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Malvern Civic Week 25 June - 2 July 2016


Civic week is a celebration of community activity. 


Over the past five years, some ten thousand pounds has been raised for charities from sponsorship and the proceeds of various events. 


In 2016 Civic Week will be celebrating summer (and will include the presentation of the 2016 Civic Award). 


The concept of a Civic Day was originally promoted by Civic Voice, the umbrella organisation for civic societies, with civic societies all over Britain now taking part. Malvern then went further with a whole week of activities. Since 2011 Malvern has run a comprehensive programme of events for the community in and around the town during the summer, bringing together residents and visitors to enjoy a range of talks, walks and other events.  Historic buildings and gardens will be open and fascinating exhibitions will be available for all. Each year Civic Week has a theme and this year it is "Malvern Celebrates Summer", bringing us thoughts of flowers, gardens and bright blue skies with warm sunshine.


The events run from Saturday 25 June until closure on Saturday 2 July, offering an opportunity to visit locations that are not usually open to the public as well as a chance to learn something new and stimulating. 


The programme will be launched at an opening ceremony at 10.30 am on Saturday 25 June on Belle Vue Island by the Deputy Mayor of Malvern Councillor Hannah Campbell and attended by Mrs Harriett Baldwin MP. This ceremony and the subsequent literary prize-giving for local schools will be followed at noon by the unveiling of the Mulberry Tree Plaque in Priory Park. Grown in Malvern, Victoria, Australia, the mulberry tree itself is a descendant of the one that the playwright George Bernard Shaw planted in 1936 but which blew down in a storm in 2000. Other festivities will also take place in celebration of this tree. 


Some of the highlights of Civic Week include a talk on Monday 27 June by Paula Byrne, a bestselling author, about Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, the sister of John (Jack) Kennedy, late President of the USA. Kathleen was once described by the late Duchess of Devonshire as "someone with more go and vitality than anyone I've ever met, except Jack". Kathleen was a vibrant socialite in London and became the wife of William Cavendish, heir apparent to the Duke of Devonshire. On Tuesday 28 June there will be an illustrated talk called "Saving Country Houses" by Ben Cowell, Director General of Historic Houses Association (HHA). Private historic houses are at the heart of British tourism, attracting visitors from around the world, and the HHA represents over sixteen hundred of these. Ben had a distinguished career in Whitehall and also worked at the National Trust. Associated with this talk is a trip to Weston Park, an HHA house in Shropshire, on Wednesday 29 June. 


Other events include a 'Gardeners' Question Time' featuring BBC panellist Duncan Coombs and well known local experts, and a number of open gardens including the Victorian Dell House and its garden in Malvern Wells, not normally open to the public. Rosamund Wallinger will tell her amazing story about recreating the original garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll. Gertrude Jekyll (1843 - 1932) created around four hundred gardens in the UK, Europe and America and her influence still holds in modern day landscaping. Little Malvern Court and gardens will be open and so provide a chance to see the fourteenth century Prior's Hall as well as the memorable garden, where Hugh Thomas is head gardener and a panellist for the Gardeners' Question Time session. 


There will be a heritage trail treasure hunt for families and a Butterflies and Bees walk on the Malvern Hills led by the Conservators. Malvern Museum will present "Bygone Malvern" at the newly restored Elmslie House, which has just been presented with the Malvern Civic Society Architectural Award for its splendid renovation. A Civic Society plaque will be unveiled in Church Street, which in medieval times would have been known as Spital Way for its hospital or almshouses. Guided town walks led by Malvern Civic Society on two days will focus on the Victorian spa era whilst a guided walk in the Great Malvern cemetery will visit the Victorian graves of well-known former famous people and residents of Malvern. Readings from the famous diaries of Robert Francis Kilvert, the Curate of Clyro near Hay on Wye, will take place in Malvern Priory, the diary having become a classic, talking about rural life in the 1870s. Worcestershire Symphony Orchestra has a concert in Christ Church on the final Saturday at 7.30 pm. 


Many more events are listed in the programme, copies of which will be available from the Tourist Information Centre (01684 892289), Malvern Theatres, the Great Malvern Hotel and various other places around the town or you can download your programme of events here. (Hotels requiring copies should contact Katharine Barber at


There is something for everyone in the events of Civic Week, so please come and join in! As well as being a stimulating programme it raises money and over the past five years some ten thousand pounds have been raised for charities from sponsorship and the proceeds of various events..




(Photographs from Civic Week in recent years)



Programme of events 2016


Civic Week Lectures


Illustrated Talk by Ben Cowell