Lichfield Businesses Going for Gold in Tourism Awards

Nine organisations from the Lichfield area will go head-to-head with more than 80 others from across the county to be crowned as Staffordshire’s best tourism businesses.

Drayton Manor Park features in four categories at the 2016 NFU Mutual Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism Awards: Hotel of the Year, Large Attraction of the Year, Business Tourism Provider of the Year, and the Inclusive Tourism Award.

Darwin’s Restaurant at The George Hotel, Swinfen Hall Hotel and Pom’s Kitchen and Deli are in the running for the Restaurant of the Year, while Chapters at Lichfield Cathedral and the coffee shop at The Plant Plot garden centre are up for Tea Room of the Year.

Swinfen Hall Hotel could also be named Hotel of the Year, while Amber House in Alrewas and Woodshoot B&B in Kings Bromley could win the Bed & Breakfast of the Year title.

Alrewas Hayes features in the Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year category.

The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony, hosted by BBC Midlands Today presenter Joanne Malin, in The State Room at Alton Towers Hotel on Tuesday 15th November 2016.

With the help of independent adjudicators, organisers Enjoy Staffordshire have filtered through entries from across the county, in 20 different categories.

Gold Award winners in 15 categories will go on to represent Staffordshire at the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in Spring 2017.

Tickets for the event, which starts at 12noon and finishes around 4pm, are still available for Staffordshire tourism businesses. Priced at £30 each, they include a three-course buffet lunch and reception drinks.

To book tickets, visit

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Free light and sound show

Come along to a free light and sound show to commemorate the role people of Burntwood played in WW1 on Friday 11th November 2016 6:30pm – 8:30pm.

Conversations with the past – the legacy of WW1 and Burntwood is being hosted at Chase Terrace Technology college on Friday 11 November between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.

The moving art installation will be on a loop, so feel free to come along at any point during the evening.

The light and sound show is created by local artist Peter Walker and Luxmuralis and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Sculpture and Art Foundation.

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Guided Tour of Summerhill

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAJoin Lichfield Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust on their second guided tour of the Summerhill section of the Lichfield Canal. See the huge progress made this year and find out what’s next in store for this section with help from corporate volunteers from all over the country, as well as the trust’s own volunteers.

The tour starts at Oddfellows in the Boat and will continue to the aqueduct and then back to the pub where you’ll be able to buy a hot drink (or something stronger) to warm up. There is no charge for this event, but a donation would be appreciated. Please make sure you wear suitable footwear as it could be muddy.

Saturday, December 3 at 11 AM – 1 PM
Oddfellows in the Boat
Walsall Road, WS14 OBU Lichfield

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Explore travel in Lichfield’s past at Birthplace Museum Workshop

Sue  MapSaturday 5th November 2.00pm
The Samuel Johnson Birthplace will be delving into the archives this week for the next in the Museum’s popular history workshop series. Following fascinating sessions on daily life and leisure in the city, on Saturday November 5th at 2.00pm, Sue Bray will be giving insight into the paths, roads and rails of the city’s past in ‘The Routes of Lichfield’.

Using some original maps and records, Sue will give a glimpse into the development of travel to the city, and how it helped to shape Lichfield’s development – from the early pilgrims, to an important coaching city, to the birth of the railway and the industry and leisure that they supported locally. There will also be a chance to visit ‘behind the scenes’ at the Museum and see rarely seen items from the Birthplace archive spanning 18th and 19th century Lichfield including some beautiful original maps. Museum curator Jo Wilson said “The relaxed and friendly sessions are a great opportunity to use parts of our collection that don’t often get displayed. Sue’s knowledge and enthusiasm for the city’s past ensures our workshop sessions are as enjoyable as they are fascinating”.

Places cost £4.00 and booking is advisable. For more information call 01543 264 972, email or pop into the Museum reception on the corner of the market square from 11am-3.30pm daily.

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Lichfield Garrick wins award for West Midland’s Most Welcoming Theatre

The Lichfield Garrick is celebrating after it was announced as the West Midland’s Regional Winner of the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre Award, in association with Smooth Radio.

Beating leading local theatres from across the West Midlands, the Lichfield Garrick has been recognised for its commitment to providing a friendly and welcoming theatre for the whole community.

The UK Theatre award, which is voted for by the public, is an opportunity for audiences to celebrate their local theatre and all it does to welcome you, be it a friendly chat with box office staff, enjoying a delicious coffee in the cafe, feeling like you’re part of your local community, or being entertained by the panto!

Tim Ford, Lichfield Garrick’s Artistic Director, said: “We are overwhelmed with this news and would like to say a huge thanks to everybody that has taken the time to vote for us.

