Archive for the ‘Events in Evesham’ Category

Evesham Annual Council and Mayormaking

May 10, 2010

Monday May 10th 7.00pm
 Evesham Town Hall, Market Square, Evesham

For the past 11 years I have been a part of this meeting as an Evesham town Councillor. In 2004 I was the one being made Mayor. This year, Wendy and I attended to represent Wychavon District Council.

Mayor of Evesham, Cllr Alan Booth, opened the meeting.

and makes some presentations. Here, Fred Kaler receives the Mayor of Evesham Citizenship Award.

Cllr Robbie Raphael gives a vote of thanks to the mayor for all his work during the last 3 years.

The mayor sums up his time as Mayor. I remember very well this speech, the last in a mayoral year, can be quite emotional.

It is then time to propose the next Mayor. Councillor John Smith OBE proposes Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jim Bullman

and after a short break to robe, Cllr Bullman takes the oath of office. Cllr Alan Booth, seen here on the left, takes his place with the other councillors.

The meeting is then adjourned for 7 days and the councillor’s leave the room. Evesham Poet Mike Edwards, entertains while the councillors de robe.

Mayor of Evesham 2010/11 Cllr Jim Bullman and Consort, Mrs Pat Bullman

During the evening a new Deputy Mayor is also elected. Cllr Gerry O’Donnell is seen her with wife and consort Jenny.

There is a reception following the meeting and Alan Booth is presented with an appreciation award from the British Legion.
Well done Alan, you have done a superb job in the last 3 years.


End of Term Doo – 'The Other One'

May 9, 2010

Sunday May 9th 6.00pm
Raphaels Restaurant, Hampton Ferry, Evesham

Diana Raphael asked me if she could host a party, for those people that have made this year special, and to celebrate my end of year. This included most of our chain gang, officers from WDC, winners of the Wonders of Wychavon Competition, and our family. Wendy and I were very happy to accept.
Pictures tell a story, so look below. 
The evening started with a boat trip, generously donated by
Avon Leisure Cruises

On the bow 

James, my son the elder

Passing our narrowboat, Lord Toulouse

Our guest’s on the port side

and on the starboard side

Having turned at Evesham Lock, we head back to Raphaels Restaurant.

Dave Smith (left) owner of Avon Leisure Cruises and skipper of the Spirit of Freedom on Avon, give the Mayor of Redditch a lesson in boat handling.

Enjoying the evening were winners of the Wonder of Wychavon photographic competition, Andrew Sully on my left and Nick Cosnett.
Picture courtesy of The Vale Magazine.

After a wonderful, if a little cool, river trip, supper is waiting. What a spread.

Some of the chain gang

and some more

John Raphael provided some sparking entertainment

and the Mayor of Redditch, Cllr Malcolm Hall, provided some more.

After a fabulous meal, fireworks, donated by Celebration Fireworks

A brilliant display brought the evening to an end. It was a wonderful night and a very fitting end to our year. To be surrounded by those who have contributed most was just great. Many thanks to Diana, John and Robbie Raphael, to Rob Lewis of Celebration Fireworks and Dave Smith and Geraldine Cooper from Avon Leisure Cruises for everything.
Thanks to Chris Scurrell for some of the above pictures

Chairman's End of Term Doo

May 7, 2010

Friday May 7th 6.30pm
Evesham Town Hall

Traditionally, at the end of every Chairman’s term of office, a party is held to celebrate the year, and review the last 12 months.
It’s the day after the general election and everyone is feeling a little tired, having been up half the night. The party is usually held at the civic centre but this year, it’s full of ballot papers and there is no room at the inn, so to speak. This is why it is being held in Evesham.

MD Jack Hegarty, says some rather nice things about me and the year we are about to close.

and then it was my turn. Here is what I said:-

Good Evening all and thank you for coming. I know some of you have been up half the night and we are here because there was no room at the civic centre, however it does give you all the chance to experience our magnificent Evesham Town Hall

I wanted tonight to say some thank you’s and so I don’t forget anyone I am going to use Wychavon District Council to help me out. I also want to talk a little bit about our year. So here goes.

W, can only be for one thing, Wendy. Wendy has been a fabulous consort. Always helping, always suggesting, always advising, always looking amazing, no matter what the function. Being Chairman is a wonderful honour and I am very grateful to her for all the effort she has put into making our year very special.

Y is for youth and we have seen some amazing talent around the county in the last 12 months. Voices and Visions, The W Factor, Indigo Arts, Number 8, schools and colleges.

