Prestigious Ceremony to Crown County’s Best Tourism Businesses


Staffordshire’s best tourism businesses are to be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony next week.

The 2017 Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism Awards will see more than 40 attractions, activities, hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses and holiday parks compete in 16 categories.

The winners will be crowned at Uttoxeter Racecourse on Wednesday 15th November (12pm-4pm), with awards including Large Visitor Attraction of the Year and Hotel of the Year up for grabs.

And the successful businesses in 14 of the categories will go forward to represent Staffordshire at next year’s national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

Councillor Mark Winnington, deputy chair of Enjoy Staffordshire and Staffordshire County Council cabinet member for economy, environment and transport, said: “Staffordshire is a great county with a rich tapestry of visitor attractions that we are very proud of.

“Tourism plays a vital role in our overall economy and our local tourism businesses continue to do a great job, bringing in millions of pounds each month for the local economy and sustaining tens of thousands of jobs.

“We are a county that has something for everyone and our annual awards give us a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate with all our tourism businesses.

“I wish all our entrants the best of luck.” Tickets for the event are available until Friday 10th November for Staffordshire tourism businesses. They are priced at £30 and include welcome drinks, a two course hot lunch and entertainment.

To book, visit 

Comments Off on Prestigious Ceremony to Crown County’s Best Tourism Businesses

Discover the Extraordinary Life of Elias Ashmole at Lichfield Cathedral

An exhibition exploring the fascinating life and times of Elias Ashmole, one of Lichfield’s most celebrated sons, is set to take place at Lichfield Cathedral.

From Thursday 19th October to Thursday 23rd November, the cathedral will host ‘Discovering Elias Ashmole’, an exciting event marking the 400th birthday of the remarkable 17th century figure, who rose from a relatively humble background in Staffordshire to an important and respected position at the court of Charles II.

Born in Breadmarket Street on 23rd May 1617, Ashmole left for London at the age of 16 but returned to Lichfield regularly and became a generous benefactor to both the city and the cathedral.

A royalist supporter throughout the turbulent time of the English Civil War, he bridged the gap between traditional and contemporary methods of thought and drew influence from the fields of alchemy, astronomy and botany.

While Ashmole was one of the founding members of the Royal Society in 1660, he is perhaps best remembered today as the founder of the University of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum. The museum, which is believed to have been the first truly public museum in Europe, opened in 1683 and first displayed antiquities and specimens of natural history collected by Ashmole himself.

A statue of Ashmole clasping a model of the museum buildings in his hands can still be seen on the exterior of Lichfield Cathedral.    

A former Lichfield chorister, Ashmole is responsible for the cathedral’s large collection of Barnard Part Books, a significant set of 17th century volumes on the history of choral music. In addition to the exhibition, the cathedral’s musicians will be giving a talk exploring the importance of these books, entitled ‘In Service High and Anthems Clear’, on the evening of Friday 17th November.

Simon Warburton, Executive Director of Lichfield Cathedral, says: “Our amazing, free Ashmole exhibition will include a host of exhibits kindly lent by the City of Lichfield and items from Lichfield Cathedral’s library that document Ashmole’s life and provide a unique insight into his vast and wonderful mind.

“This is simply an unmissable opportunity for anyone hoping to learn more about this important figure who stands at the forefront of Lichfield’s long and rich history.” 

The cathedral’s famed and ancient St Chad Gospels are shortly due to be loaned to the Ashmolean Museum, which is preparing for its ‘Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions’ exhibition, running from Thursday 19th October to Sunday 18th February 2018. More information on the event is available at Tickets for the ‘In Service High and Anthems Clear’ talk are £5.87 per person and can be purchased from The Shop at No 9 or online at

Further details about the Ashmole exhibition can be found at www.lichfield-cathedral-org.

Comments Off on Discover the Extraordinary Life of Elias Ashmole at Lichfield Cathedral

Lichfield Jazz

With autumn leaves beginning to fall Lichfield Jazz has lined up a series of fine gigs for the season.

October will see three gigs first of these at the George Hotel Bird Street at 8pm  Wednesday 11th when one of Britain’s finest jazz guitarists Mike Walker teams up with the Nick Dewhurst Band for a mind blowing evening of jazz. Mike Walker is a member of many top jazz outfits in the Uk  including ‘ The Impossible Gentlemen’

The following Wednesday 18th the Josh Scholfield Quartet play at the George IV. Since gradulating from the Birmingham Conservatoire he has established a fine reputation for his original compositions and his distinctive alto saxophone playing.

