Pershore Town Council Newsletter - Summer 2023
Town Hall Opening Hours
Monday- Thursday 10:00am – 4:00pm
Friday 10:00am – 3:00pm
Welcome from the Interim Town Clerk…
Welcome to the Summer edition of the Town Council newsletter, and the first one I can welcome you to personally. As I write this, the sun beats down gloriously and everyone seems to have much more of a spring in their step – ah, the great British Summer!
Since the last edition of this newsletter, we have celebrated the Coronation of HM King Charles III and Pershore did themselves proud with the array of bunting not only adorning the High Street, but residents went above and beyond to celebrate in some way. The ‘Big Lunch’ event on Abbey Park was a great success and I am looking forward to more Bands in the Park this summer.
We have also had the Local Council elections. We welcome four new members of the Council. I am sure you will keep them very busy over the next few years!
The several pages of this newsletter are taken up with a summary of the Council’s Annual Report and financial information for the year to 31st March 2023. For any queries, please pop into the Town Hall.
I hope you all enjoy a long, warm summer.
Mrs Charlie MacIntyre
Message from the Mayor…
Welcome to the residents, traders and companies of Pershore. With my election as Pershore Town Mayor, history has been made in our wonderful Town. Following in my late father’s footsteps, I have become the second generation of the same family to hold this post. I just hope I can live up to my father’s reputation.
Having lived in Pershore for 53 years and witnessed the changes over the decades, seeing the town grow in all sorts of ways I am still proud to say Pershore is my home.
We do seem to be able to showcase our town when it comes to events, the recent Carnival being one of the best in recent years. This year is also the 25th Plum Festival and plans are underway to turn the town Plumtastic for August. With all the events that Pershore put on, we are always looking for help and there are so many organisations in the town that do fantastic work throughout the year to make Pershore what it is.
The next few years are shaping up to be challenging with development, growth and infrastructure, but as a Council we are committed to make sure Pershore grows in the right way to maintain our identity and be somewhere we are all proud to live.
Looking forward, the planned Christmas event for the annual light switch on is already well underway and promises to be another fantastic event for the town.
We are lucky to live in such a beautiful town and I am proud of Pershore.
Cllr Richard Grantham
Annual Report from the Town Mayor – Matthew Winfield
Mr. Winfield thanked his colleagues and residents of Pershore for what he felt had been an exceptional year – the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, death of HM Queen Elizabeth, accession of King Charles lll, and the Coronation celebrations where the Place Board were to thank for the erection of bunting and flags all over the town.
Mr. Winfield went on to praise the people of Pershore for their involvement in the Coronation celebrations – every street had gone some way to making an effort to celebrate, every trader had taken the opportunity to decorate and celebrate in their own way and Mr. Winfield stated he felt proud to be a Perscorian. He added that so many of the people of Pershore do good deeds, and he believes Pershore is the finest place in England.
Mr. Winfield asked the new Town Council to continue to address the biggest issue facing Pershore – housing development. He believes the town is beginning to divide into two – a residential town and a commuter town, and with the SWDP review near completion, along with the two new towns in Throckmorton and Norton Parkway, asked members to do all they could to mitigate the impact these settlements would have on Pershore. He added that the Town Plan, formed in 2018, must form the basis of decision making going forward.
Mr. Winfield urged everyone to remember the men and women of the forces, who made the ultimate sacrifice, the finest of the public servants. Mr. Winfield stated that it was an honour to lay a wreath in Pershore Abbey on Remembrance Sunday. He asked whoever succeeds him to continue to link with the forces.
Mr. Winfield reminded the Town Council that they have committed to finding a home for the roll of honour in the Town Hall. Mr. Winfield went on to thank his colleagues at the Royal British Legion for their part in organising the Remembrance Parade.
Mr. Winfield continued by encouraging those present to celebrate democracy. He wished the new Mayor well in their role. He stated that it had been an honour to serve as Mayor and thanked members of the public present at the meeting for their support throughout his tenure.
Mr. Winfield finished by adding that Pershore was a lovely town, and that he felt everyone was lucky to live here.
The Annual meeting Cheque presentation for the Mayor’s Charity Brain Tumour Charity
At the Annual meeting of Pershore Town Council on Thursday 18th May 2023, the Mayor of Pershore Mr Matthew Winfield and his Consort Mrs Gloria Winfield presented a cheque for £4585.65 to Mrs Lesley Faulkner, who accepted the cheque on behalf of the Mayor’s Charity Brain Tumour Research. With donations already raised this will bring the total raised by the Mayor Mr Winfield and his Consort Mrs Gloria Winfield to over £6200 for the Brain Tumour Research Charity.
