Pershore

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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 2001 census the population was 7,304. 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.

The town has a community arts centre, a Volunteer Centre, and a morris dance tradition.

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.

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.

Pershore is twinned with Bad Neustadt in Germany and Plouay in France.

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