Tipton Street closed after four-vehicle smash

One of Sedgley’s busiest roads was closed during rush hour yesterday evening, Tuesday, October 25, after a dramatic collision involving four vehicles.

The smash, which happened at around 5.45pm and involved three cars and a heavy-duty vehicle, took place near the junction to Turls Street.

According to the driver of the heavy-duty vehicle, a red car was pulling off the car park used by patrons of Cloud 9 day nursery and Chilli ‘n’ Creme restaurant, when a silver VW Golf coming down Tipton Street from Sedgley, crashed into its side.

The stretch of Tipton Street where the accident took place

The heavy-duty vehicle’s driver, who did not wish to be named, said: “I was coming up Tipton Street towards Sedgley and stopped to let the driver of the red car (believed to be a Vauxhall) off the car park. As the red car pulled into the road, the silver car, which I believe to have been speeding, lost control and crashed into the red car’s side. As a result of this collision, the red car spun round in the road and hit the vehicle I was driving. The silver car then hit another car, a gun metal grey Vauxhall. I believe the driver of the silver car was speeding because I saw the car’s air bags come out. I was led to believe that the driver of the red car had only just picked up his children from Cloud 9.”

Police and ambulance crews were soon on the scene and the road was shut, from the junction with Turls Street to the turning for Gate Street, until approximately 7.15pm. According to the driver of the heavy-duty vehicle, no-one was seriously injured, although each car was towed away and some drivers were taken to hospital.

The accident follows on from numerous traffic incidents on Tipton Street and Tipton Road in recent years, including the fatal collision this April which took the lives of Gornal men Daniel Eales and passenger Tim Morris.

Were you caught up in this latest serious accident? What should be done to improve road safety in this area of Sedgley? Get in touch with us and we’ll air your views.

How dog owners can enjoy bonfire night without the fireworks

Fireworks can be stressful for dogs, but thankfully, Dogs Trust is here to help

At this time of year, many families look  forward to spectacular firework displays, crackling bonfires and sizzling sparklers as they celebrate Diwali and remember, remember the fifth of November.

However, the celebrations can often be a nightmare for pet owners as they struggle to keep their four-legged friends calm amid the booms, bangs and whizzes of fireworks being let off in their neighbourhoods.

Thankfully, canine welfare charity, Dogs Trust, has the answer, with a handy assortment of free resources available on a new website set up specifically for this time of year.

The site, http://www.dogsandfireworks.com/ , features a wide range of advice to help keep canines calm and ensure everyone has a restful night.

Dogs Trust experts, Karen, Muriel and Debbie, have  designed the guide using the best advice and tips available to make sure that fireworks become non-threatening, fear of fireworks becomes avoidable and best of all, fireworks become an enjoyable part of everyone’s lives.

The site features a free MP3 of fireworks noise, which dog owners can use to train their pet to associate fireworks noise with fun. It can be played directly from a computer, exported to an MP3 player or burned onto a CD.

Alternatively, pet owners can play the website’s video to help familiarise their dog with the sights and sounds of fireworks.

Although these resources are free, Dogs Trust asks for a small donation if possible to help them continue their vital work.

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.

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.

Local photographer Lisa steps back in time

One of the friendly horses in the fields which run either side of Turls Hill Bridleway

Walking down this tranquil country lane, pausing to look at the horses in the rolling fields which lie either side, it’s hard to believe this bridleway is only a short distance from the stream of traffic on Tipton Road.

The Turls Hill bridleway, which local historians believe dates back to before 1600, was restored to its former glory in spring 2009, after The Woodsetton Charitable Trust secured more than £90,000 in grants for land drainage, surface reinstatement, fencing and hedge cultivation.

It runs along the boundary between the old villages of Woodsetton and Ettingshall.

Last winter, local photographer Lisa Wilkes captured this historic route in a series of impressive shots which show the landscape in all its frozen beauty.

