Black Country friends say ‘Balls to Cancer’ with 62.5 mile challenge

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The four friends celebrate after completing their gruelling run recently

Four friends from the Black Country have completed a once in a lifetime challenge this weekend and raised over £6,500 for a local charity in the process.

Dave Bytheway, Ian Bytheway, Nick Cockburn and Nigel Bolton ran 62.5 miles from Richmond Park in London to Brighton Racecourse in under 15 hours.

 

The intrepid quartet, who came up with the fundraising idea over a few pints in the local, smashed their fundraising target by over £1500 and will now buy Balls to Cancer its first pop-up screening clinic.

This investment will be taken to events across the UK to provide a discreet place for men to be checked out for all forms of cancer in the hope that early detection will save lives.

“When we dreamed up this challenge none of us thought we’d actually hit the 15 hour mark, let alone beat it by nearly 15 minutes…it’s a great feeling, especially when we saw how much we had eventually raised,” explained Dave, who is a director at Bytheway Accountants in Sedgley.

“Running 62.5 miles or 100km was hard work, especially in the heat and up some big hills, including the famous South Downs as you come into Brighton.”

He continued: “We all stayed together as a team and to see so many of our friends and family at the finishing line made it all worthwhile. The fact we managed to raise so much money and can now help Balls to Cancer buy the pop-up screening clinic was the icing on the cake.”

London to Brighton Challenge

Team Running on Empty spent six months getting ready for the London to Brighton Challenge.

This involved a 500-mile training programme, which included two ultra races, 4 marathons, 2 half marathons and the infamous Groundhog Marathon – 105 laps of Telford Athletic Stadium.

The hard work paid off, with the Black Country runners finishing in the top 150, out of a total of 1900 runners, joggers and walkers.

Nigel Bolton, a firefighter at Walsall Fire Station, picked up the story: “All of this has only been made possible thanks to the backing of some great local companies that have helped us buy training equipment and got our fundraising efforts off to a flying start.

“With this in mind, a big thank you to Bytheway Accountants, Conveyor Units, J Hartill Installations, Danks Cockburn Communications and Jacks Café and Bar in Wolverhampton.”

Team Running on Empty is planning its next big challenge, with early talks focusing on a 100-mile run next year.

Donations to Balls to Cancer are still welcome by visiting www.justgiving.com/londonbrighton2013.

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No Ugly Ducklings at Swan Inn Ladies’ Fayre

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Feel pampered at the forthcoming Ladies’ Fayre in Sedgley

Sedgley ladies can feel pampered and preened in time for summer with a packed programme of fun and retail therapy coming soon to the Swan Inn.

The Ladies’ Fayre event will be held on Thursday, May 30, at the popular pub in Gospel End Street, Sedgley, from 6.30-9.30pm.

Entry is free, children are welcome and there is also a beer garden and outside play area should the sun be shining! Mickey and Minnie Mouse will also be popping in to put a smile on youngsters’ faces from 6.30-7.30pm.

Organiser, Shelley Simpson, has put together a superb range of stalls for visitors to enjoy, including:

Belle’s Baby Boutique: Belle specialises in personalised baby gifts and hampers. She will be there on the night with a large selection of clothes, gifts and accessories just for baby! Personalised orders can be ordered with her for collection on the night of the fayre.

LB Jewellery: Beautiful costume jewellery at fantastic prices, handbags, purses, scarves and lots more.

Charlie’s mom’s chocolate factory: Home-made chocolates, hot chocolate spoons and personalised chocolate pizzas!

Auntie Mary’s: Home-made soaps and bath bombs.

Molly’s Buttons: Handmade button brooches and wine charms, stunning items.

Enchanted Dove Release: A wonderful business providing a service for weddings/christenings/funerals with beautiful doves

Mrs Bouquet: Beautiful floral arrangements, sweet trees, balloons and lots more

Bodyshop at Home: Bodyshop products

Partylite: A chance to view Partylite products and also purchase on the night

Cute as a Button: Beautiful keepsake bears made from your babys own grows and vests

SpareLetters: Wooden names, plaques and more decorated to your own colour schemes

Forever Living products

This event promises to be a huge success and fun for all the family, with Shelly adding: “Parking is available on the night, but if the car park is full please use the car park at the back of Monty’s wine bar.”

The Swan Inn is situated in Gospel End Street, Sedgley, DY3 3LP.

