The top articles currently trending on Love Shrewsbury.

  • Architects float to victory with award winning riverside scheme
    21 Jun 2018

    A firm of Shropshire architects has beaten off competition from across the Midlands to win a prestigious award for its inspiring design that transformed a Shrewsbury home.

    Base Architecture and Design, which worked with building contractors KRM and the property owners Mark Groome and Becky Walker to transform the River House in Water Lane, scooped the title in the Best Extension or Alteration to an Existing Home category at the recent regional LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Building Excellence Awards.

    Associate Ben Embrey, who managed the project for the Shrewsbury based firm, picked up the award at a ceremony at the International Centre in Telford. Base will now go forward to the national finals that will be held in London in November.

    The LABC awards are the largest business-to-business scheme in the building control sector and recognises organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to technical and construction excellence.

    Base remodelled the interior of the property, which overlooks the River Severn, and designed a two-storey extension to incorporate a new kitchen and bedroom. It also carried out the interior design to create a contemporary and luxury family home.

    Ben explained: “River House occupies a prominent position alongside the Severn in Shrewsbury and the scheme was designed with the aim of capitalising on the amazing views.

    “As it stood, the house didn’t meet its full potential in terms of location and visual potential so, before we drew up the design, we carefully assessed how we could enhance the house in its setting, taking full advantage of its unique location.

    “The final scheme involved a striking two-storey river frontage extension incorporating a new kitchen and bedroom on the first floor. We used chunky timber sections with large areas of glazing on the extension to create a contemporary look and remodelled the general arrangement of the interior to improve the flow of the property and to make it better suit the living requirements of a modern family.”

    He added: “It is great that the entire project team including the contractors and owners have been recognised with this award as it was very much a joint effort to create and deliver this individual and spectacular transformation.”

    Mark Groome said: “We are delighted that River House has won this prestigious award and we’re very grateful to Base and the team for their support and inspiration to help us deliver our vision.”


  • Pedal power at Loton Park Hill Climb ...
    21 Jun 2018


    Pedal power at Loton Park …

    An evening time trial for 30 junior members of Mid Shropshire Wheelers and Newport Cycling Club was held on the speed hill climb course at Loton Park Hill Climb near Shrewsbury.

    The youngsters tackled the 1475 yard tarmac course which rises through the deer park of the stately home at Alberbury, and which had been completely resurfaced by venue organisers Hagley Car Club last year.

    Hagley club secretary, Martyn Silcox, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer these youngsters the opportunity to compete in total safety with no traffic to worry about and they all seemed to enjoy the challenge of the climb on this tight and demanding scenic parkland course.”

    Loton Park will see its more usual action on 14th & 15th July when two one-day meetings are held for a wide variety of sports, classics, saloons and racing cars, alongside competitors in the National Motorcycle Hill Climb Championship.

    Invited classes for the weekend include Ferrari, Jaguar, Downton Mini and Morgan car clubs, together with the Allswage Championship for Hagley club members.

    PICTURED:  Young cyclists gather on the start line at Loton Park Hill Climb.

  • Up, up and away for Croft & Oakes...
    29 May 2018

    Up, up and away for Croft & Oakes …

    A financial services company set up in Shropshire less than two years ago has increased its team of advisors and moved to larger offices in Telford as a well known Oswestry man joins the team.

    Croft & Oakes Chartered Financial Planners has just opened expanded offices at the Business Development Centre on Stafford Park in Telford, which also coincides with experienced advisor Marc Derbyshire joining the team.

    Marc, aged 42, who is married with two children and lives in Bagginswood, Oswestry, will be bringing with him nearly two decades experience in financial services, teaming up once again with former major high street Lloyds and Halifax bank colleagues Keith Croft and Chris Oakes, who set up their own independent business in Telford during 2016.

    Welcoming Marc to the firm, Chamber of Commerce member and joint company founder Keith Croft, said: “Having worked with Marc for over 10 years in the past I am well aware of his experience and skill qualities and believe that he will bring many positive benefits to the company and help to enhance the Croft & Oakes brand as we continue to expand.”

    Being a specialist in inheritance tax planning and pension transfers, together with many years experience in the corporate sector, Marc, added: “I am delighted to be working with Keith and Chris once again and will be concentrating on offering financial advice services around Shrewsbury, north Shropshire, Oswestry and the Welsh Marches as part of this expanding company.”

    Marc has been a hot air balloon enthusiast since childhood and is a fully qualified balloon pilot in his spare time, having been appointed as Flight Director for the highly successful Telford Balloon & Kite Fiesta, held recently in the Town Park to mark the 50th Anniversary of Telford.

    Croft & Oakes can be contacted on 01952 897377

  • 15 Years and Going Strong
    19 Jun 2018

    Growth and Success is Celebrated at Information Solutions

    Anniversary parties don’t come much better than this! Celebrating fifteen years of business, Shrewsbury based, IT company Information Solutions treated clients from across the region with cake and fizz at a special celebration to mark the occasion.

    Providing high quality IT service, support, and consultation to businesses throughout the West Midlands, award-winning Information Solutions is complemented by sister company: The Web Orchard, to provide a unique web design and development service that specialises in targeted digital marketing solutions. 

    Helping businesses to grow and prosper through the utilisation of cutting-edge techniques and industry expertise, Directors Nathan Bensley-Edwards, Simon Atkin and Peter White credit the continued success of the two businesses to the proficiency of their ten-strong team. Nathan comments:

    “We have always been focused on finding and employing the very best people for both Information  Solutions and The Web Orchard. Experienced and extremely skilled at what they do, our team is committed to providing an expert service to our clients. Trusted by some of the UK’s leading businesses, our developers and programmers design, build and support websites and the IT infrastructure surrounding it, that span all levels of complexity. It is the talent of our team and the strong business- to-business relationships that we nurture, that has enabled us to grow in size and reputation for the past fifteen years. Of that we are incredibly proud.”

