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March / April 2018

Fashion Fashion tips for your Spring Wardrobe Get 10% OFF with Bella Boo

Garden Great tips and ideas for your Garden Design

Delivered to 15,000 Selected Households and Businesses


Himley, Swindon, Kingswinford, Wall Heath, Enville, Kinver, Stourton, Wollaston, Stourbridge, Norton, Old Swinford, Pedmore, Hagley, Blakedown, Hackman's Gate, Belbroughton, Kidderminster

Our advisors are here to provide the essential business advice and support as your business develops and grows. At Baldwins, we have many years of experience and commitment to accounting excellence. However our expertise doesn’t stop with accounting, our specialist advisory teams and personal service ethos means we are there to help you and your business thrive in today’s competitive environment. With offices across the region, you can rely on us to provide up-to-the-minute knowledge and advice. So if you’d like to see what we can do for your business, please contact us for a free introductory meeting. Ian Wilkins Director 1st Floor | Copthall House | 1 New Road | Stourbridge | West Midlands | DY8 1PH 01384 370060 | |


Our Lifestyle Magazine

Our Lifestyle Magazine Welcome to the first issue of Our Lifestyle Magazine! This bi-monthly magazine is hand delivered to 15,000 business and homes from Dy3 to DY10. Each issue will be filled with interesting and exciting news and events local to you! Spring is here, so it’s time to make the most of this time of year that promises renewal and reawakening with lighter nights and warmer weather. Oh, and don’t forget to put your clocks forward on Sunday 25th March. This season is full of celebrations with Mother’s Day and Easter Sunday, so have fun celebrating with the family. This issue will give you plenty of exciting ideas on how to spend your Easter Holidays. We also have some great fashion tips for your Spring Wardrobe with Spring Cover-ups, Colour pops and Pearls. Congratulations to Roy Swinburne from Pattingham, the lucky winner of our Jan/Feb competition to win a ‘Meal for Four’ at the The Oakley Arms in Brewood. EARN MONEY & KEEP FIT Our magazine wants distributors in Kidderminster & Stourbridge. Good rates of pay. Ring Graham on 07969 884247 for details.

Contents Home

4- 27


28 - 32


33 - 35

This Time of Year

36 - 37

Food & Drink

38 - 43

What’s On

44 - 47


48 - 55

Why I Love My Job

56 - 57


58 - 61


62 - 65

Hair & Beauty

66 - 68


69 - 71






24 - 75

Pets and Garden

76 - 88

Finance & Legal

89 - 93








97 - 99

Danielle Scandrett

Linda Farren

Marketing & Design Director

Managing Director 07841 431446

Feature Writers; Jane de Weijer, Kate Oliver, Michelle Martin, Mike Whitehurst, Rebecca Underwood. Competition Terms & Conditions There is no cash alternative to the prize. The competition is free to enter. Entrants must supply their contact details and in doing so agree that Our Lifestyle Magazine can use them for their own marketing purposes. Details supplied by entrants will not be passed on to any third party. All applications will be entered into a prize draw and the winner will be selected at random by the prize supplier. Winners will be notified by telephone and/or e-mail by the 15th of the second month in the issue date e.g. issue March/April 2018 the winner will be notified by 15th April 2018. Entry will assume acceptance of these terms and conditions. Competition start date is the start of the month of the magazine issue and will run until 10th of the second month in the issue date e.g. issue March/April 2018 the competition will run until 10th April 2018 Details of the winner available on request by writing to: Our Lifestyle Magazine Limited, Dominique House 1 Church Road, Netherton. DY2 0LY. Every care is taken to ensure accuracy but Our Lifestyle Magazine cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage, or omission in an advert. Our Lifestyle Magazine does not officially endorse advertising material which is printed on the understanding that descriptions of goods and services are fair and accurate. All rights are reserved.


Design your own sofa, corner group or chair...

Choose or create your design and style

Select or provide your fabrics and finishes

Specify your own individual measurements

Opt for your own level of comfort



for you. Tailore



Visit us in store, anything’s possible!

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Cousins Bespoke is a quality personal service provided by our own workshops, where everything is hand made in the West Midlands just for you.

Mr & Mrs Griffiths Bournemouth

If you have a seating dilemma, our Bespoke service will help you design your sofa, corner group or chair, exactly to your own personal style, measurements and comfort preferences.


Open 7 days a week Late Nights: Tuesday & Thursday until 8pm Birmingham Warwick Road, Tyseley. B11 2EW. T: 0121 765 3300 Dudley Hall Street, DY2 8NW. T: 01384 451500



The Midlands’ largest and most inspirational furniture stores.

MULTI £MILLION CLEARANCE Whether your taste is contemporary, traditional, modern or classical, Cousins have the answer. The choice is enormous, all beautifully displayed in truly inspirational room settings.


Put that alongside incredibly low prices on everything throughout the stores including the famous brand names. If you’re seriously thinking of buying any item of furniture, then don’t miss this great opportunity! ALL EXISTING STOCK MUST BE CLEARED SOME AT COST OR EVEN LESS!!


Visit the region’s only Parker Knoll Centre of Excellence in one of our Flagship stores to experience this exciting brand.


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Our Home

EXTERNAL SHADING & AWNINGS 2018 marks an exciting time and milestone in the history of Castle Blinds and Awnings. This year, the Kingswinford and Brierley Hill-based company is celebrating its 25th anniversary in business and bringing light and indeed shade into peoples’ homes through its range of bespoke external shading products made to suit any property or patio area.

to the exterior of your home. “At Castle Blinds and Awnings we also give you added peace of mind by giving you a five year guarantee.” Castle Blinds and Awnings continue to go from strength to strength. In 2015 the firm acquired local external shading specialist Factor 15 which is now based next door to Castle’s Brierley Hill factory.

The family-run business’ vision is to provide top quality external shading to all their customers, both commercial and domestic alike, and Castle Blinds and Awnings prides itself on providing a fast, friendly and efficient service that puts their customers’ needs first.

Castle Blinds and Awnings workforce has now swelled to a staff of 16. But, what is the secret to the firm’s success?

Furthermore, to give their clients added peace of mind; Castle Blinds and Awnings offer a free no obligation measuring service and free installation service on a massive range of products that are made at their Brierley-Hill based factory.

Amanda continued: “I think our growth is thanks to our excellent customer service and the fantastic bespoke products that we offer at a price that suits all budgets.

External shading products include vertical, folding arm and conservatory awnings, canopies, pergolas and parasols – all of which can be tailored to any taste, style and budget.

“We pride ourselves on always putting the needs of our customers first. We never rest on our laurels and continually offer new products to suit any home, patio area of business.

Castle Blinds and Awnings Managing Director Amanda Jones, said: “Through us manufacturing our own external shading solutions at our factory in Brierley Hill we are able to ensure our products are designed to fulfil the needs of our domestic and commercial customers.

“Our recently transformed Kingswinford showroom showcases our commitment to quality. Don’t delay; contact Castle Blinds and Awnings today.” Castle Blinds and Awnings – “we know that your home is your castle!”

“Why let the unpredictable British weather spoil a spot of al-fresco dining or garden party? At the simple press of a button a motorised awning can provide you with a stylish shelter under which you can relax and enjoy your chilled glass of Prosecco protected from a passing spring shower or the glare of the summer sun.

For further information about Castle Blinds and Awnings call 01384 273769, log on to, email sales@ or why not pop in to their showroom at Portway House, Stream Road, Kingswinford, DY6 9NT.

“The addition of an awning, canopy, pergola or parasol can help you make the most of your patio and garden while adding a touch of class

The showroom is open from 9am to 5.30pm Mondays to Fridays and from 10am until 4pm on Saturdays.


Book a home visit

01384 273769 FREE wind sensor with selected motorised models

Visit us in store Portway House Stream Road Kingswinford, DY6 9NT



Awnings 7


Our Home

Lighting your home: Why is it so important? Ambient Lighting: provides an area with overall illumination. Perhaps the most basic form of lighting, and one you’d expect to see in most homes. It imitates the effects of natural light, without glare and at a comfortable level. Ambience is achieved with most ceiling and wall fittings.

Lighting has its own role to play in our daily lives, when it comes to decorating your home. With just the flick of a switch, you can change the whole atmosphere of a room. Before creating a lighting plan, it’s vital to know how light works in each room and what purpose it will carry. Task Lighting: Gives off a bright, focused light to one area or work surface. It helps you perform specific tasks, such as reading, grooming, preparing, and cooking food etc. Kitchens are the ideal place for task lighting as recessed downlights, LED strips and under-cupboard fittings can be placed for direct light to food prep areas. Another ideal place for task lighting is the study, created with desk lamps to help with reading or working. Task lighting should be free of distracting glare and shadows and should be bright enough to prevent eye strain.

Accent Lighting: The most creative way of lighting, but not exactly for functional use. This type of light highlights key features to create drama and visual interest. For example, towards an item of furniture or a wall, hanging through the creation of contrasts in light and shadow. Wall washers and directional spotlights work with miniature decorative lamps to break up the uniformity of a room's ambient lighting and add extra depth.

flick of a switch

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Using Witley Direct To Transform Your Home With over 35 years experience in manufacturing educational and office furniture, Witley Jones brings you an innovative and exciting new dimension for home office and fitted bedroom furniture – Witley Direct. Drawing on highly skilled in-house manufacturing and design teams, Witley Direct offers you the chance to liven up your home – from a new bright and vibrant bedside cabinet, to a luxurious fitted home office.



Witley Direct @witleydirect @witleydirect

provide you with detailed 2D and 3D drawings (and a quotation) for you to see how your ideas will look. With your approval, a home survey will take place where every detail is double checked before their highly skilled manufacturing team (based in Worcestershire) proceed. At a time to suit you, the Witley Direct installation team will visit you with your new furniture and, with precision and care, help turn your ideas in to reality and transform your bedroom, home office or an awkward, neglected space.

After an initial enquiry, a free non-obligation home consultation with one of the design team takes place at a time to suit you. They will work with you to establish your vision for your home and decipher the best storage solutions to cater for your lifestyle. Following the visit, Witley Direct’s design team then runs with the idea to

Contact now, for an informal discussion or to proceed with a home visit from one of the design team on:,, T. 01299 828888.

LIVEN UP YOUR HOME Witley Jones brings you an innovative and exciting new dimension for home office and fitted bedroom furniture. •

home offices, fitted bedrooms, stylish storage solutions (for awkward spaces) & loose furniture

transforming neglected spaces into vibrant and efficient living/working areas

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Our Home

Spring Season Home Interiors By Jane de Weijer : Make Space Interiors ltd: Contact Welcome to the Spring season Home Interiors column, keeping you up to date with current 2018 ideas and trends. As an Interior Designer I will be looking at how, with a bit of tweaking, you can breathe fresh ideas into your home using the current trends. I will be creating that mood board for this season’s wish list and passing on trend watch tips for the season. In the shops, online, there is so much out there now, its exciting, and every taste is being catered for whatever your style, from Scandi Cool to traditional English Country checks and weaves, its all there. I want to help you navigate through all thats on offer and to create the home that reflects you.

That Spring clean feeling

existing kitchen cupboards.

This is the time of year that we refurbish, renovate or throw it all up in the air and move. Looking to refurbish your kitchen? I am concentrating this month on the latest finishes and accessories that will add the finishing touch to your new space.

These really are worth looking at as there is no excuse now not to create a unique design perfect for you. Maybe pink is personal but irresistible with the marble and gold in this combination. Board 1

Kitchen Edit

1: A selection of glass light shades with bulbs from a collection at John Lewis. If you like this

There are some excellent web sites now that offer to customise, embellish or refurbish your


Our 3






5 8


2: A quartz worktop with a marble -look finish will add glamour and offer that durability needed for the work surface. If you are on a budget look at the laminates with a crisp square edge or add a touch of custom - made marble window sill.

To create a unique kitchen Splashback local company, Cherry Glass Designs, www. will take an uploaded image and create an original glass splashback that will work with your theme and colourscheme, the scope is huge and is another opportunity to create your own unique and bespoke kitchen.

3: Taps, love this copper vintage tap . Visit www. for one to suit your scheme, adding your own taps to the sink will give your Kitchen that unique style.

6: For a real wow factor, these doors are made to help you customise your Ikea Metod frame kitchen. Visit www.superfront. com to find this soft pink cupboard front.

4: Take the Ikea Vurim 4 bottle wine rack and customise to become a real herb holder on the wall.

7: Door handles here also from a range at www., opportunities to customise and personalise your kitchen are endless with a little bit of online research and real search for local stores offering those finishing touches and deep in local knowledge.

‘look’ shop around to re-create the look.

5: Wall tiles and backsplashes, the choice is huge. When choosing, as I have recommended before, build your Pinterest board,, to download, so that when you go shopping you choose to compliment the theme and style. These tiles are available at Tile Choice, visit for local stores and contact details.

8: Considered having your cupboard doors refurbished? I recommend you call in a specialist like local company Cherry Kitchens www. or, if you are keen on developing your DIY skills there are plenty of specialist products on the market for you to explore.

Try a Herringbone pattern, the latest pattern being replicated in 2018 interiors.


Our Home Trend watch: Heavy Metals

light stone wall paint finish such as Old White, Farrow and Ball to emphasise the contrasts and deep strong materials.

Anything that shines, adds texture, glimmers or shimmers is big news in Interior Design this season and is looking set to be dictating trends for some time.

1: Marble finish but go dark and deep for that strong impact.

As trends are taking a definite step away from the minimalism of the early part of the century, which included the pale greys and a minimal colour palette, and towards the rich embellishments and emphasis on textures then the use of metal, either full high gloss finish or patina metal, imprinted or plain is definitely a finish to consider if you are looking to add an on trend finish to your kitchen units.

2: I love this antiqued brass finish to the Kitchen Island unit front, looks fantastic with the dark marble finish and dark woods.

Living in the Midlands, just a bit of research will take you to a local metal fabricator who will be able to work with you to create a bespoke feature to your kitchen.

5: Vintage clock

3: This brass sink will add depth to the kitchen worktops. 4: Dark oak finish to floors or as an alternative to the dark stone finish worktops.

6: These lights over the kitchen island unit will really work with this scheme. Look for this and for a wide selection at Shop locally for lights at Lighting R Us, www., a good idea to see those lights in the showroom and a great opportunity to take time to take advice and browse through the ranges on offer.

It is the brass, copper and gold that is in vogue now. Think warmth and think texture. I love the patina metal finish on the worktops on the board below. ON THE BOARD:

Trend: Mixed metals, mix and match your metals, top trend for this year.

Create an industrial style kitchen with strong finishes and chunky detailing. I recommend a



KITCHEN MAKEOVERS Why replace when you can re-face!

