!!”

The techniques I use are relatively quick in comparison to traditional therapies and techniques. I will often only see my clients once or twice, and only longer periods if they have several issues, or want me to mentor them through a longer change process, or weight management.

I’ll clear both of these up in one sentence – “Don’t worry about Psy-TaP, it’s just a brilliant mix of techniques I use to help people solve problems, and hypnosis has very little to do with me!” When I found myself feeling as though I was disappearing down a black hole, after the death of my father, I knew I needed to get help. The problem I had was that I didn’t know who to ask or what sort of help I needed. There is a saying; “When the student is ready, the Master will appear.” And that is just what happened to me. As I only have a few words for my article, I’ll save the details for another day, however, I had several unrelated experiences that led me to techniques that I had never seen before and that lifted more than the grief. They helped me get rid of limiting beliefs and many years of trauma from childhood bullying. I knew I wanted to share my experience, and teach others what I had been taught. How we are in control of our own lives, and can make powerful changes, as long as we are shown where to find the resources and what to do with them. I needed to learn these techniques! I sought out

I have spent several years learning and perfecting my skills, and I now work with people, teaching them how to tap into their own personal power, clearing issues and creating positive changes that will give them freedom to make new choices about how they move forward with their future.

The hypnosis technique I use makes my clients feel very comfortable, as it is what is called ‘content free’. This means that I don’t spend time in long drawn out sessions of delving into the past, talking about what happened, but use a specially designed set of questions that quickly gets to the root of the problem, and then while my client has chosen to go into hypnosis, I just ask general questions that only require a yes or no answer, and I let the clients unconscious do the rest. The most important part of any of my sessions, whether Psy-TaP or hypnosis, is creating a positive outcome, helping my client see that life can, and will be different once they know how to make changes. I will be writing about specific issues over the next few months, starting with anxiety; probably the most common issue that people contact me about. If you are curious about what I do or would like to know more, my website is www.mindbabble. and has lots of informative videos and free advice, or you can find my contact details below.

“I aim to help you quickly gain skills and techniques that will empower you to clear your ‘Gremlins’ and move you towards a bright future. I use a mix of new science-based processes and well established systems, suited to your own unique situation.” Sue Wilkinson

Some of the issues I work with:

Anxiety • Stress • Phobias • Self Sabotage • Limiting Beliefs • Fear • Low Self Esteem • Weight Management I run ‘at home’ VIP courses for weight management and my Platinum one to one fast track course for people with limited free time. I am available as a speaker for events and fundraisers and I hold regular courses and Wellness Yoga days throughout the year.

Find out more at Contact me for a FREE consultation call & see how I can help you. 76

Phone: 07980 541271 email: town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Protect your eyes

this summer Spending time outdoors can be a great way to unwind during the longer summer days; be it on holiday on the beach, walking, sight-seeing or just spending more time in the garden.

We all know that our skin can burn in the sun, yet it is estimated that around 50% of people don’t protect their eyes by wearing sunglasses. (Even though our eyes are up to ten times more sensitive to ultraviolet rays than skin) UV is in the invisible part of the light spectrum therefore we can’t see it or feel it, but prolonged exposure has been linked to a range of vision problems such as cataract, pinguecula- harmless but unsightly yellow fatty deposits

in the white of the eye, eyelid skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma and development of macular degeneration. It is especially important to protect children’s eyes. Because of larger pupils and clearer lenses, they are more susceptible to sun damage. Plus, despite children generally spending more time outdoors than adults, 70% of them still don’t wear sunglasses in the sun Even glasses with clear lenses can offer protection from UV eye damage. In fact, dark lenses which do not offer a sufficient level of UV protection can be more damaging because they cause the eye’s pupils to dilate providing a bigger window to allow UV in than if you had no sunglasses on.

Therefore when choosing sunglasses make sure that they carry a CE mark (a European standard of UV protection) or UV 400 sign.

Photochromic lenses offer great sun protection as they darken to a sunglasses tint when exposed to sunlight absorbing 100% of UV and return to a clear state when indoors, which means that you only need one pair - convenient for holidays and sightseeing trips. Maui Jim sunglasses use supreme polarised technology which goes beyond shielding your eyes from glare and harmful UV to reveal and enhance the world’s true vivid colours in amazing detail. A wide range of lenses finishes are available, such as Blue, Green, Rose mirror as well as more traditional grey and brown. For more information please call Taylor Biddle opticians.

