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April/May 2016

Written in Wednesfield, serving the people and businesses of Wednesfield and surrounding areas

WIN John Parrott Tickets

KEN ROCK Interview

FEATURE ON Wednesfield Gurdwara


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Contents 6.

Editor’s Welcome



12. Crossword


14. Emma


42. Long Knowle Dance

18. News In Brief

51. 5 Mins with Niel Jackson

22. Gurwara Sikh Temple

53. Ray Fellows

24. Win Snooker Tickets

56. Ken Rock

26. Asmore Park Bowls

61. Library & Tip Opening Times

28. Win Cineworld Tickets


41. Rotary Cheque Photos

30. Let Us Play 38. My Cancer Story

62. Useful Tel Nos. 63. Crossword Answers

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Dear Reader, As Publisher of the Wednesfield Magazine, I'm very careful not to talk about myself in the magazine as it’s not supposed to be about me. However, I feel compelled to share something with readers about the events of the last few weeks. I was recently diagnosed with bowel cancer and went in for an operation to remove the problem. Thankfully, the procedure appears to have been a success thanks to the wonderful care and treatment I received from the staff at New Cross Hospital, especially those on Ward A14.

PUBLISHER/EDITOR Simon Archer Tel. 07534 603662 EMAIL COMPETITIONS E-MAIL WEBSITE LETTERS/NOSTALGIA Send to; Wednesfield Magazine 16 Holberg Grove Wednesfield, WV11 3LE Magazine Designed and Produced by Pulse Freelance 41 Leighs Road, Pelsall WS4 1BZ Printed by Buxton Press Limited Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6AE

NHS staff don't always receive the credit they deserve and I want to thank them for their warmth, professionalism and dedication that has enabled me to return home, a bit sore, but in reasonable shape to recover from the surgery. Thanks also to those who have sent messages of support and positivity, which has kept up my moral during a couple of low points. Onwards and upwards now! Read more about my experience on page 38. We also have some interesting people in this issue. We share 5 minutes with Radio Presenter, Niel Jackson and there’s an interview with local comedy writer, Ken Rock, who has worked with many household legends in his time. I recently made my first visit to the Wednesfield Gurdwara and as I received such a warm welcome, I hope it won’t be my last. See how I got on, on pages 22 & 23. As always, our advertisers are vitally important to the future of this magazine. Please continue to look at their adverts and if you do purchase anything from them, PLEASE TELL THEM YOU SAW THE ADVERT IN THE WEDNESFIELD MAGAZINE!!! Despite my health setback, it’s business as usual, so we’ll see you in June!!

Simon Competition winners from the last issue;

The Publisher cannot accept loss, damage or omission caused by error in the printing of an advert or editorial. Adverts are accepted on the understanding that descriptions of goods and services are fair and accurate. The Wednesfield Magazine does not endorse any advertising material included in the publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the prior consent of the Publisher.


Cineworld – Kung Fu Panda Joanna Terry, Newbolds Road, Fallings Park Vicky Harrigan, Argil Close, Wednesfield Sharon Burns, Willow Avenue, Wednesfield Alan Fox, Thetford Gardens, Wednesfield Kim Denny, Old Fallings Lane, Wolverhampton

Bella Italia – Mother’s Day June Cooper, Foxglove Close, Wednesfield

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Letters & Poems Flowers & Balloons For all occasions

Great Britain I’m proud of my country – (But not the way it’s run!) We need a new leader, Who has the respect of everyone. We were once GREAT BRITAIN – (No longer are we great!) The country’s lost its powers – Take heed, it’s not too late! We give millions to Europe – (We, can ill-afford!) Our industry has gone, Most of it, abroad! Towns have empty shops, Owners have closed them down, Through rules and regulations – Made by some official clown!

Which would be the chosen ten? Would he choose his favourite team? Which of the matches was the cream? Would the Wolves make a draw? It didn’t matter if there was no score. A point for a home win, one and a half away. Any draw would win the day. Carefully copy your hopes and save One of these days we’ll have a rave. The agent collected form and cash. On Thursday nights he’d be all of a dash. Mustn’t miss a customer’s entry. One of these days we’ll be landed gentry. A million pounds in the bank And it would be Vernon’s that we’d thank. Come Saturday consult the pink. Hopes would rise to quickly sink. Never mind there’s always next week As our fortune we’d all seek. Eileen Ward Birch

Great Rulers of our country, Are a thing of the past, People’s wishes are ignored, Their needs are just by-passed! Our laws are governed by Brussels (They ignore our pleas), Hope we never need our Forces – They’re already overseas! Let’s hope we get a leader – (One with common sense!), One who will fight our corner And doesn’t sit on the fence! This country needs a strong leader (Before it’s all too late!), Who has the strength and courage, To again make Britain, “GREAT!” Trevor Johnson

Doing the pools When the ode mon did the pools Any eight from ten was the rules He’d sit all night chewing his pen


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In the autumn of 2012 Nik Smith, having worked in Recruitment for many years, most recently in the Healthcare Sector, was inspired to open a business to provide staff to Care Providers. Weary of the bad reputation the Recruitment business appeared to generate, the focus of the business was to be Customer Orientated with emphasis on supply of quality, fully compliant staff. In September Smithridge Healthcare Ltd was incepted, initially operating from premises in Victoria Street, Wolverhampton within the offices an established business, Nik was able to utilize both the facilities and staff to commence operating. In possession of the necessary business knowledge an excellent rapport with many clients in the area was soon achieved. Within a few months the scope for expansion became apparent, along with the need to employ specialist individuals’ with the specific experience to match the business requirements. In February 2013 the services of a Compliance Manager were retained, paving the way for a structured approach to personnel for the company. A reflection of the high calibre and ethics of the establishment was indicated by supplying an ever increasingly diverse client base and successfully obtaining national contracts with the BUPA, Four Seasons and De Poel Groups. With this success came a degree of Homes situated in rural locations, which were not readily served by public transport networks. Nik wished to ensure, not only the safety of his staff but also sustainability of service to the clients. To address this issue company transport was implemented in the form of a designated driver and vehicle, who, on a needs met basis, would deliver and collect staff to and from more inaccessible homes. With the database growing, appropriate personnel to evolve and develop relationships were employed. Supported by the Compliance Manager staff ensured delivery of the quality and customer driven objectives such as full compliance, sales support and an out of hours 24 on call facility. Over the coming months, with the increase in fully compliant Healthcare Workers and Qualified Nurses strengthening the foundations, further clients in a wide variety of Care Homes were won including a national contract to supply HC One Homes, a clear indication the business was identifying and delivering a quality service. As the business evolved it was quickly apparent the current premises were no longer suitable to meet the needs of the Company and in November 2014, the


Company moved to premises in Office 28 in Cleveland Street, which afforded more appropriate accommodation including shop front facility. Always operating a policy of diversity and fair employment, Nik, decided to offer Apprenticeships, to give young individuals a chance to train and develop in the Recruitment Sector. In January 2015 two positions were created within the Recruitment and Compliance Teams. At the same time it was agreed a specific person was required to look after the diverse needs of the Accounts facility and the staffing structure was organised to enable an employee from the Compliance Team to re-train their skills and take up the position. With the staffing structure of the Business firmly in place a decision was made to obtain an award which reflected the high values and commitment to providing a quality service to the clients. The Business undertook to obtain the ISO 9001:2008 standard. In June 2015 a Quality Management Representative was retained with the responsibility to ensure the company policies, documents and procedures currently in practice were conformant to the standard and to develop the Human Resources Department. Simultaneously, over the coming months, Senior Management and Compliance worked on completion of a tender to supply the NHS for England and Wales. A commitment was also made to become members of The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). On October 2nd the business was proud to announce the successful achievement of the ISO 9001:2008 award. The Senior Management Team, revaluated the business toward the end of 2015. Equipped with a strong belief in the values and quality commitment at the core of the business, and confident in their excellent profile in the Healthcare marketplace the team look forward with renewed vigour to developments in 2016. “With the key personnel in place and the continued vision of a provision of the highest quality service to our clients, the company looks forward to a period of growth and expansion to further branches in outreaching areas, to supply existing and future clients with quality staff whose care and commitment to the service users is second to none.”

