Pershore Town Council Newsletter
Town Hall Opening Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 1:00pm
Visitor Information currently situated at Pershore Town Hall on the above opening hours.
Welcome from the Town Clerk…
Welcome to the Christmas edition of the Town Council newsletter. I am writing this following the Christmas lights being switched on in town which this year are being left on day and night to bring us all a bit more Christmas cheer. May I thank all those who provided entertainment at the switch on and helped in any other way. It was a scaled down event from the 2019 “normal” but at least everyone was able to get together outside and start off the festive season.
Please see later on in the newsletter how the Town Council is going to spend the last of its New Homes Bonus money. The Town Council needed to bid for these funds before the end of September otherwise they could have been spent anywhere in Wychavon. The Council is pleased that both bids went through with unanimous support of the District Council. It is anticipated that the riverside project will be finished in time for the Easter holiday with the Avon Meadows car park being reopened for the summer.
May I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in the hope that Christmas 2021 can be spent in the way we would all wish.
Ann Dobbins, Town Clerk
A message from the Mayor and his Consort…
Working for the railways on the retail side I have found it great to see people expectantly planning journeys over the Christmas period to visit family and friends and being involved in helping with those plans. After last years difficult Christmas for many, we are all no doubt hoping we will be able to enjoy and celebrate the festive period in a more social and traditional way.
One of the important tasks for the Mayor at this time of year is choosing the town’s Christmas tree which together with our Christmas lights helps brighten up our town centre for residents. They are also a lovely welcome for visitors to our town who will browse – and purchase – in our fantastic range of shops at this time of year. Our grateful thanks are due to Ken Tallis of Abbey Butchers for again kindly providing the tree.
The Mayoral diary is rapidly filling up at this busy time of year and by the time you read this I will have attended with Helen, my consort, a number of carol services, festive gatherings and charitable events in Pershore and neighbouring towns – all thoroughly enjoyable.
In closing may Helen and I wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year together with our grateful thanks to those who will be working over the Christmas period. Let us hope that 2022 will continue that long road towards recovery.
Cllr Julian Palfrey and Dr Helen Whitwell
What a warm Autumn we have had! Temperatures have been very mild over the past few months with many tenants being able to continue to reap the fruits of their labour much longer this year which is wonderful to hear.
As many of you are aware we are currently working with the Environment Agency with regards to the ‘bund’ area at the allotment entrance via Defford Road. These works will continue until February 2022 and already improvements are noticeable with a larger car park area introduced at the entrance and another large car park via the Nogains entrance which has been welcomed by many.
Thank you to all tenants whose access has been affected, for their understanding during these groundworks. We are very pleased to say that we are having lots of positive feedback from many so far, some of whom are also taking inspiration for the future of their plots during their new found route.……every day is a school day as they say!
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and happy planning for the new season ahead!
News from the Town Council
New Homes Bonus
Under the old New Homes Bonus scheme, Wychavon allocated funds to town and parish councils based on the number of new houses built within their boundary. The funds allocated to Pershore were used to create the Cemetery car park and pay a contribution towards the Northern Link Road as well as improvements to Princess Diana’s Garden (not quite completed). The Cemetery car park was completed in 2013 and the Northern Link Road is currently under construction.
The remaining funds needed to be allocated to projects by the end of September this year and following the priorities in the Town Plan, the Council bid for funds to open up the riverside area and contribute to enhancing Broad Street in due course. Whilst the latter project may take some years to bring to fruition (as with the Northern Link Road) it is hoped that the riverside enhancements will be completed over the coming months.
Earlier this year the District Council decided not to renew their lease of Avon Meadows car park and the responsibility for this area has reverted to the Town Council. Some of the funds agreed will be used to pay for new drainage and ditch clearance but there will also be an additional footbridge across the ditch and the old dilapidated slipway will be refurbished. A draft plan of what is proposed is below and we will keep you updated with progress.
It is also intended to install some picnic benches and better signage as well as opening the area up to provide views both to and from the river and across to the Avon Meadows Local Nature Reserve.
EXTRA TRAINS FOR PERSHORE IN TIMETABLE UPGRADE
Latest improvements to train timetables from Pershore Station will see services upgraded to hourly in both directions virtually throughout the day and with half hourly services in the late afternoon and early evening peak.
From Sunday December 12th, the town’s station is served by its best ever level of through trains to the capital with a total of 39 daily (Monday to Friday) trains to London and Worcester/Hereford.
Two additional trains – the weekday 13:18 Worcester Shrub Hill to London Paddington and 11:50 London Paddington to Hereford – will call plugging an existing two hour lunchtime gap in the timetable and the 11:50 will now call on Saturdays. All trains will call at Pershore on Saturdays and Sundays also offering an hourly service.
