Village News


Guess the close-up (No. 3): ANSWER

Did you guess correctly?

Election victory for Charlie

The results are in – and Independent candidate Charlie Hotham is now Alvechurch’s representative at Worcestershire County Council.

Concert band’s charity gig

Blackwell Concert Band will take to the stage in Bromsgrove this Saturday, May 6, to raise funds for Mission Morogoro.

Guess the close-up (No. 2): ANSWER

Did you guess correctly?

A load of rubbish!

Sarah Rees reports from the Oakalls and Parklands.

Library seeks volunteers

Alvechurch Library is looking for young, enthusiastic volunteers aged from 11-24 years to help with this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Brass in pocket after charity gig

Organisers of a charity event for the Alzheimer’s Society were so pleased with its success that they are planning a repeat later this year.

Easter sale success

The Alvechurch Library Crafty Ladies held a fantastic Easter Craft Sale once again, with lots of handmade gifts and bunting.

Burcot lunch is fit for a Queen!

Burcot Grange Care Home celebrated the Queen’s 91st birthday by inviting friends to join the residents for a three-course luncheon, a flower-arranging demonstration, and afternoon tea and cakes.

I’ve won a Vinny!

Eight-year-old Ebony-Rose Parker, of Hopwood, was the latest winner of a Mini Vinny in our monthly competition.

Welcome to world of work

Pupils at Alvechurch Middle School gained an insight into the world of work during a Careers Day.

Green Belt bites back

The battle to stop a Birmingham land-grab across our borders into the Green Belt could be boosted by the initiative of the district councillor for Barnt Green and Hopwood.

Guess the close-up (No. 2)

Village reader Mark Winson sent us some close-up images of interesting sights around Alvechurch.

Village gears up for motor-fest

Barnt Green Parish Council has confirmed that its Motor Festival will definitely go ahead on Sunday July 2. More than 50 vehicles owned by local residents will be on display in Hewell Road from 2pm–5pm.  

We are the champions!

It’s party time for Alvechurch FC, who were crowned league champions with one match to spare.

It’s picnic party time!

It’s nearly here: Alvechurch Parish Picnic in the Park takes place on Sunday May 28 and organisers hope it will be as spectacular as ever, with new and exciting additions to the usual line up of entertainment, stalls and fun for everyone.

Choir concert cash boost

A benefit concert held by Alvechurch Community Choir has raised more than £1,200 through ticket and refreshment sales, a raffle and donations.

‘Finn’ on paw patrol

West Midlands Police has named a new member of its dog squad in honour of young Alvechurch fundraiser Finlay Church, whose ambition was to become a policeman.

Resident points the finger

A resident of Oakdene Drive has pointed the finger at parish councillors and villagers alike for not taking sufficient care of Barnt Green.

Church funding row is back on agenda

Barnt Green parish councillors are still discussing funding for churchyard maintenance at St Michael’s in Cofton Hackett, after Coun Charlie Hotham was approached by residents who say St Michael’s is as much part of Barnt Green as St Andrew’s.

Alan’s legacy to The Lounge

The Lounge café and youth project in Alvechurch has received a bequest in memory of a village resident. 

Fun run reminder

Don’t forget Barnt Green’s Fun Run, taking place on Sunday May 7 and organised by the Chuggers running group and the parish council.

Phantom bins

Cofton Hackett Parish Council says it has received conflicting information from Bromsgrove District Council over fees for emptying bins in the village.

Objection to “industrial” plan

The planning committee of Lickey & Blackwell Parish Council took a majority decision to object to an application that would allow “light industrial use” of agricultural land on Alvechurch Highway, opposite Marlbrook Tip.

Councillor co-opted

Lickey & Blackwell parish councillors agreed unanimously to co-opt Steve Tibbits to represent Lickey Grange ward, in which he lives.

Home-grown speeders

Drivers speeding through Rowney Green are home-grown, it has been suggested.

Bring and buy sale for Snowdon trek

As one of its members prepared to climb Snowdon in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, Alvechurch WI held a Bring & Buy sale to support her fundraising.

