Archive for January, 2010

"Let Us Entertain You"

January 31, 2010

January 31st 7.30pm
Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

The Mayor of Tewkesbury Town, Cllr Philip Workman hosted this fundraising, charity event. The theatre was packed with many members of the ‘Chain Gang’ plus supporters, friends and family of the acts. All local, all giving their time and showing their¬†talents for free.

The Roses Theatre. Picture from their website, cause it was dark when we went ūüôā

Pictures for my little Canon camera are always a challenge in low light. The above, just about shows wonderful singer Joe Weldon assisted by The Happy Accidents. Other acts included, Joe Yates – drumming, Harvey Ross – dancing, many of the children from Tewkesbury C of E School ( Chance Street School ) singing and dancing to the music of Abba, The Roses Theatre Youth Group – performing ‘The Mad Hatters Tea Party’, Vasilis Thimaras¬†and Eleanor¬†Kelly – singing and playing guitar, male voice A Cappella Group, The Songmen, brilliant –, Tewkesbury Arts and Drama Society ( TADS ) gave a¬†superb performance of Habeas Corpus ( or a bit of it anyway) by Alan Bennett.

Arty picture, well that’s my excuse anyway ūüôā Finale, with all performers on stage, including fabulous¬†MC Jon Benns.
Smashing night, well done to all.
Congratulations as well to Philip Workman, who became a grandfather during the evening! A Mayor of Tewkesbury for the future.



The Tredegar Town Band Supported by The Worcestershire Youth Brass Band Gala Concert

January 30, 2010

January 30th 7.00pm
All Saints Church, Evesham

Opening the concert, The Worcestershire Youth Brass Band

Tredegar Brass Band, ( winners of the Wychavon Festival of Brass Best Band ) the joined forces with WYB and performed two numbers. One of which, the Stars Phantom Menace Suite, almost blew our heads off. Almost 80 musicians together, fantastic.

A wonderful concert, with a real good mix of music, enjoyed by everybody.


The Wychavon Bursary Judging Panel

January 28, 2010

January 28th 10.00am
Chairman’s office, Civic Centre, Pershore

The Wychavon Bursary¬†was started by Wychavon District Council in 1993. The original intention behind the bursary¬†was to acknowledge the service rendered to this country by HM the Queen on the occasion of her majesties 40th anniversary of accession. The bursary¬†is awarded each year around the time of the Queen’s accession, February 6th. The award recognises those who have made a real contribution to the community. The judging panel is made up of Chairman, WDC Managing Director, immediate past Chairman¬†and one of the Mayors from each of the major town’s in Wychavon. This year it was the turn of Pershore.

L-R Cllr Mrs Sandalls, Cllr Chris Parsons, me, Jack Hegarty.
16 nominees were put forward this year and I know it’s a clich√© but picking a winner was the hardest of tasks, as all those put forward could have won. There can however only be one winner, and that is………………

Well I’m not going to tell you now. You have to come back to find out after the award ceremony on February 4th.

Wychavon Sports Recognition Awards

January 27, 2010

January 27th 7.00pm
Committee Rooms, Pershore Civic Centre, Pershore

Organised by Mark Williams, Emma Gardener and Amandine Rich from WDC community and sports development team, these annual awards give recognition to clubs, individuals or teams across Wychavon district for outstanding achievement or contribution in sport during 2009. Winners of each award will be put forward to the Worcestershire County Sports Partnership Awards, which are due to take place on March 18th.

This year’s winners, in no particular order, are detailed below.

Outstanding Contribution Award went to Colin Emms from Littleton Football club. Colin has been with the club for over 50 years starting as a young player, becoming manager, committee member, club secretary and now chairman of the club. As well as these roles, he is hands on and as a qualified groundsman, nothing misses his attention. Colin supports and organises fundraising events and since the club has been under his direction it has gone from strength to strength both on and off the pitch.

Sport England Community Sports Award went to the Crowle Searchers Junior Football Teams. This club was founded 3 years ago and is the first one in the village for over 20 years. This year they were also awarded charter Status by the FA. Coaching sessions are held weekly for more than 70 children and in the summer they ran a very successful summer camp. The club is very much part of the community and its main focus is to offer and safe and friendly environment to all of the children that play.

