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People of all ages living in Tamworth are being given tips and advice on how to cook and eat healthily – thanks to two new courses being run in the borough.

The first course is Healthy Cooking on a Budget, which is run by Community Together CiC at various venues throughout the borough, in partnership with Tamworth Borough Council.

The six-week course teaches participants how to cook and eat more healthily on a budget of just £5. Those on the course are teamed up with a buddy who helps them to learn cookery skills and managing a budget.

An officer from the Citizens Advice Bureau is also on hand at the sessions to support people in managing their household budgets.

Healthy Cooking on a Budget was first piloted last year with some support from the Council’s Tenant Involvement Team. It was hailed as a big success – with those taking part losing 10 stone in weight between them and saving an average of £30 each off their monthly shopping bills through eating more healthily.

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the course is asked to contact Community Together CiC on 01827 59646 or email for more information. Sessions run throughout the year.

The second course – WELLIES Grow it, Cook it, Eat it is run by Staffordshire Cares Farming to teach people how to grow their own food at home and then cook it.

This is an eight-week course, held at the Woodhouse Community Farm and Garden in Whittington. For one day each week, those taking part are taught about healthy eating, menu planning and budgeting. They are also given the skills to grow their own food and ideas about what they can grow in the space they have available.

At each session, a healthy lunch is prepared by the group from scratch, using fresh, inexpensive seasonal ingredients. Menus include baked scotch eggs, coleslaw, interesting salads, chilli con carne, pasta bakes, fresh sauces, cottage pie, soup, bread, frittata, vegetable curries, savoury flans and healthy pizza.

More information on the sessions is available from

Both projects have been funded by the Tamworth Strategic Partnership, made up of Tamworth Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, South East Staffordshire & Seisdon Peninsula Clinical Commissioning Group and Staffordshire Police, through the Police & Crime Commissioner’s Locality Fund.

HOD_2414Visitors to Tamworth Castle are being invited to take a trip back through time later this month to the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Mercia, ruled by the Saxons.

The Saxons at the Castle event runs from Tuesday July 21 to Thursday July 23, to give visitors a taste of what Tamworth was like during Saxon times.

Although the present Tamworth Castles Norman, it was built on the site of an earlier Saxon fortification.

Visitors will get the chance to find out what life was like in Tamworth during Saxon times, learn about the warrior princess Ethelflaeda, hear about Saxon battle tactics and have a go at making Saxon jewellery or solving a runic puzzle.

The Saxon days are the first in a series of living history events, aimed at the whole family, which are being run throughout July and August.

The others are:

  • Medieval history, July 28-30 – Meet the medieval characters as they carry out their duties. Hear from the Armourer about how chain mail was made and have a go at handling some replica weapons. The Laundress will talk about how the washing and dyeing was done in medieval times and the Lady will display some children’s board games.
  • Tudor history, August 4-6 – Join in with the servants’ daily duties as they prepare for a banquet for visiting guests, try out some Tudor children’s games and learn Tudor dances.
  • Georgian history, August 11-13 – In Georgian times, Tamworth Castle was owned by the prominent Townshend family and was host to many affluent guests. Learn more about them, as well as the lives of the servants.
  • Victorian history, August 18-20 – This was the last era in which the Castle was used as a family residence. Get a taste of life both upstairs and downstairs, from servants including the Maid, Housekeeper, Governess, Butler and Stablehand.

All the living history events run from 11.30am to 4pm. Admission costs £7 for adults, £6 for OAPs and other concessions, £4.50 for children ages five and above, £2.50 for children aged 2-4 and under twos go free. A family ticket for two adults and two children is also available for £21.

There is no need to pre-book for the events – just turn up and step back in time! More information is available on the Tamworth Castle website or by calling the box office on 01827 709581 or 01827 709618.

With just a few days to go, Tamworth cooks are being reminded that it’s not too late to sign up for the Tamworth in Bloom Bake Off.

As part of this year’s Tamworth in Bloom campaign, we are calling on bakers, cooks, jam makers and general kitchen stars to enter their produce into the Bake Off, which is being held in Tamworth Town Hall from 1pm to 3pm this Friday (July 3).

This year, Tamworth in Bloom has teamed up with the Women’s Institute (WI) to continue the commemoration of the First World War. The WI was founded in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing and preserving food during the war.

We are working with the local WI to mark their centenary and this is reflected in this year’s Tamworth in Bloom theme – Keep the Home Fires Burning.

Friday’s Bake Off challenges Tamworth cooks to produce a dish from 100 years ago. It can be a cake, a pie, jam, chutney – if it could have been produced in 1915, it can be entered into the competition.

One of the judges will be Tamworth midwife Natasha Stringer, who competed in the Great British Bake-Off series three in 2012, when the final winner was John Whaite.

The Bake Off is open to anyone, of any age – although Tamworth Borough Council staff and members and their immediate families are not allowed to take part.

Anyone who would like to take part is asked to email Diane Wells on to register and let her know what you will be entering.

Then all you need to do is create your dish and take it along to Tamworth Town Hall at 1pm on Friday. All the entries will be judged by a representative of Tamworth in Bloom and the WI, and there will be a prize for the winner.

The lucky Bake Off winner will also be invited to recreate their dish and take it along to the lunch at the Almshouses following the Tamworth in Bloom judging on Tuesday July 14, where the Heart of England in Bloom judges will be able to sample the winning entry.