Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Tue 20 Oct 2015

    THE Bromsgrove Indian Community Forum has joined forces with Bromsgrove District Council to celebrate Diwali.

    The Festival of Lights celebration is being held at Bromsgrove Library, in Stratford Road, on Saturday, October 31, from 10am until 2pm.

    Diwali symbolises the victory of light over darkness and thus good over evil. The Festival of Lights reaffirms the things in life that matter most.

    The Diwali exhibition features pictures and artefacts of the Diwali story and Divas lamps, as well as activities including Henna painting and Rangoli workshops.

    Indian snacks and sweets will also be available.

    Everyone is welcome to attend and join the activities, having some fun.

    B K Chaudhari, from the forum, said: “Diwali is one of the most important dates in the Hindu and Sikh calendar.

    "Diwali is also celebrated by Jains and some Buddhists. It is often known as the Festival of Lights.

    "We invite all to join us in this year's celebrations."

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Sat 10 Oct 2015

    THE CANALSIDE Studios in Stoke Prior have teamed up with The Navigation Inn to enable artists from Bromsgrove and Droitwich to showcase their work.

    Willow Tree Crafts and Canalside Art Studio, based on the Canalside Craft Centre, Hanbury Road, Stoke Prior, hold classes and workshops for artists and crafters each week.

    There are watercolours classes at the studios on Tuesdays, craft drop-in and workshop sessions there on Wednesdays and art workshops there on Fridays where people can just turn up and paint.

    Students’ work is then put on display as part of themed exhibitions at the Navigation Inn and, as part of the project, the Greyhound pub in Bromsgrove has agreed to a similar arrangement.

    Currently, there is an autumn inspired exhibition at the Navigation and towards the end of the month, there will be a Halloween one at the Greyhound.

    Next month, exhibitions will centre around Remembrance and the military, before moving onto Christmas themes for December.

    Karen Hotchkiss from Willow Tree Crafts, who started the scheme with Justine Humphries from Canalside Art Studio, said: “It gives the students the chance to exhibit their work in a public space which in turn gives them confidence and also, hopefully, encourages people to go into the pubs to see the works on show.”

    Anyone wanting more information should call Karen on 07789 912627 or Justine on 07725 488513.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Thu 8 Oct 2015

    CHRISTMASSY crafters and local businesses are being sought to have stalls at Bromsgrove’s first ever festive market.

    Bromsgrove District Council have teamed up with the Friends of St John’s Church for the event which will be held on Friday, November 20, and Saturday, November 21, to coincide with the annual Christmas lights switch-on event.

    Local traders and crafters offering festive goods are being urged to get in touch with each Christmas Market stall costing just £10.

    Alongside the craft stalls, the Friends of St John’s are also working with entertainers and local businesses to bring food, drink and music to the streets in the lead up to the Christmas light switch-on.

    And, as well as the lights switch-on and Christmas Market, the popular MidWinterFest will be returning again after a successful two years.

    Friends of St John’s chairman Jo Slade said: “We are very excited about putting on a Christmas Market in the town and are building on the relationship founded over the last few years with the MidWinterFest.

    “We are focussing on locally made crafts and we are putting a call out to anyone in the district who would like a stall to come forward. For just £10 per table local people can sell their crafts for Christmas.”

    Bromsgrove District Council chairman, Coun Caroline Spencer, said: “The atmosphere in the High Street is going to be fantastically festive this year with so much going on.

    “I’ll be flipping the switch on the Christmas lights but I’ll be sure to have a shop around the craft stalls and Christmas market first.

    “If you’re interested in taking on a stall please get in touch.”

    Visit or e-mail friends [dot] stjohns [dot] church [at] gmail [dot] com for more information.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Sun 4 Oct 2015

    A NEW series of Saturday morning Cake and Coffee Concerts will be launched at Bromsgrove’s historic St John’s Church next Saturday (October 10).

    The first to take to the stage on that day at 10.30am will be The Moseley Marvels – members of the talented Moseley family.

    The concert will be about 50 minutes long and will be followed by coffee or tea and cake.

    Then on November 7, the Bromsgrove Recorder Consort will provide the entertainment.

    Organiser Steve Cowperthwaite said the concerts were approachable and informal.

    ‘It’s a great way to liven up your Saturday shopping,” he added.

