The top articles currently trending on Love Shrewsbury.

  • Section of 40,000 Strong model force to visit Shrewsbury
    17 Feb 2020

    Help for Heroes has revealed that injury has forced almost 40,000 men and women to leave the military over the past 20 years. Over 25% of these have been since the end of the war in Afghanistan, despite the British Armed Forces not being engaged in active conflict during this period. The number of Service Personnel whose lives have been derailed by injury grows every day.

    In new polling* released by the Charity 70% of wounded Veterans described their medical discharge as “negative” and over 60% felt they didn’t receive enough support while transitioning out of the Armed Forces. Help for Heroes is therefore launching a powerful campaign to highlight the gaps in the Ministry of Defence’s support during the medical discharge process.

    The Charity is calling on the Government to review the existing medical discharge process to ensure those forced to leave the military as a result of injuries or illness are given the best possible opportunity to land on their feet and transition well into civilian life.

    In their ground-breaking report, published in October 2019 Help for Heroes reveals that:

    Some veterans are being discharged with a physical injury before receiving a full diagnosis for their mental health condition(s)
    The time given to transition after medical discharge varies hugely
    There are problems with the compensation process

    (80% of polled respondents said they were not made aware of their compensation award before they left the military; with 1 in 4 of those having to wait over 10 months to find out)

    The campaign, launched at the Manchester Arndale Centre with an installation of 40,000 miniature model veterans, was a demonstration of the Charity’s ask to the public to help all wounded Veterans stand strong.

    40,000 is more than the number of spectators at Wimbledon Championships and half the capacity of Twickenham Stadium. If placed one on top the other they would be 100 times taller than the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. All together they would fill the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers 25 times over.

    Now, a section of that 40,000 Strong model force is making its way to the Charles Darwin Shopping Centre, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on Saturday 22nd February. 5,000 of the miniature soldiers will be available to view between 9am and 5.00pm.

    Mel Waters, CEO of Help for Heroes said:

    “Injuries have ended 40,000 military careers in 20 years and every day this number grows. Many of them tell us that their transition impacted significantly on their health, wellbeing and family. The medical discharge process is seriously failing those who are let down by major inconsistencies in support, so we’re calling on the Government to commission an independent review of the process to close those gaps. With the public’s support, we’re on a mission to ensure every wounded hero has the best opportunity to stand strong in civilian life”

    One of the 40,000 Strong to lose their careers to injury is Shropshire veteran Kelly Leonard who will be supporting the event.

    The 42-year-old, who lives near RAF Shawbury in Shropshire, is a former RAF Physical Training Instructor, and now a Community Paediatric Physio for the NHS. She had a motorbike accident which almost led to her having her foot amputated. The injury has left Kelly with no mobility due to no ankle joint. She has arthritis in her ankle and needs to use crutches on bad days. With the support of Help for Heroes Kelly is now due to represent Team UK at the 2020 Invictus Games in The Hague as Vice-Captain. She will be competing in wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, swimming and rowing.

    “My accident stopped me in my tracks. I learnt to walk again and live the best I could within my limitations. I tried several different individual and team sports but failed to fill the void as I was never able to participate on a level playing field.  I lost focus on sport as a result my physical and mental recovery suffered. It left me with a loss of confidence and self- belief”.

    “By taking part in all the training camps run by Help for Heroes I have found myself surrounded by people who do not judge but understand, talk and offer support. They have empowered me to achieve the best I can be. It’s been a turning point in my life. I am back competing again both individually and in a team. I want more. I have started to believe in myself and am proud to show my children, who have never seen me without disability, that with self-belief you can accomplish anything”.

    There are 40,000 stories just like Kelly’s. Join us in our mission to help all wounded veterans stand strong and donate to receive your own special edition boxed figure. Go online at or visit the installation at the Charles Darwin Shopping Centre, Shrewsbury.

  • A History Lesson from Shrewsbury's Town Crier
    18 Jul 2012

    First in a series of interesting stories of the history of places we all know, love and use on a daily basis right here in Shrewsbury for its very own Town Crier Martin Wood.

    "Leading away from the square are two major shutts, Gullet Passage and Grope Lane. First of all a question, Whats the difference between a shutt and a passage? answer? nothing, before the victorian times these small lanes were known as shutts but because of the thinking of our great victorians this name was deemed to be to distasteful, so they renamed them Passages.
    During the middle ages a stream led from the pond in the square down to the river and the name for such a stream was `Golate` but at the site near to were it connects with Mardol Head used to stand the Gullet Inn so did the pub take it`s name from the shutt or the shutt take it`s name from the pub, you decide.
    The Gullet Inn is now known as The Hole in the Wall but The Gullet was here in 1528 and over the next couple of hundred years was the headquarters of numerous travelling players groups, and also the Mayor and councillors met there at times. In the 1600`s they even had a tennis court! In the mid 1700`s a serious fire destroyed many buildings in the area of Mardol head, and the Gullet was one of the buildings severely damaged, it was sold some 6 years later and then began it`s many changes until we come to todays owners.
    Leading in the opposite direction from the Square is Grope lane, Why is it called Grope Lane? Yep, you`ve guessed!!
    Loads of towns in the Country had a Grope Lane but most of them have changed the name to Green Lane or Grape Lane but we in Shrewsbury retain our original name, Hooray!! All the Grope Lanes mentioned were used mainly for one trade, prostitution and it was big business in the medieval days of course.
    At the bottom of the Lane we now have the Costa coffee shop but in the 1780`s the building was known as The Globe public house before changing it`s name to The Cross Keys around 1820 and then entering into many name changes from around 1910. Next time you walk up Grope Lane just pause for a while and look at the builders marks on the timbers of the old Cross Keys, all the timber houses built in town were originaly put together in the forest where the timber was felled to make sure it all fit, once the carpenter was happy he would mark each timber to tell his workers where each one had to go. Most of the time these mark are on the inside but as this was an inn do you think the carpenter was paid in ale on a `drink as you go` basis?
    It`s a bit confusing because there was another Cross Keys Inn directly opposite, where Starbucks now stands, and this was here between 1780 and 1820 strange or what?
    Halfway up Grope Lane, where the rubbish bin now stands, used to be St. Martins chapel and it is believed that under this chapel was one of the three Plague pits that we had in the town, around 2,000 of the 9,500 Shrewsbury folk who succumbed to the black death are thought to be buried in the pit but sadly all traces of the chapel are long gone.
    There are some lovely individual shops in Grope Lane that are well worth a visit but take heart, none are trading in you know what!!"

