A proposal to commemorate the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard in Hammerwich by installing a giant statue of a Saxon warrior by the M6 near Stoke-on-Trent has been criticised by residents of Lichfield and district.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council want to spend £3.5million of public money on the 114ft warrior to celebrate the unearthing of £3.3million worth of Anglo-Saxon gold in 2009 at a secret location near the former town of Burntwood.
Lichfield District Councillor Ken Humphreys, who represents Hammerwich, said:
‘I accept that my expertise is limited to wasting public money in Lichfield rather than Stoke. But I’m not in favour of it really, the statue will be in the wrong place. Stoke Council would be much better spending that sort of money locating the monstrosity in the Lichfield district where it belongs. But not in Hammerwich, we already have a more than adequate sign acknowledging the hoard.’
The former town of Burntwood has been mooted as suitable alternative location. Due to be closed down completely by the end of 2016, Burntwood plays host to numerous bleak and desolate areas.
Local councillor Sue Norman, endangered Labour group, commented:
‘I’m starting a petition calling for the Warrior to be located here. Burntwood would be ideal, we love dwelling on the past and erecting statues and plaques commemorating bygone eras and many of the locals still speak fluent Anglo-Saxon.
‘As for locations, we have recently cleared Gentleshaw Common as part of the “Scorched Earth” town closure plan and then there is the former housing development site at Milestone Way that is being remediated by means of controlled explosions by the lads in the Army bomb disposal team. Either site would be ideal.
‘But could the statue be made to look a little bit more miner-like?’
Local lad Paul Mycock,23, agreed, he said:
‘Any plan to pump money into Staffordshire whores gets my vote any day.’
In the spirit of compromise Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has launched himself onto another bandwagon he has no interest in, he suggests:
‘In return for the Warrior, Lichfield should repatriate the statue of Titanic Captain Edward Smith from Beacon Park to his home town of Stoke-on-Trent where he belongs.’
In a terse response Stoke Councillor Steve Wedgwood replied:
‘Captain Smith of the Titanic? Never heard of him. Forget it.’
Mr Fabricant later commented:
‘Councillor Wedgwood is absolutely right to reject such a ludicrous proposal that I myself have never promoted and I completely distance myself from my earlier remarks. I have been completely misrepresented by myself in a premature ejaculate-tory press release. But I will certainly be raising the matter with the Minister. The matter of overcrowded trains to London that is.’
The recruitment drive for the Friary School sixth form performing arts department received a boost this weekend from the BBC’s most overpaid talent Graham Norton.
The former “Father Ted” bit part actor was in conversation with former Hollywood star Glenn Close on his Saturday morning Radio 2 show discussing the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum.
After Ms Close generously name checked fellow performer and former Friary School pupil Siobhan Dillon, Graham asked:
‘Haven’t I met Siobhan? Wasn’t she on one of my programmes? “Nancy” wasn’t it? They’re nodding behind the screen..”
Friary School headteacher David Listless said:
‘Many congratulations to Siobhan. To be half-remembered by a failed Irish comedian for a performance in a programme in which she didn’t appear is a ringing endorsement of the Friary School’s influence in the world of the performing arts.’
Former failed contestant in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s BBC TV series “ How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” Ms Dillon said:
‘Graham Norton? Isn’t he Terry Wogan now?
‘But could I just say what a privilege it is to be on stage alongside the Hollywood great that is Ms Meryl Streep.
‘And to headteacher Mr Listless, we’ve never met but the restraining order remains in place and please remove my photos from the school foyer and from your bedroom wall.’
The hit musical Sunset Boulevard comes to the London Coliseum from 1 April , with Glenn Close reprising her Tony Award-winning role as Norma Desmond and Lichfield’s own Siobhan Dillon playing budding writer Betty Shaefer in the production.
Check out BBC Radio 2 iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b071xkxg at 02:18:00 in
Lichfield District Council has drawn up proposals to increase car parking in Beacon Street and surrounding residential areas.
A report to Lichfield District Council has suggested increasing the town centre car parking costs and encouraging drivers to park in nearby residential streets free of charge.
The council could see a rise of around £2.15m per year if a parking charge of £10 per hour were to be introduced. This takes into account loss of revenue from visitors who would seek to avoid the charges by parking in Cherry Orchard and the BSTARDS occupied territory.
The council will also seek to increase the hours of charge, extending them to 8pm. A council spokesman said:
‘A seemingly modest extension of the time will in fact catch most people who will come into the city for an early evening dinner reservation or a show We hope that the increase in revenue will more than cover the council’s financial commitment to the Garrick.’