“We pride ourselves on ensuring that everybody is truly welcome and it is a testament to the tremendous community support from audiences, staff, volunteers and fans across the UK that The Lichfield Garrick has been voted as the Most Welcoming Theatre in the West Midlands, beating off stiff competition from many worthy rivals!”

“This award is also a real testament to the fantastic team we have here and the huge amount of hard work and effort that everybody takes in ensuring that The Garrick is such a very special place.

This year’s nominations demonstrate the breadth and depth of outstanding talent and achievement in theatre and the performing arts throughout the United Kingdom, on and off stage.

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of UK Theatre, said: “Theatres play a vital role in communities across the UK, so it has been wonderful to see so many votes cast. This campaign brings together audiences, theatres, performers and producers and gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate their local venue.”

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Lichfield Jazz Gigs

saragillespieJazz fans are in for a real treat in the next few weeks when Lichfield Arts present two excellent concerts at Lichfield Guildhall.

The first of these are on Sunday 20 November when the very talented Jazz Diva Sara Gillespie appears with her star studded quartet. It is her quirky blend of poetic, streetwise lyricism, blues, jazz and leftfielde folk which has lead her to have a large fan base .

One reviewer described her work as a “ touch of Dylan, with a mix of Joni Mitchell and a rap-like percussiveness”.

Lichfield’s favourite Jump & Jive Band King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys make their annual visit on Saturday 10 December. Rated by most experts they are the zaniest Rhythmn and Blues Band in Europe guaranteed to give a great night of swinging jump and jive.

Tickets for both concerts can be purchased online  or on 01543 262223.

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LDTA Networking Meeting at Comfortin’ Food

LDTA1.jpeg‘Enter as Strangers Leave as Friends’, is a quote displayed on the wall at Lichfield Café Comfortin’ Food. These words couldn’t be more fitting as the welcome from Sue and Simon Khan is always warm and hospitable. Our recent LDTA networking meeting was held on Wednesday 5th October and along with the visit to the café LDTA members also participated in a fun quiz.

On arrival at Comfortin’ Food we were greeted by a banquet of dainty sandwiches and a mouth-watering selection of cakes – all homemade, accompanied by copious cups of tea or coffee. Afternoon tea is a wonderful tradition and while enjoying our feast Simon told us a little about the business. He explained that Sue, established the café nearly 10 years ago and prides herself on serving quality homemade food at affordable prices. Often beginning work at 6am to achieve these high standards. Sue and manager Nicky, also offer a takeaway and delivery service and can cater for private functions. The ambiance inside the café is cosy and comfortable but on warm sunny days there is the option to sit in the private courtyard and watch the world go by. Simon also told us that he first met Sue when he was a customer, over time and many hearty meals, love blossomed and they became Mr & Mrs Khan. The ritual of afternoon tea owes it origins to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. After sampling the food at Comfortin’ Food we were all in agreement that this ritual should definitely continue!

Our very own Jonathan Oates acted as quiz master and what a sterling job he did. All the questions were LDTA related and consisted of 5 categories. Occasionally, there was silence in the room, which doesn’t happen very often at LDTA meetings, while everyone thought hard about the answers. Questions included: At which LDTA venue is it very unlucky to whistle? Which LDTA member appeared on the BBC programme ‘Escape to the Country’? From which LDTA member can you buy a fully dressed Christmas tree? Congratulations to Brian Pretty, Rob Carr, Jo Wilson and Marilyn Masters who made up the winning team. However, it was noted that 3 out of the 4 members of this team are representatives on the LDTA Management Committee!

Many thanks to Sue, Simon and Nicky for hosting this networking event and providing a scrumptious prize for the winning team.

If you would like more information about Comfortin’ Food please call 01543 253325 or why not pay them a visit at 8 Bore Street, Lichfield WS13 6LL.

If you would like to host a LDTA networking meeting during 2017 please let me know. £4 per person is paid towards refreshments.

Welcome to Little Green Frog Café, Jono’s Tourism and Beerbohm who have recently joined the Association.

Please join us at our next LDTA meeting at the Bowling Green, which will be our Christmas get-together on Wednesday 14th December, this is an informal drop in between 4:30pm and 6:30pm.


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Drayton Manor Park receives national recognition with The Sun’s Best of British Award



Drayton Manor Park in Staffordshire has been awarded first place in the Large Company category of The Sun’s Best of British Awards 2016, and also placed incredibly well overall as a great place to work.

The awards were officially launched in 2015 and recognise all businesses, regardless of size, that are doing the right thing for their employees. It champions firms across Britain who treat staff well, create a fantastic product or experience, and help to drive the economy forward.