Average installation time 2 days – less mess, less fuss, half the cost! Revitalise your kitchen from a simple door change to a complete makeover Retain your existing cabinets - avoid waste, save money and help the environment Choose from Laminate, Minerva and Quartz worktops Approved by the Consumer Protection Association for total peace of mind


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INSPIRING IMAGES Make your kitchen unique to you Hygienic, easy to clean and simple to install The most amazing collection of images from around the world Any size, any shape, made-to-measure, toughened glass with a 10 year guarantee Templating and Fitting service available nationwide Fast efficient delivery

View our collection of exclusive Glass Splashbacks on our brand new website. Tel: 01384 442373


OPENING HOURS Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm Saturday 10am - 4pm






Don’t gamble on any company you don’t know. Always select a cpa member for your peace of mind.



Website watch:

1: Serge pendant, ceramic blue

Websites are a good starting place for inspiration but I highly recommend getting out into the local shops and onto the High Street as well. Once you have your mood board in place it becomes so much easier to focus on the elements that you will need to create your room.

2: Saturn pendant antique brass 3: Bonnie pendant, glass

Bathroom trends If you are refurbishing or replacing your bathroom this year don't be too shy. Bathroom and cloakroom trends include carrying those strong contrast colours into this space.

Tip: If you can, and you haven’t done already, download the Instagram APP,, for great images and inspiration for your Spring refurbishments. Need help bringing the ideas together? for a personal Interior Design service helping to interpret those trends.

ON THE BOARD: 1: Large circular mirror from a selection at Nest. 2: Indigo blue wall tiles, maybe in the shower, they would also look fantastic in a cloakroom or in the en-suite.

I do come across some great and inspirational websites for interior finishes and accessories. I recommend a visit to Pooky Lights www.

3: A glam pendant like will always look the business in the bathroom, for this and a good selection go to

A selection of fantastic designs in different finishes including a good range of kitchen pendants that will work well with your kitchen scheme.

5: I love this small bright sink unit, again great in the cloakroom or the bathroom and right up to date teamed up with a rich blue. If you don't want to be too permanent then just paint that feature wall.

ON THE BOARD: All from





34 Enville Road, Wall Heath Kingswinford, West Midlands. DY6 0NL

01384 400016 • •

Callus us for for aa full Call full design & inhouse design & inhouse fittingservice. service. fitting Appointment only A family business


A family business in 1992 established in 1992

Large enough Large enough to cope to cope small small enough enough to care to care.

Wet rooms & luxury bathrooms for the less abled are our speciality 15


Create the Spa

6: Moderna White split Face tiles: www.

Your very own spa, at home, upstairs, first door on the right, is the dream bathroom and the big trend for 2018.

7: Double Sink vessel sinks , very zen, 8: Hang those plants. These plant hangers can be found on

Think stone, neutrals, freestanding bathtubs and vessel sinks. Luxury towels and scented candles are, of course the ‘icing on the cake’.

9: Finally a gorgeous, deep, freestanding bath

1: A rainfall shower head, for advice go to your local Bathroom specialist www. For this shower head go to

Blue sky thinking Top of the agenda for Designers this year, the colour blue. A neglected colour it has now reemerged with a bang this year from deep Indigo to pale pastels, combine with sharp brights and florals .

2: Modena Grey Split Face tiles for that textured shower tile : 3: Towels ,selection from 4: Diptique candles 5: Small granite stone sink

Colour and texture are the new neutrals and 2018 will see bold adventures into rich colours being used to decorate and enhance the room.



BEDROOM FURNITURE Perfectly fitted to your personality

Choose from Classic & Contemporary designs Perfectly designed around existing architectural features such as chimney breasts Made to measure. Maximising your space & storage Hundreds of styles, colours & textures to choose from New range of sliding doors now available



01384 390898 or 0121 623 7208

Fitted Bedrooms





A home office space designed exclusively for you


YOUR REQUIREMENTS Specialists in Home Study fitted furniture A truly personal service with customer satisfaction our overriding objective Create, manufacture and install tailor made fitted furniture for the discerning customer


or 0800 633 5337

Office at Home


01384 390898 OPENING HOURS Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm Saturday 10am - 4pm







Don’t gamble on any company you don’t know. Always select a cpa member for your peace of mind.



Ways to go blue

there are some fantastic designs out there.

Here are some ideas for including Blue into your 2018 scheme.

Top Tip: When choosing papers the larger scale patterns can look overwhelming.

1 Investing in a new sofa? A statement chair? Velvet is still the textile for 2018 and be prepared to see it in the High Street.

Order a large sample before you make a decision. Seeing it against your wall and to scale should give you the confidence to go for it. Be bold.

1: Deep blue Juno 2: Mimi-two powder




1: Lavaliers paper: Little Greene Paint Co. blue



2: Obsidian wallpaper panel: Anthology 3: British Isles Damask Aqua paper: Osborne and Little.

3: Kubrick blue armchair Why not add a velvet lampshade, seen here

4: Varanasi wallpaper: Black Edition. 5: Quill wallpaper: Designers Guild.

4: To give your room that eclectic edge that defines current Interior Design trends take a look at some of the new wall coverings in the books this season. I love this new wallpaper collection from Cole and Sons This combines the Blues with the trend for all things Moroccan. Don't be too shy, combine patterns and borders and let it fly on the feature wall.

6: Chaconia wallpaper Lagoon/Linden: Harlequin Wallcoverings www.harlequin

Thinking curtains. You have the room ready, you have the colours sorted and you are ready to have those curtains made to measure ? The heading that you choose is important for your overall scheme impact, minimalist chic with a wooden pole would not sit too easy on the eye, unless that’s the contrast that you are looking for, vive la difference!

2 If you are thinking of decorating please look at the current range of wallpapers now on offer,






Experienced painter & decorator for over 30 years Reliable & excellent tradesman Interior & exterior work undertaken Maintenance & renovation


References provided on request

07970 936640 19



1: Wave top :For a contemporary finish, ceiling mounted and sophisticated finish.

look by changing the front door and bringing those colours indoors, outside. Secure-it Doors, are a local company stocking a wide range of Traditional and Contemporary styled doors, well worth a visit if you want a brand new door in a brand new colour or style.

2: Simple pinch pleat. 3: Goblet heading. For a traditional dramatic heading to full length curtains. 4: Puffball heading, nice in a bedroom or farmhouse country theme. And finally

Three quick updates for Spring 2018 Statement Ceiling: Don’t paint the walls, make a statement with the ceiling colour. 2: Add bone inlay accessories 3: Paint the Front door: Give your house a new





Our Home

Traditional and Contemporary Styled Doors We all recognise the positive difference a welldesigned Composite Door will make to your property, not just to the look and security, but also to the value it can add to your home.

A visit to our showroom in Oldswinford will allow you to look at our range, draw on our extensive knowledge and use our 'door designer' software to create your own unique front door.

With traditional styles and colours being all that were available for a long time, there wasn't a great deal of choice, but more contemporary styles have recently become available and with a virtually limitless colour palette almost anything is possible. We spoke to Secure-It Doors in Oldswinford, who, with over 25 years experience in the industry, said. "Currently the more contemporary door styles, especially in grey, seem to be the most popular. We actually install more grey doors at the moment than any other colour and with 40 different shades of grey to choose from it's possible to pick the shade that suits your particular door style and property. Whether it be a traditionally styled door for an Edwardian terrace or a more contemporary style for something more recent there is a style and colour to suit everyone. The opportunity is still there, however, to make a statement, with over 40 door styles and with literally hundreds of colours and glass designs to choose from, you can create a bespoke entrance door that is unique to your home. Secure-It Doors was founded so that we could offer our customers a complete Composite Door solution and we now offer a full range of 'A' Energy Rated Windows as well as uPVC and aluminium Bi-Folding Doors to compliment our range.

122 Hagley Road, Stourbridge, DY8 2JD E. W. cure Tues and- more thermally efficient. Fri 10am - 4pm Sat 10am - 5pm

Over 40 door styles available Hundreds of colours to choose from Classic and Contemporary Door Styles 25 Year Structural Warranty


T: 01384 918060

Home Cin



borne •



ood win


High Street, Stourbridge

01384 394176

Family run for over 90 yrs




FREE customer car park at rear 23



Cintique • Collins & Hayes • Duresta • Ercol • G-Plan • Parker Knoll

Stuart Jones • Sutcliffe • Vale • Wills Gambier • Sherborne • Strongbow

• Bardi • Bradley • Bridgecraft • Charlton •

Our Home


With Price Match With Price Match Guarantee? With Price Match Guarantee? Guarantee? LOOKING FOR SUPER SERVICE... LOOKING FOR SUPER SERVICE...



Super Price Match ON SELECTED APPLIANCES Capital Appliance Ltd Capital Appliance CentreCentre Ltd

Head Office: Macrome Claregate, Wolverhampton, WV6 9HD Tel: 01902 752764 Super Price Match ONRoad, SELECTED APPLIANCES Kingswinford: The Rotunda, Townsend Place, Kingswinford DY6 9JL Tel: 01384 271812 Shrewsbury: Unit 26 Vanguard Way, Harlescott, Shrewsbury SY1 3TG Tel: 01743 463261 COME IN-STORE TODAY FOR A Super Price Match ONPlace, SELECTED APPLIANCES Salop Street, 1 Market Wolverhampton WV3 0RX 01902 429060 Head Office: Macrome Road, Claregate, Wolverhampton, WV6 9HD Tel: 01902 752764


Kingswinford: The Rotunda, Townsend Place, Kingswinford DY6 9JL Tel: 01384 271812

Shrewsbury: Unit 26 Vanguard Way, Harlescott, Shrewsbury SY1 3TG Tel: 01743 463261 Dudley: 3 Castle Street, Dudley, DY1 1LA Tel: 01384 234620

Telford: Castle Street, Hadley, Telford TF1 6GJ Tel: 01952 257007 Telford: CastleAppliance Street, Hadley, Telford TF1Centre 6GJ Tel: 01952/CapitalApplianceCentre 257007 Capital Appliance Ltd Capital Centre Ltd Head Office: Macrome Road, Claregate, Wolverhampton, WV6 9HD Tel: 01902 752764

Head Office: Macrome Road, Claregate, Wolverhampton, WV6 Tel:01384 01902 752764 Kingswinford: The Rotunda, Townsend Place, Kingswinford DY6 9HD 9JL Tel: 271812 Capital Appliance Centre Ltd Shrewsbury: UnitRotunda, 26 Vanguard Way, Harlescott, Shrewsbury SY1 463261 Kingswinford: The Townsend Place, Kingswinford DY63TG 9JLTel: Tel:01743 01384 271812 Capital Appliance Centre Ltd *T&C’s apply. The Euronics Price Match policy is valid on selected Agency models. Ask In-store for full T&C’S. Sold asVanguard anRoad, agent for Euronics Limited. All rights reserved. Dudley: 3 Castle Street, Dudley, DY1 1LA Tel: 01384 234620 Head Office: Macrome Claregate, Wolverhampton, WV6SY1 9HD Tel:Tel: 01902 752764 Shrewsbury: Unit 26 Way, Harlescott, Shrewsbury 3TG 01743 463261 Head Office: Macrome Road, Claregate, Wolverhampton, WV6 Tel:01384 01902 752764 Telford: Castle Street, Hadley, Telford TF1 6GJKingswinford Tel: 01952Only. 257007 All offers are subject to availability while stocks last. Delivery & Installation charges may apply. Exclusions and Radius Apply. Selected Stores Prices correct Kingswinford: The Rotunda, Townsend Place, DY6 9HD 9JL Tel: 271812 Salop Street, 1 Market Place, Wolverhampton WV3 0RX 01902 429060 Shrewsbury: Unit 26 Copyright Vanguard Way, Harlescott, Shrewsbury SY1 3TG 01743 463261 Kingswinford: The Rotunda, Townsend Place, Kingswinford DY6 9JLTel: Tel: 01384 271812 at time of print but can be subject to change. See in store for full details. Images for illustration purposes only. Euronics 2016. July E&EO 2016. /CapitalApplianceCentre Telford: Castle Street, Hadley, Telford TF1 6GJ01384 Tel: 01952 257007 Dudley: 3 Castle Street, Dudley, DY1 1LA Tel: 234620 Shrewsbury: Unit 26 Vanguard Way, Harlescott, Shrewsbury SY1 3TG Tel: 01743 463261 Telford: Castle Street, Hadley, Telford TF1 6GJ Tel: 01952 257007 Salop Street, 1 Market Place, Wolverhampton WV3 0RX 01902 429060 Telford: Castle Street, Hadley, Telford TF1 6GJ Tel: 01952/CapitalApplianceCentre 257007 *T&C’s apply. The Euronics Price Match policy is valid on selected Agency models. Ask In-store for full T&C’S. Sold as an agent for Euronics Limited. All rights reserved. All offers are subject to availability while stocks last. Delivery & Installation charges may apply. Exclusions and Radius Apply. Selected Stores Only. Prices correct at time of print but can be subject to change. See in store for full details. Images for illustration purposes only. Copyright Euronics 2016. July E&EO 2016. *T&C’s apply. The Euronics Price Match policy is valid on selected Agency models. Ask In-store for full T&C’S. Sold as an agent for Euronics Limited. All rights reserved. All offers are subject to availability while stocks last. Delivery & Installation charges may apply. Exclusions and Radius Apply. Selected Stores Only. Prices correct at time of print but can be subject to change. See in store for full details. Images for illustration purposes only. Copyright Euronics 2016. July E&EO 2016.


Buy direct from the manufacturer

Luxury handcrafted furniture designed to your individual requirements Book an exclusive appointment to view our range of furniture at our showroom. Alternatively contact us for your free brochure. Repose Furniture Limited, Attwood House, Cradley Heath, West Midlands B64 6AN Tel: 01384 567401 Email:


Looking for a quality fitted kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or home office? Then look no further than Ironbridge Interiors. We are a family run business, and we think of ourselves as “Big enough to cope, yet small enough to care!� We aim to give our customers the best possible service, so much so that they will recommend our services to family and friends, as has been the case for 80% of our new business conversions. We enjoy our picturesque manufacturing location at the historic Merrythought village in the Ironbridge gorge, where we have produced our own bespoke cabinetry since 2010. Over the last couple of years we seem to have gained more and more customers from Wolverhampton and the surrounding areas, so when some premises became vacant next to the landmark Crown Inn on Wergs Road, we decided to open a showroom there to better service the area.


"We aim to give our customers the best possible service" Although we can make similar articles to others, we’d like to give your project a flavour that no one else can, or is willing to effect. Why not pay us a visit, or give us a call to attend your home or premises, and we will provide you with a free design and quote. Indeed if you wish you can drop off, fax or email your basic measurements and requirements and we will liaise with you in that way. You will find our quotes completely itemised, not written on the back of an envelope. This enables you to do a proper like for like comparison with any other quotes you may get, which we guarantee to beat on a like for like basis. For those who have not used our services before, we have an abundance of previous customers, who will be only too happy to talk to you, or indeed allow you to visit them, in order to give you extra confidence. We look forward to seeing you, and being of service to you!

Ironbridge Interiors have recently been involved in the supply & fitting of the kitchen for the BBC's 'DIY SOS' in support of Matthew Cooper.

