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July/August 2012

Great prizes to be won inside this issue:



Tickets for The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at The Grand Theatre A Meal for Two at Wombourne Tandoori


Delivered to areas of: Belbroughton, Hagley, West Hagley, Stourbridge, Pedmore, Oldswinford, Norton, Wollaston, Amblecote, Wordsley, Kingswinford, Lawnswood, Wall Heath, Kinver, Bobbington, Stourton, Enville, Swindon, Himley and Sedgley 01

Local Magazine delivered to 15,000 Selected Homes and Businesses


town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Hello Readers There’s a lot of doom and gloom around at the moment. Interminable summer rain lashes at our collective window, the England football team has just made a right ‘Ash of yet another penalty shootout and now all there is to look forward to is watching the rest of the world show us up at the Olympics. It’s just not cricket! But never fear dear reader, here at Town and Village Life HQ we extol our very own brand of cheery philosophy, which aims a mighty Churchillian two-fingered salute at the aforementioned woe and asks: anyone for tennis? With Andy in town at SW19, we bet you a bag of Murray Mints that we’ll have something to celebrate in the coming weeks.

Contents Window Dressings


Wave the Union Jack for a Real Reason


Olympic Torch Visit is a Runaway Success


Crosswords & Puzzles


Recipe of the Month


What Will an Estate Agent Do for Me


Lacemaking in Stourbridge


Travel Bureau Competition Winner


Wannabe King Killers in Kingswinford


Of course, you may be reading this with a smirk on your face, as our great white (and red and blue) hope may have already bitten the dust on the grassy altar of unrealistic expectation. But, hey, there’s always next year.

Wombourne Tandoori Competition


Grand Theatre Competition


Decking & Garden Furniture


And there’s no better example of the plucky bulldog spirit than in the case our local advertisers giving the global big boys a run for their money in our Global vs Local feature. Always able to run with the hounds when it comes to price and, certainly, when it comes to quality, they have a cornucopia of goodies waiting for you.

Do You really Need a Holiday

Speaking of running - only this time, the plimsolls and sweatband variety - don’t be slow out of the starting blocks to read all about our very own local Olympic Torchbearer. While not quite Pheidippides, the ancient Athenian herald who ran 25 miles to announce Greece’s victory over Persia, only to promptly collapse and die, he is at least still standing after his symbolic run. See: glass-half-full thinking.

Enjoy your read...




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


Gardening With Ann Winwood


Patshull Take Up the Junior Challenge


The Accidental Novelist


Kinver Country Fayre Brought in the Crowds


Dudley South Ladies Luncheon Club


International Festival of Glass at Broadfield House


Eating Out Review at Bravaccios


Eating Out Review at Six Ashes


Get Britain Racing


Beach Ready Beauty


Hollywood Smile


Women’s Fashion - Hot Holiday Looks Silvio and Tight Fit Take You Back to the Eighties

74/75 76

Men’s Fashion - Summer Style for the Guys


New Season on the Horizon for Stourbridge RFC


Social Scene


Email: Gisella Wiley - Sales Director

Lexus CT200h SE-L Premier Hybrid Drive


Geared Up for New Challenges - The New BMW X1


Editorial/What’s On information

Tom’s Tip


Answers to Crosswords & Puzzles


MINI Presents the New John Cooper Works Models


Advertising enquiries

Email: Geoff Hall - Editor Cover shot: Himley Hall, courtesy of Dudley Council Magazine design:

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

*Total distribution 15,000 copies bi-monthly

Congratulations to: Winner of the Blakelands competition Mr Charles Ashton, Stourbridge Winners of Doctor in the House competition at The Grand Theatre Elaine Rix, Wollaston Hazel Gillard, Brierley Hil Dawn Pentreath, Pedmore Winner of £500 Holiday Vouchers courtesy of The Travel Bureau Pamela Sadler, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton


Kevin Beasley MD (centre back row)

Midlands Retailer Embarks On Aggressive Expansion Plan After Successful Business Year A leading Wolverhampton-based retail chain is defying the economic downturn and driving forward an extensive business expansion over the coming year.

and are actively working towards bringing business back into the local economy.

Tile Choice, which now has fifteen stores throughout the central region, has seen a successful year in retail, despite the double dip recession and the chain has started the ball rolling on a quick succession of new store openings in the coming months.

Tile Choice has seen an impressive 14% year on year sales growth, where other industry competitors have seen their sales decrease.

Based in the central region, the company is keen to present a positive business message to the rest of the UK and Marketing Manager Lee Rudkin is keen to see the Midlands at the forefront of restoring the declining economy, significantly in the retail sector. “All we tend to hear about in the news at the moment is how businesses of all sizes are struggling, or how the economy continues to decline,” Lee said. “We’re extremely passionate about changing that perception, particularly within the Midlands 04

“As a company, we are working very hard to try and buck the negative trend within the retail sector and have seen some great results because of our dedication to making Tile Choice the market leader.”

The company put this increase down to an excellent customer service strategy coupled with a well-targeted marketing plan and has also recently been awarded Excellence in Multiple Retailing from The Tile Association, in recognition of their continued success. “By making careful investments in a bespoke management system, new products, in store displays and staff training, we aim to drive customers into stores and engage in a more personal shopping experience,” Lee continued. “As all good retailers know, trade attracts trade and by moving people away from online shopping and back into our shops, we

are able to grow our network of stores and therefore bring more business to the surrounding local shopping areas. “We also aim to continually drive our brand awareness, as being in such a competitive industry, it is vital we stay at the forefront of our customer’s minds, for the right reasons. “We’re extremely proud to be recognised by the TTA for the work our dedicated team have put in to making our business such a success, which in turn has allowed us to continue to expand the company throughout the Midlands and beyond. “And our recent sponsorship of Walsall FC and the subsequent branding of the main stand at the ground have seen some very positive feedback from both our domestic and trade customers and we are continuing a programme of activity within the community to further support our local area.” The latest store openings in Kettering and Corby were launched in June and like all Tile Choice stores, both locations have been specifically chosen to engage the high footfall and passing traffic in the area.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012


















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Celebrate the Independent retailer month with T.A. Henn.... The Independent Retailer Month is a global ‘Shop Local’ campaign running throughout July to celebrate local, independent retailers in the communities they serve, the local economy they contribute to, and in the retail sector as a whole. Thanks to your support T.A. Henn has been in the heart of Princess Street for 165 years. As an independent retailer they believe in offering quality products with great designs at good value for money.

Independent retailers are crucial for our town centres, they make them interesting by bringing unusual products, something different with a little ‘je ne sais quoi’. Wolverhampton still has many independent shops but this of course is all down to you. So this July, leave your computer and come in to town to show your support to your local retailers, whatever they may be. At T.A. Henn, we would like to celebrate July by offering you fabulous special offers across the store*.

Don’t miss out on jewellery and watches offers this July! Jewellery offer of the month*:

Buy two pieces of jewellery from T.A. Henn and get the third one at 50% off. This is also valid on the precious jewellery across the store.

Watch offer of the month*:

A pair of white crystal Tresor Paris earrings offered with every Ice Watch purchased from T.A. Henn.

£175 From £65

Was £45 Now only £22.50 (with July offer) Earrings offered by T.A. Henn


* Necklace + Bracelet = 50% off the Earrings

* Buy one Ice watch = Get one pair of Tresor Paris earrings offered

* Terms and conditions: Both the jewellery and watch offers are valid from the 1st of July 2012 until the 31st of July 2012. Subject to stock availability and not valid in conjunction with other offers. The jewellery offer applies for 3 items purchased in a same transaction. It applies across the store but on Pandora, wedding rings and items already reduced. The 50% off discount will be applied on the cheapest of the 3 items purchased. The earrings offered with Ice watches purchases are the Tassilly 6mm white crystal. Please note that should a purchase be returned having been part of the promotion the value of the free gift will be deducted from the amount refunded.

T.A. Henn 38 - 41 Princess Street Wolverhampton WV1 1HD 06

T.A. Henn has it all…

Tel: 01902 428486 Find us on Facebook

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012


Call into our shop at: 38-41 Princess Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1HD. Or contact us on: 01902 429409 or

“Scan to find ok” us on Facebo 07

Window Dressings the blind. When raised they form a series of attractive soft pleats. It’s no bad idea to hide the mechanisms at the top of the window. This is done by having a pelmet or valance at the top to ‘finish’ the whole effect. Naturally pelmets are frequently used with curtains to hide the rods and rings. There are two types, the stiff pelmet and the valance, a form of pelmet that is pleated and altogether softer to look at. Again these can both be made in the same or contrasting fabric as the rest of the curtains or even the rest of the room. All these items may be bought ready-made or made-tomeasure; it all depends on your windows, your home and the depth of your pocket.

The windows of your home are probably what are seen before anything else to do with your property is noticed. Clean, shining windows and clean, imaginative window dressings, immediately tell the observer whether you are proud of, and happy with, your home, or just ‘living there’. And today, if you are proud of your home there really is no excuse for neglecting those windows. The shops are stacked full of possibilities both in designs and fabrics. There are also hundreds of interior designers just waiting for your commission. The first thoughts anyone has where windows are concerned are curtains. And curtains certainly do a very good job. They keep out damaging sunlight. They keep the interior cool and shady in the summer. They keep out draughts and maintain expensive heating in the winter. The heavier the curtain’s fabric, the thicker the lining; the more effective they are in all these respects. Best of 08

all of course, thick or thin, they maintain privacy. Add a cloud of beautiful, billowing nets and the results increase ‘manyfold’. How curtains are hung is a consideration. Curtain rails in brass or wood are popular especially with the large, matching curtain rings. Smaller windows look great hung bistro style with cut and shaped tongues holding the rings and attached directly to the rail. The choice of hanging method is vital if you want to have electrically operated curtains which are very useful for the larger, heavier drapes. However, curtains are not the only options on today’s windows. Blinds have become very popular. Both the horizontal, slatted Venetian sort and the vertical type are made in a range of materials and colours fit to match any decor. Then there are roller blinds, made in a variety of colours and fabrics and, often made to match exactly the soft furnishings in the home. Roman blinds have also become incredibly popular. These blinds are attached to a wooden batten at the top of the window. They hang flat with wooden slats sewn into the fabric. They are raised or lowered by means of a cording mechanism attached to the slats at the back of

Now another window dressing that may be new to you is the lambrequin. The best way to describe this is to say it is in a way a box frame for a window, deep enough to have a blind within the box at the top. Lambrequins are usually made to measure from MDF which can be papered, painted, stencilled or covered in the fabric of your choice. Depending on the shape of the arch itself you can give any room an oriental, occidental or utilitarian look. Generally speaking, lambrequins are best used on small windows but, if professionally manufactured, they can be made to fit any size of window. To further enhance the look of your window dressings, there are swags, fringes, tassels and ties made in silks, cords and plush fabrics to add that final touch of elegance to curtains, or blinds. They are all well worth consideration for enhancing the final effect. So remember, if you really want your home to grab attention for all the right reasons, do remember to dress your windows with as much care and flair as you would normally spend on yourself. Everything you need to dress windows is available from local businesses. With unbeatable service and unique buys, there’s no reason to look anywhere else. Check out what our advertisers have to offer.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

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Wave the Union Jack for a Real Reason By Rob Taylor There’s been a lot of flag-waving already this summer; support for the England football team, the queen and, in just over a month, it’ll be more of the same with the Olympics. It seems that every man and his dog has been down to Poundland and picked up a disposable Union Jack flag. But sadly, when it comes to really supporting UK PLC, us Brits are as hopeless as Eddie the Eagle. Yes, this interminable recession is not helping matters; however the drive for consumers to seek out ever better deals at ever cheaper prices is taking money from our national pot and passing power abroad. No-one likes hearing news of redundancies yet cost-conscious shoppers are still - in their myopic wisdom - chasing bargains from distant lands instead of supporting the UK, and, more importantly, local communities. Napoleon called us a nation of shopkeepers, so, remember, we do still have goods of our own to sell and there’s plenty of reason to buy local products and produce, locally. Here are just a few reasons why you should “buy local” and help stick Britannia’s trident in the eye of Johnny Foreigner.

preserve of the Range Rover driving, champagne slurping middle-classes. Wrong, there are immediate and obvious benefits available for every community. In many cases the cost difference falls away once you consider the increase in local employment, lower transportation overheads, reduced environmental costs, and the idea that you really know what you’re getting - after all, you can even visit the factory if you’re curious. Refreshingly, many social enterprises - businesses that have social or environmental objectives and reinvest into the company or community, rather than appeasing shareholders - are starting to spring up here and there. The argument stands up from a logical perspective too. Transporting goods from afar requires using more energy and thus contributes to environmental contamination: the carbon footprint. The goal of localisation is not necessarily to eradicate globalisation; rather, it is to reduce unnecessary transport and to strengthen and diversify community economies. And who

wouldn’t be pleased to see some value and smiles wiped off the faces of the fat-cat mega-conglomerates? There is also the moral argument and the concern for the underprivileged many in developing nations, since it is argued that traditional trading arrangements conspire to keep them in poverty. They’re at the mercy of exploitative multinationals which often deal with them ruthlessly and cause readers of the Daily Mail everywhere to sob into their morning cuppas. But beware, not everything is as it seems on the label. There have been cases of establishments serving up lies and deception with fresh ‘local’ cream - an Elmlea substitute, made with vegetable fat - Somerset butter from Scotland, Welsh lamb from New Zealand and West Country fish fillets, which had been fished out of Chinese waters. Something fishy going on there, no doubt; but the concept of buying local is the real McCoy. And if you really want the very best of what our local area has to offer, be sure to check out our advertisers.

You’ve probably already seen “buy local” stickers cheerily adorning shop-front windows in quaint market towns up and down the country, the message being ‘let’s support local business,’ but have you ever really considered the concept? The New Economics Foundation, an independent economic thinktank in London, compared what happens when people buy produce at a supermarket versus a local farmer’s market and found that twice the money stayed in the community when people bought locally. That means those purchases are twice as efficient in terms of keeping the local economy alive. Money needs to keep moving around to keep the economy going so, when money is spent at big supermarkets, non-locally owned utilities and on-line retailers, it flows out of the area, leaving behind ghost towns. You may well be thinking: I can’t afford a luxury that is the 10

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

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Olympic Torch Visit is a Runaway Success

A top coach from Dudley Kingswinford Running Club won the honour of Torchbearer when the Olympic Torch ran through Gnosall in Staffordshire on 30th May. John Glover was nominated by friends and fellow runners at the club because of his unwavering commitment to both the club and the sport. He has participated in the Great North Run and three marathons in order to raise funds for charity, and also finds the time to organise the Dudley Kingswinford 10K Road Race (which is run each May), as well as coaching and inspiring new runners on the popular beginners course every March. John was keen to express his gratitude to everyone who supported him on the day, as he explains: “Thanks to everybody who came to Gnosall. By the sound of the cheers, hoots and 12

screams, it seemed that they all enjoyed it just as much as me.” Finding time to celebrate at a surprise event held at The Park Tavern in Kingswinford, John caught his breath and reflected on the event. A total of £90 was raised from the party and the landlord requested that the money was donated to two local charities. “It was a most wonderful day and an honour and a privilege. The surprise celebration afterwards was great - thank you.” John also found the time to call in to visit his running mate, and hairdresser, Flora Bianco, at her salon, Capelli Hairdressing in Brierley Hill, whilst still in his Torchbearer outfit. Keen to get back into costume, John then attended the club’s Gavin Tipper 5K memorial race in aid of Action Heart on 12th June.

Never short of friends or a stranger to compliments, John is highly regarded at the club, as fellow runner, Alison Whitehouse explains: “John is a fantastic motivator and mentor who voluntarily helps hundreds of people, via DK Running Club.” “Because of his natural flair for knowing who needs encouragement, support or sometimes just someone to listen to whilst running, he gets the best out of every person and helps them to achieve their goals and personal milestones.” “John always sees the potential in everyone and each year, during the beginners course, he encourages all of the runners to focus on their own goals. He’s constantly full of praise for each person and what they achieve, yet he is humble about just how much he does for runners at the club.”

For more information visit town & village life magazine | july/august 2012


FIREPLACES, FIRES & STOVES quality fireplaces at realistic prices established over 20 years Approved Chesney stockists High Street, Wombourne, WV5 9DP (on the Village Green)

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Quick Crossword Across 1 Closed forcefully (7) 5 Keen (5) 8 Ceremonies (5) 9 Brutal (7) 10 At right angles (13) 11 Violin (6) 12 Beverage (6) 15 Exhibition (13) 18 Return to original state (7) 19 Affected by alcohol (5) 20 Registers (5) 21 Found on the shoreline (7)


Down 1 Strip of leather (5) 2 Changed (7) 3 Assorted items (13) 4 Split up (6) 5 Book of information (13) 6 Low animal noise (5) 7 Hold back (7) 11 Of a league or alliance (7) 13 Lack of success (7) 14 Speaks (6) 16 Poles supporting sails (5) 17 Nude (5)



Puzzle answers on Page 196

Word Search Find these names of olympic cities in the grid and the remaining letters will spell out a related phrase























Vancouver town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

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Revive Tired Carpets and Upholstery with a Professional Clean from The Blyth Group Established in 1982, The Blyth Group has a long history in offering everything you need to keep your home looking spotless. Operating an expert and professional cleaning service - and registered with National Carpet Cleaners Association - the team offer a top quality clean at extremely low prices.