Although this is a new award, the family run and owned theme park has been applying these qualities for a long time, right from the day it officially opened its doors to the public in the spring of 1950. Starting off as just 80 acres of derelict land, founded by the late George and Vera Bryan, the hardworking family have now turned Drayton Manor Park in to one of the most loved destinations in the UK and it’s now home to a range of fantastically fun attractions, including Europe’s only Thomas Land™ and some of the country’s greatest white-knuckle thrill rides such as stand up coaster, Shockwave, and the 54m drop tower, Apocalypse.

The park is also home to an incredible 15 acre zoo, where visitors can see over 100 species from all over the world and a spectacular 4D Cinema. Not to mention the new high rope adventure challenge VertiGO, which not only helps visitors face their fear of heights, but tests even the most confident of thrill seekers, as it takes them on an aerial adventure within the grounds of the attraction.

William Bryan, Managing Director at Drayton Manor Park said: “It’s fantastic news that we’ve come first in the large company category. As a family owned and run business it means such a lot for us to be recognised in this way.

“Our employees work incredibly hard every year to ensure that all of our visitors have an enjoyable experience. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the team’s dedication and enthusiasm and it is great to have this award recognise our achievements.”

Jane Hamilton, The Sun, said: “It’s wonderful that a family-run attraction has done so very well in The Sun’s new Best of British Awards. Drayton Manor is much-loved by Sun readers and also by its staff, as the results shows. Employees scored the company very highly for job satisfaction and recommending it as a place to work. Congratulations to everyone at Drayton Manor!”

To book tickets, or for more information about the park, visit or call 0844 472 1950. Reduced prices are available for tickets bought in advance. For regular updates and news about Drayton Manor Park join it on Twitter and Facebook

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Sponsor a Christmas tree at Lichfield Cathedral’s Christmas Tree Festival

Christmas treesThere will be a Christmas Tree Festival in the aisles of Lichfield Cathedral starting on 3rd December through to 4th January 2017. The cathedral will be purchasing 56x 5ft beautiful Nordmann fir trees, stands, and new sets of LED lights to adorn each one and you could ‘own’ one for a month. For £200 (reduced to £75 for a registered charity) you could decorate the tree with whatever you want, creativity is the name of the game to make your tree stand out and promote yourselves.

Last year, a Veterinary clinic decorated a tree with dog & cat toys with ribbon for baubles and tinsel made from bandages; a local restaurant flooded the tree with discount vouchers and had to come in daily to top them up!

There is a a maximum of 30 trees available for the business and charity sector and a further 25 to local schools so you need to be quick. There will be also one extra special prayer tree, which will be in the heart of the beautiful Lady Chapel and be a focal point for many services. This will be 10ft high and covered in lights which you can have a simple sign at the base saying ‘Sponsored with thanks by…”  this will be decorated with people’s prayers as Christmas.

Register your interest today. Just call  01543 306100 or email to for more information.

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New line up and logo for Lichfield Jazz

Following the success of the George IV gigs and thanks to the support of Russell Tomlinson and organizer Nick Dewhurst here is the latest update for Lichfield Jazz is here

Wednesday 19th October  George 1V 8.00pm £5

Mitch Perrins Trio – Drummer Mitch Perrins presents a fine selection of music from his ‘Survival Suite’ featuring Mike Green Bass, Nick Dewhurst Drums and Mitch on Drums.

Sunday 25th October 8.00pm Feather Inn Free

Walsall Jazz Orchestra straight ahead original Big Band jazz from this very talented orchestra.

Sunday 6th November 7.30pm Feathers Inn FREE

Blast Off Lichfield’s funkiest,grooviest community big band play an explosive mix of funky riffs, groovy beats and original catchy tunes.

Wednesday 16th November George 1V 8.00pm £5

Tom Lindsay ‘Sings’. No stranger to Lichfield pianist/singer Tom bring along Tom Moore Bass, Ric Yarborough Drums to perform some jazz standards plus fine originals.

Sunday 20th November Guildhall 8.00pm £14

Sarah Gillespie Quartet- This fine left field singer brings along her star studded quartet of Kit Downes piano, James Maddren drums and Ruth Goller bass to perform her wonderfull songs with a touch of Joni Mitchell and a taste of rap!

Sunday 4th December 2.00pm Bowling Green Inn Free

Bring along the family to Lichfields funkiest grooviest community big band Blast OFF

Saturday 10th December Guildhall 8.00pm £16

King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys – High octane swinging jump and jive with a touch of Basie – Book early !!!

Wednesday 21st December George 1V 8.00pm £5

Chrismas special almost a jazz variety show with a house rhythm section to support some of the fine musicians who have played this year.

Happy Jazzy New Year and watch this space for news of 2017 gigs and the   Lichfield Blues and Jazz Festival June 2nd-4th programme available very shortly, better still get yourself on our e-mail list!

Book tickets for Guildhall events online or 01543-262223 pub events pay on the door.

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