Junior Male Sports Personality of the Year went to Edward Higson. Edward is a keen dinghy sailor and a valued member of Frampton Sailing Club, competing at both club and national level. He won the Junior Series in the spring and summer and is currently lying in first position for the winter series. As well as having talent in the water he is also a member of the school swimming and rugby teams, is captain of the school badminton team and has a yellow belt in ju-jitsu.

Junior Club Team of the Year award went to Evesham Rowing Club Junior Team. The junior team which ranges from 11 ‚Äď 18 years have had a very successful year. This includes 93 junior wins, 6 national medals, and 9 international vests representing GB or England. They competed at Henley Royal Regatta and got to the quarter and semi finals and heped Evesham Rowing Club to win the Victor Ludorum, which is a brand new scull trophy at Ross Regatta.

School Sports Award went to Blackminster Middle School U13 girls table tennis team. The girls have achieved many successes in 2009 including coming 2nd in the National Schools finals, winning the Worcestershire Schools County Table Tennis Finals and went on to win a four counties zone competition. The girls have worked hard through regular training sessions and have inspired many to take up the sport.

Senior Sports Personality of the Year went to Lee Wilks of Pershore Cricket Club. Lee was captain of Pershore Cricket Club in 2009 and led his record breaking side to the Division 1 Crusader Worcestershire Cricket League 1st team title. On the way they set a league record of being undefeated and attaining the highest number of points in the history of the league. His performance on the field as well as off has contributed to his team performance and his personality has encouraged all members of the team to enjoy the game.

Young Volunteer of the Year went to Elizabeth Grinnell. Liz has achieved a great deal as both a volunteer and as a committed sports person. Every week she helps with a Lad and Dads events, leading them in Sports Activities and she also committed to a Dance project which culminated in a Pershore at Number 8 in Pershore. In addition to this she also has been involved in other fundraising activities in support of other disabled children in the area. As a sports person she regularly trains at Stratford Athletics Club and competes for the West Midlands where she has won 8 gold medals. She also currently hold 2 national age records in the shot and javelin.

Volunteer of the Year went to Mark Dewdney. Mark has been a member of the rowing club for 20 years helping to build up the club to what is is today. As captain of the club he has helped Evesham achieve one of their most successful seasons ever. He presides over all of the squads and his work with an adaptive rowing programme has led to an award for the Disabled Personality of the year. When not coaching of training, Mark has organised the Evesham rowing Club regatta ‚Äď one of the most popular regattas of the season.

Coach of the Year went to Martin Davies of Evesham Rowing Club. Martin has been successfully coaching the junior boys at Evesham rowing club for the past 5 years. This year his squad of 9 U15 junior boys and girl cox achieved an incredible 21 separate wins. His top crew finished in the top 5 of all three national finals. Martin holds a level 2 coaching award and has developed a real understanding of the sport and what it takes to win, but this is balanced with the fun factor as well. He is also the junior co-ordinator and Martin’s calm and patient leadership is one of the reasons Evesham Rowing Club Juniors are so successful.

Senior Female Personality went to Naomi Haywood. Naomi is an all round sporting talent. If playing football for Pershore Town Ladies and Cricket for Worcestershire County and Pershore Ladies Cricket Club wasn‚Äôt enough, she is also treasurer for Pershore Town Ladies Section, Assistant Coach for 3 of the Worcestershire girls cricket squads and runs a ‚ÄėChristians in Sport‚Äô young players group in Pershore. With her leadership and organisational skills Naomi is a role model for all of the children she coaches.

Disabled Sports Personality went to Scott Ballard-Ridley of Evesham rowing Club. After a brain haemorrhage that left Scott in hospital for 15 months and left him 90% blind and with reduced mobility he approached Evesham Rowing Club. The first priority was to build up the muscle strength that he has lost and this summer after hard work, he got on the water for the first time. In November 2009 Scott competed in the British Indoor Rowing Championships. His strength has significantly improved and now is walking on crutches instead of using his wheelchair. To get to this level, Scott has shown huge commitment and pushed himself to get where he is toady ‚Äď he is a role model to all.

