Funny how after a vibrant and colourful Spring as we approach July all things seem to settle down and become more muted and perhaps understated. The bright greens, yellows and blues calm and soften as the season draws on. Birds that not so long ago were vibrating along every hedgerow are quieter and , after raising their chicks, more tired `cos kids can be very demanding of parents time and energy. Ready for the school holidays are we? This is a good time to dawdle along the valley and across the meadows just looking and listening and just breathing in some fresh air. Remember though to please be in control of your dog and clean up after it. Remember to please consider pedestrians when you are on your bike, all the valley paths are to be shared with care. Remember how lucky we are to have such a resource as the New Hall Valley Country Park and remember that it needs caring for and looking after. It really is a jewel in Walmley`s crown , it is as good an example of Community asset that we could wish for.
We are now nearer to next Christmas than we are to the last so lets get out into our gardens and relax. The glorious scent of the neighbour`s barbeque, the throbbing bass from a passing car, the house alarm that has been going since midday, the mowers, the strimmers……….. Still ,as of yet no sound of gunfire or rumble of tanks, I like to live in a country that people strive to get into rather than out of, don`t you ? ( apart from a Scottish Nationalist of course )
This article appears in Walmley Pages Magazine, a local publication delivered free to homes and businesses in Walmey, Minworth and Sutton Coldfield.
Just a week or so after reading this it will be Midsummers Day !
How does a year go by so fast? At least we seem to be having proper seasons this year. Not much snow for snowmen though.
A great show of blossom this spring with the May (hawthorn)
lasting a full month, Apple and Cherry blooms promise a bumper crop later. In the Valley our grasslands are starting to reach a peak of colour as all the wildflowers compete for the attentions of moths, butterflies and bees. Join us for a Wildflower Wander through some of the best meadows in the West Midlands. Meet at the Water Mill 2.00pm Sunday June 8th. Hope for sunshine and we`ll see how many of the over 100 species are on view. Bonus is that the Mill is open and so is the tea room. Also in the Valley we are having a Grand Balsam Bash ! Sunday June 22nd 9.30am and we will try to clear the Plants Brook of this Himalayan invader to give our indigenous water plants and wildlife chance to grow and flourish out of the shade cast by the Balsam. Wellies essential.
How many readers recognise the name of “Jones`s Wood”??
This is the patch of ancient woodland next to the Deanery School and is in need of some urgent TLC. A meeting is to be held at the school on Wednesday June 11th 7.00pm to explore setting up a Friends group and to discuss ongoing issues and future maintenance. Nothing heavy ,just a bit of help for a neglected but much loved patch of Walmley past and present.
If you care about Walmley , the Valley or the Wood, come along to any or all of these events supporting our Community.
This article appears in Walmley Pages Magazine, a local publication delivered free to residents in Walmley, Minworth and Sutton Coldfield areas.
Thank goodness that is over , February I mean. It always feels so tired and grim and long. Let us now look forward to sap rising , burgeoning birdsong and green shoots shooting. March is when we can feel the quickening of the natural world, which is all around us. (well it is until it`s built on!) Birds and bees start to give overt displays of that for which they are known. Of our garden birds the Robins, Blackbirds and Thrushes have probably already sorted out their partners and their nest site territories but most of our feathered friends will delay for the hopefully better weather at the months end. The winter visitors disperse and we await the arrival of the first swallows to herald spring.
Celandines, violets and primroses are all to be found in and around the New Hall Valley blooming low to the ground waiting to be discovered and admired . Towards the end of the month look out for the explosion of white blossom along the blackthorn hedges to be closely followed by the aromatic and unmistakeable hawthorn.
This is always a time of hope as we feel winter is behind us and we can anticipate summer coming even as we enjoy spring. Don`t get too excited though, always remember that April 1st is All Fool`s Day !
Talking of fools, I wonder whether any attack of common sense has broken out , since I wrote this in January, and that folly of vanity has been cancelled. Yes, of course I mean HS2. Just a thought ,but if it was cancelled then the Washwood Heath industrial site will not be required. Logic then suggests that the Peddimore site plan could be moved to that location and we would not need to develop that Green Belt at all. As I said , just a thought.
