(Worcestershire, England) is my home town, I grew up here and
have now returned, after over 30 years living in London and then Horsham.
Events in Worcester, Cheltenham, Hereford and
Birmingham, and superb venues like
Bilston Robin 2,
are all easily reachable from here.
I have included a page of
photos of flowers and plants in my garden here in Malvern
Cool places to
The coolest café in town is St Ann's Well (right)
- and not just because it's run by good friends of mine! You will
find this a short walk up the hills, directly above Great Malvern
town centre. From Belle Vue Terrace, you can either head up the
99 steps or take the gentler and more scenic climb through the Rose Bank
Gardens. At the top, turn right for a few yards, cross over the
road and follow the signed pathway up the hill. You can either
take the metalled way or zig-zag up the adjoining footpath if,
like me, you prefer the easier climb. It's open daily from Easter
to September, weekends only in the winter. The highlight of a
marvellously extensive selection is their cakes, and I can
definitely recommend the sticky toffee pudding, served hot with
syrup and cream. But don't ask for it 'à la Luttrell' unless you
like the idea of a Mars bar in the mix too! :)
I often call in at
Cafe in the Green
for a late brunch before doing my shopping on Saturdays or weekdays if I'm on leave.
Great locally-produced food, and very handy for the good range of shops in Barnards Green.
|Josh Lambe of The White Feather Collective at West Malvern Social Club, December 2015|
Great local Malvern bands and musicians
The White Feather Collective
are a great Surf/Psych/Rock band from here who play across southern Britain and are always a hit with local audiences
- their last gig at West Malvern Social Club sold out so quickly they arranged another for the following night!
Malvern is privileged to have been adopted as the home town of US expatriate
A talented singer/songwriter and guitarist, he devotes a great deal of energy into
ensuring we have a 'happening' music scene here, such as by running open mic sessions
at venues such as
WMSC (see below)
and by giving guitar lessons.
He has recently released a great EP
with five superb songs on it.
Carol Lee Sampson
is a very talented Malvern singer/songwriter. She has recorded
a number of CDs
and frequently plays bluesy gigs with her
CLS Country Blues Band.
- Flatworld are a lively Malvern
folk band who play songs that combine French and East European styles.
Jack of All
are a Folk/Punk trio with an ever increasing stock of original material. Some soulful, some snarling but all from the heart,
and mostly more tuneful than the label "Punk" would tend to suggest. Their sound is built around
Laurence Aldridge's powerful vocals and
Anna Mcloughlin's electric fiddle, combined with a shared social conscience and former Spiralize member Eric Hej's great drumming.
are an acoustic collective, led by Madhava Norton and featuring the very talented former Spiralize singer Liz Pearman,
fusing Indian melodies with folk music to create a unique combination of conscious lyrics and mantra sound vibration.
Their songs convey a level of warmth that I find rare in other contemporary music.
are another super Malvern folk/rock and covers band.
- The Celluloid Band continue to push musical
boundaries with their own unique sound.
Former Malvern bands whose websites I've hosted
I took several sets of photos of Spiralize
(right), whose colourful performances
combined flowing energy with wonderfully sesnuous singing and
playing. A great friendly bunch too! They're, sadly, no more, so
I keep the pages as a tribute and so others can enjoy seeing how
I also ran the official website of erstwhile Malvern band
an incredible dance sound on authentic
instruments. Includes photos of a great night headlining the Avalon stage at Glasters! Related band Suns of Arqa also have many connections with Malvern.
|Ashtar play the Priory Park, May 2005|
Other Malvern gig photos
It has been a privilege to have taken photos of a handful of Malvern gigs:
I have included a page of
Malvern Wells signal photos
in the Railway Signalling section of this site.
My grandfather was the stationmaster at Malvern Wells for a number of years including the whole of World War II.
The station there closed in the Beeching rationalisation of the 1960s, as the other two stations at Malvern Link and Great Malvern
are better placed to serve most of the town. But the signal box still remains at Malvern Wells because this is where the double-track line
from Worcester singles before going through the Colwall and Ledbury tunnels.