Designer Frames from… & many more Your Local Family Opticians Full eye examinations Ocular health checks The latest eye scanning OCT technology Visual Dyslexia Colorimetry assessments Now stocking optical frames from the fabulous Oliver Peoples range

£15 upgrade to PhOTOChrOmiC (sun reactive) lenses with every purchase of a premium varifocal! (Offer ends 31st August 2017 T&C’s apply) 39 Bridgnorth Road, Compton Tel: 01902 750 325 34 Windmill Bank, Wombourne Tel: 01902 895 909


Stunning Swimwear By Helen Taylor If your summer holiday is just around the corner, it’s time to find a super-flattering swimwear look that’ll make you look and feel – amazing whether you’re lounging on the beach or taking a dip in the pool. And, whatever your figure, it’s easier than you think to find something stunning.

Here are our top tips: Try Something New Forget sticking to the same old ‘safe’ style that you’re used to and instead try a different silhouette.

‘Leisou’ Bikini Top £32 ‘Leisou’ Bikini Bottoms £18 Both Figleaves

There are plenty of different designs that are cut to flatter: halter necks, Bardotstyles, cut-outs and lace-up designs all serve to enhance your best features.

Boost Your Confidence With so many cleverly designed swimsuits on the high street, it’s easy to find something that’ll take care of all your body-baring concerns. If you’re conscious of your tummy try a structured style that’s complete with hidden support or boost your bust by choosing an uplifting and shaping design.

Embrace a Bold Look If you always opt for black, try a bright hue instead this summer. Bold colours and striking patterns look amazing when teamed with tanned skin and are perfect for the beach. What’s more, they’ll make you look really youthful too.

‘Mayan’ Swimsuit £40 Figleaves

Add Accessories Accessories are a must when it comes to styling a glamorous beachwear look. Sunglasses, a sun hat, a beach bag and a classy cover-up will complete your swimwear style perfectly. 78

town & village lifemagazine magazine| |july/august july/august 2017 town & village life

Swimsuit £35 River Island

Bikini Set £15 Very

Sarong £12 Simply Be

Bikini £42 Butterfly by Matthew Williamson at Debenhams

‘Thelma’ Motif Swimsuit £39 Monsoon

Bikini Top £14 Bikini Bottoms £12 Dorothy Perkins

Hat £22 Accessorize

Beach Bag £55 White Stuff Halterneck Swimsuit £18 Tu at Sainsburys

Kaftan £8 Primark at T.A.Henn, Wolverhampton




• • • • •


Gyms Exercise Classes Studio Cycling and My Ride Swimming Toning Suites

To find out more visit or call: Cheslyn Hay Leisure Centre: 01922 417790 Codsall Leisure Centre:  01902 844032

Prices start from £20 per month for access to all areas, plus use of 4 leisure centres for 1 great price

Penkridge Leisure Centre: 01785 714152

Free Health Checks

Free Personal Fitness Programme


Personal Training Available

Discounts for students and Apprentices

Forward to Health Scheme for people with medical conditions

Wombourne Leisure Centre: 01902 898202

South Staffordshire Council Council’s leisure centres are providing fullday and half-day activity camps in conjunction with one of the UKs leading childcare providers ‘Fit for Sport’. Give your children access this summer to make new friends and learn the importance of being fit and healthy! BOOK NOW

NO Joining fee NO long term commitment NO cancellation fee

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017


GET YOUR SUMMER BODY IN PROGRESS CALL NOW Cheslyn Hay Leisure Centre 01922 417790 Codsall Leisure Centre 01902 844032

Penkridge Leisure Centre 01785 714152 Wombourne Leisure Centre 01902 898202




Alan Smith

Hernia patient Alan Smith is over the moon after undergoing surgery at West Midlands Hospital. The 39-year-old has benefited from inguinal hernia surgery thanks to the skills of hernia specialist Mr Ajantha Jayatunga.

at some point so I knew the importance of going ahead with it.

traditional but very homely with modern facilities at the same time.

“I had an excellent experience at West Midlands Hospital 10 years ago and I wanted to have the surgery done with a hernia expert. I had every confidence in Mr Jayatunga who is highly skilled in all types of hernia surgery.”

“I was only in the hospital for half a day so I was pleased to have the hernia surgery done as a day case procedure. I’m pleased I’ve had the operation and it has put my mind at rest now.”