This article appears in Walmley Pages Magazine, a free publication delivered to homes and businesess in Walmley and Sutton Coldfield.
February is the month that most of us just want to see the back of.
It`s short and gloomy and seems to last so much longer than 28 days. “February fill dyke , be it black or be it white “is an old adage that just about sums it up , although there is another that runs
“If February brings no rain it`s neither good for grass nor grain”. So you pays your money and takes your choice but on a brighter note if Candlemas day is cloudy and wet they reckon that winter is over and there is no more hard weather to come. (Candlemas was the 2nd. Did it rain ?)
Hopefully we are seeing some signs of Spring stirring. Snowdrops will peak during this month and be quickly followed by crocuses.
Should be some interesting types popping up around the village centre where many new ones were planted last Autumn. Look out for them. In a couple of places in the New Hall Valley, Sutton Coldfield one of the earliest wildflowers will already be coming into bloom. The understated Dog`s Mercury will throw little sprays of greenish white flowers. Look for it in undisturbed ground along old hedges and in uncultivated woodland. No, I have no idea where the name came from , any ideas?
Hope you have remembered to make your voice heard over the issue of Green Belt development. Speak up , fill in the appropriate form and send it in . Your voice is Our voice so do not leave it to everyone else, whatever your view , state it.
Short and sweet , as I hope this month is . Don`t forget my card on the 14th !
This article is written by Sutton Coldfield resident Jeff or Jeff’s Useful Shop, Walmley Road. Printed in Walmley Pages Magazine which is delivered to homes and businesses in Walmley and Sutton Coldfield.
From being a little known oddity confined to the geeks of Silicon Valley just four years ago, the Bitcoin is heading all the technology news boards and has even got some central banks running scared. So, what is it, how does it work and why does it matter?
The Bitcoin was created in 2009 by an unknown programmer called Satoshi Nakamoto, a name that is widely believed to be an alias. Although it is generally considered to be a crypto or virtual currency, it was originally just a means of exchange for online transactions. The way the transactions are processed is in the realm of the serious cyber boffins, I barely understand it myself, but suffice to say there is a definitive log of all transactions and when they occurred. Bitcoins are created by “Miners,” people who use computers or networks of computers to solve increasingly complex algorithms. If you think processing the transactions is complex, don’t even try and think about Bitcoin Mining. There are currently around 12.2 million Bitcoins in existence but there is an absolute cap of 21 million on the number that can be created. Bitcoins are also anonymous, they don’t have serial numbers like banknotes, and the people who own them are anonymous too – rather than a bank account, owners have a wallet which is accessed using a username and password.
So far, so geeky, but this is where it starts to get interesting. Although the Bitcoin is not a currency, in many ways it acts like one. Bitcoins can be used to pay for a huge range of online transactions, anything from school fees to casino chips, and increasingly they are accepted by physical retail outlets such as bars, bedding retailers and even burger stalls. Bitcoins can be bought using one currency and then sold in another currency, making them an effective medium for transferring money out of a country that enforces currency restrictions. Because Bitcoin owners are anonymous, there are widespread reports of them being used to fund drug deals, illegal arms trading and international terrorism. There are also claims that Bitcoins have been used for money laundering, though there is little evidence to support this. Most importantly, the value of Bitcoins fluctuates wildly. The first units produced in 2009 had a value of less than 2 cents. In November 2013 the value of 1 Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $1,250. A few days later the value plummeted by more than half in just one day when the People’s Bank of China, the Chinese central bank, banned the conversion of Yuan into Bitcoins.
It is worth considering what has driven this heavy demand for Bitcoins and the dramatic increase in value that goes with it. In China, citizens are limited to taking $50,000 of currency out of the country per year. The Bitcoin represents a heaven sent opportunity to get round this restriction. India also has similar limitations in place, coupled with a currency that is prone to serious inflation. It is no surprise that the Indian central bank moved to limit conversion of Rupees into Bitcoins. With such dramatic increases in value, speculators have inevitably jumped on the bandwagon, further fuelling the volatility in price. What is surprising is that, after the dramatic drop in early December, the value of the Bitcoin has already stabilised at about $800.