The railway line runs alongside the Wells Common on its approach to Malvern Wells from Great Malvern. This
is another very pleasant place to go for an afternoon or evening stroll, though the side of the railway line is now pretty overgrown
compared to how it was when I was a kid.
Nearby Worcester now has one of the best remaining collections
of lower-quadrant signals too.
|Carol Lee Sampson at the Green Dragon, July 2016|
Other Malvern sites
West Malvern Social Club is a great venue for smaller bands' live gigs and
also hosts superb Open Mic sessions every Thursday evening and music sessions on Sunday nights.
West Fest is a great July one-day outdoor festival of local music and other arts
- Malvern's mini Glastonbury! -
held each summer in West Malvern.
MappFest is a great two-day free festival held on the Malvern Link Common
each June, providing great entertainment while raising funds for a number of local charities - and it's just five minutes stroll from my front door!
There is also a MappFest community page on Facebook.
Malvern Rocks is our equivalent of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with gigs and performances
arranged at many of Malvern's venues each August.
allaboutmalvernhills.com is a free online guide to what's on in the Malvern Hills area.
Floating Lotus organise marquees and also sometimes gigs and other
events in Malvern.
Malvern Fringe also organise cool
entertainment in and around the town.
- Hills Arts has a great listing of all
kinds of arts in the Malvern area, particularly music,
song, dance and healing.
- Malvern Theatres run the arts centre complex in Grange Road
(the successor to the former Winter Gardens).
- Two excellent music
venues in nearby Worcester are
Huntingdon Hall - a
converted church that has retained almost all of its
original decor - and
The Marrs Bar, which caters for local and
Two further talented musicians here - (Martin) Thorne and Mason make
Solidair Lapslides - unique musical instruments not too dis-similar to dulcimers.
(Supporting Local Arts & Performers)
is a free printed and online gig and event listing magazine that's distributed throughout Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire.
- For those like me that
love plants and flowers, the
Royal Horticultural Society runs annual
at the Three Counties Showground near Malvern. I had a good
day at the spring show 2002, I managed to get one of my favourite candelabra Primulas.
Friends of Malvern Railways
are a subgroup of the
Malvern Civic Society
who care about Malvern's railway infrastructure, particularly the buildings and structures,
and work with the rail companies and local councils to promote good maintenance and restoration
in keeping with the town's heritage.
Malvern's Lost Railway
is a great historical photo gallery. Though it's main focus is the former Midland Railway line from Malvern
to Ashchurch, it also has pages featuring Malvern Link and the former Malvern Wells (GWR)
Malvern Community Forest
is a volunteer organisation creating and managing woodland areas for the enjoyment and benefit of local residents and the environment.
They are now leading the project to establish woodland, hedgerow, bumblebee/pollinator and tree-fruit areas as mini-nature reserves and community environmental resources
in the peripheral areas at Malvern Link station, with collaboration and assistance from
Friends of Malvern Railways and
London Midland Trains.
They also run the
scheme, in which volunteers collect or pick garden fruit that's either surplus to the owner's needs or impractical for them to pick themselves and donate them to good causes.
We gave them some of our Bramley apple crop in 2015.
Malvern Hills AONB
has a lot of useful information about the Malvern Hills Area of Natural Beauty, including an interactive map that allows you
to zoom in to considerable detail.
Malvern Hills Springs and Wells
is a useful site compiled by the Friends of Malvern Springs and Wells, giving lots of detail about the various Malvern Water springs around the hills.
This is Malvern is a useful compendium of
news, events and services in Malvern. It's run by
Newsquest Media Group, who also publish Malvern's local (weekly)
newspaper, the Malvern Gazette.
I handed over the
Malvern Museum website some years ago to others with more time to do it full justice.
- An interesting
independent page, though now somewhat out of date, is the Knowhere Guide.
- Relevant local authority
sites are the
Malvern Town Council,
Malvern Hills District Council,
Worcestershire County Council and
Herefordshire Council. Another useful sites is