An extra service in each direction will also operate over the Cotswold Line on Sundays with an hour earlier first train of the day from Oxford to Great Malvern at 09:00 returning as a 10:50 Great Malvern to London Paddington train.
The latest improvements have been welcomed by rail campaigners and the Cotswold Line Promotion Group which – with Pershore Town Council – continues to press for early improvements to much needed extra parking provision at Pershore Station and for better bus/rail links and interchange.
New social groups at Pershore Library
Pershore Library in Church Street has organised new social groups every Friday afternoon between 2-4pm which are free to attend and will be a great way to make new friends.
Pershore Library Cuppa Club has been set up by Onside and is an informal group for people who enjoy chatting over a cup of tea. It will be a perfect opportunity to make new friends and, with the help of the Onside staff, to organise activities within the club that will appeal to everyone. This group will meet on the first Friday of every month, starting on 3 December.
Pershore Library Film Club will meet on the second and last Friday of each month starting in the new year. A classic film, generally one from the 1930’s – 60’s, will be shown in the conference room which has a large screen and an excellent sound system. This club had been running for several years before the pandemic and was very popular. Refreshments are served after the film, for which a small charge is made. A booking system is currently in place for this club, so please book before the event. There will be two Christmas classic films shown on Friday 17th December and Thursday 30th December. The film show will start at 2pm.
The Kindred Spirits Café will meet on the third Friday of the month starting on 21 January. This is a café for people with dementia and their carers. It will provide a safe place for people to meet and make new friends. A small charge will be made for refreshments.
For further details on all these groups please speak to staff at Pershore Library, via email or telephone 01905 822722.
Police Budget Consultation
Your Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion wants to hear from you ahead of setting next year’s policing budget.
As part of the PCC’s ongoing commitment to take feedback from communities and use it to shape his decision making, he is seeking your views for his 2022 budget. Over the next four weeks, you will have the chance to have your say via a public survey.
The survey will ask you about your priorities, what concerns you have where you live and how much you would be willing to pay for the policing element of your council tax.
The PCC is urging you to take the time to have your say, as this is about your police force and this is your money.
The consultation closes on Monday 3rd January 2022.
Climate Emergency Drop In Session 2nd October 2021
Members of Pershore Town Council held a Climate Emergency Drop-in Session on 2nd October to give residents a chance to learn more about what measures they can take to help prevent the effects of climate change.
The session covered areas of interest such as biodiversity, waste and recycling and “Grow your own”, and was well attended by residents of Pershore and the surrounding areas.
Pershore Town Council aim to run this type of event on a regular basis. Keep an eye on the latest news section of the Town Council website for more information.
Pershore Wellbeing Hub
Pershore Wellbeing Hub celebrated its official opening on Thursday 25th November with a gathering held at Number 8 Arts Centre. Serenaded by Dampier’s Round folk duo, attendees chatted over tea and homemade cakes whilst admiring the artwork of local children who had entered a wellbeing poster competition.
Dr Gill Perks, Chair of the Hub and retired town GP, gave a speech in which she thanked all of the organisations that have donated time and funds in support of the project. Town Councillor Chris Parsons, who as mayor oversaw the early stages of the Hub’s development, was on hand to present a further cheque to Dr Perks. This was followed by the presentation of prizes by renowned Worcestershire artist David Birtwhistle, patron of Pershore Arts. Ten talented local school children received an enlarged poster of their work and a gift token for art materials. Finally, Hub volunteers gave guided tours of the Hub, at No. 4 High Street, and chatted with their supporters.
Amongst those attending the celebrations were the current Town Mayor, Councillor Julian Palfrey, the leader of Wychavon District Council, Councillor Robert Raphael, and several Wychavon members and officers, as well as Councillor Liz Tucker, retired County Councillor and enthusiastic Hub supporter. Local churches, schools, the Rotary Club, Volunteer Centre, Riverside Centre, Leisure Centre and the NHS were all represented in what was a demonstration of how much our community has aligned behind this new venture.
During her speech Dr Perks explained that in the 5 months since opening, the Hub has been visited by 600 people, approximately 2/3 women to 1/3 men. Nearly three quarters of these were helped inhouse, though the remainder were referred onto other local groups or partner organisations. The Hub’s excellent website provides additional support, and helpful advice and information. The Hub’s aim is to put a smile on people’s faces, to reconnect people after the enforced isolation of the pandemic, and to promote healthy and happy lifestyles.