Despite everything that has happened, it looks as if the Bitcoin is here to stay. The US Treasury has made no move to outlaw it or limit transactions and the number of physical outlets that accept Bitcoins is increasing exponentially. Only when all 21 million Bitcoins have been mined will we know a realistic value for it, something that is estimated to happen by around 2017. In the meantime, it is an excellent example of technology being used to create genuine wealth and at the same time respond to a real need.
This article appears in Walmley Pages Magazine, a local magazine delivered free to Walmley, Sutton Coldfield and surrounding areas.
When we stepped inside Bhujon Restaurant in Sutton Coldfield, we immediately knew that we were in for a great evening.
Whilst walking into the sophisticated Bhujon Cocktail area where diners can indulge in classic and a bespoke selection of cocktails. Our eyes were immediately drawn to the spacious and attractive dining area below that just oozes class, comfort and style.
As were a family of six we were seated in a booth which was ideal, it was our own comfortable segment of a larger impressive restaurant, we perused the menu and were given advice and recommendations from the helpful staff.
It was nice to see not only a good selection of traditional Indian dishes but also some very innovative choices that were something a little different to what you would find elsewhere.
We chose a variety of starters from Lamb chops adraki perfectly cooked and spiced to Chicken Tandoori tenders, chicken delectably seasoned, the starters were a taste of what was to come as each starter was delicious and the attention paid to the presentation was exquisite.
The highlights of our main courses proved to be a Bhujan speciality Tawa Chicken Jalfrezi cooked with onion green pepper strongly herbed and spiced with home-made sauce, it arrived on a piping hot pan and was sizzling as it was placed on the table, it was simply the best Indian dish I have had in a long time. We also tried an old favourite Chicken Massala a mild dish which was perfectly cooked and full of flavour accompanied at the recommendation of staff by fresh okra.
There was a great choice of deserts I personally had the Caramel Royal which was the perfect finish to a great meal. .
Owners Mr Miah and Mr Zaman strive to offer the highest quality food with a first class ambience and excellent service, something they are definitely achieving. They are certainly bringing a new first class dining experience to Sutton Coldfield.
Bhujon offers a terrific dining experience for couples, families, friends and large parties. It’s creative with delicious food, great service and stylish but comfortable setting, it really is a fabulous restaurant and we recommend that you give it a try.
290 – 292 Lichfield Road, Mere Green, Sutton Coldfield, B74 2UG 0121 308 0930
This restaurant review appears in Sutton Coldfield Recommended Magazine, delivered to 40,000 homes and businesses in Sutton Coldfield and surrounding area’s.
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.
After a five year drought, the television schedules are awash with property programmes once again. Grand Designs is enjoying its annual run of programmes, but these are all brand new projects rather than updates on programmes that were first run a few years ago. Kevin McCloud can also be seen in Man Made Home, a quirky series about building a beach hut from recycled materials. Sarah Beeny, who made her name showing amateurs how to make money out of property development, is now telling them how to achieve their dream house for half the cost of upsizing.
Caroline Quentin has recently finished her latest series of Restoration Home, a programme about people who spend hundreds of thousands of pounds restoring historic properties that should probably have been left to crumble to dust. Meanwhile, a brace of architects are showing self builders how to create a perfect home for a pittance in The House that £100k Built. Recently, I saw the first episode of Location, Location, Location, that wasn’t a rerun from six years ago, in a long time. In case you’ve forgotten the concept, this is a house hunting show fronted by Kirsty Allsopp and Phil Spencer. All this and I haven’t even started on the numerous property shows that litter the daytime television listings.
Sutton Coldfield hasn’t returned to the days of 2006 when this kind of programme was at its height. The money no object, fortunes to be made exuberance of the mid noughties is long gone and may never return. Instead, the focus is more on getting the absolute maximum of bangs for your buck. For instance, the concept of Sarah Beeny’s show is that people who have run out of space can extend and renovate their current property for half the cost of selling up and buying a bigger house. But we can still take heart from this; people are passionate about property again and that can only be good news for the housing market.
This article appears in Walmley Pages Magazine, a local magazine delivered free to homes in Walmey, Minworth and Sutton Coldield
Do we in Walmley realise how lucky we are to have a number of unpaid and unsung heroes who quietly enhance all our lives with no thought of recompense or reward. This attitude goes straight to the real heart of that elusive ideal, “community “. People like the group of pensioners who weekly tidy round the church and church hall, the early morning duo who tidy around the Select n Save area, THANKS to you all.