The Junior Female Personality of the Year went to Tazmin Pugh of Pershore Swimming Club. Tazmin has had a fantastic year, most recently winning the National ISA School Championships, setting a new National ISA record and becoming only the third nine year old fastest girl in the UK of all time in ASA records. In the UK Tazmin is ranked first in 5 events, second in another 5 events and 3rd in 6 events.  In major open swimming meets she has brought home 12 winning trophies as well as 56 medals. As well as her amazing performance at swimming, she is also a talented athlete achieving fourth place in the National ISA Athletic Championships in June.

Club of the Year went to Evesham Rowing Club. In the summer 2007, Evesham rowing club had nearly all off its boats destroyed or severly damaged in the floods, however this disaster was to bring the club closer. 2 years later they have become one of the most successful clubs in the country. They have won 153 races at both national and local level, hold clubmark accreditation and have reached a milestone by having its first disabled rower represent them at the British indoor Rowing Championships. It is a testament to their commitment to the club and sport that this year has been their most successful yet.

And finally a new award, Contribution to Physical Activity Award went to Colin Tether of the Evesham Vale Running Club. Colin is a keen runner who is the founder of the Evesham Vale Running Club. In 2009 he was the race director and main organiser of the Evesham 10 km race which attracted over 700 runners to the town. The event was well support and helped to encourage many people to take up a new active hobby. He has also organised the Asparagus Relay run where bunches of asparagus were carried from the Mayor of Evesham to the Mayor of Stratford. Colin has a passion for his sport and is always looking for new way to get people active.

This year there was no shortage of talent with the winners coming from all over the district and all winners will now be entered for the County Sports Partnership awards in March.

Cllr. Tom McDonald,¬†executive board member¬†for Leisure said “It was a real pleasure to recognise those who have put so much into sports in this area over the last year. Even with the economic difficulties, sport continues to grow in the area with the new Evesham Leisure Centre and Wychavon‚Äôs diverse sports coaching opportunities. The power of sport can bring about change and these Sports Awards are a visible tip of that power and the work of the participants will bring benefits to our district and local communities. For that we applaud them.”

Mark Williams, Sports Development Officer, said “We had lots of nominations this year and it was extremely difficult to choose the winners; we feel everyone involved in community sport in the district is a champion.”

Well done all.

The British Asparagus Festival Roadshow

January 27, 2010

January 27th 12 noon
St Egwins Private Members Club, (was BBC Club), High Street, Evesham

Organised by Angela Tidmarsh, WDC Tourism Officer, this roadshow was to build on the already fantastically successful Asparagus Festival held in Evesham between April 23rd and June 21st.

Angela Tidmarsh, leads the presentation about what is happening this year and how to get more involved and informed.

The event was very well attended and there were exhibits from various growers and producers of asparagus. There was even some Asparagus Jam and scones to sample. Very tasty ūüôā
Roll on April 23rd

Evesham Country Park Presentation

January 27, 2010

January 27th 11am
Evesham Town Hall

From time to time, companies planning major changes to areas of the district put on exhibitions, prior to submitting planning applications. This helps the applicant to  inform the public and gauge opinion. Very often detailed discussions are held between planners at Wychavon and applicants. This helps the process and speeds up the determination of applications. While not an official Chairman function, Wendy and I are obviously interested in any proposal that will effect the district. This one involves a major expansion of Evesham Country Park.
Evesham Country Park Website
Click below for 
 Evesham Exhibition boards  

Evesham town hall. Picture available by kind permission of Avril Baker Consultancy


Ombersley Memorial Hall Opening New Kitchen

January 26, 2010

January 26th 7.30pm
Ombersley Memorial Hall, Ombersley, WR9 0DT

Tonight, was one of those evenings which really shows what can be done, by local people with a passion. The Memorial Hall has recently undergone some work, supported by Wychavon District Council, among others and is a great success for the community. I had the pleasure of attending to formally open the kitchen, named after one of the most visible campaigners the hall has had over many years, Doreen Turner.
I said:-

Good Evening everyone,
First of all thank you for the invitation tonight and it is a particular pleasure for Wendy and me to be here. Originally tonight I was intending to chair a special council meeting to discuss the WETT proposal, which is not at all what it sounds like and I wont bore you with details of the 300 page report. I am however extremely pleased that I managed to postpone the meeting which meant that Wendy and I could both be here.

