Wellington H2A: Autumn Update

You can download this blog post as a PDF by following the link: H2A Autumn newsletter_2012

With the Midsummer Fayre, Wrekin Barrel Race and Sounds in the Square behind us, our volunteers’ busy summer period is over for another year. But there’s more H2A activity to come over the next few months – reading groups, a real ale ceilidh night, the launch of our 2013 Round The Wrekin Calendar and the Ideas Farm workshop. Read on to find out more, and join in with what you can…  

UPCOMING H2A EVENTS: dates for your diaries

Mon 15th – Sat 20th October 2012 The Big Book Group (3 sessions)
Saturday 10th November 2012 Wellington Ideas Farm: the workshop
Saturday 1st December 2012 Real Ale Ceilidh Supper at Wrockwardine Village Hall
Saturday 2nd March 2013 Market Charter Day



Over the past month you might have come across free copies of Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations knocking around the town. You might also have seen students from New College performing scenes from the book in Market Square. This is all part of the Big Book Group project, hosted by H2A and supported by the town and borough councils, and timed to coincide with the Wellington Literary Festival.

One hundred copies of the book have been available in all sorts of unusual places, from pubs to butchers shops. Those who’ve been picking them up and reading them – or anyone who’s read the book before – are now invited to come along to one of three book group sessions to talk about what they’ve found. These laid back, informal sessions will take place on the following dates and times:

  • Mon 15th October:  10 – 11am at CJ’s Café, New Street
  • Wed 17th October:  4 – 5pm at The William Withering, New Street
  • Sat   20th  October:  10 – 11am at Shakes Milk Bar, Bell Street

Book reader

WELLINGTON IDEAS FARM: THE WORKSHOP (Sat 10th November, 10.30-1.30)

It’s an exciting time for Wellington – new businesses opening, new events being started, new community projects launching. But we need to build on the momentum and seize the opportunities that exist – opportunities like empty buildings such as the old Clifton Cinema. So what new projects could rally local support and liven up the town?

Twice in September, members of the town partnership stood in Market Square inviting passers-by to write their ideas on post-it notes, and we’ve collected around 200 contributions so far. At the Ideas Farm workshop on 10th November, we’ll be focusing on the five or six most popular topics and working in groups to think about how we take them forward. The aim is to get people talking about the ideas that interest them most, follow that energy and encourage as many people as possible to get involved in making them happen. So, this isn’t a run-of-the-mill council ‘consultation’ – this is Wellington people doing it for themselves.

Help us promote the event by downloading the Ideas Workshop poster here.

Why is it a farm? Well, all these ideas – whether they’re big or small – will need people to grow them. We’ll hopefully get the interest and backing from town and borough councils where that’s helpful, but we need to make the running. So far we’ve had lots of suggestions about creating a new arts venue for theatre or cinema in the town; about making more use of our open spaces for new markets and festivals; about creating a town museum and exhibition space; and about starting some community gardening projects. If other ideas come up on the day, that’s great – see if anyone else is interested and get talking.

UPCOMING H2A EVENTS: dates for your diariesAnyone is welcome to come along to the workshop , so put it in your diary and tell your friends! Lucy Corbett is kindly helping us with the organising, so email her at Lucy.Corbett@telford.gov.uk if you’d like to come.


Last year H2A produced a calendar of local scenes and managed to sell 200 copies. The profits went towards funding our Midsummer Fayre and summer music performances in Market Square, so we’re doing it all again this year. If you’re about to buy a set of locally-themed calendars to send to ex-pat friends and relations overseas, hang on another couple of weeks – our calendars will be printed and available from Ken Francis Butchers by late October.

UPCOMING H2A EVENTS: dates for your diariesCEILIDH & REAL ALE SUPPER: Saturday 1st December, 7.30pm – midnight

Twice a year H2A hosts a celidh dance and supper at Wrockwardine Village Hall. The licenced bar (run by volunteers) serves Wellington-made real ale brewed by Ken Finney, along with the usual lagers, wine and soft drinks, and music comes courtesy of Odd Socks Folk Band from Shrewsbury. An hour into the dancing we’ll break for a homemade buffet supper, then the band plays on until just before midnight. If you’ve never been to a ceilidh dance before, make a date and come along –they’re fantastic fun. Tickets are £10, £5 for under-14s, available from Ken Francis Butchers and The Cock Hotel from 1st November, or by emailing Rob at threeniceslices@hotmail.com.

Ceilidh at WrockwardineCHARTER DAY 2013: Saturday 2nd March

Earlier this year we inaugurated the first ‘Charter Day’, marking the date in 1244 when Wellington was granted its earliest known market charter by Henry II. This involved the King’s messenger riding into Market Square on horseback to read out the charter, followed by the convening of the town’s ancient Court Leet for the appointment of three town officials for the year ahead. Kay Boake was duly ‘appointed’ clerk of the market, Percy Simmon was reaffirmed as town crier, and real ale enthusiast Jerry Baily was crowned official ale taster for a two year term. Wellington Brass Band played for the occasion, and over a hundred people gathered in the street to watch.

We’ll be making this an annual event, so expect to see more of the same on Saturday 2nd March 2013.