She says: “The restoration of this bridleway is superb and the cold conditions last winter made for some great sunsets. I’m looking forward to getting down there again soon to capture all the wonderful colours of autumn.”

As well as Turls Hill bridleway, Sedgley-based Lisa has also captured come of the area’s other historic sites, including Himley Hall and Dudley Castle, taken while she attended one of the town’s famous ghost tours.

Are you a keen local photographer? Send your pics to us at Sedgleyscene@gmail.com and we’ll feature them on the site.

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Why Sedgley lens itself so well to stunning photographs

Sandyfield herd - a stunning photograph showing the local landscape at its best.

When looking at this stunning image, many viewers could be forgiven for thinking it was taken on the plains of Arizona or some equally distant, romantic location.

Yet, this glorious picture was, in fact, taken in Sedgley and demonstrates the perfect panorama and wonders of nature available to local residents.

Lee Seabridge has lived in Sedgley for more than 20 years, but is constantly amazed by the stunning landscapes and nature on his doorstep.

He says: ” Being able to walk out of my front door and take a few snaps on a sunny evening or a frosty morning makes me feel privileged to live in such a fabulous area. We have everything an amateur photographer could wish for – distant vistas, a huge variety of wildlife and historic sites. I hope people enjoy looking at my photographs as much as I enjoyed taking them!”

And, after looking at these highly impressive photographs, readers of Sedgleyscene are sure to agree that local residents really are surrounded by stunning scenery which it’s sometimes easy to take for granted.

In the near future, Lee hopes to find suitable premises locally for a gallery in which to show his work and feature other pieces by local artists.

“There are so many creative people living in an around Sedgley,” he adds. “Having somewhere to show all our work would be a real boost to the town and make more people aware of the wonderful sights and sounds we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by.”

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New local Eco Park could help region grow

Artist's impression of Coseley Eco Park - an aerial view looking north

From 2pm today, September 27, Sedgley residents can view plans for an exciting local regeneration project which promises to breathe new life into a run-down industrial area.

Up to 1,300 new jobs, 200 new homes, a new food store and community facilities could be created in Coseley as part of the £120 million mixed-use masterplan known as Coseley Eco Park.

The site, which is owned and managed by Skelton Group Investments,  forms part of an ambitious plan to transform a current eyesore into one of the most environmentally-friendly employment destinations in the Midlands,  including three industrial estates stretching between Birmingham New Road, the Birmingham Canal and Sedgley Road West.

Graham Willson, director of Skelton Group Investments, says: “This is hugely exciting news for Dudley at a time of continuing economic uncertainty. Coseley Eco Park will reflect the ambitions of the Black Country for the future. An ambition to invest in cutting edge renewable technologies and to deliver modern employment spaces, affordable family homes, shops to serve the local community and purpose-built community facilities”.
A major consultation has started on the masterplan and a dedicated website
is now live. Full plans and further information about this major investment are available on the website and exhibition events will take place at the end of

September and early October for residents to have their say.
“This is the largest regeneration project in Dudley for a generation. We
have a rare and significant opportunity to make a statement about the Black
Country’s ambitions and we want your views to help us take it”, Mr Willson
The Coseley Eco Park project team is encouraging all local residents and
businesses to have their say on the outline plans before they are submitted
to Dudley Council in the Autumn.

If approved, detailed plans will need to be submitted to the Council before
work can start. Construction could begin at Coseley Eco Park early in 2013.
In addition to the new website, local residents can find out more by calling the
consultation hotline on 0845 262 0138 or by following project updates on
Facebook (Coseley Eco Park), Twitter (@CoseleyEcoPark), Flickr (Coseley

Eco Park) or by signing up to receive free SMS updates by texting ‘CEP’ to
Public exhibition events are taking place at Wellington Industrial Estate,
Birmingham New Road on:
Tuesday 27 September: 2pm – 7pm
Friday 30 September: 2pm – 7pm
Saturday 1 October: 10am – 2pm

Sedgley snappers wanted for cat charity calendar

Maggie Hyde, overall winner of last year’s competition, and Rob Hall, volunteer branch co-ordinator. Maggie’s cat Molly featured on the front cover of the calendar.

