The top articles currently trending on Love Shrewsbury.

  • 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
  • How to Design a Kids' Room that They Will Love
    02 Aug 2017

    When you first bring home your new bundle of joy, chances are you've already created a beautiful nursery for them to call their own. And while this room is perfect for them at this stage, there comes a point when your little one is ready for the next step in bedroom décor. If you’re well past due on creating that big kids room, and you’re looking for some design inspiration, you’ll appreciate these tips on how to create a kids’ room they will love.

    Choose the Right Theme

    One of the ways you can go about designing that perfect space for your child is to pick a theme, but remember it has to be the right theme. It’s best to think about the child’s interests, hobbies, and their personality.

    Perhaps your child is a big sports fan. If that’s the case, then it’s a natural and fun theme to go with. You can deck the room out in sports memorabilia from sites such as Nike NFL UK. You can even get creative and do things such as shadow boxes for jerseys and gloves, frames for trading cards and posters, and even stands for things such as a prized football.

    Choosing the right theme will make all the difference in the world and will help to personalize the space.

    Don't Hold Back on the Bedding

    Where you may be inclined to choose bedding that is more neutral and subdued for your own room, for a kid’s room it's go big or go home. The bedding is the perfect spot to go bold with colors, textures, and patterns. Don’t be afraid to mix and match and really get creative with the look. You can always pick a more neutral paint color if you don’t want the room looking too busy.

    Give Them Multi-Functional Storage

    Of course, from a practical standpoint, storage is an absolute must in any child’s room. With that said, there’s no reason it can’t be multi-functional. You can find beds with storage drawers, bench seating with storage under it, closet organizers that are great for clothing and toys, and convert a typical bookshelf into one that houses storage bins of different sizes and colors.

    Frame Their Art

    Instead of spending a fortune on framed pictures, why not take your child's own creations and frame them? Not only is this inexpensive, but your child will feel so proud seeing their own art framed on the wall. Once you choose a theme for the room, they can go ahead and create pictures that will work with the theme.

    Encourage Them to Be Involved

    The last tip is to encourage children to be involved in the process. This includes everything from picking the theme, to choosing the paint color, the bedding, and any accent pieces. Giving them the chance to share their own input will help ensure they are happy with the final design. Chances are high that the end result will be a room they feel comfortable and happy in, and can’t wait to spend their time in.

    Pete White
  • Shrewsbury apprentices set up an exciting new venture
    10 Aug 2018
    Shrewsbury Apprentices start exciting new venture

    Shane Heath and Chris Webster, two young apprentices working for Shrewsbury based IT specialists Shropshire ITC have turned a chat they had over a cup of coffee into a business opportunity by setting up and running their own website development department within the organisation.

    “Chris and I had seen our directors engage with large businesses across the county to develop detailed, complex websites and we thought that there might be a market for new start ups and sole traders who wanted to have access to good quality, well presented websites but weren’t looking to spend thousands of pounds at a time when their focus needed to be on funding their business” said Shane.

    Taking up the story Chris said “Without telling anyone what we were thinking, Shane and I spent a few weeks researching the market, looking at what options were out there for new businesses and developing what we believed was a very attractive proposition to put before our directors”.

    “Both Vince and Mike have always encouraged us to be forward thinking and to look for areas where we can add value to our customers so when we approached them with our proposal we were hopeful that they would give it the green light”.

    “However we were blown away by their response, not only did they take a great interest in our proposal to supply start up websites to local businesses for a fixed rate, they actively encouraged us with advice, training and even supplied us with a number of potential clients to approach”

    Mike Minton takes up the story “Both myself and Vince were deeply impressed by the work that Shane and Chris had put into their proposal and we loved the idea of them building a self sufficient department from scratch”.

    “Whilst we have offered some support and advice, the biggest thing we felt we could do for this fledgling venture was to allow them to run with the project. In the space of 3 weeks since they made their presentation they have identified a number of possible clients and have already sold and delivered 3 websites and have a few more in the pipeline for the coming weeks”

    “By working closely with their clients, Chris and Shane have delivered high quality websites that have delighted their customers and are now able to use these websites as the portfolio that they can show to potential new clients”

    “In what is an extremely competitive market place, Shropshire ITC are rightly proud that two young apprentices have taken this project from inception to some success in such a short space of time. We believe that their hard work and rapidly growing skill sets mean that their web development project is going to go from strength to strength”

    The last word should go to Shane “Although we are both young and relatively inexperienced in the business world, we believe that our hard work and attention to detail will mean that we can continue to offer high quality websites at extremely competitive prices to local business. If anyone wishes to speak to us about their requirements then they can contact us at [email protected] and we would be delighted to have a chat with them”


  • Betton Abbots landfill site
    12 Dec 2014
    Betton Abbots Landfill site

    The Councils old tip on the outskirts of Shrewsbury, Betton Abbots landfill site, is now decommissioned and the 'asset' (some would say liability) has been passed over to (formed Council-owned firm) Shropshire Waste Management Ltd. which is now owned by the multinational civil engineering firm SITA

    Throughout the later part of the 20th century, the old dump acted as the central hub for disposal of municipal refuse from the town of Shrewsbury and the surrounding area.   Year after year tens of thousands of tonnes of black bag waste and all manner of material which these days is banned from landfill was squashed up and buried in the ground here. 