Nik Smith – Director

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Please see answers on page 63 Across 1 Persecute (6) 4 Leader (5) 8 Afterward (5) 9 Clap (7) 10 Remove hair (7) 11 Glade (4) 12 Allow (3) 14 Monster (4) 15 Bee house (4) 18 Blob (3) 21 Mature (4) 23 Flight personnel (7) 25 Degree (7) 26 World-class (5) 27 Claw (5) 28 Nap (6) Down 1 Protective head gear (6) 2 Decomposing (7) 3 Shrieked (8) 4 Immitate (4) 5 Angry (5) 6 Violin (6) 7 Bread ring (5) 13 Baker's dozen (8) 16 Dizziness (7) 17 Deferred payment (6) 19 Trivial (5) 20 Pluck (6) 22 Student (5) 24 Robe (4)


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Wolverhampton North East MP, Emma Reynolds, brings us up to date with her work in the constituency

Apprenticeships National Apprenticeship Week in March is always an excellent opportunity to highlight both the value of apprenticeships and the great work that apprentices do. I was therefore delighted to visit UTC Aerospace Systems in Wolverhampton to meet some of their apprentices and learn more about the contribution they make to the company. The young people who I met are very talented individuals who have been provided a chance to develop their skills. Aerospace is an important industry to both Wolverhampton and the UK. It is great news that the industry is taking on so many highly talented apprentices. I want more local employers to train apprentices to help grow their businesses. Good apprenticeships benefit the companies who provide them and provide apprentices with the foundations for a successful career.

75th Anniversary Of Raf Air Cadets In February, I was pleased to meet the RAF Air Cadets from Wednesfield’s Squadron to mark the 75th anniversary celebration of the establishment

of the Air Cadets in Staffordshire and the Black Country. The event at Holy Trinity Church was also attended by the Vice-Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Colonel George Marsh and the Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Ian Brookfield, and Mayoress, Councillor Paula Brookfield. As part of the celebrations, a torch designed by Hannah Sollom (aged 17 from Fordhouses in Wolverhampton), is currently being carried between squadrons across the Black Country. The Cadets provide an opportunity for young people to develop leadership skills and learn about flying and the Royal Air Force. Wednesfield Air Cadets do excellent charitable work by helping to fundraise for the Royal British Legion and they take part in the annual Remembrance Day parade in Wednesfield. The NHS As a member of Parliament’s cross party Health Select Committee, I have been holding the government to account on the NHS. I recently raised the issue of cuts to public health budgets in the House of Commons. The government’s severe reductions in this area could mean Wolverhampton City Council is less able to provide services that deal with drug and alcohol addiction, rates of smoking, sexual health and the worrying levels of obesity. However, I have welcomed the government’s decision to introduce a tax on sugary drinks. I was part of the campaign calling for such a levy. Excess consumption of sugar is a major cause of obesity and Wolverhampton suffers from above average levels of childhood obesity. Obesity can lead to a range of health problems such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. In the first instance, I hope that the tax will encourage the drinks companies to reduce the amount of sugar in their products. It will be introduced in two years and will send out a strong signal to reduce the amount of sugar that we consume.

Emma Reynolds can be reached on 01902 397698 or by e-mail on


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Wyrley & Essington Canal Every Day Battles with Aliens! By Neil Bampath The Wyrley & Essington canal is Wednesfield’s own canal.

So what are these plants that have so far been identified?

But did you know that our 219 year old waterway was built during a period in British History when Britain was fighting to keep France and Napoleon from these shores. During the late 1700’s there was a very great fear that France would invade Britain, and two Mutiny’s that took place during this period, had Whitehall thinking that France and the French Revolution would land on our shores!

Today here in Wednesfield and along the banks of this canal there is still a ‘battle taking place. This battle is taking place now under the shadows of all those famous bridges that guard Wednesfield Village centre! Let me explain- The Wyrley & Essington Canal opened in 1797. It cost £45,000 to build and the engineer that built the canal was William Pitt. It was built as an important link to move coal to our urban centres. It still is an important water way for boats and an important link for birds and animals as it meanders through Wednesfield. The battle that is now taking place is on the land and in the water! The W&E is now a highway for alien and invasive plants and the odd invasive mammal like the mink! All of which are using this waterway to infiltrate our Great British countryside. In the dark, slow moving waters of the Wyrley & Essington Canal, there is a number of alien species that are trying hard to establish themselves.

Well there is Floating Pennywort which has been recorded in the canal, Floating pennywort – Hydrocotyle ranunculoides – is a North American plant which was introduced to the UK by the aquatic nursery trade in the 1980’s, Parrot’s-feather is also here via the aquatic nursery trade, this one is a real World traveller! Originally found in the Amazon Basin it has been used for aquariums and has spread through the USA and into Europe. Canadian Waterweed: This alien grows faster and out competes most native species and so reduces the biodiversity of waterways. Azolla – Again another American plant found in 2007 near Perry Hall Bridge, where it was so dense it confused a small dog in thinking it could run across it like a carpet! On the banks Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed have been found.

But the battle is very much on now. Both to identify and then eradicate these plants. In August last year sharp –eyed Wednesfield Resident Maureen Smith spotted Giant Hogsweed on the banks of the canal in the heart of Wednesfield. Following Maureen’s diligence the plant was eradicated….so on your daily walks keep an eye peeled for a lurking alien plant. If you see one, do as Maureen did and report it to the Canal & River Trust!

Now we want none of that here in Wednesfield, after all five Danish Kings tried to do the same in the 900’s and look what happened to them! They were slaughtered on our green & pleasant lands defeated by the Saxons – never forgotten though because the battle gave its name to our Village of Wednesfield! This modern day battle that is taking place now, is to recognise and prevent invasive species becoming dominant in the canal.


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News in Brief Christian Aid Week Sponsored Walk

Bentley Court Centenarian

Local Christian Aid supporters will be stepping out at Northycote Farm and Country Park, Bushbury on Saturday 21st May as part of their response to this year’s Christian Aid Week appeal. The annual event runs from 10am to 12.30pm and walkers are sponsored for how many 3km circuits they cover

Bentley Court Care Home resident, Ivan Maxwell turns 100 on the 25th April and the staff will be helping him to celebrate this milestone with a steel band from All Saints School, Bloxwich. Ivan’s wish for his birthday is to one day return home to Jamaica.

A major focus of this year’s fundraising will be providing help for families affected by flooding in Bangladesh. Those living on low-lying islands in the River Brahmaputra have their homes invaded annually by floodwater. £250 can flood-proof one home, raising it eight feet on an earth plinth, and it can also buy a goat, seeds and a wormery to produce compost thus making a family independent for years to come. This is just one aspect of Christian Aid’s work of standing alongside poor communities throughout the world. If you would like to take part in this year's walk, contact Roger Poole (Chairman of Wolverhampton Christian Aid Committee) for a sponsorship form telephone 01902-730507 or email:

Easter Egg Appeal Robert Wright and the team at Regimental Vape in Linthouse Lane have organised a donation of Easter Eggs for New Cross Hospitals’ Children’s Ward. Their goal was simply to give the children some distraction whilst they are in hospital and hopefully put a smile on their faces. The eggs were delivered on Good Friday and the staff there handed them out. Regimental Vape have done this in collaboration with Warburtons Bakery in Wednesbury along with other companies based in Wolverhampton, such as Kimpton & Dhody Dental Practice and Dunns Buns as well as donations from their generous customers.

