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March/April 2012 TOWN & VILLAGE LIFE Magazine

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

Great Prizes to be Won inside this Issue: ÂŁ500 worth of Holiday Vouchers with The Travel Bureau A table for 4 people in Horizons Restaurant at Wolverhampton Racecourse Win a Spa Day for your Mum at The Copthorne Hotel Tickets for The King and I at The Grand Theatre March/April 2012

Inside this first Issue: Local features including Geoff Hill’s charity work, Hagley Hall, Kinver, Stourbridge Football and Rugby Clubs. Home Interior and Gardening ideas, Spring Fashion and Beauty, plus special Wedding Feature. Local places to Eat Out and be Entertained, Education, Motoring, The Social Scene and lots more! 01

Local Magazine delivered to 15,000 Selected Homes and Businesses


02

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Hello Readers Spring is here. It’s a time for new life, new beginnings and our new magazine. At Town and Village Life we are delighted to bring our very first edition directly to your doorstep. We’ve packed it full of everything that’s great in your local area, along with fabulous features that are just right for a light read. With 100 pages on offer, our bi-monthly publication will always keep you up-to-date with everything from news and restaurant reviews to fashions and a guide to the best local companies. We can’t raise a toast with our readers to celebrate our launch; so instead, we’ve teamed up with some fantastic businesses to give you the chance of winning some amazing prizes. Thanks to The Travel Bureau, there’s a chance to get your hands on £500 worth of holiday vouchers - just the thing to spend when planning your summer vacation this year. And, with Mother’s Day just around the corner, we have got the perfect present up for grabs - a pampering session courtesy of Imagine Spa at the Copthorne Hotel, Merry Hill. Those of you who love a flutter will be keen to bag an exhilarating night out for four at Wolverhampton Racecourse, while culture vultures will appreciate a complimentary evening spent at The Grand Theatre. Whatever suits your style; you are sure to find it within these pages. Just make sure that you take the time to find out a little more about The Town and Village Life team on page 4. All that’s left to do is relax and enjoy your new local magazine. Happy Easter! Enjoy your read...

Geoff

Contents Realising the Vision

4

T.A.Henn – Still a Family Affair 165 years Later

7

Dubai – The Destination

10

Home Interiors – Get the Look

12

Hagley Hall – The Perfect Wedding Venue

14

Kinver – Keeper of Time

16

Recipe of the Month

18

Crosswords & Puzzles

20

Mother’s Day

22

Is it Worth Using an Estate Agent?

24

Grand Theatre Competition

30

Geoff Hill

34

The Birds are Back

37

Garden Design

38

Travel Bureau Competition

40

Fairway to Heaven

42

Wolverhampton Racecourse Competition

46

Easter

50

What’s Draining your Energy

52

Popping Out for a Indian

53

Eating Out Review at The Blakelands

56/57

Eating Out Review at Wombourne Tandoori

60/61

No Smoking Day

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

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

32/33

Gardening with Ann Winwood

62

Stourbridge Fairtrade – A Step in the Right Direction

63

Stourton Park – Home of Stourbridge Rugby Club

66

Men’s Fashion – Get Set for Spring Women’s Fashion – Spring Time Chic

67 70/71

Copthorne Hotel Competition

72

Email: sales@townandvillagelifemag.co.uk Gisella Wiley - Sales Director

Beauty

76

Editorial/What’s On information

Beautiful Brides

80

Eighties Extravaganza to support Compton Hospice

82

Advertising enquiries

Email: info@townandvillagelifemag.co.uk Geoff Hall - Editor Cover shot: Cover Shot – Hagley Hall, Courtesy of Hagley Hall Magazine design: www.s28.co.uk 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.

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

Your Wedding Day – Make it Perfect

Social Scene

78/79

86/87

Stourbridge Football Club

88

Benham BMW – 3 Series Saloon

90

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

92

Volvo XC90

93

A New Samurai – Subaru WRX STi

94/95

Tom’s Tip

96

Answers to Crosswords & Puzzles

96

Benham MINI – MINI Roadster

98 03


L to R: Jonathon Wiley, Gisella Wiley (Sales Director) & Geoff Hall (Editor)

Town and Village Life: Realising the Vision By Rob Taylor Unlike some Hollywood blockbuster that heralds its arrival with boasts of A-list actors, box-office busting producers and Pulitzer Prize winning writers, this inaugural edition of Town and Village Life Magazine drops quietly and understatedly onto doormats in Stourbridge and its surrounding areas. It may well be from the creative team that brought you the runaway success that is Wolverhampton West Magazine and have local newspaper bothering circulation figures of 15,000, but we’re not American, so we’re not in the business of grandiose self-praise and promotion. Oh well, go on then, if you insist. It is our first magazine after all. So here’s the scoop on your new local bi-monthly read. Stourbridge-born Editor Geoff Hall is the local lad done good, who’s itching to bring his vision to the hometown faithful: “We want to produce a proper local magazine that makes good quality reading, not just a pamphlet listing local businesses,” says Geoff, an industry veteran known only in the office as ‘guv’nor’ who is also editor of Wolverhampton West Magazine. 04

And in our Sales Director Gisella Wiley we have a proven winner. Always quick to see a gap in the market and even quicker to spot a sales opportunity, Gisella has 20 years’ worth of newspaper and radio advertising experience and formerly worked at Beacon Radio. She adds: “Our magazines will be passed into residential homes as well as being target-delivered to specific business addresses every month.” But even the professionals sometimes need help: “We didn’t know what to call the new magazine, so we got Charles Hanmer and Richard Maskery from Charles Advertising in Kingswinford to help us to come up with the name,” continues Gisella.

community, as these matters really help to drive the magazine.” Of course there’s a whole backroom staff of freelance contributors who lend a hand as well. Keeping it in the family is Gisella’s son Jonathon, our resident IT expert. In the extended family is Murdoch Shackleton; a seasoned journalist with an insatiable appetite for news and restaurant reviews - if it’s in papers or on his plate, he’ll devour it with gusto. Also in the mix is graphic designer from Studio 28 Ed Wilde; an artist that’s sure to never lose his ’ed when on a deadline. Just as dependable is ex-local newshound and features writer Rob Taylor and fashion and beauty supremo Helen Taylor; if its in vogue it’s in her page. Not to mention the tireless magazine distribution team, headed up by Irene and Mike, who always make sure every issue turns up on time.

And Geoff is especially keen for you to make your voice heard too:

So there you have it: the nuts and bolts of our operation. We’d show you the blood, sweat and tears that go into the magazine as well, but that’s no way to make an introduction.

“We’d like to encourage contributions on local matters from individuals and organisations in the

And, don’t worry; we’ll be suitably modest and British from this page onwards.

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


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towards the purchase of a pair of wedding rings

AND MORE‌ Ca in at our sho Call h p: 38 - 41 Princess Street, Wolverhaampton WV1 1HD can to find 'S Or contact us on: 0190 02 42940 09 ebook' s on fac u n o@tahe enn.com www.tah henn.com m town & village life magazine | march/april 06or iinf

2012


Still a Family Affair 165 years Later As one of Wolverhampton’s longest established businesses, T.A. Henn has a history that stretches back six generations. The Henn family have long been of importance in the local area and back in the 1840s, Silas Henn - great great grandfather to the current owner - was a Tipton based clockmaker. The family run Princess Street jewellers that we know today was established by Silas’s grandson, Thomas Austin, who named the business T.A. Henn & Son. However, his son, Thomas Wesley Henn was the one that took the business forward. Although destined for another life working as a radio operator during the First World War, he decided to join the family affair. Buying up two adjoining shops, Thomas Wesley re-built the premises and doubled its size. From 1935, T.A. Henn & Son had a new address - 38-41 Princess Street.

By the 1950s, Alan Wesley Henn had joined the burgeoning family business and within a decade, many new premises had been acquired resulting in T.A. Henn and Son owning a total of 8 stores. However, the recession in the 1980s put a halt to the family’s progress and so the company was forced to return to the original branch - founded by Alan’s father. Today, John Henn is the current Managing Director and sixth generation in the family business. Just as passionate about the store and as keen as his ancestors to be involved with key trade associations such as the National Association of Goldsmiths and CIBJO (The World Jewellery Confederation) John is aiming to ensure good standards across the industry. John maintains the store’s reputation with the greatest care and attention. Although the business has evolved, key philosophies remain. Quality products and exceptional personalised customer service combine to

T.A. Henn 38 – 41 Princess Street Wolverhampton WV1 1HD www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

give a retail experience that is rare to find these days. It’s not all about business for John though; he loves a challenge and is always keen to raise money and awareness for a good cause. In May 2011, he climbed Europe’s highest mountain - Mont Blanc and along with his climbing partner, raised an incredible £10,000 for the Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital. It’s not the first time that a member of the Henn family has taken on the mountain though. In the 1930s Thomas Wesley Henn - John’s grandfather - made his way to the top, using only basic equipment. This year T.A. Henn will be celebrating its 165th anniversary. As relevant as ever, the store is an integral part of the city; its name is synonymous with quality, trust and distinction. And confirming that they are truly in line with the 21st century, the jewellers have a Facebook page - ‘like them’ and keep up-to-date with all of the latest news.

T.A. Henn has it all…

Tel: 01902 428486 info@tahenn.com Find us on Facebook www.tahenn.com 07


Repeat business Over 60% of all Cousins customers are repeat or recommended. It’s a fact that people regularly travel to their stores from all over the UK, because they appreciate the unrivalled choice on offer and the guarantee of seeing something a little different and always a little better.

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Experienced sales staff are always on hand to guide and advise and the team pride themselves on providing a high level of old-fashioned customer service, whilst making your visit an enjoyable and informative one. With large free car parks, customer restaurants, friendly staff and latenight opening, there is no reason to not visit Cousins furniture store. Left - Right: Edward, Matt, John and Thomas Shotton

Founded in 1985 by three cousins, the Cousins brand has expanded to three 90,000ft furniture department stores, two distribution centres plus a head office - all of which they own the freehold. Flagship ‘destination’ stores in Birmingham, Manchester and Dudley guarantee a shopping experience you will never forget.

Unrivalled standards in display and merchandising Setting unrivalled standards in display and merchandising to give you great help when furnishing any room in your home, every interior style is catered for. All furniture ranges are beautifully accessorised in their own room settings and specialist home wares departments showcase what’s new and popular. With so many fresh exciting brands, ranges and ideas - it’s easy to make a statement with Cousins. 08

Delivering quality from around the world Thanks to experienced buyers that travel the world to visit exhibitions, leading factories and design conferences, the team at Cousins are undoubtedly an authority on the latest design ideas and their collections exude the highest levels of innovation, inspiration and craftsmanship. At Cousins, you’ll find the world’s leading and most prestigious brands, some of which are new this winter, meaning that whether you want classical or contemporary, casual or formal, you can buy with complete confidence.

Genuine Offers And what’s more, there are always plenty of genuine offers and bargains to be had at Cousins. Be sure to take advantage of the great deals available across all three stores on fantastic ranges of brand name furniture, carpets, beds and home wares plus many one-off deals. So visit the store today and find everything you need to make your house a home - at a price that you can afford.

All under one roof With bedding and bedroom departments that are immense more than twice the size of any retail specialist. Cousins offer quality and value, famous brand names and every style and finish imaginable - all under one roof, meaning that you are certain to find your dream bedroom furniture. To complement their furniture and furnishings collections, an extensive flooring department showcases leading brands, designs and styles.

Robert Shotton

Whether you want carpets, rugs, hard, natural or wooden flooring, you can be sure to find it at Cousins. town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


expect much more than a furniture store inside

beds divan beds headboards mattresses bedsteads adjustable beds guest beds children’s beds sofabeds pillows

Cousins experienced and expert staff will be there to help you choose the bed that’s right for you.

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In every style and design Cousins bedding and bedroom departments are immense – they are so big they are like a store within a store. Cousins offer unrivalled choice, quality and value in all kinds of beds including all the famous brand names. You will find a fantastic range of free standing and fitted bedroom furniture, in every style and finish.

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Dubai – The Destination For a number of years Dubai has acquired a reputation as being a playground for the rich and famous – and not without some justification. Undeniably it can be an expensive place to visit, but with the benefit of a little insider knowledge this need not necessarily be the case. We visit Dubai on a regular basis and we are delighted to be able to share our experience with you, providing invaluable hints and tips to enable you to enjoy this truly unique and captivating destination without impacting to severely on your bank balance. Our intimacy with the destination will not only provide you with access to the extremely attractive accommodation rates but also invaluable practical advice on when to go, where to visit, where to dine and so on. Whether your preference is for an affordable family holiday, a cultural city break, a honeymoon, a shopping spree or an activity weekend, we are able to point you in the right direction. THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE At the crossroads of East and West, Dubai is a shopper’s paradise. 10

Amazing Malls with designer stores, traditional souks and Karama, where local labels and international brands rub shoulders, all create a shopping experience to rival any cosmopolitan city. The gold souk shouldn’t be missed and the jewellery shops in malls and hotels also offer highly competitive prices. Dubai also goes retail crazy with winter and summer shopping festivals that sees promotions, sales and entertainment all over the city. THE ACTIVITY EXPERIENCE Jet ski, snow ski, snow board and dune board all in one weekend! Travel across the desert by 4WD for a sand boarding adventure, visit Ski Dubai and cool off on the Mountain Thriller or discover some of the world’s favourite clubs – whether Golf club or Night club. Dubai’s limitless range of activities on water, on land and on snow makes it a great destination for a group of friends planning an activity break and can be enjoyed at any time of the year whatever your experience or ability.

THE FAMILY EXPERIENCE With guaranteed sunshine, amazing family Theme parks, safe and friendly beaches and luxury resorts with a host of children’s facilities, Dubai is perfect for families at any time of year. Direct Emirates flights from several regional UK airports and a range of on board distractions for children of all ages also ensures the best possible start and finish to any family holiday in Dubai. SUNSHINE ALL YEAR ROUND Dubai’s location at the edge of the Northern Desert creates a hot and dry climate with blue skies almost every day of the year. Similar to a good British summer, Dubai’s winters are the most popular time to visit while the Emirate’s daily summer temperatures reach an average of about 38 degrees. With fabulous beaches, sparkling swimming pools, air-conditioned malls, restaurants and attractions there is plenty to keep you comfortably entertained even on the hottest days. For all holidays to Dubai see the experts at The Travel Bureau, High Street, Wombourne, WV5 9DN. Telephone 01902 324777 www.thetravelbureau.co.uk

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


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Spring Style On a Budget By Helen Taylor

Now that spring is here it’s the perfect time of year to start all those important home improvements that you’ve been putting off. Thanks to a superb selection of stylish and competitively priced items that are available from local stores, there’s all the design inspiration and products you’ll need to update your home and create a fresh new look this season. We are all on a tight budget these days so investing in things you love serves to be a far better long term choice than buying into the latest fad trends - even though it may be a little more expensive at the time of purchase. Living with an item that you adore is far easier in years to come than adapting to something you settled for. Your home should reflect your own personal style and taste. It should be attractive, but practical, comfortable and suited to the needs of you and your family. Which is why restyling your home to fit with the latest trendy interior designs can result in you being disappointed in the long term. 12

That’s not to say that trend influences should be ignored though. Making subtle changes to your colour schemes can instantly add a modern twist and create space. By working with the large furniture items you have, you can generate a look that’s fresh, without starting from scratch and making those costly items totally redundant; when placed in a different setting they’ll take on a whole new appearance. The addition of new curtains, statement accessories and inspired styling will transform dull and dated rooms and immediately produce a contemporary feel. By removing unnecessary clutter and displaying only items that work with the look you want to convey, you can obtain a truly stylish interior, that makes your home look a million dollars. Be sure to check out what our advertisers have to offer - they’ve got something that is perfect for every home and style, and at a price you can afford. town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


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Hagley Hall The Perfect Wedding Venue ‘Vintage Style’ is very in vogue on the wedding scene at the moment and therefore stately homes with their ornate architecture and lavish interiors compliment the design of a Vintage Wedding perfectly. Hagley Hall in Worcestershire offers an ideal venue for such a wedding.

With views of the Worcestershire hills beyond the landscaped lawns this couldn’t be a more perfect setting for toasting a newly wedded couple. Why not organise Champagne cocktails for a twist on the usual reception drink and serve with canapés. Hagley Hall has their own wedding pianist who can serenade your reception on the Hall Grand Piano which looks just the part.

Home to Lord & Lady Cobham, Hagley Hall, last of the great Palladian houses, is set in 350 acres of spectacular landscaped parkland. The Hall with its ornate State Rooms with rich Rococo décor offers a splendid and unique venue for your wedding day.

The wedding breakfast would take place in the Long Gallery. This room is exquisitely decorated with pastel coloured, silken wall coverings, Rococo style décor and an ornate ceiling from with sparkling crystal chandeliers bringing an air of sophistication that meets the vintage theme perfectly. Choose the table centres continuing the antique style. Use tall single candelabras in tones of ivory, cream and green. Use trailing amaranthus, vandella roses, hydrangea, ivory lissianthus and soft feathery asparagus ferns to compliment the Long Gallery perfectly with its ivory and gilt painted woodwork and delicate pastel silk wall coverings.

Civil Ceremonies take place in the Saloon, a most beautiful and historic setting with quintessentially English views of the village church, cricket ground and of course the deer as they gracefully graze the parkland beyond. After the ceremony, take your drinks reception in the White Hall with its wonderful arched lobby and scagliola figures of the Gods such as Bacchus and Venus.

The menus at Hagley Hall are impressive and will allow you to choose a wedding breakfast that fits the sophistication of the day both in terms of presentation and taste. Choose one of the courses to be a real statement dish such as the desert of marbled chocolate truffle served with a shot of white sauce garnished with a white marshmallow brochette. Continue your celebrations in the stunningly renovated Lyttelton Suite, which offers a lounge, bar and dance floor for evening entertainments. This entertainment suite continues in tasteful period décor and your guests can dance underneath the sparkle of several chandeliers that glitter against the black and silver wall coverings. Needless to say this exquisite venue is exclusively yours for the day. The experienced staff and bespoke wedding service at Hagley Hall will help you design your perfect wedding in this wonderful Georgian Palladian Mansion and will ensure that your special day is certainly one to remember.

For more information please email: weddings@hagleyhall.com or telephone 01562 887290 Visit www.hagleyhall.com/weddings

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town & village life magazine | march/april 2012

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www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Kinver: Keeper of Time by Rob Taylor

The name Kinver is of Celtic origin and began life in 736AD as ‘Chenevare’, a name meaning ‘great ridge’. Prior to 1066 Earl Algar owned the land and its two mills, before it was commandeered by William the Conqueror. At this time there were only 24 families, a priest and two village slaves. TOURIST TRADE The area was a thriving hotspot for thousands of local tourists at the turn of the 20th century, all of whom were keen to escape the grime of industry and make use of the newly built Kinver Light Railway.

