The top articles currently trending on Love Shrewsbury.

  • COMPETITION - Shrewsbury Folk Festival [EXPIRED]
    03 Feb 2014

    We've a great competition to win two tickets for this year's Shrewsbury Folk Festival.

    Simply answer the following question:

    Where is Shrewsbury Folk Festival being held?

    a) Telford
    b) Shrewsbury
    c) London

    Please send your answers to [email protected] before the 22nd July with your name and address.

    About Shrewsbury Folk Festival

    We aim to make your stay with us safe, comfortable and full of never to be forgotten, happy experiences. An exciting family holiday, a place to make new friends and meet up with old friends, an inclusive friendly atmosphere whether you are an experienced folkie or a complete newcomer, whether you come with friends or on your own.

    As far as the music is concerned, Shrewsbury Folk Festival has a reputation for delivering the very finest acts from the UK and around the world, always searching to find new authentic artists as well as providing a platform for established performers, and never forgetting to add some fun and diversity to our concerts. We try to bring quality in depth, and we recognise the need to give our artists and audiences the best stages, in the best marquees, with the best sound and lighting possible.

    When you arrive, all of your needs are catered for. A fantastic campsite where you are never more than a few moments from a venue and where you can save places for friends and have your vehicles next to your tent or caravan. We have the best set of on-site caterers on the folk (or any other) scene, great bars, proper flushing toilets and loads of excellent showers.

    On-site WiFi coverage is limited but free of charge, we want you to stay in touch, but we can’t offer unlimited download time. We have loads of events and entertainment for children and young people, workshops for everyone and brilliant sessions both organised and impromptu. We provide free buses into town, an excellent on-site shop, a craft fair, a huge free car park, dance displays, open mic, and friendly, helpful stewarding teams.

    All entries agree to being subscribed to our weekly newsletter.

    Pete White
  • Market Square History Lesson
    10 Aug 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Pete White
  • How to recycle your plastic film
    04 Feb 2013
    plastic film for recycling

    Did you know you can recycle plastic carrier bags at the larger supermarkets in Shrewsbury such as Co-op, Asda, Sainsburys, Tesco and Morrisons?  Well you can. And the good news is they are now encouraging shoppers to use these in-store recycling bins for a wider range of plastic too - so you can also add any thin stretchy plastic (polythene) film including things like: - 

    • plastic wrappers from bakery goods
    • plastic breakfast cereal liners
    • plastic toilet roll wrappers
    • plastic bubble wrap
    • plastic bag-for-life bags
    • plastic bags from fruit and vegetables
    • plastic bread bags
    • plastic freezer bags
    • plastic magazine wrap
    • plastic shrink wrap
    • plastic courier bags (without paper labels)
    • plastic dry-cleaning garment covers

    The average household gets through 25 kg of plastic film every year.  This may seem a small amount but it adds up to over 1,000 tonnes of the stuff across Shrewsbury!  Help keep it out of landfill by taking it back to the supermarket next time you go shopping.  This will make a big reduction in the amount of rubbish which ends up in your bin and help cut your carbon footprint.

    James Thompson
  • Admiral Benbow
    13 Nov 2012

    Admiral John Benbow (1653-1702), often referred to by historians as, ‘The Nelson of His times’, did not only achieve one of the highest ranks within the Royal Navy, but also fought Barbary Corsairs, designed Tall Sail ships, was the Head Master at Deptford Dockyard, and helped to found the first Military hospital in England, The Greenwich Hospital. He was also involved in the design and construction of the first lighthouse, the Eddystone lighthouse, and engaged in battles against the magnificent fleets of Louis XIV.

    Yet he remains virtually unknown by the people of Shrewsbury and surrounding areas? How can such a dedicated Seaman, and a man that made the ultimate sacrifice to Crown and Country, after an engagement with French Admiral DuCasse while policing the West Indies for the Crown in the 17th century, be virtually ignored by his home Town? It is sad to see such Apathy !

    A marble plaque in St. Mary’s Church, a key hanging on a Tree, a tree planted in Staffordshire?? ( -- not Shrewsbury), a local watering Hole, one of hundreds through the UK and the world, surely are not fitting commemorations to such an important Naval figure.

    Find out more about the campaign on Facebook.

  • Just Who Was Eglantyne Jebb?
    11 Jun 2015

    Ms. Chamberlain Presents


    The Walker Theatre



    If you weren’t at the theatre tonight here’s a fact you might not know about Shropshire. One of the most influential females of the Twentieth century was born and grew up here in our county.

