Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Tue 15 Oct 2019

    THE RENOWNED Circus of Horrors is set to roll into Bromsgrove and the organisers are hoping a person will come forward to be part of the show.

    The chosen one will get to be a ‘pickled person’ during the performance at Artrix on Tuesday, October 22.

    Applicants, who need to be over 18, not claustrophobic and be able to squeeze into tight places, will be asked to fit into a bottle measuring only two feet tall and 18ins in diameter.

    Anyone who thinks they have the bottle for this job should email asia [at] psycho [dot] co [dot] uk to arrange an audition.

    The show itself started its gruesome beginnings in the 1995 Glastonbury Festival and became an instant hit all over the world.

    It appeared at festivals with a host of stars, including Alice Cooper, Eminem, Oasis, Iron Maiden, The Manic Street Preachers, Foo Fighters, Aerosmith, Guns and Roses, Maralyn Manson and many more.

    Last year it toured Poland, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Italy and Holland, as well as the UK.

    It also took to the stage at major festivals and, in October alone, was watched by around 90,000 people, proving its popularity.

    The almighty cast that stormed into the finals of Britain’s Got Talent is now a West End and worldwide hit offering a roller coaster ride of amazing and bizarre acts with something for everyone guaranteed.

    Tickets for The Circus Of Horrors at Artrix, which starts at 7.30pm, are £20, available at or by calling 01527 577330.

  • Tue 15 Oct 2019

    BROMSGROVE’S Royal British Legion is hoping the town will come together at Artrix on November 10 and ‘party like its 1944’.

    Following the success of last year’s ‘Battle’s Over’ concert another extravaganza has been lined up for the evening of Remembrance Sunday.

    Taking to the stage for the ‘Albert Hall Tribute’ will be Vintage Class, Kevin Ward, Fairfield and Music from Glen Miller.

    Catherine Tabberner who broke the decibel record at Artrix last year with her rendition of Rule Britannia will be returning and there will be a special appearance by ‘Mr Churchill’ for the Drum Head Ceremony to bring back memories of 1944.

    Tickets are £12 and the concert starts at 7.30pm.

    Visit or call 01527 577330 for tickets and more information.

  • Tue 15 Oct 2019

    COFTON Hackett’s brand new £1million village hall is now officially open and will be officially launched this weekend.

    The new state-of-the-art village hall on East Works Drive and Groveley Lane will be showcased between 12.30pm and 4.30pm on both tomorrow and Sunday, September 28 and 29, with a special opening ceremony at 3pm on Sunday.

    The 4,500sq ft building features a kitchen, 1,600sq ft hall, an office, a meeting room, a community room and a sheltered outdoor activity area.

    The hall, part of St Modwen’s ongoing regeneration of the former Longbridge site, will be a vital asset for the community, providing space for local people to come together and hold group meetings, events and activities.

    The Cofton Village Hall Trust worked closely with St Modwen to ensure the building had everything the community needed.

    The Trustees said: “We’re grateful to St Modwen for providing this wonderful space and we’re very excited to be up and running so local residents can start enjoying events and activities here.

    “This is a fantastic opportunity to bring people together and offers a brilliant environment for a variety of different uses.”

    The trustees want the community to be involved as much as possible and are looking for people who want to help run the hall as part of a management committee and some to help keep it running smoothly.

    As well as volunteers, the trust is still raising money to fully equip the hall.

    Trustees are working hard to secure grants as well as organising community fund-raising activities.

    Visit to donate to the cause and email info [at] coftonvillagehall [dot] org for more information on the hall or to book the space for a community meeting or event.

  • Sat 12 Oct 2019

    GREEN-fingered Rubery residents are celebrating after their displays were judged to be ‘outstanding’ by the Heart of England in Bloom for the fifth year running.

    Rubery in Bloom, graded Level 5 by the judges, was launched in 2012 and since then has gone from strength-to-strength.

    There are 150 flower boxes throughout the village – one under every street sign – which are planted out and watered by a host of volunteers.

    Lorna Ockendon from Rubery in Bloom said the grade was well-deserved and testament to the amount of work put in.

    “We would like to thank all our donors and volunteers who work so hard to look after the flower boxes across both the north and the south wards of the village.”

