The top articles currently trending on Love Shrewsbury.

  • UK’s first Porridge and Granola subscription service launches in Shrewsbury
    19 Jun 2019
    Cherry Bakewell porridge from newly lauched Oat Pantry

    A unique subscription service which launched this month (June 2019) will bring a healthy, tasty breakfast direct to your letterbox with flavours which change monthly.

    Oat Pantry will deliver Shropshire artisan granola and flavoured porridge to households throughout the UK. The product will not only be healthy due to reduced sugar and all-natural vegan ingredients, but its environmental impact will be minimal due to its plastic-free, recyclable and compostable packaging.

    The ‘good breakfast’ people receive will also be doing good as Oat Pantry will be donating a percentage of its profits to different charities.  A different charity will benefit every six months.

    Oat Pantry is the brainchild of founder and Shropshire resident, Alex Jenkins, a confirmed foodie who returned to Shrewsbury to launch it after seven years spent living and working in London.

    Both porridge and granola products were developed by a passionate team of in-house chefs over the course of a year to ensure every single flavour was a taste sensation.

    Alex explains: “Growing up in Shropshire I always recognised the wealth of great food which we have growing on our doorstep and breakfast was always a very important part of the day.

    “But when I found myself living and working in London I realised how many people were too busy to eat breakfast or just picked up something fast due to convenience, even though that was not what they really wanted.

    “Oat Pantry is about bringing back breakfast with a great artisan product which changes monthly for variety, with flavours as seasonal as possible. It’s also convenient as it’s delivered direct to your home or workplace.

    “All of our porridge and granola selections are vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, as well as being reduced sugar, making it a suitable way to start the day for any member of the family. Best of all it tastes delicious.”

    Subscribers will receive two unique flavours such as carrot cake and cherry bakewell, strawberry and pink peppercorn, or teacake every month.  Each contain the highest level of quality ingredients, to ensure both the granola and porridge options are 100% natural.

    Alex explains, “The gorgeous flavours you receive change every month, but if you don’t like a certain flavour, there’s the opportunity to switch it out for something classic like fruit and nut or cinnamon and raison, all of which have proved extremely popular with adults and children during our taste tests.”

    Oat Pantry packaging is FSC sustainably sourced and recyclable, the pouches are 100 per cent plastic-free and made from a paper material. This means they can be recycled along with paper and cardboard, or composted.

    There are a number of subscription options available with discounts for the longer you sign up:

    Monthly rolling (billed each month, cancel anytime) - £10.99 p/m
    3 month fixed term plan - £10.79 p/m
    6 month fixed term plan - £10.49 p/m
    12 month fixed term plan - £9.99 p/m

    Alex said: “Our first boxes will be going out to customers from Monday 3 June and we know the service is going to be very popular, so we would encourage people to go to our website and sign up as soon as they can.”

  • Events cancelled as heavy rain persists
    19 Jun 2019
    Hawkstone Follies

    Event organisers have been forced to cancel two out of three events scheduled to take place over the Follies Festival weekend at Hawkstone Park Follies. There was due to be a comedy night and west end musicals night on the 5th and 6th July, but due to the extreme weather conditions, the main stage cannot be constructed at the Follies grounds.

    Parts of the county have had the equivalent of almost three months of rain in a week this month, and it is the wettest June on record since 2012. Hawkstone Park’s Commercial Director, Lauren Cartledge comments:

    “It’s with a very heavy heart that we have decided to cancel the comedy and musicals nights at Follies Festival. We had some brilliant acts lined up and it was due to be a fantastic couple of days. Many of Shropshire’s tourism and hospitality businesses are bound to have been affected by the recent wet weather, and unfortunately it has stopped us holding what would have been a memorable event.

    “Thankfully we are still able to hold our Storytelling and Troll Hunting day on Sunday 7th July. We will be launching our all new troll hunt trail, as well as welcoming lots of amazing authors for book readings so it will be a great day out for the whole family. There will be dressing up, messy play, rhyme time and storytelling, all set to help children of all ages engage with books.”

