The top articles currently trending on Love Shrewsbury.

  • 10 Artists Who Make Music on Martin Guitars
    04 Sep 2018

    Many people base their guitar choice on the guitar that their favorite artist plays. This definitely helps one become more inspired and motivated to practice and play. Who knows, maybe one day you can become as good as - or even better than - folks like Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Colbie Caillat and of course, Chris Cornell, who is sadly missed.

    Today we’re putting the spotlight on Martin guitars and the artists who play them. The artists mentioned above have all made music on a Martin. Ed Sheeran even has his own signature acoustic-electric guitar, the compact LX1E Little Martin Ed Sheeran Edition. 

    Aside from Ed, John, Colbie and Chris, here are other notable Martin guitar players. We’ll save the ukulele players for another day.

    1. Eric Clapton - Eric has used a great many Martins over the years and has partnered up with Martin on several occasions for his limited edition signature models. The first one, the 000-42EC of which only 461 guitars were made, sold out within days. The next, 000-42ECB, also sold out as quickly as it entered the market. The third one, the 000-28ECB, were made from the last pieces of Brazilian Rosewood that the company had in stock. Eric continues to collaborate with Martin and now has seven acoustic signature models.

    2. Aaron Nigel Smith - this artist’s Martin guitar of choice is the D-15M, a beautiful mahogany solid wood acoustic.

    3. Elle King - Elle describes herself as a gypsy. She just keeps on moving. Well, we’re sure that wherever she goes, her OMCPA5 Black guitar will always be there with her.

    4. Brandy Clark - Brandy has always wanted to be a country singer. We’re pretty sure her preferred Martin guitar, the OMJM John Mayer, helped her achieve her dream.

    5. Anderson East - Anderson considers his Martin 000C Nylon 12-fret guitar as his companion. Not only that, he also says it’s his constant source of inspiration and his teacher. 

    6. Ben Howard - Ben plays a D-28, aptly described as the dreadnought guitar by which all others are judged. This guitar has also been a favorite of American country music icon Hank Williams Sr., Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and of course, The undisputed King of rock ‘n roll, Elvis Presley.

    7. Band of Skulls - Martin guitars used by this British rock trio (who we’ll count as one unit, and who have been playing together since they were 12 years old) include the Grand J-28LSE, CEO-6 Sunburst and D-28 Marquis Sunburst.

    8. Cody Simpson - Cody recorded with two Martin acoustic guitars on his record Free and he also performs with them on stage. His Martins of choice are the OMJM John Mayer and the D-35 Johnny Cash. The D-35 is Martin’s first guitar that sported a polished black finish, and Johnny’s stage favorite for almost two decades.

    9. Seth Avett, The Avett Brothers - You can always find Martin guitars in the instrument arsenal of The Avett Brothers. Martin collaborated with Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers to come up with the D-35 Seth Avett custom signature edition. Seth designed the copper snowflake inlay on the fretboard himself.

    10. Brett Dennen - Brett says he has always been a Martin guy, and considers Martin guitars “works of art made by hand.” It’s no surprise that, like many music artists, his preferred Martin acoustic is the D-28.

  • Shrewsbury shop window given colourful makeover
    11 Jan 2021

    An empty window in the centre of Shrewsbury has been transformed into a colourful celebration of nearby businesses by an artist. 

    The display has been installed in the window of Marianne Exclusive Fashions by visual designer, Emma Williams, on behalf of Shrewsbury BID. 

    The window features a giant map of Wyle Cop with photographs of the many thriving independent businesses based in that area of town. 

    Emma said the display was intended to be a celebration of Wyle Cop and the people that make it so special. 

    “When the BID approached me I knew straight away that I wanted to make something bright and colourful to reflect the vibrancy of the indies on Wyle Cop and remind people what a wonderful part of town it is,” she said. 

    “We all need a bit of colour at the moment and the businesses on the maps are doing their best to keep Shrewsbury colourful!” 

    The Marianne window is the latest in a number of displays commissioned by Shrewsbury BID to improve the look of shop units when they are vacant between tenants. 

    Emma Molyneux, of Shrewsbury BID, said: “We are fortunate that Shrewsbury town centre generally has a high retail occupancy rate, but there is always a small turnover of units. 

    “Whenever there is the opportunity to give an empty shop window a more vibrant look, we are very keen to do so, and this latest design by Emma Williams is fantastic. 

    “Emma previously created a design on the other side of Wyle Cop, and is well-known for her window displays at Tanners, so we were delighted she could work with us on this commission.” 

