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

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: , visit the website: and follow them on Twitter: @PhoenixTheatreC

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

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

Huge turnout for Sedgley MBE George Cox

George Cox, MBE

There was a huge turnout at the funeral of George Cox, MBE at All Saints’ Church, Sedgley, on Friday 1st March.

Lining the path to the 3pm service in church was a guard of honour consisting of Sedgley Scouts and Sedgley Morris Men, who George knew and worked with over the years.

There was a Bible reading from John 14 by George’s brother-in-law Dave Towner and tributes by Andrew his son and granddaughter Elisabeth. Andrew spoke at length about George’s life, with special mention of his military service in World War II with the Royal Marines, his long career with Mander’s in Heath Town, Wolverhampton and the award of his MBE by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2009 for services to the Sedgley community.

See the gallery below for a slideshow of images in memory of this much-loved Sedgley resident.

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Sedgley Local History Society pays tribute to community figures

Sedgley Local History announced sad news this week when it revealed the recent deaths of two stalwarts of the local community.
George Cox, who was a keen member of 1st Sedgley Scouts

George Cox died on Friday, 15th February, aged 89. He was a trustee of the now closed Sedgley Local History Museum and a past president of Sedgley Local History Society with a membership dating back to the 1980s.

Having worked for renowned Wolverhampton-based paint and printing ink company, Mander Brothers Limited, for 41 years, George regularly gave entertaining and fascinating talks on this prosperous period in local history. He was also a popular member of the local community, being active with 1st Sedgley Scouts from around 1960, before writing a book on their history in 1994. A devoted Wolverhampton Wanderers fan,  he amassed  an impressive collection of football-related memorabilia and was also a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for more than 20 years.
George had a strong interest in local heritage, providing the late chairman of Sedgley Local History Society, Trevor Genge, with photos and information for countless books. From 2001, he was involved in the Imperial War Museum project to record all war memorials, where he collected details and visited more than 60 sites.

At Dudley’s first annual civic awards in 2004, he was awarded the Frank Foley award for community service for his work in scouting, and in June 2009 the MBE for services to the community.

A tribute from 1st Sedgley Scouts can be viewed here –

The funeral service for George Cox will take place at All Saints Church, Sedgley, on Friday, 1st March 2013 at 3 pm.

Remembering local pioneer, Jack Wilson

Another sad loss announced by Sedgley Local History is that of Jack Wilson, who died on Saturday, 16th February, aged 94.

Jack was a Labour councillor with unbroken service from 1949 until retirement in 2002. He represented his home town of Coseley on Coseley UDC (1949 to 1966, Chairman in 1959), Staffordshire CC and Dudley MBC (1966 to 2002, Mayor 1975/76).
Jack masterminded the Coseley Baths project and led pioneering changes to the Staffordshire fire service and was involved in opening 14 new stations.

In Dudley, as Chairman of Education, he oversaw the introduction of comprehensive education.

He became a Freeman of the Borough in 1989 and was awarded an MBE in 1989.

The funeral service for Jack Wilson will take place at Providence Baptist Chapel, Coseley , on Wednesday, 6th March 2013, at 2 pm.

Sedgley historian looks to unearth history of The Limes

the limes-sedgley-ron-baker
A drawing by Ron Baker, of The Limes as it might have looked in its Victorian heyday.

A Sedgley historian is appealing to local residents to get in touch with any information relating to landmark property, The Limes, which was the former residence of famous Black Country chainmaker, Eliza Tinsley.

The early Victorian house, located on the corner of Dudley Road and Catholic Lane, is currently being turned into flats after standing empty for many years. And, to help future generations and prospective buyers learn more about this iconic building’s history,  Dudley Council  has asked Martin Jones to help gather information and photos from local people to produce an interpretation panel explaining its history.

Piecing together the history of The Limes

Martin, who organised the popular exhibition ‘Sedgley’s Diamond 60’ last year to coincide with the Queen’s Jubilee, says:  “We want local residents who may have lived or worked at The Limes since the war to come forward so we can piece together this historic building’s recent story.”

The Limes was built by the Tinsleys in around 1851, shortly before Thomas Tinsley died, probably from cholera. His wife Eliza carried on the family business, expanding it dramatically to the point where she employed over 4,000 outworkers in Cradley Heath in 1871.

Researchers have traced subsequent owners up to World War II, but its more recent past is sketchy. During the war it was used by firewatchers, Air Raid Patrol and the Auxiliary Fire Service, and during the 1960s by Sedgley Urban District Council as offices, until the abolition of the authority. After that a computer company rented it before it was vacated and became derelict.

Martin can be contacted on 07947 068023 or

Swap Cupid for historic crime this Valentine’s Day

Sedgley residents fed up with Valentine’s Day can follow their passion for historic crimes instead next week, when well-known Wednesbury historian, Ian Bott, presents an illustrated talk on Black Country murders.

The event, on Thursday, 14th February, forms the next meeting of Sedgley Local History Society and promises to take visitors back to the early 20th century with a rich catalogue of gruesome crimes – some of which still remain unsolved.

Ian, an accomplished author who has complied his ghoulish findings into a book, Dark Secrets From Murder Casebook, says:  “From bustling high streets to quiet, leafy parks – it is never easy to know where some of the Black Country’s most gruesome murders have taken place.”

“We are often blissfully unaware of the darker secrets that are hidden in the past of housing estates, town centres and parks.”

