Village News


Shining lights

Villagers in Alvechurch, Barnt Green, Lickey and Blackwell embraced the spirit of Christmas with a host of sparkling celebrations.

Villagers on screen

A short film involving plenty of local talent is now in production in the Village area.

Barnt Green ups stakes over lifts

Barnt Green Parish Council called an emergency meeting last month to raise its protest over the disabled lifts U-turn at the village station.

Let it snow!

December’s heavy snowfall meant playtime for kids – and lots of picturesque views.

Cycle shelter installed

A cycle shelter has been installed at Alvechurch Station by London Midland, in conjunction with Worcestershire County Council and co-ordinated by Alvechurch Parish Council.

Musical money

Alvechurch Community Choir presented a cheque for £453 to The Lounge café and youth centre during a carol singing session.

Ready to wassail

Villagers are invited to help ‘wake the trees’ at the mid-winter celebration hosted by Aelfgythe Border Morris.

Villagers rally round for Kieran

Villagers in Alvechurch have clubbed together to help a fellow resident to buy a new wheelchair.

Lost Notes find fame with debut album

Barnt Green singer/songwriter Oli Jobes and his band, The Lost Notes, have launched their debut album, Run Free Right Now

Churchyard danger plea

A village church is hoping to contact the descendants of people whose memorials have become unsafe in its graveyard.

Learn to save lives

Sarah Rees reports from the Oakalls and Parklands.

Vinny joins the council!

Alvechurch parish councillor Sue Lambert was the latest winner of a Mini Vinny in our monthly competition.

Join the Walking Buddies

A new walking group was set up in Alvechurch recently by local residents Tony Brannon and Diana Ball.

Welcome to the Lodge

Burcot Grange care home held a launch party to open its new dementia care facility, Burcot Lodge. 

Hall is chosen charity

Hopwood Village Hall has been chosen by the Co-op in Alvechurch as one of its local charities for the next few months.

Plastic-free village

Alvechurch might become a plastic-free village after a resident contacted district councillor Kate Van Der Plank to suggest the idea.

Railing repair

Loose railings in Swan Street, Alvechurch, are to be repaired or replaced by the highways department after officers confirmed they were county council property.

Council’s signage pledge

Lickey and Blackwell parish councillors have agreed to make budgetary provision for extra signage on Dale Hill if there is inadequate funding from the county council.

Hall is Community Asset

Blackwell’s Methodist Hall has been declared a Community Asset.

Festive fun in Finstall

Finstall & Cofton Hackett WI hosted a Christmas Party at their December meeting in Finstall Village Hall.

Library volunteers sought

Volunteers are sought to help support the day-to-day running of Alvechurch Library.

Thanks to Crafty Ladies

Following a hugely successful Christmas Craft Sale, Alvechurch Library would like to say a massive thank you to the Crafty Ladies for their hard work and support for the library and local community.

Join the adventure!

The Scouting team in Barnt Green is seeking volunteers to help ensure that everyone is able to access great opportunities and activities and learn skills for life.

New books for the new year

Two Village authors have released new books.

Parish fights back on lifts

Following the revelation that Network Rail will not be providing the promised lifts at Barnt Green railway station in the near future, parish councillors have been discussing their next move.

Speeding plea down ‘black hole’ lane

A Blackwell resident who describes a village lane as “the Black Hole of Calcutta” is campaigning for speed restrictions in the hope of preventing a serious accident.

End of yellow brick road

Network Rail has confirmed that it intends to close Blackwell’s “yellow brick road” railway crossing permanently and replace it with a diversion, despite opposition from residents and parish councillors.

‘We’re not in Redditch’

Voters in Alvechurch, Barnt Green and Cofton Hackett would find themselves electing the MP for Redditch if new proposals are introduced.

Parking fears in school expansion

Barnt Green parish councillors have discussed submitting an official response to the proposed expansion of St Andrew’s First School.

Thriller based on true mystery

A bizarre-but-true mystery has provided the inspiration for a villager’s debut novel.

All action for village film-making projects

A new short film made in the Village area will tell the story of Midland hero “Blind Dave” Heeley and how he came to run around the world.

Keeping tradition alive

A village Morris dancing side is looking for new blood as the group heads towards its 30th anniversary. 

Villagers asked for land use ideas

The new owner of the former vet’s building on Birmingham Road, Alvechurch, has asked villagers for suggestions of uses for the land to the rear.

Second defibrillator for village

Barnt Green parish councillors agreed to contribute £200 towards the cost of a defibrillator at the village’s social club.

Railing danger

Loose railings on Swan Street (right) close to the centre of Alvechurch are to be investigated after warnings from residents that they have become dangerous.

Lickey on alert after burglaries

Lickey & Blackwell Parish Council is reminding villagers to keep their homes, sheds and vehicles secure, after October’s crime figures from Lickey were released by the police.

Villages light up

The final details of Alvechurch’s Christmas event on December 1 have been released.

Christmas church services

Lickey and Blackwell’s churches are encouraging people to come along to their special Christmas services.

Simply Fresh plan setback

Plans for an “upmarket” grocery store in Alvechurch have been sent back to the drawing board after they were deemed inappropriate for a listed building.

Wassail Walk update

Meet at 3pm on Wednesday December 27 in Millennium Park for the free Barnt Green Wassail Walk to a local orchard.

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Village Views



It’s not often that New Year predictions come to pass, but this year we can claim some success.

Lawton’s View


Lawton's View Jan 2018

Prioritise rail cash

I live in Cofton Church Lane and enjoy walking and running around the footpaths of this beautiful area.