    Martin Wood
  • 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
  • Local Town Crier & Historian Martin Wood next instalment of interesting facts about Shrewsbury
    29 Jul 2012

    "I was walking down Ffyschestrete the other day,.... never been down Ffyschestrete? bet you have, it`s now called Fish Street and was the site in medieval days of the old fish market.
    Fish was sold here from the early 1500`s right up to the mid 1800`s although the fish market did move around a bit, probably due to the smell!! around 1647 the fish sellers moved to St John`s Hill then came down to the Green market in the Square before moving back to Fish Street in 1763.
    Because Shrewsbury was such an important market town fishmongers would travel from afar to sell their goods and they would have to pay a rental, a bit like you pay at a car boot these days for your pitch, and at the end of the day they would have to pay another fee to have the road cleaned up so, the fishmongers let it be known, via the Town crier, that anything in the middle of the street was free!!! this was a good plan because in those days if you didnt work you didnt have any money and if you had no money then you had to scavenge for your food  hence the women would come down and pick the street clean of all the fish heads and innards so that saved the fishmongers fee, clever or what?.

    On the corner of Grope lane and Fish Street is Le Plat du Jour, which is French for "French food and Coffee Shop", I think, anyway it`s a wonderful little shop where you can buy all things french but in 1780 it was the site of `the Bear` public house and it was around here that one of the bear pits was situated, the other main pit was in the Quarry, if you look in the doorway of Le Plat you will see a ring set in the stone, this was used to help lower the casks into the cellar but it was also where the bear were tied to before going into the pit, now for the "I didn`t know that" bit... all main towns and villages had it`s own bear pit, (it was the entertainment of the day, a bit like a medieval version of Coronation Street) and if you were a stranger in a town wanting directions they would direct you via the bear pit hence nowadays when you look at a map etc, you "take your bearings"

    Opposite Le Plat is the Bear Steps a marvellous timber framed building that, thanks to the Shrewsbury Civic Society, was rescued from demolition it is now home of the Civic Society but also houses many exhibitions throughout the year and is certainly well worth a visit, there is also a coffee shop overlooking St Aulkmunds churchyard but mind your head it has low beams!!
    Also In Fish Street we have the wonderful Three Fishes pub, first recorded as simply `The Fishes` in 1780 and then in 1826 as `the old Three Fishes`and then from 1829 it became known as`The Three Fishes` it was the first pub in Shrewsbury to ban smoking many years ago and it`s taken all the rest of the Country a long time to catch up!.
    A few doors down from the pub is a house that has a plaque on it recording the fact that The Rev. John Wesley, the founder of the methodist movement, preached in the house on his visit to the town on March 16th 1761. He was reported as saying that "Preaching to the people of Shrewsbury is like trying to convert quicksand"!!! I dont think he visited us to many times after that.

    Dominating the top of Fish Street is St Aulkmunds, first built in the year 912 it was rebuilt in the late 1700`s and it has the ghost of one Robin Archerson who appears either on the spire or sitting in the Three Fishes. The story goes that Robin was a steeplejack who helped to build the spire when the church was rebuilt in the 1700`s and as he was sitting in the pub one day some local lads came in and bet him a gallon of beer that he couldnt climb the spire and remove the weathercock, which he promptly did and fair enough the lads paid him his dues, after everyone had had a jolly good laugh they realised that the weathervane had got to be replaced, and it was going to cost money so, the lads waited until Robin had almost finished his gallon of beer and then bet him another gallon that he couldnt do the reverse journey! Robin picked up the weathervane, tucked it under his arm, staggered out of the pub up the spire and replaced the item, then stepped back to admire his handi-work. 174 ft later he came to a sudden halt!! The local paper of the day reported that he was killed by the fall, but thats not quiet true, it wasn`t the fall that killed him, it was the landing!!! 

    See you soon


    Martin Wood
  • Wood Lane Nature Reserve
    03 Jun 2014

    Looking for a lovely day out in Shropshire? Well you could do a lot worse that taking a trip to Wood Lane in Ellesmere. 

    Now bear in mind when you're packing your picnic that Wood Lane is a 81 hectare industrial site, which combines sand and gravel quarrying, concrete production and (the reason I discovered it in the first place) an active landfill site, waste transfer station and recycling centre.  What is incredible though is that alongside all this is a nature reserve and the wildlife here doesn’t just tolerate the surrounding business activity - it thrives!

    Hence twitchers now think of this place as one of the best bird-watching sites in Shropshire.

    The local firm who own the site, Tudor Griffiths work with Shropshire Widlife Trust to manage the operation in a way which encourages nature.  As part of the ongoing restoration programme, 15 hectares are now specifically managed to provide a range of wetland habitats.  In particular it’s the shallow water here which is crucial to support wading birds. 

    The result is colonisation by breeding pairs of lapwings and little ring plovers plus greenshank, redshank, whimbrel, dunlin, green sandpiper and little stint are all found here.   Viewing hides, picnic tables and all ability access from the car park helps this award winning nature reserve provide a popular public attraction.  In particular (thanks to landfill tax credit funding) a huge effort is made to get hundreds of Shropshire school children to visit the site each year where they can not only learn to appreciate the wildlife but see first-hand examples of geology and waste management to broaden their understanding of the wider environment.

    It goes to show that industrial processes and environmental protection need not be at odds with one another.  With the right approach we can create an environment for businesses and the environment to flourish.  Thats whats happening right here in this little corner of Shropshire.

    For more information on the nature reserve visit the Shropshire Wildlife Trust webpage.

    James Thompson
  • Is banana good for psoriasis?
    25 Sep 2019

    Are you embarrassed and fade up using so many cures for psoriasis relief but in vain? Then you are not alone. There are many people with psoriasis finding a sustainable way to treat their psoriasis conditions. You already know that both the online and offline market is flooded with so many products conducting the disease. Most of them are not up to the mark.

