A little Lightwoods Ale…

Enville Ales who partnered with the Friends of Lightwoods Park for last year’s beer festival on Mayday will be back in the park this year working in conjunction with Black Country Ales, the owners of the new bar in Bearwood.

Friends Group Chair, Richard Marshall, said, “As soon as we decided to go with the beer festival again this year we had no hesitation in getting back in touch with Enville Ales. They were heroic last year, supplying not only their own special beer, but also providing a range of cask ales from other local breweries.

Jerry Hedges, director of Enville Breweries told the Bearwood Blog, “We are delighted to be back this year, after the terrific success we enjoyed working with Richard and the Friends Group last year. Both ourselves and Black Country will be brewing an ale especially for the festival after the popularity of last year’s Lightwoods Ale. We are also bringing along a couple of ciders, and some red and white wine too.”

This year, although the ‘bar area’ will be adults only (and a challenge 25 policy applied) there will also be a family area where people can take their drink through to so that people who want to drink and sit with the children will still be able to do so.

Also on site again this year will be the Enville Beer Bus where volunteers will be able to take a break during the day.

Did we mention…we are still looking for volunteers?


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Have you got what it takes?

The Sandwell's Strongest Man competition returns on May Bank Holiday weekend in a trial of strength spread over two days, culminating in the spectacular in Lightwoods Park as part of the Mayday Festival. Last year's event saw the winners being cheered on by thousands of people on the green in front of Lightwoods House.

This year's event is intended to be even better and there are a range of events which will include: the Vehicle pull - Giant dumbbell press - Farmer's walk - Log lift for weight - Carry and drag - Tyre flip - Dead lifts and NEW for 2014: The Super Yoke

Sandwell Leisure Trust who run the annual competition have a strong field of competitors in the over 90kg category (14 stone) but are looking for more strong men in the under 90kg event.

If you or anyone you know wants to give it a go in either category you can get more information from the Sandwell Leisure Trust website or by contacting Mike Child from SLT via: mike.childs@slt-leisure.co.uk

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Mayday, mayday, mayday… is there anyone out there?

Cherie O’Sullivan has been distinctly underwhelmed by her request to the 400+ members of the Friends of Lightwoods Park and House for volunteers to help out on Mayday in the park.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 13.44.43Now…we all know you didn’t think you had to TELL Cherie you would be helping out, because, let’s face it, you always turn up on the day and offer to chip in if any help is required, and Cherie can rely on you. But, it would really help planning the event if you would drop her an e-mail and say what you can do, and when you can do it. You don’t have to do the whole day, an hour or two here and there will be fine. You can’t leave it all to folk like this poor old fella pictured here litter picking now, can you?

Over the next couple of weeks you will read lots on here about the things happening on the day, but with the whole thing running on a shoestring budget, there are loads of things we require volunteers to help out with… and don’t forget, you get a free car park pass, and the possibility of a drop of ale or cider at the end of the event.

So, peoples, show the strength of Bearwood volunteers and…do it! Let Cherie know today, via cherie_osullivan@sandwell.gov.uk

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Smethwick Fusion on Mayday

Morris Men vs Bhangra Dancers!

Last year the Lightwoods Park mayday festival featured Morris Dancers and Dhol Drummers. They both proved so popular, we decided this year to see if we could put together the two…and now we can reveal, that live on the main stage… We will have the incredible Smethwick Fusion. We believe this may well be a world first!

The Jockey Morris Men will perform, and then the Dhol Empire out of Shireland College…followed by both groups staging a combined dance. This should be really exciting!


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Congratulations to Divine and Amelia Wallace, who scooped the 1st prizes in the Bearwood Wow Factor! young talent show at Thimblemill Library last night. Divine and Amelia got the prizes, but there were a whole bunch of winners in both categories with some fantastic performances including music, dance, comedy and a magician.

Much thanks for a wonderful evening to Gavin William James Young, compete for the night who did so much to encourage the acts, to our very own tv star Colin Buchanan who chaired the judging panel, and as ever to the brilliant Julie Mckirdy (is there anything in Bearwood that Julie doesn't get involved in – she's a real star!) who organised the whole shebang…but major, major thanks to every single young person who had the nerve to get up in front of a packed audience and put their hearts into their acts!

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It’s the talent show tonight…

…at your local library!



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Congratulations Julie

Bearwood lass Julie Walters is to be given the highest award the British Academy of Film and Television Arts can bestow when she is awarded a BAFTA Fellowship next month.

Julie is a patron of the Warley Woods Community Trust, and she was awarded the Freedom of Sandwell a few years ago…when I was delighted to have the opportunity of meeting her. She is a credit to her profession and a real down to earth Smerrick gal.

Well done Julie!


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