Not everything in the Black Country shows evidence of its industrial past and, as Rob Taylor writes, Kinver has been preserved better than most. Nestled in the bosom of scenic countryside is the village of Kinver; a rare surviving example of a local community untouched by the dirty hand of industrialisation.

16

Opened in 1901, the railway ran from the First Inn in Amblecote until 1930. On the line “Kinver Trams” carried day-trippers to what contemporary advertising called ‘the Switzerland of the Midlands’. Overlooking the village is the great escarpment of Kinver Edge, a monolithic leviathan and silent protector of all who call Kinver home.

Now of some considerable size and counting over 8,000 people as residents, the ancient settlement is still largely self-contained, having dodged the expansion of the West Midland conurbation.

This was quite literally true in the curious case of the “Rock House” residents, the cavedwelling few who toiled to forge basic accommodation out of the sandstone rock-face between 1814 and 1950.

From its origins as a Royal hunting forest - there still remains, nearby, a country park of some 300 acres, owned and run by the National Trust - the village has expanded modestly over the last thousand years, and is still today almost entirely surrounded by woodland.

Legend has it that such eccentricity contributed in part to the inspiration for local author J R R Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Anyone who is familiar with the Kinver Edge Rock Café, open for business until 1965, will see shades of Bilbo Baggins’s hobbit-house.

RICH PICKINGS Another source of commerce and wealth arrived in the form of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Its opening in 1772 brought immediate benefits in the form of cheap bulk transport for raw materials, like timber and coal. And since prosperity and picturesque panorama entice wealthy and influential types like bees to honey, Kinver today boasts many splendid monuments to money. Most notably, Prestwood House, now a private nursing home, has its origins in the 15th century when it was home to John De Somerey. It has since been the family seat of the Dudleys, Lytteltons and Foleys, as well as a tuberculosis sanatorium. GHOSTLY GOINGS-ON Rockmount in Dark Lane, built in 1624, was the birthplace of actress Nancy Price in 1880 and is supposedly haunted by the Reverend John Newley. Other spooky shenanigans beset the area near to Dunsley Hall, now a popular hotel. In 1812 the then owner Benjamin Robin was murdered by a travelling carpenter, who was subsequently executed for his crime. His body was then brought back to the scene, placed in a ‘gibbet’ (an iron cage) and left to hang for 12 months. The location was then known as Gibbet Wood. A place best avoided after dark, as local folklore tells of eerie and occasional wood sawing emanating from the Gibbet Tree.


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Recipe Of The Month Warm Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad This quick and easy warm salad can be served as a main meal or simple starter. If you like strong flavoured blue cheeses choose Stilton or Roquefort, but if you prefer something a little milder pick Danish blue or creamy Dolcelatte.

Serves 4

Method

Ready in 15 minutes

1. Heat the oil and butter in a large nonstick frying pan. Add the pear slices and fry gently for 2-3 minutes on each side until tender and light golden. Add the walnuts to pan for the last 2 minutes of cooking time.

• 1 tbsp olive oil • Small knob of butter • 2 large firm pears, halved, cored & thickly sliced • 55g (2oz) walnut halves, roughly chopped • 1 large bag mixed rocket salad • 115g (4oz) blue cheese, diced or crumbled

DRESSING • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar • 1 tsp Dijon mustard • 1 tsp caster sugar • 5 tbsp olive oil • Salt & freshly ground black pepper 18

2. Divide the salad leaves between four serving plates. Top with the warm pear slices and walnuts and scatter over the blue cheese. 3. Place all the dressing ingredients in a jug and whisk until thoroughly blended. Adjust the seasoning to taste and pour the dressing into the frying pan. Heat gently for about 1 minute then pour over the salads. Season with a little more ground black pepper and serve immediately. town & village life magazine | march/april 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. For a free no obligation quote please call in at:

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Quick Crossword Across 1 Cooked in hot water vapour (7) 5 Older member (5) 8 Floating platforms (5) 9 Persons deliberately injured (7) 10 Upright (13) 11 Smoothly (6) 12 Spring back (6) 15 Display (13) 18 Saving of money (7) 19 Take in liquid (5) 20 Plant propagators (5) 21 Pulled or towed slowly (7)

Sudoku

Down 1 Thick sweet liquid (5) 2 Impose strongly (7) 3 Sundry items (13) 4 Split (6) 5 Book of facts (13) 6 Boring tool (5) 7 Extra player (7) 11 Everlasting (7) 13 Securing with metal pins (7) 14 Remained (6) 16 Elk (5) 17 Undressed (5)

Easy

Hard

Puzzle answers on Page 96

Word Search Hidden Phrase: The most aectionate creature in the world, is a wet dog. Ambrose Bierce.

Airedale Akita Alsation Basset Hound Beagle Border collie Borzoi Boxer Bulldog Corgi Dachshund Dalmatian Foxhound 20

Great Dane Pointer Poodle Pug Puli Red setter Rottweiller Saluki Scottie Spaniel Westie Whippet Yorkie town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


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Mother’s Day - When It All Began There has always been something sacred about the status of motherhood. Since time immemorial, mothers have been revered. In pagan time they were especially celebrated in spring. Spring was the time of new life when the goddess of plenty emptied her cornucopia over the land and mothers were honoured as a reflection of this time of hope and renewal. Mothers were therefore sacred to their children who were charged with paying them due homage. The druids dedicated a spring festival to the goddesses of Spring, Fertility and Plenty. Their altars were decked in flowers and fresh new greenery. Sacrifices of the first born of their flocks were made. The Romans brought to Britain their goddess Cebele together with a host of other appropriate deities they had adopted in their marches across the then known world. They cheerfully added the Druidic pantheon to theirs and the celebrations became all embracing, Britons and Romans alike, celebrating the mother figure in a hundred different guises.

mother of Jesus. The day was called Mothering Sunday, honour was satisfied on all sides and the celebrations continued. By the 18th century the festival was so established that servants were given time off to return to their homes to visit their mothers. They were also expected to visit their mother church - that in which they were baptised, to give praise for their own and Christ’s mothers. The gifts they took their mothers were necessarily simple though traditional. Small items of hand embroidery, home-made sweetmeats, and flowers gathered from the woods and fields, a simnel cake baked by the giver from ingredients saved for over the year. So special was Mothering Sunday that, in spite of it falling on the 4th Sunday in Lent, special dispensation was given for families to break their fast in order that they might enjoy together, the specially baked cake.

She was not satisfied with the locally held observation however and worked tirelessly to have it adopted throughout the USA. In May 1914 the day was proclaimed a national holiday by the then president Woodrow Wilson and Anna was triumphant. Her satisfaction was short lived however. America was no less commercially minded in those days than now, the spiritual celebration quickly gave way to a commercial one, and Anna passed away a bitter and disillusioned woman. Mother’s Day came to Britain early in the 1940s, brought by American GIs as they joined in World War II. As a nation we were no less susceptible to commercialism and although we retained our own Lenten celebration, the nature of the day changed and became far less spiritual; Mother’s Day was here to stay.

Mother’s Day is an altogether more modern institution not yet one hundred years old. It all began in America on a certain Sunday in May. A Mrs. Jarvis died and her distraught daughter Anna sought to dedicate an annual church service to her memory.

The celebrations continued into Christian times when, with their usual pragmatism, the Christians took over the spring festivals, banished the pagan gods and goddesses and substituted Mary the

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town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


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Is it Worth Using an Estate Agent? Buying or selling property is not the easiest thing in the world to do. Both take a degree of skill and expertise few home owners (or would-be owners) possess or have time to practise. The object of the exercise in either case is a change of ownership in the shortest space of time at an overall cost acceptable to both sides of the transaction. To achieve this satisfactorily, professional help is essential. Just look at the alternatives. If you are selling you can place an ad. in the press together with your address and phone number or you can erect a ‘For Sale’ board in the front garden. You then sit back and await a sign of interest, and you’ll certainly get it. Eventually you will probably sell. In the meantime your phone will have rung at all hours of the day and night; your property will have been trampled through by rather more nosy time-wasters than potential buyers. Your settees and beds may have been rolled upon by numerous unruly children. You may well have been cased for a future burglary. You will have trotted out the details of the house or flat so often you will be sick of the sound of your own voice. Your hopes will have been raised and dashed by turns too often to remember, and by the time you do sell you’ll have forgotten why you ever wanted to in the first place. Buying is not much better. You will scan all the ads. and boards and try to make appointments to view the most suitable properties. You will eventually find what you want. In the meantime you will have tramped miles searching for properties after receiving ill-conceived directions. You will have walked through too many dilapidated hulks, poky heaps and draughty ‘barns’ to remember. You will have ventured neighbourhoods where the milk bottles require flak jackets. You will have seen properties where the 2nd, 3rd or 24

4th bedroom is just about large enough to accommodate the hamster. You will have come across DIY ‘improvements’ that will need urgent repair, sniffed a hundred boiling cabbages and endured the nips of too many half-starved dogs. By the time you move in, the novelty of your new home will have dimmed into the recesses of a long remembered nightmare. The thing is, none of this is necessary. Buying or selling such expensive items as homes is too important to leave to chance or amateur attention. An estate agent can in most instances, take away the horror, the uncertainty, and the chance element. By using an agent you can save time, energy, irritation, psychological damage and possibly even money. Estate agents have access to a far wider public than you can ever reach simply because, as well as their shop window, they also have access to bulk advertising, a mailing list, the services of cooperating firms or their own far-flung branches. They know the area,

the property market, the fads and fashions of the market place. Estate agents can monitor calls, list viewers, make appointments, accompany viewers and generally relieve home owners of the hassle. They can also make sure viewers are provided with full, accurate directions or they can transport them to view. They can help find mortgages, advise on surveys, insurance and even solicitors. In short they can provide a full service for all concerned. Of course there will still be some time-wasters. Estate agents are only human, they cannot read minds. They however do have the experience to judge people and more often than not, they can spot a time waster a mile off. If you are in the property market, buying or selling, take no chances. Make sure this most difficult and expensive of transactions goes through with the minimum of trouble by appointing an estate agent to deal with the whole affair.

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Townsend Place, Kingswinford Centre, DY6 9UL Tel: 01384 271812 Castle Street, Dudley Centre, DY1 1LA Tel: 01384 234620 Salop Street, Wolverhampton, WV3 0RX Tel: 01902 429060

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Roman Bathrooms worth a visit Wander around the stylish showroom at Roman Bathrooms and it’s not only the incredible choice of bathrooms that hits you. The dozens of thank-you cards discreetly adorning the walls are a testament to clients’ satisfaction for the work this well established family business has carried out. With 26 years experience of designing and projectmanaging bathrooms there’s very little Caroline Cooper doesn’t know about creating a stylish room, which also meets the practical needs of the person or family using it. And with awards under her belt for bathroom design Caroline’s eye for detail and creative flair means every bathroom, shower and wet room or cloakroom she works on is bespoke. To really appreciate the quality, style and choice on offer means a quick jaunt to the showrooms based in Blackheath High Street. And for anyone seriously contemplating a new bathroom it’s not a wasted journey. “We are very proud of our showroom and we will spend as long as it takes with each customer getting the design and products right for each home.” says Caroline. When it comes to ‘what we can do’ there is no doubt Roman Bathrooms do create the ‘wow factor’ using the most stylish bathroom furniture, clever and effective lighting and of course stunning tiles. Clients include Wolverhampton’s own celebrity hairdressers Royston Blythe and Nick Malenko, who had six of their bathrooms and two cloakrooms redesigned and fitted by Caroline’s team, netting Caroline a prestigious design award. Nick Malenko said: “When we decided to update the bathrooms we looked around and decided on Roman Bathrooms because of Caroline’s experience and flair. She was really very good and put herself out to make sure we got just what we wanted.” And for client Sue Wilkinson, who runs Kiss Jewellery, the positive experience is mirrored. She said: “I am sure there are a lot of bathroom suppliers in the area

but I couldn’t recommend enough taking the trouble to get over to Blackheath and discover what’s on offer at Roman Bathrooms. It is not only about the choice and design but also the great service and attention to detail Caroline and her team provide. We are so pleased with the results.” Caroline said: “We do pride ourselves on doing the best job possible for each client if that means just putting a wet room in or completely refurbishing the whole bathroom, where we project manage everything. Because we know our products so well, we can advise on the right types of shower dependent on the water pressure, the fall for the waste and so on and we won’t recommend a particular style if it isn’t going to be practical for the client.”

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town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Unique bathrooms where style, quality and luxury come together ESTABLISHED 1985

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Discover a new approach to bathing and let us turn your dream into reality 110-111 High Street, Blackheath B65 0EG (near Junc. 2, M5) Open Tuesday to Saturday 9am-5pm, Late night by appointment

KITCHENS If it isn’t a new bathroom you want but a kitchen it’s still worth visiting the Blackheath showroom where the business is adopting the same principles of customer care, design and skill and applying them to creating bespoke kitchens. Caroline said: “Over the past year we have branched out into designing and installing kitchens. One of the reasons we’ve expanded in this area is based on customers who have told us they wished we did kitchens as well because they were so pleased with the work we’ve carried out in their home.” And just like the many thank-you cards, you can’t get better recommendation than genuine customer satisfaction. So make the effort and visit Roman Bathrooms, you won’t regret it.

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Solar Panel Installation - The Best Financial Investment You’ll Make This Year

Opportunities to get something for nothing in this dark and dismal recession are about as everyday as a solar eclipse. But by harnessing free solar energy - via discreet and relatively affordable solar energy panels every un-shaded, southerly facing property can make money out of thin air. It’s an environmentally friendly decision that you will make when you choose to install solar panels to your property. The energy created is clean, green and pollutant free - re-assuring you that you are doing your part in helping the environment. And the benefits don’t stop there. Once installed the panels immediately start to convert the sun’s rays into free electricity to be used in your home during daytime hours - making the days of inflated energy bills history. And what’s more, thanks to the government’s Feed In Tariff Scheme (FITS) you 28

are set to start earning money from your investment right from the day you install. Paying currently 21p per Kwhr unit produced, the Feed In Tariff Scheme rewards property owners financially for their ecologically sound investment at a guaranteed rate for twenty five years. And even more excitingly, any surplus power you produce is sold back to the National Grid and results in additional payments being made direct to you, boosting your solar panel income further. Leading the way in solar panel installation is Ace Solar Energy of Wolverhampton; undoubtedly the experts when it comes to the design and installation of top quality, bespoke solar panel (PV) systems. Even though the FITS payment has been reduced this year, there’s still

a great financial incentive to fit solar panels to your home, as Ace Solar’s Martin Brown explains: “The cost of systems has fallen dramatically - prices have tumbled by about 40% - meaning that investment returns are still really good.” Thanks to the cut in the initial outlay, and a guaranteed 21p payment on each Kwhr unit of energy produced, solar panel installation is still as financially rewarding as ever. Always committed to providing outstanding levels of customer care, Martin and his team strive to maximise the return on their client’s investment. And with a glowing reputation and a wealth of satisfied customers, they are the trusted choice for anyone wanting to make their home work for them. So in these tough financial times - where conventional investment products are underperforming installing solar panels could well be the best decision you’ll make this year, thanks to possible tax free index linked returns of 10%.

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


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Competition Page

Three lucky winners can each win 4 tickets to see THE KING AND I on Tuesday, 27th March at 7.30pm at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I is truly one of the greatest musicals of all time. Seen by millions of people across the world since it was first performed in 1951, when it was showered with awards and became the blockbuster Hollywood movie, its glorious soundtrack is still a best seller today. Now at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Tuesday 27th to Saturday 31st March. The heart-warming story of the British governess brought to the court of Siam to tutor the King’s many children is told using one of the most beautiful scores ever written with sweeping melodies such as The March of the Siamese Children, Shall We Dance, I Whistle A Happy Tune, Hello Young Lovers and the unforgettable Getting To Know You. This breath-taking new production from the Leicester Curve, directed by Paul Kerryson, is a lavish, grandscale spectacle. With giant gold Buddhas, sumptuous costumes, a chorus of adorable children, acrobatic dancers and live music this beautiful production guarantees standing ovations. THE KING AND I stars Ramon Tikaram as the King of Siam, whose West End credits include Bombay Dreams, Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and TV’s This Life and Josefina Gabrielle as Anna whose musical successes include The Witches of Eastwick, Sweet Charity and the lead in Oklahoma! at the National Theatre. “A full-blown spectacle with classy West End production values and a considerable WOW factor” - The Guardian 30

“Paul Kerryson’s lush, spectacular revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical... elegant, splendid and admirable” - The Times “The scale and splendour of this show will blow you away” - Mail on Sunday

Call the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre Box Office for more information on

01902 42 92 12 or online at www.grandtheatre.co.uk 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 16th March 2012. Only postal entries can be considered for the competition and winners will be notified by telephone.

The most recent film version of this endearing story starred which Hollywood Actress? A - Jodi Foster B - Kate Winslet C - Meryl Streep 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 16th March 2012. Winners to collect 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 | march/april 2012


The ideal finish to every kitchen‌

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Geoff Hill Electrical - ‘Best price, best choice, best service... always.’ For over half a century Geoff Hill Electrical has been an integral part of the Amblecote high street.

With a reputation for offering the very best in personalised customer service, the independent electrical retailer has long been supplying top quality goods at competitive prices. Founded and owned by Geoff Hill, the store has seen many changes since beginning life in 1960. Originally a small shop, Geoff soon realised that to keep up with customer demands he needed to move to a more substantial premises to allow for his ever increasing range of products. Now of considerable size, the store boasts an extensive showroom that’s packed full of the latest and best in top branded audio-visual, electrical, and white goods, that will suit the requirements and budgets of all.

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“Although we’ve got bigger, we haven’t lost track of the service we offer,” explains Geoff. Thanks to a highly trained team of 18 staff, customer service at the store is unbeatable. With an emphasis on offering accurate, impartial and in-depth information on every product, the staff at Geoff Hill Electrical are well equipped to advise on any purchase. A competitive pricing structure means that despite being an independent store, prices match those offered by large chains. And, with offers running on a regular basis, you can be sure that you are always buying at the best price.

Geoff Hill MBE - A local hero Despite running his own successful business, Geoff has worked tirelessly over the years to help many worthy causes through charity work, donations and fundraising. In 1990, he celebrated 30 years’ of trading by donating 30 televisions to local charities, including The Mary Stevens Hospice. He has repeated the gesture twice since, donating 40 in 2000 and 50 in 2010.