    The whole world is turning back to the natural cures for curing diseases. Having a little to zero side effects, people across the globe use natural remedies. Managing psoriasis may be a daunting task to many but controllable. This health condition can blow your self-esteem, as well. It is mostly seen on the elbows, knees, and scalp, and sometimes it can affect other parts of your body, including legs, trunk, and nails.

    Banana as a natural cure can be one of the best options to deal with your psoriasis problem at home. Uncover the cure is such a place where you can get in-depth insight all about psoriasis and its treatment as well.

    I want to tell you about the disease, psoriasis before I delve deeper.

    What Psoriasis is

    Psoriasis can be a chronic, genetic, shared, and systemic inflammatory disease found mostly on your skin. You will find elevated itchy plaques that are raised red skin on the affected area. Psoriasis is found mainly on the elbows, scalp, and knees. Also, it can affect your legs, nails, and trunk. You will feel itchiness and plaque on the affected area as its symptoms.

    Keeping your affected area moisturized is more important when you suffer from this chronic skin disease. When your doctor confirms you that you have psoriasis, you need to take measures to manage it. You should not let it spread on your whole body.

    How Banana peel is suitable for psoriasis

    Banana peel contains a high amount of antioxidant that keeps your skin moisturized. It is one of the most widely-used home remedies for skin conditions, including psoriasis. Also, it has anti-inflammatory properties that help cure your skin conditions. Psoriasis makes your skin dry and develops a feeling of itchiness most times. Its extract soothes your affected area of skin, resulting in relieving psoriasis.

    Clean the affected area and rub the banana peel

    At first, you will need a banana peel. Smaller pieces are more convenient to rub, so make small pieces of banana peel. Once you have cut them into small pieces, start rubbing gently over the affected area. Make sure you are massaging the inside of the skin.

    At one point, you will notice that the inside of the peel will go brown. When you see the brown color of banana peel, stop. The process may take not more than 10 minutes.

    After knowing the process, it will take less time to prepare for the next day. Applying the healing process twice a day can improve your skin condition day by day.

    As I have mentioned above that banana peel is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps your skin soothe and relieve pain also.

    Banana peel paste is also useful

    With a butter knife, scrape off the white part from the banana peel. When you are done with sufficient white part from the banana peel, mash it with a blender to get a soft paste. Now it is time to apply the paste over your affected skin area like an ointment. You should leave it not more than 2 minutes and clean properly.

    This banana peel paste needs to apply on the affected skin area twice a day for better result. It is an alternative natural cure to using an ointment for psoriasis. The paste also helps to soothe and hydrate your affected itchy skin.

    Banana peel and honey combined

    To make this preparation for the treatment of your psoriasis, you need one banana peel and two tablespoons of raw honey. You can prepare it within 5 minutes or less. The process of making this paste is similar to the previous one. When you are done with making a soft, smooth paste of banana peel, add two tablespoons of pure honey with the dough and shake well.

    After blending the paste and honey correctly, you are ready to apply it over your affected skin area. For a good result, you have to leave the paste on your skin at least for half an hour. After the time finishes, rinse the applied area just with lukewarm water. Using the paste of banana peel and honey twice a day will be helpful to cure your psoriasis.

    Like banana peel, honey also has potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory ingredients that help your skin keep moisturized for a long time.

    Banana peel along with coal tar

    Using coal tar is a universal remedy for treating psoriasis. It helps reduce the redness of your skin and itchiness feeling. Besides, coal tar helps to slow down the speedy growth of your skin cell. The combination of coal tar and banana peel assists your skin keep hydrated.

    To prepare the combination of the banana peel along with coal tar, you need one banana peel and one tablespoon of coal tar. Mix them well and shake before you are going to apply it on your affected skin area. Five minutes are enough to prepare this combination. Allow it at least two minutes on your skin and then rinse with cool water.

    Final Thought

    Apart from other so-called treatment for psoriasis, banana can be a good thing to consider as a natural remedy to treat your skin problem. Banana peel has many medication values, especially for the skin. You can use banana for other skin diseases. It is practical and works better. Although psoriasis is a painful skin disease, proper treatment can help you get rid of this skin problem.

    Pete White
  • Henry Tudor House unveils Freddie portrait
    31 Jul 2015

    A stunning six foot high portrait of rock legend Freddie Mercury is about to be unveiled in Shrewsbury.

    The picture, which gives a Tudor twist to the former Queen front man, has been commissioned by Henry Tudor House, a restaurant, bar and music venue in the centre of town and is the latest in its collection of amazing artwork.

    There are already portraits of some of the world’s most famous rock and roll names in the establishment, situated just off Wyle Cop.

    Owner Graham Jenkins said that he was delighted with the new painting, created by Shrewsbury artist Adam Birch.

    “It is an amazing piece of artwork which will shortly be gracing the walls of our bar, joining portraits of Amy Winehouse, John Lennon, Marc Bolan and Sid Vicious, who are all also painted in period style,” he said.

    Graham explained that when he carried out an extensive refurbishment project on the historic half-timbered building he wanted to give it a contemporary feel and the paintings added a startling twist to its interior design.

    “Henry Tudor House has developed into a thriving venue for some leading singers and bands and what better way to pay tribute to some of this country’s most renowned musicians than by portraying them with some Tudor style and swagger.

    “The half-timbered interior of the premises has been carefully preserved and the décor complements its heritage but in a quirky way.

    “Customers absolutely love the paintings...they look so authentic that people often do a double take when they realise the subjects are famous rock stars. We are sure the Freddie Mercury picture will cause quite a stir.”

    Shrewsbury artist Adam, a graduate of Wolverhampton University, undertakes commissions all over the world from his studio in The Square and was short listed for the final selection of this year’s prestigious international BP portrait award.

    He specialises in ecclesiastical work and has had commissioned portraits of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis and is now working on commissioned portraits of the Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Luxembourg.

    “I am very pleased with the way the Freddie Mercury painting has turned out. I have created him in the dark and stately manner of the Tudor aesthetic and included his famous lyrics ‘I want to break free’ in Latin scripture in the picture.”

    The Henry Tudor House building, situated in Barrack’s Passage, is one of the oldest, most historic medieval buildings in Shrewsbury and is reputed to have got its name when Henry Tudor stayed at the site on his way to victory over Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

  • Grade II listed building in Shrewsbury town centre is sold in excess of asking price
    30 Aug 2017

    A local investor has completed the purchase of an attractive two-storey Grade II listed building in the heart of Shrewsbury town centre for in excess of the asking price.