West Midlands Hospital has a team of specialists that deliver a range of modern hernia surgeries including inguinal hernias, femoral hernias, umbilical hernias, epigastric and ventral hernias, incisional hernias and sports hernias. Alan said: “I’ve never had an operation before but I felt completely reassured from the moment I stepped into the hospital. “The service was absolutely first class and the hospital feels

Surgery for an inguinal hernia can be performed under local or general anaesthetic and can be performed as open surgery or via the keyhole (laparoscopic) technique. Alan added: “All the staff and the consultant went above and beyond their role and I couldn’t have asked for more. “This latest visit has completely reinforced my opinion of West Midlands Hospital – it’s fantastic. If you need hernia surgery, this is definitely the place to go.”

Alan visited his GP after experiencing some discomfort in his abdomen and was sent for a scan, but he didn’t realise there was a problem at first. When his inguinal hernia was revealed, he booked an appointment to meet Mr Jayatunga at West Midlands Hospital for an initial consultation before going ahead with surgery. Alan has first-hand experience of the hospital after visiting for treatment a decade ago and received an excellent service then, so he had no hesitation in returning. Inguinal hernias appear as a lump in the groin and they can cause pain, although some are painless. Even the smallest ones that fail to be spotted can cause pain and could lead to complications which require emergency surgery. Alan, of Kinver, South Staffs, said: “I wasn’t even aware there was a problem but Mr Jayatunga explained to me that if I didn’t have the operation I could end up in an emergency situation 82

For more information about hernia surgeries at West Midlands Hospital, please call 01384 560123 or visit town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

West Midlands Hospital Hernia Service Are you experiencing pain and discomfort in your abdomen? Have you developed an unusual swelling? Does it hurt when you cough, or lift? Don’t ignore your hernia. It may cause you a lot of trouble in the future. Get the problem fixed quickly by our expert Hernia Surgeons. We offer a full range of modern hernia surgeries and treatments including: • Inguinal Hernia • Femoral Hernia • Umbilical Hernia

• Epigastric Hernia • Incisional Hernia • Sports Hernia

(For more information about all of the above, please visit our website: Book an initial consultation with one of our experts. Speed up the process by paying privately for your treatment. For more information about all our hernia services, please call us on 01384 560123. Or visit for more information. Public Information

West Midlands Hospital 83

Renew your smile with


At Parkdale Clinic we offer quality patient-focused dental care in a modern and supportive environment. Our satisfied patients have found a renewed confidence after undergoing treatment with us and it is our privilege to find a solution to many problems traditional dentistry has failed to remedy.

Call us today and discover what we could do for you:

01902 420654

Parkdale Dental & Implant Clinic | 82 Tettenhall Road | Wolverhampton WV1 4TF |


town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Swinfest real hair wigs to both boys and girls who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other illnesses.

Thanks to fundraisers like Lindy The Little Princess Trust last year raised over £4,500,000; gave away Lindy with Husband Andrew after her treatment over 1,000 free wigs to sick children and funded extensive Regular reader and cancer research into cures which involve less survivor Lindy Humphrey is toxic treatments for paediatric cancer.

once again stepping up to support a popular children’s charity by getting involved in this year’s “Swinfest” festival. The fundraising extravaganza will feature performances from local bands and artists at the Old Bush public house in Swindon on Saturday August 19th from 11am till 11pm. All proceeds will go directly to The Little Princess Trust, which is a large national charity that gives away free

Lindy said: “I have been fundraising tirelessly for this charity for over a year, since I lost my hair due to cancer and chemotherapy treatment. So far I have raised £15,000 and would like to aim for £20,000 by the end of this year.”

Lindy holds this good cause especially close to her heart and is always delighted to see how much support and kindness is forthcoming from others whenever a new fundraiser is on the horizon. “My fabulous friends and family have always been so supportive of my fundraising. The landlords of the Old Bush, Lynne and David, have been amazing and have spearheaded “Swinfest.”

“All of the local bands and artists will provide their services free of charge for the festival. We have a full programme of events for the day and extra village parking is available.”

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 07555 581698 Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital Wood Road | Tettenhall | Wolverhampton | WV6 8LE


NAMED PAYCARE PRESIDENT A Wolverhamptonbased health cash plan provider has announced the appointment of a Molineux legend as its new President.