    Offering clients the complete spectrum of digital and online marketing support, The Web Orchard has recently welcomed Simon Jones as Digital Project Manager to the team. Focused on maintaining their position as a leading IT and Website provider in Shropshire, Director Peter White comments on the objectives for the two businesses, for the future:

    “Committing ourselves to the lifetime of a project, we provide long-term support and development to our clients, helping them to maximise the business results that they can gain from effective website and digital marketing strategy.  Providing a range of IT services required to ensure that an organisation can effectively trade and communicate is the extra level of support that differentiates us from most other marketing consultancies.

    Many of our clients have worked with us for a number of years, leading to us becoming the outsourced IT department for their business in many cases. Excellent working relationships and a reputation for a high-quality service and customer care is something that we aim to maintain and develop further in the years ahead.”

    Receiving a variety of awards for their work over the years, Nathan, Simon and Peter are particularly proud of their focus on supporting local business. Members of the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, the team at Information Technology Solutions and The Web Orchard have been recognised for their contribution to the economy of the town via the winning of three Mayor of Shrewsbury Awards.

    Pete White
  • College restaurant has the secret ingredient to success
    19 Jun 2018

    For the third year running Shrewsbury Colleges Group restaurant, Origins, has secured a Highly Commended Rosette Award from the AA College Rosettes Scheme for the highest accolade it can achieve.

    The College restaurant first gained the award in 2016 and no other College restaurant in Shropshire has one.

    The AA College Rosette Scheme has been designed to reflect current industry trends within realistic working environments. It recognises a restaurant with a clear commitment to students and the industry, where food is prepared and served with care and understanding to a standard which stands out in the local area. Furthermore, restaurants have to demonstrate that they are completely commercially viable and there are clear links with the industry locally.

    The AA Inspector came to Origins restaurant in May and was looking for a high standard of food and service. Level 3 Front of House Apprentice, Jack Earl, 19, from Shrewsbury, was working at the time of the inspection and said: “We prepped for the assessor and it was great that we could put everything into practice when she came in. She was a really nice customer and I enjoyed serving her.”

    Origins received this rosette because ‘A positive welcome was experienced and extended to all guests by the team on arrival; this set the tone for the afternoon with team members noted to be genuinely warm and friendly’ and ‘Origins enables a very realistic dining experience and the team work well together to deliver a professional service style. Support is on hand as and when required. Overall a very positive and well drilled service’, as noted in the inspectors final report.

    Dan Gibbons, Chef Lecturer, said: “I am totally thrilled that we have been awarded the Highly Commended AA College Rosette for the third year in a row. It is a testament to all the hard work the students and staff put in. To be recognised as a college restaurant that mirrors a realistic hospitality environment whilst teaching students to such a high standard is a great achievement.”

    Origins, which opened in 2014, is a state-of-the-art training facility for Hospitality & Catering students. It gives students the opportunity to work in a professional environment and stay ahead of industry trends. Students are led by qualified, experienced chefs and front-of-house professionals, and learn about the principles of cookery, flavours, food service and complimentary wines among other things.

    Not only has Origins Restaurant been recognised as a brilliant establishment by the AA, but they have recently gained the highly coveted People First Choice Award and had a glowing five star review printed in the latest edition of the Shropshire Magazine.

    For more information on A Levels, visit or call 01743 235491. For more information about vocational courses and Apprenticeships, visit or call 01743 342342.

  • Be a part of the Guinness World Record Charleston attempt
    13 Jun 2018

    In an attempt to see Shropshire in the Guinness Book of Records in a fun, active and inclusive way, Revel-in-Dance is getting Shrewsbury in a flap!

    The aim is to break the current Guinness World Record for the largest number of people to dance the Charleston at one time. The current record is 975 people and is held by ‘Swing Patrol’ in London; so with this hefty figure to beat Revel in Dance really needs your feet! Our record attempt is set to take place on Shrewsbury Quarry Park at 1pm on Saturday 22 September 2018.

    Sarah Bright, owner of Revel in Dance decided to organise this event to bring the community together, raise awareness of the benefits of dance and as a way to raise funds for Severn Hospice.

    “This is a great way to be involved in a World Record attempt and at the same time support an invaluable local care service. Dancing the cheeky Charleston is all about having fun and showing character so participants will have a great time learning and performing the routine” says Sarah. “The music is lively and infectious; you’ll be getting active and you’ll be part of a really exciting and uplifting group event!”

    “We would love as many people as possible to take part; why not get your family, friends and work buddies involved in this special charity event?”

    Rules for the record attempt are quite stringent, so in the lead up to the event, participants will need to attend one of eight workshops in August and September to learn the routine.

    “The routine itself is very easy to learn and accessible to all levels of dance experience so please don't be put off if you have never danced the Charleston before!” Sarah assures.

    At the workshop participants will learn a short piece of cheeky Charleston choreography, which will be repeated for a 5-minute duration at the record attempt in September.

    “In order to achieve a new record, we not only must exceed 975 in numbers but also dance the choreography for a full 5 minutes, accurately and in unison. It is for this reason we can only really open the event for children 10 years and above only,” Sarah adds.  

    The routine will also be available on YouTube for people to practice to after the workshop.

    “We are asking for a registration donation of £3 for adults and £2 for children to participate – and people are welcome to donate more as all the registration funds raised will be donated to Severn Hospice,” Sarah adds.

