The Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021
Pershore Town Newsletter
Town Hall Opening Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 1:00pm
Visitor Information, Pershore Library, Church Street: Mon-Sat incl.
Welcome from the Town Clerk…
Welcome to the Autumn edition of the Town Council Newsletter and I don’t think any of us can really understand where 2020 has gone! The Town Council has gone from meeting in person with members of the public able to attend, to Zoom meetings reliant on technology and live streaming them on YouTube. Unless Government guidance changes I think we will be holding our meetings in this way for the foreseeable future. Businesses are slowly reopening in line with what is allowed and as I write this it is lovely to know that at last the Library will be open, albeit in a somewhat limited way. During lockdown the Conference Room at the library has been redecorated and a new carpet fitted. We are now in a position to hire out the Conference Room, please contact the Town Hall for details. Please also note that extensive refurbishment of the Town Hall is about to start meaning that instead of the large room being offset, it will be one large room seating approximately 100 people. Booking forms for both venues will be available on our website shortly but please note in the current pandemic we will require a comprehensive Covid 19 risk assessment to ensure that both you and the Town Council are complying with Government guidance. We know things are difficult and we are all hoping to get as close to normality as soon as possible.
Ann Dobbins, Town Clerk
A message from the Mayor and Mayoress…
Welcome to this Autumn edition of our newsletter. As the summer months draw to a close I am sure many of us look back at all that has happened over the last few months. With all our town’s main events being cancelled, pubs, clubs and shops closed, life in Pershore has certainly been far from normal. Despite all this, residents of our town still greet each other with a smile (what little you can see through the masks) and are always ready for a friendly chat. I make no apology for mentioning, once again, the tremendous help that members of the Pershore community have given to those who have needed it. You know who they are and our more vulnerable residents could not have managed without their help. From me, a very big “Thank You”! Based on information gained from meetings that I have attended, there is a possibility that we could see a second wave of Covid 19 in this area. We can all help to prevent this by maintaining the now well practiced hygiene, social distancing and using face coverings as required. All traders have suffered in some way during the Coronavirus pandemic. Luckily our town has not suffered as much as surrounding towns and cities and visitors are slowly returning to enjoy all the benefits of our independent shops. No one knows how long this pandemic will last but it is so refreshing to hear that plans are already being considered for the town’s social calendar in 2021. It is just what is needed, a positive outlook. We will get through these troubled times and we will do so together. Our best wishes to you all, and please stay safe.
Chris and Jan Parsons
Pershore Remembers the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day, August 2020
On August 6th and 9th 1945 the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. This led to the surrender of Japan and the end of WW2 hostilities. On this 75th anniversary of VJ day we celebrate the end of those long years of that conflict but today should also be a day of remembrance. A day to remember that the horrific weapons used at that time killed approximately 250,000 people, many of whom suffered an unimaginable death. On this day, we remember, with thanks, all those who gave so much to bring peace to our lives with the hope that the peace they fought for stays with us for the future. With the current Coronavirus pandemic still with us, it is impossible to remember this day as we would wish. The Town Council and Pershore Branch of the Royal British Legion commemorated the day by laying wreaths both at the War Memorial in Pershore Abbey and at the Cross of Sacrifice at Pershore Cemetery
The Town Mayor and the Chairman of Royal British Legion lay wreaths at the War Memorial in Pershore Abbey
The Mayor and Mayoress of Pershore, Cllr Chris Parsons MBE and Mrs Janet Parsons join with the Chairman of Pershore Branch of the Royal British Legion, Mr Simon Dudfield and Union Standard Bearer, Mr Jon Buckle at the Commonwealth War Graves Cross of Sacrifice at Pershore Cemetery.
WELLBEING HUB AND LIBRARY UPDATE
Whilst the Library was closed, the volunteers working in the Wellbeing Hub have been working hard telephoning people to keep in touch with them during the pandemic. Residents have much appreciated this, and whilst the Library is now open, it seems likely that the Hub will have to continue to operate in this way for the foreseeable future. Numbers being able to access the Library and its facilities are extremely limited and the first-floor area will be closed to the public for the time being, although this will be constantly reviewed. It is still too early to know when Adult Learning classes, other local groups and Library events like Bounce and Rhyme and the Friday Film Club will be able to start again but please watch the Pershore Town Council and the County Council websites for information about these events as it evolves.