During the year, as well as attending Council meetings and making decisions, councillors have also represented the Council on a number of outside bodies.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Pershore Volunteer Centre
Pershore Town Football Club
Pershore United Charities
Council for the Protection of Rural England
Vale Public Transport Group
Riverside Youth Centre
County Association of Local Councils (CALC)
A report from each of the Council representatives on these groups will be available on our website in due course and are available for residents on request.
WHAT THE COUNCIL DOES
The Town Council owns and manages:-
Riverside land at King George’s Field and Avon Meadows
Avon Meadows Car Park
Grassed play area at Cherry Orchard
Allotments in Defford Road
Pershore Cemetery and car park
Town Hall and walkway
Pershore Library and Visitor Information Centre
Land off Holloway – available to walkers for picnics and a rest area
Small area of land adjacent to Holloway
White Railings moorings (leased to A.N.T.)
The Town Council controls and manages:-
St Andrews Gardens
The Town Council provides:-
- Street lighting in residential areas
- Bus Shelters
- Vehicle Activated Signs
- Town Clock on the Town Hall
- Benches and litter bins
- Flower tubs, hanging baskets and floral displays
- Christmas lights
- Grants to local organisations
- Free accommodation at the Library and a grant to the Citizens Advice Bureau, reviewed annually
- Rooms in the Town Hall and the Library for hire to local groups in the town
- Exchanges, through the Twinning and Tourism Committee, to our twin towns
- The Visitor Information Centre
- The land for the Riverside Youth Centre on a lease
- The land for Pershore Town Football Club on a lease
- The land for the Leisure Centre on a lease
- Some of land occupied by the Avon Meadows wetlands
- Free accommodation for the Heritage Centre
Town Council Finances –
Please see charts showing how the Council has spent your money during the year to 31st March 2023.
If you would like more detailed information, or a set of the accounts, please contact the Interim Town Clerk after the end of May.
Please note that 0% indicates income or expenditure of less than £3500.
List of Expenditure
The community bunting in the town looked fantastic for the coronation along with the bunting and flags that the Place Board and Town Council were able to provide.
Thank you to everyone who helped make triangles and sewed the lengths of bunting together.
Photographs taken by Mr Chris Ludlow
PCC will use powers to make change following concerns raised at Pershore meeting
More than 60 residents joined Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion at his Community Conversation engagement in Pershore to voice their concerns about local policing. On Wednesday 17 May, residents attended Pershore Town Hall to express their dissatisfaction with the level of service they are receiving from West Mercia Police, which they feel is leading to an increase in anti-social behaviour, substance misuse and other crimes. As the voice of the public in policing, PCC John Campion was shocked and disappointed to hear the experiences of residents and reassured them that he will use his powers to galvanise change. Following the meeting, the PCC has written to Chief Constable Pippa Mills to make her aware of the community feeling in Pershore and is calling for swift action by the police, partners, and other organisations to address the issues raised.
The PCC has also delivered on his promise to meet residents again in six months’ time with a follow-up meeting taking place on Wednesday 15 November 2023 at Pershore Town Hall from 6pm to 8pm. PCC John Campion said: “I would like to thank everyone who came to the event in Pershore. As your voice in policing, I really value hearing your thoughts and experiences on the service you receive from your police force. This is then used to shape the decisions I make on your behalf. I share your disappointment that the level of service you are currently experiencing simply does not meet the high standards you rightly expect and deserve. I want to reassure you that I will use all the powers available to me to ensure you regain trust and confidence in your police force. I have taken direct action following the meeting and I am committed to building positive change in Pershore.”
Police officer numbers hit historic high in West Mercia
A record number of police officers, 2494 in total, are now serving in West Mercia, as officer numbers hit new highs. Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has supported West Mercia Police’s Chief Constable to not only meet the Government’s uplift target for West Mercia, but exceed it. Your police force now has a headcount of 2494 officers, with officer numbers increasing by 508 since the PCC was first elected in 2016. A further boost to officer numbers will happen in this financial year, with an additional 40 officers recruited to create new community crime fighting teams. The PCC is committed to ensuring police officers are accessible and visible in your community, tackling the issues that matter to you.
NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2023 GARAGES IN PERSHORE Part 2
Abbey Garage was renamed as “The Motor Centre” it was taken over by Graham Williams Automotive Ltd, in 1983 and made into units for the trade. Graham Williams started a garage in 1975 at Eckington, selling and repairing Lotus cars. Graham was a friend of Colin Chapman the Lotus car owner. He was competition manager in Canada 1970, and Lotus won the Canadian Championship in that year. Graham also raced formula 2 & 3 cars for Lotus, he had his first Formula 3 car and an ex Formula 1 car a Fittipaldi F5 which he showed a times. In the March 1985 it was closed down, and he left, but all other units continued.
