Village News


Have your say on Neighbourhood Plan

Alvechurch residents are invited to comment on the parish’s Neighbourhood Plan during a three-day exhibition of the plans at the Baptist Church from October 5–7.

Spend an evening with ‘Blind Dave’

Villagers have an opportunity to spend an evening in the company of marathon runner and fundraiser extraordinaire, Dave Heeley – AKA “Blind Dave”.

Busking bonanza

Barnt Green held its first Busking Festival in August, with local musicians from a variety of genres entertaining shoppers and residents.

Second skiffle CD

Alvechurch’s well-known skiffle band, The 6-5 Specials, have a new CD out, with all proceeds going to Alzheimer’s Research.

Bus to link villages

A community transport scheme linking several of our villages looks set to become a reality after gaining approval from parish councillors.

Explosions in Barnt Green

Residents on the new CALA estate in Barnt Green reported being shaken from their sleep by two explosions on the site shortly before midnight on August 17.

50 fabulous years

Crown Meadow First School in Alvechurch celebrated its 50th birthday in style, with staff and pupils dressing in fashions from the past five decades.

Music festival offers local talent

Blackwell Music Festival takes place once again in the grounds of Hunters Hill School, from 1–9pm on Saturday September 9.

Horsing around!

The Bilberry Wake, a traditional annual festival in the Lickey Hills, featured picnics, crafts and hobby-horse racing for all ages!

Knitting for a good cause

The Alvechurch Knit & Natter group have raised cash for Brain Tumour Research through sales of their knitted goods.

Community walk for all ages

Barnt Green’s annual free Community Walk will be held on Saturday September 23, with villagers of all ages and abilities invited to join in.

Pumpkin party!

Alvechurch is getting ready to go pumpkin crazy, as the countdown to the village’s first-ever Pumpkin Festival is under way!

Car park open for all

Barnt Green parish councillors are encouraging commuters to park on the new CALA Homes car park, which is now open and free for all to use.

Rhinos raring to go

Kings Norton Rhinos Rugby Club are raring to get into the new season, with preparations well underway throughout the Hopwood Park club on Ash Lane, Hopwood. 

Georgian-style art on display

For the second year running the Summer Fete at Grosvenor House care home in Alvechurch featured the announcement of the winners of the art competition set up and supported by Kamal Khan, co-owner of both Grosvenor House and Tutnall Hall.

Cycling to beat cancer

Alvechurch resident Ross Dustan is raising funds for Cure Leukaemia by taking part in a 100-mile cycle challenge.

New gardeners sought

Organisers of the biannual Alvechurch Open Gardens event (which takes place on June 23 and 24 next year) are hoping a few more residents would like to show off their gardening skills.

Guess the close-up (No. 6)

Village reader Mark Winson sent us some close-up images of interesting sights around Alvechurch – can you identify where this one is? 

Bumper day for animal charities

More than 2,000 people visited the Jinney Ring Craft Centre in Hanbury for “Animals R Magic”, a fun day in aid of The Cinnamon Trust and local animal charities.

Family fun at the fair

Blackwell First School’s Summer Fair offered plenty of family fun and games, including skittles, football, performances by pupils and a baking competition.

Kavya wins a Vinny!

Nine-year-old Kavya Maganty, of Barnt Green, was the latest winner of a Mini Vinny in our monthly competition.

Could you be a mentor?

Mentor Link, a charity that provides long-term dedicated social and emotional support to vulnerable and distressed children and young people, is seeking a male mentor to support a boy in school with additional learning needs.

Exhibition of prints

Bromsgrove Photographic Society is holding an exhibition of members’ prints in the Meeting Room at Bromsgrove Library, until the end of August.

Farewell, Helen!

Helen Doherty, retiring clerk of Lickey & Blackwell Parish Council, was presented with a gift by councillors in recognition of her service.

Wildlife photographs on display at lecture

Bromsgrove Photographic Society starts its new season with a visit from a world-renowned photographer.

