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.





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

Sedgley Woman Uncovers Memories of Dudley Zoo

Trainee keeper Alex Randle with the book about Dudley Zoo’s animal collection in the 1950s.

An old book discovered in the attic as she prepared to move house brought back fond memories of Dudley Zoological Gardens (DZG) for Mrs Lynette Collins of Sedgley recently.

Among the yellowing pages of 1960’s hardback The Zoo Keeper, by D H S Risdon, Lynette found a photograph of her late father-in-law, Ernie Collins, who headed up DZG’s Cats’ Section during the 1950s and early 60s.

 Lynette said: “The book is all about Dudley Zoo’s collection and reading it brought the memories flooding back and I remembered lots of stories Ernie used to tell about the zoo animals and staff.
“The photograph shows him cleaning out a leopard’s cage and the text explains the basic principles of zoo keeping, highlighting hard physical work and common sense as key to the job!”
She added: “I have donated the book to DZG archives as I’m sure they will find it most interesting.”

Insight into Dudley Zoo’s History

DZG Head of Media and Communications, Jill Hitchman, said: “The book offers a fascinating insight into DZG’s collection in the 1950s and early 60s and was written by Donald Risdon who was the zoo’s General Manager at that time.

 “It concludes with A Day in the Life of a Keeper, which is almost identical to today’s procedures and explains the importance of routine and commitment.
“One area that has changed is uniform – back in the 1950s staff used to wear a formal jacket and peaked cap, but modern-day zoo keepers wear more comfortable, casual, less restrictive clothes.”
She added: “The book has now been added to our new archives department and has already been passed around several members of staff who have found it very interesting reading.”


Appeal To Find Missing Sedgley Man Lee Whickett

Missing Sedgley man Lee Whickett has been missing from his Woodsetton home since Monday, August 20.

Dudley Police have today issued an appeal to help find the whereabouts of Sedgley man, Lee Whickett, who went missing from his Woodsetton home on Monday, August 20.

The 27-year-old was last seen on George Road and, despite police inquiries, has not yet been traced.

Lee is described as white, around 5ft 4ins tall and of slim build with shaved dark brown hair.

He was last seen wearing a dark blue flat cap, a grey hooded top with green writing, blue jeans and black trainers.

Inspector Simon Bradbury, from Brierley Hill police station, said: “We know that Lee has had a difficult time of late because of personal issues and his family are extremely concerned about him.

“They just want to know he’s safe and are urging him to contact police or return home. “There are some suggestions that Lee may have gone to Dudley town on Monday and so I would ask people who were in the area to think back about whether they may have seen someone matching this description.”

Anyone with information about Lee’s whereabouts should call Dudley Police on 101.

Sedgley Residents Invited To Cook Up A Storm on Come Dine With Me

ITV is on the lookout for aspiring Sedgley chefs to appear in its popular cookery programme, Come Dine With Me.

Anyone who loves dinner parties and considers themselves a good cook is invited to apply and be in with the chance of winning a tasty cash prize.

In the much-loved daytime TV series, five strangers from all walks of life take turns to host the perfect dinner party for each other over five days. During this time, the strangers get to know each other better and sample each other’s cuisine – often with hilarious results. And, at the end of the week, the best host wins a £1,000 cash prize!

Anyone who would like to take part or knows someone from the Dudley area who would like to be involved is invited to call or email ASAP and leave their name, address, age and contact details.

Email or call 0871 244 4142 to apply. Callers from a BT landline will be charged a set up fee of 14p per call plus 10p per minute. Calls from other networks may be higher and from mobiles will cost considerably more.

Shoot dates are 10th September – 14th September 2012 and the show’s producers are looking for people over 18 years of age with a passion for cooking who want to demonstrate their skills.




Family Fun Day In Memory of Shane Watson

Murder victim Shane Watson of Monument Lane, Sedgley

When Shane Watson died from head injuries following a vicious assault in an alleyway near the Beacon Estate last month, it sent shockwaves through Sedgley.

Now, local residents are invited to come along and show their support for Shane’s family and friends at a special family fun day held in honour of the popular 23 year old.

The event, which is to be held at The Crown public house in Wolverhampton Road, Sedgley, on Saturday, September 1, promises to be an emotional affair. However, according to organiser Cheryl-ann Stanley, it will also be a fitting occasion to remember Shane, whose family and friends say always lived life to the full.

Everyone is welcome to come along from 12 noon until 5pm and celebrate Shane’s life. Pay and display parking is available for motorists at the top of Bilston Street next to the Queen Victoria school and there are regular bus routes to Sedgley from Wolverhampton and Bilston.

Police are still appealing for witnesses who were in Monty’s Bar on the night Shane died to come forward with any information.

Shylon Wishart, 19, of North Springfield, and James Cartwright, 18, of Sandyfields Road, both from Sedgley, were charged with Shane’s murder soon afterwards and a trial date has been provisionally set for April next year.

More than 2,000 people have now signed a petition calling for the alleyway where Shane was brutally attacked to be closed. A recent Police and Communities Together (PACT) meeting at Dormston School was attended by almost 100 people, who came forward with numerous suggestions on how to improve safety in this and other thoroughfares in Sedgley.

Visit the Facebook page set up for the family fun day in memory of Shane Watson.


2000 Sign Shane Watson Petition To Close Alleyway

Murder victim Shane Watson of Monument Lane, Sedgley

The brutal murder of Shane Watson sent shockwaves through the communities of Sedgley when the tragic news was announced recently.