C is for Charities. We have held 7 functions this year, I am pleased to say all have been successful and we have raised £7600 for Evesham Shopmobility, Pershore riverside Youth Centre and Droitwich Canals trust. I did think at the start of the year we would struggle to get prizes and it would be difficult to sell raffle tickets and tickets for fundraisers. I need not have worried, the generosity of companies and individuals has been truly amazing and I am extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed, with prizes, donations or time. At the beginning of the year I said I wanted to raise money for specific items, that would benefit the charities in particular ways and not go into the general pot. It is customary on this occasion, to equally split money raised, and to hand out cheques. However, later this year I intend to speak with each of the charities and find the best ways to help them. It is highly likely that charities will benefit from different amounts, depending on specific their requirements

H is for help and I would like to thank the Vice Chairman Cllr Mrs Linda Robinson for all the assistance she has given me this year. It is one of my great regrets this year that I was not able to attend every function we have been invited to. Total invitations this year have been 281 with as many as 5 on a single day. If you include every meeting and appointment the chairman has been involved with this year it comes to 308. Of those, 2 have been in Broadway, 27 in Droitwich, 60 in Evesham and we came to Pershore 45 times. We also attended 31 functions in other areas of Wychavon and 64 outside the district a total of 229. It’s been a busy year.

A is for advice and a number of officers have given all sorts of advice and tactful guidance throughout the year. Thank you to all of them.

V is for visits, ward visits, or as one councillor called them, Ward awareness visits, which is probably a better description. It is a regret this year, I did not manage to achieve my ambition, to visit officially every ward, however I did manage 28 of the 32 wards and I am grateful to those councillors who went out of their way to invite Wendy and me onto their patch and show us round.

 O is for Office. I love that room, I will miss that room. It is a great place to work and plan. Everything on tap, what more could anyone want.

N is for Nothing to do. Well not quite. I am going back to work for Jessops on June 1st and just to make life interesting we are moving house on May 21st. I will also be more involved with council work, so I will be kept quite busy.

D is for Diana. Of the 7 functions we have held this year, 3 have been organised by Diana Raphael. All have been fantastically successful and Wendy and I are extremely grateful for everything you have done for us this year.

I is for insomnia. Enough said.

S is for Support services and two very important people in particular that department. Karen Peters and Mandy Ladds have been an absolute star double act. Even though Karen cleared off for 4 months and Mandy was thrown into the deep end, doing all her usual work and looking after my requirements, nothing was ever too much trouble. I think they should be known as the Unipart Twins, because the answer was always yes. I can tell you, Karen and Mandy could teach many a council support service department a lesson, in how to make sure the chairman is fully aware of what is required and when. Ladies, I have a little something for you as you know, but not now. I hope you enjoy Sunday night.

T is for Table plans. Wendy and I have spent huge amounts of time on table plans because, she wont sit with him, and so and so doesn’t get on with her. I am very pleased, there will be no more table plans!

R is for Reward and the reward we have had at every function, this past 12 months. Everywhere we have been, we have met people we would not have met had we not been invited. I would like to thank the councillors for electing me and giving me the opportunity to witness the amazing work that is going on in our district.

I is for Internet and the Chairman of Wychavon blog. I have had enormous pleasure doing the blog and with close on 10,000 hits it has been a great success. With 309 separate pages and posts, over 2000 pictures, and many 10’s of thousands of words. It has taken a lot of time and effort but I believe it is important that the public see what the council and the chairman does. We are embracing the latest technology and I am pleased the next chairman is carrying on with the blog and hopefully future chairman will too.

C is for chain gang and ours has been brilliant. We have made some real and lasting friendships this year and we have all supported each other in our various charity fundraising functions. Their contribution to our year has been highly significant in many ways and there have been many occasions enhanced due to their presence.

T is for Tummy. Yes it’s grown, as has the rest of me. I think I’ll move on.

C is for Church and also for Caroline. Caroline has been a brilliant chaplain in every way and I would like to thank her very much indeed for her advice, help and guidance during the year. We have been to 35 church services, carol, funeral, memorial and civic. Listened to about the same number of sermons and sung over 100 hymns and carols. And, we have enjoyed them all in one way or another.

O is for opportunity. For the opportunity given to Wendy and I, and we are both very grateful. Not many get to welcome Royalty to Wychavon one day, have tea with the queen another, meet amazing people in amazing places, doing amazing things on many other days.

U is for Understanding. While this year has been wonderful for us, I do understand that not everyone has had the year we have had. There have been many changes in peoples circumstances, both within the council and in the district as a whole. Understanding will be important ongoing as we start a new chapter in the district and look forward to many challenges ahead.

