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May 2014




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Craig’s brilliant bangers strike gold

Green dream at Moor Pool eco centre


COMMUNITY groups and schools are set to reap the benefits of an exciting initiative by Moor Pool Heritage Trust (MPHT) to transform derelict workshops into an Eco Learning Space.

Butcher Craig Finch’s tasty sausages, home-made at his shop in Harborne, have won a string of top awards.

Report / Page 6

The former Harborne Tenants maintenance workshops, stores and offices – The Builders Yard – at Wentworth Gate, have lain unused for many years. The recent site purchase by MPHT from landowners Grainger plc has been the trigger for a busy period of consultation activity. Using the latest in affordable green technologies, it’s intended that the Nettlefold Eco Learning Centre will have a flexible use and act as a community hub for groups of all ages, such as a reading, guitar or yoga club. The building will also enhance the delivery of important areas of the education curriculum such as healthy eating and environmental awareness. Another pipeline project is “intergenerational learning” where older residents impart their knowledge and skills, including horticulture, to youngsters. There will be access to raised planting beds, a large greenhouse and culinary preparation areas for cooking and eating.

The MPHT has already developed strong links with the schools by offering outside learning facilities at The Orchard and allotments on the estate. The schools include Harborne Primary School, Baskerville School, Arden Primary School in Sparkhill and St Thomas’ Primary School in Lee Bank. Rob Sutton, chair of the MPHT, said: “It’s been a great relief to finally own the old Builders Yard. We can really start to move forward with the educational work and build up the income from the garages attached to the yard to support the community facilities. “We are also very grateful to Grainger for their generous donation towards the purchase.” The proposals are subject to planning consent and the cost of initial works will be paid by monies allocated specifically through the Section 106 contributions from the recent housing developments. Voluntary contributions have been made through volunteer working parties which to date include Moor Pool residents, Mondelez, Lloyds Bank and Birmingham City Council Waste Management (mentor and trainees). Ownership of the Builders Yard is another successful acquisition by the MPHT as it continues a fundraising campaign to save a jigsaw of community facilities at the heart of the historic garden suburb by September 2014. Fundraising latest / Page 3

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May 2014


Life Begins


Tel: 07859 81 82 87

Welcome to your kind of people

The bangers and mash of life


ELLO and welcome to the third issue of Harborne, Edgbaston and Moseley Life, the platform where connected communities can achieve the incredible. It’s been an incredible month since our last issue with a terrific response from readers and advertisers. As the editor, I get the privilege every day of interviewing and photographing people who are passionate about their life, their family and their business. Our aim at HEM Life is to find those human stories of achievement and talk to people who are daily changing for the better the lives of others. I’ve decided to call this paper the bangers and mash issue of life – hence the headline - thanks to a couple of people who love their business and serving their local community. On Page 1 is a picture of Craig Finch, a butcher, a staple business of any high street, whose brilliant home-made bangers have won a string of awards. He’s always perfecting his flavours to keep the customers at his Harborne shop happy.

Then there’s the mash… CircusMASH. Joe Fearn is a young man in Moseley on a mission to help people of all ages improve the quality of their lives by learning circus skills. His drive to succeed just goes to show you don’t have to take a traditional career route to business success. Read his story on Page 3 to find out how it might help you! But if there’s one story I would urge you to read, turn to Page 5 and find out about brave little Rocky Redman, who died from cancer at the age of seven. His dad, Stephen Redman, a pastor from York, visited St John’s Church in Harborne to give a talk, “Stuff Happens,” about his son’s short life and death and how it affected his perspective on life. I was privileged to be invited to the address – and like 80 other men in the room was stunned into silence. Please let me know your thoughts after reading the article. My colleague Angela Agnew made sure the launch of HEM Life’s monthly business event was a success with new connections being made at Mela Indian

Restaurant, Harborne. A great night was had by all. Make a date for our next event on Wednesday May 21 at Del Villaggio Italian Restaurant, Broad Street, Birmingham. Finally, don’t forget to keep sending in your stories. Our passion at HEM Life is to keep the content of the highest quality with stories about your kind of people. You will see that we have added some high calibre advertisers to our pages too – welcome! – so please support them when you get the opportunity. Thank you.

PHIL BROWN T: 07859 81 82 87


Distributed FREE every month. Next Issue: Friday 30th May 2014 PICK UP A COPY AT THESE STORES : -




Harborne Golf Club, Edgbaston Golf Club, Edgbaston Priory, Moseley Rugby Club and Warwickshire County Cricket Club

Restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bars, hotels, gyms, spas, doctors, dentists, beauty & grooming salons, private schools, hospitals and estate agents.

Moor Pool Estate, Harborne & selected deliveries around Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley.



A big summer of activity ahead at School Yard

EVER a positive indication was needed that an ItheFupturn for high street trading could be just around corner, you need look no further than The School


May 2014

Circus skills that are helping people achieve the impossible L

EARNING circus skills is helping youngsters and adults alike lift their confidence to new heights thanks to an innovative performing arts business that started up in Moseley.

Yard development on Harborne High Street. Until a couple of years ago, the Grade II Clock Tower building was shrouded in scaffold. But thanks to the vision of developer Neil Edginton, of EDG Property and the driving force behind The Cube, The School Yard has undergone a £5.5 million transformation. The footfall is ticking over very nicely for the first two businesses to open – Urban Coffee and Prezzo Italian restaurant. As for the latest two food business signings, fitting out work is due to start at the Harborne Food School at the beginning of May, and will last around four months. The Food School will be run by Government advisory, local businesswoman and registered nutritionalist Shaleen Meelu. She has formed a community interest company and is backed by former PwC director, Mr Robert Smith.

CircusMASH was launched in 2011 by aerial acrobat Joe Fearn and his partner Zaq Andel, a former assistant director at an educational circus in the USA. From running a few community classes and delivering workshops in schools, CircusMASH is now in popular demand for its community training and school term-time youth development programmes. A major fundraising project is underway to develop a permanent home for CircusMASH in the All Saints Community Centre’s old church hall on the high street in Kings Heath. Around £25,000 is required to transform the derelict and boardedup building. Joe and Zaq have set a target of raising £10,000 to start the refurbishment this year and hope to find another £15,000 from grant organisations. A recent fundraising event, which saw performances by acrobats, contortionists and aerial trapeze artists at the Sticky Warehouse, in Digbeth, raised £1,000. “We are in desperate need of a new home,” said Joe, aged 28, who first took up circus skills as an 18 year old on a foreign exchange trip to the USA. “Our house in Moseley, which doubles up as an office, is full of equipment as is my mum’s garage in Kings Norton. “With a space of our own CircusMASH can do more, offer more and become more for the community. Birmingham is a city without a circus and we want to change that. We want to create a circus hub for adults and children of all backgrounds. “It’s a wondrous art form and I have been amazed at the transformation in children and older people as they get to grips with the trapeze or aerial silks. Not only is it an exercise that helps to build your core body strength, it does terrific things for your confidence too. “One of our successful students is a lovely lady called Collette. Aged in her fifties, Collette had back problems and arthritis when she started the CircusMASH programme. She learnt a range of circus skills, built up her core body strength and became very fit, lost weight and went on to take part in our community performances. It’s changed her life for the better.” “Zaq and I now have a new learning curve of our own to transform the old church hall at All Saints. Any advice people might have on developing a project like this would be really welcome. There’s a fair bit of plumbing work on the cards too, so if there’s any volunteers, please get in touch!”

Fitting out work will also start at the Boston Tea Party café-bar ready for an opening in the first week of July. Sam Roberts, co-owner and managing director of Boston Tea Party, told HEM Life: “The School Yard is a fantastic development, and we can wait to get up and running July. It’s a beautiful red brick building and the lay out of the rooms and what used to be headmaster’s house garden means we can create something quite unique.” Building work on the School’s Yard residential scheme – 12 apartments and one townhouse - is due to start in the middle of the year. It comprises of a contemporary zinc building, designed by award winning architects Bryant Priest Newman, from the Jewellery Quarter, that complements the Victorian clock tower building. Half the highly specified homes have been pre-sold and the second half of the homes will be released this month. Guide prices start at around £150,000. Neil Edginton said: “The building is really coming to life. I always believed it would be the catalyst for business growth in and around the high street and we have atracted some very exciting businesses.”

CircusMASH Joe Fearn T: 07748 014128 E: W:

Shortlist delight for Howells


ARBORNE artist Sue Howells, now recognised as one UK’s leading watercolour artists, is celebrating a triple success. Two of her paintings, ‘Frost on the Severn’ and ‘Down in the Valley’, won prizes at the preview night for the Royal Watercolour Society’s Annual Open Exhibition at the Bankside Gallery in London. She has just been voted a full member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Art. And another two of her paintings, ‘Crow In Snow’ and ‘Derelict Cottage Gwynneth’ have been shortlisted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2014. The Royal Watercolour Society is a huge accolade for Sue, who likes to say that she has spent over 30 years becoming an overnight success. There were 1,100 entrants from the UK and abroad, of which only 75 were selected - Sue was one - and of the 75, only 20 got more than one painting accepted and again, Sue was one. Working in a converted cellar at home, her artwork has recently been seen on the television programmes “Come Dine With Me” and “Rev.”

Life Stories


ADVERTISING Call Angela: 07843 060 690

Swimathon to save the hall

Whodunit with comical twist

The community hall is one of the estate’s landmark facilities, together with parcels of land, which are up for sale for £325,000. The MPHT has set a target of raising £50,000 from a series of community events - and a swimathon will take place on June 14 at Harborne Pool & Fitness Centre. It could be the perfect fitness antidote for anyone who is taking part in the MPHT’s fundraising fish and chip supper on June 7th (7.30pm). Swimathon participants can register online at www. Forms are also available at Harborne Pool reception. If you prefer to swim in your own time Harborne Pool are offering free entrance to sponsored swimmers from May 1 to June 13, on presentation of official sponsorship forms. All proceeds will go towards buying the community hall.

“The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomens’ Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery” is a cast-of-five comedy by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr. Having performed in many Moorpool plays we now see Linda Phillips taking up her next challenge as director. Linda said: “I was initially looking for a murder mystery play or a comedy and then stumbled across this one that seemed to fit the bill – and it made me laugh out loud which is always a good sign!” The play will be presented at Moor Pool Hall, The Circle, Harborne, from May 14-17 at 7.30 (doors open at 6.45pm), with an additional performance on Saturday at 2pm (doors open at 1pm). Tickets cost £6.50 and are available from Moorpool News & Wine, The Circle Harborne or from the Box Office on 07804 182393.

HE Moorpool Players are staging a comical SWIMATHON is being staged by Moor Pool T and calamitous whodunnit at Moor Pool Hall A Heritage Trust (MPHT) in Harborne in aid of the from May 14-17. Save Moor Pool Hall Fund.

Frost on the Severn (above) an Crow in Snow



May 2014


Life on the Beat

Tel: 07859 81 82 87


Importance of stop and search powers By Sergeant

1337 Mark Hickman, Harborne Neighbourhood Team

THE subject of police powers to “stop and search” are often discussed and debated in the media and in Parliament and so I thought it would be of interest to discuss the powers that regulate the police.

The primary purpose of police stop and search powers is to enable officers to allay or confirm suspicions about individuals without exercising their power of arrest. Just recently, following a robbery in Harborne, I stopped a young man and subjected him to a search. He fitted the general description of the offender and he showed me two mobile phones, one of which he said was his dad’s. The more questions I asked about the phone, the more vague was the response and I formed the impression that the phone was stolen and so arrested him. The phone was indeed from the robbery victim – and this arrest was an example of how stop and search powers are playing an important role in the detection and prevention of crime. There is legitimate debate about police

application of the powers as any misuse of the powers to stop and search will undoubtedly be harmful to policing. Failure to use the powers in the proper manner reduces their effectiveness. They “must be used fairly, responsibly, with respect for people being searched and without unlawful discrimination.” The conduct of Police Officers around the issue of stop and search is governed by Code A of the Codes of Practice of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. The basic premise of most stop and search powers (with exceptions) is that an officer must have reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has unlawfully obtained an article (such as a stolen phone) or is in possession of an unlawful article (such as a bladed article or knife or items that may help someone commit a burglary or a car crime). The Codes of Practice make it clear that any search should be made without unlawful discrimination. Officers should not stereotype people but are encouraged to apply a range of factors in considering whether to search, with the use of specific intelligence about a person being used where possible.

Ultimately, the power must be used fairly and responsibly, and with respect for the people being searched. A police officer is required to give certain information when conducting the search. As with many pieces of legislation, officers will use an acronym to remember what they have to do – GOWISELY. This means Grounds (why the police have the power), Object (what is being looked for), Warrant Card (if not in uniform), Identification (officer’s details including collar number), Station (where they work), Entitlement (to a copy of the search record), Legal power being used (such as Misuse of Drugs Act 1971), You are detained for the purpose of a search. The police are able to use reasonable force to carry out the search and the Codes of Practice places obligations at various levels on the police service to monitor the use of the powers. For me, as a Sergeant, I am required to monitor the use of the powers by my Team members and this responsibility is continued in an upward chain in the organisation with the Crime Commissioner being required to make

relevant statistics about the use of the powers available for public scrutiny. Practically, the power will often be used after a street robbery or burglary, where people are stopped in the vicinity of a reported crime and particularly if they fit the description as given by a witness. They will also be used where people report a smell of cannabis or if officers encounter people who smell of cannabis. Other practical uses may include where we pro-actively police an area because of identified increases in crime and particularly where there is other intelligence that supports that a particular individual should be stopped. This may include where information has been passed that known suspects are actively committing crime in a particular area. I have previously discussed our priorities and how each ward area has a list of their own individual issues on their ward websites. Harborne’s priorities include both robbery and burglary and so stop and search is part of a range of tactics that will be used to either detect offenders or discourage further offending. Other prevention techniques may

include offender management (such as visiting known burglars) or high visibility patrols to deter offenders and reassure the public. WEST Midlands Police are grateful to the publishers of this new local newspaper for the opportunity to engage with their local communities. To contribute to priority setting or merely raise an issue, there are various ways that you can make contact with with us. You may wish to telephone: Moseley Neighbourhood Team - 101 ext. 7829 6592 (Sergeant 0881 James Littlehales). Edgbaston Neighbourhood Team 101 ext. 7821 6260 (Sergeant 0445 Peter Sandhu). Harborne Neighbourhood Team - 101 ext. 7863 6667 (Sergeant 1337 Mark Hickman). Alternatively, visit the website www. and click on Neighbourhood Policing and then your local area. Team websites will highlight the local priorities for your police area. You can also e-mail your local Team via the Neighbourhood Police Team website.

