New Years Eve at the Village Hall

What an astounding success New Years Eve was at the Village Hall. We laughed and chatted all night; played silly games, that were won consistently by team Jordan and Snow White, with a little bit of competition from team Mitchell.

A special thank you has to go to the providers of our hot food. It was so delicious with all tastes and allergies catered for. Each person brought a different pudding which gave us a huge variety to choose from. It was a mouth wateringly wonderful buffet .

Stuart was Master of the Games,dressed in a cows costume, with a blue baseball cap! Ah well it was New Years Eve.

Jennie from the Black Country came up with several quizzes which made sure that our brain cells were working despite the alcohol we consumed .

The four hours to midnight passed so fast, which says so much about the entertainment that had been laid on. It was almost disappointing to have to go home.

Thank you very much to all of you that worked so hard to give us a amazing end to the Old year and a warm start to the New.

Happy New Year to you all.

Theresa Mitchell

Celebration of Cultures

Just a quick reminder that you are very welcome to join us at St Michael’s Church on Sunday 3rd December at 2pm to celebrate cultures with young people from King’s College Saint Michael’s and Tenbury High Ormiston Academy. The programme includes music, drama and readings from both schools.

On Sunday 3rd December, 2pm to 4pm, Kings College Saint Michael’s and Tenbury High Ormiston Academy are holding an event as a collaboration between both schools, in the hopes of creating a link within our community. It will showcase a variety of talents from a range of young people from each school, and will raise money for a local charity. The performances will take place in St Michael’s Church. All are welcome to join us afterwards for light refreshments in the College.

A Tug of War match between teams from each school was planned but due to the ongoing wintery weather, we have postponed the Tug of War match until the spring.

A partnership between Saint Michaels International College and THOA has been developing for a number of years with the aim of encouraging young people from both schools to meet and share experiences. Activities have included art projects linked to the Mistletoe Festival and participation in both schools Talent Shows. These initiatives have enabled young people from the two establishments to develop an understanding of each other’s cultural backgrounds and provided a platform for better community cohesion.

Caroline Palethorpe

The Collected Short Stories of Somerset Maugham

The book for November was “The Collected Short Stories of Somerset Maughan” volume 2.

Somerset Maughan was born in 1974 in Paris, he died in 1965. He studied medicine before turning to writing. Besides being a novelist he was a playwright, an essayist, travel writer and a short story writer for which he is probably most remembered.

Maughan was widely travelled and based many of his stories on life in the British colonies. His writing is descriptive, colourful and exotic. It was agreed the stories were ‘of their time’ however they did not lose their appeal. all ending with a twist and enjoyed by everyone.

Coffee Mornings

We are very privileged to hold a monthly coffee morning in the village, run by volunteers and to enable locals, friends and neighbours to come along, meet, chat, catch up on news, exchange books, imbibe in a bit of produce, raffle or tombola and ‘help’ raise some funds for local evens and charities. So many of these have in the past few years been offered a substantial amount of money to swell funds and support different projects. Thanks to you for coming along.

We often have Linda Perks visit us with a raffle or tombola – she offers quite a voluntarily an amount at the end of the day for our chosen charity or activity. We welcome Kyrebrook clients who are included in the community; the carers have said they value their visits to St Michaels, it is an import visit for them and they are most grateful.

We would like to hear from you if you would be able to volunteer to man a coffee morning with another person. Also if you have any ideas or suggestions to add to these mornings please let us know. The next dates are November 17th, December 22nd, January 19th, February 23rd and March 16th.

Quiz Night Challenge

The quiz night on 10th November was extremely well attended by 10 wonderful teams from all over, some well versed in quiz team questions and some in their early stages!

An excellent variety of questions on a variety of subjects were prepared and organised by Simon and Ann Wallace. It was a very good night and enjoyed by all with added enjoyment at the bar and light refreshments. Certainly an evening to be repeated we hope.

Thank you very much to Ann and Simon for all their efforts.

Chairman’s Report, Village Hall AGM

The village hall has functioned extremely well this year. We have a large number of regular hirers of the hall and have gained two more regulars this year, Scottish dancing and Pilates. There have been more private hirings as well for a variety of uses; the rental income has increased and the hall has been used a lot more. The hall has been kept in good order and decoration this year, being kept clean and all items in good working order. Maintenance has been kept up with regular checks in place for electrics, heating and alarm systems. A defibrillator has been purchased together with the box to house it and is fixed to the side wall of the village hall. It is for everyone’s use and we have had expert advice and training from Chris Woods, our local First Responder, on 2 or 3 occasions.