    With the help of Shrewsbury’s Button & Bear Bookshop some prestigious authors have been secured for their storytelling day. Barbara Mitchellhill, who won the Solihull Children's Book Award for her book ‘Storm Runners,’ will be reading from ‘The Secret Suffragette’ and will be encouraging audience participation and dressing up. Also, Andy Stanton, who is the award-winning author of Mr Gum, will be reading from ‘The Panini’s of Pompeii.’ 

    Standard admission prices apply for the event on Sunday 7th July at Hawkstone Follies, but places are limited so the organisers recommend booking tickets in advance via their website

    Refunds will be issued for anyone who has already purchased tickets to the comedy and west end nights.


  • A Slice Of Meat Loaf For Everyone!
    18 Jun 2019

    Anything for Love: The Meatloaf Story

    Theatre Severn

    Tuesday 18th –Wednesday 19th June

    Its fair to say that one expected the theatre to be full to capacity tonight and admittedly one was not disappointed. The reason why…Well quite apart from the amazing Meat Loaf  score, reputation precedes Steve Steinman as he is well known to Shrewsbury theatre goers. Normally he is with his fun show, Vampire’s Rock. He is always scoring high on the star system of these reviews, so the jury was out. Was this show as much fun as his other one? Yes is the answer. Every bit as good. It is pleasing to see that Steinman is such a consummate entertainer.

    The stage looked deceptively empty, The back line was on raisers, Drums and Bass Guitar and Grand Piano took the higher ground and lead and rhythm Guitars and backing vocalists occupied downstage areas. The band was stunning. Note for perfect note. Stating that it was their intention to look at the music of Jim Steinman (No relation to our hero, one believes) So making it Steinman-centric and cleverly, not solely Meat Loaf, the audience learns that he also wrote hits for Celine Dion and Bonnie Tyler and we got those too.

    There is a great tongue in cheek approach to the show. Steve Steinman doesn’t take it all too seriously he relaxes and has a laugh with his audience. This is not a deep and serious look into the world of Mr. Loaf as Steinman breaks character quite a lot to throw in an improvised one liner. It is always rewarding to watch a bunch of artistes who like each other. One can see the respect the cast each have for their colleagues varied talents. A good show begins from the first note of rehearsal to the last note on the last night of the performance. Only a cast that happily lets everyone shine with their full support has the right to call themselves a good show. Well this is a good show.

    A big moment is the introduction of Lorraine Crosby. She is the female vocalist off the original track, “Anything for Love.” She really is a gutsy rock chick with a voice and look to match. Her control and range are so deeply impressive. She goes off piste a couple of times to bring other Jim Steinman music into the fore and her voice is indeed a magical tool.

    The use of pyro’s or live fireworks, is always impressive. As they were working their way through, “Out Of The Frying Pan,” flames shot high into the air. It looks so good. Not overused, just spot on.

    The musicians really know what they are about. The Pianist is wonderful, it is so good to hear a piano being played properly, it adds that luxurious quality of sound to the overall mix. The keys also create anticipation and expectation. They deliver constantly.

    Also there were three female backing vocalists and one male. Although they stand apart on stage their movements were all synchronised and looked excellent. Not only could they sing but their elegance of movement again enriched the whole experience.

    One is aware that Steve Steinman will be back to Theatre Severn again and again and one imagines will always deliver. This show certainly brings out the best in him and he is the final sheen of a very highly polished piece. To concur or otherwise, one can catch the show again tomorrow night. If they do it as well again as they did tonight then the next full house will be in for a real treat.

    This is A Four Star Review

    Owen J.Lewis

    Owen Lewis
  • SSAFA Shropshire marks Armed Forces Day 2019
    19 Jun 2019

    Armed Forces Day is less than a month away and our team of volunteers will once again be hitting the streets of Shrewsbury, raising vital funds to aid the work we do at SSAFA - and we need your help!

    The street collection is being organised by Sue Beighton and Brian Glendinning. It takes place on Saturday, June 29, in the town centre and we are keen to hear from anyone who would like to help us with the collection on the day.

    Sue said: “The organisation is very much a joint effort between Brian and myself. We have a street licence to collect anywhere in Shrewsbury and have to buy the licence - Brian gets that side of things sorted out with the Town Council.

    “We will be set up with Shoplatch as our base and have a number of regular volunteers who will be helping out again, but we would be happy to hear from anyone else who could spare some time on the day.