Charity Car Wash Fallings Park Fire Station are having a charity car wash in aid of Marie Curie and the Fire Service Benevolent fund on Saturday 4th June between 10.00am and 3.30pm. Ruth Latham, Treasurer Marie Curie Wednesfield Fundraising Group


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(Including bank holidays) Sun - Thur 5.00pm til 12.00am Fri - Sat 5.00pm til 1.00am

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We only use the finest quality ingredients & 100% pure vegetable oil When dining in the restaurant you are welcome to bring your own alcoholic drinks only. We have a larger variety of soft drinks.

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Could This Be You?

Young Citizen of the Year Search Begins Are you a model citizen? Do you help others in the community? Then read on…….. The search for Wolverhampton’s Young Citizen 2016 has commenced and entries for young people can be made online through the dedicated website –

boundaries. The final date for entry is 30 April 2016. The award will be announced at an evening ceremony in The Wolverhampton Mayor’s Parlour on 7 July 2016.

Entries can be proposed by parents, schools, employers or friends for any young person who undertakes any form of service to the community without financial reward. The rules for entry are quite simple, the candidates must be aged under 19 on 31st August 2016 and either be at school or work or live within the Wolverhampton City

Entries for young people with a Wednesfield origin have been very prominent in the shortlists for the last two years with Kashmire Hawker, a Low Hill resident and student at Heath Park Business and Enterprise College, picking up one of the two “runners-up” awards in 2015. Kashmire earned his award for his work with the organisation – Changing Young Lives – a rights based organisation which works with children, young people, and adults to enable them to obtain their rights no matter what their disability. In addition, he has an ambition for a career in politics and is currently the Vice-Chair of the UK Youth Parliament where he also promotes opportunities for young disabled of all ethnic origins ensuring that their voices are heard. So come on Wednesfield, let’s make it first prize this year!


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Wednesfield Gurdwara Sikh Temple, Well Lane

Sikhs have been living in Wednesfield since the 1950s. One of the first Sikh arrivals in Wednesfield was a Mr Rai, whose descendants are still living in Wednesfield today. Local Councillor Paul Singh, recently invited me to visit the Gurdwara (Sikh Temple), to see what goes on during the main day of worship, which like the Christian faith is a Sunday. And the similarities with the faith of my birth don’t end there. Like us, Sikhs pay homage to their God, by praying, singing hymns and listening to readings from Gurū Granth Sāhib. (sometimes referred to as the Ādi Granth), their equivalent of the Holy Bible.

passed on his enlightened leadership of this new religion to nine successive Gurus. The final living Guru, Guru Gobind Singh died in 1708. During his lifetime Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa order (meaning 'The Pure'), soldier-saints. The Khalsa uphold the highest Sikh virtues of commitment, dedication and a social conscious. The Khalsa are men and women who have undergone the Sikh baptism ceremony and who strictly follow the Sikh Code of Conduct and Conventions and wear the prescribed physical articles of the faith. One of the more noticeable being the uncut hair (required to be covered with a turban for men) and the Kirpan (ceremonial sword).

After donning my head scarf, I was welcomed into the main hall to sit with other worshippers and observe the celebrations. On the day I visited one of the congregation had requested a blessing for his children. This is a common occurrence and can be to give thanks to a family member or a friend or to wish luck to someone about to encounter a big event in their life. The founder of the Sikh religion was Guru Nanak who was born in 1469. He preached a message of love and understanding and criticized the blind rituals of the Hindus and Muslims. Guru Nanak


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Sikhism does not have priests, which were abolished by Guru Gobind Singh. The Guru felt that they had become corrupt and full of ego. Sikhs only have custodians of the Guru Granth Sahib (granthi), and any Sikh is free to read the Guru Granth Sahib in the Gurdwara (Sikh temple) or in their home. People of all religions are welcome to the Gurdwara. Main Sikh festivals are Hola Mohalla (March), Vaisakhi (April), Gurgaddi Guru Granth Sahib (Oct), Diwali and Guru Nanak Dev Ji's birthday (November).

Before the new Gurdwara was built, Sikhs worshiped at the same site in a smaller building, which was at one time, the Sunday School for the Methodist Church that stood right next to it. This building was purchased in around 1980. Before the Sikh community bought the Sunday School building, they worshiped at the now demolished Graisely Lane Snooker Hall. On average, around 1000 people now visit the temple each week. A free community kitchen can be found at every Gurdwara which serves meals to all people of all faiths and to round off my visit, I was treated to a tray of lovely food including a potato and aubergine curry, which as a connoisseur of Asian food, I can report, was among the best I have ever tasted. If you get the opportunity to visit this or any Gurdwara, you will be assured of a very warm welcome and hopefully learn a little more about their culture and traditions.

The Wednesfield Gurdwara was built in 2003 and completed in 2004. When the building work began, five Sikh saints were invited to lay the foundation stone, one of which was Baba Thakur Singh, of the Damdami Taksal Seminary. The Gurdwara cost in the region of ÂŁ2 million to build.

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Win tickets to see John Parrott at Wednesfield Conservative Club

Staffordshire & West Midlands Billiards & Snooker Association are offering Wednesfield Magazine readers a pair of tickets to an evening with John Parrott on Friday 10th June at 7.30pm. One of the legends of the green baize, John Parrott is a former UK and European champion and became World snooker champion in 1991. He is still a big part of the snooker scene, performing in the ever popular "Snooker Legends" series and the world seniors. Due to his engaging personality and humorous nature he was invited to be a captain on the hugely successful BBC show A Question of Sport for 6 years with regular sidekick Ally McCoist. For the past decade John has been one of the main faces for the BBC snooker team both as a pundit and presenter and currently works on the Derby, Royal Ascot and Grand National for the BBC racing team.

John Parrott is one of snooker’s greats. He spent 14 consecutive years in the top 16, eleven of them in the top 6 and was ranked world number two for 3 years. He is seventh on the all-time list of ranking tournament winners being one of only five players to hold both the World and UK championships in the same calendar year. John is a patron of the Woodlands Hospice in Liverpool and the Kids Out charity which helps disadvantaged children. He was awarded an MBE in 1996. With his charismatic personality, John is an engaging and humorous after dinner speaker, and also an excellent awards host. An established "face" on the after dinner circuit, you are sure to enjoy the company of a personable and professional individual.

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, simply answer the following question correctly: What year did John Parrott win the Snooker World Title? Answer .................................................................................................................................................... Name ........................................................................................................................................................ Address .................................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................................ Post code ........................................................ Tel no ............................................................................ Answers must be received by 6 pm on Friday 29th April. Winners will be notified by Monday 2nd May. Please e-mail your answer and contact details to; or post the entry form above to; John Parrott Competition, Wednesfield Magazine, 16 Holberg Grove, Wednesfield, WV11 3LE. Normal Wednesfield Magazine competition rules apply – see website for details


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Ashmore Bowling Club

Ashmore Bowling Club is situated in the park on the right as you enter from Park Way. The club was formed in 2000 by players who met at the green for a Sunday morning "roll up" among themselves. The first team to play a competitive match were; D. Carless, A. Crutchley, A. Alexander, R. James, S. Griffiths, F. Ward, B. Taylor, B. Baker and C. Smith. Des Carless is still the Secretary from those early days.