    “We are also looking for volunteers for various stewarding roles at the event and any local businesses or organisations who are keen to partner with us for this great event.”

    “Come on Shropshire, let’s get moving and get this World Record!”

    For registration and workshop dates please visit and click on 'I Can Charleston GWRA'

    If you are interested in supporting the event in any way, or would like more information, please contact Sarah at: [email protected] or Annie Waddington-Feather on 07713 646419, [email protected]

  • Students amalgamate for an amazing final show
    20 Jun 2018

    A Level and vocational students from Shrewsbury Colleges Group have come together for their end-of-year Art and Design show following the decision to locate all art courses at the English Bridge Campus.

    The campus has been taken over this week and filled with inspiring student work. Over ten different courses have displayed their work for Amalgamate, the Art and Design show of 2018. The rooms are filled with drawings, photographs, paintings, videos, designs, textiles and so much more. The show commenced with the private view on the evening of Friday June 15, when the vocational Fashion and Textiles students put on their annual show and turned the sports hall into Shrewsbury’s very own catwalk – with a decorative transformation that wouldn’t look out of place at London Fashion Week.

    This integration of A Level and vocational arts provision is one of the exciting results from the merger between Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and Shrewsbury College. Shrewsbury Colleges Group have set out to create a Centre of Excellence for the Creative Arts & Design  and this has proved successful with a brilliant end-of-year exhibition that showcases all aspects of art.

    James Staniforth, Chief Executive of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, said: “The Art and Design show is spectacular. The hard work that students have put in during their time with us is evident and they have bright futures ahead of them.

    “The new arts facilities are providing our students, of all ages and abilities, the opportunity to strive for excellence and higher grades. Now all of our arts courses are being taught together, giving all our students the opportunity to mix and share ideas. The students have larger spaces with more natural light and we have invested in new equipment. It will add significant value to the town.”

    Amalgamate will be open until June 22 and is already being well received by visitors; one happy visitor commented: “I was at the Royal Academy of Art’s Summer Exhibition and saw more in one room here than the whole of Burlington House! All I can say to the students is to keep up the good work.”

    Fine Art A Level student Steven Scull, 19, from Ellesmere said: “I love studying Art at A Level; it is such an inclusive subject. It helps you to gain a more in depth understanding and see the story behind the art – there is no wrong or right answer. This is presented in the end-of-year show, which is a great final farewell.”

    For your chance to see it head over to the English Bridge Campus in Abbey Foregate 9am-4pm and report to the reception desk.

    For more information on A Levels, visit or call 01743 235491. For more information about vocational courses and Apprenticeships, visit or call 01743 342342.

  • New statistics show that Shropshire house prices have grown, but not at the same rate as the national average
    28 Sep 2017

    New statistics for property prices in 2017, show that the house prices in Shropshire have grown. However, they also reveal that Shropshire still falls behind the national average. Whilst there is something to celebrate in the rising house prices, there is still a lot of room for improvement. This is something that Shropshire property owners should bear in mind if they are looking to sell their home. If you find yourself in this position, you will need to read on. Below are three ways for you to increase the value of your property.

    Embrace the world of DIY

    If you are looking to save money when you are preparing to sell your property, you should embrace the world of DIY. Why not invest in a basic tool kit? This is a great way to get started and to be prepared for all of the tasks ahead. You could look online for simple YouTube tutorials that will help you to do anything from putting up a shelf to tiling your bathroom. If you are not ready to dive in at the deep end, you could always focus on the cosmetic aspects of your property. Anyone is capable of doing a spot of painting or giving their home a deep clean. If you are struggling to know where to start, you should write a clear list of everything that needs to get done. Then, decide what you can do yourself and what you will need a little help with.

    Be clever about your purchases

    A lot of potential buyers will be swayed by the interior design of your home. You may want to consider giving your property a little facelift. If you decide to do this, you will need to be clever about your purchases. Whatever you do, don’t break the bank. This will make it impossible for you to get a good return on your investment. Instead, look for generous reductions. For instance, you could visit Rug Zone to inject some colour and comfort into your home. The best thing about finding a great deal is that you are getting quality items at a reasonable price. Although it is great to invest in the aesthetic of your property, you don’t want to go overboard. Limit yourself to a few essential pieces. This will allow your potential buyers to imagine their own furniture in your home.

    Have a clear financial plan

    If you are concerned about your finances, you will need to have a clear financial plan for your renovations. Try to be as specific as possible. Don’t just set yourself a budget for each room. Instead, work out the finances for each individual purchase. This will prevent things from getting out of hand. You should also have an emergency fund for any nasty surprises. If you are investing in substantial building work, you may find that unexpected problems arise. Reduce your stress levels by thinking ahead.

    Pete White
  • Fantastic Local Dog Walk From Our Friend Boomerang
    17 Jul 2012


    1 1/4 miles – less than an hour

    This is a lovely walk with no traffic worries for dogs and children as you walk around the site of the Battle of Shrewsbury 1403.

    The battle was one of the bloodiest conflicts ever to take place on British soil and as many as 5000 men are thought to have died. Along the walk are interesting information points which tell you why, when and who was involved.

    With a small detour towards the end of the route you can find out more at the free visitor centre at Battlefield 1403. The added bonus is that you can browse around the farm shop, butchery and tea room. Dogs are restricted to outside areas but are given a warm welcome and there are plenty of water bowls.

    Whilst there you can visit Tilly the English Pointer at the Battlefield Falconry centre.

    1.Park at the Battlefield Heritage site (note there are vehicle height restrictions) PostcodeSY4 3DB. Walk a short distance to a wooden gate and when you pass through take a left. From here you can walk your dogs (and kids!) off a lead if you choose.