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Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley

Life Stories



ADVERTISING Call Angela: 07843 060 690


May 2014

Little Rocky’s tragic tale is strong stuff



USBAND, father-of-four and pastor Stephen Redman silenced a church hall audience of nearly 80 men during a powerful address that talked about the death of his seven-year-old son, Rocky, from childhood cancer.

“Stephen will make you laugh, sometimes he will make you cry, always he will challenge you,” said the invitation to the men’s breakfast event at St John’s Church in Harborne. Stephen, who is the author of the book “at least it’s not raining” that tells Rocky’s story, managed to do all three during a 40-minute talk called “Stuff Happens.” He talked about his own sobering upbringing that saw his father die when he was seven years old – “I loved him and lived for years thinking he would come back” - and the difficulties of growing up with a phobic mother. Stephen had been a difficult birth and throughout “all of her living and breathing years my mother told me how much damage I had brought into her life.” At the age of eight, at a pentecostal mission church in Goole, he found God - and he found a Father. His mother’s response as he grew into a teenager was to lock him in the house or barricade him in his bedroom to try and stop him going to church. “But I can’t say I had a bad childhood because I had a great relationship with the Father, in God, who looked after me. I loved my mother and dutifully served her as any son should and at the end of the day what happened, happened.” It was in Goole that Stephen, aged 23, met his wife Pauline, a nurse; they married in 1983 and had four children, Elizabeth, Melody, Arielle and Rocky, “a great name for a lad.” At that point, the Redman family had lots of ticks in life’s boxes. Life was good. “Then cancer came knocking on our door when Rocky was four and a half years old,” said Stephen. In November 2000, persistent flu symptoms and headaches over a couple of weeks were a pre-cursor to hospitalisation and a diagnosis of neuroblastoma cancer. Rocky was given three weeks to live. He actually survived nine months of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. “He did so well it really looked as though he was going to come through” said Stephen. “By mid June 2001 he looked thin and that’s because the cancer had returned – and there was no more treatment.” Stephen then told the St John’s audience about the morning Rocky had died on June 27th, 2001. He’d had the regular morning wake-up call from Rocky: “Dad, toilet!” “He was too weak to lift his own bodyweight and I’d always help him. It was one of my morning jobs but that particular day Pauline came with me too. I looked at him and thought ‘oh, you look so weak Rocky.’ I said to Pauline ‘let’s just wait with him a minute.’ We laid him on her lap, I held his hand and he died. Just like that.” Stephen went on: “I had lost a son, a son I loved very much, and I heard an audible voice in the room. It said ‘That’s okay, you see I know that feeling too.’ “I have to say that from then onwards nothing was easy but I was able to adjust to life without my son because I know that God has been through that. God knew what it was like too see his Son die. I’ve talked about this thousands of times, but at that moment

Breakfast club: (left to right) Cassie Beeson, Brian Thomas, Stephen Redman and Nod Bhatia.

in time I needed to be reminded by God that he had seen it all before.” Stephen moved on to the title of his talk, ‘Stuff Happens;’ that whilst all sorts of stuff happens in life - grief, pain, problems with health, with family, with relationships – it was important to remember that God is good. “It’s truth I’ve kept with me since June 27th 2001… We need to know that the stuff that hits us in life has not come from God, it’s just stuff; it’s not pre-determined before you were born, it’s just stuff; and all God wants to do is walk with you and help you with your stuff.” Stephen spoke of his belief that we all want a “fairy godmother” type of god, who can wave a magic wand over our lives and to make it better and on our terms, when in fact “all God is waiting for is for you to talk to him.” He concluded: “I hope that today you appreciate something of Rocky’s journey and my journey and what I want you to understand is that whatever you are facing, my God is good, and he will walk with you like he walked with me.” At least it’s not raining, by Stephen Redman, is published by New Wine Ministries (£9.99). THE Men’s Breakfasts at St John’s Church, organized by Brian Thomas, have featured a series of inspirational speakers. The guest speaker at the next breakfast on July 5 is Arvel Lowe, an ex top flight athlete and fitness coach to several Premiership and League football clubs. For more information about tickets, visit www.

Don’t bottle up worries about dementia

Stephen Redman finds a smile whilst telling a painful story. Inset: Rocky during treatment.

THERE are currently 800,000 people with dementia in the UK; some 17,000 are younger people and two-thirds of the fugure are women. If you’re worried that you, or someone close to you, may have dementia, it can be difficult to talk about. You may feel scared, confused or even ashamed, perhaps hoping the problem will go away. So, if you’re seriously concerned, and the problem continues, it’s important to talk to someone about it. That’s why Dementia Awareness Week, organized by the Alzheimer’s Society, from May 18-24, is all about opening up and talking about concerns. Home Instead Senior Care, in Edgbaston, has arranged a series of five free, half-day Alzheimer’s Dementia Workshops. They take place on May 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 at Home Instead’s offices at Radclyffe House, 66-68 Hagley Road. Please call 0121 456 5559 for more details.


Dementia care techniques / Page 19



May 2014


Life Stories

Craig wows the judges with his know-how on sausages

ARBORNE-based butcher H Craig Finch is celebrating after winning a string of national

awards for his home-made sausages. Craig’s pork and leek sausage helped him secure the prestigious Champion of Champions 2013 title – an invitation-only national event. And he has just cooked up more success with his bangers at March Foodex 2014 at the NEC, Birmingham. On the opening day the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders, his lamb and mint sausage won gold in the in the Meat Speciality Category – and was made overall category winner. A Lincolnshire sausage and a steak and ale pie also received gold awards. A traditional pork sausage that won gold award overall category title was also voted supreme sausage champion for the best sausage product at the show. Craig now has four entries in the Champion of Champions 2014 contest in October. “I’m absolutely delighted – the judges were incredibly impressed and complimentary about the sausages,” said Craig. Aged 32, Craig has been working as a butcher since the age of 14 when he started as a part-time assistant. His career

Champion performance: Butcher Craig Finch. has taken him to shops in Wolverhampton and Bridgnorth. He recently opened the Craig Finch shop in Hampton Court Road, Harborne, where he starts hand-making all his meat products from 6am in the morning. “I’m always experimenting with flavours - and fortunately they


Tel: 07859 81 82 87

seem to go down exceptionally well customers and judges alike!” said Craig. CRAIG FINCH 4 Hampton Court Road Harborne, B17 9AE T: 0121 427 2129

E: W:

Come to our

Stage drama set on No 11 bus route

IRMINGHAM’S famous No B 11 Outer Circle bus route is the setting for a new play at

Birmingham Repertory Theatre this month. Circles, by Rachel De-lahay, who grew up in Handsworth, is a vivid and powerful drama set on a No 11 bus and boldly explores cycles of violence and what it takes to break them. Circling the outskirts of Birmingham on the bus, two teenagers develop an unlikely friendship. Meanwhile a mother observes her daughter’s attempt to leave a violent relationship. Against the backdrop of a changing city everyone involved is forced to re-examine all they thought they knew about love, trust, family and friendship. Rachel, who grew up in Handsworth on the No 11 route, Director Tessa Walker says of the writer: “Rachel has a phenomenal talent for capturing people’s voices and writing about the buried details of their lives. She is equally unafraid of brutality as she is of humour which makes, I think, for thrilling writing.” CIRCLES May 9 - May 24, The Door Birmingham Repertory Theate Box Office: 0121 236 4455 Online:

Artist Tim Southall at the Harborne Art Gallery.

Tim’s boyhood walks emerge on canvas


IM Southall is currently exhibiting a solo exhibition of his painted landscapes at the Harborne Art Gallery until June 7. Tim splits his time between the UK and his home in the Spanish province of Cadiz. People may already be familiar with his distinctive work in prints through the Birmingham Printmakers where he is an active member. Tim’s trips home always include visits to see his mother at the family home in Kingswinford. Talking to HEM life, he shared fond memories of a boyhood that included visits to the the Clent Hills and country walks along the Staffordshire Canal with his late father, Doug. The exhibition

Hagley Road Village

Hagley Road Village Hagley Ro

community open day An ExtraCare Village

includes oil paintings of both childhood haunts. Tim said: “He was a carpenter by trade but he was also a very creative man, a very good artist and quite a character with his Black Country poetry. “He always encouraged my sister Susan and I to draw and follow our dreams. “Painting is incredibly liberating as an art form. For anyone starting out today, I would say ‘just do it.’ Clearly you can’t ignore the history of art but the important thing is to start - and create something that is satisfying to you. His father’s encouragment also rubbed off on Tim’s sister Susan Davies is an accomplished vitreous enameller and artist.

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An Ext

Hagley Road Village

on Saturday 10th May, 10.30am-3.30pm We’re opening the door on a world of opportunities for over 55s, family and friends

As well as providing new homes for more than 300 local people over 55, the Village also offers a wide range of social and leisure facilities, activities and events, which are accessible to older people living in the local neighbourhood. Come along and see our inspirational community for yourself, and see how you can get involved. Hagley Road Village 322-336 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, B17 8BH Tel: 0300 303 2333 Alternative FREE parking on the day at Lordswood Boys School Hagley Road, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 8BJ

A vibrant Village at the heart of your neighbourhood The ExtraCare Charitable Trust is a registered charity No.327816. Registered in England No. 2205136

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For those special times in your life.

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May 2014



Moseley plan open gardens By CAROL MILLER

Chair, Moseley in Bloom

many years now, residents’ gardens FThisOR in Moseley have opened for charity. year there will be even more,

with open gardens on three consecutive weekends in June. On Sundays 15 and 22 June a total of ten gardens will be open under the National Gardens (Yellow Book) Scheme. Gardens at ‘Moseley Corner’ on St Agnes Road and Yardley Wood Road have a wide range of horticultural and artistic features, each garden demonstrating unique design expressing the owners‘ creative vision. Some of the gardens in ‘Moseley Gardens South’ have been seen before but will inevitably have grown and changed and with additional gardens on the route this year, visitors will see a variety of urban plots from small city gardens to a half-acre of spreading lawns with mature trees. On the final weekend, 28/29 June, Moseley in Bloom will again run its popular community event when around 20 gardens, allotments and parks will be open. This is a big fundraiser for Moseley in Bloom and money goes to pay for the floral displays in Moseley village that have contributed to the awarding of Gold to Moseley six times already. The gardens will also host teas, music, plant sales and children’s activities. On the Saturday, visitors can combine gardens with a visit to Moseley Farmers‘ Market. June will certainly be a busy month for Moseley. For more information see uk and

Tel: 07859 81 82 87

Kings Heath’s Royal British Legion cements future legacy


BUCKINGHAM Palace representative Colonel Tony George MBE (pictured left) joined local Sea Cadets to unveil a rejuvenated memorial stone and external facelift at Kings Heath Royal British Legion.

Re-construction work to the front of the Legion building in Kings Heath has been taking place since February to provide new steps to the main entrance. The memorial stone which has stood at the front of the building for more than 65 years was also restored to its former glory. It commemorates the men from Kings Heath who fought in the Second World War. The Legion held a commemorative service in front of the building, followed by a buffet and celebration, which was attended by more than 100 people. Pam Wallace, from the Legion, said: “We were overwhelmed with the support and numbers that attended this event to mark a new chapter in our Legion. “We are a highly active club. Many people think you have to have a connection to the services to be a member and get involved but our doors are open to everyone. “We offer help, support and advice on many issues and host weekly events including quizzes, live music and Morris Dancing.” Kate Smart, Town Centre Manager for Kings Heath, said: “The Royal British Legion in Kings Heath has been around for more than 65 years, supporting individuals and families in our community and I’m so pleased that they were able to get the funds together to make this new entrance development possible. “It is because of groups like this that we have such a positive, welcoming and thriving community spirit in Kings Heath and I hope lots of people continue to support, use and benefit from it.”

Kings Heath Royal British Legion 25 Station Road, B14 7SR T: 0121 444 3608

Lifespan Cognition Intelligent technologies School of Psychology University of Birmingham We conduct research into cognitive changes throughout the human lifespan or following a brain injury, including stroke. For this we are looking for volunteers who are willing to take part in our studies. We are specifically interested in adults aged 50 and above with any level of education. You would receive a minimum of £10 per visit, as compensation for your time and effort. We can even promise a nice cup of tea and biscuits... If you would like to participate in our research and find out for more info please contact Denise Tel 0121 414 4932 Mob: 075 9725 4287 Or email us at:

help patients after stroke


COGWATCH fter surviving a stroke, some patients struggle A to suffe complete everyday activities - even something as simple as making a cup of tea.

This is due to a loss of knowledge of how to use basic objects and problems in executing the correct movement necessary to complete a task. It can even happen if their hand movements are not affected by the stroke. This impairment is called Apraxia, which affects about one third of stroke patients - and it can have a very negative impact on their quality of life and increase their dependence on family members for support. At the University of Birmingham, a team of researchers is developing a system called CogWatch that uses intelligent objects to support patients’ daily activities. These objects provide information on what is done with them. For example, a cup signals that it has been moved, filled with water, or a teabag added.

A central wireless processing system collects the data from the objects in order to monitor patients’ behaviour and provide cues and support when needed. When an error is detected, such as the user pouring water into the sugar container, the system will alert them by providing a gentle vibration to their watch and pictorial or verbal guidance to help them complete the task. The ultimate aim is to develop a personalised rehabilitation system that can be installed into the homes of stroke survivors. CogWatch is an international collaborative project, funded by the European Union, aimed at providing a rehabilitation tool or use an assisistive technology for compltion of everyday activity. Rosanna Laverick, at the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham, said: “We hope that a system like this will make users more aware of the errors they make, to enable them to learn to overcome them. “More importantly it will also alert them if their safety is at risk.” The research team at CogWatch.





ADVERTISING Call Angela: 07843 060 690


May 2014

ExtraCare go the extra mile for older people at Hagley Road Village LDER people are enjoying a healthier, a restaurant, bar, village hall, wellbeing centre, IT suite, craft room and active and more independent lifestyle O greenhouse. at the £45 million Hagley Road Village in Edgbaston.

