Queen Charlotte of Bloxwich is set for Carnival crowning!

Carnival royalty at All Saints Church (pic Bloxwich Carnival)
Carnival royalty at All Saints Church (pic Bloxwich Carnival)

School pupil Charlotte Locke started her first step in a career in beauty when she won the title of Bloxwich Carnival Queen recently.

The 16-year-old, who is planning to go on to study beauty therapy at college, was selected at a competition selection evening held at Bookmark Bloxwich last month.

Selected as the judges’ number one choice to represent the village, the announcement came as a lovely present.

“The day before the competition was my birthday so I had a great birthday present.

“I’ve never won anything before so it was really good to win this, especially as my dream job would be to become a model.”

Past queen Jessica Jones, who is now a member of Bloxwich Carnival Committee, said judges had had a difficult job on their hands:

“All the entrants had something to offer and we were pleased that so many took part in the competition and wanted to work hard to promote Bloxwich.”

Panel judges chose Alexandra Pearce, aged 12, as Carnival Princess and eight-year-old Lula Leonard as Carnival Rosebud.

Mother Trudy Pearce said of her daughters selection: “She saw it last year and wanted to see if she could get anywhere. She likes a challenge and she likes entering drama productions which is where she gets her confidence from.”

Carnival royalty on stage at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre (pic Bloxwich Carnival)
Carnival royalty on stage at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre (pic Bloxwich Carnival)

For Lula’s mother Jodie the selection has been a real pleasure: “I’m really pleased for her. She’s over the moon with her little self.”

Bloxwich Carnival, which is run by Bloxwich Carnival Committee and supported by Walsall Council, is being held on Saturday 1st  August 2015 and the new queen will receive her crown on the big day.

Walsall Council community liaison officer John Millard stated: “Bloxwich Carnival is attended by thousands every year and we expect that this year’s event will be another huge success.

“Helping to make that success happen are the numerous volunteers who work with organisers during the build up and on the day itself”.

If you would like further information on volunteering your time then contact 07736 388409 or 01922 654893.

For more about Bloxwich Carnival, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bloxwich-Carnival/172196829515455

Bands on the Beacon Mega Line-up Confirmed

Bands on the Beacon (Pic: Walsall Council)
Bands on the Beacon (Pic: Walsall Council)

30 musical acts will be taking over the Beacon in this year’s two day Bands on the Beacon extravaganza.

Music fans will be treated to a large variety of musical genres from classic rock to a dash of pop at this year’s family-friendly festival being held on Saturday and Sunday 27 and 28 June from 12.30pm-6pm on both days.

Commenting on this year’s event Councillor Adrian Andrew, chair of Barr Beacon Trust, said: “If you enjoy music you won’t just like the bands on the beacon event this year, you will love it!

“We have selected 30 of some of the best live music acts around for this year’s two day event and it looks set to be a really great family occasion with music to suit all tastes.

“This year we are calling on music fans to do their bit to help make sure that we keep the Bands on the Beacon an annual event.

“You don’t often get a chance to see such a large selection of live acts for such a small cost and ticket sales will help to go a long way to keep the bands on the beacon flag flying.“

On Saturday 27 June the main stage includes: Klasside, Medusa Rising, Khaliq, Pleasure House, Soley Mourning, George’s FLW and finishing with Esther Turner.

The Sunday 28 June line up for the main stage includes: The Interpreters Regale, Sunday 44, Dinky, Hidden Skies, World Service and finishes with The Sherlocks.

The Saturday 27 June line up for the acoustic stage includes: Strumpit, James Atwood, Rumours of Spring, Demi Marriner, Ellie Windwood, Molly GH, Theo Born Musician and Lisa Jayne Garratt

On Sunday 28 June the acoustic stage includes: Kadaridris, Leah Astbury, Sarah Martyn, New Spirit, Mike ‘irv’ Swift, Joshua Sole, Elmore Row and Eeek.

To accompany this musical extravaganza Walsall’s very own award winning Backyard Brewhouse will have a selection of their finest offerings available on both days.

