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Morrisons children in need

STAFF at the Morrisons store on Hilmore Way in Tamworth have shown their support for the BBC Children in Need campaign this year by dressing up and holding their very own ‘Rickshaw Challenge’ inspired cycle.

Dressed as super heroes or donning their favourite Pudsey Bear t-shirt the staff at the Wilnecote Supermarket took on the challenge of taking it in turns on the exercise bike to cover as many miles as possible; with a hope of reaching coast-to-coast.

In addition to the cycling challenge the staff also held a raffle in the store to enable customers to donate their loose change.

This is the second time in recent weeks that the store has been featured by us for their fund raising efforts.  At the end of October, Hollie Hurst from the store was ‘gunged’ in aid of CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity for young people.

In addition to this, the store has also featured in the Royal British Legion, Wilnecote Branch remembrance event as they allowed their store to be used.





bus shelter art

A COMMUNITY project to transform a series of bus shelters across Tamworth has now been completed, thanks to the help of local artists and around 700 school children.

Residents and visitors can now ‘Catch Art’ as well as buses at seven shelters which have been given bright, colourful makeovers as part of a Tamworth Borough Council project to bring art to all areas of the town.

Part of the Arts in Unusual Spaces initiative – funded by Arts Council England – the bus shelter project has been led by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team in partnership with Vic Brown of Art Recruitment Tamworth.

Vic called in professional artists Simon Wingfield and Helen Martin and the three of them went out into local schools to work with children on bringing the bus shelter designs to life. As well as the chance to work with professional artists, hundreds of children can now see their work displayed pride of place for all to enjoy.

The final shelter in the project was recently completed in Fontenaye Road, Coton Green, marking the end of a successful initiative. This shelter design was led by urban artist Helen Martin who spent three days working with pupils at the Kettlebrook Short Stay School.

The school’s art and design subject co-ordinator, Jo Potter, said students enjoyed working with Helen and seeing their work on display.

She said: “A huge thank you to Tamworth Borough Council and to Helen Martin for the exciting opportunity of participating in such a worthwhile project. It was great for students to work with a visiting artist and be involved in a ‘live’ project.

“Kettlebrook students have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it has been a privilege to witness the sense of pride and boost of self-esteem that the project has facilitated.”

Kettlebrook Short Stay School students also gave their views on the project.


Ellie said: “I am really glad I got to work with Helen and I am proud that others can walk past my work in the street and enjoy it.

Zac said: “The project was brilliant and I really enjoyed meeting Helen the artist and learning new art techniques. I think the bus shelter looks amazing and I hope people enjoy it.”

The shelters can be found at:

Glascote on Sea, B5000 Glascote – Beach Hut design by children from Little Learners in Amington together with Simon Wingfield, Vic Brown and photographer Alex Blaby.

Tree Stop, Fossdale Road – A tree scene with insects by children from Three Peaks Primary School and Stonydelph Nursery, together with Vic Brown and Simon Wingfield.

Glascote Academy Community Farm, Silver Link Road – By pupils from Glascote Academy and Glascote Heath Pre-school, with Vic Brown and Simon Wingfield. This shelter was inspired by the Glascote Academy’s own on-site farm.

Tam Modern, Fontenaye Road – Pupils from Kettlebrook Short Stay School worked on this art gallery-inspired theme with urban artist Helen Martin and Vic Brown.

Flipside, Kerria Road – 1970s living room design by artist Simon Wingfield

Wild About Tamworth, Peelers Way – Inspired by the nature found at the adjacent Tameside Local Nature Reserve. This shelter by Simon Wingfield won recognition from the Royal Horticultural Society as part of this year’s Tamworth in Bloom campaign with a ‘Greening Grey Britain’ award.

Butterfly, B5000 Stonydelph – A butterfly-themed shelter by artist Helen Martin.

The Catch Art project has received lots of positive feedback from the children and teachers involved, as well as the wider community, especially via social media. It was also featured on Midlands Today.

Commentators on Facebook include Richard Brown, who said: “I absolutely love them! I live near the butterfly one and I have to admit that I tend to ‘miss’ the first bus just to enjoy it a bit longer. You can really feel the pride the Tamworth community have for the amazing stops. Can you imagine how awesome the town bus stops would look if they were all painted!” 

Sarah Holmes said: “Absolutely brilliant, love that it’s all artwork by children, fantastic idea.” Alan Faultless said: “The kids will love that on their walk to school in the morning,” Anthony Perks added: “Brilliant! Brightens the roadsides up, great art, good vibes.”

