Archive for March, 2010

Music at Evesham – London Concertante

March 31, 2010

March 31st 7.30pm
Evesham Arts Centre

The London Concertante are one of the finest chamber ensembles in the country, its players brought together through a shared passion for chamber music. The group has the rare ability to combine flexibility of instrumental grouping and consistently maintain superb artistic endeavour. With an enviable array of critical acclaim, a stunning selection of recordings on such prestigious labels as Chandos, Toccata Classics and Harmonia Mundi, and performances throughout the UK and Europe, London Concertante rightfully claims its position at the forefront of classical performers in the UK.

The London Concertante, with director Adam Summerhayes on the left.
Wendy and I really enjoyed this concert, even though we did not know any of the music we appreciated the amazing sound that came from these famous professional musicians. I was very proud and pleased WDC sponsored the event and hope grants of this kind, continue in the future.


After School Club Showcase

March 31, 2010

March 31st 4pm
Number8, Pershore 

Wendy was unable to accompany me today so I had the pleasure of the Vice Chairman’s company.
The occasion was to witness a fantastic sharing of the work done over the last year, by the First and Middle Schools at the After School Club Arts project that Jenny Davies, WDC Arts Development Officer instigated last year. There was dance and drama performances and visual art slide shows to showcase their work. Once again local youth talent was on show and it was a great pleasure to hand out certificates to all taking part.

Jenny Davies introduces the ‘Acts’

Hopefully more pictures to follow soon.

Davies Road, Evesham – New Crossing

March 31, 2010

March 31st 10.00am
Davies Road, Evesham

Some of us have been trying to get Worcester County Council to install a pedestrian crossing at the junction of Davies Road and St Richards Road, for years. Surveys have been done and the need has been confirmed. This meeting was to try again to persuade the council officers that this crossing should be top of their priority list.

On site, L-R Roy Fullee, WCC officer – County and District Councillor Bob Banks – District Councillor Gerry O’Donnell and County and District Councillor John Smith.

Liz Dyde Leaving Doo

March 30, 2010

March 30th 12 noon
Civic Centre, Pershore

Liz  has worked for Wychavon District Council for 33 years and today, she moved onto pasture new. Liz has been part of the senior management team at WDC for some considerable time holding many posts. Since April 2009 she was Head of Housing and Customer Service and responsible for Customer Services, Housing (Operations), Housing(Strategy), Shops, Business/Improvement, Concessionary Fares, Electoral Registration , Elections and Revenues & Benefits Liaison. All important and vital . Many of these departments are now shared services with other councils.

Of course over 33 years, there are many funny stories to tell and Jack Hegarty told them well.

Liz, receiving flowers and gifts from colleagues

Just a few of the many friends Liz has at WDC
Enjoy your new life Liz and don’t forget, you are always welcome at WDC for cup of tea if you’re passing.


Worcestershire Arts Education Youth Moves

March 29, 2010

March 29th 6.30pm
Number8 Community Arts Centre, Pershore

Part of the Voices and Visions program, this was Dance Platform 2010. It featured students from schools and dance groups from around Worcestershire and neighbouring counties. All in all some 100+ took part on stage and countless teachers coaches and choreographers put in hours of work behind the scenes, to make this show such a success. No pictures of the show from my camera, but I have asked for some official ones which I hope will soon be winging their way to me soon.

Program front cover

This was scanned for the inside back cover of the program and gives a flavour of the show, except this year, ALL the students were male. The students, as with all the shows we have been to see, were quite amazing. The dance routines, creative and very athletic, were a joy to watch. Well done and thank you for the invitation.


The Late Alderman John Simmonds Civic Memorial Service

March 27, 2010

March 27th 2.00pm
Rock Parish Church, Rectory Lane, Rock, Nr Kidderminster

Wendy and I first met John and Pat Simmonds in 2004, when I was Mayor of Evesham and John was Chairman of Wyre Forest District Council.

Honorary Alderman John Simmonds

ABOUT 150 people gathered in Rock Parish Church to celebrate the life of an honorary alderman of Wyre Forest District Council. John Simmonds was an Independent district councillor in Rock for more than 30 years and a former council chairman. He died, aged 79, at Worcestershire Royal Hospital on December 12 last year, suffering from acute respiratory problems. During the service, family members were escorted into church by a parade led by civic dignitaries. They included Dr Richard Taylor, Wyre Forest MP, John Cairns, Worcestershire County Council chairman, Mike Salter, chairman of Wyre Forest District Council and Mayors, Mayoresses and councillors from across Worcestershire. The service of celebration was conducted by the Rev Stephen Owens and Rev Linda Catlow. Stephen Clee, clerk to Rock Parish Council, said: “It was a joyful occasion and rousing hymns like Immortal Invisible and Glory Glory Hallelujah were sung with great gusto”. Towards the end of the service, Pat, was presented with a bouquet of spring flowers by the district council chairman and she invited everybody present to light a candle in memory of John. The event ended with a collection of £300 towards the Millbrook Suite Appeal. A lovely service, john would have been very pleased. He even ordered good weather.

John was elected to Rock Parish Council more than 50 years ago and began serving on the district council at its inception in 1973. Among his accomplishments was being chairman of the environmental health committee when wheelie bins were introduced in the district. He was due to celebrate his 31st wedding anniversary with wife, Pat, shortly after he died.

Rock Parish Church

After the service, afternoon tea was provided in Rock Village Hall by members of Far Forest WI

John was a lovely man. Wendy and I are proud to have known him.


Worcestershire County Council Young Musicians

March 24, 2010

March 24th 7.30pm
Worcester Cathedral

unfortunately, no pictures were allowed on the night, so I have scanned in the program pages to show who took part.