    It was a unique opportunity to acquire the building on the corner of historic Fish Street and Grope Lane, which features three individual self-contained retail units.

    Offers of around £225,000 had been invited for the building, at 11 Fish Street and 1 and 3 Grope Lane, which was jointly marketed by Towler Shaw Roberts and Nock Deighton.

    Toby Shaw, who handled the sale for TSR said “It’s a very attractive period building comprising three shops. We were asking £225,000 for the property as an investment and it stimulated a lot of interest, so it was eventually sold in excess of the asking price.

    “The property has been sold to a local investment company and TSR has been retained to manage the building going forward.”

    Two of the three retail units are currently let but 3 Grope Lane is available to let.

    Pictured: The Grade II listed building on the corner of Fish Street and Grope Lane in Shrewsbury has been sold to a local investor.  

  • Mazda CX-3 GT
    22 Apr 2018

      Another week, another SUV. Honestly, that’s how it’s beginning to feel. Crossovers, soft-roaders, Sports Utility Vehicles, call then what you will, they’re the current automotive equivalent of the proverbial hot cake; they’re selling like them too. However, they don’t always prove that tasty to drive. They’re practical, yes, and undoubtedly so in some cases, but exciting? Not really. Well, not all of them that is…

        Let us be thankful then for the Mazda CX-3 GT Sport

    Designed, say Mazda to set a new dynamic benchmark, the CX-3 GT Sport has been conceived under their “Jinba Ittai” (that’s driver-and–car-as-one to you and me) ethos that defines all recent Mazda products. And, in a world, or a High Street at least, where virtually every car seems to share the same somewhat boxy and upright lines as the next one, complete with its front and rear skirts, chrome accents, 18 inch alloys and all-important boot spoiler, the CX-3 GT Sport does indeed cut a refreshing, stylish, and well-creased dash.

      Based on the same underpinnings as Mazda’s similarly swoopy-styled 2 hatchback, but nevertheless longer, wider and needless to say taller, the CX-3 is up against some pretty stiff competition: namely the likes of Vauxhall’s Mokka, Suzuki’s Vitara, Nissan’s Juke the Renault Captur, Skoda’s Karoq, SEAT’s Arona, Volvo’s V40, VW’s T-Roc… As I said, everyone’s at it.

       In such myriad choice perhaps it’s easy to see why Mazda have added a limited edition and range-topping GT Sport version to the CX3’s 13 variant line-up which already incorporates SE, SE Nav, SE-L, SE-L Nav and Sport Nav. Variety after all is clearly the spice of life. Just 500 CX-3 GT Sports will be built in a bid perhaps to not only offer a something a little different but also perhaps little more desirability – or a perhaps it’s just a break from the norm.

       Available only in two wheel drive - all-wheel drive is exclusively for Sport Nav trim CX-3s, think not of the GT as the go-anywhere CX-3, but rather, as the more entertaining one.

        Power comes from Mazda’s SKYACTIV-G 2.0 litre petrol engine providing 118 bhp and the promise of both the capability of 0-62mph in 9.0 seconds, and 47.9 mpg on the combined cycle, which surprisingly we actually got pretty close to – it’s not often you can say that. You do have to work this engine a little, and those used to turbo-chargers may miss the extra torque they provide, but when coupled to Mazda’s beautifully tactile 6-speed manual gearbox (an auto is available too) there’s no great hard-ship in doing so.  

         I’ll readily admit that I was a little apprehensive of just what kind of ride quality the CX-3 GT Sport was going to offer. Fashionably sized 18” alloys filling flared wheel-arches whilst wearing just smear of low-profile rubber rarely make for cosseting progress. Nevertheless, although taut, even on Shropshire’s worst surfaced of B-roads, the comfort levels raised little worry from driver or passengers.

        Of more concern perhaps is the amount of space available. Up-front The CX-3 offers similar accommodation to a family hatchback – and the nappa leather seats are a nice touch too - but its coupe-esque rear styling means that taller rear-seat passengers will find themselves brush the headlining. Three adults on the rear bench may also prove a squeeze too far. At 350 litres the boot-space is not exactly what you’d call cavernous either (and in some cases there’s a subwoofer where the spare wheel should be). Still, at least the rear seats fold flat when required. Overall then, practicality is not the CX-3 GT Sport’s forte.


       Like many a Mazda before it the CX-3 GT Sport’s trump card lies in the way it drives. The steering is light, direct, and accurate, and the gearbox, well that’s just lovely. There’s plenty of grip, little body roll, and for a crossover it all feels surprising nimble. Standard equipment levels are also generous: all CX-3’s get six airbags, stability control, and tyre pressure sensors whilst the GT Sport spec adds a head-up display, reversing camera, BOSE sound system, and even LED headlamps to the haul.  Everything you touch too feels nicely screwed together and built to last. 

        And the price?  At £22,895 upwards, for its size, the CX-3 GT Sport isn’t cheap. Buy the Sport Nav CX-3 instead if you really don’t need the GT Sport’s extra goodies and its questionable limited edition rarity/desirability. Do so and you’ll save £2000 in the process.

          But, in Mazda’s defence few other manufacturers do crossovers with the CX3’s style. Fewer still make them this nice to drive.



    Mazda CX-3 2.0 SKYACTIV-G 120PS GT Sport

    Engine: 1,998cc, 4Cyl, 16V Petrol

    Transmission: 6 speed manual.  Front Wheel Drive

    Power: 118.4 bhp @ 6,000rpm

    Torque: 150.5 lbft @ 2,800 rpm

    0-62mph: 9.0 sec

    Max Speed: 119 mph

    MPG: 47.9 combined.

    CO2: 137g/km

    Price: from £22,895


    Many thanks to Martine at Mazda’s UK press office for the loan of the CX-3 GT


    Liam Bird
  • Shrewsbury student writes, illustrates and publishes her own book about the town
    17 Feb 2020

    A former Art student from Shrewsbury has written and illustrated a book she is launching at  a town wine bar this month.

    Morgan Grice, 22, from Shrewsbury, graduated for SCG (where she attended the then sixth form college) in 2016.