    Emma added that Shrewsbury BID was in the process of arranging a window display at the former Pret a Manger unit in Pride Hill, as well as more murals similar to the one created in St Austin’s Street car park. 

  • Footlights Dance School is Growing
    17 Sep 2013

    Michelle Handley a Shrewsbury mother of two and owner of Footlights Dance School is delighted to announce that her dance school is growing and more classes are going to be offered as a result.
    The dance school is celebrating its first birthday this September and after just one year based at Mereside Community Centre in Shrewsbury it has experienced phenomenal growth.  The school has recruited a new Musical Theatre teacher, Leila Campbell, who studied at the famous Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts from the age of 11 and worked as a performer in London for many years. Credits include Oliver at the London Palladium and many theatre productions including Blood Brothers, Rent, Cabaret, Stepping Out and Hairspray.  Leila is looking forward to bringing her wealth of experience and passion about all things theatre to Footlights.

    The dance school also welcomes a new dance teacher.  Kay Hodgson, started dancing at the age of 4 and has qualification in teaching cheer dance and street dance.  She became a professional performer with Zippo’s Circus at the age of 7 and has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Sadlers Wells Theatre, Disneyland Paris and the Magic Kingdom in California.  Kay has a wealth of experience in teaching dance to young children and she cannot wait to meet all the Footlights pupils.

    In preparation for the new term at the School, Michelle, who is passionate about dance, attended the International Dance Teacher’s Conference at The Royal Ballet School in Convent Garden, London.  The four day course was held in August and covered topics such as Dynamics in Classical Ballet, Tips for Pointe Work, Jazz for Boys and Rhythm and Tap.  The lectures were delivered by some of the very best from the dance world; these included former Royal Ballet stars Wayne Sleep and Dame Monica Mason, Douglas Mills from Tap Dogs and Internationally renowned choreographer Matthew Bourne.   Michelle Handley stated that “The conference was an emotionally amazing experience and I learnt so much.  I am bursting at the seams with new ideas for dances to teach the pupils as well as new ways to encourage the most out of them.  I am already booked on next year’s conference as it was an honour to be taught by the best in the industry and I want to be the best dance teacher I can be.”

    Michelle’s passion and hard work as a dance teacher is certainly paying off.  Many of the dance school pupils took and passed exams in ballet, tap, freestyle and musical theatre in June.  The much sought after grade of distinction was awarded to 8 of the pupils from the school leading to many proud parents and one very proud dance teacher.

    Classes are proving so popular on a Wednesday at Mereside that many of them are fully booked.  So Michelle is going to start providing classes on a Monday evening from 4.30pm onwards.  “Due to the recruitment of new teachers I am finally in a position to be able to meet demand and I am thrilled.  My dream of being a dance teacher, which I have had since I was 5, is coming true and I couldn’t be happier!”

    To find out more about the classes offered you can visit the dance school’s Facebook page or call Michelle on 07946630963.

    Pete White
  • Virtual Coffee Mornings to Provide Travel Inspiration
    11 Jan 2021
    Claire Moore, managing director at Peakes Travel Elite

    Peakes Travel Elite, Shrewsbury’s award-winning travel agent, are offering virtual coffee mornings to offer travel inspiration and reassurance to holidaymakers, ready for when the latest restrictions are lifted.

    The travel agency has set-up a series of online sessions and will be inviting one of their favourite tour operators to each one.

    Claire Moore, managing director at Peakes Travel Elite, said, “We will be providing everything you need to know about new travel protocols and a big dose of holiday inspiration, so you can start dreaming about your next getaway!

    “I think we all need an escape from the dreariness of January and the hum drum of lockdown life, so we thought a positive and informative online chat might really help our customers, especially those who may be feeling isolated at home.

    “Many of our customers can’t wait to get the go ahead to hop on a plane to far-flung lands, so we hope to give them some great new ideas. We know that some of our customers are feeling a little cautious about travelling again, so we are here to talk through all of their concerns and queries, run through the new health travel protocols, and pass on our expertise and reassurance.”

    Peakes Travel Elite held their first coffee morning on January 7 with Explore! to discuss adventure holidays. One of the attendees, Ann O'Brien, said it just what she needed. She commented, “Whilst this is such a difficult, and at times scary time in our lives, hope and the belief it will improve has to stay at the front of our minds. The world is a beautiful place with amazing people and cultures - we have to believe we can explore again at some point in the not too distant future.”

