Beacon Hotel dog ban rubs owners up the wrong way

The Beacon Hotel is calling time on dog owners who take their canine companions to the pub

For years, this historic Sedgley pub has been a popular place for local dog owners to relax with their four-legged friends while enjoying a pint of real ale brewed on the premises.

However, that might all be about to change after John Hughes, owner of the Beacon Hotel and the Sarah Hughes brewery, announced a complete ban on any canine companions from the end of October – a move which has angered many dog owners.

One regular and dog owner, Julie Caswell, from Coseley, says: “I’m gutted that they’ve decided to ban dogs from the pub – it’s more custom for the Stump (Mount Pleasant) then. How very short-sighted Mr Hughes!”

The Beacon Hotel, Sedgley

According to staff at the Beacon, the ban is due to concerns about furniture getting damaged and the safety of other customers and their children. It follows on from an incident last year, when a regular and his dog, Toby, were barred after damage was allegedly caused to plants in the Victorian pub’s conservatory.

As part of the ban, dogs will not be allowed inside the pub or outside in the beer garden – something which many people feel could result in the pub losing a great deal of trade.

“It’s no more Surprise for us sadly,” adds Julie, lamenting the fact she and her partner will no longer be able to enjoy the pub’s popular ales, which include Pale Amber, Surprise bitter and the famous Dark Ruby Mild.  “It’s just a shame responsible dog owners have to suffer because of a minority who can’t control their dogs.”

Are you a local dog owner and regular of the Beacon Hotel? What do you think of the ban?

Get in touch and share your views with us here at Sedgleyscene.
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Staff at The Clifton spill the beans for charity

Siana Palmer, left, and Charlotte Jordan, right, are feeling full of beans

Baked beans will definitely be off the menu in future for two members of staff at a popular Sedgley pub.

Because, to raise money for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, Siana Palmer and Charlotte Jordan, who both work at Wetherspoon pub, The Clifton, spent five hours sharing a bathtub full of the tasty tinned dish.

“I wouldn’t mind, but I don’t actually like baked beans,” joked Charlotte, who, along with Siana, took the plunge into tomato sauce at 12 noon on Tuesday, August 30.

Despite their pulse predicament, the two girls spent until 5pm that day happily chatting to customers, friends and family members, while other members of staff brought them ample supplies of chocolates and magazines to make their fundraising feat a little more bearable.

Preparing for the event was tricky, since, unsurprisingly, neither of the two had ever sat in a bathtub full of beans before.

“I was getting ready thinking ‘what on Earth should I wear for this?'” explained Siana, “and, in the end, I decided the most important thing was a pair of socks so my feet didn’t get cold!”

However, despite wearing socks, both girls said the bath, which took 46 2.62 kg tins of baked beans to fill, felt decidedly chilly after five hours spent sitting in it. And, instead of a hot shower, the girls had a cold jet wash to look forward to at the end of their ordeal.

“I figured we’d already be cold, so getting blasted with icy water wouldn’t really make too much difference,” said Charlotte.

The event, which raised £57 in total, was part of a fundraising fortnight held at the pub to raise money for CLIC Sargent.

Organiser Janine Jordan, team leader at The Clifton, said that during their first hour immersed in beans, Charlotte and Siana had already raised £15, while the amount raised through other events at the pub was now more than £1,000.

The fun continues throughout the week, with a variety of other events including a paranormal supper on Wednesday, August 31, from 7pm.

Magician’s family fun day CLIC-ks with Clifton customers

Magician Colin Tighe dazzles youngsters with a card trick

Families at The Clifton were treated to a magical performance this Thursday, August 25, when local illusionist Coling Tighe dropped in to dazzle his audience and raise funds for charity.

The event was part of a fortnight of activities organised at the JD Wetherspoon pub in aid of children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent and proved to be a huge hit with customers of all ages.

“Our last event raised £2,035 for CLIC Sargent, so this year, we’re hoping to do even better,” says Janine Jordan, event organiser and team leader at the popular venue in Sedgley’s Bull Ring.

She adds: “We know people don’t always have a lot of spare cash to donate to charity, so we like to keep them entertained and give them something for their money.”

During Colin’s performance, his young audience looked on in wonder as he produced an impossibly long string of paper from his mouth, produced a colouring book that mysteriously coloured itself in and performed an amazing card trick where his participant’s chosen card was hidden inside an orange.

Sam Davenport, manager at The Clifton, was similarly impressed, saying:

“Colin’s an amazing performer and a huge hit with our customers.”

This event is part of a packed programme of entertainment planned during the charity fortnight, which includes staff sitting in a bath full of baked beans, a silent disco and a paranormal supper night next Wednesday, August 31 at 7pm, where a team of dedicated ghosthunters will investigate the former cinema’s upstairs area.

Once again, the event – which is now in its third year – has been supported by the Sedgley branch of Barclays, who have pledged to match any amount raised.

“The staff at Barclays pop in regularly for coffee,” explains Janine, “and they’re always happy to help raise funds so that CLIC Sargent can continue their excellent work.”

Sedgley magician Colin Tighe comes up trumps for charity

Colin Tighe performing an amazing card trick in the Beacon Hotel

Drinkers in pubs throughout Sedgley are used to people coming round collecting for charity, but one local magician and comedian has come up with a spellbinding method of raising funds to help others.

In order to raise money for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, Colin Tighe is performing a range of baffling card tricks for customers at Sedgley’s Wetherspoon pub, The Clifton, this Thursday, August 25.

And, in preparation for this event, the talented magician and comedian treated regulars at the Beacon Hotel to an impromptu display of trickery on Sunday evening.

