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Monster Mash

SPOOKS and ghouls where are you? Scooby Doo and his crew are solving a creepy mystery at Landau Forte Academy from October 25 to October 28, when Tamworth Arts Club presents a dark Halloween themed show – Monster Mash Up.

This original production is a spooky comedy and loose parody of the classic 1970s Scooby Doo featuring all the memorable catchphrases and cheesy plot lines from the much-loved TV series, but re-imagined for modern day Tamworth.

In keeping with the ghoulish theme, this darkly funny show includes musical theatre favourites from Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Spamalot and Jekyll & Hyde, alongside pop hits such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics.

Guaranteed to scare and make audiences roar with laughter, this unique show offers something different as it culminates in a monstrous finale which mashes up crowd pleasers from across the decades.

Tamworth Assembly Rooms is back ‘on tour’ this season with a number of performances being taken out into the community to ensure audiences and theatre groups continue to benefit from live entertainment during the refurbishment of the historic theatre.

The show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £12.50 adults, £10 concession. Family ticket (two adults, two concessions) £40. Buy 10 tickets and get 10% off the price.

All event tickets are available via the box office: www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk  or 01827 709618 or in person at Marmion House. A transaction fee of £1 is payable on all online and telephone bookings.

Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “Tamworth Arts Club always provide great entertainment. This dark production is a unique compilation and offers comedy laughter for all ages. If you remember the classic Scooby Doo, you will love this.

“The Arts and Events team has been working hard to support local groups to find alternative venues until the new-look Assembly Rooms are ready to welcome them back.

“We hope that people will support and continue to enjoy these special events.”

Ankerside halloween spooktacular

THE hugely popular Stay & Play will be back at Ankerside next Thursday for a morning of Halloween-themed fun and games.

With the most spooktacular day of the year almost here, Stay & Play will return on Thursday 26 October for a ‘Spooky Brew’ party, where youngsters will be able to decorate creepy cakes and ghostly biscuits.

Alongside the free activities, it’s also a great chance for parents, grandparents and those looking after little ones during the week, to meet up and have a chat over a tea or coffee whilst children get stuck into the fun.

The event will be taking place from 9.30am to 11.30am and Ankerside Centre Manager, Jeff Wigley, said he was looking forward to the penultimate Stay & Play of 2017. “We’ve had some great themes already this year and I’m sure that the Spooky Brew Stay & Play will prove a real hair-raising hit,” said Jeff.

“Throughout the morning, youngsters can get creative and decorate a range of cakes and biscuits with all manner of Halloween designs. We’re looking forward to seeing a number of familiar faces for a great morning at Ankerside.

“Alongside the spooky fun, children will also be able to add another entry to their learning books that they bring to each event and that they keep until they go to primary school.”

The Stay & Play fun takes place from 9.30am to 11.30am in Druckers Café on the last Thursday of each month and is free to attend for both adults and children.

outdoor gym

ACTIVE Tamworth will be helping people to get ‘in shape’ this half term, when they take a visit to the outdoor gyms across the borough.

During  the October half term, Tamworth Borough Council’s Sports Development Team, will be visiting all outdoor gyms in the borough to show people how to use the equipment properly, write an individual fitness programme, check blood pressure, weight and percentage body fat, all for free.

Active Tamworth was set up by Tamworth Borough Council Sports Development Team to increase participation rates in physical activity.

The team will be spending a whole day at each gym from 9am-4pm, to try and capture a wide section of the community that use the facilities at different times of the day.

The timetable for the week is as follows:

  • Monday October 23 – Belgrave outdoor gym (off Bird’s Bush Road)
  • Tuesday October 24 – Castle Grounds outdoor gym
  • Wednesday October 25 – Wigginton Park outdoor gym (off Elizabeth Drive)
  • Thursday October 26 – Amington outdoor gym (off Sheepcote Lane, opposite Costcutter)
  • Friday October 27 – Dosthill Park outdoor gym (off Blackwood Road)

The outdoor gyms – which are free to use – have been installed in the parks in an attempt to encourage even more people to take up exercise and improve their health.

Each gym features state-of-the art equipment which has been specially designed to be installed and used outdoors. They have various stations with cardiovascular and resistance equipment, such as a chest press and lateral pull-down, a cross trainer or a bike. The equipment is free to use, but anyone using the outdoor gyms should be aged 12 or over.