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


The Mary Stevens Hospice Trading Group Ltd was established in 1991, and Geoff opened their first charity shop in Stourbridge a year later. Using his business know-how, he negotiated excellent rental rates, before kitting out the shop with all the required fixtures and fittings. Following the success of this flagship store, Geoff opened a further five charity shops in the local area and continued to support them all raising £1 million by the time he left. The Mary Stevens Hospice Lottery Company Ltd was formed in 1996, with Geoff as chairman and promoter. By 2002, £1 million had been raised! The Geoff Hill Charitable Trust was established in 1997 and sees 10% of the store’s profits distributed to various charities donating £250,000 to date. Geoff has also invested much of his own money, which has helped over 1,000 different needy causes. In 2000, Geoff’s charitable work helped one of his own employees, Robert Parsons - then 18-yearsold. He contracted meningitis and tragically lost both his arms and legs and the tip of his nose. Geoff made a personal donation of £10,000 to the ‘Robert Parsons Appeal’; the fund now stands at £200,000 and Robert is well. Geoff has close links with the Dudley Hope Trust, The Wylde

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

Trust, Stourbridge Rotary and Age Concern Stourbridge. Geoff has also recently rallied to the cause of local boy, Callum Loveridge, who broke his spine at a BMX trial. An impressive £100,000 was raised. Geoff’s outstanding work was formally recognised in 2004, when he was awarded an M.B.E by Prince Charles. His many other awards include, ‘The Paul Harris Fellowship Award’, ‘ITV West Midlander of the Year’, ‘Express and Star Local Hero Award’ and the Borough of Dudley Mayor’s Civic Award’.

In spite of recent ill health - Geoff had a heart attack in 2005 and bowel cancer in 2010 - he remains ever committed to his charity work. He is an inspiration to us all. The autobiography of Geoff’s amazing life story is now available at the Geoff Hill Store for only £5.00 and all the proceeds go to the “Geoff Hill Charitable Trust”.

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Now Is The Time To Prepare For The Coming Growing Season Don’t be too hasty to put soft plants out into the garden in March as it can be a changeable month weather wise. Late in March you should be able to start pruning Buddleja, Caryopteris, Hydrangeas, Elder etc. in time for summer growth and flowers. Complete your rose pruning by mid-March. Top dress shrub borders now to encourage good growth and flowers for the summer. Use general fertilizers such as Growmore, Fish, Blood and Bone or 6X. If you’ve got lime hating plants such as Camellias and

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

Rhododendrons give them a dressing of ericaceous fertilizer, which contains the essential trace elements they need. There are plenty of young herbaceous plants available in the garden centre now, so start filling in the gaps in borders with lupins, delphiniums, foxgloves etc. – if possible plant in groups of 3 or 5 for instant effect. Plug plants of geraniums, fuchsia and hanging basket plants are all now available for potting up. Remember that they need some heat especially at night and March can still give us some sharp frosts, so either keep them inside the house or make sure your greenhouse has some night heat, preferably around 12 degrees centigrade. Work on lawns can begin in March and April. When the lawn starts

growing, cutting can begin – a light cut first, then, gradually drop the mower height. Moss and weed killer can be applied to the lawn from spring onwards. Use one of the branded products or mix your own with Sulphate of Ammonia, Sulphate of Iron and silver sand. Unlike many other bulbous rooted plants, Snowdrops are best planted when they are growing. Pots of daffodils, hyacinths and tulips can be planted in the garden along with pansies and primroses to give instant colour. As Apples, Pears and Plums come into leaf, watch for the first signs of insect damage, spray as soon as pests appear. Do not spray when the trees are full of open flowers – wait until flowering has finished.

Plug plants and seedlings now in stock. Full range of bird foods, feeders and tables always in stock. Spring flowering bedding ready for planting now. Huge range of good quality shrubs, herbaceous, trees, conifers always ready for sale. 80 litre bags Lealans multipurpose compost still £12.00 for 3 bags.

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

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Tel 01902 700209

www.lealansgardencentre.co.uk

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


STAY UNDER MY WING… Low cost advertising reaching 30,000 LOCAL readers Call Gisella at Town & Village Life Magazine t: 01902 744217 e: gisella@townandvillagelifemag.co.uk www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Halfpenny Green Vineyards and Craft Centre:

A Grape Day Out Set in acres of glorious South Staffordshire countryside, Halfpenny Green Vineyards and Craft Centre is a perfect destination for those who love fine wines, quality food, relaxing surroundings and a unique shopping experience. Despite being famous for producing a fantastic selection of award winning wines, the family run vineyard offers far more than just a unique insight into local and traditional wine production.

Lisa Vickers - wife of Clive - is responsible for creating and running the delightful, modern and well-appointed tea room, restaurant and shop that sit adjacent to the craft centre.

Visitors can enjoy freshly prepared homemade meals, the very best in cream teas and cakes, as well as a variety of delicious food and drink tasters in the Vineyard’s Wine, Food, Deli and Gift shop.

Boasting stunning views out across the vineyards, the tea room provides the perfect setting for catching up with friends, whilst the recently re-furbished restaurant creates the ideal environment in which to savour a superior, freshly prepared full English breakfast or to tuck into a lunchtime special.

Beginning life on land that had been farmed by the Vickers family for three generations, Martin Vickers, along with his son Clive, planted the very first vines almost thirty years ago, across half an acre of land. Now there are thirty acres of vines - that produce some 60,000 bottles of award winning fine wines - that are still tended by father and son today. Converted farm buildings house a wonderful selection of craft workshops that display individual and unique handcrafted products. In addition, the estate is home to a coarse fishing lake that is encircled by newly planted woodland. And plans are afoot for it to be joined by a further two fishing lakes in the near future.

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Fabulous gourmet evenings are held every month - showcasing the very best in quality, chef prepared food. And with reasonable pricing a high priority, you can be sure to find appetising meals at equally inviting prices. With log burners that are placed not only the tea room and restaurant, but in the shop too, the atmosphere at Halfpenny Green Vineyards and Craft Centre is undoubtedly welcoming, homely and very cosy. Taking great care in selecting every item of food and drink which is available to buy in the

shop and used by the in house chef for all items on the menu Lisa handpicks suppliers and uses produce from small businesses’. This along with buying from farmers directly creates a unique and extensive range of top quality groceries. With ice cream from Retford, crisps from Lincolnshire and premium pork products from the Shrewsbury-based butcher Maynards - one of Rick Stein’s Superfood Heroes - virtually every product in the vineyard’s shop has a traceable history and a unique story to tell. A plentiful selection of cheeses, delicatessen products, preserves and seasonal produce - along with specialist food stuffs that cater to gluten free and diabetic requirements - combine to offer a varied stock of quality goods. Of central importance in the shop, is the vineyard’s very own selection of wines. Thanks to the option of adding a personalised label to any bottle - a perfect gift is always easy to find. And what’s more, handmade chocolate, hampers and luxury items make present buying easy all year round. Open seven days a week, between 9:30am and 5:00pm, Halfpenny Green Vineyards and Craft Centre has everything you need for a great day out.

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


www.halfpenny-green-vineyards.co.uk Halfpenny Green Vineyards, Tom Lane, Bobbington, South Staffordshire DY7 5EP

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 9.30AM – 5.00PM Tel: T el: 0 01384 13 384 221122 Email: sales@halfpenny-green-vineyards.co.uk y rds s.co..uk uk

The Birds Are Back! Linda Robson, Pauline Quirke and Lesley Joseph have reunited to take those Birds Of A Feather on the road! If you, like me, have missed the trials and tribulations of Sharon Theodopolopoudos, Tracy Stubbs and their man-eating neighbour, Dorien Green on your TV screens then I’m so pleased to inform that The Birds are back, but this time they’re treading the boards at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, this March. Linda Robson, Pauline Quirke and Lesley Joseph have reunited for a brand new stage adaptation of the classic television series Birds Of A Feather and their characters are bigger and better than ever. Town & Village Life caught up with Lesley Joseph who cannot wait to play Dorien once more, “We’ve just started rehearsals and it’s been like www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

putting on a glove. The girls and I worked together for nearly ten years and we know the characters inside out and backwards, so it will be a lot of fun. I really can’t wait.” Lesley reassured us that although this is a play and not television, the characters will all be the same. “Nothing much has changed apart from them being older, and probably not any wiser. They are still at each other’s throats as they often were, and Dorien will still try and lord it over the other two, and the humour is still strong. Dorien definitely hasn’t changed at all for the stage show. She still dresses to kill, still wears high heels, too much makeup and is still a complete life-force.”

“I think Birds was almost like a soap opera, and people felt they knew the girls so well and they really wanted to see what they got up to every week. Plus they were funny. They made people laugh and it was one of the first sitcoms to star three women, especially women who weren’t afraid to say what they thought. It was based on real people and wasn’t just about jokes. There was also chemistry on screen that really worked and continues to work 14 years on; the audience are in for a real treat”.

You can catch Tracy, Sharon and Dorien for a fabulous night out at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Monday 19 – Saturday 24 March. For tickets please contact the Box Office on 01902 42 92 12 or online at www.grandtheatre.co.uk

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Garden Design The garden is an asset that deserves as much time, effort and money spending on its embellishment and improvement as any other part of the house. The trick is to ‘design’ the garden rather than just ‘let it happen’. For this you need to do some research, watch a few TV programmes, visit garden centres, leaf through some magazines and, if inspiration really fails to strike, consult a garden designer which, in the long run, could be less expensive than you might imagine. In the meantime, start looking at the options. To begin with consider how you want the garden to work for you. Is it to be an open air extension to the house, a ‘playing field’ for the kids, an entertainment centre for your friends, a kitchen garden, or horticultural exhibition piece? On the other hand, you may want something of each. Whatever your decision however, you must think about it carefully so you can approach each part of the project efficiently and economically, otherwise you will be blundering around without a plan which risks you ending up with a formless hotchpotch. First things first. Have you thought about a conservatory? It is the easiest way of incorporating the garden into the home. A conservatory can be extremely useful, as a ‘stepping stone’ into the garden, an extra room for guests, playroom for children, sun lounge, greenhouse or entertainment centre. Conservatories can be bought ‘off the peg’ in kit form, erectable in a day or less, or purpose designed to suit individual requirements. They can be all glass or part brick 38

and part glass depending on the style or period of your house. And if heating is installed they can be as useful in winter as in summer. Next consider a patio. Just as the conservatory can take you smoothly from house to garden so too can a patio. In fact add a patio onto a conservatory and the concept can really be made to work for you. Patios can be formed from paving, bricks or stone blocks. They provide

If you want a lawn, don’t just have a rectangular patch with boring borders at the sides and a straight path to the tatty shed at the end of the garden. Forget straight lines, think curves. Put in a water feature here, a rock garden there, a patch of pebbles with an exotic plant. Consider climbers for the boundaries. If that shed is tatty and you can’t get rid, put in a screen of shrubs. If you want a kitchen garden with compost heap, the odd cold frame, etc., that screen will disguise these too. If you opt for a sand pit for the children, remember they will grow up so design it so it can be turned into a flower bed or water feature when that happens. Be prepared to spend that bit more on your plants. The large, mature shrubs and well established saplings can cost more but, if planted correctly, they give instant effect to your carefully constructed plan; they can also provide almost instant privacy. Think about lighting. It can enhance the look of your plot in the evening, it can also make using the garden possible after dark, and there is the security aspect.

useful hard standing where tables and chairs may stand safely and steadily without sinking into a soft lawn. Place a few imaginatively planted tubs around, make a space for the barbecue and you have the ideal place for al fresco meals for the family or any number of guests. Patios are also ideal places for kiddie’s parties - so much easier to clean up the mess! So you have your conservatory and your patio, time to consider the rest of the garden. Think visual impact. There are hundreds of possibilities here.

The garden centre will be able to advise you on all of this including soil preparation. If you decide to appoint a designer, you can always opt to be the labourer to cut the costs somewhat. Do remember however, these days a well-planned, well designed and well-appointed garden is about as desirable as a carefully constructed kitchen or luxurious bathroom. Should you decide to sell eventually, it will certainly be a good selling point. It could add several thousands to your asking price. It will certainly ensure a steady stream of potentially interested buyers because as we said before, a garden is a very important part of your property.


Hinksford Lane, Kingswinford, West Midlands, DY6 0BH

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w w w . o c l k i n g s w i n f o r d . c o . u k 0QFOJOH5JNFT Mon - Fri 8.00 - 18.00 | Sat 8.00 - 16.00 www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Marvellous Mallorca Wander through Palma’s gothic quarter and wonder at its cathedral. Laze on golden sandy beaches or delight in the Traumuntana Mountains. Luxuriate in charming manor houses or relax in a sophisticated boutique hotel. The Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera comprise an archipelago to the east of the Spanish mainland with Mallorca the largest, the most popular, and the best known of these delightful islands. Mallorca is often likened to a continent rather than simply an island due to its variety in culture, history and natural landscapes and it isn’t surprising that the sheer beauty of the island captivates everyone who visits it. No other European island boasts more contrasting terrain from the fertile plains of the centre to the almost alpine peaks of the Tramuntana Mountains. Mallorca can justifiably claim to cater for all tastes from fun and sunseeking holidaymakers, walkers, cyclists, painters and photographers

to jet-setters and film stars wishing for anonymity. The island’s 500km of coastline offers a succession of lovely coves, beautiful sandy beaches and secluded bays with some extraordinary caves to explore. And together with a mild climate and a rich cultural history, it really does provide a delightful holiday destination. Mallorca’s idyllic appeal lies also in its charm as a living, working island: the cereal and fruit crops of the central plains and the vineyards around Binissalem are vital to the island’s economy. There is a sharp contrast to the lively and sparkling bay of Palma with its multitude of hotels and dazzling nightlife to the alternative Mallorca. Alternative Mallorca is the Mallorca hiding from the main tourist spots and is composed

of captivating little villages. These villages are sometimes found weaving their way up mountain sides, or perched right on the top in the case of the most famous and beautiful of them all, Deya. Quaint village beauty is added to by multitudes of trees including ancient olive groves, fragrant almond orchards, refreshing pine forests and ancient oak groves. With numerous direct daily flights from local airports and a flying time of just over two hours, Mallorca is perfect for short breaks and weekend trips. The Travel Bureau or Classic Collection Holidays can book any airport, any airline, any day, any duration.*

*subject to availability

Competition To Win £500 Worth Of Holiday Vouchers 3368

0 - 16.00

ABTA No.78359

Situated in the heart of Wombourne Village overlooking the cricket green, The Travel Bureau has been the trusted choice for travellers since opening in 1984; and in that time owners David and Yvonne Walters and their team 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 40 40

decide on your destination to the moment you arrive back home. They are giving one lucky reader the chance to win £500 worth of holiday vouchers. To enter simply answer the following question: Name the Capital of Mallorca E-mail your answer to: info@townandvillagelifemag.co.uk or on a postcard to: Town & Village Life Magazine, 1 Lytham Road, Perton, Wolverhampton, WV6 7YY before 31st March 2012.

Competition Terms & Conditions: Winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries received and informed by telephone. To enter you must be aged 21 years or older. Vouchers may be used in exchange or part payment for any Travel Bureau package holiday or Classic Collection package holiday only and cannot be used as purchase for flight or accommodation only. There is no cash alternative and vouchers are valid for 12 months from draw date. Winner may be asked to participate in publicity relating to the competition. No employee or family member of Town & Village Life Magazine, The Travel Bureau and Classic Collection Holidays can enter the competition. All entries will be forwarded to The Travel Bureau unless requested otherwise.

town & village life magazine | march/april 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 3368

Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 0900 - 17.30, Saturday 09.00 - 16.00

www.thetravelbureau.co.uk www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

ABTA No.78359 41


Fairway to Heaven

The man wearing the chequered trousers, ubiquitous V-neck sweater and jauntily-doffed flatcap, stopped and stared intently at the tactile white ball, that nestled in his palm. He wondered: is the pursuit of the perfect golf game just as vexing and rewarding as the pursuit of happiness itself? His playing partner scoffed. Such philosophical musing has no place on the golf-course, especially when the nineteenth hole beckons. Of one thing though, he was sure: the Midlands is definitely a great place to play the game. Although not quite the sport’s hallowed Scottish turf, the region provides a perfect platform from which a golfer can blossom. The area has golf-courses designed to suit everyone from the absolute beginner to the most hardened and ultra-competitive scratch player. There is not a bogey in the mix, as enthusiasts can begin their lifetime’s work on the driving range before they take to the ‘pitch n’ putt’, play 42

‘The Swilken Bridge at St. Andrews the Home of Golf’

‘9-holes’ and finally graduate to the formidable 18-hole course. Every stage of development is catered for by the region’s many courses and centres – there’s even miniature golf, for any budding young Tiger. And the whole experience doesn’t necessarily have to leave a large hole in your pocket either – green fees and memberships have never been more competitively priced. Although not quite the sport of kings, golf can’t be far behind in the sporting pantheon. It can trace its history back further than most and is steeped in proud traditions of virtue and etiquette. While Scotland is widely considered to be the home and birthplace of the sport, there is great debate and much conjecture about the earliest origins of the game. Some historians believe that golf derived from “paganica”, a game played with a feather-stuffed ball and a curved stick, imported in to Britain by the Romans.

The earliest known written detail on the subject of golf is from King James II in 1457, who demanded that “fute-ball and golfe be utterly cryed down and not be used.” He was, in short, a little miffed that the game had distracted his subjects from the vital ‘sport’ of archery. Mary Queen of Scots was known to play a round or two as well, before she lost the head for it. The game also came under threat from the church and it wasn’t until the rules of golf were laid down by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh golfers of Leith in 1744, that the game found its spiritual home at the St. Andrews Society, when they adopted these rules and latterly took over administration and development of the game. So, even though not quite on a par with St. Andrews, golf in this area certainly has a hole lot to offer.

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Cheltenham Gold G Cup Golf Day y From Birdie to Bookie!

Friday 16th March 2012 in support of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, in partnership with Cancer Research UK

Golf competition with fantastic prize table and an afternoon of Cheltenham Gold Cup Racing Traditional Irish Breakfast, Shotgun start ¾ betterball, stableford 2 course lunch and coffee while watching the afternoon’s racing live! Race information, odds and tips will be available and a bookmaker on hand for placing your bets!

