Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Fri 13 Mar 2015

    FORMER Birmingham Poet Laureate Giovanni ‘Spoz’ Esposito has been confirmed as the Green Party candidate to contest the Bromsgrove seat at May’s general election.

    And the Rubery resident has hit the ground running - he has already organised an evening of music and poetry to raise funds for his election campaign.

    ‘Spoz’s Green Stuff’ will be an unplugged evening of music, featuring several artists, including Nigel Clark from Dodgy and folk, skiffle, pop and blues acts.

    It will be held at The Hop Pole from 7pm on March 29. There will also be an auction, raffle and poetry from Spoz. Admission is £5 (minimum donation) on the door.

    Before that he will be participating in a hustings event with other candidates at South Bromsgrove High School.

    Spoz said: “It’s time for a change from the business-as-usual politics.

    “For me, every Green Party policy stems from the belief that our wellbeing should not be pursued at the expense of others and at the expense of our planet.

    “A vote for the Green Party is a vote for the common good.

    “I’m chuffed to be selected.”

    Alistair Waugh, Bromsgrove and Redditch Green Party co-ordinator said: “Spoz would work his socks off for the Bromsgrove constituency.

    “He’s passionate about tax fairness, youth provision, welfare and education.

    “Following the ‘green surge’ of interest in the Green Party over recent months, we’re confident local people will support Spoz.”

    Visit to follow the popular poet’s election campaign.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard


  • Thu 22 Jan 2015

    A NORTHFIELD woman has been selected from hundreds of entrants to front Selfridges’ ‘Bright Old Things’ campaign.

    Sally Peplow, 53, was chosen to be part of the drive which champions creatives who have bucked retirement in favour of a second career.

    Sally, a teaching assistant turned textile artist, has now taken over some of the Birmingham store’s newly-installed 360 degree windows.

    After dedicating most of their lives to a single career Sally decided to throw caution to the wind and pursue her passion.

    Sally, who worked in a Birmingham schools for 18 years, opted to embark upon a course in fine art textiles and then a degree at Birmingham City University after realising spectacular school displays were just the tip of the iceberg of her creative potential.

    Sally’s work is displayed on the store’s almost four-metre tall and eight-metre-wide curved glass window at the main entrance on level three.

    Sally said she was over the moon with her window and it was absolutely what she wanted it to be fun, exciting and vibrant.

    “I’m so proud of it and feel extremely grateful - I’m just a mature student from Birmingham and now I’ve been gifted this incredible opportunity,”she added.

    “It’s a real moment for me.”

    Ruth Harris, Selfridges’ general manager, said Sally was a hugely inspiring woman.

    She added it took guts to change career no matter what age but she had proved age was nothing but a number.

    “She’s found her calling later in life, and we’re only too pleased to give her the stage they deserve to showcase her fantastic and unique creative curiosities,” Ruth said.

    “ We urge people to come and see our new store windows - they are truly beautiful works of art.”

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard


  • Tue 20 Jan 2015

    TWO BROMSGROVE arts champions have warned that proposed funding cuts to Artrix could undo all the good work done by people in the venue's first decade.

    The calls from Jennie McGregor-Smith and Jim Page come after plans by the district council to slash the amount the centre receives from £120,000-a-year to £60,000.

    The School Drive venue, which cost £2.6million, opened in 2005 and its name was chosen by readers of The Standard after we ran a competition with the centre.

    The district council provided an initial start-up grant of £40,000 and then agreed to give £1.2million over ten years.

    That agreement comes to an end in March and the pair, who are members of Bromsgrove Arts Alive (BAA), wrote to The Standard, warning of the consequences of the funding reduction and calling on the council to reconsider its decision.

    "Council support over the past ten years has been an investment that has paid off handsomely.

    "Our arts centre is one of the very best in the Midlands, of which we are very proud.

    "If the council's cut is as planned it will affect so many people.

    "Ticket prices will have to go up so people won't attend so often, charges for hiring the theatre will go up so organisations will have to go to church halls instead, and the schools won't be able to afford to perform there.

    "The number of performances will be cut - a theatre that is dark loses money - and Artrix won't be able to bring in such excellent performers so people from other areas won't bother to travel here, and many thousands of Bromsgrove people will lose out."

