Village News


Afternoon tea at The Ark

A fundraising event takes place at The Ark, Alvechurch on Monday July 31, with proceeds going to Primrose Hospice and St. Richard’s Hospice.

Late-date success!

Alvechurch’s annual Picnic in the Park reaped the rewards of being held later in the year as record crowds basked in warm sunshine.

Could you use a marquee?

If you’re seeking a party venue for September, Barnt Green Cricket Club could have the solution.

Paving way for piazza

Plans for a Piazza dell’Alvechurch could be resurrected as the village’s Neighbourhood Plan nears fruition.

A community hub

A report on Alvechurch Sports & Social Club by its vice president, Karl Farrell.

Trek to raise awareness

A village resident is to take part in an arduous trek across Oman in aid of Coppafeel, a charity that promotes early detection of breast cancer in young people. 

Tea with the Queen

Barnt Green parish councillor Judith Jagger was invited to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, in recognition of her work in the community.

Hopwood misses out on crossing

Hopwood residents have been “sadly let down” by Bromsgrove planners, according to independent district councillor Charlie Hotham.

Post Office plans move

Post Office bosses are consulting with villagers over a proposed move of the Alvechurch branch into the planned Simply Fresh store in the village centre.

Gate policy to continue

Alvechurch parish councillors have decided to continue locking the gates to The Meadows playing fields when alerts of travellers looking for a new site in the area are received.

New Executive Officer

Blackwell resident Lisa Winterbourn has been announced as the new Executive Officer for Lickey & Blackwell Parish Council.

Station scheme draws a blank

A proposed scheme which could see volunteers looking after Barnt Green railway station has not proved as popular as the parish council hoped.

War memorial adopted

Lickey & Blackwell Parish Council has formally agreed to adopt the war memorial outside the Trinity Centre, as neither Lickey church nor Bromsgrove District Council were interested in doing so.

Traffic chaos to ease

Traffic chaos at the Bovis Homes temporary lights at Bordesley should be easing, site manager Richard Flanigan told Alvechurch parish councillors.

Guess the close-up (No. 4)

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

Unexpected meeting on garden trip

Members of Finstall Cross WI had an unexpected encounter when they visited Thenford Gardens and Arboretum in Northamptonshire.

Ideas for boosting village

Barnt Green traders have been coming up with ideas to boost the village in a scheme instigated by Bromsgrove’s Town Centres manager Cheryl Welsh.

Colts aiming to win the league

Barnt Green Colts Under-14s Team (Year 9 from September 2017) is looking for players with Sunday league football experience who want to win the league next season.

Angels on an adventure

Members of Ark Angels WI enjoyed an exciting trip to Blackwell Adventure outdoor activity centre.

New path danger fears

Network Rail’s closure of two railway footpath crossings is still on the agenda for village parish councils.

Guess the close-up (No. 4): ANSWER

Did you guess correctly?


A much-missed tree that used to form a gateway to southern Alvechurch has been replaced, thanks to Alvechurch Village Society.

Feast of classical music through ages

The Orchestra of St John in Bromsgrove is staging its sixth annual MusicFest – a feast of classical music through the ages, featuring four performances over two days.

Blame it on the weather!

Sarah Rees reports from the Oakalls and Parklands.

Hannah meets Vinny!

Twelve-year-old Hannah Gill, of Bromsgrove, was the latest winner of a Mini Vinny in our monthly competition.

A taste of Worcestershire art

A three-week exhibition will showcase the work of 30 Worcestershire artists.

Alvechurch Village chooses independent Kate as Sajid sweeps back in

THE INDEPENDENT candidate Kate Van Der Plank has won the by-election for Alvechurch Village Ward with a large share of the vote. She polled 893 votes, 310 more than the Tory candidate on 583.
Meanwhile, sitting MP Sajid Javid has been re-elected to the Bromsgrove constituency in the General Election with almost twice the votes (33,493) of the Labour candidate Michael Thompson (16,920).

Spinning in the rain

Parents and friends of St Andrew’s First School in Barnt Green braved the rain to take part in a 12-hour sponsored “spinathon”.

Independents’ day

A large part of the Village area could soon by represented by independent councillors after a stunning result in the county elections and an enthralling by-election in Alvechurch.

Family’s £3,000 summit

An Alvechurch resident who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease last October has defied medical expectations to climb Snowdon and raise £3,000 for research into the illness.

Moonwalking for charity

Ten years after completing the London Marathon, Ruth Dugdale and Kate Van der Plank have done it again – only this time they walked!

Hall seeks help

Finstall Village Hall is seeking a new secretary to ensure the venue can continue to be run efficiently and provide a meeting place for the village and wider area.

Sun, fun and running!

The sun shone as 250 runners, including 116 youngsters, took part in the first Barnt Green Chuggers Fun Run, with most completing the 5km course around the centre of the village.

Ten gardens on display

Withybed Gardens will open to the public again this year under the National Garden Scheme (NGS), on Sunday June 25.