    2. Follow the path as you walk around the Battlefield, through gates under the pylons. By the large oak tree there is information regarding the Battle.

    3. Keep following the path until you arrive at a little gate. Keep left and follow your nose through some woodland. Walk through a second gate to arrive at a field.

    4. You will arrive at the beautiful, yet redundant, St Mary Magdalenes church which was built in 1406 as a memorial to those who lost their lives. It is from here that you can detour to the Battlefield 1403 visitor centre by crossing the churchyard and field.

    5. Alternatively, keep following the path until you arrive at a bridge and taking the left hand gate walk into a field which is perfect for a spot of ball throwing! Walk through the gate on the opposite side and take a left to arrive back at your start point.

    Boomerang the dog, also known as J K Growling, and his owner Karen Lloyd write a series of dog-friendly walk books including a book for Shrewsbury and surrounding areas.

  • 4 Reasons to Advertise Your Business with Custom Postcards
    15 Jun 2017

    When you check the mail and notice that there’s a business postcard present, you probably have to do a double take - that’s how seldom this form of advertising is being utilized anymore. And while you might be able to reach a large volume of customers by sending out emails, you won’t be getting that high of a click through rate. The fact is that consumers respond best to advertisements when they aren’t expecting them. This is why you still see billboards up along the highway and some companies still send out holiday cards during the winter. If you are going to make your own postcard for business purposes keep reading for four reasons why it’s a good idea.

    1. Making a Direct Connection

    With any form of advertising there is a correct and incorrect way of doing things. Send out personalized business postcards that are addressed to your clients directly and you will get a highly favorable response. On the other hand, if you just send out generic postcards that don’t have catchy text, you won’t get any increased sales at your place of business.

    2.  Doing More of What Works

    Send a postcard to your customers that enables them to get a discount on a product or service, and you will see many of them coming in the day after they receive them with the postcards physically in their hands. If you encourage your customers to consider postcards that come from your business as important, they will start to expect them. In other words, this is just a very effective form of advertising that has been around for over one hundred years.

    3. Keep Your Customer Contacts Up to Date

    So, how exactly is a business to know when it has valid contact information for an existing or prospective customer? Email is the most convenient method, but it is also not all that reliable. In fact, most people have several email accounts that they might not check regularly. You can also call consumers, but that will cause a lot of confusion in most cases if they aren’t expecting your call. Remember that people check the mail when they feel like it, so they’re rarely irritated when receiving a piece of mailing from a business that they are familiar with.

    4. It Actually Works

    You might be sending custom business postcards to clients to remind them of appointments or to offer them additional savings on their next purchase. Whatever the reason is, you can anticipate a higher response rate with customized mailers than with emails or a website alone. Consumers know that you have to go out of your way to design a business postcard, have an appropriate number printed up and then spend money to mail them out, and they also appreciate the personal touch.

    Regardless of the size of your business budget, postcard mailings are affordable. Even if you can only send out a few dozen at a time to satisfied customers, you can enjoy an immediate return on investment if you are methodical. So, stop sending out email after email and do something for your customers that will inspire real engagement.

    Pete White
  • Volvo XC40
    20 Jun 2018


       You may perhaps not even have seen one yet, but already Volvo’s new XC40, has been winning awards. Not only did it recently win both the Car of the Year and Best Medium SUV titles in the recent DieselCar and EcoCar Top 50 awards 2018, it also scooped the coveted European Car of the Year award prior to its unveiling at this year’s Geneva Motorshow in March. What Car? Named it their Car of the Year 2018, just four months after it went on sale, as well as bestowing upon it their Best Family SUV award, and residual value guides Cap Hpi and KeeResources have both positioned the new XC40, ahead of its two main premium German rivals, the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, as a result of its predicted competition-beating residual values. Autocar magazine called it a game changer.

       It’s no surprise then perhaps that the XC40 also recently become Volvo’s most successful new model launch in the U.K., ever. And with sales currently running at around 2,000 a month – a portion of  those having been stolen from the likes of Audi, Mercedes Benz and Range Rover, - it’s a little difficult not to get caught up in the XC40’s wake.

        Some of the first XC40’s to come into the UK were in the somewhat lavishly equipped First Edition spec: It’s one of those that Volvo recently lent us.

       Built in Ghent, Belgium, the XC40 is, say Volvo, a milestone car. It’s their first ever compact SUV and the first car to be built upon their all-new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform. It sits below both their XC60 and the simply lovely XC90 and is the first of Volvo’s new generation 40 series models.

       But, just because it’s smaller, and far groovier looking than its larger siblings, don’t think for one minute that it is any lesser equipped. The XC40 gets the same, ipad-esque nine-inch infotainment display as you’ll find in the XC90, as well as a 12.3in digital instrument panel instead of conventional dials. The touch screen sits centre-stage within the dash and controls the majority of the XC40’s functions including the entertainment, satellite navigation, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and most other vehicle settings too. It does take a little while to fathom – Volvo’s scandi-chic interior is virtually button-less and until you’re familiar with the Sensus system as Volvo calls it you may have to take your eyes off the road to perform simple tasks such as altering the cabin temperature or changing the radio station – but with time everything becomes as clear as the touchscreen’s high definition display. Well, almost. Quite why Apple Carplay or Android auto, the smartphone mimicking apps, are a £300 option remains a mystery.

       Being a Volvo of course safety is a huge selling point and the Swedes (albeit the now Chinese owned) have already said that their goal is that by 2020 no-one will be killed or seriously injured in one of their new vehicles. As a result the XC40 gets a whole host of safety and driver assist systems including… wait for it… Volvo Cars’ Pilot Assist system – a step towards (sigh!) fully autonomous driving - City Safety, Run-off Road Protection and Mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert with brake support, and a 360° camera, something that proves a boon when trying to manoeuvre into tight parking spaces. Trust me, that thick upswept rear pillar might look cool, but oh boy, does it cause a blind-spot.

