Hear My Voice! The Lichfield Festival calls for Singers

IMG_5298The Lichfield Festival is calling for singers to join the Festival Chorus for a concert event in Lichfield Cathedral.

Singers of all ages and abilities are invited to get involved in the concert which marks the culmination of a three year community project run by the Festival across Staffordshire and the Black Country.  The Hear My Voice Project, supported by Swinfen Broun Charitable Trust, works with adults and young people to explore ways of developing confidence and self-expression.  Since it began in 2013, the project has engaged with over 300 individuals at Lichfield Pathway Project, Sandwell Women’s Aid, Acorns Children’s Hospice, Donna Louise Hospice, The Bridge Learning Centre and a number of schools across the region; working on projects involving poetry, performance and visual arts.

This year participants are working with composer Kate Pearson to write music and lyrics for new songs to be performed in the Cathedral on Thursday 9 July.

The Lichfield Festival Chorus will form part of a choir for this evening, performing some of the new compositions within the programme.  Rehearsals for the concert will begin in June

Anyone wishing to get involved should contact the Festival office on 01543 306270 or email education@lichfieldfestival.org.  The chorus is open to all ages, but under 16s must be accompanied by a singing adult.

The Lichfield Festival runs 3-12 July.  Full programme details are available at www.lichfieldfestival.org

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The UK’s First Child Hotel Concierge at Drayton Manor Hotel

Child Hotel Concierge Noah Reeves-Walters with Drayton Manor Theme Park's Chief Executive Officer Colin BryanAs Drayton Manor Hotel gears up ready for next week’s half term holidays, it is excited about welcoming the latest addition to its team – the UK’s first child hotel concierge!

Nine-year-old Noah Reeves-Walters, from Kidderminster, will don his mini concierge uniform and take up residence in the four-star hotel’s reception on selected dates throughout Whit week half-term (25th – 29th May). He will be on hand to answer questions and assist younger guests with their visit and day out at the theme park to make it the best experience ever.

Any fun facts or unusual questions children may have, Noah will help give them the answer. Whether that is where to get the best ice cream in the park, what to eat to stop feeling sick on rides or even where to sit on Stormforce 10 for the best soaking – Noah will be the boy to set them straight!

In the run up to Noah’s arrival, staff at the Drayton Manor Hotel have been asking children what is important to them during their visit and the crucial issues of the day have varied from the wobbliness of the restaurant’s jelly to the bubbliness of the bubble bath!

Questions have been flooding in from children of all ages, some as young as two, and include: How many rooms are there in the hotel? How bouncy are the beds? What colour are the Thomas & Friends™ rooms? What are the best sweets in the shop in Thomas Land™? How chunky are the chips? What desserts do they have in the restaurant? How fast does Ben 10 go? Do I have to go upside down? Which ride should I go to first so I don’t have to queue for ages? What’s the best new ride in Thomas Land? Is there any candy floss in the park? Where sells the best ice cream? What animals do they have in the zoo?

It looks like Noah’s going to be rushed off his feet this half-term.

Noah said: “I love Drayton Manor Theme Park, but it’s always the adults who give the advice, so I thought it should be the kids who get to ask their questions for a change. I’m prepared and ready to give my expert kid opinion!”

Martin Wright, General Manager of the Drayton Manor Hotel, said: “When Noah and his family contacted us with the idea of him being our child hotel concierge, we jumped at the chance! The Drayton Manor Theme Park brand is synonymous with family fun and trips out for the young and young at heart, so it makes perfect sense for us to have someone like Noah offering his help and advice to our younger guests and listening to the issues that are important to them.”

For further information about Drayton Manor Theme Park or to pre-book discounted entry tickets visit www.draytonmanor.co.uk or call 0844 472 1960. For regular updates and news about Drayton Manor Theme Park follow it on Twitter www.twitter.com/Draytonmanor  and Facebook www.facebook.com/Draytonmanorpark. For more information about the hotel or to book your stay visit www.draytonmanorhotel.com or call 01827 285551.

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Is there a fortune in your cupboard?

CharlesOn Friday 5th June a team of valuers from Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers will be coming to the Staffordshire Regiment Museum.

These expert valuers will be at the Museum from 10am to 4pm and are available to value items brought in by the public, in return for a small donation to the museum of £2.

