Marston Green & District Lions Club

31/07/2015 Leave a comment

Marston Green & District Lions Club. Some of the achievements so far this year are  the collection of more than  2,500 spectacles, carrying out over 80 service activities, donating more than 500 items to SIFA Fireside for the homeless,  two  litter picks,  the raising of about £5,000  and donating  nearly £3,500.

Among other activities the club has supported are ; Get Ahead, Diabetes UK, Marie Curie Care, Central Search and Rescue and Water Aid, serving over 6,000 people and promoting good citizenship through  Young Leaders in Service and Young Ambassadors Schemes.

The club is looking for more members and are seeking a volunteer who would look after IT as it would release a number of the hours put in by some members to cover the aspects that used to be carried out by our Webmaster who is now the National Chairman of the Lions of the British Isles and Islands.  If you can help, please contact either Heather (0121 682 6485) or Bob (0121 788 8870).

A sum of £182 was raised by the club taking part with other  Lions at Shirley Lions Carnival and members were attending the Sheldon Countryside Festival on July 26 for more fund raising. For more information about the Lions visit

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Marie Curie Support Group

31/07/2015 Leave a comment

Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party was a great success.  The total raised  was an amazing £2,800 with money still coming in and so a huge thank you to everyone who came on the day and to all our supporters, writes Linda Poulson. “We were fortunate, once again, to have a warm sunny day and were delighted that Malcolm Stent was able join us this year to officially open the party.  We hope to see many of you at the Gardening Club’s annual show on August 15 where we will be having a stall.  Our next event will be our autumn quiz on October 24 in the Parish Hall and  more details of this will be posted on our Facebook page, Marston Green Marie Curie Fundraising Group .”

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Our Folk

31/07/2015 Leave a comment

Terry Probert from Coleshill Road, thanks the friends, family  and those local businesses who sponsored him when, together with some parents, teachers and a member of the Administrative staff at Merstone School for children with ‘Special Needs’, climbed Kinder Scout (2088ft) in the Derbyshire Dales on Sunday June  14  to raise money to purchase a new, specially adapted minibus for the school.

For his part Terry received £1,600.00 in sponsorship.  In addition, having approached the Variety Club of Gt. Britain, he anticipates that it will contribute a further £16,500 towards the cost of the new minibus, which will cost somewhere in the region of £30,000- plus.   He writes: “Once again, a very big thank you to everyone who sponsored me.   The exercise to raise money will continue; for three ladies – one from the village and two from Chelmsley Wood –who  have also volunteered to climb Kinder Scout sometime in August and I will accompany them to evidence their climb.”

Terry, a past president of the Rotary Club of Yardley & Sheldon, has for some years climbed a mountain each year to raise money for those children with ‘special needs’ and who are eligible from Brays Road School, Mohall School, Forest Oak and Merstone School, to visit Drayton Manor Park with their respective carers on the second Wednesday in June each year.

Two years ago with his son and two friends he raised £4,400 which is paying for children to visit Drayton Manor Park for four years.

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Diary for August at St Leonard’s

31/07/2015 Leave a comment

August at St Leonard’s

11   Tuesday           12.30pm      Parish Lunch

12   Wednesday      10.30am      Midweek Service

17   Monday               2.30pm     Ladies Fellowship

18   Tuesday            10.00am     Prayer Chain

19   Wednesday      10.30am      Midweek Service of healing

21   Friday                  9.00am     Messy Church outing to Weston

26   Wednesday      10.30am      Midweek Service

30   Sunday                 6.00pm   Evening Service



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Whats on at the Library in August

31/07/2015 Leave a comment

Summer Reading Challenge 2015  The Summer Reading Challenge, which has the theme ‘Record Breakers’ for 2015, was launched on Saturday July  11 and will  run until Saturday  September 12. The challenge, aimed at 4 to 11 year olds, is to read 6 books over the summer.  Children who complete the challenge will receive a certificate in the library and a medal in school.  A version for under 4s will be linked to the ‘Record Breakers’ theme.

 Children’s Craft Table During the summer holidays we have a drop-in junk modelling craft table for children.   We would be grateful for any donated items for this table such as coloured paper/card, shaped stickers, soft foil milk bottle tops, ribbons, egg boxes or kitchen roll tubes. If there are any crafters who have offcuts and scraps of craft materials, we would be very grateful for them.

