The top articles currently trending on Love Shrewsbury.

  • Proof That Putting Classic and Rock Together is not an Oxymoron!
    19 Feb 2019

    The Classic Rock Show

    Theatre Severn


    The Rock fan’s ultimate juke box this show is billed as. One might disagree because in a juke box one knows who the artist such luck here.

    It is uncharacteristic to start with a moan however one is flummoxed as to why shows like this never carry programmes. I have just seen some of the best rock performances one has ever seen and there is no way as a reviewer is it possible to name who was who and who did what. Jess, John and Jessie were the only discernible names throughout the course of the evening. I say only discernible as the front man/audience relationship was never built upon in fact they spoke three times and one of them was to introduce the interval. Suh a shame. It almost looks like someone doesn’t want us to know who the players are? How strange that cannot be so? Probably not, but a company with no programme shows a certain arrogance.

    Maybe it is arrogance that one needs to present this genre, after all there was a certain amount of narcissistic preening this evening. Still though one is saddened that one cannot furnish you with the names of the performers.

    It is a great show with non-stop classic rock hits just like it says in the show flyer. There were flashes of genius and flashes of well, not so, but overall it is a great experience.

    With a cast of ten musicians/singers they were equipped for anything that Rock Music had to throw at them. They played impeccably; they played with a unity that is a joy to experience and a pleasure to hear. Comprising nine men and one woman they were ready to cover any base.

    The musicians are amazing. Note for perfect note, Hendrix, Gary Moore, Brian May ,The Beatles, Meat Loaf, they were all in the mix. Pleasingly not always the track you expected but other back catalogue works, or works that specific fans might know but the less enlightened might not, It didn’t matter every song was given the conviction that they deserved. It was pleasing that nobody felt the need to be the person whose work they were presenting. No, much better they just played and sang to the best of their abilities. On the whole the best of their abilities was more than enough.

    The absolute pinnacle was when “Jess,” the female vocalist, stepped forward and sang, Alone, by Heart. She was spinetinglingly  amazing, such power and control I have a feeling that a long and thoroughly enjoyable career awaits Jess in the future as well as now. The stage also looked spectacular with, brilliant white prism lights extending incredibly thin beams all over the stage and auditorium...Breathtaking.

    The backline is huge, Keys, Drums, Saxaphone, Percussion, Lead and Rhythm Guitars, a very exciting Bass and of course four singers to share the vocals. Now I love to tell you who the brilliant guitarist with the double guitar is..alas I cannot. I am only able to really tell you that he is a wonderful natural talent and to hear him play is to hear a musician with his own sense of brilliance and his own sense of style. He played the guitar so superbly finding licks and riffs that will make even some of the greats stop and take notice.

    This is an exactly what it says on the tin sort of show. The audience were lapping it up. Some reliving their lost pasts with a warm bath of nostalgia some maybe experiencing this kind of music live for the first time either way this show will please.

    It’s safe, it formulaic but needs to be, to be the show that it claims to be.

     I am sure that all the great rock songs in the world have not yet been written but remembering and showing just how good the boys and girls were back when this music was created will light a torch for everyone to see. Some will look to where its leading some will stay in the comfortable zone it illuminates, with the songs they love. One fact is for certain Rock will never die and shows like this have a responsibility to make sure it doesn’t get lost to posterity, sadly like so much more of our past.

    This is solid, relevant and exciting rock and given that this was the last night of their tour and it is probably time for the cast to take a nice long rest and to reflect on the show and know that a great job was done.

    This is a Four Star Review

    Owen J.Lewis

    Owen Lewis
  • Spotlight shines on future of international trade
    14 Feb 2019

    A firm of international logistics specialists is joining forces with business leaders to help Shropshire companies identify post-Brexit export opportunities.

    Telford based Global Freight Services Ltd, which has been shipping goods around the globe for more than 20 years, will highlight some of the options for businesses to grow and expand their markets at the free event at the Marches Growth Hub in Telford on March 13.

    The Future of International Trade event will feature a range of business experts who will give an update on the latest economic environment and how these are impacting on international trade.

    Those attending will hear from business specialists about how to identify new opportunities post-Brexit and companies that are already trading successfully overseas will share some of their experiences.

    The event will begin with breakfast and networking at 8.30am. International managers from Barclays Bank will talk about the current economic climate while Norman Rikunenko from the Department for International Trade will share the latest Government guidance on trading overseas.

    Peter Wilding, corporate lawyer and Brexit advisor for Shropshire law firm FBC Manby Bowdler, will share his knowledge and advise businesses on what steps they can take to prepare for the UK leaving the EU.

    The event is being organised by Anton Gunter, Managing Director of Global Freight in partnership with Barclays, in a bid to alleviate some of the current fears facing the export industry.

    He said: “It is a challenging and uncertain time for businesses but there are plenty of opportunities in the current global trade environment for companies to grow and expand their international markets.

    “Brexit is happening in one form or another but we really feel there is no need for businesses to fear it.

    “In the short term it will cause a few headaches but there are numerous practical steps companies can take to make sure they are fully prepared and understand the procedures and processes in place when it comes to trade tariffs, commodity codes and EORI codes.”

    Anton added: “This event is all about supporting and providing useful information and dispelling some of the myths that exporting is difficult for small businesses.

