HUNDREDS of people took part in Midsummer Malvern, celebrating the town's culture and history, and organised by Malvern Civic Society.

The opening ceremony, held on Belle Vue Terrace, was carried out by mayor Neil Morton, with special guest Martin Kalina, the mayor of Marianske Lazne in the Czech Republic, visiting to celebrate the eighth year of the partnership.

The guests, accompanied by a large group of society members, then went to Malvern Theatre led by two pipers, where the winners of the society's literary competition were given their prizes.

Midsummer Malvern is a week of talks, walks, displays and visits organised by the civic society to engage with the community.

This year, two key events were a choir concert held in the Forum, Malvern Theatres, and a youth jazz evening held in the Cube.

Other events that attracted much interest were guided tours of the Council House and a talk by society president, Dr John Harcup, on music-making in Malvern over the last 900 years.

An innovation this year was a picnic on the beacon on Saturday, June 22.

Spokesman Roger Sutton said: "We were most fortunate with the weather and 50 people followed a piper from Rose Bank Gardens where they were joined by the mayor of Marianske Lazne and two more pipers who serenaded the picnickers.

The annual society social was held at the Elgar Birthplace Museum in lower Broadheath, where 100 members enjoyed wine and cheese and a recital from the Severn Arts Youth Orchestra.