The top articles currently trending on Love Shrewsbury.

  • Wace Morgan launches domestic violence helpline
    07 Dec 2018

    A domestic violence trauma line is being run by a Shropshire legal firm over the Christmas and new year period. Wace Morgan Solicitors, which has offices in Shrewsbury and Newtown, is offering the service to people at risk.

    Emma Kenvyn, an executive who specialises in family issues, explained that unfortunately domestic violence usually increased during this time of year. “I have focused on this area of work for many years and this is always my busiest period. Sadly, the number of divorces, separations and domestic incidents go up due to additional financial and employment pressures,” explained Emma.

    She will be staffing the Wace Morgan helpline - 07823 77 77 74 - on a 24/7 basis to offer legal advice to domestic violence sufferers. However, she emphasises that anyone in immediate risk should call 999.

    “Too often domestic violence is seen as a taboo subject - it is hidden away and the victims do not report it. However, the grim truth is that two women are killed every week by a current or former male partner and one in six males are also the victims of domestic violence. We want to encourage people to break their silence and seek help. “It’s a stressful time of the year for families and we are here to help,” she added. Wace Morgan staff have also been collecting for The Refuge women and children’s shelter in Shropshire which is in particular need of children’s toiletries, small games, toys and clothing, ladies’ toiletries gloves scarves and books.

    All proceeds from the firm’s Christmas bake off were also donated to The Refuge and the company’s efforts follow on from the national campaign ‘16 Days of Action against Domestic Violence’.

  • The Complete Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business in Shrewsbury
    10 Dec 2018

    Shrewsbury is known for charming characteristics, historic buildings, and is overall is a great place to live – and even start a business. Starting a business, however, is always going to be tricky. Unless you put a lot of effort into planning out your business and what steps you will need to take to succeed, chances are your business might never get its feet off the ground.

    To succeed, you need to be able to overcome all the challenges about to head your way, which is why you will need to follow this guide:

    Understand the Business Climate

    The first step to starting a new business is to ensure that the idea you have will sell. If you specialise in water skiing equipment, you probably won’t have a lot of foot traffic coming in. That is why before you create a business plan or even think about starting a new business you will need to know:

    1. What is the market like?
    2. Will your idea be successful here?
    3. How many other companies will you be competing with?

    Create a Great Business Plan

    A great business plan can help keep you focussed and compile all the necessary information into one easy document. It can also help you get the funding that you need to start it. Put effort into this step, because it is how you will discover common challenges others have faced, and pre-emptively come up with a solution.

    Get the Funding You Need

    In some cases, you might be able to get a financial grant from Shrewsbury to help you with your endeavour. Then of course, you can also finance your new business through savings, by crowdfunding through friends and family, and through a traditional business loan.

    Find the Right Office Space

    Finding the right office space will depend on your needs, your demographic, and your market. If you create custom wood furniture, for example, you will need space both for the gallery and for the workshop. Know your needs and choose a space that fulfils them over how it looks.

    Set Up Your Office

    Once you have the space you will need to customize it so that it can do all you need it to. From desks, to computers, to even secure G Rack shelving for all your heavy items, your business won’t be able to launch until you have this space ready. Don’t overdo it from the start, but instead focus on the necessities first. This way your company can be up and running as soon as possible.

    How to Become a Success

    Setting up a new business is always great for the local community, but you owe it to yourself and to your neighbours to put the effort in before you launch, so that you can maximise your chances of success. Commit to a high degree of customer service, and be smart about how you market your company and products. You need to create a narrative that people buy in to. A brand image that they trust and will use again and again. Only once you have won the hearts of the people of Shrewsbury can you truly say you have succeeded.

    Pete White
  • County Firm’s Website Appears on TV’s Dragons Den
    24 Jul 2015

    A Shrewsbury based web-development and IT company is celebrating this week - along with their client, who successfully received funding on Dragons Den.

    It’s been a winning combination and partnership for The Raw Chocolate Company who enlisted the help and assistance of The Web Orchard when it came to designing and building their web presence.

    The new website received over 60,000 hits within the first 30 minutes after the pitch by The Raw Chocolate Company on this week’s episode - and the site stayed online and live during this surge, thanks to the planning and implementation of The Web Orchard team.

    The Web Orchard built a Drupal 7 website allowing The Raw Chocolate Company to fully promote their product range, fully manage products and content ‘behind the scenes’.