    She studied Art & Design, Graphics and Classical Civilisation A Levels and then returned to study an Art Foundation Course at the College. She is currently in her final year of studying illustration at Birmingham City University.

    Morgan wrote and illustrated a book called ‘Stories of Shrewsbury’ which explores various historical, ghostly and modern stories surrounding the town for one of her modules.

    Morgan, formerly of Belvidere School, is independently publishing the book and will be selling it via a few retailers in town, as well as at her online shop from its release date, February 24.

    It is bound by hand and features interactive tracing paper overlays throughout. The book will be available to purchase from the Abbey Foregate Post Office, Glouglou and Morgan’s Etsy shop: MGriceIllustration

    Morgan is hosting an exhibition and book launch at Glouglou Wine Bar and Shop on Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, from 2pm on Saturday, 22 February.

    Pre-release copies of the book will be for sale, and an exhibition of Morgan’s prints and original artwork surrounding the theme of Shrewsbury, will be on display.

    Morgan said: “My teachers at Shrewsbury Colleges Group, including Adam Constantine, were a major influence for my work and inspired me to pursue further education in illustration.

    “I have invited them to my launch as it would be an honour if they could attend. I would also love other students and young people to come and would be happy to talk to them about my path and what I am doing.”

  • Leasehold trap rears its head for new home buyers
    06 Feb 2017

    New build home buyers are falling into a trap which could end up costing them tens of thousands of pounds and devalue their properties in the long term, lawyers have cautioned.

    Developers are increasingly turning to the practice of selling houses on a leasehold basis, typical of flats, rather than freehold which is more traditional for houses. This means the buyer will be a tenant on the land and face annual and occasional costs which can mount rapidly.

    A Government All Party Parliamentary Group on leasehold reform is looking into the issue after it was discovered that some homeowners were seeing ground rents double. Around 6,000 new houses were sold as leasehold last year.

    Solicitor Harriet Critchley, a property litigation specialist at Shrewsbury-based, FBC Manby Bowdler, said the existence of a leasehold also had the effect of devaluing a home as it aged, because as a leasehold shortens, the value of the property can go down accordingly. Furthermore annual ground rents are usually scheduled to double every ten to 25 years.

    She explained: “There’s no good reason for a house to be bought on a leasehold basis other than because the developer can sell on the leasehold to a company which specialises in such investments. That second company is then free to increase ground rents and even the costs to homeowners of buying the freehold for themselves, by essentially any amount they like.”

    Developer Taylor Wimpey has responded to the concerns, and written to the All Party Parliamentary Group saying it is reviewing cases where homeowners have raised concerns and changed its ground rent policy so that charges are now linked with inflation.

    Legally home buyers have the right to buy their freehold after two years, but if the leasehold has been sold on, it is likely to be at a rate far beyond what the original developer said it would charge them. The homeowner remains responsible for all of the costs associated with the lease unless and until they can sell the property and the responsibilities which go with it.

    Harriet added: “Many buyers will be wary of leasehold properties, so if you own such a house, there’s a significant risk it will either be harder to sell or you will have to settle for an asking price which takes the leasehold into account.

    “For that reason we would always advise people to check very carefully the land ownership arrangement for a property they buy. It’s easy to dismiss a 999-year lease as not being an issue, but those ground rents and other obligations and costs can soon become a nightmare. We would always flag-up a leasehold to a client and ensure they approach such an arrangement with their eyes wide open.”

  • Shropshire company has successful franchise exhibition
    20 Oct 2015
    Rob Tolley

    An established Shropshire company could expand into London, Somerset and Nottinghamshire after successfully launching a franchise, bosses have said.

    Fluid Network Solutions, based in Shrewsbury, gained a number of leads at the National Franchise Exhibition, the first time the company has been available for people to purchase.

    Director Rob Tolley said: “We were overwhelmed with the response we got at the exhibition.

    “A possible four franchisees are interested and many more people picked up leaflets and wanted more information about the company.

    “The impression I got was that we are slightly different to other telecommunications companies which are franchising because we are so well established already, provide more in depth training and launch pack then others and have relatively low start up costs.

    “This is a chance for people to become their own regional directors of Fluid and I was pleasantly surprised with the attitude, determination and general impression from people who came to our stall.

    “I would not be surprised if we had many more enquires over the coming months from people who had picked up the information but took it away to research more.

    “My first franchise exhibition was a huge success and I am looking forward to the future of Fluid.”

    Fluid Network Solutions, a national telecommunications supplier, was set up by Rob Tolley in 2003.

    His team attended the National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham on October 2 and 3 to invite interested parties to use the strength of the brand and extensive established business relationships to launch their own business.

    Fluid provides hosted telephony, telephone systems, BT lines and calls and superfast broadband for businesses and the start up package includes training, branded marketing materials, PR campaigns and back office support.

    Working in line with fibre broadband, which is spreading across the country and allowing rural areas like parts of Shropshire to access services they have not been able to access before, Fluid is set to become one of the largest companies of it’s kind once it has franchised.

    “When I launched Fluid I intended to have a small business but it has grown far beyond all expectations,” Mr Tolley added.

    “This comes as a result of the hard work of our staff but also the industry itself.

    “Very rapidly the mobile phone and the internet have completely changed the way we communicate, the way we do business and even the way we plan and live our lives.
    “Demand for our services is increasing all the time which is what has lead us to this next step, it is a very exciting time for us.”

    Mr Tolley set up his own firm to be honest, open and ethical, providing the highest level of service and communications and at the same time increase efficiency and reduce costs for their customers.

    This is something he is adamant to maintain.

    “The people we take on as a franchisee will be trained and will have support and guidance,” he added.
    “We have worked hard to get to this stage at Fluid and we are committed to helping our franchisees to grow the brand further.

    “As long as the franchisee has the right attitude and a work-hard ethic we are sure they will be extremely successful.”

    For more information about Fluid Network Solutions visit the website, email [email protected] or call 0333 222 6650.

  • Bookings flooding in for Crossbar’s six weeks of summer holiday fun
    24 Jul 2019

    An established Shropshire coaching company is gearing up for its busiest ever summer, with bookings flooding in for six weeks of fun during the school holidays.