    Eglantyne Jebb, the philanthropist and founder of the charity, Save The Children Fund,  was born and grew up in Ellesmere. Admittedly, like Charles Darwin the county didn’t hold her long enough to immortalise her as totally our own, as she seemed to have settled down south, but what a fantastic fact that our beautiful county has played a part in saving tens of thousands of lives throughout our war torn world.

    Eglantyne, the show, was a one woman show starring Anne Chamberlain. Interestingly sponsored by The Performing Arts Foundation Of New Zealand, the show was a look into the life and works of our little known celebrity.

     As a Salopian I was proud to think the story of a woman from Ellesmere should have interested people on the other side of the world. But when you hear the story it should be no surprise that this amazing woman is to be feted throughout the globe.

    One Woman/Man shows are the most difficult of the theatrical disciplines. They have to be informative naturally, they need to show the depth and shades that are easier achieved with a multicast performance. They need a balance between light and heavy and they need to be accessible and brilliant.

    A tough challenge and this show met nearly all criteria but occasionally tended to drag just a little.

    I don’t know what the overall word count of the seventy five minutes performance was but the charming Ms. Chamberlain didn’t miss or fluff a single one. An incredible feat of memory and to pass it off in such a relaxed and conversationalist manner was very, very clever.

    One could be forgiven for thinking perhaps the writer could have put the pen down slightly earlier the show was nevertheless informative and important. If not just a little long.

    Relying solely on the text the stage was bare, with the exception of a piano stool a table and a hat stand. A highly portable performance indeed. It is , after all actors that act and everything else can be a distraction, however in the more arid parts of the text one might have a welcomed a little distraction.

    That said. This is a story that needs telling. It also poses the interesting question of class and the more uncomfortable question of total warfare. The great German  Clausewitz suggested in his book, Von Krieg,  the only way to win a war is by total destruction of the enemy. Practices as seen copied by Napoleon and Hitler in different theatres.. The phenomenon is called total warfare.

     It's unsavoury to debate, but our boys our men and our relations were all dying in a war they didn’t start and the ruling classes, that did start it, were shaking collection tins under the noses of the public, a starving public decimated by war,  asking them to give cash  to perpetuate the life expectancy of the enemy by feeding the enemies children may have been a step too far for many.

    It is a desparate conundrum and all us with the luxury of time passed since that war know there is never justification for killing children, but at the time if my brother had been killed in the trenches, I might have found myself offering a few choice words to anyone that might do anything in any way to help the enemy; and in total war that means anything at all.

    That is what makes this story even more incredible with the whole of the world ripping itself apart like hounds round a fox, one calm unassuming lady from Shropshire poked her head over the parapet and demanded we save the children.

    I only hope that somebody with the same tenacity as Eglantyne comes by one day and tells the war makers that it’s time they stopped. Somehow sadly, one could be forgiven for doubting that happening any time soon.

    This is a three star review

    Owen Lewis

    Owen Lewis
  • Shrewsbury Calendar launches
    05 Oct 2014
    APT Photography - Shrewsbury Calendar

    A Shrewsbury based photographer who left his career in the motor trade to turn his passion for photography professional, has recently released a calendar for 2015, showcasing stunning images of his hometown. Adam Telford, the man behind APT Photography, has already been amazed by the local response!

    Many people have already purchased one of the new calendars - with sales rolling in within days of the first promotion. Rather impressively, the Shrewsbury Calendar Facebook page has topped the 1000 likes mark - and this has been achieved over the course of just one week!

    The calendar features wonderful images of Shrewsbury - capturing Adam’s love and enthusiasm for the town, including well knows locations - as well as artistic shots of the little details which many people might miss.

    Speaking of the calendar’s launch, Adam said “I’m so glad we decided to produce the calendar and give it a go. I wasn’t expecting such as immediate response - and the fact that people are snapping-up them up is extremely positive.” He added “Dare we say it, the calendar makes a perfect Christmas gift for any local resident - and without being biased, it truly does look great hanging on the wall!”

    The calendars can be purchased through the Shrewsbury calendar Facebook page at - alternatively, people can contact Adam direct through APT Photography on 07557 279395 or [email protected]

    APT Photography is now in it’s official second year - and Adam offers a vast range of photographic services which spans commercial photography, artwork and also private shoots in the home studio - with baby and family portraits continually popular.

  • Tuesday 20th October: Three fantastic restaurants, three corners of the world…one unforgettable evening.
    27 Sep 2015
    Dine Around the World

    Food-lovers across the county are invited to Dine Around the World with Self Help Africa. Join us on Tuesday 20th October for a global gastronomic adventure without even leaving Shrewsbury.

    This special dining experience will take you to three restaurants – Number Four, CSONS and MoMo-No-Ki, where you’ll be treated to French, Mexican and Asian dishes.