    “The aim is to cover all the town centre with as many people as we can get. We have had eight to 10 in the past but could happily accommodate more. So if anyone has an hour, half an hour, whatever time they can give us, really, then we want to hear from them.

    “The last couple of years we have had a gazebo at Shoplatch and hopefully that will be the case again. We will also be delighted to welcome any visitors on the day to come along and find out more about SSAFA and the work we do.

    Sue has been heavily involved with SSAFA as a volunteer, fundraiser and caseworker for several years, joining us after working with Help for Heroes following her son Nick being seriously injured in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan in 2009. 

    Nick, of course, has become a prolific Paralympian, also hugely successful at a number of major canoeing championships and has been selected for the British team heading to Hungary for a competition in August with his eyes firmly set on the Tokyo games next year.

    He recently finished third fastest in the world championships in Poland but missed out on a medal because a Gold and two Silvers were presented and no Bronze after two competitors tied for second place. Another magnificent achievement!

    Anyone wanting to volunteer on the day can contact Sue on [email protected] or call the SSAFA Office in Shrewsbury on 01743 344220 between 10am and noon Monday to Friday.

  • Nail and beauty academy moves to new Shrewsbury premises to cope with demand for courses
    14 Feb 2013

    A nail and beauty training school in Shrewsbury has moved premises to cope with a boom in demand from therapists from across the county.

    Dragonfly Nail and Beauty Academy has launched the rebranded business at its new premises at Tower Park, Ennerdale Road in Shrewsbury.

    Donna Law, director of Dragonfly, said the latest move was needed due to the increase in people wanting to train in gel nails.

    “I’ve been training people for five years after successfully running three of my own beauty salons named The Burgundy Suite for ten years, but I have always specialised in nails since joining the industry twenty years ago.

    “The beauty industry is certainly thriving in Shropshire and people are even travelling from outside of the county to train at the academy as the courses are short and give the results they want,” Mrs Law, 55, said.

    “I specialise in delivering short courses which teaches the clients the skills they want without dragging it over a week or more for the sake of it - they range from half-a-day to two days long.”

    The academy which offers specialist gel nail courses, manicure and pedicure courses, nail art, spray tanning and will be introducing facial waxing and eyelash extensions, is accredited by the Associated Beauty Therapists.

    The beauty expert said this accreditation enabled her clients to immediately get their own insurance, meaning they could work immediately after completing the courses which they could not do if the course they completed was not recognised by insurance companies.

    She said people booking on to her courses included those who wanted to update their skills to move with the latest beauty trends, new mums who wanted to start their own business for the first time and also hair salon owners who wanted to expand their business with a beauty service.

    Dragonfly courses range from £50 to £200. For more information call Donna on 07974 300 139, e-mail her at [email protected] or visit

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Our next history lesson from Martin Wood Shrewsburys very own town crier
    23 Jul 2012

    Anyone coming into Shrewsbury to shop is bound to walk along High Pavement, and Shoemakers Row, although those names have long since disappeared and has been replaced by what is now known as Pride Hill.

    The name, Pride Hill, was taken from a 15th Century family called The Prides who owned many shops in the area and also owned land known as "Pridesditches" below Coton Hill close to what is now the County showground.

    From the top of Pride Hill looking down the street on the left was often known as "Double Butchers Row" or "The Shambles" due to the amount of butchers that congregated there on market days and on the right hand side this was used by the shoemakers.

    At the top of Pride Hill is the High Cross and it was here in 1283 that the last of the Welsh princes, David, was executed for crimes against the King.
    David`s greatest crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time as his brother, Llewellen, who was the Welsh leader was killed on his way to do battle with King Edward who had nicked his bride to be and he was not a happy man!!

    So once Llewellen had died David held the reins until he was captured by Edwards soldiers and brought into Shrewsbury.
    King Edward wanted to overthrow the welsh once and for all so rather than bringing David to London, which would take a while, the king ordered his entire court to move to Shrewsbury and ordered twenty main towns in the Country to send two of their deputies and each Sheriff of the land to send two of his knights and they met at Shrewsbury Abbey. This was the first court in the land to have commoners representing their own areas and so Shrewsbury held the first English Parliament !!