    “With Brexit imminent, it’s important for more businesses to reach out to fresh overseas markets to develop their international trade.”

    To register for a place, go to

  • Arnold, 73, takes to the water for Severn Hospice
    22 Mar 2013

    A nautical pensioner from Pant is making sure everything is ship-shape as he launches his latest fundraising challenge in aid of a Shropshire and Mid Wales charity.

    Arnold Grayston, aged 73, is preparing to circumnavigate Wales by sea, inland waterways and Shropshire Rivers to help raise much needed funds for Severn Hospice.

    The former Commodore of Shropshire Sailing Club is undertaking this epic challenge in memory of his wife Karen who was cared for by the charity before she lost her battle with cancer in 2011.

    Staff from Severn Hospice today (THUR) gathered at Frankwell Quay, in Shrewsbury, to help Mr Grayston with his final preparations before he undertakes the mammoth journey later this year.

    Mr Grayston said: “Without being morbid, death is something that happens to us all. When our time comes all we can hope for is dignity and the best possible care, which is what Severn Hospice provided for Karen.

    “As a family we were in awe of those who cared for Karen in her last few days. Before she was admitted to the hospice in Shrewsbury she was cared for by Maggie, one of the many hospice nurses that work out in the community providing care to patients in their own homes.

    “As a small token of our appreciation for all she did for Karen we have asked Maggie to officially name the boat before we launch it on the River Severn where it will be blessed by the hospice’s Chaplain Harry Edwards.”

    Mr Grayston added: “We’re hoping to start the challenge in May or June, weather permitting; we will have completed the river and sea trials by then.

    “Hopefully the money we raise will help another family like us during such a difficult time.

    “I would like to thank all those who are supporting me throughout this challenge. Suzuki have kindly loaned me the engines and Ribeye have assisted me with the specification of the dinghy so it is suitable for the challenge.”

    Mike Perry, community fundraising advisor for Severn Hospice, said: “The challenge Arnold is undertaking is truly remarkable. We are so very grateful to him and all those who are supporting him along the way.

    “Like so many people, Arnold has experienced firsthand the difference our care can make at the darkest of times. The money he raises will help us to care for other families at their time of greatest need, providing support for our patients and those closest to them.”

    For more information and updates about Arnold’s challenge please visit  or To sponsor Arnold or make to a donation please visit

  • New role for Funeral Director at Pughs of Shrewsbury
    19 Aug 2016
    Newly qualified Funeral Celebrant receives his certificate from Pughs of Shrewsbury's Managing Director Peter Forrest

    Pughs of Shrewsbury are delighted to announce that one of their team of Funeral Directors, Phil Davies, is now a fully trained Funeral Celebrant.  Phil has been studying for his NOCN Level 3 Diploma in Funeral Celebrancy for the past six months.  'The course was a lot of hard work, but also rewarding, uplifting and very inspiring' he said.  Phil will be working alongside the team at Pughs providing celebrancy services to families that are not wanting to have a religious ceremony, or only wish to incorporate very small elements of religion.

    Pughs Managing Director, Peter Forrest said: 'We have seen the amount of families wanting a full religious ceremony decline over the last few years so being able to provide our own Funeral Celebrant, especially with our close links to our printers Copy Write and florist Forget me not Flowers, allows Pughs to offer a complete service to the families we look after.'

    Phil is also available to work with families to advise and help create scripts should they want to present the tribute themselves at a ceremony. 'I have found working with families as a Funeral Director at Pughs to be one of the most rewarding things I have done, and I look forward to helping families further in this exciting new role.' Phil said.

    Pughs of Shrewsbury was established in 1890 by Jabus Pugh and has been looking after the families of Shrewsbury, Shropshire and the wider community for over 125 years and is proud to remain independent and owned by the Pugh family.  From our premises at Longden Coleham, Shrewsbury, our many years of experience allow us to maintain traditional values whilst taking a modern approach to funeral care.

  • A girls’ night in hitting the online games
    19 Nov 2014

    Planning a girls’ night in? Forget about discussing new hairstyles and trying out make-up, etc., because these days, girls are just as likely to enjoy playing online games as the lads are, one such site is

    Who said only boys are gamers?

    There is a myth that girls are not gamers; not only does this get the teeth gnashing of the thousands of dedicated female gamers out there, but it is also quite simply not true. New figures suggest that as many as 45% of all online gamers are women, who constitute 46% of regular video game purchasers. Other statistics you may find interesting are that 70% of females between the ages of 12 and 24 play video games and 61% in the 45-64 age group.

    Different types of online gaming

    Forgetting about video games for a moment and considering online games and the numbers are probably even higher. Online gaming is huge these days and can manifest itself in a wide variety of forms, from console or PC ‘shoot ‘em up’ games and sports games, etc. to online casino games and quizzes. As a generalised rule women typically gravitate towards the latter. Games, quizzes and fun polls on social media sites, such as Facebook, are also extremely popular.

    Preparing for a gaming girls’ night in

    Of course, a girls’ night in playing online games is not just about you, your mates and a computer; being girls, you’ll want to do it in style. So, how should you prepare for a girls’ games night? Remember that you’ll need more than a computer to impress your BFFs, who are used to a bit more in the way of comfort than their male counterparts.