    Kris McGowan Customer Insight Manager said "It was great working with Pete and his team. We were really up against it and they put all their resources into getting the website ready and functional on time. The Dragons Den team said we would not be able to keep the website running due to shear volume of hits, but the WebOrchard team did it brilliantly. We couldn't be happier."

    The Raw Chocolate Company received £72,000 in funding from entrepreneur Deborah Meadon.

    Pete White of The Web Orchard said “This has been a fantastic week all round. It’s been great for our client who have received the financial backing of Deborah Meadon and TV exposure - but also superb for The Web Orchard, demonstrating our professional ability to create truly winning website designs with top quality technical assistance and planning.”

    For more information on The Raw Chocolate Company and to visit their new website: For The Web Orchard and an overview of their portfolio and services:

    Pete White
  • Market Square History Lesson
    10 Aug 2012

    It`s difficult to believe when you stand in the Square surrounded by so many lovely shops that a little over 800 years ago the area was just a very deep pond!

    It`s official geographical name was known as a "Kettle-Hole" but it was known at sometime as "Bishop Davids Pond", so named because, as the folk tale goes, David, the 3rd Bishop of Wales popped across the border for a few jars of communion wine and fell into the pond as was drowned!

    It was here that they used the Gumbolstol, or ducking stool, as a form of punishment originaly for bakers selling underweight bread, which is why you have 13 in a bakers dozen, and wine merchants for selling stale wine or beer, but these two trades were run by men and it was deemed embarrasing to see the chaps being ducked so they moved over and left the stool for........nagging women!!.

    We all know that ladies dont nag, much, but in the medieval days if a women nagged her hubby he could stand in front of a judge and make his complaint, surprisingly the judge was a man and the lady was always found gulty!

    If it was her first offence she would spend the day wearing a "brank", a metal helmet a little like an American football players helmet, but if it was her second sentencing then she was in hot water almost literaly,

    By the 16th Century, Shrewsbury was the base for the woolen trade and the Drapers needed a market place so the pond was filled in, to a depth of about 25ft, and the Old Market Hall was erected.

    The top floor, now the cafe and cinema, would have been used by the drapers and the ground floor would have been the site of the corn market, complete with the original counting frame on the wall, the statue over the front arch is supposed to be The Grand old Duke of York of childrens nursery rhyme fame and it once stood on the old St Georges bridge at the end of mardol and was moved in the 1700`s.

    At the other end of the Square, where Clives statue now stands, would have been another market place that was called the Apple Market or Green Market and it was here the fruit and veg was sold.

    Sadly, the Old Plough pub has long gone and also the old Shirehall has been replaced by Princess House but the Square still retains a character all of it`s own so next time your walking across the square spare a thought for the women being ducked and think... bring back the good old days!!

    Pete White
  • Swede Arvidsson claims victory in singles final
    05 Mar 2014

    More than 150 spectators enjoyed the men’s singles final in the Aegon GB Pro-Series at The Shrewsbury Club as eighth seed Isak Arvidsson claimed victory in straight sets. 

    An appreciative Shrewsbury crowd were treated to a fine exhibition of tennis with Arvidsson prevailing 6-3, 7-5 against Finland's Micke Kontinen, the tournament's third seed.

    While it was a highly competitive clash, the two Scandinavians, who are good friends and doubles partners, showed a mutual respect for each other throughout the 90 minute final. 

    Arvidsson, 21, gained an early break of serve which set him on his way to capture the opening set but he was immediately put under pressure on his own serve in the early stages of the second.

    An early break would have certainly swung the momentum in favour of Kontinen, the Finnish No 2, but Arvidsson managed to serve his way out of trouble each time and then secured a crucial break at 5-5.

    Chasing his second career singles title, and the first outside his homeland, the Swede confidently served out for the title. 

    Arvidsson, beaten in the doubles final alongside Kontinen, also 21, the previous day, said: "I’m delighted to capture my first title of 2014, and feel I served really well. It’s a bit different when playing a good friend, but I’ve had a great week here in Shrewsbury.

    "A big thank you to the tournament, the club, and spectators for making the final a special day for us."

    The crowd at the final were also treated to a Tennis Express exhibition by Mark Tennant, from Inspire2Coach.

    Tennis Express is a programme and initiative to simplify the skills required for adults who have not played the sport before, designed to encourage them to enjoy playing the game.
    Tournament Director Richard Joyner, meanwhile, hailed the Shrewsbury event as a big success.