    The next coffee morning will be on January 21, with RailBookers to inspire rail travel all over the world. There will also be sessions on February 4 with Celebrity Cruises to hear about all of their new itineraries, developments and health at sea protocols, and on February 18 with Riviera Travel exploring river cruise and touring holidays.

    Mrs Moore adds, “We want customers to feel inspired to travel safely again. There is more reason than ever before to book your holiday with a travel agent. We can offer customers a high level of reassurance with our ATOL bonded and ABTA protected holidays. We pass on that protection to our customers, which means we support them every step of the way if anything goes wrong with their holiday plans.”

    To find out more and register your interest in attending, please contact Peakes Travel Elite by calling 01743 233234 or emailing [email protected].

  • Shropshire grandfather in race against time to help save grandson's life
    17 Jan 2019

    A Shropshire grandfather has made an urgent plea to help raise £500,000 for potentially life-saving treatment for his 10-year-old grandson.

    Dave Perrin, of Lea Cross, near Shrewsbury, is attempting to secure as much funding as possible with the help of family, friends and colleagues across Shropshire, to get urgent medical treatment for his grandson Harry Banks. 

    Harry, whose mother Nina is also from Shrewsbury and now lives in Milton Keynes, has twice beaten a rare form of cancer known as Neuroblastoma in the last four years, undergoing grueling chemotherapy, radiotherapy and major surgery.

    But doctors now say that the risk of his aggressive cancer cells returning is extremely high, and current treatment methods in the UK are unlikely to be effective.

    “We’ve now run out of treatment options to keep Harry’s condition at bay, so our only hope is a pioneering new trial in the United States where an experimental antibody drug known as 8H9 is fed directly into Harry’s spinal fluid,” said Dave.

    “We have a terrifyingly short window of just a few months to raise funds for this treatment before Harry’s cancer returns, and we’re pulling together to do everything we possibly can to reach our target and help to save his life.

    “No one deserves to go through what Harry’s been through, but he really is the most wonderful little boy and has shown incredible courage and resilience throughout this painful and traumatic experience – we desperately hope we can help him.”

    To read Harry’s story and make a donation, please visit

  • Seagrove at Severn
    05 Jul 2012

    Volcano…Noel Coward
    Theatre Severn
    Monday 2nd July to Saturday 7th July 2012

    It was a star filled performance of Noel Coward’s “Volcano” that grandly filled the stage at Theatre Severn on Monday night. Headed by Jenny Seagrove, whom we know from such work as television’s, Lewis, Peak Practice and Casualty. This little known Coward piece was a dark, reflective, moody and an utterly fascinating tale of humanity trying cope with challenge.
    Set on the side of a Volcano, hence the title, recently widowed ex-pat Adele Shelley (Seagrove) continues her late husband’s work on their Banana plantation. The narrative evolves around and emits from her friends who all come calling for a weekend in late summer, 1959. There are love triangles, heart searchings and final resolutions. With the ever constant rumbling volcano as a metaphor for the central character’s own emotions, the play creates and explores all the potential complications that could arise amongst such a bunch of friends. Coward, wishing to explore his own existence in the colonies, portrayed it as a luxurious, decadent and corrupted life.

    The script gave a fascinating sound bite of how these lotus eaters lived and how far removed they were from the decidedly grey, dull and rainy London streets. This was a colonial lifestyle that was, itself, at that time, decaying.

    With a beautifully designed set and superb characterisation from the cast of beautiful people, the play romped along at a breathtaking pace creating situations along the way that could potentially end up so badly for all concerned. The use of lighting and sound was so creative; consequently ensuring the audience felt the atmosphere and ambience of a colonial house on the side of an active volcano, in a seamy, humid and exhausting climate.

    Another interesting facet of this play was the exploration of gender and expected behaviour. Coward had written his women as tough, independent spirits with intelligence and charm in equal measure. Clearly visible in the performance of the awesomely beautiful actress Perdita Avery; Ms. Avery exuded a coquettish  feminity that hid the fact that she was a determined minx out to fool the others to achieve her own seedy ends. The men were ruggedly handsome, brave and practical. Again all lending leverage to the argument that this class was a inspirational and perfect way of life. A life that brought out everyone’s potential in the indolence of a colonial lifestyle.

    It was also an amazing journey into a class structure that, thankfully, we don’t see too often in these modern times. To illustrate this point an examination of the language used would prove indicative of this leisure class. “You have been dithering too long with that tired Gin and Tonic allow me to get you a Martini” Just the sort of thing the average housewife of 2012 hears daily as she tries to make toast, do the washing, feed the baby, see the children off to school and then get herself ready for work, I don’t think.