 Solihull Striders & Strollers Meeting on Monday August 10 and 24 10.15am for a 10.30am departure. These free walks in Marston Green area are led by a trained volunteer.  No need to book, just turn up. Tea and coffee will be available afterwards. All age groups are welcome. Walks last up to an hour.  The routes are mostly flat, even and accessible to all participants regardless of physical ability.  The walks are suitable for everyone but if you are unsure, please come along and find out more details. The volunteer will be available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Computer Course   Would you like to get online, search the Internet and send emails? Or just find out how to switch on a computer? Perhaps you’d like to improve your knowledge and skills. We are offering one to one lessons with a volunteer starting at a very basic level or at a starting point to suit you. Perfect if you have no prior computing experience!  The sessions are 1 hour @ £7.00 per session and a maximum 6 sessions over a 6 week period can be booked. Bring your own tablet/laptop for the sessions or use a library computer.  Please contact the library if you would like more information.

 Storytime for under 5s Every Monday 2.30pm-3pmHalf an hour of stories, rhymes, songs and colouring.  No need to book.

 Councillors’ Advice Surgery ..Drop-in service for advice and information.  Saturday August 1,  10.30am – 12.30pm

 Marston Green Police Beat Surgery Drop-in service for advice and information on local issues. Next surgery Thursday August 6  5-6pm

 Knit, Stitch & Natter Next meetings will be Wednesday August  12  and Saturday  August 29  10am-12am. Everyone is welcome.

 Reading Café.. Next meeting, to be arranged. Contact Library for further information.

 Macmillan Coffee Morning- Thursday  September  24 – Advance notice

To celebrate the world’s biggest coffee morning we will be hosting a coffee drop-in from 10am–12.30pm. Why not make a date with friends and come along?  All proceeds will go to Macmillan.

 Marston Green Village Diary

We have a community diary for your information to let local people know what is happening in the village. Please record your club/society meeting dates or your special community events. Drop in or email your details to

Facebook  Become a fan of Marston Green Library on Facebook for all of the latest news, events and information from your library service. Find us at

Free WiFi Access   You can bring your laptop or other mobile device into Marston Green Library and log in to our wireless network. You need to have a library membership card and PIN. If you do not know your PIN please ask a member of library staff. If you are not a member it is easy to join providing you have proof of address. For any further information please contact staff at:

Marston Green Library, Land Lane, Marston Green, B37 7DQ

Tel:  0121 779 2131, or email:


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on St Leonard’s

31/07/2015 Leave a comment

In both the Old and the New Testaments we read of the need to rest, to have time to simply be and take stock of where we are, what we are doing and also perhaps where we should be heading.  Psalm 23, The Lord’s My Shepherd, speaks to us of God leading beside still waters to restore the soul.

August is one of those months when we have a break from the usual church activities whilst some people are on holiday, especially families.  Some of the church committees continue to meet, but the only two bigger events are the Parish Lunch and trip to Weston.  On Tuesday August 11 at 12.30 pm in the Elmdon Lounge, lunch is served where all are welcome to come and share a cooked lunch together.  The seaside trip to Weston-super-Mare on August 21 is open to all families and those with children initially, but spare seats on the coach will be offered to others who may wish to come on this trip.  Last year we had wonderful weather and a great day out.  Please contact either Pauline Griffiths or Penny Harrison for more details (phone numbers at the front of Criss Cross).  The coach will leave St Leonard’s car park at 9am and return leaving Weston at 4pm. The cost for adults is £10 and £5 for children occupying a seat.

We round off the month with the second of our evening services which make the most of the light evenings.  So, if you would like to round off the day with a quiet service of Evening Prayer, you would be very welcome on Sunday August 30 at 6.00 pm in St. Leonard’s Church.

The first weekend in September starts with a wonderful community event with the Marston Green Community Gala on Saturday September 5, to be held in memory of Anne Dunkley.  Please put the date in your diaries and we look forward to having a great day with the 1st Marston Green Scout Group.       Penny Harrison                         

A New and Nearly New Sale and Coffee Morning will be held in the Elmdon Lounge, Parish Hall, at 10am on Saturday, September 12.  All proceeds to St Leonard’s Talent Scheme.