    Admission is free with a retiring collection.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Fri 2 Oct 2015

    MORE than 20 artists will be displaying 150 paintings at the Lickey Art Society’s annual exhibition.

    The event takes place between 10am and 4.30pm at Longbridge Methodist Church Hall, Bristol Road South (B45 9TY).

    As well as the paintings, some of the artists will be demonstrating their skills and techniques throughout the day.

    Jennie Wilson, the society’s secretary, said: “Come along and enjoy the exhibition, pick up some tips from the demonstrators and relax with a coffee and cake.”

    Admission to the event is 50p and anyone who wants more information should call Jennie on 0121 453 7097.

  • Fri 2 Oct 2015

    THREE popular attractions are joining forces on Sunday (October 4) for a special harvest-inspired Apple Day celebration.

    Residents can board the classic ‘Apple Bus’ – provided by Wythall Transport Museum – which will take them between Avoncroft Museum and the Jinney Ring Craft Centre.

    At the Jinney Ring, visitors can explore the popular sculpture trail and enter the apple art competition. There will also be a selection of food and drink made from local produce and a complementary cup or tea of coffee, included in the ticket price.

    At Avoncroft, there will be a number of activities. Visitors can take their own apples along and have them pressed in the museum’s vintage presser. There will be apple-themed games and costumed re-enactors will be demonstrating traditional baking methods in the historic windmill.

    The 19th century windmill will also be open.

    The Apple Bus will travel regularly between Avoncroft Museum and the Jinney Ring.

    From the Jinney Ring, visitors will also be able to visit Hanbury Church – the famous location for weddings on hit Radio 4 show The Archers. The links between the church and The Archers can also be explored by checking out an exhibition there.

    People should be aware that the route to the church is steep and rough in places.

    Advance tickets include rides on the Apple Bus between the venues, admission to Avoncroft Museum and a complementary tea or coffee at the Jinney Ring.

    Prices are £8 for adults, £7 for seniors and £4 for children. They are available from the Jinney Ring website at or by calling 01527 821272. On the day, tickets (if still available) will cost £10 for adults and £5 for children.

  • Mon 28 Sep 2015

    THIS AUTUMN, Longbridge Public Art Project returns with a programme full of events, exhibitions and workshops.

    One of the upcoming events is the Longbridge Alternative History Walk on Wednesday (September 30) which takes place between 1pm and 2pm. Participants need to meet outside Sainsbury’s in Longbridge and Mike Hodder and Steve Wright will take them back in time through 1,000 years of Longbridge history. This alternative history tour will provide new facts about Longbridge and what the area was like before it becane Longbridge. Residents should e-mail stephen [at] WERK [dot] org [dot] uk to book a free place.

    Then on October 3, HERE AND NOW takes place from 11am to 4pm at St John’s Church. This will feature historical research by artists and local residents being shown and art work being produced by residents for Longbridge. On the day there will be free events and activities for children and adults, as well as information about Longbridge Light Festival 2016. Those who go along will be able to find out more about the project and how they can get involved. For more information e-mail info [at] WERK [dot] org [dot] uk

    The exhibition, Women of Longbridge, takes place at the LPAP SPACE in Longbridge on October 8 from 6pm to 9pm, featuring a series of interviews and photographic portraits of ex-workers of the Longbridge car factory by artists Hannah Hull and Stephen Burke.The interviews document the changing attitudes towards women who worked in what was a male-dominated environment. They cover several eras and also offer insight into the changing approach to labour throughout the factory’s life. This exhibition showcases the overlooked stories of the Women of Longbridge, and aims to provide strong female role models for the next generation. The exhibition continues until November 7 and will be open from Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm.

    Then on October 17, there will be a 1275GT Mini Restoration Open Day from 1pm to 5pm at The Cabin, Longbridge.

    Artist Stuart Whipps is restoring a 1275GT mini that was made at Longbridge in 1979. He is working with ex workers from the factory and comprehensively photographing all parts of the car and the process.

    Members of the public are welcome to drop by when restoration works is taking place and further public open days are scheduled for November 14 and December 12. The Cabin is situated in the Car Park in Longbridge town centre opposite Bournville College and adjacent to Austin Park.

    For more information on how you can get involved with the project please email stephen [at] WERK [dot] org [dot] uk

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Sun 20 Sep 2015

    THE FIRST event in Bromsgrove Concerts’ 53rd season takes place at Artrix next Friday (September 25) when the Carducci Quartet come to town.

