The Myton Hospices is celebrating a successful first year’s trading at its shop in Stratford.

Shop manager Amber Pinkerton said: “The shop has had an incredibly successful first year and we cannot thank the people of Stratford and the surrounding areas enough for their support and kind donations.”

Myton retail operations manager Cath D’Eath said the charity shops helped raise the millions of pounds needed each year to enable the hospices in Warwick, Rugby and Coventry – and the Myton at Home teams – to provide vital support and care to people with terminal and life-limiting illnesses.

She said the charity had the only inpatient beds in Coventry and Warwickshire providing respite, symptom control and end of life care.

Myton’s services, particularly our inpatient units, serve the people of Stratford and the shop provides a wonderful opportunity for local people to connect with us, as well as supporting the charity,” she said. The shop is situated next to Morrisons on Alcester Road.

Nick Watts, a commercial solicitor with Blythe Liggins in Leamington, who has handled the leases for Myton shops for many years, said the number of shops across Coventry and Warwickshire now stands at 27, providing vital contributions to the £9.2 million funding needed each year to run the three hospices. “The shops are an absolutely vital part of the fundraising,” he said.

Richard Moon, head of employment law at Leamington solicitors Blythe Liggins and a former international rugby scrum half, has again been honoured by his fellow members of the Rugby Football Union Distinguished Members Association.

Mr Moon, who played for Cambridge University, England, Harlequins and the Barbarians, was re-elected secretary of the RFU’s Distinguished Members Association at the AGM and annual dinner in London this month.

The association is an elite band of former RFU presidents, international players and such rugby luminaries as Sir Clive Woodward, who are nominated for outstanding service to the sport.

Mr Moon, who once served on the RFU Council and is a rugby commentator and summariser for BBC radio, said: “This is a great honour for me. There are only about 50 members of the Association so to be invited to become their secretary for the third and final year is a wonderful accolade.”

Cricket legend M.J.K. Smith may be in his mid-80s these days but here he is showing he can still manage a perfect cover drive and an excellent cut.

 

The former England and Warwickshire cricket captain roared into action at Leamington Cricket Club to help out with pre-season preparations.

 

M.J.K.’s son Neil, also a former England and Warwickshire cricketer, is director of cricket at Leamington and his father was happy to pitch in and do his bit for grassroots cricket.

 

Club chairman Kevin Mitchell, a commercial partner with Leamington solicitors Blythe Liggins, which sponsors the women’s section, said: “M.J.K. is a frequent visitor to the club where he is a most popular figure.

 

“He’s always willing to lend a helping hand, including giving sound advice to the club’s batsmen.”

 

And the club’s groundsmen by the look of it – but who’s going to argue with M.J.K., whose cricketing heroics often overshadow the fact that he also played rugby union for England?

Youth triumphed over experience at Moreton Morrell Tennis Court Club on Sunday when 18-year-old Vaughan Hamilton beat 68-year-old veteran Philip Shaw-Hamilton in the Owen-George Cup.

Shaw-Hamilton, the current World Over 65 doubles champion and the UK Over 60 doubles champion, was beaten 6 – 4, 6 -3 by the young university student, who was last year’s beaten finalist and was ranked no 2 in the world at under 18 level.

The Owen-George Cup is a Real Tennis tournament played in memory of Roland Owen-George, who, with his business partner His Honour James Blythe, were both members at Moreton Morrell. Together the friends founded Blythe Owen-George & Co solicitors in 1952, from which Blythe Liggins was formed in 1998.

Richard Thornton, joint senior partner of Blythe Liggins, which sponsors the cup, said: “Roland Owen-George, together with Sir Richard Hamilton, Anthony Hobson and others, worked tirelessly to keep the tennis club afloat during some very difficult times in the 1960s and this annual competition is a fitting recognition of his legacy. It’s a great honour for us to sponsor the event, marking the contribution to real tennis made by one of our firm’s founders.”

With the Myton Hospices Wills Week taking place next month (March), now is a good time to be thinking of making – or changing – your will.

Writing a will is vital to ensure that loved ones are taken care of and that your wishes are known in the event of your death.

Having a will is a good way to ensure that your estate winds up in the right hands. In short, a will is a legal document that gives clear guidance to your family and friends how you want your assets distributed after your death.

For example, in addition to the bulk of your estate, there may be smaller legacies or certain cherished items you wish to leave to particular people; you may also wish to donate to charity; or even stipulate whether you wish to be buried or cremated. Wills are also important to clearly state who might care for young children, following your death.

Some people even include their funeral plans – stipulating the venue and selecting the hymns.

You will also want to name your executors: members of the family, close friends or professional advisors who will be responsible for seeing that your wishes are carried out.

This time of year is particularly busy for my department as mortality rates rise during the cold weather and we are kept busy with wills – including sorting out badly written DIY ones!

Typically, the problems include poorly drafted wills or trusts, negligent probate or tax advice and lost wills – all of which can result in disputes between executors or beneficiaries.

It is crucial that nothing is left to interpretation, as any ambiguity could lead to dispute or litigation, which is when we are called in. That is why wills should be written by professionals, solicitors who can give appropriate legal advice on relevant issues, such as financial obligations, tax implications and charitable legacies, whilst considering your personal circumstances.

Those who you think might inherit, such as long-term partners, do not necessarily inherit if you die without a will. This can lead to family squabbles.

Remember, you can update your will at any time before your death, provided that you have capacity to do so.  In fact, it is advisable to revise your will after any major life event, such as marriage, divorce, moving to a new property, the birth of a new child, or the death of loved one.

So, why not make one last New Year’s Resolution and give your family the peace of mind of knowing your wishes by writing – or amending – your will.

The ballot for this year’s annual Two Castles run between Warwick and Kenilworth, which each year raises more than £100,000 for charity, opens on Saturday (February 1) with 4,000 places up for grabs.

The Two Castles Run, which is organised by the Rotary Club of Kenilworth and Leamington Cycling & Athletics Club and is one of the main events in the Warwickshire Road Race League, will be run on Sunday June 14.

Race organiser and Rotarian Philip Southwell said that one person could register others in a team or group and that the ballot would close at a minute to midnight on February 14. This will be the third consecutive year in the event’s 37-year history that Rotary has run a ballot, rather than the ‘first come, first served’ arrangement.

Richard Thornton, joint senior partner of sponsoring law firm Blythe Liggins, said: “The move to a ballot system, which is obviously used so successfully with major events such as the London Marathon, has proved to be a much fairer way to ensure registration for the thousands who wish to take part in this increasingly popular run.

“The Two Castles is an excellent event and we are delighted to be the headline sponsor for an unprecedented 15th year, along with fielding a team of runners and manning the water station at Kenilworth Castle,” he said.

Registration will be via the FullonSport Website and will be drawn on March 1, with successful runners being notified by email. Those who are unsuccessful will automatically be added to the waiting list, said Mr Southwell.

As in previous years, the entire route will be closed to traffic for the safety of the runners.