Page 1



December / January 2018/19

3 Ideas of fireside bliss Enjoy your garden in winter


tips to look after your mental health

30 Over local readers

Kicking winter blues

siness Local Bu side! y in Director e See pag

GOOD KIDS COMEDY Exclusive interview with funny Brummie duo


Food & Drink | Entertainment | Fashion | Home & Garden | Legal & Financial | Health

A wide range of Modern & Traditional Fireplaces

• Gas and electric fires • Over 30 working displays • multi fuel stoves • Smokeless zone stoves • Fireside accessories • Solid wood, marble and stone surrounds • Full installations, servicing, repairs & spares

0121 441 3232

07759 918 816 300 Vicarage Road, kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7NH



Tis the season to be jolly! In our pages this issue we have lots of ideas to make Christmas extra special for you this year. But the main thing is to get into the true spirit of Christmas and do something kind for someone today. Say hi to your neighbours - even the ones you don’t get on with always. Chat to people you see in the shops, just a smile at a random stranger can make their day. Christmas is not all about spending money, it’s about remembering our humanity and making meaningful connections. Christmas is also the giving season and there is nothing wrong with that. Giving often feels just as good to the giver as to the receiver. It gives us a warm feeling inside. Please remember the planet when you are thinking of what to give your loved ones that will make them happy. One-minute-wonders might seem like a good idea at the time but there are lots of other options... experiences, second hand, home-made... it’s the perfect time of year to support your local economy buying from independent stores and craft markets. Have a good one, see you in the New Year! Happy reading

Ruby, Amy and Julie @MYSolihull @SwanPub

If you have an idea for a future article please let us know by emailing


Hello Neighbours,

Amy Watson Managing Director

0121 689 0432

Ruby Prosser Designer & Editor

0121 689 0432

Julie Wilkins Advertising

07914 145 638




SPRING CLEANS AVAILABLE NOW Regular cleans. Removal cleans. Builders cleans. or just the in-laws are coming cleans.

Washing collected ironed & returned. Service washes. Dry cleaning. Simple alterations.

Curtain cleaning service. We will take your curtains down, get them dry cleaned and put them back up.


Introduce yourself? Want your business to meet the neighbourhood?


Place an advert here. Visit or give us a call on 0121 689 0432

170 Yardley Rd. Acocks Green. Birmingham. B27 6LR

Credit control is one of the most important features of a well run business...

...It’s your money after all. UK Central Credit Management Do you have Outstanding Invoices? Do you have Cashflow problems? No time to solve them?

We can help!

Don’t let the money you’ve earned slip away

call Paulette and Cathrina today on

0121 227 6720

for a free quotation

• Invoice Preparation • Invoice Chasing – We make sure you get paid on time • Chase Over Due and Old Invoices • Proactive calls and emails to customers to make sure there are no queries with the invoices • Issue regular monthly statements to your customers • Confirm payment terms to reduce payment delays • Bookkeeping service





ss usine e! B l a Loc ory insid ct Dire e page Se


COVER STORY Good Kids Comedy: Exclusive interview with a funny Brummie duo 6/7

COMMUNITY ACTIVITY Word on the street 29

LEISURE & RETAIL Christmas styles with year-round appeal 14 The power of the LBD (little black dress) 15 What’s on guide 12/13

HOME & GARDEN Getting your home Christmas-ready 23 3 Ideas for fireside bliss 21

LEGAL & FINANCIAL Unmarried couples - Do you know your legal rights? 24/25 Has your loved one been moved into a carehome against their wishes? 27

EDUCATION Local private tutors 28

HEALTH Kicking the winter blues 8

FOOD & DRINK Where to eat 19 Recipes for the season: Spiced cookies & Toblerone Cocktail 18

Get our FREE e-mag PLUS

‘Hello Weekend’ mailer, helping you

stay in the loop


local events!

Go to our Facebook page and


Sign Up


The MY Magazines catch up with Kieran Ahern & Tom Dowling aka


the UP-AND-COMING BRUMMIE DUO They can sing, they can act, they’re very funny guys and we had a blast talking to this pair about mostly nonsense.

1. How did this duo start? K: Well Tom and I have known each other since we were.. four years old? T: Yeah about four years old K: And we went to school together, university together. T: Yeah. We acted together throughout school, in year 6 we were both in Joseph and his amazing technicolour Dreamcoat. I played Joseph and Kieran played the Pharaoh, he did a fantastic Pharaoh. We acted all through school, and then at university we both started doing comedy separately and in our final year we did our first show together. K: Yeah, and then we went to Edinburgh, did some Edinburgh festivals. T: We did our first show as a duo in Edinburgh in 2015. K: Yeah, and we’ve just been trying to make each other laugh ever since really.

2. What inspires you? K: Two words... T: (waits) ...Boris Johnson? K: No, two words inspires me. T: The two words ‘two words’ inspires you? K: The Two words are ‘two words’. T: I’m inspired by people like Steve Irwin but not Steve Irwin himself. K: And I’m very much inspired by the legacy of Steve Irwin. T: Ok. K: I love crocodiles. T: You do.


3. When does Christmas start for you?

5. What was the last gift you gave someone?

K: Christmas starts for me at midnight on Christmas Eve T: Fantastic, Christmas starts for me when I take my first bite of a succulent turkey. On Christmas day. K: Right yeah soT: With my family. K: So the morning doesn’t count? T: Well actually, we have Christmas dinner in bed, so I wake up to a turkey dinner. K: Do ya? T: And then I have my... K: Actual dinner as well? T: And then I, yeah, later on I open my presents. K: You have turkey dinner in bed? T: Well it’s actually turkey breakfast K: Right. dyou have turkey dinosaurs? T: No this is real roast turkey. K: In bed? T: 100% in bed. K: Does it arrive on a sort of machine? Like in Wallace and Gromit? T: No, we take it in turns as a family to get up and make the turkey. K: (laughs) I don’t know if you’re joking or not. T: I think Christmas starts for me about three months after the first Christmas tree goes up in John Lewis. Which is probably 21st Dec. K: And we’ve just been trying to make each other laugh really ever since (both laughs).