    The director, Roy Marsden, known as television’s Inspector Adam Dalgleish, had worked hard on this piece and one could see his hand in some of the moves and obviously in the deliverance of text. His interpretation of the play was, one could only imagine, exactly what Coward would have hoped for as he bashed out the script on his trusty type writer. It was a stunning performance and scores a five star rating on the scale. Go and see it. Volcano, Theatre Severn 2nd to Saturday 7th July.

    Owen Lewis

    Owen Lewis
  • Top Marks for Shrewsbury College Level 3 Students
    16 Sep 2016
    Top Marks for Shrewsbury College Level 3 Students

    Heading off to University to study Midwifery and Forensic Investigation are outstanding Shrewsbury College students, Taylor Griffiths and Bryony Potter (18).

    They are amongst an impressive group of 37 Level 3 students at the College who this year achieved triple distinction/stars in their Level 3 Diplomas – the equivalent of three A*s at A Level.

    “We both studied the BTEC Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care which was a brilliant course,” say Bryony and Taylor.  “We had good GCSEs and knew we wanted to pursue science-related careers, we also knew that a practical course was a more attractive option for us than exam-based A Levels.”

    “The College also supports you to get some really relevant work experience, which is highly valued by universities” Taylor adds. “I even got a placement in Tanzania, which was incredible.”

    "These are very impressive results. They reflect the ability and excellent attitude of our vocational students and are testament to the quality of teaching and support they receive,” says Principal and CEO of the Shrewsbury Colleges Group, Lyn Surgeon.

  • Fine Dining Delivered
    28 Jun 2013
    Duck Breast Cranberry Jus Taste Telford

    I discovered Taste Telford on Twitter and I was immediately drawn to the simplicity of the business. Restaurant quality meals with locally sourced fresh ingredients prepared and delivered to you door, all you need to do is cook it.

    It's barely cooking, I just had to pop the food in the oven for 20 minutes. With all the prep work done for you Taste Telford a la carte boxes make entertaining effortless, which is great if you've had a busy day and don't have time to create something special for your guests. 

    The Shropshire based start up in still in it's infancy but there is plenty of interest and they are already delivering in Shrewsbury. Taste are seamlessly integrating social media with the boxes too and they'll soon be adding QR codes to the dishes that will link to their YouTube channel with cooking demonstrations.

    Taste gave me an a la carte box so I could write this review and I loved it. I chose duck breast marinated in ginger and rosemary, chateau potatoes, cranberry and rosemary jus and vibrant spring greens. All the components of the dish were packaged separately and clearly labelled. There was even butter provided for the spring greens.

    I was salivating just picking out the meal and could hardly wait for it to be delivered. The very large duck breast was tender and juicy, the scored skin crisped up beautifully in the oven. The fragrant chateau potatoes and rich jus bejewelled with cranberries brought the whole dish together. It was definitely restaurant quality fine dining but in comfort of my own home.

    If you're short on time or cooking skills and looking to impress your guests, I'd recommend the “a la carte in a box” from Taste Telford. Select your menu from a seasonal selection and the Taste will team prepare it and deliver it to your door.

    The a la carte in a box usually retails at £40 for two people, we have a special Love Shrewsbury reader offer for July 2013, you can try a box for just £35 using the code TST102 when you order.

    Visit the Taste Telford website to order or email them at [email protected]

  • Is banana good for psoriasis?
    25 Sep 2019

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

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

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

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

    What Psoriasis is

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

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

    How Banana peel is suitable for psoriasis

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

    Clean the affected area and rub the banana peel

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

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

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

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

    Banana peel paste is also useful

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

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

    Banana peel and honey combined

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

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

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

    Banana peel along with coal tar

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

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

    Final Thought

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

    Pete White
  • Shrewsbury Ramblers goes to print with a new Walks Book
    20 Jun 2012

    A unique book of walks entitled “20 Walks in and around Shrewsbury” is being released this week satisfying the real need for walks information based on Shrewsbury itself. Shrewsbury Ramblers have risen to the challenge set by chairman John Newnham, to produce this book of walks based on their County town. John’s brief to the members was to collect walks with a ‘wow factor’ that would appeal to all ages and not just to seasoned walkers. The result is an excellent new book of 20 walks in and around Shrewsbury to be published on 20th June 2012. The directions are easy to follow with very clear maps of the routes.