    In the late 1990's a survey carried out by SWM for the extension of the landfill demonstrated that the geology beneath the site is primarily sandstone, which contains a major aquifer.  Environment Agency guidance, based on the requirements of the EU Landfill Directive, precludes the authorisation of any new landfill sites located on major aquifers unless substantial low permeable barriers such as certain types of clay protect them.  This does not exist at Betton Abbots and as a consequence the site would never have been granted an environmental permit needed to operate waste facilities.

    In addition to the pollution control issues, there were outstanding planning issues before the site could be considered for further importation of waste materials, these related mainly to the provision of a new road into the site.  As such the site became unviable and so more sustainable ways of managing the towns waste have been developed. 

    Since 2005 the site has been dormant and has been capped off with clay and reseeded.  However the site still has an aftercare programme in place and regular sampling of groundwater and methane gas levels is undertaken to make sure pollution does not spread from the site. 

    The site is being put to some good use though - not just by the farmer who grazes the site but by local (Cheshire based) green energy specialists Energos who have developed a system of pipes to capture the landfill gas being given off here.  The gas (which is mainly methane) is burned on site to create electricity for the national grid yielding some 2,694 MWh per annum - enough for about 700 homes - and this saves around 800 tonnes of CO2 each year (by reducing the need for fossil fueled electricity generation).  Of course this resource wont last forever though – once all that food waste, paper and other organic refuse which was buried there all those years ago finishes rotting away there wont be enough gas to make it worthwhile - but the gas levels at the site have been modelled to have another 15 years or so left. 

    James Thompson
  • Latest Report Claims Half of Us Don't Have a Valid Will
    13 Jan 2016

    With news this week that over half of the UK population does not have a valid will in place, a local solicitor is urging Shropshire residents of the importance of ensuring that their affairs are fully in order.

    “It’s a worrying statistic that more than 50% of individuals are putting their assets, and loved ones, at risk simply from not having a valid will drawn up,” Pauline Davies of PCB Solicitors said.

    “Where a person dies and they have no will, or where their will is invalid, it is the legal system which decides who should inherit their assets, and not the individual’s closest family members as many believe.  This means that those who the individual intended to benefit from their death could ultimately be at very real risk of losing out.

    “Having an up-to-date will is always important to ensure that an individual’s final wishes are satisfied, but it is particularly vital for those who aren’t married or in a civil partnership, and of course where children are concerned.  Any surviving partner who isn’t legally joined to the deceased has no automatic right to inherit, and neither too do dependent children.”

    The latest figures coincide with an announcement by the Law Commission that from next month they are going to be undertaking a comprehensive three year review of the law relating to wills to take account of recent changes and advancements in social norms, technology and medicine. The reforms will aim to reduce the number of wills being challenged and to make it easier to rectify mistakes after a person’s death. They will also address the formalities required for a valid will, and the matter of mutual wills, with full recommendations expected in 2019.

    “I would urge anyone who does not have a valid will in place and who wants to ensure that those they love are looked after and protected after their passing to get in touch with a member of our dedicated team to find out more.” Pauline concluded.

    PCB Solicitors LLP is a modern partnership, with offices in Shrewsbury, Broseley, Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Knighton, Ludlow, Telford, and Worcester. While they have origins back to 1860, the firm is forward-looking and offers a full range of legal advice for both individuals and businesses, including property, family advice and childcare matters, wills, trusts, probate and estate planning, accident and personal injury, litigation, criminal law and corporate and business law.


  • Shrewsbury Town Council and The British Ironwork Centre create a spectacular display.
    03 Jul 2014

    Leaders from Shrewsbury Town Council have harnessed the support of the British Ironwork Centre in the creation of spectacular displays to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.  The project, which will span a 5 year period, will see the creation of beautiful displays throughout Shrewsbury and in particular the Dingle within the town's Quarry Park.

    Shrewsbury Town Clerk Helen Ball and the Town's Operations manager, Gary Farmer recently visited the Centre and were offered unreserved support for anything they would need to create wonderfully themed displays within the town's famous Dingle site.