The club raised their own funds and purchased two portakabins, which are used as stores and club house. Although the green is council owned the green maintenance is in the hands of members Des Carless and Keith Elwell. The club are members of the Staffordshire Crown Green Bowling Association. They play competitively in leagues in the Walsall and Wolverhampton area. Since they were formed the have been successful with a number of league wins. Last season saw the A-Team win the Walsall Veterans League Division Three, with Brian Russell winning the divisional averages. In the Wolverhampton Seniors League the B team won Division Five following on their success of 2014 when they won the inter division cup. Two teams also play Friday afternoon in the Heath Town Over 50 League. At present teams only compete in the age restricted mid-week afternoon leagues as the club does not have floodlights.


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Membership is around twenty and there are club competitions over the season which is April until October.

Social for members who just want a "roll up" without league competition. Any one interested in taking the sport up can call at the green most mid-week afternoons when members will be available or contact Secretary Des Carless on 07531 260943.

Access to a winter green is available next to the main green which is closed. We have two types of membership 1, Club membership for competitive members and 2,

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, simply answer the following question; Cineworld Bentley Bridge have given the Wednesfield Magazine 5 pairs of tickets for the new Captain America movie, which is out on 25th April.

Who does Captain America have to fight in this film?

Captain America returns and this time he has to fight his most formidable opponent yet... Iron Man!


Following an incident involving the Avengers which involved much collateral damage, politicians propose a governing body to monitor the activities of superheroes. This brings Steve Rogers into conflict with Tony Stark, with the other Avengers choosing sides behind Captain America and Iron Man. But while fighting each other, they must work out how to protect the world from a new enemy... Captain America and Iron Man go head-to-head in this superhero-studded blockbuster based on the comic book by Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Kingsman). Directed by the Russo brothers (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), this promises to be darker and more emotional than any Marvel movie yet. Look out for guest appearances from Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Vision, Black Widow, Black Panther, Falcon, War Machine and... Spider-Man! Call 0871 200 2000 for more information or visit their website @


Name .......................................................... Address ...................................................... Post code .................................................. tel no (H) .................................................... (M) .............................................................. Answers must be received by 6pm on Friday 22nd April. Winners will be notified by Monday 25th April. Please email your answers to or post the entry form above to; Captain America Competition, Wednesfield Magazine, 16 Holberg Grove, Wednesfield, WV11 3LE. Normal Wednesfield Magazine competition rules apply – see website for details

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Let Us Play

By Simon Archer Marketing. DJR continue to be great supporters of the charity and their Managing Director is now a charity trustee.

Let Us Play are a local charity whose aim is to help children with special needs and disabilities and their siblings. The group was set up in 2003, by parents whose children needed somewhere to play, learn and explore, but who were not suited to mainstream activities and sometimes found it difficult to interact with other children. The group were very successful in setting up activities for their children, but needed help in order to grow. In 2007 they sought help from Kim Hatton, who had previously worked with Action For Children. Kim brought an array of skills and knowledge to the group and helped them become better known and established as a charity to allow them to access funding opportunities.

In 2015, the ladies and their many volunteers, put on over 400 sessions for the children, whose ages range from 5 up to 19. They aim to split the activities into three sections; Craft, Sport and Play.

Let Us Play were strengthened further when Claire McKen joined the team in 2010. Together, Kim and Claire now run the operation from an office in Shaw Park Business Village in Shaw Road, by the refuse site, which has been made available to them by their friends at DJR

What sets them apart from other similar charities is that, not only do they run sessions for the children with the special needs, but they go out of their way to involve siblings. As Claire says, “These issues affect the whole household, so we want all of the children in the family to enjoy the days out, and fun experiences that we provide, so that they can go home and chat and laugh about what they have done together�.


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Homes, Nuffield Health Club and the British Legion in Vicarage Road who allowed them to hold their Christmas Party there, and many more……………...

Speaking to one of the parents, it’s clear how much of a difference Let Us Play make to their lives. One father became quite emotional when trying to tell me of how he benefitted from some ‘me time’ while his daughter, who has a autism diagnosis, was away with the group. Claire was keen to add that the group is not just about the individual. They are very big on team building and will arrange ball games that don’t end until every member has touched the ball, which encourages the children to think about others and to work together to achieve the objective.

Anyone wishing to help this great cause can donate online @ and type in Let Us Play in the search box or by sending a cheque to Let Us Play, Shaw Park Business Village Shaw Road, Wolverhampton, WV10 9LE. If you would like to know more about this charity, including contact details, or would like to be a volunteer, visit their website

Let Us Play currently have 22 members of sessional staff, with a small army of volunteers supporting. Each volunteer brings their own unique talent to the group, some with music expertise, some with a sports background. They have speech therapists and several who are Makaton trained. As with every charity, they rely heavily on donations and the generosity of their benefactors. They have been very fortunate to have been Sainsbury’s Wednesfield’s chosen charity for the last two years and are very grateful for the money raised by the staff, especially Lynn Ryan and their customers. They have also been helped by Wolves Community Trust, Wednesfield Rotary Club, The Freemasons, Persimmon To advertise in the Wednesfield Magazine please call 07534 603662 or email



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Headteacher Speaks Of Pride At OBE Award

A Wednesfield school’s Executive Headteacher has dedicated her OBE to staff, parents and pupils at her schools. Georgetta Holloway was given the OBE in recognition of services to education over the last 20 years –in particular the role she has played at Heath Park School.

“Prince Charles presented me with the honour. He took the time and interest to ask about education and the range of opportunities available to our young people, and was also interested in extra-curricular programmes and out of hours learning for students. “To be honoured for my work is fantastic but I feel equally honoured every day to be Executive Headteacher at Heath Park and Moseley Park – our young people are amazing.”

The Prestwood Road school is rated Outstanding by Ofsted and recently moved into state-of-theart accommodation created as part of the City of Wolverhampton Council’s £270m Building Schools for the Future programme, which has transformed secondary education in the city

Councillor Claire Darke, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “I would like to congratulate Georgetta on this honour – it is well deserved and testament to the dedication she has shown to the young people of Wolverhampton over the past two decades.”

Georgetta, who is Executive Headteacher at Heath Park and Moseley Park schools, said: “I was overwhelmed to be given this award, and at the same time immensely proud.

Georgetta, who was born and raised in Bradford, started teaching at Heath Park in 1995 and became headteacher there in 2008.

“It is recognition of everything that Heath Park has achieved over recent years – but these achievements are not the result of one single person’s efforts and endeavours and instead are down to the collective hard work and commitment of everyone connected with the school; the staff, the parents, the community we serve and especially our young people.

She is also director of the Central Learning Partnership Trust, the academy sponsor of Heath Park and Moseley Park, which is also responsible for Westcroft Sports and Applied Learning College, Wolverhampton Vocational Training College, Woden Primary School and three primary schools in Rotherham.

“I am hugely privileged to be in the position of leading Heath Park, and more recently Moseley Park, and recognise that I would not have received this award if it were not for the relentless drive for excellence that pervades everything we do in our schools and to which we all sign up.” She added: “The Investiture at Buckingham Palace was a truly wonderful experience, meeting others and hearing about their courageous and inspirational work.


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5 minutes with... Name:

Niel Jackson

Occupation: DJ/Presenter/ MC Host • • • • • • •

Where were you born and bred – Willenhall Immediate family - Frances/ Romea Favourite film – All Marvel/ Dc comic movies Favourite food – Any fish dish. Favourite holiday destination - Florida/ Salou Proudest moment – Becoming a Dad Most embarrassing moment – Interviewing the Spice Girls when they were just getting famous and saying: The name SPICE GIRLS is a rubbish name and will never catch on. • What is top of your bucket list - Winning the lottery • Which four people would you invite to your dream dinner party –Russell Brand/ Howard Stern / Barrack Obama/ Tom Stade

• What’s the closest you’ve come to death - Induced coma due to an allergic reaction on my tongue. • Pet hate – People who don't indicate when turning when driving a car or van. • Which word or phrase do you most overuse Thank you. • Most treasured possession – Family. • What is your screensaver - On my phone it's a picture of my son & myself. • Perfect night out – Going to see a Movie in Gold class. • What song would you like played at your funeral By the band Sleep with one eye open (I’m watching you)

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Marathon Mark

Mark Higginson Takes On The London Marathon

deserving, I finally settled on Starlight Children's Charity who not only provide distraction boxes full of goodies and toys for hospitalised children but also dreams and wishes for seriously and terminally ill children too. After watching some of the videos on their website and having tears streaming down my face I knew Starlight was the one I wanted to choose as they are a smaller charity and need all the help they can to continue with their amazing work. Most of my training will have taken place in Wednesfield, and by the time the marathon arrives I'll will have completed almost 400 miles, I can normally be seen running wearing illuminous yellow gloves and the same hat so if anyone does see me pap your horn and wave.

