Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Sat 18 Oct 2014

    A MEETING to discuss next year’s Bromsgrove Festival will be held in Room 6 of the town’s Methodist Centre.

    The event, organised by the Bromsgrove Festival Council, will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday (October 22).

    Bob Bignell, the Bromsgrove Festival’s deputy chair, said: “It is hoped that new thoughts and ideas will be offered for consideration at this meeting.

    “In particular the Festival Council would particularly welcome ideas from young people and promoters of genres which were not included in the 2014 programme.”

    He added the post-festival questionnaire had been completed by the majority of event organisers and suggestions have been made for future festivals.

    And, he said, although the 2014 Bromsgrove Festival was hailed a success by organisers, audiences and the general public, the festival council was mindful that there was always room for improvement.

    Visit for more invormation on the updated calendar of events for the 2015 Bromsgrove Festival.

    Any organisers who want to have their event included on the caledar should email info [at] bromsgrovefestival [dot] co [dot] uk with the dates and brief details of the event.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Thu 16 Oct 2014

    THE MIDDLE Ages will be returning to Avoncroft Museum next weekend when a group of young re-enactors arrive at the venue to bring the past back to life.

    Next Saturday and Sunday (October 18 and 19) pupils, aged 11 to 18, from King Edward’s School will be staging a living history exhibit in the museum’s medieval town house.

    There will be military displays of arms and armour, bows and crossbows to go alongside the star of the show ‘Elizabeth’ - a medieval trebuchet made of oak and iron, weighing over a ton and standing 14ft high. It is a quarter scale example of the largest trebuchet.

    A smaller trebuchet called ‘Aimee’ will also be shooting throughout the day demonstrating some of the earliest known firearms such as the Losh-ult cannon and the Tannenberg Handgonne.

    Jonathan Davies, the teacher leading the group, said: “The kids are so enthusiastic and love the challenge of bringing the past to life in front of an appreciative audience.

    “They really enjoy getting stuck in to all aspects of medieval life, be it cooking a sumptuous meal over an open fire or getting to grips with weapons from the Middle Ages.”

    Visit for more.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard


  • Sat 11 Oct 2014

    A COLLECTION of paintings, all centred around ‘Silhouettes and Shadows’ will be on show in Bromsgrove until next month.

    The pieces, which will be on display at Plaza Coffee, Chapel Street Precinct (near Housman Statue) in the town centre until November 8, have been done by South Birmingham artist Phillip Brewer.

    Phil uses a mix of emulsion and acrylic on his works which are all silhouettes on striking and vibrant backgrounds.

    He is a builder by trade but, having taught himself art, has now quit that to become a full-time artist.

    Phil has always been inspired by the great outdoors and themes in his paintings include animals and family adventures, along with sporting activities.

    He does commissions from photographs, putting his trademark silhouette touch on them, and has done every thing from wedding photographs to family and pet portraits with a twist.

    Phil said he had been given some very positive feedback about his latest works.

    “People have said they read different things into the paintings as they try and guess the expressions.

    “And many have told me they like the movement and energy in them.”

    Phil’s pictures on display are for sale and readers can visit to find out more.


  • Fri 10 Oct 2014

    THE director of a popular Bromsgrove museum will be the special guest at a history society talk being held this month.

    Clent History Society is holding the meeting at its venue, Clent Parish Hall in Church Avenue, on Thursday, October 30.

    Simon Carter, director of Avoncroft Museum in Stoke Heath, will be giving an illustrated talk on the history of the nailer's cottage.

    The cottage has been acquired by the museum and is currently being dismantled and reassembled.

    His talk features the known history of the cottage including the families who lived and worked there.

    The meeting is being held from 8pm.

    The entrance fee for non-members is £2.50, which includes tea, coffee and biscuits.

    • Clent Parish Hall will also be the venue for the 13th History and Archive Day being held on Sunday, November 16, from 11am until 4pm, there will be lots of archive material for visitors to explore.

    This year there will also be added information on the 118 village men who fought in the First World War.

  • Fri 10 Oct 2014

    A BROMSGROVE open air museum is in the running for a top county award.

    Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, in Redditch Road, has been nominated for a Visit Worcestershire Award for Excellence.

    The awards are organised as part of the Annual Tourism Conference to recognise the achievements of local businesses.

    The museum has been nominated in the Best Tourism Experience category.

    Mike Ashton, chief executive of Visit Worcestershire, said: "Worcestershire has some excellent businesses in the tourism industry, which we should be proud of, and the 2014 Visit Worcestershire Awards for Excellence is the perfect opportunity to celebrate their many achievements."

    The Stoke Heath museum is up against Worcester Cathedral and Little Owl Farm Park in its category, and will find out if it has been successful at an awards ceremony being held at the Mercure Hotel Kidderminster on October 23.

  • Fri 10 Oct 2014

    A BROMSGROVE school has launched a new music venture for its pupils.

    Bromsgrove Preparatory School, in Old Station Road, have given all year three pupils at the school the opportunity to learn a string instrument for free.

    Pupils have been able to choose for themselves which instrument, choosing between violin, viola, cello or double bass.

    The scheme launched at the beginning of September with the school's team of specialist string teachers, led by Fiona Swadling, head of strings and Jessica Russell, a music teacher at the school.

    James McKelvey, director of music, said: "Their class music lessons will be a valuable extra group learning experience in addition to an individual or shared lesson option, if they choose to take up separate instrumental lessons.

    "There are huge gains to be found in learning an instrument including the development of many lifelong skills: concentration, patience, motor skills and memory, confidence and sense of public performance, creativity and sensitivity, independence, team work and interaction with peers and adults.

