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 

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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



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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.

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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.             


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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





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Roy Wood Launches Lichfield Blues & Jazz Festival!

Lichfield Blues & Jazz Festival has been launched by Festival Patron and music legend Roy Wood.

The Festival takes place June 2nd to 4th in pubs and historic venues right across this picturesque city, and promises a mouth-watering variety of  blues and jazz, performed by some of the best known and loved names on the national and regional music circuit,

Comments Roy Wood: “It is great that festivals like this one continue to help and develop local talent as well as giving local audiences the chance to see performers from the national circuit on their doorstep. As musicians we never take our audiences for granted, and we hope that you enjoy the festival, whether it is for one gig, or a workshop, or for the whole weekend, and if you want, bring a friend, because good music is always better when it is shared”.

Visitors will be treated to sounds ranging from acoustic and strident Blues, to Big Band Jazz, Swing, Boogie –Woogie and full-on Jazz. The Festival line-up features the Climax Blues Band, Sticky Wicket & his Swing Orchestra, Chris Gumbley & Anything Goes, Remi Harris Trio, Fred ‘T’ Baker, Emma Johnson Boogie Woogie Quartet, Masai Blues, Dunnett Baxter Big Band, Callum Roxburgh ‘Swing’ Orchestra, Lichfield Jazz All Stars, Blast Off, Lindy Hop dance workshop and a wide variety of street events.

New venues this year include the Angel Inn, the Kings Head and a ‘Festival Hub’ complete with a pop-up blues and jazz stage based at the George 1V public house.

For the full programme of blues and jazz concerts and tickets visit:   Programmes are available from the Lichfield Arts Office, Donegal House, Bore St, Lichfield, Staffs. WS13 6LU.

Day Stroller tickets are available this year.

For further information please contact Lichfield Arts Office: 01543 262223;

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New cathedral garden for Lichfield City station

The creativity of a London Midland train technician and the support of London Midland business partners, colleagues and the local community have helped to bring colour to Lichfield City station through a new platform garden inspired by a local landmark.

The garden planter installation, designed in the form of Lichfield cathedral, has come to life through creative planting by green-fingered London Midland colleagues with bay trees and a variety of flowers. Created with the aim of celebrating the station as a gateway to the City and the famous annual Lichfield Festival, the eye-catching new display has also been entered into the Blooming Lichfield competition.

Ben Williams, a technician at London Midland’s Soho depot, pioneered the creation and with the help of Soho colleagues Shaun Wright and Clair Smith Wright built the planter from wood generously donated by Marshdale Construction, with volunteers from Carlisle Cleaning, colleagues and London Midland’s Property Services supporting the installation.

Richard Lewis, president of Lichfield Chamber of Trade and Commerce, and chair of the Blooming Lichfield Committee, commented:

“It really has been a community affair. Blooming Lichfield has jumped at the opportunity to support London Midland to brighten up the station by supplying hanging baskets for the front of the building. Additionally, the Tourist Association & Lichfield District Council has helped to install attractive planters on the platform areas. I’m sure that passengers will benefit from a cheery addition of colour to their journey.”

Brian Pretty, Chair of the Lichfield District Tourism Association, added: “Congratulations to both London Midland and Blooming Lichfield for all their hard work in getting this project off the ground; it is an excellent example of partnership working.”

Going forward, the ‘cathedral’ display will be tended by a new Lichfield City station adoption group, which is currently being formalised, and the adoption project will be expanded to include artwork by local schools for the station.

Tawhida Yaacoub, London Midland customer service manager for Cross City North, said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed by Ben’s creativity; well done to him for being an outstanding colleague and going the extra mile. This project would not have been possible however without the staunch support of so many partners and the London Midland team, so many, many thanks to them all for coming together to make Lichfield City a station to be proud of.”

Faye Lambert, head of community rail at London Midland, added: “The support of London Midland colleagues reflects our passion for sustainable engagement with the community to make the journey experience better for customers. Ben is an inspiration and a true advocate of community rail. His ideas and support for Lichfield City station have given a sound footing for an enjoyable and sustainable station adoption project by the local community.

“If you would like to join the new adoption team at the station and take pride in tending this fantastic platform garden, full details on how you can get involved can be found at

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Lichfield Jazz

Lichfield Jazz continues it’s sessions at the George IV Bore Street, Lichfield on Wednesday 17th May with ‘A Night of Swinging Standards’ performed by Nick Drew, saxes, Nick Dewhurst, trumpet, and an outstanding rhythm section of Billy Weir, drums and rapidly rising star Dave Ferris on hammond organ. The gig starts at 8pm and entry is just £5.