I started running a few years ago after my nan passed away from cancer, I ran the Birmingham half marathon in her memory and for cancer research, since then I have taken part in several events and last year again tackled the Birmingham Half Marathon but this time decided to run for Cystic Fibrosis, this is because my daughter has got a friend at school who suffers from this condition. When I found out I had won a ballot place in the 2016 London Marathon I decided I wanted to run for a children's charity, the next step was to decide on which one as they are all so


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My Cancer Story (so far) By Simon Archer (Publisher, Wednesfield Magazine) apologised for wasting his time and hurried home to tell the wife there was nothing to worry about – even though she didn’t know anything about it at this point – well, they worry, don’t they! Anyway, fast forward to December and the problem is still there – no worse, but no better. I’d also noticed that I was going for a number 2 three or four times a day, rather than the once a day since I can remember. So I make an appointment, to see the doctor and as with most practices, you see a different one each time. This lady also did the prod and poke, but also took some blood samples – progress? Again, no suggestion of anything serious, but the bloods should reveal if further action was required.

Some of you may know through posts on facebook, that I have had a bit of misfortune of late and I have been encouraged by those near and dear to share my experience with the readers of this magazine. A few of you may have already been through something similar, one or two may be right in the middle of it, and I’m afraid it’s a fact, that some of you will in the future. My story starts last July with a trip to the doctor after noticing a drop of blood when wiping the back side. Not a lot, but we all know it ain’t right, so off I trotted. The doc asked to lie on one side and bend my knees, while he had a prod and a poke. Imagine my relief when he deduced ‘Probably nothing. Might be piles. Come back if it gets much worse. Of course, that’s what I wanted to hear. This guy’s been to medical school, he knows his stuff. I’m fine. I thanked him and almost


Well, within a week, a call came through to say I need to see a consultant as they need to find out more. Still, me being cup half full, assumed it would be fine – just a precaution. This time the wife came along for support and again, after the third prod and poke, he re-assured us it was ‘Probably piles’, which ain’t ideal, but hey, it’s a lot better than the ‘C’ word. So, off we trotted to Cannock for a Sigmoidoscopy (camera up back passage), just to ascertain the exact nature of the problem. Within seconds of the procedure, it was clear that something was not right. In fact, the nurse pointed out, somewhat disturbingly, that she could not get the camera in as far as she had wanted due to an obstruction. The rest of the procedure became a bit of a blur as the shock of hearing what the obstruction might be, was somewhat off-putting, to say the least. To add insult to injury, the nurse then attempted an educated guess that the item was indeed a cancer, although comfortingly (not!) she did say, she has been wrong before. Well, in that case, why didn’t she wait for the biopsy?

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As this happened the day before our daughter’s 18th Birthday party, the timing couldn’t have been much worse. We managed to put on a good act by telling everyone, another test was needed – which was true, but not entirely honest. Needs must! So next up was the Colonoscopy, which was similar, but involved a thinner more flexible camera and one that could go the whole length of the colon. Thankfully, this didn’t reveal any more foreign bodies.

Due to the amount of operations on the list that day, I didn’t go up to theatres until 3.15pm, which meant I had gone almost 28 hours without food other than a couple of energy drinks they give you to get you through the op.

By the way, both times the camera was inserted was preceded by drinking a solution to remove all the remaining food from the bowel and a pleasant evening sitting on the toilet! All part of the fun! This was very quickly followed by an MRI scan and CT scan and before I knew it, we were sitting in front of the consultant waiting to be given the full picture of the diagnosis and what the plan of attack was going to look like. I won’t dwell on the way the news was broken by the consultant. I’ll leave it by saying, it could have been handled a lot better. In fact, I’ll go further. It couldn’t have been handled much worse. For this reason and a bit of local knowledge passed on by a relative who works at the hospital, I decided to ask for a different consultant. I had heard of Mrs Elgaddal, but wasn’t aware of exactly how good she was. After a bit of delving and chat with the wife, my mind was made up and wheels were put in motion to ask her to take on my case, which thankfully she agreed to do. So, the date was set for Thursday 25th February and it was suggested I approach the event like preparing for a fight with Mike Tyson. Eat healthily, cut out the alcohol and up the work at the gym, which, more or less I did. My last meal of note, was just before midday on the Wednesday and followed by more lovely laxative type solution (picolax for those in the know) to remove any remaining food to make the operation easier. As requested, we reported to the Appleby Suite at New Cross Hospital at 7am on the Thursday morning, to be processed and prepared. At around 10.30am, I was moved to the ‘Departure Lounge’ to await the call.

After being fitted with an epidural (ask your mom if you don’t know) and a few last minute checks, I was asked to lie down as it was ‘sleep time’. Believe it or not, I wasn’t in the slightest bit nervous, partly because of the reputation of the surgeon and also because of the positive support and best wishes I had received from friends, family and acquaintances from the magazines. Plus, as I said earlier, I’m very cup half full and I do think that helps when you’re faced with this kind of situation. Next thing I know, I’m up on A14 and being told to breath by Nurse Laura (I can also be a bit lazy!). I can just about remember seeing the faces of my wife, bother-in-law and nephew – the last two work in theatres, so had back stage passes – but I was so utterly exhausted, that all I wanted to do was sleep. I also recall someone saying ‘You haven’t had a bag (colostomy) fitted’, which was one of my biggest concerns before going in. So, I slept well knowing that I had survived on both counts. Friday morning arrived in a flash and I felt really good. Had a bit of porridge, was encouraged to get out of bed and have a little walk (more of a shuffle due to the drip, drain, catheter and oxygen I was attached to), which went quite well. Lunch and dinner followed, along with a couple more walks, with my helper Alan and I’m thinking, ‘This is a piece of cake, I’ll be home by Sunday at this rate’. How wrong I was!

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I woke up Saturday morning and came down to earth with a bang. I couldn’t eat, didn’t want to get out of bed, had no energy and didn’t really want visitors. I could barely face watching my beloved Wolves in the lunchtime kick-off against Derby, although this season they should probably come with a health warning. This downturn continued through Sunday and most of Monday and I started to wonder how on earth I’m going to get three magazines produced by the end of March. Then, after forcing every mouthful of Monday’s lunch down, I suddenly started to perk up. I managed to polish off the dinner and got out of bed for a wander round – now free of pipes and tubes, which helped. The ‘Pain Manager’ Nigel, suggested replacing the epidural with a cocktail of equally strong tablets, which I was more than happy to go along with. The next couple of days were much easier, albeit with one last hurdle constantly occupying my thoughts – the fact that my recently modified sewage works hadn’t yet performed the task they were designed to carry out. By Wednesday evening, I’m keen to get back home, but can’t go anywhere until the deed has been done. Mrs E popped in for an update and one shake of my head prompted her to start rubbing her hands to get them warmed up. Oh no, what’s she going to do. After a p & p (you know by now), she emerged with two suppositories, with instructions to sit on them for as long as possible and get ready to dash to the loo – about 10 minutes, she said. After half an hour, I’m wondering why nothing has happened, but Nurse Christine re-assured me, ‘the longer the wait, the better the result’. After 45 mins…………….. well, I’ll spare you the details, but suffice to say, it worked, in fact, 4 or 5 trips later, I was confident that the pipes were sufficiently well joined enough for me sleep well knowing that a rupture was unlikely – which seriously, is the big danger with an operation of this kind. After thanking the nurses and saying my farewells, I was allowed out at 10am the next morning, with instructions to take it easy and enjoy being waited on by the wife and daughters.