TOWN HALL REFURBISHMENT
Funds have been set aside for a number of years to enable the Town Hall, first opened in 2002, to have a much-needed refurbishment. The plans are to open the main hall out into one large room with an additional side entrance for hirers. The kitchen is to be enlarged and a new kitchen installed and the whole ground floor redecorated and new carpets laid. One of the most pressing issues has been the glass in the wooden loggia on the side of the building which has broken down over the years and is badly in need of being replaced. It is intended to install glass with much better reflective properties to not only help to keep the area cool but hopefully to also last longer. It is anticipated the rooms will be available for hire before Christmas and a booking form will be available on our website in due course.
ALMONRY CLOSE REDEVELOPMENT
In normal circumstances Rooftop Housing, responsible for the development of the now empty Almonry Close would have held a public exhibition to show their proposals for the site. Unfortunately, in the current pandemic, such public meetings cannot be held, however Rooftop would still like to hear residents’ views in advance of them submitting a planning application. The proposals for the site can be found on the Town Council web site at www.pershoretowncouncil.gov.uk/latestnews and they would welcome your views by emailing them on email@example.com. Hard copy of the proposals can be viewed at the Town Hall by appointment only. Rooftop hope that they will be in a position to submit a planning application in Autumn with, assuming approval is given, building works starting next Spring.
Following the Town Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency a working group is now considering ways in which they can reduce the town’s carbon footprint. As a starting point they felt it was vital to ascertain what the footprint is now, and the Town has been invited to take part in a pilot study to enable this to be measured. Once this has been calculated, ways to reduce it can be considered. As a first step, the Town Council is already working to ensure that the gas and electricity supplies to the Library come from a green energy supplier and are investigating both PV Panels and air source heat pumps for the Town Hall. As explained in the Spring newsletter, the Town Council is looking forward to working with residents to enable Pershore to become as green as possible over the coming years with a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Some residents have already expressed a wish to be involved – please contact us if you would like to learn more about what it is hoped can be achieved.
PERSHORE TOWN MAYOR
In view of the Coronavirus pandemic and following Government guidance and legislation the Town Council did not hold an Annual Meeting this year but decided to review the matter as the year progressed. Please note therefore that at the time of this article, the current Mayor, Cllr Chris Parsons MBE still holds that office with Cllr Julian Palfrey as his Deputy. With no physical meetings or events being able to take place there are no Mayoral Charity Events planned for the foreseeable future.
REMEMBRANCE DAY AND CHRISTMAS
Discussions have already started to see what sort of event it may be possible to hold both for Remembrance Day and Christmas Light switch on. The Town Council has already agreed with the Royal British Legion that an Act of Remembrance will take place but what form that may take and how many people may be able to attend is still under consideration. An announcement will be made nearer the time. The Christmas lights are usually switched on, on the last Saturday in November with an event in St Andrews Gardens which is well attended. This year we are still unsure as to whether such an event can go ahead. As restrictions are relaxed it is notable that the number of Covid-19 infections are already increasing, and this may well be exacerbated as schools return in September. Please be assured there will be Christmas lights and new festoons across the street – it maybe that they simply will not be able to be switched on in the same way we have done in the past. In the same way as Remembrance Day, we are currently unsure whether our Annual Christmas service at the Cemetery Chapel will be able to take place. If it is felt it can do so safely, those eligible to attend will receive a personal invitation as usual.
TOWN HALL OPERATIONS
The Town Hall opened to the public in late July with all the necessary safety measures put in place. Obviously, we all still run the risk of falling ill with the disease and please note that should this happen it will be necessary for the Town Hall to close to the public whilst staff self-isolate for the required 14 days. Those who are still well will work from home and be available via email and telephone until they are able to operate as normal again.
Pershore Visitor Information Centre has moved!
Pershore’s Visitor Information Centre has moved temporarily from the Library, to at the Town Hall, 34 High Street, Pershore, WR10 1DS. This enables us to operate in a Covid-19 safe way which protects both staff and visitors. We stock Town maps, Town walks, local circular walks, bus timetables and more information for visitors to our beautiful town, such as Enjoy a day in Pershore, Eat and Drink in Pershore and Stay in Pershore. Owing to the restricted space at the Town Hall the leaflet display has been reduced so please enquire at reception if you cannot find what you need. We still have a limited selection of walks books for sale and a file full of local walks, which for the cost of photocopying, we can print out on request. We are maintaining our website www.visitpershore.co.uk with our popular events page. Hopefully as life returns to normal and restrictions are eased there will be more events held both within the town and local area.