Central Garage was sold to Mr. H. Martin and sons from Hillingdon, by Jason Baldwyn. In 1960’s they had 2 coaches and some breakdown vehicles, they did school runs for some time and trips abroad. Large breakdowns like a Diamond “T” ex-army truck and an Austin Gypsy, Land Rover, later several newer lorries built and one built in the garage medium sized. Central Garage also sold petrol, diesel, and paraffin. Many times they went to Broadway Hill for lorry accidents etc. and on the motorways. In 1973 they were in the garden enlarging space for vehicles and found bones etc. and a report was later published.
Later they moved the breakdown lorries and joined another company in Worcester. Mr Martin and Son’s rented out the workshop to the late Sam Sheppard in 1995 and moved out February 1998, to a unit at “The Motor Centre” and still called it “Central Garage” Sam also had another unit there. The Garage was then sold and houses were built there.
Amerie Garage was owned by Ernest Stapleton, I have found an article which states Ernest Charles William Stapleton was born in Essex, the garage was called Stapleton Motors, in a 1960’s advert they sold Lancia and VW cars. In 1959 Ernest lived at Amerie Court, Newlands, he joined the army in 1939 and served abroad in many places. In 1949 at Le Mans, Ernest drove an Aston Martin Speed model 2lt. He had coolant problems and failed to finish the race. 1950/51/52 he entered the Millie Miglia (this was a long race around Italy) with his wife acting as navigator. They also raced many times in the English circuits. In an article written January 1964, Ernest was called to court for bankruptcy at Worcester, said he was living in Evesham at that date. His wife filed for divorce, she stayed in Pershore and died 1996. In January 1969 another article said all his debts were paid in full. I cannot find a mention of him after the 1969 article.
Written by Anthony Wittenberg
What is the Pershore Wellbeing Hub?
Walking along Pershore High Street between Number 8 and the corner of Broad Street, you may have had your attention caught by a large photo of a smiling woman next to a window brimming with posters and the sign Pershore Wellbeing Hub. And you would be forgiven for asking yourself: “What on earth goes on in a Wellbeing Hub?”
We are a group of dedicated volunteers whose aim is to support people in the Pershore area by providing information and advice – and time and space for a chat. Anyone can access this either by coming to see us at the Hub or by logging onto our extensive website.
When you come into the Hub, you step into a cheerful room, decorated with posters, leaflets, colourful cushions and leafy green pot plants. You will be given a friendly welcome by one of our volunteers who will ask if you’ve come in needing help with a particular question or would simply like to sit down for a cup of tea and a chat. We live in a world where it can be difficult to find the friendly contact that is essential to our wellbeing. Offering that to anyone who pops in is one of the most important things we do.
Many of our visitors have specific questions they need help with. These can be about anything, no matter how small or how large. One visitor may be new to the area and wants information on how to meet people. Another is starting a health kick and is keen to find sports groups they can join. The next visitor is worried about finance and needs help working out what they are entitled to. Or someone may come in who is overwhelmed with caring for a relative and needs advice on getting support.
We see ourselves as a first port of call. Our volunteers come from different backgrounds with different areas of expertise. If we don’t have the answer to a problem, we will help the visitor find out where they can get answers by signposting them to the information they need and helping them to access this. Often we will sit down with a visitor at the computer and research useful organisations, phone numbers and addresses. Our own website is a very good starting point for this with its extensive links to organisations, local council and government departments, charities, businesses and interest groups, both locally and nationally.
Our initial start-up funding came from Wychavon District Council plus a number of generous donations including grants from Pershore Town Council. However, we now face the challenge of generating our own sources of income to ensure the Hub moves forward into the future. You will often see us, for example, with fundraising stalls and activities at events in Pershore and the surrounding villages, as well as raising awareness of our work in schools and other organisations, on the radio and in the local press.
We are always keen to recruit new volunteers. As well as the satisfaction of doing something useful for our area, it’s also a lot of fun being part of the volunteer community. So please do contact us at the email address below if you would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer – or next time you pass the smiling woman on our poster, drop in for a cup of tea and a chat.
Pershore Wellbeing Hub is at No. 4, High Street or visit Pershore Wellbeing Hub website or email the Wellbeing hub.
Pershore Plus Volunteer Centre
Volunteering, the giving of time, enthusiasm, commitment and in return you will feel fabulous. June 1st – 7th was National Volunteers Week, we would like to take the opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU to all our volunteers, you are super-duper stars. Let us start the summer with a flourish as we desperately need to get our community spirit back, we all at some point in our lives need the support of a charity. Our volunteers at Pershore Plus Volunteer Centre provide a lifeline to so many local people with transport, lunch clubs, trips, telephone befriending and so much more. BUT we are running on nearly empty like many charities, could you be part of our inspirational team of volunteers? Please call Treena on 01386 554299 for an informal chat.
