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What’s on in Lichfield this Spring?

Spring fever in Lichfield
Spring is upon us and Lichfield is reawakening. The great outdoors beckons, Easter is around the corner and even the Lichfield Bower is in sight. Here’s a taster of Lichfield events and activities to catch that spring fever.
Step Outside
Blessed as we are with countryside all around, now is the time to explore. Head up to Cannock Chase for acres of woodland walks; step among the bluebells at Yoxall Woods (open from 19th April), or take a canal-side saunter at Fradley Junction with a cheeky pint at the Swan.
Closer to home, there is always something happening in Beacon Park and this spring is no exception. Would you believe the golf course is 40 years old? Join in the birthday celebrations on Sunday 23rd March. On the way to Burntwood, have you tried the Woodland Trust’s Pipe Hill Farm yet? It has over 100 acres of woodland and meadow with views back across Lichfield. Even more central, Leomansley Woods are carpeted in bluebells in the spring and offer a lovely, if somewhat soggy walk, with, at one elevated point, possibly the best view of Lichfield Cathedral to be found.
Easter Fun
Take the kids down to the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum for Sam’s Easter Adventure, Easter holiday fun with trails, activities and competitions every day. Erasmus Darwin House will also have Easter activities for children along with a series of special events to celebrate its 15th birthday in April.
A fresh start for the arts
Lichfield Arts has an eclectic spring programme of music including, among many others, blues, folk, swing, jazz and heavy rock. Over at the Garrick the choice explodes with opera, drama, dance, Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll; the last three – with the added qualifier (I wish) – being the title of a show on 4th April by Mike McGear McCartney, Paul McCartney’s younger brother, famous for the old Lily the Pink song.
Whatever your springtime plans, stay local and have fun!

This article appears in Lichfield Recommended, a magazine delivered free to residents in Lichfield and surrounding area’s.

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Christmas Time in Sutton Coldfield

December already, and another merry Christmas is ringing in. Have you started (or finished!) your Christmas shopping. Are you planning a special night out? Or perhaps you are planning a less commercial, more meaningful celebration? Here’s a taster of what Sutton Coldfield has to offer this Christmas.

Christmas gift ideas

The Gracechurch Centre, Sutton Coldfield, under new ownership, will have the usual seasonal cheers with bright lights, late nights and lots of little extras to put pleasure into your gift hunting. It’s open every day and right up to the wire on Christmas Eve – apparently the traditional time for men to start their shopping!

Or for something completely different, start early, on 1st December, at the Sutton Vintage and Arts Fair in the Town Hall.  Find unique and quirky Christmas gifts, vintage and handmade clothes and enjoy some festive fun.

Christmas concerts and events

Sutton Coldfield Town Hall plays host to some musical extravaganzas in December including Musical Memories, Past and Present on Friday 6th December, The City of Birmingham Brass Band in concert the following day and two Family Christmas Concerts at 4.15pm and 7.30pm on Sunday 15th December, which promise to be uplifting and heart-warming in equal measure.

Of course, Christmas is not Christmas without panto, but this year the pantomimes are not exactly at Christmas! Snow White runs at the Sutton Arts Theatre until 15th December and Aladdin plays at the Town Hall from 14th January to 19th January 2014.

 

London comes to Sutton Coldfield

Fancy something a little more highbrow? A quiet revolution has been happening in cinemas across the country, where “as live” screenings of National Theatre and Royal Opera House shows are beating blockbuster films at the box office. The obvious hit for Christmas is the ROH production of Nutcracker on 12th December at 7.15pm, showing at the Empire and a number of other cinemas near Sutton Coldfield. Last year’s Nutcracker beat Skyfall in cinema box office takings!

 

Whatever your plans, enjoy a happy Christmas in Sutton Coldfield, and here’s hoping that 2014 is your best year ever

This article appears in Sutton Coldfield Recommeded, a local magazine delivered to 40,000 homes and businesses in Sutton Coldfield and surrounding area’s.


Have a spectacular Sutton Coldfield Christmas

The festive season is upon us; the Mall is all a-twinkle, office Christmas parties are in full swing, and there seem to be carol concerts on every corner. To help you make the most of it all, here’s a roundup of some of the Sutton Coldfield Christmas highlights.

Started your Christmas Shopping?

Or maybe you’ve already finished it? Whichever is the case it is well worth heading for the town centre where the lights are sparkling and Christmas bargains are everywhere. On 14th December there’s the added attraction of the Christmas Farmers’ Market, where you can stock up on some special treats. Don’t forget that Sutton has many other lovely little High Streets, such as Boldmere, where you will find lots of independent shops with some fresh and unusual ideas for Christmas gifts.

Where’s Santa?

The most important question for children is “Will we see Santa?” Well, no fear, Santa’s here. He’ll be in the Mall all through December, right up to Christmas Eve – hope he’s got the reindeers primed for a quick getaway! After Santa, keep the excitement levels high with a trip to the panto; no need to schlepp into Brum, the Sutton Arts Theatre has a wonderful production of Cinderella, right here on our doorstep, from 7th  to 22nd December. There are also some great Christmas films showing this year at the Empire, Sutton’s 1930s listed cinema. Try the new Hobbit film, An Unexpected Journey; or showing right now is Nativity 2 – Danger in the Manger, a funny festive follow up to the original Nativity! movie, back in 2009.

And finally…

You’ve shopped, you’ve eaten, you’ve drunk, you’ve seen Santa and visited the panto. All that remains is…. a nice cold, ice cold Christmas dip in Blackroot Pool at Sutton Park. Any knowledge of this century-old tradition is strongly denied by the park authorities, but as of last year it appeared to be still going strong! However it is really only for the brave or the foolhardy, and a cosy Christmas at home sounds much more appealing.