Providing the best-value-for-money service for their clients forms an integral part of the company ethos, and by employing only fully trained and accredited staff members, any job is handled with professionalism, skill and care - making Blyth the undoubted trusted choice in cleaning. Using the latest methods and equipment means the team are adept at managing any cleaning requirements on a domestic and commercial scale. With experience working for the local authority and other large commercial operations, Blyth employ their years of experience in the trade to obtain dazzling results. All work is insured and guaranteed, offering total peace of mind.

There are so many reasons to invest in professional carpet and upholstery maintenance. Not only does regular cleaning dramatically increase the longevity of expensive soft furnishings, but the eradication of ingrained dirt and grime, not to mention, stubborn stains, results in a fresh and hygienic finish. Tired carpets and upholstery are completely revived, and thanks to specialist treatments that work to eradicate unpleasant odours, they are returned to looking and smelling just as good as new. Request a free no-obligation cleaning quotation now and be amazed at the results.



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town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

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Treat Your Feet at Fairway Carpets These days it is very rare to find a business that genuinely cares for its customers and one which puts great emphasis on attaining total customer satisfaction; but Fairway Carpets do just that. As owner Luke Panayi explains: “We have a commitment to providing only the best service for our clients and everyone is warmly welcomed by our highly-skilled and helpful team.” “Because we are an independent, family-run business, we are proud of the ‘personal touch’ we can offer. We enjoy spending time with our clients so as to ensure that the products we supply will please for years to come.” It is this exceptional customer-care that sets Fairway apart from the rest. “We boast a vast and impressive showroom, stocked with a great selection of carpet, vinyl and laminate, which is displayed in an easy-to-view format, making the process of finding perfect flooring simpler.” “We incorporate products from many of the major manufacturers, including the hard wearing British-made ‘80/20’ twist collection. Our range is tailored to meets the needs of all.” And what’s more, Fairway’s total commitment to offering top quality products at affordable prices means that even in the current financial climate, there is no compromise on value or service at their store. “We know how important it is to make a house a home and that’s why we offer discounts for full house fittings, which are sure to help stretch the budgets of families, first time buyers and landlords alike.”


“Thanks to our extensive range of good value, hardwearing and safety flooring, we have become an invaluable resource for all manner of schools, offices, bars and restaurants. Businesses have come to depend on our superior value for money, exceptional product range and guaranteed professionalism.” Fairway is proud to offer a free estimate and measuring service, that is carried out by a dedicated team of fitters. No job is too big or too small and the company ‘go the distance’ for their clients so travelling out of the area isn’t a problem. Fairway Carpets don’t sell cheap products, only quality products, cheaper.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012













307 Halesowen Road, Netherton, Dudley DY2 9PL. Tel: 01384 412333 NOW OPEN: Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm Sat 9am - 5pm Closed Sundays


Recipe provided by Chef Jon Young The Barnt Green Inn, Kendal End Road Rednal, Birmingham B45 8PZ 0121 445 4949

Recipe of the month Pan-Fried Hake with Pasta Primavera and Salsa Verde Serves 2 Pasta Primavera means ‘Spring Pasta’ and can contain almost any kind of fresh vegetables, the volume of vegetables to the dish is subject to your liking.

INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

2 x Hake fillets approx 180g each 120g dried spaghetti Asparagus 1 garlic clove (finely chopped) Peas Green Beans Approx 80g Spinach Juice and zest of 1 large lemon Salt and pepper Salsa Verde 1 large bunch of flat leaf parsley (15g) 1 tbsp capers in vinegar 5g basil 5g mint 2 anchovy fillets 75ml extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 garlic clove

METHOD 1. To make the Salsa Verde add the parsley, capers, basil, mint, anchovies, olive oil, vinegar and garlic into a food processor and blend all the ingredients 20

together. If you do not have a food processor, finely chop all the ingredients and mix together. Once all the ingredients have been blended together it will create a herb oil dressing, add salt and pepper to your liking (You may need to add more olive oil if the mixture is too thick) the Salsa Verde is now ready. 2. For the Pasta Primavera fill a large pan with salted water and bring to the boil. Now add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions, once cooked drain the pasta. 3. While the pasta cooks trim the asparagus and green beans and add to a separate pan of boiling water, cook off the asparagus and green beans until just cooked (Try not to overcook the vegetables as the asparagus and green bean adds texture to the pasta dish). Remove the Asparagus and Green beans and place into cold water, this it will stop the vegetables continuing to cook and keep their texture and colour. 4. In a new shallow pan add a touch of butter and the chopped garlic, fry for about a minute on a low heat (do not rapid cook as this will burn the garlic). Now turn the heat up and add

the Asparagus, Peas, Green beans and Spinach and stir-fry for approximately 2-3 mins or until all the vegetables are hot and the spinach has wilted. 5. Next add the cooked pasta to the vegetables and continue to cook, stir to combine all the ingredients and add the lemon juice and lemon zest, season with salt and pepper to your liking, leave on a low heat to maintain the temperature. 6. Check over the Hake fillets for any fish bones and remove any you find. Place a non-stick frying pan on a low heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and place the Hake skin side down in the pan, turn the heat to a medium setting. When the Hake skin is golden and crisp, turn over and continue cooking for approximately 3 minutes or until the Hake is cooked through. Cooking times vary depending on the thickness of the Fillet. 7. On a warm plate, place the hot pasta primavera in the centre ensuring each dish gets a good level of vegetables, remove the Hake from the pan and place on top of the pasta crispy skin side up. Now spoon the salsa verde around the pasta or over the fish and serve.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

At Eaton Kitchens we have an elegant studio with traditional and modern displays. Our Extensive range of kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms will enable us to create the room of your dreams.

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The Local Property Market by Nick Berriman A question frequently asked is “what will an estate agent do for me”, followed by “won’t the internet do it just as well”. My profession has suffered from a very bad image for many years and it is only the politicians’ expenses scandal and the bankers’ misdemeanours that have lifted us from the bottom of the popularity league! Some rogue elements among our number have misbehaved over the years but only a few were involved and legislation now controls behaviour much more strongly. The irony is that our professional bodies have all wanted the government to bring in legislation for many years which would mean that all estate agents should be properly qualified, as is the case with the legal profession. This has never been implemented as the powers that be thought that it would be a restraint of trade rather than thinking that it would give more protection to the public. In a recent edition I reflected on how we carry out valuations as the advice on how much a property is worth is the first thing a prospective seller needs. I said that we used two computers, the first being the knowledge of similar sales stored in our brains and the second being the information now available on the internet regarding comparable sales. When we arrive at a property to give marketing advice we should have a considerable amount of relevant data with us and then use this, together with our own knowledge and experience to arrive at a realistic valuation. The problem faced by sellers who have several valuations is knowing which to believe. The trick is to select the one which is correct and that is not necessarily the one which is highest. But how do you know 22

which is correct? The track record of the agent in recent sales gives an indication that he ( or she - sorry Caroline and Maddy ! ) knows the local market and it is up to the agent to convince you that he knows what he ( sic ) is talking about. Of course the slick talking estate agent has been the butt of music hall jokes for years so don’t be conned by smooth talk but look for a professional approach. We all know of agents who deliberately overvalue in order to secure the instruction so that once they have the property on their books and it doesn’t sell they can advise a price reduction and still keep the job. So once you have chosen your agent he will prepare sale particulars remembering that the Property Misdescription Act now outlaws over enthusiastic and misleading language. Shops two miles away can no longer be said to be within easy walking distance and remembering motorway congestion to the centre of Birmingham can no longer be said to be within 30 minutes of Tettenhall ! It was never sensible to over describe as the first reaction of someone viewing would be disappointment and that is not good salesmanship. The agent will contact all the appropriate prospective purchasers on his system, will advertise and use the various internet sites. The internet will never conclude a sale but it is an excellent medium of communication

and more and more buyers look first on sites such as Rightmove. A good agent will follow up viewings and keep the seller informed. Once a sale is agreed a very close check should be kept on progress. Making sure the contract has gone out, checking that searches have been made and surveys have been done, making sure that a mortgage offer is in place, checking the chain of sales which may be involved and chasing the exchange of contracts are vital necessities, so much so that in my office we have a lady with a law degree with that responsibility. Many years ago after a sale was agreed the file went away and the next thing that happened was the solicitor requesting the completion account! Now we probably spend as much time after the sale has been agreed as we do before. You rely on your agent to deal properly with the sale of what, for most people, is their largest asset so choose with care.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

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Lacemaking in Stourbridge coveted by royalty and nobility. The handmade craft nearly died out as a consequence of the development of machine-made lace. It is however being kept alive by groups of women and men all over the world. The Lace Guild was established in 1976 to represent, support and educate lacemakers at home and abroad. It has its headquarters at the Hollies,53 Audnam, Stourbridge.

Did you know that the craft of lacemaking is thriving in Stourbridge? Lace was made by hand from the beginning of the Sixteenth Century; this delicate fabric was prized and

There you will find a refurbished exhibition room. Upstairs is a comprehensive library of lace related books. The Lace Guild is an educational charity, and an accredited museum We want to encourage visitors to come and see the wonderful collection of lace, artefacts and books. We are open on Fridays, from 10am until 3.30pm, but a visit can be arranged at other times. If you have any lace you have inherited from Granny, and would like to know more about it, bring

it along on the first Saturday of August, November, February or May, but do give us a ring first to make sure someone will be there. The exhibitions are changed about every three months. Currently until the end of July, we have an exhibition of members work. The next exhibition will be some of the items we have on loan, along with some glass, as this exhibition coincides with the Stourbridge Glass Festival. There is also a small cabinet situated at the Red House Glass Cone, displaying items of lace from the collection, so next time you are in Stourbridge, why not visit the Lace Guild as well as Stourbridge’s other attractions?

The Lace Guild, The Hollies, 53 Audnam, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 4AE email:

Winner of £500 Holiday Vouchers Courtesy of The Travel Bureau, Wombourne Town & Village Life magazine and our sister publication Wolverhampton West magazine ran a competition for one lucky reader to win a fabulous prize of £500 worth of holiday vouchers, courtesy of The Travel Bureau based in Wombourne. David Walters, Managing Director of The Travel Bureau picked Pamela Sadler from Tettenhall, Wolverhampton out of hundreds of entries that had been sent in. Pamela said “It was a lovely surprise when I received the phone call to say I had won the competition, it’s

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a fabulous prize. I look forward to receiving my magazine as I find there are lots of interesting local articles”. Town & Village Life magazine would like to thank everyone who entered the competition and a very big thank you to The Travel Bureau. And don’t forget The Travel Bureau has been the trusted choice for travellers since opening in 1984,

in that time owners David and Yvonne Walters have made dream destinations become an affordable reality for their customers. They know that every holiday should be perfect and that’s why each step of the journey is managed flawlessly - meaning that you have a stressfree, hassle-free and worry-free experience from the moment you decide on your destination to the moment you arrive back at home.

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Wannabe King Killers in Kingswinford By Rob Taylor

History loves a villain. Nobody remembers who cured smallpox and nobody cares who really invented the telephone, they’re just glad someone did. Yet when it comes to baddies - real love-to-hate-them, honestto-badness Machiavellian scoundrels- everyone knows the name Guy Fawkes. But not everyone knows of his - or more specifically the Gunpowder Plot’s - connection to Kingswinford? It’s a story well worth telling as it enshrines this leafy town in the annals of history. Picture the scene: it’s the early 17th Century and our country is reeling; in a quagmire of religious turmoil following the newly established protestant state. The Catholics are well and truly on the run, following Henry VIII’s break from Rome and his daughter, Elizabeth I’s, recent death, and they don’t like the sound of her successor, James I, one little bit.

They have already suffered severe persecution since 1570, when the Pope excommunicated Elizabeth and the Spanish Armada in 1588 only made matters worse. To the Tudor state, all Catholics are potential traitors. They are forbidden to take Mass, forced instead to attend Anglican services, with steep fines for those who refuse. Guy Fawkes and his 12 fellow plotters - led by Robert Catesby couldn’t face the prospect of more years of tyranny and thus hatched a dastardly plot to wipe-out James I and his coevals in Parliament. So in March 1605 the group took out a lease on a ground-floor cellar close to the Houses of Parliament - it lay directly underneath the House of Lords - and over the following months packed 30 odd barrels of gunpowder inside. Then on 4th November, Catesby, Wright and Bates set off for the Midlands, having sprung their trap. History knows all too well what happened next as the ill-fated Guy Fawkes was busted by Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, James’ first minister, and immediately arrested. But the remaining members of the gang high-tailed it back to the home of one of them, Stephen Littleton’s Holbeche House in Kingswinford, where they stashed their loot of stolen arms and munitions; their store of gunpowder now wet from the pouring rain. It was here where the gang were dealt a deeply ironic blow. Laid out in front of the fireplace to dry, their cache of gunpowder was ignited by


a stray spark, causing an explosion that blinded John Grant and injured Robert Catesby. And there was anything but help on the way. 200 men led by Sir Richard Walsh, the High Sheriff of Worcestershire, arrived at the house on 8th November, laying siege to the encamped vagabonds, who by this point were - like General Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn and the plucky Brits at Rorke’s Drift - dug deep into their safehouse. The battle was short. To the cry from Catesby of “Stand by me and we’ll die together’ the gang were gunned down in the courtyard. Catesby, Wright and Percy died from their wounds; Wintour, Keyes, Rokewood and Grant were captured. Five others remained at large. Today Holbeche House is a private nursing home, but some scars still remain. The main door is still in use and the facade of the house is still largely as it was in 1605. Remarkably, the musket holes in the walls are still visible. Many of the streets of the Charterfields housing development, built during the 1970s, pay homage to the infamous conspirators, as in Catesby Drive, Digby Road, Keyes Drive, Tresham Road, Ambrose Crescent and Rokewood Close. At least the developer stopped short of Gunpowder Grove.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012




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Win a Meal for two at Wombourne Tandoori This month Town & Village Life magazine have teamed up with Wombourne Tandoori to give one lucky reader the chance to win a fabulous meal for two, including a bottle of wine.

Wombourne’s premier and longest established Indian restaurant , Wombourne Tandoori, situated in the High Street, is still under the expert management of Rafique Miah and his brother, Head Chef Makhan. With years of experience, they have brought together a team of chefs who work to particularly high standards serving sumptuous Bangladeshi cuisine. It’s no wonder that they have achieved a five star rating from ‘Rate My Place’, because as soon as you enter this clean, light and airy restaurant with its attractive water feature and star-studded ceiling, you’re enjoying a sensory experience that is the perfect precursor to fine dining.

Delightful background music and TV-screened ‘Bollywood’ spectaculars play at just the right volume to make it the perfect place to dine. To enter simply answer the following question correctly before 12th of August 2012.

What is the address of Wombourne Tandoori? Please e-mail your answer to: or on a postcard to Town & Village Life Magazine Ltd, 1 Lytham Road, Perton, Wolverhampton, WV6 7YY, please include your name, address and telephone number. Booking date subject to availability and any additional drinks will have to be paid for separately. No cash or alternative prize available.

Competition Terms and Conditions To enter readers have to be at least 21 years of age. Winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries received and notified by telephone. Prize is a 3 course meal for two with a bottle of house wine. Prize to be taken by 30th September 2012.


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Local mortgage lender and savings provider Dudley Building Society this week confirmed the appointment of Jeremy Wood as its new Chief Executive.

Dudley Building Society Welcomes Its New Man At The Top


Mr. Wood, who originally hails from Wolverhampton, brings a wealth of experience to the Dudley having held a number of senior positions at Nationwide Building Society and most recently as interim Chief Executive Officer of One Savings Bank Plc. On welcoming in a new era for the 154 year old Society, Mr. Wood, who took up his position on 6th June 2012, revealed he is looking forward to the prospect of leading the development of the Dudley as a significant provider to local homeowners and savers: “I am delighted to be the new Chief Executive of Dudley Building Society. I hope that the

knowledge and experience I am able to bring to the Dudley will complement the many qualities the Society already possesses. “Dudley Building Society is the epitome of what a building society should be an organisation with high quality customer service at its core and one which focuses its energies on providing local people with sensible, straightforward mortgages and savings products. My aim is to ensure Dudley Building Society is positioned to enable us to continue to serve our community”. Dudley Building Society Chairman, Barry Frankling, said: “I am extremely pleased to welcome Jeremy to Dudley Building Society. His wealth of expertise and experience in the building society sector will be extremely valuable to the Society and the Board of Directors is delighted to secure Jeremy’s services. The Society’s members can look forward to benefiting from his array of attributes which will help shape a strong and prosperous future for Dudley Building Society.”