  • Tue 8 Oct 2019

    A POPULAR Bromsgrove librarian will be closing one chapter and opening another when she retires after 38 years’ service next week.

    Pat Tansell started as a junior library assistant at the former Bromsgrove Library site on Stratford Road on February 2, 1981.

    And in almost four decades, she had seen some dramatic changes in her place of work.

    “Back then, it was a deferential world where hierarchies mattered.

    “The librarian Miss Barley only took her coffee break in the staffroom on Saturdays.

    “During the week we took turns to deliver her coffee to her office, knocking and waiting to be called before entering.

    “It was a challenge not to spill the coffee onto the biscuit in the saucer.”

    Junior staff were not allowed to answer customer enquiries, all book and information requests had to be dealt with by a qualified librarian who sat at a desk away from the main counter.

    “In those days, pre-Internet, we relied on a large collection of reference only titles to answer questions.

    “Now customers can reserve new books as soon as they are published but in the early 1980s, they had to wait until they were six months old,” added Pat.

    Pushchairs and prams were not allowed in the library, small children had to be carried or left by the door with one family being able to use the ‘Push-Troll’ – a Britax car seat mounted on a custom-made metal frame with a shelf underneath to hold books.

    It was introduced in the early 1970s after a campaign organised by Bromsgrove Housewives Register.

    The hour-long storytime was held in another county council building away from the library so customers were not disturbed, whereas now there are two lively song and rhyme sessions per week.

    Another change, which happened in the mid-1980s, was the introduction of audiobooks (formerly ‘spoken word’ items) on cassette.

    They were free of charge to anyone with sight loss.

    Nowadays the library offers ebooks, e-audiobooks and e-magazines.

    On February 1, 1991, the brown issue paper-ticket system was replaced when Bromsgrove Library had its first computerised system.

    Library staff used a hand-held scanner to read barcodes in the books and on customers’ tickets.

    When the Internet was first made available to customers it was on just one public computer – now Bromsgrove Library has more than 20.

    Pat said: “The first time I used the Internet was to answer a customer’s question about a utility company’s contact details.

    “Customers now use the Internet for job searches, applications of all kinds, social media, and all sorts of other things that enhance their lives.”

    In March 2006, coinciding with the major refurbishment of Bromsgrove’s former Stratford Road Library, the first self-service system was introduced, enabling customers to check their own items in and out.

    There was also a hot drinks vending machine, new sofas and easy chairs so customers had somewhere to relax.

    Staff encouraged people to spend more time there and even came up with their own strapline: ‘Linger longer in the library’.

    In November 2015 Bromsgrove Library moved to where it is now at Parkside with a modern look.

    Pat said: “These days the deferential and hierarchical world is gone.

    “Everyone is welcome. You do not need to have an address to use the library.”

    Pat, who is also a renowned historian for all things Bromsgrove and chairman of the Bromsgrove Society, said she had enjoyed my time as a library assistant and seeing library services evolve.

    “I will miss my colleagues and our customers.

    “I have particularly enjoyed leading sessions with local schools and nurseries, the annual Summer Reading Challenge and dealing with local history enquiries.

    “I’m looking forward to pursuing some new interests and devoting more time to others as well as spending more time with family and friends.”

    Pat’s last day at Bromsgrove Library is next Friday, October 18.

    Everyone is welcome to join her for tea, coffee and cake between 10am and 4pm.

  • Mon 7 Oct 2019

    TWO young dancers from Bromsgrove are through to the final of a national competition after wowing judges at the regional stage.

    Kaitlyn O’Brien, 11, and Ella Smith, nine, who both attend Spirals Dance and Performance Academy and St John’s Middle School, won a talent show in April in Torquay whilst on holiday at a Parkdean site.

    Their victory qualified them for the regional finals last weekend and, after triumphing there, they will now contest the national crown in Skegness on November 8.

    Becky O’Brien, Kaitlyn’s mum, said: “They have done fantastically well and we’re all so proud of them for putting Bromsgrove on the map.

    “Whenever they are asked where they are from and they tell them, a lot of people say they don’t know where it is – so hopefully they can help change that.”

    Ella’s mum Vicky Smith said: “We were so chuffed – we went on holiday in April and didn’t even know there was a competition.