Now would be a good time to mention the hospital staff. To be honest, I hadn’t given them a second thought before I went in, but now I have seen how hard they work and the enormously high standard of care they provide – without exception. I could fill the magazine mentioning them all by name and I’m bound to miss one or two out. So thank you, everyone in Appleby Ward, Theatre and A14 and those behind the scenes who I haven’t even met, who treated me with so much kindness and helped me every step of the way to ensure my moral was kept up and that I was made as comfortable as possible throughout my stay in New Cross. I am forever in your debt! A week after coming out, I popped back for Mrs Elgaddal to check my wounds and she revealed that the results had come back from the tissue they had removed during the operation. To cut a long story short, the advice is that I should have a course of Chemotherapy to make sure any hidden cells are removed, which isn’t really what I wanted to hear, but I shouldn’t complain as it could have been a lot worse. And after posting on facebook, I have realised how lucky I have been so far, as many others have not been so fortunate. I’ll update you in the June issue as to how the Chemo is going. Thanks to those who have sent messages of support. Just remember, if you suspect something isn’t right, GET IT CHECKED!! If the doctor tells you it’s fine – tell them about my story and ask them for further investigation.

Some helpful cancer related websites:

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Wednesfield Rotary Wednesfield Rotary recently presented cheques to local organisations and charities to help them continue their good work in the community. President Eirwyn Jones handed out over £2000 to representatives of the groups after the club’s meeting in February. Those that benefitted were as follows; Inner Wheel Club of Wednesfield - £300.00 President - Ruth Madelin The Club are in their 51st year and are made up of wives and friends of Wednesfield Rotarians. They support the Rotary Club each year with fund-raising and social events. 37th Wolverhampton Sea Scouts - £265.00 Leader - Tarnya Peers The Wolverhampton Cubs and Scouts have existed since the 1930's and have approx. 50 members.

They support the Rotary Club each year by assisting with the Christmas Santa sleigh collection. Fallings Park Rainbows, Brownies and Guides - £525.00 Leader - Marion Watkins The group were founded over 60 years ago and have approx. 100 members. They support the Rotary Club each year by assisting with the Christmas Santa sleigh collection. Let us Play - £1000.00 Claire McKen Let us Play is a small, registered charity based in Wolverhampton, set up in 2003 by a group of parents with disabled children to provide sports, arts and play activities and outings for children with special needs and disabilities and their families in Wolverhampton.

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Long Knowle Dance Party 30 Years And Going Strong

Long Knowle Dance Group have recently celebrated 30 years of jiving, waltzing and Line Dancing with a party at Long Knowle Cummunity Hub. The group, who meet every Monday (except bank holiday) from 2.00pm til 4.00pm, were joined by The Mayor and Mayoress, Ian and Paula Brookfield and Coucillors, Steve and Val Evans. As well as an afternoon of fun, laughter, music and dance, they enjoyed a sumptuous buffet provided by the Penguin in Wednesfield.


The Dance Group are led by Jean Shinton and ably assisted by Geoff Taylor, Margaret Dudfield, Ron Ruck and Sue Hancock. The Club presented a cheque for ÂŁ150 to the Mayor to go to his chosen charities. Mr Brookfield claimed this was more of a payment for him showing off his dancing skills, but those who witnessed the display, may beg to differ.

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The Marching Band of St. Gregory’s

Established in 2012 our youth band was started with a small group consisting of a handful of Instructors and Several members of varying ages. Several years on we are performing all over the West Midlands, proudly putting Wednesfield on the map. This year we are really trying to bulk up our numbers, and would like to invite children (over 8) and young adults to come and participate in our activity with us. Musical experience it not required, out of our current band none had played the instrument they now do before they joined us. We make learning fun, and easy. So if you are free on a Thursday night for 2 hours, why not pop along, make some new friends, learn to play an instrument and get your first session for free! Check out our Facebook page to see how much fun we have or to get in touch if you have any questions.

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The next issue is distributed 3rd June

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Bentley Court Care Home A home where people want to live………….

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Memories of Our Wednesfield Local Historian, Ray Fellows Looks back at The Orchard Buildings and the Church Institute. The Orchard Buildings

The Church Institute

The Orchard Buildings were on a small compact estate near Church Bridge in Graiseley Lane. The buildings ran through part of what is now the flower park or as older residents used to say, the old park. The buildings, of which there were approximately 37 went as far as Duke Street, and one of the streets was called Lighthouse Row because it faced the canal. The lights from the houses would light up some of the canal, helping barges approaching Church Bridge in the dark. The houses date back to the mid 19th century when the site was a hive of activity. There were workshops at the rear of some of the houses where metal goods were made, including locks, keys, traps and chains.

The story of the Church Institute began on November 18th, 1898, which was the date of a committee meeting at which curate Hugh Tunnadine was vice-chairman and Messrs E. Aston, T. Mason, H W Birch, H Lane, J Tomkys and F. Hyde were in attendance. It was decreed that membership should be 1/6d per quarter or 2/6d half yearly (payable in advance) and Tunnadine and Aston were authorised “to negotiate with Mr J. W. Done for the tenancy of a house to be used as an ‘Institute’. These premises served until 1902 when a move was made into rooms offered by Mrs Broomhall in the High Street, being the three rooms over shop and the kitchen on ground floor.

McConkey’s were well known for chain making and their premises were just about where the extension to St Patricks school is now. In the 1970s part of this site was used as a car dismantlers yard. One way of gaining access to the estate was from the Rickyard via Barn Bridge, but this bridge was demolished in the late 1960s.

Clearly, the Institute flourished and on 15th October 1902, the Secretary was empowered to arrange for and purchase half a dozen spittoons. Soon football and cricket clubs were formed, to be followed by a Gun Club in 1903 and a Cycle Club the following year. On 27th April 1904, the deed was signed for the purchase of a building site in Graiseley Lane. According to Mr Lane’s calculations, the total cost of the land and building would be around £300 and £222, 17. 10d was raised towards this sum by the Bazaar held that year.

The Church Institute

View from Barn Bridge looking towards the Rickyard

Over the years many dances were held there and it became a favourite place for Teddy Boys, around 1984 it became a Snooker Hall run by B&S Leisure. A Mr Singh took over from B&S Leisure around 1989, in the early part of the 1990’s he purchased the building from the Church and ran it as a Snooker Hall until interest in snooker began to diminish. In June

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2015 Mr Singh hired contractors to demolish the building claiming that he was either going to develop the site himself or possibly sell the land to developers. He said that he would have preferred to sell the land to the school but their offer was not enough to cover the losses that he had incurred over the years. The demolition of the Church Institute means Wednesfield has lost another iconic building. I would like to thank Roger Poole for all the research that he did in putting together the book The Church On Wednesfield Green, it is the story of St Thomas’s Church from 1750-2000. The information about the Church Institute can be found in his book.

put on in 2015 was a tremendous success and this is why we have decided to repeat the event. We have the same re-enactment group booked and there will be entertainment and food available and once again, plenty of prizes to be won. There will be craft and charity stalls and other attractions and more details will be in the next edition of the magazine, and also on the WV11 website. If you are interested in booking a craft or charity stall, then please contact; Ray Fellows on 01902 739592 or Simon Hamilton on 07814549416. Bring your own stall or tables for a fee of just £5, if you are a business then the fee is £15. The next meeting of the History Society is on Saturday April 9th at the Royal British Legion Club Vicarage road Wednesfield. All welcome.