Pershore Heritage and History Society
Fred Allsopp – Jockey
The death of Mr. Frederick George Allsopp 7 December 1912 was recorded in the Evesham Journal. He died at his residence Bow Brook House, Peopleton. He had been ill the greatest part of this year and suffered acutely from dyspepsia. Neither local medical aid nor the course of treatment he took aboard during the whole of August at the famous mineral baths at Aix-laChapelle availed him permanent relief. Mr Fred Allsopp was the youngest son of the late Mr. Henry and Elizabeth Allsopp the Miller of Peopleton. Mr Allsopp left home when he was about 14 years old and started on the bottom rung of the ladder. He rose to be one of the leading light-weight jockeys of his day and retired after 20 years of the turf, after amassing a considerable fortune. People say that few lives are as hard and trying as a jockey’s. Mr. Allsopp had his share of accidents, his shoulder bone was broken, his legs injured and his jaw smashed. He held the record for the number of mounts in one year and had the reputation for winning from the starting post. During his career, he served his apprenticeship with Humphreys and Lambourne, and had the character of being a smart lad. First claim on his service was held by the late Sir Robin Jardine and during his 20 years he won a fair share of the big prizes. He rode in the Derby for the first time in 1892 and steering the winner, Lord Bradford’s Sir Hugo, which started at 40-1, to victory. He beat La fleche the favourite belonging to Baron de Hirsch by three-parts of a length. His racing history started in 1884, when he was 15 years old. In 1888, he had 13 winners out of 94 rides. He rode at the Derby, Epsom, Manchester Cup and Goodwood Stakes, as well as two races at Ascot. Allsopp’s greatest number of wins was 115 out of 822 mounts in 1898. One of his last races was going to France to ride for Duc de Gramont, who had paid him a large retaining fee. He married Miss Carrie Righton, daughter of Mr. E.G. Righton a well-known auctioneer, on January 3rd 1901 at Pershore Abbey. Many will recall the joyous character of proceedings, scores of friends wearing bright red and yellow the colours of the popular jockey. He then purchased Stonebow House demolishing a half-timbered house and erecting a handsome residence. When he died he left a wife and three daughters, the youngest a baby of 8 months.
By Anthony Wittenberg
As the Government withdraws its funding for prescription delivery services, many medical practices and pharmacies around the country are withdrawing this free service. Pershore Volunteer Centre, which had never received any Government funding and relies solely on volunteers and public donations, will continue to provide its delivery service in Pershore for the time being. So long as we have willing volunteers and there is a demand, we will deliver prescriptions to those who continue to self-isolate. Please contact the Volunteer Centre on 01386 554299
Transport to Appointments
As the area slowly comes out of lockdown, we have seen a steady increase in the number of routine hospital, dental and medical centre appointments. This has resulted in a greater demand in the number of requests we have received from people who have no access to transport and need help getting to their appointment. This is a service which Pershore Volunteer Centre has continued to provide throughout the whole of the lockdown. We are now ratcheting up our provision, so if you need transport to your medical appointment or could help us provide transport for others, anywhere in Pershore or the surrounding villages, please contact the Volunteer Centre on 01386 554299
Written by Mr Eric Wiles. Chairman.
Progress on the Wetland
Avon Meadows has received many more visitors over the last 3 months and it is pleasing to know that more people have discovered for themselves what a wonderful facility we have. All visitors are to be congratulated on maintaining social distancing and generally showing consideration for others. Those who have visited recently will have seen that work on securing the high-pressure gas main has been completed and all the work took place on the opposite bank of the river from Avon Meadows . We are thankful that the work has been completed without any construction work on Avon Meadows.
A number of the paths had become rather overgrown. The Friends of Avon Meadows volunteers have not been able to carry out their normal work due to the problems with Covid-19. The good news is that our contractor has cleared some of the most affected paths as part of his work on site. Work has almost finished on re-laying the main path and extending it up to the pavement beside Cherry Orchard house for the convenience of wheelchair users. The original path had settled so that puddles collected and it is hoped that the new surface will cure this.
The wooden arch at the entrance to the boardwalk which had floated up during the floods has been reset so wheelchair access is now possible again. Work will start soon on clearing the pond-dipping pool once the birds have finished nesting. After that the new pond dipping platform will be built which has been made possible by generous funding from a number of local organisations . The pool itself is presently choked with reeds so clearance will be an occasional requirement, this time after 11 years! The annual hay cut was taken on 28 July this year hoping for dry weather for it to be dried, collected and baled.
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Newsletter published by
Pershore Town Council
Town Hall, 34 High Street, Pershore WR10 1DS
Town Clerk: Mrs Ann Dobbins ACIB t: 01386 561561 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Front cover photo taken by Janet Stott