Ironbridge Interiors Unit 3 Merrythought Village Ironbridge Telford TF8 7NJ 01952 433 664

Ironbridge Interiors 81 Wergs Road Wolverhampton WV6 9BP 01902 903836 27

27 Ironbridge Interiors

features an ensuite shower room. On the second floor is bedroom five with separate study/ dressing room and ensuite shower room. The enclosed rear garden has been landscaped and at the front of the property is a paved driveway providing off road parking.

Situated in one of the most favoured locations in Tettenhall, within easy distance of the Village and the amenities therein, this recently constructed modern detached property has been built to a most individual Our design providing extremely versatile and spacious living accommodation whilst incorporating a host of unique features throughout.


Featured Property

Viewing is highly recommended to appreciate this exclusive family house.


Situated in one of the most favoured locations in Tettenhall, within easy distance of the Village and the amenities therein, this recently constructed modern detached property has been built to a most individual design providing extremely versatile and spacious living accommodation whilst incorporating a host of unique features throughout. Thoughtfully designed to a most superior specification and styled to include luxury high quality fittings throughout, the property also has the benefit of double glazed sash style windows and gas central heating. The stunning interior includes ground floor reception hall, living room, dining room and an outstanding open plan kitchen with family/ dining area which comprises of a most spectacular suite with a

number of high end integrated appliances. Adjacent is a useful utility with fitted cloakroom and access to the garage. On the first floor is a galleried landing leading to the family bathroom, four bedrooms with the master having dressing area & ensuite shower room and the guest bedrooms also features an ensuite shower room. On the second floor is bedroom five with separate study/ dressing room and ensuite shower room. The enclosed rear garden has been landscaped and at the front of the property is a paved driveway providing off road parking. Viewing is highly recommended to appreciate this exclusive family house.


Call: 01902 758111 Visit:

Our Property


Call: 01902 758111 Visit:

Call: 01902 758111 Visit:

49A GLEN COURT, Compton, Wolverhampton, WV3 9JW Purchase Price: £335,000 Occupying a choice position in a popular location convenient for the majority of amenities including schools and shops this distinctive detached property had been thoughtfully restyled to create and exceptionally high standard of accommodation.

Modern Spacious Detached Family House * Entrance Hall * Fitted Cloakroom * Study/ Sitting Room * Living Room * Superb Open Plan Dining Kitchen with a matching suite of modern units * First Floor Landing * Four Bedrooms * Master having Dressing Area & Luxury Ensuite * Family Bathroom * Enclosed Rear Garden * Driveway leading to Gated Screened Parking * Detached Garage * Gas Central Heating & Double Glazing * EPC Rating C


Call: 01902 758111 Visit:

1 RUDGE ROAD, Pattingham, Wolverhampton, WV6 7BT Purchase Price: £375,000 Occupying a choice position on the outskirts of the favoured rural village of Pattingham and enjoying extensive views over countryside, this distinctive modern detached house is a superb family home. The spacious tastefully appointed interior includes

Reception Porch * Entrance Hall * Fitted Cloakroom * Charming Living Room * Separate Dining Room * Sitting Room overlooking rear garden * Fitted Breakfast Kitchen * Utility * First Floor Landing * Three Bedrooms * Family Bathroom * Gas Central Heating & Double Glazing * Two Garages * Extensive Views over Countryside at Rear * EPC Rating D








Unique Home for Girls Charity An amazing charity event was held on 17th February to raise money to help support the amazing work of the Unique Home for Girls charity who change the lives of abandoned or unwanted girls in Jullundar, Punjab, India. It was a great success and raised £6.500 help us get to £7000 by donating via the just giving link below. The night included drinks on arrival, a three course meal, entertainment from Singers H Dhami & Reena Kaur as well as DJ Saqi Roadshow.

Chris, Sandra, Reena and Pally

Why are we raising money?

Razia and Rabiya were just a few days old when they were discovered in the fields. These girls have all found shelter in Unique Home, where they now enjoy the real family experience that their parents chose to deprive them of simply because of their gender. The trust aims to raise these children as healthy individuals and arm them with all the social skills and educational qualifications that they need to face life on their own terms grow up with a sense of belonging. This is the only home they know. To know more, please visit the website www.

Unique Home for Girls is a home for unwanted, abandoned girls in Punjab, India. Due to many cultural and economic reasons, boys are regarded as the preferred sex and consequently female foeticide and infanticide is often the chosen path for women who feel they have no alternative, 274 girls die every day in Punjab before they are born (Source: The Missing Girls, 2011) April 24th is a very special day at Unique Home when the children collectively celebrate their birthday. A group of us (Pally, Reena, Sandra and Chris) are travelling to India and are volunteering at the home cumulating with a very special birthday party for all the children. Your donation will help fund items such as : new cots to stop babies sharing 4/5 to a cot, bed linen, educational toys, notepads, pencils, text books and kitchen equipment. £5 can buy new bedding £10 will buy a new cot £20 will buy clothes/nappies £50 feed home for a week. Every £ counts so please donate to www.justgiving. com/crowdfunding/unique-homes.

Razia and Rabiya




STOURBRIDGE RUGBY CLUB AND OPENING BOUNDARIES LAUNCH "I SUPPORT TACKLING KNIFE CRIME" INITIATIVE Birmingham Childerns Hospital, Robin Edwards, Chairman at Stourbridge Rugby said, “The devastating effect of the increase in knife crime is being felt across UK society and locally we have felt the terrible sadness of lives being lost through this dreadful evil. To combat this unwelcomed and unacceptable behaviour we believe it is vital for our community to come together in support of organisations that can tackle this problem and collectively we aim to raise funds from rugby to invest in a safer future for us all. Working in partnership, Opening Boundaries and Stourbridge Rugby Club will be using the power of sport and in particular rugby, to organise a community charity event on the 6th May 2018.

Working with the charity Opening Boundaries and West Midlands Police we are organising a charity rugby competition to be held at the end of our season and we will donate all proceeds to Birmingham Childrens Hospital.

Teaming up with West Midlands Police who have given their backing to the campaign, the aim of the day will be to raise awareness of the increase in knife crime and how we can combat this issue using sport a positive diversionary.

We will encourage our players, sponsors, supporters and friends to participate and show their support for this initiative. We hope to engage with our local neighbouring rugby clubs who have a similar objective, lets tackle knife crime!”

The campaign named “I support Tackling Knife Crime” was launched on the 12th November to coincide with the club hosting the 2019 Japan Rugby World Cup tour and the clubs first game played on its new all-purpose 3G pitch.

Farah Ahmed, Project Manager for Opening Boundaries pictured to the right with Stourbridge MP Margot James who has also pledged her support to the campaign went on to say,

Stourbridge Rugby Club caters for all ages and abilities including juniors, adults and women. The club is keen to provide a positive outlet for people to come and take part in organised sports programmes which have been proven to contribute towards reducing crime, finding positive identity and the feeling of community empowerment, leadership and teamwork.

As a local resident of Norton in Stourbridge, and someone who has been unfortunate enough to witness the upsetting news of a double murder in my area earlier this year, I am keen to demonstrate what we as a community can achieve when we come together using the power of sport which in turn helps to drive social change and allows us to live in a safer and more inclusive society.

Pictured with Halima Khan, founder of Opening Boundaries and Gemma Hooley from




We’re ensuring those who do carry a knife are robustly dealt with through the criminal justice system. There is now better reporting of knife crime from schools, and more efforts from police to understand why young people feel the need to carry bladed weapons. I am supportive of any community led initiative that seeks to prevent knife crime and the terrible impact it has on families and communities. The work of Opening Boundaries and Stourbridge Rugby Club is key in offering diversionary activities for young people to focus on.” There is now an open invitation for individuals and teams to register their interest to take part on the day. Teams will play a series of round robin games under the RFU Rugby10s format and there will also be an option of Touch Rugby. We are encouraging both males and females to take part as well as juniors and adults.

We hope the day will raise money for a good cause whilst bringing people from the community together to say ‘No’ to any form of violence. We want to use sport as a positive diversionary which can engage with people of all races, genders and classes”.

Opening Boundaries will work with Stourbridge RFC and RFU to ensure the tournament is fully inclusive and would like to place an emphasis on diversity in sport. The fundraiser will also consist of activities for the whole family and an opportunity to talk to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the West Midlands Police, both of whom will be represented at the event.

Statistics provided by West Midlands Police show instances of knife crime seen, used or threatened has jumped from 1554 in 2014-2015 to 2391 in 2016-2017. That is a worrying increase of 35%.

Miranda Williams, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, commented, “We are incredibly grateful to Opening Boundaries and Stourbridge Rugby Club for raising money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. The money they raise will make a huge difference to the lives of our brave children and their families, enabling us to do more for the sick kids in our care.”

Sadly the numbers for knife homicide have jumped from 9 to 17 in the same time frame, almost doubled. Detective Superintendent Ian Parnell of West Midlands Police has said, "Across the West Midlands there has been a recent increase in knife crime, ranging from possession offences at one end to murder at the other.”

The organisers are now taking expressions of interest from people wanting to take part on the day , as teams or as individuals, and would like to urge everyone to get behind this initiative.

“We acknowledge that knives are too often the weapon of choice, but we are working really hard with retailers, schools and partners to remove knives from the streets of the West Midlands.


Our Time of Year

Mothering Sunday Your Time

of Year

an ancient celebration

The origin of Mother’s Day go back to the ancient Greek and Romans.

Historically, churchgoers worshipped on Sundays at their nearest parish, known as their ‘daughter’ church. Centuries ago it was deemed important for people to return to their home or ‘mother’ church once a year.

The Greeks held an annual spring festival and used the occasion to honour Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology.

The return to the ‘mother’ church became an occasion for family reunions. Its a popular belief that this return is what led to the tradition of Mothering Sunday.

Ancient Romans, too, celebrated a spring festival, called Hilaria dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. The celebration lasted for three days and included parades and games.

The custom of celebrating Mothering Sunday died out almost completely by the 19th century. However, was celebrated again after World War II, when American servicemen brought the custom and commercial enterprises used it as an occasion for sales.

Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent and this year falls on 11th March. Its often referred to as Mothers’ Day, but that is in fact, a completely different American festival celebrated at a different time of year.

Today this special day, commercial or not, is a chance to reflect and give thanks to our mothers and is a particularly poignant time to remember loved ones no longer with us.

Traditionally, it was a day when employees, who were staying away from home, such as domestic servants, were given a day off and encouraged to visit their mother and family.


Our Time of Year

Easter a spring holiday

with religious origins

Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term hebdomada alba, or white week. In reference to the white clothing worn by people who were baptized during that time. Through a translation error, the term later appeared as esostarum in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English. In Spanish, Easter is known as Pascua; in French, Paques. These words are derived from the Greek and Latin Pascha or Pasch, for Passover, which is the celebration to commemorate the liberation of Jews from the slavery of the Egyptians in ancient times. As with most religious and historic festivals Easter has now become a commercial venture. Did you know, over 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made each year.? The exact origins of day are unknown. Pagan folklore claims the word Easter is derived Eastre (or Eostre), the Anglo Saxon goddess of spring. A festival called Eastre was held during the spring Equinox to honour her. Eastre’s earth symbol was a hare, also known as symbol of fertility and perhaps the origins of the Easter bunny. The spring Equinox is a time where the earth renews itself after the winter. The egg is widely used as a symbol of new life and re-birth and so became a symbol of Easter. This year Easter Sunday falls on Sunday 1st April. Most of us will enjoy a 4 day holiday from Good Friday 30th March to Easter bank holiday Monday 2nd April - and most of us will enjoy the time with family and friends eating far too much chocolate!

In the Christian faith Easter has come to mean the celebration of the resurrection of Christ from the tomb, three days after his crucifixion. It is the oldest and most significant holiday in the church year. Easter Sunday comes after Lent, a 40 day period of fasting.


Our Food & Drink

Spring Recipes By Mike Whitehurst

DUCK CONFIT I love the combination of roasted duck with a hint of star anise, it matches so perfectly well with celeriac, especially when roasted. This dish is becoming very popular at the dinner parties I do. I think people are becoming more adventurous with different flavours and this shows from what they order off my menu. Try it yourself or hire me to come and cook it for you. 38


Food & Drink

rosemary. Cover and leave in the fridge over night (overnight optional) Next, pour the oil over the duck legs until completely submerged and cover tightly with strong kitchen foil. Place in your preheated at 175oC for 1 hour and 45 minutes. They may need longer depending on how brown the skin looks.

EQUIPMENT: 1 deep roasting dish (300mm x 200mm and 100mm deep ideally) A roll of strong kitchen foil Tongs Thick oven cloth Food processor Spatula Chopping board Cooks knife Pestle and mortar

For the last 45 minutes of cooking time wash and quarter the celeriac and toss in oil, season and put in the oven to roast. You can slice the peel away from the flesh once it has roasted and cooled. Once the duck and celeriac have finished cooking allow to cool and then cut in half through the middle of the leg in between the joint and place in a separate roasting tin ready to be finally roasted in the oven for 10 minutes on 190oC to crisp up the skin if it needs it - you be the judge of that. Cut the skin off the celeriac as though you were filleting a fish - skin side down knife almost flat on the board. Now put the flesh of the celeriac into a food processor with 100ml of double cream, a pinch of sea salt and blitz until you have a smooth puree. Season and keep warm.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CONFIT: 4 duck legs 1 whole star anise 10 all spice berries 2 sprigs of rosemary 2 sprigs of thyme Maldon sea salt 1 whole garlic cut in half horizontally 5 litres of deep frying rapeseed oil or duck fat but that’s the expensive version.


Now put the duck in the oven to brown and blanch the tops of the broccoli in boiling salted water for 30 seconds and then remove. To make the dressing you need to crush about 10 pistachio nuts with a pinch of sea salt and 1 clove of garlic in a pestle and mortar and chop a few sprigs of parsley and add to the mix then pour in about 100ml of cold pressed rapeseed oil. Put a dollop of the puree in the centre of your plate and push out a little to form the base. Place a few sprigs of parsley and watercress around the plate and a few pumpkin seeds. Arrange the duck in the centre of the puree and drizzle the dressing over and around the duck.

1 celeriac - quartered Tender-stem broccoli - tops only (save the stalks to dip in hummus) Pistachios unsalted and shelled Toasted pumpkin seeds 1 Garlic clove Mallon sea salt 1 bottle of cold pressed rapeseed oil a few sprigs of flat leaf parsley 1 tub of double cream a few sprigs of watercress a stick of fresh horseradish a loaf of spelt and rye sour dough bread ) recipe is below this one on here.

SERVING SUGGESTION: Serve with chunks of spelt and rye sour dough bread, leaves of cos lettuce and a glass of ice cold muscadet.