Joining the valuers on the day will be militaria and coin experts, and, schedule permitting, TV personality and antiques expert Charles Hanson.

Charles is a regular of BBC favourite Bargain Hunt, and owns Derbyshire auctioneering house Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers.

The Staffordshire Regiment Museum is a wonderful spot for a valuation day. This site is steeped in history, and is a great day out in its own right.

The Museum holds fascinating collections including medals, uniforms and recordings of real WW1 soldiers talking about their experiences. Outside you’ll find military vehicles and the Museum’s astonishing WW1 trench system. There’s plenty of free parking and the whole site is wheelchair and buggy accessible.

The Staffordshire Regiment Museum can be found at DMS Whittington, Whittington, Lichfield, WS14 9PY. Telephone 01543 434394 or go to www.staffordshireregimentmuseum.com for further details.

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Rachael’s Networking Meeting News – Arthur Price Factory Shop

Weston with gift box & new insertDespite Arthur Price Factory Shop being one of those Lichfield businesses that everybody knows, many LDTA members at our recent meeting mentioned they had never actually paid a visit. This was rectified on Wednesday 13th May when our networking meeting was held there.

Chief Executive Simon Price described the business as a “proud British family owned company” and explained how the business had grown from humble beginnings to a firm with not just one but two royal warrants, from The Queen and The Prince of Wales respectively.

Arthur Price, founder of the Company was born in 1865, like many children at that time he left school at 14 to begin his working life. To avoid having to take a day off work, Christmas Day, being a holiday was chosen as his wedding day. After many years working for others and having the ability and determination to work long hours at home making his own tools, Arthur opened his own factory in 1902 producing spoons and forks in Gem Street, Aston. Company registration number 75016 was issued and A. Price & Co Ltd was born, the business was the first to manufacture chrome plate.

In 1911 another factory was opened in Conybere Street to cast nickel silver ingots and it was from this factory that the cutlery was produced for RMS Titanic. Around the time that World War 1 began a move was made to Vauxhall Street, despite a slowdown in trade Arthur continued to work hard. Sons Arthur and Frederick joined the firm making it a family affair, with high standards, steady progress and the vision to expand by embracing new ideas. Arthur senior died in 1936 leaving behind a first-rate business.

Sadly, Arthur junior died at the age of 50 in the year 1942 and Frederick was left to lead the company. The Second World War meant only Sheffield firms were allowed to produce spoons and forks so the business gained a contract with the Ministry of Aircraft Production. Frederick’s son John joined the company in 1949 and was able to view proceedings with a fresh outlook. In 1964, John Price renamed the Company ‘Arthur Price of England’.

In 1982 the headquarters moved from Birmingham to their present home off Britannia Way, Lichfield, the first outlet on the industrial estate and it is thanks to John Price who came up with the name Britannia Way. Simon joined the family establishment in the 1980’s and business has gone from strength to strength, now Simon’s son James is part of the working team making it a fifth generation venture. The Company’s coat of arms shows white roses representing hope, joy, love and faith, a hammer for honour and the Latin motto ‘fidelis muneris’ translating as ‘faithful service’.

Arthur Price of England work with designers Sophie Conran, Monsoon and Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen so there are designs to suit all tastes. The quality cutlery supplies many famous organisations including the Savoy, Emirates, QE2, Air India and was used at David and Victoria Beckham’s wedding. 15% of products are exported overseas.

Simon Price is passionate about supporting the local community and in 2009 became the 456th Sheriff of Lichfield. He is patron of the ‘We love Lichfield Fund’, supporting 70 voluntary organisations across the district who give their time for free and make a huge contribution to society. If you would like to support this charity visit www.welovelichfield.com

After the talk LDTA Members were invited to visit the wonderful shop and take advantage of generous discounts on the extensive range of gifts and cutlery. After enjoying a glass of orange juice, wine and snacks we were presented with a goody bag as a memento of our visit.

Grateful thanks to Simon Price and Beverly Sheppard who made this visit possible. If you would like more information about this venue take a look at the website www.arthurprice.com or call 01543 257775.

Thank you to Paul Fairs from FM & J Wait, who kindly stepped in at short notice to provide transport to the meeting venue.

This was the first networking for new LDTA member Colin Booker representing Additions of Lichfield. Additions is a gift shop located in Tudor Row which stocks unique items for both ladies and gentleman. We look forward to seeing Colin and partner Fiona at future meetings.

