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Published: September 11th 2019
I have just walked through the same door as Mick Jagger. Well, it is technically true - but a few decades after him. I am in the private apartment of Patrick Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield, better known to the world as photographer Patrick Lichfield. Lichfield inherited the sprawling family estate at Shugborough in Staffordshire in 1960. His father predeceased him and his grandfather passed on just 2 years later. The untimely demise left unpaid death duties and so the family home passed into the hands of the National Trust. The house was subdivided by agreement, so Lichfield could maintain a home here and he secured a 99 year lease on a modest set of rooms. Well, not exactly modest. We are not talking 2 bedroom apartment. Lichfield left the army in 1962 and instead of taking up a bit of land management, threw himself into making a living as a photographer. The Swinging Sixties were about to take off in London and Lichfield integrated himself into the world of music and the arts and generally hung out with the cool people. The being related to the Royals helped bring in the commissions, before the alternative world of snapping rock stars
and glamour models took hold. Which brings us to how Mick Jagger rocked up at Shugborough.
London obviously held the majority attention of Lichfield, but he was known to host dinner parties and weekends at the old country place. The lawn apparently used to have a large H cut in it for the choppers to land. As a result, visitors in the 1960s and 1970s included not only Mick, but Lulu, Joanna Lumley, Olivia Newton John, Britt Ekland and Princess Anne. The apartment is now available for visits as part of the entrance to the National Trust property and gives a fascinating insight into the lifestyle. Lichfield died in 2005 and whilst some personal possessions have been removed by the family, others remain in situ. The study has a wall planner highlighting the travel days in one particular year. The time at the apartment was simply marked Shug. Cathay Pacific seemed a favoured airline. I was intrigued to see one entry marked as Playboy Nantucket. An interesting job, no doubt. Lichfield was famous for calendar shoots and some of the portraits used in the early Unipart ones are in sleeves by the window. They seem mainly to focus on
Hong Kong as the backdrop for the pretty girl. The girls are all fully clothed. A series of stills are mounted on the wall. Lichfield was selected, if that is the right word, to be official snapper at the wedding of Charles and Di. A photograph shows Charles caught off guard with his head in his hands. A sign of things to come, perhaps! High on one wall, the travelling lifestyle is caught in an album cover type montage entitled Around The World In A Daze. One of the upstairs rooms has been transformed into a photography studio. Lichfield's cameras are set up and famous portraits are scattered around the room. Olivia Newton John is pictured in one of bedrooms. A rather uncomfortable looking Mick Jagger is seen holding a live chicken at the farm on the Shugborough estate. The photo is titled Little Red Rooster.
Shugborough had been in the Anson family since the 1600s, but what we see today was largely the creation of William and George Anson. The latter had a distinguished naval career at a time when it was quite legitimate to get yourself a bonus by robbing the odd Spanish treasure ship. He invested
his bounty in the creation of Shugborough. The main house is something of a disappointment and probably not the finest country pile in the National Trust stable. We headed outside to explore the grounds. The grounds feature a number of follys, none stranger than the Cat Monument. The mid 1700s structure is rumoured to commemorate Admiral Anson's favourite cat, who is said to have accompanied him on his naval expeditions. The Chinese Temple was said to be constructed from sketches made in Canton on one of these voyages and is one of the earliest examples of Chinese architecture in the UK. The Essex Bridge crosses the fledgling River Trent, which is something of a different creature to that seen in Nottingham. The Ruin is just that and sits within sight of the back of the house down by the lake. Whilst the grounds hold these Grade II listed structures and curiosities, they were also used by Lichfield to amuse his guests. Racing motorbikes was popular. Princess Anne apparently still holds the record. Every single often, the sound of a train is heard. Heard, but not seen. The railway line was built across the estate in the 1800s, but runs in
a culvert and tunnels not far from the main visitors entrance.
We left Shugborough and headed towards home. We skirted the market town of Uttoxeter and arrived in the village of Rocester. Rocester is an ancient village and once the site of a Roman fort. The Romans might once have dominated, but another master is noticeable everywhere today. The main road from Uttoxeter leads straight to the JCB World Headquarters. A huge plant sits in landscaped parkland on the edge of the village. J C Bamford started his enterprise in 1945 and today the slogan JCB is synonymous with the word digger. The company now has other factories in the UK and overseas, but this tiny village in Staffordshire are proudly the World Headquarters. The colours of black and yellow dominate. The first thing you see as you cross the bridge into the village is an old mill - home of JCB Finance. The local produce show was ongoing at the Red Lion in the centre. The old Market Place had been rebuilt in sympathetic fashion. It was all very sleepy, although the boarded up window of the adjacent Police Station suggested it might have been a lively Friday
night. At the far end of the village is another old mill. The River Dove passes through the village and in 1781, a certain Richard Arkwright - he of Spinning Jenny fame - bought an old mill and converted it to a cotton mill to harness the power of the river. The old Tutbury Mill has now got a new lease of life and houses the JCB Academy school, which opened in 2010. They appear to have done a first class renovation and thus preserved the history of the village. A nice touch at the entrance was the flower bed, which was a bucket from an old JCB. Of course, I hadn't come to this building specifically and hiding away just behind was the home of the Roman's. The original ones are long gone, but these are the 1876 version of Rocester FC. The Hillsfield ground nestled behind the JCB Academy, which conveniently provides a huge car park used by the school during the week. The colour scheme as you might expect was the yellow and black of JCB. I was surprised they didn't sponsor the shirts, but their presence was felt by large advertising boards. The crowd today was
up on normal, as one of the big fish in Midlands League Division 1 were in town. Hinckley AFC fans made up at least half of the crowd. It was all going quite well for them to half time. The dominance continued and the smart money was on Hinckley adding to their 1-0 advantage. A mug stood abandoned on the rail behind the Hinckley keeper's goal. It wouldn't be the only one soon. A speculative shot hit a divet and bounced over the diving keeper. 1-1. Hinckley should still have won. They had a player sent off to the sin bin for a spell. The Number 4 tried his level best by mouthing at anybody within earshot including his own bench. The Hinckley faithful muttered that he should be cascaded into the football wilderness for disturbing the efforts of his colleagues. We all know from history that Roman's were organised. It proved so with Rocester. They kept going and 2 late goals claimed the points. The good news for all concerned was that the teams get to do it all over again next weekend in the FA Vase. Enjoy. Appendix 1 Midland Football League Division 1 Rocester
FC 3 Hinckley AFC 1 Date:
Saturday 7th September 2019 @ 1500 Hours Venue:
Hillsfield, Mill Lane, Rocester, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. Scorers:
0-1 Green 27 Mins (Hinckley), 1-1 Dodds 58 Mins (Rocester), 2-1 Dodd 92 Mins (Rocester), Garbett 95 Mins (Rocester) Rocester FC:
Wood, Kiddle, Nutt, Brockley (Dawson 50 Mins), Sedgley, Allen, Godfrey, Rand, Dodd, Brade (Sismey 8 Mins), Jeffrey (Garbett 68 Mins) Hinckley AFC:
Belford, Townley (Ball 15 Mins), Cooper, Halil, Green, Cross, Dunkley (Wright 73 Mins), Williams, Richards, Brown, Commins (Healey 84 Mins)
Tot: 1.772s; Tpl: 0.105s; cc: 13; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0244s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb