Along with the usual round-up of monthly events and some advance notices, this issue contains some sad news about the Vintage and Classic Car Rally.
 
In this issue:
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The next Cuppa & Chat takes place on Wednesday 1st March, from 3.00pm to 4.30pm. Come and enjoy tea, coffee and cake in Birlingham Village Hall – an opportunity to meet friends and catch up with the latest news.
 
All are welcome and transport can be provided if required. For more information, please contact Adrianne Woodward on 01386 750936.
 
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Services at St James’ Church during March will be held at the following times:
  • Sunday 5th: Family Service, 10.30am (with Joanna Williams)
  • Sunday 12th: Holy Communion, 10.30am (with Rev. Claire Lording)
  • Sunday 19th: Morning Praise, 10.30am (with David Bray)
  • Sunday 26th (Mothering Sunday): Holy Communion, 10.30am (with Rev. Janet Robbins)
Please note that the Annual Church Meeting will be held on Monday 24th April at 7.30pm in the Birlingham Village Hall.
 
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Birlingham Photography Club’s next meeting is on Tuesday 14th March (please note, second Tuesday). Guest speaker and local pro photographer and lecturer, Chris Warren (http://www.chriswarrenphotography.com/), will talk about how to make a photograph tell its own story – something not to be missed.
 
BPC meetings are normally held on the first Tuesday of the month, 7.00pm – 8.30pm, in Birlingham Village Hall, £3 per person (to include light refreshments). For more information please contact Angela Fitch on 01386 751682.
 
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The Friends of St James' AGM will be held on Thursday March 30th at 7.00pm in Birlingham Village Hall. Friends and interested parties are invited to attend.
 
The Friends are looking for people to join as trustees on their committee. Church attendance is not compulsory, only an interest in preserving the status of St James as a beautiful old building in the centre of Birlingham Village. If you are unable to get to the meeting and are interested in joining or want more information, please contact Adrianne Woodward on 01386 750936.
 
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Mark Yeomans writes:
The village car rally was first held in 1994 and has raised significant sums for, in the early days, repairs to the Village Hall and more recently Macmillan Cancer Support. It has also helped the village Cricket Club to maintain one of the most picturesque grounds in the county.
 
Held every two years, it has always been a ‘turn up and park’ event supported by local vintage and classic car owners, local classic car clubs and the public. Since the start, attendance has grown steadily each year and the event has developed a reputation for informality and friendliness.
 
However, in 2016 attendance reached breaking point. Naïve advertising by individuals unconnected with this small village rally caused major problems. The event was placed on several ‘whats on’ type websites that are driven by social media, and this resulted in a massive increase in numbers. The ground was filled before 6:30pm, the roads were log jammed and those who could not get in parked on verges all around the conservation area. The queues down into the village were such that tempers boiled over when visitors were told the ground was full and volunteers were verbally abused. The queues also proved a great inconvenience to villagers returning home after a day’s work and if the emergency services had required access to the ground, or indeed the village, it would have been very difficult.
 
The organisers have therefore had to review the future of the event. It is certain that organising another event along the traditional lines would require a significant increase in manpower to marshal all the cars and improve parking and use of the available space. But there is no certainty that numbers will not increase further and the same, if not more serious, problems would be experienced.
 
It is therefore with much regret that, 23 years on from the first event, the organisers have decided the Birlingham Vintage and Classic Car Rally will no longer be held.
 
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Information from West Mercia Police:
Please be aware that a door-to-door sales group known as the Nottingham Knockers have been reported in the Evesham & Pershore areas over recent days, which means they may be visiting your area too!
 
This group are persistent, using pressurised selling methods for cleaning products. If any sales person comes to your door selling any products, do not be persuaded to part with money for products you don't need or of poor quality. Residents are also advised to use precautionary measures such as a door chain and to ignore callers if they are unsure who it may be. To sell on the doorstep a valid Pedlar’s Certificate is required (not just ID with a the person’s photo on).
 
Please look out for any vulnerable neighbours that may be an easy target for such unwanted callers. If you spot any such doorstep traders, DO NOT answer the door to them. If you do buy from them, it will encourage the gang to return to your village. Please report sightings to the non-emergency police line on 101.
 
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The following planning application has been received by the Parish Council:
  • The Manor House, Lower End: Use of land for equestrian and construction of stabling block and access – as approved under planning permission ref no. W/11/00443/CU but without compliance with condition no. 12 (to revise restrictions relating to the storage of vehicles and horse boxes). (Case No. 16/02864). Awaiting decision by Wychavon District Council. (Consultation period ends on 16th March.) Full details can be viewed on the Wychavon DC website at https://plan.wychavon.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=90614.
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