METHOD: Rub the duck legs with a little of the maldon sea salt and place in the roasting tray with the all spice, star anise, garlic, thyme and

See what else we do in the kitchen at takefood


Our Food & Drink


orange zest fennel seeds - powdered in the spice grinder meringues - 2 egg whites and 130g of caster sugar

For the pastry 175g Organic plain flour 90g icing sugar 30g raw organic cacao - available online 140g chilled salted butter – diced 2 medium egg yolks 1 tbsp of ice cold water

For the side 200g of double cream 50g of caster sugar 1 tsp of good quality vanilla extract

For the filling 500g of dark chocolate min. 65% solids 250g double cream 2 tsp of orange extract

EQUIPMENT spice grinder / pestle and mortar rolling pin magimix blade attachment and kitchen aid or similar with whisk attachment 36x12cm fluted tart tin baking beans or rice

For the topping dark chocolate to grate


Our blow torch metal bowls parchment paper baking trays 2 dessert spoons - ( meringue spooning)

Food & Drink

While your tart is setting whisk 2 egg whites on high until stiff peaks ( 66g) then microwave 130g of caster sugar on high for 3 minutes or until warm. Continue to beat the egg whites pouring in the warm sugar until a thick glossy meringue has formed – about 5 minutes. Spoon this out onto a parchment lined tray using the 2 spoons to make oval shapes/ quenelles and dry out in the grill part of your oven with the top and bottom heat turned on to 100oC – fan ovens ruin meringues in my experience.

Start by making the pastry. Sift the flour, icing sugar and cacao into a bowl or the bowl of your food processor. Add the butter and pulse or work with your fingers until it resembles sand. Now add in the 2 egg yolks and if needed add the water then pulse until a paste/dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and bring together, wrap with cling film and leave for at least an hour or up to a day in the fridge. Once ready roll out to the thickness of about 1cm , roll up the pastry over the rolling pin and carefully lay over the tart tin. You may find that you will have to work the dough as though it were play-doh moulding it into the corners and over the edges as it may break up due to the sugar but pushing it back together to seal up cracks will work. Make sure the pastry hangs over the edges to allow for shrinkage. The trick is to cut off excess pastry once the case has dried out in the oven . Cut out parchment paper and push into the corners and fill with baking beans or rice and bake at 170oC / mk 3 for 30 minutes then remove the parchment and beans or rice to allow the base to dry out in the oven and become crisp – about a further 20 minutes. Once your tart case is ready allow to cool and get on with the filling. Melt the cream and chocolate together over a pan of simmering water – make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water in the pan. Stir rapidly once melted to create a smooth shiny ganache, stir in the orange extract and zest and pour into the tart case smoothing the top off with a palette knife. Set in the fridge for about 2/3 hours.

Now the tart is set and your meringues have dried out just enough to pick up, get a blow torch and burn the tops as though for lemon meringue pie. Slice the excess from the tart case pushing outwards so not to get crumbs on ganache then crush meringue over your tart, grate the chocolate and zest the orange. Sprinkle with cocoa powder, powdered fennel and icing sugar. Now whisk 200g of double cream with the sugar and vanilla extract and put in bowl ready to serve.

SERVING SUGGESTION Slice the tart into 8/10 rectangles, squares or a right angled triangle and top with a dollop of the cream. Any questions such as where to get raw organic cacao or problems with meringues email mike@

Mike Whitehurst Your Private Chef and Caterer Catering for business and social events or celebrating with family and friends e: m:07939907371




We offer a great food and drink service with staff in your home, a hired venue or work place for any event where you want to provide refreshments, breakfast, lunch, canapés or a full meal etc... We also do a food to order delivery service for breakfast and lunch. Do you need staff, furniture, tableware and linen? We serve Breakfast from £4.50 Sandwich buffet from £6 Packed Lunch from£6 Food to order from £18 Lunch from £9 Canapés from £4.50 Bowl food from £4 Afternoon tea from £12 Dinner from £28


To request our brochure for more information or to book please Telephone Mike on

07939 907371


Email or visit

py to answer any question on 01902 859 805.

The Oakley Arms od, Staffordshire ST19 9BQ Brewood es will be lit and the back bar

We l

ith warming tipples to suit the o we would love to see you at e point over the festivities. New Spring Menu Now Available

hn and all at the Oakley.

Easter Egg Hunt

Sunday 1st April 10:30am- 12pm

Monthly Dog Walk Event First Saturday of every month Meet at the pub for 9:30am for a bacon butty and tea/coffee on the house, ready to set off for 10am

01902 859 800 |

The Oakley Arms, Kiddemore Green Road, 43 Brewood, Staffordshire ST19 9BQ

Our What’s On

South Staffordshire Leisure Centres

We also provide a discounted scheme for people who need to take regular exercise to improve health. This scheme is called ‘Forward to Health’ and is a 12 week programme consisting of regular consultations with one of our fitness experts who will help and advise you along the way. There is certain criteria in order to be eligible for this discounted scheme.

South Staffordshire Council provide 4 leisure centres which include Cheslyn Hay, Codsall, Penkridge and Wombourne and you can join any one and use the other three sites at no extra charge. Memberships are flexible and affordable with prices starting from just £20 per month, that’s just £5 per week!

The leisure centres are open to both members and non members, however we charge no joining fees, there are no long term contracts and no cancellation fees.

For this small cost, you will get access to all areas including the gyms, a huge range of exercise classes, swimming pools, toning suites and the indoor cycling studios.


The facilities are friendly and we welcome all ages and abilities, with sessions and activities to suit everyone. As a member, you can request a FREE health check to help you get started and a personal fitness programme to help determine your goals and get you on the right track.

Cheslyn Hay Leisure Centre 01922 417790 Codsall Leisure Centre 01902 844032 Penkridge Leisure Centre 01785 714152 Wombourne Leisure Centre 01902 898202


Affordable fitness with Affordable fitness with South Staffordshire Council’s Leisure Centres South Staffordshire Council’s Leisure Centres Affordable fitness with


South Staffordshire Council’s Leisure Centres


FROM FROM JUST JUST£20 £20PER PERMONTH MONTH FROM JUST £20 PER MONTH Join between 26 March --88April Join between 26 March April Join between 26 March 8 April Pay £10 initial payment, then nothing Pay £10 initial initialpayment, payment,then thennothing nothing Pay else £10 until May 2018. else until until May May2018. 2018. else *The leisure centres are closed on Sunday 1 and Monday 2 April.

*The leisure leisurecentres centresare areclosed closedon onSunday Sunday1 1and andMonday Monday22April. April. *The

Codsall Leisure Centre 01902Leisure 844032Centre Codsall Codsall Leisure Centre 01902 844032 01902 844032 Cheslyn Hay Leisure Centre

01922 417790 Cheslyn Hay Leisure Centre Cheslyn Hay Leisure Centre 01922 417790 01922 417790


Penkridge Leisure Centre 01785 714152 Penkridge Leisure Centre Penkridge Leisure Centre 01785 714152 01785 714152 Wombourne Leisure Centre

01902 898202 Wombourne Leisure Centre Wombourne Leisure Centre 01902 898202 01902 898202

Our What’s On

What's on - MARCH / APRIL Arena Birmingham Wednesday 21st - Thursday 22nd March Some of the best male and female artistic gymnasts in the world will be competing for prestigious titles at this major global event. Watch the battle as our male gymnasts go for glory on the floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar. Our elite women will wow the crowds as they compete on vault, uneven bars, beam and everyone’s favourite, the floor. Ticket Price £40.45 / £51.75 / £74.35 Includes admin fee & £2.55 fulfilment fee.



What’s On

FAST & FURIOUS LIVE Arena Birmingham Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd April The adrenaline-fueled, two-hour show is set to be the most spectacular live arena production ever produced, featuring precision performance driving and newly created physicsdefying stunts. Using favourite cars and locations that crisscross the globe along with key scenes from the film series – created via state-of-the-art 3D projection mapping – fans will be transported straight into this immersive extension of the Fast & Furious movies.

West Midlands Safari Park Saturday 24th March Ticket Price: Early Bird Tickets are just £15 pp – limited availability! (18+ only). Standard Tickets – £18 pp


Kinver Edge and The Rock Houses

Stourbridge Gin Festival

Friday 30th March - Monday 2nd April 11am - 3pm

Thursday 26th - Sunday 29th April

Bigger. Better. Bolder. Stourbridge Gin Festival 4 is coming YOUR way April 2018.

Come on a woodland hunt to discover the wildlife that lives here and find your chocolatey reward. Dogs on leads are welcome. Find us at the Rock Houses. Come dressed for the weather - it's all outdoors!

Building on the insane success of our previous festivals, this event will bring more gins than ever before, more gin vendors, more everything!

Ticket Price: £21.59 Green Duck Beer Co. Rufford Road, Stourbridge, DY9 7ND

The hunt follows woodland footpaths, which are at times steep and may be muddy underfoot.





Our Wedding

Cocktail Style Wedding

The great thing about weddings today is that anything goes! Gone are the days when you were tied to tradition and had to have the seated wedding breakfast followed by speeches, toasts and cake cutting. Of course you can still do all this and done correctly this produces a beautiful and classical structure for your wedding day. However, what with the ever swelling guest lists and attendees from a varied mix of race and culture now all too common at weddings, Brides and Grooms across the country are opting for a more relaxed affair rather than struggling against the confinements of tradition.

friends and family to tuck into together. There has also been an increase in the “grazing style” of receptions such a cocktail & canapes, picnics or even gourmet BBQs all delivering non-fussy yet scrumptious food while your guests can mingle to their hearts delight!

Over the last few years communal feasting is now considered a perfectly acceptable, and let’s face it, novel way of feeding your guests, with big shared platters of food served on tables for

If you are considering a nontraditional style of wedding food then here are a few tips and considerations which hopefully will help you find the right style for you and your budget!

So in reality, what with the acceptance of such a relaxed style of food service there now seems to be no rulebook about what or how you feed your guests. The only thing that you must assure is that there is enough food to go around and that it is easily accessible.


Our Wedding Anyone for Cocktails?

Occasional Seating

This style of affair can be very glamorous and classy however not necessarily a cheaper option, so don’t forgo the three course meal thinking you’ll save money. One of the main factors here is the venue you have chosen. A cocktail wedding requires a certain style of furniture which the venue you have booked many not have. Poseur tables, bar stools and indeed more bars may need to be hired to style the space and create the right atmosphere which will heavily impact on your budget.

Cocktail style weddings are great for mingling but remember to supply occasional seating for the elderly and ladies in heels. Standing up in high heels for 8 hours will result in people kicking off their shoes (never good for wedding photography) or even going home early as they are in too much pain. If you have elderly guests attending, they will be looking for comfortable seating options to mingle quietly rather than standing up all evening. A selection of comfortable chairs and even sofas would be perfect especially when the disco is in full swing as people will need a breather!

Make sure there is enough staff to make and supply the cocktails as it will take some time for them to get around to everyone. Make it easy for people to help themselves with trays of cocktails or simple flutes of fizz positioned at various points in the room so that people don’t have to queue.

Prepare Your Guests Some guests may not have attended a cocktail style wedding before and therefore might be confused about what food will be served. It is always a good idea to make sure there is a note of this on your invites so your guests aren’t left wondering if they should be fasting or loading up their bellies before the event.

Keep in mind your guest list size. With a sitdown meal you will be restricted to numbers simply due to the number of tables and chairs the venue can hold. Stand up receptions such as cocktail-style weddings will allow for a larger numbers in the venue but you’ll consequently need to feed more people, so it might just cost the same as a seated meal in the end.

Best of Both Worlds If you like the idea of a more relaxed format but think that canapes and cocktails wouldn’t quite deliver enough pomp & ceremony on the day then you could always merge the two styles. Have drinks and canapés served after your ceremony, giving your guests the opportunity to mingle, while you’re getting photos taken with your bridal party. Then invite guests to a sit-down meal which can allow you to schedule in certain speeches, cutting of the cake etc. Why not try sharing platters if you want to keep it less formal. Then have a roaming dessert with different buffet stations situated throughout the venue or even go back to served canapes for sweet nibbles. You can always have your cake served at one of these stations with tea and coffee available.

Canapes & Finger Food Pricing will vary depending on your caterer of course. You have to consider the time of day your reception is being held as this will determine the quantity of food you will need to supply to your guests. Think about portions, if you were to put all the canapés allocated per guest on a plate, would it be enough to make a meal? It may be an idea to have food points scattered around the venue for the guest’s arrival to avoid people pouncing on the first tray of canapes that appear. Create food stations for guests such as a charcuterie, or cheese plate here and there to enhance the supply of nibbles being circulated.


Our Wedding

Mum’s the word What is the next best thing to your own wedding day? The wedding day of your son or daughter, of course! But what should mums do to ensure they do their children proud on this happiest of days? We find out ...


Our Wedding We suggest the following:

From the moment a couple announce their engagement, brides-to-be go into overdrive as they start thinking about what she will wear on the big day.

* Your hat should not cast shadows cast on the face – it doesn’t look good on the photographs – so pick something that lets light through or the brim is turned outwards.

But there are two other special women on the female cast list who will also start planning their outfits just as carefully – the mothers of the bride and groom.

* Try to keep the brim of the hat within the width of the shoulders if you don’t want to look top heavy

There aren’t many rules governing their outfits but as they are centre stage (almost!) for most of the day they can afford to dress up.

* Avoid heavy brims and high-collared jackets or you may find on the photographs that your face disappears into the neck. * Big hats suit lower neckline outfits and they also balance well with three-quarter length jackets or longer dresses.

The main consideration is choosing an outfit that is practical, comfortable and smart that can withstand a long day of ceremonies, speeches and evening celebrations ahead.

* Summery prints often go better with feathered or netted headdresses.

It’s best if the mothers avoid wearing white and only choose a cream outfit if the bride is in something more unconventional, such as red or gold.

Mothers will obviously want to look their best on this very special day, but one final piece of advice: please ensure that you do not upstage the bride!

Gone are the days of mothers wearing clashing outfits on the day. It’s common sense for them to consult with the couple and with each other about colour and style choices so that the wedding party’s attire tones into an overall scheme that is both visually pleasing and complementary. But while the mothers agree a plan, there is one other danger to consider - another relative wearing the same outfit. This might happen if family and guests come from the same area and could buy their outfits from similar specialist stores. In this case, it’s probably best to resort to the grapevine of family and friends and make it known early which colours you are wearing and the shades chosen for accessories. In that way, other female guests can steer clear!

‘John Charles’ Mother of the Bride - Available at Jantino

Hats can sometimes make or break an outfit.


there is now a large selection of card, paper to choose from. You can and embellishments and embellishments to choose from. cansets and kits which contain actually buyYou box actually buy box sets andeverything kits which you contain need to create personalised everything you need to create personalised wedding invitations from home. But if you wedding invitations from are home. confiBut dentif inyou your crafting skills then you Our Wedding are confident in your crafting skills then you can buy packs of blank cards and envelops can buy packs of blank cards and envelops

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Your first choice for mother of the Your first choice for mother of the bride and groom, cruise and evening wear. Stocking s cruise and evening wear. Stocking stunning outfits and matching accessories from British matching accessories from British and International designers. Jan and her team are a designers. Jan and her team are always on hand to you look your best for a ensure you look your best for anyensure occasion.