“A must for all racing and golf enthusiasts!” £39.00 per person or £22.50 per person afternoon only package

To book your places call the Sales team on 01902 700100

Patshull Park

GOLF OPEN DAY April Sat 7th - Sun 8th April 2012 Emulate the ‘US Masters’ and attend our golf membership open weekend Special Joining rates for all attendees

For beginners We have FREE 30 min lessons available between 9am and 2pm

For experienced golfers 2 for 1 rate just £22.50 per golfer for 18 holes

To book call pro shop

on 01902 700342 www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Antiques Extravaganza In Riverside Mill Any seeker of vintage treasures would do well to visit Bridgnorth’s Old Mill Antiques Centre - housed in an historic seed mill - on the banks of the River Severn. The centre has been open for 16 years and is as popular today as it was when it opened in 1996 – when literally thousands of visitors poured through the doors during the opening weekend. The Old Mill is one of the biggest antiques centres in the country, offering four floors of displays and stands featuring literally something for everyone. Traders from all over the UK and Europe sell their wares at the centre and it has continued to flourish at all times, despite occasional downturns in the antiques market. “We have always been successful and managed to weather difficult times within the industry,” says Old Mill co-director Denis Ridgway. “We try to appeal to everyone, not just the informed antiques collector. Our view is that antiques and collectables are of general appeal and can be displayed in any home – whether period or contemporary.” “You don’t have to be wealthy to collect and appreciate antiques, there are many items available at very affordable prices.” The choice at the Old Mill is tremendously varied. Jewellery,

porcelain, militaria, pop ephemera, watercolours, oil paintings, prints, vintage furniture, silver, musical instruments – the list just goes on and on. Jewellery on sale includes a fantastic selection of engagement rings (both period and reproduction), costume jewellery and crystal, and ranges in price from just a few pounds right up to several thousand for items featuring precious stones. “We have 90 dealers operating at the Old Mill, from as far afield as Brussels and Berlin,” says Denis. “The range of items on sale is vast, catering for all kinds of tastes and budgets – and that’s why the Old Mill is so popular.” “People come here to browse and buy from all over the country, often spending hours here and having a break in our tearooms, which open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Some people stay all day!” “We’re always busy, especially at weekends and during bank holidays. I think part of the attraction is that people can browse at their leisure and buy if they wish, there

is no pressure from our sales team – they are just on hand to help and advise if called upon.” The Old Mill also sells a range of reproduction furniture, including pine and oak refectory tables made to measure, and period items include church pews, desks, dining tables and chairs, chaises, beds, day beds, wardrobes, armoires and cupboards. “Vintage furniture is lovely but sometimes the chairs in particular are not practical for everyday use in modern times – we’re a little heavier today than we were centuries ago,” says Denis. “Reproduction furniture provides all the old-fashioned charm and style with a more robust approach, plus sizes can be tailored to modern rooms – what worked in a Georgian mansion would not fit easily into the average home today!” The Old Mill is open seven days a week from 10am until 5pm. Parking is free and a UK-wide delivery service is available.

The Old Mill’’s sister company, Perry and Phillips Auctioneers, hold sales of antiques and collectables, the next sale is on Tuesday, March 6th and then Tuesday, 3rd April. Perry and Phillips dates back to 1835 and is a highly respected auction house attracting both vendors and buyers from all over the UK. Sale valuation mornings are held at Mill Street every Wednesday, from 10am until 2pm, and valuations of large items can be arranged in situ by making an appointment with auctioneer John Ridgway. Viewing is always the weekend and Monday prior to the auction and catalogues are available.

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town & village life magazine | march/april 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.

Tea Room Serving Delicious Homemade Cakes & Snacks Open Monday – Sunday 10am – 5pm Car Parking Available Mill Street, Low Town Bridgnorth WV15 5AG Tel: 01746 762248

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Win a table for 4 people in the Horizons Restaurant at Wolverhampton Racecourse

Wolverhampton Racecourse, Britain's first floodlit horse racing track, is set in 22 acres of beautiful parkland and has a renowned reputation for year round racing, bringing you the thrills of racing, day and night. Being the UK's busiest racecourse, Wolverhampton will host 101 fixtures in 2012. The unique and electric atmosphere of racing has enthralled punters and families alike for generations and the excitement of racing under the floodlights is a tradition that is hard to beat. Wolverhampton Racecourse is not only a superb sporting location; it also has a reputation as one of the leading event venues in the West Midlands. Popular for weddings, conferences, exhibitions and outdoor events. With 8 refurbished private hospitality suites and the

adjoining Holiday Inn Hotel, the racecourse really is a venue for all occasions. The racecourse calendar is packed with live entertainment events with something to suit most musical tastes - from popular tribute acts

We are now giving Town & Village Life readers the opportunity to win a table for 4 in our Horizons Restaurant to include: • Racecourse admission • Race card • Three course meal with coffee • Bottle of house wine To win this fabulous prize all you have to do is answer the following question:-

How many fixtures will Wolverhampton Racecourse be holding in 2012? A: 120 B: 50 C: 101

to lively party bands, as well as several feature days, including the Family Fun Day on the 20th August and Ladies Evening on the 8th September. Wolverhampton Racecourse has a great reputation for offering superb live entertainment after racing. The Horizons restaurant is one of the most stylish dining venues in racing, being a panoramic viewing restaurant, set high in the main grandstand with breathtaking views of the racecourse. With a modern feel, a private bar and plasma screens, Horizons is a popular place to entertain and a perfect way to indulge in fine foods, whilst soaking up the fantastic atmosphere of the racecourse.

Email your answers to: info@townandvillagelifemag.co.uk Or on a postcard to: Town & Village Life Magazine, 1 Lytham Road, Perton, Wolverhampton WV6 7YY All entries to be received by 31st March 2012 Competition Terms & Conditions

Winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries received. Winner to be aged 21 years or older. Prize valid until 30th Nov 2012 (excluding 8th September). No cash or alternative prize will be given and booking date will be subject to availability. Additional orders placed that are not included in the prize will have to be paid for. All entry details will be forwarded to Wolverhampton racecourse unless requested otherwise.

For more information on events at Wolverhampton Racecourse and Race Days please visit: www.wolverhampton-racecourse.co.uk or call 01902 390000. 46 46

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Thomas is back at the Severn Valley Railway! After an absence of two years, Thomas the Tank Engine TM, every child’s No. 1 blue engine, makes a welcome return to the Severn Valley Railway for two weekends over the school Easter holidays. Sir Topham Hatt, the Fat Controller will also be there to make sure that the engines behave themselves. Thomas will be at Kidderminster station where the children, and the grown-ups, will be able to enjoy the show which will take place at regular intervals throughout the day. Also at Kidderminster the children will be able to ride on the ‘Coalyard’

miniature railway which will be operating throughout the day. Tickets, which are valid all day, will take you all the way along the line to Bridgnorth in a steam train pulled by one of Thomas’s engine friends. You can stop off at any of the stations that you wish but, most importantly, don’t forget to call at The Imagination Station (the SVR Visitor Centre at Highley) where you can enjoy the magic show and the children can enter the ‘Day Out With Thomas’ colouring competition. Whilst at The Imagination Station don’t forget to stop off at the ‘Day Out With Thomas’ cinema which will be showing ‘Thomas’ cartoons throughout the day. The Imagination Station has a well-stocked gift-shop and

the Flag & Whistle Food Stop is a great place for a quick bite or a full meal. Whilst at The Imagination Station the children will receive, absolutely free, a ‘Junior Engineers Certificate’, Temporary Tattoos and Stickers and a MEGA BLOKS toy (whilst stocks last). A frequent train service operates throughout the day with first departures from Kidderminster at 9.50 am and Bridgnorth at 11.00 am. All activities and attractions are included in the fare. Advance booking is strongly advised and saves on the fare charged at stations on the day of your visit.

Call 01299 403816 or visit the Severn Valley Railway website at www.svr.co.uk for more information and to book.

Meet everyone’s No.1 Blue Engine at

Thomas returns to the Severn Valley Railway

March 31st – April 1st April 14th – 15th

ith ride w Take a and join s, a m o e h T h all th in wit vities ti c  a n fu

Meet TophamSir Hatt

In partnership with:

Pre-book and save!

www.svr.co.uk www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

© 2012 Gullane (Thomas)

Tel.01299 403816 47


Get your Children Sussed with South Staffordshire Council’s Leisure Centres South Staffordshire Council’s leisure centres offer action packed and fun filled programmes of arts and sports sessions every school holiday 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.

A huge range of activities are on offer every weekday throughout each school holiday with arts and crafts sessions, sports courses such as trampolining, gymnastics, football, archery, street dance and go carting; Plus there are also trips out to places such as Baggeridge Country Park and Wolf Mountain.

For more information on exactly what’s going on you can download your FREE Sussed brochure by visiting:

www.sstaffs.gov.uk/sussed Alternatively you can collect the programmes direct from one of the leisure centres. Cheslyn Hay Leisure Centre 01922 417790 Codsall Leisure Centre 01902 844032 Penkridge Leisure Centre 01785 714152 Wombourne Leisure Centre 01902 898202

E nv i ronmental Services

ber t Mem Cabine

Joan

ms Wil li a

Children’s Activity Programme Monday 2nd April – Friday 13th April 2012 Download your programme by visiting www.sstaffs.gov.uk/sussed or collect your FREE brochure from one of our leisure centres

Bookings taken on 12th March 2012 from 10.30am *The leisure centres will be closed for the bank holidays on Sunday 8th April and Monday 9th April 2012

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Codsall Penkridge Cheslyn Hay Wombourne

Leisure Leisure Leisure Leisure

Centre: Centre: Centre: Centre:

01902 01785 01922 01902

844032 714152 417790 898202

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Envi ronmental Services

ber t Mem Cabine

ms Wi l l i a Joan

www.sstaffs.gov. uk/le isu re

Get in shape and go for Gold this year with Energise Fitness No joining fees No long term contracts No cancellation fees!

Our facilities: 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

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

*Terms and conditions apply

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: s.osbourne@sstaffs.gov.uk

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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It’s been a long road from the glory of Jesus Christ’s death resurrection – the central miracle of the Christian faith – to gorging on chocolate. And it’s a road that those of a philosophical bent might liken to the descent of Western civilisation into gluttonous consumerism. But leaving such considerations aside, how did it happen?

Easter Let’s start with the word itself, Easter. We have it on the word of the Venerable Bede, writing in the very early 8th century, that “Eostre” is derived from “Eostre-monath”, the month in which pagan Saxon’s celebrated the festival of the goddess Eostre. It’s a simple explanation, and one with which scholars of philology have had endless fun ever since – some even denying that there ever was a goddess Eostre and that Bede (uncharacteristically) made the whole thing up. But “eostre” is cognate with “öster”, the German for east, and is therefore associated with sunrise and hence spring, so Bede’s explanation at least has context on its side. Indeed the feast is only called “Easter” in Germanic countries: in France it’s called “Pâques”, a variation on the Jewish spring festival Pesach, and other Latin countries use names of the same derivation. Fascinating stuff, but it doesn’t get us much closer to the chocolate. And the answer is eggs. Eggs have been associated with spring since... well, since birds started laying them in spring. There are Persian wall-paintings of eggs being given as gifts from 2,500 years ago; the tradition survived the country’s conversion to Islam and persists to this day. In Egypt, another Islamic country, there is a seasonal tradition of egg decorating of 50

unknown antiquity; in eastern Orthodox countries they paint eggs red (for Christ’s blood) and green (for returning spring); in England and North-Western Europe there is a tradition of rolling coloured eggs down hills at Eastertime, echoing the rolling away of the stone from the Holy Sepulchre; in America the White House puts on an annual display of decorated eggs from every state of the union, and favoured children (how are they selected?) are invited to a spot of eggrolling on the White House lawn. Egg decoration seems to have evolved into making eggs out of solid chocolate in France or Germany in the early 19th century, and the first Easter egg in England came from Cadbury’s in 1842. These eggs can hardly have been for the mass market since the chocolate of the time was very expensive and also very bitter. Finer, less harsh, and less expensive chocolate was made possible by more sophisticated processing equipment in the later 19th century, and Cadbury’s produced its first hollow egg (filled with sweets) in 1875. The first milk chocolate Easter egg followed exactly 30 years later and... well, what more do we need to know? Except that Easter eggs sell for a far higher price per gram than the slab chocolate of which they’re made, and as they’ll keep almost indefinitely any left unsold can

simply go into cold store until next year – at which time next year’s prices can be charged for last year’s stock. As I said, it’s all a very long way from the Mount of Olives! Which brings on to the troublesome question of the date. Easter is the only moveable feast left in the western calendar, all the others having been fixed; and it’s a source of enormous irritation to many, especially those in the tourism and education trades. But it too is based on Pesach or Passover, which falls on the full moon on or immediately after the vernal equinox. The early Church fathers knew that the Last Supper was held on Passover, for the Gospels told them so; the same authority placed the Crucifixion on the following Friday, so ipso facto the resurrection was on the first Sunday after the full moon that followed the vernal equinox. This was officially promulgated at the Council of Nicaea in 325AD; but since then the eastern Orthodox churches have drifted apart from the western tradition, and the western calendar has changed from the Julian to the Gregorian, so if you want to celebrate Easter twice all you have to do is hop on a ferry from Italy to Greece. Well, that’s just about it for Easter – except that I forgot Easter bunnies. Well, springtime, fertility, rabbits, breeding, etcetera... need I say more? Oh, and Easter bonnets.

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Great Shows At The Grand! TUES 28 FEB - SAT 3 MARCH

TUES 6 - SAT 10 MARCH

TUES 13 - SAT 17 MARCH

STARRING

CHRISTOPHER TIMOTHY AS OTTO FRANK

MON 19 - SAT 24 MARCH

TUES 27 - SAT 31 MARCH

SAT 7 - SUN 8 APRIL

Music and Lyrics presents Curve Theatre Leicester’s production of

RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S

TUES 10 - SAT 14 APRIL

TUE 17 - SAT 21 APRIL

TUES 24 - SAT 28 APRIL

An amateur production

Follow us on

@WolvesGrand

Like us on Facebook: Wolverhampton Grand

Box Office 01902

42 92 12

BOOK ONLINE AT www.grandtheatre.co.uk www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

51


What’s draining your energy?

Louise Presley-Turner

In our first edition of the magazine we’d like to introduce you to our feature writer, Life Coach and Author Louise Presley-Turner. Louise has been featured in some of the top women’s glossies such as Woman & Home and regularly writes for magazines up and down the country. We’re thrilled that Louise will be contributing to Town & Village Life magazine and sharing her tips and techniques with us throughout the year.

As a coach I tend to spend a lot of time encouraging my clients to set big life-changing goals. Whilst it’s important to set yourself big objectives in life that ensure you are expanding and moving forward, it’s also imperative to remember the smaller goals in life too. In fact, it can sometimes be these so-called ‘smaller’ goals that can make all the difference. Think about your day-to-day life. If you’re constantly looking at unfinished DIY, or if a cascade of clothes falls on your head each time you open your wardrobe doors, it’s not going to help you in your quest for a happy life. I call these smaller things ‘energy drainers’, because each time we look at them they make us feel weary and apathetic. Every time I look at my ever-increasing ironing pile, or open my ‘tax return’ folder, my energy levels drain until I feel depressed and deflated.

So ask yourself: What in your life is draining your energy? Is it the cluttered cupboards, the mountain of ironing, the chaotic paperwork, the broken loo seat, the half finished decorating, the killer commute, selfish friends, activities or commitments you don’t enjoy anymore, or is it a particular relationship that is no longer serving you?

It’s time to spring clean your life. It’s time to get rid! Most people spring clean their homes at this time of year, but how about spring cleaning your life? Spring is not only a good time to dust away those cobwebs in your home, it’s a great time to take a critical, yet compassionate 52

look at your life and decide what needs to go. Pursuing a simple, sustainable, flexible, happier lifestyle means that you have to choose it. It means getting rid of things that no longer work for you, it means updating the way you do things, it means freeing up some space for new exciting opportunities and challenges.

Time for action! I want you to get a pen and paper and make a list of these 20 things that you are tolerating: people, circumstances or situations that are sapping your energy. Don’t worry how big or small these are – if they are draining your energy write them down. Now write 20 actions that will eliminate this list forever – from paying your bills by direct debit, employing a cleaner, having your grocery shopping delivered, to ending a toxic relationship.

Here’s the important part. Lists are wonderful and I’m a huge advocate, but they’re useless unless you cross things off them. Pin your list where you can’t miss it and make a concerted effort to cross at least one thing off it each week. The satisfaction you’ll feel will be well worth it and you will find you have loads more energy in the process! Happy spring-cleaning. Louise Presley-Turner is a personal Life Coach and Hay House Author. Louise has a whole host of life coaching tools to help you, from personal one-to-one coaching, group workshops to weekend retreats. To get your FREE Life Planner’ visit www.thegameoflife.co.uk or call 01746 71 61 51. Louise’s latest ‘how to’ book FINDING A FUTURE THAT FITS is now available for pre-order directly from www.amazon.co.uk

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Popping Out For An Indian surroundings in which it is eaten, reflect this. The mere thought of a curry is almost guaranteed to set the oral juices running. There is very little in any European cuisine that is quite so fragrant which is why it makes such a special eating occasion. Mind you, the curries we eat here in the UK are a far cry from those enjoyed in their country of origin. An amazing number are adaptations or pure inventions designed for the British taste, which is not to say they are not enjoyed equally by ex-patriots of the Sub-Continent.

Is one of the more popular gastronomic activities these days, whether it’s to bring home a delicious take-away, or to sit in comfortable splendour in an Indian restaurant that seems to have been designed for the presence of royalty. Somehow the ambience of an Indian restaurant oozes comfort and pleasure, which is the object of the exercise. Their food after all is considered an almost sacred rite to the inhabitants of the SubContinent and they go to great lengths to ensure the

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There are some surprising facts about UK Indian food. For a start, nearly three million customers are entertained in Indian restaurants every week. This represents nearly two-thirds of all meals eaten out in the UK. Indian food is very big business indeed. Curries range in ‘spiciness’ from mild to very hot on the subject of ‘hot’ however, chillies usually play a large part in the flavouring of most curries. And interestingly it was the British who introduced them to India. They are after all, native to the South American Continent. Before their advent, black pepper was the warming ingredient in Indian food.