Edwin resigns

Edwin Gumbley has resigned from Barnt Green Parish Council after six years as a councillor.

Co-op charity cash

Shoppers at the Co-op store in Alvechurch have raised funds for three local charities via a rewards scheme.

Traffic-calming ‘waste’

The controversial traffic-calming scheme in Cofton Hackett has been described by parish councillors as “a waste of money.”

80 years of fellowship

Finstall & Cofton Hackett WI celebrated its 80th birthday with a party in Finstall Village Hall.

Cup success for U8 squads

Alvechurch FC’s under-8s (Year 3) football teams are hoping to build on the success of an impressive season by bolstering their squads.

Gran’s African odyssey

A grandmother from Hopwood has completed an arduous five-day cycle journey across Africa for charity – and is already planning a similar adventure in India.

Delta blues comes to Barnt Green

Martin Harley, a supremely talented roots and blues guitarist with a burgeoning global reputation, will be bringing his own blend of Mississippi Delta blues to the village area on Saturday May 27.

Guess the close-up (No. 1): ANSWER

Did you guess correctly?

Adam meets Vinny!

Seven-year-old Adam McClure, of The Parklands, Bromsgrove, was the latest winner of a Mini Vinny in our monthly competition.

New novel describes epic journey

Rednal author Terry Walsh (writing as Jack Walsh) has published his second novel.

Follow Easter art trail

Independent businesses in Barnt Green are hosting a free Easter Art Trail in April, organised by St Andrew’s Church in Barnt Green and St Michael’s in Cofton Hackett.

Village shops shuffle

It’s going to be like musical chairs among the shops in the centre of Alvechurch as the village takes on a more modern feel.

Audience is the jury in courtroom comedy

Alvechurch Dramatic Society presents Mr Grimwhip’s Sandwiches: a Post-Truth Courtroom Comedy With Serious Bits, from Thurs May 11 to Sat May 13 in Alvechurch Village Hall.


Village Views


Lawton’s View

MAY 2017

Lawton's View May 2017


Long-time readers of The Village will know this magazine has no party political axe to grind and is, indeed, a fervent advocate of removing national politics from local government.

County needs more of Charlie

It was so refreshing and uplifting to read your latest edition, not only for its diversity of local articles and information, but for the fact that we have finally got a positive-looking independent candidate without a political axe to grind, hoping to stand as County Councillor representing Alvechurch Parish and Wythall South in the forthcoming May elections.

Cofton’s been short-changed by council

I refer to Councillor Richard Deeming’s letter last month (“Traffic scheme ‘foisted’ on village”) highlighting the problems encountered by the residents of Cofton Hackett with the traffic-calming measures on Groveley Lane.

In favour of ‘child’ bollard

My grandson attends Lickey Hills Primary School. Having read in April’s Village Views the letter “Bollard is a distraction” from a Lickey resident, surely anything to slow down the speeding traffic on Old Birmingham Road has to be good.

Cofton Hackett? More like Aintree or Brands Hatch!

You are now entering Aintree racecourse – sorry, Groveley Lane, or that’s what we thought when the white picket fences went up.

Bollard is there to slow traffic

I’m not convinced that the bollard outside Lickey Hills Primary School is there to deter parking. I think it is there to send out a message to approaching drivers: “child, slow down.”

No evidence of demand for loo

I’m grateful to David Barton of Weatheroak for recognising comedic talent in his letter last month, “Village does not need a new loo”, which asked “are Hotham, Gumbley and Briggs a comedy act?”

Lack of parking hampers trade

The difference between Alvechurch and Barnt Green village centres is that one is vibrant and bustling with a good choice of shops, all occupied and trading well, and the other has empty premises and limited choice.


Can you believe the cheek of Birmingham? Our big city neighbour wants to use our green fields for housing, while keeping its open spaces free for the good of its citizens.

Cobbs Barn ‘lorry park’ an eyesore

Have you had any comments on this wagon, which is permanently parked just off Cobbs Barn Island in Alvechurch?

Bollard is a distraction

Have other villagers spotted the new child-shaped bollard outside Lickey Hills Primary School on Old Birmingham Road?