    Bromsgrove District Councillor Mike Webb, whose portfolio includes finance and leisure services, said: “In 2013 after extensive discussions with all parties, members decided that although Artrix had successfully become profitable, funding to support access to it, particularly for young people across the district, would continue beyond that initial deal.

    “To that end £60,000 a year was allocated in the Medium Term Financial Plan to start this year.

    "We’re pleased that this council remains in the financial position to be able to continue to support the excellent work that the Artrix does.”

    Ros Robins, Artrix's interim director, said: "Discussions with Bromsgrove District Council regarding future funding for Artrix are ongoing.

    "Whilst we are concerned at the devastating effect that a halving of funding would have on the programme offered at Artrix, and the effective operation of the venue, we will continue to try and influence the recommendation until the point at which the final decision is made."

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Thu 15 Jan 2015

    A BROMSGROVE teenager has won a prestigious national essay accolade for providing a vivid eyewitness account of a young girl seeing the feeding of the 5,000.

    Indira Kaushal, 14, took part in the annual competition which has been running for 25 years as part of the Schools Bible Project.

    That is organised by the Order of Christian Unity, a charity dedicated to fostering understanding different branches of the faith.

    Indira, who has both Hindu and Christian influences on her own background, fought off hundreds of others from all over Britain as she rose to the challenge to ‘describe a biblical event as though they were actually present’.

    It demonstrated the year ten pupil at King Edward’s High School for Girls in Edgbaston had read and understood the different New Testament accounts of the incident and Christ’s impact on those around him.

    Indira got to travel down to the Houses of Parliament with the other winners and was presented with her prize by Baroness Cox, one of the trustees of the Schools Bible Project.

    Indira, who won books for herself and a £500 cheque for the school, said she was absolutely amazed when she heard she had won and it was a great thrill to travel down to London with her family for the presentation.

    “I’d enjoyed trying to put myself in the place of a child present at the feeding of the 5,000 and imagine the small details of what it must have been like to experience this miracle in the midst of a vast crowd like that.

    “I feel very lucky that my account caught the judges’ eye,” she added,

    Her RE teacher Alison Young said the school was so proud of Indira and added: “She produced a wonderfully lively, detailed account that fully deserved to win.

    “I think it is wonderful that a girl with both Hindu and Christian influences in her family can engage so well with Biblical themes and write with such empathy.

    “In the light of the Trojan Horse scandal, this is a reminder of the kind of excellent understanding across different faith traditions that can be inspired - especially in RE lessons.”

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Mon 27 Oct 2014

    BROMSGROVE will play host to a Three Faiths Festival next weekend.

    The event has been organised by the Bromsgrove Muslim Community Trust after the success of the town’s annual Eid festival which has been attended by 800 people every year it has been held.

    The Three Faiths Festival will be between 11.30am and 4pm next Saturday (November 1) at the Council House, Spadesbourne Suite.

    The event has something for all the family, including Indian food, performances by a children’s magician, Henna painting, Christian architecture table, Islamic Calligraphy, face-painting, Jewish architecture table and Nasheed music

    Dr Waqar Azmi OBE, Chairman of the Bromsgrove Muslim Community Trust, said the organisation was delighted to be working together with Bromsgrove Distirct Council to put on a great free family day out for the whole family to enjoy.

    “We’re delighted to organise the Three Faiths Festival to celebrate the beautiful diversity of our society and encourage friendship, goodwill and understanding between all people and faiths, especially between Muslims, Christians and Jews.

    “In our diverse society good relations between our communities are essential.

    “Without these ties, myths and prejudices flourish and by organising a free family event for people of all faiths or none we are breaking down barriers and finding ways for people to work together to improve their communities for the better.

    “We hope that parents with children will especially take the time to attend as Saturday 1st November falls during school half-term holidays.

    The event is free, however, there will be a small charge for food and some activities.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Mon 27 Oct 2014

    THE ORCHESTRA of St John will perform a special concert in Bromsgrove to mark the 50th anniversary of St Andrew’s Church in Charford.

    The event will take place at 7.30pm in St John’s Church next Saturday (November 1) and will be followed by a celebratory service at St Andrew’s Church at 2pm on the Sunday (November 2).