    During the next five years, the Town Council for Shrewsbury will create imaginative, dramatic and thought provoking displays that will be revitalized each year on a theme linked to the stages, periods and topics within the First World War.  Many important periods will be marked, commencing with the outbreak of war through to the Soldiers' homecoming at its end.
    Town Council Officials were delighted to see the wealth of possibilities within the armoury of statues and exhibits on display at the Ironwork Centre which generated a great deal of imaginative thinking and discussion.

    Mr Clive Knowles, Chairman of the Centre, said "This is a great opportunity for us to work together to create something spectacular that visitors to the Dingle will enjoy all year round.  We're delighted to be able to help."

    Pete White
  • RAF leader visits Shropshire school pupils
    27 Oct 2015

    Bosses at a Shropshire RAF base have enjoyed a visit to a ‘vibrant’ and ‘industrious’ school in order to continue a close working relationship.

    Group Captain Jason Appleton, the new station commander at RAF Shawbury, visited Thomas Adams School in Wem to meet the staff and pupils and learn more about how the two institutions work together.

    He said the visit, his first since he took up the post in August this year, was a huge success.

    He said: “This was my first visit to Thomas Adams School since taking over as Station Commander at RAF Shawbury and I very much enjoyed the tour and meeting the head teacher and staff.
    “It was a pleasure to visit such a vibrant and industrious school.
    “We have always enjoyed close links with Thomas Adams, with over 70 children from the RAF Shawbury community attending; we regularly support the school with career initiatives such as their recent Red, White and Blue Day which give the children the opportunity to develop their understanding of the Armed Forces and the potential career choices.”

    Along with Wing Commander Neil Hope and Gail Moore of the RAF Shawbury community team, Group Captain Appleton toured the school in Lowe Hill Road, met staff and sat in on a few lessons.

    The visit on Monday (Oct 19) followed a series of initiatives in the past which have seen pilots from RAF Shawbury give talks to pupils, helicopters being landed on the school field and RAF personnel take part in and visit school events.

    A number of pupils who attend Thomas Adams School are from military families and head teacher Liz Dakin said it is a vital link which they work hard to maintain.

    She said: “This is the sort of visit that our pupils really look forward to and enjoy.

    “It is an inspiration for them to meet a member of the RAF and hear them speak about their job.

    “We also have a lot of forces children at the school and they enjoy hearing about their parent’s jobs too.
    “We are very pleased that Group Captain Appleton could make the time in his busy schedule to come along and tour our school, we look forward to working together in any way we can in the future.”

  • Busy Bees children's nursery welcomes Mayor of Shrewsbury to celebrate its apprentices
    16 Jun 2016

    Busy Bees nursery in Shrewsbury was thrilled to welcome the mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Ioan Jones, on Wednesday 15th June. The Mayor spent the afternoon talking to the fabulous apprentices at the nursery as well as watching them in their work. He then was taken on a guided tour of the nursery and enjoyed observing all the different learning enhancements and fun activities the children were experiencing.

    Casey White, Sherie King and Cally Roberts are three apprentices that are excelling at Busy Bees nursery in Shrewsbury. Casey recently completed her Level 3 in Leadership and Management, which is just one of the variety of apprenticeship courses run and facilitated by the Busy Bees Training Academy. Since completing her Level 3, Casey has also been promoted to assistant room manager. After meeting the nursery staff and children, Councillor Ioan Jones was introduced to several learning enhancements designed and championed by Busy Bees, such as Babble to Chatter, an enhancement to improve language and communication development, and Shake and Write, an enhancement to lay the foundations for early writing for pre-school children.

    Head Chef, Patricia Morgan, also cooked up some lovely dishes and treats for the Mayor to taste to showcase some of the fabulous nutritious and delicious meals the children eat during their nursery years. Dishes such as a vegetable pasta and salad, a Summer flan and an allergen-free chocolate cake that afforded Busy Bees the Soil Association Silver Award for their commitment to providing food that is free from harmful additives, responsibly sourced and easily traced.

    Commenting on his time at the nursery, Councillor Ioan Jones, the mayor of Shrewsbury, said: “I had a rewarding day at the nursery and it was great to meet the apprentices. It was really pleasing to see how well Casey, Sherie and Cally are progressing and I was particularly impressed with the support that each and every apprentice receives at Busy Bees. “I think it’s extremely important that young people in the region are being given promising career opportunities and it was a brilliant day out.” Jill Beckett, nursery manager at Busy Bees on Shrewsbury Business Park, said: “Casey, Sherie and Cally are exceptional examples of childcare practitioners.