Vic Brown of Art Recruitment Tamworth, which also organises the popular annual Urban Arts Festival at the Castle Grounds skate park, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts and Events team on this project and we are really happy with the final results. At the start of the project we agreed the stops needed to be artistically inspiring, but also fun and unique. Judging by all the kind words on social media and from passers-by, I think we have achieved this. 

“The best part of the project for us was working on the school stops; they are all fantastic. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the project and especially all of the school children.”

Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment and Culture, said: “This has been a really successful and imaginative project that has helped take art out into all corners of the community while giving local school children the opportunity to work with professional artists and see their work on public display.

“It wouldn’t have been possible without the funding from the Arts Council England, which likes to support initiatives that encourage community participation in the arts. The feedback has been amazing and my congratulations go to the Arts and Events team, Art Recruitment Tamworth, the artists and of course the hundreds of school children who have created beautiful works of art for all to enjoy, out of some tired and plain bus shelters.”

Staffordshire Youth Commission

YOUNGSTERS of Staffordshire – the Police and Crime Commissioner wants YOUR help.

Founded and funded by the Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, the Commission is looking for new members, between the ages of 14-25, following a successful first year.

And if you feel you can make a difference to youth issues, want to be involved in policing and have your say about how crime is tackled, then even better. We might just have the role for you.

The Youth Commission wants volunteers from the Staffordshire policing area who will work with the existing members of the group to take the project forward.

Looking for people who reflect the diverse population of the county, the Youth Commission seeks individuals who are willing to participate in quarterly meetings, develop skills and come up with creative ideas for workshops – while helping tackle some of the issues impacting on young people.

Matthew Ellis, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: ‘The Youth Commission is an important addition to the PCC portfolio.

‘It’s important the needs and the voices of youngsters are serviced by young people themselves.

‘The first year was both rewarding and exciting for our young members. We hope a new intake will add further fresh impetus, bring new ideas and continue the excellent work of our current group.’

The Youth Commission’s first year report identified the biggest challenges for youngsters.

These included knife and gang crime, cyber bullying, drug/alcohol abuse and educating youngsters about police work.

Rose Dowling – director of Leaders Unlocked, which runs the Youth Commission on the PCC’s behalf – is looking forward to welcoming new members.

‘We’re looking for a diverse group of young adults who truly reflect the youth population, including those from marginalised and under-represented groups.

‘This is a unique opportunity for young people to play a leadership role working alongside the PCC and the Police to address pressing problems such as knife crime, hate crime and mental health that affects the lives of so many young people.’

Further endorsement of the Youth Commission was provided by member Imogen Pople.

The 17-year-old said: ‘Being a part of the Youth Commission has benefitted me massively.

‘Not only am I able to work with fun and kind individuals but I’m also given opportunities which help me widen my knowledge and experience.

‘Most importantly it allows me to voice the opinions of those who want change but believe they don’t have the voice or aren’t important enough to bring this change.’

gruffalo at ankerside

SHOPPERS are set to experience the magic of Christmas next weekend, as a Tamworth shopping centre not only welcomes Santa but also Julia Donaldson’s hit picture book character, The Gruffalo to town.

The festive season will officially begin at Ankerside Shopping Centre on Sunday, 26 November with Father Christmas kicking off the festivities with the opening of Santa’s Grotto at 11am.

This will be followed by the arrival of children’s favourite The Gruffalo.  The mystical monster will be meeting with the children of Tamworth at 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm.  He’ll be at the town’s Christmas light switch on at 5pm too!

Jeff Wigley, Ankerside Shopping Centre manager, said he is looking forward to seeing everybody get into the seasonal spirit at the centre on Sunday. “We really wanted to do something extra special to officially start the Christmas celebrations this year, so we though a visit from The Gruffalo would be perfect,” he said.

As part of the Christmas-themed event, the local community will also be able to meet Santa himself at his Grotto. “From Sunday, 26 November, he will be coming along to Ankerside every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout December to meet children in the area and find out what is on their wish list.

“Once the centre’s fantastic celebrations finish at 4pm, the excitement will continue at Tamworth’s Christmas light switch on in St Editha’s Square, where The Gruffalo will continue to meet his adoring fans.

“The Gruffalo is extremely popular with children in and around Tamworth, so we’re expecting to have a brilliant day to officially start Christmas and we look forward to seeing our customers having a great time throughout the festivities.