    It all began in the late 1950s when the then vicar at St John’s Church, the Reverend Shepherd, proposed that a church was needed to serve the growing community of Charford. He and parish member Christopher Pilkington worked tirelessly to raise the funds needed and the Church of St Andrew’s opened its doors for the first time in November 1964. The church was blessed by having the renowned craftsman, Robert Pancheri of the Bromsgove Guild amongst its congregation and he designed the altar, font and processional cross that are still used and cherished today.

    A weekend of celebration will begin with a very special concert will take place in St John’s Church, Bromsgrove on Saturday 1st November 2014 to celebrate the opening of its daughter church, St Andrew’s, 50 years ago.

    To mark this special event the Orchestra of St John will be giving a concert in St John’s Church featuring Bromsgrove’s own Charlotte Moseley (pictured) as the violin soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

    Charlotte has grown up within the St John’s community and has given many concerts there to raise money for the Church. She is delighted to have the opportunity to play this passionate and exciting work with the Orchestra. The other works in the concert are Schumann’s Third Symphony, ‘The Rhenish’ which is Schumann’s reflections on happy vacations in the Rhine Valley, Brahms’ Tragic Overture and Borodin’s exciting overture to his opera, Prince Igor.

    This concert will be conducted by the Orchestra’s Music Director, Richard Jenkinson and starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £10 with accompanied children and students free, and include interval refreshments. They are available on line from the artrix box office at, or by calling 01527 577330. Alternatively they can be reserved by calling the Parish Office on 01527 878801 or purchased on the door on the night of the concert from 6.30pm.

    The Orchestra of St John is extending the rich tradition of music making at St John’s Church in Bromsgrove and its motto is ‘playing the full rainbow of classical music’. Amongst their many aims is the desire to introduce the music lovers of Bromsgrove to a wide range of classical music styles as well as giving opportunities to talented young musicians such as Charlotte to help them with their future musical careers.

    On Sunday 2nd November 2014 at 2pm there will be a special service at St Andrew’s to celebrate this Golden anniversary. The newly-appointed Team Rector Christine Hofzapfel will lead the service and Revd Nigel Marns, much loved previous vicar of St Johns with St Andrews will be travelling from Cornwall to preach.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Thu 23 Oct 2014

    WANNABES wanting to do ‘more’ on stage can go along to open auditions for the Jigsaw Players’ production of Oliver.

    The show itself will run at The Spadesbourne Suite in Bromsgrove from March 25 to 29 next year.

    The try-outs for the show will be held on November 5 from 6pm to 9pm and between 2pm and 5pm on November 8 at the Spadesbourne Suite.

    Those who go along should choose a song of their choice or one from Oliver which they feel best showcases their vocal range.

    Rehearsals for children will be between 4pm and 6pm on Sundays at Parkside Middle School from January 11 and the youth and adults’ will take place from 7pm to 9pm every Sunday.

    Principal characters will also be required either Monday or Tuesday evenings.

    Jigsaw players Theatre Company is an inclusive company.

    Email director Maggie Bishton at drama50 [at] hotmail [dot] co [dot] uk or call her on 07919 505764 for more information.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Thu 23 Oct 2014

    A MURAL depicting countryside scenes will be created this half-term to brighten up a building in Waseley Hills Country Park.

    Contemporary artist Dan Newso and the National Trust's urban ranger team will put the image on the toilet block at the 150-acre park.

    Matt Royle, Worcestershire County Council's assistant countryside sites officer, said the joint project was aimed at increasing appreciation of the local countryside and what it has to offer.

    Coun Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member for Localism and Communities, said: "This will be a unique way of enhancing the building and giving young people a chance to show their creative skills."

    The mural will feature traditional countryside scenes associated with the country park such as fauna and flora and traditional farming and land management practices, such as hedge laying and cattle grazing.

    The cost of the project will be covered by the National Trust and the painting will take place during the week, culminating next Friday (October 31).

    Dee Whittle from the National Trust said: "This project gives young people from the city a chance to learn about how the countryside was used in the past and how we manage it today for recreation and conservation."

    For more information visit or telephone 01562 710025.

    As well as the acres to explore over half-term, youngsters can also play on the adventure play area, take along a picnic and follow the Skylark trail which takes in grassland, hedgerows, woodland and ponds, leading to panoramic views and the source of the River Rea.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • 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