So what are the favourite Indian meals ordered today? Chicken Tikka Masala probably tops the list. It is in fact an invention by an Indian chef whose

customers found Tandoori food to be rather on the dry side. So, he invented a tangy sauce and this favourite dish was born. The Tandoori dishes are probably the next most popular. They are barbecued over fire or charcoal and are a form of cooking originating in the Punjab region. Vindaloo is probably the next most well-known. It originates in Goa from a dish called Vihna d’Alho words meaning wine and garlic. It is unlikely an inhabitant of Goa would recognise the Anglicised dish though however. The Anglicised version usually contains potato though the garlic remains a prominent ingredient. Order a Balti dish in the knowledge it is named mainly after the utensil it is cooked in, something like a wok. Other dishes that have achieved great popularity include Rogan-Josh and Bhuna, highly spiced, savoury dishes that have started to wean diners away from the pale Kormas and often very hot Madras. Eating out should always be something of an occasion. The food has to be special. The surroundings must be special and the service must be extra special. You’ll find some great Indian restaurants in the Stourbridge and surrounding areas, so give them a try!

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Eating Out and Entertainment

Looking for some great places to dine or be entertained? Then look no further than Town & Village Life Magazine, see pages 55 to 61! 54

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www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Blakelands: The Lodge Restaurant By Helen Taylor

It’s rare to find a restaurant that offers more than just good food, but at Blakelands, delicious cuisine, stunning surroundings and outstanding service combine to bring a dining experience that is truly special. Set in acres of picturesque South Staffordshire countryside, the estate boasts a fantastic 17th century historic manor house that’s a favourite with couples as a wedding venue - and a thoughtfully renovated old hay barn that now houses The Lodge Restaurant.

Greeted by owner, Heather Morgan, and led to a cosy bar area that exudes rustic country charm, we settled down beside the roaring open fire, to sip the first of many wonderful wines - brought in locally from neighbouring Halfpenny Green Vineyards - and ponder the delightful selection of starters and mains on the menu. A specially created seasonal selection is available in addition to the main evening menu - which has been compiled to offer a ‘taste of the season’; a fine assortment of dishes made from a hearty bag of ingredients.

However, the garlic mushroom bruschetta - accompanied by tossed seasonal leaves (£5.90) and the Pattingham black pudding tower - served with a potato rosti, soft poached hen’s egg and hollandaise sauce (£6.90) from the main menu proved to be just too tempting for us. Our starters had been chosen and for our second course we were keen to try any one of the chef prepared main meals. Caramelised roast red onion and goats cheese tarte, with courgette crisps (£14.60) and pork fillet tenderloin herb crusted medallions,

A winding drive leads visitors from Six Ashes Road, Halfpenny Green, up to the delightful character building, that sits in pretty gardens. On arrival it’s clear that it’s the perfect place to break from a busy schedule and relax, unwind, enjoy good company and even better food. It’s a countryside haven, a homefrom-home and there’s certainly no better place to be on a cold and frosty February night, as my friend and I discovered as soon as we stepped inside. 56

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baked bramley apple, wholegrain mustard and cream (£15.90) seemed to be the perfect choice to follow. Separate bar and restaurant areas have been created at The Lodge to make two individual settings - so that customers can experience and enjoy the different atmospheres in each. When it’s time for the food to be served, guests are taken through to the restaurant area, to be seated at a candle-lit table and enjoy views out across the gardens. Head Chef Richard Kenny leads a highly skilled team in the kitchen, who produce a vast range of appetising dishes. Passionate about using only local, fresh and fine ingredients, each course has been constructed with complete customer satisfaction in mind. And so, when our starters arrived they naturally lived up to expectation. Thanks to a skilful blend of flavours, each combination was thoroughly mouth-watering. And artistic presentation ensured

that each item looked just as good as it tasted. Equally the main course made just as much of an impression on arrival. The creative arrangement, generous portion and obvious quality of the ingredients offers good value for money. Each mouthful was utterly delicious and stopped any conversation dead - as we both concentrated on savouring every bite. And finally dessert acted as a grand finale that showcased the undisputed talents of the chefs’ at The Lodge Restaurant. Raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake with compote and double cream (£5.90) along with warm chocolate brownie, butter biscuit curls and Movenpick ice cream (£5.80) offered the perfect close to a fabulous meal - both were delectable. With an ever attentive, polite and pleasant team of waiting staff, the entire dining experience was unbeatable.

Having thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the evening, we both agreed that The Lodge had earned its place as our new favourite local restaurant. To book please call 01384 221000.

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Would you like to reach over 30,000 readers in the Stourbridge and surrounding areas?

Now is the ideal time to promote your seasonal menus, special offers or forthcoming events in

For further details on promoting your venue Call Gisella Wiley on: 01902 744217 58

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Two people dine for the price of one... Table D’Hote Dining at Sir Jack’s #0#-j#0',% the Table D’Hote experience for just £18.95 for two people in March and April 2012. Enjoy a three course meal in our unique, pitch facing Sir Jack’s Restaurant.

Booking an advantage. Available Thursday to Saturday from 7pm Larger parties may also book Monday to Wednesday. Max numbers apply.

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

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PATSHULL PARK FORTHCOMING EVENTS SPRING 2012 Sunday 18th March

Friday 4th May

Mother’s Day Lunch

‘Want you Back’ as Take That Tribute

3 course traditional Sunday Lunch Free gift for all mums!

ÂŁ21.95 per adult / ÂŁ10.95 per child Tuesday 20th March

3 course dinner followed by tribute & d disco isco isco isc

ÂŁ28.95 per person 1 free place for groups of 10 or more! ÂŁ37.50pp booze ‘n’ snooze accommodation

Spring Fair

Thursday 19th April

Luxury Shopping Experience and Flower Arranging Dinner

St George’s Day Lunch

Featuring demonstrations by Andrew Lloyd Charity Event for Macmillan Cancer Support

Traditional English 2 course lunch followed by a patriotic tribute with Maggi Maggie O’Hara ie O O’H ’Hara ’Ha ra Charity Event for Macmillan Cancer Support

ÂŁ23.50 per person

ÂŁ18.00 per person

Vi i www.patshull-park.co.uk Visit h ll k k ffor more ddetails, il callll sales l to book on 0844 272 0253 or email sales@patshull-park.co.uk www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Wombourne Tandoori, The Perfect Place To Dine By Ryan O’Toole Wombourne residents have long seen themselves as villagers enjoying a refined, semicountrified way of life pleasingly removed from the urban hurly burly of the Black Country. But being, in the main, good Midlanders like the rest of us, they see it as their birth right to have unfettered access to the best traditional food. It comes, therefore, as no surprise to find one of the best Tandoori restaurants in the region tucked away tidily within a stone’s throw of the renowned Wombourne Village Green. I was delighted to find how unchanged the village of Wombourne is, still managing to preserve its integrity and, quite frankly, was astonished to discover that here a cosmopolitan level of cuisine, usually only available to the cognoscenti, is now accessible to all. Wombourne’s premier and longest established Indian restaurant, the Wombourne Tandoori, 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 assistant chefs and waiters who work to particularly high standards. It’s no wonder that there’s a five star rating from ‘Rate My Place’, because as soon as you enter this clean, light and airy air conditioned restaurant with its attractive water feature and starstudded ceiling, you’re enjoying a sensory experience that is the perfect precursor to fine dining. Delightful background music and TV-screened ‘Bollywood’ spectaculars played at just the right volume relaxes you even more and by the time you have been shown to your seats by 60 60

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polite and pleasant smiling staff you know you are in safe hands. My companion on this occasion, Julie Dawlish from Devon - more accustomed to cream teas and vol-au-vents - said “I’ve never heard of Wombourne before, but after coming here I shan’t forget it in a hurry”. “Fancy!” I quipped “You’ve never heard of Wombourne?” (Nudge, nudge. There’s wombourne every minute!). Choosing from a particularly extensive and reasonably priced menu was not easy. Menus have been created to combine the tastes and flavours of the many regions of the Asian sub-continent to a level whereby you can try special Balti dishes from the North Western area of Kashmir and the Punjab to the home-style Bangladeshi meals that make up Rafique’s ‘signature speciality dishes’. Delicious starters of vegetable samosas for your hungry correspondent and fried prawns for Miss Dawlish whet appetites for the main courses. Vegetable Biryani proved irresistible to this writer and Lamb Sagwalla was Miss Dawlish’s choice. Even the aromatic bouquet of the piping hot dishes placed in front of us proved to be a feast in itself and we salivated over the wonderful wonderfuls. Served with a style and panache befitting a restaurant of such

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standing, I was overjoyed to find that here at last is a quality establishment that doesn’t skimp on quantity. I can assure readers that those who dine at Wombourne Tandoori will not need to follow later with a supplementary supper at home. The attentive and punctilious service - never less than courteous - enhanced the overall experience. Here customers are made to feel special because the staff are in the business of promoting pleasure in dining. Their satisfaction comes from seeing their customers satisfied. While we are fortunate to live in a region where exotic cuisine is

readily available, there remains a premium on excellence which makes an establishment such as this, one to seek out - and having delighted in the experience, one simply has to spread the word: and the word is ‘superb’. From the moment of our welcome to the time when fully replete and contented and saying goodbye, I felt I’d been born under a lucky star. Certainly Wombourne residents are lucky to have such quality on their doorstep and a beer drinker from Bilston is just as likely to be impressed as a dotty dame from Devonport. (To avoid giving offence to our ‘PC’ readers, I have to emphasise that she was wearing polka dots at the time.). And so, after having said our goodbyes we headed for the car - and met a chaffinch chirping on the bough - which impelled me to modify Browning’s immortal words. ‘Oh, to be in Wombourne Now that the Tandoori’s there…’ Bookings are now being taken for Mother’s Day, lunchtime and evenings with a special Childrens menu available. Wombourne Tandoori, High Street, Wombourne WV5 9DN. For reservations and takeaways please contact 01902 324148 or 01902 324437. 61


No Smoking Day Wednesday 14th March is No Smoking Day, when organisations highlight the benefits of giving up smoking as well as offer assistance to those of you ready to quit. Each year, over a million people try to stop smoking and discover just how difficult it can be; several relapse, but many succeed. Even for those who find it too hard, at least they have taken the first step to ultimately becoming a nonsmoker. Most people who have successfully given up smoking will have tried and failed many times. Remember, if at first you don’t succeed, try - again and again. It can take a while, but if you’re committed to quitting, you can do it. Giving up smoking requires dedication and a lot of planning and the chances of success are increased if you use resources available to you through the websites such as www. nosmokingday. org.uk or http:// smokefree.nhs.uk. You are far more likely to quit for good if you have a lot of support; your own GP can assist and pharmacists can advise on the numerous nicotine replacement options on the market.

The NHS runs nationwide Stop Smoking Services; visit their website and enter your postcode to find your nearest service. They also run a free helpline which is available from 7am to 11pm every day to support you when you feel the need to light up. The number is 0800 022 4332. As well as the many, wellpublicised health benefits you’ll gain from giving up smoking, the amount of money you’ll save is astounding. www.nosmokingday. org.uk has a “quit and save” calculator which gives you incentive by working out how much money you’ll save by not buying cigarettes. Many smokers spend over £2000 a year on cigarettes. Obviously, you don’t have to quit on No smoking Day, any day will do! Again, the No Smoking day site has a lot of information and support to help you make your decision and keep to it. Regardless of your reasons to stop, this website is full of advice, strategies and useful tips. There’s an interesting two-question quiz on the site that helps you

choose the quit-method that suits you best. While a few people can just throw away the cigarettes and stop instantly, most need extra help in the form of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). The NRT you choose depends on your lifestyle, habits and the extent of your addiction. The quiz enables you to choose the method that suits you. Although the most effective method of giving up smoking is to quit completely, this may not work for everyone, so cutting down is a great way to move closer to a healthier life. This process involves using NRT, so seek advice from your GP or pharmacist. Cutting down involves halving the number of cigarettes you smoke per day and replacing the other half with gum or an inhalator. Alternative therapies can be used to support your quest for a non-smoking life. These include hypnotherapy and acupuncture, among others.

Whatever your personal reasons for wanting to quit, No Smoking Day is as good a day as any to make a start. There’s a wealth of help and support to help you, so why not take the first steps to becoming a non-smoker on 14th March? 62

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GET PAID TO EXERCISE Distributors required for: WORDSLEY, COT LANE, KINGSWINFORD & AMBLECOTE To deliver a quality magazine every other month. Ideal for mature, semi-retired or mums at home. Competitive Rates of Pay. If you are interested please Give Irene a call on:

01952 261267

A Step in the Right Direction

We are grateful for the support of individuals, groups, schools, shops and cafes. We would also like to thank the people of Stourbridge who continue to ask for Fairtrade products.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 started on Feb 27th and runs until Mar 11th this will be the 20th anniversary of the Fairtrade Foundation. The theme this year is to ‘Take a Step’. The Fairtrade Foundation hopes to collect 1.5 million pledges. Each pledge represents a farmer or producer from around the world the Fairtrade Foundation hopes to work with. In Stourbridge we will be inviting people to take their step and make a pledge for Fairtrade. It could be to permanently switch one regular non Fairtrade shopping item to a fairly traded one or maybe to organise a Fairtrade coffee morning. More ideas can be found at www.fairtrade.org.uk/step

Stourbridge Chamber of Trade donated these pull-ups and we hope to have a street banner erected in Stourbridge for Fairtrade Fortnight 2012.

On Saturday 10th March, 10am -1pm. St. Thomas’s Church Hall, Market St, Stourbridge is hosting a Fairtrade Morning. A warm invitation is given to everybody.

Stourbridge Fairtrade believes a fair wage should be paid to farmers and producers in developing countries. Currently millions of people are in need of better trade deals and Fairtrade makes a real difference to their lives and their communities. As you can see we promote Fairtrade in a variety of ways! A trolley push through Stourbridge High Street.

Fairtrade stalls & refreshments will be available. Stourbridge gained Fairtrade Town status in September 2010, an achievement we are immensely proud of but our work is not finished, our steps continue…

If you wish to know more please contact Michaela Vallance Secretary micval@btinternet.com. Tel: 07716 293986 www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Nuffield Hospital Wolverhampton Hospital - Your local Private Hospital services and medical care that make us the leading provider of private healthcare within the region.

When your treatment matters enough to go private, you need to be sure you’re getting the best. The good news is you’ll find it right here on your doorstep at your local Nuffield Health Wolverhampton hospital. Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital has an established reputation in the region as a leading provider of healthcare with an excellent team of highly expertised consultants and staff. Situated in Tettenhall, just off the A41 on the west side of Wolverhampton, the hospital is set within extensive, mature grounds of 6.5 acres and is fully equipped with the latest medical facilities providing the highest standards of medical care. We have 39 private rooms equipped with flat screen TV, wi-fi and en suite facilities and 2 HDU beds. Our hospital is designed to promote a relaxed, modern and comfortable environment. All our staff are highly trained with the overall aim of creating a caring environment to encourage a speedy recovery and well-being with spotlessly clean rooms and nurses who treat you as an individual. We pride ourselves on combining the technology of the future with the values of the past, that’s why we have a personable and dedicated matron who ensures the highest of standards throughout the hospital. Nuffield Hospitals was established in 1957 and is the UK’s largest healthcare charity. We are a notfor-profit organisation which means that we reinvest everything back into improving our services and facilities. Over the past twelve months the Nuffield Health Wolverhampton hospital has undergone an extensive £1 million refresh programme enabling us to continue to provide you with the excellent facilities, 64

The refresh programme has enabled us to update and modernise our entire patient facing areas, including reception, imaging, theatres, endoscopy suite, outpatient department, consulting rooms, patient bedrooms and the patient ward plus the development of a new aesthetic suite on the ground floor. We have our own in-house Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation department for in-patient and outpatient care. Our physiotherapists bring a high level of experience and expertise so that you can be assured of the highest quality of care and will provide you with the most effective and appropriate treatment to help you recover your full health and well being in the shortest time possible. You can self refer for physiotherapy consultations. Appointments can be scheduled by contacting the department direct on 01902 793224 or on 0845 045 4845. Our Imaging Department offers a wide range of easily accessible, competitively priced diagnostic services such as MRI scanning, CT scans, fluoroscopy, general radiography, ultrasound scanning (not obstetrics). We now are able to offer a ‘self-referral’ breast screening mammography service for women aged 40 years and over and who are symptom free. Breast screening is an effective way to help with the early detection of breast cancer. You can contact the imaging department direct on 01902 793234. We accept patients who have private medical insurance or who want to pay for themselves. We offer a Personal Medical Loan facility making your healthcare more affordable with 0%* interest free loans.

We offer services across a vast range of speciality areas as follows: Choose & Book Clinics for Cataracts, Knees, Hips, Hernias, Hand, Foot & Ankle Surgery, Acute Pain, Shoulder & ENT Cosmetic Surgery Dermatology

Diagnostic Imaging ENT Exercise ECG and Cardiology Investigations Gastroenterology General Medicine Genito-urinary Medicine Gynaecology Medical Oncology Neurology On site Pathology and Phlebotomy Ophthalmology Optometry Oral Maxillofacial Orthopaedics Paediatrics Pain Management Physiotherapy Podiatry Pre-assessment Psychiatry Psychology Rheumatology Urology Varicose Veins Weight Loss Surgery The majority of appointments with a consultant will require a letter of referral from your GP although you can self-refer for cosmetic consultations.

Recent Nuffield Health Group Awards 2012 Prestigious Healthcare Safety Award NHS Litigation Authority 3 (NHSLA 3) 2011 Health Investor Private Hospital Group 2010 Laing & Buisson Award for Management Excellence 2010 Health Investor Social Enterprise of the Year For further information on the above or any other services please telephone 01902 754177 or visit our website at www.nuffieldhealth.com/ wolverhamptonhospital Why go miles for private treatment when we’ll go the extra mile for you here? *0% APR typical. There will be a £55 admin charge. All loans are subject to status. Exclusions apply.

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Stourton Park - Home of Stourbridge Rugby Club Stourbridge Rugby Football Club is one of the major sporting and social event venues in the Black Country. Located in the beautiful Stourton countryside, “Stourton Park” hosts a National Division One rugby team (putting Stourbridge Saxons amongst the top 40 clubs in England), five amateur rugby teams (including the Stourbridge Ladies) and a myriad of mini and junior teams with players from the age of five upwards. The Club has a long history, being founded in 1876 as a branch of the Stourbridge Cricket Club where they shared the Cricket ground in Amblecote. As Association Football flourished, the rugby section was ousted and from 1883 rugby football soldiered on in a variety of locations throughout the town, with the highlight being a mini golden era in the two seasons 1887-9 when only 4 games were lost out of a total of 37. Despite this success on the field of play, interest in the game seems to have waned and after 2 lacklustre seasons the club was forced to disband in 1893.

There was a brief but inadequately supported revival 1907-8.

clubroom, two members’ rooms and a viewing balcony.