THE striking development by the ExtraCare Charitable Trust and Birmingham City Council provides 240 stylish new apartments for more than 350 people over the age of 55. AT the heart of development is a community-based Village Centre with 18 health and leisure facilities, including

A FOURTH Village in Birmingham, Bournville Gardens, is due to open in 2015. HARBORNE, Edgbaston & Moseley Life was invited to the Hagley Road Village to meet some of the residents – and found that the community surroundings combined with the support of qualified ExtraCare staff, should it be needed, is giving them a new and happy lease of life.

The time of our lives JOAN WOODWARD




IKE many older people in Birmingham, Joan Woodward, aged 88, wanted to move to Hagley Road Village. More unusual, however, is the fact that Joan had been thinking about living in this way for the last 40 years. In 1973, Joan, an influential social worker and psychotherapist, and her husband John, a maths and physics lecturer, came up with plans for what they called a retired persons’ settlement. The Woodwards planned a community offering levels of on-site care appropriate to individual needs, where people could have the chance to make new friends, take up new hobbies and have the opportunity to volunteer. They envisioned a settlement comprised of houses, flats and a nursing home, where people could move around according to their needs. At the centre of the settlement, they planned a communal area, including dining areas, offices and recreational rooms. Despite the couple’s enthusiasm, lack of interest from others meant that the project never got underway. Joan says: “In those days, John and I were quite depressed about it. No one seemed willing to think about their old age. People are more aware now.” The Woodwards were both willing to be pioneers for change: John was a founder of the Birmingham University Staff Housing Association, which was formed in 1969, and Joan has been instrumental in changing practices for children in hospital. “I’ve been considered rather subversive all my life,” she says. “I was seen as someone who was always raising things that were thought of as different.” One of Joan’s favourite past times is gardening – and she is currently passing on her allotment know-how to pupils at Lordswood Girls School as part of a healthy living project. “The girls are wonderful, there’s always lots of fun and laughter, which is wonderful to hear,” said Joan. “These Villages recognise that old age happens and help people to feel safe. Everything is under one roof, so there’s no need to be afraid of not being able to get to the library or do the gardening again. I can continue to do everything I’ve done for years – and now I’ve moved in, it’s nice to know that I won’t have to move out.”

Joan Woodward, Frank Hood and Sheila Howell pictured at the Hagley Road Village.

Village’s family atmosphere keeps brave Sheila smiling S HEILA Howell is a picture of health. A smile is never far away from her face, particularly when great grandson Joshua pays a visit. But it was all a different story 11 weeks ago when she had an accidental fall and broke her hip. She required a hip replacement and underwent an operation. It was a daunting prospect for a lady aged 84 – but Sheila has made a stunning recovery and is now walking without any indication of the trauma she faced at the beginning of the year. “I had tremendous support from Frank, my family and friends at the Village,” said Sheila. Frank and Sheila saw the Hagley

Pictures by JOHN HIPKISS

RANK Hood, aged 77, and Sheila Howell, aged 84, moved in together for the first time when they moved to Hagley Road Village. The couple had known each other for over 30 years. Frank was a good friend with Sheila’s late husband and lived in the same block of flats at Bromford Gardens on Westfield Road, Edgbaston. As a widow and widower, they both sold their properties and moved into the Village. “It’s a fantastic place, we couldn’t have made a better choice,” said Frank. “Our families used to tell us we should get together because we were each paying separate bills and we could save money that way. “We like socialising and we’ve met a lot of other people and made new friends. It’s also nice to know that there’s someone to call on if you need to. The staff at Extracare can’t do enough for you. “Everyone seems to talk to everyone and there’s a genuine community atmosphere.”

Road Village being built. They moved in together after losing their respective partners. “We did everything together anyway, and now we spend even more time together going to meetings about the Village. It’s nice to be together in the evenings as well.” They both enjoy the social opportunities in the Village: they attend monthly Friends meetings and Sheila volunteers with reception desk duties. Frank is the chairman of the National Service Veteran’s Association and she takes the minutes. Sheila added: “I never thought that I’d move, I’d been in my flat so long. But the Village is now our home and community.”

For more information on ExtraCare Charitable Trust Villages Tel: 0300 303 2333 Web: Sheila Howell and her eight-year-old great grandson Joshua.



May 2014


Life Stories


Tel: 07859 81 82 87

Saddle up for Birmingham Bikeathon


ore than 3,000 cyclists will hit the streets of Birmingham later this year following the announcement of a brand new, large-scale charity cycling event, by blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

The inaugural Birmingham Bikeathon – the largest charity cycle ride ever to be hosted by the city – will take place on Sunday 21 September, offering anyone with a bike the opportunity to take to the saddle and raise funds to beat blood cancer. With the full support of Birmingham City Council, riders can choose to cycle one of the three routes on offer (26 miles, 52 miles or 100 miles), starting

and finishing in iconic Centenary Square. Broad Street will be closed to traffic for the whole day, allowing participants and spectators to come together as a community and experience the unique carnival atmosphere. And the council hopes the event will help to get residents more active too. Birmingham celebrity and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research ambassador Geoff Thomas, who survived leukaemia, has urged his fellow residents to get on their bikes. The former England and Wolves footballer says: “Birmingham is really special to me. I will always be eternally thankful to the doctors and nurses at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham as their skills and care helped me

win my battle against blood cancer. The Birmingham Bikeathon will not only help fund crucial research but also highlight the important role that Birmingham plays in our fight to beat blood cancer.” Birmingham is central to the lifesaving work carried out by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. Currently, the charity has £13.4million invested in 29 different blood cancer research projects and clinical drugs trials in the city. The University of Birmingham coordinates the charity’s innovative Trials Acceleration Programme, which works to improve access to new drug treatments for blood cancer patients via a network of 13 hospitals across the country. Gavin Bendle, a Birmingham

University researcher whose work is funded by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, says: “Our work in Birmingham will ultimately mean that more patients with blood cancers can benefit from the exciting discoveries that we are making from clinical trials. The critical role that the charity plays in funding the research in Birmingham is one of the reasons why I will be taking part in the Bikeathon.” Mark Wilson, Director of Fundraising at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, adds: “We look forward to seeing the streets of Birmingham full with riders having a great day out, and in doing so, raising money to help us achieve so much more for blood cancer patients.” For more information and to sign up, visit

Great company, delicious food and new business opportunities... H EM Life newspaper is a platform for inspirational stories about passionate people and businesses – “Where connected communities can achieve the incredible.” We kicked off the first of our monthly connecting People to People (P2P) events at the superb Mela Indian restaurant in Harborne on Wednesday April 16. Guests were greeted with a welcome drink followed by an outstanding four-course serving of fine dining Indian cuisine in the relaxed ambience of the stylish surroundings and friendly staff.

NEXT EVENT Wednesday 21st May Down Tools and join us at Del Villaggio, Broad Street, Birmingham. Time: 5.30pm - 8pm Cost: Only £20 For more information and to book your place get in touch with Ange - M: 07843 060690 E:

Goal setting can help you grow as a person

Nigel Reynolds (Reynolds & Co), Anne O’Hanlon (Cartellas), Mark Tonks (LMI (UK) Ltd), Erin O’Hanlon (Cartellas)

Emma Price, Jane Jones (RLK Solicitors), Denise O’Neill (Advantage Business Agency)

Lakh Hayer, Teagan Mason (Pure Destinations), Monir Ali (Mela Restaurant)

Dean Davenport (Preventa Ltd), Ros Hadley (Prospect Coaches (West) Ltd), Phil Base (Preventa Ltd)

The superb cuisine at Mela

Simon Bishop (Del Villaggio), Tom Jones (Edgbaston Arts Forum)




N MY previous columns I have written about controlling time by focusing on priorities and by focusing on key goals in order to build purpose into each day. In this month’s column I want to explore in a little more detail the power of goals and why goal setting is so valuable. Setting goals in all areas of your life helps you grow as a person. We hear repeatedly the dangers of “burn out” and getting the right “work life balance;” without goals in all areas we cannot achieve balance. Daily we are faced with business objectives and targets; whether selfemployed, working for a private sector organisation or alternatively public and third sector organisations, business goal setting is common Unfortunately many people don’t go beyond the business place in identifying and setting goals. We encourage people to look at six critical areas of life to set and accomplish goals no matter how large or small. The six areas are: Career & Finance, Physical & Health, Social &Cultural, Family & Home, Mental & Educational, Spiritual & Ethical. By linking the achievement of organisational goals to personal goals we can build real purpose into the daily challenges of work. For example: If I become more effective at work resulting in not having to take work home with me at the weekend then that will mean I am free to pursue on of my hobbies or spend more time with the family or play a round of golf or to do whatever is valuable and worthwhile to me at that time. Take some time out to explore how satisfied and fulfilled you are in all six areas of your life, score yourself out of 10 for each area and start setting some goals in the most important areas for you right now. Try and set goals in all six if you can and gain some balance to your life. Look at three types of goals: goals to “have” something, goals to “become” something and goals to “achieve” something. You can contact Mark at:

Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley


Antiques puzzle continues to captivate Nick By PHIL BROWN

THE 8” x 10” oil painting had surfaced in a house clearance. Wrapped in a black bin liner it was just minutes away from being thrown onto the local authority rubbish tip when the owner decided to play it safe and call into Fieldings Auctioneers.

The picture of a kilted Scottish lad, sat on heather surrounded by his hunting hounds, was the work of James Hardy Junior, a Victorian painter and watercolourist from Bristol. It went on to sell at auction for around £9,000. It’s stories like that, which help to create the mystique and excitement of the antique and collecting world, that have captivated Nick Davies for the past 30 years. Nick, who lives in Edgbaston, is the joint owner of Fieldings Auctioneers, in Stourbridge, which he founded in 2001 with his business partner, Will Farmer, who lives in Moseley. Nick is now an on-screen expert for the BBC’s Flog It programme after five years of diligent advice work off-screen. Will is in his ninth year of the Antiques Road Show. The TV work is the icing on a hectic career cake which started for Nick at the age of 17 when his dad told him to get a summer job. Born in Harborne, the youngest of four, Nick had attended Hallfield School, Edgbaston, and Belmont Abbey, Hereford. “I never really enjoyed school. I enjoyed my sport but I was curious rather than academic, I liked history and thankfully still do,” said Nick. The summer job took Nick to an antique jewellery shop in Birmingham city centre, where he bought and sold antique jewellery for the next eight years. At the age of 25 he went to work in a similar role for a shop in Lichfield and also spent one day a week working with special needs primary schoolchildren in Selly Oak. When Nick was later faced with a choice between a full-time place at teacher training college or working at a Birmingham auctioneers, he opted for the latter. “After a chat with my wife Christine, I realised that I didn’t want to chuck away all the knowledge I had gleaned over nearly 10 years and start a new career.” Four years later in 2001, Nick approached Will Farmer, who was working at the Weller & Dufty military auctioneers then in the city, to set up their own business. The partnership was sealed over a pint – and they now run a business with a £3.5 million annual turnover. Nick focuses on silver and jewellery, metalwork, militaria and quirky stiff (“the odder the better”); Will specialises in 20th Century ceramics, decorative arts, glass and furniture. The early days were tough. They rented a shop front in Market Street, Stourbridge, to store lots and to give the fledgling business some credibility. And then there were the monthly sale days at Hagley Community Hall. Nick says: “Once a month we’d hire a van and pack up 600 lots ready to take to the community hall on a Friday. We’d have to wait for the toddler group to finish at 12 and then spend three hours laying it all out. Viewing was between 3pm and 8pm and we’d sleep on site, for security. “We’d open at 8am on the Saturday and start selling at 10am. We had to be finished and packed up by 6pm and ship everything back to the storeroom. We’d get home at about 1am. It was extremely hard work but it was the nature of the business.” Their first sale was a sugar caster made by the TG Green company. Donated by a friend, it sold for £20. “We did 11 sales a year. I always remember the bank

“It’s a privilege to sit and study these antiques for six to eight weeks until they come up for sale” - Nick Davies

manager asking ‘So you’re starting up a business that only generates cash 11 days a year?’ It was an interesting learning curve. Sales days focus the mind, you have to be bang right every time.” Fieldings charge a 15 per cent fee for selling an item on behalf of a customer and a 17.5 per cent buyer’s premium once the item is sold. Nick and Will moved the business to 10,000 sq ft premises in Mill Race Lane in 2005 and now employ 10 staff and run 16 sales a year on site. The key strands of the business are working with collectors who are upgrading or downgrading collections and preparing auction day catalogues, and probate work valuing items from deceased estates. There are also general valuation days - and the small matter of moving between 1,000 and 2,000 lots in and out of the premises before and after auction. “It’s like a giant sliding puzzle. It’s hard work but I love it – and it keeps you fit,” says Nick. “It’s like being paid to do your hobby. You never know who you’re going to meet next or what you’re going to see. It could be a load of rubbish one day and a £20,000 vase the next. “The variety is wonderful and it’s a privilege to sit and study these antiques for six to eight weeks until they come up for sale.” Business has been good at Fieldings throughout the recession. “With interest rates so low, people with money have been investing in antiques, while people hit by the recession have been selling things,” says Nick. “You have to remember an awful lot of work goes on behind the scenes before the gavel goes down. There are six working on the cataloguing and with internet bidders from around the world, we are constantly bombarded with email inquiries in the run-up to an auction. A rare silver corkscrew ended up being sold for £4,500 to a bidder at an Antarctic research station.” Fieldings have a Fine Art & Antiques auction on Saturday May 17. One of the lots is a William IV silver tureen found under the stairs of a house in Hagley. FIELDINGS AUCTIONEERS Mill Race Lane Stourbridge DY8 1JN T: 01384 444140 E: info@fieldings W:

Business Life



ADVERTISING Call Angela: 07843 060 690

May 2014



May 2014


Business Life

Tel: 07859 81 82 87


Bike wizard Sean saddles up for business success By PHIL BROWN

SEAN Durrant has turned his lifelong passion for bicycles and cycling into a successful business by opening the Moseley Mechanix bicycle repair shop in Moseley.