    "It’s great when we come somewhere like The Shrewsbury Club," he said. "The players and everyone involved in the tournament are made to feel very welcome and the work the club and Shropshire Tennis put in to help make the week a success is first class.

    "It’s always a pleasure coming here, and we now look forward to the women’s $25K event which will be played here again in September."

    Dave Courteen, the managing director for The Shrewsbury Club, added: "It's been a great week. We've loved the coverage we've got from the local media who have really seemed to engage with the tournament which is excellent.

    "The result of that has been seen in the fact that we've had record crowds here. We've loved staging the tournament again."

    Picture caption: Champion Isak Arvidsson receives his trophy from Jon Tandy, the Mayor of Shrewsbury. Picture by Richard Dawson Photography

    Pete White
  • Creating your dream living room: a guide
    03 Sep 2018

    Let’s face it, when you’re feeling in need of some chill out time or to snuggle up with your partner, the living room in your home is the obvious target. It’s a place of sanctuary after a hard day’s work, a place to hang out and discuss the stresses and strains of life – and a place to watch the TV and some films. In creating a homely and comfortable space, there are lots of things that go into getting that dream environment. Here’s a guide to making that dream a reality.

    Strip it back

    If you’ve got a bit of spare cash and you want to give your living room a makeover, or if you’re moving into a new property, that the best place to start is going back to basics: stripping it all back and starting from scratch.

    Have you already come up with a plan for the room, including how you want it to look and what you want to feature? If not, and you’re struggling to come up with a plan despite kind of knowing what you want, then you could always call on an interior designer friend or another creative to lend a hand and come up with some ideas. Failing that, take to the internet and have a look around at home design websites and blogs, there are loads of fresh tips out there to give you that dream look.

    Get decorating

    One of the places you should be focusing on as you create the ultimate living space is what’s on the walls. Do you have dull, dark paint right now which is making the room feel smaller, bringing the walls in on you? If so, have a think about incorporating brighter pastel shades, like lemon or pale orange. Colour can be very subjective, down to individual tastes, but if you’re going for that feeling of space and brightness, the lighter colours are, the better.

    As well as the walls, you may also want to think about changing the flooring. For example, why don’t you swap that old carpet for some wood panels like Kahrs flooring? Also, think about your curtains and blinds because what you choose to dress your windows in can have a dramatic effect within the room.

    Get some comfy furniture

    Once you’ve done the decorating, focus on those things that will truly get you comfortable – the sofa and chairs. After all, you’re likely to spend a lot of time sitting on them when you are in the living room! If you like something soft, but cool and sleek, then why not look at leather options? As well as the traditional pieces, you could also think about investing in a reading chair with a footstool. It will make reading a book even more relaxing!

    Dress it up 

    Once the décor’s looking good and the furniture’s in place, then you need to personalise the living room. Put up some family photos, display some of your favourite ornaments and try and get some plants or fresh flowers into the room. It all adds up to a dream living room!

    Pete White
  • Shropshire businesses must protect against cyber attacks, warns Shropshire consultancy firm.
    07 Oct 2013

    Cyber crime is the fastest growing area of criminal activity in the UK and businesses must act quickly to make sure they are protected, a Shropshire business consultancy firm warned today.
    Jason Perry, a partner at The Business Company, based near Shrewsbury, said businesses must be aware of the danger of cyber crime attacks and the effect it could have on their work.
    He said: “Few businesses remain untouched by the digital revolution.

    “Across the world, there are now over two billion Internet users and over five billion mobile phone connections.
    “Every day we send 294 billion emails and five billion SMS messages.
    “With over 91 per cent of UK businesses now having Internet access, businesses today are almost entirely dependent on the continued availability, accuracy and confidentiality of their information and communications technology.”

    Mr Perry said cyber criminals were able to exploit the speed, convenience and anonymity that modern technologies offered to attack businesses’ critical computer data and systems.
    He said: “This can lead to large scale identity theft, online fraud, virus attack, email scams, spyware, financial theft, customer data loss, money laundering and intellectual property theft.
    “The Cabinet Office has estimated that cyber crime costs the UK economy £27 billion a year, with UK businesses accounting for almost three quarters of this amount.”
    Mr Perry warned that historically cyber crime was seen as primarily an issue for large corporate companies but now criminals are seeing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as an attractive and vulnerable alternative.