K: The last gift I gave to someone was, I bought my mother a bunch of flowers T: That’s sweet, why? K: No reason. Just to make her feel better. Just to cheer her up cuz I’m a good kid. T: Kieran bought his mum flowers. The last gift I gave someone, K: What was the last gift you gave someone, Tom? T: I gave someone the gift of… the gift of sight, recently. K: How did that happen? T: Well. I.. They were in a dark room and I turned the lights on. K: (laughs)

4. What’s your favourite 90’s jam? K: Well in 1996 my grandmother made a delicious blackberry jam. T: And we’ve just been trying to make each other jam ever since (laughs)… My favourite 90’s jam as a song, was and still is ‘Man I Feel Like a Woman’, Shania Twain. K: That’s rubbish! T: No it’s not! K: My favourite 90’s jam would be uhh, and has always been, ‘Juicy’, by Notorious B.I.G. T: And it always has been? Since it was released?! K: Yeah. T: You listened to it when it came out? K: Yeah. T: No way. Nonsense man! You were listening to Steps and S Club 7 when Juicy came out. K: I think I was listening to the inside of my mother’s womb when juicy came out. T: Fair enough.

6. What were you like in school? T: What were you really like in school Kieran? Why don’t I say what you were like and you can say what I was like? K: Yeah. T: But I want you to say what I was like first cuz I’m gonna be nice about you and you’re gonna be mean about me (laughs). K: Tom in school was a try-hard faux-intellectual loser who made a fool of himself at every social event possible. Tom what was I like? T: Kieran was just like an endearing figure for everyone in the year. We met someone in Birmingham city centre recently who joined the school in sixth formK: I don’t think you can put this in. T: And he stopped Kieran in the street, and said ‘Kieran’ he called ‘Kieran Ahern, is that you?’ we’ve been out of school six years, this was probably half a year ago so five and a half years since they’d seen each other last, ‘Kieran Ahern, is that you? Kieran Ahern, I can’t believe it’s you.’ He was so happy he said ‘I can’t believe it’s you. I remember on my first day of sixth form you called me over and you said hello to me, and you made me feel so welcome, and I always felt at home at school after that interaction with you’ K: What a bloke! T: Mhmm. Can you remember his name Kieran? K: No.



7. Do you have anything else to say? T: I’d just like to say that we’ve just been trying to make each other laugh ever since! K: And I would like to concur. T: And given that it’s Christmas time, K: We just wanna shout out all the good people, and wish them all the best. Merry Christmas, happy Diwali, have a rockin’ Hanukka and a fantastic Eid, all of you. T: (laughs) And all other major world religious festivals Kieran does not include in his list! K: And to all the atheists out there, I hope you have a horrible new year!

Kieran Ahern & Tom Dowling

aka Good Kids Comedy

at Off The Rails @ The Station Pub

every 3rd Friday of the month

To find out more about Good Kids Comedy Find them on Facebook & Twitter.




CLAIM A THREE DAY PASS AT YOUR LOCAL CENTRE ABSOLUTELY FREE!* *Terms and conditions: Available at North Solihull Sports Centre and Tudor Grange Leisure Centre only. Valid until 31/01/19. Valid to UK residents over 16+. Only 1 pass per person. All customers MUST complete an application form for an Everyone Active Card at centre or must have a card already to participate. Classes can only be booked on the day and will be subject to availability. All other membership terms apply This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. All passes need to be activated within your local everyone active club. All participants need to complete a health commitment statement on the day that they activate their activity pass.



North Solihull Sports Centre

Tudor Grange Leisure Centre

Conway Road, Chelmsley Wood, B37 5LA

Blossomfield Road, Solihull, B91 1NB

Everyone Active works in partnership with Solihull Council


12864_My Solihull Central_HP_DecJan.indd 1

29/10/2018 15:06

Kicking the winter blues with a jog, a brisk walk or a good living room dance session.


n one way or another, we all are affected by the season. Whether it’s the gloomy weather, frosty breeze or shorter days, it sure feels a million miles away from Miami! But that’s not to say that you need to retreat into your sweater until the sun comes back, oh no. Here are some fantastic tips to look after your spirit and keep your head in the game. Stay active We are not a hibernating species. Our bodies need to be fully woken up every day, so get the blood pumping


Warm up Nothing thwarts enthusiasm quite like sitting in a freezing cold house under a duvet. Hot meals, hot drinks, warm clothes and a warm home will all help get you out of a winter-time slump. Make plans Any feelings of isolation or low motivation can be combatted by a diary full of things to look forward to. Getting out into the real world, meeting up with friends and family all make your days seem brighter, warmer and more inviting.

Eat healthily If you are relying onCaroline sloppy takeaway Pictured above, Hutton styleoffoods it will Gardens definitely watches be bringing Martineau yourAndy mood down.CBE It’s tempting let Street, Mayor ofto the your West healthy diet go cut out the the ribbon window Midlands when it feels like too much effort but with Charlotte Nicholson of Jo we literally Malone are whatLondon. we eat. Each different fruit and vegetable gives us something else ourthe bodies and minds Please visit Martineau need to functionwebsite properly. Gardens for more information: Talk about it People willvisitor-information’ understand. They will likely have tips to share with you that they use to stay happy and productive. Cognitive behavioural Therapy is another great tool for learning to permanently break negative thought patterns. Find out more at


orcestershire 68pg NOV 18_Layout 1 25/10/2018 16:44 Page 23


Arthritis in the Hand and Wrist Arthritis is a common condition that causes inflammation, tenderness and pain in a joint. Around 10 million people in the UK are affected by arthritis.