Village halls are very often vital to village life and this is certainly the case here. Dating back to an initial idea in 1919 and opened in 1923, the hall has certainly seen some changes over the last 87 years and I am sure it will see many more before the centenary celebrations in 13 years time. What is lovely for me on these occasions, is to see real people, doing real and meaningful things, for the benefit of the community. I am of course delighted that Wychavon District Council along with Ombersley Parish Council, Ombersley Conservation Trust, Richardson Brothers Foundation, and  many other organisations and individuals have all contributed to the magnificent sum of £75000 to pay for the extension and kitchen facilities. It is also clear that a number of very dedicated people, from the trustees and management committee are due a vote of thanks for all the work they put in to make sure the hall remains in good condition. If only we had such people in every village.

So, Mr President, may I on behalf of Wychavon District Council, Congratulate all who have contributed to the kitchen. I hope many a fine meal is produced here and the Ombersley Memorial Hall, continues to provide pleasure to all who pass through it’s doors, for many years to come. It now gives me great pleasure to officially declare to kitchen open.

Just after the cord pulling

Just some of the many, many people who use and maintain this wonderful  hall. Just visible on the left-hand side, can be seen the fabulous selection of canapes, all provided by the members, all from local producers and all very tasty.

In the kitchen
L-R  Arthur Turner, President of Ombersley Village Hall committee РLord Sandys РCllr Andrew Dyke, Chairman of Wychavon District Council РGeoff Holder,   Secretary of Ombersley Village Hall Committee РRobert Ransome,  Chairman of Ombersley Village Hall Committee РMrs Wendy Dyke, Consort to The Chairman of Wychavon District Council РBill Arnold, Vice Chairman of Ombersley Village Hall Committee and Lady Sandys
Wendy and I really enjoy these community occasions. Thank you so much for the invitation and your generous hospitality.
All photographs by kind permission of Angela Lloyd-James


Alcester Town Council Civic Service

January 24, 2010

January 24th 10.45am
Alcester Town Hall

After meeting at the Town Hall, a short procession

to St Nicholas Church in the town centre.

Reading from Cllr Mike Gittus, Mayor of Alcester.

After the service the congregation returns to the Town Hall

for refreshments

in the beautiful upstairs room

which dates back to the early 1600’s

A lovely service. Thank you.

Mayor of Evesham and The Golden Leaf Explorer Scouts Charity Burns Supper

January 23, 2010

January 23rd 7.30pm
Evesham Town Hall

Another Burns Night Supper. Organised by the Golden Leaf Explorer Scouts and in support of the Mayors charity appeal and their own funds.

The piper announces the Haggis

and the parade begins

Evesham Town Hall is a wonderful venue for occasions such as this.

Entertainers gave their time freely

and kept the audience happy

Cllr Gerry O’Donnell, a man of many talents!

The evening also included dancing with a caller, great amusement all round

Everybody has a good time

The raffle was different. A £1 raffle ticket bought a dip in the bag of keys. Pick the right key to open the box and win a bottle of whisky. Wendy tries her luck 10 times and fails!

Finally, The mayor of Evesham, Cllr Alan Booth, wrapped up the evening with a few words. Well done everyone and especially the scouts who did everything themselves. You did us proud.


Chairman of Bromsgrove District Council, Charity Burns Night

January 22, 2010

January 22nd 7.30pm
Spadesbourne Suite, Burcot Lane, Bromsgrove.

The traditional Haggis, starts it’s¬†journey from kitchen to table, assisted by piper

The Haggis, must be shown to all attending this celebration of famous Scottish poet, Robbie Burns and is paraded round the room.
Who was Robbie Burns? Click here:-

The haggis is then cut and words from one of Burns poems said out loud for all to hear.

There was even a ceremonial, if not very sharp, knife.
Wendy and I like Haggis, but it is not to everyone’s taste.
What’s in it? Click here:-

Supporters came from far and wide.

 There was a short, unexpected, interlude

when the fire alarm went off and we all had to be evacuated from the building. Only a false alarm , thankfully.

We were all soon back in the warm and enjoying a magnificent meal. Pud’s provided by local councillors and friends.

¬†A councillor’s work is never done. Cllr Derek Killingworth¬†and host Cllr Chris Scurrell on the left, put the world to rights.

A final treat, Scottish dances from Birmingham. Thanks for a great night.