    He said figures from the Information Security Breaches Survey in 2013 showed that 87 per cent of SMEs had a security breach, 63 per cent were attacked by an authorised outsider and 23 per cent were hit by a denial-of-service attack.
    Mr Perry said the most practical and effective way for a business to protect against cyber attacks was to implement and adopt an information security policy to cover information systems and controls.

    He said: “This will ensure a systematic approach is taken to protecting your business’ information and is ideally done to ISO 27001 standards - an internationally recognised certification.
    “Having the standard in place not only provides the assurance that information security controls are in place but it also tells existing and potential customers that the business has defined, assessed and put appropriate controls in place to manage its information security risks.
    “Recent reports indicate that more than 68 per cent of UK businesses when putting forward an RFP or completing a pre-tender questionnaire have been requested to demonstrate they meet ISO 27001 or an equivalent level of standard.
    “ISO 27001 is therefore a valuable commodity, providing a clear competitive advantage and statement to customers, suppliers, partners, authorities and of course potential investors that your business operates a secure information management system.”

    Pete White
  • Live Healthy, Stay Happy
    07 Aug 2014

    With needs being on constant rise and people aiming for higher goals, life is bound to take stressful turns every now and then. Consequently, most of us suffer from sleepless nights and overburdened days which quite often take a toll on the mind and body. As such, maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes of utmost importance. But it is often easier said than done. More often than not, laziness creeps in and instead of going for a run or opting for yoga, one prefers a nap. But come to think of it, staying healthy doesn’t take that much of effort. There are a few small things all of us can and probably should try to do to maintain a healthy body and happy mind.

    Dedicate a short span of 15 minutes in the morning to clear your mind. Have a glass of water after waking up, freshen up and then just sit with your legs crossed, close your eyes and take deep breaths. It may sound futile but this is actually quite a sure shot way of beating early morning stress and laziness.

    Take short breaks during the day. No matter how clustered your day is, take at least 1 or 2 short breaks of 10 or 15 minutes to consume a cup of hot green tea or to make a call to a loved one. You will feel extremely relaxed.

    Try to prioritize your day and leave your work at the office. Don’t bring your professional life home. That way when you exit the office, your mind automatically knows it is now free.

    Listen to music often and try to stay positive. Keep away from people who bring you down with unnecessary negative conversations. Just make an excuse and slip away; you don’t need to hear what they have to say anyway.

    Try to look good, always. A good appearance gives you more confidence than you think and leads to the flow of positive energy. You could take the help of natural beauty products and clothes of the latest trend. Keep surfing online and shop for the things that can improve your appearance and confidence. A little tip here, whenever shopping online, checkout VoucherBin. They give discount vouchers which help you save on a number of brands.

    A healthy mind and body are essential for everyone. After all, we have one life; why not live it to the fullest!

    Pete White
    23 Jan 2014

    Josh is an acclaimed saxophonist and composer known for his melodic inventiveness, warm tone and heartfelt and lyrical approach to improvisation. 

    Whether playing jazz standards or his own compositions, Josh communicates directly with audiences with his flowing and intuitive playing style.

    He has worked with many of the UK's leading jazz musicians including John Turville, Alan Barnes,  Liz Fletcher, Clark Tracey, Jim Mullen and Steve Waterman. His latest CD Tone Poetry is being promoted in 2014 with a major UK tour.

    His quartet features Tim Lapthorn on piano, Mick Hutton on bass and Matt Skelton on drums.

    Tim Lapthorn is a performer, composer and teacher with his own piano trio, and a long association with Josh . He plays with many European jazz musicians and is much in demand by jazz singers. He cites his influences as Bill Evans, Thelonius Monk and Stevie Wonder.

    Mick Hutton is one of Europe’s finest and most respected bass player with a career spanning 30 years. He has played with all the greats, including John Taylor, Bill Bruford, Humphrey Lyttleton and Tim Garland.

    Matt Skelton is a multi talented drummer who works regularly with Jim Mullen and Damon Brown, as well playing with the international orchestras such as the John Wilson Orchestra.

    ‘Wonderfully rich toned tenorist Josh Kemp with a laconic, subtle, highly nuanced and original sound’ Time Out

    ‘An interesting and varied composer. . . showed that there is plenty of life in the post-bop tradition’ Jazz UK

    Pete White
  • The Next History Lesson From Martin The Town Crier
    21 Sep 2012

    "When I am leading any of my tours around Shrewsbury, one of the most asked questions is, "What is the meaning of the word Dogpole?"