The club was revived again in 1921, and yet again, it proved difficult to find a satisfactory location. Two remote spots in Clent and Pedmore were briefly utilised before they settled in an old soccer ground at Vicarage Road, Wollaston, rented from the Church. In 1965-6, the club moved to its present freehold site at Stourton; 11 acres, expanded later to 15 acres and now possessing 4 senior pitches and 2 mini pitches, 2 sets of floodlights and an impressive 450 seat grandstand.

Yet Stourton Park is not just known for its rugby. With the fantastic facilities available in the Clubhouse it is well used by local businesses for meetings and conferences and even corporate sports events! It is also well known as a venue for family celebrations, parties, black-tie dinners, and wedding receptions and even, as a civil ceremony licence is held, for weddings and naming ceremonies themselves.

Neil Mitchell who had started and ended his playing career at Stourton Park, bordering a long spell at Moseley became Director of Rugby in 2004. The 2010-11 season brought a new coaching expertise to the Stourbridge Saxons team in the form of former Springbok international Thinus Delport. During the 2011-12 season he has been joined by Chris Fortey, who has played for Worcester Warriors and Gloucester in his career.

The highlight of the Stourton Park Calendar, however, is the May Weekend. Friday 11th May will see nearly 1,000 of the regions business leaders being entertained in the May Marquee for the Corporate Sporting Luncheon – this year’s speakers being World Cup winners Phil Vickery MBE & Ben Kay MBE. The marquee then hosts the May Ball on Saturday 12th – more than 600 people attended the magnificent black-tie event last year.

The Clubhouse, a twostorey structure, has been extended and regularly refurbished so that it contains a gymnasium, a major

www.stourbridgerugby.com e: rugby@stourbridgerugby.com www.stourtonpark.com e: events@stourtonpark.com t: 01384 395000

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Get Set For Spring By Helen Jane Taylor

Brighten things up this spring with splashes of statement colour in a range of bright, bold hues. Use tones of grey and blue as a backdrop for more striking fluorescent and neon shades.

Paul Smith Collection available in store or online at www.pockets.co.uk

Punchy patterns have been seen all over the catwalks and are just the thing for those who like to steal the show in the style stakes. Team a linen blazer with a bold tee, colourful or classic chinos and finish the look with deck shoes. Casual, easy to wear and on-trend. Fashion Tip: from Paul at Pockets “Chinos are an essential style item this season and are great when worn with a long sleeve shirt - remember to roll the sleeves up for a fashion forward look.�

A selection of spring fashions from River Island

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

A selection of spring fashions from River Island

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Pockets: quality designer fashion from the world’s leading brands As one of the UK’s most exclusive brand retailers, Pockets has become the premier choice for men who appreciate luxury labels, designer style and excellent customer service. Established in 1996, when owner Paul Platt opened his first store in Shrewsbury’s The Square, the business has since expanded to incorporate locations at Nantwich, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Hanley and Worcester. Each store has been designed with a cool, spacious and minimalist feel and allows for every one of the carefully selected brands on offer to maintain their own identity. There’s also the Pockets website. Launched two years ago, www. pockets.co.uk is suitably well stocked with all of the top designer brands that you would find in store. Care, attention to detail and an emphasis of individualism is all part of Pocket’s company philosophy and this is apparent in everything Paul and his highly trained team do, from buying the best trend collections in Italy and London, to advising on style in store. With designer ranges from Armani, Hugo Boss, Mulberry and Paul Smith - to name but a few - Pockets exclusive collections offer extensive choice in both traditional, trend clothing and formal wear. 68

Created with men of all ages in mind and built around both classic and fashion-forward looks, Paul personally selects items from a wide range of world renowned designers and ensures that there’s something to suit every style. “When I started Pockets my aim was to create and grow a great men’s retail business that sold quality products from around the world. In addition, I wanted to offer excellent service and always strive to do more,” explains Paul. It’s clear that Paul has achieved his goals, but he is always keen to develop his business further. “Each one of our stores is unique and we have developed and

grown over the years to bring the best hand-picked brands to our customers. We will be opening a new floor upstairs in July at our Shrewsbury branch that will be dedicated to Paul Smith designs.” he adds. Personalised customer service is key at Pockets and with a made to measure fitting service, alteration facility and even a delivery service, the team do all they can to make everyone’s experience totally hassle free. With spring ranges now in store, it’s the perfect time to update your look ready for the new season.

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www.pockets.co.uk 39 Friar Street Worcester WR1 2NA

(01905) 613113

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Springtime Chic By Helen Taylor Denim Shirt

£40 Tube Skirt

£22 Both from River Island

This spring, indulge in a wonderful selection of hues, patterns and prints. It’s all about daring designs, so don’t be afraid to clash prints for an on-trend look, that’s sure to make you stand out from the crowd. Easy to wear pastel shades are effortlessly feminine and embody the feeling of spring perfectly. Mix ice-cream shades with bolder hues and create an eclectic look.

Express your style, make a statement and enjoy having fun with bold, bright, he ad-turning fashion looks.

Feather Blouse. £22. Crafted at Republic

Sandals. £80. Bronx at Lily’s of Shifnal

Dress. £55. Selected Femme at Grace and Glory

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Pale Blue Jeans. £170. Paige at House of Fraser

Sleeveless Shirt. £22. BANK

Graphic print scarf. £35. Linea at House of Fraser town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Print Top

£22 Shorts

£30 Both from River Island

Print Blazer

£40 Print Trousers

£40 Both from River Island

Pink Skinny Fit Jeans. £30. Miso at Republic GC Watches - Swiss Made. From T.A. Henn

£285.

Bleach Denim Gilet. £30. Crafted at Republic

Handbag. £67.99. Claudia Canova at Lily’s of Shifnal Ti Sento Rings - New Collection. £115. T.A. Henn (Available in store soon)

‘Swan’ Print Dress. £53. Sugar Hill Boutique 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. Wolverhampton West 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 Wolverhampton West Magazine infringes on your copyright, please notify us and they will be promptly removed.

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Win a Spa Day for your Mum at The Copthorne Hotel To celebrate the first annual anniversary of Imagine Spa at the Copthorne Hotel, Merry Hill, Town and Village Life magazine is offering readers the chance of winning a fantastic prize. Imagine Spa offers the latest in relaxing facials, massage and hand/ nail treatments. Our treatments incorporate the finest products, expect to find products from Babor and Jessica Nails. We offer the finest treatments and legendary customer service in a relaxing, stress free environment. In this edition, Imagine Spa is offering readers the chance to bring along your mum to enjoy a fabulous day of pampering worth £130. Two persons can choose from a 30 minute treatment each plus, enjoy the use of our on-site Le Club Health and Fitness leisure facilities including 15 metre swimming pool, steam room, sauna, spa pool, fully equipped gym and classes (subject to availability, pre-booking essential). Welcome drink of tea or coffee on arrival plus lunch in Faradays Restaurant (£15 allocation p/p) .

10 lucky runners-up will each receive a complimentary day pass for two persons to enjoy use of Le Club Health and Fitness leisure facilities. Value £30. Le Club Health and Fitness offers a fun, friendly environment for anyone who wants to pursue a healthier lifestyle in a non-intimidating environment. After exercising the poolside facilities offer the perfect way to relax and unwind.

To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the following question:

What is the name of the Spa at the Copthorne Hotel, Merry Hill – Dudley?

imaginespa.co.uk/merryhill

Please email your answer to info@townandvillagelifemag.co.uk or on a postcard to Town & Village Life magazine Ltd, 1 Lytham Road, Perton, Wolverhampton, WV6 7YY, to include your full name, address and telephone number. All entries to be received by 14 March 2012.

Competition T&C’s • To enter you must be 18 years or older • A parent or guardian is welcome to register on behalf of a minor aged 16 or 17, please include parent/guardians details as well as minors details • Closing date 14 March 2012 • Winners will be notified by no later than 16 March 2012 • All prizes must be redeemed before 31 July 2012 • Pre-booking for all prize winners is essential and parent/guardian signature’s will be required for facility usage

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town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


grace glory W o m e n ’s Fa s h i o n B o u t i q u e Darling Daise Bag £52.50

Darling Trudy Dress £59

Now Stocking Prom Wear!

Darling Trudy Blouse £45

Flower Bracelet £16

Selected Billanja Top £40

Darling Pollyanna Dress £79

LTB Molly Jeans £45

Sugarhill Boutique Butterfly Maxi £65

Ravel Jersey Sandal £55 Selected Maise Shirt £50 Ravel Jubilee Sandal £45

Small Satchel £25

Ravel Jaime Shoe £55

Selected Chino Short £55

DRESSES | TOPS | SKIRTS | BOTTOMS | JEANS & DENIM | SHOES | ACCESSORIES LIMES COURT, UPPER GREEN,TETTENHALL WV6 8RZ | t: +44 (0) 1902 750 016 | e:info@grace-and-glory.co.uk

shop online : www.grace -and-glory.co.uk www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Capelli Hairdressing: head and shoulders above the rest Finding a hairdressing salon that really suits your style can often be a long process, but thanks to Capelli Hairdressing’s chic city styling and creative interior design, you’re sure to fit right in. Soft lighting, gentle music and indulgent massage chairs combine to provide the most relaxing in-salon experience you’ve ever had. Owner Flora Bianco has worked hard to make every one of her customers’ time at the salon relaxing, comfortable and totally rejuvenating. Along with the usual refreshments there’s a selection of herbal teas and chocolates on offer so you’re sure to feel truly pampered. And what’s more there’s also the option to take advantage of a therapeutic head massage when your hair is being shampooed and conditioned - it’s sure to melt the day’s stresses away.

Using a range of long lasting ammonia free permanent colours enriched with ingredients that leave hair feeling incredibly shiny and soft - a colour service at Capelli Hairdressing is guaranteed to add vitality to any tired tresses. Flora wants everyone to leave her salon feeling “naturally beautiful” and to achieve this she uses products from the amazing ‘Organic Way’ (O-Way) range. These shampoos, conditioners and styling products are rich in

natural ingredients - organic herbs and vegetable extracts - and work perfectly with the natural balance of your hair fibre. Thanks to a vast range, there’s something for everyone. And because of the expert advice that’s on hand in the salon, a range of O-Way products can be tailored to suit your specific needs. This Italian range of miracle products effectively remove all residues to leave hair deeply cleansed and shining. And all are available to buy in the salon.

It’s not all about rest and relaxation at the salon though, there’s a great team of stylists - led by Flora - who are waiting to give you the cut and colour of your dreams. Always keen to keep up-to-date with the latest hair trends, styling, cutting techniques and products, the team frequently attend top hair academies - Toni & Guy Academy and Hob Education London - and have shown off their skills at The Clothes Show Live and Salon International. 74

Fantastic stylists, great organic products and a truly trendy salon make Capelli Hairdressing head and shoulders above the rest.

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Flora and Capelli Hairdressing

SPRING OFFER

AVAILABLE FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH Cut, Colour and Finish

ONLY £50 with Danielle on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and leave the salon feeling `naturally beautiful’. (skin test is required 48 hours prior to treatment)

Please mention this offer at time of booking and present this advert when visiting our salon. (One voucher per client only).

Keep up to date with all our latest offers, visit

www.capellihairdressing.co.uk Open: Tuesday to Friday 9am until 6pm. Saturdays 8.30am until 4.30pm. Closed Mondays.

To avoid disappointment BOOK NOW on 01384 484749 131 Dudley Road, Brierley Hill, DY5 1HD FREE PARKING OUTSIDE SALON

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Beauty They say if you feel good, you’ll look good, and if you look good you’ll feel good... However it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation and you often need just a little help to achieve that first plus factor.

exercise programme. See your GP first to make sure you are healthy enough to undertake these routines and get a diet that will help you lose weight slowly, sensibly and permanently, then get enrolled in a fitness club or local gym.

First of all, if you are at all dissatisfied with yourself, strip off and look objectively at your image in the mirror. Do you bulge where you shouldn’t? Is that cellulite making you nervous of beachwear this summer? Is your skin a touch dingy and your hair out of control? If so a trip to your local beauty salon could be your first positive step towards a more beautiful, healthier you.

The advantages of a well organised club or gym are the supervision and planned exercise routines that will help tone your muscles, limber up your joints and the slimming campaign as well. Don’t panic if you appear to put weight on. It’s your measurements you need to keep check on. Toned, healthy muscle can be heavier than fat but less bulky and it’s those dimensions you are interested in, not your actual weight.

A facial could be your first strike for beauty. You would be surprised, not only at how much difference it can make to your skin but also how soothing the treatment is and how great you will feel afterwards. Many ladies go on to an all-over treatment after a single facial treatment. 76

Part of our problem in this country is lack of consistent sunshine. A course of sunbed exposure can work wonders - as long as you follow advice, don’t over-do the exposure times, use the correct moisturisers and wear the correct goggles. Hair and nails are the next areas of common neglect. A restyling, conditioning treatment and expert set will change your look and outlook completely. And while you sit under the dryer, have a manicure. Beautiful hands are often the first things anyone notices about you. Of course none of this will help your figure if it’s showing the ravages of over-indulgence. What you need next is a supervised slimming and

Follow a regular regime of beauty, healthy diet and controlled exercise and it can be almost guaranteed, at the end of six months, you’ll be a different you - a healthier, more beautiful and vibrant person altogether.

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Amazing accessories at Lily’s With shoes, handbags and accessories that are guaranteed to ignite a passion for fashion in every shopper, Lily’s of Shifnal boasts an exciting range of fabulously unique and undoubtedly stylish pieces. Situated in a prime position in Shifnal’s village centre, Lily’s is bursting with everything you could possibly need to accessorise your outfit perfectly. Brimming with brands that will excite all shoe lovers, Lily’s range incorporates classic designs, epitomised by Riva and Lotus, and contrasts these with the latest individual looks from the ultra trendy Irregular Choice. Chic owner Jo Shervey handpicks suppliers and shares her eye for style with any customer looking

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

for help, when choosing to co-ordinate that special out-fit. Jo explains, “We see a growing number of customers who come into the shop with a dress, to find matching items to piece together a whole look." “At Lily’s that challenge is made easy, enabling you to feel good for that special occasion; be it a party, wedding or just something glamorous and special.” Totally dedicated to offering only the very best in personal service, Jo prides herself on being able to spend time with her customers and enjoys delighting them with an array of superb shoes, heavenly handbags and fantastic fascinators. And it is this one-to-one treatment that sets the boutique apart from faceless high street chains, as well as explaining why the store has so much repeat business.

With exciting new handbag ranges from Smith and Canova soon to be gracing the shelves, the problem of trying to decide which one to choose just got harder. A fully stocked website means that you can now shop in the comfort of your own home; that’s if you can resist the temptation of seeing the sumptuous selection of shoes in the flesh.

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Your Wedding Day: Make it perfect The Venue - At home or abroad? Patshull Park Hotel, Wolverhampton Racecourse, Blakelands Country House and Wergs Golf Club are four outstanding venues, situated close to home, that boast superb facilities, glorious surroundings and an

Wedding planners, Chair covers, flower arrangements, Table centrepieces, sweets displays, Cakes and so much more… Bespoke Creations are based in Ingestre Stafford and cover the midlands area catering for all manner of events, including Weddings, Anniversaries, Birthday Parties, Christenings, in fact just about any special occasion. We work with you to create a memorable day that will be remembered long after the event has finished.

01889 271166 / 07896 602111 or melissa@bespokecreations.co.uk

www.bespokecreations.co.uk 78

exceptional personalised service for every couple. Patshull Park Hotel prides itself on its unique mix of hospitality and service which can be tailored to suit every couple’s needs. Whether it’s a grand, formal event or small family gathering, Patshull Park can provide the ideal setting and package to make your wedding an occasion you’ll never forget. Wolverhampton Racecourse offers a range of beautiful suites available for civil ceremonies and wedding receptions. Set in quiet, beautiful parkland, the racecourse can cater for the most intimate of gatherings, to grand banquets. For a truly memorable occasion, there are race days available when you can combine your wedding day with racing, and even the option to sponsor a race with the Bride and Grooms name as the race of the day. Blakelands Country House has hosted weddings since 1992, and thanks to stunning

grounds and a wonderful country house - that dates back to 1722 - it’s the perfect backdrop for your celebrations and wedding photography. In short, it has all the ingredients you need for the day you will always remember. Alternatively there is Wergs Golf Club in Tettenhall; a setting that is awash with picturesque vistas for the wedding photo album. There is excellent food and attentive customer service on offer too and, crucially, the club offers a full wedding planning service, designed to take away as much pre-marital stress as possible. But, if you dream of tying the knot in an exotic location that’s far from here, then The Travel Bureau Wombourne can take you there. Whether your ideal destination in is Europe, the Caribbean or even Lapland, you can combine your wedding and honeymoon for the holiday of a lifetime the team at The Travel Bureau will take care of it all.

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


What To Wear For us girls the most important thing about our wedding day is the dress. Once you’ve found ‘the one’ you’ll know. And whatever your style, looking and feeling amazing is essential.

But what about the bridesmaids, maid of honour and guests? They need to look great too. Thanks to two brilliant boutiques based in Shifnal there’s dresses, accessories and everything else that’s required for a wonderful wedding outfit. The Gown Studio specialises in occasion dresses. With a great range of gowns - in an array of styles, colours and sizes - there’s something special for every bridesmaid and guest. But it’s not all about dresses, as a chair cover hire and balloon decoration service is available too - just what you need to make your venue look fabulous. With shoes and accessories ideal for every special occasion, Lily’s of Shifnal has all of those important finishing touches to complete your wedding look. Thanks to an extensive range of styles and colours, it’s easy to find just what you’re looking for to co-ordinate your outfit.

A Symbol Of Love Many couples eagerly anticipating their big day often leave finding their wedding band until the last minute. And where better to buy a beautiful ring that’s going to last for a lifetime than from T.A. Henn jewellers, Wolverhampton?

Whatever you’ve got in mind for your special day, there’s a fantastic range of local businesses that are ready and waiting to make your dreams come true. MAIN PHOTO (Right) Bride: Debut Embellished Cowl Back Dress £160. Groom: Red Herring Suit Jacket £85, Trousers £35. All at Debenhams

Bride (Top left) Debut Empire Trim Dress £135, Pearce II Fionda Veil £40, Debut Glitter Sandals £25. All at Debenhams

Bride (Top Middle) Silver Bangle £350, Pear shape Pendant £165, Matching Earrings £75, Ring £115. All Ti Sento at T.A. Henn

Bridesmaid (Top Right) Debut Prom Dress £85, Kelsey/Edition Shoes £55. All at Debenhams

With over 200 quality wedding rings in store - that appeal to every budget - T.A. Henn combine outstanding products with exceptional, dedicated customer service. Thanks to a bespoke facility, customers are guaranteed a perfect fit - rings can be altered to suit all requirements and shaped to sit comfortably with any engagement ring. www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Beautiful Bride By Helen Taylor

Pure Colour Gloss Sticks. £18.50 Estee Lauder

each.