    They have a drive and a desire to succeed in the industry and provide better outcomes for our children. The children at the nursery absolutely adore them and their energy and passion are infectious and magnetic. I have no doubt that they will continue to be a success in the future and we want to continue to create learning opportunities and career progression through a continual programme of in-house training and mentoring.”

  • Skoda Citigo Monte Carlo
    16 Sep 2016


       The top step of the Monte Carlo Rally winner’s podium may have thus-far proved elusive for Skoda, despite many a valiant effort, but nevertheless numerous class wins in other equally arduous events - reliability meant that long before the Czech manufacturer became part of the VW group they took the under-1300cc trophy for seventeen years running in what was once known as the Lombard RAC – ensures that Skoda has a history of success in world rallying that rivals the very best of them.

        In a bid to celebrate such things Skoda put a Monte Carlo badge on their previous generation Fabia. Next they applied same sporty-looks but not so sporty running-costs formula their hugely popular Yeti cross-over. Now it’s the turn of their Citigo city-car to get such treatment.

         With its chequered door and boot decals, blacked-out grille and equally dark 15” alloys, plus a black front splitter, boot spoiler, and under-bumper rear diffuser, the Citigo Monte Carlo certainly looks a lot more sportier than the altogether more sober looking Citigo SE upon which it’s based (and commands an approximate £1,500 premium over). It sits lower, by 15mm, on stiffer suspension and there’s a flat-bottomed dimpled leather steering wheel, a gloss-black dashboard and some very racy striped seats on the inside too. But, although you get more flash for your cash, you certainly don’t get more dash.

        Available as a 5 speed manual only the Citigo Monte Carlo is powered by a 3-cylinder 1.0 litre motor that has a peak power output of just 59bhp. As result there’s both good and bad news. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: The 0-62 benchmark takes a near calendar-worthy 14.9 seconds so any overtaking must be very carefully planned, so too must the ascent of any steep gradients. Also, whilst I’m being picky, the Citigo’s fronts seats don’t return to where you’ve set them if you fold them forward to access the rears. That’s a little something that could soon become really annoying on the school-run.

        The good news: Even if you drive the Citigo as if your pants are on fire you’ll rarely ever see less than 50mpg; drive more conservatively and you’ll get closer to 60. The annual road tax is just £20.

        In fact there’s even more good news that just that. Because the Citigo is virtually identical (both visibly and mechanically) to Volkswagen’s Up, it not only feels bombproof – everything you touch, switches, indicator stalks, heater knobs etc. etc. feels like it’ll last lifetime – it also manages to feel far bigger on the inside than it actually is. There’s room for four six-footers – just, the deep boot will swallow a couple of cabin sized suitcases or a pair of weekend bags, the driving position is such that you feel like you’re actually sitting in the Citigo rather than on it (a plight that bugs many a city-car) and once up to speed it’s both quiet and feels like it could sustain such things all-day long without complaint. The grippy chassis, light controls, slick-shifting gearbox and compliant ride will work with you in your bid to attain such things without you having to resort to complaint too.

        You also get Air-con, an MP3/CD player, twin airbags, remote locking, power windows, and Skoda’s excellent Portable Infotainment Device as standard which is basically a bespoke Garmin satnav that sits atop the dash and displays the satnav, trip-computer, rev-counter and water temperature gauges and incorporates Bluetooth connectivity.

       You will have to adjust your mirrors manually though, there’s no spare wheel as standard, and if you want a DAB you’ll have find an extra £155.  But’s that’s hardly deal-breaking stuff. £10,670 bags you a Citigo Monte Carlo, compared Suzuki’s similarly Celerio that, at first appears expensive, whereas compared to Fiat’s 500 the Citigo’s asking price looks like remarkable value; in either case the Skoda is the better built car.  Without question, the Citigo’s right up there with the leaders of its class.



    Skoda Citigo Monte Carlo

    Engine: 999 cc, 3Cyl, 12V petrol

    Transmission: 5 speed Manual. Front wheel drive

    Power: 59 bhp @ 5,000 rpm

    Torque:  70 lbft @ 3,000 – 4,300 rpm

    0-62mph: 14.4 sec

    Max Speed: 99 mph

    MPG:  62.8 combined.

    CO2: 105 g/km

    Price: from £10,670 (as tested £10,825)


    Many thanks to Clare at Skoda’s UK press office for the loan of the Citigo


    Liam Bird
  • Reviive installs its free-to-play piano in The Market Hall Shrewsbury
    21 Jun 2017

    Shropshire recycling and resale organisation Reviive has installed its free-to-play piano on the second floor in The Market Hall Shrewsbury.

    Based on an idea originated by the worldwide Street Pianos organisation, the aim is to encourage budding musicians to showcase their talents while at the same time entertain the public. The upcycled piano, donated to Reviive in 2015, was previously located in Shrewsbury Shopping Centre and Cineworld cinema.

