Village News


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.

Alvechurch parking ‘better’ than Barnt Green

Alvechurch and Barnt Green are so different they cannot be compared, according to Alvechurch parish chairman Andy Humphries.

Manhole ‘danger’ addressed

After months of trying, Alvechurch parish councillors believe they have got to the bottom of who is responsible for a raised manhole cover they fear is a danger to villagers.

Guess the close-up (No. 3)

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

Sisters spot Vinny

Alvechurch sisters Milly and Cecily Hastie, aged ten and seven, were the latest winners of a Mini Vinny in our monthly competition.

Ghost books are back

Three titles in Anne Bradford’s popular Ghost Book Collection are now back in print.

Death of Rev White

Rev Alan White, historian, author and former priest-in-charge at St Bartholomew’s Church, Tardebigge, has died at the age of 98.

Reward for star players

New youth football team Barnt Green Colts U11s celebrated the completion of their first season with an awards night.

Tip frustration grows

Members of the Lickey Community Group have asked parish councillors to push for a meeting on Marlbrook Tip, to find out if work demanded by the Environment Agency has been carried out.

Have your say on Neighbourhood Plan

Lickey & Blackwell Parish Council is inviting residents to attend consultations on the Draft Policy of its Neighbourhood Plan.

Performing popular classics in village

The Sinfonia of Birmingham performs in Barnt Green on Saturday July 1, as part of Bromsgrove Festival.

Village party central

Tickets for the popular Barnt Green Weekender are selling out fast – as we went to press there were only limited tickets left for the two-day event.

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.  


Village Views



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 . . .

Lawton’s View

JUNE 2017

Lawton's View June 2017

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.

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.

Invest in a maypole

Never mind the public toilet; thinking about May Day, why don’t we invest in a maypole for Barnt Green and the surrounding villages?

Sad to see Edwin go

I was very sorry to read in the news round-up (The Village, May 2017) that Edwin Gumbley had resigned from Barnt Green Parish Council.

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.

Lawton’s View

MAY 2017

Lawton's View May 2017

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?


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Village Features

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.

Surgery in safe hands

If you are considering cosmetic surgery but are not sure where to go or who to trust, why not have an informal chat about the process with Bromsgrove aesthetician Anita Powell?

Gentle healing for your pets

A former Alvechurch resident has set up a mobile animal therapy service offering safe, gentle healing for all pets, including horses and livestock.

The power of singing!

If you fancy joining a choir but don’t think you can sing, there are a number of local groups that might suit you!

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.

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