Tickets for the event are now available for sale from specialist secure ticketing website TicketsSource. Running from 12.30pm-6pm each day, adults cost £4, children aged 5 to 15 are ‘A quid a kid’ and under fives can come for free.

All tickets are valid for one day, include free parking and are inclusive of a booking fee. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

For updates and to check out some of the bands visit Bands on the Beacon’s Facebook page or go to www.bandsonthebeacon.co.uk.

Walsall arboretum visitor centre opens

Walsall Arboretum's new visitor centre (pic Walsall Council)
Walsall Arboretum’s new visitor centre (pic Walsall Council)

A new visitor’s centre at Walsall Arboretum opened its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday 23 May.

Located in the heart of the park adjacent to the Centre Green it features a cafeteria, changing rooms, classroom, a meeting room, new toilet and baby changing facilities and offices.

Councillor Khizar Hussain, portfolio holder for leisure and culture with Walsall Council, stated: “I am overjoyed at the standard with which the new visitors centre has been finished.

“This brand new and prestigious facility is a major asset for the Arboretum and as was expected adds a definite wow factor to an already valuable resource.

“Visitors will now benefit from a truly fantastic building which offers some wonderful resources.

“The abundant wild bird population, varieties of trees, insects and plants can now be enhanced further by the use of this new facility as learning opportunity to groups wanting to use the parks new centre.

“Willmott Dixon Ltd has done a wonderful job on this multi-million pound restoration project and the integration of the original building has provided a really attractive addition.”

Work on the centre green will continue over the coming weeks and will be the final phase to the new facilities external landscaping.

Walk the Fair with the Mayor!

Walking the Fair
‘Walking the Fair’ is a centuries-old tradition in Walsall

This Friday, 24 April sees the annual ‘Walking the Fair’ event in Walsall.

Each year the Mayor, guests and townsfolk walk the symbolic route through the town centre and Walsall Market in recognition of the vital role that markets play in establishing enterprise in the town.

According to its organisers Walsall Civic Society, the age-old walk is steeped in history and dates back as far as 1662. It heralds the opening of annual fairs, or markets and celebrates the town’s right to trade. This right was originally granted in Walsall’s charter by King Charles I.

The Mayor of Walsall, Peter Smith will lead this year’s celebration from the town centre.

He said, “This is a vibrant and colourful event and a highlight of my Mayoral Year. It is important to value heritage events like Walking the Fair as it not only keeps the tradition alive, but provides entertainment for local people.  I’m delighted to be taking part and look forward to chatting to our time honoured traders along the way.”

Walking the Fair 2014 - then Mayor Cllr Mohammad Nazir leads (Pic: Stuart Williams)
Walking the Fair 2014 – then Mayor Cllr Mohammad Nazir leads (Pic: Stuart Williams)

The opening to the walk starts at 10.30am in the square outside The Crossing at St Paul’s in Darwall Street, adjacent to the Bus Station.

Performance highlights from outside the church include a special ‘Sister Dora Dance’ from The Glorishears of Brummagem Morris dancers, and a special call to order from the Town Crier, Cyril Richardson,  who will then give readings from the Ruffus Charter of 1225, the town’s oldest document.

The procession, which is expected to last an hour, will then cross The Bridge and move up Bradford Street and  through the Market, where the Mayor will meet with traders who have collected gifts for his charity.

All are welcome to join in the walk.

Businesses encouraged to ‘Meet the Buyer’

Artists impression of the 'Light' cinema now under construction
Artists impression of the ‘Light’ cinema now under construction

Small businesses and sole traders who work in the construction and supply industries are being given the chance to pitch their products and services to developers who are working on three exciting projects in Walsall.

Walsall businesses are being urged to attend Walsall’s third Meet the Buyer event at Walsall College’s Wisemore campus on Thursday 30 April to find out about contracts on offer at the two new leisure centres in Bloxwich and Oak Park and the new cinema and retail development at Walsall Waterfront.