The magical appearance of our hanging baskets, Christmas tree and lights, they all have silent arrangers behind the scenes as do the annual Remembrance service at the memorial, ditto the carols round the tree each December. THANKS to you all .Too many to mention who help out in our Country Park, those who pick up other folks litter , those who help to cut back overgrowth , those who always answer the call for workdays. THANKS to you all, Chrissy , David, Chris, Jenny, Paul, Bill…….The list is extensive and covers many ages and both genders. All of these hardy souls do not sit back and whine “something must be done”, they get out there and do it !
I know that through August and September your garden birds have been quiet and less in evidence . This is perfectly normal and is as a result of their annual moult when they feel vunerable , so don’t sing and tend to skulk. By now they will be coming back and this is a good time to establish a feeding station in your garden to ensure plenty of winter entertainment from a convenient window.
Provide clean water and a variety of foods in your chosen spot and enjoy. Remember keep it clean and regular. Small quantities at first to avoid attracting vermin. Just one reason to look forward to winter. Lastly, a date for your diary…
Saturday October 12th Crocus planting in Walmley Village, Sutton Coldfield
All welcome, just bring your trowel, and dig it !
Jeff Gilbert – Jeff’s Useful Shop, Walmley Road, Sutton Coldfield.
This article appears in Walmley Pages Magazine, a local free magazine delivering to homes in Walmley, Sutton Coldfield and surrounding areas.
After fears that there would be no carnival at all in Sutton Coldfield this year, now there’s a bigger one than ever. It takes place over two days at the end of June, proving that this 50 year old event has a special place in the life of the community.
The fun starts on Saturday 29th June at Meadow Platt in Sutton Park with a giant children’s picnic. The will be food, fun and games for up to 200 local children and their families.
The Carnival is the following day, Sunday 30th June, and it looks set to be a vintage year with all the usual favourite stalls and activities, including the final of the WOW Factor singing competition and the Sunday Afternoon Laze acoustic sessions; plus the addition this year of a beach!
August Antics in Sutton Park
It’s a fantastic line up but we’re the first to admit that one carnival does not a summer make. So what else is happening this summer in Sutton Coldfield?
Look no further than Sutton Park. We sometimes forget how lucky we are to have this oasis in our midst; an historic landscape covering an area of over 2,000 acres and attracting more than two million visits every year. Special activities this year include the Sutton 6 Pack and August Antics – ranger organised events which will keep the whole family happy. Pop into the Visitor Centre at Town Gate to find out more.
Whatever the Weather
There may be the odd rainy day, not too many we hope; so what’s happening away from the weather? A trip to the newly re-opened library is a good start, where you’ll find a brand new children’s section and an exciting “Once upon a time” story area.
There’s a family festival at the town Hall on 16th June from 12pm to 4pm, called Mum’s the Word, celebrating family life. Also, check out the summer’s blockbusters at the Empire, Sutton’s wonderful art deco cinema.
There’s plenty going on, so enjoy your Sutton summer, 2013.
This article appears in Sutton Coldfield Recommended Magazine, delivered free to 40,000 homes
and businesses in Sutton Coldfield and surrounding area’s.
CG Computing Tips – Top 10 keyboard shortcuts everyone should know
1. Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert Copy the highlighted text or selected item.
2. Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert Paste the text or object that’s in the clipboard.
3. Ctrl + Z and Ctrl + Y Undo any change. For example, if you cut text, pressing this will undo it. This can also often be pressed multiple times to undo multiple changes. Pressing Ctrl + Y would redo the undo.
4. Ctrl + F Open the Find in any program. This includes your Internet browser to find text on the current page.
5. Alt + Tab or Alt + Esc Quickly switch between open programs moving forward. Tip: Press Ctrl + Tab to switch between tabs in a program. Tip: Windows Vista and 7 users can also press the Windows Key + Tab to switch through open programs in a full screenshot of the Window.
6. Ctrl + Back space and Ctrl + Left or Right arrow Pressing Ctrl + Backspace will delete a full word at a time instead of a single character.
Holding down the Ctrl key while pressing the left or right arrow will move the cursor one word at a time instead of one character at a time. If you wanted to highlight one word at a time you can hold down Ctrl + Shift and then press the left or right arrow key to move one word at a time in that direction while highlighting each word.
7. Ctrl + S While working on a document or other file in almost every program pressing Ctrl + S will save that file. This shortcut key should be used frequently anytime you’re working on anything important.
8. Ctrl + Home or Ctrl + End Move the cursor to the beginning or end of a document.
9. Ctrl + P Print the page being viewed. For example, the document in Microsoft Word or the web page in your Internet browser.
10. Page Up, Space bar, and Page Down Pressing either the page up or page down key will move that page one page at a time in that direction. When browsing the Internet pressing the space bar will also move the page down one page at a time. If you press Shift and the Space bar the page will go up a page at a time.
Article supplied by C G Computing based in Walmley Village, Sutton Coldfield.
This article appears in Walmley Pages Magazine, a local publication delivered free to homes in Sutton Coldfield post code B76
The most popular length this year is to the middle of the knee and midi. Faux fur is big; from full fur to a furry collar or hood, cropped or long, leopard printed or plain, fading out colour, shaggy….the choice is yours! Leather is popular, mostly seen as large block inserts or for collars, cuffs or hem. The puffer is back but discards its previous sleeping bag image as it appears with a more structured shape, embellished or with graphic print.
Oversized coat anyone? Exaggerated proportions with wide set shoulders are popular; ensure they are not ill fitting – sleeves should fall to just below the wrists. Warning – petite figures can look swamped in this style! But they do allow plenty of space to layer on snugly jumpers beneath if you don’t mind looking a little larger than usual.
Once again, the military style is king – choose woollen coats with leather trim, double breasted with shoulder straps or a classic trench coat. Fashionistas are loving this look which can be feminine and flattering. Coats without fasteners are also bang on trend; they won’t offer the best protection against the cold but you will look hot! Fasten with your own belt to warm them up or choose a coat with hidden fasteners.
This year’s colour palette is either subdued shades or brights; you can merge with the crowd or stand out. The classic black and white shades are always current – this year a black and white combo is also popular. Vividly contrasting colour blocks feature too, or choose a coat that plays on light and dark shades of the same colour. Imitation snakeskin print and animal print are hot and, for knitted coats, pastels are a great choice if you want to look smart and professional.
All ready to face the elements? Let it snow!
This article appeared in Walmley Pages Magazine, delivered free to 8,000 homes in the
B76 postcode area, including Walmley, Sutton Coldfield and Minworth.
Forget stuff pinned to your fridge –use your wall instead! Use masking tape to define the area you want to paint. Make sure it’s stuck properly so the paint doesn’t leak. Using a roller, fill the area with chalk board paint making sure you get good, even coverage. Two layers should be plenty. Use a little paintbrush to get the corners perfect and then scribe to your hearts content.
Looking back is traditional at this time of year, especially as we have a bright shiny new one to make a mess of. Such a lot of rain made it a difficult time down in the Valley. Our wildflower meadows missed the correct time for mowing and we have to hope that it has not too much effect on this new year`s display. Certainly the undergrowth burgeoned massively and it meant machete time around the Boardwalk and at various other points where the greenery impeded a walk or ride. Earlier in the year we had a go at the Himalayan Balsam that infests the brook and would hope to do the same this coming spring. There are those that would have us clear out the stream of its silt and and weeds but I think that the fact that fish and crayfish have returned are an indicator of good water quality. The long bright green weed that has white flowers is water crowfoot , again a natural sign of water quality. Also, we will be adding some extra, long awaited , litter and waste bins shortly as a joint effort between the Council and the Steering Group.( We pay for `em ,they get `em emptied!) The muddy gateway at Allendale Rd has at last received our attention and been meshed. Apart from work of course there has been much to enjoy and appreciate. The lush summer gave way to a spectacular autumn and now winter. Whatever the season there is always good reason to get out there and enjoy, `cos it is the users who make it what it is , ours.