    Crossbar Coaching Education in Sport have put together a packed programme of holiday courses around the county.

    Featuring soccer schools, dance camps and themed holiday clubs, regular activities will also be taking place for the first time at Shrewsbury’s Jump In trampoline park.

    “The number of children taking part increases every summer,” said Jamie Haynes, Crossbar’s head of education in sport. "We estimate that around 2,000 youngsters will attend one of our courses or clubs over the summer. There really is something for everyone, with places filling up fast.

    “The courses are open to boys and girls aged between five to 11 while young leaders from Years 7 and 8 can also come along and help out. They can still be involved in the activities and games, but also have a little bit more responsibility and the opportunity to gain some leadership qualities.

    “It’s a great way for children to be active throughout the summer, especially when so much time can be spent on computers and ipads.

    "This is an ideal way for them to get back to basics by playing outdoors and having fun. They can also learn new skills and and make new friends in a fun environment.” 

    Soccer schools, which are always a hit, will be held from Monday to Friday throughout all six weeks of the summer holidays at Shrewsbury’s London Road Sports Centre and Lawley Primary School in Telford.

    Also running throughout the six weeks from Monday to Friday at London Road Sports Centre will be Crossbar’s popular dance camps.

    Themed holiday clubs will take place at Shrewsbury primary schools Greenfields, St George’s and Radbrook - a new venue for 2019 - Pontesbury Primary School, Broseley C of E Primary School, plus Telford primary schools Captain Webb, Hollinswood, Old Park and Redhill.

    Crossbar are also delighted to be launching a new club at Shrewsbury’s Jump In, which will include trampolining and dodgeball, to add to the wide range of activities offered.

    Jamie added: “We are looking forward to running the new clubs at Jump in Shrewsbury on a number of days this summer. It's a new initiative, a new partnership. As a trampoline park, Jump In provides many different options with the dodgeball arena and the rooms which are available for arts and crafts together with other activities.  

    “We will have different themes each week for our holiday clubs, including water week, pirate week, kids on the move, survival week and coaches versus kids. It’s important to offer something different for the children.”  

    All proceeds from the courses go to the Crossbar Foundation to support the quality and lives of young people in communities across Shropshire. 

    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. 
    Pictured: Shropshire youngsters, including these at a holiday club held at Shrewsbury’s Greenfields Primary School, have lots to look forward to during Crossbar’s busy summer holiday programme.

  • New Shropshire rock music school inviting budding musicians to attend free taster day
    31 Jul 2019

    A new rock music school is inviting budding musicians of all ages and abilities to its free taster day in early August.

    Backbeat Music School, the brainchild of Adam Knight and Ian Fourie, will launch in September, but aspiring musicians are being invited to attend an open day event on Sunday 11 August at The Flaxmill’s Dyehouse and Stove House studio room.

    Running for a ten week term at a time, the school will initially operate from venues in Shrewsbury, Market Drayton and Wem and is open to people of all abilities in the age groups seven to 12, 13 to 18 and 18 to 90 years old. A full band performance will take place at the end of each term. While drum kits will be provided students are welcome to bring their own instruments to cover the other music disciplines on offer including guitar, bass guitar, keyboards and vocals. No more than five students will be taught in each group at a time. Backbeat Music School holds appropriate public liability insurance and all tutors are safeguarding and DBS registered. A first aid trained person will also be in attendance at each session.  

    ‘Release your rock star’ is Backbeat’s mantra as Adam Knight explains: “The tutors hold years of teaching experience and have all performed in bands either as semi or full-time professionals. So, we not only have an insight as to how the business works but also an understanding of performance, which we feel is just as important as music theory. Our aim is to create bands from musicians, who either as beginners have yet to experience it, or simply need the thrill of playing a rock gig rekindled. In addition, we hope they’ll gain knowledge of pre gig set up, PAs and sound, and working in a team, as well as boosting their self-esteem and having a lot of fun on the way.”

    Backbeat Music School’s free taster day on Sunday 11 August at The Flaxmill’s Dyehouse and Stove House studio room, will run from 11am until 2pm. Refreshments will be provided. For more information or to book a place contact Adam Knight by email [email protected].

    Picture: (left to right) Adam Knight and Ian Fourie, Backbeat Music School.

    Neville Street
  • Float away with new Shropshire business
    04 Dec 2019
    Kevin, Suzie and Iseabeul Guerin from Shropshire Floats

    A family from Ironbridge are launching a new business in the county which will deliver Shropshire’s first ever flotation therapy. Kevin and Suzie Guerin are launching Shropshire Floats this month.

    The couple became aware of the therapy whilst living in America 30 years ago and have since been planning how to introduce the unique treatment in Shropshire.

    The flotation process involves lying in a lightproof, sound-insulated tank containing a shallow, ten-inch deep pool of warm water, enriched with Epsom salts, kept at a consistent temperature. Studies have shown that one hour of floating can have the same restorative effects as four hours of deep sleep. The Epsom salts contain magnesium which regulates over 325 enzymes and reduces inflammation and muscle tension, and sulphates which enhance the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and ease headaches.

    Co-founder, Kevin Guerin, comments on the new business for Shropshire, “We are very excited to launch Shropshire Floats. We have been hard at work getting everything ready over the last few months. It has been very important to us to use local suppliers to keep our investment within Shropshire.

    “We think locals are going to love this revolutionary treatment. The Epsom salt solution means you effortlessly float and the effects of gravity are neutralised – it’s more buoyant than the Dead Sea! There are dozens of amazing health benefits. Flotation therapy decreases the production of cortisol and lactic acid whilst increasing endorphins and accelerating rehabilitation and recovery speeds. It can relieve pain, boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure, create mental clarity, diminishes depression and insomnia, and promotes total calm and relaxation. The list goes on and on! You have complete control of your environment which means you can totally relax.

    “Let your worries and woes float away!”

    The treatment is suitable for all adults, including pregnant women and those with sports injuries. Shropshire Floats is located in the rural village of Myddle, just 20 minutes from Shrewsbury and 30 minutes from Telford. They will be opening for business from next week.

    Visit for more information, to make a booking or purchase a gift voucher.


  • Leading Shropshire Care Specialists award care staff pay rises of up to 55% above minimum wage
    14 Feb 2020

    An award-winning Shropshire care company has decided to smash through the current salaries for care staff and introduce whopping pay rises of up to 55% above minimum wage.

