Ooh Aah Droitwich Spa

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


Farmer who got away with murder for 40 years

The case of a Worcestershire pig farmer who got away with murder for nearly 40 years after concealing his wife’s body in a septic tank had links to Droitwich. David Venables, aged 89, was jailed for life in 2022 following the discovery three years earlier of his wife Brenda’s remains in the underground chamber. Brenda […]

Rumour has it Fleetwood Mac played Droitwich

Before Fleetwood Mac became one of the biggest bands in the world they played a gig in Droitwich. The Bank Holiday Bluesology Festival in the grounds of the Chateau Impney Hotel on September 1 and 2 1968 also featured John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Joe Cocker and headliners The Move (Roy Wood). Hosted by Radio One legend […]

Woman’s amazing place in history of Second World War

A Droitwich woman was one of the first people in Britain to learn that the D-Day Landings had taken place. Marge Barton (nee Payne) was working as a teleprinter operator with the Auxiliary Territorial Service when she received a message at 8.30am on June 6, 1944 stating that Allied troops had landed on the beaches […]

Swimmer made the podium at two Paralympics

A swimmer who added a Tokyo Paralympic silver medal to the one she won at the 2016 Rio Games learned to swim at Droitwich Leisure Centre. Rebecca Redfern, who is visually impaired, touched home second in the SB13 100m breaststroke on the morning of September 1, 2021, nine hours after winning her heat. Speaking after the race, […]

He can cook for England

After dining at The Chequers you’ll be ready to take on the world because it’s owned by the man who used to cook up pre-match meals for the likes of Wayne Rooney, Bryan Robson and David Beckham. Roger Narbett was the England football team chef for 21 years from 1989 to 2010, serving up premier […]

The card shop that refused to close during lockdowns

​​When a Droitwich shop repeatedly breached Covid-19 lockdown rules it made national headlines – and polarised public opinion. Grace Cards & Books owner Alasdair Walker-Cox was served with numerous prohibition notices and ended up being taken to court by Wychavon District Council where he was ordered to pay £35,000 in fines, plus £9,000 in legal costs. Mr […]

He’s GRRREAT! Droitwich man earns his stripes as Tony the Tiger

We’ve all grown up with Tony the Tiger, the face of Kellogg’s breakfast treat Frosties, or Frosted Flakes, since 1952. But did you know that since 1999 the popular cartoon character with the catchphrase ”they’re GRRREAT” has been voiced by Droitwich resident Tom Clarke-Hill? California-born Tom is an actor who has appeared in the films Denial […]

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, […]


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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.