Sean has more than 20 years of experience under his belt repairing bikes, fine-tuning his craft at cycle stores in Kings Heath, Longbridge and Birmingham city centre. He opened his own repair shop in Woodbridge Road in August 2013 – and is now building a reputation with customers for his expert repairs and value for money services. His partner, Jo Leggett, is amazed by his “inside out” knowledge of bikes – from the tiniest ballbearing and brake adjustment to frame weights and gear chain tension. It’s a passion that started for Sean when he was given a Raleigh Pioneer bicycle at the age of ten by his parents in Harborne. “I’ve always loved bikes since I was kid,” said Sean, aged 45, who attended St Peter’s Primary School and Lordswood Boys School in Harborne. “I repair and service bikes in the day job and build my own bikes – one a

year – in my spare time. After 20 years working for other people, I decided to open my own business. It’s hard work but worth it. “When it comes to repairs and servicing, a bike owner is just like any car owner. You want a reliable service at the right price and that’s the speciality of Moseley Mechanix.” A basic service starts at £30 to £35, with a silver service at £55. A gold service – a complete strip down, chemically cleaned, greased, lubed and re-assembled is £100. But Sean urges customers to come in with their bike and have a chat about what’s needed. Quotations for work are free. “You can save yourself an awful lot of money by having a proper repair job on a faulty part,” said Sean. “One customer was all set to pay £80 for a new part on his bike and I repaired it for £20 and it worked like a dream. The customer was delighted. “It’s the same for the owners of bicycles that have been gathering dust in the shed. Don’t automatically think you have to spend hundreds of pounds on a new one. “The one you already own will probably just need a good overhaul.” Sean’s partner, Jo, is head of department in modern languages at Lordswood Boys School. They have a

son Luke, aged 5, who is already a fan of two-wheel travel. “The shop now means I have the family house back,” said Jo. “It used to be full of bike frames, wheels and spare parts. “I came home once and found Sean washing his bike in the bath after one of his long rides out into the countryside. “The business is working out really well and it’s because of Sean’s passion and knowledge about bikes. “Guys come in here and love looking at all the bikes and the shelves of spares. I think it’s a shed mentality kind of thing! “We’ve also had terrific support from the local business community including Moseley in Bloom and the Moseley Farmers’ Market. They really made us feel welcome.”

MOSELEY MECHANIX 35 Woodbridge Road Moseley, B13 8AE T: 0121 449 1551 E: W:

Meet the law firm that’s here to help you RLK Solicitors in Edgbaston are pleased to announce the following:

FREE one-to-one advice clinic at The Onneley Centre, 109 Court Oak Road, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9AA, commencing 14th May 2014 from 9.30 am to 1.00 pm and every other Wednesday thereafter for all your questions on wills, lasting powers of attorney, trusts, probate and conveyancing matters FREE seminar to be held at the Edgbaston Priory Tennis Club on 15th May 2014 at 2.30 pm for a talk about ‘Saving Tax Through Trusts’ FREE seminar to be held at our offices at 26 Calthorpe Road, Edgbaston,

Birmingham B15 1RP on ‘Duties and Responsibilities of Lay Trustees’ on 10th June 2014 at 2.30pm Please come and join us at any of our events for a cup of tea or coffee Please also take advantage of our free home visits for the elderly and housebound where you can feel safe and relaxed in your own home For more information and to book a slot for any of the above please contact:

Jane Jones at Telephone 0121 450 7800

Sean Durrant has more than 20 years of experience under his belt repairing bikes.

Why trusts are important to family - and appointing the right trustees LEGAL LIFE M ANY people have heard of trusts but are not fully aware of how useful they can be in dayto-day family situations. The basic structure of a trust is that people known as trustees hold the assets in safekeeping for the beneficiaries. Most people have heard of the trusts set up by the landed gentry to keep their landed estates within the family but not all trusts are as grand. Trusts do not have to contain land or even a great deal of money to be effective. If you have a child who is disabled and receiving means tested benefits you may be concerned about the effect of an inheritance on them. Alternatively, you may have a relative with issues surrounding drugs, alcohol or gambling. In either case a trust set up by will or in your lifetime will assist in protecting the funds from being dissipated. The appointment of the right people as trustees is vital. Being a trustee is an onerous task and not one to be undertaken lightly. A lot of trustees run into difficulties because they

with Joyce Bennell Solicitor Rubric Lois King Solicitors

take action without checking the tax consequences first. Having said that, with professional guidance it should be possible to run a trust for many years without falling foul of the rules. It is possible to appoint professional trustees such as solicitors or accountants and often the best combination of trustees is one professional and one family member. Trust accounts need to be produced each year and, in most cases, a tax return as well. These can be handled by the professional trustee while the family member can provide valuable insight into the family dynamics. We are always happy to advise trustees of existing trusts as well as set up new ones.

Website guide to A38 tunnel closures WEBSITE to help Birmingham residents, planners, downloadable resources including posters, A businesses and visitors plan ahead of this leaflets and maps, advice for when driving is summer’s A38 tunnels closures has been reunavoidable and even discount offers on attractions launched, with even more information and advice for those travelling into the city. The second phase of the essential refurbishment of the St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels means the route, which carries up to 85,000 vehicles a day, will be completely closed to all traffic from 22:00 on Friday 18 July until 06:00 on Monday 1 September. The full closure will be preceded by two weeks of overnight closures, from 22:00 to 06:00, and followed by up to four weeks of similar overnight closures. The website includes information on public and sustainable transport options, links to journey

to those traveling on public transport. Last year’s closures saw over 200,000 additional journeys made by public transport and Amey, the company carrying out the works in partnership with Birmingham City Council, are warning that similar numbers will need to follow the advice again this year to ensure traffic is kept moving. The website will also be regularly updated with the latest news, photos and travel offers, including special bus and rail ‘tunnels tickets’, up to and throughout the closures. To find out more about this summer’s A38 tunnels closures, visit the website /

Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley

Education Life


Quality living in Birmingham IRMINGHAM has been ranked as B having the highest quality of life of any UK city outside of the capital for the

second year running. In the Mercer Quality of Living Report 2014, the city was placed jointly with Rome, seeing off global competition from the likes of Los Angeles and Dubai. Birmingham and Rome were ranked in 51st place. Its nearest UK rivals included Glasgow (54th), Aberdeen (56th) and Belfast (63rd). Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “It comes as no surprise that Birmingham has retained its position as the best city to live in the UK outside the capital. Our city has an incredible offering for those who live, work and visit here. “From shopping to science, food to festivals, culture to conferences, Birmingham is fast becoming top of many international visitor lists.” The Mercer ranking comes as it was revealed that the number of visitors to the area who planned to return again within 12 months had reached a seven-year high, according to a survey by TNS. The annual TNS visitor survey, which assesses reasons for visiting, found that arts, culture and science were growing motivators. The city will host the British Science Festival as part of the 2014 Birmingham Year of Science, a celebration of its innovative past and technology fuelled future . Highly rated attractions include the Library of Birmingham, the Black Country Living Museum and the West Midlands Safari Park.



ADVERTISING Call Angela: 07843 060 690

May 2014

Jodie talks business at No 10 By PHIL BROWN

ER Twitter name is coleywhirl – H and life has indeed been a whirl of activity for Harborne-born entrepreneur Jodie Cole with two visits to No 10 Downing Street in a matter of days.

Jodie Cole at No 10 to meet Lord Young, Enterprise Adviser to the Prime Minister.

Jodie, aged 25, is an ambassador for the government’s Start Up Loans scheme encouraging 18-24 year olds to set up their own businesses. Jodie runs her own company in the city, JC Social Media, and her first visit to No 10 was to join other successful young professionals for a round table discussion with Lord Young, Enterprise Advisor to the Prime Minister. A few days later, Jodie was back at Downing Street for another meeting with Lord Young to talk about Clever Tykes, a series of three storybooks that introduce children in key stage 2 (aged 7 to 11) to positive entrepreneurial models. The Clever Tykes books were created by Jodie and her fiancée, Ben Cook, aged 25, who met as pupils of King Edwards Five Ways School. The first book in the series, Walk-it Willow, is a story of a girl who loves looking after her dog and realises that she can turn doing what she loves into a great way to earn money and help others. “Television shows like The Apprentice and Dragons’ Den give the impression that you have to be mean to be in business,” said Jodie. “We want our books to dispel that idea

and instead gently introduce the idea of selfemployment to children so that it becomes a realistic option for them when deciding what to do in later life. “There’s growing evidence that suggests children who grow up with self-employed or entrepreneurial parents are up to 80 per cent more likely to be self-employed when they grow up. “Where does that leave youngsters without entrepreneurial parents? With characters such as greedy Mr Burns in The Simpsons, Matilda’s dishonest dad Harry Wordwood, and The Lego Movie’s evil ‘Lord Business,’ it’s no wonder that we have a shortage of entrepreneurs!” Jodie attended Harborne Primary School and King Edwards Five Ways before studying for a business management degree at Sheffield University. She then held down two jobs to save up enough cash – “I didn’t want to borrow money” - to start her company at the age of 23. “I had loads of encouragement from my mum, Carol, who worked for herself in business consultancy, and starting my own business seemed the natural thing to do.” She now employs four “positive, can do” people at JC Social Media. “One of my favourite business quotes is that you are the sum of the five people you spend most time with – and it’s worked well for me so far!” Jodie’s success story with Clever Tykes is set to feature in Lord Young’s report on enterprise, due to be published by the government later this year. THE Clever Tykes books are available to purchase from

Banana Moon Edgbaston brightens young lives T

HE Banana Moon Day Nursery in Edgbaston creates a caring and loving environment for children aged from of 3 months to 5 years old, helping them blossom into young inquisitive adults. Superbly located in Highfield Road – ideal for parents who travel to work in the city – the nursery opened in February 2014 as part of the Banana Moon Day Nursery franchise where the emphasis is to see everything from a parent’s point of view. Nursery manager Tania King said: “One of our key priorities is to ensure families have a smooth transition from home to nursery life and settling in sessions are always arranged. “We regularly ask parents for their views and opinions and start to build those parent partnerships right from day one when our nursery staff provide feedback at home time for the youngsters. If you’ve been at work and missing your little one, we can focus on the special things that have happened.” The rooms at Banana Moon Edgbaston are bright, cheerful and stimulating. Open from 7.30am

to 6.30pm Monday to Friday, the downstairs rooms cater for the under 2’s and the upstairs rooms are for the over 2’s. The nursery also benefits from CCTV and biometric fingerprint security entry systems. Children do a range of activities, implementing the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and its seven areas, with lots of child-initiated learning and planning based around the individual and their interests. A range of fantastic resources support the children to learn through play. Babies are encouraged to explore the world of colour, shapes and texture through use of natural light, sensitive adult interactions and lots of sensory experiences. Older children are encouraged to develop their confidence and become independent all in preparation for school. By the end of their time in pre-school the transition to full-time schooling should be smooth and a logical progression of their continued learning. Banana Moon Edgbaston has an inhouse cooking facility, producing tasty

home-cooked nutritious food every day. There is a 4-week rolling menu currently being trialled, with parents asked for their views and comments. Menu items include things like sausage and bean casserole, Morroccan lamb and cous cous. The nursery caters for all dietary and allergy needs. Tania, who has been working in childcare for almost 10 ten years, added: “I’m a very much hands-on manager and like to be involved with what the children are doing. “I’ve been involved in the opening of Banana moon from the very start and we have brilliant staff who are highly qualified and really enthusiastic about working with children. I am very excited to see it develop. The nursery has a lot of potential and is in a great location.” BANANA MOON DAY NURSERY EDGBASTON 14 Highfield Road Edgbaston B15 3DU T: 0121 454 2088 E: W:

Nursery manager Tania King



May 2014


Education Life

Cartellas help you put school in a bag


HEN Anne O’Hanlon decided to start-up her own business, she concentrated on a subject she knew and trusted best – schools. Anne has worked in school administration for over 20 years and her new company, Cartellas, supplies high quality, traditional leather satchels. But it’s not just children who are discovering the joy of having a stylish leather satchel of their own – plenty of mums and one or two dads are getting in on the act too! Cartellas satchels are available in four different sizes and can be customised to client requirements with a choice of 24 colours available. “I often saw children walking to school carrying their things in scruffy bags or plastic carriers and thought it would be lovely to see a return of smart and elegant leather satchels,” said Anne, from Stirchley.

“Clearly the satchels had to be something really special and of the highest quality, and they are made by a well-established family business in the north of England that supplies satchels worldwide.” The name ‘Cartella’ is Italian for school bag. Complete with a five-year craftsmanship guarantee, the satchels come in sizes suitable for school use: 12 ½”, 14”, 15” and a 15” ‘tallboy.’ “The choice of sizes and colours makes the satchels very flexible in terms of appeal to youngsters and adults alike,” said Anne. “They’re very much a unisex accessory too. “The 12 ½” is suitable for smaller children or for use by young girls or ladies as a handbag. “The 14” and 15” satchels are ideal for school – you could have them personalised in school colours and crests. You can pack a laptop into the tallboy and that’s the model that dads are interested in! “We also supply an 11” satchel which is not really suitable for school use but mums love it to carry around their mobile phone, purse or paperback book. “Prices start at £80, which is more competitive than the high street equivalent, and includes a five-year craftsmanship guarantee. “I’ve also done my sums and worked out that the price of a 15” satchel over a school life of five years works out at 10 pence a day.”

Anne O’Hanlon (left) and Erin O’Hanlon of Cartellas.

CARTELLAS T: 0121 441 1662 E: W:

NORFOLK HOUSE SCHOOL 4 Norfolk Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 3PS

Tel: 0121 454 7021


NORFOLK HOUSE NURSERY 3 Norfolk Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 3PS

Tel: 0121 452 1485


SUMMER SCHOOL (5 - 11 year olds) 15th July 30th August

Norfolk House School is an independent school for children aged between 3 and 11 years

Norfolk House Nursery is a day nursery for children aged between 3 months and 4 years


Life Style

15 May 2014


Trip of discovery in land of The Archers HEM Life takes a short hop on the M5 motorway to visit the Jinney Ring Craft Centre in Worcestershire

SUMMER is on the way and if you are looking for a day trip with appeal for all ages in the family, the Jinney Ring Craft Centre at Hanbury is an enticing prospect.