    The unique knowledge of walk leaders has been drawn upon to provide walks from 2 to 6 miles with special features to be enjoyed along the way. The majority of them are within a 10 mile radius of Shrewsbury and some start from the town itself. At least 15 have panoramic views - many of which can be enjoyed without the pain of climbing hills! These are rambles for non-ramblers! Families can marvel at huge fossilised tree trunks, the oldest engineered road, one of the first meeting places of Parliament, the world’s first iron-framed building and the oldest cast-iron bridge still open to wheeled traffic. They can also walk in the footsteps of famous people and choose from Charles Darwin, poet Wilfred Owen, or novelist Mary Webb. There are several walks along the Severn plus one for good measure along the old river bed. If you prefer old railway tracks there are some encounters with the Potts line.

    Local chairman John Newnham says “The book celebrates both the diversity of the Shropshire countryside and the rich heritage of Shrewsbury. It should prove popular with visitors and residents alike as there is no comparable publication available and will provide people with a lasting memory of an enjoyable day out in and around our County town.”

    Shropshire Council has welcomed the book’s contribution to tourism and its potential to encourage walking for health in the area and a contribution from the Shropshire Wide Local Joint Committee has enabled the publication at a reasonable price. After costs have been covered, proceeds from the book will be used to provide unique waymarks for the walks and to improve access to the footpaths.
The book will be available from 20th June 2012 for £4.99 at Tourist Information Centres, local outdoor retailers and other outlets. For full details visit the Shrewsbury Ramblers website at

    People in the photograph (left to right) are Chris Henderson (Director of Creative Digital Printing Ltd), Audrey Menhinick (book editor), Ian Carley (printer), John Newnham (Chairman of Shrewsbury and Mid Shropshire Ramblers).

  • Shropshire care homes welcome new managers
    14 Jan 2021

    Residents and staff at two north Shropshire care homes are starting the new year with two new managers. 

    Greenfields in Whitchurch has appointed Jonathan Cook as the new general manager whilst Woodcroft in Market Drayton has welcomed Sarah Parker. 

    Both homes are run by Shropshire’s largest independent care provider Coverage Care Services Ltd and look after elderly residents from their local communities and beyond. 

    Speaking about his new appointment Mr Cook, who has worked in the care sector for nine years, said he was delighted to be working with such a committed and professional team of carers and support staff. 

    “From the moment I walked into Greenfields, I knew it was a really special place. You can just feel it. The whole team is brilliant, extremely friendly and they give 100 per cent to the residents,” he said. 

    The 75-bed home located on Liverpool Road provides nursing and residential care for older people and Mr Cook is responsible for leading a team of 90 members of staff. 

    He said: "The home already has a fantastic relationship with local community groups and healthcare providers in the area and I want to build on this. 

    “In the future, when everything settles down with the Covid-19 pandemic, I will also be building stronger relationships with local emergency services personnel. 

    “I’d love for off duty ambulance drivers and police officers to feel they could stop by and have a cup of tea with residents and of course when we get back to having events, it will be wonderful to welcome members of the community along.” 

    At Woodcroft in Market Drayton, which is rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, Mrs Parker is tasked with leading a 60-strong team. 

    She said: “The team at Woodcroft is exceptional and I’m delighted to be working alongside a team of dedicated and passionate carers and support staff. Together we will be working hard to maintain the home’s outstanding performance and deliver high quality care to residents.” 

    Mrs Parker has been a committed member of the Coverage Care team for the last five years having previously worked as a deputy manager at Montgomery House in Shrewsbury and more recently within the company’s quality and performance team. 

    She said: “It’s been a challenging few months for everyone as we have navigated our way through the Coronavirus pandemic, but we are starting the new year with some exciting plans to help residents brighten up and personalise their bedrooms.” 

    Coverage Care Services chief executive David Coull welcomed the two managers saying: “Both Jonathan and Sarah have a solid track record working within the care sector and they have settled quickly into their new roles during a particularly challenging time. They are committed to delivering the highest quality of care possible to residents and we wish them every success.” 

    Coverage Care operates 12 individual homes across Shropshire, providing residential, nursing and dementia care for elderly people.

  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack
    29 Feb 2020

        Rarely does the booking of a press car correspond with the week’s weather. Such is my luck – or the apparent lack of it, I’ve driven Morgan’s through thunderstorms, handed back a Mercedes Benz G-Wagen just hours before flash flooding (Its 700mm wading depth would’ve proved very handy) and spent many an hour driving a non-air-conditoned budget-buy in the heat of summer. Just for once, though, the stars aligned: the first falling of snow, albeit light, occurred right in the middle of my week with Volkswagen’s new Passat Estate Alltrack.