    "This is a fantastic opportunity and one which the music department as a whole is hugely excited by.”

    The scheme will run throughout the academic year, culminating in a concert showing off the skills that the pupils have learned.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Tue 3 Jun 2014



    FESTIVAL FUN: Bromsgrove Festival is being relaunched to become a wider arts and cultural celebration.  

    THE countdown is well underway for the relaunched Bromsgrove Festival.

    Established in 1960, the festival has been run for more than 20 years as a celebration of mainly classical music by a council, led by Dr Mary White.

    Last year the Advertiser reported on a public meeting that was held to discuss the festival’s future and, from that, a new group was formed that has worked to relaunch the event, expanding it into a wider arts and cultural celebration.

    The festival is being held between June 14 and July 20.

    A full colour 40 page brochure, detailing some of the 80 diverse events being held over the five week period, has been published.

    The community aspect of the festival is reflected in the large number of established events - including Bandstand Sunday afternoons at Sanders Park, Bromsgrove Carnival, and Court Leet's Midsummer events - being brought under the festival umbrella.

    Bromsgrove's Artrix Theatre is playing a major role. The School Drive venue will also be hosting shows from Bromsgrove Operatic Society and Al and Sundry. It is also putting on an Artrix New Generation Festival, designed to engage young people in creative activities.

    A new organisation, Festive Classics, has been formed and has organised a series of lunchtime concerts at the Guesten Hall, Avoncroft Museum. Continuing Mary White's legacy, classical musical will still feature prominently with performances from Barnt Green Choral Society and the Orchestra of St John.

    Bromsgrove Folk Club has organised the 23rd annual folk festival featuring a number of folk artists.

    Exhibitions include Waseley Hills Craft Fair, Bromsgrove Art Society's All Saints exhibition, Avoncroft Arts Society and Hanbury Countryside Show.

    The festival is being officially opened by Bromsgrove MP, the recently appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid at an opening gala at the Artrix.

    The gala is being held on Saturday, June 14, and includes a reception and a full showcase performance compered by members of Madcap Theatre and featuring All and Sundry, Bromsgrove Operatic Society, The Orchestra of St John, Bromsgrove Folk Club and Blackwell Concert Band. The evening will be rounded off with dancing in the marquee to the live sounds of Big Steve and the Bo's.

    Bob Bignell, vice chairman at Bromsgrove Festival, said: "Under the tag line 'try something new' the festival includes many diverse events showcasing the depth of talent in Bromsgrove and surrounding areas at the same time as continuing the previous philosophy of featuring national and international performers."

    Tickets for the gala can be purchased at Artrix box office by calling 01527 577330 or visit

    For more details on the festival, or for copies of the festival brochure, visit

    Copies of the brochure have also been made available at the Artrix, Avoncroft Museum of Buildings, Bromsgrove Library and many shops, pubs and clubs.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Mon 2 Jun 2014

    TOWNSFOLK are being invited to a special exhibition being held at Bromsgrove Library.

    In 2013 the Norton Collection Trust acquired 2,700 glass negatives and 180 hand-drawn original Bromsgrove Guild designs from 1900 to 1914.

    A collection of these have now been put on display at Bromsgrove Library, in Stratford Road.

    The trust's exhibition, on behalf of Dennis Norton, will be at the library for the next four weeks.

    The guild was a company of modern artists and designers associated with the arts and crafts movement, founded by Walter Gilbert.

    It worked in various mediums including metal, wood and glass.

    Among its most famous works are the main gates of Buckingham Palace, and Liverpool's Liver Birds. The exhibition features an impressive image of one of the Liver Birds being constructed.

  • Mon 26 May 2014

    ONE of Shakespeare's most popular plays is being performed at a Bromsgrove church.

    The Friend of St John's Committee has organised for The Festival Players from Gloucestershire to perform at St John's Church, in Kidderminster Road, on Friday, June 13.

    The Festival Players are a professional touring company of seven actors who play multiple roles, requiring quick costume changes, as well as musicians. Michael Dyer, the former director of Cornwall's Minack Open Air Theatre, is the company's artistic director.

    The touring company will be performing Shakespeare favourite Macbeth, which was first performed at The Globe Theatre in 1611.

    Michael said: "It is one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most powerful plays and his shortest tragedy.

    "It takes the audience on a roller coaster ride from a ‘blasted heath’ to a Scottish castle and a moving forest.

    "Three weird and mysterious sisters, a ghost-ridden banquet, murder, prophecies, visions and spells all meld together in a swirling cauldron of seat-edge drama.”

    Friend’s chairman Jo Slade said: “We are very excited to host Macbeth.

    “We're delighted that the event has been included in this year's Bromsgrove Festival, in fact it is the first event of the festival, taking place the night before the launch.”

    Tickets cost £15 each, which are available from the Artrix Box Office by calling 01527 577330 or visit

    Doors open at 7pm, ahead of a 7.30pm start.

    Friends of St John’s raise funds to support the ongoing maintenance and restoration needs at the historic Bromsgrove church.

    For more on the committee join the FriendsStJohnsBromsgrove Facebook group, or follow @FriendsStJohns.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser 

  • Thu 22 May 2014

    A BROMSGROVE church needs an organist and choir trainer.

    All Saints' Church, in Burcot Lane, is inviting experienced organists, students and pianists to apply.

    Services are held regularly on Sundays, one evening service a month, with a weekly choir practice, plus covering weddings and funerals.

    For more details, or to apply, call churchwarden Mike Carrick on 01527 873135, or email mike [dot] carrick [at] zen [dot] co [dot] uk.