For any dads thinking this is just another “shopping trip,” think again. The Jinney Ring is a working hub for 12 businesses showcasing the best of British craftsmanship that attracts 220,000 visitors a year. There’s even free parking! Not only can you buy a variety of unique works of art, you can talk to the crafts people too. From glass blowing to violin making, chocolatiers to wood artists, they all have a different story to tell. Glass blower Stuart Fletcher has been at there for 12 years. He can make anything from glass sweets to ornate vases. During our visit he was busy making 70 flower heads for a galvanised forged steel sculpture of an Agapanthus, by artist blacksmith Jenny Pickford, for the Chelsea Flower Show. And if you want to have a crack at glassblowing yourself, you can do so under Stuart’s expert supervision. In fact on Saturday June 28, there are a range of short craft taster sessions all day in the gardens. The Chocolate Deli was set up by husband and wife team Lisa and Richard Broomhead. Using the finest Belgian chocolate, their range of flavours has grown over the years from five to 39 (we can particularly recommend the apple crumble rum truffle). You can also find a range of chocolate novelties for weddings and birthdays, even a chocolate pizza. Their chocolatier skills were recently put to the test when a customer asked for his engagement ring to be encased in a chocolate egg ready for proposal day. Di Hill is the owner Hill Stained Glass and has been at the Jinney Ring since it opened in 1982. Her individually designed, hand-crafted door and window panels have been commissioned for homes, hospitals, businesses, schools and churches. Violin maker William Piper set up his workshop in March 2006 - and the four legs of his wooden stool have worn away the ceramic floor tiles. Originally from West Bromwich, William has made and sold 700 violins, violas and cellos. Nearby is wood artist Phil Baldwin. His finely crafted gifts include jigsaw family trees and an eyecatching range of fountain pens which can be handcast with postage stamps from the year of your birth to create a unique birthday gift. Another fountain pen had been made using a limited-release oak from Nelson’s HMS Victory. On the food front, there’s a buzzing restaurant serving a range of hand-cooked dishes. The fresh air of Worcestershire helps to work up an appetite for a handsome hot pork bap with crackling and apple sauce (£4.95; with salad and chips £7.45). The salad bar (£7.45) includes accompanying options of turkey and ham pie, three cheese ploughmans and smoked mackerel. A fresh fillet of salmon with white wine and herb sauce, chips and vegetables (£8.95) was a melt-in-the-mouth delight. Ducks wonder around happily in the Jinney Ring’s ponds and gardens and in the distance you can see Hanbury Church, nestling on the hillside, the real-life alter-ego of BBC Radio 4’s, The Archers. Hanbury’s St Mary the Virgin is often used as a stand-in for Ambridge’s parish church, St Stephen’s. It’s a short walk away across country - there’s a map available - and it’s an ideal way to work off that roast pork and crackling.

JINNEY RING CRAFT CENTRE T: 01527 821272 W: Open all year round 10am (Sun 11am) - 5pm incl Bank Holidays

Chocolate heaven: Chocalatier Alison Cluley with a tray of Kirsch cherries. Above: You can have a go at glass blowing with the help of Stuart Fletcher, an expert in the craft.

Above: William Piper, violin maker. Left: The hand-cast postage stamp fountain pens of Phil Baldwin. Below: The distinctive work of Di Hill at Hill Stained Glass.


ONLY £1 Buy any pizza or main pasta & get another for only £1.

please cut out and bring this advert to claim the special discount 175 Broad Street, B15 1DT (next to Cineworld) 0121 633 3553 Join our facebook page for more offers & updates



MAY 2014


Life Style

Tel: 07859 81 82 87

Load the gaucho satnav with directions for the Hagley Road Food Review: FIESTA DEL ASADO Edgbaston



HE Languedoc region in the South of T France is best known for its red wines, with Minervois, Corbières and Fitou Fiesta del Alsado’s superb chicken livers (left) and a 16oz beef steak, shared between two, washed down with a Malbec.

bread, the chicken livers delicately dissolved in the mouth accompanied by shades of sherry flavour. Superb. The other starter - a baby back rib of pork and salad (£6.89) - also went down smoothly, helped by Asado’s signature smokey sauce. The steak was always going to be the main event. We shared a “Bife de Angosto” a 16oz single muscle taken from the loin (a mid-range price of £23.98), accompanied by a tomato and onion salad and portion of fries in parseley and garlic (each £1.99). Heartily sliced into six chunks, this was a superbly cooked and presented steak with intense flavour and gorgeous texture to enjoy over a fine bottle of

Argentinian Malbec - Finca La Colinia (£19.99). The desserts looked inviting - I had been primed to try the pancakes with orange sauce - but it was difficult to surpass the brilliance of the “bife.” With a bill for two of just over £60, Fiesta del Asado had another two admirers join its ranks by the end of the evening. FIESTA DEL ASADO 229 Hagley Road Edgbaston, B16 9RP T: 0121 455 9331 E: W:


Keep it simple to let asaparagus flavour flow


HE beginning of May heralds the start of the asparagus season, tender green spears that are full of flavour and eaten worldwide. For the next six weeks, the town of Evesham is on the mind of every asparagus lover. A 40-minute drive from Birmingham will take you to the best asparagus fields Europe has to offer, with an abundance of farm shops to buy the freshest produce around.. There’s just one rule with asparagus. Whether it’s in a salad, in a soup or simply dipped into a soft boiled egg instead of bread soldiers, keep it simple to let the flavour of the little green spear stand out to the fullest. Try this recipe as a light lunch or as a starter. Evesham Asparagus with Poached Hen’s Egg, Hollandaise Sauce & Crisp Prosciutto Adjust the numbers for the asparagus, egg and prosciutto to the number of people your cooking for. 6x spears of fresh asparagus 1 Large hen’s egg 1 Slice proscuitto Place the prosciutto on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and put into a pre-heated oven at 200 degC until it starts to turn to a medium brown. Then remove from the oven to cool and turn crisp. (Do this in advance to allow the prosciutto to cool). Using a peeler and starting 2” from the top of the spear, peel all of the green skin off to reveal the white stem. Get all of the tips in line and cut

Picpoul de Pinet is a hidden gem of France THE WINE MAN

dgbaston has many fine dining haunts and the Argentinian restaurant, Fiesta del Asado, is without doubt a worthy member of the top table.

If you’re searching for the best of succulent steaks with intense flavours, point your gaucho satnav in the direction of the urban pampas otherwise known as the Hagley Road. For a Monday evening, Fiesta del Asado was buzzing. Diners were engaged in menu chatter, chefs were laying up plates in a thin haze of charcoal smoke. We hadn’t booked. No problem. A waitress with one of the best smiles this side of the Andes guided us to a table for two. The starters on the menu sounded intriguing, and needed a light nibble pan fried padron peppers (£2.99) to get the decision-making juices flowing. Premium Iberian hams cured for a minimum of three years were tempting but I opted for pan fried chicken livers dressed with green grapes, almonds and sherry sauce (£6.79). Arriving on a thin slice of charcoaled




off the bottom of the spears about 2” from the base (you can keep all of the trimmings to make a soup with). Blanch the spears in boiling, salted water for 40 seconds to retain their bite. Poach the eggs in simmering water with vinegar added; do not add salt to the water as this will counter the effect of the vinegar. Hollandaise sauce the simple way (serves 4-6) 3 large hen’s egg yolks 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 1 250g block unsalted butter This isn’t the correct way to make a hollandaise but it really is the best way of making it to ensure it doesn’t split - and if it’s your first attempt then you can be assured it will work. (If you already know the correct way to make Hollandaise then please use that method). Melt the butter in a microwave until liquid. Using a hand blender, put the egg yolk and vinegar into high-sided hand blender jug. Blend the egg yolk and vinegar until smooth and then while the butter is still warm SLOWLY trickle it into the jug keeping the hand blender on full power all of the time.

When you have used all of the butter and the sauce is nice and creamy, taste & season To serve put the warm asparagus onto the plate and season lightly, top with the poached egg and dress with the hollandaise sauce. Place the prosciutto crisp on top and enjoy. Simon Bishop has been working in professional kitchens since the age of 12. He has won many awards for his culinary expertise including a prestigious British chef of the year award and worked in well known places such as The Savoy and The Dorchester. He is currently the executive chef at Del Villaggio Italian Restaurant, Broad Street, Birmingham.

And the wine... Asparagus has a reputation as a challenging food to match with wine due to its unique flavour, writes CLIVE WITCOMB. Generally, a good quality Sauvignon Blanc works well, particularly Sancerre, which can itself evoke hints of asparagus, whilst delivering freshness and elegance. As an alternative, a dry Riesling from Australia or New Zealand will also do the job. If you’re a red wine fan, choose something like a young Pinot Noir or maybe a Beaujolais, certainly nothing too robust or the subtle flavours of the asparagus will be overpowered.

amongst its more familiar appellations. The rugged, sun-baked landscape, with its rocky outcrops and deep river gorges is picturesque yet sometimes unforgiving as far as grape vines are concerned, and the terroir is generally far better suited to the production of reds than whites. Yet in the Eastern part of the region there is a hidden gem of a white - Picpoul de Pinet, Picpoul being the grape, Pinet the area. Unusually for France, this is a varietal appellation, which means the grape variety is named, whereas most French appellations, other than in Alsace, simply tell you where the wine comes from (Sancerre, Chablis etc). Pinet is located on a limestone plateau about five miles inland from Sète on the Mediterranean coast, and between them lies a mighty saltwater lagoon, the Bassin de Thau, famed for its mussel and oyster beds. Picpoul de Pinet is the sort of wine you’d expect to come only from a cool climate region, but the sea breezes blowing across the lagoon from the Med serve to moderate the heat and provide much needed moisture, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and gently, concentrating the aromas and flavours of the wine to the full. This is a refreshing, crispy dry white, with an appealing floral aroma, and often a hint of minerality and flintiness. Juicy lemon and crunchy green apple flavours follow, with a zesty grapefruit tang, and sometimes just a hint of herbal spiciness on the finish. In its traditional tall, slender green bottle, with the Languedoc cross embossed in the glass, it’s quite easy to spot, and typically retails at between £6 and £9. As a partner to seafood, particularly the sort of shellfish to be found on its home patch, it’s difficult to beat, especially at the price. Its heyday was in the late 19th Century, and although historically it has often been used in blends, its popularity and status as a wine in its own right is on the rise, and definitely not before time. And for those looking for a change from Sauvignon Blanc or the ubiquitous Pinot Grigio, it’s well worth a try. Berkmann Wine Cellars T: 0121 356 8888 E: W:

Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley


Life Style



ADVERTISING Call Angela: 07843 060 690

May 2014

Monir cooks up a food marvel at Mela MELA is a joyous word in Sanskrit used on the Indian subcontinent to describe all sizes of traditional gatherings and festivals. For many families in Bangladesh, a mela is an opportunity to share happiness and fine food.

Monir Ali, owner of Mela Restaurant on Harborne High Street.

Staff at Mela love their cricket but are never stumped when it comes to explaining what’s on the menu.

Kevin Paul

Elvis Tribute Show at the

Mela Restaurant Harborne Tuesday 17th June

Kevin Paul is no stranger to TV. He has performed on Gmtv, T4 and ITV & most recently played the voice of Elvis for a BBC Radio documentary.

So make way for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll with this Extravaganza of Glitz & Glamour of the Vegas years! Hit after hit of foot stomping classics like Suspicious Minds, Wonder of You & many more...

His magnetic stage presence and Presley charm make him no Devil In Disguise! Still got a Suspicious Mind? Come see for yourself! Live entertainment with 3 course meal for £22.95 per ticket

Hailing from a Bangladeshi family, Monir Ali’s decision to call his Harborne restaurant Mela was therefore a natural choice. Mela is positioned at the High Street heart of the Harborne dining out experience and is earning a reputation as the premier Indian restaurant in the area thanks to a stand out combination of food, style and great customer service. The success can be attributed to Monir’s passion and flair for his business, with an unerring attention to detail that stretches from the front of house to the Mela kitchen. With a father and a brother who are talented chefs, Monir started to learn ropes of the trade as a 20-yearold working at a cousin’s 140-cover Indian restaurant in Worcester. He then moved to the Malabar in Harborne and “just fell in love with the place.” When the opportunity came to acquire the restaurant two years ago, he jumped at the chance and renamed it Mela. Tucked away at the top of a curving staircase, customers are pleasantly surprised on arrival by the contemporary first-floor dining area, that can seat 70, and stylish bar – the ideal place to pull up a high stool and enjoy a welcome drink. The interior design uses a clever mix of black and white to further enhance the sophisticated surroundings – crisp white table linen blend with black napkins, white leather furniture is finished with a black trim. Glassware and cutlery is highly polished. The ever-smiling staff are also in smart black uniforms. “The staff play a really important role in the success of Mela,” said Monir. “Customer service really matters in this industry and we can offer the very best thanks to the loyalty of the staff. “They’re always smiling and finding something to be happy about, which is usually the cricket because

Diners can enjoy the very best of Bangladeshi style cuisine in sophisticated surroundings.

they’re all mad about the sport! But they also know their food and precisely what’s on the Mela menu. We treat every diner as a VIP and the staff can help customers select a dish exactly as they would like.” Monir’s love of the business reaches into the kitchen where he spends a couple of evenings a week helping to prepare the food. Mela serves a Bangladeshi style of cuisine, with a blend of spices totally different to traditional Indian cooking. Eye-catching house specials include a Chicken Shashlick Bhuna Balti, cooked with garlic, ginger and homemade shashlick sauce with diced bell peppers and onions in a medium spiced sauce. “But the spice in the dish can always be adjusted to what the diner wants,” adds Monir. A succulent Chicken Hyberabadi was another mouth-watering option, with a distinctive mix of cherry tomatoes, mixed peppers, baby potatoes and fresh baby spinach. “We cook food with ingredients that are fresh every day. We are looking to develop the menu with new dishes and to increase the range of fish on offer, which is a staple of traditional Bangladeshi cuisine.” If you’re intrigued to see how one man’s inspired passion for his business is making its culinary mark on Harborne High Street, Mela is well worth a visit. and perhaps share some thoughts about authentic Indian food with Monir himself.

MELA 103A High Street Harborne, B17 9NR T: 0121 428 4499 W:

LIMITED TIME ONLY! Present this voucher and receive a massive



On all main dishes at Mela restaurant when you dine-in Your Email.…………………………………

Voucher Conditions:

Expires 15th May 2014 Valid Weekdays only (Sunday-Thursday) Valid dine-in only Cannot be used with other vouchers/offers




Life Style

May 2014


Tel: 07859 81 82 87

The Heist are making waves


S SOMEONE who was 17 when they started A promoting gigs, one of the best

things about the current live music circuit in Birmingham is that there are now many gigs that are open to people of all ages.