I’d like to thank all the committee members for their great efforts this year – we have worked as a very good close knit team, supporting each other. There were many people outside the committee who helped a great deal — Cherry & Robin Moore, Peter Crownshaw, Eddie & Carolyn Belfield, Muriel Lanman, Paul & Ros Bayliss and all those who helped with the fete. Thanks also to Ann Wallace for her help with posters and the village calendar; a special thank you to Mark Brooks who has looked after our website. Pictures, information past and present is there; a good reference to use, it needs to be used! I’d like to give a special thank you to people leaving the committee this year — Anne Fox and Simon Wallace. Simon has carried out a marvellous job as treasurer and in producing our accounts.

We held an Open Day in July to showcase what goes on in the village hall. We had representatives from all the user groups of the hall. People were amazed that so many activities were going on in the hall which were Pilates, Scottish dancing, WI, Tenbury Floral Art, Mums and Tots, St Michael Singers, Coffee Mornings, together with the arranged events held throughout the year.

We held two Shindig theatre company plays, Christmas activities, beetle drive, St Georges dinner together with the birth of the St Michaels Morris Men, a summer dance with Hot Climate, summer fete, Black Country night and a variety night. Overall we have made a small profit and put on a large variety of events to suit most tastes.

Stuart Plested

Defibrillator News

As you know, earlier this year we were offered a defibrillator on long term loan by our First Responders of Tenbury. We therefore purchased the box to house it ourselves and it has been installed at the side of the village hall in St Michaels.

Since then Hereford and Worcester country Councils have offered village halls, schools and any other general areas the chance to purchase their own defibrillator machine, normally £695, but offering £500 towards it. So we have now bought and own our own machine at a cosg of £195. This now belongs to St Michaels village. It has its own identity number and is regularly checked bu named people. However we have chosen not to keep the box locked as this saves time which would be so valuable in a time of use emergency. It is simple to press C and Open and extremely simple to use as it takes you through a process.

Well done to those able to join us on Saturday afternoon 7th October to attend the demonstration of the defibrillator and the most important CPR training. We are grateful to Chris Woods, our First Responder, for coming along and giving his time voluntarily yet again to give us this training and answering questions and queries relating to an emergency. We hope he will return in the coming months to refresh our thoughts and practices in this area.

Stuart Plested

Variety Night

This year’s variety night began with our infamous home grown group “The Shed Men”, with Stuart, Eddie, Peter and Rod. They entertained us with a variety of songs from the good old days with a very much more professional approach I think you’ll agree! We are proud to have them.

Eleanor Coniley and Grace Crumbley from Tenbury High Ormiston Academy were a treat. These girls were brilliant pianist and singer with a touch of guitar. I think we could all have listened to ‘Igioni’ on the piano all night. We wish them well.

Aly Saleh, a student from Kings College at St Michaels was perfect in playing to us ‘Perfect’. It was lovely to hear him and welcome a cheery group of youngsters along from the College. We hope we hear him again soon. Tom Durston-Smith brought along a wonderful repertoire with Caroline Bridger and Diane Lawrence. They sang some beautiful songs from Chess, Gigi, Les Miserables. Their piano accompanist was amazing and well worth an evening’s entertainment on his own.

The well-known A49ers, Alison, Hazel and Roger, were very entertaining. A lovely variety performance from them, easy listening and singalong for us.

Our friend Alan Grosvenor stopped us in our tracks for half an hour, he made us all chuckle and listen to some incredible stories. After applauding him off the stage our final guests, Bandangle, tuned up and entertained us with quite an array of pieces. Always good to watch and listen to the beautiful double bass, mandolin, guitar and the two ladies on violins, such an eclectic arrangement. The audience were most appreciative and thoroughly enjoyed this particular evening.

Ros Plested

Staying On by Paul Scott

Staying On is a novel by Paul Scott which was published in 1977 and won the Booker Prize. Staying On focuses on Tusker and Lucy Smalley who were briefly mentioned in the latter two books of the Raj Quarted, ‘The Towers of Silence’ and ‘A Division of the Spils’ and are the latest British couple living in the small hill town of Pankot after Indian Independence.

We learn about life as an expat in Pankot and see the new life that is replacing the British Raj. We meet the Bloolabhoys, owners of Smith’s, the hotel where Tusker and his wife Lucy occupy an annex – or small bungalow. There are many interesting characters including Ibrahim and Joseph. Scott gives each character a voice so real that each personality is firmly etched in your mind. Both funny and deeply moving, Staying On is a unique engrossing portrait of the end of an empire and a forty year love affair.

There was plenty of discussion about the book which gets better and better as it progresses through the life of the two main characters.

Pam Owens