        If you’re like me - by which I mean you live out on the sticks and are thus prone to adverse weather and all it brings - but you don’t necessarily need an SUV or anything with tundra-plundering abilities or ride-height that requires the use of step ladder to gain access to the driver’s seat, then the Volkswagen Passat Estate Alltrack might very well be up your unpaved alley. It’s four wheel-drive, it’s got hill descent control, and it doesn’t make you look like you’ve joined the local branch of Mountain Rescue. It’ll tow a braked load of up to 2,200kg too.

        Distinguishable from its more business-like brethren by its raised ride-height, chunkier bumpers and underbody protection, flared (and plastic clad) wheel arches, discreet roof rails, and larger “Kalamata” alloy wheels, it is to-all-intents-and-purposes the automotive equivalent of  sensible shoes. With its 40:20:40 rear seats folded flat it boasts one of the biggest boots in its class – honestly you could sleep in it – or alternatively, with the backseat set upright it offers rear passenger sprawling space to spare (and still 650 litres of load-space). Practical doesn’t do it justice.

         There’s only one engine choice, and only one gearbox option. If you want an Alltrack – and it’ll be an estate, there’s no saloon - it comes with Volkswagen’s 187 bhp 1,968cc four-cylinder turbo-diesel coupled to their 7 speed dual clutch DSG gearbox. Said combination makes for smooth progress. And it rides nicely too, albeit in a comfort orientated, rather than anything remotely sporty, manner.

       If that last paragraph doesn’t exactly sound exciting that’s probably because the Passat doesn’t exactly feel exciting. It will cruise all-day-every-day without fuss, and you’ll arrive at your destination as unruffled as you were when you left. But if you prefer your journeys to be more engaging, the Alltrack’s light and uncommunicative steering, although precise and direct, plus the gearbox’s hesitancy and sometime reluctance to slip into lower ratios, might leave you wanting. The Alltrack’s abilities are better suited to those who prefer to be off the beaten track rather than to those who prefer to be on tracks of the racing kind.

        It even gets something called Travel Assist. Standard across the entire Passat range it makes the Passat the first VW than can drive at up to 130mph in a partially automated mode. Clever stuff! What’s perhaps not so clever is that Volkswagen don’t fit a spare wheel as standard. On a car so overtly styled for the great outdoors I know which “driver aid” I’d prefer.

        Fortunately there was no call for either spare wheel, or the dreaded inflation kit VW now fit in its place either. The four-wheel drive came in very handy though, it made light work of the snow and added an element of extra reassurance when I was required to trek to Carmarthenshire early one snowy Sunday Morning. And I thought Shropshire felt empty…

        If you like your cars relaxing and undemanding, you like the idea of a little added security promised by four-wheel-drive, and most of all you don’t want to follow the SUV crowd, the Passat Alltrack proves a very worthy ally, whatever the weather.



    Volkswagen Passat Estate Alltrack 2.0 TDi

    Engine: 1,968cc 4Cyl 16V turbo-diesel

    Transmission: 7 speed dual–clutch Automatic with 4 Motion Four-wheel drive.

    Power:  187 bhp @ 3,600 rpm

    Torque: 295 lbft @ 1,900 – 3,300 rpm

    0-62MPH: 8.0 Sec

    Max Speed: 139 mph

    CO2: 133 g/km (NDEC Derived)

    MPG: 43.6 combined (WLTP)

    Price: from £39,185 (as tested £45,895)


    Many thanks to Volkswagen’s UK press office for the loan of their PASSAT


    Liam Bird
  • Adjazz to perform at Shropshire awards ceremony
    28 Aug 2015
    Adjazz - who have played all over the world - are to perform at Shropshire awards ceremony

    A Shropshire school choir that has performed across the world is to take to the stage at the 2016 Businesses for Children Awards.

    Adjazz was formed in 1986 at Thomas Adams School by the then head of music Steve Rodwell. 

    Over the 28 years that followed the band toured Austria and Switzerland, the USA and appeared on Blue Peter, Channel 4’s Big Breakfast, BBC Radio 1, 2 and 5 as well as ITV’s Hit the Road and Barrymore’s ‘My Kind of People’.

    They have also appeared on BBC Music Live, opened the Strasbourg Music Festival  in 2002 and given concerts in Amsterdam, California, Florida, France, New Orleans, Washington and New York.

    In June 2004 they toured the Czech Republic performing in Prague as part of an International Festival and in July 2005 they travelled to Paris to perform at Disneyland before touring Barcelona in 2006 to mark their 20th Anniversary. And for  the past seven years they have toured across Europe.