To all our readers and advertisers, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

This article features in Recommended Sutton Coldfield, a local magazine and business directory delivered

 to 40,000 homes and businesses in Sutton Coldfield.


Ready for a Lichfield Christmas?

LichfieldCathedralLichfield is alight with Christmas cheer right now, so make the most of all that is happening; enjoy the festivities throughout December, until you finally put your feet up on Christmas afternoon with a glass of something sparkling!

Some Lichfield Christmas highlights

The Christmas Farmers’ markets are on the first Thursday in December and back again for a twinkly encore on 20th December, just in time to get some last minute goodies.  Don’t miss the Lichfield Christmas Festival, on 16th -17th December, a weekend bursting with activities, music, storytelling, eating and drinking. For something a little different, how about a nostalgic afternoon, with 1940s entertainment and festive food, at the National Arboretum on the 6th December?

It’s all about the children

Keep the excitement levels at fever pitch over the next few weeks with a whole host of local Christmas activities. Kick off with Christmas crafts in Beacon Park on the 1st and 2nd December, and then go up a gear with a visit to the Garrick for this year’s Christmas panto, Alice in Wonderland. Santa will be getting about; visit him nearby at Shugborough, Conkers, or the Chasewater Railway, and don’t forget he’ll be touring the streets with the Round Table too. Yes, he’s very much in evidence in the area, so best behaviour all round!

The real spirit of Christmas

We are blessed with a beautiful cathedral and many active churches in Lichfield so there’s no excuse for missing the true spirit of Christmas this year. The Cathedral in particular has a packed agenda starting with the atmospheric, candlelit Advent Carol Services on 1st and 2nd December at 6pm

Christmas music features heavily of course. You can enjoy carols in the park, carols in the town square, carols in the Cathedral (and the many Lichfield churches), and even carols in the trenches at Whittington Barracks. If you are not singing, then stop and listen and, wherever you are in Lichfield, you will hear the strains of Once in Royal David’s City carrying on the winds….

To all our readers and advertisers, Merry Christmas and Have Fun!

This article appears in Recommended Lichfield, a local magazine and business directory delivered

to 19,000 homes and businesses in Lichfield and the surrounding areas.


Have you written your will yet?

It’s not something most of us like to think about, but writing your will is one of the most important things you can do. If it’s there on your long-term to-do list, bring it to the top and do it now.

Says Gary Allmark from GSA Wills:

Even when things are straightforward, if you die without a will, the process of administering your estate is made unnecessarily difficult. This can be stressful and upsetting for those you leave behind, who are already struggling to cope with your loss”

Second Marriage? Read on…

Everybody should have a will, but for certain people the consequences of not having one could leave those you love out in the cold. You should put your will at the top of your to-do list if:

  • you are unmarried partners, particularly if you have children
  • you have previous marriages, again particularly if you have children
  • you have children under 18 -to be clear about how they should be looked after if you die
  • your estate is worth more than £250k (easier than it sounds if you own your house)

Keep it up to date

Already have a will? When is the last time you updated it? If things have changed since you wrote your will, for instance you have separated or divorced, you will need to update it. Gary from GSA Wills says:

“Many an outdated will has caused problems for those left behind. That’s why we send a note once a year to remind you that if your circumstances have changed, your will should reflect the new reality.”

The Season of Good Will?

Before you get caught up in the Christmas preparations, with a million and one things added to your to-do list, call GSA Wills and get Gary to come over and see you.

 

This article appeared in Recommeded Sutton Coldfield Magazine, a local magazine and business directory delivered to 40,00 homes and businesses in the Sutton Coldfield and surrounding area’s.


Calling all aspiring young performers…

Calling all aspiring young performers…

There is a new opportunity for children in Sutton Coldfield to discover and develop their performing talents. The Theatre House is an exciting new stage school which provides professional training in the performing arts for children between the ages of 7 and 14.  With weekly drama, dance and singing classes, it offers a fantastic chance for children to get a taste of how it feels to tread the boards.

The Theatre House is run by performing arts professionals Deb Crump and Helen Gilfoyle, who realised a long held ambition when they opened their doors in Sutton just 6 months ago. Helen is an experienced drama teacher and Deb is a trained actor for whom dancing is a passion; she says “I think my first steps were probably dance steps!” The Theatre House is their way of passing on their skills and knowledge to a new generation of aspiring actors and performers.

Training for Life

The training that Deb and Helen provide is professional and focussed. “We don’t just get children singing along to backing tracks, we actually train them in the techniques and skills required for singing, dancing and acting.” And the benefits go well beyond the stage; children build friendships, gain confidence, learn social skills and develop their imagination. “The skills they learn will help them throughout their lives.” says Deb.

Classes and Performances

Classes, which are great fun, are held every Saturday at St. James Hall in Four Oaks and further afield, in The Village Hall at Alrewas. And to put those new skills into action?  “We are a company that loves to perform and we provide many opportunities for all our pupils to perform in our local shows. All we ask for is energy, enthusiasm and commitment.”

To find out more call Deb on 07855 981309 or have a look at www. thetheatrehouse.co.uk

This article appeared in Recommended Sutton Coldfield, a local magazine and business directory

delivered to 40,000 homes in Sutton Coldfield and the surrounding area’s.

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The National Memorial Arboretum

Situated in Alrewas, just outside Lichfield the National Memorial Arboretum is a charity run by staff and volunteers, it is part of the Royal British Legion.  Set in a beautiful location it is not only a place for those connected to the armed forces, but an opportunity for all people to show national pride in those who have served and are still serving.

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