Thus continuing Lichfield Jazz policy of presenting the rising stars of jazz

The last gig of the month Sunday 29th is at The Feathers Inn,  Beacon Street when the mighty , brassy Walsall Jazz Orchestra blow their horns. Entrance is FREE

Gigs at the George IV cost just £5 for further information checkout

Brian Pretty can be contacted on e-mail or 01543-264640

Comments Off on Lichfield Jazz

New for 2017 A spectacular Oktoberfest is coming to town!!

The National Brewery Centre will be transforming its courtyard Marquee into a traditional stomping Oktoberfest event with bier, live music, DJ with all the cheesy tunes and a of course, a great lively and vibrant atmosphere – be prepared to be entertained, Bavarian style!

Managing Director Annie Horne comments: ‘Customers can top up their steins and step inside the Bier tent – where they can expect traditional folk dancing to Oompah music, foot stomping, table bashing and hearty singing galore – we’ve even got the words to sing. They can enjoy some traditional German grub from the food tent and raise their voices and steins for a foot stonking Burton Oktoberfest.’

Behind the bar they will find bier galore but don’t worry for those who don’t feel like slamming down their steins, the bar will be fully stocked with a wide selection of drinks.

The Entertainment will include:- 

Deutsch Blasmusik - a traditional Oompah band with a twist! A six piece specialising in whimsical and charming combinations of traditional German alongside quirky pop hits. All the classics are covered by this experienced band using their unique and fun filled approach to Oompop! They get the audience involved with games such as Munchen State - a dance at the table, Lots of Ein Prosit - a toast with singing along, boat races, Das Boot - a downing a pint challenge and so much more.

Food stalls will be selling:- Bratwurst, Schnitzel, Sauerkraut, Curry worst, Spatzle, Kartoffelsalat, Pretzels and Apple strudel with vanilla custard

SESSIONS:- FRIDAY: 6pm – 11pm, SATURDAY:12 noon – 5pm, SATURDAY:6pm – 11pm

 PRICES:- Standing £10, Unreserved Seating £15, VIP table for ten - best seats in the house with table service £350 (Friday VIP tables  already sold out)

Customers can book on line at or by calling 01283 532880

For more Information Please contact David Edwards or Sarah Tooley on 01283 532880 or e-mail

Comments Off on New for 2017 A spectacular Oktoberfest is coming to town!!

LDTA Networking Visit Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust

On 15th August, LDTA members met at the Boat Inn car park located off the busy A461 road. Waiting for everyone to arrive for the visit was not a pleasant experience, with noise and fumes from the constant flow of traffic. It was a wonderful surprise when we were led through trees and brambles and down steps known as ‘Dora’s Descent’. It was as if we had been transported back to a bygone era away from the modern world. Accompanied by Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust (LHCRT) Engineering Director, Peter Buck, and Dora Hancock the Health and Safety Officer for the Trust, partners were given a tour of the Heritage Towpath Trail between the Boat Inn and the Canal aqueduct over the M6 Toll. Work began on the original canal in 1793 and opened in 1797, meaning 7 miles and 30 locks were built in just a few years using only wheelbarrows, shovels and muscle. An old sand wharf had been discovered near the Boat Inn. The wall of the wharf was at first thought to be in a poor condition and was planned to be dismantled and rebuilt, but as volunteers began this process some bricks refused to be moved. Further investigation found that under the top rows of bricks the structure was sound, obviously things were built to last back then.

Renovation on the Summerhill section began 3 years ago, when on New Year’s Day volunteers got to work cutting down trees and clearing scrub. It took 3 hours to walk 1km but the walk back was covered in 20 minutes. Huge progress has been made since resulting in many advantages for the environment. Towpath verges have been filled with sand and soil to make for easy walking.  The Scouts have constructed well designed and properly sited bird boxes providing homes for our feathered friends. Some of the hedges hadn’t been touched for 100 years, LHCRT have succeeded in laying 900 metres of hedge. It is the intention to move a badger sett. Hopefully, the badgers will be happy to co-operate and enjoy their new home. As further improvements are made walkers, cyclists, boaters and visitors will bring business to the district. This project will also provide an opportunity for people to learn about the history and heritage of the area.

