Author Archives: jfrebika

Get a Jazz On!

At a loose end this Saturday night 16th November? Wondering what’s on around Balsall Common and Knowle? Music fans your search is over! The Basement Band is back at St Mary’s Church in Temple Balsall by popular demand and you have a chance to sample this amazing 18-piece big band. It performs a wide range of hits by Count Basie and Duke Ellington such as April in Paris, and One o’clock Jump, Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me and Perdido.

The acoustics of St Mary’s Church make this a great venue to hear the trumpeting sounds of a big band and the church is proud to once again host these amazing performers. As with other concerts at St Mary’s your ticket price includes a complimentary drink – £8 in advance or £10 on the door. These are available in advance from Val Murray by telephoning 01564 771755.

St Mary’s Temple Balsall is just off the B4101 between Knowle and Balsall Common and there is ample parking available on site. For directions and a map visit

To sign up for details of our forthcoming events email

We look forward to swinging along with you from 7.30pm this Saturday 16th November at St Mary’s Church so book your tickets now on 01564 771755.

Heritage Weekend: What’s On and When

Autumn FairOn Saturday 14th September at 12 noon the 2013 Autumn Fair and Heritage Weekend will be declared officially open to visitors. The lawns of Temple House will then play host to a variety of events and demonstrations with the provisional timetable as follows:

1pm: Knights Hospitallers — “Arming the Knight” — Arena, Temple House Lawn

1pm: Guided Tour of historical site with Rev Kathy Lloyd Roberts — assemble in front of Old Hall

1.30pm: Board Dancers — The Court

1.45pm: Beorma Morris Dancers — Arena, Temple House Lawn

2.15pm: Birmingham Concert Band — Bandstand, Temple House Lawn

2.15pm: Guided Tour of historical site with Rev Kathy Lloyd Roberts — assemble in front of Old Hall

2.30pm: Board Dancers — The Court

3.15pm: Beorma Morris Dancers — Arena, Temple House Lawn

3.15pm: Guided Tour of historical site with Rev Kathy Lloyd Roberts — assemble in front of Old Hall

3.40pm: Knights Hospitallers — “Spear Drill for Kids” — Arena, Temple House Lawn

4pm: Raffle Prize Draw — Arena, Temple House Lawn

4.10pm: Birmingham Concert Band — Bandstand, Temple House Lawn

Teas will be served throughout the day and food will also be available. Stalls will be selling books, bric-a-brac and produce plus there will be a Tombola. In the Old Hall there will be a special exhibition of archives and historic domestic pottery. For the younger visitors there will be a Playbus plus smaller games including BogBalls.

The Art Exhibition will be open from 10.30am until 5pm in Lady Katherine Leveson’s Church of England Primary School adjacent to Temple Lawn.

On Sunday 15th September the art exhibition will open from 11.3am, closing at 4pm.

Elsewhere on the Sunday the stalls and exhibits will open from 2pm and guided tours will be held at 2.30pm and 3.30pm. At 6pm in the church of St Mary the Virgin there will be Choral Evensong led by Birmingham Cathedral Choir with a talk by Canon Michael Walls, a former Master of The Foundation of Lady Katherine Leveson.

Tea and cake, Haydn and Mozart

Summer Sunday Teas

A little bit of what you fancy never does you harm. This maxim applies equally to our superb Sunday Afternoon Teas here at beautiful Temple Balsall. If your fancy runs to freshly baked scones or homemade cakes — such as Lemon Drizzle, Chocolate, Carrot, Fruit or Coffee — then you need to get yourself here on one of the three remaining opportunities of this summer season.

You’re sure of a warm and friendly welcome whether you are out for a Sunday afternoon drive or part of the groups of cyclists and walkers that increasingly like to use our tranquil historical setting as a watering hole on their treks around the countryside.

Next weekend (14th-15th September) is, of course, Heritage Weekend where tea and cake will play their usual central role.

The last Sunday Afternoon Teas will be served on 29th September and will coincide with our last free concert of the season. At 3pm The Middleton Hall String Quartet will play pieces by Mozart and Haydn. Let’s hope the Indian summer weather stays with us until then and the maximum number of people can enjoy their tea and cake in the sunshine before listening to timeless classical music in the historic setting of St Mary the Virgin Church here at Temple Balsall.

Mixing the media

Full details about this event

Art lovers should beat a path to a unique collection of local and regional artwork to be showcased at Temple Balsall’s forthcoming Art Exhibition on 14-15th September.

Timed to coincide with the nation’s Heritage Weekend, our historical Temple Balsall site is throwing open its doors to “welcome the world” (see earlier post for full “What’s On” over the weekend).

The Art Exhibition — now in its fourth year — is an integral part of the weekend and will open in Lady Katherine Leveson Church of England School from 10.30am to 5pm on Saturday 14th September and from 11.30am to 4pm on Sunday 15th September. It will feature artwork in a mix of media: watercolour, acrylic and textiles to name but a few.

What makes this exhibition unique, is that it will showcase artists from all the local art groups, for example the Solihull Society of Art, as well as those from further afield (Wales and Worcestershire); and professional paintings will hang alongside amateur ones. Younger artists will be represented by the school with the winning entries from its annual competition.

The theme this year was printmaking. Exhibition Organiser Elaine Winterbottom comments: “The majority of artwork will be for sale. Some will be mounted and framed while others will be simply mounted. There is sure to be something for everyone.”

What to do and see at Temple Balsall’s Heritage Weekend

Almost 800 years of history is on your doorstep and waiting to be explored at the annual Temple Balsall Autumn Fair and Heritage Weekend taking place on 14th and 15th September.

Guided tours of this historical site will take place alongside an art exhibition over the entire weekend, plus on Saturday 14th there will be entertainments featuring re-enactments by crusading knights, music from the Birmingham Concert Band, exhibitions of Morris and Board dancing, and children’s attractions. On both days there will be the top quality book and bric-a-brac stalls that bring back bargain-hunting visitors year after year, plus the site’s renowned tea and homemade cakes and preserves – the perfect ingredients for an enjoyable slice of English country life.

The event is staged on the lawns of Temple House from 12 noon to 5pm, while the Art Exhibition opens at 10.30am in the hall of Lady Katherine Leveson Church of England School, adjacent to the main Fair. On Sunday the Heritage Weekend continues from 2pm and finishes with Choral Evensong in St Mary’s Church at 6pm led by the Birmingham Cathedral Choir. Entry to Heritage Weekend is free although a small investment in a Raffle ticket could net you £500.

The guided tours will be led by the Reverend Kathy Lloyd-Roberts, the Vicar of St Mary’s and Master of the Foundation of Lady Katherine Leveson. The tours encompass the Old Hall, a local headquarters for the Knights Templar from the 12th Century, the Church built around 1320 and the 17th Century almshouses.

The Art Exhibition features over 40 mostly local artists, both amateur and professional. Most works are for sale – framed or simply mounted – in a broad spectrum of media including watercolour, oils, acrylic and textiles. Additionally the prize winning entries from the school’s annual competition will also be on display showing the children’s own particular take on print-making.

The Warwickshire Knights Hospitaller will drill with weaponry and show how the knights got ready for battle – always a favourite with children – while Morris and Board dancers will display their fancy footwork to entertain the crowds. Throughout the afternoon there will be musical entertainment from the Birmingham Concert Band, 26 instrumentalists conducted by Eric Entwistle.