Review: St Michaels Village Open Gardens

An alternative to the Village Fete? This was the subject of a village hall committee meeting many months ago. Quite a departure but recent attendances to the annual fete had been declining, not helped by
inclement weather and the fact that fetes involve a lot of work!
An additional factor was the need to raise money to fund the proposed improvements to the Village Hall. These are extensive involving the entrance area and toilets for which planning approval has been obtained.

A separate committee was formed as considerable planning was needed for what was something never attempted before. The main consideration was what to do as St Michaels covers quite a large area.

The result took everyone by surprise and its success silenced the doubters.
Quoting the gardens to visit says it all. Woodland Garden, Rose Garden, the Rectory Garden, Work in Progress, Silver Tree & Pond, The Beekeeper’s Garden, Mayor’s Place, Children’s Garden, The Potting Shed, The Bookseller’s Garden, Cottage Garden & Golf and last but not least The Plantsman’s Garden. It was possible to spend an hour looking round the Plantsman’s Garden alone! In fact, many people paid visits on both days!

Obviously the starting point was the village hall where, in addition to buying a ticket, there was a variety of yummy cakes, cream teas, coffee and Pimms drink available. Additionally, there were arts and craft stalls, tombla and a display by Tenbury Floral Arts. The cooling Pimms drink proved very desirable on the Saturday, the hottest day of the year!

Many gardens offered additional attractions including a putting competition, croquet and slides and trampolining for the children. Others helped to raise funds including the sale of plants, second hand garden tools and equipment, honey and garden books.

The Woodland Garden was the furthest to reach along a bridlepath through beautiful countryside which involved a 10 minute walk. Well worth the walk however with its magnificent trees and the Cadmore brook running through it. An art exhibition by the St. Michaels Art Group was a bonus together with the generosity of the owner, running tired and overheated visitors back to the village hall in his car.

The fine weather was a help but the event attracted many who had not visited St Michaels before, some from as far away as Cornwall! Despite setting a special car parking area aside it became necessary to park along the roadside too, due to the huge attendance. The atmosphere and friendliness of everyone attending the event, be they villagers or visitors, was something to note. Is it something to do with gardens, gardeners and St Michaels? A substantial amount of money was raised!

The jury is out now…….…..after this huge success should the event be repeated next year?

Tony Penn

Reynard the Fox – Review

Well, what a surprise to welcome the wonderful Fabularium company with their fantastic story and presentation of Reynard the Fox.

The company arrived at 1pm and set up some wonderful scenery which filled a large rent a van, the headdresses were brushed and combed and musical instruments tuned!

This was our first try at entertaining the family from a theatre company, quite an adventure in itself and an experiment in our village hall.

At 4:30pm I couldn’t have told you whether or not we would have an audience or not but in the following 15 mins a lovely trickle of families entered the village hall and filled the seating in no time, a little like rent a crowd as 43 stated to watch a lovely story of the Rascal Reynard the fox, the lovable rogue of the forest.

The story telling style blended with puppetry, live music and song together with wonderful masks and many characters made for a lovely family show. Thank you to Fabularium and to you the audience for supporting.

Ros

WEST MERCIA POLICE

On Saturday 4th May our ever friendly and helpful West Mercia Police officers Teresa Howells-Brown and Vanessa Snape came along to the village hall to offer their advice and information to further secure our properties, bikes, computers, garden tools and strimmers were bought along for security marking and a lot of advice given out.

We thank Teresa and Vanessa for their time and efforts on the 4th and the many signs and leaflets they bought along. If anyone does have a large item they particularly want marking for security reasons please contact the Tenbury and Martley safer Neighbourhood team 101 or leave a message 01905 725780 or 07814 040307.

Thank you,
Stuart

Live and Local – ‘It Is Now’ Review

‘It Is Now’, Shindig play by Anonymous is a woman company.

We welcomed the company “Anonymous is a woman” on Thursday 28th march to set up, rig lightening and press costumes, create a wedding reception setting and tuck into a St. Michaels tea before performing a thoroughly enjoyable and professional programme of “It is now”.

The enthusiasm and talent of the young cast combined with the audience involvement as wedding guests on the day of the 1966 World cup proved in all to be a very enjoyable evening. It is now was an excellent entertaining evening all round! Well done! (Sandra Pagett)

The wedding reception is held on 30th July 1966 which is etched on our memories of that world cup so very much. Alas for the wedding party this helps to cause chaos but the audience all 56 of us were totally mesmerised and taken aback to the 60,s with the music and involvement as wedding guests and interactive characters. The play was delivered by 4 excellent actors and actresses, delightful in their own right and exceptionally clever at their craft.

For those of us who can remember, a number of issues around the 60’s were mentioned and subtly slipped in it certainly took us back and made us think and most of all LAUGH.

LIVE and Local — sponsored by local councils and Arts councils.

I don’t know how much people are aware, but Live and Local (shindig) company are exactly as they say -LIVE- theatre,music,puppetry, dance, groups, individuals and -LOCAL— to our county, being Worcestershire. They provide theatre for counties in the midlands.

At the beginning of the season we are invited to have a taster of the years programme in one of the village halls in Worcestershire., returning with the responsible job of choosing a topic that we hope will go down well with everyone.Then after form filling and phone calls we bid for a 1st,2nd and 3rd choice hopefully getting a successful choice which will be popular and draw an audience in.

After dates, times are sorted with the individual company we start promoting with posters everywhere, selling tickets, then arrange arrival which is usually 3 to 5 hours before the performance, help sort the staging, lighting and props, look after the cast and their needs, feed and water them and wait for you all to experience a good theatre in the sticks! After which the clearing away and finalising paper work concludes.These excellent groups of people work so hard- they are the masters of their craft and an honour for us to experience as you have done. Thank you.

“It is now” captured our attention in our own surroundings, “Reynard the Fox” (a first experiment of family performance theatre) will be received well we hope. Unfortunately we don’t make a lot of money on these performances as we agree a figure before the shows and very little profit is made. But they are delightful to welcome and so good to offer a variety to our events calendar in the village hall.