The report to the local authority also said:
‘We also recommend upgrading ticketing machines so that they can record the whole of a vehicle registration number thereby increasing the chance of customer default by an incorrect input. However we do suggest retaining the machines inability to dispense change or to accept coins that were minted post-1995.’
BSTARDS interferer-in-chief, Mr S Sprite, 98, was uncharacteristically unavailable for comment having temporarily lost all control of his bodily functions on hearing the news.
Lichfield McDonald’s has informed Staffordshire County Council that it will no longer be able to fulfil the County’s obligation to provide a Youth Club for local kids unless the Council provides funding and martial arts training for its staff.
Since the County Council closed all local youth centres last year the Conduit Street fast food restaurant has become the meeting venue of choice for many Lichfield teenagers.
McDonald’s Manager Bess Groscull commented:
‘The situation is getting out of hand. Now the club is closed there are hoards of youths hanging around here all night, every night. The paying customers have complained about all the shouting and swearing, I have apologised for the staff behaviour but those kids would try the patience of a saint.’
Local mum Britney Singleton, 19, said:
‘I bring my five under five-year-olds in here for a nutritious meal three or four nights a week. They get really upset by all the rowdy behaviour, especially as two or three of the lads that the manager’s bawling at could well be my kids’ dads.’
Ms Groscull explained the company’s position:
‘Unless we can get funding from the Council for staff training and pest control we will have no alternative but to refuse admission to anyone under the age of 21. It’s so bad for business when customers regularly see police officers wielding Exclusion Orders on the premise. I simply can’t afford to lose any more staff.
‘Or, and I know that this may be controversial, the Council could always re-open the youth centre.’
Following the recent submission of a full planning application, the Friarsgate shopping centre redevelopment has come a step closer on the announcement that Lego is reversing its policy on bulk purchases and will no longer ask customers what they want to use the bricks for.
The U-turn follows a recent controversy involving Chinese artist Ai Weiwei where Lego was accused of censorship when it refused to sell bricks directly to him.
The company said its policy was to reject bulk requests if it believed that the resulting construction could tarnish its image.
Lego spokesman Roar Rude Trangbæk explained:
‘When we were approached by Lichfield developers with a preliminary enquiry as to the availability of our building materials were were initially reluctant to agree. Many other recent constructions in and around Lichfield have been based on our design concepts and incorporated our bricks. We are aware that this has aroused criticism locally and we feared a backlash.’
Now, following the Ai case, Lego has stated that they will no longer question customers as to the “thematic purpose” of their project.
Lichfield District Council leader Mike Wilcox commented:
‘We are delighted with Lego’s decision. This will mean that the design of new city centre will sympathetically compliment our other historic buildings such as the Friary Car Park Apartments, the Premier Inn and not forgetting the Garrick Theatre.
‘And we can now cancel the proposed confiscation of lego bricks from the orphans of Burntwood and North Lichfield.’
Dean of Lichfield Cathedral The Very Very Reverend Friend of Fabricant Adrian Dorber was equally delighted, he said:
‘I am delighted that Lego is onboard. With the ease of modular construction this will mean that the height of the new buildings can be increased so as to completely block all lines of sight to Lichfield’s spires on most approaches to the city.’
Praise has also come from Orchard Street Investments, owner of the existing Three Spires Shopping centre, a spokesman commented:
‘We are equally delighted, with such thoughtful design input into the new build we are confident that this can only serve to increase the footfall in the direction of Three Spires.’
Anyone who wishes to comment on the development proposals can do so at http://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk
Crowds turn away in disgust as Lichfield Cathedral becomes a canvas to a travesty of a festive display
Artist Peter Walker and composer David Harper have created A Cathedral Illuminated light and sound display only to see it descend into chaos this evening.
Festive images were expected to have been beamed onto the west front, with hundreds turning out for the display tonight (December 21).
Crowds gathered from 5pm hoping to see images from the nativity superimposed on the Cathedral façade.
Local plumber Paul Mycock was there with is three young children, he said:
‘I was expecting this to be a nice event for the kids in the run up to the big day, a bit high brow like lots of the crap they put on in Lichfield but it’s free so what’s not to like?
‘We were all excited as the show was about to begin, but then it all descended into chaos, we were subjected to multiple images of local member Michelle Fabricunt splashing up against the Cathedral walls to the strains of Land of Hope and Glory. The kids started screaming and running away down the Close. It’s a disgrace.’
There will be another chance to see the display between 5pm and 9pm tomorrow evening (Tuesday 22 December).