In the severe cases, either the joint is prevented from moving (fused) or the joint can be replaced.

Arthritic joints can be painful and can interfere with daily life. The symptoms of arthritis differ depending on the type of arthritis you are diagnosed with. Muscle weakness, joint stiffness with restricted movement, as well as warm, red skin over the affected joint are a few of the main symptoms of arthritis.

If you are experiencing symptoms of arthritis, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Receiving the correct treatment for arthritis of the hand and wrist is crucial.

Arthritis of the hand and wrist is a common condition - finger and wrist joints can wear out in the same way as hip or a knee joints. There are several ways to treat arthritis in the hand and wrist: Non-operative treatments range from simple pain relief, activity modification and steroid injections. Keyhole surgery can help ‘wash out’ joints and also help diagnose the severity of the arthritis. Procedures can also be targeted at removing the pain nerves supplying a joint.

Cornfield Magazine | 23



Let’s Make Life Easy

Cooking Appliances

from your local independent electrical retailer


Expert Knowledge Built In Electric Double Oven


Competitive Prices

Built In Gas Hob


4 Gas Burners with Cast Iron Supports Flame Select System, Front Controls Stainless Steel Dimensions: H0.45xW58.2xD52cm

4 Zone Induction Hob Front Touch Control LED Display & Timer for each Zone Dimensions: H5.1xW59.2xD52.2cm

Automatic Pan Recognition Sensor 17 Power Levels Front Touch Controls Dimensions: H0.51xW80.2xD52.2cm

2 Year Warranty

2 Year Warranty

2 Year Warranty




Was £979.99



Built In Single Oven



2 Year Warranty A Energy Rating


Professional Installation 5 Zone Induction Hob & Pan Set

Now Only



Built In Induction Hob



71 Litres Capacity Main Oven 34 Litres Capacity Top Oven EcoClean Direct Liners Dimensions: H88.7xW59.4xD55cm

Super Service


71 Litres Multi Function Oven with Slide & Hide Door Pyrolytic Cleaning turns dirt into ash Circotherm Cooking System Dimensions: H59.5xW59.5xD54.8cm 2 Year Warranty A Energy Rating



Grocery Card via redemption



Macphersons Appliances Direct Ltd 46 Clarence Road, Harborne Birmingham, B17 9LG

0121 427 4633

*Terms and Conditions apply. Sold as an agent of Euronics Limited. All rights reserved. All offers are subject to availability while stocks last. Delivery & Installation charges may apply. Exclusions and Radius Apply. See in store for full details. Images for illustration purposes only. Copyright Euronics 2018. E&OE September 2018.

f o r

t h e

2 1 s t

c e n t u r y

Huffington Post

Introduce yourself? Want your business to meet the neighbourhood? Your ad should be here! Visit or call 0121 689 0432


Final seats remaining



LEISURE & RETAIL Bike Pro Racing 50 High Street Birmingham B14 7JZ

Tel: 0121 441 1199






My Solihull

Proud of where you live and want to know more about this lovely place?

Subscribe to our free e-mag and weekly what’s on updates

It’s easy - simply fill in the subscription form at the bottom of our web page:




What’s on December / January 2018/19

Markets & Fairs

Solihull Farmers’ Market Fresh locally grown produce Where: Solihull High Street When: First Friday every month Info:

Fine & Local Food Fayre Locally sourced food and produce from top quality suppliers. Where: Solihull High Street When: Third Saturday every month Info: Bentley Heath Country Market A cross between a farmers’ market and a craft fair all under one roof. Where: Bentley Heath Hall When: Every Fri 9.30am - 11.30am Info:

Festive Fine & Local Fayre Christmas version of this market. Where: Solihull High Street When: 15 Dec Info:


Vicki Gorman Weekly Art Classes for all abilities. Where: The Core Courtyard Gallery When: Thursdays Info:


Seasonal Events

Christmas in the Park Father Christmas is making a special appearance in Brueton Park so come and visit him in his grotto to receive a small gift! Where: Brueton Park When: 9 Dec Info:

Sleeping Beauty A new era for pantomime in Solihull Where: The Core Theatre When: 14 Dec - 6 Jan Info:

Santa in Love An interactive family show aimed at young children including a child gift and meeting Santa. Where: The Core Theatre When: 21 - 24 Dec Info: Scrooge- the Musical Performed by SMASH musical and drama group. When: 30 Jan- 2nd Feb 2019 Where: Solihull Methodist Church Info:

Sleeping Beauty Everybody you could imagine in a fairy-tale kingdom was there, and the fairies had all gathered to bestow their gifts on the new baby. Well, all except one. The wicked Maleficent hadn’t been invited! Where: Land Rover Sports & Social Club in Solihull When: 29 Dec Info: Panto Fun You will be transported to a far away place with many magical surprises. Starring Daisy the cow, young Jack, the evil Belladonna, the Giant and many more. Where: Hogarths Hotel When: 23 Dec Info:

New Year’s Eve Party Wave goodbye to the old and welcome in the new at Hogarths’ dazzling New Year’s Eve party. Where: Hogarths Hotel When: 31 Dec Info:

Burns Night Enjoy the best of Scottish food – and a wee dram or two – as you celebrate Burns Night. Where: Hogarths Hotel When: 26 Jan Info:


o ings to d h t f o t o A snapsh nd SOLIHULL ou in and ar ecember & D through January