    Tickets for the three-course Dine Around the World event are £25 per person. Your adventure will begin at 7.00pm. Drinks are not included but can be bought from the restaurants on the night.

    Once you’ve booked your tickets, we’ll be in touch with details of your travel itinerary for the evening and let you know which country you’ll be setting off to first. Your culinary travel guides will accompany you for the rest of your trip, guiding you from restaurant to restaurant.

    Proceeds from the event will be donated to Self Help Africa. Based in Shrewsbury, Self Help Africa works in ten African countries; our vision is of a rural Africa free from hunger and poverty. We support farmers to grow more food, increase their income from farming activities and become self-sufficient.

    Places are limited, so don’t miss out - book now for an extra special Dine Around the World experience. To buy your tickets online click here or call Steph on 01743 277170.

  • Reviive introduces new Loma Living household furniture range to its Shrewsbury store
    31 May 2017

    A Shropshire based recycling and resale organisation has signed an agreement with one of the world’s leading high quality furniture wholesalers to sell its products.

    The indefinite arrangement will offer Reviive customers SourceByNet’s Loma Living range at each of its stores in Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Telford, as well as online at

    Established nearly twenty years ago, SourceByNet is a global end-to-end furniture sourcing company with its UK headquarters in Shrewsbury, works with a number of renowned high street and specialist retailers. The products supplied to Reviive are from the Loma Living range including Elcombe, Lynton and Fencott.

    Julie Hotchkiss, retail manager at Reviive, said: "Reviive prides itself on offering a diverse range of offerings to suit our customers’ differing tastes and budgets and the furniture from SourceByNet is no exception. We will also be putting together a series of all-in-one package deals combining the necessary pieces for a bedroom, dining room or lounge. This is high-quality furniture at very competitive prices and a number of items have already been sold. We are very excited about the future prospects of this range from SourceByNet and look forward to a successful long-term working relationship.”

    Rob Justice, sales director at SourceByNet said: “This is a win-win situation for both organisations. Normally our end-of-line furniture from certain ranges is shipped and sold in different countries throughout Europe. However, to find an outlet such as Reviive on our doorstep, so to speak, is great. It saves us shipping costs and helps us fulfil our corporate responsibility by supporting a credible organisation that donates profits to worthy charities and helps unemployed people back to work. At the same time Reviive will have a high quality range of furniture in-store that we hope will attract many more customers to its three Shropshire outlets.”

    Pictures (left to right): Rob Justice, sales director, SourceByNet, John Cano, sales manager, Loma Living and Julie Hotchkiss, retail manager, Reviive.

    Neville Street
  • WDA Motors takes up residence at Centurion Park
    21 Mar 2014

    Morris Property has secured another successful letting of a workshop unit at their popular Centurion Park in Shrewsbury to WDA Motors.

    Run by Wes Arnold, WDA Motors, an independent Volkswagen and Audi specialist dealer, moved into the 1450ft2 workshop, attracted by the Park’s accessibility and proximity close to their customer base. Centurion Park also offers peace of mind that the estate is well maintained and secure. The unit has been let on a new 3 year lease.

    Wes Arnold of WDA Motors said: “Having worked and trained at Audi for five and a half years then branching off to run WDA Mobile Motors for the last five years, Centurion Park has given me the chance to open WDA motors in a professional and secure location.

    “As soon as I viewed Centurion Park I knew it would be an ideal place to open, after enquiring after the lease which was reasonably priced, it was then quickly sorted. “

    Liz Lowe of Morris Property said: “Dealing with WDA Motors has been a pleasure. We were able to identify what the prospective tenant needed and perform quickly in getting them access so they had continuity of business.”

    For more information please contact Liz Lowe on 01743 234 234 or [email protected]

    Pete White
  • Shrewsbury and A Christmas Carol
    23 Oct 2012

    Shrewsbury was chosen as the venue to film one of the greatest Christmas stories ever told. "A Christmas Carol", this was to have George. C. Scott in the lead role as Scrooge with David Warner, Suzzanna York, Michael Carter and Edward Woodward as other main characters along with Tony Walters, a local 6 year old, playing Tiny Tim and hundreds of local people taking "Walk on" parts along with a young fresh faced lad, me!!

    I was given the job as Stand in for Edward who had to wear stilts made by NASA so that he could play the Ghost of Christmas Present.

    The opening scenes were filmed in the Square and they had to be re-filmed on day two as someone had left a plastic cup of coffee against the wall of the Old Market Hall and someone spotted it on a couple of frames of film!!  Fish St. was the site of filming Bob Cratchitts house and they used the little shop to the right of the Bear Steps. When we filmed the scene for Scrooge to visit his Nephew on The Crescent, Town Walls, the crew had laid down the salt to make it look like snow and a chap who was a bit worse for drink somehow wandered onto the set and had us all in fits of laughter as he jumped from the snow side to the clear side looking up into the sky as if he could see the snow clouds above him!!