Email Shelley at shelleybabybaskets@yahoo.co.uk for more information

 

Stagecoach Inns to Indian Cuisine – a Tasty History of Dining Out in Wolverhampton

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Tandoori chicken is now an essential dish of the menus of many local restaurants

Sedgley residents can get their teeth into a fascinating talk on how eating out locally has changed over the years at the next meeting of Sedgley Local History Society.

The talk, Stagecoach Inns to Indian Cuisine, will take place on Thursday, May 9, at 7:30 pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley after a brief Annual General Meeting.

Samantha Badger, winner of the 2012 Wolverhampton Local History Symposium, aims to tickle the tastebuds with her presentation tracing the history of eating out and takeaways in Wolverhampton. Her diligent research has unearthed great stories from 1800 to 1970, so on the way, expect to hear about Black Country favourites such as pies, fish and chips and the advent of more exotic foods.

During the talk, Sam will be serving up a feast of historical titbits (sorry no food!) in what promises to be a most enjoyable evening.

As usual visitors are invited to come along.  Individual talks cost £1.

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St John’s Church, Kates Hill, Dudley

Sedgley Local History Society June Visit

Thursday, June 13 will see Sedgley Local History Society embark on an  evening visit to St. John’s Church in Kates Hill, guided by this historic landmark’s  preservation group.

As previously mentioned on this site, St John’s is a building of huge historical significance which dates back to 1840. Professor Carl Chinn, MBE, is patron of the preservation group, which works hard to raise awareness and generate support for this worthy local campaign.

This event will be starting at 7pm from the adjacent car park in St. John’s Road, access from Waddam’s Pool.  Coffee/tea and biscuits will be provided.

Anyone wishing to visit St. John’s should contact Sedgley Local History Society’s George Blackham via email as this will help them organise the evening.

Discover why females and real ale are a beautiful combination

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TV presenter Marverine Cole will be inviting local ladies to sample the best regional real ales

Sarah Hughes, Ma Pardoe, Sally Perry. Throughout Sedgley and the rest of the Black Country, women have always played an integral part in the history of real ale. And, with the numbers of women drinking real ale on the increase, local ladies who’d like to learn more about the region’s fine brewing heritage can put their taste buds to the test this week.

An evening of ale and fun is guaranteed at The Jolly Crispin this Thursday, 18th April, as part of CAMRA’s Community Pubs Month, hosted by Sedgley’s newest purveyors of fine crafted ales, Fownes Brewing Company.

For the ladies, the fun begins at 6pm in the lounge, with an ale tasting session hosted by Marverine Cole (Beer Beauty). Tickets are £10 in advance, purchased either from The Jolly Crispin or directly from the brewery by emailing info@fownesbrewing.co.uk. Ticket holders will have great fun trying a range of Fownes ales, learning about foods that match well with particular beer styles and get a Fownes Brewery bag. Marverine is an accredited beer sommelier who appears regularly on TV and will ensure all the ladies come away having enjoyed themselves and being more knowledgeable about beer. So, why not get a group of friends together and come along for a great evening out?

From 8pm gents will be able to rejoin the ladies in the lounge and listen to Ali Capper from the British Hop Association talk about the UK hop industry and the essential ingredient British farmers produce for traditional English beers. Also, John Edgar will be performing the latest instalment in the tale of Korvak to celebrate the launch of Korvak’s Triumph: Honey Porter.

Those loyal customers who’ve finished collecting all 8 ales on their card and returned them by the 31st March will receive their Fownes Brewing Co. T-shirts.

On the bar will be three new Fownes ales: Korvak’s Triumph: 5.2% Honey Porter, Storyteller: 4.7%  Bitter and Best of British Hops: 4.3% Cascade. Guests can also enjoy a range of food made with Fownes’ ales, including Frost Hammer beer biscuits and Korvak’s beer cake as well as a large cake shaped like a hop cone.

The bearded drinking fraternity can also take part in the brewery’s  Beard of the Year competition by having their photo taken and submitted to the website.

Popping down the local turns into 62.5 mile challenge for Black Country friends

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Team Running on Empty limber up for their grueling marathon challenge

A quick trip down the pub has turned into the challenge of a lifetime for four novice runners from the Black Country.

Dave Bytheway, Ian Bytheway, Nick Cockburn and Nigel Bolton are swapping their day jobs as an accountant, financial director, sprinkler fitter and firefighter to run 62.5 miles – in 15 hours – as part of the grueling London to Brighton challenge on May 25th.

The intrepid quartet – nicknamed ‘Team Running on Empty’ – are looking to pound the streets, hills and pathways of South-east England to raise £5,000 for Balls to Cancer, a local charity established by Mark Bates to fund male cancer awareness, education and research.

