Leamington Society Awards 12th July

Don’t forget to come along on Thursday at 7.15 for 7.30 to the Leamington Society Awards evening, to be held this year in the elegant surroundings of Victoria House, Willes Road.

Awards will be presented to the winners in the various categories who are judged to have made the most significant improvements to the streetscape of Leamington Spa in the last two years. The Mayor Cllr  Heather Calver will make the presentations.

This is always a very interesting and encouraging event, so well worth attending.  Refreshments will be provided. Chiltern Railways will again be the sponsors of the Awards.

If you would like to learn more about the event or about previous years’ winners, go to the Awards section here..

Canal festival returns to Clemens St


 The Leamington Spa Canal Festival came back to the Grand Union Canal over the weekend of 23rd/24th June, attracting a large number of visitors. Clemens Street was closed to traffic on the Sunday, making way for a band, stalls and children’s entertainment. On the canal itself, trader boats decorated with flags and bunting were lined up,  as well as a heritage boat showing what life on the canal would really have been like when canal barges brought raw materials to Leamington and the West Midlands.  The trader boats offered a variety of products, many created by the boat owners themselves. Towpath Tipples run by Martin Lloyd on the boat Angelwood was understandably popular, offering craft ciders, perry and fruit wines .  At Crafts from Morgana  Lesley Jones showed a range of crafts, all made on board her boat  Morgana le Fey. In the Inter-school Boat Building competition, prizes were won by children from Shrublands and Sydenham schools. Procaffeinate organised a hog roast for participants on the Saturday evening.


The hard work carried out to prepare for the Festival could be seen in the extensive planting along the towpath at the bottom of the steps from the Clemens Street bridge, done by the Grand Union Gardeners, all volunteers. The frontage of Alumno had also been cleared and planted. Employees from Vitsoe helped with the preparatory tidying up. The Festival was organised  by the Leamington Old Town Team (LOTT).Support was provided by the Warwick District Council Small Grant Scheme.  More information on the Festival can be had from the Lott Bazaar, Clemens Street, and on canal boat traders from the Roving Canal Traders Association www.rcta.org.uk.


Covent Garden development update

At a well-attended meeting about the Covent Garden development in the Spa Centre last week, Stephanie Kerr of Bid Leamington concluded by asking for a commitment from the council officers present to hold another similar meeting in 3 months.. It would then be the appropriate time to review the plans and decide on improvements if necessary.

Retailers, businesses and residents made clear their dissatisfaction with the plans for displacement parking after the work has started.  There was also serious disquiet about the detrimental effect of the ongoing work on this area of the town. Dust, disturbance and noise could not be avoided for a significant period of time. The request for a further meeting was supported by our local MP, Matt Western.

Throughout the meeting Bill Hunt of WDC insisted that all options for alternatives to the Covent Garden development had been explored but for various reasons rejected. However he did emphasise that discussions are still ongoing about how to handle the resulting problems:  all parties involved were still talking and aware of the importance of the issues. Despite this a significant proportion of the audience was still very concerned about the proposals.

Further action on Clean Up Britain  campaign

We reported on 18th May  on the launch at the Town Assembly of the Clean Up Britain campaign,

Now Warwick District Council is planning to take action on one of the campaign’s recommendations, the provision of more litter bins in appropriate places and an increase in the frequency with which they are emptied. If the Council votes in favour more personnel will be taken on and additional vehicles leased at an annual cost of £172,000

While the latest phase of the campaign, Now Or Never, focussed on changing the attitude of the general public towards the dropping of litter, the better provision of litter bins was also an important recommendation. John Read the founder spoke in his address about how demotivating it is to find no litter bins in sight, any nearby overflowing with rubbish and the ground underneath littered as well.

It was encouraging during the Canal Festival to see some of the campaign’s striking posters on display by the canal, just the place where passers-by would drop litter.

Leamington in Bloom, free magazine download

Leamington in Bloom The Magazine, just released online, illustrates the astonishing variety of our parks and green spaces, with articles on the organisations and volunteers who make these possible and wonderful pictures.  The magazine has been produced to support Leamington’s entry for the 2018 Heart of England In Bloom competition. Members  will be familiar with some of the displays shown but any reader will be amazed at how much has been accomplished, for which we should all be grateful. Topics covered range from our beautiful central parks, such as Jephson Gardens or Victoria Park, to displays which we might pass by without considering, like roundabouts with sustainable planting, the gardens at Leamington Station,  pub gardens and hanging baskets. New but very welcome this year are the unforgettable poppies surrounding the Vitsoe building, lighting up the entrance to Leamington.

The judges for Heart of England in Bloom will make their tour of Leamington on 12th July. The Leamington in Bloom committee will also present their own awards in various categories Details of how to enter for the photographic competition, for which the last date of entry is Friday 17th August, can also be found on the website. The theme of this year’s competition is the Colours of Leamington.