Coleshill Local Arts Week (CLAW) from 9-15 March

This link gives details of all the CLAW events:  

There has been an amendment to the CLAW 2020 program. Stagecoach Performing Group are no longer performing on 14th March.

Coleshill Local Arts Week (CLAW) is making a happy return to the town from 9-15th March, bigger and better than ever, with many more organisations taking part after its successful launch last year.

Coleshill Country Market, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and is one of only three still running in the county, looks back into local history for its signature dish, ‘Coleshill Artisan Pie’ made from the once-abundant ingredients that in bygone times helped the yeomen and peasants of the district feed their families. From the era of stagecoaches and highwaymen, when Daniel Defoe described Coleshill as a ‘handsome market town’ until well into the last century, the fields were teeming with rabbits and everyone grew root vegetables. Coleshill Town FC was even nicknamed “The Rabbits” because it served Rabbit Pie after matches.

Now the Market’s accomplished cooks have concocted a traditional recipe for the Festival, a typical hearty Artisan Pie featuring rabbit plus onions, turnips parsnips and other vegetables. A “heating ‘n’ eating” version of this (made with chicken rather than rabbit) can be ordered at the weekly Country Market on March 6th in the Parish Room between 8am and noon, to be collected at the following week’s Market on March 13th.

Planned and staged by Coleshill’s Mayor Councillor Adam Richardson, Town Council staff and the CLAW Interest Group, the Arts Week will feature a fascinating selection of art displays, talks, poetry, country dancing and live performances to suit every taste. These include an acoustic set from Simon (“The Voice”) Davies at the Coach Hotel on Thursday, March 12th, then “A Night at the Musicals”, by popular operatic group Coleshill On Stage on March 13th  at the Cameo Suite.  The Town Hall hosts a raw, energetic Kiriki Club concert through “Live & Local” on Saturday, March 14th, billed as an eclectic brew of vintage 1940’s/50’s jumpin’ R&B, speak-easy swing, fabulous rock ‘n’ roll, dance-floor fillers, pop classics, and exotic sounds from around the world.  Bear Paw film night returns on Sunday March 15th, showing the children’s favourite “Toy Story 4”.

Kiriki Club-page-001

Acclaimed local artist Brian Nicholson is exhibiting his work at the Town Hall and several schools in the Coleshill Consortium are producing designs and artwork which will go on display during the Festival.

This year’s theme is “Film of the Book” and the Library is mounting daily “From Book to Film” displays, encouraging visitors to judge whether they prefer the famous film or the book from which it originated. The Library is also hosting a talk by well-known crime author Stephen Booth, revealing the secrets of writing gripping thrillers. The Poetry Group’s is staging a “Poetry Please!” evening there and children’s writer B. B. Taylor will present a family interactive story-telling session.

“We’d love to see everyone supporting these events, said Coleshill Town Clerk Colin Greatorex, the CLAW Administrator. “They’re largely staged by dedicated volunteers and entrance for many of the events is absolutely free. A good turnout will enable us to expand the Festival even more over the next few years.”

“It’s great to see so many creative people from this area coming together to produce such a rich variety of different experiences for everyone to enjoy,” added Mayor of Coleshill, Adam Richardson, this year’s CLAW Festival Chairman. “There really is something for everyone and the live performances promise a really special atmosphere. I can’t wait to try the Coleshill Artisan Pie myself!”

Market Janet and Sue deliveringMarket Mum serving CLAW Poetry Reading Group LIbrary





  1. Coleshill Market stalwarts Janet Reilly and Sue Lappin who concocted the recipe for “Coleshill Artisan Pie” delivering some of their wares
  2. The one remaining founder-member of Coleshill Country Market, Christine Jones, serving at the Parish Room.
  3. The Poetry Reading Group in action at Coleshill Library.

Please get in touch if you would like more detail on any of this.

Best wishes,


Happy Return of CLAW (Coleshill Local Arts Week) 2020



Coleshill WI and its temporary suspension

At Coleshill WI’s January meeting, Helen Whitaker from the Town Council gave us a guided tour of the immaculately refurbished Coleshill Community Hub at the Town Hall. This provides information and advice for local people and supports those suffering from loneliness, depression, unemployment and poverty. The Hub, funded by compensation from HS2, is currently preparing to help anyone in the area affected by the disruption if the rail link goes ahead and now comprises several rooms and private areas where residents can hold meetings and receive advice and counselling.

Because of problems in finding WI members willing to take on the executive roles of Secretary and Treasurer, we had feared we might be unable to continue but at the meeting one member volunteered to become Treasurer and we hope to be able to identify a possible Secretary shortly. Ruth McCartney from Warwickshire Federation gave us an encouraging talk on possible ways ahead, emphasising the value of the WI to the town of Coleshill and the need to try to recruit more members aged between 40 and 60. Although we have decided to suspend Coleshill WI temporarily, we shall continue to meet informally for afternoon tea and to learn a range of different skills, on the second Tuesday of the month at 2pm from February 11th at the Sumner Road Meeting House, at the lower end of Sumner Road– everyone welcome. We hope to restart Coleshill WI, firing on all cylinders, in the near future. Our members will also continue to enjoy monthly lunches at different pubs in the area, Scrabble sessions each month and darts and other traditional games every Monday afternoon, all organised at members’ homes.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the WI, joining our (hopefully) revamped Institute or even taking on an organisational role will be very welcome. For more details please ring President Elaine Partridge Tel: 01675-462621

Coleshill WI November meeting

The photo shows the results of our previous spring bulb planting.

At our Annual Meeting in November, the second to be held at the new time of 2pm rather than in the evening, we had a good turnout and were pleased to welcome several visitors interested in joining the WI, including one who signed up as a member. Several gave us useful tips on how we could appeal to a wider cross-section of women from a variety of ages and backgrounds as we try to expand our membership.

During social time we enjoyed planting bowls of bulbs for spring flowering, with a range of varieties including fragrant jonquils, daffodils and hyacinths. All the bulb fibre and bulbs were supplied by the WI and everyone went home with a bowl of planted bulbs, looking forward to seeing the first buds peeping out in March next year.

Our longest-standing member Joy Hancock, who joined Coleshill WI in 1956 and was on the Committee for over 20 years, won the competition for ‘A Memory from Coleshill WI’ with her lively account of the highlights of her time there. These included victory in the Meriden Road Safety Quiz, learning handbell ringing and a variety of crafts, numerous celebration meals and entertainments plus taking part in the County ‘Olympics’, in which four of our members won gold medals for indoor games like Scrabble and darts. Christine Jones was second with the array of silver cups and trophies awarded to our members at Coleshill WI’s produce and handicraft shows, for cookery, gardening and crafts. According to the early records, many of these shows attracted over 100 entries in the different classes.

Jane Mills was third, remembering her origami demonstration of how to make a perky penguin from folded card.

Anyone interested in joining or finding out more about the WI is very welcome to come along to any of our regular monthly meetings at 2pm on the second Tuesday of each month at Coleshill Town Hall and there are many different social events and activities to try as well as the camaraderie and interest of being part of a vibrant local group. Members have the chance to learn a variety of skills from handcrafts, local history and public speaking to different styles of cookery, singing and literary appreciation through courses at the WI’s own residential training centre, Denman College in Oxfordshire. We also enjoy monthly lunches at different pubs in the area, Scrabble sessions each month and darts and other traditional games every Monday afternoon, all organised at members’ homes.

For more details contact our President Elaine Partridge on 01675-462621 or Secretary Jane Hewitt 01675-430157