Please join us at the AGM at 2pm on Wednesday 10th June at the George Hotel, Bird Street, Lichfield.

Our next LDTA networking meeting will be held at Woodhouse Farm and Garden CIC on Thursday 20th August at 2pm.

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Sponsor Beer at Elford Hall Garden Music and Real Ale Festival on July 4th 2015

The Elford Hall Garden Project need sponsors to help keep the walled garden a free and open space for all.
The project team are looking for local businesses to sponsor a barrel of beer or cider for the festival for £100.
The aim is to sell at least 20 different real ales at this year’s festival.

Benefits of being a sponsor include:

  • Reach 1500 people in an afternoon
  • Sponsor’s names are put in the beer tasting notes
  • Sponsor’s flyers can be distributed at the event.
  •  Sponsor’s name will be displayed on their barrel
  • Complimentary tickets for the event
  • The satisfaction of knowing you will be supporting a local charity!!!

If you can offer sponsorship we would be delighted to hear from you.
Please contact Angela Cornell on 01827 383097, email info@elfordhallgarden.org.uk or visit the website www.elfordhallgarden.org

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Colton House strikes Gold and a Highly Commended at the 2015 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence

059smallerColton House has been awarded Gold in the Best B&B/Guest Accommodation and a Highly Commended in the Best Sustainable Tourism Organisation category at the prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2015 Ceremony.

The Gold Award is the highest Award for Excellence in Tourism in England which VisitEngland can bestow.  Colton House was presented with their Gold and Highly Commended Awards at a glittering Awards Ceremony which was held on 11th May 2015 at The Sage, Gateshead.

Commenting on the Award James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive said “We received hundreds of applications of an exceptionally high quality making the competition for a Gold Award extremely tough.  It is therefore a tremendous achievement for Colton House to win a Gold Award, the highest accolade for Excellence in Tourism which VisitEngland can bestow.  They have raised the bar for excellence for others to aspire to and I warmly congratulate them on their exemplary contribution to tourism in this country.”

Commenting on the Sustainability Award James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive said:

“It is a great achievement to win a Highly Commended Award in a field of very high quality applications. The Award places Colton House in the top five businesses for excellence in their category in England.  I warmly congratulate them on this achievement.”

In addition VE state that to find Colton House on the shortlist in two categories is a major achievement.

Speaking on behalf of Colton House, Ron Lawrence said:

“I’m delighted that VisitEngland has recognised the way we live our lives, run our business, work with the community, use local business and push the boundaries of sustainability.”


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Lichfield Cathedral Fundraising Gala Dinner raised £20,000

Lichfield Cathedral Fundraising Gala DinnerLichfield Cathedral recently held its inaugural Fundraising Gala Dinner (Friday 24th April), which raised over £20,000 to support the work of the historic landmark.

One hundred and sixty guests descended onto the beautifully-decorated Cathedral, for an evening of fine dining, stunning entertainment and exciting fundraising. Guests were treated to a spine-tingling pas-de-deux by the Elmhurst School for Dance, accompanied by the Cathedral Choir, followed by an upbeat contemporary dance to Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’. Providing laughs for the evening was UK number one comic-ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, who entertained guests with cheeky pre-adolescent Sam, before inviting Mr Johnny Leavesley, High Sheriff of Staffordshire, to join in the fun on stage.

A high-end auction also took place, with guests bidding on a variety of prizes including lunch at the House of Lords, an exclusive private tour of the Bentley Factory, a helicopter ride, and a stunning painting by talented artist, John Myatt.

Mr Johnny Leavesley, High Sheriff of Staffordshire and Chair of the Cathedral’s Appeal Committee says: “A great amount of work went into organising the first Fundraising Gala Dinner, and we’re delighted with its success. We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the individuals and the businesses that helped to support the event, many of whom we hope to work with again in the future.”

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Agri-lympics 2015 – Call for Golden Welly Contenders!

The annual Agri-lympics team charity event at the National Forest Adventure Farm, Burton on Trent is calling for teams of four to compete in the event to win the hotly contested Golden Welly trophy!

The competition,  held on the evening of 20th June 2015, will see teams of four (two men and two women) take on farm-themed events including the tractor pull, hay bale heft, round bale roll, eating competition and tug of war. Teams can enter for just £10 each and every penny will be donated to the Farm’s untitledcharity of the year, CLIC Sargent, for children and young people with cancer.