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

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Three lucky winners can each win 2 tickets to see THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE on Monday, 24th September at 7.30pm at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. The Olivier award-winning comedy, THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE is a sparkling night of music, divas and romance, written and directed by Jim Cartwright. Starring Beverley Callard (Coronation Street), Ray Quinn (Dirty Dancing, X Factor, Dancing On Ice Winner), Joe McGann (Calendar Girls, Upper Hand, The Hanging Gale) and introducing the sensational Jess Robinson as Little Voice. On stage at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Monday 24th to Saturday 29th September. In this heart-warming tale shy Little Voice spends most of her time hidden away with her late father’s record collection, perfecting her astonishing impersonations. Her extraordinary talent remains a secret until she is overheard by local talent scout Ray Say. Determined to hit the big time, Ray sets about creating the show of the century with Little Voice as his star. When the big night arrives, Ray is convinced that this is his last chance for fame and fortune. But has anyone asked Little Voice what she wants? Featuring songs from some of the world’s most iconic divas including Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Bassey and Judy Garland, this is a night of star-filled magic to remember. 32

Call the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre Box Office for more information on 01902 42 92 12 or online at To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the following question correctly and send it on a postcard with your name, address and telephone number to Town & Village Life Magazine at the address below to arrive by 6th September 2012. Only postal entries can be considered for the competition and winners will be notified by telephone.

Joe McGann played a housekeeper in which British sitcom? a) Upstairs Downstairs b) The Upper Hand c) Home To Roost Competition Terms and Conditions Please post all entries to Town & Village Life Magazine Ltd., 1 Lytham Road, Perton, Wolverhampton, WV6 7YY to be received no later than 6th September 2012. Winners to collect tickets from the box office on the night. Tickets cannot be exchanged and no cash alternative prize nights available. Winners may be required to partake in relevant publicity.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

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Getting Back Into Your Garden Summer is officially here - a great time to start enjoying your garden again.

There is something very special about having an area, however large or small, you can just escape to and forget about the stress and strains of daily life - your own little retreat!   Perhaps your garden is looking a bit tired and in need of some TLC, but improving it doesn’t feature high on your financial priority list just now?  All may not be lost..! EH Smith stock a huge range of landscaping materials catering for all tastes and budgets, for trade and DIY.  Materials available for immediate delivery include natural stone paving, block paving, decking, fencing, decorative gravels, accessories and features; all at affordable trade prices, to help you make the most of your outdoor living area without breaking the bank.

Need some ideas and inspiration? EH Smith’s purpose built Garden Landscaping Display at Stourbridge, hosts many different landscaping products, helping you to visualise them in situ, get ideas and check the quality, texture and colours for yourself. On top of this EH Smith have one of the largest delivery fleets in the area, meaning your building and landscaping materials can be delivered to your home, quickly and efficiently, at a time that suits you. So whether your garden requires major transformation or some simple finishing touches, call into EH Smith at Timmis Road in Lye and start to enjoy your garden again this spring.

More information about EH Smith, including their locations and contact details, can be found on their website

Pop down to EH Smith in Stourbridge and let their expert staff offer you free, impartial advice on all of your landscaping requirements; whether it be finding the right type of paving for your garden, matching some existing brickwork or discussing the best drainage option for you. Our staff can guide you in the right direction to ensure your project has all the right products at the right prices.


town & village life magazine | july/august 2012


Today’s gardens are no longer patches where clothes may be dried and dad can spend weekends tending to a flourishing kitchen garden. They are extensions of the home in a very real sense. True there are still flowers, shrubs, trees and vegetables but these are less important than the usable accommodation and general appearance of the plot. But people want even more from their gardens and seek designs for patio areas or decking where eating al fresco is just as convenient as having meals indoors. To cater for this growing trend there is a whole

Building a simple decking area can be achieved by the average DIY enthusiast as there are stockists for the specialist materials and appropriate fixings. Garden furniture has been the subject of a major revolution in design over recent years. Once upon a time, seating in the garden was a matter of canvas covered deckchairs, like those hired at the seaside, or basic wooden benchseats. Now all this has changed. The humble deckchair has been swept away by whole suites of co-ordinated garden furniture that is more comfortable, elegant, and substantial in structure and quite spectacular to look at. Many supermarkets and most DIY stores and garden centres

sets of hardwood furniture with usual designs of tables, chairs, benches, swing seats, loungers and gazebos. This sturdily built furniture is often available to buy on a mix and match basis, so items may be added to as and when required or when finances allow. Again extra seat cushions are usually available, as are parasols with a hardwood pole, wood or cast iron base, and heavy-duty, shower-resistant fabric. One can never really be sure of the British weather so no garden designed for outdoor entertaining, especially in the evening, is complete without an efficient patio heater designed for use with bottled gas which is hidden away inside the base unit. As a matter of safety, all

Decking And Garden Furniture

industry devoted to providing you with what you want to help make the best use of the open space around your home. The concrete or paved patio has been popular for many years, but growing in popularity now is timber decking as the feel of seasoned wood blends with a garden in a way that the patio may lack in certain circumstances. It provides a raised level from which the garden may be enjoyed. However in some areas, decking may have to comply with building codes and regulations which may amongst other things, regulate setback distances, foundation and deck materials. 36

stock a whole range of patio sets comprising table and chairs made from all-weather resistant plastic resin and priced to suit the average pocket. These can usually be added to with the addition of a parasol fitted into a base through the table, and matching seat pads. Traditional tubular steel garden furniture is still popular with a full range of hammocks loungers, relaxers and sunbeds, all easy to assemble, that come with a selection of fabric cushioning. Cast iron and cast aluminium tables, chairs and bench seating mostly now come in a variety of scrollwork and patterns. At the top of the range of garden furnishings, but still affordable, are

outside patio and decking areas should be adequately lit, and specialist retailers will have a whole range for you to choose from. When designing a patio area or decking, allow enough room not only to just accommodate the furniture, one still has to move about and have room to cook at the barbecue. On top of all that a few tubs of flowers and plants will give a finish to the overall appearance. It is so easy to transfer your patio/ decking area into a new, relaxing outdoor lounge. Just visit your local garden centre or specialist garden furniture suppliers, and you certainly will be spoilt for choice.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

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Do you really need a holiday? We may look longingly at holiday brochures, blue skies and white sands but is it the destination we crave or simply a break from our own lives? We are often worn down by the daily grind, the commute, the bills and what’s in the news. Some of us temper this by our own form of escapism - a chilled glass of wine, in the evening; a favourite TV show and some naughty snacks! Our holiday time is the ultimate escapism - a chance to think or not think; to be somewhere else and be somebody else, just for a while. So many of us waste our lives in a state of discontent; living from pay cheque to pay cheque, weekend to weekend or holiday to holiday. We believe that two weeks on a beach somewhere, a few pina colada’s and dreamy bar staff will magically wipe away any problems and fix everything! Step away from the travel internet sites for just a moment and think about why you need a holiday. For some, it’s a chance to explore new and exciting places. For many, it’s our two-week slot of happiness for the year. If it’s the latter, then it might be time to break this cycle. Imagine, waking up every day and looking forward to work, being able to spend more time with friends and family, finding time to play and making every day feel like a holiday.

then ask yourself: what areas of my life are in conflict with my values currently? (Is it not enough ‘me time’ or is it being in a job where no one ever says ‘thank you’). Make a commitment to yourself to get your values met in both your professional and personal life. Doing so can really change your life. It’s all about passion baby. What is it that makes your heart sing, fills your belly with fire or lights up your face? We all have things that we are passionate about in life, things that are dear to us or close to our heart. Ask yourself: What is it that makes my heart sing? Is it nature; is it painting, writing, reading, sports, creating, music, children what is it you’re naturally drawn to? Regularly indulge in your passions and interests, as this will naturally bring more peace and fulfillment into your life. Make an appointment with yourself each week for a few hours and lose yourself in your passion, whatever it might be.

Connect with your inner child. All too often we take life way too seriously, the pressures of life can pull us down. We need to lighten up. When was the last time you gazed with wonder and amazement at the vast starlit sky, or lay on the daisy-laden grass and felt fresh air nourish your soul? As we grow older, our busy lives can consume us and we forget to have a sense of wonder. Today: act like a child and let your mind speculate, question and marvel at everything around you. Go and roll down a hill, get soaked in the rain, climb a tree, watch the sunrise, swim in the sea, watch the clouds drift by or simply spend time with children - children instinctively know how to make everyday a holiday! Live in the moment. Most of us spend our days either reliving past events or focusing on future goals, but in doing so we fail to live in the moment and to see the true blessings around us. We really need to recondition ourselves

Louise Presley-Turner, author of Finding a Future That Fits has five tips to bringing holiday, home. Know your values. What is it the makes your heart sing? What is most important to you in your life? We all come in to this world with a unique set of core values, things that make us happy. For some it’s nature, affection, peace, for others it’s power, challenge, appreciation. We all value different things in life and this is what makes our world so diverse. Your values are the fundamental bedrock of who you are. Know your values and you can then start to build a life around them! Yet for most of us we live our entire lives in conflict to our values. Become aware of what your own personal values are and 38

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Louise Presley-Turner is one of the UK’s most successful life coaches. Her coaching practice ‘The Game of Life’ is helping people challenge their existing mindset and beliefs and improve their lives, with remarkable results. Louise is a mentor, motivational speaker and author and is a key speaker at the Hay House ‘I Can Do It’ 2012 conference. Her new book, ‘Finding a Future That Fits’ gives readers some of the tools and techniques needed to create their own best lives. Louise runs a range of coaching programmes to suit individual needs. Visit or call 01746 71 61 51 to book a Discovery Session.


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to live in the present moment, to open our eyes and see the beauty and order in everything. No matter what you’re doing, try to find something beautiful in your day. Maybe on your drive to work or walking the kids to school or maybe stop and watch the sun go down. Realising these small things can bring happiness even to the most boring or routine days. Keep a gratitude journal and each day list ten things you are grateful for, this will programme your mind to look for and recognise the daily blessings and remind you that you don’t need to go on holiday to fully appreciate life. Pack your bags. Rather than wishing the months away until your next holiday, take a holiday right now. Close your eyes and visualise you’re at a special holiday destination, your favourite city, beach or particular beauty spot. Feel the sun on your face, smell the air, see the vibrant colours around you. Notice how you feel as you play this imagine in your mind. Studies show that the brain can’t tell the difference between what is imagined in your minds eye and what you actually experience in real life. So, visualising fools the brain into believing you’re actually there and releases endorphins and serotonin into your bloodstream boosting your mood. So pack your bags and take yourself on holiday right now! Follow these tips and you’ll achieve holiday happiness, right now and all through the year. Working out what you really want from life, visualising, believing and then taking steps towards it can break the cycle of having to wait or save up to enjoy yourself. You can create your perfect life and enjoy that ‘holiday high’ all of the time.


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Travel Gift Card is available to treat that someone special in your life.

The Travel Bureau Got a special birthday this year? Planning a wedding or want a really special honeymoon? The Travel Bureau is an Independent Travel Agent established over 27 years with experience in all aspects of Travel Or perhaps you have a special anniversary, and provides your own Personal Travel Consultant – specialising in personal itineraries to suit individual holiday for that special occasion as well as standard holiday packages. then why not visit The Travelrequirements Bureau.

Specialising in creating tailored holidays that take care of every detail - from booking train tickets to booking restaurants - the team at The Travel Bureau ensure the very best for every single one of their clients. And as a tour operator, we can book anywhere you want to go at a completely competitive price. Spending time with our clients and making every part of their holiday - including all of the planning - is our aim. We offer a completely personalised service and give as much advice as possibly needed.

Worldwide Flights

scales, funky Rail coolTickets bags and are Continental stockists of Fake Bake products Amtrak American Rail Tickets - just the thing you need to get Travel Department readySpecialised for yourBusiness holiday in the sun. Specialised Rail Holiday Department

5 Star Destination Honeymoon and Weddings Tailor Made European & Longhaul Holidays Tailor Made City Breaks 5 Star Luxury European Destinations Florida Family Holidays.

Before you book your next Telephone us now on 01902 324777 holiday or that special For a free no obligation quotation or call in to see us at: The Cottage High Street Wombourne WV5 9DN break, speak to the experts Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 0900 - 17.30, Saturday 09.00 - 16.00 The Travel Bureau. ABTA No.78359 3368

Even if you are not totally sure what you want from your holiday or if you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve got plenty of suggestions and advice to offer to make it just right for you. Because The Travel Bureau holds a full ATOL license (Air Travel Organiser’s License) and meets the highest industry standards, you can rest assured that you are in safe hands when travelling abroad. If you’re looking for a holiday with a difference then, finding out about Travel Bureau’s fantastic range of rail trips is a must. With an extensive rail department, the team can organise continental train trips that allow you to travel through Europe in style. Committed to offering everything you need for your holiday, The Travel Bureau also stock a comprehensive range of travel accessories that have been specially selected to meet all of your travelling requirements. We stock plastic bottles, travel torches, luggage straps, locks,

For further details contact The Travel Bureau on 01902 324777 40 40

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Travel Accessory Shop on line offering a small range of good quality accessories for your holiday

Travel Gift Card is available to treat that someone special in your life.

The Travel Bureau is an Independent Travel Agent established over 27 years with experience in all aspects of Travel and provides your own Personal Travel Consultant – specialising in personal itineraries to suit individual holiday requirements for that special occasion as well as standard holiday packages.

Worldwide Flights

5 Star Destination Honeymoon and Weddings

Continental Rail Tickets

Tailor Made European & Longhaul Holidays

Amtrak American Rail Tickets

Tailor Made City Breaks

Specialised Business Travel Department

5 Star Luxury European Destinations

Specialised Rail Holiday Department

Florida Family Holidays.

Telephone us now on 01902 324777

For a free no obligation quotation or call in to see us at: The Cottage High Street Wombourne WV5 9DN Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 0900 - 17.30, Saturday 09.00 - 16.00


ABTA No.78359 41

Apley Farm Shop has been open just over a year and in that time has attracted visitors from throughout the country - and a dedicated following of local shoppers! The shop sells a huge range of local produce, from fresh cuts of various meats and hand-made sausages from popular Worfieldbased butcher Mark Lowe to locally grown vegetables and homemade tarts, terrines and smoked delicacies and delicious cakes. The Creamery Café serves excellent coffee and tea, homemade cakes and offers a superb lunchtime menu. The Apley breakfast has become well known in the local area, as have the Sunday roast lunches and barbeques on Saturdays. Pigg’s Playbarn is the ideal place to entertain children in a clean and safe environment. Parents and grandparents are served coffee and cakes and can enjoy

the comfortable seats and complimentary magazines. Owner Lord Gavin Hamilton was determined that the shop, at Stockton, near Norton on the outskirts of Bridgnorth, should stock top quality produce from local suppliers - much as the historic Apley Estate would have grown and supplied similar foodstuffs for the immediate community during centuries gone by. “We are literally re-vitalising this large country estate, selling produce from estate farms and other locally produced food at very affordable prices,” says Lord Hamilton. “Local producers come into the farm shop every Saturday to show off their produce - and we are also offering special midweek prices on certain items so it is well worth visiting to see what is available.” The shop and restaurant will be hosting a number of events throughout the summer - amongst others will be Ice Cream Sunday on

July 15, British Food Fortnight from July 28 and an exhibition by resident artist Vicki Norman from August 23. Apley Farm Shop will also be staging a display of produce at the Queen’s Jubilee Pageant at Cosford on July 12. Apley Farm Shop, Pigg’s Playbarn and The Creamery Café are open seven days a week, from 9.30am until 6pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am until 4pm on Sundays. Visit for further details.

The Best Of Local Produce At Apley Farm Shop


Come to Apley Farm Shop for great food & fun for the children in the Summer holidays! Pigg’s Playbarn open every day Midweek DISCOUNTS & SPECIAL OFFERS on delicious local foods Free tastings every weekend FREE POT OF TEA OR CUP OF COFFEE WHEN YOU SPEND £10 IN THE SHOP ANY DAY OF THE WEEK (with this advert & receipt, one drink per advert) T&V

(On the A442 between Bridgnorth & Telford) 42

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Will Summer Ever Make An Appearance? After a wet April, a patchy May and the beginning of June more like November, let’s hope that July brings an improvement to the weather. Nothing seems to deter the weeds from flourishing though. Make the most of a warm sunny day and pull or hoe up any weeds still lurking in your borders. If you find that there’s still gaps in the garden, add some instant colour and buy established plants of geraniums, cosmos, New Guinea impatiens and other flowering plants throughout

Tips are provided by Ann Winwood from Lealan Garden Centre, Wolverhampton

the summer months. Dead head your baskets, tubs and herbaceous borders regularly to keep plants producing new flowers all summer. Stake and tie in taller herbaceous plants. Tubs and baskets need watering daily if the weather is dry, do it first thing in the morning or in the evening to avoid scorching leaves. Remember to liquid feed weekly. If you’re going away on holiday, it’s advisable to get someone to water your tubs and baskets for you. Indoor plants can be stood on capillary matting - the other end is put into a container full of water and the plants will take up the water as they need it. Make sure you wet the matting first. Watch out for signs of leatherjackets on lawns, they cause irregular brown patches and loose areas of turf on the lawn. Grubs are dark grey, brown

and legless. These can appear from mid-August to the end of September. If you do spot their damage water the lawn with Provado Lawn Grub Killer. Once tomato plants are as tall as you require them, cut out the main shoot, one leaf above the last truss of fruit you want. Keep sowing salad crops in the veg patch to get a continuous harvest. Plant seed potatoes in tubs in July and August to get a crop of new potatoes for Christmas. Remember they’ll need frost protection once the winter frosts appear in November and December. It seems only 5 minutes since the spring bulbs were in flower, but they’ll be appearing in garden centre’s from the end of August!