A popular local cat charity, which has rehomed many felines throughout Sedgley, is urging photographers to submit favourite pictures of their furry friends for  this year’s calendar competition.

As part of the contest, organised by the Stourbridge and District branch of Cats Protection, the 12 winning entries will be used to create a special branch calendar to help raise funds and look after more local cats and kittens.

Rob Hall, volunteer co-ordinator for the branch, says: “Following on from our very successful competition last year which received more than 150 entries, we’re again hoping to inspire local people to take a snap of their cat to help support other cats and kittens. Anyone can enter, as photos will not necessarily be judged on their technical merit alone. The overall winner will feature on the front cover of the calendar and owners will be able to choose which month they would like their cat to feature in.”

Entry costs just £1 per photo and the closing date is October 8 2011. A panel of branch volunteers, a local photographer and Jo Day, a vet from Vets 4 Pets in Dudley, will judge the entries. The winners will be announced at a special event to mark the launch of the calendar in November.

Entry forms are available from the Branch shop in Lower High Street, Stourbridge or from the Branch website at www.stourbridgecats.org.uk

Dormston students hit the right note for Battle of the Bands

The Epic Events organisers behind tonight's Battle of the Bands event

The walls of Sedgley’s Dormston Mill Theatre will be shaking tonight with the sounds of some of the region’s most promising musical talent.

However, rather than this event being organised by teachers at the school, it’s all thanks to the hard work of 12 business students, who have orchestrated the Battle of the Bands concert right from the outset.

“As part of our studies, we had to set up our business, Epic Events, in order to learn how to organise events and ultimately, put on tonight’s show,” explains Alex Baugh, 16, who, together with other 15-year-old students has put a massive amount of effort over the last two months into making sure things run smoothly on the night.

“I’ve learned a great deal through helping organise this,” he explains, “including sourcing the bands and promoting the event.  We spoke to bands who were playing the Rock The Castle event to see if they’d be interested in performing. Two weeks ago, we began to panic when we hadn’t sold any tickets, so after several meetings, decided to drop the ticket price. Now, we’ve sold 150 tickets already and are hoping to sell another 100 tonight.”

Bands playing tonight include two whose members all attend Dormston School, 80s-influenced Kixxer and Uncensored. The others, Crossfire, The Fading Lights, Rescue Party, The Upper Hand, Vague Process, Everyday Hero and hip hop act, Young & Reckless, all attend schools elsewhere in the Black Country.

The winners of tonight’s event, which begins at 7.30pm, will go through to a regional final to be held at Dormston Mill Theatre next Friday, September 30. If they succeed there, the winning group will then progress to a national final to be held at the o2 Arena in London on Tuesday, October 25.

The Battle of the Bands event is part of a programme organised by registered charity Blastbeat, which offers an award-winning, fun and exciting, music and multimedia business programme to teenagers around the country to teach social entrepreneurial skills, promote young musicians, and support youth communities on a local and national level.

Visit their website or visit the Epic Events Battle of the Bands Facebook page for more information.

Crafty way for Sedgley residents to spend their weekend

Get crafty this Saturday at Sedgley Live Craft Fair

This Saturday, September 24, Sedgley Community Centre plays host to a vibrant festival of arts and crafts featuring some of the best in local creative talent.

The Sedgley Live Craft Fair, organised by the Reverend Stephen Buckley from All Saints’ Parish Church, will have stalls and displays featuring local favourites such as Beacon Crafts and Woodsetton Designs, along with displays of quilt-making and woodturning.

During the event, which runs from 10am until 4pm at Sedgley Community Centre in Ladies’ Walk, refreshments will be on offer, including delicious cupcakes made by local confectioners.

According to Helen Davies from Beacon Crafts, in Sedgley’s Bullring, last year’s event was a huge success and the organisers are hoping this year’s event will be even more popular.