AFC are up for the cup

Alvechurch FC celebrated its past, present and future when the FA Cup trophy paid a visit to the club, as the team prepared to play in the competition’s preliminary round

Crossing campaign deadline

Blackwell residents campaigning against Network Rail’s decision to close the village’s railway crossing point and replace it with a diversion are urging villagers to submit their objections before September 14.

‘Old skool’ entertainment

Rowney Green Village Hall presents an evening of music and comedy on Sat Sep 16.

Guess the close-up (No. 6): ANSWER

Did you guess correctly?

Learning to save a life

A morning’s training in how to use the new defibrillator mounted outside Hopwood Community Centre was given by Rob Underwood of the charity Charlotte and Craig Saving Hearts.

Fun run funds

Money raised from entry fees for the recent Barnt Green Fun Run was donated to Barnt Green Day Centre.

Traveller barrier bungle

Sarah Rees reports from the Oakalls and Parklands.

Pirates in the park

Blackwell Festival enjoyed glorious weather for a change – perfect for this year’s piratical theme!

Down on the farm

This year’s Lickey Festival, held at Lickey Hills Primary School and involving the whole community, was themed around The Farmyard.

Motor mania!

The inaugural Barnt Green Motor Festival saw more than 60 cars and motorbikes assemble in the village centre.

Guess the close-up (No. 5): ANSWER

Did you guess correctly?

School bus with a difference

Pupils at St Andrew’s First School in Barnt Green now have extra space for their lessons, thanks to the addition of an unusual classroom – “Buster” the double-decker bus.

‘Wake up’ call on closure

A group of Blackwell residents have organised a campaign against Network Rail’s decision to close a popular railway crossing point and replace it with a diversion.

Charity challengers

Sarah Rees reports from the Oakalls and Parklands.

Party time at Burcot

More than 250 guests attended the Annual Summer Garden Party at Burcot Grange Care Home, enjoying an afternoon tea in the beautiful gardens and sunshine.

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Village Views



With the rest of the world apparently heading to hell in a handcart, these quiet days of summer in and around our villages have perhaps had an extra sense of the idyllic.

Lawton’s View


Lawton's View September 2017

We need control on horse numbers

I have read with interest some of the correspondence about horses in this magazine. I am a horse rider and appreciate them as animals.

Living next door to a bomb site

I live on Fiery Hill Road, Barnt Green, opposite the railway station. I daresay most nearby residents are aware of the demolition of the property at number 47 next door to our house, with a shared drive. 

How is this ruling democratic?

At the rear of our estate there has been a long-running planning application debate: residents in Lickey Square wish to build five houses in their back gardens which will then tower over three or four houses on our estate.

Pavements left like a patchwork quilt

Regarding the letter (“Verging on the ridiculous”, August 2017) about the mess left behind by Virgin Media on Oakfield Drive, Cofton Hackett:

I worked with Simon’s father

In response to the letter about a Barnt Green resident bumping into a former villager, Simon Bendall, in London (“It’s a small world!” July 2017):

Pricey pass

I always enjoy Hannah Genders’ garden articles in your magazine, and having read about Shakespeare’s New Place in her August article, I went to visit it.


We wonder if the saga that has been dragging out over the southern slopes of the lovely Lickey Hills for the past two decades may at last be entering its end game.

Piazza would ruin the village

I think the idea of turning The Square in Alvechurch into a piazza would be the end of the shops and small businesses there.

Verging on the ridiculous (again!)

Recently the residents of Oakfield Drive in Cofton Hackett have seen work undertaken by Virgin Media Group to install underground cables.

History society seeks help with soldier research

Village readers may remember articles in September 2016 and April 2017 about the Hidden First World War Heritage of the Lickey Hills project, sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Tackle the pavement pests

Having visited Barnt Green at about 1pm one day, I was amazed to find the footpath outside the Happy Valley Chinese takeaway blocked by an illegally-parked car.