Cllr Stephen Doyle, Cabinet member for Communities & Wellbeing, said: ““Public health is vitally important to Tamworth Borough Council, so much so that we have made it one of our top priorities. With the outdoor gyms attracting hundreds of users every week, we want to ensure that people in all parts of the borough are also able to take advantage of these facilities and can use the equipment safely.

“Thanks to the Sports Development Team and Active Tamworth, people will have the opportunity to find out more about their personal health and have a fitness programme to suit their needs. The idea behind the week is to try and increase physical activity in general and reinforcing that people have free facilities on their doorstep that they can make use of.”

Tamworth Castle Grounds Fireworks

THE countdown is on to the biggest and most popular event in Tamworth’s calendar as the FREE fireworks spectacular returns with a breath-taking display to light up the skies above the Castle Grounds.

This year’s event will be back with a bang on Saturday November 4, bringing with it another great evening of fun for the whole family.

Entertainment begins at 6pm and includes fire performers, face painting, a sparkler zone, family activities, artisan food stalls and a fair.

The impressive display of fireworks, set to music, will light up the skies above Tamworth from 8pm.

Organised by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team, the event has become a firm favourite in the town’s annual calendar of events and has attracted upwards of 25,000 people in recent years. This year is expected to be no exception.

Due to the event’s popularity, visitors are asked to plan ahead and be patient when travelling to the event and moving in and out of the main arena.

People are advised to walk or use public transport where possible and to arrive in plenty of time for the fireworks as some footpaths around the area will close during the display for safety reasons.

  • Footpaths leading to the Castle Grounds underneath ‘the Egg’ roundabout
  • from Glascote, Bolehall and Kettlebrook, will close at 7.50pm until the fireworks display is finished.
  • Ankerdrive will also close to vehicles during that time, as will a single lane nearest the Castle Grounds on the Riverdrive carriageway.

For those driving to the event, limited free parking is available at Tamworth Borough Council car parks around the town centre after 6pm (please note parking charges will apply to the privately-owned car park operated by Gallan Parking on the site of the former Gungate Precinct).

Motorists are reminded that any parking must be in accordance with prevailing traffic orders and enforcement may be carried out by Staffordshire County Council officers for public safety and traffic flow purposes where vehicles are illegally parked.

Visitors are also asked to be patient when entering and leaving the main arena via the signposted exit points and follow instructions from the stewarding team. Entertainment will continue after the main fireworks display for anyone who wants to wait for the crowds to reduce before making the journey home.

Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “This event has become incredibly popular over the years, drawing visitors from near and far. We are delighted to be able to host such a large event for thousands and thousands of people to enjoy, free of charge, and we are lucky to have the resources and facilities to make it possible.

“I hope lots of families come along to the Castle Grounds and enjoy the celebrations. However, it will be busy, so I’d urge people to plan ahead and either walk or arrange alternative transport. I’d remind anyone who is driving that usual highways regulations apply and to please park sensibly, as anyone parking illegally could receive a fine.

“As the event is so popular, it does mean that there are thousands of people trying to leave the main arena at the same time. Activities will continue for anyone who wants to stay a while longer to avoid the big rush and we would urge people to please be patient and to leave via the signposted routes so that everyone can get home safely.”

The Tamworth fireworks spectacular is sponsored by Ankerside Shopping Centre. 

Drayton Manor Park fireworks over lake

ONE lucky competition winner will start Drayton Manor Park’s science fiction themed fireworks display, Sky-Fi Fireworks Spectacular, A Galactic Gathering, on Friday 27th October.

The attraction is giving you the chance to be the one with the all the power and the VIP who gets to start its annual fireworks spectacular.

As the sun sets over the famous Drayton Manor Park lake, the park will close its 2017 season, and you could be the one who kick-starts the weekend!

This wonderful prize includes free entry into the park for a family of four* for the whole day and evening on Friday 27th October, the exclusive opportunity to start Drayton Manor Park’s Fireworks Spectacular, a Thomas & Friends goody bag per child and a delicious hog roast roll for each family member all included in the prize. The competition runs until Thursday 19th October.