    You’ll need refreshments, of course; what food and drink do you plan on serving and how will you incorporate them into the gaming angle of the evening? Perhaps most importantly, how are you planning on seating everyone so that it emphasises the social aspects of the evening and gives everyone a chance to get involved?

    Plan an online bingo night

    Traditional casino games, in addition to bingo, are all especially popular with women. Bingo, which has traditionally been seen as a game shunned by the younger age group, has been given a new lease of life in its fashionable new digital clothes. In fact, online bingo can be a fun and entertaining social activity for a night in. It offers the chance to have a little flutter and perhaps win some extra pocket money, all without taking itself too seriously.

    A national newspaper, the Daily Mirror, quickly recognised that its readership, particularly the female readers, would be interested in online bingo so it created one of the most used bingo sites around today, predictably named Mirror Bingo. It emphasises the colourful and fun aspects of the game and enhances the social experience through its chat rooms. Thousands of readers now visit on a daily basis to play bingo and slots. You are really spoiled for choice with bingo sites; there are many others online that provide a great gaming experience for customers.

    Leave your preconceptions behind and plan a night in with your BFFs with fun, gossip, refreshments and online games. You’ll be surprised by how much fun you can have.

    Pete White
  • Darwin Festival hitting the airwaves in Australia
    19 Feb 2019

    The DarwIN Shrewsbury Festival has been hitting the airwaves in Australia with representatives of the town’s university visiting the country to explore opportunities for ‘greater collaboration’ between Shrewsbury and the city of Darwin.

    Paul Kirkbright, Deputy Provost of the University Centre Shrewsbury, flew to Australia’s most northern city to foster closer links which could include scholarship programmes and student exchanges.

    The visit was organised to coincide with the Shrewsbury Darwin festival, running throughout February and playing host to a number of well-attended events - including a full-house for the lively debate about how the Wrekin was made.

    Almost 90 people attended the event, In the Footsteps of Giants: The True Origin of the Wrekin, at University Shrewsbury as part of the DarwIN Shrewsbury Festival.

    Organisers say these types of event are what the festival is all about – informative but far from boring which tends to be the stigma of science for many people.

    Mythstories’ resident Dez Quarrell says two giants were responsible for creating the Wrekin while Concord College geography teacher Steve Cale has other ideas.

    Mr Quarrell said: “Whether it was the subduction of tectonic plates or one giant burying the other, I think Steve and I were telling the same story.

    “Myths are often a lot nearer the truth than people expect, our forebears had a better understanding of the World than we credit them with.”

    Mr Cale said: “You have to question why a giant would be so angry as to want to destroy the good folk of Shrewsbury, and why not simply crush them like insects?
    “Regarding the geology, we looked at evidence that, despite volcanoes only being known to us Brits through travelling and television, the UK’s landscape is full of evidence of a more exciting geological past.
    “Whereas now we are drifting further from North America, there was once a time when two giant slabs of crust clashed together off Anglesey, with one buried for good! These were the birth pains of the Wrekin with rhyolitic lava forced through the brittle crust of the Earth.”

    Meanwhile, in Australia Mr Kirkbright appeared on the ABC Radio Darwin Drivetime Show to talk about Darwin’s connection with Shrewsbury, the festival and his contribution to science and history.

    Darwin, the city, also hosts a festival each year and has been paying its own special tribute to mark the 210th anniversary of the great man’s birth.

    “The city of Darwin and Shrewsbury are quite different in appearance but are both extremely beautiful,” said Mr Kirkbright.

    “I made the trip to reach out to Darwin in an attempt to do more in terms of collaboration. We are talking about a scholarship programme we hope to put into place and I am meeting with a number of academics with the hope of developing staff and student exchanges visits.

    “There is much to celebrate and build on to foster closer relationships between Darwin and Shrewsbury - two places forever linked because of their connections with one of the most famous scientists who ever lived.”

    The DarwIN Shrewsbury Festival continues throughout February - visit for more details.

  • Salop Music Centre on the move to Monkmoor
    04 Apr 2018

    Salop Music Centre, one of the UK’s largest independent musical equipment retailers, is to move to new premises.

    They have agreed to let Unit 1 at 294/298 Monkmoor Road after many years at their St Michael’s Street headquarters.
    They will shortly move into premises previously occupied by Home Essentials (Shrewsbury Furniture Scheme).
    Toby Shaw, who handled the letting for Towler Shaw Roberts, said: “The Shrewsbury Furniture Scheme had been there for many years but have now decided to relocate.
    “The property stimulated a good level of interest when it came on the market and has now been let to Salop Music Centre, a well-known business in Shrewsbury with a long history.
    “They’re relocating after selling their site at St Michael’s Street for residential development.
    "They are very pleased and excited to move to this area and have some exciting plans for the building.”
    Unit 1 is a substantial single storey workshop/warehouse building which extends to just under 5,000 sq ft. It also benefits from a large forecourt car park.
    It had been available to let on a new lease of £17,500 per annum.

    Pictured: Unit 1, 294/298 Monkmoor Road, Shrewsbury is to be the new home of Salop Music Centre.  

  • 'Peace Lily' - Shrewsbury Bookfest Remembers the First World War
    26 Jun 2018

    Peace Lily: Story telling and book signing with author Hilary Robinson at Button & Bear Bookshop.