Leave space for shoppers

I have one of the answers to the Barnt Green traders’ ideas to boost the village in a scheme instigated by Bromsgrove’s Town Centre manager Cheryl Welsh.

Horse riders have no choice but to use roads

I am a horse owner. I frequently ride up or down Cofton Church Lane. Does Dr Vohra realise that at either end there is a bridleway – of which there are very few?

Lawton’s View


Lawton's View August 2017

Bonfire smells great to me!

Should you print my letter I fear I may be in a majority of one, or should that be a minority of one? You see, even though others may disagree, I love the smell of a bonfire.

. . . but I’m fed up with the smoke

In response to the letter regarding bonfires: I live on the Redditch Road in Alvechurch, and this problem has been on going since I moved here 20 years ago.

. . . why can’t people just take rubbish to the tip?

Thank you for highlighting the persistent problem of bonfires. Why is it even necessary to burn rubbish on a summer’s day, when we have a garden waste collection or the use of the tip in Romsley?

. . . I blame austerity, but there’s no need to moan

Bonfires can be annoying, and bless the children’s school uniforms having to be washed again. I’m not sure why the laundry identity was important.   

. . . ban antisocial fires during daytime

I absolutely agree with Roz Miller that garden bonfires are so antisocial.


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Village Features

A brilliant year for Bliss

Alvechurch salon Bliss Hair Therapy is celebrating its ninth birthday – and it’s already been a fabulous year.

Our German gentle men

Cofton Hackett resident Marian Gallagher shares memories of the German POWs who became part of the village.

Village Archive: 10 years ago…

A look back at what was happening around here in September 2007.

A sight beyond words

Amateur astronomer Brian Watkiss peers into the Village night sky.

Where did summer go?

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

Perfect time for projects

If you’re planning to get your garden growing again, now is the ideal month, says Hannah Genders.

September gold

Mary Green celebrates the bounty of autumn.

Flying start for AFC

Alvechurch FC get their league and cup season underway.

Music can improve IQ

Your children’s schedule may be overloaded with enjoyable activities. But if you’re unsure about adding music lessons to the list, let Vale Pianos show you the many great benefits to playing the piano.

Citizens of the future

Winterfold is a unique school, and this is evident from the moment you enter the school drive.

Be an independent girl

There has been a hive of activity at one small school in Droitwich Spa this Summer.

Start your RGS journey

The RGS schools are inclusive, challenging and academically stimulating.

Cuisine crosses cultures

Award-winning chef Lorenzo Richards dished up a selection of cross-culture fusion food at a special VIP event at his restaurant, The Wildmoor Oak, near Bromsgrove.

Summer of success

Bromsgrove School has once again had a successful summer of exam results.

The Bard’s back yard

Hannah Genders visits a newly-restored garden in Stratford.

Battle for a beautiful garden

Dave Morgan describes the difficulties caused by wildlife and weather.

Coast and countryside

We certainly did have a flaming June this year, and the first part of July. I don’t know what it was about the specific conditions, but the flowering of orchids in the area was the best I’ve ever seen.

Learning through play

A Bromsgrove resident is using her expertise to offer fun and interactive educational classes for babies, toddlers and preschools in Bromsgrove, Redditch and beyond.

Welcome to Barney’s!

A new Alvechurch business is proving that it’s not just women who like to be pampered – at Barney’s Barbers, men are offered the full grooming experience, from hot towels to the latest hair styles.

AFC are a cut above!

Alvechurch FC get into shape for the new season.

Summer keeps up heat

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

Tale of two eclipses

Amateur astronomer Brian Watkiss peers into the Village night sky.

Cheers to village store!

Discerning drinkers will be excited by the opening of Village Vineyards, a new Barnt Green shop with a huge range of wines, beers and spirits.

Fusion of old and new

Dave Morgan previews the latest exhibition by an Alvechurch art group.

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