Dudley Brook unveiling plaque commemorating site of medieval parish church of St Thomas and Spytalway (now Church Street)
After walking down from Belle Vue Island to Malvern Theatres behind Mike Fray, our Town Crier, our President, Dudley Brook, welcomed everyone to the Opening Ceremony, including Harriett Baldwin, our MP. Councillor Hannah Campbell, the Deputy Mayor, opened the proceedings and then Councillor John Raine, Chairman of Malvern Hills District Council, presented the prizes for the Malvern Civic Society’s Schools Literary Competition.
The overall winner was Seb Roberts from The Elms, the Secondary Schools winner was Thomas Winters from the Chase and the Primary Schools winner was Elizabeth Jacob from Malvern Parish congratulations to them all. This was followed by the unveiling of the Mulberry tree in Priory Park by Di Foster from Malvern, Australia.
The Bands in the Park on Sunday was slightly damp but the stalwarts remained to listen to the excellent Cinderford Brass band, to eat cake from the WI stand and to take part in the raffles and tombola of the Guides and Rotary. The Malvern Beavers produced 12 entries for the Garden Competition. We awarded 2 prizes, one for the best decorated yoghurt pot and the second for the best flowers. The title had been a bunch of flowers for the Queens 90th birthday. This was all due to the splendid efforts of their pack leader Heather Oldroyd whose Beavers gave a dull day a splash of colour.
The Week gave us the chance to visit The Dell House in Malvern Wells, the house and garden including a Victorian summerhouse and some wonderful tree sculptures. Elmslie, Avenue Road, which was presented with the Civic Society’s 2016 Award a few days earlier, was the other house which drew people to appreciate its marvellous restoration and to see the slides of Bygone Malvern.
There were some splendid talks, two of which were held in the Malvern College Lewis Science Theatre: Paula Byrne on her best seller ‘Kick’ about Kathleen ‘Kick’ Kennedy; Ben Cowell, Director General of the Historic Houses Association about ‘Saving Country Houses’;
Rosamund Wallinger showing wonderful photos of her Gertrude Jekyll designed garden, which she has restored and has become an expert on Gertrude Jekylls life and art;
In Malvern Priory, Robert Payne portrayed Francis Kilvert, the curate diarist, with candle, pen and diary, reading excerpts, with Andrew Huntley playing the narrator of his life.
Churches were open, there were displays and tea and cakes, gardens were open for NGS, The Malvern Heritage Trail Quiz was launched and can be bought at the Museum or TIC. Concerts were held at Malvern Priory and Christ Church.
The Malvern Bookshop Co-operative hosted an evening with Colin Clifford in Remembering the Somme and Malvern Spa Association re-enacted the Cold Water Cure, Dr John Harcup aka Dr Wilson and David Armitage as the victim in the bath and wet sheets.
It was a busy, full week of interesting events.
Special thanks are due to our sponsors the Town Council, the District Council and the Great Malvern Hotel without whose help the Week would not have been possible. The purpose of Civic Week is to showcase the activities of community groups in the town who use the programme publicity to raise funds.
Of special mention are the Bygones Evening which raised £700 for the Malvern Museum and the Kilvert Talk which raised £200 for the work of the Friends of Great Malvern Priory. Last and not least, the Committee would like to thank all those people who bought tickets for the events and/or came to support us, not always in the most clement conditions.