    But in 2016 the group will take to the stage at the Businesses for Children Awards (BCAs) being held at the Park Inn in Telford on March 12.

    Rebecca Heywood, head of music at Thomas Adams, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be invited to perform at the BCA ceremony. It’s a real honour. The students are already busy practising ready for the event so that they put on a flawless performance.

    “There are so many fantastic businesses across Shropshire which provide wonderful services and products for children and young people and it’s great the awards recognise this.”

    When the band was originally formed it was open to pupils from 11 to 18 with two requirements for membership - talent and commitment. These requirements are still the overriding principles of the band today.

    Rhea Alton, managing director of the BCAs, said: “The awards highlight the businesses that work so hard for children and young people in Shropshire and it is fantastic that they will get to see the talented young pupils of Thomas Adams perform.

    “We are very much looking forward to seeing them on the night.”

    Adjazz will perform at 7.15pm on March 12 prior to a three-course dinner, followed by the awards ceremony and then dancing.

  • School hails new trip a huge success
    19 Mar 2015

    A school in north Shropshire has taken students on a trip to Amsterdam for the first time.

    Teachers at the Thomas Adams School in Wem said the trip for 46 year nine and 10 students was a huge success.

    The new venture allowed students to discover more about prejudice and discrimination for projects in both drama and religious education (RE).

    Liz Badger, head of RE, said: “It was such a worthwhile trip, we are so glad we took the time to arrange it and put everything in place.

    “The students were superb, interested and well behaved throughout all of it.

    “It is not something we have done before but it fit in so well with both the RE and drama modules, to look into the history of prejudice in Amsterdam and we stopped in France on the way back to learn even more.

    “Everyone learnt a lot, it was an enriching experience and something we will definitely consider doing again in the future.”

    During the four day trip over half term (Feb 13 to 16) the students enjoyed a canal cruise, a walking tour around the Jewish quarter, museum visits and a day at the Efteling Theme Park.

    Mrs Badger added: “The visit to Anne Frank’s house was a real highlight for many of the students and proved to be very moving.
    “When we entered Anne’s bedroom and saw her posters on the bedroom wall a lot of the students fell quiet.

    “The Van Gogh museum was also intriguing, we saw the sunflowers picture which students had heard so much about.”

    On the way back the group stopped in Ypres to visit the museum at Passchendaele, which explained about the battle that was fought there.

    Five members of staff went on the trip and headteacher Liz Dakin said she has heard nothing but positive feedback.

    She said: “We arrange a lot of school trips here and each of them are designed to give students new experiences and learn more about both the places they are visiting and themselves.

    “Our regular trips include Arthog, PGL, Rome, a United States visit such as New York or Los Angeles, Cologne Christmas markets, Barcelona and skiing, but Amsterdam is not one we have done before.
    “It sounds like it was a huge success and certainly the students have been telling everyone else in school about the sites they saw, the fun they had and the things they learnt.

    “I would like to thank everyone involved in the trip.”

  • Love Shrewsbury Celebrates Four Years!
    21 Jun 2016

    Four years ago today the Love Shrewsbury website was revealed after months of hard work and development. The aim was simple, to portray all the towns positive offerings, from community stories, business success, local events to towns people who wanted a voice.

    Love Shrewsbury's development was an interesting process, the county has well established media outlets and we wanted something bold and unique to stand out. We chose a vibrant and energetic colour scheme and based the logo on the towns popular Darwin monument.

    The result was a resounding success and went way beyond our expectations. Over the first year Love Shrewsbury became one of the most visited sites dedicated to Shrewsbury.

    Key to the sites initial growth was the work that was put into growing social media channels. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to be able to read our content hence our Facebook, Twitter, RSS and weekly newsletter have been incredibly popular. Features such as our trending page allow users to see whats currently popular with the sites visitors.

    We’re looking forward to the next 12 months and have some great articles, offers and bloggers lined up.

    Pete White
  • 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.”

  • Don't dump it, reviive it!
    10 Feb 2014
    reviive electrical repairs

    Reviive is a not-for-profit community interest company based on Battlefield Industrial Estate in north Shrewsbury (just round the corner from the Councils Household Recycling Centre).  Their aim is to help create jobs and training opportunities by keeping your stuff out of landfill.  Their business model wants to make the most possible use out of furniture and household goods that people no longer need.

