Village News


Blackwell’s big day out

Despite the less-than-perfect weather, Blackwell Festival attracted plenty of residents, friends and neighbours for an afternoon of free fun and games.

Riders in the rain

Although the weather was a bit dodgy, some 60 cyclists turned out for the 17th annual charity cycle ride along the canal from Withy­bed Green in Alvechurch to Digliss Basin in Worcester.

Cricket season in full swing

Even before the season started, we had to deal with the challenges of the infamous fallen tree and the badly-damaged pavilion at the Hopwood Ground, writes Pete Gwilliam of Alvechurch & Hopwood Cricket Club.

25 years of ‘The Morris’

Twenty five years ago, a group of Alvechurch men got together to perform a morris dance at the middle school summer fete.

Rhinos conquer Mount Snowdon

A group of children from Hopwood-based Kings Norton Rhinos Rugby Club have scaled Mount Snowdon, raising more than £1,000 for the charity Save the Rhino International.

Survivor’s epic bike challenge

A Bromsgrove woman who almost lost her life to a rare disease is cycling the length of Britain to raise funds for a charity that aims to help other sufferers survive.

Sam battles her way to title

An athlete from Blackwell battled mechanical problems as well as fellow competitors to become the National Triathlon Champion.

‘Awesome’ afternoon

St Andrew’s First School in Barnt Green held an “Everything Is Awesome” Lego-themed summer fete – complete with a guest appearance by
Emmet, a favourite character from The Lego Movie.

Parish health in spotlight

The challenge of meeting the health needs of a growing community was highlighted at talks between the Alvechurch GP practice and village representatives.

Withybed celebrates summer

The little hamlet of Withybed Green celebrated its fifth Withyfest on June 29, writes Mary Green.

Wanted: your photos of Bordesley

Bordesley Residents Association is asking residents to send in photographs of the area to illustrate its new website.

Parish office opens doors to residents

Lickey & Blackwell Parish Council now has an official Parish Office at the Trinity Centre on Rose Hill for one day a week, following the settlement of a wrangle with Holy Trinity Church over hire fees.

On target in Race for Life

An Alvechurch mother and daughter completed the annual Cancer Research UK Race for Life in Arrow Valley Park, Redditch, reaching their fundraising target of £500.

Allotment assistance

A team from Worcestershire Highways and partners Ringway helped improve the site access to the Alvechurch allotments off Old Rectory Lane, helped by plotholders including Angela Lee and Janet Daniels (above).

Josh’s cycle success

Cofton Hackett youngster Josh Field is celebrating cycling success with a series of great performances.

Lorries ‘blighting lives’

The increasing problem of heavy goods vehicles thundering through Alvechurch is to be investigated by the village’s parish council.

Creation in the woods

The infamous black poplar tree which fell between the cricket club and The Meadows in Alvechurch could be turned into a public art installation.

Couple’s 60 years of happy memories

A happy couple who started their married life in Alvechurch are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary this month.

Knitting in public

A group of women gathered outside Fresh@ Burcot Garden Centre to take part in the first-ever Worldwide Knit In Public Day.

All the fun of the fete

Grosvenor House care home in Alvechurch, part of the Spring View Care group, raised more than £1,700 for prostate cancer support with a summer fete.

Oakalls boys scoop top awards

Sarah Rees reports from the Oakalls and Parklands . . .

Hockey for everyone

Bournville Hockey Club is currently offering players of all abilities the chance to receive coaching from an England international.

Barnt Green home raids linked

Two Barnt Green homes were targeted by burglars on the same afternoon and police believe the incidents may be linked.

Race to save historic Redditch building

A community group is urging local people to get involved in a campaign to save a historic Redditch building from the bulldozers.

Church to commemorate WWI

St Andrew’s Church in Barnt Green is to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with a number of events this year.

Village voodoo

Philip Aubury, former director of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, managed to get a large “voodoo lily” in his garden at Hill Cottage, Scarfield Hill, to flower bang on time for Alvechurch Open Gardens.

Triathlon for Kenya kids

A Bromsgrove man is taking on his first triathlon to raise money for a children’s home in Kenya.

Young explorer off to Himalayas

Many youngsters look forward to a relaxing holiday after their A-levels, but one Barnt Green teenager will be taking a trip with a difference when he joins an expedition to the Himalayas.

Team BG’s big ride

Three Barnt Green cyclists have raised £8,250 for Cure Leukaemia for Kids by riding from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Stars show support

Sports stars and friends enjoyed a night of fundraising at Barnt Green’s Deedar Indian Restaurant when Dougie Brown, Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s Director of Cricket, hosted an event in support of The Brain Tumour Charity. 

Fun of the festival

Bromsgrove Festival is on until July 20, encompassing all sorts of events ranging from exhibitions to concerts and theatre performances as well as free family entertainment.

Secretary wanted

Alvechurch Village Hall Management Committee is looking for a new secretary.

Animal magic in Hanbury

The Cinnamon Trust animal charity holds a special ‘Animals R Magic’ event at the Jinney Ring Craft Centre in Hanbury (B60 4BT) on Sun July 20 from 11am to 5pm.

Councillor in a supporting role

Sarah Rees reports from the Oakalls and Parklands . . .