Ours, also, is the Green Belt that surrounds us. It is under pressure from an increasing city population. I fear that the case for releasing some of it (400hectares) is too strong to resist. However, with the right response to the current consultation we should be able to mitigate its effect on our locale. If you have not already done so , please comment on the proposals before the end of January. Try to make objections objective and offer alternatives. Don`t be afraid to be a Nimby , because Nimbys care about where they live and how they live. Be heard and least say you tried. Your kids may yet thank you for it .
NIMBY or Nimby (an acronymfor the phrase “not in my back yard“)
This article appeared in the January edition of Walmley Pages Magazine,
a local magazine delivered free to over 8000 homes.
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.
If anyone knows how important first impressions are, it’s Gerry Bryan, owner of Low Cost Chair Covers. Every day Gerry is providing Low Cost Chair Covers that look like a million dollars, for weddings, proms, parties and conferences around the West Midlands.
“That moment, when people walk through the door and see a venue in all its glory, is the moment the tone is set for the whole event” says Gerry.
A brilliantly simple and effective way to create that “wow” moment is by using beautiful chair covers which will bring a theme together and add class to any occasion.
“Our chair covers, loose or lycra, will fit almost every chair; choose white, ivory or black, plus a coloured organza sash, hood or bow to complete the look.”
It’s all in the name – or is it?
There is a clue in the name if you are worried about the cost. It’s unbelievable but true; Low Cost Chair Covers are just £1 each, including the sash, to transform your wedding, prom, party or event into something that will be talked about for a long time afterwards.
That name is only half of the story, though. Low Cost Chair Covers are also professional venue decorators with over 15 years’ experience, and offer a design service for your whole event, including backdrops, table centrepieces, flowers, balloons and much more.
“We can dress the venue to create whatever theme or atmosphere you want” says Gerry.
“We offer a full venue decoration package for weddings, summer balls, parties and events. Prom parties have been particularly popular in more recent years.”
Low cost just got lower by 10%!
Low Cost Chair Covers are offering an exclusive 10% discount for readers of Sutton Coldfield Recommended, for the following packages:
- Prom Package: balloons, table runners and chair covers/sashes (starting from £17.75 per table based on 10 people per table)
- Wedding package: table runners and chair covers/sashes
(starting from £13.00 per table based on 10 people per table)
This offer applies to confirmed bookings for events from 1st December 2012 to 1st December 2013. You will need to book by 31st March 2013 and a 30% deposit is all that’s needed to secure your booking.
Simply quote code SC310313 when you call, email or complete the enquiry form via the website. See the ad for contact details.
This article appeared in Recommended Sutton Coldfield a local magazine and business directory
delivered free to 40,000 home in Sutton Coldfield and surrounding area’s.
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.
Welcome to the Hill Lillis & Company Monthly Tax Tips.
You may not be totally aware of a tax change which comes into force from January 2013. The new rules, which are expected to affect approximately 1.2 million families, will apply to those in receipt of child benefit where the income of one or both partners exceeds £50,000 per annum. In these circumstances, the partner with the highest income will be liable for ‘The Higher Income Child Benefit Charge’. This is a tax charge which is computed on a gradual scale, whereby when the higher-paid partner’s income is above £60,000 the child benefit received by the family will be fully re-charged.
We foresee that difficulties are going to arise when there are changes in the family circumstances during a tax year (e.g. separation or divorce) or where there is uncertainty over who is the highest earner (perhaps because one partner receives occasional bonuses). It is worth stressing that the person who is expected to pay the charge is not necessarily the same person who receives the child benefit.
HM Revenue & Customs are investing a great deal of money and staff resources in pursuing this new ‘Tax’ and families could be liable to penalties and surcharges if they do not take the appropriate action to ensure their circumstances are notified when applicable. This does mean having to register for Self-Assessment and file annual Tax Returns.
If your income is very close to the thresholds, you may wish to consider how you can reduce it for these purposes, perhaps by making additional pension contributions or Gift Aid donations.
Alternatively you may decide it is simpler to elect not to receive child benefit; however if one partner is a non-working carer, what will be the impact on their National Insurance record for future state benefits?
We offer a free 30 minute consultation, so if you would like any additional information regarding the above or any other tax issues concerning you, then please contact us 0121 351 6777 or visit us in our offices in Walmley Village, Walmley, Sutton Coldfield.