80 litre bags Lealans multipurpose compost still £12.00 for 3 bags. Geraniums, Fuchsia, Hanging Basket plants available now. Huge range of garden furniture in stock.


Lealans Garden Centre Bridgnorth Road, Shipley, Pattingham Wolverhampton WV6 7EZ

Tel 01902 700209


Patshull take up the Junior Challenge Patshull Park Hotel’s Golf Professional Richard Bissell has recently led the hotel’s junior coaching programme, incorporating England Golf’s latest initiative National Skills Challenge for juniors under the age of 12. The 10 or more ‘rookie’ youngsters and their parents have enjoyed taking on the activities during April and May at Patshull’s practise area under the watchful eye of the Hotel’s Golf Pro, learning all the basics of the game in a fun format.

over such a short space of time and the Hotel and Golf Club are keen to encourage newcomers to golf with various incentives to take part and/or begin playing regularly by joining the Golf Club.” As a follow up to the programme Patshull will be advertising new dates on their website and in Wolverhampton West Magazine for the next group of rookies for a course of Saturday sessions during August, however for youngsters under the age of 18 there is a double opportunity to get involved with Patshull

Park Golf Club with as special membership offer for 2012 only. Patshull’s standard rate for 12 months junior membership is £108.00; however a special offer of just £50 with no joining fee is currently available to any budding golfers who would like to play unlimited golf for just £50 a year. Furthermore a “Dad, Lads & Ladies” offer is also available... for any parent who joins the club, their child will receive 12 months membership FREE.

There are 10 rookie challenges ranging from putting round the clock, chipping eagles nest, pitching bullseye and bunker surfs up that have helped the group improve and understand the game each week. England Golf’s National Skills Challenge is supported by Footjoy and more details can be found on the following website: Richard commented: “Having worked with a number of seasoned golfers honing their game over the years, this has not only been a new experience for the youngsters new to the game, but also for their parents and for myself. It is very rewarding to see the children improve so quickly 44

Hotel Country Club Manager, Dave Wells advised “Golf has never been more affordable and accessible for youngsters, 2012 is an ideal time to get involved and play the greatest game.” Wise words indeed! town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Patshull Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club

Calling All Junior Golfers Patshull Park Golf Club awaits…

embership M or ni Ju s th on m 12 r fo 0 £5 y nl O , up to ag e 18 No joi nin g fee

mp eti tio ns Jun ior co ac hin g av ail ab le • Jun ior cot sch em e Clu b ma tch es • Me mb ers dis co un A friendly well organised club!

Call our Pro-shop team on 01902 700342 for more details Patshull Park Hotel reserve the right to withdraw or change any original price or promotional offer published.


The Accidental Novelist From aspiring writer to Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller, romantic comedy author Miranda Dickinson’s rise to fame has all the qualities of a fairytale story. But for the Kingswinford-born writer it’s all come as a bit of a surprise. The day Miranda Dickinson was made redundant in 2008, the possibility of fulfilling her secret ambition of being a published author couldn’t have been further from her mind. “I was walking out with my former colleagues, carrying my cardboard box complete with pot plant and dubiously acquired office stapler, wondering what on earth was going to happen next,” she says. A casualty of a whole department closure at the political campaigning centre where she worked as a copywriter, the future looked grim. But what Miranda didn’t know was only two weeks later she would be offered a three-book deal by the world’s largest publisher. Six weeks previously, Miranda had nervously uploaded her incomplete novel Coffee at Kowalski’s to, HarperCollins’ website for unpublished authors. But far from being confident in the novel’s potential, her aim was to gain peer feedback. “At that point

only three people had actually read my book. I just wanted to see what other writers thought about it.” To her surprise, she received an email from an editor at HarperCollins, asking to read the full manuscript. “So the week’s garden leave I had from my former job came in very handy! I sat up for three days and nights writing 20,000 words to complete the novel. I sent it off, never thinking I’d hear from them again.” But she was wrong. Two weeks after submitting her work, another email arrived, asking her to call the publishing director of Avon, a HarperCollins imprint. “Even then it never occurred to me that they might want to publish my book.” Finally, at the end of a forty-minute conversation, Miranda was offered a three-book deal with Avon. “I honestly couldn’t believe it. As an aspiring writer it’s the phone call you dream of getting, but when it actually happened it was so unreal.”

Renamed Fairytale of New York, Miranda’s debut novel was published in 2009 and became an instant bestseller. Within two weeks it had entered the Sunday Times Top 10, where it stayed for five weeks; within six weeks sales had topped the 100,000 mark. She has since published two more novels – both bestsellers – Welcome to my World and It Started With a Kiss. Her fourth novel, When I Fall in Love, will be published in November this year. She has twice been short-listed for RONA awards, been published in five languages and has sold over 350,000 novels to date. “In many ways, I’m still in shock. If I hadn’t been “discovered” I’d still be trying to muster up courage to send my novel to publishers,” Miranda says. “I will always consider myself an accidental novelist but I feel extremely lucky. I just hope I can continue to write stories people love.”

Photo courtesy of ‘Photograph © Louise Adey’’


town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

FREE ADULT SWIM PASS Voucher must be presented at reception. Contact the leisure centres for details on pool opening times.

Valid until 31st August 2012. Vouchers can be cancelled at any time.

What we offer: Friendly atmosphere Great facilities Free inductions and trials* Flexible memberships Corporate memberships available Low cost memberships for those on a strict budget* Discounts for students

Additional terms & conditions may apply. Name:

● ● ● ● ● ● ●

1 voucher per person, per offer.

Date: Leisure Centre:


Our facilities: ● Fitness suite ● Toning suites ● Exericise classes ● Sports halls ● Swimming pools ● Power plate

Cheslyn Hay Codsall Penkridge Wombourne

Leisure Leisure Leisure Leisure

Centre Centre Centre Centre

Our Venues: 01922 01902 01785 01902

417790 844032 714152 898202

Come and have a look around or why not give us a call to find out more: Leisure Services, South Staffordshire Council Telephone: 01902 696505 Email: *Terms and conditions apply


Really Well Made Furniture For A Really Low Price! From the end of the Victorian Period right through to the Second World War, top quality furniture was being manufactured in the UK and Europe. It was being made from properly seasoned wood and made by real craftsman who had been properly trained and had the benefit of the new tools and machines that were being invented. That type of furniture appears regularly in auction rooms and is sold at very low prices because it looks soiled and scratched and some say old fashioned. However John Ridgway the auctioneer from Perry and

Phillips in Bridgnorth says that over the last 12 months more and more people are buying this furniture and transforming it to suite modern tastes. John says that because of modern electrical tools and modern water-based paints and polishes it is not that difficult to transform a dull looking but well made table, chest of drawers, wardrobe, dressing table and make it suite a modern house. The DIY stores of today sell everything you need including handles, polishes and paints that make refinishing old furniture very successful even for the least experienced DIY beginner. The two pieces shown here are pieces of 1930’s furniture that have been revitalised.

Perry and Phillips hold valuation days, for sale items only, each Wednesday from 10am until 4pm.

A Feel-Good Time!

The feel-good factor and health benefits associated with singing are well documented and with the popularity of the Military Wives, Worcestershire’s own performer Beth Dunn decided to open her own show choir ‘Got 2 Sing’ in 2011. Due to the success of the choirs already formed in Worcester, Stourbridge and Bewdley, Got 2 Sing is now coming to Wombourne in September. 48

Beth explains “Got 2 Sing is not a traditional ‘stand behind the music’ type of choir. We take popular songs and bring them to life.” Unlike other choirs Beth is determined that Got 2 Sing’s voices will be heard all over and has regular performances in the diary for the rest of the year.


Show Choir Singing with performance in Pop, Gospel, Musical Theatre, and Motown

Tuesday Evenings 7.30-9pm Blakeley Heath Primary School, Wombourne, Wolverhampton Opening night: Tuesday 25th September 2012

Our choir members are so enthusiastic and are a wonderful group of people who join together to sing and have fun. You don’t need to read music or audition - you just need a love of singing.

Choirs also in Stourbridge, Bewdley & Worcester

So I’d say to anyone, just pop along for a free taster and enjoy the experience of singing with a group of like-minded people.

Come and be a part of the Got 2 Sing experience, it will enrich your life! Enjoy your first session for FREE

• Over 18 and always wanted to sing? • Sing in a relaxed environment! • Have fun in a non-competitive choir! • Perform regularly and let your voice be heard! • No scary audition, no experience necessary! • Got 2 Sing is for you!

Call Beth on: 07815 894788 Beth Dunn BA(Hons) Music Theatre, Performance Diploma London School of Musical Theatre, PGCE, QTLS, CRB checked.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Old Mill Antique Centre

At The Old Mill Antique Centre we have 4 floors of antiques and quality reproduction furniture – and literally thousands of gift ideas for everyone – all displayed in charming and elegant room settings

Antique & Reproduction Furniture 1000’s of Gift Ideas Bespoke Furniture Beautiful tables made to your design & specification in-house using only the best quality seasoned Oak or Pine.

Homemade Cakes & Snacks Open 7 days – 10am to 5pm Car Parking Available

Mill Street, Low Town, Bridgnorth WV15 5AG Tel: 01746 762248


Kinver Country Fayre Brought In The Crowds Despite the showers, crowds flocked to Kinver’s annual country fayre to enjoy traditional entertainment, arts, crafts, good food and cheer. The High Street was full as the parade kicked off the day, headed up by shire horses from the Midland Heavy Horse Association. Following close behind were local children in costume, bands, dancers, musicians, medieval warriors, veteran vehicles and a very large steam engine. An equally enthusiastic crowd enjoyed a programme of arena events on Stag Meadow that included falconry displays, an exhibition match from Kinver Colts FC and a fun dog show with over 70 entrants.

“We were delighted to welcome so many people to the village,” said Julian Hall, Chairman of the organising committee. “The event showcases what Kinver has to offer visitors and there really was something for everyone, especially families celebrating Father’s Day.”

The fayre was summed up by one stallholder, who commented “It had the feel of a proper, old fashioned village event - not easy to achieve”. If you have any feedback on the fayre, the organisers would welcome your comments at

Donkey rides, Punch & Judy, a fun ride based on a medieval jousting game and a have a go at dog agility were just some of the activities for children, whilst dads could sample local ale and see some historic motorcycles at first hand. With over 90 stalls at the fayre, local organisations, shops and external traders provided a great choice for those seeking some retail therapy. One of the fayre’s attractions this year was the first public outing of the Stourbridge Twenty Twelve Portland Vase. This replica of the famous piece of glass from antiquity was on display with the Ruskin Glass Centre. There was a real focus on arts and crafts, with demonstrations throughout the day. Budding artists from Kinver schools also had their work displayed at the event.

Dudley South Ladies Luncheon Club Buckingham Palace along with 15,000 others, each receiving a hamper from Waitrose, then on to the concert, and finally on Tuesday St. Paul’s Cathedral for the thanksgiving service. She felt this historic event had unified the nation and reminded us that in 3 years time the Queen will have reigned longer than Queen Victoria. The colourful bring and buy stall was well supported adding again to the festive feel of our special luncheon.

On the 8th June Chairman Mary Jones welcomed 39 members and 6 visitors to a special Diamond Jubilee Luncheon at the Kingfisher Hotel, Wallheath. The dining room had been decorated and red, white and blue flower arrangements placed on every table, later to be given away in a free raffle. Members toasted the Queen with sparkling wine accompanied by a piece 50

of celebration cake. Speaker Shirley Tart, MBE, the Royal Correspondent from the Express & Star was excellent and able to bring the whole 3 day festivities alive again. The Press had been stationed on Chelsea Bridge and watched the mighty flotilla on its unique 7 mile journey round the capital, and to combat the appalling weather resorted to a black bin bag borrowed from a nearby coffee seller. She attended the picnic at

The next meeting will be in Friday, 13th July when Linda Jackson will demonstrate flower arranging, on 10th August Ann & Mike Rogers invite members to their home for a coffee morning, in September Pat Bickford will talk about Tudor Medicines and in October John Robinson on the Wyre Forest. A coach outing to Touchwood Shopping Centre, Solihull has been booked for the 23rd November. Visitors will receive a warm welcome - please ring the Secretary for more information on 01902 372984.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Halfpenny Green Vineyards’ Superior Shop Stocked with a fine selection of quality and delicious food products that have been carefully sourced from only the best suppliers, the proprietor over the past 12 years Lisa Vickers has created an exclusive range that’s simply mouth-watering. With all manner of delicatessen delights, there are cheeses from suppliers across the country, along with oils, vinegars and olives.

Make Halfpenny Green Vineyards your destination for a great day out this summer. Whether you choose to take a guided tour around the acres of vines, catch up with a friend in the tearooms, wander around the craft centre or maybe enjoy a chef-prepared meal in the restaurant, Halfpenny Green Vineyards has something for everyone to enjoy - and that’s before you step inside their shop.

Deliveries of locally baked bread and rolls are brought into the shop on a daily basis, along with fresh milk and cream that’s straight from the dairy. One of Rick Stein’s food heroes, Maynard’s Farm Bacon, ensure that award winning meat is in plentiful supply and the most recent addition to the shop takes care of all things garlic. The Garlic Farm brings a selection of smoked and plain bulbs, preserves, pots of prepared cloves and everything else that’s garlic related, directly from the Isle of Wight.

Perfect for the hot summer days is Thaymar’s Ice Cream. Served from the in-store ice-cream counter, a great selection of flavours are available in cones, tubs and even sundaes. Making the most of their chef’s talents, the vineyard offers a wide range of restaurant meals that can be purchased to take away. Savoury pies, ham, lasagne, along with desserts and cakes are available all week long. Tasting days are held in the shop throughout the year and give customers a fantastic opportunity to sample products direct from the suppliers. And of course, there’s the Vineyard’s very own exquisite range of wines. A personalised wine service means that customers can purchase any of the estategrown wines, complete with a label that’s unique to them and ideal for weddings and anniversaries. And what’s more, there’s plenty of gifts on sale that are perfect for any occasion. Halfpenny Green Vineyards, Tom Lane, Bobbington, South Staffordshire DY7 5EP

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 9.30AM – 5.00PM Tel: 01384 221122 Email:


Due to recent national coverage many traditional misconceptions about adoption have been removed however, Adoption in the Black Country know from speaking to those on the journey to becoming adoptive parents that many people hesitate believing that they are not special enough to adopt a child - they are wrong! People who adopt children are ordinary people and live in ordinary families. But, the one extraordinary fact about them is that they have made a decision to give a child or children, a loving permanent family. Adoption in the Black Country understand how nervous and anxious potential adoptive parents are when beginning the process to adopt by either picking up the telephone or attending a regular information event, yet excited and hopeful about sharing their life with a child or brothers and sisters. For all people, single or with a partner making the choice to apply to adopt is momentous, and one they will need as posed by models

posed by models

much information about as possible before making a final decision. This is the reason why Adoption in the Black Country has set up a series of events for people to drop in and get specific information and advice about adoption. 

For more information on the next info event log onto

Have you ever thought about

adopting a child? Can you help build a brighter future? Taking a child into your home is a life-changing experience. You will face challenges but it is very rewarding to see children blossom within a stable and trusting home environment. Fostering is about making a real difference to a child through what may be a difficult period of their life. You will be paid for your fostering skills and you will receive an allowance for each child you care for. Our Foster Carers receive ongoing training to develop their skills and quality supervision and support to meet their individual needs. If you feel you can help build brighter futures, call now on FREEPHONE

0800 508 8324 52


Come along to one of our informal information evenings for a chat. Our next evening starts at 6pm, July 11th 2012 The Village Hotel, Castlegate Way, Dudley, DY1 4TB There are children who need families right now. They need a family like yours. 0800 073 0597

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

International Festival of Glass 2012 August 2012 sees the return of the acclaimed International Festival of Glass to Stourbridge. This huge arty event held every two years brings together glassmakers, artists, traders and local people to celebrate the area’s history, heritage and ongoing love affair with glass. Broadfield House Glass Museum is one of the most famous and renowned glass museums in the world. Although famed for its collection of historic and in particular, Stourbridge Glass it also has a range of European pieces as well as studio glass and is a museum that looks to the future of the industry. This summer will see the opening of ‘Back to the Future’, an exhibition featuring new pieces created by West Midlands based

glass artists who have drawn their inspiration from the museum’s glass collection. Starting with pieces such as rare cut glass tea spoons, mass-produced pressed glass commemorative plates, blown vessels or bottles with delicate silver inlay, the artists have been inspired by shapes, colours, features, techniques and details, creating original pieces with the flavour of the original. Something as simple as the decorative metalwork on a vase has sparked creative ideas resulting in a very different final piece. ‘Back to the Future’ opens on 18th August and runs until 27th January 2013. The museum will be extending its opening hours during the festival and opening from 10am to 5pm. Admission to Broadfield House Glass Museum is free. While on site, visitors can also see glass making

Photos courtesy of Simon Bruntnell

demonstrations in the museum’s hot glass studio, visit the site shop, view the three floors of permanent exhibitions or take a stroll in the museum’s beautiful grounds. The International Festival of Glass runs from 24th - 27th August at various venues across Stourbridge’s famous Glass Quarter and includes exhibitions, family fun days, events, masterclasses, lectures, beginners classes and more. Visit for details.