    Things did not go right for David and he was quickly found guilty of many crimes including commiting murder on a Palm Sunday and being a traitor against the Crown.
    Davids punishment was to be dragged through the town tied to a horses tail and then hung, drawn and quartered with his head being placed on a stake next to his brothers in London and his body bits being sent to Bristol, York, Northampton and Winchester so next time you park illegally you have been warned!!

    Another famous body to be put on display at the High Cross was that of Henry Percy or Hotspur as he was known and this happened after the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403 when Hotspur was killed and, although his body was taken to Whitchurch and buried there, King Henry ordered that he be dug up and put on display at the High Cross before he to was Hung, Drawn and Quartered and his head journeyed down to London to be put on a stake on London Bridge, gruesome stuff indeed!

    Shopping trends as they are these days, most of the shops on Pride Hill have changed over the years but some of the buildings can still be remembered such as Morris`s Cafe which is now W. H. Smiths. The cafe was opened in 1913 and soon became the place to meet  having seperate ladies tea rooms and gents smoking rooms as well as a rooftop garden.

    It would also be most remiss of me not to mention the few inns and hostelries that graced Pride Hill over the years and these include the Clarendon Hotel, (next to where waitrose is now) the Wagon and Horses, the Horseshoes, the Rainbow, the Greyhound Hotel, (now Thomas Cook`s) the Rising Sun, the Red Lion and the Leopard, enough there to wet anyones whistle!! see you next time....."

    Martin Wood
  • Artist appeals for 1,000 women to bare their breasts for limited edition wallpaper
    13 Nov 2012

    With a renewed campaign to ban Page 3 models, topless women demanding equal rights on the streets of New York and controversy raging over paparazzi pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing semi nude – breasts are very much in the news.

    Now a Shropshire artist is looking to recruit 1,000 women to bare their breasts for a limited edition wallpaper.

    Sam Pooley wants to photograph breasts - of all different shapes, ages and sizes – to create a montage work of art that will also be reproduced as designer wallpaper.

    The images will be used in a subtle, tasteful form and will be shown at her degree show, at Birmingham University, next year, along with a soundtrack of women talking about their ‘natural assets’.

    “Every woman has an opinion about their breasts. The majority I’ve spoken to don’t like theirs very much,” said 38-year-old Miss Pooley, of Castlefields, Shrewsbury.

    “I wish to create an artwork that celebrates breasts and in the process enables women to feel liberated by the experience and have their self-confidence boosted.”

    The fine art student, who runs popular children’s art classes and the art and craft gallery Compost and Gooseberry at Shrewsbury Market Hall, is also looking for a sponsor to help launch and showcase the wallpaper.

    She said: “The breast has been a constant image used in art for many thousands of years, from Stone Age fertility goddesses and classical sculpture to breast-feeding Italian Renaissance Madonnas and fleshy modern nudes. It has been revered as life-giving, wholesome, liberating.

    “In modern times photographic images of breasts have become something smutty or rude, while women in many African and South Pacific cultures wander around bare-chested all the time and no-one bats an eyelid.”

    Miss Pooley, who will take the photographs herself at a private Shrewsbury town centre studio from November 8, already has 68 volunteers.

    “The photographs will be taken sensitively and concentrate on the chest area. No faces will be used in the final artwork,” she added.

    Volunteers are asked to contact Miss Pooley on 0753 182 4561 or email her at [email protected].

    Three years ago the fashionable Soho hotel restaurant Dean Street Townhouse became as much talked about for its subtle intimate body part-themed wallpaper as its award-winning cuisine.

    In September the actor and writer Lucy-Anne Holmes, took up where the former Labour MP Clare Short left off in the 1980s, to relaunch a national campaign to ban topless models from Page 3 of The Sun newspaper.

    Last August bare-breasted women took to the streets of New York and other US towns, as part of a National-Go-Topless Day, to campaign for the same rights as men to go topless in public.

    For further press information contact Miss Pooley on 0753 182 4561 or Sarah Hart on 01743 792555 or 0741 535 1318.

  • Brand new live event coming to Shrewsbury
    14 Jun 2019

    Shropshire has a brand new live variety event to look forward to this summer with a packed programme planned for visitors throughout the day.

    Shrewsbury Live will be taking place at the Greenhous West Mid Showground on Sunday, August 4 with the star entertainment on the day being provided by monster trucks.