More than 60 local businesses attended the last Meet the Buyer event in November, which centred around the £26m Darlaston highways improvement scheme, the new £11m Business and Sports Hub at the college and the £3.2m HQ for Jhoots Pharmacy.

Construction firm ISG is working with Walsall Council to deliver both leisure centres, which will include a 25 metre eight lane swimming pool, teaching/learner pool, six court sports hall, 100 station fitness suite, dance studio, two squash courts, cafe, artificial turf pitch and additional car parking spaces for each centre.

Both sites are expected to be completed by Summer next year.

Kier Property – through their appointed contractor G F Tomlinson Group – is behind the £12m, eight screen The Light Cinema development, which will provide around 5,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, including four restaurants, Chiquito, Pizza Express, Bella Italia and Hungry Horse.

Both developers are keen to work with local suppliers and tradespeople to ensure Walsall businesses benefit from each project.

ISG Regional director Jon James, said: “This event is an open invitation to all those high-quality construction trade specialists looking to learn more about the opportunities associated with this key leisure scheme.

“The region has a wealth of skills and expertise that we are looking to deploy on the construction of the Oak Park and Bloxwich leisure centres, and we are determined that the scheme will create a skills legacy that will not only benefit the local economy, but also the wider construction industry.”

Andy Sewards, managing director at G F Tomlinson Group added: “We’re delighted to be involved in such an important regeneration project on Walsall’s Waterfront which is helping to create new job opportunities and grow the local economy. We’re committed to working closely with all stakeholder partners and local people to ensure this new leisure complex development is the best it can be to meet the needs of the local community.”

The event is open to businesses who are already involved in commercial contracts and to those who are interested in moving into this field.

Simon Neilson, Walsall Council’s executive director for economy and environment, said: “It is one of our top priorities to ensure that local businesses and our residents who are self-employed are given the opportunity to work with these key developers to boost the economy in Walsall by creating new and safeguarding existing jobs.

“We want to ensure that every investment we and our partners make into Walsall is an investment in our economic future.”

Local firms will have access to one-to-one business advice and the opportunity to meet with the developers to help businesses grow and access the supply chain.

To find out more and to book your place at the event please visit Eventbrite atwalsall-mtb-apr15.eventbrite.co.uk or contact Andrew Clayton in Walsall Council’s Employment Growth Team on 01922 654468 or emailAndrew.Clayton@walsall.gov.uk.

Beacon concert tickets on sale

Bands on the Beacon (Pic: Walsall Council)
Bands on the Beacon (Pic: Walsall Council)

Music lovers are now able to grab their place at the boroughs highest music festival, the Bands on the Beacon happening this June.

Taking place over two days for the first time since the event started in 2010, the family friendly music event will provide a variety of pop, rock and funk soundtracks to accompany the 360 views on offer from one of the regions premier landmarks.

Tickets for the event are now available for sale from specialist secure ticketing website TicketsSource. Running from 12.30pm-6pm each day, adults cost £4, children aged 5 to 15 are ‘A quid a kid’ and under fives can come for free.

All tickets are valid for one day, include free parking and are inclusive of a booking fee. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Barr Beacon Monument by C. Manning (Wikimedia Commons)
Barr Beacon Monument by C. Manning (Wikimedia Commons)

Councillor Adrian Andrew, chair of Barr Beacon Trust which has pledged £5,000 to the event said: “There is a lot of excitement about this year’s Bands on the Beacon festival. New and established local bands will be showcasing their talent on the two stages throughout the two days promising a fantastic opportunity to enjoy some live music in a stunning setting.”

Wayne Moseley, local businessman, and one of the event’s organisers and sponsors said: “Details of the line up will be announced shortly. We can guarantee that the audience will be treated to high quality acts performing on both days as well as the opportunity to sample locally produced ales, food and crafts”.

Tickets can be obtained online by visiting http://cms.walsall.gov.uk/bands_on_the_beacon or by visiting  www.facebook.com/bandsonthebeacon and following the link to the TicketsSource page

News and Heritage for Bloxwich and District