Christmas at Oakes Farm Shop

Oakes Farm Shop is gearing up for Christmas. This Saturday they are hosting a turkey tasting session with Adlington Ltd.

Everyone is welcome to come along to ‘try before you buy’ between 10.30am and 2pm on Saturday 28 November. The producers themselves will also be on hand to offer cooking tips and answer any questions that you may have.

Adlington Ltd are just one of three local businesses supplying meat to Oakes Farm customers this Christmas. So if you’d like to support them find out more on Oakes Farm Christmas webpage.

Christmas orders are now being taken for collection on 22, 23 or 24 December.

Oakes Farm Shop are also producing a range of Christmas hampers for the first time this year.


Rave reviews for Loxley album come flooding in

“A big sigh of relief!” was how Balsall Common’s Karl Loxley described the outpouring of love for pre-release copies of his epic debut album recorded in Glasgow with a full 42 piece orchestra. The album has already received widespread acclaim despite not being available on general release until February 2016.

“A lot of money went into that album” said Karl as he discussed an exhilarating 2015 with us.

“It [the album] wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for all the people who pre-ordered.”

Karl’s debut album was self-produced using crowdfunding, an increasingly accepted industry approach to recording and publishing music.

“A lot of people who followed me on The Voice asked when I was going to record an album and people in the music industry recommended Crowdfunding. There was lots of people out there using it successfully like Michael Bolton and Paul Potts.”

Everything I Am

Karl’s album “Everything I Am”, is named after the song he co-wrote with fellow former Heart of England School pupil Ian Todd. The entire album was recorded in full in Scotland with the Glasgow Philarmonia Orchestra.

“It took a lot of planning. It’s been a lot fun, it’s something I’ve been planning all summer. To do an album on this scale you’ve got to plan ahead, it’s not just a day in the studio and then it’s all done. It’s such a lot of preparation on doing it.”

Karl’s album goes on general release in February 2016 but pre-orders via Pledge Music are still possible until Monday 30th November 2015.

Pre-order ‘Everything I Am’ here until Monday 30th November: Everything I Am – Pledge Music Project.

See Karl live at the Albany Theatre – Friday 27th November 2015

For anyone wishing to see Karl live, it’s currently possible to grab last-minute tickets for his “Christmas with Karl” show this Friday (27th November) at Coventry’s Albany Theatre (also known as The Butts Theatre) via or by calling the Box Office on 02476 998964.

Tell us what you think of Karl’s title track “Everything I Am” on our Facebook page, just click!

Berkswell Cricket Club on Facebook

Craig Burgess
Wednesday 25th November 2015

Charity Festive Walk

Knowle and Dorridge Lions Club’s 23rd annual Festive Walk takes place on Monday 28 December and will benefit charities including Balsall Common based Lily Mae Foundation.

The walks start and finish at the Baddesley Clinton National Trust site, which has free car parking. Walkers can start from 10am and finish by 4pm. There’s a choice of three, five, and nine mile circular routes, a great way to get some fresh air and exercise after Christmas meals!

The walk is free to enter but all donations will go to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, the Solihull Bereavement Counselling Service, and the Lily Mae Foundation with 30% retained for other local good causes.

Further details and registration forms are available on the Knowle and Dorridge Lions website

Knowle and Dorridge lions festive walk

A treasure trove of Christmas craft delights

Looking for something a bit different for Christmas gifts? Want to support local artists and crafts people? Head to A Gate Farm Christmas, this Sunday in Fen End.

Now in it’s fifth year, A Gate Farm Christmas was started in 2010 to support the wealth of brilliant artists and crafts people in the Midlands.

It is a friendly, family event and everyone is welcome to enjoy the day and get in to the Christmas spirit.

Visitors can enjoy browsing, shopping and eating cake at this unique seasonal gathering. Open from 11am – 3pm on Sunday 29 November.

For more information visit their Facebook page

Gate Farm Christmas 2015

Balsall Common Lions Club – At the Heart of the Community

This year’s fireworks display, organised by Balsall Common Lions Club, was fantastic, even by their own high standards. Set to music, with 15 minutes of continuous oohs, ahs, and bangs, the event was enjoyed by around 3000 people.

The event is not just a good night out, but also raises lots of money for charity as part of the Lions Club’s year round fundraising and service work both in the village and further afield.

Lions Bonfire 2015

Lions at Christmas

The next event for your calendar is
Friday 27 November
, when the village Christmas lights will be switched on, join in from 3.30pm outside Barclays Bank. On 12 December the
ever popular Santa’s sleigh
begins his tour of Balsall Common, Berkswell, and parts of Burton Green.

Lions Santa

An awful lot of hard work goes into organising and managing these activities. There are 35 dedicated members of the Balsall Common Lions Club who give up their time to help out. If you’d like to volunteer to help with Santa’s sleigh or any of their other activities please contact Lion Ross Collins on 07813 937921.

Lions Activities

As well as fireworks and Christmas events, the Lions run twice monthly bingo sessions in the Village Hall, offering older people a chance to get out and socialise. Local Lions regularly help out at the SIFA Fireside project serving lunch to homeless people. They also organise and host a range of social evenings, again to raise funds for local causes and bigger campaigns. Last year Balsall Common Lions Club members completed over 4000 hours of service between them, helping many people in the process.

Where the money goes

The Lions welcome applications for help with projects, events, and issues locally. They regularly give money to local organisations and groups for equipment, trips, and also fund First Aid Training for pupils at local schools. Donations have been made to Berkswell Scouts, Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s Scanner Appeal, Fisher House (a home away from home for military patients and their families at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham) and many more.

Join in

If you’re interested in finding out more or joining the Lions Club talk to Membership Secretary Ross Collins. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Monday of each month at the British Legion, Station Road, Balsall Common. Or attend their special presentation meeting on 26 January where they will be thanking others that have supported them in their work in 2015. Why not make a New Year’s Resolution to join the Lions and serve your local community. Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organisation. Becoming a Lions club member gives you the opportunity to volunteer locally, or internationally, make new friends and professional connections, lead projects that make your community a better place to live AND have fun doing it!