    There is a couple of answers that could be given-1, is that there was a second ducking stool here in the 14th Century or that it is derived from the medieval name for top or summit- "Pol" I.E top of the Wyle Cop, or it could be that I tell our American visitors that in medieval times dogs were not allowed in the town so they had to tie them to a post hence a dog-pole! but the real reason is that part of the old inner town wall ran across this street and there was a small gate that people had to duck to get through so "Duck-hole" or, Dogpole, came into being.

    At the top of Dogpole stands the impressive Newport House, built by Lord Newport between 1696 and the early 1700`s. It is said that this "New House" replaced an older timber framed house that was removed from here and re-erected at the entrance to the Castle, so in the medieval days when you moved house you did just that, you moved your house!

    A few doors down is the Old House and this was used in the 1500`s by Mary Tudor, (Later Queen Mary) when she stayed in Shrewsbury for a short time before moving down to Ludlow Castle.

    On the opposite side of the road in what is now a shop stood the first Ear Nose and Throat hospital and the shop is still said to be haunted by a young girl who will talk to the customers until the owner appears.

    Not to be outdone by any of the other streets in Shrewsbury, Dogpole had it`s fair share of public houses:- The Plume, or Plume of Feathers was here in the 1890`s before it was closed and turned into a training school for servant girls. The Hen and Chickens stood on the site of what is now No. 8 Dogpole and this was a very large and impressive half timbered house that was the headquarters of a select group of prominent business men who met once a month for a sumptous meal. The Hen and Chickens dissapeared around 1890, and so did the club!!

    In 1657 the Lord Newport is recorded as paying 1d, (1 penny!) as rent for the Talbutts inn but no record is available to show when this closed.

    Once again, this is a road through the town that has thousands of people travelling down it but not many people realise that there is loads of history in each building, if only walls could talk!!
    see you next month...."

    Martin Wood
  • Festive feasting at Weston Park
    08 Oct 2013

    Experience all the wonder of Christmas with a series of festive retreats taking place throughout December at Shropshire’s stately home, Weston Park. Curl up by a roaring fire with a glass of mulled wine and gaze out among the snow dusted Capability Brown pleasure grounds. Tuck into Head Chef Guy Day’s seasonal four-course feast in the historic Dining Room, with twinkling Christmas trees and cosy candlelight providing a magical backdrop.

    The breaks include:

    • Champagne reception in the Marble Halls
    • Four-course festive menu featuring slow roasted fillet of beef, thai sticky tiger prawns and homemade chocolate box with orange ice cream
    • Overnight stay in one of Weston Park’s beautiful stately bedrooms
    • Coffee and petite fours by the fire in the Library
    • Full English breakfast in the Music Room
    • Opportunity to stroll the 1,000 acres of Capability Brown landscaped parkland

    Traditional Christmas Dine & Stay events take place on: Saturday 7th December, Friday 13th December, Saturday 14th December, Friday 20th December and Saturday 21st December.

    £320 per couple (inc. VAT) or dinner only at £80 per person (inc. VAT).

    For music lovers, the Weston by Candlelight retreat on Thursday 19th December offers something special. The Heart of England strings will perform as guests indulge in Chef’s festive banquet, with the evening ending in a rousing sing-along of favourite carols.

    The break includes a glass of mulled wine, three-course dinner, coffee and mince pies, overnight stay and full English breakfast.

    £310 per couple (inc. VAT) or dinner and carols only at £75 per person (inc. VAT).

    Pete White
  • Prospect House in Shrewsbury sold to the Furrows Group
    22 Sep 2016

    A privately-owned, family-run business has added to its property portfolio by buying one of Shrewsbury's most significant buildings.
    The Furrows Group, which has been serving motorists in Shropshire since 1918, has bought historic Prospect House in Belle Vue and plans to convert the property, which was once used as a maltings, into residential apartments which will be made available for rent.
    The East Wing of the period building will continue to be used as existing office space, with Towler Shaw Roberts, who handled the sale, retained to manage the letting of the suites which will start from 2,000 sqft.
    Rachael Downey, a director of the Furrows Group, which has dealerships in Shrewsbury, Telford and Oswestry, stressed the company were delighted to have purchased Prospect House.
    She said: "We are very excited to have bought such a historic building in Shrewsbury. As a family, we are passionate about Shrewsbury and we see this as a very attractive addition to our property portfolio.
    "We are very sensitive to the historic nature of the property, the quality of Belle Vue as a location, and we have exciting plans for Prospect House."
    Toby Shaw, a partner at TSR, said “There had been much interest in the property, illustrating a strong demand for significant buildings of this nature, which are proving to be attractive investment opportunities."
    An historic hidden gem in Shrewsbury, planning permission is in place at Prospect House for conversion to 34 apartments.
    The property, built in 1888, has been used as a three-storey office building, although parts are four-storey. It extends to 38,414 sqft and is located in 1.23 acres in a desirable part of town.
    Mr Shaw added: "It's a fantastic building with an interesting history. It used to be an old Greenall Whitley maltings and has been fully refurbished to offices.

