A good start!

A very happy new year to one and all! Do hope the colds and bugs have done their rounds now and left you feeling refreshed and revitalised after a busy festive season!!

We began the year with a hearty ramble with a brave and enthusiastic group, sadly the planned walk was intensely boggy and after one field of mud over the tops of boots we settled for a good lane walk which did a circular 5 miles!! It was a good day and enjoyable views and company, we enjoyed snacks and drinks in the v hall after!

The usual activities began in the hall during the second week of the new year, following decorating of the hall, kitchen and foyer in the first week. This has freshened up the hall big time and now we await some dado rails being fixed in the half term week 12th to 16th feb to help with marking the walls from chairs.(we will let you know when this will take place)

Our first film of the year began with Supernova ,some great acting from Colin Firth and Stanley Lucci. The following morning we welcomed our community police lady and community builder to speak with us at the coffee morning (don’t forget to report anything you are worried about or feel is suspicious) and in the evening we held a rowdy warming beetle drive!

Thankyou for starting us off! We look forward to seeing you at the Skittles night,3rd feb, with sausage and chips(please get your tickets) the next film, Where the Crawdads sing, 15th feb and the following morning, the coffee morning.
Please put Friday 1st march in your diaries for a new event to us, St. Davids supper, tastes and sounds of Wales.
A lovely meal, 3 course and some welsh entertainment! Tickets on sale now!

Please see the programme for the rest of the year! Hopefully something for you all. Thankyou for your continued support, stay warm and well!

Ros and the committee

Book Review: “Choices” by Susan Sallis

This book came under the heading of romance and it is the story of the sole
survivor of a horrific car crash facing life in a wheel chair and her interaction with a
survivor of the other car in the crash. It deals with them both coming to terms with
what happened. There are several other story lines of the people in the health and
social services with whom the survivors are in contact.

The book made one think about people who suffer similarly and was enjoyed
by some but others had reservations. The general census was that it was an easy
holiday read.

Jane Yardley.


Live and Local – Friday March 31st 2023

Ashley Hutchings, with Becky Mills and Blair Dunlop

St Michaels Village Hall was fully booked for this much anticipated Live and Local production, with Ashley Hutchings, one of the best-known performers on the British folk music scene. On this occasion, he was accompanied by Becky Mills, a fine singer songwriter in her own right, and also by Ashley’s very talented son, Blair Dunlop.

The first half of the evening started with a song each, by Blair and Becky, showcasing not only their own writing and performance skills, but also just how varied and entertaining “folk music” can be. The rest of the first half consisted of excerpts from Ashley Hutching’s double album of prose and music “Paradise and Thorns”. As you may guess from the title, the songs and words were written to display the many forms which love can take – the joys, heartaches, the anticipation and excitement, and sadly, sometimes the pain of lost love. Ashley told the audience that much of this album was written directly from his own experiences. This probably explained why his song lyrics about early sixties dance floors brought back so many memories to the audience!

The second half contained more great music, some individually from Blair and Becky and also from the three combining to entertain with a wide range of styles. Ashley has played with Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and the Albion Band and we were treated to an evening of high-quality folk music and thought provoking and entertaining prose.

It is a tribute to the Live and Local organisers, that this format so often manages to attract top quality performers in so many varied forms – music, theatre, comedy etc. Once again, here in St Michaels we were treated in our own back yard to an evening of first-rate entertainment.

Book review: ‘Forged’ by Tina Cole

Our book for March was ‘Forged’ by local author Tina Cole.

Poetry is a very emotive medium and perhaps not overly popular with a lot of people so perhaps we were not expecting a very enthusiastic response. However we were very pleased that Tina’s poetry was extremely well received by nearly all of the group. Many of the poems are very personal and I think we could all relate them in some way to our own experiences.

I can’t do better than to quote one of the reviews of the book which seems to me to sum up the essence of the poems: ‘these poems sing of the literal fabric of women’s lives. I love the detail, texture and colour. All this and the tricky, complicated subtleties of lives where people don’t quite get one another, but where there is a great deal of love. Tina Cole is a very fine writer indeed.’

April Update

The Voyage round Britain
, presented by Mike Jenner in late January was a most popular and interesting evening. A good 70 people turned out to watch and listen to some great adventures that (Eleri) sailed through. The hall committee provided some delicious curries in the interim and the wonderful amount of £450 was presented to Mike for Pancreatic cancer research.

A Valentines Evening with supper and the Kitchen Island Band was held on 11th February. It was a very enjoyable evening with good entertainment and excellent supper. 60 plus folk ventured out in what has seemed a long cold winter!
(I’m afraid I was fortunate to be away the next month in New Zealand and Australia in some very different temperatures !)