    “They had already rehearsed the routine their dance teacher Helen had taught them so thought they would give it a go in the contest.”

    The mums had to go and find them a matching outfit and then the families had to leave Torquay in the early hours the next day to get to another competition for their dance school.

    “We’ve got our fingers crossed for the national final,” added Becky.

  • Sat 21 Sep 2019

    OVER 100 pieces of art is on exhibition at the Jinney Ring Craft Centre until September 29.

    The annual Sculpture Garden event includes animals, plants, birds and abstract pieces created by local and nationally-acclaimed artists.

    All are welcome to come and view the collection around the idyllic gardens and ponds at this free event.

    A free guide is available to take guests on a leisurely stroll and provide more information on the sculptures and artworks.

    All are available to buy.

    The Sculpture Garden is open at Jinney Ring Craft Centre, Hanbury from 11am to 4pm daily until Sunday, September 29.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Sat 21 Sep 2019

    CHILDREN from Blackwell First School were given the task of naming four residents’ lounges in The Lodge at Burcot Grange care home.

    The home held a competition asking pupils to come up with the names and also artwork to illustrate their decision.

    The winning lounge names were – Halfords (by Evie), Henry Osler (by Olivia), Cadbury (by Harry) and Peacock (by David).

    Vicky Osborne, general manager of The Lodge at Burcot Grange, said: “It’s such a treat to have the children’s fantastic artwork on display in our care home lounges.

    “The residents have been really engaged with the stories and creativity behind the chosen names and its associated artwork.

    “It has certainly sparked some memories and conversations between the schoolchildren and our Burcot Grange residents which is delightful to see.”

    Visit for more on The Lodge – a 54-bedroom care home in Greenhill, Burcot, which provides residential, dementia, day and respite care.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Thu 12 Sep 2019

    A COLLECTION of more than 100 paintings have gone on display at Bromsgrove’s Artrix, writes Abi Cook.

    The Spice of Life exhibition created by members of Lickey Hills Art Society (LHAS) runs until September 30 and all the pieces are available to buy.

    It is a busy time for the society which runs demonstrations, lectures and workshops by established local artists.

    Meetings take place at 7.30pm on the first Saturday of every month (except January) at Longbridge Methodist Church Hall, Bristol Road South.

    Admission is £4 per person and free to members (membership is £20 per year).

    Family membership is £30 and there is an additional £1 cost at each meeting for refreshments.

    The group will also hold a workshop on October 12 will feature David ‘DJ’ Johnson who will demonstrate how to use acrylic paints to create a sunset.

    The workshop will run from 10am until 4pm and admission is £25.

    There are limit spaces, available on a first come, first served basis

    Email Lynda Sharp at lyndasharp2010 [at] yahoo [dot] com for more information.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Sun 11 Aug 2019

    ARTISTS from Bromsgrove and Droitwich will be among those opening their doors to the public this bank holiday weekend as the Worcestershire Open Studios returns from August 23 to 26, writes Carrie Eddins.

    Now in its fifth year, the country’s largest free art event invites visitors to see the inside of artists’ studios and shared spaces and to talk to them about how they make their work.

    Participating artists include painter Gillian Simpson and enamel artist Teresa Kent based in Bromsgrove. Wildlife artist Eric Watson from Stoke Prior, ceramicist Chris Bell who works out of the pottery and Belinda Terry who makes jewellery at the Jinny Ring Craft Centre.

    Eva Walters from Hanbury, who designs cross stitch and jewellery, painters Julie Leach and Zoe Taylor at Bevere Gallery, Droitwich painter Ann Bennett, Droitwich mixed media artist Maggie Hobbs, paint and printmaker Sally Anne Morgan, mixed media artist Chris Walker at the PigstyStudio Oddingley will also be participating.

    There are more than 180 artists at 83 locations around the country to visit.

    Anyone who visits five of the venues can complete an entry to win a £100 voucher to spend with any of the participating artists.

    Teresa said: ” I really enjoy meeting people and explaining the art of enamelling.”

    Mix media artist Chris added: “I really like people coming to my studio and discussing their experiences as artists or telling me about their favourite pictures.”

    Visit for more information.

    Reprinted by kind permissio0n of The Bromsgrove Standard