Broadfield House Glass Museum, Compton Drive Kingswinford 01384 812745

Back to the Future is sponsored by Interiors & Lifestyle Futures and The Friends of Broadfield House

BROADFIELD HOUSE GLASS MUSEUM Join us for exhibitions, events and family activities Back to the Future 18 August - 27 January 2013 An exhibition celebrating 400 years of glass making: exciting and innovative new pieces created by West Midlands glass artists inspired by work from the museum’s world-renowned collection.

Best of British Family Fun Day Photograph © Simon Bruntnell

25 August, 10am - 4pm

Summer is here - with fish & chips, sandy toes and ice cream too! Join us for sports competitions (with prizes!), children’s games, sand pit play, Punch & Judy, craft activities, storytelling, live music, glassmaking demonstrations, Dudley Zoo small animal display, West Midlands Fire Service fire truck to explore and much much more.

Broadfield House Glass Museum Compton Drive, Kingswinford

01384 812745


Eating Out and Entertainment Special

Looking for some great places to dine or be entertained? Then look no further than Town & Village Life Magazine, see pages 54 to 63



To promote your venue to over 30,000 readers call Gisella on: 01902 744217

   A Country House


The Lodge Restaurant

Halfpenny Green

Evening Meals Wednesday to Saturday evenings from 7.00pm Current Menus available to download

    20% off   Meal prices   Wednesday Evenings  

Sunday Lunch served from midday till 1.30pm Private Celebrations catered for after lunch

@20  1992 - 2012

Come & Discover your New Favourite Restaurant

Halfpenny Green, Bobbington, South Staffordshire, DY7 5DP Phone: 01384 221000 ~ Email: ~ 54

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Fine dining in a truly unique setting... Table D’Hote Dining at Sir Jack’s We are offering the Table D’Hote experience for just £14.50 per person in July and August 2012.

Booking an advantage.

Enjoy a two course meal in our unique, pitch facing Sir Jack’s Restaurant including a glass of house wine.

Larger parties may also book Monday to Wednesday. Max numbers apply.

Available Thursday to Saturday from 7pm

Please call 0871 222 2220 (option 5) to book or e-mail and bring this voucher with you on the night.

Fully Licensed

Air Conditioned

Car Park at rear of Restaurant

Contemporary Modern Dining at Sedgley’s Premier Indian Restaurant

Saffron Pink’s RestauRant

ert tea m Say ed Mia h alo ng wit h his exp itin g sta ff of kno wle dgeable che fs an d wa . We pri de wel com e you to Saffro n Pin k of serv ice rd nda sta h hig our selv es on our cui sin e. an d aut hen tic Ban gla des hi To book a table please call

01902 671759 / 673665 Take-away Service available – Free home delivery wiThin a 3 mile radiuS, minimum order £15

Open 7 Days including Bank Holidays, Sunday to Thursday 5.30pm to 11.30pm, Friday and Saturday 5.30pm to 12 Midnight 2 Bull Ring, Dudley Street, Sedgley, DY3 1RU



For more details or to reserve a table please call 01902 756052.


town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Bravaccio’s: A Taste of Italy in Tettenhall By Geoff Hall It’s well known that Wolverhampton has long had a Roman connection. Romulus and Remus, founding fathers of Rome, were suckled by the wolf and Wolverhampton, the great city, has long looked to its football team. So - it is with delight that your editor can draw attention to a happy marriage between venerable institutions. Reflecting this illustrious connection, Bravaccio’s Italian restaurant on Upper Green Tettenhall, is now aiming to score with diners. Under the supervision of legendary Wolves star Steve Bull, the best of Italian cuisine, the warmest of welcomes and the most inviting of interiors combine in a hat trick of benefits for the discerning. Eager for the opportunity to involve himself in the restaurant trade, ‘Bully’ (as he is known to fans) was delighted to perpetuate the values of a long standing family business, Ristorante Romagna, under a new guise and management geared to the increasingly competitive demands of the modern world. His is a ‘hands on’ interest when it comes to ensuring that things are running as they should in the interests of complete customer satisfaction - while at the catering end, complete confidence resides with master chef Mario and his enthusiastic staff. Day-to-day operations are ably attended to by restaurant manager Andrew and his assistant, Laura. Your editor is well aware that only too often, his job isn’t all ‘bells, whistles and excitement.’ Often it’s a case of racing against time

to beat a deadline - but now and again an opportunity is taken to live the editorial life as one would wish it to be lived. So when I was invited to visit Bravaccio’s in company with stimulating clients, I leaped at the chance. I was anxious, for one thing, to see first-hand how the Tipton and the Tiber have managed their mix. Not so much oil and water as wine and dine, I hoped. Accompanying Gisella and myself were well known southern entrepreneur Ted Summers and his delightful assistant Jean Farnham; an academic of some repute. With visitors to the city I’m always keen to convey its merits, which frankly don’t always strike the stranger in the eye. (I’m sure you know what I mean). Tettenhall Green itself drew admiring comments, but I have to say these were qualified along the lines of “Didn’t expect to find somewhere as attractive as this” - to which I replied “Well, it’s certainly not Battersea Power Station, but it’s the best we can manage round here.” The chuckles that followed stayed with us as we entered the restaurant and our good humour was intensified by the pleasant surroundings and warm welcome. My entrepreneur friend, being as one might imagine, a supporter of a Metropolitan team that shall be nameless, was, nonetheless, forced to concede that the Wolves memorabilia that adorns the interior was tastefully deployed and interesting to behold. His assistant, ever the shrewd lady, commented that it was a clever marketing ploy designed to encourage the male of the species to treat his partner to the best things in life. I commented that it seemed a suspiciously sexist remark to me - but I feel I had scored a point. The ladies agreed between themselves that this would be a most attractive lunchtime destination where busy working women could enjoy a little

pampered peace and quiet while indulging in healthy well-cooked food. We all agreed that our food was top-line. Starters, from £4.50, were generous in their size and Ted was more than delighted with the tangy ‘penne gorgonzola’: your editor and Gisella happily shared anti pasti emillia romagna. Main courses of cannelloni and lasagne, salmon steak and chicken served on a bed of creamy risotto followed and were all perfectly cooked, beautifully presented and of goodly portion. With main courses starting at £9 and rising to no more than £20 Bravaccio’s offer excellent value and is endorsed by this writer. Seasonal vegetables accompanied the meal and one has to say that they were splendid. A popular choice for dessert was very rich chocolate cheesecake enthusiastically described by the ladies, after a bottle of Merlot, as ‘scrummy’. Ever the enthusiastic trencherman, Ted delighted in a selection of his favourite cheeses, followed by a jolly fine glass of excellent port. It’s obviously a cliché to say that Bully has scored again in this match, but the Romano - Wulfruna connection is well ahead of the pack and Bravaccio’s is the place to be for fine Italian dining.

The best endorsement of the night was impressing Gisella, being of Italian parents and well versed in the art of cooking authentic Italian cuisine, I am glad to report that on leaving the restaurant she was already planning our next visit.


50% OFF YOUR FOOD BILL* When you order a starter and main course or a main course and dessert.


Terry and Carol welcome you to the 3 Hammers bar and bistro

Offering diners a varied wide selection of freshly cooked traditional food, vegetarian choices, childrens menu and specials board, complemented by fine ales and wines whether you’re a GOLFER OR NOT!

Air conditioned and family friendly. * Offer only valid Sunday and Monday evenings and only on presentation of this advert (no photo-copies) before 14th August 2012

BAR OPEN FROM 10am until 11pm Breakfast served 10am -12pm. Lunch & Evening Meals served Weekdays & Saturdays: 12noon-2pm & 6pm-9pm, Sunday: 12noon-3pm & 6pm-9pm

To avoid disappointment please book, tel: 01902 791917

Situated on the 3 Hammers Golf Complex, Old Stafford Road, Coven, Nr Wolverhampton WV10 7PP

Wombourne Tandoori Restaurant High Street, Wombourne WV5 9DN

cuisine of bengal

AWARD WINNING RESTAURANT 2011 Rafique Miah welcomes you to the longest established Indian Restaurant in Wombourne Village, serving sumptuous Bangladeshi Cuisine for over 22 years. “We pride ourselves on the Quality of our Cooking, our Excellent Customer Service and Customer Satisfaction.”

Tel: 01902 324148 / 324437


Recently refurbished in contemporary surroundings, air conditioned and fully licensed.

• Winner of ‘Simply the Best’ restaurant competition 2009 • Winner of The Spotlight Awards ‘Best Eating Place – Casual’ 2007 / 2008 Our popular Take-away Service is still the best in Wombourne offering 10% off our Menu price. Open 7 days including Bank Holidays - 5.30pm until 11.30pm

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012



Choice of 125ml glass of house wine 8oz draught soft drink, tea or coffee

Freshly caught Beer Battered Fish & Chips Choice of pint or small glass of wine

Only £12.95 available Tues to Sat 12 till 2.30pm

Gastro Country Pub & Dining

Only £10.95 available Friday 12 till 2.30pm

Stuart Plant - Chef Proprietor, formerly trained under Gary Rhodes. Day Boat Fish • Fully Traceable Meat • Min 28 Day Dry Aged Beef Locally Sourced Produce • Regularly Using Vegetables From The Six Ashes Garden All Tastes Catered For • Private Parties and Functions Catered For Up to 22 people image courtesy of

Six Ashes Road, Bobbington, Bridgnorth WV15 6EJ Bookings advisable Please Call

01384 221725

Open Tuesday to Sunday for Lunch Tuesday to Saturday for Dinner Closed Mondays

Visit for menus and register to qualify for offers


The Six Ashes

- Five Star Food By Helen Taylor

It’s so easy to be disappointed when it comes to dining out. Rarely does a restaurant live up to it’s hype so it’s a refreshing change to visit The Six Ashes at Bobbington, where I found a dining experience which exceeded every expectation. A favourite with hungry travellers making their way to Bridgnorth, the restaurant - that’s located on Six Ashes Road - is a countryside haven. Bursting with rustic charm and country traditionalism, it’s simply the perfect antidote to the hectic pace of modern living. With a reputation for producing exceptional cuisine, the restaurant benefits enormously from the considerable flair of owner and head chef Stuart Plant. Highly regarded in the trade, Stuart was awarded with 2 rosettes and a Michelin Bib Gourmond accolade when he worked at the acclaimed Watersreach Restaurant, Old Trafford. After much success at the prestigious eatery, he moved on to occupy the role of head chef at the Manor at Hanchurch, which featured in the Michelin Guide.

It’s no surprise then, that my friend and I were keen to order. Easing ourselves away from the relaxed bar area, we were seated and presented with a menu packed full of culinary delights. Constructed with mouth-watering flavours in mind, and inspired by the changing Shropshire scenery, every dish is compiled using only the freshest and finest ingredients. The result is a sophisticated, gourmet take on classic meals, and all are delivered in the relaxed pub setting, where taste and atmosphere take precedence over image and gimmicks.

been given a five-star make-over by Stuart, a protégé of famous chef Garry Rhodes. It was unsurprisingly delicious, cooked to perfection and was served with mushy peas and tartare sauce, making it extra special. The perfectly cooked ‘Tagliatelle and wild mushrooms in sherry, parsley and cream sauce’ (£10.95) - served with an obligatory sprinkling of parmesan cheese - was a revelation to be savoured, thanks to the wonderful

balance of quality ingredients used to create the dish. Great passion, attention to detail and skill is apparent in every course at the restaurant and Stuart’s culinary credentials are ever present, and never more so than in the final course, dessert. ‘Lemon tart with raspberry sorbet’ (£5.95) not only wowed with its superb presentation, but delivered a taste to match.

‘Thai chicken and coconut broth’ (£5.95) delivered a powerful and exotic blend of flavours, while the ‘Sauteed wild mushrooms - with potatoes, garlic, parsley and fried hen’s egg’ (£5.95) made for a flavoursome, fresh and truly delightful introduction to the main course. ‘Beer battered haddock’ (£12.95) is a favourite with many and a simple, classic meal, which like every dish at The Six Ashes has 60

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Images courtesy of

The ‘Selection of fine British cheeses’ (£6.95) was carefully selected for a wide range of flavour and was accompanied perfectly by biscuits, apple, celery and an exquisite home-made chutney. Soaking up the atmosphere, as the evening wound down and the wine drained from our glasses, we readied ourselves to leave; content and enthusing

about the quality of service, and delectable dishes and already making arrangements for our next visit.

Bookings are advisable, please call 01384 221725, Six Ashes Road, Bobbington, Bridgnorth WV15 6EJ

The Six Ashes are offering Town & Village Life Readers


15% OFF YOUR TOTAL BILL INCLUDING DRINKS ON TUESDAY - FRIDAY EVENINGS When you present this coupon. Offer available until 31st August 2012. Terms & Conditions: One voucher per table, maximum six diners. Offer only applies to a la carte menu when all diners order 2 courses which must include a main course each. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, no photocopies accepted.


Nationwide Campaign To Get Britain Racing 100,000 Tickets Available Across 129 Race Meetings

Horseracing is the second most watched sport in the country, behind football. This year’s Grand National was watched by almost 11 million people on the BBC and many millions more worldwide. And yet there are many people who have never set foot on a racecourse, thinking that it’s solely the stomping ground of ageing men in tweed jackets. To mark this year’s important summer of sport, a campaign has been launched to Get Britain Racing. The campaign will run across 17 racecourses throughout England and Wales and invites people to come racing for just £10 between June and August.

of stalls, enjoy being outdoors with fabulous countryside views, and of course get swept up in the excitement of having a flutter, all while enjoying quality time with friends, family or colleagues. “Racecourses also run plenty of themed days and evenings, from Ladies Day and live music concerts to real ale and cider festivals and with horseracing being one of the Queen’s favourite pastimes, her Diamond Jubilee year is the perfect time to launch this campaign to Get Britain Racing.” Participating racecourses are Bath, Brighton, Chepstow, Doncaster, Ffos Las, Folkestone, Fontwell Park, Hereford, Great Yarmouth, Lingfield Park, Newcastle, Sedgefield, Southwell, Uttoxeter and Royal Windsor, Wolverhampton and Worcester.

With more than 100,000 tickets available over 129 racedays and an exciting summer of racing ahead, Let’s Get Britain Racing is designed to encourage people who have never been racing to try it for the first time, as well as offering great value for money to existing racing fans. According to research from Racing For Change, more than 85 per cent of race-goers watch the sport on television on a weekly basis, with 41 per cent watching it daily. The same survey also found that 62 per cent of participants bet on racing at least weekly, suggesting that the sport has a niche audience. Tony Kelly, Managing Director of Northern Racing who are spearheading the campaign said: “The research indicates that the vast majority of people who visit racecourses are avid racing fans, with few being casual leisure visitors. It also found that current race-goers don’t class entertainment or the experience for children as important factors, suggesting that racing is not generally seen as a family activity. We want to change that and encourage more people to come racing. “There’s so much more to a day at the races than just watching the sport. You can see the beautiful horses up close in the parade ring, spot top jockeys walking amongst the crowd in their brightly coloured silks, eat and drink from a selection

For more information visit or visit your local racecourse’s website 62

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012


Silence the Nightmare of Snoring We’re a noisy bunch at night. Around 40 per cent of people over 40 regularly snore that’s an estimated 15 million people in the UK. This can cause all sorts of problems, not least conflict at home. Last year, a survey on more than 1,000 people by the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association found that three-quarters of responding couples slept separately due to snoring. Most admitted they would prefer to sleep together. Mr Mudit Jindal, Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital says: “The social impact of snoring shouldn’t be ignored. I’ve known snorers who are too embarrassed to share a room with friends, and snorer’s partners who’ve been in tears every night on holiday because they couldn’t sleep for the noise. Sleep deprivation can affect mood, ability to concentrate or work effectively and can put you at increased risk of accidents.” While you’re asleep, the muscle tone in the upper airway in your neck and head drops, causing a partial obstruction. This can make soft tissue such as the palate (the roof of your mouth), nose or the base of your tongue vibrate as you breathe, causing the classic snoring sound.