    The outside of the Parade Shopping Centre was the scene for the lads sliding on the ice and for Scrooge to be approached by the two gents collecting money foor the poor. The ice slide was produced by putting together a load of plywood boards, and pouring gallons of washing up liquid onto it and away the lads went sliding for all they were worth!

    The filming for the appearance of the Ghost of Christmas Future was done under the railway station arches, on the Monkmoor side of the river, and they had to put a chap with a radio in the signal box to warn when the next train was approaching. Dry ice was floated out over water and a little track was laid so that I could stand on a box and two chaps slowly pulled a rope so it looked like I was floating above the ground towards Scrooge, spooky or what?

    One set that you can still see is the grave of Ebenezer Scrooge, enter the chuchyard of St Chads, opposite the Quarry, and walk about halfway along the path, look down on your left and there he still lies!!
    Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" as a means of getting out of a debtors prison in London and its first public reading was done here in Shrewsbury. Dickens visited the town on a few occasions and it`s not quiet certain whether the reading took place at the Music Hall or at The Lion Hotel either way "The Carol" came home.

    If you have any suggestions of streets that you would like to know the history of then please contact me via the magazine and I will do my best to include them in future articles.
    Have a good Christmas and see you next year!!

    Martin Wood
  • Suzuki Vitara Boosterjet SZ-T
    06 Aug 2019

        It’s almost hard to believe that Suzuki’s Vitara is now celebrating its 30th year in production. It’s been through some changes of course, you can’t buy a soft-top one anymore, the V6 Grand Vitara is all but a distant memory, so too the three-door. Bluetooth and Climate control are now standard-fit across all Vitaras these days; 30 years ago we didn’t even know what they were. It’s time perhaps to get reacquainted.

      Having driven the latest incarnation of Suzuki’s perennial SUV not long after it was launched just over 3 years ago I concluded that the majority of its interior plastics were definitely a tad on the hard and scratchy side (I wasn’t the only one…). But, I conceded, “Based purely upon how they are used (and abused) out in here my neck of the far unlit woods, Vitaras seem usually to be purchased by people for whom an element of both seat and dashboard wipability is probably considered a bonus.

       Many a Suzuki SUV in these parts is seen with a dog, or in more extreme cases, another four-legged friend in the back, or indeed the front. And anyway, judging by the age of some of them - the Vitaras, not the animals or their owners -  it only serves to show that Suzuki’s interiors are built to far outlast the memory of anything that was ever written by me”.

       Most of that still rings true. Many a ruddy-faced type out here in The Marches thinks nothing of bundling livestock into the back of the family car. Nevertheless, those for whom there is more to life than just the weekly trip to market, Suzuki have made some very visible and welcome interior changes. In fact, say Suzuki, the Vitara is now the most technically advanced Suzuki to date.

        On first impressions, it would appear that once again Suzuki have got the balance of comfort and durability in their now recently refreshed Vitara right.

        The dashboard – now with a new instrument cluster and far more softly covered and nicer to the touch – is, as you’d expect, simply and clearly laid out. The boot is still capable of accommodating your luggage or Labrador - there’s also a low loading lip, and a variable height floor that facilitates a flat load-space when the rear seats are folded.  The Vitara seats five, albeit perhaps at a slight push. So all in all the practicality element of the Vitara has been retained too. Except perhaps for the lack of a spare wheel, an inflation kit sits under the boot floor instead – owners of rocky driveways beware.

       All Vitaras also come as standard with seven airbags, alloy wheels, USB and the aforementioned Bluetooth connectivity, DAB, cruise control, air-con, electric front windows, and… a central cubby and armrest between driver and passenger. Apparently that’s what existing Vitara owners wanted the most. Suzuki listened. Further up the range Smartphone link, navigation, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition systems, and LED projector headlamps are also in the offering.

        What you can’t have is a diesel. Your options are a 1.0, a 1.4 litre petrol. 

          Now I know that the mention of petrol powered family sized SUV might at first leave with you the impression that the skins of rice puddings the world over can rest easy. But, you’d be wrong.

        Suzuki’s little 1 litre Boosterjet might be the smallest engine available in the Vitara range but, to use the old cliché: It punches way beyond its weight. It produces 110bhp and healthy 125lbft of torque between 2,000 and 3,500 revs. In doing so, and when coupled to Suzuki’s five speed manual gearbox and AllGRIP four-wheel drive system it gives the Vitara a certain charm. It really does pull, and there’s little, if any lag. Granted, it’s no rocket-ship, nevertheless it’s a joy the let this little 3 pot motor rev a little.

