We celebrated Coleshill WI’s 95th anniversary with sparkling wine and a splendid cake on the very day, October 10th, that our Institute was founded back in 1922. Our speaker, the renowned war historian Sir Andrew Hamilton gave a fascinating illustrated talk based on his book “Meet at Dawn Unarmed, the Christmas Truce of 1914”. His grandfather Robert Hamilton, a captain in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, helped to instigate the World War I Christmas Truce with the Germans plus the exchange of greetings and gifts between the two sides and kept a vivid diary of his experiences during the first few months of his active service. Sir Andrew exploded the romantic myth of a football match on the Front Line between the British and the Germans. This was proposed but did not happen for logistical reasons and because the area was pock-marked with shell holes and piles of rubble. However the real story was just as strange.
“The two sides came together and exchanged cigarettes and cigars plus buttons and badges and wished each other a merry Christmas” he said. “It also gave them the chance to bury their dead safely. Many people saw it as a ray of hope in a dark time. My grandfather was hugely impressed by it and wrote that it was ‘a day unique in the world’s history’ and that they enjoyed ‘a very merry Christmas and a most extraordinary one’ but he also recorded ‘I doubled the sentries after midnight’, so he wasn’t taking any chances!”
We had been asked to donate a number of brightly-coloured mugs and Christmas gifts and after the talk we filled 50 mugs with a variety of presents and sweets and wrapped them in cellophane and ribbons to sell on our stall at the Christmas Fair in Coleshill Town Hall, on December 2nd.
Mavis Gordon won the competition for a late rose, with a perfect pink specimen.
The Group Carol Service will be held at Wishaw Church on December 5th
On 14th November we will have our Annual Meeting when we elect the committee for the following year. Afterwards we will be playing some traditional games. The competition is for a drawing of an animal. Visitors welcome as always.
The pictures show:
The facts about the upcoming Coleshill Market:
Bringing a market back to Coleshill, an historic market town, has been a long term aim of Coleshill Town Council. Over many years, many attempts have been made but have failed for many different reasons.
It is with this in mind that the Town Council is delighted that CJ Events Warwickshire have decided to come to our town and run a weekly market. This is a company with a track record of delivering top quality markets in towns like Kenilworth, Warwick and Leamington.
In January 2017, Council representatives met with CJ Events Warwickshire to discuss the potential for a market to be held in the town.
In July 2017 the Town Council received a follow up from CJ Events Warwickshire stating that they wished to organise a market on Sumner Road, every Wednesday to start once road closure procedures had been followed.
On Wednesday 27th July 2017 the Town Council’s Community & Environment Committee considered whether or not to support this venture. It unanimously agreed to do so.
It is important to understand that the Town Council is not ‘contracting’ CJ Events Warwickshire to run this market and no payment is being received by the Town Council. The Town Council is supporting this venture for two reasons:
On Monday 14th August the Council held a meeting with residents of Sumner Road. This meeting was not ‘hastily arranged’. An invite was sent to residents as soon as practically possible after the Council’s meeting on Wednesday 27th July 2017 to discuss this matter.
At this meeting, the Council listened to the concerns of residents living on Sumner Road and whilst the Council maintained its support for the weekly market, it was able to provide the following mitigation measures:
At the meeting on 14th August, the Town Council informed residents of Sumner Road that their next step, should they wish to oppose the road closure, would be to contact Keith Evans at the Borough Council.
As a result of the concerns and objections of the majority of residents living on Sumner Road, the Borough Council Management Team asked Councillors of the Community and Environment Board to consider the road closure request with a recommendation to approve said closure. No objections were received from Warwickshire Police, Warwickshire Fire & Rescue, West Midlands Ambulance Service or Warwickshire County Council.
The road closure was approved unanimously by Borough Councillors from across North Warwickshire to begin on Wednesday 4th October 2017.
Commonly Asked Questions:
Where will residents and shoppers park when Sumner Road is closed?
Residents of Sumner Road will be able to park at the Town Hall and will be provided with dedicated reserved spaces from Tuesday evening until the road closure is lifted on Wednesday evening. Alternative parking is now available at Coleshill Memorial Park, just a 5-minute walk from Sumner Road. The Memorial Park now benefits from an increased number of spaces following the Councils recent investment in the car park.
Won’t this just take trade away from the High Street and our local traders?
The organisation that represents the majority of High Street traders, Love Coleshill, is supportive of this new market. Their members democratically voted to support the market. The Town Council have asked retailers not on the High Street to be contacted by CJ Events Warwickshire to offer them a discounted stall on the market. In fact, any Coleshill business can claim a discounted stall on the market.
Why was Sumner Road chosen over other locations such as Church Hill, High Street, The Croft or Coleshill Memorial Park?
It is important to note that this is a private company organising a market for profit with the costs of success of failure borne by the company involved. The Town Council (or indeed any Council) does not have any control over the market, purely influence. The location is a decision for CJ Events and whilst no location will be perfect, because we do not have a market square, the following points are made in relation to the other locations mentioned:
Church Hill – Church Hill has over 50 residential properties, is the vehicle entrance to the Church for services, weddings and funerals and in the longer term, could be impacted by changes to its traffic flow with impending decisions on developments like Daw Mill and the North Warwickshire Local Plan.
High Street – Despite not being common knowledge, the High Street (between Church Hill and Sumner Road) contains nearly 50 residential properties and is the main bus route through the town.
The Croft – this area is located next to the cemetery and despite rumours that funerals do not happen on Wednesdays, the cemetery is used every day of the week, as we bury not for Coleshill Churches but for people who have at any point in their lives, have lived in Coleshill. The main reason for non-use of the Croft is that CJ Events deem it to be nonviable (off the beaten track /out of the way). The market would also damage the grounds in winter.
Coleshill Memorial Park – The Memorial Park Car Park provides access to a Children’s Nursery and is now the largest off-road public car park in the town. It would not be practical to provide a market on the Car Park. The Council has a policy of no longer allowing the football pitches to be used for anything other than sport apart from the Coleshill Carnival (for which the pitch is protected and treated).
‘The Council did not consult with residents about this market.’
This is not a Town Council run market. It is managed by a private company who are under no obligation to consult the wider community. CJ Events Warwickshire have followed the law in regards to its consultation over the road closure.
The Borough Council is responsible for road closures and followed the correct procedure for authorising the road closure.
So which Councillors voted for this?
All 10 Town Councillors voted to support a market on the basis outlined in this statement. All 35 Borough Councillors voted to approve the road closure.
Why won’t Councillors respond to comments on Facebook?
Whilst Facebook is a useful tool for sharing information and airing views of the community, abuse of Councillors and continual personal attacks is not something ‘that comes with the job’ of being a Councillor. The Council will respond via the Town Hall offices and its own website. It will post Facebook output where it is useful to get the correct detail of Council agreed policies and actions, rather than for debate, which takes place in democratic meetings.
Will the road closure be reviewed?
The road closure will be reviewed on a rolling basis and any issues resolved as and when they happen. A formal review will take place in 6 months’ time with the Borough Council considering the first 6 months of closure.