This year the event will take place ‘after hours’, and feature a BBQ, real ale bar and Burton band ‘The Silicone Taxis’. Doors open at 5.30pm and spectators are asked to donate £2.50 to watch the Farmyard Fun take place. Every penny is donated to CLIC Sargent.

Tom Robinson, Director of National Forest Adventure Farm, said: “We are delighted to be supporting CLIC Sargent this year, and once again we look forward to plenty of local teams entering the competition. If you think you’ve got what it takes then enter your team of four- we’ll be putting you through your paces on the 20th June!”.

Anna Finnegan, Fundraising Manager at CLIC Sargent said: “We are thrilled that the National Forest Adventure Farm has chosen to support us this year. As a charity we rely on the generosity of the local community to help raise the money needed to provide our services. Last year in Staffordshire we supported nearly 100 children and young people with cancer, as well as their families. The Agri-lympics gives us the chance to not only raise vital funds but also to help raise our profile in Burton on Trent and East Staffordshire.”

To enter your team of four or for tickets to spectate the event please contact Cathy at the National Forest Adventure Farm at cathy@adventurefarm.co.uk or call 01283 533933.

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Stories and shopping at Arthur Price – our next meeting!

Weston with gift box & new insertOur next meeting will be held on Wednesday 13th May 2015 @ 2pm

at Arthur Price Factory Shop, Britannia Way, Lichfield WS14 9UY

Chief Executive Simon Price will welcome and entertain us in the showroom with a talk entitled ‘Arthur Price and other Stories’. Arthur Price was established over 100 years ago, we will learn about the history of this family run business and how this successful company has moved forward and kept up with modern tastes.

Following the talk we will be served refreshments in the factory shop and have time to appreciate the extensive range of gifts, cutlery and photo frames on sale. Simon has offered LDTA members a very generous discount of 10% off, already discounted prices. So please come prepared to shop!

Ample free parking is available and directions to the venue and further information can be found on the website www.arthurprice.com

The contact telephone number is 01543 257775 for any sales enquires.

If you have already provided your apologies or acceptance please ignore this email.


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Royal treatment for visitors to Drayton Manor Theme Park to celebrate the birth of Princess Charlotte

After nine months of speculation and anticipation surrounding William and Kate’s pregnancy, the royal baby, Charlotte, has arrived! The new princess may be an heir to the royal throne, but it’s visitors that can enjoy a royal day out thanks to the new arrival.

To celebrate the royal family’s latest addition, Drayton Manor Theme Park is offering free entry from Tuesday 5th to Monday 11th May 2015 to anyone aged under 12 years old, lucky enough to share the name of the little princess. To qualify, you must provide valid proof of ID*, before being granted entry into the award-winning attraction.

Like the ‘royals’, Drayton Manor, which is marking its 65th anniversary this year, has a lot to celebrate and thrill-seekers young and old are welcome to join in with the party and the numerous carnival-themed events that will be taking place throughout the year.

The park is home to Europe’s only Thomas Land™ attraction, which is bigger and better than ever before after undergoing a £2.5million expansion that saw three brand new rides plus the stunning Sodor Airport terminal open at Easter.

The park also boasts some of the biggest, wettest and scariest rides around including white-knuckle thrill rides such as the adrenaline-inducing drop-tower, Apocalypse, stand-up coaster, Shockwave and the splash-tastic log flume, Stormforce 10. There’s also the Ben 10: Ultimate Mission rollercoaster, as well as the fantastic 15-acre zoo.

William Bryan, Managing Director of Drayton Manor Theme Park, comments: “We’re absolutely thrilled for William and Kate on the birth of their second child, and wanted to celebrate this momentous occasion by allowing anyone with the same name as the newest member of the royal family to enjoy a day out at the theme park for free.”

For further information about Drayton Manor Theme Park or to pre-book discounted entry tickets visit www.draytonmanor.co.uk or call 0844 472 1960. For regular updates and news about Drayton Manor Theme Park join them on Twitter www.twitter.com/Draytonmanor and Facebook www.facebook.com/Draytonmanorpark .

Please note: the park will be closed to the general public on Sunday 13th September and on selected dates through September and October.  Please visit the website for full opening dates and times.

*Accepted form of ID is a passport. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

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