Village News


Gates policy under attack

Residents have called for a village park’s gates to be unlocked after a whole summer and early autumn of restricted access.

Celebrating the world of melody

The Orchestra of St John’s next concert takes place at 7.30pm on Sat Oct 14 at St John’s Church in Bromsgrove.

Residents’ parking plea

Villagers have requested residents’ parking spaces outside their homes on Bear Hill, Alvechurch.

A bridge too far for Blackwell

Blackwell residents have been told to “take firmly out of their minds” the idea of a railway bridge to replace the “yellow brick road” crossing.

Cake sale success

A cake sale held by an Alvechurch youngster has raised £300 for Macmillan.

Parish sinks flood warning proposal

The topic of flooding in Barnt Green was raised after recent heavy rainfall affected some village roads.

Speedwatch volunteers

Barnt Green Parish Council now has five volunteers for a proposed Community Speedwatch scheme, which would see villagers monitoring traffic.

Traffic request denied

Requests for traffic-calming measures on the southern approach to Alvechurch, including extending the 30mph limit down to Alvechurch Football Club, have been turned down.

Crime concern in Barnt Green

Shopkeepers in Barnt Green have been urged to report any suspicious behaviour to police, after several break-ins and thefts of charity boxes. 

Cycle rack for station

A cycle rack is still to be installed at Alvechurch rail station by London Midland, even though they will no longer have the franchise.

Horse droppings debate

The debate over horse droppings on village roads requires a sensible and balanced approach, Coun Kate Van Der Plank told Alvechurch parish councillors.

Invitation to meetings

An invitation is to be sent to district councillor Kit Taylor from Alvechurch Parish Council to attend their monthly meetings.

Brownfield homes ‘yes’

Plans for nine new canal-side homes on a brownfield site within the Alvechurch Green Belt have been approved.

Bridging the age gap at club

Silver Threads, the Alvechurch social group for the over-60s, celebrated its 11th anniversary with a sing-song led by village musician John Dale.

Carving out a pumpkin show

Villagers are being reminded to get their entry forms in by October 21 if they want to take part in Alvechurch’s first-ever Pumpkin Festival.

Village joins the party

Alvechurch is planning to put more spirit into Christmas this year as it tries to catch up with its more festive neighbours.

Golfers wanted

Golfers are wanted to help raise money for a defibrillator in Barnt Green Social Club. 

Green fingers

Winners of Lickey & Blackwell Parish Council’s annual Best Front Garden Awards celebrated with councillors at Holy Trinity Church, Lickey.

Crafty quilt up for grabs

The Crafty Ladies group who meet at Alvechurch Library have made a double patchwork quilt with a “houses” design, which will be first prize in their raffle.

Delight after the deluge

Despite monsoon-like rain at the start, the annual Tardebigge Fair & Show offered a great day out thanks to the community spirit of organisers and visitors alike.

Showing off arts & flowers

Rowney Green Horticultural Society held its annual Main Show, with Midlands Today’s Satnam Rana presenting the prizes.

Bands, beer & BBQ

A tropical downpour gave way to sunshine as around 400 villagers enjoyed the second Blackwell Music Festival.

Fun in sun at village show

Finstall’s annual Village Show featured displays of prize-winning produce as well as games, stalls and music in the late summer sunshine.

Springing into action!

Sarah Rees reports from the Oakalls and Parklands.

Joint training for rugby girls

Kings Norton RFC hosted a joint training event for the West Midland Girls Tag Rugby League at their Ash Lane, Hopwood facility.

Cup joy for young riders

Youngsters from two village equestrian centres had the chance to compete at both dressage and show jumping during a summer competition series for Pony Club members.

Cubs help keep our hills tidy

At their summer camp in June, 1st Barnt Green Cubs did a litter pick on the Lickey Hills as part of a community project. 

Christmas Fair and charity raffle

A Christmas Fair takes place at Alvechurch Cricket Club on Sat Nov 11, in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Alice meets Vinny

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

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.

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Village Views



What will our villages look like in 20 or 30 years? The answer most of us hope for is: much the same as they do now, thank you very much.

Lawton’s View


Lawton's View Oct 2017

It won’t happen anyway!

While I have every sympathy with Paul Queen’s concerns with regard to the piazza proposals for the village centre at Alvechurch, he does demonstrate the real problem when rightly identifying the centre as a traffic island.

Piazza: plea for common sense

I fully support Paul Queen in his comments concerning our Square in the centre of Alvechurch.

Horses and riders support economy

For someone who claims to be “a horse rider”, Neil Harris (Village Views, August 2017) shows surprising ignorance about this.

Accident waiting to happen

As a regular dog walker in Cofton Hackett I have witnessed numerous near-misses Involving cars speeding along Groveley Lane and on three occasions nearly been hit myself crossing over to Cofton Park.

Oakalls’ open spaces still at risk

I have just read with interest the Oakalls article in your September edition, concerning the erecting of barriers on open spaces in Regents Park Road.


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.

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.

Lawton’s View


Lawton's View September 2017


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.


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Village Features

Did Shakespeare visit Alvechurch?

Alvechurch Dramatic Society’s next production will, for the first time in its nearly 70-year history, have a distinct Shakespearean flavour. Writer and director Alan Clarke explains:

Sights on dark nights

Amateur astronomer Brian Watkiss peers into the Village night sky.

’Church’s goal-fest

Alvechurch FC are in great form in both league and cup.

A chilly start to autumn

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

House of healing

Hannah Genders visits a historic house and garden.

Red October

Mary Green points out the month’s colours.

Estate planning . . . with your pension

It may sound strange, but your pension may be the last thing you should draw on in retirement, writes Martin Pryor, of Pryor Portfolio.

An expert in eye care

Consultant clinical optometrist Don Williams, formerly of Eye Opticians in Barnt Green, has set up his own practice in Edgbaston, providing highly-specialised affordable private eyecare.

A simple will? No such thing!

Lickey Wills specialist Sue Jenden offers advice on making the right Will to protect your loved ones.

Village Archive: 10 years ago…

A look back at what was going on around here in October 2007.

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.

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