        Another bug-bear is the XC40’s gear selector. Not only do you have to push it forwards or backwards, twice, in order to get either Drive or Reverse, should you want to select your own ratios whilst on the move you have to push it either left or right to shift up or down. It really does take a lot of getting used to.

       Better then to simply select Drive, (pull the lever back twice remember) and let the 8 speed auto ‘box do its own thing – which apart from the odd slow reaction – it does rather well. As is the Volvo way the XC40 has been set-up with more of comfort bias than a sporty one. So, if you’ve penchant for B-road blasts you may want to consider something else; the steering is a more than a tad light for “enthusiastic” driving. 

       But that’s not to say there is in any way a lack of performance. In T5 guise (as tested) the 2.0litre four –cylinder diesel produces 247bhp, enough to get the XC40 to 62mph in 6.5 seconds; it’s swift to say the least. Pick your wheels and tyres wisely though. The 20 inch rims might make you look smooth, but they certainly won’t make you feel it!

        And that perhaps is a metaphor for the XC40 as a whole: Pick your engines and options carefully. In certain specs the XC40 could prove both thirsty and expensive – our car was £40K plus and never bettered 30mpg – but with smaller engine (a 3 cylinder is on the way, apparently) and with fewer sparkly bits the XC40 might just be the safest, coolest, and most satisfying medium sized SUV currently available.


    Volvo XC40 T5 AWD First Editon.

    Engine: 1,969cc 4Cyl 16V turbo diesel

    Transmission: 8 speed Auto, Four wheel drive.

    Power:  247 bhp @ 5,500 rpm

    Torque: 259 lbft @ 1,800 – 4,800 rpm

    0-62 MPH: 6.5 Sec

    Max Speed: 140 mph

    CO2: 168 g/km

    MPG: 39.2 combined

    Price: XC40 range from £27,905 (First Edition, as tested £40,055).


    Many thanks to Luke at Volvo’s UK press office for the loan of the XC40


    Liam Bird
  • Performing Arts students give us a panto with a spin
    24 Nov 2017

    It’s pantomime season and the Performing Arts students of Shrewsbury Colleges Group are putting on a show.

    Students from London Road Campus will be putting a spin on the classic fairy-tale Cinderella to bring you Spinderella - a fun pantomime full of magic and sparkle. The original script is written by the College’s own Performing Arts teacher, Andy Pierce.

    Cheer and boo as Spinderella, a young girl living in her late father’s record store with her evil step-mother and sisters, tries to keep her father’s legacy alive and stop the store falling into the wrong hands.

    Spinderella is a quirky homage to traditional pantomime, with a very contemporary feel. Well -loved characters like the Fairy Godmother and Buttons share stage space with evil music mogul Rich Filthy, his spoilt daughter Paris Filthy and of course, the eponymous Spinderella herself. Mixing together rock, pop and musical theatre songs, dance numbers and great jokes – Spinderella is not to be missed.

    Teacher Andy Pierce said: “This is a challenging run for the students, two weeks of matinee and evening shows mirrors the industry. Students will perform in the college theatre and take the show on tour to local schools. This really is real world experience and shows the students that tenacity, effort and stamina are just as important as their singing, dancing and acting skills.

    “It’s a great chance for our students to perform and interact with the audience and promises to be a lot of fun for everyone! Our students have worked really hard on the show and we have some incredibly talented performers. It’s open to the public in the evenings so get into the Christmas spirit now and buy your tickets!”

    The Level 3 students have been working hard in rehearsals and getting ready for their first performance this Monday (27 Nov) - taking it to the local schools in the afternoons and the college theatre in the evenings.

    Performances will be taking place in the Performing Arts Theatre at the London Road Campus from Monday, 27 November to Friday, 1 December, and Monday 4 to Friday, 8 December, at 7.30pm. Tickets can be reserved by emailing [email protected]

    For more information on Shrewsbury College visit: or call 01743 342 332 For Shrewsbury Sixth Form College visit: or call 01743 235491.

  • Kudos Blends is going bananas for Cleobury Mortimer 10K!
    20 Jun 2018
    Kudos Blends is going bananas for Cleobury Mortimer 10K

    Two members of staff from Kudos Blends, based in Cleobury Mortimer, will be putting their best foot forward in the inaugural Cleobury Mortimer 10K happening next week.

    Donna Roper, European sales manager and Calum Follan, from the site services department, will be joining 198 other runners taking part in the event, which kicks off on Sunday, July 1, at 11am.

    Kudos Blends is also sponsoring the occasion by providing bananas for the goody bags.

    Donna is running to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society as both her late grandmothers spent the last years of their lives with dementia. She said ”I have seen, first-hand, how difficult and upsetting it can be for the individual as well as their family. I will be running for both my grandmothers, whilst raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society, to help support those affected by this condition.

    “So far, l have raised £300 towards my minimum target of £500, so any donations, however small, would be greatly appreciated.”

    You can support Donna by donating directly to her fundraising page

    For more information about the Alzheimer’s Society visit:

  • From Zumba to Belly Dancing!
    12 Jan 2015

    Have you thought about trying an exercise class this year?

    Here at Mayfair, we have many different options available. Read on for further details of a few of them!

    Telephone Mayfair's reception on 01694 722077 for further information. 

