Sunshine And Song In Sedgley This Weekend

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There is something for all the family in Sedgley this weekend with the Our Big Gig event at Baggeridge

Music lovers in Sedgley are spoilt for choice this weekend, with two superb events which are sure to make the glorious sunshine even more enjoyable.

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Our Big Gig is coming to Baggeridge Country Park near Sedgley this weekend

On Saturday, July 13th,  Baggeridge Country Park is the venue for Our Big Gig – a series of community music celebrations taking place across the country.

The Sedgley event, organised by South Staffordshire Council, features live music from 1pm until 5pm, with performances from Stolen Comfort, Ellowes Hall School Funk Band, Matt Gallis and My Girlfriend’s Last Boyfriend.

Visitors will also be able  to enjoy music played on the new giant outdoor xylophone and hopefully be able to help construct it!

Throughout the afternoon, there will be a variety on musical performances on offer, including folk, jazz and rock.  Music lovers can also enjoy open mic sessions, junk instrument making workshops and musical masterclasses.

Our Big Gig has been made possible thanks to funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government, Arts Council England and the National Lottery. Organised by local volunteers with assistance from not-for-profit arts organisation, Superact, the events are part of the government’s Olympics legacy commitment to reconnect communities and ensure the benefits of the Games are spread across the country long after the sporting events have ended.

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Enjoy the golden age of Music Hall at Dudley Canal Trust this weekend

Old-time Music Hall in The Cavern

This Sunday, lovers of the golden era of Music Hall can enjoy a canal boat cruise through the incredible caverns beneath Dudley while basking in the sounds of a much-loved bygone era. The Old Time Music Hall event is organised by Dudley Canal Trust Trips and promises to be a great way to round off a scorching weekend in Sedgley and the Black Country.

Sing along with classics from yesteryear, as the team from Funtime Theatre takes you back in time to a rich age of music, when songs such as ‘Teenager In Love’ and ‘Rhythm Of The Rain’ were staple tunes on Wurlitzer jukeboxes in coffee shops up and down the country.

Performances start at 7pm and 8.15pm on Sunday, July 14th. Tickets are £10 each and available from Dudley Canal Trust Trips on 0121 557 6265.

 

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Rookie the Reindeer invites runners and strollers to Baggeridge Country Park

RNLI mascot, Rookie the Reindeer, will be helping everyone get into the festive fun run spirit

Baggeridge Country Park near Sedgley is the venue for this year’s reindeer run – a fun event for all the family in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Runners and strollers are invited to take part in the charity’s first ever Reindeer Run fun run event, which takes place this Saturday, November 26. People of all levels – from beginners to experts – are invited to join in the festive fun and help raise vital funds for the charity that saves lives at sea.

Mascot Rookie the Reindeer and the RNLI team will be visiting Baggeridge for the first time and enjoying the breathtaking surroundings of this popular area of natural beauty. Baggeridge Country Park, which is run by South Staffordshire Council, has received the prestigious Green Flag Award for 13 consecutive years and welcomes more than 145,000 visitors a year. Rookie has already visited the course this week to ensure that all runners and supporters have the best family day out possible while supporting the RNLI.

Santa Saunter

The RNLI Reindeer Run is a 5k and 10k fun run suitable for all ages and abilities. There’s also a chance for the volunteer lifeboat crew’s younger supporters to join in the festive fun by taking part in the charity’s unique Santa Saunter– a walk or jog around Baggeridge Pool.

Charlotte Bird, RNLI events manager says: “Registration is now open for the RNLI Reindeer Run at Baggeridge Country Park. There’s a warm welcome for runners, walkers and strollers of all ages and abilities to join in the festive fun at the country park this November. Join the RNLI in this unique Christmas event and help save lives at sea across the UK and Irish coast.

‘There will be plenty of festive entertainment for family and friends to enjoy within the grounds as they support their loved ones across the course. Entry fees for the Reindeer Run are £18 for the 10K, £16 for the 5km and £7.50 for the Santa Saunter, with under fives entering for free. All participants will receive a T-shirt and a free pair of reindeer antlers and flashing red nose to speed them on their way and a mince-pie and hot drink at the finish line.”

To find out more about the RNLI Reindeer Run or future RNLI events contact Hannah Carling, RNLI events co-ordinator on 0121 780 6960 or e-mail events_west@rnli.org.uk.

Alternatively, visit the Baggeridge Country Park Facebook page or the RNLI website for further information.

Baggeridge and broomsticks for Halloween hoots

Councillor Joan Williams and Baggeridge Country Park manager Steve Gallis with some of the 'magic' potions made on the day

Baggeridge Country Park was the venue for some ghastly Halloween potions and witches’ brews this week, when a group of young people braved the wind and rain to learn about the medicinal uses and folklore of herbs.