       Surprisingly, once up to speed, it also makes for relaxed cruising. The the ride is a bit soft, and the same could be said of the steering, but no-one ever bought a Vitara for its lap-record setting abilities, wading streams, and light off-roading duties have always been more its forte. And, having sampled Vitaras in the mud, I’ve absolutely no doubt the four selectable driving modes, Auto, Sport, Snow, and Lock will keep you going when the weather, the terrain, or both, turn tough.

        It may now be into its third decade but the Vitara has managed to retain its original character and authenticity. It’s economical – especially now with its new engines – it’s incredibly easy to live with, and it’s far tougher than many of its newer to the market and more fashion conscious contemporaries

       At prices from £16,999 upwards I’m going to stick my neck out and say I think it’s a bit of a bargain too.



    Suzuki Vitara 1.0 BOOSTERJET SZ-T ALLGRIP MT

    Engine: 998cc 3Cyl turbo-charged petrol

    Power:  110 bhp @ 5,500rpm

    Torque: 125 lbft @ 2,500 – 3,500 rpm

    Transmission:  5 speed manual, with ALLGrip four-wheel drive

    Performance: 0-62mph 12.0 sec

    Max Speed: 112 mph

    MPG: 49.6 Combined.

    CO2: 129g/km

    Price: £20,799 otr.


    Many Thanks to Jessica, Alun, Leigh, and Paul at Suzuki UK’s press office for the loan of the Vitara

    Liam Bird
  • Five Different Methods of Borrowing Money
    19 Feb 2019

    Have you ever run out of cash and you have bills to pay? It happens. But there’s no need to stress yourself. Maybe you had an emergency that took away all your money, or perhaps you didn't budget well. Whichever the circumstance that brought you to this situation, it’s not time to complain but to look for the money, pay your bills and learn a lesson of having extra cash aside for emergencies. Here are various ways you can borrow money;

    1. Borrow from friends and family

    If you urgently need money and you don't have any at hand, you can ask your closest friend or family to lend you some. Though some people may be uncomfortable borrowing from their relatives and friends, it is the quickest way that you can get money. However, not everyone will trust you with their money and so don’t be surprised if a couple of them gives you a negative reply. Remember to pay back on time to protect your relationship.

    2. Credit cards advances

    Not all shops outlets accept payment through credit cards. If you have run out of your groceries and you have no cash, your credit card can save you. You can get money advance from an ATM if you have your card pin or direct from the bank very quickly. However, be ready to pay a higher interest rate than usual.

    3. Bank loan

    Banks can also lend you money if you’re in need. You can apply for a personal loan from your bank. The personal loan requires no collateral; its interest rate depends on the amount that you borrow. However, the bank will check on your credit to prove that you’re able to repay. If you want a lot more money, you ‘ll need to have a guarantor and collateral to acquire financing. Failure to compensate, your home or any other item you used as insurance is at risk.

    4. Payday loan

    Many companies are offering emergency loans online. This loan is called payday loan and is payable within a month or two weeks. To qualify for payday application, you must submit your identification card as well as your photo. The company in charge is also supposed to prove that you’re financially stable to repay the money without any difficulty. However, most of them fail to do so, lending money to borrowers who struggle to pay back. In such cases, a borrower can claim their payday loan refund. Wondering What is a payday loan refund? It’s the full interest and fees the lender charged you.

    5. Paycheck advance

    Another alternative to get quick cash is by letting your employer know about your situation and requesting them to pay you in advance. The money you get will, however, deducted from your salary.

    Anybody can find himself or herself broke at the time of need. So, there is nothing to worry about. If you are in such a situation, pick one of the above methods and get some cash to keep you going as you look forward towards your salary. Remember to repay your loan to avoid more charges.

    Pete White
  • Darrell chalks up 25 years’ service to Morris Lubricants
    18 Oct 2019

    The Laboratory Supervisor at a Shrewsbury-based lubricants specialist, who is part of team of responsible for quality control, new product development and customer sample testing, has chalked up 25 years’ service.

    Darrell Bates, 55, was just 19 when he originally joined Morris Lubricants, one of Shrewsbury longest established companies which celebrates its 150th birthday this year.

    After four years, he left to become a BT engineer but returned to Morris Lubricants when a vacancy came up for a laboratory technician and he’s worked at the Castle Foregate base ever since.

    Darrell attributes his 25-year service to: “The comradery and varied work with brilliant staff all contributing to excellent job satisfaction. This all helps for everything to run smoothly especially through our busy periods.”