    It is being organised by the Shropshire and West Midlands Agricultural Society with a focus on providing an enjoyable day out for the whole family during the school summer holidays.

    There will be a full main ring programme, funfair, trade stalls, musicians and plenty of food and drink vendors on site to cater for all tastes during the event. Tickets are now on sale - with the added incentive of a discount for anyone buying before the day.

    Ian Bebbington, chief executive of the Shrewsbury and West Midlands Agricultural Society, said: “This is a brand new event for the town and we are keen to get the message out for people to note the date and come along for a great day of family entertainment.

    “Monster trucks are making a return to the showground after a hugely successful appearance during last year’s Shropshire County Show and will be featuring Big Pete and Grim Reaper - so that’s well worth watching.

    “Other main ring entertainment includes the Guido Louis Equestrian Stunt Team and the Extreme Mountain Bike Show.

    “There will be an exciting funfair to enjoy, an array of trade stands and musicians who will be busking throughout the day.

    “The showground is run by the society, a charity, which is keen to support the local community whenever possible.

    “It’s a versatile venue and it makes perfect sense to use it to its fullest potential, so we came up with the idea of putting on a live variety event families could come along and enjoy, at what, we hope, will be the height of summer.”

    Admission on the day will be £10 adults, £5 children - aged five to 15 - and £30 for a family ticket - but people can take advantage of limited advanced tickets currently available at £8 adults, £5 children and £25 family ticket. A family ticket includes two adults and three children.

    Ian added: “As well as a reduction in price, a major benefit of buying tickets ahead of the event means beating the queues on the day with easier access to the showground.

    “Gates will open at 10.30am for Shrewsbury Live and we hope as many people as possible will turn out to support this new event.”

    To buy tickets, click here or call 01743 289831.

  • Aspiring landscape photographers encouraged to capture Shropshire’s beauty
    06 Jun 2019

    Budding landscape photographers across Shropshire are being encouraged to capture photos of the county’s stunning countryside in a competition being launched this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the Shropshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

    Running with the theme “My Shropshire”, the charity is asking photographers to enter images of the county’s beautiful and diverse landscapes, which best show why they love Shropshire.

    Sarah Bury, Chair of CPRE Shropshire, comments on the rationale for the competition and what the charity hopes to achieve through it: “With our 70th birthday this year, it’s an ideal time to take stock and remember that so much of the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of the Shropshire countryside has been protected through our campaigning work.

    “However, how we each see that beauty differs, so a photography competition which captures what different people value in our fabulous local landscape felt like a fitting way to celebrate this milestone.

    “Accordingly, we’ve made sure that our competition is open to aspiring photographers and complete novices alike and we’re keen to see everything from wide panoramic views, through to winding country roads and historic remains across the county.”

    Entrants to the competition have the chance to win fantastic prizes, including £150 cash for the overall winner; £50 for two runners up and there will be a ‘Tour and Tasting’ experience at Kerry Vale Vineyard for the ‘most highly commended’ photo.

    The competition, which is free to enter, covers entries in three distinct categories: ‘your favourite Shropshire view’; ‘Shropshire heritage’ and ‘Shropshire’s towns and villages’.  Entries formally open on 14 June and the closing date is Friday 6 September.

    The competition will be judged by CPRE Shropshire’s board, alongside leading Shropshire landscape photographers John Hayward and Tina Corfield and the best entries will be displayed in exhibitions around Shropshire in the Autumn.

    For more information, to download an entry form and to see the full terms and conditions, visit CPRE Shropshire’s website:

  • Smell Smoke ? Call The Fire Service
    15 Apr 2015
    smoke warning from Shropshire firefighters

    Shropshire firefighters say people should always call the fire and rescue service if there is a strong smell of burning which is unaccounted for.

    John Davies, Watch Manager at Oswestry Fire Station, gave the warning after smouldering electrical wires caught fire under floorboards at a Shropshire phone shop.

    Two fire appliances attended the incident at the Get Connected mobile phone shop in Willow Street, Oswestry, after they were called following reports of a burning smell.

    Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to locate the fire and Scottish Power also attended to deal with a power fault.