The event was one of a series of activities held at the park in Gospel End Road, Sedgley, during half term, which aim to get local people involved with nature and the stunning countryside available on their doorstep. Other activities included making broomsticks from scratch using the natural materials available in abundance.

Park manager, Steve Gallis, says: “It was great to find that, despite it being a wet and pretty miserable afternoon,  eight young people turned up for potions class. We looked at the ‘magical’ medical uses and folklore of wild herbs and brewed up some bubbling potions – nobody minded about the rain!

“The potions class involved the use of a variety of fun ‘ingredients’ such as badger dribble, slug bile, dragons blood and unicorn tears – all completely made up for effect with coloured water mixed with bicarbonate of soda which, when mixed with the ‘magic’ ingredient (vinegar), gives a very impressive bubbling potion.

“Before mixing our witches’ brews, we had a look at a range of plants and the folklore and medicinal uses. We looked at willow, the bark of which was used to cure headache – not surprising really, as it contains salicylic acid, which is basically Aspirin.

“Other plants, such as like Yew, are really quite poisonous, although this now has a modern medicinal use as the poison Taxine, which has been used as the basis for the cancer drug Taxol.

“The tree which is supposed to protect against poisoning is the oak – apparently  a concoction of its bark protects you against poison. There may be some truth in this, as it would contain a lot of tannin which would probably stop the stomach from absorbing anything – never mind poison!

“We also looked at mugwort, which was believed to protect against magic spells. Another nice little tale about this plant says that if you bury a piece of coal under the mugwort, leave it a month then dig it up by the light of the full moon and then place it under your pillow, then that night you will dream of the person you are going to marry!

“A lot of people know St John’s wort, as it is widely used as a natural anti- depressant and was known back in the 1600’s as a ‘cure for the melancholy’.

“It also has an interesting bit of folklore about helping women who have difficulty getting pregnant. The tale suggests dancing naked around the St John’s wort plant. I can’t remember whether it was supposed to be by moonlight or at dawn, but either way, you can see how it might be effective!”

Steve is a mine of information and this event was no doubt helped by his regular informative updates on the country park’s Facebook page, which has shown how social media can become and invaluable tool for engaging the local community.

Since setting up the page earlier this year, Steve has seen increased interest in Baggeridge and its stunning landscape, which is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Subscribers regularly upload photos of the park in all its glory, revealing the

He says: “Some people don’t realise they’ve got all this wonderful nature on their doorstep. The Facebook page is a great way of publicising it and getting them involved.”

Formally the Baggeridge Colliery and part of the original Himley Estate of the Earls of Dudley, the site has now been transformed into 150 acres of attractive country park.

Baggeridge has numerous facilities for outdoor pursuits including the exciting new Aerial Ropes course. The quality of the park and its range of events has resulted in Baggeridge winning a national Green Flag award for the 13th year in a row.
Visit http://www.sstaffs.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=12695 to learn more about Baggeridge Country Park.

Go Walkies for guide dogs at Baggeridge

Go For Guide Dogs needs public support to continue its vital work

Local dog owners and their four-legged friends can put their best feet – or paws – forward at the end of this month to raise money for a guide dog charity.

The Go Walkies event, organised by the Bentley Bridge branch of Just For Pets, takes place on October 30 at Baggeridge Country Park, Sedgley, at 2pm.

During the walk, which lasts approximately an hour and a half, participants can get to meet other dog owners and have a great day out while raising funds for charity Go For Guide Dogs.

Previous events have been a great success, with many people choosing to walk the route in fancy dress and have fun while raising money for a worthwhile cause.

Families are welcome and shorter walks are also available on the day. Participants who don’t have a pooch are also encouraged to take part and can even add to the fun by dressing up as a canine companion.

A leisurely walk is something many people take for granted, but, for a blind or partially sighted person, it can be a huge challenge. By choosing to Go Walkies for Guide Dogs, people will be helping Go For Guide Dogs reach out to those people. The charity aims to get the whole country taking part and, during the first year of these events, at least 3,000 people took part nationwide.

Every penny raised is vital in helping Guide Dogs  keep its lifetime promise to provide each owner with a guide dog for as long as they need one. It’s a big promise but it’s one that is only possible with public support. For example, the total lifetime cost of a guide dog is more than £40,000 and each person can have up to eight dogs during their life.

The charity aims to increase the number of guide dog partnerships by a third by 2020. However, as Go For Guide Dogs receives no government funding, it depends upon the kindness of supporters to raise the necessary funding.

Visit the charity’s website or pop into the Bentley Bridge branch of Just For Pets for more information.