    He and the lab team are responsible for testing all incoming raw materials and all outgoing finished products. Nothing is allowed into the works or goes out unless it passes stringent quality control checks, essential as lubricants are used in very expensive, high-tech engines and machinery.

    Comparing the company today to when he first joined at 19, he said: “It’s far more complex now with all the testing equipment driven by computers. Staffing in the lab has increased from two when I first started to six today because of this and the workload.

    “With all the company’s product lines and even more raw materials requiring rigorous testing, the laboratory has always been a busy place to work. Since I have worked at Morris Lubricants, I have never seen the place go quiet because we are always active. I think that’s why the time goes so quickly.”

    Darrell, who lives in Wenlock Road, Shrewsbury with his wife and two sons, aged 24 and 21, is a Shrewsbury Town season ticket holder and loves holidaying abroad and discovering new places, along with walking his two dogs.

    Morris Lubricants is one of the UK’s leading independent lubricants companies. A workforce of 250 produces more than 44 million litres of oil per year and in excess of 2,000 product lines which sell to 93 countries worldwide

    The company prides itself on making lubricants that can operate in the most extreme climates, ranging from the freezing temperatures of the Arctic Circle to the searing heat of the Australian Outback.

    Darrell Bates received a gift from chairman Andrew Goddard to mark his 25 years’ service to Morris Lubricants.

  • Top rankings in leading industry guide for Shropshire law firm
    04 Dec 2018

    A thriving Shropshire law firm has reinforced its position after receiving top rankings for several of its teams and lawyers in a prestigious nationwide guide to the best legal talent.

    The 2019 Chambers guide recognised several departments and ‘Ranked Lawyers’ from FBC Manby Bowdler in its recently published annual edition thatidentifies the most outstanding law firms and lawyers in the UK.

    The firm’s Shropshire-based Agricultural & Rural Services and Family & Matrimonial teams achieved the top Band 1 rankings. Family and matrimonial experts who secured a listing are Telford-based Anne Thomson, Head of the firm’s Family department, and Partner Philip Cowell.

    Sarah Baugh, who leads the county’s Agricultural & Rural Services team at Shrewsbury, her colleague Partner Tom Devey and Principal Development Consultant (Agricultural Business) Steven Corfield are also noted as standout lawyers in their field.

    Other departments making the guide were the Midlands-wide Litigation department and the Family & Matrimonial team in Wolverhampton. Senior Partner Guy Birkett, who heads up the Litigation group, was also named as a ranked lawyer.

    The news follows hot off the heels of five of the firm’s Partners being named as Leading Individuals in the 2018 edition of The Legal 500, with a further four making the list of up and coming Next Generation solicitors and an additional 26 members gaining recognition for their work in a variety of areas.

    Managing Partner Kim Carr said: “We are absolutely delighted that, yet again, a number of our teams and individual lawyers have been noted in the Chambers manual to the finest legal minds in the country.

    “Our people are our biggest asset and their delivery of stellar service to our clients is acknowledged by our inclusion in the Chambers Guide and the Legal 500. This independent verification from both organisations is a well-deserved pat on the back.”

    FBC Manby Bowdler employs more than 200 people at offices in Shrewsbury, Telford, Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, Wolverhampton and Willenhall,

  • Park Hall Farm gets ready for Pumpkinfest
    18 Oct 2019
    Children with their pumpkins

    Park Hall Farm in Oswestry is busy getting ready to hold ‘Pumpkinfest.’ The event will run from the 19th to the 31st October to ensure Shropshire’s families are catered for over half term and Halloween.

    There will be lots of fun activities laid on for all the family, in addition to their usual plethora of indoor and outdoor activities, adorable animals and exhibitions. There will be an indoor pumpkin parade walk, a creepy haunted house for the brave ones, and lots of wacky games including pass the pumpkin, musical monsters and ‘Mummy Wrap,’ which involves creating a spooktacular creation with just one roll of toilet paper!

    No Pumpkinfest would be complete without pumpkin carving. Kids can enjoy carving out funny faces, whilst parents can enjoy leaving all the mess with Park Hall!

    Richard Powell, owner - director at Park Hall, said, “We are looking forward to lots of pumpkin fun down on the farm this October. We are encouraging children to come along in their best spooky outfits and will be holding a fancy-dress competition on the 31st October to round off the event.

    “There will also be free pumpkin to take home for every paying child. We look forward to welcoming everyone at the farm this October!”

    The event will be open daily from 10am-5pm from the 19th to the 31st October. Discounted advance tickets can be purchased online from


  • Hotel retains two-rosette status
    09 Nov 2017

    A Shropshire hotel is celebrating retaining its two-rosette status - an achievement it has now held for 18 years.