    “If anyone has knowledge of strong smells, especially of PVC, they should dial 999 for us to check it out as electric cables can smoulder for a number of hours or days with the potential danger of them causing a serious fire,” said Mr Davies.

    “In this case cables ran under the floorboards and a fire had started to burn.”

    For advice on home or business fire safety contact Shrewsbury fire HQ on 01743 260200 or visit

    Electrical fire safety tips include:

    • Don't overload plug sockets. All wall sockets have a maximum capacity of 13 AMP’s. High powered appliances such as washing machines/tumble dryers/kettles/toasters should have a single plug socket to themselves.
    • Don’t run cables under mats or carpets. Cables/wires under mats or carpets can wear and tear over time and the damage can’t be seen.
    • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order. Look out for fuses that blow, circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason and flickering lights to prevent them triggering a fire.
    • Check for British or European safety mark. Make sure an appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it.
    • Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent overloading. When you're fitting or replacing a fuse, it's important to use the right fuse for the appliance to make sure the cable doesn't overheat and that the appliance is protected in the event of a fault.
  • Tennis ace Roan ends season top of national rankings
    05 Sep 2014

    Highly rated young tennis ace Roan Jones, a junior member at The Shrewsbury Club, has ended his excellent season ranked number one on the national 10U competition leaderboard.

    Roan, from Condover, enjoyed another highly successful season as he continues to move firmly in the right direction.

    The highlight of the 2014 season for the talented 10-year-old were outstanding victories in the Scottish Junior Open Championships in Glasgow and the National Clay Court Championships in Hertfordshire.

    The Condover Primary School pupil nearly added another national title to his collection last week having battled his way through a tough draw to reach the final of the 10U National Finals held on the clay at the West Hants Tennis Club in Bournemouth.

    But he was narrowly edged out by Harry Lazell, from Warwickshire, in three sets in the final. Roan won the first set 4-0 but lost the second 4-2 before finally going down 10-4 in the tie break. 

    Nigel Hunter, director of tennis at The Shrewsbury Club, said he was delighted for Roan to have achieved the number one ranking for a player in his age group in the country.

    He added: "Roan's won national championships before but to end the season as number one player overall in his age group is excellent.   

    "It was a real challenge for Roan to be the top player his age when he was younger and the fact he's keeping to such a very high level is a brilliant effort.

    "He's such a nice lad and his family are extremely supportive with the dedication they all show to Roan's tennis.

    "They put in a lot of miles travelling to events up and down the country and it's fantastic that Roan is getting his just rewards."

    Roan trains at The Shrewsbury Club up to six times a week with his Slovakian coach Jaro Novak while the other coaches at the Sundorne Road venue also help with his exciting development.

    Pete White
  • The Salopian Open Mic night
    06 Jul 2012

    Salopian Open Mic
    Smithfield Road
    July 5th

    Having been raised in Church Stretton and going to school in Shrewsbury and loving this county as I do, one may suggest I may be a little partisan when it comes to reviewing Shropshire events. Not a bit of it. I will seek out the good and the bad and inform you of both in equal measure, thus is the lot of the reviewer. That said when I tell you that although I have lived in many areas of the U.K., and further away in Europe, I can say hand on heart that the best open mic nights and sessions I have ever been to have been in Shropshire, fact! So naturally it will be my intention over the next few months to seek them all out and share my thoughts with you.

    Tonight, being Thursday July 5th, a warm, remarkably dry night, given current climate, I checked out the Salopian open mic night organised by acoustic music doyen, Fergus Reid. Fergus has worked incredibly hard at not only organising the whole event every Thursday at the Salopian, in Smithfield Road, but he also  sings, plays and compere’s too. I believe it is that level of commitment that ensures the integrity of the session and will tempt the more able players to want to jump in and get involved.

    So unluckily for Fergus tonight’s event was happening with the backdrop of a cider festival. Music? Cider Festival? Should work shouldn’t it? Well yes it did. I arrived at the bar and was greeted with an ambience akin to the Wembley crowd as Geoff  Hurst popped in the winning goal against Germany in the 1966 world cup. Maybe it was even  just slightly noisier, one can only guess however, over in the music area there was little worry about those jollities and the consequential noise that was occurring.