Live Music

Craft Activities Felting Workshop Join Helen from Mindful Craft in this festive workshop where she will show you how to make your very own Christmas Gnome. Where: The Core Theatre When: 15 Dec Info:


The Billy Fury Years Reliving arguably one of the most exciting times in modern popular music. Where: The Core Theatre When: 24 Jan Info: The Neil Diamond Story After sellouts in 2017 and ‘18, the UK’s ‘voice of Neil’ Bob Drury returns. Where: The Core Theatre When: 25 Jan Info: RESPECT to Aretha Heartfelt and uplifting dedication to the Queen of Soul. Where: The Core Theatre When: 26 Jan Info: The Searchers Back by popular demand on their farewell tour. Where: The Core Theatre When: 31 Jan Info:

Motown, Northern Soul & Classic Soul Solihull Soul present Christmas Motown, Northern Soul and Classic Soul featuring an impressive list of vinyl only playing DJ’s renowned throughout the UK. Where: Land Rover Sports & Social Club in Solihull When: 15 Dec Info:

Legend: A Tribute to Bob Marley This seven great musicians and singers are dedicated to the life and music of the late, great Bob Marley. Where: Land Rover Sports & Social Club in Solihull When: 31 Dec Info: UB40 Tribute Night A live performance of music from UB40 by Solo Tribute Mitch. Where: Knowle Royal British Legion When: 26 Jan Info: The Rat Pack Tickets include a seated 2 course meal, Live Show and Dancing until 1am Where: Hogarths Hotel When: 23 Nov Info:

Stay in the loop! New events will keep popping up throughout the next couple of months and details may change, that’s why we send out our weekly ‘Hello Weekend’ email to let you know the very latest info. • Live music • Live theatre • Charity events • Conservation • Cinema screenings • Art exhibitions • Craft workshops • Courses • Festivals • Special offers • Markets & street food ...All straight to your inbox every week, with links to websites where you can buy tickets / reserve places.

Sign up via our Facebook page




This issue we have Dawn Marriott Stylist join us to offer her fashion & style advice for the festive season. Dawn is a Personal stylist and Image consultant working for herself across Birmingham and Solihull. Dawn has had an extensive career across high street fashion retailers spanning 20 years and most recently worked for Oasis Fashions as an Area manager. Life took a change in 2017 when she decided to leave her career and follow her passion to become a Personal Stylist; giving her more time to spend with her family whilst continuing to do the thing she loves the most.

DAWN MARRIOTT ‘I have always had a love for all things fashion and becoming a personal stylist seemed a natural career step for me. I work with my clients to help them discover a newfound love for their clothes as well as creating their own personal style that’s individual to them. Clothes have the power to make us feel fantastic. Seeing someone grow in confidence and genuinely start to feel amazing about themselves is possibly the best part of my job.’

This issue I want to share with you my top tips to ensure not only are you looking good this Christmas, but buying into investment pieces that you can wear all year round.

What to buy this Christmas... The Christmas jumper. >>>>>>>>>>> It’s now become the norm to buy yourself and the family a Christmas jumper. My suggestion would be to avoid jumpers featuring Christmas scenes, instead opt for Fair Isle prints or delicate knits with sparkle that can be worn after Christmas and into spring. By choosing neutral colours such as greys, pale pinks and blues you can still achieve that festive feel without the novelty look. Sequins Separates. >>>>>>>>>>>>> Sequin tops are the perfect way to inject some glamour and can look great either on their own or worn under a jacket. Wear back to leather trousers for an evening feel, or back to jeans and trainers for an easy daytime look. Sequin skirts can be worn all year round. Wear back to a camisole or shirt and a heel for a dressed up evening look, then dress down with a sweatshirt or T-shirt and trainers for day wearing.





Buying a party dress. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> My advice would be to go with a classic style dress in a plain color – you can’t beat a good fitting LBD. A well made black dress can take you anywhere. Try the new Midi length for an update and accessorize with fabulous earrings (the more glitz the better) statement necklace or a sparkle shoe to give you a festive feel.

What ever you wear this Christmas ensure you wear it all year round… after all Sequins aren’t just for Christmas.

Dawn x Instagram: dawnmarriott_stylist Email:



Introduce yourself? Want your business to meet the neighbourhood? Your ad should be here! Visit or call 0121 689 0432




HELLO THERE, 2019 Another year has flown by already. And I mean flown full-speed, whizzing past like the spitfires commemorated on Spitfire Island. As we make our way through the years, time seems to only be speeding up – which is why it’s important to make the most of everything.


Written by local reader, Emily Wilcox

very moment, every sunrise, everything our city has to offer. And what better way to ensure we stick to these plans than to make them official. Listing them beneath the title of New Years Resolution means we are more likely to start the new year with a positive outlook and fresh motivation coursing through our body. This is your year! Something you should have written in bold Sharpie and taped up above your mirror. This is your year! New Year’s Resolutions are tradition. Admittedly, another tradition is to ball them up in leftover Christmas wrapping paper and throw them straight into the bin within the first two weeks of January. But that doesn’t

have to be the case. If you set them out simply and easily, you can choose resolutions that – whilst only small – will have the power to make 2019 one you won’t forget. Here’s a few you could try: • An extra act of love per week. Something as tiny as ordering another hot chocolate and leaving it for whoever walks into the coffee-shop next. Sorting through the books you have read and loved and donating them to your local charity shop, so that they can be enjoyed by others. A quick message to an old friend, reminding them that you love them. • Drink more water. You need to remind your body that you love it, too. • Save up as little as £2 a week. It might not be much, but by the time you’re planning your resolutions for 2020, you will have £104 to spend at Digbeth Dining Club, or at a Hippodrome panto! Trust me, 2020 you will be very pleased that 2019 you took

the time to do it. • Go for walks. It’s as simple as that. Whenever you can fit them in, no pressure. Just take some time to get back to nature. To enjoy your surroundings through the lens of your own mind, not the one at the back of your phone. The West Midlands is beautiful, it is our home, and it deserves to be explored every now and then. Plus, walking actually classes as exercise. But it’s so easy, I hear you cry. I know, how brilliant! It’s a win-win, if you ask me. Your resolutions don’t need to be as drastic as buying a five-bedroomed house in the Bahamas. Don’t get me wrong, if that’s your dream then never stop working towards it. But allow yourself little wins where you can. To make 2019 your year, you simply have to do what makes you happy. The things you love, for those that you love. So whip out your notebook and pen and get to planning! I’ll see you in a year.