Our visit from Ashley Hutchings with Becky Milla and son Blair, Paradise and Thorns took place on Friday 31st March. This is through the Live and Local presenters who bring music and often a play to our hall, you may remember the performing chef last year?
We welcomed this performance from Paradise and Thorns on Friday, yes, the association is with Fairport convention! Hope you all enjoyed this unique performance.

On 14th April there is a spring walk about 4 miles but places where you can turn back should you want a shorter one. Starting at the village hall, at 10.30 am, very enjoyable.

On Sat  22nd April, the Skittles Evening moved from March will take place! Tickets-£10 to include Bangers and Mash. Please get tickets from committee members.

On Sunday 7th May at 3pm there will be a Coronation tea in the village hall, tickets £7.50. Funds will go towards our annual upkeep of the pond management and help in maintaining the natural environment.(Our future King is very keen on natural environment!)

The pond on the common is looking somewhat good at present as Biosphere organics have cleared it and will return to maintain it each year. They have also put up Bat boxes, bird boxes and a bee post. We are awaiting an information board to complete the updating of that area. There is a tree planted to commemorate our late Queen. Please visit the site when you can and let us know your thoughts. We were fortunate to receive a generous donation ,along with a grant and constant advice from Natural Networks in Malvern Hills.

On Sat & Sun, 3rd and 4th June the wonderful Open Gardens will hopefully enchant you and all visitors!
 Many gardens will be open, the hub being the village hall where tickets are to be purchased and teas devoured!
Details about this weekend will follow. We are indebted to those who open gardens as well as the many people who have offered to help!!

A mid summer madness supper and dance to take place on sat 8th July, details to follow.(I believe they are looking to make a new series of midsummer murders! Who knows?)

Thankyou as ever for your continual support. Ros Plested

January Update

We Thankyou all for joining in the festivities of the village hall this Christmas, an enjoyable time of preparation and activities for all. We were almost back to normal inspite of adverse weather and winter health issues.

The light festival created a good start to Christmas with lovely decorations and lights in and out of the halls well as the houses in the lane, Thankyou for cheering us all up, some lovely lights. Mulled wine, mince pies and lovely voices together with hand bell ringing was a sheer delight on a cold night!

The Birmingham students filled us with amazement again, their voices beautiful, their presence in our village a treat! It was a pleasure to feed and water them in the hall as well as welcome them into our homes. Yes — so many of you say, this is the beginning of Christmas!!

Our village Christmas meal was scrumptious,as well as enjoying the sound of the saxophone,silly jokes, games, quiz and lovely chit chats lovely evening.
The mums and tots enjoyed a visit from Santa,the choir produced a wonderful concert, full of cheerfulness and all activities celebrated the season in their own way!

We began the new year with a New Years walk, just a 5 miler! ending in the village hall with a sleepy lunch and sweep up!

We proceeded with our first film night showing ELVIS! This went down well and we thank Mark Brooks for sourcing some excellent projector, screen and speaker equipment  for the hall which can be used for your own hire when showing a film or presenting a talk. Hopefully this will follow with a film on the 3rd Thursday of the month in winter months! Operation mincemeat and Mrs Harris goes to Paris are next!

We have a full programme for the year, which will be advertised on noticeboards, website, sword and around town. We welcome you all to come along when you can, some events need to be booked in advances don’t miss out. Do join our monthly coffee mornings, 3rd Friday in the month and bring a friend! If you need a lift let us know.

In the near future we have a Round Britain talk by Mike Jenner on Friday 27th January, who this last year sailed round Britain raising funds for pancreatic cancer, this should be interesting and includes a curry supper! Please let us know.

On February 11th, there is a valentines supper, 2 courses with the wonderful music of The Kitchen Island band! Again tickets available from committee members. March brings a skittles evening including bangers and mash supper, let us know! And 31st March, Paradise and Thorns, through Live and Local! This is an excellent evenings entertainment, well known too!

More to come of course so please check the website and sword!! Enjoy your lovely village hall, if you have ideas to share for activities and events , then we welcome them very much. See you soon and

Thankyou again for your support,

Ros Plested and village hall committee.

A happy, healthy and hopeful new year to all!

Book review: The Whispers by Heidi Perks

Graces best friend Anna is missing, She would never leave her husband and son by choice and Grace is beside herself with worry.

Why won’t Anna’s husband call the Police?
What secrets are the other mothers at the school gate hiding?
With each day that passes, Anna’s life is under increasing threat?

This was a tale of manipulation, jealousy and control. It was a gripping thriller, very difficult to put down and kept you on your toes right up into the night. An addictive and thrilling read with an addictive plot.

