Hollies Farm Shop is open for business

The Hollies Farm Shop is a treasure trove of fresh fruit, vegetables, salad, and plants, situated on the Kenilworth Road as you leave Balsall Common after you’ve headed out past the George in the Tree and Edwins garage.

The new manager, Charlie Barber, took redundancy from his office job and wanted to do something different. He knew that Les had retired from running the Farm Shop there and decided to give it a go.

Eight months on the shop, and its range of products, is growing all the time, selling a wide range of seasonal fruit, vegetables, and plants and flowers. Although Les has retired he is still on hand for advice and guidance.

As Charlie explains the produce is local and fresh, but not too expensive:

“We bring in produce directly from local farmers and produce sourced locally through the bustling wholesale market in Birmingham. This means that our stock is always fresh and available at great discounted prices.

“Organic seasonal produce from local farmers is delivered directly to the shop and is often harvested as required.”

Charlie is always happy to expand his range, to stock products on request, and take bulk orders. He has also just started offering home delivery.

One regular customer told us why she always shops there: “I can buy in bulk, buy fresh products, and it is convenient, I can also choose exactly how much of each thing I buy. I don’t like all the wrapping and packaging from supermarkets and you don’t get that here. There is always something different and seasonal.”

The Hollies Farm Shop is open from 9am to 5pm from Tuesday to Saturday. They have a Facebook page and a new website.

The Neales sing for Berkswell Youth

Berkswell Cricket Club’s Youth section are the nominated beneficiaries of a special gig by The Neales at Balsall Common’s St Peters Hall on Saturday 7th May 2016.

The Neales – best known for their run towards the live finals of Britain’s Got Talent in the summer of 2015 – will be supported by Esther Turner, a talented songwriter that has support slots with pop giants Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran and The Jacksons under her belt.

Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Holly Lane, Balsall Common CV7 7EA
Tickets: £20
Email: berkswellccjuniors@gmail.com

Local runner supports local charity in London Marathon

Local resident Leon Fairbank is running the London Marathon this weekend for local charity The Lily Mae Foundation.

He choose the foundation because they provide incredible support, focus and provision for families when they need it the most. Leon said “friends and family have been affected by complications in childbirth and by supporting the Lily Mae foundation I have 100% confidence of the difference every £1 will make. I am hoping to raise as much money as possibly for the Lily Mae foundation.”

Leon has run a marathon before in Paris in 2011 but that was before becoming a father. This time round he’s found training has been difficult to fit in around two children especially as he’s also juggling a full time job and shift work. But he’s hoping for a dream time of 3 hours and 30 mins

If you would like to support Leon and the Lily Mae Foundation he has a just giving page:  https://www.justgiving.com/Leon-Fairbank1
Entries for this year’s Balsall Common Fun Run, organised by the Lily Mae Foundation as part of the Balsall Common Festival are now open.

Lord Digby Jones to speak at the Balsall Business Club

The Balsall Business Club is delighted to announce Lord Digby Jones as the guest speaker at their April meeting. Currently an active crossbencher in the House of Lords, he served as Director General of the CBI (2000–06) and Minister of State for Trade and Investment (2007-08).
The meeting takes place on Friday 15 April at the Royal British Legion on Station Road, Balsall Common. Lord Jones’s talk is about ‘Challenges for UK Businesses in 2016’. This is a ticketed event and we are expecting it to sell out so please make sure you are registered if you would like to attend.
The meeting starts at 7.15am for registration and networking. There will also be time after Lord Jones speaks for more networking.
The Balsall Business Club is a friendly, local networking group for businesses based in or serving the Balsall Common area.  Meetings are usually held on the third Friday of each month.
You can buy tickets via Eventbrite, or for more information about the club please email balsallbusinessclub@gmail.com

F1 Challenge for local primary school

As the Formula 1 season gets underway in Melbourne, our local school are busy preparing for their very own F1 Challenge.

Balsall Common Primary School children taking part in the F1 in Schools Challenge had a huge boost recently when they got to visit Solihull College, Smithswood, and test their cars in a wind tunnel.

The children start off with a basic chassis and then have to design their own bodywork around it. Ian Dunnington from Jaguar Land Rover has visited the school to give practical advice on aerodynamics so testing the theory is crucial.

Following a meeting at Solihull Chamber of Commerce John Callaghan, Principle & Chief Executive of Solihull College, and Shaun Hindle, Senior Director of Employment and Skills agreed to help the teams by allowing them access to the college’s facilities.

Shaun Hindle was our guide for the day and generously gave up his time to personally show us round and answer any questions, of which the children had many. The children were very excited as they had no idea where they were going or the nature of the trip.

It was a huge boost to all of the teams both in terms of building confidence in their team and its tasks and in understanding their F1 project.

They got to see the engineering sections, MOT bays, aeronautical engineering section where they got to go onto a real plane, have access to the college’s 3D printer, to print the wheels, and get to test in the wind tunnel!

Howard Rose, Funding & Publicity Manager said, “What a fantastic opportunity this has been to inspire the children and support them with their F1 Challenge. I would like to extend my thanks to John and Shaun for allowing us to visit and to use their wonderful facilities.

This has had such a positive impact on the children. One even wants to come and work at the college in the future he was so impressed!”

John Callaghan, Principal and Chief Executive said “It was our pleasure to host Balsall Common Primary School and help with their current F1 project. As a College we believe it is key to inspire and invest in future generations and we hope that all of the students enjoyed their visit to Solihull College. We want to work with Balsall Common Primary School and other local schools in the future to allow students to see the excellent facilities we have on offer here at Solihull College and University Centre.”