Lichfield Greenhill Bower held their AGM on Tuesday 10th November and the committee would like to welcome our new chairman Beth Colley. We believe that Beth is the first female chairman of Lichfield Greenhill Bower. Also Michael Mullarkey is our new president and Robert Mullarkey is vice chairman. Andrew Lock has been made a life president, Stuart Jakeman will be looking after social media and the website alongside Heath Rhodes. All other roles remain unchanged. We wish all members every success in their roles.
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It’s that time again as we begin the search for the Lichfield Bower Queen 2015. The current Bower Queen, Bethany Daire, has been a fantastic representative for the Lichfield Greenhill Bower and the Lichfield area this last year as have the deputy Bower Queen Abigail Skidmore
So what do we look for today when we receive applications for the posts. Traditionally the Bower Queen was considered to be a beauty competition and thankfully over the years that has evolved into a competition to find someone that is more than aesthetically pleasing. Today we look for a person who represents the area of Lichfield in a more conscientious role. The Bower Queen should be very much aware of her environment, be prepared to give up time to open fetes and other social engagements, attend civic functions, and be understanding of our rich and diverse community. Our Bower Queen should be mindful of the heritage of the Lichfield Greenhill Bower and its history and be able to demonstrate her knowledge of the history should her application be successful.
As well as the title, this year’s successful candidate will also win a fantastic array of prizes donated by local companies including as a very special prize sponsored by Obsession Salon and Spa. The salon has commented ‘we will be giving a fantastic prize which promises to pamper the winner with “sublime treatments” and “luxurious hair and beauty services’.
The main selection event will be held a Lichfield Seedy Mill Golf and Health Club from 7:30pm March 29th. The successful candidates will be invited to a pre-competition day at Seedy Mill on March 21st where they will get a chance to try some of the classes, have lunch, and take part in a bit of an ice breaker prior to the actual event.
Lichfield Bower Queen organiser Kath Marks commented ‘We have lots of great young women in Lichfield and the surrounding area who will make a fantastic job or being the Lichfield Bower Queen. It’s always been considered an honour and the winner will join a great heritage of local girls going back 100 years. The Bower Queen has to be available for the whole of Bower Day on Bank Holiday Monday May 25th. She will meet with local dignitaries and ride through the Bower procession on a specially decorated Bower Queen float to welcome 1000’s of people who come from all over the country to celebrate this historic day’.
All applicants have to be 16 or older and applications can be made online at www.lichfieldmercury.co.uk. or Â alternatively download and print from here
Lichfield Bower Committee are pleased to announce a record contribution to local charities from this year’s May Bank holiday event. The cheque presentation took place in the Guildhall on Tuesday September 9th. Cheques were presented to local charities by Lichfield Bower Queen Beth Daire and Lichfield Sheriff Bob Awty along with Bower Committee Chairman Michael Mullarkey.
30 charities were in attendance on the night to collect cheques raised from the street collections on Bower Day. Bower representative Heath Rhodes commented ‘It was a great night for local charities and I know I can speak for all the Bower Committee when I say how grateful we are to Lichfield people and others from the surrounding area for their contributions on Bower Day – it’s these contributions along with the tireless efforts of our committee that make it possible to give local associations and charities such well deserved and needed funds’.
Each year Lichfield Bower throws open the streets of Lichfield and Beacon Park to the general public to raise funds for local organisations. This year’s Bower saw record attendances in Beacon Park and on the streets alongside the procession. Heath continued ‘We are a community event, and apparently one of the longest running community events in the World. We have a small group of extremely dedicated volunteers, some who have been with the committee for nearly 40 years. It is there dedication plus the support of our local community, that give with such generosity, that allows us to continue giving these donations’.
Cheque presentations were made to: Clic Sargent, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, Trent Valley Community First Responders, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, Staffordshire & Shropshire Blood Bikes, Erasmus Darwin House, Voluntary Transport for the Disabled, Lichfield Churches Criminal Justice Forum, NSPCC Lichfield District, Friends of Sandwell Pumping Station, Macmillan Cancer Support, Francisco House, Lichfield City Football Club, Dan Berry, Lichfield & Tamworth Cats Protection, Saxon Hill School, Lichfield Golf & Country Club, Violets in Bloom, Tamworth Samaritans, Burntwood Sub Aqua Club, Lichfield 7th Scouts Group, Lichfield Army Cadet Force, Lichfield Cathedral, Soroptimists International, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Teenage Cancer Trust, Lichfield Ladies Circle 106, Lichfield Round Table, Lichfield Lions.
THE Bower prince, princess and their deputies for this year’s celebration have been chosen at a special Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Lichfield Guildhall.
Youngsters gathered at the venue on Sunday which had been filled with large playing cards, a life-sized chessboard and chess pieces, a magical tea party, and lots of games to play.