    Author Hilary Robinson and illustrator Martin Impey tell the story of Lily, a young girl who becomes a nurse and follows her childhood friends Ben and Ray to the battlefields of France. Peace Lily pays tribute to the hundreds of women who contributed to the war effort.

    • Date:  20th October 2018
    • Venue:  Button & Bear Bookshop, 3 Thornes Hall, 27/28 Castle Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 2BQ
    • 3pm - 4pm
    • Suitable for ages 6 - 10 years
    • Tickets : £3.50 each from Button & Bear Bookshop –  All children to be accompanied by a ticket-paying adult.

    In partnership with Shropshire Council SHREWSBURY BOOKFEST has presented a series of events commemorating the First World War each November since 2014.

    These events have been designed for children, young people and families to commemorate and remember all those who fought in the First World War. In keeping with Bookfest’s ethos of enthusing children and young people with a love of reading, all the events in the programme have a strong literary connection.


  • The Circus Comes To Town
    17 Oct 2012

    Circus Vegas
    The Quarry Park
    17th -21st October

    I love nothing more than losing myself in an exciting circus. I know the risks they take are calculated but when the risks are so blatantly obvious it is quite a thrill to get sucked into the action. That is what Circus Vegas did for me tonight.

    Maybe one could argue that circus had its peak back in the days of Billy Smart and Chipperfield’s circus. There were the television shows and very full big tops, famous clowns and a guaranteed Christmas slot. Could circus get any more successful? Then of course, and rightly so animal welfare came much into the public forum and the lycra clad llamas and the sequined seals, the energetic elephants and the roaring lions all hung up their outfits and went somewhere; come to think of it where did they all go?

    After that, circus seemed to float a little lost and busily rewriting the guidelines for a modern day phenomenon. It has now come through the wilderness as the audience discovered at Circus Vegas in The Quarry tonight.

    It is a slow burner of a show, and whilst the illusions and acrobatics, the contortionism and the clowning were all great in the first half the second half was breathtaking. For fear of giving away the surprises which would be highly un-circus-y of me, it will suffice to say that the second half is major league thrills. One would defy any audience member to stand and say they weren’t impressed.

    The razz is back in the razzamatazz and Circus Vegas have taken great care to make sure it stays there. I could leak the plot a little and tell you it warms up with a strong man supporting the weight of a three ton vehicle driving over him and gets even more adventurous. I could say that but I won’t. Go and find out.

    Circus Vegas is with us in the town until Sunday and this critic strongly advises you to have a look. Lose yourself in the adventure and ask yourself in amazement how on Earth did that just happen? This is the most daring circus I have seen and it is a delight to know the art form is as alive and as relevant today as any other time and the British entertainment scene would be a dull place if we lost them.

    Viva Las Vegas... as the King once said.

    This is a four star review.

    Owen Lewis
  • Daniel Kawczynski hosts award winning Shrewsbury business Go Green Systems in Parliament
    02 Dec 2013

    Westminster, London – The Shrewsbury and Atcham MP held a meeting with two Shropshire entrepreneurs in the house of Parliament on Tuesday the 26th of November. They discussed how government policy can help growth and employment for Shrewsbury firms. Mr Kawczynski recently wrote a report on Efficiency and Effectiveness of UK Trade and Investment and is looking to try and encourage Shropshire firms to consider opportunities to export. Thomas Smith and Jonathan Bareham of Go Green Systems a solar installation firm based in Sutton farm Shrewsbury went on to attend the Local Business Accelerator awards where they had been nominated in the People’s Choice video category.

    The young firm have already won the Which? Local Business of the Year for the West Midlands. They are now looking to expand and hope to take on an apprentice. Something Mr Kawczynski is keen to encourage.

    Pete White
  • The original Abba tribute band ‘AbbaMania’ are set to perform a giant outdoor Summer concert
    07 May 2013

    The original Abba tribute band ‘AbbaMania’ are set to perform a giant outdoor Summer concert at the Shropshire & West Midlands Showground in Shrewsbury on Saturday 6th July.

    ‘AbbaMania’ have thrilled audiences throughout the UK and Europe with their sensational live concerts. The band were formed in Scotland in 1998 and are recognised as one of the most authentic Abba tribute bands in the world today, renowned for their signature Abba melodies and vocal harmonies.

    Despite Abba breaking up in 1982, they remain one of the most common pop groups in the world today, and their greatest hits album ‘Gold’ has sold over 28 million copies worldwide. AbbaMania re-live the Abba magic of their most famous hits including classic songs such as ‘Waterloo’, ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Money Money Money’, ‘Mamma Mia’ and many more.

    ‘AbbaMania’ are taking part in the annual outdoor Summer concerts weekend, which will also see ‘The Greatest’ Take That tribute perform at the Showground on Friday 5th July.

    AbbaMania tickets are available at the discounted price of just £10 each in advance (or £15 on the gate), plus Kids Go Free (accompanied under 14’s). Gates open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm, plus on-site car parking is free.

    Visitors are welcome to bring picnics, plus a bar and catering will be available on-site.