ICED SPICED COOKIES INGREDIENTS 100g butter, cubed 150g light brown sugar 2 tbsp golden syrup 1 tbsp treacle 1 tbsp water Finely grated zest of 1 orange 2 tbsp ground ginger 1 tbsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground cloves 700g all purpose flour Icing: 200g powdered icing sugar 2 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp water

INGREDIENTS 30ml Kalhua 30ml Frangelico 30ml Baileys 30ml honey 60ml cream Ice Chocolate Syrup

METHOD Step 1 Place the butter, sugar, golden syrup, treacle, water and orange zest in a pan and heat gently while stirring until it is melted and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the spices and baking soda, followed by the flour. Mix until it forms a smooth dough then cover the pan and place in the fridge for about an hour, until the dough is firm.

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking trays with baking parchment. Bring the dough together into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters and place them slightly spaced apart on the baking trays.

Step 4

Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cookies feel firm when lightly pressed and have begun to darken a little around the edges. Leave to cool on the trays for 5 minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 5

Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice. Stir in the water a little at a time until the icing is smooth, and spread on to the cookies.


Step 1 Place cocktail glass into the fridge.


Step 2


Step 2 Pour Kalhua, Frangelico, Baileys, honey and cream into a cocktail shaker with some ice and shake well. Step 3

Remove glass from the fridge and squirt some chocolate syrup around the inside.

Step 4 Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass, and enjoy!



Where to eat

A guide to the best places to eat in and around Solihull

The Agrabad

Balti 884 Old Lode Lane Solihull, B92 8LW Tel: 0121 743 7883


Hillfield Farm Pub

The Forest

Pub Food 2 Cranbrook Way, Shirley, B90 4GT Tel: 0121 733 8810

Hotel Restaurant 25 Station Approach Dorridge, B93 8JA Tel: 01564 772 120

Indian 100a Widney Rd Solhull, B93 9BN Tel: 01564 777 613

Hotel Restaurant Four Ashes Rd Dorridge, B93 8QE Tel: 01564 779 988


The Punchbowl

The Beech House

The Malt Shovel

The Red House

Steakhouse 727 Warwick Rd Solihull, B91 3DA Tel: 0121 242 7730

The Farm Inn

Gastro Pub Barston Lane Solihull, B91 3DX Tel: 01675 443 223

Pub Food Mill Lane Lapworth, B94 6HR Tel: 01564 784 564

Pub Food & Carvery Hermitage Rd Solihull, B91 2LP Tel: 0121 711 8856

Met Bar & Kitchen Waters Restaurant

Gastro Pub Farmhouse Way Solihull, B90 4EH Tel: 0121 711 7273

Modern European 680-684 Warwick Rd Solihull, B91 3DX Tel: 0121 659 8062

Fine Dining Floor 1, Resorts World B40 1PU Tel: 0121 273 1238


Japanese 373 Stratford Rd Shirley, B90 3BW Tel: 0121 439 6262

Orange Tree

Gastro Pub Warwick Rd Solihull, B93 0BN Tel: 01564 785 364

The White Lion

Happy Heart Cafe


Little Italy

Organic 26 Richmond Rd, Olton, B92 7RP Tel: 0121 706 8674

Italian 2 Hobs Moat Rd Solihull, B92 8JN Tel: 0121 743 3222

French & British Hampton-in-Arden Solihull, B92 0AA Tel: 01564 442 833

Italian 156-158 Stratford Rd Solihull, B90 3BD Tel: 0121 293 1987





Landscape & Driveways • Clay & Block Paving • Tarmacing • Patios • Brickwork • Slabbing • Gravel • Landscaping • Fencing • Property Repairs • Roofing Repairs • Driveway Maintenance

T: 0121 733 1463 (Solihull) T: 01926 827 645 (Kenilworth, Warwick, Leamington) T: 01789 270 869 (Stratford) M: 07799 428 557

JH Garden & Property Services • • • • • • • • • • • •

Mowing Weeding Lawn restoration & repair General garden clean up Friendly service Regular maintainance One off jobs + more Competatively priced Commercial contracts Hedge trimming Hard & soft landscaping Full public liability insurance For a friendly, honest Quote call NOW

E: W:

Jon 07928 699 806

& TREEWORKS 01564 820 170 20




IDEAS OF FIRESIDE BLISS... We are social creatures. It is so vitally important for us to stay connected that it even affects our life expectancy. But somewhere along the way ‘staying connected’ has got lost in translation. Likes and comments can’t quench our thirst for connection. So this winter, while we soldier through the long drought of vitamin D, the crazy forecasts and out the other side of the festive season let’s spend some quality time together. I mean, really together. Huddled round the most natural focal point, the one our ancesters used for thousands of years to bring their tribe together; the fire!


A portable cast iron firepit, old washing machine drum or even an old tyre rim. I have seen firepits made out of some truly ingenious things, there really is no excuse to prevent you from getting your hands on one especially seeing as the most basic and cost effective firepit is quite literally a pit, with a fire in it! Evidence has been discovered in Birmingham of stone age (500,000 years ago) firepits and flint stones, and they provide some of the only remaining proof of the existance of those societies in the area.