*Santa’s Grotto will be open from 11am to 4pm on Sunday, 26 November and will then be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout December. Additionally, the grotto will be open between Monday 18 December and Christmas Eve. Visitors can meet Santa, open a chocolate gift and receive a photo to take home for £3.50.

TAMWORTH INFORMED can bring you a series of videos documenting the Remembrance Parade in Tamworth on Sunday 12 November.

You will see a full video of the parade along with individual videos of interviews with some of those taking part. Please feel free to share them with anyone you know who may be interested.  

Thank you to Jagraphics for producing the videos.

morrisons remembrance

TAMWORTH INFORMED can bring you a series of videos documenting the Remembrance Service in Morrions on Saturday 11 November.

You can see a video of the service and individual videos of interviews with some of those taking part. Please feel free to share them with anyone you know who may be interested.


Rowland and Sayers School of dance

OVER 30 dance lovers turned out on Sunday 6 November to join forces and help give their local dance studio a well-deserved ‘make-over’.

Friends and supporters of Rowland and Sayers School of Dance turned out with paint-brushes, rollers and ladders to assist with the redecoration of the dance studio, just a few weeks ahead of the some new flooring which will complete the refurbishment.

Situated on George Street, Rowland and Sayers School of Dance are family-run, and a much loved and long standing business in Tamworth, they have been teaching both adults and children at their current premises for 46 years!

Owner Louise Statham was overwhelmed by the generosity of customers and friends as they all gave up their Sunday morning to help spruce up the dance studio.

Louise said “I am so grateful to everyone who gave up their time, came along and put in so much work to help paint the room; it was a really community-spirited event and I cannot thank everyone enough for their support”  She continued “ the bulk of the painting was completed in just over 2 hours because so many people lent a hand – and it looks fantastic!”

The dance school provides a range of dance classes from ballroom to street dance, and for every age range, and has seen an upturn in customers as the popularity of shows such as Strictly Come Dancing have risen in popularity.   The Dance school is open Monday to Saturday every week, with a range of classes and private lessons available.

For full details visit their website: rowland&sayersschoolofdance.co.uk or give them a call on 07547188260 or 01827  55106/55787. Rowland and Sayers Dance School, 12b George Street, Tamworth, B79 7LN. Follow them on facebook: Rowland and Sayers School of Dance.

BAKE-OFF winner and Girl Guide Amanda, bakes up a storm to win the honour of Tamworth Christmas Lights switch-on.

Young baker Amanda Little has been crowned winner of this year’s Halloween-themed Tamworth in Bloom Bake Off.

Young Girl Guide Amanda, from the First Wilnecote Guides, saw off the challenge from 16 other young bakers to take the title – as well as winning the honour of switching on Tamworth’s Christmas lights.

Runners-up were Emma Beggs from Mile Oak Brownies, Jude Nelson from Sacred Heart Scouts and Dylan Darby from Hopwas First Cubs.  Other entrants were highly commended for the high standard of their cakes.

This year, the theme was Halloween, which saw bakers bringing their spooky creations to compete for the Bake Off title.

Cubs, Scouts, Brownie, Guides, leaders and parents from 15 packs across Tamworth flocked to the Town Hall on Friday October 27, to see each pack’s best baker compete for the title. Each of the groups had previously held a contest to choose the top baker to represent them in the final.

The judges were Nicola Clark from Heart of England in Bloom, and Lee Bates from Tamworth Community Together CIC. They looked very closely at each of the cakes before cutting a slice and tasting it – marking each one for appearance, taste and relevance to the spooky theme. They praised the extremely high quality of all the entries, and admitted that choosing an eventual winner was extremely difficult.

The competition was fierce but Amanda Little from Wilnecote took the well-deserved first place honour, with her spooky decorated two tier cake topped with an impressive ghost sculpture and rainbow sponge centre.

Amanda will now be the guest of honour at the Tamworth Christmas lights switch-on event on Sunday November 26, when she will throw the switch to light up the town, alongside Mayor of Tamworth Cllr John Chesworth; not forgetting Father Christmas and The Gruffalo who will make an appearance too.

Tamworth Mayor, Cllr John Chesworth with the Bake-off entrants

Tamworth Mayor, Cllr John Chesworth with the Bake-off entrants

The Mayor of Tamworth Cllr John Chesworth said: “It is lovely to see so many packs taking part in the competition and sending along their best bakers to compete for the Bake Off title.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my day in the ‘office’ today, tasting all of these amazing Halloween themed cakes. Thank you to everyone who made this Tamworth in Bloom Bake Off a big success.”