N is for Need. It has been suggested to me, councils don’t need a chairman. Well, they do. As much as we have had huge pleasure this year, so have many other’s. I have been really surprised how much people appreciate the chairman visiting their, club, organisation or watch their show. Truth is without a chairman, a figurehead, much of what goes on in the community would go unrecognised, unpublicised and charity donations would suffer enormously.

C is for Communities and one of the joys this year has been visiting real people doing all sorts of things for the good of the community. It takes special people to give and continue to give. They do it without favour, they do it because the need is there and they do it because they get pleasure out of helping others. We have been a number of village halls this year and the people involved in village halls have a wonderful time and the community that benefit as well. Long may they all continue.

I is for, well I couldn’t think of anything for I, so I am going to change it to J and J is for Jack. Jack has been there whenever I needed to chat and I really thank him for his support and assistance throughout the year.

And finally L is for Les – For many years, Les Eales has been the chauffeur for Wychavon District Council chairmen, however Les, is much more than someone who picks you up and drops you at the required destination. He has a wealth of useful information. Les very often knows the venue, knows where to park, knows where he is going and who is expect to be there. His advice on all sorts of matters is sometimes vital and always interesting.  He is an expert at getting the Chairman and consort to the function, on time, fully informed and briefed, comfortable and presentable. Even in the most appalling weather. Nothing is ever too much trouble. So, thank you Les for all you have done for Wendy and me this year.

Ladies and Gentlemen, to say we have has a wonderful year does not come close to describing the experience. Thank you again for the opportunity to do something that very few do, and if the next chairman has half the time we have had, she will have a very good year indeed.
Thank you

Invited guests, spellbound by my speech 🙂

Maurice Robinson, next year’s Chairman’ consort, examining the list of functions Wendy and I have attended. How many?!!!
You can see them click here 

Thanks to all those who attended, and for the photo book. Nice one.

Official Opening of Evesham's Leisure Centre

April 28, 2010

April 28th 3.00pm
Abbey Road, Evesham

After years of planning, it’s officially open.


Click here for lot more pictures

Before the actual opening, a few other things had been arranged. Above you will see the youth bus parked outside. This bus travels around the district and provides a venue for our young people who have no other place to congregate with their peers. It contains, a TV, computers, computer games, somewhere to relax and chat. It should be called the Tardis! particularly well used in rural areas of the district.

Inside, several of our middle schools were playing Dodgeball for the Wychavon Cup.

Mixed teams of boys and girls, seemed to get great pleasure out of whacking each other with a football.

The winning team receive their trophy.

Then onto the reason we are all here. Stuart Megarry, Chairman of Wychavon Leisure Community Association Ltd, says a few words

followed by yours truly. Here is what I said:-
Mr Mayor, guests, good afternoon everyone and thank you all for coming.
It gives me particular pleasure to be here today to celebrate the official opening of this building. A building that has had some controversy in it’s short life so far. There has been much discussion on the design, the colour, even the car park lights. Good design is more than just ‘good looks’. It means that buildings and spaces function, in a way that adds to the quality of life for all those who use and experience them. That is certainly true of this building. We recognise the importance of well designed buildings to the social, economic and environmental well being of our communities, buildings which respect and reinforce our local distinctiveness – but we do not want to shy away from new and exciting architecture which inspires our architects and the local construction industry – it is the mundane and the mediocre which we are striving to move away from. Mundane and mediocre have no place in Wychavon.
In general, those early critics of the external appearance, and I should say they were just as many who praised the revolutionary look, are coming round to the almost iconic structure.
What has never been in doubt are the facilities the leisure centre offers for the 21st century resident. First class swimming, a magnificent gym, dancing, beauty, keep fit, climbing, the list goes on. This centre is also a pop in and catch up centre for anyone to enjoy a coffee and meet with friends. This is a community building, a sort of large village hall with a health provision.
This has been a huge investment for Wychavon of some 11 million pounds. It shows the commitment Wychavon District Council has to it’s residents, who expect, quite rightly in my view, a high class service from it’s district council.
The excellence of construction is obvious and the high quality achieved is a credit to those who have been involved in the project since, in 2005, the original leisure centre was considered to be too expensive to keep maintaining. – To thank everyone here, now, would be impossible, however I would like to pay tribute to all those dedicated individuals and organisations including our Consultants, Architects, Builders, many of whom I am pleased  to see here today, plus our own staff and Wychavon Leisure, who drove the project to finish on time and within budget. The building is a testament to everyone’s willingness to work together, to deliver a high quality building for the community.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, thank you again for attending today. I have every confidence this building will provide many people of all generations a happy and healthy experience for many years to come.

Stuart and I then preformed the plaque unveiling

and did a bit of posing with the plaque.

Wonder of Wychavon Photographic Competition Final Judging.