It’s not just the snorer’s partner who suffers. Snorers may miss out on sleep too, and not just because their partner is nudging them every 10 minutes. Severe snoring can lead to a condition called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) when the upper airway becomes totally blocked for 10 seconds or more. At this point the snorer automatically wakes up, though they may not be aware of it. This can happen several times an hour, and besides tiredness, it can lead to serious problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and diabetes. You’re more likely to snore if you’re overweight (a collar size of 17.5 inches or more is a risk factor) while alcohol, some medication and smoking can relax the muscles at the back of the throat, narrowing the airways when you’re asleep. “If you snore, first try lifestyle changes like losing excess weight, stopping smoking, avoiding alcohol in the evening, and speaking to your GP about medication alternatives. Also, try to develop a regular sleep pattern as disruption can affect breathing, leading to snoring. However, some people are more likely to snore because they have a bulky soft palate or base of tongue,” explains Mr Jindal. If snoring is causing relationship problems or you’re often very tired, Mr Jindal advises seeing your GP, who may refer you to a specialist. A detailed history and clinical examination, possibly using a very thin, flexible telescope, will help determine the source of your snoring - whether it comes primarily from your nose, the base of your tongue or your soft palate - as this affects the treatment.

Mr M Jindal, Ear, Nose & Throat Consultant

If the doctor suspects OSA, you may be asked to wear a device to monitor the quality of your sleep. If diagnosed, OSA is treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device - a mask that delivers constant compressed air to the airway, preventing it from closing. “The NHS always treats OSA as it’s a potentially serious condition,” says Mr Jindal. “However, many primary care trusts won’t usually treat ordinary snoring.” If the snoring is coming from the soft palate, there are surgical options. The traditional operation, a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), involves trimming the soft palate. It requires a general anaesthetic and can be painful! Here at the Nuffield Hospital in Wolverhampton, we perform a procedure called Coblation-Assisted Soft Palate Treatment. Coblation is an advanced technology that quickly and effectively removes and shrinks soft palate tissue using gentle radio frequency energy and natural saline. Coblation is not a heat driven process. As a result, surrounding healthy tissue is preserved allowing for a fast and easy recovery. This is a very quick procedure and patients return home shortly after and can experience a noticeable snoring improvement within one to four weeks bringing you relief from snoring, quickly and safely. If you are interested in finding out more about this procedure or any other service that we offer, please contact us on 01902 793259.


town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

IsIyour Isoyour sy usnoring r snsnoring oring aa nightmare? naignightmare? htm ht mare? Permanent,Permanent, fast relief from fastthe relief stress fromof the snoring stress of snoring Permanent, fast relief from the stress of snoring Nuffield Health Nuffield Wolverhampton Health Wolverhampton Hospital Hospital WoodNuffield Road Wood Road Health Wolverhampton Hospital Tettenhall Tettenhall Wood Road Wolverhampton Wolverhampton Tettenhall WV6Wolverhampton 8LE WV6 8LE WV6 8LE To find outTo more findon out this more procedure on this call procedure us call us today on 01902 today 793259 on 01902 793259 To find out more on this procedure call us today on 01902 793259

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6/18/2012 4:50:10 PM


Tinkable - The Trusted Choice With a glowing reputation for providing an exceptional service for all of their clients, Tinkable have become the trusted choice for those seeking out medical aesthetic procedures. It’s no surprise then, to hear that Tinkable have many very satisfied customers, and none more so than Sandra - a 64 year old woman who contacted the clinic after being dissatisfied with injections carried out elsewhere. She explains: “I’d been having injectible fillers for a number of years, and had not been very pleased with the results, especially

in the cheek area where I’d lost volume with age. I’d almost given up on the injections when a friend recommended Tinkable to me.” “I went along to the Stourbridge clinic and was more than pleased with the results for my fine lines. I wanted something done with my cheeks and as Charlie was due to go on maternity leave, she recommended Rachel.” “In December last year I attended the Enville clinic and Rachel injected Voluma into my cheeks, the result was fantastic and I was over the moon. I went back about 8 weeks later for Rachel to have a look at how things were progressing and I had a little more added.”

“What I like about Tinkable, and specifically Rachel, is that she takes time to look long and hard at your face, she won’t do anything she doesn’t think will not have an effect, and what she does do is very good.” “I’ve also had Voluma put into the bottom half of my face and as with everything at the clinic, I’ve been really pleased with the overall effect.” “Tinkable charge a realistic price for their fillers and take care to check that you’re getting the required result. I feel confident that Tinkable are not just about taking money, they care about you and are realistic about the results that can be achieved. I would have no hesitation in recommending them.”

Face Lift in a Syringe The art of facial aesthetics changes constantly with the introduction of new technologies and new innovations. Although beauty and our idea of what is beautiful remain constant, the art, skill and methods of restoring beauty is changing. To target a single line or wrinkle and attempt to relax, reduce and remove in isolation is now deemed to be poor, if not bad practice amongst those in the know.

So What’s New? The introduction of super fillers such as Juvéderm Voluma, and Restylane Sub-Q, with their built in anaesthetic, combined with cannula administration means that the face can be assessed and treated as a whole, globally.

What is Voluma? Voluma is a very viscose filler with rejuvenating properties. When in place, most fillers act as a scaffold to fill in a line, wrinkle or depression. Voluma hydrates and nourishes the skin and by doing so, improves with duration and lasts longer then normal fillers. Its thickness means that, if placed in the cheeks and or temples, it will lift the upper face as it contours and restores shape. The effect on the lower face is a natural reduction of nose to mouth lines and a lifting of the jaw area. Of course, the need for additional treatment of the lower face is reduced.

A Cannula? A cannula is an extremely long, tiny and very flexible needle, which in the hands of a specialist, allows the practitioner to reach the whole of the face with just one or two insertions. Something which previously, would have meant multiple insertions and a high degree of discomfort. The benefits to our patients, other then a considerable reduction in cost, is that treatments now have that wow factor, because it’s a full face treatment, yet its difficult to determine what exactly has been done because no specific area has been treated. Results from Voluma are immediate; they improve with time and are clinically reported to last 12 to 18 months. Although, just like any other injection treatment, there is a risk of bruising or swelling, once allowed for these are usually minimal and resolved with in 24 to 48 hours. Cost ranges from an average of £400 per person to a high of £800 per person depending on severity.

For further information and to make a booking call 01384 373734. Treatments available at either our Enville or Stourbridge clinics. Book on-line or 66

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

The Midlands Premier Cosmetic Treatment Clinic Professional, Safe and Experienced



Sensible prices

Offers to give you a lift: normally


Only £300

when you present a copy of this magazine - giving you a saving of £100!

Special Offers Currently Running Frown line, crows feet & muscle relaxment treatment - from £99 All three areas of upper face - just £199

We also offer a full range of beauty treatments

Gift Vouchers Available

To make an appointment for a FREE no obligation consultation please call 01384 373734 1st Floor, 130 High Street, Stourbridge, DY8 1DT 16 The Village, Blundies Lane, Enville, Stourbridge, DY7 5HA Email:


Lily’s Of Shifnal - For The Best Selection Of Shoes And Accessories Every girl loves to shop, and if you’re looking for a fantastic selection of shoes, bags and accessories this summer, then a visit to Lily’s of Shifnal is a must. Packed full of a great range of unique, fashionable and gorgeous designs, the independent boutique

has everything you could wish for. And what’s more, owner Jo Shotton is on hand to help with any special purchases: “We know how hard it can be to find the right shoes, bags and accessories to complete an outfit - especially if it’s for a wedding or other important occasion. That’s why we are always keen to help our customers find something that’s just right. Ladies can bring in their dresses and we will find something to match up perfectly.”

Just in time for the festival season, Jo has stocked up on a fabulous selection of wellies that will keep you looking totally on-trend come rain or shine.

Whether you love colour, sparkle or just something that bit special, the exclusive and top quality brands on offer at Lily’s - including Irregular Choice, Bronx, Riva, Lotus, Fiona McGuinness and United Nude - are sure to be just what you’re looking for.

With so much on offer in store and online - you’re sure to fall in love with any purchase from Lily’s.

“We’ve got Union Jack wellies, floral print, animal print and lots more to choose from in our boutique. They will be great for any of this summer’s festivals.”

And with new additions all the time, there’s always a reason to call in: “We have recently started stocking FitFlops which are very exclusive and available in only a select few stores. Not only are they really trendy but they work by activating leg muscles when worn and so are a great way to tone up your calves,” explains Jo.

Pop in and see our wide range of Summer Shoes and Sandals A variety of accessories available for Weddings or Special Occasions including Shoes, Bags, Jewellery, Shrugs & Fascinators


town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

d n e k e e W D esigner Up to

20% off sses Wedding Dre

Sat & Sun 28th & 29th July

A fabulous range of luxurious Prom, Evening and Bridal collections from a wide variety of designers. An extensive range of beautiful Mother of the Bride dresses available, just call and we will help you find the dress of your dreams. Visit our friendly and relaxed Boutique where we will help you find that perfect dress for all occasions. Opening times: Monday - closed Tuesday - 9.30am - 5pm Wednesday - 9.30am - 1pm Thursday - 9.30am - 8pm Friday - 9.30am - 5pm Saturday - 9.00am - 5pm Sunday - closed

5 Heath Lane, Oldswinford DY8 1RF 01384 440311

w w w . j e s s i c a d a v i d . c o . u k


Beach Ready Beauty By Helen Taylor Model Wears: Sequin Bikini Top


Sequin Bikini Briefs



You’ve been toning up and getting into shape for months, ready to flaunt your bikini body on the beach. So, now your vacation is just around the corner, it’s time to consider planning your holiday beauty routine. As great as the long hot days are, they can really take their toll on your hair and skin, so it’s important to maintain good beauty habits while you’re away to ensure that you’ll look thoroughly gorgeous when you come back.

Here are our top tips:

Heavenly Hair

Sumptuous Skin

When you’re relaxing by the pool, slather a leave-in conditioner onto your hair. This will help to protect against damage from the sun and will leave your locks looking thoroughly shiny, as the heat makes the product even more effective.

Don’t forget to cleanse, tone and moisturise. Keeping up with those beauty rituals will keep your skin looking hydrated and flawless.

Always rinse your tresses with fresh water after swimming in the sea or pool. Both salt and chlorine dry hair out. Keep hair up and covered as much as possible in the daytime. 70

Regularly apply and re-apply sunscreen. Ensuring that your entire body is protected against damaging UV rays is a must. Use a high factor, and remember to re-apply after swimming. Keep make-up minimal in the day, but enhance your golden glow with a shimmering lotion or powder at night for instant holiday glamour. town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

We believe that you the client should be treated as an individual. Our dedicated team aim to create an overall look based on your features, your hair type, your lifestyle and ultimately your ideas. We use the amazing Organic Way (O-way) range of Italian organic products tailored to suit your specific needs. Ammonia Free Colouring System. Miracle products leaving your hair deeply cleansed, beautiful and shining. To keep up to date with our latest offers please visit

To book please call 01384 484749 131 Dudley Road, Brierley Hill, DY5 1HD Free Parking Outside

Hollywood Smiles Many of the glamour factors observed in the USA are becoming a way of life in the UK. One of these is a fascination with gleaming white teeth. If you’ve set your heart on a Hollywood smile, what’s the best way to go about getting one? Unless you have a fortune to spend on cosmetic dentistry, the best way to improve your smile is by whitening your teeth. Undergoing a tooth whitening course at the dentist should ensure that you achieve the desired bright smile without damaging the enamel surface of your teeth. This is not a ‘quick fix’ treatment as it will take between three and four weeks to complete. However, once the course has finished the ‘Hollywood Smile’ you are left with can last for up to three years. Do bear in mind that you cannot have this done on the NHS, so it’s essential to

get an estimate before agreeing to any treatment. The downside: Side effects vary from person to person, but your teeth may become sensitive to cold. Or you might experience some gum discomfort. However, these symptoms usually disappear within a few days of the final treatment. Do it yourself: There are home whitening kits, but

if you decide to go down this route, make sure whatever you buy carries British Dental Health Foundation approval. To simply remove minor surface stains, such as those caused by smoking or drinking tea, coffee, red wine and blackcurrant, there are many excellent toothpastes which will do the job. 71

AuraVeda - Mind, Body and Spirit There’s a haven of tranquility, healing and rejuvenation waiting for you at AuraVeda. Situated in the pretty village of Kinver, the Ayurvedic and Holistic Therapy treatment centre, offers clients of all ages the chance to improve their wellbeing. Owner and Healing Facilitator Suzanne Taylor has worked tirelessly to develop the ultimate centre for her clients, so that she can offer assistance with all health and lifestyle issues. She explains: “Here at AuraVeda we promote wellbeing through holistic care. We bring the aura into balance with various healing techniques. We also improve physical wellbeing with Ayurvedic treatments and herbal medicines. Our general wellbeing is adversely affected by the stress of day to day living and can have phenomenal repercussions on our long term health.” “Ayurveda is an ancient Indian holistic custom which has been practised for over 5000 years. It treats the root cause of any disease rather than just the symptoms.”

From the well-appointed, homely and comfortable treatment rooms, Suzanne offers Crystal Therapy, Unified Healing and Ayurvedic Massage treatments. Each has its own unique benefits and serves to greatly relax, heal, rejuvenate and re-energise the mind and body. “Crystal Therapy is an extremely relaxing treatment which permeates the layers of the human energy field to bring a sense of calm and contentment with both yourself and your environment.” “Unified Healing brings alignment for the mind, body and soul’s energy centres through a very deep healing therapy, facilitated by the use of crystals.” “Ayurvedic Massage is the ultimate tool in re-energising the skin and soothing the body. By relaxing the muscles and stimulating micro-circulation and the lymph flow, the regeneration of younger,

healthier looking skin is promoted. When this technique is particularly used in our facelift massage, the results are amazing.” The benefits of these treatments are undeniable, and combined with Suzanne’s recommendations for herbal preparations to take at home, all health issues can be tackled with this alternative treatment. Passionate about everything that she can offer her clients, Suzanne is keen to share her knowledge and experience to tailor treatments and therapies to best suit everyone’s individual needs. No matter what stage of life you’re at, or what your age, the therapies on offer can help you through challenging periods. “We can help teenagers manage the stresses of exams with therapeutic treatments that promote calm. Equally we can re-energise and de-stress someone who is juggling a full time career and family. In fact, we even offer baby massage classes.” Designed to help parents bond with their child, baby massage has tremendous benefits for both baby and parents. It helps to alleviate colic and post natal depression as well as many other issues. “We really do have something that will help every client no matter what their age or circumstance.” So contact Suzanne today, and find out for yourself how AuraVeda can work for you. Be a part of AuraVeda Therapists are required to join the team, and treatment rooms are available for hire.


Kinver’s Ayurvedic and Holistic Centre Now Open Ayurvedic Treatment n Diet and Lifestyle Consultants n Healing Treatments n Weight Loss Programs n Baby Massage Classes n Yoga and Meditation Classes n Related Products Available Range of Pukka Herbal Supplements n


Please telephone Suzanne on 01384 936227

41 High Street Kinver Well-being through holistic care


Hot Holiday Looks By Helen Taylor Model Wears

Miso at

Republic See in store or online for details

Model Wears

Miso at

Republic See in store or online for details

The start of the British summer has definitely been disappointing this year, so if you’re planning a trip abroad then make the most of this season’s fashion looks in sunnier climes.

Selecting on-trend items and mixing them with your wardrobe staples means that you can create a versatile, fashionable and chic collection that will take you from the beach to the bar in style.

‘Pink Parrot’ Bikini Top. £18. Bottoms. £14. Therapy at House of Fraser

‘Vanis’ Soft Yellow Top.


Selected Femme at Grace and Glory

Dress. £110. Monsoon 74

Sandals. £50. Bronx at Lily’s of Shifnal

Mari Pant. £35. Selected Femme at Grace and Glory

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Tony Bowls

Dresses visit

Jessica David for details

Model Wears

Miso at

Republic See in store or online for details

Bright colours, bold prints and feminine embellishments are essential for creating hot holiday looks this season, so make sure your suitcase is full of them.

Flexible Bangles with silver ends and gemstones. from £285.

Also available with silver end only.

Handbag. see in store for prices. Gabriella at Lily’s of Shifnal

Fuchsia Silk Cropped Trousers.

Swimsuit. £28. Accessorize


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Exclusively in store at T.A. Henn Wolverhampton.

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Lotus at Lily’s of Shifnal

Butterfly Halterneck Top. £62. Lisa Jayne Dann at Grace and Glory

The images used in this article are readily available in various places on the internet and are believed to be in the public domain. Town & Village Life Magazine claims no credit for them unless otherwise noted. If you own the rights to any of the images, or if any content appearing in Town & Village Life Magazine infringes on your copyright, please notify us and they will be promptly removed.