Historic Crimes in Sedgley

The historic village of  Sedgley has been home to many curious incidents, including the suicide of a bankrupt steelmaster in Turl’s Hill House before the 1930s.

During World War II, the allegedly haunted building was used to house Belgian refugees, earning it the nicknames of ‘The Belgian Yard’ or ‘The Belgians’ before being demolished in the late 1960s.

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

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

Spring into action at Sedgley Community Centre

As Sedgley residents wave goodbye to winter and look forward to warmer, sunnier weather in 2013, there’s a packed programme of events lined up at the community centre to keep everyone entertained.

Many more events will be added as the year progresses – this is intended as an overview of confirmed events so far.

  • 16th February 2013 Coffee Morning followed by Fish and Chip Lunch
  •  20th April 2013 Coffee Morning
  •  18th May 2013 Spring Fair and Ploughman’s Lunch
  •  15th June 2013  Coffee Morning
  •  29th June 2013 Afternoon – Strawberry Fair
  •  20th July 2013 Coffee Morning
  •  17th August 2013 Annual Flower Show
  • 21st September 2013 Harvest Coffee and Ploughman’s Lunch
  • 19th October 2013 Coffee Morning
  • 16th November 2013 Victorian Christmas Fayre – Pork Sandwich Lunch
  • 7th December 2013 Afternoon – Christmas Concert

Sedgley Community Centre is situated in Ladies Walk, Sedgley. Call 01902 678490 for more information on any of the above events.

Ann’s Finest Foods helps spice up shopping in Sedgley

The shelves at Ann’s are stocked with authentic ingredients

While some larger town centres are struggling to offer shoppers a wide range of choice, one new food store in Sedgley is defying the odds and helping keep the village a bustling retail centre.

Mee’s Thai at the Bull’s Head in Bilston Street is already one of Sedgley’s most popular restaurants, so when owner, Ann, decided to open up a store selling fresh Thai produce, she knew there’d be a healthy demand among locals and visitors from across the West Midlands.

She explains: “Before our shop was launched, it was quite difficult to obtain a decent selection of necessary Thai ingredients in most of the West Midlands. Even in Birmingham, with a diverse Asian population, most of the Asian supermarkets offer products at relatively high prices with dates of manufacture going back 1-2, even 3 years.

“Since opening Ann’s Finest Foods, we’ve been serving not only the local community who have developed a taste for Thai cuisine, but also immigrant Asian customers who are pleased to know they can order a large selection of fresh, quality products at prices lower than the larger stores can offer.”

Authentic Thai ingredients instore or online

Anyone who loves the fresh tastes and aromas of authentic Thai cuisine will be impressed at the range of authentic produce stocked in Ann’s shop. Exotic fresh ingredients such as Thai mushrooms, lychees, galangal, lemongrass and Thai coriander line the shelves, while there is a huge range of oils, sauces, noodles, rice and frozen delicacies to choose from.

Because she’s committed to only selling authentic Thai ingredients, Ann doesn’t stock any of the brands that might be found on the shelves of a supermarket. She explains: “There are a few companies that offer pre-made, relatively expensive, packaged ‘Thai’ soups and sauces with adjusted flavors that aren’t genuine. We try to avoid selling these as a matter of principle. Everything found in our store is something you’d find in a kitchen in Thailand.”

Ann’s Finest Foods is open all week and is located at 20, High Street. Alternatively, visit the website here, which has lots of useful information and recipes for anyone who loves real Thai food.




Sam takes the plunge for Alzheimer’s Society

Sticking to your New Year resolutions? One Black Country boy certainly is!

Sam Britton, a 23 year old marketing executive from Dudley, has taken it upon himself to raise at least £100 for the Alzheimer’s Society by swimming 100 lengths without a break – the equivalent of 2.5 kilometres or nearly two miles, which will take him an hour to complete.

The challenge will take place at 12 noon on 2nd March, Wombourne Leisure Centre, Ounsdale Road.

Sam said: “It’s not going to be easy, at the moment I can only manage 10-15 lengths before I need a break. Plus after a festive season full of turkey, mince pies and the occasional pint I now have to stick to a strict diet and several hours’ training in the pool every week.

“Four years ago my family and I were directly affected by Alzheimer’s when I lost my nan to the disease. The Alzheimer’s Society helps the individual suffering with the disease and their family through what is a very difficult time.”

So, when you’re heading home after a tough day at the office to put your feet up, please spare a thought for Sam who will be heading to the pool for another training session.

If you would like to support Sam’s efforts and help him reach his £100 target, visit and pledge whatever you can. To keep up to date with his progress follow @sam_britto on Twitter.

More than 135,000 new cases of dementia occur in England and Wales alone every year – that’s one every 3.2 minutes.

The Alzheimer’s Society is a membership organisation that works to improve the quality of life of those affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For more information on Sam’s efforts please contact him at

Halloween Hocus Pocus at Dudley Zoo

Halloween fun – here’s 10-year-old Rhiannon Westwood and Kevin Adams, from Sedgley, entering into the Halloween spirit.

FANG-TASTIC! That was the verdict from witches, ghosties and ghoul friends who joined the Hocus Pocus family fun at Dudley Zoological Gardens last night.

Creepy Crawly Crafts and monster face painting took place in the Discovery Centre and Queen Mary Suite where there was also some very scary dancing!

Here’s 10-year-old Rhiannon Westwood and Kevin Adams, from Sedgley, entering into the Hallowe’en spirit.

There’s always something interesting going on at Dudley Zoo. Check out the daily updates in Latest ZooNooz at