Sparks will fly from 7pm on each of the three days (last admission is 6pm), and many rides will remain open until 9pm, so the thrills can continue into the evening. Europe’s first stand-up rollercoaster, Shockwave, the head turning gyro swing Maelstrom and the 54m drop-tower Apocalypse, will be amongst those open until late.

For the younger visitors, there is Europe’s only Thomas Land™, home to over 25 rides and attractions based on the ever-popular Thomas & Friends™ series, including newest addition, James and the Red Balloon. Thomas Land is the perfect destination for families to enjoy a day out before heading to the main event.

Drayton Manor Park’s Sky -Fi Fireworks Spectacular, A Galactic Gathering runs on Friday 27th, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October.  For more information, terms and conditions, and to be in with a chance to win, visit www.draytonmanor.co.uk/ultimate-fireworks-competition.

*Winner is included in the family of four ticket.

To book tickets, or for more information about the park, visit www.draytonmanor.co.uk

Tamworth Art Attack - Art in the Dark

TAMWORTH was packed with creative ideas and colourful activities on Saturday, October 7, when Art Attack hit Tamworth town centre offering free arts activities for people of all ages.

Art Attack attracted over 1000 people to Tamworth town centre with people of all ages and abilities joining in with the unusual ‘have a go’ art activities on offer. Nine professional artists and illustrators were on hand to guide and assist all budding artists, allowing people to express their creativity in an exciting and original way.

Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team have linked up with The Big Draw to bring the world’s biggest drawing festival to the town for the first time.

The event was organised as part of the Arts in Unusual Spaces initiative; a two-year project funded by Arts Council England to bring art to unusual spaces in Tamworth.

Throughout the day the artists were available to teach, guide and support people of all ages to find out more about unusual art and encourage anyone to pick up a pencil, paintbrush or Go-Go-Gadget arm and get creative!

art attack wall

Art Attack Wall

A variety of activities were held throughout the town centre and in Ankerside Shopping Centre which hosted some of the events.

Underneath the Town Hall, urban canvas offered traditional street art for anyone who wanted to grab a comfy cushion and get stuck in to drawing on the pavement with a stick of chalk. Young children got stuck in along with adults to create a colourful scene across the street.

Ankerside was full of people looking to join in with the various activities on offer. Art in the dark involved ultra violet painting, creating colourful lines, shapes and patterns, illuminated by black-light, fluorescent balloons and glow sticks.

Another popular activity was Body Draw where people were able to make and wear their drawing tools and let the body create the canvas.

Plenty of people came along to help piece together Tamworth’s history with the last chance to be part of Tamworth’s largest community Mercian Mosaic.

This second phase of the project has included life size silhouettes of Anglo Saxon and modern figures taking part in daily activities, as well as life size Celtic pigs, coins and shields.

The community art project will be displayed in the Castle Grounds during a series of events taking place next year to mark the 1100-year anniversary of Aethelflaed’s death.

Tape That and Living Lines, attracted all ages to join the fun using colourful electrical tape to line the walls, ceilings and floor to create bright shapes and a giant artwork. Living lines got people using their imagination to create objects, creatures and robots.

Art Attack

Tape That and Living Lines

A firm favourite was Doodle Draw, which saw people falling in love with drawing again and learning the art of art of continuous-line doodling, capturing Tamworth’s wonderful architecture. Five workshops were full throughout the day.

As part of the National Big Draw initiative, everyone was invited to doodle, paint and colour-in a creation. Café’s across town were busy with customers taking part in a doodle and drink.

Finally, the Castle Grounds attracted crowds of people all rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in with ‘Land Art’, creating a large scale environmental drawing using natural materials such as wood chippings and sawdust, to produce a medieval style image of the Warrior Queen – Aethelflaed.

Afterwards people took to social media to share their praise for the event. Reviews included Ems West who said: “Thank you. My family really enjoyed this event and has certainly inspired my 3 budding artists.”

Stephanie Lennon added: “What a brilliant event, we all had a great time. Thank you!”

Diane Gilbert said: “What a wonderful event again the Arts and Events team have organised. Well done! The people of Tamworth are lucky to have you.”

Pam Clark said: “Well done Tamworth for laying on lots of free family activities throughout the town centre. The children loved it!”

Caz Sydney added: “My girls had a brilliant time thanks for hosting fingers crossed they bring it back.”