As part of the selection process and application, children were asked to state a local charity they would support and the reasons why.
Following in the footsteps of former Queens Croft School pupil, 2013 Deputy Bower Queen Charlotte Aspley, is this year’s Bower Princess is Kirstie Matthews, aged 15, who herself attends Queens Croft and who has pledged to support Charity Action for Children.
“I support this charity as it is close to my heart,” said Kirstie. “They have supported me in many ways and I would like to thank them.”
The 2014 Bower Prince is Aaron Breese aged 10.
“My supported charity this year is St Giles Hospice,” said Aaron. “We regularly support St Giles Hospice by donations and taking part in fun runs, It’s a Knock Out and Race for Life.”
This year’s Deputy Prince Callum Doyle, aged eight, and Deputy Princess Isabelle Snape, aged seven, have pledging their commitment to St Giles Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The event also saw live music from Ras King Bobo who kept the children thoroughly entertained with juggling, spinning, and drum lessons.
Ras first appeared in the Bower Music Tent last year and was recently auditioned as part of Lichfield’s Got Talent.
Bower Prince and Princess Co-ordinator Louise Lakin said: “I have only just joined the committee and I know they were looking for something different this year so we decided to use the Alice in Wonderland theme.
“The kids have had a great time above all and we have some great winners and runners up for this year’s historic titles.
“It is a pleasure to be involved with the historical Lichfield Greenhill Bower and I’m thoroughly looking forward to preparing the floats for the procession and planning opportunities to help the children connect with the charities that mean so much to them.
The Bower Committee would like to give a big thank you to Olivia for the Mad Hatters tea party theming, Little Lacey’s Cakes, Greggs for the catering and also Silver Blades Ice Rink in Cannock.
The A-level student, who lives in Lichfield, is a member of the city’s RAF Air Training Corps, does karate and is interested in art.
As well as the honour of representing the Bower for a year, Bethany has won Â£1,000 worth of hair and beauty treatments from Obsession Salon and Spa and a host of other prizes, including a Â£100 voucher for the Lal Bagh, a meal at Ernie and Isabella’s restaurant and a weekend experience at Le Reve.
Seventeen year old Abigail Skidmore, also from Lichfield, was named Deputy Bower Queen.
Abigail is interested in Performing Arts, literature, French, running and volunteering at school in literacy.
Around 90 people including a party of civic guests attended Sunday’s selection night, which was compered by Lee Roberts.
The panel of judges included incumbent Bower Queen Savannah Bennett, Karen Wharton of Obsession, Steve Craven from La Reve, Mercury editor Gary Phelps and was chaired by Abi Burns, from Lichfield Golf and Country Club.
Bower Queen event organiser Kath Marks thanked all the individuals and businesses involved in supporting the event.
“Many congratulations to the girls,” she said.
“They will meet lots of people during the coming year and I will be there to help them throughout.”
The Bird Street and Friary Outer car parks will be closed during the Bower. There are other car parks available including the multi-storey on Birmingham Road.
A handy pdf guide to available parking has been provided by Lichfield District Council which is available to download here.
The Bower Committee has taken into account recent feedback posted on Twitter concerning the cost of initially getting into Beacon Park on Bower Day. As of this year, Early Bird Wristbands will be available from key locations within the city for just £1 instead of £3 on the day, with under 5’s free, hopefully answering the critics that feel local people shouldn’t have to pay to get into their park. “We would love to make the Bower a free event, however with yearly costs such as policing, park hire, security to mention a few, it is at this stage impossible as costs are in excess of £50,000. I am hoping that a £1 entry fee will be a compromise that people will embrace and feel able to support Lichfield’s oldest tradition – but they must be purchased before Bower Day.
Lichfield Bower Day falls on the same Bank Holiday as the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations on 4th of June and we want to make it a year to remember. I want everyone in Lichfield to get involved and support the event – the more input we receive during planning, the more successful it will be.” commented Beth Colley, Beacon Park Organiser, who is really urging people of all ages to get in contact in order to sculpt the day into something that people really want to attend and feel part of.
We urgently require a Health and Safety Officer with own Public Indemnity Insurance to assist with the Lichfield Bower – unpaid hard work but very rewarding!! If you are or know of anyone please contact Michael Mullarky on 01543 263653
Also require a Catering Organiser to organise catering for the Bands and Civics etc on Bower Day and various other functions throughout the year – as with all of the positions on the committee unpaid hard work but very rewarding!!
Help keep the Bower tradition going!
It’s been a busy week! First Twitter and now we have an official Facebook group. It’s a great way to find out the latest news and also to dispel some of the more common myths surrounding the Bower! It’s all changed dramatically since the tradition began back in the days of Henry II – having to pay to hire the park, policing, security to name a few – the bill tops £50,000 – but it’s all worth it, it’s a great day out and we raise money for charity as well! Please support us if you can!