Fresh Bloom All Over Colour. £25. Clinique

Jimmy Choo EDT 60ml. £43.50. The Perfume Shop

Photo: Debenhams

Up-lighting Liquid Illuminator. Clinique

£20 each.

It’s a good idea to establish a skincare and beauty regime well in advance of your big day. Whether your skin is dry, oily or prone to blemishes, finding the right products early on will mean that you will look glowing and flawless on all of your wedding pictures. Keep skin clear with regular facials and brighten your complexion by exfoliating regularly. Always cleanse, tone, moisturise and use an eye cream every day. If you are having your make-up professionally applied on the morning of the wedding, be sure to hold on to the lipstick and other essential products that have been used. You will need them for all those important touchups later on in the day.

Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Mascara. £22. Estee Lauder 80 0

Don’t forget to chose a signature fragrance for your nuptials - smell is one of the senses that best triggers memories, so choose a fragrance that you’ll want to associate with your special day forever. town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Patshull Park has an excellent reputation for hosting civil ceremonies and wedding receptions in the local region. From your initial enquiry, all planning and the finer details of your wedding day are handled by the hotel’s dedicated professional team, ensuring that your wedding day is a memorable event. Patshull Park is not only a great hotel, but also a fantastic venue to entertain your guests on your special day. Patshull Park is situated in over 250 acres of stunning parkland in secluded Shropshire countryside, midway between Telford and Wolverhampton. The hotel stands in the estate of Patshull Hall, with the Capability Brown designed Parkland now forming the backdrop to the 18 hole championship golf course. The hotel is built around an 18th Century folly, which provides stunning views over the Great Lake. This fantastic setting provides the ideal venue for your wedding day. The hotel’s carefully planned wedding packages have

been created to assist couples in planning their day and Wedding Co-ordinator Jo Guest is always delighted to look at options that suit your personal requirements. Hotel Sales and Marketing Manager John Prior advised “Jo has co-ordinated over 750 weddings during her time at Patshull Park.” Any couple looking to discuss or book a wedding venue could not be in more capable hands from initial discussion to their actual wedding day.” So why would you book you wedding with Patshull Park? Professional advice, detailed planning, beautiful lakeside setting for memorable photographs, excellent service, numerous packages to suit most budgets… these are just some of the reasons for you to book an appointment to experience Patshull Park.

For more information visit Patshull’s website: www.patshull-park.co.uk, call the sales team on: 01902 700100 or email on: sales@patshull-park.co.uk

Patshull Park Your Ideal Wedding Location Breathtaking scenery, experienced professional staff and excellent food Yours will be the only wedding on the day – guaranteed Packages for most budgets including ‘off peak’ offers A perfect day tailored to your specific requirements

BOOK YOUR SHOW ROUND TODAY

0844 272 0255 Email: sales@patshull-park.co.uk www.patshull-park.co.uk

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Eighties Extravaganza to support Compton Hospice Back row (L/R): James Lloyd (Westlet), Michele Ibbs (I’m Your P.A.), Jaki Graham (80’s Diva), Dickie Dodd (107.7 The Wolf). Front row (L/R): Sally Woods & Simon Cater (Compton Hospice Fundraisers).

More than 300 people stepped back in time to help support Compton Hospice’s 30 year anniversary in February with a 1980’s themed party at Wolverhampton Racecourse. The Black Country based hospice, which first opened its doors in February 1982, staged a complete nostalgia experience which included entertainment from ‘Kick up the Eighties’ tribute band and a special guest appearance from 80’s diva Jaki Graham who belted out a selection of her hits from the decade. Guests were greeted by an Elton John look-a-like and had the chance to be photographed with the original Back to the Future DeLorean car. Many got into the 82

party spirit, dressed in fancy dress attire. Costumes included 80’s icons such as Freddie Mercury, Madonna, Ghostbusters and George Michael to name but a few. Guests were also treated to an 80’s inspired buffet of vol-au-vents, quiche lorraine, a giant cheese and pineapple hedgehog and lashings of sherry trifle and angel delight, washed down with cocktails including Pina Colada, Harvey Wallbanger and Um Bongo fruit juice, mixed by the flair cocktail barman! The evening, sponsored by local based company I’m Your P..A, was compered brilliantly by Dicky Dodd from 107.7 The Wolf who joined in the fun trying his luck at the Casino tables, rubiks cube, space invaders and slot machines. Following an auction and raffle, the evening rounded off with guests dancing the night away to an iconic eighties disco.

Kick Up The 80’s tribute Band Dave Bills (Guess Who)

Compton Hospice

Caring Together

Charity Reg No: 512387

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Registered Charity Number 512387

83p in every ÂŁ1 we raise goes directly to patient care. Please support us:

www.compton-hospice.org.uk Tel: 0845 225 5497 Email: fundraising@compton-hospice.org.uk

Text: COMP01 (Letters COMP Numbers 01) followed by the amount you want to give (e.g. ÂŁ5) to 70070. Compton Hospice, 4 Compton Road West, Wolverhampton WV3 9DH Tel: 0845 2255 497 Email: fundraising@compton-hospice.org.uk www.compton-hospice.org.uk

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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It’s All A Matter Of Choice I’ve always thought that the concept of choice is one of the great paradoxes in life. We all bemoan its absence but we can’t make up our minds when we’ve got it. Nowhere is this maxim truer than when choosing schools. So, how do you judge a school to which you will entrust your son or daughter? Of course there are league tables and Ofsted reports, but are they enough? Examination results are obviously important, but are exams the be all and end all? Inspection reports should provide parents with useful evidence, but they are, at best, bland affairs and, in a world where satisfactory is no longer satisfactory, good schools can be damned with faint praise. Does the school ensure that youngsters are taught well, stretched and challenged to achieve their academic potential within a broad and well-rounded education full of opportunity? Or is it an academic

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hot house with stress and statistics running through everything? Frankly, when it comes to choosing a school, parents would be wise to trust their instincts. In many ways looking around a school is like looking to buy a house – many will fit your criteria, but usually you just know the one that you want. Similarly, when you visit schools you will get a feel for the place and your child will form an impression and, remember, their views are important – after all they’ll have to be at the school for five years or more.

A busy, happy, successful school should stand out as a welcoming, friendly place where the students are relaxed, but purposeful, the teachers are positive and the smiles are genuine. So, choosing a school can stir up worries and anxieties. But as long as you do your homework, talk to others, visit the schools and trust your instincts you shouldn’t go far wrong. Vincent Darby, Head WGS.

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Open Events Founded in 1667, Old Swinford Hospital is a state maintained boarding school in Stourbridge for boys from 11-18 with girls admitted as day students in the Sixth Form. Almost two-thirds of the school’s 660 pupils are full or weekly boarders, but day places (Out Boarders) are available in Year 7, Year 9 and Sixth Form. The school will be opening its doors on 12 May for prospective parents and pupils to find out what life is really like in a modern boarding school. There’s simply no

better way to experience life at Old Swinford Hospital (OSH) than by sampling it firsthand. As current pupils take you around the school, you will see there is a wonderful mix of fine historical buildings and state of the art teaching, sporting and boarding facilities. They will tell you that strong friendships soon develop that last well beyond school life and that boarding gives the school a sense of stability and the House soon becomes a home from home. You will be able to meet the Housemasters and Matrons who look after pastoral care, ensuring

that pupils are happy, able to work at their studies and participate fully in school life. Whilst academic achievement is important, and the school can boast impressive pass rates for both GCSE and A Levels, it is only one element of life at OSH. There are an exciting range of extra curricular and weekend activities available. With no long journeys to and from school each day, it is easy for pupils to join in with anything that happens after school. So whether its sports practice, orchestra rehearsal, drama or chef’s club, pupils are on site in the evenings to take part. Further information can be obtained from the Registrar on 01384 817325, but please note that as a result of changes to the national admissions code, the timetable for entry to the school as a Year 7 Outboarder in September 2013 has changed. Registration Forms must be received before 18 September 2012 in order to be considered for a place.

Old Swinford Hospital - a place to have fun, work hard and succeed.

OLD SWINFORD HOSPITAL An Outstanding Boarding School Education

✔ Affordability ✔ Strong pastoral care system ✔ Academic excellence ✔ Impressive range of extra-curricular and ✔ Boarding fees just weekend activities £3375 per term

OPEN MORNING

Saturday 12th May from 09.00-11.30 Registration forms for 2013 Year 7 Outboarder places must be submitted by 18th September 2012

For further details contact The Registrar

01384 817325

Email: admissions@oshsch.com Heath Lane, Stourbridge, DY8 1QX

www.oshsch.com www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Rebecca, Maria, Pantelakis and Frosoulla Christou (audience members)

Karen Mann (audience member), Lucie Maesumner (cast) and Harveen Mann (audience member)

Joel Montague and Hannah Levane (both cast)

Nolan Frederick, Kadiff Kirwan and Deon Adams (all cast)

Social Scene Sponsored by Patshull Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club www.patshull-park.co.uk

Sarah Harlington, Grace Gardener and Tyrone Huntley

Hazel Deayr (Sound technician), Nolan Frederick (cast), Will Jonkler (Sound technician) and Julie Atherton (cast)

Kathryn Martyn (Cast), Eddie Tatton (Guitarist), Michael Starke (cast)

Faraz Rafiq (audience member), Cynthia Erivo (cast plays Dolores) and Charlotte Wood (audience member)

The Friends of the Grand threw an opening night party for members and the cast of the musical Sister Act at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Tuesday 7 February. To become a Friend of the Grand and to get the opportunity to meet famous faces, receive discounts for shows and get access to special events please call the membership team on 01902 716 726. 86

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Debbie & Val Hefer

Dickie & Julie Dodd

Charles Day & Avril Carter

Compton Hospice celebrated 30 years with an eighties themed party night at Wolverhampton Racecourse. Over 300 party goers attended; there was a special guest appearance from 80’s diva Jaki Graham who very kindly gave up her time for free. The event was sponsored by Michele Ibbs from I’m Your P.A.

Adrian Dainty, Steve & Rebecca Smith, Kenny Andrews, Charlotte Haines & (front) Jill Dainty

Tom & Glynis Casey

Jane & Richard Carter, Dave & Zoe Carter, Melissa & Jason Peach

Rob Evans, Krisia Keane, Tracy & Shaune McGann, Ray Bannister & Katie Goldson

Kate Hickinbottom, Rebecca Crowther, Jo Bevan & Michele Ibbs

Andy & Sally Woods, Simon Cater, Clair Bond, Clive Gilbert & Claire Evans

Sponsored by Patshull Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club. Experience the venue, book your ‘show-round’ appointment at this unique location. Call our Wedding Co-ordinator Jo Guest on 01902 709855. www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

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Stourbridge Football Club STOURBRIDGE FC is an F A Charter Standard Community semiprofessional football club with a long history, having been formed in 1876. The ‘Glassboys’ as the club is nicknamed play their home matches at the War Memorial Athletic Ground on High Street, Amblecote. The Stourbridge FC first team currently plays in the Southern League Premier Division, which is three steps down from professional league football. The club is managed by former West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City midfielder Gary Hackett. Last season the Glassboys finished 8th in the league and this season the club also reached the Second Round Proper

of the F A Cup for the first time in their history thanks to superb thrilling replay defeat of Plymouth after a 3-3 draw at Home Park. The replay was beamed live on ESPN with goals from Paul McCone and Sean Evans sealing a 2-0 victory in front of a crowd of 2519. In the second round the Glassboys fought bravely against Stevenage for 70 mins before bowing out of the competition in front of a crowd of 3067.

Birmingham Junior Cup along with the Worcestershire Junior Cup The 2010-11 season saw Stourbridge Football Club’s first ever ladies team. Managed by Scott Mckee they enjoyed a memorable start winning the Central Warwickshire Ladies Division 2 a fantastic achievement in their first season this has inspired a Girls u-14’s team to join the club.

Stourbridge FC also runs a successful under 18’s youth team, managed by Dave King and last season they won two trophies. Not only did they win their league, the Midland Floodlit Youth League Premier Division, they also won the Worcestershire Junior Cup, the previous season 2009/10 the team won the league and the

Stourbridge FC is looking to expand the Youth section and club director Andy Bullingham has responsibility for the section. The junior section has teams in ages from Under-10 to Under-18. The club looks to offer talented players the opportunity to develop and graduate from junior into youth football and eventually, the Glassboys senior teams, but also boys and girls who seek enjoyment playing for the club.

Other Information STOURBRIDGE FC has its own website which is regularly updated. Please visit www.stourbridgefc. com. Fixtures for the first team with match reports are published on the website with first team match reports also in the local papers. The 2011-12 campaign ends on Saturday 28th April but with the club challenging for the play-offs this may be extended. Stourbridge FC allows FREE ADMISSION to juniors aged 11 and under to ALL LEAGUE GAMES provided they are accompanied by a paying adult. The club sells match day programmes and club merchandise, food, hot and cold drinks are also available. The ground has covered accommodation and both seating and terracing for spectators. A licensed bar, the GLASSBOYS BAR, is always open at our matches and the function room can be booked for private parties, wedding receptions and other social events such as quizzes and race nights. Please telephone 01384 444075 for enquiries. 88

STOURBRIDGE FC are kindly sponsored by BHANDAL DENTAL PRACTICES and their name is emblazoned on our playing kit, but we are always after new sponsors to advertise in our programme or sponsor a match or have an advertising board around the ground. Our Commercial Manager Andy Poutney welcomes new enquiries from potential sponsors and can arrange a package to suit your needs. He can be contacted on 07870 275001 STOURBRIDGE FC is looking forward to its second Community Day on Saturday 31st March with reduced admission packages please contact the club for details and the following day a Stourbridge Old Boys side is playing Aston Villa Old Boys in a fund raising match for the CAL4U project, all monies going to local youngster Callum Loveridge

Support the glassboys! town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


Attending A Social Event? A Charity Event? Get yourself featured in Town and Village Life Magazine’s Social Scene Pages. Simply email your photos to: info@townandvillagelifemag.co.uk Please include names of people in photographs, the venue and the event and we will endeavour to get these published.

STOP!

Advertising does NOT have to break the bank

Prices starting from just ÂŁ66 - advertise in your LOCAL magazine

So leave piggy alone! Contact: Gisella Wiley

t: 01902 744217 e: gisella@townandvillagelifemag.co.uk www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

No piggy banks were harmed in the production of this advertisement

MOTORING www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

See pages 90 to 100 >> 89


The New Class-Leading BMW 3 Series Saloon *Test drive subject to applicant status and availability.

models offering greater efficiency and a highly impressive 68.9mpg on the combined cycle.

HAS ARRIVED AT BENHAM WOLVERHAMPTON.

That takes care of the BMW 3 Series efficiency boasts, but what of its athleticism? Delivering truly outstanding performance, the new BMW 320d reaches 62mph in just 7.6 seconds, leaving its closest rivals a long way behind

One look at the athletic new BMW 3 Series Saloon and you’re sure to be won over. The sixth generation of the BMW’s most popular model sportily dynamic with an emphasis on maximum efficiency and impressive design.

There are three new models - Sport, Modern and Luxury - joining the popular ES, SE and M Sport variants. Each boast more cabin space as well as a high level of standard specification that includes Bluetooth, Cruise Control, USB, iDrive Controller and a 6.5” colour screen as standard.

The new BMW 3 Series Saloon is bigger with more cabin space than its predecessor, but it’s no heavier. Weight-saving measures contribute towards lower emissions (as low as 109g/km in the case of the 320d EfficientDynamics model). In addition, selectable ECO PRO mode is standard on all

See how the new BMW 3 Series Saloon compares: Model

Power output (hp)

0-62mph (secs)

Combined fuel consumption (mpg (l/100km))

CO2 emissions (g/km)

The new BMW 320d SE Saloon

184

7.6

62.8 (4.5)

118

Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI SE Edition 125 (with 17” alloy wheels)

170

8.1

58.9 (4.8)

131

Audi A4 2.0 TDI SE

143

9.4

48.7 (5.8)

149

Figures shown are for vehicles with automatic transmission.

The new lean, mean BMW 3 Series Saloon launched at Benham Wolverhampton in February 2012 and is now ready to test drive*. For more information and to register for a test drive* call us on 01902 457000 or visit benhambmw.co.uk 90

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


The new BMW 3 Series Saloon

The Ultimate Driving Machine

Benham Wolverhampton

FACTS vs FIGURES. Facts? Refinements to the design of the new BMW 3 Series Saloon include an increase in length and cabin space in combination with lightweight engineering. Keeping the weight down has helped to deliver astounding performance figures. Figures? How about 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds with an astounding 61.4mpg^? More economy comes from BMW Select finance that provides you with attractive monthly payments and an appealing rate of finance. It’s what we like to call BMW Economics. BMW Select representative example. Model

Term of agreement

47 monthly payments

On the road cash price*

Customer deposit

Total amount of credit

Option to Optional purchase final fee^^ payment

316d ES Saloon

48 months

£359.00

£24,880.00

£2,075.71

£22,804.29 £10.00

320d SE Saloon with metallic paint (Image Shown)

48 months

£379.00

£28,690.00

£3,983.92

£24,706.08 £10.00

Total amount payable

Rate of Representative interest APR

£9,729.00

£28,687.71

5.9%

£11,065.50

£32,872.42 5.9%

5.90%

To book at test drive† or to find out more information, please call us on 01902 457000.

THE NEW BMW 3 SERIES SALOON. JOY WINS.

Benham Wolverhampton

Lever Street, Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV2 1AD 01902 457000 benhamwolvesbmw.co.uk Official fuel economy figures for the new BMW 3 Series Saloon range: Urban 25.4-56.5mpg (11.1-5.0l/100km). Extra Urban 46.3-80.7mpg (6.1-3.5l/100km). Combined 35.8-68.9mpg (7.9-4.1l/100km). CO2 emissions 186-109g/km. Offer available on selected BMW 3 Series Saloon models ordered between 11 February and 31 March 2012 and registered by 30 June 2012, subject to availability. Finance examples are based on BMW Select agreements for a 320d SE Saloon with optional metallic paint, with a contract mileage of 32,000 miles and an excess mileage charge of 7.05p per mile and a BMW 316d ES Saloon with a contract mileage of 32,000 and an excess mileage charge 6.15p per mile. BMW 316d ES is available from March 2012. *On the road cash price is based on manufacturer’s recommended retail price and includes 3 year BMW Dealer Warranty, BMW Emergency Service, 12 months’ road fund licence, vehicle first registration fee, delivery, number plates and VAT. ^^Option to purchase fee and optional final payment payable at the end of the agreement if you decide to purchase the vehicle. Excess mileage charges and vehicle condition charges may be payable if you return the vehicle. Prices are correct at time of publication (February 2012) and are subject to change without notice. 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. BMW EfficientDynamics reduces emissions without compromising performance developments and is standard across the model range. †Test drive is subject to applicant status and availability. ^Figures stated are based on the BMW 320d SE Saloon.