April 26, 2010

April 26th 11am
The Vale Magazine Offices, Vale Park, Evesham

The competition was judged month on month by Vale magazine’s very own Lynne Powell, Ian Tustin and Zoe Print. I joined for the final judging of all the photo’s, to choose the overall winner.

L-R, Ian, Zoe me and Lynne.
Who will be the overall winner’s? See the June edition of The Vale Magazine and check back here. There will also be an exhibition of winning and runner up photographs, at the Civic Centre in Pershore, starting June 7th 2010 for 2 weeks.

St Georges Day Celebration

April 23, 2010

April 23rd 7.30pm
Evesham Town Hall, Market Square. Evesham

Each year in Evesham a dinner is held to celebrate England’s Patron saint. This year Diana Raphael suggested Wendy and I used the occasion as a fundraiser. We were very pleased to accept.

Evesham’s recently refurbished Town Hall is an idea setting for this type of event.

The evening in full swing. Food, provided by Robbie Raphael and included asparagus, of course. Entertainment was provided by the wonderful John Raphael, Martin Hammon and

the fabulous Avonbank Brass Band. Pomp and Circumstance, Land of Hope and Glory, lots of hand clapping and foot stamping and flag waving.
A really super, patriotic night. We  had a raffle and an auction of asparagus, kindly donated by Revills Farm Shop, Defford.The evening raised just over £700 for my supported charities. Thanks to all who attended and especially Diana for organising the whole thing.

British Asparagus Festival Run

April 23, 2010

April 23rd 8.00am
The Bell Tower, Abbey Park, Evesham

This is the third year the asparagus run has taken place. The first year a round was carried to the houses of Parliament, last year, the Mayor of Evesham took one to Stratford and this year, the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Mr Michael Brinton took one, in a Morgan car, all the way to Brighton. Why Brighton? I hear you cry. Well, WDC won a regional heat in the enjoy England, ‘Where else but  England awards’ for the most eccentric and unique experience in the UK. The final was being held in Brighton on the day of our run. All tied in nicely really. The winner is….Click Here  Much more happens on the day, as the following pictures reflect.

A beautiful morning in Evesham

The town crier, John Raphael, brought everyone to order.

Picture Stuart Purfield

Trevor Harrison ( Eddy Grundy in the Archers radio soap ) starts off the speeches.

Picture Stuart Purfield

It was my pleasure to formally open the festival and I said:-

Welcome everyone – especially the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Mr Michael Brinton and his wife Angela Also to the Mayor of Evesham – Cllr Alan Booth and the Mayor and Mayoress of Pershore – Cllr Chris Parsons and his wife Jan
St Georges Day is officially the start of the growing season for English Asparagus  and it also marks the start of the two month long British Asparagus Festival in the Vale of Evesham. A title we are very proud of.
We are here today to celebrate these events by hosting this, the third Great English Asparagus Run which this year is destined for Brighton where the Lord Lieutenant has kindly agreed to present the 100 round of fine Vale Asparagus to Lady Penelope Cobham – Chair of Visit England, prior to tonight’s England for Excellence Award Ceremony where Redstar Growers and the Western Asparagus Growers Ltd have donated asparagus for the evenings menu. Many thanks to them for that. I know the Mayor is going to thank a number of people connected with todays event, But may I on behalf of Wychavon and Evesham in particular, thank Angela Tidmarsh , Wychavon District Councils Tourism Officer for all the work she and her team have done, and continue to do, to put Asparagus and Evesham very firmly on the map.
The reputation of the Great English Asparagus run is spreading and as it grows in popularity it has become a major event in the Countys’ calendar.  It attracts major media interest, which underpins the areas’ vibrant tourism economy. This year we have had a record number of enquiries from families wishing to visit the beautiful Vale of Evesham. Of course the benefit to the local economy is vital and long may events such as this continue in Wychavon.
One of our main objectives for this years Festival is to launch a campaign to make asparagus the official food for St Georges Day – to be as much a part of the celebrations as Guinness is, on St Patricks Day.  So, please get behind this campaign, and maybe one day we will all be wearing Asparabutton holes, on St Georges Day, and events such my own Celebration Dinner at the Town Hall tonight, where we will all be eating local asparagus, will become the norm for the whole Country!
Thank you and now may I introduce the Mayor of Evesham – Cllr Alan Booth


‘GUS’ was there

Mr Michael Brinton, Wendy and myself

Jugglers and fire eaters performed

players played

Morris’s, morrised!

 Then it was Morgan engine start and off

to Brighton.

Picture Angela Tidmarsh

The handover to Vicountess Cobham
A wonderful event, well organised, with lots of publicity for Evesham. Well done Angela.

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.

'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.