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The High Street, Pershore
Pershore shown within Worcestershire
|OS grid reference|
|– London||104.5 miles (168.2 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Hereford and Worcester|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
|UK Parliament||West Worcestershire|
Pershore is a market town in Worcestershire, England, on the banks of the River Avon. Pershore is in the Wychavon district and is part of the West Worcestershire parliamentary constituency. At the 2011 census the population was 7,125. The town is best known for Pershore Abbey, Pershore College (now a campus of Warwickshire College), and the plums and pears grown locally.
Pershore is situated on the River Avon, 6 miles west of Evesham and 6 miles east of Upton-upon-Severn in the Vale of Evesham, a district rich in fruit and vegetable production The town lies near the A44 midway from Worcester to Evesham. The nearest motorway junctions are junction 7 of the M5 (South Worcester) or junction 1 of the M50. There is a railway station on the Cotswold Line, enabling direct travel to Paddington station, London, via Evesham, Moreton-in-Marsh, Oxford, Didcot and Reading, although Pershore station is more than a mile from the centre of the town towards Pinvin.
The town has been designated as a place of major architectural importance by the Council for British Archaeology, and listed as an outstanding conservation area. Parts of the abbey, which stand in an expanse of public grassland close to the centre of the town, date from the 11th century. The current structure is far smaller than the original building, which was plundered during the reign of Henry VIII at the Dissolution. The original nave was destroyed. The north transept collapsed later. The present nave occupies the western part of what would originally have been the choir.
The Abbey Park includes a bowls club, children's play area and skate board park (2006), consisting of a mini ramp and a street section. The town also contains much elegant Georgian architecture.
Schools in Pershore follow the three-tier first school (ages 5–9), middle school (ages 9–12), high school (ages 12–18) system practised by Worcestershire County Council. Pershore High School has a sixth form with all-weather sports pitches and sports hall.
Abbey Park First School and Abbey Park Middle School is on Abbey Road, they are both situated down the same drive. Pershore High School is on Station Road, which is on the outskirts of Pershore, bordering Pinvin, a small village.
Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Primary School, situated on Priest Lane beside Holy Redeemer, Pershore's only Catholic Church, stands outside the 3-tier model. It is a primary school (ages 5–11) which acts as a feeder school to Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College in Worcester. Pershore College, a school of agriculture and horticulture, became an agricultural campus for Warwickshire College following a merger in 2007.
The Pershore Plum Festival is held annually in August to celebrate the local tradition of growing plums including the local varieties Pershore Purple, Pershore Yellow Egg Plum and Pershore Emblem. Activities include crowning the plum princess, a family fun run, plum themed art exhibition and the Plum Fayre. There is also a classic car rally and nearby Worcester Racecourse revived The Land O’Plums Chase from 72 years ago.
The festival won the Best Tourism Event and Festival in the Worcestershire Welcome Awards 2011.
Each year on the Spring Bank Holiday, usually the last Monday in May, a Carnival is held for the entertainment and enjoyment of the townsfolk and people from a wide surrounding area. Each year has a different theme, the programme covers being designed by children attending Pershore schools. The day starts with a procession of a variety of entries that passes through the town ending at Abbey Park. During the procession a bucket collection is taken in support of the year's two Carnival charities. In the park there are many different stalls, a show arena, a dog show and many other attractions, each year being different. The day ends with an evening concert and firework display. Various fundraising events take place prior to the Carnival, such as a quiz night, a race night and a duck race on the river.
Pershore's football club, Pershore Town F.C., belongs to the Midland Football Combination league. The Pershore Sports club is situated at The Bottoms on Defford Road. It also has a women's team, Pershore Town Ladies, who play in the new Herefordshire and Worcestershire Women’s County Football League. Pershore Rugby Club has a clubhouse and pitches by the river in nearby Wyre Piddle. Multiple BTCC title winning team, Team Dynamics, is also based there. A kayak club is situated on the river. Pershore Plum Plodders is an England Athletics affiliated running club serving Pershore and the surrounding villages.
There is a main High Street with numerous independent retail and food outlets, and there are two supermarkets, one in the town and one on the outskirts. The town's independent stores include Persora, Three Little Pigs, At Home and the Smart Exchange, among numerous others.
Pershore old bridge
About 0.5 miles (0.80 km) outside the town is Pershore Old Bridge over the River Avon. A bridge was originally built on the site, in about 1413, by monks, supposedly after their abbot, Upton, was drowned falling from stepping-stones. The scene is included in the historical window installed in 1862-64 in Pershore Abbey.
In 1644, during the English Civil War, a later bridge was damaged and almost destroyed. In subsequent years the bridge was maintained by re-using stones from nearby Elmley Castle and from the Abbey. In 1926 the bridge was taken out of service for road traffic and is now used only as a footbridge.
See also Category:People from Pershore
- Hugh Bennett (1862-1943), cricketer.
- Claude Choules (1901-2011), was the world's last living veteran of both World Wars and supercentenarian.
- Giles Collier (1622-1678), Anglican divine.
- George Dowty (1901-1975), inventor and businessman.
- George Mason I (1629-1686), progenitor of the politically significant Mason family in America.
- Michael Collie (1966-), TV presenter, BBC Midlands Today.
- Tamara Lees, (1924-1999), actor, born Diana Helena Mapplebeck.
- Maurice McCanlis (1906-1991), sportsman.
- Charles Shadwell (1898-1979), musician.
- Toyah Willcox, actor, singer, and wife of Robert Fripp of rock band King Crimson.
- Nigel Clark, singer with pop band Dodgy
- "About Pershore Plums". Retrieved 2011-09-02.
- Pershore Morrismen,
- "Pershore Plum Festival". Retrieved 2011-09-02.
- "Best Tourism Event and Festival in the Worcestershire Welcome Awards 2011". Retrieved 2011-09-02.
- Wychavon Kayak & Canoe Club
- "Toyah at Taste of Pershore". Evesham Journal. 2007-10-18.
- "Nigel Clark | Free Music, Mixes, Tour Dates, Photos, Videos". Uk.myspace.com. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
- Pershore Abbey
- Wychavon District Council (accessed October 2005).
- Pershore Volunteer Centre
- Pershore Tourist Information
- Wychavon Kayak & Canoe Club
- Pershore Plum Plodders running club