As part of their 500-mile strong training programme they will complete two ultra races, four marathons, two half marathons and the infamous Groundhog Marathon – 105 laps of Telford Athletic Stadium.

Dave Bytheway, director at Bytheway Accountants and the inspiration behind the challenge, explained: “We were having a few beers down the pub when somebody threw down the gauntlet of running 62.5 miles.

“None of us are affiliated to a running club and, although we were all decent footballers in our day, I think it’s safe to say we’d hung up our boots for the real ale. Still, a challenge is a challenge and we just needed something to get behind to make it all worthwhile.”

He went on to add: “I’d heard about the excellent work Mark and his family were doing in setting up Balls to Cancer and I liked the fact it was helping to support men with cancer. We had another chat down the pub and the rest is history.”

Black Country businesses pledge their support for Balls To Cancer

‘Team Running on Empty’ has received overwhelming support from the local business community, with Conveyor Units and Bytheway Accountants pledging their support as main sponsors.

Jacks Café and Bar, located in Frederick Street in Wolverhampton, is also lending its backing, hosting regular meetings and a major fundraising event on March 22nd..

More than 200 people have already snapped up tickets for the charity night, which will see the King (Les Rivers) go head-to-head with Shoddy Woddy, a mega raffle and an all-star auction featuring memorabilia from Wolves’ Wayne Hennessey, Talksport and many other celebrities and sports stars.

Nick Cockburn concluded: “£5,000 is our target and we are already well on the way to achieving that. I think that will make us one of Balls to Cancer’s biggest one-off fundraisers!

“I’m sure by the 60th mile, we’ll all be wishing we hadn’t escaped for that cheeky pint down the pub.”

To make a donation,  visit www.justgiving.com/londonbrighton2013 or text Daft62 £5 to 70070.

If you would like to see the guys run 13 miles in their least favourite football shirt (Nick: Spurs, Dave: Wolves, Ian: Blues and Nigel: West Bromwich Albion) then contact Nick to place your special donation on 07792 383358.

Consider Yourself an actor? Family-run local theatre company issues appeal

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The flyer for Phoenix Theatre’s forthcoming performance of Oliver

Aspiring actors in Sedgley are being urged to tread the boards for an exciting new production of the classic musical, Oliver, which will take place at Dormston Mill Theatre next February.

The event will be the first production from Phoenix Theatre, a  new Wolverhampton-based company that aims to produce high quality musical theatre productions.

Choreographer and spokesperson, Lindsey Grant, says: “Phoenix Theatre is run by families for families and we intend to create a local community that encourages all kinds of talent. Having been formed by a like-minded group of people, Phoenix Theatre displays a wealth of theatrical expertise both onstage and behind the scenes. And, organisers hope that the invaluable experience and knowledge showcased by the group’s founders will ensure Phoenix ‘rises to new heights’ of popular entertainment.”

Phoenix Theatre embraces all theatrical talent, from set-building to stage performers and is looking to recruit an array of people to become part of its exciting new team. Company auditions will take place on Wednesday, 8th May, and producer Jan Cole and Choreographer Lindsey Grant will be looking for ensemble, dancers and children to star in this new and exciting production.
Phoenix is proud to announce that Oliver! will be performed at the Dormston Mill Theatre, Sedgley, from Tuesda,y 4th February 2014  until Saturday 8th February 2014.
If you ‘Consider Yourself’ interested in this exciting  new venture and want to find out more, contact Phoenix on: phoenixtheatreco@hotmail.com , visit the website: www.phoenixtheatreco.co.uk and follow them on Twitter: @PhoenixTheatreC
 

Take a nostalgic tour of old Tipton with Sedgley Local History Society

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The Crown and Cushion pub, Tipton, pictured in the early 20th century

The next meeting of  Sedgley Local History  Society takes place on Thursday, 14th March, at 7:30 pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley.

The speaker is Keith Hodgkins, vice chairman of Tipton Civic Society and passionate Black Country heritage campaigner. Keith’s archive photographs of Tipton show the town from the 1900s to the 1970s.

Tipton, (recorded in Domesday), became a municipal borough in 1938 surrounded by Wednesbury, West Bromwich, Rowley Regis, Dudley, and Coseley. The longest boundary was with Coseley Urban District binding its history closely with the old Sedgley Manor.

The evening is sure to delight past and present Tiptonians and remind people about the old Black Country boundaries.

As usual visitors are invited to come along. Individual talks cost £1.

Take a look at the  Tipton Civic Society website here