Former Wolves’ goalkeeper Matt Murray has been named President of Paycare, a role which will see him work alongside the organisation’s wider team, as well as partners and affiliates, to support its work across the city and beyond. First team keeper at Wolves for over a decade, Matt is now a familiar face on Sky’s Soccer Saturday, and is also an active Ambassador for the Wolves Community Trust. Matt said: “It’s an absolute honour to have been invited to become Paycare’s new President, not least because I’m stepping into the shoes of such a wonderful individual as Rachael HeyhoeFlint. Rachael was a truly amazing person and I hope that I can honour her legacy in some small way by continuing to support the Paycare team and the incredible work it does for our local communities. “I’ve seen first-hand how passionate Paycare is about the city of Wolverhampton, and how it works tirelessly to bring the community together, to promote inclusivity, and to make a real difference to people’s lives – and I am hugely excited about the opportunity to work together with the team to help promote and support everything it does, now and in the future.” A not-for-profit organisation, Paycare has been based in Wolverhampton for over 140 years and has, to-date, donated over £2million to worthwhile causes, initiatives and projects UK-wide. Paycare is also Wolverhampton Wanderers’ longest continuous current sponsor and last year signed a three season deal as official back of shirt sponsors. The organisation has supported 86

the Club’s Accessible Lounge (now the ‘Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Accessible Lounge, in association with Paycare’) for over two decades, a facility which provides Wolves’ disabled supporters with access to a range of dedicated facilities and activities. Kevin Rogers, CEO of Paycare, said: “Matt’s strong affiliation with Wolves, his role as official Ambassador of Wolves’ Community Trust, and the fantastic work he does himself within our local communities makes him the perfect fit for Paycare. We are absolutely thrilled to

welcome him and are very much looking forward to working with him over the months and years ahead.” A well-respected and dedicated not-for-profit health cover provider, Paycare has helped individuals, families and businesses across the Black Country and Wolverhampton protect themselves against everyday healthcare costs and bills for over 140 years.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Get you r fi month rst ’s 1. SIZE - Full page with 3mm bleed.premium

FREE! Canvas size (inc. bleed)put 251mm x 174mm. You can’t Finished TRIM size 245mm x 168mm. a price on 2. ARTWORK good health Let your background images fill the whole but for £6.25 per month, we’ve got you covered!

of the canvas including the green area and pink area. Your artwork will be TRIMMED along the white dashed line.

IMPORTANT This magazine is perfect bound - this Claim back up to 100% of the cost you spend on: means an additional 6mm (on either side, depending on placement of advert) will be glued into the magazine binding. Please make sure ALL TEXT AND LOGOS are set within AREA (at least 12mm& more Optical the WHITE Dental Professional Specialist Therapy Consultation & from the white dashed line - left and Tests right). Paycare Direct

Paycare Direct is aimed at individuals aged between 18 & 64. A Paycare plan makes it easy to recover the cost of your everyday healthcare, with most claims paid within just 48 hours.

NB. Full page adverts can also be made to 218mm (h) x 140mm (w) - with no bleed • Children under the age of 18 covered at no extra cost* •and Claims usually paid restrictions. in just 48 hours no text • • •

A budgeting tool for families Claim back up to 100% of treatment cost* (up to your annual limit) 5 Levels of cover to choose from - a plan to suit every budget

From £6.25

per mo


(*please see terms and conditions for full details)

Get in touch to find the best plan for you! 01902 371 000

Everyday Health Cover since 1874


Higgs & Sons Pre-Nup Planning Offers Peace of Mind When a wealthy businessman in popular Radio 4 soap The Archers bemoaned the fact his estranged wife had ‘grabbed the best divorce lawyer in London’, solicitors across the UK united to ask: why didn’t he have a pre-nup? Far from being un-romantic, pre-nuptial agreements are in fact useful financial planning tools for couples entering marriage and civil partnership that actually deliver peace of mind. Phil Barnsley, Partner and Head of Family at West Midlands law firm Higgs & Sons, said: “Nuptial agreements are fast becoming a cornerstone of wealth protection planning. “They present individuals and families with the chance to protect their wealth in the event of a relationship breakdown.” The pay-off, he added, was that it created a responsibility on all advisers to make their clients aware of this increasingly important resource. In the wake of an increasing number of generous awards made to weaker financial parties involved in family breakups, in 2015 Higgs & Sons produced a ground-breaking paper: Nuptial Agreements, A Shared Responsibility. Phil added: “Since launching the paper, we have received numerous enquiries and assisted a number