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Our sale shop has moved to Quarry Bank Our saleHigh shop has moved to Quarry Bank High St, opposite the main shop and is open: St, opposite the main shop and is open: Tues - Thurs, 10 - 4.30pm, Friday 10-2pm Tues - Thurs, 10 - 4.30pm, Friday 10-2pm and Sat- 10 - 4.30pm and Sat 10 - 4.30pm Mon Sat 9.45am - 4.45pm Huge savings on a stunning rangeHuge savings on a stunning range Hawkswood Lodge, Old High of designer wear of designer wear 22b HighStreet, Street, Quarry Bank, Bank, Quarry 22b High Street, Quarry Bank, West Midlands DY52JW West Midlands DY52JW West Midlands. DY5 2JR Tel: 07914 687630 Tel: 07914 687630

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Our Wedding

Helping with all of your Jewellery needs company specialising in handmade jewellery. They have made their base in Kinver since September 2012, having been friends with mutual interests for many years, with Andy supplying chains to Simon, before setting up shop together in what they call a lovely village with friendly people and surrounding businesses.

Simon and Andy have between them over fifty years of experience in the trade.

They are happy to help with all of your jewellery needs including helping you to select the perfect piece from their eclectic in-shop range as well as with repairs and servicing and designing & making bespoke jewellery for someone special.

Simon began his career training at The School of Jewellery at Hockley, where Andy undertook an apprenticeship with Gibbons and Hood, a

Both Simon and Andy enjoy missions and challenges, having a journey with each customer in order to make their perfect piece.

Kinver Jewellers Bespoke handmade jewellery In house workshop

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Kinver Jewellers 55

Our Jobs

Why I Love My Job By Kate Worland, Creator of Kate Francis Designs, Handmade Headwear Manager I was very familiar with the industry and of course, being present at the weddings and events I helped to arrange, I saw the new fashions of both bridal headwear and fascinators develop and change. I therefore felt well equipped to progress from a table top hobby to a small business, engaging with clients to produce a desired piece that they couldn’t find in the shops.

I make Fascinators, Demi-hats & Bridal Headwear I have always loved wearing hats and headwear of all descriptions and when it was my turn to get married I took myself back to school to learn how to make my headdress and I fell in love all over again! I enjoyed making and wearing my own headdress so much that after my wedding I started making fascinators and demi-hats to wear to weddings or parties I attended or to give as gifts. Friends and family would ask for things to wear and I willingly obliged as there is nothing as rewarding or heartwarming as seeing someone looking fabulous in one of your creations. Then friends of friends would need something making to match an outfit and so I found myself at this point, launching this small business, Kate Francis Designs, Handmade Headwear.

So what is different about my fascinators to those you can buy instore? All my pieces are handmade and created from scratch. I love adding small details often working with ribbon or beading to create a delicate decoration within the overall design. A fascinator is viewed from every angle so it’s important that even the back view looks good. I make flowers from silk, organza and tulle often with small beads or crystals inserted to add a bit of sparkle. I’m fanatical about my handy work and all my pieces are hand sewn. Most of what you buy in the stores is machine stitched and glued.

Having already worked as a Wedding & Event


Our Jobs

I’ll work closely with my clients to create a fascinator that not only matches their outfit both in terms of style and colour, but also suits them physically and complements the hairstyle worn on the day. There is usually an initial consultation where the client will bring their outfit and perhaps a picture of something they have seen and we will discuss the colour, size, shape, how they would like the piece to sit on their head and if it is to be worn on a band, comb or secured with a pin. There may be several consultations along the way as the piece develops and we experiment with the decorative elements. I have in the past got so engrossed in the creative part that I end up making more than one piece for the client to try.

what she wanted or indeed if she really wanted to wear one at all, so I had my work cut out. We tried a few things on and I got a sense of what she liked and what she might feel comfortable in. I ended making two fascinators for her to take away and try on with her outfit. Both very feminine with feather and ribbon details. She loved them both but to my surprise chose the larger of the two to wear to the wedding. The business is still its infancy (although I have a house full of fascinators) and there is much to do in terms of marketing, website and social media (not to mention converting the loft into a workshop!) but I have been lucky enough to have had some wonderful clients last year that have simply been via word of mouth. This steady start has enabled me to really take the time to understand the brief and experiment with designs to ensure that the finished article is the best it can be.

My ‘Unique Selling Point’ is that I strive to offer a personal service working with a client to create a totally unique and custom-made design to add the finishing touch for any special occasion. The client will receive a bespoke, handmade design that complements their ensemble. There certainly won’t be the chance of anyone else wearing the same! I offer a ‘no like, no purchase’ policy which thankfully to date has never been taken up and I also offer a repair and refresh service on the pieces I make.

I love what I do as there is nothing more rewarding as seeing one of my creations worn for a special occasion. I have to confess though that I enjoy the entire process right from the initial brief with the client, designing and creating the piece, through to seeing the client looking resplendent on their special day.

There are always challenges which in truth I enjoy. A lovely lady came to me as her son was getting married and she was “under pressure“ to wear a fascinator to accompany her navy and cream dress and jacket. She really didn’t know

Kate Francis Designs will be exhibiting at the Hagley Hall Wedding Showcase on the 4th March.

handmadeheadwear 57

Our Fashion

Make a Spring Statement by Michelle Martin - Fashion Buyer The Perfect Spring Cover-up The trench coat has always been a spring classic but on the SS18 catwalks, it was the star of the show featured by Valentino, Moschino and Alexander McQueen. The trench mac is a wardrobe staple and perfect for those April showers. Pair with jeans for a chic weekend look or dress it up with heels for the evening. Here are some of my favourites from the high-street






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Our Travel

Manhattan, it’s an isle of joy! by Rebecca Underwood, Travel Journalist

abound, and on the ground is a swirling maelstrom of people dodging yellow cabs and a never ending stream of traffic, whilst buses inch past long, sleek-lined limousines. Police cars, fire engines and ambulances whizz past with sirens blazing and loud pop music blares out from stationary vehicles caught up in the melee.

Reflecting on the words and music of two of New York’s most famous sons; lyricist Lorenz Milton Hart and composer, Richard Charles Rodgers………………… ‘the great big city’s a wondrous toy, just made for a girl and boy, we’ll turn Manhattan into an isle of joy’ ……. Manhattan, an island surrounded by the Hudson, Harlem and East rivers, is the most populated borough of New York City and an exciting metropolis that simply pulsates with life. Visitors are enthralled by an abundance of popular attractions including the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building, museums galore, an enormous choice of Broadway shows and plays and you can eat and shop ‘til you drop!

Manhattan is truly a place that never sleeps and for art lovers, it’s a treasure trove. Head for the Morgan Museum and Library on Madison Avenue at 36th Street and view Pierpont Morgan’s 1906 Library. Pierpont Morgan, an American financier, selected architect Charles Follen McKim to design a library to house his enormous collection of rare books and manuscripts. The exterior of the property, adjacent to Pierpont’s original home, features Tennessee pink marble and the blocks are set with exact precision without the use of mortar. The interior of the library was restored in 2010 and the newly installed lighting illuminates the exquisite murals and décor. Sparkling chandeliers, ornate ceilings and beautiful pieces of period furniture reflect the grandeur of a bygone age.

Manhattan continues to attract more than 55 million visitors per year and it may seem that they are all congregating in Times Square at the same time! This is the hub of Manhattan’s razzle ‘n dazzle surrounded by imposing billboards with glittering lights and the overwhelming spectacle demands unwavering attention. Towering skyscrapers, adorned with advertising


Our Travel To learn more about the ‘Big Apple’, we wandered around the Museum of the City of New York on Fifth Ave and 103rd Street. Exhibitions include ‘NY at its core’, which charts the city’s beginnings as a Dutch village and its emergence as a captivating and modern metropolis.

hotel for a much earned rest. For explorers seeking a touch of luxury in a prime location Manhattan offers an endless choice of high end hotels including the Omni Berkshire Place, located on East 52nd Street at Madison Avenue, which is steps away from Radio City Music Hall. We relaxed in style in the opulent Rodgers and Hammerstein suite, which provides more than 1,000 square feet of lavish living space and features a 500 square feet wrap-around terrace, which served as the ideal spot for a pre-dining cocktail or two whilst admiring the view of the Manhattan skyline. Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote their Broadway masterpiece ‘Oklahoma’ on this very spot in 1942 and the accommodation reflects the glamour of that era perfectly. The master bedroom features an enormous ultra comfortable bed, swathed in the finest linens, a luxurious bath tub with a glass shower and a separate powder room. Guests are welcome to dine ‘in suite’ or visit Bob’s Chop and Steakhouse, on the ground floor. I sampled the succulent 14oz prime rib eye, served with glazed carrot and skillet fried potatoes, and accompanied by a bottle of the 2011 Silver Oak Napa Valley, it was a first class dining experience.

Circle Line Cruise The ideal way to see all the landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and much more, is onboard one of the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, which depart from Pier 83 at West 42nd Street. We selected the 2.5 hour ‘Best of NYC’, a fully narrated cruise, which sails sedately past all the famous sights, and passengers take full advantage of the photo opportunities, getting up close and personal with the main attractions as backdrops. Or if you prefer to remain on terra firma, and are in the mood for some luxury shopping, make haste for 5th Avenue and browse around Saks and Bergdorf Goodman. The enormous choice of designer jeans, bags and shoes should keep you entertained for hours. Or, wander into Tiffany & Co and be prepared to go into a trance at the mere sight of those twinkling gems.

Omni's Rodgers and Hammerstein Suite

If you’ve worked up an appetite struggling with all those shopping bags in tow and fancy a real NYC dining experience, head for Junior’s at 1626 Broadway. Founded in 1950, Junior’s is the home of the original New York cheesecake and for those of us with a sweet tooth, it’s absolutely scrumptious. I also sampled a delicious pastrami sandwich and a vanilla milkshake with mountains of whipped cream and Maraschino cherry. After such a feast we returned to our

Or, for those on a less generous budget, the Z NYC Hotel, located on 43rd Ave, Long Island, Queens, is ideal. Steps away from Queensboro Bridge, Manhattan is within easy reach and the hotel provides a complimentary shuttle bus to the 59th Street Subway entrance (between Lexington and 3rd Ave) every hour from 07.00 to 23.00 hours. Guests are also welcome to


Our Travel 'Pre Flight Top Tip'

use complimentary bicycles and a helmet and chain/lock and cord for securing packages are all included. The hotel accommodations are spacious and comfortable and we opted for a deluxe king room, measuring 290 square feet, with a ten foot high ceiling and enormous windows with a direct view of the spectacular Manhattan skyline. Hotel amenities include complimentary international, domestic and local telephone calls and complimentary WiFi.

Experience the tranquillity of the 51st & Green lounge at Dublin airport; the closest airport lounge to an active runway. Take advantage of the wide choice of fresh and healthy dishes, complimentary Wi-Fi, and an entertainment area. For more information visit www.dublinairport. com/at-the-airport/travel-services/51st-andgreen.

‘Top tip'- domestic flights For low fares and reliable, punctual flights from La Guardia and JFK to a wide choice of US cities, fly with the recipient of the 2016 Business Traveller award for 'Best Airline for North American Travel', visit

'Top tips- Broadway' Catch a performance of a great 'whodunit'. New York's longest running play 'Perfect Crime', at the Anne L. Bernstein theatre on W 50th St., is full of cunning twists, dramatic turns and laughs. For reservations call the box office on + 1 212 921 7862 or visit

ZNYC Hotel For our last dining treat we made our way to Virgil’s Real BBQ Restaurant on West 44th Street, just a few steps away from Times Square. We devoured the tasty ½ rack of Memphis- style pork spare rib, dry rubbed and hickory smoked, which was served with aplomb.

Or, for a riotous performance full of hilarity and high jinks, ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’, at the Lyceum Theatre on W 49th St, is a madcap comedy and a smash hit. For tickets visit or call + 1 212 239 6200.

And as we held our glasses of Virgil’s ale in the air we made a toast in honour of Rodgers and Hammerstein, and with a slight change of lyric, we sang…… ‘There is nothin' like ‘Times Square’, Nothin' in the world, There is nothin' you can name That is anythin' like ‘Times Square’!’

‘Top tip – NY attractions’ Purchase a NYC pass and ‘skip the lines’ at major attractions including the Empire State Building, Big Bus Tour, Statue of Liberty, New York Water Taxi, museums and more. Visit newyorkpass. com. And to learn more about the 'big apple' visit

‘Top tip – international flights’ To experience the warmth of Irish charm in-theair fly Business Class to JFK from LHR via Dublin with Aer Lingus. Take advantage of the generous luggage allowance of 3 x 23kg, priority boarding, and luxury in-flight dining. Relax in style on lieflat seats for a soothing in-flight slumber. For more information visit

‘Top tip’ – airport transfers Book a private transfer in New York with Blacklane for a reliable, punctual, first class service. Prices are all-inclusive and guaranteed in advance, so you can sit back and relax upon arrival. Visit for more information.


YOUR LOCAL TRAVEL SPECIALIST Formerly Mercian Travel, Destina has been organising extraordinary holidays for over 40 years.

From our welcoming store in Hagley in the West Midlands, our dedicated travel experts can plan a completely bespoke experience or find the perfect package holiday for you.

We’re dedicated to upholding our hard-won reputation for delivering the best in luxury travel while embracing our exciting re-brand as Destina Travel.

Our collection of holiday types includes everything from relaxing all-inclusive beach holidays and cruises to safari adventures, city breaks and escorted tours.

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Our Hair & Beauty

Royston and Nick’s Diary chance to not only admire these luxurious new cars but also catch up with friends. Joining them after the launch was The Real Housewives of Cheshire star Dawn Ward, who always loves to catch up on all the latest gossip over dinner. Great night with great friends.

The Ivy Cheltenham The renowned Ivy Collection has opened its doors in the heart of Cheltenham`s boutique Montpellier area. As a long- standing favourite restaurant of Nick & Royston, they joined special friends June Barnett and daughter Yvette to check it out. They have transformed the Grade 1 listed Rotunda building into a sophisticated open plan dining area with a fabulous bar centred around the famous domed ceiling. The food was amazing as expected and the company was even better, great to see the ladies, we must do it again soon.

Sophie & Fraser`s Wedding The team at Royston Blythe are very much a family and when one of them gets married, it is always a major event in the salon. Sophie started with the salon at 16 years of age and has worked her way up to Art Director working alongside Nick to win the British Midlands Hairdresser of the Year twice. So, Nick & Royston could not have been more delighted when she announced she was getting married to boyfriend Fraser. The wedding was held at the Award-Winning Hogarth’s Hotel, Solihull, where Nick and Royston arrived the night before to be on hand early the next morning to get the Bridal party ready for the big day. Sophie looked stunning, with a classic lace dress and elegant chignon. The day was magical, with a magnificent fire work display in the snow, before everyone partied the night away. We wish them both a life time of happiness.

Series 7 of The Real Housewives of Cheshire. It`s back!!!! With every series growing in popularity, this year looks like it will be best yet! Filming started at the beginning of the year and our favourites Nick and Royston will be back with a vengeance.