    “As well as planning permission for conversion to 34 apartments, it has fantastic car parking with more than 50 spaces, and it is in a lovely, established area of Shrewsbury. It really is a striking building – and the views are magnificent.”

    Pictured: Prospect House, in Belle Vue, Shrewsbury has been sold to the Furrows Group.


  • Local Love for The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse
    04 Jul 2018

    Local Shrewsbury coffee aficionados and train visitors to the area can breathe a sigh of relief as the institution that is The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse stays in the welcoming hands of local ladies and current employees Anika Saxton and Olivia Topple.

    With the recent arrival of a number of chain coffee shops and cafes to Shrewsbury the successful purchase of the cafe by the two is a monumental success for championing the independent high street that Shrewsbury was once so renowned for.

    Anika says: “The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse was one of Shrewsbury's first independent coffee shops and for the last 5 years as manager I’ve seen it grow and represent the very best of Shrewsbury. To have the opportunity to continue its legacy in Shrewsbury and retain the atmosphere and local supplier relationships we’ve worked so hard to establish is incredibly rewarding and we can’t wait to share the new look and fantastic new food and drinks selection with customers.

    A popular place for locals, freelancers on laptops and day trippers arriving into town, The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse ideally situated opposite the train station has long been a popular and busy spot for coffee, chat and creativity.

    This creativity will also be fostered further by Olivia, an artist in her own right with a BA (hons) Degree in Fine Art. She has worked as a curator and events organiser in the art industry for many years and will lead a number of creative led initiatives at The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse including adult printmaking classes, family printmaking classes and children’s printmaking classes.

    Olivia says: “For a number of years I’ve worked at the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse whilst pursuing my artistic career in my spare time. I’m so excited to now be able to bring the two together and offer creative courses for everyone from the complete newbie to the more experienced in the welcoming environment of the Coffeehouse.

    Whilst The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse will retain its unique charm and friendly atmosphere, visitors can look forward to a new look focusing on creativity and functionality, offering a wider range of food including new smoothies, cold brew coffees and grab n go options for commuters. Additionally expect more exciting pop up events, new artist exhibitions and creative course for all the family to attend - caffeine lovers or not!

    The relaunch of the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse will take place on Friday 20th July 2018.

    Pete White
  • Open Studio for Potter Elspeth Soper!
    30 Mar 2013

    Talented Broseley potter, Elspeth Soper, will be throwing open the doors of her pottery studio this May Bank Holiday Monday from 10am – 4pm.

    Inspired by country pottery from England and Eastern Europe Elspeth says "many of my designs result from when I kept chickens, ducks, geese and guinea fowl here at the pottery some ten years ago, and then unfortunately, the foxes came and steadily stole them away".

    With pieces featuring chickens, hares and guinea fowl, Elspeth creates earthy glazes to compliment her designs, in colours such as soft blues, greys, muted terracotta's, ochre's and greens. 

    The earthenware is made out of red clay and is decorated using coloured slips (liquid clay) often built up in painted layers over a poured or dipped base colour. The pots are raw-glazed using a transparent or a honey glaze and then fired in a gas kiln to around 1120C.
    The stoneware is also raw-glazed using an ash glaze (using ash from the pottery wood stove) or a shino glaze, and is fired in a reducing gas kiln to around 1260C.

    Elspeth, who runs the very successful Willey Furnace Pottery, exhibits her wares some of Shropshire’s most prestigious galleries such as Twenty Twenty in Much Wenlock and The Silk Top Hat Gallery in Ludlow.  Elspeth also exhibits her pottery at galleries as far away as Scotland.

    With her electricity generated by solar panels, and water brought from home Elspeth said "it is incredibly basic here, but I have everything I need. Solar panels provide electricity to charge the batteries that run the lighting”. 