    The official launch of the installation will take place at midday on Saturday 01 July, when shoppers will be entertained by pianist Adam Knight, singer Libby Gliksman and friends.

    Julie Hotchkiss, retail manager at Reviive, said: “So far, we’ve had the piano in some interesting venues and thanks to the support and cooperation of Kate Gittins at The Market Hall, we think this will be the best yet. Our street piano is a creative and fun way for people to share music, whether playing on their own, with a few friends as a small acoustic band or even with an accompanying choir.”

    Kate Gittins, facilities manager at The Market Hall Shrewsbury said: “Installing a street piano adds yet another dimension to our venue and can only enhance its reputation as one of the most eclectic and interesting places to shop in Shrewsbury and we look forward to hearing some super music, from the vast array of talent we have in the town, over the coming months.”

    1 (left to right) Kate Gittins, facilities manager, The Market Hall Shrewsbury,  Julie Hotchkiss, retail manager, Reviive, Libby Gliksman, singer and Adam Knight, pianist.
    2 (clockwise from the back): Adam Knight, pianist, Julie Hotchkiss, retail manager, Reviive, Kate Gittins, facilities manager, The Market Hall Shrewsbury and Libby Gliksman, singer.

    Neville Street
  • Paint spray booth provides finishing touch at Morris Joinery
    03 Aug 2017

    A Shrewsbury business specialising in bespoke traditional and contemporary joinery has invested in a state-of-the-art paint spray booth to provide a fully finished decoration service for its customers and other joinery professionals.

    Morris Joinery installed the facility at its Bicton Business Park workshop so that doors, windows, furniture and other items it makes by hand can be supplied ready painted or lacquered with a quality factory finish.

    The move follows growing requests from architects and clients for the service, which will also be made available to fellow joinery professionals in the region.

    Steve Granda, Morris Joinery Manager, said: “We have a skilled team of craftsmen and pride ourselves on the quality of our work. In keeping with this approach, the spray booth will allow us to offer an accompanying high quality paint finish for all our joinery.”

    Staff have been fully trained to use the purpose-built booth. It is a fully enclosed, temperature-controlled and dust-free environment. The paint can be applied in a controlled way to ensure a more consistent, superior long lasting finish. It is also a more time efficient process than if applied by hand.

    After the joinery is sprayed it is transferred to an adjacent drying room to be fully cured.

    Steve added: “More and more people are asking for a fully finished service which is why we have made this significant investment. We can also provide any colour they want. The trend for painted furniture is growing in popularity so we can respond to this too.”

    Morris Joinery, a well-established family business, offers a full range of commercial and domestic services.

    For more information visit or call 0345 515 0097.

  • Daniel Kawczynski attends China Business Conference with Local Firm
    16 Jan 2014

    Daniel Kawczynski, Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury and Atcham  has given his support to Shrewsbury based Red Step Marketing in a bid to secure on-going trade with China.

    Daniel and representatives from Red Step Marketing attended the China Business Conference at Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre yesterday [14 January 2014] which had been organised by The China-Britian Business Council.   Over 500 hundred entrepreneurs listened to dignatories from China and the UK  on the importance of trade with China, both now and in the future.

    The conference was endorsed by Prime Minister, David Cameron who said that China’s transformation is one of the defining facts of our lifetime, and that Britain was very much open for business and investment from China.
    Red Step Marketing who are based in St Julian’s Friars in Shrewsbury  have been offering marketing expertise to Chinese manufacturers for the past two years and are a good example of how local businesses can expand by exporting their goods and services. 
    Daniel said:
    “I am passionate about assisting local businesses within my constituency to break into overseas markets and China clearly offers a good number of opportunities . I have been working very closely with UK Trade and Investment to make sure they are supporting Shropshire firms to venture abroad and I am pleased that Red Step Marketing have taken advantage of those opportunities and seen their business grow as a result.

    Chris Allen, Project Director for Red Step Marketing said:
    “Attending a conference such as this is vital to understand the overseas market in which we operate.  I found it invaluable to help us shape and improve our export strategy and make new business contacts.  To see Daniel supporting Shrewsbury businesses in this way is of great benefit, and his backing for us as a company is very much appreciated.”

    Pete White
  • W2W funding for Walford College...
    28 Jul 2015

    Students at a north Shropshire college are to benefit in transport costs and support following funding from The Prince’s Countryside Fund, secured and administered by Shropshire Rural Communities Charity’s Wheels-2-Work scheme.

    The funding will help agricultural apprentices at Walford College, near Baschurch, registered on the vocational Mixed Heritage Skills Programme, which includes game keeping, construction – such as dry-stone walling - and general countryside management.