Silvio and Tight Fit Take You Back to the 80’s If the eighties was a decade you adored then you’re in for a treat, as Silvio from Wolverhampton, now living in Kidderminster and the original members of 80’s pop group, Tight Fit, are bringing back the classics that will take you back to the good old days of big hair, big shoulders and even bigger attitude. Here at Town & Village Life Magazine we were lucky enough to catch up with the charismatic front-man for a low-down on all the gossip from his latest show, Back To The 80’s. TVL: Hey Silvio, good to catch up with you. Tell us about your new show. SG: Well, I’m really excited to be a part of Back To The 80’s. It’s a great show that everyone will enjoy - we perform hits from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and present day and I’m having a great time working with Julie Harris and Denise Waterman (the two original female vocalists

from Tight Fit, who had great chart success in 1982 with the Number 1 hits, ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ and ‘Fantasy Island’). We’ve got hits from Duran Duran, Bananarama, Wham, ABC and other fab songs - it’ll definitely put you in the mood to party. TVL: Wow, sounds fantastic. So, how did you get involved? SG: I sang with Culture Club when they re-formed back in 2007; it was a fantastic experience and it was brilliant to work with original member Mikey Craig. I then went on to perform in a tribute act Culture Dub - where I did the whole Boy George thing, before auditioning for the job of lead singer in Tight Fit and getting the opportunity to do this great show. TVL: So will we get to hear any Culture Club classics at your next gig?

(15) but is already a brilliant performer and I’m trying to give her as much help and guidance as possible with her music career. She’s recorded lots of her own tracks in my recording studio and is going to take over from Denise during the show to sing some modern tracks from artists like Calvin Harris - me and Julie will do the backing vocals for her.

SG: Certainly! I get to do a whole range of stuff and the Boy George act is definitely part of it.

TVL: Sounds like she’s an incredibly talented young lady! We’re really excited now, so when’s the date?

TVL: We hear that your niece Hayley Hubball is going to feature in the show too, tell us about her.

SG: We will be performing at Goodyear Pavilion on 23rd November. It’s a 7.30pm start and tickets will be on sale from The Blyth Group.

SG: Hayley is from Codsall and is a fabulously talented singer who wowed judges when she took part in Open Mic UK (Hayley got through to the final stages of the competition). She’s still really young

It’s guaranteed to be a fantastic night of entertainment and non-stop music, bringing fun back into your night out.

80’s Party Night Friday 23rd November 2012 Start 7.30pm


Tight Fit Culture Dub Hayley - regional finalist of Open Mic Julie/Denise - from chart topping group Silvio - from

Sponsored by Blyth Group

Tickets £10.00 available from The Blyth Group, please call 01902 745362 or email: 80’s Party Night at Goodyear Pavilion, Stafford Road, Wolverhampton 76

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Summer Style for the Guys By Helen Jane Taylor

However you’re planning to spend your summer, make sure you look great in a selection of the hottest fashion looks. Paul from Pockets explains: “After a couple of seasons development, colour is a well and truly established feature of menswear. If your still not entirely comfortable with it though, try some pastel shades for a subtle and Model wears: Boss Orange S/S 12 Collection available at Pockets

gentle introduction to the look that’ll keep you on-trend all summer long.”

leather & Silver Bracelets. From £110. T.A. Henn

Bering Watches. From £79.90. T.A.Henn see in store for over 90 Bering watches to choose from

Trousers. £48. River Island

Shoes. £25. Red Herring at Debenhams T-Shirt. £16. River Island


New Season on the Horizon for Stourbridge RFC Photo courtesy of Steve Fisher photography

The following evening more than 650 people attended our May Ball Stourbridge’s finest black tie event. There was much making merry until the early hours and we are, already, very much looking forward to the ‘May Weekend 2013’.

Damian Hopley, Ben Kay, Phil Vickery and Thinus Delport

The new season of rugby at Stourbridge is rapidly approaching, with the first Saxons (away) game of the season on the 1st September at Birmingham & Solihull, and the first (home) game on the 8th September v. Dudley Kingswinford. The Saxons have secured the services of Mike Umaga (Lead Coach) and Nick Adams (Player/ Coach) as they prepare to launch their campaign to return to National Division One. Samoan International player Mike has extensive experience as a player and coach, having been involved in a senior coaching capacity at both Coventry and Rotherham in the Championship as well as Nuneaton, his club for the last 5 seasons. Stourbridge’s Director of Rugby, Neil (Mitch) Mitchell said “I’ve known Mike for many years and have always shown a very healthy respect for the teams he’s coached and been involved in. “Mike also has extensive knowledge of National 2 North that will prove invaluable for our preparation & game approach. Between us we have more combined experience than anybody involved in the modern game. Having talked through my plans for the coming season we have mutual goals and ideas to take Stourbridge forward. 78

Park hasn’t been quiet! More than 800 of the region’s business leaders attended the Celebrity Sporting Luncheon on 11th May. Guest speakers were World Cup winners Ben Kay MBE and Phil Vickery MBE who, along with Master of Ceremonies, ex-England International Damian Hopley, regaled everyone with tales of heroic sporting endeavour, insights into the world of professional rugby, their views on the future of the game (and a few other stories that may well not be entirely suited to publication!).

“There are some exciting ideas in the pipeline for next season and you can be assured we will be aiming to put Stourbridge back into the third tier of the National game, where we belong.” Mike said “I am really looking forward to this upcoming season and working with Mitch and the team he is building at Stourbridge. I think the competition in National Two North will be extra tough this season but I have been impressed and excited with the ambition the Club and Mitch have shown off the pitch as well as the mixture of experience and talent Mitch and I will have at our disposal on the pitch this season. I can’t wait for pre-season.” Mitch is also delighted that Nick Adams has agreed to join the Saxons. Nick is also vastly experienced, having played for Wasps, Nottingham and Rugby Lions in his career so far. Mitch said “With the combination of skills and experience provided by both Nick and Mike, the Saxons are on an excellent footing for the new season. It’s going to be an exciting year for all concerned.”

Stourbridge RFC also hosted the 3rd Annual Mel Williams Tournament and Fun Day at the beginning of June, organised in memory of a much-loved and missed former President and Club member. Seventeen teams entered with players ranging in age from children of 5 to the team of (ever-so slightly!) over 60’s. We are delighted to announce that over £1,500 was raised on the day which will be donated to MacMillan Cancer Research, along with more money which is still pouring in. Thank you to all the teams who entered (some seriously competitive and some notquite-so), and to all the supporters who came down and enjoyed the games, raffle and especially the cake stall!

Despite all the excitement at the prospect of a new year of rugby, the ‘closed’ season at Stourton For more information on Stourbridge Rugby Club, our teams, our events, how to join or function room hire, please do contact us. We look forward to welcoming you to Stourton Park soon.

T: 01384 395000 E: town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Wolverhampton Grammar School: Part of History This year is a tremendously exciting one for Wolverhampton grammar School as it celebrates the 500th anniversary of its founding. “Sir Stephen Jenyns who founded the school, was a local wool merchant who was knighted by King Henry VIII and went on to become Lord Mayor of London,” explains Head Vincent Darby. “Sir Stephen’s philanthropy saw him found a school in 1512, a school which is still thriving 500 years later.” “WGS is now a highly successful, co-educational school which provides a truly well-rounded education,” continues Mr. Darby. “Examination success is clearly important here, but we are aiming for much more than that - we want our students to flourish in mind, body and spirit.”

This anniversary year has already been a remarkable one for WGS: a year which began on the school’s Founder’s Day with the launch of 500 balloons is set to continue through the summer with a weekend of celebration when the school will host a gala dinner for 450 alumni at which the Governor of the Bank of England – Sir Mervyn King, himself a former student, will be the guest speaker. “Our aim for 2012 is to ensure that this school retains the position it once had as Wolverhampton’s grammar school” continues Vincent Darby. “We have already introduced three new scholarships for 2012, but we want to go even further and are looking at ways to significantly develop our scholarship programme so that looking ahead, no-one is denied a place at WGS on the basis of financial need. “We have a way to go to achieve this, but these new scholarships brought in to mark the school’s quincentenary year, signify another exciting step along the way.”

At Wolverhampton Grammar School we believe your school days should leave a legacy that lasts a lifetime. A legacy not only of excellent exam results, incredible experiences and new and exciting challenges, but one that provides a treasure-trove of lasting memories... and for generations of our students, we don’t seem to have disappointed.

Memories waiting to be made be For details of the application schedule for 2013 including open day dates, please call 01902 422939 or go to w ww.wgj s Wolverhampton Grammar School Compton Road, WV3 9RB. 01902 422939.


Get Your Children Sussed This Summer… Children’s School Holiday Activities At Smashingly Good Prices! South Staffordshire Council’s leisure centres have been working hard to really vamp up their school holiday programmes to make them action packed and fun filled to help you keep your kids entertained!

The Sussed holiday programmes are aimed at children aged 5-12 years and run in all of South Staffordshire Council’s leisure centres which include Cheslyn Hay, Codsall, Penkridge and Wombourne. This Summer some of the BRAND NEW activities coming to your local leisure centre include: • • • • • • • • •

Plus there are loads of sports courses on offer including trampolining, gymnastics, cricket and archery; There are trips out to the Aerial Ropes Adventure at Baggeridge Country Park amongst others; And finally an

Voucher must be presented at reception. You must be aged 5-12 yrs to use this voucher. 1 voucher per person, per offer. Children under 8yrs must be supervised in the pool by an adult. Vouchers can be cancelled at any time.Contact your leisure centre for swim times. The leisure centres will be closed for bank holiday on 27.8.12 Name……………………............................................................. Date……………………... Centre…………………....................... Town & Village Life Magazine

Cheslyn Hay Leisure Centre 01922 417790 Penkridge Leisure Centre 01785 714152 80

For more information on exactly what’s going on you can download your FREE Sussed brochure by visiting sussed Alternatively you can collect the programmes direct from one of the leisure centres. See your vouchers below to get your FREE junior swim during the Summer school holiday and your online discount off the Aerial Ropes Adventure at Baggeridge Country Park.

Closer To The Edge Aerial Ropes Adventure Claim your online discount If you are looking for fun, adventure and a touch of thrill, visit

Valid 23rd July - 31st August 2012

The great thing about Sussed is that you don’t have to book up for blocks of activities - you simply book onto as many or as few sessions as you want! And as another added bonus… the leisure centres have really smashed their prices to help make it affordable for you!

Bollywood Dancing Street Dancing Break Dancing Rock-it Ball Ultimate Frisbee Samba Drumming Circus Skills Cartoon Art Interactive Games Room


Olympics theme day offering taster’s in the arts of fencing, rowing, wheelchair events, noncontact boxing and much more!

Book online and get a 20% discount just enter voucher code CTTESUSSED1

Visit for terms and conditions.

Codsall Leisure Centre 01902 844032 Wombourne Leisure Centre 01902 898202 town & village life magazine | july/august 2012


Robin Foulkes, John Morgan, Freddie Needham and Ron Shuck

Lauren Watkins, Emily Martin and Vicky Kendrick

Ben Kay (Guest Speaker) Barry Adams (A&H Construction - Event Co-Sponsors) and Phil Vickery (Guest Speaker)

Mark Lucas, Simon Hussey and andrew Dickens (Guests of A&H Construction)

Social Scene Sponsored by Patshull Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club Bookings now being taken for Christmas Party Nights at Patshull Park Call the sales team on 01902 700100

Graham Moore, Ranjit Gill and Cameron Mitchell


Roger Street - Director of Street Associates, David Totney - Regional Managing Director of Positive Cashflow Finance (Event Co-Sponsors)

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Mark Pritchard, Andrew Collett,Gary Millership,Steve Davies, Paul Evans,Richard Marks and Matt Bell, (Prosperity Wealth Limited)

Stourbridge RFC’s Celebrity Sporting Lunch was held on Friday May 11th, with guest speakers Ben Kay MBE, Phil Vickery MBE and Damian Hopley. The event was kindly supported by Positive Cashflow Finance and A&H Construction and Development PLC, and saw over 800 of the region’s business leaders being entertained in the May Marquee at Stourton Park. Photographs by

John and Jackie Jeavons-Fellows

Malcolm Wilcox, Tom Wilcox and Mark Shephard

Giles Cross, Dick Jeavons Fellows and Mark Regan

David Allport, James Allport and Victoria Tsikhanovich


Chris Lunn, Emma Bunch and Di Westwood

Ben Robinson, Lee Westwood and Jamie Lunn

Adrian Earnshaw,William Davis, Darren Fillingham and Richard Timmins

Craig Formaston, Karl Mason, Rory McPheators and Peter Robinson

Beacon Cricket Club held its third annual sporting dinner at the Copthorne Hotel in Brierley Hill. The guest speaker was reality TV star and former England cricketer Phil Tufnell. “Tuffers” who entertained a packed audience of over 300 guests with tales from his playing days and his appearances on Strictly Come Dancing and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. Photos courtesy of Martin Hodgkiss photography

Pete Guise, Rachel Holloway and Simon Cater

Gary McGee, Christine Phipps, Kim McGee and Mitch McGee

Mandy Siers, Roger Siers, Lindsey Siers and Jimmy Howell

Rachel Aston, Phil Tufnell and Amy Jones

Sponsored by Patshull Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club

Bookings now being taken for Christmas Party Nights at Patshull Park Call the sales team on 01902 700100 84

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Julie McLaughlan, Elizabeth II, Graham McLaughlan

Luke Dunn, Leanne Challoner

Simon and Caroline Schirinzi

Mark Shelton, David Leach, Natalie Shelton, Michelle Shelton

Sue and Keith Whitehouse

Ian Smart, Tony Rowbotton, Tony and Julia Rowbottom, Julie Stanley

Rafique Miah and his team organised a special diamond Jubilee evening at Wombourne Tandoori on Monday 4th June. Along with other diners Town & Village Life Magazine were served a sumptuous ‘home-style’ menu. A table magician entertained diners throughout the evening and everyone enjoyed watching the Jubilee concert on the large screen TVs. The night ended with a sing-a-long to the National anthem.

Chris and Tony Hilditch, Jo and Rob Clews and Dave the magician

David, Jane, Naomi and Abigail Cooke

Front row 4th from right Rafique Miah with the entire team


Maureen Steadman and Hayley Dyer

Ann Wilde, Jacquie Roberts and Ann Jackson

Grace Gull and Tom Butcher (Doctor In The House cast member)

Katy McAleese and Josie Bauer

Don Jackson, Brian Wilde and Alan Mekain

The stars of DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE take time between appointments to enjoy a post-show drinks reception hosted by the theatre’s Friends of The Grand organisation on Monday 11th June.

Gordon Hands, Joe Pasquale and Mike Barlow

Clare and John Watkins, Pete Dunwell (cast), Emma Barton (cast)

Elizabeth Adams and Steph Adams

Deb Thomson, Robert Powell (cast) and Sue McAleese

Sponsored by Patshull Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club

Bookings now being taken for Christmas Party Nights at Patshull Park Call the sales team on 01902 700100 86

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

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town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

No matter how much you love your conservatory, sometimes it can be just too hot or too cold to use, leaving you feeling frustrated. It’s a common problem and it’s caused mainly by the poor insulation properties of polycarbonate or glass roofs, which allow heat to penetrate from outside in the summer - causing a green house effect - and the exact opposite in the winter - resulting in heat being lost through the roof. The solution is quite simple and very effective. By installing multi-layer foil insulation - a

product that’s recognised and widely used by NHBC accredited builders - and finishing with smooth plasterboard, you can start enjoying your conservatory and using it to its full potential, no matter what the weather. This type of installation reflects up to 75% of radiant heat, meaning

Enjoy Your Conservatory All Year Round

that it keeps the sun’s heat at bay in the summer and, during the winter, retains heat from within - in a way that’s similar to how loft insulation works. Professional father and son team, Brian and Matt Longville, who between them have over thirty years experience in all aspects of conservatory construction and plastering work, take care of all the installation work. By insulating your roof this way, it’s not only cheaper than other alternatives, such as blinds, but looks much better and does a far more effective job. So, to start enjoying your conservatory all year round, simply call Brian or Matt for a free appraisal and quote - you’ll be delighted with the results.


Lexus CT200h SE-L Premier Hybrid Drive By Syd Taylor Lexus is firmly established as a superlative automotive breed and with the introduction of the CT200h, the publicity released by the manufacturer piles on superlatives almost until one is breathless with anticipation. Not only are we told that here we have a world first, but we have a world’s first full hybrid luxury compact car. As my grandad used to say ‘Put that in your pipe and smoke it. ‘The question is ‘Does it live up to the hype?’ I couldn’t wait to find out.

