A town in Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Approximately 35 miles south west of the major city of Birmingham and 120 miles north west of London.

Population is currently (2002) around 40,000. Major industries/employers are electronics, tourism and education - several private schools as well as the normal primary and high schools.

Although it's not that big a company, probably the most famous thing made in Malvern is the Morgan car. Still largely handbuilt in the factory on Pickersleigh Road, the retro roadsters are instantly recognisable. Snag, if you want one, is that the waiting list is several years long!

The town (actually there's six separate "Malverns": Great Malvern, Malvern Link, Malvern Wells, North Malvern, West Malvern and Little Malvern, but to all intents and purposes it's one place) is built on the slopes of the Malvern Hills, a single range of hills reaching 1395 feet at their highest point. This may not sound much, but as the surrounding flat countryside is more or less at sea level, they are quite dramatic.

Lousy as a shopping centre (most people go to Worcester, 8 miles away), Malvern does have good cultural facilities (a thriving theatre, an independent cinema, a concert hall and lots of pubs that do live music.

Malvern is a very intellectual town, reputed to have more PhD's per thousand population than anywhere (who would check?) This is mostly due to the fact that the UK Government moved a lot of its radio and radar research to Malvern during the second world war, and it's still here (although privatised), but it also sometimes seems as though half the faculty of the various universities in Birmingham and Oxford live in the town.

Politically, Malvern generally seems to vote Liberal Democrat or even Green. There are conservatives around, and the odd socialist, but this is a town that would save whales, if it wasn't unfortunately totally landlocked. As it is, the sellers of macrobiotic food do quite nicely thank you.

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