Competition Aerial view of the Church of England School, now St Patricks School. Wednesfield History Society We are planning to arrange an outing to Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirby, home of Lancaster NX611 ‘Just Jane’. This is the centrepiece of the Museum and regularly performs taxy runs for the public. She is the only privately owned Lancaster worldwide and one of only 3 that can move under their own power. You will be able to step back in time and relive a World War Two Bomber Airfield. The Centre holds the personal stories and artefacts of many airmen of WW2. Add to that the unique private collection of vintage vehicles and one of the most famous aircraft ever built; the Centre is a real gem located in the heart of Bomber Country, there is a Home Front Exhibition and a Naafi, the Lancaster Bomber that crashed in Wednesfield on 17th May 1946 took off from this airfield. The date for the trip is Friday 29th April and the price for the trip and entrance to the Museum is just £5. If you are interested, please text Simon Hamilton on the number below. The Society plans to put on another re-enactment of the Battle that took place here in Wednesfield on the 5th day of August 910 between the Anglo Saxons and the Vikings. The re-enactment will take place on the sports field at Wednesfield High School on Saturday August 6th. The re-enactment that we


To win a £20 Sainsbury’s gift card, just answer this question; how many correct answers were received for the February/March competition? Please send your answer to; Competition, 24 South Avenue Wednesfield, WV11 1QL or email Entries must be received by April 25th. The winner of the last competition was Ron Cornwell, well done Ron. The correct answer was Barn Bridge. Thanks to all who entered. In the February/March competition 37 entries were received of which 35 had the correct answer. If you have any stories or photo’s that you want to share, then just send them to the above address.

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Ken Rock Interview Bringing Laughter To Millions

Ken Rock from Ashmore Park is an internationally renowned scriptwriter having written comedy material for many radio and television shows and comedians in the UK including Ken Dodd, Roy Hudd, Dave Allen, Kenny Everitt, The Grumbleweeds, Two Ronnies, Russ Abbot, Brian Conley ... and many more. He has also written for TV shows in Germany, (Rudi Carrell, Harald und Eddi, Sketchup, Harald Smidt) Belgium (Jacques Vermeire), Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Portugal and Denmark. In 1989 he became the first person from Western Europe to sell comedy material direct to Czechoslovakian TV. Ken is currently working as a mentor and in development for various companies around the world. Ken has also been President of the British Society of Comedy Writers since 1999. Where were you born and brought up? I was born in Bank Street, Park Village. I was brought up in Wood End living in Cherry Grove until I was 12 and then moved into Orchard Road until 1971. What schools did you attend? I attended Wood End Primary School and then March End Secondary Modern. What did you work as before the comedy writing? After completing an engineering apprenticeship at Chubbs I became a tool setter and then moved into the production control department. When did you realise you had a talent for writing comedy?


I started writing and producing shows and pantomimes at Chubbs and sending out jokes and sketches to comedians and TV studios and after a while realised I quite enjoyed doing it. When did you first start writing professionally? I sold a lot of material to British radio and TV shows and comedians for several years while still working at Chubbs until I left in 1980 and became a full-time writer. I started writing for foreign markets. Who have you most enjoyed writing for? I have enjoyed working for everyone. Every comedian, producer, works in different ways and it was always a pleasure. Any sketches/jokes that readers might recognise – Four candles? Whenever I mention I wrote for The Two Ronnies everyone asks if I wrote the Four Candles sketch. Sadly, I didn't but I wished I had. Probably the most famous sketch I wrote and which viewers still recognise today was The Water Diviner for Dave Allen At Large in 1976. Dave was walking along in a park holding a water diviner. The water diviner moves faster and faster until Dave stops suddenly. You expect the water diviner to point down to the ground but instead it points up to the sky. There is a big black cloud, a crash of thunder, a flash of lightning and the rain just falls down on him. It was the first thing I ever sold to television and lasted just nine seconds on screen. People still remember it today but those nine seconds had a big bearing on my life as it proved I could write visual humour and helped me sell comedy material all over the world.

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How hard is it to write comedy in other languages? Every country has its own culture and you need to know the differences. What seems normal to us can be completely alien to others. For example, I once wrote a sketch for Czech TV about a window cleaner but they never bought it because they don't have window cleaners over there. You can't write puns or play on words as they don't translate but if you can write visual humour you can sell it anywhere in the world. I didn’t think the Germans had much of a sense of humour? Is that true? Do you get a theme to work with or a brief from the performer? Usually the comedian or TV company will send you a brief on the subjects they want to cover. It is very important and can save a lot of time. For instance, you need to know if a show is all studio based or if there is outside filming. Also the budget is crucial. Can we have big elaborate sets and costumes or is money tight? I once worked on a series with Lenny Henry called The Cheapest Show On The Telly, which is exactly what it was. They had no money to make props, sets or costumes. Do you work remotely or meet up with the stars? I usually work from home but often have to visit studios for meetings with producers and performers as ideas are constantly changing. Do you team up with other writers? If so, who? I have worked with many other writers too, mainly from the British Society of Comedy Writers, sometimes working on and developing special projects and also helping numerous writers sell their first scripts.

Not at all. They may seem dour and abrupt but once you get to know them they like to enjoy themselves as much as anyone else. You didn’t mention the war, did you? No, but they did. Do you have any tips for anyone out there who think they have a talent? The best advice I can offer is to persevere. Don't give up. If you have the talent, someone somewhere will discover it, but it may take some time. Also, it can be a lonely business so it is essential to network and make as many contacts as possible. Anything else you’d like to share with the readers? I used to attend the Golden Rose of Montreux Television Festival where I made many contacts with comedians, writers, producers, entertainers and musicians from around the world. I met many celebrities including David Blaine, Penn & Teller, Larry Hagman, Freddie Mercury, Whitney Houston, Billy Ocean, Celine Dion and many, many others.

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Your Local Police Dear All, Many people may not be aware that criminal offences, in particular acquisitive crime such as burglary and vehicle crime, often follow seasonal patterns. For example, we often see an increase in anti-social type offences during the summer months when the days are longer and the weather is warmer. Another example would be the increase in theft of motor vehicles during frosty weather, due to the fact that people leave their vehicles unattended and insecure with the engine running! It is with this in mind, as the weather begins to warm up again, that I would like to remind readers to consider some crime prevention advice in relation to their properties. As we begin to venture into our gardens to enjoy the sunshine, we often leave doors and windows open and unlocked. The same can be said for windows when we go to bed at night. On returning into your homes please remember to lock doors and windows behind you and remove garden tools from outside, where they can be accessed and used to force open doors. I don’t pass on this reminder with a view to alarming you. It should be remembered that such


incidents are very rare. But we do know that an open window or door presents the ill-intentioned criminal with opportunity.

Summary of Crime Crime rates across Wednesfield show a similar pattern to the one that I reported in the last edition. Total recorded crime is showing a slight increase in numbers year to date compared with same time last year. However as also previously reported the numbers remain low in comparison to the other Neighbourhood areas across the city.

Drug Use When attending recent community and PACT meetings, a number of community members have expressed their concern and increased perception regarding the use of illegal substances in Wednesfield. It is clearly a subject matter that we take very seriously. As a result, we have recently invested some resources in order to combat the use and

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supply of illegal substances in the area. During March, together with the local policing team at Fallings Park, we have executed five warrants under the misuse of drugs act. Several arrests were made and a quantity of illegal drugs seized. Drug dealing won’t be tolerated in Wednesfield! Please be reassured that further action is planned. If you have any information regarding this or anything else in the newsletter please contact the team using the details below.