    Programme co-ordinator for Walford College, Catriona Learmont, said: “The two-year scheme will provide six students with scooters or electric bikes and will give course participants an opportunity to attend where previously they would not have been able to get to and from the college.

    “There is also limited funding to assist students who can drive a grant for vehicle repair or to get cars back on the road, to enable them to attend.

    “We are delighted that the W2W scheme has secured these funds to support people living in rural areas as transport is a major factor. This funding will provide them with a perfect opportunity for further education and a very positive outlook and prospects towards their future careers.”

    Davina Allen, of Shropshire RCC, added: “We expect people to start benefitting from help when they enrol in September and hopefully the scheme will help encourage a new generation of young people to live and work in Shropshire’s beautiful countryside.”

    Anybody interested in the W2W scheme should visit or contact [email protected]

    Pictured:  Davina Allen and Catriona Learmont, with herd manager Alex Beeston and Bambi.

  • 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.

  • Panto Reigns Supreme At Theatre Severn
    18 Dec 2015

    Dick Whittington

    Theatre Severn

    2nd December 2015-10th January 2016


    Oh my. If you want a masterclass in traditional family fun panto then go and see this one.

    Lavish, lavish, lavish from cast to props to scenery to script. The whole thing is beautifully hilarious. Each year this show seems to get better and better.

    Brad Fitt is always excellent as the archetypical lovable dame. This year is no exception to that rule. Whether it  is the brilliant dazzling wit born out of quick thinking or just the complete look, the outfit and hair, he, (Yes children, I am sorry he is a man!) is brilliant. Proving that a show doesn’t have to be filled with double entendre to make it acceptable to grown-ups,  Brad played the whole audience like his own orchestra. They loved him and the passion he has for perfection makes this one of the best pantomime Dame performances you may ever get to see. He is second to no-one and his talent shines so brightly.

    But BBC Radio Shropshire’s own Eric Smith was once again wonderfully entertaining as the lovable  Baron Fitzwarren. Normally when Dick is banished from London, directors tend to turn the Barron a little mean and cruel. He ignores his Daughter’s helpless pleas and accuses Dick of stealing; and so many see this as a reason to play the Barron a little mean and villainy. None of it in this performance. The kids seemed to love him as did the grown-ups. Eric finds the right level and is again, so good.

    Dick Whittington played by Josh James was a lesson for all on Panto acting.  Actions, reactions and even the very presence on stage of any  panto character is governed in relatively tight conventions.  Josh ticked every box and gave a sterling performance as a result.

    Female lead Jemma Carlisle brought a touch of beauty onto the stage in her role as Alice Fitzwarren; the one destined to marry Dick when it all comes good in the end. The kids loved her and all cheered when finally they tie the knot!

    Panto Villain King Rat,  played by Darren Tough was cruel and wicked. In his own ratty mind he was determined to show he had talent too. But it was all too much when he and his rats tried to overrun   the ship that somehow worked its way into the narrative and was transporting the entire cast to Morocco.

    Darren Tough also gets a second mention for his great work on fight coordinating.

    His army of rats that doubled as dancers were wonderfu too.  With ages as young asaround seven. Such young talent adding their skills to the mix. It was great to see.

    Tramaine Wright was excellent as the Sultan. Sultan, what? You cry,  Isn’t this Dick Whittington?  Oh yes it is, but believes me it works. There are no rules governing how one may change the narrative to any of these pantos and it is fun when they do.

    So looking like he had worked out all his life, the half- naked Sultan certainly gave the ladies something to enjoy. What caught the keen audience member’s eyes is that Tramaine not only looked good but everything he did, he did with great commitment and conviction. Even if he was right at the back of the chorus dancing with a mop or lording as the Sultan he was everywhere and he was good.

    If you have tickets to see this show I will give no more away other to say be prepared to scream wih laughter at what is called “The Rocking Galley,” scene. It is comedy platinum! The funniest thing I have seen on stage for many years. Quite Brilliant.

    So this year, as every year, its hats off to all and no wonder ; take Paul Hendy the Writer,  Bradd Fitt the Director, and Rachel Chapman as Choreographer, and you will be left with a tour de ’force. A wonderfully colourful, creative and enchanting Pantomime.

    My star marker system that some may follow is based on the Edinburgh scale. No stars being appalling, five being wonderful. It is such a shame the star system doesn’t go any higher. It deserves a ten out of ten but instead it earns all I can bestow.

    This is a five star plus review.

    Have a wonderfully Happy Christmas and may your dreams and wishes come true in the brand new year.