Peter, spoke about the exciting plans LHCRT have, including, a brand-new lock enabling the canal to navigate beneath the Walsall Road to avoid a hump back bridge. It is proposed to turn Cranebrook Quarry adjacent to the canal at Summerhill into a Marina with a picnic area close by. As the weather was fine and sunny we walked to the M6 Toll Aqueduct, where there was time for a photo opportunity. The Aqueduct was installed in 2003 during the motorway construction, however, in the future a new deep lock will be required to allow boats to rise from the existing canal channel to connect with the Aqueduct.

In June 2016 actor David Suchet CBE, vice-president of LHCRT, unveiled a refurbished 1840’s Birmingham Canal Navigation boundary post, which had been donated by LDTA member John Crowe. The boundary post had previously been in John’s garden and can now be seen on the Walsall Road, next to the Boat Inn.

 After the tour LDTA members returned to the Boat Inn where a buffet was eaten and enjoyed, whilst sitting in the sunshine. Many thanks to all the volunteers at LHCRT particularly Peter, Dora and Bob Williams for arranging our visit, organising refreshments and controlling the sunshine!

 There are many ways to support the work of the LHCRT, if you are able to volunteer there are numerous opportunities; grounds maintenance, construction, administration and fundraising are just a few, no experience is necessary. If volunteering isn’t for you why not make a donation towards this amazing project, as 100% of the money raised is spent on restoration work.

For more information visit or to make a donation contact Bob Williams on 01543 671427.

Thank you to Robert Ings, Lichfield Photography for sending the above photograph.

 The next LDTA networking meeting will be held on:


Wednesday 18th October 2017 @ 2pm

Comments Off on LDTA Networking Visit Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust

This summer the first of 4 “Great Exhibitions” will be staged inside Lichfield Cathedral.

The first of these is titled : Earth, What A Wonderful World ?

 ‘a stunning visual journey across earth, sea and sky through spectacular light and sound projections’. 

The events will be amongst the largest ever internal sound and light artwork created at any UK Cathedral.

"When it comes to the presentation of wow-factor visual artwork at Lichfield Cathedral, award-winning company Luxmuralis have some exceptionally good form. The collaborative team of artists, who produce work across multiple media and presentation formats, were the creatives behind the cathedral’s spectacular Christmas illumination show - an event that bagged a What’s On Readers’ Award earlier this year.

Check it out - we’re confident you won’t be disappointed" Staffordshire Whats on

19-28th August 2017 - 7pm-11pm

For more information : click here 

Comments Off on This summer the first of 4 “Great Exhibitions” will be staged inside Lichfield Cathedral.

Lichfield Blues Fans are in for a real treat when American Blues Star Debbie Bond hits the town

Singer, guitar player and songwriter Debbie Bond has been paying her dues in the Alabama backwoods for over 30 years backing many traditional Alabama blues musicians in the US and Europe, including Eddie Kirkland, Jerry "Boogie" McCain and Willie King. She is a blues activist and founded the award winning Alabama Blues Project, a non profit organisation that promotes and preserves Alabama blues. Debbie's singing has been compared to Maria Muldaur and Bonnie Raitt, both of whom she cites as musical influences but the truth is that Debbie does it her way. Her immersion in the blues has deeply flavoured her guitar playing, soulful voice and original song writing, yet her sound is contemporary and original, incorporating soul, blues, rock, jazz and even country influences. Her partner in life and music, British born Rick Asherson, is an outstanding keyboard player and gives their music a honky-tonk, New Orleans flavoured sound.

In a rare appearance in Britain catch them on Friday July 28th at ‘The Original Pokey Hole Blues Club ‘ Lichfield Sports Club Eastern Avenue Lichfield WS13 7SQ

 Entrance is just £5 for members £7.50 for non –members doors open at 7.30pm



Comments Off on Lichfield Blues Fans are in for a real treat when American Blues Star Debbie Bond hits the town

Awards Give County’s Best Tourism Businesses Chance to Shine

The hunt for Staffordshire’s best tourism businesses is now on!

Destination Staffordshire has launched the 2017 Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism Awards, with 14 categories for the county’s best attractions, accommodation providers, events and most dog-friendly businesses.