PACT (Police and Communities Together) Meetings Please remember that any member the community can attend the local PACT meeting. The meeting gives people an opportunity to speak face to face with members of the local policing team. The meeting should not be used to report individual issues, which should be done in the usual manner, but attendees can influence how and where police resources are used in the area. Details of the next meetings can be found on the West Midlands Police website by selecting Wednesfield North/South Neighbourhood Policing teams. The South Pact meeting is held at Wednesfield High School (community building at the rear of the school). The North Pact meeting is held at The ‘HUB’, Griffiths Drive, Ashmore Park.

Other team news Since the last newsletter the team have carried out their usual community based work. As well as providing patrols in the area, the team have conducted reassurance visits to victims of crime. Officers have also visited several of the local schools and presented talks to a number of children about a variety of subjects.

Regards PS 2407 Dave Stanley

Contact Us Email addresses:

The team have also conducted the usual policing response at Bentley Bridge which has included the use of a ‘mobile police station’. Please look out for us and say hello!

Telephone: 101 Extention: 872 3006

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Library Opening Times* Wednesfield, 2 Well Lane, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton WV11 1XT. Tel. 01902 556278 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Morning Closed

Afternoon 12.00pm – 7.00pm

10.00am – 5.00pm 10.00am – 5.00pm 10.00am – 5.00pm 10.00am – 1.00pm 10.00am – 2.00pm Closed

Ashmore Park, (inside the Hub) Griffiths Drive, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton WV11 2JW. Tel. 01902 556296 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Morning 9.00am – 1.00pm 9.00am – 1.00pm Closed 9.00am – 1.00pm Closed 10.00am – 1.00pm Closed

Afternoon 2.00pm – 5.00pm 2.00pm – 5.00pm Closed Closed 2.00pm – 5.00pm Closed Closed

Long Knowle, Wood End Road, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton WV11 1YG. Tel. 01902 556290 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Morning 10.00am – 1.00pm Closed 10.00am – 1.00pm Closed Closed 10.00am – 1.00pm Closed

Afternoon Closed 2.00pm – 5.00pm Closed Closed 2.00pm – 5.00pm Closed Closed

Low Hill, Showell Circus, Low Hill, Wolverhampton WV10 9JJ. Tel. 01902 556293 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Morning Closed Closed Closed 10.00am – 1.00pm Closed 10.00am – 1.00pm Closed

Afternoon Closed 2.00pm – 5.00pm Closed 2.00pm – 5.00pm 2.00pm – 5.00pm Closed Closed

*All information taken from Wolverhmpton City Council website and correct at time of going to print.

Household Waste Recycling Centres (Rubbish Tips) Anchor Lane, Lanesfield WV14 9NE Monday: Tuesday: Wednesday: Thursday: Friday: Saturday: Sunday:

10am to 4pm Closed Closed 10am to 4pm 10am to 4pm 8am to 4pm 8am to 4pm

Shaw Road, Bushbury WV10 9LA Monday: Tuesday: Wednesday: Thursday: Friday: Saturday: Sunday:

10am to 4pm 10am to 4pm 10am to 4pm Closed Closed 8am to 4pm 8am to 4pm

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Useful Information Flowers & Balloons& Telephone Numbers For all occasions Community Hubs/Centres

Places of Worship

Wednesfield ............................................ 01902 552218

St Thomas’s C of E ................................ 01902 723310

Ashmore Park ........................................ 01902 552490

St Patrick’s RC Church .......................... 01902 736440

Long Knowle .......................................... 01902 552442

St Alban’s C of E .................................... 01902 732317

Low Hill .................................................. 01902 552312

Gurdwara Sikh Temple .......................... 01902 730774 Our Ladys Presbytery ............................ 01902 731189

Local Councillors/MP

Corpus Christi RC Church...................... 01902 732713

MP Emma Reynolds .............................. 01902 397698

St Gregory’s C of E ................................ 01902 731677

Cllr Paula Brookfield .............................. 01902 789238

Church of Latter Day Saints .................. 01902 724097

Cllr Bhupinder Singh Gakhal .................. 07771 836630

Old Fallings Utd Reformed .................... 01902 861961

Cllr Greg Brackenridge .......................... 07552 211600

Dormition of Her Lady ............................ 01902 500216

Cllr Phillip Bateman ................................ 01922 403960

Holy Trinity Bushbury Rd ........................ 01902 722840

Cllr Mary Bateman.................................. 01922 403960

Fallings Park Methodist .......................... 01902 733574

Cllr Rita Potter........................................ 01902 654599

Wednesfield Christian Ctre .................... 01902 689957

Cllr Ian Brookfield .................................. 01902 789238

W’field Methodist Comm Church .......... 01902 727130

Cllr Val Evans.......................................... 01902 861498 Cllr Steve Evans .................................... 01902 861498

Schools Heath Park High School ........................ 01902 556360

Emergency Services

Wednesfield High School ...................... 01902 558222

Police/Fire/Ambulance .......................................... 999

Coppice Performing Arts........................ 01902 558500

Police (non emergency) .......................................... 101

Pool Hayes Comp .................................. 01902 368147

Anti Social Behaviour Unit...................... 01902 551188

Our Lady St Chad’s ................................ 01902 558250

(Out of hours emergency) ...................... 01902 552999

St Thomas More .................................... 01902 368798

Crime Stoppers (anonymous) .................. 0800 555111

Corpus Christi Primary .......................... 01902 558725

Gas emergency ...................................... 0800 3281111

Oak Meadow Primary ............................ 01902 558517

Electrical emergency ................................ 0800 404090

St Alban’s Primary.................................. 01902 558825

Water emergency .................................. 0800 7834444

Perry Hall Primary .................................. 01902 558538

Flood line ................................................ 0845 9881188

Wednesfield Village ................................ 01902 558704 D'Eyncourt Primary .............................. 01902 558778

Health Organisations

Edward the Elder Primary ...................... 01902 558765

New Cross Hospital (switchbrd) ............ 01902 307999

Long Knowle ........................................ 01902 558985

NHS Direct.................................................. 0845 46 47

Wodensfield Primary ............................ 01902 556350

Mayfield Medical Centre ........................ 01902 351666

Wood End Primary.................................. 01902 558940

Tudor Medical Ctre ................................ 01902 384999

New Invention Primary .......................... 01922 710376

Heath Town Medical Ctre ...................... 01902 456211

St Patrick’s Primary................................ 01902 556451

Raynor Road Medical Ctre .................... 0844 3879400

Ashmore Park Nursery .......................... 01902 558116

The Surgery, Woden Road...................... 0845 0724628

Wolverhampton City College.................. 01902 836000

Dr Libberton & Dr Ram - Cannock Road 01902 739973

Wolverhampton University .................... 01902 321000

Help Lines/Others


Citizens Advice Bureau .......................... 01902 572006

Wednesfield .......................................... 01902 556278

Samaritans ............................................ 0845 7909090

Ashmore Park ........................................ 01902 556296

RSPCA .................................................. 0300 1234555

Long Knowle ........................................ 01902 556290

RSPB ...................................................... 0845 1200501

Heath Town .......................................... 01902 556266

Jobseekers Direct .................................... 0800 100900

New Invention ........................................ 01922 655570

Childline........................................................ 0800 1111

Low Hill .................................................. 01902 556293

National Domestic Violence ................ 0808 2000 247


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Crossword Answers From page 12

The next issue of the

is out on

3rd June 2016 Booking deadline 13th May.

If you want to get your message out to approx. 30,000 local people, email wednesfieldmagazine@ or ring Simon on 07534 603662

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Wednesfield Magzine april may online  

Wednesfield Magzine april may online

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