The finalists were:

  • Winner: Amanda Little, First Wilnecote Guides – amazing two tier spooky cake topped with a ghost sculpture
  • Runner-up: Emma Beggs, Mile Oak Brownies – fabulous creepy large spider cake
  • Runner-up: Jude Nelson, Sacred Heart Scouts – scrumptious pumpkin sponge
  • Runner-up: Dylan Darby, Hopwas First Cubs – scary delicious cream sponge eye-ball cake
  • Jack Longmore, Polesworth Cubs
  • Lily Higgs, First Mercian Cubs
  • Harvey Biddle, Eighth Tamworth Cubs
  • Harrison Yeomans, Mile Oak Cubs
  • Joshua Page-Gibbs, Dosthill Friday Cubs
  • Archie Yates, First Hopwas Scouts
  • Eden Sumnerquinn, Hopwas Guides
  • Isabella Rae Cotton, First Glascote Cubs
  • Sophie Warren, First Tamworth Rainbows – the only Rainbow to enter the final
  • Jodie Blackmore, Dosthill Brownies
  • Sophie Mills, Third Amington Brownies
  • Emily Kavanagh, First Tamworth Brownies
  • Scarlet Bannister, Dosthill Brownies

Tamworth in Bloom Champion, Cllr Joy Goodall, said: “It is amazing to see all the various groups and packs with their leaders, family and friends supporting the Tamworth in Bloom Bake Off at the Town Hall on October 27. Last year the standard was so high and this year was no exception. All of the cakes have shown the hard work and effort achieved to showcase a ‘spooktacular,’ Bake Off success.

“This Bake Off demonstrates that Tamworth in Bloom is so much more than just the flowers. Well done to all the amazing bakers!”


a lifetime of thanks by Leah Edgar

COTON GREEN Primary School student, 11-year-old Leah Edgar, has won a Royal British Legion poetry competition for Remembrance Day.

The poem entitled ‘A lifetime of thanks’ will now be read out by Leah as a prayer during the Act of Remembrance on Sunday 12 November at St Editha’s Church.

The Year 6 Pupil from the School on Kipling Rise, Coton Green, completed the poem as part of their learning about Life during World War I and World War II.

As part of their studies they have visited the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, read work by War Poets and imagined life both as a soldier and civilian during the War years.

Below you can see the winning poem and also an exclusive video of Leah.

A lifetime of thanks, by Leah Edgar

THREE Staffordshire charities are set to benefit from the generosity of kind shoppers during the festive season, as a Tamworth shopping centre gears up to welcome the return of its annual Christmas appeal.

From Monday 13 November, Ankerside Shopping Centre will be inviting shoppers to get involved in the centre’s fourteenth Operation Christmas appeal, by donating gifts in support of Acorn Children’s Hospice, Pathways Project and Community Together CIC.

To take part all visitors have to do is simply pop a present into the collection box, which will be located in the mall near H Samuel before Sunday, 14 December.

Jeff Wigley, Ankerside Shopping Centre manager, said he is looking forward to showing his support to three wonderful charities this Christmas. “Throughout the year, Ankerside shoppers and the centre team show amazing generosity with our range of charitable activities, including collections for various organisations, awareness raising and our annual Macmillan fundraising day, so it is really important to us to continue this over the festive period,” he said.

No matter how big or small, donated gifts will go to Acorn Children’s Hospice – a charity that offers care for life limited and life threatened babies, children and young people, and Pathways Project, an organisation that works to support adults, young people and children who are experiencing or affected by domestic abuse. Plus, Community Together CIC who work to support the people of Tamworth through a local drop-in hub featuring everything from a community café to advice gateways to healthy lifestyle promotion and children’s activities.

“This is the first time we have supported three organisations through the Operation Christmas appeal and we’re really pleased for Community Together CIC to join Acorn Children’s Hospice and Pathways Project in this annual campaign,” Jeff added.

“Over the years the people of Tamworth have been extremely generous during the Operation Christmas campaign and we can’t thank them enough for their continued support,” he said. “We look forward to seeing the collection box fill up over the festive period and can’t wait to get them to the charities in time for Christmas.”

The Operation Christmas donation box is currently located in the mall near H Samuel. The box will be in the centre until Thursday 14 December when the gifts will then be split between the three charities and presented to them before Christmas.

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