    Bosses at the Best Western Valley Hotel in Ironbridge say the award highlights the commitment to maintaining a consistently high standard of food.

    The AA Rosette Awards are long established and are a much sought after honour throughout the restaurant industry - with only 10 percent of venues across the UK receiving one rosette or above.

    Adam Workman, sous chef at the Valley Hotel, said the staff were delighted with the news.

    “This means the hotel has held this two-rosette status for 18 years, that’s quite an achievement and we are all really proud of that,” he said.

    “I believe the hotel held one rosette for a while prior to that so we have clearly been among the best in our business for a very long time.

    “There are not too many fine-dining experiences around these days, a lot of places go for lower class dining, so we are delighted that our commitment to a top quality food delivered to a very high standard is recognised in this way.

    “I would say expectations are higher than they were and that it is getting harder to reach the sort of standards that are expected.

    “We demand this high level of consistently all the time and it is reassuring for us and our customers that we are continuing to produce our top quality food on a regular basis.”

    Awards of one and two rosettes are made at the time of inspection and any restaurant winning two rosettes has impressed inspectors with a greater precision apparent in the cooking.

    The inspectors are looking for excellent restaurants, striving for and attaining higher standards and a greater consistency in the food produced.

    They are also looking at the selection and quality of ingredients.

    It is estimated that about 40 percent of establishments in the AA Restaurant Guide has two rosettes.

    For more information about the Valley Hotel, telephone 01952 432247 or visit the website at

  • Halloween Funfair & Market Returns to Shrewsbury Quarry
    25 Sep 2014

    A spooktacular Halloween market and funfair will return to Shrewsbury next month.

    The event, run by Asterley Events which also manages some of the popular markets in the town’s Square, will take place in the Quarry on October 25.

    Visitors will be able to explore more than 20 stalls selling local produce, food and gifts. There will also be fully licensed bar, provided by Tipples, a children’s entertainer and fairground attractions for all the family, provided by Stokes Funfairs.

    The Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Beverley Baker, will also judge a Halloween-themed fancy dress competition at 5pm in the event tepee.

    The Halloween Funfair and Market will run from 12pm until 8pm and will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display at 8pm.

    Mike Cox, Outdoor Recreation & Asset Manager for Shrewsbury Town Council added: “Following on from the success of the inaugural Halloween Funfair and Market last year we are pleased to announce that the event will be back, bigger and better, for 2014. Preparations are well underway and we are looking forward to another busy event.”

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


    1 1/4 miles – less than an hour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Care home residents get mobile with new minibus
    14 Aug 2019

    A Shropshire care company is helping to get its residents mobile after using a generous £15,000 donation to purchase a new minibus.

    Coverage Care Services, which is the leading independent provider of 14 care homes across the county, invested in the wheelchair-friendly minibus for Montgomery House in Shrewsbury following a request from residents and a donation from Telford firm Fodens Solicitors.

    The bus is now being used regularly for outings into the community.

    Haf Evans, Activities Coordinator for the home based on Sundorne Road, said residents were delighted to be able to go on more spontaneous trips as well as organised outings.

    She said: “Residents were asked to fill in a questionnaire on what they wished the donation to be spent on and the majority said a minibus. It was very much their choice and we have been here, there and everywhere in it.

    “Residents have enjoyed outings to take part in a Dementia Friendly Choir Service, coffee mornings and other activities.

    “It’s incredibly important to us that our residents get to take part in activities outside of the home and the new bus is making this much easier for everyone.”

    The generous donation was made by Fodens Solicitors following the opening of its head office near Telford.

    The £15,000 was given to the home’s Comfort Fund and residents and staff have spent some time deciding how best to spend the money.

    Residents were asked to complete a survey which included a list of ideas such as a wheelchair accessible greenhouse and gardening aides but the majority decided a new mini bus would be the most beneficial.

    Coverage Care Chief Executive Chris Wall said: “We are very grateful to Fodens for choosing to support Montgomery House and we feel residents and staff have made a magnificent decision.

    “The new minibus is helping residents to get out and about in the community more, socialise and take part in activities outside of the home, which is tremendous.”

    Stephen Foden, director of Fodens Solicitors, said: "We are delighted staff and residents at Montgomery House have decided to invest the money in a new mini bus. It's so important for residents to maintain links with their local community and the new bus will provide greater freedom and flexibility for them to go on outings and take part in group meetings."

    Montgomery House is a purpose built 90-bed home which opened in November 2016. It has four units offering residential, nursing and dementia care.