Of the venues I personally work with regularly, 02 Academy 3 is open to anyone of any age (over 14s unaccompanied and under 14s with an adult - restrictions apply so check the website) and the Rainbow is 16 and over. This means that there are now opportunities aplenty for young bands to get gigging experience and for their friends and fans to come along. They can build a fan base and develop their live performance a lot younger than ever before. As physical CD sales have collapsed and with bands increasingly relying on live performance and selling t-shirts posters and other merchandise to generate an income this is a great development for all.

Plus no more sending bands home for lying about their age either. It’s also made me realise quite how pop music now resonates through the generations and is accessible to all. But is pop music a phenomenon of the 20th century or something that will continue forever? Something about the collapse of music sales and the availability instantly of any music you desire to hear any time you want makes me think the former. But that’s for time to tell. One thing about the music scene is the future is never predictable. It’s certainly gratifying that people from 13 upwards are asking for gigs, groups are still forming and a lot of them are sounding better than their elders… so let’s spotlight one local young band worth a look. The Heist are all still aged 16-18 and based in the Moseley / Kings Heath area – they’ve amazingly been together for five years already which might explain why their current material is sounding so strong. Formed by three boys at Queensbridge School and beginning as a covers band, they gradually grew in confidence and started producing

their own material. Over the next five years, the different influences of each member would begin to develop a sound of their own that became a prominent part of the new indie style they play today incorporating the rawness of The Velvet Underground with the tight, infectious funk of Chic and the dreamy tones of the ‘B-town’ Birmingham scene. The material they’ve been working on has eventually formed what will become The Heist’s début album: Waves; recorded and produced by Michael Clarke. They’ve recently supported the likes of The Telescreen and Raglans, they perform gigs regularly locally and have built a strong fan-base in Birmingham. Waves is due for release on the 18th of July 2014, and they launch the album with a headline show at the Rainbow Courtyard on the same day. The gig is open to ages 16 and over.

ARTHUR TAPP E: W: thecatapultclub

The Heist are all still aged 16-18 and based in the Moseley and Kings Heath area.

Gavel girls bang the drum of change in antiques world N

Have you ever been to an auction? Try diamonds on or visit our wine cellar!

Jewellery, Watches, Silver, Wine, Antiques, Collectables and Fine Art Auctions on 8th and 9th May 2014, starting 10.30am on both days Viewings: Sat 3rd May, 9am - 2pm Mon 5th May, by appointment Wed 7th May, 10am - 7.30pm Thu 8th May, 9am - 9.45am (for Thursday Sale) Thu 8th May, 9am - 4pm (for Friday Sale) th Fri 9 May, 8.30am - 9.45am (for Friday Sale)

More to discover at


OT everything is old and antique in an auction hall; Biddle and Webb’s young guns amongst the staff are bringing a refreshing new approach to the industry. Before working for Biddle and Webb Auctioneers I can confess that I had never put a foot inside an auction room. It simply never crossed my mind that I could find little affordable treasures there; I had always associated auction houses with the privileged. Well, let me tell you it’s not and the whole business is about to change. Not only have I refurbished my home with vintage finds but I’ve met a whole new generation of young people determined that their passion for antiques is not creaky but bang on trend. Here, half of our staff are under 35 working for an industry dealing mainly with the over 40’s. Present in all our departments: Fine Arts, Antiques, Jewellery, Militaria, Wine, General Sales, Admin; we crave to take on responsibilities and to leave our mark. It’s our enthusiasm that sets us apart. We learn and adapt from our experienced and knowledgeable colleagues; we are given the chance to contribute and expand the antiques and auction business. In the current economic climate, younger generations and the antiques trade have suffered a lot and it is rare to find a company that is willing to take this kind of risk. Our typical customers aren’t hipsters and even less so young women. But they would be surprised to find in our salerooms what they could find in any high



street shop or flea market. This is not by lack of interest but by lack of communication. Antiques by definition is not related to the young. With a male-dominated industry, both in the salesrooms and on TV, Biddle and Webb is leading the way for a change; introducing their three new ladies on the rostrum who are determined to change mentalities with the bang of their gavel. It is now time to break the stereotype, update the auction house and bring in a new version of Antiques 2.0! With the unstoppable boom of the vintage trend, Victorian furniture, fur and period jewellery

have become “must have”. Could the auction hall become the new “a la mode” place to be? Whether you are a student or in your late thirties, I strongly recommend checking out your auction hall before this well-kept secret goes viral. There are sales on May 8th and 9th (10.30am; free entry).

Biddle & Webb Icknield Square Ladywood Middleway, B16 0PP T: 0121 455 8042 E: W:

Auctioneer trio: Marion Geoffray, Jaanika Okk and Catherine White.

Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley


Screening to help golfers with low back pain

Health Life



I Dr GUY FALCO Harborne Chiropractic Clinic


ITH Tiger Woods being forced to miss the US Masters with a low back injury it would seem that even seasoned professionals aren’t immune to this most debilitating of injuries. In fact between 25% to 36% of golfers will experience low back pain due to golf. Put simply the dynamics of a golf swing are not particularly good for the joints and muscles of your low back especially if you have a pre-existing or past history of injury. Research has shown that poor swing technique is the most common cause for developing injury with 25% of injuries occurring in the low back followed by elbow (15%) and shoulder (9%). The most likely cause for a poor swing technique lays in your biomechanics. A thorough Titleist Performance Golf Institute (TPI) screening involves a 13-step golf specific movement assessment to highlight any stability or mobility issues you may have that are contributing to a pre-existing condition or predispose you to injury in the future. Once this screen is finished, the results are used to create a plan unique for that golfer. The plan may include treatment, rehabilitation, strengthening or mobility work. In order to achieve the best results an integrated approach with your golf professional will help you utilise your improved biomechanics to groove a safe efficient golf swing. The TPI screening isn’t just for golfers in pain, it can be used to improve performance whether it’s staying stable when putting or gaining a few yards off the tee. A small change in your biomechanics can make a huge change in your swing and golfing performance. As a chiropractor and TPI certified professional I am well placed to help golfers of any ability play without pain, improve performance and minimise the risk of future injury.

Harborne Chiropractic Clinic 117 Court Oak Road Harborne, B17 9AA T: 0121 448 2300 E: W:

May 2014

Simple techniques we should all know to help with dementia Home Instead Senior Care




ADVERTISING Call Angela: 07843 060 690

T IS estimated that 35 million people in the world currently have a dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the most common type. The progressive syndrome causes a deterioration in cognitive function, affecting memory, thinking, orientation and many other functions we often take for granted.

It is no surprise, therefore, that the topic of dementia care is frequently at the forefront of countless healthcare debates, the most prominent being the recent G8 Dementia Summit this past December. Of course, there are also, consequently, 35 million families dealing with the challenges that caring for a loved one with a dementia presents, meaning that it is essential that people be well-informed on dementia care techniques. To make a difference to our local community, we at Home Instead Senior Care in Edgbaston have launched our unique City and Guilds Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias Training workshops. As dementia care specialists, we are raising awareness of essential dementia care techniques through these workshops, teaching attendees useful care techniques, which include the following: Redirecting: Changing the topic of conversation

Millions of families are dealing with the challenges that caring for a loved one with a dementia presents

and, in turn, the individual’s mood creates a more positive atmosphere. If your relative or friend asks the same question multiple times, for example, redirecting the conversation to their favourite topic can stop unhelpful thought patterns. Apologising: Simply saying “I’m sorry, I misunderstood you” and taking the blame, even when it’s not your fault, can calm down the individual and help them (and you!) move past a difficult or embarrassing situation. Removal: Remove distracting and potentially harmful things from the individual or remove the

Importance of acting early with ‘dry eye’

individual from a situation which is distressing or angering them. Giving simple choices: As dementia sufferers often feel like they have lost control of their lives, giving them simple choices, like “Would you like tea or coffee?”, helps them to feel more in control and, in turn, happier. Engaging in meaningful activities: By encouraging the individual to participate in something, even if it’s only answering trivia questions, you are helping increase their sense of purpose and accomplishment. It is important to recognise that it may take various attempts and approaches before these techniques become truly effective. If a technique does not work first time, it is best to take a step back and try again a few minutes later, taking a different approach. It is our hope that by educating family carers, local businesses and the wider general public on how to properly identify and deal with the typical signs of dementia, they will gain a better understanding of the condition and its associated behaviours. In turn, we anticipate that this will help to create a better educated and more dementia-friendly community. For any further information on our free workshops, get in touch with us using the contact details below. Home Instead Senior Care Radyclyffe House Hagley Rd, Edgbaston B16 8PF T: 0121 456 5559 W:


HARBORNE Chiropractic Clinic

0121 448 2300



Brittain Opticians


t looks like my column in the last issue of HEM Life about UV Light was well timed. It has been great to see the sunshine and long may it continue. This time of year often sees an increase in clients suffering from sensitivity to light. This, along with any of these eye symptoms – tired, gritty, sore or burning sensation, or watery - can be a sign of dry eye. Dry eye is a condition which effects 50 per cent of us aged over 50. It has several causes and a variety of different treatments. This condition is something that can be easily managed, but it is important to take action early on. It generally worsens over time and can cause permanent damage to certain parts of the eye. Many optometrists like myself have special interest in dry eye, as we are sufferers too, plus we are well placed to accurately diagnose your problem with our specialist equipment for eye examinations. If you suffer with these type of problems, please get in touch with your local optometrist to book an appointment.



Brittain Opticians 97A High Street Harborne, B17 9NR T: 0121 427 1007 E: W:

NECK PAIN & HEADACHES BACK PAIN & SCIATICA 117 Court Oak Road, Harborne, Birmingham. B17 9AA



May 2014


Travel Life

Tel: 07859 81 82 87

Look at Denmark for school holiday value

BONE of contention among thousands A of families in Britain is the way prices soar as soon as the children break up for the


Why it could be time to book a cruise to remember

summer holidays.

But if you want to take your youngsters abroad during August and still enjoy a seaside destination take a look at the coastal regions of Denmark, where prices drop after the middle of the month as it’s no longer considered peak season. And while it’s not a country you immediately think of for sand and sea there are some lovely little towns with spectacular beaches and first-rate family cottages. Take, for example, Gilleleje on the coast of North Zealand about an hour’s drive from Copenhagen Airport. It’s a low key, low rise town bordered by lovely countryside and some fantastic sandy beaches, ideal if you just want to relax, enjoy good local food, appealing shops, clean air and safe bathing. Near the town itself the beach is rocky but drive a short distance in either direction and the rocks give way to sand which slopes gently into the water and is ideal for children. These beaches are backed by deep sand dunes which offer shelter on windy days and are great for children to play in. The town has a pedestrianised shopping centre where families can wander around safely and the harbour - with its numerous fishing boats - is well worth a visit. The holiday cottage we booked was about five minutes walk from the town centre and was set amongst trees on a large plot of land just 100 yards from the beach. And typical of many Danish holiday it came with its own sauna, sunbed and Jacuzzi. There were numerous garden chairs, swings for the children and a spacious decking area to eat al fresco and enjoy the August sunshine. Getting around in Denmark is easy with a hire car as everywhere is well sign-posted - even though most names are hard to pronounce - and almost everyone speaks English. The roads in this part of the country are generally quiet and the standard of driving is good. Denmark has a reputation for being expensive and certainly there are a lot of pricey restaurants around, particularly outside the mains cities, but if you take the time to look around you can eat out quite reasonably. And with a cottage holiday you can


TEAGAN MASON Pure Destinations


A taste of Denmark: One of the many beaches near Gilleleje. Inset left: The harbour at Gillelje. Inset right: Frederiksborg Castle was used by the kings of Denmark formore than 200 years.

always stock up from the local supermarket and eat in, or order a fisk (fish) platter from the local harbour so you can sample the catch of the day in your own holiday home. If you are staying in this part of the world don’t miss Frederiksborg Castle, built by the Danish king Christian IV. If there is one “must see” attraction in this region it’s this vast castle with its superb formal gardens. The castle was used by the kings of Denmark for more than 200 years until 1840 and all the absolute monarchs were crowned in the castle chapel. Look carefully at one of the windows of the chapel near the organ and you can make out the signatures of various royals of the world - including the former Prince of Wales - signed with a diamond ring in the glass. Most of the rooms in the castle retain their original furniture and there is an interesting selection of arms and armour as well as the most important collection

of portraits and historical paintings in the country. After your visit it’s worth a stroll into the nearby pleasant town of Hillerod with its modern shops and pleasant walkways. But if it’s serious shopping you are after take a trip into Copenhagen to sample it’s superb stores and boutiques. And after a hard morning’s shopping stroll along to the old dock area for lunch in one of the pavement restaurants that line the waterfront, with prices to suit all pockets. In the afternoon you can visit the royal palace, snap a picture of the Little Mermaid - the symbol of Copenhagen - and still have time to visit the Tivoli Gardens, the oldest amusement park in the world. Enjoy the rides during the day, but if you get chance stay on until after dark to savour the real atmosphere when Danes of all ages take an after dinner stroll through the parklands. For more information on Denmark check out www.

Holiday shorts: Cruise classic Allure of the Seas is Caribbean bound


LLURE of the Seas (right), which is certified the world’s largest passenger cruise ship capable of carrying 5,400 holidaymakers, is set to move to the Caribbean next year after spending this summer in Europe. The giant cruise ship will return to Fort Lauderdale in Florida where she will resume alternating seven-night sailings to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Destinations will include Nassau; St Thomas and St Maarten, as well as Falmouth, Jamaica and Cozumel. Allure and her sister Oasis of the Seas made headlines for being more than 50 per cent larger than their closest competitors. However, the former was billed as the larger for being just two inches longer.

High five

TO celebrate the brand’s fifth anniversary, Nira Hotels and Resorts is offering guests at its three properties in Scotland, Switzerland and Mauritius, a range of special gifts. Throughout 2014 children celebrating their fifth birthday, and couples marking their fifth wedding anniversary will receive a special treat at each of the Nira properties: Nira Caledonia, Edinburgh; Nira Alpina in St. Moritz and Shanti Maurice in Mauritius.

Bogota and Cartagena - with a stay on a coffee estate. For more details call 0845 304 8670, 01962 737647 or visit

One-stop brochure

Whether it is a complimentary couple’s spa treatment, a room upgrade, or a specially made birthday cake, these gifts will ensure Nira’s fifth year is celebrated in style.