    To order discounted advance tickets online visit or call 0844 8541359 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network charges). Order your tickets today - advance bookings

  • Annabel Croft entertains guests at Shrewsbury sports dinner
    22 Feb 2017

    Tennis star Annabel Croft proved an entertaining guest speaker at The Shrewsbury Club’s latest successful sports dinner.
    The former British women’s No 1 - once ranked as high as 24 in the world - shared stories from her playing days and subsequent career as a television presenter after taking the decision to retire from playing at the age of 21.
    Sam Richardson, a Lawn Tennis Association coach who devised the popular Tennis for Kids programme, was also an engaging speaker.
    Dave Courteen, the managing director of The Shrewsbury Club, said: “It was another great night and very enjoyable listening to both Annabel and Sam.
    “Our sports dinners which we hold on the eve of the Aegon GB Pro-Series tournament finals at The Shrewsbury Club have gained an impressive reputation and this was another very successful evening.
    “We were delighted that Annabel could join us as she was flying to Dubai early the next morning to commentate on a tournament. She was an excellent speaker with some very interesting stories to tell.
    "Sam also offered an interesting insight into his role with the LTA and shared some great stories from his time spent working for Richard Branson as his personal tennis coach."
    Judy Murray, John Inverdale and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson have all spoken at sports dinners at The Shrewsbury Club in recent years.
    Pictured: Dave Courteen, left, the managing director of The Shrewsbury Club, with guest speakers Annabel Croft and Sam Richardson.

  • Businesses across Shropshire urged to take advantage of £1 million fund to breathe new life in to redundant buildings
    10 Oct 2014

    Small businesses and start-ups across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are being encouraged to apply for a share of a £1million fund that breathes new life in to redundant buildings across the region. 

    Since its launch in 2012, the Marches Redundant Building Grant Scheme (RBG), which was extended to include Worcestershire in 2013, has awarded grants in excess of £1.5m.  In Telford & Wrekin a total of 10 projects have been supported with grants totalling over £270,00 and as a result, 81 jobs have, or will be, created and a further 13 have been safeguarded.  In Shropshire, meanwhile, 22 projects have been supported with grants of £662,536.73.  This will result in 120 jobs being created and 18 being safeguarded.

    All projects funded by the current scheme need to be completed by June of next year and so applicants are being urged to enquire now in order to meet that timeframe.

    The grant scheme was established to give small businesses and start-ups across the region the opportunity to bid for grants that would bring unused buildings back into productive economic use and to date projects have included the conversion of a pig barn to office use; a former solicitors’ office being converted in to a day care nursery; and the transformation of a former hardware store in to a bustling and lively coffee shop and art gallery.

    Caroline Cattle, Grants Manager, comments: “The difference that the Redundant Buildings Grant has already made to so many small businesses across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin cannot be underestimated.  Businesses have been enabled to grow and diversify and take advantage of markets that they wouldn’t have been able to enter without the ability themselves to physically grow. 

    “All projects receiving grants from the scheme need to be completed by June of next year and so with funds still available we are keen that applicants come forward as soon as possible in order to complete the application process and all renovation works before that deadline.  Many small businesses have already benefited from the scheme and put the funds to really good use – it would be great to see more do likewise, but I’d urge them to act quickly.”

    One business to have benefitted from the Redundant Building Grant in Telford & Wrekin was Contour Casings which in 2013 received a grant worth almost £13,000 allowing it to move to larger premises on Stafford Park.  The unit they moved to had lain empty for seven years and so the grant money facilitated essential renovations to be carried out making the building fit for their bespoke needs.  Speaking on receipt of the grant, Leigh Simpson, Managing Director of Contour Casings, said: “The difference the grant will make cannot be under estimated as it has freed up finances that we can now direct on growing the business through the expansion of our workforce.”

    A totally different kind of business that has also been enabled to realise growth potential is Rays Farm, the family-friendly farm visitor attraction in Billingsley near Bridgnorth in Shropshire.  A £28,000 grant enabled the business to convert a redundant pole barn in to a new interpretation and show area which opened to the public in April this year.

    Julie Nicholls from Rays Farm commented: “Securing the grant has provided a future for Rays Farm and we’re delighted that the enlarged facilities are allowing us to create three new jobs too.”

    Chairman of the Marches LEP, Graham Wynn adds: “The Redundant Buildings Grant is a scheme that has proved phenomenally successful and one against which it is clear to see the difference it has made not only to the recipients, but also to those around them – additional childcare places have been provided; capacity has been expanded having a knock on effect to suppliers; and importantly jobs have been created and safeguarded.  Of course, in addition to this buildings which had become neglected and unattractive have been given a new lease of life benefitting everyone around them.”

    Capital grant support of between £3,000 and up to £100,000 is available to small businesses and start-ups to transform redundant buildings into a base for their enterprises.  This upper limit was recently increased from £50,000 in recognition of the complexities and scale of some of the applications received.

    Pete White
  • Shrewsbury Colleges Group's super 16 offered places at Oxford and Cambridge
    15 Feb 2018

    This year 16 students from Shrewsbury Colleges Group have been offered places to study at the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge Universities– a record for the College and the first time the number has reached double figures for a number of years.

    The students, who hail from all across the county, are currently studying A Levels at the colleges’ English Bridge and Welsh Bridge Campuses and will take their exams this summer before heading off to study at Oxford or Cambridge.

    The successful students have offers to read a broad range of subjects, including Philosophy, Biomedical Sciences, Experimental Psychology, Computer Science, Engineering, Law, Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

    The nine students offered places at Oxford Colleges are:

    Clare Conroy, 17, from Shrewsbury, previously of Belvidere School, Shrewsbury. She is studying History, Chemistry, French and Biology and has been offered a place at Christchurch College to read Philosophy.