The fifth iteration of the awards will give businesses the chance to emulate last year’s winners, who included Alton Towers Resort, Drayton Manor Park, Ingestre Lodges near Stafford, and Swinfen Hall Hotel, Lichfield.

The awards which are independently judged and verified are free to enter for any tourism business or organisation located in Staffordshire.

To enter, businesses simply nominate themselves by completing the relevant category form at the Enjoy Staffordshire website:

Sarah Montgomery, Managing Director at the National Memorial Arboretum and Chair of Enjoy Staffordshire, said: “We love putting together the awards every year as they give us a chance to showcase the best Staffordshire tourism has to offer, and thank our tourism businesses for providing great experiences for visitors.

“They work incredibly hard and this is our way of celebrating them and recognising their contribution to the growth of the sector in Staffordshire.”

Entries should be submitted before Monday 18th September 2017. Advice on completing the form, the benefits of entering, and a full list of categories is available at

The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at Uttoxeter Racecourse on Wednesday 15th November, and every business which enters will receive one free ticket, usually priced at £30, for the awards ceremony.

They will then go forward to represent Staffordshire at the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

Comments Off on Awards Give County’s Best Tourism Businesses Chance to Shine

Minutes of the LDTA AGM at Elford Hall Garden

Image by Rob Ings, Lichfield Photography

Further images can be viewed on facebook






In attendance:

Brian Pretty                                          Lichfield Arts & LDTA Chairman

David Bathurst                                     Chasewater Railway Museum & LDTA Vice Chairman

Roy Barratt                                           Claymills Pumping Station

Reg Cornell                                           Elford Hall Garden Project

Sue @                                                     Elford Hall Garden Project

Dave @                                                  Elford Hall Garden Project

Julie Dewhurst                                     Green Badge Guide

Gill Cooper                                           Green Badge Guide

Sue Baird                                               Green Badge Guide

Kate Pipes                                             Guest of Green Badge Guide

Rob Ings                                                Lichfield Arts & Lichfield Photography

David Cartwright                                 Lynn Nurseries

Jenny Cartwright                                  Lynn Nurseries & LDTA Management Committee Member

Marilyn Masters                                 Shakespeare in the Park

Marie Garnett                                      The Lodge B&B @ Cannock Chase

Lee Garnett                                            The Lodge B&B @ Cannock Chase

Ken Knowles                                         Town Crier & Shakespeare in the Park

Adam Burns-Mace                               Tudor of Lichfield

Aileen Beesley                                      Visit Lichfield

Rachael Evans                                      Visit Lichfield

Barbara Williams                                Wall – Letocetum Roman Site

John Crowe                                           Wall – Letocetum Roman Site


Bev Sheppard                                       Arthur Price Factory Shop

Angela Burns                                        Best Western The George Hotel

Lesley Hirst                                           Claymills Pumping Station

Simon Khan                                          Comfortin’ Food Café

Sue Khan                                               Comfortin’ Food Café

Malcom Lumb                                      Coppers End Guest House

Mary Fielding                                       Coppers End Guest House

Gay Lawrence                                       Colton House Bed & Breakfast

Ron Lawrence                                       Colton House Bed & Breakfast

Gerry Arthur                                         Curborough Sprint Course & LDTA President

Tracy Newton                                       Erasmus Darwin House

Richard Lewis                                       Lichfield Chamber of Trade & Commerce

Lisa Howard                                         Lichfield City Council

Jill Taylor                                              Lichfield Mysteries & LDTA Management Committee Member

Cathy Luffman                                      National Forest Adventure Farm

Sarah Oakden                                      National Memorial Arboretum

Nick Misselke                                       Pipe Hill House

Robert Carr                                           Rock34 & LDTA Management Committee Member

Jo Wilson                                              Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum & LDTA Management Committee Member

Sarah @                                                Swinfen Hall Hotel

Brian Carruthers                                 Tempest Ford

Louie Clegg                                            The Best of Lichfield

Caroline Lees                                        The Old Haybarn Apartments

Katherine Walker                               The Sculpture and Art Foundation CIC

Emily Waldron                                     Visit Lichfield

Lizzie Thatcher                                     Visit Lichfield

Annamarie Stone                                 Woodhouse Farm and Garden CIC


  1. Introduction and Welcome

Brian Pretty, Chairman of LDTA, provided the welcome and thanked everyone for attending.