On the negative side it had a slowness in the middle and inclined to be repetitive but a good plot with a surprising twist and interesting ending!  (Similarities to “Riptide” on the TV at the same time of reading!)

Ros Plested

November Update

We have had a very busy autumn season in the hall with regular hirers and village hall events; the quizzes in sept and oct were both well attended and led by our infamous quiz master , Ian Grafton.

The variety night was one of its best with an audience of 84 and artists from all over! There were 8 performers, in band form, individual, singing, instrumental, story telling, all just providing variety as was when this started at least 10 years ago! Such talent from far and near, a most entertaining evening.

The skittle alley successfully held its first performance at st Michaels, we do hope it will be wanted many times by villagers for hire! It will probably travel to outlying villages whenever needed. The shed men two made this in their spare time and it is indeed a great asset to community events ,provided a great night!

The AGM this year was held on 18th nov, a good meeting, bringing attention to all that happens in this quiet little village and brings our realisation of the importance of small communities, well done to all and our thanks go sincerely to the many who put themselves forward for others! Thankyou again to a very good team of people who do so much for us all.

This years report will tell you much and we look forward to 2023.
Our festive season is upon us, 3rd Dec brings the Light festival which we started during covid times. Hopefully you will walk the lane and enjoy the lights in the village  ending up at the village hall with  mulled wine, mince pies and hand bells!

On the 10th Dec we look forward to the Birmingham university singers returning to sing in church at 6.30pm and again the following day. After the lessons and carols we look forward to welcoming you to the village  xmas dinner in the hall . Please let committee members or me know if you wish for tickets,£20,£10 for children.

There is a lovely crib service on sat 24th Dec at 3.30pm, come and join us and boys and girls come dressed as a shepherd, angel, king, what ever ?

New Years Day we look forward to going for a walk! Meeting at little Hereford Church car park, we shall meet up at our v hall for a bring and share lunch at 2.30pm then we can all go home and put our feet up by the wood burner!

Many thanks for those who kindly came to my bit of a do!,it has helped to make a special 50 years of memories as best anyone can,stuart would be so grateful for your kindness and fantastic support.

Christmas blessings to you all.

Chairperson’s Report to AGM

In the past year almost exactly to date we can honestly report “a back to near  normal” run of the village hall with weekly/monthly hirers and village hall events. We have been  officially open well over a year from July 2021 and as well as local events we have opened the doors to a varied audience of people wishing to hire the hall for dinners, children and adults parties, venus for AGM’s and special celebratory occasions, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s anniversaries, funerals, christenings and dinner dances. Functions are generally supported by the additional hire of the bar facilities.

It was good to be able to resume our festive celebrations  following the previous year. We welcomed the Birmingham University students back and held our Christmas village dinner as well as an outdoor light festival. The year has then progressed with an opening to many events, in January we all enjoyed a murder mystery which included Tina and Peter Coles most amazing sound effects,a skittles night, an Easter bingo night and a visit from Live and Local presenting George Egg-the amazing chef who cooks a splendid meal using garage tools!

In June we as a village celebrated the Queens Platinum Jubilee celebration, the longest reigning monarch as we have ever known. We held a 50’s night which was fun and so in keeping, the following day after a service of thanksgiving in church we had an extraordinary number of families turn up for a shared indoor street party with a wonderful cake competition, singing and a most able Morris dancing troop. A weekend to remember.

In September we held a most successful Quiz night with the infamous Ian Grafton as Quiz master-we were thrilled that this bought in 74 visitors. Another variety night followed, with excellent acts and artists-varied in every way.some 84 very happy audience left that night. The community have now an excellent skittle alley made by the Shedmen. It was christened on 4th November – it looks as though it will be a popular piece of kit to hire for all sorts, we look forward to many skittle evenings.

We have continued to run some enjoyable and busy coffee mornings, one being for Macmillan charity but unfortunately we have given the pub evenings a good try before calling it a day! We have held a walk/ramble in each season of the year and enjoyed some new places on our doorstep, Tenbury ramblers and other walkers have used the car park as a start and finish for their rambles, kindly paying a small amount for parking.

The hall has continued to focus on the garden project-by moving the shed, clearing the play area and fitting decorative panels, resurfacing the stone and providing some log stools.There is a pleasant area for children to play and for us to sit in the evening sun. Ten bird boxes went up in spring around the village, thank you to the R S P B.