of clients and contacts with regards to nuptial agreements, and the feedback that we have had is that this information has helped our professional partners develop and sustain relationships with their clients. “We feel it is important to continuously review the position regarding nuptial agreements so that we L-R: Phil Barnsley with fellow Family team Partner, Claire Darley continue to add value to our professional relationships as a The experienced team at Higgs source of credible, expert advice.” & Sons offers a service that provides the right lawyer with “Although pre-nuptial agreements the right advice at the right are currently not legally binding in cost and the right outcome. the UK, a Supreme Court ruling in 2010 changed the way in which Phil concluded: “Our experienced team will manage the whole they are viewed. It stated that process from initial instructions pre-nuptial agreements should through to the signing of be given decisive weight in the final agreement. divorce proceedings particularly in the protection of inherited, “Our clients will benefit from gifted or pre-acquired wealth. working with expert lawyers who “We therefore now have clear guidelines for those wishing to protect family or personal wealth before entering into marriage, and here at Higgs & Sons we are recognised by our peers as providing leading advice in this area.

not only specialise in this fast changing area of the law, but who also have a wealth of experience in dealing with agreements. Our team is sensitive to the strategic individual and wider family issues that can arise and can offer advice and support.”

“Pre-nuptial agreements are becoming standard practice before marriage, and far from being unromantic, they are a necessary part of sensible personal financial planning.”

For more information on how Higgs & Sons’ Family team can offer support and advice to anyone who may be experiencing family breakdown, please contact Phil Barnsley on 0345 111 5050 or go to

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Wolverhampton West ad_218x140mm_v3.indd 1

17/08/2016 23:36


A brief


of Newbridge

PreParatory School In 1946 the school became an incorporated company – Wolverhampton PNEU School Limited and in 1949 moved to its current site in ‘The Laurels’ at 51 Newbridge Crescent.

Newbridge PNEU Uniform days

80 Years Old in September 2017 The Homelands PNEU (Parents National Educational Union) School was founded in September 1937. Started by a local surgeon, Mr Robert Milnes-Walker, the school opened in Connaught Street with just four pupils. Word spread and the school numbers grew, necessitating a move to larger premises in Park Road West in Wolverhampton.


By 1954 the school was thriving, a very happy community held together by a close knit and dedicated staff lead by Miss Hedy Joss who was instrumental in changing what was essentially a dwelling house into an efficient functioning school. This was recognised by the Ministry of Education and the school would hold its own as one of the best preparatory schools in the United Kingdom. Subsequent Headmistresses, Miss Olive Harvey, Miss Marilyn Coulter, Mrs Barbara Pring and the school’s current Head, Mrs Sarah Fisher, continued to take the school forward. It is as a result of their efforts and those of the current enthusiastic staff that the school was rated as excellent in all categories by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in 2016 – the highest possible accolade. The school has never looked back and continues to grow

whilst retaining the ‘Newbridge Family’ ethos of which it is justifiably proud. The school has a considerable standing in both Wolverhampton and within the educational community nationwide. Newbridge Preparatory School is currently rated 24th in the UK by The Sunday Times Independent Preparatory School league table (Based on Year Six) SATS. To celebrate the school’s 80th Anniversary, the school is holding a Summer Ball on Saturday 23rd September. Parents, pupils (aged over 18) and staff both past and present are invited to join our Newbridge family in this celebration of 80 years of outstanding education. If you have or have had an association with the school, you are invited to join us. Please contact the school office on 01902 751088 for further details.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Current Newbridge pupils looking to the future

Newbridge when it moved to the Laurels

Newbridge 1946

Please contact the school office on 01902 751088 for further details.


Mark’s Miniature Marvel

Following on from its successful launch in May, the new 18-hole Mini Golf course at Mark Butler Golf Academy continues to attract rave reviews from visitors of all ages. Head honcho at the Academy, Mark Butler says: “Since our official launch the feedback has been amazing. We’ve had families, grandparents, toddlers, kids, mums and dads and they have all loved it. We wanted it to be a fun-filled family experience and boy has it delivered.” Located within glorious countryside overlooking the Clee Hills, beside Baggeridge Park, the par 3 Adventure Golf experience at Sedgley Golf Course provides many surprises, from the sublime to the ridiculous: there are mountainous mole hills to hit over and underground worlds to plunge through – with added fantastic beasts lurking around, if you know where to find them. Mark continues: “We’ve created so many different challenges for you to face. Try to evade the sandy bunkers on Butler’s Beach. Battle the bends and try and make it over Butler’s 92

