Art in the Park buildings competition winner

Clive Engwell of the Leamington Society presents competition prize winner Andrew Thompson with his print of   “Leamington Houses”.  Sidney Syson, Chairman, looks on.

Over 130 people entered the Leamington Society’s competition at Art in the Park.  They were invited to identify, in the correct order, the 4 buildings the Society’s judges considered had most improved the street scene in Leamington over the last 2 years.

Easily top of the public’s list was Vitsoe’s in Princes Drive, but Andrew was the only one to come up with the top 4 in the same order as the judges.  Andrew, who is a local Councillor commented.  “Wow – I have not won any competition before! It was a real pleasure to pop in and see the Leamington Society stall at AITP.”   

Tour of Britain stage 4 finish

There was a lot going on today.. the Tour of Britain was a much bigger show than the previous ladies events we have seen. The buses lined up whilst the riders were out en route.


Streets barricaded off, the griffon has never seen it so quiet!


Milling around in the “village” opposite Newbold Street. More in the Pump Room Gardens


And then, after many extravert police motorcyclists showing off, the actual peleton, interspersed with support vehicles.


Here’s a video of the head of the pack, you may not be able to see this on your browser.

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Richard Ashworth (thanks) took these shots of the leaders reaching the turn into Newbold Terrace, and of Thomas and Froome slightly off the pace.


And after all the fuss, amazingly rapid exits toward the Lake District for the next stage.


Great fun, well worth the effort to go and see. Next year must catch them out in the country.

Tour of Britain comes to Leamington

In case you had missed it, Stage Four finishes in Newbold Terrace on Wednesday 5th, at around 15.30 give or take. The route from Nuneaton moves around Warwickshire with plenty of opportunities to watch earlier in the day. Go to the Tour of Britain website  for details. Beware of; that’s a betting website that comes way above the official site in the search engine. And no, I don’t know who this is in the picture!

Portobello Fields regeneration

Looking across the Fields to the development on the old Potterton site
Work is now taking place on the old Potterton Fields beside the River Avon. Prior to the land coming into District Council ownership the developer is doing the required landscaping work: regenerating the hedgerow, coppicing trees for further growth and retaining specimen trees.

More than 70 trees will be planted throughout the scheme to compensate for trees to be felled. All trees felled will be retained on the scheme to provide a natural habitat for wildlife, the developers are working alongside Warwick District Council Green Space Projects Team on key stages throughout the project.

Towards the south east, holes for trees just visible

Maybe the last carnival?

Carnival floats from local organisations and accompanying  participants marched on Saturday from the Campion Hills through Leamington along the Parade to end at Dormer Place. Along with the floats and band, there were stalls and live music in the Pump Room Gardens, hosted by the Leamington radio station Fresh Coventry and Warwickshire.  Sadly, despite the enthusiasm of those watching, the organisers say that the lack of business support means that this might be the last Leamington Carnival. They regret that although the event raises considerable sums of money for local charities and attracts visitors to the town centre, the high running costs mean that next year it might not be possible to continue the tradition .

Pictures following show the variety of organisations involved and the happy participants.

Marks and Spencer Foodhall Planning Appeal

An appeal has been lodged against the refusal of Planning Permission in December 2017 for the development of a Marks and Spencer Foodhall in the Leamington Shopping Park. Along with the Foodhall it was proposed to build two smaller non-food outlets.When the proposal was first made public in 2017, there were strong objections to the plans though also considerable support. Permission was refused on several grounds, including the possible impact of the development on the town centres of Warwick and Leamington and  the additional traffic which would be created. Among the objectors were the Highways Authority, Warwick District Council and BID Leamington. In its detailed objections BID stated that there were enough units standing empty in Leamington Town Centre which would be suitable locations for the non-food activities and that the development would draw footfall away from the town centre, diminishing its attraction to visitors. BID also argued that to approve the proposal would be inconsistent with the Town Centre First policy in the Local Plan which emphasises the necessity of strengthening the appeal of local centres.

Anyone who would like to read more should go to the WDC planning portal: application number W/17/1470.

Leamington Society Awards ceremony

The Awards ceremony took place in Victoria House on July 12th. Click here for the listings and pictures of the 14 winners.Our thanks go to Andrew Salter, RIBA, of Acanthus Clews Architects, Banbury for leading the assessor team of Councillor Caroline Evetts (past RLS Mayor), Robert Dawson (Assistant Conservation Officer, WDC, and Richard Ward RIBA and Richard Ashworth of the Leamington Society.

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