MALVERN mayor and mayoress Ian and Janet Hopwood have set off on a 850-mile trip to a fellow spa town in the Czech Republic.

The trip has a dual purpose – to sign the partnership agreement bet-ween Malvern and Marianske Lazne and to raise funds for Acorns Children’s Hospice, the mayor’s chosen charity.

“Rather than simply fly over there, we decided to make a proper journey of it and support the hospice at the same time,” said Councillor Hopwood.

In the boot of his car the mayor is taking local produce to Marianske Lazne including beer from the Malvern Hills Brewery, wine from the Three Choirs vineyard and Holy Well Malvern water.

Accompanying them is Mark Young in his 1964 Skoda, a car which spent many years languishing in the Libyan desert and then in the Home Counties, before he restored it.

Mr Young hopes to take the car to the Skoda works in the Czech Republic.

The mayor and mayoress will spend several days in the Czech Republic, returning to Malvern in time for the St George’s Day parade on Sunday – the final official event during his year in office. To sponsor him, visit

Coun Hopwood will be sending regular bulletins on his journey which can be read at