Bridge. Attempt to manoeuvre your way down the slopes of Adam’s Alps. It’s so much fun!” Lacking the uniformity of the conventional game, mini-golf is all about laughter and having fun regardless of proficiency. Prices are just £3.95 for juniors and £4.95 for adults. “Whether you’ve never picked up a club before in your life or you’re already a master of the slopes, our course will test you. Who knows once you’ve had a taste of it you may want to take it up?” This latest attraction is already proving successful at converting speculative amateurs into committed enthusiasts at the Sedgley-based complex. And it’s easy to see why when so much is available at the Academy: “We are the only complex in the area to have a fully-functioning driving range with Srixon range balls and a SkyTrak Launch Monitor, a mini-golf course, bistro and full-sized, challenging 9-hole golf course, which spans acres and acres of land. “We do adult group classes – one of our most popular services, with over 100 adults already using them – and boast one of the fastest growing junior academies in the midlands.” Lessons start from just £20 for 4 x 1 hour group lessons, which

make use of flexi-time so ensure value-for-money. Gents and ladies’ lessons take place on Tuesday and Thursday nights. And for a rather more “hands-off” experience, check out the latest craze to descend on the complex, Soccer Golf. Unsurprisingly, it’s just like golf, except you use your feet. Mark adds: “The game is quicker, the balls are bigger and the holes are humongous. We’ve turned an old muddy field into a new soccer golf course with a mixture of meandering holes divided by towering grass. “Our soccer golf course is very popular with local football teams and scout groups. It’s a great way for a group to bond and have fun. We also include our soccer and mini-golf courses in our kids’ party packages.” Another big reason to visit is Bobby Barista’s Café: home to quality tea, coffee and properly made food. And because every meal is made from scratch using quality ingredients, popular staples like Aberdeen Angus burgers and handmade gourmet sausage rolls are – just like everything else at the Mark Butler Academy – way above par.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017



FABULOUS FOOD, COFFEE & DELICIOUS DESERTS | 01902 880503 The Mark Butler Golf Academy | @The_MBGA The

Mark Butler

Sandyfields Road, Sedgley, Dudley DY3 3DL


BOOK NOW 01902 880503!

Social Scene 2







Stourbridge Rugby Club

far and wide. The day was sponsored by Old Mutual Wealth, A & H Construction Ltd and Marstons PLC. 1. Robert Virr, James Allport and David Allport. 2. Baljit Bhandal, Eddie Jones, Norman Robertson and Jag Shergill.


Sponsored by

Stourbridge Rugby Club held their Annual Corporate Lunch on May 5th with guest speakers Eddie Jones, current head coach of the England Rugby Union team and Lord Digby Jones. The event attracted 1500 guests from


A fresh approach to Dentistry

3. James Coles and Paul Bennett of George Green LLP with Roy Taylor of Malthouse Engineering. 4. Eddie Jones and Glen Ella with Mini and Junior Coaches. 5. Pam McPhillips, Andy Moore and Paul Styles from Old Mutual, and Peter McPhillips. 6. Mary Mocklow of Talbots Law with Kevin Marklew of Rolla -V with the Heineken Cup kindly provided by Wasps. 7. John Diviney and guests of Tokai Carbon. town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Social Scene 1







Royston Blythe Warford Hall A glamorous congregation of 150 guests including close friends, clients and celebs joined together to celebrate the wedding blessing of Nick & Royston at the home of Dawn Ward, Warford Hall, Alderley Edge. In truly decadent surroundings, the guests were captivated by the phenomenal “Globe Girls” and the much loved “Drifters” serenading them down the aisle.

After the ceremony, the party continued well into the night, as guests enjoyed Champagne and Cocktails and a top DJ. The occasion was featured as the show finale on ITVBE`s “Real Housewives of Cheshire”. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The Globe Girls. Butlers in the Buff. Nick Malenko, Ashley & Dawn Ward, Royston Blythe. Nick, Patsy, Royston. Lauren, Boo, Sophie, Jodie, Lisa, Abi (some of the RB team). 6. The Cheshire Housewives with The Drifters. 7. Nick, Claire Caudwell, Royston 95