A wonderful concert, once again showing what brilliant young talent we have in the county.

Official Opening of the Working Well Centre

March 24, 2010

March 24th 10.30am
Newtown Road, Worcester

This brand new centre, which cost £1.75 million pounds, is a state of the art facility to improve and protect the health of thousands of Worcestershire workers. The centre is the new home for occupational health services for 12,000 NHS staff and is soon to be rolled out to Worcestershire County Council staff and local businesses, on a contract or pay as you go basis. One of the senior staff said to me on the day, “we want to be able to give fit notes not sick notes, and our service is able to do this over a wide range of work related health problems”.

Dame Carol Black, National Director for Health and Work, performed the official opening ceremony.

Leading the team of experienced heath professionals is occupational Health Consultant Dr Ursula Ferriday (MB chB FFOM MSc AFTM RCPS (Glas)

As you would expect, the press were very interested in this new centre and here we see the photo call outside the building.
Contact the centre here :-
or telephone 01905 760693 or 760694


'Asparaplumblossom' Familiarisation Tour

March 23, 2010

March 23rd 9.00am
Hampton Ferry, Boat lane, Evesham

Every year about this time, a promotional coach tour is organised, by Angela Tidmarsh, Wychavon District Councils, Tourism Officer. The day is intended to showcase the coach tours, operated by Dudley’s Coaches, and running at specific times of the year to tour Wychavon’s countryside. The tours include stops at places of interest and refreshments. Invited guest’s include national and local press, TIC staff from neighbouring towns and cities and those participating in the tours from various organisations in a get to know you excercise. The tours have themes. Blossom, Asparagus and Plum.

 The Evesham Observer took the above picture and reported on the day.
L-R Chris Dudley, Paul Chitty, your’s truly and Angela Tidmarsh.

After breakfast at Raphael’s restaurant we head off at 10.00am

Our tour takes us first to Twyford Country Park, via orchards that should be full of blossom. Due to the extreme weather this year, the blossom is late, so our guide thoughtfully informs us about the history of the many tin sheds in the fields 🙂 We soon reach Bretforton and the Fleece Inn.

Nigel Smith, landlord of this Nation Trust owned pub, gives us an interesting  talk about the buildings history, while we take coffee and biscuits.

It’s soon time to rejoin the coach and continue the tour

The Wayside Farm Shop is a fabulous store full of local produce and home cooked goodies.

Sampling is all part of tour.

Preserves are in plentiful supply.

Wayside owner Elspeth with John Carter, BBC travel program ‘Wish You Were Here’ presenter and travel writer for the Mail on Sunday.

Our tour continued on to Broadway and then out through the Wychavon countryside, wending our way through narrow lanes and roads to Pershore and the Angel Hotel,where we stopped for lunch.

The Angel Hotel dinning room.

Having left Pershore, we travelled on through Ashton Under Hill and around Bredon Hill. Even in the greyovercast weather, this is a really lovely part of Wychavon. Our next stop was Revills Farm Shop

 Famous for it’s Asparagas, Manager Darren tells us all about farming his 80 acres and the 3 varieties of  ‘Grass’ (Local name for Asparagus) he grows.

Inside, there is plenty to see

and buy. All local, all fresh and all lovely 🙂

Demonstrations are also part of the tours

Our group are spellbound as they watch

the finishing touches are put to the Asparagus and duck egg salad. This very quick meal is then passed round for tasting. After some retail therapy, it’s time to head back.

Raphaels had prepared a beautiful afternoon cream tea. Like we were hungry! but, well it would have been rude not too.

The day rounded off with a demonstration of how to properly tie grass and some of the history of this famous Vale of Evesham vegetable

The demonstration, by Diana Raphael, also included stories of how she tied the grass in the various bundle sizes, when she was a girl xx years ago.
An interesting, fun, informative day. I would recommend any of the tours and you can find out more about them at Dudley’s Coaches


March 22, 2010

March 22nd 7.30pm
Evesham Arts Centre
Photographs courtesy of  Paul Dyer

Talented youngsters from around the district came together to showcase their talents, each hoping to win the support of the audience and judges. The event, run by Wychavon is now in its third year and was well attended with over 200 tickets sold. This year a new venue with greater capacity meant that more than just friends and family could attend to cheer on the competitors and cheer they did 🙂
It was a fantastic show, with our youth really showing just how talented they are.

Jenny Davis, Arts Development Officer at Wychavon, who was the organisational brains behind the whole W Factor event said “The event was really well attended and the young people put on a superb show. Judges were very impressed with the standard, which was again so high. An excellent event with such a wide variety of acts from pop to folk arts.”
Below are some really great pictures of the artist performing on the night, with the winners at the bottom.

Alicia Sandalls

Amy Williams

Antonia Payne

Chelsea Mason

Ellys Lloyd-Jones

Vital Statistics

Stephen Rawlings

Isobel Saunders

Lauren Bough

Lucy and Kate Whitaker

Tom Boycott

Joshua Rouse

Stefan Seymour

Ellys Lloyd Jones from Drakes Broughton – winner in the singing category.


Seb Fell from Droitwich and James Mattey from Pershore band SJS winners in the music category.


Antonia Payne-Cheney from Eckington winner in the musical theatre category.


Joshua Rouse from Drakes Broughton – winner in the dance category.


Jamie Deas from Droitwich – winner in the short film category.


Joanna Train from Fladbury winner in the visual arts category.

As you can see I had the pleasure of presenting the prizes. Frankly I think the judges had an almost impossible task as all the performers were brilliant. Although this was a competition, the show was so professional, it was a proper concert anyone would be proud of. Listed below are all those taking part and the running order.