Ooh Aah Droitwich Spa

100+ fascinating and fun facts about a town that's the salt of the earth

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Olympic champion learned to swim in Droitwich

​Little Matt Richards was just five years old when he boldly announced to his parents that he no longer needed armbands and launched himself into his holiday hotel’s pool. This prompted Matt’s parents, Amanda and Simon, to sign him up for swimming lessons at Droitwich Spa Leisure Centre, which really ignited their son’s passion for the water. […]

Baby was abandoned in cinema toilets

On March 26, 1956, Birmingham’s New Street Odeon was showing Biblical epic The Ten Commandments, a film that features the discovery of baby Moses in a basket. In the cinema toilets that day, life imitated art when teenager Mavis Clarke was shocked to find a two-week-old baby boy in one of the cubicles, wrapped in […]

Fred West’s former neighbour went on killing spree

Crazed Philip John Smith killed three women in the space of 96 hours – and one of the victims was found near Droitwich. Born in 1965, Smith grew up with notorious serial killers Fred and Rose West as neighbours in Midland Road, Gloucester. He was nicknamed Laa-Laa after one of the Teletubbies on children’s TV, […]

Covid murder mystery was a UK first

A Droitwich author has published the ”UK’s first Covid-19 murder mystery” – and the action takes place in and around the town. Written during lockdowns, Lance Dune House cleverly uses the chaos surrounding the pandemic to hide a murder in plain sight, in a genuinely plausible way. The plot begins in 1977 but culminates in […]

Savvy singer left a record £6.3 million

With his striking looks, entertainer George Lashwood earned the title of “The Beau Brummell of music halls” – referring to the arbiter of men’s fashion in the Regency period. The comedian and singer made his first provincial appearance in 1883 and his London debut at The Middlesex Music Hall, Drury Lane, in 1893. He even […]

Pandemic denier was banned from every English hospital

A Droitwich man was barred from every hospital in England after broadcasting from NHS corridors at the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, claiming the pandemic was a hoax. The 34-old-year was arrested along with three other men from Bromsgrove and Kidderminster. Under the terms of community protection notices they were only allowed to attend hospitals […]

Singer enjoyed The Sweet smell of success

In 1973, two songs with an almost identical guitar riff went head to head for coveted no.1 spot. In the end David Bowie’s The Jean Genie was pipped by The Sweet’s Block Buster. The glam rock band, who had already enjoyed chart success, went on to have a string of no.2s including Hell Raiser, Teenage […]

Not Bad looking at all

Question: What does Droitwich have in common with Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch, Jay Z and Peter Crouch? Answer: They are all punching above their weight when it comes to their partners. While Droitwich has never been short of admirers, it has to be admitted that its German twin town of Bad Ems, on […]

Shocking double murder case

Neil Entwistle is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder of his American wife and their baby daughter. The bodies of 27-year-old Rachel and nine-month-old Lillian were found on January 22, 2006 in the family’s rented home in Massachusetts. They had been shot. Nottingham-born Entwhistle, a computer programmer, then fled to […]

Britain’s oldest twins hit a double century

In 2007, Britain’s oldest twins were reunited for their 100th birthdays in Droitwich. Fred Flack travelled from his seaside home in Sidmouth to be with brother John at Rashwood Care Home for a joint party. Born in Loughton, Essex, in 1907, they were inseparable in their youth, but had seen little of each other since they both […]

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Flaming amazing

KAPOW! How’s this for a comic book tale? A Droitwich company played a crucial role in the first big screen reboot of Batman, which starred Michael Keaton. Nu-Way, of Vines Lane, made the rocket boosters for the Batmobile, recreating its famous flames. Chief designer and engineer Peter Wilkinson took one week to complete the unusual project, then delivered and fitted the boosters to the Caped crusader’s car at Pinewood Studios.