    Bluebird Care, with offices in Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury, and Oswestry town centre, is on a mission to recruit as many new Care Assistants to the sector as it can, and to reward the staff who already work for it.

    The company not only wants to attract new carers, it is striving to ensure the value and hard work of each staff member is rewarded equally, regardless of gender, age or how long they have worked for it.

    Bluebird Care, which provides at-home care to people living in Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Church Stretton and surrounding areas, has created a new pay structure, in which Care Assistants can earn between 11% and 55% above the national minimum wage (NMW), depending on their age.

    Carers under 25 are also receiving a 18% increase on their current salaries, and over 25s will get a 11% pay increase. All Care Assistants will be paid at least £10 an hour, from new recruits who have passed induction, to those who have been in the company several years or more.

    Director of Bluebird Care, Ian Barnes, said: “We recognise that all our Care Assistants are expected to deliver the same high standard of care to our customers, regardless of age or experience, and so have made the important decision of introducing a single rate of pay for everyone.

    “It’s sad that many people don’t consider a career in care. Instead, they might think that working in shops, bars and restaurants is a better job. But these roles are often low paid, with anti-social hours and limited job satisfaction or career progression.

    “We want to open people’s eyes to the realities of care work. An 18-year-old, working full time hours with us would earn over £23k a year. That’s a fantastic salary! The hours with us are flexible to fit around you, we have a career pathway and encourage promotion, even up to senior manager level.

    “We offer ongoing training and qualifications, and our pay rates are significantly higher, not only than other care companies locally and regionally, but also than many other sectors such as hospitality and retail. The rewards and opportunities if you opt for a career in care are endless.”

    Claire Flavell, Director of Care, said: “We are doing this because we want our staff to earn more than minimum wage. We have never been part of a pay culture that pays less, but we are widening that gap even further.

    “We recognise that regardless of age and gender our Care Assistants are doing the same work – and we want them to be paid fairly for that. Our staff are delighted with the move and many have told us how pleased they are we are being inclusive and that they hope other companies and sectors follow our leap of faith and follow suit.”

    Ceri Eades, HR Manager, said: “We want to recruit as many people to this sector and our company as possible, so we have reviewed the package we offer to staff. These pay rises are really significant. Over 25s are getting an extra £1.28 per hour, that’s 15% above NMW. For 21 to 24 years its 22% above and for 18 to 20 years its 55% above and a whopping £3.55 more per hour. But everyone will earn at least £10 an hour. It’s a huge move.

    “We also want to attract people from other professions, and we believe one way to do this is simply to pay the higher, attractive rates that carers deserve.

    “We also want to make sure that pay rates and conditions for our existing staff are maintained and are the best that they can be. We place enormous value on the work of all our care staff working for us.”

    Meryl Hughes, a Senior Care Assistant from Oswestry, has worked for the company for seven years in May and been promoted to senior level.

    She said: “I wish I’d become a carer earlier. I was an accounts director for an engineering company but was made redundant. I found out Bluebird Care was looking for care assistants in the Oswestry area and the rest is history.

    “If I’d have known more about this career, I would have done it earlier. It’s not what you think, and it really is so rewarding. It has changed my life. I would never look back and will continue to do this as long as I’m able.”

    Emilio Armes, who has worked for the company for four years, said: “I really, really love my job. I always want to get up and start the day and when I compare this work to my previous role in retail, it’s just so much more rewarding.”

    Last year the company launched Live-in care services and has seen a 150% growth in the service within the first 12 months.

    Bluebird Care Shropshire was crowned Best Home Care Team Award at the regional finals of the Great British Care Awards and is going through to the national finals next month in Birmingham.


  • Murder and Robbery in Theatre Severn....Elementary!
    23 Jan 2019

    Blackeyed Theatre

    Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four

    Theatre Severn

    23rd - 25th /January / 2019

    If you have ever wondered what theatre is really for and what it is really about you could do no better than to go and catch Blackeyed Theatre’s, “Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four.” It is not only a masterclass in all things theatrical, it is also a masterpiece.

    With Luke Barton in an expertly played Sherlock and Joseph Derrington in the role of Dr. Watson, the two brought before us an exotic tale of far off Empire, jewels and of course Murder. Joined by Stephanie Rutherford, Christopher Glover, Ru Hamilton and Zach Lee between the six of them they gave the impression of a cast of thousands.

     With each character so beautifully created and so well drawn by this group of actors one realises very quickly that this show is of the highest calibre and so fantastically cast it had to work on every level and work it does.

    Here we see the mercurial Holmes at his best in a romp that leaves one feeling utterly elated initially to have seen the show but secondly to think you have it solved only to discover that Holmes is the brainiest man in the building.

    Written and directed by Nick Lane this is a show that once again recaptures the true essence of the text and one imagines had Conan Doyle been around to see it, he would have thoroughly approved of the sensitive and creative way the whole mis-en-scene was created. It really somehow did feel like Victorian London and the characterisations were so good that one was back in the 19th Century almost immediately.

    The fantastically clever use of music to give pathos, pace and tempo was again a masterstroke. Just at the right time in would come the music. But not like they’d got nothing else to do; the music was played by the cast. Great big brass bass trombone worked so well and so sensitively with flute, xylophone, oboe and guitar. In fact Zach Lee has his own youtube channel where he demonstrates the unique and haunting way he makes the guitar work for him. It is so pleasing on the ears.

    Holmes is tolerated by his much beleaguered Landlady, Mrs. Hudson. I believe as so many great actresses have had a go at the role it was going to be a tough one. But Stephanie Rutherford completely nails it. Ms. Rutherford is able to change character as we might change clothes. She immerses into her part and morphs so wonderfully and entertainingly into other characters that it is indeed sometimes hard to believe you are watching the same woman.

    The set is just so clever. Really made up of a series of three dimensional shapes initially it looks like somewhere but nowhere, then comes the use of the shapes. Boats, carriages, Indian temples and a Victorian London skyline are all there to see and yet we never left our seats.

    There are so many dimensions to a show this size. The set has to work, the lighting and sound plans, the costume and even the properties again have to work well in this show every dimension is filled admirably and there seems to be absolutely nothing left to chance. That is a true indication of the genius of the practitioners.