Ska and scooters

The Suited & Booted Festival in Alvechurch was enjoyed by many people once again, despite wet weather!

Village Views


Lawton’s View


Lawton's View August 2014


One of the main talking points among villagers this month seems to be the problem of heavy goods vehicles using local roads and lanes. 

Tip inquiry: The wait goes on

The following is an exchange of emails prompted by Coun Luke Mallett’s letter in last month’s issue of The Village, “A tipping point”, regarding an inquiry into Marlbrook Tip.

Deer appears

Following the deer picture in the last issue, here’s one in my back garden, photographed through the window.

Helpers in the Hills

The Lickey Hills rangers work with a small band of volunteers to help them with the many and varied tasks that need tackling in a country park.

We want a peaceful life

On the Alvechurch Neighbourhood Plan website, I have just read the “shared vision” for Alvechurch and found it bears no relation to what is really happening to the fabric of our so-called rural area and Green Belt.

Extended route is great news

Re: Noise of the ghost buses (Village Views, July 2014): Regular bus users to Cofton Hackett are becoming aware that the new 45 bus extension is very useful when coming home from work in Birmingham.

We should embrace Groveley bus route

Having read last month’s letter complaining about the number 45 bus (Noise of the ghost buses, Village Views July 2014), this is a copy of a letter we have sent to Network West Midlands, from the passengers’ point of view:


We at The Village would be the first to agree that social media is a positive way to communicate – it brings immediacy to news stories, and Facebook and Twitter are great tools for promoting local events and businesses and for sharing information.

Will bays be shown respect by shoppers?

The success of another parking bay for disabled drivers (“Co-op parking bay ideas”, The Village, June 2014) will depend on Alvechurch shoppers’ willingness to respect it.

A tipping point

Re: your report on the Marlbrook Tip last month: I’m afraid the information from Coun Cooper is not really correct. The following outlines where I think we are with the formation of this group.

Noise of the ghost buses

This is a copy of a letter we have sent to Network West Midlands regarding the Number 45 bus.

Dear deer

I thought you might be interested in seeing this roe deer buck, antlers just starting to grow nicely.

Lawton’s View

JULY 2014

Lawton's View July 2014

Travellers’ legacy

These are photos of some of the rubbish left again in the field next to the M42 overpass in Alvechurch.


The Marlbrook Tip debacle already beggars belief, so long-suffering residents could be forgiven for thinking that things couldn’t get any more farcical. . . but the latest twist in the 15-year saga has scaled new heights of absurdity.


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Village Features

The soldier shot by his own side

The tragic tale of a Rowney Green man executed for alleged desertion during the First World War.

Squalor in the South: ****

Film Review: Joe (David Gordon Green, 2013)

Support for stress-free life

At some point in our lives, most of us will experience problems such as stress, bereavement or anxiety – and some will need a bit of extra help to get through a difficult time.

Art on the hillside

Hopwood-based artist Paula Hamilton meets a flourishing local art group.

Your vehicle in safe hands

Drivers who want to ensure their cars receive top quality care will welcome the return of a well-known local business, as Smiths of Alvechurch moves back into the village.

Glorious guilt trip

It was that time of year for all those with boring or unloved gardens to feel pangs of envy as they perused a selection of village plots oozing with vibrant life, colour and cultivation.

Village Archive: 10 years ago…

A look back at what was going on around here in August 2004.

Way out west

Mary Green reports on summer nature further afield.

Brave Sid saved horses and men

The full story behind a local man’s act of heroism in the First World War.

Big bike adventure

Hannah Genders shares the story of her charity cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Sights worth staying up for

Amateur astronomer Brian Watkiss peers into the Village night sky.

Has trend been set for good summer?

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

How new savings rules make an ISA even NISA

If you can, make sure you use the tax-free incentive, says Paul Lyons.

Lost gardens of Burcot

Dave Morgan encourages proud garden owners in Burcot (and other local villages) to show off their hard work under the National Gardens Scheme.

A masterpiece: *****

Film Review: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

There is a scene in Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty (2013) where journalist and central protagonist Jep Gambardella views a photographic exhibition whose author is the son of one of his friends. This exhibition comprises thousands of photographs of the son from a multitude of points in his life.

See the Summer Triangle

Amateur astronomer Brian Watkiss peers into the Village night sky.

Spring warmth in 200-year highs

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

Protect your family’s most valuable assets

Critical illness insurance is essential to look after your family, says Paul Lyons.

Traditional teas for all occasions

Since relocating to the centre of Barnt Green in March, the nostalgia-fest that is Constance Wallace has been doing a roaring trade.

Village Archive: 10 years ago…

A look back at what was happening around here in July 2004.

Brewing up great cuisine

Sally Oldaker finds out if the food lives up to the beer at the Coach & Horses.

Special touch for country homes

Give your property the treatment it deserves with a prestigious makeover by Mark Lea Interior Design.

Charity begins at home

Simon Welch of Alvechurch Communities Together makes an appeal on behalf of The Lounge.

Seamless surfacing

The ideal driveway, patio or footpath should be attractive, safe, and environmentally friendly – and local company Eco-Pave ticks all the boxes with its resin-bound surfacing system.

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