Colin, aged 28, has been perfecting card tricks since the age of 16, when a visit to a magic shop in Leamore, Bloxwich, inspired him to take his first foray into the secretive world of illusion.

“I bought £20 of tricks that day, but when I got home and tried them, I couldn’t understand why they didn’t work,” he laughs.

“So, I went back to the shop the following week, where the guy behind the counter showed me how to perfect the tricks – he was a great inspiration to me in those days.”

Over time, Colin’s skills as a magician grew, although his family didn’t always take his hobby seriously.

“I loved watching magicians such as David Copperfield and Lance Burton on TV, but my dad, who wasn’t really into magic, wouldn’t always allow me to – he thought it was a bit silly,” explains Colin.

However, the young illusionist persevered, perfecting his tricks until he felt confident enough to perform them in bars across Wolverhampton.

“I’d go to the shop to buy tricks, then learn them on the bus going back to Sedgley,” he recalls. “Then, I’d go to places such as the Old Still and the Civic to try them out on people.

“I remember going into the Cobra Club and showing the girls who worked there card tricks,” he adds cheekily,  “and, there was a really funny time at the Civic, where the doorman searched my pockets and pulled out a bra (for a trick) and a collection of sponge balls!”

Colin, it seems, is never without props for his hilarious and often perplexing magic tricks.

While doing this interview for Sedgleyscene, he shuffles a pack of cards and then asks us to choose one – the king of spades.

He then shuffles the pack once more and pulls out what he thinks is my chosen card. However, when this turns out to be the ace instead, an apparently crestfallen Colin breaks off to answer his mobile phone.

Colin is raising funds for children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent

“Don’t laugh – my phone’s a bit old,” he smiles, before pulling a 1970s-style receiver from his bag. After talking to what he claims is the Magic Circle and explaining that the trick has gone wrong, he then hands the receiver to me.

“Of course, there’s no-one there,” he laughs, before asking me to unscrew the mouthpiece. Inside, there is a card, folded up. My card, the king of spades.

It’s an amazing trick and one which defies belief. Sleight of hand, distraction – however it’s explained, this is a dazzling and highly entertaining performance.

“If people like what I’ve done and I’ve connected with them by making them laugh, then it reflects on me as a performer,” explains Colin. “And, with regards to donating money to charity, it makes people much more likely to give.”

He’s not wrong. Colin’s half-hour stint in the Beacon on Sunday netted somewhere in the region of £40 for CLIC Sargent – something he aims to build upon during his afternoon performance on Thursday at The Clifton.

“Janine, the organiser of this event, is always looking at new ways to raise money for charity,” he explains. “So, when she found out I was a magician, she came up with the idea of performing tricks to raise money. I was more than happy to say yes.”

And, dazzling regulars at The Clifton is just the start of Colin’s commitment to charity. Next year, he plans to cycle from Sedgley to Cornwall, demonstrating tricks along the way to raise funds for the Youth Cancer Trust.

It’s clear this affable magician likes nothing better than helping others through performing tricks. And, this connection with his audience is what makes Colin stand out.

“Anyone can perform a magic trick,” he says, “but making it entertaining and leaving a lasting impression is more difficult.”

Colin’s tricks achieve not only that, but through raising money for charity, help leave a lasting impression upon the lives of many others.

Colin’s will be performing magic tricks at The Clifton, Sedgley from 12.30pm until 3pm on Thursday, August 25.

Visit his website to find out more about this hugely talented Sedgley-based magician and comedian.

Beacon Hotel gets a ghostly visit

Alex Marchant, general manager at the Beacon Hotel, Sedgely, with the mysterious beermats

For more than 40 years, this mysterious figure has ‘haunted’ pubs across the Black Country and Staffordshire, leaving only their calling card – an image of American opera singer and actor Mario Lanza drawn on a beermat accompanied by a quote and often signed simply AJW.

But now, bar staff and regulars at the Beacon Hotel, Sedgley, are one step closer to cracking the mystery of this local enigma – they know what he or she likes to eat for breakfast.

Because, along with beermats featuring newspaper clippings of the historic pub’s staff stuck to them, the mystery customer also left one with a receipt attached from Rob Newey Butchers in Kingswinford, listing home-cured streaky bacon as one of the items.

“He or she must have been in the pub around 12.30pm on Friday, July 15 ,” says general manager, Alex Marchant, who was delighted to find several beermats dedicated to her in reference to the pub’s recent Camra award.

“And, when I checked the CCTV later, I saw a figure get up to leave with what looked like a range of beermats on their table.”

But, despite having captured this famous ‘ghost’ on camera, Alex remains tight-lipped as to this individual’s identity.

She jokes: “I’m not telling anyone who he or she really is – especially not a member of the Press!”

The mystery fan of Mario Lanza – a tenor and Hollywood movie star who died in 1959 – has continued to arouse interest since the first beermats were discovered in the early 1970s.

Over the years, this secretive spectre has displayed a keen interest in local news stories, referring at one time to nearby Woolaston as the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ when there was a large rise in numbers of missing pets there.

As well as being the subject of a documentary by professional filmmaker Barney Snow, AJW even has a Facebook page set up in his or her honour, which currently has 159 members.

And, since many beermats now also include reference to this, along with email address, theblobologist@yahoo.co.uk, some local people think it may now be a younger person who has taken up the role of Mario Lanza’s ghostwriter.

But Alex isn’t giving any clues away. “He could be a younger person, he could be older,” she says, before adding with a smile, “but I’m still not telling.”

Have you recently found one of these famous beermats or already own a collection?

Get in touch with us at Sedgleyscene – we’d love to hear your thoughts.

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