A second project waiting in the wings is to aid performance. A large screen, projector and speakers are ready to be installed and we look forward to starting a film evening very soon. We are looking at electric car charging points with captor energy, we were fortunate to receive a grant from the government and a small amount from Malvern Hills. We have received help in the form of 45 percent towards organising and planning of the pond by the silver tree., This comes from Natural Networks.The plan would be to clear out the pond and afterwards to maintain it each year.

Thus there is a business plan in the making; this village hall is being used on a good regular basis and we need to be looking at the building, maintaining repairs, considering new kitchen equipment, decoration and looking after the property——it is a big house——it has a lot of bills for heating, insurance, fire and safety checks and equipment.

We have held approx 10 committee meetings this year, sub committees for maintenance, affairs which deals with the pond management and telephone box and ongoing projects. We have had help and share ideas from neighbouring village halls as well as continue to use the services of community first for information on village halls, grants, health and safety issues and latest opportunities available for community.

Our resident hirers, weekly or monthly include an art class, St. Michaels Singers, a fitness class, zumba, Scottish dancing, garden club, mums and tots, Womens Institute and Floral Arts.

We are highly honoured and appreciative of the extra help we have received from you all and wouldn’t exist supporting the hall without the endless help of others — Vernon Albert has helped us a lot with the garden projects, a volunteer dad from mums and tots too. Peter Crownshaw and John Rielly have helped with the stage, Peter made us a couple of super planters. Margaret Rogers kindly helps us with extra car parking spaces in her field. Paul Kemp has kept the photo gallery going with updated events. Brian Addis comes a good distance to help with sound systems. Ann Wallace helps provide up and coming poster ideas. Julie Cook and Mark Brooks help keep the weekly blog, sword and advertising generally flowing. Ann Lewis does a great job with the weekly cleaning. Yourselves for endless stacking chairs and tables plus supporting the activities of the hall.

“I never fail to be amazed by people”, a pet  statement of mine! The village hall committee are amazing! Their curriculum vitae — ability to give input and ideas, to carry out duties, work as a team, a doer and take turns to make the tea!

I am proud and delighted to have worked with Cherry, Robin, Pat, Geoff, Jane, Mark, Di, Gary, Simon and Ros. If I explained their roles and services they have performed this year we would be here till next week. They all put in an enormous amount of time into this hall and because of involvement and commitment and working together hasn’t appeared to be a burden. We are sorry to be loosing Ros Baylis this year, but she has kindly offered to still take care of the coffee morning rota.

With your permission I am happy to proceed with a further year as chair and do my best to serve as best I can with such a great team. Thank you to you all and others in the village for your interest and attendance in a number of events thus using the hall and its facilities. We are always ready to hear of new ideas, classes or events, please come forward with them.

Thank you for listening and being here, we all need one another in this climate, stay close, we need you very much!

Ros Plested

September Update

Macmillan biggest cup of coffee morning

A big thank you to all who attended and supported the Macmillan Coffee Morning which we held on our monthly coffee morning,16th September, a cheerful morning with lovely cakes to buy and eat, bric-a-brac and produce! A competition to guess how many sprinklers there were on Colin the caterpillar cake and a hub of lovely friends popping in!
This resulted in being able to send a cheque for £280 to Macmillan cancer research. THANK YOU TO YOU All !!

Quiz Night

The Quiz night on 16th September was full of interesting questions, very gripping and cleverly presented by Ian Grafton, the curator of the National trust! Also a lead in the folk group, The Rotundas.
74 folk came along and 15 tables enjoyed good food, a good quiz and an excellent bar.

Condolences for Our Queen

Thank you to all who popped in and called by to fill the book of condolences in for our wonderful Queen Elizabeth II.

This is being forwarded on and we are so pleased and proud to have been able to commemorate the Platinum jubilee earlier in the year at our very small corner of St. Michaels. Hope you had an amazing day watching the funeral on 19th September, a historical day we will never forget, can still hear those boys marching  and see the pageantry and colour for miles.
Also a reminder that who ever we are we come into the world with nothing and leave with nothing!


Shall we switch it on or switch it off? Today we put the heating on and realised that in the heat of summer we had the air con on so lots of cool air blowing! Don’t worry we changed it over and the heat came zooming through, hurray!

Variety night

An amazing variety of acts and entertainment awaits in the annual Variety night on sat 22nd October, tickets are £10 to include a ploughman’s supper. Please get tickets from committee members when you can, its a popular evening.

Events in November

Friday 4th November, a skittles evening, great fun. Tickets £10 to include bangers and mash.
A.G.M. on Friday 18th November followed by a curry night. Maybe you would like to join the committee this year, excellent group of people who I can only say work so well together. Let me know if you would like to join us?

Christmas events to follow as well as news about films showing in the hall.

Ros Plested