    Gentle yoga - Yoga Classes on Monday evenings: 5.15 - 6.45 and 7.00 - 8.30. Both Yoga classes are suitable for all abilities and consist of a blend of gentle stretches sequenced and synchronised with the breathing, with meditation and relaxation techniques threaded through. The classes have a relaxed and friendly atmosphere leaving you feeling refreshed and restored. Yoga will also help to improve your flexibility, core strength, posture and to control your stress levels, enabling you to feel calm, focused and balanced. The classes are taught by Jayne Evans, a British Wheel of Yoga teacher, qualified in all aspects of yoga and with over 15 years’ experience. All you need is loose clothing, a yoga mat and a blanket or warm layer for the relaxation practice at the end. If you are interested in giving yoga a try, contact Jayne by phone or email, [email protected] or 01694 723121

    Angie Boogie Belly Fusion - My name is Angela and I teach belly dance!  My lovely ladies and I always welcome new ladies of all ages, shapes and sizes to ‘Angie boogie belly fusion’ on Tuesday evenings  7-8pm and for an extra bonus 8-8.30 (optional).  There is absolutely no need to bare your tummy in fact some ladies just reveal their ankles and elbows. We all wear comfortable loose clothes and are either barefoot or wear flat footwear . We love to dress up and sparkle. The emphasis is to have good fun and lots of giggles. The belly dancing is based on Arabic dance and incorporates other dance styles .We love to dance to an assortment of music, and learn funky combinations and sensual moves .It is great exercise with techniques that helps strengthen the core muscles.  We have felt the beat of Morocco, shined to ‘Pretty Woman’ and glided gracefully with hand fans to ‘Music of the Night’. We also twirl and swirl with colourful veils which is such a uplifting experience and shimmying is wonderful therapy. Angela has attended dance workshops throughout the country and has completed the JWAAD Foundation Course (The Josephine Wise Academy of Arabic Dance) where she qualified both in teaching and health and safety. All of Angela’s classes include suitable warm-up and cool down sessions. For more information, contact Angela on 01694 724053.   

    Pilates - 12 - 1pm, Wednesdays. There are many different types of Pilates sessions on offer and Fitness Pilates is just one of many. Don’t be put off by its name though! It is suitable for everyone, all ages and all abilities. I have been teaching Fitness Pilates in and around Church Stretton for four years and many people have enjoyed multiple benefits from the classes. Often I find that they have come to class on recommendation from a physio or a GP. The beauty of the class is that everyone can work at their own pace, choosing the level that suits them. I am experienced in teaching beginners, alongside advanced class members so everyone can benefit. But it’s also fun. I’m a big believer that exercise is part of how we choose to spend our valuable recreation time, so whilst we take the sessions seriously we don’t have to take ourselves too seriously! We start each session with a full warm up in standing. This gets the joints, tendons and ligaments working and gets the muscles to gently and safely warm up and wake up in readiness for approx 45 minutes of matwork based exercises for the remainder of the session. The class is based upon the teachings of Joseph Pilates who was the founder of the exercise system but because we know so much  about physiology and anatomy and how the body should be moving and developing, all the matwork exercises are modern and bang up to date for the 21st century. The music is relaxing, and the group is very small and friendly, so everyone is made to feel welcome. If you would like to find out more you can contact me on07739721549, or via email at [email protected] or come along on any Wednesday during term-time and try a free taster session

    Extend - Thursdays 9.45am – 10.45am. Exercise for Health classes are for people who wish to stay flexible in their body and mind. We use music with our movements, little balls and beanbags, sticks and stretch bands, scarves and canes to enhance the exercises – both sitting and standing.  We often close the class with 10 minutes of tai chi and have lots of fun and laughter. Most of us are 70-90, but young at heart. Thursdays 11-12. Gentle exercise for Health. The same as above but for those with slightly less flexibility and for those aged from 50-90. Standing exercises only. 

    Tai Chi and Tai Chi beginners - Tai Chi classes on Friday mornings, at 9am and also 10.30am. Taiji Quan is taichi chuan rendered in the Pinyin system of spelling Chinese which has replaced the more familiar Wade-Giles system previously used. Yang family style taiji quan has enjoyed a high reputation as a martial art and general health and exercise regime for more than a century and its origins are far older. It involves moving through a series of specific postures at a slow constant pace without tension in the body or limbs. It seeks to achieve a harmonious state of being, between movement and stillness. People continue to practice taiji because taiji:

    ·      gently exercises the entire body

    ·      improves balance and coordination

    ·      strengthens muscles, joints, organs and bones

    ·      soothes and relaxes the body and the mind

    ·      helps prevent illness and heal injuries

    ·      enhances and regulates natural vitality

    There are no belts, gradings, certificates and so forth, students advance at their own pace. Everyone is welcome and everyone can benefit from taiji quan.

    Zumba - A calorie-burning exercise class that's more like a party! Tone up and have fun moving to Salsa, Samba, Merengue, Rumba, Mambo and more! Light weight, comfortable clothing and flat shoes or trainers are ideal. Don't forget to bring water and a SMILE. Classes £4,50 each. Contact Gill Hamer 07740 835673 Email [email protected] or on Facebook Zumbashropshire

    Fancy having a go at any of those? Come on down to Stretton and give it a whirl!

    best wishes,



    Sophie Eades
  • How to Create a Brand Identity
    21 Jun 2018

    Your brand identity is an imperative part to any marketing campaign you create. Without strong branding, your company does not have a clear message or persona that customers and users alike can use to remember who you are. With the right branding, you can create a memorable persona that conveys not just your name, but your company’s tone and even your message. From your logo to your design, your branding must be cohesive, beautiful, and memorable. To find creative and effective branding, you need to follow these steps:  

    What is Your Message

    Before you can worry about what design choices you will make, you first need to narrow down your brand’s message. Your branding, after all, should convey who you are as a company, and for that, you will need to narrow down your message so that you can check at every stage of the process that your design choices reflect that message. If your brand’s message is happiness, or for a green world, stick with that. The message does not need to be long, but it must be reflected in your branding.