    The Open Day is on Bank Holiday Monday May 6th 10am – 4pm.

    Willey Furnace Pottery is at Barrow Road, Broseley. TF12 5JQ and will be well signposted on the day.

  • Shrewsbury School -Jo starts new trend after 461 years…
    29 May 2013

Talented young cricketer Jo Cull has started a new tradition at Shrewsbury School after 461 years…
    Jo (17), is the first girl to be playing for the school and is already making her mark.
    Shrewsbury School, which was founded in 1552, first admitted girls five years ago when its sixth form went co-educational. It is one of the country’s leading cricketing schools, having won national trophies in recent years and produced top names such as Jimmy Taylor and Ed Barnard
    A level student Jo, who is also a member of the Gloucestershire’s women’s cricket squad, is now a regular in the school’s third team.
    “I have really enjoyed my first year in the sixth form here and have been made to feel welcome in the team. The cricket facilities and coaching are first class,” she commented.
    She said that she had been playing the sport ‘since she could walk’ and had been encouraged by her father and brother, both keen cricketers.
    Andy Barnard, head of cricket at Shrewsbury School, said that when girls were admitted throughout the school from next year, cricket would be the main sport for girls in the summer term

    “It is an increasingly popular sport and we are really looking forward to having our own girls cricket team here in the not too distant future, and for more girls to be playing in the boys’ teams,” he added.
    A girls cricket tournament will be held at the school this August.

  • Christmas message from Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski
    14 Dec 2012

    Christmas Message

    I would like to wish all Shrewsbury and Atcham constituents the very best for the festive season.  Christmas is a special time for the coming together of families and friends but I am mindful of those that will be spending Christmas alone this year.  We should all think about our neighbours and see if there is anything we can do during the holiday period to bring extra comfort to those who need support. Being alone could happen to any of us at various stages of our lives and it is vital we help our fellows at this time of giving and celebration.

    My thoughts are also with our brave soldiers and their families; our service men and women do an amazing job and are so far away from home and their loved ones.

    These are very difficult economic times for us all.  We must hope the United Kingdom starts to export more around the world to bring economic prosperity back to our shores and I am continuing to help various local firms to try to find new markets abroad.

    I am very proud to be MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham and will continue throughout 2013 to represent my constituents in every way I can.

    Kind regards and best wishes.

    Daniel Kawczynski MP
    Shrewsbury & Atcham

  • Platinum Award for Visitor Centre (Again flushing the competition away)
    22 Oct 2015

    Toilets are usually the least recognized element within a person’s visit, however therein lays the misconception.

    Toilets are usually the first area that visitors frequent and surprisingly they are often the last. Therefore they offer the first impression and the last memory when visiting any destination.

    They are also, a very clear indication, of the quality of the entire destination. Children, the elderly, the infirm, all rely most on good amenities, families particularly.


    In today’s age, expectations are generally very high; delivering on those expectations is extraordinarily difficult.

    Bosses, managers, health and safety professionals all should pay cleaning staff well, they are totally indispensable.

    Statically, 98% of all establishments, do not volunteer to be inspected without it being forced upon them, most do not recognize the importance and how much it matters to the public and to the internal staff using and working within the establishment.

    Chairman of the Ironworks , Clive Knowles , is quoted as saying, “we are trying very hard to lift and excel in all the areas of visitor experience, whilst this may seem funny to some, the hard reality of keeping all facilities to a high standard, is exceptionally difficult .
    We already employ three cleaners with a further vacancy going live this week, rotas can be complex, however we try to offer flexible hours where possible.

    We are already planning a family room, two extra disabled access bathrooms and an extensive increase in capacity for general users, all of this infrastructure, is expensive and requires a lot of thought and planning, retaining the title of Oswestry’s Number 1 visitor attraction is our main goal.”


  • Peakes Travel open day ...
    08 Jan 2016

    Peakes Travel Elite, Shrewsbury’s only independent and family-owned travel agency, is hosting a Canadian Travel Open Day on Saturday (16th January), showcasing this amazing country’s vast array of attractions.

    Experts will be on hand to discuss Rockies rail trips, cruising in Alaska, ski-ing in Whistler, a city break in Toronto or Vancouver or the opportunity to see Grizzly Bears and Polar Bears.

    Representatives from award-winning operator 1st Class Holidays will also be on hand to give advice and information on all facets of travel to the country.