Introduced to the North American market in 2010, the models European release went hand in hand with publicity featuring pop star Kylie Minogue: sometimes referred to as a mighty Aphrodite. When it arrived I optimistically looked for Kylie in the passenger seat but had to make do with Doris from the kebab shop down the road. ‘Pity ye not’ as Frankie Howerd used to say - Doris knows her doughnuts when it comes to taking a car for a spin. Joking apart, the CT200h is designed to do the business in a manner commensurate with twenty first century environmental concerns. It’s a well-known fact that the bulk of our country’s

carbon emissions come from our beloved friend the motor car. Lexus deserve praise for turning the corner where hybrids are concerned and showing the road ahead and that there is no need to wear sackcloth and ashes in order to show good intentions. You can more or less have it all with the Lexus - for here is a hatchback redolent with luxury and refinement - but nonetheless, thanks to a happy marriage of a 1.8 4 cylinder petrol engine and electric motor generators, one can feel reassured that ones deserved indulgences, far from harming the planet, are, as it were, cosying up to it. Alas, because the Lexus niche is at the top end of the market, this lovely car (at £31,460) is currently beyond the reach of many - but I have to say that it’s well worth aspiring to. If you fancy one, they come in three equipment grades: SE-1, SE-L and SE-L Premier, with prices ranging from £23,485 to £30,635. (The thrifty should note that these prices are inclusive of 20% VAT). Step into the roomy interior - with plenty of space for passengers to stretch out and for their luggage too - and luxury is instantly apparent. In the SE-L Premier you get everything the committed sybarite is likely to need. Leather upholstery? Of course.


town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

Heated front seats with drivers seat ‘memory’? Naturally. And what posh motor wouldn’t have a magic screen for sat nav and reversing camera? Certainly not this Lexus. It goes without saying that the concert hall quality sound system has a million speakers and a DVD changer. Options can include adaptive cruise control and pre-crash salvation - not to mention the more advanced safety features that would be found on a brace of space shuttles. For those who insist on airbags on their many cars do you know that have a suite of eight airbags? Enough, surely, to have Montgolfier turning in his grave in envy. And although you’ll stay well rooted to the ground thanks to good suspension, you’ll feel you’re flying on cloud nine at the wheel of a Lexus like this. Getting underway is simple. Settle in, tailor the perfect driving position electrically and press the button for ‘power on’, select D with the tiny lever (like a switch really) and press the throttle - all very ‘Star Trek’. You start to move off in eerie silence as the battery does its job. Not a whisper was heard save the noise from the tyres and the rustle of Spring. 



Of course, with substantial batteries aboard, this is no lightweight and ungentlemanly behaviour on twisty roads is not for this model. But that does have its positives. The extra weight means that it rides beautifully. Drive with decorum as we all should and the Lexus is fine - quietly wafting along at any pace up to 112mph. It makes a fine intercity business express. Fuel consumption, though, proved to be something of a disappointment. Lexus claim a combined figure of 68.9mpg. Your correspondent could only manage 57.6 even when pussyfooting along.

No fewer than four driving modes allow you to tailor throttle and power settings to suit all conditions. The EV mode generates zero emissions (you pay no annual road tax) so that you can feel jolly smug and superior in the morning crawl. It’s almost like knowing that you have delightfully fresh breath when all about you suffer acute halitosis. Other modes available are ‘normal’ ‘sport’ and ‘eco’. Unable to throw off my throwback Neanderthal tendencies, I confess I had to try out ‘sport’ mode. Instantly I was at the wheel of a more taught, perky and purposeful - I would say little brute - but that, perhaps, conveys the wrong impression, for in its evolution, the Lexus has long left ‘brutish’ behind. For a hybrid, this is very much an act that has got itself  well together. It doesn’t suffer, as other hybrids do, from a sense of split personality. It has nothing to ‘hide’: no danger of vicious transformations. All in all a real looker with a big tomorrow.




I turned to Doris for the last word. Her considered opinion was “We are going to see an increasing trend towards hybrid cars - but I have to say that this Lexus doesn’t just follow the trend, it blazes a trail towards tomorrow - speaking of which, how are you for the Hunt on Wednesday?” To which I waggishly responded “My hunting days are over. This car is everything a concerned motorist should need.” “Perhaps” she added, “Lexus should re-brand it as the Tally Ho!” (What would Kylie think?).





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Geared up for new challenges: The new BMW X1

As the first premium vehicle of its kind, the BMW X1 is a true trailblazer in the compact segment. After some two-and-ahalf years, sales of the compact BMW X model built at BMW Plant in Leipzig and in Tiexi, China have already exceeded 275Â 000 units. Now this all-round talent emerges with renewed vigour to meet a raft of new challenges.

With its specially modified body design, meticulously upgraded interior, comprehensively revised engine portfolio, the new range of BMW Lines and further innovative equipment features, the new BMW X1 delivers an even more intensive experience of the hallmark driving pleasure for which the brand is known.

If you would like more information on the premium BMW X1 then there is no better place than your local five star dealer, Benham Wolverhampton. Call us on 01902 457000 or visit 92

*Test drive subject to applicant status and availability.

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

The BMW X5

Benham Wolverhampton

The Ultimate Driving Machine

JOY IS GETTING MORE FOR LESS The BMW X5 at Benham Wolverhampton with 50:50 finance combines affordability and flexibility in one easy package. Quite simply, you pay 50% of the car’s value up front and absolutely nothing for two years then you have the choice from three options; pay the remaining 50% and take ownership of the car, part exchange your car for a new one, or hand it back without further commitment. Affordable. Easy. More, for less.

Call 01902 457000 or visit for more information or to arrange a test drive† Benham Wolverhampton Ltd Lever Street, Wolverhampton WV2 1AD Telephone: 01902 457000 Web: Official fuel economy figures for the BMW X5 xDrive30d M Sport: Extra Urban 42.2 mpg (6.7ltr/100km). Urban 32.5 mpg (8.7ltr/100km). Combined 38.2mpg (7.4ltr/100km). CO2 emissions 195g/km.

Retail customers only. Finance is subject to credit acceptance and available to over 18s in the UK only (excluding the Channel Islands). Guarantees and indemnities may be required. Advertised finance is provided by BMW Financial Services (BMW FS). Whilst we have close links with BMW FS and commonly introduce customers to BMW FS, we do not work exclusively with BMW FS. †Test drive subject to status and availability.


BODYKR AF T THE ART OF PERFECTION Any accident on the road can leave you stressed and unsure of what to do next. That’s why it’s important to contact an accident repair specialist that you can trust. BodyKraft have been the premier choice for thousands of motorists since beginning life in 1998. Committed to providing every customer with the highest possible levels of service, the friendly yet professional team work hard to help you through every stage of the process involved in getting your car back on the road - safely, cost-effectively and quickly. With three centres - located in Pensnett, Brierley Hill and Wolverhampton - BodyKraft branches allow for easy access to the Black Country’s excellent transport infrastructure and enable the team to provide customers with a prompt and efficient collection, delivery and recovery service. No matter what the extent of the damage to the vehicle - from a minor dent to a major crash repair BodyKraft is able to restore your car. Managing Director Mike Pugh explains: “We have mobile estimators who will travel to your home or place of work to give an estimate on the cost of repairing your vehicle.

We are able to repair all cars and light commercial vehicles.” “Safety is a high priority and we ensure every repair is carried out expertly by our trained staff. We will always work to the highest possible standards and all of our repairs are guaranteed by the BSI Kitemark for PAS125 (Vehicle Body Repair). This means that the safety of the repair to your vehicle is assured. We are also ATA accredited.” It’s this dedication to safety standards that ensures total peace of mind for every customer. “The safety of our repairs is paramount and we want every client to trust that their vehicle will not only be totally safe for themselves but for their family too.”

accident, as we may be able to repair the vehicle for far less money than the price of the excess and increased premium the following year.” “We are committed to competitive pricing, but will never compromise on quality, service or customer care.” The team at BodyKraft keep an eye on the latest technical developments too: “Our success has been achieved through a combination of teamwork, expertise and an unwavering desire to be the best we possibly can. Our on going investment program allows us to continually upgrade our facilities and equipment in order to keep abreast of changes in technology, work and the latest training methods,” adds Mike.

With insurance being more expensive than ever these days, increased excesses are a burden that all motorists have to bear, but a call to BodyKraft after an accident can save you money. “We want people to contact us before their insurer after an 94

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

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VAUXHALL APPROVED ACCIDENT & REPAIR CENTRE Worried about your large insurance excess?





01384 277050 Building 28 First Avenue Pensnett Trading Estate Kingswinford DY6 7UA

01384 489300 Canal Street Brierley Hill DY5 1JJ

01902 426756 Drayton Street Wolverhampton WV2 4EE

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Self help for Early onset of Arch and Heel Pain A lowDye Technique is easy to do and is often used for management of fallen arches, pronation, arch strains and heel pain (plantar fasciitis) which is in its early days. Keep foot turned in with big toe pointing down, when applying tape.

Rules for Tape Application • Tape in the position in which joint must be stabilized • Overlap the tape by half • Avoid continuous taping • Keep tape roll in hand whenever possible • Smooth and mould tape as it is laid down on skin • Allow tape to follow contours of the skin • Start taping with an anchor piece and finish by applying a locking strip • Where maximum support is desired, tape directly to the skin • Do not apply tape if skin is hot or cold from treatments

If the pain continues or worsens, see a Chiropodist/Podiatrist for assessment and treatment.

For an appointment please call Tom on: 07828 613165 or email:

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town & village life magazine | july/august 2012

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS Antiques & Auctioneers Old Mill Adoption/Fostering Services Adoption in the Black Country Cove Care Bathrooms Eaton Kitchens Roman Bathrooms Beauty Tinkable Beds & Bedroom Furniture Dreamworld Interiors Italia Sofa Factory Outlet Blinds/Curtains Cresta Blinds Valentines Blinds Building Societies Dudley Building Society Building Supplies EH Smith OCL Carpets (Supply & Fit) Blyth Group Fairway Carpets Car Body Repairs Bodycraft Car Sales/Service Benham BMW Benham MINI Brindley Volvo ETB Children’s Activities South Staffs Council Cleaning Specialists Blyth Group Conservatory Ceilings & Plastering Brian Longville Cosmetic Treatment Clinics Tinkable Education Wolverhampton Grammar Electrical/Gas Retailers Geoff Hill Electrical Entertainments & Leisure South Staffs Leisure Centres Wolverhampton Racecourse Farm Shops Apley Farm Fashion/Retail Jessica David Lilys Of Shifnal Fireplaces/Stoves Flaming Fires Furniture/Furnishings Blyth Group Cousins Creative Interiors Dreamworld Interiors Italia Sofa Factory Outlet

Page 49 Page 52 Page 52 Page 21 Page 25 Page 67 Page 11 Page 29 Page 33 Page 31 Page 21 Page 30 Page 35 Page 37 Page 17 Page 19 Page 95 Page 93 Page 99 Page 100 Page 91 Page 81 Page 16 Page 89 Page 67 Page 79 Page 27 Page 47 Page 63 Page 42 Page 69 Page 68 Page 13 Page 17 Page 9 Page 25 Page 11 Page 29 Page 33

Garage Services ETB Gardening/Landscaping EH Smith Lealans Garden Centre OCL Glass & Hardware Specialists Total Glass Fittings Golf Clubs/Driving Ranges Patshull Park Hairdressers Capelli Holistic Therapy Auraveda Hospices Compton Hospice Hospitals (Private) Nuffield Interior Designers Blyth Group Creative Interiors Total Glass Fittings Jewellers T.A.Henn Kitchens (Supply, Design & Fit) Eaton Kitchens Roman Bathrooms Museums Broadfield House Glass Museum Painters & Decorators Kevin & John Restaurants/Pubs 3 Hammers Blakelands Bravaccios Halfpenny Green Vineyards Patshull Park Saffron Pink Sir Jack’s Six Ashes Wolverhampton Racecourse Wombourne Tandoori Roofing Contractors Dent & Partners Tiles & Interiors Tile Choice Travel Agencies Travel Bureau Show Choirs Got2Sing Solar Energy Installation Ace Solar Vineyard & Craft Centre Halfpenny Green Vineyard Windows & Conservatories Bradmore Windows Hayley Windows Tettenhall Windows

Page 91 Page 35 Page 43 Page 37 Page 31 Page 45 Page 71 Page 73 Page 87 Page 65 Page 17 Page 25 Page 31 Page 7 Page 21 Page 25 Page 53 Page 88 Page 58 Page 54 Page 59 Page 51 Page 45 Page 55 Page 55 Page 59 Page 63 Page 58 Page 88 Page 5 Page 41 Page 48 Page 23 Page 51 Page 2 Page 13 Page 15 97

Innovations designed to provide extreme driving fun and even greater efficiency.

MINI Presents The New John Cooper Works Models In keeping with the times, MINI will inject the ultrasporty performance characteristics of its John Cooper Works models with even greater efficiency from July 2012 with the introduction of a new-generation engine and other far-reaching powertrain innovations. Fresh from an intensive course of further development, the twinscroll turbo engine develops the same levels of output and torque as its predecessor, but will make drivers’ hearts beat faster with its even quicker responses and stoke their admiration with substantially reduced fuel consumption and emissions. A much broader spread of MINIMALISM technology helps to enhance the efficiency of the John Cooper Works models, and all members of the sub-brand’s line-up can now be fitted as an option with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Added to which, the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman comes with the MINI ALL4 allwheel-drive system as standard. MINI John Cooper Works Countryman dashes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 7.0 seconds - regardless of whether the power flows through the standard sixspeed manual gearbox or the optional six-speed automatic. Top speed is 225 km/h / 140 mph (automatic: 223 km/h / 139 mph). Equally impressive is average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres / 38.2 mpg (automatic: 7.9 l/100 km / 35.8 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 172 grams (184 g) per kilometre.


For more details on the John Cooper Works models call into Benham MINI, visit our website or call 01902 457001

town & village life magazine | july/august 2012



Get into a MINI Cooper Hatch and enjoy:

J Monthly payments of just £249* a month

J Free MINI tlc (5 years’ or 50,000 miles servicing)†

J Deposit of just £249

J A PEPPER Pack which includes Bluetooth with USB audio

With so many scorching benefits, MINI Financial Services makes getting into a MINI Cooper Hatch a worry-free-experience. Just pay the deposit, top up the tank, and drive off into the sunset. Contact Benham Wolverhampton on 01902 457001 to find out more or to book a test drive^.


Raby Street, Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV2 1AS 01902 457001

Official fuel economy figures for the MINI Hatch Range: Urban 30.1-67.3 mpg (9.4-4.2 l/100km). Extra Urban 48.7-80.7 mpg (5.8-3.5 l/100km). Combined 39.8-74.3 mpg (7.1-3.8 l/100km). CO2 Emissions 165-99 g/km. *Example based on a 48 month Contract Hire agreement for the model shown, a MINI Cooper Hatch 1.6 with PEPPER Pack and MINI tlc. Deposit £2,599, contract mileage 40,000 and excess mileage charge of 2.5p per mile.

*Example on a 48 month Contract Hire agreement for the model shown, a MINI Cooper Hatch 1.6 with PEPPER Pack and MINI tlc. Deposit £2,599, contract mileage 40,000 and excess mileage charge of 2.5p per mile. †MINI tlc based provides scheduled service cover for †MINI tlc provides scheduled service cover for 5 years or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first) at MINI Workshops; maintenance items (e.g. tyres, brake pads and 2nd brake fluid change) not covered; not transferable to another vehicle. See www. 5 years orfor 50,000 miles (whichever first) at attime MINIofWorkshops; maintenance (e.g. tyres, brake pads and 2ndHiring brake fluid change) not covered; transferable to another vehicle. See Individuals MINI full MINI tlc terms. Figurescomes are correct publication (April 2012) anditems are subject to change without notice. is subject to status and availablenot in the UK only (excl. the Channel Islands). must befor 18full or over. tlc terms. Figures are correct of publication 2012) and are subject changeServices, withoutBartley notice.Way, Hiring is subject to status theclose UK only the FS Channel Islands).introduce Individuals must beto18 or over. Guarantees and indemnities mayatbetime required. Advertised(April hire facilities provided by MINItoFinancial Hook, Hampshire RG27 and 9UF. available Whilst we in have links (excl. with MINI and commonly customers MINI FS, we do not Guarantees and indemnities may be required. Advertised hire facilities provided by MINI Financialstatus Services, Bartley Way, Hook, Hampshire RG27 9UF. Whilst we have close links with MINI FS and commonly introduce customers work exclusively with MINI FS. Vehicle must be registered by 30 June 2012. ^Test drive subject to applicant and availability.

to MINI FS, we do not work exclusively with MINI FS. Vehicle must be registered by 30 June 2012. ^Test drive subject to applicant status and availability.


Sheer driving fun

C30 R-Design 2.0

RRP £17,545

FROM only

SAVING £2,550

£14,995 OTR

The striking exterior lines of the C30 are enhanced with a full bodykit and 17” Cratus alloy wheels, lowered sports chassis, and R-Design logo on the grille. The unique interior design is complemented with embossed leather/T-Tec upholstery, sports steering wheel and a unique aluminium inlay.

BRINDLEY STOURBRIDGE Grange Lane, Lye, Stourbridge DY9 7HH

Tel. 08430 221165

BRINDLEY WOLVERHAMPTON Tel. 08430 225533 Wolverhampton Road, Codsall, Wolverhampton WV8 1HF


Fuel consumption for the Volvo C30 2.0 R-Design in mpg: Urban 26.2, Extra Urban 48.7, Combined 37.2, CO2 emissions 117 g/km. Price based on non metallic. Offer on stock vehicles only. Prices supersede all previous offers and are

correct at time of going to press. We are licenced credit brokers.

Town & Village Life Magazine July/August 2012  

Issue 3 - July 2012. Town & Village Life Magazine. Monthly lifestyle/business and community magazine produced by Studio 28 for Town & Villag...

Town & Village Life Magazine July/August 2012  

Issue 3 - July 2012. Town & Village Life Magazine. Monthly lifestyle/business and community magazine produced by Studio 28 for Town & Villag...