    What is Your Tone

    If your message is more complicated, then you will also need to choose your tone. If your brand’s message is to bring happiness to your customers, then you already have your tone chosen. If, on the other hand, your message is more complicated, like effective and easy migration to cloud computing, then choosing a tone is necessary to help you combine design with your message. For example, you will want to convey a digital, futuristic tone that can help tell your audience what your company does without words.

    What Design Choices Convey These Ideas

    Now that you know the message and tone, it’s time to choose the colours and symbols that will convey these ideas to others. Lightning symbols can convey power or speed, the sun is used to convey happiness, and so on. Colour and symbols play a huge role in how we communicate, so use these to your advantage.

    Translate Your Design to Different Spaces

    Your brand identity can not just be found in your marketing tools, but in different spaces like your stores and even your office spaces as well. Depending on your company’s size, this could mean completely building an office space from the ground up like the Google or Amazon headquarters, or it could mean hiring to redesign the office space you have to better your employees’ experience at work. Your employees need to be cared for, and by integrating functional design with your company’s branding, you can better their experience and help them feel proud of where they work. Pride, after all, is critical to ensuring that your employees associate your success as their own.

    Creating your brand identity is the first step to becoming recognizable. When you go through the effort to do more with your brand identity than just choose a logo, you can create instant and powerful connections wherever you go.

    Pete White
  • Forthcoming music concerts at The Wightman Theatre will highlight local and international talent
    14 Jun 2018

    Tickets are now on sale for two music concerts at The Wightman Theatre taking place over the coming month.

    The first, on Friday 22 June, features Shrewsbury based singer Libby Gliksman. Libby, who has been singing and since the age of 16, has built an excellent local reputation performing her versions of timeless classics from the likes of Adele, Joan Armatrading, Etta James, Norah Jones and Sam Smith at venues and events throughout the county such as Shrewsbury Food Festival. In 2017, she was nominated for a What’s On magazine Readers’ Award. Accompanied by her pianist Dean Ames, this is Libby’s third  concert at The Wightman, the previous two of which both sold out. 

    The second, on Sunday 01 July, and in conjunction with Fish Records, is American singer/songwriter Jonathan Byrd. Byrd grew up singing in the Southern Baptist church where his father preached and his mother played piano. After four years in the Navy, he returned to home to play in rock bands. After ten years as a full-time touring songwriter and seven acclaimed albums, and frequent tours of the UK and Europe, including two appearances at Shrewsbury Folk Festival, he is finally gaining a well-deserved recognition. Jonathan Byrd will be accompanied by The Pickup Cowboy aka Johnny Waken and supported by Luke Jackson.

    Doors open for both concerts at 7pm and tickets are £15 for Libby Gliksman on 22 June and £14 advance (£18 on the door) for Jonathan Byrd on 01 July, available to book online at or through the theatre’s box office by telephoning 01743 290704.

    Pictures: Libby Gliksman; Jonathan Byrd; Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboy.

    Neville Street
  • University Centre Shrewsbury students step forward to support Flaxmill restoration work
    20 Jun 2018
    Students Caitlin Osborne (on left) and Bethany Maddock, at the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings.

    Students from University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) are playing a part in the regeneration of one of the town’s most iconic and the world’s most important historic buildings.

    History undergraduates and postgraduates are volunteering their time to support the National Lottery-funded restoration of the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings - known as ‘the grandparent of all skyscrapers’.

    Second year Caitlin Osborne, third years Bethany Maddock and James Hingley, and postgraduate Zach Ploszay are carrying out research which will help to ensure that the public’s thoughts and ideas are at the forefront of its multi-million pound redevelopment. 

    Derelict for decades, the Maltings’ Office and Stables, converted in recent years with funding received from the European Regional Development Fund, are now an interactive visitor and education centre, run by the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings. A partnership led by site owners Historic England is now restoring the 1797 Grade I listed Main Mill and Grade II listed 1898 Kiln thanks to £20.7 million from the National Lottery. The refurbishment will include the creation of a new interpretation and learning space and café on the ground floor of the Main Mill; space for commercial use on the upper floors; and improved accessibility across the site.

    The Flaxmill Maltings are currently open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The UCS students talked to visitors on Saturday June 9, and will be again on Saturday June 23. They are gaining people’s views on what they would like to see in the new interpretation and learning spaces, including their feedback on the current displays, and which aspects of the stories and themes they find most appealing.

    Tom Williams, History and Archaeology Lecturer at UCS, said: “We are thrilled to be able to contribute in a small way to the work to save and restore this remarkable piece of the industrial revolution.

    “Hands-on experience such as this is an integral part of courses at UCS. It is important that we go outside our learning and research centre and contribute to local projects. Our history and heritage degrees blend theory and practice, with opportunities to participate in research projects with real life outputs, in this case helping to ensure that the Flaxmill is a place that everyone can be proud to live, work and play in.”

    Student Caitlin Osborne said: “It’s great to talk to visitors to gain their views on the Flaxmill. The redevelopment work is bringing such an important building back to life - and by getting involved in such research we can bring our studies to life.”

    Alan Mosley, Chair of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings said: “Our centre has proved popular with local people and visitors to the area alike since its opening in late 2015. 

    “We are now working closely with the expert consultants at Headland Design Associates and making great progress in planning a wonderful exhibition/interpretation centre, which we will manage, and café on the ground floors of the Main Mill and Kiln.