Karon, Our CEO is challenging herself to run 5K every day throughout the month of June to raise vital funds for the Volunteer Centre which will enable us to continue to support local communities.BNi Ambassadors (Black Country Business Networking Online) are sponsoring this event but we would love our communities to get behind Karon too. If you can sponsor Karon please pop into the office as we have a sponsor form on our reception. Thank you.
Our Community Resource Centre, which offers community and voluntary groups access to office services including: stationery, photocopying, duplicating, laminating, document binding … all at very reasonable prices! In addition, the Volunteer Centre has a well-equipped meeting room that can be hired for a morning, afternoon, or evening session on a regular or occasional basis. The meeting room has access to a kitchen with full facilities. The range of equipment available for use includes an OHP, projector and flipcharts.
All of our services are offered at reduced rates for members of the Volunteer Centre. To find out more about the benefits of membership and current rates, please contact us for more information on availability 01386 554299 or email.
Our address is Pershore Plus Volunteer Centre, 1 Billing House, Cherry Orchard, Pershore, WR10 1EY
Enhancing Christmas Traditions in Pershore
Pershore Place Board is working to establish the Pershore Georgian Christmas Fayre Delivery Group. This initiative aims to enhance the town’s Christmas experience through an annual Georgian Christmas Fayre. The board collaborates with Pershore Town Council, Wychavon District Council, and other stakeholders towards economic, cultural, and social development. Various projects are underway to improve the town’s appeal. Already, the board are preparing to enhance the town’s visual presentation during the Christmas season.
Additional Christmas lighting will be displayed on Bridge Street, Broad Street and the High Street. The board has installed brackets to display Christmas trees on 48 buildings in the town centre.
Thanks to kickstart funding, the first Pershore Georgian Christmas Fayre event is planned for 24th and 25th November 2023. Pershore Town Council has also agreed to move the annual Christmas Lights Turn-On event to Broad Street, where the Fayre will take place. The board is collaborating with the police, fire service and Worcestershire County Council to plan a temporary road closure. The event will showcase retail, food and drink stalls, charities, local performers and traditional Christmas fair attractions.
The next project on the board’s agenda is the creation of the Pershore Georgian Christmas Fayre Delivery Group. Pershore Place Board aims to make the Pershore Georgian Christmas Fayre a fun, inclusive and community-focused event. To achieve this, they are seeking to involve a broad spectrum of Pershore’s stakeholders in their work.
Pershore Place Board has organised a meeting to present its intentions for the Fayre. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss ideas and assign roles to bring this project to life. The board looks forward to the collaboration and support of the community in making the Pershore Georgian Christmas Fayre a beloved annual tradition that brings joy and unity to the town.
Darren Eden, Chair, Pershore Place Board
Progress on the Wetland
Most unfortunately, the recent wet weather has delayed the work contractors were due to start in March on Avon Meadows. Added to this costs have doubled in recent months so that additional funding must be found. This work includes replacing unsafe bridges beside the river, putting gravel in muddy gateways beside the river and repairing the boardwalk. A few weeks ago, volunteers cut back a lot of scrub in an area where Marsh-marigolds are known to grow. This work has two benefits, it encourages the Marsh-marigold to flourish and it also allows people walking by on the boardwalk to enjoy the flowers. They flower quite early in the year and are in flower now.
More recently, a group of volunteers battled their way through the wet reed beds to inspect the Sand Martin bank beside the main pool. Unfortunately the timing followed the wettest March since 1981 when two and a half times the average rainfall descended! They discovered that high winds had removed the roof and this will have to be refitted and more securely fixed when it is a bit drier.
Male Reed Bunting.
This excellent photograph was taken in early April on Avon Meadows and shows the bird eating seeds from a reed head (Phragmites australis) to built up its strength for the spring. They are a familiar sight in and around the reed beds during the spring and summer. Female Reed Buntings are designed for camouflage on the nest and look rather like sparrows!
Visit Avon Meadows website for upto date information on the wetlands.
Pershore Town Council - Advertisement Gallery
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Newsletter published by
Town Hall, 34 High Street, Pershore WR10 1DS
Interim Town Clerk: Mrs Charlie MacIntyre
Contact via tel.01386 561561 or email.
Front Page photo taken of Community Bunting in Broad Street, Pershore taken by Mr Chris Ludlow
Whilst all the information in this newsletter is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.