    Imogen Hayward, 17, from Telford, previously of Charlton School in Wellington. She is currently studying History, English Literature and English Language and has been offered a place at University College to read English.                       

    Rose Laurie, 18, from Church Stretton, and previously of Church Stretton School. She is currently studying Maths, Computer Science and French and has been offered at place at New College to read Computer Science.          

    John Lewis, 18, of Much Wenlock, previously of Church Stretton School. He is currently studying Biology, Chemistry, Geography and Geology and has been offered a place at Christchurch College to read Geology.

    Sophie Scott, 17, of Condover, previously of Church Stretton School. She is currently studying Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology and has been offered a place at Lincoln College to read Biomedical Sciences.

    Josephine Blagrove, 17, of Worthen and previously of Mary Webb School, Pontesbury. She is currently studying Psychology, Biology and Chemistry, She has been offered a place at Merton College to read Biological Sciences.

    Georgie Bumpus, 18, of Shrewsbury, previously of Meole Brace School, Shrewsbury. She is currently studying Maths, Physics and German and has been offered a place at St Johns to read Maths.

    Christopher Davies, 17, of Shrewsbury, previously of Priory School, Shrewsbury. He is studying English Literature, History and Maths. He has been offered a place at New College to read Classics.

    Rose Undersun, 17, of Shrewsbury. She was home schooled. She is studying Law, Business and Psychology and has been offered at place at St Edmund Hall to read Experimental Psychology.

    The seven students offered places at Cambridge Colleges are:

    Richard Parsons, 18, of Church Stretton, previously of Church Stretton School. He is studying Maths, Chemistry and Physics and has been offered a place a St John's College to read Engineering.

    Edmund Harratt, 17, from Shrewsbury, previously of Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick. He is studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths. He has been offered a place at Magdalene College to read Natural Sciences.

    Seb Morris, 18, of Shrewsbury, previously of Meole Brace School, Shrewsbury. He is studying Further Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics. He has been offered a place at Homerton College to read Natural Sciences.           

    Daniel Webb, 18, of Shrewsbury, previously of Meole Brace School, Shrewsbury. Studying French, Maths, Government & Politics and Economics. He has been offered a place at Gonville and Caius College to read Law.    

    Sophie Iddles, 18, of Shrewsbury, previously of the Priory School, Shrewsbury. She is studying Music, History and Geography and has been offered a place at Robinson College to read Music.

    James Lapslie, 18, of Shrewsbury, previously of the Priory School, Shrewsbury. He is currently studying Further Maths, Physics and Product Design and has been offered a place at St John's College to read Engineering.   

    Connor Bennett, 18, of Much Wenlock, previously of William Brookes School, Much Wenlock. He is studying Further Maths, History, Chemistry, and Physics. He has been offered a place at St John’s College to read Mathematics.

    Principal and CEO, James Staniforth said:  “We are absolutely delighted for all sixteen students.  They are individually and collectively hard-working, intellectually curious, creative and passionate about their subjects.  All of them regularly go the extra mile in their studies.  Cambridge and Oxford are world-class universities, but they are still lucky that so many of our wonderful students will be joining them this autumn.  Sixteen offers is a record for the College and it reflects on both our students and their pursuit of excellence but also on the support of so many teachers and personal tutors who have inspired our students and then helped them through the application and interview process.  The overall strength of our teaching at Shrewsbury Colleges Group is indicated by the range and breadth of the subjects our students have won places to read.

    “The focus of Shrewsbury Colleges Group is to provide this sort of academic excellence as the largest provider of A Levels in the county with the widest choice of A Levels and first rate specialist teachers, alongside the vocational excellence, which we have seen through our Gold medal winners in the national SkillBuild competitions.”

    Daniel Webb said: “My dream is to row for Cambridge. The College enrichment scheme made it possible for me to start rowing and now I love it. ”

    Imogen Hayward said: “My English teacher is great. She is the reason I applied to read English at Oxford and she gave me lots of support with my application.”

    Sophie Iddles said: “I honestly was not expecting an offer, but thought that I might as well try - and still cannot believe it, but am thankful for the excellent music teaching I have received, both at sixth form and my instrumental teachers. I am particularly excited about the range of opportunities available, and to be taught by lecturers who are world specialists in their field. I feel very privileged to be offered a place at such a prestigious university."

    For more information on A Levels, visit or call 01743 235491. For more information about vocational courses and Apprenticeships, visit or call 01743 342342.

  • New build at T54 makes it three in a row success for Morris Property
    04 Nov 2016

    An expanding Telford manufacturer, which exports worldwide, will showcase its new production facilities and offices built by Morris Property at an open day for customers.

    Torus Measurement Systems awarded the £806,000 build contract to the Shrewsbury-based company so it could move from rented accommodation to its own premises alongside its main site and head office at Telford 54 Business Park

    Morris Property won the competitive tender after successfully delivering two major projects for other companies at T54. It built the 10,000 sq ft detached extension, which includes 2,500 sq ft of single storey fully fitted out offices with storage above and 7,500 sq ft of serviced manufacturing space, in a 26-weeks scheme.