The launch of Aston Martin Vantage Aston Martin, Wilmslow invited Nick & Royston to the exclusive preview of their hottest new model the Vantage. Accompanied by car lover Robbie Hubble and his gorgeous wife Katie, they enjoyed live classical music, canapes and drinks at this VIP event. The evening gave them

Life in Cheshire is never boring and these two will hot things up. Look out, back on ITVBe in March.


Our Health

Getting the

balance back into your life

Hilary Sims firmly believes that if you have a problem in life, it’s always good to talk about the issue rather than bottle it up inside. That’s one of the reasons why the Stourbridge wife and mother became a counsellor. “I have always been the one in the group that people talk to, so it was a natural progression to move into counselling. I have always enjoyed working with people to solve problems and issues.” Hilary’s counselling business is called “Life Balance - Counselling Just For You.” She works with young people and adults on a variety of issues. She is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and an Accredited Member of the National Counselling Society and adheres to their Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling in order to ensure client safety. She has an Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling Skills and a Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). “I am currently working on a Certificate in Couples and Family Counselling Skills, which will give me the opportunity to continue to offer couples counselling in my private practice,” said Hilary. Her counselling work covers problems with anger, anxiety, bullying, family breakdown, stress, low self esteem, bereavement, depression or


any other issue causing unnecessary suffering. Working from Stourbridge, Hilary can provide a safe confidential space to explore these issues but she points out: “I am not here to offer advice or to tell you what to do.” “I will listen and offer non-judgemental support and let you explore different ways of dealing with the situation. If a problem is left unsolved, it can manifest into something bigger.” Hilary uses the Humanistic, Person Centered Approach which allows the client to achieve their full potential. She uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is a collaborative intervention which involves looking at our own thoughts and feelings about an issue. “We will discuss things in the therapy room, which you can practice between sessions,” said Hilary. “We can then measure the changes that this practice has bought about. I can also offer Solution Focus Based Therapy, which is a short term therapy focussing on the solution to a specific problem.” Hilary is also able to offer counselling as part of an Employee Assistance Programme. To contact Hilary: call 07850 447585 Or email

Our Health

GOLFER THOMAS IS BACK ON COURSE FOLLOWING KNEE SURGERY Golfer Thomas Scott is enjoying a comfortable walk down the fairways again thanks to life changing knee surgery.

“So I decided to have the left knee done and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. My quality of life has improved massively.”

Thomas is swinging a club much more freely after a total knee replacement at West Midlands Hospital.

Thomas is fully enjoying his weekly games of golf at local golf clubs which include Chesterton Valley Golf Club and Halfpenny Green Golf Club.

The 67-year-old had struggled with his left knee for over two years but he continued to battle through the pain barrier at home and at work.

He said: “I haven’t been playing golf all that long but I love the game and since the operation walking and playing feels so much better.

But when it started to affect his mobility and the pain was keeping him awake at night he went to see his GP for an X-Ray.

“I can also flex my knees more when I’m addressing the ball which wasn’t comfortable before the surgery.”

A series of initial injections didn’t have an impact and he was referred to see hip and knee specialist Mr Matthew Waites at the private hospital in Halesowen.

Thomas is also full of praise for West Midlands Hospital and the service and care he received before, during and after his operation. He added: “West Midlands Hospital is a fantastic hospital and the care you receive is top class from the moment you walk through the door to the moment you leave.

The cartilage in his left knee was completely worn and Mr Waites suggested a total knee replacement. Thomas, of Kingswinford, is a supervisor for construction firm Tonbrie Construction and the knee problem was affecting him in the workplace as well as on the golf course.

“The consultant Mr Waites and the nurses were brilliant with me. The physiotherapy team have also been superb and helped me to get back on my feet after the operation and I’ve also attended regular physio sessions at the hospital afterwards which have helped me to make great progress.

Thomas said: “I didn’t stop playing golf but my knee was becoming more and more of a problem and it was painful at work too.

“This was my first visit but I’m looking at having my right knee done as well so West Midlands Hospital would definitely be my first choice for future surgery.”

“The consultant recommended that I had my left knee replaced and said there was still some cartilage left in my right knee but that was wearing thin as well.


No Cancellations, No Waiting Lists

Our pay for yourself pledge At West Midlands Hospital No waiting lists, no cancellations* and appointments available in 72 hours when you pay for yourself. Our pledge is to get you back to what you love doing the most, as quickly as possible. Visit West Midlands Hospital for fast access to first class care. Call 01384 880 174 to book an appointment now. Or visit * Cancellations or delays in your treatment may occur for clinical reasons, these will be discussed with you as part of your ongoing care pathway. Colman Hill, Halesowen B63 2AH Public Information


Our Crossword




7 8 9 10 11 12 14 16 19 20 21 22

1 2 3 4 5 6 13 15 17 18

2nd smallest continent (6) Microphone inventor (6) Probability (4) Fragile (8) Join (5) Couple (7) Long established (3-4) Mature (5) Yes (3,5) Profane expression (4) Reduce (6) Vestige (6)

Painful abdominal complaint (8,5) Maiden Castle county (6) Is inclined (5) Colours developing in Autumn (7) Performing animal show (6) Reflection (13) Conceive (7) Shove (6) Gadget (6) Hiding place (5)

Answers for JAN/FEB 18 Across: 7 Liberate, 8 Trot, 9 Toughie, 10 Amid, 11 Stream, 12 Handel, 14 Privet, 16 Needn't, 18 Adds, 20 Cabaret, 21 Gnat, 22 Anorexic. Down: 1 Dictator, 2 Reduce, 3 Mathematician, 4 Telephone book, 5 Attain, 6 Gobi, 13 Einstein, 15 Visits, 17 Eerier, 19 Dune.




Holiday Fun at Bromsgrove School Do you want your children to make new friends, improve sporting skills and burn off energy in the most productive and exciting ways in the beautiful surroundings of Bromsgrove School and Winterfold School? The Schools’ activity camps and IQ sports camps cater for all interests and tastes, and are held throughout the Easter and Summer holidays. Open to all local children between the ages of 8 and 13, the day camps are run by qualified and experienced coaches or teachers, many of them being full time staff at Bromsgrove School and Winterfold School. facilities means that children attending the day camps can be active and engaged in inspiring surroundings, so whatever the weather, they will have fun learning new skills and making new friends. For more information please contact the activity co-ordinators by email on

Activities, crafts and sports on offer include sessions in arts and crafts, cookery, mad science, and textiles as well as a huge variety of fun sports including tennis, swimming, martial arts, basketball, dance, badminton and more. The recent investment into both indoor and outdoor


Activity Camps for children aged 8* - 13


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Horoscopes with John Starkey Capricorn

(December 21 - January 19)

A windfall of cash could be just the thing to put the icing on the cake for you. Whilst others around you seem to be floundering, you seem to be on the ball and ready for anything. The near future looks amazingly bright.


(January 20 - February 18) This is no time to be shy or lily-livered. It’s all a case of saying what you really feel and not being afraid to shout it from the roof-tops. The more positive you can be in attitude now, the clearer your pathway will become in the future. So stand up and be counted.


(February 19 - March 20) That slightly naughty and impish part of your nature will fascinate others and could lead to great success for you. With a small measure of cheek and a lot of charm you can achieve almost anything you want.


(March 21- April 20) At last those previously self-opinionated souls that you may have tried to help and advise will listen to what you have to say. Common sense seems to prevail once more. Give yourself a pat on the back and say to yourself “I told you so”.


(April 21 - May 20) What seems to have been a time of disruption in the immediate past now seems, with the help of the planet Venus, to be giving way to a more tranquil and ordered period of time. This could be what makes you feel like a massive spring clean, or just a complete change of surroundings



(May 21- June 20) I suppose that from the analysis of your chart, many would say that you ‘want to have your cake and eat it’. However, there is nothing wrong in my view with indulging yourself occasionally. Enjoy being pampered and let yourself be spoilt. After all, you have earned it.







T: 01902334224 W: E:



- 22/11

(June 21- July 21)

Taurus 21/04 - 20/05

It is worth thinking about taking life at

That loving and caring side of your being seems to be showing through, and slightly slower pace, as thecolleagues advent this could do great things toaimprove your social circle. New friends, of the Jupiter, could but suggest and associates seem to allplanet come out of the woodwork, above all,that ‘love isyou in the air’! need to hold yourself back for just a week or

o keep a padlock two, whilst you weigh up the important options 22- August 21) er and Leo allow(July yourself in front of you. you may be professionally head decision now could Put yourself onhunted a pedestalwhich and don’tcould be afraid show others talent and beto well worthyour waiting for. ability, particularly where artistic and creative things are concerned. A major he next few weeks constellation seems to be firing up great inspiration which in turn mising particularlyplanetary for Gemini 21/06in -the20/06 may awaken abilities you may have overlooked past. Your wonderfully placid attitude and Virgo (August 22- September 22) gentle approach to others, could /11 - 20/12 make you the idealintroduced personall to putyou.balm on New and exciting opportunities are being around Now it’s utral view particularly up to you to decide which one feels rightThere for you. Following astute Virgoan troubled waters. may bethatthose who intuition shouldwill prove to pay dividends for you in the long term. Try not to g to others. Perhaps, thank you for your good advice and well undersell your abilities; they are valuable. p, shut up and bide thought out and empathetic ideas. ur piece. Time is on Libra (September 21- October 22)

12 - 9/01

Cancer 21/06 - 21/07

Just at the moment you seem to be rattling around like a cart with a wonky beyoumoving into is a wheel. Perhaps it may be an You idea to seem write a list to of what desire and what cycle, which could create essential to your life. In termspositive of the planets, great things lie ahead. Grasp the starred, nettle now andmotivation take full advantage of this amazingly productive period. beyond belief, it is time to capitalise

ks very well about to work out on the astounding opportunities that could be 22) e way.Scorpio Perhaps(October you 23 - November coming your ways. You are about to make eper understanding The best made new plans are now beginning become reality. The long position of that contacts and topossibly some lasting and the opportunity great planet Jupiter suggests that you are on track to make your dreams come new friendships. true. Financial aspects look very well starred too. your emotional life.

Leo 22/07 - 21/08

It is20)important not to hide your light ϴ- 18/02Sagittarius (November 23 - December image, transforming It looks like your ship has come in as far as the fineryou thingshave in life are under a bushel, farconcerned. more to Business and commercial aspects seem to favour you too, as you take on more uld give others just offer than many around you may think. Bringing involving work. Perhaps you are being headhunted or in line for a ϴyour credibility responsibility and out your special talents now could give you spot of promotion. embering that if you immense satisfaction and show those close to o say or do “ balony you exactly 75 where you are coming from.

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Our Pets & Garden

35 years’ experience in fencing

Pro-fence has over 35 years’ experience in the fencing industry and offer a fast and reliable service throughout Shropshire and WestMidlands. With many years’ experience in the fencing industry, we pride ourselves on offering exemplary customer service and superb quality to all of our customers. We offer free no obligation quotes, from residential to commercial projects, with extremely competitive prices without compromising on quality and efficient service. With so many styles of fencing and railings to choose from, you really will be spoilt for choice. From aesthetics to security features, we can help you choose the right fencing to suit your needs, as our dedicated team help you to design and plan your project.

We offer our services nationwide, operating from our purpose built offices and dedicated workshops, with the ability to deal with all of your requirements whether you are a large company or private residential customer. No job is too large or too small, and we are passionate about providing superb quality and service no matter what the project entails. Our dedicated team of staff are all fully time served and DBS checked, which enables our team to work in all environments. As well as providing excellent fencing products, health and safety is paramount to us. With CHAS accreditation you can be sure we take all aspects of our services very seriously. As a very close family run business, we can pride in offering the best services in the industry, and have worked for a number of large reputable clients for many years. Whatever your requirements are, do not hesitate to contact one of our team today to discuss your ideas or gain design inspiration from our specialist team.

We strive to provide a wide selection of fencing and railing products for you to choose from, and understand some of the complex needs for all of our customers. Whether you require small single railings or entire projects from concept to completion we offer services in design and safety, groundwork and construction as well as ornate steel railings and hand rails. We also provide on-site welding and fabrication of our fencing and railing products, not to mention carrying out bespoke joinery work and we are fully equipped with plant and machinery, enabling us to carry out our work efficiently and effectively.

Whatever plans you’ve got in mind for your garden fencing, contact the team today to make your plans a reality and enjoy the excellent service ProFence has to offer. E., T. 01902 894747


Celebrating over 30 years of trading

Providing fencing solutions in the Commercial, Industrial and Domestic sectors throughout the West Midlands and surrounding areas.

Celebrating over 30 years of trading

Our first class reputation for high quality work and excellent customer service. Specialising in fencing solutions for • House Developments • Providing Schools fencing & Parks solutions in the • Commercial, Sport Facilities Industrial and Domestic • sectors Industrial Palisade throughout the&West Midlandsof all types of Manufacturers, Suppliers Installers • andHigh Security areas. surrounding

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We withreputation Local Authorities Ouralso firstwork class for high 35 Years’ Experience toquality produce work worksafe, and dependable excellent customer Free Quotations within the community from which local service. residents can benefit.Approved Local Authority Specialising in fencing solutions for Competitive Prices With free Developments consultations, quick • House Insurance Work • Schools & Parks response times and Undertaken efficient, quality • Sport Facilities turnaround of work, the company Metal or Wood Fencing & Gates • Industrial Palisade is a long standing, leading fencing All Guaranteed • Work Highupon Security specialist whom you can rely. We also Local Contact uswork todaywith or visit ourAuthorities website to produce safe, dependable work within the community from which local residents can benefit. With free consultations, quick response times and efficient, quality turnaround of work, the company is a long standing, leading fencing specialist upon whom you can rely. Contact us today or visit our website



Heathmill Ind. Est, Heathmill Road Wombourne, WV5 8AP Telephone: (01902) 894747

Our Pets & Garden


transform your home and garden this summer 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 have 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.

Director Pete Woodbine overseeing a recent hard landscaping project in Alverley

“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.”

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?

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.

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 unbeatable quick, efficient and quality service for every customer.

“We’ve completed jobs of all different sizes for our domestic clients, everything from very small patio areas to spacious driveways.”

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.

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.”

“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.

The company even offer interest free credit, meaning that clients can spread the cost of work that PEJ undertake.

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.

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.

“We use our own diggers, dumpers and grab Lorries and bring our own materials to the


PEJ Construction (Services) Ltd We are an established and professional company that specialises in hardscaping and landscaping Interest Free Credit Available (T&C's apply)

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PEJ Construction (Services) Ltd 81 Factory Locks Industrial Estate, Factory Road, Tipton DY4 9AU

Our Pets & Garden

Johns Garden Charity Open Days ‘John’s Garden’ at Ashwood Nurseries is a wonderful three acre private garden created by nursery owner John Massey VMH. Informal borders, island beds, woodland dells and wildlife meadow are set against the beautiful backdrop of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. It is a ‘plantsman’s garden‘ that has an abundance of rare plants as well as many familiar favourites. This is a garden for all seasons with magnificent collections of trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and conifers adding to the interest all year round. There are many fine features including a stunning pool and rock garden planted with choice alpines and miniature bulbs, a colourful lewisia wall, an Anemone pavonina meadow and a charming ruin garden. A ‘hot’ border is home to an extensive collection of South African plants and there is a dramatic stump garden and a beautiful wildlife meadow*. Throughout the garden, urns and patio pots are imaginatively planted.