Lawton’s View

APRIL 2017

Lawton's View April 2017

Council ‘disregard’ for residents

I am a resident of Kendal End Road and would agree wholeheartedly with the resident of Cherry Hill Road (“Lack of urgency in road closure”, March 2017)

It was nice while it lasted. . .

Reading the comments from several residents regarding the Barnt Green road closure, I would like to point out that I have also been inconvenienced with the diversions.

Yellow lines = faster traffic

I write in response to the March Oakalls article, “Lines and Litter”. I am not entirely sure where your correspondent, Sarah Rees, lives, but I assume it is not on Green Park Road?

Traffic scheme ‘foisted’ on village

Work has now commenced on the traffic-calming measures scheme on Groveley Lane, Cofton Hackett.

High price for toilet

How interesting it was to read of the “Village toilet tussle” in the March issue.

Village does not need a new loo

In response to your March article “Village toilet tussle”: are councillors Hotham, Gumbley and Briggs a comedy act? 

Two-hour mystery

I am curious to know who has decided that the two long lay-bys near Hopwood services have been designated for two-hour parking only, and what the reasons are.

The big picture

Reading recent Village issues, I’ve been prompted to ponder on the so-called big picture. 


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Village Features

For health and heathland

Concerned readers have been asking why so many trees have been cleared on the Lickey Hills.  Head Ranger Steve Hinton explains that it is being done to preserve a very special habitat.

Village Archive: 10 years ago…

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

Taking care of trees

We are lucky to have so many beautiful trees in our villages – but sometimes they need a bit of extra looking-after, or even removal if they have become unsafe.

One girl, three men and a bump

Although missing the intro and opening song (a Good Samaritan’s trip to Kidderminster Hospital), I was nevertheless fully sated when the metaphorical curtain came down on this third offering by the Lickey Community Group, a joint venture between two Parish Councils.

Village Book Review: The Will of the State

For his second novel, Rednal author Terry Walsh (writing as Jack Walsh) has tackled an even more epic subject than the Vietnam War setting of his debut tale.

Five-star food at home

Hosting a dinner party but don’t fancy the hassle of cooking and serving it yourself? Barnt Green company The Kitchen Sink Ltd has the answer – chef Jon Powell will come to your home to create and serve a five-star meal for any occasion.

Won the league, now for the cup!

Title winners Alvechurch FC aim for the league and cup double.

Of kites and comets

Amateur astronomer Brian Watkiss peers into the Village night sky.

Early start to spring

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

Just add water

Hannah Genders helps create a natural lake in Burcot.

Cream of the crop

Mary Green celebrates the colours of May in meadows and woodland.

End-of-term blues

Austin Broad offers ideas to those with interest-only mortgages.

Exploring the history of Bath

Members of the Kingfisher Probus Club travelled to Bath to explore the Roman Baths, guided by its curator/manager Stephen Clews who had previously given a talk to the group.

If you go up to the woods today . . .

Keith Woolford meets a bear and a Robot in the Lickey Hills.

Title race ramps up

Alvechurch FC are enjoying dominance in league and cup.

Large and small

Amateur astronomer Brian Watkiss peers into the Village night sky.

Wet, windy and warm

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

Incredible edibles

Hannah Genders visits an urban food-growing project in Bristol.

Blue haze

Mary Green takes a closer look at April’s vibrant plant life.

City with stories to tell

Blackwell resident Ludmila Kettle shares her memories of an inspiring trip.

Get ready for LISA

Austin Broad explains the benefits of the new Lifetime ISA, or LISA.

The art of decorating

Now is the ideal time of year to redecorate – and whether it’s just a couple of rooms or the whole house, it’s well worth trusting the experts to deliver a top-quality finish that will give your home the wow factor. 

Learn to make a mosaic

Village readers will recall our photos of the special mosaic at Alvechurch Middle School in memory of pupil Finlay Church – and now its creator is offering workshops where participants can learn to make a mosaic of their own.

Top award for family firm

Broad Street DIY in Bromsgrove is celebrating once again after winning a prestigious accolade at the annual DIY Week Awards.

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