    Owen J. Lewis   

    Owen Lewis
  • Have a luxury picnic around Shrewsbury’s finest spots
    29 Aug 2013

    There are many ways to celebrate life’s special moments, but on a warm summer day when the sky is blue, what could be more satisfying than a luxurious picnic? A combination of fresh air, fine food and just the right company, make it a guaranteed pleasure.

    A picnic like this is the ideal way to spend a romantic moment; an anniversary perhaps or even a marriage proposal. It’s a great way to surprise someone special on their birthday or to get together with friends for some relaxing time away from everyday concerns. In short, it’s the perfect opportunity to indulge.

    Making it special

    A luxury picnic is at its most satisfying when it has all the trappings. To begin with, there’s a picnic hamper or basket in which to carry everything; next there’s the picnic cloth for setting out all the crystal glasses and fine china plates, not forgetting the silver knives for spreading real butter, and spoons for dipping into preserves. A vase of fresh-cut flowers to sit at the centre of the spread adds a wonderful finishing touch.

    Essential foods

    The perfect picnic calls for perfect foods. Good bread is a must; avoid pre-packaged sandwiches and take a crusty loaf or two that can be sliced as required. It’s worth checking out the local delicatessen for fine quality jams in interesting flavours, which can of course also be spread on scones, along with clotted cream. Cold roast chicken goes down a treat, as do high quality salamis or Parma ham, while smoked salmon is also delicious. However, there’s still a place for old-fashioned picnic staples like sausage rolls and scotch eggs. For a tasty summer salad, try using a watercress base, adding red chard and then spicing it up with some rocket or mizuna. Olives, packed in oil, not brine; sun-dried tomatoes and cubes of feta cheese are the ideal garnish.

    Next, it’s time to get serious about cheese. Every picnic benefits from a good stilton or blacksticks blue, whilst golden cross is hard to beat for its sensuous ashy flavour. It might also be a good idea to pack something milder for those who prefer it; say a port salut or a Havarti, whilst strong traditional cheddar is the perfect complement to fresh apples, which ideally have been acquired from a farmers’ market. Berries are really the ideal picnic fruit; look for strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, redcurrants and cherries. Finally, there are the drinks; champagne or dry white wine for delicate palates, along with earthy Shropshire ale for those who like something punchier.

    Perfect picnic spots

    Shrewsbury is blessed with a number of locations ideal for a luxury picnic. It’s hard to beat the views in Attingham Park, though the grounds of Acton Burnell Castle are also delightful. The ancient majesty of Haughmond Abbey really adds something special to the ambience, while the dramatic landscape of nearby Hawkstone Park is just the thing for romantics. Whatever the location, a well-planned luxury picnic can deliver a celebration like no other - one to remember with pleasure for years to come.

    Pete White
  • Severnside celebrates the official opening of new homes in Abbey Foregate
    28 Nov 2016
    Paul Smith, Chair of Homes Board cutting the ribbon with customers at Glebe House, Shrewsbury

    A ribbon cutting ceremony was recently held to celebrate the completion of Severnside Housing’s new affordable homes at Glebe House, Horsefair, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury.

    Constructed on the site of a former plumbing business, Glebe House provides 27 large two bed apartments, built over three floors, with undercroft parking.  Specifically designed for customers over 55, the development cost £3.4m, which was part funded with Social Housing Grant from the Homes and Communities Agency.

    Paul Smith, Chair of Housing Board said “Severnside is extremely proud of the beautiful new affordable apartments at Glebe House built in the historical Abbey Foregate area of Shrewsbury by local builders Morris Property.  Our residents are delighted with their new spacious apartments and have found the undercroft secure car parking safe and convenient.”

    Customer, Gill Gilmore, who recently moved into Glebe House added “I really love my beautiful new apartment, which is extremely spacious.  When I first moved in I was a little home sick for Frankwell, having lived in a Severnside property there for 23 years.  However, I am now getting to know my lovely neighbours and finding it extremely convenient that all the local Shrewsbury amenities are on my doorstep.”

    Over 50 guests from the local community attended the event including residents who have recently moved in, parish and town councillors and contractors.  Guests enjoyed refreshments at the recently completed Drapers Place, built on the adjacent development site.

    Nick Wood, Shropshire Council said “Shropshire Council is delighted to see this impressive development open and occupied. The provision of quality housing that is affordable and helps to meet the varied housing needs of Shropshire’s residents is a Council priority and Severnside Housing have developed this superb scheme of 27 homes, for the over 55’s.”

    Steve Bowen, Contracts Manager at Morris Property Ltd added “We were always keen to work on local projects, and are delighted to work with Severnside Housing who offer a great service to the residents of Shropshire.”

  • Astons Kickboxing Medals Haul
    14 Nov 2016

    As the year draws to a close, members of the Shrewsbury based Team AKA continued to build upon the successes the club has enjoyed in 2016.