Ankerside Centre Manager Jeff Wigley, said: “I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to work with the council on their great Art Attack event. It proved hugely popular with shoppers and was a real draw for visitors in the centre. We saw some brilliant pieces of art being created throughout Saturday and I’m delighted that we were able to play host to the innovative event.

“The feedback from visitors was great and everyone at the centre is looking forward to teaming up with the council on activities like this in the future.”

Chalk Art

Chalk Art

Members of the public are now being encouraged to vote for their favourite art piece in the Big Draw competition at: www.thebigdraw.org/vote

Throughout the year, The Big Draw demonstrates the social, economic and health benefits that drawing can bring and provides opportunities for everyone to access them.

Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “The Tamworth Arts and Events team received some lovely feedback. I know they had lots of fun organising this event and working with the talented artists and volunteers. The sight of children’s faces lighting up as they participated in activities with the family really made the whole event come together.

“Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this new and exciting event to Tamworth which offered a unique and interesting opportunity for people to take part in art – with a difference.”

More information on arts and events in Tamworth is available at: www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk        

Ride to the wall 2017

THOUSANDS of motorcycle enthusiasts from the UK and overseas took part in annual charity event Ride to the Wall last weekend on Saturday 7 October.

Riders and passengers gathered at the memorial (the wall) at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, which is engraved with the names of more than 16,000 service men and women killed since the end of the Second World War.

This years event was the 10th anniversary of Ride to the Wall as the first event took place in 2008 as the brain child of Martin Dickinson.

In 2007, Martin attended the remembrance day event at the National Memorial Arboretum and noticed that there was a lot of children and young people there. This reminded him that although Remembrance Day is often traditionally linked to the World Wars, there was a lot of people that had lost their lives and left families behind since the end of these wars.  Including in the Northern Ireland conflicts, in which Martin had served.

For the first event in 2008, Martin asked for 200 bikers to take part in the event – 1800 showed up and as a result £10,000 was raised. The 2016 event, which took place in horrific weather and torrential rain attracted 7,300 bikes.

In June this year, Ride to the Wall presented a cheque for £121,200, which brings their total prior to this event to a staggering £633,000!

Ride to the Wall was founded on the principles of Remembrance and Respect and the income from the event goes to the running and upkeep of the National Memorial Arboretum.

Here you can see Martin Dickinson talking to one of our reporters, Edna Hills:

The majority of the motorcyclists taking part in the event met at Drayton Manor Park and rode to the Arboretum in Convoy.  There are however a number of meeting points for riders from around the Country.

Here you can see the ride out from Drayton Manor Park; can you spot yourself?

Below you can also see our reporter, Edna, chatting to Various attendees of this years event in a set of exclusive interviews for Tamworth Informed.

Sherlock Holmes and the Crimson Cobbles

Theatre is continuing on tour this month as Touring Theatre delivers a range of high-quality performances starting with Theatre Chipping Norton – Sherlock Holmes and the Crimson Cobbles.

A brand new Sherlock Holmes caper will be performed at the Sacred Heart Church (B77 2EA) on Tuesday October 17 at 7.30pm.

Holmes and Watson are called upon to investigate the Whitechapel Murders which have recently sent shockwaves through London. But when the evidence points to only one possible conclusion – that Jack the Ripper is actually Sherlock’s trusted partner Dr Watson – will Holmes believe this shocking revelation?

From the team behind the smash hit touring productions of Around the World in 80 Days, this witty, laugh-a-minute pastiche of Conan Doyle’s investigative pair takes on the story of one the darkest times in Victorian history.

This fast paced and hilarious show brings together the most famous fictional detective and infamous real-life characters for the first and only time. The performance is recommended for families and children over 12 years-old.

Tickets are priced at £8 adults, £6 concessions and £26 for group of 4 (standard tickets). Doors open at 7pm.

Touring Theatre is part of the two-year Arts in Unusual Spaces project funded in partnership with Arts Council England, Tamworth Borough Council and the local community.

It includes a number of exciting initiatives for Tamworth, designed to bring the arts to all corners of the community. More information is available at http://www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk/arts-unusual-spaces.