This article appears in Walmley Pages Magazine, delivered to over 8,000 homes and businesses, in Walmley and surrounding areas of Sutton Coldfield
I thought that we would not notice the transition from summer to autumn this year . It has been so wet and dark that we can see and feel no real difference except that it is a little chillier . However, the prevailing damp has allowed that British green of our countryside to maintain its brightness. Never have our open spaces been so waterlogged and lush as they have been this year. The scorched browns of high summer have only been spied over the water in hotter climes than ours. The colours of autumn are yet to start showing but I suspect that by the end of the month we shall see some. Unless the rain stops falling there will only be sodden heaps of fallen foliage to wade through rather than the usual kicking of crisp golden and red leaves. ( yes, we all do it no matter what age we pretend to be !)
Take advantage of any opportunity to get out and enjoy the local green patches whenever the sun shines, it could be a long winter and soon the clocks change and we are into darker nights and shorter days. No matter your reasons for walking, be it for health or exercising the dog, for nature or for scenery, just a short stroll or jog will stop that seasonal melancholy getting a grip and anyway outdoor exercise means that when you get in you can have that chocolate or cake as your righteous reward.
New Hall Water mill has closed for the 2012 season with the last open day in September but rest assured that our maintenance work will continue throughout the winter months to ensure that we open again for the 2013 summer months. If you did not visit this year , we look forward to welcoming next time. Please note that if you come on your bicycle you can only come through the small side gate, NOT the main gate, as this is only for real V.I.P`s.
Article supplies by Jeff Gilbert of Jeff’s Useful Shop, Walmley Road, Walmley, Sutton Coldfied B76
This article appears in the October edition of Walmley Pages Magazine, delivered to 4000 homes in Walmley and Sutton Coldfield every month
Welcome to the Hill Lillis & Company Tax Tips. As a local accountancy and tax practice we will be providing a short, monthly article outlining tax problem areas and our suggestions on what you can do to resolve the issues.
Everyone with income below £100,000 is entitled to a full personal income tax allowance of £8,105 for the current tax year. However if you are over the age of 65 and your income from all sources is less than £25,400 you can claim an increased allowance of £10,500, and if you are over 75 years old the allowance is increased to £10,660. Any income above these levels is taxable, and at present the tax rates are 20% up to £34,370; 40% up to £150,000 and 50% above that level.
Each person within a family is individually entitled to personal allowances, so it is worthwhile regularly reviewing your situation, so that you make best use of everyone’s allowances.
If family assets are owned jointly, then the default position is that the income should be declared by the owners equally. However in some circumstances you can make an election to confirm that both the underlying capital and income is shared in different proportions.
So, where there is an inequality between the level of income and tax rates being paid by spouses, you may wish to consider how you allocate assets, perhaps by transferring the assets generating the highest levels of income to the partner who pays the lowest levels of tax.
We offer a free 30 minute consultation, so if you would like any additional information regarding the above or any other tax issues concerning you, then please contact us 0121 351 6777 or visit us in our offices in Walmley Village, Sutton Coldfield.
This article appeared in Walmley Pages Magazine, delivered each month to over 4000 homes in
Walmley and surrounding areas of Sutton Coldfield.
It is only July as I put pen to paper so the Euro footie and Whinebledon have been endured, with the expected results…..
Are the Olympics over yet , how did we fare on track, field, water or bike. Did we do well in some obscure discipline that we are now all experts in (remember Curling last time ? Anyone watched any since? ) Was the opening show or the closing show a success of world beating proportion? Can we have our twelve billion pounds back now please ? Bet you we could win a World Cup for crying Losers tears or even occasionally Winners wet eyes, what`s that all about ?
Let us now start to give our politicians some real stick over a Referendum about our relationship with Europe. Can we please be consulted as to whether we want to stay as part of the Union or just be a peripheral trading partner or balanced somewhere in between?
If any party is brave enough to give us a straight Yes or No vote on whether to pull out or to stay in, then they get my support. If our rulers were that brave then whatever the result they would have a clear and incredibly strong bargaining chip to take to Brussels for , at the very least, an advantageous renegotiation of our terms of membership. If we did vote to withdraw from the Union are we strong enough to prosper outside ? Of course we are !