    The line-up includes violinists Matthew Denton and Michelle Fleming, Eoin Schmidt-Martin on viola and Emma Denton on Cello.

    Among the pieces to be performed on the evening will be Shostakovich’s String Quartets – No 4 in D Op 83, No 14 in F sharp Op 142 and No 12  in D flat Op 133.

    The group last came to Bromsgrove in September 2012 and they have spent most of 2015 playing all of Shostakovich’s 15 quartets to mark the 40th anniversary of his death.

    Tickets, which are £18 (£5 – registered disabled, unemployed and students), are available by visiting or by calling 01527 577330.

    Free tickets are available for young people aged between eight and 25, thanks to Cavatina Chamber Music Trust.

    Please contact the Box Office for these tickets.

    Visit for more information on subscriptions and rover tickets and general information about Bromsgrove Concerts.

  • Fri 18 Sep 2015

    A RETIRED Aston Fields music teacher had a pleasant surprise when he was handed his mother’s music score – 25 years after she died.

    Steve Cowperthwaite lost his mum when she passed away in Hexham, Northumberland, some 250 miles from Bromsgrove.

    The 59-year-old, who is the Barnt Green Choral Society’s managing director, said he proposed their March 2016 concert should have a Baroque theme – with music by Bach, Pergolesi and Vivaldi.

    He added after their first rehearsal of the season, last week, he turned up ready to conduct and was given copies of the music by their librarian, who had obtained them from Birmingham Music Library.

    “When I opened my vocal score of the Pergolesi, I saw on the inside cover the signature ‘J Cowperthwaite 22/3/78’ – in my mother’s unmistakable writing, her name was June.”

    Steve said he was left feeling moved by the extraordinary coincidence especially since next spring would mark the 25th anniversary of her death, in 1991.

    He added he knew she took up singing and joined a choir in Hexham during the 1970s, but he had no idea about what pieces she performed.

    “The date coincides with my final year at university,” Steve said.

    “Somehow the copy she used must have found its way to Birmingham Library and then to me.

    “The score is like a ‘postcard from the past’ and I shall not be able to resist thinking of her singing along when it gets to the concert.”

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Thu 23 Jul 2015

    MORE THAN 500 people went along to this year’s Bromsgrove Folk Festival, which organisers have hailed an amazing success.

    The event was held from July 10 to 12 at The Bowling Green in Stoke Prior and began with over 20 acts taking to the stage on the Thursday night for the annual pre-festival Singin’ and Suppin’ Session.

    By the Friday night, the festival was in full swing with an impressive line-up , which included house band ‘Fairfield’, local poet Spoz, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, Artisan, and Blackbeard’s Tea Party. After 20 years performing harmonies together, Artisan called it a day in 2005, reforming for a tour in 2010, and decided to make it another short reunion in 2015.

    On the Saturday, a great performance by Midlander Sunjay Brayne was followed by Irish singer-songwriter Colum Sands taking to the stage.

    There was also an energetic routine by Appalachian dancers Step on Board, accompanied by their band Thirsty Work and there was music from local singer Leon Gormley and former Fairfield singer John Connor.

    The evening concert began in a quirky way with Mumbo Jumbo giving 300 kazoos to the audience to play along to their blues-jazz-folk style music. Kim Lowings and the Greenwood, Colum Sands and BarlowCree – two artists from South Wales – and Anthony John Clarke also performed.

    Sunday started with a gentle walk, dulcimer workshop or singaround, before more Appalachian dancing, and the World Dry Foam Flinging Championships – that was won by Mac Rawlings, with an epic first throw.

    And the final concert of many of the acts from over the weekend brought down the curtain for another year.

    Planning is already underway for the 2016 Bromsgrove Folk Festival, which will see a milestone reached – it will be the 25th one to be held.

    Folk festival organiser Bob Bignell said: “Whatever we do, people say to us at the end of the festival that they don’t see how we can top it again.

    “It will be fun to attempt it in our 25th year.

    “It’s a big friendly family we have here.

    “Our main ambition is that by the time everyone leaves on the Sunday night, they are all on first name terms,” he added.

    Bromsgrove Folk Club meets between 8pm and 10.30pm on the second and last Thursday of every month at Catshill Social Club.

    Visit or e-mail bobcynfolk [at] aol [dot] com for more information.

    Reprinted by kind permission of the Bromsgrove Standard