The volunteers at Elford Hall Walled Garden were thanked for hosting the meeting.

  1. Apologies

As listed above.


  1. Approval of 2016 AGM minutes

Minutes from the 2016 meeting were accepted as a true record.

  1. Matters arising from the minutes

There were no matters arising

  1. Financial Accounts


The LDTA Income and Expenditure report was given to each LDTA Member at the meeting. The Association will carry forward a figure of £8248.18 for the financial year 2017-2018. This financial report was approved.

A copy of the report is attached with these minutes.


  1. President, Chairman and Management Committee


Due to other commitments Paul Fairs, Brian Carruthers and Cllr Mike Thompson are no longer LDTA Management Committee Members. They were thanked for their support and dedication while serving on the Committee.

The meeting was reminded that pursuant to the decision taken at the 2014 AGM, the current Management Committee Members are elected for a two-year period until the 2018 AGM.

David Bathurst proposed Sue Khan proprietor of Comfortin’ Food join the Management Committee. This was seconded by Jenny Cartwright, and approved by the meeting.

It was accordingly agreed that the Management Committee for 2017-2018 shall comprise the following:

President                               Gerry Arthur

Chairman                              Brian Pretty

Committee Members           David Bathurst (Vice-Chair)

                                                Robert Carr

                                                Joanne Wilson

                                                Jill Taylor

                                                Jenny Cartwright

                                                Sue Khan


Secretariat                            Aileen Beesley

                                                Rachael Evans

                                                Emily Waldron




  1. Chairman’s Report

Brian Pretty delivered his Chairman’s report to members. A copy of this report is attached with these minutes.

  1. Date of next AGM

The Annual General Meeting for next year will be held on: Wednesday 13th June 2018

Time and venue to be confirmed.             


Comments Off on Minutes of the LDTA AGM at Elford Hall Garden

LDTA Networking – Claymills Pumping Station

On Thursday 11 May a group of LDTA members met at the Claymills Pumping Station near Stretton on the outskirts of Burton on Trent

The weather was kind to us and on this sunny afternoon we were met by a friendly team and a delicious selection of sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee organised by Lesley one of Claymills Volunteers, from a team of approximately 60 who give up their own time to work around the site, help retain the engines in working condition and preserve the history. The volunteers have recently been awarded the Queens award for volunteering.

The volunteers are also keen to offer education and group visits, working with Staffordshire Schools and vulnerable adults and offering education tours based on Science, Technology in Engineering and Mathematics

Open to the public regularly on Thursday’s and Saturdays, and on several occasions throughout the year the public are invited to see the pumps in action. The next public Steaming Weekend will be 28-29 May, and then again at August Bank Holiday

We were guided around the site by very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides and met other volunteers around the site as they indulged in their hobbies of fixing and maintaining the engines.

The site had stood mothballed for several years until the 1980’s when a group of enthusiasts got together to bring the site back to life – it took a good ten years, but in 1994 the site held its first open day, and first steamed again in 2000.

We learned that in 1885 to improve public health the pumping station was built away from the town centre to direct the huge amount of waste produced by breweries away from the town centre. In 1920’s and 30’s most of the town centre homes were connected to the mains sewage and this was also pumped through to the pumping station. The Beam Engines continued to pump the sewage until 1968/69 when the current sewage treatment works was commissioned.

We were taken into the Dynamo House which houses the oldest working electrical generator and powers lighting on site. We saw the Blacksmiths workshop, from which everything had been removed and stood derelict – this has now been rebuild and original equipment replaced

We were shown around the Engine House containing the impressive Beam Engines and climbed up the four floors to view them at all levels, then into the boiler house, where the coal would be shovelled to drive the engines. Claymills had hosted a Royal Visit from the Duke of Gloucester, who had rolled his sleeves up and shovelled coal with them. We also saw a Victorian bath area where workers would have washed at the end of their working day – a luxury for employees at this time.

Following the tour we had time for further networking and an extra slice of cake!


The Next meeting will be the AGM

Wednesday 14 June – 6pm

Elford Hall Gardens





Comments Off on LDTA Networking – Claymills Pumping Station

Older Entries »