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

91


The C-Class Coupe epitomises the core brand values of Mercedes-Benz; style, refinement, safety and dynamic driving performance. The C-Class Coupe deploys the technology originally pioneered in the new generation of the C-Class to deliver an impressive coupé format that combines pure fun at the wheel with exemplary efficiency. It is a fully fledged four-seater featuring four sporty, comfortable integral seats. If desired, the backrests in the rear can be folded down to make the boot larger. At the front, the new coupé shares the same styling as the C-Class and yet still has its own twist. The front view is dominated by the prominent radiator grille surround including the bumper. The shape of the clear-lens headlamps creates a dynamic impression, and in the UK, the C-Class Coupé features the AMG Sports Package as standard which further enhances the look of the car with AMG bodystyling and 18” AMG alloys. With a new telematics generation which received its global premiere on the saloon and estate models,

drivers are offered greater operating convenience, larger displays, phone book transfer, and display of SMS messages, wireless music reproduction via Bluetooth and a USB interface now accommodated in the centre armrest. The optional multimedia system COMAND Online also provides internet access. When the car is stationary, you can browse freely or surf to a Mercedes-Benz Online service whose pages load particularly rapidly and are also easy to use while on the move. The integrated services include weather information and a special destination search via Google. There is a choice of four petrol engines, including the range topping C63 AMG, and two diesel powerplants to power the C-Class Coupé. The most economical coupé model is the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with manual six-speed transmission and the standard ECO start/ stop function. It has an average diesel consumption of 64.2 mpg corresponding to 117 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

With seven airbags, belt tensioners and belt-force limiters for all seats, the C-Class Coupé has extensive safety features. In addition, there are a number of driving assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to the optional DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control, providing a comprehensive level of driver support and protection. The assistance systems are based on the latest radar, camera and sensor technology, and cover frequent accident causes such as driving too closely, fatigue and darkness. The C-Class Coupe manages to pull off the trick of having all the refinement, technology and safety features you would expect, but is still a great car to drive whist delivering impressive performance and fuel economy. It might just be the car that ticks all your boxes.

AGILITY CONTROL suspension, also standard, complements the dynamic engines to perfection. As part of the AMG Sports Package the car also boasts sports suspension and speed-sensitive sports steering as well.

To find out more, book a test drive or part exchange valuation of your current vehicle, please contact Mercedes-Benz of Wolverhampton on 01902 427897 or Mercedes-Benz of Stourbridge on 01384 445800 or visit www.draytongroup.co.uk

Dynamic performance from the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

92

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


The new updated XC90 at Brindley Stourbridge and Wolverhampton The practical yet elegant XC90 has become a 4x4 icon in the nine years it has been rolling off the production line but the latest version is already turning even more heads on West Midlands’ roads, according to Stourbridge and Wolverhampton Brindley dealerships. The XC90’s blend of attractive styling and seven-seat versatility – it can be configured in 64 different ways - retains its handling and comfort alongside its sophistication and excellent capability yet adds a number of new features for 2012 models. New external features include:  New day running light configuration using LEDs in the lower bumper on the front for even more character  Redesigned silver metallic bumper bar and silver roof rails are now standard on all variants  New lower door moulding  All XC90 specifications are now fully colour-coordinated  New tail lamps have dual light guides - LED brake lights and a silver turn indicator bulb (still with orange light)  New six-spoke 18-inch wheel in a silver matt finish www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

New interior features include:  Three-spoke steering wheel  Aluminium décor as standard  Watch dial-inspired instrument design with white lighting  The tailgate, which is divided into an upper and a lower section, now comes with a new, colourcoordinated leather grab handle  Redesigned load cover The new details have been specially designed to enhance the XC90 and, of course, all the features and specifications that helped the vehicle attain its iconic status remain. There’s so many on the XC90 but here’s a few of the Brindley sales team’s favourites:All-Wheel Drive is an electronically controlled system that distributes engine power between the front and rear wheels quickly and automatically enhancing stability and reducing understeer and oversteer. PreTension® improves take-off speed and delivers higher traction on slippery surfaces. Dynamic Stability and Traction Control continuously registers the car’s roll rate, making it possible to detect slowly building skids at an early stage. Roll Stability Control is an active system that intervenes in situations when the car senses that there is a risk of rolling over. WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) and IC (Inflatable

Curtain) are all standard safety features on the Volvo XC90 whilst many components have been enhanced on the latest model. Volvo’s On Call system can now be combined with Bluetooth mobile phone connection whilst the system has been upgraded with music streaming from a preferred Bluetooth enabled portable music player. A new mobile application, an extension of Volvo’s On Call system, makes sure that the driver can stay in touch with the parked car via an iPhone or Android smart phone. A mobile application can be downloaded for 2012 models which includes a range of features such as a car locator. The XC90, available in five trim levels, is powered by the highperformance D5 engine that produces 200 horsepower and 420 Nm of torque, meeting the Euro 5 legislation. Brindley Wolverhampton’s general manager Peterjohn Durrell Comments: “Since it was first launched, the XC90 was always a popular choice of vehicle, and the latest version raises the bar even higher. We are already seeing an increase in enquiries and we expect to see an even bigger leap in sales this year.”

The XC90, priced from £35,175 on-the-road, is available to test drive at: BRINDLEY Stourbridge, Grange Lane, Lye, Stourbridge DY9 7HH. Call 08430 223248 to make an appointment. BRINDLEY Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton Road, Codsall, WV8 1HF. Call 08430 222908 to make an appointment. 93


A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, according to Shakespeare. And, as it turns out, the same applies to performance saloons. Rob Taylor explains. When it comes to performance car icons, nothing gets the oil pumping faster in the veins of petrol-heads quite like a Subaru Impreza. For nearly two decades the iconic badge has adorned some of the most exhilarating four-door saloons ever made. The Impreza has been the undisputed champion of the turbocharged rocket ships that are just as good on shopping trips.

to ensure its massive 245/40 R18 rubbers remain glued to the road. Chiefly responsible for all this poise is the legendary Subaru All-Wheel Drive (AWD) which, by default, splits engine torque 49/51% between front and rear wheels, as well as the unique cornering advantages proffered by the low-mounted horizontally-opposed Boxer powerplant. Enthusiasts can even play with the myriad set-ups available from the four-mode Driver’s Control Centre Differential, switching seamlessly

between track-day precision and everyday versatility. Find the ‘G-Spot’ in the STI’s differential and you’ll be the STIG. NO COMPROMISE ON THE DAY-TO-DAY However despite the trackfocussed aspects, newly lowered ride height and wider tyres, the STI offers a compliant ride that’s easy to live with everyday, as well as a respectable combined fuel economy figure of 26.9mpg. Not too shabby considering its performance statistics upstage

A New Samurai:

Subaru WRX STi

But now the emperor from the brand of the rising sun has new clothes - a four-door saloon bodyshell, previously unavailable in the new shape before 2011 and now offered alongside the hatchback variant - and a new name that is still synonymous with speed: WRX STI. So it’s a Subaru Impreza no longer, it’s now just called Subaru WRX STI. Yet despite its name-change all the best bits remain the same, as this latest version of our old friend has lost none of its power and presence. After all - what’s in a name? Would Marilyn Monroe have been any less beguiling as Norma Jean Mortenson? Did Cassius Clay pack any less punch as Muhammed Ali? One thing is for sure, the STI’s 2.5 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine is a knock-out. POWER IS NOTHING WITHOUT CONTROL Developing 296bhp and 300lb ft of torque and weighing in at just 1,505kg, the STI is an adrenaline pump. Understandably it’s chock full of all the latest safety aids and electronic wizardry (like Vehicle Dynamics Control; a kind of ESP) 94

town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


everything but supercars: 0-62 mph is dealt with in 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 158mph. So much for W. O Bentley’s famous motto: “There’s no replacement for displacement.” What’s also refreshing is that in an age of innumerable manufacturer optional add-ons, the STI is pure and unadulterated: 18” alloy wheels, Recaro seats, cruise control, keyless entry, climate control and push-button start are all standard features. So too - thankfully - are the massive Brembo-made brakes.

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

Particularly useful if ever you wish to put the bewitchingly taut chassis and superb road holding to the test, allowing this B-Road brawler to thrust towards the horizon, producing as it flies a soundtrack of turbo whine that’ll have bystanders looking skywards for answers. THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME For even when stationary or at idle the four exhausts produce a pulsating burble that speaks of caged power, so too do the flared wheel arches, side vents and

massive bonnet air scoop. This car is performance given form. Inside, the STI is a picture of pleasant practicality. High quality materials intersect beautifully with the latest technological buzzwords - iPod and Bluetooth both feature. Complete a journey; exhale, prod the engine stop/ start button, and you’ll be left thoroughly punchdrunk; grinning and gasping in awe about how £32,995 can buy so much. And how a name-change can mean so little. The king is dead. Long live the king.

95


Tom’s Top Tip of the Month: Causes of Top of Foot Pain There are varied causes for this condition. The location of the pain can be the major determinant of the causative agent. For instance the fracture of a tarsal bone can cause some pain just behind the toes. This pain tends to come in an on-and-off manner.  In such a situation, the affected area gets swollen and it even becomes very painful when touched. Another type of top of foot pain occurs at the top of the toes and the mid-foot. The pain occurs as a result of the inflammation of the tendons leading to the toes leading to a condition referred to as extensor tendonitis. One of the possible causes of such a condition can be the tightness of calf muscles. This situation can be aggravated by trauma and wearing of tight shoes.

In order to alleviate the effect of top of foot pain, you can choose to stretch the calf muscles. If this does not work, you can opt for the so called functional orthotic. This is a procedure that adjusts the alignment of the leg so as to reduce the stress on the tendons. Osteoarthritis is also a common cause of top on pain on the upper part of the foot. The complication is most likely to occur to people who have flat feet. This kind of pain can be relieved through foot orthotics. In severe situations, this complication can lead to a surgical operation. There is also a generalized foot pain condition. This is mostly manifested in kids. It is believed to occur due to collision of the toes. These is also the top of foot pain that occurs on the exterior. This is due to a tarsal condition caused by the fusing of bones in the middle foot. This is worsened with

more activity. In many cases, this graduates to the deadly arthritis condition. Early diagnosis of this complication can be done through the use of MRI scan and x-rays. The other top of foot pain is found below the ankle on the outer side of the foot. This is medically referred to as the sinus tarsi syndrome. It causes the inflammation of the three major ligaments located in this part. People with flat feet are more prone to catching the disease. To reduce the pains, regular stretching is required. It rarely would require surgery to treat, but orthotics may help. For an appointment please call Tom on: 07828 613165 or email: caseytm99@netscape.net

Puzzle Answers Sudoku:

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INDEX OF ADVERTISERS Antiques & Auctioneers Old Mill

Page 45

Bathrooms Eaton Kitchens Roman Bathrooms

Page 19 Page 27

Beds & Bedroom Furniture Dreamworld Cousins Interiors Italia Sofa Factory Outlet

Page 11 Page 9 Page 23 Page 15

Blinds / Curtains Cresta Blinds Valentines Blinds

Page 21 Page 13

Building Supplies EH Smith OCL Carpets (Supply & Fit) Fairway Carpets Car Sales / Service Benham BMW Benham MINI Brindley Volvo Mercedes-Benz Children’s Activities South Staffs Leisure Centres Education Old Swinford Hospital Wolverhampton Grammar

Furniture / Furnishings Dreamworld Cousins Interiors Italia Sofa Factory Outlet

Page 11 Page 9 Page 23 Page 15

Gardening / Landscaping EH Smith Lealans Garden Centre OCL

Page 35 Page 34 Page 39

Glass & Hardware Specialists Total Glass Fittings

Page 21

Golf Clubs / Driving Ranges Patshull Park

Page 43

Hairdressers Capelli

Page 75

Page 35 Page 39

Hospices Compton Hospice

Page 83

Page 17

Hospitals (Private) Nuffield

Page 65

Interior Designers Total Glass Fittings

Page 21

Jewellers T.A.Henn

Page 6

Kitchens (Supply, Design & Fit) Eaton Kitchens Roman Bathrooms

Page 19 Page 27

Lights & Lighting Lighting Majestic

Page 13

Restaurants / Pubs Blakelands Halfpenny Green Vineyards Patshull Park Sir Jacks Wolverhampton Racecourse Wombourne Tandoori

Page 58 Page 37 Page 59/81 Page 59 Page 55 Page 60/61

Solar Energy Installation Ace Solar

Page 29

Theatres The Grand Theatre

Page 51

Tiles & Interiors Tile Choice

Page 5

Travel Agencies Travel Bureau

Page 41

Vineyard & Craft Centre Halfpenny Green Vineyard

Page 37

Windows & Conservatories Bradmore Windows

Page 2

Page 91 Page 99 Page 100 Page 92 Page 48 Page 85 Page 84

Electricians / Electrical Contractors Ace Solar Page 29 Electrical / Gas Retailers Capital Appliances Geoff Hill Electrical

Page 25 Page 31

Entertainments & Leisure Patshull Park Seven Valley Railway South Staffs Leisure Centres The Grand Theatre Wolverhampton Racecourse

Page 59/81 Page 47 Page 49 Page 51 Page 55

Fashion / Retail Grace & Glory Lilys Of Shifnal Pockets

Page 73 Page 77 Page 69

Fireplaces/Stoves Flaming Fires

Page 19

www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk

97


Spontaneous, Open, Irresistible. The MINI Roadster. The driving fun sewn into the fabric of every MINI never fails to bring a smile to the face. And now it can also be enjoyed – with the roof up or down – in the first model from the brand designed strictly for two people. The MINI Roadster is the sixth model in the British premium carmaker’s line-up and the first open-top two-seater in the brand’s history. This typically MINI interpretation of a compact roadster gives the small car segment another shot in the arm. Powerful engines and sophisticated chassis technology with model-specific tuning see to it that the characteristic MINI go98

kart feeling is always on tap. The MINI Roadster’s classical soft-top roof, which can be opened and closed quickly and easily, ensures open-air driving pleasure is there to be lapped up at every opportunity. When it comes to optimising occupant protection the MINI Roadster is fitted with a pair of roll-over bars behind the seats. And whether the roof is open or closed, the driver and passenger have a 240-litre load compartment at their disposal. The wide throughloading facility into the passenger compartment provides an additional dose of practicality.

Design: classical roadster lines, hallmark MINI design language. The faithful reproduction of the hallmark MINI design language within the proportions of a roadster gives the open-top two-seater an unmistakable and irresistible charisma. Even with the roof closed the MINI Roadster displays an elegant, sweeping silhouette, with the transition from soft-top to rear end highlighting its characteristic three-box design particularly clearly. Characteristic MINI design features leave little doubt as to the brand identity of the new model.

To book your MINI Roadster test drive please call 01902 457001 or visit benhammini.co.uk town & village life magazine | march/april 2012


OFFERS HOTTER THAN CHILLI TOOTHPASTE.

Find out just how hot at benhammini.co.uk or pop down to chat to a MINI offers specialist.

BENHAM WOLVERHAMPTON Raby Street Wolverhampton WV2 1AS 01902 457001 benhammini.co.uk

Official Fuel Economy Figures for the MINI Range: Urban 27.4-67.3 mpg (10.3-4.2 l/100km). Extra Urban 45.6-80.7 mpg (6.2-3.5 l/100km). Combined 36.7-74.3 mpg (7.7-3.8 l/100km). www.townandvillagelifemag.co.uk CO2 Emissions 180-99 g/km.

99


Limited Offer – Save £0000’s on a brand new Volvo S40 Saloon & V50 Sportswagon Choose a DRIVe SE LUX Diesel Edition Start/Stop model and not only will you get 74.3mpg combined, £0 Road tax, Full leather seats, Satellite navigation and Bluetooth, BUT a saving of over £4500.

S40 DRIVe se lux

V50 DRIVE SE LUX

SAVE £4528

SAVE £4828

NOW £18717OTR

NOW £19917OTR

OR pay a deposit of £4000 and pay only £295 per month with Volvo Advantage APR 7.9% Representative

OR pay a deposit of £4000 and pay only £290 per month with Volvo Advantage APR 7.9% Representative

Volvo S40 Diesel Saloon DRIVe (115) SE LUX Edition 4 door: Cash price £18717.00, Deposit £4000.00, Amount of credit £14717.00, Interest Charges £2540.56, 36 Monthly repayment amount £295.21, One final payment £6630.00, Total amount payable £21257.56, Fixed rate of Interest £4.06% p.a, Representative APR 7.9%, Duration of agreement 37 months, Annual mileage 10000 miles, Excess mileage charge per mile 14.9p (plus VAT).

Volvo V50 Diesel Sportswagon DRIVe (115) SE LUX Edition 5 door: Cash price £19917.00, Deposit £4000.00, Amount of credit £15917.00, Interest Charges £2878.20, 36 Monthly repayment amount £290.70, One final payment £8330.00, Total amount payable £22795.20, Fixed rate of Interest £4.06% p.a, Representative APR 7.9%, Duration of agreement 37 months, Annual mileage 10000 miles, Excess mileage charge per mile 14.9p (plus VAT).

SOME STOCK AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE DELIVERY

BRINDLEY STOURBRIDGE

Tel. 08430 223248

Grange Lane, Lye, Stourbridge DY9 7HH

BRINDLEY WOLVERHAMPTON

Tel. 08430 222908

Wolverhampton Road, Codsall, Wolverhampton WV8 1HF

www.brindley4volvo.co.uk

CALLS CHARGED AT LOCAL RATE

Fuel consumption for the Volvo range in mpg (l/100 km): Urban 18.6 (15.2) - 61.4 (4.6), Extra Urban 34.9 (8.1) - 85.6 (3.3), Combined 26.4 (10.7) - 74.3 (3.8), CO2 emissions 249 - 99 g/km. Prices supersede all previous offers and are correct at time of going to press. Pictures for illustration only. Part of the Brindley Garages Group – keeping the West Midlands motoring since 1931.


Town & Village Life Magazine March/April 2012