Network Rail needs to address safety

Two things seem to be clear in respect of the footpath/footbridge/lifts problem with Network Rail:

Council planners ‘ignoring logic’

I note from the Village News Round-up in your December issue that the owner of the former veterinary surgery has asked villagers for suggestions of uses.

Warm welcome to Cofton

As a resident of the Cofton Fields estate, I would like to express my thanks for the warm welcome I’ve received within Cofton Hackett. 

Change is not always good

Regarding K Cunningham’s response to my original letter about the new Cofton Fields estate (Village Views, November 2017): yes, things did have to change and life moves on, but as many residents would tell you, what was promised in the first plans looks nothing like what there is now.

Plagued by ‘chariots of fire’

Ah, the sleepy Anglo Saxon village of Cofton Hackett. Or it was until the chariots of fire appeared!

Leaving dog mess is disrespectful

To those who turn a blind eye when their dogs are walking out with them: if dog mess is left behind, your duty to your canine and to the environment is to “bag it and bin it”.


Faceless bureaucrats in their Whitehall ivory towers, drawing lines on maps without a care for how they will affect us in our villages 100 miles away from the capital . . . where have we read those words before?

Lawton’s View


Lawton's View Dec 2017

Bridge ‘railroaded’

I read your article in November’s edition concerning the disabled lifts at Barnt Green station with a feeling of frustration and disappointment.

A guide to getting on and off the train

With regard to access for all at Barnt Green station, I would like to expand on what Coun Cholmondeley has stated in Village News (November 2017).

Stop griping and embrace Cofton’s opportunity

As a resident of the “over-built Lego extension” in Cofton Hackett (Village Views, November 2017), I find it disappointing to still see negativity about what is not only a great opportunity for an exciting and cohesive new neighbourhood but also a lovely place to live. 

Where are the whitebeams?

I thought Barnt Green was such a nice place when I came to live here. However, two years ago the chainsaws moved into Rosebank and the whitebeams came down.

Whose dung is it, anyway?

I enjoyed reading The Village last month, especially the fabulous tip given by Cheryl Godfrey regarding using the horse droppings to feed the roses (Village Views, November 2017).

Meadows should be open to cars

This is an open letter to Alvechurch Parish Council and anyone concerned with the situation at the Wiggin Recreation Grounds, known locally as The Meadows, over the past summer and autumn.

Thanks to villagers for generosity

I would like to thank all local businesses who donated the wonderful array of prizes for the Alvechurch Knit & Natter Alzheimer’s Charity Raffle, and all you lovely people who have purchased tickets.


We often hear people talk about how nice it is to live in our villages and how lucky we all are to do so.

Roads to nowhere

Just when it looked probable that I may be alone in thinking that with all the frantic building and road-making going on in this Sceptered Isle, we will all be permanently gridlocked, your editorial and David Barton and Sophie Garner’s letters in the October issue revealed that perhaps other people have been thinking about this as well.

Urgent need to calm speed

Regarding the subject of speeding traffic in Barnt Green, I note that parish clerk Gill Lungley states that Fiery Hill Road is not suitable for the use of a speed gun (The Village October 2017).


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Village Features

Once in a blue moon

Amateur astronomer Brian Watkiss peers into the Village night sky.

Trio of new garden entries

The bi-annual Alvechurch Open Gardens event will take place again in 2018, with a group of interesting gardens open to the public over the weekend of June 23 and 24.

Wintry end to the year

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

Looking forward

Dave Morgan, county organiser for the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), suggests ways to plan for the warmer weather.

The trees of life

Mary Green starts a new series on trees in the Celtic calendar.

The hidden Budget buy-to-let headline

Have the scales now tilted too far against BTL? asks Martin Pryor, of Pryor Portfolio.

Start your RGS journey

The RGS Journey offers an outstanding education for boys and girls aged from 2 to 18.

Welcome to Winterfold

At Winterfold, children are given the freedom and security to work and play, giving them childhood experiences they will never forget.

School is a ‘second home’ for happy girls

What’s new at Dodderhill Independent Girls? To start with, it’s the name.

Centre’s grand opening

Distinguished guests attended the Grand Opening of Bromsgrove School’s Performing Arts Centre.

Shoot-out woe for AFC

Alvechurch FC celebrate a wonder goal but rue the curse of penalties.

Your eyes in good hands

Edgbaston Eye Clinic now offers a dedicated Oculoplastic Service led by Consultant Oculoplastic Surgeon Mr Y Ghosh MBBS (Hons), FRCSEd (Ophthal).

Village Archive: 10 years ago…

A look back at what was happening around here in December 2007–January 2008.

It’s here at last!

The Village area has everything you need for a Christmas to remember.

Davies Timber open to all

Davies Timber is well-known as one of the largest independent timber merchants in the Midlands – but many people are unaware that it is open to the public as well as for trade.

Frosts after a mild start

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

Purple people power

Spice Valley Balti (SVB) in Bromsgrove will host a special fundraising dinner on Monday January 29, to raise money for the Stroke Association in Bromsgrove.

Launch of a dragon

Amateur astronomer Brian Watkiss peers into the Village night sky.

Being bold in the garden

Hannah Genders helps clients ‘go for it’ with a new design.

Colours of Africa

Sally Oldaker meets an artist whose work reflects his roots.

Reduce sight-loss risk

In many eye conditions, early detection is crucial to reduce the risk of sight loss as a result of retinal damage.

Sweet victory at Stourbridge

Alvechurch FC have plenty to look forward to as the year ends.

The holly bears a berry

Mary Green looks at the role of wildlife in our songs and carols.

Report reveals the real value of advice

You could save more money with the right guidance, writes Martin Pryor, of Pryor Portfolio.

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