    Reviive was formed in 2010 by two Shropshire-based charities called Shropshire Housing Alliance and South Shropshire Furniture Scheme to help augment their existing furniture recycling operations.

    Their work has a huge positive economic impact on the Shrewsbury area because it allows them to employ more staff, create more work placements and train more volunteers.  But its also having a positive financial impact on households in Shrewsbury because you can buy great furniture at low prices. This keeps more cash in peoples pockets and more money circulating around our local economy.  Finally of course best of all any profit/surplus from the Reviive shop goes back to the founder charities to help them do good work in the local community.

    So it really is a win, win, win - everyone benefits if we landfill less and if we buy recycled furniture - its better than new.  

    If you want to donate any old furniture or electrical items they offer a free collection service - simply visit and they will arrange to pick it up for you.

    James Thompson
  • Shrewsbury Town Football Club new training facility a huge success - thanks, in part, to Telford firm
    07 Sep 2017

    The new training ground at Shrewsbury Town Football Club is running like clockwork, bosses have said.

    Brian Caldwell, CEO of the club, said he is delighted with the new Sundorne Castle training complex, which opened at the end of June.

    It is now complete with full business equipment, including a photocopier which was sponsored by Telford-based Unique Copiers as part of the club’s wider contract.

    Mr Caldwell said: “We love working with local businesses and we have made sure we have while creating this new complex too.

    “Unique Copiers do a great job on all our photocopying needs for the rest of the football club so we were delighted when they recognised we would need further facilities in the new training area and offered to help by sponsoring a copier as part of our ongoing commitment to each other’s firms.

    “We believe it is important to boost Shropshire companies and keep independent businesses across Shropshire thriving.”

    The club has invested almost £1million in the new facility at Sundorne on the land which was previously owned by Chairman Roland Wycherley from 1996 until it was passed onto the club as an asset last year.

    It consists of training pitches as well as HQ for the first team players and coaching staff that comprises of offices, a gym, a restaurant, changing rooms and lounge areas for players.

    Unique Copiers in St George’s Industrial Estate has sponsored the club for many years and owner Adrian Casey said he was delighted to continue this partnership.

    He said: “We are really impressed with the new facility at Shrewsbury Town Football Club and when we heard they were having offices in the new complex we knew they would need our assistance once again.
    “We were only too happy to provide the copier they need and will maintain it as part of the wider contract, they are a loyal customer of ours and we are eager to continue this working relationship.

    “It is good to have local business across Shropshire supporting each other, the more we can all work together the more the economy in this excellent county can grow and grow.”

    For more information about Unique Copiers call 0845 108 9050 or visit the website

  • Shrewsbury Flower Show 2016 Part 1
    13 Aug 2016

    It's that time of year again when we visit the wonderful Shrewsbury Flower Show. Here are a selection of photos from day 1 by Richard Hammerton.

    Pete White
  • Final piece laid in mosaic path jigsaw at new Shrewsbury care home
    22 Sep 2016

    A piece of creative artwork that will adorn a path that meanders through the garden of Shropshire’s newest care home is nearing completion.

    The River Severn inspired 40-metre mosaic design will be a key feature in the grounds of Coverage Care’s new flagship facility, Montgomery House in Sundorne Road, Shrewsbury.

    The 90-room home will offer residential and nursing care when it opens later this year.

    The mosaic path has been designed and installed by Designs in Mind and will lead from the door of the centre around the gardens.

    The artwork was created in conjunction with residents from Crowmoor House, who will be among the first people to move into Montgomery House, which has been built on the site of the former Territorial Army Centre.

    Councillor Kevin Pardy, who represents the local ward on Shrewsbury Town and Shropshire Councils, viewed the final pieces of the mosaic being installed during a recent visit to Montgomery House.

    He said: “The mosaic path is a lovely touch that will bring a homely feel to the garden. I love the fact that it meanders along the path, echoing the ebb and flow of the River Severn.

    “Having watched the development of Montgomery House, I am very excited that it will soon be opening and I am very proud to have this high quality facility located in my ward.”

    It is the second time Coverage Care has worked with Designs in Mind. The organisation created art work for the reception and name boards for units at Coverage Care’s New Fairholme development in Oswestry.

    Coverage Care’s Operations Director Debbie Price said: “Finishing the mosaic path indicates that the completion of Montgomery House is fast approaching and it will be lovely to see the reactions of the residents when they take their first steps out in the garden.”

    Coverage Care Services is Shropshire's leading independent care home provider, run on a not-for-profit basis and cares for mainly older people in 14 homes across the county.

    To learn more about Coverage Care, visit

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