OPEN DAY ESSENTIAL INFORMATION: Open: 10am- 4pm (last entrance) Entrance Charge: £5.00 (cash payment only please).

The garden has been featured on TV as well as in numerous articles in the national press and gardening magazines, and has been described by Carol Klein as ‘the most loved and looked after garden I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting’.

Entire entrance proceeds are donated to our charity of the year. We are supporting a local charity WINGS (Wombourne Special Needs Support Group) which supports children and young people with special needs and of a wide variety of ages and abilities. These provide an opportunity for the children and young people to socialise, make friends and have fun together in a safe and encouraging environment.

The dates for John's Garden Charity Open Days for 2018 in aid of a local charity WINGS: Wombourne Special Needs Support Group are as follows: Saturday 17th March 2018 Saturday 2nd June 2018 Saturday 14th July 2018 Saturday 18th August 2018 Saturday 29th September 2018 John's Garden will also be open on Sunday 22nd April 2018 for the National Garden Scheme.

WINGS, a registered charity based at The Wings Centre, in Wombourne, South Staffordshire, is in its twenty third year and was founded by a small group of parents of children with special needs. Full details are available at:



Mother's Day


“Mum in a Million” Rose Now Available

is a friendly, independent nursery run by a husband and wife team who are passionate about what they do. Years of experience and a real sense of pride have combined to form a truly wonderful experience when it comes to planning and buying for your garden. Whether you’re landscaping the grounds of your country mansion or creating a stunning hanging basket, you can be sure that Brookfield Nurseries will offer you the best possible advice and top quality plants at the right price. As well as shrubs, trees, bedding and pots, we also stock a selection of ready made planters filled with stunning arrangements, the perfect gift for the garden lover.

Have a look at our Facebook Reviews 'Brookfield Nurseries'

07803 602082

07966 298118

Quantry Lane, Bell Heath, Belbroughton, Worcestershire, DY9 9UU


Our Pets & Garden

preparing for spring Writing this piece at the beginning of January its difficult to forecast how soon spring will appear or if we’re going to get another cold spell like we did before Christmas. Therefore any gardening information and hints should be adjusted to suit the weather conditions. As the weather becomes hopefully milder then you can get back out into the garden and start preparing for the season to come. Weed and clean borders, then apply a general-purpose fertilizer before you add any mulches of compost or well rotted manure. If you have any lime hating (ericaceous) plants, such plants as Camellias, Rhododendrons and Azalea, make sure you use an ericaceous fertilizer as they require extra trace elements. Dead head bulbs particularly daffodils, leaving the green foliage on to send nutrients back to the bulb and top dress with fertilizer. This should give you a good display of flowers next year. Many of the summer flowering bulbs and tubers can be planted outside as the weather warms up – Lilies, Canna, Pineapple flower and Summer Snowflakes. Always plant lily bulbs on their side so that water doesn’t lie in the scales and cause them to rot. Lilies, especially the newer Tree Lilies benefit from being started off in pots and planted outside once growing strongly. Dahlias should be started off in pots inside, then planted out once the danger of frosts has receded. Begonias should be pressed gently into potting compost, curved side down – never completely covered, water and keep on a light sunny windowsill or in a heated greenhouse. Remove any old growth from perennials and divide if required. Put in stakes, canes and plant supports before they get too tall and flop over. Slugs and snails love young herbaceous shoots, especially in damp conditions. Use a deterrent to prevent the wholesale slaughter of your plants. As the weather becomes increasingly mild, thoughts start turning to the lawn. If your lawn is anything like mine its sure to have plenty of moss in it. We recommend that you use MO Bacter to help combat the problem. This is a slow release organic fertiliser for lawns, which now carries the RHS logo on the bag. It feeds the lawn over a 12-week period and contains bacteria which are naturally found in the soil and which when added to fertiliser will consume material like thatch and moss, making it unnecessary to rake or scarify after treatment. It’s been used on our own


domestic lawns and we’ve found it to be an excellent product. Or use products such as Evergreen Complete which contain a feed, weed killer and moss killer in one product. Once the moss has died and gone black it can be raked out. Remember the golden rule with lawns never rake moss out while it’s still alive, you’ll just spread it everywhere. Aerate the lawn with a fork or spikes on shoes to improve drainage. Any bare patches can then be reseeded. Feed regularly throughout the growing season. Watch out for late frosts if you’ve got potatoes in tubs with plenty of leaf growth – always protect at night. Sow your first and second early potatoes followed by maincrops, again watching out for late frosts once the foliage appears. Carrots, celery, beetroot, leeks, onions, broad beans and lettuce can all be sown or planted outside during April. Sow at regular intervals to give a steady supply of vegetables. Happy Gardening.

Spring is in the air... so lets get growing!

We’ve got everything you need to make your garden beautiful! New season shrubs, alpines and herbaceous plants Plug plants Bedding plants Tomato plants Vegetable plants


ÂŁ12.69 80 Litre bag

Mothers day arrangements

01902 700 209 Bridgnorth Rd, Shipley, Pattingham, Wolverhampton WV6 7EZ 85

Our Pets & Garden

WE DID IT! We have some OUTSTANDING news to share…

By Penny Fox, Head of Client and Team Experience , Blacks Vets

awards that this group had received was superb and a real testament to the group’s lovely culture. Everyone who I spoke to were committed to the practice and helping to give an excellent client service.”

Drum roll please……Blacks Vets are delighted to announce that we have been awarded OUTSTANDING by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) for all FIVE of our branches in the area of Client Service. The news comes after each of our practices in Dudley, Lye, Sedgley, Quinton and Oldbury, were visited and assessed by a RCVS official inspector, who had nothing but positive feedback about his experience.

Overall, the inspector commended us for our commitment to developing each of our team members to reach their highest potential by providing a programme of regular, in-house training for vets, nurses and support staff alike. Our inclusive culture of inductions and mentoring for new vets and our dedication to continually learning from client feedback, were also highlighted as points of excellence.

The Client Service award is part of the Practice Standards Scheme, a voluntary initiative run by RCVS to accredit veterinary practices in the UK. Through setting standards and carrying out regular assessments, the Scheme aims to promote and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care. It follows a similar approach to the Ofsted system of inspections and accreditation, that runs throughout schools and colleges and provides a thorough framework for examining how a practice is really working. It’s certainly a tough test and one which we are proud to have excelled at!

At Blacks, we have always understood that in addition to providing first class pet healthcare, we must also look after our pet owners by ensuring that they are always well informed, well assisted and above all, welcomed at any of our branches. We pride ourselves on our ability to really listen to what our clients tell us and to react and adjust where appropriate. We know that the pet owning journey can be joyful, but at times sad, and aim to offer support and understanding every step of the way. All team members complete a Compassion Understood training course which focuses on supporting pets, clients, and team members through end of life care, helping to ensure that a heartbreaking time can be handled in a manner that respects the many different ways that people react to grief.

The Client Service category centres on the experience clients have when visiting one of our practices and recognises how our team are trained, our standards of client care and our company’s operational principles. The inspector had the following comments to make about the Blacks ethos: “This was a fantastic veterinary group that was obviously committed to providing the very highest in client service. There was a real team spirit / family feel to this group. The number of

The inspector praised our individual branches commenting that our Lye practice was “A


Our Pets & Garden Commenting on our Accredited Veterinary Hospital in Dudley, the inspector continued “This was a very nice site with good parking and a great exterior. The interior was of a very good order with an excellent waiting room and reception area. There were extensive clinical areas all maintained to a good standard… This hospital was very well organised indeed.” lovely branch with excellent facilities” and that Oldbury “….was a very friendly branch” and “showed a real commitment to provide great client service.”

As a team, we are thrilled that our hard work and commitment has been recognised at all of our branches and are looking forward to welcoming even more clients to experience the Blacks difference this year. If you have a new pet joining your family soon, why not see At our Quinton branch, he remarked “The for yourself and try our popular Pet Starter reception team were most impressive at this Pack? This includes, primary vaccinations, branch where I viewed some excellent client microchip, flea and worming treatment, a service with one of the clients” and of our free veterinary health check and much more, Sedgley branch noted our new refurbishment all for just £50! Full details are available on our and lovely, welcoming team whilst also Blacksour PSPcat 140mmx106mm OLM PRINT.pdf 1 24/01/2018 14:19 website commending friendly status.



Our Finance & Legal

Accountants for Small Business can help you and your business. Your accountant will then supply you with a quote to cover all the work required. Agreed fixed price with no hidden charges and option to pay monthly. Customer Satisfaction - Business standards in place ensure agreed services are delivered as promised. Melvyn Shephard is an experienced accountant that offers clients a professional yet friendly and jargon free personal service. Clients can benefit from the core accountancy and tax advisory services as well as specialist services when needed. Melvyn also holds an MBA enabling him to provide financial advice whilst understanding the wider needs of businesses to be profitable and competitive.

TaxAssist have over 280 locations across the UK and we are happy to meet you face-toface, visiting clients out of hours, at home or business premises. Attend a meeting with your local TaxAssist Accountant who will determine exactly how we


Offices in Stourbridge and Stourport on Severn.

Atspecialise TaxAssist Accountants We in supporting small we specialise in supporting business. We can businesses and cansmall help with: with: ●help Self Assessment Tax Returns ● Business Accounts Self Assessment Tax Returns ● Corporation Tax ● Bookkeeping andAccounts VAT Business ● Business Start-ups Tax ● PayrollCorporation and RTI ● Help with CIS Bookkeeping and VAT ● Fixed Fees agreed in advance ...and much moreand HR Payroll

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Anglo House, Worcester Rd, Stourport-On-Seven, DY13 9AW


Our Finance & Legal

‘Star’ Employer recognition for Talbots Law temperature of your company, to understand what you are doing well and find areas for improvement. “We want to be an employer of choice in the Black Country and Worcestershire and this doesn’t just magically happen. In essence, we need a team of passionate and talented people doing the right thing and receiving the best possible support and personal development opportunities.

(l-r) Claire Cooper, Mary Mocklow, Ian Bond and Jagdip Bains Talbots Law’s commitment to becoming an employer of choice in the West Midlands has received a major boost this week after it was named as one of the best places to work in the UK.

“Passion is one of our core values. The Best Companies programme ensures we are benchmarking what we do… not just against other law firms, but against the very best businesses from every sector.”

The independent legal specialist was awarded a 1* rating by the Sunday Times’ ‘Best Companies To Work For’ survey, an impressive achievement considering it was the firm’s first-ever application.

Talbots, which is targeting £12m fees in 2018, scored consistently across the board and was specifically praised for its approach to Wellbeing, Sense of Team and Personal Growth.

Every employee was asked to complete an independent survey of their experience of working at Talbots, comprising 70 searching questions based on ‘8 factors of workplace engagement’.

“The Sunday Times recognition was announced at our annual staff conference and the response was fantastic, with a real sense of achievement present,” added Mary. “We increased our head count by 20% last year taking on 38 new staff and 7 apprentices. As we look to add £1m of fees over the next twelve months, there is a real need to recruit the best staff.”

These included Leadership, Personal Growth and Giving Something Back, with the analysis of staff responses revealing what it’s really like being an employee at Talbots Law.

She concluded: “This 1* award will help us retain and attract the very best people who can deliver the great service our clients rightly expect.”

“We were absolutely delighted with a 1* award – this means we are officially ‘very good’ in Best Companies terms” explained Mary Mocklow, Chief Executive of Talbots.

Talbots has seven offices across the Black Country and North Worcestershire, including Dudley, Kidderminster, Stourbridge and Wolverhampton,

“We have set ourselves the ambitious target of getting into the Top 100 within five years. Our first application was about gauging our position and what we needed to do to be successful.”

For further information, please visit www. or follow @talbotslaw on twitter.

She went on to add: “It is a great exercise for any business, especially if you want to take the


Talbots Law Conveyancing Solicitors At Talbots Law, home is where our heart is. We know that property matters to people – that’s why we’ll always do our best to make the transaction smooth and speedy, whether you’re buying or selling, or both. You could be a first time buyer, or you could have an extensive property portfolio. Either way, you can count on us to deliver a high quality service and keep you in the loop from start to finish. Last year, we helped over Keith Yates— Head of Residential Property 10,000 customers to move home, which put us in the top ten law firms in the country. Purchasing property should be exciting, but it’s also the biggest financial commitment you can make, and potentially the most stressful. That’s why you need an expert solicitor at hand, guiding you through from offer to completion. Our approach is straightforward: you tell us what you want to do, and we’ll help you do it – it’s that simple. Our Residential Property Service includes help and advice on:     

    

Buying at auction Conveyancing Housing Disputes Investment & buy to let New build property

Help To Buy Remortgaging Tenancy agreements Transfer of title Equity release

Codsall | Dudley | Halesowen | Kidderminster| Stourbridge | Stourport | Wolverhampton


0800 118 1500

Our Finance & Legal

Endings and Beginnings – planning around the tax year As the end of the tax year is racing towards us, it is a good time to remind ourselves of some of the ways to make sure we are making the most of our money. As you know, using your ISA allowances by parking either cash on deposit or investments into these tax-free beauties, makes complete sense. I also believe that they are now more important than ever. To explain, let’s go back to April 2016. At that point in time, the government bought in a new dividend tax to try to create a more level playing field between employees, the selfemployed and Company Directors/Shareholders in relation to how their earnings were taxed. The government’s new tax on dividends meant business owners who paid themselves a low salary topped up by dividends, would now pay tax of 7.5% on dividends they received over £5000; if they were a higher rate tax payer, they would pay 32.5% on anything over the £5,000 allowance.

Anita Gatehouse Our Lifestyle’s Financial Expert

By sheltering investments within an ISA, your dividend income will now be tax free. A word of caution however. By moving your existing shares or share based investments into an ISA will be seen as a ‘disposal’ for capital gains tax. It would therefore be wise to take advice before you take such action to make sure you don’t unwittingly create another tax bill. So, if you have not used your £20,000 ISA allowance this tax year, and you also use the new tax year’s ISA allowance early in the year, you will soon be sheltering £40,000 from this dividend tax.

Unfortunately however, ordinary investors were also caught out under the same rules. Those whose dividend income from shares or unit trusts etc was more than the £5,000 annual allowance, found they too would have to pay either 7.5% or 32.5% .

On the subject of ISAs, Lifetime ISAs (LISAs) can be a clever way for parents and grandparents to help their children and grandchildren buy their first home. LISA’s can be taken out by those between the age of 18 to 40 and these investments come with a government bonus of 25% on the maximum investment of £4,000 each year. Many of my clients, especially those that know their families will face an inheritance tax liability in the future, often ask me how they might help their children and grandchildren now and how to do so tax efficiently.