Tickets are available via the box office on 01827 709618 or from the Community Together CIC Hub in the Castle Grounds.  A transaction fee of £1 is payable on all online and telephone bookings. For more information follow: www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk

Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “The Touring Theatre is a brilliant project that has helped broaden the use of community venues, making it even easier for people to experience and enjoy theatre and the arts.

“Sherlock Holmes is always a detective favourite and I’m sure this production will not disappoint our super sleuth fans.”

Christmas Events

THREE additional acts have been added to the Tamworth Arts and Events winter programme, which are guaranteed to bring Christmas spirit and cheer to the town this December.

Local favourites Amington Band, the popular Stage It group and the magical Tamworth Pantomime Company join the line-up for the festive season.

The annual Amington Band Christmas Concert will kick-start the festive celebrations this year in the idyllic setting of St Editha’s Church.

In their centenary year, ‘Amington Band presents Christmas at St Editha’s’ along with appearances from special guests and friends from Tamworth Arts Club on Saturday December 9.

Tickets are priced at £8 adults, £7 concessions and will be available from Tamworth Information Centre. The church doors will open at 7pm for a 7:30pm start.

This event always proves to be a popular night with the people of Tamworth, so book your tickets soon to avoid disappointment.

Also on Saturday December 9, Tamworth-based performing arts group, Stage It, are celebrating their fifth anniversary with a very special show at Landau Forte Academy in Amington. The show will feature some of the highlights of their past performances.

Audience members can expect show-stopping songs and dances from a talented cast of over a hundred students as they travel on a journey into the past of pirates, princesses, Arabian dancers, superheroes and much more!

Tickets are priced at £10 and £6 concessions. The doors open at 12.30pm (for a 1pm start) and 3.30pm (for a 4pm start).

Following the success of last year’s show in a circus Big Top, the Tamworth Pantomime Company will present a week of fairy-tale performances when Cinderella comes to dazzle the town this December.

It will be the Pantomime Company’s 15-show run and is promising to be bigger and better than ever before. This year’s production of the popular ‘princess of the ball’ – Cinderella, has all the ingredients for a fantastic show.

The heated Big Top will be filled with songs, dances, laughter and some of Tamworth’s best loved performers, featuring community champion Lee Bates; irrepressible baddie Terry Batham and former ITV newsreader, now BBC WM presenter, Llewella Bailey.

Shows run from Thursday December 14 to Friday December 22. Several performances take place throughout the week, providing the perfect festive cheer in the run up to Christmas.

Tickets are priced at £14 and £9 concessions, with discounts for group and family tickets. There’s also the option to upgrade to VIP tickets with ringside seats for the best view of your favourite characters.

Company Manager, Alex Farrell, said: “We are so excited about Cinderella. It’s the most magical story of all and we have a real treat in store for our audience.

“Pantomime is a real tradition in Tamworth and last year was the first time we used the Big Top. Over 4000 people came along to see us and we are hoping that this year’s performances will prove to be our biggest yet.”

Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: ““An exciting programme is planned for December with something for all ages to enjoy. This includes the welcomed return of the pantomime with another classic story. I’m sure everyone will agree, – oh yes you will!”

Tickets for all shows are available online at www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk, from the Tourist Information Centre in Marmion House or by calling the Box Office on 01827 709618. A transaction fee of £1 is payable on all online and telephone bookings.

Cast of Cinderella

CINDERELLA is coming to Tamworth Castle Grounds this Christmas – oh yes it is!

After the success of last year’s show in a circus big top, the Tamworth Pantomime Company will present a week of magical performances this December.

The pantomime features plenty of well-known local names, including the irrepressible baddie Terry Batham and former ITV newsreader, now BBC WM presenter, Llewella Bailey.

Company Manager Alex Farrell plays one of the Ugly Sisters. He said: “We are so excited about Cinderella! It’s the most magical story of them all, and our cast is absolutely fantastic.

“Pantomime is a real tradition in Tamworth, and last year we didn’t let the closure of the Assembly Rooms stop the show. Over 4,000 people came along to see us, and we are hoping that this year’s run will be our biggest to date.”

Cinderella takes places from 14 to 22 December on Tamworth Castle Grounds. Tickets are £14 adults, £9 children and concessions and VIP Ringside seats are available for just £2 extra.

Buy them now from the Tamworth Tourist Information Centre on 01827 709618 or by visiting www.TamworthPanto.co.uk

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