    1st Class Holidays has been voted as ‘Canadian Tour Operator of the Year’ 13 times in the past two decades and will be joined by four of the Peakes Travel team who are accredited members of the Canadian Specialist program, which is run by the Canadian Tourist Commission.

    Long-serving manager of Peakes Travel, Claire Moore, has recently gained a national tribute after becoming a finalist at the British Canadian Travel Awards, a prestigious accolade considering the number of entrants involved. The award was for displaying exceptional knowledge in all aspects of holiday options and travel in the region, combined with attaining outstanding customer satisfaction reviews.

    Claire, commented: “With its snowy peaks and deep fjords, Canada is a very popular destination for our clients due to the diverse range of holidays it offers.

    “Our open day on Saturday will feature totally independent advice, together with inspiration and information for people with individual requirements, specific interests or definite ideas on their perfect Canadian holiday.”

    The Canadian Holiday Open Day runs from 10am until 3pm this coming Saturday and will offer holidaymakers audio-visual presentations and provide individual appointments to speak to travel experts in the comfort of the firm’s unique period premises, at 11 Mardol, in Shrewsbury.

    Pictured:  Claire always gets her man … Claire Moore with her Canadian Travel award at Peakes Travel Elite.

  • Shrewsbury School to represent the UK in the International Young Physicists' Tournament
    22 Jan 2014

    A team of physicists from Shrewsbury School has won the UK Young Physicists’ Tournament and will represent the UK in the International competition this summer. This is the seventh time in the last ten years they have achieved this distinction.

    The final took place at Shrewsbury School on Thursday 16th January. Shrewsbury’s team of Arthur Kung, Dominic Dootson, Ian Yeung, Ilya Lapan and Horace Tang faced strong opposition in the form of John Leggott College, Scunthorpe and Tytherington High School, Macclesfield.

    With scores level for first and second place at the half-way point, it was obvious that Shrewsbury would have to do something special if they were to pull away from the competition. Team captain Arthur Kung gave by far the most impressive presentation of the day and took Shrewsbury past the winning post in style.

    The final scores (out of 80) were Shrewsbury 61.0, John Leggott College 53.5 and Tytherington High School 53.0 This means that the UK team for the International Young Physicists’ Tournament (IYPT) in July will consist of three team members from Shrewsbury and two team members from John Leggott College.

    The IYPT is now in its 27th year and has previously taken place in Australia, South Korea, Taiwan and China as well European countries including Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland. Commonly known as the ‘Physics World Cup’, the IYPT is one of the most prestigious competitions for school science anywhere in the world.

    This year the IYPT takes place in the UK for the first time; the venue will be Shrewsbury School.

     “We are extremely honoured to be hosting such a major event at Shrewsbury,” says John Balcombe, Physics Teacher at Shrewsbury School and Chairman of the 2014 IYPT Organising Committee.  “We look forward to welcoming teams from around 30 countries from all five continents, along with their teachers and judging panels of professional physicists from around the world. We are also delighted that amongst the VIP guests at the opening ceremony will be Sir Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, Old Salopian and one of the country’s most distinguished scientists.

    “Along with the very serious physics element of the tournament, the students will also experience a number of cultural events and entertainments and will experience the beauty and variety of our county of Shropshire. They will be visiting the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge and the Ironbridge Museums, thanks to the generosity of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust. They will also be some of the first overseas visitors to our newly refurbished Museum and Art Gallery.When the students return to their own countries, I am sure they will have a lasting memory of our small corner of the world.”

    Pete White
    07 Mar 2014

    Owen Lewis’ Portable Theatre Company will be touring two of Lewis’ new plays, The Joker and The White Feather.  Starting the six-date tour at The Arena Theatre in February they will go on to play at the more rural areas of Shropshire including Bishops Castle, Ludlow and Hales.
    Owen explained, “It has always been our goal to get to a level where we can tour in a range of venues of very differing sizes”
    Producer David Wright Explains “As always with this popular format of two one-act plays, we are demonstrating the diversity of Owen’s writing; The White Feather is a poignant tale of the heroism of the ordinary man in World War 1 while The Joker, which includes original songs some of which are sung live by the actors, looks at the trials and tribulations of a stand-up comedian.”

    The full tour dates are as follows:-
    7th March, 2014  The Adam Ballroom, Lion Hotel, Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, SY1 1UY
    15th March, 2014  SpArC Theatre, Teme Spark, Bishops Castle, Shropshire, SY9 5AY

    Pete White
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