Written By Ruby Prosser



A small paved firepit, with benches in a circle.

A fully paved sunken firepit area with built-in seating.

If you’re willing to show this social experiment a bit more devotion, a paved or cobble stone creation is just the ticket. It’s permanent, it invites you in with seats conveniently placed in a circle - an arrangment that might feel awkward or forced were there not a purpose placed in the middle.

You may have noticed a part of your garden, an area of land that you own that you’re not getting the most out of. Barely a foot steps over there unless some weeds are being pulled up once every few months. To maximise on your garden’s usefulness to the family you can create a ‘destination’, a reason for that space to be there.

Breaking down those social barriers within a family is so important. If you can’t enjoy the same music, if you’re not all legal to have a (proper) drink or you’re not in the mood for board games kicking off world war three, sitting around the fire holds you together in it’s glowing, warm embrace.

The sunken firepit area protects against the worst of the wind, and creates a cocoon of tranquility in your garden. Having one continuous seat arching round in a big circle gives you the chance to huddle up close to each other, and feel truly connected.




“It’s the best home improvement we have ever made. Our conservatory is now our dining room in the garden.” Mike Millis, Middleton On Sea

* Quote Ref SWAN1218





Later that day


Our lightweight insulated panels can make your conservatory: • Warmer in winter • Cooler in summer • Quieter in bad weather • Installed in less than a day • Usable all year round • Finance Available * For more information call:


01962 370 016

Proud members of

As seen on

Where reputation matters

* Finance Subject To Status. T&C’s apply. ** Orders placed by end of Dec 2018. Applies to orders over 8 panels. Smaller orders receive calculated discount. Not valid for use with any other offer.





tips to getting your home Christmas-ready! All taken from the songs of the season

1. ‘Deck the halls with boughs of holly, tra la la la la la la la la...’ A slightly painful decorative choice, especially if your home is on the smaller side, but fantastic for decorating on a tight budget. A great alternative is holly tinsel, which is nice and soft.

2. ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year, there’ll be much mistletoeing and hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near!’ Though it may not be top of your list, don’t forget the mistletoe this Christmas. It’s not just for the worrysome opportunistic smooches from extended family, sometimes mistletoe is just the excuse you needed to plant a few kisses on the people you love most.

3. ‘Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, thy candles shine out brightly! Each bow doth hold it’s tiny light that makes each toy to sparkle bright’. It’s hard to imagine a time when families would bring a tree into their homes and decorate it with actual candles, it must have given Christmas a bit of risky edge. Nower days it seems only wise to keep open flames as far from a fresh kindling source as possible, and with the incredible variety of choices in fairy lights, I’d say we’ve traded up.

4. ‘Come trim my Christmas tree, with some decorations bought at Tiffany! I really do believe in you, let’s see if you believe in me...’

If Tiffany do make Christmas tree decorations they’re certainly out of my budget, but it is always nice to take a trip to a fancy shop and buy something extra special to go on your tree, within reason.

5. ‘Hang a shining star upon the highest bough, and have yourself merry little Christmas now’. It goes without saying that you need a star to go on the top of your tree, but I’m glad this song made a point of it because people seem to put all sorts up there. The star is to guide the wise men to Jesus on Christmas day, the day of his birth... let’s not get too distracted by all those presents! Written by Ruby Prosser




Unmarried Couples Do You Know Your Legal Rights? Unmarried Couples - Do You Know Your Legal Rights? Cohabitees do not have the same legal and financial rights as married couples or couples who are in civil partnerships. This is often misunderstood, as many people believe incorrectly that legal protection exists for a ‘common law partner’. The number of families formed of unmarried, cohabiting couples has rocketed in recent years, increasing from 1.5 million in 1996 to 3.3 million by 2017, according to the ONS. This means it is so important to understand your rights, or lack of them, if you are in a cohabiting relationship. No Financial Protection for Cohabiting Couples

‘The number of families formed of unmarried, cohabiting couples has rocketed in recent years...’


If Mark and Sue were to separate, Sue would not have a right to claim spousal maintenance, or a share of Mark’s pension, savings or shares. She could make an application under schedule 1 of the Children Act, but that is purely in relation to financial support for the children. If Mark were to die, Sue could potentially make an Inheritance Act claim against Mark’s estate, if she meets certain criteria but there is no guarantee of success. So if Mark has not made a Will leaving enough provision for Sue, she will have to provide the detail of the financial needs she has under an Inheritance Act claim to try and obtain financial provision. What Can You Do to Protect Your Rights? One way to record the arrangements between you and your partner is to enter into a cohabitation agreement. This sets out the financial arrangements during the relationship. It is also important to discuss,



By way of example, let’s consider a couple, Mark and Sue, who have been in a relationship for 15 years and have two young children together. They have no agreement in place, Sue gave up her career to stay at home and look after the children, whilst Mark travels for work and has a significant income, as well as a pension, stocks and shares. These are all held in Mark’s sole name and were mainly accrued by virtue of Sue staying at home being the homemaker.


at the time of purchasing your property, the agreement in relation to any financial contribution to the deposit and the mortgage payments. If this is agreed at the outset, it will assist in the event of the breakdown of a relationship, particularly when each party’s respective share of the property is recorded with the land registry.

Our specialist family lawyers are well equipped to help you. For more information, please contact Lucy Barr on 0121 227 3715 or at

Seeking proper advice on this complex area of law is important if you are considering cohabiting, if you are separating from your partner, or simply wish to gain clarity on your own current position.