    This is a truly great show, everything is just right. I called it a romp not in a disparaging way at all it is a romp in so much as it takes you all over the globe and finally involves you in an exciting chase in a boat down the Thames. For fear of betraying the plot this reviewer will leak no more. But one can say It’s very exciting, when one thinks, after they have gone all that’s left will be the black box of an empty stage and yet tonight we saw it with our own eyes it became something so much more! Amazing.

    This show is here until Friday and if you are wondering what might make a great Thursday or Friday night out. Check it out. As Holmes might say, One deduces that the likelihood of a brilliant time is a foregone conclusion!

    This is a Five Star Review.

    Owen J.Lewis


    Owen Lewis
  • Christmas Video Competition Seeks Shropshire Talent
    30 Sep 2014

    Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID) has thrown down the gauntlet to all local bands and solo artists by offering the one-off chance to produce a piece of music that will accompany this year’s Christmas video filmed in Shrewsbury.

    Local composers are invited to submit their musical masterpieces via WeTransfer, where each entry must be at least 30 seconds in length, Christmassy in theme, with optional lyrics.

    The lucky winner will have the chance to record their piece of music professionally as the backing track to the official ‘Christmas in Shrewsbury’ video as well as record a second piece of music of their choice.

    Aaron Child, local videographer, will also film the winners recording their music in the studio meaning great exposure for the musician/s and their song.

    All entries are to be sent to the BID, the organisation behind Original Shrewsbury, at [email protected] before the closing date of Monday 6th October. The winner will be announced Wednesday 8nd October 2014.

    The panel of judges includes, Maureen Powell Davies, Director of Music at Shrewsbury High School, Craig Reeves, Marketing Manager at Theatre Severn, Aaron Child, producer and filmography of the ‘Christmas in Shrewsbury’ video and Kirsten Henly, Shrewsbury BID Manager.

    Following the success of the ‘Summer in Shrewsbury’ video, which has been viewed more than 24,000 times since its launch in August, the Shrewsbury BID is currently in the midst of its second production aimed to showcase the one-off aspects of the town and the unique offers for shoppers and visitors over the festive period. All it needs now is the music.

    Pete White
  • Wellington’s first bespoke dementia care
    20 Jun 2018

    A brand-new specialist dementia nursing facility, part of the acclaimed Morris Care Centre, in Wellington, Shropshire has opened its doors today to welcome its first residents.

    The 11-bedroom ‘home from home’ on Holyhead Road heralds a pioneering new approach to delivering specialist dementia care within a small, bespoke residence – a first for the area.

    Its holistic approach, The Cedar Philosophy, focusses on personal wellbeing as well as clinical nursing requirements, aiming to reduce anxiety and stress.  It can lead to real therapeutic benefits with innovative, creative ideas tailored to each individual’s needs, medical background and life story.

    To compliment the physical care, the Home’s interior has been sympathetically designed to provide a calming, safe and comfortable environment. Features include individually coloured bedroom doors to help residents remember their room. There are also dedicated themed areas to stimulate interest and promote happy memories with the help of photographs and vintage items. The Home also has a sensory and relaxing Spa room with a specialist massage bathing system for residents to enjoy as well as a safe, private garden.

    Care Centre Home Manager, Lydia Tyanase, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing our amazing dementia friendly team with their specialist skills to this community. We believe it is a privilege to care for residents, treating them as individuals and considering every aspect of their wellbeing.  This really is a wonderful reassuring and comforting place for those living with dementia – a place to call home.”

    Morris Care have been delivering outstanding levels of care in Shropshire and Cheshire across its range of homes for more than 25 years and has called on its extensive research and experience with those living with dementia, to launch Ercall Court.

    The new facility is affiliated to the nearby Morris Care Centre in Wellington which has been accredited ‘Good’ by CQC and achieved a nationally recognised Gold Award for its care.

    For more information about family-run business Morris Care, its six Nursing Homes and services visit

  • New Burger's a taste sensation at American Smokehouse
    28 Feb 2015

    It's smokin'! Bosses at Shropshire's only American Smokehouse have unveiled a new taste sensation - a burger with a difference as the signature dish on their new menu.
    Smoke Stop. The road to BBQ has proved a massive hit with diners since opening its doors at Ford, near Shrewsbury, last summer.
    Now Ryan King and Sophie Gwilliam, who run the restaurant, are excited about the launch of their new menu topped by a newly-created bacon marshmallow burger which they expect to become extremely popular.
    "It's going to be our signature burger and we're going to trademark it as no-one else has ever done it before," said Ryan. "It's a sweet and savoury sensation in your mouth. Once you've tried it, you'll definitely want more.
    "It's not been done in the States and it's one we've made up ourselves. It's something different that people will want to come out to try. It really is that good - the sort of burger you would want to come back and try again and again."
    Ryan, who enjoyed a working holiday to America before Christmas to unlock more taste secrets for Smoke Stop, added: "The new menu is really exciting and we've tweaked a few things to make it the best we possibly can.
    "We've stayed true to Texas where myself and Sophie visited and learnt all their secrets and brought them back with us.
    "It took a few months to get the menu just right, but it's pushed towards the Texas style, and we're sure everyone will really like it.
    "Other restaurants may try and serve similar food but we are the only place in Shropshire which smokes our food in special smokers ovens all the way from Memphis. That's the way we cook it so we are certainly staying true to that."
    Ryan added he had been delighted with the feedback he has received from guests who often travel from far and wide to enjoy an authentic American dining experience in rural Shropshire.
    "We have a lot of foodies in and we've also had quite a few Amercians visiting," he said. "It's been very flattering to hear them say they have not had anything better outside Texas or the other parts of America they're from.
    "It's great to hear that Amercians are saying what we're doing is right.
    "We've got lots of great additions on the new menu, other new burgers on there, new nibbly starters and some very quirky names for some of our dishes which myself and Sophie have woken up with at 3am in the morning!
    "It's always good to see people's faces when they read the names of our dishes and you've got to keep the fun element.
    "We pride ourselves on creating a laid back atmosphere here and people want to have fun whey go out eating these days."
    To reserve a table at Smoke Stop - and advance booking is recommended - call (01743) 851944.

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