crowd-cropWe’re calling on movie lovers to choose the films shown at this year’s Outdoor Cinema in Tamworth Castle Grounds.

Last summer’s Outdoor Cinema sold out within a week of going on sale after the job of deciding which films to screen was handed over to you. Hundreds of people took to social media to cast their votes, with Dirty Dancing and The Lost Boys coming out on top.

The 1,300 tickets available across both screenings sold like hot cakes as cinema-goers jumped at the opportunity to see their favourite films under the stars in the great outdoors.

As a result of last year’s success, the film selection is again being put out to a public vote, from a shortlist of approved movies. This summer’s Outdoor Cinema takes place on Saturday August 5 and will again include one movie at 9pm, followed by a midnight movie.

Choices for the 9pm show are:

  • The Sound of Music
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Top Gun
  • The Full Monty
  • Pretty Woman

Choices for the midnight movie are:

  • Gremlins
  • The Fly
  • Alien
  • Labyrinth
  • Psycho
  • The Goonies

The Outdoor Cinema and audience poll is again being organised by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts and Events team as part of the 2017 programme of events.

Votes can be cast via the Tamworth Arts and Events Facebook page or online through the Tamworth Arts and Events website at Voting details will also be sent via email to subscribers of Tamworth Arts and Events news.

Polls are open now and votes can be cast until February 28 – so get voting for your favourites!

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A drop-in event to give help and advice on domestic abuse and other personal safety issues was a huge success – with more than 250 people going along.

The It’s Never OK campaign was launched by the Tamworth Community Safety Partnership to coincide with Valentine’s Day, as figures show a significant increase in the number of incidents of domestic abuse and sexual violence around February 14.

The Tamworth Community Safety Partnership organised a drop-in event in Ankerside Shopping Centre last Tuesday to raise awareness of domestic abuse, as well as giving out general advice on many aspects of personal safety. The event ran from 10am until 2pm and saw more than 250 people through the doors.

Representatives from nine partner organisations were on hand throughout the day to give help and advice on domestic abuse and wider safety issues. Partners taking part in the event were Tamworth Borough Council Community Safety team, Housing and Community Wardens, The Pathway Project, Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service, Staffordshire Police, Smart Alert, Staffordshire County Council Children’s Services, Library Service and Healthwatch Staffordshire.

Cllr Stephen Doyle, Cabinet member for Communities & Public Health: “The prevention of domestic abuse, raising awareness, protection for victims and education for perpetrators are vital. This campaign spells out the message that domestic abuse is never OK – and that help is available to both victims and perpetrators.

“The drop-in day was a great way of getting partners together to support each other and those coming in for help and advice, to work out ways of increasing partnerships to create awareness of domestic abuse and to find new ways of promoting personal safety.

“If only one person took the helpline number for the Pathway Project and receives support, then it will have been an incredibly valuable event.

“We would like to thank all the partners who took part in the event – and particularly to Ankerside, who provided the unit free of charge for the event and were very helpful.”

Ankerside Centre Manager, Jeff Wigley, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve been able to support the Tamworth Community Safety Partnership with their extremely important campaign. It was encouraging to see more than 250 members of the public engage with the partner organisations. It’s key that everyone understands the impact of domestic abuse and how it can be reported, prevented and stopped and the day played a key role in doing so.”

The Respect Helpline is a confidential service for perpetrators of domestic abuse, which offers information and support to help perpetrators change their behaviour. It can be contacted on 0808 802 4040.

Anyone suffering domestic abuse can contact the Pathway Project on 01543 676800, as well as reporting the abuse to the police.

Anyone who feels they have a problem with drinking, which is often a factor in domestic abuse, can contact One Recovery on 01827 311505.

Take a look at our photo slideshow from the event (above).


Sculptor Luke Perry at work

Sculptor Luke Perry at work

The final design of Tamworth’s iconic new roundabout sculpture will be revealed to the people of Tamworth next week during a live clay modelling session by award-winning artist, Luke Perry.

Members of the public will be able to watch Luke creating a scale model of his monument design live in front of Tamworth Town Hall in Market Street on Tuesday February 21, from 10am.

As well as seeing the design come to life for the first time, adults and children will also be invited to get involved by asking questions and having a play with the clay.

The much-anticipated design has been created following consultations with more than 100 people who spoke to Luke about what they are most proud of about Tamworth as a town.

He has previously revealed the sculpture will be a ‘big and iconic’ figurative piece which reflects the town’s Saxon history, but with an ‘alternative, modern twist’ that places it firmly in the 21st century.

The landmark sculpture will be erected on the Offa Drive/Saxon Drive roundabout outside Tamworth Railway Station where it will greet visitors to the town as they step off the train.

It will be built out of steel, but reflecting the neo-classical style typical of well-known historical Tamworth company, Gibbs and Canning Ltd, which was widely renowned for its manufacture of architectural terracotta.

Luke said: “This will be a first for me as I’ve never created art in front of people in this way before, but I thought if I’m making a model anyway I may as well do it in the community where people can witness the design they helped to inform, coming to life.

“As well as being a live demonstration of art, this will also be the first reveal of what the artwork is going to be and what form it will take.

“Overall, my idea is quite ambitious engineering wise, but I have spoken to a structural engineer to make sure it’s buildable. Bringing a design to life in clay allows you to see it from all angles and postures. It should be quite true to the final design, but the actual monument will have a bit of colour.”

Luke also revealed that despite the pressure of the live demonstration, he is not nervous about showing his design to the people of Tamworth for the first time.

“It’s impossible to please everybody and there will undoubtedly be some who feel another subject matter would have been better, but I’m pretty confident that this is going to be something that people will really get behind,” he said.

“It’s very much about Tamworth and immediately identifiable with Tamworth. I really listened to what people wanted and am confident I have delivered on that.”

The scale model will stand around 60-70cm tall and is expected to take a couple of hours to create. It will then be placed inside the former Peel coffee shop adjacent to the Sir Robert Peel statue where it will be on display until March 7.

The ‘Roundabout Art’ project is one element of the Arts in Unusual Spaces initiative, funded by Arts Council England, which will see art in all its forms popping up in a variety of locations across the borough.

The sculpture is being funded jointly by Tamworth Borough Council, Arts Council England and Tamworth Gateways Project – a partnership between Staffordshire County Council and Tamworth Borough Council.

Cllr Joy Goodall, Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “The live model making is such an exciting way for the final design to be revealed. It will be amazing for people to see it being brought to life at the heart of the community it is designed to represent. As it’s half term next week I hope people take their children along to watch and get involved in the process too. I can’t wait to see the completed model.”