VWV - Award Winning Private Client Law Firm Instruct specialist lawyers who offer a personal service to meet your needs

• • • • • • • •

Wills & inheritance tax planning Lasting Powers of Attorney Estate administration Challenges to Wills Family, divorce & children Conveyancing Personal injury Family business

For further details, please contact us on 0121 227 3700 or at @VWVPrivClient

“VWV’s superb team has a real emphasis on client care.” Legal 500




Mayor unveils town centre revamp - and station could be next


olihull’s Town Centre has had a million-pound facelift – and the much-loved station could be next. The new Town Centre Approach was unveiled by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street on September 20. The scheme, a joint project between Solihull Borough Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority, includes a new road layout and halfa-mile of walkways and cycle paths, while the pavement and crossing has been redesigned to make it safer for people to get into the heart of the town. New bins, benches and lighting have also been added. Mr Street said: “Solihull town centre is a bustling and vibrant place with a real sense of identity. “I’m pleased the West Midlands Combined Authority has been able to support this scheme, this is a much better way for commuters and shoppers to arrive in Solihull.

“The improvements that are being made here and elsewhere benefit the whole West Midlands region.” Mr Street has also signalled his support for plans to give Solihull’s much-loved station a brighter future, after councillors gave the green light to a £20million revamp. “Many people are very fond of this station,” he said. “It’s style harks back to a different era, and I hope that a graceful refurbishment can be planned that makes it both efficient to use but respects the architecture of the time and the setting in which it sits. “I’m now really looking forward to the proposals coming together to decide what the refurbishment should look like.

Solihull Councillor Ted Richards with members of the Friends of Solihull Station and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street

The station, which was built in the 1930s, currently handles 2,500 passengers but experts are predicting user numbers will increase significantly.

“I’m also looking forward to the work that the Friends of Solihull Station do to make sure that it’s clean and green, and respected as a place that is central to the community.”



Has your loved one been moved into a care home against their wishes?


ccording to Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights no citizen of a signitary nation can be deprived of their liberty without reason. If a relative of yours has been moved into a care home against their wishes and they are unable to leave, you have the right to appeal for their liberty through the court of protection, according to Ann-Marie Aston from The Wilkes Partnership. The law is very clear on this matter, she says. Providing due process has been followed then the deprivation of their liberty is lawful. However if any of these three primary criteria have not been met then you have grounds for appeal. 1.

The individual has a diagnosis of mental illness


The individual lacks the mental capacity to agree to being locked up and it is not in thier best interests


The individual is over 18

In 2009 Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were added to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The safeguards have been put in place to make sure that people in care homes and hospitals are looked after in a way that does not inappropriately restrict their freedom. Unfortunately, there are many instances where due process has not been carried out by the Local Authority and families are often unaware of their rights to appeal. Many elderly people can be provided with appropriate care within their own homes and so do not need to be moved. Even in instances where the Local Authority or the NHS has granted a deprivation order the family still has the right to appeal against the decision.

Ann-Marie Aston

important for individuals to have the opportunity to be cared for in their own home for as long as possible. If you would like more information on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards please contact Ann-Marie Aston at The Wilkes Partnership

The Wilkes Partnership LLP Stanton House, 54 Stratford Road Shirley, SOlihull, B90 3LS

0121 733 8000

There are 850,000 people in the UK who have been diagnosed with dementia and each year there are growing numbers of DoLS applications. Clearly with an ageing population this is a problem that is not going to go away and with increasing pressure on care homes it is




Why not invest in a new driveway or patio to enhance the appearance and add value to your property? Approved Drives and Landscapes offer a range of services to help improve all areas of your home, including;

Clay & Block Paving • Tarmacing (red or black) • Patios • Brickwork Slabbing • Gravel • Landscaping • Fencing Property Repairs • Roofing Repairs • Driveway Maintenance (Pressure cleaning & sealing - weed free)

Introduce yourself? Want your business to meet the neighbourhood?

Contact Us

T. 0121 702 1456 or 0121 371 0105 M. 07748 577687

Your ad should be here! Visit or call 0121 689 0432 Trinity Park, Concorde House, Solihull, B37 7UQ

Get in touch today for your FREE quotation!

Local Private Tutors

Sharon Wall

Clarinet Teacher GBSM (Hons) ARCM ABSM PGCE Highly experienced teacher with excellent success rates from beginner to diploma level. Contact Sharon on 0121 449 4423

Hazel Buller BSc

Guitar tutor All ages, abilities and levels taught. Lessons provided in your own home or Solihull. Special rates for JLR employees. DBS certified. Tel: 07847 557765


Helen Mills

Flute & Intensive Grade 5 Theory BMus; GBSM Hons; ABSM Over 30 years flute teaching experience. All abilities, ages and levels taught. Excellent results record. ALSO Aural Training Member of ISM Blenheim Road, Moseley Tel: 0121 449 2135

Kerry Spencer

English, History and 11+ (Maths & English) Tutor All abilities, ages and levels taught. Lessons provided in your own home during the week and weekends. Brilliant results. Call or text: 07891 055 220

Your Lis e could b


and l tutor a loca etails e r a u d u If yo ail: like yo would re please em g e h .or g d printe blishin







WORD ON THE STREET Here we bring you the low down of local happenings, all the stuff you need to know. To contribute to next issue’s WORD ON THE STREET page please email or call us on 0121 689 0432

Property For Kids Jumping for the Jack at Boules Event Property For Kids (PFK) raised a fantastic £8,250 at the resurrected property boules event, held at Silhillians Sports Club in Solihull PFK raises money for disadvantaged children in the West Midlands, supporting a variety of charities by providing useful assets, such as: a safe playground, a minibus or specialist equipment. The last Property Boules Event took place back in 2003, making this year the 15th anniversary since the games were last played.