Cast forward to 6 April 2018, just round the corner. The government, after 2 years of it’s introduction, will reduce the £5,000 allowance to just £2,000 a year. According to the Treasury, this means that a significant number of investors, 7% of whom are pensioners, will be losers. ISAs to the rescue!


Our Finance & Legal Another end of year tax planning subject worth considering is pensions. The government has changed how much you can put into a personal pension scheme over the last few years as they recognised what a tax break they are and how much tax relief was costing the Treasury. In the past the limit was £253,000 a year, this reduced to £50,000 then down to the current level of £40,000 a year with really high earning individuals limited to £10,000 a year! Who knows what changes will continue to be brought in but one thing is certain, making the most of these generous tax breaks while they are there makes sense.

One idea is to make a gift of £3,000, known as the annual exemption, without having to worry about inheritance tax. If your resources allow, this can be done each year. Using this in conjunction with a LISA for your children or grandchildren could be a really smart way to maximise tax efficiency. This could also, very importantly, create more control over how the money will be used; after all, not every young person is endowed with self-discipline where money is involved! As long as the LISA is used towards buying their first home or to help fund their retirement, the government bonus stays in place. If the money is withdrawn for any other reason, the bonus is also withdrawn, a great incentive to use the gift sensibly.

If you are unsure about either your own pension or inheritance tax position you can book a free 30 minute meeting. Just telephone Jo or Sophie on 01562 745730 to book an appointment.

Like all financial decisions, it is important to take advice, so seek some further information to ensure you get everything right.

Why not have a look at what our clients say about us on our website:

When it comes to tax planning, in most cases, it is use it or lose it.



Our Funerals

J.T. Brookes & Co.

Independent Family Funeral Directors • Independent family run business for over 100 years • Home visits available by appointment • Pre-paid funeral plans through Golden Charter • 24hr service 365 days a year

01562 888041 76 Worcester Rd, Hagley DY9 0NW 95


For further information call Jamie

07940 286 846

Our Classifieds Counselling



Based in Wolverhampton

Your Lifestyle Nov 2017:Devilishly Good 93mm x 60mm


Co Kinver, Enville, Stourton, Belbroughton, Blakedown, Hackm CARPET & UPHOLSTERY i Make sure your business is represent now A N U A R Y SERVICE JCLEANING


the homes services of 25,000 that deserves to be feature Professional for domesticsomething and on for a heavenly home commercial clients discerning buyers•with Established over 20 years ago Rangemaster Belling HALF PRICEad Valor Kinder •in Professionally trained operator a classified Phinix and Hairinsured & Beauty Salon

61 Worcester Road West Hagley TIMELESSLY STYLIS Stourbridge DY9 0LF PRACTI AND FOREVER


07970 681004 01562 730410 | 07866 462454 • Shutters a stylish and elegant solution E: 07841 431446 | that will enhance

Chris 17 Chapel Ash Wolverhampton West Midlands WV3 0QT Linda 01902 426906/42459

Ensure your fire protection equipment is fully

maintained. Book your next service with or Linda or if you know someone or is represented by contacting Chris to be featured please let us know. Email:




Beautiful Shutte

Zanussi Lec• Latest cleaning system with 1 hour drying time SCOTCHGUARD Stoves & ALLERGY SHIELDBosch • Hard floor cleaning / matt or gloss sealing New World Dimplex *Some T&Cs may apply • Leather cleaning / conditioning Kohlangaz Falcon

azine is distributed to 25,000 homes and businesses in these areas: Protection Garden Services Motoring Services Motability hesterton, Wombourne,Fire Seisdon, Claverley, Trysull, Sandford, Worfield, Hilton, Wightwick, Compton, Perton, Motor Hair &Services Beauty ll Wood, Oaken, Lower Penn, Tettenhall, Stockwell End, Lower Street, Claregate, Pedmore, West Hagley, Hagley, Hair & Beauty Will it work when Bobbington, it's needed? Blakedown, Hackman’s Gate, Norton, Oldswinford, Wall Heath, Kingswinford, Swindon, Himley



Services YourMotor Lifestyle Magazine is dis Domestic Appliances Cleaners Hair & Beauty Motor Services Pattingham, Burnhill Ackleton, Chesterton, Wombo Hair &Green, Beauty ADVERTISING Perton Ridge, Finchfield, Codsall, Codsall Wood, Oaken, Lo

Garden Design & Landscaping

• FETA Qualified • Non-commission based service • Prompt, polite, professional

Phinix Hair & Beauty Salon Phinix Hair &Road Beauty 61 Worcester WestSalon Hagley Garden Maintenance - Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly Tree Felling, Pruning, Shaping, Fencing,

61 Worcester Road West Stourbridge DY9 Hagley 0LF Stourbridge DY9 0LF T: 01562 88 33 88 T: 01562 88 33 88 E: jcgardenservices1 E: Slabbing, Turfing, Stump Removal,

• All work carried out to British Standards 5306-3

01384 859272 or 07963 261471 EVANS HALSHAW FORD WOLVERHAMPTON

57-73 Birmingham road, Wolverhampton WV2 3LS 01902 875 400 Terms & Conditions apply, please ask for details

Hedge Trimming, Reduction Work,

Lawn Mowing, Edging, Borders, Weed Spraying, Outdoor Cleaning Patios - Driveways

*Terms & conditions apply. On production of this advert

Motoring Services

Hair & Beauty


90 90

Yoga Classes

Come and try a Yoga class for free in a beautiful & tranquil setting

W e s t m i d l a n d s c a r d e ta i l i n g Vehicle Paint correction & Protection 07528 506181

Phinix Hair & Beauty Salon

61 Worcester Road West Hagley Stourbridge DY9 0LF T: 01562 88 33 88 E: 91 90

All classes are suitable for all levels beginners to advanced. Please call Zena 0798 22 46 446 or email to book a class Zena is a qualified physiotherapist and Dru Yoga instructor

For further class details go to &

Your Yoga Room, Claverley Health & Fitness Studio, Sutton Farm, Claverley WV5 7DD


contemporary or traditional rooms.

90 Yoga Classes Yoga Classes 24 HOUR SERVICE

Yoga Classes they • Made toTaxis measure can be supplied and Come and trytoa Yoga class for free any shape in and aorbeautiful tranquil size of&window Come try a Yoga class forsetting free or patio&door. in a beautiful tranquil setting

• Wide range of colours available in SWIFT TAXIS wood or UPVC. Now offering children's yoga parties


Visit our new showroom at: 83 High Street, Kinver 01384 877518

All classes are suitable for all levels beginners to advanced. All classes are suitable for all levels beginners Please call Zena 0798 22 46 446 or email to advanced.

Please call Zena 0798 46 446 or email to book22 a class Zena is a qualified physiotherapist to book a class and Dru Yoga instructor Zena is a qualified For further class details gophysiotherapist to Dru Yoga instructor &and

10 Whitburn Street, Bridgnorth 01746 768138

01384 959595

For further class details go to Your Yoga Room, Claverley Health & Fitness Studio, &

Sutton Farm, Claverley WV5 7DD Your Yoga Room, Claverley Health & Fitness Studio, Sutton Farm, Claverley WV5 7DD

Window Cleaner





Our Motoring


OUTSTANDING FINANCE OFFER FOR MG ZS MG dealership, Summit Garage Dudley, has announced that the all-new MG ZS Exclusive will be available from just £199 per month with a £3,550 deposit and 0% finance. Available on the road from just £12,495 – thousands of pounds cheaper than its competitors, the MG ZS is a very attractive prospect for those looking to buy a spacious and stylish Compact-SUV.

John Newey, Sales Director at Summit Garage Dudley, said: “The MG ZS is a great quality car that comes packed full of extras, including three steering modes and an 8” touch sensitive infotainment screen with Apple Carplay. It is an incredibly competitive car in the UK market and the finance package we are offering is part of that. MG has gone out of its way to create a quality car that also looks great and the British public are responding to it. We have seen a huge amount of interest in the MG ZS, it is nice to see this car getting the response it deserves.”

The car also comes with an industry topping 7 year manufacturer's warranty as standard, with rivals such as SsangYong, Hyundai and Toyota only providing 5 years. Testament to MG’s confidence in the quality of its design, engineering and manufacturing operations, the fully transferable warranty is available with every model in the range.

To find out more about Summit Garage Dudley, or to book a test drive of the MG ZS, visit www. or call 01384 259555.






0% £199 APR FROM





M G . C O. U K





SUMMIT GARAGE Dudley 01384 259555 MGZS fuel consumption: URBAN 41.0 mpg | 6.9 l/100km, EXTRA URBAN 58.9 mpg | 4.8 l/100km, COMBINED 49.6 mpg | 5.7 l/100km, CO2 Emissions: 129g/km. Model shown: MG ZS Exclusive manual with Tri Coat paint (optional extra £695) in Dynamic Red at £16,190 OTR or £215.87 a month for a 60 month conditional sale agreement. Offer shown available on MG Exclusive manual with solid paint at £15,495 OTR or £199 a month for a 60 month conditional sale agreement. OTR prices include VAT where applicable, vehicle first registration fee, delivery, number plates and 12 months ‘Vehicle Excise Duty’. Fuel consumption values shown are based on official EU test figures and are to be used as a guide for comparative purposes and may not be representative of actual driving results. Offer terms and conditions apply: *0% APR: Conditional sale. 0% APR available on all MG ZS models until 31.12.2017. A minimum deposit of 20% applies. 0% is not in conjunction with any other offer. Finance by MG Financial Services, a trading style of GMAC UK plc, PO Box 6666, Cardiff CF15 7YT, subject to status, availability and terms and conditions. Applicants must be aged 18 or over at participating dealers. See your local dealer or visit for details. *Available on Excite and Exclusive models

SUMMIT GARAGE is acting as a credit broker and not a lender. We can introduce you to a limited number of finance providers, commission may be received.


Our Motoring

new suv’s from vauxhall, call into dudley motor company to test drive today • • • • • • •


• • •

Exterior Style Led Adaptive Forward Lighting Driver Assistance Systems 360° Panoramic Camera Advanced Park Assist Agr Ergonomic Seats Heated Windscreen, Seats And Steering Wheel Loading Space Hands-Free Power Tailgate Wireless Charging

• • • • • •

Exterior Style Space And Versatility Panoramic Rear-View Camera Head-Up Display Led Headlights Wi-Fi On Board

• • • • • • • • • •

Exterior Style Alloy Wheels Sunroof Climatisation Spacious Boot Storage Sports Seats Low Emissions Start/Stop Bluetooth And Usb Whisper Diesel






REMEMBER TO BRING THIS ADVERT IN FOR AN EXTRA £100 OFF (T’s & C’s Apply) 2008/58 BMW 6 SERIES 635d SPORT 2-dr Convertible, Auto, Grey, 62,212 miles

2006/06 LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER 4.2 V8 SUPERCHARGED VOGUE SE 4-dr Auto Estate, Blue, 75,000 miles


2010/10 VAUXHALL CORSA 1.6T VXR LTD EDITION 3-dr, Red, 57,000 miles


2009/59 BMW 3 SERIES 318d M SPORT 5-dr Estate, Grey, 57,683 miles

£9,495 2011/11 PEUGEOT 308 1.6 VTi SP0RT 2-dr Convertible, Silver, 41,200 miles

£5,995 2009/59 VOLVO C30 ES DRIVE 2-dr Coupe, Start/Stop, White, 59,231 miles


£10,995 2017/17 VAUXHALL MOKKA X 1.4T ACTIVE 5-dr Auto, Black, 9,900 miles .....................................£14,495 2010/10 LAND ROVER FREELANDER 2.2 TD4 HSE 5-dr Auto Estate, Black, 60,000 miles................................£13,995 2015/65 ABARTH 595 1.4 T-JET TURISMO 3-dr, Grey & Red, 10,500 miles ...........................................£12,495 2015/15 VAUXHALL MOKKA 1.6i EXCLUSIV 5-dr, Blue, 20,100 miles ........................................................£9,995 2015/65 KIA CEED 1.4 SR7 5-dr, Black, 16,300 miles £9,750 2017/17 VAUXHALL CORSA 1.3 CDTi 16V VAN START/STOP Silver, Only 5 miles.................. £9,495 + VAT 2015/64 VAUXHALL CORSA 1.6T 16V VXR 3-dr, White, 28,000 miles..................................................................£8,995 2014/14 SUZUKI SX4 S-CROSS 1.6 SZ4 5-dr, Blue, 20,190 miles. .......................................................£8,995 2012/12 VAUXHALL ASTRA 1.6i 16V SRi VX-LINE 5-dr, White, 47,490 miles .............................................£7,850 2009/59 KIA SPORTAGE 2.0 XE 2WD 5-dr 4x4, Black, 18,445 miles.......................................................£7,750 2008/08 HYUNDAI SANTA FE 2.2 CRTD CDX 5-dr 4x4, Black, 50,272 miles......................... ..............£6,995 2012/61 MINI 1.6 COOPER LONDON 3-dr, Black, A/C, Alloys, 42,110 miles .............................................£6,995 2007/56 RENAULT MEGANE 2.0T 16V RENAULTSPORT 230 F1 TEAM R6, 3-dr, Liquid Yellow, 62,245 miles..........£6,695 2013/13 VAUXHALL CORSA 1.2 LIMITED EDITION 3-dr, White, 56,400 miles .............................................£6,495 2008/58 NISSAN QASHQAI 1.5 DCi ACENTA 5-dr, Sandblast, 84,649 miles ...............................................£4,995 2008/08 VAUXHALL CORSA 1.4i 16V SXi 5-dr, Silver Lightning, 62,258 miles........................ .....£3,995 2003/03 MAZDA MX-5 1.6i 2-dr Convertible, Green, 67,018 miles......................................................£3,295 2006/06 PEUGEOT 206 1.4 VERVE 5-dr, 49,220 miles.........................................................£2,995

2012/62 LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER EVOQUE 2.2 eD4 PURE 5-dr Estate, 2WD, White, Full Leather, 38,800 miles

£21,750 2015/15 VAUXHALL ADAM 1.4i ROCKS AIR

3-dr, 13,000 miles, Great Spec


2015/15 VAUXHALL CORSA 1.4 SRi VX-LINE 3-dr, Green, 16,000 miles

£8,995 2012/12 BMW X3 XDRIVE 20D SE 5-dr Estate, White, 46,000 miles

£15,590 2015/15 SUBARU XV 2.0D SE 5-dr, White, 27,000 miles




(Between Cousins and Dudley Zoo)

01384 454100 Dudley Motor Company Trindle Road Dudley 01384 454100



Haulage & Removals For a complete and professional Service l l l l l l l

House Removals Commercial Removals Packing Services Packing Supplies Storage Facilities Fully Insured Family Run Business Tel: 01905 412881 or 07725 988380


Our Lifestyle Magazine Mar/Apr 18  
Our Lifestyle Magazine Mar/Apr 18