By Rob Taylor

Another Fine Fiat

I’ve always been a fan of Fiat. The romantic in me says it’s because my first car was a Punto and now that I’m fast approaching middle-age, nostalgia is beginning to take me over completely. However, I’m sure there is more to it than this. Fiat is a manufacturer that is much admired by sensible shoppers like me; people who see for themselves and who, when it comes to advertising at least, always choose to swallow the Matrix’s red pill. I respect that Fiat is still largely unconcerned by ‘brand’ nonsense and remains committed to delivering big on its ethos of manufacturing masses of unfussy, practical motors allied closely to some halo-model fun stuff. Fiat calls the disparity within its range ‘poles’. And I see what the marketing bods are getting at: a Doblo is certainly poles apart from a 124 Spider. So now with the omnipresent 500 leading the charge, here comes the newest addition to the Fiat stable: the Tipo. The one I have here to test is the Station Wagon variant, but you can have it as a hatchback and most buyers will. After all, you might be thinking, why pay more money for a few extra centimetres of headroom in the back and a bigger boot? Generally I’d agree but in this case I’d argue that the extra spend will be repaid 96

tenfold, assuming you have a family and a dog, because the Tipo is just such staggeringly good value to begin with – what’s another £1000? The Station Wagon range starts at around £14,485 - brilliant value for a proper family estate. Some of you may be looking sideways at that number, sizing it up with suspicion, but there’s no need to be on your guard because I’m pleased to report that the Tipo is more than just good value for money, it punches far above its price-point. Let’s go back to the boot: it is 550 litres, has a double floor, and the rear seats fold properly – the cushions tip and the backrests flip. There are load hooks, and a roller blind that’s easy to remove and which fits under the floor. This is proper design work at work. Moving forwards, the rear gladly accommodates fully-grown adults and keeps them content with soft suspension and comfy seats, making for a far more comfortable interior than can be found in some competitors. Up front there’s surprisingly expensive and agreeably tactile trim, enlivened with myriad gadgets and comfort aids. The main functions are intuitive and easy to reach. Visibility is good, and parking sensors on a vehicle this long are a gift from the gods. This Lounge spec version also boasts climate control, alloy wheels, a

integrated Tom Tom sat nav, rear view camera, automatic lights and wipers, and a lane-keeping and blind spot warning system. When at the wheel Fiat’s Tipo has a relaxed feel to it, as it’s a simple car to drive. The steering is light and direct (‘City mode’ makes it still lighter and is most handy when in tight parking jams) and with a 120 bhp 1.6 Multijet diesel under the bonnet, progress is pleasingly swift. 0-60 mph is done and dusted in around 10 seconds and 320Nm of torque low down in the rev range makes the Tipo decidedly – if incongruously – quick, especially in-gear, at motorway speeds. Of course because you don’t have to rev the engine too hard, official fuel economy is more than respectable at 76.3 mpg – so too are emissions of 99g/km Co2. I averaged around 55 mpg. Taking make-up tips from Fiat’s flagship 124 Spider, the Tipo more than looks the part too, with a wide grille, chromed vents and raked windscreen – which all contribute to a look that is far sportier than the average station wagon. I’m told that as you get older you’re supposed to find racy little two seaters, just like the 124 Spider, ever more alluring but that’s just not the case with me. All in all, it’s the Tipo that’s stolen my heart. I must be Fiat ‘through and through’.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS Airport, Transfers & Executive Travel Signature Luxury Cars 69 Awnings Castle Blinds 27 Love Your Blinds 13/21 Bathrooms Brierley Hill Bathrooms 42 Roman Bathrooms 11 21 Wall Heath Bathrooms Beds & Bedroom Furniture Kitchen & Bedroom technique 35 33 Merridale Sofa Factory Outlet 37 Woodrobes 9 Beauticians Heaven Skin Care 75 71 Wollaston Beauty Clinic Blinds – Curtains - Shutters Castle Blinds 27 Love your Blinds 13/21 Boiler & Service Installations Butco 31 Building & Maintenance Contractors PEJ Construction 25 Three Pines 5 Caravan Accessories Cannock Caravans 55 Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Zero Drytime 20 Carpets/Flooring – Supply & Fit ND Walters 15 Children’s Charity Promise Dreams 61 Cleaning Services – Exterior Able Facilities Services 32 Dentistry Parkdale Dentures 84 Parkdale Implants 2 Driveways PEJ Construction 25 Education Newbridge School Entertainment & Leisure South Staffs Leisure Fashion - Retail Classy Rags Fencing & Gates Profence Fireplaces & Stoves Flaming Fires Wolverhampton Fireplaces Furniture & Furnishings Merridale Pargeters Ralvern Sofa Factory Outlet Garden Design Boningale Garden Creations Galleries & Gift Shops Celebrations Stourbridge Galleries Gardening & Landscaping Lealans Garden Centre Gas Boiler Servicing Gas First Glazing Repairs Blakes Glass & Glazing Golf Clubs Mark Butler Golf Academy Health Care Cover Paycare Hospices Compton Hospice Hot Tubs Jacuzzi at Webbs of Wychbold Independent Financial Advisers Midland Financial Services Ironing Services Perfection Ironing Services

