Village News


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.

Lawns launches garden

The new sensory garden at The Lawns care home in Alvechurch was officially opened with a celebration attended by residents, families and friends.

Tip deadline looms

After years of stalemate, this month may mark a major turning point in the Marlbrook Tip debacle.

Guess the close-up (No. 5)

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

Jessica meets Vinny!

Nine-year-old Jessica Kirk, of Blackwell, was the latest winner of a Mini Vinny in our monthly competition.

Wonders of Withybed

The biannual Withybed Open Gardens event showcased 11 diverse gardens in the hamlet.

Afternoon tea at The Lounge

The Lounge cafe and youth project in Alvechurch has added another string to its bow by offering traditional afternoon teas.

Pupils in design competition final

A group of pupils from Alvechurch Middle School reached the final five in the national Land Rover BAR Faraday Challenge to design a problem-solving device for the America’s Cup.

Award for council

Barnt Green Parish Council has become one of only five parish and town councils in Worcestershire to achieve the Local Council Award Scheme (LCAS) Foundation certificate.

Bob in the Big Apple

The Village‘s resident cartoonist Bob Lawton is showing off his talents across The Pond after he was commissioned to provide artwork for an eatery in New York City.

Wartime history of Lickeys on display

Lickey Hills Local History Society is holding its Open Weekend 2017 on Saturday September 16 and Sunday September 17.

Plea for play equipment upgrade

Children in Hopwood could enjoy an upgrade to play equipment on the park behind the community centre after a plea by parents at the July meeting of Alvechurch Parish Council.

Produce galore at village show

Finstall’s Annual Village Show takes place on Sat Sept 2 at the village hall, with classes for vegetables, fruit, baking (including jams and chutneys), floral arrangements, crafts, photography and art.

Don’t miss out on popular Fair!

Tardebigge Fair & Show will soon be here again to provide a great afternoon’s entertainment and bargains for all the family on Saturday September 9!

Light idea for bus shelters

Lights may be turned on in Alvechurch village centre’s bus shelters after lengthsman Ron Rand told parish councillors it would deter people from “contaminating” them.

Farm still causing a stink

A rise in complaints of smells emanating from Mayfield Farm, Hopwood, led Alvechurch Parish Councillors to pass an emergency motion calling on Worcestershire Regulatory Services to reopen its investigation into operations at the site.

Green Belt contender on the Lickeys

Green Belt fields over the road from the former Marlbrook Tip site could become a housing estate for 165 homes with views across Worcestershire.

Art studios open for weekend

Artists across the county will open their doors to visitors this August bank holiday weekend as part of Worcestershire Open Studios. 

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? 


Village Views



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.

Lawton’s View


Lawton's View August 2017

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?

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.


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


TheVillage magazine

FIND OUT more about The Village magazine, including information for advertisers. is published by Platform Publishing & Media Ltd,
The Limes
B48 7RR UK
Tel: +44 121 445 6757

All content is copyright of Platform Publishing & Media Ltd 1998-2017. For further help or information, please contact the Editor.

Village Features

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.

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.

Village Twitter Feed