The Hub can be found at No. 4 High Street, Pershore, WR10 1BG, can be reached on 01386 555018, or online.
Registered charity no. 1192944
Pershore Heritage and History Society
Christmas Past at the Cinema in Pershore
The Bioscope, an early form of motion picture projection was available to watch at the Electric Theatre in Pershore. On 25 December 1913 it was reported The Electric Theatre in Pershore was still going strong:-
“Mr. Will Sinclair is a past manager in the art of coloured illumination and wording. His illuminated signs are most charming. The Christmas programme will leave nothing to be desired. For the early part of next week the special feature will be “War’s Red Ruin” and part three of the “Mary” series. For Boxing Day and Saturday the specials are “The Forty Thieves,” “Kings of the Forest” and “The Shaughraun.” Mr. Sinclair is sending out a novel little Christmas greeting card as an advertisement to the inhabitants of Pershore a novel idea which will no doubt repay itself.”
The Electric Theatre in Pershore later became the Picture House in 1928. The Cinema was then listed as being owned by the Pershore Picture House Ltd, it then becoming the Plaza Cinema, which was then converted to Cinema scope. Despite this, the Plaza Cinema closed in June 1958 and the building was demolished around 1969. Tesco express is now operating on this site.
Christmas Traditions: It was a snowman that appeared on some postcards starred in some of the initial silent movies and was the subject of the earliest photos dating all the way back to the 1800s.
The Christmas tree tradition can be traced back to 16th-century Germany. The first documented Christmas tree was found on the sculpture of a private home in Alsace (then part of Germany, today France) dating 1576.The Christmas tree was introduced in to Britain by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband.
Written by Anthony Wittenberg
The return of the Volunteer Centre Lunch club was welcomed enthusiastically by those who enjoyed an excellent two-course meal and, as important to the patrons, a chance to catch up after months of isolation and, for some, solitude.
You can see where this is going, can’t you?
Without our team of drivers, many of the diners would be unable to use the opportunity to put a bit of light and colour back into their lives. Some people rely on our drivers for visits to hospital and other vital trips. We have a real need for drivers- for the minibus or you could use your own car for this vital work.
We’re sorry to make the same appeal twice in one edition but a few hours of your time would make all the difference. Call Pershore Volunteer Centre: 01386 554299
Registered Charity No.1166141
Pershore and District Volunteer Centre need your help.
We are currently in desperate need for volunteer drivers, all you need is your own vehicle and the gift of a couple of hours each week.
Call 01386 554299 if you can help
We are hoping to crowdfund enough money to expand our fleet of vehicles with the purchase of an electric multi person vehicle (MPV) to transport groups of people to community activities (lunch club) and maximise the services of our voluntary drivers reducing social isolation.
Since COVID Pershore Volunteer Centre has seen more demand for its social car scheme and a heartfelt plea to restart the Lunch club for older, vulnerable people who are socially isolated. The lunch club previously attracted 50 users and volunteers and since COVID the waiting list has increased by 120%. The project will provide transport to groups of people from the same location to attend lunch club or other social activities in Pershore and neighbouring villages and day trips to other locations. The vehicle will enable us to free up other social car scheme drivers to continue with individual services for our clients, while lunch club participants enjoy their activity.
The electric MPV will reduce the carbon footprint of Pershore Volunteer Centre. The vehicle will enable us to offer days out and other activities to socially isolated people, with no access to any public or other transport means, across the Wychavon District and promote social mobility.
Thank you once again for your amazing support.
Friends Of Avon Meadows
Dipwells: Some of you may have bumped into someone with what looks like a dip-stick wandering around the meadows. It is indeed a dip-stick used for monitoring the ground water levels. We have 10 dipwells set out around the meadows which are checked and recorded at weekly intervals. The dipwells go down about 1 metre as it is only the surface layers we are interested in. This is all part of the wild flower reintroduction programme and some species flourish in wetter conditions than others and this data builds up over time to provide an excellent historical record of the aquifer.
Sheep: Those of you who have visited recently will have seen about 160 sheep arrived on 20 Oct and will stay for a couple of months. We need them to eat as much grass as they can to weaken the grass to give wild flowers a better chance. Please keep your dogs on a lead and close all gates behind you.
Work parties: Work parties have continued under the watchful eye of Ken Pomfret. Since the last Newsletter they have cleared the scrape (just in time before it began to fill up with water again!) so it will be ready for visiting winter birds. Again, very many thanks to Ken and the volunteers who helped for the hard work for the benefit of us all.
Contractors’ Work: There has been little progress here presumably because of the amount of work that contractors have on at present. We will keep pushing to get our works to the top of his list!