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Giant community picnic to be held in the grounds of the Chateau Impney to celebrate 200th anniversary of Salt King John Corbett

Droitwich Editorial 6th Oct, 2016 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

A GIANT free community picnic is being planned next summer to celebrate the life and times of Salt King John Corbett who ‘helped make Droitwich what it is today’.

Mr Corbett was born on June 12, 1817 and baptised on June 29 of that year and the event, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth, would be held from 12midday to 5pm on Sunday, June 25, 2017 at the Chateau Impney.

The Salt King famously had the French style chateau built for his homesick wife Anna Eliza.

Barbara Middlemass, who is chair of the event’s organising committee, revealed the plans for the ‘old fashioned fete’ at the latest Droitwich Town Council meeting.

Members of community groups and history societies from Droitwich, Bromsgrove and the Black Country have already expressed an interest and are expected to descend on Droitwich for the celebration.

Traditional entertainment, including stocks and a pig roast, is being lined up for the event.

Barbara told The Standard: “When he came to Droitwich, it was a dirty industrial hovel and he had the foresight to see that we could turn things around and transform the town into a spa destination for tourists.

“He should get the recognition he deserves for everything he did for Droitwich and this event will do that.

“We are still at the planning stage but it is all going well.”

Barbara, who finished her last book on Mr Corbett in 1985 and is currently finishing a revised version, said the event and the fact it was on what was part of his estate would be fitting.

John Corbett used to open the gates to part of his estate – namely the Brine Baths – on Wednesday afternoons for the Droitwich community to enjoy and this event will also symbolise those days.

He was a philanthropist and it is being mooted that, in keeping with those traditions, there will be no commercial stalls on the day.

In the run up to the event, schools will also be approached and asked if they want to be part of the celebrations and anyone else with any ideas they would like to put forward for the day or anyone who can volunteer to help organise the event or help on the day should call Barbara on 01905 451722.

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