    Travelling to Worcester on Sunday 13th November, three members of the team competed at the prestigious WUMA British Open kickboxing competition.

    First up was Joanne Savage in the advanced ladies +70kg section. Fighting impressively from the outset Joanne first won her advanced section in fine fashion and then went through to the Grand Champions section.

    In a comfortable fight, Joanne was able to showcase the full range of her talents and was crowned WUMA British Open Ladies Champion at the +70kg weight.

    Pete Savage and Vince Dovey were both competing in the +85kg and Veterans categories and in both sections, they booked their places in the finals. After two extremely close and hard fought bouts, Vince secured two gold medals and Pete two silver medals, but both fights were nip and tuck and could have gone either way.

    Vince then went on to compete in the Grand Champions sections. Fighting first against a much more experienced competitor, Vince was unable to build on his previous performances and had to settle for a silver medal.

    Next up was the Grand Champions Veterans final and once again Vince was up against a fighter who had experience at World and European Championships. Although not able to beat his opponent, the fight was close and it was a creditable performance for Vince to secure another silver medal.

    Club owner and team trainer Chris Aston said “Once again I am incredibly proud of my students. Hard work and their dedication in training have paid off for Joanne, Pete and Vince and they have competed in a prestigious competition and brought home an impressive haul of medals for the club”.

    “Pete and Vince are both great competitors and are building a great reputation on the circuit for both their performances and their attitude at competitions. It is therefore very pleasing to see that their hard work continues to pay off in terms of medals and trophies”.

    “However I feel that a special mention should be made for Joanne’s performances of late. Joanne has struggled with a long-standing injury and has been working with incredible dedication to get back to the levels she knows she can achieve”

    “Over the last couple of weeks we have been lucky to be able to see Joanne get back on the mats at competitions and it was a very proud moment for everyone at the club when she was victorious at the WUMA competition” 

  • Six busy weeks of summer holiday fun lined up by Crossbar
    15 Jul 2016

    A Shropshire sports coaching company is running six exciting weeks of holiday courses to keep children around the county active and entertained during the summer holidays.

    Crossbar Coaching Education in Sport is ready for its busiest ever summer and expect to welcome more than 3,000 youngsters to their soccer schools, multi-sports sessions, dance and street dance courses, and holiday clubs.

    They are also organising football stadium tours to Manchester United on July 28 and Liverpool on August 25, with Crossbar director Gavin Cowan and his team looking forward to kicking off their biggest ever summer of fun on Monday, July 25.

    All of the holiday courses are open to boys and girls between the ages of five and 13, with youngsters aged 12 and 13 eligible to attend as Crossbar Young Leaders.

    "It's going to be a big, big summer for us," said Gavin. "Bookings are flying in and I would urge people to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment as we need to cap numbers for the courses as we would never compromise the quality of what we deliver for the children.

    "We've put together an exciting programme of activities and being able to cater for so many different needs in terms of what the children are looking for is a real pleasure for us.

    "There's so much going on, something for everyone really, and we're really looking forward to it."

    Crossbar, whose staff deliver sport across the curriculum in many Shropshire primary schools, will be running soccer schools at both Shrewsbury's London Road Sports Centre and Telford's Lawley Primary School from Monday to Wednesday every week throughout the holidays. Many of the coaches have a background in professional football.

    Multi-sports sessions will take place from Monday to Friday for all six weeks at the London Road Sports Centre, which is also the venue for dance camps from Monday to Wednesday each week. Multi-sports will also run at Lawley Primary School each Thursday and Friday, with street dance courses on offer at Telford's Hollinswood Primary School.

    Holiday clubs which combine multi-sports, movie club, arts and crafts, and other activities will be held at Shrewsbury's Greenfields Primary School, Bayston Hill's Oakmeadow Primary School, Pontesbury Primary School, Broseley C of E Primary School and Telford primary schools Old Park, Redhill and Woodlands throughout all six weeks.

    For more details and prices, which start from £10 per day for the holiday clubs, email [email protected] or call (01743) 362368.

    Courses run from 9am-3pm each day, with early and late pick ups available for an hour either side for an additional £2.50 each.

    Crossbar Coaching Education in Sport is Ofsted registered and also accept childcare vouchers.

    Pictured: Shropshire youngsters have lots to look forward to this summer with Crossbar Coaching Education in Sport's busy programme of holiday courses.

  • Awesome Aerial Video of the Frankwell Floods
    10 Feb 2014

    This awesome aerial video has been taken by YouTube user (and local resident) Gazchap, it shows the flooding in and around Frankwell (and the Love Shrewsbury office).

    Thanks to everyone who sent us this on Twitter!

    Pete White
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