    The building, which is shared by Torus Measurement Systems and Torus Automation, was designed to meet requirements for further growth and will be showcased at an open day in early 2017.

    Mike Parry, company director of Torus Technology Group, said: “We are delighted with the new building which is three times the size of premises we were renting at Halesfield. Our lease was expiring and we wanted to move out and into a bigger property which we would also own and allow for future business expansion.

    “We chose Morris Property to build it next to our main site because the company was recommended by our architect and project managers, Silk Sharples Jennings (SSJ) and we knew the Morris team had the expertise and reputation for the quality work we needed.”

    Torus Measurement Systems supplies automated measurement and testing machinery direct to high volume manufacturing clients around the world, mainly in the packaging industry. Some 90 per cent of the goods supplied are for export.

    James West, Head of Property at Morris Property, said: “This was our first project for Torus and the third one we have carried out at T54, following schemes for Filtermist and AXYZ. We worked closely with the client to assist with some value engineering to ensure we met budget and schedule expectations.

    “As a finishing touch, we also sprayed the cladding for the building to compliment the client’s corporate identity as it was a non-standard colour which the manufacturer wasn’t able to supply in a small quantity.”

    Morris Property worked with a number of professional partners on the scheme and site manager Phil Griffiths saw the job through to completion. 

  • Switchweb Hosting Packages Start from £19/year
    03 Mar 2015

    Moving web hosting is often a hassle however Shropshire based Switchweb aims to make the whole process a lot simpler and for a fraction of the cost.

    Packages are designed for popular web apps such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and phpBB. Each account comes with unlimited email accounts and forwarders. 

    Switchweb are known for their reliability, whether you are using the service for business, charity or a personal website.

    Pete White of Switchweb, says “Lots of website hosting out there appears cost-effective at first - but often, turns out to be the opposite! Switchweb ensures our customers know exactly what the cost is upfront, without any hidden extras.!”

    He added "Switchweb has a proven track record of success, having started in 2003 - and helping 100s of businesses with their hosting needs.”

    Anyone requiring a low-cost yet quality answer to their hosting requirements, is advised to give Switchweb consideration, packages start from just £19/year.

    For more information on the hosting that’s available, visit 

  • Shrewsbury Venues Report Increased Attendances
    09 Jul 2015

    Annual attendance at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn has increased by more than 10%, the venue has confirmed. Ticket sales for year ending 31 March 2015 totalled 159,936, an increase of more than 15,000 on the previous 12 months.

    Audiences from Shropshire and beyond visited the riverside theatre to attend hit productions such as The Mousetrap, The Kite Runner, Jeeves & Wooster, a first visit by Birmingham Royal Ballet, and a host of sell-out performances by popular acts such as Dawn French, Al Murray, Milton Jones, Paul Carrack and Joan Armatrading. Approximately 1/3 of third of attendees visited the venue from outside Shropshire.

    The venue also reported that attendance among schools, children and students exceeded 30,000, as younger audiences attended productions including Horrible Histories, Science Museum Live and John Godber’s ‘Teechers’. The hugely popular annual pantomime also saw another record-breaking attendance of almost 39,000 last Christmas.

    Theatre Manager David Jack, told us “We enjoyed a very busy year and are thrilled by the increased attendance figures. In total, Theatre Severn hosted 450 performances last year, including more than 100 produced and performed by local amateur companies, organisations and performers of all ages, based here in Shropshire.”

    During the same period, attendance at sister venue The Old Market Hall Cinema rose by 13.6%, with annual ticket sales exceeding 60,000 for the first time since opening in 2004. In the past 12 months, the two venues, both owned and operated by Shropshire Council, attracted a combined total of 221,602 visitors to Shrewsbury town centre, an increase of more than 22,000 on the previous year.

    Marketing Manager Craig Reeves added, “The continued success of these relatively new venues could not be achieved without the fantastic support of local audiences. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Theatre Severn in the months ahead and will announce details of a number of big shows for 2016 later this year.”

    Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for business growth, said: “This increase is wonderful news and proves that our dedicated team of staff have the right programme mix.

    “I am confident that they will continue to work hard to bring in new activities, events and exhibitions to keep both our local residents, businesses and visitors coming through the doors.”

    The forthcoming programme at Theatre Severn includes classic plays such as Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘Absent Friends’, Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting For Godot’ and Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple mystery ‘A Murder Is Announced’, hit West End musical Avenue Q, and popular comedians Ed Byrne, Chris Ramsey and Henning Wehn, alongside a host of live music, dance, opera, and family shows including dinosaur spectacular Jurassic Adventures. Earlier this year, the venue also broadened their programme with the introduction of live screenings from the National Theatre and Royal Opera House in the 250-seat Walker Theatre.

    Full listings for Theatre Severn can be found at and for the Old Market Hall at Tickets are available at the venue Box Office or by telephone on 01743 281281.

    Pete White
  • Shrewsbury store helps launch coracle championships
    25 Mar 2014

    Row, row, row your coracle boat… that will be the plan for teams from across Shropshire as they take to the River Severn for Macmillan’s World Championships.

    The charity’s coracle relay race sees teams raise thousands of pounds with spectators taking to the river banks to watch and cheer on their team.

    The event, which will be held on Saturday June 14 from 2pm at Pengwern Boat Club in Shrewsbury, was officially launched at Alan Ward in Shrewsbury today.