    Fergus, himself, was playing and was being accompanied by some incredible guitar work from local musicians Steve Bradley and Alan Williams. The note-work was stunning and there was an air of improvisation that gives live music its power. Recorded music is fine but live music has that something extra. With all the greatest recording equipment in the world I imagine it would still be impossible to capture that something extra that one gets from encountering a live experience.

    A young pair of lads seriously impressed me; again a Shrewsbury band, known as “Two Blank Pages.” With an eclectic mix of homespun material and more known tracks too, the lads held the audience in their palms for the twenty or so minutes of their set. I combined the ages of the two of them and worked out they were still 17 years younger than me. Ouch, time and tide wait for no man it seems. However they stood ,they played, they sang and they entertained. You can check them out on “You Tube.” Do it, they are good.

    Most importantly there was such a cross generation audience. It seems good music appeals to all ages and all ages can get together to make it.

    So how does an open mic work? It is quite simple. On arrival if you wish to play you would approach the compere and he will find you a spot. In the case of the Salopian night you can find the session on Face Book. Look for “Salopian open mic,” and you will be directed there. That is where you can also message Fergus to book a spot. There isn’t a shortage of willing volunteers that’s for sure, so an early arrival is deemed prudent to avoid disappointment.

    Then when it’s your turn the mics are arranged to your specification and the floor becomes yours. Some sessions are very strict on time and the amount of numbers you would be permitted to perform. Fergus gives the Artists a longer spot which gives the whole thing a concert feel and the Artists get a better chance to show what they can do. This is a healthy approach as musicians never seem to get the chance to fully showcase their talents, not so at the Salopian.

    The evening is beautifully free of charge. There can’t be many places where one could watch such remarkable skills and talents for gratis. The discerning audience realised that fact and were having a great night. 

    Eventually the hubbub from the cider festival either melted away or in fact one became inured to it. Whichever way it didn’t matter because there was such great stuff to hear it was easy just to lose yourself in the music and concentrate on the sounds.

    In summary the Salopian offered an eclectic, enjoyable and welcome interruption into what could have been just another night. The Salopian Open Mic runs on Thursday nights from 8.30. Get your guitar out or just get your ears on and get along. It’s worth it. Going by my five star system I award this event a four star status.

    Owen Lewis


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

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

    1. Making a Direct Connection

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

    2.  Doing More of What Works

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

    3. Keep Your Customer Contacts Up to Date

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

    4. It Actually Works

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

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

    Pete White
  • Shropshire care home provider backs major bike event
    17 Jun 2019

    A Shropshire care home provider is supporting veteran cyclists after sponsoring one of the UK’s most unique cycle events.

    Coverage Care Services Ltd, which operates 14 care homes across the county, has thrown its support behind the 2019 Queen Victoria Cyclocross event which will take place at Blists Hill Victorian Town on June 29.

    The event attracts hundreds of competitors from across the country, aged five and upwards, to the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site.

    Once dubbed Britain’s ‘craziest’ bike race, the event features five different races, each taking place around the streets of the Victorian town, its wooded trails and surrounding hills and embankments.

    Coverage Care, which operates a number of homes in the Telford area including Lightmoor View near Ironbridge, is sponsoring the Retired Servicemen and Country Gentlemen’s Race, which caters for veteran riders.

    Chief Executive Chris Wall said: “This event has proved extremely popular in recent years both with riders and spectators and we are delighted to see it returning to Blists Hill for yet another year of exciting racing.

    “When we discovered the veterans race was named in honour of Retired Servicemen and Country Gentlemen it seemed rather fitting for us to be sponsors.

    “Our homes across the county are home to many retired ex-forces personnel and it goes without saying that we have plenty of true gentlemen residents as well as female residents who supported the war efforts.”

    Promoter Nick Jeggo said the event had become a ‘must-ride’ race for those competing in cyclocross with people travelling from across the UK to take part.

    He said: “We’re delighted to welcome Coverage Care Services as one of the key sponsors for this year’s event. The race really does attract riders of all ages from just four-years-old up to those in their 70s.

    “It’s a great course, great venue and a chance to enjoy a bike race like no other.”

    Doors open at 5.15pm and the first race gets underway at 6pm. Novice and experienced riders are invited to take part and there is plenty for spectators to enjoy.