A dedicated team drives Arrive Alive with the launch of two life saving vehicles! Arrive Alive is a Midlands based charity which has launched two rapid emergency medical response vehicles through the ‘The Silver Second Appeal’. The vehicles are operated by Community First Responders (CFR’s) which are medically trained volunteers which are deployed via a 999 call. CFR’s can deliver essential life saving treatment to patients within the locality of an operational CFR vehicle in conjunction with the ambulance service. An inspiration behind the launch of ‘The Silver Second Appeal’ was the administrator of Arrive Alive, Ellie who contracted a severe case of measles in January 2018 and was quoted a waiting time for medical assistance of two to four hours. Upon hospitalisation Ellie developed various complications with her lungs and liver she was successfully treated by Infectious Diseases at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham. Ellie has also been nominated for a Birmingham Award for her detrimental work for Arrive Alive. The team at Arrive Alive are still relentlessly fundraising for additional vehicles to become operational within the Midlands. Each equipped operational vehicle costs approximately £25,000 which is solely funded by the public and operated by volunteers. For additional information or to donate please visit

Could you help a refugee this winter? As the nights draw in, we turn the heating on, cook comforting food and enjoy cosy evenings at home. But this isn’t the case for many refugees living in Birmingham. Many face cold nights in lonely hostels or sleep on the streets. Birmingham Community Hosting Network or BIRCH, works with volunteers to offer friendship and hospitality to people seeking sanctuary in the Birmingham area. Could you volunteer for their befriending project, getting to know unaccompanied young refugees and reducing their isolation? Or could you host an asylum seeker who has nowhere to stay? A young refugee said about BIRCH’s work: “From my befriending family I understand that British people are not cold people and care about an asylum seeker like me.” Please join the volunteer team to help BIRCH continue their work this winter. Find out more ar

The new incarnation consisted of a barbecue and Boules tournament, with a trophy and plate on offer for the winner and runner-up. Over 100 property professionals battled it out to try and get the closest to the jack in a series of very tense play offs. In keeping with the history of the event, attendees were invited to come in fancy dress. Gateley’s team came away winners, opting for a French theme, pairing striped t-shirts with berets and mime artist makeup. Jilly Cosgrove, Property For Kids Chairwoman, commented: “This is the first boules event in our history but, not for the industry - it is wonderful that we can bring back events that were once so eagerly anticipated by property professionals. We have been bowled over by the success and the amount of companies and individuals that wanted to be involved. Thanks to the reaction we have had, this event will now become a regular summer fixture that everyone can look forward to.’ Furthermore, with the generous support of our co-sponsors Rhino Interiors and CoStar, we are all delighted that the funds raised on the day were so high and will provide a healthy target to exceed at next year’s event. For info on future evetns contact Jilly Cosgrove at The next PFK event is the Snowball at The Jam House.



Local Business Directory

Support your local community = Supporting your local economy + Watching our neighbourhood thrive!

Bike Shop

Bike Pro Racing


Health Club North Solihull Sports Centre


& Tudor Grange Leisure Centre


Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice


Chauffeur Services



Cleaning & Ironing



Conservatory Insulation Green Space Ltd


Midland Hand Clinic

Smart Alarm Systems

Smart Install Limited 32


The Wilkes Partnership 27 Veale Wasbrough Vizards LLP




Birmingham Hippodrome

Credit Control

UK Credit Control Management


Windows & Doors


Domestic Appliances

Macphersons Appliances Direct

Firplace Showroom

MD Services

Gardening & Landscaping

Betel UK Garden Treeworks Central Driveways

Healthcare Services

10 31

10 2 20


Dimension Driveways & Landscapes JH Garden & Property Services

20 20

Disclaimer - All advertisements delivered by the MY Magazines are published in good faith. We do not accept responsibility for the accuracy of such advertisements, nor is any kind of warrenty endorsment expressed or implied by such publication. We specifically disclaim all and any liability to advertisers, readers and users of any kind, for loss or damage of any nature whatsoever and however arising, whether due to inaccuracy, error, omission or any other cause and whether on the part of the MY Magazines, our agents or any other person.




STEAMED UP DOUBLE GLAZING? Don’t Replace The Frames... Just The Panes!

Cloudy2Clear Are A ...

Which? Trusted Trader

All Glazing Backed By Our


GUARANTEE Priority Freephone

0800 61 21118

Broken Or Damaged Windows? Faulty Locks, Handles, Hinges?

CHRISTMAS TREECYCLING In exchange for a donation, we’ll collect and recycle your tree 12th & 13th January 2019 Book your collection before 5th January

Our volunteers will be Treecycling in: B13, B14, B15, B17, B25, B26, B27, B28, B29, B30, B31, B32, B38, B45, B47, B90, B91, B92, B93, B94

Book today at or call 0121 752 8779


Registered Charity No. 503456


‘Burglars target homes where there is no visible sign of protection’ Crime Reduction Manager, West Midlands Police.

Burglar Alarms We offer a standard wireless system or choose the ‘smart’ option that can send alerts directly to your mobile.

CCTV systems For added security our CCTV system, which also links to your mobile device, protects your property day and night.

‘ ‘ ‘

and I have already ago. Very happy with the process ile wh a m the by ed fitt rm ala d Ha A Leem ily. fam and nds frie my to recommended customer The service was excellent and the e. hom my to ed fitt v cct and rm I had an ala Colin T mend SmartInstall to anyone. care was unbeatable. I would recom ing. ation to installation and commission Brilliant service from initial consult Terry M y. and credit to himself and compan nt elle exc s wa er ine eng tion alla Our inst

Call your local installer now on 0121 634 8081 or visit

December 2018 - My Solihull Central  
December 2018 - My Solihull Central