Colombia full of beans

NEW flight routes are often an indication of an up-and-coming destination, and the announcement by Avianca of a new, four days a week, direct flight from the UK to Bogota from July 4, has reinforced Chameleon Worldwide’s claim that Colombia is the place to be seen in 2014. The flights also open up the prospect of exciting two or even three-centre holidays combining Colombia with Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador. The company’s most popular itinerary is the twoweek ‘Highlights of Colombia’ which combines a great mix of the country’s famous cities – including

THOMAS Cook, the UK’s leading retailer of cruise holidays, has brought together its full cruise product portfolio. The Thomas Cook Cruise brochure offers a wide selection of cruises featuring 16 cruise lines with over 150 itineraries to destinations including the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, transatlantic crossings and even round the world trips. The Thomas Cook Cruise brochure is available via

Visa advice

BIRMINGHAM Airport has announced a 12-month partnership with international visa specialist, The Travel Visa Company. The partnership will ensure tourists and business travellers have access to the correct documentation needed when visiting countries that require visas. The Travel Visa Company will feature on the Birmingham Airport website alongside need-toknow visa information and details on how to apply for country specific visas directly with the specialist.

RE you in need of a relaxing, fun-filled holiday without the long flight time? A cruise could be exactly what you are looking for – whether you are looking for a weekend away or something more long term, the perfect cruise is out there waiting for you. Whether it is a cruise through the Mediterranean Sea, discovering the wonders of Alaska or a world-wide cruise stopping off at beautiful destinations throughout the world, there are hundreds of cruises on offer and you are bound to find just the thing to suit your holiday style. Planning a cruise can be challenging for those who haven’t travelled much, but here at Pure Destinations, our friendly travel advisors are on hand to help you plan the perfect cruise package that’s right for you. The first thing to ask yourself is, what do I want out of a cruise? Do you envisage yourself soaking up the sun by the pool on the deck of the cruise ship and spending the nights drinking cocktails enjoying the live entertainment or do you want a cruise with multiple stops to discover different destinations throughout the world? Cruises offer great value for money, as your one-time payment before you head off on your dream cruise will cover your accommodation, transfers between the destinations, use of the facilities on the ship and all your meals and drinks. No need to worry of overspending while having the time of your life! My top tips for a stress-free cruise are: - Book early! You will save money through early-bird discounts, which are discounts given for advanced booking. - Arrive at the embarkation area at least two hours prior to sailing. - If you are worried about getting seasick, book a cabin in the middle portion of the ship, both vertically and horizontally. - Extend your holiday with pre- and post-cruise packages that involve accommodation, excursions and transfers. - Decide what type of holiday you are looking for; if you are looking for relaxation, pick a cruise with little to no port stops.

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Tel 0121 247 2233

We are Now Inviting Lots for our Next Auction on Thursday 22nd May 2014 For your FREE Appraisal with no obligation or to request a FREE Catalogue call 0121 247 2233 or email For advice on any aspect of buying or selling at Auction, call our friendly and professional Auction Team

Property Sales

Tel 0121 247 4747





• Luxury spacious one bedroom retirement apartment • Living dining room • Fitted kitchen with intergrated appliances • Large bathroom • EPC; B (82)

• A spacious ground floor apartment • Three double bedrooms (two with en-suites) • Garage located en - block and access to lovely communal gardens • Offered with a short upward chain • EPC; C (73)

• Mid-terrace property • Viewing essential to appreciate location and accomodation • Spacious lounge • Three bedrooms • EPC Rating: D(64)

• A spacious first floor apartment • Spacious kitchen diner • Two double bedrooms (one with en-suite) • Benefitting from secure underground parking, • EPC : C(69)






• Apartment exclusively for over 60's (maybe over 55's) • Spacious living room • Secure communal areas with lifts • Attractive communal gardens and communal parking • EPC: B(83)

• Beautiful and very spacious mansion apartment • Large lounge and dining room • Three double bedrooms • Two parking permits • EPC C (62)






• Spaciou semi-detached home • Three bedrooms • Open plan kitchen diner • Landscaped rear garden • EPC; TBC



• One Bedroom Apartment • Open Plan Living Space • Kitchen with Appliances • Double Glazing • EPC Rating: C


• Five double bedrooms • Original features • Two reception rooms • Kitchen diner • EPC; TBC



• Spacious Purpose Built Flat • Lounge • Kitchen • One Bedroom • EPC Rating: D



• Mid Terraced House • Two Reception Rooms • Three Bedrooms • Gas Fired Central Heating • EPC Rating: D


• Refurbished Semi Detached House • Two Reception Rooms • Four Bedrooms • Fitted Breakfast Kitchen • EPC Rating: G

£500 PCM


• Recently modernised semi detached • Two reception rooms • Three bedrooms • Off road parking • EPC D (61)


• Traditional terraced home • Modern kitchen/diner • Three bedrooms • Rear garden • EPC D (65)



• Two bedroom flat • 49 Year Lease unexpired • Two double bedrooms • Spacious living room • EPC; F(30)



Tel 0121 247 2299

• Furnished Modern Property • Through Lounge • Fitted Kitchen With Appliances • Enclosed Rear Gardens • EPC Rating: D

£425 PCM

• Spacious good size terrace • Two receptions • Kitchen and downstairs bathroom • Three bedrooms • EPC; E (51)




£750 PCM


• Stunning, Spacious Property • Two Reception Rooms • Three Bedrooms • Rear Garden • EPC Rating TBC

• Purpose Built Flat • Open Plan Living Room • Two Bedrooms • Small Garden • EPC Rating: B


• Traditional Terraced Property • Two Reception Rooms • Two Double Bedrooms • Gas Central Heating • EPC Rating: E


• Two Bedroom Property • Close to University and Hospitals • Great for Transport Links • Excellent Condition • EPC Rating: E

£575 PCM


• End Terrace • Two Generous Bedrooms • Fitted Bathroom • Spacious Lounge • EPC Rating: D


• Purpose Built Flat • Two Generous Bedrooms • Double Glazing • Electric Heating • EPC Rating: F

£625 PCM



• Ideal Location Close to City Centre • Two Bedrooms • Modern Breakfast Kitchen • Central Heating • EPC Rating: E

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£685 PCM

Cavendish House, 359-361 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B17 8DL

Thursday 22nd May 2014



May 2014


Property Life

New regulations make it important to secure mortgage offer early By LEIGH C BRADNICK FNAEA Englands Estate Agents

HE property market is set T to spring into action with more signs of improvement

after the Easter break and the departure of poor seasonal weather. The first quarter has proven to be a lot stronger in activity than in previous years and certainly our offices are showing a significant increase over last year. We have seen a 49% increase in the number of exchanges this year, compared to the first quarter of 2013. Many offers are extremely close to asking price and on occasions sales have been achieved with bids over. The Moor Pool Estate, which is a hidden gem of Harborne, is a particular hotspot with the new development by Banner Homes strengthening values. It is noticeable that there is a general increase in the number of first time buyers entering the market with more confidence in the

economy. This has been assisted with the “help to buy schemes” and greater access to varied mortgage products. There have been changes in the mortgage market since April 26 with mortgage providers taking a keener interest in an applicant’s outgoings in order to determine if they can afford a mortgage. Lenders are also focussing on any additional regular costs such as childcare or private schooling fees when considering a client’s ability to maintain a mortgage and are factoring in possible future interest rate rises. This is designed to help ensure there is no return to irresponsible lending and will hopefully help ensure a more stable house market in the long term that is in everyone one’s interest, so it may be in buyer’s interest to apply sooner rather than later for a mortgage to help avoid delays. Our associate mortgage adviser Ian Lang recommends that prospective purchasers start their mortgage research early and be prepared to provide all relevant and

The only Solicitors on Harborne High Street


Team with over 140 years experience

necessary documentation such as payslips and bank statements, given the current strength of the mortgage market. The reality of the situation is that it is normally a mortgage offer that is the last thing in any house chain that enables contracts to be exchanged and the swifter contracts can be exchanged the better for all concerned. We are expecting a busier year ahead and while buyers in general are being more cautious they are appearing in greater numbers. A property is the largest investment a person will normally ever make so it is understandable most people act with caution and seek advice before committing.

Surveyors & local services to help you Independent Mortgage Adviser

Call in today

For a friendly, competitive service ENGLANDS ESTATE AGENTS 146 High Street Harborne B17 9NN T: 0121 427 1974 E: W:

0121 427 1974

146 High Street . Harborne . Birmingham B17 9NN



The difficult choice for a vendor in the marketplace

Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley

May 2014

PROPERTY VIEW with ANDY McHUGO James Laurence Estate Agents


O THE the property market is officially on the up, according to... well, everyone. Marketing prices are your business in ourforShop Window PromotePromote your business in our Shop Window less than £30 per issue up, applicant numbers are up and one in five properties for less than £30 per issue are being reported by Zoopla to be achieving over Don’t have the time or the resources to juggle working on the asking price. Don’t have the time or the resources to juggle working on the business and in the business? business and in the business? You may be suprised to hear then that the vendorSmall has businesses need a helping hand to help spread the word without breaking the bank Small businesses need a helping hand to help spread the word the most difficult choices to make in this market! without our breaking the As a hyper local newspaper ethos is to bank showcase and support businesses and, to provide our reader’s Not only are vendors trying to get best price for their LOGO DESIGN // Photography // Website DESIGN access to recommended suppliers. newspaper our ethos is to showcase and support As a hyperlocal own property and haggling for a good deal on the next businesses and, to provide our readersaccess to recommended - FRESH IDEAS / FULL REWARDS For more info or for an informal chat please get in touch property, but they have to encounter some varied options suppliers when choosing their estate agents currently. Tel : 07970 480 034 For more info or for an informal chat please get in touch Whilst this may always have been a predicament and Ange Web: a trust issue, competition is rife between companies in E: Email: the industry as quality new properties to the market are M: 07843 060690 Ange Tel: 0121 427 3542 harder to find. E: In fact The National Association for Estate Agents advise new properties to the market fell for the sixth M: 07843 060690 Passionate about massage, Hanlon, consecutive month during March to stand close to a 10Tel: 0121 427 3542 Hardy & Styles Manicure and year low. Massage aims to rid you of the With online options now offering to cut out the high aching muscles that the stresses of street “shop” claiming “to save the customer money everyday life can bring in fees” and shunt the property on the net, it begs the General Tidy Up May Offer! 1/3 off midweek question do they expect the vendor to do the viewings massage and talk figures with buyers? Lawn Cutting Available Tues, Weds & Thurs Isn’t that why you choose a traditional agent to do that Hedge Trimming for you? Then again why do national corporate agents Choose from the following massages: Weed Removal Hot Stone charge so much? Contact: Aromatherapy Let me break this down simply from an independent Tree Trimming Jennie Styles Swedish Holistic Massage Therapist agent’s point of view. Indian Head Hanlon, Hardy & Styles Manicures Talk to Matt on 07760 426 260 We, the estate agent, should have expert local and Massage Studio 8, 8 Northfield Road, knowledge, market your property at the correct current A Vintage inspired salon, we also love Harborne, Birmingham, B17 0SS the glamorous side of life and services market price, offer a current database of active buyers, Trustworthy, Reliable & include: Manicure, Pedicure, False T: 07730 338241 have the marketing tools to create maximum exposure Honest Gardening Services Eyelashes, Eyelash & Eyebrow Tinting E: and when finding buyers becoming more amenable at and Eyebrow shaping.’ W: CRB Checked present - holding the client’s hand through the more tricky aspects of process from coming to market through to completion. There are ways to promote smartly as confidence is up-block viewings/open days are currently a fantastic way of creating a property buzz in order to entice multiple offers, using your agent to negotiate for your The distance in height from underside of Set your heart on that traditional cast onward purchase is another-we do this day in day out this tank to your shower head or taps will iron bath with claw feet? - You must remember. determine the pressure available. consider that these baths are large and very With I just wish it was as easy as Phil Spencer (from TV’s In most cases a gravity fed system will heavy; will you be able to get it through the CAROLINE Location, Location, Location) offering on the latest result in a pressure of just 0.2 bar to the doors and up the stairs? COOPER smart phone in a country pub over a gin and tonic, but basin and bath taps and 0.1 bar to the When these baths were popular they were Roman Bathrooms the essential of selling a home as with anything comes shower. normally installed either in larger homes This will not be sufficient for any product with wider staircases and doorways or lifted down to value for money, both bricks and mortar and the that is labelled MP (Medium Pressure) or HP into position before the bathroom walls were estate agent who represents you. (High Pressure) and certainly not enough for finished. For all latest property news and views keep in touch at T IS is all too easy to be seduced by shiny most modern power showers. If you can get it into the bathroom, is the new products and set your heart on your In order to avoid this situation you must floor strong enough to support the weight What are your thoughts? dream bathroom without considering the


Practicalities of fitting a dream bathroom


ANDY McHUGO Branch Manager James Laurence Estate Agents T: 0121 604 4060 E: W:

practicalities; taking a little time at the outset to consider some of the less sexy aspects can save you time and money. Take a look at our top three pitfalls to avoid: Check the water pressure - Different products will have various pressure labels ranging from 0.1 bar, for low pressure systems, to 3 bars for products that require high water pressure. Many UK homes still use a gravity fed system with a cold water storage tank in the loft.

either choose products that will operate with a LP system or install a booster pump. Think about cleaning; you and the shower! - That fabulous huge round shower head that promises to drench you in the mornings is a luxury but lacks a few practicalities. Cleaning your new shower is difficult with just a fixed head; the addition of a hand held shower will make life so much easier. This is also useful if you have small children that will be using the shower or members of the family at different heights.

when it is full of water? Finally remember it is recommended that something of this weight may require a 3 to 4 man lift.

ROMAN BATHROOM & TILE CENTRE 110 -111 High Street Blackheath, B65 OEG T: 0121 561 4374 E: W:



May 2014


Motoring Life

Tel: 07859 81 82 87


Take a box seat for some automotive theatre


STATE cars have certainly undergone a radical transformation in recent years, in a real ugly duckling to sleek swan scenario. So much so that the design of many of today’s estates even puts their saloon car siblings in the shade. That’s not quite true of Jaguar’s estate, the XF Sportbrake, but its low stance and sleek lines certainly ensures that it’s not outshone by the XF saloon. With its low front skirt, stylish alloy wheels and purposeful twin exhausts the Sportbrake also lives up to its sporty name. But, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, this is currently a model for diesel enthusiasts only. Until the uber quick XFR-S Sportbrake, announced at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, comes on stream this summer the car is only available with either a 2.2 or 3.0-litre diesel engine. In both cases, however, there is the option of two different power outputs. The 3.0-litre Portfolio model, for example, is available with either 240bhp or 275bhp and you will pay an extra £1,500 for the more powerful version. But while it’s nice to have that extra power, the silky smooth performance of the standard model - priced at £47,600 - is quick enough for most people. It boasts a top speed of 149 miles per hour and a 0-62mph acceleration time of just over seven seconds. It’s a car which offers a nice, subtle blend of sporting luxury, silent motoring and estate car practicality. The interior, which is identical to the saloon, is stylish yet business-like, good looking yet practical with a nice mix of wood veneer and etched metal.