    Bosses from the furniture department store on Ennerdale Road joined the launch and appeal for teams after taking part in the event every year since it began.

    Alan Ward was the main sponsor of the event in 2012 when more than £20,000 was raised for Shropshire Macmillan Cancer Support.

    The coracle race has raised more than £125,000 for Macmillan since it was first launched in 2007.

    Kathy Lesser, marketing manager at Alan Ward said: “Despite entering Macmillan’s coracle relay race every year, the Alan Ward Warriors are yet to reach the finals so we have set ourselves an extra challenge to not only take part again this year, and of course raise as much money as possible, but to also reach the finals.

    “In 2012 when Alan Ward was the main sponsor, the event raised more than £20,000 for Macmillan in Shropshire which helped appoint a support manager based within the cancer unit at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

    “Hundreds of Shropshire families are also supported with grants to help with basic needs such as fuel bills and car parking at hospital.

    “The money makes such a difference and everyone at Alan Ward is extremely proud to be part of such a fantastic event which will take place on a Saturday for the first time, so we are expecting a greater turn-out than ever before.”

    The race will see 48 teams of four compete to cross the River Severn and back four times in the shortest time with many donning fancy dress to embark on the challenge.

    Helen Knight, fundraising manager for Macmillan, said: “The race is a fantastic spectator sport and great fun for all of the family.

    “Whilst enjoying the drama of the racing, there will also be plenty of other entertainment for all ages so why not make it a family day out?

    “The funds raised will make a huge difference to those battling cancer and of course their families.”

    To enter a team or for more information email [email protected] and you can keep up to date by visiting their Facebook page by searching for World Coracle Championships on Facebook.

    Pete White
  • New technology for Heritage Glass Group ...
    19 Apr 2017


    New technology for Heritage Glass Group …

    Heritage Glass Group prides itself on being built up on traditional family values as it approaches nearly two decades in business but is not afraid to embrace new ideas.

    The Shrewsbury based firm has just invested in new technology to streamline the customer experience of quotes, product choice, purchasing and completion of orders with a new high tech platform for smart phones, computers and hand held devices in its showrooms.

    Called PRO Technology, the new system will create confidence and accuracy at the point of order as sales staff can clearly display on hand-held or a desktop computer all the options available to the customer for their individual requirements.

    Staff at the Monkmoor showrooms have undertaken full training in the functionality of the new system to be able to assist customers with a clear and simplified display of all of its wide range of products, together with the electronic processing of relevant forms.

    Operations director Paul Hotchkiss, commented: “Once again Heritage Glass Group has invested in new ideas and services to make life easier and more straightforward for our customers, which following very positive feedback, is greatly appreciated.”

    PICTURED: Sales advisors Nick Heyhoe (seated) and Jason Richards in the Heritage Glass showrooms at Monkmoor, Shrewsbury.



  • Midlands UK unveils highlights of its MIPIM event programme
    13 Feb 2019

    • Delegation involved in more than 40 events during the four-day event
    • Midlands UK speakers to address thousands of potential investors

    The Ironbridge Power Station site and Newport’s new agri-tech focused business park are among £11 billion of investment opportunities from the Midlands being featured at the world’s leading real estate show in 2019.

    Sites ready for development in both the Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Council areas are being promoted as part of the Midlands UK delegation at MIPIM, which takes places in Cannes in March.

    Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine, will be joined by a range of senior keynote speakers who will be addressing the global investment community during 40 events over the four days of the show.

    “MIPIM provides a platform from which we can showcase the many strengths of the Midlands to a wide audience. Our economy, which has remained strong and resilient, presents a compelling offer to potential investors,” said Sir John.

    Graham Wynn OBE, Chairman of the Marches LEP, said: “We have fantastic investment opportunities in our region, one of the most attractive locations in the UK to live and work.

    “Global players including BAE Systems, Caterpillar, and Heineken have already chosen to base their operations here, where we offer a first-class business landscape and an outstanding quality of life.

    “MIPIM gives us the chance to showcase what Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford has to offer investors looking to locate in one of the fastest growing areas of the Midlands."

    Shropshire will hold two events during MIPIM. Shrewsbury: The Big Connection will tell investors the story of how the birthplace of Charles Darwin is evolving, where new buildings rub shoulders with re-used older buildings including the Flaxmill Maltings – the grandfather of all skyscrapers.

    Shropshire: Rooted in Heritage, Developing for the Future will highlight the county’s countryside, vibrant market towns and strategic central base within the UK, unlocking key development opportunities through infrastructure investment including the Ironbridge Power Station site and on growth corridors such as the M54.

    Telford & Wrekin Council’s event will focus on its partnership with Harper Adams University to create a cluster of excellence in agri-tech innovation at the heart of which will be a new 25 acre science and innovation park. Ni.Park is being promoted globally by the UK’s Department for International Trade as world-leading in the development of new agri-technology solutions.

    Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member responsible for economic growth, said: “Last year was our first year at MIPIM and we’re excited to be returning. We were bowled over by the interest we received in our county as a place in which to invest.

    “MIPIM gives us access to developers, agents, investors and intermediaries from across the UK and overseas, all in one place. The bonus is that they’re there to do business.”

    The Midlands UK Pavilion welcomed more than 4,700 delegates at MIPIM 2018, who attended a series of presentations, debates and receptions.

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