After enjoying a night out at Monty’s Wine Bar, the 23-year-old former Dormston School pupil was on his way home to Monument Lane when he was

viciously attacked in the alleyway leading off Springfield Grove, leaving him with serious head injuries from which he later died in hospital.

Shylon Wishart, 19, of North Springfield, and James Cartwright, 18, of Sandyfields Road, both from Sedgley, were charged with Shane’s murder soon afterwards and a trial date has been provisionally set for April next year.

Residents living near the alleyway say the thoroughfare has long been a magnet for drug dealers and anti-social behaviour and, at last night’s Police and Communities Together (PACT) meeting at Dormston School, it was revealed more than 2,ooo people have signed a petition calling for it to be closed.

At the meeting, which was attended by almost 100 people including Shane’s friends and relatives and local councillors, it was claimed that reports and complaints about the alleyway had been ignored for years. In addition to calls for its closure, residents suggested alternatives including CCTV, improved lighting and installing gates.

Numerous opinions were expressed as to whether closing the alleyway would be the best option and several residents expressed concerns regarding health and safety if this were to happen.

Sergeant Rob Simpson of West Midlands Police said he believed several other alleyways in Sedgley were also a problem and that numerous complaints were pending on these. Detectives are still appealing to clubbers who were in Monty’s Wine Bar the night Shane died to come forward with any information which could shed light on events.

The meeting ended with the promise of a consultation with police and local councillors, although a date for this has yet to be set.

Other topics discussed at the meeting included concerns regarding a stalker at the Queen Vic School and a community group has been set up by concerned mothers to highlight this issue. Another local resident appealed for support with the work she is carrying out at the youth centre near Dormston School.








Missing Person Appeal for Ben Rollison

Ben Rollison, aged 15, was last sighted in Dudley Street, Sedgley

Sedgley residents are being urged to come forward with any information regarding  missing Russells Hall teenager, Ben Rollison, who was last seen on Dudley Street in the village on Saturday, July 7.

Dudley Police say Ben, aged 15, has been missing for almost three weeks and are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen him.

He was last seen at 9am on Tuesday, July 3 at his home in the Russells Hall area of Dudley and police say he has gone missing several times before but has always returned.

He was last sighted on Dudley Street in Sedgley on Saturday, July 7 –  four days after he disappeared.

Extensive Enquiries To Find Ben Rollison

Despite extensive inquiries, officers are yet to find the teen.

Inspector Simon Bradbury from Brierley Hill police station, says: “Ben has been missing for some time now and we’re growing increasingly concerned for his welfare.

“He has been missing before but this is the longest he has ever been away from home.

“We’ve already done lots to try and find him and there have been a couple of sightings but we just want to know that he is safe and well. It really is time he went home.”

Ben is described as white, 5’4″ tall and of medium build. He has short brown hair and blue eyes. He speaks with a local accent.

At the time of his disappearance, he was wearing black tracksuit bottoms, a yellow t-shirt, black jacket and dark trainers.

Anyone who has seen Ben over the past two weeks or knows where he currently is should call police straight away on 101.

Sedgley zookeeper Lesley puts camels through their paces at Dudley Zoo

Trainee keeper Lesley (then Brindley) at DZG camels section in 1989.

They may be known as the ships of the desert, but closer to home in Dudley, one Sedgley zookeeper is making sure two young Bactrian camels are on the right course.

Dudley Zoo keeper, Lesley Lewis, 39, first worked with camels at the leading tourist attraction at the age of 16.

She says: “Charlie and Jimandi are very big animals, and we need to be able to control them properly.

“They are just two years old and I am training them to respond to hand signals, and rewarding them with a high five and their favourite treat of carrots.
“When they have learned basic commands, we will introduce them to wearing head collars.”
Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus) are large, even-toed ungulates native to the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts of Mongolia and Xinjiang with two fat-storing humps.

Historic Home Of Sedgley Chainmaker Eliza Rescued From Dereliction

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After years of neglect, the iconic Sedgley house where Black Country nail and chainmaker Eliza Tinsley lived in the 19th century is finally to be rescued from dereliction. Developers DP Kelly Holdings Ltd  of Sheffield began work on 4th June by demolishing recent commercial extensions to the historic property, which is on the junction of Catholic Lane and Dudley Road.


Under plans approved by Dudley Council Planning Department in July 2011, the core of the old house will be retained and turned into four large flats, while a new extension containing four smaller apartments is to be added on the Catholic Lane frontage. Two detached houses will also be built, one on each side of the development.

The Limes

Eliza and her husband Thomas had the impressive home, called The Limes, built for them in the 1840s and she lived there till her death in 1881. During the Second World War, the central tower was used by fire watchers to spot incendiary bombs and it was also HQ for Gornal and Sedgley’s ARP wardens. Until 1966 the main building provided office accommodation for Sedgley Urban District Council before being sold by Dudley Council in 1970. It has had several occupants since, the last being ‘BaaN’ software developers, part of Invensys computer group.
Planning consent for 18 flats was granted to another developer in May 2007, but never implemented. Over the last few years, local residents watched in dismay as the historic building, bordered by unsightly graffiti-covered hoardings, sustained attacks by lead thieves, vandals and even arsonists.
Martin Jones, who ran the recent Sedgley Diamond Jubilee exhibition said: “The state into which The Limes has fallen is scandalous. The village lost nearly all its elegant grand houses in the 1960s to short-sighted, unsympathetic development, so I really hope The Limes and its rich Black Country heritage will be sensitively preserved.”