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Standpoint-New Image for Parish Council

31/07/2015 Leave a comment

Bickenhill Parish Council was created in the late 1800’s, and was one of the earliest Parish Councils, since then there have been many changes. All those years ago St Peter’s Church in the village of Bickenhill was very much the central point for parish activities. What is now Marston Green was then known as Marston Culey, a very small part of the parish with just a few farms and farm cottages. Things have moved a long way since those times; today Marston Green represents more than ninety-five percent of the parish with more than 2500 homes.

For some time the Parish Council have been considering a name change that reflects the major part the four wards of Marston Green play in the parish, but at the same time the Council recognizes we must not lose our proud history and association with the village of Bickenhill.

After much deliberation we decided to start the name change process. First of all we sent a consultation letter to all our residents with the suggested new name, Bickenhill and Marston Green Parish Council. Of those who responded from both villages, over 97% were in favour of the change. We then had to apply for approval from Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

We commissioned an agency to submit ideas for our new logo and the design chosen features the two iconic clocks of both villages. The clock tower of St Peter’s Church in Bickenhill, and the Memorial Clock situated in the Garden of Memory, Marston Green, being then underscored with two contours; one representing the hill in Bickenhill and the other the green in Marston Green. It’s important to say that the costs of this exercise were well within the limited budget set. The design studio’s costs were donated to the parish and as we were due to purchase replacement uniforms, advertising boards and stationary in this financial year, the name change has not incurred major costs to the parish.

Over the last twelve months the Parish Council has addressed a number of issues which fall into the past and the present. Starting with the past and looking back to the Commemoration of 100 years since the outbreak of World War One. The Council wanted to give the residents an opportunity to participate in the national commemoration, but at the same time pay tribute to those who lost their lives, from our own villages. A number of events were arranged over a three day period at the beginning of August 2014, culminating on the Sunday, with a Service at St Peter’s Church in Bickenhill and a Dedication Service in the Garden of Memory, Marston Green, to remember those who gave their lives for our future. The Council unveiled a special WW1 Memorial Bench and a Memorial Tablet in the Garden of Memory to commemorate the occasion.

Looking now at the present; the Parish Council understand the growing importance of social media and so we have set up and now operate a Facebook page. The Council feels it is important that issues affecting the parish i.e. planning, policing, parking and roads, should be accurately recorded and want our residents to have the facts rather than any individual’s interpretation on social media. Our Facebook page will be regularly updated.

Over the last few years the Parish Council has been active in improving the appearance of the village during the summer flowering months. We have taken over from SMBC the planting and care for the large troughs in front of the shops in Station Road. Parish Council staff are also responsible for the formal gardens; the Garden of Memory, the Chapel Garden and The Pleck at the junction of Bickenhill Road and Coleshill Road.  We also plant and maintain the planters in the Burial Ground and the troughs at all the entrance signs into Marston Green. We have received many compliments for this work and will continue to improve the local street scene for the benefit of our residents.

In addition to this, the Parish Council has for many years, sponsored the local Gardening Club to plant the hanging baskets in the village and this year we have purchased 13 columns, each holds two hanging baskets. Eight of which are placed in the Garden of Memory and five in The Pleck.  The Gardening Club have prepared the 26 baskets for the new sites and the Parish Council staff will feed and water them.  The Parish Council believes this enhances our village with a wonderful

In the village of Bickenhill, the Council continues to support St Peter’s Church by contributing funds for the maintenance of the church grounds. For the fifth year running we have maintained the precept within inflation and the Parish Council took the decision that due to the current economic climate there would be no increase in fees for 2015/16. To achieve all the aforementioned you need a dedicated set of people. I am delighted to say we have such a team and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our Clerk, Carole Cox and her ground staff, Nikki Meek and Rob Williams for keeping our parish in such good shape.

Being a councillor can be time consuming and occasionally an unappreciated position, so I feel it would be very remiss of me not to recognise the work of all the councillors who have represented Bickenhill & Marston Green Parish Council over the last twelve months and given their time freely.

This year, three of our Parish Councillors decided they were no longer able to dedicate their time to the Council and have relinquished their positions. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Cllrs Jim Williams, Julie Brennan and Paul Brennan for their much valued service. Needless to say we are always seeking local people who are interested and prepared to get involved with the Council’s activities.  If you feel that you would like to make a difference to your community, please contact the clerk to register your interest.

                       Frank Bunce- Chairman of the Parish Council


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