    Organisers will be dressed in Victorian attire and the town’s Victorian pub, chip shop and cafe will be open during the event.

    Entrance for spectators costs £4 and race entrants can register via the British Cycling website which can be found here

  • Alun Cochrane to headline Old Post Office June Comedy Club
    05 Jun 2019

    Alun Cochrane is headlining June's comedy club on 30th June. £7 Tickets only available from the old post office behind the bar or by ringing and purchasing them on 01743 236019.

    Alun Cochrane is an award-winning stand-up comedian and broadcaster.

    A master at observational comedy and an expert in storytelling, Alun often tells tales about eating, sleeping, daydreaming, driving, being a son, father, brother, husband, friend and being a general liver of life…

    Cohrane has appeared in numerous TV shows including:

    Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Mock The Week, Dave’s One Night Stand, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Have I Got News For You, 8 Out Of 10 Cats.

    He was featured as series regular ‘Sam’ in the Sky Living sitcom Trying Again, alongside Chris

  • From Zumba to Belly Dancing!
    12 Jan 2015

    Have you thought about trying an exercise class this year?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ·      gently exercises the entire body

    ·      improves balance and coordination

    ·      strengthens muscles, joints, organs and bones

    ·      soothes and relaxes the body and the mind

    ·      helps prevent illness and heal injuries

    ·      enhances and regulates natural vitality

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

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

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

    best wishes,



    Sophie Eades
  • Top comedian surprises students at his former school as they celebrate success
    13 Nov 2015
    Award winning students at Thomas Adams School are congratulated by comedian Greg Davies

    A top comedian has surprised pupils at a Shropshire school as the special guest at an evening celebrating exam success.

    Greg Davies, TV comic and star of The Inbetweeners, Cuckoo and Man Down, handed out certificates at Thomas Adams School in Wem.

    The comic, who studied at the school in Lowe Hill Road in the 1970s and 80s before embarking on a teaching career, stunned pupils as he entered the hall.

    Around 100 former Year 11 pupils saw the comic hand out over 300 certificates and give a speech recalling his years at Thomas Adams.

    Assistant headteacher Spencer Radford arranged the surprise guest speaker.

    He said: "I am delighted Greg accepted my invitation to return to the school where he was educated and give up his time during a very busy schedule.
    “He had a tour of the school and spoke fondly of his memories and teachers.
    “It is fantastic that our former Year 11 pupils, who achieved great successes in the summer examinations, had the chance to be inspired by him.

    “It has widened their horizons for their futures and hopefully they will all go on to be incredibly successful in their own right.
    “I look forward to being able to invite some of them back as our 'special guests' in due course."

    Mr Davies handed out certificates including the House Special Award for growing in confidence and communication skills and getting involved in a variety of activities, which went to Callum Hilditch.

    The Annie Platt Salver for Mathematics award went to Alanis Anderson, the Gareth Utting English Cup, only the second year it has been presented, was handed to Josh Towers and Louisa Pickard was named the winner of the David Breeze Salver for Science. All three students showed determination, progression and success in the subjects.

    The winner of the Lee Smith Memorial Award for farming and animal care was named as Oliver Whitehead and Dan Smither and Ellis Hickson were handed the Prefect Salver award.

    In honour of the surprise guest speaker for this year’s event the inaugural Greg Davies Performing Arts Awards was also given out. Rosie Talbot was the recipient, a focused, reliable and highly professional cast member in all school productions.

    Beth Ellis, Lauren Fisher, Grace Griffin, Louisa Pickard, Beth Price, Megan Day and Euan Sargant were named outstanding academic achievers as they scored the highest GCSE grades.

    Megan Day gained 9 A*s and 2 As while Beth Ellis achieved 8 A*s, 1 A and 1 B, as well as representing England at fencing.

    Overall GCSE results at Thomas Adams School showed 72% of all grades were C or above, with almost 20% at A* and A.

    In addition, more than 10% of students gained an A* in maths.

    Headteacher Elizabeth Dakin said: “We are thrilled to celebrate the success of students.

    “This is always a very happy occasion and it is good to see so many of our former pupils, many of whom chose to stay on and study for their A levels here at Adams College.

    “The fact that Greg Davies could be there to hand out the awards made it all the more special for them and we are glad they enjoyed the evening.”

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