  • Jaguar F-Type
    06 Jan 2014

    By some strange coincidence, or perhaps it was a twist of fate twist of fate, the Jaguar F-Type that was delivered to me the other day turned out to be the very one that I was lucky enough to snatch 20 minutes in at the SMMT test day earlier in this year.

    Desperate to get my hands on the first proper Jaguar sportscar in 40 years, I like nearly every other motoring scribe attending that day waited patiently in line until it was finally my chance to pull on the F-Type’s flush fitting door handle, lower myself into it’s surprisingly spacious (for a two-seater)  leather-clad interior, and post myself in behind its flat-bottomed, thick-rimmed wheel; The sun shone, the roof was down in less than 12 seconds, the 3.litre supercharged motor made the exhaust cackle on the over-run as the 8 speed auto box changed down - just like Jaguar’s 15 minute Damien Lewis starring advert /mini-film promised it would; I was hooked.

    Jaguar has been promising us, or at least teasing us with concepts of, the F-type for as nearly as long as I can remember. Back when I was just a paperboy every once-in-while one of the glossy motoring magazines – the type of which I seemed to always be spending far too much of my “wages” on - had yet another scoop, exclusive, or grainy spy-shot of what was to become “the spiritual successor the E-Type”, although back then it was called everything to from just plain old F to the very futuristic sounding CX16. On a sunny day in May I was at last behind its wheel. Finally I was driving the F-type, my smile said it all.

    That all too brief blast – oh alright then, saunter; It was an accompanied drive around Millbrook’s Alpine circuit with an approved Jaguar representative sitting beside me - was never going to be enough. As soon as was possible I went straight back over to Jaguar’s lady PR and tried to book one for longer. Such was the waiting list I’m writing this in late November.

    It’s funny sometimes what you don’t spot the first time you drive an all-new car. When The F-Type turned up on my drive it appeared shorter and wider than I remembered.

    Every inch the sportscar: long bonnet, front engined; rear-wheel drive, short tail, the F- type looks thoroughly modern. And yet there are still hints of its legendary ‘60’s predecessor about it. Those bulging rear wings complete with thin tail lamps, and the way the twin exhausts (the wickedly powerful V8’s get four) are centrally mounted below the number plate could easily be the work of E-Type designer Malcolm Sayer rather than that that of today’s Jaguar Design chief Ian Callum.

    From the moment you press that starter the F-Type’s driving experience is totally engrossing. The engine doesn’t just start, it erupts in to life. The F-Type is unashamedly loud – even more so if it’s been fitted (as in our case) with the switchable active exhaust system. Send the rev counter’s needle to the far side of the dial, and lift off, and your efforts will be rewarded with a deliciously addictive combination of artillery-like explosions just behind your left ear. The way the F-type accelerates is the stuff of ballistics too. Even in this one, the most conservative 335 bhpV6 version, 0-62mph takes just a smidgen over 5 seconds. The steering is direct and beautifully weighted and there’s little, if any, sign of body roll in corners. A day driving the F-type is a wonderful indulgence.

    And yet, there lies the F-type’s problem. It’s almost too self-indulgent. The trade-off of that performance is a ride that is too unforgiving on anything but the smoothest of surfaces. Potholes, even manhole covers, send vibrations crashing back through the bonded aluminium chassis. You may look smooth driving an F-type but you may not always feel it.

    There’s one other problem too, just a small one, in fact it’s a very small one.  I know the F-Type was never designed to be the kind of car in which one transports a wardrobe, but is it really too much to ask of a two-seater for it to be able to swallow two people’s weekend luggage?  The F-type’s boot struggles with the briefest of cases, and that’s before have to pay extra for a spare wheel.

    At £58,520 upwards the F-Type is priced to appeal to those of us who want a sportscar but only have the funds for one car and one car alone. Unless you travel very, very light or without friends the F-Type struggles to fill that niche.

    Or at least is does in convertible form…

    By another strange coincidence on the very day I’m writing this Jaguar unveiled the F-Type Coupe. The same head-turning looks and neck straining performance are standard but the boot promises to be altogether more accommodating and it looks more even more like the CX16 we were promised all those years ago too.  Perhaps the F-Type Coupe is really the return to Jaguar sportscar form we’ve all been waiting for. Such is the demand already I’ve feeling that in order to find out I’m in for another long wait.

    Jaguar F-Type V6

    Engine: 2995cc V6 Supercharged 24V petrol
    Transmission: 8 speed “QuickShift”, rear wheel drive.
    Power:  335bhp @ 6500pm
    Torque: 332 lbft @ 3500- 5000rpm
    0-62MPH: 5.1Sec
    Max Speed: 161mph
    CO2: 209 g/km
    MPG: 31.4 combined
    Price: from£58,520 (as tested; £67,740)

    Liam Bird
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