And while on that subject , let`s give the Scots and Welsh the same choice about being part of a Great Britain or not. My guess is that our Union will endure and given a fair chance we can build a strong and prosperous future for our children to be proud of. Let`s go for it !
Jeff’s Useful Shop, Walmley
This article featured in Walmley Pages Magazine
Clay and Play is a great place to visit and its not just for children. Why not discover your creative side, there are a large selection of items for you to paint, vases, mugs, plates, piggy banks to name just a few. Either decorate an item as a gift for someone or a gift to yourself. So how does it work? Firstly A Studio fee of £2.50 per painter is charged this covers the use of paints, glazing and the firing, secondly choose an item from the extensive range of bisque products.. Next, think of a design and get painting. There are a selection of books and stencils to help if you need it or you can ask a member of staff to help. You don’t need to be an artist to achieve great results. Finally your item will be glazed with a food safe glaze then fired in the kiln and be ready to collect in 5-7 days time.
As well as items to decorate, Clay and Play offer a moulding service for baby hand and foot prints and other keepsake items for example siblings handprints as a gift on Fathers Day as shown in the photo on the left. Something to keep and treasure forever. These are ideal gifts for grandparents or a unique gift for , Mothers Day, Birthdays and Christmas.
Clay and Play also specialise in Birthday Party’s. Packages are available for up to 20 people. If you’re bringing your child, you can relax as tea, coffee and homemade cakes are available to purchase whilst your child is busy creating their artwork. Packages start at £9 per head and include 2 bisque items. Party food is also available to order.
Why not drop in and take a look for yourself or visit the website – http://www.clayandplay.co.uk
During the Summer there are several workshops available:-
Monday – July 30th – Olympic Pottery workshop
Wednesday – August 1st -Glass painting Workshop
Friday- August 3rd -Fabric painting workshop
Monday- August 6th –Olympic pottery workshop
Wednesday -August 8th –Birdhouse painting
Thursday -August 9th –Name plaque painting
Monday -August 13th –Fabric painting workshop
Wednesday – August 15th- Olympic pottery workshop
Friday – August 17th -Glass painting workshop
Monday – August 20th –Birdhouse painting workshop
Wednesday – August 22nd –Fabric painting workshop
Friday – August 24th –Glass painting workshop
Wednesday – August 29th –Glass painting workshop
Friday – August 31st Fabric painting workshop
Prices Olympic pottery workshop £12.50 per head (everyone paints upto 2 pieces from our olympic range)
Glass painting Workshop £10 per head (everyone paints some glass ornamental pieces)
Birdhouse painting £10 per head (everyone paints a birdhouse)
Fabric painting workshop £8 per head (you can paint a fabric shopping bag or pencil case)
Name plaque painting workshop £8 per head (everyone paints a wooden name plaque)
Booking in advance needed – Only 12 places per available workshop – Workshops last around 1 and half hours
This article appeared in Walmley Pages Magazine
Is there any one left that has earned or deserves our trust ? All of our major institutions have recently been tested and all have been found seriously wanting. Politicians on the fiddle and not listening, Journalists with the ethics of the playground, Bankers without any ethics at all . Even Doctors and Police trying to hang on to unrealistic pension rewards that you and I could only dream of. Do these people think that they are entitled to have so much more than “ordinary” folk ? On what basis and at what level do they disconnect from real life to attain their “superstatus” of entitlement that the rest of us have to contribute to? Unfortunately the only checks and levers of control are held in their own hands and in the hands of their peers . They aint going to change it any time soon! On the brighter side of life , I cannot tell you how relieved I am that the boffins under the Alps have found the Higgs boson. Just like the car keys or my spectacles , I knew we had put it somewhere safe and can now relax. Can the Cern collider now put in a no win , no fee claim for whiplash ? Butterflies . Could there be any more cheerful or colourful sign of summertime than the sight of butterflies floating over a wildflower meadow? Down in the Valley we must be doing something right. In 1999 there were recorded just 9 varieties of butterfly. So far this year , up to mid July, our hardy if rain rusted recorders, Bob and Steve have clocked up a magnificent 14 species. If the weather decides to improve sometime this year maybe this total can be surpassed. Keep looking fellers.
Jeff’s Useful Shop, Walmley
This article appeared in Walmley Pages Magazine