17 90/91 81 73 43 15 33 33 14 41 37 53 45 40 50 57 32 93 87 63 49 18/19 56

Kitchens - Supply, Design & Fit Eaton Kitchens Intoto Kitchens Kitchen & Bedroom Technique Roman Bathrooms Landscaping supplies Carvers Building Supplies Lighting Lighting R Us Luxury Travel Signature Luxury Cars Motorbike & Clothing Sales Streetbike Motorbike Training Streetbike Opticians Taylor Biddle Painters & Decorators Dave Russon Patrick Bellew Private Hospitals West Midlands Hospital Restaurants & Pubs Halfpenny Green Vineyards Harleys Smokehouse Wombourne Tandoori Solicitors Higgs & Sons Tea Rooms Halfpenny Green Vineyards Theatres The Grand Theatre Vein Clinics Simon Hobbs Veterinary Services Blacks Vets Vineyard & Craft Centre Halfpenny Green Vineyards Windows & Conservatories Hayley Windows

29 7 35 11 51 39 69 99 99 77 56 56 83 65 67 68 89 65 100 85 47 65 13

Puzzle Answers Sudoku:


Quick Crossword:


Word Search:

Hidden Phrase: You cannot be serious John McEnroe



Stop existing, start living… Oh, and I almost forgot… 200 bikes - Including the very best from Suzuki and Yamaha. Zero Electric Bikes – Fully automatic. The “Super Green” 2 Wheel option. No road tax. No petrol. Charge with a 3-pin plug and get about 140 miles for a quid’s worth of electricity!

If you’ve owned, ridden or bought a motorcycle in the West Midlands over the last 30 years there’s a good chance you will know about Streetbike. The business first opened its doors in King Street, Dudley on Saturday 26th February 1984, right over the road from the iconic JB’s night club. I bet a few of you have got some great (but bleary) memories of that place. I know I have. My name is Gary Marshall. I opened Streetbike in Dudley in ’84 and if you bought a bike from the King Street store all those years ago… I probably sold it to you!

Come and see us - pop into our new store in Dudley Road, Halesowen (91 -107, B63 3NS) and check us out. I’m still here, like “Mr Chips”, selling bikes to the sons and grandsons of my 80s and 90s customers. I’ve changed a bit, (wrinkles when I smile and there’s an “Apex” on my waistline!) but the spirit hasn’t. And Streetbike has just got better and better. It’s a proper destination motorcycle dealer. We have a café – bring the family, have a coffee and chat about bikes. We have a rider training school – New rider? No problem. We can start you safely on your 2-wheel adventure.

Clothing, Helmets, Parts and Accessories – The top brands in the industry including: Shoei and Arai helmets and drop dead gorgeous leathers and textiles from Dainese of Italy. Factory Workshop – with over 150 years of combined technical experience we’re happy to quote on anything from an MOT to a full restoration. Streetbike’s staff are the core of the business: friendly, knowledgeable (far more than me) and very, very experienced. Some have been with us since those Dudley days and all the bike sales advisors ride daily. We know our stuff and we love it. We’re open 7 days a week. (Sunday 10.00am – 4.00pm). Why not pop in? We’d love to see you.

Thank you for your business! From day one, Streetbike was designed to be more than just another bike shop. It was set up to be part of the whole biking community - not just to sell stuff but to be a source of information, a friendly “bike social” place that set new standards for what a motorcycle dealer should be. A nice place to go. A destination. As it was then, it is now - Streetbike is about the full motorcycle lifestyle. 98

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

91-107 Dudley Road Halesowen West Midlands B63 3NS



with the Midlands Only Gold Accredited Training School.

To take a one day CBT Riding Course. Go to CLICK

Motorcycle Training


CBT ( Compulsory Basic Training )



Click here to book on-line. Use Code "offer2017" Get £20 off a one day CBT and a FREE brekkie in our Cafe

We provide the bike, the gear, the tuition, the fun You provide... just you and your driving license Any Questions - ring Wayne on 0121 296 5669

(He's in the Training Office from 10-am - 2pm Monday to Friday)








A whole new adventure for the Alice in us all

WENDI PETERS as Queen of Hearts

as White Rabbit



TUE 6 – SAT 24 FEBRUARY 2018








01902 42 92 12

town & village life magazine | july/august 2017

Town & Village Life Magazine - July 2017  
Town & Village Life Magazine - July 2017