Council’s U-turn on church funding

Barnt Green Parish Council has made a U-turn over paying for churchyard maintenance at St Michael’s, Cofton Hackett.

Here we all go again!

Meet the candidates hoping to be elected MP for Bromsgrove in the General Election on June 8 . . .

Villagers play away

Musicians from the Village area descended on Droitwich to perform at the annual St Richard’s Canal Festival

Save our hedgehogs!

Sarah Rees reports from the Oakalls and Parklands.

A visit from Henry

As part of the WI’s 100-year anniversary celebrations, eight local branches enjoyed a visit from none other than King Henry VIII, writes Keith Woolford.

New guide to hills

A new book is aiming to help visitors make the most of the Lickey Hills.


Village Views



We feel we should join in on bonfires, having wafted the flames ever so gently to start with by asking in the June issue what readers feel about lighting up in their gardens.

Lawton’s View

JULY 2017

Lawton's View July 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.

. . . at least it makes a nice picture

What a beautiful bonfire picture Roz Miller has sent you. So atmospheric.

It’s a small world!

My daughter and I were sitting outside a pub in London, having chosen it at random for a bite to eat. An elderly gentleman came to sit at our table, and asked where we were from.

And the decision is . . . no decision!

I would like to submit two responses for the price of one.

Plant mystery solved

Last month, reader Dave Eckley sent in a photo of a ‘mystery plant’, and wondered whether Mary Green, who writes our Village Country Diary, could identify it.

The dandelion detective

I always look forward to collecting a copy of The Village from Barnt Green Post Office, and the June edition’s front cover was absolutely captivating!

Thanks from Councillor Kate

I would like to thank everyone who voted for me in the district council elections.

Owners should clean up after horses

I am wondering why horse owners are not made to clear up their horses’ poo from public areas?

Cofton traffic ‘death trap’

Firstly, I would like to thank Cofton Hackett parish councillors for all their hard unpaid work looking after the area over the years.


It feels as if this is the umpteenth time we have started this column saying that The Village has no political axe to grind, apart from believing there is no place for petty, party politics in local government: but it is election time again, so here we go again . . .

Cofton Hackett: the new Silverstone

Good to hear about the new Brands Hatch circuit at Groveley Lane, but the real experiences belong to the up and coming circuit on the Barnt Green Road and the new extension at Kendal End.

Lack of lifts is discrimination

Would someone please be able to let us all know when the long-dreamt-of disabled lifts are due to be installed at Barnt Green railway station?

Mystery plant: can Mary help?

Can I just say how much I enjoy Mary Green’s feature on the plants of our local area and their uses each month.

Thank you from Charlie

I would like to thank all those who voted for me in the recent county council election.

Left fuming by afternoon bonfire

On a Saturday afternoon, when I had a full line of washing out, including the kids’ school uniforms, this is what I noticed out of my window.


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Village Features

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.

Third trophy for AFC

Alvechurch FC wrap up their season in the best possible way.

Ravens put on a show

NEW Ravens RLFC recently held their first junior camp weekend at Hopwood, which was very well attended.

Renew love of rugby

Kings Norton Rhinos RFC, based at Hopwood, are looking for boys who will be starting school year 10 in September to join their successful under-15s team for the 2017-18 season.

Spica’s brightness

Amateur astronomer Brian Watkiss peers into the Village night sky.

Jazz concert is a fizzy delight

Not what you’d expect. No, not at all.

A month of extremes

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

Greening grey Britain

Hannah Genders explores a garden project that aims to add greenery to our urban spaces.

Protect the future with a family trust

Austin Broad discusses how inheritance tax could affect you.

Village Archive: 10 years ago…

A look back at what was happening around here in July/August 2007.

New leader for arts school

Students at the Bromsgrove Stagecoach School are embarking on an exciting new journey as they prepare to work with a new performing arts leadership team.

A garden for the senses

Village care home unveils vibrant new garden to help residents enjoy time outdoors.

Summer days

Mary Green admires the purple hues of July.

Charity ball to benefit hospital

As Singletons Nurseries marks its 70th birthday, the owners are making sure their celebrations will also benefit charity.

Spot the satellite

Amateur astronomer Brian Watkiss peers into the Village night sky.

May turns wet and cool

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

Double? No trouble!

Alvechurch FC’s victory in league and cup bodes well for next season.

Top 10 at Malvern

Hannah Genders reports on her experience at Malvern Show.

Flaming June

Mary Green looks at the bright flowers of the early summertime.

Check your pension

Austin Broad advises all employees to examine the details of their new workplace schemes.

The story of my life

By his own admission, Barnt Green resident Cas Amato isn’t rich or famous – so why did he decide to write his autobiography?

Village Archive: 10 years ago…

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

Celebrating the dawn chorus

The only way to celebrate International Dawn Chorus Day is to get up early. Very early . . . almost-not-going-to-bed early, writes Keith Woolford.

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