Southwell Library Poetry Festival has been a favourite in the county's literary calendar since it took up residence in the library in 1997. Over the years, audiences have had the chance to enjoy an amazing array of quality poetry from names including Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, Lemn Sissay and Daljit Nagra.

BBC Gardeners' World Live and BBC Good Food Show return together from 15th to 18th June, with what promises to be the best show yet. For over 20 years these Shows have taken up residency at Birmingham's NEC and have entertained over two million visitors in this time.

Following a flurry of activity, where local residents and businesses in Southwell decorated their gates and gateways in the most colourful and imaginative way, the winners of the gate to Southwell Festival's 'Best Dressed Gates' competition have been announced.

The steady introduction of super-fast broadband into Morton & Fiskerton has been gathering momentum over recent months with some 100 connected subscribers, all enjoying superior internet speeds at a cost easily comparable with the longer established suppliers.

With Southwell's most eagerly anticipated event only weeks away and preparations in full swing, organisers of the Gate to Southwell Festival have announced a new initiative to make sure everyone knows.

Local residents and businesses are invited to decorate their gates or gateways in the most colourful and imaginative way they can think of.

Leading the way is a proposal to decorate the Minster's West Gate, Southwell's most prominent gate and enduring symbol of the festival. This will be undertaken by Flower Pod - part of the local charity Reach Learning Disability – in an exciting collaboration with the festival. Flower Pod's involvement in the event is being generously sponsored by Gusto Homes, developers of Becher's Court on Southwell Burgage.

"This is a great opportunity for collaboration between the Festival, Flower Pod, Reach and the local community," says Mike Fryer, Commercial Manager of Flower Pod. "Hopefully the residents will use our locally grown flowers . It's a marvellous way to raise money for Reach and it could be the start of an annual May Bank Holiday Southwell tradition!"

Festival Director Mike Kirrage was enthusiastic about linking with Flower Pod hoping the collaboration could be taken further in the future. "It's great when two community enterprises come together to mutual benefit, especially when it's in such a fun way involving local residents." Southwellians are encouraged to get their creative juices flowing and start decoration from mid-May onwards. All entries will receive a prize with the "best-dressed" gates in town winning free tickets to the Gate To Southwell Festival (June 8 to 11).

It's hoped the initiative will generate extra publicity for the festival and Flower Pod. "This year's theme is the fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love, said Mike. "We'll have lots of great artists performing songs from the period and we're encouraging all festival goers to embrace the 'Flower Power' era so it would be wonderful to have Flower Pod involved too."

Flower Pod would welcome further sponsorship to help provide flowers and decorations for the Summer Of Love festival event. For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.flowerpod.org For more Festival information visit www.gtsf.uk

 

The closing date for entries to the first ever Southwell & District Lions club Photographic Competition has now passed and we'd like to thank all those who entered photos.

Seventy outstanding professional singers and players will gather in Southwell over the August Bank Holiday weekend (24th to 28th August) to take part in the fourth annual Southwell Music Festival.

Newark will be transported 370 years back in time on 30th April and 1st May to re-fight the battles which shaped the future of England.

It's the centenary of Lions clubs worldwide this year and Southwell Lions photo competition marks the occasion, with the theme of 'anything & everything old'.

Plan a great day out for the whole family, from tiny tots to big kids, with plenty to do whatever the weather at the Nottinghamshire County Show at Newark Showground on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th May. Advance tickets cost £10 and accompanied children under 17 years go free!

On the morning of Sunday 26th February the Friends of Southwell Park (FoSP) held their Willow Planting Workshop on the brand new Squires Park in Southwell.

Reach Off Road is back- this year on 7th May in Southwell. Well known for its fun atmosphere and delicious array of cakes and cookies, Reach Off Road is a fully marshalled off road bike ride offering 5, 10, 20 and 37 mile route options. Enter individually, as part of a team or with family.

There's a fantastic line-up of artists booked for this summer's Gate To Southwell Festival which promises four days (8th to 11th June) of fantastic live music!

The Photography Show is the destination for all image creators, returning to the NEC Birmingham from 18th to 21st March with another jam-packed line-up of speakers and seminars, and the opportunity to try and buy the latest kit from leading photography and video brands.

The award winning Lowdham Pantomime Group will soon be performing their latest production, 'Treasure Island'. The show based on the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson features all the usual characters, Tess and Squire Trelawney, Jim Hawkins and Billy Bones, Blind Pew, Ben Gunn and the evil baddie Long John Silver, boooo!

As a result of poor broadband speeds and not being included in the Rural Broadband Rollout by BT the residents of Fiskerton and Morton villages have taken it upon themselves to develop, build and manage their own Superfast internet.

On Saturday 29th July until Saturday 19th August this year Belarussian children will hopefully be coming to our area. They all live in the area of Belarus that was and still is affected by the fall out of the Chernobyl disaster. They will be coming here for some fresh air and decent food.

A consultation exercise is under way to ask the residents of Newark and Sherwood their views on a review of sites allocated for housing and employment in the district.

The Gambia is a very small country in West Africa almost totally surrounded by the much larger Senegal. 25 years ago The Derek Bailey Foundation was set up to develop educational opportunities in a very rural area around the village of Nyofelleh.

Excitement is building for the new LEGO model exhibition coming to The Harley Gallery from 22nd January to 2nd April, following the phenomenal success of last year's Brick City.

The first project to help reduce flooding in the town has been completed by Josh Wells, a PhD student at NTU Brackenhurst who is working with hydrologist Dr Jillian Labadz and the Environment Agency, together with Stuart Smith (Smith JCB Hire of Southwell) who has dug long and hard in difficult circumstances to complete the works before the winter rains.