Details of all Lichfield Jazz gigs can be found on

Lovers of swing and jive    can enjoy the legendary ‘ Jive Aces’ at the guildhall on Friday May 12th or 01543-262223

Not forgetting the Lichfield Blues and jazz Festival June 2nd-4th check out programmes now available



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‘All that Jazz’…in Lichfield!

Visitors to this year’s Lichfield Blues and Jazz Festival can look forward to a veritable feast of jazz performed in venues across this historic city by local, regional and national favourites.

Opening the Jazz programme on Friday 2nd at the George Hotel are the Lichfield Jazz All Stars, outstanding young musicians and city favourites who promise an evening of exciting, mind-blowing jazz …mixed with plenty of humour! 

Saturday 3rd sees the launch of the Festival’s novel Pop Up Blues and Jazz Stage from 3pm at Lichfield’s popular city centre music venue, George 1V. Expect impromptu blues and jazz from fine local musicians and surprise visits from professionals!

 The big band sound threatens to blow the roof off at Lichfield’s historic Guildhall from 1.30pm, when the 18 piece brassy  Dunnett Baxter Big Band and a cracking rhythm section perform original music, plus other big band music from Count Basie to Loose Tubes. They are followed by the Callum Roxburgh Swing Orchestra. Formed in 2011 by young jazz students from Birmingham Conservatoire, audiences will hear unbelievable classic swing band arrangements from Glen Miller, Sinatra to Bon Jovi.

At 7.00pm Wade Street Church hosts two unmissable bands. Chris Gumbley & Anything Goes, a very creative quartet performing a cornucopia of classic music from American songbook, traditional French song, shades of Jimi Hendrix to originals. Lichfield favourites – Blast Off – a talented band of 30 local musicians well-known for creating a funky jazz groove storm finish the evening off at the wonderful Wade Street Church.

Sunday June 4th will see a great day of swing music from the 20s to the 60s performed by some of the country’s top bands.

The day starts with a festival service at Wade Street church before the Remi Harris Trio take to the stage at Lichfield’s Guildhall.  A national figure on the music scene, Remi Harris has performed at Buckingham Palace, Montreal Jazz Festival and the BBC Proms. For those who want to learn all the Lindy Hop dance steps, ‘Dance with me Henry’ will  be running a workshop, followed by master drummer Sticky Wicket with his Swing Orchestra plus star vocalist Linda Morris – a great finale to the festival.

For the full programme of blues and jazz concerts and tickets visit:   Programmes are now available from the Lichfield Arts Office, Donegal House, Bore St, Lichfield, Staffs. WS13 6LU. Contact box office 01543-262223.

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The third Lichfield Blues & Jazz Festival is fast approaching with the line-up confirmed and programmes hot off the press!

Headlining this year’s festival, which takes place in and around the historic city of Lichfield, is the ever-popular Climax Blues Band – local favourites who delight audiences across the world with their unique combination of jazz and blues.

After 18 albums, the classic world-wide hit ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’ and tours of the UK, Europe and the US, the band is still on the road performing blues in the creative way that has always been synonymous with their name.  Climax Blues Band are on stage at Lichfield Sports Club on Friday June 2nd at 7.30pm supported by popular Midlands four-piece blues band, Northbound, who open the Festival with their modern take on traditional delta blues – a great start to the weekend!

The strong blues influence of the Festival continues with the sounds of the Emma Johnson Boogie Woogie Quartet who have wowed audiences at the Birmingham International Jazz Festival and were tipped as the best find in 2016. They take to the stage at The Guildhall in Lichfield from 7pm on Saturday June 3rd.

To complete this great night of Blues is the unmissable Masai Blues, a Midlands based band who bring new energy to ‘deep south blues’. Singer Judy Blue creates a new surge to the songs of Joe Williams, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Keb Mo to name just a few! She is supported by a powerhouse rhythm section who create the essential dynamics of the amazing Masai Blues.  

Visitors will be able to enjoy a wide range of blues and jazz performances in pubs and historic venues right across this picturesque city.

For the full programme of blues and jazz concerts and tickets visit:   Programmes are now available from the Lichfield Arts Office, Donegal House, Bore St, Lichfield, Staffs. WS13 6LU.

Day Stroller tickets are available this year.

For further information please contact Lichfield Arts Office: 01543 262223;

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