    “The survey work by UCS students will be invaluable in ensuring that the finished product reflects both what the public want and the international importance of the first iron framed building in the world.”

    Alastair Godfrey, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Project Lead, Historic England said: “It’s fantastic that University Centre Shrewsbury and its students are supporting the project to restore the Flaxmill. 

    “Firstly, working with local organisations is crucial to the success of this project and this is a great example of how these local partnerships are helping to shape the future of this world-class building. It is also giving young people skills and experience through our Heritage Skills programme, funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, which we hope will support the students’ studies and employment prospects. We look forward to seeing the results of this valuable work and we thank the students and UCS for their involvement.”

    For further information on UCS, go to:,,, call 01743 297185 or email [email protected].

    More details on Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings are available at:

  • Shropshire Fire Officers Charity Work beyond the call of duty
    21 Feb 2013


    A senior Shropshire fire officer is to be recognised with a national award for helping to equip and train some of the poorest firefighters in Europe.

    Assistant Chief Fire Officer Steve Worrall has been praised for his “inspirational” leadership in organising a series of county visits to the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania in the last several years.

    Off duty firefighters and staff from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service have transported a vast range of essential equipment – including eleven fire engines – to remote fire brigades, some of which were still using pre-Second World War equipment.

    Steve, a fire officer for almost 30 years, was prompted to act after witnessing the poor state of many of the rural and city brigades in Eastern Europe.

    Tomorrow (Wednesday) he will receive the newly launched “Beyond the Call of Duty” award from Fire Magazine.

    The overseas aid initiative was initially sponsored through European Commission Grant Aid but in recent years has been funded through a range of sponsorship and charity events run throughout Shropshire by fire and rescue staff.

    They were also inundated with equipment after sending out an appeal to UK brigades for redundant fire appliances, fire kit, rescue equipment and smoke alarms. The teams Steve has led have donated equipment, replaced pre-war Russian fire engines and swapped their overalls for proper fire kit and provided specialist fire-fighting and rescue training.

    In a remote villages in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania they trained local volunteer firefighters in modern road traffic collision extrication techniques and provided education in the use of smoke alarms.  In Poland and Bulgaria they replaced old ‘cold-war’ fire engines and trained firefighters in how to use modern ladders and firefighting equipment.

    A total of four fire engines were delivered by Shropshire fire and rescue staff to Transylvania last October in support of the Prince of Wales Romanian based charity – The Mihai Eminescu Trust.  Each trip is unique with a mixed array of staff from across the service using their free time and holidays to prepare the vehicles and take part in the journey.


    On each trip, Steve encouraged teams to visit and help local charities. They visited children's homes and old peoples' care centres and raised thousands of pounds to give further help on their return.

    Car washes, cake stalls, promise auctions and raffles raised enough money to give Christmas presents to children in five orphanages in Bulgaria and Romania and also every resident in an elderly person’s home in Transylvania - the first time many had received presents for more than a decade.

    Shrewsbury Town Football Club donated football shirts for children and villagers in Bulgaria and Romania. Shropshire businesses sponsored the cost of transporting the fire engines.

    “These journeys have also been experiences of a lifetime for many of our staff, forming teams and friendships that make our service stronger,” said Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond.

    “Steve's charity work goes beyond the call of duty. He has made a real difference.”


    Steve Worrall (front right)with colleagues delivering gifts to Romanian children at an orphanage.

  • Shrewsbury Nudist Festival Given Go Ahead
    01 Apr 2016

    The town is to hold its first nudist festival this August, the Quarry based event will be held a week after the Shrewsbury Flower Show and hopes to draw similar crowds.

    Event organiser Frederic Ramsbottom has high expectations for the festival “We commissioned a top London market research company while conducting our feasibility study for the event, they concluded that around 40% of visitors to the Flower Show are also nudists. If we can attract these people then I expect it to be a great success!”

    There will be many nudist friendly activities planned for the festival including plant potting, finger painting, welding and paint balling. A local sausage provider will be providing food for the festival stating their range comes in all shapes and sizes.

    “We’ve something for everyone and encourage people to come and hang out with us,” added Frederic.

    The event being so close to the Flower Show will use all of the existing infrastructure and specialist heaters will be installed in the tents incase of a cold spell.

    Frederic hopes to get the entire town involved, “We’re thinking beyond what we can do in the Quarry, for instance we are installing lockers in the entrance to the Market Hall so that people can browse the stalls naked. We’re encouraging local restaurants to allow diners to eat in the buff, hopefully people will even ride the bus starkers”

    The “only wear a smile” event costs £11 for adults, children go free.

    Update: This is an April fools, hope you enjoyed.

    Pete White
  • Loch Ness Monster of Shrewsbury Spotted in River Severn
    01 Apr 2015

    Alarmed residents of Shrewsbury reacted in terror when a 'large' reptile was spotted along the river banks over the past few days. Dubbed the 'Loch Ness Monster of Shrewsbury' the beast is said to be between 1 and 50 meters long with at least two eyes and 1 mouth.

    Police have asked locals to stay calm and have called on national monster expert Douglas Jones to investigate, he commented "While it is rare for such animals to swim this far up a river, the high tides earlier in the year may have encouraged the reptile to do just that. Alternatively the monster may have been asleep, waiting to be awoken, like in the film Godzilla."

    The river creature was first spotted on the 26th of March, the same day the town was reported as having the healthiest high street, a coincidence perhaps? Douglas thinks not "The brook barbarian is likely also a healthy eater, or could just be pissed off at Top Gear or One Direction for all I know".

    It's believed the beast is a carnivore and is unlikely to have a taste for humans though its been advised that if you see it to stay well clear.

    Pete White
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