Push the starter button on the centre console and the round gearshift rises up and the dashboard air vents revolve to the open position. A brilliant example of automotive theatre. The V6 is mated to a superb eightspeed automatic gearbox which offers imperceptible, silky changes while always keeping the revs to a minimum. If you find you need a little more zip you can always engage Sport rather than Drive or even use the paddles to drive the car manually. And because of the vast number of gears it really is good fun – offering superb flexibility for the sort of sporting drive that will put a smile on anyone’s face. Floor the accelerator hard and the cars drops two or three gears and leaps forward. The power is delivered in a very refined way rather than throwing you back in your seat like some of the more powerful Jaguars, yet power there is - and it keeps on coming. Push the centre console mounted Dynamic Mode switch and this sporty estate becomes even more responsive. The switch enhances the key vehicle systems so the car can be exploited to the full for real high performance driving, with the rev counter going well into the red zone in every gear. Despite its size and impressive performance the Sportbrake is an economical car, with Jaguar claiming an average fuel consumption of 46 miles per gallon. With such a nice blend of style, performance, economy and practicality the Jaguar XF Sportbrake takes some beating. It’s hardly surprising that Jaguar’s sales just keep on soaring.

HEM Life Review: Jaguar

XF Sportbrake

The Jaguar XF Sportbrake offers a nice, subtle blend of sporting luxury, silent motoring and estate car practicality.


Unit 13, Belfont Trading Estate, Mucklow Hill, Halesowen B62 8DR T: 0121

585 9146 | M: 07875 336 748 | | E:

Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley

Sports Life


Rethinking the exercise programme

Health & Fitness with



usy lives are now a given and finding a way to improve our performance can be a challenge when time is limited. The role exercise plays in improving both our physical and mental performance is, in my opinion, understated, and it is very easy for us to neglect this part of our life because we don’t have the time. The reason I believe this needs to be reconsidered is down to the improved performance that can be achieved from small changes to our daily activities. A recent study of a group of students with an average age of 22 years demonstrated how a 30-minute session of moderatevigorous exercise could positively impact an individual’s planning and problem solving ability. The study showed that performance improved significantly in the group of students having just exercised, compared to those having spent the same time reading. Without doubt over the next few years it will become clear that even if you have very little time, exercise can be beneficial to performance at work but only if the intensity of exercise is right. Making exercise work within the time restraints of your own lifestyle is the key to longer term maintenance. Intensity appropriate programmes that take into consideration an individual’s physical condition, as well as their schedule, are fundamental in achieving results. For some this requires just slight modifications. For example, as little as 1015 minutes of exercise followed by a high protein, low carbohydrate meal at lunchtime can lead to increase afternoon productivity. Exercise has significant benefits with new techniques opening up our ability to tailor programmes in a way that ensures compatibility with lifestyles. Anyone can incorporate exercise into their programme, whatever their schedule. Dr Mark Gillett is the sport and exercise medicine consultant at Perform, Spire Little Aston Hospital in Sutton Coldfield and Director of Performance at West Bromwich Albion Football Club. He leads an executive fitness programme and a walk-in, self-pay Rapid Access Injury Clinic at Spire Little Aston Hospital. The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional

Perform at Spire Little Aston Hospital T: 0121 580 7131 W: E:



ADVERTISING Call Angela: 07843 060 690

May 2014

Buyukakcay’s display of Turkish delight at Priory By BOB MALDEN

Sports Editor


NTERNATIONAL women’s tennis returned to the Edgbaston Priory Club with the second $25,000 Aegon GB Pro-Series tournament which is part of the ITF Women’s Circuit. The entry was very strong - six players had previously featured in the World’s Top 50 and 21 countries had representatives in the qualifying and main draws. The qualifying was highly competitive and could have been a tournament in its own right. All the top seven seeds survived, but three matches went to three sets. The GB challenge was disappointing to say the least. Eight GB players lost


in the first round and only one, Lauren McMInn, won a set. Samantha Murray was the only GB player to win through to the main draw, with a spirited performance beating the number 12 seed Lisa Sabino (SUI) 5-7 6-2 6-2. The main draw of 32 was serious tennis. The No 1 seed Magda Linette (POL) lost to the highly promising Elise Mertens (BEL) 6-3 6-4. Remember this name - she is a highly talented player. Four other seeds also crashed. Samantha Murray (GB) beat Marta Sirotkina (FRA), seeded 5, 6-1 6-4 – a great win. Julie Coin (FRA), seeded 8, went out in three sets, Arantxa Rus (NED), seeded 3, crashed 6-3 6-2 to Ana

Vrljic (CRO) and Ekaterina Bychkova (RUS), seeded 7, lost to Lesley Kerkhova (NED) 6-3 4-6 6-3. Two seeds who had survived this carnage, Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) and Pauline Parmentier (FRA), were playing with determination, class and style. The battle of the Brits in the last 16 saw Samantha Murray defeat Naomi Broady 6-4 6-2. Samantha was very consistent, Naomi made far too many unforced errors. The semi finals saw Murray against Buyukakcay and Parmentier against number 2 seed Ons Jabeur (TUN). Murray played a very good first set against Buyukakcay, but in the tie break made far too many unforced errors and lost the second set 6-1, but a

good tournament for the British player. Parmentier was far too classy for Jabeur, winning most of the key points for a 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory. The final was an excellent match. Buyukakcay stormed ahead 4-0, but was pulled back to 4-4, before playing two superb games to win the set 6-4. Parmentier rallied to win the second set 6-2. The third set was close at 2-2, but the young Turkish player then played four faultless games to win the set 6-2 and the match, a fully deserved victory for a very good player. It was an excellent week of top class tennis, and the whole event was superbly run by the tournament director Richard Joyner and ITF supervisor Denise Parnell.

tickets to the Aegon Classic women’s tennis tournament, Edgbaston T

HE Aegon Classic is one of the international sporting highlights of the year in the West Midlands – and it’s played right on our doorstep on the grass courts at Edgbaston Priory Club. The tournament takes place from June 9 to 15 and was recently upgraded to a WTA Premier 600 event with prize money of over $700,000 – and is attracting some of the top seeds in the world. Former world No 1 Ana Ivanovic, from Serbia, has recently confirmed that she will be competing. Currently ranked No 12 in the world, Ana’s return to Birmingham will be a huge attraction for tennis fans in the Midlands as she joins the likes of Sabine Lisicki and many more world class female players. Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley Life has teamed up with Aegon Classic to run a competition to win two pairs of complimentary tickets One pair of tickets is for Ladies Day on Thursday June 12 Another pair of tickets is for Quarter Finals Day, Friday June 13 In order to enter, just answer this question: WHO WON the AEGON CLASSIC IN 2013? 1 SERENA WILLIAMS 2 MARIA SHARAPOVA 3 DANIELA HANTUCHOVA Send your answers on a postcard, complete with your address, telephone number and email address, to: AEGON CLASSIC COMPETITION, HEM MEDIA LTD, 176 Park Hill Road, Harborne, B17 9HD OR email your answer to Closing date for entries: FRIDAY MAY 23 Winners to be confirmed by FRIDAY MAY 30 Terms & conditions apply. The Editor’s decision is final.

Serbia’s Ana Ivanoic is competing at the Aegon Classic. Inset; Last year’s winner Daniela Hantuchova

To purchase Aegon Classic tickets visit or telephone the Box Office on 0844 209 7359

Harborne’s late slips fail to tarnish top class season By ROGER SAUNDERS

SCINTILLATING season for A Harborne First XV, in which they were crowned champions of Midlands

4 West (North), fizzled to a rather disappointing end with two league defeats and a cup loss in their final three matches. A trip to Clee Hill, the eventual league runners up, ended in a 25-19 defeat after Harborne failed to convert an early advantage. Fourth-placed Cleobury Mortimer then inflicted a rare defeat at Harborne’s home fortress of Metchley Lane. With the league won and over it is worth reflecting that Harborne amassed a total of 811 points, 254

more than the next highest scoring team emphasising the type of exciting attacking rugby which has been developed this year. Their mean defence, another hallmark of this season, saw them concede only 298 points, meaning a points difference of over 500 and nearly 150 more than the next highest team. Top scorers for the season were full-back Mark Wright and centre Tom Arnold. The final game of the season was a cup semi-final against Bredon Star from Gloucestershire. Harborne were feeling the effects of a hard season and some regulars, including inspirational captain James Mills, were missing.

Such is the strength in depth of the current side, and their supporters, who out-numbered the home crowd, that Harborne again started strongly and took the lead. However, in a game of nip and tuck it proved to be Harborne’s discipline that let them down in the second half and despite continued attacks they ran out 33-26 losers. The season ended in a far more satisfactory manner for Harborne Second XV. The final match of the season provided an opportunity for revenge against Solihull’s Edwardians, who had beaten Harborne narrowly in a thrilling season opener and remained the only side against whom Harborne had chalked up an ‘L.’

The second XV consistently showed a formidable strength in depth, to the point where they were even able to offer a depleted opposition some loan players, such is the spirit in which rugby is played. Unsurprising then that Harborne rounded off the season with an emphatic win 66-0. The second XV have not conceded a point in a league game in 2014 which reflects not only the quality of the defence, but also their discipline. Harborne scored over 700 points 200 more than the next highest team - but most strikingly, they conceded only 99 points. The league itself was won by a 14-point margin with top scorers Pete Robbins at fly half and Greg Leech.

Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley Life is published HEM Media Limited. Registered in England company number 08868316. Postal address: 176 Park Hill Road, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9HD. Printed by Iliffe Print Cambridge. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written consent is prohibited. The publishers do not accept responsibility for any errors made in advertisements or for claims made by advertisers which are incorrect. The publishers reserve the right to refuse advertising for any reason. All material submitted for publication is done so at the owner’s risk and no responsibility is accepted by the publisher for its return.



May 2014

Oliver adds county beef to formidable Harborne line-up By BOB MALDEN Sports Editor

SPORT is played the whole year but summer heralds the start of the cricket season with clubs all around the country preparing for a season of competition.

Cricket has changed over the years in so many ways; who would have predicted that a T20 match (20 overs a side) played over two to three hours would become so hugely popular. The recent T20 World Cup in Bangledesh and India was a resounding success. Unfortunately, England had a nightmare competition and failed to reach past the group stages. The winner was Sri Lanka who will be playing England at Edgbaston on Tuesday June 3. Edgbaston Stadium, the home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, is one of the best grounds in the country to watch cricket, be it a four-day county championship, a one-day international or a T20. Warwickshire are looking forward to

a really strong competitive season. The captain, Jim Troughton, is an inspiring leader and although he is currently sidelined after a back operation, England Test star Ian Bell has stepped in beautifully. For the county to have such a class act is a major plus. Warwickshire also have a new head coach, Alan Richardson, from Worcestershire. A prolific wickettaker, he brings to the table a wealth of experience. Warwickshire have always been tremendously active in the community, promoting cricket at every opportunity and none more so than at Harborne Cricket Club. Harborne was founded in 1868 and is steeped in tradition. Warwickshire and Harborne have highly positive links; for example that brilliant West Indian cricketer Alvin Kallicharran played for Harborne. This season Harborne who won promotion to the Birmingham League Division 1 and with Warwickshire’s blessing may have the opportunity of the services for some matches of Oliver Hannon-Dalby.

Course fees paid Latest gear Fitness

Walking tall: Oliver Hannon-Dalby

Well over 6ft tall, he is a formidable proposition. Born in Halifax on June 20, 1989, a right-arm medium fast bowler, he was a graduate of the Yorkshire Cricket Academy and on his first class debut against Surrey in 2008, his first wicket was no less than the prize scalp of Mark

Ramprakash. Not a bad start to your first class career. Oliver has a great personality, is ambitious and if Harborne could start with an opening attack of Hannon-Dalby and Mark Adair (another Warwickshire Academy player), plus Jimmy Clifford who is also on the Warwickshire Academy books, they would be a formidable side. Of course, it all depends on availability. Harborne will be hosting a match in aid of Jonathan Trott’s benefit on Wednesday June 4 (Trotty XI v Warwickshire XI). Let us hope the weather is kind and a really good crowd support this highly respected Warwickshire player. Harborne have made some really interesting and good signings for this season. Alex Perry, from Cheshire, is a very good wicket-keeper; Simon Bird arrives from Loughborough and Tom Payne from Knowle & Dorridge. The experienced Nasir Ali-Khan also returns and under the shrewd captaincy of Raj Sen, the core of the team is retained. The season will be tough but a great challenge for the Harborne club.

Navratilova joins ‘Rally for Bally’ at Aegon MARTINA Navratilova will play alongside Tim Henman, Anne Keothavong and Jamie Murray in an exhibition match at the Aegon Classic as part of the Rally for Bally fundraiser to support Elena Baltacha in her battle with cancer. The match will take place at Edgbaston Priory Club on Sunday June 15. Thirty-year-old Baltacha, the former British No 1 affectionately known as “Bally”, retired last November after announcing she was battling liver cancer. Donations to the Rally for Bally will be split evenly between the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis. Navratilova, who battled and overcame breast cancer in 2010, said: “Cancer s an opponent that we all must fight against. “My thoughts are with Elena and what she must be going through at this time. It is great that the tennis world is coming together to support her, and to rally against cancer.” Aegon ticket competition - Page 27

Are You Golf Fit? Our one hour golf-fit assessment is just £60. Preparing for the golf course is paramount, particularly if you want to improve your handicap and skill. Poor fitness and muscle imbalance are risk factors for injury, which can affect your performance on the golf course. Perform Birmingham’s specialist physiotherapists will assess your strength and flexibility and then tailor a treatment plan to ensure you’re in great shape for your golf season.

Book your specialist golf assessment today

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Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley Life - May 2014  

Where Connected Communities Can Achieve The Incredible

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